Archive for Murder

Burmese Buddhists Attack Muslim Pilgrims, Killing 9

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by loonwatch

The attack on Muslims traveling to a mosque must be viewed in a much larger perspective, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (i.e Burma).

Authorities are saying that “anti-Muslim sentiment” played a roll in at least one of the attacks:

Muslims killed in attack in Burma’s Rakhine province

(BBC)

Buddhist residents in western Burma have killed at least nine Muslims as sectarian tension worsens in the region, police say.

Reports say a crowd attacked a bus in Rakhine province after blaming some of the passengers for the gang rape and murder of a Buddhist woman.

In another incident, at least 10 people were injured in the state capital Sittwe when police broke up a protest.

It is the worst violence to hit the province in recent months.

Sectarian and ethnic tension persists in the country despite a new, supposedly tolerant climate introduced by the civilian-led government which came into power 15 months ago.

Mob attack

The bus attack took place near the town of Taungup in Rakhine province, which borders Bangladesh, on Sunday evening, police and residents said.

It was thought to be carried out by mostly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine people.

“More than 100 people beat and killed those people,” a resident told AFP news agency. “The residents even torched the bus.”

The reason for the attack is unclear, but some residents say it was a revenge attack following the rape and murder of a Buddhist girl in another part of the province last month.

Map

But the Burmese Muslim Association said most of those killed were Muslims visiting a mosque from central Burma.

That account was corroborated by unnamed residents quoted by Reuters news agency, who said those killed were not from the area.

No arrests have been made. A police investigation is under way.

In another, apparently unrelated incident at least 10 people were injured after police fired rubber bullets at a mob who attacked their police station in Sittwe, reports said.

A 13-year-old protester was among those injured, witnesses said.

There were contradictory reports about what triggered the protest, but some accounts suggested anti-Muslim sentiment could have played a part.

Rakhine is home to Burma’s largest concentration of Muslims, including much-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, and their presence is often deeply resented by the majority Buddhist population.

In a joint statement quoted by Reuters, eight Rohingya rights groups based outside Burma condemned the attack on the Muslims on the bus, whom they termed “Muslim pilgrims”.

Although it appears those on the bus were not Rohingyas, the groups said the attack followed months of anti-Rohingya propaganda stirred up by “extremists and xenophobes”.

Shaima AlAwadi’s Murder Less Likely to Be a Hate Crime

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by loonwatch

Shaima_AlAwadi

Shaima AlAwadi

New facts emerging in the Shaima AlAwadi murder case reveal a family in turmoil, and though we have not reached the end of the investigation, it seems the turmoil within the family has cast doubt on the likelihood that Alawadi’s murder was a hate crime.

The uncertainty and dearth of facts surrounding the case is why at the time I wrote,

*We cannot conclude anything at this point, some facts have been presented, such as the note but we will have to wait for the police investigation to relay more information on this crime.

Of course the hatemongerers, the same people who were quick to attribute the Oklahoma City bombings to Muslims, the terrorist shooting rampage by Anders Breivik to Muslims and many more such incidents are receiving the news with glee. Islamophobes are already jumping to the conclusion that the murder is an “honor killing” though there is no evidence for such a claim.

In any case lets hope justice is served and the murderer identified and sentenced.

We will pen an update about this case as more facts are presented and also discuss the ramifications and the critical distance necessary when presented with an ambiguous murder:

Police Records Suggest Death Isn’t a Hate Crime | NBC San Diego

Police records obtained from the murder of an El Cajon woman nearly two weeks ago suggest the it may not be a hate crime.

The records reveal new information about a possible suspect and a police call made to police — in late January — by the victim herself: Shaima Alawadi.

This case has received national attention because some believe it could be a hate crime. But recently obtained records could paint a different picture.

Alawadi, 32, was found bloodied and beaten inside this home on March 21. Her 17-year-old daughter Fatima found her on the floor of their dining room – a piece of paper nearby. That note and one the family found earlier in the month — has left some fearing terrorism.

“It said this is my country, go back to yours…terrorist,” Alawadi’s son Mohammed said in an interview last week.

But police are continuing to call this an “isolated incident” and no arrests have been made.

Police records reveal on the day of the crime –a neighbor gave police a description–of a possible suspect. An unidentified witness spotted a young man running from the crime scene.

The suspect is described as a “darker skinned boy in his late teens or early 20s … with a skinny build, carrying a donut shaped cardboard box.”

The suspect was seen at 10:30 a.m., about 45 minutes before Alawadi’s 17-year-old daughter called 911.

Police would not comment on these records — which also reveal — Alawadi called the police herself nearly two months earlier to report her 17 year old daughter missing.

On Jan. 31 Alawadi reported the girl had been missing for 2 hours, but the call was cancelled 20 minutes later when the 17-year-old was located.

The investigation is ongoing.

Trayvon Martin: The Myth of US Post-Racialism

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2012 by loonwatch

We must start connecting the dots, racism, which is alive and well in the US is very much related to Islamophobia. The tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin exemplifies the point that the USA’s original sin of “racism” is still alive and well:

Trayvon Martin: The myth of US post-racialism

(AlJazeera English) by Linda Sarsour and Khalid and Khaled Beydoun

Washington, DC – Trayvon Martin was just beginning his life. Trayvon Martin was a son. He was a high school junior, with college to look forward to, a career and perhaps a family of his own.

Trayvon Martin was many things, but for George Zimmerman, he was just Black.

The teenager’s race was enough to raise “suspicion” and trigger the neighbourhood watchman – who possessed no training or authority, except for his racist prerogatives – to murder an unarmed and frightened teenager running for his life.

On November 28, 2011, no other colour but his Blackness mattered – and his rush for safe haven was intercepted by Zimmerman, and the structurally entrenched demonisation of Black men codified in our laws, perpetuated by our police forces and subscribed to by our friends and colleagues, classmates and family members.

Trayvon Martin is not, as many writers and pundits commented following his death, “a reminder of American racism”. For Africans Americans and most people of colour, racism, xenophobia and religious animus are common, if not expected, parts of their daily lives.

In the case of Trayvon Martin, a twin set of correlated racisms prematurely ended his life: Zimmerman’s view that a young Black male must be engaged in criminal or thuggish activity by virtue of his race alone; and the neighbourhood watchmen and police alike who execute the structural racism embedded in police departments and penal systems nationwide in the name of the law.

The myth of the Obama era

The election of President Barack Obama, for white America, signalled the shift away from America’s racially charged past. After 2008, white Americans have contended that the United States is experiencing the embryonic stages of a post-racial moment; Martin’s murder is a reminder of the fatal consequences of racism that makes the headlines. Yet, the intermediary steps – the institutional racism and empowering of people like Zimmerman – to police our communities either formally or informally are not deemed newsworthy.

Racism, generally understood as a conscious perspective, action or decision, is a salient core of the US’ history and present. American racism is interwoven into the country’s narrative, codified in its law and entrenched in its institutions. Its authors and gatekeepers were, and are, still largely white.

Whites seldom experience racism, either in its fatal, frequent, or latent form. This constructs the political ideology that the rest of the US has entered this racism-free utopia. Citizenship to this colour-blind state, however, is denied to African Americans, Muslim Americans and Latinos by virtue of a triumvirate of suspicions: crime, terrorism and illegal immigration.

However, whites are not the only culprits of racism. On March 10, an Arab American gas station clerk on the Westside of Detroit gunned down and killed a 24-year-old African American customer after a dispute over the high-price of condoms. Racially charged crimes and murders between Latinos and Blacks are all too frequent, and the sometimes-explosive tension between Asian American and Arab American storeowners is well documented.

Institutional and structural racism is still robust in the US. This is evidenced by the disparate incarceration rates of brown and Black Americans, the decimation of affirmative action and race-conscious legislation in the US, the crumbling public education systems in minority-populated communities and the all too common cold blooded murders of people of colour – both in the US and beyond its boundaries, whether by policemen, neighbourhood patrolmen or soldiers.

The ‘worst of a national psychosis

Kumar Rao, a defence lawyer for the Bronx Defenders in New York City, stated that: “Martin’s killing reflects the absolute worst of a national psychosis: The view that Black males – young and old alike – are inherently threatening and unworthy of personal security; and that the state’s commitment to enduring that belief is perpetuated and institutionalised.”

Trayvon Martin’s murder was avoidable, but yet perversely justified through the cold silence of the state.

Zimmerman was a neighbourhood patrolman – not a police officer – but the distinction is thin in this instance. Some police officers, from Miami to Oakland, exhibit the same reckless and cavalier behaviour as Zimmerman. What is more troubling is that police officers and entire departments routinely cover up racially charged arrests, the roughing up of individuals under custody and operate with impunity under the cover of the law.

Yet, for Zimmerman, he had no such cover. This makes this case more absurd and baffling, particularly because he was given police orders to “discontinue his chase of Martin”, as revealed by 9/11 tapes released on March 19. If Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watchman – a volunteer with no training – had obeyed the policeman’s order, Martin would still be alive today.

Zimmerman ignored those order, and took the law into his own hands; he has still not been arrested.

