16-year-old Israeli girl murdered by ultra-religious homophobe


Shira Banki, 16-year-old Israeli girl before she was murdered by an ultra-religious homophobe

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

16 Year Old Stabbed in Jerusalem Pride Parade Succumbs to Wounds

Shira Banki was critically wounded in an attack by an ultra-Orthodox man on Thursday; Netanyahu: She died for bravely supporting everyone’s right to live in dignity.

Also from Haaretz: Why the Israeli government’s condemnation of Jerusalem Gay Pride attack is hollow

See also here.

Yaniv Kubovich Aug 02, 2015 6:16 PM

Three days after being critically wounded by an ultra-Orthodox man that went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade, Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teen succumbed to her wounds Sunday afternoon. Five other people were wounded in the attack.

Police confirmed that the suspected stabber is Yishai Schlissel, a Haredi man from Modiin Ilit who stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride march. He was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence.

Banki was a high-school student from Jerusalem, studying at the Hebrew University High School. She took part in Thursday’s parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs.

In a statement issued Sunday, her family said: “Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old – full of life and love – who came to express her support for her friends’ rights to live as they choose. For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance.” The family requests the public respect their privacy as they grieve.

As of Sunday afternoon two of those wounded in the attack alongside Banki were still in serious condition and remained hospitalized, though medical officials said their condition was improving. Three of the other people wounded in the attack were released home after suffering lighter injuries.

Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) also issued a statement, saying Banki was a victim of “Jewish terror”. “I cry for Shira… she is the age of my children. We will not tolerate violence, racism or LGBT-phobia of any kind,” he said, reiterating his demand that the prime minister outlaw extreme right-wing groups which he said “incite hatred” in Israel.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said in a statement: “It’s a dark day for Israel… in which a high school girl is murdered for her opinions and positions.” “There is no principle in the world worth the life of a young girl,” said Bennett, who was supposed to address an LGBT rally Saturday evening, but canceled after refusing to sign a commitment to act on behalf of the gay community. This is “a day in which we became darkness unto the nations instead of a being light unto the nations,” he added.

On Saturday, thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the stabbing as well as a deadly arson attack in the West Bank that saw a Palestinian infant killed.  “Flames have engulfed our country,” President Reuven Rivlin said at the rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square. “Flames of violence, flames of hatred, flames of false, distorted and twisted beliefs.”

An estimated 10,000 people turned up for a rally in Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir, which was already planned to mark six years since two people were killed in a shooting at Barnoar, a Tel Aviv gay youth center. …

The attacker, Schlissel, was sentenced for 12 years in prison for the 2005 attack after his conviction on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault. However, in 2007, following an appeal, the Supreme Court mitigated his sentence to 10 years. He was deemed sane and fit to face trial on Friday.

After his release, Schlissel returned to his hometown, where residents said that he distributed hand-written pamphlets in which he called on “all Jews faithful to God” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” for the sake of preventing the parade.

Right-wing MK: Jerusalem pride parade is an ‘abomination’. Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker Betzalel Smotrich calls anti-violence protest held in wake of stabbing a ‘witch hunt’ against those opposing LGBT rights: here.

Israel Police to probe failure to monitor Jerusalem gay pride parade assailant. Yishai Schlissel, who served 10 years for 2005 parade stabbing attack, urged self-sacrifice against ‘abomination parade’ following his recent release: here.

Homophobic knife attack on Jerusalem Pride marchers


This video from Israel says about itself:

30 July 2015

Six people stabbed at Jerusalem gay pride march ‘by ultra-Orthodox Jew released from jail three weeks ago for identical attack in 2005′.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Participants at Gay Pride Jerusalem stabbed

Today, 18:38

At the Gay Pride march in Jerusalem six participants have been stabbed. Two of them are seriously injured, Israeli emergency services say.

On pictures one can see that the alleged offender, an ultra-orthodox Jew, is arrested. He is the man who ten years ago at the Gay Pride in the Israeli capital conducted a similar attack. Then, four people were injured. The man was convicted to twelve years in prison and was released three weeks ago.

Struggle

“We heard people screaming, everyone tried to get themselves to safety. Bloodied people lying on the ground,” says a witness.

Despite the stabbing, the march continued. “Our struggle for equality will only get stronger because of this,” said the organization.

