Monday, January 2, 2012
Yohanna Qulta, Deputy Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt: If the Salafis Come to Power and Instate the Jizya Poll Tax, We Will Oppose This to the Point of Martyrdom
Interviewer: When I asked if the Copts were thinking of leaving Egypt, you said: "Absolutely."
Yohanna Qulta: Of course. The fear we encounter on TV and in national newspapers, which I don't want to name... Actually, why not? Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar... They run large headlines, quoting the Salafis as saying that the Copts should either leave Egypt or pay the jizya poll tax in submission.
The world has changed. The Copts did not fight you [Muslims] or drive you out of your homes, so why do you want to expel them? Do the Copts constitute a foreign community? They tell you that Switzerland persecutes the Muslims, France persecutes the Muslims... The persecution of any group is unacceptable - but we are not even a community of immigrants. We have deep roots in this country.
Interviewer: Do you Copts fear these Salafi statements? If they do come to power and instate the jizya poll tax - I'm not saying that this will happen, but let's assume this for the sake of argument - how will you respond?
Yohanna Qulta: We will oppose this fiercely, to the point of martyrdom. Returning to the Middle Ages is out of the question. We will not turn to the UN or to the Western countries, but to Al-Azhar, to Islamic moral values, and to the vast majority of Muslims, who are moderate. Gone are the days of paying the jizya, the days of slavery. What the Salafis and the others need to understand is that the religious state has failed, from East to West, in every era, both in Christian and Muslims countries.
The Church was liberated the day religious was separated from state. Has the Catholic Church collapsed in Europe, or in France? No, it still exists, despite the separate of Church and state. It has been proven that a religious state is not compatible with human nature. The role of religion is to educate the human conscience. It shapes the conscience of Man, so that merchants have a conscience, engineers have a conscience, laborers have a conscience... Religion is not supposed to regulate traffic or taxes, or to determine whether one should wear the hijab or niqab. Religion is supposed to advise and guide, but to leave one with freedom of choice. Religion is freedom.
What did America - with 150,000 soldiers armed to the teeth - do for the Christians of Iraq? Churches were burnt down, Christians were martyred, and America did nothing. What did America do for the Christians of Lebanon? What did it do for the Arab Christians? What did it do for the Christians of Rwanda and Burundi, one million of whom were killed?
This is a lie. I'd rather turn to my Muslim neighbors. Source.
Hmmmm.....What the Copts need is an independent state, it worked for Sudan so why not for Egypt.
Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Amer Threatens the Secular in Egypt with Jihad and Justifies Islamist Prohibition of Art, Calling It the "Art of the Bedroom," "of Lesbians," and "of Prostitutes"
Mahmoud Amer: I do not believe that Jesus was crucified. I believe in what the Koran says: "They killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them." Am I supposed to believe in the words of our Lord, or in the words of the Vatican? Those were the words of our Lord, not mine. They think [he was crucified]. That's what Christians believe, and I'm not arguing with their beliefs. If they have an issue with my beliefs, let them come and discuss it with me. But I won't hold them to account, because those are their beliefs.
Interviewer: It sounds as if you are declaring Christians to be infidels.
Mahmoud Amer: It's not me who declares them to be infidels.
Interviewer: Who then?
Mahmoud Amer: Do those Christians believe that Muhammad was the Messenger? If so, bring me written confirmation of this from the Vatican, or from the Orthodox Church.
Interviewer: You consider them infidels because they are not prepared to acknowledge that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?
Mahmoud Amer: Let's say that somebody comes along, with the name of Muhammad Ibrahim Ahmad Hassan Hussein - these are all Muslim names - and says: "Muhammad is not the Prophet. I testify that there is no god but Allah, but Muhammad is not the Messenger"... Do I need Sheik Al-Azhar or the Academy of Islamic Studies [to see he is an infidel)? Is he a Muslim, or is he an infidel? We are talking about axioms here, guys. I don't care what he believes in.
Interviewer: Maybe not the Vatican, but there are churches like the Orthodox Church, which cooperate with Islam.
Mahmoud Amer: They all treat Islam as a done deal. That's one thing, but to believe in the Messenger of Allah and his prophecy is quite another.
Interviewer: What about the Orthodox priest who created a furor when he said that some verses of the Koran had been written after the death of the Messenger? He said: "after the death of Muhammad the Messenger," which means that he accepted the fact that Muhammad was the Messenger.
Mahmoud Amer: I am talking about something specific. Bring me confirmation from Patriarch Shinoda that says: "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah," or from the Pope in the Vatican.
The secular stream is talking about things that are at the very foundation of the Islamic nation. Do you know what will happen if this situation continues?
I predicted what is happening now as early as 2007. If this battle with and mockery of the Muslim faith continues, Jihad will be justified from the Islamic legal perspective
Interviewer: You're talking about civil war.
Mahmoud Amer: I'm saying this as a warning: Do not make a mockery of the Muslim faith.
To those who ask: "How will they implement Islamic punishments when we have Christians among us?" I ask: Do the Christians want to have thieves in the country? Let's say there is a Muslim thief, and we implement Islamic punishments - if he says: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger," will the judge say he is innocent? Or will he chop off his hand? I don't understand...
Interviewer: Doesn't the shari'a say that every religious group should operate according to its own laws? In Coptic religious law, there is no chopping off of hands.
Mahmoud Amer: That pertains to one's personal affairs, not to the public domain. He can do whatever he likes in his church or in his own home. Nobody can say a thing. But when he goes out, into society - and it is a Muslim society - he must not undermine public order. Source.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Alaska 4.9!More info here.
- Santorum Schools Yet Another MSM Journalism on Obama’s Appeasement.(BigPeace).Last month, Sen. Rick Santorum schooled CNN’s Candy Crowley on the subject of President Barack Obama’s appeasement of America’s enemies.Today, on NBC’s Meet the Press, it was David Gregory’s turn.Like Crowley, Gregory attempted to “fact-check” Santorum by arguing that it could not possibly be “accurate” or “objective” to describe Obama’s foreign policy as “appeasement.”In particular, he challenged Santorum to distinguish Obama’s policy on Iran from that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. (For several years, Democrats have tried to defend Obama by pointing out that the Bush administration refused to approve military strikes, either by the U.S. or by Israel.)Santorum, as usual, delivered the facts on demand: Santorum pointed out that Obama failed to support Iran’s democracy movement–and later added that Obama cut funding to pro-democracy programs that Bush had supported. He noted that Obama has given tacit support to Islamist political parties in Egypt and other Arab countries that oppose America and our allies.At that, Gregory leapt in to accuse Santorum of “patently contradictory” stances–i.e. supporting democracy in Iran and not in Egypt. What Gregory fails to grasp is the context–namely, that the Iranian regime is anti-American, and the former Egyptian regime was pro-American.Yet Santorum made an even better point, which is that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a democratic movement. (He could have added that then-Senator Barack Obama claimed to have opposed Palestinian elections in 2006 for the very same reason.)Quote:"The long road to peace requires Palestinian partners committed to making the journey. We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements. There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations. That is why I opposed holding elections in 2006 with Hamas on the ballot. The Israelis and the Palestinian Authority warned us at the time against holding these elections. But this administration pressed ahead, and the result is a Gaza controlled by Hamas, with rockets raining down on Israel".Thwarted, Gregory quickly shifted back to Iran, claiming–without basis–that there is no “material difference” in how the Bush administration and the Obama administration have sought to disarm Iran. And–giving the game away–he insisted that “there is no good option” for disarming Iran, essentially endorsing Obama’s appeasement policy.Like Crowley, Gregory–in desperation–asked Santorum what he would do differently. And, once again, Santorum was ready with a plan, which Gregory interrupted with false defenses of the administration. Eventually, Santorum was allowed to finish, promising to use air strikes to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power–and having thoroughly trounced Gregory.Mediate, commenting on the exchange, suggests that Gregory went further than Crowley, crossing the line into “advocacy journalism” for the Obama administration. But Crowley was already well beyond that line. Gregory’s attempt to sandbag Santorum was even more partisan–and even less effective. On foreign policy, Santorum is owning the debate, and the mainstream media.Read the full story here.
