Archive for January, 2017
A survey has found that Hong Kong people spend around HK$25 billion a year on new clothes – twice the amount spent by people in Taiwan.
It also revealed that each person in the city spends an average of HK$800 per month while those in Taiwan spent around HK$350.
The survey was conducted by Greenpeace Hong Kong. It said the cost of clothes was higher in the territory and people tended to shop more frequently.
The group said about 40 percent of the people it spoke to said they feel the urge to buy again within a week of their shopping.
“Christian university to send students to mosque for ‘religious experience,’” by Jennifer Kabbany, The College Fix, January 24, 2017 (thanks to Lookmann):
Students enrolled in a world religions course this semester at Texas Christian University must attend a mosque service as part of the class.
The field trip was scheduled to take place on Good Friday – one of the most holy days for Christians – observed as the day Jesus Christ was crucified.
“Every student is expected to attend this service,” states the syllabus, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix. “This visit is part of your participation in class. Many other students from our department will join us. It is a religious experience visit. No student is required to participate in mosque’s service during our visit.”
Reached for comment, a campus spokesperson said the field trip’s date was assigned in error, that the university is closed on Good Friday, and the professor is working to reschedule the mosque visit.
“Texas Christian University is actually closed on Good Friday,” spokeswoman Holly Ellman told The College Fix in an email. “The date on the syllabus was inaccurate, which the professor is aware of and is modifying. He will notify his students accordingly to ensure that they have accurate, up-to-date information about the course.”
Asked for further clarification on the field trip, and the course and its content, Ellman referred to the class’ one-sentence online description.
Spring semester launched in mid-January at the private university, located in Fort Worth. The course, “Understanding Diverse Faith Communities,” is taught by Associate Professor of Islamic and Religious Studies Yushau Sodiq, whose faculty page states he earned his bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies and master’s degree in Islamic law at University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, and his PhD in Islamic Studies from Temple University. He also taught at a university in Nigeria before his post at Texas Christian University, which he has held since 1992.
Sodiq did not respond to emails from The College Fix asking whether there is an alternative assignment for students who do not wish to observe the Islamic service, and well as for more general information on the course and its academic aims.
According to the syllabus, the intention of the mosque visit is to “understand the ritual and tradition of other religions in their own context.”
“You can also invite your friends to join in this visit,” the syllabus states. “… If you do not attend the mosque, you will not be able to do the quiz and as you know, there is not make-up for quizzes.”
The 90-minute visit will include an address by the “leader of the Muslim community” and an observation of the sunset prayer, it adds.
One option for extra credit in the class is called “Being Muslim for a Day,” in which students can dress as a Muslim or tell their family they’ve become Muslim and document the reactions.
The syllabus was provided to The College Fix by Pamela Geller, who obtained it from a campus source.
Geller is president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a nonprofit “dedicated to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, individual rights and equality for all before the law.” Geller is known for, among other things, her activism against the encroachment of Sharia Law in the United States and her defiant stance against Islam’s strict and unconstitutional religious tenets, such as the law that the prophet Mohammad must not be drawn.
In a statement to The Fix, Geller expressed concern about the course at Texas Christian University:
“Sodiq’s syllabus for his ‘Understanding Diverse Faith Communities’ states that the course is meant ‘to enable our students comprehend the meanings and nature of world religions’ … Yet while the class discusses Islam, Judaism, African traditional religions, and Buddhism (apparently Sodiq assumes that students at Texas Christian University know all they need to know about Christianity already), Sodiq’s syllabus plans for five sessions on Islam, plus two more on The Kite Runner, a novel about Muslims in Afghanistan, and another for the mosque visit, for a total of eight on Islam and related themes,” Geller stated. “Meanwhile, only four class sessions are planned on Buddhism, three on Judaism, and two on African traditional religions.”
Geller also takes issue with the mosque trip: “Sodiq implies that the visit has a proselytizing intent as he writes: ‘You can also invite your friends to join in this visit’ – and ominously, ‘If you do not attend the mosque, you will not be able to do the quiz and as you know, there is not make-up for quizzes.”
“The syllabus does not explain why there is no visit to a synagogue, church, Buddhist temple, or any other house of worship – only to a mosque,” Geller told The Fix. “Sodiq also requires that students complete a journal entry on ‘Islamophobia.’ He asks for no journal entry on anti-Semitism or prejudice or hatred against any other group.”…
A government panel studying a possible abdication of Japanese Emperor Akihito released an interim report Monday in favor of enacting special legislation that would apply to him but not to future monarchs.
The panel is looking at how to accommodate Akihito’s apparent abdication wish, which he expressed last August when he cited concerns that his age and health may start limiting his ability to fulfill his duties. Akihito turned 83 last month.