The importance of Trayvon Martin’s is also based on the urgency of the current socio-political moment. The New York Police Department makes every Muslim in the City, whether Black or Arab, South Asian or Latino, targets of illegal spying or worse – unjust convictions of terrorism based solely on their religion and ethnicity. The fact that the NYPD so far as to label Black American Muslims as an “ancestry of interest” shows how far law enforcement would go to justify religious and ethnic profiling.

Connecting the dots

Arab and Muslim Americans in New York are connecting the dots – whether it is the stopping and frisking of young Black and Latino men or the illegal spying on the everyday aspects of Muslims, people of colour are being targeted by the largest police force in the country. In order to defeat the institutionalised racism of the NYPD and set a precedent for the rest of the country, we must build coalitions, connect our struggles and in unison demand accountability for our communities. None of us will win alone.

In June 2009, a Miami policeman shot and killed Husein Shehada, a 29-year-old Arab American, after an evening club-hopping with his brother and girlfriend. Shehada, like Martin, was unarmed and posed no threat. Yet, the white policeman, Adam Tavss, believed that Shehada’s ethnicity substantiated the suspicion to shoot and kill.

The value of Arab life – whether nameless Palestinian children bombed by American-funded fighter jets or American youth profiled, questioned and incarcerated for frequenting a particular mosque – is spiralling downwards rapidly in the US and at a more accelerated rate in the Arab World.

Trayvon Martin is not a martyr or a symbol of racial injustice. Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Malice Green or Ramaley Graham, are all other young African American men shot down and killed because of the colour of their skin and countless others that remain unnamed. Most recently, Troy Davis shook the nation as another victim of a broken justice system that continues to fail people of colour not one person at a time but through mass incarceration and mass conviction rates.

Trayvon Martin was his own person and an archetype of our brothers, our sons, our nephews, grandsons. Trayvon is Mohammed walking down Atlantic Avenue, vulnerable to patrolmen wary of his beard. Trayvon is Carlos, donning Dodger Blue in Pico Rivera, mistaken by the LAPD Gang Squad as a gangbanger because of the colour of his skin.

Linda Sarsour is Palestinian Muslim American, non-profit leader, public speaker and community organiser.

Follow her on Twitter: @Lsarsour

Khaled A Beydoun is a Washington, DC-based attorney and author.

Follow him on Twitter: @Legyptian

Kristy Bamu Murdered Over Witch Claim

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by loonwatch
Kristy_Bamu
Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu

The “witchcraft” imbecility rears its ugly head again. If this were a report coming from Saudi Arabia you could be sure that Islam would be blamed.

 Kristy Bamu ‘murdered over witch claim’ in Newham

A 15-year-old boy was tortured and drowned by his sister and her boyfriend because they believed he was a witch, the Old Bailey has heard.

Kristy Bamu, from Paris, was found dead in Newham, east London, on Christmas Day in 2010.

The boy had 101 injuries and died from being beaten with a metal bar and drowning, the court heard.

His sister Magalie Bamu and her boyfriend, Eric Bikubi, both Congolese and aged 28, of Newham, deny murder.

Prosecutors told jurors of acts they described as “depraved”, “wicked” and “cruel”.

Kristy Bamu and his siblings were visiting London from Paris during the Christmas holidays Kristy Bamu and his siblings were visiting London from Paris during the Christmas holidays

Mr Bikubi admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, a plea not accepted by the prosecution.

‘Armoury of weapons’

Kristy and his siblings were visiting the couple for Christmas, but Mr Bikubi had accused the boy and two of his siblings of witchcraft, the court heard.

All three were beaten and other children were forced to join in the attacks. But it was Kristy who became the focus of Mr Bikubi’s attention, the prosecution said.

The teenager was said to be in such pain after days of being hit with an “armoury of weapons” including sticks, pliers, a metal bar, hammer and chisel that he begged to die.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said: “Eventually Bikubi took him into the bathroom, put him in the bath and started to run the water.

“Kristy was just too badly injured and exhausted to resist or to keep his head above the water.

“It was only when he [Mr Bikubi] realised that Kristy was not moving that he stopped what he was doing and pulled him from the water.”

He added: “By then it was too late.”

The youngsters were forced to lie to their parents about what was happening when they phoned home, the jury heard.

Mr Altman said of Kristy’s father: “He had sent his children on holiday, not to a torture chamber.”

When police arrived they found Kristy and his siblings – brother Yves, 22, and and sister Kelly, 20, and other children.

Mr Altman said: “All were standing in the living room, hysterical, terrified and soaking wet.

‘Sorcerers’

“None of them spoke any English.”

Kelly Bamu said Mr Bikubi and Ms Bamu accused Kristy, herself and a third child of “being witches or sorcerers – practising witchcraft” which adversely influenced another child.

“Despite her own siblings’ denials that they were sorcerers, Magalie Bamu joined her boyfriend in repeating these fantastic claims and participating in the assaults,” Mr Altman said.

The three were beaten and refused food, drink and sleep and eventually, to stop the torture, they admitted being sorcerers, the jury was told.

Mr Altman said Mr Bikubi’s admission of manslaughter was rejected by the prosecution, which argues the couple carried out “the very deliberate murder” of Kristy.

‘Feral and evil’

Ms Bamu also denies two charges of causing actual bodily harm to her other siblings.

The defendants are originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The jury heard that witchcraft or sorcery – called kindoki – is practised in Congolese Christian churches.

Mr Altman said that taken out of the church’s control “it may take on a feral and indeed evil character, as we suggest it did here”.

The court heard that in 2008 Mr Bikubi had accused a family friend of being involved in witchcraft and had forced her to cut her hair short to purge herself.

The trial continues.

German Neo-Nazi Terror Cell Discovered, Targeted Muslims and Immigrants

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2011 by loonwatch
Pink PantherIn this computer screen shot a Pink Panther figure stands next to a portrait showing murdered Turkish businessman Enver S. in a DVD reportedly produced by neo-Nazis Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt to document a series of murders they committed over several years on November 15, 2011 in Germany.

An interesting title. You never hear such language when Muslim nations take unequivocal stands against violence in their countries. What’s the last time you saw, “Shocked Saudi Arabia Vows to Fight Terrorists.”

The larger story is how little attention this has received outside of Germany. If these were Muslims you could bet that it would be world-wide news, threat levels and suspicions of terrorists sleeper cells would be dominating coverage.

The money quote from this piece:

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany lamented what it described as a chronically neglected chain of violence against Muslims in the last 20 years.

“Obviously right-wing terrorism was rife and went unchallenged because the authorities looked too much in the direction of religiously motivated criminals,” Council chairman Aiman Mazyek told the Osnabruecker Zeitung.

Shocked Germany vows to fight neo-Nazis after murders

(Reuters)

LEIPZIG/BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives urged her on Tuesday to step up the fight against right-wing extremists following the chance discovery that a group of neo-Nazis had been murdering immigrants for years.

Merkel has described as a national disgrace the existence of a cell, called the National Socialist Underground, whose members are now suspected of killing between 2000 and 2007 at least nine immigrants, eight Turks and a Greek, and a police woman.

The cell only came to light by chance, raising fears the security services have underplayed the threat from the extreme right and may have been distracted by its use of unreliable informants from the right-wing scene.

Police are reopening all unsolved cases with a possible racist motive since 1998.

The case has topped the national news since the weekend and politicians from all parties have expressed shock, which has also fuelled calls for a renewed effort to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

“You cannot help being left with the dreadful impression that the danger of right-wing extremist violence wasn’t taken seriously enough,” Thomas Oppermann, a member of the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

Germany’s Nazi past makes right-wing militancy a particularly sensitive subject, yet experts have long warned of extremism among disenchanted young people in eastern regions of the country where unemployment is high and job prospects poor.

At least 3 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany. Many came to fill West Germany’s labour gap after World War Two and helped deliver its “economic miracle”. About 81 million people live in Germany.

“BRUTAL THREAT”

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) voted unanimously at a congress in Leipzig on Tuesday to push for tough action against what the party called “a serious, brutal threat to our democratic life”.

The CDU urged the government to “intensify the fight against right-wing extremism” and to “find out whether the recent events provide grounds for a prohibition of the NPD”.

Conservative parliamentary leader Volker Kauder said he was in favour of exploring whether it would be possible to “root out this Brown weed” — referring to the brown shirts once worn by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Stormtroopers — by banning the NPD.

A previous attempt to ban the NPD in 2003 collapsed because informants were used as witnesses. Many politicians are wary of trying again, not least because of the fear of pushing NPD supporters underground.

Lorenz Caffier, the CDU’s leader in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, one of the depressed former East German areas plagued by right-wing extremism and where the NPD enjoys support, told the congress “German society has to stand up to the extreme-right NPD with all our might, it is our democratic duty”.

With seats in two regional assemblies, the NPD received 1.06 million euros in taxpayers’ money last year.

The NPD is more radical than populist, anti-immigration parties in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Sweden.

Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution describes the NPD as racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist and says its statements prove its inspiration comes from the Nazis. The party says the German constitution is a “diktat” imposed by victorious Western powers after World War Two.

