Latest Analysis and Commentary

Turkey: Murder of Women Reaches Epidemic Proportions

by Uzay Bulut  •  December 11, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The cause of 50% of the killings was not determined, but 16% of the women were killed because they wanted to make decisions about their lives, such as wanting a divorce, rejecting offers of reconciliation or even for not answering the phone when called by their men. 13% of the women were killed for "economic reasons."

  • According to the Turkish women's-rights platform, "We Will Stop Femicide," 652 women were killed by men in the year-and-a-half period prior to November 2018 -- 36 of whom were murdered in October of that year.

  • "One of the reasons why such a large number of women fall victim to violence is the reluctance and even prevention of relevant institutions to implement current laws." — The Central Women's Committee of Turkey's Human Rights Association (HRA), "Violence against women is a result of discriminatory policies," August 26, 2019.

  • "There was no finger left unbroken, no women left unbeaten for the last two seasons of a show aired on a pro-government TV channel..." — İlhan Taşcı, Republican People's Party deputy and Radio and Television Supreme Council Member.

  • "In our religion, the life, dignity and rights of women are untouchable and entrusted [to men]." — Ali Erbaş, President of Diyanet, Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs.

The murder of women by male relatives -- particularly spouses or former spouses -- has become a dangerous trend in Turkey. 652 women were killed in Turkey by men in the year-and-a-half period prior to November 2018, according to the Turkish women's-rights platform, "We Will Stop Femicide." (Image source: iStock)

On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, thousands of Turkish women took part in demonstrations at Istanbul's Taksim Square. The women were protesting the increasing number of murders in the country committed by men against female family members. After reading a statement to the press, the demonstrators were attacked by police with tear gas and plastic bullets.

The murder of women by male relatives -- particularly spouses or former spouses -- has become a dangerous trend in Turkey. The brutal murder, on August 18, of 38-year-old Emine Bulut by her ex-husband -- in front of their 10-year-old daughter -- is one particularly noteworthy case.

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Europe No Longer Hides Its Hostility to Israel

by Alain Destexhe  •  December 10, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The European Union seems deliberately to fail to recognize that Israel, a sovereign state, is regularly under threat -- even extreme continuous rocket fire from Gaza and Syria -- and, for that reason alone deserves its full support.

  • The statement [by the European Union]... fails to mention that Israel had killed a terrorist belonging to an extremist group about to launch another attack. The statement also fails to mention the number of rockets fired on the country, or the right of Israel to defend itself.

  • Four hundred and fifty rockets in under 48 hours is not a skirmish or a minor attack; it is a large-scale military attack. Any similar attack on France or Germany -- if they received even a single missile -- would have sparked a major crisis.

  • By comparison, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted: "Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Islamist terrorist org backed by Iran, is again attacking Israel with 100's of missiles aimed at civilians. We stand w our friend & ally Israel at this critical moment & support Israel's right to defend itself & bring an end to these barbaric attacks."

  • The contrast speaks for itself. The United States is a friend of Israel. The European Union is not.

  • In other words, the EU, which is officially committed to fighting terrorism, supports the Palestinian Authority (PA), which supports terrorists and their families. Just try making sense of that.

  • The European Union, for its part, is proud to be "the biggest donor of external assistance to the Palestinians". Since February 2008, more than €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion) have been disbursed. The EU provides core financial support to the Palestinian Authority, even though part of the PA budget is earmarked for terrorists and terrorists' families, thereby actually incentivizing terrorism.

Many Europeans governments pretend to be friends with Israel, but the European Union has, over the years, become increasingly hostile towards Israel. Pictured: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference in Jerusalem, Israel, on October 4, 2018. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The European Union has, over the years, become increasingly hostile towards Israel. That attitude was confirmed in early November when the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that food products made in the so-called settlements of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights must be labeled as such and may not carry the generic label "Made in Israel."

As rightly argued by the strategic studies expert Soeren Kern, there are many territorial conflicts all over the world, but the European Court singles out only Israel. Examples of the EU's bias against Israel are numerous, particularly compared to the United States.

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Norway: A Fake "Translation"

by Bruce Bawer  •  December 10, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • This 2013 Norwegian-language "Koran" is available online. A perusal of key passages, however, shows that it bears little or no resemblance to the actual Koran.

  • Let us hope that the word gets around that the book they are being handed is not really the Koran at all.

