Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Statement by United Nations Special Adviser


The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, expressed alarm at reports of the deteriorating security, human rights and humanitarian situation in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. Following attacks by armed assailants against border security posts in October 2016, the response of the military has reportedly been characterized by excessive use of force and other serious human rights violations against civilian population, particularly the Rohingya Muslim population, including allegations of extrajudicial executions, torture, rape and the destruction of religious property. “These allegations must be verified as a matter of urgency”, stated Adama Dieng. “If they are true, the lives of thousands of people are at risk. The reputation of Myanmar, its new Government and its military forces is also at stake in this matter.”


Adama Dieng concluded by saying that “the current violence did not come out of thin air. It is taking place against a background of very deeply rooted discrimination against specific sectors of the population and a failure to put in place conditions that would support peaceful coexistence among the different communities in Rakhine State. The Government needs, for once and for all, to find a sustainable solution to the situation of the Rohingya Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar, a solution that is in full compliance with the international human rights standards that the Government has pledged to respect”.
To read the full text of his statement, click here.

IRS Scam Arrest in India

If you are a resident of the USA, the chances are quite high that you got a call from a con who presents himself as an employee of the IRS threatening you to pay a lump sum amount for your tax filing. The voice on the other side always has a distinct Indian accent, although the number dialed from appears to be from the Washington D.C. area, thus confusing many ordinary residents. The IRS never calls a tax-filer, and those who knew about the truth could not be swindled by these IRS-pretenders, but many did get victimized.
I have often wondered as to how these criminals got info on personal phone or other sensitive info. The truth is as a result of globalization, many of our personal info, including tax filing info has been outsourced to places like India, say, in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore. Many Americans are unaware that when they go to tax filing companies with their persona info these are fed to their subsidiaries or outside third party contractors for doing the real job of analyzing all such data before being fed back to the American mother company. It is no accident such info were never secure, thus, leading to harassment of ordinary Americans.
You would be glad to know that there was a sting operation of sort in India, where such a group was arrested in Mumbai for such criminal activities.
Employees coming out of Delta IT Park building after police inquiry as police personnel arrested the accused employees for allegedly threatening the US citizens and siphoning off their money. Over 500 call centre employees were detained at Mira Road for allegedly cheating and robbing US citizens, on October 5, 2016 in Mumbai, India.
According to the investigating team, the victims in the US were threatened with a 'tax investigation' by Mira Road call centre executives impersonating as American Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials.
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Indian police have arrested 70 people and are questioning hundreds more after uncovering a massive scam to cheat thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars by posing as U.S. tax authorities and demanding unpaid taxes, a police officer said Thursday.
According to police in Mumbai, the yearlong scam involved running fake call centers which sent voice mail messages telling U.S. nationals to call back because they owed back taxes.
Those who called back and believed the threats would fork out thousands of dollars to “settle” their case, Mumbai police officer Parag Marere said Thursday.
The scam brought in more than $150,000 a day, Marere said without giving a total sum. If the scam netted that amount daily, it would have made almost $55 million in one year.
Some victims were also told to buy gift vouchers from various companies, and hand over the voucher ID numbers which the impostors then used to make purchases, Marere said.
Police said they are likely to file charges against many of the 600 or more people still being questioned on suspicion of running the fake call centers, housed on several stories of a Mumbai office building.
Those arrested so far include several of the alleged ringleaders, as well as people accused of providing equipment and setting up the fake call centers. The criminal charges filed against the suspects include extortion, impersonation and violations of India’s information technology laws.
“We are questioning those who were involved in the fraud, including those posing as tax investigators,” Marere said.
Police raided the offices this week and seized hundreds of hard disks, hard disks, high-end servers and other electronic equipment.
Indian media reports said 70 percent of the scam’s proceeds were retained by the suspects in India, while the rest was paid to collaborators in the U.S.
Indian news broadcaster NDTV reported that one U.S.-based company allegedly collected the victims’ personal information and passed it to the fake call centers.
The IRS reports receiving more than 900,000 complaints about similar scam calls since October 2013. More than 5,000 people have fallen for the scam, paying out more than $26 million collectively as a result of scams.
The IRS has yet to comment on this recent arrest in India.
The IRS warns it will never call and demand immediate payment. It will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, like a gift card or prepaid debit card. The agency will never ask for credit card numbers over the phone.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, you should never give out personal information. Report the call to the IRS using their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Bangladesh once again does the inexcusable act!

Bangladesh is doing it again! It's criminal and simply inexcusable! I'm simply ashamed of the attitude of the government on such a humanitarian crisis when it could have used the event to bring the heinous crimes of the Myanmar Government to the international community and ask for justice for the fleeing Rohingya.


Multiple boats packed with Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar were turned back by Bangladesh border guards today, despite appeals by the country's opposition to provide shelter to the persecuted Muslim minority.
Thousands of desperate Rohingya from Myanmar's western Rakhine state have flooded over the border into Bangladesh in the last week, bringing with them horrifying claims of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of Myanmar's security forces.

Eight boats attempting to cross the Naf River separating Rakhine from southern Bangladesh were pushed back on Monday after six were refused entry on Sunday, head of the board guards in the Bangladeshi frontier town of Teknaf, Colonel Abuzar Al Zahid, told AFP.

"There were 12 to 13 Rohingya in each of the boats," Zahid said.

Dhaka says thousands more are massed on the border, but has refused urgent international appeals to let them in, instead calling on Myanmar to do more to stop people fleeing.

In the past two weeks, Bangladeshi border guards have prevented more than 1,000 Rohingya, including many women and children, from entering the country by boat, officials told AFP.

Bangladesh's main opposition leader Khaleda Zia late Sunday joined a growing chorus of political parties and hardline Islamist groups in the Muslim majority country calling for the Rohingya to be given shelter.

At least 30,000 have been internally displaced in Rakhine and many have tried to reach Bangladesh over the last month despite heightened border patrols, and sought refugee amongst the Rohingya refugee population that already live on the Bangladesh side.

Samira Akhter told AFP by phone that she reached an unofficial refugee camp in Bangladesh on Monday, after fleeing her village in Rakhine state with her three children and 49 others.

"The military killed my husband and torched our home. I fled to a hill along with my three children and neighbours. We hid there for a week," said Akhter, 27.

Dudu Mia, a Rohingya leader in the camp, said at least 1,338 had arrived in the community since mid October.

Violence in Rakhine -- home to the stateless ethnic group loathed by many of Myanmar's Buddhist majority -- has surged in the last month after security forces poured into the area following a series of attacks on police posts blamed on local militants.

A UN official said last week Myanmar is engaged in "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims, as reports emerged of troops shooting at villagers as they tried to flee.

