Latest Analysis and Commentary

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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Erdoğan Is Wrong on Syria. Turkey Cannot Get the Job Done.

by Burak Bekdil  •  January 15, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • In May 2015, the secular daily newspaper Cumhuriyet published on its front page a video and photographic evidence of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria. A month later, President Erdoğan himself filed a criminal complaint against Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief and said, "He who ran this story will pay heavily for it."

  • Clearly, Erdoğan's "militarily speaking, the so-called Islamic State has been defeated in Syria. Yet we are deeply concerned that some outside powers may use the organization's remnants as an excuse to meddle in Syria's internal affairs" means "outside powers should not meddle in Syria but Turkey should."

  • Erdoğan's plan is merely about substituting jihadists hostile to him with ones friendly to him.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's plan for Syria is merely about substituting jihadists hostile to him with ones friendly to him. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Shortly after President Donald Trump's controversial decision to pull out U.S. troops from Syria, a move that exorbitantly pleased Turkey, Russia and Iran, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a charm offensive, wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times, entitled, "Trump Is Right on Syria. Turkey Can Get the Job Done."

Turkey, Erdoğan claims, is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task of protecting the interests of the United States, the international community and the Syrian people.

This claim is grossly wrong. Despite some convergences, Turkey's interests in the Syrian theater are widely different than those of the Western bloc of countries. Turkey's ambitions over the future of Syria are largely sectarian (pro-Sunni) and, therefore, a good recipe for further violence in civil war-torn Syria and the potential slaughter of the Kurds, a job Turkey can get done.

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Italy Building Anti-EU Axis

by Soeren Kern  •  January 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "Today begins a journey that will continue in the coming months for a different Europe, for a change of the European Commission, of European policies, which puts at the center the right to life, work, health, safety, all that the European elites, financed by [billionaire Hungarian philanthropist George] Soros and represented by Macron, deny...." — Matteo Salvini, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

  • "Both President Macron and Mrs. Merkel have expressed frustration at the rise of populism and nationalism, and at Europe's dithering in the face of problems such as climate change and mass migration...." — The Times.

  • "The only certainty I have of the European elections is that the socialists and the communists will always be less in Brussels -- they have already done enough damage...." — Matteo Salvini.

During a January 9 visit to Poland, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that populists from Italy and Poland should spark a "European spring" and forge a "new equilibrium" to replace the influence of Germany and France in the European Parliament. Pictured: Salvini meets with Poland's Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński in Warsaw on January 9. (Image source: Matteo Salvini Facebook page)

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is leading an effort to create a pan-European populist alliance to challenge the pro-European establishment over the future of the European Union. The aim is to reclaim sovereignty from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and transfer key EU powers back to national capitals.

Germany and France, the self-appointed guardians of European integration, are responding to the challenge with an ambitious counterplan to make the European Union a "more decisive power on the world stage."

The showdown, which threatens to split the European Union down the middle between Eurosceptic nationalists and Europhile globalists, will heat up in coming weeks and months, ahead of elections for the European Parliament in late May 2019.

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"Peace Through Paper"
The Ruinous Position of the U.S. Disarmament Community

by Peter Huessy  •  January 14, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The notion of a unilateral U.S. cut completely disregards Moscow's large-scale nuclear modernization that has been going on since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the effort in April 2000.

  • During his state-of-the-nation address on March 1, Putin boasted of technological breakthroughs in Russia's nuclear-weapons capabilities, which have rendered NATO's U.S.-led missile defense "useless." In 2014, Putin announced that Russia's nuclear capabilities would be 100% modernized by 2021. Meanwhile, America's nuclear upgrades -- including a new bomber, submarine and land-based missile -- will not go into the field until 2027 at the earliest, and will not be completed before 2042.

  • Reagan's successful policies involved not the elimination of all nuclear weapons, but the simultaneous modernization of all legs of America's nuclear Triad in a manner that enhanced national security and strategic stability.

The notion of a unilateral U.S. cut completely disregards Moscow's large-scale nuclear modernization that has been going on since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the effort in April 2000. Pictured: A Russian ballistic missile on parade in Moscow in 2017. (Image source:

The disarmament community in the United States -- made up of organizations such as Global Zero and the Ploughshares Fund -- believes that America's nuclear modernization program is "stoking a new arms race."

Downplaying threats from North Korea, Iran, China and Russia, pro-disarmament groups want the U.S. unilaterally to eliminate more than 90% of its strategic nuclear delivery vehicles and drastically reduce strategic nuclear bombers, submarines and silo-based missiles.

The notion of a unilateral U.S. cut completely disregards Moscow's large-scale nuclear modernization that has been going on since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the effort in April 2000. It is a build-up that includes thousands of additional theater nuclear systems, as well as deployments that directly violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the U.S. and Russia.

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Lessons We Seem Unwilling to Learn

by Douglas Murray  •  January 13, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The question to ask is why are there so many people in the Muslim community who would object to such an exhibition and why these extremists have so much sway (as opposed merely to being an embittered fringe) that they can actually get their way. If a church in Britain put on an exhibition about the Holocaust, it would not be forced to cancel it under pressure from any Holocaust-denying Anglicans.