- Did you know? When Hillary was questioning Obama’s eligibility she mentioned neither barak OR Michelle qualified for FBI employment.(SpeedyJerry).Forget Obama’s Social Security Fraud issue, that’s just another Felony. “Eligibility Hearing”……2008 campaign……….. Did you know this? When Hillary was questioning Obama’s eligibility she mentioned neither barak OR Michelle qualified for FBI employment, I checked and went here – http://www.fbi.gov/– then went here – http://www.fbijobs.gov/– then went here – http://www.fbijobs.gov/03.asp – then went here – http://www.fbijobs.gov/5.asp – I know this is getting silly, bare with me, the process. Then went here – http://www.fbijobs.gov/54.asp – I scrolled down to SF-86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions and clicked it, Miss Hillary was right, for example question 11 asks “Are you a member of any foreign or domestic organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons which is totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or which has adopted, or shows a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny other persons their rights under the Constitution of the United States, or whichseeks to alter the form of Government of the U.S. by unconstitutional means?”Baraks and Michelles background and employment with Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers would disqualify them for FBI employment, absolutely complete failure of fifty percent, ten questions of the application. I (and many others I assume, maybe not) posted this link everyplace all throughout 2009 & 2010, guess what? It recently got scrubbed, “Internet Explorer can not display this page” – https://www.fbijobs.gov/employment/08.pdf – If residents of the White House can’t pass an FBI background check for employment what the hell are they doing running the country? IS THIS ALONE NOT SUFFICIENT REASON FOR IMPEACHMENT?………. click and document all the links before they get scrubbed too.Wouldn’t this be a good campaign trail topic of discussion? The candidates should ask the FBI why they took down the part of their site that proves Barak and Michelle can’t even get a job with them? Read the full story here.
- New York firebomb attacks hit mosque, Hindu site.(Reuters) - New York police are investigating as bias crimes four Molotov cocktail attacks on Sunday night including one against a mosque with 75 people inside and another against a Hindu place of worship.No injuries were reported.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday assigned state law enforcement officials to assist the New York City investigation, saying the attacks "go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans," and the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the attacks.The arson attacks occurred over two hours on Sunday night in the borough Queens, police said. The first firebomb hit a convenience store, causing damage behind the counter, and the second hit a private house.Residents of the home escaped without harm but the fire caused extensive damage, police said.The third targeted the Imam al-Khoei Foundation, a Shiite organization that provides education, funeral services, counseling and helps organize Islamic pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, according to its website.The fourth attack hit a private home where Hindu services are held.About 75 to 80 worshippers were inside the mosque and some of them attempted to put out a small fire at the top of the door until the fire department arrived, imam Maan Alsahlani said."We don't know who did this and we cannot accuse anyone. We will let the police department deal with this," Alsahlani said.This was the first attack against the mosque, he said."Even after September 11, nobody did anything to the center or attacked the center," Alsahlani said, referring to the time of high tension following the 2001 attacks.CAIR, an Islamic civil rights group, called on police to increase patrols protecting mosques."Attacks on our nation's houses of worship must be condemned by all Americans and should be investigated and prosecuted using all available law enforcement resources," CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement.Police said the suspect was a man driving a silver sport utility vehicle. At three of the sites the same type of glass container was used, a Starbucks Frappuccino bottle."Attacks such as this have no place in our open and inclusive society and we must do all we can to ensure New York remains a safe and tolerant place for all," Cuomo said in a statement, asking his state police chief and deputy secretary for public safety to aid the city police investigation.Read the full story here.
- Idaho Power plans Utility may cut off power to solar plant that has Foreign-trade zone status.(DailyMail).By Don Surber.Idaho Power plans to cut off electricity on Tuesday to plant in Pocatello, Idaho, that makes material for solar energy, because the factory owes $1.9 million in unpaid utility bills. The dispute is with Honolulu-based Hoku Scientific, Inc., which is backed by Chinese financing and enjoys federal and state incentives.Officials for the utility said Idaho Power agreed to hold off until March on collecting the $1.8 million Hoku already owed, providing the company stayed current in its bills. It didn’t. That’s a telltale sign of trouble as thanks to hydroelectric plants and thermal energy, Idaho enjoys some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. The Associated Press reported the company’s stock now sells at “well below” $1 a share, down from a 52-week high of $3.24.State and company officials were extremely upbeat when they announced the plans for the plant on August 30, 2006: Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU), a materials science company focused on clean energy technologies, today announced it has selected the State of Idaho as the location for Hoku Solar and Hoku Materials, its solar module and polysilicon business units, respectively.Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific, said, “We are pleased to have selected Idaho as the location for our new businesses. We believe that Idaho is the best location in terms of cost, resources, labor and government support.”“We are very excited that Hoku Scientific has chosen Idaho as the location for its new high technology renewable energy-focused businesses,” said Idaho’s Governor Jim Risch. “We have met with their management team, and were impressed with their growth strategy. We expect Hoku Scientific to have a significant long-term positive impact on our economy.”The State of Idaho and the municipal governments have offered Hoku Scientific a variety of incentives to attract the Hoku Solar and Hoku Materials businesses, including tax incentives, financial support for infrastructure improvements around the facilities, and grants to fund the training of new employees.“Idaho is a very attractive place for us to expand our business,” said Shindo, “and we look forward to contributing to Idaho’s growing and diversified economy.”But like many other alternative energy projects, this one has hit bad times.Aug 17, 2009 : Officials with Hoku Materials and Bannock Development Corp. announced the first breakthrough with foreign-trade zones in Southeast Idaho. The U.S. Department of Commerce has granted foreigntrade zone subzone status for the polysilicon plant Hoku is constructing in the city’s western portion. Hoku reported that it expected the subzone status would contribute to the facility's long-term global competitiveness, explaining that FTZ procedures would exempt the Company from customs duty payments on foreign materials used in export production.Specifically, the ruling will allow Hoku to import foreign-sourced raw materials in a duty-free status, provided they are destined for export overseas as components of finished polysilicon. Under its existing customer supply agreements, more than 80% of Hoku's total annual production capacity of polysilicon, and 100% of what has been presold to date, is destined for export to China, meaning that an equivalent percentage of the Company's raw material inputs would be eligible for import in a duty-free status.Hoku explained that it had been granted subzone status under the existing Foreign Trade Zone established for Boundary County in Northern Idaho, the only FTZ in the state. Hoku Materials' facility will be the only designated Foreign Trade Subzone in Idaho."We are pleased to have been granted the Foreign Trade Subzone status," said Dustin Shindo, chairman and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific. "This ruling helps ensure that our facility will remain globally competitive over time."Here is an idea: No more tax incentives, subsidies or free rides. Make people go out, find investors and come up with a product that is cheaper and better than what is on the market. Instead of helping Idaho, it looks as if Hoku may stiff Idaho Power — a $1.9 million bill its other customers will have to cover.“Hoku Materials manufactures, markets and sells polysilicon for the solar industry from its plant currently under construction in Pocatello, Idaho./Hoku Scientific, Inc.membrane electrode fuel cell assemblies IdaTech is a subsidiary of the Boise, Idaho-based energy and technology holding company IDACORP, Inc. .Hoku Scientific, Inc. designs, develops and manufactures membrane electrode assemblies and non-fluorinated membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. to provide fully-integrated stationary fuel cell systems incorporating Hoku MEA(TM) for the U.S. Navy demonstration. Fuel cells for commercial and military applications.”Hmmmm.....How much did they receive from the Obama Administration?Read the full story here.Full financial borrowing history here.
- The truth behind Holder’s push for ‘electoral equality’.(HotAir).“The right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government; it is the lifeblood of our democracy. And no force has proved more powerful—or more integral to the success of the great American experiment—than efforts to expand the franchise.”That applause line, which could have come from Lyndon Johnson’s remarks on his signing of the Voting Rights Act in August of 1965, was delivered two weeks ago at the library in Austin named for LBJ. The speaker was Attorney General Eric Holder, for whom the year might as well still be 1965.Despite the presence of a black man in the White House and his own position as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Holder insists that the era of Jim Crow in the U.S. is alive and kicking. It is rearing its ugly head, he asserts, in the efforts by states to legitimize elections through the passage of laws that require voters to present a valid form of photo identification.Holder maintains that these laws disproportionately discriminate against poor blacks and Hispanics, many of whom he notes lack a driver’s license, passport, or other acceptable form of photo ID.As for Holder, his role as champion of electoral fairness is embarrassingly unilateral. He was far less protective of “the franchise” in his early days at Justice where one of his first acts was to dismiss out of hand a civil suit against two men accused of voter intimidation. Although the attorney general refuted claims that his decision was based on skin color—both men were members of the New Black Panther party—a former assistant AG swore the move was motivated purely by race, possibly with input from the White House.Even more revealing of Holder’s true agendum is a report by Judicial Watch that came out the day after his speech at the LBJ Library revealing a coordinated effort between the DOJ Voting Section and former ACORN affiliate Project Vote. Documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act request revealed that Project Vote receives special access to DOJ officials and is even recommending lawyers to work in the Justice Department Voting Section that will oversee the 2012 presidential election.One might also ask why Holder never bothered to investigate allegations of rampant voter fraud by ACORN in 2008, which included attempts to register a voter named Mickey Mouse in Orlando, Florida, entering a man’s name on the Ohio voter rolls 73 times, and registering 400,000 voters who were dead.Read the full story here.
