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Updated: 4 hours 12 min ago

‘Death to Islam’ Sign A Huge Draw For Bar

7 July, 2015 - 23:04

Death_to_Islam_West_York

A former veteran puts up “death to Islam” signs in his bar. For most of his clientele this is perfectly OK. Apparently he thinks by doing so he is “supporting the troops” I wonder if anyone can introduce him to this guy:

AOL

WEST YORK, PA. — The Other Place has been a neighborhood hotspot for decades, but a sign recently posted on the front window is drawing accusations of hate.

The sign says “Death to Islam” and it’s echoed by two similar signs inside the bar. Bar staff say the two interior signs went up right after 9/11, and they’ve been there since 2001.

The outdoor sign went up more recently.

The bar is owned by Jeff Seitz. Bar staff say he’s a veteran who wants to show support for the military by posting the signs.

“I don’t condemn the man and I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong,” says customer Carroll Waltimyer, who said he personally wouldn’t have chosen to display the sign. “That sign could mean a lot of things.”

A customer posted a photo of the sign on Facebook, saying it’s hateful. Staff say since the signs began getting attention last week, they’ve seen an increase in business.

Read the entire article…

Update: Jon Ritzheimer Still Hoping to Reach Joe “the Plumber” Level Fame

6 July, 2015 - 22:15

ritzhemier

By Emperor

“Angry White guys without jobs must be persuaded; right-wing hate is not a proper career path.”

Jon Ritzheimer, the New Atheist and self-professed full-time “patriotic” freedom” defender is still hoping to get the type of fame and cash Joe “the plumber” garnered.

Like his bald headed predecessor, Ritzheimer hoped to make bank for himself by taking advantage of that endless reservoir of financial security; right-wing hate. While he got some mileage for his “free speech” attempt to provoke Muslims in Arizona, (he sold a box full of “F–K Islam” shirts), his most recent valiant defense of freedom was a massive fail; Ritzheimer joined protesters angry at Walmart for pulling their Confederate flag merchandise.

Most of the day consisted of him and a few others staring idly into their smartphones while chanting anti-Walmart slogans in the parking lot.:

Ritzheimer_Walmart_Confederate_Flag

He must be looking for that as of yet elusive call he keeps expecting from Sheldon Adelson.

Robert Doggart: If He Was Muslim He’d Be Serving Life In Prison

6 July, 2015 - 19:05

Robert-Doggart

So this guy will likely be let go because a judge thinks he isn’t “a true threat.” Hmmm, I wonder why?

This is another instance that exemplifies the double standard, systematic racism and flawed justice system that is pervasive in the US. (h/t: JD)

By Judd Legum, ThinkProgress

Robert Rankin Doggart, a former candidate for Congress, admitted in federal court to “plotting the annihilation” of a village in New York that is home to many Muslims. Doggart’s plans included “burning down a school, a mosque and a cafeteria,” according to the criminal complaint.

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” Doggart allegedly said according to the transcript of a wiretap cited in the complaint. He also allegedly tried to recruit other individuals to participate in his plot through a Facebook group.

As part of a plea agreement, Doggart pled guilty to “interstate communication of threats” and faces up to five years in prison. He was in jail awaiting final sentencing.

But a federal judge, Curtis Collier, may not accept the guilty plea. He’s ordered the prosecution and defense to produce briefs proving that Doggart was a “true threat.” Meanwhile, a different federal judge, Magistrate Susan K. Lee, released Doggart from jail “into the custody of two family members.”

Lee had previously found that Doggart was a “danger to the community.” The government appealed the decision to release Doggart to Judge Collier, who affirmed Lee’s decision.

Continue Reading…

Tunisians Formed Human Shield To Protect Tourists

2 July, 2015 - 22:36

Tunisia_Gunaman

Gunman Seifeddine Rezgui can be seen wandering away from a group of local men who have formed a human chain to protect tourists on a neighbouring beach

Yet Islamophobes still ask what are Muslims doing to fight terrorism. Even the Daily Mail couldn’t hide this one.

A survivor of the massacre in Tunisia has revealed local hotel staff members formed a human shield on the beach in a heroic bid to protect tourists from the rampaging gunman.

John Yeoman, 46, said Muslim staff members from the Bellevue Hotel told the gunman he would have to kill them first as they formed a human barricade between the shooter and Western tourists.

The chain of bodies can be seen in images taken of killer Seifeddine Rezgui which emerged yesterday – about a dozen men stand side-by-side as the gunman, pictured in the foreground, marches away from them carrying his Kalashnikov.

It is just one of many incredible tales of survival to emerge in the aftermath of the deadly attack in which British survivors have described playing dead as Rezgui ‘executed’ wounded tourists.

He told MailOnline staff formed a shield and started yelling at the gunman: ‘You must kill us first.’

The gunman, who openly declared he was targeting Western tourists during the killing spree, was also told: ‘You will have to get past us, but we’re Muslim.

‘Basically, the staff put themselves in the way,’ he said. ‘The staff from the Bellevue were amazing, really good.’

Mr Yeoman said he was told what happened by another survivor at Manchester Airport after the two were among those repatriated yesterday.

Meanwhile, British survivors have described how they played dead in a desperate bid to avoid being ‘finished off’ by the gunman as he indiscriminately shot down dozens of tourists.

Continue reading …

Hate Crime Investigation Sought After Deadly Road Rage Shooting

30 June, 2015 - 22:42

Ziad_Abu_Naim_Family

Another trigger happy White guy kills someone. This time a Muslim, Ziad Abu Naim, was killed in what is being dubbed by media a “road rage” incident in which there are also accusations that the killer expressed Islamophobic beliefs prior to killing Mr. Naim.

The Houson Chronicle, By Mihir Zaveri, Allan Turner

A civil rights organization is asking Houston police to investigate a deadly road rage shooting as a hate crime, saying the accused gunman made anti-Muslim sentiments before opening fire.

Ziad Abu Naim, 42, was shot in the head in the incident on Friday. He died Sunday at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The accused gunman, Robert Craig Klimek, 43, of Houston, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Naim, of Houston, was shot about 1:30 p.m. in the 6100 block of Fairdale Lane.

