"Radical Islam" sounds awfully close to Islam. Perhaps Rioufol means "at war with Muslims who take Islam to heart," while those Muslims who do not take it to heart need not be at war with us. But what determines, how do we know, who is a Muslim-for-cultural-or-identification-purposes-only Muslim and what guarantee do we have that he will stay that way forever.?
The decision by the Milwaukee Art Museum to acquire and prominently display a controversial portrait of Pope Benedict XVI fashioned from 17,000 colored condoms has created outrage among Catholics and others who see it as profoundly disrespectful, even blasphemous. More.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - An apparent terrorist attempted to attack a leprosy hospital with a suicide vest in the restive northern region of Nigeria, according to a report.
Witnesses told Agence France Presse the bomber was stymied at the security checkpoint out front manned by vigilantes who have taken up arms in the fight against the ISIS-affiliated terrorist group Boko Haram.
The bomber apparently detonated his vest in front of the hospital, killing 5 and wounding 10, AFP reports.
Witnesses claimed he was one of three men dropped off near the hospital. The other two are believed to have fled in the confusion following the blast.
While there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the hospital sits in Maiduguri, which has been the epicenter of the fight against Boko Haram. The group's six-year-old uprising, which began in northeastern Nigeria, is blamed for the deaths of 13,000 people and the displacement of more than 1.5 million. Their insurgency has also spread to nearly all of Nigeria's neighbors.
Recently, officials have begun to fear that Boko Haram is using some of its thousands of kidnap victims as unwilling weapons.
A teenage girl strapped with explosives ran away from a crowded mosque last week, killing only herself.
Woman Sentenced to Death in "Personal Terror Attack" on American Woman in UAE
DUBAI—A court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced an Emirati woman to death on Monday for killing an American teacher in a rare terror attack on a Westerner in the tightly controlled Gulf country. More.
The Lesson From Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth II
During the last year, Pope Francis has spoken out on a number of controversial political issues, including poverty, the environment, immigration, the fate of Christian communities in Arab countries, and the need for peace in the world. He has issued formal statements, most notably his encyclical letter concerning global warming, pollution, and family planning.
More surprisingly, in impromptu remarks while in Turin, Italy, on June 21, 2015, he entered the thorny historical arena with a challenging question. Why didn’t the Allied powers bomb the Nazi extermination camps? Those in power at the time, the pope said, had intelligence information that minorities were being transported to concentration camps across Europe. The great powers had photographs of the railroad routes that trains took to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill Jews and also Christians, Roma (gypsies), and homosexuals. Why, he asked, did not those powers bomb those railroad routes?
The pope raised a moral and historical question that has troubled many others. The Allied powers were indeed well-informed and had known about the issue since the Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski reported on it in November 1942 to the exiled Polish government in London, and then to Allied leaders including the British government and President Roosevelt. His message concerned the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and the mass extermination of Jews that was occurring in German-occupied Poland. In spite of the consequent calls in the U.S. and the U.K. for the death camps, especially the three camps of Auschwitz, to be bombed by the U.S. forces, no action was taken.
Three arguments were given for this refusal. The first argument, one that was relevant for only a few weeks, was made by David Ben-Gurion, then head of the Jewish Agency. He thought it undesirable to bomb places where there were Jews. However, in a few weeks, he changed his mind when he realized that Auschwitz was a death camp, and he then supported a strike.
The second argument, prevalent in Washington, D.C., was that total concentration should be on winning the war, not on the fate of the Jews. Therefore, resources should not be diverted from that overriding priority of attacking military targets to win the war as quickly as possible.
The third argument, overlapping the second, was that U.S. aircraft did not have the capacity to make air raids on the camps, and in any case, it was difficult to do so, and there was little likelihood of success. The main person making this argument was John J. McCloy, U.S. assistant secretary of war, who held that bombings were impracticable, could be done only by diversion of considerable air support, and would have doubtful success. His responsibility for the refusal to bomb is recognized, but more senior officials including Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Secretary of War Henry Stimson, and even President Roosevelt, were involved in the decision.
The McCloy argument is at best specious reasoning. The U.S. Fifteenth Air Force was engaged in a bombing campaign in the area near Auschwitz. From June to November 1944, more than 2,800 U.S. bombers were active in the area. On June 26, 1944, B-17 heavy bombers flew close to three rail lines to Auschwitz, and the next day, the Fifteenth bombers flew along those lines to bomb an oil refinery, the I.G. Farben works, not far from the extermination camp of Auschwitz. George McGovern, the brave pilot of a B-24 Liberator, bombed the oil facilities and later thought, “We should have gone after Auschwitz.”
American forces did not bomb the camp of Auschwitz, and most of it was destroyed by the Germans a day or so before retreating. The Soviet Army liberated it on January 27, 1945. American forces liberated other concentration and death camps, including Buchenwald on April 11, 1945; Dachau; and Mauthausen.
On April 15, 1945 the British 11th Armored Division liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp, near Hanover, the camp where the 15-year-old Anne Frank and her sister Margot had died a month before. It was not an extermination camp, but 50,000 had died there as a result of dysentery, starvation, or medical experiments conducted on them. The inmates had no food, water, or basic sanitation. About 20,000 Russian prisoners of war there were killed. The British Medical Corps burned the camp to the ground to contain the spread of typhus, from which Anne Frank had died, and nothing remains. Yet, even in 2015, new mass graves have been discovered in the area.
It was an important meaningful gesture that a ceremonial visit on June 26, 2015 was made to Belsen by Queen Elizabeth II and the duke of Edinburgh. She laid a wreath on the monument there and stopped at the stone honoring Anne Frank. The queen did not speak at the place, resembling the behavior of General Eisenhower, unable to describe the horrors he was witnessing when he visited the liberated Ohrdurf camp on April 12, 1945.
The queen’s visit is symbolically important not only in itself, but also implicitly to refute and rebuke the atrocious fabrications of Holocaust deniers, such as Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, who have argued that the image of Belsen is essentially a product of hateful wartime propaganda.
The remarks made and the question posed by Pope Francis, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Belsen, remind the world today of the hatred and intolerance of extremist forces in the past. Today, there are echoes of the past Nazi brutalities in the actions and rhetoric of Islamist terrorists. The pattern in past and present is similar: mass graves, indiscriminate murders, villages and towns burned, historic sites destroyed, barbarism at the gates of civilization, the misuse of children to commit war crimes, the extent of human evil and depravity.
