Archive for What if they were Muslim

Amina Filali: Moroccan ‘Rape Marriage Law’ Highlights Worldwide Problem

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by loonwatch

Amina_Filali_Morocco_Protest

Morocco: Protests for Amina Filali and a change to the law

A 15 year old Moroccan teenager, Amina Filali was raped and subsequently forced to marry her rapist, despairing of justice Filali committed suicide.

Rape victims being forced to marry their rapists is an ancient practice that existed in many cultures throughout history, and is a real problem all over the world today, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

What compounded the crime was that not only was Filali forced to marry her rapist but Moroccan law was not on her side. The legal system in Morocco integrated this abhorrent cultural phenomenon in the 1950′s.

Islamophobes were quick at the time to misattribute the practice to Islam. For instance hate-monger Robert Spencer wrote:

This is done because the focus in Islam is not on the rape at all, but on the shame the woman has brought to her family by her sexual immorality, even if she was forced. That shame is erased if the rapist marries her.

Not to be outdone, the looniest blogger ever, Pamela Geller wrote:

More female empowerment under the sharia (Islamic law).

These were just two of the most prominent Islamophobes commenting on Filali’s death, hundreds of hate-blogs and sites in the Islamophobic looniverse echoed such commentary, sprinkling in their own anti-Muslim spin.

The misattribution of such cases and issues to Sharia’ and Islam is of course part of the well-worn demonization war that Spencer, Geller and their cohorts have been waging for years now. Facts are unimportant in this war, any crime or heinous action committed by a Muslim must be assigned to Islam goes their thinking. Lying to prove their point is not an impediment.

What they and their drone like blind followers will conveniently overlook for instance is that,

“…in 12 Latin American countries…rapist can be exonerated if he offers to marry the victim and she accepts…In Costa Rica, he can be exonerated even if she refuses his offer…” (UNICEF)

The majority of these nations are Catholic Christian, are we then going to blame Christianity for these laws?

If one wished to play a tit for tat it could easily be pointed out to the Islamophobes that it is in fact the Bible which commands a raped woman to marry her rapist, not the Qur’an,

“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” (Deuteronomy 22: 28-29)

Sadly, what is obfuscated and lost when the hate-mongers resort to racist tropes and Orientalist misattributions are the intrepid activists, the Muslim and Arab feminists who are fighting to change laws that can lead to such tragic results in their countries:

Morocco activists target ‘rape marriage law’

Did a Spanish Nun Steal Thousands of Newborns?

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by loonwatch

Thousands of Spanish mothers have similar stories of stolen children. (AFP/Getty Images) (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of Spanish mothers have similar stories of stolen children. (AFP/Getty Images) (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Where is the outrage and outcry from the hate peddlers?

Thousands of newborns have allegedly been stolen from their parents by Sister Maria Gómez Valbuena, obstensibly for good, wholesome “Christian” motivations, making a pretty penny in the process.

Please see today’s article, as well: Islamophobia and Adoption.

Did a Spanish nun steal thousands of newborns?

BARCELONA, Spain — “Where is my baby?” Luisa Torres wondered after waking up from general anesthesia on March 31, 1982.

“Your baby is dead,” Sister Maria Gómez Valbuena told her as she lay in bed at the Santa Cristina Maternity Hospital in Madrid. “You gave birth to nothing,” the nun said.

It was a lie, with consequences that would span almost three decades.

Torres alleges that her daughter was stolen at birth by a mafia of nuns, doctors and other officials who sold children for profit.

Thousands of Spanish mothers recount similar stories. Enrique Vila, a Barcelona lawyer who specializes in adoptions, estimates there might be as many as 300,000 cases, about 15 percent of total adoptions that took place in Spain between 1960 and 1989.

Since GlobalPost first wrote about the spate of stolen babies last year, the number of cases being handled by Spanish prosecutors has jumped from 900 to 1,500.

A trickle of complaints began decades ago, but turned into a flood two years ago. But the nun, now in her 80s and known as Sister Maria, is the first to be indicted in the scandal since complaints began to pour in two years ago. Her trial begins today, April 3.

About one-quarter of the cases have been dismissed due to a lack of documents or other evidence, which is often hard to provide when decades-old birth certificates have been forged, or when the parents and children haven’t yet found each other.

Torres and her daughter are just one of a dozen who have, and it is their reunion that has led to the first indictment.

‘Like a horror film’

Like hundreds of mothers who believe their babies had been stolen at Santa Cristina Maternity Hospital, Torres met Sister Maria, a social worker, in her fifth month of pregnancy after seeing an ad in a magazine offering help for expectant mothers in need.

“It said she had access to nurseries and foster homes, and that she would take care of the children until we had enough resources to take care of them by ourselves,” Torres recalled. “I went to see her with my mom and she was very nice — we didn’t suspect anything.” She said she was given a “special card” to show at the hospital when going into labor.

But it became “like a horror film,” she added.

After first saying that the baby girl was dead, Sister Maria changed her story, Torres said. The nun admitted that the child was alive, and told the 24-year-old woman that she would give the child up for adoption to a French family. She implied that Torres, who had given birth out of wedlock, would be an unfit mother.

And she told Torres, who wanted to name her child Sheila, that such a name was not “Christian,” and that the baby girl would be called Maria, “after herself.”

Torres said she became increasingly hysterical, and began cursing at the nun. She climbed from her bed and stumbled to the neo-natal unit. There, one girl lay in an incubator with a name tag on her crib: Maria.

“You saw nothing,” the nun told her. Sister Maria dragged Torres back to her room and threw her onto her bed, Torres said. “I will report you to the authorities as an adulteress and you will go to jail. Then I will also take away your 2-year-old daughter,” said Sister Maria, according to Torres.

Torres says she was terrified. Inés, her first child, was the result of a failed marriage. Separated from her husband, she started a new relationship, but that man left her once she became pregnant. In a country that was still waking up from a 40-year dictatorship and was extremely socially conservative, Torres didn’t know that anti-adultery laws had already been repealed in 1978.

Her new child had been born slightly premature, at eight months, and had some health problems. The infant was taken to another floor to receive special care, and Torres wasn’t allowed to visit her because she had never been officially identified as the child’s mother. She lost track of her baby, and was too afraid to approach Sister Maria again.

A devastated Torres left the hospital nine days later “with empty arms,” and the pacifier and baby blanket she had bought for her baby Sheila. She kept them for almost three decades, never losing hope that she could one day give them to her.

Obsessed for three decades

Months before Torres’ daughter was born, Alejandro Alcalde and his wife learned they could not have children and began considering adoption. But the adoption process was difficult. They had almost lost hope until they were told by Madrid’s regional council, which handled adoptions, to contact a woman named Sister Maria.

The adoptive parents paid 200,000 pesetas for Maria Pilar — the equivalent of about $6,600 today. The nun told them it was for hospital costs and for the mother to stay at a home after the birth. They arranged everything at a public hospital, which was why Alejandro Alcalde says they were never suspicious.

Maria Pilar Alcalde, now 30, recounts how she had looked for her biological mother since she was 15 years old, when her adoptive parents divorced.

“I spent nights crying, looking at my adoption documents over and over, trying to see a way to find my mother,” said Maria Pilar, who says she had a very “lonely childhood.” She described her adoptive mother as “a very dry woman” and said that her adoptive relatives never made her part of the family.

“I always missed that love in families,” she said. “When I was a teenager, I used to wonder: ‘How will my real family be?’”

After her parents’ divorce, Maria Pilar lived with her adoptive father, who helped her hunt for her mother. He spent a fortune on detectives and lawyers. Seven years ago, they appeared together on El Diario TV talk show, where they told Maria Pilar’s story. But it resulted in no leads.

“If my father thought he had been involved in anything illegal, he would have never helped so much in my search,” Maria Pilar said. Her adoptive mother, with whom she has a distant relationship, never liked the fact that Maria Pilar wanted to look for her biological parents.

At the beginning of their search, Maria Pilar and her father even went to see Sister Maria, who had kept in touch with the adoptive parents over the years. “I swore to God in front of your mother that I would never reveal her identity,” she told Maria Pilar. “She was probably a drug addict or a prostitute, it would only hurt you to find her.”

Ten miles away, Torres mourned her little girl.

“I was obsessed for 30 years…I used to stare at babies on the street when [my daughter] would still have been a baby, at young couples when she was still a teenager…sadness was always with me, especially on her birthdays,” Torres recalls, shaken at the memories.

Afraid that her other daughter would be taken away from her, Torres didn’t do much for years. She also didn’t know where to begin looking. According to Spanish privacy laws, parents who give their children up for adoption don’t have the right to get information about their whereabouts or new identities.

A year-and-a-half ago, when other “stolen babies” cases started appearing in the media, Torres says her determination to find her missing child was renewed. Her oldest daughter, Inés, eventually told the story to Spanish daily El Mundo.