Last weekend the NPD appointed Holger Apfel as their leader. He has tried to portray himself as the moderate face of the NPD and distanced himself from the newly-found terror cell, as well as condemning political terrorism and violence.

MISINFORMED

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency monitors far-right extremists but has in the last few years made little of the threat of violence from right-wing groups.

One of the main charges levelled at the agency is that in its efforts to infiltrate right wing groups, it used unreliable informants. Critics even say money paid to the informants went to fund criminal activities.

Top-selling Bild newspaper reported that a security agent had been very close to the scene of crime in six of the cases.

“There is much to indicate that the intelligence services did not fulfil their task of protecting society. They failed,” veteran Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele said.

“Not only did they let huge risks develop but probably 10 or more people have been murdered. Post-war Germany has not known this kind of drama until now,” he told N-TV television.

Families of some of the victims have said they thought all along the murderers were right-wing radicals.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany lamented what it described as a chronically neglected chain of violence against Muslims in the last 20 years.

“Obviously right-wing terrorism was rife and went unchallenged because the authorities looked too much in the direction of religiously motivated criminals,” Council chairman Aiman Mazyek told the Osnabruecker Zeitung.

Police discovered the neo-Nazi group, known to the Thuringia regional intelligence service in the 1990s but then forgotten, earlier this month when two of its members apparently committed suicide in a caravan in Eisenach in eastern Germany.

Weapons involved in the murders were later found at a burned out house nearby in Zwickau that had been used both by them and by a woman called Beate Zschaepe, who has given herself up. A male suspected accomplice was arrested on Sunday.

Other evidence uncovered included graphic DVDs prepared for sending to media and Islamic cultural organisations. They show a Pink Panther cartoon figure pointing out the scenes of the killings. Police say this indicates the group had inside knowledge of the attacks.

© Copyright (c) Reuters

Daily Show with Jon Stewart: In the Name of the Fodder

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by loonwatch

Jon Stewart

Daily Show with Jon Stewart: In the Name of the Fodder

The Fox rapid-response team makes a plea to distinguish violence in the name of a religion from the practitioners and tenets of that religion as long as it’s Christianity.

Boy’s Remains Found in Refrigerator; New York Man in Custody

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

If this happened in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, rest assured the Islamophobes would be blaming Islam.

Boy’s remains found in refrigerator; New York man in custody

(LA Times)

NEW YORK—A young Brooklyn boy who vanished while walking home from a day camp in one of the safest parts of the city was killed and dismembered by a stranger who he had turned to for help after getting lost, police said Wednesday.

An intense search for the missing 8-year-old, Leiby Kletzky, ended early Wednesday morning with the gruesome discovery of pieces of his dismembered body inside the home of a man who had been seen with the child around the time he disappeared, police said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the 35-year-old suspect, Levi Aron, made statements implicating himself in the boy’s death.

Photos: Missing boy found dead

Investigators tracked Aron with the help of surveillance video that showed him being approached by the lost boy.

When detectives arrived at the man’s home, they asked him where the boy was and he nodded toward the kitchen, Kelly said.

Detectives saw blood on the freezer door and they opened it to discover bloody knives, a cutting board and feet inside, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Additional body parts were found inside a red suitcase that had been tossed into a trash bin in another Brooklyn neighborhood.

Police and volunteers had been looking since late Monday afternoon for Leiby, who disappeared while on his way to meet his mother in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The break in the case came when investigators focused on a grainy surveillance video that showed the boy, wearing his backpack, walking down the street, while a man walked nearby.

Detectives noticed the man on the video going into a nearby dentist’s office, Browne said. The dentist, located later in New Jersey, said he remembered someone coming by to pay a bill for a patient, and police were able to identify Aron using records from the office. When they went to his home, they made the gruesome discovery.

Police said Aron lives alone in the apartment, in a building shared with his parents. He once had a summons for urinating in public but otherwise did not have a criminal record, Kelly said.

Outside the family’s apartment building Wednesday morning, men and women from the community clustered in separate groups. Many of the mothers gathered there said the streets are safe enough for a child Leiby’s age to walk home alone.

“This is a no-crime area,” said State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose district includes the area. He said the boy was the only son of the Kletzky family. The couple has four daughters, and the husband works as a driver for a private car service.

“Everybody is absolutely horrified,” he said. “Everyone is in total shock, beyond belief, beyond comprehension … to suddenly disappear and then the details … and the fact someone in the extended community … it’s awful,” he said.

He said the parents did not know Aron, who lived about a mile away from the boy.

At about 6:45 a.m., an NYPD crime unit carted away the trash bin where some of the body parts had been found and put it in a truck, and police officers walked in a line looking for evidence under cars and on sidewalks.

The medical examiner’s office will determine a cause of death and positive identification.

Leiby was one of the neighborhood’s many Hasidic Jews, an ultra-Orthodox people who live in tight-knit, somewhat insular communities and abide by strict religious rules that require men to wear dark clothing that includes a long coat and a fedora-type hat. Men often have long beards and ear locks.

Most of the 165,000 members in the New York City the area live in neighborhoods in Brooklyn and are part of three different sects. Hasidism traces its roots to 18th-century Eastern Europe.

A $100,000 reward had been offered, Hikind said the outpouring of support has been tremendous with people from all over the state volunteering their time to scour the neighborhood and hand out flyers.

Adel Erps, who lives two blocks from the family, said she was very upset because the state of the body means it will be more difficult to do a proper burial. Like other neighborhood residents congregating near the boy’s home Wednesday, she expressed shock that the suspect was Jewish.

“He’s a sick person obviously, but it hurts so much more,” she said.

“Kill Teams” in Afghanistan Targeting Civilians

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by loonwatch

New revelations from the forgotten wars. US soldiers who are part of Kill Teams are murdering Afghan Civilians for “sport.” How many more are there? Afghan human rights groups want an investigation.

But you don’t understand they fight us because of our freedoms!

Afghans Urge Investigation Into ‘Kill Teams’ In Wake Of Sentencing, Photo Scandal

by M. Siddiqui

Leading independent human rights campaigners in Afghanistan have welcomed the sentencing of a U.S. soldier accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport in 2010, but have called for a deeper probe into alleged “kill teams.”

Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 22, is the first of five U.S. soldiers charged with staging combat situations to kill unarmed Afghan civilians to be sentenced. At the start of the court-martial hearing on March 23, Morlock testified that “the plan was to kill people.” He was subsequently found guilty on three counts of premeditated murder and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Military Judge Lieutenant General Kwasi Hawks said he intended to sentence Morlock to life in prison with the possibility of parole but was bound by Morlock’s plea deal.

Morlock is a key figure in a war-crimes probe that implicates a dozen members of his platoon and has raised some of the most serious criminal allegations stemming from the war in Afghanistan. He was accused of taking a lead role in the killings of three unarmed Afghan men in Kandahar Province in January, February, and May 2010.

Mounting Uproar

The German magazine “Der Spiegel” this week published several photos related to the killings, one showing Morlock crouched grinning over a bloodied corpse as he lifts the dead man’s head by the hair for the camera. The expected release of thousands of similar pictures is expected to create fierce resentment in Afghanistan, where the issue of civilian casualties is already the source of a highly charged debate.

The investigation and the publication of the pictures prompted Afghan human rights organizations to call for a thorough investigation of such abuses. “The U.S. government needs to immediately launch comprehensive investigations in all its military units, Special Forces, private security contractors, local mercenaries, and affiliated irregular armed groups in Afghanistan to ensure that no more criminal ‘kill teams’ exist,” the independent human rights watchdog, Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM), urged this week.

Speaking to RFE/RL from the Afghan capital, Kabul, ARM director Ajamal Samadi says that Morlock’s sentencing was a welcome sign. But Samadi presses Washington to further investigate similar incidents to bring an end to the “criminal immunity” that he says is available to a wide array of Afghan and international forces, armed contractors, and private militias.

“It is extremely difficult to attribute the crimes that take place in Afghanistan to certain military groups. That is the biggest problem,” Samadi says. “If you travel to parts of Afghanistan where conflict is more intense, people will tell you all sorts of stories: crimes committed by foreign soldiers, by Afghan forces, [and] by the militias. So we believe the environment is extremely criminalized in Afghanistan in a way. All sorts of crimes are happening and the civilians are paying a very, very high price in this conflict.”

Accountability

Afghan observers say the sentence is likely to raise Afghan hopes for answers to their calls for accountability of all armed actors in their country. On March 23, military Judge Hawks also ruled that Morlock will be eligible for parole in about seven years. Morlock will be dishonorably discharged from the army.

Earlier, Morlock read a statement apologizing to the victims’ families and the “people of Afghanistan,” adding, “I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on how I lost my moral compass.”

Abdul Rahman Hotaki, the head of Afghan Organization of Human Rights and Environmental Protection, says that Morlock’s sentence is not equal to his confessed crime of killing unarmed civilians. Nevertheless, he says, it shows Afghans that their blood is not cheap and that abuses committed by international forces are being addressed.

“We hope that people who have committed human rights abuses by torturing prisoners in Bagram or have killed and tortured people in other provinces will be similarly brought into international and American courts,” Hotaki says. “This will serve as a lesson for forces still operating in the theater.”

