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Recent Publications from New English Review Press
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum


















Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Schools fear Easter holiday exodus of teenagers joining Isil in Syria
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From the Telegraph

Schools fear that their will be an exodus of teenagers joining jihadist in Syria over the Easter holidays, but have not told police as they do not want their pupils to be criminalised, it has been claimed.

Nazir Afzal, a senior prosecutor, claims that he has been approached by the heads of two London secondary schools, one in east London and one in west London, over fears that their students have been “seduced and groomed” by Islamic State (Isil).

However, they have not contacted the authorities about the concerns, raised by the teenagers’ parents, because they do not want them to be investigated.

Mr Afzal told the Times that one said he was being “approached on a daily basis by parents who fear their kids are about to go to Syria”. He added: “Both said they were scared of the Easter break and would be very relieved if all their pupils come back after the holidays.” 

During a three-month Times investigation, reporters posing as schoolgirls were offered money for flights by Isis recruiters and advised to wait until the school holidays so as not to arouse suspicion.

Mr Afzal, who stood down yesterday as the chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, said that the two head teachers who had recently spoken to him “had no idea what advice to give the parents” and had complained about a lack of “face-to-face support” for young people who fall prey to online radicalisation.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 12:20 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Father of teenage jihadist arrested in Turkey works in Ministry of Defence post office and has access to personal details of all British military personnel
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The father of one of three teenagers arrested in Turkey on suspicion of trying to join Islamic State fighters in Syria works for the Ministry of Defence, it has been revealed. The three teenagers were brought back to Britain where they were questioned at a high-security London police station on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism, before being released on bail. 

The man, who is employed in the military’s post office, was put on compassionate leave by the MoD, which considered suspending him, sources said.His security clearance could potentially be reviewed as a result of what happened even though he is not suspected on any wrongdoing.

As a member of the postal staff, the father could have had access to the names and addresses of all British military personnel at home and overseas, one defence source said.  Isis regards anyone who works in the armed forces as a legitimate target.

The MoD declined to comment.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 11:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Jihadists undergo radicalisation training in deepest rural west Wales say specialist anti-terror police
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Terrorists are undergoing training in rural areas of west Wales, it has emerged. Locations in Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire are also being used to radicalise Muslims, according to an officer from the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit.

Those involved in such activities 'take part in seemingly ordinary activities' in the community but 'have an ulterior motive', Detective Constable Gareth Jones said. Speaking to Ceredigion Council, DC Jones stressed that issues surrounding terrorism were not confined to large cities. 

Incidents of Islamic extremist activity in Wales can be traced back to 1998, when it is claimed hate preacher Abu Hamza sent a group of 10 extremists to train in the Brecon Beacons, in Powys. The area is one of several locations used by the British military for training. Its rugged terrain helps prepare soldiers, including elite forces personnel like the SAS, physically and mentally for warfare.

Michael Adebowale, one of the men convicted of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby, is understood to have studied Arabic at the former European Institute of Human Sciences at Highmead, near Llanybydder. The centre is understood to have been set up by Iraqi clerics.

Speaking to councillors, DC Jones said: 'This chap attended the Institute for Human Sciences for quite some time. It's fair to say that is a connection to a horrendous terrorist attack in the UK. Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys have been used for radicalisation training. These people do turn up and take part in seemingly ordinary activities, but they do have an ulterior motive. This does happen in Ceredigion.'

DC Jones added that community intelligence was important to authorities.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 11:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Commonwealth-Star-Crossed Lovers
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How absurd that Muslims should be required to obey ridiculous laws of the Kuffar, in Australia or anywhee else. And that they think they have a right to enforce their own laws, against the laws sanctioned by Islam -- what is the world coming to? They tried to tell us she's too young. What would Muhammad think?

Here.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 10:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Charlie Rose Welcomes Bernard-Henri Levy
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Charlie Rose welcomes Bernard-Henri Levy, hus "good friend from Paris" who is "always doing interesting things, and politics,and war, and culture, and art" to explain the decline in the popularity of the FN (it's rising), the "racism" that French voters reject ("racism" apparently means being intelligently hostile to the ideology of Islam, and those who proclaim their adherence to that ideology), and in general, manages to speak about France today, and Charlie-Hebdo, without ever using the words "Islam" or "Muslim." Not once does he do so, using only the code word "racism" for those who are alarmed by the demographic conquest, and all that follows from it, by Muslims now in France.