Soon after the story appeared, a journalist at Antena 3 recalled the appearance of Alejandro and Maria Pilar on El Diario show seven years before, and realized that Maria Pilar and Torres’ stories matched. She dug into the matter. Eventually, she managed to contact both parties.

An “unbelievable” moment

On June 30, 2011, Torres, 54, and Maria Pilar, were brought on El Diario TV show after having had their DNA tested. They had been at the studio the entire day prior to the appearance, being interviewed separately, never crossing paths. They sat tense on the set until the TV host read out the result of their DNA test results on air: It was a match.

As they threw themselves at each other, Torres repeatedly murmured through tears, “I love you, forgive me.” Her daughter, sobbing, replied: “I have nothing to forgive.”

Many months later, they recall that pivotal moment as if it were yesterday.

“I almost fainted, my legs buckled. …It was a very beautiful and happy day, but too intense,” Torres said.

“I just threw myself in her arms,” said Maria Pilar. “I still cannot believe it.”

Still, settling into the reunion has taken time.

“I look at my mother and at the physical warmth she has with my sisters, and I wish it could be the same [closeness and naturalness] with me,” said Maria Pilar, who says it is still “strange” for them to be around each other.

Even so, she says she now has a “mom,” two “wonderful” half-sisters, two nephews and “a loving grandmother” she is getting to know and love.

Day of reckoning

Hundreds of women have named Sister Maria as the woman involved in the theft of their babies. The nun dealt with about 3,000 adoptions per year between 1967 and 1983, says Guillermo Peñas, the lawyer who represents Torres and Maria Pilar as well as 50 other families as plaintiffs.

Her name was first linked to the theft of babies in 1982, when investigative magazine Interviú uncovered several cases at another clinic in Madrid where Sister Maria used to work. Authorities closed the clinic down, but no one was prosecuted then.

The reunion of Torres and Maria Pilar offers the first mother-and-child pair who can accuse an alleged abductor, and have made it possible to indict the nun. She is currently charged with illegal detention, fraudulently faking another’s pregnancy, forgery of public and private documents, threatening behavior and coercion, according to Peñas.

So far, Sister Maria hasn’t responded to the prosecutor’s charges in court. GlobalPost’s attempts to reach Sister Maria for a comment were unsuccessful.
The public prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the case.

Torres and Maria Pilar will first appear in front of the judge on April 3.

“This is a very important step because it [is taking on the Church] – [Sister Maria] represents the Church, and that is sacred in Spain,” said Flor Diaz, one of the representatives of SOS Stolen Babies, a support organization that Torres also belongs to.

Both Maria Pilar and Torres say that no matter what happens in the courts, they will never be able to recover the 30 years they lost. “I want that nun to pay for all the pain she has caused,” said Torres.

But at her age, it is unlikely that Sister Maria will end up behind bars.

“There have to be many more people involved,” said Peñas. “It is a matter of common sense to realize that a social worker does not have enough legal authority to do whatever she wants — she had superiors and the hospital director had to authorize the adoptions in the end.”

“But Sister Maria is the only thread we have to untangle the tangled web,” he added.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s newly installed minister of justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, said last week that resolving these cases “will be a priority” for his department, although advocates in the case are skeptical.

“For the government, this is like holding a screaming child,” said Peñas. “If it is held that civil authorities were in the end responsible, the state will have to compensate [thousands of families], and these are not the best times for that.”

But most of these mothers and their children, like Maria Pilar and Torres, say they don’t want any money, just to find their loved ones and recover the lost time.

As they work on that, Maria Pilar keeps the still-new pacifier and the baby blanket on her bed. In the days that followed her first meeting with her mother, she says she would fall asleep “like a baby,” grabbing onto them.

While that phase has passed, Maria Pilar says she plans to get a tattoo with her mother’s name — her way to make sure that Torres is never far from her again.

Yossi Gurvitz: IDF Colonel-Rabbi Implies Rape is Permitted in War

Posted in Loon Rabbis, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by loonwatch

Rabbi_Colonel_Eyal_Karim

Rabbi Colonel Eyal Karim

Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz describes himself as a former Orthodox Jew who claims to have seen the “light” and turned atheist at the age of 17. We are unfamiliar with his work but received this tip from a reader regarding one of his recent articles.

It is titled, IDF Colonel-rabbi implies: Rape is permitted in war. Colonel Eyal Qarim was questioned, (seemingly while not in uniform) about whether rape is permitted in war, and his answer implied that it was allowed.

Now I am unfamiliar with halacha or Jewish law, but my guess is it is a system as varied and expansive as Sharia’. Most likely you can find any opinion under the sun within halacha and so I am sure many will insist that the opinion proffered by the IDF Rabbi is not the only one, and is not the position of the IDF.

However, looking at the question and answer it exposes a troubling indication that an IDF Colonel Rabbi who was once being considered for the position of Chief Rabbi held the view that “rape is permitted in war.” More over it is not the first time that extremely problematic views have been expressed by influential IDF Rabbis.

It also brings us back to the question, “what if they were Muslim?”  If a prominent Muslim scholar had offered such an opinion one can be assured that it would be all over MEMRI.

Gurvitz omitted the whole question from the reader to the Rabbi, but we provide an approximate translation via. Google for context:

There have been various wars between nations, such as the First World War, for example, different nations fought each other, and no one was particularly good for the Jews or bad for the Jews…

But if they had captured a village and there were Jews and Jewish girls were raped, it is considered, rightly, a disaster and tragedy to the girl and family.

If yes, rape in war is considered a shocker. How, then was I told that a long, beautiful woman is allowed, according to some authorities, even before the process described in the Torah, I mean, surrender and lay with it created, and only then take her home, etc.?

This seems contradictory. After all, if rape is considered a civil war and not something shocking, why, apparently, Jews allowed?

Is it allowed in our days [sic] for an IDF soldier, for example, to rape girls during a fight, or is such a thing forbidden?

Now it’s very clear that the questioner is asking whether or not rape is allowed in war time. This is the answer that Rabbi Qarim gave (translation via. Gorvitz):

“The wars of Israel […] are mitzvah wars, in which they differ from the rest of the wars the nations wage among themselves. Since, essentially, a war is not an individual matter, but rather nations wage war as a whole, there are cases in which the personality of the individual is “erased” for the benefit of the whole. And vice versa: sometimes you risk a large unit for the saving of an individual, when it is essential for purposes of morale. One of the important and critical values during war is maintaining the army’s fighting ability […]

As in war the prohibition against risking your life is broken for the benefit of others, so are the prohibitions against immorality and of kashrut. Wine touched by gentiles, consumption of which is prohibited in peacetime, is allowed at war, to maintain the good spirit of the warriors. Consumption of prohibited foods is permitted at war (and some say, even when kosher food is available), to maintain the fitness of the warriors, even though they are prohibited during peacetime. Just so, war removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations (gilui arayot in the original – YZG), and even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge (yetzer ha’ra in the original  -YZG), under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole.”

Gorvitz comments on this:

Wow. Herein lies a hornet’s nest. The first is that according to Qarim, the rape of female prisoners is not just permitted, it is also essential to war; the success of the whole at war relies on it.

….

Another problem is that Qarim invokes here the usual apologetics of those who speak of “Jewish morality”: he claims war is a conflict between nations, not individuals, and that the individual has no importance at war. The raped woman is not a woman, is not a person, has no feelings and if she feels pain it is unimportant: she is not a woman or a person, just an individual of an enemy tribe whose misfortune was to be captured. Furthermore, Qarim says that rape during wartime is immoral if carried out by a rival tribe – but all Jewish wars are, by definition, mitzvah wars. If the rape of the defenseless is part and parcel of “Jewish morality,” it’s not hard to reach the conclusion it is inferior to all modern morality systems. It is also worth noting (Hebrew) that “Jewish morality” is a by-product of German blood and iron romanticism.

Yet a third problem is that, essentially, Qarim says there is nothing which may be prohibited in war, if it is done “for the success of the whole.” We know that the killing of armed combatants is permitted (this is, after all, the essence of war), and we now learn that, for His Blessed Name, the rape of women is also permitted. Then we must ask ourselves whether it is also permitted, for the sake of victory, to also kill unarmed people. Children, for instance, who we have good reason to think may seek one day vengeance for the death of their fathers and brothers and the torturing of their mothers and sisters. The notorious book “Torat Ha’Melekh” answered in the affirmative; it would be interesting to know what Qarim thinks, and whether there is anything he thinks a Jewish soldier ought not to do for victory.

But the real problem here is that Eyal Qarim is an IDF colonel (Aluf Mishneh), and is a senior officer in the Military Rabbinate, i.e. is in a senior position in the IDF religious edicts apparatus. I’ve sent the following questions to the IDF Spokesman:

  1. Is the rape of women during wartime agreeable to the IDF Ethics Code?
  2. If not, why does a prominent military rabbi promote it?
  3. If not, does the IDF intend to end the service of Col. Qarim, or bring charges against him?
  4. How does the IDF Spokesman intend to deal with the anticipated damage to its image in the international arena, resulting from Col. Qarim’s ruling?

