“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, February 27, 2017

Facing the Reality of Islamic Death Cults

We Muslims Must Confront the Death Cult in Our Societies

With each atrocity perpetrated in the name of Islam, our religion becomes even more associated with barbarism. We need to reconnect Muslim thinking with its original respect for life, openness and equality.

Writing about the need for Islamic Reform in Haaretz will probably discredit this argument in the eyes of many of my fellow Muslims, despite the fact that no less than a quarter of Israelis share our faith. So be it.

With each new atrocity perpetrated in the name of Islam, our religion becomes associated a little more with a barbarism that ends up appearing inherent to it. This is most unfortunate but, in light of the insanity many individuals, organizations, and governments invoking Islam show themselves capable of, sadly comprehensible. To be taken seriously by non-Muslims, the first thing we need to recognize as Muslims is that this negative connotation attached to our faith in contemporary collective consciousness is quite understandable.

Ironically, much of the conservatism associated with Islam today actually comes from pre-Islamic Bedouin practices that our Prophet spent his entire life challenging or from local cultural habits that actually have nothing to do with the Islamic faith. On the contrary, what characterizes the Quranic revelation is its innovating nature and spiritual, ethical, even epic dynamism, which is actually far from being normative and prescriptive. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Muslim institutions in the world are currently distilling and condoning obsolete ideas and values. The claim found all over social networks after each attack that violent acts of terror have "nothing to do with Islam," often backed by excerpts from the Quran, needs to be contrasted with the reverence that our most distinguished and respected scholars and universities show for such books as Min Haj el Talibin by the renowned jurist consul Araf el dine el Nawawi, which recommends stoning adulterers; Es sarim el maslul ala chatim el rasul by Ibn Taymiyya or Taqi al-Din al-Subki's Es seyf el maslul ala men sabba al rasul, which both can be translated roughly as "The sword is drawn against that one who speaks ill of the Prophet." 

The very precise prescriptions they contain regarding how to punish blasphemy, apostasy or adultery is the basis not just for ISIS’s claim that their brand of Islam is nothing more than a vigorous one, but for that of many mainstream conservative Muslim states. At the turn of the twentieth century, the French 'intellectual' Joseph de Gobineau's essay on the inequality of human races was considered "science" by many a conservative in Europe. It has since made its way to the 'history' or 'anthropology' shelves of libraries. It is time significant portions of classic Islamic curricula follow the same path.

Simultaneously, Islamic tradition needs to reconnect with its original innovative spirit; not by transformation or reinvention, but rather by refocusing on the original ends of the Quranic revelation:

- The primacy of knowledge, education, science, aesthetics and the principles of fundamental freedom, social justice, and respect of the law. The binary division of all things and actions between halal and haram, which the practice of contemporary Islam is mired in, is profoundly in contradiction with this spirit. The structural impoverishment of Islamic thought and the absence of recourse to the elementary and salutary ijtihad, the personal effort of interpretation, are directly linked to the lack of freedom observed in Muslim majority societies.
- The openness to the world and otherness, especially religious otherness. It is shocking that even the most prestigious centers of learning in the Islamic world do not further the knowledge of the foundations of other religious traditions and provide their students with a solid understanding of them. 

- The respect and the celebration of life. It is time to replace the sacralization of death and the morbid cult, omnipresent in a great number of Muslim majority societies, with a healthy and salutary biophilia. 

- Ontological equality between men and women, which would compel us to break with the deranged phallocracy characterizing our societies and allow women to take back their rightful place in society and to put an end to the religious and secular discrimination and marginalization imposed upon them. 

As Muslim citizens in the twenty-first century, we should set ourselves three main objectives: 

First, it is time we question the legitimacy and overbearing influence of certain politically and socially backward countries in deciding what is Islamic and what is not, who is a good Muslim and who is not. Let us convene somewhere in 2016 to define the contours of a progressive interpretation of Islam firmly grounded in the 21st century, giving a particularly important role to Asian Islam for elementary reasons of demography and democratic representation, but also to Muslims from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Secondly, it is time we stop projecting cultural parochialisms onto religious dogma: Muslims around the world should be able to understand much more clearly where Islam ends and where indigenous cultural practice begins. A properly advertised website would be a good place to start teaching our kids those limits.

