Human Rights are wrongs in Europe 1

Case One: An Islamic terrorist is kept at taxpayers’ expense in Britain, and protected by European judges from deportation to his homeland Jordan, where he has been convicted for terrorist crimes, on the grounds that Jordan uses torture. And even when the Jordanian authorities give assurances that the monster won’t be tortured, the judges still won’t let him go, just in case the evidence against him in a Jordanian court may be elicited by torture.

Case Two: In Spain, a genuine refugee who has committed no crime under Spanish law but only exercised his right of free speech by criticizing Islam, is to be returned to Pakistan where he will face the death penalty for apostasy.

*

Case One:

Abu Qatada, top al-Qaeda terrorist in Europe, lives in Britain at the expense of the taxpayer. Free rent, free education for his children, free health care, social security income – and the cost of his police surveillance alone comes to £100,000 ($150,000) per week.

The Examiner reports:

The man who was designated by the British media as England’s own “terror cleric,” Abu Qatada is now complaining, via his son, that the taxpayer subsidized London home is “small and filthy” …

The hate preacher’s son, Qatada Qatada, complained not only of the cramped and unsanitary digs they aren’t paying for, but also of:

“Racist pressure groups in Britain [who] hold demonstrations outside the house”… and would “scream and curse at us and at Islam.”

It’s good to hear that at least some of the British public are intolerant of the intolerable.

The rent-free Qatada home has been picketed by British citizens who question the government’s wisdom as to the insistence that taxpayer money is used to house, feed and care for the terrorist and his family.

The British government has been attempting to deport Abu Qatada back to his native Jordan since 2001, but has been continually stymied by both British courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) located in Strasbourg, France.

The upholding of human rights has largely replaced justice as the raison d’être of law courts in Europe.  

Qatada was found guilty in absentia by the Jordanian government on terrorism charges and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison at hard labor.

However, a British Special Immigration Appeals Commission agreed with the earlier ECHR ruling that if sent back to Jordan, Qatada’s human rights would be in jeopardy.

The following are key events in the years-long saga as the British people have attempted to rid themselves of the Jihadist terrorist.

September 16 1993 – The Jordanian father of five claims asylum when he arrives in Britain on a forged passport.

June 1994 – He is allowed to stay in Britain. [!]

March 1995 – Qatada issues a ‘fatwa’ justifying the killing of converts from Islam, their wives and children in Algeria.

May 1998 – He applies for indefinite leave to remain in Britain.

April 1999 – He is convicted in his absence on terror charges in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment.

October 1999 – The radical cleric speaks in London advocating the killing of Jews and praising attacks on Americans.

February 2001 – He is arrested by anti-terror police over involvement in a plot to bomb Strasbourg Christmas market. Officers find him in possession of £170,000 in cash, including £805 in an envelope marked ‘For the mujahedin in Chechnya’.

December 2001 – Qatada becomes one of Britain’s most wanted men after going on the run from his home in Acton, West London.

October 2002 – He is arrested by police in a council house in south London and detained in Belmarsh high-security jail.

March 2005 – He is freed on conditional bail and placed on a control order.

August 2005 – The preacher is arrested under immigration rules as the Government seeks to deport him to Jordan.

April 2008 – The Court of Appeal rules that deporting him would breach his human rights because evidence used against him in Jordan may have been obtained through torture.

Evidence against him may have been obtained through torture! Unlikely that he really is a terrorist? Are all British judges milquetoast? What happened to the roast beef of Olde England?

May 2008 – Qatada is granted bail by the immigration tribunal but told he must stay inside for 22 hours a day.

June 2008 – He is released from Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire and moves in to a four bedroomed £800,000 home in West London.

November 2008 – He is rearrested after the Home Office tells an immigration hearing of fears he plans to abscond.

December 2008 – Qatada’s bail is revoked by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) after hearing secret evidence that the risk of him absconding has increased.

February 18 2009 – In a landmark judgment, five Law Lords unanimously back the Government’s policy of removing terror suspects from Britain on the basis of assurances from foreign governments. It is ruled he can be deported to Jordan to face terror charges.

Ah, some roastbeef judges after all!

But not in the European Court of Human Rights. Get ready to be exasperated.

February 19 2009 - Qatada is awarded £2,500 compensation by the European Court of Human Rights after the judges rule that his detention without trial in the UK under anti-terrorism powers breached his human rights.

January 2012 – European judges rule the firebrand cleric can be sent back to Jordan with diplomatic assurances but he cannot be deported while ‘there remains a real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him’.

