Saudi blogger Raif Badawi with his children, who he may not see again unless pressure is exerted on the Saudi regime
Note: The previous two dispatches on the Paris terror attacks were not delivered to some people because of a technical fault. If you would like to read them, there are a number of interesting items here:
* Please “like” these dispatches on Facebook here www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia, where you can also find other items that are not in these dispatches.
1. “Je suis Raif Badawi”
2. Hamas student block at Al-Quds University uses U.S. govt. money to incite attacks
3. Jewish schools in Belgium closed; Mossad consulted
4. British MP says Netanyahu attending Paris Jewish memorial made him “sick”
5. ‘Do you want me to finish him off?’ and then he made himself a sandwich
6. Turkish president accuses “the West” of being behind Charlie Hebdo attacks
7. Iran’s Press TV: CIA behind the Paris attacks
8. On France 24, but censored by the BBC
9. Sky News cuts off writer live on air for trying to display Charlie Hebdo
10. Turkey raids paper printing Charlie Hebdo solidarity edition
11. The Charlie Hebdo cartoons no one is showing you
12. “We are all ISIS”
13. “He refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed.”
14. ADL: Obama needs to identify who the enemy is, otherwise we’ll lose
15. Cafe owner in London faces death threats over ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign
16. Israel erased from soccer history
17. And on a lighter note…
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
“JE SUIS RAIF BADAWI”
One lone marcher was seen sporting a “Je suis Raif Badawi” sticker at last Sunday’s mass freedom rally in Paris.
Today the young Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who dared call for freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia will be publicly flogged for the second Friday in row to mark the Muslim Holy Day. The whipping takes place after Friday prayers outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah.
Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes with a whip, to be meted out over 20 consecutive Fridays.
His “crime” was to set up a website titled “Free Saudi Liberals” and call for democratic political reform.
The lack of punitive action by the U.S., Britain or any of Saudi Arabia’s western allies is deafening.
He has also been ordered to pay a fine of 1m Saudi riyals ($266,000), money he doesn’t have.
His case is part of a wider clampdown on dissent by the regime, and is being used as warning to anybody else calling for democracy.
“It is horrifying to think that such a vicious and cruel punishment should be imposed on someone who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion,” said Amnesty International in a statement.
Following the sentencing and threats against them, Badawi’s wife and children have been given political asylum in Canada.
His wife says her husband’s frail body may not be able physically to withstand a second round of 50 lashes.
Update: The Saudi authorities have just announced that they have “postponed” the next 50 lashes until next Friday.
HAMAS STUDENT BLOCK AT AL-QUDS UNIVERSITY USES U.S. GOVERNMENT MONEY TO INCITE ATTACKS
On January 12, in the wake of the Paris terrors attacks, the Hamas student block at Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University made this video, filmed in the university’s main entrance hall:
Brandeis University (the president of which subscribes to this email list) cut relations with Al-Quds University after this email list posted exclusive photos of a series of Fascistic rallies by students on campus, urging Jews to be killed.
However, America’s Bard college – using U.S. State Department sponsorship money through USAID – continues, in part, to finance Al-Quds University.
Update: The university authorities, once again trying to hide their activities from their American and Europe funders, have within the last few minutes (after I posted it on my website) removed the video, but PMW managed to make a back up copy here.
JEWISH SCHOOLS IN BELGIUM CLOSED; MOSSAD CONSULTED
For the first time since the Nazi era, Jewish schools in Brussels and Antwerp are closed today due to threats to kill Jewish children.
The decision was made by the Belgium authorities, together with the country’s Jewish communities and reportedly after consultation with the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad.
Around 40,000 Jews live in Belgium.
The move comes a day after Belgian police conducted an anti-terror operation in which two jihadists were shot dead in a gun battle in the town of Verviers, near Belgium’s border with Germany.
In nearby Amsterdam, a synagogue and a Jewish school have also been closed today.
In May 2014, an Islamist terrorist, Mehdi Nemmouche, who had also joined jihadist groups in Syria before returning to Europe, killed four Jews at the Brussels Jewish Museum.
In separate anti-terror raids this morning, Germany arrested two suspects said to be plotting an attack, and 12 people were detained in three different French towns on suspicion that they were linked to the Paris supermarket killer.
Hundreds of Berlin police raided 11 residences at dawn, arresting Turkish and Chechen national said to be plotting attacks.
In an unrelated raid, anti-terror police in Wolfsburg, about 200 km west of Berlin, arrested a 26-year-old German-Tunisian dual national this morning.
CNN reported that a Western intelligence source said the ongoing terror threat appears to involve up to 20 sleeper cells of between 120 to 180 people ready to strike in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. EU and Middle East intelligence agencies identified an “imminent threat” to Belgium.
