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Can Mehdi Kazemi be saved?
About this time three years ago the world witnessed what I consider a human sacrifice to the idols of secular society. Before this month is out we could see this happen again.

I was outraged at this story from yesterday's post about Medhi Kazemi a 19 year old gay man from Iran. And I learned this morning that there is an Iranian lesbian who is under the same type of death sentence.

Just as the ancient Canaanites sacrificed their children to an idol of Moloch in the hopes of ensuring prosperity and worldly success, the British and Dutch governments seem to believe that occasionally surrendering a victim to certain death will allow them to maintain the status quo of their comfortable lifestyle and avoid angering the evil spririts that clamor for a blood offering.

The success the right to die movement had in obtaining a court ordered execution of Terri Schiavo shows that here in the US we are capable of the same moral algebra that would plug in the value of a human life to an equation that negates conflict, cost, confrontation or hardship. But the solution is of course temporary. And as we euthanize our elderly or disabled or abort a child with Down's syndrome, or who is simply unwanted, the value of our lives decline and buy us less and less.

In the case of the gay Iranians, despite all the pretensions England and Holland have to being free societies, I think it can be argued that the erosion of the value of human life in a post-Judeo-Christian society has created a society that is less free. Holland in particular has so morally de-sensitized itself, that it can't even summon the weakest defense of an asylum seeker who would otherwise be welcome with open arm. But it would seem the specter of Islam can send the Dutch running back to the security blanket of their hedonism. It's a nation that loves the sin, but not the sinner.

My hope for Medhi may be a longshot, and it will test the true moral strength of both religious and secular society. Could a coalition of gays and Christians, liberals and conservatives, proponents of both relative and absolute morality agree that the lives of Medhi Kazemi and Pegah Emambakhsh have value and should be saved from an unjust fate? I will do my best to throw down the gauntlet to my influential pro-life Christian friends and allies and plead for their support to raise awareness of the plight of the Iranian deportees. I run the risk, if I overestimate their generosity of spirit, of becoming even more bitter and disillusioned than I was in the wake of Terri's execution. I hope those in the gay community will do likewise and at least in this instance put aside any differences of opinion we may have. Hopefully for Medhi and Pegah it's not too late.
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The Disappearance of Alex Mechisvili
Alex disappeared on the 3rd of February 2006. He was 11-years-old, a talented pianist, an A student, and a recent immigrant to Greece. He lived with his mom and stepfather in Veria, a town in Northern Greece, in an area, along with Edessa and Kozani, that the Interpol calls "The Triangle of Abuse". Months after Alex's disappearance five of his classmates confessed to his murder; they said that they chased Alex through town, beat him, and threw him down the stairs of an abandoned building. Two days later the same kids went back to the building, loaded Alex's body in a shopping cart, walked across town in broad daylight, and threw his body in the river. That was their original confession to the police. A few days later, after they were let free and allowed to go back to their families and hang out with their relatives and friends and with each other, they retracted their confessions.

A psychologist who interviewed these children believes that Alex may have been a victim of a pedophile ring and Natela, Alex's mother, thinks the same. However, the police in Veria don't seem too interested in the pedophilia angle even though during the time of Alex's disappearance a businessman in the neighbouring town of Edessa was charged with assaulting a number of young boys and paying their parents money to silence them. In case the police needed more evidence that they should examine the pedophilia angle in Alex's case, one of the victims in Edessa has identified at least one the kids who confessed to Alex's alleged murder as being involved in pedophile activity.

The children will not face any criminal charges for this murder. They might have to go to reform school or they might not but for the time being they are free to roam Veria and to hang out in front of Alex's house, taunting his mother. One of their mothers, a shrill harpy of a woman whose son has retracted his confession, is threatening to sue Natela and the psychologist who's claiming there's a pedophile ring involved. The adults suspected of involvement in Alex's death are not facing any charges. The police have stopped their investigations because the case is "in the hands of justice" now. And Alex hasn't beeen found yet.

Natela and her husband have started a blog since Alex's disappearance. The blog is in Greek except for this one post: For our foreign friends

Our 11 year old son dissappeared without trace from the centre of Veria on 3rd February 2006 at 7.00 p.m. No one saw anything unusual that night.
Our search for him was carried out on an international scale.