Levy describes himself several times as a "public intellectual." Public he certainly is, intellectual he certainly is not. He goes to Pakistan, he goes to Afghanistan, he goes to Benghazi, he goes to be photographed with the Kurds outside Mosul. He tries to help Massoud with the French. He tries to help the anti-Qaddafy forces after he visits Benghazi and is sure that if Qaddafy is not stopped, there will be a bloodbath the likes of which cannot be imagined. He doesn't have much of an imagination, nor any historical sense, this publiic intellectual Berrnard-Henri Levy.

It was he, Bernard-Henri Levy, who brought the dangerous Muslim Izetbegovic to meet Mitterand, which he thinks led to the West's bombing of the Serbs. It was he, Bernard-Henri Levy, who told Sarkozy how important it was to bomb Qaddafy's forces, indiscriminately, without thinking through what might follow with the fanatical Muslims, or why Seif Al-Islam, Qaddafy's son, might be helped into power. It was he, Bernard-Henry Levy, who having just visited, and been photographed, with peshmerga on the outskirts of Mosul, now wishes to bring them to see Hollande. You see him here, you see him there, that Frenchie's seen most everywhere. 

He's a "phiilosopher" and a "public intellectual." His English is awful. He likes to be photographed from one side of his face only. He has an expensiive hairdresser. And as always, for Charlie Rose as for Massoud and Mitterand and Hollande and Sarkozy,and Izetbegovic and grizzled peshmerga, he has the same white shirt, with the foot of cleavage, to show just a glimpse of his bronzed chest. 

Not exactly Raymond Aron. Nor Ivan Rioufol. How unfortunate that his father left him $100 million dollars so that he, this Public Intellectual and Fighter For Justice Everywhere, could indulge his dreams-of-glory fantasies.
 

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Posted on 04/01/2015 10:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
The Cult Of Erdogan
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Even Mustafa  "Sola Scriptura" Akyo, Defender of the Reformed Faith,  can now see that Erdogan's cult of personality is dangerous, but he puts a mustafa-akyolish slant on it -- Erdoganism is an alternative to Islam (what Akyol calls "Islamism"), and therefore bad. It's not the fact of an alternative to Islam, and the figure of Muhammad, that non-Muslims will deplore; it's the replacement of that alternative, Ataturk, by Erdogan.

Here.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 10:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Miley Cyrus Gives Her Opinion On Injustice In Indiana
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Here.

She will be holding a press conference this Friday to discuss her views on the Iran negotiations, and her book "Man's Inhumanity To Man: Ferguson, Auschwitz, Chapel Hill," with a foreward by Bishop Desmond Tutu,  will be out at the end of May.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 8:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Paris - January 11: A Disturbing Event
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by Shmuel Trigano (April 2015)

translated by Gila Walker


It is as if [the democrat] were fascinated by all who plot his downfall. Perhaps at the bottom of his heart he yearns for the  violence which he has denied himself.
                               --
Jean Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew

 

The January 11 rally in Paris constitutes a momentous event that we have only begun to analyze. By its sheer massiveness, its geographic spread, and its density, it stands as a moment of national fusion of an emotional nature, seemingly non-rational, but which lends itself to a rational sociological explanation on a level that escapes the experience of the participating individuals taken separately.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/01/2015 7:06 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Will the P5+1 Iran Nuclear deal Crater because of Secret North Korean Cooperation?
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Yesterday, I was on 1330amWEBY Northwest Florid a Talk Radio with host Mike Bates discussing the extension of P5+1 negotiations with Iran on a political framework “understanding” into April 1st and the impasse.  I brought up the prior Nuke deal with North Korea that failed, because of the presence on the State Department negotiating team of Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political affairs. She had been involved with the Clinton era negotiations trying to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons development   with a deal involving the sale of light water reactors to replace heavy water plutonium reactors and supply of fuel oil during the transition period. The deal also addressed the export of missiles. It was all against the background of UN IAEA reports that the hermit kingdom had cheated. That so-called framework cratered during the Bush era in 2002. In 2006, the North Korean tested a nuclear device.  The current impasse in the P5+1 nuclear negotiations seems like what baseball great Yogi Berra might call “déjà vu all over again.” 

 During our 1330am WEBY “Your Turn” we noted that the IAEA director general  Yukio Amano had been frustrated by  Iran’s refusal to tell of prior military developments., among them were development of so-called explosive nuclear triggers and miniaturized warheads. Then the matter of Iran’s ICBM development program, based largely on North Korean technology, came up, because Ms. Sherman told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February 2014 that was off the table for discussions during the interim Joint Plan of Action. Subsequently, the Administration caved on these points.