- Shurat HaDin warns Twitter over terrorist accounts.(JPost).Social media giant Twitter could face legal action in US courts if it continues to allow terrorist organizations al- Shabaab and Hezbollah to use its services, the Israel Law Center (Shurat Hadin) warned over the weekend.The Law Center has sent a letter to Twitter CEO Richard Costolo, warning that the company could fall foul of strict US anti-terror legislation by providing social media services to organizations designated as terrorist groups under US law.Law Center Director Nitsana Darshan- Leitner said that by permitting al- Shabaab and Hezbollah to run accounts, Twitter is violating US antiterror laws. Darshan-Leitner cited a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court, which found that US-based NGO the Humanitarian Law Project had contravened the USA PATRIOT Act, prohibiting providing material support to designated terrorist groups.Darshan-Leitner told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that in Holder v.Humanitarian Law Project, the NGO had tried to use freedom of speech arguments in its defense but had failed.Twitter and its CEO Costolo could be similarly criminally and civilly liable for any future attacks against US citizens carried out by the groups, the Law Center said.However, the sites have also attracted criticism for allowing hate speech. In May last year, the Israel Law Center wrote a warning letter to Facebook, after the social networking site allowed Palestinians to create a page calling for a “third intifada” against Israel.Facebook subsequently took the page down, Darshan-Leitner said, and hoped Twitter would do the same.“There is no reason to facilitate terror organizations,” Darshan-Leitner said.“We expect that once we bring this issue to Twitter’s attention, they will move to remove the accounts.”Read the full story here.
- ‘Bonyads’: Iran’s Underground Economy Its Greatest Strength Against Sanctions.(BigPeace).By Kerry Patton.GOP frontrunner Ron Paul believes sanctions against Iran would be an act of war. Right, wrong, or indifferent, sanctions are not the way to deal with Iran. They will do very little to cripple the Ali Khamenei state. Iran has a very secretive economic program that few Westerners understand—the Bonyads. Virtually untouchable from international sanctions, Iranian Bonyads make up approximately 30% of Iran’s GDP.Comprising of well over 120 corrupt semi-state tax exempt monetary foundations, Bonyads have been in existence since Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s power. Originally used as a system of royal foundations for patronage, economic control, and to “keep the Shah in power” today’s Bonyads assist in fueling world terror, enhanced military might, and promotion of propaganda and “comfort for the oppressed.” Bonyads are more than complicated– they are complex and deceptive, even among those operating within the International Monetary Fund.Enforcement of Iran’s Bonyads is both strategic and tactical. Not only does the Iranian Supreme Leader control the Bonyads; allies founded in Venezuela and even Argentina and Brazil have been known to implement and adhere to Iranian Bonyad ventures. In Venezuela alone, there are at least 10 manufacturing plants whose shareholding distribution is 49% Iranian businesses connected with Bonyads, leaving 51% within the Venezuelan state.Tactically, Bonyads are often interrelated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC). Operatives from the IRGC along with members founded in Al Quds and Hezbollah go undercover portraying themselves as employees or officials of trading companies, banks, cultural centers or as representatives of the Foundation of the Oppressed and Dispossessed (Bonyad-e- Mostazafan), or the Martyrs Foundation.How serious is Venezuela’s Bonyad approach? Observe the executive board members within their Banco Internacional de Desarrollo– Rahim Faramarzi, Kourosh Parvizian, Reza Raei, Parvin Tavallaeizadeh, Samad Vafaee, Mohsen Bolhasani, Ssan Shokrian. Of note, all Directors are Iranian. Their backgrounds are presumed to be high profile businessmen but some are known to have either previously or currently operate directly for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp.If the United States intends on imposing sanctions against Iran, they will also need to impose such sanctions against Venezuela along with a handful of other nation states and or privately owned global banking industries. Needless to say, this won’t happen nor will such a move be successful considering how the Bonyad systems work.Bonyads are funded actively and passively. The Islamic alms giving known as Zakat often serves as a Bonyad contributor. The mysterious Islamic Hawala system has been known to funnel money into established Bonyads as well. Unfortunately, it took the United States and our western allies’ years to learn about Zakat and Hawala systems. Hopefully, we have become astute in learning about the Bonyads too. With the three financial systems in play, sanctions against Iran will serve little purpose.Read the full story here.
- Nigeria’s Boko Haram issues ultimatum to Christians, threatens to confront troops .(AlArabiya).A purported spokesman for Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has issued an ultimatum to Christians in the country’s north and threatened to confront troops after the president declared a state of emergency in hard hit areas.Abul Qaqa, who has spoken on behalf of the group blamed for scores of attacks in Africa’s most populous nation numerous times in the past, said he was giving southerners living in the north a three-day ultimatum to leave.“We find it pertinent to state that soldiers will only kill innocent Muslims in the local government areas where the state of emergency was declared,” he told journalists in a phone conference late Sunday.“We would confront them squarely to protect our brothers.”Speaking in the Hausa language common throughout the north, Qaqa said “we also wish to call on our fellow Muslims to come back to the north because we have evidence that they would be attacked.” “We are also giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away.”Boko Haram is believed to include different factions with varying aims, its structure remains unclear and other people have claimed to speak on its behalf.Nigeria’s 160 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. Muslims have been victims of Boko Haram attacks, but a wave of Christmas day bombings particularly targeting churches set off fears of retaliation from Christians.President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on Saturday in parts of four states hard hit by violence blamed on Boko Haram.The declaration came in response to scores of attacks attributed to Boko Haram, particularly the bombings on Christmas that killed 49 people, most of them in a gruesome blast at a Catholic church as services were ending.Qaqa also criticized Jonathan over his visit to a Catholic church outside Abuja on Saturday. The church was the site of the bloodiest Christmas day attack, with an explosion killing 44 people there as services were ending.“The President had never visited any of the theatres were Muslims were massacred,” he said, naming areas where scores of Muslims were killed in post-election riots in April.While Boko Haram has been carrying out increasingly deadly attacks for months, including an August suicide bombing of U.N. headquarters in Abuja that left 25 dead, the Christmas violence sparked intense fear and outrage.It also led to warnings from Christian leaders that they would defend themselves if such attacks continued, raising deep concern.While declaring the state of emergency in Africa’s largest oil producer, Jonathan acknowledged that the attacks “have threatened our collective security and shaken the foundations of our corporate existence as a nation.”It was declared in parts of the states of Borno, where Boko Haram has traditionally had its base, Niger, Plateau and Yobe.In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, residents reported increased patrols on Monday. Soldiers had been entering homes in search of weapons and bombs, they said.After the searches, soldiers told residents to report any unusual behavior or abandoned vehicles which may contain planted bombs.Read and see (Video) the full story here.
- 'Clean up your website': Indian court orders Facebook and Google to remove 'anti-religious' content.(DailyMail).Social websites including Google and Facebook have been ordered by an Indian court to remove all 'anti-religious' and 'anti-social' content within six weeks.On Saturday a Delhi Court ordered 22 social networking sites, including Yahoo and Microsoft, to wipe the objectionable and defamatory contents and file compliance reports by February 6, 2012.Additional Civil Judge Mukesh Kumar passed the order on a suit filed by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi seeking to restrain the websites from circulating objectionable and defamatory contents.Qasmi had objected to a number of images on the websites which he complained would cause 'irreparable loss and injury to the people who are offended by them'.He argued that some of the images defamed Hindu gods, Prophet Mohammed and other religious figures, India Today website reported.The order will raise serious questions about how users' posts and opinions will be edited, censorship and freedom of expression.On December 22 Judge Kumar had issued summonses to the social networking sites, demanding they remove photographs, videos or texts that might offend religious sentiments, the Hindustan Times website reported.The order comes a day after a criminal court issued summonses to the sites for facing trial for allegedly webcasting objectionable contents. Santosh Pandey, appearing for complainant Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, told The Hindu Times after the court hearing that the websites have to submit a report to the court by February 6 describing the action they had taken to remove the contents from the websites. Representatives of Yahoo India Pvt Ltd and Microsoft told the court that they had not got copies of the order and complaint against them, but Qasmi's counsel told the court that he would supply the relevant documents to them, according to the Hindustan Times.The order comes at a controversial time as IT minister Kapil Sibal had recently discussed with representatives of some of the companies ways to guarantee the offensive contents are not posted.India Today quoted him as saying: 'There were some demeaning, degrading, clearly pornographic depictions of gods and goddesses which no reasonable, sensible person anywhere in the world would accept, on any site. The minister insisted he was not smothering free speech but was suggesting screening possible 'incendiary' material.The Hindu Times reported Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix were all given the order. A Google spokesperson told the website: 'We comply with valid court orders wherever possible, consistent with our long standing policy.'We're yet to receive the details of this order and can't comment on this specific case.'.Read the full story here.
