Defining ‘True Islam’
by Sam Westrop
The American Spectator
October 8, 2019
|Washington Corrections Center “religious coordinator” Malik Shakoor mentors a group of inmates.|
When the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Washington, last week decided to hire its first Muslim chaplain — referred to obliquely as a “religious coordinator” — it also published an “infographic” that explains “true Islam.”
“Jihad,” we are told, “does not mean ‘holy war.’ Often mistranslated in Westernized media, the term simply means ‘to struggle’ or ‘to strive.'” Moreover, “Islam in its true form grants women man rights, and any Muslim man who oppresses women is not following the true words of Allah.”
Based on the cited source for this text, “man rights” is supposed to be “many rights.” In fact, the text for the infographic was not copied and pasted, but edited and condensed. It seems that a state government official saw fit to review and alter the text before publishing. Should a state governmental body be dictating what “true Islam” is?
Islam Needs Reformers, not Publicists Posted October 13th 2019
by A.J. Caschetta
The New English Review
Some excerpts of the original article, entitled “Islamic Reform: Craig Considine’s Bridge to Nowhere,” have been excluded.
|A crack publicist wouldn’t have done the Soviet Union much good.|
In the years since 9/11, the Islamic reform movement has advanced sufficiently that two distinct camps have emerged: reformers and bridge-builders. Genuine reformers seek to transform how Islam is practiced, while bridge-builders seek to improve how Islam is perceived, mainly by non-Muslims.
Reformers tend to be Muslims who fault their co-religionists from previous centuries for writing counterfeit stories about the prophet of Islam, and those alive today for believing those stories. Reformers denounce Koranic literalism.
A.J. Caschetta is a Ginsberg-Ingerman fellow at the Middle East Forum and a principal lecturer in the English Department of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Religion Today October 10th 2019
A prominent German Jewish group has accused police of “negligence” after a gunman killed two people during an attack on an east German synagogue.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany said it was “scandalous” that police were not protecting the synagogue in Halle on the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday.
The German police union (GdP) said police were too thinly spread for 24-hour protection of places of worship.
A 27-year-old man was arrested after the shooting, which was live-streamed.
About 2,200 people watched the live stream on the internet gaming platform Twitch.
“If police had been stationed outside the synagogue, then this man could have been disarmed before he could attack the others,” said the council’s president Josef Schuster on Deutschlandfunk public radio.
In a tweet, Mr Schuster added that it was “a miracle that there were no further casualties” during the incident in Halle, a city of over 230,000 people. About 60 worshippers were at a Yom Kippur service at the time.
German authorities have named the suspect only as Stephan B, a German national. Source BBC News
On Whitewashing Islamism, Some K-12 Programs Advance Jihad Posted October 6th 2019
by Mitchell Bard
The Daily Wire
September 30, 2019
You may have read about the proposed ethnic studies curriculum developed for California public high schools, which caused an uproar because of its biased treatment of Jews and Israel, support for the BDS movement, and fear that it fomented anti-Semitism. That is one of many battles over curricula as Islamists attempt to rewrite history and erase any mention of Islamic extremism.
The “Islamophobia” industry is engaged in a nationwide effort to whitewash the history and practice of Islam and perpetuate the myth that Islam has always been a religion of peace. These propagandists seek to silence their critics and smear anyone who exposes the truth as “Islamophobic.”
We have seen this effort on college campuses, which have received nearly $3 billion since 2012 from Arab/Muslim states and individuals who hope to influence the next generation of Americans to adopt their view of the Middle East. These investments have paid off in the hiring of apologists for Islamist terror who teach, write textbooks, and serve as sources for the media.
|Islamists are seeking to whitewash the history and practice of Islam in American public schools.|
Equally disturbing, as I wrote in The Arab Lobby, is an increasing effort to shape the views of children in K-12. The terror attacks on 9/11 provoked fear and misunderstanding about Muslims and Islam while political correctness allowed the lobby to present its sanitized version of events aimed at downplaying Arab/Muslim distinctions, ignoring differences in values and interests, and dismissing links between Islam and terror.
U.S. taxpayers underwrite some of these efforts through government-funded Title VI Middle East studies centers at major universities. Today’s “Islamophobia” lobby can have an exponential impact through these centers, whose mandate is to educate teachers about the region.
|U.S. taxpayers underwrite some of these efforts through Title VI grants to Middle East studies centers|
As I’ve documented, as part of their obligation to engage in outreach, Title VI centers often produce materials reflecting the lobby’s views that teachers pass on to students.
Advancing the same politicized agenda that rules academe, Islamist organizations have allied with leftwing interest groups and pressured publishers to revise textbooks to better reflect multicultural ideologies. The result is a reluctance to discuss negative aspects of Islam such as the discriminatory treatment of non-believers, women, and gays, the role of radical Muslims in terrorism, and the Islamist animus toward the United States, Israel, and the West. A 2008 study by Gary Tobin and Dennis Ybarra concluded:
Discovering in our schools a pervasive set of erroneous beliefs about such a vital topic should alarm every taxpayer, every parent, and every school official. To allow biased textbooks and outright propaganda in supplemental materials into the schools is to pervert the very purpose of public education and a misuse of our democratic system.
One such battle occurring in Virginia’s Loudoun County centers around the misrepresentation of the meaning of jihad. Loudoun’s presentation of jihad and Islamic terrorism were criticized for bias.
While it is understandable that American Muslims would not want their religion associated with radicalism, teaching that jihad is a wholly benign concept related to a believer’s internal struggle distorts the term’s meaning by ignoring its relationship to extremism even as terrorists – such as Palestine Islamic Jihad – use the word to convey their malignant mission.
|The Mountain Ridge Middle School in West Virginia taught students to write the shahada, the Muslim profession of faith, in Arabic.|
Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis explained that “Conventionally translated ‘holy war,’ [jihad] has the literal meaning of … ‘striving in the path of God’ (fi sabil Allah). Some Muslim theologians … have interpreted the duty of ‘striving in the path of God’ in a spiritual and moral sense. The overwhelming majority of early authorities … discuss jihad in military terms.”
The “Islamophobia” lobby might veto citing Lewis, a Jew smeared by critics as a Western-oriented propagandist, but textbook authors can also cite the medieval Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun, who wrote “In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.”
|According to the medieval Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun, “holy war is a religious duty” for those who practice the Islamic faith.|
Students can find a more contemporary definition in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, where Emile Tyan wrote “Jihad consists of military action with the object of the expansion of Islam.”
Learning the meaning of jihad is also key for students to understand the Middle East today, where the commitment to jihad by terrorist organizations such as Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hamas perpetuates the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Students should learn, for example, that Palestine Islamic Jihad considers jihad the only way to liberate Palestine. A Tel Aviv University analysis explains the group believes a “Muslim victory and the elimination of Israel are foreordained by God’s words in the Quran.”
By reading primary documents, students can see for themselves the true meaning of jihad. To understand the ideology of Hamas, teachers can direct them to the group’s charter, which states “There is no solution for the Palestine question except through jihad” and calls on Muslims to “raise the banner of jihad” to “rid the land and the people of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils.”
American public schools could also use material taught about Islam in Muslim schools. A study of Saudi textbooks, for example, found they “encourage both violent and non-violent jihad against non-believers.”
|American students should learn more about Islam, but not from apologists for Islamism.|
A Palestinian textbook for eleventh graders offered a definition of jihad very different from the one proposed for Loudoun school children: “Jihad is an Islamic term that equates to the term war in other nations. The difference is that jihad has noble goals and lofty aims and is carried out only for the sake of Allah and for His glory . . . .”
Unquestionably, students should learn more about Islam. But they should learn it from unbiased sources, not from apologists for Islamism. It is a disservice, and intellectually dishonest, to teach them a sanitized version of history that whitewashes the extremist elements of the religion. If the “Islamophobia” lobby has its way, the next generation will grow up unaware and unprepared to face the danger from Islamists who threaten American lives, values, and interests.
Mitchell Bard is a fellow at Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. He is the author or editor of 22 books, including the 2017 edition of Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict, The Arab Lobby, and the novel After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.
Did I Get James Baldwin Wrong? Posted August 20th 2019
Preface by Robert Cook
I heard on BBC Radio 4 today that a white female professor of literature in the U.S.A has been cleared of racism after several months of anxiety and uncertainty. Her crime was to correct a quote from writer James Baldwin who allegedly, according to the politically correct, said ‘I am not your negro. Outraging two white female students in her seminar by stating, ‘What James Baldwin actually said was ” I am not your nigger.” One of the students filed a complaint after the seminar and the professor was suspended, even though what she said was true.
I got to know Baldwin’s work via my best male friend and colleague at the Havant office of HM Inspector of Taxes near Portsmouth. His name was and still was, when I saw him a few months ago, Vernon Church.
Vernon is from Trinidad. I had never thought about racism before knowing him. There were no black people like him in the small country town where I came from.
Vernon knew I had ambitions to be a writer and musician and encouaged me, introducing me to Baldwin and letting me play his paino. We lived one road a way from each other on Havant’s infamous large Portsmouth overspill council estate, built in the grounds of the once great Leigh Park, home to one of the local aristocracy. Class was the only social divide that I knew of, and as it turned out, James Baldwin took the same view.
Vernon had all of Baldwin’s books. I read them eagerly. He also did his best to make me forget my lost love and local girl Helen Thurston from nearby Lovedean. My songs and musical aspirations were inspired by that lost love, but that is another story. Helen has always been my Muad Gonne.
The following was originally published February 5, 20176:04 PM ET
Writer James Baldwin at home in Saint Paul de Vence, South of France, in 1985. Ulf Andersen/Getty Images
In 1983, I was studying abroad in Nice, France, and while other exchange students were flitting from city to city, checking off items on their bucket lists, I craved only one European cultural experience:
I wanted to meet James Baldwin, the mandarin prophet and former boy preacher; the African-American expatriate writer who once used his European exile to explore, defy, and decry the delusional fiction of race that has organized our minds, our possibilities, our world, and now leads us toward the precipice of self-annihilation.
Baldwin changed the way I saw the world and who I thought I was as an African-American within it. He was the first writer to help me see clearly that race was a sickness that devoured both the racist and racism’s victims.
That must have been why, on a spring day in 1983, I jumped into a little red convertible MG, top down, driven by an insane Corsican friend; a good-timing lady’s man who proceeded to burn rubber around the kind of narrow, twisted, South-of-France mountain roads that had just killed Princess Grace of Monaco. We were headed to Saint-Paul de Vence, where I’d heard Baldwin lived.
My mind reeled back to that trip and that moment of hopeful youth as I watched Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck’s documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, which was released for wide distribution on Friday.
In June, 1979, at the age of 55, Baldwin started work on what the filmmaker called a portrait of America as seen through the stories of three of his friends, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. That work, other famous Baldwin passages, and mesmerizing videotaped interviews provide the soundtrack against stunning images that move the documentary from the recent riots near my home in St. Louis, Mo., to footage and photographs taken during the Civil Rights era.
‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Gives James Baldwin’s Words New Relevance
The effect of the film on me was staggering. The despairing James Baldwin on the screen was so different from the hopeful figure I thought I understood.
“To look around the United States today,” Baldwin says at one point, “is enough to make prophets and angels weep.”