Hotaki says that efforts to address abuses by international forces could raise the esteem of Afghans and help bridge a widening gulf with the administration in Kabul.

Afghan presidential spokesman Wahid Omar has offered similar sentiments. Speaking to RFE/RL Radio Free Afghanistan, he streses the need for continued greater accountability on the part of international troops.

“If the United States of America wants to be friendly with Afghan people and government and wants to have a presence in this country,” Omar says, “then they should put an end to operations which result in civilian casualties.”

More pics from Der Spiegel:

Walid Shoebat: “Kill them..including the children”

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by loonwatch
Walid Shoebat

Walid Shoebat was one of the first loons that we took to task at our site. We exposed his buffoonery and epically vile shysterism. Now, Shoebat has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar of hate once again, this time advocating the murder of “extremists” and their “children” by which of course he means all Muslims.

Counter-terror ‘expert’ tells cops: Kill militant Muslims, ‘including children’

(RAWStory)

A counter-terrorism consultant told a meeting of law enforcement officials that the way to combat militant Muslims is to “kill them … including the children,” says a news report.

Walid Shoebat, a self-described“former PLO terrorist” who “now speaks out for USA and Israel,” reportedly made the comment at a speech during a conference of the International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association in Las Vegas this past October, according to the Huffington Post’s Chip Berlet.

The comment highlights growing concerns among human rights advocates that US law enforcement is turning to extremists for training in the fight against terrorism. It also highlights concerns among senior counter-terrorism officials that standards for counter-terror training are inappropriate, and possibly harming national security.

According to Berlet’s anonymous source, Shoebat’s comments got a warm reception from at least some of the people attending the conference:

Our source had turned around after Shoebat’s speech and asked the woman in the chair behind them at the conference what she thought was the solution offered by Shoebat.

“Kill them … including the children … you heard him,” was the full response.

Shoebat’s Las Vegas speech was described by our source as “frightening.”

Religion writer Richard Bartholomewdescribes Shoebat as “a pseudo-expert on terrorism, Islamic extremism, and Biblical prophecy, and he teaches that Obama is a secret Muslim and that the Bible has prophesised a Muslim anti-Christ.”

In a lengthy investigation of the US’s intelligence apparatus earlier this month, the Washington Postreported that “in their desire to learn more about terrorism, many [police] departments are hiring their own trainers. Some are self-described experts whose extremist views are considered inaccurate and harmful by the FBI and others in the intelligence community.”

The article also notes that standards for counter-terrorism officers plummeted in the years after 9/11, as law enforcement agencies scrambled to refocus on the terror threat.

“The CIA used to train analysts forever before they graduated to be a real analyst,” Charles Allen, an ex-CIA official and former head of the DHS intelligence office, told the Post. “Today we take former law enforcement officers and we call them intelligence officers, and that’s not right, because they have not received any training on intelligence analysis.”

As David Neiwert notes at Crooks and Liars, this is not the first time Shoebat has found himself at the center of controversy. In 2008, he was accused of falsely claiming to be a former Muslim terrorist who converted to Christianity. Skeptics of Shoebat’s claims point to the fact he is not wanted on any arrest warrants in the US, as a known PLO terrorist ought to be.

Earlier this year, Shoebat was one of the speakers at an unofficial memorial for the soldiers killed in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, an event described by some reporters as being anexercise in Islamophobia.

In comments at the Huffington Post, Michael Riker, head of ICTOA, which sponsored the Las Vegas conference, defended Shoebat.

“What you hear from Walid is the TRUTH,” he wrote. Speaking about the Las Vegas conference, Riker said “the attendees were glued to what Walid had to say and the majority of them agreed. The liberal media is afraid to hear what the truth really is. Who has been planning attacks on our country? We are in a war of ideology and if you don’t know that you need to get you head out of the sand.”

 

Fischer: God Honors Those Who Inflict “Massive Casualties” Because “Christianity is Not a Religion of Pacifism”

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by loonwatch

Fischer says inflicting “massive casualites” is Christian. He cites massacres in the Old Testament as his proof. Does this mean Christianity is a violent religion that supports massacres? Imagine if a Muslim had said what Fisher said.

Fischer: God Honors Those Who Inflict “Massive Casualties” Because “Christianity is Not a Religion of Pacifism”

(Right-wing Watch)

Bryan Fischer responds to the latest outrage he has provoked with his recent blog post decrying “the  feminization of the Medal of Honor.”

As he typically does in these situations, Fischer reacts by accusing everyone else of intentionally misrepresenting his point and then proceeds to “clarify” it by reiterating his position in such a way that it makes the extent of his extremism all the more obvious, as if the problem was that somehow people just misunderstood him the first time.

And so we end up with posts like this in which he explains that all he was saying was that we as a nation need to start honoring soldiers who kill lots of people because such actions are greatly pleasing to God:

The Scriptures certainly know nothing of such squeamishness. Remember what drove King Saul into a jealous rage was when the women of Israel commemorated David’s exploits in song:

“Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7).

And this was not the last of David’s exploits in just wars. He went down to the town of Keilah where he “fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow” (1 Samuel 23:5).

Then he went after the Amalekites, and we are told that “David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who mounted camels and fled” (1 Samuel 30:17).

Again, “David did as the LORD commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer” (2 Samuel 5:25).

Further we read in 2 Samuel 8, “David defeated the Philistines and subdued them…he defeated Moab…David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah…David struck down 22,000 men of the Syrians…and the LORD gave victory to David everywhere he went…and David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt…and the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went” (vv. 1,2,3,5,6,13,14).

And this, remember, was “the man after (God’s) heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

Christianity is not a religion of pacifism. Remember that John the Baptist did not tell the soldiers who came to him to lay down their arms, even when they asked him directly, “what shall we do?” (Luke 3:14).

War is certainly a terrible thing, and should only be waged for the highest and most just of causes. But if the cause is just, then there is great honor in achieving military success, success which should be celebrated and rewarded.

The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process. What I’m saying is that it’s time we started imitating God’s example again.

I guess you could say that Fischer is more of a Psalm 137 Christian than a Matthew 5 Christian.

 

Ahmed Rehab: Passion and Peril at a Pro-Christian Rally

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by loonwatch

Muslims in Chicago joined their Christian brethren in condemning and opposing the slaughter of Christians in Iraq. (hat tip: Robert Spencer)

Beyond the Comfort Zone: Passion and Peril at a Pro-Christian Rally

(ahmedrehab.com/blog)

by Ahmed Rehab

Yesterday, CAIR-Chicago staff and interns participated in a rally alongside the Assyrian community of Chicago to condemn violence against Iraqi Christians. The rally was organized in response to the massacre of dozens of Assyrian Christians in Baghdad on October 31st.

It was a tricky decision for us. We knew that there could be anti-Muslim sentiment at the rally that would put is in a precarious position, but we decided that our disdain for the heinous acts of Al Qaeda far exceeded our concern for personal inconvenience.

We decided that the right thing for us to do was to act on our values and our sincere feelings of camaraderie with our fellow human beings in times of anguish. We wanted to raise our voices as Muslims in support of the Assyrian community and against terrorists who purport to act in the name of our faith.

Al Qaeda does not have reverence for any innocent life, including those of Muslims. It is a fact that they have bombed many more Mosques in Iraq than churches.
While we were weary of the possibility that some people at the rally could lash out at us, Muslims-at-large who condemn terrorism, we were not interested in seeing ourselves as victims. The only victims we were prepared to recognize were the 52 innocent souls that were claimed by the recent church bombing, and the many others – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and otherwise – claimed by terrorism.

And so we set out with signs including “An Attack on Your Church is an Attack on my Mosque,” “American Muslims, Iraqi Christians, One Blood,” “My Brother is an Assyrian,” “We Stand with Iraqi Christians,” and “Muslims for Peace.”

We held our signs up high and marched in solidarity with the predominantly Assyrian Christian crowd.

The reaction we got was mixed.

In an interesting scene that summed up my experience, I was asked by one man if I was a Muslim. I said “Yes, I am.” He then asked, “Am I impure?”

I joked, “I don’t know did you shower this morning?”

He dismissed the joke and asked me if I thought “his blood was impure.” I told him, “why would you expect that, you’ve never met me, I am here supporting you, what about me leads you to ask me such a question?” He told me, “You said you are a Muslim.” I told him, “so what?” He said that Muslims believe this sort of thing. I told him that he had been grossly misinformed, “you’re blood like all innocent blood is holy to me.”

Another man interjected and started yelling that I was “unwanted” there, motioning with his arms for me to leave. As he continued to yell at me, my attention was drawn to something that touched me. A young woman a few yards away leaned down on a stroller she was pushing and started to sob uncontrollably.

At first, I thought it had nothing to do with us but my intuition told me otherwise. I asked here, “what’s wrong, why are you crying?”

She said unable to hold back her tears, “I am so sorry you and your friends have to deal with idiots like that, this man does not represent us, I am so embarrassed. This is so wrong.”

Here I was standing before a stark display of contrasts, extreme animosity on one end and extreme compassion on the other.

