Reader’s Links for February 28, 2021

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

98 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 28, 2021”

  1. Nearly 7 in 10 French Say ‘Islamo-Leftism’ a Major Problem (breitbart, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/28/nearly-7-in-10-french-say-islamo-leftism-a-major-problem/

    “A poll has revealed 69 per cent of French, nearly 7 in 10, say that there is a problem with an ideology of “Islamo-Leftism” in the country.

    The Odoxa-Backbone consulting poll found that a comfortable majority of respondents believed there was a problem with leftist groups, political parties, and personalities refusing to take hard positions against radical Islamic extremism for fear of “stigmatising” Muslims as a whole.

    When the results are divided by political affiliation, the survey showed that 82 per cent of the supporter of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally believed the issue to be a problem, while 83 per cent of the centre-right Republicans held the same views, Franceinfo reports.

    Supporters of Emmanuel Macron’s Republicans on the March (LREM) party agreed with the proposition 80 per cent of the time.

    Among the far-left France Insoumise supporters, just 46 per cent agreed the Islamo-Leftism was a problem, however, 63 per cent of the Socialist Party supports saw the concept as a problem.

    Prominent French philosopher and noted globalist Bernard Henri-Levy, often simply referred to as “BHL”, has also spoken out about Islamo-Leftism along with French Minister of The University Frederique Vidal who stated it was “a problem that afflicts society and not even the university is immune from it.”

    The government of President Emmanuel Macron announced that it would be investigating Islamo-leftism within the nation’s universities, which has sparked condemnation from leftists such as the far-left magazine Jacobin, which called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

    Academic Mame-Fatou Niang, who studies identity and race in France, has also condemned the move, saying that “minority researchers have been regarded as activists through the ages.”

    As many American movements have been imported to France over the last year, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, some French politicians and academics have called American-style “woke” ideology a threat to the French republic itself.

    Since the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty in October of last year by a Chechen radical Islamist refugee, the Macron government has made moves to fight against political Islam and what Macron has termed “Islamic separatism”, including shutting down groups linked to Islamists.”

  2. Social media fight spreads in Iran as women seek to regain international travel rights (abcnews, Feb 27, 2021)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/social-media-fight-spreads-iran-women-seek-regain/story?id=76106591

    “Iran’s Alpine ski coach, Samira Zargari, couldn’t join her team for the world championships in Italy last week.

    The reason? Her husband barred her from leaving the country.

    The reaction on social media was swift, and many Iranians vented their fury by demanding the government change the law to give women back their right to travel internationally, along with other rights stripped away after they’re married.

    Based on domestic family law in the Islamic Republic, women give up the right to leave the country, pursue education or even choose where to live and work upon signing a marriage document. The only exception is if a woman’s husband relinquishes those rights, which rarely happens.

    The only rights married women retain are limited custody of children and the right to divorce.

    Zargari’s case, however, went viral and different hashtags about women’s rights began popping up on social media, including the “right to leave the country” and “no to discrimination against women.”

    When asked to comment on Zargari’s case, the International Ski federation provided ABC News with a statement but did not mention Zargari by name.

    “FIS sympathizes with any team member who is not able to travel to our World Championships,” the statement read. “However, FIS is also not in a position to dispute the laws of any given nation.”

    Zahra Abdi, an Iranian poet, wrote on Twitter: “It is impossible for a society to move towards the future when the hands and feet of half the people are tied up. This is well understood by the developed countries and it is why they fight discriminatory laws against women. Wherever there is a sign of development, this struggle is taken more seriously.”

    An online campaign asking to revise regulations on women leaving the country was signed by almost 50,000 people in less than a week.

    “The basis of the family law in Iran is that the husband has all the rights,” an Iranian lawyer, who requested anonymity out of fear of reprisal, told ABC News. “Any woman who wants any of the rights back has to swim against the river and prove it at the court.”

    Despite the outcry, the Iranian government hasn’t budged.

    Responding to the social media campaign, Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice president for Women and Family Affairs, tweeted that in an emergency, women can ask the court to revise a husband’s decision but this can only happen after a judge is convinced the travel is “necessary,” and, even then, the woman would only be allowed to leave “on bail.”

    The Iranian lawyer said that a bill addressing the travel issue is making its way through government, but it first has to be passed by the parliament, and the language, as it currently stands, is very “vague” when addressing how exactly judges would deem travel necessary. The lack of clarity also may delay any movement on the bill.

    “Basically,” the lawyer told ABC News, “the ‘necessity’ mentioned in the bill is based on the need for medical treatment out of the country, attending scientific conferences and, more recently, attending sport events like international championships.”

    In one of the first reactions to the issue, Zargari wrote in a story on her Instagram page that her husband was born in the United States and was not raised in Iran, seeming to imply that discriminatory laws remain in place regardless of a person’s citizenship.

    However, when she later told the Iranian Students News Agency in an interview that government officials should “at least remove this law for women champions and those who are active in the international fields,” a huge backlash was sparked, this time against Zargari. Many who supported her on social media during her ordeal began to criticize her for not standing up for all women — not just those who work internationally.

    “Unfortunately, Ms. Zargari has said that she hopes the law that needs husbands’ permission for leaving the country is removed for women who work in the international fields. The right thing to say would be that this law is cruel and humiliating and medieval, and no woman needs her husband’s ‘permission’ to travel,” journalist Yosra Bakhakh tweeted.

    Explaining how such social media campaigns can help return these rights to women, the Iranian lawyer referred to the ambiguities of the law that could result in minimal reforms.

    “For example, it is up to the common sense in the court what ‘necessity’ means for a woman’s demand to leave the country. In the past, traveling abroad to attend sport events would not be a case of necessity. But, thanks to all activism through the years, it has become so. It matters that people would not stop asking for more,” she said.

    It is clear, however, that women’s rights activists are paying an enormous price to achieve equality.

    Just last week, Najmeh Vahedi, a sociologist, and Hoda Amid, a lawyer, who held workshops to tell women how to preserve their rights upon marriage, were sentenced to seven and eight years imprisonment, respectively.”

  3. Gunmen kill Islamic cleric, his son, student in Pakistan (abcnews, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/gunmen-kill-islamic-cleric-son-student-pakistan-76163595

    “A trio of gunmen shot and killed a religious cleric, his teenage son and a student on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, police said, amid a rise in militant attacks.

    Police officer Shahzad Khan said the killing took place in the Bhara Kahu neighborhood when Mufti Ikramur Rehman was heading toward his car with his 13-year-old son and a seminary student late Saturday night.

    He said three assailants fired several shots before fleeing the scene. The cleric, his son and the student received multiple gunshot wounds and died at a hospital.

    No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and Khan said an investigation was underway to ascertain the identity of the assailants and the motive behind the killings.