In the film, I deeply felt Baldwin’s despair that followed the murders of his friends. But I felt none of the hope that I read in his writings; hope that somehow the struggle against racism could be won.
As I watched the film, I feared that the title of Peck’s documentary spoke directly to me, though I had read and reread (almost memorizing) many of the passages from Baldwin’s work that actor Samuel L. Jackson incants in a deep, gravely voice that is definitely not my own, and definitely not that of the writer.
I felt implicated when Baldwin said in the film, “I was in some way in those years, without entirely realizing it, the Great Black Hope of the great white father.” In my reverent memory of him, had I, too, made him into the “Negro,” the “Great Black Hope,” who would save America from itself? Had I, too, leaned too heavily for optimism on the man loving friends called “Jimmy”?
The Baldwin of my father’s books
I first became aware of Baldwin during my junior year abroad, years after his urgent usefulness as a civil rights figure had passed. My family never understood why I wanted to go to France, though there was a history of African-American intellectuals expatriating there during the Jim Crow years. I was raised middle class and comfortable in a white St. Louis suburb. Jim Crow was a bad American memory by then, and there was overtly nothing to flee. Still, before I left for Europe, my father, who taught African-American literature at a community college, linked me forever to the exiled writer. The night before I boarded my flight, he handed me a stack of books.
Over the coming months, as I read Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, the anthology Black Voices, and the short stories gathered in Going to Meet the Man, Baldwin’s voice and thinking transformed even the way I used language. It was magical.
In a eulogy after Baldwin’s death in 1987, poet Amiri Baraka defined this magic.
“Jimmy Baldwin was the creator of contemporary American speech even before Americans could dig that,” Baraka wrote. “He created it so we could speak to each other at unimaginable intensities of feeling, so we could make sense to each other at higher and higher tempos.”
Baldwin had given voice to my submerged thoughts about what it meant to be a black person, indissolubly and meaningfully connected to the larger world. Somehow, I felt that meeting him would also give meaning to my stay in France and help me understand the unfinished business of race relations that still haunted the American imagination.
So when my Corsican friend stepped into the French café where I was peacefully sipping a stream of bitter espressos and asked if anyone wanted to help him test-drive the used car he’d just bought, I was game.
“Let’s go to Saint-Paul de Vence,” I said, though I had no idea where Baldwin actually lived, or even if he was home.
Thirty years before I decided to risk my life on that trip, Baldwin left the United States for France to save his own life; not from the evils of Jim Crow, but from the ever-more threatening, fixed notions of an identity that he witnessed slowly killing his father and his friends and transforming him into just another unseen and expendable black boy.
In 1984, he told an interviewer for the Paris Review that he “knew what it meant to be white and I knew what it meant to be a nigger, and I knew what was going to happen to me. My luck was running out. I was going to go to jail, I was going to kill somebody or be killed. My best friend had committed suicide two years earlier, jumping off the George Washington Bridge.”
“I don’t know how it will come about,” Baldwin said of America’s racial reconciliation. “But no matter how it comes about it will be bloody. It will be hard.”
I wanted to meet the man with such a singular take on what it meant to live abroad. In one of the books my father gave me, Baldwin described the roots of his identity as a unique, roving figure. With no trace of shame, he told the poet Dan Georgakas: “I’m a black, funky, raggedy-ass shoeshine boy. If I forget that, it’s the end of me.”
As the red MG sped toward Saint-Paul de Vence, I closed my eyes to the distant azure sea and idyllic countryside flashing by and imagined meeting the brilliant consciousness that was Baldwin. I dreamt of the meeting the way jazz musicians dream of sitting in a jam session with the master who influenced their style, hoping to sound out crudely formed thoughts and hear them echo back, perfectly honed and now riding the air forever
I never shined shoes. I was raised in a precariously middle class home. But I recognized the shoeshine boy deep in myself. My Mississippi-born mother knocked into me and my five siblings the hard lesson that we were no better than anyone else. Learning French and earning a doctorate wouldn’t change that. Nor would literally buying into the racial and class roles of a society deeply organized around what Baldwin called “black-white madness.”
So, for me, Baldwin, the self-described “slave in exile,” was the most impossible, volatile and dangerous of all figures. Because of him, I rejected the easy comfort, the endlessly shopping, touristic gaze of superior identity that the other exchange students embraced. He widely critiqued all forms of oppression, forging, perhaps, the foundation of a new order, a new identity, a new consciousness. This was the hope I saw in Jimmy Baldwin.
But James Baldwin, the man I saw on the screen as I watched I Am Not Your Negro, had little of that hope.
He was like the original “slave in exile”
The rear wheels of the English sports car suddenly skidded toward the edge of a cliff and I closed my eyes rather than witness my own death. With athletic reflexes sharpened on even narrower roads in Corsica, my friend recovered. I struggled to find an acceptable, macho way of asking him to slow down.
Still, I could appreciate the beauty that surrounded me. The man I was going to see saw something else. Baldwin shared a view with the original slave in exile, Frederick Douglass. Both lodged themselves firmly in the role of the underdog and spoke on behalf of the oppressed.
Douglass relentlessly identified with – and refused to position himself above – the lowliest of the earth, les misérables, who had been discarded and sacrificed for the sake of European patriarchal identity.
When he traveled to Europe toward the end of his life, Douglass visited more than the great monuments. He chose to tour sites of oppression, narrating an alternative history of the West through the eyes of its victims. Like Baldwin, he went to France and saw more than beauty at the papal palace in Avignon. There, he said it “required no effort of the imagination to create visions of the Inquisition, to see the terror-stricken faces, the tottering forms, and pleading tears of the accused, and the saintly satisfaction of the inquisitors.”
Through his imagination and writing, the beaten slave and the murdered heretic melded into one.
Baldwin used his European experience to craft in 1953 one of his most powerful essays, “Stranger in the Village.” His visit to the cathedral at Chartres and the crypt beneath helped him to define the parasitic nature of racial identity in a way that came to organize my thinking – and perhaps that of everyone who read and understood him.
“… I am terrified by the slippery bottomless well to be found in the crypt, down which heretics were hurled to death, and by the obscene, inescapable gargoyles jutting out of the stone and seeming to say that God and the devil can never be divorced. I doubt that the villagers think of the devil when they face a cathedral because they have never been identified with the devil. But I must accept the status which myth, if nothing else, gives me in the West before I can hope to change the myth.”
This was the Jimmy Baldwin I thought I knew. This was the man who exposed with surgical clarity the devastating myth of racial identity while clinging to the gospel that the truth would set us free. He had set me free. Before I read Baldwin, for example, Black History Month seemed like a kindly gesture of inclusion made by the larger society. It had not yet occurred to me that omitting African-Americans from the teaching of history in the first place did as much damage to the oppressed as to the oppressor, because it gave them a warped and fictitious sense of reality and of themselves. Baldwin made that point in the 1964 interview with Dan Georgakas.
“I want American history taught,” he told the poet. “Unless I’m in that book, you’re not in it either.”
At the heart of his thought, I surmised, was the skinny, black shoeshine boy, popping and snapping his rag as he looked up knowingly into the clouded eyes of a customer who didn’t see him back, whose world deliberately and perilously didn’t include him. Baldwin helped me realize that such a customer (who almost believes his shoes shine themselves) is as unreal to himself as the invisible shoeshine boy is to him.
Like Jimmy, I thought the dawning of this realization in white people would be our salvation, that somehow, if we could understand it, if we put the right words to it, if it is stated clearly, we could come to see the error of our ways. Getting people to realize this about themselves embodied the hopefulness I read in in his work.
But after I watched I’m Not Your Negro, I wondered if my image of Baldwin – of Jimmy – was inaccurate. In the film, he invokes the shoeshine boy when he explains that he rejected membership in the NAACP because of its “black class distinctions that repelled a shoeshine boy like me.” But in this latest rendering of Baldwin, there is little of the Christian humanist hope; the Great Black Hope of reconciliation through mental emancipation. Instead, the film moves James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr. much closer to the militant ideas of Malcolm X; the notion that change could only come through violent confrontation.
“Malcolm was one of the people Martin saw on the mountaintop,” Baldwin says cryptically in the unfinished essay about his friends. He acknowledges that he and Malcolm X “were simply trapped in the same situation.”
The James Baldwin of this film doesn’t seem to believe in reconciliation triggered by the exploding of myths.
“Well, I am tired,” Baldwin says in the film. “I don’t know how it will come about. But no matter how it comes about it will be bloody. It will be hard.”
He asked me to call him “Jimmy”
The medieval, hilltop village of Saint-Paul de Vence, was a beautiful, walled hamlet, and as the red MG slowed to match the scenery, I wondered what it must be like to be a writer living in such a place. My friend seemed unmoved. No village outside of Corsica held any beauty for him.
We stopped the car, and I accosted shoppers at a flower market and disturbed men as they played leisurely games of pétanque on the hardened dirt. I asked if they could tell me where James Baldwin lived. They seemed puzzled. They thought I was asking about James Bond, who maybe lived around there, too, and drove a red sports car.
Baldwin with friend and civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
The trip was a sad (and terrifying) failure. And while I did not die that day, I didn’t meet Baldwin, either. That would come four years later, when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, and he was invited to speak during Black History Month. A student had been asked to drive Baldwin around and invited me to go along. This ride was calm, slower, on wider streets.
Baldwin looked like his pictures, though he was dressed in a surprising, cutting-edge, tailored suit. He was kind and smiling, and like most writers, shy and reticent. We drove him to dinner and then to give his talk, after which he fielded questions about Alice Walker, The Color Purple and African-American women writers who air black America’s dirty laundry. “What’s wrong with airing dirty laundry?” he characteristically asked. “Besides, I think it’s healthy.”
Later that night, I finally had my chance to jam with Baldwin. I sat next to him in a rundown lounge on the south side of Chicago. He listened distantly as the jukebox played Billie Holiday, a friend he would join in the hereafter just a few months later. Regretfully, I did too much talking, and my words simply dissipated into the air. Who could compete with Lady Day?
When I stiffly called him “Mr. Baldwin,” he asked me to call him “Jimmy.”
“Jimmy,” Amiri Baraka says in the film, “always made us feel good. He always made us know we were dangerously intelligent and as courageous as the will to be free.”
He could do that while surgically dissecting the malignancies of racism in his homeland. At 29, Baldwin shook the American consciousness with the prescient “Stranger in the Village,” where he spelled out the dangers of what is now called American exceptionalism:
“I do not think … that it is too much to suggest that the American vision of the world — which allows so little reality, generally speaking, for any of the darker forces in human life, which tends until today to paint moral issues in glaring black and white– owes a great deal to the battle waged by Americans to maintain between themselves and black men a human separation which could not be bridged. It is only now beginning to be borne in on us — very faintly, it must be admitted, very slowly, and very much against our will — that this vision of the world is dangerously inaccurate, and perfectly useless. For it protects our moral high-mindedness at the terrible expense of weakening our grasp of reality. People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”
It was a call to consciousness. Now, those warnings, coming from the James Baldwin of I Am Not Your Negro, sound more like the fulfillment of a despairing prophecy.