BRITISH MP SAYS NETANYAHU ATTENDING PARIS JEWISH MEMORIAL MADE HIM “SICK”
Calls are being made on the leader of the British Liberal Democrat party to expel its MP David Ward for saying it made him feel “sick” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was allowed to attend the mass demonstration of unity against terrorism that was held in Paris on Sunday.
Last year, Ward said he would personally join Hamas in firing rockets at Israel’s civilian population. “We utterly condemn David Ward’s comments, they are not representative of the Liberal Democrats,” the party said in a statement at the time. “The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.”
And last July, Ward wrote “Am I wrong or are am I right? – how long can the apartheid State of Israel last?”
Previously, Ward had angered the Jewish community by making what many said were anti-Semitic remarks in January 2013, on International Holocaust Memorial Day.
By contrast, leading (London) Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn (who is a subscriber to this list) writes:
“What, however, were all those foreign presidents and prime ministers doing there? Showing solidarity is one thing, but this smacked of a synchronised selfie…
“The only foreign dignitary who had genuine reason to be on the march was the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Jews were deliberately targeted by the terrorists in Paris, and Israel is on the frontline of the global jihad.
“It was curious, to say the least, to spot the Palestinian leader in the line-up. Mahmoud Abbas may preach peace, but the Palestinian territories are a haven and a breeding ground for terrorists who share the hardline beliefs of those maniacs who murdered 17 people in France.”
‘DO YOU WANT ME TO FINISH HIM OFF?’ AND THEN HE MADE HIMSELF A SANDWICH
The BBC and New York Times have downplayed, in much of their coverage, the fact that in his “martyrdom video,” released by his fellow Islamists after his death, Amedy Coulibaly made it absolutely clear he wanted to kill Jews as Jews and the attack had nothing to with the Palestinians.
And unlike CNN (who have reported this) the BBC failed to mention that the female employee of Charlie Hebdo who was called out by name by the terrorists, who knew she was Jewish, was executed because of this. The terrorists left all the other female staff (none of whom were Jewish) alone.
Last week, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was provided a platform by the often anti-Israel host of the popular Daily Show to claim that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo were a result of “the Palestinian problem.”
In an interview with French publication Liberation, survivors of the kosher supermarket massacre said that Coulibaly was calm and collected as he committed the murders during the horrific seven-hour siege:
“One of the people he shot was still lying on the ground in agony and Coulibaly asked us ‘do you want me to finish him off?’ Then he spent half an hour toying with him before he finally died.”
Coulibaly told his hostages straight away who he was, one survivor said, “that he was the one who killed the policewoman in Montrouge, that he knew the Kouachi brothers well and had served in prison with them.”
“He told us he was doing this in the name of the Islamic State, [talked about] the caliphate and all that.
“I noticed he had a Go Pro with him and a laptop. He took out a memory card, put it in and seemed to be processing some photos on the screen.”
“He also had two AK-47s, two automatic handguns, a knife and some dynamite sticks, Coulibaly said ‘you see, I am well armed.’
“At one point, he browsed the aisles and made himself a little sandwich.
“Then he turned his attention to what was being said in the media, becoming very angry that news channels were not reporting that people were killed during the market take-over.
“‘What do you mean there’s no dead? They’re going to see if there aren’t any dead.’ It was then that he called BFM-TV and told them to change their headline.”
Lassana Bathily, 24, of Malian origin, who helped hide Jewish hostages including a three-year-old child, in the freezer, has been awarded French citizenship in recognition for his bravery. He has lived in France since 2006.
The four Jewish men who lost their lives in the terror attack were buried in Israel on Tuesday. Among other considerations, it was feared that had they been buried in France, their gravestones would have been defaced by anti-Semites.
In total 6 of the 17 persons killed in the Paris attacks were Jewish. Five of these Jews were from North Africa. The BBC and others didn’t mention this because they may prefer not to let people know there were Jewish refugees from Arab countries – such refugees and their descendants make up over half the Jewish population of Israel. It doesn’t fit the narrative by some journalists at BBC News that Jews and Israelis are not indigenous to the Middle East.
In a strongly worded speech to the country’s National Assembly, which has been underreported outside France, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls denounced the “new anti-Semitism”.
You may want to watch it here.
(I have previously noted that Valls has said that some of the “new anti-Semitism” masquerades itself as anti-Zionism.)
TURKISH PRESIDENT ACCUSES “THE WEST” OF BEING BEHIND CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKS
The President of Turkey has suggested French security forces are to blame for the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week, alleging the culprits were recently released from French prisons to carry out the massacres.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused “the West” of “playing games with the Islamic world,” warning fellow Muslims to be “aware”.
