Nothing to do with Islam

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Salman Rushdie on Charlie Hebdo: ‘Vilifying … These Fallen Artists’ Is ‘Disgraceful’

From In These Times:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/17534/salman_rushdie_on_charlie_hedbo

The target of an infamous fatwa weighs in on satire, free speech and religion.

By Terry J. Allen
January 15, 2015

A week after two gunmen massacred staff at the offices of the Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, author Salman Rushdie came to Vermont on a bitterly cold January day. He’d been invited to give a speech for Vermont Reads, a Humanities Council program that annually selects one book—this year, Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Storiesto spark statewide discussion.

In the question period that followed his talk, Rushdie, was asked about Charlie Hebdo. A writer with hard-won insight into the clash of satire, free speech and religion, Rushdie spent years in hiding, under police protection, after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then the Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a 1989 fatwa against him. Essentially an assassination order, it condemned Rushdie for blaspheming Islam in his novel The Satanic Verses, which included a less than hagiographic portrayal of Muhammad.

Just after the Charlie Hebdo murders, Rushdie issued a much-shared statement that read in part, “Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.”

Rushdie expanded his thoughts on the conflict between church/mosque and free speech in an interview with Vermont Public Radio: “The victory of the French Enlightenment was a victory over the church and not the state. And out of that came the modern idea of free expression. So now you could argue that we’re having a similar battle but different religion, different church, but same argument.”

In answer to a question about satire, Rushdie told the packed house at the University of Vermont:

If you are a writer, it’s kind of like if you’re a composer, you would have an orchestra to compose for, and sometimes you write more for the strings and sometimes more for the keyboard, and you don’t have to write for the same  thing every time you compose. In the same way when you’re  writing, you don’t always write for the same part of the orchestra. And so satire is one of the tools and it’s a very important one. And actually  in the history of France, it’s been enormously important ever since the French Revolution. Some of the first really powerful satirical pieces in the French history were [pamphlets]—the sheet that was distributed in the street, attacking Marie Antoinette after she encouraged people to eat cake, which was very bad for their health. So there was a kind of early gluten-free satire at that time.

The French satirical tradition has always been very pointed and very harsh. And still is, you know. And the thing that I really resent is the way in which these, our dead comrades, these people who died— using the same implement that I use, which is the pen or a pencil—have been almost immediately vilified and called racists and I don’t know what else. Which is a dreadful crime against their memory.

Continue reading at:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/17534/salman_rushdie_on_charlie_hedbo

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Protesters in Iran chant ‘Death to France’ over Mohammed cartoon

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/protesters-in-iran-chant-death-to-france-over-mohammed-cartoon/


19 Jan 2015

More than 2,000 Iranians protested Monday outside the French embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to France” and urging the ambassador be expelled because of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

The demonstration was in response to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s use of the cartoon in an edition published a week after 12 people were killed by Islamist gunmen at its Paris offices.

The image has angered many Muslims as depictions of Mohammed are widely considered forbidden in Islam, and has triggered protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, some of which turned deadly.

Iran denounced the Paris massacre but it also condemned the magazine’s new cartoon, where the prophet holds a “Je suis Charlie” sign under the heading “All is forgiven”.

Plans for Monday’s protest led the French ambassador to announce that the embassy, located in busy downtown Tehran, would be closed all day.

The gathering, organised by students but attended by all age groups, was given a heavy security detail of around 150 Iranian police, and although noisy it passed off peacefully after two hours.

Continue reading at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/protesters-in-iran-chant-death-to-france-over-mohammed-cartoon/

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Letter to an antisemite

From Times of Israel:  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/letter-to-an-antisemite/

Fred Maroun
January 12, 2015

I received your message the other day.  Thank you for taking the time to write.  You asked me why I, a non-Jew, speak so loudly about antisemitism.  You said that I make too much of a big deal about Israel.  You said that lots of people are anti-Zionist without being antisemitic,even Jews!  You said that antisemitism is not really a problem, and that the Holocaust should be left alone in the history books.  You said that I should forget about the outdated issue of antisemitism.

I regret that my support for Israel offends you and that my opposition to antisemitism disturbs you, but I will reply to your recommendations by asking you some questions.

Since you are an educated person, you must be aware of the overwhelming evidence that Israel is isolated, demonized, singled out, and boycotted for the sole reason that it is the Jewish state.  Why do you choose to ignore this antisemitism?

When someone makes callous remarks about the Jewish nation being “that shitty little country”, do you nod enthusiastically?