On 2nd June 2006,without letting us know beforehand, the police started excavating beside the Town Hall of Veria. Frantically, we asked the police what was going on and they replied that they had been looking into the case and had discovered a gang of 5 juveniles who had confessed to killing our son and had subsequently pointed out various places where they claimed to have buried him.
Almost immediately after this, 3 of the 5 retracted their confessions, declaring that they had been playing a hoax on the police with their original statements.
Up till now, the police have still not discovered the whereabouts of our son's body. On top of this, even through there are adult relatives of the 5 juveniles implicated in the case, the police clame that they are unable to put any pressure on them, as this would be a violation of the human rights of all those involved!!
To say that the police have bungled this investigation would be a compliment; a more accurate characterization of the police work in this case would involve the words stupidity and corruption. And I can't even think of what kind of "justice" would let five young murderers free to taunt the mother of their victim.

Veria is a known center for traffickers of drugs, sex slaves and illegal immigrants. It's a small town with a small town mentality, where people know everyone's business and little goes unnoticed. But the same small town mentality keeps people from talking and the police don't seem that interested in listening anyway. It's highly possible that the children who killed Alex are covering up for adults who are molesting them. But we'll never know because instead of the children being taken away from Veria and placed in a safe environment in the care of professionals while the adults are being investigated by the police, the police released the kids to the care of the same adults who are suspected of helping them dispose of Alex's body.

All I can say to Natela is κουράγιο, courage, and I'm so sorry for the nightmare you're going through.
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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Also Serves as Toilet When Needed
Berlin Holocaust Memorial Used as Toilet. Am I shocked? No, not really.
Just days after Holocaust Memorial Day, when the world commemorated the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, it has emerged that Berlin's Holocaust Memorial has been used for a highly inappropriate purpose by members of the public. In the first few months after it opened in May 2005, the memorial in Berlin's city center was used as a public urinal.

The memorial -- officially known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe -- is made up of 2,711 concrete slabs, each 95 centimeters apart, and set in an area 19,000 square meters, the size of three football fields. It lies just next to the historic Brandenburg Gate and has many dark passages separating the slabs, that are barely visible from the exterior. It seems that many tourists and passers-by availed of this relative privacy to relieve themselves in a place that is intended to commemorate the fate of Europe's Jews under the Nazis. The memorial, which cost €25.3 million to build, has been seen as a major success, attracting 3.5 million visitors in its first year alone.
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A culture of protest
In Greece, from nuns on strike to grenades in the ambassador's bathroom, protests and marches are a daily event. And so of course is tear gas.
This ancient city, considered the birthplace of democracy, is also a hotbed of protest. On any given day, some group – doctors, students, peaceniks, garbage men, prostitutes, and even nuns – is walking off jobs or taking to the streets.

Rare, too, is the week when nothing is bombed, set alight, or otherwise destroyed. In a year here, I've accidentally wandered into more clouds of tear gas than during five years reporting on war and conflict in Africa. No wonder: Authorities report an average of two protests a day in the city – many of which turn destructive. And that's not including strikes, riots, or other forms of dissent.

The morning the cars were burned in my neighborhood, I'd made my way toward Syntagma Square – the heart of modern Athens – along normally busy streets now empty of cars. Outside the little deli where I shop nearly daily, helmeted riot police were clustered in full force, plastic shields resting at their feet, behind a blue armored car blocking the road.

Riot police are a sight I've gotten used to – and that Athenians accept with a shrug and some adjustments. They simply make shopping detours when the downtown is choked off and ship the kids off to grandmothers when schools are shuttered, as they were for months last year. I've even seen waiters scurrying along beside marchers carrying coffee on brass trays to shop owners waiting out the protestors.
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What could have been
Entente Tres Cordiale: France and Britain Almost Became One Nation. Good thing they didn't. Imagine the waves of culinary shock that would envelop the western world: Frog in a hole; Spotted dick avec bearnaise; Haggis lyonnaise; Yorkshire pudding Provençal; This would have been worse than the Cold War.
French prime minister Guy Mollet suggested a Franco-Anglo union to his English counterpart Anthony Eden in 1956, reports the BBC, citing newly-released documents from the British National Archives.

The formerly secret government cabinet paper dated Sept. 10, 1956 reads: "When the French prime minister, Monsieur Mollet was recently in London he raised with the prime minister the possibility of a union between the United Kingdom and France." The extraordinary suggestion was turned down, however, meaning that the prospect of a new Anglo-French country would remain an intriguing historial hypothesis.
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Ségolène a Royal pain-in-the-neck
Ségolène Royal, the French presidential candidate, met with Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar and listened to a 20-minute tirade about “unlimited American insanity” for sending troops into Afghanistan and Iraq and how "Israeli Nazism is no better than Hitler’s Third Reich". She thanked Mr Ammar "for being so frank" and told him she agrees with his "analysis of the US".