The film resounds with this sense of imminent catastrophe, pronounced in Samuel L. Jackson’s ponderous reading, with little of the mannerisms or hopeful affect of Baldwin’s younger persona — or of the withdrawn, 62-year-old man I met in Chicago. The cumulative effect of the film and its arrangement of sound and image is the emergence of a figure defined by such potent words as “trapped,” “bitter,” “enemy,” “vengeance,” and “helpless rage.”
There seems little escape for Americans.
“These people,” Baldwin says, “have deluded themselves so long, they really don’t think I’m human. I base this on their conduct, not on what they say. And this means … they have become moral monsters.”
It’s a sobering conclusion. With the specter of police shootings, violent protests, nativism, and the resurgence of white supremacy following the November election, I fear he was right.
Stephen Casmier is an associate professor in the Department of English at Saint Louis University.
You can’t preach the Bible here, this is a Muslim area
(What a community policeman told two Christians)
Readings from the Koran: Naeem Naguthney
Two Christian preachers were stopped from handing out Bible extracts by police because they were in a Muslim area, it was claimed yesterday.
They say they were told by a Muslim police community support officer that they could not preach there and that attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity was a hate crime.
The community officer is also said to have told the two men: ‘You have been warned. If you come back here and get beat up, well, you have been warned.’
A police constable who was present during the incident in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham is also alleged to have told the preachers not to return to the district.
It comes amid growing concern over the development of Islamic ‘no-go areas’.
The preachers, Americans Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham, are demanding an apology and compensation from West Midlands Police.
They say their treatment breaks the Human Rights Act, which guarantees freedom of religious expression.
The preachers, who have the backing of the Christian Institute pressure group, say they will take the force to court for breaching their human rights if they don’t receive an apology.
They have accused the officer, PCSO Naeem Naguthney, of behaving in an ‘aggressive and threatening’ manner. A complaint by their lawyers said he interrupted as they spoke to Muslim youths about their beliefs.
Mr Abraham, 65, who was born a Muslim in Egypt and is a convert to Christianity, said: ‘He told us we were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity and that that was a hate crime.
‘He was very intimidating and it concerns me that somebody holding his views can become a police officer, albeit at PCSO level.’
Mr Cunningham, 48, a fellow American Baptist missionary, said: ‘He realised we were Americans and then started ranting at us about George Bush and American foreign policy.
‘He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said he was going to take us to the police station.’
Mr Cunningham added: ‘I am dumfounded that the police seem so nonchalant. They seem content not to make it clear that what we were doing was perfectly legal. This is a free country and to suggest we were guilty of a hate crime for spreading God’s word is outrageous.’
History August 15th 2019
My firebrand young Welsh A level history teacher was an inspiration to me. Before him I had the rather dull and condescending brother of composer Benjamin Brittain to uninspire me- Robert Brittain.
Up until this young Welshman John Skinner’s appearance in my life, I found the subject rather dull. Having said that, my mother and Aunt Flo brought local history alive, with all the gossip, glories and tragedies of war, but that is another story.
One of John Skinner’s favourite phrases on the subject of the Britain we were living in during the late 1960s, was ‘The colonial pidgeons are coming home to roost. Everything he said was with drama , perfect timing , expression and pause.
Indeed those pidgeons are still coming, and our elite are still meddling with the old Imperial remains, ensuring an apparently unending wave of them because of the wars they still promote in places like Syria and Yemen- alon with all the emoty promises to be paid for by Britain’s lower classes now.
Yemen brings back memories of the retreat from Aden. I well remember ‘Mad Mitch’ CO of the famous Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. They don’t make armies like his any more.
At the time of Britain’s retreat from Aden, Kennedy Trevaskis was the British Adviser for the Western Aden Protetorate (WAP). All sorts of tricks were being used to manage the situation.
‘As the renowned journalist and coloniser Randolph Churchill (Sir Winston’s son ) once told Ken Trevaskis on a visit to Aden, what made Britain great was “not brute strength, but men who had the ingenuity to get results on the cheap.” ‘ ( Source ‘Mad Mitch’s Tribal Law , Aden And The End Of Empire.’ Aaron Edwards. )
Consensus August 15th 2019
A re run of black director Reggie Yates 2015 ‘Angry White Men last Wednesday night, implied that white men needed to calm down and accept the new consensus. Anyone who didn’t was suffering from paranoia- which in psychiatric jargon means they hear voices, can’t cooperate and are abnormally suspicious.
The Muslim Council of Britain today urge UK government to demand a halt to the inflammatory actions by India as they continue to lay siege on Kashmir and curtail further the rights of its people. Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops occupy the region, its political leaders are under house arrest and communication has been all but cut off. August 11th 2019
Many British Muslims have family ties to the region and are naturally anxious about the deteriorating situation there.
In recent days the Indian government has illegally revoked Article 370 of its constitution which had ensured the protected status of the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision is being challenged in the country’s Supreme Court. India’s action also contravenes a series of international resolutions and obligations, including UN Security Council Resolution 47, which required India to establish a coalition government to work with the ‘Plebiscite Administrator’ nominated by the United Nations, to work towards ‘a free and impartial plebiscite’.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “As a member of the UN Security Council, with a stated desire to uphold the rules-based international system, it is imperative that our government make its voice heard. British Muslims, many of whom have family ties to the region, expect our government to uphold our values, the rule of law and human rights. India’s latest action turns further this Muslim-majority region’s status into effectively an Indian colony. And with rising extremism and mob-violence orchestrated against Muslims in the rest of the country, there is a deep concern about the fate of Muslims in Kashmir.
We echo the calls of British Members of Parliament calling for action on the matter. We do not want to see yet another senseless conflict over Kashmir, which will have repercussions elsewhere. We urge all parties to play their part in pursuing peace. The UK has a historic role and duty to press for peace in Kashmir.”
Editorial Comment British media, especially the BBC have shown clear bias in favour of the Muslim cause. Britain has a large and growing Muslim population. They will be listened to by vote hungry politicians as a General Election approaches. The British Ruling classes have never forgotten that India was the ‘Jewel in Queen Victoria’s Crown.’ They can’t help meddling.
British Muslims should not feel forced to assimilate, says top counter terrorism officer August 7th 2019
- Martin Evans, CRIME CORRESPONDENT
6 August 2019 • 9:16pm
British Muslims should not be forced to “assimilate”, the country’s most senior counter terrorism officer has said, as he called for greater understanding of marginalised communities.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who is the country’s highest ranking Asian officer, said that in a successful, integrated society, people should be free to practise their religion and culture openly rather than having to hide away.
He also said more needed to be done to eradicate poverty, improve education and increase social mobility if community cohesion was to be improved.
Editorial Comment : This all sounds very sensible and non discrimiantory, though I am loathe to trust a British police officer, let alone a senior one. Former Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick, who struggled to improve community relations in South London- where once upon a time lived and know well- wrote in his memoirs: ‘It wasn’t my homosexuaity that caused me problems in the police, it was my honesty.’
The police are a culture apart. Terrorism has facilitated a lot of empire building in the police. Its causes are political as is the devastation of the Muslim world further afield, along with impovershing and breaking communities within Britain.
Serving police officers involving themselves, being courted by mainstream media, to pass comment on these issues is a reminder just how politicised the police are, and of our British police state. Feigning concern for the freedom of contradictory worlds like LGBTGQ and Islam is a smokescreen.
Images from diverse Britain- few of my pictures taken as I ramble around the country.
Cheletenham Boy’s School
14-year old rape victim lashed to death in Bangladesh under Islamic sharia law on charges of “Adultery” (her rapist was married) August 5th 2019
Under Shari’a laws in Islamic countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, a woman is considered half of a man.
In Shari’a courts a woman should bring at least 2 male witnesses who support her testimony, without two men witnessing the imam completely ignoring her testimony.
14-year old rape victim lashed in Bangladesh under Islamic sharia law on charges of “Adultery”.
She was sentenced to 100 flogs but she endured 80 and then collapsed, at which time they discontinued lashing her, according to The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper.
Her family took her to a hospital, where she died days later from internal bleeding.
ISIS = Al Qaeda = Hamas = Boko Haram = Taliban = Sharia.
All the terrorist organizations share the same ideology of radical Islam, they seek to establish Islamic caliphate (empire) and impose Sharia everywhere.
Sharia law has no place in the West.
Tommy Robinson is not the problem, but a convenient scapegoat July 28th 2019
To express any understanding of what the comfortable media call far right political activists is to risk being called a racist, The English Defence League and its leader Tommy Robinson must be seen as evil and deranged,
Mainstream media and politcians are, in most cases, drawn from very comfortbale backgrounds by very comfortable people in power. They are a self perpetuating judgemental elite.
We are supposed to watch crap like ‘Love Island’ or the ‘Jeremy Kyle Show’ and believe that the battle is between men and women- and that a big part of the answer is to give posh patronising hard done by BBC women another half million of licence payer’s money a year. Forget about social class, never even talk about it. Class has no skin colour, sexuality or gender.
I cannot go along with the smug self righteous herd. My father was a regular soldier from the slums of North London, born in the year, 1919, when the victors of World War One created a peace settlement guaranteed to cause a second world war- see ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’ by John Maynard Keynes.
The ‘know all’ elitists in power need the masses to be ignorant, pulling their strings as if they are puppets. The masses are not expected to see the string pullers. The sex and thought police will be there if they do.
My mother was also born in a North London Slum, in 1924. Her mother died of mastitis two weeks after mother was born. There was no National Service, Her Irish father, an out of work groom looking for a chance in the Capital, sent her up to snob ridden Winslow and relatives because he had four other children to look after.
The Irish were treated like scum in those days. One of his sons, aged 24, was killed by a sniper, while fighting Germans alongside his regiment, the London Rifles- fighting for the myth of freedom and justice. He was trying to rescue his wounded friend at the time.
My parents moved to Winslow in 1949. Dad got a job driving a brick lorry. He bicycled to the brick yard which was ten miles away, every day, all weathers. He was paid a pittance. He had fought for a myth and nearly died. Driving the brick lorry, he topped up his money helping unload the lorry- no pallets then.
So one day, a stack of bricks fell on him, crushing his chest. The snobby ex naval officer doctor did not realise dad, then aged 39, had a broken rib, which over time ripped into his lung. He was two years dying, with us living on National Assistance. I will never forget the sound of his death rattle. I was 11 years old and he had been in hospital for nine months before his painfull end. As paupers we were always insecure and patronised.
It was no fun being a pauper in those days. Nowadays technology has boosted productivity and profits which are not shared with the masses, who’s wages have fallen and costs risen. Some like Tommy Robinson still believe the myth that this country was ever great for them.
The elite have never been richer and moralising against racism is just such a wonderful lovely way of virtue signalling. We should all be very concerned as to the reasons why the Attorney General overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision to free Tommy- and the reasons why he is in jail.
Father and mother died because the NHS were incompetent and did not care. My parents were just numbers andt more working class scum- what the Yanks call ‘Trailer Trash’ and people who offer no electoral advantage or benefit to the eilte.
Robert Cook July 2019
Jesus Was Not a Palestinian
by Seth Frantzman
The Jerusalem Post
July 8, 2019
|The idea that Jesus was a Palestinian has gone from literary conceit to literal truth in the eyes of hardline anti-Zionists.|
Activist Linda Sarsour asserted that “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth” over the weekend, claiming that he “is described in the Quran as being brown-copper skinned with woolly hair.” She was excoriated for her tweet, and for her subsequent attempts to double-down on it, mostly by commentators pointing out that Jesus was born in Judea and he was Jewish.