When someone arrogantly declares that Israel is a Western imperialist power on the land where Jews have lived for over three thousand years, do you agree?

When someone scornfully announces that Israel’s settlements building is an obstacle to peace even though Palestinians have rejected multiple attempts at a two-state solution, do you respond with approval?

When someone self-importantly condemns Israel’s security barrier, claiming that it is racist, do you acquiesce?

When someone condescendingly makes claims of “apartheid” in Israel, the only country in the Middle East where the rights of religious and ethnic minorities are respected, do you approve?

When someone disdainfully proclaims that Israel is engaged in genocide in Gaza every time it dares defend itself against terrorism, do you smile in agreement?

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When Parents Are Criminalized: Couple In Trouble for Letting Their Kids Walk Unsupervised

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/maryland-parents-legal-trouble-letting-their-kids-walk-alone

Authorities tell parents they may lose their kids; tell kids a stranger will grab them.

By Cliff Weathers
January 15, 2015

A Maryland couple is in trouble with law authorities because they let their kids walk around the neighborhood without hovering over them.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say that their neighbors have called the local police and Child Protective Services because their children, ages 10 and 6, have been spotted walking to two area playgrounds without adult supervision. One playground is a mile away from the Meitiv’s home in Silver Springs, while the other is just two blocks down.

In a letter to Reason.com, Danielle Meitiv recalls a December 20 incident involving the police:

“On a Saturday afternoon in December, my husband, Alexander, gave our kids permission to walk home from the local playground. I was out of town at the time. When they’d walked about halfway, a Montgomery County Police patrol car pulled up. A ‘helpful’ neighbor had called 911 to report unaccompanied children walking outside. Our kids were brought home in a police cruiser.

At the door the police officer asked to see my husband’s ID, but did not explain why. When he refused, she called for backup.

A total of six patrol cars showed up.”

The Meitivs say that law enforcement authorities and social services representatives have questioned their children while at school, and without their knowledge or consent and that the investigation infringes on their rights as parents to raise their children in a manner that they see fit. The parents also say the authorities asked their 10-year-old son what he would do if seized by a strange adult. According to Alexander Meitiv, they told his son that “there are creeps out there that are just waiting to grab children if they’re walking by themselves.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/maryland-parents-legal-trouble-letting-their-kids-walk-alone

The Gender Police

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-wilson/the-gender-police_b_6460848.htm


01/13/2015

The lady blocks my way as I try to walk into the bathroom, I go to walk around her, she’s looking me right in the face and when I try to dodge her she sidesteps into my path again, we do a little dance, her challenging me, me trying to walk in the door, coincidentally I need to pee.

Eventually, she lets me in with a suspicious little squint in her eye and when I’m sitting on the toilet I can see her sensible shoes standing guard outside. For some reason I make sure to pee loudly. She lets me leave and I’m struck with a bad case of the staircase wit, Treppenwitz the Germans call it, where one’s mind is suddenly flooded with witty retorts to a situation you’ve just left. In my head they get more and more aggressive, going as far as remaining silent and just flashing my boobs at her. If anything grants entitlement to the ladies’ bathroom, surely they do.

Because that was her problem, she thought I was a man. This isn’t unusual for me, it happens all the time. People are just usually less defensive about the whole thing; they’ll stride into the loos, see me, stop in their tracks and do a double take on the sign on the door, confirm that they really did see a stick figure with a skirt and then proceed with caution and a few stares as I wash my hands and try not to do anything to make them uncomfortable, like stare back.

Life is just fine for me in every other aspect of life, I frolic freely in my androgyny and it’s not until those moments when your gender is asked of you that confusion ensues. Everyone does the calculations, you have to: He, she, her, him. What shall we call our baby?

There are the odd perks, the airline employee who when inspecting my boarding pass declared I couldn’t possibly be Olivia. I am and after a slightly too long pause with a jetlagged sigh told her so. The apologetic mortification that she felt lead to exceptional in-flight service and bottle of wine to take home. Then of course, the times when the ladies’ has a line stretching to infinity and I stride with confidence into the near-empty mens’.

The cringe factor is the extreme embarrassment people feel when they get it wrong. They have mistaken your place in the most basic division of humanity. The fact is that the world cradles gender identity at its core, and its only when you hover in the in between that it is blindingly obvious.

