By Robert Johnson, Business Insider – “We reported a couple weeks ago that Iran was demanding all U.S. ships entering the Strait of Hormuz stop and check in with the Revolutionary Guard. Now, they’re saying that move has blockaded the Strait of Hormuz.
FARS News Agency, Tehran’s state run media outlet, announced Tehran is continuing a full blockade on all ships entering the Strait, with each undergoing inspection.
“The alien vessels which enter the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz always provide the needed answers and information to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) units,” Lieutenant Commander of the IRGC Naval Force Alireza Tangsiri said on Wednesday.
He further noted the deployment of a US aircraft carrier in the region, and said, “This vessel, similar to the other warships, answered all the questions asked by the IRGC Navy without any problem or making any particular move and then continued the path to its specified destination.”
The UPI reports that Iran’s fleet of 20 submarines are much on the mind of U.S. military officials as Tehran increases it’s bluster and stance in the Strait.
The submarines are seen as a danger to international tanker traffic, which ships one-fifth of the world’s oil supplies through the narrow strait every day, and to Western warships if Iran carries out its threat to close Hormuz if its oil exports are blocked.
U.S. military planners must factor in the Iranian submarine threat as the Americans, spearheaded by the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, square off for possible conflict with Iran over its contentious nuclear program. “The Iranians would not have acquired so many submarines if they did not think they would come in handy,” U.S. defense analyst Scott Charney observed in an April 9 assessment of Iranian submarine capabilities.
“Over the weekend, the Tungurahua’s volcanic eruption had a strong explosion that caused gravel to fall down in the nearby town of Pillate, Ecuador.
The explosion, characterized by its loud ‘cannon ball shot’, was immediately detected by locals and scientists observing the volcano’s progress. The explosion was later followed by a slight tremor and a constant pulsation of ‘high energy’ said reports.
The constant cloud coverage surrounding the volcano has caused scientists, from the Geophysical Institute branch of the National Polytechnic School to have trouble determining its current state. Most of the direct observations are conducted in the Guadalupe Observatory, the closest in the vicinity.” Read more.
Free Speech Found Guilty by Europe, Supreme Court Declares Criticism of Islam a Crime Punishable By Imprisonment
By Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute – “Lars Hedegaard, the president of the Danish Free Press Society, has been acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court on charges of ‘hate speech’ for critical comments he made about Islam.
The verdict, however represents only a partial victory for free speech in a Europe that is being stifled by politically correct restrictions on free speech, particularly on issues related to Islam.
Although Hedegaard was acquitted, it was on a legal technicality; in its ruling, the Supreme Court stressed that the substance of the charges against Hedegaard — public criticism of Islam, — is still a crime punishable by imprisonment.
Hedegaard’s legal problems began in December 2009, when he said in a taped interview that there was a high incidence of child rape and domestic violence in areas dominated by Muslim culture. Although Hedegaard insisted that he did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes, Denmark’s thought police were incensed at such effrontery: the Danish public prosecutor’s office declared that Hedegaard was guilty of violating Article 266b of the Danish penal code, a catch-all provision that Danish elites use to enforce politically correct speech codes.
The infamous Article 266b states: ‘Whoever publicly or with the intent of public dissemination issues a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation is liable to a fine or incarceration for up to two years.’
In January 2011, a Danish lower court acquitted Hedegaard of any wrongdoing. But public prosecutors appealed that verdict and in May 2011, a Danish superior court found Hedegaard guilty of hate speech in accordance with Article 266b because he ‘ought to have known’ that his statements regarding family rape in Muslim families were intended for public dissemination.” Read more.
Iran says that Egypt is becoming more like Iran, and the Egyptian military says nothing. The Muslim Brotherhood says that Egypt should become more like Iran, and the Egyptian military says nothing. But when Israel says that Egypt is becoming more like Iran, the Egyptian military threatens to take action against Israel. Quite telling, isn’t it? …
By Elhanan Miller, The Times of Israel – “In remarks apparently directed at Israel, Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and the country’s de facto leader, threatened on Monday to thwart any foreign aggression against Egypt. He was speaking in the wake of reports, widely covered in the Egyptian media, that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned of an imminent military threat emanating from Egypt.
‘Our borders are constantly burning, but we do not attack any neighboring country but only protect our borders,’ Tantawi told Egyptian press during a live ammunition maneuver in the Sinai Peninsula titled ‘Nasr 7.’ ‘If anyone comes close to Egypt’s border, we will break their leg. Therefore, our forces must be in a perpetual state of alert.’
A second senior military figure, Major General Muhammad Higazi, commander of Egypt’s Second Field Army, also issued a tacit threat, warning that potential aggressors should ‘reconsider before thinking of attacking any part of Egypt’s territory.’
In Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry sought to calm the dispute. ‘The foreign minister was interviewed today on two Israeli radio stations,’ a spokesman said on Monday evening, ‘and he made it very clear that both sides have a clear interest in keeping the peace agreement.’
On Sunday, the Hebrew daily Maariv reported that Lieberman recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning him about a potential threat from Egypt and requesting that Israel’s southern command be reinforced by three military divisions. ‘The Egyptian issue is much more disturbing than the Iranian problem,’ Lieberman was reported to have said during closed discussions on the topic…
Foreign Minister Muhammad Amr asked his ambassador in Tel Aviv to inquire about statements comparing the Egyptian threat to that of Iran, establishment daily Al-Ahram reported Monday.
‘[The Egyptian ambassador] will convey Egypt’s bewilderment at the publication of such words, attributed to a senior official in the Israeli government,’ read a statement issued by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.
