Reader’s Links, Nov. 9, 18

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About Eeyore

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

139 Replies to “Reader’s Links, Nov. 9, 18”

  1. The Kavanaugh Election
    Republicans took states while the Democrats took districts.

    November 7, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    Some dubbed 2016 the Flight 93 election. 2018 was the Kavanaugh election.

    The Democrats raised $950 million to take the House and another $513 million to take the Senate. They boosted their spending by 44% while Republican spending only rose by 21% since the last midterms. With that much at stake, just as in the Kavanaugh nomination, the Democrats used every dirty trick.

    Republicans were harassed, threatened, assaulted and even shot. The media accused them of racism, sexism and treason. No smear was too low. No accusation too improbable. And some of them worked.

    Before the election, these tactics exploded in the Kavanaugh hearings. And so did the backlash.

    Democrat senators in red and reddish states, Donnelly, Heitkamp, McCaskill, and Nelson, who joined the lynch mob against Kavanaugh lost their seats. Senator Manchin who voted for Kavanaugh, kept his.

    Republicans scored in the Senate, the body at the center of the Kavanaugh battle, but fell in the House, which had remained on the sidelines. There are structural reasons why Republicans were vulnerable in the House, but had more options in the Senate. But there was also a huge difference in perceptions.

    • He is right, there is a silver lining in the black cloud, Dan Bongio in yesterdays show said he wants Ted Cruise for Attorney General because 1) We get Cruise as AG and 2) The Dems spent many many millions of dollars in Texts and a new election to pick a replacement for Cruise would take money to try and elect someone to fill Cruise’s seat. Right now a Woman is suppose to leading the race to become the new AG.

      • Another silver lining is that in 2020 he has the Dem held House to run against, they will not be able to run on hope and change but will be forced to defend their 2 year record. If they try to do even half of the things they say they want to do the voters are going to vote against them in mass.

  2. Richard: Was this a normal Rapper shooting or were they going after him for supporting Trump?

    anti-gunners are too historically illiterate to know that they want to sell us down a river to serfdom

    Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Tekashi 6ix9ine music video set shot at in California

    Shots were fired at a Southern California home where rappers Kanye West, Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj were filming a music video, according to reports. No one was injured.

    Tekashi’s people rented an $80 million Beverly Hills mansion to film the music video for one of his songs featuring West and Minaj, TMZ reported, citing sources. About eight shots were fired into the home and at least one bullet traveled through the bedroom window, the gossip site reported.

  3. George Lopez Charged With Battery After Blow-Up Over Trump Joke Caught On Video
    Actor / Comedian George Lopez attends the premiere of ‘River Runs Red’ at the DTLA Film Festival at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    Vehemently anti-Trump actor and comedian George Lopez had his day at the golf course disrupted last month by police after he got into a confrontation with a heckler at a Hooters who cracked a Donald Trump joke and put a camera in his face. Lopez now faces a court date on charges of misdemeanor battery.

    Lopez has made sure the world knows how much he dislikes the president, even going so far as to take a moment in July to fake pee on Trump’s Hollywood star.

    video at site

  4. Obama-Nominated Judge Blocks Keystone Pipeline

    On Thursday, a federal judge in Montana blocked the Keystone XL oil pipeline and President Trump’s permit for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, which Trump signed within days of taking office in January 2017. The Keystone XL is designed to transport heavy crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, then connect with another pipeline to travel to Illinois.

    Judge Brian Morris of the District Court for the District of Montana, who was nominated to his position by former President Barack Obama, ruled that the Trump administration’s reversal of Obama’s denial to give the pipeline a permit lacked proper justification. Morris claimed that the State Department, which analyzed the pipeline, “simply discarded” climate change concerns related to the project.

  5. New York Times: Jim Acosta has First Amendment Right to Touch Women
    November 9, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    After Hollywood, the mainstream media had the worst #MeToo record. Here’s another reminder of that as the media circles the wagons in defense of Jim Acosta’s ugly scene. It’s not news that CNN was bound to back Acosta. But the rest of the media decided that Acosta’s latest narcissistic tantrum was the hill to die on.

    For the First Amendment.