The report paves the way for a parliamentary discussion. The panel’s final report is expected in the spring, while the government is reportedly eyeing an abdication bill adopted in several months.
The six-member panel, after interviewing constitutional and monarchy experts, compiled the report suggesting that an abdication under a one-time law would provide flexibility in adapting to each emperor and social environment in the future, while setting a permanent system covering all future emperors would be difficult.
Some experts have said the Imperial House Law, the supreme law overseeing Japan’s monarchy, needs to be revised.
The report provided pluses and minuses on all options, urging further discussion among lawmakers and the public. It said the emperor’s title, role and other details of his post-abdication life would be addressed later.
The panel deliberately avoided spelling out a conclusion because “we wanted the people to think and discuss what would be best to relieve concerns of the Emperor,” panel chief Takashi Imai, honorary chairman of a powerful Japanese business lobby Keidanren, told reporters after handing the report to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
An abdication of the emperor is “an extremely important issue involving the foundation of our country, its long history and the future and needs to be discussed thoroughly,” Abe said.
If legislation is enacted, Emperor Akihito would be the first to abdicate since Emperor Kokaku 200 years ago. Media reports have said officials were eying an abdication at the end of 2018, when Akihito turns 85 after and his reign marks the 30th year.
The current law, established in 1947, is largely inherited from a 19th century constitution that banned abdication as a risk to stability. But the experts say there is no such risk as far as Akihito’s abdication is concerned, the risks can be eliminated with additional legal procedures in the future.
Throughout much of its history, Japan’s monarchy served more of a ceremonial and religious function than a governing one. But late 19th century modernizers elevated the throne to use as a rallying point for the nation.
Akihito’s father was worshipped as a living god during Japan’s wartime aggression in Asia before renouncing his divinity and become redefined as a symbolic figure under the postwar constitution. Akihito devoted himself to being a symbolic figure, while trying to soothe the wounds from his father’s era.
Many Japanese ultra-conservatives want greater status for the emperor and oppose abdication as a potential risk to a stable monarchy.
The government panel in its report avoids some of the most heated issues, such as whether females should be allowed in the current male-only succession and concerns about a shortage of successors to the Chrysanthemum throne. Akihito has two sons but only one of his four grandchildren is male.
Some experts say Akihito’s possible abdication is a wakeup call to the larger issues of aging and a shortage of successors in Japan’s 2,000-year-old monarchy – issues that reflect overall concerns about the country’s aging society and declining population.
It would be interesting to know how many of the useful idiots donning “pussy hats” at Saturday’s massive “Women’s March on Washington” had any idea—or even cared to know—who the principal organizers of the event were. The answer is undoubtedly close to zero, since the purpose of the entire charade—like all leftist charades—was merely to give the participants an opportunity to publicly signal their own moral superiority while smearing—as racists and fascists—anyone who doesn’t accept socialism, identity politics, and perpetual grievance mongering as the ultimate expressions of the American Dream. But for those who actually have an aversion to mindless indoctrination, the facts will be rather disturbing.
A leading organizer of the Women’s March was the Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. This group was founded shortly after 9/11—not to condemn the attacks, of course, but rather, to lament “the heightened sense of fear and the acts of blatant discrimination aimed at [the Muslim] community” in the racist wasteland known as America. On the premise that all government efforts to forestall additional terrorism constituted Nazi-like fascism, Sarsour and her organization played a central role in pressuring the New York Police Department to terminate its secret surveillance of the many Muslim groups and mosques suspected of promoting jihadism.
Sarsour is also a member of the Justice League NYC, which seeks to draw public attention to what it portrays as an epidemic of police brutality against African American civilians in New York City. The group’s constant drumbeat is the claim that the United States is awash in essentially the same ugly strain of racism as was prevalent in the days of slavery and Jim Crow.
An outspoken critic of Israel, Sarsour avvidly supports the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that uses various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and lawsuits to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state.
Vis-a-vis the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, Sarsour favors a one-state solution where an Arab majority and a Jewish minority would live together within the borders of a single country. She made clear her opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state when she tweeted in October 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism.”
In 2004, Sarsour acknowledged that a friend of hers as well as a cousin were both serving long sentences in Israeli jails because of their efforts to recruit jihadists to murder Jews. Moreover, she revealed that her brother-in-law was serving a 12-year prison term because of his affiliation with Hamas.
Speaking of creepy realtives, Sarsour’s husband, Maher Judeh, mourned the 1998 death of the Hamas “master terrorists” Adel and Imad Awadallah; he praised the heroism of a Palestinian Authority police officer who had carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Israel; he has expressed support for the terrorist organization Fatah; and he has lauded the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary organization.
