Contributor’s Links post for February 1st, current year

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

145 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for February 1st, current year”

  1. DEUTSCHE WELLE – Asia Bibi reunites with family in Canada: reports

    The lawyer of the Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy, said Bibi and her husband had arrived in Canada. He did not disclose the exact time of her departure and how she had left Pakistan, citing security reasons.

    Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, has arrived in Canada with her husband, German media reported Friday, quoting her lawyer.

    “She is united with her family”, Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook told the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. DW was not able to immediately confirm the development.

    Bibi’s two daughters already live in Canada.

    The lawyer did not disclose any further details about Bibi’s departure from Pakistan, citing security reasons. It was previously reported that Bibi could not leave her native country aboard a regular flight.

    Bibi was arrested in June 2009 after her neighbors complained she had insulted Prophet Muhammad. A year later, she was sentenced to death despite strong opposition from human rights groups.

    The news comes just days after Pakistan’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal against its October decision to acquit her.

    She had been living under the “protective custody” of Pakistani authorities since her release from prison in November.

    Bibi’s acquittal on October 31 had led to violent protests by hard-line Islamists.

    The Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, which petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse its earlier ruling, had called for new rallies after the top court this week rejected its petition.

    But nationwide rallies the extremists had called for on Friday mostly fizzled out, barring some violence in the southern port city of Karachi.

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook was still in Pakistan. He had returned to the country shortly before the final Supreme Court hearing after spending months abroad due to death threats.

    “I’m in my apartment, I’m not going to my office,” he told the newspaper.
    video :

    Lawyer for Asia Bibi speaks about her journey to freedom

    The future of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy in Pakistan, is still uncertain. Bibi may be on her way to Canada. Her two daughters are already here. Now her lawyer, Saif ul-Malook, is sharing details of her long and frightening story with Global National’s Dawna Friesen.

    • Pakistan: Acquittal of death-row Christian woman sparks chaos in Karachi

      Tensions erupted between police and followers of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party in Karachi on Friday, during a rally held against the acquittal of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was condemned to death for blasphemy.

      Tehreek-e-Labbaik has called for fresh nationwide rallies against the Supreme Court decision to uphold the acquittal. Protesters faced off with police in the port city of Karachi and property damage has been reported.

      Asia Noreen, who became known as Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad during a dispute with co-workers. The dispute arose after she was reprimanded for drinking water from her neighbour’s glass because she is not a Muslim.

      After spending most of the last eight years in solitary confinement, Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her conviction and then threw out a petition for its reversal. According to reports, after her release Bibi and her family moved to Canada.

    • Asia Bibi’s lawyer seeking European passport

      The Pakistani lawyer who secured the acquittal of a Christian woman facing the death sentence for blasphemy is himself seeking protection from European governments, his French lawyer told AFP on Friday.

      Saif-ul-Mulook has been targeted by death threats since his the spectacular acquittal of his client Asia Bibi, a labourer from central Punjab province on death row since 2010.

      “He is hoping that people will take into account his heroic actions in defending Ms Bibi, given the current circumstances in Pakistan, which led him to exchange his freedom for hers,” Mulook’s lawyer Francois Zimeray told AFP.

      “He does not want to seek asylum, but rather to ask for European nationality,” Zimeray said.

      Mulook fled to the Netherlands last November after violent protests erupted over the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Bibi’s death sentence from 2010.

      He returned to Islamabad on January 26 to defend Bibi as she faced another appeal of the supreme court’s decision, which was rejected on Tuesday.

      Bibi, who has been detained in protective custody, is expected to leave Pakistan as well to seek asylum in a North American or European country, and unconfirmed reports have said her children are already in Canada.

      The country’s foreign ministry confirmed Thursday that Bibi was free to leave the country after her years-long legal ordeal, which drew worldwide attention to religious extremism in Pakistan.

      Even unproven accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan have caused lynchings and murders.

      Religious groups have said “they would kill her despite the judgment of the Supreme Court,” Mulook said after the court’s decision Tuesday. “Therefore, I think she should leave the country.”

    • “Asia Bibi’s whereabouts shrouded in secrecy over fears for her safety” by Hollie McKay – February 1, 2019 – Published 1 hour ago

      A Canadian government source also told Fox News that reports Friday of Bibi having already arrived in Canada were false. Yet her exact whereabouts, believed to be in Pakistan, remains murky and shrouded in mixed messages.

  2. A court in Sicily has ruled that Interior Minister, leader of The League and all-around Euroskeptic bad-ass Matteo Salvini should stand trial for kidnapping migrants held in abeyance off Italy’s shores.

    “I confess,” Salvini said in a video posted to his Facebook page, “there is no need for a trial. It’s true, I did it and I’d do it again.”

    “I risk 3 to 15 years in prison for blocking illegal landings in Italy. I have no words,” wrote Salvini, the leader of the ultra-nationalist Lega (League) party, which now rules Italy in a coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

    If this wasn’t so stupid it would be hysterical, actually. But it exists and it’s an attack on Salvini that has a number of angles to it.

    As Dr. Steve Turley explains in the video below one of the goals of this attack is to drive a wedge between Five Star Movement (M5S) and its coalition partner, The League.

  3. MONTREAL – Man arrested over video praising Quebec City mosque shooter

    A Terrebonne man is facing charges of inciting hate over a video posted to Facebook in which he praised the man behind the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting.

    Pierre Dion was arrested on Thursday night and will appear at the Laval courthouse on Friday.

    The video was published on the second anniversary of the shooting that left six people dead.

    Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and another six of attempted murder in March.

    A judge is expected to issue a ruling on Feb. 8 on Bissonnette’s sentence. He faces up to 150 years in prison.

    In another video posted to YouTube in April, Dion calls Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “a traitor” because of his policies regarding immigration.

    On Thursday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said he would not support the creation of an anti-Islamophobia Day in the province, saying “I don’t think there’s any Islamophobia in Quebec.”

    Terrebonne man arrested on suspicion of posting anti-Muslim comments

    He already faces a charge of inciting the commission of criminal acts in connection with a Facebook post made several months ago.

    A Terrebonne resident has been arrested by provincial police after allegedly posting comments and a video conveying hate toward the Muslim community.

    Pierre Dion, 49, was arrested by members of the Sûreté du Québec’s major crimes squad Thursday and is expected to appear in court in Laval on Friday, where he could face a charge of inciting hatred toward an identifiable group.

    On Friday morning, Montreal radio station 98.5 FM broadcast part of the comments posted to social media on Jan. 29, the second anniversary of the mass murder at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec in Quebec City that left six Muslim men dead.