The Washington, D.C., office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked Houston police to investigate the incident as a hate crime, alleging that the gunman made anti-Muslim statements before shooting. Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva described the investigation as ongoing.

Continue reading…

Center for Security Policy Compares Islamic Religion to the Plague

30 June, 2015 - 22:19

Frank_Gaffney

More dehumanizing insanity from the kooky anti-Muslim Frank Gaffney’s “Center for Security Policy.”

The Intercept, By Lee Fang @lhfang

The Center for Security Policy’s gala last Monday, a black-tie affair at the stately Metropolitan Club of New York, featured a procession of speakers warning darkly about the threat posed by the religion of Islam.

Tommy Waller, a marine veteran and the legislative outreach director for the group, said he had fought the enemy on the battlefields of the Middle East, but that he did not truly understand them until he joined the center. The enemy has “existed for 1,400 years” and “at the expense of 270 million lives,” he said.

Doctors study medicine, Waller continued, “but we don’t study something that has brought devastation to nearly the same number of humans as the plague.”

The Center for Security Policy, billed as a policy shop for national security concerns, has emerged in recent years as the go-to think tank for Islamophobia. The group hosted two summits for GOP presidential candidates this year, and regularly advises lawmakers. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., spoke at the event on Monday.

Continue reading …

New Poll on American Muslims Is Grounded in Bias, Riddled with Flaws

29 June, 2015 - 01:21

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This is particularly important highlight:

Sixty-percent of respondents agreed that “shariah as interpreted by Islamic authorities is compatible with the U.S. Constitution, including freedom of speech and other rights,” and 51% chose this definition of jihad: “Muslims’ peaceful, personal struggle to be more religious.” These rare but helpful nuances are not even alluded to … in conservative outlets like Fox News. Bill O’Reilly also makes exaggerations that the already-flawed data doesn’t support. “Fifty-one percent [of Muslims] say sharia law should be the reigning law,” he said. But that language is nowhere in the survey data he’s likely referencing, which says that “a majority (51%) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.’”

June 26, 2015  By:  The Bridge Initiative

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington, D.C. think tank run by former Reagan official Frank Gaffney released a survey of 600 Muslims living in the United States. Its takeaway, captured in a headline on the CSP website, is this: “Poll of US Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels of Support For Islamic Supremacists’ Doctrine of Shariah, Jihad.”

The poll gained quick traction online and in the media. On the evening of its release, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly also lent credence to its findings and cast doubt upon American Muslims’ loyalty to their country.

Among the poll’s findings are:

  • “A majority (51%) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.’”
  • “Nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, ‘It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.’”
  • “Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country.”

But this survey should not be taken seriously. It comes from an organization with a history of producing dubious claims and “studies” about the threat of shariah, and was administered using an unreliable methodology. Its proponents seize upon its shoddy findings, exaggerating and misrepresenting them to American audiences, and falsely claim that the survey data represents the views of Muslims nationwide.

Here are the details.

CSP’s History of Baseless Fearmongering

In recent years, many groups have raised questions about the objectivity and intentions of Frank Gaffney. His tendency to posit conspiracies about Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood is well documented, and has earned him sharp critique across the political spectrum. The Center for American Progress labels him a “misinformation expert,” while the Conservative Political Action Committee banned him from their 2011 conference for peddling false accusations about GOP connections to Muslim extremists. It was his organization, CSP, that was behind the unfounded rumor that Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin, was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and once floated the false idea that General David Petraeus had “submitted” to shariah.

Since the early 2000s, CSP has generated dozens of occasional papers, blogs, and reports that fixate on shariah or other allegedly nefarious topics related to Islam. Often, they are loosely sourced or entirely unsubstantiated, relying instead on a furtive web of connections or, in one case, a 24-year-old document written by a lone Muslim activist that has since been roundly discredited.

False Statistics and False Claims

Both Gaffney and O’Reilly claim that the poll’s findings are representative of nationwide Muslim public opinion. But this assertion is untrue.

CSP’s survey was an non-probability based, opt-in online survey, administered by the conservative group, the Polling Company/Woman Trend, a small Washington-based agency that has collaborated with CSP on other occasions to produce surveys about Islam and Muslims. (We learned this after reaching out to the Polling Company to get more details about their methodology, which wasn’t released to the public when Gaffney began promoting the survey’s findings.)

According to the body that sets ethical standards for polling, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), opt-in surveys cannot be considered representative of the intended population, in this case Muslims. The AAPOR says that in these cases, “the pollster has no idea who is responding to the question” and that these kind of “polls do not have such a ‘grounded statistical tie’ to the population.”

So when O’Reilly and guest Zuhdi Jasser pointed to this survey and made claims about what “25% of three million, which is hundreds of thousands of Muslims” believe, it’s not only a misleading statement—it’s outright false.

This survey does not represent the views of American Muslims. It only represents the views of the 600 Muslims that it polled.

Loaded Questions and Answers

Another problem with this poll is the way that questions and answers are phrased. Often, they are not neutral but are imbued with assumptions, and replicate, in an interrogative form, statements that Gaffney and CSP have declared as fact for years. In one question, respondents are asked: “Do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood in America accurately represents your views?” Packed into this question is the assertion that the Brotherhood indeed exists in the United States — something that Gaffney has long propagated. Those who answer “yes” confirm his suspicions, while those who answer “no” acknowledge nonetheless that the group is present here. They’re put into a lose-lose situation.

Continue reading …

Dylann Roof: The Nexus Between White Supremacy’ s Anti-Blackness and Islamophobia

23 June, 2015 - 23:30

Dylan_Roof

By Garibaldi

Prof. Juan Cole posted an article Sunday with the provocative title, European Islamophobic Networks Influenced Roof to Kill in Charleston. Prof. Cole first provides some recent historical context, noting that the Islamophobia Network helped incite the terrorist mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik.  Prof. Cole then cites a paragraph from Roof’s manifesto possibly hinting to the same sort of ideological beliefs as those held by Breivik and co.,

From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Europe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries. Again I found myself in disbelief. As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there. From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware.

