Saturday, June 4, 2011
Posted by Will at 7:32 PM
- Syria Live Blog - June 04. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 04. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 04 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.8 ! activity in Turkey.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 128.Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Europe - Latest official Situation Update on E-Coli epidemic. Situation Update No. 33
On 04.06.2011 at 04:10 GMT+2. So far, 18 people have died from the strain, which is the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history. Source.
- US: Peace summit instead of flotilla.(Ynet).Turkish newspapers say Washington considering asking Ankara to host Israeli-Palestinian conference in exchange for stopping Gaza-bound sail, ending diplomatic crisis with Jerusalem.The American administration is considering offering the Turkish government a deal, which would see Ankara hosting a peace conference attended by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in exchange for restoring its relations with Jerusalem and stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla planned for late June, Turkish newspaper Zaman reported Friday. According to the flotilla organizers, vessels from several European countries will leave Turkey towards the end of June.Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted sources as saying that the United States would officially ask Turkey to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in exchange for stopping the flotilla and ending the diplomatic crisis with Israel. According to the offer, the summit will continue previous gathering held in the past, including the 1991 Madrid Conference and the secret Oslo negotiations in 1993. A US State Department spokesperson said Wednesday that his country had raised its concerns with the Turkish government regarding any flotilla sailing towards the Gaza Strip. According to the US, any flotilla would be considered an act of provocation since there is already an effective protocol to transfer humanitarian aid into Gaza.State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner raised the issue during a daily press briefing in Washington, saying that in recent conversations with the Turkish government the US warned against organizations planning to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. "We’ve raised our concerns with the Turkish Government as well, and we’ve also met and said publicly as well as privately, meeting with some of these NGOs, about the risk for attempting to break this blockade," said Toner. "We have made clear through the past year that groups and individuals who seek to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions that entail a risk to their safety. I think I’ve talked about this specifically."Toner reiterated that "there are established and efficient mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance through to Gaza, and that’s been our message consistently".Hmmmm.....IF this is true, then why allow the US ship "Audacity of Hope " to leave for Gaza?Nice try Hussein!Read the full story here.
- Was the Faith of Jerusalem discussed in Rome, between the Pope , Biden and Abbas?Was Vice -President Biden in Rome meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also?(CNSnews).U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, a pro-abortion rights Roman Catholic, met with Pope Benedict XVI in an unannounced visit at the Vatican on Friday.Vatican officials said the meeting was strictly private and U.S. officials declined to give details.Biden, who was in Rome to mark Italy's 150th anniversary as a unified nation, is an observant Catholic who nevertheless supports abortion rights. Benedict has long insisted that Catholic politicians follow church teaching on such "nonnegotiable" issues as abortion, which the Vatican strongly opposes.The Vatican did not release a photo of Biden and the pope. The media only learned of the meeting when journalists at the Vatican to cover Benedict's meeting with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas spotted Biden's car in the Vatican courtyard.Hmmmmm........Someone hiding big secrets?Read the full story here.
- Woman handing out the Koran and talking religion outside Outside Bloomington Library Stabs two people.(CBS).Two people were stabbed in a seemingly random attack at a Twin Cities library.After the incident Wednesday night at the Oxboro Library in Bloomington, 35-year-old Samira Abdalla Salim was arrested.Salim was no stranger to the Oxboro Library. She had a reputation for handing out the Koran and talking religion outside the building.“They had some issues with her harassing other patrons,” said Bloomington Police Commander Mark Stehlik.But it’s what investigators say she did on Wednesday night that surprised everyone. “I never thought she would do that. She was very nice,” said Anisa Ahmed, Salim’s neighbor. Salim is accused of stabbing two people. The first victim was a woman who was walking into the library.“The next thing she knew, she felt a sharp pain in the middle of her back and realized she had been stabbed,” said Stehlik.The second was a security guard who heard the victim’s cry for help. He went to talk to Salim in the parking lot.“Spoke to her briefly and then she actually stabbed him as well. Stabbed him in the abdomen,” said StehlikBecause Salim lived next door to the library, witnesses identified her right away and she was arrested in minutes.“Nobody was worried about her committing a violent act,” said Stehlik.Fourteen-year-old Ahmed lives next door to Salim and only knows a friendly lady whose kids were friends with her sisters.“She’d greet us every morning … and she’d get to know us,” said Ahmed.Now the question everyone wants answered is why a woman who was not seen as a threat suddenly became violent.“It’s unusual. Somebody minding their own business, walking into library, it doesn’t happen too often where they become victim of assault like this,” said Stehlik.The victims had minor injuries. Police say they weren’t stabbed with a knife but a sharp, pointy object.Hmmmm....."The Djinnis made me do it"?Read the full story here.
- Proof that S.F.’s circumcision ban Is anti-Semitic.(InfidelBloggers).As you may have heard by now, San Francisco will be voting this November on whether or not to ban circumcision in the city.Defenders of the measure say it’s all about “human rights” and “protecting babies” from unnecessary procedures.But critics suspected there was something vaguely anti-Semitic about the whole proposal, since among Jews (and Muslims, as well) circumcising male babies is a religious duty, not just a mistaken medical procedure.Ban proponents insisted their proposal had nothing to do with Jews — really, it’s all about the rights of children.Well, any doubt that they were lying have now been dispelled, with the publication of new campaign literature for the upcoming circumcision ban. The campaign comic book, called “Foreskin Man,” after its baby-saving superhero, features a litany of evil Jews doing battle with blond Nordic saviors.Anyway here's the team of the 'cartoon':
Written and Edited by Matthew Hess
Pencilled and Inked by Gledson Barreto
Colored and Lettered by Ian Sokoliwski
Gledson Barreto is a28 years old, I am natural of the city of Jaguaribe-Ce. It concludes the university in History in the year of 2006, for University of Philosophy Dom Aureliano Matos. Now I am municipal public employee, more specifically of the City councils of Lemon tree of the North, city where I live. In the spare times I work as designer, being that one of my passions. I adore to draw!!! In that area, now drawing for Ed Benes Studio.Ed Benes of DC Comics, the US publishing giant, will publish the first of six special crossover issues in which The 99 will be fighting crime alongside the Justice League of America, the fictional superhero team that includes Superman and Batman.Gledson is also A get watchers member.
The Acceptance criteria and submission rules:
NO pornographic content
NO extreme violence and/or gore/horror
NO racism.Hmmmm......I don't know if the comic will stay below the 'racism' threshold?Just strange not to use an American artist ,but an Brazilian .......unless DC comics proposed to use him.Read the full story here .