    The excerpt is a recording of a man apologizing to Alexandre Bissonnette,who has confessed to the murders, and describing him as unjustly convicted.

    Bissonnette is to appear in court Feb. 8 to be sentenced for the murders.

    Dion is no stranger to online controversies. He already faces a charge of inciting the commission of criminal acts in connection with a Facebook post made several months ago.

    SQ spokesperson Daniel Thibodeau noted that any comment that is threatening or an incitement to hatred, whether made online or in person, could result in criminal charges being laid.


    • Montreal Gazette – Lanaudière man pleads not guilty on two charges of inciting hatred

      He already faces a charge of inciting the commission of criminal acts in connection with a Facebook post made several months ago.

      A Lanaudière resident pleaded not guilty Friday to two charges of inciting hatred in connection with a video he posted online in which he supports the man behind the Quebec City mosque attack.

      Pierre Dion, 49, was released on bail at the Laval courthouse after agreeing to respect several conditions. His case will return to court on April 12.

      Montreal radio station 98.5 FM broadcast part of Dion’s comments on Friday. In a video posted to his social networks on Jan. 29, exactly two years since the attack that left six men dead and another 19 injured, Dion complained about Alexandre Bissonnette being unjustly convicted.

      Dion, who was arrested on Thursday, is no stranger to online controversies. He already faces a charge of inciting the commission of criminal acts in connection with a Facebook post made several months ago.

      Commenting on the arrest, Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Daniel Thibodeau noted that any comment that is threatening or an incitement to hatred, whether made online or in person, could result in criminal charges being laid.

      Bissonnette is to appear in court Feb. 8 to be sentenced for the murders.




    (Montreal – January 31, 2019) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) says that Premier François Legault’s comments today denying the existence of Islamophobia in Quebec are “highly offensive and inaccurate” and is urging him to publicly retract his statement.

    According to news reports, when asked whether he thinks there should be a National Day to commemorate the tragedy in Quebec City, François Legault stated: “I do not think there is Islamophobia in Quebec and I cannot think of why there would be a day (to acknowledge it).”

    “These comments, coming less than 48 hours after Premier Legault stood on a stage and publically commemorated the murders of six Quebec Muslims in the January 29th Quebec City mosque attack, are an absolute insult to the families of the victims and to Muslim communities in Quebec and across Canada who continue to grieve this tragedy,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

    “Premier Legault is clearly out of touch with the realities of Islamophobia on the ground in Quebec. The Premier should immediately retract and apologize for his highly offensive and inaccurate comments and acknowledge that Islamophobia, just like other forms of hatred and racism, exists in Quebec and must be addressed,” adds Gardee.

    “These comments are either willfully blind or ignorant, neither of which is excusable for an elected member of Quebec’s National Assembly let alone the Premier. Statements like this only serve to pander to reactionary and populist sentiments on the backs of already-vulnerable Quebec Muslims who continue to face discrimination simply because of their religious identity,” says NCCM Communications Coordinator Leila Nasr.

    “This is particularly irresponsible at a time when right-wing extremism is documented as being on the rise. There is a real fear that his comments may be interpreted by some as licence to act on their hateful views,” explains Nasr.

    Statistics Canada recently revealed police-reported anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 151% from 2016 to 2017. Hate crimes targeting Muslims in peaked in February 2017 and accounted for 26% of Quebec’s annual reported incidents targeting Muslims. Furthermore, in 2018 two-thirds of all hate crimes in Quebec City targeted Muslims, according Quebec City police.

    The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit advocacy organization that is aleading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.


    • Muslim groups denounce Quebec Premier Legault’s statements on Islamophobia

      Muslim groups are denouncing as insulting and offensive Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s statement Thursday that Islamophobia does not exist in Quebec.

      The National Council of Canadian Muslims called on Legault to retract the comments, which came two days after the second anniversary of a mosque shooting that killed six Muslim men in Quebec City.

      Legault said Thursday there is no Islamophobia in Quebec and closed the door on the idea of designating a national day to combat the problem.

      On Friday he clarified those comments, saying there is “not a current nor a culture of Islamophobia in Quebec” and that Quebecers are open and tolerant.

      NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee described Legault’s initial comment as an insult to the families of the Quebec City victims and to Muslim communities across Canada.

      Boufeldja Benabdallah, the president of the Quebec City mosque targeted in 2017, said he fears Legault’s comments will encourage the small minority of people who commit Islamophobic acts.

      Liberals, Muslims take aim at Legault over Islamophobia comments

      Quebec Premier Francois Legault faced criticism from political opponents and Quebec’s Muslim community on Friday over comments he made the day before suggesting Islamophobia was not an issue in the province.

      Interim Liberal leader Pierre Arcand emerged from a caucus meeting to address the issue with media. He said Legault’s comments showed that he was out of touch with what’s happening on Quebec and demanded the premier apologize.

      Arcand said that while Islamophobia isn’t widespread, there’s no doubt it is something that exists in Quebec.

      “This is something that I think is something that doesn’t exist in large proportions in the province of Quebec, but it exists like it exists everywhere else,” said Arcand. “I don’t know exactly why he doesn’t want to see what the reality is, but I think, very frankly, he’s out of touch.”

      Quebec Solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois tweeted his own criticism, saying that while Legault argues Islamophobia doesn’t exist in Quebec “if he read the comments on his own Facebook page, he’d probably change his mind.”

      On Thursday, Legault shot down suggestions that Quebec recognize a formal day against Islamophobia, going against comments from Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault, who had said the government was “open to being a part of those discussions.”

      Legault refused to back down on Friday.

      “Unfortunately, there are still too many racist acts that occur in our society and we have to do all that is possible to denounce and fight hatred and intolerance,” he said in a statement. “However, there is no trend or culture of Islamophobia in Quebec. Quebecers are open and tolerant and they shall continue to exhibit these qualities.”

      The National Council of Canadian Muslims also criticized Legault’s remarks, calling them “highly offensive and inaccurate.”

      “These comments, coming less than 48 hours after Premier Legault stood on a stage and publically commemorated the murders of six Quebec Muslims in the January 29th Quebec City mosque attack, are an absolute insult to the families of the victims and to Muslim communities in Quebec and across Canada who continue to grieve this tragedy,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.


      CBC – Why 3 Muslim women are contemplating leaving Quebec City, the place they call home | Home No More

  5. Joe Biden embraced segregation in 1975, claiming it was a matter of ‘black pride’
    by Alana Goodman
    | January 31, 2019 11:46 PM

    Print this article
    Joe Biden, weighing a 2020 White House bid, once advocated continued school segregation in the United States, arguing that it benefited minorities and that integration would prevent black people from embracing “their own identity.”