So when I see a fellow androgyne it warms my heart.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-wilson/the-gender-police_b_6460848.htm

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Bill Maher RIPS Liberals for ‘Extreme Bullying’ on Islam: You’re Part of the Problem

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Islamic State throws men off building for ‘being gay’ Read more: Islamic State throws men off building for ‘being gay’

From The Times of Israel:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-throws-men-off-building-for-being-gay/

In a series of photos, group depicts gruesome executions of various alleged criminals, including thieves and an unfaithful woman

By Times of Israel staff
January 18, 2015

Islamic State has published disturbing pictures of what it says are the executions of two homosexual men in Iraq — shown being thrown off a high-rise rooftop to their deaths

The organization has also released images of two men being crucified for theft, and a woman being stoned to death for infidelity.The two men, accused of being gay, are seen being led to the edge of a tall building as a large crowd gathers below to watch. The men are then photographed falling through the air. A later photograph shows their broken bodies laying on the ground.

Additional photographs show two men accused of stealing as they are tied crucifix-style to a metal frame, their eyes blindfolded as a masked IS member reads the charges.

Two other IS militants then shoot the two in the head, killing them.

A final killing depicts woman draped in an all-black niqab as she is led to her stoning, on charges of infidelity.

IS members are seen hurling rocks at her and waving the IS flag. Finally her limp body is covered with a tarpaulin.

On Tuesday the jihadist group released a video on purporting to show a young boy executing two men accused of working for Russian intelligence services.

The video shows the two men apparently being shot dead by the child after being interrogated on camera about their alleged attempts to infiltrate IS in Syria.

Continue reading at: http://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-throws-men-off-building-for-being-gay/

See also: ISIS Executes Pigeon and Bird Breeders in Diyala, Iraq

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Slacking Workers of the World Unite

File under “Ain’t Goinna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More”

A friend of mind used to call his acts of work place sabotage “Willful Inefficiency”

From In These Times:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/17448/slacking_workers_of_the_world

We’ve made an art of wasting time at work. But to what end?

BY Lindsay Beyerstein
January 1, 2015

Seventy percent of porn viewing and 60 percent of online shopping take place during business hours. Studies indicate that worldwide, the average employee spends about 1 to 3 hours a day goofing off at work.

In Empty Labor: Idleness and Workplace Resistance, Roland Paulsen, a scholar of business administration at Lund University in Sweden, sets out to understand what he calls empty labor, which includes anything a worker does on the clock that isn’t work—be it surfing the web, sleeping, organizing the office football pool, or writing a doctoral dissertation on the sly.

Paulsen focused on the most extreme shirkers. He interviewed 43 Swedish workers who claimed to spend less than half of their work hours actually working. He tracked down these hardcore non-performers through friends of friends, web ads and the Swedish website maska.nu, where people share slacking stories and tips. Most were white-collar workers, but a construction worker, a security guard and several house cleaners also participated. Paulsen’s interviews were designed to answer two basic questions: How do you get away with this? and Why do you do it?

It turns out that slacking off is serious business: “ ‘Doing nothing’ while at work can be a very demanding activity requiring planning, collaboration, risk calculation, and ethical consideration,” Paulsen observes. Some subjects turned shirking into a game they found more meaningful than their actual jobs.

Even when productivity is difficult to measure, presence is easily quantified. In order to get ahead, workers have to be seen to show up early and leave late. Many of Paulsen’s informants said they put a lot of effort into punctuality and attendance (as well as personal grooming), which made managers less likely to question their low performance.

Paulsen concludes that the most successful slackers have jobs with high “opacity,” which means that other people have a hard time grokking what they actually do or how long it’s supposed to take.

Uber-slackers are taking advantage of a feature of the modern economy: It is unusually conducive to empty labor. We are often told that people are working longer and harder than ever, and that may well be true, on average. But in many jobs, work has become decoupled from tangible production, making productivity difficult to measure.

A web developer told Paulsen that her team gave inflated time estimates for projects they didn’t want to do, and nobody could contradict them, because only the web team knew how long it should take to build a website. When a client wanted to put flying sanitary napkins on a company website, the team claimed it would take weeks, instead of the short time it would actually require.

Continue reading at:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/17448/slacking_workers_of_the_world

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Attempt to stop child marriage in Saudi Arabia fails

From Progressive Secular Humanist:  http:www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/01/attempt-to-stop-child-marriage-in-saudi-arabia-fails/

by January 5, 2015

Islam: Religion of pedophiles? Despite efforts by human rights activists to end the barbaric practice of child marriage, Muslim men will continue to marry girls under the age of 15 in Saudi Arabia.