Ultra-Orthodox man stabs six people at gay pride march in Jerusalem. Yishai Schlissel had recently been released from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing three people at a gay pride parade in 2005, police said: here.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat acknowledged Thursday that “something went wrong” in the failure of police to monitor Schlissel, who while in prison had repeatedly used ultra-Orthodox social media to promote attacks on gays and describe his knifing spree as a “mission from God”. … “The writing was on the wall,” commented Israel’s Channel 2 reporter Moshe Nussbaum. “Everybody knew, except the police…about Schlissel’s intentions”: here.

British Islamophobes’ ‘racial holy war’ plans


This video from North America says about an extreme right ‘racial holy war‘ propagandist:

14 July 2015

Paul Craig Cobb better known as Craig Cobb, is an American Canadian White Nationalist, White Separatist, Neo-Nazi, antisemite and Holocaust denier who operates the video sharing website Podblanc.

By Luke James in Britain:

Operation Race Riot

Tuesday 28th July 2015

Campaigners expose far-right bid to launch a race war off the back of insulting cartoon exhibition of the Muslim prophet Mohammed

A RACIST plot to spark a “civil war” in Britain by staging a provocative exhibition of prophet Mohammed cartoons was blown open by campaigners yesterday.

Anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate published a 32-page dossier alleging that a September 18 exhibition will be at the centre of a plan to spark confrontations in multicultural communities.

Chief executive Nick Lowles called on the authorities to stop the event, saying it is “simply seeking to incite division, hatred and violence.”

Mr Lowles warned: “Some simply want to provoke a violent reaction from Muslims in order to present them in a negative and intolerant light.

“Others hope the cartoons will spark a series of tit-for-tat violence that will ultimately lead to civil war.”

The Sharia Watch group — run by Ukip general election candidate Anne Marie Waters — announced plans for the exhibition earlier this month.

The event at an undisclosed central London venue is to feature cartoons from “satirical” magazine Vive Charlie, which counts Sun columnist Katie Hopkins among its supporters.

Infamous far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders, previously banned from Britain as an “undesirable” for his virulent Islamophobia, is to be the main speaker at the event.

A similar exhibition attended by Mr Wilders in Texas this year was attacked by two armed men, who were shot dead by police.

The Home Office appeared to suggest yesterday that Mr Wilders could be barred entry to Britain to attend the event.

A spokeswoman said the government doesn’t comment on individual cases before adding: “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude non-British nationals from the UK.

“The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they present a threat to our society.”

Organisers claimed the event was part of a campaign to defend free speech in the wake of the deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in January by Islamic extremists.

But Hope Not Hate’s year-long investigation has revealed the real and “sinister” motives behind the event.

The group has insider evidence that Ms Marie Waters and other white extremists discussed using the exhibition to ignite race riots.

She met last month with English Defence League founders Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) and Alan Ayling, as well as Britain First founder Jim Dowson, according to information passed to Hope Not Hate.

One idea allegedly discussed by the group was to hold a number of demonstrations in areas with large Muslim populations at the same time.

Racist activists would wave placards showing images of the prophet Mohammed in the hope of inciting a violent backlash from local Muslims.

“They believed that police would be too stretched to cope and at least one of the demos would lead to a riot,” the report states.

A source closer to Mr Lennon reported that “Isis sleeper sells within the UK would be activated to commit terrorist attacks” in response to the exhibition.

Mr Lennon was said to believe that ex-soldiers would then “take the law into their own hands.”

The report also highlights how British fanatics openly discuss plans for civil war scenarios online, including suggestions about urban warfare.

One recent fictional account of a civil war posted anonymously began with the publication of Mohammed cartoons.

Hope Not Hate says it is “highly disturbing” that people can openly talk about murdering Muslims in a civil war and face no police action.

Mr Lowles added: “This report is more than just an exposé of attempts to use the cartoons to incite a violent reaction.

“It is about a group of political extremists, as dangerous as the Islamists they claim to dislike, who are seeking to bring society to its knees and drive Muslims out of Europe through fear, violence and murder.”

Ms Marie Waters, who stood for Ukip in Lewisham East in May, denied the allegations and the party said it was standing behind her.

See also here.

White religious fundamentalist’s massacre in Louisiana, USA, cinema


This 24 July 2015 video from the USA is called John Russell Houser Is Louisiana Theater Shooter #Lafayette.

By Tom Hall in the USA:

Theater shooting leaves 3 dead, 9 wounded in Louisiana

25 July 2015

A gunman opened fire in a movie theater near downtown Lafayette on Thursday, killing two and wounding eight before turning the gun on himself.