Thirdly, let us elaborate a charter reflecting the principles set out above that mosques and Islamic institutions throughout the world may chose or not to adopt. 
As we contemplate the dizzying path ahead of us in the wake of the November 13 attacks on Paris, may our determination be unshakable.

Felix Marquardt is the co-founder of the Al-Kawakibi Foundation and of the think tank Youthonomics. Follow him on Twitter: @feleaks

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Why Pretend? Trump and the US Corporate Media - They Hate Trump - Trump Returns the Compliment

Trump Will Be First President In 36 Years To Skip White House Correspondents Dinner

President Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he would break from a decades-old tradition and skip the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner scheduled for April 29.

"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" Trump tweeted.
The annual dinner, sometimes referred to — affectionately and derisively — in Washington as "Nerd Prom," honors journalism with awards and scholarships. The president is a major a draw to help in those efforts. What began in 1921 as a simple awards dinner evolved into a highly glamorized affair that attracted Hollywood stars.

The last president to not attend the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981. But he had a pretty good reason — he was recovering from being shot in an assassination attempt. Reagan did phone into the event and even joked about the shooting. "If I could give you just one little bit of advice," Reagan said from Camp David, the presidential retreat, "when somebody tells you to get in a car quick, do it."
He signed off with a light ribbing of the news media. "Well, I'm looking forward to the next news conference," he said. "I have so many questions to ask you all."
The last president to outright skip the event was Richard Nixon in 1972. Nixon warned the press he'd do so and followed through. Trump called the press the "enemy of the American people," in a tweet recently. That echoes Nixon, who told the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "The press is your enemy."

Trump's announcement comes at a moment of high tension between the White House and many news organizations. Trump has made attacking mainstream news organizations a staple of his public remarks. Trump and his White House have accused the New York Times, CNN and others of being an "opposition party" with which he is at war.

In response to Trump's tweet, the White House Correspondents' Association President Jeff Mason issued the following statement:
"The White House Correspondents' Association looks forward to having its annual dinner on April 29. The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump's announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic. We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession."
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon on Thursday reiterated that the press was the "opposition party" at the Conservative Political Action Conference; Trump himself devoted a significant portion of his CPAC speech Friday to attacking the "fake news" media; and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave access for a briefing to a group of mostly conservative-leaning news organizations that same day while shutting out some mainstream organizations.

The correspondents' dinner has been a place where the inevitable tension between the president and press is mostly put aside after a roasting. The president usually takes on the press corps in a light-hearted way before acknowledging its important role in a democracy — and the president in turn takes a ribbing from a famous comedian who headlines the night.

But in recent weeks, as relations between the White House and the news media has grown more strained, several news organizations have announced plans to not attend this year's dinner. Buzzfeed reported that CNN, which Trump has been pointedly attacking, might boycott, and Bloomberg canceled hosting a planned after party, a longtime feature of the event in collaboration with Vanity FairVanity Fairhad pulled out earlier.

NPR and most other news organizations are still planning to attend.
Some news outlets, like The New York Times, have been skipping the event for years because, in part, of charges of the event depicting journalists as being too chummy with the president.

CBS's Major Garrett, the network's chief White House correspondent and a former board member of the correspondents' association, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post, in which he said he thought it was a bad idea for the press to skip the event. He concluded:
"If Trump represents a genuine threat to press freedoms, then foregoing the dinner doesn't change a thing. The right response, instead, is for reporters and news organizations to redouble their commitment to a WHCA dinner built around the journalism of the present and of the future."
According to WHCA website, the dinner has been held every year since 1921.
"The 50 men who gathered in the Arlington Hotel at Vermont Avenue and L Street on the north side of McPherson Square that evening could not have known that they were initiating a Washington tradition, one that would annually draw 2,600 people and a national audience a century later. It was Saturday, May 7, 1921 and this was the first White House Correspondents' Association Dinner."
There have been plenty of controversies surrounding presidents, yet they still attended, from the Iran-Contra weapons scandal in the 1980s during the Reagan administration to the Clinton impeachment. Bill Clinton attended all eight years, including before and after his 1998 impeachment following the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The first president to attend was Calvin Coolidge in 1924. For years, the dinner had been headlined by cabaret singers and entertainers. The comedic roast didn't become a staple until 1983, but it has grown in popularity since, drawing together the odd couple of celebrities and the political news media.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

