Friday, March 06, 2015



Costco accommodated a Muslim employee who refused to work with pork. Now he's suing them for religious discrimination

A former Muslim employee at a Brooklyn, NY Costco refused work with pork, so he was reassigned to gathering carts outside.

Now, he's suing the company for religious discrimination.

Jean Camara told ABC News he was working as a cashier's assistant when pork came across the conveyor belt. He then told his managers he couldn't touch pork or alcohol because his Islamic beliefs forbid him from doing so.

Camara was then reassigned to gathering shopping carts outside, but claims his mangers never told him why he was reassigned.

He also reportedly kept asking to work in the electronics department inside, but was denied because there positions were not available.

This prompted Camara to file a human rights complaint against the company. He was fired 16 days later for insubordinate conduct.

“Just because you have a different belief, that doesn’t give anybody the right to treat you different,” Camara told ABC News.

Camara's attorney, Chauncey Henry, added, “It’s not OK to discriminate against someone for their religion. It isn’t OK. It isn’t OK to treat them differently from others because of what they believe.”

So, according to Henry, should Costco have made Camara continue to work as a cashier's assistant despite the fact he refused to work with pork? Is reassigning him away from a position where he'd work with pork discriminatory?

Or is denying him a position in the electronics department discriminatory?

“I think that as the case progresses in the trial we are in now, I think the facts are going to come out and they’re going to speak for themselves,” Henry said.

I guess we'll see won't we?

SOURCE







Black Christians love Israel

Dr. King was outspoken in his support of Israel and today there is a street named for him in Jerusalem

In April 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. landed in jail in Birmingham, Alabama for violating a local injunction against demonstrations.  Sitting in jail, he learned that local white clergy advised against "outsiders coming in," calling King's activities "unwise and untimely."

In response, King wrote his famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

In the pages-long, handwritten letter, he lays out the logic and theology of his activities. He explains that, like the prophets and apostles, he was compelled "to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my home town."

King concludes saying that "...when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."

We are witnessing today a bizarre role reversal of those events in 1963.

We live in a dangerous world and America has enemies. We must have a clear sense of the nature of these threats so we may act properly.

In this spirit, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress to convey his thoughts about the dangers of a nuclear- armed Iran.

But members of the Congressional Black Caucus are protesting, saying they will not attend.

Black members of congress, those allegedly carrying on the civil rights movement that Dr. King led, are now the ones protesting "outsiders coming in" and saying that expression in the pursuit of truth, in our free country, is "unwise and untimely."

The U.S. State Department has listed Iran as a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1984. Freedom House in Washington, DC designates Iran as an "Unfree" country.

In a new Gallup poll, 77 percent of Americans call development of nuclear weapons by Iran a "critical threat."

All Americans should welcome with enthusiasm the thoughts of the Israeli Prime Minister, who leads a nation that has fought for its survival in the Middle East every single day since its founding.

Black caucus members walking out on the Prime Minister violate the principles of freedom of our nation, for which Dr. King fought.

They also betray the unique relationship of black Christians, and America in general, to the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

In a Pew Research survey in 2013, in answer to the question "Was Israel given to the Jewish people by God?", 40 percent of Jewish Americans said yes, 44 percent of all Americans said yes, and 51 percent of black Protestants said yes.

Dr. King was outspoken in his support of Israel and today there is a street named for him in Jerusalem.

The civil rights movement was animated by imagery from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Historian Taylor Branch's biographic trilogy about Dr. King's movement are called "Parting the Waters", "Pillar of Fire," and "At Canaan's Edge."

The words inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia - "Proclaim liberty throughout the land to the inhabitants thereof" - are from the book of Leviticus.

The Black Caucus is out of step with black Christians by not welcoming this visitor bringing the "gospel of freedom" from abroad. They should recognize that welcoming Mr. Netanyahu means, in the words of Dr. King, "standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values of our Judeo-Christian heritage."

SOURCE





In Danger: Free Speech

FREEDOM of speech. What is it worth? Without it we can lose everything including our lives. Imagine what life would be like if radical Islam eliminates free speech. You will not be able to express your opinion.

According to Wikipedia the Pakistan Penal Code (295 and 298) prohibits blasphemy against any recognized religion. This includes defaming the Muslims' prophet Muhammad. The penalty ranges from a fine to death.

Danish Palestinian poet, Vahya Hassan, said, "Muslims love to take advantage of free speech. As soon as there is someone saying something critical against Islam, they want to restrict it."

The Charlie Hebdo magazine published a series of satirical cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.   Most, if not all, Muslims consider a picture or cartoon of Muhammad forbidden. An Islamic response to the cartoons was a sentence (fatwa) issued on the lives of the cartoonists and the magazine.  Years later, Islamic gunmen executed the fatwa killing twelve Hedbo cartoonists and its publisher.

Days after the massacre a magazine spokesperson said "We will not give in otherwise all this won't have meant anything." This time, in Pakistan, Islamic groups placed a bounty of $1,000,000 for the lives of Charlie Hebdo magazine's cartoonists.

Throughout the world the actions of millions of Muslims, openly and adamantly, protest the showing of Muhammad cartoons and freedom of speech. In some of these demonstrations violence and deaths of non-Muslims resulted.

"The Seattle Globalist" reported a group of Somali Muslim Americans gathered to demand the resignation of a teacher who showed the cartoons to her teenage students.

In a Dearborn city council meeting a Muslim man proposed implementing Sharia morals patrols and restriction of free speech.

In Iran, immediately following Friday prayers, tens of thousands took to the streets to condemn the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo shouting "Death to France, death to Israel, death to Britain, death to Charlie Hebdo while carrying flags saying "To Hell with Free Speech."

ABC News quoted Iranian lawmaker, Ahmad Tavakoli, who blamed the West for the Charlie Hebdo attack. Addressing Westerners, he shouted, "This is the fruit of your own action." A few days later, with government encouragement, the protests were repeated by tens of thousands in cities and countries around the world.

The following is a list of a few of the areas, around the world, where demonstrations occurred protesting the caricature of Muhammad and thereby objecting to free speech. Afghanistan, Srinagar, Karachi, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Banako, Mali, Niger, Australia, Algeria, Asia and Africa.

The size of demonstrations ranged from hundreds to thousands. The highest estimate reported was by the Russian Interior Minister. He estimated that 800,000 protesters attended the January 19th demonstration against criticism of Muhammad.

Take a moment and Imagine what life would be like if radical Islam succeeds and eliminates free speech. Without free speech they can enforce brutal laws like the Pakistan Penal Code which allows a death verdict. You will not be able to protest and express your opinion nor practice the religion of your choice.

Civilized people, must stop trying to appease people who live by 1500 year old barbaric laws. They demand that we must also live by their Sharia laws.  Appeasement has not worked in the past. There is no realistic way to assume appeasement will work now. If we continue making the same mistakes we will lose everything including our lives.

SOURCE





Are Islam's conservative social values a potential support for conservative political parties?

The writer below thinks that Muslims should be recruitable by Australia's conservative political parties.  He overlooks much, however.  It is true that Muslim values are conservative in some ways but Islam is also a supremacist religion that regards all non-Muslims as inferior and unworthy of support or respect.  It is a hate-based religion.  To anybody with Christian traditions that seems incredible but a reading of the Koran (start at Surah 9) will confirm it.

The ALP is however also a hate-based party, as all Leftist parties are, so Muslim votes for it show where their deep motivations lie. Both the Left and Islam want to "fundamentally transform" (to use Obama's phrase) the countries in which they live. And the gentle values of Christian teaching simply seem weak and foolish to Muslims


During the 2013 election the Australian Broadcasting Corporation commissioned an online poll known as “Vote Compass” where voters were asked their opinion on several hot-button issues in Australian politics. This article uses those published results as a source.

When I ask people where they think the most conservative electorates of Australia are, their answers are usually the same. They are quick to mention electorates like Maranoa in Queensland, good rural voters in the capable hands of my party, the National Party. It is true that on most issues of traditional family and moral values the electorate of Maranoa or ones like it in Australia usually hold firm in respecting the values that have forged us as a nation.

On the issue of gay marriage, Maranoa is the most strongly opposed. On whether Australia should become a Republic, the voters of Maranoa are the most strongly opposed. On another issue of great concern to Australians, whether terminating the life of an unborn child should be less accessible – Maranoa comes in third.

Neighbouring Groom (another stalwart Liberal-National seat) leads the country in voters who reject the notion that a child should be killed for being inconvenient to their mother. You might not guess which electorate holds second place…

I am of course speaking of the Western-Sydney division of Chifley. The seat is named after an icon of the ALP, Ben Chifley (often called the founder of the modern Labor Party) and has been firmly held by the Labor Party since it’s creation in 1969. What the electorate has become famous, or even infamous for in recent years is being the seat of Labor MP Ed Husic, the first Muslim member of Australian Parliament and the first Minister of any Australian Government sworn in on the Quran. I do not consider this a positive or a negative event in our democratic history, merely a reflection of changing times and demographics in this country.

A change that shows what it takes for the Australian Labor Party to field a socially conservative candidate in its modern student-pandering era. A change that shows the heart of Labor conservatism is no longer truly at the hands of Catholic trade unionists behind closed doors, but Muslim voters on the streets and in the houses and businesses of places like Western Sydney.