The Norwegian-language Koran translation that will be handed out to Norwegians at stands in Oslo and, perhaps, Bergen, bears little or no resemblance to the actual Koran. (Image source: iStock)

To borrow a phrase from Lewis Carroll, the news about the aftermath of a public Koran-burning in Kristiansand, Norway, on November 16, keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

As explained in previous pieces here, the 30 or more police officers who were on hand at the event, which was organized by a group called Stop the Islamization of Norway (Stopp Islamiseringen av Norge – SIAN) were under secret orders from the chief of the Norwegian police, Benedicte Bjørnland, not just to douse any flaming Koran but to keep SIAN members from setting fire to a copy of the Muslim holy book in the first place. Bjørnland had maintained that the so-called "racism clause" of Norway's criminal law gave her the power to issue such orders, while the Minister of Justice, Jøran Kallmyr, made the puzzling comment that while burning the Koran was legal, it could "become" a crime, a statement that made no more sense in Norwegian than it does in English.

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'Deadly Delusions': Europe's Deradicalization Programs

by Giulio Meotti  •  December 9, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The latest attack in London was a lethal mix of religious dissimulation and Western naïveté. It also, one hopes, buries all the British illusions of deradicalizing jihadists. As the Times reported, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the so-called "nudge unit" formerly part of the Cabinet Office, had examined 33 deradicalization programs across the UK and found that only two were supposedly successful.

  • France had already tried it out. A bipartisan report in the French Senate had condemned the French deradicalization program as a "total fiasco"....

  • A recent UK government report warned that British imams in 48 Islamic schools have been promoting violence and intolerance. It is British society that must be deradicalized, not the jihadists.

  • Usman Khan apparently saw Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones as "unbelievers", not as "rehabilitators". If we do not change our rules of engagement, more of the same will follow.

The November 29 attack in London was a lethal mix of religious dissimulation and Western naïveté. It also, one hopes, buries all the British illusions of deradicalizing jihadists. Pictured: A police officer stands next to where Usman Khan was shot at the end of his murderous rampage, on London Bridge. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

It was a tragedy of good intentions. "Jack Merritt died in the London Bridge attack. Don't forget what he stood for", Emma Goldberg wrote in The New York Times. Merritt was one of the two victims of Usman Khan, an Islamic terrorist who struck on London Bridge on November 29. The other victim was Saskia Jones, a student at the conference targeted by the jihadist. They both dreamed of working to save and protect their murderer.

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Will the British Public Vote for Antisemitism on December 12?

by Denis MacEoin  •  December 9, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Although all the parties standing for election have delivered broad claims on key issues such as the economy, social care, health, and more, everybody knows that this election is, at heart, about Brexit.

  • Today's Labour Party remains far behind the Tories in the polls. By mid-November, Labour stood at 28% while the Conservatives were at 39%.

  • "The claims that the [Labour] party is "doing everything" it reasonably can to tackle anti-Jewish racism and that it has "investigated every single case", are a mendacious fiction. According to the Jewish Labour Movement, there are at least 130 outstanding cases before the party, some dating back years, and thousands more have been reported but remain unresolved." — Ephraim Mirvis, Britain's Chief Rabbi.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has always been a Marxist ideological extremist, even while serving in Parliament, and has spoken of Hamas and Hizbullah as his friends. Corbyn has brought with him into the party vast numbers of followers who share a loathing for anything Western, from the United States to the struggle against jihadi terrorism. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

The political situation in the UK is in a state of near chaos. A General Election was called in October for 12 December. Whereas such elections are normally run between whichever party is in power (currently the Tory, or Conservative Party, with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister) and the loyal opposition (in this case the Labour Party), the carefully balanced routine that in the past has allowed conservative and socialist parties to come to power has now collapsed.

Among other things, this election is confused in a race between the Tories, Labour, the fast-growing anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party (third-largest in the UK overall), and the newly formed Brexit Party.

This new arrival (founded on November 23, 2018, active since January 2019) campaigns for the UK to leave the European Union without a "deal". This, they believe, will be done in fulfilment of the 2016 Referendum, which resulted in a slim majority in favour of leaving.

