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Posts Tagged ‘germany’

Germany to immigrants: keep on truckin’!

Posted by Richard on May 22, 2018

A couple of years ago, Shikha Dalmia wrote an important column about why immigrants in America are by and large much more likely to assimilate than those in Europe:

Immigrants don’t need job programs. They need jobs. …

Jobs offer immigrants not just a paycheck, but also an entry into their new society, providing them with both the means and motive to learn its language and customs, all of which eliminates the need for formal programs. …

Yet many European countries have gone out of their way to deny or severely limit job opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees. Until a few years ago, most European Union countries prohibited asylum seekers from any employment until their application was processed, which could take years. Even now, Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh points out, Germany legally bars them from working for the first three months, Italy six, France nine, and England an entire year. Many countries, including Germany, restrict their employment to “shortage” sectors—and some even ban self-employment.

Even after refugees obtain work permits, their upward mobility is greatly restricted in Europe, thanks to the exceedingly rigid labor market in many countries. The unemployment rates of France and Belgium are nearly twice that of the United States. This dismal job market affects immigrants much more than the native born, thanks to Europe’s tough minimum wage laws and other labor regulations that protect incumbents at the cost of newcomers.

As a result, Muslim immigrants in Europe are much more likely to be filled with resentment, anger, and hatred toward their supposed benefactors. So Germany, where “officials estimate that more than 75% of the new arrivals are unemployed, collecting benefits and are ‘unlikely to find work’ in the next ten years,” [!] should be applauded for taking even small steps to address this problem, right?

Well, maybe. But given that both ISIS and al Qaeda have encouraged the use of vehicles as weapons of terror, and many such attacks have since taken place, this may not be the best choice of jobs programs for Muslim immigrants:

… Big problems such as this call for big solutions and the Germans think they’ve come up with a winner. What better job to give to these unemployed migrants than that of… being a truck driver. (Voice of Europe)

This plan is not only bound to make some Germans, especially those in Berlin, somewhat nervous, it will surely cause many to wonder why it would take three years to train someone to drive a truck. Perhaps the curriculum runs something like this:

  • Three months of commercial truck driving training
  • Nine months of intensive language learning
  • Twenty-four months of teaching the students how and why not to mow down infidels

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“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” silver anniversary

Posted by Richard on June 12, 2012

Twenty-five years ago today, President Reagan stood at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and gave one of the most important speeches of the 20th century. If you’re too young to remember the world before the fall of the Soviet Union, know this: for the four decades before Reagan called on Gorbachev to open that gate and tear down that wall, East German border guards had been shooting down men, women, and children trying to escape from the gigantic prison camp known as the Soviet empire. Little more than two years later, the wall came down and what Reagan called the Evil Empire fell.

The speech is a beautiful, stirring thing delivered with strength and conviction. I still get chills listening to it. I urge you youngsters who’ve never heard it and you oldsters who’ve forgotten it to listen to it in its entirety (26 minutes). Here’s the complete video and an excerpt from the transcript (PDF available here).


[YouTube link]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same–still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you.” But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

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Interest on German bonds falls below zero

Posted by Richard on January 13, 2012

This just boggles my mind. Investors are paying the German government to take their money and hold onto it for 3 to 12 months:

Continuing the schizoid overnight theme, we look at Germany which just sold €3.9 billion in 6 month zero-coupon Bubills at a record low yield of -0.0122% (negative) compared to 0.001% previously. The bid to cover was 1.8 compared to 3.8 before. As per the FT: “German short-term debt has traded at negative yields in the secondary market for some weeks with three-month, six-month and one-year debt all below zero. Bills for six-month debt hit a low of minus 0.3 per cent shortly after Christmas…

Why would any rational person buy a bond that pays negative interest when they have a perfectly good mattress to put the cash under?

One of the commenters at Zero Hedge described it succinctly:

It’s like Ho’s paying tricks for sex.

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Scamming the carbon credit scam

Posted by Richard on February 3, 2010

The idea behind carbon credits is that you can "offset" the alleged harm done by your CO2 emissions by paying someone else for not emitting an equivalent amount of CO2. Imagine Tiger Woods or John Edwards making everything all right by paying someone else to "offset" their infidelities by remaining faithful.

It's a fraudulent bit of nonsense through and through, but it's made Al Gore and his cohorts hundreds of millions of dollars from selling believers in the Church of Climate Change the modern equivalent of the medieval Roman Catholic Church's indulgences

Now, I think the authorities need to subpoena Gore's records from his ISP and check his online activities over the past week. Just to see if he had a role in this scamming of the scam:

Sneaky cyber-thieves have made millions by fraudulently obtaining European greenhouse gas emissions allowances and reselling them. The scam has hampered trading of the credits, which are seen as an important tool in curbing climate change, in several European countries.