A quick look at those of the Labor front-bench who voted against their publicity advisor’s wishes (a great crime in Labor circles) and supported traditional marriage in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government shows that so called Labor conservatives like Chris Bowen, Tony Burke and Ed Husic are respecting the wishes of their large Muslim constituent bases by supporting causes like the protection of marriage and the unborn. For this small glimmer of hope in the social policy of the Labor government, we have them (this minority of Muslim voters) to thank.

Why is it though, that in these majority Muslim divisions we see the re-election of progressive political parties? Sure, people like Bowen, Burke and Husic respect the wishes of their electorates and support causes relevant to Christian and Muslim families alike – but by voting for the Labor Party, Muslim voters are outright rejecting the national preservation of traditional family and moral values.

I honestly believe that the reason Muslims turn so often to the Labor Party is due to the outright xenophobia produced in the media and by many members (and some MP’s) of the Liberal and National parties towards Muslim-Australians. While the ALP in a shrewd political move races to accept Muslims and cater for them at a political level, it seems that the right of Australian politics does all it can to foster a jingoistic fear of all Muslims as terrorists, unable to integrate with multicultural Australia or even as backward and insular – perhaps so far as morally or religiously bankrupt. In my experience with the Australian Muslim community, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Muslim community I know and have grown to love are caring, devoted family people, a true community and one that by and large respects the religious and moral traditions set forth by the Quran and to a large degree also presented in our own Christian Bible. As seen by the Vote Compass results, Muslim communities reject abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia. They value time with their family, fight to retain their traditions and culture – and most of all love and treasure their religious freedoms and teachings.

I ask you how this is different to the Australian Christian? We should all be devoted to preserving the traditional family unit, fighting for the rights of the unborn and giving everyone the right to worship in peace and respect. This is why I will ask every one of you reading who is a member of a conservative political party – Nationals, Liberals, Katterites or Family First – to find a Muslim, a good-hearted, Australian Muslim connected to his or her community, sit them down for lunch or dinner and by the end of the conversation sign them up to your party.

At a time when half the membership of the Liberal Party would scoff at the idea of regular church attendance or call you an extremist for merely supporting the right to life of a child – we need these committed conservatives and family-people. We need to visit our local mosques like we visit our local churches, to find fast friends in the Muslim community of Australia and to convince them that we (the Coalition or conservatives generally) are not their enemy.

We need to field good, conservative Muslim candidates in electorates like Chifley, McMahon and Watson because there is nothing intrinsically holding Labor to these seats. We need to inspire the new generations of migrant, refugee and minority that we are the party for them, the movement for them. We need to show Muslim-Australians that the Coalition is there to support them in owning a home, starting a business and caring for their family like we did for Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees before them, among others.

These candidates will be all you could ask for in a good conservative Liberal. Supportive of a child’s right to life, supportive of traditional marriage, supportive of freedoms of religion and religious expression – and to support the principles of good mainstream Australian moral values.

Within the next ten years, we can see traditional Labor holdouts turn blue as our new members embrace the economic opportunities that the Coalition offers while still maintaining their traditional cultural and religious views and values. We can help turn the tide of a continued shift to the left within our own party ranks with this fresh injection of traditionalism, and most importantly we can fight the ugly head of racism and xenophobia within the conservative movement.

Many people say you only fear what you do not know, so I say to all young conservatives in this nation – go and get to know your local Muslim community, you may well have more in common than you first thought.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Thursday, March 05, 2015



Useless British social workers again

Harassing middle class families over trivialities is all they are good for. Raping little girls is fine but if you join the wrong political party your kids can be taken off you. I'm neither joking nor exaggerating

More than 300 young people in Oxfordshire were groomed, raped and sometimes forced into 'sex slavery' by gangs over the last 15 years, a damning report will reveal tomorrow.

In a scandal startlingly similar to the one in Rotherham, police and social services will be criticised for failing to protect vulnerable children from sexual abuse.

One gang of Asian men was responsible for abusing and enslaving 50 girls, mainly from Oxford, but the men were also able to sexually torture girls as young as 11 for eight years after a series of missed opportunities to stop them.

Tomorrow the county's safeguarding children's board will publish a review into 15 years of child exploitation, which will be 'brutal' in its condemnation of the authorities.

The victims, who were mainly girls under the age of 16 in the care system, were targeted by men from mainly Asian gangs who raped, tortured and trafficked them for sex between 1999 and 2014.

Some were abused for up to eight years despite asking for help from the authorities, who instead refused to believe them or blamed them.

Their abusers fed them drink and drugs before taking them to graveyards, a B&B and flats rented just for the rape and torture of children.  

According to the Guardian, one 12-year-old girl was taken to a Reading house for a backstreet abortion during a six-year period where she was passed between groups of men who raped her in what she called 'torture sex'.

The plight of the victims was laid bare in 2013 when seven members of a sadistic gang were jailed for a total of 95 years for their 'depraved' and 'evil' abuse of vulnerable girls.

Five gang members were given life sentences and two others were jailed for seven years for 'crimes of the utmost gravity'.

The paedophile network groomed more than 50 vulnerable girls in Oxford between 2004 and 2012 with gifts, alcohol and drugs before subjecting them to extreme physical and sexual violence.

They used knives, meat cleavers and baseball bats to inflict severe pain on the girls for their twisted pleasure.

But a catalogue of opportunities to stop the abuse was missed as early as May 2005.

On numerous occasions girls told police officers, social workers and care staff in children's homes how they were raped or seriously sexually abused – but no charges were brought against the gang.

Three of the girls who gave evidence at the trial were reported missing from residential care on 254 occasions.

And the judge in the case, Judge Peter Rook, said 'police and social services missed tell-tale signs' about the abuse that was taking place.

One social worker had earlier told the trial that 'nine out of ten' people who were meant to be caring for the girls 'knew what was going on'.

Life sentences were handed to Akhtar Dogar, 32, and his brother Anjum, 31, who were both jailed for a minimum of 17 years, Mohammed Karrar, 38, who will serve a minimum of 20 years, his brother Bassam, 33, jailed for a minimum of 15 years and Kamar Jamil, 27, jailed for a minimum of 12 years. Assad Hussain, 32, and Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, were jailed for seven years.

The latest serious case review came weeks after true scale of abuse in Rotherham was revealed, where at least 1,400 girls fell into the clutches of paedophiles, mainly from Pakistani backgrounds.

Whistleblowers who tried to raise concerns lost their jobs, and  police officers often did not seem to believe the girls, their families or those who reported problems, and did not treat them as victims.

One former police officer said: 'They were running scared of the race issue… there is no doubt that in Rotherham, this has been a problem with Pakistani men for years and years. People were scared of being called racist.'

Similar paedophile rings were uncovered in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and Derby.

SOURCE






I couldn't tell if my girl was more at risk from sex predators or the social workers: Mother of victim of Oxfordshire paedophile gang tells how she begged for help

A mother has told how she questioned her own sanity as she begged social workers and police for years to help stop her daughter from being repeatedly sexually abused.

In the end she feared the girl was at as big a risk from social workers as she was from the gang who groomed her.

The woman would often spend her nights searching the streets of Oxford for her missing daughter because the police and social services would not.

But the victim, who was groomed, drugged and sold into abuse more than 150 times, says social workers saw her as a nuisance and treated her like a piece of meat rather than a child being abused.

Her mother, now in her 60s, adopted her from a life of physical and sexual abuse when the girl was 11. But she struggled to get on at secondary school and was expelled at 12.  She soon fell into the grip of the grooming gang and would regularly go missing.

Yet her mother said social workers were unwilling to acknowledge the problem and help. She said: ‘It was an absolute nightmare. It got me doubting my own sanity. The whole world was turned upside down. Everything that I thought should be happening was not.

‘All of the way along [social workers] were more of a hindrance and a problem than a help. At the time I didn’t know whether she was more at risk with the men or social services.’

The woman, who cannot be named, said she first asked for help in 2004 but social services refused to act because her daughter was not originally from the Oxford area.

Her pleas for help were met with no empathy from ‘robot’ social workers, she said.  ‘She was going missing more and more. When they did decide to get involved all they did was take her into care and send her to outside the county.’

Her daughter was sent to a Devon children’s home, away from her family and friends, where she was trafficked to London to meet strangers for sex. 

But social services told the girl they would take her away from her mother or take her to a secure unit if she did not stop misbehaving, she said.

‘They just couldn’t have cared less. I didn’t feel like we were dealing with human beings. They were cold, they were not interested.  ‘They had no skills in communicating with young people.  ‘They could not begin to understand what was going on with these girls.

‘Along the way we didn’t meet many evil people, just a lot of ignorance, arrogance and complacency.’ Her daughter admitted she was a difficult teenager but social workers had no idea how to deal with her.  ‘They were vile. I was nothing. They didn’t want me in their county. I was a problem.  ‘They said I should never have been adopted when I actually hadn’t done anything wrong – I was the one being let down.

‘They told me I was a nuisance. If they had seen me as a person who was obviously hurting, things would have been a lot different. ‘I was nothing to anyone apart from my mum and a few police officers. Then I saw myself like that. They set me up to fail.