February 6 2012 – SIAC rules he can be released on bail, despite posing a risk to national security.

February 9 2012 – David Cameron and King Abdullah of Jordan agree on the ‘importance of finding an effective resolution’ to his case, Downing Street says.

February 13 2012 – It emerges Qatada has been released on bail from Long Lartin prison.

April 17 2012 – The cleric is arrested as the Government prepares to deport him to Jordan.

April 18 2012 – Abu Qatada lodges an appeal – potentially delaying his deportation by months.

Since his illegal entry into the United Kingdom in 1993, Abu Qatada has been a multi-million Pound Sterling burden to the British people.

*

 Case Two:

In Spain an ex-Muslim refugee offends not his host nation but Islam, so the Spanish Government wants to deport him to Pakistan where he will face the death penalty. 

This report is from Cobourg Atheist, by John Draper:

Imran Firasat is from Pakistan but risked his life and left Islam – he is no longer a Muslim. To escape death, he moved to Spain where he runs a web site. Further, he is on a campaign to criticise Islam – he started with some cartoons …, created a web site which is in both Spanish and English and promoted the controversial movie Innocence of Muslims. The web site also lists 10 reasons why Muhammad was a false prophet … He co-produced a 70min movie The Innocent Prophet that described why he thought Islam to be wrong – why people would be crazy to believe what is in the Qur’an. But he is not a Spanish citizen – he was admitted into Spain as a refugee. So when he announced his plans to release the movie,he was told he could lose his status and be deported back to Pakistan where he would face a certain death penalty for openly leaving and criticizing Islam under Pakistan’s blasphemy Law.  He therefore withdrew his name from the movie …

You can find the movie here:

More of the story comes from Islam Watch, by M.A.Kahn:

Under pressure, Firasat withdrew from the movie, but his U.S. collaborator, controversial Pastor Terry Jones, who already had a copy, took Firasat’s name out of the movie and released it from the U.S. on the scheduled date.

Despite Imran Firasat’s best effort to distance himself from the movie by completely taking out his name, the Spanish authority decided to revoke his refugee status, serving him with a letter to the effect within days after the movie was released.

Mr. Firasat has been baffled by the manner his refugee status was revoked, because it usually takes 6 months to process the cancellation of refugee status.

He has been told by the Interior Ministry that he is a threat to Spain’s national security. He was inciting violence against Spain both at home and against Spanish diplomatic missions and interests abroad. …

Imran Firasat, who feels open examination of Islam is necessary for liberty and democracy to survive in the West amidst its burgeoning Muslim populations, says, he wants to criticize Islam, but without instigating violence among Muslims to avoid vandalism, destructions and deaths.

And his movie, despite being on Youtube for over two weeks and watched by tens of thousands of people, there hasn’t been any controversy, criticism or violence, whatsoever. Even then, the decision of the Spanish government to serve Imran Firasat with deportation papers clearly shows how much fear have Muslims stricken into the hearts of Western nations. This is nothing but Muslims’ perfect enactment of Allah’s divine commandment for striking terror into the heart of the unbelievers …

Imran Firasat, who has been struggling with financial difficulties, especially after making this movie – which not only ate up all of savings but he also had to take a loan – has one month to defend himself in Court, failing which he may be put on a plane to Pakistan. …

So is shortage of funds the reason why he isn’t appealing to the European Court of Human Rights where – just maybe – his case will be looked at with the same consideration applied in the case of Abu Qatada? If so, why aren’t Spanish taxpayers bearing that cost, as British taxpayers bore the cost of Abu Qatada’s appeal?

The solution to such puzzles is to be found in this new unwritten principle of European and American political philosophy: If you offend Muslims you are guilty; if Muslims offend you, you are guilty.

Last thought: “Mr. Firasat has been baffled by the manner his refugee status was revoked, because it usually takes 6 months to process the cancellation of refugee status.“ Why do we suspect that Obama and Hillary Clinton – who are persecuting the maker of the video Innocence of Muslims, pretending it caused the murderous attack by Muslim terrorists on the US mission in Benghazi – have a couple of bloodstained hands in the perpetration of this injustice?

Europe on the brink of catastrophe 0

Germany and France drove the creation of the European Union (EU). Both wanted to be part of a vaster, more powerful political entity: Germany in order, forlornly, to dissolve its national guilt in it; and France, pathetically, to rival the power of the United States with it. Neither hope has been fulfilled. The EU is a failure.

