Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Overnight music video - Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel



They were never asked to disarm by their commanders when attending a meeting.

Saudi Arabia shuts embassy in Syria, withdraws staff as death toll mounts.


Saudi Arabia shuts embassy in Syria, withdraws staff as death toll mounts.(AA).Saudi Arabia has shut down its embassy in Syria and has withdrawn all its staff and diplomats, the foreign ministry announced Wednesday in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.“Due the developments in Syria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has shut down its embassy in Damascus and withdrawn all its diplomats and staff there,” said the statement.
Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly pressed for world action against Damascus and called for rebels to be armed, was one of six Gulf monarchies to expel Syria’s ambassadors and withdraw their own in February.At least 8,500 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the uprising against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission reported that 77 people killed by security force gunfire across Syria on Wednesday, according to Al Arabiya. On the ground, Noureddin al-Abdo, an activist in Idlib, confirmed the rebellious city in northwestern Syria had fallen on Tuesday night after a four-day assault by regime forces.The outgunned, rebel “Free Syrian Army (FSA) has withdrawn and regime forces have stormed the entire city and are carrying out house-to-house searches,” said Abdo, reached by telephone from Beirut.The army launched a major offensive in Idlib province near the Turkish border on Saturday, bombarding the city and sweeping into rural areas in a bid to root out armed insurgents.“We must document the evidence so that those guilty of crimes may be held responsible, whatever it takes,” Cameron, who held talks at the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama, told reporters at a joint press conference.“We should be clear, what we want is the quickest way to stop the killing,” he said, adding was needed in the country was a “transition rather than revolution or civil war.”Obama also called for world leaders to speak with one voice against the regime in Damascus.“The best thing that we can do right now is to make sure that the international community continues to unify around the fact that what the Syrian regime is doing is unacceptable,” Obama said.“It is contrary to every international norm that we believe in and for us to provide strong support to continue to talk to the Russians, the Chinese, and others about why it is that they need to stand up on behalf of people who are being shelled mercilessly,” he said.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday criticized Assad for the “big delay” in reform in Syria, saying Damascus was failing to swiftly follow Moscow’s advice.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called for an immediate truce and for protection of civilians, adding: “China respects the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for change and for the pursuit of their own interests.”Read the full story here.

Obama says window for diplomatic solution with Iran ‘shrinking’


Obama says window for diplomatic solution with Iran ‘shrinking’.(AA).United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday warned Iran that the window for diplomacy to solve a nuclear showdown was “shrinking,” encouraging Tehran to seize the opportunity of talks with world leaders to avert “even worse consequences.”“In the past, there has been a tendency for Iran in these negotiations to delay, to stall, to do a lot of talking but not actually move the ball forward,” Obama said at the White House.“I think they should understand ... that the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking.”“We will do everything we can to resolve this diplomatically but ultimately we’ve got to have somebody on the other side of the table who is taking this seriously and I hope that the Iranian regime understands that,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama sent the public message to Iran as preparations went ahead for a new round of dialogue between global powers and the Islamic Republic. But the talks came amid rising fears of a military attack on Iran, possibly triggered by Israel.Iran has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, and will be used for civilian purposes but the United States and its allies have been concerned that Tehran wants to build a nuclear weapon.Obama also said that a punishing new set of sanctions on Iran would “begin to bite even harder this summer” and would further hurt Tehran’s economy.Hmmmm....Sanctions that Bite.....Turkey is doubling it's trade with Iran, you know Obama's "Trusted partner" Erdogan.Read the full story here.

MK Eldad tells US: Prepare for Jordan's King Abdullah’s Fall.


MK Eldad tells US: Prepare for Jordan's King Abdullah’s Fall.(INN).MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) told U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Wednesday that the plan for two countries west of the Jordan River has reached a dead end.
Eldad advised him to talk to his higher-ups in Washington about the need to develop an alternative plan, with an emphasis on opportunities that will open up when Hashemite rule in Jordan ends, and Jordan will become the Palestinian nation state.Previous statements on the subject by Eldad caused anger in Jordan.
Shapiro was the guest of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. When reporters asked him about Jonathan Pollard, who has been languishing for more than 25 years in an American jail for passing secret information to Israel, Shapiro said he does not want to speculate in the matter and does not know how the matter will be resolved.
MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) wanted to know why MK Michael Ben-Ari failed to receive a U.S. entry visa while Iran's Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Hamas officials are allowed in, Shapiro answered that he does not deal with these matters,.Read the full story here.

U.S. Marines Asked to Disarm Before Leon Panetta Speech.........."Who Cut their pay again"?


U.S. Marines Asked to Disarm Before Leon Panetta Speech.........."Who Cut their pay again"?(MSNBC)In a highly unusual move, around 200 U.S. Marines were asked to leave their weapons outside the tent where U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was set to speak during his trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Although the military said the order was not given in response to Sunday’s shooting of 16 Afghan civilians allegedly by an American soldier, it possibly underlined how high tensions were running after the incident.“You’ve got one of the most important people in the world in the room,” Major General Mark Gurganus told reporters at Camp Leatherneck, dismissing concerns related to the shooting. “This is not a big deal.”
He said he had given the order because the two dozen Afghan soldiers also there were unarmed and he did not want to treat them differently.According to reporters at Camp Leatherneck, the Marines were waiting to hear Panetta’s speech when they were abruptly told by their commander to get up, leave their weapons, including M16 and M-4 automatic rifles and 9 mm pistols, outside and return unarmed.“All I know is I was told to get the weapons out,” Sergeant Major Brandon Hall told The New York Times. Asked why, he replied, “Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust.”Hmmmm........Yup cutting their pay is easy.....Getting shot at is a whole different ballgame?Read the full story here.

Jeremiah Wright Endorses Anti-Semitic 'March to Jerusalem'



Jeremiah Wright Endorses Anti-Semitic 'March to Jerusalem'.(Breitbart).President Barack Obama’s longtime pastor at Trinity United Church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has announced his support for the anti-Semitic “March to Jerusalem” at the end of March. The White House has refused comment.
The “March to Jerusalem” is a massive campaign designed to send anti-Israel partisans across Israel’s borders and into Jerusalem. The National Conference on Jewish Affairs reports Iran's government is involved in the organization of the event and plans to send thousands of participants in caravans, whose schedules have been published by the Quds News agency.
As the Anti-Defamation League has pointed out, the Facebook page for the group features “worldwide Jewish lobby news”; when you click for such nefarious news, you’re directed to a website pushing Holocaust denial. The Facebook page is also virulently anti-gay, condemning Tel Aviv for its gay-friendly policies and stating that such policies are part and parcel of “historical Jewish efforts to spread corruption and perversion among all human societies.”
Does Jeremiah Wright still matter? Of course. These are the sorts of folks Obama has spent a lifetime palling around with and learning from. And no amount of throwing-under-the-bus can change Barack Obama’s history of anti-Semitic associations.Read the full story here.