- Iran tests Qader stealth cruise missile in Gulf.(BikyaMasr).Tehran (dpa) – Iran tested the advanced Qader stealth cruise missile during navy maneuvers in the Persian Gulf on Monday, state media reported.This was the first successful test of the ground-to-ship missile, maneuver spokesman Admiral Mahmoud Moussavi told official news agency IRNA.He added that the missiles Nassr and Noor would also be tested on the final day of the military exercises.The Qader (“Capable”) missile has a standard range of 200 kilometers and can be deployed against sea targets, fired from the land or from sea platforms.Local media quoted Moussavi as saying that the Qader had been upgraded to function as a long-range missile, although they did not say what distance it could cover.The test took place amid a dispute with the United States over earlier threats by Iran to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil shipping route.Read the full story here.More here.
- Turkey awaits key anti-PKK weapons, admits using info from US Spydrones.(HurriyetDaily).By Ümit Enginsoy.Turkey plans to boosts fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party by acquiring several items of weapons and vehicles worth billions of US dollars.The Turkish military is slated to acquire several weapons systems to use against terrorists from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) this year, one senior procurement official said last week.Italy’s AgustaWestland and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) have been collaborating on building the T-129 attack helicopter, a Turkish version of the company’s A129 Mangusta International. AgustaWestland is scheduled to deliver the first nine of a planned 59 helicopters to the military toward the end of 2012.Turkish authorities then will assemble the required weapons systems on the platforms, and the nine helicopter gunships are expected to enter service in 2013, the official said.Separately, the United States is expected to deliver three AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters early this year. The U.S. Congress approved the sale of these three choppers, worth $125 million, toward the end of 2012.Additionally, TAI, Turkey’s state-owned aerospace powerhouse, is scheduled to deliver to the military three Anka Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles in 2012, to be used for reconnaissance purposes, the official said.Turkey is already operating nine Israeli-made Heron MALE drones against the PKK. The United States has also deployed another four RQ-1 Predator MALE drones at Turkey’s southern İncirlik airbase to fly over PKK camps in northern Iraq and provide the Turkish military intelligence.Additionally Turkey has requested to buy four RQ-1 Predator reconnaissance drones and two armed MQ-1 Reapers, but the U.S. has not responded to the request.In addition to its MALE drone capabilities, the Turkish military operates scores of smaller drones.TAI’s efforts to develop and produce the Anka have seen a delay of several years. “Attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles are among the most effective weapons against terrorists, and we will have an abundance of these weapons soon,” said one security official. The PKK this year intensified terrorist attacks against Turkish military and civilian targets, causing a public outrage.Separately, the U.S. Boeing is expected to deliver the first of a planned four spy planes to the Turkish Air Force in 2012. The program to manufacture the four Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft is worth more than $1.6 billion and is behind schedule a few years.The Defense Industry Executive Committee, Turkey’s highest procurement agency, is also expected to select a foreign company in Turkey’s $4 billion long range air and missile defense system program. Among the candidates competing to build an air and missile defense system with Turkish partners are U.S. companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, with their Patriot Air and Missile Defense System; Russian Rosoboronexport’s S-300; Chinese CPMIEC’s (China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp.) HQ-9; and European Eurosam’s SAMP/T Aster 30.Hmmmm....Whom gave the go ahead for the last 'Deadly Strike' the US Drones or the Turkish Drones?Read the full story here.
- Turkish PM Erdogan to Haniyeh: Talks must include Hamas.(Ynet).Hamas prime minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday received a warm welcome from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during an official meeting in Istanbul.Palestinian media outlets reported that Haniyeh and Erdogan met in the prime minister's residence along with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other officials. Palestinian sources said the meeting lasted two hours, during which the leaders agreed that a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be reached without involving Hamas in the negotiations. According to reports, Haniyeh and Erdogan discussed the "The 'Jewfication' of Jerusalem, and the cruel attacks against its Arab residents."Erdogan, who expressed support for reconciliationefforts between Hamas and Fatah, spoke about "the necessary steps to preserve the holy sites for Muslims and Christians," and expressed hope that the Palestinians will have "an umbrella organization that will offer significant and democratic representation to all political groups." During the meeting, the two also discussed the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the May2010 IDF raid on the flotilla that aimed to break it. Haniyeh thanked Erdogan for his firm stance on the Palestinian issue, praising him for demonstrating "solidarity with the residents of the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead." The Hamas prime minister departed on his first official visit outside of Gaza since 2007 last week. He left the Strip through Rafah Crossing and is expected to also visit Egypt, Sudan, Qatar, Tunisia and Bahrain. Hmmmm....Obama's Buddy Erdogan the man he calls the most and embraces Best friend of Hamas.Every Jew voting for Obama should have his head examined.Read the full story here.
- Gaza's Hamas premier visits Turkey.(TodaysZaman).The Gaza Strip's Hamas premier arrived in Turkey on Sunday to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the head of an Islamic aid group whose Gaza-bound vessel was the target of a deadly raid by Israeli troops in 2010.Ismail Haniyeh is on an official tour of the Muslim world, his first trip outside the blockaded territory since the Islamist group overran Gaza in 2007. Turkey's ties with Israel, a former ally, deteriorated sharply over the flotilla raid that killed nine activists on the Turkish boat, and Erdoğan has demanded that Israel lift all restrictions on the Palestinian territory.Haniyeh met Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu at the Turkish leader's İstanbul residence. Erdoğan expressed hope that the Palestinians "attain an all-encompassing umbrella organization with strong democratic representation powers," the Anatolia news agency reported.Erdoğan's spokesman was not available for comment.A statement by the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), one of the organizers of the flotilla of six aid vessels headed for the Gaza Strip that was subjected to a deadly raid by the Israeli military on May 31, 2010, said on Sunday that Haniyeh will pay a visit to the İHH and hold a joint press conference with İHH Chairman Bülent Yıldırım on Monday.Haniyeh's visit to Turkey follows a trip by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Turkey last month, when he met with top Turkish officials to discuss measures for recognition of the Palestinian state.Hamas officials say the goal of Haniyeh's trip is to improve ties with Muslim countries swept up in the uprisings shaking the Arab world.Hamas and Fatah joined in a short-lived unity government following 2006 parliamentary elections. But the following year, the alliance shattered and Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip during several days of fighting, leaving the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in charge in the West Bank. Repeated attempts at reconciliation failed, and both sides have cracked down on the other in their respective territories. Although Abbas pays frequent visits to Turkey, it will be the first time Haniyeh has left Gaza since the Hamas movement seized power in Gaza, as the leader was busy in the region for both foreign and domestic reasons.Back in June, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal visited Turkey to have talks with Davutoğlu, with whom he discussed stalled efforts to create a Palestinian unity government.Mashaal's visit was unannounced and coincided with a visit from Abbas, who was in Turkey at the time to meet with Turkish officials. Turkish officials said no meeting between Abbas and Mashaal had been planned by Turkey, but the country is a known supporter of unity between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah officials, both of whom are engaged in a common bid to announce a sovereign Palestine. Unification attempts were stalled when the sides failed to agree on a prime minister.While Fatah is considered the legitimate administration leading the Palestinian Authority, Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by European countries and Israel, which says Hamas launches deadly rocket attacks from within Gaza, targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians.Turkey strongly supports the international recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state.Hmmmm......."Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by European countries and Israel"....how about that................ Hamas no longer a "Foreign Terrorist Organization' in America?Read the full story here.