Frankly, I did not expect an answer, but surprisingly enough an enraged officer from IDF Spokesman New Media Unit called me. His official response was that Qarim was not an officer in active service when he wrote that ruling, and furthermore that my question “disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion,” and hence his unit will no longer answer my questions.

I told him that, as an Israeli citizen, I considered Col. Qarim to be a ticking time bomb, which will blow up in the IDF’s face should a soldier rape an enemy woman: it would automatically be seen as official policy. I told him this happened in the past. He vehemently denied it, and wouldn’t listen.

I think that the fact that Qarim was on hiatus at the time – earlier he was the religious officer of a crack unit, Sayeret Matkal (commando unit) – is unimportant. What is important is that the Military Rabbinate chose to re-call an officer who wrote such a ruling to active service. Qarim was briefly considered a candidate for the position of the Chief Military Rabbi. This is the face of the IDF in 2012, and this is the face of the rabbis it chooses to employ. There are certainly more humane rabbis than Qarim; yet somehow these are not the rabbis who are promoted.

Forward.com: Christians Called to Serve Jewish Settlers

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Christians helping Jewish settlers cultivate stolen land

Evangelical Christians are heeding the call to help Jewish settlers occupying Palestinian land harvest  crops. They are doing so because the “Bible” says so.

So the Bible legitimates the confiscation of other people’s land, driving them out and then aiding the occupiers and initiators of violence in reaping the harvest from land that they stole?:

Christians Called To Serve Jewish Settlers

(Forward.com)

PSAGOT, WEST BANK — It is a typical, even stereotypical, West Bank settlement scene: bearded young men pruning vines while enthusing about the Chosen People’s God-given right to this region. But in this case it is Jesus, and not Jewish identity, that animates these tillers.

For years, Westerners have flocked to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to help Palestinians with their olive harvest, as part of left-wing activist groups like the International Solidarity Movement. Among other things, the activists seek to resist efforts by settlers to disrupt the Palestinians’ reaping.

Now, the settlers have international harvest help of their own. The young Christians working in the Psagot Winery’s vineyards near Ramallah in mid-March were members of HaYovel. Last year, this Tennessee-based evangelical ministry started a large-scale operation to bring volunteers to tend and harvest settler grapes. They attach epic importance to their work.

God’s Work: Volunteers come to the West Bank to further a Biblical mission.

NATHAN JEFFAY
God’s Work: Volunteers come to the West Bank to further a Biblical mission.

“When you see prophecy taking place, you have the option to do nothing or become a vessel to it,” said volunteer pruner Blake Smith, a 20-year-old farmer from Virginia.

HaYovel preaches the old-school ideology of Religious Zionist settlers with one innovation: a sacred role for Christians.

The group’s members believe that the establishment of the State of Israel, its subsequent conquering of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and specifically the flourishing of agriculture in the occupied areas are fulfillments of biblical prophecies. Like many settlers, HaYovel cites a prophecy by Jeremiah that refers to the Samaria region of the West Bank: “Again you shall plant vines on the mountains of Samaria.” And like them, HaYovel believes that the settlement movement will help to bring the Messiah to Jerusalem — the only difference being that the volunteers anticipate a second coming.

But these Christians also focus on a prophecy rarely cited by settlers, who tend to place ideological value on using only avoda ivrit, or “Hebrew labor,” whenever possible. “And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vine-dressers,” Isaiah prophesized to the Israelites.

Basing itself on this verse, HaYovel — which takes its name from the Bible’s twice-a-century agricultural jubilee — has made reverence of settlers into a central religious virtue.

“Being here, we just want to serve — and to bless the Jewish people in building up the land,” said Joshua Waller, a HaYovel ministry leader and one of the 11 children of Tommy Waller, the group’s founder and spiritual head. During a lunch break, a settler with yarmulke and sidelocks came to address volunteers. They keenly asked him to explain why the international community is wrong and the West Bank is not really occupied, and seemed prepared to accept what they were told. “We are not here to teach anything, just to learn,” Joshua Waller said shortly before the talk began.

To some of the volunteers, becoming settler laborers is a way of righting a historical Christian wrong. “This is a crazy time,” said Joe Trad Jr., a 23-year-old college dropout from Missouri. Over 2,000 years of contention, he said, “we saw Constantine and the Holocaust. Yet today, in this spot of the world, you have Christians and Jews for the first time with the same goal.”

The volunteers are a mix of people who, like Smith, had a mainstream Christian upbringing and were drawn to HaYovel out of curiosity; people from families that gave up the organized church to develop their own brand of religion, one they see as closer to Judaism, and some people who are emerging from personal crises.

Trad, a former alcoholic and cocaine addict, went through rehab and became a Christian two years ago. He described his volunteering as a way of giving thanks “for what the Lord has done for me in my life by freeing me from these addictions.”

Aaron Hood, a 21-year-old HaYovel staff employee, comes from a Tennessee family of 14 children that gave up on any organized church and started observing the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible according to its own understanding. The family observes Saturday, not Sunday, as a rest day.

Newt Gingrich: It Should ‘Bother’ Obama that People Think He’s Muslim

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2012 by loonwatch

For Newt Gingrich, in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Shariah is a concern akin to terrorism.

No Islamophobia here right?

Newt Gingrich thinks being a Muslim is a problem and he believes that it should ‘bother’ Obama that people think he’s Muslim. He also blames Obama for people thinking that way.

Can anyone imagine if you replaced Muslim with “Jew” or “Christian”:

Gingrich says it should ‘bother’ Obama that people think he’s Muslim

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is amping up his language on President Obama’s faith and his relationship with Muslims.  Gingrich told ABC News Friday that that he takes the president at his word that he’s a Christian, but finds it “very bizarre” that Obama is “desperately concerned to apologize to Muslim religious fanatics.”

Gingrich said the president’s apology to the Afghan president for the burning Korans by U.S. soldiers happened last month “while they are killing young Americans,” referring to the two Americans killed during protests over the burned books. Gingrich said at the same time, the administration is “going to war against the Catholic Church and against every right-to-life Protestant organization in the country.”

Asked by a member of the press if it concerns him that a large portion of the electorate believes Obama is a Muslim, Gingrich replied, “It should bother the president.”

“Why does the president behave the way that people would think that? You have to ask why would they believe that? It’s not because they’re stupid. It’s because they watch the kind of things I just described to you,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said Thursday that “Obama’s Muslim friends” would not be reported on by the “elite media,” in a radio interview with Sandy Rios. Gingrich was asked about Rios called the Washington Post’s “two page” report on Rick Santorum’s ties to Catholic organization, Opus Dei. Gingrich used the question to say that the elite media was protecting  Obama from any religious scrutiny.

“You have to understand that the elite media is in the tank for Obama. They are going to do anything that helps re-elect Obama,” Gingrich said. “Do you think you are going to see two pages on Obama’s Muslim friends? Or two pages on the degree to which Obama is consistently apologizing to Islam while attacking the Catholic Church?”

On Wednesday, in Port Charles, La., a man asked Gingrich a question and stated that Obama was a Muslim and a student of Saul Alinsky. Gingrich did not correct the man and later said in an interview with Fox News that he didn’t “have an obligation to go around and correct every single voter about every single topic. I also didn’t agree with him.”

ABC News, 23 March 2012

Shaun Winkler, White Supremacist, Running For County Sheriff

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by loonwatch

Shaun Winkler, a member of the White Knights of the KKK, is running for sheriff in Bonner County, Idaho.

Shaun Winkler, a member of the White Knights of the KKK, is running for sheriff in Bonner County, Idaho.

Shaun Winkler, running for Bonner County Sheriff a bonafide ‘white supremacist’ claims that if elected he will not push his ‘white supremacist agenda.’

On the flimsiest of associations hatemongers pounce on any Muslim even contemplating running for office. They will go to great lengths to create and fabricate guilt-by-association smears, trying to cast the said Muslim as a ‘evil-scary-Islamizing-terrorist.’ Spencer in fact wants Muslims running for office to be subjected to a ‘special test’ to determine whether they should be allowed to run or take office.

Where is their outrage here?

Shaun Winkler, White Supremacist, Running For County Sheriff

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A white supremacist in northern Idaho wants to be the next Bonner County sheriff, saying federal overreach motivated him to run for the office.

Shaun Winkler of the White Knights of the KKK will go up against incumbent Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and Ponderay police officer Tim Fry in the Republican primary on May 15. The winner of that contest will face independent candidate Rocky Jordan in November.

But the 33-year-old says he’s not running to push a white supremacist agenda.

The Aryan Nations is long gone from northern Idaho, but its reputation has lingered to the embarrassment of locals.