According to a report in the Wednesday edition of the Financial Times Deutschland, hackers sent e-mails last Thursday to several companies in Europe, Japan and New Zealand which appeared to originate from the Potsdam-based German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), part of the EU's Emission Trading System (EU ETS). Ironically, the e-mail said that the recipient needed to re-register on the agency's Web site to counter the threat of hacker attacks.

The cyber-thieves then exploited the user data that was entered into their spoof Web site to transfer emissions allowances to other accounts, mainly in Denmark and Britain, from which they were quickly resold. The new owners of the allowances would have assumed that they had acquired them legally.

"The attack was highly professional," a DEHSt employee told the newspaper. Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is now investigating the incident.

Of course, Gore might not be involved, or might not have been acting alone. Other credible suspects in any scam related to climate change include Phil Jones, James Hansen, Murari Lal, and Rajendra Pachauri.

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Celebrating the triumph of liberty

Posted by Richard on November 9, 2009

Twenty years ago today, residents of the slave state known as the Democratic Republic of Germany danced atop the Berlin Wall with their West German brethren and rushed through the suddenly open gates to freedom — a freedom that thousands had been killed for attempting to reach. It was the beginning of the end for the Iron Curtain, the Soviet Empire, and the subjugation of hundreds of millions under brutal collectivist regimes. It was arguably the most momentous event since the end of World War II.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who herself walked from East Germany to freedom that day, is leading the appropriately massive celebrations taking place all day today in Berlin. Joining her are Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, and the leaders of all 27 European Union countries.

Absent is the leader of the country most responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall, the country that made possible the survival of West Berlin to see that glorious day. President Obama declined Chancellor Merkel's invitation to attend, saying he was too busy. So let's see what his schedule for today looks like: 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
_______________________________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2009

DAILY GUIDANCE AND PRESS SCHEDULE FOR
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2009

In the morning, the President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, the Economic Daily Briefing, and meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office. These meetings are closed press.

In the evening, the President will sign an Executive Order on the employment of veterans in the federal government in the Oval Office. Through this Executive Order, the President will make the Federal Government the model employer of Veterans. The Executive Order establishes a Council on Veterans Employment and a Veterans Employment Program office within most Federal agencies. The signing is closed press.

The President will then meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

In-Town Travel Pool
Wires: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: CNN
Print: CQ
Radio: VOA
Travel Photo: TIME

EST

9:00AM Pool Call Time

10:00AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Economic Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:00AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

6:45PM THE PRESIDENT signs the Veterans Employment Initiative Executive Order
Oval Office
Closed Press

7:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
Oval Office
Closed Press

Briefing Schedule

12:30PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

##

The Office of the Press Secretary doesn't disclose with whom the President is playing golf in the afternoon. 

When I learned that Mikhail Gorbachev was attending the ceremonies today in Berlin, I felt a bit of a lump in my throat. The man who should really be there, but who's no longer with us — the man who, more than any other, brought about that day of liberation in 1989 — is the man who issued this challenge to Gorbachev in 1987: 

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

To watch, listen to, or read President Reagan's address at the Brandenburg Gate, go here.  

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Biting trout

Posted by Richard on November 2, 2007

The other day, I was looking through the online symbol library provided by the German technical documentation firm CPTec. In the warning symbols section, I happened across this amusing posting, a "watch for biting trout" sign:

 biting trout

Creator Günter Ratz entitled it "Warnung vor Hommingberger Gepardenforelle" ("Warning: Hommingberg Cheetah Trout"). A high-quality EPS version is available at the link above.

The cheetah trout is an imaginary species (and Hommingberg is an imaginary place) that figured in a German SEO (search engine optimization) competition a couple of years ago. Go here for details (in German) and a lovely picture of the fish.

Those wacky Germans. 😉 

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When squirrels attack

Posted by Richard on June 15, 2007

Here in Denver, the phrase "squirrel problem" has lately referred to dead ones, killed by bubonic plague. At least a couple of dozen dead squirrels that tested positive for plague have been found in city parks, along with at least one cat and a monkey at the Denver Zoo.