This was at least the third mass shooting in the United States in little more than a month. It follows the massacre by Dylann Roof, a teenager influenced by white supremacism, at a black church in South Carolina in mid-June, and the shooting last Thursday by Mohammad Abdulazeez, a naturalized US citizen from Kuwait, at a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as moviegoers, some still bleeding from gunshot wounds, fled in a panic through the theater’s hallways and into the parking lot. “I saw a woman lying on the ground outside [the theater] with blood everywhere. She was shot in the leg,” one witness told the Daily Advertiser.

The gunman, identified as 59 year-old John Russell Houser, initially attracted no suspicion from fellow moviegoers as he sat and watched the beginning of the comedy film Trainwreck. …

Houser’s possible motivations for the attack are not yet known. Sparse Internet postings indicate a deep demoralization and anger infused with right-wing evangelical views. One post from his Facebook page in 2013 reads: “The bible doesn’t ask me to like what it says, only to obey it. Death comes soon to the financially failing filth farm called the US.” The post then links to a 2011 post from a Nigerian message board which reads “A Woman’s Place In The Church And The Weak Church Elder.”

Another post from Christmas of 2013 reads: “I believe you should be much stronger. The end to the modern day Rome comes soon.” It links to an article from another religious website which reads, “7 signs of a weak leader.”

Houser’s rambling Linkedin page describes him as an entrepreneur with a law degree from Faulkner University and an accounting degree from Columbus State University. His work history indicates a handful of brief business ventures, including two bars that closed within three years of opening. The most recent listing shows that he was a “real estate developer” for eight months in 2006.

Friends and acquaintances described Houser as being “a little unbalanced” and struggling with depression and alcoholism. “He seemed to be more and more unstable,” an acquaintance told the Advocate. He was also apparently known to Phenix City police for his “strange behavior.” Houser’s prior criminal record is thin, however, including arson, selling alcohol to a minor, and speeding, all of which date from more than 10 years ago.

A report by USA Today from July 17, six days before the Lafayette shooting, found that since the massacre in Aurora in 2012 nearly 400 people have been killed in 72 separate mass shootings in the United States. However, because this list includes only incidents where 4 or more people were killed, killings such as those in Lafayette would not have been included in these already staggering figures.

The source of this epidemic of mass shootings is the deepening social crisis in the United States, to which a small number of people have responded with homicidal violence born of deep social alienation. Added to this is the unending violence promoted and perpetrated by the state, at home and abroad.

However, the political establishment, predictably, has avoided any mention of these broader social conditions in its reaction to the shooting.

Louisiana governor and long-shot Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal made an appearance in Lafayette Thursday evening in which he promoted religious obscurantism. “The best thing we can do across Lafayette, across Louisiana, across our country is come together in thoughts, in love, in prayer,” Jindal told a local TV station in remarks which were televised nationally.

The actions of Houser were “evil,” Jindal declared.

One week before calling for “love and prayer” in response to the mass shooting in Lafayette, Jindal penned an editorial on the Chattanooga shooting calculated to whip up anti-Muslim bigotry, attacking president Obama for neglecting to call the shooting of four Naval reservists by a Muslim man “terrorism.” “The truth is that Radical Islam is at war with us,” Jindal declared. “This is grotesque. You cannot defeat evil until you admit that it exists.”

THE gunman who killed two people and wounded nine more in a Louisiana cinema last Thursday was able to buy a gun despite a history of mental illness, police acknowledged at the weekend: here.

THE LOOPHOLE THAT ALLOWED THE LAFAYETTE SHOOTER TO BUY A GUN How John Russell Houser was able to buy the gun that he used to kill two women in a movie theater last week, and the problem that gun rights and gun control activists agree on. [WaPo]

AMY SCHUMER ENLISTS SOME FAMILY HELP IN CALL FOR GUN CONTROL She and her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), made an emotional plea yesterday for gun control. Their joint press conference comes two weeks after two people died after John Houser opened fire at a screening of Schumer’s new movie, “Trainwreck.” [HuffPost]

Quran from Prophet Muhammad’s time discovery in England?


This video from Britain says about itself:

‘Oldest’ Koran found in Birmingham – BBC News

22 July 2015

What may be the world’s oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham. Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence. The pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century.

From the BBC today:

‘Oldest’ Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

By Sean Coughlan, Education correspondent

What may be the world’s oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham.

Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence.

The pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century.

The British Library’s expert on such manuscripts, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, said this “exciting discovery” would make Muslims “rejoice”.

The manuscript had been kept with a collection of other Middle Eastern books and documents, without being identified as one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the world.

Oldest texts

When a PhD researcher, Alba Fedeli, looked more closely at these pages it was decided to carry out a radiocarbon dating test and the results were “startling”.