    Biden was speaking in 1975, when he opposed the federally mandated busing policy designed to end segregation in schools. In the past few decades, he has claimed he wanted desegregation but believed the policy of busing would not achieve it. Last year, he stated he had voted heroically to protect busing.

    In 2008, after being chosen as Barack Obama’s vice-presidential running mate he said: “The struggle for civil rights was the animating political element of my life.” He appears poised to make his civil rights record a centerpiece of any campaign, telling an audience in Fort Lauderdale this week that “I came out of the civil rights movement. He added that he first became aware of what an “awful thing” segregation was as a third grader, when he asked his mother why a bus was taking black children to a school away from where they lived.

    But 44 years ago, facing a backlash against busing from white voters, the future vice president voiced concerns not just about the policy of busing, which he had supported when first seeking election in 1972, but about the impact of desegregation on American society. He argued that segregation was good for blacks and was what they wanted.

  6. Harris, Feinstein fume after White House re-nominates two conservative California judges

    California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris lashed out at the White House after President Trump, under pressure from conservative activists, re-nominated two conservative California judges to the 9th Circuit federal appeals court over their opposition.

    “We are deeply disappointed that the White House has chosen to re-nominate Daniel Collins and Kenneth Lee to the 9th Circuit,” Feinstein and Harris said in a joint statement late Wednesday. “We made clear our opposition to these individuals and told the White House we wanted to work together to come to consensus on a new package of nominees.”

      • That it does, President Trump is doing all he can but he has to be careful to follow the law and not give his enemies any openings. I don’t know the ages of the Judges in the 9th Circuit but hopefully over the next 6 years he will get to appoint several more Judges there. Right now the Judges and the Wall are the most important things for him to follow up on, both will alter the direction of the US for decades to come. With luck by the time the current crop of toddlers are adults they will have the freedom my parents had during the 50s and before.

  7. No, Don Jr.’s phone calls before Trump Tower meeting weren’t to his dad. Adam Schiff hardest hit
    By Daily Caller News Foundation February 1, 2019

    The Senate Intelligence Committee obtained phone records showing Donald Trump Jr. did not speak with his father from a blocked telephone number in the days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016.

    The finding, first reported by CNN, undercuts Democrats’ theory Trump Jr. might have told his father in those phone calls about the Trump Tower meeting, which was held June 9, 2016, with a group of Russians who had offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    Democrats led by California Rep. Adam Schiff long theorized the phone calls were between father and son and that they could have discussed the meeting.

  8. Unity at last: Senate finds national security issue it can get 68 votes on
    By J.E. Dyer January 31, 2019

    A pattern is starting to emerge here. Politicians in Washington keep registering as 180 out from the thinking and priorities of the American people, when it comes to the national security of the United States.

    I wrote about this on Tuesday, after Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, claimed that security for the territorial borders of the United States is not “primary to [the] mission” of our armed forces. In his view, “other needs in the world” are a higher priority for the use of the American military.

    Those familiar with my writing on security and geopolitics know I am anything but an isolationist. On many occasions I’ve been dismissed as a “neocon” by some Trump supporters and Tea Party folks. I don’t write from a perspective of wanting to pull back all American overseas infrastructure, or draw down our influence abroad, abandon our allies, and jeopardize international stability (any more than it already has been jeopardized by years of flawed policies).

    • Richard: Please read the entire article. The most striking thing is the way the Dems are behind the US military acting like the worlds policemen, they are also against the US military protecting US military at the borders. If there is a stronger example of their Globalist agena and the destruction of the US I haven’t seen it.

      J.E. points out that she is far from an isolationist and the regular readers know that I often talk about how this war is a world wide war. There aren’t separate wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and the African Nations where we have troops. All of the above are different fronts in the war of survival that we have been forced into.

      Having said that the primary mission of the US military is to protect the US at the borders, as well as overseas. In fact since the protection of the US is the primary mission of the US militarry a very good argument can be made that since the terror attacks are military attacks the US military can respond and take out the attackers inside the US. The fear of the US military acting in such a manner inside the US is one of, probably the primary reason the left doesn’t want to call the terror attacks inside the US terror attacks.

      • J.E.’s sharp, no question. Quite a contrast.
        And I wouldn’t have noticed it without the article. In days of yore it would’ve been on the editorial page of the NYT or WaPo.

        • She is good, I get the feeling that she was one of the real good people Obama forced out because he and his people didn’t consider her politically reliable. Like the people at the Center for Security Policy, Clarion Project and others she has found a way to keep fighting for freedom.

  9. Swedish outcry as pregnant woman dragged off train (BBC, Feb 1, 2019)

    “A video showing a heavily pregnant woman being manhandled by guards on the Stockholm metro has prompted an angry response in Sweden.

    The woman, who was with her young daughter, was caught without a ticket, officials said.

    After an argument with security guards she was dragged off the train and held down on a bench.

    The woman was then rushed to hospital for treatment and two guards have been suspended pending an inquiry.

    Police said they were also investigating the incident at Hotorget metro station as a potential case of assault, as the woman was injured.

    “There are many mobile phone videos that have been posted about this that suggest that the security guards were too forceful,” Henrik Palmer of Stockholm’s SL public transport provider told Swedish media.

    While it was difficult to make reasonable judgements, he acknowledged the incident had not been handled appropriately as a whole.

    The video was widely shared on social media, as many complained that a black woman was being unfairly targeted. There was shock that the woman’s daughter was left crying while her mother was being overpowered by the security guards.

    ‘Violence against non-white Swedes’
    Popular blogger Lovette Jallow complained that it was no surprise that Swedes of African origin were being “racially profiled and mistreated”.

    “All I can do is hope the baby is alright,” she wrote. She said she had been in touch with the family of the woman, who was eight-months pregnant, and that she was now home from hospital.

    In a statement on Friday, the transport company told the BBC that the incident was being investigated thoroughly, but its security officers were entitled to “reject or apprehend persons who are disturbing the order”.

    “What we do know is that the woman was caught without a valid ticket in a ticket check and was given a penalty fare. She refused this and therefore she, according to our rules, was asked to leave the subway,” an SL spokesman said.

    “She refused this too and when she was going to be escorted from the subway by our public security officers she started to scream and make resistance.”

    Swedish feminist-anti-racist organisation Men for Gender Equality said this was not the first time that security guards had used force in recent months.

    “When it comes to people of colour – non-white Swedes – we have seen there’s a lot of evidence that security guards use violence and sometimes when it’s totally unnecessary,” said its president Alan Ali.

    Suspending the guards was only a first step, he said. Both the transport authority and security company had to hold training courses on racism and reproductive health.”