Muslim Brotherhood Raps Obama for Insulting Egyptian Nation by Praising Netanyahu.

   President Obama once said that the Muslim call to prayer is the “sweetest sound he knows”.Happiness you know it when you see it?

Muslim Brotherhood Raps Obama for Insulting Egyptian Nation by Praising Netanyahu.(Fars). A senior member of the Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) party lambasted US President Barack Obama for praising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cooperation in the freedom of the US suspects who were accused of financial corruption in Egypt, and called Obama's words an insult to the Egyptian nation. "Obama's appreciation for Netanyahu is somehow a conspiracy and provocation by the US," Yasri Ta'lib told FNA on Wednesday.
"The US administration's appreciation for the Zionist regime is meantime an insult to the Egyptian nation and Egypt's national sovereignty," he added.
"Of course, the US administration had insulted the Egyptian nation one more time already, and that was when it thanked Ikhwan al-Muslimun for the release of the US suspects", which was aimed at creating a rift between the Egyptian people and Ikhwan al-Muslimun, he added.
Many Egyptian politicians and officials have blasted those behind the freedom of the US suspects. The US detainees were accused of providing financial backup for specific entities in Egypt in a bid to hijack the Egyptian people's revolution or, at least, bring a pro-US candidate to power in the upcoming presidential election in the Arab African nation.
Also last week, Basineh Kamel, a senior politician and a likely candidate in the coming presidential election in Egypt, said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has released the US suspects who were accused of financial support for the Arab country's civil entities to prove its royalty to Washington. Speaking to FNA, Kamel said SCAF plans to reinvigorate its presence on Egypt's political and decision-making scenes and it, thus, needs to fortify its position. To the same end, SCAF is seeking to consolidate its ties with the White House to have the US company. "SCAF sought to prove its loyalty to the Americans, and thus it freed all the American detainees in violation of all rules." She described foreign organizations' financial backup for national entities in Egypt as the most bothering insult to the Egyptian Judiciary system, and said the SCAF has sold the entire nation by embarking on such a move.
Many Egyptian revolutionary figures have lashed out at the SCAF for its weak performance in governing the country, and underlined the necessity for the transfer of power to a civil government. Read the full story here.

‘This is hell,’ French war surgeon speaks out of carnage in Syrian city of Homs

A doctor at a makeshift hospital displays a bullet removed from the hand of a young girl wounded during what protesters said was an attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, at the Khalidiya neighborhood in Homs. (Reuters).


‘This is hell,’ French war surgeon speaks out of carnage in Syrian city of Homs.(AlArabiya).French surgeon Jacque Beres who recently returned to Paris from Syria describes the bloodbath he saw there as among the most horrific he has ever witnessed in his 40 years of work in war zones.Beres spent 12 days in the besieged city of Homs in February after smuggling himself in, setting up a makeshift hospital in a private residence in the battered neighborhood of Baba Amro.
He operated on 89 people, many of whom he says were the elderly, women and children. He was able to save most, but nine died on the operating table and another two within a day.
“The light was horrible, just a bulb hanging from the ceiling, and the water was scarce,” the 72-year-old French surgeon and co-founder of Doctors without Borders told the Toronto Star. “There was so much dust in the air, and it would go into the open wounds of patients.”“This is hell” said Beres on Tuesday at a meeting of human rights activists in Geneva. “It’s mass murder. It’s totally unfair. It’s unjustifiable”
Beres, who has worked in warzones including Iraq, Rwanda and Chechnya, said that the people in Homs lived in despair despite their gratitude to journalists for reporting their plight to the world.
“They say it’s good that you’re thinking about us, but they said it doesn’t give us food, medicine or weapons.”“The people who are dying are not terrorists, they are ordinary people who deserve their freedom,” Beres told the Star.
In Homs, which is a key flashpoint in the uprising, Assad’s snipers have become a widespread threat with decaying bodies littering the streets.“We couldn’t treat head or chest injuries at all,” Beres said. “We had to just pass on them because they were so risky. It was just possible to manage abdominal and limb injuries.”“The game is over in Homs,” he said. “It has become impossible for the time being to do something in that area.“But the world needs to not forget them. We need to keep sending journalists and humanitarian people to bring pressure on this dictatorial regime.”Read the full story here.

Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America Cautions Muslims Against Participating in American Legal System.



Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America Cautions Muslims Against Participating in American Legal System. (TranslatingJihad).Below is my translation of an Arabic-language paper published by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) in 2007, and presented at their 2008 careers conference in Houston, which provides guidelines for American Muslims on what they can and cannot do vis-à-vis infidel legal systems. The paper makes clear that according to Islam, the only legitimate law is that which comes from Allah, and in fact authority to make laws rests with Allah alone. This renders every other legal system—including the American system—illegitimate.

Since the fact nevertheless remains that many Muslims do live under such ‘infidel’ legal systems, the paper provides guidelines for how they should act under these systems, specifically addressing issues such as Muslims studying man-made law (i.e. non-Islamic law), Muslims governing under infidel legal systems, Muslims working as judges or lawyers or prosecuting cases in infidel courts, and Muslims granting powers of attorney to non-Muslims in disputes. Throughout the paper it is made abundantly clear that Muslims should view the American and other non-Muslim legal systems as infidel systems, and that they are only to participate in them in specific circumstances in order to benefit Islam and Muslims generally. They are specifically instructed to feel hatred in their hearts toward such infidel legal systems, and to do everything within their power to make the Islamic Shari’a supreme, even if that means engaging in deception in certain cases.