- Sobibor museum shuts on fund shortage.(Ynet). Lack of funds forces exhibition hall at former Nazi death camp in Poland to close, drawing protests from Jewish groups.A lack of funds has forced a museum housing the former Nazi death camp of Sobibor to close, drawing protests from Jewish groups over the fate of a site where up to 350,000 Jews perished. Poland's culture ministry said on Friday it would take charge of the museum, located in the southeast of the country, from next year, but it was not clear who would care for the 25-acre site in the interim period.The closure comes less than a month after a German court convicted former Nazi prison guard John Demjanjuk for his role in the killing of 28,000 Jews at Sobibor during World War II. Demjanjuk, 91, is appealing against the court verdict. "We have ceased all activity at the site. We cannot afford to keep the place orderly and tidy, it's been completely abandoned. It's hard to accept this," said Marek Bem, spokesman for the museum he co-founded in 1994. Until now, funds from the local municipality and private donors have financed the museum. "It is immoral in a way that the site is largely supported by a very dynamic group of victims' families, while the heirs of the perpetrators are nowhere to be seen," said Bem. The museum needs up to 3 million zlotys ($1.10 million) annually to function and to conduct research, he added.The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants issued a statement deploring the closure."The demands of history and our obligation to the education of future generations must be respected so that this solemn place remain open. Whatever the price of memory, the cost of forgetfulness is so much greater," it said, noting the timing of the move shortly after Demjanjuk's conviction. The group later issued a separate statement welcoming the Polish culture ministry's intervention Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and the second largest in the world before the Nazi German invasion of 1939. Most of its Jews perished in the Nazi camps including Sobibor and nearby Belzec, Treblinka and Majdanek. Set in a swampy forest, Sobibor became the final destination for many Jews not only from Poland but from a number of other European countries. Bem said 13 survivors of the Sobibor camp were still alive.Two years ago, Poland appealed for international financial help to maintain the Auschwitz site. Germany and Britain are among countries that have made donations.Read the full story here.
- Kate and Wills enjoy a day at the races... and the Queen keeps smiling even though her horse finished third at the Derby.(DailyMail).Newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all smiles today as they enjoyed a day at the races, accompanied by royal jester Prince Harry. The trio were clearly enjoying a chuckle as they made their way into the royal enclosure at today's Investec Derby at Epsom.Even the Queen managed to keep a smile on her face, in spite of the fact her horse lost its race.Despite being a favourite to win the Derby in today's race tournament, colt Carlton House - the 5-2 favourite - finished third of the 13 runners.Hmmmm.....Is it me or has Prince William forgotten to slip on his wedding ring?Read the full story here.
- 'No calm in Mideast as long as Israel exists'.(Ynet).Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterates call against Jewish State, says 'as long as Zionist regime exists, if only on a small piece of land in Palestine, the region will not see tranquility'.Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday repeated his assertion that there will be no tranquility in the Middle East as long as Tehran's archenemy, Israel, continues to exist."As long as the Zionist regime exists, if only on a small piece of land in Palestine, the region will not see tranquility" he said to a crowd gathered at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the revolutionary leader's death."So all the people of the region shall move towards the disappearance of American domination in the region and the disappearance of the Zionist regime," Ahmadinejad said in the speech, which was broadcast live on state radio.Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also made comments, saying that Iran backs "the undivided country of Palestine which belongs to the Palestinians.""Palestine will return to the arms of Islam, without any doubt," he added. Iran has not recognized Israel since the 1979 Islamic revolution and backs Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups fighting against it.in late May reacted to President Barack Obama's landmark speech on the Middle East, dubbing the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a "satanic plan" doomed to "fail."Obama said in the speech in mid-May that the borders of Israel and Palestine "should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."Hmmmm.....Honestly Mahmoud you're become a bit of a bore ,always the same tune.Read the full story here.
- Saudi Teen wife killed by 62-year-old husband’s gun.(Emirates247).An 18-year-old Saudi woman died after she was shot by a gun owned by her 62-year-old husband and police are investigating whether it was suicide, a newspaper reported on Saturday.Police rushed the unnamed women to hospital but she died on arrival, Almadina said in a report from the southern province of Jazan.“Police found that the gun belongs to the victim’s husband…they are investigating whether it was suicide or she was shot by some one else.”Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- Egypt reopens Rafah crossing after Palestinian breach.(JPost).Video -After bus loads of passengers left waiting at the shut Rafah border, angry Palestinians force gate open; tensions grow between Hamas and Egypt.Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza Saturday afternoon, after dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza stormed the crossing's iron gate. According to Israel Radio, Egypt had delayed the border's opening Saturday morning by nearly three hours. Palestinian border officials said three buses filled with 180 passengers had waited several hours to cross the border at Rafah, the Hamas-ruled gateway to Egypt, and some of those waiting responded by forcing the gate open."We have not been notified of any reason for the closure, passengers are angry," one of the officials told Reuters.Palestinian news channel Ma'an reported that Egyptian authorities said the border was closed due to "works" in progress. The unexpected closure came only days after Egypt announced that the number of travelers allowed to cross into Rafah would be limited to between 350 and 400 people a day.The new restrictions strained relations between Hamas and Egypt less than a week after the border crossing was reopened.Salameh Baraka, director of Hamas’s border crossing police in the Gaza Strip, denounced the restrictions as unreasonable, said they were a setback and called on Cairo to reconsider its move.He added that the Egyptians justified the restrictions by arguing that they were unable to accommodate more than 400 people per day.The Egyptian envoy to the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Othman, denied that the restrictions were the result of external pressure on the Egyptian authorities. He said there was no change in Egypt’s decision to reopen the border crossing and blamed technicalities and logistics for the delays and limits.Read the full story here.