62 Year Old Sniper Killed over 170 ISIS Fighters

ISIS: Meet the veteran 62-year-old sniper who has killed 173 Islamic State terrorists in Iraq

Abu Tahseen, who has practiced his deadly art in five wars, is a member of the Hashd Al-Shaabi, a Shia militia fighting the terror group

Video thumbnail, Meet the elderly Iraqi sniper who has killed 173 ISIS fighters
A 62-year-old sniper claims he has taken out 173 ISIS terror thugs in Iraq in less than a year.

Abu Tahseen, who has practiced his deadly art in five wars, is a member of the Hashd Al-Shaabi, a Shia militia fighting the terror group.

He says has shot nearly the Islamic State fighters since May 2015.

In this incredible footage, the elderly killer is seen talking to his spotter as he gazes down the scope of a huge sniper rifle at two of his enemies from a high vantage point.

Suddenly the weapon recoils as he pulls the trigger. He continues to gaze through the scope for several seconds.

Tahseen is currently stationed at Makhoul Mountains in North Baiji. 
He previously fought in the Yom Kippur war, Iran-Iraq war, Invasion of Kuwait, the Gulf War and today fights against ISIS.

The veteran marksman has fought in five wars 

In the video he also talks about the power of his rifle and how he is calm when he guns down his enemy.

He said: "I swear, I guarantee by God when he falls, this pushes him back a metre before putting him down."

He says he is relaxed when he takes out ISIS militants 

“I’m relaxed, my mind is relaxed," Abu continues. "Last time they gave me a month off and after 12 days I came back."

Many Iraqi veterans chose to fight against ISIS in Syria, but returned to Iraq after the terror group took over Mosul.

Friday, February 24, 2017

You want Respect? Show Respect.

White House Bars Times and Other News Outlets From Briefing

WASHINGTON — Journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Is secession a solution to cultural war?

Pat Buchanan: 'Secularism had been enthroned as our established religion'


As the culture war is about irreconcilable beliefs about God and man, right and wrong, good and evil, and is at root a religious war, it will be with us so long as men are free to act on their beliefs.

Yet, given the divisions among us, deeper and wider than ever, it is an open question as to how, and how long, we will endure as one people.

After World War II, our judicial dictatorship began a purge of public manifestations of the “Christian nation” Harry Truman said we were.

In 2009, Barack Obama retorted, “We do not consider ourselves to be a Christian nation.” Secularism had been enthroned as our established religion, with only the most feeble of protests.

One can only imagine how Iranians or Afghans would deal with unelected judges moving to de-Islamicize their nations. Heads would roll, literally.

Which bring us to the first culture war skirmish of the Trump era.

Taking sides with Attorney General Jeff Sessions against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the president rescinded the Obama directive that gave transgender students the right to use the bathroom of their choice in public schools. President Donald Trump sent the issue back to the states and locales to decide.

While treated by the media and left as the civil rights cause of our era, the “bathroom debate” calls to mind Marx’s observation, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Can anyone seriously contend that whether a 14-year-old boy, who thinks he is a girl, gets to use the girls’ bathroom is a civil rights issue comparable to whether African-Americans get the right to vote?

Remarkably, there was vigorous dissent, from DeVos, to returning this issue to where it belongs, with state and local officials.

After yielding on the bathroom question, she put out a statement declaring that every school in America has a “moral obligation” to protect children from bullying and directed her Office of Civil Rights to investigate all claims of bullying or harassment “against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.”

Now, bullying is bad behavior, and it may be horrible behavior.