It is important to note that AMJA--whose stated purpose is to "clarify the rulings of the sharia which are relevant for those who live in America"--is not just a fringe organization with no influence. The Islamic scholars involved with this group occupy influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States. Below is a list of some of their prominent members, along with the names of universities and other organizations with which they're affiliated, as accessed from AMJA's website:

  • Mohammad Naeem AlSaei, University of Texas, American Open University (AOU) (Virginia);
  • Waleed Basyouni, North American Imam Federation (NAIF) (Arizona), Texas Dawah Convention, AlMaghrib Institute (Texas);
  • Hatem AlHaj, Sharia Academy of America (Florida), Albert Lea Medical Center (Minnesota), NAIF, Islamic Jurisprudence Council of Minnesota;
  • Waleed Al-Maneese, Dar-al-Farooq Islamic Center (Minnesota), University of Minnesota, AOU, NAIF;
  • Muwaffak Al Ghaylany, Islamic Center in Grand Blank City (Minnesota), Shari`a Academy in America (Florida), NAIF:
  • Main Al-Qudah, MAS Katy Center (Texas), AOU, Islamic American University (Minnesota), Al-Yarmook University (Iraq);
  • Salah Alsawy, Institute of Arabic and Islamic Sciences (Virginia), AOU, Sharia Academy (Florida), Al-Azhar University (Egypt), Umm Al Qura University (Saudi Arabia); and
  • Muhammad Adam Alsheikh, Al Rahmah Mosque (Maryland), Sudanese courts.
Credit goes to the Center for Security Policy for discovering this paper and bringing it to me for translation, and providing the background information to give it context.(Note about the translation: This is a gist, and not a verbatim translation, of the 47-page Arabic-language paper produced by AMJA. Certain sections of the paper are gisted in more detail than others simply due to Translating Jihad’s assessment of their relative significance. All Qur’an quotes included in the translation are taken from Yusuf ‘Ali’s English translation of the Qur’an, accessed from quran.com. Page numbers included below are taken from the original Arabic-language paper, which can be seen here.)Read the full story here.

Dutch state-funded TV VPRO offers anti-Semitic game.


Dutch state-funded TV VPRO offers anti-Semitic game.(JPost)HT: IsraelMatzav.THE HAGUE\BERLIN – A Dutch public broadcasting network last month offered its viewers a board game featuring Israeli settlers who use “Jewish stinginess” and “the Anne Frank card” to colonize the West Bank.Organizations combating anti-Semitism have called on the Dutch government to persuade the network, VPRO, to halt the downloading of the board game.
A VPRO representative said the game was not anti-Semitic, but rather a thought-provoking satire.
The game, titled “The Settlers of the West Bank,” is based on the multiplayer hit “The Settlers of Catan,” first released in Germany in 1995. The Dutch variant appeared in 2010 on the VPRO website – a self-described liberal-Protestant network.
In the game, the user is a settler trying to expand his community and mine diamonds and Dead Sea mud while producing textile and bulldozers. Players can use the “Jewish stinginess” card to force competitors to hand over resources. The instructions refer three times to the “nation’s typical mercantile spirit.”
Terrorist attacks are described as a natural result of settlement expansion. “Saw wood, and you get wood chips: Not everyone’s happy with the Israeli settlements. Least of all the terrorist,” the instructions explain. “Terrorist attacks” cost players resources.
The settler may also use the “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad card” to avoid losing resources to a terrorist and simultaneously draw resources from other players. The Anne Frank House is a “winning point” for the settler.
The game first appeared on VPRO’s website for younger viewers and was prominently reposted last month. The network explained the reposting by saying: “It’s one of the items everyone loves to hate.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly condemned VPRO for publishing the “disturbing” game.
“It would be more likely as a product of neo-Nazis or Ahmadinejad,” Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for international relations, told The Jerusalem Post.
References to Jewish stinginess, the exploitation of minerals and the “contemptuous misuse” of Ann Frank’s House as a “winning point” were “anti-Semitic tropes,” Samuels said.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science provided 89 percent of VPRO’s budget of 51,973,000 euros in 2010.
“This funding makes the Netherlands the largest financier of hate incitement among youth in Europe,” Samuels said.
Manche said that VPRO told the ministry that the website that offers the game was developed by young editors of the weekly magazine VPRO Gids, which does not receive a government subsidy, but is financed through membership fees from VPRO’s approximately 300,000 subscribers.
In the Netherlands, the original board game, “The Settlers of Catan,” is marketed by the 999 Games company.Hmmmm........Perhaps another 'Topic' to adress by Geert Wilder's PVV party?Read the full story here.

One week after Palestinian Authoroty PM says Gov respects all minority religions, Baptist Church in Bethlehem Declared Illegitimate By Palestinian Authority.

Pastor Khoury at Bethlehem’s First Baptist Church with congregants and Christian American supporter


One week after Palestinian Authoroty PM says Gov respects all minority religions, Baptist Church in Bethlehem Declared Illegitimate By Palestinian Authority.(FA).A week after Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told an audience of Evangelical Protestants from across the world that his government respected the rights of its Christian minorities, officials from the Palestinian Authority have informed Bethlehem pastor Rev. Naim Khoury that his church lacked the authority to function as a religious institution under the PA.
The church can still gather to pray, for now, but the PA’s decision conveyed on Saturday will have a real impact on the members of First Baptist, which endured numerous bomb attacks during the First Intifada.“They said that our legitimacy as a church from a governmental point of view is not approved,” said Khoury’s son, Steven, who serves as an assistant pastor at First Baptist. “They said they will not recognize any legal paper work from our church. That includes birth certificates, wedding certificates and death certificates. Children are not even considered to be legitimate if they don’t have recognized paperwork.”
The irony, Steven said, is that the PA’s announcement comes right after the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. This conference, which took place from March 5 through March 9, 2012 was a gathering of approximately 600 Evangelical Protestants from across the globe (mostly from the United States) to discuss the theology of Christian Zionism, which some Evangelicals believe increases the prospect of violence in the Middle East and gives support to Israeli policies that they do not like.
During the opening night of the conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad told the assembly that his government respected the rights of Christians. Palestinians celebrate religious holidays together, PA officials attend Christmas celebrations and even attend Midnight Mass for Christmas, Fayyad said.
Nevertheless, there is a sense among Christians in Bethlehem that anti-Christian animus has gotten worse in the city over the past few years, Khoury said. “People are always telling them, ‘Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam. It’s the true and right religion.’”
This is the second time the church has been told it is operating without PA sanction, Khoury said. Other churches in Bethlehem are left alone, said Khoury, who suggested that the church’s love for both the Jewish and Arab people and its belief that both can live in the land in peace may have played a role in the PA’s decision. Prior to the PA, the church, which was founded in 1980, never had a problem with its paperwork, Khoury said.Hmmmm........One wonders why so many Christians move to Israel......Must be the 'Climate change'?Read the full story here.

CBO report says Obamacare to cost $1.76 trillion over 10 years, not $940 billion.


