Latest Analysis and Commentary

Palestinians: The 'Political Detainees' No One Talks About

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 23, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Palestinians say that Shaheen and Fattash are among dozens of "political detainees" who are being held in Palestinian Authority (PA) prisons and detention centers in various parts of the West Bank. According to some human rights organizations, the Palestinians held in PA prisons are often subjected to various forms of torture.

  • In a letter to Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a number of Palestinian human rights organizations recently demanded that the international agency speak out against the politically motivated arrests by the PA in the West Bank. It is highly unlikely, however, that the human rights organizations will receive any reply from the UN, whose various agencies continue to be obsessed only with Israel.

  • The UN does not seem to care about human rights violations committed by the PA against its own people. These are the type of stories that evidently do not interest either the UN or the international media because they lack an anti-Israel angle. The only "abuses" they see are those that can be blamed on Israel.

  • What is happening in the PA-controlled territories and prisons in the West Bank is a tiny taste of what life for the Palestinians would be like under a totalitarian regime that does not tolerate any form of criticism. In both the PA-controlled territories and Gaza, Palestinians must resort to the desperate measure of closing their mouths to food because they cannot open their mouths to demand decent treatment.

The Rome-based International Federation for Rights and Development last week condemned the Palestinian Authority for its crackdown on political opponents and said the detainees were being subjected to systematic physical and psychological torture in Palestinian prisons. (Image source: iStock. Image is illustrative and does not represent any person in the article.)

The mother and wife of a Palestinian man being held without trial in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison in the West Bank have gone on hunger strike as part of a campaign to secure his release. Four days after they began their hunger strike, the two women were rushed to hospital for medical treatment. The women say they will not end their hunger strike unless the PA releases Abdel Rahman Shaheen, who was detained in early January.

The mother of another Palestinian being held in PA prison, Murad Fattash, has also gone on a hunger strike to protest the continued incarceration of her son, who was also detained by the PA in early January.

Palestinians say that Shaheen and Fattash are among dozens of "political detainees" who are being held in PA prisons and detention centers in various parts of the West Bank.

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Turkey: The Price of Dissent

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 23, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • "This is how jihad is being taught at schools." — Title of the OdaTV article that sparked threat of massacre.

  • "We are a news website that draws attention to the new [Islamic] organizations whose members are being staffed in state institutions... We remind that illegal structures are once again being formed within the state... Why do the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs stay silent?" — Barış Pehlivan, the editor-in-chief of the threatened OdaTV.

  • "The point is not that these things are written in Islamic scripture, but that people still live by them." — Bruce Bawer, author.

  • Although OdaTV has not denounced or criticized Islam, it does oppose the indoctrination of school children with violent jihad. Apparently even this was sufficient cause for the Turkish mufti to threaten the outlet's journalists with death.

A mufti who works for Turkey's state religious authority, the Diyanet, recently insinuated that a massacre of the employees of the opposition news site OdaTV would be justified. Pictured: Barış Pehlivan, the editor-in-chief of OdaTV. (Image source: Jimkuras/Wikimedia Commons)

A mufti who works for Turkey's state religious authority, the Diyanet, recently insinuated that a massacre of the employees of the opposition news site OdaTV -- along the lines of the 2015 slaughter of the staff of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo -- would be justified.

Ahmet Altıok, mufti of the Siirt Province, made this veiled threat of mass murder in an interview with the İLKHA news agency. ILKHA has ties to Turkey's Hizbullah ("party of Allah" in Arabic; not connected to Hezbollah in Lebanon), a Sunni terrorist organization responsible for many horrific murders in the country.

In his interview, Altıok said, in part:

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Spain: Catalonia's Continuing Jihad Problem

by Soeren Kern  •  January 22, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Police said that the jihadis were known to have committed at least 369 robberies and thefts in and around Barcelona. In addition to theft, the cell members sustained themselves through drug trafficking and document fraud.

  • "There is little doubt that the autonomous region of Catalonia has become a prime base of operations for terrorist activity. Spanish authorities tell us they fear the threat from these atomized immigrant communities prone to radicalism, but they have very little intelligence on or ability to penetrate these groups." — American diplomatic cable, October 2, 2007.