Letter from JUST and Centhra leaders


Here below is letter from Dr. Chandra Muzaffar of the JUST:


THERE is increasing recognition of the fact that "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingyas is taking place in Rakhine, Myanmar.
A number of groups and individuals are coming to terms with this grim reality especially after the "evidence of a new reign of terror and wholesale destruction of communities exercised by the Myanmar state against the Rohingya population has emerged" in October and this month.
On Nov 25, the Malaysian government officially referred to the "alleged ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingyas.
Given the constraints of bilateral relations within the context of their common Asean membership, the Malaysian government has more than at any time in the past admonished the Myanmar government for its acts of commission and omission vis-à-vis the tragic plight of the Rohingya people.
The Malaysian government should now try to convince the other Asean governments that a slow genocide has been unfolding in Rakhine since 1978.
It should share the overwhelming evidence garnered by credible researchers and human rights organisations of mass killings of Rohingyas, their forced displacement, the denial of access to food, healthcare and employment and the systematic refusal of the state of Myanmar to recognise Rohingya identity.
Collectively, the nine Asean governments should now persuade the Myanmar government to:
» Stop immediately the massacre of the Rohingyas;
» Restore the most fundamental rights of the Rohingyas as human beings;
» Recognise the right of the Rohingyas to their identity; and
» Accord the right to citizenship to the Rohingyas.
Malaysia and other Asean governments should convince other Asian governments which have vast economic ties with Myanmar such as China, India and Japan to raise issues pertaining to justice for the Rohingyas with the Myanmar government.
Diplomacy should be used to the fullest for this purpose.
There is no reason why governments outside Asia should not also be drawn into this effort for the Rohingyas.
There is an additional reason why the world should act now.
On Nov 24, 19 groups of Rohingyas from different parts of the world took the initiative to write to the Permanent People's Tribunal in Rome urging the tribunal to examine the situation in Myanmar from the perspective of state crime and genocide.
These initiators are backed by supporting initiators from Malaysia, Cambodia, South Africa, Britain and the United States.
The International Movement for a Just World (JUST) and the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy ( Centhra) are among the supporting Initiators.
Dr Chandra Muzaffar
President
JUST

Azril Mohd Amin
Chief Executive
Centhra

Waiting for the Barbarians


Here is the link to a must-read article by Chris Hedges.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro, el Comandante, is dead



Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader who led anti-imperialist revolution casting off U.S. hegemony and taking the liberated country to the path of communism, died on Friday at the age of 90.

While Havana and the rest of Cuba mourns for the death of their beloved revolutionary leader, the Cuban exiles in Miami’s Little Havana celebrates his death. For too long, the exiles in Miami had hoped for Fidel Castro’s death. They had chanted, “Free Cuba! Down with Castro. Down with tyranny!” They had seen him as a brutal dictator, a tyrant who banned free speech, freedom of assembly and a free press, abolished Christmas as an official holiday for nearly 30 years, and executed or jailed thousands of political opponents.

For nearly half a century, Fidel Castro had played an immense role in America’s political psyche. In the words of Karen DeYoung, “Even when his country ceased to be much of a policy concern — long after the memories of threatened nuclear attack and Third World adventurism had faded — Fidel Castro remained the nettlesome, living symbol of how a small island had thumbed its nose at the United States and survived.” (Washington Post, November 26, 2016)

Now Fidel Castro is dead. His younger brother Raul has been running the island nation of 11 million people for the last ten years after Fidel stepped aside in 2006 when a serious illness felled him.

Fidel, the son of a prosperous sugar planter, received his law degree at the University of Havana in 1950 and set up a practice in the capital city. Two years later, he ran for a seat in the Cuban congress on the ticket of the Ortodoxo Party, a reform group. His campaign was cut short on March 10, 1952, when Batista staged a coup and retook the presidency he first held in the 1940s. He and his revolutionary followers saw Batista as a U.S. stooge, and wanted to overthrow him from power. On July 26, 1953, he and many of his armed followers were captured in a failed assault on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba, and were put on trial. He was sentenced to 15 years but was released after less than two years under an amnesty declared by Batista. He then moved to Mexico City, where he continued his work with a group calling itself the 26th of July Movement, commemorating the date of the Moncada assault, which became known as the opening salvo of the Cuban revolution.

On Dec. 2, 1956, Fidel Castro and 81 followers returned to Cuba from Mexico aboard a secondhand yacht called “Granma.” All but 12 in the landing party were killed or captured almost immediately. Fidel, his brother Raúl and an Argentine physician, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, escaped into the mountains and began organizing a guerrilla army.

Fidel Castro, the revolutionary who was destined to be his people’s savior, rolled into Havana on the afternoon of January 8, 1959 with 5,000 of his victorious rebels to receive a delirious welcome from the city's populace. Batista had left the country on the eve of the New Year’s Day.

Amongst Fidel’s many intellectual supporters included famous writer Ernest Hemingway, a longtime resident of Cuba; authors Jean-Paul Sartre and Gabriel García Márquez; and Bob Dylan, the troubadour of the American counterculture, who recently won the Nobel Prize for literature.

In May 1959, Fidel Castro began confiscating privately owned agricultural land, including land owned by Americans. He nationalized the U.S. and British oil refineries and U.S.-owned banks, openly provoking the United States government. After President Dwight D. Eisenhower cut the American sugar quota from Cuba, Fidel Castro turned to the Soviet Union for economic aid and political support, further antagonizing the USA, and bringing in the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere.

He educated, fed and provided health care to his once highly impoverished people. Since the early 1960s, the United States government maintained a strict trade and diplomatic embargo against Cuba, hoping to drive Fidel Castro from power. It even tried to kill him and topple his regime since John F. Kennedy’s time. But all such moves, including the invasion by some 1,350 CIA-trained fighters in early 1961 at the Bay of Pigs, failed miserably.

As a true internationalist and revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro tried to export a Cuban-style revolution to countries across Latin America. His comrade, Che Guevara was killed leading an uprising in Bolivia in 1967.

In the mid-1970s, Fidel sent thousands of troops to wars in Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia in support of Communist insurgents. In addition, Cuban military training missions and thousands of physicians and teachers operated in more than a dozen other countries - from West Africa to North Korea.

Among Fidel Castro’s more successful efforts were universal health care and the near-eradication of illiteracy throughout Cuba. Thousands of classrooms were built in rural areas, and the country’s literacy rate grew to more than 95 percent. There were more physicians and hospital beds per capita in Cuba than in the United States.

Much in common with other communist and repressive countries in our world, Fidel’s government conducted surveillance on anyone suspected of dissent. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Cubans - branded as “worms” and “scum” by Cuba’s government - simply left, most of them for the United States, flooding mainly into Florida and creating a politically influential bloc of anti-Castro Cuban Americans in Miami. Among those encouraged to leave were convicts, AIDS patients, the mentally ill and other “antisocial” elements deemed undesirable by Cuban officials.