The push to raise the legal age of marriage to 15 was crushed after the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, the most senior religious authority in the country, ruled that Islam supports men marrying underage girls.

The Grand Mufti ruled that it’s acceptable for men to marry girls under the age of 15, despite strenuous efforts by human rights activists and the Saudi justice ministry to set 15 as a minimum age for brides in the kingdom.

Grand Mufti Abdulaziz declared there is nothing prohibiting Muslim men from marrying girls under the age of 15. Abdulaziz is president of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing Fatwas, which makes him the final authority in Saudi Arabia on Islamic teachings.

In Saudi Arabia, Muslim clerics have been fighting a successful battle to preserve the legal right of men to marry underage girls. In recent years reformists have been working to prevent and prohibit the abhorrent and barbaric practice of child marriage sanctioned by so many Islamic scholars. However, attempts to prohibit child marriage has met strong and sustained resistance by many Muslim scholars.

For example, in 2011, Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”

Most Muslim scholars in support of child marriage note that nowhere does Sharia (or Islamic law) set an age limit for marrying girls.

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No more asset seizure: Eric Holder bans controversial ‘war on drugs’ tactic

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/no-more-asset-seizure-eric-holder-bans-controversial-war-on-drugs-tactic/

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Bill Maher – Openly Secular

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Steve Earle

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Bill Maher on Charlie Hebdo attacks: “There are no great religions; they’re all stupid and dangerous”

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2015/01/08/bill_maher_on_charlie_hebdo_attacks_there_are_no_great_religions_they%E2%80%99re_all_stupid_and_dangerous/


Thursday, Jan 8, 2015

On Wednesday Bill Maher unloaded on religion on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and called for the unequivocal protection of free speech.

 The political comedian, who is promoting the upcoming season of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” was responding to the attack on Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead, 11 wounded and is viewed as a direct attack on freedom of speech.

“This has to stop, and unfortunately, a lot of the liberals, who are my tribe — I am a proud liberal–” Maher began.

“He’s about to turn on you,” Kimmel joked.

“No, I’m not turning on them,” Maher continued. “I’m asking them to turn toward the truth, as I have been for quite a while. I’m the liberal in this debate. I’m for free speech. To be a liberal, you have to stand up for liberal principles. It’s not my fault that the part of the world that is most against liberal principles is the Muslim part of the world.”

Maher contended that most Muslims would not carry out such an attack, but claimed that “hundreds of millions of them” support attacks of this manner.

Maher called for a complete condemnation of the attack, and broadened his view to the dangers of all religion.

“We have to stop saying when something like this that happened in Paris today, we have to stop saying, well, we should not insult a great religion,” Maher said. “First of all, there are no great religions; they’re all stupid and dangerous. And we should insult them, and we should be able to insult whatever we want. That is what free speech is like.”

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One thing will never be taken from Charlie Hebdo: courage

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/07/charlie-hebdo-attack-courage-journalism

This is an attack on independent journalism, on the freedom to inform and to comment – the challenge now is to defend the right to offend

Wednesday 7 January 2015

If there is one thing that will never be taken away from Charlie Hebdo, it is its courage. The courage to stand up for freedom of expression in the face of many pressures and dangers. Seeing the images of a Paris street locked down by police, and sirens wailing, in the aftermath of the devastating attack that has targeted the most emblematic French satirical newspaper and killed several of its journalists and cartoonists, the overpowering feeling is that of horror. A media platform has been targeted with the intention of it being destroyed.

 This is a particularly free-thinking, provocative example, one that very much symbolises what in France is called the “1968 generation”, a current of thought that sought to shake up the country, or at least the old family, patriarchic and religious traditions of gaullist France. Many of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists, such as Cabu and Wolinsky, who were killed in Wednesday’s this terrible assault, are familiar names to most French people.

They liked pushing the limits of what is generally deemed acceptable in public discourse, they weren’t shy about vulgarity, and could be accused of bad taste. But through their relentless creativity they offered up a mirror to many of France’s woes and traits, with always a generous laugh to be had.

For France as for the outside world, the dreadful violence that has come down on Charlie Hebdo can only be seen as an attack on independent journalism, on the freedom to inform and to comment, whether through writing, drawing or pictures. This has happened not in a far-flung war zone, nor in an autocratic country where liberty of the press is crushed, but indeed in the heart of a European capital.

As I write there has been no public identification of the hooded gunmen who stormed into the offices of Charlie Hebdo and opened fire against its team as it met for its weekly meeting – clearly knowing this was the time they could cause the most casualties. But some details are an indication of how the debate will unfold in France, and possibly beyond in the wake of this event.