But when did a Republican Party that believes in states rights decide this was a responsibility of a bureaucracy Ronald Reagan promised but failed to shut down? When did the GOP become nanny-staters?

Bullying is something every kid in public, parochial or private school has witnessed by graduation. While unfortunate, it is part of growing up.

But what kind of society, what kind of people have we become when we start to rely on federal bureaucrats to stop big kids from harassing and beating up smaller or weaker kids?

While the bathroom debate is a skirmish in the culture war, Trump’s solution – send the issue back to the states and the people there to work it out – may point the way to a truce – assuming Americans still want a truce.

For Trump’s solution is rooted in the principle of subsidiarity, first advanced in the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII – that social problems are best resolved by the smallest unit of society with the ability to resolve them.

In brief, bullying is a problem for parents, teachers, principals to deal with, and local cops and the school district if it becomes widespread.

This idea is consistent with the Republican idea of federalism – that the national government should undertake those duties – securing the borders, fighting the nation’s wars, creating a continental road and rail system – that states alone cannot do.

Indeed, the nationalization of decision-making, the imposition of one-size-fits-all solutions to social problems, the court orders emanating from the ideology of judges – to which there is no appeal – that is behind the culture wars that may yet bring an end to this experiment in democratic rule.

Those factors are also among the primary causes of the fever of secessionism that is spreading all across Europe, and is now visible here.

Consider California. Democrats hold every state office, both Senate seats, two-thirds of both houses of the state legislature, 3 in 4 of the congressional seats. Hillary Clinton beat Trump 2-to-1 in California, with her margin in excess of 4 million votes.

Suddenly, California knows exactly how Marine Le Pen feels.

And as she wants to “Let France Be France,” and leave the EU, as Brits did with Brexit, a movement is afoot in California to secede from the United States and form a separate nation.

California seceding sounds like a cause that could bring San Francisco Democrats into a grand alliance with Breitbart.

A new federalism – a devolution of power and resources away from Washington and back to states, cities, towns and citizens, to let them resolve their problems their own way and according to their own principles – may be the price of retention of the American Union.

Let California be California; let red state America be red state America.

Trump Clarifies Liberal and Progressive Confusion About The Difference Between a Penis and a Vagina

The US Department of Education Is Sending A Bi-Partisan Road Show, US Representative Twat, (D, NY) and US Senator Dick, (R, AZ ) to All The Best Schools to Explain The Difference to the Confused Fragile Intelligenstsia

Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students

Several hundred protesters outside the White House on Wednesday chanted, “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.” Al Drago/The New York Times 

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind.

In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

That directive, they said, was improperly and arbitrarily devised, “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”

The question of how to address the “bathroom debate,” as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, who had been expected to move quickly to roll back the civil rights expansions put in place under his Democratic predecessors, wanted to act decisively because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation.

But Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Mr. Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.

Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, initially resisted signing off on the order and told President Trump that she was uncomfortable with it. Doug Mills/The New York Times 

Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.

Ms. DeVos’s unease was evident in a strongly worded statement she released on Wednesday night, in which she said she considered it a “moral obligation” for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

She said she had directed the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate all claims of such treatment “against those who are most vulnerable in our schools,” but also argued that bathroom access was not a federal matter.
Gay rights supporters made their displeasure clear. Outside the White House, several hundred people protested the decision, chanting, “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.”

Individual schools will remain free to let transgender students use the bathrooms with which they are most comfortable. And the effect of the administration’s decision will not be immediate because a federal court had already issued a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Obama order.

The dispute highlighted the degree to which transgender rights issues, which Mr. Trump expressed sympathy for during the campaign, continue to split Republicans, even as many in the party argue that it is time to move away from social issues and focus more on bread-and-butter pocketbook concerns.

Within the administration, it also threatened to become another distraction for Mr. Trump after a tumultuous first month in office. And it showed how Mr. Trump, who has taken a more permissive stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage than many of his fellow Republicans, is bowing to pressure from the religious right and contradicting his own personal views.

