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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Western Socialist Governments Destroy Economy with Taxes and Inflation

Slow economy ahead


Both inflation and taxes are the worst enemies of productive work and earning.

Taxes, especially high ones, act as a discouragement, if not a deterrent, from working hard to acquire money that you will see taken away in front of your very own eyes.

Inflation will see to it that what you are allowed to keep will be in reality much less than what appears to be.

In my personal experience I have to say that, when I was earning reasonable money from my internet commercial activity, realizing that a big chunk of it was not mine at all thanks to the Inland Revenue did cool my passion and dampen my enthusiasm a bit, not much but a little. So, when I became more involved in political writing - nothing to do with taxes but for entirely different motivations -, I was not so keen to devote more time to my commercial websites as I might have been without the lurking presence of high taxation and high inflation.

I am interested in economics, and I was very pleased to find in what I consider one of the best blogs around, that of Alexander Boot, such clear, simple and, more importantly, well-founded explanations of how Western current financial woes originate in the political sphere.

Inflation may have economical causes too, but what we have now is astronomical:
Behold: £100 pounds in 1850 became £110 pounds in 1900 -- a negligible inflation of 10% over 50 years. That meant that a baby born at the time with a silver spoon in his mouth, which utensil equalled, say, a solid middle-class income of £500 a year, could live his whole life in reasonable comfort even if he never made a penny of his own. Conversely, £100 in 1950 became £2000 in 2000 -- a wealth-busting, soul-destroying inflation of 2,000%.
Today's skyrocketing inflation derives from heavily indebted governments' habit of printing too much money to repay their debt with it.

Economic value, despite the appearances, is not in the money, it is in the goods - products and services - that people need and are willing to pay for. So, if inflation depends on the proportion between the goods produced and the currency in circulation or, as Milton Friedman put it, is "too many dollars chasing after too few goods", it is evident that, coeteris paribus,  the more money is printed the higher the rate of inflation.

The government is responsible in two ways: first by overspending and getting into debt ("Excess government spending causes inflation", wrote American economist Alan Greenspan, who served as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, in his book The Time of Turbulence (Amazon USA), (Amazon UK)), and then by trying to get out of it by "quantitative easing", i.e. printing money.

High inflation does all the wrong things for the economy: not only, along with high taxes, deters people from working hard, but also it deters them from saving and encourages them to spend and even take debts. After all, the money you borrow now has more value than when you have to repay it in the future.

If there are not enough savers, there will not be sufficient funds for businesses to borrow, which will slow down enterprise and productivity and therefore reduce employment. It is a domino effect, or rather a geometric progression, multiplying instead of summing the terms. A wrong choice, a bad move causes a concatenation of cascading calamities.

This is what socialism invariably and solely does: destroy. It destroys many other things, but here we are talking economics so we concentrate on the fact that it destroys wealth and the ability to produce it.

And Western governments become bigger and bigger and spend as if there is no tomorrow (literally as well as metaphorically) because they run on socialist principles like redistribution of wealth and, as Marx described the second element of communism, they give "to each according to his needs", a perfect definition of the welfare state (the first element of communism is "From each according to his abilities").

As for high taxation:
The highest rate of income tax peaked in the Second World War at 99.25%.It was slightly reduced after the war and was around 90% through the 1950s and 60s.

Tax revenues as a percentage of GDP for the UK in comparison to the OECD and the EU 15. In 1971 the top-rate of income tax on earned income was cut to 75%. A surcharge of 15% on investment income kept the top rate on that income at 90%. In 1974 this cut was partly reversed, and the top rate on earned income raised to 83%. With the investment income surcharge this raised the top rate on investment income to 98%, the highest permanent rate since the war.
That was true madness, before Thatcher restored sanity and reduced the tax burden.

The reason why the 50% tax top rate on incomes higher than £150,000 introduced in 2010 by Labour was lowered to 45% in the 2012 budget is because it was costing the Exchequer an estimated over £1 billion a year in loss of tax revenue.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research correctly predicted:
There is good evidence that an increase in high-rate Income Taxes beyond 40% will lead to a loss of revenue to the Exchequer over the coming years.
Calculating the taxable income elasticity
Higher rates of Value Added Tax and National Insurance Contributions mean that the revenue maximising rate of Income Tax for the very rich has fallen over the past year. Combined with increased labour and capital mobility, this means the revenue maximising top rate of Income Tax is likely to be less than 40%.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Mosques Are the Battleground of the War between Islam and the West



 

"We don't debate unprofessional councillors, unprincipled journalists, and self-righteous community organizers; we turn the tables on them": this is how British planning lawyer Gavin Boby, also known as the "mosque buster", describes the activity of his organization, the Law And Freedom Foundation. He uses the law to stop the building of mosques in the UK by demonstrating to local councils that the building of a mosque or an Islamic centre is actually in violation of British law. And he succeeds: the count so far is 16 victories out of 17 cases.

Gavin Boby is a 48-year-old planning lawyer from Bristol, South-West England. He deals with planning permissions or zoning permissions.
Gavin Boby, the mosque buster
 

Like many other people in Britain, for almost 10 years Boby had witnessed the progressive penetration of Islam in his country, but like many other people he watched idly not knowing what to do about it.

It was the same feeling of impotence that most of us shared. But then, a couple of years ago, he had this idea. Many mosques disrupt neighbourhoods and drive out long-time residents. Non-Muslim women in particular are made to feel uncomfortable in those areas. Why not use his legal skills to help local communities resist planning applications for mosques?

The BBC video above the article exposes how corrupt the process of granting mosque planning applications can be, showcasing a session in the Rochdale Council's planning committee in the North of England, during which councillor Begum does not allow discussion before the vote is taken and rushes the other members to vote.

This is very topical in light of the recent revelations that the Boston bombers' mosque "has been associated with other terrorism suspects, has invited radical speakers to a sister mosque in Boston and is affiliated with a Muslim group that critics say nurses grievances that can lead to extremism", has classic jihadi texts in its library, and gave money to two terrorist charities which have been shut down by the U.S. government. But then again, when is something about the violent nature of Islam not topical these days?

Still, this is a good way to introduce the mosque buster's work. What are mosques? As we know, mosques are not like churches or synagogues, they are far more than houses of worship and contemplation, many of them are centres of jihadist activity that indoctrinate to commit and support violence against infidels. In America, as many as 4 different studies have independently come to the same conclusion that 80 per cent of US mosques "were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians".

The Law And Freedom Foundation website declares: "A mosque is not merely a place of worship. Islamic doctrine requires the application of Islamic law within its geographical reach."

We can see the truth of that in London. It is no coincidence that sharia-law areas or self-declared Muslim areas with Muslim patrols acting like vigilantes in cities like London are near mosques. We are increasingly seeing Muslim patrols in the proximity of mosques saying to passers-by that they can't walk a dog, wear a skirt, drink alcohol.

In an interview Gavin Boby explains that mosques are being used as the bridgehead, the forefront of the advance of Islam in a territory. What happens in neighbourhoods - usually working class districts which are not used to dealing with officialdom - where a mosque is built is that the area changes forever for its residents, who no longer recognize it and eventually have to move out, due to things like the parking jihad, general harassment, vandalism.

"The parking jihad is" he describes, "soon after the construction of a mosque, people will find no parking space there, their driveway is being blocked or even a car is parked in the driveway inside your property and if you ask them to move their car they'll say it's only for an hour." The parking tends to be used as a way to establish possession and control over the area, of saying: "This is a mosque area, we are the owners now and there's nothing you can do about it", and then after that it gets worse until the point when people move out.

"The Koran" the Bristol lawyer continues, "calls 14 times for the enslavement of non-Muslims, and 3 times for killing the unbelievers wherever they are found. This is obviously against English law. You don't need to be a good lawyer to fight it but you need to be a very good lawyer to get around it."

Partly, the mosque buster's approach is that of finding the contradictions and incompatibilities between Islam and Western fundamental principles (that's the easy part), and making mosque building and planning regulations become the battleground of these ideological conflicts.

