* Senior Saudi cleric says that those who oppose gender segregation should be killed
* Three Sikhs beheaded in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam
* Eighth Christian killed in a week in northern Iraq
* The case of Paul Martin: Where is the international outrage? Where are the BBC reports?
* Academic tells London university (SOAS) students that Israel “must come to an end” and he “longs to be a martyr”. Same academic invited to address students at Cambridge and Manchester
* Islamic preacher who called Jews and gays “filth” speaks at London university (King’s College) as part of their “Green Week”. (He is America-born and has a doctorate from the University of Toronto)
* Israel lodges a formal complaint with Spain, after 5- and 6-year-old pupils at Spanish state schools are taught to write “Jews kill for money” and “[Jews:] go to someplace where someone will be willing to accept you”
1. Who chooses the news?
2. Oh, you mean those human rights
3. A note on Paul Martin
4. Saudi cleric says that those who oppose gender segregation should be killed
5. Pakistan: Taliban behead 3 Sikhs for refusing to convert to Islam
6. Eighth Christian killed in a week in north Iraq
7. What a coincidence
8. Anti-Semitism being taught in Spanish schools to kids as young as five
9. Gaddafi calls for “jihad against Switzerland and Zionism”
10. Islamic preacher who called Jews “filth” to speak at London University
11. Academic tells London university students that Israel “must come to an end”
12. Passengers left stunned after Muslim bus driver pulls over and begins praying in the aisle
WHO CHOOSES THE NEWS?
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
This dispatch primarily concerns the crimes and intolerance of radical Muslims. The stories below include items from the world’s largest news agencies (Reuters, AP, and AFP).
Yet despite the fact that almost all the world’s major newspapers and TV stations subscribe to these news agencies and obtain most of their foreign news – text, film footage and still photos – from them, I have hardly seen any reports on these items in the mainstream media. I can’t think why.
OH, YOU MEAN THOSE HUMAN RIGHTS
Incidentally, last week Time magazine ran a story on human rights in Egypt (“Egypt’s Crackdown: When a U.S. Ally Does the Repressing,” Time, February 24) – but with no mention of Copts’ or women’s or gay rights or the virulent anti-Semitism in Egypt.
No, the only human rights that Time appeared to be interested in were the rights of Hamas’ Egyptian sister organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.
A NOTE ON PAUL MARTIN
Hamas has announced that the promised release from captivity today of British journalist and documentary filmmaker Paul Martin has been postponed. Martin was arrested by Hamas on February 14 in Gaza City as he arrived to testify at the trial of a Palestinian militant who defied Hamas by deciding to renounce violence against Israel.
I have known Paul Martin for some time, and he has been a subscriber to this email list for the last few years. I last spoke to him three weeks ago at the Herzliya conference in Israel. I should point out to his Hamas jailors and their Western sympathizers, should they be reading this, that Paul has produced stories that are unfavorable to Israel over the years, as well as being one of the only journalists to produce stories about Palestinian rocket-firers into Israel.
For example, he produced the (largely-staged) scenes in a Gaza hospital in January 2009, in which the Norwegian anti-Israeli activist Dr Mads Gilbert made hysterical accusations against Israel. (That footage by Paul was then rebroadcast on the BBC, CNN and elsewhere). (See the note titled “Why is the media quoting Dr Mads Gilbert without telling viewers of his support for 9/11?” here at section 9.)
WHERE IS THE BBC?
Paul Martin, who formerly lived in Cairo, has worked for a number of media over the years, including BBC TV and radio. Indeed he was last in Gaza six weeks ago on assignment for the BBC, and yet the almost complete silence of the BBC now on his fate is deafening. Contrast this to the near hourly mentions, day after day, week after week, by the BBC of their former Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston while he was held in Gaza in 2007.