    As Times White House reporter Julie Davis tweeted on Thursday, “@Acosta’s behavior here, like it or not, does not disqualify him from the First Amendment-protected freedom to ask questions. Otherwise, how are we different from a place that has no freedom of the press at all?”

    Yes, how we are different than North Korea?

    If Jim Acosta loses his hard pass, we might as well be Turkey and lock up hundreds of journalists. It’s exactly the same thing.

  6. Executive Order: Part Deux
    How Trump can curb document fraud, voter fraud, and illegal immigration.
    November 9, 2018
    Lloyd Billingsley

    Before the election, with the caravan of Central Americans still marching toward the U.S. border, President Trump announced that he would issue an executive order to end “birthright citizenship,” a magnet for illegals from around the world, particularly Mexico.

    “It’s ridiculous, and it has to end,” the president said. “It will happen, with an executive order.”

    The statement drew immediate fire from the open-border precincts, and even from Republicans such as Paul Ryan. While the president ponders action, he might consider another executive order that could help halt document fraud, voter fraud, and illegal immigration. As a recent case confirms, these all go together.

    Last year, an investigation by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service found that Mexican national Gustavo Araujo Lerma applied for U.S passports under the assumed identity of Hiram Enrique Velez, a deceased U.S. citizen. The assassin in The Day of the Jackal used the same trick, simply find records of someone who passed away, then steal the identity of the deceased. Frederick Forsythe’s novel was published in 1971 but American officials were slow to catch on.

    Gustavo Araujo Lerma used the fraudulent identity for more than 25 years. During that time, the Mexican national obtained legal permanent resident status and ultimately U.S. citizenship for Maria Eva Velez, his wife. The couple had previously married in Mexico but did so again in Los Angeles in 1992 under the fake identity. This allowed Maria Velez illegally to obtain status as the purported wife of a U.S. citizen, but there was more to it.

  7. Alienate Midwestern Voters
    November 9, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    Surely this will work out better than the last twenty times.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who plans to return as Speaker in the next Congress, declared Thursday that gun control will be a priority under the newly elected Democratic majority.

    You didn’t think that the Dems would just collect their winnings on health care without overreaching?

    San Francisco donors want what they want. Eco-fascism, gun control and mandatory social enforcement everywhere. Pelosi can only do so much of that, but she can service the insatiable demands of the gun control crowd, some of whom are very big donors.

  8. Migrant caravan plows on despite facing border bottleneck after Trump tightens asylum rules

    A major shot across the bow from President Trump on Thursday may give migrants in the Central American caravan second thoughts about entering the U.S.

    The caravan, numbering roughly 6,000, spent one more night in Mexico City before continuing north to Queretaro.

    However, in a statement issued jointly by the DHS and DOJ, the administration said migrants will not be allowed to enter the U.S. illegally to file asylum claims, which is how the vast majority of roughly 150,000 Central American families and children entered the U.S. last fiscal year.

    Instead, they will be required to enter through official ports of entry, like those near San Diego, Yuma and El Paso. By issuing the new directive, the President is creating a bottleneck by funneling tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to already overcrowded ports.

    • He is right about the grand confrontation is upon us, he is wrong that Trump just found the courage to take on Mueller, He waited until after the midterms to see what type of support he would have in Congress when the left discovers that he is going to stand up to them and do his best to drive a stake through the heart of the Deep State. His temporary AG isone of the weapons he will use and in my opinion declassifying everything to do with the so called Russia Probe is another. Showing how corrupt the Obama Department of Justice was and how corrupt Mueller and Rosenstein are will do a lot to stop the quiet coup the Deep State has been trying to carry out. As long as the Repubs have control of the Senate with enough of a cushion that one or two of the never Trumpers still in the Senate can defect but there are enough loyal people left to prevent removal from office is the goal of the Repubs. This is why the Demps are suing and filling out discovering new ballots in the three races that are still up in the air. They hope they can get close enough to 50 that never Trumpers will be a major threat during the coming fight.

      I ask that the believers among us pray for Trump to succeed, we need all the help we can get.

