Reader’s Links for November 16, 2020

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

95 Replies to “Reader’s Links for November 16, 2020”

  1. Macron had a Financial Times piece taken down!

    The President vs. the American Media
    After terrorist attacks, France’s leader accuses the English-language media of “legitimizing this violence.”“When France was attacked five years ago, every nation in the world supported us,” President Macron said, recalling Nov. 13, 2015, when 130 people were killed in coordinated attacks at a concert hall, outside a soccer stadium and in cafes in and around Paris.“So when I see, in that context, several newspapers which I believe are from countries that share our values — journalists who write in a country that is the heir to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution — when I see them legitimizing this violence, and saying that the heart of the problem is that France is racist and Islamophobic, then I say the founding principles have been lost.”Legitimizing violence — that’s as serious a charge as you can make against the media, and the sort of thing we’ve been more used to hearing, and shrugging off, from the American president.[..]Mr. Macron was particularly enraged by a Financial Times opinion article on Nov. 3, “Macron’s war on Islamic separatism only divides France further,” which argued that he was alienating a Muslim majority that also hates terrorism. The article said he was attacking “Islamic separatism” when, in fact, he had used the word “Islamist.” Mr. Macron’s critics say he conflates religious observance and extremism, and the high-profile misquote — of his attempt to distinguish between the religion of Islam and the ideology of Islamism — infuriated him.
    “I hate being pictured with words which are not mine,” Mr. Macron told me, and after a wave of complaints from readers and an angry call from Mr. Macron’s office, The Financial Times took the article off the internet — something a spokeswoman, Kristina Eriksson, said she couldn’t recall the publication ever having done before. The next day, the newspaper published a letter from Mr. Macron attacking the deleted article.In late October, Politico Europe also deleted an op-ed article, “The dangerous French religion of secularism,” that it had solicited from a French sociologist. The piece set off a firestorm from critics who said the writer was blaming the victims of terrorism. But the hasty deletion prompted the author to complain of “outright censorship.” Politico Europe’s editor in chief, Stephen Brown, said that the article’s timing after the attack was inappropriate, but that he had apologized to the author for taking it down without explanation. He didn’t cite any specific errors. It was also the first time, he said, that Politico had ever taken down an opinion article.[..]The New York Times was roasted on Twitter and in the pages of Le Monde for a headline — which appeared briefly amid the chaos of the beheading — “French Police Shoot and Kill Man After a Fatal Knife Attack on the Street.” The Times headline quickly changed as French police confirmed details, but the screenshot remained.

  2. 4 US Officials Confirm Assassination of Al-Qaeda Leader in Tehran

    “The United States and Israel cooperated to pursue and kill a senior al-Qaeda operative in Iran earlier this year, a bold intelligence operation by the two allied nations that came as the Trump administration was ramping up pressure on Tehran.

    Four current and former US officials said Abu Mohammed al-Masri, al-Qaeda’s second leader, was killed by assassins in the Iranian capital in August.

    The US provided intelligence to the Israelis on where they could find Masri and the alias he was using at the time, while Israeli agents carried out the killing, according to two of the officials.

    The two other officials affirmed Masri’s killing but could not provide specific details, according to an Associated Press report on Sunday.

    Masri was gunned down in a Tehran alley on Aug. 7, which coincided with the anniversary of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    He was widely believed to have participated in the planning of those attacks and was wanted on terrorism charges by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    Masri’s death is a blow to al-Qaeda, the terror network that orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US, and comes amid rumors in the Middle East about the fate of the group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    The four officials could not confirm those reports but said the US intelligence community was trying to determine their credibility.

    Two of the officials — one within the intelligence community and with direct knowledge of the operation and another former CIA officer briefed on the matter — said Masri was killed by Kidon, a unit within the secretive Israeli spy organization Mossad allegedly responsible for the assassination of high-value targets. In Hebrew, Kidon means bayonet or “tip of the spear.”

    The official in the intelligence community said Masri’s daughter, Maryam, was also a target of the operation.

    The US believed she was being groomed for a leadership role in al-Qaeda and intelligence suggested she was involved in operational planning, according to the official, who like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

    Masri’s daughter was the widow of Hamza bin Laden, the son of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden. He was killed last year in a US counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

    The news of Masri’s death was first reported by The New York Times. Both the CIA and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, which oversees the Mossad intelligence agency, declined to comment.