France: Shooter Targeting North Africans, Caribbeans and Jews

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Abel_Chennouf

Murder victim Abel Chennouf (left) was due to become a father with his partner (right)

A killer on the loose on a “powerful moped?” That’s kind of comical but the results have been tragic, as this murderer is going around targeting people of ethnic and religious minorities. (H/T: Zakariya Ali Sher) 

*Ahmed makes some good points:

This could be a “Muslim”. That the three French troops happened to be ethnic minorities might just be a coincidence. So it could be possible that this is a Muslim extremist who is targeting French troops and Jews.

Of course, the sensible thing is for people not to speculate until more evidence comes through. I did notice at Fox News Forums this morning however that they were all going mental over this, saying it is the fault of the French for letting all those Muslims in and having gun control. So if it ends up not being a Muslim, they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for politicising a horrendous spate of killings.

Lets not jump to conclusions.

Shootings in Toulouse and Montauban: What we know

(BBC)

Three gun attacks which left seven people dead and two wounded have sparked a security alert in south-western France, with fears that the same killer could be at work.

In each case the attacker is said to have been a gunman on a moped, using a weapon of the same calibre, striking in broad daylight.

All of the attacks took place within a radius of about 50km (30 miles), between the city of Toulouse and town of Montauban.

The first two shootings saw soldiers targeted but the third took place at a school.

What the victims have in common is that they belong to, or are associated with, ethnic or religious minorities – North African, Caribbean and Jewish.

That they were singled out is suggested by reports that, in at least one attack, the killer pushed aside a bystander to get to his victims.

A manhunt is under way and France has placed its national judicial police in charge of the investigation, with anti-terrorist investigators and specialists in serial crimes at its disposal.

While little has been reported about the identity or motivation of, in the words of Le Figaro newspaper, the “most wanted man in France”, some of the strongest clues may have been left by the first attack.

Cyber trail

Investigators believe it is “highly plausible” that the same .45 calibre gun was used in the first two shootings, a judicial source told France’s AFP news agency several days before the third.

On Sunday 11 March, Imad Ibn-Ziaten, a 30-year-old staff sergeant in the 1st Airborne Transportation Regiment, was shot dead around 16:00 (15:00 GMT) behind a school in a quiet district of Toulouse.

According to Le Figaro, Sgt Ibn-Ziaten, who was not in uniform, was unwittingly waiting for his own killer.

He had posted a small ad on a website to sell a Suzuki Bandit motorcycle, and the suspected gunman had arranged a meeting to see it.

The sergeant was found shot in the head, his motorcycle beside him.

French cyber police are working to extract clues from the two men’s internet exchanges, Le Figaro says.

Sgt Ibn-Ziaten had a clean service record, prosecutors stressed, rejecting suggestions that there could have been a gangland element to his murder.

‘Tattoo’

In the second attack, in Montauban on Thursday 15 March, 46 surveillance cameras picked up the gunman on his scooter, according to Le Figaro.

They showed “a man in dark clothing wearing a black helmet and riding a powerful moped”.

Nour Samaha: Revenge of the Settlers

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by loonwatch

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians daily

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians daily

Revenge of the settlers

Nour Samaha (AlJazeera English)

Fadi Quran is little different from any other Palestinian living in the West Bank, where violence from Israeli settlers is part of daily life. Hailing from the town of Al-Bireh, less than one kilometre from the settlement of Psagot, the 23-year-old Master’s degree student has been forced to deal with attacks and harassment for years.

“Settler violence is a daily occurrence,” he told Al Jazeera. On one occasion, he was playing football with friends when they came under fire from settlers with machine guns. In another altercation, settlers threw stones at him while he was driving. Their guns discouraged him from stopping. “I’m telling you my story, but there are literally hundreds of thousands of other cases that are much worse.”

Last week, Quran was arrested after attending a non-violent protest in Hebron which demanded the re-opening of a street in the centre of the city. The Israeli army had made it a settler-only road 11 years previously, despite the presence of Palestinian families still living there.

Following a verbal dispute, Israeli soldiers pepper-sprayed him, beat him, arrested him, blindfolded him and took him to an interrogation centre at a nearby settlement. Once there, he discovered the arresting soldiers were actually from one of the area’s settlements.

“I asked where they were from and they told me: ‘Kiryat Arba’,” he said. “One of them then asked me if I knew Baruch Goldstein [an Israeli settler who, in 1994, opened fire inside a mosque in the West Bank, killing 29 and wounding over 125 others]. They said he was a hero and they would do the same thing.”

Quran was charged with attacking ten soldiers. In court a few days later, the judge stated there was no proof that Quran did not attack them. The hearing was postponed until the following day, by which point a video capturing the events leading up to Quran’s arrest had gone viral. After the video was presented to the judge (which clearly showed Quran had not attacked troops), he was released on bail.

Settler violence has been forcing people to significantly change their lives, Quran said: “There are communities who don’t use main roads because they are afraid they will be murdered. Many farmers can’t farm anymore because their lands are being burned or vandalised, so they have to find another job.”

report published in January by the Washington-based Palestine Center revealed a 39 per cent increase in the number of settler attacks – from stone-throwing to arson and shootings – between 2010 and 2011.

Furthermore, in the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, the occupied West Bank has witnessed a 315 per cent increase in settler attacks – while, over the same period, there has been a 95 per cent decrease in Palestinian violence against Israeli settlements and settlers.

The report found ”over 90 per cent of all the Palestinian villages which have experienced multiple instances of Israeli settler violence are in areas which fall under Israeli security jurisdiction”.

The report revealed a geographical shift in violent acts; previously settler violence was concentrated in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and its environs. Over the past few years, the Nablus governorate, in the northern West Bank, has also been on the receiving end of a large proportion of the documented settler violence.

This shift to the north, “where rural villages are predominantly targets, suggested that settlers are exploiting unfettered access to isolated Palestinian villages to perpetrate violence more than ever before”.

‘Open hunting season’

“What we have here is a complete failure to enforce the law and uphold the obligations to protect Palestinians,” Yousef Mounayer, director of the Palestine Center, told Al Jazeera.

“The Israelis really need to uphold their own obligations, otherwise we will continue to see violence and it will be open hunting season for settlers to attack Palestinians.”

International law states that occupying powers have a duty to protect local populations, while maintaining security and ensuring public order.

Issa Amro, a Palestinian from Hebron who heads the Youth Against Settlements activist movement, was forced with his family to leave his home – now designated a “closed military area” – after years of attacks from settlers.

“Every time settlers attack a Palestinian house, they are escorted by the army who protect them,” he explained. “I have filed dozens of cases and complaints, and not one time has anyone gone to court.”

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 90 per cent of monitored complaints filed by Palestinians have been closed without indictment.

“I have death threats against me, and I’ve been attacked many times by settlers,” said Amro. “[The settlers] say to me ‘I hope God erases your name’, and they say this to me in front of the army and the police, who stand by and do nothing.”

‘They are there to protect the settlers’

Ezra Nawi, an Israeli activist who has been working with Palestinians against settler violence for the past decade, said the Israeli military in the West Bank was complicit through inaction.

“Settlers attack Palestinians, but the army has orders preventing them from arresting or stopping them,” he said. “They are simply there to protect the settlers.”

Nawi is no stranger to settler violence, with his work frequently making him a target. He said the attacks “serve the state’s interests”.

“The violence scares the Palestinians into not moving around or using their land for farming and agriculture,” he said.

Further OCHA statistics also state approximately 10,000 Palestinian-owned trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers in 2011, while 139 Palestinians were displaced due to settler attacks.

The UN group also found that “80 communities with a combined population of nearly 250,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to settler violence, including 76,000 who are at high-risk”.

“Every day there are attacks by settlers,” said Amro. “What is new is that they have started burning mosques.”

Sarit Michaeli, spokesperson for B’Tselem, an Israeli group which documents violence in the West Bank, told Al Jazeera that increasing violence was a result of a lack of law enforcement.

“The Israeli authorities have an obligation under international law to protect both settlers and Palestinians,” she said. “While they fulfill their obligation to protect the settlers, with the Palestinians, we see a systematic failure to protect them from attacks.”

“It is worth noting that Palestinians who are arrested by the Israeli army are prosecuted and charged through the military court system, which is very low in terms of protection of their rights, while settlers, if they get arrested, are held and tried in the civilian court system, which offers greater protection of their rights,” she added.

‘It’s actually calmer now’

Yet not everyone agrees with the assertions made. David Ha’ivri, spokesperson for the settlement council covering the northern West Bank region, told Al Jazeera he felt the area “is over-exposed in the media in comparison to other areas in the world”.

“I’ve lived here for many years and we have experienced violence, but that is not the situation currently,” he said. “It is strange that someone is saying that there is an increase, while we’ve experienced a decrease in the violence. It’s actually calmer now than in the past.”

Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, reiterated Ha’ivri’s assertion, saying the levels of violence had decreased in the past two years, and that media had a tendency to “inflate and exaggerate things like the price-tag attacks“.

“Life in Judea and Samaria [the Biblical term for the West Bank] is normal,” he told Al Jazeera. “I don’t think violence during the last year has been a crucial problem, not for Jews and not for Arabs.

