Ruling bloc agrees to exempt food items from sales tax hike


Japan’s ruling parties broadly agreed Thursday to exempt food products from the planned consumption tax hike in 2017, lawmakers said, in an attempt to ease the burden on consumers as slow growth in household spending has weighed on the economy.

All fresh and processed foods will remain subject to the current 8 percent tax even after the rate is raised to 10 percent in April 2017.

But the arrangement will reduce state revenue by some 1 trillion yen annually, forcing the government to find other sources to cover the loss at a time when welfare spending is increasing due to the country’s graying population.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito party aim to reach a detailed agreement on Friday, the lawmakers said.

Some LDP members had wanted fewer food items to be subject to the lower tax rate, while Komeito had pressed for including all food products.

“We made a significant change of course and need a bit more time,” a senior LDP lawmaker said.

The tax panels of the two parties approved earlier in the day tax reform plans for fiscal 2016 starting next April, including further corporate tax cuts that Abe hopes will encourage companies to raise wages and boost investment.

The agreement to introduce the multiple consumption tax rates will be included in the reform plans, which will be submitted to the Diet in January following approval by Abe’s Cabinet.

Under the reform plans, the effective corporate tax rate will be reduced to 29.97% in fiscal 2016 from the current 32.11%, considered relatively high by global standards and causing disadvantage for Japanese firms. The rate will be further cut to 29.74% in fiscal 2018.

“The Japanese economy is poised to overcome deflation,” the LDP said in the plans. “To ensure a virtuous economic cycle, it is necessary to enhance corporate earning power to lift domestic investment and wages.”

The tax reform is intended to support Abe’s bid to boost Japan’s gross domestic product to 600 trillion yen in about five years in the face of the country’s graying population and declining birthrate.

That goal for fiscal 2020 represents an expansion of more than 20 percent from 490 trillion yen in the past year to March. But skepticism is growing among economists over whether the target is achievable.

To make up for the decline in corporate tax revenue in fiscal 2016, the government plans to scale back measures to ease taxes on companies making losses.

And for the additional corporate tax cut in fiscal 2018, the government will shrink the scheme that allows companies to deduct past losses from profits for 10 years.

To revive local economies, the government will expand a scheme for redistributing corporate tax revenue to local governments to about 1.4 trillion yen in fiscal 2017 from the current 600 billion yen.

The government will also introduce a new tax on vehicle purchases, with tax rates varying in accordance with fuel efficiency.


Why Does Canada Accept the Existence of a Secret International Organization on its Soil?

What would your reaction be if you found out that a Canadian citizen who works for the police or a political party was a member of a secret international organization? How would you feel is this individual’s first loyalty was to a non-Canadian group and they were receiving commands to implement the plans of this secret organization? I think you would be very worried and you would be looking for ways to protect Canada from this secret organization.

One such secret organization in Canada is the Muslim Brotherhood. It is important to recognize that this group is the well spring from which most of the Islamacist terrorist organizations have grown. We will have more on this in the next article.

The long term goal of this largely secret organization is to create an Islamacist Caliphate which will enforce their version of an extremist and politicized Islam.

Of course, the control of Canada by the Muslim Brotherhood or any Islamacist organization is impossible in the short term. However, it should be remembered that several tens or hundreds of Islamacist terrorists can spread terror and damage economies. The Paris attacks of 13 November 2015 are only the most recent example of this.

As can be expected, some of the Muslim Brotherhood deny the existence of such a secret aspect of their organization, as was noted by Dr Hassan Prince. Dr Prince is the leader of the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt and he told Radio Sawa in Egypt that such a position helps relieve them of some of the risk associated with have meetings and conversations between the members from 85 countries around the world.

The existence of the group has also been confirmed by former and current members of the group, including Al Jazeera broadcaster Ahmed Masnour. On his Facebook page, he called upon the secret wing of the organization to reform itself. Also, the Kingdom of Jordan has been involved in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood while at the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood has been resisting efforts of the state to impose a new organizational president on them. The result has been a split in the Muslim Brotherhood there.

Tharwat Kherbawi, a former leadership figure of the Muslim Brotherhood says it is likely that the number of Canadians in this international secret organization ranges from 700 to 1000. They follow the direction of the Head of the Shoura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States of America. A large number of Muslim Brotherhood members have emigrated to Canada in the wake of the revolution that toppled them from power in Egypt in 2013.

Mr. Kherabawi has stated that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to covert other states into Islamic States gradually. Canada’s secular democracy is a target and it is at long term risk of devolving and allowing Muslim Brotherhood ideology to shape policy in Canada.


