A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press on global attitudes towards Muslims, Jews, and Christians found that among predominantly Christian countries, Russia is the most antisemitic, according to a March 18, 2005 report by the Regnum news agency.
Twenty-five percent of respondents to the Pew survey in Russia expressed hostility towards Jews, compared to 20% in Germany, 11% in France, 9% in the UK, and 8% in the US. Hostility towards Muslims was expressed by 46% of respondents in Germany, 38% in Russia, 32% in the US, 29% in France, and 18% in the UK.
Attitudes towards Jews and Christians in selected predominantly Muslim countries were generally more hostile, with a whopping 92% of respondents in Morocco expressing hostility towards Jews and 72% expressing hostility towards Christians.
Tourists, beware: Your guide book may tell you the way to Dingle in County Kerry, but all the road signs will be pointing you toward An Daingean in Contae an Ciarrai instead.This is nothing but cruelty to tourists, I tell you.
In an age where many people bemoan English's growing global influence, advocates of local languages scored a small victory Monday when Ireland enacted a law outlawing English in road signs and official maps on much of the nation's western coast, where many people speak Gaelic.
Locals concede the switch will confuse foreigners in an area that depends heavily on tourism, but they say it's the price of patriotism.
"The change is nice for the locals, but if a stranger's coming in without one of the new Dingle maps, it can be quite difficult," said Sarah Brosnan, assistant manager of the Dingle Bay Hotel, which — like most things connected to the tourist trade — won't be changing its name.
In all, more than 2,300 towns, villages, fields and crossroads that traditionally had both English and Gaelic names have had their previously bilingual road signs changed to Irish only. The change chiefly affects three far-flung regions of the western seaboard called the Gaeltacht, which has long been nation's last stand in the battle against English dominance.
There, English place names no longer have legal standing and may not be used in government documents or on official Ordnance Survey maps. The switch also applies in a few official Gaelic-speaking pockets of County Meath, northwest of Dublin, and County Waterford in the southeast.
On the breathtakingly beautiful Dingle peninsula in northwest County Kerry, signs with English spellings were taken down weeks ago, even in cases where the English versions remain popular in local parlance. Local villages still principally known as Ballydavid, Castlegregory and Ventry are now called only Baile na nGall, Caislean Ghriaire and Ceann Tra.
Gaelic enthusiasts say such place names are redolent of local history and eventually will prove less confusing for visitors — so long as they are armed with updated or Gaelic-friendly maps.
Locals like Brosnan, who went to an all-Gaelic school but speaks English as her first language, say promoting Gaelic is a point of pride.
"I can't see them ever allowing English back on to the signs," she said.
The new law says the government-run Ordnance Survey mapping agency must use only Gaelic names in the Gaeltacht area. The law does not apply to independent producers of maps, although they are expected to follow the policy.
The initiative has placed a new focus on the battle to preserve Gaelic in Ireland, where the language faded from everyday use in the 19th century, when Britain ruled the land.
Ever since Ireland won independence in 1922, successive governments have pursued a policy of mandatory Gaelic in schools and made it a requirement for many jobs, even though just 55,000 native Gaelic speakers remain in this country of 3.9 million.
About 40 percent of residents identify themselves as fluent in Gaelic on census forms, but in practice this doesn't seem to be anywhere near the case.
The government's Irish language commissioner, Sean O Cuirreain, reported this month that the state was spending $650 million annually on teaching children Gaelic in elementary and high schools, yet too few students were attaining "a reasonable command of the language" after 13 years and 1,500 hours of instruction. He called for an urgent review of how Gaelic is taught.
English, in practice, permeates even government-funded projects to promote Gaelic.
The state-run Gaelic radio network recently decided to begin broadcasting popular music in English, while the state's Gaelic TV station runs English-language films, often American cowboy movies. Other programs include such distinctly non-Gaelic offerings as "SpongeBob SquarePants."
O Cuirreain noted that the government and opposition lawmakers, though almost entirely pro-Gaelic in policy, were demonstrably pro-English in practice — less than 1 percent of parliamentary debates are conducted in Gaelic.