In a single powerful moment, I was reminded yet again at the absurdity of those who generalize about any one group of people. Here were two people of the same religion, color, and ethnic background standing side by side rallying for the same cause — and yet they could not be any more different.

I hugged her and tried to comfort her, “Trust me, I know, we have our share of idiots too, everyone has them, most people here have been kind.”

And it was true. Many in the crowd were genuinely happy – almost relieved – to see Muslims standing with them at this rally. Some smiled, some nodded, others simply said “thank you!” It reinforced my feeling that our participation was extremely important.

While there were other incidents – one lady held a cross up to my face and told me I was a “bad Muslim” for condemning terrorism which is “in my Quran”, two people told us that we are going to hell for not accepting Jesus as our Saviour, some guy yelled profanities and was held back by a girl half his size, another called for reciprocal violence – in every single instance, someone else would take a strong stance, telling the others to back off and apologizing.

As we made our way back to the office, we were chased by two girls. “Can I ask you a question?” one of them said. “Can I just give each of you guys a hug?”

We met back in the office for an evaluation.

I learned that my colleagues’ experience mostly mirrored mine.

Despite the bigotry of some, we all felt strong solidarity with most people. We felt as if the Assyrian community, with its good and bad, was our own.

It is of no surprise to any of us that there are some negative feelings among some Arab and Assyrian Christian communities regarding Islam and Muslims. Part of it is understandable to us, given the ugly acts by saboteurs claiming to act in the name of Islam. Part of it is due to the opportunistic work of preachers like father Zakaria Boutros who make a living out of telling Arabic-speaking Christians that Islam is an evil religion. Part of it still is due to the lack of dialogue and engagement between our faith communities, and that was the part we resolved to try to change.

Assyrians have a long and proud history that goes back to one of the earliest civilizations in the world. They live as a religious minority in their indigenous homeland. For centuries, they have coexisted peacefully with their Muslim neighbors. But at other times, especially now, the instability and violence is leaving them feeling frightened for their loved ones and overall vulnerable. Some of them blame Al Qaeda, others demonize all Muslims, and others still blame the United States and its wars.

One thing we must never allow is for the bad amongst us – terrorists, extremists, ideologues of exclusion and hate – to succeed in turning the rest of us against each other. We must condemn them, ostracize them, and disempower them. The way to do that is to strengthen our relations, and stand with one another. That is the only way to spell defeat for the agents of hate.

We must emerge from our comfort zones and stand together as one against all forms of violence, ignorance, and intolerance.

When Christians are attacked, they should NOT have to rally alone. We must rally along with them. When Jews are attacked, they should NOT have to rally alone. When Muslims are attacked, we should NOT have to rally alone.

 

Swedish police hunt ‘racist gunman’ in Malmo

Posted in Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by loonwatch

The Swedish city of Malmo has been hit by a series of shooting attacks which has left one person dead and several injured.

But police do not have many clues or even a photofit of the suspect they are supposed to be hunting. The only thing they do know is that the attacks appear to be racially motivated.

Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips travelled to Malmo to find out what impact the shootings are having on the community there.

 

EDL’s Rabbi Nachum Shifren: “Torah Says Kill Fags”

Posted in Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2010 by loonwatch
Rabbi Nachum Shifren

Rabbi Nachum Shifren who we have featured for his outlandish and extreme statements here,Rabbi: Nachum Shifren: Riding the Tidal Wave of Islamophobia and more recently Rabbi Nachum Shifren: EDL is the Salvation of the West from “Muslim Dogs” was questioned at London’s Speakers Corner on his hypocrisy and double standards.

The question was posed to him as to how he can consider himself a part of the EDL which says that it is fighting Muslims for persecuting gays and killing apostates when his own holy book, The Torahcalls for the murder of gays and apostates. Shifren at first attempted to say that there is no such law in the Torah, when it was recited to him, he first attempted to deflect the question but then admitted that yes it was in the Bible.

So how does this reflect on the EDL?

 

African Pastors torture and murder “witch children”; what if they were Muslim?

Posted in Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by loonwatch

(Read the whole piece at WhatIfTheyWereMuslim.com)

More African Churches are dealing with the troubling problem of Christian pastors torturing and executing “witch children” in the name of their faith. Quite a disturbing phenomena to say the least. The Huffington Post reports (hat tip: Tomas):

The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall.

His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse.

A month later, he died.

Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. Other practices include beating with sticks, sawing or driving a nail into children’s heads, burying or burning them alive, forcing them to eat cement, and other grizzly acts of merciless cruelty. (Note: burying children alive is specifically forbidden by the Qur’an, see verses 81:8-9). The parishioners take very literally and seriously the Biblical injunction:

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)

Since these Christians quote scripture to justify their misdeeds, we must conclude that this is a mainstream “orthodox” Christian practice, right?

Wrong. It is definitely not a mainstream “orthodox” Christian practice, as the Post reports:

“It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,” said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

Bishop A.D. Ayakndue, the head of the church in Nigeria, said pastors were encouraged to pray about witchcraft, but not to abuse children.

“We pray over that problem (of witchcraft) very powerfully,” he said. “But we can never hurt a child.”

Reasonable people should be able to conclude that such practices are an aberration which goes against the well-known Biblical commandment to be merciful and love one’s neighbor.

But what if they were Muslim?

UWe’d expect the anti-Muslim blogosphere to erupt in self-righteous indignation, led by JihadWatch and AtlasShrugs, citing a few Islamic scriptures, maybe an archaic medieval Muslim law manual (all in ready-made English translations of course because, as we know, Spencer holds no degree in Arabic nor is he proficient in the language). From this handful of cherry-picked evidence, we’d be given the horribly stereotyped determination that such an aberrational practice is standard, normative, traditional, mainstream, “orthodox” Islam accepted by all interpretations of Islamic law. Of course, this would again conveniently ignore abundant evidence to the contrary. But when has Spencer ever played fair?

Christians rightly condemn the practice of murdering “witch children,” despite the citation and literal interpretation of Exodus, because as we know Christianity has a vibrant interpretive tradition. So it is clearly unfair to take any Christian religious nut at face value when they cite the Old Testament. If we used this incident to indict all of Christianity in all times and all places forever, Spencer and his company would cry foul by pointing to the Christian interpretive tradition.

Not so with Islam. In fact, Spencer’s entire million-dollar hate-blogging Muslim-bashing brainwashing industry critically depends on denying mainstream Islamic interpretive tradition. As Dr. Robert Crane rightly put it:

Spencer’s readers are carefully steered away from all contact with the Islamic interpretative tradition, which equals or exceeds that of any other religion, because any scholarly knowledge about Islam would expose all his extremist interpretations to ridicule.

Bottom line: it is unfair and deeply hypocritical to apply one mild standard to Christianity and another harsher standard to Islam. We don’t take these children murdering Christians at face value when they cite their scripture as justification, so why should we take Al-Qaeda at face value when they cite the Qur’an?

But what do I know. Aren’t I just a liberal-dhimmi/stealth-jihadist?

 

Justin Elliot: From accused murderer to member of Congress?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2010 by loonwatch

From accused murderer to member of Congress?

BY JUSTIN ELLIOTT

In a race that has largely been flying under the national radar, a former Marine who killed two unarmed Iraqi prisoners in 2004 and who has made the threat of Islam and the “ground zero mosque” centerpieces of his campaign has a real shot at being elected to Congress.

Republican Ilario Pantano, 39, is taking on incumbent Mike McIntyre, a seven-term conservative Democrat, in North Carolina’s 7th District, which takes in the state’s southeast corner. If Pantano wins, he would surely be one of the most compelling — and right-wing — members of Congress. He told Salon in an interview Friday, for example, that he welcomes the endorsement of the far-right blogger and anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller.

Though there haven’t been recent polls on the race, two local political analysts told Salon that Pantano has a real shot, and the National Republican Congressional Committee recently started buying ads in the race after naming Pantano one of its top-tier “Young Guns.” While McIntyre has represented it since 1997, the 7th District actually voted for John McCain by 5 points in 2008.

Pantano’s biography has made him an irresistible subject for newspaper and magazine profiles even before this campaign (see, for example, this New York magazine cover story) and would almost certainly make him a darling of the neoconservative wing of the GOP if he is elected.

Pantano, who describes himself as a “born-again Christian and a born-again Southerner,” grew up in Manhattan, where he went to a fancy private high school on scholarship and then on to the Marines during the first Gulf War. When he got back, he went to NYU and worked as a trader at Goldman Sachs for a few years before becoming a consultant. He was in the city on Sept. 11, and that’s when he decided to rejoin the Marines. He was sent to Iraq.

It was there that, in a disputed April 2004 incident south of Baghdad, Pantano killed two unarmed Iraqi prisoners, Hamaady Kareem and Tahah Ahmead Hanjil. The incident occurred after the two men had been arrested as suspected insurgents and Pantano directed them to search their own car. According to Pantano’s version of events, the men moved toward him in a threatening way and he opened fire in self-defense, shooting up to 60 rounds and killing both of them. He then put a sign next to the bodies with a Marine slogan: “No better friend, no worse enemy.” Pantano told New York magazine: “I believed that by firing the number of rounds that I did, I was sending a message” to other potential insurgents.

