Danish far-right group plays Muslim ‘prayer call’ to wake up city mayor (VIDEO)

Members from the ‘Stop the Islamization of Denmark’ (SIAD) group paid a visit to Joy Morgensen, mayor of Roskilde, after she promoted the construction of a new mosque in the city, which plans to have minarets used for calls to prayer, according to the Ekstra Bladet media outlet. 

The anti-Muslim activists set up loudspeakers near Morgensen’s doorstep, playing what was meant to sound like the traditional Muslim call to prayer.

The adhan is called out from mosques five times a day, traditionally from a minaret, to summon Muslims for mandatory worship. The first call typically starts at 5.00 in the morning, the time the activists came to the mayor’s home.

“We thought that the mayor should taste her own medicine,” Anders Gravers Pedersen, the founder of SIAD, told RT.

“She wants these minarets to spew the prayers, we think she doesn’t know what she’s doing. We came at five o’clock in the morning and played it for her,” he said. He added he is not interested in talking to the mayor and promised to stage similar acts for Danish government officials.

Roskilde already houses a mosque located in a converted garage building, and work to construct a new one at the same site is underway. According to Ekstra Bladet, the mosque will have five domes and two minarets.

Roskilde city council has already banned Muslim clerics from using the minarets for calls to prayer. Plans to build the mosque sparked debate among local communities, with Morgensen defending diversity and interfaith dialogue.

“You want to convince me or just find a solution? Please contact me properly. I was available in public and at city hall, but 5am, at my private residence is not my choice for being available for appointment,” Morgensen said in a comment to RT.

The city of Roskilde lies 30km west of Danish capital Copenhagen on the island of Zealand. It is known for its UNESCO-listed Gothic cathedral housing the tombs of 39 Danish monarchs.

Denmark, home to approximately 200,000 Muslims, has recently become the first Nordic country to open an all-female mosque aimed at countering long-established stereotypes leading to a male-dominated worshipping.

“We have normalized patriarchal structures in our religious institutions. Not just in Islam, but also within Judaism and Christianity and other religions. And we would like to challenge that,” Sherin Khankan, the female mosque advocate and one of the imams who will be leading prayers, told AFP.

Other Danish mosques appear to promote much more extreme views, according to local media.

In February last year, the documentary ‘Mosques behind the Veil’, broadcast on state-run TV, filmed a leading preacher of a mosque in Aarhus who advocated death to adulterers, infidels and apostates. 

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/396812-denmark-mosque-mayor-prayer-call/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

How They Do It– ‘Judaism Is Not a Murderous Religion’…The Israeli Group That Stands Up to Jewish Terrorism

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/how-they-do-it-judaism-is-not-a-murderous-religion-the-israeli-group-that-stands-up-to-jewish-terrorism/

Re: Comments about the Saudis by a group funded by foreign extremists should not be taken seriously

When the Henry Jackson Society released its report earlier this week about how Saudi Arabia is allegedly funding extremism in Britain, there was acclaim from all corners. Left and right united to publicise the think tank. The report even prompted an article in the New York Times, which claimed that it shows that “Britain debates Saudis’ ties to extremism, with [Theresa] May in an uneasy spot.” Many did exactly what HJS media strategists hoped they would do and used the report as a proxy for the government’s own report into Gulf funding of terrorism, which is currently being suppressed for diplomatic reasons.

However, the HJS report offered nothing new. There were no details of bank statements, wire transfers or secret communications between Saudi Arabian handlers and the Manchester, London Bridge, Westminster, Woolwich or 7/7 attackers. There were, instead, unsurprising statements about preachers who studied in Saudi Arabia, in some cases more than 20 years ago.

Saudi Arabia, it shouldn’t need to be said, is the spiritual home of the Islamic faith; it hosts the two most holy places in Islam, Makkah and Madinah. That some British Muslims study there should not be a surprise to anyone.

Several of the preachers accused by HJS of being created by Saudi Arabia — notably Abu Qatada, Abu Hamza, Abdullah Al-Faisal and Omar Bakri — have been, in fact, among the strongest critics of the kingdom. Abu Qatada repeatedly lashed Riyadh, and in particular the “court scholar” status of Saudi scholar Rabee Al-Madkhali, who he accused of facilitating spying against Muslims, and taking money from the House of Saud.