  9. Europeans React to US Elections

    by Soeren Kern
    November 9, 2018 at 5:00 am

    The American midterm elections attracted intense interest in Europe, where much of the political and media establishment are hostile to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, and many had openly hoped that the vote on November 6 would weaken him and his legislative agenda.

    Newspapers and magazines across Europe provided saturation coverage of the elections. The overwhelming majority of commentaries and editorials, while customarily vitriolic in tone, grudgingly acknowledged that the midterm results did not amount to the total repudiation of the Trump Administration and may even help the president’s chances for reelection in November 2020.

    In terms of transatlantic relations, many observers raised fears that if the Democrats, who won control of the House of Representatives, succeed in thwarting Trump’s domestic initiatives, the president may place more focus on foreign policy and increase pressure on free-riding European allies to spend more for their own defense.

    What follows is a brief summary of some of the European media coverage of this year’s U.S. midterm elections.

  10. Indonesia risks measles outbreak as Islamic clerics declare vaccine ‘haram’ (asiancorrespondent, Nov 9, 2018)

    “INDONESIA is at heightened risk of an outbreak of measles and rubella after Islamic authorities declared vaccination ‘haram’ (forbidden) due to its pork gelatine content.

    The Health Ministry said its World Health Organisation-backed immunisation programme held since last year had reached 95 percent coverage in the highly-populated central island of Java, dropping measels and rubella cases by more than 90 percent, but the jabs only reached eight percent of children in provinces like Aceh.

    The declining rates of injections, as a result of millions of parents forgoing the vaccine in recent months, has alarmed the health officials who say there could be a fresh wave of measels and miscarriages and birth defects resulting from rubella infections during pregnancy, according to Science.

    SEE ALSO: India: What you need to know about the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala

    Just before the ministry intensified its immunisation drive to islands and provinces outside Java in August, the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) of the Riau Islands, an Islamic body that oversees religious affairs in the province, raised concerns that a new vaccine used was not certified halal by the central MUI body, the highest authority on religion in the country.

    The concern led to the requests by the MUI to postpone the vaccinations and the issue became contentious with parents across the country showing increased distrust on the injections as pig components were used in its manufacturing.

    Produced by the Serum Institute of India in Mumbai, the MR vaccine was adopted by the Indonesian ministry to immunise 67 million children aged between nine months and 15 years.

    But the MR vaccine contained Trypsin, an enzyme which helps separate the cells which the vaccine viruses are grown from their glass container. The gelatine extracted from pig skin protects the vaccine viruses as they are freeze-dried.

    In many other Muslim countries, clerics concluded that the gelatine in the vaccines was permissible as it had been purified in accordance with an Islamic legal concept called istihalah.

    Despite the health ministry’s calls to issue a fatwa to declare the vaccine halal, the MUI did the reverse by declaring it haram based it the vaccine’s porcine-based ingredients.

    However, the MUI had not called for an end for the vaccination campaign, telling parents to have their children vaccinated for public health reasons – they simply wanted a halal vaccine, even though there were none readily available.

    Bio Farma, Indonesia’s state-owned company has noted that non-porcine vaccine stabilisers exist but clinical trials on the replacement could take six to 10 years.

    In the meantime, however Art Reingold, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley, says “many will be made ill and some may die avoidable deaths.””

    • Gaetz sounds off outside Broward County elections office

      Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is calling for the removal of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes.

  11. the daily beast -Brits Urge Pompeo to Keep Violent Bigot Tommy Robinson Out of U.S.

    American Islamophobes have invited the English Defense League founder to speak in Washington next week

    Dozens of British lawmakers are imploring the Trump administration not to allow a prominent far-right English Islamophobe into the U.S. to address like-minded audiences in Washington next week.

    More than 50 members of parliament warned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that granting an entry waiver to Tommy Robinson, the founder of the extremist English Defence League, risked violence. Robinson’s real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.

    “The intention of the visit in question is for Yaxley-Lennon to speak to prominent audiences in Washington DC, and to secure media appearances to promote his violent and extremist agenda,” the parliamentarians wrote in a Nov. 8 letter obtained by The Daily Beast.

    “Such demonstrations have resulted in outbreaks of violence in the past. We also suspect any event in the United States, featuring him, could be subject to similar demonstrations.”

