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Iran Plans to Hang Reyhaneh Jabbari Tuesday

by Shabnam Assadollahi

Rayhaneh was apparently tortured until she confessed.

US Government Promoting Islam in Czech Republic

by Soeren Kern

Critics say the project's underlying objective is to convert non-Muslim children to Islam by bringing proselytizing messages into public schools under the guise of promoting multiculturalism and fighting "Islamophobia."

The group recently ran an advertisement promising to pay 250 Czech korunas ($13 dollars) to any student aged 15 to 18 years who would attend a two hour presentation about Islam.

More recently, Muslims in the Czech Republic have tried to ban a book they say is Islamophobic, and have filed a ten-page criminal complaint against its formerly-Muslim author.

Please save Reyhaneh Jabbari From Execution In Iran

by Reyhaneh Jabbari

Note: Reyhaneh Jabbari is a 26-year-old woman who was convicted of murdering a man named Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi in Iran, and who has been in prison for the last seven years and is now awaiting imminent execution by hanging. Jabbari penned this letter to the mayor of Tehran several days before the Persian New Year Nowruz (March 20th). Jabbari still has no news about when the death sentence is to be carried out.

Brandeis Backs Arsonists, Dumps Firefighter

by Douglas Murray

Between supporters of terrorism such as CAIR and Hirsi Ali, there should not even be a debate over whom free societies should choose.

Is Iran's Hanging Tomorrow a Political Cover-up?

by Shabnam Assadollahi

The regime apparently told Reyhaneh during her interrogation that "This murder was set up." Is it possible that the regime needs to kill Reyhaneh to cover up a political murder that it committed?

We are also asking the Iranian judiciary what happened to the CD that had all the collected evidence in Reyhaneh Jabbari's case and why the Islamic Republic of Iran's prosecutor, Shamloo, destroyed it?

It would appear that this scheduled execution deserves at least a delay.

Latest Analysis & Commentary

US: The Era of Nuclear Neglect

by Peter Huessy  •  April 15, 2014 at 5:00 am

Looking at the most recent developments in Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan, as well as North Korea, it would seem urgent that the U.S. end as soon as possible its era of nuclear neglect.

Khushab plutonium production reactor, Pakistan. (Image source: Google)

On March 24, 2014 the Energy Department's Inspector General [IG] determined that many of our nuclear laboratories had not been archiving with care designs used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

According to Inspector General Gregory Friedman, "Over the decades of nuclear weapons development, neither NNSA nor its sites treated the maintenance of original nuclear weapons... information as a priority.[1]

The IG also concluded that the Energy Department leadership concurred with its findings and had taken effective steps to remedy the problems identified.[2]

Problem solved, right?

Unfortunately not.

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Pakistan: How the Blasphemy Law Really Works

by Mohshin Habib  •  April 15, 2014 at 3:30 am

Sawan Masih has been sentenced to death, but what about those found guilty of inciting and committing violence and arson?

It [is] a travesty of justice that more than 3,000 people who burned the Christian neighbourhood in Lahore were free, while one man who was tried for a disputed charge was sentenced to death.

He said Pakistan's administration, police, military and courts want to contribute to their religion by somehow punishing the non-Muslims.

The cover of CLAAS's blasphemy law campaign booklet. (Image source: CLAAS)

Sawan Masih, a poor Pakistani Christian who had been working as a sanitary worker in a section of Lahore surrounded by factories, was accused during the course of a conversation with a Muslim friend of insulting the Prophet Mohammed on March 6, 2013.

When the police arrested him two days later, he was accused of allegedly saying, "Jesus is true. He is the Son of God. He will come to save me, while Muslims' Prophet is fake."

After the accusation, based on the verbal statement of a Muslim barber Shahid Imran, more than 3,000 Pakistani Muslims rioted and torched about 100 Christian homes in a small neighbourhood of Christians called Joseph Colony. While the Christians fled, the police silently watched as the Muslim protestors destroyed the Christians' homes and stole their possessions.

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Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Iran

by Shabnam Assadollahi  •  April 15, 2014 at 3:00 am

According to Iran's penal code, a father is exempt from severe criminal prosecution for killing his child; a woman "will be sentenced to be hanged."

According to reports from Khuzestan region of Iran, a 30-year-old man married to a 20-year-old woman buried his one-year-old twins alive due to a "family conflict."