CBO report says Obamacare to cost $1.76 trillion over 10 years, not $940 billion.(CriticalAnalist).
The bill would not have passed if the numbers were not juggled to keep it under the trillion mark. It's fraud. Blatant deception on the cost in order to get the votes.They also just disclosed that at least 6 million people will lose their employer provided health coverage... and not the "1 million" claimed when all this was in the works.
(Washington Examiner) President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.
Democrats employed many accounting tricks when they were pushing through the national health care legislation, the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014, so it would appear cheaper under the CBO's standard ten-year budget window and, at least on paper, meet Obama's pledge that the legislation would cost "around $900 billion over 10 years." When the final CBO score came out before passage, critics noted that the true 10 year cost would be far higher than advertised once projections accounted for full implementation.
Today, the CBO released new projections from 2013 extending through 2022, and the results are as critics expected: the ten-year cost of the law's core provisions to expand health insurance coverage has now ballooned to $1.76 trillion. That's because we now have estimates for Obamacare's first nine years of full implementation, rather than the mere six when it was signed into law. Only next year will we get a true ten-year cost estimate, if the law isn't overturned by the Supreme Court or repealed by then. Given that in 2022, the last year available, the gross cost of the coverage expansions are $265 billion, we're likely looking at about $2 trillion over the first decade, or more than double what Obama advertised.Read the full story here.

"Commander-In-Chief" Obama dangles secret data for Russia missile shield approval.


"Commander-In-Chief" Obama dangles secret data for Russia missile shield approval.(Yahoo). The Obama administration is leaving open the possibility of giving Moscow certain secret data on U.S. interceptor missiles due to help protect Europe from any Iranian missile strike.A deal is being sought by Washington that could include classified data exchange because it is in the U.S. interest to enlist Russia and its radar stations in the missile-defense effort, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tuesday in written replies to Reuters.
No decision has been made yet on whether the United States would offer data about the interceptors' "velocity at burnout," or VBO, said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham, the spokeswoman, but it is not being ruled out.VBO is at the heart of what Russia wants as the price for its cooperation, said Riki Ellison, head of the private Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, who has close ties to missile defense and military officials.VBO tells how fast an interceptor is going when its rocket-booster motor fuel is spent and the motor burns out.
With VBO and certain other technical data, Moscow could more readily develop countermeasures and strategies to defeat the system and transfer the information to others, Ellison said.
Ellen Tauscher, the administration's special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, held talks in Moscow Tuesday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, including on missile defense, a State Department spokesman said.
The Defense Department, in its response to Reuters, ruled out giving Russia information on either "telemetry" or U.S. "hit-to-kill" technology.
In keeping open the possibility of sharing VBO information with Moscow, Obama is at odds with Republicans in Congress who have said they will seek to legislate a prohibition on such data-sharing.
Republican Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House of Representatives' Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, faulted the administration for what he described as "caving" to Russian concerns at the expense of U.S. interests."That is why it is important Congress insist on protecting our classified missile defense information, and our right to deploy missile defenses without concern for Russia's posturing," he said in a statement Tuesday to Reuters.Bradley Roberts, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, told Turner's committee last week the United States had been making "no progress" toward persuading Russia to drop its opposition to the shield despite its willingness to consider sharing certain classified data.Hmmmm.....If It looks like a duck , it quacks like a duck............it's a 'yellow' duck.Read the full story here.

Up Close Videos of Israel being hit with Rockets from Gaza

Courtesy of the Israel Defense Forces YouTube channel, take a look at these videos and ask yourself how you’d feel if someone half a world away ordered you to act with restraint.






HT:Shoebat.


                                                        Map HT: IsraelMatzav.

Presenting the New Israeli Machine Gun — The NG7.

Presenting the New Israeli Machine Gun — The NG7.HT: kitup.military.Israel Weapon Industries recently unveiled its new NG7, a 7.62mm version of the venerable Negev 5.56mm light machine gun.
I had a chance to fire a couple of belts through the standard Negev a few years back and I found it just as nice (or better) to shoot as the M249s FN makes for the U.S. military. The NG7 fires 850-1,050 rounds per minute on gas regulator position one and 950-1150 rpm on position two.
Like the standard Negev, it also has a semiautomatic setting for engaging point targets. It has Picatinny rails for mounting optics and Tritium sights for low-light conditions.
IWI developed the NG7 for the Israel Defense Force. It provides maneuvering infantry with an assault gun chambered for the potent 7.62mm NATO round similar to FN’s MK48 LMG in use with special operations units and Army infantry units in Afghanistan.
The NG7 comes in two versions. The standard features a 20-inch barrel and weighs 16.75 pounds. The SF version comes with a 16.5-inch barrel and weighs a few ounces less. Both models have collapsible buttstocks with an adjustable cheek rest.Read the full story here.


Turning the Homeless Into 4G Hotspots at SXSW.


Turning the Homeless Into 4G Hotspots at SXSW.It sounds like a headline from The Onion, but it's true: A project called "Homeless Hotspots" is turning homeless Austin residents into mobile wireless hotspots outside the South by Southwest convention center.
It's part marketing stunt, part genuine charitable initiative -- and it's generating lots of double-takes and chatter from those who pass by.
"I'm Melvin, a 4G hotspot," reads the T-shirt of participant Melvin Hughes. "SMS HH Melvin to 25827 for access."
Hughes is carrying a Verizon MiFi 4G hotspot. Texting his code sends back his network password, which the recipient can use to suck down a few minutes of fast broadband access -- a scarce commodity at SXSW, a tech/film/music gathering that has drawn more than 20,000 visitors to Austin, Texas.
Access is pay-what-you-want, though $2 per 15 minutes is the suggested donation, payable through Paypal or Venmo. BBH Labs, the project's organizer, says it will pay all the proceeds directly to the participant who made the sale.Reactions are definitely mixed, Hughes says. He's handed out hundreds of cards explaining the project, and says a few dozen people have actually logged on.
"Some people want nothing to do with it, for whatever reason," he says. "I think it's a great thing. It's an opportunity."BBH recruited the participants from Austin's Front Steps shelter. Hughes, who has disabling back problems from a herniated disk and is unable to do most physical work, says he was glad to volunteer.Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Overnight music video - Joe Cocker - I Who Have Nothing

This is Not a Joke! “Fitch Upgrades Greece at Six Notches”


This is Not a Joke! “Fitch Upgrades Greece at Six Notches”.(KTG).Ratings agency Fitch upgraded Greece on Tuesday to a “B-” rating with a stable outlook from restricted default over its bond swap that wiped some 100 billion euros ($131 billion) off its debt. Are things going indeed better, after the PSI? Because I hear, some friends have not been paid for working 40 hours per week, four weeks per month, since last August….
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Fitch Ratings on Tuesday upgraded Greece’s sovereign-debt rating only days after placing it in restricted default, saying the completion of a debt-restructuring deal has ended the default event.
Fitch’s rating was raised to B-minus, a junk-level rating six levels below investment-grade territory. The outlook is stable.
Fitch said there was 96% participation in the debt deal, which was completed Friday and allowed Greece to significantly reduce its borrowing by exchanging its debts for new securities at a lower value. Its creditors were required to take sizeable losses to their bond values as part of the deal.
A panel of market participants ruled that the restructuring constituted a credit event and would trigger insurance-like contracts that pay off if creditors suffer losses. On Friday, both Fitch and Moody’s Investors Service declared Greece in default. They joined Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which declared Greece in selective default about two weeks ago.
Fitch says the debt exchange and the losses imposed on bondholders have significantly improved Greece’s debt-service profile and reduced the risk of a recurrence of near-term repayment difficulties on the new Greek securities. But, the ratings firm said significant and material default risk remains in light of a still very high level of debt and profound economic challenges facing Greece.
The historic EUR200 billion ($266 billion) debt restructuring deal will cut about EUR100 billion from the face value of the debt-strapped country’s obligations. Yet, Greece remains mired in a long recession; unemployment is at 21%; and even after the write-off, the debt level is well in excess of a year’s economic output. (Wall Street Journal).Read the full story here.