In the same way as Islam is not just a religion but also a political doctrine of supremacy and power, so the mosque is not simply a building of worship but also a political one.

Gavin elaborates:
This is the Islamic doctrine, every mosque is instructed to be based upon the original mosque in Medina, where Muhammad originally in the 7th century set up his religious-political doctrine of social control, and the mosque is a place of government, it is a place where treaties are made, death sentences are passed, armies are blessed and dispatched, it is primarily about political control and it is very much used as a tool of advance. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey talked about that, the Muslim Brotherhood compared their mosques to battalions and to beehives, where Muslims will gather and then advance, and there's nothing new about this, it goes back to the 7th century.
So, this is the why of the Law And Freedom Foundation's operation. Now let's see the how.

Gavin works pro bono as a planning lawyer for anyone wishing to fight the erection of a mosque. He says:
The method is very simple. A planning application gets submitted for a mosque in an area, and it will never be called a "mosque". It will be called a community centre; an inter-faith centre; a public community, harmony-building outreach centre, and then the neighbours contact us, and it's usually people who have never been involved in politics before, are shy of politics and officialdom and ask us to help them to resist it. And that's what we do, we help them to simply use established methods of consultation to tell the local authorities: "We object to this proposal because of the effect it will have on the neighbourhood, the effect on parking, the effect on noise, the effect on disturbance, the architectural effect, the effect of concentrations of people generally, the amenity for residents". And also we give them advocacy in front of the council meeting, we'll advocate on their behalf.
Therefore the approach is twofold. The most commonly employed is to use the effects on and the desires of the local communities as tools in the consultation process which is local authorities' standard procedure before a planning or change of use permission is granted.

As an example, the last two refusals to mosque building from local authorities were motivated by: loss of the retail floorspace; harm to the character, function, vitality and viability of the neighbourhood centre; possible harm to the surrounding transport network in respect of movements to and from the site for both pedestrians and vehicles; loss of employment use in a Locally Significant Industrial Site and potential harm to the viability and function of the remaining Locally Significant Industrial Site; low public transport accessibility inappropriate for a large-scale community facility; lack of adequate on-site parking with resulting overspill on-street parking likely to cause unacceptable traffic management problems and traffic congestion, to the detriment of traffic flow and road safety in the vicinity of the site.

From these you can have an idea of the broadness and scope of reasons that can be used. Other common issues are noise, and congestion at particular times like Fridays at prayer times or when there are Koran lessons for children.

The second approach - although what is predominantly used is the first - goes more to the core of what Islam is. The organization's website states: "Also, it is hard to see how a Local Authority has the power to grant planning permission for a mosque, since the purpose of a mosque is to promote a doctrine that incites killing, enslavement and war. You don’t need to be a skilled lawyer to understand this point – you have to be a skilled lawyer to find a way around it."

This conviction was evident when the mosque buster was asked how he responds to people who say this is an infringement of freedom of religion. He answered:
I understand people who say that, and it would be the case if Islam were simply about private contemplation and reflection, the way that Christianity in a parish church is, but the problem is that you have two legal principles that conflict. You have this issue of freedom of religion and you have the public order issue, it's not an issue of censorship, it's a public order issue that [you have] if you have people preaching warfare, preaching violence, preaching killing and enslaving against another part of the population: that is against the most founding principles, [which were established] before freedom of religion was established within English law, within any law.
The British planning lawyer clarifies the relationship between these approaches when he advises his clients: "Don't focus on the religious and political aspects, focus on the technical ones, but what we are doing is trying to stop the area from being Islamized". But the two issues, i.e. the political question and the concern about community safety, are in fact indissolubly interconnected; he acts from knowledge of the intimidation and violence that the mosques regularly bring with them.

He observes that mosques are increasingly being built in the UK in numbers which are disproportionate to the need for them, and often in areas with hardly any Muslim population.

The Law and Freedom Foundation also offers advice to local activists on how to go about the business of mosque busting. Gavin Boby's is an original approach, even the way he talks gives you the immediate impression that he brings something new and different (lawyer-like but this time in a good sense) to the anti-Islam movement.

Boby has become a household name in the counterjihad movement, and others outside the UK are following his example, like Geert Wilders in Holland, whose party recently launched the “MoskNee” (“MosqueNo”) project. Still to remain in continental Europe, the mosque buster spoke at the Brussels ICLA conference on July 9 2012.

He was also invited to speak in Ottawa, Canada by the organization Act for Canada, which points out that the University of Alberta's former Chair in Islamic Studies explained how the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hassan al-Banna hoped to change "the status of the Mosque, bringing it from a static place of worship to a center of Islamic revolution", while Youssef Qaradawi, unconditionally endorsed by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Canada, wrote: "It must be the role of the mosque to guide the public policy of a nation, raise awareness of critical issues, and reveal its enemies. From ancient times the mosque has had a role in urging jihad for the sake of Allah". Gavin also spoke in Toronto and Montreal.

In August/September 2012 Mr Boby toured Australia on invitation of the Q Society of Australia, according to which many Australians still do not fully understand how important mosques and mosque-building are in Islamic doctrine and how crucially different a mosque is from a church or synagogue. Many Australians did not know that in their country there are already over 340 mosques and Islamic prayer rooms, many of which are rooms in once secular public buildings and public spaces.

As can be expected, there is controversy and attempts to stop this mosque-busting lawyer from giving speeches wherever they are scheduled, and he has been vilified by the mass media.

But what really matters is that it works. Maybe his activity can be the inspiration to find other specialistic, professional ways to use the law against the Islamization of our countries.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Giuliani: Institutionalized Political Correctness Jeopardizes Safety




Sean Hannity of Fox News interviews Republican Rudolph Giuliani, who was New York City major at the time of 9/11, on the Boston bombings.

The elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the dead main suspect, was already on a government watch list. Not only that. The US government had been warned multiple times by the Russians about him and how dangerous he might be, and Homeland Security, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, knew that Tamerlan left the U.S. for Russia last year. What shocks Giuliani is that he had been dropped from the watch list after he travelled to Russia, whereas that trip, obviously to Chechnya, should have been reason to place him higher on that list.

The former mayor has always thought, he says, that not being able to call a spade "a spade", or the Fort Hood massacre "terrorism" and not "workplace violence", would lead to a situation he calls "institutionalized political correctness". That means that workers in the bureacracy - either in the military or law enforcement - get the message from above that the keyword is being over cautious with classifying people and crimes, to the point of hampering investigations and security.


"I'm not even sure if we can use the description 'Muslim extremist' any longer", he adds.

Muslims Pelting Dogs Get Just Deserts




Fantastic video showing a mob of disgustingly coward Muslims in Casablanca, Morocco, throwing rocks and bottles at two German Sheperds walking down the street with their human companion.

But the splendid animals react by mauling the bastards. It is not clear why the dogs' owner tries to stop them, they were only defending themselves.

Islam considers dogs "unclean". It forbids believers to keep dogs, and the punishment for doing that is the loss of one or two qiraats from a Muslim's hasanaat (good deeds) each day, meaning it is easier to go to Hell.

Muhammad made statements to the effect that dogs are "impure" and worse, and these edicts have always affected dogs in a tragic way, leading to the cruel treatment of these wonderful, loving and faithful animals.

The statements regarding dogs are not found in the Quran but there are many of them in the hadith, collections of traditions which are a primary foundation of Islamic theology and the basis of many Islamic laws. Muhammad ordered that and all black dogs and most other dogs should be killed.

Islam is unfortunately spreading like a wildfire. It is crucial that Muhammad’s teachings are examined: was he really a prophet or someone with mental problems?


h/t to The Muslim Issue.




Friday, 26 April 2013

Want to Know if a Site Is Blocked in Iran?



There is a website with a test that tells you if a particular site on the internet is blocked in Iran, predictably called Blockediniran.

I can't find any source that can give information about the reliability of this test, which I presume will not be 100%. In fact, while the OK answers (not blocked) are definite, the BLOCKED results are more cautious, saying: "It appears as though this site IS blocked in Iran".

