Sterling Heights mosque

Michigan Mosque Delayed as Local Community Files Lawsuit

For background see our earlier post, here. And, take note that the Obama U.S. Attorney who sided with the mosque builders was one of those asked to resign by President Trump a few days ago.

From Leo Hohmann at World Net Daily (Christians who escaped persecution in Iraq are fighting back!):

The saga of the 21,000-square-foot mega-mosque in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is not over yet.

The mayor and city council voted Feb. 21 to settle a lawsuit by a Shiite Muslim group and allow it to build a mosque in a residential neighborhood populated largely by Chaldean Christian refugees who escaped Islamic persecution in Iraq.

Nahren Anweya

A companion suit against the city by Barack Obama’s Department of Justice alleging the city had denied the mosque a permit based on “anti-Muslim” sentiments in the community was also settled at the Feb. 21 meeting, paving the way for the mosque to start construction.

But the counter-lawsuit filed Monday argues that city officials were actually favoring the Shiite Muslims of neighboring Madison Heights while ignoring the wishes of its own citizens who were overwhelmingly against the mosque.

If built, the American Islamic Community Center, or AICC, will become the third mosque in Sterling Heights.

Second DOJ-imposed win for Muslims in less than year

It was the second bitter mosque battle in Southeastern Michigan in less than a year.

Obama’s DOJ forced a madrassa on Pittsfield Township, near Ann Arbor, and that town had to pay out $1.7 million to the mosque while sending township employees to be trained on how not to discriminate against Muslims.

After the contentious Feb. 21 meeting in Sterling Heights in which the mayor ordered police to empty the city-hall chambers before the council took a vote on the mosque deal, WND reported that the Chaldean Christians were upset and talking about a counter-lawsuit.

On Monday, they acted. They had Ann Arbor-based American Freedom Law Center, or AFLC, file a civil rights suit on their behalf against the city and Mayor Michael C. Taylor, alleging violations of state and federal law.

“The mayor and the corrupted personal interests behind him have outraged a community which is comprised of the largest minority Assyrian/Chaldean Christians from Iraq,” said Nahren Anweya, spokeswoman for the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians in Sterling Heights. “This minority group consists of more than four generations of refugees and genocide victims under radical Islam.”

Nahren Anweya, “This minority group consists of more than four generations of refugees and genocide victims under radical Islam.”

CAIR crows and threatens:

Dawud Walid, CAIR Michigan.

When the city agreed to settle the suit and allow the mosque to be built, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said the victory for the mosque should teach Michigan cities a lesson.

“We hope that this settlement, along with last year’s settlement in Pittsfield Township regarding a previously blocked Islamic school project, sends a strong message to city governments in Michigan seeking to deny zoning of religious institutions simply because they are led by Muslims,” said CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid.

An attorney for the AICC mosque, Azzam Elder, threatened to “monitor” local residents he felt were Islamophobic.

“Moving forward, we’re very concerned about some of what you’ve seen at the public hearings with some of the residents,” Elder told the Detroit News. “We’ll be monitoring what we feel (could be) potential hate groups.”

Hohmann’s story is very thorough.  I have only snipped a small portion of it, go here to learn more.

Besides the lawsuit, I’m thinking that the citizens there might follow the Rutland model and work very hard to remove (at the ballot box!) the elected officials who caved!

One of the great and lasting legacies of a naive federal refugee program is that the US State Department and its contractors have placed Middle Eastern groups who have been in conflict for centuries in close proximity to each other in American cities assuming, we can only presume, that their religious conflicts will melt away in the great (mythical?) American melting pot.

Learn more about CAIR Michigan’s Dawud Walid here: http://www.investigativeproject.org/2438/dawud-walid-unhinged#

RELATED ARTICLE: Michigan: Muslims fear “undercover” Christian missionaries in Dearborn coffee shop

M-103

Canadian poll: Only 14% like anti-Islamophobia motion M-103

Very good news is coming out of Canada, despite the forcefulness of the “anti-Islamophobia agenda” and the slackness of Liberal immigration policy, which has led to unvetted asylum seekers streaming into Canada from the U.S.

A new poll out by Forum Research reveals that only 14% of people support M-103, the anti-discrimination motion put forward by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid that singles out so-called Islamophobia.

Another poll has shown that 74 percent of Canadians want to see a “Canadian values” screening test for immigrants.

Any truly reformist Muslim should reject “anti-Islamophobia” initiatives, which are an element of the stealth Islamization of the West. Canada’s anti-Islamophobia motion M-103 is a follow-up to another motion, e-411, which was passed in parliament in October. E-411 “suggests that attributing terrorism to Islam is Islamophobia.” It stated:

We, the undersigned, Citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to join us in recognizing that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam, and in condemning all forms of Islamophobia.”

No one should be making declarations in the Canadian parliament about who represents Islam. Motion e-411 omits discussion of Muslim Brotherhood strategies for the Islamization of the West via peaceful means. For instance, Dr. Ewis El Nagar’s preaching that the Islamic ruling on slave girls was not abrogated would not appear to place him into the category of “extremist individuals” as defined by e-411, yet preaching such Sharia doctrines clearly is calling for violation of Western laws.

Liberal MP Raj Grewal revealed an ominous intention of the “anti-Islamophobia” motion during the M-103 parliamentary debate of February 15, 2017:

“One of the most important things about the motion that Canadians should understand is that it encourages a committee to collect data and to present that data in a contextualized manner so we, as members of Parliament elected to this chamber, can study it and propose laws.”

“Propose laws.” Part of the argument in support of M-103 was that it was not in the form of a bill, but Grewal has now clearly stated that it is intended to guide attitudes and help in formulating policies that lead to legislation.

Western nations should not be allowing the imposition of religious edicts upon its citizens. The “Islamophobia” scheme of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to silence the freedom of speech in the West and impose Sharia blasphemy laws is no secret.

“Nobody likes M-103, new data reveals”, by Anthony Furey, Toronto Sun, March 13, 2017:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is crying “Islamophobia” after his government ministers weren’t allowed to campaign in the Netherlands over the weekend in support of his bid to expand his presidential powers.

It’s just another reminder of why this vaguely defined buzzword should never be officially recognized by Western governments.

Thankfully, the vast majority of Canadians also see it this way. A new poll out by Forum Research reveals that only 14% of people support M-103, the anti-discrimination motion put forward by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid that singles out so-called Islamophobia.

Most respondents want to see some sort of change to the wording that brings it in line with suggestions made by Conservative MPs to either mention all religions or none. When broken down by political support, even 71% of Liberals are against the motion’s wording.

Nobody seems to like M-103. And you can’t blame them.

The main argument I’ve made against it is that the term is ripe for abuse. In many countries, “Islamophobia” is criminalized, used to punish apostates or critics of Islam.

Every year, Canada welcomes tens of thousands of people from these countries. While many are coming to escape such nonsense, others will be acclimatized to a broadly-defined “Islamophobia” and support its aggressive application here.

Erdogan’s use of the term is nowhere near as robust as how some Middle Eastern countries employ it.

But it’s still troubling given the context. Turkey has become increasingly Islamist in recent years. Since Erdogan first became prime minister over a decade ago, the federal religious affairs directorate has greatly expanded its budget and overseen the construction of 10,000 new mosques.