 One of the assailants was caught on video shouting “Allah” as some shots rang out. In another clip, the attackers are heard shouting: “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the prophet Muhammad.” Over the years, Charlie Hebdo had published numerous cartoons ridiculing the prophet Muhammad. In November 2011, a fire-bomb attack gutted the headquarters of this weekly publication after it had run a special edition making fun of sharia law.

Because of the courage shown by Charlie Hebdo in producing its many provocative editions, with covers poking fun at religions – in particular, it must be said, at Islam – and because of the many intimidations it had suffered from in the past, what happened on Wednesday can only be seen as an attempt to terrorise, and to silence free thought.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/07/charlie-hebdo-attack-courage-journalism

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It’s Time to Ban ‘Reparative Therapy’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/its-time-to-ban-reparative-therapy_b_6458224.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


01/14/2015

In the wake of Leelah Alcorn’s death, there have been renewed calls to legally end the practice of using so-called “reparative therapy” to change children’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Laws in California, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., have banned the practice. These laws have stood up in court, and no further serious challenges appear to be on the horizon.

But that hasn’t stopped the right from pushing hard on talking points claiming that transgender teens need to be pushed into (religious) “therapy” that no reputable, licensed mental-health professional would provide. Their rationales are riddled with half-truths, logical fallacies, and outright lies.

Here are the facts, though.

FACT: Transgender and gender-nonconforming youth do better in homes that are accepting and supportive of their gender identity.

What proponents of reparative therapy always leave out of their talking points is that research by the Trans Pulse Project, the Family Acceptance Project, and the Williams Institute repeatedly shows that the best indicator of positive mental-health outcomes in transgender and gender-nonconforming youth is familial support.

Just so we’re clear here: Putting a child in reparative therapy, telling them God will send them to hell if they don’t stop being transgender, accusing them of being delusional, punishing them for stepping outside gender norms, and denying medically necessary care doesn’t fall in the “supportive” category.

FACT: By the time a transgender youth reaches adolescence (like Leelah), it is very unlikely that their gender identity will change or that their gender dysphoria will resolve itself spontaneously.

Even studies quoted by opponents of transgender equality acknowledge that children with cross-gender identification after puberty rarely change their minds. According to one such study:

One reason for the differing attitudes has to do with the pervasive nature of gender dysphoria in older adolescents and adults: it rarely desists….

FACT: There is no widely accepted evidence that upbringing can make someone gay or transgender.

According to neurobiologists Dick Swaab and Ai-Min Bao, writing in the 2013 textbook Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical:

Gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) [and] sexual orientation (hetero-, homo-, or bisexuality) … are programmed into our brain during early development. There is no proof that postnatal social environment has any crucial effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/its-time-to-ban-reparative-therapy_b_6458224.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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OPINION: Jews have been killed – so will it cause more problems for Muslims?

From Jewish News UK:  http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-jews-killed-will-cause-problems-muslims/

By Brendan O’Neill, Editor
January 15, 2015

The parallel moral universe inhabited by Europe’s chattering classes and celebs was starkly exposed last week. In Paris, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, an extremist stormed a kosher store, terrorised its patrons, and murdered four of them. Their crime? Jewishness.

And yet as this act of anti-Semitic barbarism was taking place, what were the opinion-forming set and the right-on glitterati worrying their well-groomed heads about? Islamophobia. The possibility of post-Charlie Hebdo violence against Muslims. They fretted over violence that hadn’t occurred, rather than violence unfolding before the world’s eyes in a store frequented by Jews.

So we had the bizarre spectacle of British newspapers thundering about a possible outburst of anti-Muslim madness at precisely the moment an outburst of anti-Semitic madness was taking place. Beware “Islamophobes seizing [the Charlie Hebdo] atrocity to advance their hatred”, hollered the Guardian as an anti-Semite was seizing a kosher shop to advance the world’s oldest hatred.

The day after the assault on the kosher store, three of the top 10 most-read articles on the Guardian’s website were dire warnings about potential Islamophobic violence post-Charlie Hebdo. Some folk seemed more concerned about possible attacks on Muslims than they were about actual attacks on Jews.

The gaping disconnect between observers’ fears of what would happen in France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and what actually did happen was summed up in comments made by George Clooney. On Monday, as the bodies of the four murdered Jews were being prepared for the flight to Israel, Clooney was telling fawning hacks about the scourge of “anti-Muslim fervour” in Europe. It got to a point where it wouldn’t have felt surprising to hear a journalist say: “Oh no, Jews have been attacked – will this cause yet more problems for Muslims?!”