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The Fate of Christians in the Current World

by Denis MacEoin  •  December 8, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Why should it be anti-Muslim or "Islamophobic" to write about the effects of jihad or the conservative Muslim treatment of unbelievers? The facts are well established within international bodies, NGOs, national commissions, and verifiable journalistic reports. Reformist Muslims themselves are highly critical of the discriminatory laws and behaviours in countries from which they or their forebearers originated.

  • Indeed, it is precisely Muslims of a reformist and liberal bent who are most vocal about radical restrictions on the values that other Muslims claim are universal.

  • Let us be clear. No doubt, there will probably always be people, call them the real "Islamophobes", who will use problems within Muslim states or communities to try to tar Islam or Muslims as a whole. But these and other issues still need to be faced as authentic human rights concerns.

  • A particularly widespread problem for Christians in Muslim countries is the ban on Christian proselytization.... While Christian and secular countries rightly permit Muslims to preach, convert, and instruct non-Muslims, 25 Muslim states forbid proselytization and have laws saying that Muslims who convert to another faith may be put to death as apostates.

  • Liberalized versions of Islam have in the past few decades been suppressed by fundamentalist takeovers of entire societies. It is therefore hard to believe that countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Turkey will return quickly to the moderation they had developed in the previous century. If there is hope for good relations between non-Muslims and Muslims, it must rest, as has already begun, with the Muslims in liberal democracies.... The British organization Muslims Against Antisemitism, is a shining example; in America, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy is another. They should be treasured and helped.

In the Middle East, Christians are being attacked and driven out at an unprecedented pace. Pictured: A church that was burned and destroyed by ISIS in the town of Qaraqosh, Iraq, photographed on December 27, 2016. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

A recognition of the religious freedoms offered by secular non-coercive states should be of particular importance to Muslims worldwide. It is a serious criticism of Islamic practice both historically and in the modern era that many Muslim countries seem to remain deeply intolerant towards the followers of other religions or the followers of differing branches of their own religion; toward people they regard as having left Islam, or even whom they perceive as having "offended" its followers, whether inadvertently or not. Persecution of religious minorities, and other Muslims seems common in many Muslim countries -- from the highly restrictive Saudi Arabia to the more liberal Indonesia, and especially in countries where the religion is closely allied to the state.

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Egypt: Christian Churches Burn "Accidentally," or Have "Terrorists Changed Operations"?

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  December 8, 2019 at 4:30 am

  • Preliminary reports from Egyptian authorities said that all three fires appeared to be accidents related to electrical or circuit failures, not arson.... General opinion among Christians, however, is that the fires were "not a coincidence."

  • "The fire started from the wooden ceiling of the adjacent hall." Video footage, he added, indicated that something from the market behind the church was hurled onto its roof. — Fr. Samuel, St. George Church in Mansoura, World Watch Monitor, November 11, 2019.

  • "Terrorists change their operations, from bombings to burning." — Fr. Ephraim Youssef, a priest at St. George Church in Mansoura, World Watch Monitor, November 11, 2019.

On October 13, a fire "completely destroyed" St. George Church in Helwan, considered "one of the greatest and oldest churches belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church." (Image source: Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons)

Recently, over the course of two weeks, three Christian churches were torched in Egypt.

First, on Sunday, October 13, "a massive fire swept through a major Coptic church in a Cairo suburb causing heavy damage, but no casualties." Online images and video of the St. George Church in Helwan — considered "one of the greatest and oldest churches belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church" — confirm that , to quote Bishop Bishara, it "had been completely destroyed."

"I immediately rushed to the church and found it on fire with heavy smoke filling the place," said Fr. Andrew, who personally served at the church for three decades.

"The old wooden building burned down very fast and the fire destroyed everything inside, even before the firefighters arrived.... Our loss is great. We have lost a great historical building and we can't rebuild anything like it."

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The Mullahs' Losing Game

by Amir Taheri  •  December 8, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • After initial hesitations the elite regained its unity by responding in the best way it knows, not to say the only way it knows: a brutal crackdown that claimed hundreds of lives and over 10,000 arrests.

  • Translated into simple terms, Khamenei is calling on the "prosperous 30 percent" not to take their current well-being for granted and to help the regime crush the mass of the poor who wish to upset the apple cart.

  • The danger to [the Shah's] regime came from urban middle classes that in any society do not remain content with economic prosperity and social freedoms for long; they always end up demanding political rights commensurate with their economic and social status.