The latter two made some of us higher primates a bit nervous, suggesting that the virulent disease was getting closer to our place in the food chain. But I don't think too many people feel threatened by squirrels. It's not as if they're rabid and likely to attack us. Like they do in Germany

An aggressive squirrel went on the rampage in southern Germany on Tuesday, injuring three people. But a 72-year-old pensioner finally put a stop to the mayhem, killing the creature stone dead with his crutch. Now the dead animal is being examined for rabies.

It was not the first incident of squirrel invasions in Germany. Just last year a family of raucous squirrels stormed (more…) an elderly couple's home in Germany, triggering an elaborate 90-minute fire brigade operation. But, although the squirrels didn't go without a fight, no one was injured in that incident.

Craig Ferguson did a great riff about the German attack squirrel last night (the video may be available later on this page under "Show and Tell"). He opined that this is something really frightening — squirrels that are not just psychotic, but also German. It won't be long, Ferguson warned, before they gather together and start marching, marching across Europe. French squirrels, he said, have already surrendered.

<rimshot />

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“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Posted by Richard on June 12, 2007

Twenty years ago today, the Great Communicator stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and delivered one of the most important speeches of the 20th century. Here's a film clip from YouTube and an excerpt from the speech transcript at the Reagan Foundation:

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same–still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you." But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

PowerLine has speechwriter Peter Robinson's wonderful story of Ingeborg Elz, who gave him the idea for the defining moment of the speech, and of the struggle over the speech. Check it out.

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A Muslim parallel society

Posted by Richard on March 30, 2007

Last week, I commented on a German judge's ruling that the Koran gives a Muslim man the right to beat his wife. A few days earlier, I noted LGF's post on the "camel caravan" rule for Muslim schoolgirls' participation in field trips. A loyal reader recently emailed me about a long piece in Germany's Der Spiegel ("The Mirror") about these and related issues. It's entitled "Paving the Way to a Muslim Parallel Society." I've finally read all eight parts, and I highly recommend it. Here's the "executive summary":

A recent ruling in Germany by a judge who cited the Koran underscores the dilemma the country faces in reconciling Western values with a growing immigrant population. A disturbing number of rulings are helping to create a parallel Muslim world in Germany that is welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists.

Some of the evidence cited for this claim involves matters of headscarves, field trips, and swimming lessons. But some of it is much more grim: 

In 2005, Hatun Sürücü, a young Berlin woman, was killed because she was "living like a German." In her family's opinion, this was a crime only her death could expiate. Her youngest brother executed her by shooting her several times, point blank, at a Berlin bus stop. But because prosecutors were unable to prove that the family council had planned the act, only the killer himself could be tried for murder and, because he was underage, he was given a reduced sentence. The rest of the family left the courtroom in high spirits, and the father rewarded the convicted boy with a watch.  

Beatings and honor killings, often excused or treated leniently by the courts, are a growing problem in Germany. Even the apparently more innocuous matters supposedly involving "choice," like the field trip, swimming, and other female modesty issues, conceal the vicious reality: the "choices" being exercised aren't the apparent desire of the Muslim women and girls to be modest, they're the Muslim men's desire to subjugate and control their wives and daughters, treating them like property. Germany's women's shelters are increasingly seeing Muslim women and girls fleeing arranged marriages, slave-like living conditions, and savage beatings:

Ayten Köse, 42, who manages a shelter in the Neukölln Rollberg district, tries to help. She doesn't resemble most of the Muslim women here. Instead of a headscarf, she wears her hair uncovered. Köse knows how difficult it is for Muslim women in Germany to be courageous and rebel. …

The problem for many women, says Köse, is that they are completely alone, alone against their own family or their husband's family. "And if they haven't attended school in Germany," Köse explains, "they usually don't even know about human rights." 

Besides the human rights issues, there are other lesser public policy implications for the mulitculturalists' acquiescence to a parallel Muslim society. Germany's massive social welfare system can ill afford some of the consequences:

In another letter from Absurdistan, the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs issued the following announcement to German health insurance agencies in the summer of 2004: "Polygamous marriages must be recognized if they are legal under the laws of the native country of the individuals in question."

What the policy statement boiled down to was this: In certain cases Muslim men from countries where polygamy is legal — like Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia — could add a second wife to their government health insurance policies without having to pay an additional premium.

Read it, please. All eight parts. The Germans have a head start on us, but this is where we're headed, too, if CAIR and the like have their way. 

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Whither Europe?