What is the EU? It’s a conglomerate of disparate nations, run by unelected bureaucrats. It has a parliament with no power worth having.

How could it have been expected to succeed? It doesn’t even have a common language. Every document “of major public importance or interest” has to be translated into every one of its 23 official languages.

Imagine the cost of that alone. Bill Bryson wrote (in his book Mother Tongue) that way back in 1987, when the inchoate union was called the European Economic Community (EEC) -

An internal survey found that it was costing $25 a word, $500 dollars a page, to translate all its documents. One in every three employees of the European Community is engaged in translating papers and speeches. A third of all administrative costs – $700 million in 1987 – was taken up with paying for translators and interpreters. Every time a member is added [to the original 6], as most recently with Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the translation problems multiply exponentially.

There are now 27 member states, prices have risen steeply, and in any case no one knows how much the EU pays for anything. Its costs are never accurately calculated.

Because it is irredeemably corrupt, its accounts cannot be cleared. Despairing auditors who turned whistle-blower have been sacked and abused. Officials riding the  gravy-train grow rich on fraud.

Now its nemesis has caught up with it. The 16 member states that adopted the euro as their currency  are not at ease with one another. Their socialist policies are bankrupting them as they were bound to do. Greece has been temporarily saved from economic death by the rest of the EU (and also by the IMF, to which American tax-payers contribute the most). But the peoples, especially the Germans who’ve been made to fork out the bulk of the EU contribution, resent having to do it. (Recent elections in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia indicate that voters are angry with the federal government’s decision to help Greece and “defend the Euro”.)

The dream of a United States of Europe was always an impossible one. The attempt to realize it is a nightmare.

George Will writes:

The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament (in Strasbourg) no one other than its members wants to have power (which must subtract from the powers of national legislatures), a capital (Brussels) of coagulated bureaucracy no one admires or controls, a currency that presupposes what neither does nor should nor soon will exist (a European central government), and rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring. The euro currency both presupposes and promotes a fiction — that “Europe” has somehow become, against the wishes of most Europeans, a political rather than a merely geographic expression.

The designs of the paper euros, introduced in 2002, proclaim a utopian aspiration… The bills depict nonexistent windows, gateways and bridges. They are from … nowhere, which is what “utopia” means… [The euro] is an attempt to erase nationalities and subsume politics in economics in order to escape from European history.

The euro pleases dispirited people for whom European history is not Chartres and Shakespeare but the Holocaust and the Somme. The euro expresses cultural despair.

It also presupposes something else nonexistent. The word “democracy” incorporates the Greek demos — people. As the recent rampages of Greece’s demos, and the reciprocated disdain of Germany’s demos, demonstrate, Europe remains a continent of distinct and unaffectionate peoples. There is no “European people” united by common mores.

Even the Financial Times – which is pink in color politically as well as literally – warned on May 14 that “displays of anger” in the member states may “become more widespread”,  and that “a Europe hounded [sic] by market forces has acted too late” with sudden desperate programs of austerity to save itself from economic catastrophe.

The Euro will fall further. The EU itself may fall apart. That at least, to our mind, is an eventuality devoutly to be wished.

The left stamps on the Cuban heels 1

In our post Torture and death in Cuba (February 27, 2010), we said we would watch hopefully to see if the death of the political prisoner Orlanda Zapata Tamayo, who went on hunger-strike in a Cuban prison and was ultimately tortured to death, would “galvanize the pro-democracy movement”, and if it did, to what result.

Now Investor’s Business Daily brings us this report:

The death of a dissident on a hunger strike last month is still sending shock waves to Cuba’s regime. Cuba’s global support is falling away

It may be the end of the Cuban regime, but something changed when Orlando Tamayo Zapata, a political prisoner, died in a hunger strike last month. Tamayo, a construction worker, was arrested in the 2003 “Black Spring” wave of arrests against 75 democracy activists, drawing a sentence of 25 years. His hunger strike called attention to the plight of Cuba’s political prisoners.

When the Castro regime let him die, they assumed that his demise was the end of it and he’d be forgotten, same as all the others.

But it didn’t happen that way. Inside Cuba, other dissidents began hunger strikes. The Castroites also beat up dissident wives known as Ladies in White, who marched to protest the arrests of the 75.

There are signs that the regime is running scared since the death, but the biggest impact seems to be coming from abroad.