Another impact of the law is that, for many places, the government has settled eons of argument about what the locality's real Gaelic name should be. Some villages and smaller rural entities called "townlands" have had rival spellings — and even totally competing names.
The town of Mountcharles in northwest County Donegal, for instance, has often been known in its straight Gaelic translation "Moin Searlas," but the government-approved list rejects this in favor of a more medieval name "Tamhnach an tSalainn," pronounced as "townuck awn tallan" and meaning "hill of salt."
Just minutes before a high-stakes soccer game not long ago between this city's home team, Ajax, and their rivals from the southern city of Eindhoven, a chant built to a roar in the hall packed with supporters where they were serving plastic pint cups of Dutch beer.Somehow, Americans have usually managed to root against teams named after races without attacking that race itself. We can separate the team from its namesake. Europeans haven't managed to achieve the same enlightenment, predictably. Even so, you'd think they'd have the taste not to go after Jews, living on the particular continent that they do and all. It's not just Europeans though-look at how Mexicans act.
"Jews, Jews, Jews!" thousands of voices cried.
Outside, souvenir stalls sold Israeli flags or flags with the Ajax logo, the head of the fabled Greek warrior, emblazoned inside the star of David. Fans arrived with hats, jackets and scarves embroidered with Hebrew writing. Until recently, the team's official Web site even featured the ringing tones of Hava Nagila and other Jewish songs that could be downloaded into fans' mobile phones.
Few, if any, of these people are Jewish.
"About thirty years ago, the other teams' supporters started calling us Jews because there was a history of Jews in Ajax," explained Fred Harris, a stocky man with brush-cut hair and a thick gold chain around his neck, "so we took it up as a point of pride and now it has become our identity."
For years, the team's management supported that unique identity. But over time what seemed to many people like a harmless - if peculiar - custom has taken on a more sinister tone. Fans of Ajax's biggest rivals began giving the Nazis' signature straight-arm salute or chanting "Hamas, Hamas!" to provoke Ajax supporters. Ajax games have been marred by shouts of "Jews to the gas!" or simply hissing to simulate the sound of gas escaping.
The most disturbing displays have come during games against teams from The Hague or Amsterdam's greatest rival, Rotterdam. But even Eindhoven fans get into the act: not long after the game started, a chant arose from the corner section of the city's stadium reserved for fans of the opposing team.
"Everyone who's not jumping is a Jew!" the crowd cried over and over again as thousands of people in the section jumped up and down.
Ajax games have become so charged with such anti-Semitic displays that many of the team's Jewish fans now avoid the games altogether. The offensive behavior is not one-sided: during a game against a German team late last year, a group of Ajax supporters displayed a banner that read "Jews take revenge for '40-'45," a reference to the Holocaust.
"We were probably too tolerant," said Uri Coronel, a Jew who was a member of Ajax's board in the 1990's, speaking about the management's past attitude.
Since then, the atmosphere at the games has become "unbearable," he said, adding that the fans' adoption of a Jewish identity is widely misunderstood as something positive.
"A lot of Jews all over the world believe that Ajax fans are proud to call themselves Jews, but it's a kind of hooliganism," he said.
There is no clear reason why Ajax, founded in 1900, became known as a Jewish club. Amsterdam has always had the largest Jewish population in the Netherlands and the club had two Jewish presidents in the 1960's and 1970's. It has had Jewish players at various times. The club, which owns 73 percent of the listed company that owns the team, also has some Jews among its 400 members, but no greater a percentage than their representation in the city's general population. There are no Jews on the club's current board.
"The club has no real Jewish origins," said John C. Jaakke, the club's dapper president, speaking before the Eindhoven game.
Nonetheless, the club became identified in the public mind with Jews in the 1950's, and by the 1970's, opposing fans began to call Ajax supporters Jews. The supporters adopted the identity in a spirit of defiance.
Mr. Jaakke said the trend had bothered the club's management for the past 10 years, and many Jewish supporters have complained that it makes them uncomfortable. Finally, last year, during a period of national debate about the language being used in soccer stadiums, the board decided to take the opportunity to address the issue. One of the main catalysts for that debate was not anti-Semitic chants, but chants calling the well-known girlfriend of an Ajax player a prostitute.