- Sudanese Christian Woman Arrested for Evangelizing; Another is Attacked.(OpendoorUSA).In Darfur Region in northwestern Sudan, Hawa Abdalla Muhammad Saleh was arrested on May 9 in the Abu Shouk camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Al-Fashir, capital of North Darfur state, sources told Compass News. Abdalla has yet to be officially charged, but authorities have accused her of possessing and distributing Bibles to others in the camp, including children. Sources said she could also be tried for apostasy, which carries the death sentence in Sudan. Abdalla has been transferred to an unknown location in Khartoum, sources said, adding that they fear she could be tortured, as she was previously detained and tortured for six days in 2009. The arrest comes as northern Christians become more vulnerable to official and societal pressure with South Sudan set to split from the predominantly Muslim north on July 9.At the same time, in Khartoum, a Christian mother of a 2-month-old baby was wounded because she and her husband left Islam for Christianity. On May 4, knife-wielding, masked assailants attacked Omar Hassan and Amouna Ahamdi, both 27. Hassan told Compass News that his wife was injured while trying to protect him.This recent attack was not the first for Ahamdi. Earlier, before she met and married Hassan, her brother had stabbed her three times in the stomach, seriously injuring her spleen after she told him she had become a Christian. In the violent outburst, her brother also broke her left leg. She was rushed to a local hospital where she met Hassan, also a convert who had also suffered for his faith. Hassan had heard about her suffering and had gone to visit her while she healed from the injuries. After a partial recovery, Ahamdi was discharged back to the hostile home where she had been attacked. “You don’t deserve to be a member of my family,” her angry father shouted at her, she said. Her family locked her in a room, shackled to a wooden chair, and severely beat her for a month. “They shaved all my hair and my father whipped my head,” Ahamdi said. “But neighbors used to sneak in secretly, and provided me food and water.”“I found a chance to escape to the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS), where I got married to Hassan,” she said. Her health however continued to deteriorate, and the doctors recommended she be transferred to Khartoum for specialized treatment. “With a small amount of money, we managed to reach Khartoum by train, where my uncle hosted us, not knowing that we were Christians,” she said. Hassan had also suffered greatly for his faith. Born the son of an imam belonging to the Ansar Al-Sunna, a sect of Sunni Muslims, he started questioning the Quran while accompanying his father on a preaching mission. A high-profile Muslim from Europe happened to be in the area, and young Hassan asked him questions about Muhammad and Jesus. He found no immediate answers and decided to be without faith. His father became so angry that he denied Hassan all basic needs. Hassan began comparing Christianity and Islam with a workmate. His friend invited him to visit a church, and Hassan also began attending a Bible study. Hassan said he began having dreams and visions and heard a voice saying, “This is the way.” He told this to a church pastor, who said that it referred to Jesus saying it of Himself in John 14:6. “A desire for attending church grew in me, and thereafter I got baptized,” Hassan said. “One morning, when I was on my knees praying, my father entered into the room and found me. He closed the door and invited seven relatives plus my elder brother, who started beating me with sticks and broke my shoulder. I almost lost my sight. My elder brother helped me escape to the pastor’s house.” When his father realized that he remained a Christian, he ordered him to leave and never return. This was in 2007. Over the next several years Hassan moved several times. The ESC congregation sent him to Shokaya Bible Institute for six months where upon completion he returned where he met and married Ahamdi in June 2010. Now living in Khartom, Hassan and Ahamdi depend on friends to provide them occasional food. They sometimes go without eating for days. In addition, they have been given notice to vacate Ahamdi’s uncle house after he discovered that they had converted. “Life is becoming unbearable for us here in Khartoum,” said Hassan. “We cannot deny Christ – this is a big challenge to us, because we do not have a place to go,” said Ahamdi, through tears. “We have no food, and we are jobless. I am still in pain, besides having a 2-month-old baby boy to care for.” Sudan (North) is number 35 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries of the world where persecution of Christians is most severe. The U.S. Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report 2010 notes that while Sudan’s Interim National Constitution provides for freedom of religion throughout the country, it establishes sharia (Islamic law) as a source of legislation in the north. Concern is growing as the July 9 date approaches when the referendum will be complete dividing the North and South into two separate states. Hmmmm........Where's the so called Christian President defender of the oppressed?Ah gone golfing ......again. His 13th outing this year and the 71st of his presidency.Read the full story here.
- Driver kills 3 Egyptian soldiers at checkpoint in the northern Sinai.(Emirates247).Egyptian security officials say a truck driver drove through a checkpoint in this northern Sinai city, killing three soldiers and badly injuring a fourth as they slept in their tent.The officials said Saturday that the man drove through a checkpoint while exiting the city of el-Arish, chasing away the soldiers manning it.The truck then swerved toward a roadside tent, killing three sleeping soldiers and badly injuring a fourth.The officials said the driver is in custody. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.They said it was not clear why the driver stormed the checkpoint.Read the full story here.
- And now for something completely Different.Armchair astronaut discovers Mars 'space station' using Google earth.We have all heard of little green men from Mars.But now an American 'armchair astronaut' claims to have discovered a mysterious structure on the surface of the red planet - by looking on Google earth.David Martines, whose YouTube video of the 'station' has racked up over 200,000 hits so far, claims to have randomly uncovered the picture while scanning the surface of the planet one day.Describing the 'structure' as a living quarters with red and blue stripes on it, to the untrained eye it looks nothing more than a white splodge on an otherwise unblemished red landscape.He even lists the co-ordinates 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W so others can go see the anomaly for themselves.In a pre recorded 'fly by' video of the object, Mr Martines describes what he thinks the station might be.He said: 'This is a video of something I discovered on Google Mars quite by accident. 'I call it Bio-station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it.'It's very unusual in that it's quite large, it's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide, it looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders.'It could be a power station or it could be a biological containment or it could be a glorified garage - hope it's not a weapon. 'Whoever put it up there had a purpose I'm sure. I couldn't imagine what the purpose was. I couldn't imagine why anybody would want to live on Mars. 'It could be a way station for weary space travellers. It could also belong to NASA, I don't know that they would admit that. 'I don't know if they could pull off such a project without all the people seeing all the material going up there. I sort of doubt NASA has anything to do with this. 'I don't know if NASA even knows about this.'The 'discovery' is similar to that of the infamous 'face on Mars'Uncovered by the Viking 1 probe in 1976, a quirk of geography threw shadows over a small hill on the Cydonia region of Mars, making the inanimate rock look like a carved face.The picture was heralded as proof of an alien civilisation by some but was dismissed as a mere trick of the light by scientists at NASA.MailOnline has tried to contact both NASA and Goggle for a response to the image, but neither has replied.Read and see the full story here.
- Syria Live Blog - June 04. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 04. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 04 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.8 ! activity in Turkey.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 128.Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Europe - Latest official Situation Update on E-Coli epidemic. Situation Update No. 33
On 04.06.2011 at 04:10 GMT+2
Europe's severe outbreak of Escherichia coli bacterial infections worsened further as more people succumbed to the lethal strain in Germany and around Europe. Total reported cases in Germany reached 1,733, with 520 of those resulting in severe complications that can lead to kidney failure, according to the Robert Koch Institute, a research body funded by the German Health Ministry. Cases have been reported in at least 11 other European countries. Meanwhile, there were four suspected cases in the U.S., said Chris Braden, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director of food-borne, waterborne and environmental diseases. He said all the cases involved people who had recently traveled to Germany. The Spanish, Portuguese and German governments said on Friday that they would request EU aid for farmers affected by the outbreak, which is costing farmers millions of euros as mountains of vegetables sit rotting and uneaten. The source of the outbreak still hasn't been found, and authorities continue to warn against eating raw lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. So far, 18 people have died from the strain, which is the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history.
