Every Christmas season, the world glances toward Bethlehem and sometimes notices the disappearing Christians in the town of Jesus’ birth as hostile Muslims make life untenable there and beyond.
A century ago, Bethlehem was 90 percent Christian. Today the population has dwindled to around 15 percent. So now the place is a Muslim town with a Christian history — like the rest of the Middle East.
Meanwhile, some leading politicians of Bethlehem want to go against the ethnic cleansing trend and encourage Christians to stay in the community, even return from abroad. The reason is not a newly developed sense of human compassion (which is hard to locate among the Soldiers of Allah), but the appeal of money. Allowing the birthplace of Jesus to devolve into a cardboard theme park run by Muslims who despise the Christian message is understandably unappealing to religious people who want to visit the place of the Gospels. So Christians are now seen as desirable living props to attract tourist cash.
Of course it’s unsurprising that Christians want to leave. Who can blame them? Islam and freedom are incompatible, as Dutch statesman Geert Wilders has noted.
Below, a worshipper lights candles at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — There’s been something missing in the birthplace of Christianity: Christians.
For years, Palestinian Christians have been quietly abandoning the place where Jesus is said to have been born in a manger. Middle-class residents here have packed their bags for less chaotic lives in Latin America, Europe and the United States.
Tourism ground to a halt more than a decade ago, during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and is now experiencing a comeback.
But Palestinians say major challenges remain: the Israeli military checkpoints and security barrier that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, a ten minute drive away; the shuttered homes and shops that are symbols of a stagnant economy; and the Israeli settlements that are growing around Bethlehem on land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.
Vera Baboun, Bethlehem’s first female mayor, wants to make her city open to all, especially to Christian pilgrims — and those Palestinians who have left. A Christian whose late husband spent three years in an Israel jail during the first intifada, Baboun wants to lure back former residents, and roll out the red carpet to encourage Christian pilgrims to extend their stays. Continue reading this article
Public Radio International, aka PRI, is a media outfit that produces a half-hour program on the local NPR station called “The World”. It is quite the celebration of diversity, even more than the mother ship of NPR, if that is possible.
A recent item opined that “an amazing diversity” of Muslim taxi drivers in New York City — half of the total number! — were admirable fellows for pursuing their five-times-daily prayers to Mecca even if it means double parking or blocking the streets for other drivers.
Obstructing fire hydrants? No problema, since the Muslims pay the tickets, so they can keep their cabs and continue to do their Allah thing. Authorities apparently overlook the obvious public safety complications.
“We have to pray no matter what!” says one, so annoying infidels will just have to adjust to oh-so-special Muslims, who got here via Washington’s diversity-tuned immigration policy.
Below, Allah’s loyal cabbies perform their rituals at a gas station.
The link below includes the audio version, with colorful diverse details, although it’s hard to imagine a similarly positive portrayal of Christians involved in their religious activities from PRI.
New York City is home not just to a massive fleet of iconic yellow taxis, but to an amazing diversity of cab drivers.
Roughly half of the city’s 40,000-odd cabbies are Muslims who hail from countries all over the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere — and a great number of the drivers are observant, praying five times a day. Which raises the question: How and where do these men on the move pray?
When you spend your days driving a taxicab, it’s impossible to say where, at any given moment, you might wind up. Followers of Islam can perform their five daily prayers in any relatively clean space, even bowed down on the side of the road. But the process isn’t so simple. You first need to ritually wash with water and then to prostrate yourself facing east, toward Mecca.
“That’s why we have an app in our iPhone, we know where is the Mecca,” Youssef Kamal told me. “Right now, I’m here, right? I check my iPhone, check which is the Mecca. Straight to Mecca. Like, I am in Mecca right now. Technology!”
I found Kamal praying alone at the BP gas station on the corner of Houston and Lafayette streets. He’d taken a prayer mat from the cardboard box kept there for drivers, laid it down in front of the pumps and was kneeling in the cold. Continue reading this article
Indio High School recently showed up in the news because of a student being diagnosed as having tuberculosis and 45 others testing positive for exposure.
The school responded to the threat by requiring all students and staff to be screened before returning to the campus after Christmas vacation. TB is highly contagious among people sharing space over extended periods of time. The disease has been largely wiped out in this country but is still an active public health problem in the third world.