  • So what is it about the fragility, and vulnerability of the Muslim community to the dictates of extremists that we can learn from an episode such as this one?

  • Quite a lot, I would suggest. Which is one of the reasons why there has been so little focus. Because what can be learned from such events are lessons that, as a society, we still seem distinctly unwilling to learn.

On New Year's Eve in Manchester, England, a 25-year-old man began stabbing people at random on a platform at the city's Victoria Station, while reportedly shouting ISIS slogans. Pictured: Victoria Station in Manchester. (Image source: Mike Peel/Wikimedia Commons)

An enormous amount about the hopes and expectations of a society can be learned from the news that people want to report and the stories its readers apparently want to hear. An equally large amount -- perhaps even more -- can be learned from the stories they would most likely rather not hear and the facts they would probably prefer not to know about.

The former situation can be seen after any Islamist terrorist attack in the West, when people are immediately given 'good news stories' either to dampen any rage they might be feeling or distract from any difficult questions they might be asking. On New Year's Eve in Manchester, England, for instance, a 25-year-old man began stabbing people at random on a platform at the city's Victoria Metrolink station. It appears that the venue was chosen because it is near the Manchester Arena, where Salman Abedi murdered 22 people in a suicide-bombing at a pop concert in May 2017.

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Trump and a World Without Gary Cooper

by Amir Taheri  •  January 13, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • President Obama posed as a defender of human rights but refused to lift a finger to help Iranians rising for democracy and Syrians fighting for dignity. President Trump is being castigated for something which he might do but hasn't done yet, while many of his predecessors actually did.

  • Gary Cooper had a choice: Stand and fight or jump into the cabriolet where his new bride was waiting to start their honeymoon trip.

  • Unwittingly, perhaps, and in his unorthodox way, Trump may have invited Americans to also contemplate the choice they have.

2,000 troops in Syria give the US a say in shaping the future of Syria, which must now be regarded as a territory without a functioning government. The question is how much of a say? Pictured: US Marines observe as supplies are dropped near At-Tanf Garrison, Syria on September 7, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carlos Lopez)

Like some of his other quick-tweet decisions, President Donald Trump's announcement, last month, on troop withdrawal from Syria, triggered a tsunami of instant-coffee comment, most of it adverse.

Ardent advocates of global retreat by the United States feigned anger because Trump was doing what their darling Barack Obama dared not contemplate. Dyed-in-the-wool isolationists hailed the tweet as the start of a return to the Monroe Doctrine, while pathological Trump-haters labeled it as another example of his supposed subservience to Vladimir Putin.

Had everyone waited a little bit longer, the storm-raising tweet may have looked different in the manner that a hologram seems different from different angles.

If a week is a long time in politics, a month must be four times longer. So, what does the quick-tweet "decision" look like now?

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Europe: More Nifty Censorship from the EU

by Judith Bergman  •  January 12, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Sadly, the main victims of many of the abuses that the European Commission seemingly wishes to silence are often Muslims, often women and children, and often too scared to speak out.

  • One of the foremost tools used by the EU is its "Code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online," including hate speech against Muslims. By signing up to the Code, the major technology and social media corporations have committed themselves to censoring the internet on behalf of the EU.

  • Apparently, it is no longer enough, as "each offense to a religion" is now "an offense to all", that members of one religion are offended. Now, it seems, according to the OSCE, every European is supposed to be offended in solidarity with them, as well.

On December 3, the European Commission hosted a "high-level conference to address intolerance, hate speech and discrimination affecting Muslims in the EU". According to the EU press release, "By sharing good practices, the aim of the event is to identify key actions at all levels to address intolerance, racism and discrimination against Muslims in the coming years". The event brought together over 100 "representatives of national authorities, civil society, academia, the religious community, EU agencies and international organisations."

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The New Palestinian 'Catastrophe': A Shopping Mall Hiring Palestinians

by Bassam Tawil  •  January 11, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "Rami Levy does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, gender, or religion when hiring and promoting employees. All employees, Palestinians and Israelis, are treated equally and receive equal benefits. Salaries are based solely on one's position and performance. My goal for all Rami Levy employees is to have the same opportunity to succeed." — Rami Levy, owner of Israel's third-largest supermarket chain, half of whose 4,000 workers, he says, are Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

  • Palestinian investors, according to Fatah official Hatem Abdel Qader Eid, could have prevented Rami Levy from building his new mall had they invested in the construction of a Palestinian shopping center. "It's true that there are wealthy Palestinian businessmen..."

  • Now that the campaign has failed to prevent the opening of the mall, Fatah and its followers have turned to outright threats and violence. The threats are being directed toward Palestinian shoppers and Palestinian merchants who rented space in the new mall.