- Shia, Sunni to battle for regional supremacy in 2012.(JPost).Of course, there is nothing new about the conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims, but it is indeed new as a feature on the regional level in modern times. After all, as long as there were secular-style regimes preaching an all-inclusive Arab nationalist identities, differences between religious communities were subordinated. Once there are Islamist regimes, theology becomes central again, as it was centuries ago.However, no one should misunderstand the situation. This is fundamentally a struggle for political power and wealth. When Sunni and Shia states or movements battle they are acting as political entities with strategies, tactics and goals.The growing power and influence of Iran’s Islamist regime posed a tremendous problem for Arab Sunni Islamists. They generally did not like Iran because it was Persian and Shia, yet it was the only Islamist game in town. Thus, Arab Sunni Islamist Hamas became an Iranian client. The Iran-Iraq war reflected these antagonisms, as best seen in Iraqi propaganda. Yet Iraq’s regime was also able to keep the Shia majority there under control.Saddam Hussein’s removal by a US-led international force opened up the question of communal relations in Iraq. Iraqi Shias are a three-to-one majority over their Sunni neighbors, so they will automatically win any election, especially with Iraqi Kurds opting out for what is, de facto if not de jure, their own state in the north. Despite the anti-American and al-Qaida elements of the Sunni insurgency, it was essentially a last-ditch attempt by the Sunnis to reclaim power. It failed and while violence continues, now the main Sunni emphasis will be on negotiating the best possible division of power.In Lebanon, too, the Shia triumphed, led by Hezbollah and aided by Syria and Iran. But all of this was prelude to the year 2011. The “Arab Spring” was an overwhelmingly Sunni affair, their own equivalent in some ways of Iran’s 1979 revolution. Only in Bahrain, where they were repressed, did the Shia take the offensive.Egypt, Tunisia and Libya all had Sunni insurgencies against Sunni Arab governments. The situation in Syria is far more complex with an Alawite non-Muslim regime that pretends to be Shia Muslim and is allied with Iran, opposed by a variety of groups. Nevertheless, in this context, the upheaval is a Sunni-led (though far from just Islamist) revolt against a “Shia” regime.HERE’S THE bottom line: Sunni Arab Islamists no longer need Iran or even Turkey because they now have their own power. What is likely to emerge is at least a loose Sunni Arab and largely Islamist-flavored bloc consisting of Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Libya and Tunisia along with the Muslim Brotherhood elements in Jordan and Syria.The key element here is the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that doesn’t like Shia Muslims in general and Iran in particular. Little events, like Brotherhood guru Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s support for the Sunni regime in Bahrain against the Shia opposition, show the direction of their thinking.The even more radical Salafists – a term now used for the small revolutionary Islamist groups, are even more anti-Shia. One factor here is the continued unwillingness of the majority of Arab states to welcome Shia-ruled Iraq into their ranks. Iraq is not going to become a satellite of Iran. It certainly feels more comfortable in a Shia bloc but will probably continue to be relatively uninvolved in regional affairs.Note, too, that to a large extent this situation leaves the Palestinian Authority an orphan. While the PA can depend on general Arab, Iranian and Turkish support, it has no regional patron, and Hamas is currently the group enjoying the Sunni Islamists’ warm support. This, of course, encourages the Palestinian Authority’s (Fatah’s) alliance with Hamas while also weakening its leverage toward that Islamist partner. (And that means a continued disinterest in negotiating with Israel, much less reaching a negotiated solution with it.) Thus, despite appearances, 2011 was a defeat for Iran and Turkey because Sunni Arab Islamists are far less receptive to Tehran’s influence and view it as a rival, while Arab Islamists don’t want leadership from Turks either.Can these blocs unite effectively against the United States, the West or Israel? In a word: No.Their struggles for regional power and for control of individual states (Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, and to a far lesser extent Iraq) will keep them in conflict. Even on the anti-Israel consensus they will each seek to exploit it for their own interests.By the same token, however, the hope for moderation is minimal. In a region where regimes and movements are competing to prove their militancy and loyalty to a radical interpretation of Islam, nobody is going to want to make peace with Israel. And regimes will only work with the United States if they feel believe America can and will protect them, a rather forlorn hope with an Obama administration eager to make friends with Islamists.Read the full story here.
- Muslims clash with China police who destroyed mosque.(AlArabiya).Hundreds of Muslims fought with armed police who demolished a mosque in north China, local police and a human rights group said on Monday, with several people injured in the “riot”. The violence between local Muslims and roughly 1,000 armed police began after police declared illegal a newly renovated mosque in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and moved to destroy it, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, in Hong Kong, said.The Hui are one of several Muslim minority groups in China.Two people were killed and 50 injured after police fired tear gas and used knives and batons to beat back ethnic Hui Muslim protesters in Taoshan village, Hexi township, the rights group said, citing villagers.Hexi township police denied any deaths when reached by telephone.A policeman surnamed Ma confirmed that the mosque was torn down. He told AFP a “riot” occurred in Hexi on Saturday afternoon.“Two police officers and two villagers got injured and several villagers were taken away by the police, but I don't know how many,” Ma said.One Taoshan local who was away when the violence occurred, said his relatives had told him over the telephone that on December 30 an official had shouted “(the mosque) is illegal” and ordered the armed police to tear it down.“Clashes happened and more than 100 people went missing,” Jin Haitao told AFP. He said many villagers’ injuries were caused by police using high-pressure water cannon to disperse those trying to stop destruction of the mosque.“Now, I can’t reach anyone there,” Jin said, speaking from north China’s Hebei province near Beijing.The Hong Kong-based rights group said in a fax that Muslims from Ningxia and the neighboring province of Gansu had donated money to build the mosque.Jin said it was first built in 1987 and refurbished last year.China’s communist government monitors religious activity closely and must approve the building of all mosques, churches and other places of worship as a way to prevent their becoming centers for anti-government organizing.China in recent years has seen several outbreaks of ethnic violence involving Muslims, mostly as the mainly Muslim Uighurs of the northwest Xinjiang region bridle under what they regard as government oppression and the unwanted immigration of majority ethnic Han Chinese.Read the full story here.
- France’s participation in Minsk Group likely to be discussed.(NewsAZ).“Turkish President Abdullah Gul has proposed to discuss the issue of France’s participation in the European institutions, including OSCE, and OSCE Minsk Group. This issue is likely to be discussed at the next gathering of the Minsk Group”.The statement came from chief of the public policy department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Ali Hasanov.Commenting on the adoption of the bill criminalizing denial of the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ in the French Parliament, A.Hasanov said that this is the means of using Armenians against Turks by some circles. He said this event is absurd on the foreground of the current development level of Europe.“Fining and imprisonment of people for their thoughts in the center of Europe, in the country which determines the norms of public life of Europe go contrary to modern norms”, he said.Read the full story here.
- 'Father Christmas' stabbed to death in Tajikistan.(Emirates24/7).Attackers brutally stabbed to death a man dressed up as Father Christmas in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe, officials said on Monday.Dressed in the red robes of Father Frost -- the similarly-clad equivalent of Father Christmas in ex-Soviet states -- the man was attacked while on his way to congratulate relatives during New Year's night, the interior ministry said."He was stabbed in the stomach and vital organs several times and it was not possible to save him due to the loss of blood," a spokesman for the interior ministry told AFP. The man's name was not given but he was 25.One of three suspected attackers has been arrested but it is unclear if the crime was motivated by religious extremism or hooliganism, the spokesman said.Islamist leaders in Muslim but officially secular Tajikistan have sometimes warned against celebrating what they see as an imported festivity.Hmmm...Actually in the ex sovjetstates it's "Father frost"- Djed Moroz. Read the full story here.
- Japan - Another reason to avoid bears.(TBD).By David Ritchie.Bears can be dangerous. We knew that already. But now there’s an extra reason.On Dec. 30, Iori Mochizuki’s always informative Fukushima Diary blog at fukushima-diary.com posted some arresting figures on radioactivity in the biosphere.From a study of 220 samples in December, here are radioactivity levels in selected organisms. Readings are in becquerels, or nuclear disintegrations, per kilogram (Bq/kg).
- Fish (yamame and rainbow trout), 234.
- Deer, 351.
- Mushrooms, 400+
- Bear meat, 934
Check out the post at http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/12/934-bqkg-from-bear-meat-in-tochigi/. As if we needed one, we now have a new incentive to steer clear of bears.Meanwhile, a note on cattle. Mochizuki reported on Dec. 29 that one local government has been monitoring rice straw from almost 2000 cattle farmers.The results? Rice straw from 32 farmers registered more than 100,000 Bq/kg of cesium. The top reading was 350,000.Down on the farm, there’s a whole lotta becquerels goin’ on.As for rice itself, brace for a shock: http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/12/safety-declaration-fukushima-rice-proved-lie/ . No need to interpret those numbers for you. They speak for themselves.To put all this in perspective, remember that a level of only 50 Bq per second is thought to cause “irreversible” damage to vital organs: http://enenews.com/must-see-top-radiation-expert-50-bqkg-in-humans-leads-to-irreversible-lesions-in-vital-organs-then-top-un-official-refutes-effects-of-internal-radiation-video. Figures like these scarcely … well, bear contemplation.When you finish groaning at that pun, please think about giving Mochizuki and his website at fukushima-diary.com some support.A refugee from radioactivity, he chose to flee Japan. Now he’s in Europe, far from home.At the very least, send him encouragement.And tell him a friend in Korea says hello.Read the full story here.
- Top 10 most dangerous places for reporters - RSF.(Firat).The Arab Spring has taken its toll on the media with double the number of journalists being killed in the Middle East in 2011 compared with 2010. This year saw a total of 20 reporters losing their lives in the region as uprisings spread from Tunisia to Egypt and across the Arab peninsula and North Africa.A similar number of reporters were also killed in Latin America, due to continual threat of “exposed to the threat of criminal violence”, said Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its annual press freedom report. The press freedom group for the first time compiled the world’s 10 most dangerous places for the media:
- Manama, Bahrain
- Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
- Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Egypt
- Misrata, Libya
- Veracruz state, Mexico
- Khuzdar, Pakistan
- The Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro metropolitan areas on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao, Philippines
- Mogadishu, Somalia
- Deraa, Homs and Damascus, Syria
- Sanaa’s Change Square, Yemen
The 2011 Press Freedom Index reports that this year:
- 66 journalists killed (16% more than in 2010).
- 1,044 journalists arrested.
- 1,959 journalists physically attacked or threatened.
- 71 journalists kidnapped.
- 73 journalists fled their country.
- 5 netizens killed.
- 199 bloggers and netizens arrested.