    Ikramur Rehman was affiliated with the party of firebrand cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads an 11-party opposition alliance to topple the government.

    Militant violence in Pakistan is on the rise. Last week, four vocational school instructors who advocated for women’s rights were traveling together when they were gunned down in a Pakistan border region. A Twitter death threat against Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai attracted an avalanche of trolls who heaped abuse on the young champion of girls education. A couple of men on a motorcycle opened fire on a police check-post not far from the Afghan border killing a young police constable.

    In recent weeks, at least a dozen military and paramilitary men have been killed in ambushes, attacks and operations against militant hideouts, mostly in the western border regions.”

  4. Three Arrested After 30-Minute Long Fireworks Attack On Police Station (breitbart, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/28/three-arrested-after-30-minute-long-fireworks-attack-on-police-station/

    “Three people were arrested in the French commune of Sarcelles after a mob of around 30 individuals laid siege to a local police station with fireworks for nearly half an hour.

    Police sources say the attack began at around 7:25 pm on Thursday evening and that the mob of 30 or so people pelted the police station with fireworks and other projectiles but noted that no one had been injured during the lengthy assault.

    According to a report from broadcaster Franceinfo, the group of individuals used so-called mortar fireworks during the 30-minute assault, which have become popular with youth in no-go areas and have been used often in recent scenes of urban violence and attacks on police officers.

    Last year, police union spokesman Rocco Contento explained that the fireworks, which consist of a tube with a firework inside, are popular as they can be easily aimed at targets and launched without harm to the user.

    He noted that while a special clearance is required to buy the fireworks at a retailer in France, the mortars can be easily obtained through the internet.

    The attack on the police station in Sarcelles is just the latest such attack in recent months. Last October, a police station in Champigny-sur-Marne was attacked by a group of 40 people who tried to break into the station using iron bars against the glass door entrance.

    Several police vehicles were damaged and windows of the station were smashed and no one was arrested in connection with the attack, which took place in what was described as an “agitated” neighbourhood by former deputy mayor François Cocq.

    In November, another police station came under siege by attackers wielding Molotov cocktails in the more rurally located commune of Cahors. One police vehicle was totally destroyed by fire in the incident, which sparked outrage from local police unions.

    The Alliance Police Nationale Occitanie commented on the attack noting that it proved anti-police violence and “anti-cop hatred” was not just a problem in urban areas of France.

    Attacks on police officers have also become more and more common across France in recent years, with a recent report from the statistical services of the French Ministry of the Interior noting that within the past 20 years, attacks had more than doubled.”

  5. Sadiq Khan Demands Mail-in Voting for London Mayoral Election (breitbart, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/28/sadiq-khan-pushes-for-postal-voting-in-mayoral-election/

    “London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the expansion of postal voting in the upcoming local elections, claiming that the “disproportionate” effect of the Chinese coronavirus on ethnic minorities and the elderly will reduce voter turnout.

    Mr Khan has been serving as the unelected Mayor of London for nearly a whole extra year after the regular elections were cancelled in March of 2020 during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In a letter to Constitution Minister Chloe Smith, Khan demanded that the government fund the distribution of postal voting forms to every household in the areas having elections this May.

    “I am still concerned at the potential for low voter turnout, given the circumstances under which the elections will be held,” the mayor wrote, per The Independent.

    “We know that the virus disproportionately affects Bame people, as well as older and vulnerable people, and we must ensure that they are similarly not disproportionately affected when it comes to being able to cast their vote.

    “I welcome the government’s move to make it easier to vote by proxy and the publication of the Election Delivery Plan, but I urge you to go further.

    “I am therefore calling on you to launch a widespread public awareness campaign on postal vote registration [and] make further funding available to local authorities to send postal vote registration forms to every household.”

    Mr Khan claimed that the issue of postal voting is not a “party political issue” but is rather about maximising “participation in our democracy”.

    The Conservative government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this month that it would be introducing a voter ID requirement in elections starting from 2023…”

  6. News flash: Democracy has already been undermined by the Left’s behavior since 2016 – Liberty Unyielding
    J.E. Dyer
    10-13 minutes

    News flash: Democracy has already been undermined by the Left’s behavior since 2016

    Image via Mental Recession

    If one thing has been a repetitive propaganda theme since July 2016, it’s that the American people’s faith/belief/confidence in “democracy” and/or “our democratic institutions” is in danger of being undermined by something Trump/Republicans/conservatives (and of course Russia) are doing.

    It always seemed to take the media and Democratic politicians to point the mischief out. If they didn’t, no one would think there was anything nefarious and democracy-undermining going on, when memes were shared on Facebook. People would sensibly recognize that Hillary Clinton is not being hauled off to prison in an orange jumpsuit, regardless of what silly images someone posts. Folks would continue to think whatever they already thought about what she may be guilty of, what Donald Trump’s character is, etc., etc.

    Over-caffeinated twenty-somethings trolling social media from anonymous office buildings in St. Petersburg (the Russian original, not the one with the MLB team) really don’t have the power to steer the American vote with memes and illiterate blog posts that do nothing more than reflect sentiments Americans already hold.

    https://libertyunyielding.com/2021/02/28/news-flash-democracy-has-already-been-undermined-by-the-lefts-behavior-since-2016/

    • If you can, please make up the same post in a text editor, then copy paste from that to the site. Simpler the text editor the better. Like Text edit or notepad as opposed to Word.

      I don’t know what happened, but the firewall sometimes blocks posts with certain kinds of code that can be scraped from other sites with text, if you included some of that.

      If it was just you writing, it should be fine. But I don’t code wordpress I just operate this instance of it on this site. Also there is the firewall which is not the one we used to use.

      • Thank you for the reply. I think that the problem could have been the fact that my usual VPN server was not available and I had to use other(several) sites in different countries/states and this occasionally induces rejection by firewalls who often dislike a change of apparent abode.
        I never save my posts as I have enough rubbish on my drives already but I guess that I should do so, temporarily at least, especially as one post was a minor essay comparing Zelazny’s Lord of Light world to the Globalist future that I see as a possibility. Now in reflection I realize that it was a little esoteric.
        But one point remains: The extremely rich who think themselves the new aristocrats see all others as inferiors and as such they do not consider their own ethics in how they treat each other to be applicable to such inferiors. Extend this to medical research and I am certain that such movies as “The Island” are not fictional but being organized already. The rich fear death so why should they worry if killing 1000s of inferiors keeps them alive? Killing or sterilizing 80% of the world is nothing to them as we are no longer their idea of human.

        • Yes I think you are describing a process that led to the expression,

          “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

          Two things need to be added to that. The process it describes is damn nearly inevitable and is in fact inevitable over time.

          And secondly, when that expression was coined, Google/Facebook/Twitter etc. did not exist so its one order of magnitude short.