According to Article 220 of the penal code of Islamic Republic of Iran, a child's father and his father are exempt from criminal prosecution and ghesas ["eye for an eye" punishment] if they kill their children, and they are only liable for the payment of blood money (diyeh) and flogging. But in contrast, if a woman kills her children, she is subject to criminal prosecution and ghesas, in which she will be sentenced be hanged.

US Government Promoting Islam in Czech Republic

by Soeren Kern  •  April 14, 2014 at 5:00 am

Critics say the project's underlying objective is to convert non-Muslim children to Islam by bringing proselytizing messages into public schools under the guise of promoting multiculturalism and fighting "Islamophobia."

The group recently ran an advertisement promising to pay 250 Czech korunas ($13 dollars) to any student aged 15 to 18 years who would attend a two hour presentation about Islam.

More recently, Muslims in the Czech Republic have tried to ban a book they say is Islamophobic, and have filed a ten-page criminal complaint against its formerly-Muslim author.

Image source: Website of "Muslims in the Eyes of Czech Schoolchildren".

The Czech government has approved a new project aimed at promoting Islam in public elementary and secondary schools across the country.

The project—Muslims in the Eyes of Czech Schoolchildren—is being spearheaded by a Muslim advocacy group and is being financed by American taxpayers through a grant from the US Embassy in Prague. (The US State Department is also promoting Islam in other European countries.)

The group says the Czech Ministry of Education has authorized it to organize lectures and seminars aimed at "teaching Czech schoolchildren about Islamic beliefs and practices" and at "fighting stereotypes and prejudices about Muslims."

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Palestinians' "Anti-Normalization" Movement

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 14, 2014 at 4:00 am

The "anti-normalization" activists are already accusing Abbas of being a traitor for meeting with Israelis.

The dancers, invited by the Palestinians from India, a staunch supporter, have received a first-hand lesson in what years of incitement and negative campaigns can do.

Protestors and audience members argue at the Indian dance performance in Ramallah, on April 12, 2014. (Image source: Wattan TV YouTube screenshot)

Palestinian Authority security forces used force to disperse and arrest Palestinian activists who tried to prevent Indians from performing a dance in Ramallah on April 12.

The activists accused the Indian Classical Dance Performance, Kathak, of appearing before members of the Indian community in Tel Aviv, saying this was a form of "normalization" with Israel.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, an anti-Israel group that claims to be pro-Palestinian, issued a statement calling for boycotting the Indian dancers who had been invited to attend a Palestinian book fair in Ramallah.

The group said that the Indian dancers' performance in Tel Aviv came in "wake of an upsurge in the fierce onslaught against the Palestinian people by the Israeli Occupation Forces."

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Is Iran's Hanging Tomorrow a Political Cover-up?

by Shabnam Assadollahi  •  April 14, 2014 at 3:30 am

The regime apparently told Reyhaneh during her interrogation that "This murder was set up." Is it possible that the regime needs to kill Reyhaneh to cover up a political murder that it committed?

We are also asking the Iranian judiciary what happened to the CD that had all the collected evidence in Reyhaneh Jabbari's case and why the Islamic Republic of Iran's prosecutor, Shamloo, destroyed it?

It would appear that this scheduled execution deserves at least a delay.

The Iranian regime stated that Reyhaneh Jabbari's mother visited with her, perhaps for the last time. Iranian Ministry of Justice officials have delivered a verdict of "Ghessas" ["an eye for an eye"] and are asking for the sentence of hanging to be carried out immediately.

According to news we just received from Iran, under Islamic Law (Sharia Law), only the family of the deceased victim has the power to stop the execution of the accused by forgiving them. Sadly, this was not the conclusion of the April 7th negotiations, attended by prominent Iranian artists, athletes, writers and intellectuals.

During the proceedings, a young man who was attending the meeting to sign the death sentence of the killer of his brother announced, while trembling and crying, that "after hearing all the attendees' speeches, he wished to forgive the killer and does not wish to have the accused executed."

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Can Barghouti Save the Peace Process?

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 11, 2014 at 5:00 am

According to Palestinian sources, Abbas's biggest concern is that Dahlan may have been trying to forge an alliance with Barghouti to topple him.

Those who believe that Barghouti would be more flexible in the peace process are living in an illusion. Barghouti's position regarding the peace process with Israel is no different than that of Abbas, and possibly even less flexible.

No Palestinian leader would ever be able to come back to his people with a deal that includes less than 100% of Palestinian demands. As former Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat is reputed to have said after abandoning the failed Camp David talks, "Do you want me to be up there having tea with Sadat?"

