Reader’s Links for July 24, 2020

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 must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

61 Replies to “Reader’s Links for July 24, 2020”

  1. First Official Prayer at Hagia Sophia After Mosque Reconversion – Video (sputniknews, Jul 24, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202007241079970240-first-official-prayer-at-hagia-sophia-after-mosque-reconversion—video/

    “Live outside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia as the first prayer takes place there after Turkey’s Council of State issued a resolution to turn the world heritage site back into a mosque.

    Five hundred people are permitted to stay in the mosque for the prayer, with thousands more estimated to join from outside the mosque…”

  2. Elderly Woman Denied Food as No One Speaks Swedish in Her Care Home (breitbart, Jul 24, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/07/24/elderly-woman-denied-food-no-one-speaks-swedish-care-home/

    “An elderly woman in a Swedish nursing home went without eating because none of the carers working that day spoke Swedish well enough to understand she was hungry.

    The incident took place last Sunday in the municipality of Östersund when the elderly woman contacted her “good man”, a Swedish term for someone appointed in a trustee or guardianship position.

    She told her guardian that she had not been able to eat and had requested a sandwich from the staff, but no one had helped her because they did not speak adequate Swedish. She confided that she felt worried as a result of not being able to communicate, news website Samhällsnytt reports.

    The trustee called up the nursing home and confirmed that none of the staff working at the time spoke Swedish. He later called another department and found out that the regular staff were not there and substitute workers were filling in for them.

    After being contacted by the trustee, a Swedish-speaking worker from another department eventually came to the home and gave the woman food.

    The local municipality blamed the incident on the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, saying that many of the regular staff were calling in sick. But they said all substitute workers were mandated to have a certain level of Swedish, both spoken and written.

    Earlier this month, the Swedish Health and Care Inspectorate said that poor Swedish language skills among nursing home staff increased the risk of infections and deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus.

    Currently, there are no language requirements to work in elderly care homes in Sweden. But two populist Sweden Democrat politicians in the Umeå municipality have called for language tests in their area.

    The language barrier has also been blamed for the higher coronavirus infection rates in Stockholm’s vulnerable no-go areas, which have high migrant-background populations.

    In April, it was reported that the suburb of Rinkeby-Kista, notorious for riots and crime, had the most cases per capita in the city at the time.”

  3. SUMMARY: THE STUDENT MOB forced him into early retirement AND a clear example of how they control our universities.

    North Carolina professor is FOUND DEAD weeks after taking early retirement following online petition to get him fired over tweet where he dubbed State governor ‘Massa Cooper’ and compared coronavirus restrictions to a ‘slave state’.

    – His death comes less than a month after the university announced he would retire early after a petition to oust him following controversial tweets
    – On May 29 Adams tweeted: ‘I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. ‘Massa Cooper, let my people go!’
    – Another tweet on May 28, read: ‘Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies’
    – In 2016, Adams had also sparked outrage when he suggested a Muslim student was ‘a terrorist and that gay marriage was bad as rape’

    MORE: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8555379/North-Carolina-professor-dead-weeks-backlash.html

    • Qutar Foundation invests over 400 million in Education City. U.S. universities Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Georgetown, Chapel Hill………

      George Mason university IIIT chair in Islamic Studies – 1.5 million.

  4. Chicago pulls down Columbus statue

    Shortly after Mayor Lori Lightfoot conceded to allow the federal government to deploy their agents to Chicago, the city has removed the bronze Columbus statue which has been vandalized amid massive Black Lives Matter rallies.

    The removal operation started at Chicago’s Grant Park in the middle of the night on Friday. Workers used two heavy-duty cranes to attach metal ropes to the Christopher Columbus monument, which was wrapped tight in white tarpaulin.

    The statue of the Italian explorer, erected in the 1930s with funding and blessing from Chicago’s Italian-American community, was then brought down in front of onlookers watching and cheering from across the street.

  5. No accountability against looters in Portland – jewelry shop owner

    Portland’s protests have affected shopowners with stores in the area vandalised and looted.

    The owner of a jewellery store, Noha Kassab says clients are afraid to go downtown because of the ongoing protests.

    Her business have been operating in the area for 30 years, but in May looters broke into the store and stole numerous items.

  6. Islamist Terrorists Fooling Authorities into Thinking They’re Reformed: Report (breitbart, Jul 24, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/07/24/islamist-terrorists-fooling-authorities-thinking-theyre-reformed-report/

    “British jihadists are pretending to be reformed, using the Islamic concept of “taqiyya”, in order to facilitate an early release from prison into the community where they pose a fresh risk to the public.

    Kings College London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) found that” ‘False compliance’ seems to have become more widespread, especially among jihadist prisoners, though its true extent is unknown. This can be a major issue in relation to risk assessment and release arrangements.”

    The report named a few Islamists who presented themselves as reformed before and during release, before committing terror atrocities against the public.

    ICSR gave the example of Usman Khan, the Islamist who killed two people and injured three others in a stabbing rampage on London Bridge in November 2019 before being fatally shot by police.

