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Monthly Archives: January 2018
Controversial Swiss-born Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, is being held by French police investigating accusations of rape.
A judicial source confirmed to Reuters that Ramadan was taken into custody on Wednesday. His detention comes in the wake of a preliminary investigation opened last year after two women filed police complaints against him, accusing him of rape.
The main complainant against Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, is former Salafist Henda Ayari, 40. She filed a complaint with French authorities in Rouen accusing Ramadan of sexually harassing her, raping her, and issuing death threats towards her.
The feminist activist also revealed that she had written about her experience in a book, but had been too fearful to print Ramadan’s name
McGill University Considers Rejecting Use of Endowment to ‘Advance Social, Political Causes,’ Drawing BDS Protest
The Board of Governors at McGill University in Montreal, Canada is considering advising against the use of its resources “to advance social or political causes,” a move that has faced opposition from students supportive of boycotts against Israel.
In a December 12th meeting, the board considered including the language in the mandate of its Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility, which informs the board of the social impact of investments in its 1.6 billion CAD endowment. It also discussed a proposal to review the mandate every five years, rather than the current three.
McGill Students in Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and Divest McGill warned in The McGill Daily on Monday that such changes “would have effectively destroyed the potential for any divestment campaign in the next five years.”
Divest McGill has sought to pressure the university to withdraw its investments in fossil fuels, while SPHR has called for divestment from companies that “profit from the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories,” in line with the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
Representatives from both campus groups disrupted the meeting to ensure the amendments would not pass.
“We argued that students had a right to know about the proposal, as it has clear political repercussions,” and demanded that the issue be opened to discussion with the broader community, the students recounted. “The Board of Governors refused to agree to do this, and instead postponed a final decision on the amendment until the next meeting on February 15.”
Having failed to secure their desired concession, and viewing the proposal as a threat to the “moral integrity of our University,” the students said they “shut down the meeting in song with a rendition of ‘We Have Got the Power.’”
Robert Walker, national director of the campus advocacy group Hasbara Fellowships Canada, said “bringing in anti-Israel rhetoric — and disrupting meetings when BDS activists don’t like the result — are the actions of a losing cause.”
With the Islamic State (ISIS) heading for collapse, Belgium is bracing for the return of hundreds of jihadi fighters deserting the ranks of the Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The western European country, which pursued a liberal immigration policy in recent decades, produced the highest number of foreign ISIS fighters per capita of EU countries — up to 700 in total.
A female traveller was recently banned from taking a large “emotional-support peacock” on board a United Airlines flight, it has emerged.
She had offered to buy the bird its own plane ticket, according to travel blog Live and Let Fly.
Nonetheless the airline refused to let the bird board at Newark airport in New Jersey, saying it did not meet guidelines due to its weight and size.
According to Amnesty International, “communicating with each other and expressing ourselves freely is central to living in an open and fair society.” Except, apparently, for those who don’t happen to agree with the group’s politics.
That much seemed apparent last week when the organization canceled — at nearly the last moment — a scheduled debate over the UN Human Rights Council’s obsession with Israel to be held at its London headquarters.
The official excuse: Because Amnesty supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, “it would be inappropriate [for us] to host an event by those actively supporting” West Bank Jewish settlements.
By which AI specifically meant the watchdog group UN Watch — whose extremely effective executive director, Hillel Neuer, was to take part in the debate with a pro-UN advocate.
Worse, Amnesty suddenly claimed that allowing Neuer to appear at its building would put the work of its people “on the ground . . . at risk.”
By which it probably meant that some of its well-heeled supporters had raised objections. Or maybe the group simply got cold feet over the potential embarrassment of hosting a debate in which Neuer was sure to prevail.
None of this comes as any surprise: Amnesty International has a long record of opposing Israeli policies — but, worse still, of holding the Jewish state to an unfair double standard that would qualify AI for membership on that same Israel-bashing UN Human Rights Council.
Amnesty, like the rest of the left, has an obsessive and unbalanced interest in Israel. It routinely publishes reports denouncing Israeli actions while ignoring the Palestinian terror attacks — including missile fire — that provoke them.
It has demanded that Israel — but not Hamas — be prosecuted for war crimes. And its “people on the ground” have included at least one person who served as a “human shield” against Israeli troops.
Amnesty International has long failed to live up to its own media hype. Maybe its officials should reschedule that debate — and then stay to watch it.
Yale let accusers text each other to coordinate testimony against male during Title IX hearing: lawsuit
Two female students at Yale formally accused a male student “only minutes apart” on the same day, saying he groped both of them on a bus and one of them months earlier in Paris.