  • "The Salafist religious centers detected in Catalonia are opposed to any reading of the Qur'an that is not the most rigorous... and at the same time are demanding a 'purification' of Muslim believers from foreign influences.... This religious interference results in the... prohibition, especially for female teenagers, of attending schools with male students. This supposes a deep break with the values ​​of individual freedom that are guaranteed by the laws of Europe." — Intelligence report leaked to the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

Police in the Spanish region of Catalonia recently arrested 18 members of a jihadi cell plotting an attack in Barcelona, drawing renewed attention to the continuing problem of radical Islam in Catalonia. Pictured: Police and medics tend to wounded survivors of a terrorist attack by Younes Abouyaaqoub in Barcelona, on August 17, 2017. Abouyaaqoub murdered 15 people and wounded 130 others. (Photo by Nicolas Carvalho Ochoa/Getty Images)

Police in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia arrested 18 members of a jihadi cell plotting an attack in Barcelona — and then released all but three.

The arrests have drawn renewed attention to the continuing problem of radical Islam in Catalonia, which has one of the largest per capita Muslim populations in Europe.

The cell — comprised of individuals from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Morocco — was broken up on January 15, when more than a hundred police officers raided five properties in Barcelona and the Catalan town of Igualada.

The arrests were part of a year-long counter-terrorism investigation called "Operation Alexandra," launched in May 2017 after police received a tip that local jihadis were preparing an attack.

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Sweden: New Government, Old Policies

by Judith Bergman  •  January 22, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Keeping the Sweden Democrats away from any kind of political influence seemingly became the main reason the government crisis lasted so long. Swedish political leaders are especially opposed to the policies of the Sweden Democrats concerning immigration.

  • "Sweden needs to build a migration policy from scratch, with fixed rules, and respect for the country's borders, citizens and laws... Fire brigades and ambulances cannot move into immigrant-dominated areas without armed escort. Those who live and work in our suburbs get their stores robbed, broken or taken over by criminals. The few perpetrators who are actually sentenced for serious crimes escape with mild punishment, while their victims do not receive support or redress. As a result of the uncontrolled immigration, terrorists... walk freely on the streets and squares and utilize our welfare and asylum systems." — Sweden Democrats.

  • There is not a word in the new agreement about terrorism and internal security, even though the Swedish Security Service (Säpo), in a January 15 press release, stated, "The level of the terror threat remains elevated, a three on a five-point scale. This means that a terrorist act is likely to occur".

Pictured: Sweden's House of Parliament (Riksdagshuset) in Stockholm. (Image source: Holger.Ellgaard/Wikimedia Commons)

On January 18, more than four months after Sweden's September elections, Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven became prime minister for a second term, when he won the backing of the Swedish parliament: 115 parliamentarians from his own party and its coalition partner (the environmentalist Green Party) voted for his proposed government coalition, while 77 parliamentarians abstained and 153 voted against. There are 349 seats in the parliament.

Under Swedish parliamentary rules, a prospective prime minister can form a government even if he has not secured a majority of votes, as long as there is not a majority against him in parliament. Löfven was far from winning a majority of votes, prompting the question whether, despite becoming prime minister for a second term, he actually won the election.

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Termites, Bigots and GOATs: Rationalizing Complicity with Anti-Semitism

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Consider the front page story in the New York Times Sunday Review, which singled out the Palestinian issue as "one of the great moral challenges of our time" -- ignoring Syria, Ukraine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Tibet, Cyprus and many far greater moral challenges, which are largely ignored by the hard left.

  • Recall that Hitler was not elected by anti-Semites or because of his anti-Semitism. He was elected as the result of his economic and other policies by people who gave him a pass for his anti-Semitism because they approved of his other policies.

  • People who support Louis Farrakhan because of the alleged good he does for the Black community and despite his overt anti-Semitism are complicit in bigotry, and those who march under the banner of such bigots are only one degree removed from such complicity.

(Image source: Fox News video screenshot)

Those women and men who marched in the Women's March under the leadership of Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory colluded with anti-Semitism. These two leaders of the Women's March worship the most influential anti-Semite in the United States today, Louis Farrakhan. They claim to disagree with his crass anti-Jewish (and anti-gay and anti-feminist) preaching -- although there is reason to doubt this, as it relates to Jews -- but they admire him for his impact on elements of the Black community. They must understand that this impact includes influencing hundreds of thousands of Blacks to consider Jews to be "termites" and destroyers of the world. But they do not care. They regard him as great — Mallory has called him "the GOAT" ("Greatest of All Time").