          Yes, our firewall like all AI firewalls, detect a VPN which has been used recently to attack sites with DDoS. Whenever I try and reach a website and it appears to be down, i change VPN servers and try again and it nearly always works that way.

          This just means whatever proxy server I was using is now marked as malicious by the firewall.

          So yeah i bet thats it!

  7. The Ontario COVID website:

    Masks fit:
    Non-medical masks or face coverings :

    * fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops

    * maintain their shape after washing and drying

    * be made of at least 2 layers and tightly woven material ( such as cotton or linen).

    * be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.

    FACE COVERINGS WILL NOT PROTECT YOU FROM GETTING COVID-19.

    • The Ontario government states on their site “”Face coverings will not protect you from getting COVID-19, then why are we being told to wear masks?

  8. Denmark: Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters march through Copenhagen

    Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters marched through Copenhagen on Saturday.

    The demonstration comes as the government announced on Wednesday that the restrictions will be eased in March, with some schools set to reopen.

    The rally was organised by the ‘Men In Black’ movement which has held several protests in Denmark in recent months attracting thousands of supporters.

  9. Italy: Communist Party members hold Milan rally against Draghi government

    Dozens of Communist Party members held a protest in Milan on Saturday against Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government.

    The rally at Piazza della Scala was part of a nationwide call to action by Marco Rizzo, the leader of the Communist Party.

    Italy has faced a political crisis since the start of the year, following a rebellion from the Italia Viva party over EU recovery fund spending plans. As a result of a disagreement, the party pulled out of the coalition government and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned over the split.

    Mario Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief, took over as the cabinet leader earlier in February with a task to solve the economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    *SOUNDBITE*

    SOT, Communist Party member (Italian): “Marco Rizzo finally came into politics. I understood that the policies he would like to have are the same that I would like, so I immediately joined the party.”

    • Italy: Communist Party supporters protest against Draghi government in Rome

      Dozens of members of Italy’s Communist Party gathered at Rome’s San Silvestro Square on Saturday to protest against the government of Mario Draghi.

      Demonstrators believe that the new prime minister would go too far in aligning with the EU and NATO policies at the expense of the country’s interests.

      “We know Draghi well. He is a banker. He has followed the interests of the European Central Bank. He worked for Goldman Sachs. He has privatised in our country and has been part of the Troika in Greece. For this reason. We believe that a banker cannot look after the interests of our country,” said Marco Rizzi, the Communist Party leader.

      Similar protests against the new cabinet organised by the party took place in other major Italian cities.

      Spokesperson of Communist Party in Italy giving speech (Italian): “Draghi now has no need for intermediaries. He has come directly to govern you. We are fully aligned with the European Union and NATO.” *UPSOUND*

      SOT, Marco Rizzo, Communist Party leader (Italian): “We know Draghi well. He is a banker. He has followed the interests of the European Central Bank. He works for Goldman Sachs. He has privatised our country and he has been part of the Troika in Greece. For this reason, we believe that a banker cannot look after the interests of our country. From the working classes and the impoverished middle classes. That is why here in Rome and in 20 major Italian cities we began to wage this battle against the Draghi government. To give encouragement to our country. To give the Italian people what they work for. For those who truly produce wealth in the country”.

  10. https://spectator.us/book-and-art/pbs-henry-louis-gates-downplay-crimes-against-humanity-ottoman-genocide-tony-shalhoub/
    I think the question not asked is “why?”.

    In PBS’s Finding Your Roots, celebrity guests learn about their genealogies from the Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates. The guest on February 9 was the Lebanese-American actor Tony Shalhoub. The episode made several false or misleading statements that downplayed what historians now call the ‘30-year genocide’ – the mass killings perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Christians from the 1890s through the 1910s.

    In his academic specialty, African and African American studies, Gates is acutely aware of violence and discrimination. Episodes of Finding Your Roots often dwell on the legacy of slavery for black and white Americans alike. Yet Gates never once uttered the words ‘genocide’, ‘extermination’ or even ‘ethnic cleansing’ to describe Ottoman atrocities.

    Shalhoub’s paternal grandfather, Gates says, ‘found himself in the army, likely serving in what was called a labor battalion’. Justifying the policy of conscription, Gates told Shalhoub, ‘Remember, how long I said that empire existed? Four hundred years. It was about to come to an end, man… The rubber hit the road.’

    This was not standard military conscription. It was a manifestation of a program of concealed genocide. Labor battalions used only the people that the Ottomans saw as expendable: Christians. Their death rates were staggering. Elias Venezis, a Greek survivor, wrote that only 23 out of the 3,000 men in his labor battalion survived the war.

    Next, Gates talks about the hardship that befell Shalhoub’s grandmother:

    ‘In March of 1915, a locust plague descended on the Middle East, destroying more than 60 percent of Mount Lebanon’s summer crops… Soon, the region was ravaged by famine and disease.’

    Yet the famine had man-made causes. From 1915 to 1918, Mount Lebanon was under the bloody fist of Djemal Pasha, one of the infamous ‘Three Pashas’ who oversaw the Ottoman Empire’s uniquely genocidal involvement in World War One. His brutality and cruelty were so notorious that he was known as ‘Djemal the Butcher’. During the War, Djemal applied the Ottomans’ divide-and-rule strategy to the Levant. The Maronite Christian population had historic ties to the French and the British. The Ottoman despots feared that the Maronites would sooner aid France and Britain than continue to endure their abusive rule. In a characteristic act of Ottoman inhumanity, Djemal imposed a land blockade on the Mount Lebanon region to starve it into submission. Recent articles have identified the blockade as the leading cause of the devastating famine, which killed as much as half of the population of Mount Lebanon.

    The blurring of the Ottomans’ genocidal record continued:

    ‘[Shalhoub’s great-grandfather] died in 1895, in a region of the Ottoman Empire which was then part of Armenia. At the time, Armenian nationalists were pressing for political reforms, and the Ottoman state decided to make an example of them. An estimated 150,000 people died in massacres that made international headlines.’

    Though he does not name them, Gates is speaking of the Hamidian massacres of 1894-1897, during which as many as 400,000 Armenians and other Christians were killed. Gates wrongly identified these killings as the politically motivated repression of Armenians. Instead, these were the overtures of the methodical slow-moving genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities that accelerated during World War One.

    In the Hamidian massacres, Ottoman authorities incited mob violence against Christians. Turkish historian Taner Akçam, who has spent his career fighting against Armenian genocide denial, faults Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s policy of pan-Islamism for causing the violence against Christians. ‘The attacks,’ Akçam writes, ‘had the nature of pogroms’ against Jews. ‘The state unleashed its attacks on the slightest provocation, calculating that this would bind Muslims more closely to the empire… The goal was for Muslims to look upon attacks against Christians as the fulfillment of a religious duty.’

