The European Court of Human Rights ruled on October 25 that to state that the Islamic prophet Muhammad “liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old?… What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?” goes “beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate,” and could be classified as “an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace.”
The Court’s judgment has a long history.
In 2011, free speech and anti-jihad activist, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, was convicted by an Austrian court of “denigrating religious symbols of a recognized religious group” after she gave a series of small seminars: “Introduction to the basics of Islam”, “The Islamization of Europe”, and “The impact of Islam”.
No Muslims appear to have attended Sabaditsch-Wolff’s seminars. The court case against her came about only because a magazine, NEWS, filed a complaint against her after secretly planting a journalist at her seminars to record them.
Wolff was convicted of having said that Muhammad “liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?”
Newsround – described as the BBC’s “news magazine keeping young viewers up to date with the latest stories and events happening at home and abroad” – produced an article titled “Everything you need to know about St Andrew’s Day” on November 30th.
In a section sub-headed “Who was Saint Andrew?” the corporation’s younger audience was told that:
“We don’t actually know a lot about St Andrew.
It is believed that he was born between the years 5 AD and 10 AD in a place that’s now called Palestine, in the Middle East. […]
Andrew’s brother, Simon Peter, was also one of the disciples. They both lived in Galilee, where they were fishermen.”[emphasis added]
According to Christian tradition – including the Vatican – St Andrew was indeed born in the Galilee district, possibly in Bethsaida, and fished in the Sea of Galilee.
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The level of threats of violence by Iran and its proxies against Israel has taken a marked increase since the ceasefire was negotiated between Israel and Hamas through Egyptian proxies. The Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, threatened that Israel would feel the full wrath that the terror group and its allies were capable should Israel start a new round of violence. Hezballah has also threatened to destroy every Israeli city, town and village should Israel attack Lebanon (see video below). Adding to these, Iran has issued a number of threats through President Hassan Rouhani as well as through Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei their complimentary denunciations referring to Israel as a cancer which requires excising, while stating on Twitter, “The Zionist regime is clearly weaker than 10, 20 years ago. A few years ago they fought Hezbollah for 33 days and were defeated. They were…
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After the six resolutions that the United Nations voted on this past Friday against Israel — approved by 156 countries — that once again overwhelmingly denied Israel’s sovereignty over and the Jews’ historical relationship with Jerusalem, came Pope Francis’ meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas in Rome on Monday.
There, with all due respect, the Pope acted like a typical politician. The Pope’s approach to the Middle East is deprived of a sense of responsibility towards history; instead, he related only to the immediate consensus — the anti-Israel narrative, and paying homage to the so-called “Palestinian cause.”
Wouldn’t it have been better for him to veer towards a path as magnificent and historic as Pope John XXIII’s ban on antisemitism, or Pope John Paul II’s visit to the Western Wall, with his subsequent recognition of the State of Israel? Why not, on this occasion, didn’t he ask Abbas to embark on a real move towards reconciliation by recognizing the right of Jews to their state and their millennial capital?
In his meeting with Abbas, Pope Francis aligned himself, according to the Holy See press releases that were issued afterwards, with positions that have led nowhere but delegitimizing Israel. In the face of the immense changes assailing the Middle East, we should have expected something different. What does “reactivating the peace process” truly mean? Who’s going to reactivate it? To accomplish that, Abbas should at least explain why he has refused to engage in peace talks for years. Moreover, he should abandon the fierce, defamatory, and delegitimizing incitement that denies Israel’s very existence, along with his absurd accusations that Israel is engaging in ethnic cleansing and an apartheid state.
NATO ally Turkey plans to oppose an American-sponsored draft resolution at the United Nations condemning Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror factions. A vote on the resolution is scheduled for Thursday.
It specifically condemns “Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk.” It also demands that Palestinian terror factions stop using “airborne incendiary devices” against Israel.
Turkey will vote against the resolution, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported Tuesday. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu promised Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Turkey would do everything it could to stop its passage. Haniyeh lobbied the Turks to help Hamas thwart the American effort. Hamas called the resolution “aggression against the rights of the Palestinian cause” in a communiqué posted on its website and claimed it was an assault on “the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves.”
Çavuşoğlu vowed that his country would “remain alongside the right of Palestine and Palestinians, and that its position is constant on the Palestinian Cause.”
Turkey has become a key Hamas ally and protector. Çavuşoğlu condemned January’s U.S. decision to classify Haniyeh as a specially designated global terrorist, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared last May that Hamas was not a terrorist organization.
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a public diplomatic clash just days before Trump visited France this month. The spat began when, in a radio interview, Macron suggested that Europe needed an army to protect itself from the US. “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” said Macron.
Protecting France from the United States? In a November 11 speech commemorating World War I, Macron in a diplomatic welcome to his guest, attacked “nationalism”. President Trump had proudly called himself a “nationalist” less than three weeks before.
Macron, it seems, was using the armistice signed in 1918 to forget what is going on in France in 2018.
Gérard Collomb, France’s Interior Minister until last month and currently Mayor of Lyon, is apparently pessimistic about the situation in his country, according to comments reported by Valeurs Actuelles. “People do not want to live together,” Collomb lamented, continuing that the responsibility for security during the recent immigration has been “huge.” Collomb also warned that there is only a “little time” to improve the situation. “It’s difficult to estimate but I would say that in five years the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five, six years to avoid the worst,” he added.