“Let’s not forget that the numbers provided are actually the other way around,” he added. “There have been at least 12 settlers who were murdered by Arabs in the last 24 months.”

According to B’Tselem statistics 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank over the past two years, while four Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians, and a further 22 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army. In Gaza, 173 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military during the past two years.

Both Ha’ivri and Dayan state the Israeli authorities were doing what was required of them in terms of protecting civilians and arresting perpetrators.

“I don’t think there is less accountability, the state and the police are very serious about enforcing the law on both sides,” said Ha’ivri. “For example, there are individuals in some communities in Samaria who have been arrested, or banished from living in this area.”

“If the Arabs feel there is less accountability then they are not aware of the facts.”

While Dayan agreed the authorities were performing their duties, he acknowledged flaws in the judicial system.

“There are very few indictments, if at all, presented to the courts,” he said. “I do not have an explanation as to why there are so few indictments, and it is not my place to provide an explanation, but it does create problems, leading some to believe one side has a sense of immunity and can get off without punishment.”

“I do know the government and police have a high interest in the public opinion, so I don’t think they lack the motivation,” said Dayan. “It’s not a question of leniency, but maybe one of capability.”

‘They want Palestine’

The analysis of the Palestine Center’s Mounayer focused on causes of settler violence and whether it was responsorial (a reaction to either Palestinian violence and/or Israeli government actions), or structural (a product of demographics and security arrangements).

“What we found actually is that instances of Palestinian violence trigger a decrease in settler violence,” said Mounayer. “Palestinian violence tends to receive an official response from the Israeli army, so in these instances the settlers don’t intervene.

“We also found that some of it is motivated by Israeli government actions, but … it doesn’t necessarily have to be provoked by anything. As settlers can get away with it at any given time, they will continue.

“The message the settlers are receiving is that ‘this is okay, and the state is not going to stop them’.”

B’Tselem’s Michaeli, however, was keen to emphasise that violence was not something the majority of the settler community participated in. “The mainstream leaders in settler politics have denounced these attacks,” she said, adding that settler violence and clashes with local Palestinians dated back to the 1970s.

“Having said that, the settlement community as a whole in an occupied area is violent,” she said, referring to the illegal nature of the expanding settlements in the West Bank, frequently condemned by the international community.

Ha’ivri said that in most cases, when there is violence, it happens as a response to attacks on settlers. “I don’t think it happens on a daily basis. All acts of violence that have occurred are isolated on both sides,” he said. “I don’t think either side is going out and actively looking for targets.”

For Israeli activist Nawi, the motivations of settlers are much more straightforward.

“Most of the settlers are motivated by religious ideas; that the Arabs are unwelcome people and they need to leave,” he said. “It is not an argument you can reason with.”

“They want Palestine.”

Follow Nour Samaha on Twitter: @samahanour

Israeli Officials: Starve Iranians to Stop Nukes

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Where’s the humanity in saying you want to “starve” a whole group of people?

(H/T: Saladin)

Israeli officials: Starve Iranians to stop nukes

by Attila Somfalvi (YNetNews)

Iran’s citizens should be starved in order to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, officials in Jerusalem said Wednesday ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Washington.

“North Korea is halting its nuclear program in order to receive aid in food, and this is what should be done with Iran as well,” one unnamed official said.

“Suffocating sanctions could lead to a grave economic situation in Iran and to a shortage of food,” the source said. “This would force the regime to consider whether the nuclear adventure is worthwhile, while the Persian people have nothing to eat and may rise up as was the case in Syria, Tunisia and other Arab states.”

“The Western world led by the United States must implement stifling sanctions at this time already, rather than wait or hesitate,” the official said. “In order to suffocate Iran economically and diplomatically and lead the regime there to a hopeless situation, this must be done now, without delay.”

‘Iran has hidden capabilities’

Earlier Wednesday, North Korea said that it has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and adopt a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday the North has also agreed to allow International Atomic Energy inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment and confirm disablement of its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

On Tuesday, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the Islamic Republic has yet to reveal all of its military capabilities, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has many hidden capabilities which are kept for rainy days,” Vahidi said, adding, “We have not yet revealed all our capabilities.”

Addressing Israeli strike threats, the Iranian minister said Washington objects to statements on an Iran strike as the US is aware of Iran’s power and realizes that anyone who becomes embroiled in a conflict with Tehran will be defeated.

She’s a Witch: Parents charged for ‘exorcizing’ teen girl

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , on February 27, 2012 by loonwatch
Cross

What if they were Muslim?

Parents held for ‘forcing demons’ from daughter

Cross-posted from The Local

( H/T: Benjamin Taghiov)

The father and step-mother of a 14-year-old girl from western Sweden were charged on Friday with repeatedly beating and burning the girl because they “thought she was a witch”, according to the prosecutor.

“According to the girl’s version of events she has been subjected to being locked up, has had her feet tied together, assault through being burned with a red-hot knife in a torture-like manner and other violent rites and exorcisms,” prosecutor Daniel Larsson wrote in a statement.

Along with the parents, a pastor from a small religious community in Malmö has been charged.

“There is a pastor in Malmö who is under suspicion but is currently abroad,” Larson wrote.

According to local paper Borås Tidning (BT), suspicions first surfaced in 2004 when an anonymous report to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) claimed all was not right, but the agency opted not to pursue the matter at the time.

Six years later, in 2010, the agency received new reports that the child was being abused, as well as information indicating that her father had taken her to Skåne to force the evil demons out of her.

The 37-year-old father denies all allegations saying he has done everything in his power to help his daughter who has been feeling “mentally unsettled”.

“He says he knows of no violence against her at all,” said defence lawyer Jan Elgmark to news agency TT.

Instead, the man claims to have sought medical advice, and help from his church, in dealing with the girl’s problems.

The 33-year-old step-mum is under suspicion for systematically abusing the girl over a long period of time.

“She denies these allegations,” her defence lawyer Torkel Stenbäcken told TT.

The prosecutor claims that the parents have shaved off the girl’s hair and locked her up so that she couldn’t infect her younger siblings with her “inherent evil”.

“My client hasn’t been privy to anything like that. But there are others who are under suspicion and it is possible that they have. However, it isn’t a criminal act to give someone a haircut,” Stenbäcken told TT.

He also denied that the step-mother had burned the girl with a red hot knife.

“There is no substance to those claims,” her lawyer said.

The woman has, however, admitted to some form of exorcism being performed.

“Yes, you could say that but that isn’t a crime. That’s religion and you’re allowed to practice that,” said Stenbäcken.

He added that it wasn’t the step-mother who had performed the rites, but other people. Prayers had been said in order to exorcize the demons from the girl or make her feel better.

“This is done in a religious context and I guess they thought it might help,” Stenbäcken told TT.

Buddhist Killer Pardoned by Muslim Victim’s Family

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2012 by loonwatch

This is a story you wont see on JihadWatch:

Buddhist Killers Pardoned by Muslim Victim’s Family

Relatives of a Muslim Sri Lankan worker murdered by his Buddhist colleague in Abu Dhabi told court they have decided to pardon the killer, prompting the judge to bring forward hearings for sentence.

An official from the Sri Lankan embassy in Abu Dhabi handed the pardon document from the victim’s relatives to court on Tuesday, the semi official Arabic language daily Alittihad said.

“They just pardoned the Buddhist killer without demanding any diya (blood money) taking into consideration that the killer’s family is poor,” it said.

It said the pardon prompted the judge to bring forward hearings to February 27 to issue a sentence after they were scheduled for June.

Imagine if the Buddhist killer had been Muslim and the Muslim victim been Buddhist, who doubts Spencer would link the killing to Islam, relating it to jihad or some other convoluted made up theology that only exists in the feverish mind of Sheikh Spencer?

Instead, Spencer chooses to focus on another story reported in the same article, about a man who murdered a European woman he was paying for sex. The man murdered her and then went to pray, which certainly is odd (and proves more about his lack of conscious than any link to religion), but the fact that Spencer would try to relate it to Islam is just plain sick yet not surprising.

For Spencer this is another opportunity to denigrate Muslims and Islam while also trying to link the killing to “honor killings” and “jihad.”

Spencer writes in a post titled, Dubai: Muslim murders woman, then goes to mosque to pray,

We have seen this phenomenon in the past with some honor murderers and jihadists: they apparently believe that they have done something pleasing to Allah, and so are almost serene after the murders.

Jewish Extremists Target Palestinian Church, Spray Paint “Death to Christians”

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by loonwatch

What if they were Muslim?

Jerusalem Church Vandalised with Graffiti Inciting Hatred Against Christians

(IMEMC)

Racist graffiti has been sprayed on a church in Jerusalem on Monday in the third such incident in the past month in the city.

The graffiti included “Death to Christians” and the phrase “price tag” was found on the walls of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation according to reports from Ma’an News Agency.

Furthermore residents of the area found their car tyres slashed.