    In the authoritative Cambridge History of Christianity, Anthony O’Mahony writes that the Hamidian massacres ‘were not, however, limited to the Armenians, and the Syrian Christians of the region also suffered terrible losses. Figures vary, but one contemporary account puts the number of Syrian dead at 25,000, including 3,000 burnt alive in the cathedral of Edessa in which they had taken shelter
    continued on the site

    • Part of the concerted effort by the globalists to have all of our descendants as knuckle dragging morons so that we are all now equal. Except for our divine superiors, of course!

      • Perhaps bringing all the low IQ barbarians, to be the mates of all the low IQ women who find them irresistible, is part of the master plan.

  11. Ankara Reportedly Summons Iranian Envoy After Tehran’s Criticism of Turkish Operation in Iraq (sputniknews, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202102281082212226-ankara-reportedly-summons-iranian-envoy-after-tehrans-criticism-of-turkish-operation-in-iraq/

    “The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the Iranian ambassador in Ankara, Mohammad Farazmand, after Tehran condemned Turkey’s military operation in northern Iraq, the Anadolu news agency reported, citing diplomatic sources.

    According to the sources cited by Anadolu, Farazmand was informed about Ankara’s rejection of accusations voiced by Iran’s envoy in Baghdad and was told that Turkey is fighting against terrorists who also threaten Iraq’s stability and sovereignty. In addition, the Turkish ministry reportedly told the Iranian ambassador that Ankara expected Tehran to support its fight against terrorism and not oppose it.

    In mid-February, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that the country’s armed forces had completed an operation in Iraq’s northern region of Gara, killing nearly 50 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Turkish military also found the bodies of 13 Turkish citizens kidnapped by the PKK. Turkey considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization and accuses its fighters of abducting its nationals and launching deadly attacks on border towns. It has been making inroads into Iraq despite objections from the Iraqi government.

    Weeks later, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, said that Tehran rejects what he called Ankara’s military intervention in Iraq and demanded a withdrawal of Turkish troops from the country. In response, Turkey’s ambassador in Baghdad, Fatih Yildiz, said on Saturday that Masjedi was “the last person to lecture Turkey about respecting borders of Iraq.””

  12. https://twitter.com/RealBasedMAGA/status/1365313690107596800/photo/1

    Encourage men to pee sitting down to be more inclusive of trans men (wot? no willys?)

    Personally as the male member does not come with accurate sights and it has no desire to even follow the direction of pointing, I think that this is a wonderful idea as I am sick of cleaning up the “fallout” especially that of young males who cannot resist giving bugs a good wash during the process

  13. UN says 15 Europe-bound migrants die at sea off Libya (abcnews, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/15-europe-bound-migrants-die-sea-off-libya-76165081

    “At least 15 Africans drowned when their boat capsized Sunday off Libya, a U.N. spokeswoman said, the second shipwreck involving migrants seeking a better life in Europe in just over a week.

    Safa Msehli, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, said the dead were on a rubber boat carrying at least 110 migrants, who embarked from the Libyan coastal town of Zawiya on Friday.

    The boat started to sink early Sunday and the Libyan coast guard managed to rescue at least 95 migrants, including six women and two children, she said.

    Msehli said many of the survivors suffered from burns from engine fuel, and hypothermia, with some taken to hospital.

    “It is an additional tragedy that in most cases, there is very little search to recover the bodies. The sight of bodies washing ashore later has sadly become too familiar,” she added.

    Sunday’s shipwreck was the latest along the Central Mediterranean migration route. At least 41 migrants were reported dead last week, part of a group of some 120 migrants on a dinghy that left the North African country on Feb. 18…”

  14. Al-Maliki: Iranian generals control Houthi militia (saudigazette, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/603940/SAUDI-ARABIA/Al-Maliki-Iranian-generals-control-Houthi-militia

    “Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman of the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, stated that the Houthi militia is the only terrorist group in the world that possesses military capabilities because of the support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

    “Our defenses have so far intercepted 526 drones and 346 ballistic missiles, and no country in the world has been able to intercept such numbers of ballistic missiles and drones.

    “The Houthi attacks are linked to the dictates of Iranian generals who control the militias in the occupied Sanaa,” Al-Arabiya.net reported quoting him as saying in a telephone conversation on Saturday.

    Al-Maliki emphasized that the Coalition has the capabilities to deal with threats that target civilians, considering civilians a “red line in the event of any harm to them.”

    “We have competence in monitoring ballistic missiles and drones upon their launch,” he said while noting that Houthis suffered more than 3,000 deaths in their attack on Marib.

    It is noteworthy that the Saudi defense forces have foiled on Saturday six air threats from the Houthi militias within two hours.”

  15. This from my husband:
    Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC have “ceased operations”, the club said on Sunday.

    Owners Suning said they were closing down the club to focus on their core retail business in the country.

    Jiangsu won their first league title in November 2020.

    Suning chairman Zhang Jindong, speaking earlier in February, said: “We will focus on retail business resolutely and without hesitation will close and cut down our business irrelevant to retail.”

    M Now Chinese companies have apparently been investing in not a few European clubs and throwing money at local clubs to become competitive and for the Chinese champions to fold like this has to be a reflection of the damage done to China’s economy. Let us hope that this is correct.

  16. London-based high-tech company tackling online extremism

    Moonshot CVE employs 40 people working in 15 languages, including English, French and Arabic, on 76 projects in 28 countries, with clients ranging from governments to technology firms

    LONDON: Vidhya Ramalingam believes it’s always possible to change, even for people deeply involved in the murky online world of extremism.

    Her company Moonshot CVE has the ambitious aim of trying to get anyone tempted by violence back on the straight and narrow.

    Over the last four years, the London-based startup has grown quietly but not anonymously, if a recent partnership deal with Facebook is anything to go by.

    US national Ramalingam and the firm’s co-founder Ross Frenett previously worked as researchers into extremism and believe radical groups are often one step ahead when it comes to technology.

    “There was a lot of recognition that terrorists were using the internet in creative ways, that they were reaching young audiences, that they were able to innovate,” she told AFP in an interview.

    “Yet those of us that were trying to counter them simply were moving too slowly and had too many constraints to actually replicate those methods for counter-terrorism purposes.”

    That led to the idea of a technology startup able to keep up with and fight against all forms of violent extremism to nationalists and even “incels.” But greater visibility has forced the company to take more security measures because of the sensitive nature of its work — and the potential for violence from the people it tracks.

    The address of Moonshot CVE’s London offices is kept secret and most of its staff have no visible online presence.

    Just to get into its premises in a nondescript building in the British capital, visitors have to pass through heavy armor-plated doors and a security check.

    “We take precautions,” said Ramalingam. “We work on high-risk issues and we try and put as much into the public domain as possible.”