‘All I wanted was for people to prove I was not nothing. They did not want even to remotely try to understand. Not at all.’

‘They should have done their jobs and they weren’t doing their jobs. Even if it was one single sexual assault they should have dealt with that. As soon as a child said no I am fine they just left it.’

The victim also insisted that there were at least another 15 men she could think of who escaped prosecution – along with hundreds of their customers.

She said: ‘If I went to Oxford now I would see hundreds of people that were involved. That’s why I wouldn’t go.’

SOURCE






Jihadi John family's 20 years on benefits: How it's cost taxpayers up to £400k to house fanatic and his relatives

Jihadi John and his asylum-seeking family have milked the British benefits system for 20 years, the Mail can reveal today.

Housing the Islamic State executioner and his relatives in affluent parts of London has cost taxpayers up to £400,000.

One landlord said Mohammed Emwazi’s family were ‘parasites’ and ‘tenants from hell’. Incredibly, they are still believed to be pocketing £40,000 a year in handouts despite there being no sign of them in Britain.

Emwazi’s father Jasem, who has six children, is back in his native Kuwait – the country he claimed he fled fearing for his life.

Westminster City Council is still paying the rent on the family’s £600,000 flat even though the rules say housing benefit should normally be stopped after 13 weeks.

MPs said they were horrified that the child of a family given refugee status, citizenship and benefits had returned the favour by orchestrating the murder of two of its citizens.

‘They are abusing our hospitality,’ said Philip Hollobone. ‘The rules are quite clear. If there has been any abuse of the system here, money should be paid back.

'Mohammed Emwazi’s offences are worse than murder or terrorism. They are an assault on the British way of life.’

David Davies, a fellow Tory MP, said: ‘This is an absolute outrage and a disgrace. We should stop their housing benefit immediately. Mr Emwazi clearly doesn’t need asylum in this country.’

Emwazi’s father Jasem, 51, and his wife Ghaneya brought their family – including Mohammed, then aged six – to Britain in 1994.

The couple successfully argued that because they are ‘Bedoon’ – stateless people denied citizenship by Kuwait – they should be granted asylum. The award of British citizenship allowed the whole family to make regular trips back to Kuwait.

SOURCE






DOJ's Racial Witch Hunt Isn't Over

The Justice Department will soon release its final investigative report on the Ferguson Police Department, and chatter suggests the report will accuse Ferguson police of engaging in sustained discriminatory practices against the black population. Surprise! The report will allegedly also claim these practices led to years of racial animosity in the city, culminating in last summer's shooting of Michael Brown and months of racial unrest.

According to recent data from the Missouri attorney general, blacks accounted for 86% of traffic stops in 2013, but make up 63% of the population. Black drivers were twice as likely to be searched during a stop, yet searches were more likely to turn up contraband with white drivers.

The fines collected from such traffic stops are Ferguson's second largest source of revenue. The Justice Department report goes so far as to suggest that the city uses disproportionate traffic stops against blacks to meet municipal budget shortfalls.

The final report will likely include a list of recommended changes Ferguson will need to implement. Otherwise, the city could face a federal lawsuit to force compliance -- just like the four open lawsuits against cities that have not rolled over. Most cities facing such actions comply with the Justice Department's demands. During Eric Holder's time as attorney general, the DOJ has gone after more than 50 police departments for some form of discrimination or another, often at the behest of the NAACP or the ACLU.

"This is about expanding federal power in the police departments," former DOJ attorney Hans von Spakovsky told The Wall Street Journal. "The lawyers at Justice believe they are the ones who should be promulgating national standards of how cops should behave. And police departments are so afraid of bad publicity that they agree to settle the case with all kinds of rules that Justice wants to impose."

It is within the responsibility of the Justice Department to investigate matters in which discrimination may be taking place, but, when the AG is someone who sees everything through a racial prism like Holder, the potential for trouble escalates. For example, Holder is so motivated by his own racial grievances that he resolutely refuses to address the outrageous number of murders of blacks by other blacks.

FBI statistics from 2012 show that 2,614 whites were killed by other whites that year, and 2,412 blacks were killed by other blacks. If Holder were as concerned about proportionality as he demonstrates when comparing white and blacks, then one would think he would have been troubled by these numbers. As a portion of the population, black-on-black murder remains substantially higher than white-on-white murder. And the FBI numbers for 2012 combined white and Hispanic murder rates, making the disparity even greater than at first glance.

Yet, throughout his tenure at Justice, Holder has maintained his focus on race, letting himself get mixed up with professional race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He has followed their pattern by continually blaming racism and discrimination for the plight of the black community. The actions of his Justice Department confirm Holder's view that blacks are targeted for their skin color, not because of their behavior.

Perhaps that's why Sharpton says, "No other U.S. attorney general has a civil rights record equal to Holder's."

Amy Wax, a former DOJ official teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, wrote, "Contrary to frequently voiced accusations and despite a voluminous literature intent upon demonstrating discrimination at every turn, there is almost no reliable evidence of racial bias in the criminal justice system's handling of ordinary violent and non-violent offenses. Rather, the facts overwhelmingly show that blacks go to prison more often because blacks commit more crimes."

The Justice Department's months of investigating did not bring up enough evidence to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with civil rights violations in the death of Michael Brown. Similarly, they were not able to pin such charges on George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin.

In fact, for all of Holder's posturing, all Justice has really been able to accomplish is perpetuating the same problem they claim to be addressing. The pattern of racial indignation set by Sharpton and Co. that has been picked up by Holder's Justice Department has only served to make police less likely to engage in minority neighborhoods. This won't make inner cities less violent, and it won't make lives better for blacks.

Shortly after taking office, Holder accused America of being a nation of "cowards" for not engaging in a frank discussion about race. As he prepares to step down in a few weeks, Holder still has not engaged in that discussion, either. He'd rather place blame and wag his finger because that's what makes headlines and turns out the aggrieved vote. As for the real work that it will take to reduce black-on-black crime and make minority neighborhoods safer, well, apparently that's just not worth his time.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Why Are Lawmakers Attacking This Archbishop for Requiring Catholic Teachers to Not Slam Catholicism?

If McDonald’s told its employees that it was unacceptable to diss its fast food as gross, disgusting or unhealthy at either McDonald’s or in a public setting, would it elicit a heated reaction from lawmakers? Probably not.

So why are lawmakers getting involved in a Catholic bishop’s decision to tell diocesan employees he expected them to not publicly object to church teachings?

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is under fire for adding new clauses to archdiocese’s high school teachers contract that require “Catholic teachers in their professional and public lives uphold Catholic teaching,” according to the diocesan newspaper Catholic San Francisco.

Acknowledging not all teachers are personally Catholic, the archdiocese is pushing that its public and classroom statements and behavior reflect Catholic teaching on matters ranging from abortion to contraception to the Eucharist being the real presence of Jesus Christ.

Enter, after public controversy, California state lawmakers.

Last week, eight California assemblymen and state senators, representing the areas in the archdiocese, sent Cordileone a letter, saying the new clauses “conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve.” They continued:

Although your position wields discretion over working conditions at schools affiliated with the Catholic Church, the standards within the morality clauses would be illegal for any other [sic] employer. Your proposal goes beyond regulating behavior in the workplace and infringes upon the personal freedoms of your employees.

Let’s remember a few facts.

First, no one has to work for the San Francisco archdiocese. Plenty of people would find the clauses far too restrictive—and they can choose to never work at these Catholic high schools or to quit their current jobs there.

Second, it’s fairly typical for people to want to hire employees who are comfortable with and in agreement with the mission of the person or company—or who at least won’t publicly bash the company line. In his response to the eight lawmakers, Cordileone made that case, writing, “Would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general?” He added:

On the other hand, if you knew a brilliant campaign manager who, although a Republican, was willing to work for you and not speak or act in public contrary to you or your party—would you hire such a person? If your answer to the first question is “no,” and to the second question is “yes,” then we are actually in agreement on the principal point in debate here.

Two of the San Francisco lawmakers, Assemblymen Phil Ting and Kevin Mullin, who assigned the initial letter weren’t happy with Cordileone’s response.

On Monday, they asked the California Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee to investigate the archdiocese’s actions. In particular, Ting and Mullin questioned the archdiocese’s decision to classify high school teachers as “ministers”—a classification that matters because of the 2012 Supreme Court decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Michael Stokes Paulsen, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas, explained in a 2012 Public Discourse article how the Supreme Court decision broadened the definition of ministers:

The principle established by the First Amendment is that a religious group has the “right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments” and thus has plenary “control over the selection of those who will personify [its] beliefs.” This includes teachers, lay leaders, and persons who perform a mix of religious and seemingly “secular” functions. The right extends to those whom a religious community, operating under its own system of rules, designates as central to its religious mission and identity. The court’s one-word descriptor perhaps says it best: those persons that the community identifies as personifying its religious identity. The court decided only the case before it, but it made clear that the right itself is one of religious community autonomy, broadly understood. It is not a right limited to pastors alone.

It seems clear that the archdiocese has legal precedent to call high school teachers at Catholic schools “ministers.”

This week, however, the archdiocese suggested that it would no longer push for the teachers to be called ministers. The National Catholic Register reported an archdiocesan priest “clarified that while the archbishop is no longer considering the use of the word ‘ministers’ to describe the Catholic teachers, he is now using the word ‘ministry’ instead to define their work.”