This isn’t the first “Jesus was Palestinian” controversy. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar fanned the flames of this claim in April when she promoted an article with the same assertion.
The latest attempt to push the “Jesus was Palestinian” claim is not as innocent as it appears. It is a negation of Jewish history and a modern day attempt at replacement theology: to replace historical Jewish connections to the land 2,000 years ago, recreating an imagined history of Palestinians in place of Jews.
- Belief Systems
- Atheism and Agnosticism Logic
- Key Figures in Atheism
- Atheism Myths and Misconceptions
According to Science, God Does Not Exist July 25th 2019
by Austin Cline Updated June 25, 2019
In the debate over whether God exists, we have theists on the one side, atheists on the other, and, in the middle, science. Atheists claim there is scientific proof that God is not real. Theists, on the other hand, insist that science, in fact, has been unable to prove that God does not exist. According to atheists, however, this position depends upon a mistaken understanding of the nature of science and how science operates. Therefore, it is possible to say that, scientifically, God does not exist—just as science discounts the existence of a myriad of other alleged beings.
What Science Can and Cannot Prove
To understand why “God does not exist” is a legitimate scientific statement, it’s important to understand what the statement means in the context of science. When scientist say, “God does not exist,” they mean something similar to when they say “aether does not exist,” “psychic powers do not exist,” or “life does on the moon does not exist.”
All such statements are shorthand for a more elaborate and technical explanation, which is that this alleged entity (or God) has no place in any scientific equations, plays no role in any scientific explanations, cannot be used to predict any events, does not describe anything or force that has yet been detected, and there are no models of the universe in which its presence is either required, productive, or useful.
What should be most obvious about the more technically accurate statement is that it isn’t absolute. It does not deny for all time any possible existence of the entity or force in question; instead, it’s a provisional statement denying the existence of any relevance or reality to the entity or force based on what we currently know. Religious theists may be quick to seize upon this and insist that it demonstrates that science cannot “prove” that God does not exist, but that requires far too strict of a standard for what it means to “prove” something scientifically.
Scientific Proof Against God
In “God: The Failed Hypothesis—How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist,” Victor J. Stenger offers this scientific argument against the existence of God:
- Hypothesize a God who plays an important role in the universe.
- Assume that God has specific attributes that should provide objective evidence for his existence.
- Look for such evidence with an open mind.
- If such evidence is found, conclude that God may exist.
- If such objective evidence is not found, conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that a God with these properties does not exist.
This is basically how science would disprove the existence of any alleged entity. If God existed, there should be concrete evidence of His existence—not faith, but tangible, measurable, consistent evidence that can be predicted and tested using the scientific method. If we fail to find that evidence, then God cannot exist as defined.
Certainty and Doubt in Science
Of course, nothing in science is proven or disproven beyond a shadow of any possible doubt. In science, everything is provisional. Being provisional is not a weakness or a sign that a conclusion is weak. Being provisional is a smart, pragmatic tactic because we can never be sure what we’ll come across when we round the next corner. This lack of absolute certainty is a window through which many religious theists try to slip their god, but that’s not a valid move.
In theory, it may be possible that someday we will come across new information that will lead us to further explore the God hypothesis. If the evidence described in the above argument were found, for example, that would justify a rational belief in the existence of the sort of god under consideration. It wouldn’t prove the existence of such a god beyond all doubt, though, because belief would still have to be provisional.
It may also be possible that the same could be true of an infinite number of other hypothetical beings and supernatural forces. Zeus or Odin, Christian or Hindu—every possibility of a God or gods is up for exploration.
What Does it Mean to “Exist”?
Finally, for such a proposition as “God exists” to have meaning to science, we need to define what “existence” in this case means. When it comes to God or a series of gods, their existence is dependent on evidence that they have had or continue to have an impact on the universe. In order to prove impact on the universe, there must be measurable and testable events that could best or only be explained by whatever this “God” is we are hypothesizing. Believers must be able to present a model of the universe in which some god is “either required, productive, or useful.”
This is obviously not the case. Many believers work hard trying to find a way to introduce their god into scientific explanations, but none have succeeded. No believer has been able to demonstrate, or even strongly suggest, that there are any events in the universe that require a supernatural being to explain.
Instead, these constantly failing attempts end up reinforcing the impression that there is no “there” there—nothing for “gods” to do, no role for them to play, and no reason to give them a second thought.
So far, everyone who has tried to scientifically prove that God exists has failed. While it’s technically true that this doesn’t mean that no one ever will succeed, it is also true that in every other situation where such failures are so consistent, we don’t acknowledge rational or even serious reasons to bother believing.
Learn Religions is part of the Dotdash publishing family.
The Syrian Sideshow
by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
July 18, 2019
The international news focus has long moved on from the Syrian conflict. Behind the oft-stated clichés of the conflict “winding down” and of regime survival or victory, however, a complex and often deadly reality remains.
The most violent part of Syria today is the northwest, where regime and Russian forces are clashing with Turkish-supported Sunni jihadis. But the regime-controlled and Kurdish/US-controlled areas are periodically also rocked by internecine violence, most of it committed by Sunni Arab elements, including the Islamic State group.
Far from entering a phase of post-conflict reconstruction and renewed centralized governance, Syria today is a patchwork of different areas of control. It is also thoroughly penetrated by a variety of regional and global players. Indeed, Syria today forms a fascinating microcosm of the larger regional cold war under way. It is a space in which all the main players in this contest – the Iran-led bloc, Russia, the US and its allies, and the Turkey-Qatar Sunni Islamist axis – have a stake.
Jonathan Spyer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis, and is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum and at the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy.
Sky Islamic channel Peace TV faces ban in Britain for saying gay people are worse than pigs and magicians should be executed July 23rd 2019
- Peace TV found to have shown four programmes which breached Ofcom’s code
- Included an imam saying homosexuality was ‘rampant’ and threatened families
- Channel, broadcast on Sky, said programmes were based on Islamic teachings
An Islamic TV station that said gay people are worse than pigs and magicians should be executed faces being stripped of its UK broadcasting licence.
Peace TV, based in Dubai, was found to have shown four programmes which breached Ofcom regulations on inciting crime, hate speech and abuse.
The channel, which is broadcast on Sky and also airs in the US, said the programmes were based on Islamic teachings. Imam Qasim Khan rants about ‘evil’ of homosexuality on Peace TV Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipLIVEMute00:00Current Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:44FullscreenNeed TextVideo Quality576p540p360p270pForegroundBackgroundWindowFont SizeText Edge StyleFont Family
Peace TV, based in Dubai, featured a long rant about the ‘evils’ of homosexuality by Imam Qasim Khan
The regulator said one show – called Strengthening Your Family – The Valley of the Homosexuals – made reference to homosexual people dying ‘from a disease they contracted because they are homosexual’ and said homosexuality was ‘a very unnatural type of love that is energised by the influence of (Satan)’.
According to the Ofcom report, presenter Imam Qasim Khan said: ‘Then they make laws now, the newest and most brash and insane laws, laws that protect homosexuals and even make it legal for them to marry each other.
‘Men marrying men. Being on television in front of our children, kissing each other in the mouth, walking down the street, hugging and kissing – this society has gone insane.
‘Even an animal that is defiled by Islam, the pig – as nasty and corrupted and contaminated as a pig is – you never see two male pigs that are trying to have sex together. That’s insanity.
‘These are animals. Human beings are supposed to be dignified, they’re thinking beings, a human being is supposed to be the thinking being.’
Lord Production, who hold the licence for Peace TV, said the March 2018 show was ‘an expression of Imam Qasim Khan’s views on male homosexuality, reflecting the teachings of Islam’.
Khan referred to homosexual people dying ‘from a disease they contracted because they are homosexual’ and said homosexuality was ‘a very unnatural type of love that is energised by the influence of (Satan)’
Peace TV was founded in 2006 and has since been banned in India and Bangladesh.
Hasanul Haq Inu, Bangladesh’s Information Minister, said of the channel: ‘Is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals.’
Ofcom rules on inciting crime, hate and abuse
Under section three of its code, Ofcom reserves the right to ban any TV or radio broadcast that promotes ‘crime, disorder, hatred and abuse’.
The code includes an exception that allows journalists to interview people with ‘extreme or challenging views’ if it is in the public interest to do so.
In judging whether the code has been broken, Ofcom will examine whether the programme has sufficiently challenged the views, or if it actively promoted them.
Its founder, Zaskir Naik, was barred from UK by Theresa May in 2010 for his ‘unacceptable behaviour’.
The 44-year-old had been due to give a series of lectures in London and Sheffield, but was told by Mrs May that visiting the UK was ‘a privilege, not a right’.
The home secretary can prevent people from entering Britain if they believe there is a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens.
Ms May said: ‘Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.
‘Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK.
‘Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.’
Peace TV was founded by Zaskir Naik, who was barred from UK by Theresa May in 2010 for his ‘unacceptable behaviour’
Peace TV disagreed with Ofcom’s suggestion that the Imam’s views were hate speech as, according to the report, he did not ‘call for violence or punishment of homosexuals’ and that his aim was to ‘outlaw the practice of homosexuality itself’.
ISIS supporter murdered Rochdale imam for practising ‘black magic’
A British ISIS supporter was jailed for life in 2016 for stalking and murdering an imam because he practiced a form of healing which the terror group consider ‘black magic’, in a case referred to in the Ofcom ruling.
Mohammed Syeedy, 21, was consumed by hatred of Jalal Uddin, 71, so acted as a getaway driver for another man, Mohammed Kadir, 24, who bludgeoned Mr Uddin to death in a children’s play area.
Mohammed Syeedy was convicted of murdering an imam who he and friend believed practised ‘black magic’
The pair despised Mr Uddin because he used a form of healing involving amulets, known as taweez, which are said to bring good fortune.
They stalked Mr Uddin for six months and called him ‘Voldemort’,the evil wizard in Harry Potter, because they saw his faith healing as ‘black magic’, the trial heard.
It also broadcast a programme in November 2017 with a scholar discussing execution for those who practice magic, or sahir.
‘The correct reliable and majority opinion is that the punishment for a Sahir is that the person should be killed,’ said scholar Shaikh Ashfaque Salafi, according to the Ofcom report.
‘I want to make it clear that the magician’s art or the practice of magic cannot be forgiven by way of repentance.
‘To save his life he may seek repentance and get away with it, but at the first opportunity when he has a dispute with someone he will use his magic skills.
‘For that reason, for the benefit of all it is better to cut it out from its roots.’
The producers said magic, or sahir, in this case was not about ‘Harry Houdini, Paul Daniels, David Blaine or other entertainers performing magic tricks for money or fun’ but rather witchcraft and sorcery.
Ofcom recorded two further breaches: one where a programme said those who left Islam should be punished by death and a second where it was said women under 18 getting married was ‘no problem at all’, even if local laws forbid it.
A fifth programme which was investigated was found not to be in breach.
According to Ofcom, Lord Production said its programmes were ‘derived from a particular religious viewpoint, of which its viewers would be aware, and that such programming includes advice to those viewers as to how to lead their lives. It should therefore not be surprising if, at times, such advice causes offence to different sections of the public’.