    Robinson, who served jail time in the U.K. for assault in 2005, is currently ineligible to enter the United States. In January 2013, he was sentenced to 10 months in jail after he used a friend’s passport to fly to New York and fled from secondary inspection at JFK airport.

    It’s the sort of behavior the Trump administration and its allies typically attribute to Muslim and Hispanic immigrants in issuing wholesale travel bans from Muslim countries or ordering a massive military buildup at the border against an unarmed migrant caravan.

    But since Robinson has become a minor celebrity in trans-Atlantic anti-Islam circles, the MPs are asking Pompeo for “your assurance that the United States has no plans to and will not grant a waiver of his inadmissibility.” Robinson was allegedly spotted at the U.S. embassy in London early Wednesday.

    A State Department spokesperson wouldn’t comment on Robinson or give any indication as to whether Pompeo would heed the British lawmakers or grant Robinson entry.

    “Visa confidentiality, protected by U.S. law, prohibits us from discussing individual visa cases. We cannot speculate on whether someone may or may not be eligible for a visa, nor on any possible limitations,” the spokesperson told The Daily Beast, adding that a consular officer would be the one to “review the facts” of such cases.

    The spokesperson continued: “Our first priority when adjudicating visa applications is to ensure that applicants do not pose a security risk to the United States.”

    The U.K. anti-racist group Hope Not Hate believes Robinson could raise a million British pounds off his intended U.S. appearances, a sum that campaigns director Matthew McGregor said could have a “devastating impact” by boosting Islamophobia in Britain.

    “Usually, the idea that Stephen Lennon would be allowed into the U.S. after breaking immigration law would be laughable and ridiculous,” McGregor told The Daily Beast. “But he’s got friends in high places in the Trump administration.”

    Perhaps most prominently, U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback appealed to the British ambassador to Washington on Robinson’s behalf in June, Reuters reported. Brownback, a Trump appointee, reportedly lobbied the U.K. ambassador to give more favorable treatment to Robinson, who was serving a brief prison sentence on contempt of court charges. Brownback reportedly warned that the U.S. might criticize the U.K.’s handling of the case if they did not comply. The previous month, Donald Trump Jr. had taken to Twitter to criticize the U.K. for the charges.

    The prison sentence, one of several for contempt in cases involving Muslims, has prompted his fans to cast him as a martyr. At a series of rallies, Robinson fans demanded his freedom, sometimes turning violent and throwing Nazi salutes. Among his supporters was the U.S.-based, anti-Islam Middle East Forum—which is one of the groups that has invited him to Washington.

    In July, MEF organized a “Free Tommy Robinson” rally in London, with an international cast of Islamophobes. The group invited U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, who delivered a speech calling Muslim men a “scourge” in his speech. (Gosar, an Arizona Republican, won reelection this week, despite six of his siblings filming an ad that calls him racist.) Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Muslim politician, also headlined the event.

    MEF, along with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, organized Robinson’s would-be visit to the U.S., the organization announced last month. Additionally, the group stated that “Rep. Paul Gosar […] and six other members of Congress have invited Mr. Robinson to speak to the Conservative Opportunity Society in a closed-door event.”

    The group does not name the six other legislators who allegedly lent Robinson their support. But at least one of Gosar’s colleagues has previously expressed support for the far-right convict.

    Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican and white supremacist who retweets Nazis, has tweeted in support of Robinson. In June, King tweeted a link to an article about Wilders, captioning it “Free Tommy Robinson!”

    Hope Not Hate’s McGregor said that Robinson is attempting to establish an “international footprint” for Islamophobic extremism. “This visit is part of developing that brand and raising money so he can do more of the disruption, demonstrations and division that has already wreaked havoc across the U.K.,” McGregor said.

    Gesturing at the Trump administration’s hardline immigration stance, the parliamentarians told Pompeo it would send “a terrible signal if a convicted felon” previously barred from entry was permitted into the country.

    “Clearly the gravity of [Robinson’s] serious criminal record, his brazen violation of U.S. immigration law and the threat he poses to the American public will ensure that he isn’t granted admission to the U.S.,” they wrote.