The university’s director of special collections, Susan Worrall, said researchers had not expected “in our wildest dreams” that it would be so old.

“Finding out we had one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the whole world has been fantastically exciting.”

The tests, carried out by the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, showed that the fragments, written on sheep or goat skin, were among the very oldest surviving texts of the Koran.

These tests provide a range of dates, showing that, with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645.

“They could well take us back to within a few years of the actual founding of Islam,” said David Thomas, the university’s professor of Christianity and Islam.

“According to Muslim tradition, the Prophet Muhammad received the revelations that form the Koran, the scripture of Islam, between the years 610 and 632, the year of his death.”

Prof Thomas says the dating of the Birmingham folios would mean it was quite possible that the person who had written them would have been alive at the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

“The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad. He would have seen him probably, he would maybe have heard him preach. He may have known him personally – and that really is quite a thought to conjure with,” he says.

First-hand witness

Prof Thomas says that some of the passages of the Koran were written down on parchment, stone, palm leaves and the shoulder blades of camels – and a final version, collected in book form, was completed in about 650.

He says that “the parts of the Koran that are written on this parchment can, with a degree of confidence, be dated to less than two decades after Muhammad’s death”.

“These portions must have been in a form that is very close to the form of the Koran read today, supporting the view that the text has undergone little or no alteration and that it can be dated to a point very close to the time it was believed to be revealed.”

The manuscript, written in “Hijazi script“, an early form of written Arabic, becomes one of the oldest known fragments of the Koran.

Because radiocarbon dating creates a range of possible ages, there is a handful of other manuscripts in public and private collections which overlap. So this makes it impossible to say that any is definitively the oldest.

But the latest possible date of the Birmingham discovery – 645 – would put it among the very oldest.

‘Precious survivor’

Dr Waley, curator for such manuscripts at the British Library, said “these two folios, in a beautiful and surprisingly legible Hijazi hand, almost certainly date from the time of the first three caliphs”.

The first three caliphs were leaders in the Muslim community between about 632 and 656.

Dr Waley says that under the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, copies of the “definitive edition” were distributed.

“The Muslim community was not wealthy enough to stockpile animal skins for decades, and to produce a complete Mushaf, or copy, of the Holy Koran required a great many of them.”

Dr Waley suggests that the manuscript found by Birmingham is a “precious survivor” of a copy from that era or could be even earlier.

“In any case, this – along with the sheer beauty of the content and the surprisingly clear Hijazi script – is news to rejoice Muslim hearts.”

The manuscript is part of the Mingana Collection of more than 3,000 Middle Eastern documents gathered in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in modern-day Iraq.

He was sponsored to take collecting trips to the Middle East by Edward Cadbury, who was part of the chocolate-making dynasty.

The Koran

Muslims believe the words of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel over 22 years from 610

It was not until 1734 that a translation was made into English, but was littered with mistakes

Copies of the holy text were issued to British Indian soldiers fighting in the First World War

On 6 October 1930, words from the Koran were broadcast on British radio for the first time, in a BBC programme called The Sphinx

Discover how the Koran became part of British life

The local Muslim community has already expressed its delight at the discovery in their city and the university says the manuscript will be put on public display.

“When I saw these pages I was very moved. There were tears of joy and emotion in my eyes. And I’m sure people from all over the UK will come to Birmingham to have a glimpse of these pages,” said Muhammad Afzal, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque.

The university says the Koran fragments will go on display in the Barber Institute in Birmingham in October.

Prof Thomas says it will show people in Birmingham that they have a “treasure that is second to none”.

Dutch conservative bishop’s paedophile sex scandal


Bishop Gijsen

In the late twentieth century, Bishop Jo Gijsen, since becoming a bishop in 1971, was the poster boy and spearhead in the Netherlands of the Vatican conservative counter-offensive against “too liberal” tendencies in the Dutch Roman Catholic church.

On 7 December 2011, Dutch news agency ANP reported:

Former bishop Gijsen acted improperly

In the late 1950s, former Bishop Jo Gijsen at the seminary in Rolduc, has ‘acted indecently’ and has ‘grossly violated’ the privacy of a former student there.

This is shown by a verdict of the complaints committee of the Roman Catholic Church on a complaint lodged against Gijsen.

The committee confirmed on Wednesday a report on this in daily NRC Handelsblad. According to the indictment he is said to have been Peeping Tom while a former student masturbated in bed.

NRC Handelsblad reports another boy accuses Gijsen of having abused him sexually.

Neither Gijsen nor his lawyer showed up at the complaints committee’s session.

See also here.