This page looks at the history and motives for what the elite political consensus, dominant classes, religious and LGBT groups call diversity, with all of their contradictions.
A Labour MP has urged Conservative Party leadership hopefuls to honour their pledge to hold a review into Islamophobia in the party, after almost half of party members said they did not want a Muslim prime minister.
A YouGov study carried out by anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate found that just 8 per cent of the party’s members ‘would be proud of Britain, if we were to elect a Muslim as our prime minister’. However, 43 per cent agreed that they ‘would prefer to not have the country led by a Muslim’. The survey also revealed that 67 per cent of Tory members believe ‘there are areas in Britain that operate under Sharia law’. In addition, 45 per cent believe there are ‘areas in Britain in which non-Muslims are not able to enter.’
Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi Byline Festival, Pippingford Park, UK – 25 Aug 2018 Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has previously called on the party to hold an independent inquiry on Islamophobia (Picture: Rex Features) Forty percent of those surveyed said Britain should lower the number of Muslims entering the country, compared to just five percent who said the same for Christians or Jewish people. Wes Streeting, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims, and whose definition of Islamophobia was rejected by the government, has urged whoever replaces Theresa May to tackle the rising ‘hatred within the party’. Mr Streeting told Metro.co.uk: ‘These findings reveal the shocking extent that racist, Islamophobic views are held among members of the Conservative Party.
Editorial Comment by Charles Close.
There is a big difference between having a PM who happens to be a Muslim and a PM who defines themselves as a Muslim, as the base point for their actions. I have no doubt that Theresa May was a Christian, but she had a job to do.
Some of us do not want to hear the strange moralisngs of Judaic/Christian/Islamists who seem preoccupied with the after life dream which makes them so dangerous on this earth.
We would not expect our bus drivers to be so preoccupied, taking us to some deluded notion of heaven rather than the local Sainsbury or Tesco shop. We expect them to keep that destination for their own final holidays to themselves. I am sick of hearing that Islam is a race. It is a religion, OK? Islam is not about multi culture. Islamists don’t like it.
Can anyone tell me the name of any Christian or atheist Prime Minsiters of Egypt or Turkey? I don’t think so. However, Labour desperately needs the Muslim vote which is why it has such a problem with anti semitism in its own self righterous moralising ranks.
Christians are so ‘tolerated’ in Egypt that they need guards outside their churches. Why should the non Muslim majority have to bend to accommodate Islam? The son of a Muslim refugee carried out the Manchester arena bombings during the La Grande concert.
The Islamic world is not about multi culture. They do not wish to go beyond their mono culture and shout very loudly when they feel it threatened, as the LGBT school protests demonstrated. Where are the Muslim marchers for peace, tolerance and religious reform?
ISTHA, Germany – A man arrested over the killing of a senior German politician earlier this month is believed to have links to the far right, prosecutors said Monday.
Walter Lübcke, who was president of the Kassel regional council in central Germany, was shot in the head at close range on the terrace of his home in the small village of Istha, in the early hours of June 2.
Sixty-five-year-old Lübcke was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats and an outspoken supporter of the government’s pro-migrant policies in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis.
The 45-year-old suspect was arrested on Saturday in Kassel based on traces of DNA evidence from the crime scene, according to the Hesse state office of criminal investigation and Kassel’s public prosecutor. The suspect has a long criminal record, police said.
The past life and the “openly expressed opinions and public views” of the suspect linked him with the far right, Michael Schmidt, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, told a news conference Monday.
“Based on the current state of investigations, we assume that there is a right-wing extremist background to this act,” Schmidt said, before adding there was no evidence that the suspect was involved in a right-wing terrorist group.
Investigations are ongoing and officials confiscated computer equipment from the suspect, said Schmidt.
Pro-migrant policies attract death threats and attacks
According to police, Lübcke previously received death threats after a YouTube video emerged of him defending the country’s immigration policies at a public meeting in Kassel in October 2015. The meeting was also attended by members of Pegida, a far-right anti-Islam movement.
In the video, Lübcke says: ”You have to stand up for your values. If you don’t share those values, then anyone is free to leave this country if they don’t agree.” Some members of the crowd could be heard shouting “get out, get out” in response.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned hate posts toward the pro-migrant politician. ”The way some individuals on social media are attacking his death, taking satisfaction from it and applauding it is cynical, tasteless, revolting and offensive in every way,” he said in comments at a German town association event.
Interior minister Horst Seehofer also told the daily newspaper Tagesspiegel that “if someone is so hated, just because he had liberal views, that is the decline of human morality.”
The killing of Lübcke is not the first attack on a pro-migrant German politician in recent years.
In 2016 a man — referred to as Frank S. — who also reportedly opposed Germany’s open-door refugee policies was sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing Cologne mayoral candidate Henriette Reker, according to the New York Times.
Another German politician well-known for his pro-refugee policies, Altena town mayor Andreas Hollstein, was stabbed in the neck at a kebab shop in 2017 by an assailant who reportedly said: “You are leaving me die of thirst while you bring 200 refugees to Altena.”
Merkel opened Germany’s doors to more than a million migrants in 2015. But her policy, hailed by humanitarians, also attracted fierce criticism from the right, particularly following a number of terrorist attacks across the country in summer 2016.
Riding the wave of public discontent was the anti-immigration, anti-Islam AfD. In the 2017 federal election, it became the third largest party in the Bundestag and the first far-right party to enter the country’s parliament in almost 60 years.
Now, the tide appears to be shifting again, with the environmentally focused and left-wing Greens surging to second place in May’s European parliamentary elections, pushing the AfD into fourth.
CNN’s Nadine Schmidt reported from Berlin, Sheena McKenzie wrote from London.
Editorial Comment PC Moral outrage is no answer to this problem. Elite media and politicians don’t live down with the underclass. Seems no lessons have been learned from two World Wars and the political failures of the inter war years. Too many Europeans habe nothing to lose, nothing to believe in, lost identity which LGBT cannot cure, matched against the religious certainty and counter morality of Islamic newcomers. Media career folk, feminists and other censors just don’t want to know.
Religious Revival June 19th 2019
The reason religion has made a come back is because of diversity politics.
Diversity may benefit the LGBT community, but governments are primarily concerned about accommodating Islamic needs and sensitivities.
These needs are quite rigid with Islamists themselves kept strongly in check by their leaders or face the consequences.
Our government and wider political elite do not tolerate criticism of Islam for economic and social control reasons.
Consequently, they offer the rest of us the right to ‘worship’ God in whatever way we like as long as we do not offend others- which means there have to be lots of laws to punish non believers or critics of any religion, but especially Islam, as ‘hate criminals.’
That is why the media elite are hot on the heels of Boris Johnson and any other Tory who might be construed and presented as an Islamaphobe.
All of this means God is back big time, laughing his, it or her socks off I suspect,
Religion Should have had its’ Day, but makes a comeback for control:
A new book-
The World of the Crusades: An Illustrated History Christopher Tyerman
Yale, pp.517, £25
makes Christian Crusaders look silly because we must kow tow to cheap labour Mulsim Immigrants who need religion to endure, Please, why can they not see the con. God does not exist in that way. God does not fit with scence. Read on:
The crusades are part of everyone’s mental image of the Middle Ages. They extended, in one form or another, from the 11th to the 16th century. Those which reached the Holy Land were fought by men on horseback wearing metal armour and carrying lances and swords, as in the pictures. The onset of gunpowder had not yet spoiled the fun. They were truly international, in their own way emblematic of the myth of a single Christian European polity. They embodied everything that people associate with medieval warfare: reckless courage, murder, loot, adventure and romance.
Christopher Tyerman has been writing about the crusades for nearly 40 years. His work includes the only full-scale study of English crusaders and God’s War, which for my money is the best one-volume history in print. This is quite an achievement, for there is a finite body of material, which is unlikely to expand significantly, and consists mainly of published chronicles. Many people picking up Tyerman’s latest volume may be tempted to think that it simply recycles the material in his last one. They would be mistaken. The World of the Crusades has a mass of new insights, many little-known anecdotes and a fresh approach to the subject which fully justifies its bulk.
Two features of the book are particularly striking. First, instead of just treating the crusades in the standard way as a European Christian movement, Tyerman has placed them in their proper geographical setting, as incidents in the history of the Islamic Middle East. By a fortunate accident, the early crusaders hit the Levant at a time of ferment and instability in the Islamic world. The Abbasid caliphate, essentially a Persian regime based in what is now Iraq, had been in terminal decline for two centuries when the first crusade arrived. The rival Fatimid caliphate of Cairo, which was the dominant power in the Arabs’ lands and among the Berbers of North Africa, had passed its apogee and been supplanted in much of its territory by unstable local dynasties.
The moral panic over homophobia
It simply isn’t true that gay people face huge levels of harassment and violence.
Editor 12th June 2019
Once, there were moral panics over homosexuality. Now there’s a moral panic over homophobia. Consider the way in which the grotesque attack on a lesbian couple on a London bus has been used to promote the idea that LGBT people live in a state of existential danger. It comes straight from the moral-panic and crime-panic playbook: one nasty, shocking crime is used to depict society as a hotbed of rough, unenlightened beasts whose backward attitudes – in this case on homosexuality – threaten to tear apart the social fabric itself. A horrible incident carried out by five people becomes elevated into a symbol of evil that society as a whole must organise itself against. This is not a good way to treat any crime, including this one.
Everyone was horrified by the assault on Melania Geymonat and her partner Chris on a bus travelling towards Camden Town. It took place last month but was only publicised last week. The photo of the two victims, their faces bloodied and bruised, caused revulsion around the world. The crime made international headlines. That’s understandable. What’s less understandable, or rather less justifiable, is the swiftness with which the assault was turned into an advert for gay vulnerability. There is something nauseating about the way in which gay-rights groups and political observers held up this crime as typical, as an ordinary event in a society like ours that is apparently riddled with homophobia. As one campaigner said, ‘there wasn’t any element of surprise’ in relation to this attack. In short, anti-gay brutalism happens all the time.
But this isn’t true. And it’s important to say that it isn’t true. Some of the claims made following the revelation of this attack and the publication of the shocking photo have bordered on hysterical. ‘Homophobic violence more common than people realise’, said a headline in the Independent next to the photo of the two battered women. This kind of ‘harassment and violence is a daily struggle [for gay people]’, its report said. This is something people ‘face every day’, said Kim Sanders of Stonewall. Lesbians, in London, face vicious assaults every day? Really? A spokesperson for the LGBT Foundation said ‘there wasn’t any element of surprise’ for gay people when they heard about this attack. A Guardian writer wonders if this assault means same-sex couples will have to ‘hide our relationships’. Apparently, ‘we live in a society that finds the idea of two men or two women kissing to be…. worthy of a violent reprisal’.
Here, commentary on one particular crime crosses the line into outright crime panic. The idea that Britain in 2019 is a society that sees same-sex kissing as deserving of violent punishment doesn’t stack up on any level whatsoever. Commentators will point to statistics that apparently demonstrate that the UK is unsafe for gay people, but such stats are alarmingly unreliable. In 2017, a news headline declared that ‘attacks on LGBT people’ have ‘surged’ by almost 80 per cent over the past four years. Ask yourself if this seems like a reasonable claim. If it is feasible that in a society where acceptance of homosexuality is at all-time high, where gay people are widely celebrated in popular culture, where discrimination on the basis of sexuality is illegal and where same-sex marriage has recently been legalised, there has been a massive surge in violent hatred against gay people. I’m calling BS on this.