Read: British PM ‘burying’ report exposing Saudi funding of extremism in UK

Abu Hamza claimed dramatically that the Saudi king had “broken his divine covenant” — as one report put it — which is an exceptionally serious accusation to level at the custodian of Islam’s most holy sites.

Abdullah Al-Faisal may have studied at the Imam Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh back in the eighties, but when he preached at the Brixton Mosque in London, he lectured about “The Devil’s Deception of the Saudi Salafis”; he was another one excoriating the Saudi monarchy.

Omar Bakri studied in Saudi Arabia as well, but there founded a cell of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which was a banned organisation. He was even briefly arrested by the Saudi authorities for his political activities.

A close look at the HJS report also reveals a serious discrepancy in its fundamental premise that Saudi Arabia is now increasing its efforts to fund “extremism” in Britain and elsewhere. The footnotes evidence this by linking to a single article published in the World Affairs Journal. Nowhere does this article claim that Saudi Arabian funding of “Wahhabism worldwide” is growing.

HJS claims that, “In 2007 Saudi Arabia was estimated to be spending at least $2 billion annually on promoting Wahhabism worldwide. By 2015 that figure was believed to have doubled.” What its own footnoted source actually states is that $4bn per year was being spent, but during the Cold War and by King Fahd, who died in 2005. Indeed the same article says that Saudi Arabia has “begun introducing more stringent rules for oversight of waqfs, or charities, to curb funds flowing to Islamists.”

Even in 2008, when HJS presumed Saudi money was accelerating into British mosques, an MI5 report obtained by the Guardian suggested that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation” and that, “Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices.” None of that suggests that even if Saudi Arabia was funding orthodox Islam in Britain it would make terrorism more likely.

Read more: Egypt blocked UN sanctions on Daesh in Saudi Arabia

You only have to look to India or Indonesia to see that Saudi money, even in the hundreds of millions, does not necessarily equate to more terrorism. In Indonesia, the effect of Saudi money has been called a “red herring”. India has remarkably little “Islamic” violence but it does have a remarkable number of Saudi-funded charities, schools and mosques.

Despite these extraordinary gaps in the HJS report, media voices across the political spectrum have united to exalt its findings. It was an exercise in confirmation bias. In a Britain where opinion is divided on everything after last year’s Brexit referendum, probably the only political issue that left and right can agree on is that neither like Saudi Arabia.

Largely forgotten in all of this is that a key figure within HJS, associate director Douglas Murray, has made repeated derogatory comments about Muslims, has his own association with extremists banned from the United Kingdom, and is complicit in the concealment of covert foreign funding of the Henry Jackson Society which is intended to influence decent British citizens.

One of the few donors to HJS who pay Murray’s salary that we know about is Nina Rosenweld’s Abstraction Fund, an American outfit. Alongside its support for Murray’s sectarian propaganda, the Abstraction Fund gives money to Daniel Pipes (who says that Muslims are “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene”); Brigitte Gabriel (Muslims “have no souls — they are dead set on killing and destruction”); and the Gatestone Institute, a pseudo-academic organisation that pumps out anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and had, until recently, Douglas Murray on its board of governors.

Murray aside, none of these people are British or think in a particularly “British” way. They are, by his society’s own definitions, “foreign extremists”.

The Abstraction Fund is estimated to have given some $2.8 million to anti-Muslim secular preachers since 2000. Murray is tied closely into this network of hate. He has described Robert Spencer, an anti-Muslim academic from the United States, as “a very brilliant scholar and writer.” Spencer denies that genocide took place in Srebrenica, and is banned from entering the United Kingdom on security grounds because his views are so extreme.

Nevertheless, in 2006 Murray and Spencer appeared together at an event in Holland. There, Murray stated that

Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition.

This was a foretelling of Trump’s Muslim ban (and it is a Muslim ban, no matter how the US administration tries to dress it up). When Trump introduced this, Murray supported him with a nine-point defence published in the right-wing Spectator magazine. Earlier this year, Murray said that Britain needed “less Islam” (which is shorthand for “fewer Muslims”), a claim that was aired by the BBC, the Spectator and the Sun.