One suspects that the BBC’s concern for Johnston was that he was “a BBC man through and through” (which included, naturally, demonstrating a deep sympathy for the Palestinian cause in his broadcasts) whereas Paul Martin, who now only works on a freelance basis for the BBC, has at least made some attempts to be critical of Hamas as well as of Israel. (When Johnston was released, he noticeably avoided thanking the government of Israel, who had tried to help in all kinds of ways to secure his release, but instead called Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Damascus to personally thank him. See last item here and other items on Johnston here.)
WHERE IS THE FPA? WHERE IS THE TIMES?
Furthermore, the Jerusalem-based Foreign Press Association (FPA), which last week continued to send out letters with scathing criticism of the Israeli government, has also said little on behalf of their colleague Paul Martin.
Hamas has announced that Martin had “violated the law and security of the Gaza Strip” (i.e. he dared to criticize Hamas in a report which I won’t draw attention to here as I don’t want to complicate matters for him.)
He went to Gaza to testify on behalf of Mohammed Abu Muaileq, a former member of the militant Abu Rish brigades. Abu Muaileq, who has defied Hamas, is subject to a possible death sentence according to Hamas, after Paul Martin filmed him saying he had decided to stop participating in violence against Israel.
Paul Martin has also written many times for The Times of London, which continues to lambast Israel on a daily basis, but has not done much reporting on Paul’s situation. (Ironically he was even the journalist who reported on Alan Johnston’s release for The Times in 2007.) By contrast, British-based Sky News and The Associated Press have done some reporting on Paul Martin.
Above: Paul Martin was detained by Hamas’ security forces, here pictured during training.
SAUDI CLERIC SAYS THAT THOSE WHO OPPOSE GENDER SEGREGATION SHOULD BE KILLED
Reuters has the latest from the religion of tolerance:
Saudi cleric backs gender segregation with fatwa
Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:30 pm
RIYADH (Reuters) - A prominent Saudi cleric has issued an edict calling for opponents of the kingdom’s strict segregation of men and women to be put to death if they refuse to abandon their ideas.
Shaikh Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak said in a fatwa the mixing of genders at the workplace or in education “as advocated by modernisers” is prohibited because it allows “sight of what is forbidden, and forbidden talk between men and women.”
“All of this leads to whatever ensues,” he said in the text of the fatwa published on his website (albarrak.islamlight.net).
“Whoever allows this mixing ... allows forbidden things, and whoever allows them is an infidel and this means defection from Islam ... Either he retracts or he must be killed ... because he disavows and does not observe the Sharia,” Barrak said.
“Anyone who accepts that his daughter, sister or wife works with men or attend mixed-gender schooling cares little about his honour and this is a type of pimping,” Barrak said.
Barrak, believed to be 77, does not hold a government position but he is viewed by Islamists as the leading independent authority of Saudi Arabia’s hardline version of Sunni Islam, often termed Wahhabism…
The kingdom, a major U.S. ally, is ruled by the Al Saud family in alliance with clerics from the strict Wahhabi school of Islam who oversee mosques, the judiciary and vast parts of education, and run a religious police body.
The Saudi government pays a morals police squad that roams streets and shopping malls to make sure unrelated men and women are kept apart, that women are covered from head to toe and search for alcohol and drugs under the kingdom’s austere interpretation of Islam.
PAKISTAN: TALIBAN BEHEAD 3 SIKHS FOR REFUSING TO CONVERT TO ISLAM
The Economic Times reports:
NEW DELHI: In what threatens to cast a shadow on the upcoming Indo-Pakistan talks, three Sikh youths were beheaded by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region after they allegedly refused to convert to Islam. Their severed heads were dumped at a gurudwara in Peshawar.
The Sikh youths – identified as Jaspal Singh, Sarabjit Singh and Baronat Singh – were … told by the Taliban to embrace Islam or face death. When the Sikh youths refused, their heads were chopped and sent to the Bhai Joga Singh Gurudwara in Peshawar.