Among the websites banned in Iran are Jihad Watch, Daniel Pipes, Fox News and The Daily Mail.

Very understandably not blocked are The Guardian, The Times, Occupy Wall Street, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein.

My site, Enza Ferreri, is blocked in Iran.

Is Released Boston Bombings Saudi Man Really Innocent?

Saudi Arabians


Just after the Boston Marathon bombings and before they knew the identity of the two main suspects, the Tsarnaev brothers, the police questioned Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, a Saudi man, as a "person of interest". He was running away from the scene of the crime after the explosions like so many others, but he had acted in a way that a witness found suspicious.

He was just at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded and he got injured but, instead of seeking medical assistance, he was running away.

This is the summary of the story so far:
•A Saudi national originally identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212 3B — “Security and related grounds” — “Terrorist activities” after the bombing
•As the story gained traction, TheBlaze’s Chief Content Officer Joel Cheatwood received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national, originally identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi
•Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject when confronted by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill.
•An ICE official said a different Saudi national is in custody, but is “in no way” connected to the bombings.
•A congressional source, however, says that the file on Alharbi was created, that he was “linked” in some way to the Boston bombings (though it is unclear how), and that documents showing all this have been sent to Congress.
•Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano
•Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports that Alharbi was allegedly flagged on a terrorist watch list and granted a student visa without being properly vetted. Sources close to the investigation also told him the Saudi is still set for deportation.
•New information provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi’s file was altered early Wednesday evening to disassociate him from the initial charges
•Sources say the Saudi’s student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts
•Sources tell us this will most likely now be kicked from the DHS to the DOJ and labeled an ongoing investigation that can no longer be discussed.
Now, as former Muslim Brotherhood member turned peace activist Walid Shoebat observes, many from Alharbi’s clan are involved in terrorism and are members of Al-Qaeda. A list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows that several people belonging to the Alharbi clan have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda. And there are several Alharbi clan members in Guantanamo.

Saudi Arabia is a highly tribal society, and both clan and family ties are important and tell you a lot about people:
There are specific Saudi clans that are rife with members of Al-Qaeda, which makes it quite alarming as to why nearly a hundred thousand student visas are issued to these. Americans are clueless as to clan ties when it comes to terrorism.

Lesson one: Terrorism and crime by the Saudis is interlinked extensively within families, as we see in the Harbi clan.
Shoebat had warned a couple of weeks before the Boston Marathon bombings about the threat of Saudi infiltration into the United States, saying: "Many of these Saudi nationals are criminals and terrorists".

The mainstream media are ignoring the question marks surrounding former "person of interest" Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, but Glenn Beck is doing his investigative journalist job and The Blaze is reporting on it:
Beck proceeded to highlight the background of the Saudi national first identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston bombings, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, noting that the the NTC issued an event file calling for his deportation using section 212, 3B which is proven terrorist activity.

“We are not sure who actually tagged him as a ’212 3B,’ but we know it is very difficult to charge someone with this — it has to be almost certain,” Beck explained. “It is the equivalent in civil society of charging someone with premeditated murder and seeking the death penalty — it is not thrown around lightly.”

Beck continued, noting that after Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud on Tuesday, the FBI began backtracking on the Saudi national from suspect, to person of interest, to witness, to victim, to nobody.

Then, on Wednesday, President Obama had a “chance” encounter with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud and Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

“Wednesday at 5:35 p.m. the file is altered,” Beck said. “This is unheard of, this is impossible in the timeline due to the severity of the charge….You don’t one day put a 212 3B charge against somebody with deportation, and then the next day take it off. It would require too much to do it.”

“There are only two people that could revoke the deportation order — the director of the NTC could do it after speaking with each department, the FBI, the ATC, etc. — which is impossible to do in such a short period of time, — or, somebody at the very highest levels of the State Department could do it. We don’t have any evidence to tell you which one did it,” Beck said...

If, as an ICE official said last week, there is actually a ​second ​Saudi in custody, who is it? Beck asked...

It is still unclear why the government is stonewalling the media on information as to why the file initially labeled Alharbi as a threat, only to change that designation later in the week. Is there a legitimate threat that’s being covered up? Did the government have actual concerns about Alharbi, but was too quick to connect him in this instance and is now trying to stave off embarrassment?...

“The Bush administration would later block the investigation into Saudi involvement into 9/11, even though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, and would eventually force the redaction of a 28-page chapter of the 9/11 Commission report regarding foreign, specifically Saudi, support for some of the Al-Qaeda hijackers,” Beck said, noting that the questionable relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States goes back further than the current administration.

But, he said, we have now taken that relationship to a whole new level. “On January 14, 2013 President Obama met with Saudi Minister of Interior,” Beck remarked. “Two days later Janet Napolitano signed agreement with Saudi minister allowing ‘trusted traveler’ status on Saudi student visitors, meaning greatly reduced security checks and scrutiny.”

“This is trusted traveler status that we don’t give to some of our most trusted allies, and we gave it to Saudi Arabia last January?” Beck said. “So they can just walk into our country no questions asked?”

“There is a pattern,” he said. “There is a relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia the American public doesn’t know about. The case of Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi is only the latest example.”
Even prior to the Boston bombings, Republican lawmakers had expressed concern about the "potential risks" of a Department of Homeland Security decision granting "trusted traveler" status to airline passengers from Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Lesbian Nurse Stripped Naked in Front of Female Patient



The UK's Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard that a lesbian 70-year-old psychosexual counsellor and registered nurse took her patient to New York and paid for a luxury hotel where she stripped naked in front of her.

Over an 18-month period Trisha Birch lavished the woman with gifts, treated her to meals out, gave her cash and sent 'inappropriate' texts: it is said she failed to maintain "professional boundaries" with the female patient.

David Clark, for the NMC, said Patient A refused to give evidence because she suffers from “nightmares” about the experience.

Swiss Referendum to Curb Immigration

Swiss ambientalists of Ecopop collecting signatures for an anti-immigration referendum in Switzerland


Eight million people live in Switzerland. It may not seem much, but this is a small country.

The Alpine nation has now a high density population due to the demographic boom through immigration that it has recently experienced, with an increase in its population size from 7.2 million in 2000 to 8 million in 2012, and a rise of 140% from 1990 to now.

Moreover, almost a quarter, or 1.8 million people, are foreign, and one person in five in the Swiss Confederation does not have a Swiss passport.

The country's environmentalists are now acting like an improbable nationalist right-wing bulldog against foreign invasion. The organization Ecology and Population (Ecopop) has collected 120,700 signatures, more than the 100,000 required by law, to call for a referendum to limit the growth of the population, and therefore the number of immigrants, to 0.2% per annum, and to demand that a tenth of foreign aid be given to birth control.

The right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) has also collected enough signatures to force a referendum that demands an even more restricted limit on immigration. By law the number of referendums cannot exceed 4 per year.

Ecopop, which stresses the fact that its members are not racist or xenophobe, embraces the unfounded, debunked theories of American biologist Paul Ehrlich exposed in his 1968 book The Population Bomb (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) . Growth by 0.2% per annum of the population would be considered a level compatible with the preservation of natural resources of the country.
"Switzerland currently has one of the densest populations on the planet, with 480 inhabitants per square kilometre in 'Mittelland'," or central Switzerland, Ecopop leader Andreas Thommen told AFP, insisting "this development is not at all sustainable in the long-term."
If the group manages to overcome some bureaucratic problems and legal issues, the referendum will be held in 2015. According to an internet survey of 7,653 users, 75% said they were in favor of the imposition of the quota, 20% against and 5% undecided. Which means that, to date, the referendum is sure to pass.

How ironic if immigration in a Western European country could finally and drastically be reduced not for the real reasons of preservation of our highly precious culture, values, religion and political principles from developing countries' populations with different views of the world, in particular Muslim populations, but on the basis of a fallacious - but fashionable with the in-crowds - environmental dogma!

Monday, 22 April 2013

“Arab Spring” in Central Asia?