It should be noted that If Murray had said any of this about Jews, Jamaicans or Indians, he would have been rightly labelled an “extremist” and frog-marched into career oblivion. Instead, he is rewarded with foreign cash and mainstream media coverage.

America has many great and good things to offer the world. Anti-Muslim bigotry, which has gone from the fringes of polite society to the White House, is not one of them.

The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed during 9/11 attacks [file photo]The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed during 9/11 attacks [file photo]

The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed during 9/11 attacks [file photo]

One of the mosques called out in the HJS report is the King Fahd Mosque in Edinburgh, also known as Edinburgh Central Mosque. It was built with Saudi money nineteen years ago. According to the HJS, it is run directly “from Saudi Arabia.” The implication is ominous, but the report does not expand on its claim. To do so would reveal the paucity of truth in it.

I know this mosque well. It is right next to the university I attended. Every day, it offered exceptionally cheap curry to students of all faiths and none. We all ate on benches and it was packed every lunch-time. We were never proselytised by the staff at any level. After 9/11, the manager had “decided to open the restaurant to everyone, no matter their religious persuasion, to show that Islam ‘was not about terror’.”

The feeding operation has since expanded from the mosque forecourt, a pleasant enclosed space, to a separate restaurant nearby. The mosque is now deriving a great deal of its income not from sinister forces in Riyadh, but from curry.

In fact, many mosques in this country raise funds either from their community or from social enterprises. That the bricks and mortar came from Saudi Arabia or other oil-rich Middle East donors decades ago, seems increasingly irrelevant.

When the Asad Shah stabbing occurred in Glasgow, the city’s Central Mosque management team launched a lecture series dealing with differences between Ahmadi and other Islamic beliefs. After other terror attacks they have welcomed Christian congregations to “discuss how to live together in peace.” They have an entire programme called “Against Extremism” and work closely with the police and host Scottish politicians regularly. Glasgow Central Mosque is the epitome of an “integrated” British mosque, and yet the HJS report implies that it is somehow “extremist”.

Remarkably few Muslims from Scotland have gone to fight in Syria. The only person thus confirmed is Abdul Rakib Amin, who joined Daesh. He came from Aberdeen, and the mosque he attended knew nothing about his radicalisation; it is funded locally, not from Riyadh. Amin was apparently recruited through the internet.

A Scottish “jihadi bride”, Aqsa Mahmood, has also travelled to Syria. She comes from Glasgow, not Edinburgh and its allegedly “Saudi-run” mosque. She wasn’t groomed in a madrassa; she attended an expensive private school which banned the hijab. She also appears to have been recruited online.

Read : Report: Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $25bn for Red Sea islands

There are 15,000 Muslims living in Edinburgh, with the Saudi-built Edinburgh Central Mosque, controlled by Riyadh according to the Henry Jackson Society report, catering to 1,000 worshippers at a time. Not one of them has gone to Syria.

Bash Saudi Arabia all you want. Its leadership court bigots and have turned the holy sites into theme parks. Women, Shia and foreigners are treated like dirt. Its foreign policy is appalling, particularly towards Yemen and now Qatar, and it is now allying itself with Israel against the Palestinians. It is backing fighters in Syria, although not Daesh, who do not offer Syrians a future much better than the ruling Assad family.

The impact of “Wahhabism” on the specific problem of terrorism in the West, or in Britain, is largely a figment of the imagination. The conspiracy theory often glosses over flaws in the way that Western countries are themselves dealing an unfair hand to their own Muslim citizens. It is easier to blame the foreign blokes with beards than it is to wrestle with our own inadequacies.

That this criticism comes on this occasion from the Henry Jackson Society, an organisation with shady foreign funding in abundance, and from the most extreme of sources with the most extreme of agendas, is hypocrisy worth highlighting. The media, though, has generally missed the trick. Instead, the society’s report has sparked yet another tedious debate about Saudi Arabia. It’s time to move on. The money from the Gulf has dried up, and the real terrorists have moved on. We should too.



Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170707-comments-about-the-saudis-by-a-group-funded-by-foreign-extremists-should-not-be-taken-seriously/#comment-3407399784

Re: Comments about the Saudis by a group funded by foreign extremists should not be taken seriously

When the Henry Jackson Society released its report earlier this week about how Saudi Arabia is allegedly funding extremism in Britain, there was acclaim from all corners. Left and right united to publicise the think tank. The report even prompted an article in the New York Times, which claimed that it shows that “Britain debates Saudis’ ties to extremism, with [Theresa] May in an uneasy spot.” Many did exactly what HJS media strategists hoped they would do and used the report as a proxy for the government’s own report into Gulf funding of terrorism, which is currently being suppressed for diplomatic reasons.

However, the HJS report offered nothing new. There were no details of bank statements, wire transfers or secret communications between Saudi Arabian handlers and the Manchester, London Bridge, Westminster, Woolwich or 7/7 attackers. There were, instead, unsurprising statements about preachers who studied in Saudi Arabia, in some cases more than 20 years ago.

Saudi Arabia, it shouldn’t need to be said, is the spiritual home of the Islamic faith; it hosts the two most holy places in Islam, Makkah and Madinah. That some British Muslims study there should not be a surprise to anyone.

Several of the preachers accused by HJS of being created by Saudi Arabia — notably Abu Qatada, Abu Hamza, Abdullah Al-Faisal and Omar Bakri — have been, in fact, among the strongest critics of the kingdom. Abu Qatada repeatedly lashed Riyadh, and in particular the “court scholar” status of Saudi scholar Rabee Al-Madkhali, who he accused of facilitating spying against Muslims, and taking money from the House of Saud.

Read: British PM ‘burying’ report exposing Saudi funding of extremism in UK

Abu Hamza claimed dramatically that the Saudi king had “broken his divine covenant” — as one report put it — which is an exceptionally serious accusation to level at the custodian of Islam’s most holy sites.

Abdullah Al-Faisal may have studied at the Imam Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh back in the eighties, but when he preached at the Brixton Mosque in London, he lectured about “The Devil’s Deception of the Saudi Salafis”; he was another one excoriating the Saudi monarchy.

Omar Bakri studied in Saudi Arabia as well, but there founded a cell of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which was a banned organisation. He was even briefly arrested by the Saudi authorities for his political activities.

A close look at the HJS report also reveals a serious discrepancy in its fundamental premise that Saudi Arabia is now increasing its efforts to fund “extremism” in Britain and elsewhere. The footnotes evidence this by linking to a single article published in the World Affairs Journal. Nowhere does this article claim that Saudi Arabian funding of “Wahhabism worldwide” is growing.

HJS claims that, “In 2007 Saudi Arabia was estimated to be spending at least $2 billion annually on promoting Wahhabism worldwide. By 2015 that figure was believed to have doubled.” What its own footnoted source actually states is that $4bn per year was being spent, but during the Cold War and by King Fahd, who died in 2005. Indeed the same article says that Saudi Arabia has “begun introducing more stringent rules for oversight of waqfs, or charities, to curb funds flowing to Islamists.”

Even in 2008, when HJS presumed Saudi money was accelerating into British mosques, an MI5 report obtained by the Guardian suggested that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation” and that, “Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices.” None of that suggests that even if Saudi Arabia was funding orthodox Islam in Britain it would make terrorism more likely.

Read more: Egypt blocked UN sanctions on Daesh in Saudi Arabia

You only have to look to India or Indonesia to see that Saudi money, even in the hundreds of millions, does not necessarily equate to more terrorism. In Indonesia, the effect of Saudi money has been called a “red herring”. India has remarkably little “Islamic” violence but it does have a remarkable number of Saudi-funded charities, schools and mosques.

Despite these extraordinary gaps in the HJS report, media voices across the political spectrum have united to exalt its findings. It was an exercise in confirmation bias. In a Britain where opinion is divided on everything after last year’s Brexit referendum, probably the only political issue that left and right can agree on is that neither like Saudi Arabia.

Largely forgotten in all of this is that a key figure within HJS, associate director Douglas Murray, has made repeated derogatory comments about Muslims, has his own association with extremists banned from the United Kingdom, and is complicit in the concealment of covert foreign funding of the Henry Jackson Society which is intended to influence decent British citizens.