According to Maariv, Lieberman also criticized the fighting capabilities of the seven battalions Egypt sent to the Sinai recently to combat al-Qaeda operatives in the peninsula. The minister could not rule out the possibility that Egypt will divert more substantial military forces to the Sinai following the election of a new president in June, in violation of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Maariv reported.” Read more.
Education in America: Textbooks Are Being Systematically Rewritten to Include Lies, Half-Truths, and Misleading Narratives to Promote Islamist Agenda
Education Reporter – “Americans are well aware of the threat of violent terrorist attacks, but few know the extent to which Islamists have used less direct methods to spread their dangerous pro-Sharia agenda. Even fewer Americans realize that Islamists have been openly vocal about their plans to engage in a ‘stealth jihad’ effort to impose Sharia on the United States.
Your child’s textbooks have not gone untouched in this global campaign to undermine democracy and replace it with Islamic law. A new report from ACT for America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about radical Islam, shows the results of the organization’s analysis of several dozen popular 6th- through 12th-grade textbooks used in U.S. public schools. The portrayals of Islam and Islamic history in these textbooks are enormously misleading, and often directly contradictory to established historical opinion. Your child’s textbooks have been systematically rewritten to include lies, half-truths, and misleading narratives about Islam that amount to an astonishing volume of historical revision.
The funding for these revisions comes largely from Saudi Arabia, where Arab petro-dollars have frequently been granted to pro-Islamist efforts. ACT for America explains:
Islamist revisionism in U.S. textbooks can be traced back to Saudi money and it is not a new phenomenon. Late in 1974, a state-of-the-art, well-funded Saudi-financed plan was undertaken by Arab states to seize hold of American public opinion and increase their influence over U.S. foreign policy. A central aspect of this plan was a rewrite of 20th century Middle Eastern history with the specific intent of altering American public opinion and policies pertaining to Israel. By the early 1990s, this effort to rewrite history was working its way backward in time to the 7th century and the founding of Islam. The reason for this was that revisionists realized that the imperialistic, violent and anti-Semitic history of Islam would undermine the narrative that Israel and the Jews have been the aggressors in the Middle East and Arab Muslims have been the victims.
Flashback: Islamic Indoctrination in Textbooks Sanitize the True, Dark Nature of the ‘Religion of Peace’ – “Political correctness has a double standard when it comes to teaching about religion in public schools. Drop Christianity down the memory hole but give extensive and mostly favorable coverage to Islam. Even the mainstream media have provided extensive coverage of the steady stream of court cases and threatening letters from the American Civil Liberties Union aimed at removing all signs of Judeo-Christianity from public schools. Not only must prayer be prohibited, a cross and the Ten Commandments removed or covered up, a valedictorian banned from thanking God for his help, a football coach prohibited from bowing his head during a student-led pre-game prayer, singing of Christmas carols banned, and school calendars required to recognize winter holiday instead of Christmas, but there is also the complete omission of the history of the Founding Fathers’ public recognition of Christianity.” Read more.
Mohabat News – “Farshid Fathi, a Christian prisoner who had been held in the notorious Evin prison for 15 months without being granted any leave permission, has been sentenced to 6 years in prison by a Revolutionary Court in Iran.
According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports have been received stating that Farshid Fathi, a Christian prisoner, received a 6 year sentence by the Iranian Revolutionary court.
Farshid Fathi, whose trial had been postponed several times by judicial authorities, was eventually tried on January, 2012 in a court based in Evin prison after more than one year of uncertainty.
Although the details of his court session have not been published, a knowledgeable source according to the issued verdict said that the court announced his accusations as, ‘action against the regime’s security, being in contact with foreign organizations and religious propaganda’.
The source told Mohabat News that Mr. Fathi’s case will be sent to an appeal court after his attorney submits his appeal of the 6 year prison sentence. The source believes that the appeal court might change this ruling.
This sentence has been issued after Mr. Fathi was held in custody illegally and in total uncertainty for the past 15 months.
Issuance of such an unjustified sentence by the Islamic Republic’s judicial system for a Christian convert whose only crime is practicing his Christian faith, contravenes international laws and the Human Rights convention that the Islamic Republic has signed and is obliged to follow.” Read more.
Bishop Stephanos was right …
Compass Direct News – “ISTANBUL, April 20 (CDN) — A recent ‘reconciliation meeting’ between members of a Muslim mob that attacked a Christian-owned school in Egypt and school administrators was nothing less than an attempt at legalized extortion, the director of the school said.
In exchange for peace, members of the sword-wielding mob that stormed the school last month without provocation – and held two nuns hostage for several hours – initially demanded in the meetings that the school sign over parcels of land that include the guesthouse the Muslim extremists attacked.
Magdy Melad, manager of the Notre Dame Language Schools in Aswan Province, told Compass that despite the risk of more attacks, he refused the assailants’ demand. Doing so, he said, would set a precedent in Aswan of Muslims attacking and seizing Christian-owned property and then using reconciliation councils to give the appearance of legitimacy.
‘If we give in to that, they will take everything,’ Melad said.
He conceded that although he escaped with the property, and the victims escaped with their lives, he may have given away something more precious – he agreed not to prosecute any of the hundreds of people who attacked his school.
‘The only thing we had to give away was our rights,’ Melad said sardonically, adding that the threat of future violence forced him to make the agreement. ‘This was all against the law.’
‘Reconciliation meetings’ are held throughout Egypt after incidents of ‘sectarian’ violence in order to restore calm. Increasingly used during the administration of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the meetings are loosely based on traditional Arabic tribal councils. Supporters of the reconciliation process, mainly government and Islamic leaders, say the meetings offer a way to defuse tensions. Those who oppose the process, including numerous human rights groups and Coptic rights activists, say the meetings are just a way to pressure powerless groups and people into giving away what little rights they have.” Read more.