    Khan had been imprisoned for his part in a bomb plot on the London Stock Exchange. He had been released early on an electronic tag and was engaging in a University of Oxford de-radicalisation programme. The two people Khan killed were both coordinators of the de-radicalisation event that he was attending on the day of the attack.

    The Kings College London report noted that Khan “was considered a success story of an extremist turning their life around”. Even Usman’s lawyer had admitted that he might have been “deceived” over the terrorist’s conversion.

    False compliance is not just a phenomenon in the UK. Adel Kermiche and his accomplice Abdel Malik Petitjean beheaded 85?year?old priest Catholic Jacques Hamel in Saint?Étienne?du?Rouvray church in France in 2016. Kermiche had twice been stopped on his way to Syria to serve as a foreign fighter for Islamist forces and had spent time in prison.

    The ICSR report notes that in 2016, he was released from custody after telling the judge: “I am a Muslim who believes in mercy, in doing good, I’m not an extremist … I want to get back my life, see my friends, get married.”

    The report continued that current inmates looking to lie their way out of their sentence will contact other jihadists who had succeeded in fooling authorities.

    “Similarly, offenders may try to ‘game’ a risk assessment if they are in contact with other inmates who have already participated in the process. Part of this involves knowing what to say to tick the right boxes,” the report said.

    The authors reported that this process of “false compliance” is seemingly the use of the “mostly” Shiite Islam concept of “taqiyya”, “used to describe deception and dissimulation to hide one’s true intentions”.

    Returning to France, the authors noted fieldwork that found that “many of the 40 female inmates in Fleury?Mérogis prison in Paris have joked about how they tricked the judge or magistrate — by eating pork, for example, which is forbidden in Islam — to receive more lenient sentences.

    “The fieldwork gives rare insight into a phenomenon that due to its nature is likely to be underreported; such behaviour suggests the true scale of taqiyya may be greater than commonly understood.”

    Recent research by the French Centre for Terrorism Analysis found 60 per cent of Islamists who left France in the two decades after 1986 had gone on to commit other terror offences.

    The ICSR report added there was now the “conundrum” when considering whether a jihadist was reformed on not.

    “While it is to be expected that criminals would engage in deception – after all, the simulation of good behaviour to receive lesser sentences or other benefits is as old as criminal justice – this behaviour often seems to defy authorities’ expectations of supposedly ‘religious’ inmates. Holding such expectations is clearly a mistake.

    “Yet the assumption that jihadists are more willing to engage in deception than non?terrorist prisoners can pose a conundrum, whereby anything less than admitting to holding jihadist ideas and intentions is thought of as a form of taqiyya,” the report said.

    For former al Qaeda terrorist turned MI6 agent Aimen Dean, there “is no such thing as a rehabilitated jihadist”.

    “The only way [a jihadist] can demonstrate that they’ve renounced violent extremism is if they have sung like a canary and provided damaging intelligence on the networks that recruited them,” Mr Dean said in February.

    The Kings College report comes as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace claimed during an Islamic State update that of the 900 British citizens who travelled to the warzone to fight for the terror group, “40 per cent have returned to the United Kingdom, where they have been investigated, and the majority have been assessed now to pose no risk or a low-security risk”.

    The claims are contrary to a 2019 report by Europol that the UK had a high rate of “exceptionally dangerous” returning jihadists, and questions may also be raised over the government’s assessments in light of the ICSR’s report on the employment of “false compliance” and taqiyya.

    In July, Mohiussunnath Chowdhury had been imprisoned for an Islamist terror plot on London tourism landmarks and the gay pride parade. In 2018, a jury had acquitted Chowdhury of terrorism offences, after in August 2017 he drove his car up to Buckingham Palace and attempted to hack at guarding police officers with a sword while shouting “Allah hu Akbar”.

    He had left a suicide note reading: “The Queen and her soldiers will all be in the hellfire. They go to war with Muslims around the world and kill them without any mercy. They are the enemies that Allah tells us to fight.”

    However, Chowdhury had managed to convince the jury that his intention was not to commit an act of terror, but commit ‘suicide by cop’.

    Immediately after release, he had boasted on social media about his acquittal, calling the officer that disarmed him in front of the Queen’s official residence a “cuck”. He then came under the watch of security services, which arrested him when his second terror plot took form.

    He had told an undercover agent before the second arrest: “I told them why I did it. I told them that they are filth, even in their own courts and yet after all that, every single person on the jury, Allah made them say not guilty, yeah, this is the imaan [faith], right.””

  7. 3rd Presentation
    “Dr Corsi DEEP DIVE Interview 07-23-20: BLM & The Praxis Dialogue Process”
    Dr. Jerome Corsi – July 23, 2020

  8. $7 Billion in Frozen Assets at Heart of Dispute between Iran, South Korea
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2408971/7-billion-frozen-assets-heart-dispute-between-iran-south-korea

    “Iran’s ambassador to Seoul was summoned to the South Korean Foreign Ministry on Tuesday to lodge an official protest over reports that Tehran is contemplating legal action against Seoul over the freezing of Iranian assets.