Posted by Richard on March 23, 2007

I was stunned a few days ago when I read about the judges in the German state of Hesse who imposed a bizarre Islamic restriction on Muslim girls in the public schools. Little Green Footballs stunned me yet again yesterday with the story of the German judge whose ruling in a divorce case was based on what the Koran says:

The nihilistic dead end of multiculturalism has been attained in Germany, where a female judge seemingly forgot which culture’s laws she was supposed to uphold: German judge rules Koran allows wife abuse. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

BERLIN (AFP) – A German woman judge has refused a Moroccan-born woman permission to file for divorce by interpreting the Koran as allowing husbands to beat their wives.

It seems there's been a significant uproar over this decision, and the judge has been removed:

BERLIN – Politicians and Muslim leaders denounced a German judge for citing the Koran in her rejection of a Muslim woman's request for a quick divorce on grounds she was abused by her husband.

The judge was removed from the case on Wednesday and the Frankfurt administrative court said it was considering disciplinary action.

… The latest uproar comes amid an ongoing debate in Germany about integrating its more than 3 million Muslims, most of them from Turkey. A decision last year to cancel an opera featuring the severed heads of the Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures out of security concerns caused a furor and was later retracted.

Lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said traditional Islamic law, or Sharia, had no place in Germany.

"The legal and moral concepts of Sharia have nothing to do with German jurisprudence," Wolfgang Bosbach, a lawmaker with the Christian Democrats, told N24 television.

"One thing must be clear: In Germany, only German law applies. Period."

Ronald Pofalla, the party's general secretary, told Bild: "When the Koran is put above the German constitution, I can only say: Good night, Germany."

The mass-circulation Bild daily asked in a front-page article: "Where are we living?" The left-leaning Tageszeitung headlined its Thursday edition: "In the name of the people: Beating allowed." 

Not everyone's outraged, however. Notice how the AP reporter helps a Muslim group try to put a good spin on a very ugly aspect of their beliefs (emphasis added):

While the Koranic verse cited does say that husbands are allowed to beat their wives if they are disobedient, Germany's Institute for Islamic Questions noted that such an interpretation was no longer standard.

"Of course not all Muslims use violence against their wives," the group said in a statement.

Let me attempt to restate that for you: "Yes, the Koran says 'husbands may beat their wives if they disobey,' and we usually insist on unquestioning 100% obedience to every word in the Koran. But, umm, there's this other interpretation. Really. And besides, some Muslim women don't need to be bea… I mean, some Muslim men don't beat their wives at all. Hardly."

These incidents are just two more data points in the growing mountain of evidence that all is not well in Europe. Daniel Pipes recently considered "Europe's Stark Options" regarding its growing Muslim population and saw three possibilities:

  1. The high religiosity, high fertility, and high cultural confidence of the Muslims will win out over the Europeans' low religiosity, low fertility, and alienation from their own heritage. Europe will become Islamicized.
  2. Many Europeans (outside of the intelligentsia) are becoming resentful of radical Islam's increasing insistence that non-Muslims conform to and accommodate fundamentalist Muslim standards, and this will lead to a backlash that becomes increasingly ugly. In the words of Ralph Peters,  Muslims in Europe "will be lucky just to be deported."
  3. Europeans and Muslim immigrants could follow Rodney King's advice and "just get along." Muslim immigrants would assimilate more, or at least stop pushing for the Islamization of Europe, and would become more tolerant of and integrated into the free, democratic, pluralistic societies in which they've chosen to live.

Pipes seems to think option 3 is not very likely, and it's too soon to tell whether option 1 or 2 will prevail. I hope he's wrong. But there are certainly plenty of people in the European intelligentsia who are furthering option 1, as these German judges illustrate. And there are even more ordinary Europeans who are becoming angry and radicalized, as is clear from the reaction to such instances of dhimmitude and the growing nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment in many parts of Europe.

I have to believe that there are lots of Muslim immigrants in Europe who don't want Sharia — who emigrated at least partly to escape from the oppressive feudal strictures of their homeland. But the Saudi-funded radical Wahhabists at the mosques are turning some of their kids into jihadists. Are these people just too scared to stand up and speak out?

We're constantly reminded that most Muslims are peaceful, tolerant people. I'd like to think it's true, but in Europe as in the U.S., those peaceful, moderate Muslims are virtually invisible. So Europe's many appeasers and cowards keep submitting to the threats of the violent and intolerant Muslims, and everyone else gets angrier and angrier. It's a path to disaster, and it's those peaceful, moderate Muslims — if they exist in large numbers — who must act to stop it. For their own sakes, if not for everyone else's.

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The camel caravan limit

Posted by Richard on March 19, 2007

Go to Little Green Footballs right this minute. Read about how German judges decided what rules should govern the participation of Muslim schoolgirls in school field trips.

Words fail me.

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