Recent research shows what has been obvious for a long time — many illegal aliens don’t want to join the American community but care only about being able to work here and make money without being repatriated. Unobstructed job thievery is Job #1!
While lopsided majorities of Hispanics and Asian Americans support creating a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, two new surveys from the Pew Research Center also show that these groups believe it is more important for unauthorized immigrants to get relief from the threat of deportation.
By 55% to 35%, Hispanics say that they think being able to live and work in the United States legally without the threat of deportation is more important for unauthorized immigrants than a pathway to citizenship. Asian Americans hold a similar view, albeit by a smaller margin—49% to 44%.
Together Hispanics and Asian Americans account for two-thirds of the 28 million immigrants who are in the U.S. legally,1 and Hispanics alone account for about three-quarters of the additional 11.7 million immigrants who, according to Pew Research Center estimates, are in the country illegally. Continue reading this article
A giant crowd of Syrian refugees has reached Europe, safe from the bombs and shooting at home, that’s the good news for them. The bad news is that at least 11,000 have gotten to Bulgaria, Europe’s poorest nation which is not prepared to be welcoming.
The American media is frustrated about the Syrian situation because the human suffering is genuinely terrible, and the press doesn’t know whom to blame, other than the obvious warring Syrians themselves who as victims are not eligible in the liberal media mind.
The New York Times used the influx as an opportunity to bash Bulgarian “right-wingers” who are fearful of crime, cost and cultural conflict.
SVILENGRAD, Bulgaria — After spreading turmoil and desperate refugees across the Middle East, Syria’s brutal civil war has now leaked misery into Europe’s eastern fringe — and put a spring in the step of Angel Bozhinov, a nationalist activist in this Bulgarian border town next to Turkey.
The local leader of Ataka, a pugnacious, far-right party, Mr. Bozhinov lost his seat in the town council at the last municipal elections in 2011 but now sees his fortunes rising thanks to public alarm over an influx of Syrian refugees across the nearby frontier.
Membership of the local branch of Ataka, he said, had surged in recent weeks as “people come up to me in the street and tell me that our party was right.” [. . .]
The Times went on to mention Bulgaria’s miserable economic condition, but it didn’t discuss the religious and historical background. Bulgaria has been part of the embattled territory between the Christian and Muslim worlds for centuries. Over three-quarters of the population are Eastern Orthodox Christian, with a 10 percent minority of Muslims. The Islamic population is a reminder of the 500 years of Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, which was marked by the oppression of Christians as sharia law was enforced.
Around 90 percent of Syrians are Muslim, with around 10 percent Christian. So it’s hardly surprising that Bulgarians regard Syrians with dread. If Syrians were expecting a warm welcome from a depressed corner of historically Christian Europe, they were delusional.
PBS took a look this week and yes, the suffering is profound. But it’s Muslims, who don’t get along with anyone, not even other Muslims, so violent disagreements like civil wars are to be expected. It’s not Europe’s responsibility to rescue Muslims by admitting them. The Muslim world has plenty of wealth; the ummah should be taking in refugees.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Driven from their homes by civil war, Syrian refugees are fleeing,flooding across borders in numbers that have received a considerable amount of international attention. Many of them, thousands, have fled to Europe’s poorest country, Bulgaria, only to find that it is ill-equipped to handle the influx and sometimes hostile to their very presence.
Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News traveled there recently and filed this report.
JONATHAN RUGMAN: In a small town in Bulgaria, a refugee camp like no other in Europe. Over 1,000 Syrians are crammed into housing meant for just 400. Many of them have been living without electricity or hot water for weeks. And because there aren’t enough prefab huts, some are facing winter in Bulgarian army tents.
Whatever the horrors of war they left behind, nothing prepared these Syrians for a European welcome as warm as this.
Jadia Al-Daim was a teacher, now finding herself sharing a tent with three Syrian families many miles from home.
WOMAN: I have family back there, so I have — I’m thinking about them all the time. It’s not easy. I didn’t say goodbye to my family. And they came here. I thought it would be much better. But I was wrong.
JONATHAN RUGMAN: Would you ever go back?
WOMAN: Yes, I will go back today, before tomorrow.
JONATHAN RUGMAN: But there is no turning back. These families, mostly Kurds from Northern Syria, have already paid smugglers 300 euros each to cross into Europe from Turkey. It can take up to a month to be registered as a refugee here.