    The startup’s name refers to the act of launching a rocket to the moon — and gives an indication of its stellar ambition. The CVE stands for countering violent extremism.

    It employs 40 people working in 15 languages, including English, French and Arabic, on 76 projects in 28 countries, with clients ranging from governments to technology firms.

    One project is a collaboration with the Canadian government against the far-right. Another works with the UN on online extremist content in Asia.

    The company has also had a partnership for several years with Google, using online advertising to target people looking up violent extremism on the net.

    The Facebook contract involves Moonshot analizing how effective the social network could be to “deradicalize” users looking up extremist content.

    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1568411/business-economy

    =========================================

    La Presse – Thèse complotistes

    […]L’entreprise britannique Moonshot CVE, qui a dressé cet inquiétant tableau en scrutant le trafic internet dans les principales grandes villes canadiennes, s’est officiellement donné pour mission de « déstabiliser » l’extrémisme violent sur la Toile.

    La solution qu’elle met de l’avant : offrir de la musique métal hardcore « de haute qualité » aux personnes qui adhèrent à ces idéologies, explique Micah Clark, directeur de la section canadienne de Moonshot.

    Dans le cadre d’un programme financé par le ministère canadien de la Sécurité publique, Moonshot achète des publicités sur Google, qui s’affichent dans les résultats de recherche lorsque des internautes explorent des thèmes d’extrême droite, comme les théories du « Grand Remplacement » et du « génocide des Blancs ». Les liens proposés mènent vers des listes de lecture de musique provocatrice à l’esthétique similaire aux styles de musique heavy métal typiquement prisés par les adeptes de l’extrême droite, mais dépourvus de paroles fascistes violentes.

    L’idée peut paraître étonnante. Elle est cependant cohérente avec le constat fait par de nombreux spécialistes des mouvements extrémistes : chercher à « déradicaliser » les personnes qui ont épousé ces théories est voué à l’échec. Les experts préfèrent parler d’une approche de « désengagement des idées radicales », par laquelle ils poussent les personnes vers un schème de pensée moins toxique.

    […]Moonshot assure que son programme, financé par une subvention de 1,5 million accordé en 2018 par le ministère fédéral de la Sécurité publique, fonctionne relativement bien auprès des Canadiens. Sur plus de 170 000 recherches liées à l’extrême droite faites sur Google depuis le début de la pandémie, 2500 ont mené à un clic de souris vers du contenu musical qu’elle a poussé. « Ça représente plus de 54 heures de musique », note M. Clark.

    Mooshot espère maintenant étendre son programme en utilisant la même méthode pour attirer les internautes vers des ressources d’aide sociale et psychologiques locales.
    «Notre but, dit M. Clark, c’est de connecter le monde virtuel avec le monde réel. »

    https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/enquetes/2021-02-28/theses-complotistes/comment-je-suis-tombe-la-dedans.php

    ============================================
    MOONSHOT CVE – We connect vulnerable individuals with Positive contents

    We reach people at risk of violent extremism and offer them an alternative path.

    Our work is rooted in evidence, ethics and the fundamental belief that people can change.

    https://moonshotcve.com/vision/

    ==============================================

    Vidhya Ramalingham discusses how Moonshot CVE employs the redirect method to challenge assumptions by delivering alternative, informative content to online audiences.

    • Moonshot CVE – From Shitposting to Sedition: 2020 US Elections Report

      Tracking and countering theories, disinformation and violence aroud the 2020 US presidential election.

      This report details our efforts, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, to track and counter US election-related violence and disinformation from September to December 2020. The report details how we used advertising to reach individuals who searched online for violent extremist material and redirect them to non-violent content that exposed the falsehoods of extremist narratives.

      Moonshot safeguarded over 34,000 searches related to violence or violence-inciting disinformation related to the election. Their advertising took users to safer content selected to help users disengage from harm – including harm caused by QAnon conspiracy theories. The recommended content was viewed for more than 33 hours in total.

      The report includes:

      – Real-world searches broken down by US state and county;
      – Thematic sections on Armed Groups, Conspiracy Theories, Political Violence and Targeted Violence;
      – Analysis of activity on Parler, Telegram, Gab, 4chan, MeWe, MyMilitia, Zello;
      Coverage of the QAnon community’s worrying suicidal ideation and pivot to anti-vax conspiracies.

      https://moonshotcve.com/from-shitposting-to-sedition/

      =========================================

      PDF ( 53 pages )

      INTRODUCTION

      […]The project unfolded against the backdrop of increased risk
      of violence by right-wing violent extremists and a global
      pandemic that has led to unprecedented social isolation
      and a dramatic increase in internet usage by all Americans,
      including those most at risk of involvement in right-wing
      extremist violence.

      We monitored and responded to a range of far-right
      extremist groups and movements
      that sought to exploit pain
      and chaos for their own ends. Groups from the Boogaloo
      Bois and Proud Boys to the Three Percenters and Oath
      Keepers navigated a diverse range of platforms, including
      mainstream platforms like Twitter and YouTube and fringe
      platforms like MyMilitia, Zello, MeWe and Gab

      At the same time, and ofen in the same spaces, adherents
      to disinformation theories like QAnon and FEMA death
      camps wove a web of conspiracy and impending doom
      about the election, while pinning their hopes on a violent,
      anti-democratic plot to arrest or assassinate political
      opponents.

      https://moonshotcve.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL_From-Shitposting-to-Sedition_Moonshot_ADL.pdf

      =============================================

    • FEB 23 2021 – THE HILL – A Moonshot against extremism

      When armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, Vidhya Ramalingam wasn’t surprised.

      A day earlier, her company Moonshot CVE, which monitors and combats online extremism, set up a crisis team in response to a flood of indications that the pro-Trump rally scheduled for Washington could turn violent.

      Moonshot works to pull back from the brink people who have been inculcated into white supremacist movements, conspiracy theories and radical ideologies, and it offered crisis intervention to some 270,000 high-risk users around the time of the Capitol breach.

      “For organizations like ours that have been working on domestic violent extremism for many years, and in the run up to the election and the months that followed, this was not a surprise, that this attack happened,” Ramalingam said.

      But even the 33-year-old Ramalingam, who has spent her entire career focused on the issue both domestically and abroad, says the widespread nature of radicalization in the U.S. is alarming.

      “It’s a very scary moment in America right now. I mean, the implications are so wide-reaching,” she told The Hill in a recent interview. “There’s just the potential for so much more violence right now.”

      Ramalingam got her start embedding herself with white nationalist groups in Sweden for two years as part of her graduate studies.

      “It was really tough. I spent a lot of time around people saying and spouting lies about people of color and about immigrants and people like me, so there were moments that were really horrible to sit and listen to,” she said.

      But the experience helped open a window into their world and how people become radicalized.

      “Some of them had life experiences that had led them here. And for me, it was really important to see that in order to then start to piece together, well, how could you get someone out?” she said.