- Erdogan admids in electronic eavesdropping on a political party ahead of Turkish vote.(Arabnews).ISTANBUL: Evidence of electronic eavesdropping on a political party just over a week before an election has given opposition leaders ammunition to question the state of Turkey’s democracy under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.Controversy flared around Erdogan after he said earlier this week that opposition parties were ganging up to stop his AK party winning more seats in the Kurdish southeast, and that a recording would be released to prove it.“I think the voice recordings will be published today or tomorrow,” Erdogan said in a televised campaign speech in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Wednesday.The recordings were released on Thursday.The frank admission of foreknowledge stunned some political commentators in a country where many people avoid talking on the telephone about politics for fear that someone is listening in.“I was frozen for a moment when I heard him say this on television,” Murat Yetkin wrote in Radikal newspaper on Friday.“The prime minister was announcing a recording of a conversation between two members of another political party and was saying it would be released on the internet soon,” Yetkin said in a column that drew parallels with the Watergate scandal that brought down US President Richard Nixon in 1974.Campaigning for re-election on June 12, and assured of a victory, according to opinion polls, Erdogan has promoted himself as a champion of democracy, and is planning to rewrite the constitution during his third consecutive term in office.Critics accuse his religiously conservative party of having a secret Islamic agenda, an accusation which it rejects.The recording at the center of the row allegedly caught two members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) discussing plans for strategic voting by BDP supporters to help a rival nationalist party stop the AK winning more seats in the Elazig constituency.The BDP is regularly accused of links to Kurdish militants fighting in a separatist insurgency.The leader of the center-left main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) seized on the recording to attack what he called “a wiretapping government” and Erdogan.“He knows about all the tapes. He knows about all of them, watches them before they’re released, then announces them to the public,” CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu said during an election rally in Bartin, near the Black Sea, on Thursday.“You are the prime minister. How can you face the people and tell them an illegal recording is being released?” he asked.One of the BDP officials, whose voice was said to have been recorded, insisted there had been no such conversation and the tape was a fake created by intelligence agents working for Erdogan.“We don’t know what to call this country now, a dictatorship, a rule of hypocrisy, or fraud? The prime minister orders the producing of fake documents, tapes,” Gultan Kisanak said on Kurdish channel Roj TV on Thursday evening.The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has accused the AK and its backers of using dirty tricks after the release last month of videos online showing MHP politicians in “sex videos” with women who were not their wives.Erdogan denied that his party had anything to do with the scandal that forced the resignation of 10 MHP leaders.Hmmmmm.......Welcome to Turkey.....Iranian style.Read the full story here.
- 'What are you waiting for': U.S. born Al-Qaeda spokesman calls on Americans to 'buy guns and start shooting people'.(DailyMail).In a chilling new video, U.S. born Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn calls on American Muslims to buy weapons from gun shows and carry out random, lone-wolf attacks.The video, called 'Do Not Rely on Others, Take the Task Upon Yourself', was produced by al Qaeda's as Sahab media team and shows 32-year-old Gadahn speaking alongside old clips of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin laden.The proposed switch in tactics from organised bombings to lone-wolf style attacks will worry the security services who find tracking individuals much harder than uncovering pre-planned plots.In a calm voice, California-native Gadahn tells Muslims it is easy to get weapons from gun shows and carry out random attacks.He said: 'America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. 'You can go down to a gun show at the local convention centre and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card.'In one section of the video the logos of Exxon, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America are shown as possible targets.Gadahn then goes on to give encouraging words for any would be terrorists.He continues: 'Getting to these criminals isn't as hard as you might think.'I mean we've seen how a woman knocked the Pope to the floor during Christmas mass, and how Italian leader Berlusconi's face was smashed during a public appearance.'So it's just a matter of entrusting the matter to Allah and choosing the right place, the right time, and the right method.'Target major institutions and public figures. 'Do Not Rely on Others, Take the Task Upon Yourself.'What are you waiting for?Hmmmm.....'Misunderstander' of the religion of peace?Read and see the full story here.
- Palestinians storm Gaza border closed again by Egypt.(Al-Arabia).Dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Saturday stormed the iron gate of a border crossing with Egypt shut for the first time since it reopened late last month, Hamas border officials and witnesses said.Palestinian border officials said three buses filled with 180 passengers had waited several hours to cross the border at Rafah, the Hamas Islamist-ruled territory's gateway to Egypt, and some of those waiting responded by forcing the gate open."We have not been notified of any reason for the closure, passengers are angry," one of the officials told Reuters.Ayub Abu Shaa, head of the Hamas police unit at Rafah, said phone calls to the Egyptian side went unanswered and a crowd of hundreds of Palestinians seeking to cross to Egypt were faced with a locked gate.According to a security source in Egypt, the crossing remained closed for works which were to have been completed on Friday and efforts were underway to allow through Palestinian buses.Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing, the only way in and out of Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, last month after it had been largely shut since June 2006 when Israel imposed a blockade after militants snatched an Israeli soldier.The Israeli blockade was tightened a year later when the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the territory, with Egypt cooperating by tightly restricting movement through Rafah.Egypt's decision to permanently reopen Rafah came more than three months after former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned following 18 days of massive street protests against his rule.The sudden closure came a day after Lebanon barred its residents from approaching the border with Israel on Sunday, when the Palestinians mark 44 years since the seizure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War.Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab states neighboring Israel have said they plan to march on the Jewish state's borders to mark the anniversary.Read the full story here.More here .
