Month: October 2022
Kroger had to pay $180,000 to workers who were fired after they wouldn’t wear Biology Denying Perversion Symbols
Kroger has to pay $180,000 to two former employees who were fired after they refused to wear a company apron with a phrase that they considered to be an LGBTQ+ symbol after a lawsuit.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on behalf of the two employees who were disciplined and ultimately fired from their jobs at a Kroger in Conway, Arkansas. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Brenda Lawson and Trudy Rickerd on September 14, 2020, in Eastern Arkansas District court, according to court documents.
Rickerd and Lawson alleged that Kroger failed to provide religious accommodations for them when they were asked to wear an apron with a “multicolored heart on it.”
“Defendant Employer refused to consider Lawson’s request for a religious accommodation for her sincerely held religious belief,” the lawsuit says. “Defendant Employer continued to discipline Lawson for her failure to follow the dress code by wearing the apron that was contrary to her sincerely held religious belief.”
The lawsuit requested backpay for Rickerd and Lawson and asked for punitive damages and asked Kroger to “institute and carry out policies, practices, and programs which provide equal employment opportunities for Lawson and Rickerd.”
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lee Rodofsky, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump in July 2019, ordered Kroger Limited Partnership to $180,000 to Rickerd and Lawson and “provide reasonable accommodations to employees who have sincere religious objections to Kroger’s dress code,” court documents show. Rudofsky also ordered the company to create a religious accommodation policy and new employee training.
Rudofsky wrote in the order that Rickerd and Lawson “both have sincerely held religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin and that they cannot support or promote it.”
Kroger did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Saturday.
NYC Issues ‘Halal Guide” Featuring Terror Mosques
Before the 21st anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, New York City issued an official “Halal Guide” to its landmarks and tourist attractions.
The guide, featuring Muslim women in hijabs in front of skyscrapers, informs us that Muslims are “making an indelible mark on the City” and boasts of the “over 275 mosques spread across all five boroughs—more than any other metro area in the US”. That’s almost one mosque for every 9 people murdered in and around the World Trade Center by Islamic terrorists.
The guide, to its credit, begins its Manhattan section with the 9/11 Memorial in its “Must See & Do” section, but that’s probably in alphabetical order. Beyond halal eateries, it seems clueless about what Muslims might want to do in New York City, recommending a visit to an “avant-garde theater” in a warehouse featuring a production of 4:48 Psychosis, a play by a suicidal British playwright who then killed herself. The play was described as a “75-minute suicide note”.
That might also be a good description of New York City’s decision to issue a Halal Guide.
The Halal Guide also advises Muslims to visit The Lit. Bar, a bookstore/wine bar with a sizable LGBTQ section. That’s not so much a suggestion as a hate crime.
But the Halal Guide also makes a point of appending the location of a nearby mosque, one of those 275, to each American landmark. And the Guide’s choices have quite a history.
The Halal Guide recommends the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge. The ISBR was a target of NYPD surveillance before the De Blasio administration dismantled the city’s potent counterterrorism machine.
Shahawar Matin Siraj, a Pakistani who worked at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge’s bookstore, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a plot to bomb a midtown Manhattan subway station.
After the attack, Zein Rimawi, a founder and board member of ISBR, ranted, “You see Afghanistan, and it’s a war against the Muslims. Iraq, it’s a war against the Muslims. Palestine, it’s a war against the Muslims. Chechnya, a war against the Muslims.”
The ISBR’s alleged support for Hamas came up when another Muslim terrorist opened fire on a van full of Jewish boys after attending services at the mosque. A newspaper account stated how the Islamic terrorist, “heard the imam at Bay Ridge sermonize about the importance of jihad and about how the Jews harbor eternal hatred for Muslims”.
A secret NYPD document had stated that the police believed that “individuals believed to be supporters/members of Hamas may have links to the Bronx Muslim Center and the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge.”
Is the Bronx Muslim Center in the Halal Guide? Obviously. The Bronx Muslim Center is promoted as the prayer destination of choice for devout tourists visiting the Bronx Zoo.