      When far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people in Norway in July 2011, the European Union tapped Ramalingam to lead its first intergovernmental initiative to respond to right-wing terrorism, a job she held for three years.

      She worked on deradicalizing initiatives such as Exit Germany and Exit Sweden that included efforts setting up counseling interventions and training family members and loved ones.

      She also sits on the board of Life After Hate, a U.S.-based group that provides similar interventions along with building a network of former extremists to push back on extremist content.

      But Ramalingam says the problem needs larger-scale responses, something that became clear with the rise of ISIS and its use of social media to radicalize people.

      “There was this sense of defeat, that the terrorists were winning and that they were just better than we were, they were able to use technology better,” she said.

      The London-based Moonshot, which opened its D.C. office this week, seeks to scale up monitoring and intervention using the kinds of targeting that have become commonplace in business to build personalized responses.

      The company counts a slew of governments, the United Nations and major tech companies such as Facebook and Google among its funders, and groups including the Anti-Defamation League among its partners.

      “Technology can actually have the power to scale up really deeply personalized interactions the same way that every single advertisement we see is personalized towards me, my gender, my behavior online, my identity, where I live,” said Ramalingam.

      “It really is literally the same thing that Coca-Cola is doing to sell us more Coke. We’re using those same tools to reach people and try and offer them safer alternatives, and either save their lives or save other people’s lives.”

      Those efforts, which range from widely used platforms such as Google and Facebook to more niche ones such as Gab and Telegram, have led to some surprising results.

      While countering facts and ideological debates seldom work to engage people online, a more empathic approach seems to yield gains. In a recent round of tests, Moonshot’s target audience was 17 percent more likely to engage with posts featuring the simple message that “anger and grief can be isolating” compared to other tested messages.

      Other content focused on deescalating anger andeven breathing exercises also found fertile ground.

      But Ramalingam says the threat is also evolving.

      “We’ve seen this kind of blending and metastasization of various once-distinct ideologies, groups and movements. You know, everything from white supremacist and neo-Nazis with armed groups and anti-vaxxers and election conspiracies,” she says.

      “These groups weren’t always coordinating, and now we’re suddenly seeing this mess online come together.”

      There are a slew of factors at play, including what Ramalingam says is a tepid response from technology companies that have “systematically overlooked and been unwilling to respond” to the threat, though the Capitol insurrection last month could be changing that. Tech platforms, she notes, were far more aggressive when dealing with ISIS and have proven tools on issues such as suicide prevention that show how much more they could be doing.

      Another major contributor to the problem has been the willingness of people in positions of power to bolster conspiracy theories and misinformation, whether through full-throated endorsements or more subtle means, such as winking claims that questions remain in actual clear-cut cases or that certain facts are unknowable.

      “Political leaders and people in that level of power should absolutely not be lending any credence to conspiracy theories and disinformation. Lending even the tiniest inkling of credence to those conspiracy theories is hugely dangerous because of the position of power that they’re in,” she said.

      Ramalingam is no stranger to Washington, having grown up just a few hours away and later testifying before Congress on the threat of white nationalism.

      She says she has been in touch with senior members of the Biden administration on how to take a whole-of-government approach to combatting right-wing extremism, which FBI Director Christopher Wray says is the top terrorism threat the country faces.

      https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/539976-a-moonshot-against-extremism

    • STUDY: Arizonans seeking extremist, conspiracy, violent content online

      PHOENIX — A recent study found Arizonans sought out violent extremism and conspiracy theories online more than almost any other state.

      The report was done by Moonshot CVE, a London-based tech company specializing in researching and countering extremism, and the Anti-Defamation League.

      The groups found that in the months before and after the election, new posts on a popular Militia website increased 44% among Arizonans, which was the most in the country.

      “Arizona was consistently in the top five states in terms of interest and at-risk content across the U.S, especially for armed groups like the Oath Keepers, 3 Percenters, and other groups like that,” said Micah Clark, Director of Product for Moonshot CVE.

      Arizona also led the United States when it came to conspiracy theory searches.

      “There’s very strong interest in conspiracy theories in Arizona – certainly QAnon but also old chestnuts of conspiracy,” said Clark.

      Researchers believe that Arizona’s increased interest is likely tied to the arrest of the self-proclaimed “QAnon Shaman,” Jacob Chansley.

      The costume wearing, Arizona native was a fixture at Valley events and one of the most recognizable people who stormed the Capitol on January 6. He is currently in federal custody in DC awaiting trial.

      While some may be quick to dismiss online searches with potential violence, Clark says the radicalization and justification process online has real-world consequences.

      “It’s the same Internet and a lot of times the same sort of online population,” said Clark. “Because no one just wakes up one morning and decides they want to figure out how to make C-4 so they can overthrow the government.”

      Unfortunately, Arizona is also top two in searches related to “targeted violence.”

      “Searches like, ‘How to make C-4? How to find a copy of the anarchist cookbook?’ that indicate a sort of high-risk behavior and information seeking in Arizona.”

      A question many have — will extremism continue gaining momentum?

      “The less attention these groups are given, the less likely it is that they will be all that active and able to recruit new members and proselytize,” said Clark.

      Clark also noted that many extremist groups, including militias, are being de-platformed by major social media companies which hinder their ability to recruit, organize, and thrive.

      He also said that the QAnon theory has lost some steam.

      “There’s a tremendous amount of disillusionment among the QAnon community, in particular. In so far as the Q prophecies just did not come to pass…I think that may reduce threat overtime.”

      Others though, think extremism will continue to attract interested people across the country and especially in Arizona.

      “This is an extremist movement that we will be seeing for years to come, unfortunately,” said Jessica Reaves, Editorial Director at the ADL’s Center on Extremism.

      https://www.abc15.com/news/state/study-arizonans-seeking-extremist-conspiracy-violent-content-online

      ==================================================
      Oregon leads U.S. in armed militia interest, is breeding ground for ‘FEMA concentration camps’ conspiracy theory: report

      In the run-up to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Oregon led all states in per-capita internet searches for “armed groups” and conspiracy theories.

      This data comes from Moonshot CVE, an anti-extremism tech company that, from September to December 2020, tracked internet disinformation and threats of violence that were linked to the U.S. presidential election.

      The results don’t surprise University of Oregon political-science professor Joseph Lowndes, who studies populism, racial politics and far-right groups.

      “Oregon has seen a convergence of strong QAnon support, an active paramilitary milieu and, in Portland, Patriot Prayer,” he says.

      He points out that the state has been a longtime home to right-wing militia activity, spurred years ago by the reduction in federal timber payments as well as increasingly limited government services in some rural areas.

      “Militias moved in to take up some of that work, to act as first responders,” he says.