While the headscarf was once banned in the public service, it’s now encouraged and even worn by women for career advancement. The Economist notes the governing party has a “subtle but relentless Islamising influence”.

Last summer’s coup, if it had been successful, would have likely put an end to this religious encroachment. Previous coups, like the most recent in 1997, had similar goals.

Instead, Erdogan is now consolidating and expanding his powers. Government ministers are flying around Europe to cities with significant dual national populations, who are eligible to vote in next month’s constitutional referendum, to hold pro-Erdogan rallies. This understandably makes European politicians a tad bit nervous.

The Netherlands incident is far from the first time Erdogan has cried the “I” word. Last year he told CNN he supported “an official declaration that Islamophobia is a crime against humanity”. And right after Brexit he said it was Islamophobia that was keeping Turkey out of the EU.

A couple of weeks ago, German police conducted raids on the homes of four Muslim clerics who were accused of spying on behalf of the government. Religion was only a peripheral component in the police action, yet that didn’t stop the head of Turkey’s religious affairs directorate from denouncing it as “Islamophobia-based hatred.”

Make no mistake about it: There is a correlation between Erdogan’s stance against alleged Islamophobia and his power play to expand Turkey’s Islamist agenda. And it’s not a pleasant one.

Islamophobia is weaponized language and, whether this was Khalid’s intention or not, Canada’s legislators are being asking to give it a stamp of approval.

One of the biggest arguments the motion’s enablers push forward is that M-103 is no big deal because it’s just a motion. Yes and no. It does call for a committee study that creates a pathway to legislation……

RELATED ARTICLES:

‘I shot the police’: Text message sent by ‘Radicalised Muslim’ who shot at cops before grabbing an officer’s gun at Paris Orly airport and being killed

Paris: Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” slits throats of father and son, cops search for motive

Quebec imam says Islamic ruling allowing slave girls is still in force

“You are the future of Europe”: Erdogan urges Turks in EU to have at least 5 kids

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

wilderspvv

Media spins Dutch election as loss for Geert Wilders, who is actually stronger than ever

“Geert Wilders and the Real Story of the Election: The patriotic revolution continues,” by Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage, March 16, 2017:

The Dutch Labor Party used to dominate Maastricht. The ancient city gave its name to the Maastricht Treaty that created the European Union. In this election, the Labor Party fell from a quarter of the vote to a twentieth.

Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, which advocates withdrawing from the EU, is now the largest party in the birthplace of the European Union.

And the growing strength of the Freedom Party can be felt not only on the banks of the Maas River, but across the waterways of the Netherlands. A new wind of change has blown off the North Sea and ruffled feathers in Belgisch Park.

In The Hague, where Carnegie’s Peace Palace hosts the World Court while the humbler Noordeinde Palace houses King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, the internationalist institutions colliding with the nationalist ones, the United Nations rubbing up against the Dutch parliament and Supreme Court, the Freedom Party has become the second largest party despite the 15% Muslim population.

In Rotterdam, where Muslim rioters shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and anti-Semitic slurs and where Hamas front groups are organizing a conference, the Freedom Party is now the second largest political party. In that ancient city on the Rotte that had the first Muslim mayor of a major European city, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of the Labor Party who was being groomed for Prime Minister, estimates are that Labor fell from 32 percent to just 6 percent. That is strikingly similar to what took place in Maastricht.

But nearly half of Rotterdam is made up of immigrants. Muslims make up 13% of the population. But turnout hit 72% and after the Muslim riots, the Freedom Party only narrowly trails the ruling VVD.

The Freedom Party has become the largest party in Venlo while the Labor Party has all but vanished.

And that is the real story of the Dutch election.

The truly final results will only be known next week. But the current numbers show that the Freedom Party has become the second largest political party in Parliament having gained five seats while the Labor Party has disastrously lost 29 seats.

Labor hit a post-war low. The media is spinning this as Prime Minister Rutte’s defeat of Geert Wilders, but the Labor half of the Second Rutte Cabinet just went up in flames. VVD lost quite a few seats, but remains the largest party only because so much of the overall vote had dissipated. Rutte will now have to awkwardly build an unstable coalition out of four parties just to avoid dealing with Wilders.

It is quite possible though that Rutte will be trading the somewhat moderate Labor for GroenLinks which was formed out of, among others, the Communist Party of the Netherlands. When the media cheers that the “moderates” have defeated that terrible extremist, Geert Wilders, what they aren’t mentioning is that the alternative “moderate” coalitions may include the daughter party of the Communist Party.

The election was, in a sense, always rigged. The political system of the Netherlands fragments the vote and then puts it back together in government coalitions. The demonization of Wilders and the PVV was meant to ensure that even if his political party had won a majority, it would not have been allowed to form a government. And so Wilders won more by being in the second spot than by achieving the majority that some polls had predicted, while leaving the PVV unable to form a government.

Despite the attempts to kill it, smear it and destroy it, the Freedom Party continues to rise. And its enemies are being forced to respond to its ideas. The dangerous campaign by Turkey’s Islamist butcher, complete with threats and intimidation, helped Rutte salvage his government. But not his coalition.

The centrist politics that made Rutte’s government possible are imploding. The decline of Rutte’s VVD and Labor is an unmistakable rejection of the status quo. The gains in this election flowed to parties further out on the spectrum on the right and the left. The traditionally moderate Dutch are losing their patience. The polarization is eliminating the center and replacing it with some hard choices.

Geert Wilders and the PVV remain the embodiment of that choice.

Wilders had spoken of a “Patriotic Spring” sweeping the West. After the election, he said that the election results were a thing to be proud of. “The Patriotic Spring continues onward. And it has only begun.”

The media’s celebrations may also be badly misguided for another reason. In the wake of Brexit, the media largely forgot how it had mocked UKIP and Farage as failures. But a political party doesn’t always have to win elections to have an impact. Rigging the system against UKIP didn’t keep the UK in the EU. Instead it ultimately had the opposite effect. Keeping Wilders and the PVV down may backfire.

Geert Wilders has fundamentally changed the conversation about Islam and immigration. And the political parties of the Netherlands are increasingly reacting to him. Wilders took an election in a country whose political shifts are generally of little interest to those living outside it and made it a matter of international interest. His courage and common sense have made him into a world leader.

Wilders had the courage to defy the assassins and murderers, the politically correct scolds and the bleeding hearts, the pallid men and women who counsel moderation in all things and at all times, to tell the truth about Islam and Islamic migration. That is what he will go on doing even as he lives under threat. And his courage inspires opponents of the Jihad in the Netherlands and around the world.

This election was an erosion of faith in the establishment and a show of support for Wilders. To become Prime Minister Wilders, the PVV will either need a truly massive victory or a fundamental change in the political environment. Wilders understands this. He knows that the role of his party is to fight a failing establishment. Everything he does builds support and momentum for either of the two roads.

The media is cheering a defeat that never happened. And just as with Brexit, it may find that it had overlooked the seeds of its own destruction in the dirty politics of its own making.

“This patriotic revolution,” Geert Wilders said, “whether today or tomorrow, will take place anyway.”