In his speech on June 4, 2009 at the camp of Buchenwald, where 56,000 had been murdered, President Barack Obama was conscious of the Nazi crimes and of the need to be vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time. At a moment when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is expanding its control of territory and when European and American youngsters are joining IS and becoming jihadists, the Western world must recall the results of evil. The lesson must be learned. The Western democracies must act decisively to counter Islamist terrorism and overcome those who exhibit and are eager to implement their capacity for evil and anti-Semitism.
One year after a caliphate was declared spanning Syria and Iraq, there is little to celebrate — unless you're ISIS.
Despite a massive international campaign to defeat the the brutal militants, ISIS has not only managed to hold onto the territory but has expanded its reach beyond those borders over the last 12 months.
"It's been a great year for ISIS," according to Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center. "This would be close to a best-case scenario for them." More.
Yemen's Houthi fighters fired missiles at storage tanks at an Aden refinery on Saturday, starting a large fire, and 14 people were killed in clashes between the Houthis and Saudi-led forces near the southern port city, witnesses and residents said. More here.
While I disagree with Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, I believe that all Americans have the right to contract.
The Constitution is silent on the question of marriage because marriage has always been a local issue. Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married, not to Washington, D.C.
I’ve often said I don’t want my guns or my marriage registered in Washington.
Those who disagree with the recent Supreme Court ruling argue that the court should not overturn the will of legislative majorities. Those who favor the Supreme Court ruling argue that the 14th Amendment protects rights from legislative majorities.
Do consenting adults have a right to contract with other consenting adults? Supporters of the Supreme Court’s decision argue yes but they argue no when it comes to economic liberties, like contracts regarding wages.
It seems some rights are more equal than others.
Marriage, though a contract, is also more than just a simple contract.
I acknowledge the right to contract in all economic and personal spheres, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a danger that a government that involves itself in every nook and cranny of our lives won’t now enforce definitions that conflict with sincerely felt religious convictions of others.
Some have argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling will now involve the police power of the state in churches, church schools, church hospitals.
This may well become the next step, and I for one will stand ready to resist any intrusion of government into the religious sphere.
Justice Clarence Thomas is correct in his dissent when he says: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”
The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.
Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.
Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.
So now, states such as Alabama are beginning to understand this as they begin to get out of the marriage licensing business altogether. Will others follow?
Thomas goes on to say:
To the extent that the Framers would have recognized a natural right to marriage that fell within the broader definition of liberty, it would not have included a right to governmental recognition and benefits. Instead, it would have included a right to engage in the very same activities that petitioners have been left free to engage in — making vows, holding religious ceremonies celebrating those vows, raising children, and otherwise enjoying the society of one’s spouse — without governmental interference.
The 14th Amendment does not command the government endorsement that is conveyed by the word “marriage.” State legislatures are entitled to express their preference for traditional marriage, so long as the equal rights of same-sex couples are protected.
So the questions now before us are: What are those rights? What does government convey along with marriage, and should it do so? Should the government care, or allocate any benefits based on marital status?
And can the government do its main job in the aftermath of this ruling — the protection of liberty, particularly religious liberty and free speech?
We shall see. I will fight to ensure it does both, along with taking part in a discussion on the role of government in our lives.
Perhaps it is time to be more careful what we ask government to do, and where we allow it to become part of our lives.
The Constitution was written by wise men who were raised up by God for that very purpose. There is a reason ours was the first where rights came from our creator and therefore could not be taken away by government. Government was instituted to protect them.
We have gotten away from that idea. Too far away. We must turn back. To protect our rights we must understand who granted them and who can help us restore them.
Erdogan's Plan to Establish a Buffer Zone in Syria to Punish Kurds, Thus Aiding ISIS
Turkish Solder on border overlooking Kobani
Source: Murad Selzer/Reuters
The Daily Beast has a report today, that Erodgan is threatening to establish a buffer zone in Northern Syria, the better to halt the successful Syria Kurdish advance against ISIS, "Turkey Plans to Invade Syria, But to Stop the Kurds, Not ISIS". These developments followed Erdogan's remarks last Friday night at a Ramadab break-fast Iftar dinner saying that he would never accept a Kudistan state comprised of southeastern Tirkey and adjacent Northern Syria. The Daily Beast article noted the unease of Turkish military about this latest diktat by the figurehead President whose Islamist AKP party was defeated by a minority of Kemalist, Nationalist and a Kurdish secular party:
In a speech last Friday, Erdogan vowed that Turkey would not accept a move by Syrian Kurds to set up their own state in Syria following gains by Kurdish fighters against the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, in recent weeks. “I am saying this to the whole world: We will never allow the establishment of a state on our southern border in the north of Syria,” Erdogan said. “We will continue our fight in that respect whatever the cost may be.” He accused Syrian Kurds of ethnic cleansing in Syrian areas under their control.
Following the speech, several news outlets reported that the president and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had decided to send the Turkish army into Syria, a hugely significant move by NATO’s second biggest fighting force after the U.S. military. Both the daily Yeni Safak, a mouthpiece of the government, and the newspaper Sozcu, which is among Erdogan’s fiercest critics, ran stories saying the Turkish Army had received orders to send soldiers over the border. Several other media had similar stories, all quoting unnamed sources in Ankara. There has been no official confirmation or denial by the government.
The government refused to comment on the reports. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said “the necessary statement” would be issued after a regular meeting of the National Security Council, which comprises the president, the government and military leaders, this Tuesday.
The reports said up to 18,000 soldiers would be deployed to take over and hold a strip of territory up to 30 kilometers deep and 100 kilometers long that currently is held by ISIS. It stretches from close to the Kurdish-controlled city of Kobani in the east to an area further west held by the pro-Western Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other rebel groups, beginning around the town of Mare. This “Mare Line,” as the press calls it, is to be secured with ground troops, artillery and air cover, the reports said. Yeni Safak reported preparations were due to be finalized by next Friday.
There has been speculation about a Turkish military intervention ever since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. Ankara has asked the United Nations and its Western allies to give the green light to create a buffer zone and a no-fly area inside Syria in order to prevent chaos along the Turkish border and to help refugees on Syrian soil before they cross over into Turkey. But the Turkish request has fallen on deaf ears.