The predictable retort from those who will try to disassociate what Dylann Roof believed from their hate-filled ideology will be that he doesn’t mention fascist European politicians such as Geert Wilders by name, nor does he cite Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller specifically the way Breivik did. They may even claim that Roof isn’t referencing the Muslims of Europe at all.

However, those who object would be wrong. Roof was absolutely influenced by Islamophobic conspiracies when he mentions that “the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries…Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there.”

It should be recalled that Roof cited the Council of Conservative Citizens (CoCC) as having particular influence on his murderous anti-Black racism. CoCC heightened his paranoid perception of unfairness and belief that somehow Whites were an oppressed class whose “women were being raped” by Black men who “were taking over.” Language that is very similar to what one hears from the Islamophobia Network about Muslims, especially Muslims in Europe.

In fact, a corollary to CoCC’s horrid anti-Black racism is their virulent Islamophobic hate and conspiracy theories. A simple search for the term “Islam” on the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website brings up articles, including: White supremacist Jared Taylor discussing a future third World War between Europe and “Islam”, claims that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg is censoring criticism of Islam, multiple articles supporting European groups and individuals involved with the anti-Muslim group PEGIDA, promotion of the conspiracy of “Islamization” by Geert Wilders’ PVV party, positively citing Bill Maher for his views on Islam and Muslims, fear of the spread of Islam in US prisons, claims that Jews are supporting the “Islamification” of Europe as “revenge for the Holocaust” (an Islamophobic-anti-Semitic narrative that I discussed in a previous article), pushing the conspiracy about Muslim men raping White women across Europe, targeting the predominantly Black Muslim Islamberg community (a group that was recently the target of a foiled terrorist attack by a White Christian). There are also a number of articles claiming “no one has mistreated Blacks like Muslims,” an attempt to exculpate themselves for their own racist views by projecting onto another religion.

It is therefore not a leap at all to consider that Roof’s expression of deep angst about “what was going on in Europe” was a reference to the Islamophobic language, narratives and conspiracy theories common among the differing currents and trends within the trans-Atlantic Islamophobia Nework.

charleston-shooting

They lived a life of love and service and while worshiping were killed because of hate.

Roof’s mad manifesto is shorter than Breivik’s 1,500 page screed, yet we can gleam commonalities and some minor distinctions in their beliefs. Both Breivik and Roof see Europe as the home of Whites (their “people”), under “threat” from “outside invasion.” Roof makes no mention of Christian identity whereas Breivik explicitly considers himself part of a Neo-Crusader movement and in fact one of a group of “Templar Knights” (It should be noted here that CoCC’s “statement of principles” asserts that the US is a “Christian country,” that should be made up of “European peoples.”) Roof’s seminal preoccupation was race and seeing everything through the lens of “racial awareness,” while Breivik also focused on other aspects of civilizational identity, specifically Christian heritage.

There’s ample evidence that Roof held deeply anti-Black beliefs for years and he may not have required the influence of the pervasive White supremacist currents of the Islamophobia Network to kill and terrorize in Charleston. In the end he was a racist with a supreme hatred of Blacks and other races, (oddly he admired East Asians and thought of them as allies). Yet it is clear that Roof was further radicalized by his visits to CoCC and there is no doubt that the prominence given on their website to the narratives of the Islamophobia Network influenced and heightened his ideological belief in the oppression of Whites world-wide.

Burma: Buddhist Monks Seek To Ban Schoolgirls From Wearing Headscarves

23 June, 2015 - 19:39

Rescued Rohingya women from Myanmar register for an Indonesian police identification process at the confinement area in the fishing port of Kuala Langsa in Aceh province on May 18, 2015 where hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh are taking temporary shelter after they were rescued by Indonesian fishermen. Nearly 3,000 migrants have swum to shore or been rescued off Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand over the past week, around half of whom have arrived in Indonesia's western province of Aceh. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescued Rohingya women from Myanmar register for an Indonesian police identification process at the confinement area in the fishing port of Kuala Langsa in Aceh province on May 18, 2015 where hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh are taking temporary shelter after they were rescued by Indonesian fishermen. Nearly 3,000 migrants have swum to shore or been rescued off Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand over the past week, around half of whom have arrived in Indonesia’s western province of Aceh. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The horrific persecution of the Rohingya peoples of Burma is reaching a new and heightened level through the incitement of groups of Buddhist monks.

By Simon Lewis, The Guardian

An influential group of Buddhist monks in Burma is proposing to ban Muslim schoolgirls from wearing headscarves, in the latest sign of growing religious tension in the country.

The Organisation for the Protection of Race and Religion, a panel of monks known locally by the acronym Ma Ba Tha, said the headscarves were “not in line with school discipline”.

Ma Ba Tha held a conference in Rangoon at the weekend. Some 1,300 monks from monasteries around the country gathered to discuss plans to promote a nationalist agenda as the country heads toward landmark elections later this year.

In a list of recommendations released late on Sunday, Ma Ba Tha told its members to lobby the government to put further restrictions on the country’s beleaguered Muslims, and included references to the wearing of either headscarves or burqas.

“We will demand seriously for the government to ban Muslim students wearing the burqa in government schools and to ban the killing of innocent animals on their [Muslims’] Eid holiday,” it said, referring to Muslim cultural practices that Buddhist nationalists believe go against the culture of Buddhist-majority Burma.

Explaining the move, Ma Ba Tha monk U Pamaukkha said: “When they [Muslims] live in Myanmar, they need to obey the law and regulations of the country. We are not targeting or attacking their religion.”

The group also said it would “show the people the right track” when it came to the elections, expected in November, encouraging people to vote for candidates who “will not let our race and religion disappear”.

The group would keep monitoring “crimes by non-Buddhists” and using Facebook to spread news about alleged threats to Buddhism in Burma, its statement said.
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Ma Ba Tha was officially formed in June 2013, when bouts of inter-communal violence were spreading around the country, with Buddhist mobs targeting members of the Muslim minority. Riots have been triggered by social media posts reporting alleged rapes of Buddhist women by Muslims.

Continue reading…

Tesco machete attack ‘revenge’ for Fusilier Lee Rigby murder

23 June, 2015 - 19:26

Zack Davies

Zack Davies denies trying to murder Dr Sarandev Bhambra

More White terrorism, this time form Britain.