Mr. Jaakke called a meeting with representatives of the club's two main supporters' associations last year to communicate the management's concerns. Mr. Coronel, the son of Holocaust survivors, spoke to them about how hurtful the language was to Jews. Finally, in his New Year's speech, Mr. Jaakke expressed the management's desire that fans drop their pretended Jewish identity.
"Not only Jews are bothered by this," said Mr. Jaakke, "I'm not Jewish and I hate it, too."
The club has asked an independent committee, headed by the Dutch foreign minister, to discuss the issue and try to come up with a strategy for ending the practice. Mr. Jaakke said there had been some suggestion that fans substitute the word "Goden," or gods, for "Joden," or Jews, and call themselves "sons of gods," on the logic that Ajax was a sort of god.
Mr. Jaakke conceded that forcing the fans to change their behavior was a daunting task. "It's difficult for the supporters because it has become part of their identity," he said. "Many people are walking around with Jewish stars tattooed on their bodies and they're not Jewish at all."
Standing in a section behind the goal reserved for hard-core Ajax fans, the leader of the more fanatical of the teams' two supporter associations said he understood that it hurt Jews who lost family members during the war, but complained that it was the fault of other teams' fans.
"We don't say anything that hurts anyone," said the tall, sharp-featured man who would give only his first name, Henk. "Even if we stopped, they'd still call us Jews."
A cheer of "Let's go, Jews, let's go!" started up among the fans around him.
"It'll never change," he said. "It's been our identity for almost 30 years - you can't erase it." He tugged down the neck of his shirt to reveal a large light-blue star of David tattooed on his chest with the word AJAX emblazoned above it in black gothic letters.
The crowd booed the U.S. national anthem and a spattering of fans chanted "Osama! Osama!" before play started, and shortly after Lewis' goal.The Greeks are particularly talented at having their sports spectatorship with a side of vile hatred. Here's what they did two days after 9/11:
But perhaps the most outrageous incident happened during a soccer match between a Greek and a Scotland club on Sept. 13. Fans of the Greek soccer club tried to burn the American flag before the start of the game and booed during a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States. "What went on in Athens disgusted me," the coach of the Scotland team said in a statement to the Associated Press. "What badly disappointed me was that there was no effort made by anyone, the police included, to do anything about it. I could not believe such anti-American feeling in a European country."A shot of Jaeger to zorkie for the Greek link...
No more excuses, Gov. Bush, no more delay. You have said you would do anything you could legally do to save Terri Schiavo’s life. The time is now.PS-Pinellas County employees are obsessively loading and reloading the Empire Journal's website, including people in Greer's building (and probably he, himself).
Mary and Bob Schindler Sr., her parents, consulted a St. Petersburg attorney about removing Michael Schiavo as their daughter’s guardian and discussed the case at length with him.Read the entire thing and see if you don't feel a cold hand on your shoulder.
Unfortunately, the Schindlers did not have the amount of money the attorney demanded as a retainer to take the case.
That attorney then became the judge in the case-----a totally prohibited conflict of interest.
Thereafter, the attorney-judge approved the hiring of George Felos as the attorney for Schiavo to be paid from the trust fund and the stage was set for judicial homicide..
The judge wasn’t George W. Greer of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
It was Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mark I. Shames.
Since the inception of the Terri Schindler-Schiavo case in the Florida courts, the fix has been in.
“The law of this case is that she will die", Greer has steadfastly ruled .
While Greer is the ultimate executioner in the case of the 41-year-old disabled woman dying of starvation and dehydration, he has had accomplices in the court system in this judicial homicide and Terri Schiavo’s destiny was predetermined in early 1997 in the court of Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mark I. Shames and allegedly all the way up to the 2nd District Court of Appeals and Chief Judge Chris Altenbernd.
Not only did Shames allegedly try to covertly withdraw the feeding tube from Terri as early as 1997 but he had a wholly prohibited conflict of interest which has tainted the case from the beginning and is clear evidence of the fraud and deception that exists in the case.