Remember Obama saying that he wished there were more Islamist leaders like AKP Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Arab ummah of the Middle East. Erodgan's threatening to invade Syria to build a buffer zone to do what,protect shrines of ancient Ottoman Sultans. We bet he's mad at the Kurdish HDP party, that together with the Kemalist CHP and Nationalist HNP, thwarted his dream of becoming the Sultan of a neo-Ottoman empire with the minority parties copping a plurality of votes in the June 7th parliamentary elections . He's also mad at the plucky Syrian Kurds for beating back the ISIS in a string of victories this month. This despite bloody raids by ISIS on both Kobani and Hasakah that were beaten back. Those Kurdish actions may have cut off the main route for those foreign fighters that Turkey gives a wink and a nod to backed by funds and assistance from the infamous Muslim Brotherhood global IHH charity, You remember IHH? They backed the infamous 2010 Free Gaza Flotilla Mavi Marmara incident infamy. We wrote about IHH caught sending cash and weapons from Turkey into Syria for brothers in AQ and, ahem, ISIS. We bet the Turkish military isn't so keen to do Erdogan's bidding given their NATO membership and because the 45 days aren't up to see if a ruling minority government can be formed or a new election is called so that Erdogan might return his Premier, Ahmet Davutoglu to power with a super majority. Since the Obama White House doesn't want to give the Syrian Kurds perhaps US Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) can put the squeeze on Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to release those quality weapons from the US War Reserve Stock already positioned in Israel. Perhaps this Daily Beast report may be a clarion call to action to deliver the quality weapons fro both Syrian Kurds and Iraqi Peshmerga to push back ISIS. They are the only boots on the ground doing this successfully. I've said my piece and more in a forthcoming July NER article with the apt title "Empowering Kurdistan". watch for its release on Tuesday June 30th.
Federal authorities have warned local law enforcement officials across the country about a heightened concern involving possible terror attacks targeting the July 4th holiday, a U.S. law enforcement official said.
While there was no specific or credible threat of attack, the official said the intelligence bulletin prepared by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI alerted local colleagues to the ongoing threats posed by the Islamic State and other homegrown extremists. The official was not authorized to comment publicly.
The bulletins are frequently issued in advance of major U.S. holidays out of an abundance of caution and concern that operatives may exploit the timing to generate greater attention.
The warning comes as federal investigators have worked to disrupt a number of Islamic State-inspired plots, including a planned assault earlier this month on police officers in Boston. In that case, authorities fatally shot Usaamah Rahim as he allegedly planned to attack police with military-style knives.
Also this month, a New York suspect in a Islamic State-related terror investigation was arrested after attacking an FBI agent with a kitchen knife during a search of his home.
Fareed Mumuni, 21, was charged with attempted murder, after he emerged as a suspect in alleged plots to use pressure-cooker explosives and knives to attack police.
In a statement Friday following attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said local law enforcement was being encouraged to be "vigilant and prepared' in preparation for July 4th celebrations.
"We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people,' Johnson said. "We continue to encourage all Americans to attend public events and celebrate this country during this summer season, but always remain vigilant.'
The secretary also referred to last week's the deadly Charleston church shooting, saying that such "acts of mass violence will never divert, discourage or frighten us.'
"The alleged killer sought to divide us,' Johnson said. "Instead, his actions appear to have had the opposite effect in South Carolina, where people of different races have come together to denounce the tragedy and mourn those killed.'
During the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, most people who followed the politics and events dealing with Palestine and the Jewish Homeland or Israel well understood that the land across the Jordan River (south of Syria) was the eastern portion of the Palestine Mandate. Might the discussion of establishing an additional state or two in what was western Palestine (now Israel, plus Judea-Samaria/West Bank, and Gaza) be expanded to consider an additional state in eastern Palestine?
The overall Palestine Mandate was allocated to Great Britain by the League of Nations in the early 1920s. It had been homeland of the Jews (during biblical and Second Temple times) and would be again, and a home to Arabs. Virtually immediately the Brits broke up the Palestine Mandate area into two zones (east and west) divided by the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the Arava – the dry deep rift that ran south from the Dead Sea.
The sea to the south, below the rift, is variously known as the Gulf of Eilat to Israelis or the Gulf of Aqaba to Jordanians – also an example of dual names put into play for political purposes. (Two other such political geography name competitions come immediately to mind: the Persian Gulf versus the Arabian Gulf, and the Sea of Japan versus the Eastern Sea between Japan and Korea. For that matter, the names used for battles between Union and Confederate armies in the American Civil War reflect political orientation: Bull Run versus Manassas, Antietam versus Sharpsburg, Pittsburg Landing versus Shiloh.)
The land area of the Palestine Mandate, initially to be homeland of Jews and a home among others to Arabs, by the mid-1920s was redefined administratively by the British to have just the one-quarter west of the Jordan River and running to the Mediterranean Sea be homeland of both Jews and Arabs. This area includes what today are the State of Israel, Judea-Samaria or the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip area.
The three-quarters of the complete land of Palestine as defined by the League of Nations east of the deep rift along the Jordan River/Dead Sea/Arava line was to be exclusively Arab (Jews were to be excluded). The whole area is also sometimes although seldom referred to as the Complete Land of Israel.
Accordingly two asymmetries have come into play. One is regarding population: Jews and Arabs in western Palestine and only Arabs in eastern Palestine (Jordan). Second is the size differential – the eastern portion of Palestine (now called Jordan) for only Arabs is about three times the size as the western portion for Jews and Arabs. These are dramatic asymmetries and yet they are largely unnoticed in political discourse.
The Arabs already living in eastern Palestine were to be administered from the 1920s (as per British decision) by the leaders of the Hashemite tribe which had migrated from the south (from the Arabian Peninsula, now mostly ruled by Saudi Arabia) while fighting the Ottomans during World War One alongside the British and advised by the Brit intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence, i.e., Lawrence of Arabia.
This eastern three-quarters of the original Palestine Mandate was to continue to be part of the British Mandate of Palestine allocated officially by the League of Nations, but that eastern area would be administered separately from the one-quarter of the Mandate of Palestine west of the river, which was left to include Jews. The area east of the river was now defined as the Emirate of Transjordan (“trans-“ referring to “over the Jordan River”), while still part of the overall Mandate. In 1946 the British voluntarily bestowed independence on the Transjordan portion of Palestine, and the new state was named the Kingdom of Transjordan.
