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IW News Brief: Morsi's U.S. Allies, Ramadan Recap, and More
by David J. Rusin • Aug 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm
The following are some of the recent developments covered in the IW database:
American Brotherhood mobilizes for Morsi
Ever since the military deposed Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, U.S. Brotherhood-linked groups have been working to resurrect the ousted regime. Beyond statements from the likes of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urging President Obama to condemn the army's crackdown and stop aid, U.S. Brotherhood entities have launched pro-Morsi demonstrations disguised as nothing more than apolitical calls for democracy and human rights. Multiple Islamist-run rallies have taken place in Washington. At a news conference preceding one on August 10, a receptionist even admitted to an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) researcher that it was a Brotherhood gathering. On August 16, CAIR-Connecticut held events to "restore democracy and the rule of law in Egypt," and Houston branches of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and Muslim American Society (MAS) descended on Egypt's consulate.
The IPT's John Rossomando exposes their hypocrisy: American Islamists now decry "the undermining of democracy and the suppression of freedom of expression in Egypt," to quote ICNA, but they "failed to express similar concern when Morsi's regime engaged in its own violence and repression against dissidents." CAIR leaders defended Morsi's dictatorial power grab last year and reflexively backed his government when popular resistance erupted in June. Rossomando concludes that such groups' "loyalty to their Islamist ideology and to their Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood compatriots comes ahead of an even-handed approach to human rights."
The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, which ended in early August, sparked controversies that highlight Islam's growing footprint in the West. Two memorable items emerged from Britain: Channel 4 became the first mainstream TV station to broadcast the call to prayer each morning, a move that it described as an act of "provocation" meant to reshape views of Islam. Further, in a case of forcing observance on others, a non-Muslim student at Portsmouth's Charles Dickens Primary School accused a teacher of denying him water because it would be "unfair" to drink in front of fasting Muslim pupils unable to do so. The school's deputy head later apologized.
Many familiar Ramadan themes reappeared in 2013: Per recent tradition, some non-Muslims voluntarily fasted in solidarity. Officials and academics legitimized Islamists by attending iftars (fast-breaking meals) hosted by them. Institutions from the German army to a Finnish refugee center adjusted menus and schedules. Pope Francis led the annual interfaith outreach by issuing "heartfelt greetings to dear Muslim immigrants" now overrunning Italy's island of Lampedusa, and a Virginia church reportedly invited Muslims to pray there, even removing the pews from its chapel. For more, see Soeren Kern's Ramadan wrap-up or browse the holiday section of the IW archive.
English soccer team stands firm in uniform dispute
Newcastle United, an English Premier League soccer club, refreshingly did not cave when one of its star Muslim players, Papiss Cissé, objected to a new uniform carrying the logo of Wonga, a payday loan company. Shari'a, he said, would forbid him from advertising a business that profits from lending money. With support from the players association, Cissé requested that he be permitted to don a special shirt without the branding, but United refused to budge. After Cissé was forced to train on his own and did not join teammates on a preseason tour, he finally gave in. The lesson: when faced with excessive demands for religious accommodation, try saying no.
More often than not, however, the world's most popular sport bends to Muslim sensibilities. Indeed, Newcastle United itself created a prayer room for Muslim players earlier this year. Germany's FC Bayern Munich also agreed to build a "mosque" at its stadium. Furthermore, soccer's international governing body recently dropped its headscarf ban. For additional examples of Islam's advances on the pitch, see Soeren Kern's overview from 2012.
A cafeteria worker at Queen Edith Primary School in Cambridge, England, was fired after serving pork to a Muslim. Alison Waldock claims that she asked seven-year-old Khadija Darr if she wanted gammon (cured meat from a pig's hind legs). Darr accepted, but the headteacher, who insists that it was "not a one-off" act of cultural negligence by Waldock, managed to intervene before the child could eat it. "I feel the school and catering company made me a scapegoat so they can't be seen as politically incorrect," Waldock explained. Even Muslim spokesmen criticized the "overreaction."
Feeding kids in multicultural Britain is no picnic. Another dinner lady got the sack this year for providing "non-halal meat" at Birmingham's "halal-only" Moseley School. Also, a Muslim father threatened to sue the Strong Close Day Nursery in Keighley because his son had eaten ham and "non-halal chicken." As a result, many schools in England — and elsewhere — are nixing pork entirely. Needless to say, suspicions were raised when Sunset Elementary School in Brentwood, Tennessee, recently warned that "no meats containing pork" would be allowed as snacks. After complaints and speculation about motives, parents were told to ignore the memo.
* * *For additional news and analysis, please visit the IW website.
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Saturday, August 31, 2013
Posted by solsticewitch13 at 8:27 PM
Published on Aug 31, 2013
Video of the start of the big Harley parade in Milwaukee during the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Lots of great bikes and riders.
Video of the start of the big Harley parade in Milwaukee during the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Lots of great bikes and riders.