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Geert Wilders’ Post-election Statement: ‘The Genie cannot be put back in the bottle’

Iran deal architect is now running Tehran policy at the State Department

Turkish Foreign Minister: “Religion wars will soon begin in Europe”

geert wilders black and white

Geert Wilders’ Post-election Statement: ‘The Genie cannot be put back in the bottle’

geert wilders party logoDear friends,

Yesterday, the Party for Freedom (PVV) gained 33% and rose from 15 to 20 seats. That is a result to be proud of. However, Prime Minister Rutte won the elections, despite losing 8 seats.

We were the third biggest party, but now we are the second biggest party in the Dutch Parliament and a major political force. I promise you: Next time we will be first! The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

I assure you: We will not stop trying to save our beautiful country, the Netherlands, our European civilization and our Western freedoms.

We are grateful for the interest and sympathy of freedom loving people all over the free world. And we will continue to inform you about our efforts and progress in the years ahead.

As ever,

Geert Wilders

dutch parties seats

merkle

Germany spent more than $21 BILLION on refugees in 2016 — crisis outstrips state budgets

Yet still Merkel refuses to change course, and wants to bring in still more Muslim migrants. She seems to be hell-bent on the destruction of Germany. She must be voted out, or she will achieve her goal.

“Germany ‘spent more than €20bn on refugees in 2016’ as crisis outstrips state budgets”, by Lizzie Dearden, Independent, March 10, 2017:

German states spent more than €20bn (£17.5bn) on refugees in 2016, government figures have indicated as Angela Merkel continues to come under pressure for her policy on migration.

Statistics seen by The Independent for the states of Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse and Berlin show that the cost of housing and integrating asylum seekers has far outstripped official predictions.

The Bundestag’s statistics service has listed a total spend of over €7bn (£6bn) for those four states alone in 2016, meaning the nationwide figure is likely to be far higher.

Johannes Singhammer, Vice President of the German parliament, told Die Welt: “[The figures] show that if the costs are added up for all federal states, around €23bn (£20bn) has probably been spent on migrants and refugees in 2016.”

The four states recorded have taken around a third of asylum seekers currently living in Germany, where more than a million have arrived since the start of the refugee crisis in 2015.

Berlin set aside €685m (£600m) for accommodation, unaccompanied minors, integration programmes, healthcare, language lessons and other projects but spent around €1.3bn (£1.1bn) in total – almost double the budget.

The state of Bavaria spent €3.3bn (£2.9bn), Hesse €1.6bn (£1.4bn) and Schleswig-Holstein €783.7m (£685.9m).

A spokesperson for the Bundestag’s statistics authority said a complete report would be made public when other states had calculated their spending.

An official survey conducted in December 2015 predicted that federal states would spend €17bn (£15bn) on dealing with the refugee crisis in the following year but with a huge backlog of asylum claims and difficulties with deportation, costs have spiralled beyond expectations.

Germany’s government has drawn up a new package of refugee funding for state authorities, as well as plunging money into new housing construction to prevent migrants sleeping in emergency accommodation like school gymnasiums and military barracks.

Despite the huge financial cost of the ongoing crisis, Germany’s federal government announced a budget surplus of €6.2bn (£5.4bn) last year.

The unprecedented number of refugees arriving in 2015 generated a huge backlog of claims that civil servants are still working to clear, with more than 430,000 cases outstanding at the start of 2017.

Thomas de Maizière, the German interior minister, said about 55,000 migrants returned home voluntarily, compared with 35,000 in 2015, while another 25,000 were forcibly deported….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

muslim woman french flag

Trump is right: France is no longer France

“Paris is no longer Paris,” U.S. President Donald Trump recently said. A few days later, the New York Times ran a story entitled “As France’s Towns Wither, Fears of a Decline in ‘Frenchness.’” But the liberal newspaper refused to testify about the real metamorphosis of the French landscape. That is perfectly summarized by a book entitled Will the Church Bells Ring Tomorrow?, in which Philippe de Villiers writes that France, the “eldest daughter” of the Catholic Church, is turning into the “eldest daughter of Islam.”

Trump was right. A 2,200-page report, entitled “Suburbs of the Republic,” commissioned by the French think tank Institut Montaigne, explained that suburbs are becoming “separate Islamic societies,” where sharia has overcome French secular rule. The French Interior Ministry called these “Priority Security Zones,” and they include heavily Muslim parts of Amiens, Aubervilliers, Avignon, Béziers, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Perpignan, Strasbourg, Toulouse and many other towns. French mayor Robert Menard has been dragged into court for saying that Muslim classrooms are “a problem.” The more the problems get bigger in France, the more the system punishes those who point out what is happening.

muslims praying france

Muslims praying in streets of Paris.

France has ceased to be “la lumiere du monde,” a light unto the world, as it was called a long time ago. And it is indeed also no longer the eldest daughter of the Church; it is caught between two fires: a phony secularism and Islam.

Avignon is no longer “the city of Popes,” but “the republic of the Salafis,” as it has been called in a recent Paris Match article. In many parts of the city, women who do not wear the veil cannot leave the house, alcohol is forbidden, men go around in djellabas, and some imams support the Islamic State. “The farther I walked between the buildings, the more I was stunned,” a Paris Match reporter wrote. “A courtyard of Islamist miracles, a Salafist pocket, an enclave that wants to live as people did during the times of Muhammad. A bakery, a hairdresser, building managers, teenagers. All (or almost all) overcome with the Koran. Well, their Koran. It is a mini Islamic Republic.” That is the real change that the New York Times should have denounced.

In Creteil, in the heart of a middle-class neighborhood of Paris, there is the “mosque of convertì.” Every year, 150 ceremonies of Muslim conversion are performed under an 81-meter-high minaret, a symbol of the strong presence of Islam in France. Vesoul, in the Midi, is nicknamed the “French Raqqa,” since a group of high school friends left to fight in Syria, and during the day, in some neighborhoods, one can hear the Islamic muezzin instead of Christian bells.

In the Breton village of Hédé-Bazouges, you hear what de Villiers calls “the clergy in the djellaba,” the muezzin’s call to prayer. Roubaix is not only famous for the Paris-Roubaix cycling race, but also as one of the Salafists’ centers, as denounced by Gilles Kepel. In Trappes, Muslims make up around 60% of the population; this is the electoral bastion of Benoît Hamon, the Socialist candidate in the French presidential elections. Catholics and Jews are hiding their identities for fear of reprisals from Islamic supremacists. “In Trappes, the French Republic no longer exists; this is a town ruled by Islamists, jihadists, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists,” said Alain Marsaud, a former anti-terrorist investigating magistrate. 50 Muslims left Trappes for Syria.

Saint-Denis, the cradle of French Catholicism, where the kings of France rest, has been called “Molenbeek-sur-Seine,” after the name of Brussels’ terror hub. Le Figaro Magazine published a story by the journalist Rachida Samouri, who infiltrated in Saint-Denis to talk with the French Muslims who support ISIS. “In Raqqa, the French are at home: the second most spoken language after Arabic is French. In the streets, ISIS spreads terror, and the French are the worst, they threaten and beat women if their face is not hidden by the niqab, or if they make any noise with their shoes. The noise of the heels of a woman is considered a sin.” In Châteauneuf-sur-Cher, a town of 1,500 inhabitants in the heart of the Loire, a group of Muslims live in accord with the sermons of an imam who invited all the faithful to abandon the cities to move to the French countryside and create pure “Muslim villages.” It is happening everywhere. In Saint-Uze, a town of 2,000 inhabitants in the south of France, the parents of a Muslim family of six children refuse to send their children to the “infidels’ schools.”