    An estimated $7 billion in Iranian funds are presently being held in two South Korean banks, although the assets have been frozen since September 2019, when a waiver granted by the United States for imports of Iranian oil expired.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi on Sunday warned of legal action in the International Court of Justice if Korea continued to refuse to pay off the money.

    Mousavi also likened ties between Washington and Seoul to a “master-servant relationship” and said this was the reason Seoul was afraid of violating US sanctions on Iran, reported the German news agency.

    “The official in charge called in the ambassador and expressed regrets over the inappropriate remarks,” Kim In-chul, the ministry’s spokesperson, told a regular press briefing, reported Yonhap news agency. “The Iranian side called for understanding and stressed that it was not the position of the Iranian government.”

    The funds frozen in South Korean banks were being used to pay for oil imports from Iran to South Korea and the export of goods to Iran. The payment mechanism between the two countries came to a halt when Washington, which is locked in a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, ended the waiver granted on Iranian oil exports to South Korea.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on June 14 ordered the governor of the central bank, Abdolnasser Hemmati, to adopt “firm measures,” including legal action, to force South Korea to release the funds.

    South Korea has stopped buying Iranian oil since May 2019, when the United States stopped issuing the exemptions.”

  9. Tunisia’s Ennahda Accused of Concealing Evidence Tied to Political Assassinations
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2408871/tunisia%E2%80%99s-ennahda-accused-concealing-evidence-tied-political-assassinations

    “The involvement of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda Movement in political assassinations that rocked the North African country resurfaced with accusations that the party had concealed evidence linked to the murders.

    The defense lawyers of opposition figures Mohamed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid said that investigations proved that Ennahda’s secret apparatus was behind the political assassinations which took place in 2013.

    A committee, made up of lawyers, directed a wave of new accusations against Ennahda’s leadership for plotting the assassinations. It confirmed that there is a direct link between the movement’s secret apparatus, the assassinations, and the movement’s leadership.

    In a press conference held in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, and marking the seventh anniversary of the murders, the committee held Ennahda’s secret apparatus responsible for violence in the country after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime was overthrown in 2011.

    The case of Ennahda’s secret apparatus exploded in 2018 when the committee exposed documents and evidence connecting Ennahda to a parallel security state apparatus involved in political assassinations, espionage, and violating state institutions.

    Member of the committee Anwar al-Basiti, on Thursday, revealed that evidence points to the direct involvement of Ennahda’s secret apparatus.

    Iman Qazaza, another committee member, confirmed that Ennahda’s secret apparatus was also involved in concealing evidence, some of which are tied to the terrorist Abu Bakir al-Hakim.

    Qazaza revealed that a connection was found between Mustapha Kheder, considered the head of Ennahda’s secret apparatus, and the president of the movement, Rached Ghannouchi via his cell phone and through a person called Kamel Badaoui.

    Qazaza said that Badaoui is extremely close to Ghannouchi and belongs to the 1991 security group. He exercises secret and security functions and he was called to the rescue by Kheder on December 19, 2013, the date of his arrest.

    Qazaza added that the Attorney General Bachir Akremi had used every ploy to protect Ghannouchi and some of his close associates and he did not send the file to court.”

  10. New Wave of Migrants Overwhelms Italian Island
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2408906/new-wave-migrants-overwhelms-italian-island

    “About 100 migrants who crossed the Mediterranean in small boats landed on the southern island of Lampedusa during the night, the latest in a wave of arrivals straining an already overcrowded holding center.

    Officials said the migrants, arriving from Libya, were either rescued at sea or managed to avoid detection and reach the island.

    The arrivals of small boats, some carrying as few as eight people, brought to nearly 1,000 the number of migrants who have reached the island from Libya in the last three days, Reuters reported.

    About 15 boats carrying some 300 migrants arrived during the night between Wednesday and Thursday.

    They were put in a holding center called the “hotspot”.

    Designed to hold about 100 people, in recent days it has been home to nearly 10 times as many.

    Provincial officials this week ordered the emergency transfer of about 300 migrants to another center in Sicily.

    The recent overcrowding in Lampedusa has also led to immigration resurfacing as a political issue.

    Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant League party, visited Lampedusa and the “hotspot” on Wednesday and accused the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of being soft on illegal migration.

    “I can’t wait to return to a government with serious people so I can close the ports again to block delinquents and reopen them to law-abiding citizens,” he told supporters on the island.

    When he was interior minister in the previous government, which collapsed about a year ago, Salvini closed Italian ports to rescue ships run by charities.

    In response, Enrico Borghi, of the governing Democratic Party, accused Salvini of being a “demagogue” and said the current government was not going to “watch men and women drown”.”