    Israel and Iran are bitter enemies, with the Iranian nuclear program Israel’s top security concern. Israel has welcomed the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord and the US pressure campaign on Tehran.

    At the time of the killings, the Trump administration was in the advanced stages of trying to push through the UN Security Council the reinstatement of all international sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the nuclear agreement.

    None of the other Security Council members went along with the US, which has vowed to punish countries that do not enforce the sanctions as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran.

    Israeli officials are concerned the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden could return to the nuclear accord.

    It is likely that if Biden does engage with the Iranians, Israel will press for the accord to be modified to address Iran’s long-range missile program and its military activity across the region, specifically in Syria and its support for groups like Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian factions Hamas and the “Islamic Jihad”.

    The revelations that Iran was harboring an al-Qaeda leader could help Israel bolster its case with the new US administration.

    Masri had been on a kill or capture list for years, but his presence in Iran, which has a long history of hostility toward al-Qaeda, presented significant obstacles to either apprehending or killing him.

    Iran, for its part, has denied the reports, saying the government is not harboring any al-Qaeda leaders and blaming the US and Israel for trying to foment anti-Iranian sentiment.

    US officials have long believed a number of al-Qaeda leaders have been living quietly in Iran for years and publicly released intelligence assessments have made that case.

    Masri’s death, albeit under an assumed name, was reported in Iranian media on Aug. 8. Reports identified him as a Lebanese history professor potentially affiliated with Lebanon’s Iranian-linked Hezbollah movement and said he had been killed by motorcycle gunmen along with his daughter.

    Lebanese media, citing Iranian reports, said that those killed were Lebanese citizen Habib Daoud and his daughter Maraym.

    Their death occurred three days after the catastrophic Aug. 4 Beirut port blast and did not get much attention. Hezbollah never commented on reports and Lebanese security officials did not report that any citizens were killed in Tehran.

    A Hezbollah official on Saturday refused to comment on Masri’s death, saying Iran’s foreign ministry had already denied the news.

    Meanwhile, the alleged killings seem to fit a pattern of behavior attributed to Israel in the past.

    In 1995, the founder the “Islamic Jihad” was killed by a gunman on a motorcycle in Malta, in an assassination widely attributed to the Mossad, which also reportedly carried out a string of similar killings of Iranian nuclear scientists in Iran early last decade. Iran has accused Israel of being behind those killings.

    Yoel Guzansky, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies and former analyst on Iranian affairs in the prime minister’s office, said it has been known for some time that Iran is hiding top al-Qaeda figures.

    While he had no direct knowledge of Masri’s death, he said a joint operation between the US and Israel would reflect the two nations’ close intelligence cooperation, with the US typically stronger in the technical aspects of intelligence gathering and Israel adept at operating agents behind enemy lines.”

  3. Twitter Suspends Account of Iranian Oil Minister for Violating its Rules

    “Twitter has suspended the account of Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh because it violated the website’s rules against impersonation, the company said, according to Bloomberg.

    An official at Iran’s oil ministry, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak to the media, said earlier on Sunday that the suspension appeared to be linked to sanctions. Zanganeh was personally sanctioned by the US on Oct. 26.

    “The account was suspended for violation of the Twitter rules against impersonation,” a spokesperson for the social media company said in an email, without giving any more details.

    According to Twitter’s website “accounts that pose as another person, brand, or organization in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under Twitter’s impersonation policy”.

    Iran’s oil ministry didn’t immediately reply to messages seeking comment on Twitter’s statement. The oil ministry’s own official news service, Shana, has also reported on the suspension and refers to the account as belonging to Zanganeh.

    Links to tweets previously published under Zanganeh’s handle say “this tweet is from a suspended account”.”

  4. Iraq Hangs 21 on Terrorism Charges

    “Iraq hanged 21 convicted terrorists and murderers on Monday, an interior ministry statement said, the latest in a series of mass executions it has carried out since defeating the ISIS group in 2017.

    Among those executed at a prison in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya were people involved in two suicide attacks that killed dozens of people the northern town of Tal Afar, the statement said.

    It gave no further details of the identities of the people who were executed or the crimes for which they were convicted.