And then the Bulgarians give them just one euro a day each with which to feed themselves. Menau told me she and her children had fled from jihadist groups and that their home was bombed. Rashid was once a tour guide in Damascus. His own tour of Europe has not started well.
RASHID JAMIL, refugee: And coming here, it’s different, not what we think or what we have dreamed or something like that. That’s a big problem for us, but what we can do? We are in here now.
JONATHAN RUGMAN: You’re trapped.
RASHID JAMIL: Yes.
JONATHAN RUGMAN: Rashid walked for 10 hours to reach Bulgaria, one of a steady stream of Syrians caught here on heat-sensitive cameras by Bulgarian police.
Here, the border guards are waiting to ambush new arrivals. When they do, the refugees can be seen cowering as they are rounded up in the early hours of the morning. We joined a Bulgarian border patrol. The guards say this route into Europe has become popular since the Greeks built a fence last year. Now the Bulgarians have begun building a fence of their own.
They are catching 10 times the numbers they did a year ago, rounding them up in this processing center which is full to overflowing. The U.N. has repeatedly described conditions for refugees here as unsafe and dire. But we weren’t allowed to meet these brand-new arrivals.
The camps in Turkey are already overloaded, and the Bulgarians say they too are in danger of being overwhelmed. Turkey, which is just on my right here, has taken in about half-a-million Syrian refugees, Bulgaria, by comparison, about 5,000, but this is fortress Europe at a time of austerity. And the presence of some 5,000 Syrian refugees has become one of the biggest political issues of the day here.
In the capital, Sofia, crowds have been protesting that the poorest country in Europe can’t take any more foreigners and that the border should be sealed shut.
MAN (through interpreter): We have warned that the increase in legal immigrants will increase the criminal situation. It will start clashes and increase tensions, leading to social, religious and social unrest in Bulgaria. Continue reading this article
One might think that the top executive of one of the world’s premier companies would appreciate the rule of law as necessary to conducting business, but not so much for Tim Cook (pictured), the successor to Steve Jobs.
Perhaps he is just using the morality dodge because he doesn’t want to say that multi-millionaires depend on cheap labor to become billionaires. Cook is estimated to have a net worth of around $400 million which makes him something of a slacker in Silicon Valley.
Zuckerbucks also attempts to frame worker exploitation as an issue of virtue, remarking in November that amnesty for illegal alien kids is “one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time.”
Hint to billionaire whippersnappers: the real civil rights movement was a struggle to obtain Constitutionally guaranteed rights for black American citizens who had been denied political equality because of race. Interestingly, it is black citizens who are arguably the most harmed by the open borders policy of Washington elites of both parties. But now plutocrats twist black Americans’ own political struggle into propaganda against them and other citizens.
On Saturday, Apple CEO Tim Cook showed up at the United Nations to talk about American politics. Cook, who is openly gay, talked in vague terms about facing discrimination, stating that after seeing a cross burning as a child, his life was “changed… forever.”
Cook labeled opposition to illegal immigration a form of discrimination, stating that amnesty measures should be undertaken: “Do not do them because they are economically sound—although they are—do them because they are right and just.” With regard to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), he stated, “Now is the time to write these basic principles of human dignity into the book of law.” Continue reading this article
According to the liberal pro-diversity establishment, the true Islam is a “religion of peace” which has been hijacked by a small minority of extremists to commit numerous acts of terrorist violence. Elites further cling to the belief that Muslims residing in the West have assimilated to modern values.
Maybe not so much, if a recent poll in Europe is to be believed. A survey in several countries that contacted Muslims about their beliefs revealed that opinions thought to be extreme and rare were actually common. Those ideas include hostility toward gay persons and Jews, plus the belief that the West is out to destroy Islam (while at the same time many Muslims work to institute the worldwide rule of sharia law):
Even the diversity-prone Washington Post took notice, though the scribbler bashed Geert Wilders and other Europeans who have accurately warned of jihadist danger admitted via foolish immigration policies.
One narrative about Muslim immigrants in Europe is that only a relatively small proportion holds views that are sometimes labeled as “fundamentalist.” Ruud Koopmans from the Wissenschaftszentrum in Berlin argues that this perspective is incorrect. He conducted a telephone survey of 9,000 respondents in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, and Sweden and interviewed both Turkish and Moroccan immigrants as well as a comparison group of Christians.