Despite President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron having launched their terms of office by making charm offenses towards Erdogan, he has responded with a string of anti-Western and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, of which this is only the latest.
IRAN’S PRESS TV: CIA BEHIND THE PARIS ATTACKS
Iran’s Press TV (which regularly invents things about Israel and the U.S.) reports:
Paris attack designed to shore up France’s vassal status
A former White House official says the terrorist attack that killed 12 people in Paris was a false flag operation “designed to shore up France’s vassal status to Washington.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, made the remarks in an article published on Thursday.
“The suspects can be both guilty and patsies. Just remember all the terrorist plots created by the FBI that served to make the terrorism threat real to Americans,” he wrote.
He said that the French economy is suffering from the US-imposed sanctions against Russia. “Shipyards are impacted from being unable to deliver Russian orders due to France’s vassalage status to Washington, and other aspects of the French economy are being adversely impacted by sanctions that Washington forced its NATO puppet states to apply to Russia.”
ON FRANCE 24, BUT CENSORED BY THE BBC
Drawings of the prophet Mohammed have been made by Muslim artists over many centuries.
But when will the BBC tell viewers and listeners this, as France’s national network France 24 has done, showing such pictures even on its Arabic language service here.
Some years ago, I posted a compilation of some beautiful historic drawings of Mohammed on my website, if you scroll down here.
SKY NEWS CUTS OFF WRITER LIVE ON AIR FOR TRYING TO DISPLAY CHARLIE HEBDO
Britain’s international broadcaster Sky News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch (although he exercises no editorial control) has bowed to the demands of Islamic extremists and cut short an interview with French journalist and feminist Caroline Fourest when she held up a copy of Charlie Hebdo.
Fourest said: “I am very sad, very sad that journalists in the UK do not support us. That journalists in the UK betray what journalism is about. By thinking that people cannot be grown up enough to decide if a drawing is offensive…. [It] is completely crazy that in the UK you cannot show a simple drawing.”
Among recent related dispatches: BBC prevents Israeli minister from showing photos of Jewish victims.
TURKEY RAIDS PAPER PRINTING CHARLIE HEBDO SOLIDARITY EDITION
NBC News reports that “Police raided the printing plant of a Turkish newspaper [Cumhuriyet] which was producing excerpts of the special edition of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo… [even though] the Turkish version of the publication did not include any images of Muhammad.”
As I have noted before on this list, Turkey is one of the worst countries in the world for jailing journalists.
However, President Erdogan said in a televised speech to a conference in Ankara in December: “Nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in Turkey. I’m very sure of myself when I say this. The press is so free in Turkey that one can make insults, slander, defamation, racism and commit hate crimes that are not tolerated even in democratic countries.”
Some British universities are also banning Charlie Hebdo. For example, here at Bristol University.
THE CHARLIE HEBDO CARTOONS NO ONE IS SHOWING YOU
“WE ARE ALL ISIS”
This important piece has now been translated from the original Arabic and published in the English language version of the Beirut publication Now Lebanon (the editor of which subscribes to this list and sent it to me to share with readers). The editor is a Shia Muslim.
We are all ISIS
These killers are us. They are our religion at its most extreme.
By Nadim Koteich
Condemnations are no longer sufficient. They were never enough in the first place … The people from the Sunni camp of contemporary Islam who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Pakistani school massacre before it, the massacres by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the 9/11 attacks and other atrocities all belong to true Islam. The same applies to the people in the Shiite camp of contemporary Islam who kidnapped and killed foreign journalists in Beirut, and issued and renewed the fatwa that said the blood of British writer Salman Rushdie could be spilt. They are a central part of true Islam and its many schools of jurisprudence.
It doesn’t matter which Islamic text, whether it is a Qur’anic or jurisprudential text, or a text recounting the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad; the killers do not kill for nothing, they kill in the name of books, fatwas, ayahs and age-old tradition. All of these things are inseparable parts of true Islam. They will remain Muslims as long as they pronounce the shahada and as long as the religious institution doesn’t dare to modernize the criteria for being a Muslim.