Regardless of the legal terms the archdiocese ultimately uses, what’s clear is that it is not unreasonable—or illegal—for a religion to ask teachers in its schools to adhere to certain practices. As written in the Hosanna-Tabor decision:

By forbidding the “establishment of religion” and guaranteeing the “free exercise thereof,” the religion clauses ensured that the new federal government—unlike the English crown—would have no role in filling ecclesiastical offices. The establishment clause prevents the government from appointing ministers, and the free exercise clause prevents it from interfering with the freedom of religious groups to select their own.

Ting, Mullin and the other six lawmakers may vehemently disagree with Cordileone’s decision—and that’s their prerogative. But it should concern all religious or religion-friendly Americans that a religious leader’s decision to ask teachers employed by the religion to refrain from public bashing of that religion has elicited such a strong reaction and a request of a probe from lawmakers.

Religious leaders should be free to make such decisions without worrying about interference from the government.

SOURCE






Decline of the stay at home mother: Just one woman in ten is a full time mother

Only one woman in ten now stays at home to raise a family.  Official figures show the proportion of women who are stay-at-home mothers has dropped by more than a third in the past two decades to a historic low.

But there has been no compensating movement towards staying at home among men. Just over one man in 100 brings up his children full-time.

The findings, published in an Office for National Statistics report, come at a time of continuing controversy over the pressure on mothers to go out to work and warnings over the welfare of children.

Specifically, the figures detail those who give their occupation as ‘looking after family or home’. It does not include unemployed women, who are classed as looking for work.

Last year Chancellor George Osborne published plans to encourage up to half a million more women into work by the start of 2016. He said he wanted to ‘support women who want to work’ by increasing access to child care.

But at the time critics warned that the Government risked ‘stigmatising’ stay-at-home mothers. A childcare voucher scheme worth up to £1,200 to parents will go into operation next month.

The report said the number of adult women who are ‘economically inactive’ – in other words they neither work nor want to work – has dropped fast since 1980.

It said: ‘There are many reasons for economic inactivity, such as study, looking after the family or home, sickness or disability, or not needing to work.

‘However the main reason for the decline in female inactivity rates over the longer period has been a decline in the share of women staying out of work to look after the family or home.’

The report said the proportion of women aged between 16 and 64 who are economically inactive because they are looking after the family or the home was 15.9 per cent in the spring of 1993, but fell by last autumn to 10.1 per cent.

The figures showed the share of adult women who were stay-at-home mothers dropped below 15 per cent in 1995 and had reached 13.5 per cent when Tony Blair entered Downing Street in May 1997.

The proportion of women who are stay-at-home mothers briefly dropped below 10 per cent last summer, and stood at 10.1 per cent at the end of 2014, the report said.

By contrast, the proportion of men who choose to become house-husbands has remained low, despite the encouragement of politicians who believe men should take a larger share of childcare duties.

In the spring of 1993 just 0.6 per cent of men were economically inactive because they were looking after family or home. While the proportion doubled over the next two decades, that still meant that just 1.2 per cent spent their days looking after home or children last year.

The march of women into the labour market follows the increasing importance of education and jobs to girls, and the pressure on women to remain in work to pay ever-higher mortgages and keep up with the cost of living.

But critics accuse successive governments of doing nothing to help those who want to bring up their own children since the decision to tax married couples separately in the late 1980s first left stay-at-home mothers without any support in the tax system.

While working mothers have gained heavily from tax credits, increasing maternity leave, and state-subsidised childcare, those who stay at home with their children have no help from the benefits system.

Laura Perrins, of Mothers At Home Matter, said: ‘It is a reflection of Government policy that women have to look for work when many want to look after their children instead.

‘The Government is only interested in income tax revenue. It has no interest in the wishes of mothers or the welfare of their children.’

Research for the Department for Education last year found more than a third of working mothers would like to give up their jobs and stay at home with their children.

More than two out of three women are now in employment – 68.5 per cent in the last three months of last year, according to the ONS. At the beginning of the 1980s the level of working among women was barely over half.

The percentages mean there are now more than 14million women in work, but only two million are full-time mothers or homemakers.

SOURCE






Discrimination against Christians ‘ignored’ across Europe

Discrimination against Christians is being “ignored” by governments and courts, MPs from across Europe have warned in the wake of a string of cases involving the rights of British workers to wear crosses or discuss their beliefs.

The parliamentary arm of the Council of Europe has issued a formal declaration urging states to recognise the principle of “reasonable accommodation” for the beliefs of traditionalist Christians on issues such as homosexuality for the first time.

The first test of the new call will come as early as this week with the opening of an employment tribunal case involving a London nursery worker who claims she was dismissed for telling a lesbian colleague her beliefs on same-sex marriage.

Sarah Mbuyi denies claims that she harassed the woman, who cannot be named for legal during the conversation in January last year.

She also alleges that she was asked to act against her beliefs by reading stories about same-sex couples to children

Ms Mbuyi is supported in her case by the Christian Legal Centre which has instructed the human rights barrister Paul Diamond to represent her at the tribunal in Watford.

The legal team is planning to cite a new declaration issued through the Council of Europe, the international body which operates the European Court of Human Rights, insisting that Christians are now subject to “intolerance and discrimination” across the continent.

Members of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly, made up of MPs from national parliaments, passed the resolution in response to a report detailing a series of cases involving British Christians.

They include Gary McFarlane, a former Relate counsellor, and Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar, who both resisted performing tasks they believed would amount to condoning homosexuality which they believe is against the teaching of the Bible, and Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was forbidden from wearing a cross at work.

The three challenged their treatment at the European Court of Human Rights but lost. However the court upheld a claim from Nadia Eweida, a BA check-in clerk who was sent home because the small cross she wore contravened the airline’s uniform policy.

“Numerous acts of hostility, violence and vandalism have been recorded in recent years against Christians and their places of worship, but these acts are often overlooked by the national authorities,” the declaration says.

“Expression of faith is sometimes unduly limited by national legislation and policies which do not allow the accommodation of religious beliefs and practices.”

It goes on to urge countries to adopt the principle of “reasonable accommodation” meaning that workers should be able to conscientiously object to tasks which conflict with their beliefs if practically possible.

“The reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs and practices constitutes a pragmatic means of ensuring the effective and full enjoyment of freedom of religion.

“When it is applied in a spirit of tolerance, reasonable accommodation allows all religious groups to live in harmony in the respect and acceptance of their diversity.”

Ms Mbuyi said: “In a Christian country one should be free to explain what Christians believe on issues if asked.

“And in any country, to state the agreed view of the historic Abrahamic Faiths on sexuality should simply be a matter of fact and history, and not taken by anyone, whether employee, or employer as personal or abusive.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre said: “This is a straightforward case of an employer not respecting the religious rights and freedoms of an employee and deciding to favour the views of homosexuals over the historic factual teaching of the of the world’s major faiths.

“In court, the panel will also be advised that her employers also required Ms Mbuyi to act in violation of her faith by the promotion of same sex unions to children.

“Ms Mbuyi was dismissed simply for holding and expressing a view on homosexuality, based on her religion, in a conversation.

“Whether or not her employers could lawfully penalise her for holding and expressing such a view is the central issue of this claim.”

SOURCE






"The Jews" as a scapegoat lives on in the form of Israel

When bad things happened that people did not understand, it was customary for many centuries to blame "The Jews" for the problem.  Hating Israel is the modern form of that

by Matti Friedman

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press, between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the fifty-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This is representative of the industry as a whole.

In early 2009, to give one fairly routine example of an editorial decision of the kind I mean, I was instructed by my superiors to report a second-hand story taken from an Israeli newspaper about offensive T-shirts supposedly worn by Israeli soldiers. We had no confirmation of our own of the story’s veracity, and one doesn’t see much coverage of things US Marines or British infantrymen have tattooed on their chests or arms. And yet T-shirts worn by Israeli soldiers were newsworthy in the eyes of one of the world’s most powerful news organizations. This was because we sought to hint or say outright that Israeli soldiers were war criminals, and every detail supporting that portrayal was to be seized upon. Much of the international press corps covered the T-shirt story. At around the same time, several Israeli soldiers were quoted anonymously in a school newsletter speaking of abuses they had supposedly witnessed while fighting in Gaza; we wrote no fewer than three separate stories about this, although the use of sources whose identity isn’t known to reporters is banned for good reason by the AP’s own in-house rules. This story, too, was very much one that we wanted to tell. By the time the soldiers came forward to say they hadn’t actually witnessed the events they supposedly described, and were trying to make a point to young students about the horrors and moral challenges of warfare, it was, of course, too late.

Also in those same months, in early 2009, two reporters in our bureau obtained details of a peace offer made by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to the Palestinians several months before, and deemed by the Palestinians to be insufficient. The offer proposed a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in a shared Jerusalem. This should have been one of the year’s biggest stories. But an Israeli peace offer and its rejection by the Palestinians didn’t suit OUR story. The bureau chief ordered both reporters to ignore the Olmert offer, and they did, despite a furious protest from one of them, who later termed this decision “the biggest fiasco I’ve seen in 50 years of journalism.” But it was very much in keeping not only with the practice at the AP, but in the press corps in general. Soldiers’ vile t-shirts were worth a story. Anonymous and unverifiable testimonies of abuses were worth three. A peace proposal from the Israeli prime minister to the Palestinian president was not to be reported at all.