In March 2014, we wrote a New English Review article, “Has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea?”  We cited Sherman saying at the Foreign Relations Committee hearing in February 2014, “that if Iran can’t get the bomb then its ballistic missiles would be irrelevant.” In that article we interviewed my colleague Ilana Freedman about her sources on Iran North Korean nuclear cooperation. She noted:

According to my sources, Iran began moving its bomb manufacturing operations from Iran to North Korea in December 2012. Two facilities near Nyongbyon in North Pyongan province, some 50 miles north of Pyongyang, have become a new center for Iran’s nuclear arms program.

Over the last year, Iran has been secretly supplying raw materials to the reactor at Nyongbyon for the production of plutonium. At a second facility, located about fifteen miles north and with a code name that translates to ‘Thunder God Mountain’, nuclear warheads are being assembled and integrated with MIRV platforms. MIRVs are offensive ballistic missile systems that can support multiple warheads, each of which can be aimed at an independent target, but are all launched by a single booster rocket. Approximately 250-300 Iranian scientists are now reported to be in North Korea, along with a small cadre of IRGC personnel to provide for their security.

According to the reports, the Iranian-North Korean collaboration has already produced the first batch of fourteen nuclear warheads. A dedicated fleet of Iranian cargo aircraft, a combination of 747′s and Antonov heavy-lifters, which has been ferrying personnel and materials back and forth between Iran and North Korea, is in place to bring the assembled warheads back to Iran.

Fast forward to today’s Washington Free Beacon (WFB) report by Adam Kredo, “Experts: Iran Housing Nuke Materials in North Korea, Syria”.  Kredo cites State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf saying that proposition was “bizarre”. But then Ms. Harf is the person who suggested that a jobs for jihadis program would stop the flow of tens of thousands of foreign Muslim fighters traveling to join the holy cause of the Islamic State Caliphate.  The WFB  report  had comments for North Korean watcher Gordon Chang and FDD’s Reuel Gerecht, Ali Alfoneh  and Emmanuelle  Ottolenghi suggesting  that evidence of nuclear cooperation between North Korea , Syria  Iran could spike the P5+1 nuclear deal.  Witness these comments.

Gordon Chang:

“Let me see if I get this straight: The country with the world’s most highly developed technical intelligence capabilities does not know what has been in open sources for years?” Chang said. “No wonder North Korea transfers nuclear weapons technology to Iran and others with impunity.”

“The North Koreans could go on CNN and say, ‘Hey, Secretary Kerry, we’re selling the bomb to Iran,’ and the State Department would still say they know nothing about it,” Chang said. “No wonder we’re in such trouble.”

Reuel Gerecht:

It certainly appears that the administration has backed away from [previous military dimensions] questions,” Gerecht said. “The plan appears to be to let the [International Atomic Energy Agency] continue its so far fruitless effort to gain access to sensitive sites, personnel, and paperwork, but to keep these questions out of the talks.”

“The administration is doing this because it fears the Iranians would walk out,” he added. “Any military work revealed by the Iranians would prove the Supreme Leader and [President] Rouhani liars.

“The White House wants to believe that monitoring of known sites will be sufficient. It’s a bit mystifying given the Iranian track record and the CIA’s longstanding inability to penetrate the nuclear-weapons program (it’s just too hard of a target to do this reliably),” he explained. “But since they fear a breakdown, they bend their credulity in Iran’s favor. This has been the story of the negotiations from the beginning.”

Ali Alfoneh:

“I certainly think the Islamic Republic should come clean concerning its past record of nuclear activities: Did the Islamic Republic ever try to build a nuclear weapon? If not, how are we to understand the opaque references to Tehran-Pyongyang nuclear cooperation in the 1990s?” Alfoneh said.

“As long as the Islamic Republic does not provide a clear record of its nuclear activities in the 1980s and 1990s, and as long as we do not know the full scope of Tehran-Pyongyang nuclear cooperation, there is always the risk of the two states renewing that cooperation, which in turn would jeopardize any agreement the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 Group may reach,” he said.

Emanuele Ottolenghi:

“Syria’s current chaos makes it virtually impossible for inspectors to do their job even if the Syrians were compliant,” according to Emanuele Ottolenghi, a onetime advisor to foreign ministries in Europe.

“Syria has covered up its nuclear activities after the 2007 [Israeli Air Force] raid on Deir al-Azour,” he said. “After four years of inconclusive efforts, the [International Atomic Energy Agency] ended up deferring the issue to the [United Nations Security Council] after declaring Syria in non-compliance.”

