Reader’s Links, March 12, 2018

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

159 Replies to “Reader’s Links, March 12, 2018”

  1. Trump stokes Sharia law conspiracy theories (middleeasteye, Mar 12, 2018)

    “BOSTON, United States – On Donald Trump’s re-election campaign website, the “Listening to America 2018” survey asks for opinions on hot button issues facing the country. Predictably for a divided America, much of its language is loaded and many of the questions are leading. But the issues covered are mostly real, major concerns that many people in the United States have: Things like abortion, how to prevent school shootings, how to strengthen the economy and what to do about illegal immigration.

    Then there’s question 27: “Are you concerned by the potential spread of Sharia Law?”

    Conspiracy theories that Sharia law is creeping its way into power in America have been around for years, swirling among the most conservative fringes of American politics. Once the realm of paranoid and bigoted grassroots organisations, they eventually found their way into state legislatures as bills trying to ban the implementation of Sharia law. But today, with Trump as president, they have worked their way up to the highest levels of power in the country, giving them more exposure – and perceived credence among conservatives – than ever before.

    “What was once fringe has now become mainstream,” said Wajahat Ali, the lead author of a 2011 Center for American Progress report on the origins of the anti-Islam lobby in the US. “You can trace it to a small, incestuous network of what were once considered far-right anti-Muslim bigots who have now made their way to the White House and whose memes and talking points are now taken seriously by the Republican Party.”

    Sharia is a set of principles that observant Muslims live by, similar to religious laws that members of Christian sects and Judaism follow. But anti-Sharia campaigners do not paint it as a personal set of religious values; rather, they portray it as an oppressive legal, political and military doctrine that seeks to dominate the US, subjugate non-Muslims and usurp the Constitution as the law of the land.

    Sharia conspiracy theories vary in intensity, but none take into account the sheer impossibility of imposing strict Islamic laws on either a local, state or federal level in the US. But experts charge that the anti-Sharia lobby cares little about how realistic the threat is. Instead, they say they are in it for votes and power that with from exploiting fears of Muslims in the US.

    “It’s gradually getting infused into the larger Republican party platform. And the reason they’re doing it is because it works,” said Todd Green, an associated professor of religion at Luther College in Iowa who studies Islamophobia in the US and Europe.

    “It’s not about objective information about something called Sharia or whether there’s actually any kind of threat one percent of the population poses to the entire country or to the state of Oklahoma or Texas or wherever these laws are being passed: It’s about tapping into already existing fears and angers in a certain segment of the population of the electorate and galvanising that and channelling it into votes. And it works.”

    An administration of Islamophobes
    Trump has mentioned Sharia law several times during his political career. Campaigning for the presidency, he blamed terror attacks in Europe on populations not assimilating to their countries because “they want Sharia.” He also said that under his administration, the US would not give visas to anybody who believes Sharia should supplant US law.

    But he is more known for his broader attacks on Islam: As a candidate he said he was open to closing mosques to help fight terrorism, suggested creating a database of Muslims in the US and called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” At one point, he said: “I think Islam hates us.”

    Beyond the president’s own Islamophobic statements, he has surrounded himself with current and former officials who have pushed Sharia conspiracy theories, many of whom have had ties with anti-Muslim organisations considered hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The list is long:

    Kellyanne Conway, one of the president’s closest advisers, once conducted a poll for an anti-Muslim group that was largely derided as unscientific and claimed more than half of Muslims living in the US supported Sharia law. Stephen Miller, another top White House adviser, once warned about rising “Islamofascism” when he was a college student and Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development said he would only support a Muslim president if they renounced “the central tenant of Islam: Sharia law.” CIA Director Mike Pompeo co-sponsored a bill to ban the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Trump’s long list of former White House officials also heavily echoed so-called threats of Sharia law. His former chief of staff, Steve Bannon, presided over Breitbart News, a website that pandered to the far-right and regularly published articles warning of the spread of Sharia law in the US and Europe and Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser, described “Islamism” as “a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people” that “has to be excised.”

    Dangers real for Muslims
    Experts say the migration of Sharia conspiracy theories – and other Islamophobic elements that go hand in hand with them – from the fringes of the Republican Party to its core are dangerous for Muslims in America.

    “This is a kind of rhetoric that is really meant to do harm to Muslims in order for politicians to make political gain or for anti-Muslim hate groups to also have political influence or have financial gain arise from this,” said Green, the Luther College professor.

    “The Trump administration and other Republican politicians – at least in certain areas – are doubling down on it because so far it has been a winning strategy. And they will continue to do that until it is challenged in a significant way,” he added.

    The rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric is already having consequences. The campaign season of 2015 and 2016 saw a surge in hate crimes against Muslims in the country according to the FBI. In 2016 there were even more hate crimes against Muslims than in 2001 when anti-Muslim sentiments seethed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

    As anti-Muslim and anti-Sharia voices have gained prominence, the push to bring Sharia bans into state legislatures has also increased.

    To Ali, the lead author of the Islamophobia report, the threat is not just to Muslims, but to American values.

    “If we are unable or unwilling to integrate Muslims and accept Muslims and people of colour as parts of the American fabric, what we will see is the American dream turned into the American nightmare,” he said. “These forces that are preying upon anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia, they threaten to corrupt and bring down America for the rest of us. That’s why this issue of Islamophobia is not just an Islamic problem, it’s an American problem.””