Of course now she's saying her interpreter failed to translate Mr Ammar’s comparison between Israel and the Nazis and she said that if he had, she would have walked out. Uh-huh, yeah, I'm sure she would have. Next she'll tell us it that it came as a huge shock to hear that nice Hezbollah guy make such comparisons.
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French Troops Get Go-Ahead To Fire On Israeli Warplanes
Good job, Omelet. You put them there, you provoked them, and now they have a license to kill IDF pilots. You turned a war with Hezbollah into a war with France. Nice work.
A week after Israel conducted the second of two series of mock air raids over French UNIFIL soldiers, France's contingent has been given permission to shoot at Israeli warplanes if the troops feel threatened, a high-ranking French military officer was reported as having said on Thursday.

A report in the Jerusalem Post said Thursday that the French contingent of UNIFIL would consider further aggressive flyovers a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

"There was a reality on the ground and it was important for us to reaffirm what we had seen and explain clearly what are the orders of the French soldiers to protect themselves," the French officer, who was not identified, was quoted as having said.
"No assurances were made to us that they [the Israeli Air Force] would stop [the flights]," the officer added. "The orders that the [French] soldiers have is that their weapons are for self-defense."

UNIFIL spokesperson Milos Strugar supported the French position, saying that according to Resolution 1701, the UN peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon had the right to use force in self-defense, even against Israeli aircraft.

Meanwhile, UN officials denied reports Thursday that Israel had trained peacekeepers to clear cluster bombs dropped across South Lebanon during the July-August war.

"Nobody from UNIFIL has been to Israel to receive de-mining training and none will ever be," said Chris Clarke, program manager for the UN's Mine Action Coordination Center in South Lebanon.
Because Israeli mine-clearing trainers have Jewish cooties.
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The great patriotic toilet debate
Police in northern Italy have impounded a toilet on display at the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art because it flushes to the sound of the Italian national anthem.
Defence barristers for the museum argue that while the anthem does have patriotic and sentimental value, it is not a national symbol.

The prosecution on the other hand argue the symbolism of playing the anthem while flushing a toilet is an offence to the nation and they have put forward a robust case.
You did want a toilet thread, didn't you?
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At Roissy, 70 Muslims lose security clearances
Charles De Gaulle/Roissy airport hires many of its people from Paris's northern, Muslim cités. An investigative book decried this policy of hiring from among the wolves to protect the chicken coop, calling it an easy target for Islamic infiltration. Now, in an anti-terror investigation ordered by Sarkozy (in addition to shutting down the "unofficial prayer rooms" in the airport), 70 of the airport's Muslim employees have turned up as having associations with or sympathies to known terrorists, including a friend of shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Hey, I have an idea: let's hire drug addicts to staff our pharmacies, arsonists as forest rangers, and paroled child molesters to teach gym class. It makes as much sense as hiring devout Muslims for airport security jobs.
Seventy two employees of Paris's main airport have lost their security clearance after an anti-terrorism investigation that they posed a security risk.

Trade unions at Charles de Gaulle airport are threatening to go on strike over the issue, which they say amounts to religious discrimination. They claim the workers were targeted because they are Muslims.

The employees - mainly aircraft cleaners or baggage handlers - are suspected by France's anti-terrorism co-ordination unit, Uclat, of having links with radical Islam, or of attending terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

According to Uclat, one was a friend of Richard Reid, the British "shoe bomber" who tried to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001 and is serving a life sentence in the United States.