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Turkey's Unjust Justice System: Armenian MP Under Attack

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 21, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Armenian member of parliament Garo Paylan has good reason to fear for his safety. In January 2007, the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was shot and killed outside his newspaper's office in Istanbul. Dink, known for his outspokenness on the Armenian genocide, was prosecuted under Article 301, and received numerous death threats. It has been 12 years since Dink's murder, and the case has yet to be solved.

  • Prosecutors are stepping up their efforts to have Paylan's parliamentary immunity removed, so that he can be tried for "insulting Turkey." This is a travesty of justice perpetrated by the very system charged with upholding justice.

  • On January 13, US President Donald Trump warned Turkey of possible economic sanctions if it attacks Kurds in Syria following the American withdrawal of troops from the war-torn country. Washington would do well to apply similar pressure to Ankara, a member of NATO, to cease violating the human rights -- and endangering the lives -- of other ethnic minorities and critics, such as Paylan.

Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of Turkey's parliament, was physically attacked by a group of lawmakers from President Erdogan's ruling AKP party, because he spoke out against Turkey's "ethnic cleansing" of the Kurds in Afrin, Syria. Pictured: Garo Paylan. (Image source: Armenian National Committee of America video screenshot)

Turkish prosecutors have filed a motion to strip an Armenian lawmaker of his parliamentary immunity over his outspoken criticism of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Invoking Article 301 of the Turkish penal code -- which states that "insulting the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish nation or Turkish government institutions" is punishable by a prison sentence -- the prosecutor's office of Diyarbakir began proceedings against Garo Paylan, who was elected in 2015 to Turkey's Grand National Assembly as a member of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Since that time, Paylan has been targeted by Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Last March, for example, Paylan and fellow HDP members were physically attacked by a group of AKP lawmakers for speaking out against Turkey's "ethnic cleansing" of the Kurds in Afrin, Syria. The following day, Paylan tweeted:

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The Vatican Surrenders to China

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  January 20, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The Vatican may learn the hard way that the Communist Chinese government does not honor its agreements. Beijing may attempt to extort even more concessions from the Vatican, just as the Chinese regime demands ever more surrender of sovereignty from western companies that do business in China.

  • It is also highly dubious that the Vatican will purchase peace by this pact: the regime will continue to persecute the Church. If the Communist regime is true to form, thousands more crosses will be taken down from Christian churches, especially in areas that have a high Christian population.

  • The courageous elders of Chinese Catholicism, who have endured decades of government persecution and regime efforts to divide the Church, may be seen by their flocks as having been bypassed by the Vatican. Many, if not most, Chinese Catholics are likely to view this agreement as a cynical political betrayal by the Vatican rather than a faith-based decision.

  • "In light of this dismal record, it seems that prudence and caution would seem to be the order of the day in Vatican negotiations with the totalitarians in charge in Beijing, at whose most recent Party Congress religion was once again declared the enemy of Communism." — George Weigel, Catholic author and political analyst.

With a recent agreement signed between the Vatican and China's regime, Pope Francis surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Chinese Communist Party. Pictured: The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Guangzhou, China. (Image source: Zhangzhugang/Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis has surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). His Holiness agreed to grant the Party considerable authority over personnel matters. After decades of refusing to give China the right to appoint Catholic bishops, as a condition for normalization of relations, the Vatican finally conceded to the regime's demand to allow the CCP a decisive role in the selection of bishops to head Catholic dioceses.

The Vatican's concession came despite the CCP's continued persecution of the unofficial, independent, underground Catholic Church in China. Yet the Vatican probably does not view this as a defeat but rather as a means to an end. The diplomatic hierarchy of the Catholic Church may be confident that the truth of its spiritual message will endure long after the CCP dissolves into the same historical trash bin as other totalitarian ideologies have done.

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France: I Am Angry, Therefore I Am

by Amir Taheri  •  January 20, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The beauty of capitalism is in its ability to make money out of anything. On Saturday, as all cafés in the Champs-Élysées were shut for fear of attack by "Yellow Vests", mobile kiosks appeared selling espresso and croissants at double the price.

  • One of the few shops open away from the battlefield offered a designer version of the "Yellow Vest" at 125 euros apiece, compared of just 20 euros for the shabby original. So far, no "Yellow Vest" T-shirts, posters and mugs. But we expect some next Saturday.

  • We asked a lady at the next table what she would recommend from the day's menu and she suggested "Aligot sausage with mashed potatoes". We took her advice and were delighted by our meal. Which shows that "Yellow Vesters" might have good ideas when they know what they are talking about. Trouble is they often don't.