Mirroring what is happening in the world, there is an Islamic revival in the Caucasus and Central Asia, with all that it means for local Christians.

The predominantly Muslim Central Asian Republics, after the collapse of the Soviet Union of which they were part, have seen an increase in the persecution of Christians. The fall of dictatorship, in a pattern similar to that of post-war Iraq and the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, seems to have “liberated” the radical elements within the Muslim communities.

Caucasus and Central Asia

The now independent countries of Central Asia are the following five, in order of population size: Uzbekistan (just under 30 million people), Kazakhstan (16-17 million), Tajikistan (7-8 million), Kyrgyzstan (5-6 million), which is particularly topical now because it is where the family of the Boston bombings suspects lived for a time, and Turkmenistan (just over 5 million), for a total population of 64.7 million in 2012, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. Another Muslim-majority country that was part of the Soviet Union is the Republic of Azerbaijan, the largest in the Caucasus, at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, with a population of over 9 million, 95 percent of whom are Muslim.

What is paradoxical is that, while during the Soviet era the ruling Communist Party, through the education system and official propaganda, imposed so-called "scientific atheism" (a name reminiscent of so many Western atheists who, à la Richard Dawkins, fallaciously declare the denial of God to derive from science), for Christians in Central Asia and the Caucasus the end of the Communist regime, which was supposed to bring freedom of religion among other freedoms, brought instead another form of religious oppression.

It may have freed Christianity but, by freeing Islam as well, it unleashed hostility against Christianity, from governments as well. Churches are raided, closed and torched, crosses are burnt, fathers are arrested and fined for holding a prayer meeting and religious leaders for not registering the church (while at the same time the strict legislation makes it impossible for churches to register), believers are beaten up during raids on their homes, Christian literature is destroyed, and families are restricted to owning only one Bible. There is growing intolerance, and the media target organizations and beliefs.

The organization Russian Ministries' Facebook page says: "However due to the strictness of the laws in these countries, it is practically impossible for churches to register and practically all religious materials are illegal, meaning that it is becoming more or less de facto illegal to practice Christianity".

It does not end there. In Azerbaijan "The government is also intent on vilifying Christians to the public. Government-controlled mass media accuses believers of occult practices, hypnosis, and extremism, while newspaper articles encourage discrimination and physical abuse of Christians and other minorities".

In the article Central Asia: Growing Religion Oppression, Anneta Vyssotskaia, of the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, writes:
During 2007 there were numerous reports of restriction and persecution of Christians in Central Asia. However, these may be only the tip of the iceberg of the real situation regarding persecution of the Christians living and worshipping God in the predominantly Islamic environment. Most of what would be considered persecution in Western countries is just part of daily life for every Christian there; persecution comes from family, neighbours, Muslim religious leaders and the government. Most of these cases may never become generally known. Religious legislation in these countries is undergoing changes that restrict worship and evangelism even more. Despite this, the number of Christians is constantly growing.

In Uzbekistan a small Baptist church which has endured more than a decade of official harassment was again raided during Sunday morning worship on 24 March. "The secret police officer who led the raid told the Baptists that 'all believers are backward-looking fanatics who drag society down'". This pronouncement again rings a bell to Western ears. Take away the raid and you can hear our own "progressives" and "enlightened" gay-marriage supporters saying very much the same.

In its survey analysis of freedom of religion or belief in Kazakhstan, Forum 18 News Service found serious, continuing violations of human rights, including:
attacks on religious freedom by officials ranging from President Nursultan Nazarbaev down to local officials; literature censorship; state-sponsored encouragement of religious intolerance; legal restrictions on freedom of religion or belief; raids, interrogations, threats and fines affecting both registered and unregistered religious communities and individuals; unfair trials; the jailing of a few particularly disfavoured religious believers; restrictions on the social and charitable work of religious communities; close police and KNB secret police surveillance of religious communities; and attempts to deprive religious communities of their property. These violations interlock with violations of other fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression and of association.

And it is getting worse. In Kazakhstan, a proposed new Criminal Code expected to be approved by the government in May and presented to parliament in July, if adopted in its current form, would allow those who lead unregistered religious communities to be imprisoned for up to three months, and those who share their faith for up to four months.

Perhaps for the first time since Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, a court ordered religious literature to be destroyed, in the form of 121 Christian books confiscated from a believer who was handing them out on the city streets when police arrested him. He was given a fine corresponding to a month’s wages.

In recent weeks and months there have been many incidents in which Central Asian churches have been raided, often without warrant, and, if Christian literature or an on-going service were found, church members were given a heavy fine (in some cases as much as 100 times the monthly minimum wage) for possession of illegal material or unregistered religious activity.

To counter this worsening situation, on February 6 in Washington, DC Russian Ministries organized a briefing to raise awareness of the worrying trend among U.S. leaders, which was attended by 90 people, including people from the State Department.

The goal was to mobilize and get support from the global community to develop policies and put pressure on the governments of the Muslim former Soviet republics so that they give more freedom to the churches and leaders there.

Among the causes of suppression of religious freedom there appear to be both blasphemy laws and laws intended to combat religious extremism and terrorism, which seem to mistakenly conflate militant Islam and Christianity, as is the case of the new law introduced in Kazakhstan in late 2011.

In that country, with the declared intention to stamp out Islamic extremism and “to counter manifestations of religious extremism and terrorism”, Christians and other innocent faith minorities have increasingly become victims of the reform, aggressively implemented: after a year, among other abuses, 579 religious communities had been stripped of their registration rights.

Therefore Christians suffer from the presence of Islam in two ways: directly, through the various torching of churches, burning of crosses, attacks on apostates and the usual niceties, and indirectly, for becoming scapegoats of Islamic radicalism.

Anneta Vyssotskaia explains:
As religious liberty for churches in Central Asia deteriorates, some common trends are evident. Governments are increasingly negative about Christian outreach, especially amongst the Muslim population, and want to control it more or stop it completely.

They fear tensions may escalate where the number of Christian converts in the local population is growing. In other instances governments legislate to control minority religious bodies due to concerns about the activities of Islamic groups. However as Christians are a religious minority throughout Central Asia they are restricted by such laws along with these Islamic and other minority religious groups. In addition local Muslim communities regard Muslim converts to Christianity as 'traitors' and enemies and persecute them in various ways.
Sergey Rakhuba, President of Russian Ministries, an expert on mission issues related to Russia and the former Soviet Union, says in the above video: "In the 'stan' countries you cannot bring Bibles, you cannot bring literature, you cannot evangelize or share your faith outside of your home; but, in the case of Uzbekistan, you cannot even share your faith with your children, you cannot pray, and a meeting of more than 3 people is considered a violation of this law, and that's why people suffer and get imprisoned".

Mission Network News reports:
It's like going back to the days of the cold war, he [Sergey Rakhuba] says. "Evangelical churches are not allowed to do anything outside of their homes, even inside their homes. If they gather together for prayer meetings they are punished and are penalized. Many pastors have already been thrown into prison there."

While it's reminiscent of the days of communism, Rakhuba says, "This is a new wave of persecution that's based on radical Islamism, on nationalism, and even mainline churches like the Orthodox church...is the reason for persecution of local believers in Russia and Ukraine or other Slavic countries."

The information presented will help create a policy guide for Christians in the region to help fight laws that are meant to fight terrorism. "Based on those laws, evangelical Christians--for their most humble actions--are punished just for having prayer in their own home. So, we'd like to create some policies and to encourage governments to change it."
In parallel with what happens in the Arab countries, we see in Central Asia the Christian communities targeted on two fronts: attacked by Muslim mobs, neighbours and leaders on one hand, and attacked or not protected by governments, police/army and local officials on the other.

While the motivations of the former are the same (Muslims being Muslim), the reasons behind the latter may have less to do with Islam than in the Arab world. Kazakhstan’s 1995 constitution, for example, stipulates that it is a secular state, and the governments of the Central Asian republics are wary of theocracy and Islam in the political sphere, although Islamization in the region is increasing.