  11. Qatar, Turkey, Brotherhood leading smear campaigns against UAE: Gargash
    https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/595926/World/Mena/Qatar-Turkey-Brotherhood-leading-smear-campaigns-against-UAE-Gargash

    “A key minister in the United Arab Emirates government on Friday accused Qatar, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out smear campaigns in the media against his country.

    Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, launched a scathing attack against his country’s perceived adversaries in a series of tweets.

    “Inflating the regional role of the UAE, which Qatari, Turkish and Brotherhood media platforms have long been doing, is a double-edged sword for those who are leading this smear campaign with an aim to demonize the UAE,” Gargash said in one of his tweets.

    “However, the amplification of the UAE’s role shows its toughness as a country that raises the banner of confronting regional interference in Arab affairs is free publicity that we do not fully deserve. We are an ally to the forces of good in the region that seeks stability and development and opposes Arab submission to other regional powers,” Gargash added.

    Lauding his county’s leadership its ambitious vision and scientific temperament, Gargash said: “There is no doubt, that part of this ongoing smear campaign, in which millions are being spent, is due to the inability to keep up with the UAE’s ambitions, its scientific leadership and our ability to benefit from the experiences of developed countries.”

    “We know that our neighbor is wasting its (resources) on demonizing us, but you should know that their money strengthens our status and role,” the UAE minister added.

    In 2017, the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

    Both Ankara and Doha are also accused of providing support to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the quartet.”

  12. Trojan Horse, Prevent, Islamophobia: How the EHRC failed British Muslims
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/uk-ehrc-prevent-equality-islamophobia-failed-muslims

    “Founded in 2007, the equalities watchdog has consistently let down the UK’s Muslim population

    In an interview with Middle East Eye last month, the former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn launched a pointed attack on the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

    Asked about the equalities watchdog’s ongoing investigation into Labour antisemitism allegations under his leadership, Corbyn said that the EHRC was “part of the government machine”, adding that its independence had been “taken away” by the ruling Conservative Party.

    This is a serious claim because it suggests that the EHRC is not doing the job it was set up to do, namely protecting the rights of people in vulnerable communities.

    If Corbyn is right, then the EHRC is failing in its duty. It is protecting the government rather than those subject to discrimination. In this article we set out to examine Corbyn’s claim.

    In the beginning
    The EHRC was established in 2006 under Tony Blair’s Labour government as a “non departmental public body”. It describes itself as independent of government, though it says it “works with government to influence progress on equality and human rights”.

    It grew out of the Commission for Racial Equality – a longstanding object of contempt and mockery from the right-wing press and publicity-seeking Conservative politicians – which had been established in 1976 following a series of race relations acts passed in the light of changes to citizenship rules.

    The latter had reduced the rights of non-white Commonwealth citizens who had migrated to the UK, something that has now returned to haunt the country in the form of the Windrush scandal.

    Urgency to the work of the commission was added by the 1997 Macpherson Report into the death of Stephen Lawrence, a Black teenager murdered in London, and its finding of institutional racism in the capital’s Metropolitan Police force.

    Labour’s initial approach to addressing equalities concerns was to set up a series of commissions addressing issues such as gender and disability rights.

    In 2007 these were merged into a single commission, the EHRC.

    Before the 2010 general election, the Labour government proposed a new Equality Act, extending protections against discrimination to other “protected characteristics” – age, gender re-assignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, and religion and belief.

    These would also be part of the remit of the EHRC.

    Conservative politicians and press were suspicious of these developments. Human rights legislation was frequently blamed for failures to deport criminals or ban alleged extremists.

    It was surprising, then, that the new Conservative-dominated coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron committed itself to passing the Equality Act 2010.

    However, it did so with the EHRC beset by financial and governance difficulties and the government seeking to reduce expenditure as part of its austerity programme.

    This included a so-called “bonfire of the quangos”, with the EHRC included in the review of arm’s length bodies under the Public Bodies Act 2011.

    The EHRC emerged with a considerably reduced budget and a requirement for onerous bi-monthly meetings with the responsible minister. Its annual budget was slashed by 68 percent and subject to Cabinet Office spending approval.

    At the same time, commissioners were recruited from those with expertise (e.g. from among former civil servants and businesspeople) rather than experience (e.g. from among civil society groups active on equalities). It also increased the number of commissioners with links to the Tory party.

    This may help to explain why the EHRC at present does not have a single Black commissioner, nor apparently any from a Muslim background. When we asked the EHRC about this, a spokesperson said that religion was a private matter, and pointed out that the current chair, David Isaacs, had said that the organisation would like a more diverse board.

    These measures laid the ground for greater political control.

    But let’s first make a philosophical point.

    Different agenda
    Human rights are usually understood as favouring respect for difference and, thus, for multiculturalism within a liberal framework.

    This was the position of the Runnymede Trust’s Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain under Bhikhu Parekh, a former vice-chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, which reported in 2000.

    It argued that national identity should be understood as inclusive of ethnic minorities and should express their right to co-determine the political community to which they belonged.