The Florida Code of Judicial Conduct dictates that a judge is mandated to disqualify himself in a proceeding in which he has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding and if the judge has served as a lawyer (or been consulted) in the matter in controversy.
After the Schindlers discussed their potential case at length with Shames and wanted to hire him to represent them to remove the guardianship of their daughter from Michael Schiavo, Shames announced his candidacy for Sixth Circuit Court judge. Upon being elected, Shames was assigned the guardianship case of Schindler v. Schiavo and Shames failed to disqualify himself as required.
But even more disturbing is the involvement of Florida’s Attorney General Charlie Crist in the election of Mark Shames and his now known refusal to investigate allegations of abuse and Medicaid fraud in the Schiavo case.
Perhaps the reason that all attempts for a criminal investigation into the alleged attempted abuse and homicide of Terri Schindler Schiavo have been stonewalled lays in the 1996 election of campaign of Shames---the former president of the St. Petersburg Bar Association who had inside, privileged information concerning the Schiavo case.
Terri Schiavo's Reaction to Friend's Visit YesterdayAlso via Blogs for Terri, a slightly differing account:
Miami Herald - Terri Schiavo had an 'extraordinary' reaction to a friend's Sunday night visit, her parents' spokesman claimed Monday morning.
Friar Paul O'Donnell, spiritual advisor to Bob and Mary Schindler, said Schiavo received a visit from her father and friend Sunday night. When the friend, identified as Sherry, recalled their days dancing and partying together, Schiavo ''raised her hands up and was moving and started making gutteral sounds like she does when she talks to her mother,'' O'Donnell said.
Doctors have concluded that Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and that apparent reactions to loved ones are reflective. Supporters of the Schindlers are still hoping Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will intervene to replace a feeding tube that has kept Schiavo alive the last 15 years.
O'Donnell and other family spokesmen have been making regular pleads to replace the tube since it was removed 10 days ago.
''Everyone is willing to write this woman's obituary except one person and that's Terri Schiavo,'' O'Donnell said.
The courts have ruled that Schiavo did not wish to stay alive through artificial feeding. Gov. Bush has said there is no more he can do.
I JUST SPOKE WITH BOB SCHINDLER, TERRI'S FATHER. LAST NIGHT
TERRI HAD TWO OLD FRIENDS VISIT WITH HER. THE TWO WOMAN USED TO PARTY WITH TERRI. THEY WERE ON TERRI'S VISITORS LIST AND RECENTLY ARRIVED INTO TOWN TO VISIT TERRI. WHEN TERRI SAW THEM SHE BECAME EXCITED AND BEGAN INTERACTING WITH THEM, RAISING HER ARM, AND TRYING TO TALK TO THEM. MR. SCHINDLER SAID, " DESPITE HOW SUNKEN IN HER FACE IS BECAUSE THEY ARE STARVING AND DEHYDRATING HER, SHE WAS ALERT, VIBRANT AND WONDERFUL LAST NIGHT."
MR. SCHINDLER IS WORRIED BECAUSE HE NEVER KNOWS HOW MUCH MORPHINE THEY WILL GIVE TO HER IN BETWEEN HIS VISITS. HE BELEIVES IT IS THE MORPHINE THAT THEY ARE GIVING TO HER WHICH MAKES HER LETHARGIC, CONSEQUENTLY MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR HER TO BREATH.
PLEASE PRAY FOR A MIRACLE. TERRI IS FIGHTING TO REMAIN ALIVE.
IF YOU KNOW HOW TO HELP HER.... PLEASE USE YOUR CONTACTS.
CONTINUE TO CALL THE PRESIDENT. BEG HIM TO PLEASE TAKE ACTION TO SAVE TERRI. TERRI IS NOT READY TO DIE...SHE HAS A RIGHT TO LIVE AND SHE NEEDS OUR HELP BEFORE THEY OVERDOSE HER WITH MORPHINE.
I just visited the Web site that fascinated Jeff Weise, the 16-year-old who shot up his high school last week on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota.
There, I learned that the tribes of humanity must be separated or risk destruction by assimilation. That Jews are a "fanatical religious-ethnic" group conspiring to control communications media. And that for all the dubious talk about a "Holocaust," you never hear about the good things Adolf Hitler did.