This attack follows a similar such incidents, occurring on the same day in early February, where the bilingual school Hand In Hand and the Monastery of the Cross where vandalised, also promoting violence against Christians.

Attacks under this monicker of price tag refer to actions by Israel’s settler population who respond to moves by the State of Israel against illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Despite the dismantling of outposts that Israel deems illegal being carried out by the state, price tag attacks are almost universally against Palestinians, including numerous acts of arson against mosques in the West Bank.

Under the 4th Geneva Conventions, which Israel is a signatory, all construction of civilian property and the transfer of a civilian population by an occupying power is illegal, as is the displacement of the local population. Despite this, Israel distinguishes between it’s settlement activity, with the majority of settlements gaining construction approval by the state, who also provide funding for construction and subsidised loans for Israelis moving to settlements.

In addition to pre-approved settlement construction, many outposts that are constructed in violation of Israeli national law are given retroactive planning permission.

Israelis Celebrate Death of Palestinian Children Killed in Accident

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by loonwatch

If these revelers of the death of children were Palestinian or Muslim you can rest assured that Islam would be blamed!

If one were to employ the cynical and faulty methodology of Islamophobes one could easily find verses in the Bible justifying their happiness with the tragic deaths of the Palestinian Children, “happy is he who dashes children on the stones.”

Israelis celebrate death of Palestinian children killed in accident

(Al-Akhbar English)

Ten Palestinian children were killed and at least 20 were wounded on Thursday morning after an Israeli truck carrying a fuel tank crashed into the school bus transporting the kindergarten children near the Qalandia checkpoint in Ramallah.

Israelis on Facebook were celebrating the deaths of the Palestinian children, writing derogatory statements on a wall of a news post regarding the accident.

The bus carrying the children collided with the truck at an intersection in Jaba’a, overturned, and caught on fire.

The children immediately died, while a further eight remain in a critical condition, according to medical officials with the Palestinian Red Cross.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of mourning.

Ramallah-based journalist Diana Alzeer said the collision was likely an accident due to wet weather, and not politically motivated.

In Bethlehem, a 15-year-old boy died this morning after a truck skidded on a slippery road and ran the boy over.

A statement released by the police said they have opened an investigation and confirmed that the boy died on the spot. Emergency crews arrived to the scene and transferred the boy’s body to a hospital in Beit Jala.

The Israeli comments have gone viral on Twitter, shocking users into disbelief at the level of racism and hatred directed towards the deceased Palestinian children.

Israel maintains a military occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, imposing harsh restrictions on indigenous Palestinians while providing privileges to illegal Jewish settlers.

Palestinians are frequently attacked and harassed by settlers as well as the Israeli military, often with impunity.

(Al-Akhbar, Wafa)

Shaul Spitzer, Hasidic Man Admits Burning Neighbor In New York Religious Dispute

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by loonwatch
Shaul_Spitzer_Hasidic
Shaul Spitzer

What if he were Muslim?

Shaul Spitzer, Hasidic Man Admits Burning Neighbor In New York Religious Dispute

NEW CITY, NY, Feb 7 (Reuters) – A Hasidic Jewish man from New York state pleaded guilty to assault on Tuesday for setting a neighbor on fire because he wasn’t praying with the rest of the community, leaving the man badly burned.

Shaul Spitzer, 18, of New Square, New York, admitted to lighting Aron Rottenberg ablaze after learning that he had disobeyed a prayer order by the Grand Rebbe of the Hasidic enclave about 35 miles north of New York City.

He pleaded guilty to assault in a New York court and faces up to 10 years in prison, although Judge William Kelly said he would likely receive a 5-year sentence.

Spitzer, who worked for Grand Rebbe David Twersky, admitted in court that he used a heavy duty propane lighter to set Rottenberg on fire in May 2011.

He lit him on fire when Rottenberg confronted him after Spitzer had stuffed gasoline-soaked shirts into a bag, lit it on fire and threw it onto the porch of Rottenberg’s home, he admitted. The family was sleeping inside, court documents said.

Prosecutor Stephen Moore said Rottenberg spent more than a month in the hospital for severe burns.

Under the plea deal, charges of attempted murder and arson were dismissed. Spitzer could have faced a 25-year prison sentence for those charges. Outside court, Spitzer’s attorney Kenneth Gribetz said his client had been trying to cause mischief, not to kill anyone.

“This is a young boy who has no criminal intent,” he said. “He’s not a criminal … He should be given a chance to get back on the right track.”

Spitzer, who will be sentenced in April, entered his plea on the day jury selection was set to begin in the case. Rottenberg was in court and told the judge he consented to the plea deal.

Court documents said Rottenberg’s family had received several threats and had their property vandalized for not praying in the community’s main synagogue.

Rottenburg has a pending civil lawsuit against Spitzer and Twersky stemming from the incident. Gribetz said in court a settlement in the $2 million range was under discussion. (Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Johnston

US Officials Confirm: Israel Financing, Training and Arming MEK Terrorists to Murder Iranian Scientists

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by loonwatch

Tehran_Scientist_Iran_Israel_MEKIranian scientists car blown up by MEK terrorist

This past July I wrote a piece on the collaboration between, and support for the MEK (Mujahideen-e-Khalq) from US congressmen, as well as the intense effort to delist the group from the US State Department’s “designated terrorist” list.

Congressmen (including Democrats) and former government officials have met with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an organization that was designated a terrorist group in 1997 when the list was first compiled, and is STILL ON THE LIST–for now.

MEK has a very aggressive and organized lobby effort in Washington D.C. According to one House staffer, the MEK is “the most mobilized grassroots advocacy effort in the country — AIPAC included.” Their mission is to be delisted as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), push the USA to foment war with Iran, i.e. “regime change,” and have themselves installed into power. Sound familiar?

This exposed several issues which I touched upon in my July article:

1.) It is a felony to provide a designated terrorist organization with “material support,” which many elected officials it can be argued have been doing!

2.) “Numerous Muslims inside the U.S. have been prosecuted for providing ‘material support for Terrorism’ for doing far less than these American politicians are publicly doing on behalf of a designated Terrorist group.” Read Glenn Greenwald’s piece for a far from comprehensive list of Muslims who have been charged for doing far less than what these politicians did! (H/T: Believing Atheist)

Danios has written several pieces on the “Greater Islamophobia,” i.e. “bombing, invading, and occupying Muslim lands.” His and Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of the uptick in war propaganda, covert operations by both the USA and Israel are must reads. It is clear that we are reaching a crucial point from which we will be unable to return: are the wheels turning irreversibly towards war?

According to the Iranian American Islamic scholar Reza Aslan, the fact that there is so much public discussion of “war” against Iran is indicative of a private aversion to confrontation, he told us:

Nobody is going to war with Iran, neither the United States or Israel. I can tell you for a fact that Israel is not going to war with Iran because Israel keeps talking about it. If anybody who has studied Israeli politics at all can tell you anything is if Israel talks about bombing Iran then that means it has no intentions of doing it. When the Israelis want you dead you just die, OK.

Reza’s logic is pretty sound and lets hope he continues to be right, but sometimes, even when no one wants war you get war. History is replete with such a fact.

In the meantime we have the Israeli effort at sabotaging the Iranian nuclear program by targeting and killing Iranian scientists. It has been a not-so-well-hidden-secret that Israel has been using the MEK as a proxy in this war, a claim leveled by Iran for quite some time.

Now we have US officials confirming this fact. Of course, if true, this is nothing less than government sponsored terrorism!

All of these mysteries received substantial clarity from an NBC News report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem yesterday. Citing two anonymous “senior U.S. officials,” that report makes two amazing claims: (1) that it was MEK which perpetrated the string of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and (2) the Terrorist group “is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service.” These senior officials also admitted that “the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign” but claims it “has no direct involvement.” Iran has long insisted the Israel and the U.S. are using MEK to carry out Terrorist attacks on its soil, including the murder of its scientists, and NBC notes that these acknowledgments “confirm charges leveled by Iran’s leaders” (MEK issued a statement denying the report).

The ramifications for this are disturbing to say the least. The hypocrisy and double standards it exposes once again are evident. Greenwald summarizes the questions and conclusions reached from the NBC report far more eloquently than I could, so I repeat them:

If these senior U.S. officials are telling the truth, there are a number of vital questions and conclusions raised by this. First, it would mean that the assurances by MEK’s paid American shills such as Howard Dean that “they are unarmed” are totally false: whoever murdered these scientists is obviously well-armed. Second, this should completely gut the effort to remove MEK from the list of designated Terrorist groups; after all, murdering Iran’s scientists through the use of bombs and guns is a defining act of a Terror group, at least as U.S. law attempts to define the term. Third, this should forever resolve the debate in which I was involved last month about whether the attack on these Iranian scientists constitutes Terrorism; as Daniel Larson put it yesterday: “If true, the murders of Iranian nuclear scientists with bombs have been committed by a recognized terrorist group. Can everyone acknowledge at this point that these attacks were acts of terrorism?”