      The three most common Oregon searches in Moonshot’s data — and five of the top 10 — are tied to QAnon conspiracy theories. Coming in fourth is “Anarchist Cookbook,” a reference to a 50-year-old manual for bomb-making and related DIY activities.

      The London-based company’s February report, “From Sh–posting to Sedition,” also found that Oregon has spread a conspiracy theory that falsely claims there are “FEMA concentration camps.”

      The report references a 2020 YouTube video, shot outside a fenced-off empty lot at Northwest Broadway and Glisan streets in Portland, that insists there’s a “sinister plan dealing with the homeless” in the city.

      “The homeless will be fenced in. Barbed wire,” the video’s narrator says, before adding:

      “Everything that Alex Jones talked about for decades now, this stuff is becoming a reality.”

      (Jones, the founder of InfoWars, is a well-known conspiracy theorist who has been banned from Twitter and Facebook because of his false claims about school shootings and other events.)

      Lowndes, co-author of the 2019 book “Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity,” sees the decades-long development of conspiratorial thinking in Oregon as especially relevant.

      The state could be viewed as a “case study of where the national Republican Party is headed now,” he says.

      Michael McCarter, who heads up Move Oregon’s Border, a longshot effort to flip most of Oregon’s rural eastern and southern counties into Idaho, said in an email to supporters this week that the Moonshot report was proof that his objective is necessary. He argued that the liberal state government in Oregon “protects Antifa arsonists, not normal Oregonians.”

      “Divisions in Oregon are getting dangerous, so we see the relocation of the border as a way to keep the peace,” he wrote.

      The Moonshot report found that, with population weighting, Oregon led all states in internet searches for armed groups. Oregon was followed by Wyoming, Tennessee, Arizona and Idaho. Moonshot, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, defines armed groups as “non-state actors and organizations that bear arms to challenge the government’s authority.”

      Oregon also topped the list of searches for conspiracy theories, followed by Arizona, Washington, Illinois and California. And the state made the top 5 in searches that showed an “interest in political violence.”

      Curry was the Oregon county with the most per-capita searches “related to election violence.”

      Lowndes calls the Moonshot report, which he’s read, “sound enough as a research method; it provides good hard evidence.” He adds that one does have to be “cautious about what you extrapolate” from the data, pointing out that researchers don’t know why people searched for terms related to militia groups and election violence.

      Moonshot CVE, which is funded by the United Nations, various governments and big-tech companies such as Google, develops “databases of tens of thousands of keywords which indicate risk — for example, ‘join Oath Keepers’ — and runs ads against those keywords,” says company manager Clark Hogan-Taylor.

      The Moonshot ads are designed to be “violence prevention counter-content.”

      The private company was initially founded as an effort to derail Islamic State online recruiting. Now it has expanded to address white supremacy and anti-government activities.

      Moonshot just opened an office in Washington, D.C.

      “It’s a very scary moment in America right now,” Moonshot co-founder Vidhya Ramalingam recently told The Hill newspaper. “I mean, the implications are so wide-reaching. There’s just the potential for so much more violence right now.”

      Those implications reach deep into Oregon, the report concluded.

      Violence in Portland last summer motivated militia groups “to employ disinformation and propaganda to mischaracterize protest-related activities by their Black Lives Matter (BLM)/Antifa opponents,” the study states.

      It added:

      “Significant events [in Oregon], such as the West Coast wildfires and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, have given rise to even further disinformation in the state. For instance, disinformation regarding Antifa’s role in the wildfires and alleged Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) concentration camps in the state grew throughout Oregon’s wildfire season.”

      The report argues that the contentious 2020 election and its violent aftermath “wasn’t the beginning of the end, it was the end of the beginning.”

      https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2021/02/oregon-leads-us-in-armed-militia-interest-is-breeding-ground-for-fema-concentration-camps-conspiracy-theory-report.html

      • I guess that “”Polish Jews seeking information of supposed holocaust” would also be classified as such by this leftist idiot IF the IT was available in 1939-42.
        Typically looking at the ripples in the water and seeing them as the problem while ignoring the thrown missiles that cause them again a classical leftist/islamic method and Stalin/Goebbels would be proud.
        This is proof of the degree to which the Left will go to indoctrinate us and if that fails, to isolate us,

    • MARCH 2020 – CBS News – Extremists Next Door

      “In recent years, gaming and anonymous social media sites have become breeding grounds for right-wing extremists.

      Populated by (mostly) young white men disenchanted with their place in society, the platforms have become spaces where hate is normalized and disaffected young people are susceptible to radicalization.

      CBSN Originals’ Adam Yamaguchi reports parents, activists and even some former white nationalists are trying to find ways to stop it, but as much of the rhetoric is cropping up on mainstream platforms it’s proving to be an uphill battle.

  17. Asylum seekers cross US-Mexico border under ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy rollback

    Two groups of asylum seekers — who were ordered under former president Donald Trump to stay in Mexico while their requests were processed — cross into the US, as President Joe Biden’s administration begins dismantling the controversial “Remain in Mexico” program put in place by his predecessor.

  18. the guardian – New haircuts, old ideology: film warns of shifting far-right strategy in Europe

    They’ve ditched the shaven heads but, despite recent setbacks, they remain a threat, says film-maker Christian Schwochow

    Inside a university auditorium in Prague, a young man in a crisp black shirt and white trainers is railing against the pro-immigration politicians he holds responsible for a recent Islamist terror attack in Berlin. To build a safer Europe, he yells, “we have to get rid of those responsible for these murderous policies”.

    A woman in the crowd voices her support with a shout of “Sieg heil!”, but he is quick to shut her down: “That was yesterday.” Like-minded movements of the future will succeed by remaining outwardly respectable: “We can protect the foundations of Europe by occupying them,” he proclaims, his blue eyes sparkling, “by becoming economists, teachers, judges.”

    The scene, from a new film by German director Christian Schwochow, nods back to the 1968 student movement’s idea of a “long march through the institutions” that would culminate in revolution. But Je Suis Karl looks fearfully towards the future: a ruthless and committed group of far-right activists, the film imagines, could soon use the same strategy to upend Europe’s political order – and succeed.

    Premiering at the digitally held Berlin film festival this week, Schwochow’s cinematic warning cry comes at a timely moment. In France, Emmanuel Macron’s government is expected from Monday to start formal procedures to ban Generation Identity (Génération Identitaire), a social-media-savvy youth movement founded in 2012 that eschews the extreme right’s traditional antisemitism and nationalist rhetoric and instead advocates defending Europe’s “identity and culture”.

    The Identitarian Movement, which serves as more than just a loose inspiration for the “Re/Generation Europe” youth activists in Je Suis Karl, is also facing renewed scrutiny in Austria, where chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative-green coalition government is weighing up whether to ban the group’s symbol, a yellow lambda letter supposedly inspired by the shields of Spartan soldiers.