Fidel Castro condemned President Bush Jr.’s “war on terrorism” saying that it could turn into a “struggle against ghosts they don’t know where to find.” History has proven him true on this issue.

The U.S. government housed suspected terrorists at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which had been in U.S. hands since 1903. Fidel Castro, who had long demanded that the base be returned to Cuban possession, refused to cash the checks the U.S. government sent each month as rent for Guantanamo.

Unlike many other third and fourth world leaders of our time, Fidel Castro did not create monuments to himself or lend his name to streets and buildings. Instead, he erected billboards carrying patriotic slogans of the revolution. Under his reign, Havana eventually became something of a Marxist Disneyland, which outlasted the fall of the Soviet Union and even Albania. Fifty years of isolation could not put a dent in either Cuba’s communist system or the control of the Castro brothers. He remained a fiery apostle of revolution. His defiance of American power made him a beacon of resistance in Latin America and elsewhere.

 His legacy in Cuba and elsewhere has been a mixed record of social progress and abject poverty, of racial equality and political persecution, of medical advances and a degree of misery comparable to the conditions that existed in Cuba when he entered Havana as a victorious guerrilla commander in 1959,” writes Anthony DePalma of the New York Times.

After Raúl Castro assumed power, he embarked on a plan of economic liberalization that has arguably been more symbolic than substantial. Private enterprise is permitted in a few small segments, but the military-led government still controls as much as 80 percent of the economy.

In 2014, President Obama — the first U.S. president elected in the post-Fidel era — announced plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Havana. During a visit to Cuba in March 2016, Obama met Raúl Castro but made no effort to meet his brother.

Well, although Fidel Castro is dead his death does not mean freedom for the Cuban people or justice for the political opponents he and his brother have jailed and persecuted. As noted by Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator (FL-Rep.), “The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not.”

President Obama offered a bookend to one of Castro’s most famous lines — “History will absolve me!” Noting the “powerful emotions” Castro evoked and “countless ways” he had altered the course of lives and history, Obama said, “History will record and judge” his impact.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was mourning “a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century.” “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante,’ ” Trudeau’s statement said. [It should be noted here that despite the United States’ hostile history with Cuba, Canada has maintained its relationship with Cuba since the 18th century. Mexico and Canada were the only other countries in the Western Hemisphere to continue diplomatic relations with Cuba in the years after Fidel Castro took power in 1959.]

The Cuban government has decreed nine days of mourning for Fidel Castro - ‘el Comandante’, the revolutionary leader. His body was cremated on Saturday. A state funeral will follow on December 4, Cuban state media reported.

My Comments on the WP letter to editor


The Washington Post has posted this weekend an apologia from an ex-US Marine-cum-Asian expert  who works for the Brookings Institution. Here below is my comment on the subject, which I sent to the newspaper.
==========


Lex Reiffel is in denial and his letter to the editor is nothing more than an apologia for Suu Kyi. As Dr. Maung Zarni, a Burmese exile, has written in his blog, the "victims of genocides can't wait until she [Suu Kyi] completes her consolidation of power.   She is a pathetic politician who could not muster enough compassion and will to even visit IDP camps in Rakine - about 1 hr by flight from Rangoon [Yangon], but has time and energy to be travelling 10,000 miles to collect all kinds of human rights and humanitarian awards."
That sums up Suu Kyi's priorities! It is no accident that she has been criminally silent about the genocidal crimes by Myanmar security forces against the Rohingyas of Myanmar in the last two months, which has resulted in the death of more than 500 Rohingyas, let alone destruction of tens of villages. The UN and human rights groups have long called this ethnic cleansing.
I have noted in my articles and blog, Suu Kyi remains a hardcore Buddhist nationalist whose intention is to keep Myanmar a purely Buddhist state (not different from the goal of the Buddhist fascist organization Ma Ba Tha). As such, in this national project of wiping out Muslim heritage and culture, she is not a silent partner, but an active promoter of the case.
When she came to London School of Economics in London in June 2012 - 2 weeks after the first bout of genocidal violence against the Rohingya broke out in Rakhine, she refused to address the issue. In Geneva when she held the first ever press conference in Europe a few days prior to coming to London in June 2012 (since she was released from house arrest in Nov 2010), she was asked by a journalist "do you know if Rohingyas are Myanmar citizens?"  Her answer was, "I don't know". Far from Lex's hopeful note, Dr. Zarni believes that  the military generals WILL NEVER LET her consolidate her power as "they use her as the main shield in dealing with international criticism."  "More than that,  she is a pretty face of an ugly beast," writes Zarni.  I agree with him.

Myanmar destroys an old Islamic university in Arakan

The news below is from the RB News:
Maungdaw – The Burmese Border Guard (BGP) Police begins to destroy the brick-walls of ancient Islamic University at Nurullah village in southern Maungdaw today, a reliable source reports.
They have started breaking the walls at 11 am and continue to destroy it up until now and threatened that they would further destroy the mosque and other university buildings.
The commander of the BGP at ‘Maggyi Chaung’ camp and his team arrived at Nuruallah village this morning ordered some 40 forced labors from the village. The administrator of the village arrived with 30 people and the BGP ordered them to destroy the brick-walls.
“He said ‘you should not have come empty-handed. Go and get hammers and other tools to destroy the walls of the university’”, said a local Rohingya at Nurullah, “when we refused, he said ‘you don’t need to destroy by yourself. You just need to ACT for PHOTOSHOOTS.’ Yet, we refused and they have started destroying by themselves.”
The local Muslims express their fear that later, the Burmese state media will later accuse them (the locals) of destroying the university walls and buildings.
The joint forces of the Burmese military and BGP have killed more than 500 civilians, arbitrarily arrested more than 1,000 villagers, raped at least 100 women and burnt down more than 3,500 homes including MOSQUES displacing at 50,000 people in northern Maungdaw in the pretext of ‘Clearance Operation’ or the Hunt-Down on the alleged militants responsible for October 9 raids on three BGP posts.
While the world watches to the latest genocidal crimes of the Myanmar government and tries to find all the excuses for Suu Kyi's deplorable silence, the Rohingya culture is slowly getting wiped out in their native land. It is simply shameful!

Fidel Castro is dead



Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader who led anti-imperialist revolution casting off U.S. hegemony and taking the liberated country to the path of communism, died on Friday at the age of 90.