And indeed, if one looks at the stats in more depth it becomes clear that violence and discrimination against gay people hasn’t increased – rather, the definition of what constitutes an ‘attack’ on a gay person has changed, and changed in a dramatic, very cynical way. So the vast majority of that alleged 80 per cent surge in ‘attacks’ on gay people – which comes from a Stonewall / YouGov survey of 5,000 LGBT people in Britain – were instances of being ‘insulted, pestered, intimidated or harassed’. Nobody deserves to experience such rude behaviour, but let’s be honest about what such a broad, verbal-based category of ‘attack’ could include – everything from being called a name on Twitter to being pestered for a snog by some drunken idiot in a bar. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they had been pestered or insulted, while 11 per cent said they had been physically assaulted. Even this, however, is contradicted by a far larger survey of LGBT people carried out by the government, which involved 108,000 people, not just 5,000. The results were published in February. They suggest that two per cent had experienced physical violence, while 26 per cent had experienced verbal harassment, including ‘hurtful comments’.
Every act of violence or discrimination against someone on the basis of their sexuality needs to be taken seriously. But the conflation of hurtful comments with physical violence is not helpful at all. Everyone receives hurtful comments for one reason or another. And given that opposition to same-sex marriage is now considered bigotry, and saying that men cannot become women has been rebranded as transphobia, it is very likely that many of these hurtful comments or insults involved people merely expressing a particular political, moral or religious opinion about gay lifestyles or transgender issues. It is the redefinition of the meaning of homophobic abuse, and the trawling for evidence of homophobic abuse, that leads to hysterical claims about Britain experiencing a historically unprecedented surge in violent hatred for gay people. Indeed, as Stonewall’s 2017 survey admits: ‘Greater awareness of hate crime and efforts to improve recording of hate crime are thought to have played a role in the increase in recorded hate crimes in recent years.’
This is a fancy, PC way of saying that what we are witnessing is a classical example of ‘crime construction’ – the inflation of statistics to give the impression that a particular kind of crime is out of control. It used to be people on the right who did this, with their carefully constructed moral and crime panics about football hooligans or black muggers. Now it is increasingly done by people who are ostensibly on the left, who see hate crime everywhere, who think homophobia is rampant, who think speech is bigotry and sometimes even criminal, and who think Brexit has unleashed unprecedented levels of anti-social violence. In all these instances, crime has been overblown in order to construct an elitist, moralistic message about the vulnerability of certain identity groups and the wickedness of the uneducated, un-PC, dangerous throng. Identitarian groups might benefit from inflating their claims to victimhood – because that is increasingly the way in which people win moral recognition and social resources – but the broader social impact of this new, left-leaning crime construction is likely to be dire.
The spectre of the homosexual was a key figure in nasty 1950s moral panics. This warped man will corrupt your children and maybe even use violence against them, people were warned. Now it is the spectre of the homophobe that exercises the middle class’s fearful, moralistic imagination. They see this hateful figure everywhere, in every street, on every bus, on every discussion thread. It’s an inaccurate and even unstable view of the world. All it does is foster even more identitarian division and make gay people feel unnecessarily fearful. Let’s be honest: gay people have never had it so good, and that’s a good thing.
Listen to the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill
Editor’s Comment : I spend a lot of time in London, was there today and will be working there four nights next week, It is a violent dangerous and anomic place unless you are rich, living in exclusive areas. As for the Spiked article above, I have to say the following:
Actually young white men are the most likely group to be attacked, but it is not PC to say that. Spiked website also say that Jo Brand is not inciting violence against persons of certain political outlook. I disagree. It is also a fact that ethnic persons are more likely to commit street crime, as in this incident, while whites are more likely to commit burglary.
But I am not Jo Brand, an unpleasant self adoring BBC Labour luvvie, so the cops will be here soon, just as soon as one of you lovely lefties report me. Jo Brand whines in her nasal mocking affected superior voice that she was only joking about throwing acid over Nigel Farage, and comedy is important.
Well Jo, this is your best yet. meanwhile we have to believe that the number of rapes is millions of times higher than the reported figures and too many men are getting away with it.
No wonder more men are going gay as well as grey- or gray if you are from the mad war driven land of the deep state that worships Jesus but is going to crucify Julian Assange, with the British conniving government’s blessing.
Sadly I can also understand why this sick badly governed society produces homophobes- a lot of it down to sacred feminism which Britain invented as its best weapon yet- it is blowing society apart.
Political Correctness and diversity has to be approved by members of the self styled liberal elite who must never be threatened, and are judged only by the pampered upper middle class BBC/ posh media, elite, so Jo Brand, social worker turned feminist comic won’t get the sack.
ACID attack victims have blasted Jo Brand and the BBC as “disgusting” and called for her ARREST after the comedian joked about throwing battery acid on politicians.
Brand sparked outrage on BBC Radio 4’s Heresy programme after saying a string of milkshake attacks on politicians such as Nigel Farage should have been carried out with acid instead.
Danny Baker treated very differently for an anti Royal joke that was labelled racist. He was sacked. Why the difference?
After a ‘gag’ on Twitter saw him accused of racism and insensitivity, Radio 5 Live presenter Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC on Thursday 9 May. Now, other celebrities have taken to Twitter to react to his firing.
As the world looked forward to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry introducing their son and the latest royal baby, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, on Wednesday, Baker took to social media to share an image of a man, woman and a chimpanzee dressed as a human. Alongside it, he wrote: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle on 8 May 2019 (Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“This was a serious error of judgement and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” a BBC spokesperson explained. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
Comedian and former Celebs Go Dating contestant London Hughes was glad the network ditched him, detailing how she’d worked with Baker in the past and claimed there’s no way he wouldn’t have known what his ‘racist’ tweet was insinuating.
“No comedian in their right mind could overlook that,” she argued. “That’s not how our brains work. We see a joke from every angle. He knew it was racist, thought it was funny and posted it anyway.”
ITV News anchor Charlene White posted an insightful Twitter thread, saying: “Meghan has been subject to horrific/veiled racist abuse & prejudice online and in print since the start of their relationship. Of which we are ALL aware.
“To post a pic picturing a 3-day old baby of mixed heritage as a monkey, then claim it was a joke? That’s old-school prejudice and racism at its peak.
“And for a trusted broadcaster working at a public service broadcaster to feed that prejudice? It’s unacceptable.
“Those who live in privilege must be held to account.”
British Soldiers calling themselves patriotic are racist.
Army officers are warned soldiers calling themselves ‘patriots’ or who make ‘inaccurate generalisations about the Left’ could be right-wing extremists in their ranks
- A guide to help British Army officers spot extreme right-wingers was leaked
- The leaflet is titled ‘Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings’
- Signs to look for include describing oneself as a ‘patriot’, seeing opponents as ‘traitors’ and ‘referring to political correctness as some left-wing plot’
- An MoD spokesperson confirmed the leaflet is genuine and added: ‘The card does not suggest that all patriots are extremists’
Published: 16:56, 29 May 2019 | Updated: 18:14, 29 May 2019
3.3k shares 705 View comments
A guide to help high-ranking British officers spot right-wing extremists in their ranks has been leaked – and the signs include people calling themselves ‘patriots’ and making ‘inaccurate generalisations about the Left’.
The leaflet, made in 2017, is titled ‘Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings’ – and advises senior army staff to look out for people who ‘use the term Islamofacism’ [sic] and call people who challenge their ‘XRW’ views ‘indoctrinated’.
The document, which an MoD spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline is genuine, was leaked online, sparking threads on several social media platforms such as Reddit.
Editor’s Comment: So you must be desperate for a job or nuts to risk life and limb for this country. Soldier, you will get the blame for war crimes, not the likes of upper middle class public school/Oxford boy Tony Blair- who was party to lies to get British troops into the ongoing insanity of war in the Middle East. You will be dead before they stop chasing you. So you really belive Britain is a democracy. I don’t think so.
Labour Hypocrisy over PC LGBT issue
The MP for a primary school facing protests over LGBT teaching has been reported to the chief whip after telling campaigners “you’re right”.
In a video circulated on social media, Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff told the Anderton Park Primary School protesters they had a “just cause”.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she had reported the comments to the chief whip.
Mr Godsiff previously said the equality lessons were not “age appropriate”.
A High Court injunction is in place banning protests, which have been going on for months, outside the school.
Parents started to gather at the gates over concerns children were “too young” to learn about LGBT relationships. They also said the lessons contradicted Islam.
In the video, Mr Godsiff, who is seen with Shakeel Afsar, the lead organiser of the protests, said: “If I had the opportunity of rolling the clock back I would do exactly the same thing again.
“Because I think you have a just cause and I regret the fact that it hasn’t been reciprocated by the head teacher.”
Editor’s comment : This MP is obviously more interested in keeping his Muslim voters on side . Multi culture is highly selective and top down. The issue here is not the rights and wrongs of LGBT teaching, it is about pandering to one section of society. Islamic countries have a bad record on human rights where they think it conflicts with their religion. In Britain, there is strong movement to accommodate Islam against the wider and varied aspirations, values and hopes of the wider population. There is no easy answer to this prolematic situation. There is also the issue of Labour’s new MP for Peterborough backing anti Jewish internet comments. Labour is very dependent on the Muslim vote in its city strongholds. Muslims have a very definite culture based on Islam. They are not and cannot be multi culturalist, but the rest of us face the weight of the law and wrath of the liberal elite if we do not go along with the project.
Obviously to anyone with a brain, multi culutre equals fragmentation, fragmented people and the resurgence of wonderfully diverse and conflicting religious bigotry, which the ruling money grabbing elite- helped by upper middle class hand wringing do gooder liberals- expect to keep them in the manner to which they re accustomed.
Obviously, meantime, the aspergic nerds will go on churning out the big brother and war winning technology. Very simple. Problems arise when the likes of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange mess it up. As I wrote im my book ‘Man, Maid, Woman’. ‘God Laughed Nastily.’
Ann Widdicombe. She plays the part of the true Christian Catholic, terribly naive, but so comfortable in her beliefs. She suugests that science might provide an answer to homosexuality. This is an interesting contradiction from a woman so devout because Catholicism has a history of opposing science, as does its sister religion of Islam. They seem to favour bigotry, distorting Jesus’s teaching, and loving war in God’s name. This still goes on, in spite of science.
I suggest to Ms Widdicombe that there is a simple answer to her question about homsexuality. If she wants more men to desire and reproduce with women, then women need to stop hiding the fact that they have the Freudian penis envy- oh shock horror freedom of speech does not allow me to say that.
I have written a book on transgender- ‘Man, Maid, Woman’- and know why men find transexuals more attarctive than aggressive butch so called females. It harbours a barren and hopeless outcome. It is why we have record school exclusions, Islamic paranoia and rising youth suicide. It is not a problem that money and elite denial can solve.
Meanwhile Ann, if you want your Brexit Party to succeed and help us reform Europe- rather than get a fake leave, shut up about religion and keep God to yourself.