Vandalism of Palestinian property is a story. Neo-Nazi rallies at Palestinian universities or in Palestinian cities are not -- I saw images of such rallies suppressed on more than one occasion. Jewish hatred of Arabs is a story. Arab hatred of Jews is not. Our policy, for example, was not to mention the assertion in the Hamas founding charter that Jews were responsible for engineering both world wars and the Russian and French revolutions, despite the obvious insight this provides into the thinking of one of the most influential actors in the conflict.

100 houses in a West Bank settlement are a story. 100 rockets smuggled into Gaza are not. The Hamas military buildup amid and under the civilian population of Gaza is not a story. But Israeli military action responding to that threat – that is a story, as we all saw this summer. Israel’s responsibility for the deaths of civilians as a result – that’s a story. Hamas’s responsibility for those deaths is not. Any reporter from the international press corps in Israel, whether he or she works for the AP, Reuters, CNN, the BBC, or elsewhere, will recognize the examples I’ve cited here of what is newsworthy and what is not as standard operating procedure.

In my time in the press corps I saw, from the inside, how Israel’s flaws were dissected and magnified, while the flaws of its enemies were purposely erased. I saw how the threats facing Israel were disregarded or even mocked as figments of the Israeli imagination, even as these threats repeatedly materialized. I saw how a fictional image of Israel and of its enemies was manufactured, polished, and propagated to devastating effect by inflating certain details, ignoring others, and presenting the result as an accurate picture of reality. Lest we think this is something that has never happened before, we might remember Orwell’s observation about journalism from the Spanish civil war: “Early in life,” he wrote, “I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. … I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what had happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines.’” That was in 1942.

Over time, I came to understand that the malfunctions I was witnessing, and in which I was playing a part, were not limited to the AP. I saw that they were rather part of a broader problem in the way the press functioned, and in how it saw its job. The international press in Israel had become less an observer of the conflict than a player in it. It had moved away from careful explanation and toward a kind of political character assassination on behalf of the side it identified as being right. It valued a kind of ideological uniformity from which you were not allowed to stray. So having begun with limited criticism of certain editorial decisions, I now found myself with a broad critique of the press.

Eventually, however, I realized that even the press wasn’t the whole story. The press was playing a key role in an intellectual phenomenon taking root in the West, but it wasn’t the cause, or not the only cause – it was both blown on a certain course by the prevailing ideological winds, and causing those winds to blow with greater force. Many journalists would like you to believe that the news is created by a kind of algorithm – that it’s a mechanical, even scientific process in which events are inserted, processed, and presented. But of course the news is an imperfect and entirely human affair, the result of interactions between sources, reporters, and editors, all of whom bear the baggage of their background and who reflect, as we all do to some extent, the prejudices of their peers.

In the aftermath of last summer’s Gaza war, and in light of events in Europe in recent months, it should be clear that something deep and toxic is going on. Understanding what that is, it seems to me, will help us understand something important not only about journalism but about the Western mind and the way it sees the world.

What presents itself as political criticism, as analysis, or as journalism, is coming to sound more and more like a new version of a much older complaint – that Jews are troublemakers, a negative force in world events, and that if these people, as a collective, could somehow be made to vanish, we would all be better off. This is, or should be, a cause for alarm, and not only among people sympathetic to Israel or concerned with Jewish affairs. What is in play right now has less to do with the world of politics than with the worlds of psychology and religion, and less to do with Israel than with those condemning Israel.

The occupation of the West Bank, with which I opened, would seem to be at the heart of the story, the root cause, as it were, of the conflict portrayed as the most important on earth. A few words, then, about this occupation.

The occupation was created in the 1967 Mideast war. The occupation is not the conflict, which of course predates the occupation. It is a symptom of the conflict, a conflict that would remain even if the symptom were somehow solved. If we look at the West Bank, the only Palestinian area currently occupied by Israel, and if we include Jerusalem, we see that the conflict in these areas claimed 60 lives last year – Palestinian and Israeli.

An end to this occupation would free Palestinians from Israeli rule, and free Israelis from ruling people who do not wish to be ruled. Observers of the Middle East in 2015 understand, too, that an end to the occupation will create a power vacuum that will be filled, as all power vacuums in the region have been, not by the forces of democracy and modernity, which in our region range from weak to negligible, but by the powerful and ruthless, by the extremists. This is what we’ve learned from the unraveling of the Middle East in recent years. This is what happened in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt, and before that in Gaza and southern Lebanon. My home in Jerusalem is within an easy day’s drive of both Aleppo and Baghdad. Creating a new playground for these forces will bring the black-masked soldiers of radical Islam within yards of Israeli homes with mortars, rockets, and tunneling implements. Many thousands will die.

Beyond the obvious threat to Palestinian Christians, women, gays, and liberals, who will be the first to suffer, this threatens to render much or all of Israel unlivable, ending the only safe progressive space in the Middle East, the only secure minority refuge in the Middle East, and the only Jewish country on earth. No international investment or guarantees, no Western-backed government or Western-trained military will be able to keep that from happening, as we have just seen in Iraq. The world will greet this outcome with sincere expressions of sympathy. Only several years ago I, like many on the left, might have dismissed this as an apocalyptic scenario. It isn’t. It is the most likely scenario.

People observing this conflict from afar have been led to believe that Israel faces a simple choice between occupation and peace. That choice is fiction. The Palestinian choice, it is said, is between Israeli occupation and an independent democracy. That choice, too, is fiction. Neither side faces a clear choice, or clear outcomes. Here we have a conflict in a region of conflict, with no clear villain, no clear victim, and no clear solution, one of many hundreds or thousands of ethnic, national, and religious disputes on earth.

The only group of people subject to a systematic boycott at present in the Western world is Jews, appearing now under the convenient euphemism “Israelis.” The only country that has its own “apartheid week” on campuses is the Jewish country. Protesters have interfered with the unloading of Israeli shipping on the West Coast of the United States, and there are regular calls for a boycott of anything produced in the Jewish state. No similar tactics are currently employed against any other ethnic group or nationality, no matter how egregious the human rights violations attributed to that group’s country of origin.

Anyone who questions why this is so will be greeted with shouts of “the occupation!”, as if this were explanation enough. It is not. Many who would like to question these phenomena don’t dare, for fear that they will somehow be expressing support for this occupation, which has been inflated from a geopolitical dilemma of modest scope by global standards into the world’s premier violation of human rights.

The human costs of the Middle Eastern adventures of America and Britain in this century have been far higher, and far harder to explain, than anything Israel has ever done. They have involved occupations, and the violence they unleashed continues as I speak here this evening. No one boycotts American or British professors. Turkey is a democracy, and a NATO member, and yet its occupation of northern Cyprus and long conflict with the stateless Kurds – many of whom see themselves as occupied – are viewed with a yawn; there is no “Turkish Apartheid Week.” The world is full of injustice. Billions of people are oppressed. In Congo, 5 million people are dead. The time has come for everyone to admit that the fashionable disgust for Israel among many in the West is not liberal but is selective, disproportionate, and discriminatory.

There are simply too many voices coming from too many places, expressing themselves in too poisonous a way, for us to conclude that this is a narrow criticism of the occupation. It’s time for the people making these charges to look closely at themselves, and for us to look closely at them.

Naming and understanding this sentiment is important, as it is becoming one of the key intellectual trends of our time. We might think of it as the “Cult of the Occupation.” This belief system, for that it what it is, uses the occupation as a way of talking about other things.

As usual with Western religions, the center of this one is in the Holy Land. The dogma posits that the occupation is not a conflict like any other, but that it is the very symbol of conflict: that the minute state inhabited by a persecuted minority in the Middle East is in fact a symbol of the ills of the West – colonialism, nationalism, militarism, and racism. In the recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, for example, a sign hoisted by marchers linked the unrest between African Americans and the police to Israeli rule over Palestinians.

The cult’s priesthood can be found among the activists, NGO experts, and ideological journalists who have turned coverage of this conflict into a catalogue of Jewish moral failings, as if Israeli society were different from any other group of people on earth, as if Jews deserve to be mocked for having suffered and failed to be perfect as a result.

Most of my former colleagues in the press corps aren’t full-fledged members of this group. They aren’t true believers. But boycotts of Israel, and only of Israel, which are one of the cult’s most important practices, have significant support in the press, including among editors who were my superiors. Sympathy for Israel’s predicament is highly unpopular in the relevant social circles, and is something to be avoided by anyone wishing to be invited to the right dinner parties, or to be promoted. The cult and its belief system are in control of the narrative, just as the popular kids in a school and those who decide what clothes or music are acceptable. In the social milieu of the reporters, NGO workers, and activists, which is the same social world, these are the correct opinions. This guides the coverage. This explains why the events in Gaza this summer were portrayed not as a complicated war like many others fought in this century, but as a massacre of innocents. And it explains much else.