Jacques Lebrot, the deputy prefect of the Seine-Saint Denis département in which the airport is located, said all but two of the workers who lost their accreditation were Muslims. Charles de Gaulle airport draws many of its employees from the surrounding, troubled northern suburbs of Paris, where much of the population is of north African origin.
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Do-nothing UNIFIL troops afraid to go out at night as Hizballah rearms under their noses
What did you expect of an army of Finns and Frenchies? The most revealing quote from a report on Der Spiegel's investigation into UNIFIL, via Jihad Watch:
Despite the 20,000 troops deployed in southern Lebanon, the United Nations admits that weapons smuggling from Syria continues unhindered. A German report finds UNIFIL does not patrol after dark.
Hizbullah terrorists are free to roam at night without fear of being identified by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), according to a report by the German paper Der Spiegel.
This is a dangerous and predictable farce. The honesty of the officers who are speaking to Der Spiegel is disarming, but Hizballah is rearming and they are doing nothing except building themselves saunas.
The report cites a long tradition of UNIFIL inaction, which it says allowed time for a Finnish contingent to construct a giant sauna and an Indian contingent to decorate its base with tradition Indian artwork.
This is the great triumph of Condi Rice's diplomacy and Olmert's (hot-)air war. Due to being led by wimps, morons, and wishful thinkers, we appear predestined to vanish off the world stage, sucked up our own fundaments by the vacuum of purpose and will inside us. I only wish the foreshadowing wasn't so obvious.
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Mediterranean mentality
A few days ago I mentioned that a 16-year-old student was raped in a small town in Greece, during the student strikes and school occupations.

The victim is a Bulgarian immigrant to Greece and she's a straight A student, the best student in her whole school. She's a quiet girl without many friends, and she worked as a waitress after school to support her mother and herself. She had a crush on one of the rapists, her schoolmate, and he knew it. He asked her to have sex with him and his three friends. She refused and the four boys made a plan: he called her on her cell phone, apologized for his previous request, and asked her to meet him in the school bathroom where they could be alone. She went to meet him, and his three friends barged in, locked the door, and they took turns holding her down and raping her. Three girls were in the bathrooms too, they saw the incident but not only they did nothing to help, they took photos from the next stall. They erased them before the police could get them.

The girl went home shaken and very upset and told her mother what happened. The mother took her to the hospital and the doctors contacted a social worker who contacted the police and the police arrested four 16-year-old boys.

One of the rapists' mother contacted the news shows to express her outrage that her son was called a rapist when "everyone knows that this girl has sexual relationships with everyone! Even with adults! She's a whore! She goes with everyone because she wants to increase her sex skills! Why are you set on destroying a 16-year-old boy's life by branding him a rapist?!"

I wanted to throw up.

Most residents of the small town are outraged - not at the rapists but at the victim. Students from the school were interviewed in groups, their faces blurred on camera, and they said the worst imaginable things about the victim. They said it was voluntary, that she asked to have sex with all four of them and that earlier in the day she had sex with other groups of people in the bathroom. No one has said who those other groups of people were.

People don't believe it was rape and said it was the victim's fault and that she and her mother should leave. Back in 1998 this town's city council had voted that all "foreigners" should be kicked out of town as a means to reduce an increase in crime. The police has let the rapists go free until their case is brought to court and they returned to school today, like nothing has happened. But the victim is not at school; the police told her that it's best to stay away from town for a few days for her own protection. The girls who taped the incident were not even questioned.

People are trying to put responsibility at the school because "this happened at the school!" It's not a school if it's under student occupation, if there are no teachers, no adults, no supervision, no learning. Parents who let their 14-15 year olds to "occupy" the school think they're fostering civil rights and responsible citizenship, but the kids know the truth: they're free to attend a never-ending party with no restrictions and no limitations.
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'Marauding youths' with guns
More buses were torched in Paris today, on the anniversary of last year's riots. I wonder how long it'll be before other European 'marauding youths' decide to show their solidarity by setting buses on fire, just like when Greek 'marauding youths' demonstrated their "solidarity with the rioters of the French ghettos" last year by bombing banks and setting cars on fire.
Police deployed 4,000 reinforcements as marauding youths torched at least two public buses Friday, the anniversary of the deaths of two teenagers that ignited weeks of riots in largely immigrant housing projects across France.

After the buses were burned, Paris' transport authority curtailed bus service in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of the capital, which is home to thousands of immigrants and their French-born children.

Thierre Ange, a 19-year-old witness, said four men attacked the bus, "made everyone get off, then they hit a woman and dragged out the bus driver by his tie" and torched the bus with a gasoline bomb in a bottle. The blackened carcass of another bus that was burned earlier stood across town in Le Blanc Mesnil.
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Human guinea pigs for Turkey
Greece is evaluating reports that Greek Cypriots missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus have ended up as guinea pigs in Turkish biochemical experiments. I don't expect that anything will come of this, Greece is in such a hurry to have Turkey admitted to the EU that it's ignoring the 1,600 people missing for over 30 years now.
Earlier this week, newspapers quoted the American 'Defence and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy report saying that some of the 1974 missing ended up as guinea pigs in secret Turkish biochemical experiments between 1984 and 1988. The experiments had been witnessed by Kurds who had themselves managed to escape.