    Iraq has put hundreds of suspected extremists on trial and carried out several mass executions since defeating ISIS fighters in a 2014-2017 US-backed military campaign.

    Human rights groups have accused Iraqi and other regional forces of inconsistencies in the judicial process and flawed trials leading to unfair convictions. Iraq says its trials are fair.

    ISIS captured a third of Iraq in 2014 and was largely defeated both there and in neighboring Syria over the following three years.”

  5. Al-Sheikh hints at curricula revision to combat intellectual extremism

    “Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh said that the ministry is currently working to include critical thinking and philosophy in the school curriculum.

    “The move aims to foster the values of freedom of thought and tolerance, as well as to combat intellectual extremism among male and female students. This would also enable them to practice and acquire critical and philosophical thinking skills to meet different life situations,” he said.

    The minister made the remarks on Monday while attending the third session of the Kingdom’s dialogues titled “We discourse for our tolerance”, which was organized by King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance.

    “The Ministry of Education seeks to consolidate the values of tolerance and human understanding among students as it is a fundamental pillar for promoting tolerance in society, and this will be done through multiple practices targeting the personality of the boy and girl students as well as their thinking,” he said during the virtual session.

    Al-Sheikh said the ministry has paid great attention to developing curricula in a way linking it to national values and cultural commonalities in promoting dialogue and tolerance, and these included reviewing and evaluating curricula, and ensuring the safety of children from negative thoughts.

    “The ministry contributes to developing effective dialogue methods for teachers in public education schools, and faculty members in universities alike, through specialized programs and events in addition to supporting the efforts of the Intellectual Awareness Center to monitor negative practices in educational circles,” he said.

    Al-Sheikh said the Ministry of Education and universities are working on joint programs to spread the culture of dialogue and tolerance in society and to draw lessons and methods to develop these practices. “We also monitor global activities on the International Day for Tolerance to benefit from them in addition to the exchange of student delegations with the world,” he said.

    The minister also drew attention to the outcome of the “Riyadh Declaration” adopted by the Conference on Citizenship, Education and Common Human Values, organized by the UNESCO Regional Center for Quality and Excellence in Education, and the recommendations it contained that reinforce the values of tolerance in the lives of societies and peoples.”

  6. US senators call on Facebook to address anti-Muslim bigotry

    “Democratic senators are calling on Facebook to “do more” to mitigate the spread of anti-Muslim bigotry, after the social media giant was criticised for failing to address attacks against the faith group on multiple occasions, including the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings.

    In a letter sent to Facebook to CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, a group of 15 Senators said the platform needed to immediately enforce its community standards to address anti-Muslim hate and ban the use of event pages for the purpose of “harassment, organizing, and violence” against the Muslim community.

    The letter also said that Facebook had not taken proper steps to enforce its “call to arms” policy, a year-old rule created in large part due to pressure from Muslim advocacy groups, which since 2015 had flagged multiple instances where organisers of Facebook events had advocated for followers to bring weapons to mosques and other places of worship.

    “We recognize that Facebook has announced efforts to address its role in the distribution of anti-Muslim content in some of these areas,” the letter, signed by Senator Chris Coons, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and 12 others, said.

    “Nevertheless, it is not clear that the company is meaningfully better positioned to prevent further human rights abuses and violence against Muslim minorities today.”

    An independent civil rights audit of the social media company released in July outlined that despite having policies that did not allow for hate speech against religious groups, incidents of hate speech continued to persist across Facebook.

    Muslim Advocates, a rights group that called for the audit two years ago, thanked the senators for writing the letter.

    “Since 2015, Muslim Advocates had warned Facebook that the platform’s event pages were being used by violent militias and white nationalists to organize armed rallies at mosques,” the group’s executive director Farhana Khera said on Monday.

    “We need to know what Facebook plans to do to end the anti-Muslim hate and violence enabled by their platform – and end it now.”

    Facebook has been accused of providing a platform for the incitement of violence against Muslims across the world, including the Christchurch attacks, the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and violence against Muslims in India.

    The senators wrote that reports have indicated “that the platform has also been used to support the internment of the Uyghurs in China and other human rights violations against this population, that Facebook and WhatsApp have been used to incite violence against Muslims in India, and that Facebook has been used to promote hate and violence in other areas around the world”.