    • Buy a ticket,it is that simple even a low iq negro can do it,unfortunately they refuse to pay ,everything should be free and they do not accept any responsibility for cheating,now it is a victim ,they will probably give it a free car.

  10. Mass transit boondoggles cause traffic congestion and pollution
    By Hans Bader February 1, 2019

    What good is a transportation project that actually increases traffic congestion (and thus pollution), even as it drives up transportation costs? But increasingly, transportation spending is being used on such projects, such as light-rail systems that carry very few riders, take up space needed for buses and cars, and consume enormous capital and operating costs. Many recent transportation bond measures have been deceptively pitched to voters as being about road construction, but actually divert much of the money to transportation alternatives that are white elephants. Mass transit spending goes to terribly inefficient and expensive light rail systems that few people can use, rather than buses that could actually carry many people to work.

    The R Street Institute’s Steven Greenhut writes about wasted transportation spending in California, which is spending $100 billion on a new rail system that few people will ever ride because it “will have ticket prices higher than airfares and will take nearly twice as long as flying to get from the Bay Area to Southern California.” As Greenhut notes,

  11. Short Sentences for Gang Who Gave London Tube Row Victim Permanent Brain Damage (breitbart, Feb 1, 2019)

    “Thugs who left a man in a coma and with permanent brain damage after a minor row at a London underground station will be out of jail in just months, after they were handed short sentences.

    Ali Ali, 20, Gessica Goti, 22, and Mohamed Abdulle, 22, were given jail terms of between 16 months and four years, while Fiona Abdillahi, 18, was handed a suspended sentence after the gang’s “incredibly violent attack” at Oxford Circus tube station in London on November 5, 2017.

    Blackfriars Crown Court heard how the trouble began after one of the defendants ‘bumped into’ two 40-year-old men on the station platform, prompting a short altercation which turned violent when Goti punched one of the pair.

    Ali then hit the man with a glass bottle, causing him to fall to the floor, at which point the rest of the gang set on the victim — who was left with permanent brain injuries from the assailants punching and kicking him, and stamping on his head, as he lay collapsed on the ground.

    The other man suffered facial injuries and a laceration to the back of the head as a result of the attack, which saw him bottled to the ground at the London underground station by Ali and Abdulle.

    In a victim impact statement the first victim, who was placed in an induced coma for five days following the attack, told the court: “My old life is over following this incident”….”

  12. Swedish Journalist Threatened by Imam During Mosque Investigation (breitbart, Feb 1, 2019)

    “A Swedish newspaper has reported a threat to one of its reporters by a local imam to police after the journalist investigated a school said to be linked to a local mosque in the city of Gävle.

    The reporter, who works for the newspaper Gefle Dagblad, met with the manager of the Muslim school who admitted that there was a link between the school and the Gävle mosque which has been under investigation by the paper for several years, Expressen reports.

    The meeting is said to have been amicable until the imam of the mosque suddenly appeared in the office with the journalist and school manager.

    The paper had previously sought comment from the imam for the last four years without reply, and the journalist took the chance to ask him a question when the situation dramatically escalated with the reporter being filmed by a third man.

    After taking a picture of the imam and beginning to record the conversation, the imam became furious and threatened the reporter telling him to delete the pictures.

    Editor in chief of Gefle Dagblad Anders Ingvarsson commented on the incident saying, “When a reporter, under threats, insults and waving fists, is forced to erase images, one has passed a border where one threatens our democracy and freedom of the press.”

    “The direct threat was to the reporter, but through this, one affects journalism for all our readers and our ambition to portray reality,” Ingvarsson added.

    For the last several years Sweden has seen an increasing problem with Islamic radicalisation, with researcher Peder Hyllengren of the Swedish Defence College claiming last year that the country had become an international hub for extremists.

    Academic Sameh Egyptson has claimed that radicals like the Muslim Brotherhood have not only infiltrated certain mosques but also various political parties from as far back as the 1980s.

    An example of this was seen last year during the Swedish national election when a member of the Social Democrats declared that Islamic law was more important and took precedence over Swedish laws. The candidate was later removed by the Social Democrats following the comments.”

  13. Turkey: Hundreds call for reopening of Hagia Sophia as mosque

    A large group of devoted Muslims gathered in front of Hagia Sophia (also known as Ayasofya Muzesi) in Istanbul on Friday, to hold prayers and demand that the historical building, which is now a museum, returns to its former function as a mosque.

    The Hagia Sophia was constructed in the sixth century as a Christian Byzantine Church but was transformed into a mosque, when Ottoman forces under Mehmet II conquered Constantinople, as Istanbul used to be called, in 1453. It was then turned into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey’s secular founders.

    The protest was organised on the 84 anniversary of Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a museum.

  14. OTTAWA — Canada’s largest union is lining up behind Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro even as Canada, the United States and other allies recognize his rival, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s president.

    “The Canadian government was one of the first governments in the world to declare support for Juan Guaidó. In doing so, they have chosen to side with a self-declared leader over President Nicolas Maduro, who was duly elected by the people of Venezuela,” the Canadian Union of Public Employees said in a recent statement. “They have also chosen to side with Donald Trump and U.S. foreign policy.”

    CUPE, which represents nearly 700,000 workers in transport, health and other sectors, “rejects any attempt by the Canadian government to interfere with the democratic processes and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people,” the statement says, accusing Guaidó of conducting a U.S.-supported “coup d’état.”

  15. Harvard creates a ‘hostile environment against men,’ complaint says
    Celine Ryan
    Celine Ryan
    California Senior Campus Correspondent
    on Jan 31, 2019 at 4:15 PM EDT
    Share Tweet Share Email
    After Yale and USC, one California doctoral student is targeting Harvard with a Title IX complaint.
    The APA has stated that “research finds that traditional masculinity is, on the whole, harmful.”
    The student alleges that, by using guidelines authored by the American Psychological Association, the school has adopted “biased” training resources that “rely upon sex stereotypes.”

  16. Afghan Security Forces Shrinking as Taliban Regain Territory – Report (sputniknews, Feb 1, 2019)

    “The size of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) has reached its lowest point in three years, insurgent control over territory in Afghanistan has increased, and the Afghan government’s influence inside the country’s borders continues to decline, a US watchdog report says.

    ANDSF “personnel strength in October 2018 (308,693) fell to the lowest level it has been since the beginning of the [NATO] RS [Resolute Support] mission in January 2015,” according to the US inspector general for Afghanistan. Afghan forces are authorized to field a combined force of 352,000 security personnel, which includes Afghanistan’s police and military forces.

    In a report to the US Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) wrote that since last October, Taliban and insurgent forces “contested” a greater part of the country’s territory. Furthermore, “[T]he Afghan government’s control or influence of its districts decreased by nearly two percentage points since July to 53.8 percent,” according to SIGAR.