BBC

A man was attacked with a hammer and 12in machete in a racially-motivated revenge assault for the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, a court has heard.

Zack Davies, 26, from Mold, Flintshire, followed Dr Sarandev Bhambra into Tesco in the town and carried out a “brutal and unprovoked attack”.

Mold Crown Court heard the trainee dentist’s hand was almost severed from his arm.

Mr Davies denies attempted murder but admits wounding with intent.

The jury was told Dr Bhambra was walking down an aisle in the store on 14 January when he felt a “huge blow” from the 30cm blade to the back of his head.

He tried escape but Mr Davies attacked him again.

Dr Bhambra suffered severe and life-changing injuries, the court was told.

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Dr Bhambra said he would have been ‘hacked to death’ if he had lost consciousness

He said former soldier Peter Michael Fuller saved his life when he intervened during the attack.

Mr Fuller told the court he saw an Asian man crouched down on his knees while another man hit him with a machete.

The pair ran towards him and, as the attacker approached, Mr Fuller said he stood in the middle of the aisle, put his hands up and shouted: “Stop, this is madness, I am ex-forces.”

Mr Fuller said the man’s demeanour changed and he started to engage with him.

He put the weapons down and the pair spoke until the police arrived.

Mr Fuller described the attack as one of the worst incidents of violence he has ever seen.

Sion ap Mihangel, prosecuting, said Mr Davies identified Dr Bhambra because of his race and his “Asian appearance”.

He told the court: “This attack was racially motivated… as the attack was taking place he was shouting words such as ‘white power’, ‘this is revenge’ and ‘this is for Lee Rigby’.”

Mr Davies told police it was “a moment of madness” and he never intended to kill Dr Bhambra.

Continue reading …

Intercept: Refusal to Call Charleston Shootings “Terrorism” Again Shows It’s a Meaningless Propaganda Term

22 June, 2015 - 21:20

Dylan_Roof

Once again on the meaninglessness of the propaganda term, “terrorism.”

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

In February 2010, a man named Joseph Stack deliberately flew his small airplane into the side of a building that housed a regional IRS office in Austin, Texas, just as 200 agency employees were starting their workday. Along with himself, Stack killed an IRS manager and injured 13 others.

Stack was an anti-tax, anti-government fanatic, and chose his target for exclusively political reasons. He left behind a lengthy manifesto cogently setting forth his largely libertarian political views (along with, as I wrote at the time, some anti-capitalist grievances shared by the left, such as “rage over bailouts, the suffering of America’s poor, and the pilfering of the middle class by a corrupt economic elite and their government-servants”; Stack’s long note ended: “the communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed”). About Stack’s political grievances, his manifesto declared that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”

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The attack had all of the elements of iconic terrorism, a model for how it’s most commonly understood: down to flying a plane into the side of a building. But Stack was white and non-Muslim. As a result, not only was the word “terrorism” not applied to Stack, but it was explicitly declared inapplicable by media outlets and government officials alike.

The New York Times’s report on the incident stated that while the attack “initially inspired fears of a terrorist attack” — before the identity of the pilot was known — now “in place of the typical portrait of a terrorist driven by ideology, Mr. Stack was described as generally easygoing, a talented amateur musician with marital troubles and a maddening grudge against the tax authorities.”

As a result, said the Paper of Record, “officials ruled out any connection to terrorist groups or causes.” And “federal officials emphasized the same message, describing the case as a criminal inquiry.” Even when U.S. Muslim groups called for the incident to be declared “terrorism,” the FBI continued to insist it “was handling the case ‘as a criminal matter of an assault on a federal officer’ and that it was not being considered as an act of terror.”

By very stark contrast, consider the October 2014, shooting in Ottawa by a single individual, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, at the Canadian Parliament building. As soon as it was known that the shooter was a convert to Islam, the incident was instantly and universally declared to be “terrorism.” Less than 24 hours afterward, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared it a terror attack and even demanded new “counter-terrorism” powers in its name (which he has now obtained). To bolster the label, the government claimed Zehaf-Bibeau was on his way to Syria to fight with jihadists, and the media trumpeted this “fact.”

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In his address to the nation the day after the shooting, Harper vowed to learn more about the “terrorist and any accomplices he may have had” and intoned: “This is a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.” Twitter users around the world en masse used the hashtag of solidarity reserved (for some reason) only for cities attacked by a Muslim (but not cities attacked by their own governments): #OttawaStrong. In sum, that this was a “terror attack” was mandated conventional wisdom before anything was known other than the Muslim identity of the perpetrator.

As it turns out, other than the fact that the perpetrator was Muslim and was aiming his violence at Westerners, almost nothing about this attack had the classic hallmarks of “terrorism.” In the days and weeks that followed, it became clear that Zehaf-Bibeau suffered from serious mental illness and “seemed to have become mentally unstable.” He had a history of arrests for petty offenses and had received psychiatric treatment. His friends recall him expressing no real political views but instead claiming he was possessed by the devil.

The Canadian government was ultimately forced to admit that their prior media claim about him preparing to go to Syria was totally false, dismissing it as “a mistake.” Now that Canadians know the truth about him — rather than the mere fact that he’s Muslim and committed violence — a plurality no longer believe the “terrorist” label applies, but believe the attack was motivated by mental illness. The term “terrorist” got instantly applied by know-nothings for one reason: he was Muslim and had committed violence, and that, in the post-9/11 West, is more or less the only working definition of the term (in the rare cases when it is applied to non-Muslims these days, it’s typically applied to minorities engaged in acts that have no resemblance to what people usually think of when they hear the term).

That is the crucial backdrop for yesterday’s debate over whether the term “terrorism” applies to the heinous shooting by a white nationalist of nine African-Americans praying in a predominantly black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Almost immediately, news reports indicated there was “no sign of terrorism” — by which they meant: it does not appear that the shooter is Muslim.

Yet other than the perpetrator’s non-Muslim identity, the Charleston attack from the start had the indicia of what is commonly understood to be “terrorism.” Specifically, the suspected shooter was clearly a vehement racist who told witnesses at the church that he was acting out of racial hatred and a desire to force African-Americans “to go.” His violence was the byproduct of and was intended to publicize and forward his warped political agenda, and was clearly designed to terrorize the community he hates.