Marwan Barghouti interviewed from his prison cell in 2006. (Image source: Fatah Youth Germany YouTube video still)

Why is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas now demanding the release of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti as a pre-condition for agreeing to the extension of the peace talks with Israel?

A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah claimed that Barghouti's release would make it easier for Abbas to agree to the extension of the peace talks after the April 29 deadline set by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Does Abbas want Barghouti released from prison out of concern for the peace process or because he is afraid of Mohammed Dahlan, another top Fatah operative who is waging a campaign to undermine the Palestinian Authority leader?

Some Palestinians believe that Abbas's demand to release Barghouti is linked to the Palestinian Authority leader's sharp dispute with Mohammed Dahlan.

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Brandeis Backs Arsonists, Dumps Firefighter

by Douglas Murray  •  April 11, 2014 at 4:45 am

Between supporters of terrorism such as CAIR and Hirsi Ali, there should not even be a debate over whom free societies should choose.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali addresses the St. Gallen Symposium at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, in May 2011. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/International Students' Committee)

The worst strains of European thinking seem to have infected America. As cultural relativism, spinelessness and an inability to stand up for our own values have become more and more dominant in Europe, some of us have continued to look to the U.S. as a society safeguards its founding principles and remains willing to uphold them in the face of opposition. Apparently not for much longer.

There have been troubling developments for some time. But an event earlier this week speaks louder than any so far. This is the decision of Brandeis University to revoke the offer of an honorary degree to the human rights hero, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

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Iran Plans to Hang Reyhaneh Jabbari Tuesday

by Shabnam Assadollahi  •  April 11, 2014 at 4:30 am

Rayhaneh was apparently tortured until she confessed.

The following news was posted (in Persian) on Facebook by Reyhaneh Jabbari's mother, Shole Pakravan.

Despite the ongoing strong international and domestic pressure, the executioner regime of Iran has set next Tuesday as the date to hang Reyhaneh Jabbari. The campaign to free her from execution in Iran is calling for immediate intervention of the international community to have the criminal regime of Iran stop this barbaric act.

Background

Reyhaneh Jabbari, an interior designer, was in a coffee shop speaking on the phone about her work, a conversation which was coincidentally overheard by Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, who approached her for professional advice about renovating his office. They then set a date to meet at his office in order to see and discuss Sarbandi's renovation project.

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European Dual-Use Exports to Iran Continue Apace

by Soeren Kern  •  April 10, 2014 at 5:00 am

The illegal transfer of dual-use equipment to Iran continues unabated, due to lax enforcement and the failure of European governments to keep pace with the growing number and sophistication of actors involved in security-related trade with Tehran.

"Iran continues to seek items for its prohibited activities from abroad by using multiple and increasingly complex procurement methods, including front companies, intermediaries, false documentation and new routes." — Confidential U.N. Panel of Experts

Dual-use industrial equipment, intended for illegal export to Iran, seized by Spanish police on April 1, 2014. (Image source: Civil Guard of Spain)

Spanish police have arrested four individuals suspected of attempting to export to Iran industrial machinery that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction.

The machinery involves so-called dual-use equipment—products and technologies that can be used for both civilian and military applications.

Although the European Union bans the export to Iran of certain dual-use machinery and technology that could be used to aid Iran's military program, loopholes abound and enforcement remains patchy.

More than a dozen EU countries have supplied Iran with dual-use technologies in one form or another in recent years, and much of that trade was lawful and in compliance with export control regulations, research shows.

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UK: Jihadists as "Charity Workers"

by Samuel Westrop  •  April 10, 2014 at 4:00 am

The full truth is a bit more chilling, Sharif and his wife are supporters of ISIS, the leading Al-Qaeda-aligned group in Syria. Al Jazeera reports that in areas under ISIS control, "men [have]... been beheaded, their heads mounted on spikes. Children...slaughtered." Other posts found on the couple's Facebook pages include videos glorifying jihadi fighters; praise for late Al Qaeda leaders such as Abdullah Azzam and Anwar Al-Awlaki; and calls for an Islamic state.

The British media continues to label British Islamist volunteers who support jihadist movements in Syria as "charity workers."

In December, the BBC aired a documentary about aid convoys to Syria, but – as reported by Gatestone Institute – neglected to inform viewers of the convoy volunteers' support for jihadi "martyrs," Al Qaeda operatives and extremist preachers.

Although the UK Charity Commission subsequently started an investigation into these charities, the failure of the media to research their interviewees continues to impair efforts to tackle the abuse of British taxpayers' charitable initiatives.