One of the few donors to HJS who pay Murray’s salary that we know about is Nina Rosenweld’s Abstraction Fund, an American outfit. Alongside its support for Murray’s sectarian propaganda, the Abstraction Fund gives money to Daniel Pipes (who says that Muslims are “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene”); Brigitte Gabriel (Muslims “have no souls — they are dead set on killing and destruction”); and the Gatestone Institute, a pseudo-academic organisation that pumps out anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and had, until recently, Douglas Murray on its board of governors.

Murray aside, none of these people are British or think in a particularly “British” way. They are, by his society’s own definitions, “foreign extremists”.

The Abstraction Fund is estimated to have given some $2.8 million to anti-Muslim secular preachers since 2000. Murray is tied closely into this network of hate. He has described Robert Spencer, an anti-Muslim academic from the United States, as “a very brilliant scholar and writer.” Spencer denies that genocide took place in Srebrenica, and is banned from entering the United Kingdom on security grounds because his views are so extreme.

Nevertheless, in 2006 Murray and Spencer appeared together at an event in Holland. There, Murray stated that

Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition.

This was a foretelling of Trump’s Muslim ban (and it is a Muslim ban, no matter how the US administration tries to dress it up). When Trump introduced this, Murray supported him with a nine-point defence published in the right-wing Spectator magazine. Earlier this year, Murray said that Britain needed “less Islam” (which is shorthand for “fewer Muslims”), a claim that was aired by the BBC, the Spectator and the Sun.

It should be noted that If Murray had said any of this about Jews, Jamaicans or Indians, he would have been rightly labelled an “extremist” and frog-marched into career oblivion. Instead, he is rewarded with foreign cash and mainstream media coverage.

America has many great and good things to offer the world. Anti-Muslim bigotry, which has gone from the fringes of polite society to the White House, is not one of them.

The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed during 9/11 attacks [file photo]The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed during 9/11 attacks [file photo]

The twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed during 9/11 attacks [file photo]

One of the mosques called out in the HJS report is the King Fahd Mosque in Edinburgh, also known as Edinburgh Central Mosque. It was built with Saudi money nineteen years ago. According to the HJS, it is run directly “from Saudi Arabia.” The implication is ominous, but the report does not expand on its claim. To do so would reveal the paucity of truth in it.

I know this mosque well. It is right next to the university I attended. Every day, it offered exceptionally cheap curry to students of all faiths and none. We all ate on benches and it was packed every lunch-time. We were never proselytised by the staff at any level. After 9/11, the manager had “decided to open the restaurant to everyone, no matter their religious persuasion, to show that Islam ‘was not about terror’.”

The feeding operation has since expanded from the mosque forecourt, a pleasant enclosed space, to a separate restaurant nearby. The mosque is now deriving a great deal of its income not from sinister forces in Riyadh, but from curry.

In fact, many mosques in this country raise funds either from their community or from social enterprises. That the bricks and mortar came from Saudi Arabia or other oil-rich Middle East donors decades ago, seems increasingly irrelevant.

When the Asad Shah stabbing occurred in Glasgow, the city’s Central Mosque management team launched a lecture series dealing with differences between Ahmadi and other Islamic beliefs. After other terror attacks they have welcomed Christian congregations to “discuss how to live together in peace.” They have an entire programme called “Against Extremism” and work closely with the police and host Scottish politicians regularly. Glasgow Central Mosque is the epitome of an “integrated” British mosque, and yet the HJS report implies that it is somehow “extremist”.

Remarkably few Muslims from Scotland have gone to fight in Syria. The only person thus confirmed is Abdul Rakib Amin, who joined Daesh. He came from Aberdeen, and the mosque he attended knew nothing about his radicalisation; it is funded locally, not from Riyadh. Amin was apparently recruited through the internet.

A Scottish “jihadi bride”, Aqsa Mahmood, has also travelled to Syria. She comes from Glasgow, not Edinburgh and its allegedly “Saudi-run” mosque. She wasn’t groomed in a madrassa; she attended an expensive private school which banned the hijab. She also appears to have been recruited online.

Read : Report: Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $25bn for Red Sea islands

There are 15,000 Muslims living in Edinburgh, with the Saudi-built Edinburgh Central Mosque, controlled by Riyadh according to the Henry Jackson Society report, catering to 1,000 worshippers at a time. Not one of them has gone to Syria.