Social conservatives, one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal constituencies, applauded him for honoring a pledge he had made to them during the campaign. They had argued that former President Barack Obama’s policy would allow potential sexual predators access to bathrooms and create an unsafe environment for children.
“The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

But supporters of transgender rights said the Trump administration was acting recklessly and cruelly. “The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “This isn’t a states’ rights issue; it’s a civil rights issue.”

Bathroom access emerged as a major and divisive issue last March when North Carolina passed a bill barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificate. It was part of a broader bill eliminating anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues became a point of attack for opponents of Ms. DeVos’s nomination last month, as Democrats questioned her about the extensive financial support that some of her relatives — part of her wealthy and politically active Michigan family — had provided to anti-gay causes. Ms. DeVos distanced herself from her relatives on the issue, saying their political activities did not represent her views.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed the administration to rescind the Obama-era policy. Al Drago/The New York Times 

While Wednesday’s order significantly rolls back transgender protections, it does include language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked for, one person with direct knowledge of the process said.

“All schools must ensure that students, including L.G.B.T. students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment,” the letter said, echoing Ms. DeVos’s comments at her confirmation hearing but not expressly using the word transgender. Ms. DeVos, who has been quietly supportive of gay rights for years, was said to have voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender students. In one 2016 study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, for instance, 30 percent reported a history of at least one suicide attempt.

Mr. Trump appears to have been swayed by conservatives in his administration who reminded him that he had promised during the campaign to leave the question of bathroom use to the states.

But he had given conflicting signals on the issue, and on gay rights more broadly. He said last April, for instance, that he supported the right of transgender people to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” and added that Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the most famous transgender person in the country, could use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted. He has also called the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage settled law. “And I’m fine with that,” he told CBS News after the November election.

Despite his personal views, Mr. Trump’s decisions in office have been consistently conservative on social issues. And he has shown considerable deference to the religious right, naming many religious conservatives to top cabinet posts and pledging to fight for religious freedom protections and restrictions on abortion.
The Justice Department is eager to move quickly in laying out its legal position on transgender policy, to avoid confusion in cases moving through the courts.
The dispute has underscored the influence that Mr. Sessions, an early and ardent supporter of Mr. Trump, is likely to exercise over domestic policy. As someone who has a long record of opposing efforts to broaden federal protections on a range of matters under his purview — immigration, voting rights and gay rights, for example — he has moved quickly to set the Justice Department on a strikingly different course than his predecessors in the Obama administration.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Paris in the Springtime


Marine Le Pen EXTENDS lead in first round of French presidential voting, new polls find

Charlie Bayliss

Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon

Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron & Francois Fillon are among the frontrunners for the French election

The Front National leader has cemented her position as the frontrunner to win the first round of voting in the French presidential election on April 23.

An Elabe poll has surging ahead of her nearest rivals and snatching 28 per cent of the vote, while her nearest rival and former frontrunner loiters on 21 per cent of the vote.
Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who visited Theresa May in Downing Street yesterday where he announced he wanted to take banks and academics from Britain to when the UK leaves the clutches of the EU, is struggling on 19 per cent of the vote.

Benoit Hamon, who has been dubbed the French Jeremy Corbyn, is expected to only win just 13 per cent of the vote, according to the same poll.

An Ifop poll puts Le Pen on 26 per cent of the vote, while Macron and Fillon trail on 19 per cent each.
Marine Le Pen refused to wear a headscarfGETTY

Marine Le Pen refused to wear a headscarf when visiting the Grand Mufti in Lebanon
Hamon would snag just 14 per cent of the vote in the same poll.

Despite the positive predictions in the first round of presidential voting for Le Pen, pollsters believe the eurosceptic 48-year-old will struggle in the second round of voting on May 7.

The latest Elabe polls found Macron would clinch 59 per cent of the second round of votes while Le Pen would only win 41 per cent.

Despite a dominant performance from Macron, the Elabe poll found Le Pen had closed the gap gained and extra six per cent of the vote while the former banker dropped the same amount.
Marine Le PenGETTY

Pollsters claim Le Pen will fall short in the second round of the French presidential election
An Opinion Wall poll also found Fillon would crush Le Pen in the second round of voting. After weeks of narrowing gap between the scandal hit conservative and the anti-EU Le Pen, Fillon sits on 57 per cent while the Front National leader is expected to win 43 per cent.