But things get much worse when the Halal Guide goes back to Brooklyn.
Want to go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, nearby Prospect Park (the borough’s answer to Central Park) or visit the Brooklyn Museum? The Halal Guide recommends Masjid At-Taqwa.
The Al-Taqwa Mosque, mentioned six times in the guide, is headed by Imam Siraj Wahhaj who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the bombing of the World Trade Center.
Wahhaj is famous for saying things such as “you don’t need nuclear weapons or even guns! If you have faith in Allah and a knife!” and “I will never ever tell people, ‘don’t be violent, that is not the Islamic way.’ The violence has to be selected”.
Also he’s spoken in favor of stoning people to death and cutting off their hands. “If Allah says 100 strikes, 100 strikes it is. If Allah says cut off their hand, you cut off their hand. If Allah says stone them to death, through the Prophet Muhammad, then you stone them to death.”
New York City is guiding tourists to his mosque and hoping they won’t have any body parts chopped off.
Three years ago, the FBI raided a compound owned by his son and found the remains of a 3-year-old boy. Members of the Wahhaj family were indicted for “providing material support to terrorists” and “conspiracy to murder an officer or employee of the United States”.
The NYPD conducted surveillance of the Al-Taqwa Mosque. The city noted in a legal filing that Wahhaj had “testified as a character witness for Clement Hampton El, a Masjid At Taqwa attendee who was convicted as one of the Blind Sheikh’s coconspirators in the Landmarks Plot.”
That was a plot to bomb tunnels and bridges, and other locations on July 4th.
The filing also noted that “members of the mosque’s security team have instructed individuals on how to disarm police officers” and terrorists who attended various mosque combat classes.
In Queens, the Halal Guide recommends the Masjid Al-Falah or the Al-Falah Mosque. The mosque was associated with the Tablighi Jamaat movement and was described by Stratfor as its North American headquarters. Tablighi Jamaat has been linked to multiple Islamic terror attacks and movements. “We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States,” the FBI’s deputy chief of international terrorism section had warned, “and we have found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past.”
The Halal Guide touts the Al-Falah Mosque for anyone visiting Corona Park or the Queens Museum. And if you don’t like Al-Falah, there’s the Al-Iman Mosque which was at the center of the false claim that it had been attacked by an Islamophobe who peed on their prayer rugs.
The actual story was that Omar Riviera, a Latino man on a bender, urinated on the street near the entrance to the mosque. After the media was saturated with false claims that he had shouted “anti-Muslim slurs” and “terrorists” and was accused of a hate crime, the case collapsed. Meanwhile the mosque appeared to host antisemitic conspiracy theories.
And if those options don’t seem good, try the Hazrati Abu Bakr Siddique mosque.
The Afghan mosque was also the choice of Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan terrorist trained by Al Qaeda who wanted to bomb subway trains during rush hour in time for Ramadan.
The mosque was at the center of a legal battle between the imam and its founders who accused each other of supporting the Taliban. Also, allegedly a member of the mosque, was Saifur Rahman Halimi, a representative of Afghan terror warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who had been allied with Bin Laden, and whose forces were responsible for the murder of American soldiers.
All of this is considered fit for a Halal Guide issued by New York City.
Stroll through Central Park, the guide advises, pay your respects at the 9/11 museum and memorial, then go on to Brooklyn and Queens, stop by a few terror mosques.
The Halal Guide closes with a shot of downtown Manhattan past the Brooklyn Bridge. On top of the tower is an American flag. One of the two made famous when people, fleeing the carnage of the Islamic terrorist attack on September 11, walked across it, some covered in ash. The picture’s angle conveniently evades the two towers that are missing. And will always be missing.
The Halal Guide, unintentionally, tells the story of what they took from us and what replaced it.
Republicans slam Biden admin for funding drag queen shows for kids in Ecuador with taxpayer money
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The Biden administration has come under fire and congressional scrutiny for a $20,000 grant awarded by the State Department to Ecuador to fund drag queen shows to “promote diversity and inclusion.”