We ended our March 2014 NER article with a question.  “Who will be able to stop that dangerous development taking place in North Korea’s hermit Kingdom? Who is best able to counter these threats in both Iran and North Korea?”   That appears to be foremost from the minds of Secretary Kerry, Undersecretary Sherman and the President intent on perfecting a new paradigm of relations in the Middle East by pivoting to Iran.  They appear not bothered by the facts and the national security implications of Iran with nuclear tipped ICBMs courtesy of North Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 04/01/2015 6:19 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Close Aid to Iranian Leader Defects, Says U.S. pushing Iran’s position in Nuclear talks
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From Adara Press:

Amir Hossein Motaghi, a close media aid to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, exposes the truth about the U.S. role in the nuclear negotiations with Iran.  According to a report in The Telegraph:

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

Again, the question must be asked: Why do the United States and Germany want a nuclear Iran?  Why are they facilitating the imperialist ambitions of Iran in the Middle East, and paving the way for it’s control of 56% of the world’s known oil deposits?  What would cause the White House to position itself as an ally of Iran in these negotiations?

Perhaps part of the answer can be found here, in an earlier Adara Press post:

Here’s what the current two-term U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden had to say back in 2002,

“I believe that an improved relationship with Iran is in the naked self-interest of the United States of America…”

Biden made this statement at a conference in D.C. held by the pro-Iranian lobby AIC and co-sponsored by Chevron, Texaco, Conoco and Exxon Mobile. 

See:

http://adarapress.com/2014/06/16/us-iranian-axis-grooming-iran-to-be-an-indispensible-ally-an-alliance-long-in-the-making-just-ask-chevron-texaco-conoco-and-exxon-mobile/

and

http://adarapress.com/2012/10/25/part-7-out-of-the-closet-washingtons-support-for-iran/

Pro-Hassan Rouhani Iranian editor defects while covering nuclear talks in Lausanne

Amir Hossein Motaghi says he no longer sees any “sense” in his profession as he could only write as he was told

 

The Iranian negotiating team in Lausanne including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Journalist Amir Hossein Motaghi sought political asylum while covering the negotiations
The Iranian negotiating team in Lausanne including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Journalist Amir Hossein Motaghi sought political asylum while covering the negotiations Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP
 
By Ahmed Vahdat and Richard Spencer

5:21PM GMT 27 Mar 2015

A close media aide to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has sought political asylum in Switzerland after travelling to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West.

Amir Hossein Motaghi, who managed public relations for Mr Rouhani during his 2013 election campaign, was said by Iranian news agencies to have quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA).

He then appeared on an opposition television channel based in London to say he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told.

“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.

“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.” Mr Mottaghi was a journalist and commentator who went on to use social media successfully to promote Mr Rouhani to a youthful audience that overwhelmingly elected him to power.

But he was also subject to the bitter internal arguments within the Iranian regime. One news website claimed he had been forced in to report to the ministry of intelligence weekly, and that he had been tipped off that he might be subject to arrest had he returned to Tehran.


Jason Rezalan

He is said to have been a friend of Jason Rezaian, the Iranian-American reporter for the Washington Post who has been detained in Tehran, and to have campaigned privately for his release.

ISCA, which has come under fire from regime hardliners critical of Mr Rouhani, issued a statement denying that Mr Motaghi was in Lausanne to report for it.

“Amir Hossein Motaghi had terminated his contribution to ISCA and this news agency has not had any reporter at the nuclear talks, except for a photojournalist”, it said.

However, critics said Mr Mottaghi was “prey of the exiled counter-revolutionaries” and had gone to Lausanne with the sole purpose of seeking refugee status in Switzerland.

In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

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Posted on 04/01/2015 5:25 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
The Slithering Serpent Of Sharia
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A good friend of mine who is a Christian Sudanese pastor describes Sharia as a venomous snake. Being from Khartoum he states that the snake is actually a cobra. One that is highly poisonous excreting neurotoxin from its pair of twin fangs. My good friend states that you must keep you door closed at all times, especially at night when cobras move around. Often a cobra will find an open door and slither into your house. At first it will hide under your bed, or beneath the sofa, or perhaps in the protective darkness of a closet. After living in your house for several days the snake grows braver. And with increasing boldness it begins to move around more. It silently crawls around your house exploring everything and everyone. Then one night it bites you. The cobra’s teeth are like needles so sharp and fine that you really don’t feel the puncture. But 30 seconds after the bite you experience  fiery pain in your leg. By then the cobra has made its escape. If not treated you will die within three to six hours. The cobra’s neurotoxin shuts down your central nervous system. Finally your nerves can no longer direct your muscles. At the very end your heart stops beating and your lungs cease breathing. You expire in great agony.