His first finding is that majorities of Muslim immigrants believe that there is only one interpretation of the Koran possible to which every Muslim should stick (75 percent), and that religious rules are more important than the laws of the country in which they live (65 percent). Moreover, these views are as widespread among younger Muslims as among older generations. Continue reading this article
On December 8, over a thousand citizens of France demonstrated in Paris about their disgust with the millions of Muslims embedded in their nation by unwise immigration. Not everyone in Europe is accepting the invasion without response.
00:00 Christmas and Easter not “Holidays”
00:04 France = Christmas
00:08 France is Easter, not “holidays”
00:12 “Islam OF France” that’s
00:16 hot air (a lie) Islam IN France
00:20 we don’t want it! Continue reading this article
This year’s allotment of 10,000 U visa for crime victims has been used up since the visas opened up in October, so naturally the liberal open-borders types thinks America needs more additional slots for the fraud magnet category. Most of the U visas go to illegal aliens with the only qualification being claims of victimhood, so it’s just another scheme for scammers to get the keys to the kingdom.
Word is getting out that America is the welfare agency for the world and permanent admittance can be gained via the victim visa. Several Saudi women in this country as students utilized the U visa to stay here permanently.
Congresswoman Diane Black had the right idea when she introduced the U Visa Reform Act of 2013 H.R. 463 which would limit chain migration, require that U visa holders be actual crime victims, and make the U visa a true nonimmigrant visa.
Rep Black sensibly observed, “While a criminal act against any individual in this country is inexcusable and reprehensible regardless of immigration status, it is not good immigration policy to staple green cards to police reports for those in the country illegally.”
Right, a black eye trumps a college degree in the United States of Victims.
If that isn’t bad enough, Washington also offers a T-1 visa for sex workers looking for a better life. Just the job skill America needs.
The federal government has already reached its cap on special visas for crime victims, just a few months into the fiscal year, the fastest the limit has been reached since the U.S. government started issuing them in 2008, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The visas are meant to help authorities investigate crimes committed against people who are not legally in the U.S. and to provide a level of security to crime victims who otherwise might fear they could be deported if they come forward.
Some advocates say it’s a positive sign that the program is being used. It may also suggest that Congress should revisit the statutory cap of 10,000 on the so-called U visas.
The agency announced the cap was reached Wednesday, less than 2 ½ months into the fiscal year. The second-fastest year to the cap was 2010 — the first year it was reached — but that took 9 ½ months.
Although the cap has been reached, the agency continues accepting and reviewing petitions. Those initially deemed eligible are placed on a waiting list and will be in line to receive a U visa when next year’s allotment is offered beginning Oct. 1.
The visas were created in legislation passed in 2000, and the agency has issued them to more than 89,600 victims and family members since 2008. About 75 percent of U visas are granted on the basis of domestic violence or sexual assault crimes. Continue reading this article
One step forward, two steps back. Maybe. France is thinking that the project of requiring Muslim immigrants to integrate into French society is just too hard and perhaps the authorities can just redefine the problem away. However, the surrender to insistent Muslim demands to remake France into a sharia-compliant country would be a fundamental change to the social structure and how the French see their national identity. Secularism and freedom from religion is foundational and stems from the 1789 revolution. Including Islamic values is a surrender of major proportions.
I’m guessing that the proposed Museum of Colonization designed to teach schoolkids about slavery and colonialism won’t include the history of Muslim Barbary pirates kidnapping more than a million Europeans to be enslaved. For more about that forgotten history, see Christopher Hitchens’ Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates.
A government report which proposes ending the ban on Muslim headscarves in schools and emphasising the ‘Arab-Oriental’ dimension of French identity has angered conservatives
A French government report has proposed a radical overhaul of the “assimilation” model which requires immigrants to abandon their culture for that of France, including ending the ban on Muslim headscarves in schools and naming streets and squares after notables of foreign origin.
In response to fears over growing racism and ethnic divisions in the country, it recommends emphasising the “Arab-Oriental” dimension of French identity, barring the media from mentioning a person’s ethnicity and promoting the teaching of Arabic and African languages in schools.
The report on how to better integrate France’s millions of citizens and residents of foreign origin was commissioned by Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who plans to overhaul policy next year.