Michael Flynn had 'forbidden' internet connection at the Pentagon


Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn reportedly installed a secret internet connection into his office at the Pentagon even though it was "forbidden," according to a new profile in The New Yorker by Dana Priest.
The network connection was reportedly among other rules the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency broke because he found them to be "stupid," including his sometimes unauthorized sneaking out of a CIA station in Iraq and his sharing of classified information with NATO allies without approval.
The possibility of an external internet connection being installed in violation of facility rules drew parallels to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was often criticized by the general on the campaign trail for using a private email server while she was secretary of state.
"So there seems to be a standard for the Clintons that's not the same standard for the rest of America," Flynn told The Heritage Foundation of what would happen if someone at DIA had done what Clinton had done.
Spokespersons for DIA and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Trump campaign spokesperson also did not respond.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Call of the Mu’ezzin

You can view Uri Avnery's latest piece on the Muslim call of prayer, which the Israeli government is trying to stop in the apartheid state, by clicking here.

The Donald and the Jewish Question


ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).
His latest article can be viewed by clicking here.

China's confiscation of the Uighur passports violates international law

All residents in China's largely Muslim region of Xinjiang must hand in their passports to local police stations for "examination and management", according to Global Times, a state-funded newspaper .
"Anyone who needs the passport must apply to the police station," an anonymous police officer in Aksu prefecture told the paper on Thursday, adding that the policy had been implemented throughout Xinjiang.
The Global Times article followed numerous reports of tightened passport controls in cities across the region.
The move is directed to further harass Muslim natives of Xinjiang, formerly East Turkestan.
While the order covers everyone living in the area, many members of Xinjiang's more than 10 million-strong Muslim Uighur minority complain of discrimination - including denials of passport applications - as well as controls on their culture and religion.
In mid-October, the public security bureau of Shihezi city posted a directive on a verified social media account asking residents to hand in their passports to police.
The order stated: "Those who refuse to hand them in will bear the responsibility themselves should there be consequences such as being forbidden to go abroad."
The post was later deleted.
Photos of other notices posted on social media showed police stations in various counties and in the regional capital Urumqi requesting citizens hand in passports or stating that new documents would no longer be issued.

'Xinjiang regressing'

Angry questions about the new restrictions abounded on Chinese social media.
"I didn't spend time and money getting a passport to become the focus of the government's safeguarding or to ask for their instructions every time I go out on holiday," said one incensed user from the border district of Tacheng, on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform.
"If citizens cannot enjoy even basic rights, how can we live? Would the government please give me a sensible reason for this?"A second said: "Xinjiang is becoming stranger and stranger, regressing as time goes on."
In June, local state-run media reported that the mostly Kazakh residents of a Xinjiang border district had to give police DNA samples, fingerprints, voiceprints and a "three-dimensional image" in order to apply for certain travel documents, including passports.

A Xinjiang official told the Global Times that the new tightening of policy was intended to maintain social order in the region.
As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Chinese government is prohibited from taking actions that would interfere with the right that "everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own," a statement from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
"Seizing the passports of an entire region violates both Chinese and international law," Sophie Richardson, China director of HRW, said.
"It does nothing to combat crimes or produce the ‘stability’ Beijing says it wants. Authorities should immediately abandon these arbitrary, discriminatory policies."
Beijing regularly accuses what it says are exiled separatist groups, such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, of being behind attacks in Xinjiang, which has seen a wave of violent unrest.
But many independent experts doubt the strength of overseas Uighur groups and their links to violent attacks, with some saying China exaggerates the threat to justify tough security measures in the resource-rich region.

428 Rohingya deaths in Myanmar

OIC special envoy to Myanmar, Syed Hamid Syed Albar said that Myanmar military’s attacks on Rohingya villages in Rakhine since Nov 12 had so far resulted in 428 deaths, 1,780 houses burned down and 35,000 people becoming refugees.
He said the Myanmar government under the leadership of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi must stop the carnage by its military which had aroused anger among the international community, more so when the country was moving towards democracy.
“There should be immediate action against this hatred (towards the Rohingya Muslims) which is akin to the Rwandan genocide (in Africa). Malaysia and other OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) countries in Asean should act together to resolve this issue.
“We have no intention to interfere, but if we allow this carnage to go on, it’s not the answer. We need to act collectively,” he said.
Asked if the Asean countries should open their doors and accept the entry of Rohingya refugees, he said it should be for providing temporary shelter to them.
“However, the Myanmar government is responsible for this as they are the cause of the problem. Surely we should not be keep silent and say this is Myanmar’s problem. We will intervene when there are human rights violations,” he said.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

BBC reports on the Rohingyas of Myanmar

Myanmar is seeking the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority from its territory, a senior UN official has told the BBC.
Armed forces have been killing Rohingya in Rakhine state, forcing many to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, says John McKissick of the UN refugee agency.
The government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been conducting counter-insurgency operations since coordinated attacks on border guards in October.
It denies reports of atrocities.
Burmese officials say Rohingyas are setting fire to their own houses in northern Rakhine state. The BBC cannot visit the area to verify what is occurring there as journalists and aid workers have been barred.
The Rohingya, who number about one million, are seen by many of Myanmar's Buddhist majority as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

'Collective punishment'

Although Bangladesh's official policy is not to allow in illegal entrants across the border, the foreign ministry has confirmed that thousands of Rohingyas have already sought refuge in the country. Thousands more are reportedly gathering on the border.
Efforts to resolve the issue must focus on "the root cause" inside Myanmar, Mr McKissick, head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar told BBC Bengali's Akbar Hossain.
He said the Myanmar military and Border Guard Police had "engaged in collective punishment of the Rohingya minority" after the murders of nine border guards on 9 October which some politicians blamed on a Rohingya militant group.
Security forces have been "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river" into Bangladesh, Mr McKissick said.
"Now it's very difficult for the Bangladeshi government to say the border is open because this would further encourage the government of Myanmar to continue the atrocities and push them out until they have achieved their ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in Myanmar," he said.

 Video: Hated and hounded' from Myanmar

Rohingya Muslims 'hated and hounded from Burmese soil'

On Wednesday, the Bangladesh foreign ministry summoned Myanmar's ambassador to express "deep concern" over the military operation in northern Rakhine state.
It said "desperate people" were crossing the border seeking safety and shelter and asked Myanmar to "ensure the integrity of its border".
Authorities in Bangladesh have been detaining and repatriating hundreds of fleeing Rohingya.
Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch released satellite images which it said showed that more than 1,200 homes had been razed in Rohingya villages over the past six weeks.
Satellite image showing clusters of structures in a villageImage copyright Human Rights Watch  Image caption A satellite image of the village of Wa Peik, Maungdaw district on 10 NovemberSatellite image showing clusters of structure in a village that appear to have been burnt downImage copyright Human Rights Watch :Image caption The same area pictured in a satellite image recorded on 18 November

What is happening in Rakhine state?