Outgoing President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica unexpectedly lashed out first against Tamayo’s death. Brazil’s center-right opposition, in the heat of a coming election, blasted Brazil’s outgoing president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, for backslapping with the Castro brothers in Havana the day the dissident died. Opposition politicians in Spain and Argentina also criticized their own governments for aiding the regime. And in Spain, a poll by Elcano Royal Institute released Thursday showed that 72% of Spaniards believe there’s not enough international human rights pressure on Cuba.

Another blow came Monday, when Chilean President Sebastian Pinera declared: “My government will do whatever it can to re-establish democracy in Cuba.”

Even more striking, Chile’s opposition socialist parties condemned for the first time Cuba’s treatment of its political prisoners. In the past, the socialists had always looked the other way.

Now the cultural establishment is stepping up: Prominent entertainers like actor Andy Garcia, singer Gloria Estefan, actress Maria Conchita Alonso and others are leading rallies and showing films that are critical of the Castro regime.

Chilean novelist Isabel Allende appealed for the release of the political prisoners. [That really surprises us - JB]

In Spain, film director Pedro Almodovar and novelist Mario Vargas Llosa wrote an open letter to Castro called “I accuse the Cuban government.”

With so many stars of the International Left leading the way, even the American Dictator found it politic to follow:

In light of this, President Obama’s added voice to growing global calls for human rights in Cuba is powerful, even if it’s just following the crowd. It means that the international apologists on the left who’ve justified Castro over the years are growing scarce, leaving Castro’s regime isolated — and perhaps answerable for its crimes.

A vision of pure meaninglessness 7

The Canadian journalist Diane Francis has written an article in the Financial Post, expressing the opinion that the whole world should adopt China’s one-child-only policy in order to reduce the world’s population.

The environmentalists hold to the view, as little fact-based as all their views tend to be, that over-population is a threat, when in fact most countries, notably all of Europe and Japan, have precisely the opposite problem: birth-rates so low that the Italians, the Irish, the Spanish, the Portuguese (all predominantly Catholic countries, note) as well as the British, the Scandinavians, the Russians, the Japanese are literally dying out.

The environmentalist view is that human beings are messy creatures, doing more harm than good to the planet. The Green vision is of a clean, nay a pure planet. In truth, their ideal could only be realized by the total elimination of the filthy human species.

Here’s what Diane Francis has to say:

The “inconvenient truth” overhanging the UN’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.

A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

The world’s other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity’s soaring reproduction rate. [This is the sheerest nonsense - JB]

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world’s leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

The intelligence behind this is the following:

-If only one child per female was born as of now, the world’s population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.

-By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world’s forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.

-Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.

Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it. Medical and other scientific advances have benefited by delivering lower infant mortality rates as well as longevity. Both are welcome, but humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars.

The fix is simple. It’s dramatic. And yet the world’s leaders don’t even have this on their agenda in Copenhagen. Instead there will be photo ops, posturing, optics, blah-blah-blah about climate science and climate fraud, announcements of giant wind farms, then cap-and-trade subsidies.

None will work unless a China one-child policy is imposed. Unfortunately, there are powerful opponents. Leaders of the world’s big fundamentalist religions preach in favor of procreation and fiercely oppose birth control. And most political leaders in emerging economies perpetuate a disastrous Catch-22: Many children (i. e. sons) stave off hardship in the absence of a social safety net or economic development, which, in turn, prevents protections or development.

China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food [this has long been a popular myth on the Left - JB], and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet. [What sense can be made of this statement? - JB]

For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.

The point is that Copenhagen’s talking points are beside the point.

The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.

Impose, impose, impose. And because ‘over-population’ is a world problem, there must be a World Authority with the power to impose its will on every single one of us. Totalitarianism on a scale that Lenin could only have dreamed of.

This is neo-Malthusianism. Human beings are not as Malthus or this lady imagines them.

Diane Francis’s article is typical of the thinking of the Left. It is sociological. Sociology is a collectivist idea, a way of seeing people merely as units of a species.

The sociological, leftist, Green view is anti-human, chiming harmoniously with the view of the Communist Chinese government that Diane Francis praises. The naturally dictatorial Greens (including Barack Obama’s adviser, Cass Sunstein) are all for forced sterilization and forced abortion to solve a non-existent problem of over-population. They surely have no objection to another Communist Chinese method of keeping the population down: the murder, usually by exposure and neglect, of millions of babies born alive, most of them girls.

It should never be forgotten that every human being is a repository of meaning, the only meaning there is in the known universe. Every human being is a world. No two are the same.

A critical mass of humanity is needed before you get your innovators, your geniuses, and all of us, even the foolish and the mad among us, can make our contributions.