Vid - Pajhwok Afghan News to IMRA:"It would help if President Obama offered "Diyya a.k.a. Bloodmoney" to relatives of killed Afghanis




Pajhwok Afghan News to IMRA:"It would help if President Obama offered compensation "Diyya a.k.a. Bloodmoney' to families of Afghanis murdered by US soldier."in accordance with sharia law, though here would be complications in establishing who receives the payment.Read the full story here, more on Diyya and Qisas here.

Obama says he directed Pentagon to do thorough investigation of 'Workplace violence' civilian deaths in Afghanistan



Obama says he directed Pentagon to do thorough investigation of  fort hood shooting workplace violence  civilian deaths in Afghanistan.WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says he is directing the Pentagon to conduct a very thorough investigation of the weekend killings of Afghan civilians, allegedly by a U.S. soldier.
Obama says the inquiry will "follow the facts" wherever they lead, and that anyone found responsible will be prosecuted fully. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the death penalty is possible if the soldier is convicted.
Speaking at the White House, Obama says the killings do not reflect American values or the U.S. military. He called the incident tragic and heartbreaking, but he insists it will not change U.S. commitment to finishing the job in Afghanistan.
Obama says the U.S. will "responsibly" withdraw its forces between now and the end of 2014, the date he set with allies to close out the war.Hmmmm.....No 'Workplace violence' this time i guess?Only counts when you kill Americans?Read the full story here.

“Shocking” former CAIR official, now a candidate for President in Egypt, wants to fully implement sharia law.




“Shocking” former CAIR official, now a candidate for President in Egypt, wants to fully implement sharia law.(JW).Egyptian Presidential Candidate Bassem Khafaji Pledges to "Complete the Implementation of Islamic Law in Egypt"
Following are excerpts from Egyptian presidential candidate Bassem Khafaji, which aired on Al-Nas TV on March 7, 2012:

Bassem Khafaji: Let me tell you, in all honesty, that as a Muslim Egyptian, I am convinced of [the need to] complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt. I do not hide this truth in any way, because it is in keeping with the inclination of the Egyptian people.

We Egyptians – both Muslims and non-Muslims – refer to the shari'a in many things. I often ask people: How did you get married? Wasn't it according to the shari'a, regardless of whether you are Muslim or not? Weren't you married in accordance with your religion? When somebody in our family dies, how we inherit him? Not in accordance with the shari'a?

No [candidate] should say that he is coming to implement the shari'a, because part of it has already been implemented. What the Egyptian people want is to complete this implementation. As president, I will personally assist in the completion of the correct implementation of the shari'a, by consulting the experts [in Islamic law].

Jihad Watch reader Benedict, who kindly alerted me to the above item,points out that Bassem Khafaji, or Khafagi, used to work in the U.S. for Hamas-linked CAIR:

The former community affairs director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Bassem Khafagi was arrested in January 2003 on suspicion of aiding terrorists. Khafagi is also the founder of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), a radical, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based organization. He pled guilty in a Detroit federal court to two counts of bank fraud and one count of visa fraud.

Hamas-linked CAIR constantly insists that Muslims in the U.S. don't want to implement Sharia here. So did Khafagi change his mind about Sharia when he went back to Egypt? Or does he think Sharia should be implemented in Egypt but not here? Or maybe he and others in Hamas-linked CAIR really do want to bring Sharia here? I confidently await the imminent explanation from Honest Ibe Hooper, clearing all this up! Read the full story here.

Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely.


Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely.(TheEconomicCollaps).How would you feel if you worked for a state or local government for 20 or 30 years only to have your pension slashed dramatically or taken away entirely? Well, this exact scenario is playing out from coast to coast and in the years ahead millions of elderly Americans are going to be affected by broken promises and vanishing pensions. In the old days, things were much different. You would get hired by a big company or a government institution and you knew that the retirement benefits that they were promising you would be there when you retired in a few decades. Unfortunately, we have now arrived at a time when government institutions and big companies have promised far more than they are able to deliver, and “pension reform” has become one of the hot button issues all over the nation. Many Americans that have been basing their financial futures on their pensions are waking up one day and finding that their pensions are either gone or have been cut back dramatically. According to Northwestern University Professor John Rauh, the latest estimate of the total amount of unfunded pension and healthcare obligations for state and local governments across the United States is 4.4 trillion dollars. America is continually becoming a poorer nation and all of that money is simply not going to magically materialize somehow. So where is that 4.4 trillion dollars going to come from? Well, either pension benefits are going to have to be cut a lot more all over America or taxes will need to be raised dramatically. Either way, we are all going to feel the pain of these broken promises.
There simply is not enough money out there to keep all of the pension commitments that have been made. Something has got to give. In the end, millions of elderly Americans will likely be plunged into poverty as pensions disappear.
Some local governments around the nation are already declaring bankruptcy and are either eliminating pensions or are cutting them very deeply. Just check out what just happened in Central Falls, Rhode Island….
For years, city officials promised robust union contracts and pensions without raising revenue to pay for them. Last August, the math caught up with them. Central Falls was broke, its pension fund short $46 million. It declared bankruptcy.
“My daughters grew up here, went to school here. It’s all gone,” said Mike Geoffroy, a retired firefighter.
He said he could not make the payments on his house after his pension was cut by $1,100 a month.
When will the math catch up with the city where you are living?For years and years most of our state and local politicians have been ignoring this problem. But eventually a day comes when you simply cannot ignore it any longer.
Over the next 20 years approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers will be retiring every single day.
A lot of them are going to be blindsided by empty pension funds and broken promises.
We are facing a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude, and there is not much hope in sight.
And if there is a maor stock market crash, things are going to be much, much worse.
Most pension funds and retirement plans are heavily invested in the stock market. If we were to see a major financial crisis like we saw back in 2008 it would be absolutely devastating. Millions of Americans could see their retirement plans wiped out in short order.Once again, please do not place your faith in the system.If you do, you are likely to end up holding a bag of broken promises.
A gigantic tsunami of unfunded pension obligations is coming. A lot of state and local governments are going to go broke. A lot of promises are going to be broken.
If you hope to retire any time soon, you better plan on being able to take care of yourself.Read the full story here.