A massive security operation was launched last month after nine police officers were killed in co-ordinated attacks on border posts in Maungdaw.
Some government officials blamed a militant Rohingya group for the attacks. Security forces then sealed off access to Maungdaw district and launched a counter-insurgency operation.
Rohingya activists say more than 100 people have been killed and hundreds arrested amid the crackdown.
Soldiers have also been accused of serious human rights abuses, including torture, rape and executions, which the government has flatly denied.
It says militants have attacked helicopter gunships providing air support to troops.
Map showing Maungdaw's location in Rakhine State

Who are the Rohingya?

The estimated one million Muslim Rohingya are seen by many in mainly Buddhist Myanmar as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. They are denied citizenship by the government despite many having lived there for generations.
Communal violence in Rakhine state in 2012 left scores dead and displaced more than 100,000 people, with many Rohingya still remaining in decrepit camps.
They face widespread discrimination and mistreatment.

Is the government to blame?

Myanmar held its first openly contested election in 25 years last November, with Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy winning a landslide victory.
Though she is barred from the presidency due to a constitutional rule, Ms Suu Kyi, who serves as State Counsellor, is seen as de-facto leader.
But her government, led as it is by a former human rights icon, has faced international criticism over the dire situation in Rakhine state.
Rights groups have questioned why journalists and aid workers are not being allowed to enter northern Rakhine.
Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay says the international media is misreporting what is going on.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rohingya villages destroyed in Myanmar and refugees flood Bangladesh



More than 1,200 homes have been razed in villages inhabited by Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority in the past six weeks, Human Rights Watch says.

The group has released a batch of new satellite images that it says show 820 structures were destroyed between 10-18 November.

The military is conducting security operations in Rakhine but the government denies it is razing homes.

The Rohingya are one of the world's most persecuted minority groups.

Here is a report from BBC on the subject.


As a result of Myanmar's latest genocidal pogroms many Rohingyas are trying to flee to nearby Bangladesh whose government is not keen on welcoming them either to avoid jeopardizing its not-so-warm relationship with Suu Kyi's Mogher mulluk - Myanmar. Here below is a report from the Reuters.
Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar crossed the border to Bangladesh over the weekend and on Monday, aid workers said, seeking shelter from escalating violence in the northwest that has killed at least 86 people and displaced some 30,000.
An official from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations' migration agency, who did not want to be identified, said he had witnessed more than 500 people enter its camps in the hills near the border on Monday.
Aid workers from other United Nations agencies and Reuters reporters in the IOM camps also reported seeing Rohingyas who said they had recently fled the fighting in Myanmar. The UN workers did not give specific numbers, but expressed concern about a sudden influx of people.
Moulavi Aziz Khan, 60, from a village in northern Rakhine, said he left Myanmar last week, after the military surrounded his home and set fire to it.
"At that time, I fled with my four daughters and three grandsons to a nearby hill ... later, we managed to cross the border," he said.
Up to 30,000 people are now estimated to be displaced and thousands more affected by the recent fighting, the UN has said.
Humanitarian operations that had been providing food, cash, and nutrition to more than 150,000 people have been suspended for more than 40 days.
The UN refugee agency called on the Myanmar government for access to allow it to distribute aid.
"The idea is to help them where they are, so that they wouldn't be forced to cross over into Bangladesh," Vivian Tan, regional public information officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told Reuters Television.
"If they can't get the assistance where they are then, if they are forced to cross into another country like Bangladesh, we're really appealing to the Bangladeshi government to honor its long tradition of hospitality and open its borders to these refugees."

Mehdi Hasan disucsses BJP politics at Oxford


Here is a link to understand the politics of BJP of India (Dec. 2015).
Here in this interview with Mehdi Hasan the former RSS leader and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav says that his party (including RSS) considers that Pakistan and Bangladesh belongs to India.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A shameful bill is approved in Israel that challenges religious freedom


Israel, the darling of the west, the so-called only democracy in the Middle-East, has been showing its another ugly side these days. She is trying to curtail religious freedom of Muslims by banning the call to Muslim prayer.
At the beginning of the week, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill Sunday evening to ban mosque muezzins from announcing prayer times via loudspeakers in the streets. The bill was submitted by MK Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) after numerous complaints from residents of various cities. The first call to prayer occurs at approximately four or five in the morning every day, disturbing the sleep of local residents.
The bill passed an initial reading in the Knesset and then was passed on to the committee stage for further rounds of voting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself voiced his broad agreement with the legislation.
Some 2,000 protested on Friday against the "Muezzin Bill" in Kafr Qasim, Tayibe, Kabul, Kafr Kanna and Rahat.
They called to end the legislative process that aims to prevent mosques from using loudspeakers to announce prayer times after leaving Friday prayers. They waved banners that read, "Silence the voice of racists, not the voice of the muezzin" and "A racist law," and cried, "The voice of the muezzin will not be stopped; such a law will not be followed."


Kafr Qasim's mayor, Adel Badir, joined those protesting in his city. He said, "Here, at this place where we're demonstrating, 49 martyrs were murdered in a massacre carried out by soldiers." Referencing the words contained in the call to worship that mean "God is (the) greatest," the mayor continued, "We were born with 'Allahu akbar,' and we'll continue saying, 'Allahu akbar.'" all of Muslim prayer over loudspeakers.
Tayibe Mayor Shuaa Mansur also warned about the effects of the legislation: "These extreme measure of the Israeli government is a challenge to the Arab populations, which believes in shared life and freedom of worship. We believe that Jews and Christians too must be given freedom of worship everywhere in the world. I hope that the voice of sanity in this country, including that of the attorney general, will triumph." He said that Netanyahu should "not be dragged over by the extreme right. At the end of the day, you're everyone's prime minister."


A Tayibe resident at the protest said, "The muezzin is an inseparable part of the prayer, which is required of every believing Muslim. Therefore, a proper democratic country should defend its existence and certainly not prevent it, as this is part of the freedom of religion and faith."
Note that although in the beginning the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party leader objected to the bill because he feared it would be used to ban the use of sirens to mark the start of Shabbat, a common practice in Jewish communities, he is now withdrawing his objection with the understanding that Jewish sirens will not be stopped during Shabbat. If the legislation is not discriminatory, what is discrimination?

MK Ahmad Tibi said Friday that if the law passes, he and his colleagues from the Arab parties’ Joint List will petition the High Court of Justice against it on the grounds that it discriminates against Muslims and infringes on their freedom of religion.
“This law will silence Muslims but exempt Jews. The law will undermine Israeli Muslims’ freedom of religion,” he said.
“This law is unnecessary, provocative and outrageous. The issues can be solved without coercion. Jews and Arabs in various parts of the country have reached solutions through dialogue, and we need to keep moving in this direction.”
Over the past few days, Muslim religious leaders in Pakistan, Turkey and Lebanon have contacted Tibi to voice concerns about the bill, he said.
His Joint List colleague MK Basel Ghattas said that "if mosques are silenced, we will make sure that the muezzin will be heard in churches, in Nazareth, in Haifa, in Jaffa and in Jerusalem."
"In recent days I've spoken with a number of Christian Arab religious leaders and we agreed that this bill poses a danger not only to mosques or to Muslim Arab citizens, but also endangers churches and Christian Arabs and the Palestinian identity.
"Therefore, we won't stand idly by, and will act against this bill in all possible ways," he said.