    Reports surfaced in 2018 showing that top Myanmar military officials had been using the social media platform to incite “ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya Muslim population. Facebook admitted in November 2018 that it failed to prevent its platform from being used to incite violence in Myanmar.

    In 2019, the gunman who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand had broadcasted his mass shooting on Facebook Live for 17 minutes before it was stopped by the platform.

    “As members of Congress who are deeply disturbed by the proliferation of this hate speech on your platform, we urge you to do more,” the senators’ letter read.”

  7. Russia moves rocket launchers towards Nagorno-Karabakh after peace deal

    “Russia has moved truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers into a land corridor it controls between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh as it secures new territory as peacekeepers for a deal struck over the enclave last week.

    Moscow brokered an end to six weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the enclave, an accord that prompted the deployment of almost 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to the area, a process that is continuing.

    The Russian defence ministry said on Monday it had set up seven temporary observation posts in the Lachin Corridor, which runs from the edge of Armenia to the enclave inside Azeri territory, to ensure the safe passage of Russian peacekeepers to Armenian-controlled parts of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    Reuters reporters saw two Russian truck-mounted Grad multiple missile launch systems in the Lachin Corridor. The Soviet-era system can fire 40 rockets in around 20 seconds and their deployment suggests Moscow is not taking any chances with the security of its peacekeepers.

    Both Grads were manned by Russian crews and the servicemen confirmed to Reuters that they were from Russia.

    One of the Grads had a Russian military license plate with regional code 94, indicating it belonged to the Transcaucasian military district. The other Grad had no license plate, but was accompanied by a Kamaz military truck with a Russian license plate from the same military district.

    Reuters reporters also spotted a Russian tank in the area.

    A statement about the Russian deployment on the Kremlin website says the armed peacekeepers will be accompanied by armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles and hardware. It made no specific mention of rocket systems.

    The Azeri defence ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

    The Russian defence ministry said on Monday its soldiers were de-mining the Lachin corridor, and clearing the road of abandoned and damaged armoured vehicles and cars.

    Moscow will monitor the peace with the help of 18 Russian-manned observation posts, it said. Russian peacekeepers were in constant contact with the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia to help prevent misunderstandings.”

  8. Saudi Lawyer Claims Al Aqsa Mosque Is In Saudi Arabia, Not Jerusalem

    “Saudi lawyer Oussama Yemani made controversial remarks, claiming that Al Aqsa Mosque is not in Jerusalem but in Saudi Arabia.

    The lawyer published an opinion piece with the Okaz news outlet, saying that millions of Muslims have had “wrong answers” for years regarding the location of Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

    He argued that many people believe Al Aqsa Mosque is in Jerusalem because of history books.

    “Jerusalem is not [the site of] Al-Aqsa [Mosque] as it was not bearing this name during the mission of the messenger of God, Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, nor during the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs,” he said.

    Yemani also said people are confused about the qiblah, which is the direction of the Kaaba of the sacred mosque in Mecca, or the direction Muslims pray.

    “Note that the first qibla has nothing to do with Al-Aqsa Mosque, just as there is no consensus about the first qibla,” the Saudi thinker said.

    He also claimed many people have divided opinions regarding the first qibla.

    “Many say that the first qibla is the Kaaba, and they mention that the messenger of God used to pray in Mecca to the Kaaba and then was ordered to pray to the rock of Jerusalem after the migration,” Yemani said.

    Concluding his theory, Yemani claimed that the Al Aqsa Mosque is in Al Ju’ranah, a village in Mecca province, in western Saudi Arabia.

    Al Ju’ranah is located 18 miles northeast of Mecca.

    He said the mosque “is located in the region and it was known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque because there is another mosque built by one of the benefactors known as the Near Mosque.”

    Yemani claimed that through his theories one can conclude that the difference between “narratives and narrators is due to political matters that have been employed in favor of events, issues, and political stances that have nothing to do with faith or interest in deeds and worship.”


    The statements sparked outrage and mockery from Muslims across the world.

    Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque was built on the Temple Mount, known as Al Aqsa.

    Doctor Ali Al A’war, a researcher on Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque Affairs wrote a response to the claims from the Saudi lawyer, condemning his doubts on the existence of Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.