    In Germany, where the Identitarian Movement is under enhanced surveillance by the country’s domestic intelligence agency, a court in 2019 confirmed that the group can be classified as rightwing extremist in spite of its hip and cosmopolitan outward appearance.

    But the latest government crackdowns and Schwochow’s filmic study also inadvertently show how difficult it is to get a grip on a slippery movement with a knack for constant reinvention.

    Schwochow, who has already directed an acclaimed docudrama about the origins of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) neo-Nazi terror group, came up with the idea for Je Suis Karl almost seven years ago.

    “After doing a lot of research into the story of the NSU, we wanted to look more closely at the state of the far right now,” Schwochow told the Observer. “We found that the far right nowadays is less easily identifiable by their shaved heads or Doc Martens boots. They might be students with trendy haircuts.

    “We wanted to think one step ahead: where could this movement end up?”

    But in the time it took to research and produce the film, the Identitarian Movement has gone through its own cycle of boom and bust.

    Following a series of headline-grabbing stunts in the mid-2010s – scaling the roofs of prominent buildings, interrupting theatre shows – the group overreached itself with an attempt to ferry rescued migrants across the Mediterranean Sea to Africa. In 2017 their chartered boat had to suffer the indignity of being offered help by a pro-immigration NGO after suffering an engine failure off the coast of Libya.

    In 2018, the Identitarian Movement was kicked off Facebook; last year its Austrian leader Martin Sellner lost his YouTube channel and Twitter account. Sellner, the thinly veiled inspiration behind Schwochow’s protagonist Karl (played by Jannis Niewöhner), conceded in a recent article for German far-right magazine Sezession that censorship and deplatforming had made it harder to achieve his ambitions.

    “We have learned that certain strategies against the so-called new right can work”, said Andreas Peham, a researcher for Vienna’s Archive of Austrian Resistance. “For example to clearly and without exaggeration identify the way in which these movements are not as new as they claim to be. And sometimes it can help to not take them as seriously as they take themselves.”

    Schwochow nonetheless believes that the kind of far-right strategies he identifies in his film remain a threat. “Historically, far-right movements have often drawn advantage from being underestimated,” he said.

    “Our initial reaction is often: let’s laugh these guys with their funny uniforms and rituals out of town. But I believe there’s a real danger in not taking them seriously – in America, we have recently seen where that can lead to.”

    In Je Suis Karl, which will come to German cinemas in September, the hipster radicals develop a twin strategy to achieve their goal: infiltrating political and social institutions “through the main gate” while simultaneously carrying out false flag terror attacks to sway public opinion against Muslim minorities. Student leader Karl even manages to seduce the survivor of one of those attacks in Berlin (played by Luna Wedler) to support his cause.

    Julia Ebner, a researcher at London’s Institute for Strategic Dialogue who infiltrated the British branch of the Identitarian Movement and wrote a book about her experience, said she thought it was unlikely that a far-right movement would pursue such a twin strategy with the same personnel.

    “I don’t think the key players in the Identitarian Movement would risk being exposed for actually planning or carrying out a terror attack,” said Ebner. “But they have many sympathisers who listen to their words and act on them.”

    One of these sympathisers included the far-right terrorist who killed 51 people in at attack on a Christchurch mosque in 2019, who was later shown to have donated money to the Identitarian Movement’s French and Austrian branches, and exchanged messages with Sellner.

    As European governments now react to these findings with crackdowns on the Identitarian Movement, however, its protagonists have already donned new guises. In Austria, leading members have in recent months been seen at anti-immigration marches and rallies organised by new outfit, Die Österreicher (The Austrians).

    Instead of expounding the white supremacist conspiracy of a Grand Replacement to replace Europe’s white population with migrants from Africa and the Middle East, the new group now invokes the “great reset” narrative beloved by followers of the QAnon cult.

    In a recent article, Martin Sellner said he believed the “metapolitical shock” of the global pandemic could potentially increase the growth potential of his movement and “maybe even take us within proximity of political power”.

    “At the moment, the movement is a dormant volcano,” said Ebner. “But it is not hard to see how the aftermath of Covid-19 and a looming economic crisis could enable it to become more active and bigger. In the long term, I fear the pandemic could make them more and not less dangerous.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/28/new-haircuts-old-ideology-film-warns-of-shifting-far-right-strategy-in-europe

    ===============================================

    • Countering Extremism from the Inside with Julia Ebner

      The internet has radically transformed the way extremist groups organise themselves.

      Exploiting the tools at their disposal and taking advantage of susceptible people who might have been out of reach before, their ability to manipulate poses a direct threat to society and politics.

      Counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner shares her experience of going undercover to infiltrate these groups and what she learnt from her time in some of the darkest corners of the web.

  19. Turks Rename Aegean Sea As Part of Expansionist ‘Blue Homeland’ Plan (breitbart, Feb 28, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/28/turks-rename-aegean-sea-as-part-of-expansionist-blue-homeland-plan/

    “Turkey has begun to rename the Aegean sea as the “Sea of Isles” as part of it’s expansionist “Blue Homeland” plan, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan using the term in a recent conference.

    The Turkish term “Adalar Denizi” or “Sea of the Isles” is used as part of the Blue homeland ideology as, according to former chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Naval Forces, Cihat Yayc?, it negates any mention of Greece.

    Yayc?, who is one of the main theorists behind the Blue Homeland idea, claimed that the word Aegean has a Greek root and should not be used by Turkey when referring to the sea, which has also been referred to as the Northern Mediterranean by Jaiji in the past, Proto Thema reports.

    According to the newspaper, Yayc? has argued that the Aegean islands located near Turkey belong to the Turkish continental shelf, and used the example of the recent earthquake that rocked the island of Samos and noted that the Greek mainland was unaffected by the earthquake, while the Turkish port city of Izmir had also been affected by it and suffered serious damage.

    Earlier this year, Yayc? stated that the Turkish government of President Erdogan should not talk with Greece over disputes in the Aegean and claimed that Greece had no jurisdiction. He added that any talks could threaten the Blue Homeland doctrine as well.

    In January, Turkish government communications director Fahrettin Altun raised eyebrows after openly backing the Blue Homeland doctrine and stating that Turkey had a “strong claim throughout history” to the eastern part of the Mediterranean sea.

    Originally created by retired Turkish admiral Cem Gurdeniz over a decade ago, the Blue Homeland doctrine came into the spotlight last year when tensions between Greece and turkey increased over Turkish research vessel activity in the Aegean.

    At one point last summer, Greece put its armed forces on alert over the issue and some, such as former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, spoke out against Erdogan’s behaviour, stating that it may lead to military conflict.

    In early February, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke out against the German government’s continued plans to export several Type 214 Class submarines to Turkey despite the provocations from Ankara in the Aegean.”

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