Bash Saudi Arabia all you want. Its leadership court bigots and have turned the holy sites into theme parks. Women, Shia and foreigners are treated like dirt. Its foreign policy is appalling, particularly towards Yemen and now Qatar, and it is now allying itself with Israel against the Palestinians. It is backing fighters in Syria, although not Daesh, who do not offer Syrians a future much better than the ruling Assad family.

The impact of “Wahhabism” on the specific problem of terrorism in the West, or in Britain, is largely a figment of the imagination. The conspiracy theory often glosses over flaws in the way that Western countries are themselves dealing an unfair hand to their own Muslim citizens. It is easier to blame the foreign blokes with beards than it is to wrestle with our own inadequacies.

That this criticism comes on this occasion from the Henry Jackson Society, an organisation with shady foreign funding in abundance, and from the most extreme of sources with the most extreme of agendas, is hypocrisy worth highlighting. The media, though, has generally missed the trick. Instead, the society’s report has sparked yet another tedious debate about Saudi Arabia. It’s time to move on. The money from the Gulf has dried up, and the real terrorists have moved on. We should too.



Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170707-comments-about-the-saudis-by-a-group-funded-by-foreign-extremists-should-not-be-taken-seriously/#comment-3407399267

Re: Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron

Israeli authorities have refused to grant entry visas for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) investigative team scheduled to conduct a field visit to the Old City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron in advance of an upcoming vote next month to consider the area an endangered world heritage site, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

While Palestinian authorities had planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2018, they decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the site, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.

A Palestinian delegation to UNESCO had reportedly expressed the “alarming details about the Israeli violations in Al-Khalil/ Hebron, including the continuous acts of vandalism, property damage, and other attacks,” in a letter to the World Heritage Centre.

Since Israel took over the West Bank in 1967 and began advancing Israeli settlements across Palestinian territory in violation of international law, Hebron has been a flashpoint for Israeli settler violence on Palestinians and their properties.

Read: South African Christian activists deported from Israel

The Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, in the Old City where the Prophet Abraham is believed to be buried has been a focal point of such violence for decades, as the site is holy to both Muslims and Jews and has been a prime site for Israeli settler activities in the area.

The UNESCO team’s visit is aimed at assessing whether or not the Old City of Hebron is actually endangered, and would submit these findings to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a body that provides recommendations to UNESCO involving sites that could be considered on the World Heritage in Danger list.

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen  denounced what he considered “Palestinian political moves under the guise of culture and heritage,” and added that UNESCO’s consideration of the site represented “lies that plot against the state of Israel as well as the history and the connection of the Jewish people to this important holy site.” He cited this as the reason for rejecting the delegation’s entry.

#OccupiedPalestine

The Old City, which is under full Israeli military control, is home to some 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces.

UNESCO is scheduled to decide on the status of the Old City during a conference in Krakow, Poland from July 2-12. The vote is expected to include a clause rejecting Israeli sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.



Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170627-israel-refuses-entry-to-unesco-group-expected-to-visit-hebron/#comment-3404563790

Re: Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron

Israeli authorities have refused to grant entry visas for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) investigative team scheduled to conduct a field visit to the Old City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron in advance of an upcoming vote next month to consider the area an endangered world heritage site, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

While Palestinian authorities had planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2018, they decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the site, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.

A Palestinian delegation to UNESCO had reportedly expressed the “alarming details about the Israeli violations in Al-Khalil/ Hebron, including the continuous acts of vandalism, property damage, and other attacks,” in a letter to the World Heritage Centre.

Since Israel took over the West Bank in 1967 and began advancing Israeli settlements across Palestinian territory in violation of international law, Hebron has been a flashpoint for Israeli settler violence on Palestinians and their properties.

Read: South African Christian activists deported from Israel

The Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, in the Old City where the Prophet Abraham is believed to be buried has been a focal point of such violence for decades, as the site is holy to both Muslims and Jews and has been a prime site for Israeli settler activities in the area.

The UNESCO team’s visit is aimed at assessing whether or not the Old City of Hebron is actually endangered, and would submit these findings to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a body that provides recommendations to UNESCO involving sites that could be considered on the World Heritage in Danger list.