  • If a Palestinian who buys Israeli milk is a traitor in the eyes of Fatah, it is not difficult to imagine the fate of any Palestinian who would dare to discuss compromise with Israel. If he is lucky, he will have a close encounter with a firebomb. If he is not lucky, he will be hanged in a public square.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction has responded to a new shopping mall in east Jerusalem, which has Arabs as most of its workers and customers, in a manner that showcases how Palestinian leaders continue to torpedo benefits to their people. Pictured: A Rami Levy supermarket branch in western Jerusalem. (Image source: Yoninah/Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction is angry. It seems a Jewish Israeli businessman has just built a shopping mall in east Jerusalem and most of its workers and customers are Arabs.

Fatah leaders have called for boycotting the mall.

Fatah, which is often described in the Western media as a moderate faction, has responded to the mall enterprise in a manner that showcases how Palestinian leaders continue to torpedo benefits to their people.

Where in the world would any leader condemn a project that provides jobs to hundreds of his or her people? Where in the world would any leader call on his or her people to boycott a shopping mall or a supermarket that offers competitive prices for clothes and food? Where in the world would a leader describe the opening of a commercial project that benefits his or her people as a catastrophe ("nakba")?

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UK: Can Javid Stop the Boats?

by David Brown  •  January 10, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "A question has to be asked: if you are a genuine asylum seeker, why have you not sought asylum in the first safe country that you arrived in? Because France is not a country where anyone would argue it is not safe in any way whatsoever, and if you are genuine then why not seek asylum in your first safe country?" — British Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

  • Asylum seekers in Britain are entitled to free accommodation, cash support at £37.75 per person per week, free healthcare, free dental care, free eyesight tests, free glasses, maternity grants and free schooling -- much to the chagrin of many British nationals and former service personnel who do not have access to many of these benefits.

  • Another tragedy of Alan Kurdi proportions is only a matter of time. The media are poised and salivating at the prospect of capturing this impending disaster for their front pages; the hackles of a hundred migrant and refugee charities are raised in anticipation of the PR opportunities ahead of them.

  • Sajid Javid is a rising star in the British Conservative party. If he can stop the boats across the Channel, he will be perfectly positioned to take control of the British Conservative Party as well as the rising migrant crisis.

The British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has called in the Royal Navy to help deal with the migrant crisis in the Channel. Pictured: HMS Mersey patrols the Strait of Dover on January 9, 2019, in a bid to prevent further illegal migrant crossing attempts. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has called in the Royal Navy to help deal with the migrant crisis in the Channel.

Since November, 239 migrants successfully made the crossing from Calais, France to Dover, England in small inflatable boats. A total of 539 migrants tried to make the crossing in 2018.

According to the Daily Mail, "Most of those held by police crossing the world's busiest shipping lane from France since November have claimed to be Iranian." Whether this is factually correct, or a line given to them by the people smugglers they pay for their journey, is a reasonable question.

According to UK immigration lawyer Colin Yeo, "The latest asylum statistics show that around three-quarters of Iranian asylum claims succeed," -- a fact the people-smugglers presumably know well and capitalise on for profit.

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Peter Schweizer's "The Creepy Line" Takes Tech Giants to Task

by Ruthie Blum  •  January 10, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • As if this were not "creepy" enough, there is another process going on that is far less transparent: "listing" -- the order in which information appears on Google. The "list effect" on our cognitive functioning, Epstein explains, is that we believe that the items appearing at the top of a set of search results -- whether the category is dog food or political candidates -- are the most relevant, valuable or true. Google and Facebook are able, thus, to prioritize the information we receive, while pretending to be neutral platforms, rather than content producers exercising editorial control. It is this pretense that exempts them from being subject to the laws governing publishers.

  • "If they have this kind of power, then democracy is an illusion... There have to be in place numerous safeguards to make sure not only that they don't exercise these powers, but that they can't exercise these powers. The Internet belongs to all of us. It does not belong to Google or Facebook." — Dr. Robert Epstein, American psychology professor; "The Creepy Line".

  • "Today, we essentially have a totalitarian force in the world, and that is these large tech companies. But guess what? They didn't use storm troopers.... We all opted in... We volunteered for this arrangement. And we live in a world today in which these tech giants have a level of control and an ability to manipulate us that Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Mussolini could only have dreamed of." — Peter Schweitzer, producer of "The Creepy Line".

"The Creepy Line," a new documentary, reveals the way in which Google and Facebook manipulate consumers through the collection of users' data, and sheds light on current controversies surrounding privacy and political bias. (Image source: screenshot)

A new documentary, revealing the way in which the major technology companies Google and Facebook manipulate consumers through the collection of users' data, sheds light on current controversies surrounding privacy and political bias. Called "The Creepy Line," the film argues that even the most intelligent people among us are serving as unwitting pawns in a power grab, enabled by mathematical algorithms, without our being aware of it.

The title of the 80-minute movie is taken from a phrase used by the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, who in a 2010 interview said:

"There's what I call the 'creepy line,' and the Google policy about a lot of these things is to get right up to the 'creepy line' but not cross it."

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