But there are not only the Salafists. Tariq Ramadan and other Islamic preachers daily appeal to the French Muslim masses through mosques and schools, conquering minds and hearts through televisions, books and rallies. The magazine Valeurs Actuelles called it “the quiet conquest”: “Its ambition is clear: changing French society. Slowly but surely.”

Comparing the weekly frequency of attending a mosque on Friday and a church on Sunday, the scenario is clear: 65% of practicing Catholics are over the age of 50. By contrast, 73% of practicing Muslims are under 50. The trend indicates that in France, there are three young practicing Muslims for every young practicing Catholic. There are nearly 2,400 mosques today in France, compared to 1,500 in 2003: “This is the most visible sign of the rapid growth of Islam in France,” according to Valeurs Actuelles. In the last 30 years, more mosques and centers for Muslims have been built in France than all the churches built in the last century. Observant Catholics, the famous “Catholiques pratiquants,” have become an eccentricity.

After Father Jacques Hamel was murdered inside his church in Normandy, Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke about the need to build new mosques to train imams, while Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve suggested a new pact between the state and Islam. The French authorities have up to now refused to wake up.

French philosopher Pierre Manent, not Donald Trump, wrote in his book La situation de France that “we are witnessing the extension and the consolidation of the domain of Muslim practices, rather than its shrinking or relaxation.” This will be the central issue of the next French presidential campaign. Islam looms not only in the French elections, but also in Europe’s future.

ABOUT GIULIO MEOTTI

Giulio Meotti, cultural editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author. He is the author of three books: A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism (Encounter Books); J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel (Mantua Books), and La fine dell’Europa, about the Christian and demographic decline in Europe. He is a columnist at Arutz Sheva and his writings have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, FrontPage, Commentary, and The Geller Report.

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Paris: Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” slits throats of father and son, cops search for motive

Quebec imam says Islamic ruling allowing slave girls is still in force

“You are the future of Europe”: Erdogan urges Turks in EU to have at least 5 kids

Refugee resettlement contractors “whipsawed” says New York Times

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.
saudi-deputy-crown-prince-and-Trump

Saudi prince hails Trump as ‘strong President’ in fight against ‘dangerous’ Iran

“Saudi Arabia had viewed with unease the administration of US President Barack Obama, whom they felt considered Riyadh’s alliance with Washington less important than negotiating the Iran nuclear deal….The deputy crown prince viewed the nuclear deal as “very dangerous,” the senior adviser said, adding that both leaders had identical views on “the danger of Iran’s regional expansionist activities.”

Obama’s close and highly suspicious dealings with Iran include, in addition to the Iranian deal, as much as $33.6 billion in secret payments facilitated by the Obama administration, according to testimony provided before Congress. The Free Beacon also reported that the Obama Administration surrendered over $10 billion in gold, cash and other assets to Iran since 2013.

A senior adviser to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised the meeting in a statement:

the meeting today restored issues to their right path and form a big change in relations between both countries in political, military, security and economic issues.

That glowing optimism may need to be toned down. Iran has earned its reputation as a rogue state, but Saudi Arabia is problematic too. Reports of a Saudi Arabia/Islamic State alliance have been ongoing, despite the so-called Saudi “friendship” with the West.

In 2010, Saudi Arabia was identified as “the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism” and was said to be “unwilling to cut off the money supply.” Even Hillary Clinton, who — according to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — has accepted Saudi donations, said “in a secret memorandum that donors in the kingdom still ‘constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide’ and that ‘it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.’”

“SAUDI PRINCE: TRUMP A ‘STRONG PRESIDENT’ IN FIGHT AGAINST DANGEROUS IRAN”, Reuters, March 15, 2017:

WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia hailed a “historical turning point” in US-Saudi relations after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted the two leaders’ shared view that Iran posed a regional security threat.

The meeting on Tuesday appeared to signal a meeting of the minds on many issues between Trump and Prince Mohammed, in a marked difference from Riyadh’s often fraught relationship with the Obama administration, especially in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“This meeting is considered a historical turning point in relations between both countries and which had passed through a period of divergence of views on many issues,” a senior adviser to Prince Mohammed said in a statement.

“But the meeting today restored issues to their right path and form a big change in relations between both countries in political, military, security and economic issues,” the adviser said.

Saudi Arabia had viewed with unease the administration of US President Barack Obama, whom they felt considered Riyadh’s alliance with Washington less important than negotiating the Iran nuclear deal.

Riyadh and other Gulf allies see in Trump a strong president who will shore up Washington’s role as their main strategic partner and help contain Riyadh’s adversary Iran in a region central to US security and energy interests, regional analysts said.

The deputy crown prince viewed the nuclear deal as “very dangerous,” the senior adviser said, adding that both leaders had identical views on “the danger of Iran’s regional expansionist activities.” The White House has said the deal was not in the best interest of the United States.

Iran denies interference in Arab countries.

PRAISE FOR TRUMP

The meeting was the first since Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration with the prince, who is leading the kingdom’s efforts to revive state finances by diversifying the economy away from a reliance on falling crude oil revenues.

Under the plan, which seeks to promote the private sector and make state-owned companies more efficient, Riyadh plans to sell up to 5 percent of state oil giant Saudi Aramco in what is expected to be the world’s biggest initial public offering.

The two leaders, who discussed opportunities for US companies to invest in Saudi Arabia, kicked off their talks in the Oval Office posing for a picture in front of journalists.

US Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, chief of staff Reince Priebus and strategist Steve Bannon were also present at the Oval Office meeting with Prince Mohammed.

The meeting also appeared to illustrate support for some of the most contentious issues that Trump has faced since taking office on Jan. 20.

On a travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries, the adviser said Prince Mohammed did not regard it as one that was aimed at “Muslim countries or Islam.”

Earlier this month Trump signed a revised executive order on banning citizens from Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Libya from traveling to the United States but removed Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the court

Trump’s travel ban has come under criticism for targeting citizens of several mainly Muslim countries. The senior adviser said Prince Mohammed “expressed his satisfaction after the meeting on the positive position and clarifications he heard from President Trump on his views on Islam.”

The senior adviser said the leaders discussed the “successful Saudi experience of setting up a border protection system” on the Saudi-Iraq border which has prevented smuggling.

Trump has vowed to start work quickly on the barrier along the nearly 2,000-mile US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing to the north….

RELATED ARTICLES:

Obama Adviser on Iran Worked for Pro-Regime Lobby

Federal judge blocks new Trump travel ban

Former jihadist turned Christian evangelist warns of educational jihad against West

CIA

VIDEOS: Why We’re Being Watched by Kelly Wright

Wikileaks has just published over 8,000 files they say were leaked from the CIA, explaining how the CIA developed the capacity to spy on you through your phone, your computer, and even your television. And Wikileaks’s Julian Assange claims these “Vault 7” documents are just one percent of all the CIA documents they have.

The media will be combing through these for weeks or months, so now is a perfect moment for us to reconsider the role of privacy, transparency, and limited government in a free society.

We’ve put together a quick list of the six best Learn Liberty resources on government spying and whistleblowing to help inform this discussion.