  12. Freeland orders internal review of Afghan aid

    Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is ordering an internal review of Canadian aid to Afghanistan to determine whether taxpayer money has been wasted on questionable projects and to ensure more oversight.

    Ms. Freeland said the review is necessary after The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that a U.S. watchdog agency found billions of dollars of Western foreign aid, including from Canada, had been lost to widespread corruption, waste and mismanagement.

    “I think obviously we want to be sure we’re spending our money in the ways that we intended it to be spent, that it has a maximum positive impact,” Ms. Freeland told reporters on Thursday at an event in Hamilton. “So I will be looking into the reports that came out today, and I think it’s something that we definitely need to study, need to be thoughtful about.”

    U.S. Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko recently told The Globe that his office had found a troubling lack of financial oversight and far-reaching mismanagement of two Western trust funds – the World Bank’s Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund and the United Nations-administered Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, used to train and equip Afghan security forces.

    Unlike the United States, Canada does not independently audit the money it puts into Western trust funds for international aid. But Mr. Sopko said he is certain the problems he identified for U.S. taxpayers are the same for Canada.

    Mr. Sopko said aid dollars have gone to build medical clinics without electricity or water, schools without children and buildings that literally melted away in the rain. In addition, local officials who were in charge of paying workers with some of the funds created what the audits called “ghost workers” – civilian bureaucrats, police and soldiers who did not exist – then diverted or kept the money recorded as being paid to those non-existent workers.

    The United States is the largest donor to the two funds. According to the Library of Parliament, Canadian contributions include US$763.7-million to Afghanistan reconstruction from 2002-2018, and US$87.2-million to train Afghan police. Another US$212.9-million went to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization fund to train the Afghan army.

    Ms. Freeland said her department will examine whether Canada should insist on its own independent audits of the two multibillion dollar funds or whether it should redirect those dollars to Canadian aid to projects it manages directly. Since 2002, Canada has provided more than $3-billion in foreign aid to war-ravaged Afghanistan.

    “We need to take every measure to ensure that when we spend money to help other countries, which I think is a really good thing to do, that we’re spending it in ways that are effective, that Canadian money is doing what Canadians want it to do,” she said. “So I think, definitely, we need to look into all ways to be sure that money is being spent as effectively as possible.”

    Asked again whether that includes independent audits or Canada leading its own funded projects, she replied: “I said all ways.”

    Ms. Freeland’s communications director, Alex Lawrence, said officials will read the U.S. Special Inspector-General’s reports before deciding next steps. Mr. Lawrence was unable to give a timeline for completion of the review.

    Canada’s Department of Global Affairs had previously told The Globe that the World Bank and UN conduct comprehensive monitoring to “ensure that Canadian funds are not wasted in Afghanistan” and noted Canada has seats on the funding boards. The World Bank restricts donors’ access to information on how it monitors and accounts for this funding.

    Former Canadian diplomat David Mulroney, who was the deputy minister in charge of overseeing all aspects of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan from 2007-09, said Ottawa was under heavy pressure from the UN and Europe to cut big cheques to the two funds during his tenure. Canada ended up contracting out its management responsibility for spending taxpayers’ money in a country “devastated by three decades of war, and with a system of governance more medieval than modern,” he said.

    Glenn Davidson, Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan from 2012-13, said Canada had much more success in smaller projects over which it had direct control, such as working with the World Health Organization on polio eradication, midwife training and initiatives for newborn children, as well as training for farmers.

    Mr. Sopko found the World Bank could not monitor US$10-billion meant for reconstruction. The United States also provided more than US$1.3-billion to the UN’s law and order fund to train and equip the Afghan police.

    In an April report to the U.S. Congress, Mr. Sopko said a top aide to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told him the World Bank fund “allows for ill-conceived projects to be funded because there is no repayment obligation and that dysfunctional projects are nearly impossible to eliminate.”

    Neither the World Bank nor the UN could assure Mr. Sopko’s office that much of this money had not gone to fictional or ghost workers. Mr. Sopko said that last month on a trip to Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official asked him to conduct yet another audit of ghost police officers, which he is planning to do.

