Archive for 12/11/2011

Turkey Acts as Mentor for Emerging Islamists in Middle Eastern Region

12/11/2011 Leave a comment

The media spin doctors and minions of the willingly ignorant continue to paint a positive face on ‘moderate’ Turkey and the popular Islamist goverment of Prime Minister Erdogan, yet these rose-colored spectacle-wearing ‘journalists’ remain conspicuously silent when it comes to the fact that the popularity which Turkey’s ‘moderate’ AKP party now enjoys would not have risen to the level it has had it not been for Erdogan’s very public anti-Israel vitriol.  Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel are now at an all-time low as a result and show no signs of improving any time soon, if ever.  If the new Islamist governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, and potentially even Syria (and perhaps others) are inspired by Turkey’s so-called ‘Justice and Development’ politics, who in their right mind can reasonably expect anything different from Islamist governments inspired by Turkey’s example?  If anything, this is nothing but another indication in a long list of many that we are continuing to see a ‘bad crescent-moon rising‘ …

(Reuters) – “As Islamist groups emerge triumphant in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan seems decided to act as their mentor — and to throw its weight behind the Syrian opposition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, a former ally.

Ankara’s evolving response to the upheavals of the Arab Spring is broadly in harmony with its NATO and European Union allies, who had balked at the AKP’s previous ‘zero problems with the neighbors’ policy, that indulged Syria and its ally Iran, and which some derided as a neo-Ottoman turn away from Turkey’s long-standing Western ties.

Both Turkey and its Western allies now hope the success of the AKP in transiting from Islamist roots to a sort of Muslim version of Christian Democracy, and in running a dynamic economy that has doubled the income of its people, will be an attractive model to Arab Islamist parties now coming to the fore.

‘I think the AKP hope is that they will be really an example for the Islamists of the region and they will moderate themselves and become parties like AKP which respects Islamic values but mainly focuses on economic development and doesn’t support a radical agenda,’ said Mustafa Akyol, author of the recent book ‘Islam without extremes: a Muslim Case For Liberty’.

Erdogan and his government are nonetheless intent on influencing the reformists in the Arab Islamist parties.

On a triumphal tour in September of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya — the three countries that successfully overthrew their dictatorships this year — he pointedly defended Turkey’s model of a secular state as a shield that defended the beliefs of all, including Islamists.

Tunisia’s Ennadhda party has publicly embraced the AKP as a source of inspiration, while the new generation of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt, look to the AKP as an example.

‘They want to be a mentor to all these Islamist groups in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia,’ says Soli Ozel, a prominent academic and commentator in Istanbul.” Read more.

Flashback: Turkey Installing New Military Tech That Will Allow Warplanes and Ships to Target Israel as the Enemy – “In yet another sign of the deterioration in Israel-Turkish ties, Turkey’s Star Gazete reported Tuesday that the military is installing new technology that will allow warplanes and ships to target Israeli vessels. Previously, Turkish planes, ships and submarines used American technology, which automatically classified Israeli equipment as ‘friendly.’ The new system, developed in Turkey, will allow the Turkish military to decide which targets to label as friendly.” Read more.

Flashback: Erdogan: ‘The Relations Between Turkey and Israel Will Never Become Normal Again’ – “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Saturday that relations with Israel may ‘never be normal again’ as tensions continue to rise after Israel refused to apologize over a raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last year in which Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed nine Turkish citizen… He continued, saying ‘if you are insistent on creating a source of unrest, you are bound to become lonelier and lonelier. They used to be great friends of ours. And this solitude is Israel’s fate under these circumstances.’” Read more.

Flashback: Erdogan: Iran Isn’t the Real Nuclear Threat in the Middle East, Israel Is – “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that while the West may presume that Israel and its surrounding nations would be under threat from a nuclear-armed Iran, it is Israel that possesses nuclear weapons. In a Time magazine article published on Tuesday, Erdogan dismissed claims that the agreement to install NATO radar in Turkey was a response to the nuclear threat posed by Iran… Erdogan continued to insist that UN sanctions on Israel would help solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, saying ‘had these sanctions been imposed, the Palestine-Israel conflict would have been resolved a long time ago.’” Read more.

Ethiopia: Muslim Mob Burns Down Church Targeted by Police

12/11/2011 Leave a comment

By Luiza Oleszczuk – “A recently erected church was burned in southern Ethiopia on Nov. 29 by a group of over 500 Muslim students allegedly supported by local police, four days after local Muslim authorities ordered demolition of the building, human rights watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) reported Thursday.

The Saint Arsema Orthodox Church in the village of Qoto Baloso in Silte Province found itself entangled in conflict between the Muslim population, predominant in the region, and the minority Christians community.

On Nov. 25, police tore down the church’s roof, following a dispute started by a Muslim businessman who claimed he owned the piece of land, ICC’s regional manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, told The Christian Post Friday. The Christian community has been using the land for holding service for the past 60 years, and in a recent decision, the Supreme Court of the South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS) (a counterpart of a state supreme court) ruled the community had a right to build its temple there.

However, a local court ruled that the building was erected without proper authorization, head of police in Silte Province told ICC.

Chief of Qebet district police, Hassan Shomolo, has a reputation for anti-Christian attitude, the agency said. So does Judge Daro Jamal, who reportedly issued the order for the police chief to deploy 30 officers on the night of Nov. 25 to demolish the church. The law enforcement only managed to damage the roof, as local Christians began protesting.

On Nov. 29, a group of more than 500 Muslim students poured gasoline on the building and burned it in broad daylight, Racho said.” Read more.