- 62 bloggers and netizens physically attacked.
- And 68 countries subject to Internet censorship.Read the full story here.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Sunni Scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Calls upon Muslims to Oppose French Bill Criminalizing Denial of Armenian Genocide
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: We stand by our brothers in Turkey. All Muslims must oppose France in [its Armenian genocide bill]. We reject any allegation against the Muslims at any time. Throughout its history, Islam has never wanted to annihilate any nation. This is completely unacceptable.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Japan 7.0 ! New zealand 5.1 !More info here.
- Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Without Trial Bill Into Law; Claims His Regime Won’t Use It.(Cryptogon).Whatever you say, Mr. Hopey Changey.Via: AFP: The measure, which passed by wide majorities in Congress, says the US military has the power to detain terror suspects without trial for as long as the US global anti-terror campaign is waged.Obama was particularly troubled by a section of the bill which appears to leave open the option that a US citizen who is considered a terror suspect could be detained indefinitely in military custody.“I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens,” Obama said.“Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.”The new law revives debate over the complicated legal thicket surrounding the treatment of terror suspects and over rules hurriedly drawn up by the previous Bush administration after the September 11 attacks in 2001.Obama has sought to preserve the option of trying some terror suspects in federal courts, or for those accused of plotting new attacks against the United States to be processed through the civilian legal system.“I reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat,” Obama said in the signing statement.Hmmmm......Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on Senate floor explaining it was Obama who requested the provision for indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. Levin is a primary co-sponsor of the bill along with Sen. John McCain, and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Talk about major BS.Read the full story here.
- The President's Speech is Now Copyrighted?(JawaReport).Let me get this strait. Public speeches by public officials are now copyrighted? And who owns the copyright? The government or the official? Or is this just some spurious error produced by one of W's books or videos?Hmmmm.....For more info on this subject go to Political Speeches and the Public Domain.By Neda Ulaby.(NPR).Read the full story here.
- Israel during the eight days of Chanukah.(Ynet).Israel Has Bigger Problems - The Truth Behind the Recent Tumult in Israel.By Chagai Segal.During the eight days of Chanukah, three people were murdered in Israel and the murder of a child killed on the eve of the chag was solved. A resident of the northern “triangle area” was gravely wounded by assassins. Terrorists fired at an Israeli vehicle in Samaria.Elsewhere, Kassam missiles exploded in Gaza-region communities. Seven Jewish girls reported that they were abducted by Bedouins. Meanwhile, the massacre of civilians by their leaders near our northern border continued.Yet nonetheless, most attention here on Chanukah was dedicated to an eight-year-old girl spat on by a local idiot.The prime minister delivered two impassioned speeches against the spitting, the president expressed his presidential disgust, and even the IDF chief of staff was indirectly required to address the issue.The prime minister delivered two impassioned speeches against the spitting, the president expressed his presidential disgust, and even the IDF chief of staff was indirectly required to address the issue.The main headline of Lieutenant General Benny Gantz’s holiday interview with Army Radio did not deal with the Iranian issue or the Gaza problem, but rather, with the singing of women. The news about the boosted defense budget was cast aside in favor of two female soldiers who were prevented from singing solo during a Chanukah party.For a moment, the impression that was created is that military bands are the essence of the Israel Defense Force’s existence.Ladies and gentleman, you got carried away. The inflated preoccupation with the phenomenon of women’s exclusion does not only constitute a wild exaggeration and a cynical distortion of our priorities, it is also a lethal boomerang.The ultra-Orthodox community suspects that the major campaign against women’s exclusion is not premised on frank concern for women, but rather on deep hatred for charedim. Hence, instead of developing anger at the violent minority within it, the charedi community is developing a feeling of collective persecution. It feels that there is no point in protesting against the radicals, because in any case the outside world despises the radicals and the moderates equally.Regrettably, this is not a case of paranoia. The incidents of women’s exclusion are an effective secular means for slamming the charedim, just like the “price tag” acts are a leftist means for slamming the settlers.In both cases we are dealing with grave phenomena, yet certainly not ones that justify the overwhelming mass emotions of recent days. When one hits a nail with a hammer that is too big, the nail breaks.Read the full story here.
- Muslim Brotherhood to never recognize “raping, colonizing criminal entity” Israel.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said on Sunday that they would “never recognize the Israeli entity” as it is a “raping, colonizing criminal entity.”Speaking in an interview with the pan-Arabic daily al-Hayat newspaper, the deputy to the Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood said on Sunday that recognizing Israel is not a “term” to rule, adding that this is “unlikely under any circumstances” in reference to Egypt’s neighbor.The Freedom and Justice party, the political arm of the group, has already seen massive results in the ongoing parliamentary elections, earning nearly half of the votes in the first two rounds and getting closer to the group’s long dreams of reaching power in Egypt.The deputy, Rashad Baiyoumy continued to add that the peace treaty between Egypt and the Jewish state might be up for a public referendum, “giving the last word to the people,” however if this referendum would to take place in the future, people would vote in a land slide to cancel or repeal the 1979 treaty with Israel.“We will never sit with an Israeli in the future. I will not allow myself to sit with a criminal,” added Baiyoumy.“We will take the legal necessary procedures towards the peace treaty,” Baiyoumy added.The 1979 peace treaty between the two states has been at the center of many controversies in recent months, where it has been met with great public refusal and countless protests have expressed that desire to end relations with Israel.Last August, thousands of Egyptians gathered outside the residential building where the Israeli embassy is located and stormed the building, throwing some old documents from a window. Young men climbed the outside of the building in the Giza district of Dokki and took down the Israeli flag and placed an Egyptian one.Tensions have been high between the two countries since, yet the new political Islam player expressed their will to have talks with Israel. The al-Nour Party, a puritanical Salafist party announced that they would hold talks with Israel and respect all the treaties that Egypt has signed previously and its spokesman held a interview with Israeli Radio in December.On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood said that both parties have the right to review the treaty since the Egyptian people were never asked.Hmmmm......Obama's buddies and 'peace partners'.Read the full story here.
- Iran test-fires medium-range surface-to-air missile.(RaiNovosti).Iranian military has successfully conducted a medium-range surface-to-air missile test on Sunday, IRNA news agency reported."This medium-range surface-to-air missile is equipped with the latest technology to combat radar-evading targets and intelligent systems which try to disrupt missile navigation," IRNA reported, quoting Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi.The test was conducted during navy war games which take place near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.Iran has been holding naval exercises in the area since December 24 and are to continue for 10 days.The West, led by the United States, suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic insists it needs nuclear power only for civilian purposes. Iran is already the subject of a wide range of international sanctions.On December 1 foreign ministers of the European Union blacklisted an additional 179 Iranian officials and institutions linked to the government over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.Read the full story here.
- Scholarly world abuzz over Jewish scrolls find in Afghanistan.(Jpost).The scholarly world is abuzz over the discovery of ancient Jewish scrolls in a cave in Afghanistan’s Samangan province.If the scrolls are authenticated, they may be the most significant historical finding in the Jewish world since that of the Cairo Geniza in the 19th century, Channel 2 Arab affairs correspondent Ehud Ya’ari reported Friday.“We know today about a couple of findings,” Haggai Ben- Shammai, professor emeritus of Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was quoted as saying.“In all, in my opinion, there are about 150 fragments. It may be the tip of the iceberg.”The scrolls, which were part of a geniza – a burial site for sacred Jewish texts – date from around 1,000 years ago and are in Arabic, Judeo-Arabic and ancient Persian.One scroll, a replica of which was shown to the cameras, was apparently a dirge written for an important person whose identity has not been determined.“Where has he gone?” reads the text. “His family members are now alone.”Other texts said to have been found include an unknown history of the Kingdom of Judea, passages from the Book of Isaiah and some of the works of 10th-century sage Rabbi Sa’adia Gaon.In addition, rings with names such as Shmuel Bar-Yosef inscribed in Hebrew on them have surfaced.The area in which the scrolls were discovered is on the Silk Road, a trade route that connected eastern Asia with the Middle East and Europe, and that Jewish merchants often traveled.Ya’ari quoted sources as saying the scrolls had first been moved to Pakistan’s Peshawar province, and from there been sold to antiquities dealers in Geneva, London, Dubai and Jerusalem.He said the Prime Minister’s Office and several Jewish businessmen had expressed interest in buying the scrolls from dealers and collectors, but the process was in its early stages.The Cairo Geniza has produced 280,000 texts, providing a wealth of information on almost every aspect of Jewish history.Read the full story here.