    But Trevor Philips, the first chairman of the EHRC (and himself a former chairman of the Runnymede Trust, which had commissioned the Parekh report and chaired its launch), had a different agenda.

    Philips was concerned about the expression of religious difference by Muslims. By 2005 he was arguing that Britain was “sleepwalking our way to segregation.” The Labour government was expressing similar concerns.

    Then in 2009, on the 10th anniversary of the Macpherson report, he criticised its central idea of institutional racism. He argued that the phrase obscured a decline of racism in Britain, which was one of the “best places in the world to be an ethnic minority”.

    When we put it to Phillips that he had a different agenda to Parekh and reminded him of these comments, he told us: “I do not assent to any of the premises of your questions.”

    When David Cameron declared, at the 2011 Munich Security Conference, that “state multiculturalism” was dead and that many British Muslims were living segregated lives with values at odds with those that underpinned public life in the UK, Phillips – then still director of the EHRC – once again agreed.

    There was no evidence for this claim, which has been contradicted by the government’s own citizenship surveys since the argument was first put forward following urban unrest in northern towns with large Muslim communities in 2001.

    These have shown consistently that British Muslims show exceptionally strong commitment to the liberal underpinnings of public life, not least because they are beneficiaries of religious tolerance.

    But there was no defence of Muslims from the EHRC in the aftermath of that Munich speech. This failure was particularly striking since “religion and belief” had become protected characteristics in the 2010 Equality Act.

    Then the EHRC’s own Fairer Britain reports found that Muslims were the most disadvantaged religious minority in Britain. Another EHRC report attributed this disadvantage to “skin colour” and the false perception that they are culturally and religiously “alien” to the mainstream culture.

    Staggeringly, the EHRC did nothing to address this by taking, or recommending, positive action to address these issues.

    The Trojan Horse
    More shocking still has been its failure to act over the Trojan Horse affair, which burst into the news in early 2014 with claims about Islamist extremism in Birmingham schools.

    This involved deeply flawed government reports and, finally, in 2017, the collapse of professional misconduct cases brought against teachers at the school at the centre of an alleged plot.

    The cases collapsed because of “serious improprieties” on the behalf of lawyers acting for the agency of the Department for Education responsible for teacher standards.

    If ever there was a scandal which cried out for a full-scale investigation by the EHRC, it was Trojan Horse.

    Instead, in the wake of the affair, the government ratcheted up its Prevent counterterrorism strategy to address “non-violent extremism”.

    This was a crucial moment in the government’s relationship with Muslim citizens.

    The revised Prevent strategy allowed “public interest” in security to trump the right to protection of religious expression on the part of British Muslims.

    Supporters of Prevent are entitled to say that freedom of expression is demonstrated by the country’s mosques, Muslim organisations and charities, and, by comparison with some other European countries, the lack of a ban on face covering.

    However, critics of Prevent are concerned with the clumsy and often implicit conflation of Islam as many choose to practice it with extremism, and its consequences for public perceptions of Muslims (including within the Tory party and its problems with Islamophobia).

    Yet the EHRC had nothing to say about this, even though the issue was squarely within its remit.

    We have detected a pattern of silent assent on behalf of the EHRC to government policy.

    Here’s another example.

    In 2016 two parliamentary committees, the Committee on Women and Equalities and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, called for a review of Prevent over concerns it was discriminatory against Muslims.

    Once again, the EHRC was silent – which made it easier for the government to fail to react.

    Instead Prime Minister Theresa May proposed in her 2017 Conservative manifesto that “equalities” should be used as part of an extended counter-extremism strategy.

    “Extremism”, she stated, “especially Islamist extremism, strips some British people, especially women, of the freedoms they should enjoy, undermines the cohesion of our society and can fuel violence. To defeat extremism, we need to learn from how civil society and the state took on racism in the 20th century.”

    In the aftermath of the election she duly set up the Commission for Countering Extremism which has characterised the expression of conservative religious views or political Islam, alongside manifestations of far right and far left ideologies, as involving “hateful extremism”.

    This was another matter of intense relevance to the EHRC. But yet again the organisation said nothing about religion and belief as a protected characteristic.

    Instead, it has declared that one of its priorities would be to ensure “the education system promotes good relations with others and respect for equality and human rights”, as if this might be in doubt in some publicly funded schools, when its own reports found no evidence that it was.

    The EHRC was again largely silent throughout the wide and negative reporting about protests by Birmingham parents concerning LGBTQ teaching in primary schools, in which many of the children were from Muslim backgrounds.

    In its only intervention, David Isaac, the chair of the EHRC since 2016, told the Independent newspaper that headteachers of primary schools should be free to teach children about LGBTQ relationships without consulting parents.

    But education guidelines stress the need to build “positive relationships” with faith communities. What is more, they do so by invoking the Equality Act 2010, the very piece of legislation which sets the terms of reference for the EHRC.