  • [I]f he [Khamenei] manages to crush the 70 percent, thus removing their threat, he would face the 30 percent's increasing demands for social and political freedoms no clerical regime can grant. And, if he fails, the 30 percent in question will look for someone else who can do for them what the Khomeinist regime cannot. In either case, the "Supreme Guide" is playing a losing game.

Almost no one in Iran's ruling establishment bothered to ask why so many Iranians were prepared to risk their lives to make their voices heard and what could the regime do to address their grievances. Pictured: An anti-regime protest in Tehran, Iran on November 16, 2019. (Image source: GTVM92)

When popular protests erupted in Iran's top 100 cities, including the capital Tehran, last month, it soon became clear that the ruling elites were at pains to decide what was really going on.

The faction led by "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei started by dismissing the uprising as a déjà vu version of the protests that have punctuated Iran's history since the 1979 revolution. The daily Kayhan, reputed to reflect Khamenei's views, dismissed the uprising as "sporadic disturbances fomented by a handful of hooligans." Khamenei himself saw it as "a bump on the road" to the "Great New Islamic Civilization" he says he is building.

The official media dismissed what it claimed was "a blind riot with no leadership."

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Impeaching Trump for Obstructing Congress Would Harm Checks and Balances

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  December 7, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The president, as head of the executive branch, is entitled to challenge in court legislative subpoenas that demand material that may be subject to claims of privilege. He is also entitled to insist that the legislature obtain a court order before the executive branch complies. That is how checks and balances work.

  • Even if the president were wrong in challenging these subpoenas, his being wrong would not come close to being an impeachable offense. What do the Democratic experts claim it is? Treason? Bribery? A high crime? A high misdemeanor? It is none of the above and is, therefore, not a basis for impeachment.

  • For Congress to impeach President Trump for abuse of Congress would be an abuse of power by Congress. So despite the partisan opinions of the Democratic academic experts, Congress should not include abuse of Congress among its list of impeachable offenses. Nor should it include any counts that do not fit the specified Constitutional criteria. Since the evidence adduced thus far fails to establish treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors, Congress should not vote to impeach. If it does vote to do so along party lines, it will be acting unconstitutionally and placing itself above the supreme law of the land.

Congress is not above the law. It cannot simply ignore the words of the Constitution even if a majority of its members want to impeach the president. Pictured: Members of the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing on December 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Among the grounds for impeachment being considered by the House Judiciary Committee is that President Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to have members of the executive branch comply with Congressional subpoenas without orders of the court. This ground was given the imprimatur of the academic experts who testified for the Democrats. These experts, however, were not only wrong; their opinions pose a real danger to civil liberties and checks and balances. Moreover, it is highly questionable that these experts would have said that citizens must always comply with Congressional subpoenas without a judicial order if the political shoe were on the other foot.

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Sanctuary for Gays: Ignored or Jeered at by West

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  December 6, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "Israel has always embraced this path [of liberty] in a Middle East that has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different." – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the U.S. Senate, 2011.

  • Adam and Rami are among scores of Palestinian members of the LTBGQ community who, in the past few decades, have fled their homes to seek shelter in Israel. Yet, their plight is totally ignored not only by human rights organizations, but by but by people who purport to be advocates of gay rights. This is part of a far more malignant story: when Israel looks good, the international community looks away.

  • Hate for Israel has blinded people to the point where they align themselves with their own executioners.

  • alQaws pointed out that some Palestinian groups actually celebrated the police threat against the LTBGQ community, "raising (yet again) disturbing questions about the Palestinian Authority's commitment to human rights."

  • Palestinian gays have two choices: hide their sexual preferences and lead double lives in their villages, or flee to Israel and live as normal human beings. Groups such as Queers for Palestine, though, are too busy bashing Israel on college campuses and the streets of San Francisco to take much notice of the sanctuary to which their gay Palestinian friends have chosen to relocate.

Palestinian gays have two choices: hide their sexual preferences and lead double lives in their villages, or flee to Israel and live as normal human beings. Pictured: Tens of thousands of participants take part in the annual Gay Pride parade on June 14, 2019, in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Members of the Palestinian LTBGQ community continue to flee to Israel, where, unlike under the Hamas and Palestinian Authority regimes, they are free to lead normal lives.