Fourth, and most important: if this report is true, is this not definitive proof that Israel is, by definition, a so-called state sponsor of Terrorism? Leaving everything else aside, if Israel, as NBC reports, has “financed, trained and armed” a group officially designated by the U.S. Government as a Terrorist organization, isn’t that the definitive act of how one becomes an official “state sponsor of Terrorism”? Amazingly, as Daniel Larison notes, one of the people who most vocally attacked me for labeling the murder of Iranian scientists as “Terrorism” and for generally arguing that Terrorism is a meaningless, cynically applied term — Commentary‘s Jonathan Tobinyesterday issued a justification for why Israel should be working with Terrorist groups like MEK. As Larison wrote about Tobin’s article:

In other words, Israeli state sponsorship of a terrorist group is acceptable because it’s in a good cause. . . . Because Israel is overreacting to a perceived threat from Iran, Tobin believes it is entirely defensible for Israel to partner with a recognized terrorist group. In other words, Tobin believes that terrorism is “entirely defensible” so long as it is committed by the right people and directed at the right targets. It’s as if he is going out of his way to vindicate Glenn Greenwald.

Of course, as I documented in my last book, those who are politically and financially well-connected are free to commit even the most egregious crimes; for that reason, the very idea of prosecuting Giuliani, Rendell, Ridge, Townsend, Dean and friends for their paid labor on behalf of a Terrorist group is unthinkable, a suggestion not fit for decent company, even though powerless Muslims have been viciously prosecuted for far less egregious connections to such groups. But this incident also underscores the specific point that the term Terrorism is so completely meaningless, manipulated and mischievous: it’s just a cynical term designed to delegitimize violence and even political acts undertaken by America’s enemies while shielding from criticism the actual Terrorism undertaken by itself and its allies. The spectacle whereby a designated Terrorist group can pay top American politicians to advocate for them even as they engage in violent Terrorist acts, all while being trained, funded and aided by America’s top client state, should forever end the controversy over that glaringly obvious proposition.

Here is the original NBC Report:

By Richard Engel and Robert Windrem (NBC NEWS)

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

The Iranians have no doubt who is responsible – Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, known by various acronyms, including MEK, MKO and PMI.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“The relation is very intricate and close,” said Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, speaking of the MEK and Israel.  “They (Israelis) are paying … the Mujahedin. Some of their (MEK) agents … (are) providing Israel with information.  And they recruit and also manage logistical support.”


Moreover, he said, the Mossad, the Israeli secret service, is training MEK members in Israel on the use of motorcycles and small bombs.  In one case, he said, Mossad agents built a replica of the home of an Iranian nuclear scientist so that the assassins could familiarize themselves with the layout prior to the attack.

Much of what the Iranian government knows of the attacks and the links between Israel and MEK  comes from interrogation of an assassin who failed to carry out an attack in late 2010 and the materials found on him, Larijani said. (Click here to see a video report of the interrogation shown on Iranian televsion.)

The U.S.-educated Larijani, whose two younger brothers run the legislative and judicial branches of the Iranian government, said the Israelis’ rationale is simple. “Israel does not have direct access to our society. Mujahedin, being Iranian and being part of Iranian society, they have … a good number of … places to get into the touch with people. So I think they are working hand-to-hand very close.  And we do have very concrete documents.”

Two senior U.S. officials confirmed for NBC News  the MEK’s role in the assassinations, with one senior official saying, “All your inclinations are correct.” A third official would not confirm or deny the relationship, saying only, “It hasn’t been clearly confirmed yet.”  All the officials denied any U.S. involvement in the assassinations.

As it has in the past, Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined comment. Said a spokesman, “As long as we can’t see all the evidence being claimed by NBC, the Foreign Ministry won’t react to every gossip and report being published worldwide.”

For its part, the MEK pointed to a statement calling the allegations “absolutely false.”

Ali Safavi, a long-time representative of the MEK, underscored the denial after publication of this article,

“There has never been and there is no MEK member in Israel, period,” he said. “The MEK has categorically denied any involvement. The idea that Israel is training MEK members on its soil borders on perversity. It is absolutely and completely false.”

The sophistication of the attacks supports the Iranian claims that an experienced intelligence service is involved, experts say.

In the most recent attack, on Jan. 11, 2012, Mostafa Ahamdi Roshan died in a blast in Tehran moments after two assailants on a motorcycle placed a small magnetic bomb on his vehicle. Roshan was a deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and was reportedly involved in procurement for the nuclear program, which Iran insists is not a weapons program.

Previous attacks include the assassination of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, killed by a bomb outside his Tehran home in January 2010, and an explosion in November of that year that took the life of Majid Shahriari and wounded Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who is now the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

In the case of Roshan, the bomb appears to have been a shaped charge that directed all the explosive power inside the vehicle, killing him and his bodyguard driver but leaving nearby traffic unaffected.

Although Roshan was directly involved in the nuclear program, working at the huge centrifuge facility between Tehran and Qom, Iran’s religious center, at least one other scientist who was killed wasn’t linked to the Iranian nuclear program, according to Larijani.

Speaking of bombing victim Ali-Mohammadi, whom he described as a friend, Larijani told NBC News, “In fact this guy who was assassinated was not involved in the nitty-gritty of the situation.  He was a scientist, a physicist, working on the theoretically parts of nuclear energy, which you can teach it in every university. You can find it in every text.”

“This is an Israeli plot.  A dirty plot,” Larijani added angrily. He also claimed the assassinations are not having an effect on the program and have only made scientists more resolute in carrying out their mission.

Not so, said Ronen Bergman, an Israeli commentator and author of “Israel’s Secret War with Iran” and an upcoming book tentatively titled, “Mossad and the Art of Assassination. (Read the rest)

************************************************************************

I will end by saying that this hypocrisy and double standards are nothing new to us. We reported back in July on the collaboration between US politicians and the material support they were clearly lending to a “designated terrorist organization.” Muslims and Islamic groups who have far less power than these hypocritical politicians are tarnished with the “unindicted terrorist” label and hence marginalized while the politicians roam free and actually put money into their pocket books from these terror groups.

Israel’s lies, distortions and terror are also well known to us. This is not the first time Israel has delved into “government sponsored terror” and it likely won’t be the last! On a daily basis Israel is terrorizing the Palestinians, a point many seem to miss! The question is when will we wake up and hold our political class to account for the hypocrisy, the double standards, the erosion of our civil liberties or are we willing to give it away for the false mirage of “security?”

Jewish Extremists Deface Monastery with “Death to Christians” Slogan

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by loonwatch
Death_To_Christians_Jewish_Extremists
Jewish Extremists deface monastery

Recently, Ayaan Hirsi Ali published an article in the Daily Beast titled, Global War on Christians in the Muslim World. I wonder if she will be brave enough to take on the Jewish extremists below who have been targeting Muslims and Christians.

If they were Muslim you can rest assure that the attack would be considered part and parcel of Islamic teaching.

(H/T: Z. Ahmad)

‘Death to Christians’: Suspected Jewish extremists deface monastery

JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem monastery, built on the spot where tradition holds the tree from which Jesus’ cross was made, was defaced with graffiti bearing the hallmarks of militant Jewish settlers, police said on Tuesday.

“Death to Christians” was daubed in Hebrew on the outer walls of the Monastery of the Cross, an 11th-century fortress-like holy site situated in a valley overlooked by Israel’s parliament.


Army Radio reported that “Maccabees of Migron” was painted on the monastery, too, The Associated Press reported. Maccabees were ancient Jewish heroes, and Migron is an unauthorized settlement facing a court-ordered evacuation. 

Such acts originally targeted West Bank mosques but have recently expanded to include a mosque inside Israel, Israeli military bases, and now, a Christian holy site.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the words “Price Tag” were also painted overnight by the vandals, who damaged two cars parked outside the monastery in the attack, according to Reuters.

The slogan, used by Jewish settlers in vandalism attacks on mosques and Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, refers to the retribution they say they will exact for any attempt by the Israeli government to curb settlement in the territory.

Israeli settlement building up 20 percent, watchdog says

“I am a priest and I forgive,” Father Claudio of the monastery, which is administered by the Greek Orthodox church, told Reuters.

Rosenfeld said police had opened an investigation.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kosher Meals Cost Taxpayers Over Half a Million Dollars: What if These Were Halal Meals?

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by loonwatch

GOP presidential hopeful and rabid Islamophobe Newt Gingrich is slamming Mitt Romney for vetoing a 2003 bill that would allocate an additional $600,000 of taxpayer money to provide poor Jewish nursing home residents with Kosher meals.  Thundered Gingrich:

Romney as Governor eliminated kosher food for retired Jewish senior citizens…He has no understanding of the importance of religious liberty in this country.

I myself don’t have a problem with providing Kosher meals, and I would not have opposed the additional funding like Romney did.  But, this does beg the question: what if this had been about Halal meals instead?

