"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Links - 26th April 2019 (2)

Home Office refuses Christian convert asylum by quoting Bible passages that 'prove Christianity is not peaceful' - "The Home Office has refused asylum to a Christian convert by quoting Bible passages which it says prove Christianity is not a peaceful religion.The Iranian national, who claimed asylum in 2016, was told passages in the Bible were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith.The refusal letter from the department states the book of Revelations – the final book of the Bible – is “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence”, and cites six excerpts from it... Lawyers and campaigners said the case demonstrated a “distortion of logic” and a “reckless” approach to asylum seekers’ lives, stemming from a tendency by the department to “come up with any reason they can to refuse” cases... The latest immigration statistics reveal an increase in the number of incorrect asylum refusals, with successful appeals against Home Office decisions up 5 per cent since 2015-16, now standing at 45 per cent of all of those that go to tribunal... Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society, meanwhile branded it “wholly inappropriate” for the Home Office to use “theological justifications for refusing asylum applications”.He added: “Decisions on the merits of an asylum appeal should be based on an assessment of the facts at hand – and not on the state’s interpretation of any given religion. It’s not the role of the Home Office to play theologian.”"

The Home Office’s shameful treatment of a Christian asylum-seeker | Coffee House - "no, it’s not an isolated incident. It’s also highly unlikely that it’s a single bad apple. According to Stevens a similar refusal in 2016 read ‘You affirmed in your AIR [Asylum Interview Record] that Jesus is your saviour, but then claimed He would not be able to save you from the Iranian regime. It is therefore considered that you have no conviction in your faith and your belief in Jesus is half-hearted’. The charity Open Doors classifies religious persecution in Iran as ‘extreme’. It’s illegal to convert or preach. Conversion can land you in prison for a decade. The Iranian constitution permits worship, but not for converts, and given that 114 Iranians were arrested and detained in a single week last year for suspected proselytism, sticking your head above the parapet to worship is hardly a risk-free enterprise... The lid is slowly being lifted on anti-Christian Britain, and it seems like we have an institutional problem. Or rather, our civil service does. This latest shocker comes hot on the heels of a government review into Christian persecution which was knee-capped by the Foreign Office. Meanwhile, Department for International Development ministers still stick resolutely to the line that no aid should be provided to particular religious groups, and the UK Government still refuses to use word genocide to describe what happened to Christians and Yazidis under Daesh – despite parliament voting unanimously to describe it that way.While in the first three months of 2018 not a single Christian was admitted to the UK out of 1112 Syrian Refugees. An appalling statistic made worse by the fact that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees only recommended four. We rejected even those solitary few. Either people are being led to believe that Christianity brings immunity from persecution or we have a real problem."

The New York Times - Posts - "In a letter rejecting an asylum seeker's claim, the British government quoted passages from the Bible to argue that Christianity was not a "peaceful" religion."
How to get New York Times readers to cheer the deportation of an asylum seeker. If it'd been the Koran...
Comments: "True, but religion is just an excuse for greed and power."
"Britain should know after what it went through in the XVI century."
"We already knew that!"
"The way most Christians practice it is far from peaceful."
"They ain't wrong."
"It's not a peaceful religion."
"Well there were the crusades. And the Spanish Inquisition."


Terrorists Promoted, Victims Ignored - "The Free Yezidi Foundation, which advocates for justice for victims and survivors of the ISIS genocide, expressed anger and frustration over the sympathetic attention that Begum, who willingly joined ISIS, has been receiving from certain politicians in Britain...
Dawood Saleh, a survivor of the Yazidi genocide and author of Walking Alone, told Gatestone:
"I feel so sorry for the thousands of Yazidi women and children who are suffering at the hands of ISIS, while some media outlets in the West are trying to trivialize the actions of those who raped, tortured and killed our people. Those outlets are not giving enough of a voice to Yazidi survivors. "My family has lost their home and ended up in a refugee camp where they have been living for almost five years now, as a result of the actions of ISIS monsters. ISIS has destroyed our villages and temples, and forced us to scatter all over the world. By ignoring our plight, while giving positive coverage to ISIS 'brides' or returnees to the West, some Western media outlets and politicians are destroying any ray of hope that we who have survived genocide may harbor."
Adil Suliman, a Yazidi activist at the protest, told Gatestone:
"Yazidis in Iraq are still scared that all the ISIS atrocities will happen again, because Yazidis there still live among Muslims, and Muslims do not see us as human beings."
Haji Ali Hameka, another Yazidi activist and interpreter, expressed dismay at a recent case of a Yazidi genocide survivor who was horrified to encounter her ISIS captor and rapist in Canada.
"It is very disappointing to hear that Western governments are enabling criminals who have raped and beheaded innocent people to return with impunity""