    Ms. Freeland said she would not want to see Canada give up its role in helping the Afghan people.

    “Canadians know that we have a role to play there in trying to bring some peace and stability and security in Afghanistan,” she said. “And there are some fantastic Canadian men and women who are working really, really hard to do that, and have been for a long.”

    One hundred and fifty-eight Canadians died fighting the Taliban before combat troops were pulled out of Afghanistan in July, 2011. The Afghan government is still fighting intense battles with the Taliban across most of the country.

  13. MEMRI TV – Boston Imam Abdullah Faaruuq Calls on Trump and Clinton to Convert to Islam

    During a sermon at Boston’s Masjid Alhamdulillah, also known as the Mosque for the Praising of Allah, Imam Abdullah Faaruuq said that those who are waiting for Jesus to save them or who believe in Bush, Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Trump are “fools,” because these politicians do not follow an Islamic system.

    He criticized politicians for permitting “everything that Allah has forbidden,” including gay marriage, marijuana, alcohol, and prostitution.

    Faaruuq invited Hillary Clinton and then-President-Elect Donald Trump to join Islam, saying that they are going to die someday and that they should “get ready to meet [their] Lord.”

    Faaruuq lives in Boston, MA and was born in the United States. The sermon was uploaded to the mosque’s YouTube channel on November 21, 2016.

  14. MEMRI TV – Muslim Brotherhood TV after Midterms: What Culture Waits 229 Years To Elect A Hijab-Wearing Woman?

    Mohammed Naser, a host on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Mekameleen TV, criticized the U.S. for waiting for 229 years before electing a hijab-wearing woman to Congress despite the nation’s freedoms of movement, speech, assembly, life, and self-defense.

    Naser said that Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) was elected to Congress regardless of President Trump’s hatred of Somalis, and Muslims in general.

    He added: “Is this the Western civilization you love so much?”

    Naser’s remarks aired on Mekameleen TV, which is a Turkey-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood channel, on November 7, 2018.

  15. Over a hundred alleged Gulenist soldiers arrested in latest Turkey crackdown (alaraby, Nov 9, 2018)

    “Turkish authorities ordered the arrests of 103 soldiers with alleged ties to the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency said Friday.

    Police have so far rounded up 74 people in Istanbul and 31 other provinces, Anadolu reported.

    The 103 suspects are active military personnel and include colonels and lieutenant colonels. Turkish prosecutors say these alleged Gulenists communicated over payphones.

    Around 80,000 people including military personnel have been arrested over alleged Gulen links under the post-coup state of emergency imposed nearly two years ago.

    Ankara insists the raids are necessary to remove the “virus” caused by the Gulen movement’s infiltration of key Turkish institutions.

    But Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999, denies orchestrating the 15 July 2016 coup plot that saw 250 killed, not including the plotters.

    Ankara’s Western allies including the European Union have expressed concern over the scale of the purge, which has seen more than 150,000 people suspended or sacked from the public sector, including judges, soldiers and police.

    While Turkey’s post-coup crackdown has focused on suspected Gulenists, the government also used to opportunity to suppress a myriad of opposition groups including Kurdish activists.

    Turkey is also the world’s largest jailer of journalists, having imprisoned over 120 since July 2016.”

  16. Greece sees surge in migrant crossings from Turkey (hurriyetdailynews, Nov 9, 2018)

    “Authorities in northern Greece have reported a sharp increase in migrant crossings at the country’s land border with Turkey along with a rise in arrests of smuggling suspects.

    The number of migrants registered and arrested after crossing the border was 3,543 in October, an 82 percent rise from that month the previous year, according to police data from the border region of Thrace and the northern city of Thessaloniki obtained by the Associated Press.

    The number of smuggling suspects arrested also nearly doubled, from 66 in October 2017 to 110 last month.

    The surge in numbers has complicated an ongoing government effort to reduce overcrowding at migrant camps on Lesbos and other Greek islands by moving more asylum seekers to the mainland.

    On a related note, at least 868 irregular migrants have been held in the western Turkish province of Edirne, security sources said on Nov. 8, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

    Gendarmerie teams rounded up the migrants during security patrols in various districts including Meriç, ?psala and Lalapa?a, according to sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

    The sources said the migrants, who attempted to illegally cross into neighboring countries, were Pakistani, Somali, Bangladeshi, Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan and Palestinian nationals.