Tulsi Gabbard's shameless activities

Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. (D) is a congresswoman from Hawaii. She met Donald Trump today.


She is a Hindu neocon democrat who is for civilization war against Muslims worldwide. And as such, it was no accident that she did not support American involvement to curtail Russia's and Syria's slaughter of civilians there.


American indifference in Syria has resulted in the massacre of 350 civilians just in the last two days. Aleppo, the oldest continuously lived/populated city on earth, has been bombed to utter ruins. There is not a single hospital standing intact to care for anyone there.


Tulsi is an unabashed supporter of murderous Modi regime in India, which wants India to become a state for the Hindus only. Thus, while she is protective of India's interest and fascist Hindutvadi agenda, which has resulted in much suffering for the Christians and Muslims in India, she is gung-ho when it comes to Muslims! What double standards!

So no one should be surprised that she is the first democrat to meet with Trump, approve of the nomination of Bannon - a white supremacist, and so on and so forth. Shame on her!

Latest news on the Rohingyas of Myanmar

Here below is the latest tally from the BROUK:
On 9th October border guard police posts on the Burma Bangladesh border were attacked by armed men, and police officers were killed. In response the Burmese military launched a major crackdown, alleging Rohingya were responsible. Human rights violations include executions, arrests, beatings, torture, forced relocations, blocking of humanitarian aid, burning of homes and businesses, and the mass rape of ethnic Rohingya women.
From 12th November the military dramatically escalated their attacks against Rohingya villages, using heavy weapons and helicopter gunships, killing and injuring hundreds of people and displacing 20,000 Rohingya in just one weekend. 
Between 9th October to 20th November, BROUK has recorded the following estimates of abuses committed:
Deaths: 428 Rohingya
Rape: 192 Rohingya women
Arrest: 440
Missing people: 120
Reports of beatings and physical violence: 160
Burnt down houses and buildings: 1780
IDPs: At least 35,000

Sources:
On 9th October border guard police posts on the Burma Bangladesh border were attacked by armed men, and police officers were killed. In response the Burmese military launched a major crackdown, alleging Rohingya were responsible. Human rights violations include executions, arrests, beatings, torture, forced relocations, blocking of humanitarian aid, burning of homes and businesses, and the mass rape of ethnic Rohingya women.
From 12th November the military dramatically escalated their attacks against Rohingya villages, using heavy weapons and helicopter gunships, killing and injuring hundreds of people and displacing 20,000 Rohingya in just one weekend. 
Between 9th October to 20th November, BROUK has recorded the following estimates of abuses committed:
Deaths: 428 Rohingya
Rape: 192 Rohingya women
Arrest: 440
Missing people: 120
Reports of beatings and physical violence: 160
Burnt down houses and buildings: 1780
IDPs: At least 35,000

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A country of non-nationals

I have noted a few times that our world is increasingly becoming difficult for ordinary people. Fascist forces are making their lives unbearable, and they are too many, from one corner of the planet to another. In India, the situation is also dire for many minorities.
"I thought the Muslims were the only anti nationals in this country. But I was mistaken. Earlier, thousands of people including even women and children who were questioning Koodankulam nuclear plant were declared as anti nationals. They are not the only ones outside the community of Muslims.  Over 11,000 NGOs in India are restricted from FCRA, while the Prime Minister himself has been flying around all the time for foreign funds. The technical and bureaucratic  reasons given by the government may not appear to be convincing enough for anybody who studies the subject. Majority of the NGOs who are targeted belong to the Christian groups. But there is no word of resistance from the Christian leaders. They are still trying to solve the problems through backdoors without realising that the issue is political and it is an open attack on the minorities," writes K.P. Sasi, who is a film maker and critic.
During the summer, Modi's government stopped Peace TV from operating out of India, again on the pretext that the channel is funded from donations received overseas. As noted by Sasi, the Modi government itself runs of foreign aid. Its BJP and RSS and all those saffron fascists are funded by rich Indians living in the Middle East, Singapore, Europe and North America. I don't see Modi government stop such saffron fundings. What a double standard!
You can read Sasi's article by clicking here.

Fresh worries over fleeing Rohingyas

As the Rohingyas of Myanmar face new genocidal pogroms against them by the Myanmar military and Border Guard Police, they are seemingly caught between a Myanmar crocodile and a Bengal tiger. Instead of giving them asylum, Bangladesh Government is pushing them back to their homeland where they face extinction. It is simply shameful and inexcusable! I am shocked!
See the report on the sufferings in the Daily Star by clicking here.

More news of rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar military and BGP

The news below is from RB News:
===========
More Rohingya women believed to have been raped by the Myanmar Military and Border Guard Police (BGP) were discovered in Kyet Yoe Pyin village on November 18th, 2016. A group of Rohingya villagers were killed in Du Dan village on November 19th. 

On November 18th, 2016 at 5:30 AM the military and BGP surrounded Kyet Yoe Pyin, Nga Sar Kyu and U Shey Kya villages, and then raided them shortly after. The security forces arrived in the morning and remained stationed there until around midnight, according to local villagers. 

Initial reports from the villagers claimed that three women were raped but later on more victims were discovered. The villagers confirmed that a total of eight girls were raped by the military and BGP. The victims were as young as 11 years old. Other victims were said to be 13, 15, 16, and 17 years old. Two of the victims are considered to be in very critical condition, a local woman informed RB News

The military and BGP were also reported looting gold and cash valued at 2.2 million Myanmar Kyat from four villages. 

On November 19th at 9 AM a group of 100 military and BGP forces raided Sin Thay Pyin hamlet of Laung Don village tract. The women in the village gathered together fearing they may be raped by the security forces when they arrived in the village. The military found them and tried to separate them and force them back to their homes, but the women refused, wanting to stay together for safety. The security forces were reported to have then beaten some men that they found in the village, while looting all valuables they found, including food and livestock valued at around 150,000 Kyat. They destroyed many homes in the village and then left for Nga Sar Kyu village. 

At 2 PM the military based in Kyein Chaung raided Lambagun hamlet in Du Dan village tract. These women were also afraid they army be raped if they remained and they fled from their village. The men fled as well in fear of torture. With the village empty the military was able to loot and destroy everything. By 4pm the Military had reached Du Dan hamlet. The villagers fled on foot to Ahet Pyuma village. They reported that the military fired at them continuously as they were swimming across a river to get to Ahet Pyuma. 