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“Music is the recitation of the devil,” warns Toronto Imam

Shaykh Said Rageah (الشيخ سعيد راجح) was born in Somalia and in the late 80sn moved to North America. Rageah has a Bachelor’s in Islamic studies and a Masters in Shari’ah and he has had several posts over the years, including: founder of Masjid Huda in Montreal and Masjid Aya in Maryland, advisor for Muslim Youth magazine, and member in the Aqsa Association.

He is also the founder of both Muslim Magazine and Al Aqsa Association, and served as the Chaplain at both the University of Calgary and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). He served as an Imam at the Abu Hurairah Mosque in Toronto, the Chairman for the Journey of Faith Conference and as an instructor for the AlMaghrib Institute.

In one of his lectures few years ago at Abu Huraira Centre Rageah explained the Islamic Law regarding the issue of playing and listening to music:

“[Reading a question submitted to him by a woman] She says should the parents have let their children listen to music of any type and is music in general haram [prohibited]?

“Music, there is a difference between singing and music. Music in general is haram [prohibited]. Music, all kind of music, that you use the instruments, you know, piano, guitar, bass, all of this is haram, haram, haram [prohibited].

“However, there is a nasheed [liturgical hymn], Islamic nasheed that is permissible. So, a person can listen to Islamic nasheed, but the children should not listen to music and I tell you especially these young children.

When you play music in your house in reality you are inviting shaytan [devil] to your house, you’re inviting jinn [demon] to your house and that’s why you see especially [when] we treat that people who have jinn [demon], so every time you go back you would find that this person is committing a sin (معصية) and one common thing that most of the people are committing is the sin (معصية) of listening to music. When you play music all the shayateen [devils] are welcome to your house.

“It is like someone calling Allah Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allah Akbar and you see all the Muslims coming to the masjid [mosque], because they heard the adhan [Islamic call to prayer], likewise when you play music in your house all the shayteen [devils] around that area will come on to listen to the music, because music is the recitation of the shaytan [devil].

“Therefore it is not permitted. But, some brothers and sisters are very smart. If the music is a Western music [it] is haram [prohibited], if it’s Arabic music [it] is halal [permissible].

“I swear by Allah [والله]. And some of them say: Oh, no. this is Somali music… [A sentence in Somali language] we know this lady; you know her music is not haram [prohibited]. Simple because they know that person her music is not haram [prohibited]. That is not a reason. All the music is haram [prohibited].”

Arson In Forest Hills Ignites Fear In Bukharian Enclave


Seven fires have ravaged buildings in the residential neighborhood of Forest Hills in recent weeks, prompting an investigation by the NYPD Arson and Explosive Squad.

The fact largely overlooked by mainstream news coverage: All the buildings set ablaze belonged to Bukharian Jews, according to community leader Aron Borukhov.

“People are outraged and concerned,” said Borukhov, an attorney who has lived in the neighborhood with his wife and three children for the past 16 years. “The community needs to be proactive so the situation doesn’t escalate.”


Though no injuries have been reported, the blazes, targeting large construction sites, have affected neighboring homes more than once. In the most recent fire last Wednesday, Nov. 25, properties on both sides of the conflagration caught fire, said Borukhov. The first incident took place on Nov. 8. A surveillance video of the suspect, a man in a dark hoodie, was released last week; the 112th precinct is promising up to $2,500 for information regarding the arson. Though there have been seven fires, the police have only linked four of them to the suspect so far.

Though officials declined to call the incidents hate crimes, members of the local Bukharian community held no reservations in doing so.

“If seven Jewish homes had been burned in France within a month, there would be much more of an uproar,” said Boris Yuabov, a doctor who has lived in the community for the past six years with his three children. He described standing with his non-Jewish neighbors and watching a site on the corner of his block collapse and burn to the ground. “We are scared. These fires are started in the dead of night in a neighborhood with many children and elderly individuals. This is a life-threatening situation.”

Allan Silvera, a non-Bukharian member of the Forest Hills Jewish community, referred to the eerily similar profiles of homeowners targeted as the “elephant in the room.”

“It’s obvious that there’s something in common between the different properties attacked,” he said, adding that the neighborhood, albeit largely Bukharian, is also ethnically diverse. “More needs to be done. The neighborhood is scared to death.”

In an attempt to organize a response, about 20 members of the Bukharian Jewish community, as well as several other concerned neighbors, met at the local Bukharian community center on Sunday morning. Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz joined the meeting, though no representatives from police or fire department attended, according to community members.

Speaking to the Jewish Week, Koslowitz described the events as “alarming” and said she is contacting Mayor Bill de Blasio to raise further awareness about the situation. Koslowitz said she could not comment on whether or not the incidents were targeting members the Bukharian Jewish community.

“We can’t yet say who did it or what caused him to do it, but the police department is doing everything they possibly they can to put these crimes to a speedy end,” she said.

The NYPD similarly declined to comment on whether or not the incidents are targeting the Bukharian community. They confirmed that an investigation is still underway.