That’s why so many African-American and Muslim commentators and activists insisted that the term “terrorist” be applied: because it looked, felt and smelled exactly like other acts that are instantly branded “terrorism” when the perpetrator is Muslim and the victims largely white. It was very hard — and still is — to escape the conclusion that the term “terrorism,” at least as it’s predominantly used in the post-9/11 West, is about the identity of those committing the violence and the identity of the targets. It manifestly has nothing to do with some neutral, objective assessment of the acts being labelled.

Continue reading…

Anti-Muslim Hate Rally Planned for Tucson

19 June, 2015 - 19:40

A protester at the May 29 "Rally for Freedom of Speech"

A protester at the May 29 “Rally for Freedom of Speech”

By “true Americans” I am sure Remington means White racists.

Anti-Islam, Freedom of Speech Rally Planned for Tucson By Miriam Wasser

An anti-Islam, freedom-of-speech rally will take place outside the Tucson Islamic Center on Saturday, July 18.

The event is modeled after a protest at the Phoenix Islamic Cultural Center on May 29, which purportedly was a reaction to the two men who opened fire on a Muhammed cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas, earlier this spring.

For the upcoming “Let Freedom Ring Freedom of Speech Rally,” organizer Dean Remington has invited people he calls “true Americans.” He’s calling on “patriots,” “militias,” “motorcycle clubs,” “preppers,” “sovereign citizens,” “and all who would like to voice a concern that Islam is not a religion of peace and the mosques in America are indoctrination centers for Jihad” to protest “activities that threaten America and its citizens our families and economy.”

“BRING IT ON YOU MISGUIDED FANATICS WE ARE READY TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY AGAINST YOUR ISIS AS YOU COWER IN YOUR MIDDLEEAST COUNTRIES AND RUN TO AMERICA,” Remington wrote on Facebook. (Remington did not respond to New Times’ request for comment, but according to the Facebook page he created for the event, he intends for the rally to remain peaceful.)

Jon Ritzheimer, the man who organized the rally in Phoenix, has been actively posting comments on the Tucson event page but tells New Times that he’s not involved in planning it.

“I support it, but I’m laying low for my family’s sake,” he says. “I hope it stays peaceful.”

Continue reading …

Ramadan 2015: China ‘bans fasting’ for Uighur Muslims

19 June, 2015 - 19:28

Uighurs in western China

Uighurs in western China

This part is very telling:

Officials are forced to give verbal as well as written assurances “guaranteeing they have no faith, will not attend religious activities and will lead the way in not fasting over Ramadan,” state media reported.

Ramadan 2015: China ‘bans fasting’ for Uighur Muslims

By Fiona Keating June 16, 2015 22:40 BST

In parts of the far western Xinjiang district, Chinese officials have banned Muslim party members, civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

“China is increasing its bans and monitoring as Ramadan approaches. The faith of the Uighurs has been highly politicised, and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance,” Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exiled group, the World Uighur Congress (WUC), said in a Reuters statement.

The Uighur leader saw this as China attempting to control their Islamic faith. He warned that the restrictions would force “the Uighur people to resist [Chinese rule] even further.”

Raxit, the Sweden-based spokesman for the WUC, told Radio Free Asia: “They are extracting guarantees from parents, promising that their children won’t fast on Ramadan.”

According to the Chinese government’s website, halal restaurants in Jinghe County, near the Kazakh border, were encouraged by food safety officials to stay open during day hours in Ramadan.

Chinese authorities have set restrictions on Uighur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang every Ramadan.

Officials are forced to give verbal as well as written assurances “guaranteeing they have no faith, will not attend religious activities and will lead the way in not fasting over Ramadan,” state media reported.

Muslim shops and restaurants have also been ordered to sell cigarettes and alcohol or be shut down.

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Israeli Author Avi Lipkin Says All Churches Are Infiltrated By Undercover Muslims Pretending To Be Christian

16 June, 2015 - 22:50

Avi-Lipkin

By Emperor

If Muslim Americans thought that they were being watched by the FBI in their mosques, community centers, local restaurants and cafes (as they are), well, that’s nothing compared to what the secret-Mooslamic-Empire is doing with its world takeover plot that will usher in the Last Days/End Times/Return of the Moschiac. That’s according to Israeli author Avi Lipkin, a beloved and frequent commentator on the right-wing Zionist speaker circuit.

Lipkin has been telling churches that “‘all’ churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies who frequently pretend to have found Christ but are really looking to provide intelligence to radical Muslims who will try to kill all Jews and Christians when jihad is ordered upon the U.S.”

This is a departure from Lipkin’s previous call for Christians to bring Muslims “to the Lord or they’ll bring you to the sword.” Apparently, even ex-Muslims aren’t to be trusted as they might be activated at any moment to usher in The Jihad. Lipkin also states that Israel will expand its borders into Syria, (which it already did in 1967), perhaps Lipkin ascribes to the conspiracy that Israel seeks to extend its borders from the Nile to the Euphrates.

greaterisrael

Lipkin thinks Islam is a psychosis, his recent rants really make you wonder why he is projecting so hard?

By Oge Okonkwo, The Pulse

A popular Jewish author, Avi Lipkin, has warned that “all” churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies who frequently pretend to have found Christ but are really looking to provide intelligence to radical Muslims who will try to kill all Jews and Christians when jihad is ordered upon the U.S.

Christian Post reports that Lipkin, who has authored a number of books critical of radical Islam, frequently speaks at Christian churches around the U.S. to emphasize the importance of unity between the Jewish and Christian communities in standing against the advance of radical Islam.

Lipkin, who immigrated from New York to Israel in 1968, spoke at this week’s Future Conference held at Skyline Church in San Diego where he proclaimed that the world is facing the “most interesting” biblical period since the days of Jesus Christ and contended that the coming of the Messiah is just around the corner.

“We are realizing with our own very eyes fulfillment of more Bible prophecy than in any other generation in 2,000 years,” Lipkin asserted. “I believe the Messiah is in our time and I believe Israel will realize its borders.”

As Lipkin believes that Israel will soon expand its borders to occupy part of Syria, he argued that soon after, jihadi orders will be called to rid the world of Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.