Posted by solsticewitch13 at 3:10 PM
Posted: 30 Aug 2013 12:22 PM PDT
Before you read the article below, I'd like to give you some background about the author. Henri Boulad has been a Catholic priest for over 40 years in Egypt. He's now 82 and still writing and speaking worldwide. He has long spoken out about the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries, and about living as a non-Muslim in a Muslim country. A man of courage and integrity, caring, warm and intelligent, he speaks the truth from his lifetime of experience.
The Poor, Persecuted Muslim Brotherhood!
by Henri Boulad, SJ, Cairo, August 17, 2013
The entire Western world is outraged, offended and scandalized because the Egyptian Army has dared to dislodge the Muslim Brotherhood from the two bastions of Rabia and Nahda, where they had been barricaded for several weeks. Bottom line: more than six hundred dead in the two camps.
In no time at all, the right-thinking Western media uttered cries and whimpers asking the Security Council and international human rights associations to condemn this savage aggression with the utmost firmness.
The poor Muslim Brothers! Victims of violence! Those gentle lambs, well known for their sweetness and innocence! The object of unacceptable brutality. Consequently, it’s a duty to defend them against the devouring wolves of the Egyptian army and police. The USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, the UN...then, should rise as one man to denounce injustice, defend those innocents, and invite the world to fly to their rescue. The international media instantly leapt upon Pegasus to charge at the guilty ones…
This lifting of shields to claim and proclaim the right of all citizens to protest "peacefully" has something tragicomical about it.
Consider the facts:
1. The Rabaa mosque, where the Brothers were holed up was a real armory where an incredible arsenal of war was discovered. No denunciations from the West.
2. For weeks, the Brotherhood’s militias, armed to the teeth, sowed terror among the whole population of Egypt: killings, abductions, kidnappings, ransom demands, abductions and rape of girls forcibly married to Muslims. No reaction from the West.
3. More than 20 police stations looted and burned; nearly fifty policemen and officers killed and tortured in the most savage way. Silence from the West.
4. Sufi mausoleums destroyed and Shiite families massacred raise NO international emotion.
5. Some 50 churches, schools and Christian institutions burned in the single day of August 14. No protest on the part of the West.
6. Priests and Christians attacked and killed — including children of tender age — for the sole reason that they were Christians. No Western denunciation appeared which might be accused of "Islamophobia", which today is the crime of crimes.
7. Nearly 1,500 people massacred by Morsi militias during its one-year reign. Silence from the media.
8. Secret agreements from Morsi to sell Egypt, piece by piece to its neighbors: 40% of the Sinai to Hamas and the Palestinians, Nubia to Omar al-Bashir, and the western portion of the territory to Libya... This is a gift for the West, since it is their doing…
When Egypt finally decides to react and put some order in the house...the West cries ‘persecution’, ‘injustice’ and ‘scandal’!
It’s a secret to no one that the presidential elections were a broad farce and that the election was tainted by massive fraud. Nevertheless, the media persisted in asserting that Morsi was the first president in Egyptian history to be 'democratically' elected and that he achieved 'legitimacy'.
The Egyptian people are easy to blame, since they agreed to play this game, saying to themselves: ‘Let’s see what they actually do.’ The result was so catastrophic — insecurity, unemployment, inflation, bread and gasoline shortages, the economy in free fall, moribund tourism — that at the end of one year the entire population requested Morsi to clear out.
Within two months, the Tamarrod movement collected more than 22 million signatures calling for his departure. In vain! Facing his obstinacy, tens of millions of Egyptians — the majority of which were the humble people who had been his former supporters — turned out on the streets of major cities to demand his departure. Still in vain!
The Army — neutral until then — decided to intervene to support the people and toss the bums out, keeping them under house arrest. During long hours of interrogation, the Army got revelations of exceptional wrongdoings that compromised both the Muslim Brotherhood and a number of foreign countries.
Faced with the Army’s power grab, the West immediately cried ‘coup d’état’. If it had been a ‘coup d’état’, it was a ‘people’s coup’, rather than military one. The Army had merely acquiesced to the will of the people. The people were fed up with a president who had betrayed, flimflammed and hoodwinked them, and they reacted with a survival reflex, calling for his departure.
A delightful little story illustrates what I am saying. A guy buys a can of something at the grocery which, once opened, appears to be spoiled. What’s he going to do? Eat it or toss it? Toss it, obviously.
It's kind of what did the Egyptian people did after Morsi and the Brothers promised the moon and the stars. Once the can was opened, they realized that it was all rotten. And so they reacted by rejecting them.
Following Morsi’s house arrest, the Army still wanted to have the Muslim Brotherhood contribute to the new Government, offering them to team up with other parties. That met with systematic and stubborn refusal.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts of dialogue and negotiations with them, a new provisional government was set up.
It was then they decided to go underground and sow terror; in this they were highly successful. But this strategy has only increased their unpopularity and we can say today that the Egyptian people despise and abhor them.