So prevalent has this kind of thinking become that participating in liberal intellectual life in the West increasingly requires you to subscribe at least outwardly to this dogma, particularly if you’re a Jew and thus suspected of the wrong sympathies. If you’re a Jew from Israel, your participation is increasingly conditional on an abject and public display of self-flagellation. Your participation, indeed, is increasingly unwelcome.

What, exactly, is going on?

Observers of Western history understand that at times of confusion and unhappiness, and of great ideological ferment, negative sentiment tends to coagulate around Jews. Discussions of the great topics of the time often end up as discussions about Jews.

In the late 1800s, for example, French society was riven by the clash between the old France of the church and army, and the new France of liberalism and the rule of law. The French were preoccupied with the question of who is French, and who is not. They were smarting from their military humiliation by the Prussians. All of this sentiment erupted around the figure of a Jew, Alfred Dreyfus, accused of betraying France as a spy for Germany. His accusers knew he was innocent, but that didn’t matter; he was a symbol of everything they wanted to condemn.

To give another example: Germans in the 1920s and ‘30s were preoccupied with their humiliation in the Great War. This became a discussion of Jewish traitors who had stabbed Germany in the back. Germans were preoccupied as well with the woes of their economy – this became a discussion of Jewish wealth, and Jewish bankers.

In the years of the rise of Communism and the Cold War, communists concerned with their ideological opponents talked about Jewish capitalists and cosmopolitans, or Jewish doctors plotting against the state. At the very same time, in capitalist societies threatened by communism, people condemned Jewish Bolsheviks.

This is the face of this recurring obsession. As the journalist Charles Maurras wrote, approvingly, in 1911: “Everything seems impossible, or frighteningly difficult, without the providential arrival of anti-Semitism, through which all things fall into place and are simplified.”

The West today is preoccupied with a feeling of guilt about the use of power. That’s why the Jews, in their state, are now held up in the press and elsewhere as the prime example of the abuse of power. That’s why for so many the global villain, as portrayed in newspapers and on TV, is none other than the Jewish soldier, or the Jewish settler. This is not because the Jewish settler or soldier is responsible for more harm than anyone else on earth – no sane person would make that claim. It is rather because these are the heirs to the Jewish banker or Jewish commissar of the past. It is because when moral failure raises its head in the Western imagination, the head tends to wear a skullcap.

One would expect the growing scale and complexity of the conflict in the Middle East over the past decade to have eclipsed the fixation on Israel in the eyes of the press and other observers. Israel is, after all, a sideshow: The death toll in Syria in less than four years far exceeds the toll in the Israel-Arab conflict in a century. The annual death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is a morning in Iraq.

And yet it is precisely in these years that the obsession has grown worse.

This makes little sense, unless we understand that people aren’t fixated on Israel despite everything else going on – but rather because of everything else going on. As Maurras wrote, when you use the Jew as the symbol of what is wrong, “all things fall into place and are simplified.”

The last few decades have brought the West into conflict with the Islamic world. Terrorists have attacked New York, Washington, London, Madrid, and now Paris. America and Britain caused the unraveling of Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of people are dead there. Afghanistan was occupied and thousands of Western soldiers killed, along with countless civilians – but the Taliban are alive and well, undeterred. Ghaddafi was removed, and Libya is no better off. All of this is confusing and discouraging. It causes people to search for answers and explanations, and these are hard to come by. It is in this context that the Cult of the Occupation has caught on. The idea is that the problems in the Middle East have something to do with Jewish arrogance and perfidy, that the sins of one’s own country can be projected upon the Western world’s old blank screen. This is the idea increasingly reflected on campuses, in labor unions, and in the media fixation on Israel. It’s a projection, one whose chief instrument is the press.

As one BBC reporter informed a Jewish interviewee on camera several weeks ago, after a Muslim terrorist murdered four Jewish shoppers at a Paris supermarket, “Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well.” Everything, that is, can be linked to the occupation, and Jews can be blamed even for the attacks against them. This isn’t the voice of the perpetrators, but of the enablers. The voice of the enablers is less honest than that of the perpetrators, and more dangerous for being disguised in respectable English. This voice is confident and growing in volume. This is why the year 2015 finds many Jews in Western Europe eyeing their suitcases again.

The Jews of the Middle East are outnumbered by the Arabs of the Middle East 60 to 1, and by the world’s Muslims 200 to 1. Half of the Jews in Israel are there because their families were forced from their homes in the 20th century not by Christians in Europe, but by Muslims in the Middle East. Israel currently has Hezbollah on its northern border, al-Qaeda on its northeastern and southern borders, and Hamas in Gaza. None of these groups seek an end to the occupation, but rather openly wish to destroy Israel. But it is naïve to point out these facts. The facts don’t matter: We are in the world of symbols. In this world, Israel has become a symbol of what is wrong – not Hamas, not Hezbollah, not Great Britain, not America, not Russia.

I believe it’s important to recognize the pathologies at play in order to make sense of things. In this context it’s worth pointing out that I’m hardly the first to identify a problem – Jewish communities like this one, and particularly organizations like Bicom, identified a problem long ago, and have been expending immense efforts to correct it. I wish this wasn’t necessary, and it shouldn’t be necessary, but it undoubtedly is necessary, and becoming more so, and I have great respect for these efforts. Many people, particularly young people, are having trouble maintaining their balance amid this ideological onslaught, which is successfully disguised as journalism or analysis, and is phrased in the language of progressive politics. I would like to help them keep their bearings.

I don’t believe, however, that anyone should make a feeling of persecution the center of their identity, of their Judaism, or of their relationship with Israel. The obsession is a fact, but it isn’t a new fact, and it shouldn’t immobilize us in anger, or force us into a defensive crouch. It shouldn’t make us less willing to seek to improve our situation, to behave with compassion to our neighbors, or to continue building the model society that Israel’s founders had in mind.

I was in Tel Aviv not long ago, on Rothschild Boulevard. The city was humming with life. Signs of prosperity were everywhere, in the renovated Bauhaus buildings, in the clothes, the stores. I watched the people go by: Kids with old bikes and tattoos, businesspeople, men with women, women with women, men with men, all speaking the language of the Bible and Jewish prayer. The summer’s Hamas rockets were already a memory, just a few months old but subsumed in the frantic, irrepressible life of the country. There were cranes everywhere, raising new buildings. There were schoolchildren with oversize knapsacks, and parents with strollers. I heard Arabic, Russian, and French, and the country went about its business with a potent cheer and determination that you miss if all you see are threats and hatred. There have always been threats and hatred, and it has never stopped us. We have enemies, and we have friends. The dogs bark, as the saying goes, and the convoy rolls by.

One of the questions presented to us by the wars of the modern age is what now constitutes victory. In the 21st century, when a battlefield is no longer conquered or lost, when land isn’t changing hands and no one ever surrenders, what does it mean to win?

The answer is that victory is no longer determined on the battlefield. It’s determined in the center, in the society itself. Who has built a better society? Who has provided better lives for people? Where is there the most optimism? Where can the most happy people be found? One report on world happiness ranked Israel as the 11th happiest country on earth. The UK was 22nd.

Israel’s intellectual opponents can rant about the moral failings of the Jews, obscuring their obsession in whatever sophisticated way they choose. The gunmen of Hamas and their allies can stand on heaps of rubble and declare victory. They can fire rockets, and shoot up supermarkets. But if you look at Tel Aviv, or at any thriving neighborhood in Jerusalem, Netanya, Rishon Letzion, or Haifa, you understand that this is victory. This is where we’ve won, and where we win every day.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015



England excels at one thing... hypocrisy

That the English are hypocritical is an old accusation that goes back long before the era of political correctness.  I believe it is correct.  I also believe, however, that it arose from a long tradition of British politeness -- an instinctive desire to be diplomatic and not antagonize people.  It arose from a desire not to hurt people's feelings if at all possible.  That may explain why political correctness is now so powerful in Britain

England gave the world Shakespeare, the steam locomotive, the computer, Isaac Newton and photography.  But when it comes to what the country excels at, Alan Bennett believes there is only one answer. Hypocrisy.

Playwright and author Bennett, who penned The History Boys and Talking Heads, claims that no other country in the world is so adept at saying one thing and doing another.

Bennett made the comments in a BBC Radio 4 broadcast to mark the 50th anniversary of the World at One. As part of the celebrations, 50 public figures have been asked to decide what sets Britain apart from the rest of the world.

The playwright said he had debated choosing Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales, medieval churches or even the National Trust for his nomination, but what he really felt England is best at, “better than all the rest” is ‘hypocrisy’

“In England, what we do best is lip service,” he told presenter Martha Kearney. “A substantial minority of our children receive a better education than the rest because of the social situation of the parents.  “Then we wonder why things at the top do not change or society improve. But we know why. It’s because we are hypocrites.”

Bennett said language was a good example of refined hypocrisy where we want to have it both ways. “Words which start off as good and meaningful, terms like environment and energy saving, rapidly lose any credence because converted into political or PR slogans, ending up the clichéd stuff of an estate agents’ brochure. A manual for hypocrisy.”

And warning listeners not to grumble – Bennett held his hands up and said he didn’t exempt himself from these criticisms. “How should I?” he says. “I am English, I am a hypocrite.”

In January the World at One heard nominations from the Prime Minister David Cameron and Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband and other party leaders.

Mr Cameron said Britain could be most proud of its science and its universities, an area where the country was ‘still first class’ and has the potential to ‘solve the problems we face.’