P.S : Widecombe Fair“, also called Tom Pearce (sometimes spelt “Tam Pierce”), is a well-known Devon folk song about a man called Tom Pearce, whose horse dies after someone borrows it to travel to the fair in Widecombe with his friends. Its chorus ends with a long list of the people travelling to the fair: “Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.” Some research suggests that the names originally referred to real people.
In 1970, when black students occupied the dean’s office at Harvard Divinity School to protest against the absence of African-American scholars on the school’s faculty, the white administration was forced to respond and interview black candidates. It asked James Cone, the greatest theologian of his generation, to come to Cambridge, Mass., for a meeting. But the white power structure had no intention of offering Cone a job. To be black, in its eyes, was bad enough. To be black, brilliant and fiercely independent was unpalatable. And so the job was given to a pliable African-American candidate who had never written a book, a condition that would remain unchanged for the more than three decades he taught at Harvard.
Harvard got what it wanted. Mediocrity in the name of diversity. It was a classic example of how the white power structure plays people of color. It decides whom to promote and whom to silence. When then-Maj. Colin Powell helped cover up the 1968 massacre of some 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam he was assured a glittering career in the Army. When Barack Obama proved obedient to the Chicago political machine, Wall Street and the Democratic Party establishment he was promoted to the U.S. Senate and the presidency.
Diversity in the hands of the white power elites—political and corporate—is an advertising gimmick. A new face, a brand, gets pushed out front, accompanied by the lavish financial rewards that come with serving the white power structure, as long as the game is played. There is no shortage of women (Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Donna Brazile), Latinos (Tom Perez and Marco Rubio) or blacks (Vernon Jordan, Clarence Thomas and Ben Carson) who sell their souls for a taste of power.
Ta-Nehisi Coates in his book “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” writes that “Barack Obama is directly responsible for the rise of a crop of black writers and journalists who achieved prominence during his two terms.” But this was true only for those black writers like Coates and Michael Eric Dyson who were obsequious cheerleaders for Obama. If, like Cornel West, you were black and criticized Obama you were isolated and attacked by Obama surrogates as a race traitor.
“For those who didn’t support Obama it was the lonely time,” said Glen Ford, the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, when we spoke recently. “It’s like A.D. and B.C. Before Obama time, my politics reflected that of a black commentator, probably within a respectable black political spectrum. I’m looking at a fax, ‘NAACP September 8, 2007. NAACP regional leader.’ I got this after giving a keynote speech in Little Rock, Ark., in commemoration of the events in Little Rock in ’57. You see what I’m saying? I could do that, even as late as 2007. Then Obama happened. It was a wonderful time for people who endorsed Obama. If you didn’t endorse Obama, you were verboten in the community. All of a sudden you were ostracized.”
The absence of genuine political content in our national discourse has degraded it to one between racists and people who don’t want to be identified as racists. The only winners in this self-destructive cat fight are corporations such as Goldman Sachs, whose interests no American can vote against, along with elite institutions dedicated to perpetuating the plutocracy. Drew G. Faust, the first woman president of Harvard University, whose appointment represented a triumph for diversity, upon her retirement was appointed to the board of Goldman Sachs, a role for which she will receive compensation totaling over half a million dollars a year. A new and “diverse” group of Democratic Party candidates, over half of whom have been recruited from the military, the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department, is hoping to rise to political power based on the old con.
“It’s an insult to the organized movements of people these institutions claim to want to include,” Ford said. “These institutions write the script. It’s their drama. They choose the actors, whatever black, brown, yellow, red faces they want.”
“I don’t think a black left should be investing any political capital or energy into getting Barack Obamas into a Harvard,” Ford said, “or believing it can transform Harvard or any of these ruling-class universities from the inside out, any more than it can transform the Democratic Party from the inside out.”
Ford points out that “diversity” has been substituted by the white power elites for “affirmative action.” And, he argues, diversity and affirmative action are radically different. The replacement of affirmative action with diversity, he says, effectively “negates African-American history as a legal basis for redress.”
Once the Supreme Court in its 1978 Bakke decision outlawed “quotas” for racial minorities, ruling institutions were freed from having to establish affirmative action programs that would have guaranteed a space for those traditionally excluded. The Trump administration’s recent reversal of an Obama-era policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in admissions is an attempt to eradicate even diversity. President Trump and his racist enablers, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, are resegregating America.
“You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe you have been completely fair … ,” President Lyndon Johnson said in 1965 to the graduating class of Howard University. “This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity—not just legal equity but human ability—not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.”
Johnson’s call, along with that of Martin Luther King Jr., was swiftly sabotaged by white, liberal elites, who divorced racial justice from economic justice. White liberals could live with laws prohibiting segregation but not with giving up some of their financial and social privilege.
“White liberals are not seeking justice,” Ford said. “They’re seeking absolution. Anything that absolves them of responsibility for what this society has done, they welcome it. They’re hungry for it.”
“The legal, as well as moral, basis for affirmative action lay in the culpability of the United States and all of its layers of government in the enslavement and Jim Crow ‘hobbling’ of African-Americans—a unique history of oppression of a specific people that requires institutional redress,” Ford has written. “Otherwise, the legacies of these crimes will reproduce themselves, in mutating forms, into infinity. Once the specificity of the Black American grievance was abandoned, affirmative action became a general catch-all of various historical wrongs. Stripped of its core, affirmative action morphed into ‘diversity,’ a vessel for various aggrieved groups that was politically versatile (and especially useful to the emerging Black deal makers of electoral and corporate politics), but no longer rooted in Black realities. The affirmative action of Dr. King and President Johnson was a species of reparations, a form of redress for specific and eminently documentable harms done to African Americans, as a people. It was understood as a social debt owed to a defined class.”
“ ‘Diversity,’ ” Ford wrote, “recognizes no such debt to a particular people, or to any people at all. Rather, its legal basis is the ‘compelling interest’ of public institutions in a diversified student body (or faculty).”
Diversity does not force the white power structure to address racial injustice or produce results within the black underclass. This feint to diversity was abetted, Ford points out, by black elitists who found positions for themselves in the power structure in exchange for walking away from the poor and marginalized.
Ford calls these black elitists “representationalists” who “want to see some black people represented in all sectors of leadership, in all sectors of society. They want black scientists. They want black movie stars. They want black scholars at Harvard. They want blacks on Wall Street. But it’s just representation. That’s it.”
The plague of diversity lies at the core of our political dysfunction. The Democratic Party embraces it. Donald Trump’s Republican Party repudiates it. But as a policy it is a diversion. Diversity has done little to ameliorate the suffering of the black underclass. Most blacks are worse off than when King marched in Selma. African-Americans have lost over half of their wealth since the financial collapse of 2008 because of falling homeownership rates and job loss. They have the highest rate of poverty at 27.4 percent, followed by Hispanics at 26.6 percent and whites at 9.9 percent. And 45.8 percent of black children under 6 live in poverty, compared with 14.5 percent of white children in that age group. Forty percent of the nation’s homeless are African-Americans although blacks make up only 13 percent of our population. African-Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites.
Diversity does not halt the stripping away of our civil liberties, the assault on our ecosystem or the punishing effects of mandated austerity and deindustrialization. It does not confront imperialism. Diversity is part of the mechanics of colonialism. A genuine revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, was replaced with the pliant and corrupt Mobutu Sese Seko. Both were black. But one fought the colonial tyrants and the other served them. A political agenda built solely around “diversity” is a smokescreen for injustice.
The victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the powerful Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in Brooklyn last month is not a victory for diversity, although Ocasio-Cortez is a woman of color. It is a victory of political substance over the empty rhetoric of the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez defied the party establishment as an avowed member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She could not even get a pre-election endorsement from Bernie Sanders, her mentor, who is playing Faust to Chuck Schumer’s Mephistopheles. She calls for Medicare for all, the abolishment of ICE, a federal jobs program and an end to the wars in the Middle East and has denounced Israel’s massacre of unarmed Palestinians. She stands for something. And it is only when we stand for something, including reparations for African-Americans, that we have a chance to dismantle corporate tyranny.
“I’ve always felt, in the early ’60s when I was just a kid, that the silent partner, sometimes reluctant although still a partner, in the civil rights movement were the corporations who wanted a unified market,” Ford said. “Jim Crow was a big anomaly in terms of creating a more unified market in the United States. You can’t have an Atlanta skyline, with its magnificent elevators, with Jim Crow. Not only would Atlanta not be an international city, it couldn’t be a national city with Jim Crow. The corporate forces wanted to break down Jim Crow and explicit color discrimination. It standardized the market. This is what capitalists do. The Democratic Party is not behaving any differently than the corporations over the past 50 years.”
“I’m not worried by the Trump phenomenon,” Ford said. “That doesn’t scare me. It’s disconcerting. But it doesn’t scare me. I’m far more afraid of the space that it gives to the corporatists. It’s to their advantage. Trump defines the white man’s party’s space. It’s big. It’s no joke. It can win presidential elections. It can win again. It needs money from corporate Republicans, but it doesn’t need anything else from them. The white man’s party more clearly defines the space the Democrats claim. It’s everybody who is not an overt racist.”
“I don’t think Trump will ever beat Obama’s records in terms of deportation,” Ford went on. “We should be fighting U.S. immigration policy. But that isn’t Trump. We should be organizing against Amazon taking over a whole city. But that isn’t Trump. Will Trump’s next pick for the Supreme Court be different from any pick that a Republican would make? In fact, because he’s crazy, he might fuck up and make a bad pick for himself. He ain’t deep enough to pick the worst guy. He hasn’t read the Federalist Papers.”
Columnist Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers…
In this article:
“representationalists”1957 little rock integration1970 protest over faculty1978 bakke decisionaffirmative actionalexandria ocasio-cortezbarack obamabernie sandersbetsy devosblack agenda reportcolin powellcongresscornel westdemocratsdeportationdiversitydonald trumpdrew g. faustglen fordgoldman sachsgovernmentharvard divinity schooljames conejim crowlyndon johnsonmartin luther king jrmichael eric dysonmobutu sese sekomy lai massacrenationalpatrice lumumbapoliticspresidentracial quotasracismreparationsrepublicansta nehisi coatestd originals comments
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Local N.Y. Media Wrongly Pushes for Gang Databases
The New York Post defends (6/16/18) NYPD’s gang database.
When President Donald Trump rails against alleged immigrant gang members as “animals,” as he did last month, he’s reducing complex (and highly political) issues—like the presence of MS-13 in the United States—to a fearsome cartoon of snarling packs of subhuman marauders. Vintage Trump, right? But local media, nowadays lionized as a check on Trump, resort to the same strategy, playing fast and loose with the inflammatory term “gang” and deferring time and time again to questionable police tactics.
As FAIR’s Adam Johnson wrote two years ago (“Media Convict Scores of ‘Gang Members’ on NYPD’s Say-So—No Trials Necessary,” 5/2/16), local dailies in New York City were instrumental in convicting alleged gang members in the court of public opinion before anyone had ever even seen a judge. Most other local media outlets took the same approach, never bothering to ask if the scores of people arrested and perp-walked by police as violent gang members could actually be innocent, or unfairly swept up by a police department (in)famous for its dragnet approach to public safety.