Most people have forgotten that the land today called the Kingdom of Jordan was, when the Palestine Mandate was initially formed in the early 1920s for administration by the British, to have included Arabs and Jews, and that there long has been an Arab state in Palestine (officially an independent state since 1946), i.e., the Kingdom of Jordan.
Israel declared its independence in western Palestine in May 1948 after several years of combating the British with their restrictive controls (minimizing Jewish immigration by sea to the Jewish homeland, while facilitating Arab migration by land), while Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) had independence bestowed on it by Britain in 1946. The event in 1946 was largely ignored, preoccupied as the world was by the chaos of and following World War Two. The Jews then living in Transjordan (eastern Palestine), not many, were expelled.
And so Western Palestine was to be both Jewish and Arab while Eastern Palestine (now Transjordan) was just Arab. Keep in mind that the original Palestine Mandate included what is today the State of Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan, and what today are the still quite disputed territories sometimes known as the Gaza Strip and Judea-Samaria or the West Bank. (And for that matter, the State of Israel in whatever borders is still disputed, rejected, by many Arab- or Moslem-led political entities.)
The new State of Israel’s first major war with regional Arab states in 1948-1949 was generally successful for Israel. It fought off conquest by military units from the four adjacent and two more distant Arab states (Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon plus Iraq and Saudi Arabia). However, in that war the Kingdom of Transjordan (occupying the three-quarter portion of the original Palestine Mandate east of the Jordan River), while not conquering Israel, did gain some land/terrain west of the river, territory it proceeded to call the West Bank. It soon (by 1950) changed its name as a political entity, a state, from the “Kingdom of Transjordan” to the “Kingdom of Jordan.” Now the Arab state in what had been the Palestine Mandate was not only located trans-Jordan (across the Jordan), but on both sides of the Jordan River.
A suggestion: check out the history related above in encyclopedias published earlier in the Twentieth Century, mid-Century and earlier. I recall browsing an edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica from the 1910s (don’t recall the exact year) and finding many references to the areas called “Judea,” “Samaria,” “Galilee,” and no mention at all of political concepts or places now called “West Bank,” “Transjordan,” “Jordan.”
A question: what does “West Bank” refer to if in the uncapitalized form “west bank”? The “west bank” (of the Jordan River) is “all” of the land west of the river. While the term “West Bank” capitalized refers to precisely the disputed area west of the Jordan River controlled by the state of Jordan from 1948 through 1967, by Israel since, with the latter recently allocating some control over portions to the Palestinian Authority.
Historical facts do not go away, although they may be ignored for a long, long time. What are or might be the long-term (much less the short-term, i.e., until now) implications of the Kingdom of Jordan being formed from and standing on eastern Palestine?
Some people talk of a one, two or three state solution for the land of the Palestine Mandate west of the Jordan River (on Israel’s side of the river). Might a symmetrical political conversation be initiated for a two state solution in Palestine east of the Jordan River – one ruled by Arabs who define themselves as Hashemite, and one by Arabs who call themselves Palestinian?
As we observe the 148th anniversary of Confederation, there are a few facts civic-minded Canadians should remember.
However humdrum it may seem at times, this system has served us well and there have been fewer than 100 deaths in that time from political disputes, an astonishingly peaceable history. No countries with a population the size of Canada’s have more durable political institutions except the United Kingdom and the United States. In my lifetime, and although I was born in the last year of the Second World War I am not ancient, France has had five different systems including foreign military occupation and a government in exile that regained the country with the allied armies. Germany has had four systems, moving vertiginously upwards in quality of government from the Third Reich.
Most people remember the Soviet Union and many remember pre-Communist China, colonial India, the Palestine Mandate, the Iron Curtain satellites and Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Tito’s Yugoslavia, Peron’s Argentina, the Shah of Iran, Sukarno’s Indonesia and the era when most of the world’s present countries were part of European empires. These recollections take us less than half-way backwards into the history of Confederation, which began when the leaders of the British and American governments were the Earl of Derby and President Andrew Johnson, Napoleon III was the French emperor, Germany and Italy had not been united as countries and Japan was a pre-Meiji hermit kingdom.
Obviously, only our more eccentric or historically preoccupied countrymen would shuffle through these remembrances on July 1, but the point is that we have the only trans-continental, officially bicultural, parliamentary confederation in the history of the world, and it works, though neither it nor anything else works perfectly. The fact that it was created at all was very fortuitous. From the end of the War of 1812 for 50 years to the end of the U.S. Civil War, while the United States wrestled with the slavery problem that was only finally resolved in a horrible war in which 750,000 people died in a population smaller than Canada’s is today, Canada had gradually to winkle its autonomy and self-government from the British without so rankling them that they ceased to protect Canada from the Americans. Without that umbrella of protection, the United States would have swallowed Canada whole; we could not have cobbled together an effective defence against Grant and Sherman’s immense and battle-hardened Grand Army of the Republic in 1865, as we did in 1775 and 1776 and in 1812 to 1815. The British, who had not always appreciated their possession of Canada, had come to recognize it as an imperial asset, and as the Civil War ended, were asserting strong pressure on the Canadians to compose their provincial and Anglo-French differences and cohere in some sort of entity as the only way to avoid absorption into the emerging American Great Power.
John A. Macdonald, George- (his French Canadian parents named him after King George III) Etienne Cartier, George Brown and others recognized that a country could only be made of Canada if there was a double majority among both English- and French-speaking Canadians on major issues. It was initially a union of four provinces, three with large French or English minorities, (only Nova Scotia was almost uniformly English speaking). It was an equal union of two peoples, not an unequal union of only four provinces, and it has been the cross-threading between the need for general support from both cultures with requirements for the support of qualified majorities or even of all provinces that has caused much of the friction in this country since. If there were to be only an English party and a French party, with the English party periodically imposing its majority on important issues, the country would break up. Wilfrid Laurier and Mackenzie King narrowly avoided unbearable strains in the country during the conscription debates in both World Wars. (This is why their Liberal party governed for 51 of the 63 years between the elections of 1921 and 1984.) The collapsed Quebec birthrate and the assimilation of most immigrants to the English-speaking majority in Canada and North America have increased the imbalance between the English- and French-speaking populations of Canada, but have not deprived French Canadians of their right to be treated as a founding people.