    All 296 pages of SIGAR’s 42nd report were submitted to the US Congress Thursday.

    The US Defense Department undercut the inspector general in the report by casting doubt on the validity of the district-stability data. At the end of the report, the department writes there is “uncertainty in the models that produce [the data]” and attempts to salvage its own public image by stating that decreasing Afghan government control is “not indicative” of how effective US President Donald Trump’s South Asia Strategy has been.

    Trump reportedly slashed the size of the US military contingency in Afghanistan by 7,000 in late December. SIGAR’s report shoots down this notion, which had been repeated in international media and US publications. “General [Joseph] Dunford and the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Austin Scott Miller, said subsequently that they had received no orders to begin a drawdown,” the report says.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Defense “told SIGAR on January 11 that they have ‘nothing to report’ about whether the White House ordered the Pentagon to begin planning a troop drawdown in Afghanistan.”

    With the NATO Resolute Support mission that started in Afghanistan in 2015 during former President Barack Obama’s second term bringing more advisers and trainers — and fewer armed combat squads — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani emphasized at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month that at least 45,000 Afghanis have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, the Associated Press reports.

    The US pays the lion’s share of the approximately $4 billion annual budget for Afghanistan’s government to arm, train, compensate and sustain the ANDSF, AP notes.

    The US military’s publicly stated goal in Afghanistan is to help Kabul develop a self-reliant fighting force that would preclude the need for US support. “They [Afghan security forces] are fighting, and they are taking casualties, but they are also very offensive-minded, inflicting losses on the Taliban and [ISIS-Khorasan] daily, while expanding their capabilities and proficiency every day,” said Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, in a January news release.

    As officials in the US national security establishment continue to “spend the second half of their entire adult lives… trying to win this fight and banging their head against the wall over and over,” as US Army Major Danny Sjursen eloquently told Sputnik News in early November, Votel said this month the Taliban are “not losing right now” and that little has changed since he described the fight against the Taliban as a “stalemate.””

  17. The Palestinians: Who Really Cares?

    by Bassam Tawil
    February 1, 2019 at 5:00 am

    A Palestinian who tries to bring a bag of cement or other construction materials into a refugee camp to build a house is subjected to arrest, interrogation, trial by military court and a fine.

    Is this happening in the Gaza Strip? No. Is it happening in the West Bank? No. This inhumane and unjust practice is taking place in an Arab country where more than 500,00 Palestinians live: Lebanon.

    Moreover, this ban on the entry of construction material is punishing not only the living, but also the dead. Palestinians say that because of the prohibition, they cannot even find enough stones and cement to build graves.

    The wretched condition of the Palestinians living in Lebanon is often ignored by both the international community and the Western main stream media. The only Palestinians the international community seems to care about are those residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — those whose grievances can be blamed on Israel.

    Most of the Palestinians in Lebanon live in 12 refugee camps, where they suffer from poverty, overcrowding and violence, as well as Lebanon’s discriminatory and apartheid laws and measures that deny them basic rights.

  18. Richard: Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to be arrested, he is protected by the Dems.

    BREAKING: Fired FBI Director Comey Lied to Congress – Hid Trump Investigation from US Lawmakers FOR 9 MONTHS!

    Former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress.
    While under oath fired FBI Director Comey blamed the decision on an underling for not telling Congress for 9 months about an investigation into candidate Trump before the 2016 election.
    The underling, former FBI Director of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, refuted this and says that it was Comey’s decision to hide this critical information from Congress.

    Jeff Carlson at the Epoch Times released a report on Thursday that provides information from an unsourced leak of a congressional hearing transcript highlighting the testimony of former FBI Director of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap. The report is damning and although Priestap certainly appears to be withholding the facts in all his answers, one thing he was clear about – Former FBI Director James Comey made the call to not tell Congress about the ongoing investigation into candidate Donald Trump for nine months –

  19. Richard: I thought that the Free Market did this, the harder your work and the better job you do the more you make.

    Ocasio-Cortez on Paycheck Fairness Act: It is time to pay people what they are worth
    Grabien February 1, 2019

    [Ed. – If that includes her, Congress should adjust her $178,000 annual salary down to around $26.] {Richard: I think that is over paying her.}

    Ocasio-Cortez on Paycheck Fairness Act: It Is Time to Pay People What They Are Worth
    ‘The pay gap persists through secrecy’

    OCASIO-CORTEZ: ““We implicitly recognize, as women, that the pay gap and the wage gap is an injustice that persists through secrecy and it’s an injustice that persist to the present day. And the only way that we can combat that is through organizing and our personal action ourselves. So I’m so happy that the Paycheck Fairness Act addresses, among many things, two very critical ones. One is that we cannot ask for salary history and pay people depending on their salary history anymore. Because it is time that we pay people what they are worth and not how little they are desperate enough to accept. It is time to pay people what they are worth and it has nothing to do with their history, it has everything to do with what they are worth today. And the second thing is that it makes it legal and it makes it totally permissible to share your salary information at your workplace. And that’s incredibly important because for all those who say that the wage gap does not exist and that it’s a myth, then t hey should have no problem proving that by allowing the disclosure of salaries in the workplace. So I’m so thankful to just be able to co-sponsor and be that backup in this legislation that so many people have worked so hard to bring today.”

  20. Remember That Gay Couple Married by RBG? They Just Got Charged With Rape

    The pair stands accused of raping a young man at a party in Houston.

    Missing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used her power as a justice of the peace to marry a gay couple in 2014.

    Tuesday, that couple was charged with rape.

    “David Daniels, 52, and his conductor husband Scott Walters, 37, were arrested in Michigan, where they live, on Tuesday night,” according to DailyMail.

    RBG made headlines when she married the couple less than five years ago. A year later, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allowed gay marriage to become the law of the land.

  21. Birmingham burglar who had sex with corpse jailed (BBC, Feb 1, 2019)

    “A burglar who had sex with a corpse after breaking into a funeral parlour has been jailed for six years.

    Kasim Khuram, 23, had sex with a woman’s body after lifting the lids of coffins at the Co-Operative undertakers in Walsall Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, on 11 November.

    Khuram disturbed nine coffins during a drug-induced psychosis.

    Sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said the crimes “offend all human sensitivity”…”

  22. {Richard: This depends on who wins the civil wars, if it goes the way I expect some nations will remain allowing free speech but others will follow China and install a Great Firewall.}

    A Digital Iron Curtain Descends Over the Internet
    Why free speech on the web – as we once knew it – will be over within a decade.
    February 1, 2019
    Daniel Greenfield

    A generation of economic pressure failed to regulate the internet. Outraged movie studios and record companies managed to cripple some file sharing pioneers, but broke their teeth on Google’s YouTube. Dot coms like Amazon, Google, Cragislist, eBay and Netflix casually wiped out entire retail industries from the local paper to the video rental place, costing tens of thousands of jobs. And nothing.