“Whether exploring the first moments of the universe of the genetic code, Britain is great at it,” he said.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minster and Liberal Democrat Leader, said Britain excelled at civil rights and the law. He said it was ‘marvellous’ that the UK has ‘settled, quiet habits of liberty.’

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the NHS was Britain’s biggest achievement. “It’s so important we protect it for the future,” he told the programme in January.

UKIPs Nigel Farage said the UK justice system was the envy of the world, while green leader Natalie Bennett said British apples deserved recognition.

SOURCE







British supermarket chain bans customers using the words 'Christ' and 'Jesus Christ' in messages when they are ordering flowers online - but jihad is okay

The words 'Christ' and 'Jesus Christ' have been placed on a list of banned words by Marks & Spencer and cannot be used in gift messages.

Customers buying a bunch of flowers who try to add a free message containing them are prevented from completing their order. An on-screen notification, which pops up if any blocked words are entered, reads: 'Sorry, there's something in your message we can't write.'

'Christ' and 'Jesus Christ' join other banned words including 'f***' and 'gay' - but some terms including jihad, Buddha and Allah are accepted.  'Terrorist' and 'd**k' can also be included in messages.

The policy emerged earlier today after one customer was stopped from buying a £35 bouquet for a funeral because she said in the gift message that it was from a family in 'Christ Church Teddington'.

When Gerardine Stockford, 53, phoned customer services an employee told her that it must be a blocked word, according to The Sunday Times.

Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, was shocked. He said: 'If Christ becomes an offensive word in a Christian land then all of us should be alarmed.'

Despite the supermarket giant being made aware of the issue yesterday, it still has not changed the facility.  A spokesman for Marks & Spencer said: 'An automatic phrase checker is in place to prevent the use and misuse of certain words and it includes hundreds of words of varying nature. 'The words Jesus and Christ are included to prevent their misuse.'

SOURCE





Knock the shine off Shiner

Human rights lawyers smeared British soldiers with false accusations of the torture and murder or innocent Iraqis, a government dossier claims.

A report drawn up on the Prime Minister's orders claims Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) pursued claims against soldiers despite realising the allegations of abuse might have been 'untrue'.

It comes after a public inquiry spent £31million exonerating British soldiers of claims they went they went on a killing and torture spree following a fierce battle in southern Iraq in 2004.

After five years of investigations, the Al-Sweady inquiry in December concluded there were some breaches of the Geneva convention following the battle. But it also ruled allegations of murder and torture were based on 'deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility'.

Now the government is gearing up to sue law firms for millions of pounds in legal costs and calling for the PIL's chief lawyer, Phil Shiner, to be struck off.

The MoD's dossier, seen by at least two Sunday newspapers, accuses PIL and another law firm, Leigh Day, of continuing to pursue the case even after evidence emerged that the allegations may be untrue.

It suggests PIL had doubts about the credibility of its clients' evidence as early as March 2013 but failed to withdraw the allegations for another 12 months, Tim Ross of the Sunday Telegraph reported.

That led investigators to take evidence from around 100 further witnesses, costing taxpayers an extra £780,000, the paper reported the Government's dossier as saying.

It is also alleged that PIL used a local 'agent' to trawl Basra for potential victims, a breach of a ban on solicitors touting for business that brought hundreds of extra claims against the Army.

The Birmingham-based law firm even continued to represent one claimant in a separate judicial review after he admitted to Al-Sweady investigators he had lied about his sister dying on the battlefield, the dossier alleges.

Leigh Day are accused of failing to disclose a key document for six years, according to the Sun on Sunday.

The claims came after the Battle of Danny Boy on May 14 2004, a fierce firefight which erupted when insurgents from the Mahdi Army ambushed a patrol of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Their reinforcements, the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, were also ambushed and after three hours of fighting 28 Iraqi fighters had been killed.

Claims which subsequently emerged that enraged British soldiers had tortured and executed innocent local people in the aftermath of the battle were dismissed by the Al-Sweady inquiry, which was named for an alleged teenage victim.

Former 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment corporal Brian Wood has previously told the Daily Mail he felt he and his colleagues who fought in thad 'done the right thing'.

Mr Wood, 34, who was awarded the Military Cross for his role in the battle, according to the paper, said: 'We have been dragged through five years of hell. That in my view is a betrayal of our service.  'We did what we had to do as soldiers and we did the right thing.'

Ann Hoolin, 50, the mother of soldier Scott Hoolin, told the paper her son was 'upset and disturbed' following the inquiry.  'To be accused of wrongdoing in the aftermath of what happened is disgraceful,' she said.

Sir Thayne Forbes, the retired judge who led the Al-Sweady inquiry, did find that there had been instances of ill-treatment during 'tactical questioning' of the detainees at Camp Abu Naji, near Majar-al-Kabir in southern Iraq, on the night of May 14/15.

These included depriving the prisoners of sight, food and sleep, and using threatening interrogation techniques contrary to the Geneva Convention.  It amounted to ill-treatment and fell below the high standard to be expected of the British Army, Sir Thayne said.

After Sir Thayne's report, Public Interest Lawyers insisted the inquiry had been 'legally necessary, morally justified and politically required'.

Responding to a request for comment on the allegations against PIL and Leigh Day, an MoD spokesman told MailOnline: 'The MoD is assisting the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which is investigating issues that came to light as a result of the Al-Sweady Inquiry.'

PIL said last night in a statement seen by the Sunday Telegraph: 'The Al-Sweady inquiry thoroughly investigated the subject of these matters during which no criticisms were made of Public Interest Lawyers or Phil Shiner by the chair.'

'It is not appropriate to comment any further while SRA proceedings are ongoing. 'PIL and Mr Shiner are confident that they have acted in accordance with their professional obligations.'

SOURCE







Muslim Australia:  19-year-old man charged over 'wedding' to 15-year-old

A backyard Islamic marriage between an 18-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl was only discovered when the young bride took herself to a western Sydney hospital believing she had suffered a miscarriage, police allege.

Mustafa Abdel Ghany, 19, was charged on Wednesday with marrying a 15-year-old girl in the backyard of her father's Sydney home in November.

A sheikh allegedly officiated over the ceremony and the couple moved into a granny flat at Abdel Ghany's parents' home in south-west Sydney soon after.

Detectives from the Child Abuse Squad were alerted to the marriage when the 15-year-old attended Bankstown Hospital on January 20 believing she had suffered a miscarriage.

It is the first time the state's Child Abuse Squad has charged a man with marrying an underage girl.

Abdel Ghany was granted strict bail in Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday and ordered not to go near his wife, not to drink alcohol or take drugs and to abide by an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order taken out against him.

His 15-year-old wife, who cannot be identified, had stopped attending high school at the time of her marriage and was not working, police said in documents tendered to the court.

Her parents did not know where she had been living for the past four to five months and had had little contact with her when police spoke to them in January.

When her horrified mother found out about the union, she confronted the couple and was allegedly told by her new son-in-law that he would "finish" her.

"What's done is done. She's my wife. If you want to start a war, I'll finish it," he allegedly told the mother when she questioned why he married her daughter in such a manner.

Police allege that the bride's father, who was present when they married, told police they were simply engaged.

In early February, Abdel Ghany and his parents grew suspicious that his in-laws were speaking to the police.

An intercepted phone call allegedly revealed he planned to harm his bride's parents, police documents state.

In other phone calls, detectives also allegedly heard Abdel Ghany's parents telling him to move his wife's belonging out of the granny flat and into the main house to hide the relationship.

Just days ago, however, Abdel Ghany struck up a relationship with another woman while his young wife was visiting his family in Canberra, police documents state.

"Police allege the accused has stated that he is considering divorcing the victim," the documents state. "The victim is unaware of the extent of the [new] relationship and is hoping that she and the accused will continue to live as husband and wife."

Abdel Ghany, who was 18 at the time of the marriage, denied that the ceremony took place when interviewed by police on Wednesday and has denied having sex with the 15-year-old girl.

A recent report estimated there were around 250 child bride cases across Australia.

NSW police made their first child bride arrest last year.

A 26 year-old man was convicted of several sexual abuse matters after marrying a 12-year-old girl in a backyard ceremony. The imam who oversaw the marriage was also convicted.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Monday, March 02, 2015



Former soldier who lost friends in Iraq and Afghanistan wars is refused service in a Scottish pub because of 'offensive' Union Flag shirt

A former soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan claims he was turned away from a pub in Scotland because workers said the union flag on his top was offensive.

Richard Monteith was told he would not be served again in the Black Bull pub in Polmont, Falkirk, unless he turned down the collar of his Hackett Boat Race polo shirt, which exposed a Union Jack , because it was seen as offensive.

The 36-year-old served 17 years with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and lost several friends and colleagues during tours of the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.

He said he was upset with the reaction because he had been in the army and had to deal with seeing a lot of friends draped in the flag after dying in service. 

The incident took place last Friday. Mr Monteith said: 'I had a couple of sips of my pint and was told unless I turned my collar down I wouldn't be served again.

'I asked why and they said the Union Jack and red, white and blue colours were offensive.  'When I asked why the woman just laughed and said 'because it is'.