A sizeable number of Sikhs lived in the tribal belt, particularly Aurakzai Agency, till the Taliban imposed jiziya or religious tax on them in 2009. Most members of the community, faced with increasing pressure from the Taliban to convert to Islam, have since fled to cities across Pakistan.
EIGHTH CHRISTIAN KILLED IN A WEEK IN NORTH IRAQ
Meanwhile in Iraq, AFP (Agence France Presse) reports the following. (Since this AFP article was written, another three Christians have been murdered in Mosul.)
Fifth Christian killed in a week in north Iraq
MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) - Iraqi police said they found a Christian shopkeeper shot to death in the restive northern city of Mosul, the fifth Christian killing in a week thought to be related to March 7 elections.
Adnan al-Dahan, a 57-year-old Syrian Orthodox, was found with bullet wounds to his head in the northern Mosul district of al-Belladiyat, police and his relatives said.
Dahan had been kidnapped from his grocery shop last week in the neighbourhood of Al-Habda, also in northern Mosul, according to a police officer who did not want to be named...
Dahan was the fifth Christian to have been killed during the past week in Mosul, which is located about 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Baghdad and has a Christian population of between 2,000 and 3,000...
On Wednesday, 20-year-old Assyrian Christian student Wissam George’s bullet-riddled body was recovered after he went missing the same morning.
A day earlier, a gunman killed 21-year-old engineering student Zia Toma and wounded 22-year-old pharmacy student Ramsin Shmael, both Assyrian Christians.
Greengrocer Fatukhi Munir was gunned down inside his shop in a drive-by shooting late on Monday, and armed assailants killed Rayan Salem Elias, a Chaldean, outside his home on Sunday.
In late 2008, a systematic campaign of killings and targeted violence killed 40 Christians and saw more than 12,000 flee Mosul.
Tom Gross adds:
Yesterday, The Sunday Telegraph reported that a British cyclist was “deliberately run down in Saudi Arabia,” in what is reported to be an anti-Christian attack.
On Saturday, Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants killed 11 Christian villagers in the southern Philippines.
WHAT A COINCIDENCE
While The New York Times and other prominent media fail to properly report on these matters, the Associated Press brings us the following story.
New York Times launching Qatar edition of `T’
Tuesday February 16, 2010, 12:17 pm EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Times Co. said Tuesday it is launching a bilingual Arabic-English version of “T: The New York Times Style Magazine” in Qatar.
The lifestyle and luxury magazine will be published every two months this year and every month in 2011. It will have local and regional features, photographs and commentary.
The magazine will be published by Oryx Advertising Co., one of Qatar’s largest publishers.
New York Times shares were up 44 cents, or 4.1 percent, at $11.08 in midday trade Tuesday.
ANTI-SEMITISM BEING TAUGHT IN SPANISH SCHOOLS TO KIDS AS YOUNG AS 5
Ha’aretz reports today:
Israel yesterday lodged a formal complaint with Spain, charging that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are being instilled in elementary students across parts of the country.
The Israeli embassy in Madrid has received dozens of postcards addressed to the Israeli envoy – from students ages 5 and 6 – including hand-written messages such as “Jews kill for money,” “Evacuate the country for Palestinians,” and “Go to someplace where someone will be willing to accept you.”
According to sources in the Foreign Ministry, this is an organized campaign by officials outside the education system in Spain that have been given permission to work with the students.
The Foreign Ministry had originally planned to summon the Spanish envoy to Israel, Alvaro Iranzo, to rebuke him.
However, in an effort to prevent a diplomatic crisis, the ministry decided instead to discuss the matter with him via telephone.
Naor Gilon, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director for Western Europe, spoke with Iranzo on Sunday and said, “Israel feels strong discontent over the postcards sent by school students and views the matter with utmost gravity.”
The Spanish envoy explained that the postcards were a private initiative, and not one that is part of Spain’s education ministry.
Gilon said Israel understands this is not a government policy, but stressed that these types of initiatives have no place in schools and that Israel requests action be taken to have the campaign stopped.