When Muslims are called to jihad, Lipkin believes that they will already have personal information on Jews and Christians because they will have used deception to build personal relationships with those they seek to exterminate.

Explaining that it is a violation of the Quran for Muslims to seek relationships with Jews and Christians, Lipkin said there is an exception for those who plan to act as Islamic spies on churches and synagogues.

Lipkin further explained that his wife, an Egyptian-born Jewess named Rachel, is an avid monitor of various Islamic broadcasts, television feeds and other Islamic news outlets. In one particular Arabian broadcast, Lipkin said Rachel heard the claim made that “all” churches in America have Muslim spies.

“It is very dangerous for a Muslim to even be associated with Christian missionaries or Christian churches unless they are spies. My wife has picked up broadcasts that say all the churches in America have Muslim spies in them, including former Christians who converted to Islam,” Lipkin said.

“When Muslims come to you and say ‘Oh yes, we have accepted Christ and we are born-again,’ you gotta be real careful because lying in Arabic is not only permissible it is commanded. Lying is a virtue in Islam to defeat the enemy.”

Lipkin told the story of one highly-decorated Middle Eastern Muslim doctor who applied for a Canadian visa in order to set up a medical office in Edmonton, Alberta. Before leaving for Canada, Lipkin explained that radical Muslims demanded that she record the personal information, addresses and phone numbers of her Jewish and Christian patients in Edmonton. The Muslims demanded that after she acquired the personal information of her non-Muslim patients, she had to send it to them on a disk so that information can be used to kill her patients once jihad has been ordered in Canada.

“When a war breaks out in the Middle East and orders for jihad come to the Muslims of Canada, the Muslims of Edmonton will kill the Jews of Edmonton and Muslims of Toronto will kill the Jews of Toronto and the Muslims of Vancouver will kill the Jews of Vancouver,” Lipkin continued.

“This was in 1999 but even now, they are cataloging the Jews wherever the Jews live. The Muslims like to have ecumenical relations with the Jews because they want to know who the Jews are and they go to the rabbis and want to be best friends with a rabbi. They want to get close with the rabbi because it will be easier to reach him and kill him.”

Lipkin further suggested that when the orders for jihad are made, Muslims are to kill the Jews on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) and then kill the Christians on Sunday.

“Allah wants to kill the Jews on Saturday and kill the Christians on Sunday; kill the Hindus, kill the Buddhists, kill the blacks in Africa and the Muslims kill each other all in the name of Allah,” Lipkin contended. “The bottom line in Islam is that every Jew dies and after that every Christian dies. Jesus Christ is coming back.”

“Ask any Muslim and they will tell you that Jesus is a Muslim,” Lipkin added. “On that day of judgement, every Jew and every Christian who has not converted to Islam will have his throat personally slit by Jesus Christ, the Muslim.”

Read the entire article

Florida Imam Who Claimed to Be Covert Government Operative Is Accused of Terrorism

16 June, 2015 - 19:10

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Another disturbing case of how US intelligence services operate.

By Murtaza Hussain @mazmhussain, The Intercept

On August 23, 2011, 46-year-old Marcus Dwayne Robertson, the imam of an Orlando, Florida mosque, was arrested, imprisoned and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty.

Almost four years after his initial arrest, Robertson, also known as “Abu Taubah,” is still behind bars awaiting sentencing for that crime, as well as for a separate count of conspiracy to file a fraudulent tax refund claim. He could be released on time served based on those charges, but the U.S. government is now seeking a “terrorism enhancement” that could result in him serving an additional 20 years in prison.

Part of what makes the case unusual is that Robertson has never actually been charged with planning or committing any terrorist acts. Instead, prosecutors are trying to use his possession of Islamic literature as proof of his terrorist intent. Citing statements a young acquaintance of Robertson’s made to a government informant, in addition to passages from a number of e-books found in Robertson’s possession after his arrest, prosecutors are arguing that the imam is “an extremist seeking to promote violent jihad.”

Robertson, for his part, alleges that he has been a target of entrapment and malicious prosecution. More spectacularly, he also claims that he was a covert government operative who came under scrutiny after refusing to perform certain tasks requested of him by the CIA. While this claim may seem fantastical, a sentencing memorandum issued by his lawyers in late April states that the government has confirmed a number of Robertson’s claims regarding past clandestine activities he conducted on the government’s behalf.

True or not, Robertson’s life has taken a series of improbable turns, from being a U.S. marine, to a member of a New York City street gang, to finally transforming himself into a putative religious leader. Robertson’s most recent transformation from gang member to imam began in 1991, when he was sent to prison for a string of robberies and violent incidents targeting police officers and government installations. In the government’s sentencing memorandum, the prosecution claims that during his membership in a gang known as the “Forty Thieves,” he “murdered several individuals; participated in assassination attempts; used pipe bombs, C-4, grenades, other explosives, and automatic weapons.” The government also claims that the Forty Thieves “stockpiled weapons and explosives in preparation to fight against the perceived threat of interment of Muslims by the United States.”

Speaking to The Intercept from a Florida jail, Robertson said that many of these government allegations were false, but conceded that during the early 1990s he was part of an organization in New York City called the Forty Thieves, which he described as part criminal gang, part vigilante group. “During that time in Brooklyn we were dealing with the ongoing crack cocaine epidemic, as well as with pimps and violent drug dealers destroying the social fabric of our neighborhood. We formed the Forty Thieves to clean up our area, and many times the police were on our side in this effort,” Robertson said in a phone interview.

Nonetheless, he added, “We were young, we made foolish decisions, and sometimes we were inadvertently used by people for other agendas. Sometimes our behavior crossed a line.”

Robertson testified for the prosecution at the eventual trial of several Forty Thieves members and was released after serving four years in prison.

***

Once out of prison, Robertson’s life apparently changed course. He adopted the teknonym “Abu Taubah” (a reference to a passage of the Quran dealing with repentance for sins), became an imam, and, according to his own account, worked periodically as a covert operative for the CIA and FBI. Robertson, who had previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps, claims to have been a government operative for several years over the past decade, helping conduct domestic terrorism investigations as well as foreign “espionage” operations. The U.S. government, according to a defense memorandum, “acknowledges that Robertson has provided extensive assistance to the authorities.”