In 2005, Pantano was formally accused of premeditated murder, partly on the strength of testimony of other Marines present during the incident who believed it was not justified. But after a series of hearings, the military brass agreed with Pantano’s version of events and he was cleared of the murder charges.

By that time, Pantano’s ordeal had became a cause célèbre among conservative media like the Washington Times, which reported on the ins and outs of the trial. His cause was championed by talk radio host Michael Savage and others who felt the U.S. military had no business prosecuting one of its own over the killings of Iraqis. Capitalizing on that publicity, Pantano wrote with a co-author a book on his experiences, “Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.” On the ensuing book tour, he charmed many of his interviewers, including Jon Stewart.

Pantano took some criticism last week for editing a reference to the killings out of news clips he was using in a campaign ad. But one of the remarkable things about the campaign in North Carolina this year is that the murder charges are not only not an issue, but have barely even been talked about.

David McLennan, a political scientist at North Carolina’s Peace College, told Salon that the issue could backfire for McIntyre, the Democratic incumbent, particularly in a district with a large ex-military population.

“There are some people in the district who consider Pantano to be a hero. For McIntyre to raise that issue is just way too delicate,” McLennan says.

Some of the only criticism of Pantano’s past has ironically come from the man he beat in the GOP primary, fellow Iraq war vet Will Breazeale. He told the Daily Beast after his primary loss that he considers Pantano “dangerous,” adding: “I’ve taken prisoners in Iraq and there’s no excuse for what he did.”

Asked by Salon if he is surprised that his critics have largely ignored the Iraq incident, Pantano was defiant. “If they want to question my war effort — if they think that’s prudent, they can go ahead … I’ve served my country proudly in two wars.”

His campaign has focused to an unusual extent on opposing the Park51 Islamic community center project in New York, which he refers to as a “Martyr Marker” that’s really about “territorial conquest.”

“If they think that the threat of inflaming the Muslim street is enough for Americans to back down, they’re deluding themselves,” he said. “We have our own street to worry about being inflamed.”

Or as he wrote in a Daily Caller Op-Ed over the summer that connected the mosque organizers to the threat from Iran and the Gaza flotilla:

If Mosques go up like mushrooms everywhere there is a bombing or a shooting we will create a perverse incentive, not a deterrent. This mosque at Ground Zero will serve as a big Trojan trophy; and we are welcoming it?

This kind of rhetoric has attracted the enthusiastic support of Pamela Geller, the blogger who leads a group called Stop the Islamization of America and who played a key role in creating the “ground zero mosque” controversy. Most candidates might tread carefully when dealing with a Geller (among the conspiracies she subscribes to is a theory that Malcolm X is President Obama’s real father).

But not Pantano.

Geller’s endorsement is proudly reprinted on his website. “I very much appreciate Pamela Geller’s endorsement,” Pantano told Salon, calling her a “patriot.”

He said he had no qualms about speaking at an anti-mosque rally on Sept. 11 near ground zero earlier this month with Geller and other controversial figures like Geert Wilders, a Dutch parliamentarian who advocates restricting civil liberties for Muslims.

Says Pantano of the mosque issue and his campaign: “I see this as a war for the heart of our country.”

Here he is speaking at ground zero, introduced by Geller:

 

Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews (with Video)

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by loonwatch

Rabbi Yizhak Shapira

(hat tip: D. Bartholomew)

How to Kill Goyim and Influence People: Israeli Rabbis Defend Book’s Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews (with Video)

by Max Blumenthal

August 30, 2010

When I went into the Jewish religious book emporium, Pomeranz, in central Jerusalem to inquire about the availability of a book called Torat Ha’Melech, or the King’s Torah, a commotion immediately ensued. “Are you sure you want it?” the owner, M. Pomeranz, asked me half-jokingly. “The Shabak [Israel’s internal security service] is going to want a word with you if you do.” As customers stopped browsing and began to stare in my direction, Pomeranz pointed to a security camera affixed to a wall. “See that?” he told me. “It goes straight to the Shabak!”

As soon as it was published late last year,Torat Ha’Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when an Israeli tabloid panned the book’s contents as “230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.” According to the book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, “Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and should be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder,” Shapira insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared: “There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

In January, Shapira was briefly detained by the Israeli police, while two leading rabbis who endorsed the book, Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, were summoned to interrogations by the Shabak. However, the rabbis refused to appear at the interrogations, essentially thumbing their noses at the state and its laws. And the government did nothing. The episode raised grave questions about the willingness of the Israeli government to confront the ferociously racist swathe of the country’s rabbinate. “Something like this has never happened before, even though it seems as if everything possible has already happened,” Israeli commentator Yossi Sarid remarked with astonishment. “Two rabbis [were] summoned to a police investigation, and announc[ed] that they will not go. Even settlers are kind enough to turn up.”

In response to the rabbis’ public rebuke of the state’s legal system, the Israeli Attorney General and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept silent. Indeed, since the publication of Torat Ha’Melech, Netanyahu has strenuously avoided criticizing its contents or the author’s leading supporters. Like so many prime ministers before him, he has been cowed into submission by Israel’s religious nationalist community. But Netanyahu appears to be particularly impotent. His weakness stems from the fact that the religious nationalist right figures prominently in his governing coalition and comprises a substantial portion of his political base. For Netanyahu, a confrontation with the rabid rabbis could amount to political suicide, or could force him into an alliance with centrist forces who do not share his commitment to the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.

On August 18, a pantheon of Israel’s top fundamentalist rabbis flaunted their political power during an ad hoc congress they convened at Jerusalem’s Ramada Renaissance hotel. Before an audience of 250 supporters including the far-right Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, the rabbis declared in the name of the Holy Torah that would not submit to any attempt by the government to regulate their political activities — even and especially if those activities included inciting terrorist attacks against non-Jews. As one wizened rabbi after another rose up to inveigh against the government’s investigation of Torat Ha’Melech until his voice grew hoarse, the gathering degenerated into calls for murdering not just non-Jews, but secular Jews as well.

Watch the video (article continues below):

“The obligation to sacrifice your life is above all others when fighting those who wish to destroy the authority of the Torah,” bellowed Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of the yeshiva in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. “It is not only true against non-Jews who are trying to destroy it but against Jewish people from any side.”

The government-funded terror academy

The disturbing philosophy expressed in Torat Ha’Melech emerged from the fevered atmosphere of a settlement called Yitzhar located in the northern West Bank near the Palestinian city of Nablus. Shapira leads the settlement’s Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, holding sway over a small army of fanatics who are eager to lash out at the Palestinians tending to their crops and livestock in the valleys below them. One of Shapira’s followers, an American immigrant named Jack Teitel, has confessed to murdering two innocent Palestinians and attempting to the kill the liberal Israeli historian Ze’ev Sternhell with a mail bomb. Teitel is suspected of many more murders, including an attack on a Tel Aviv gay community center.

Despite its apparent role as a terror training institute, Od Yosef Chai has raked in nearly fifty thousand dollars from the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs since 2007, while the Ministry of Education has pumped over 250 thousand dollars into the yeshiva’s coffers between 2006 and 2007. The yeshiva has also benefited handsomely from donations from a tax-exempt American non-profit called the Central Fund of Israel. Located inside the Marcus Brothers Textiles store in midtown Manhattan,the Central Fund transferred at least thirty thousand to Od Yosef Chai between 2007 and 2008.

Though he does not name “the enemy” in the pages of his book, Shapira’s longstanding connection to terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians exposes the true identity of his targets. In 2006, Shapira was briefly held by Israeli police for urging his supporters to murder all Palestinians over the age of 13. Two years later, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, he signed a rabbinical letter in support of Israeli Jews who had brutally assaulted two Arab youths on the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. That same year, Shapira was arrested under suspicion that he helped orchestrate a rocket attack against a Palestinian village near Nablus. Though he was released, Shapira’s name arose in connection with another act of terror, when in January, the Israeli police raided his settlement seeking the vandals who set fire to a nearby mosque. After arresting ten settlers, the Shabak held five of Shapira’s confederates under suspicion of arson.

Friends in high places

Despite his longstanding involvement in terrorism, or perhaps because of it, Shapira counts Israel’s leading fundamentalist rabbis among his supporters. His most well-known backer is Dov Lior the leader of the Shavei-Hevron yeshiva at Kiryat Arba, a radical Jewish settlement near the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron and a hotbed of Jewish terrorism. Lior has vigorously endorsed Torat Ha’Melech, calling it “very relevant, especially in this time.”

Lior’s enthusiasm for Shapira’s tract stems from his own eliminationist attitude toward non-Jews. For example, while Lior served as the IDF’s top rabbi, he instructed soldiers: “There is no such thing as civilians in wartime… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail!” Indeed, there are only a few non-Jews whose lives Lior would demand to be spared. They are captured Palestinian militants who, as he once suggested, could be used as subjects for live human medical experiments.