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U.S.: The Great Problem That Needs to be Solved

by Elliott Abrams  •  April 9, 2014 at 5:00 am

Arabs and Israelis nowadays are both saying the same thing: "What is the matter with you people? You are going to walk away and you think your interests are going to be protected here?"

One of the things that has changed in this administration is that people who are fighting for democracy in places such as Turkey, Russia or China do not feel as if they have any moral or political support coming from Washington in a way that they have over the years.

Is this foreign policy reversible? My answer is yes for a number of reasons.

Campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama made a major foreign policy speech in Berlin, in which he stated: "We are all citizens of Berlin". (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Matthias Winkelmann)

There was recently a remarkable article in the New York Times, based on an interview with the National Security Adviser, Susan Rice. In it, she described what the Times called the "new, modest U.S. policy in the Middle East." Susan Rice said we have three goals in the Middle East:

  • Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.
  • Negotiations with Syria over its chemical weapons program and over the war taking place in Syria.
  • Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians over Middle East peace.

What is striking is that it really is the foreign policy of Belgium: negotiations, negotiations, negotiations.

The foreign policy of the United States is, apparently, now to be centered in the United Nations, Brussels and Geneva, where we have talks about Syria with the Russians and talks about Iran with Iran's representatives.

What is missing in this formulation? In one word: power.

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What's Behind Abbas's Renewed Courtship of Hamas?

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 8, 2014 at 5:00 am

For Abbas, the issue of reconciliation with Hamas is yet another legitimate weapon to scare the Israelis and the US into submitting to his demands and preconditions. It now remains to be seen whether the US Administration will take the bait.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, in February 2007, before Hamas seized total control of Gaza. (Image source: MaanImages)

Now that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has succeeded in surprising the US and Israel with his decision to apply for Palestinian membership in 15 international institutions and treaties, he seems to be preparing another surprise for the Americans and Israelis: a unity agreement with Hamas.

Earlier this week, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was also surprised to receive a phone call from Azzam al-Ahmed, a close advisor to Abbas.

The purpose of the phone call was to request permission from Haniyeh for a visit from senior Fatah officials to the Gaza Strip to discuss unity and reconciliation between the two rival parties.

Haniyeh's office replied that he would welcome a visit to the Gaza Strip "out of keenness for unity and in order to protect the national interests of the Palestinians."

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"They Are Slaughtering Us Like Chickens"
Muslim Persecution of Christians, December, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  April 8, 2014 at 4:00 am

"The songs of praise to God are banned here." — Police officers to Christians, Turkmenistan.

"Meanwhile, an increasing number of people are being incarcerated for crimes of opinion and defense of religious freedom." — Asia News

Pictured in this Jan. 15, 2014 photograph are some of the 100,000 displaced persons taking refuge at Bangui airport in the Central African Republic. (Image source: European Commission DG ECHO/Pierre-Yves Scotto)

As happens at Christmas every year throughout the Muslim world, Christians and their churches were especially targeted—from jihadi terror strikes killing worshippers, to measures by Muslim authorities restricting Christmas celebrations.

In Denmark, Christmas Eve witnessed Islamic demonstrations and cries of "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is greater," meaning: than anything.).

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German Pledges to Return Nazi-Looted Art

by Soeren Kern  •  April 7, 2014 at 5:00 am

"Germany and Bavaria have not explained why they kept their discovery of Nazi-looted art secret for almost two years." — from a lawsuit filed in US District court, Washington DC.

Confusion reigns over who actually has the legal right to negotiate the return of these or any other items in Gurlitt's collection. While German authorities argue that they -- not Gurlitt -- are the ultimate arbiters of the artworks, Gurlitt argues the government had no right to seize the collection in the first place. He notes he has not been charged with a crime, and in any event, the statute of limitations for items looted by the Nazis expired in 1975.

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels (center) visits an exhibition of confiscated art deemed "degenerate" by the Nazi regime, in this 1938 photograph. (Image source: German Federal Archives)

Investigators searching for art looted by the Nazis have discovered a hoard of more than 200 artworks stashed away at a house in Austria belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of German looted-art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt.

The find, which was revealed on March 26, comes in addition to the sensational trove of nearly 1,400 works of art previously discovered at Gurlitt's apartment in Germany in 2012.

Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, inherited the collection—estimated to be worth €1 billion ($1.35 billion)—from his father, who helped the Nazi regime hoard art plundered from Jews during the Second World War. Hildebrand Gurlitt is believed to have acquired many of the works in the collection at a pittance from Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

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