An 18 year old woman named Woobaida, who is the daughter of Karim Ullah and a man named Einus, who s the son of Abdl Kalam, were both shot at this time. Einus was reported dying on the spot, while Woobaida survived initial shots, but was spotted with her injuries across the river by the military. It was reported by a villager to RB News that soldiers then came and shot her three more times at close range to kill her. The soldiers then took her dead body and left it at a house inside the village and left the village at 6pm. 

While villagers were running and attempting to cross the river two are believed to have drowned, but their bodies have not been located as of yet to confirm this. Another child was shot by the military while crossing, but was able to escape. 

On the same day at 2 PM a group of 00 soldiers raided Ngan Chaung village and arrested more than 200 villagers. They then interrogated and released all of the Ngan Chaung villagers. Another 80 villagers remained in custody and were from Kyet Yoe Pyin, Yay Khae Chaung Khwa Sone, Pwint Phyu Chaung, Dar Gyi Sar and Kyar Gaung Taung but were taking shelter in Ngan Chaung. The villagers were taken to the BGP headquarters based in Kyee Kan Pyin villages.

Reporting by MYARF and Rohingya Eye.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dark Forces Winning the Game!


With the latest presidential election results in the USA, 2016 is proving to be a bonanza year for the right-wing extremists everywhere, or so it seems these days. The next year, 2017, may even look better for them.
Amid a migrant crisis, sluggish economic growth and growing disillusionment with the European Union, far-right parties have been achieving electoral success in a number of European nations, e.g., Hungary, Austria, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Slovakia, Romania and Switzerland. Even Germany, Greece, Italy and Cyprus are not far behind in seeing the resurgence of anti-immigrant, far right, populist parties.
Last September, the Alternative for Germany party, which started three years ago as a protest movement against the euro currency, took second place in the Legislature in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the home state of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The party attracts voters who are anti-establishment, anti-liberalization, anti-European, or more properly, anti-everything that has come to be regarded as the new “norm.” Frauke Petry, the party’s leader, has said border guards might need to turn guns on anyone crossing a frontier illegally. The party’s policy platform says “Islam does not belong in Germany” and calls for a ban on the construction of mosques.
In France, the National Front - established in 1972 (whose founders and sympathizers included former Nazi collaborators and members of the wartime collaborationist Vichy regime) – is a nationalist party that uses populist rhetoric to promote its racist, anti-immigration and anti-European Union positions. The party favors protectionist economic policies and would clamp down on government benefits for immigrants, including health care, and drastically reduce the number of immigrants allowed into France. The party may win the presidential election in 2017.
In the Netherlands, the anti-European Union, anti-Islam Party for Freedom has called for closing all Islamic schools and recording the ethnicity of all Dutch citizens. In early November, the party was leading in polls ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.
In Greece, the neo-fascist party Golden Dawn - founded in 1980 - came to international attention in 2012 when it entered the Greek Parliament for the first time, winning 18 seats and becoming the country’s third-largest party. Golden Dawn, which again won 18 seats in parliamentary elections last September, was largely silent as the migrant crisis in Greece began, but in recent weeks, members have been marching in several areas where migrants are camped. The party hailed Mr. Trump’s election as a victory against “illegal immigration” and is in favor of “ethnically clean states.”
In Hungary, Jobbik, an anti-immigration, populist and economic protectionist party, won 20 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections in 2014, making it the country’s third-largest party. In September, a reporter for an internet television channel associated with the party showed her kicking and tripping immigrants in a makeshift camp near Hungary’s border with Serbia.
The Sweden Democrats party, an anti-immigrant party with probable ties with white supremacist movement, won about 13 percent of the vote in elections in September 2014. The party was Sweden’s most popular in some opinion polls in the winter. A poll on Nov. 16 showed the party vying for second place, with support from 21.5 percent of voters.
In March of this year, Slovakia’s governing party ran on an anti-migrant platform and yet, lost its majority in parliamentary elections. The far-right extremists of the anti-Roma People’s Party-Our Slovakia made striking gains by winning 8 percent of the vote, securing 14 seats in the country’s 150-member Parliament. The party’s leader, Marian Kotleba, has said, “Even one immigrant is one too many,” and has called NATO a “criminal organization.” He has also spoken favorably of Jozef Tiso, the head of the Slovak state during World War II, who was responsible for sending tens of thousands of Jews to concentration camps. The party favors leaving the European Union and the Eurozone.
In Austria, early this year, Norbert Hofer of the nationalist and anti-immigration Freedom Party lost in the runoff presidential election against Alexander Van der Bellen by just 31,000 votes. He got 49.7% of the votes. In June the party challenged the results of the presidential runoff election, citing “numerous irregularities and failures” in the counting of votes. In July, Austria’s highest court ordered a repeat of the runoff election, which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 4. Mr. Hofer had campaigned on strengthening the country’s borders and its army, limiting benefits for immigrants and favoring Austrians in the job market. The party, whose motto is “Austria first,” holds 40 of the 183 seats in the National Council.
Many Europeans are questioning immigration, integration, the euro, the EU and the establishment, while promoting a stiff dose of nationalist sentiment. Sadly, it has become “salonfaehig", as German-speakers would say, meaning socially acceptable, these days.
Are we witnessing reincarnation of the Weimar Republic, the precursor to Nazi Germany, esp. in the western world?
A little bit of history may help us here to answer the question. In 1921 Kurt Tucholsky, a left-wing intellectual, claimed that “Germans had two passions: beer and antisemitism.” He added that “the beer was twenty-eight proof, but the antisemitism was a hundred proof.” There were numerous anti-Semitic publications that abounded in Germany including the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which was brought to Germany by Alfred Rosenberg, a refugee from the Baltic part of the Russian Empire, who became a Nazi leader.
According to the historian Hans-Ulrich Wehler, German history before as well as during the Nazi years was marked by pronounced polarization of the society into groups perceived as insiders and outsiders, friends and enemies. “Race”, in its distorted Weimar definition, became the primary criterion for defining identity.
Adolf Hitler and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels believed that hatred against the ‘others’ - those of not ‘pure’ German blood – could be exploited to create unity and gather support for the Nazi movement. The deep-seated and long-standing hatred of Jews and gypsies (Roma and Sinti) was a wellspring that the Nazis tapped on their way to power. Nazism came to be viewed by most Germans as a type of political religion with the Church leaders rarely opposing the politics of racism and hatred that attracted increasing numbers of followers.
As the economic situation deteriorated in 1930, and many disillusioned voters turned to extremist parties, Adolf Hitler, a dedicated foe of the Weimar Republic, became the only political leader by 1932 who was capable of commanding a legislative majority. On January 30, 1933, an aged President von Hindenburg reluctantly named Hitler Chancellor of the Republic. Using his legislative majority and the support of Hindenburg's emergency presidential powers, Hitler proceeded to destroy the Weimar Republic. He was able to put the blame for Germany’s troubles upon the socially and economically ‘unequal’ Jews who had remained the "other" in Germany.