Had that been the case, the situation would have been completely reversed.  In that scenario, had Mitt Romney supported a bill that allocated over half a million dollars of taxpayer money to Halal meals for poor Muslim nursing home residents, what do you think Newt Gingrich and the rest of the right-wing would be saying then?  They would be ruthlessly attacking him for this.

We’d also hear a lot about how Muslims in America and the West in general demand “special rules” and “special treatment”–how they have a “feeling of entitlement.”  We’d hear about how Muslims want “hand-outs” and “leech off” of the rest of us.  We’d hear all the typical racist and bigoted charges that are often levied against non-white minorities.

Whenever a minority asks for cultural or religious accommodation, especially Muslims, they are accused of such things.  What good, white, Judeo-Christian folk sometimes fail to realize is that the system is by default heavily bent in their favor, with “special accommodations” for them already built in.

This reminds me of a conversation I overheard between a Christian and Muslim colleague of mine.  The Christian employee was complaining about how “it was unfair” that the Muslim colleague got to come in late for work on his religious holiday (Eid) and leave a bit early on that same day; she said: “It’s not fair: you guys get our Christmas off but we don’t get your holiday off.”  I couldn’t believe my ears.  She gets a whole two weeks off to go visit her family in another state, whereas he gets half a day off so that he can take his wife and kids out to eat at the local kabob joint.  The Muslim employee wants “special treatment” (if you can call it that) because the system is already so slanted in favor of the dominant, majority group.

I’ve seen a similar occurrence with Friday prayers, with Muslim colleagues racing back and forth during lunch to make it in time.  Meanwhile, Jews get Saturday off and Christians get Sunday off–by default.  At my work, we often have to come in on Saturdays, but observant Jews can get it off by “special request.”  If Muslims made that sort of request, we wouldn’t hear the end of it.

This is a nation of immigrants, and as such, we must be ready to accommodate–within the bounds of reason–various races, religions, and customs.  The only alternative, I suppose, is to adopt the nativist view of right-wingers: “they” must accommodate to “us.”  This view, however, fails to realize that both groups need to bend a little to accommodate the other.

Speaking of Kosher and Halal, one recalls how the Queen of Islamophobia, Pamela Geller, who is herself Jewish, attacks Muslims for how cruel Halal slaughter is, even though it’s virtually the exact same process used by Jews for Kosher.  Had a candidate supported a bill to give half a million dollars to provide Halal food, Geller would be screeching about how this was providing state support for evil Muslim butchery and animal cruelty.  Common sense and rationality are lost with such absurdities.

On that note, I think it would behoove the reader to consider how dramatically different views are when we substitute “Jew” for “Muslim” or the other way around: for example, the standard “you can’t be racist against Muslims, because Muslim is not a race” doesn’t seem right when we say “you can’t be racist against Jews, because Jew is not a race.”  It’s a worthwhile exercise to do any time you read a story about Muslims: just do the substitution and ask yourself if it sounds right.  There’s a reason it doesn’t: all of these anti-Muslim smears were once used against Jews: it’s the same message, just used against a different minority group.

Islamophobes never want to play the substitution game, which is why they cry “tu quoque, tu quoque” whenever anyone uses it.  They must at all costs prevent it from being used because it lays bare their bigotry.

In this particular case, it’s supporting “religious freedom” to use taxpayer money to provide Kosher meals to Jewish residents.  But remember: it would be against freedom and free choice to use taxpayer money to provide Halal meals for Muslims.  When it’s about Kosher, then it’s forcing your religious beliefs onto Jews to not provide Kosher meals, thereby “forcing” them to eat non-Kosher meals; when it’s about Halal, then it’s Muslims forcing their beliefs onto us, by forcing us to provide them with special meals.

As George Orwell said: ”Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them.”

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

What If He Were Muslim?: Jewish American Newspaper Publisher Suggests Israel Assassinate Barack Obama

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2012 by loonwatch
To date Obama has been one of the most pro-Israel presidents ever.

Andrew Adler wrote that he thinks Benjamin Netanyahu should assassinate President Barack Obama because he is not pro-Israel enough. Obama has been one of the most pro-Israel presidents out there and still you got the nutbags on the Right who want him dead.

Imagine if an American Muslim publisher had wrote this? He would be getting water-boarded in Guantanamo as we speak. Also, you could bet that the condemnations from Muslim leaders would barely be recognized, unlike in this case, where the outrage at Adler’s statements from within the Jewish community is highlighted very well.

Uproar after Jewish American newspaper publisher suggests Israel assassinate Barack Obama

(Haaretz)

NEW YORK – The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.

Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the third is to “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”

Adler goes on to write: “Yes, you read “three correctly.” Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it. If have thought of this Tom-Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles?”

Adler apologized yesterday for the article, saying “I very much regret it; I wish I hadn’t made reference to it at all,” Adler told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. And in an interview with Gawker.com, Adler denied that he was advocating an assassination of Obama.

Op-ed in Atlanta Jewish Times - January 21 2012 The op-ed in Atlanta Jewish Times.

The American Jewish Committee in Atlanta last night issued a harsh condemnation of Adler’s article, saying that his proposals are “shocking beyond belief.”

“While we acknowledge Mr. Adler’s apology, we are flabbergasted that he could ever say such a thing in the first place. How could he even conceive of such a twisted idea?” said Dov Wilker, director of AJC Atlanta. “Mr. Adler surely owes immediate apologies to President Obama, as well as to the State of Israel and his readership, the Atlanta Jewish community.”

Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, also blasted Adler on Friday, saying “There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. It doesn’t even belong in fiction. These are irresponsible and extremist words. It is outrageous and beyond the pale. An apology cannot possibly repair the damage. Irresponsible rhetoric metastasizes into more dangerous rhetoric. The ideas expressed in Mr. Adler’s column reflect some of the extremist rhetoric that unfortunately exists — even in some segments of our community — that maliciously labels President Obama as an ‘enemy of the Jewish people.’ Mr. Adler’s lack of judgment as a publisher, editor and columnist raises serious questions as to whether he’s fit to run a newspaper.”

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.

Newcastle, Australia: Mosque Attacked by Several Men, One with a Cross Tattooed on His Neck

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2012 by loonwatch
Mosque_AttackMosque Attack

The Newcastle mosque in Australia has been attacked several times. “Srebrenica,” a reference to the slaughter of thousands of Muslims during the genocide against Bosnian Muslims was spray painted on the mosque just a month ago.

Now, a few thugs forced worshippers into locking themselves in the mosque so as to avoid confrontation and violence with them. I don’t believe there is a correlation between Spencer’s recent visit to Australia and this attack on the mosque, however, such attacks are the Islamophobes’ wet dream.

Many Islamophobes love violence against Muslims. Violent rhetoric against Muslims is what sites like BareNakedIslam regularly indulge in, such sites are defended by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, whose own sites have approved of violence and intimidation directed at Muslims.

(Visit the original site for video of the attack):

Wallsend mosque attack: worshippers fear escalating violence

BY JANEK SPEIGHT (The Herald)

AN attack on a Newcastle mosque, trapping seven worshippers inside, has been caught on security camera.The attack happened only minutes after a group of children had finished a scripture class and is the latest in a series of incidents that have left the city’s Muslim community feeling ‘‘vulnerable and scared’’.In the security footage, which has been provided to police, two tattooed men are seen to approach the Wallsend mosque about 9.30pm on Monday.One man, with a large tattoo of a cross on his neck, kicks through the fence gate and hurls an object at the mosque’s front door.

Then he runs and smashes a flying kick into the door.

More objects are thrown at the building and one of the men is seen to shout what appears to be abuse.

Newcastle Muslim Association vice-president Diana Rah said seven worshippers were inside the mosque at the time and managed to lock the main entrance on the side of the building.

The two men tried to kick through this entrance but were unsuccessful, she said.

Ms Rah said a group of children left the mosque after an evening scripture class only minutes before the men arrived.

Newcastle police Chief Inspector Dean Olsen said the attack was being investigated. He called for anyone with information to come forward.

Click below to see images taken from the CCTV footage.

Ms Rah said incidents against the mosque had increased in the past three months.

Garbage had been thrown across the mosque’s front lawn and the fence had been broken down on another occasion.

In April, an envelope containing photographs of three slaughtered pigs was left at the mosque’s doorstep. The pigs had been half-buried on land where a new mosque was to be built.

Last month the word ‘‘Srebrenica’’ was sprayed in graffiti across a neighbour’s car parked outside the mosque.

Srebrenica is the name of the town where 8000 Muslims were massacred in July 1995 during the Bosnian war.

The association had also received abusive emails and threats.

Ms Rah said that in the past 20 years there had been only a handful of isolated incidents directed at the Wallsend mosque.

But since the association had made plans to establish its mosque at Elermore Vale, the incidents had increased and were ‘‘starting to become a pattern’’.

Ms Rah said the Newcastle Muslim Association had ‘‘a lot of faith in the wider Newcastle community’’ and knew the majority were not responsible for the ‘‘unacceptable’’ acts.

The association had installed a high-tech security camera system.