1. War Is Why We’re Being Watched

Why is the US government spying on its citizens in the first place? Professor Abby Hall Blanco says that expansive state snooping at home is actually the result of America’s military interventionism abroad:

2. Is Privacy the Price of Security?

Yes, you may think, the government is snooping on us, but it’s doing that to keep us safe!

That’s the most common justification for sweeping and intrusive surveillance, so we held a debate between two experts to get right to the heart of it. Moderated by TK Coleman, this debate between Professor Ronald Sievert and Cindy Cohn, the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was inspired in part by the revelations about NSA surveillance leaked by Edward Snowden in June 2013.

3. Freedom Requires Whistleblowers

People are already drawing parallels between the Snowden leaks and the Vault 7 revelations. If the leaks are indeed coming from a Snowden-like whistleblower, that will once again raise the issue of government prosecution of people who reveal classified information to the public.

Professor James Otteson argues that a free society requires a transparent government, and whistleblowers play a key role in creating that accountability. Otteson also sounds a warning that should resonate with many Americans today:

Maybe you’re not concerned about the invasions of privacy that the federal government agencies are engaging in because you think, “Well, I haven’t done anything wrong. What do I have to fear?” Maybe you think, “I like and support this president. I voted for him.”

But what about the next president?  The powers that we let the government have under one president are the same powers that the next president will have too.

What if the next president is one you don’t support? He, too, will have all the power that you were willing to give the president you now support.”

4. Encryption Is a Human Rights Issue

Documents from Vault 7 suggest that the CIA has been so stymied by encrypted-messaging apps, such as Signal and Whatsapp, that it has resorted to taking over entire smartphones to read messages before they are sent.

That turns out to be a costly, targeted, and time-consuming business that doesn’t allow for mass data collection. But for decades, government officials have tried to require tech companies to give the government a backdoor into their encryption. In “Encryption Is a Human Rights Issue,” Amul Kalia argues that protecting encryption from government is essential to our safety and freedom.

5. The Police Know Where You Live

It turns out that it’s not just spy agencies that have access to detailed information about your life. Ordinary police officers have it, too, and they often face little supervision or accountability. As Cassie Whalen explains, “Across the United States, police officers abuse their access to confidential databases to look up information on neighbors, love interests, politicians, and others who had no connection to a criminal investigation.”

Surveillance is a serious issue at every level of government.

6. Understanding NSA Surveillance

If you’re ready to take your learning to the next level, check out our complete video course on mass government surveillance with Professor Elizabeth Foley. In it, you’ll learn what you need to know to make sense of the NSA scandal in particular and mass surveillance in general.

Reprinted from Learn Liberty.

Kelly Wright

Kelly Wright

Kelly Wright is an Online Programs Coordinator at the Institute for Humane Studies.

RELATED ARTICLE: Deterrence and Human Nature

geert wilders at protest january 23rd

Did Geert Wilders Win by Losing?

geert wilders party logoGeert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) lost in the March 15, 2017 elections to Mark Rutte of the conservative Freedom and Democracy VVD, who will be asked by King Willem to form a new ruling coalition government.

Rutte’s VVD won 32 seats, while Wilders’ PVV won 22 seats in the 150 seat lower house of the Hague parliament, the tweeder kamer.

While the PVV won second position in the general election results there is a razor thin margin over third place Christian Democrats (CD) which might change in the final vote tally. Wilders did win the port city of Rotterdam despite its Muslim mayor. Moreover the Dutch Labor Party (PDVA) took a shellacking.

Wilders touts that he won more votes than in 2012, while Rutte’s VVD lost 9 seats; 32 versus 41.

Wilders indicated he might join a coalition government headed by Rutte if asked. Rutte was fairly adamant during the campaign that he and other center parties would not invite Wilders and PVV. Wilders loss today ensures that a Rutte led government would remain in the EU. Wilders had proposed a NExit from the EU.

Rutte’s victory reflected his move to some of the nationalist and anti Muslim immigration positions of Wilders. That figured in his ousting one Turkish cabinet minister and denying the Foreign minister from holding rallies in the Netherlands seeking Dutch Turkish votes in a national referendum that wound confer executive powers on Turkish autocrat President Erdogan. Erdogan had accused Rutte of acting like “Nazi remnants” that the latter strenuously condemned.

Some analysts we had posted on thought that Wilders losing the Dutch Premiership may still have won reflected in the shift by Rutte and other parties to some of Wilders’ more nationalist and Dutch values views. Further, Wilders might have some leverage as Rutte is unlikely to enlist the vanquished Labor Party in order to reach the required 76 seats plurality to form a ruling coalition.

Hence the formation of the new government under Rutte’s third term as PM could take a while.

RELATED ARTICLES:

European Populism Not ‘Going Away’ Despite Dutch Election Result

Dutch Elections: Pyrrhic Victory As Mainstream Party Clings to Power

eiffel-tower-at-dawn-paris

JUST RELEASED: Troubled Dawn of the 21st Century

troubled dawn book coverA a chronicle from the turning point September 28-30 2000 to Gaza withdrawal and beyond January 2006.

“…a new world order is taking shape before our eyes. Will it be a world faithful to democratic values, and huddled under the umbrella of American military might, or a world delivered up to the logic of blackmail: we can do this to you because you don’t know how much we suffer and you can’t hit back at us because if you do we’ll send the whole world down the tubes. What is happening to Israelis today will happen to every one of us tomorrow.” – Troubled Dawn, April 2002

July 2000.

The Oslo Process reaches a dead end with the failure of the Camp David talks. What did you know about Islam then? September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon’s “provocative” visit to the Temple mount triggers riots in Israel. Two days later, an international blood libel, the “killing” of Mohamed Al Dura, breaks the taboo against genocidal Jew hatred. Did you know the scene was staged?

Al Aqsa Intifada! “Suicide bombers” go on a killing spree in Israel. In fact, they were martyrdom operations committed by shahids. The French called them kamikaze.

The floodgates opened, spewing murderous rhetoric and thuggish antisemitic violence worldwide. We were told peace process, national liberation, two-state-solution, and the Palestinian plight. Who knew that 9/11 was on the horizon? Did we understand why Israel and, by extension, the Jews were held responsible for endless atrocities committed against us? Accused of disproportionate force? What did I know about the history of jihad conquest?

American, Jewish, consecrated to the art of the novel, living in Paris since 1972, I found myself in the European heart of that upheaval. I set aside my literary research and focused on the 3-dimensional international novel unfolding before my eyes.

Troubled Dawn is the writer’s notebook I opened at that tipping point in contemporary history, my learning curve, a bildungsroman, a singular account of events as they unfolded. No retrospective reconstitution could ever convey the dramatic suspense of those years.

Perplexed, wounded, horrified by the power of the media and self-appointed experts to hone public opinion into a destructive weapon I forged my own tools to understand and resist those hostile forces. Hundreds of pages of notebook entries published here for the first time, interspersed with my earliest articles, trace my itinerary from an alarmed citizen to an internationally recognized journalist.

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may order Troubled Dawn of the 21st Century by clicking here.

Oh Canada

Canadians who want Immigrants Screened for ‘anti-Canadian values’ Attacked by Establishment Media

Monday’s headlines proclaimed “disappointment” and “concern” over a new CROP poll of Canadians’ attitudes toward immigration.