Even if the "Yellow Vests" form a political party in France, there is no guarantee that their cocktail of bourgeois boredom and anger would do better than Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain and half a dozen similar outfits in other European democracies. Pictured: Yellow Vest protesters march in front of police on December 15, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)

"We are angry!" This is the sentence that I have repeatedly heard from Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) demonstrators during the past three weeks while taking the political temperature in France. The assertion seems to refute my first diagnostic in a column last month that the movement reflected boredom rather than anger.

Having talked to dozens of rioters and observed some of their shenanigans including burning car tires, overturning parked cars and smashing shop-windows in posh streets, I am prepared to admit that both anger and boredom might be involved.

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Palestinians' Anti-Semitic Stereotyping of Jews

by Bassam Tawil  •  January 19, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are clearly trying to drag Israel into a religious conflict with all Muslims, not only Palestinians. The Temple Mount has become their favorite platform for disseminating blood libels....

  • If anyone is defiling the sanctity of the holy site, it is Abbas and his representatives in the West Bank.

  • Were Israel to stop a Palestinian from entering a holy site because of his clothing, the foreign reporters based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would have rushed to the scene to interview the man and tell the world that Israel is violating freedom of worship. This is yet another example of how the media gives the Palestinians a pass and allows them to continue their vicious incitement against Israel.

Palestinian incitement and the cynical exploitation of a holy site to spread lies and blood libels is barely noticed by the mainstream media in the West. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Palestinians are continuing to use the Temple Mount, in Arabic known as the Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem, as a platform for incitement against Israel in general and Jews in particular.

This incitement, which began after Jewish tourists were permitted to resume their visits to the holy site in 2014, has since taken various forms. The Jewish visits to the holy site had been suspended for several years during the Second Intifada uprising, which erupted in September 2000.

Since 2014, the Palestinian Authority leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas, have been waging an unprecedented wave of incitement against Israel and Jews to protest visits to the Temple Mount.

In 2015, Abbas announced that the Palestinians "won't allow Jews with their filthy feet to defile our Al-Aqsa Mosque."

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A War to Achieve Modernity

by Alia Al Ganis  •  January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • I longed for a revival of a golden age when Muslims were mighty and triumphant, ruling large parts of the world, fighting victoriously in the name of God. I gloried in this past. Reviving medievalism, these fantasies were a way to escape modern life. I dreamed of a past and future glory, like many in their dogmatic slumber. I was entrapped in the golden cage of Islamism. I was a bird of paradise that did not want to escape.

  • There is an increased fear, and rightly so, about the free expression of extremist ideas and opinions that are polluting our social, cultural, economic and political orders in the Arab world, which is why Jamal Khashoggi stands as an enemy to free thinkers. "There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it," he wrote.

  • Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is in the throes of a war to achieve modernity. We want our independence from religious extremism, the ills of our society; and "MBS," as he is called, is leading the reform in order to fight it and move his country away from its temptations. He needs to go ahead with his reform and do his good works. Because Khashoggi wanted an uprising against the Saudi royal family, the Prince was facing the fears and possibly the threats of being assassinated by those opposing his reforms.

  • The assassination of Khashoggi was a horrible mistake. There is a way of curbing religious extremists without violence. We must address the political aspects in the Quran that are at times interpreted with hate, instead of our always turning a blind eye to these verses. This study alone would stop religious extremists from having the means of justifying their crimes.

Liberty Leading the People, by Eugène Delacroix. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

This article is not for the faint-hearted. I do not share a single sentiment with a single religious extremist, Jamal Khashoggi included. My heart is closed to them.

As a Muslim woman, my anger against them became especially determined when three of my relatives in Yemen, young brave, men, had left their homes and families to protect them. They joined the Saudi-backed Yemeni military to fight against Iranian imperialism, to fight for Yemeni independence, to fight for love and freedom. One was killed by a bullet; the other two on sand dunes when they stepped on landmines. Their bodies were so dismembered by explosions that it was difficult to identify them. Their families had to flee their homes; one woman, also terrified of stepping on a landmine, carrying a newborn baby in her arms.

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Strasbourg: Capital of the EU and "The Future of Europe"

by Giulio Meotti  •  January 17, 2019 at 6:00 am

  • A quarter of the Strasbourg's public school students choose the halal menu in school cafeterias.