- Taitz v. Astrue: Judge Lamberth Gives Orly the Green Light To Go After Obama's Social Security Number Reserved for Connecticut Applicants!?Two new orders issued in the FOIA lawsuit against Social Security Administrations Micheal Astrue regarding Obama's social security number reserved for Connecticut applicants. According to the first order atty Taitz has 14 days to refile her First Amended Complaint. The Defendants'(SSA) filed a Motion to Strike Plaintiff's(Taitz) Complaint, First Amended Complaint and attached exhibits. On June 1 Chief Judge Royce Lamberth granted that motion in part and denied it in part. According to the order attorney Orly Taitz must redact the SS#'s in her complaint and refile it.The order reads: ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT, FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, AND ATTACHED EXHIBITS This court, having considered Defendants’ Motion to Strike Plaintiff’s Complaint, First Amended Complaint, and attached exhibits, It is hereby ORDERED that Defendants’ motion is GRANTED, in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff’s Complaint, First Amended Complaint, and all attached exhibits shall be removed from the public record and filed under seal. Plaintiff is directed to refile those documents with properly redacted social-security numbers on the public record within 14 days of this date.SO ORDERED, this 1st day of June 2011. - Stamped Order embedded below...Second order issued by Judge Lamberth is the Scheduling Order, also embedded below...Via atty Taitz: Did White House counsel, Robert Bauer, get an early warning of the order by Judge Lamberth on June 1st, which prompted his resignation on June 2nd???Chief judge of the U. S. district court in the District of Columbia, Royce Lamberth, issued his scheduling order on June 1st. What is important, that it says, that the FOIA cases are exempt from the initial meet and confer, which means that there is no need for Rule 26 conference, so the discovery is on, which means, that the deposition of the White House Counsel regarding Obama’s fraudulent use of the Connecticut Social Security number 042-68-4425 and his use of the forged birth certificate, can go on. Robert Bauer could get deposed. Typically the White House gets an early warning of what is going on in courts, particularly in the DC courts. I wonder, if the White House Counsel Robert Bauer got information from one of the clerks, that the case will go on, which prompted his resignation the next day, on June the second. The clerks held on to this order and filed the June 1 order by judge Lamberth 2 days later, on June the 3rd. I got this information via PACER only a few minutes ago, even though I am the plaintiff on the case..Hmmmmm.......The obot lawyers are very nervous about what has taken place.Read the full story here.
- Literature for SF's anti-circumcision measure stars "monster" rabbis and blonde superheroes.(SFGate).San Francisco's anti-circumcision measure will be decided by voters in November, but the literature for the movement aims to sway them with some disturbing images -- including dark, evil-looking rabbis and a blonde superhero saving babies from their clutches.The measure, supported by self-described "intactivists," would make circumcision performed on anyone under 18 a misdemeanor, even if it is done for religious purposes.It would be punishable by a $1000 fine, or up to a year in jail.But that's not the half of it: check out the eye-opening "Foreskin Man,'' the comic book for this anti-circumcision movement that uses images critics are calling blatantly anti-Semitic.It was reported this week by Chronicle comrade and op-ed columnist Debra J. Saunders.Saunders interviewed Matthew Hess, author of the upcoming anti-circumcision referendum this week. His website, mgmbill.org -- which pushes "a bill to end male genital mutilation in the United States" --also pushes his literature and merchandise starring "Foreskin Man," shown here at right.The star cover image of his comic book shows a dark, bearded rabbi looming over a naked baby laying on a pool table, as a superheo appears ready to save the child.Saunders asked Hess if his comic is anti-Semitic. His answer: "A lot of people have said that, but we're not trying to be anti-Semitic. We're trying to be pro-human rights."He told her the "next issue will deal with a different kind of circumcision."Meantime, Hess is pushing his political effort with other dark, threatening images of Jewish characters.His "Foreskin Man" card set being sold through Cafe Press feautures the terrifying-looking "Monster Mohel."The astounding description of a person qualified to perform the Jewish rite of circumcision:"Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the infantile penile flesh of an eight day old boy."Of course, there is a real political debate going on here: supporters of a ban on circumcision say that it's an unnecessary and outdated practice. Opponents of a ban note that centuries of religious practice support it, and vow to mount legal challenges.However the voters of San Francisco decide, the incendiary literature at use to support this measure is sure to add fuel to the fire.Hmmmm.....it's just anti-semitic.Read the full story here.
- Treasury Continues To Dip Into Retirement Accounts, Prepares To "Take Out" $66 Billion Chunk To Make Room For New Bond Issuance.(ZeroHedge).Today, very quietly, the Treasury released its latest refunding announcement, in which it disclosed it would issue another $66 billion in 3, 10 and 30 Year notes next week. The irony of course is that the US is and continues to be at its debt ceiling limit (or just $25 million short of it), at a total of $14,293,975 million. Furthermore, as was also disclosed by the Treasury, this gross issuance will also be the net amount added in marketable debt, as upon settlement on June 15, there will be no redemptions of maturing bonds. Which simply means that the continued "disinvesting" (which is merely a polite word for plundering) from intragovernmental debt, also known as retirement accounts, is about to kick into high gear. As a reminder, the only solution that Geithner currently has to run the government, at least until August 2 when even this runs out, is to slowly drain the debt in non-marketable accounts, in the form of Suspension of G-Fund and ESF reinvestments, as well as the Redemption and suspension of of CSRDF Investments, measure which when combined will provide a short-term buffer of $232 billion. Yet for all practical purposes, what is happening is that retirement accounts are now being seriously plundered, and if the unthinkable were to happen, and the debt ceiling would not rise, not only would the US be in technical default, but various retirement funds, which already are underfunded, would find themselves even more severely in the Red. As the chart below shows, the total amount of intragovernmental debt currently outstanding, has dropped to levels last seen in early April, even as total debt has continued its steadfast move higher. The scary thing is that by the time August 2 rolls around, the current total of $4.608 trillion in various Trust Funds, will drop to well about $4.4 trillion, or an implicit 6% underfunding in 2 months merely to keep the bloated government operating for a few more months. Read and see the full story here.
- NATO launches helicopter strikes in Libya.(Al-Jazeera). Attack helicopters used for the first time, as opposition fighters advance towards the capital Tripoli.NATO has for the first time used attack helicopters in Libya, striking military vehicles, military equipment and forces backing embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi, the military alliance has announced.British and French attack helicopters were used to strike inside the country overnight on Saturday, hitting targets in the oil port of Brega."Attack helicopters under NATO command were used for the first time on 4 June 2011 in military operations over Libya as part of Operation Unified Protector," NATO said in a statement."This was the first operational mission flown by British Army Apaches at sea," said Liam Fox, the British Secretary of State for Defence."The additional capabilities now being employed by NATO further reinforces the UK's enduring commitment and NATO's determination to... ensure that the people of Libya are free to determine their own future," he added.Military analysts say attack helicopters will allow more precise strikes against pro-Gaddafi forces hiding in built-up areas than the high-flying jets used so far, while reducing the risk of civilian casualties.But on Saturday, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, warned that the NATO operation in Libya was "sliding towards" a land campaign, the RIA Novosti news agency reported."We know that France and Britain intend to use military helicopters. We have given our view of NATO's actions," Lavrov said."We consider that what is going on is either consciously or unconsciously sliding towards a land operation. That would be very deplorable," he added."We think our Western partners understand that the events in Libya are taking an undesirable turn, but the decisions that have been taken are continuing by momentum."France was contributing four Tiger attack helicopters for the NATO operation while Britain offered four Apaches, officials said, adding that the helicopters were being prepared to fly over sea and desert conditions.Read the full story here.