Syria: Christians Fear Future as Violent Persecution from Muslim Extremists Increases

12/11/2011 1 comment

By Alex Murashko – “Violent attacks against Christians by Muslim extremists in Syria have increased as the byproduct of the country’s volatile political situation, much like what has transpired in Egypt, said a persecution watchdog this week.

Open Doors International officials say that while much of the world’s attention is focused on the Egyptian elections and American troops withdrawing from Iraq, the situation inside Syria is getting worse, especially for Christians.

‘Christians inside Syria are caught in the crossfire as they are in many other Middle Eastern countries,’ said Open Doors president and CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. ‘Until the protests started against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the Christian community enjoyed some protection. Now they are afraid of the future. Will they have to flee their country like Iraqi Christians have done over the last several years?’

Paul Estabrooks, communication specialist for the international organization, told The Christian Post that the group’s workers in Syria have reported various atrocities, including the kidnapping of two Christian women who entered taxi cabs driven by Muslim fundamentalists.

The fundamentalist Muslim taxi drivers in Syria have made a vow that they will harm all women taking their taxis who are unveiled, according to Open Doors.

‘These women, mostly less orthodox Muslims and Christians, are being kidnapped, raped or even killed,’ said the field worker. ‘Some months ago two Christian women were kidnapped. One managed to jump out of the driving car, but the other was taken. That woman remains missing. This didn’t happen in a remote area of the country but in the capital of Damascus. For women the situation is unsafe now.'” Read more.

Flashback: Syria’s Choice: Murderous Secular Regime or Islamic Fundamentalists – “As Syrian dictator Bashar Assad continues to slaughter his people, there are growing indications that the Islamists are increasing their efforts to replace his regime. What started as a secular Facebook revolution against the Assad regime is now beginning to look more like a jihad [holy war] led by Muslim fundamentalists. The Muslim Brotherhood is clearly seeking to hijack the anti-Assad protests, in both the political and military fields. In the past few months, there have been many signs of a ‘return to Islam’ in Syrian society.” Read more.

Flashback: The Islamic Revival in Syria – “Islamic fundamentalism in Syria has spread rapidly in recent years, and not just among the urban poor. The spectacle of veiled women driving brand new Mercedes through the bustling streets of Damascus illustrates that religious revivalism has penetrated high society. In posh residential neighborhoods of the capital, most restaurants have stopped serving alcohol and there are traffic jams every Friday outside local mosques. As in other Arab states, the Islamist resurgence in Syria has been fueled by the resounding failures of secular political parties in the region, the contrasting successes of militant Islamist groups, and widespread feelings of powerlessness in the face of perceived Israel and American encroachments in the region.” Read more.

Eurozone Banking System on the Edge of Collapse as Moody’s Downgrades French Banks, ‘Major Banks Could Fail Within Weeks’

12/11/2011 Leave a comment

By Harry Wilson – “Senior analysts and traders warned of impending bank failures as a summit intended to solve the European crisis failed to deliver a solution that eased concerns over bank funding.

The European Central Bank admitted it had held meetings about providing emergency funding to the region’s struggling banks, however City figures said a ‘collateral crunch’ was looming.

‘If anyone thinks things are getting better then they simply don’t understand how severe the problems are. I think a major bank could fail within weeks,’ said one London-based executive at a major global bank.

Many banks, including some French, Italian and Spanish lenders, have already run out of many of the acceptable forms of collateral such as US Treasuries and other liquid securities used to finance short-term loans and have been forced to resort to lending out their gold reserves to maintain access to dollar funding.

‘The system is creaking. There is a large amount of stress,’ said Anthony Peters, a strategist at Swissinvest, pointing to soaring interbank lending rates.” Read more.

French banks downgraded by Moody’s – “The agency cut its ratings on the long-term debt of BNP and Credit Agicole by one notch to Aa3, concluding reviews that began in June and were continued in September. Societe Generale’s long-term debt was cut by one notch to A1. The downgrades were driven by the increasing difficulties the banks were having in raising funding and the worsening economic outlook, Moody’s said. The news comes a day after the European Banking Authority (EBA), warned the region’s banks must find €114.7bn of extra capital in order to withstand the euro zone debt crisis and restore investor confidence.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

California: ‘Hollywood Shootout’ Gunman Calmly Targeted Drivers and Pedestrians While Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’

12/11/2011 Leave a comment

Maybe he decided to act upon his own personal ‘triggering event‘ …

By Claire Reitz – “A lone gunman, Tyler Brehm opened fire at people passing by near Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, CA on Friday, December 10.

The 26 year-old shooter walked with a gun around 10:00 AM toward the famous intersection. Along the way, he taunted a few people.

One woman in a car driving by reported the man walking up to her car and tapping on the window with his gun. Immediately after she turned her vehicle off of Vine onto a side street, she began hearing shots.

The man walked in the street on Vine toward Sunset shooting at pedestrians and others driving by. Three people were wounded and another was killed. The man killed was an off-duty police officer who was working on a movie set nearby. Another wounded was a man driving by who was rushed to the hospital immediately following the incident. He is still in critical condition. The two other men were mildly wounded.

When the Los Angeles Police Department arrived on the scene, they tried to end the violence. When the gunman made a threatening move toward them, they shot and killed him.

You may have heard this story on Friday night or Saturday. What was not reported by any news outlets other than a local news program in Los Angeles was what the man was yelling as he walked down the street shooting people.

A witness reported the gunman shouting ‘allahu akbar’, which means ‘God is the greatest’ in Arabic. The motive of this random shooting is still unknown.” Source –

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