    The Department for Education’s guidelines cite religion and belief as a protected characteristic: “A good understanding of pupils’ faith backgrounds and positive relationships between the school and local faith communities help to create a constructive context for the teaching of these subjects…

    “Schools must ensure they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, under which religion or belief are amongst the protected characteristics. All schools may teach about faith perspectives.”

    The battle over Islamophobia
    Since a landmark Runnymede report on Islamophobia in 1997, Muslim organisations have sought to establish a formal definition, similar to that for antisemitism.

    There has been a determined effort to block such a development by lobby groups such as the Henry Jackson Society and Policy Exchange, as well as the National Secular Society.

    Where, one might ask, does the EHRC stand on this issue, which falls squarely within its sphere of responsibility?

    Once again, it has ducked the question.

    It has refused to say whether it thinks a formal definition of Islamophobia would be helpful to address the discrimination its own reports show is faced by British Muslims.

    It resisted pressure to investigate charges of Islamophobia in the Tory party. When the prime minister finally set up an internal investigation, it declared “it would not be proportionate” to initiate its own investigation.

    This, in spite of the fact that a YouGov poll last year unveiled the chilling finding that two-thirds of Tory members believed parts of Britain operated under sharia law. Almost half believed in the myth of no-go zones where “non-Muslims are not able to enter”, while 39 percent thought Islamist-inspired attacks “reflected widespread hostility to Britain among the Muslim community”.

    We now turn again to the hugely controversial Prevent strategy. We asked the EHRC whether it had made a submission to the Independent Review of Prevent that is currently in progress, but had a deadline for submissions by 9 December last year.

    It replied that it had not done so.

    This is extraordinary given that the organisation has acknowledged strong views on Prevent.

    We know this because it has stated them in its annual reports to the UN. Indeed, its last report in March 2020 could hardly have been stronger.

    It highlighted concerns “that Prevent is discriminatory and risks undermining freedom of speech, the right to private life and the right to manifest a religion.”

    It is obliged to make this report to the UN, which accredits national human rights institutions under the Paris Principles of 1992, and where the EHRC enjoys an A-Rating.

    The question arises why the EHRC should tell the United Nations about concerns over Prevent – but keep quiet about those concerns when it comes to the Independent Review of Prevent.

    ‘Structural race inequality’
    It cannot be stressed too strongly that the EHRC has a constitutional duty to support and uphold the obligations of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010 to protect the freedoms of British citizens.

    This continuing duty and the powers to conduct inquiries were set out explicitly in the Equality Act 2006.

    The duty included “encouraging and supporting the development of a society in which… there is mutual respect between groups based on understanding and valuing of diversity and on shared respect for equality and human rights.”

    For a body charged with tackling discrimination, the EHRC has arrived embarrassingly late at fundamental issues confronting our society. It has recently announced an inquiry into the impact of coronavirus on BAME communities which, it says, has revealed “long-standing, structural race inequality” in Britain.

    This investigation, while commendable, raises the question why the EHRC didn’t react to issues of “structural race inequality” in Britain earlier. Following Wendy Williams’s review of the Windrush scandal, it has announced an assessment of hostile environment policies at the Home Office.

    Bear in mind that the Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman and politicians from Caribbean nations were raising the issue in 2018. Amber Rudd resigned as home secretary in April of that year. MPs were calling on the EHRC to investigate in April 2019.

    Sadly, the EHRC has also repeatedly failed to speak up for the rights of Britain’s Muslim citizens. This means that there is some justice in Jeremy Corbyn’s criticism, irrespective of the outcome of its well publicised inquiry into alleged Labour antisemitism.

    We have made many material criticisms of the EHRC in this article. We put all of them to the EHRC in good time before publication. The EHRC has chosen to avoid answering any of them.

    Instead a spokesperson issued us a blanket assertion:

    “We have a strong track record of working to make Britain a fair society in which everyone has an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential and participate, without being limited by prejudice or discrimination.

    “We take our independence and impartiality incredibly seriously. To suggest otherwise fails to acknowledge our past and ongoing work in holding government to account and promoting equality and human rights across a range of issues, including work on religion and belief and racial inequality.

    “As set out in the Equality Act, commissioners are appointed by the government of the day. All our board members bring a wealth of experience and have a strong track record of working on equality and human rights and corporate issues. Robust policies and procedures are in place to manage any perceived conflicts of interest.”

    We disagree. The truth is that on black and Muslim issues the EHRC has served the government’s agenda. It has repeatedly failed to display the teeth or the will to tackle the key issues that ought to have been on its agenda for the past decade.”

  13. Turkey rejects Macron’s sanctions threat
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200724-turkey-rejects-macrons-sanctions-threat/

    “Turkey rejected accusations on Thursday which were made by French President Emmanuel Macron that Ankara is violating the sovereignty of European Union countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Daily Sabah has reported. “Statements made by President Macron have no value for our country,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy.

    The official statement came after Macron demanded EU sanctions against Turkey for “violations” of Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. He also said that the EU should act on the crisis in Libya.