Despite the extraordinarily painstaking efforts by leftist leaders, the media and Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as the National Council of Canadian Muslims (former CAIR-CAN), all serving as thought police, Canadians are not quite that naive. Given the voluminous liberal outrage against the former Conservative party’s “Zero Tolerance Against Barbaric Cultural Practices Act” and the federal, provincial and municipal anti-Islamophobia agenda that is being forced upon Canadians, still Canadians support the screening of immigrants for “anti-Canadian values.” Yes, values screening. It is not racist, xenophobic, “Islamophobic” or any other kind of phobic to want to protect Canadian freedoms from sharia incursions, and, indeed, from barbaric practices from any culture. They have no place in Canada.

The article below states:

Of course we can’t empirically test for violent tendencies, misogyny and indolence. There are many good practical reasons not to pursue these policies.

We can however, implement a zero tolerance policy against barbaric practices that violate the constitution, and put an end once and for all to initiatives that potentially threaten the principles of a free society, such as “Islamophobia” initiatives. All such endeavors should be put to rest. The history of “anti-Islamophobia” drives are nefarious. They are being forced upon the West by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and have caused damaging divisions among Canadians. Muslims are protected by existing laws in the same way as is any other group: hate laws are already in place, and that is enough.

“Most Canadians support ‘values screening’ — which is neither surprising nor concerning”, by Chris Selley, National Post, March 13, 2017:

Monday’s headlines proclaimed “disappointment” and “concern” over a new CROP poll of Canadians’ attitudes toward immigration. “A majority of Canadians express concerns,” Société Radio-Canada declared on its home page. Notably, we learned that 74 per cent of respondents support implementing (as the pollsters put it) “a test of values to identify (potential immigrants) who have ‘anti-Canadian’ values.”

That’s Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s signature immigration proposal: personal interviews for all new immigrants; values screening; and passing the extra costs on to the new arrivals. This is by no means the first poll to find widespread support for the ideas. And one wonders how often we need to learn of it before we stop being shocked and disappointed — or even particularly concerned.

In theory, in isolation, the ideas are perfectly defensible. All immigrants got personal interviews until 2002. Immigrants pay all manner of fees throughout the process. And if we could somehow empirically test potential immigrants for violent tendencies, misogyny and indolence — three “anti-Canadian values” Leitch has suggested — then we surely would.

To hear some of Leitch’s opponents, you would think the idea of pushing “Canadian values” on immigrants — if not the very idea of “Canadian values” — was beyond the pale. Of course it is not. The “A Look at Canada” citizenship guide — the Liberal one, which the Conservatives replaced amidst apocalyptic howls — says Canadian values include equal rights, “respect for cultural differences,” “freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion,” and “law and order.” Being proud of “our international role as peacekeepers” is a Canadian value, it says.

Why push these supposed values on immigrants in book form, but not in person? Are they important or aren’t they?

Of course we can’t empirically test for violent tendencies, misogyny and indolence. There are many good practical reasons not to pursue these policies. The consensus among bien-pensant campaign watchers is that this is nothing more than a populist “dog whistle” appeal to nativists and xenophobes who believe immigrants are more likely to be violent, misogynist and indolent.

But most Canadians aren’t watching the campaign at all, and couldn’t pick Leitch out of a lineup. If you ask them whether Canada should screen immigrants for objectively undesirable traits, then of course most are going to say yes. It’s absurd to hold that up as evidence of a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment, especially when the poll in question provides plenty of evidence to the contrary: 78 per cent think immigration makes Canada a better place to live or makes little difference; 83 per cent think we have much to learn from other cultures; 79 per cent have no desire to see a Trump-style figure in Canadian politics.

If you were inclined to worry about anti-immigrant sentiment, there’s plenty you could latch on to in this 61-page poll that’s far more disquieting than support for “values screening.” But that’s the genius of a wedge issue like this: it provokes a level of outrage and condemnation that to those not following closely would seem unhinged, which in turn makes the policy and the candidate seem all the more reasonable by comparison.

“Leitch’s proposal to screen every immigrant and visitor is nothing but Donald Trump’s executive order, disguised as Canadian values, and crafted to keep Muslims out of Canada,” leadership candidate Deepak Obhrai said in a statement last week. He suggested it could incite racists to murder, such as in Kansas last month.

I’m disgusted by Leitch’s campaign and even I think that’s crazy. But more to the point, it won’t help. Fighting populism with hyperbole is like fighting fire with kerosene, and it’s strange how few anti-populists seem to realize this. If Leitch’s proposal weren’t surrounded by a bunch of exploding heads and people screaming “Trump! TRUMP!” at her, it would just be one silly, unpractical and unnecessary idea among dozens in play in this campaign.

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Canada: Hindus Confront Liberal MP Over Islamic Prayers in Schools, Blasphemy Law (video)

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Robert Spencer Video: Parents of People Killed by Muslim Hit Trump for Calling Murders Terrorism

christian persecution in america

University of Wisconsin-Madison students support religious freedom for Muslims, not for Christians

These interviews at the University of Wisconsin-Madison illustrate the stark double standard in American society — and likely in other Western countries as well: Muslims get preferential treatment, are judged by a different standard, and held to different expectations. Beyond the special treatment, Muslim migrants in Europe often get away with sex assaults, imams are frequently tolerated in their incitement to violence and hate speech against Jews, Christians and the West. The freedom of speech is being challenged and trampled upon so as not to offend Muslims. Little wonder that it is so difficult to fight what President Trump calls “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Here are some cases of abhorrent intolerance against innocent Christians for their beliefs:

Görtz Haus Gallery and bistro in Grimes, Iowa, was run by a Christian couple who lost their thriving business for refusing to participate in a gay wedding ceremony.

A devout Christian couple, Edie and David Delorme who own a bakery in Longview Texas, faced brutal threats and verbal abuse against them and their son after declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding, despite providing a list of other bakeries.

A municipal judge, Ruth Neely, faced losing her job and receiving a $40,000 fine after a local reporter asked her if she was happy about performing gay marriages and she said “no,” based on her Lutheran faith.

Missouri State University dismissed a student, Andrew Cash, from a counseling program because he expressed concerns about counseling gay couples due to his religious convictions.

A mechanic from Michigan faced death threats to himself and his family, and his business was vandalized after he posted on Facebook in opposition to homosexuality.

Meanwhile, a gay woman in Indiana created quite a commotion when she stood for religious liberty by publicly supporting the Christian-owned Memories Pizza in Indiana in its decision not to cater gay weddings. “One lesbian high school coach reportedly even tried to incite people to burn down the pizza shop.”

A couple of days ago, it was reported that “Satanist students at Clemson University” held a “Bible torching” and “live bloodletting and lamb sacrifice” to “commemorate” a new chapel. If such a despicable “ceremony” were held against Muslims, the blood-letting would be human blood, but the Satanist students know that: they would not dare offend Muslims for fear of the wrath of jihad coming upon them.

“WATCH: Students Support Religious Freedom for Muslims, Not Christians”, by Jerome Hudson, Breitbart, March 12, 2017:

Several students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison admit that Muslims should not be forced by law to do business with Christians. Those same students, however, had a hard time agreeing that Christians or conservative Americans have the right to decline work that conflicts with their conscience or religion.