They teamed up again by coordinating their testimony against the male – “who has been a conservative columnist for the Yale Daily News” – during the Title IX hearing itself, according to the accused student’s new lawsuit against Yale.
The nation’s highest military court has thrown out the 2012 rape conviction of a Coast Guard enlisted man because admirals and prosecutors packed the seven-member jury with five women, four of whom held jobs as advocates for victims of sexual assault.
In a 5-0 ruling that could change how the military conducts sex abuse trials, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces unleashed caustic criticism of all involved.
From the Coast Guard commandant down to an appellate court to the original trial judge, the high court said all contributed to a “stain on the military justice system.” The military has been under intense pressure to wipe out sexual harassment and assault, the five civilian judges noted.
The opinion, delivered by Judge Margaret A. Ryan, said the four admirals who played a role in assembling the officer and enlisted jury pool produced an illegal “gender-based court stacking.” She suggested that the admirals’ role amounted to unlawful command influence, which military law analysts see as the enemy of fair trials for service members.
The court ruling said the trial judge “failed to conduct even a rudimentary investigation” into defense attorneys’ complaints of an unfair jury.
It also said the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals failed in its duty to protect against unlawful command influence as it “rationalized the error away as a benign effort to seek inclusiveness.”
“Yet the error in this case is both so obvious and so egregious that it adversely affected not only Appellant’s right to a fair trial by an impartial panel, but also the essential fairness and integrity of the military justice system,” Judge Ryan and the four other judges wrote.
Even worse, the high court suggested that the enlisted man never would have been convicted by a more gender-proportionate jury. It said the evidence was so weak that a hearing officer had recommended dismissing the charges. The admiral overseeing the case overruled him.
“The Government’s case was weak, primarily based on the testimony of [name redacted], the putative victim, who was unable to remember many of the events surrounding the crime due to alcohol use and whose testimony was controverted by other witnesses at trial,” the opinion read.
Reputable news organizations should swear off anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct unless there is a substantial body of evidence and an overwhelming public interest imperative.
Despite the mountain of horse manure from the likes of Wynne, Horwath et al Thursday about the courage of the two women, I can think of almost nothing that requires less fortitude than accusing someone else of wrongdoing when your own face, name and identity are hidden.
That this all comes five months before the next Ontario election means only one thing, as my wise muse put it: “#MeToo is shaking the foundations of our democracy,” because fundamental to a democracy is — was — the right to face your accuser and make full answer in defence.
The German government condemned the reported tests on animals and humans. Transport Minister Christian Schmidt “has no understanding for such tests … that do not serve science but merely PR aims”
Let’s be perfectly frank: it’s the single most sexist, misogynist and abusive awards show of them all, celebrating many of the most sexist, misogynist and abusive people in an amoral industry of spectacular proportions.
If you thought Hollywood’s bad, it’s got nothing on the record business, particularly in the worlds of hip-hop and rap.
Some foreign investors, particularly those from China, are taking advantage of Canadian loopholes to become ghost immigrants, according to David Lesperance, a tax and immigration consultant with Lesperance & Associates.
Lesperance cites one recent judge’s decision from a lawsuit in which the judge said Chinese millionaire Guoqing Fu bought multiple multi-million-dollar homes in Canada while claiming just $97 in worldwide income on his taxes. The judge’s 600-page ruling in the case was posted online earlier this month.
“That was really pushing the edge,” Lesperance told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday. He says the situation would have gone unnoticed if Fu’s family and his partners, the Xia family, had not turned on each other and exposed their activities in court.
A California high school teacher was caught on audio belittling the US military in class, as well as a student in the class who had worn a shirt emblazoned with a US Marines logo.
El Rancho High School’s Gregory Salcido, also a councilman in the town of Pico Rivera, can be heard calling members of the military “the frickin’ lowest of our low” and a “bunch of dumbshits.”
“It’s no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has de-facto opened a new branch, the ‘Lebanon branch.’
I won’t be voting in the upcoming election, and if you’re a conservative, neither should you
Three former Green Party staffers are accusing longtime leader Elizabeth May of workplace bullying, alleging she has created a toxic work environment with conduct that includes yelling at employees and putting them down in front of their colleagues.
Rob Rainer, a manager of six non-profit organizations before he served as the party’s interim executive director in 2014, said the Green Party has failed to address and prevent a pattern of “verbal and emotional” abuse by the 63-year-old leader.