    No amount of pressure from business interests could close down the internet. Politicians were still too invested in a vision of progress fueled by the growth of something that they did not understand.

    “An iron curtain has descended across the Continent,” Winston Churchill once warned. A digital iron curtain is now descending over the internet. Free speech as we once knew it will be over in a decade. The internet will still be a noisy place, but it will be a managed noise of echo chambers, a moderated system in which dissenting views will be treated as trolling and purged as quickly as they are identified.

    The political causes of both curtain falls are the same. The Soviet Union and the American Left had both triumphed and inherited a large chaotic region that they had to consolidate under their control. The Soviet Union’s triumph had been a military one over physical territories while the American Left had conquered the messaging territories of the old cultural realm, media, entertainment and advertising.

  23. “Voice of ISIS” Abu Ridwan Al-Kanadi Captured
    Will Canada stand on guard for Islamic State fighter and propagandist?
    February 1, 2019
    Lloyd Billingsley

    On January 13, US-backed Kurdish forces captured an Islamic State jihadi who identified himself as Mohammad Abdullah Mohammad, a Canadian from Toronto and reportedly the English-language narrator of Islamic State propaganda. The ISIS fighter had been sought for some time, but in Canada the focus of the story became the Islamic State’s displeasure over the jihadi’s capture.

    “ISIL supporters upset about capture of prominent Canadian jihadi, say it’s demoralizing,” headlined a January 28 National Post story by Adrian Humphries. ISIS-friendly Al-Muhajreen identified the fighter as Abu Ridwan Al-Kanadi and described his capture as “sad news for all mujahideen of the Islamic State.”

    When news of Ridwan’s capture began to circulate, Humphries wrote, “the apparent joy from the enemies of ISIL, also known as ISIS, upset jihadi supporters.” They said it all served the interest of the “Crusaders and the enemies of the Islamic State.”

    In the penultimate paragraph readers learn that Ridwan is “believed to be the same man as the masked narrator of a notorious ISIL propaganda video that features the mass execution of captured Syrian government soldiers. The narrator appears to take part in the firing squad. The same man is believed to be behind several recorded claims of responsibility by ISIL for deadly terror attacks on the West as well as reading news reports on ISIL radio networks.” So only in the walk-off do readers get key details about Ridwan, now 35 years old.

  24. Trump: “The Wall is Getting Done One Way or the Other!”
    President sends a warning to obstructionist Democrats.
    February 1, 2019
    Matthew Vadum

    President Trump is growing impatient over the lack of progress bipartisan negotiators in Congress have been making in talks over funding a desperately needed wall on the nation’s porous multi-state border with Mexico – and this continuing failure makes another government shutdown increasingly likely this Feb. 15.

    The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted 217 to 185 on Dec. 20 for a spending bill with $5.7 billion for the wall. The measure floundered in the Senate and the partial shutdown got underway Dec. 22. The Senate remains in Republican hands but the House is now controlled by Democrats.

    Trump engaged in what his handlers characterized as a strategic temporary retreat when he signed a bill Jan. 25 to reopen the government for a three-week period after the longest federal shutdown on record, dropping his demand that Congress appropriate funding for the wall before restoring the government to full functionality until Feb. 15 after which the government could partially shut down again. Trump said he’ll use the time to continue to push lawmakers for money for the wall and is perfectly willing to shut the government down again if he doesn’t secure appropriations for construction of the project.

  25. NBC News – Five Saudi Arabian Students Facing U.S. Jail Time Go Missing

    Saudi diplomats reportedly spirited the five young Saudis out of the U.S. with forged passports on private planes, according to the Oregonian newspaper.

  26. Tunisian Forces Arrest Terrorist Sentenced to 48 Years in Prison (aawsat, Feb 1, 2019)

    “Counter-terrorism forces in Tunisia’s Douar Hicher arrested a 30-year-old terrorist who got sentenced in absentia for 48 years.

    The Interior Ministry noted that he has a security record at the Counter-terrorism forces, which had been tracking him and got him arrested at his house.

    The condemned is involved in a number of terrorist operations in the Tunisian capital including the terrorist offensive against Bardo National Museum on March 18, 2015, and another terrorist attack that targeted a presidential bus on Nov. 24 of the same year…

    Tunisian security reports affirmed that there are 300-400 sleeper terrorist cells still jeopardizing Tunisian’s security and stability.”

  27. Pak-China fibre optic link activated for commercial use (tribune, Feb 2, 2019)

    “The Pak-China fibre optic, a 820-kilometer long fibre optic cable project from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab, has been made active for commercial use.

    A spokesperson for the Special Communications Organisations (SCO) said on Friday, the cable would play an important role in keeping China and Pakistan linked with the world. “The completion of the project holds a milestone importance,” he added.

    Expenditure on the initiative amounted to $44 million supported by 85% concessionary loan from the Exim Bank of China. The project is owned by the military-run SCO and its engineering, while the procurement and construction (EPC) contractor is Huawei…”

  28. Turkey’s population reaches 82 million (hurriyetdailynews, Feb 1, 2019)

    “Turkey’s population hit 82 million as of the end of 2018, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜ?K) said on Feb. 1.

    Official figures revealed that the population residing in Turkey increased by 1,193,357 people year-on-year.

    “Male population was 41,139,980 people and female population was 40,863,902 people. While 50.2 percent of the total population were males, 49.8 percent of the total population were females,” TÜ?K said.

    Fresh data also showed that annual population growth rate increased to 1.47 percent in 2018 from 1.24 percent in 2017…”

  29. Muslim leader in Austria slams change to report cards (aa, Feb 1, 2019)

    “A Muslim leader in Austria expressed shock Friday over a change in the title of elective courses on Islam in school report cards to “IGGO”, the abbreviation for the Islamic Religious Community of Austria.

    “The institution or organization that represents the religion is not addressed in the course, but the religion itself, and the name of that religion is Islam,” Umit Vural, the head of IGGO, told Anadolu Agency.

    Vural stressed that the titles of representative bodies for other religious communities such as the Jewish or Christian communities are not used in school report cards in Austria.

    The Austrian authorities and Ministry of Education have yet to comment on the issue.

    After an extreme right-wing coalition came to power in Austria, harsh practices regarding foreigners and immigrants, especially Muslims, came into effect.