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen  denounced what he considered “Palestinian political moves under the guise of culture and heritage,” and added that UNESCO’s consideration of the site represented “lies that plot against the state of Israel as well as the history and the connection of the Jewish people to this important holy site.” He cited this as the reason for rejecting the delegation’s entry.

#OccupiedPalestine

The Old City, which is under full Israeli military control, is home to some 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces.

UNESCO is scheduled to decide on the status of the Old City during a conference in Krakow, Poland from July 2-12. The vote is expected to include a clause rejecting Israeli sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.



Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170627-israel-refuses-entry-to-unesco-group-expected-to-visit-hebron/#comment-3404561881

Colorado group pushes to ban smartphone sale to under-13 kids

Image: Colorado group pushes to ban smartphone sale to under-13 kids

(Natural News)
The country may see the first legal age limits on smartphone sales as Colorado officials approve the language of a ballot proposing to restrict the sale of smartphones to children below 13 years of age. The proposed measure will need 300,000 signatures to be certified for the November 2018 ballot, Coloradoan.com reported.

If the measure were to take effect, smartphone retailers will be banned from selling smartphones — defined in the proposal as any handheld device with internet, data or Wi-Fi connectivity — to children belonging to that age bracket. Businesses will also be required to check the valid ID of the intended primary user to ensure that he or she is of age, as well as submit reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue every month. Those found in violation of the law could be fined a minimum of $500.

The proposal, also known as Initiative 29, was spearheaded by a non-profit group called Parents Against Underage Smartphone Use (PAUS), and was led by Denver anesthesiologist Tim Farnum.

“Eventually kids are going to get phones and join the world, and I think we all know that, but little children, there’s just no good that comes from that,” Farnum told Coloradoan.com, sharing that he experienced problems with his own children when they were given access to smartphones.

“(With smartphones), the internet is always begging for your attention. The apps are all designed to addict you…For children, it’s not a good thing,” he said.

The proposal comes as children continue to be introduced to and use mobile technology at an increasingly early age. One study, according to DailyMail.co.uk, has found that over half of all toddlers can use a tablet at the age of one, and 90 percent of them master the device by the time they turn two.

Studying hundreds of YouTube videos, researchers from the University of Iowa found that over 50 percent of toddlers between 12 to 17 months displayed a “moderate ability” to use a tablet. Researchers defined “moderate” as being able to use apps with help from an adult, but having some difficulty when it comes to basic day-to-day functions.

The researchers also found that by the time babies turned one, they interacted with the tablet in much the same way that adults do, using only their index finger as opposed to using both hands and fingers, as babies younger than one have been observed to do.

Experts have warned against introducing digital media to children at an early age. “Children under two years of age learn best from real-world experiences and interactions,” Carolyn James, a learning designer for Leapfrog Enterprises, told PBS Parents. “Each minute spent in front of a screen-based device is a minute when your child is not exploring the world and using their senses, which is extremely important in their development process.”

PBS Parents recommends that children be allowed to use smartphones to try educational programs and games under close supervision only after they enter preschool. At the same time, unsupervised use and ownership of smartphones should be held off until the child is between 11 to 13 years old, depending on when parents deem they are ready.

Ensuring good content and limiting screen time to no more than 30 minutes per sitting for younger kids, one hour per sitting for older kids, and two hours per sitting for teenagers was also suggested to ensure the healthy incorporation of video tech into kids’ daily activities.

Get more news like this on GreenLivingNews.com.

Sources include:

Coloradoan.com

DailyMail.co.uk

PBS.org

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-04-lawmakers-push-to-ban-sale-of-cell-phones-to-children-under-13.html

Steps turns 20: Counting down the pop group’s top 10 singles

U.K. pop group Steps celebrated 20 years together on May 7. The five members, Claire Richards, Ian “H” Watkins, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Lee Latchford-Evans, formed the band when they answered a newspaper ad and were selected. Steps’ first single “5,6,7,8” was released in Nov. 1997 and that breakthrough led to the debut album Step One the following year. During their initial time together, the quintet scored 14 consecutive top 5 singles in the U.K before breaking up in 2001. A brief reunion took place in 2011 and then Steps returned with a pop vengeance earlier this year with Tears on the Dancefloor (read our album review here). To commemorate 20 years together and an upcoming U.K. tour, let’s countdown Steps’ top 10 singles.

