Muslim students murdered in North Carolina, USA


Muslim students murdered in North Carolina, USA, from left, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (Facebook)

By Michelle Goldberg in the USA:

The Most Common Type of American Terrorist Is a White Man With a Weapon and a Grudge

February 11, 2015 – 12:01 PM ET

Yesterday, an outspoken white atheist murdered three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We don’t yet know for sure whether this was a hate crime or whether the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, had some other motivation; police have said the crime may have grown out of a dispute over parking. We do know that had Hicks been a Muslim and his victims atheists, few would be waiting for all the facts to come in before declaring him a terrorist. We know that there would be the usual calls for other Muslims to condemn the killings, coupled with the usual failure to take note of the many Muslims who did. And we know that demands for Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins to distance themselves from Hicks are largely facetious, because no one really blames them. Violence perpetrated by Muslims is almost always seen as part of a global conspiracy, whereas white men like Hicks are usually seen as isolated psychopaths.

There is, of course, some truth there. An organized jihadist movement exists; an organized cadre of terroristic atheists does not. Yet in the United States, Islamophobia has been a consistent motivator of violence.

Here, Ms Goldberg should have mentioned that most Islamophobia, and Islamophobic violernce, in the USA is not by atheists (if it is, it is by strangely ‘selective’ atheists), but by extreme right Christians (who should not be conflated with Christians in general). There is indeed no ‘organized cadre of terroristic atheists’ in the USA; but there are organized extreme right Christian terrorists (‘Christian Identity‘, ‘Hutaree‘, ‘Army of God‘, Ku Klux Klan).

Hicks’ killing of Yusor Mohammad, her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, should not be treated like a man-bites-dog story, a reversal of the usual pattern of terrorism. After all, Muslims in the United States are more often the victims of ideological violence than the perpetrators of it.

According to the latest FBI statistics, there were more than 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2013. Mosques and Islamic centers have been firebombed and vandalized; seven mosques were attacked during Ramadan alone in 2012. Several Muslims, or people thought to be Muslim, have been murdered or viciously attacked. In 2010, a white college student and self-described patriot tried to slash the throat of Bangladeshi cab driver Ahmed Sharif. The white supremacist who slaughtered 6 people in a Sikh temple in 2012 may have thought he was targeting Muslims. So, apparently, did Erika Menendez, the … New Yorker who pushed a [Hindu] man named Sunando Sen in front of a subway train that same year.

In most cases, the perpetrators have been disaffected, disaffiliated losers rather than part of any movement, but they’ve picked up broader currents of hatred and conspiracy theorizing. (The same can be said of some lone-wolf Muslim terrorists like Man Haron Monis, the fraudster and criminal who took hostages in Sydney last year, or the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston marathon in 2013.) We don’t yet know if Hicks was driven by lonely fanaticism, but if he was, he’s not as much of an anomaly as he might at first appear. Explicitly atheist violence is unusual, but Hicks still fits the profile of the most common type of American terrorist: a white man with a weapon and a grudge.

See also here.

About one of the victims of this horrible crime, from British daily The Independent:

He regularly posted on Twitter, and wrote in January: “It’s so freaking sad to hear people saying we should ‘kill Jews’ or ‘kill Palestinians’. As if that’s going to solve anything.”

CHAPEL HILL — The father of two of three students shot to death in Chapel Hill on Tuesday says the shooting was a “hate crime” based on the Muslim identity of the victims: here.

OUTRAGE FOLLOWING CHAPEL HILL SHOOTINGS “A simmering dispute over parking may have provoked Tuesday’s triple homicide in a North Carolina college town, authorities said. But police in Chapel Hill said they had no inkling of the animosity among neighbors until the violence. Police have charged Craig Hicks, 46, with three counts of first-degree murder in the shootings of Muslim students Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Barakat’s wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19.” Worldwide social media outrage has resulted in the viral hashtag, #MuslimLivesMatter, and prayer vigils are planned across the country. [HuffPost]

Ukip Christians call LGBTQ people ‘depraved sodomites’


This video from Los Angeles in the USA says about itself:

Homophobic Street Preachers Ambushed by Brick Stone @ 2013 Gay Pride Parade

The 2013 L.A. LGBT Pride Parade was protested by Open Air Street Preachers–who it turns out are not the Westboro Baptist Church– declaring that gay marriage is wrong, lesbians are unattractive, and calling West Hollywood’s gay population fat somehow. Brick Stone (comic Dave Sirus) headed over to upset them as best he could.

Shot by Jordan Santos.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ukip urged to cut ties with Christian group over gay ‘depravity’ comments

Party distances itself from Christian Soldiers of Ukip after newsletter suggests gay people can be converted from state of vice

Rowena Mason, political correspondent

Tuesday 3 February 2015 20.00 GMT

A Ukip-authorised Christian group has been condemned for distributing a newsletter that refers to gay people as depraved sodomites and argues that they could be converted from a state of vice.