Yesterday Phileleftheros, which was first to publish the contents of the article, spoke Gregory Copley, president of the Washington-based International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), which produces the defence bulletin exclusively for governments. Copley said the association had a lot of information relating to Greek Cypriots captured in 1974 and used as guinea pigs. He said he was still gathering more information.

“It’s a very hot question for the Turkish military authorities,” he said, adding that day by day more information was emerging about Turkish biological and chemical weapons’ programmes, something they were watching closely.

Copley said he and his associates had been hearing about the programmes for a long time, but had only managed to secure concrete information over the past few months, “which we have published already”. “Now we are looking for more detailed information,” Copley said.

He said his sources were various people in Turkey, including in the intelligence services.
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Acts of war
After the latest ambush on police officers in a Paris housing project, a French police union stated that officers are facing "a permanent intifada".
Michel Thooris, head of the small Action Police union, claims that the new violence is taking on an Islamic fundamentalist tinge.

"Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of 'Allah Akbar' (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned," he said in an interview.

Larger, more mainstream police unions sharply disagree that the suburban unrest has any religious basis. However, they do say that some youth gangs no longer seem content to throw stones or torch cars and instead appear determined to hurt police officers — or worse.

"First, it was a rock here or there. Then it was rocks by the dozen. Now, they're leading operations of an almost military sort to trap us," said Loic Lecouplier, a police union official in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris. "These are acts of war."

National police reported 2,458 cases of violence against officers in the first six months of the year, on pace to top the 4,246 cases recorded for all of 2005 and the 3,842 in 2004. Firefighters and rescue workers have also been targeted — and some now receive police escorts in such areas.
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Christian fundamentalists, please quit beheading people
Gerhard Schroeder, Germany's Ex-Chancellor, describes in his upcoming memoirs how he was suspicious of President Bush's constant references to his Christian faith. No worries, Mr Schroeder, I understand completely, I'm suspicious of Christians too. Do you know they hug strangers in their churches? There you are, sitting quietly in some fundamentalist church, and all of a sudden the fundamentalist preacher orders people to hug each other. And that's not the worst of it. In some fundamentalist churches, people might invite you to their house for dinner. If that happens, run away quickly before they infect you with good cheer and love and forgiveness and all that nasty business. But in case they force you to come to dinner, at least make sure to avoid the green jello and cottage cheese stuff; it's Christian fundamentalism at its worst.
"What bothered me, and in a certain way made me suspicious despite the relaxed atmosphere, was again and again in our discussions how much this president described himself as 'God-fearing,'" Schroeder wrote, adding he is a firm believer in the separation of church and state.

Schroeder accused some elements in U.S. as being hypocritical when it comes to secularism in government.

"We rightly criticize that in most Islamic states, the role of religion for society and the character of the rule of law are not clearly separated," Schroeder wrote. "But we fail to recognize that in the USA, the Christian fundamentalists and their interpretation of the Bible have similar tendencies."
Do they now...
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Aeroflot Hindenburg Won't Break Even For At Least Another Decade
Ouch. Socialism is expensive.
PARIS Airbus is unlikely to break even on the A380 superjumbo jet for at least another decade, as massive cost over-runs linked to the delay of the twin-deck plane push back the timetable for recovering development costs, company figures released Thursday indicate.

Airbus and its parent company, European Aeronautic Defense & Space, predicted Thursday that they would now need to sell 420 of the 555-seat planes in order to recoup more than $13 billion in expected expenses, up 55 percent from a forecast of 270 planes last year. The company also confirmed that it could deliver only 84 of the planes by the end of 2010, down from a forecast in June of 159 planes.

Airbus now has 159 firm orders for the A380, a number that has not changed in almost a year. With Airbus in the deepest crisis of its 36-year history, some analysts have suggested that getting many more new orders for the large plane might be a tough prospect. The company has said that it expects to sell 751 planes during the life of the program, which insiders say represents about 50 percent of the market for planes with 400 or more seats, like the Boeing 747.

Once the current A380 production bottlenecks have been cleared, Airbus should be able to produce around 45 of the jets a year beginning in 2010, executives have said. Based on that schedule, analysts said that Airbus could not expect to recover its costs until 2017.