- Iran will not close Hormuz.(BikyaMasr).Tehran (dpa) – An Iranian naval commander on Sunday said the country would not close the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf unless it was forced to do so.Around 40 percent of the world’s ship-borne crude oil passes though the strait.“We are after peace and security and free shipping and not after closing the Strait of Hormuz,” Deputy Navy Commander Admiral Mahmoud Moussavi told ISNA news agency.“But we have a share of the strait and if our interests were jeopardized, then the interests of others (Gulf Arab states) would be jeopardized as well,” he said.Moussavi is also spokesman of the ongoing naval exercises in the Gulf, which have been overshadowed by threats and US counter-threats regarding the Strait of Hormuz.There have also been contradictory reports about testing long-range missiles in the maneuver on Saturday, as previously announced by Moussavi, but the tests were reportedly postponed.According to official news agency IRNA, a medium-range missile was successfully tested on Sunday.The missiles test are supposed to be the final part of the maneuvers which will end on Monday.Read the full story here.
- Iraqi leader Moqtada al-Sadr: "Iraq Shiite militia offshoot backed by Iran".(AlArabiya).Anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr sharply criticized an offshoot of his movement on Sunday, accusing them of killing Iraqi soldiers and policemen and being beholden to neighboring Iran.It is the first time Sadr, who is himself judged by critics as close to Tehran, has publicly stated that Asaib Ahel al-Haq, or the League of the Righteous, is supported by the Islamic Republic.The cleric said that the Shiite militia, which is blamed for the killing of U.S. troops, had only recently decided to lay down their arms because a political standoff in Baghdad has raised the specter of early elections. The group was also behind the kidnap of a British IT consultant and his four bodyguards.“I have asked the people who are in charge of them in the Islamic Republic to change the name of Asaib, and change their dual leadership,” Sadr said in a written response to a letter from a follower, published by his office on Sunday. “But these people refused.”Washington has long blamed Iran for training and equipping Shiite militias, including Asaib Ahel al-Haq, that have carried out attacks against U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, charges Tehran denies.Sadr did not specify what he meant by the group’s “dual leadership” but Asaib Ahel al-Haq is jointly led by the brothers Qais and Laith al-Khazali.The cleric long ran his own feared Mahdi Army militia, and while that has been deactivated as a violent force, the offshoot Promised Day Brigade is seen as close to Sadr.“They (Asaib Ahel al-Haq) handed over their weapons to be part of the political process,” Sadr said, referring to Qais al-Khazali’s December 26 remarks that the group would join the political process.Sadr said those weapons were used to kill “honest people”, charging the organization with killing Iraqi soldiers and policemen, as well as Saleh al-Ogayly, an MP who was killed by a booby-trapped motorcycle in the Shiite bastion of Sadr City in Baghdad in October 2008.“Today, the opportunity of an election has come, and their intentions have become clear,” Sadr said.He was referring to political discord in Iraq between the Shiite-led government and the key Sunni-backed Iraqiya party, with several groups, including the parliamentary bloc loyal to Sadr, calling for early elections to resolve the standoff.Read the full story here.
- Iran announces it has produced its first nuclear fuel rod.(DocsTalk).Iran says its scientists have produced the nation's first nuclear fuel rod, a feat of engineering the West doubted Tehran was capable of.Sunday's announcement comes after Iran has said it was compelled to manufacture fuel rods on its own since international sanctions banned Tehran from buying them on foreign markets.Nuclear fuel rods contain pellets of enriched uranium that provide fuel for nuclear power plants. Iran's atomic energy agency's website says the first domestically made rod has already been inserted into the core of Tehran's research nuclear reactor.It is unclear if the rod contained pellets or was inserted empty, as part of a test.Meanwhile, in an earlier announcement made in the midst of a large-scale war game on Saturday, which included the launch of several land-to-sea missiles, Tehran said it was willing to renew talks with the West over its nuclear program.According to the semi-official Mehr news agency, Iran's ambassador to Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, said on Saturday that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and former Deputy Foreign Minister Saeed Jalili intends to formally turn to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to announce Iran's agreement to return to the negotiations table. According to Attar, "Jalili will soon send a letter to Catherine Ashton over the format of negotiations; then fresh talks will take place with major powers."Ashton's spokesman, Michael Mann, said the EU was willing to renew talks with the Iranians. "We continue to pursue our twin-track approach and are open for meaningful discussions on confidence-building measures, without preconditions from the Iranian side," Mann said.A U.S. administration official added, "We have indicated for years that we are willing to engage in talks with Iran, provided it is ready to engage in a meaningful and constructive fashion."Negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France - as well as Germany, stalled in January, and both the U.S. and Israel have not ruled out a military option if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear dispute.As it probes Western willingness to resume talks, Iran continued its 10-day naval war game, reportedly launching long-range missiles. The Iranian FARS news agency said that land-to-sea missiles with a range of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) were launched on the eighth day of the exercise. But Deputy Navy Commander Mahmoud Mousavi later went on the English language Press TV channel to deny they had in fact been fired, saying instead, "The exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days."Meanwhile, the U.S. announced on Friday the sale of $3.5 billion worth of weapons to Iran's enemy, the United Arab Emirates. Among the weapons purchased by the UAE is the THAAD anti-rocket system, marking the first time the U.S. has sold the system to another country. The THAAD is currently the only operational system that can intercept short and medium-range rockets.Keeping up the pressure on Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama also signed into law sanctions on Iran's central bank on Saturday, a move that Iran has said would be equivalent to a declaration of war.The defense funding bill, approved by Congress last week, aims to reduce the oil revenues that make up the bulk of Iran's export earnings. If strictly enforced, the sanctions could make it nearly impossible for most refiners to buy crude from Iran, the world's fourth biggest producer.However, Obama asked for some flexibility with which to apply the measures, and he will have the discretion to waive penalties. Senior U.S. officials said Washington was consulting with foreign partners to ensure the new measures did not harm global energy markets.The rising tensions are having an impact at home. Iran's currency has taken a nosedive in recent weeks as ordinary Iranians have moved money from savings accounts into gold or foreign currency. The price of staple foods has increased by up to 40 percent in recent months and many critics have put the blame on increasing isolation brought about by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic and foreign policies.Iran's massive media coverage of the naval maneuvers appeared to be an attempt by the authorities to strike a patriotic chord among ordinary Iranians worried about a military strike. "I have already witnessed a war with Iraq in the 1980s. I can hear the drumbeat of war," said merchant Mohsen Sanaie, 62, glancing over newspaper headlines at a central Tehran newsstand. "One stray bullet could spark a war."In response to the growing threat of war with Iran, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Friday told high school students in Be'er Tuvia [a moshav in the Southern District of Israel near the city of Kiryat Malachi] that Israel would be able to deal with Iran in a future confrontation. "Iran is working on a military-related nuclear program, which is cause for concern. Israel is the only country in the world being threatened with annihilation by a country working to make that happen, but the threat is against the entire region, and other parts of the world as well," Gantz said.Read the full story here.
- Iran increases pressure on Kuwait over gas field.(Alarabiya).Iran said on Sunday that it would launch full-scale unilateral development of the disputed offshore Arash gas field in the Gulf if Kuwait does not respond to its offer of joint development, according to the official IRNA news agency.“Our emphasis presently is on joint partnership strategy rather than competition, and we are hopeful to reach a conclusion with Kuwait over the development of the shared Arash field,” the agency quoted Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh, the head of state Offshore Oil Company, as saying.He said Iran’s policy on shared oil and gas fields is partnership rather than confrontation.But “if Iran’s positive diplomacy is turned down, we will be carrying on our efforts at Arash field unilaterally just as we did in Hengam oil field,” Zirakchianzadeh said, using stronger language than Iran has used previously in the dispute.Iran is developing its part of the offshore Hengam oil field, shared with Oman, on its own.Zirakchianzadeh said Iran has already launched its “operational activities” on the development and production at Arash and was not dragging its feet in anticipation of Kuwait's response.Arash gas field is located on Iran-Kuwait’s water border and it is called Dorra in the Kuwait part of the field.The field’s gas reserve is estimated at one trillion cubic feet along with some 310 million barrels of oil. Kuwait and its neighbor Saudi Arabia have protested to non-Arab Iran on its drilling for gas in the disputed field when the three states have not reached an accord on demarcating their sea borders in the northern Gulf.Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves but has struggled for years to develop them due to tightening international sanctions that have kept away foreign energy firms with the capital and technology it needs.Foreign investors have treated Iran with caution because it has come under mounting international pressure over its nuclear program.The United States and its European allies fear Iran is trying to build bombs under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran says its nuclear work is aimed at generating power to meet the country’s surging demand.Read the full story here.