ISIS bride Shamima Begum ‘was enforcer in morality police squad and sewed bombers into suicide vests' - "the London teenager was a “member of the feared ISIS morality police”.The Bethnal Green schoolgirl tried to recruit younger women to join the jihadist group... the 19-year-old played an active role in the organisation’s reign of terror and was allowed to carry a Kalashnikov rifle, earning herself a reputation as a strict “enforcer” of laws, such as dress code... she sewed vests onto bombers so that they could not be removed without them going off... Ms Begum has previously insisted she was never involved in the terror group’s brutality and said she spent her time simply as a housewife, after fleeing London when she was just 15... She allegedly told one girl: “Don’t believe any of the bad things you hear about Dawla [the State], it’s fake. You have everything you want here and we can help find you a good-looking husband.”"

Liberal media likes its Muslims Radical - "in a supposed new ‘review’ of The Stanatic Verses on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, Sean O’Grady of The Independent manages to ignore the book almost entirely and instead writes a screed which pits the far right against the Islamist protesters calling for the death of Salman Rushdie in 1989. In an age obsessed with racial politics it is not very surprising that an issue all sensible people see for what it is – an intolerant religious fanaticism reacting to secular modernity and freedom of expression – is recast as an oppressed community facing off against racist skinheads.The defiant dereliction of a duty to review the book on its literary merits is demonstrated in the essay’s conclusion. It is a breathtaking example of how progressives have disappeared down a fascist rabbit hole... Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Associate Editor of The Independent and its reviewer of books is now a book-burner. And he is not ashamed to say so... this is the very essence of the Islamist-Progressive nexus. Pasty progressive keyboard warriors – their limbs weak and attrified by life in the glow of phosphors and punishing vegan diets – need the vital and energetic muscle of Islamism to prevail in the final showdown between Progress and the imperialist, neo-colonial, neo-liberal, capitalist patriarchy."

Australian jihadi bride says she doesn't regret joining Islamic State - "Janai Safar, 24, vowed never to return to Australia where she says there are 'naked women on the streets' and she could face ten years in jail... Teenage jihadi bride Zehra Duman, who fled Melbourne to fight with the Islamic State in Syria in 2014, is now begging to come home, claiming her two children have the right to be treated like any other 'normal kids' in Australia.At the time Duman told Daily Mail Australia: 'All you have to know is that the next time I will ever step into Australia, is when we come and make it a part of the Islamic State bi'thnillah"

London mosque warned over 'kill Ahmadis' leaflets - "Piles of the flyers, which say Ahmadis should face death if they refuse to convert to mainstream Islam, were found in Stockwell Green mosque... A BBC investigation found the leaflets were authored by an ex-head of Khatme Nabuwwat, a group based in Pakistan which lists the mosque as its "overseas office". Previously a mosque trustee said he had never seen the leaflets before and suggested they were fakes or had been left there maliciously... Stockwell Green mosque claims there is no connection with Khatme Nabuwwat, despite sharing the same name and evidence suggesting the Pakistani organisation had control over its Imam."

PA Cutting Salaries of Civil Servants to Pay Full Benefits to Terrorists - "The Palestinian Authority has decided to penalize its law-abiding employees to avoid cutting salaries of Palestinian terrorists and their families under the so-called “pay-to-slay” scheme, which led the United States and Israel to cut aid until the PA stops inciting terror.Explaining the decision, Nabil Abu Rudeina, PA Deputy Prime Minister and Fatah Commissioner of Information, said: “The salaries of the families of the martyrs and the prisoners will be paid regardless of the cost, and that it is not possible to abandon or treat lightly the livelihood of the Palestinian people’s heroes.”Abu Rudeina added that “non-payment of the public employees’ salaries,” on the other hand, “is less significant than subtracting one penny from the family of a martyr or prisoner, who sacrificed his life and freedom for Palestine and its heroic people.”"