These days, what’s uniting the parties is an “imagined Muslim enemy in Europe,” according to Farid Hafez, a sociology and political science professor at Austria’s Salzburg University. It may be proper to say that many westerners have a new passion: Islamophobia.
During the recent presidential election in the USA we saw a fair share of similar blame-games and passions against the ‘others’. Donald Trump portrayed himself as the anti-establishment avatar who would ‘make America great’ again; he blamed the Mexican illegals for ‘stealing’ jobs of ordinary Americans and raping and killing White Americans; he used fear-mongering tactics against Muslim immigrants to solidify his position amongst the rabidly Islamophobic evangelical Christians. No wonder that hate crimes against the Muslims are now all-time high. Hijab-clad Muslim women continue to be harassed and threatened, and mosques attacked and vandalized in what is alarmingly becoming the Trumpland, and not the land of the immigrants.

In recent days, Trump has named some of his picks for top posts in his administration. They include well-known racists, bigots, white supremacists and potential Nazi-like fascists.
Steve Bannon has been named as Trump’s chief strategist. Before joining Trump's campaign as his CEO, he was the executive director of Breitbart News, an outlet he described in July as a "platform of the alt-right." In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon said, “Darkness is good." "Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power." "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get [expletive] over." [Hidden, of course, in Bannon’s interview is the fact that one of those globalists is Trump who ‘gutted the American working class’ to profit his business.]
Ex-army General Michael T. Flynn has been named as Trump’s National Security chief. He tweeted in February that "fear of Muslims is RATIONAL," including a link to a YouTube video that claims the religion of Islam wants "80% of people enslaved or exterminated." He had described Islam as a ‘malignant cancer’.
Trump has chosen Jeff Sessions, who has served in the Senate for 20 years, to be the next attorney general — a position that will give him the platform to shape civil rights policy and to defend the constitutionality of any policies that effectively restrict Muslim immigration, legal and civil liberties experts warn. Sessions has also been dogged with accusations of racism, which sank his nomination to become a federal judge after President Ronald Reagan nominated him 30 years ago. At his Senate hearing, Sessions said he was not a racist, but several Justice Department employees testified that he had used racist language.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, expressed dismay about Session’s nomination. It only adds “to a growing list” of nominees “with troubling pasts, and troubling histories of bigotry and intolerance,” Hooper said.
Trump’s pick to lead the CIA is Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), a Kansas congressman who is also seen as a fierce partisan on polarizing issues including the deaths of U.S. personnel in Benghazi, saying that the Obama administration was guilty of a scandal “worse than Watergate.” He has called for Snowden to face the death penalty and for Clinton to be barred from receiving classified information. He has used his perch on the House Intelligence Committee to attack major pillars of President Obama’s foreign policy agenda, including the nuclear deal with Iran. Just hours before his name surfaced as Trump’s CIA nominee, Pompeo tweeted that he looked forward to “rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
Separately, Pompeo said that Muslim leaders who fail to denounce acts of terrorism done in the name of Islam were “potentially complicit” in the attacks.
Trump has called for the CIA to resume the use of waterboarding and other interrogation measures widely condemned as torture. Trump has derided the quality of the intelligence from the nation’s spy community, publicly belittling a multiagency conclusion that Russia used cyberespionage methods to interfere in the U.S. election.
Pompeo is not known to have publicly backed those positions and in some cases has articulated views that would seem at odds with those of the Trump team. Pompeo reportedly has close ties to the Koch family, Kansas billionaires who have devoted a considerable part of their wealth to advancing a deeply conservative agenda and driving Democrats out of office. Articles in Kansas papers indicate that Pompeo built much of his wealth with investment funds from Koch industries and that his campaigns for Congress have been backed by Koch money.
With such picks in his new administration, Trump is sending a loud message, which is highly disconcerting to many Americans who don’t want to see their country turn into a fascist country ruled by Herr Trump.
Over the last 17 years, Europe has seen the number of seats for far-right parties double in each election, from 11 percent in 1999 to 22.9 percent in 2014, according to a report by European Parliament research fellow Thilo Janssen. If the trend continues, the far-right could win 37 percent of European Parliament seats in the next election, the same percentage that Adolf Hitler’s National Society party won in 1932, resulting in the rise of the Nazi regime. These parties are emboldened by Trump victory in the USA.
As noted by Mayaan Jaffe-Hoffman, many of these political groups have a history of antisemitism. “After the fall of the Nazi regime, blatant antisemitism lost popularity, and so did the far-Right”, Farid Hafez said. However, when large numbers of foreign workers began streaming into Europe in the early 1990s, the far-right tried to re-establish prominence through economic nationalism, a feeling of loyalty and pride in their own country. They also felt native-born Europeans should be given job preferences and welfare support over non-natives. But their efforts were largely unsuccessful. After 9/11, and in the wake of Muslim refugees flooding into Europe from war-torn countries in Asia and Africa, and the nihilistic attacks there, the far-right found its ticket in Islamophobia, very much like antisemitism of the 19th century. Muslims (like the German Jews of the Nazi-era) have become global scapegoats, blamed for all negative social phenomena.
“There is a growing fear in Europe that Muslims will demographically take over sooner or later,” says Ayhan Kaya, director of the European Institute at Istanbul Bilgi University in Turkey. Bar-Ilan University professor Amikam Nachmani says Nazi-style rhetoric employed against the Jews is now targeted against Muslims. He estimates the anti-Muslim hatred increasingly being employed by the far-Right is a proxy for its longstanding racism and anti-Semitic ideologies.
Ironically, Islamophobia was fed, amongst others, by the Jewish organizers of the Jerusalem Summit and Stop Islamization of Europe with their Christian-Zionist friends in the West. What they sowed is now reaping its evil! In France, for example, there were 806 anti-Semitic hate crimes against Jews in 2015, as reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). While attacks against Muslims tripled in volume, the total was only 400, half the number of attacks committed against Jewish people and property. “The far-right parties claim they want to defend Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage and foundations,” said Hafez.  “This is a game.”
Truly, the far-right populist parties and Likudnik Zionists have now become strange bedfellows.
History has repeatedly shown the futility of tying knots with the devil, and yet that lesson continues to get lost in the face of a crackpot union with fraudulent voices on the extreme right. Trump’s election win is sure to strengthen the dark forces of our time - the far right parties in Europe and the religious extremists in other parts of our world.