The gay community in the West, however, has evidently chosen to ignore the plight of their friends living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Remarkably, rather than reaching out to help the Palestinian LTBGQ members, several gay groups in the West, including in the US, continue to spout hate against Israel, the only country in the Middle East where the LTBGQ community feels safe and secure.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a 2011 speech to the US Senate:

"Israel has always embraced this path [of liberty] in a Middle East that has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different."

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Germany: All EU Members Must Take in Migrants

by Soeren Kern  •  December 5, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The continuing debate over migration is, at its core, about European federalism and the degree to which the European Union will be allowed to usurp decision-making powers from its 28 member states.

  • If everything goes according to plan, the draft legislation would be adopted by the European Parliament in the second half of 2020 when Germany holds the presidency of the EU. It would then be ratified by the European Council, made up of the leaders of the EU member states.

  • "We fundamentally reject illegal migration. We also reject allowing smuggling gangs to decide who will live in Europe." — Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

  • "The V4's [Visegrád group: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia] position is clear. We are not willing to admit any illegal migrants into central Europe. The success and security of central Europe is thanks to our pursuit of a firm anti-migration policy, and this will endure.... Hungarians insist on our right to decide whom to allow into our country and with whom we wish to live." — Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has unveiled a new plan to reform the European asylum system. A leaked draft of the proposal shows that all member states of the EU would be required to take in illegal migrants. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has unveiled a new plan to reform the European asylum system. A draft of the proposal leaked to the media shows that all member states of the European Union would be required to take in illegal migrants.

Countries in Central and Eastern Europe are opposed to mandatory relocations on the basis that decisions about the granting of residence permits should be kept at the national level. They have noted that by unilaterally imposing migrant quotas on EU member states, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are seeking to force the democratically elected leaders of Europe to submit to their diktat.

Indeed, the continuing debate over migration is, at its core, about European federalism and the degree to which the European Union will be allowed to usurp decision-making powers from its 28 member states.

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Blame Others, Not Trump, for NATO's Divisions

by Con Coughlin  •  December 5, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • While getting NATO's finances in order clearly remains a pressing priority for the Trump administration, the real divisions at the summit have been caused by the conduct of the Europeans, most notably France and Turkey.

  • Turkey's recent decision to purchase Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which was designed specifically to shoot down NATO warplanes, has been another serious bone of contention at the summit.

  • Turkey's important geographical location means that NATO leaders have previously been reluctant to sanction Ankara for its increasingly pro-Russian outlook, which is very much at odds with NATO's position that Russia poses the most significant threat to the alliance's security.

If there is one clear lesson to be drawn from the NATO summit just held in London to mark the alliance's 70th anniversary, it is that the Europeans, and not Donald Trump, are to blame for many of the divisions that exist between the NATO's 29-member states. Pictured: NATO leaders at the summit on December 4, 2019. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

If there is one clear lesson to be drawn from the NATO summit just held in London to mark the alliance's 70th anniversary, it is that the Europeans, and not Donald Trump, are to blame for many of the divisions that exist between NATO's 29-member states.

Prior to the summit, during which leaders of the alliance attended glitzy receptions at Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, much of the focus centred on the American president and persistent fears that he might carry out his threat to withdraw the US from the alliance.

Mr Trump's unhappiness with NATO is well-documented, and dates back to the NATO summit in Brussels in July 2018 when, during a testy exchange over the failure of most European member states to pay their fair share towards NATO's running costs, Mr Trump made a direct threat to withdraw the US from the organisation.

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Norway's Top Cop Seems Baffled by Free Speech - but Not by the Inviolability of the Koran

by Bruce Bawer  •  December 4, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Norwegian police chief Benedicte Bjørnland is unable to rid from her mind the certainty that mistreating a copy of the Koran is wrong and that she and her fellow flatfoots should, under some statute or other, have the power to do something about it. In short, for the Norwegian police, the Koran is, in a way, as holy as it is for Muslims.

  • Once again, one was reminded of the cartoon crisis, when the Norwegian diplomatic corps saw it as urgent to apologize to authoritarian governments for whatever is left in Norway of individual liberty.

  • A teacher at the school explained that she had "made a conscious decision not to buy napkins with 'Merry Christmas' written on them" or to use a red tablecloth or red tree ornaments because "certain religions are very sensitive" and care needs to be taken "not to offend anyone."