With regret I respond, briefly, to the urgings of many readers who have asked me to return to the vexed subject of the treatment of the native peoples. In general, that treatment has been shabby, though increasingly well-intentioned and well-funded. There is much to apologize for and I believe in the value of confession, repentance and trying to make amends. But conditions are aggravated and not ameliorated by exaggeration and by putting on the airs, on behalf of Canada, of a criminal nationality that has been guilty of crimes against humanity.
I cannot allow to pass without comment the accusation against me by the former head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bernie Farber, of a “dastardly minimizing of Canada’s genocidal history.” While he cites his own tragic family history in the attempted extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis and their collaborators, I do not believe anyone ever has or could question my credentials as a philosemite, and Farber’s acute awareness of what a real genocide is makes more odious and irresponsible his assimilation of murdering six-million Jews (and six-million non-Jews) in death camps with the tawdry, often shameful and inexcusable, treatment of the native people of Canada by the French and British colonists and frequently by Canada as an autonomous country. The distinction between satanic crime and reprehensible misgovernment must not be blurred, and the failure to make that distinction assassinates historic truth, trivializes the Nazi Holocaust and mass murders of non-Jews, mortally abuses the language, all Western languages, and wilfully assaults the moral basis from which Canada must address and do justice to the profound problem of the native people. The massacre inventors are just as odious as the Holocaust deniers.
I have been defamed by more substantial figures than Bernie Farber (and there are few people I would rather share that distinction with than Jeffrey Simpson, as in this case). But in his mindless zeal, Farber dishonours the Jews and the Canadians, and does no favours for the native people. All Canadians have a right to be in Canada. North America’s original inhabitants (that is, when the Europeans arrived in the 15th century and afterwards) did not own or occupy this continent; their population was too sparse for that and they had no right to object to the arrival of the Europeans, though they certainly have every right to object to much that has happened since.
What is distressing is the ant-like inroads made on the national consciousness by what is an undisguised effort by Farber, and only a thinly disguised attempt by more substantial commentators, to place this country squarely in the same moral position as Nazi Germany, a country that premeditatedly murdered 12-million innocent people, and unleashed war on almost all of Europe and northeast Africa in which more than 25-million citizens of other countries died violently, and which led to the occupation of every square millimetre of Germany by powers it has attacked. Those powers, after reasonable due process, sentenced the surviving German leaders to death or lengthy imprisonment, in reasonable compliance with international law. I am skeptical of the practice of trying former enemies and disapprove of the death penalty, but the post-war trials of Nazi leaders were serious attempts to provide due process for the surviving authors of the greatest crimes in history. The comparison of Goering, Kaltenbrunner, later Eichmann and other Nazi criminals (most of the prominent leaders committed suicide before they could be tried and executed), with John A. Macdonald, is unspeakable.
I have written here before of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s propagation of the fraudulent notion of “cultural genocide” and her false claim that Japanese Canadians were confined to “concentration camps” during the Second World War. Outrageous though the matters referred to were, the imposition of the terminology of the Third Reich from so exalted an official is scandalous, and was of a piece with a systematic moral debunking of this country. In the same speech, last month, she said “slavery was not absent from” Canada. It almost was, and the choice of words was misleading. The largest concentration of slaves was by the native people, as many as a third of the northwest Pacific tribes were slaves. New France had about 4,000 slaves at its end and Upper Canada, when set up, a few hundred. Their numbers dwindled and all were emancipated in 1834 when slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. In the meantime, Quebec Governor Guy Carleton had refused to give back 3,000 slaves to George Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War, and the Underground Railway admitted approximately 40,000 fugitive American slaves to their freedom in Canada, and many U.S. anti-slavery leaders lived at times in Canada, including John Brown, Josiah Henson (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s original Uncle Tom) and Harriet Tubman (who regarded herself as a Canadian). On balance, Canada’s record in these matters, though not perfect, was very creditable.
Canada is fundamentally a comparatively liberal state and almost always has been, since it became a chiefly European and especially English country. Let no faults be hidden or unrepented, and there were many, but anyone who implicitly assimilates Canada’s leadership as an autonomous jurisdiction to the world’s genocidists and champions of slavery traduces and defames this country and all of its occupants, including the native people. No great weight attaches to the frothings of Bernie Farber, especially on Confederation Day, but the chief justice should fire her speech writer and be more judicious.
It is always a moment of amusement to read the latest fulmination of the venerable archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu. On June 17, 2015, he beguiled us again with his message to his dear sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ, which is holding its general synod in Cleveland June 26-30, 2015. He assured the congregation of his support for its divestment resolution targeting the “Israeli occupation.” He fully endorsed the proposal to use the powerful nonviolent tools of economic leverage against the State of Israel.
Tutu is following in the footsteps of individuals and groups, all well-known and respected for their intimate knowledge and understanding of Middle East affairs, and very familiar with all the alleged misdeeds and violations of international law by the State of Israel and the diabolical enemies of peace in the Hebrew University and the Hadassah medical facilities. The experts are too numerous to mention, but among the most knowledgeable are the executive board of the American Studies Society, most of whom specialize in gender studies; the Irish Students Union, which apparently does not have a map of Israel; the U.K. National Union of Students; Alice Walker, who views Israel as black, not the color purple; and the rock singer Roger Water, whose mission in life is apparently to call on fellow entertainers not to rock in Israel since, unlike Mick Jagger, he gets no satisfaction from this.
All these eminent scholars, who seem unaware of or silent about the war crimes, atrocities, and violations of human rights committed by Hamas in Gaza, have taken their cues from the Palestinian Campaign to Boycott Israel, the organization founded in July 2005. The supposed objective of this campaign, political, economic, academic, and cultural, by countless NGOs and pro-Palestinian activists, is to end the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, and to promote the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties. But all know that its real objective is the de-legitimization of Israel and the piecemeal and then final elimination of the Jewish State.
The intensive BDS campaign has gloried in its successes, both material and psychological. Yet, if it proudly heralded the decision by the French corporate giant Veolia to sell off its business activities in Israel, it forgot that it takes two to tango. Already, a number of authorities in the U.K., in Ireland, and in Boston have introduced policies barring Veolia from public contracts. Other would-be boycotters should take note of such unforeseen consequences and of the increasing number of U.S. state legislatures passing anti-BDS legislation.
Far more important than the negative results of BDS are the positive developments and increases in external relations of countries and businesses with Israel. Two recent developments are worthy of note: water technology deals and an increasing relationship with China.