In October 2011, Linda Sarsour, who holds free-market economics in low regard, expressed, on behalf of “Muslim New Yorkers,” “solidarity and support” for the pro-communist Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2011 as well, the Obama Administration honored Sarsour as a “champion of change.” Not surprisingly, Sarsour visited the White House on at least seven different occasions during her beloved president’s tenure.
In May 2012 Sarsour tweeted that the so-called “underwear bomber,” an Al-Qaeda operative who in 2009 had tried to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet in mid-flight, was actually a CIA agent participating in America’s “war on Islam.”
In November 2012 in Baltimore, Sarsour—ever eager to peddle her woeful tale of Islamic victimhood—spoke at a Muslim Public Affairs Council conference titled “Facing Race: Xenophobic Hate Crimes.” This is the same Council that views the murderous Jew-haters of Hezbollah as members of “a liberation movement” that is “fighting for freedom.”
Sarsour was outraged when a police officer and an FBI agent shot and killed a young black Muslim named Usaama Rahim in Boston on June 2, 2015, when Rahim lunged at them with a military-style knife as they attempted to question him about suspected terrorism-related activities. Naturally, Sarsour’s assessment of the incident confidently traced everything back to race: “At the end of the day, a Black man was shot on a bus stop on his way to work and we should treat this like any other case of police violence.” Period. End of story.
According to CounterJihad.com, Sarsour has attended and spoken at numerous rallies sponsored by Al-Awda, a group that views Israel as a terrorist, genocidal state whose very creation was a “catastrophe” for Arab peoples.
Over the years, Sarsour’s activism has extended also to racial matters within the United States. For instance, when the black, hoodie-donning Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by a “white Hispanic” man in an infamous 2012 altercation, Sarsour penned an article titled “My Hijab Is My Hoodie” and declared herself “among the millions mourning the killing of Trayvon.” “Blacks in America continue to face racism on a daily basis,” she wrote, “from the workplace to interactions with law enforcement.”
In the aftermath of an August 2014 incident where a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri had shot and killed a violent black criminal named Michael Brown, Sarsour co-founded the group Muslims For Ferguson, to draw a parallel between the respective forms of oppression allegedly suffered by black and Muslim Americans.
Sarsour is, as the New York Times puts it, “deeply involved in the Black Lives Matter movement,” a movement founded by three self-identified Marxist revolutionaries who revere the convicted cop-killer and longtime Marxist fugitive Assata Shakur. “I have committed myself wholeheartedly to #BlackLivesMatter,” says Sarsour, who in 2015 penned a Huffington Post piece wherein she depicted African Americans as victims of intransigent and pernicious societal racism and violence.
More than once, Sarsour has expressed her support for Sharia Law. On May 12, 2015, for instance, she posted a Twitter message lauding the fact that Sharia forbids money lenders from charging interest on their loans: “You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free. Sound [sic] nice, doesn’t it?”
In November 2015, Sarsour was a featured speaker at the 21st anniversary banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations‘ [CAIR’s] San Francisco chapter. Further, she is presently scheduled to speak at upcoming CAIR banquets in February and March. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson has accurately described CAIR as “a radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas.”
In September, Sarsour was a featured speaker at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front group that promotes Sharia Law and Islamic supremacism. The Brotherhood, it should be noted, is the parent group of both Hamas and Al-Qaeda.
In October, Sarsour spoke at an event sponsored by a chapter of the Muslim Students Association, whose national umbrella group is an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, and whose conferences routinely feature inflammatory speeches by raging anti-Semites.
In November, Sarsour spoke at the annual conference of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), where she lauded Muslims who “unequivocally support” the Hamas-inspired BDS campaign. AMP is a major BDS promoter, and several of its leading board members and officials were formerly members and/or supporters of Islamic extremist groups that promoted and funded the agendas of Hamas.
In December 2016 in Chicago, Sarsour spoke at the annual (jointly held) convention of the Muslim American Society (whose agendas are dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood) and the Islamic Circle of North America (which, according to Steven Emerson, “openly supports militant Islamic fundamentalist organizations, praises terror attacks, issues incendiary attacks on western values and policies, and supports the imposition of Sharia”). At that convention, Linda Sarsour posed for a picture with Salah Sarsour (no known relation), who was jailed by Israel in the 1990s because of his fundraising activities on behalf of Hamas.
So perhaps we should encourage all the lemmings who flocked to Washington on Saturday to briefly remove their “pussy hats” and take a big ol’ bow. It’s not often that we get to see hundreds of thousands of people come together to denounce hatred, at an event organized and orchestrated by one of the most noxious and unrepentant haters in America today. It truly was a historic event.