"If the current figures are correct, then I think we are looking at another 10 years before it makes any money," said Philip Lawrence of the Aerospace Research Center at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
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British Tolerance Growing Smaller
About bloody time. The Blair government is threatening odious Muslim supremacist groups like the MCB with a loss of funding if they are not behind British values 100%. Why were they funding them in the first place? Search me. Additionally, the government is backing universities that ban veil-faced women.
Muslim organisations that refuse to defend core British values and fail to take a "pro-active" role in the fight against extremism are to lose access to millions of pounds of Government funding, it was disclosed yesterday.

Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, said it was time for a "fundamental rebalancing" of relations with Muslim organisations if a new generation of terrorists was not to grow up in this country.

The tough new approach would involve shifting grants towards those organisations which accepted and promoted a set of "non-negotiable values" including respect for the law and freedom of speech.

"It is only by defending our values that we will prevent extremists radicalising future generations of terrorists," Miss Kelly said in a speech to Muslim groups in London.

In an apparent threat to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the umbrella group for Muslims which has received more than £200,000 from Government in the past two years, Miss Kelly highlighted its refusal to take part in Holocaust Memorial Day.

"I can't help wondering why those in leadership positions who say they want to achieve religious tolerance and a cohesive society would choose to boycott an event which marks, above all, our common humanity and respect for each other," she said.
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The Moors won
Traditional Spanish festivals commemorating Spain's expulsion of the Moors are being scaled back to avoid offending Muslims.
The festivals commemorate Spain's expulsion of the Moors, which was completed in 1492 after nearly 800 years of rule in much of the country. The fiestas, which each village holds on a different date, are common in many areas of Spain, particularly around the southeastern city of Valencia. Revelers typically dress up in period costumes and sometimes stage mock battles. In the finale, Christians defeat Muslim Moors, and an image of the prophet is destroyed.

But after the worldwide Muslim anger over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, published a year ago, some villages are toning down their festivals, the newspaper El Pais said. In the most recent case, last month the village of Beneixama near Valencia did away with the custom, the newspaper said.

"It was not an essential act, and as it could hurt some people's feelings we decided to skip it," mayor Antonio Valdes told the daily.

The paper said several other communities were also scaling back. It said that amid the cartoon uproar in February, the Valencia-area village of Bocairent abstained from its traditional practice of destroying the effigy.
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Acts of submission
Read this excellent interview with Bassam Tibi, a German-Syrian political scientist who plans to leave Germany when he retires and come to Cornell. He says that "America's strength is that it is capable of accepting people into its communities." I couldn't agree more. "Europeans Have Stopped Defending Their Values"
SPIEGEL: You are trying to say that critics of Islam are systematically silenced in Germany?

Tibi: Yes. Even the comparatively moderate Turkish organization DITIB says there are no Islamists, only Islam and Muslims -- anything else is racism. That means that you can no longer criticize the religion. Accusing somebody of racism is a very effective weapon in Germany. Islamists know this: As soon as you accuse someone of demonizing Islam, then the European side backs down. I have also been accused of such nonsense, even though my family can trace its roots right back to Muhammad and I myself know the Koran by heart.

SPIEGEL: You have said numerous times that the conflict between the Western world Muslim groups here is an "ideological war."

Tibi: The result of a conflict between two sides is that people politicize their cultural backgrounds. In Germany representatives of the Islamic communities try to hijack children who are born here, along with the entire Islamic community, to prevent them from being influenced by the society which has taken them in. Children born here are like blank sheets on which you can write European or Islamic texts. Muslim representatives want to raise their children as if they don't even live in Europe.
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'Should Turkey recognize the genocide of Armenia to join the European Union?'
Chirac calls on Turkey to admit genocide. Good luck with that, Mr Chirac. Maybe the future Turkish generations will learn some of their nation's history, provided that Turkey remains a secular country and is not ruled by Islamists or another junta again. Which reminds me: does the EU prefer an Islamic theocracy as a nation-member or would it prefer a military dictatorship? We better decide in the next few years.
Chirac's comments went farther than in the past, using the word genocide directly for the first time. In 2004, Chirac said Turkey should recognize the killings and make "an effort at memory" to join the EU, and France's parliament has officially recognized the killings as genocide.
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UK's descent into madness accelerates
The British are now threatening their police officers with dismissal (!) if they chase criminals! Mind-boggling.
Glen Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, says policing is a dangerous business.