    All of the migrants were referred to the provincial migration directorate.

    Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began.

    Of the migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan, totaling around 15,000, followed by around 12,000 Afghans and about 10,000 Syrians.

    A 60 percent increase in migrant flow has been seen since 2016, when the number totaled 31,000.”

  17. Migrants: Bosnia, 146 stranded on train in Bihac (ansamed, Nov 9, 2018)

    “A reported 146 migrants are stranded on a train at the station of Bihac, in north-western Bosnia, not far from the border with Croatia. The migrants, who reached Sarajevo overnight, have not been allowed to get off the train. Last month, Bosnian authorities banned access to the district of Bihac due to the large number of migrants already hosted, a local police spokesman said.

    A similar situation was already reported on October 24, when 90 migrants were stranded aboard a train and were then forced to travel by bus to the hosting center of Hadzici near Sarajevo.

    Initially, the migrants aboard the train in Bihac were 153 but seven of them, women and children, were allowed to get off and taken to the hosting center of Bihac while all the others will likely be taken back to Sarajevo. The objective of migrants who regularly pay for a ticket to travel to Bihac was to try to cross into neighboring Croatia to then to western Europe.”

  18. When your daughter suddenly dons a niqab (DW, Nov 9, 2018)

    “Children’s life decisions are often difficult for parents to bear and even more difficult to understand — especially when the children radicalize themselves. DW met an affected German mother.

    No mother would ever want to experience this: the unexpected appearance of state security officers on her doorstep, to inform her that her daughter Sophia (name changed by DW) was planning to leave for Syria to allegedly join the terrorist militia “Islamic State.”

    But that is exactly what happened to Monika Müller (name changed by DW). She recalls every detail of that particular day in 2014. Her shock was followed by relief: The police had been acting on false rumors the officers had seemingly picked up in a mosque. But how did Sophia and her family get to this point? Müller was willing to share her daughter’s journey with Deutsche Welle, but only on the condition that her family’s anonymity be protected. Not everything they have been through can be published here.

    Switching on the brain

    In her early 60s, Müller is a woman who likes to laugh. Her alert face is framed by short red hair. She is a doctor in a mid-sized town in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where we met in her practice.

    We became aware of Müller through an aid project focusing on de-radicalization. For two years now, she has been working with the project, trying to warn young people about the dangers of Islamist radicalization.

    During her talks, she always recalls her daughter: “Young people should switch on their brains so that they are not simply persuaded to do things by just anybody.”

    She emphasizes that this does not only apply to religious radicalization: “It would be the same if the young people were right-wing extremists. Radicalization can cause a family to break apart.”

    Müller’s family is still intact. The mother maintains close contact with her daughter Sophia, who is now 24. They call and message each other almost every day, and visit each other regularly. Sometimes they go out together — for example to the Christmas market.

    But that wasn’t always the case. There were times of complete silence — sometimes for months, when the family’s fabric disintegrated under intense pressure.

    Through trauma to Islam

    Monika Müller attributes Sophia’s conversion to Islam as a young teenager to a great extent to an event that she prefers to describe only as a “traumatic experience outside the family.” It profoundly changed Sophia, who was 12 years old at the time. Afterwards, her mother explains, she developed a strong desire for protection, a desire which ran through Sophia’s life “like a red thread.”

    She turned to therapy but then took a step that her mother found incomprehensible. “She convinced herself that she had to convert to Islam because this religion could protect her better than the religion she grew up with,” she remembers.

    Sophia had been baptized Catholic and later she was also active as an altar girl in church services.

    At the age of 16 the girl began attending mosque, at first secretly. Sophia surrounded herself almost exclusively with girls who “had an Islamic or culturally Moroccan, very patriarchal, background,” her mother remembers.

    When the daughter decided to don the headscarf at the age of 17, the peace in the family became disturbed: “Sophia has two siblings. There were always discussions. Always quarrels. We were insulted as infidels. Sophia always carried the Quran around with her. Or books like ‘The Muslim woman, the Muslim marriage’.”