    “This new cultural discourse among some Gulf writers and the book on cultural normalization represents the official position of some Gulf rulers, as the article was published in the Saudi government newspaper Okaz,” the researcher said.

    “Those fabrications and lies produced by the new Arab Zionists represent new contributions to Netanyahu’s behavior and the Israeli government’s policy towards denying the existence of the Palestinians and the political rights for the Palestinian people in the Holy land.”

    The researcher cited the decision of some Gulf countries to normalize ties with Israel, including Bahrain and the UAE.

    Saudi Arabia has not yet established diplomatic ties with Israel but hinted that this could eventually occur.”

  9. EU dares to reject Turkish Cypriots’ free will for two-state solution reflected in election results: Ministry

    “Turkey’s Foreign Ministry criticized a recent statement by a senior European Union official on Nov. 16, saying that the bloc ignores Turkish Cypriot’s “free will reflected on ballot boxes,” which it said has favored a two-state model of resolution on the Island.

    The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement on Varosha and the solution of Cyprus dispute “reveal once again how detached the EU is from the realities on the island and shows that it ignored the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] people’s free will to be reflected on the ballot box,” Hami Aksoy, spokesperson of the ministry said in a written statement.

    The decision that North Cyprus’ Varosha made with the support of Turkey aims not on the creation of new grievances but to overcome the present aggrievement, he said, emphasizing that U.N. Security Council resolutions do not override property rights on the Island.

    “Likewise, the U.N. Security Council resolutions are not above the will of the people. The will of the Turkish Cypriot people was formed in the last elections to negotiate the two-state solution model. Everyone, including the EU, should respect this will,” said the ministry.

    The parties to the Cyprus issue are clear, and a fair, permanent, and sustainable solution is only possible if the will of the two peoples, who are the common owners of the island, are taken as a basis, he stated.

    “Having made a habit of ignoring the existence and rights of the Turkish Cypriots, the EU now dares to reject the will of the Turkish Cypriot people for a solution,” said Aksoy.

    “The EU, which does not refer to the Turkish Cypriot people in any of its statements and awarded the Greek Cypriot Administration of South Cyprus with membership, which rejected the U.N. solution plan in 2004 and did not fulfill any of its promises to the Turkish Cypriots, cannot be expected to contribute to the solution,” said the spokesperson.

    The EU’s foreign policy chief expressed regret Nov. 15 over the opening of the coastline of Varosha in North Cyprus and statements that contradict UN principles for resolving the Cyprus problem.

    “There is no alternative to the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem other than the basis of the U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Borrell said, referring to the opening of part of Varosha, which has been closed for 46 years.

    Borrell noted that the latest developments in the long-abandoned city occurred at a time when attempts to open a space for dialogue were underway, and negotiations on the resolution of the Cyprus problem and unification of the island need to start quickly under the auspices of the U.N. The EU is ready to support negotiations and play an active role in finding a permanent solution, he said.

    “The EU is fully committed to unification within the framework of the U.N. and along the lines of the founding principles of the EU, on the basis of a federation with a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and bizonal, bi-communal political equality,” he stated.

    Borrell stressed that there should be no action on the status of Varosha that is not in line with the relevant U.N. resolutions, noting Turkey should act with the responsibility of creating an environment to help negotiations and make a concrete contribution.

    “In this regard, we regret today’s actions on the opening of the closed zone in Varosha and statements that contradict the U.N. principles for the solution of the Cyprus problem. These will cause more insecurity, more tensions in the region and must be urgently undone,” Borrell said.”

  10. Suspected Islamist works in the German Office for Migration and Refugees, the ministry confirms

    “The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) employs a person whom the security authorities consider to be an Islamist, the DPA agency reported, referring to the response of the German Ministry of the Interior, which was interpellated by left-wing MPs from the Left party (Die Linke).

    The ministry has confirmed that the suspected Islamist is employed by the Office of Migration and Refugees.

    “The federal government is aware of a specific suspicious case in the field of Islamism and Islamist terrorism,” the reply said. As the case has not yet been closed, the ministry declined to provide any details.

    The reply also did not contain any specific information on attempts by foreign intelligence services to place their informants in the office, for example as translators, to obtain information about members of the opposition in exile. The Ministry of the Interior has only announced that all employees of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees will be subjected to a security check.”