'I just don't see how the flag or even the colours could be so offensive to anybody. 'To say red, white and blue are offensive is laughable. It was really silly comments, to be honest.'

Mr Monteith, now a security consultant, added: 'Being in the army I have carried quite a few friends that are draped in these colours so I find it very offensive.

'I wear it with pride for them, nothing else. It was me who was shocked and deeply offended.'

Mr Monteith refused to react to the statement or turn down his collar and left the pub.  They walked into one across the road and no issues were raised. 

The father-of-two said he had been unable to get a full explanation from the Black Bull since the incident, despite leaving messages for the manager.

A spokesman for the pub said: 'We are carrying out an investigation into the allegation, but cannot comment further until we speak to all of the members of staff who were working on Friday evening.'

SOURCE






Race Is Just a Social Construct, Except …When DNA Solves Crimes

There were no known eyewitnesses to the murder of a young woman and her 3-year-old daughter four years ago. No security cameras caught a figure coming or going.

Nonetheless, the police in Columbia, S.C., last month released a sketch of a possible suspect. Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime.

It may be the first time a suspect’s face has been put before the public in this way, but it will not be the last. Investigators are increasingly able to determine the physical characteristics of crime suspects from the DNA they leave behind, providing what could become a powerful new tool for law enforcement.

Already genetic sleuths can determine a suspect’s eye and hair color fairly accurately. It is also possible, or might soon be, to predict skin color, freckling, baldness, hair curliness, tooth shape and age.

Computers may eventually be able to match faces generated from DNA to those in a database of mug shots. Even if it does not immediately find the culprit, the genetic witness, so to speak, can be useful, researchers say.

“That at least narrows down the suspects,” said Susan Walsh, an assistant professor of biology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who recently won a $1.1 million grant from the Department of Justice to develop such tools.

But forensic DNA phenotyping, as it is called, is also raising concerns. Some scientists question the accuracy of the technology, especially its ability to recreate facial images. Others say use of these techniques could exacerbate racial profiling among law enforcement agencies and infringe on privacy.

“This is another of these areas where the technology is ahead of the popular debate and discussion,” said Erin Murphy, a professor of law at New York University.

DNA, of course, has been used for more than two decades to hunt for suspects or to convict or exonerate people. But until now, that meant matching a suspect’s DNA to that found at the crime scene, or trying to find a match in a government database.

DNA phenotyping is different: an attempt to determine physical traits from genetic material left at the scene when no match is found in the conventional way. …

Gender has long been ascertained from crime scene DNA. About 15 years ago, some police departments began trying to determine the geographic ancestry of suspects, as well, by using tests like the ones consumers order to learn about their genetic heritage.

In 2003, such information helped redirect the search for a serial killer in Louisiana. Police had been looking for a white man based on a witness account and on psychological profiles.

But DNA found at the site of one of the murders indicated the person’s ancestry was 85 percent sub-Saharan African. Eventually, a black man was convicted of the crimes.

Now researchers are closing in on specific physical traits, like eye and hair color.

But I’ve been hearing for 15 years that two individuals of different races are more genetically similar than two individuals of the same race. I’ve read that in comments sections hundreds of times. Could we have been misled?

SOURCE






500 new cases of female genital mutilation in one month are 'just the tip of the iceberg', campaigners warn

Five hundred women and girls living in England have been identified as victims of female genital mutilation in just one month, new figures show.

And campaigners have warned the numbers represent 'just the tip of the iceberg', estimating more than 130,000 women and girls in the country are affected by the issue.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), is a harmful traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia.

Campaigners told MailOnline today these figures will 'increase significantly' as more women access health care.

The statistics, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, include data from 126 eligible acute NHS trusts in England.

They reveal 2,242 active cases, where women and girls are currently being treated for FGM, while 499 new cases were identified in January.

Mary Wandia, FGM programme manager at campaign group Equality Now, told MailOnline that FGM is 'child abuse and an extreme human rights violation'.

'Today's figures are just the tip of the iceberg,' she warned. 'We will see these figures increasing significantly as more women access healthcare.

'The figures also show that training of those who come in contact with girls at risk of FGM - and those affected by it - is urgently needed.

'Health, social and education professionals don't have clear pathways and don't always know what to do.

'FGM is child abuse, a human rights violation and an extreme human rights violation.

'We have made huge progress on ensuring a joined-up approach to preventing it in the UK. It is no longer in the shadows and has is clearly on the national agenda.

'We just need to keep working to ensure that the law is properly implemented and that every single girl is protected.'

Ms Wandia said training for medical professionals is 'essential' in helping them recognise those women and girls affected - as well as those at risk.

She said: 'Survivors of FGM urgently need physical, emotional and psychological support.' 

Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May said that in the UK, 137,000 women are living with the consequences of FGM and a 60,000 are at risk.

The figures she cited, from a report from City University London in collaboration with Equality Now, estimated that 10,000 girls aged under 15 who migrated to England and Wales are likely to have undergone FGM.

In July, the Government launched a £1.4 million programme to tackle FGM, with the aim of ending the practice within a generation. 

This included bringing in laws to prosecute parents if they fail to prevent their daughters being cut.

It also requires collecting data about FGM in hospitals in England and training both health professionals and police officers to respond appropriately to cases of FGM.

Ms Wandia said: 'This is not an issue that can be ignored any longer.

'We also found that 60,000 girls born to mothers affected by FGM, lived in England and Wales in 2011.

'African countries like Kenya and Burkina Faso have led the way on ending FGM globally.

'We can end it within this generation but we need to continue to keep up the pressure to ensure governments are held accountable to their obligations.'

Meanwhile the children's charity, the NSPCC, said since setting up FGM dedicated helpline in June 2013, they have received 521 calls from the public and professionals.

Of those, 214 of the cases have been referred to the police and children's services.

John Cameron, head of child protection operations at the NSPCC, said: 'FGM is a live public health issue and it is vital all health professionals are trained to spot the signs of FGM, and that girls who are subjected to this brutal practice get the post-traumatic support they deserve.

'We need to ensure doctors, midwives and other healthcare professionals are working effectively together with children’s services to support and protect FGM victims and their family members.'

The World Health Organisation recognise FGM as a 'violation of the human rights of girls and women'.  'It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women,' the agency said.

'The practice violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.'

Today's figures are just the tip of the iceberg. We will see these figures increasing significantly as more women access health care
Mary Wandia, Equality Now
It is estimated that between 100 and 140 million girls and women around the world have undergone genital mutilation.

FGM has been a crime in the UK for 30 years, but there have been no convictions for the practice.

SOURCE






Police Chief Cops Out on Freedom

At the Salt Lake Police Department, the only thing officers are handcuffing is freedom. Like most Americans, Eric Moutsos never dreamed that his faith would cost him his job. But that’s exactly what happened last summer after the long-time policeman asked for a different post at the city’s gay pride event.

He was asked, along with other members of the team, to lead the motorcycle brigade at the very front of the parade. Moutsos said he “felt uncomfortable doing what he considered celebratory circles with other motorcycles leading the parade because of his religious views” and asked to be placed somewhere else at the event. “It is unquestionably my duty as a police officer to protect everyone’s right to hold a parade or other event, but is it also my duty to celebrate everyone’s parade?” For that particular assignment, he explained, “It looks like we and I are in support of this parade. I said I would feel the same way if this was an abortion parade. I would feel the same way if it was a marijuana parade.”

Not once did he refuse to work the parade – yet in the middle of working out a compromise with his boss, he was suspended. The move absolutely blind-sided him. Shocked, the dad of four went home and told his family what happened. Almost immediately, the story broke that an unidentified member of the Salt Lake Police Department had been put on a leave of absence for “discrimination.”

In typical P.C. fashion, Chief Chris Burbank spun the controversy as a story of prejudice and bias. “It has nothing to do with religious freedom – that has to do with the hatred of those individuals and what the parade stands for, which is about unity and coming together,” he told local reporters. Obviously, the chief is too busy policing people’s views to protect them. After six months of absolute turmoil, Moutsos decided to come forward and reveal his identity. As a Mormon – whose church recently threw its support behind the very ordinances that make this kind of persecution possible – Eric wants to turn his oppression into an opportunity.

In an interview with Deseret News, Moutsos said his story should be a warning to every American who thinks same-sex “marriage” and homosexuality won’t affect them. “We can 100 percent disagree and still 100 percent love. I hate that we’re labeled in this way that is so divisive.” Although Moutsos found a job with another police agency, he thinks his most important work is protecting religious liberty. He hasn’t been asked to testify to lawmakers, but he’d like to.

Like Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Eric was told to either check his beliefs at the door or get out of public service. If the Mormon Church thinks that throwing its weight behind sexual orientation-gender identity measures like Houston’s will shield people like him, they’re sorely mistaken. How do you protect anyone’s freedom of belief if you give the government another weapon to punish it? All this does is force Christians underground – or worse, into a religious ghetto cut off from the rest of society.

First of all, that’s not what we’re called to do in the church. And secondly, it’s not what our freedoms allow. It’s tough to get the American people to agree on anything – but they agree on that. In FRC’s survey released this week by WPA Opinion, 81% of the country (which as unanimous as it gets in the polling community) agreed that the government should leave people alone to live and work according to their beliefs. If anyone’s ready to lead that parade, we are!

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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