Otherwise, Lior appears content to watch Palestinians perish as they did at the muzzle of Dr. Baruch Goldstein’s machine gun in 1994. Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians and wounded 150 in a shooting spree while they prayed in Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs mosque, was a compatriot and neighbor of Lior in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Goldstein’s funeral, Lior celebrated the massacreas an act carried out “to sanctify the holy name of God.” He then extolled Goldstein as “a righteous man.” Thanks to Lior’s efforts, a shrine to Goldstein was constructed in center of Kiryat Arba so that locals could celebrate the killer’s deeds and pass his legacy down to future generations.

Though Lior’s inflammatory statements resulted in his being barred from running for election to the Supreme Rabbinical Council, according to journalist Daniel Estrin, the rabbi remains “a respected figure among many mainstream ZIonists.” By extension, he maintains considerable influence among religious elements in the IDF. In 2008, when the IDF’s chief rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Ronski, brought a group of military intelligence officers to Hebron for a special tour, he concluded the day with a private meeting with Lior, who was allowed to revel the officers with his views on modern warfare — “no such thing as civilians in wartime.”

Besides Lior, Torat Ha’Melech has earned support from another nationally prominent fundamentalist rabbi: Yaakov Yosef. Yosef is the leader of the Hazon Yaakov Yeshiva in Jerusalem and a former member of Knesset. Perhaps more significantly, he is the son of Ovadiah Yosef, the former chief rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas Party that forms a key segment of Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Yaakov Yosef has brought his influence to bear in defense of Torat Ha’Melech, insisting at the August 18 convention in Jerusalem that the book was no different than the Hagadah that all Jews read from on the holiday of Passover. The Hagadah contains passages about killing non-Jews and so does the Bible, Yosef reminded his audience. “Does anyone want to change the Bible?” he asked.

Bibi buckles

Only days before direct negotiations in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority planned for early September, Yaakov Yosef’s 89-year-old father, Ovadiah delivered his weekly sermon. With characteristic vitriol, he  declared: “All these evil people should perish from this world… God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

The remarks have sparked an international furor and earned a stern rebuke from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. “While the PLO is ready to resume negotiations in seriousness and good faith,” Erekat remarked, “a member of the Israeli government is calling for our destruction.”

Palestinian Israeli member of Knesset Jamal Zehalka subsequently demanded that the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein put Yosef on trial for incitement. “If, heaven forbid, a Muslim spiritual leader were to make anti-Jewish comments of this sort,” Zehalka said, “he would be arrested immediately.”

Here was a perfect opportunity for Netanyahu to demonstrate sincerity about negotiations by  shedding an extremist ally in the name of securing peace. All he had to do was forcefully reject Yosef’s genocidal comments — a feat made all the easier by the White House’s condemnation of the rabbi. But the Israeli Prime Minister ducked for political cover instead, issuing a canned statement instead of a condemnation. “Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s remarks do not reflect Netanyahu’s views,” the statement read, “nor do they reflect the position of the Israeli government.”

By refusing to cut Yosef loose, his party remains a central actor in the Israeli government. Thus the statement by Netanyahu was not only weak. It was false.

 

What if he were Muslim?: UK Cab Driver Murders 12

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by loonwatch
UK Taxi Driver Kills 12, Wounds 25 in Rampage
By SCOTT HEPPELL and JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer Scott Heppell And Jill Lawless, Associated Press Writer – Wed Jun 2, 7:05 pm ET

 

SEASCALE, England – A taxi driver drove his vehicle on a shooting spree across a tranquil stretch of northwest England on Wednesday, methodically killing 12 people and wounding 25 others before turning the gun on himself, officials said. The rampage in the county of Cumbria was Britain’s deadliest mass shooting since 1996 and it jolted a country where handguns are banned and multiple shootings rare.

The body of the suspected gunman, 52-year-old Derrick Bird, was found in woods near Boot, a hamlet popular with hikers and vacationers in England’s hilly, scenic Lake District. Police said two weapons were recovered from the scene.

Eight of the wounded were in the hospital, with three of them in critical condition. In a sign of the scale of the tragedy, Queen Elizabeth II issued a message saying she was “deeply shocked” and shared in “the grief and horror of the whole country.” She passed on her sympathy to the families of the victims.

The shootings had “shocked the people of Cumbria and around the country to the core,” Police Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said.

Police said it was too early to say what the killer’s motive was, or whether the shootings had been random. Some reports said Bird had quarreled with fellow cab drivers the night before the killings.

Peter Leder, a taxi driver who knew Bird, said he had seen the gunman Tuesday and didn’t notice anything that was obviously amiss. But he was struck by Bird’s departing words.

“When he left he said, ‘See you Peter, but I won’t see you again,’” Leder told Channel 4 News.

The first shootings were reported in the coastal town of Whitehaven, about 350 miles (560 kilometers) northwest of London. Witnesses said the dead there included two of Bird’s fellow cabbies.

Police warned residents to stay indoors as they tracked the gunman’s progress across the county. Witnesses described seeing the gunman driving around shooting from the window of his car.

Victims died in Seascale and Egremont, near Whitehaven, and in Gosforth, where a farmer’s sonwas shot dead in a field. Workers at the nearby Sellafield nuclear processing plant were ordered to stay inside while the gunman was on the loose.

Hyde said there were 30 separate crime scenes. Many bodies remained on the ground late Wednesday, covered with sheets, awaiting the region’s small and overstretched force of forensic officers.

Police would not discuss the identity of those killed, but local reports said Bird killed a 66-year-old woman near her home and a retired man who was out cycling.

A spokesman for the local health authority denied reports that Bird had tried to seek medical assistance Tuesday and said he was not known to their mental health services.

Barrie Walker, a doctor in Seascale who certified one of the deaths, told the BBC that victims had been shot in the face, apparently with a shotgun.

Lyn Edwards, 59, a youth worker in Seascale, said she saw a man who had been shot in his car.

“I could see a man screaming and I could see blood and there were two ladies helping him at the time,” she said.

Deadly shootings are rare in Britain, where gun ownership is tightly restricted. In recent years, there have been fewer than 100 gun murders annually across the country.

Rules on gun ownership were tightened after two massacres in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1987, gun enthusiast Michael Ryan killed 16 people in the English town of Hungerford. In 1996, Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland.

About 600,000 people in Britain legally own a shotgun, most of them farmers and hunters in rural areas. Witnesses described Bird as using a shotgun or a rifle.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the government would do everything it could to help the affected region.

“When lives and communities are suddenly shattered in this way, our thoughts should be with all those caught up in these tragic events, especially the families and friends of those killed or injured,” he told lawmakers in the House of Commons.

Local lawmaker Jamie Reed said people in the quiet area were in shock.

“This kind of thing doesn’t happen in our part of the world,” he told the BBC. “We have got one of the lowest, if not the lowest, crime rates in the country.”

Glenda Pears, who runs L&G Taxis in Whitehaven, said one of the victims was another taxi driver who was a friend of Bird’s.

“They used to stand together having a (laugh) on the rank,” she said. “He was friends with everybody and used to stand and joke on Duke Street.”

Sue Matthews, who works at A2B Taxis in Whitehaven, said Bird was self-employed, quiet and lived alone. Some reports said he was divorced and the father of two sons.

“I would say he was fairly popular. I would see him once a week out and about. He was known as ‘Birdy,’” she said. “I can’t believe he would do that — he was a quiet little fellow.”

Emergency services were still working late Wednesday to identify all the dead and inform their families.

Rod Davies, landlord of Gosforth Hall Inn near one of the crime scenes, said residents were “used to ‘neighbor’s cat missing’ stories making the news — not this sort of thing.

“There’s a lot of fear. A lot of people are expecting to hear names of people they know.”

___

Jill Lawless reported from London. Associated Press Writer Andrew Khouri also contributed to this report.

 

Islamophobic Crimes: A Racist Murder and a Beating

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by loonwatch
Steve Walder-KFDM NewsSteve Walder-KFDM News

In the past week there has been an uptick in crimes against Muslims and “Mooslim” looking people. Two cases highlight this real well: In the first case we have a serial criminal, a white supremacist who killed Muslim store owner Naushad Virani in a robbery. Of course the killer,Stevie Walder was a filthy racist and at the time that he was apprehended by police stated, “I saw you behind me. I loaded my clip. When I saw that all of you were white I decided to give up and not fight.” Whether Walder was just trying to appease the police officers or not we do not know but it is clear that he relished killing Virani, who he no doubt, as his ilk is prone to do considered a “raghead” or “sandn*****.”

The Tyler County Sheriff told KFDM News a man who has ties to a white supremacist group and faces charges of capital murder in the Christmas night shooting death of a Liberty store owner has admitted to the crime and told a deputy he gave up and decided not to shoot when he was surrounded because the arresting officers were white.

Two Tyler County deputies, two state troopers and a Woodville Police officer arrested Stevie “Bubba” Walder, 31, at about 1 a.m. Sunday on Highway 69, just north of Woodville, according to information Tyler County Sheriff David Hennigan provided to KFDM News.

A judge set Walder’s bond at $2 million on a charge of capital murder in the death of Naushad Virani, 50.

Two customers found Virani at about 10:30 a.m. Friday behind the counter at Ridgewood Grocery Store in the 4300 block of North Main Street in Liberty. Virani was working on Christmas so his employees could have the night off with their families. Virani had been shot in the head and was found in a pool of blood.