To help or contact Russian Ministries, visit http://www.russian-ministries.org/ or http://www.mnnonline.org/groups/RMI

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Anti-Christian Atheism and Unethical Behaviour

Do What You Want message


Following my article Effects of Atheist Propaganda Come Home to Roost, - although on Free Republic the comments were favourable to my position - readers of my blog have posted comments that need a more analytical and detailed answer than allowed in the comments section.

Complex subjects require complex treatment. Furthermore, there seems to be much confusion about the theme of Christianity and ethics.

For example, an anonymous reader calling himself "roger in florida" wrote: "I believe you are very misguided if you equate Christianity with morality or cannot understand that atheists, such as myself, are incapable [he then explained that he meant "capable"] of morality".

Indeed I never made (and it would have been absurd to make) such a sweeping generalization as that atheists are incapable of morality.

I was myself an atheist (and now am an agnostic) capable of morality, as I am sure many others are.

Besides, if we want to be specific - and this philosophical topic requires it - everybody is capable of morality, in varying degrees, with possible pathological exceptions.

The devil is in the detail, it is those different degrees that make all the difference.

The late-18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant distinguished between "autonomy" and "heteronomy": the former is the capability of giving oneself moral guidance and rules, the latter applies to individuals when their morality is determined from outside themselves, through fears of losing social approval and of punishments like those associated with the penal system.

The vast majority of individuals will have a combination of the two, in proportions that will diverge greatly. Children and adults who are generally considered immoral, like criminals, will need more external guidance and deterrents.

Anyway, my article was about a specific connection between atheism and immoral behaviour, not a generic one.

Another reader, aLeRGya, addressed this thus: "I don' think implying what Dr. Dawkins is promoting directly leads to the dilemma relating to the video is that simple. Correlation does not imply causation".

Of course, as exposed by the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, we cannot logically derive causation from correlation or temporal coincidence.

But here we do not need to.

When a company invests large sums of money to advertise a product and then it sees the product's sales soar, it is a highly plausible hypothesis that the advertising campaign caused the increase in sales.

In fact, this pattern follows that of a scientific experiment: you change one variable (the experimental variable) and, coeteris paribus (all the rest being equal), the change in the responding variable (the result) will likely be due to your intervention, proportionally to how much the rest has been maintained equal.

The very fact that companies and other organizations and agencies keep spending lots of money in advertising is in itself a sign that this method achieves the desired objectives.

What is true for advertising of products is also true of advertising of ideas, propaganda, which was literally what I explored in my article, i.e. an atheist advertising campaign in Britain.

The population of a country like Britain had been exposed, until the 1950s, to an education following the values of Christian ethics, which centre around self-discipline and self-constraint in all areas of life, not just sexuality as it is vulgarly assumed but also eating, drinking, shopping and spending, drug taking, personal relationships, and so on in every sphere.

Atheism, a religion people join to look smarter


In the last 5-6 decades the British population has been subjected to a politically Leftist, anti-clerical, militant atheist propaganda and bombarded with messages similar to and pointing in the same direction as those described in my article.

God does not exist, therefore enjoy your life and live for today: commenters who criticize my piece for making the connection between atheism and absence of ethical thinking (ethics requires exactly that, going beyond the "now" and instant self-gratification) overlook the fact that Leftist, militant atheists are the first to make that connection, as evidenced in this particular bus and train advertising campaign.

Some, more ascetic people, in seeing those slogans, may have thought of a different kind of enjoyment, but the vast majority will have understood right in thinking that it was an invitation and encouragement to a relaxation in sexual behaviour, which Christianity rightly sees as covered by ethics but atheist moral philosophers, like Peter Singer who has influenced Richard Dawkins, do not.

Here is what Peter Singer, one of the main contemporary proponents of atheist ethics, writes on pages 1 and 2 of his book Practical Ethics (Amazon US), (Amazon UK) , when giving the basic foundations of his ethical system:
Some people think that morality is now out of date. They regard morality as a system of nasty puritanical prohibitions, mainly designed to stop people having fun...

So the first thing to say about ethics is that it is not a set of prohibitions particularly concerned with sex. Even in the era of AIDS, sex raises no unique moral issues at all. Decisions about sex may involve considerations of honesty, concern for others, prudence, and so on, but there is nothing special about sex in this respect, for the same could be said of decisions about driving a car. (In fact, the moral issues raised by driving a car, both from an environmental and from a safety point of view, are much more serious than those raised by sex.) Accordingly, this book contains no discussion of sexual morality. There are more important ethical issues to be considered. [Emphasis added]
For a utilitarian like Singer, a consequentialist moral philosopher, to so easily neglect the specific consequences of sex, the human activity that leads to the conception of children, is an incredible mistake.

Throughout this period from the '50s to now Britain has experienced a vast rise in the incidence of teenage pregnancy, illegitimacy, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, divorce, abortion, broken families, multiple marriages, fatherless children, eating disorders, overeating, obesity, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, over spending, obsessive shopping, indebtedness, sexual child abuse, neglect of the elderly, loss of sense of community, individual isolation, and more.

To argue that there is no causal connection between these two sets of events stretches credibility way too far.

Try to bombard people for decades with the message: "People have been telling you that in the morning you should get up from the right side of the bed. Well, they were wrong. People who say that are superstitious, pervert ignoramuses. We are on the right side of history, on the side of progress, have science in our support and we tell you that you should get up from the left side of the bed".

The human mind is very plastic, malleable, flexible and adaptable.

If, after half a century of people's hearing this message continuously repeated in overt or subtle ways in their living rooms from the TV, in cinema screens, classrooms and college halls, in newspapers, political, academic, entertainment and indeed any public discourse, even on billboards on buses and trains, would you be surprised if people who had always got up from the right side of the bed eventually get up from the left, and would you not see that the first set of phenomena caused the other?

There could be other concomitant causes too, there always are in sociological events of a certain complexity, but atheist, anti-Christian, anti-ethical propaganda is undoubtedly a major one.

The reader aLeRGya also makes a reference to the Catholic Church's so-called "paedophile" scandal, which is nothing of the sort and will be treated in a future article.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Do Entitlements Come before Safety?




Boston Bombing Could Reset National Political Debate:
Although it's unclear who was responsible [UPDATE: This was written before there were suspects], the Boston bombings are likely to again place terrorism at the top of the national agenda and put President Obama to the test as a leader in a time of crisis.
He has already been put to the test numerous times, and he failed them all. How many tests do you want?
The reality is that Obama's response is likely to define his administration and, more important, help determine whether Americans feel safe in their own country for the foreseeable future.
At the presidential election most voters preferred freebies to safety. Now we see the results. Obama is perfectly capable of spending lots of money his government does not have to give people the full benefit of a big welfare state but is totally incapable of fighting Islamic terrorism.
If the incident turns out to be terrorism, Obama will never be able to repeat the mantra that predecessor George W. Bush's supporters used in describing his administration's efforts to protect the homeland after 9/11: He kept us safe.
The way to keep the West safe is not to stage wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else in the Muslim world, but to expel Muslims from Western countries and prevent them from entering our borders again. There is terrorism only in countries with a Muslim population. Muslim-free countries have no terrorism.
Monday's incident was the first big bombing in the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. U.S. officials acknowledge that some potentially serious incidents were foiled, and there was a mass killing which many defined as an act of terrorism in November 2009. That's when Army Major Nidal M. Hassan fatally shot 13 people and wounded 30 more at Fort Hood, Texas.
In the UK, as well as in the USA, there would have been many more Islamic terrorist attacks if the security services and police had not constantly kept an eye on the Muslim "communities".

Will this new atrocity on American soil serve as a wake-up for people?
About an hour before the Boston bombings, I happened to be interviewing Republican pollster Bill McInturff about the political climate, and he made a prescient comment. "A president's agenda often gets hijacked by big events" that demand his attention and change his priorities, McInturff told me. This could be what happens in the wake of the Boston tragedy.
Will American people now realize that Barack Hussein Obama is not the right man for the job?