This is a very apt metaphor for Sharia. It is always lurking outside your house or nation seeking entry. Some smiling Imam cheerily tells us that Sharia is harmless. In fact it is totally compatible with the U.S. Constitution. Sharia is mainly concerned, we are told, with dietary rules and the ritual of Islamic worship. The longer the Sharia snake stays in your home the bolder it becomes. Next it demands we honor Islam and that we abandon any critical intellectual debate about Sharia. We must sacrifice free speech to avoid insulting Islam. The final stage is the deadly strike of the Sharia serpent. Over 80% of Sharia is involved with the treatment of infidels  or Kafirs ( translation: folks like you and I). Ultimately the poison of Sharia enervates Western Civilization and its cherished values. Very few cultures who have experienced the deadliness of Sharia have ever recovered their vigor.

You kill the Sharia snake by becoming aware of the ultimate deadly agenda that this archaic, despotic, barbaric Islamic legal system seeks to impose. As surely as night follows day, so the atrocities of Sharia follow its meekest introduction. There is no such thing as a little bit of Sharia.

Keep the doors of your houses locked tight. Do not allow the Sharia serpent to enter our nation.

Just kill the damned snake !

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Posted on 04/01/2015 5:18 AM by John Constantine
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015
In Thailand’s Muslim south, authorities turn a blind eye to FGM
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From the Guardian

Eight-week-old baby Amiyah grimaces when sunlight falls on her face as though she isn’t used to the idea of having been born yet. On a Saturday afternoon, in Thailand’s southern Pattani province, her Muslim mother has brought her to a small clinic so midwife Dah can slice her clitoris for sunat. The practice, a form of female genital mutilation (FGM), has been banned by the World Health Organisation.

In majority Buddhist Thailand, the public health department says FGM does not happen. But in the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, ethnic Malay Muslims are a majority. . .Here, midwife Dah says she has cut almost all female births she has attended.

She holds a sterile surgical blade, . . mops up a drop of blood with a cotton swab, recites the name of God, and declares the baby “circumcised”. “I feel relieved that I have done my duty,” the mother says.

 

FGM as practised in Thailand falls under type IV in the WHO’s classification, which involves pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterisation. Types I and II involve excision of either clitoris or labia or both, and type III includes a procedure where the vulva is sutured together after removal of the clitoris and labia. The WHO says the procedure has no known health benefits, arises from a deep-seated gender-bias, and amounts to a violation of both children’s and women’s rights.

Just across the border in Malaysia, a study conducted in 2011 showed 93% of Muslim women have been cut, including in Kelantan state on Thailand’s border, which is culturally and religiously similar to Pattani. Though the practice dates back centuries for Muslims living across the Malay peninsula, Malaysia’s highest religious authority did not issue a fatwa until 2009 requiring the cutting of all Muslim women.

Malaysia’s fatwa has put health workers in an awkward position. As women increasingly give birth in hospitals, mothers looking for a safe way to cut their female babies are essentially asking doctors to break WHO guidelines.

To reduce the prevalence of FGM in Malaysia , Saira Shameem, who works for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Kuala Lumpur, is working with health authorities to make the practice symbolic, with a routine alcohol swab performed by obstetricians at birth. “What the fatwa does not do, is it does not specify what the procedure should be,” she says, “that allows us an avenue to define the procedure in a non-invasive, non-harmful manner and shift the practice accordingly.”

Dr Patimoh Umasa is one of the only female doctors in Yala, where she runs a small clinic on the edge of the city’s Muslim quarter. She knows the WHO guidelines, and doesn’t believe what she does directly contravenes them. “If it is done by a doctor and they are using the right technique, then never mind,” she says. “It’s just a little. Just an incision, no excision.”

But doctors such as Nawal Nour, director of the Global Women’s Health Centre at Harvard Medical School, believes a “right technique” does not exist. “There are girls who suffer short and long-term consequences, even from type IV,” she says. “The clitoris on a baby girl is tiny, and in error, cutters can remove it completely. Also botched jobs can lead to haemorrhage, infection, sepsis and death.”

Back in Pattani, Peung, 33, has gathered her family together to watch her eight-month-old daughter, Mia, being cut by her mother-in-law, who is sterilising a pair of nail scissors with alcohol. Peung is pleased her daughter is now “complete”, but she isn’t sure why.

“I don’t know what the benefit is behind it, but I believe there must be one. I know the prophet said it is desirable for the husband when women are cut. Actually in Islam we believe that women have more desire than men, so there must be something to control the women, give them humility and modesty – and this could be one way to do it. Maybe in the future the scientists will find out and then we will know the benefit. All the girls here in the south do it.”

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Posted on 04/01/2015 2:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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