    The government, which recently imposed a ban on headscarves in kindergartens, also aims to implement the ban in primary schools.”

  30. Sweden encouraged to improve integration in schools (thelocal, Feb 1, 2019)

    “Sweden can do much more to help immigrant children perform better at school, a new OECD report says.

    The report, carried out by OECD at the request of the Swedish government, suggested that Sweden’s integration efforts have strained under the weight of the large number of migrants who have entered the country in recent years.

    “Within OECD countries, Sweden has historically welcomed large numbers of migrants, in particular migrants seeking humanitarian protection,” the report reads. “Since 2015, this large influx of new arrivals with multiple disadvantages has put a well-developed integration system under great pressure.”

    The study notes that 61 percent of first-generation immigrant students do “not attain baseline academic proficiency”. The number decreases to 43 percent for second-generation immigrant students and that 19 percent differential is well above the OECD average of 11 percents.

    The report gave 20 recommendations for how Sweden can improve the situation, including taking steps to counteract the negative impact that the free choice of schools can have on integration. The group suggests giving the children of immigrants more opportunities to choose the school they want to attend, as well as introducing special quotas for socio-economically disadvantaged students, issuing grants for these students and incentivizing independent schools to take on new pupils.

    The OECD also suggested that Swedish authorities examine how other countries tackle the problems of integration, pointing to countries like Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States as good examples.

    The report also emphasized the importance of including multicultural awareness in the curriculum of schools across Sweden, so that students are exposed to “positive messages” regardless of their origins, according to a government press release.

    “The OECD has done a thorough job on this report. It’s good to be assured that we are on the right track. At the same time, the OECD has confirmed my view that Sweden should do more to mix students from different backgrounds,” Education Minister Anna Ekström said in the press release.

    Among other suggestions are hiring more teachers, increasing educators’ salaries and incentivizing teachers to take jobs at the schools that need the most help. The 146-page report can be found here.”

  31. CBC – Gatineau, Que., mayor wants deputy mayor removed over Islamophobia comments

    Coun. Nathalie Lemieux says Islamophobia doesn’t exist and Muslims fail to integrate

    The mayor of Gatineau, Que., wants one of his councillors out of her post as deputy mayor after she said Islamophobia doesn’t exist and said Muslim immigrants have failed to integrate into society.

    In the newspaper Le Droit, Gatineau Coun. Nathalie Lemieux said she didn’t believe Islamophobia exists and didn’t recognize the word. She said Quebecers are not as racist as some people suggest.

    She was responding to comments from Quebec Premier François Legault, who said there was no need for an anti-Islamophobia day in the province, because the problem did not exist in Quebec.

    He has since walked back his comments and said there is not an “undercurrent” of racism in the province.

    Lemieux has not responded to interview requests from Radio-Canada.

    She said in Le Droit when people want to integrate they do and Muslim immigrants have chosen not to do so. She said they also do bad things with their trucks and it’s normal to be afraid of them.

    Mayor wants change

    Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin responded Friday, saying he wants Lemieux out of the post as deputy mayor.

    He said he has spoken to other councillors about making the change.

    “I think she can not sit as deputy mayor anymore. It saddens me because it goes against everything we have tried to do in Gatineau in the last number of years,” he said.

    He said this cuts against what the city is about.

    “We have a tradition of welcoming people from different origins and from different cultures,” he said. “I am sure things are in reality better here than they are in other cities.”

    Normalizes hate

    Ahmed Limame, the imam at the Islamic Centre of the Outaouais, said Lemieux’s comments were offensive.

    “It is this kind of statements that normalize hate towards others,” she said. “It’s offensive and inexcusable.”

    He said he doesn’t want her to resign, but would like to see her apologize and retract her comments.

    “She is still a human being I don’t want to her to lose her job. However, I would like her to go back and search her soul and think of the kind of outcome that can come from that.”


    Ottawa Citizen – Gatineau mayor denounces city councillor’s comments about Muslims, asks for apology

    Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin is asking city councillor and deputy mayor Nathalie Lemieux to retract statements she made about Muslims on Friday and issue a formal apology.

    In an interview with Le Droit, Lemieux applauded Quebec Premier François Legault’s opposition to designating an anti-Islamophobia day in Quebec and said fear of Islam is a problem invented by Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals.

    “This word doesn’t even exist for me,” Lemieux said of the term ‘Islamophobia’. “Quebecers aren’t as racist as people would have you believe. When a group of people wants to integrate, they do. And this group doesn’t.

    “These people do a lot of bad things, with their trucks and things. It’s normal to be scared of them,” Lemieux told Le Droit.

    Pedneaud-Jobin tweeted a statement Friday afternoon distancing himself from the councillor and said he would have a more complete response later Friday.

    On Friday morning Legault issued a statement clarifying comments he made Thursday that Islamophobia didn’t exist in Quebec.

    “Mr. Legault wanted to say there is no current of Islamophobia in Quebec,” the statement said. “Islamophobia exists in Quebec, xenophobia, racism and hatred but not a current of Islamophobia. Quebec is not Islamphobic or racist.”

    Reached later, Ewan Sauves, a spokesperson for Legault, further clarified.

    “Unfortunately, there are still too many racist acts that occur in our society and we have to do all that is possible to denounce and fight hatred and intolerance,” Sauves told the Montreal Gazette.

    “However, there is no trend or culture of Islamophobia in Quebec. Quebecers are open and tolerant and they shall continue to exhibit these qualities.

    Lemieux was not in the office on Friday afternoon and did not immediately return a request for comment.

    • Le Droit – Islamophobie: «Ce peuple ne s’intègre pas», dit la conseillère Nathalie Lemieux

      La conseillère municipale et mairesse suppléante de Gatineau, Nathalie Lemieux, salue la décision du premier ministre François Legault de ne pas tenir de journée contre l’islamophobie et ajoute que la peur de l’islam est un problème créé de toute pièce par le gouvernement libéral de Justin Trudeau.

      «Pour moi, ce mot n’existe même pas, lance-t-elle en entrevue avec Le Droit. Justin Trudeau pense que l’islamophobie existe, mais c’est lui qui invente ce problème. Il tente de provoquer des problèmes où il n’y en n’a pas. Les Québécois ne sont pas aussi racistes que certains voudraient le faire croire. Quand un peuple veut s’intégrer, il s’intègre et ce peuple ne s’intègre pas.» Mme Lemieux a d’ailleurs publié un message sur sa page Facebook de conseillère, jeudi, pour appuyer les propos du premier ministre Legault.

      Mme Lemieux affirme être en train de se documenter sur le sujet en prévision de faire une sortie publique ultérieurement. Tout en réitérant que «l’islamophobie n’existe pas», Mme Lemieux ajoute que «ces gens-là font beaucoup de choses mal, avec leurs camions et toutes ces choses-là, et c’est normal d’en avoir peur».