In a viral video published by Arizona-based nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADL), students were asked if they support Sophie Theallet’s decision not to dress Melania Trump.

Several students agreed that Theallet — one of many fashion designers declining to dress the first family — has every right to refuse to dress Mrs. Trump.

The students were also asked if a Muslim singer solicited by a Christian church to sing had a right to refuse.

Again, the students agreed that the Muslim singer has a right to not sing in a Christian church.

“Yeah, if that goes against your religious view, I feel you have a right to turn that down,” one student said.

The students also said that a law forcing Muslims to sing inside a Christian church should not exist.

When asked if a Christian photographer should be allowed by law to decline to shoot a same-sex wedding, the students appeared torn.

“For them,” the ADL notes, “it seems that the freedom to live and work according to your beliefs really depends on what you believe.”

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Pakistan PM: Blasphemy “unpardonable sin,” international orgs should eliminate all blasphemous content

Tennessee files constitutional challenge to refugee settlement program

Geert Wilders

If Geert Wilders’ wins today could there be a political crisis in The Netherlands?

On Israel News Talk Radio’s -Beyond the Fringe  program  this  week  listen here , co- host Rod Bryant and I devoted a segment to the fracas between The Netherlands and Turkey this past weekend in the run up to today’s general election in what could be a crucial test of rising nationalist populism in Europe.

The race pits current ruling coalition Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Freedom and Democracy Party VVD versus Geert Wilders, the tall bleached blonde leader of the breakaway Freedom Party (PVV) who espouses anti-Islam, anti EU and anti mass Muslim immigration stands crystallized in his campaign call to “take back our Netherlands.”

We pointed out to our global and Israeli listeners Wilders’ long held pro Israel stands and heroic opposition to the Islamic Republic in a visit to Tehran that had him ejected as persona non grata. Wilders also espouses the view that Jordan is Palestine.

How the Dutch Turkish faceoff could figure in today’s vote

Current Dutch PM Mark Rutte veered closer to Wilders’ positions with his dramatic actions the weekend prior to the March 15, elections. He denied a visit by the Turkish Foreign Minister preventing him from landing to attend a rally of Dutch Turks in Rotterdam and ejected a Dutch Families Minister to Germany, a move that was protested by Dutch Turks in Rotterdam with a Muslim mayor. The rallies by Turkish ministers of Erodgan’s government in Holland were scheduled to urge the 400,000 Dutch Turks to vote in the April 16th national referendum in Turkey making President a veritable autocrat extending his term by a decade to 26 years. There are 5.5 million Turkish ex pats in EU core countries in France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.  All of whom have, with the exception of France have blocked rallies by Turkish officials of the AKP government in Ankara.

That sparked calls from aspiring neo Ottoman Caliph, Turkey’s President Erdogan, calling Rutte’s actions “Nazi Remnants”. Bryant and I commented that was bizarre coming from a Turkish leader who idealized Hitler.

Both Rutte and Erdogan demanded apologies and called in their respective ambassadors.

The weekend fracas has boosted polls figures on Monday for both Rutte and Wilders with just a three seat spread between the two parties; the VVD with 27 versus 24 for the PVV. Later polls taken following nationalized televised debates showed the results were even closer.

Dynamics behind today’s Dutch general elections

Dutch opinion polls show terrorism, anti immigration and preserving national values as leading issues.  This race  that culminates today could go either way or result in Wilders being first past the post with enough seats to possibly having King Willem  ask Wilders to form a government in the Hague Parliament, the tweeder kamer.  However that could be a long shot.  Rutte of the VVD and other smaller center parties have said they would never join a PVV led coalition government making the possibility of Wilders being the next Dutch Prime Minister, Dutch political prognosticators in Holland suggest the prospects might slim to none.

An RT.com article showed final Dutch polls indicating that Geert Wilders Freedom Party (PVV) claiming upwards of 24 to 28 seats as voting opens today in the Netherlands.

The movement by Mark Rutte, leader of the VVD towards nationalist views in the confrontation with Turkish President Erdogan may have shifted un-decided Dutch voters towards the PVV and resurrected Sybrand Buma leader of  the Christian Democrats (CDA) to poll in third position behind Wilders.

Rutte and Buma may have turned more nationalist in the waning days of the campaign. However, they cling to support of Dutch membership in the EU, while Wilders supports NExit which antedated that of the Brexit referendum vote in the UK.

One domestic issue that Wilders has flagged, protection of pension benefits has divided Dutch workers from their union leaders. That was evident in an interview with the union leader in the port Rotterdam. He noted his members would likely vote for Wilders.

It looks like whatever results from final polling results that the wrangling over formation of a ruling coalition from the 28 parties contesting for seats in the Hague parliament, the tweeder kamer, will take a while to sort it out. PM Rutte, as a formality, resigned as government leader on Thursday and informed King Willem setting the stage for today’s general election.

Could there be a political crisis in Holland?

Nevertheless, even if Wilders doesn’t get that opportunity, some observers suggest that by losing he has won because he has led Dutch popular opinion on national issues. A Politico EU article that looked at the prospects of prime contenders in today’s Dutch general elections commented on the masterful role of Geert Wilders staking out parliamentary positions and seizing the news cycle. As one Socialist party figure stated, if Wilders is first past the post “it might create a political crisis.”

None of the leading parties, whether, Mark Rutte’s Freedom and Democracy VVD or resurrected Buma’s Christian Democrats CDA, the latter polling in third position, and other smaller parties may be able to cobble together the requisite 76 votes in the 150 seat Hague Parliament, the tweeder kamer, to form a ruling coalition. That is the daunting task that King Willem will have to address when polling ends tonight.

One comment made in the Politico EU article may be prescient. Whatever the results, Wilders looks like the leader of the opposition. Stay tuned for the outcome of today’s momentous Dutch general election results.

RELATED ARTICLE: Sweden Can’t Find Contractor Willing to Build Police Station in Muslim Migrant Suburb — ‘It’s Too Dangerous’

RELATED VIDEO: The day before the Dutch election there were debates. The last of these debates was a debate between the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders, and the leader of the Christian Union Party. This debate is translated into English.

travel ban countries

Since President Trump took office over 2,400 refugees from travel-ban countries entered U.S.

Pew Research has done a handy little summary of where we stand with refugees admitted this fiscal year, but most importantly they made a useful graph of how many entered from travel-restricted countries since the first week of December, through Trump’s inauguration and up to last Friday.

There is nothing we haven’t already been talking about as we reported also from Wrapsnet over recent weeks and months, but they put it in a neat little package for your review on the eve of the 120-day moratorium on refugee resettlement.

Pew Research Center:

A total of 2,466 refugees from six countries under new travel restrictions – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – have resettled in the United States since Donald Trump became president, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department data. The number of refugees from the six travel-restricted countries represents 32% of all refugees who have entered the U.S. since Trump took office.

Pew continues….

Including refugees from countries with no travel restrictions, a total of 7,594 refugees have entered the U.S. during Trump’s first seven weeks in office (Jan. 21 to March 10). Of these refugees, 3,410 are Muslims (45%) and 3,292 are Christians (43%), with other religions or the religiously unaffiliated accounting for the rest.

So far in fiscal 2017 (which began Oct. 1, 2016), refugees who hold citizenship from the six restricted countries have accounted for more than a third (34%) of 37,716 refugee admissions.