Despite losing the run-off in the second round of voting against Fillon, Le Pen has increased her share of the vote an extra three per cent from the last poll carried out by Opinion Wall while her rival fell by the same tally.


Former Guantanamo detainee Jamal Al Harith joins Islamic State


British man who launched Isil suicide attack was Guantanamo Bay detainee awarded £1m compensation

A British Islamic State fighter who carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq this week is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was paid £1 million compensation by the government.

Jamal al-Harith, a Muslim convert born Ronald Fiddler who detonated a car bomb at an Iraqi army base near Mosul, was released from the US detention camp in 2004 and successfully claimed compensation after saying British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment.

He was freed following intense lobbying by Tony Blair’s Labour government.

Al-Harith, who used the nom de guerre Abu-Zakariya al-Britani, entered Syria via Turkey in 2014 to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, leading to questions at the time about the monitoring of terrorist suspects.

It also raised the possibility that compensation money paid by British taxpayers had been handed on by him to Isil.

Earlier this week Isil released an image of him sitting inside the bomb car grinning broadly, with wires and what may be a detonation button in the background.

A statement released by the terrorist group said: “The martyrdom-seeking brother Abu Zakariya al-Britani - may Allah accept him - detonated his explosives-laden vehicle on a headquarters of the Rafidhi army and its militias in Tal Kisum village, southwest of Mosul.”

“Rafidha” is a derogatory term for Shiite Muslims, who Isil considers to be heretics.

His brother, Leon Jameson, told The Times Al-Harith had “wasted his life”.
He added: "I didn’t think he’d ever do anything wrong but, if he’s joining extremists, then, you know ... I’m not ashamed of him, I never will be. But it’s his own decision. I can only just give him advice if he needs any.”
The 53-year-old said his brother had been a keen sportsman in his youth, playing football, basketball and table-tennis and winning a trophy for karate when he was a teenager. 

He later converted to Islam after meeting Muslim friends at a sixth form college.
“All I know is one day he brought a Quran home,” Mr Jameson told the newspaper.

“We were supportive of it, yeah,we didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time and the trouble only started later, seems like he’s been dragged into it."
The 50-year-old, originally from Manchester, was arrested by US forces in Pakistan in 2001 as a suspected Taliban sympathiser, before being sent to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in 2002.

At the time of his release, the then home secretary David Blunkett said: “No-one who is returned...will actually be a threat to the security of the British people.”
Earlier this week Isil named him as the man who had blown himself up in the car bombing at the Iraqi army base, and released a picture of him.

Al-Harith’s wife Shukee Begum travelled to Syria with their five children to try to persuade her husband to return to the UK, but failed and was taken hostage before eventually managing to escape.

Al-Harith, the son of Jamaican immigrants, converted to Islam in the 1990s and worked as a web designer before he travelled to the Pakistani city of Quetta in 2001 for what he claimed was a religious holiday.

He has insisted he tried to enter Iran when the US invaded neighbouring Afghanistan, but was captured and imprisoned by the Taliban on suspicion of being a UK spy.

When US special forces found him in a Taliban jail, they assessed him as a “high threat to the US” who was “probably involved in a former terrorist attack against the US”.

Al-Harith’s prisoner file from Guantanamo Bay, published online by WikiLeaks, refers to him travelling to Sudan in 1992 with “Abu Bakr, a well-known al-Qaeda operative”.

After his return to the UK - where he was released without charge - he joined three other former prisoners known as the Tipton Three in a failed attempt to sue Donald Rumsfeld, the then US Defense Secretary.

His legal action against the British government was more successful, resulting in a payment of up to £1 million in return for which he agreed not to talk about his ordeal.

Government advice

As many as 850 people regarded as a national security concern have travelled to fight with jihadis in the Middle East.
Just under half are thought to have returned to Britain while 15 per cent are believed to have been killed.
The Foreign Office states:
The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, and against all travel to large parts of Iraq.
As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria and greatly limited in Iraq, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in these areas.