I also read Jeff Weise's posts on the site's bulletin board. I was particularly interested in the one asking if the group would accept him, given that he was a Chippewa Indian. He was friendless, his father was dead, his mother in a nursing home, so there was something poignant and needy in the asking.
In all, I spent half an hour on nazi.org. It gave me a headache.
It used to be easier to laugh this stuff off. Once, when I was in college, a man in a "White Power" T-shirt came into the bookstore where I worked. My friend, Cathy, who was white, promptly plopped herself in my lap, pecked me on the cheek and asked loudly when I might be "home" for dinner. Mr. White Power glared at us, then beat a quick retreat.
Thirty years later, it's harder to respond to the apostles of organized hatred. Not just because the Internet gives them a reach no guy in a T-shirt could match, but because many have refined their message, made it slicker, given it a patina of reason.
The people behind nazi.org, for instance, would want you to know they don't consider themselves white supremacists. To the contrary, they are open to anyone - black, Asian, Indian - who believes blacks, Asians and Indians should confine themselves to their own countries - and that Jews are "vicious," "parasitic," "liars" and "hypocrites."
I won't subject you to a treatise on why these people are abhorrent. If you don't already know, you need more help than anyone can give you in a few inches of newsprint. No, I am only here to note the sad incongruity of an American Indian boy asking to join their ranks.
Perhaps when you heard that, you concluded that it spoke to the self-hatred that is sometimes inculcated among minority communities. But Jeff Weise's complaint wasn't that he hated Indians but, rather, that too many of his people were not "Indian" enough, that their culture was diluted by exposure to others. He was especially offended by those Indian youths who are fans of hip-hop. He saw them as more black than Indian.
It's a painful reminder that building a society where different cultures are welcomed and interaction valued is a difficult task. Some of us see it as the onerous burden of a politically correct era, while others see it as a clear and present danger to the status quo. The latter intuit, correctly, that when one culture is exposed to another, both are likely to be changed.
The difference between those people and the rest of us is that we aren't scared of change. We recognize that while change is a challenge, it is also a condition of life. The trick - difficult, to be sure, but also rewarding - is to hold on to what is good, yet incorporate what is new.
For some people, that's an accomplishment beyond achieving or even attempting.
We don't know what role Jeff Weise's Nazi beliefs played in his decision to kill nine people before taking his own life. But it seems obvious he needed what the Nazis provided - the illusion that culture can be made orderly and change put on hold.
Yet what did his Nazi friends have to say after the massacre? That they would not "wring hands" over a "tragedy," the last word in quotes to indicate that it wasn't tragic at all. Makes you sorrow for the boy even in the midst of your anger at him.
Jeff Weise wanted so badly to belong to something. Obviously, he never did.
Trying to understand why Indian boy wanted to join Nazis
The change in policy came after the six opposition Islamic parties forming the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) alliance demonstrated for months against the decision to remove religious affiliation from passports. It was their opposition that persuaded the government to set up the five-member ministerial committee to review the issue.After the huge rallies that succeeded in a nation going backwards, the MMA will now turn its attention on the education system.
He hoped that in the next phase, the government would also review its decision to ‘hand over the education system of Pakistan to the Aga Khan Education Board’, as it was aimed at promoting secular policies and making the education system Westernised.That's not good news at all. If there's one country in major need of education reform...
JI teams up with Abu Sayyaf; US wants India to be a major world power, will sell planes to it and Pakistan; we're running out of oil and the sky is falling!; Individual Ready Reserve called up again, Army desperate for bodies; Israelis want sea-based deployment capability; Iraq's loser looking for an exit strategy; The Army Of The Levant claims credit for bombing various stuff; CIA bungling; Iranian stockpiling; US to weaken Assad; Lebanese politics paralyzed; the Coast Guard arming up; FBI bungling; the Tri-Border area; Portland vs. the Feds; Zimbabweans miss the white man; Nigeria a powderkeg as usual; everyone annoyed with Japanese designs on their islands; Baluchistan chaos; we can assassinate Al Qaeda terrorists says Porter Goss; Harrier jump-jet proves its worth and much, much more...