  • The Norwegian government has recently spent well over $100,000 to convert churches in Stavanger and Skien into mosques and is kicking in a huge sum of taxpayer money for the construction of a mega-mosque in Bergen with, according to journalist and political activist Hege Storhaug, "open ties to extremism."

Norway's police chief is unable to rid from her mind the certainty that mistreating a copy of the Koran is wrong and that she and her fellow flatfoots should have the power to do something about it. (Images source: iStock)

Recently I wrote here about how, on November 16, the group Stop Islamization of Norway (Stopp Islamisering av Norge – SIAN) set fire to a copy of the Koran in a public square in Kristiansand, only to have the fire doused pronto by a group of 30 or more police officers. It later emerged that they were under secret orders from the chief of the Norwegian police, Benedicte Bjørnland, not just to put out any such fire but to prevent SIAN members from committing any such act.

Bjørnland defended her orders by citing the so-called "racism clause" of Norway's criminal law, and the Minister of Justice, Jøran Kallmyr, stood behind her, making the baffling statement that while burning a Koran was not illegal, it could (depending on how you translated his words) "become" or "morph into" a crime.

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Important New Book by Alan Dershowitz Calls for Equality and Fairness in the Justice System

by Benjamin Weingarten  •  December 4, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • "The atmosphere changed dramatically. Evidence was no longer important. It was the accusation that mattered, as well as the identities of the accuser and accused. The presumption shifted from innocence to guilt. For a man to call a false accuser a liar became a political sin, even if the accused had hard evidence of the accuser's lies, as I did." — Alan M. Dershowitz, in his new book, Guilt by Accusation.

  • What is indisputable are the broader implications his book raises about injustices in our justice system.

  • "Currently, lawyers, clients, and witnesses can make defamatory statements in public court filings and depositions without fear of a civil suit or a perjury prosecution.... I could not sue them, because their allegations were contained in a court filing, and were thus immune from a defamation suit. Even more absurdly, by denying Giuffre's allegations and saying they were lies, I subjected myself to a defamation suit." — Alan M. Dershowitz, in his new book, Guilt by Accusation

  • Independent of, and more broadly than, Professor Dershowitz's own case -- in which he asserts that the accused often has little recourse -- Dershowitz highlights major deficiencies in our legal system. Namely..., that there are no "consequences for those who file accusations with no offer to prove them and no legal responsibility if they are categorically -- and disprovably -- false."

  • Professor Dershowitz's book is a plea for reforms in our justice system to treat both the accused and the accuser fairly, and for the court of public opinion to do the same.

Alan Dershowitz. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Hulu)

Power corrupts, as Lord Acton's saying goes, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. History teaches us that the desire to bring down the powerful can also corrupt, and the absolute desire to bring down the powerful can corrupt absolutely.

This reality was brought into stark relief during the gripping confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The cynical political desires of those who sought to scuttle his nomination to the Supreme Court on the basis of wholly uncorroborated allegations (almost assuredly as a cover for their disdain for his jurisprudence, judicial philosophy and the president who nominated him) did not, as was quickly exposed, actually have a case; they seemed, rather, to be trying to ride convenient cultural reckonings. Their manifestations in law, and American life more broadly, are the subject of Alan Dershowitz's new book, Guilt by Accusation, on which more momentarily.

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An Ambulance with Your Pot Order?
Gatestone Institute moving ahead with yearlong review of legalized marijuana

by Gatestone Institute Editorial Staff  •  December 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

  • During the new year... Gatestone will be empaneling experts to examine this emerging threat to motorists, pedestrians, those in the workplace, and young people.

  • We need to understand the implications of that on public health....

  • Marijuana has been listed as the most common drug involved in fatal car accidents, contributing to 12 percent of 2010 crashes compared with 4 percent in 1999, the last time such data was available.

(Image source: iStock)

Within hours of Michigan permitting the legalized sale of recreational marijuana this weekend, state police reported a driver found to be under the influence of marijuana crashed his truck into a police cruiser. The driver was arrested after admitting he had been smoking pot before the accident, and the state trooper was treated for minor injuries.

That incident is just a single snapshot of what the nation may be facing as more and more states move forward the legalization of recreational marijuana sales, underscoring the reason why Gatestone Institute will be conducting a series of symposiums in the coming year that will closely examine the potential impact of legalized pot on the wellbeing of our nation's children, occupational safety, transportation, and the enormous potential for substance abuse.

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