One may raise a simple question: do Archbishop Tutu and Alice Water, by their enthusiasm for boycott of Israeli enterprises and products, really want the poorer people of the world to die? Do they know that Israel is preventing that from happening by its innovations, including in water supply?
On June 24, 2015 Israel announced a deal with the World Bank to provide water technology knowledge and expertise for those developing countries with troubling water security difficulties. Israel has committed $500,000 to the responsible World Bank unit. The agreement includes a number of activities, including study tours that aim to transfer global knowledge on water security issues.
The agreement marks a remarkable change from the time when Israel was a borrowing country from the World Bank. Israel has been troubled with a continuous shortage of water over the last few years because of drought and its growing population. Israel, because of this need for water, created innovative policies and solutions that have made it a water world leader, whose impressive policies are admired by the director of water at the World Bank.
Particularly important is drip irrigation, invented in Israel, through which farmers can water their crops using the precise amount of water necessary, thus saving as much as 90% of the amount of water they might otherwise use. Two of the world’s largest drip irrigation firms, Netafim and NaanDanDanJain, which is very active in India, are Israeli.
Besides this help to India, Israel is establishing closer relations with China. A number of examples may be mentioned. The Chinese Railway Tunnel Group, a joint stock company, has joined with the Israeli Solel Bonneh Infrastructure firm in a $750-million tender from Israel’s Metropolitan Mass Transit System to build a Tel Aviv light rail Red Line. It will link Petakh Tikva to the northeast of Tel Aviv with Bat Yam to the south. Solel Boneh is a unit of Shikun and Binui, Israel’s leading infrastructure and real estate group, and has played a major role in Israel’s construction industries.
In addition, three other projects are worthy of mention. One is the deal between Tnuva, Israel’s largest food company, and the Chinese company Bright Food. Another is Phoenix, the insurance company, which is being acquired by China’s Fossum Group. A third is the deal for $510 million between the Hong Kong XIO group and the Israeli Lumenis, the company for equipment for surgical and ophthalmology applications.
In March 2015, the Shanghai International Port Group, the Chinese company that operates the Shanghai deep water port and largest harbor for container cargo, won the bidding to operate the projected new port of Haifa. Already, China Harbor is planning to build a new port in Ashdod.
No doubt, Archbishop Tutu and Alice Walker are unhappy that Chinese investment in Israeli technology start-ups has tripled since 2012. It is not clear what long-term Chinese investment means for the Israeli economy, but it is a clear signal that China does not welcome the Palestinian BDS campaign. It knows, as the negative two do not know, that the campaign is not only bad for business, but also is an obstacle to peace negotiations.
Gerstenfeld on Israel’s Contribution towards Defeating the Islamic State
Manfred Gerstenfeld , author of The War of a Million Cutsreviewed in the June 2015 New English Review, published a prescient essay mid-June in the Jerusalem Post. Gerstenfeld is the former Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that sponsored a symposium on his new book on June 22, 2015. It was on the difficulty of “defeating”, let alone “degrading” the resilient Islamic State-the self declared Caliphate, “Will defeating Islamic State take more than a generation? “ While addressing the myriad of threats in the Middle East and potentially in the West from Islamic State Jihadis, Gerstenfeld draws attention to the contributions from Israel’s experience fighting asymmetrical wars against Islamic extremists seeking its destruction.
Tunisian Jihadi gunman Seifddine Rezgui
Source: AFP/Getty Images
There was a trio of bloody spectacles inspired by the Islamic State on the first Friday in Ramadan. In France there was the beheading of an American owned chemical company executive by a Muslim employee. In Tunisia there was a massacre at a beach resort killing and injuring among others dozens of British, Belgian, Irish and German tourists by a Kalishnikov-toting attacker. In Kuwait there was the bombing of a Shia Mosque where several dozen at prayers were killed or injured .
In January there were the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Casher Market attacks by Al Qaeda and ISIS inspired émigré Muslims that killed seventeen, including four French Jews and a Tunisian Jew. Last fall, we saw attacks in Sydney, Ottawa and Quebec. There were an ax attack injuring New York police officers and a beheading of food service employee at a company in Oklahoma City both perpetrated by converts to Islam. Last month we had the attack by two Jihadis from Phoenix who were killed in an attempted attack a Mohammed Cartoon event in Garland, Texas . One of the speakers at the event was Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) who is under 24/7 protection of the Royal Dutch Protective service because of threats against his life for his anti-Islam views in the Netherlands and the EU.
Reutersreported Islamic State spokesman Muhammad al-Adnani urging brothers in the Muslim ummah in honor of the observances of Ramadan to undertake attacks on kaffirs, unbelievers, whether Christians, Shiites or Sunnis opposing the self-declared Islamic State. He declared in an audio message , Jihadists should turn the holy month of Ramadan, which began last week, into a time of "calamity for the infidels ... Shi'ites and apostate Muslims." Not lost on many is that June 29th marks the first anniversary of the Islamic State self declaration of a Caliphate by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Gerstenfield’s op-ed was triggered by comments from US General James Allen, commander of the US-led coalition combating the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, suggesting that it might take a generation to defeat IS. Gerstenfeld wrote:
General Allen’s remarks, whether realistic or not, can serve for more detailed reflection on what it would mean if IS -controlled territory of a substantial size in say 20 years from now. This would indeed have a major impact on the world order, or better said world disorder. It would also have particular consequences for the Muslim world, the West, Russia and many other countries. Israel and the Jews, though minor players, would be affected by the global impact and by possible targeted attacks by IS.
As far as the Muslim world is concerned, the Arab Spring has already added Libya, Yemen and Syria to the roster of failed countries. The continued existence of IS may cause Iraq and possibly other countries to be added to that list. As the Islamic State is an extremist Sunni movement, it is directly opposed to Shi’ite Muslims, with no inclination to compromise. The longer the Islamic State lasts, the greater the threat to the Shi’ites.
That would mean that eventually the Islamic State would likely confront Iran, the leading Shi’ite country. Iran has been an international troublemaker and hardly any external forces have reacted to it militarily in the current century. The more powerful the Islamic State becomes, the more it will have to challenge Iran. As the Islamic State also opposes the Sunni countries presently ruled by various royal families, the instability in these countries would increase substantially as well. The same is true concerning Egypt.