Taxman kept quiet while £8bn fraud helped fund bin Laden | News | The Sunday Times - "Gangsters have stolen billions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money and used tens of millions to fund terrorism, according to police and intelligence files.A network of British Asians based in London, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, northwest England and Scotland mounted VAT and benefit frauds against the exchequer over two decades and made further gains from mortgage and credit card fraud targeting banks and individuals. The group netted an estimated £8bn in public money alone. The gang, which has links to the 7/7 London bombings in which 52 people died, is alleged to have sent 1% of its gains, or £80m, to al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it funded madrasahs, training camps and other terrorist activities... The sum the gang extracted from the Treasury is almost triple the annual government expenditure on MI5, MI6 and GCHQ and approaches the central government grant for policing in England and Wales each year... A customs officer told this newspaper that he was repeatedly prevented from sharing intelligence with MI5 because HMRC wanted to maintain the confidentiality of the terror suspects’ tax records... Nazir Afzal, a leading prosecutor who brought the Rochdale sex-grooming gang to justice in a series of linked trials, said the situation was unprecedented.“The scandal here is that individuals have been to prison and come out of prison, yet the public still don’t know about it,” he said.“I have never heard of reporting restrictions being in place for defendants who have fled the country. You can’t have a situation when we wait several more years to find out what has happened here. This is of major public interest.”... Those involved in the investigation say the gang was extremely difficult to penetrate. Undercover agents eventually resorted to attaching a camera to a dog and encouraging it to run around inside one of the network’s factories to find out how many people worked there... For years HMRC and other agencies did little to disrupt it and took almost no formal enforcement action. The files show that at least four rank-and-file HMRC intelligence officers implored bosses to launch prosecutions. Their requests were rejected “due to their complicated nature and a lack of resources”.

Female ballet dancers can no longer keep up with the men says Dame Darcey Bussell - "Strictly Come Dancing Star Dame Darcy Bussell has claimed that female ballet dancers are finding it hard to keep up with the men.The retired dancer said the creation of new ballets with more equally weighted roles had led to a 'transformation', and women were struggling to keep up with the physical and technical attributes of some male dancers.Dame Bussell said that in classics such as Swan Lake, the dominant roles were for women and the men were there to 'make women look as good as they could'"

55% English Speaking Netizens Afraid Of Posting Political Views Online, Reveals Study - "55% of people were afraid to express their political views because they are afraid of getting into trouble with authorities, 49% were scared of being judged by friends and family and 50% worried about being judged by their colleagues and other acquaintances."
On India

Over 1/3rd Of Urban Indians Wouldn't Even Converse With Someone With Opposing Political Views: Survey - "Across the world, the survey conducted by Paris-based international market research company Ipsos conducted for BBC exhibit that around 24% of people believe that it is not worth to have a conversation with someone who happens to carry opposing political views. However, in India, the figure was found to be 35%... 43% of Indians believe that their political opposers don’t care about the country’s future, which was in stark contrast to that of 28% of respondents globally. India holds the second spot after Turkey which saw 46% of respondents agree with its statements."

Why Indonesia’s minorities can’t depend on political parties to stand up for them - "Grace Natalie, a Christian Chinese who chairs the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), said that her party intends to oppose syariah-based regional by-laws if elected into Parliament next year.She said this in a speech — in the presence of President Joko Widodo — to mark the party’s fourth anniversary.Mr Eggi Sudjana, an opposition politician from Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN), claimed Ms Natalie’s comments on the syariah law went against the Quran and filed a police report.Ms Natalie’s plight reminds one of what befell Jakarta’s former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok.It also underlines how Islamist identity politics in Indonesia has reached such proportions that there is no real champion for minority rights in parliament and a further erosion of such rights may be inevitable... The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's annual report for 2018 places Indonesia as one of 12 countries where violations of religious freedom are "systematic, ongoing and egregious"."
What would Reza Aslan say?

Chinese viewers balk at 'Bohemian Rhapsody' film censorship - "While LGBT content is generally less taboo than other topics that Chinese authorities deem sensitive, same-sex relationships are still virtually absent from mainstream media."
So much for religion - especially Abrahamic religion - being responsible for homophobia. Maybe some people will try to blame colonialism. But never Communism
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