These killers are us. They are our religion at its most extreme. They are our true Islam taken to its furthest extent and they are not beyond the scripture. If the West says in one united voice “we are Charlie” we should say “we are ISIS.” …
As Muslims, what should we do with the 20th verse of Surat at-Tawbah, which is dedicated to our relationship with Christians and Jews? The text is as follows:
“Fight those who do not believe in God or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what God and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” …
It was very telling that straight after the announcement of the Charlie Hebdo massacre people’s thoughts turned to Islamist extremists, despite the fact that the French magazine’s satire spared not Judaism, Christianity nor the French political establishment. This is because Islam’s relationship with the present is in crisis, and any group going through such a crisis is always the first suspect. In fact, Islam as a whole stands accused in advance, and not only its extremist fringe. The original texts that form an inseparable part of true Islam and inspire the ongoing crimes committed in its name are also guilty. This will be true as long as there is no central authority to reorganize the relationship between the Islamic text, as a piece of history, and the necessities of the present day, in the same way the Qur’anic text itself acclimatized as the ayahs were gradually sent down, with some new rulings replacing older ones.
The truth is that what the killers did in Paris has only reinforced the images drawn by the artists of Charlie Hebdo. The only difference between the actions of the artists and the killers is that the number of people who follow caricatures is far less than those who followed the international drama caused by the massacre. Nothing can insult Islam and Muslims as much as such crimes, and yet we still make do with saying that they do not represent true Islam, without providing a clear description of what true Islam is, beginning with our religious schools, some of which are factories for crime, to our constitutions which are rigged with the mines of Islamic jurisprudence and Sharia law.
Nothing insults Islam more than the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which says, from the belly of true Islam itself: Those of us who love the Prophet most are our greatest criminals.
Full piece here.
“HE REFUSED TO CONTINUE UNLESS ALL MENTION OF THIS WAS WIPED FROM THE RECORDING. THE BBC TEAM AGREED.”
Douglas Murray, writing in the British magazine The Spectator, says:
“The night after the Charlie Hebdo atrocities I was pre-recording a Radio 4 programme. My fellow discussant was a very nice Muslim man who works to ‘de-radicalise’ extremists. We agreed on nearly everything. But at some point he said that one reason Muslims shouldn’t react to such cartoons is that Mohammed never objected to critics.
There may be some positive things to be said about Mohammed, but I thought this was pushing things too far and mentioned just one occasion when Mohammed didn’t welcome a critic. Asma bint Marwan was a female poetess who mocked the ‘Prophet’ and who, as a result, Mohammed had killed. It is in the texts. It is not a problem for me. But I can understand why it is a problem for decent Muslims. The moment I said this, my Muslim colleague went berserk. How dare I say this? I replied that it was in the Hadith and had a respectable chain of transmission (an important debate). He said it was a fabrication which he would not allow to stand. The upshot was that he refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed and I was left trying to find another way to express the same point. The broadcast had this ‘offensive’ fact left out.
I cannot imagine another religious discussion where this would happen, but it is perfectly normal when discussing Islam. On that occasion I chose one case, but I could have chosen many others, such as the hundreds of Jews Mohammed beheaded with his own hand. Again, that’s in the mainstream Islamic sources. I haven’t made it up. It used to be a problem for Muslims to rationalise, but now there are people trying to imitate such behaviour in our societies it has become a problem for all of us, and I don’t see why people in the free world should have to lie about what we read in historical texts.”
ADL: OBAMA NEEDS TO IDENTIFY WHO THE ENEMY IS OTHERWISE WE’LL LOSE
ADL national director Abe Foxman, who is usually a staunch defender of President Obama, told Haaretz this week:
“If President Obama, refuses to explicitly identify the enemy as ‘radical Islam,’ then it’s a war that can’t be won. If Obama cannot articulate the words ‘radical Islam’, then it’s a lost cause. If we cannot articulate what it is then we won’t be able to deal with it either.”
Many critics on right and left have denounced Obama for his repeated reluctance to identify who carried out attacks, as well as for his decision not to join other world leaders at last Sunday’s rally in Paris, or even to send Vice-President Joe Biden, who has a relatively free schedule.
CAFE OWNER IN LONDON FACES DEATH THREATS OVER ‘JE SUIS CHARLIE’ SIGN
Adel Defilaux, who is a French-born Muslim originally from Marseille, has received death threats from other Muslims for displaying a “Je suis Charlie” sign outside his cafe in Brick Lane, a well-known street in East London.
His cafe offers free coffee to the homeless.
ISRAEL ERASED FROM SOCCER HISTORY
The official video of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) showcasing the past winners of the Asian Cup has removed Israel from the pages of the tournament’s history.
The video, “History of the AFC Asian Cup: 1956-2011,” which is on the AFC’s official YouTube channel and was shown at the opening ceremony of the tournament in Melbourne, Australia last week, shows 14 of the 15 previous winners, with only Israel missing. Israel won the cup in 1964.
Australian Jewish groups are calling on the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) to raise the matter with the AFC and the world governing body FIFA.
AND ON A LIGHTER NOTE…
Rhinos escape from snoozing guard at Israeli zoo – video here.