Will Sitting President Obama Finally Be Held Accountable For High Crimes and Misdemeanors?



Will Sitting President Obama Finally Be Held Accountable For High Crimes and Misdemeanors?ActivistPost.By Eric Blair.Since 2005, Veterans for Peace and others have been calling for the impeachment of the sitting president for war crimes. After their demands to lawmakers to uphold the rule of law against Bush were largely ignored (except by Dennis Kucinich who introduced impeachment articles too late in 2008), they renewed their effort to impeach Obama once he continued to bomb sovereign nations without congressional approval. Now, some lawmakers seem to have finally decided to take the rule of law and Separation of Powers seriously.

Obama will face impeachment over his failure to seek congressional authorization before launching offensive military action in Libya last year. Official impeachment proceedings have now been filed in both the House and Senate.

Last week, North Carolina Representative Walter Jones filed an Impeachment Resolution in the House H.CON.RES.107.IH stating; "Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.

"Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution."
President Barack Obama becomes only the third sitting president to face impeachment following Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Johnson was impeached for illegally dismissing an office holder without the Senate's approval, and Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. Both were acquitted by the Senate.

Significantly, President Obama faces much more serious charges than his impeached predecessors and it's still unclear what legal defense he will use to diffuse the charges as the legal basis for his unilateral action has been inconsistent and vague from the beginning of the Libya assault.

Prior to military operations in Libya, the Justice Department advised the Administration on the legality of using unauthorized force in Libya in a 14-page memo titled Authority to Use Military Force in Libya, which states vaguely:

We conclude...that the use of military force in Libya was supported by sufficiently important national interests to fall within the President's constitutional power. At the same time, turning to the second element of the analysis, we do not believe that anticipated United States operations in Libya amounted to "war" in the constitutional sense necessitating congressional approval under the Declaration of War clause.
The memo goes on explain why the alleged situation on the ground in Libya was in U.S.'s national interest, cites previous times when the U.S. military was deployed without congressional approval and claims the mission was an international support mission with no deployed ground troops to justify their conclusion.

However, in no way were national interests under an "imminent" threat by hostilities in Libya as required by the War Powers Act, and supporting an international mission is irrelevant to the Act. Furthermore, Obama has maintained the legal defense that American involvement fell short of full-blown hostilities even after hostilities exceeded the 90-day limit of unauthorized use of force afforded under the War Powers Act.

The New York Times quotes directly from the 38-page report Obama sent to concerned lawmakers after the 90-day deadline passed “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.”

Therefore, the Administration claims it wasn't a real military conflict that Congress should concern itself with. However, at the same time, the White House acknowledged that the cost to U.S. taxpayers was well over $1 billion for these non-hostile military activities.

Coincidentally, on the same day the impeachment resolution was filed, Obama's Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged that the Libya War did indeed constitute military combat, but claimed the legal basis for spending U.S. tax dollars on war rested in "international permission":
This impeachment comes on the heals of other Administration officials giving equally flimsy legal justifications for assassinating U.S. citizens without due process. Where, also last week, Attorney General Holder sought to clarify this tyrannical authority in a speech at Northwestern University by claiming "judicial process" was not the same as "due process" under the Constitution.

Yet, the Fifth Amendment clearly states "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury."

And as Wikipedia defines due process:

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects individual persons from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.
The Obama Administration has clearly "offended against the rule of law," and it appears his only defense lies in somehow changing the definition of words. It's not a strong legal position to be in and it seems that, for the first time in history, a sitting president may be held accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors.Read the full story here.

"A Picture tells a thousand words" - IDF Homefront Command’s New Rocket Map Speaks Volumes



"A Picture tells a thousand words" - IDF Homefront Command’s New Rocket Map Speaks Volumes.Baruch Hashem today (19 Adar 5772), the southern areas of the country are not hearing sirens warning of incoming rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Nonetheless, the threats from Gaza remain and the IDF Homefront Command has prepared new maps, maps that include Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the strike range. The older maps did not pass Kiryat Malachi and Kiryat Gat, but today, with the defense establishment aware of the striking range of Hamas terrorists today, the new maps show Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the red zone, 70 kilometers (42 miles) from Gaza. Also included in the new map are Modi’in, Holon, and Beit Shemesh,
The old maps did not address targets outside the 40km (25 miles) range from Gaza but today, terrorists have Fajar longer-range missiles capable of striking deep inside Israel. These missiles have a 110km (65 miles) range.During the last wave of warfare, sirens did sound as far as Rechovot.Read and see the full story here.





Scientists Warn EPA Over Monsanto’s GMO Crop Failures, Dangers.



Scientists Warn EPA Over Monsanto’s GMO Crop Failures, Dangers.A group of scientists is calling for major federal action in order to deal with the threat posed by Monsanto’s GMO crops, now petitioning the EPA to address the issue head on. The group of 22 academic corn experts are drawing attention to the immense failure of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, which is developing mutated and resistant insects as a result of its widespread usage.
Corn is critical not only as a food staple, but is heavily used in ethanol production, animal feed, and much more. As GM corn becomes the norm, currently taking over 94 percent of the supply, these scientists are seriously concerned about the future of corn production.
Joseph Spencer is one outspoken member of the group, a corn entomologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, part of the University of Illinois. Spencer states that what is happening is no surprise, instead it is something that needs to be addressed. Warning the EPA over the dangers, the experts sent a letter on March 5th to the agency explaining their worries regarding long-term corn production prospects in light of GMO crops failures. Specifically, the experts are worried about the lack of protection presented by GMO crops against rootworms.
The EPA has already acknowledged that Monsanto’s GMO crops are creating resistant rootworms, which are now ravaging the GMO crops as they mutate to the biopesticide used known as Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). The EPA found that the resistant rootworms, which are evolving to resist the insecticide, are currently found Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska. After the EPA evaluated documented cases of severe crop damage as well as reports from entomologists, the EPA stated “Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance is ‘inadequate’”.
Essentially, the GMO crops are doing the opposite of their supposed purpose — leading to more damage from rootworms as they become mutated to resist the defense of the crops. And Monsanto has answered by simply further genetically modifying the Bt, which research shows is extremely ineffective.
“When insecticides overlay transgenic technology, the economic and environmental advantages of rootworm-protected corn quickly disappear,” the scientists wrote.
It’s time for the EPA and other agencies to address the serious threats to nature and human health presented by Monsanto’s genetically modified creations.Hmmmm............Mother nature still 'outsmarts' the apprentice wizards.Read the full story here.