“What I witnessed was her proclivity to be negative and — most seriously — to berate, belittle and bully individuals,” Rainer said. “How we speak to other people can really, really hurt.”
May and the party’s current executive director, Emily McMillan, and another high-ranking party official flatly denied the allegations and dismissed them as nothing more than the grumbling resentment of former employees.
Rainer is calling on the party to apologize “to everyone who has been hurt by her behaviour” and bring in an external investigator to examine May’s alleged conduct.
“She should be forced to step down as leader of the party and sit as an independent MP,” Rainer said.
Diana Nunes said she worked as the party’s director of finance for more than 10 years until she was “abruptly” terminated in April 2015. She recalled numerous instances where May allegedly “threw a fit” and yelled at employees, though she herself was never the target.
Nevertheless, Nunes called May a “bully” who is “mean to the core.”
The sister of former PC leader Patrick Brown has come out swinging in defence of her brother.
“What happened to my brother was disgusting,” Stephanie Brown wrote on Facebook. “And make no mistake, he is the victim.”
Brown had to step down as leader this week after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Stephanie, a dentist, called the allegations politically motivated and completely false.
Those who applaud the accusers ,who remain “nameless ghosts,” are doing so to bolster political fortunes, she said.
This guy is a lawyer:
Beyond a reasonable doubt: Some anonymous female claims to recall an incident that made her uncomfortable while she was a pissed drunk teenager 20 years ago. Good enough for me!
The New Orleans City Council unanimously rescinded a human rights resolution Thursday, two weeks after approval of the seemingly benign measure sparked accusations that members had unwittingly played into the hands of international anti-Israel extremists and anti-Semites.
Look, I hate Weinstein as much as the next guy and think he should have his ass sued off, BUT, if a person doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to quit a job when asked to clean up jis, they deserve to clean up jis. Sheesh.
Regulator claims mandatory fees sometimes inflate ticket prices up to 65% higher than advertised
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon revealed to the UN Security Council on Thursday previously undisclosed information concerning the Syrian Civil War.
Danon told the executive body that he was ready to expose the “classified information” for the first time, saying “Iran is currently controlling 82 thousand fighters in Syria.”
“We are releasing this classified information because it is vital for the world to understand that if we turn a blind eye in Syria, the Iranian threat will only grow,” Danon told the council.
The Israeli envoy claimed that the Islamic republic currently has more than “three thousand of its own Iranian Revolutionary Guard” in Syria.
He also noted that it was sponsoring over 10 thousand Hezbollah militants in the country and was training local Syrian forces in the civil war.
The rest, Danon claimed, were made up of extremist Shi’ite militants that Iran was sponsoring.
The report comes a month after Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy — Canada (IRFAN) had been placed on Ottawa’s list of banned terrorist groups. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, IRFAN had merged with the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services, which was allegedly set up by a Muslim Brotherhood committee.
IRFAN had funnelled $15-million to groups linked to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, auditors claimed. IRFAN was a registered charity at the time but has since had its status revoked. The RCMP is investigating. IRFAN denies knowingly funding Hamas.
Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, declined to comment on what he called a “foreign political organization.” But he said the NCCM was not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Trump administration already has offered rhetorical support to Iran’s antigovernment protesters. Now, nearly a month after the demonstrations began, how can the U.S. provide material help? Follow the money.
In a TV interview, Egyptian historian and Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa downplayed the Holocaust, saying that the figure of six million Jews killed was “disputed among historians” and that “at the time, there weren’t six million Jews in the world.” “How come nobody talks about the ‘counter Holocaust’? he asked.
Erykah Badu raised some eyebrows in an interview with Vulture after she seemingly expressed empathy for Adolf Hitler after being asked about accusations that she’s anti-Semitic.
The wide-ranging interview covered a broad number of topics but took a bizarre turn after she was asked about the criticism she faced following 2008 trip to Israel where she says she followed Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
“I’m not an anti-Semitic person. I (didn’t) even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler,” Badu said randomly as the Nazi leader had not been previously mentioned in the interview.
“Come again?” the interview asked back.
“Hitler was a wonderful painter,” she responded.
Dissatisfied with her response, the interviewer pushed Badu to explain herself, noting that, contrary to popular belief, Hitler was a relatively mediocre artist.
“Okay, he was a terrible painter. Poor thing. He had a terrible childhood. That means that when I’m looking at my daughter, Mars, I could imagine her being in someone else’s home and being treated so poorly, and what that could spawn. I see things like that. I guess it’s just the Pisces in me,” Badu answered.