Of course, it’s entirely legitimate to worry about a backlash against Muslims in the wake of Islamist terror. That some blank grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in France suggests there are indeed Muslim-loathing hotheads. But there’s no escaping the fact that observers struggle to acknowledge the seriousness of anti-Semitism. They find it easier to fantasise about a mob-led war on Muslims than to confront the real, growing problem of Jew-baiting.

We saw this last year, too, when there were numerous anti-Semitic outbursts during the Gaza conflict. Those who pose as progressive, who instantly reach for political placards whenever Muslims or another minority suffer abuse, didn’t say much. They fidgeted, ermed and ahhed, or, worse, offered an apologia for the new anti-Semitism. “If Israel didn’t treat Palestinians so badly, maybe Jews wouldn’t get attacked”, they hinted.

Continue reading at: http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-jews-killed-will-cause-problems-muslims/

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Syria Jihadists tie up woman in a public square and execute her for ‘adultery’

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/syria-jihadists-tie-up-woman-in-a-public-square-and-execute-her-for-adultery/

Agence France-Presse
14 Jan 2015

Al-Qaeda-linked militants have publicly executed a woman accused of adultery in northwestern Syria, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that in total 14 people had been executed for alleged adultery or homosexuality in the war-torn country since July, half of them women.

It released a video showing fighters from Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, tying up a woman and shooting her in a square in the town of Maaret Masirin in the province of Idlib.

A crowd of civilians and fighters are seen watching, as a jihadist accuses the woman of “corrupting the earth, and adultery”.

Islamic law views all sex outside marriage as a punishable crime.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/syria-jihadists-tie-up-woman-in-a-public-square-and-execute-her-for-adultery/

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive

From The Daily Beast:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/08/ayaan-hirsi-ali-our-duty-is-to-keep-charlie-hebdo-alive.html

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
01.08.15

The author of Infidel on the Paris massacre, memories of Theo Van Gogh, and why the Western media should reprint the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

God, I thought yesterday, how could this possibly happen? Charlie Hebdo is not new to this. They had reprinted the cartoons of Muhammad from 2006. They were under police protection for a good long time. They moved from their offices to new offices. So my first thought was, how could this even happen? How could the entire staff of Charlie Hebdo be gone—murdered in cold blood?

And then came the memories. In Holland, when my friend Theo Van Gogh was killed just over 10 years ago, what followed—after the initial shock—was that a lot of people started saying that he was a provocateur, and that he had offended Muslims. For me, it was morally very clear. You were morally very confused if you thought that somebody who uses speech, who uses words, who uses the pen, should be killed for that; if you thought that the only way to have a dialogue is for one side to use words while the other side uses violence to make their point. Everyone out there who says, “Charlie Hebdo provoked,” is making the same fundamental error.

We do need to wake up to the fact that there is a movement—a very lethal movement, very cruel—that has a political vision about how the world should be organized and how society should live. And in order for them to realize their vision, they are willing to use any means. They are willing to use violence. They are willing to use terror.

Is this some kind of cult? Or are the principles of this cult embedded in Islam? I happen to think they are embedded in Islam. The only way peace-loving Muslims can get rid of this is by reforming their religion so that, for example, it can no longer provide justifications for murdering people deemed to be blasphemers. And while they go about reforming their religion, which will take some time, we who do not adhere to that religion need to defend our own values. Freedom of speech. Freedom of publication. And the rule of law.

The questions going through my mind are: How on earth are there Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers in the heart of Paris? How did they get it in there? You think it’s only these three guys? There’s a whole network. There are a lot of people hiding weapons. When I was in Holland, this is the kind of thing people feared. The more we appease, the more we indulge, the more emboldened the enemies of freedom become.

The ball is now in the court of the media. If the press responds to this by not reprinting the cartoons, by not defending the principle that Charlie Hebdo was defending, then we have given in. Then they have won. Those three men yelled, “Allahu Akbar.” They yelled, “The Prophet is avenged. Charlie Hebdo is dead.” Our duty is to keep Charlie Hebdo alive. Our duty is to make sure that they realize that the Prophet is not avenged.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/08/ayaan-hirsi-ali-our-duty-is-to-keep-charlie-hebdo-alive.html

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Moroccan Born Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam tells intolerant Muslims to f***k off

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