The Islamic State calls for murder may bring with it a shift back toward terrorist attacks perpetrated by foreign jihadists. There have been threats and rumors of having them brought into Europe amongst the boat refugees arriving from Libya, or smuggled through the Balkans. … Yet if we speak about decades of sizable continued Islamic State activity, it is likely that there will be attacks from terrorists disguised as refugees.
Substantial Jihadi-caused terrorism in the West will lead to further stereotyping of all Muslims.
The previous massive influx of Muslims and its ensuing social problems, including the lack of successful integration, has already led to the rise and/or growth of anti-Islam nationalistic parties in various countries.
These include Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands, the Swedish Democrats, and above all, France’s Front National. Substantial Muslim terrorism is not only likely to increase the popularity of these parties but will influence the positions of other parties, who will have to compete for the votes of those with harder positions regarding Islam.
What would all this mean for Jews living abroad? Not much good. Attacks on others are often followed by attacks on Jews.
Gerstenfeld notes the ability of Israel to contend with extremist Salafist jihadi Islamic groups. Groups equipped with advanced weaponry supplied by Iran or Russian and US weapons stocks abandoned by Assad forces in Syria or Iraqi National Forces:
No other country has accumulated as much experience in effectively fighting Muslim terrorists of various kinds as Israel. Israeli know-how in this field is already in demand and that is only likely to increase.
This fact is not well-publicized, but in future it should be, to improve Israel’s image with the Western mainstream populations.
A second opportunity may lie in Israel using the anti- Islamic State (IS) sentiment in the West to highlight that the majority Palestinian faction, Hamas, is not very different from IS. Israel hasn’t done much about this until now, but at the same time, the grounds for response from the West have been far less fertile than they may become in the future.
A third opportunity for Israel could be the possible change in political alliances in the Middle East. Some Arab states might consider that whatever hatred they promote of Israel to be less beneficial than allying them with Israel against IS, which has become a real threat to many Arab states. A recent poll showed that Saudis consider Iran to be their largest threat, followed by IS, and that Israel ranks third.
There has already been alleged secret meeting between Saudi military and Israeli security counterparts. Doubtless drawn together by the threat of a Shiite Mahdist Iran on the verge of becoming a nuclear threshold state destabilizing the Middle East. That is reflected in the Saudi undeclared war against the Houthi insurgency in the failed State of Yemen. An insurgency equipped and backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
ISIS extremists have claimed the massacre which left 38 dead was an 'attack upon the nests of fornication, vice and disbelief in God' - as they warned 'worse is to follow'.
The threat accompanied a picture of the man ISIS claim was behind the assault on innocent holidaymakers, who they name as Abu Yahya Qayrawani.
It is thought this is jihadi name of the killer fatally shot by authorities after Friday's attack, a 23-year-old aviation student called Seifeddine Rezgui, who was armed with an assault rifle and grenades. The statement accompanying the picture added: 'Our brother, the soldier of the Caliphate, Abu Yahya al Qayrawani, reached his target the Imperial hotel despite the security measures.'
Sky report the statement goes on to say he had attacked a 'bordel' and killed 40 'infidels'.
Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said Rezgui was not previously known by authorities, and came from the town of Gaafour in the governorate of Siliana and had been a student at Kairouan university.
A second gunman is reported to have escaped, but details remain unclear.
Eyewitness accounts say Rezgui was seen laughing and joking among the midday bathers and sunseekers, looking like any other tourist. But it was claimed he was carefully selecting the victims he would murder with a Kalashnikov hidden in his parasol.
Congress Passes “Landmark” Anti-BDS Amendment Opposed by J Street and Peace Now
What some consider as a “landmark” anti-BDS Amendment to the Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority legislation passed the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, June 24, 2015. Having passed both the House and Senate the legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature. That’s good news for Israel, bad news for J Street and Peace Now who opposed the anti-BDS Amendment. Clearly, the President’s overriding objective was completion of negotiations of a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement which gives the US leverage in competition with China and encourages job creation and business in the US. J Street and Peace Now have been allies of the Administration promoting a Palestinian State that would divide Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. Those groups also support the looming P5+1 Iran nuclear agreement with a current deadline of next Tuesday, June 30th. Among the principal sponsors of the anti-BDS Amendment were : Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and members of the House bi-partisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus , Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA). The anti-BDS measure passed by Congress has garnered praise from mainstream American and international Jewish Groups: AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress.
The anti-BDS provisions in the trade authorization were directed toward free trade talks between the US and the European Union. The provisions require US negotiators to make rejection of BDS a principal trade objective in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the European Union. These guidelines, sponsors hope, will discourage European governments from participating in BDS activities by leveraging the incentive of free trade with the US.
Rep. Roskam issued a statement saying:
Today, for the first time in nearly four decades, Congress sent legislation to the President’s desk to combat efforts to isolate and delegitimize the State of Israel. The recent wave of boycotts originating in Europe, including French telecom company Orange’s decision last week to sever ties with Israel, demands a robust response from the United States. This is that response. The bipartisan TPA provisions I authored are simple: if you want free trade with the United States, you can’t boycott Israel.
After today, discouraging economic warfare against Israel will be central to our free trade negotiations with the European Union. Congress will not be complicit in the marginalization of our ally Israel by watching these attacks from the sidelines. Instead, we have decided to fight back against the BDS movement and ensure the continued strength of the US-Israel relationship.
President Ronald Lauder of the WJC added:
The Senate today took a strong stand against the growing vilification of Israel. American values such as freedom and openness have triumphed over the blatant hypocrisy and bias of the anti-Israel campaigners. This vote marks a major defeat for BDS.
J Street and Peace Now opposed the anti-BDS legislation on the grounds that “the amendment plays into the hands of BDS activists’ claims by conflating boycott of Israel and boycott of products of settlements.”
The author of the Algemeiner article on why J Street and other groups opposed the anti-BDS amendment commented:
The impression one gets is that J-Street wants to maintain its ties to radical anti-Israel BDS groups like Jewish Voice for Peace but still wants to pretend to be pro-Israel.
Pro-Israel? Yeah, right.