The store’s surveillance video helped authorities identify Walder as the suspect.

Liberty police believe robbery was the motive. They’re trying to determine if the shooting was a hate crime.

Tyler County Sheriff David Hennigan spoke with KFDM News on Sunday afternoon and described the events leading up to the arrest.

He said one of his deputies received information from a DPS trooper about the murder in Liberty and the suspect.

“My deputy spotted Walder’s vehicle and fell in behind him,” said Sheriff Hennigan, “and he also saw the trooper who had given him the information about the homicide and the suspect. They confirmed with dispatch that it was the vehicle. My two deputies and two DPS troopers followed the suspect and a Woodville Police officer fell in behind them.”

Hennigan said the suspect pulled over on Highway 69, just north of Woodville. The officers conducted a felony stop and pointed their weapons at Walder.

“He told my deputy, ‘I saw you behind me. I loaded my clip. When I saw that all of you were white I decided to give up and not fight.’ He admitted to my deputy that he shot the store owner.”

Hennigan said people with ties to white supremacist groups are a problem in East Texas.

He praised the officers involved in the arrest for working together to take Walder into custody without any harm to themselves or the suspect.

sikh

We also have the case of the Sikh man who was attacked by crazed fanatic who obviously thought the poor guy was an evil “Mooslim.” Sikhs have had to endure a lot of hatred and violence in America and Europe because of the visible turban which ignorant people mistake all “Mooslims” as wearing.

A Sikh graduate student, working as a part-time pizza delivery person, was thrown into a swimming pool and brutally assaulted in West Texas, according to the Sikh Coalition, a community advocacy group.

When the young man, whose identity has been withheld for his protection, brought pizzas for delivery into a home, four men took the pizzas and started eating without paying, while hurling racial epithets and threatening him.

“I’m going to **** you up in Iraq, I’m going to **** you up in Afghanistan, I’m going to **** you up over here,” they were quoted as saying by the Coalition in a media release. But it did not say when the incident took place.

The four men then grabbed the Sikh student and threw him into a swimming pool. The four attackers surrounded the pool, kicking him in the head and body. Every time he tried to escape, they would stomp or hit at him.

For 20 minutes, he swam for his life trying to escape. He eventually seized an opportunity to flee and barely made it to his car with two men in pursuit, the community group said.

Though the local police were called shortly after the attack, they failed to respond adequately, the community group alleged. The police classified the incident as a misdemeanor, which means that the attackers may not have to serve any jail time, it said.

The local police also did not file the incident as a hate crime, the group said. “It is clear from the attackers’ references to ‘bin Laden’ and ‘Go back to Afghanistan’ and the fact that they kicked off his turban that this assault targeted not only him as an individual, but his Sikh identity.”

However the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently investigating the matter as a possible federal hate crime after being contacted when the local police department refused to prosecute the attackers for hate crime, the Sikh Coalition said.

 

Ugandan Legislation Calls for Execution of Gays; What if they were Muslim?

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2009 by loonwatch
Martin SsempaMartin Ssempa

A prominent evangelical pastor in Uganda, Martin Ssempa has proposed and received wide backing for a law which would jail homosexuals and murder “flagrant” homosexuals. He has received support for this from the president of Uganda and a large number of politicians. Ssempa, is connected to a number of American Evangelical organizations and politicians. What would happen if it were an Imam or a Muslim country proposing this legislation, you could be sure Spencer and company would be howling to the wind about it, but on this news story we hear not a peep from them.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNirBgffRkM 300 250]

From Advocates to Outlaws

KAMPALA – If Uganda?s recently tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill becomes law, Frank Mugisha and other individuals found campaigning for gay rights will face the choice of going to jail or leaving the country.

Mugisha heads Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a leading sexual rights advocacy group that could soon be classed a criminal organization.

“I have never really considered moving out of Uganda. But if I cannot work within the country, then I will have to leave,” said Mugisha.

The bill has baffled legal experts who read it as the product of an over-zealous Evangelical community that is clueless about both Uganda?s constitution and international law.

But for the bill?s proponents, chief among them Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, who has repeatedly alleged that there exists an organized, western-backed plot to recruit people into homosexuality, the law is necessary to confront a national emergency.

Homosexuality is spreading, Buturo argues, and if people like Mugisha aren?t stopped they will continue to lure impressionable youths into their sinful lifestyle and thereby threaten the perpetuation of the Ugandan people.

“Who is going to occupy Uganda in 20 years if we all become homosexuals? We know that homosexuals don?t reproduce,” Buturo said last year when announcing plans to table the bill.

In one of its most curious provisions, the draft law calls on Uganda to nullify any international treaty or convention that is inconsistent with the spirit of anti-homosexuality.

“You cannot as a country say we will nullify all the treaties we have ratified in the past,” Sylvia Tamale of Kampala?s Makerere University Law School told AFP.

For Tamale, the bill?s composition reveals an absence of qualified legal input and an unhealthy amount of input from people like Martin Ssempa, a prominent Evangelical pastor and internationally known anti-gay crusader who has confirmed having contributed to the bill.

“It would be political suicide for any Ugandan politician to vote against this. Leaders will have to ask themselves, do I listen to my own people, or … to top down orders coming from New York and the UN,” he added.

Ssempa seems to relish the criticism hurled at him by western rights groups, but he is concerned the proposal will create a fissure within the Evangelical Church.

“The western church is going to find itself increasingly at odds with the African church and find itself in a situation where there is a split like in the Anglican Church,” he said.

Ssempa told AFP he was disappointed by a recent statement by American mega-Pastor Rick Warren, who delivered the convocation at US president Barack Obama?s Inauguration.

Warren did not mention the Anti-Homosexuality Bill specifically, but said he and his wife ended their relationship with Ssempa, “when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own”.

Mugisha is an unlikely candidate to be at the centre of such politically charged debate.

From SMUG?s humble three-room office in a Kampala suburb he explained he never wanted to become a political advocate.

While in university, he volunteered as an undercover health researcher, finding out which clinics could treat certain conditions and where gay men could access the things necessary for safe sex.

He distributed the information on-line and through a small support group he founded.

When SMUG?s leadership learned about his work, they lobbied him to get involved.

At first reluctant, he eventually gave in, and was appointed chairperson of the group in 2007.

He smiled when recounting his earlier health work.

“These young boys, they didn?t know anything about being protected,” he said, half-laughing.

If the new bill had been in place at the time, Mugisha?s attempts to promote safe sex could have qualified as a crime. “Aiding and abetting homosexuality” attracts seven years in prison.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

 

Terrorist Yaakov Teitel: “I Know God is Pleased”; What if he were Muslim?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by loonwatch

Terrorist Yaakov Teitel: “I know God is Pleased”

Yaakov Teitel
Yaakov Teitel

Yaakov (James) Teitel, a Jewish settler in the West Bank has with glee and happiness reveled in the murders he committed against innocent Palestinians. Showing no remorse for the slayings, he justified the carnage he wrought by declaring, “I know God is pleased.” This deranged attitude and action represents a man who does not represent Judaism, but what if he were a Muslim how swiftly would Islam be blamed and Muslims cast under suspicion?

Alleged Jewish Terrorist: I know God is Pleased

The Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday charged alleged Jewish terrorist Yaakov (Jack) Teitel with two murders, three attempted murders and other acts of violence.

“It was a pleasure and an honor to serve my God,” said Teitel at the Jerusalem courthouse. “I have no regret and no doubt that God is pleased.”

Teitel also denied recent reports that he had operated as an undercover Shin Bet agent.
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Teitel, 37, born in Florida but a resident of the northern West Bank settlement of Shvut Rahel since 1997, was arrested last month for suspected murder and for his alleged role in a string of attempted murder plots, according to details of an investigation revealed after a gag order on the case was lifted.

He was arrested on October 7 and police said he later confessed to most of the allegations against him.

The indictment charges that Teitel smuggled a disassembled firearm into Israel from the United States in 1997 by placing it in a video player, and used that gun to murder taxi driver Samir Akram Balbisi in June of that year.

According to the indictment, in August 2007, Teitel murdered Issa Jabrin, a Palestinian shepherd from Susya, after which he fled Israel for three years.

The indictment also lists Teitel’s efforts for more than a decade to harm Arabs, gays and lesbians, leftists, police officers and messianic Jews.

Teitel had admitted to, among other offences, sending a booby-trapped Purim gift basket to a family of messianic Jews in Ariel, which seriously wounded their teenage son, Ami Ortiz, and planting a pipe bomb at the Jerusalem residence of Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell, who was lightly wounded.

At this stage, however, Teitel will not be charged with the murder of two policemen in the Jordan Valley eight months ago. While police also suspect him of this crime, they do not yet have enough evidence to charge him with it.

Earlier in the week the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court extended his remand for another three days – and, for the first time since his arrest on October 7, Teitel himself appeared in court for the hearing. The Shin Bet security service had barred him from attending previous remand hearings.

During the hearing, Teitel’s lawyer protested the difficult conditions of his imprisonment, saying he was chained to his bed 24 hours a day. The court ordered the Shin Bet to look into this complaint.