  11. Terrorism threat in Hungary lower than Austria, Germany and France due to fewer Muslim migrants, says Hungarian security expert

    “Hungary’s terror threat level remains unchanged despite a wave of Islamic attacks in France and Austria and it much to do with the fact that Hungary never accepted mass migration from Muslim countries, Hungarian security policy expert Georg Spöttle told German-language news portal Ungarn Heute (Hungary Today) in an interview…”

    Hungary is treated like ‘a black sheep only because of its rejection of immigration’, says Justice Minister Varga

    “The ongoing attempt to link European Union funding to loosely defined rule of law criteria is a thinly veiled attack on countries like Hungary and Poland that embrace conservative positions on migration, multiculturalism and Christian values, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said in an interview with German daily newspaper Die Welt.

    In the interview, Varga described Hungary as being treated like “a black sheep only because of its rejection of immigration” — with the immigration issue now of fundamental importance for an EU that increasingly embraces open borders orthodoxy and a liberal migration policy despite a wave of terror attacks and rising crime tied to uncontrolled mass migration.

    “What they have already started with is the statement that they can impose financial sanctions on a member state if it does not fit into the ‘mainstream’ in areas such as migration policy, family policy or multicultural ideologies,” Varga said. “Our position in relation to the vague ‘conditionality’ of the ideological blackmail of Brussels is clear and unambiguous: we want to protect our Christian roots. We do not want a multicultural society. We want to keep marriage a bond between man and woman.”

    Varga’s comments come after the European Council and European Parliament are preparing to take the unprecedented step of enacting a harsh sanction mechanism for countries that violate so-called rule of law standards. Hungary has been subject to multiple hearings on rule of law in the past, including in relation to the country’s migration policy. Meanwhile, Poland has faced intense scrutiny for its judicial reform and over LGBT issues.

    She also noted that the loosely defined nature of “rule of law” means that the EU’s powerful liberal bloc can institute rule of law attacks with the distinct purpose of bringing down conservative governments they may disagree with.

    “Speaking about ‘systematic dangers’ without mentioning concrete offenses reminds me of the methods of communist dictatorships,” Varga said in the interview.

    Varga pointed out that instead of dealing with such hazy issues as rule of law, the European Union should concentrate on the real task at hand, which is combating the coronavirus pandemic.

    “The agreement between the EU institutions and the member states on the distribution of the resources of the Reconstruction Fund is now the most important task in Europe to successfully mitigate the economic effects of the virus,” Varga said.

    “Instead, in Brussels, they are preoccupied — contrary to the agreement of the European Council in July — that the allocation of resources from the seven-year EU budget and the Reconstruction Fund cannot be linked to a ‘mechanism of a political and ideological nature’,” she added.

    Varga also said that on the basis of a “bad compromise agreement” with the European Parliament, an ideological blackmail of the member states is about to begin.

    “Those EU institutions that want to force the radical opposition to this are simply playing the role of the Hungarian opposition, thereby violating Hungary’s sovereignty,” she said.

    The issue of rule of law versus EU funding comes to a head on Monday at a meeting of the member states’ ambassadors to the European Union on Monday and a meeting of the member states’ EU affairs ministers on Tuesday, when it will become clear whether Hungary and Poland will stick to their positions of vetoing the seven-year budget and the economic rescue package if those remain linked to rule of law criteria.

    “When we joined, we did not give up that part of our national sovereignty so that we could decide who we wanted to live with in our own country,” Varga said in a Facebook posted Monday morning, just ahead of the two critical meetings.

    “We did not say yes to joining the EU so that Brussels could define for us what we consider a family, what we call marriage and who can adopt children in Hungary and under what conditions.””

  12. PRAVDA – How big data can give migrants social integration opportunities

    Scientists at the Joint Research Centre in Italy look at how big data can help stop migrant misconceptions.

    • PRAVDA – How migration data is being used to boost economies

      In this episode of Futuris, Euronews finds out how EU researchers are developing migration data to create new opportunities.

  13. VICE – How France Became the Muslim World’s Most Hated Country in the West

    In the battle between Islamist terror and the French principle of secularism there is only one winner: THE FAR-RIGHT .

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