10. “5,6,7,8” – Step One (1998)

“5,6,7,8” was the single that officially kicked off Steps in late 1997 as a way to test the group the public. Before Miley Cyrus‘ “Hoedown Throwdown,” Latchford-Evans and co. had the U.K. moving to their techno line-dancing smash. Lee carried himself like a smooth instructor while the ladies sweetened the tune on the chorus. “5,6,7,8” was the beginning of Steps’ campy, feel good sounds.

9. “Chain Reaction” – Gold: Greatest Hits (2001)

As much as Steps’ career was built on original hits, it was also thanks to the group’s many covers. One of those standouts was the quintet’s cover of Diana Ross‘ 1985 hit “Chain Reaction.” Their 2001 update for a greatest hits album turned the song into an electronic delight that allowed the group to flex its sensual side. Steps’ rousing rendition of “Reaction” was magnetic.

8. “Here and Now” – Buzz (2000)

For third album Buzz, Steps linked up with Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys songwriter Andreas Carlsson on “Here and Now.” Much like the sounds of the time, hard-hitting Euro-pop beats backed the members as they harmonized about being a friend to the end. The reconciliatory tune was edgy and dreamy all rolled into one care package.

7. “Story of a Heart” – Tears on the Dancefloor (2017)

After taking so much inspiration from ABBA, year 20 for Steps marked their first collaboration with legends Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who lent the group “Story of a Heart.” The ladies’ vocals soar on the heartbreaking tune, effortlessly bringing ABBA into the 21st century. Steps sounds at home on this timeless-sounding slice of Euro-pop.

6. “It’s the Way You Make Me Feel” – Buzz (2000)

“It’s the Way You Make Me Feel” from 2000’s Buzz melded ABBA’s melodramatic vibes with the teen-pop of the time thanks to Spears producers Jörgen Elofsson and David Kreuger. Steps was simply irresistible in trying to win over an old flame that moved onto someone else. The group drove a good bargain with all the feels they brought to the stunning single.

5. “Say You’ll Be Mine” – Steptacular (1999)

Steps was at its most adorable on the sweet pop tune “Say You’ll Be Mine.” Every member had a moment in expressing that love-at-first-sight feeling and they did so with absolute glee. The music video where Steps recreated classic moments from ’90s classics like “Austin Powers” and surprisingly “Something About Mary” made the single all the more charming.

4. “Tragedy” – Steptacular (1999)

Steps covered the Bee Gees‘ 1979 classic “Tragedy” for a tribute album in 1998 and the quintet’s rendition became one of their biggest hits ever. They took the Bee Gees’ disco sound and updated it with a faster tempo and electronic edge. Richards, Tozer and Scott-Lee’s powerful performances (coupled with that iconic hands dance step) made “Tragedy” an undeniable dance floor anthem.

3. “Scared of the Dark” – Tears on the Dancefloor (2017)

Steps’ triumphant comeback was made possible thanks to “Scared of the Dark,” the lead single from Tears on the Dancefloor. In true Steps campiness, the production shifts from majestic to melodramatic with the members serving hot come-ons in haunting performances. The group struck down naysayers with this familiar yet fresh pop tour de force.

2. “One for Sorrow” – Step One (1998)

Steps scored its first true classic with “One for Sorrow,” which beautifully blended that ABBA influence with bumping electronica. Richards took on lead vocals and also took the song’s tragic wordplay to church in a powerhouse performance. The rest of the band helped her drive that heartbreak home on the chorus. “Sorrow” stands as one of Steps’ finest pop moments.

1. “Deeper Shade of Blue” – Steptacular (1999)

Instead of looking to the past, Steps looked ahead with the futuristic club banger “Deeper Shade of Blue.” The group battled the love blues atop pulsating house music beats with Richards’ out-of-this-world vocals channeling the dance floor divas that came before her. Among Steps’ vast discography, “Deeper” remains the band’s fiercest, most flawless effort.

Source Article from https://m.axs.com/steps-turns-20-counting-down-the-pop-group-s-top-10-singles-119876