Police officers who launch chases over roofs, railway lines and busy roads could be sacked for putting the health and safety of criminals at risk, it has emerged. New Home Office proposals say that any officer who knowingly flouts guidelines designed to protect themselves and the public could face dismissal for "gross misconduct". The suggested new rule has infuriated rank-and-file officers who feel that it amounts to a "criminal's charter".

The fear is that police will be too scared to give chase to a suspected thief, burglar or mugger because their own job could be at risk if anyone is injured. Scenarios outlined to the Daily Mail which could be affected include any confrontations which involve running across roofs, railway lines or busy roads. The idea is contained in the Home Office's "draft police misconduct procedure" - which was circulated in July this year. Underneath the heading of "gross misconduct", it lists all the offences which could lead to officers being sacked from their force.
no comments yetjenny left a comment at 12:51 pm 03/24
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France is Iran's best friend
Chirac urges no sanctions on Iran
Mr Chirac said that he believed that there was still potential for fruitful dialogue between Iran and the six nations currently involved in the Iran nuclear issue - the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.

"I am not pessimistic," he said. "I think that Iran is a great nation and that we can find solutions through dialogue."

Mr Chirac said he had never noticed that sanctions had been effective, although he said that he was not ruling out using them if necessary. Instead he suggested that the way forward was for negotiations to begin without any preconditions and for each side to make concessions once they are under way.

"We must, on the one hand, together, Iran and the six countries, meet and set an agenda for negotiations then start negotiations," Mr Chirac said. "Then, during these negotiations I suggest that the six renounce seizing the UN Security Council and Iran renounces uranium enrichment."
And after Iran has a nuclear bomb, then we can negotiate some more on when and where it's appropriate to use it.
no comments yetjenny left a comment at 12:51 pm 03/24
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Germany's neo-Nazi revival
Opinion polls indicate that the National Party of Germany could win between 4.8 per cent and 7 per cent of the vote in the upcoming regional elections in the northeast area of the country.
Slowly but surely, neo-Nazis have become an indispensable part of society in northeast Germany. They sponsor sports competitions and dance evenings. The baker offers loaves with smooth brown crusts called glatze, the German for skinhead. There is no niche of society here that has not been infiltrated.

“It began with Blood & Honour rock concerts in the 1990s,” says Benedikt, a middle-aged computer specialist who did not want to be photographed, “and we thought it would go away when the teenagers grew up. But now they bring their children [to meetings] and marry each other.”

One proud neo-Nazi father gave his daughter a black doll for her third birthday — and a bat to beat it with.
They can't brag about Hitler and the Nazi era since that would land them in legal trouble but that doesn't stop them from expressing their views in other ways, like wearing t-shirts with the slogan "Granddad was right". Such civilised people...
no comments yetjenny left a comment at 12:51 pm 03/24
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No appetite for sanctions in the EU
China wants dialogue, France wants flexibility and the EU is in no mood for sanctions against Iran: Resistance to Iran sanctions grows as powers meet.
Washington wants to convince Russia and China to raise the pressure on the Islamic Republic by asking the U.N. Security Council to consider sanctions, diplomats from several countries to participate in the talks told Reuters.

Some, however, expressed doubt that Washington would succeed given opposition in European capitals, Moscow and Beijing.

"There is no way the U.S. is going to walk away with an agreement to impose sanctions on Iran," said an EU diplomat from a country participating in the talks.
no comments yetjenny left a comment at 12:51 pm 03/24
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Temporary bout with sanity: Brits start profiling Muslims
About. Darn. Time. It looks like the backlash against Muslim imperial arrogance is firmly in place. Grandmothers and middle-aged white men can now heave a sigh of relief. Can we do this in America too, please?
THE Government is discussing with airport operators plans to introduce a screening system that allows security staff to focus on those passengers who pose the greatest risk.

The passenger-profiling technique involves selecting people who are behaving suspiciously, have an unusual travel pattern or, most controversially, have a certain ethnic or religious background.

The system would be much more sophisticated than simply picking out young men of Asian appearance. But it would cause outrage in the Muslim community because its members would be far more likely to be selected for extra checks.

Officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) have discussed the practicalities of introducing such a system with airport operators, including BAA. They believe that it would be more effective at identifying potential terrorists than the existing random searches.
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