While Robertson declined to discuss the specifics of his alleged operations, citing ongoing legal restrictions in his case, the same defense memorandum states that the government has acknowledged that between 2004 and 2007, Robertson worked under the direction of the FBI as “an extraterritorial confidential source … sent to Mauritania performing a role that can only be defined as ‘espionage.’” The memorandum goes on to state that Robertson “served as a confidential source in domestic terrorism investigations from Atlanta to Los Angeles, wherein he was provided with actual authority to, inter alia: possess firearms in order to maintain his cover and fulfill the objectives set for him by the [FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force] JTTF.”

Robertson’s latest legal troubles started sometime after he ceased to be a government operative in 2007, according to the defense.

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Nation: The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings

16 June, 2015 - 18:44

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AP

The CIA was not only torturing but was engaged in human experimentation but again most Americans won’t care or notice though the following article makes the claim that this may lead to greater accountability.

By Lisa Hajjar, The Nation

Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.

At the helm of this human experimentation project were two psychologists hired by the CIA, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. They designed interrogation and detention protocols that they and others applied to people imprisoned in the agency’s secret “black sites.”

In its response to the Senate report, the CIA justified its decision to hire the duo: “We believe their expertise was so unique that we would have been derelict had we not sought them out when it became clear that CIA would be heading into the uncharted territory of the program.” Mitchell and Jessen’s qualifications did not include interrogation experience, specialized knowledge about Al Qaeda or relevant cultural or linguistic knowledge. What they had was Air Force experience in studying the effects of torture on American prisoners of war, as well as a curiosity about whether theories of “learned helplessness” derived from experiments on dogs might work on human enemies.

To implement those theories, Mitchell and Jessen oversaw or personally engaged in techniques intended to produce “debility, disorientation and dread.” Their “theory” had a particular means-ends relationship that is not well understood, as Mitchell testily explained in an interview on Vice News: “The point of the bad cop is to get the bad guy to talk to the good cop.” In other words, “enhanced interrogation techniques” (the Bush administration’s euphemism for torture) do not themselves produce useful information; rather, they produce the condition of total submission that will facilitate extraction of actionable intelligence.

Mitchell, like former CIA Director Michael Hayden and others who have defended the torture program, argues that a fundamental error in the Senate report is the elision of means (waterboarding, “rectal rehydration,” weeks or months of nakedness in total darkness and isolation, and other techniques intended to break prisoners) and ends—manufactured compliance, which, the defenders claim, enabled the collection of abundant intelligence that kept Americans safe. (That claim is amply and authoritatively contradicted in the report.)

As Americans from the Beltway to the heartland debate—again—the legality and efficacy of “enhanced interrogation,” we are reminded that “torture” has lost its stigma as morally reprehensible and criminal behavior. That was evident in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, when more than half of the candidates vowed to bring back waterboarding, and it is on full display now. On Meet the Press, for example, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who functionally topped the national security decision-making hierarchy during the Bush years, announced that he “would do it again in a minute.”

No one has been held accountable for torture, beyond a handful of prosecutions of low-level troops and contractors. Indeed, impunity has been virtually guaranteed as a result of various Faustian bargains, which include “golden shield” legal memos written by government lawyers for the CIA; ex post facto immunity for war crimes that Congress inserted in the 2006 Military Commissions Act; classification and secrecy that still shrouds the torture program, as is apparent in the Senate report’s redactions; and the “look forward, not backward” position that President Obama has maintained through every wave of public revelations since 2009. An American majority, it seems, has come to accept the legacy of torture.

Human experimentation, in contrast, has not been politically refashioned into a legitimate or justifiable enterprise. Therefore, it would behoove us to appreciate the fact that the architects and implementers of black-site torments were authorized at the highest levels of the White House and CIA to experiment on human beings. Reading the report through this lens casts a different light on questions of accountability and impunity.

The “war on terror” is not the CIA’s first venture into human experimentation. At the dawn of the Cold War, German scientists and doctors with Nazi records of human experimentation were given new identities and brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip. During the Korean War, alarmed by the shocking rapidity of American POWs’ breakdowns and indoctrination by their communist captors, the CIA began investing in mind-control research. In 1953, the CIA established the MK-ULTRA program, whose earliest phase involved hypnosis, electroshock and hallucinogenic drugs. The program evolved into experiments in psychological torture that adapted elements of Soviet and Chinese models, including longtime standing, protracted isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation. Those lessons soon became an applied “science” in the Cold War.

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Andalou: Masked Men Attack Turkish Mosque In US

15 June, 2015 - 22:37

Andalou_Turkey_Mosque

via. Andalou Agency

Masked men attacked a mosque in Massachusetts Wednesday that left several windows broken, an official and a community leader said.

The attack on the Ahiska Turkish American Cultural Center and Mosque in the city of West Springfield took place at 8.15 p.m. local time (0015GMT) when five unidentified masked men began hurling stones, Yasar Colak, religious affairs counselor at Turkey’s Embassy in Washington, said.

“We are investigating whether the attack was motivated by Islamophobia,” Colak told Anadolu Agency. “It is early to make a comment on this at this moment, but if we come to such a conclusion, we will take the necessary steps,” he added.

Mehdi Osmanli, president of the mosque, said that there were three people inside at the time of incident and none of them got hurt.

He said that police came to the scene approximately one hour after the attack and launched an investigation.

The attack took place at a time when a rising wave of Islamophobia has led to an increase in threats against Muslims in the U.S.

The mosque, which was built by Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs and the Council of Ahiska Turkish-American Associations, opened in March.

Ahiska Turks, also known as Meskhetian Turks, were expelled in 1944 from their homeland – the Meskheti region in Georgia – by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in attempt to deport Turks from the shores of the Black Sea.

Schools Monitoring Pupils’ Web Use With ‘Anti-radicalisation Software’

15 June, 2015 - 22:26

anti-radicalization_software

The out of control counter-terrorism industry in the UK has a new feature, software that is being sold to schools as a way to fight radicalization by spotting “extremist-related” language among pupils. Truth is stranger than fiction.