- 'US drone kills Ilyas Kashmiri Pakistan's al-Qaeda leader'.(Al-Jazeera).Ilyas Kashmiri, thought to be mastermind of several deadly attacks, reportedly killed in strike in South Waziristan.A suspected US drone attack in Pakistan has reportedly killed a senior al-Qaeda leader, thought to be linked to the deadly Mumbai attacks in 2008.Witnesses said Ilyas Kashmiri was one of several al-Qaeda fighters killed in South Waziristan on Friday night.The drone attack targeted a group of armed fighters 20km from South Waziristan's main city of Wana, an official told the BBC Urdu service.The official said the attack killed nine people and injured three others.Another official confirmed to Al Jazeera that one of those killed was indeed Kashmiri, although the Pakistani intelligence and security officials said they had no information about his death.A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, which has strong ties to al-Qaeda, denied the reports and said Kashmiri was still alive.Kashmiri was on a list of five dangerous al-Qaeda leaders that the US state department gave to the Pakistani government.Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said that while the drone strike had been confirmed, its victims had not yet been officially named."If he has indeed been killed in this drone strike than it certainly is a major development and a huge success for the US and the drone programme, which is deeply unpopular in Pakistan," Tyab said.More than 200 US drone attacks have occurred in Pakistan since 2008.Kashmiri was the chief of the Harkatul Jihad al-Islami (HJI), an organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda.He was a key suspect in the co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai that left more than 160 people dead and brought India and Pakistan - two nuclear rivals - close to another war.He is also widely believed to have masterminded last month's attack on a naval base in Karachi.This is not the first time Kashmiri has been suspected as the victim of a drone attack, as he was reported to have been similarly killed in September 2009.Read the full story here.
- US Aid To The Arab Spring Must Go To Democracy Groups Not To The Islamists.(BigPeace).President Obama’s grand plan to provide U.S. financial aid to emerging democracies in the Middle East, Egypt and Tunisia now, and possibly later a post-Saleh Yemen and post-Assad Syria, may be commendable but could bring catastrophic results.If the billions in foreign debt-to-be-forgiven or granted in cash to be invested will be used by democratic governments in the region to move their societies away from fundamentalism, radicalism and inequality toward secular, liberal democracy, then the financial support is commensurate with American ideals, the will of the American people and their elected leaders.If the aid will be used to fund programs instituted by the Islamists and their movements, old and new, then the Obama administration’s new Middle East initiative will cause greater injustice for the peoples of the region, and eventually produce greater conflicts for future American generations.President Obama’s speech and comments by his advisers attempted to liken the alleged “historic” aid package for the countries arising out of the Middle East revolts, to the Marshall Plan which helped many European countries cope with post-World War II economic stresses.The major difference then and now between Europe and the Middle East is that European societies had already experienced and were returning to democracy after a few years of fascism and most of the Arab world has no experience with liberal democracy and those societies that have arisen against authoritarianism are still threatened by jihadi fascism.A “Marshall Plan” for the Arab world should come after the defeat of that region’s version of fascism, not before. The aid should reward societies for defeating the Salafist and Khomeinist ideologies, not fund their ascendance.It was secular youth and minorities in Egypt who triggered the popular uprising. The Muslim Brotherhood, a movement dedicated to a theocratic regime and the elimination of liberal democracy, quickly — and with Washington’s stealthy backing — seized the revolution’s microphone, positioned itself at the center of the uprising, and branded itself as the “soul” and “future” of the movement, even though the Muslim Brotherhood did not make up more than 15 percent of the mass of demonstrators in Tahrir Square.Well organized and funded, the Ikhwan, will insert themselves into the electoral process as part of the youth majority. The Christian minority is disorganized and politically marginalized.In Washington, academics and advisers have convinced the Obama administration that a post-Gadhafi Libya, a post-Saleh Yemen, and eventually, a post-Assad Syria will make the Islamists the new U.S. partners in the region. Thus, Mr. Obama’s speech on future U.S. Middle East policy reflects an adaptation to these anticipated changes. The U.S. will recognize the Islamists and try to ingratiate them with a “Marshal Plan” to solidify their rule even if they only pay lip service to “representative democracy.”The Islamists’ voices are not the only ones seeking to be heard in the region. Other voices are speaking out against the alliance between the greatest democracy in history and the Islamists.Liberal voices of the Egyptian, Tunisian, and Syrian uprisings have been signaling an urgent SOS to the free world over the Arabic airwaves: “Do not abandon us for a pragmatic alliance with the Islamists.”An Egyptian youth made a very concerning comment on Al-Hurra television this week, revealing that the Obama administration has cut off all funding in support of liberal and democratic NGOs in the region: “How come the Islamists will be gratified with a huge Marshall Plan while those who want to build a true democratic Middle East are ignored? Is the Obama administration replacing old authoritarians with new ones, and with U.S. taxpayer dollars?”Hmmmm......"I will stand with my Radical Muslim Brothers"?Read the full story here.