  • In October, from Strasbourg, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the shameful conviction of an Austrian woman for what the court called an "abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam" -- just like that, in a stroke, accepting and legitimizing Islam's blasphemy laws. It was, as one news analyst, born in Iran, took note, "the day free speech died in Europe."

  • "Strasbourg," according to the city's official website, "embodies the fundamental values ​​of Europe". But if the current trend continues, these values will be the opposite of those, such as freedom of expression, on which Europe was founded.

According to the official website of Strasbourg, France, the city "embodies the fundamental values ​​of Europe". But if the current trend continues, these values will be the opposite of those, such as freedom of expression, on which Europe was founded. Pictured: The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, one of Europe's most famous Christian sites. (Image source: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons)

"New York, Geneva and Strasbourg are the only cities in the world which are home to international institutions without being national capitals", an official page of the French city proudly proclaims. "The choice of Strasbourg as the European capital following the Second World War is no accident. The city stands as a shining symbol of reconciliation between peoples and of the future of Europe".

Last December, however, Strasbourg was shocked by a new terrorist attack. Cherif Chekatt, shouting "Allahu Akbar", murdered five people, before being neutralized in a two-day manhunt. Among Chekatt's victims were Italian, Polish and French citizens. Unfortunately, Strasbourg has become one of Europe's hotbeds of jihadism, an ideology seemingly aimed at destroying Europe's people, not conciliating with them.

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New Delhi Must Uphold "Zero Tolerance" for Terrorism

by Jagdish N. Singh  •  January 17, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Engaging in "dialogue" with the separatists and the Taliban makes little sense. Neither group has demonstrated any faith in the values of modern civilization and democracy. Contrary to claims on the part of Jammu and Kashmir separatists and Pakistan -- that India never offered "unconditional dialogue," and has been rejecting Islamabad's peace overtures -- it is actually Pakistan's propaganda against Indian society that is responsible for the violence in Kashmir.

  • In fact, according to a 2017 Indian Intelligence Bureau report, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence paid separatist leaders Rs 80,000,000 (approximately $1.2 million) to fuel unrest in Kashmir. These leaders include Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Asiya Andrabi, both of whom are reported to have links to Hizbul Mujahideen, a J&K separatist group that in August 2017 was designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

  • New Delhi's soft approach to the J&K separatists can only serve to embolden extremist forces. The Modi government also needs to refrain from extending any goodwill gestures to the Taliban -- a junior partner of Qaeda that aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent, including in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The current administration in Washington, like that in Jerusalem, grasps that all of the above radical groups have "common political targets -- the United States, India and Israel." Rather than risk being seduced by the false notion that it is possible to negotiate with terrorists, India would do well to reach out to its main democratic allies: the U.S. and Israel.

New Delhi's soft approach to the Jammu and Kashmir separatists can only serve to embolden extremist forces. The Modi government also needs to refrain from extending any goodwill gestures to the Taliban -- a junior partner of Qaeda that aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent. Pictured: Srinagar, the largest city of Kashmir. (Image source: KennyOMG/Wikimedia Commons)

When the Narendra Modi-led government came to power in India with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May 2014, the public hoped that a peaceful resolution would be reached over the strife-torn northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

A key element of the BJP's platform had been a policy of "zero tolerance towards terrorism." Yet, since Modi's election, the situation in J&K -- which has been the focus of a long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan, with minority Hindus fleeing Islamist violence in 1990 -- has worsened. No Hindu has returned to the Kashmir Valley during Modi's premiership, and the number of Indian civilians and security personnel killed in attacks by Pakistani militants has increased. In fact, during the four-year period between 2014 and 2018, 75 more Indian soldiers and other security personnel were killed in J&K than during the previous five years (219, compared to 144).

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Denmark: "In One Generation, Our Country Has Changed"

by Judith Bergman  •  January 16, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The decision to send the criminal inhabitants of the asylum center to the uninhabited island of Lindholm caused great relief in Bording -- an element the international press appears to have missed. Clearly, the right of law-abiding citizens to live in peace does not count for much on the scale of international moral outrage.

  • Significantly, the outraged international press did not offer any answers to the legitimate question of what governments are supposed to do with hardened criminal asylum seekers, who pose a genuine threat to their surroundings and have been sentenced to deportation, but cannot be deported from the country because of international human rights obligations.