The other 4 key British jihadis known to have died fighting for Isil

1. Mohammed Emwazi / Jihadi John

Emwazi was reported killed in a November 2015 air strike, with US forces saying they were "reasonably certain" he was dead.

Isil later released what appeared to be an obituary to the fighter, who it called Abu Muharib al-Muhajir.

It featured a smiling picture of the militant, who appeared unmasked looking towards the ground.Emwazi shocked the world when he appeared in a video in August 2014 in which he condemned the West and appeared to behead US journalist James Foley.

He emerged again in a number of other videos released by Isil, including those in which American reporter Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning were murdered.

Kuwait-born Emwazi attended Quintin Kynaston Community Academy in north London and was described by his former head teacher as a "hard-working aspirational young man".

He went on to gain a degree in information systems with business management from the University of Westminster.

2. Reyaad Khan

Khan was 20 when he appeared in an Isil propaganda video titled, There Is No Life Without Jihad, in June last year together with two other Britons urging Westerners to join the war.

The man, from Cardiff, is thought to have travelled to fight in Syria late in 2013.
His Facebook page revealed that he was a Chelsea FC fan who enjoyed playing computer games FIFA 12 and Call Of Duty.

After appearing in the video with a Kalashnikov assault rifle against his shoulder his mother said she believed he had been "brainwashed" into joining Isil.

In a direct appeal to her son, the woman, who asked to remain unnamed, sobbed as she said: "Reyaad, please come back home. I'm dying for you. You're my only son."

Before leaving for Syria, Khan attended Cardiff's Al-Manar Centre (ACT) together with Nasser Muthana, who was also filmed for the Isil recruitment video.
The mosque denied the pair had been taught extremist views there and blamed the internet as an "alarming source for radicalisation".

David Cameron, the then Prime Minister, said Khan had been killed on August 21 2015 when he was targeted by an RAF remotely piloted aircraft while travelling in a vehicle in Raqqah, Syria.

3. Ruhul Amin

Amin, 26, featured alongside Khan and Muthana in the 13-minute Isil recruitment video under the name Brother Abu Bara al Hindi.

Wearing sunglasses and a white headscarf, he could be heard saying: "Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you've got, the big car, the family you have?

"Are you willing to sacrifice this, for the sake of Allah? If you do Allah will give you back 700 times more."

Also known as Abdul Raqib Amin, he was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Aberdeen before reportedly moving with his family to Leicester.

In July 2014 he boasted on ITV's Good Morning Britain that he had been "involved in a few combats" in Syria.
Explaining the moment he left Britain, he said: "I left the house with the intention of not to go back. I'm going to stay and fight until the (caliphate) is established, or I die."
A leading member of Aberdeen's Muslim community, who did not want to be identified, said he was not someone who "stood out in any particular way".
He was killed in the same airstrike as Khan.

4. Junaid Hussain

Computer hacker Hussain was described as a key Isil operative before he was killed by a US drone strike on August 24 2016.

The 21-year-old, from Birmingham, was said to have been number three on the Pentagon's "kill list" of Isil targets.

It is believed that he fled Britain to travel to Syria in 2013, and in June last year he was linked to a plot to attack an Armed Forces Day parade in south London.

The plan to explode a pressure cooker bomb - killing soldiers and bystanders on the route - was reportedly foiled after Hussain unwittingly recruited an undercover investigator from The Sun to carry it out.

In June 2012, aged 18, Hussain was jailed for six months after he admitted making prank calls to a counter-terror hotline and publishing former prime minister Tony Blair's address book.

He was a member of TeaMpOisoN (TeamPoison), a group which claimed responsibility for more than 1,400 offences where personal and private information has been illegally extracted from victims in the UK and around the world.

Hussain was reportedly married to a Muslim convert named as Sally Jones, a mother-of-two from Kent who once was a member of an all-girl punk rock group.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Russians Demonstrating They Are Not Swedes


Rioters set cars on fire, loot shops in Stockholm suburb – police

Rioters set cars on fire, loot shops in Stockholm suburb  –  police
Police in Sweden were forced to fire warning shots after a group of unidentified persons ran riots in the Rinkeby district of Stockholm late on Monday, setting cars on fire, throwing stones at police and looting local stores.