On the gang sweeps, the New York Daily News led the way with its 2015 “Gangs of New York—and How Close You Live to Them” special feature (12/13/15), which included a map purporting to show “where gangs and crews operate,” based on data provided by the NYPD. It’s little surprise, then, that after community legal advocates criticized large-scale gang raids, leading to public hearings questioning the tactics, the News’ editorial board quickly sided with police on a key tool: so-called gang databases.
The Daily News (6/15/18) asks critics to quit picking on the New York Police Department.
Editorializing in favor of a database kept by the NYPD that no one knows they’re on—and therefore cannot challenge their inclusion in—the News (6/15/18) shrugged off community concerns as “alarmism,” and called the collection of people on the database (some as young as 13 when added to it) “good police work.” The editorial headline “Ganging Up on Police: The NYPD’s Gang Database Is a Solid Investigative Tool” told readers it was the police who were under attack, and conferred legitimacy on a shadowy database that the News‘ own reporting (6/12/18) suggests can negatively impact people for years.
Local police gang databases can present serious legal implications for those marked as gang members, such as increased bail, harsher sentencing, erosion of presumption of innocence and even increased chances of deportation.
Lawyers and activists have suspected local gang database information is shared with federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), sometimes even putting people trying to avoid gangs on the deportation block (New Yorker, 1/1/18). In fact, a new report released on the same day that Trump made his “animals” comment says that gang designations have led to increased deportations of young immigrants in New York. The report also points to “media coverage in certain outlets” that have “exacerbated the view of MS-13 as a dangerous, invading army of foreigners,” thus “sowing fear around the country.” Are these concerns alarmist? Or, as the New York Post‘s editorial board headlined, “utterly ridiculous” (6/16/18)?
For News and Post readers, the editorial board positions must have sounded awfully familiar: They were almost indistinguishable from the police department’s position, which was published by the News (6/12/18) the day before key hearings by the New York City Council.
Despite a later apology, the Daily News doesn’t seem to have learned from this editorial mistake (8/13/13).
Not just the editorials but the whole scenario should feel familiar, since we’ve been here before. Nearly five years ago, as the NYPD was being criticized by community and legal groups over its Stop and Frisk program, the News‘ editorial board (8/13/13) sided with the police department, predicting “the ravages of lawlessness and bloodshed” if police efforts were curtailed. That didn’t happen, and the News, three years later, apologized on its pages (“We Were Wrong: Ending Stop and Frisk Did Not End Stopping Crime,” 8/8/16).
You’d think after being so spectacularly wrong on Stop and Frisk, the News would take the lesson to be more skeptical and wary about police practices. Alas, no, the editorial instinct is the same: support the police department to the point of echoing its talking points.
The News and Post couldn’t even bring themselves to follow even the most basic journalistic practice of asking for more information. There are still essential questions around the database and the actual impact of gangs left unanswered. The NYPD and the News, for example, claim the database currently has only about 17,500 New Yorkers listed. However, a Freedom of Information request by CUNY Law School’s Babe Howell suggests over 42,000 names, based on information she received from the police department itself.
The NYPD and the News say that about half of all shootings in the city are “gang-related”—which would include suspected shooters and victims that the police allege to be gang members. However, seen in the broader context of New York City, which is experiencing record low crime, “gang-related” crime accounts for 1.7 percent of overall crime. The numbers get even lower for “gang-motivated” crime—crime done in the interests of a gang, according to police—which is at less than 0.1 percent (The Intercept, 6/11/18).
Then there is the key argument over whether the NYPD should have arbitrary power over designating who, in fact, is in a gang. The criteria police use is remarkably loose: simply “associating” with gang members, living in certain neighborhoods, having certain tattoos and even wearing certain colors. With criteria like these, which scream guilt by association, it’s hardly surprising that 99 percent of people added to the list are non-white.
With remarkable disparities over how far-reaching the database really is, the extent to which gang violence actually affects the city, as well as the central question of who is actually in a gang, the editorial position of two of the city’s major newspapers would seem, at the very least, premature.
There is, of course, nothing to lose for members of the News‘ editorial board. As I wrote earlier this year in Injustice Today (now The Appeal), there are no measures of accountability for media when they support destructive police policies. While some media outlets may apologize years after the policies have upended people’s lives, they are free to continually support more potentially destructive policies in the future.
I have been one of many organizers pushing back against the database and the NYPD’s gang sweeps. And, in fairness, the News did publish my opinion piece (6/13/18) on the gang database. But that doesn’t amount to balance in their pages when both the reporting and editorial weight is thrown behind the police, time and time again.
For the New York Post (6/26/18), a killing that happened while the NYPD had a gang database proves the need for a gang database.
A recent, horrendous killing of a 15-year-old Bronx boy by alleged gang members could make media coverage worse.
The Post (6/26/18) has already jumped on the story to make the point that his death “proves we need an NYPD gang database.” Three years ago, the Post (5/31/15) similarly spotlighted fatal shooting cases to make the case that New York City should bring back Stop and Frisk. What the Post wanted then, as it does now, is to unleash the police—who it says has been “handcuffed” by the advocacy of “radicals” and “cop-haters”—to do whatever it wants.
While the teen’s killing has rightly stirred outrage on social media and in the community, is the answer to ramp up aggressive police enforcement? The Post presents the false choice that in order to prevent violence, the police must be enabled in a way that could lead to further injustices. In the 2007 report “Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies,” Judith Greene and Kevin Pranis wrote about the failures of gang suppression efforts across the country to actually reduce gang violence.
The way media might further intensify police gang tactics could impact a growing national conversation and empower the most dangerous elements of the Trump administration. Last year, after a string of brutal killings in Long Island, reportedly by MS-13, it was Trump’s Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions who arrived to declare war on gangs.
Much of this is happening as activists are making some headway in challenging anti-gang tactics. Activists in Chicago, where a Guatemalan immigrant was arrested by ICE last year after being incorrectly identified as a gang member, recently filed a class action lawsuit challenging the Chicago police department’s gang database for being inaccurate and discriminatory. In Los Angeles, where California’s gang database was found to have 1-year old babies listed, activists and lawyers recently won a federal ruling barring police from imposing damaging gang injunctions, a civil court-ordered restraining order that restricts where certain residents can go, who they can be seen with and even what they can wear.
Locally, the Daily News and New York Post want their readers to simply trust law enforcement. History may be repeating itself, with many people’s lives likely to be impacted. Either way, New York City’s editorial boards are happy to go along for the ride.
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Let us work harder.
Iran: Trump’s Tweets Have Added $10 a Barrel to Cost of Oil
Iran’s official for the Organization of Petroleum Countries, Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, was quoted by the Iranian Press last week as directly taking aim at President Trump for roiling the oil markets with his Twitter activity: “Your tweets have increased the prices by at least $10. Please stop this method.”
Investors and buyers are jittery, worried about what prices per barrel will be like six months out. Lots of imponderables go into the price. The world produces about 99 million barrels a day. If even a million barrels a day goes off the market because of political turmoil (like in Libya and Venezuela), it has a disproportionate impact on prices. This year, world demand is likely to be up by over a million barrels a day. And, political turmoil and other factors could reduce supply.
Iran exports about 2.5 million barrels a day. Take that off the market, or any substantial part of it, and demand is higher than supply, equaling rising prices.
Hence Trump’s tweets can put up the price up.
Moreover, Trump’s brinkmanship with Iran has led the hardliners in Iran to threaten to close the Straits of Hormuz to shipping if Iran is crushed. They can’t actually do this, I have been assured by U.S. Navy officers, but as I said, oil markets are jittery and often put up prices for reasons that seem to me silly.
The episode is full of ironies. Trump has a thing about gasoline prices, probably remembering how everyone hated Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s during the oil price spike. But he can’t help wanting to strong-arm Iran and undo the 2015 nuclear deal, just because it was a signature achievement of Barack Obama. If Obama had jumped in a river to save children from drowning, Trump would hire hit men to track them down and shoot them now.
So he is, as usual, his own worst enemy, producing the opposite of what he is aiming for.
In fact, Trump is a one-man inflation-machine. The trade wars he is picking will cause consumers to have to pay more for automobiles and lots of other commodities. His own voting base will suffer most because they probably shop in Walmart, the chief marketing agent in the U.S. for the goods produced by the Chinese Communist Party.
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Electric Car Sales Promise Shock for Big Oil
Oil and gas companies have underestimated probable electric vehicle sales and the effect they will have on their own businesses and profits, a new report says.
If the car manufacturers’ projections of future sales of electric cars are correct, then demand for oil will have peaked by 2027 or even earlier, sending the price of oil in a downward spiral as supply exceeds demand, says Carbon Tracker (CT), an independent financial think-tank carrying out in-depth analysis on the impact of the energy transition on capital markets.
It says fossil fuel companies have taken into account some engine fuel efficiencies and the effect they would have on oil demand, but not the expected increase in electric vehicles themselves. There is a big mismatch between forecasts of EV market penetration from vehicle manufacturers and from oil majors, says Laurence Watson, a CT data scientist.
“The oil industry is underestimating the disruptive potential of electric vehicles, which could reduce oil demand by millions of barrels a day. Increases in fuel efficiency will also eat into oil demand and the industry’s profits. The oil majors’ myopic position presents a serious investor risk,” he told the Climate News Network.
Expectations Far Lower
The report looks at all the projections of the major oil companies, including Exxon and BP, and says their figures for electric vehicle growth in the 2020s are 75 percent to 250 percent smaller than those expected by the global car manufacturers that have announced targets.
Electric vehicle sales in China alone, a figure bolstered by government intervention, are expected to be seven million a year by 2025. These, plus the three million a year aim of Volkswagen by the same date, would exceed oil industry estimates for sales for the whole world.
There are immense variables taken into account in the report. These include the number of miles driven by the average electric vehicle and the sort of car it replaces.
These variables depend on the influence of various governments’ policies to reduce oil in transportation in order to keep global temperature rise below 2°C beyond pre-industrial levels. The need to reduce air pollution also strongly favors the introduction of electric vehicles in cities.
More Demand Reduction
Another of the imponderables is the increasing efficiency of the internal combustion engine, which in itself also reduces demand for oil. It follows a growing trend already well-established in several countries, including Sweden, which from 2019 will produce no more vehicles powered by internal combustion alone.
The take-up of electric vehicles is crucial to the future of the oil industry because transportation takes up 50 percent of total oil demand. About half of the demand from transport is from light passenger vehicles, those that are most likely in the short term to switch to electricity.
Heavy-duty transport, aviation and shipping are also beginning to switch, but it is cars that will make the early difference.
The report argues that it is not total oil demand that matters but the difference between supply and demand. The 2014 crash in the oil price was caused by a surplus of 2 million barrels of oil a day, mainly because of a boom in US shale production.
To get the price back up to improve oil company profits took the combined efforts of the OPEC oil countries and the Russian government in cutting production, a process that needed three years.
According to the CT report, demand for oil will fall by 8 million barrels of oil a day by 2030 because of the expected deployment of electric vehicles, meaning that the oil-producing countries will have to constantly reduce their production in order to keep prices up.
The report argues that although oil demand will continue to be very large, the peak demand will have been reached around 2025. Demand displacement by electric vehicles “will significantly disrupt oil and gas company business models. Furthermore, we believe that when global oil demand peaks this will fundamentally alter investors’ approach to the industry.”