GADDAFI CALLS FOR “JIHAD AGAINST SWITZERLAND AND ZIONISM”
AFP (Agence France Presse) reports:
Gaddafi calls for jihad against Switzerland over minaret ban
February 25, 2010, 02:22 PM US/Eastern
Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi called on Thursday for jihad (holy war) against Switzerland over the ban adopted last year on the construction of minarets in the country.
“It is against unbelieving and apostate Switzerland that jihad ought to be proclaimed by all means,” Gaddafi said during a speech in the Mediterranean coastal city of Bengazi to mark the birthday of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.
“Jihad against Switzerland, against Zionism, against foreign aggression is not terrorism,” Gaddafi said.
“Any Muslim around the world who has dealings with Switzerland is an infidel (and is) against Islam, against Mohammed, against God, against the Koran,” the leader told a crowd of thousands in a speech broadcast live on television.
In a November 29 referendum, Swiss voters approved by a margin of 57.5 percent a ban on the construction in their country of minarets, the tower that are a signature part of mosques.
Gaddafi Bans Europeans from Libya
Gaddafi has announced that he would ban citizens of the European Union from entering Libya. The decision seemed to come as a surprise to most European officials, and marks a major escalation in a two year old dispute between Libya and Switzerland. Details of the travel ban, which would seemingly affect citizens of all E.U. states, are not yet clear. The European Commission said that Europeans arriving in Libya with valid visas were already being denied entry, but it was not clear whether European residents already in Libya, or perhaps even European diplomats, would be expelled. The European Commission has not yet responded to the move.
Tom Gross adds:
See also note 16 here, titled “Mental patient breaks into UN, gives ninety-minute speech (video)”
ISLAMIC PREACHER WHO CALLED JEWS “FILTH” TO SPEAK AT LONDON UNIVERSITY
Islamic preacher who called Jews “filth” to speak at London university
(London) Evening Standard
February 25, 2010
A London university has been condemned for inviting an Islamic preacher with anti-Semitic and homophobic views to give a lecture to students.
Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick is due to speak at King’s College’s Strand campus at six tonight.
Peter Tatchell, of homosexual pressure group Outrage, accused university bosses of cowardice and “complicity with fundamentalism” by giving the preacher a public platform.
Sheikh Quick has denounced the “filth” of Jews and once gave a televised lecture in which he said the Islamic position on homosexuality is “death”.
He added: “Muslims are going to have to take a stand [against homosexuals] and it’s not enough to call names.”
He is due to give a talk on the environment in an event organised by the University of London Union Islamic Society for its Green Week campaign.
Mr Tatchell said: “King’s College would not host a white supremacist who advocated racism or death to black people… King’s College has an equal opportunities policy that prohibits the promotion of hatred against minorities, but it is not enforcing it.
“The university is not a safe place for Jewish and gay students when it facilitates a vicious homophobe and anti-Semite like Sheikh Abdullah Quick.”
He claimed that the university’s attitude represented “collusion with the gateways to terrorism”.
A King’s College spokeswoman said Sheikh Quick’s talk would be on “environmental problems, Islamic solutions”, adding: “He has already spoken at other universities without controversy and there is no indication that the topic of his talk will be controversial.
“The Dean of King’s College London, who oversees multi-faith relations, and the president of the students’ union will attend the event. If they deem any comments from Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick to be offensive to minorities, the talk will be stopped.”
Sheikh Quick is also due to visit the University of East London at the weekend.
His website says he was born in America and completed a masters degree and a doctorate in African history at the University of Toronto, and has served as an imam in Los Angeles, Jamaica, Canada and Cape Town.
ACADEMIC TELLS LONDON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS THAT ISRAEL “MUST COME TO AN END”
The (London) Jewish Chronicle reports:
Police to investigate Azzam Tamimi SOAS talk
By Robyn Rosen, February 12, 2010
Police are investigating after Palestinian academic Azzam Tamim told students at a lecture at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies that he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.