    First marriage as a teenager

    Then, one day, Sophie disappeared. Unknown to her parents, she married a Turkish man. But the marriage didn’t last very long.

    “The man wasn’t devout enough for her, and she came back to us. That’s when we first thought: Now it’s over. Now she becomes reasonable again. But that wasn’t the case.”

    Instead, Sophia trawled Muslim marriage forums on the internet, searching for an orthodox, strictly religious husband.

    Soon, the situation at home escalated yet again. Sophia’s father took away her phone. She then dropped out of her vocational training program shortly before she was set to graduate.

    Sophia left her parental home for the second time. “A few weeks later we learned that she was living in Münster [location changed by DW] and that she had married again. At that time she was already fully veiled, wearing the niqab”, Monika Müller recalls.

    Since then, Sophia has had two children and is pregnant with a third.

    “I do try sometimes, but it’s not easy”

    Her mother feels that her daughter is leading a life based on an extremely regressive gender model where “the woman stays at home, looks after the children and makes sure that there is food on the table for her husband when he comes home”.

    Nevertheless, Müller tries to maintain “as normal a relationship with my son-in-law, who comes from Albania, as is possible.”

    Müller describes him as a fundamentalist who has traveled to Syria twice. She told DW that he drove aid convoys there for “Medizin mit Herz” (Medicine with Heart), an organization NRW’s domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, classifies as an extremist Salafist group: “Its aim is to use supposed humanitarian aid to win over young people in particular to an extremist ideology. Ultimately, this is one of the reasons for young people to travel to Syria,” NRW’s domestic intelligence chief, Burkhard Freier, said in 2015.

    In the past few years, almost 1,000 people in Germany have been radicalized to such an extent that they joined the terrorist militia “Islamic State” (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Nearly 300 of them came from NRW.

    Has Müller ever confronted her daughter about Syria, IS, and its legacy of terror? “Yes,” she says, but only cautiously, never aggressively.

    “Sophia then tells me: ‘They’re not true Muslims, doing such things,’ like killing or beheading others, like killing children. But I believe that my daughter is not really following politics or history at all.”

    According to her mother, Sophia does watch some news. “But I don’t know if she really understands it all or if she perceives it as propaganda,” Müller says, before adding: “I just try not to talk a lot about such things. I do try sometimes, but it’s not easy. And then I always think: Okay. That’ll sort itself out somehow.”

    Cautious concession

    Monika Müller is aware that some fundamentalist families isolate their children, forbidding them to sing or watch television. But in the case of her daughter Sophia, the doctor is relieved that motherhood seems to have softened the religious attitude. At first, Sophia refused to send her children to kindergarten. But now, Müller told DW, she has realized the importance of “children growing up with others and experiencing a less limited view of the world.”

    The kindergarten has also helped her daughter to make new acquaintances: “Sophia doesn’t have such a large circle of friends,” says Monika Müller. “She’s not from Münster. Her friends are mostly her husband’s friends and family. My son-in-law has two brothers with children.”

    Spat at and bullied

    The doctor is also encouraged by the fact that her daughter now takes off her niqab for her paternal family’s reunions and weddings.

    At the same time, Müller gets angry when she talks about her daughter’s experience of wearing her full face veil in public.

    “Sophia has often been spat at and jostled. Someone even stood up in front of her and said: ‘Someone like you should be shot!’ I have seen for myself that people have mobbed her when I was standing next to her on the street.”

    That’s why Müller can understand why Sophia sometimes says: “It’s not that easy to live in Germany.”

    In the past, her daughter would often talk about moving to an Arab country, to learn Arabic and study the Quran.

    But with time her daughter seems to have changed her mind, which she also puts down to her grandchildren: “My daughter has noticed that it is important for her children to receive a good education. And that this is not so easy in Arab countries, especially not for a woman.”

    Monika Müller is no longer afraid that state security might suddenly appear on her doorstep, warning her that her daughter might pack up and leave for Syria. But German authorities are likely, she adds, to further monitor her son-in-law. Last year, the flat of Sophia and her family was searched while they were away.”

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