  • The problem is far from a uniquely Danish one: virtually all European countries have signed international human rights conventions that leave them with the same dilemma.

  • The country did not just "change". Danish politicians, with their policies, changed it.

In his recent New Year's speech, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen mentioned that Muslim parallel societies constitute a problem and that immigrants must learn to put secular values over religious ones. He just did not say how he planned to address all that. Pictured: Rasmussen in October 2018. (Photo by Rune Hellestad/Getty Images)

Denmark made international headlines in late November 2018, when the Danish government announced a plan to send certain asylum seekers to the small, uninhabited island of Lindholm. The international outrage was intensified when it came to light that the island currently houses a research center for contagious animal diseases; that the ferry which the asylum seekers will be able to take to the mainland during the day (it does not operate in the evening) is named "Virus"; and that the asylum center will be accompanied by a constant police presence on the island.

The group of asylum seekers meant to live in Lindholm consists of criminals of various sorts, including those who have been sentenced to be deported from Denmark, those who are considered a security threat to Denmark, and so-called "foreign warriors".

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The Peaceful Takeover of Europe

by Jan Keller  •  January 16, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The concept of the clash of civilizations assumes that there is a conflict between religions. This view often appears to be true where Islam is concerned; the religious aspect of Islamism appears to be a powerful motivator. That desire illustrates how deeply flawed were the sociological and political theories of modernization, according to which the entire world eventually would undergo a process of enlightenment, similar to Europe's.

  • Whereas traditional Marxists believed that a dictatorship of the proletariat would result in a classless society, the neo-Marxists apparently believe that a dictatorship for the benefit of minorities will result in a society of absolute freedom for all.

  • To this end, they seem to think, it is necessary to build an anti-discrimination bureaucracy to break the domination of the majority over the minority and force the majority to demand an end to its own privileged position. It is not enough for the majority to tolerate otherness; it must embrace and love it.

The vast majority of Western politicians and members of the media today appear to be guided by the idea that it is better to be wrong about Francis Fukuyama's The End of History than to be right about Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations. Pictured: Huntington (left) and Fukayama. (Image sources: Huntington - World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons; Fukayama - Fronteiras do Pensamento/Wikimedia Commons)

The vast majority of Western politicians and members of the media today appear to be guided by the idea that it is better to be wrong about Francis Fukuyama's The End of History than to be right about Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations. This seems simply an abbreviated expression of a widespread unwillingness, or inability, to call things by their real names. Let us examine the reality that is so hard for many members of liberal societies to acknowledge, and which explains why Huntington's diagnosis of the current era is far more fitting than Fukuyama's.

Huntington's working hypothesis for analyzing current events basically follows German sociologist Max Weber's "sociology of civilizations." Yet the term "shock of civilizations" was coined in 1957 by the historian Bernard Lewis, in the aftermath of the Suez crisis.

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The UN, the "State of Palestine" and the Torture of Women

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • This is the kind of story that the "State of Palestine" does not intend to raise during its chairmanship of the largest bloc of developing countries at the UN. It seems that, from the point of view of the Palestinian Authority leadership, Jbara's ordeal does not fall within the category of human rights.

  • Jbara's story has barely attracted the attention of the international mainstream media. As far as many foreign journalists covering the Middle East are concerned, a Palestinian woman complaining about torture in a Palestinian prison is not newsworthy. Had she been detained by Israel, Jbara would have most likely made it to the front pages of the world's leading newspapers and magazines in a matter of minutes.

  • The PA regularly complains about human rights violations of Palestinians held in Israeli prison for security-related offenses. But when the PA's own security forces detain and torture a mother of three, Palestinian leaders are found elsewhere -- like at the helm of a UN bloc.

The Palestinian Authority's recent arrest and torture of a Palestinian mother of three is the kind of story that the "State of Palestine" does not intend to raise during its chairmanship of the largest bloc of developing countries at the UN. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

A Palestinian mother of three has accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces of torturing her and threatening to rape her during the two months she was held in a PA prison in the West Bank.

The accusation by the woman, Suha Jbara, 31, came on the eve of PA President Mahmoud Abbas's visit to New York, where he is scheduled to assume the chairmanship of the largest bloc of developing countries in the United Nations, known as the "Group of 77 and China."

As chairman of the group, which represents 134 nations, Abbas and the "State of Palestine" will negotiate and co-sponsor proposals and amendments on various developmental, humanitarian and legal issues that are on the agenda of the UN.

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