By Diane Taylor, The Guardian

Schools are being sold software to monitor pupils’ internet activity for extremism-related language such as “jihadi bride” and “YODO”, short for you only die once.

Several companies are producing “anti-radicalisation” software to monitor pupils’ internet activity ahead of the introduction of a legal requirement on schools to consider issues of terrorism and extremism among children.

Under the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015, which comes into force on 1 July, there is a requirement that schools “have due regard to the need to prevent pupils being drawn into terrorism”.

One company, Impero, has launched a pilot of its software in 16 locations in the UK as well as five in the US. Teachers can store screenshots of anything of concern that is flagged up by the software. Other companies offering anti-radicalisation software products to schools include Future Digital and Securus.

Impero has produced a glossary of trigger words such as “jihobbyist” (someone who sympathises with jihadi organisations but is not an active member) and “Message to America” (an Islamic State propaganda video series).

Schools involved with the Impero pilot already have contracts to buy or rent other software from the company, and are trialling the anti-radicalisation software at no extra charge. They are in areas including London, County Durham, Essex, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and Staffordshire.

A spokeswoman for Impero said: “The Counter-terrorism and Security Act places a duty on schools to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Since the introduction of the act at the beginning of the year we have had a lot of schools approach us requesting a keyword-detection policy focused on radicalisation.

“The system may help teachers confirm identification of vulnerable children, or act as an early warning system to help identify children that may be at risk in future. It also provides evidence for teachers and child protection officers to use in order to intervene and support a child in a timely and appropriate manner.

“It is not about criminalising children, it is about helping schools spot the early warning signs so that risk in relation to an individual can be assessed and measured, and counter-narratives and support can be put in place to help educate children before they potentially become victims of radicalisation.”

Different schools are interpreting the anti-radicalisation clause in the new counter-terrorism legislation in different ways. Headteachers interviewed by the Guardian said it was a very difficult issue for schools to get involved with.

Some schools are simply signalling that they are aware of the requirement to take the issue into account, while others are being more proactive. One school is east London is offering workshops on spotting signs of radicalisation.

Monega primary school in Newham has invited parents of children as young as four to a workshop on 26 June. The invitation states: “Come and join us for this session led by a social worker on how to prevent and detect radicalisation. All parents are welcome.”

Yahya Birt, a Muslim academic specialising in British Islam, tweeted about the four-year-olds potentially being monitored for radicalisation: “They’re pre-lingual, let alone pre-political. It’s bonkers.”

Last month there was controversy over a questionnaire circulated to pupils in five primary schools in Waltham Forest, another east London borough with a large Muslim population.

The questionnaire asked pupils leading questions about their views and beliefs including whether or not they would marry someone from a different religion, whether they would be prepared to hurt someone who made fun of their race or religion and whether they felt God had a purpose for them.

Waltham Forest council later said the questionnaires would be withdrawn. It said they had been produced by the behavioural insights team, also known as the “nudge unit”, which started life inside 10 Downing Street and is partly government-owned.

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‘Racist’ primary school headmistress who called staff ‘f*****g Muslims’ banned from teaching for life

15 June, 2015 - 03:16

Anupe Hanch was headmistress at Gearies Junior School in Ilford, Essex

Witnesses told an investigatory panel how Anupe Hanch intimidated and bullied her colleagues and pupils during her seven years at the primary school

The Independent

An Essex primary school headmistress has been sacked after it was found she had referred to staff as “f***ing Muslims” and asked a pupil with special educational needs if he “liked touching women’s breasts.”

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel spent two weeks reviewing evidence on Anupe Hanch, 49, finding her guilty of unacceptable professional conduct at work which resulted in a lifelong teaching ban.

The panel published its report on Friday, in which it details 10 witness accounts of the former-headmistress’ bullying behaviour towards teachers and pupils.

Hanch, when looking through CVs from Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), told a member of staff that “if we have any more Muslims around here, it’s going to start looking like Al-Jazeera,” the report said.

She was also found guilty of saying “I’m not going to be like those f***ing Muslims taking a day off for Eid,” referring to staff who wanted time off for holidays, the report revealed. Hanch denied the accusation, saying that such words went against everything she believed in.

The teacher tried to encourage staff and pupils at Gearies Junior School, in Ilford, where she worked for seven years, not to take off religious holidays.

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5 Things You Need to Know: The CIA’s Horrific Torture of Majid Khan

10 June, 2015 - 02:35

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5 Things You Need to Know: The CIA’s Horrific Torture of Majid Khan

By Kimie Matsuo and Zak Newman, (Amnesty International)

We learned earlier this week of even more shocking, horrific details in the case of one detainee who fell victim to the CIA’s torture program. Majid Khan, who has been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for almost nine years, is one of the 119 men whose case is mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s landmark report on CIA torture. But this week’s news, coming from declassified statements from Khan himself, includes revelations of grotesque and abhorrent treatment never publicly reported by the Senate committee.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who is Majid Khan?

  • Majid Khan is a Pakistani national who suffered enforced disappearance at the hands of Pakistani and U.S. authorities in March 2003 during a raid on his family’s home. He was subjected to secret detention for more than three years, during which time his relatives were denied any news about his whereabouts or health. Khan was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2006 along with 13 other supposed “high value” detainees after President Bush’s formal acknowledgement of the CIA’s torture program.

What have we learned about Khan’s treatment during his secret detention?

  • It’s deplorable. Khan suffered a wide array of torture methods. He was subjected to sleep deprivation, likely long periods of solitary confinement, and forced rectal feedings and rehydration. On multiple occasions, Khan attempted suicide by trying to cut his wrists or other sensitive areas.

Sadly, we already knew all this from the Senate report released last December. We learned Tuesday that the treatment may have gone far beyond that barbarism. He was, according to just-declassified statements he made as part of his military commission proceedings, hung from poles, naked for hours on end. Guards reportedly touched his genitals.

Although Khan was not one of the detainees for whom CIA officials have said interrogators were authorized to waterboard, according to his statements, that didn’t stop his interrogators. Waterboarding techniques were used on him on at least several occasions. Guards even held his head under ice water on various occasions, and hung his naked body from a pole while guards hurled ice water and blew fans on him.

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