      En 2017 seulement, un total de 117 crimes haineux ciblant des musulmans ont été rapportés au Québec.

      En matinée, vendredi, le cabinet du premier ministre Legault a émis une déclaration écrite afin de rectifier le tir sur les propos tenus la veille, au terme du caucus présessionnel à Gatineau. «M. Legault voulait dire qu’il n’y a pas de courant islamophobe au Québec. Il existe de l’islamophobie, de la xénophobie, du racisme, de la haine, mais pas de courant islamophobe. Le Québec n’est pas islamophobe ou raciste.»

    • NATIONAL POST – Muslim groups denounce Quebec Premier Legault’s statements on Islamophobia

      MONTREAL — Premier Francois Legault’s statement that Islamophobia does not exist in Quebec was denounced by Muslim groups as “offensive and inexcusable,” prompting Legault to clarify his statements on Friday.

      The National Council of Canadian Muslims called on Legault to retract the remarks made Thursday, two days after the second anniversary of a mosque shooting that killed six Muslim men in Quebec City.

      Ihsaan Gardee, the group’s executive director, said in a statement late Thursday that Legault’s comments “are an absolute insult to the families of the victims and to Muslim communities in Quebec and across Canada who continue to grieve this tragedy.”

      Speaking to reporters at the end of a caucus meeting, Legault said there is no Islamophobia in Quebec and closed the door on the idea of designating a national day to combat the problem.

      But on Friday his office sought to clarify those comments, saying the premier meant to say that Islamophobia exists but it’s not widespread.

      “Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and hate exist, but not an Islamophobic current,” an aide to Legault said. “Quebec is not Islamophobic or racist.” In a second statement, the premier’s office added: “Unfortunately, too many racist acts still occur today in our society, and we must do everything we can to fight hate and intolerance.”

      When reached by phone Friday afternoon, Gardee said his group welcomed the premier’s acknowledgment that Islamophobia exists in Quebec and hopes to work with the government to tackle the problem.

      “In our view, taking the ostrich approach and putting your head in the sand is not going to solve a problem or make it go away,” he said.

      In Ottawa, the Commons heritage committee recommended last year that Jan. 29 be declared a “national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.”

      Toronto Mayor John Tory announced this week that the city was proclaiming Jan. 29 a day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia.

      Legault’s original statement drew a swift reaction from opposition parties and Muslim groups, including the mosque that was targeted in the 2017 shooting.

      In a scathing letter addressed to the premier, mosque president Boufeldja Benabdallah said he felt betrayed by the comments and expressed fear that they would encourage the fringe group of people who commit Islamophobic acts.

      “I appeal to your generosity and your intelligence to remain the premier for all Quebecers, and not just those who elected you, to ensure this wound doesn’t become an insurmountable fracture that your government will be responsible for and will be part of the history of our country,” he wrote to Legault.

      Speaking in Ottawa, Quebec NDP MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach said Legault’s initial comments “lacked sensitivity.”

      “It’s not very constructive to deny that there are acts of violence that stem from hate of Islam when we have families, women, mothers, children, who live this violence and are living witnesses to this violence,” she said.

      The controversy came as Quebec provincial police reported the arrest of a man who allegedly appeared in a video published Tuesday praising Quebec City’s mosque shooter and expressing hatred toward Muslims. Pierre Dion, 49, appeared in court in Laval Friday on two charges of inciting hatred against an identifiable group.

      Statistics Canada reported in November that the number of hate crimes reported to police rose sharply in 2017, fuelled by an increase in incidents targeting blacks, Jews, and Muslims.

      In his letter, Benabdallah noted that the Quebec City mosque has been the target of a long list of Islamophobic incidents, including swastikas painted on the walls, a pig’s head left at its entrance during Ramadan, insulting pamphlets handed out in the neighbourhood and excrement flung at the door.

      In August 2017, a car belonging to the mosque’s former president was torched. Two men were later arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

  32. DAILY MAIL – Iranian migrant – whose audacious cross-Channel dinghy arrival on Christmas Day made headlines and forced the Government to finally take action – reveals his 3,500-mile, £5,500 journey through EIGHT countries to reach Britain

    Iranian national, 30-year-old Mehrdad Kazemi crossed the Channel into the UK
    Christmas Day attempt made Government have to show it was tackling issue
    He is one of 434 migrants who have been found making the 21-mile crossing

  33. FRANCE – 3 men charged with supplying gun to Strasbourg market attacker

    PARIS: Three men were Friday (Feb 1) charged with supplying the weapon used by the gunman in the Christmas market attack in the French city of Strasbourg and placed in pre-trial detention, a judicial source said.

    The three suspects, from the same family and aged 32, 34 and 78, were indicted by an examining magistrate in Paris for “possession and transfer of a category B weapon in relation to a criminal terrorist enterprise” and for “conspiracy with terrorist criminals”, according to the source.

    They are alleged to have supplied an 8mm pistol used by Cherif Chekatt a small-time criminal who shot dead five people and wounded 11 during the Dec 11 attack on the open-air Christmas market.

    The three men were arrested Tuesday in eastern France along with two other members of the family, who were released from custody Wednesday evening without being charged.

    The three suspects were transferred Thursday from Strasbourg to the counter-terrorism bureau in Levallois-Perret, near Paris.

    On Dec 17, another man, a relative of the killer, was also arrested and charged on the same counts.

    Anti-terrorist police believe Chekatt had obtained the firearm – an 8mm pistol – a few days before the attack.

    Chekatt, 29, who was on a special watchlist as a suspected radical Islamist, was shot dead by police after a two-day manhunt in the city on the German border.

    Judicial sources said Chekatt had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video found on a USB key. The interior minister has dismissed a claim by the Islamic State group that it was responsible for the attack.

    France has been on high alert since the start of a wave of jihadist attacks in 2015 which have killed 251 people .
    Attentat de Strasbourg : les trois hommes soupçonnés d’avoir fourni l’arme mis en examen

    […]Albert B., 78 ans, et les deux fils de son cousin, Frédéric B. et Stéphane B. âgés de 32 et 34 ans avaient été interpellés mardi à Wintzenheim et à Sélestat et placés en garde à vue. Les trois hommes ont ensuite été transférés jeudi de Strasbourg à Levallois-Perret, près de Paris. Les enquêteurs cherchaient à éclaircir les rôles de chacun.

    Deux autres membres de cette famille arrêtés mardi en Alsace ont été remis en liberté, sans qu’aucune charge ne soit retenue contre eux.[…]

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