We Need More Leaders like Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013

Among the people who complained about the cost of Margaret Thatcher's funeral (and on this I happen to agree with them, especially in these financially hard times) are also some of the protesters, the "hate mob" at the funeral, who in fact increased those costs by indirectly forcing more security measures.

This tells you a lot about the Leftists, in particular it exposes the difference between what they say and what they do.

This funeral cost duplicity is in perfect parallel with the hypocrisy of claiming to be compassionate and wanting to help the working class people while implementing all the policies that harm them, whereas Maggie Thatcher actually benefitted them.

As former Tory minister Kenneth Clarke recalled during the TV debate Question Time, it would not have been possible to make those necessary changes introduced by Thatcher in a different, softer, more compromising way. It had already been attempted by as many as three previous prime ministers - Callaghan, Wilson, Heath - without success.

The opponents' position was too entrenched, rigid and unwilling to compromise to be able to allow that. Changes could occur only in the manner that Lady Thatcher enforced them, due to the opposition's inflexible stance.

Liberal Democrat politician Menzies Campbell reminisced that, during the era before Thatcher, bodies were left unburied, people went to sleep at night without knowing whether the next morning they would have water, electricity, gas: all this because of the continuous, interminable strikes.

Kenneth Clarke, in the UK network Channel 4's documentary Margaret: Death of a Revolutionary, has a colourful way to express how super powerful trade unions were: they grabbed the country by its cojones and, when they wanted something, they squeezed more and more until they got it.

The UK had become a socialist country. Pre-Thatcher, when it was called "the sick man of Europe", Britain was the country with the highest level of nationalization of its economy, and consequently one of the poorest, outside the communist block. It was on the brink of social and economic ruin.

Almost everything had been nationalized: telecommunications, steel, energy, water, electricity, gas, mines, car, bus and lorry industries, aircraft manufacturing, airports, transport, travel companies like Thomas Cook. A man could spend his whole day without ever being in contact with private industry, but only using state-owned or state-manufactured products and services.

The state-based economy was bringing the country to collapse. Founded on monopoly, in the absence of competition, there was no incentive to win the customers over and nobody was held accountable for making (or not) the system efficient, productive and profitable. Managers did not worry if there were problems. If companies lost money instead of making it, no sweat: that's what taxpayers' money was for, to compensate for the losses.

Maggie changed all that, privatized industries, closed down those that were over subsidized, unprofitable and damaging to the economy. As a result:
According to the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), the state companies went from costing the Treasury an average of £300m each a year in subsidies to contributing between £3.3bn and £5.8bn a year in corporation tax from 1987 onwards.
Political consensus had been tried and failed. As we know, Baroness Thatcher stood up to the quasi-omnipotent unions and won. The British society, including the working class, in the long term was better off because of her interventions.
Thatcherism worked. Take one (of course imperfect) measure: ONS figures suggest the economy grew by 3.03 per cent a year in the 1950s, 3.18 per cent a year in the 1960s, 2.07 per cent in the 1970s, accelerating back to 3.09 per cent in the 1980s under Thatcher, before expanding by 2.77 per cent in the 1990s (when her legacy largely remained) and by 1.77 per cent in the 2000s.
The report of the LSE growth commission is emphatic: by the late 1970s, the UK had been left behind, with US GDP per capita 40 per cent higher than Britain’s and the top European economies 10-15 per cent ahead. By 2007, however, UK GDP per capita had overtaken France’s and Germany’s and reduced significantly the gap with the US, a position which hasn’t really changed since, despite the US and Germany’s better performance over the past couple of years.
In the days before Maggie Thatcher there was no social mobility, society was not meritocratic and did not let individuals express their full potential.

If the father was a plumber, the son would be too, and the grandsons, and so on for all generations.

If a working class person had ambitions, s/he could do nothing, there was no way for him/her to climb the social ladder out of the housing estate where this person was born. In fact, the Left objected to aspirational working class people, considering them arrogant for wanting to break the uniformity of egalitarianism.

But after the advent of the Iron Lady people from low background with entrepreneurial skills could and did become rich, including in the City, whose doors she opened to everyone, beyond dynasties and old school ties.

There is no doubt that not just Britain, but every country needs many, many more politicians like Thatcher, now - it would seem - more than ever, but the question that is foremost in my mind is: if Maggie were Prime Minister now, would she deal with the immigration, and particularly the Muslim, issue the way she dealt with union leaders, strikes and Left opposition?

Nobody can know the answer to that, given the different times, circumstances and prevailing ideologies: no-one, for instance, called her "racist", which these days is a cardinal sin, an anathema, a fate worse than death, at most she was a "milk snatcher" which does not sound half as bad.

But what we do know is that we need a political leader who will address Islam, the seemingly intractable "unions" issue of today, the way she addressed them.

Friday, 12 April 2013

John Lydon against Thatcher Hate Mobs

John Lydon will not dance on Margaret Thatcher's grave


Surprisingly, who came to the defence of Margaret Thatcher but John Lydon?

He used to be Johnny Rotten, the singer of the '70s punk group Sex Pistols, that released the single "Anarchy in the UK" and mocked the British national anthem in their song "God Save The Queen".

He said: "I'm not happy about the boo boo parties":
'When someone dies, give them respect. Enemy or not. I can't be listening to folk who do that.

'What kind of politics are they offering me? You dance on another person's grave? That's loathsome.'

But as to whether he would be watching an TV coverage of Baroness Thatcher's funeral, he said: 'I might have something better to do.'

He added: 'Her politics were really dreadful and derisive [sic] and caused a great many issues for me when I was young, for all of us trying to go through that.

'But that don't mean I am gonna dance on her grave, as they say. I'm not that kind of person.

'I was her enemy in her life but I will not be her enemy in her death. I am not a coward.'

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Either Europe Will Become Christian Again or It Will Become Muslim

Magdi Cristiano Allam being baptized by Pope Benedict XVI at the time of his conversion to Catholicism

Only a few days ago one of the best known figures of the Italian counter-jihad, Egyptian-born journalist Magdi Cristiano Allam, a former Muslim who converted to Catholicism, announced that, although he remains Christian, he has left the Catholic Church.

In his column in the daily paper Il Giornale he gave several reasons, prominent among which is "Because this Church is weak vis-à-vis Islam":

What more than anything else drove me away from the Church is its religious relativism, in particular the legitimization of Islam as true religion, of Allah as true God, of Muhammad as true prophet, of the Koran as sacred text, of mosques as places of worship. It is genuine suicidal madness that John Paul II went so far as to kiss the Koran on May 14, 1999, Benedict XVI put his hand on the Koran praying toward Mecca in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul on November 30, 2006, while Francis I began by extolling the Muslims "who worship one, living and merciful God." On the contrary I am convinced that, while respecting Muslims who, like all people, possess the inalienable rights to life, dignity and freedom, Islam is an inherently violent ideology, as it has historically been conflictual inside and belligerent outside. Even more I am increasingly convinced that Europe will eventually be submitted to Islam, as has already happened from the seventh century to the other two sides of the Mediterranean, if it does not have the vision and the courage to denounce the incompatibility of Islam with our civilization and the fundamental rights of the person, if it does not ban the Koran for apology of hatred, violence and death against non-Muslims, if it does not condemn Sharia law as a crime against humanity in that it preaches and practices the violation of the sanctity of everyone's life, the equal dignity of men and women, and religious freedom, and finally if it does not block the spread of mosques.

This news has attracted national and worldwide media attention, just as the announcement of his conversion from Islam to Catholicism on 22 March, Easter Eve night, 2008 did, when he "received Baptism, Confirmation and Communion in St Peter's Basilica from Pope Benedict XVI".

Allam's position has several Italian (and international) counter-jihad blogs sympathetic to it, carrying articles with titles like Islamic Fundamentalism and the Impossible Dialogue.