The passage of the anti-BDS amendment should encourage the Israel Allies Foundation Jerusalem Call that worked with South Carolina State Rep. Alan Clemmons developing a state level model anti-BDS statue signed into law on June 4, 2015 by Governor Nikki Haley. In our 1330am WEBY interview with Dr. Daniel Williams, National Director of the IAF Jerusalem Call he noted that the South Carolina model is being filed in 17 states, among them Ohio and potentially here in Florida. J Street is the subject of a viewing of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance documentary, J Street Challenge, Saturday evening, June 27, 2015 at Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola. A panel discussion will follow that includes Florida State Rep. Mike Hill, Mike Bates of WEBY’s “Your Turn”, Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm and this writer. On Tuesday evening June 30, 2015, Rep. Hill and Guy Rodgers, Director of Operations for the IAF Jerusalem Call will be the principal speakers about support for Israel and the work of the group at Pensacola First Assembly of God Church.
I didn't have a chance to post this on Tuesday - they weren't joking were they!
Baghdad (AFP) - Islamic State group spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called on Tuesday for Muslims to engage in jihad and become martyrs during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"The best acts that bring you closer to God are jihad, so hurry to it and make sure to carry out the invasion this holy month and be exposed to martyrdom in it," Adnani said in an audio message posted online. "These are your weapons and this is Ramadan."
Adnani also announced a "last chance" for tribesmen, soldiers and police, calling on them to "repent" and surrender their weapons as a sign of good faith. He singled out the Jughaifa tribe that is besieged in the town of Haditha, saying it faces utter destruction if it does not surrender. If they do not "repent", then "for generations those passing Haditha will say: 'The Jughaifa were here, and their houses'."
As IS has previously executed hundreds of security personnel and tribesmen who opposed the group, it is unlikely that many will take up the offer.
The man decapitated in an attack on Friday at an industrial gas factory in eastern France was the boss of the suspect now in police custody, legal sources said.
Details have been hazy about the one fatality in Friday's terror attack, but by late afternoon, the shocking picture became clearer. The man who was killed was a local businessman and the boss of his killer, Yassin Salhi, a 35-year-old father-of-three with links to Islamic extremism. The two worked as delivery drivers for a company which is as yet unnamed, but which had clearance to pass the strict security barriers at the factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, Isere.
It remains unclear if the killer had something personally against the victim, or if he perhaps was just using him to get access to the factory. CCTV footage later revealed that the murder occurred inside the van, before the killer pinned the head of his boss to the fence and then dumped his body beside two Islamist flags.
The attacker has been named by the Interior Minister as Yassin Salhi (spelling unconfirmed), a 35-year-old man from Saint-Priest, the fourth biggest suburb of Lyon. It appears the French-born terrorist managed to keep his shocking plans hidden, with his wife revealing on Friday afternoon that she had no idea about the crimes he had committed. In the words of the song I don't believe a word of it, a single blinking word of it.
She told French channel Europe 1 that her husband was a delivery driver who went to work as normal at 7am on Friday morning, but didn't return home in the early afternoon as expected.She said that it felt as if her "her heart was going to stop" when she learned that he was the suspect. She added that hers was a "normal Muslim family" living a "normal family life".
After the name of the killer emerged on Friday afternoon, neighbours spoke to French TV of an ordinary man, many saying that he was a typical member of the community who liked to play football with his children.
Later the French PM Manuel Valls confirmed what most suspected from the very beginning, that the attack was motivated by Islamist extremism. It remains unclear if Salhi acted alone, or indeed if he had an accomplice with him in the car at the time of the attack.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed that authorities opened a "fiche S" file on the man in 2006 for radicalisation. A "fiche S" for which the S stands for "Sûreté d'etat" means he had been identified as a possible danger and should be watched. France's "fiche S" files have a lifespan of two years, meaning authorities renew them if they consider the person in question to be still dangerous.
While having one of the files doesn't warrant an arrest, it means certain individuals can be put under extra surveillance, reported French channel BFM TV.
In the case of Salhi, the file was not renewed after two years, suggesting he was no longer considered a risk. The reason he was put on a police watch list was because he attended a “very radical” mosque in 2006 in Lyon, the International Observatory of terrorism told France 24.
The terrorist, who was born in Pontarlier in eastern France, had no criminal record. Cazeneuve has said that the man had a "link" to Salafist movement, but was not implicated directly in any terrorist activities.
Commentators have noted that the man fits a similar profile to others who have been involved in or attempted terrorist attacks in France - a young man, known for links to extremism but not considered a high enough risk to place under direct surveillance.
Authorities have said that Salhi has so far refused to speak whilst being questioned by police. A number of people linked to him have been taken into custody, as police continue to hunt for potential accomplices.
According to a new nationwide online survey (Below) of 600 Muslims living in the United States, significant minorities embrace supremacist notions that could pose a threat to America’s security and its constitutional form of government.
The numbers of potential jihadists among the majority of Muslims who appear not to be sympathetic to such notions raise a number of public policy choices that warrant careful consideration and urgent debate, including: the necessity for enhanced surveillance of Muslim communities; refugee resettlement, asylum and other immigration programs that are swelling their numbers and density; and the viability of so-called “countering violent extremism” initiatives that are supposed to stymie radicalization within those communities.
Overall, the survey, which was conducted by The Polling Company for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), suggests that a substantial number of Muslims living in the United States see the country very differently than does the population overall. The sentiments of the latter were sampled in late May in another CSP-commissioned Polling Company nationwide survey.
According to the just-released survey of Muslims, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%).
More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts.
These notions were powerfully rejected by the broader population according to the Center’s earlier national survey. It found by a margin of 92%-2% that Muslims should be subject to the same courts as other citizens, rather than have their own courts and tribunals here in the U.S.
Even more troubling, is the fact that nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, “It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.”
By contrast, the broader survey found that a 63% majority of those sampled said that “the freedom to engage in expression that offends Muslims or anybody else is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be restricted.”
Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country.
France Terror: Decapitated Head Covered in Arabic Writing Hung on Fence
Quentin-Fallavier (France) (AFP) - A suspected Islamist attacker pinned a decapitated head covered with Arabic writing to the gates of a gas factory in eastern France on Friday before being arrested, police said.
The suspect entered the factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, and set off several small explosive devices, the source said.
Police said it was unclear whether the attacker was acting alone, or had accomplices.
"According to the initial findings of the enquiry, one or several individuals on board a vehicle, drove into the factory. An explosion then took place," said one of the sources.
"The decapitated body of a person was found nearby the factory but we do not yet know whether the body was transported to the place or not," added this source, adding that a "flag with Arabic writing on it was found at the scene."
A man thought to be the person who carried out the attack has been arrested, according to sources close to the enquiry, who said he was known to the security services.