The "War on Christianity" - Iranian regime has admitted to the world community that the case against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani involves his Christian faith and religious activity.

                                              Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani with his family.


The "War on Christianity" Iranian regime has admitted to the world community that the case against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani involves his Christian faith and religious activity.For the first time, the Iranian regime has admitted to the world community that the case against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani involves his Christian faith and religious activity, as there are new calls at the United Nations (UN) for his immediate release.
As I sit in a room full of international media and representatives of UN member states at a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, listening to Special Rapporteur Dr. Ahmed Shaheed present his report on human rights abuses in Iran, it is clear that ignorance is no longer an excuse for inaction. Without hesitation or trepidation, Special Rapporteur Dr. Shaheed specifically called for Pastor Youcef’s release.
Although the Special Rapporteur’s formal report did not mention Pastor Youcef or the systematic persecution of Christian communities in Iran, as he did in his last presentation, it is clear after his oral presentation today to the Human Rights Council that he is gravely concerned about Pastor Youcef’s case.
Special Rapporteur Dr. Shaheed requested that “the Iranian authorities reassess the cases of all those listed in [his] report and to reconsider the aforementioned cases presented here today.” He also urged them to consider the release of “Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani who has been sentenced to death for apostasy . . . .”
After having several meetings directly with the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran and with delegates from key nations, I am encouraged that some at the UN are working to ensure that Iran immediately and unconditionally releases Pastor Youcef. Of particular import, we would like to thank the European Union, Canada, Sweden, France, Spain, Mexico, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Brazil for speaking out against religious persecution in Iran and calling for the release of prisoners of conscience.The Special Rapporteur once again reiterated in his closing remarks that Pastor Youcef had been convicted on an apostasy charge in Iran. He also stated that although Pastor Youcef’s lawyers feared Iran may use another charge to justify executing him, the legal documents – which I provided to him last week (the original Iranian supreme court verdict in Farsi and translated into English, Portuguese, and Russian) – only state apostasy as the charge for which he is to be executed.Hmmmm.............."Islamofauxbia".Read the full story here.

Islam's Tradition of Breaking the Cross.


A Libyan Muslim smashing a tall "Cross of Sacrifice" with a hammer standing at the edge of a commonwealth cemetery, Benghazi, Libya.

Islam's Tradition of Breaking the Cross.By Mark Durie.Stonegate Institute.
In the recent destruction of Commonwealth war graves in Benghazi, Libya (YouTube Video), you can see not just the desecration of graves, but attacks on crosses.
The radical Muslims who are kicking over and smashing headstones marked with crosses (and one with a Star of David), also took pains to demolish a tall "Cross of Sacrifice" standing at the edge of the cemetery.
This was no "furious mob" on a "rampage," as a Daily Mail report put it. Nor was there any evidence in what they were saying that they were angry or reacting to Koran burning by the US military.
The men are methodically, deliberately, and in an organized fashion, going about destroying crosses and objects marked with crosses. Their mood seems happy. Every now and again the cry Allahu Akbar rings out, or a chuckle of joy. They pass comments on the graves as they kick them over: "Break the cross that belongs to those," "This is the grave of a Christian," and, "This tomb has a cross on it: a kaffir [disbeliever]."
An Australian government minister, Craig Emerson, whose father served in Libya in World War II, commented, "There is nothing in Islam that would warrant this sort of behavior."

But is this true? Or just wishful thinking? Certainly many Libyans and Muslims of other nationalities have expressed their abhorrence of these acts. It would be completely wrong to attribute sympathy for such an attack to Muslims as whole. But all the same, was this attack on war graves truly senseless and without foundation or precedent in Islam? Regrettably, the answer is "No."

The phenomenon of cross-destruction goes back to the life and example of Muhammad. A tradition reported by al-Waqidi said that if ever Muhammad found an object in his house with the mark of a cross on it, he would destroy it. (W. Muir, The life of Muhammad. Volume 3, p.61, note 47.)
In the YouTube video, when one of the men says, "Break the cross that belongs to those dogs," he uses the same classical Arabic phrase – "break the cross' (the Arabic root is k.s.r 'break') -- which is found in a famous hadith (tradition) about Jesus — understood in Islam to be a Muslim prophet — who will return to the earth as a cross-destroying enforcer of Islamic Sharia law:
Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, 'By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely [Jesus,] the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly [as a Just Ruler]; he will break the cross and kill the pigs and there will be no jizya [i.e. no taxation taken from non Muslims: because they will all be forced to convert to Islam]. …'"(Sahih al-Bukhari: The Book of the Stories of the Prophets. 4:60:3448.)
This phrase 'break the cross' is religious and ritualistic in its overtones, invoking the canon of Islam. It is like a Christian saying 'forgive us our trespasses' in reference to the Lord's Prayer. This is a clear reference to the words of Muhammad, and invokes his authority for the deed being performed.
To pious Muslims, Muhammad is regarded as the "best example" for Muslims to follow, so it is hardly surprising if his enmity to the cross is shared by at least some Muslims today. The following are just some of many examples of cross destruction which can be culled from media reports of recent years:
  • Two days before Christmas in 1998, a Catholic church in Faisalabad, Pakistan had its crucifix pulled down by a Muslim leader.
  • On March 18, 2004, an Albanian mob attacked and desecrated the church of St Andrew in Podujevo, Kosovo. Photographs distributed to the international media show Muslims, who had climbed up onto the roof, breaking off the prominent metal crosses attached there. There have also been many instances of Muslim mobs smashing crosses in Christian graveyards across Kosovo.
  • In April 2007, in the Al-Doura Christian area of Baghdad, Muslim militants instructed Christians to remove visible crosses from atop their churches, and issued a fatwa forbidding Christians from wearing crosses.
  • When Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, some of its militias went on a cross-destroying rampage. The Rosary Sisters convent and school in Gaza was ransacked and looted by masked men and crosses were specifically targeted for destruction. A Christian resident of Gaza also reported having a crucifix ripped from his neck by someone from the Hamas Executive Force, who said, "That is forbidden."
  • On Monday 29 October 2007, in the Malaysian Parliament, a parliamentarian, Tuan Syed Hood bin Syed Edros complained about the "display of religious symbols' in front of church schools: 'I, as a responsible person to my religion, race, and country, I state my views that … these crosses need to be destroyed …'"
  • Michael Yon has reported on a poster found in Afghanistan ("Destroying the cross is an Islamic obligation") which instructs Muslims to destroy objects with crosses on them.
Antipathy to the cross among Muslims is not limited to Islamic societies: In November 2004, Belmarsh Prison in England was reported to have plans to spend £1.6 million on a mosque. The facility already maintains a multi-denominational chapel, but this has been rejected for use by the Muslim inmates, some of whom had been convicted on terrorism charges, because the chapel contains crosses which have to be covered up when the Muslims say their prayers.
No less a figure than the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, was compelled to remove his pectoral cross when he had to make a forced stop in Saudi Arabia in 1995. The incident is described by David Skidmore in the Episcopal News Service:
Carey's flight out of Cairo for Sudan was forced to make an intermediary stop in Saudi Arabia. On the approach to the Red Sea coastal city of Jidda, Saudi Arabia, Carey was told to remove all religious insignia, including his clerical collar and pectoral cross.
There is another pattern at work here, which is the destruction of non-Muslim (infidel) graves and religious heritage.
The Taliban's destruction of Buddhist sites in Afghanistan is a well-known example, as was the deliberate destruction of around 38,000 Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives, some of which were over 1,000 years old, during Jordan's occupation of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967.
It must also be acknowledged that radical Sunni Muslims have a long history of destroying Muslim graves as well, if they have become sites of pilgrimage or veneration.
The Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia have been known for more than one hundred years for destroying venerated gravesites, including those of some of Muhammad's own relatives (see a Shi'ite lament here).
In Libya, Salafists have also been busy destroying graves of Sufi saints.
Likewise, in Somalia the al-Shabab movement has been destroying Sufi graves (as well as war graves of Christians: see here). In the light of other parallels, the destruction of this cemetery cannot be regarded as simply a senseless act done by a "rampaging mob." It was a thoughtful, deliberate act, which conforms to a widely attested pattern, namely the destruction of crosses, support for which can be found in canonical Islamic sources and the teaching of Muhammad. It also conforms to a pattern of destruction of gravesites, of both non-Muslims and Muslims, by radical Muslims -- not with Koran-burning by the US military.
Mark Durie is an Anglican vicar in Melbourne, Australia, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum.