On Tuesday night, the party distanced itself from the publication by the Christian Soldiers of Ukip but was facing calls to categorically cut all ties with the group, which holds events annually at the party’s conference and has previously published articles by the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage.

The comments emerged in an article about last year’s Manchester Pride event, which was described in the Christian Soldiers newsletter as an “annual parade of depravity”. It said: “Thousands of people proclaiming their pride in their depravity paraded through the streets watched by multiple thousands of supporters applauding the display of wickedness and seeking to drown out the voices of the few crying in the wilderness.

It went on to suggest that gay people can be “converted” away from their “vice”. “There are those who say that we shouldn’t be witnessing at these events because they are given over by God to this vice as per Romans Chapter 1.

The King James translation of the Bible translates Romans 1 inter alia as:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Christian fundamentalists in the USA and elsewhere base their calls for punishing homosexuality by the death penalty on this.

The Guardian article continues:

While this is undoubtedly true of many, it is not true of all because homosexuals are being converted. The same could be said of most sinners.

“Please write to Asda and tell them that as a Christian you will no longer shop with them because of their support for the ‘gay march’ in Manchester which took place in front of little children during the day.”

The newsletter drew attention to the presence of police officers and teachers at the parade, suggesting this was inappropriate. “There were two floats representing teachers unions: the NAWT [sic; NASUWT] and the NUT. As the NUT passed the witness, one of their number taunted the Christians over a loudspeaker. He kept repeating: ‘We teach your children.’ One wonders just how many Christians who send their children to state schools are bothered by this. Well they ought to be!”

Ukip has been attempting to stress its openness to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members despite its opposition to same-sex marriage and controversies over homophobic comments made by some associated with the party.

A Ukip spokesman described the Christian Soldiers group as “authorised but not official”, adding: “They do not represent the party or its policies. This leaflet was recently brought to our attention. Authorised groups are not allowed to invent Ukip policy and we do not consider that this leaflet is of an acceptable standard to be associated with the Ukip brand.”

Peter Tatchell, a leading gay rights campaigner, called on the party to go further and discipline those involved in the homophobic remarks. “These intolerant, inflammatory views are very similar to those expressed by the British National Party,” he said. “These opinions are not isolated and they are being repeated by Ukip members all over the country.”

Elizabeth Biddulph, a leading member of Christian Soldiers of Ukip, stood by the group’s decision to publish the article, which she said objected to the way some teachers on the pride march had shouted at Christian protesters. …

She added that the newsletter had a disclaimer on the back making clear that its views should not be taken as those of Ukip and the party had not previously objected to any of its newsletters. Meanwhile, a Ukip general election candidate has quit in relation to an internet posting that referred to gay people as “perverts” and “paedophiles”.

Donald Grewar apologised for his “foolishness” after it was reported that he backed a post about same-sex marriage on the BNP website and another post by the English Defence League calling for “no surrender to militant Islam or political correctness”.

Child abuse porn discovered in Vatican


This 8 May 2014 video from the USA is called As UN Torture Committee Probes Vatican, Sex-Abuse Survivors Urge Church to End Decades-Long Cover-up.

From daily The Guardian in Britain, by Rosie Scammell in Rome:

Images of child abuse found in Vatican City

Holy See’s prosecutor general says two cases involving indecent material came to light last year, along with other crimes

Sunday 1 February 2015 20.26 GMT

Two cases of child pornography possession were uncovered within the walls of the Vatican last year, along with numerous other crimes in the city state, the Holy See’s prosecutor general has announced.

Following worldwide allegations of sex abuse by priests, Gian Piero Milano, the Holy See’s Promoter of Justice, said the Vatican was now taking action against paedophilia in the heart of the Catholic church.

Unveiling the Vatican’s justice report, Milano stopped short of naming those accused of possessing child pornography. Holy See spokesman Federico Lombardi however identified Josef Wesolowski, a disgraced former ambassador, as one of the people facing charges.

Wesolowski was stripped of his diplomatic immunity last year following accusations that he abused young boys during his time as envoy to the Dominican Republic. The Polish former archbishop is currently awaiting trial at the Vatican, in what will be the first sex abuse trial ever held at the Holy See.

Beyond the child pornography cases, Vatican authorities are battling an array of crimes including drug trafficking and money laundering. Three drug deliveries addressed to the Vatican were intercepted last year, including a packet containing cocaine-filled condoms. The drugs were discovered at Germany’s Leipzig airport and handed to the Vatican in the hope of ensnaring the buyer, but no one came forward to claim the package.

Despite the array of criminal activity, only six people ended up in the Vatican’s prison last year. They include Marcello di Finizio, an Italian protester who climbed atop St Peter’s Basilica, and Iana Azhdanova, a Femen activist who bared her breasts and grabbed a baby Jesus statue from the Vatican’s nativity scene.