But his new decision to leave the Church has also attracted many criticisms in Italy. Journalist Filippo Savarese: "I do not know what could be worse than repudiating one's conversion for (alleged) issues which are in fact mostly 'political'." Politician Maurizio Lupi who was Allam's godfather: "I am sorry, but Christianity taught me to love the freedom of every man and to respect it even when I do not agree with his choices. In this case not even with the reasons (we are Christian for love of truth not for aversion to Islam), but I notice that, unfortunately, this is the attitude of many who say they accept Christ but not the Church".

Gabriele Satolli, candidate to the 2013 Italian general election for the party founded by Allam, Io Amo l'Italia, left the party, calling Magdi's motivations "raving, and therefore impossible to agree with".

Still, although we may dispute whether they are a good enough reason to leave the Catholic Church, Allam's arguments are grounded in reality.

"Having a dialogue" is by definition a reciprocal verb, as "being a sibling". They mean something only if what is true of the subject of the verb is also true of the object, be it a quality, relationship or activity. When a call for dialogue is not met with a response, it is a monologue.

As Raymond Ibrahim points out, the Muslim countries with some of the worst records on their treatment of Christians are also the most interested in interfaith initiatives in the West:

Few things offer surreal experiences as when Islam and the West interact—when 7th century primordialism encounters 21st century relativism. Consider the issue of “interfaith dialogue.” In principle, it is a decent thing: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others trying to reach a common ground and professing mutual respect. But what does one make of the gross contradictions that emerge when a human-rights violating nation calls for “dialogue,” even as it enforces religious intolerance on its own turf?

Enter Saudi Arabia. Birthplace of Islam, the Arabian kingdom is also the one Muslim nation that regularly sponsors interfaith initiatives in the West—even as its official policy back home is to demonize and persecute the very faiths it claims to want to have an interfaith dialogue with.

There are different positions within the Catholic Church with regard to Islam, with a minority of voices, some of which powerful, dissenting from the official stance.

The two positions at the extreme opposites are exemplified by the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who was Archbishop of Milan, and Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, Archbishop of Bologna.

The former is credited with having anticipated many bishops of Italy and Europe in stretching out an acquiescent hand towards Islam. As early as 1990 he dedicated his Saint Ambrose homely to "We and Islam". In 2001, after 9/11, his Saint Ambrose homely had a title that substituted a clear stance with a list of concepts: “Terrorism, retaliation, self-defence, war and peace”.

On Islam, the most difficult issue of the decade, as well as on many other questions, Martini's position has always been the search for a grey area, a balancing act: “We have to prevent the dramatic scenario of a clash of civilizations”, qualified by “We must not delegitimize the right to self-defence from terrorism and the need to extinguish its hotbeds”.

It is interesting how, replicating the ideological and political alliance between Islam and the Left in the Western lay world, Cardinal Martini, considered a progressive and constantly praised by the mainstream liberal media, was after his death eulogized by the leftist newspaper La Repubblica for having approved of policies ranging “from dialogue with Islam to yes to condoms” and because “he had never condemned euthanasia”.

Writer and blogger Antonio Socci thus sums him up rather unfavorably:

"Everything imposed by ideological fashions found Martini open to dialogue and to all possibilities: 'there is nothing wrong in two people, even homosexuals, having a stable relationship and in the State favouring them', he had said."

At the other end of the spectrum is Cardinal Giacomo Biffi. As early as 30 September 2000, before 9/11, when not many people in the West worried about Islam at all, he delivered a speech at the Fondazione Migrantes seminar, "On Immigration". The following is what he said on Muslim immigration to Italy and Islam:

The case of Muslims

If we do not want to evade or censor realistic attention, it is apparent that the case of Muslims should be treated separately. And it is hoped that political leaders will not be afraid to face it with open eyes and without illusions.

Muslims - in their vast majority and with few exceptions - come here determined to remain alien to our "humanity", individual and social, in its most essential, valuable, "secularly" non-renounceable aspects: more or less openly, they come here determined to remain substantially "different", waiting for us all to become substantially like them.

They have different eating habits (not in itself a big problem), a different holiday in the week, a family law incompatible with our own, a concept of women very far removed from ours (going as far as practicing polygamy). Above all, they have a strictly fundamentalist view of public life, so much so that the perfect identification between religion and politics is part of their unquestionable and inalienable faith, although they prudently wait to become predominant before imposing it. It is therefore not the Church, but modern Western states that must think carefully about this.

I shall say more than that: if our state seriously believes in the importance of civil liberties (including religious) and democratic principles, it should work to make them more widespread, accepted and practiced at all latitudes. A small tool to achieve this goal is the request of being given a not purely verbal "reciprocity" by the immigrants' countries of origin.

In this respect the Italian Bishops Conference wrote in 1993: "In many Islamic countries it is almost impossible to adhere to and freely practice Christianity. There are no places of worship, non-Islamic religious events are not allowed, not even minimal ecclesiastical organizations exist. That raises the difficult problem of reciprocity. And this is a problem that affects not only the Church, but also civil society and politics, the world of culture and even international relations. For his part, the Pope is tireless in asking everyone to respect the fundamental right to religious freedom" (n. 34). But - we say - asking does not help very much, even if the pope cannot do any more.

Although it may seem alien to our mentality and even paradoxical, the only effective and not unrealistic way to promote the "principle of reciprocity" by a really "secular" state, truly interested in propagating human freedoms, would be to allow for Muslims in Italy only the authorization of institutions which Muslim countries actually allow for others.


Conclusion

In an interview ten years ago, I was asked with great candor and with enviable optimism: "Are You among those who believe that Europe will either be Christian or cease to exist?". I think my answer then may well serve to conclude my speech today.

I think - I said - that either Europe will become Christian again or it will become Muslim. What I see without future is the "culture of nothing", of freedom without limits and without content, of skepticism boasted as intellectual achievement, which seems to be the attitude largely dominant among European peoples, all more or less rich of means and poor of truths. This "culture of nothingness" (sustained by hedonism and libertarian insatiability) will not be able to withstand the ideological onslaught of Islam, which will not be missing: only the rediscovery of the Christian event as the only salvation for man - and therefore only a strong resurrection of the ancient soul of Europe - will offer a different outcome to this inevitable confrontation.

Unfortunately, neither "secularists" nor "Catholics" seem to have so far realized the tragedy that is looming. "Secularists", opposing the Church in every way, do not realize that they are fighting against the strongest inspiration and the most effective defence of Western civilization and its values of rationality and freedom: they might realize it too late. "Catholics", letting the knowledge of the truth they possessed fade in themselves and replacing apostolic anxiety with pure and simple dialogue at all costs, unconsciously pave the way (humanly speaking) to their own extinction. The only hope is that the seriousness of the situation may at some point lead to an effective awakening both of reason and of the ancient faith.

It is our hope, our commitment, our prayer.

Written in 2000. All predictions confirmed. Truer, if possible, now than it was even then.

Effects of Atheist Propaganda Come Home to Roost

Ariane Sherine, Richard Dawkins and Polly Toynbee in front of a London bus displaying the atheist advertising campaign

The seeds of nihilism are sown...


I have a suggestion for militant atheist cum zoologist Richard Dawkins about a British (although it has now got to America as well) TV program to watch, that is bound to lift his spirit: The Jeremy Kyle Show.

There he can see exactly the kind of society he is trying to promote and propagate.

People who appear on the show have been living the sort of life which was advertised for £140,000 on billboards all over buses and underground trains across England, Scotland and Wales, in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York, Leeds, Newcastle, Dundee, Sheffield, Coventry, Devon, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Swansea, Newport, Rhondda, Bristol, Southampton, and Aberdeen a few years ago for weeks, with the message: "There's probably no God... now stop worrying and enjoy your life": campaign and message that Dawkins totally endorsed.
She [little known comedy writer Ariane Sherine, that the article calls the "brains" behind the campaign] said she wanted to promote her own message that people can believe whatever they wanted. [It certainly takes a great brain to come up with such a formidable idea.]