- Dubai witchcraft and sorcery cases trebled in 2011.(Emirates).Witchcraft and sorcery cases in the emirate rose from two in 2010 to six in 2011, according to Lieutenant Colonel Salah Bu Aseebah, director of the Anti-Economic Crime Unit at the Criminal Investigations Department of Dubai Police.Bu Aseebah said this during the programme ‘Rouh Al Qanoon’ (Spirit of the Law) broadcast by the Noor Dubai radio station and presented on Monday evenings by lawyer Essa bin Haider.He said such crimes happen either because of the victim’s greed for money or due to his indebtedness.Bu Aseebah spoke about a number of such frauds, including a case of two Africans who tried to cheat a man by selling him a machine that they claimed can produce dollar currency notes on feeding it with blank white paper. To fool the victim, the fraudsters had pulled out a hundred dollars from the machine after putting white paper into it.Meanwhile, lawyer Essa bin Haider spoke about the evolution of the crime of witchcraft and sorcery. Earlier, such criminals appeared in tattered clothes and used to target ordinary people. But now, educated people are being targetted with SMS and e-mails claiming that they had won a large sum of money in a lottery and asking the potential victim to send some money to the fraudsters.He said, in one case, a woman who had marital problems was advised by a friend to go to a man who swindled a large sum of money from her. She realised that she was the victim of a scam only when he tried to touch her.He said the UAE was among the first countries to include witchcraft and sorcery in the crimes of fraud specified in Article 399 of the Federal Penal Code with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for a year.Lt. Colonel Salah Bu Aseebah urged the public to report any attempt to commit such crimes on the toll free phone number 8004888.Hmmmm.....When in doubt...Call Harry Potter for advise?Read the full story here.
- The tortured child bride: Horrific ordeal of Afghan girl, 15, rescued from toilet prison after husband's family mutilated her for refusing to work as a prostitute.(DailyMail).A teenage Afghan girl was brutally tortured, beaten and locked in a toilet by her husband's family for five months after she refused to become a prostitute, it emerged today.Sahar Gul, 15, was in critical condition when she was rescued from a house in northern Baghlan province last week, after her neighbours reported hearing Miss Gul crying and moaning in pain.According to police in Baghlan, her in-laws pulled out her nails and hair, and locked her in a dark basement bathroom for about five months, with barely enough food and water to survive. Her husband's family also burned the teenager with cigarettes and cut out chunks of her flesh with pliers.Despite being barely able to speak, Miss Gul managed to tell media about the terrifying ordeal.'For several months I was locked up in a toilet by my in-laws and particularly my mother-in-law,' she said. 'I was denied food and water. I was tortured and beaten.'Doctors say the youngster has suffered both mentally and physically and will need weeks of treatment in order to recover.'She was married seven months ago, and was originally from Badakhshan province. Her in-laws tried to force her into prostitution to earn money,' Rahima Zarifi, head of women's affairs in Baghlan told Reuters.Miss Gul is covered in scars and bruises, with one eye still swollen shut six days after her rescue.She is being treated in a government hospital in Kabul, but she may have to be sent to India, doctors said.'This is one of the worst cases of violence against Afghan women. The perpetrators must be punished so others learn a lesson,' health minister Suraya Dalil told journalists after visiting Miss Gul today with the women's affairs minister.Mohammad Zia, a senior police official in Baghlan, who helped to rescue the girl, said Miss Gul's mother-in-law and sister-in-law have been detained, but her husband and father-in-law had escaped.'We have launched a serious hunt to get her husband and the others involved,' Mr Zia said. Despite progress in women's rights and freedom since the fall of the Taliban 10 years ago, women throughout the country are still at risk of abduction, rape, forced marriage and being traded as commodity.However it can be hard for women to escape violent situations at home, because of huge social and sometimes legal pressure to stay in marriages.Running away from an abusive husband or a forced marriage are considered 'moral crimes,' for which women are currently imprisoned in Afghanistan.Some rape victims have also been imprisoned, because sex outside marriage, even when the woman is forced, is considered adultery, another 'moral crime.'Read and see the full story here.
- Saudi Arabia arrests foreigner for celebrating New Year’s with balloons.(BikyaMasr).DUBAI: A foreign resident in Saudi Arabia was arrested by the country’s religious police on New Year’s Eve for displaying balloons to celebrate the new year, the daily news website Sabq reported.According to the report, the man – described as an Arab expatriate living in the country – was arrested as he was walking though the streets in violation of the ban of celebrating the New Year in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.In December, Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah, the country’s top Muslim cleric, deemed celebrations of the New Year, birthdays and marriage anniversary un-Islamic.The arrest highlights the ongoing conservatism in the country, and comes after religious police have been cracking down on citizens for breaking “un-Islamic” laws in the country.Late last year, a report published by a leading Islamic scholar in the country warned that if women were given the right to drive it would lead to the end of virginity in the country, angering many activists who have called for greater freedoms in the country.“We have been fighting for our rights and these continued arrests show we have not gotten very far,” said Mona Abdullah Aziz, a 24-year-old Saudi activist living in Dubai. She told Bikyamasr.com that “the way the government arrests people, men and women, for wanting to live their lives is wrong on all levels.”Read the full story here.
- Arab Parliament calls on Arab League monitors to withdraw from Syria ‘promptly’.(AlArabiya).An Arab League advisory body called on Sunday for the immediate withdrawal of the organization’s monitoring mission in Syria, saying it was allowing Damascus to cover up continued violence and abuses.The Arab League has sent a small team to Syria to check whether President Bashar al-Assad is keeping his promise to end a crackdown on a nine-month uprising against his rule.The Arab Parliament, an 88-member advisory committee of delegates from each of the League’s member states, on Sunday said the violence was continuing to claim many victims.“For this to happen in the presence of Arab monitors has roused the anger of Arab people and negates the purpose of sending a fact-finding mission,” the organization’s chairman Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas said.“This is giving the Syrian regime an Arab cover for continuing its inhumane actions under the eyes and ears of the Arab League,” he said.The Arab Parliament was the first body to recommend freezing Syria’s membership in the organization in response to Assad's crackdown.An Arab League official, commenting on the parliament’s statement, told Reuters it was too early to judge the mission’s success, saying it was scheduled to remain in Syria for a month and that more monitors were on their way.The parliament called on the League’s Secretary-General Nabil Elarabi to convene a meeting of Arab foreign ministers to adopt a resolution to withdraw the mission immediately.The continued abuse and killing of innocent Syrian civilians was a “blatant violation to the Arab League’s protocol”, Dekbas said.Read the full story here.
- We won't eat halal meat, say MPs and peers who reject demands to serve it at Westminster.(DailyMail). The Palace of Westminster has rejected demands to serve halal meat in its restaurants. Muslim MPs and peers have been told they cannot have meat slaughtered in line with Islamic tradition because the method – slitting an animal’s throat without first stunning it – is offensive to many of their non-Muslim colleagues. The stance has infuriated some parliamentarians who have eaten meat in the Palace’s 23 restaurants and cafes, having been assured that it was halal. Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said: ‘I did feel misled. I think a halal option should be made available.’In 2010, The Mail on Sunday revealed schools, hospitals and restaurants were serving halal meat to unwitting customers.Alison Ruoff, a member of the Church of England, said: ‘It’s a bit hypocritical that the Houses of Parliament, which have allowed other people to provide halal food, have ruled it out on their own premises.’Spokesmen for the House of Lords and the House of Commons confirmed that halal meat was not served in their restaurants.Hmmmm.....Hear, hear.Read the full story here.
- Haredi use of Holocaust symbols denounced.(Ynet).The latest haredi protest in Jerusalem has caused a stir after kids participating in the demonstration were seen wearing yellow patches and striped pajamas like those Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate said in response: "I condemn the use of Holocaust symbols in a protest of any kind. This is reprehensible. The Holocaust is nothing like what goes on in Israel. " Shortly after the demonstration, Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef commented on violent acts by haredim in connection to women's exclusion and said, "There are people who do things which our Torah forbids and they must be condemned."He said that the Torah advocates peaceful behavior and not violence. Speaking in his weekly class, he said: "We do not hate seculars. On the contrary – we love them."He added: "The behavior of a handful of people who spread hate among haredim and non-haredim is an act of blasphemy." Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni also commented on the protest on her Facebook page. "There is no protest in the world that can justify this. Even within the debate we are holding there are boundaries that cannot be crossed. I hope that haredi leaders will condemn these acts."The protesters, on their part, claimed that they were the ones being victimized. "We are the ones who are afraid to walk down the street. We feel like in pre-war Germany in Israel," one protester told Ynet. "It was there too that the media started the incitement."Another protester added, "We live in the shadow of secular incitement. It hurts to wear the yellow patch. If our kids are being beat up don't be surprised we dress them with yellow patches. That's how we feel."One of the demonstrators was angry that the media fails to report incidents where haredim are being attacked. "I'm a haredi soldier. While on uniform I was attacked by seculars in the Central Bus Station a few days ago. They called me a 'smelly haredi.'"Many protesters defended the use of Holcaust symbols. "Maybe the use of children will irk the seculars," one of them said. However, not all endorsed the step. "In my opinion displaying the kids like that was wrong," one protester admitted. "Most haredi people don't want segregation. Those who organized the protest are only a handful. You can see that the majority of haredim don't have a problem with this. Whoever spits on a little girl has a mental condition, he's a deviant," Yehuda, a haredi man from Mea Shearim said.Read the full story here.