A police officer was injured during the clashes, forcing law enforcers to fire several warning shots at the crowd, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT reported, citing a local police spokesperson.

At least seven or eight cars were burned in the area during the evening, police said in a statement.

The unrest reportedly started after police arrested a wanted person at the subway station in Rinkeby, one of the districts with the highest number of immigrants in Stockholm, at around 8pm on Monday.

It is unclear how many people were involved in the riot, Lars Bystrom, Stockholm police spokesperson, said, adding that there were between 30-50 people.

“Some may have disappeared, others have been added, it is difficult to get a handle on how many exactly,” he told SVT. “We have a fairly large number of police officers trained to handle this type of a situation.”

Several shops in the area were looted during the riots. One of the shop owners, who had received an alarm signal directly to his phone, went to check on site and was beaten, SVT reported.
Police managed to restore order only after midnight.
An investigation has been launched into the violent riots and an assault against officers.


SWEDEN RIOT: Police forced to shoot at protestors as violence erupts - yet PM is in denial

SWEDEN’S capital was plunged into chaos on Monday as police were forced to fire at rioters after a violence erupted in an area described as high risk. 


The terrifying scenes took place just hours after the country’s Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, slammed  for claiming  was in crisis as a result of its liberal refugee policy.

Stockholm police were forced to fire a shot into the rampaging crowd in the hard-hit suburb of Rinkeby, after a mob of around 30 thugs started attacking the officers with rocks.

Violence erupted after the police had tried to arrest a wanted person on the subway. 

Sylvia Odin, of the Stockholm police, said: “There was stone throwing and they were placed in a situation where a number of people jointly attacked and threw stones. They felt vulnerable and threatened.


A riot erupted in Sweden on Monday evening

“The initial information we received was that a warning shot [was fired] but when the picture cleared, it turned out it was for effect [meaning it was intended to hit the target].” 

Another officer told Aftonbladet: “The police were cornered between the stone throwers and their car and shot towards the stone thrower but missed.” 
In addition to the police being attacked, emergency services had their hands full as 10 cars were set alight in Rinkeby. 

No suspects have been arrested after the clashes, however officers are treating the incident as a riot and assault on police.  

Violence erupted after the police had tried to arrest a wanted person on the subway

was facing a crisis after Fox News aired a segment where a gloomy picture of Sweden was portrayed. 

He said: "You look at what's happening in , you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. 

“Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.”

Hitting back at the Republican’s claims, Mr Löfven said: "I was, like many others I believe, surprised by the comments made about Sweden this weekend. 

"We have opportunities, we have challenges, we're working (on) them every day. But I think also we must all take responsibility for using facts correctly, and for verifying any information that we spread.”

While former Swedish PM Carl Bildt roared on Twitter: "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”

On Monday he added: "Last year there were app 50 per cent more murders only in Orlando/Orange in Florida, where Trump spoke the other day, than in all of Sweden. Bad.”

Footage of the riot comes just weeks after  by a vicious mob in Rinkeby. 

The furious debate about Sweden’s existential crisis comes as officials have placed more thanwhere they admit they do not have control. 

Former Swedish PM Carl Bildt raged against Donald Trump on Twitter
Lawless thugs are wreaking havoc unchecked, and officers are often at personal risk when entering the crisis-hit areas. 
As the crisis in the Swedish police force continues to grow as they are powerless against the increasing number of violent crimes, one officer took to Facebook to share his frustration. 

In a seething post, Peter Springare, who works as an investigator for the police in Örebro, a small city in southern Sweden, said m

The former deputy chief of the serious crimes division wrote: “I’m so f***** tired. What I’m writing here isn’t politically correct. But I don’t care. 
“Our pensioners are on their knees, the schools are a mess, healthcare is an inferno, the police is completely destroyed. Everyone knows why, but no one dares or wants to say why.”

Related articles