- It's time to confront this taboo: First cousin marriages in Muslim communities are putting hundreds of children at risk.(DailyMail).The man wept as he told how his beautiful, dark-eyed child died in a hospital cot with medical tubes snaking from his frail body as nurses fought unsuccessfully to save him. Sick with pneumonia, the two-year-old gave up the battle for life.A rare tragedy, you might think, in modern Britain, with all the advances of medical science. But in the terraced streets of Bradford, Yorkshire, a child’s death is anything but rare. At the boy’s inquest, coroner Mark Hinchliffe said Hamza Rehman had died because his Pakistan-born parents (shopkeeper Abdul and housewife Rozina) are first cousins. Four years before, Hamza’s older sister, three-month-old Khadeja, had died of the same brain disorder which causes fits, sickness and chest infections. The couple had another baby born with equally devastating neurological problems. A heartbroken Mr Rehman told the inquest that he and his wife were unsure whether to have any more children. The coroner expressed deep sympathy before saying that Hamza’s death should serve as a warning to others.He said: ‘This highlights a cultural and religious issue relating to first-cousin marriages and the potential risk to children that some medical experts say can result from such unions.’The coroner chose his words carefully, since he was addressing one of the most controversial — and taboo — subjects in multi-cultural Britain: marriage between cousins in the Muslim communities which has left hundreds, if not thousands, of children damaged or dead. This week, leading geneticist Professor Steve Jones, of University College London, warned that ‘inbreeding’ in Islamic communities was threatening the health of generations of children.This is not the first time the distressing issue has been raised. Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for nearby Keighley, has said that cousin marriages are medieval, harm children and are arranged in order to keep wealth and property within families. ‘It is not fair to the children or to the NHS which has to treat them. If you go into a paediatric ward in Bradford or Keighley, you will find more than half the kids are from the Asian community,’ she said.Since Asians form only 20 to 30 per cent of the population, that figure is clearly disproportionate.Mrs Cryer recalled the case of a young girl in hospital who had to carry an oxygen tank on her back and breathe from a hole in the front of her neck.‘Her parents were warned by doctors not to have more children,’ she explained. ‘But when the husband returned again from Pakistan, his wife had given birth within months to another child with exactly the same condition.’Are the MP’s words, and those of Professor Jones, inflammatory or simply a truth that needs to be aired?Sadly, the facts speak for themselves. British Pakistanis, half of whom marry a first cousin (a figure that is universally agreed), are 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders than the general population, according to Government-sponsored research. One in ten children from these cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-threatening disability. While British Pakistanis account for three per cent of the births in this country, they are responsible for 33 per cent of the 15,000 to 20,000 children born each year with genetic defects. The vast majority of problems are caused by recessive gene disorders, according to London’s Genetic Interest Group, which advises affected families.The problem is most serious in Bradford. A recent survey of 1,100 pregnant women in the city showed that 70 per cent have husbands who are first cousins — a higher percentage than the average of 50 per cent among Pakistanis across the whole of Britain.It is no surprise therefore that more than six per cent of children in Bradford have health defects, with paediatric wards looking after countless children, including teenagers lying in nappies who are unable to speak and are fed through a tube. Meanwhile, the city’s special schools struggle to cope with huge numbers of pupils with learning difficulties. Bradford’s St Luke’s Hospital has seen an extraordinary rise in the number of different types of genetic disorders. Some are very rare and, hitherto, unknown in Britain. In a typical health authority area, the range of different types of genetic disorder total 25 a year. But in Bradford, 140 have been diagnosed, according to Dr Peter Corry, a consultant paediatrician at the hospital. Many are degenerative ailments which lead to a decline in the ability of the brain and spinal cord to function properly after a child is born, as in the case of Hamza and Khadeja. Their bodies weakened, and unable to fight off infections, they gradually faded away. The British Paediatric Surveillance Unit says eight per cent of all UK children born with this kind of neuro-degenerative condition come from Bradford, although the city has just one per cent of the UK’s population. Research into the city’s 9,000 disabled youngsters also revealed a ‘disproportionately high’ level of hearing and sight problems in Pakistani families. But Bradford is not alone. In Birmingham, which also has a big Pakistani community, the city’s Primary Care Trust estimates that one in ten of all children born to first cousins either dies in infancy or goes on to have a serious disability because of a recessive gene disorder.One young mother, calling herself by the Pakistani name of Shenzah, wrote recently: ‘I have a huge difficulty. I am married to a first cousin. My parents and my husband’s parents were also married to their first cousins. ‘Now I have one daughter with lots of defects and the doctor is sure it is due to these marriages.‘I was against marrying a first cousin because I believed it would cause genetic problems, but my family forced me. According to them, what the doctors say is all nonsense.‘I cannot understand why cousin marriages are not forbidden in Islam. The Koran doesn’t forbid it and this encourages people around me to disbelieve what the doctors say. ‘My daughter is not going to survive for long and the doctors are unable to find out what she is suffering from. ‘They are sure if I get pregnant again, the risk for the next baby will be the same.’She said she had two options: ‘One is to give up the idea of having any children, ever. The other is to get a divorce. Please, can anyone tell me what to do?’Read the full story here.
- Suddenly raising the debt ceiling just became a whole lot less important: China sells almost all of its U.S. Treasury Bills.(DougRoss).By that I mean, raising the debt ceiling becomes a lot less important when no one will loan you money. And China ditching our debt simply means that fewer and fewer investors are willing to front the spending-addicted Obama administration any dough.China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less that are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt... Until October, the Chinese were generally making up for their decreasing holdings in Treasury bills by increasing their holdings of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, until October, China’s overall holdings of U.S. debt continued to increase.Since October, however, China has also started to divest from longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, as reported by the Treasury Department, China’s ownership of the U.S. national debt has decreased in each of the last five months on record, including November, December, January, February and March.The hysteria generated by TurboTax Tim Geithner and the Democrats in Congress -- translating roughly to 'if you don't raise the debt ceiling, the four horsemen of the apocalypse will take a collective dump on the world economy' -- is utter bunk.While it is true Congress has never before refused to raise the debt ceiling, it has frequently taken its sweet time to do so. In 1985, Congress waited nearly three months after the debt limit was reached before authorizing a permanent increase. In 1995, 4 1/2 months passed between hitting the ceiling and congressional action. And in 2002, Congress delayed raising the debt ceiling for three months. In each case, the U.S. and the economy survived.... The people running this government are never going to deal with this untenable situation unless and until it becomes untenable for them. The only way that will happen is if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling and forces the administration to prioritize payment of those obligations that must be paid to maintain our full faith and credit — for as Kevin and Veronique point out, this already perilous situation could be blown sky high if the interest rate we must pay to borrow spikes. Only when there is no way around it will we get serious consideration of what government should and should not do, and what kind of welfare state the public is willing to pay for.If we put it off, if we expand the credit card of a bankrupt Washington whose credit card needs to be cut to pieces right now, not only will our dire straits get worse. We won’t get to deal with them — we will be at the mercy of how they deal with us when the music finally stops.Read the full story here.