  2. Free Speech in Britain:

    I was raised to honor Britain, for around 3 years Britain fought along against Nazi Germany, they were fighting what look like a lost cause but were fighting to preserve freedom in Europe. They were stubborn, skilled, nasty and desperate. You had a fighter pilot (one of the top aces) who had lost both legs in a plane wreck before the war, one leg above the knee and the other just below it (Doublas Bader). You had heroes like the men on the one Cruiser and the Destroyers who steamed into sure destruction to try and sink the Graf Spee. They came in so boldly that the German Admiral couldn’t believe they were such light ships. In North Africa they were desperate to hold the Canal and tried every trick anyone could thnk of to stop the Germans. This included letting people raise what were for all practical purposes private armies (SAS, Popsky’s Private Army, Long Range Desert Group) and turned them loose to hit the Germans where and when they could. The Brits from that time wanted to fight for their freedom, they thought it was better to die a free man (or woman) fighting to remain free rather then allowing their nation to become just one more dictatorship.

    These days all we see out of Britain is small protests that are blocked and harrassed, people with the guts to fight for their freedom but no one with any chance of winning stepping up to be the leaders of the movement to free Britain. Where are the middle and upper class leaders who were so brave in WWII?

    You in Britain didn’t have any gun laws until 1920 when your politicians became scared of communism and ordered you to register your firearms so they would know who to call on it there was a communist rebellion. The rebellion didn’t occur but your government now knew who owned firearms. Between then and the 1960s the politicians both left and right chipped away at your gun rights because they were afraid of the armed populace. The left was afraid that they couldn’t take over if the populace was armed, the right was afraid that the populace would decide to attack them. Now you are facing the problem of a government that has turned totalitarian and you don’t have the tools to resist. Tommy Roberson can rally portions of the populace but you need someone who can call out the patriots in the Upper and Middle Classes. Where are the heroes? During WWII Brits of every class lined up to try to be a hero, where are those people now? Stand up and be counted, your nation needs you without the members of all of the classes coming together to resist you don’t have a chance.

    The time has come to make a decision are you worthy descendants of of brave ancestors who took on the entire world and won? Or are you the tired scared people who will let the members of a foreign culture rape you children and make slaves of you? Time to decide which you are men who will fight and die if necessary for you families, your culture and your nation or are you tired people who will willingly accept the slave chains?

  3. Three package bombings at Austin homes are linked, police say; two dead

    Police have linked three package bombings that have killed two residents in Austin, Texas, over the last 10 days, raising fears that a serial bomber is targeting the city as hundreds of thousands of festival-goers flock to town for South by Southwest.

    Two of the bombings happened in residential areas in the eastern half of the city on Monday morning, not at the festival, and police have not identified a suspect or given a possible motive as federal officials joined the investigation.

    “We are not ruling anything out at this point,” Police Chief Brian Manley said at a televised news conference. “We’re imploring the community, if you know anything about these attacks, it is imperative that you come forward and let us know. We have innocent people getting hurt across this community.”

    Before 7 a.m. Monday, residents at one home in east Austin found a mysterious package on their doorstep and brought it inside, Manley said.

  4. We brought down Challenger space shuttle in 1986, claims Turkish sect leader (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 12, 2018)

    “The Challenger space shuttle, which exploded a few minutes after launching in 1986, was brought down by members of the Naqshbandi spiritual order in Turkey, one of the group’s leaders has claimed in a video that has gone viral on social media.

    Ahmet Yasin Bursevi said the cause of the explosion of the space shuttle was the slackening of its cap screws by members of the Naqshbandi order.

    “We were in the middle of the Hatme [a kind of dhikr ritual] when the challenger departed. There was no television in the room. Uncle Ahmet [one of the members of the group] started to speak loudly during the ritual, saying ‘why hasn’t it exploded yet?’ Uncle Mehmet Emin [another member] responded, saying ‘don’t worry. We have loosened its cap screws. It will go down soon.’ The shuttle went down at the same time. We learned it from the TV the next day,” Bursevi says in the video.

    On Jan. 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the 10th flight of Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members.”

  5. CBC – Syrian scholarship students now seeking refugee protection

    Five Syrian scholarship students have applied for refugee protection, and some say it’s because they feel let down by the renowned Toronto charity that brought them to Canada.The students were part of a group of seven young women who received full-ride scholarships last year to study English in Toronto as part of the Daughters For Life Foundation.

  6. In Ottawa an error was corrected before arrival of Belgian sovereigns.

    A German flag instead of Belgian, to welcome King Philippe of Belgium and his wife Mathilde: this mistake was quickly corrected in the Canadian capital Ottawa where the royal couple is visiting, reports Radio Canada. The blunder was made in the middle of the garden of the residence of the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning Head of State of Canada.

    Two small flags, the Canadian maple leaf with its famous maple leaf and that of Germany, were linked by a yellow ribbon on a sugar maple, planted more than 40 years ago by Queen Fabiola of Belgium.

    • And those Ottawa protocol experts are paid how many tens of thousands of dollars per year to vet these exact sort of intricacies?

      This is the sort of incompetence that deserves to get people fired. As if.

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