More here.

President Trump has set the ceiling for the entire 2017 fiscal year at 50,000, a number we explained here is not that low!

This post is filed in our Trump Watch! category as well as ‘refugee statistics’ and ‘where to find information.’

EndNote: It is amusing to me to see research/articles like this because for years and years (I started writing RRW in 2007) no one paid any attention to the numbers, religions and ethnicities of refugees entering the US. It is nice to see so many news outlets educating the public!

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montana-protest-against-refugees

Tennessee files suit against federal government over cost to state of refugee program

It’s been a  long time coming, but yesterday, the State of Tennessee filed its Tenth Amendment case against the US Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services over the issue of cost-shifting of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to the states.

Readers, this is big news!

Here is Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart yesterday (I see that Drudge featured the story last night and Fox News has picked it up as well):

The Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Tennessee General Assembly and the State of Tennessee in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Monday challenging the federal refugee resettlement program for violating the state’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit places Tennessee at the center of the national debate concerning the operation of the federal refugee resettlement program.

President Trump will be holding a rally in Nashville on Wednesday to garner public support for his agenda. His revised Executive Order 13780 temporarily halting the federal refugee resettlement program and temporarily banning travel from six Middle Eastern countries goes into effect on Thursday.

[….]

The Refugee Act specified that 100 percent of each state’s cost of Medicaid and cash welfare benefits provided to each resettled refugee during their first 36 months in the United State would be reimbursed to each state by the federal government. However, within five years of having created the federal program, Congress failed to appropriate sufficient funding and instead, costs of the federal program began shifting to state governments.

Within ten years of passing the Refugee Act, the federal government eliminated all reimbursement of state costs, a huge financial cost to the states that was, in effect, yet another unfunded federal mandate.

[….]

The lawsuit seeks to define Tennessee’s rights in light of the forced expenditure of state funds in support of a federal program from which the state has formally withdrawn.

Continue here and see below the full text of the press release from the Thomas More Law Center.

For all of you in states that have withdrawn from the program***, you must push your governor and legislators to join this case.

If your state has not withdrawn and is willing to sue on states’ rights grounds, this is the direction you should be following: withdraw and then sue when the feds assign a non-profit to run the program!

To further your understanding, here (and below) is the full press release from the Thomas More Law Center, yesterday:

First in the Nation — Tennessee Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee General Assembly, and two State legislators, challenging the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program as a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the principles of State sovereignty.

Defendants in the lawsuit include the U.S Departments of State and Health and Human Services, and their respective Secretaries.

Assisting the Thomas More Law Center, pro bono, is attorney B. Tyler Brooks with the law firm of Millberg Gordon Stewart PLLC located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, noted, “Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts has observed, ‘The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.’ We intend to follow that advice in our lawsuit on behalf of the State of Tennessee and its citizens. We are asking the Court to stop the bleeding out of millions of Tennessee taxpayer dollars each year to fund a federal program from which the State officially withdrew in 2007.”

Thompson added, “Although there are compelling policy reasons to dismantle the existing refugee resettlement program in favor of resettling refugees in Middle East safe- zones as President Trump has suggested, this lawsuit focuses solely on the unconstitutional way the federal program is currently operating in the State of Tennessee.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The purpose of the lawsuit is not to inflict harm on refugees, but to preserve the balanced constitutional relationship between the federal government and the States. It seeks a court declaration that the federal government has violated the Tenth Amendment and an order permanently enjoining the federal government from forcing the State of Tennessee to pay money out of its treasury to finance the federal refugee resettlement program.

The Tennessee General Assembly, by overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate, passed Senate Joint Resolution 467 (“SJR 467”) during the 2016 legislative session, which authorized legal action to stop the federal government from unconstitutionally commandeering State funds to finance the federal refugee resettlement program.

State Senator John Stevens and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver are the two legislators who joined the lawsuit as individual plaintiffs. Senator Stevens is First Vice-Chair of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Ways and Means, which is responsible for all measures relating to taxes and oversight of public monies in the State’s treasury. Representative Terri Lynn Weaver is the Chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee which is charged with oversight of the budget relating to transportation.

Senator Stevens stated, “Through federal economic dragooning of our State’s budget, past Presidents and Congresses have quieted my vote and thereby my constituents’ voices. President Trump through executive action has reversed the overreaches of the Obama Administration in numerous ways. I trust President Trump in this regard. However, he needs our help.”

Continued Stevens, “The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to force me as the elected representative of the 24th Senate District to implement federal programs while they sit in Washington insulated from the consequences.”

Representative Weaver, who played an instrumental role in mobilizing legislative support for passage of SJR 467, commented, “Of all the legislation that I have worked on, this by far is the most important. The only way we can get back to our constitutional beginnings and the intent birthed by our Founding Fathers is to go and take it back. We are looking forward to linking arms with the Thomas More Law Center for the long haul to regain sovereignty for our great State.”

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, another strong advocate for the lawsuit, emphasized the point that the lawsuit should not be taken as a criticism of the Trump Administration, “We want to convey to the President that we support his efforts concerning immigration and refugee resettlement and believe this suit for declaratory relief is consistent with what would likely be his position regarding states like Tennessee which have withdrawn from the refugee resettlement program but are forced to continue paying costs associated with it.”

When Congress enacted the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980, the explicit intent was to assure full federal reimbursement of the costs for each refugee resettled and participating in benefit programs provided by the states. Eventually, however, federal reimbursements to the states for these benefit programs were reduced and, by 1991, eliminated entirely. The states thereby became responsible for the costs of the programs originally covered by the federal government.

Tennessee officially withdrew from participation in the refugee resettlement program in 2007. However, instead of honoring Tennessee’s decision to withdraw from the program, the federal government merely bypassed the State and appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a private, non-governmental organization to administer the program. Catholic Charities receives revenue based upon the number of refugees it brings into the State.

Currently, Tennessee State revenues that could otherwise be used for State programs to help Tennesseans are, in effect, appropriated by the federal government to support the federal refugee resettlement program. This arrangement displaces Tennessee’s constitutionally mandated funding prerogatives and appropriations process.

The Complaint is here.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at http://www.thomasmore.org.

NOTE: These are the so-called Wilson-Fish states that have withdrawn from the program over the years.

In addition to these below, several states have withdrawn in the last year and those include: Texas, Kansas, New Jersey and Maine. Florida is considering it right now.

Texas citizen activists must press your governor. He has already shown a willingness to sue the feds, but this is a much stronger case!

To the right of the state (and one county) is the federal NGO running the program in the state (I don’t know who has been assigned in the 4 recent withdrawals mentioned above):

Alabama: USCCB – Catholic Social Services
Alaska: USCCB – Catholic Social Services
Colorado: Colorado Department of Human Services
Idaho: Janus Inc. (formerly Mountain States Group), Idaho Office for Refugees
Kentucky: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Louisville, Kentucky Office for Refugees
Louisiana: USCCB – Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Office for Refugees
Massachusetts: Office for Refugees and Immigrants
Nevada: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
North Dakota: LIRS – Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota
San Diego County, CA: USCCB – Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego
South Dakota: LIRS – Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Tennessee: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Tennessee Office for Refugees
Vermont: USCRI – Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program

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