- Gülen movement’s US ride getting tougher.(HurriyetDaily).All eyes are focused on Turkey for yet another significant voting day, June 12. In Washington, lately, three questions occupy the minds of those who follow Turkey: First, they wonder whether the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, will be able to gain enough seats to write the Constitution by itself. Second, they wonder about the sex-scandal tapes, which wiped out a considerable number of high officials in the opposition National Movement Party, or MHP. And third, they want to know exactly what the Fethullah Gülen movement wants to do and what their ambitions and intentions are.While the first two questions can only be speculated upon, Gülen-U.S. relations are becoming more interesting as the days go by. Gülen, the leader of millions of Muslim followers based in Turkey, himself lives in the U.S., and many in the country’s media are well aware of who he is.The movement in Turkey has long since abandoned the policy of keeping equal distance from political parties. Especially during the constitutional referendum last September, members of the movement actively worked for the passage of the changes. The movement argued that it wasn’t politics they got involved with, it was a matter of principal; supporting the independence of the judiciary. This time, though, it is a general election, and the movement’s media organs are openly supporting the AKP and doing so forcefully. Even olive branches offered by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the new leader of the main opposition party, CHP, to the movement on several occasions were turned down. In appearance, the CHP’s decision to put forward a few jailed Ergenekon suspects as candidates is the sticky point between the two. Having an ideological adversary like the CHP also works for Gülenists to show there is still more to be done in Turkey.In the U.S. though, the biggest criticism appears to be the ambiguity about the group’s structure. Its informal membership of millions of followers worldwide, rapid increase in the numbers of schools and how they are funded in U.S., and a vast variety of narratives about its real power in Turkey continue to pique the interests of Turkey watchers. Today, there is even confusion over what to call the followers of Fethullah Gülen; while Gülen refuses to describe it as a “movement,” and rejects any direct link; other prominent figures of the group have no problem calling it so.To Gülen’s credit, lack of transparency on the part of the movement, or as one U.S. investigative journalist called it, “evasiveness,” is not all reasonless, but merely the result of decade-long habit. The rigid secularism of the Turkish state since the beginning specifically targeted religiosity.The Gülen movement, which started in the early 1970s, had therefore plenty of reasons to go undercover to avoid the wrath of the Turkish military, which was supported by a coalition consisting of the bureaucracy, judiciary and media for decades. Sophisticated strategies, which were designed by Gülen and leading figures of the movement, foresaw that violence, or civil disobedience was not the answer for the future of Muslims in Turkey. Pursuing the best education and one’s elevation in every state institution was the answer to changing the country from the bottom to the top. The movement still believes that the circumstances are not entirely changed and that the old reactionary mindset of Turkish secularism is there and alive; therefore, it is not time to come out into the public sphere with full disclosure.How the strategies that worked so well for the movement in Turkey can be translated into the U.S. is still an open-ended question. Obviously, the movement does not see the U.S. as an equal to Turkey; instead, the U.S. can be seen as the best market to prove that a pious Muslim can coexist and be perfectly happy in a Western democracy.In the last couple of months, especially since Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener’s arrest in Turkey, negative publicity against the movement seems to be gaining momentum in the U.S.“There is a great deal of interest and curiosity on the side of the U.S. media and unless questions about their closed structure and some other tax allegations are answered clearly, the U.S. media will not leave them alone,” said one U.S. Turkey observer in Washington. Arguing that hundreds of schools are being opened in more than two dozen U.S. states without any links or coordination of some sort, the movement fails to convince the U.S. media and the experts alike.The United States’ Anglo-Saxon tradition and tolerance make it rather easy to organize and become involved with any kind of religious sect, as long as it is peaceful. When U.S. journalists and authorities feel they are left in the dark about some of a movement’s other activities, they complain they can’t find any spokesperson for the movement to ask their question; understandably, the mood turns sour toward the movement.In addition to all of that, in recent times, some conservative Christian groups, who have considerable influence on conservative media and politicians, coupled with growing Islamophia in America, appear to be promising that the smooth ride the movement has so far enjoyed in the U.S. might get tougher.As the movement increases its visibility in U.S., the scrutiny on its activities is also inevitably increasing. The impression is that the movement is conscious about some of these shortcomings and is looking for ways to handle questions of transparency in the U.S. Only time will tell whether decades-old habits can be changed.Read the full story here.
- "The War on Christianity".Catholic Bishop Warns Islamists Forcing Christians From Nazareth.(VOA) – A senior Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land says the Christian community is in danger of dying out in Nazareth, an Israeli Arab city where Christians believe Jesus spent his youth. Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo says many of Nazareth’s minority Christians began emigrating more than a decade ago largely because of tensions with local Islamists who tried to build a mosque next to the city’s main church. Israel terminated the mosque project in 2003 and Nazareth has been calm ever since. But, Bishop Marcuzzo says several threats remain to one of the region’s oldest Christian communities, whose first church was built in the 5th century AD.Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo says the emigration of Christians from the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth is endangering the survival of the Christian community in a place of biblical importance to Christianity.The bishop says the main cause of that emigration is a campaign by Islamists to boost their political power in Nazareth at the expense of Christians and moderate Muslims.Tensions erupted in 1997 when Islamists set up a prayer tent near Nazareth’s Basilica of the Annunciation, located where Christians believe an angel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus.The Islamists’ goal was to establish a large, permanent mosque at the site, which houses a shrine to Shihab e-Din, a nephew of 12th century Muslim warrior Saladin. Christians in Nazareth and abroad objected, fearing such a mosque would block access to the Basilica and disrupt Christian services.Christian leaders lobbied for the site to be developed into a plaza for tourists. That idea angered some Islamists, who rioted in Nazareth on Easter Sunday in 1999, smashing Christian-owned cars and shops.“For us, that problem caused the reaction of many families who wanted to go away, because life became difficult here in Nazareth in those days, in those years,” stated Marcuzzo.Read the full story here.
- "The War on Christianity".Muslim Group Offends Some Christians With Jesus Advertisements.(CNSnews).“Jesus: A prophet of Islam” states the provocative tagline in a “public awareness” advertising campaign launched by a Muslim group in Australia’s largest city.The group, calling itself Mypeace, says its aim is to inform, not offend – but offend it has, with one Catholic bishop calling the assertion about Jesus “a direct assault on Christian beliefs.”Roadside billboards in the metropolitan Sydney area carry one of four simple slogans: “Jesus: A Prophet of Islam,” “Holy Qur’an: The Final Testament,” “Muhammad: Mercy to Mankind” and “Islam: Got Questions? Get Answers.”Each banner invites people to get in touch by phone or online, for literature and a free copy of the Qur’an. Mypeace says the ads will stay up for four weeks, and later this year will be run on scores of public buses in the city.One of the billboards featuring the Jesus slogan was vandalized a day after it was erected.Mypeace says its aim is to “address the many misconceptions on Islam, to educate fellow Australians on Islam, invite them to ask any questions that they may have.”Islamic awareness campaigns are not new, but the slogan referring to Jesus is causing a stir. Muslims and interfaith advocates sometimes invoke Jesus to assert some sort of commonality with Christians, implying that Muslims, too, “believe in Jesus.”But Muslims, and the Qur’an, deny the central Christian beliefs regarding Jesus – his divinity,crucifixion and resurrection.Hmmmm.....Jesus Christ is the son of God!Take it...or leave it.Period!Read the full story here.