But it has drawn a furious reaction from the country’s conservative opposition, which said it amounted to an abandonment of French culture and secular values. “It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others,” Jean-François Copé, leader of the UMP main opposition party, said.
The proposals include holding philosophical debates in primary schools to examine questions such as ethnicity, gender and religion and having less focus in school history books on “white, male, heterosexual” figures.
The text by a team of specially-appointed experts also suggests that school children should learn more about slavery and colonisation and that a Museum of Colonisation be created. Continue reading this article
SPENCER: This is an increasing confrontation in Britain between the people who want to bring Islamic law to Britain and to radically change British society and people who believe things are okay as they are, and not only that, immigrants should essentially accept the mores of the country they are coming to rather than try to change the format. This confrontation is only going to grow, it’s not going to go away. This is just one more step toward what is unfortunately looking like an inevitable conflict, because while the British government is anxious to accommodate Islamic supremacist groups, at the same time when they start demanding that bars stop selling alcohol and close down and essentially alcohol be banned, there’s going to be a backlash.
In fact, several dozen did show up on Friday to threaten bar and restaurant owners with 40 lashes if they continued to serve alcoholic beverages.
Loudmouth pest Anjem Choudary led the mob in a march, shrieking Islamic threats.
Violent behavior of this sort and worse is what happens when diverse Muslim immigrants reach a level of population where they can exert their will to create a sharia state by force. Britain has exacerbated the problem by coddling hostile Muslims in the vain hope that they will respond to nice.
Too many Muslim immigrants are soldiers of Islam who believe they have the right to force their religion on unwilling others, as has happened in nearly all of the Middle East, which used to be Christian. The West is crazy to continue admitting Muslim immigrants when many despise the freedoms we value.
Dozens of Muslim protestors gathered to demand that businesses stop selling alcohol in a popular East London area yesterday.
The group, led by former Al-Muhajiroun leader Anjem Choudary, warned restaurants and shops in the Brick Lane area that they face 40 lashes if they continue to sell the product, which is banned under Sharia Law.
Around 60 men and women in burkhas handed over warning letters to Muslim-owned businesses in the area after the protest was initially delayed by a small number of English Defence League members staging a counter-protest.
Controversial cleric Choudary was at the forefront of the protest. The Al-Muhajiroun group he formerly led has been banned under terrorism laws.
Organisers told The Times the protest was held yesterday to coincide with the large number of office workers who would be in the area for Christmas parties.
Choudary told the crowd: ‘The shops are run by Muslims and they know they are selling alcohol and they know the sale and consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited.
‘We cannot live among the non-Muslims and see this evil take place.’
He told those gathered it was his wish that Sharia law, banning alcohol, should be enforced in Britain. [. . .]
Talk about seizing defeat from the jaws of victory — that would be John Boehner’s leadership of House Republicans. The Speaker has been gifted with the most monumental screw-up in decades by the Democrats’ creation of socialist Obamacare for America which has crashed and burned worse than the Hindenburg.
It’s an epic opportunity for Reeps to kick back and allow liberal Democrats to self-destruct in arguably the most egregious manifestation of big government since the Russian Revolution.
Instead, Boehner apparently intends to tear the GOP to shreds by shoving through a mass amnesty to legalize foreigners when millions of American citizens still suffer unemployment from the lingering recession. In doing so, he would hand Obama a huge political win and rescue the President from the Obamacare catastrophe.
Is that any way to build the brand and win the Senate next year? Pissing off the conservative base is not a wise strategy for steering a political party. Rank and file Republicans will not accept amnesty, and will stay home on election day if it is passed.
Limbaugh opined on Friday that the GOP would be willing to lose some elections to get rid of the Tea Party, and that sounds at least partially right. Republican elites support the business globalization agenda of importing cheap foreign workers for any tasks that cannot be outsourced overseas. The populist conservatism of the Tea Party is particularly hated because it draws a clear line between traditional American values and the modern robber barons who run the country.
On Thursday, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is lashing out at conservatives and throwing “temper tantrums” because he wants to delegitimize them as preparation for the looming fight over amnesty.
Levin said Boehner is “raising his voice” and throwing “temper tantrums” because he needs the votes of Republicans who are on the fence about immigration reform.
“He’s making it clear that it’s now time to take sides,” Levin explained.
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