    “It is not acceptable for the maritime space of a Union member state to be violated or threatened. Those responsible must be sanctioned,” said Macron ahead of a meeting in Paris with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades.

    Aksoy demanded that France should stop magnifying its own importance and instead follow discreet and rational policies. He added that it should stop supporting putschists in Libya and terrorists in Syria.

    Last year Turkey signed an agreement with Libya which demarcated their maritime borders and gave Ankara rights over parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Ever since then, France has been urging the EU to impose further sanctions on Turkey if Ankara violates Greek or Cypriot territorial waters.

    France and Turkey each support opposing side in the Libya conflict which sees the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord, backed by Turkey, making significant military advances against the France-backed Libyan National Army.”

  14. European Muslims hail opening of Hagia Sophia Mosque
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200724-european-muslims-hail-opening-of-hagia-sophia-mosque/

    “Muslims around Europe hailed the opening of Turkey’s Hagia Sophia Mosque to worship after 86 years with Friday prayer, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Vehbija Secerovic, muezzin of the historic Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the decision.

    Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Brussels, Suleyman Murtaza said that opening Hagia Sophia for worship is a very important development for the Muslim world.

    “I saw Erdogan praying there. I also watched it live. It was magnificent,” he said.

    Belgian Muslim Dema Habib also praised the move.

    “I haven’t seen the mosque, but I would love to see it,” Habib added.

    Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Stockholm, Iraqi-origin Karwan Mohammed Abubakir said: “I am very happy that Hagia Sophia opened as a mosque again. Praise to Allah, it has opened with the Friday prayer, we are very happy.”

    “We are grateful to those who contributed to turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque,” said Ahmed Eltantavi, another Swedish Muslim.

    On July 10, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that turned Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use as a mosque.

    Friday’s historic prayers marked the first acts of worship there in 86 years.

    Some 350,000 people took part in the traditional Friday prayers at the historic mosque in Istanbul.

    Before the prayers, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recited from the Quran inside the reopened mosque, choosing verses from both the Surah Al-Fatihah and the Surah Al-Baqarah.

    Besides being a working mosque, Hagia Sophia is also among Turkey’s top tourism destinations for domestic and foreign visitors alike.

    In 1985, Hagia Sophia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    It served as a church for 916 years until the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottoman Empire, and a mosque from 1453 to 1934 – nearly 500 years.”

  15. Albanian parliament passes military deal with Turkey
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/albanian-parliament-passes-military-deal-with-turkey-156824

    “Albania’s parliament on July 23 approved the implementation protocol for a military cooperation agreement with Turkey.

    The agreement in question was passed by 105 yes and 4 no votes, with 4 abstentions.

    According to the Albanian Council of Ministers, the cooperation agreement aims to determine the principles of financial assistance for Albania to buy products that are 100% indigenously made in Turkey and services for military purposes.

    In a speech before the vote, Elona Gjebrea, a lawmaker, said the Albanian parliament had approved 26 military agreements and protocols with Turkey since 1998.

    “Our country’s strategic partner Turkey has consistently supported Albania in a variety of fields, including military logistics, in line with the defense and national security program,” said Gjebrea.

    “We thank the Turkish side that has not leave us alone in difficult situations, including when the earthquake hit our country. I hope that this support will not only help the modernization of the armed forces, but also our response to civilian emergencies,” she added.”

  16. Pakistan, Bangladesh broadcast prayers at Hagia Sophia
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistan-bangladesh-broadcast-prayers-at-hagia-sophia/1921469

    “Major media outlets in Pakistan and Bangladesh have unequivocally conveyed the significance of the reopening of Turkey’s iconic Hagia Sophia Mosque for worship for the first time in 86 years with Friday prayers, dubbing it as a “landmark moment.”

    Over a dozen top TV channels, including state-run Pakistan Television, cut their routine bulletins, and aired wall-to-wall coverage of the grand event.

    They ensured live transmission from different corners of the Mosque, highlighting its historical past, and importance for the Muslims around the world…”

  17. 30 migrants break out of Brindisi centre
    https://www.ansa.it/english/news/2020/07/24/30-migrants-break-out-of-brindisi-centre_7fd417ed-75ef-4a50-9549-5c70b4630b02.html

    “Some 30 Tunisian migrants broke out of a migrant reception centre in Brindisi on Friday.

    The fugitives broke a COVID quarantine imposed after they landed on Italian shores in the past week.

    Nine of them have been caught and the rest are being hunted.
    Police said they currently have no trace of the 21.

    Meanwhile 56 people were placed under investigation in Livorno for arranging marriages to get migrants stay permits.

    Searches were also carried out in Turin and Padua.”

  18. Hundreds of migrants arrive at Greek island Lampedusa, twice as much compared to last year
    https://rmx.news/article/article/hundreds-of-migrants-arrive-at-greek-island-lampedusa-twice-as-much-compared-to-last-year

    “Nearly 300 migrants landed on the island of Lampedusa on Wednesday night, reaching the Italian shores on 15 boats, according to Italian authorities.