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in central London, Ms Sherine said the sheer number of donations received had demonstrated the strength of feeling in the UK.
Obviously a vast number of people are never so happy as when they are encouraged to do just exactly whatever they like and indulge in any fancy they may have, reassured in the belief that this is the right course of action by "luminaries" and intellectual authorities à la Richard Dawkins, with the full backing of science, no less, behind this highly satisfactory claim.

The consequences of choices and actions, though, pace Dawkins and that superb "brain" of Ms Sherine, are not just in the afterlife but in this one as well.




...and the fruits are harvested

And the consequences of the "stop worrying and enjoy your life now" lifestyle, when embraced by large swathes of society, can be calculated at the time of the Budget and seen as a form of public entertainment in TV broadcasts like The Jeremy Kyle Show (undoubtedly there are many similar others).

The show's guests have "enjoyed" their lives all right, if by "enjoyment" we intend overeating (this they do not need to declare, you just have to look at them, especially the women), booze, drugs, not working, and above all - by far the most frequent reason that brings them to this TV production which promises them solutions, therefore indicating that this is what has the most serious consequences in their lives - sexual promiscuity.

The expressions, usually uttered by Kyle, "unprotected sex" and "unsafe sex" are sprinkled all over the chats, which are in fact rows and shouting matches. Hearing those phrases makes me shudder. The very fact that we have come to see sexuality as an activity that has to be treated with surgical gloves, that we need to put the mechanistic, physical, even medical, aspects ahead of everything else - because there is little else left - shows our society's general confusion and failure in its sexual ethics.

The show is a carousel of different people who are in fact all the same, exactly like a rotating carousel always represents the same figures.

They need the program to pay for two, recurrent types of test: DNA paternity and lie detector.

Uncertainty about who fathered whom reigns supreme, as about who cheated with whom, how many times and to what level of sexual intimacy: the DNA test is hoped to help with the former, the lie detector with the latter.

Here we have the dream of Richard Dawkins made reality in the flesh of the underclass: no God, no rules, no certainty, no faith, in particular no faith in other people.

Who needs faith when we have science? And who needs trust in a relationship when we have the products of science in the form of DNA paternity test and lie detector test?



Immigration Is Killing Sweden's Welfare State

Fires and police during a disturbance in Rosengård, a district of Malmö home to a high concentration of immigrants, Sweden


Swedish Professor Karl-Olov Arnstberg and sociologist/journalist Gunnar Sandelin are about to publish a new book about the alarming situation and consequences of immigration in Sweden. They submitted an op-ed about it to every major Swedish mainstream media outlet, and all without exception refused to publish it. Exactly as the article says, “this is an issue that is not to be discussed.”

That immigration, whose main merit, apart of course from the cultural "enrichment", was always trumpeted by the multicultists and the Leftists as the economic benefit it would bring to the host countries, has in reality been bleeding European economies and exacerbating the unemployment of the indigenous populations, is becoming increasingly evident.

So much so that someone has proposed that European countries have enough justification to expel Third World immigrants, particularly Muslims, on financial grounds alone.

Prominent German journalist Udo Ulfkotte has made it clear: "Muslim immigrants in Germany up until 2007, Dr Ulfkotte explains, "have taken 1 billion euros more out of our social welfare system than they have paid into our system". To give a better idea of the magnitude of this figure and put it into perspective, he adds that the total debt of the German government is 1.7 billion euros. Expelling Muslims, therefore, will help Europe fight its financial crisis."

Somali immigrants in Sweden

The article about the new Swedish book described above has been translated by Gates of Vienna, and is really worth reading. Here are the most interesting excerpts:
Sweden is set to burst — the question is when

The welfare state will fall apart within a few years if this situation is allowed to continue. But this is an issue that is not to be discussed.
...
Sweden cannot cope with this much immigration

A professor of ethnology and a sociologist/journalist: Swedish politicians have lost control of immigration. The costs are escalating, the housing situation is desperate, unemployment is on the rise and segregation may be described as dramatic.

In 2012 the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) issued approximately 111,000 residence permits.
...
Many illiterates

Immigration has gradually changed. An earlier wide spectrum of immigrants has been replaced by asylum seekers from mainly Muslim countries such as Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan. These asylum seekers are ill-equipped for life in the high-tech Swedish society. Employment statistics show that over 60 percent of the new arrivals and their relatives have a very “rudimentary education”, which means that many of them are actual or practical illiterates. This makes it particularly difficult for them to find employment. According to Eurostat, only 2.5 percent of the jobs are available for them [based on their qualifications — translator] compared with other EU countries where jobs for workers without any formal qualifications amount to 17 percent. This means that there are extremely few jobs on offer for asylum seekers and their dependents who are allowed to stay in Sweden. As a result, the already large employment gap of 27 percent between domestic-and foreign-born persons aged 25-64 is increasing (SCB, 2012). The prestigious English magazine The Economist noted in February that a large proportion of the non-European immigrants that are allowed to settle in Sweden end up living on the dole.

21 percent are refugees

Every asylum seeker is described as a “refugee” by the media. This is not true, because the definition of “refugee” is tied to the Geneva Convention and the Immigration Act. Of all the asylum seekers that were allowed to stay in Sweden under Fredrik Reinfeldt’s prime ministership, up until 2013, only 21 per cent were refugees. If we go as far back as 1980 the corresponding figure is considerably lower, only 10 percent.
...
In recent years the number of individuals that have managed to obtain family reunification visas is three times higher than those that have been granted political asylum. The majority of the family reunification applications involves newly established relationships. In other words, it’s not family reunification per se, but rather partners who are being brought over from the applicants’ former homelands. It should also be noted that Sweden, as far as we’ve been able to determine, is the only country that allows welfare recipients to bring over relatives to Sweden who are also very likely to end up living on welfare. The general rule in the rest of Europe is that anyone who brings over family members or partners is financially responsible for them. According to Minister of Immigration Tobias Billström, fewer than one percent of those that are issued with family reunification visas manage to provide for themselves.
...
Rikskriminalen (National bureau of Investigation) estimated in 2010 that approximately 90 to 95 percent of all the asylum seekers that arrive in Sweden were aided by human traffickers. The asylum seekers come mainly from Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. The traffickers provide believable refugee stories that the asylum seekers can present to the immigration authorities. Asylum seekers are also advised not to show passports or other appropriate ID documents. Subsequently almost nine out of ten applicants have at the time of application not produced a valid passport to Swedish authorities. The refugee policy cannot be referred to as a humane policy as long as Sweden keeps eroding the right of political asylum for the truly needy by granting political asylum to people who are unable to reveal their true identity and their true intentions.
...
In September 2012 fifteen local Social-democratic politicians in the Stockholm region raised the alarm about the housing situation... The reason, of course, was a severe lack of housing... But it’s not just the lack of housing that is problematic. If we leave the Stockholm area and take a look at Katrineholm, the Social Services statistical database shows that of the foreign-born citizens in the city, which in 2011 accounted for 14 percent, 67 percent were on municipal income support. This is a representative figure. In 2011 the foreign-born living on income support (including establishment allowance) were over-represented on the statistics by a factor of 8.6 (or 860 percent), compared to native Swedes.

What is the cost of the immigration?
...Associate Professor of Economics Jan Tullberg, who teaches at the Stockholm School has, in our upcoming book Invandring och mörkläggning (Debattförlaget) [“Immigration and blackout”, Debate Publisher], upgraded the costs to just over three per cent of GDP, which is around SEK 110 billion per year. This is almost half of the overall cost of Swedish health care, or an additional annual net income of SEK 23,000 per employed person.

Tullberg believes that Sweden should curb immigration and do more to get the unemployed back into the workforce. The labour migration from outside the EU / EFTA states largely confirms this: In the last four years, according to the Swedish Migration Board, 43 percent of all the job migrants come to perform unskilled work, while at the same time half a million people are unemployed in Sweden.
...
When Tobias Billström, the only politician in the government [willing to speak out], suggested that “we need to discuss volume”, i.e. the amount of immigration, he was met by massive media criticism and was not even supported by his own party leader. There is only one possible conclusion. Unless the trend described above is altered, Sweden’s status as a welfare state will soon be history.