On Monday, Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society.
He is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.
At SOAS, he praised Hamas and said: “Today Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation because that’s what the Americans and Israelis and cowardly politicians of Europe want, but what is so terrorist about it?
“You shouldn’t be afraid of being labelled extreme, radical or terrorist. If fighting for your home land is terrorism, I take pride in being a terrorist. The Koran tells me if I die for my homeland, I’m a martyr and I long to be a martyr.”
He criticised calls for a two-state solution and said: “Why are the Jews superhuman and better than anyone else that God would give them a homeland? Is God a racist? A god who would prefer people because of their race is not a god I want to associate with. Claiming they are being given the land of God is a racist idea.
“If the world felt so guilty about the Holocaust, the Jews should have been compensated, not brought to my country at the expense of my people.
“Israel does not belong to my homeland and must come to an end. This can happen peacefully if they acknowledge what they did – or we will continue to struggle until Israel is no more.”
He also urged students to continue hosting debates, despite calls to ban controversial speakers from campuses.
He said: “I want to encourage you not to be intimidated by the pro-Israel lobby. The Zionists tell a pack of lies.”
PASSENGERS LEFT STUNNED AFTER MUSLIM BUS DRIVER PULLS OVER AND BEGINS PRAYING IN THE AISLE
Passengers left stunned after Muslim bus driver pulls over and begins praying in the aisle
The Daily Mail (London)
February 12, 2010
A Muslim bus driver stunned passengers by pulling over mid-route and beginning to pray in the aisle. The driver stopped the bus without warning before removing his shoes and, using a fluorescent jacket as a prayer mat, beginning to chant in Arabic.
Passengers said they feared the driver could be preparing for a terror attack. No one was able to get on or off the vehicle during the five-minute prayer session.
Passenger Gayle Griffiths complained to Transport for London about the bizarre incident on the No.24 bus in Gospel Oak, north London, this week.
Mother-of-one Miss Griffiths, 33, of Camden, north-west London, had boarded the bus a few minutes earlier on her way home from work. She says that she even feared at the time that the driver might be a fanatic planning to blow up the bus.
She said: “I have done the journey a million times before but I was in a hurry to get home to pick my little girl up from school. We had just picked up and let off people at a bus stop and moved off again when the driver stopped the bus very suddenly.
“He got out of his cab, leaving the engine running, and walked towards the middle exit door. He laid out a fluorescent jacket on the floor and I thought that somebody must have been sick and he was covering it up.
“I didn’t really think much of it. But then he took off his shoes and began praying. I was gobsmacked and quite bewildered.’
Miss Griffiths said the bus driver didn’t give the passengers any explanation as to what he was doing.
“He hadn’t addressed the passengers at all,” she said. “I didn’t say anything and nor did anyone else. I thought it would all be over in 30 seconds but it went on for over five minutes. It even went through my mind that this might be some sort of terrorist attack with the bus blown up because I had heard that suicide bombers prayed before attacks.
“As the engine was running anyone could also have got in the cab and driven off with a bus full of passengers. He was also blocking the exit, so if something had happened we would not have been able to get off.”
“Everyone was looking round in a mix of shock and amazement. It was truly bizarre, ludicrous and aggravating. We are delayed often enough as it is in London.
“We live in a multi-cultural society but there is a time and a place for prayer and the middle of a journey with a busload of passengers is not it.”
Transport for London said it had apologised to all the passengers for the delay to their journey and said all Muslim drivers are being reminded that they should pray during statutory rest periods rather than hold up services.
A TfL spokesman said: “A route 24 bus was delayed following a decision by the driver to stop the bus to pray. TfL apologises to passengers for any inconvenience this may have caused them.
“As diverse employers, TfL and the bus operators provide suitable prayer or quiet rooms at garages and other key locations for staff who wish to practise their faith.
“We have asked London General to remind drivers who have a requirement to pray to use these facilities during their rest periods.”