    In recent days, hundreds of migrants have landed on the island, with local authorities warning that the migrant center is desperately overcrowded and only has capacity for 95 migrants, according to echo24.cz.

    Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said that most of the newly arrived migrants are Tunisians. She said she will travel to Tunisia next week to talk to the government to speed up the procedure for returning rejected asylum seekers to their country of origin and wants to soon discuss the same topic with colleagues from other EU countries.

    “The aim is to launch concrete cooperation between the EU and African countries. This would prevent migrants from arriving and speed up the returning process of people who do not have a right of residence in Europe,” she said, meeting with Lampedusa Mayor Salvator Martella on Monday.

    Last week, leaders in the southern Italian regions of Sicily and Calabria called on the government to address the situation with migrants arriving from Africa to the region as a matter of urgency and declare a state of emergency in the southern regions.

    As Remix previously reported, the regional president of Sicily Sebastiano Musumeci stressed that the situation on the island of Lampedusa is unsustainable.

    In the first half of the year, compared to last year, the number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean more than doubled. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), almost 10,000 have arrived in Italy this year since January. Last year, it was 11,471 people arriving in Italy for the whole year.

    League Party leader Matteo Salvini warned that granting a mass amnesty to 600,000 illegal migrants in Italy would only provide an incentive for more migrants to make the dangerous journey to Italy in the hopes they would also be permitted to stay inside the country.

    At the time, Salvini said, “The government has announced an amnesty for illegal migrants at a time when the number of arrivals has increased by 350 percent. 136 people made landfall on Lampedusa only this evening. Italy as a migrant camp? No, thanks.””

  19. Italy on the road to self-extinction as demographic disaster looms
    https://rmx.news/article/article/italy-on-the-road-to-self-extinction-as-demographic-disaster-looms

    “Italy’s demographic decline is only accelerating, which is setting the country on course for an existential disaster.

    The head of the Italian Episcopate, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, commenting on statistical data and forecasts for the future, said, “Now that the worst of the pandemic is over in Italy, we are rightly talking about a rebirth. But without children there can be no rebirth and no future for our country.”

    Until recently, the main cause of the fact that the numbers of births were falling year-on-year was the existence of a 50-year demographic trend which led to a reduction in the number of women of reproductive age.

    However, the International Research Centre on the Family has recently issued a report that the demographic crisis is also caused by changing attitudes, reports Polish news portal pch24.pl.

    According to the research, only 13 percent of men and 25 percent of women in the 25-34 age bracket want to have a family with children in Italy.

    Another 40 percent declare that they do not ever want to have kids. This data may seem shocking, but experts were predicting such a scenario 30 years ago. Still, no programs to protect the family were instituted despite the warning signs.

    Cardinal Bassetti believes that this is because in Italy, children are not viewed as enriching the parents or society but rather a cause of impoverishment, a barrier to a career, or a source of fear.

    He feels that the family has been forgotten in Italian politics, with family benefits below the European average. He says the government has dohne little to encourage parents to have more children.

    Migrants make up a rapidly growing share of births in Italy
    Italy’s population is shrinking every year. In 2019, the country’s national statistic agency, ISTAT, stated that the gap between births and deaths was growing wider, pointing out that there were only 67 newborns last year for every 100 people who died. Ten years ago, the country saw 96 births for every 100 deaths.

    According to Reuters, many of the births that are taking place in Italy are doing to migrants deciding to have children, a trend seen in other countries such as Germany that have experienced falling populations.

    Recently, the country’s left-wing government granted a mass amnesty to 600,000 illegal migrants, which will also make them eligible for childcare benefits and medical care, all of which represent a new taxpayer burden for Italians amidst the coronavirus crisis.

    The Italian fertility rate is already one of the lowest in Europe at 1.34 in 2019, but when migrants are factored in, the native Italian populations’ rate is even lower.

    A study from Max Planck Institute of Demographic Research wrote:

    “Overall, the fertility rate of Italian immigrants (2.61) was almost double the rate of native Italians (1.26) in 2004 (Istat, 2006). Regionally, the greatest differences are visible in the north-west of the country. In 2004 the share of children born to at least one foreign-born parent in Italy had risen to 11.75 percent (Istat, 2006).”

    According to the Cardinal, the overall demographic decline experienced in Italy is not inevitable.

    He points to the experience of Arezzo where he was a local bishop for 10 years. There, the local authorities have had a program for the family and births rose by six percent.

    Now, similar pro-family policies need to be introduced throughout the country, or Italy could be headed for self-extinction.”

  20. The Department of Canadian Heritage definition, “Multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging. The Canadian experience has shown that multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding, and discourages ghettoization, hatred discrimination and violence”.

    Islamists / Muslims in Canada insist on being Muslims, and deny all other ethnic heritage groups.

    Muslim Brotherhood hoods: “It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meaning of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to A LONG, UNCOMPROMISING JIHAD and during this stage we ask for martyrdom “.

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