Arab League intervenes in Muslim Brotherhood, UAE "Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi clash"



Arab League intervenes in Muslim Brotherhood, UAE "Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi clash".The Arab League chief, Nabil al-Araby, has said comments made by a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson in Egypt against the United Arab Emirates were “hostile,” in a statement issued by his office on Monday.
The Brotherhood spokesman, Mahmoud Ghozlan, had threatened action against the UAE if the Gulf country would attempt to capture and prosecute prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The Sheikh had sparked a heated row between the UAE and his Brotherhood supporters when he criticized the Gulf state for reportedly revoking the visas of Syrians who protested against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad outside of the Syrian consulate in Dubai.
Qaradawi’s comments provoked a heated response from the Dubai police chief, Dhahi Khalfan, who threatened to arrest the Shiekh.“We are going to issue an arrest warrant against Sheikh Qaradawi” Khalfan wrote on his Twitter account earlier this week.“If he insults the UAE will we leave him? ...Whoever insults the state or the government of the UAE, I will pursue him,” the police chief added.
In response to the Muslim Brotherhood’s retaliated threat of action against the UAE, Egyptian media cited Araby as saying on Monday: “I call on all political forces to resort to wisdom and prudence and to avoid hostile attitudes and irresponsible statements that can be detrimental to relations between Arab countries, and that cause dissension and division.”
The Arab League chief added: “We are about to prepare for the coming Arab summit in Baghdad, which we hope would restore the spirit of Arab solidarity and unify Arab positions on the challenges and major variables facing the region.”Meanwhile, Egyptian state-run news agency MENA quoted anonymous Egyptian diplomatic sources as saying that there is no problem between Egypt and the UAE, and that the Brotherhood spokesman’s comments reflect the opinion of his group and not the Egyptian government.Read the full story here.

Egyptian court awards life sentence to two Israelis and a Ukrainian for weapons smuggling.



Egyptian court awards life sentence to two Israelis and a Ukrainian for weapons smuggling.An Egyptian court sentenced a Ukrainian and two Israelis on Monday to life in prison on charges of smuggling weapons into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula from Israel, Egyptian and Israeli media quoted court officials as saying.
The Ukrainian and one of the Israelis are being held by the Egyptian authorities while the second Israeli citizen has been tried in absentia, according to court officials.“They will be sent to jail immediately,” Bikyamasr website quoted one official as saying. “The judge said Egypt will not tolerate any attempt to create chaos in the country.” The Israeli, Muad Zahalka, and the Ukrainian, Eduard Bablovich, who were sentenced at the Ismailia Criminal Court, have been held in custody since October 2011.Bablovich, who managed a tourism company in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, is alleged to have ordered machineguns and ammunition from one of the Israeli citizens.
Israeli daily Ynet quoted Egyptian authorities as saying Zahalka brought the weapon into Egypt at the border at Taba in a cross-shaped wooden crate.Authorities seized the weapons after the crate was placed on an explosives detection machine.Bablovich told the court he ordered the weapons for self-protection whereas Zahalka denied he knew what was in the box.In February, an Australian and German who worked in a security firm were arrested at Cairo International Airport over suspected smuggling of weapons into Egypt.Read the full story here.

Muslim suspect in arson attack on Brussels Shi'ite mosque in which imam died gives three different Identities.


Muslim suspect in arson attack on Brussels Shi'ite mosque in which imam died gives three different Identities.The Brussels Mosque is the most important center for Shi'ites in Belgium it had been threatened before in 2007 by Salafists.The 46-year old imam Abdallah Dadou, father of four children suffocated while trying to extinguish the flames.All the indications are that the perpetrator was another Muslim. He made Salafists remarks while smashing things up inside the mosque with an axe, before setting it on fire. During his interview three different identities were specified by him.These are now being further investigated. He's a thirty-something at the beginning of the hearing announced that he is a Muslim.
As one of the most islamified cities in Europe, Brussels is a powder keg. It's very easy to imagine how Muslims could go rioting and burning tonight if they believed this was an "islamophobic" attack. They're less likely to react that way if they know it's another Muslim. But, following their politically correct rules, the journalists and police won't give them that information.The attacker was shouting anti-Shiite Salafist slogans about the conflict in Syria.
The suspect entered the Mosque wearing a backpack, on different spots he poored petrol, and produced a knife and axe which he used to threaten bystanders.Eventually the bystanders managed to overpower him and lock him up while waiting for the police to arrive. There were also two men lightly wounded in the fight to overpower the suspect.Isabelle Praile of the Muslim Executive, herself a Shiite, told RTBF that the Rida mosque, the biggest mosque in Brussels, has been guarded by the police for years after threats by SalafistsRead the full story here.(GoogleTranslated).More here.HT:IVE