Equipped with the most sophisticated weapons, the Brothers are everywhere burning, attacking, killing, destroying…
The Army then decreed a State of Emergency and imposed a curfew from sunset to sunrise. But the Muslim Brotherhood considered themselves exempt from compliance. Yesterday, August 16, in my room near Ramses Avenue and Ramses Square (that were swarming with their militias), I heard explosions, single shots and submachine gun fire from the surrounding streets.
After several warnings to young people to go home, the Army decided to send in tanks to enforce the curfew. Seeing the collateral damage, well-thinking Westerners indicted the Army for having the nerve to attack 'peaceful’ demonstrators!
Whom are they trying to kid?
Posted by solsticewitch13 at 1:15 PM
Published time: August 23, 2013 12:00
Edited time: August 23, 2013 13:31
Edited time: August 23, 2013 13:31
Water tanks are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture (Reuters/Noboru Hashimoto)
Japan’s nuclear regulator has concluded that the Fukushima nuclear plant’s operator was inadequate in its inspection of radioactive water tanks after news of yet another leak. TEPCO earlier admitted it will now require international help.
On Friday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa visited the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to inspect the ongoing radioactive cleanup efforts. Fuketa’s comments follow those of the NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka, who earlier this week worried that the makeshift giant radioactive containers were prone to failure.
"Fundamentally, for a facility holding that kind of radioactive water, they did not take action that foresaw the risks of possible leaks," Fuketa said at a press briefing in Hirono. "On top of that – and this is an impression I had before my visit – I can't help but say that the inspections were careless."
The plant operator said on Thursday that a new radiation spill has been detected near the storage tanks, which sparked fears of newer leaks before the old ones had been dealt with.
Furthermore, the company has been accused of failing to properly document inspections, leading to misspent resources and problems cropping up that should have been noticed before, according to Fuketa.
Japan has decided to raise the gravity of the latest Fukushima leak to Level Three, which is considered a “serious radiation incident” on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) for radiological releases. The most dangerous, Level Seven, has only been applied twice – for the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 and for the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima plant.
TEPCO has also now admitted it will be seeking international expertise to help out with the leaks.
"Many other countries outside of Japan have experienced decommissioning reactors, so we hope we can consult them more and utilize their experience,” TEPCO’s vice-president, Zengo Aizawa, said at a news conference on Wednesday night.
"In that sense we need support - not only from the Japanese government, but from the international community - to do this job."
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it was ready to help out, if needed, and that it viewed the situation “seriously,” just as China was saying it was “shocked” to hear that radioactive water leaks are still continuing. The neighbor has urged Japan to provide it with information “in a timely, thorough and accurate way.”
Almost two-and-a-half years since a lethal combination of a tsunami and an earthquake crippled the power plant and caused a multitude of subsequent problems, TEPCO is faced with its most serious problem yet. This is after the recent discovery that radioactive water has been leaking from the plant’s storage tanks into the Pacific at an alarming rate of 300 tons a day.
An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its contaminated water storage tanks (bottom) in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 20, 2013. (Reuters/Kyodo)
Numerous contingency measures have been thought of for the problems that keep cropping up continuously in different parts of Fukushima – including leaking radioactive water, as well as a danger that Reactor 4 would collapse on itself. The structure holds upwards of 1,300 nuclear fuel rods containing 14,000 times the amount of radiation that the Hiroshima bomb released.
A never-before-attempted operation is in the works. It will involve the manual removal of nuclear fuel rods from Reactor 4 by way of a manually-operated crane – not by computer. Any mistakes could lead to contamination on an unprecedented scale. All this is happening at a time when the soil beneath Reactor 4 is slowly sinking.
The tanks, which are used to keep the coolant that prevents the damaged reactors from overheating dangerously, are considered to be unsuitable because they were made for other industrial purposes. They were adapted following the emergency, but they are nearly full.
TEPCO estimates that it has already reached 85 percent capacity, although plans to create a more permanent facility have so far not materialized. The latest leak was the fifth time that toxic water escaped from a basin.
The operator has been slow in measuring the levels of radioactive elements that have flowed out of the station, as well as publishing its data. TEPCO finally revealed this month that highly unsafe tritium and cesium levels had been detected in the seawater near the plant. A concentration of these elements could damage the marine environment and build up in marine life, possibly endangering humans further up the food chain.
The catastrophe of March 11, 2011, caused the meltdown of nuclear fuel rods at three of the plant’s reactors, leading to a contamination of air and sea, as well as crippling the region’s agriculture and fishing activities, gravely damaging the economy for years to come. On top of this, costs required for the cleanup, as well as to sustain the nation’s needs and compensation payouts, are projected to be in the billions – a fact that has recently caused the Japanese government to step in and start contributing money to TEPCO’s efforts.
The Fukushima nuclear meltdown has been called the worst radioactive event since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. And with protracted cleanup efforts expected to last decades, by multiple estimates, any misstep could lead to a cascading chain of dangerous radioactive events, fallout researcher Christina Consolo told RT. She made special reference to the upcoming operation for the manual removal of fuel rods from Reactor 4.
Posted by solsticewitch13 at 10:29 AM