As Fox News first reported last week, “the State Department awarded a $20,600 grant on Sept. 23 to the Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano Abraham Lincoln (CENA) in Cuenca, Ecuador, a non-profit organization supported by the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador.”
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Democrats’ Racism on Display in LA
The “judios cut their deal with south LA,” said Los Angeles city council president Nury Martinez, in a recently revealed conversation from 2021. These judios – Jews – were going to “screw everybody else,” said Martinez, who also mocked Armenians and ranted about the adopted African American son of city councilman Michael Bonin.
“Bonin thinks he’s fucking black,” said Martinez. “He handled his young black son as though he were an accessory. They’re raising him like a little white kid. I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.” That brought a response from councilman Kevin de Leon, also a Democrat.
“Bonin handles the toddler like when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton,” said de Leon, prompting Martinez to add, “su negrito, like on the side.” Martinez also turned on LA County District Attorney George Gascon, born in Cuba and presumably a Latino.
“He’s with the blacks,” Martinez said, and it was the “white members on this council that will motherfuck you in a heartbeat.” And so on. As this conversation revealed, California has institutionalized the equal-opportunity racism rooted in La Raza Cosmica, by Jose Vasconselos, who once served as Mexico’s education minister.
According to Vasconcelos, Mexico’s Ibero-American race is destined to surpass all others. The black race “eager for sensual joy, intoxicated with dances and unbridled lust,” will fade away. So will the “Mongol,” with his slanted eyes and lack of boldness for new enterprises. The “Indian” is simply inferior and when it comes to education the “white” race ranks at the bottom.
As the razaista contends, “any teacher can corroborate that the children and youths descended from Scandinavians, Dutch and English found in North American Universities are much slower, almost dull, compared to the mestizo children and youths from the south.” Such is the erudition of Vasconcelos, who once ran for president of Mexico.
Back in the 1940s, when the inferior Yankee “anglos” were tangling with National Socialist Germany, Vasconcelos was editing the pro-Nazi Timon magazine. For Mexican American Communist Bert Corona, Vasconcelos was an outright fascist and his theories a brand of the master race theory advanced by Hitler. See Memories of Chicano History: The Life and Narrative of Bert Corona, by Mario Garcia.
Vansconcelos’ razaismo never caught on in Latin America but in 1979 the Chicano Studies department at Cal State LA republished La Raza Cosmica in a bilingual edition. The racist ideas of a Nazi collaborator are now part of “ethnic studies” curricula and the inspiration for groups such as MEChA, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán, the lost raza homeland that leftists created in the sixties.
This is what fuels the rants about the changuito, the “little monkey” who needs a beatdown, the negrito who is like a “little yard bag.” True to form, Martinez also went off on Mexico’s indigenous people as “tan feos,” or “so ugly.” All the slandered groups might cast a glance at de Leon, who says he grew up on both sides of the border.
In 2017, de Leon began claiming that his father was a Chinese cook born in Guatemala. The Sacramento Bee, which broke the story, failed to run any document checks or DNA tests. If anybody thought the story was as fake as Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be a Cherokee, it would be hard to blame them. The Democrat who compared a black child to a “little yard bag,” also has a problem with Asian women, particularly the outspoken anti-Communists.
De Leon served as California’s senate boss from 2014 to 2018. In 2017, the senate held an event for former senator Tom Hayden, a champion of Vietnam’s Communist Dictatorship. Orange County Republican Janet Nguyen is a refugee from that regime.
De Leon’s staffers told Nguyen to keep her mouth shut, but she proceeded to denounce Hayden in English and Vietnamese. De Leon’s Democrats then shut down her microphone and had the woman carted off the Senate floor. This unprecedented smackdown was hardly de Leon’s only offense.
De Leon authored Senate Bill 54, California’s sanctuary legislation, because half his family would be eligible for deportation under President Trump. He didn’t say which half applied to him, but the people have a right to wonder. Despite claims to the contrary, De Leon’s sanctuary law protects violent criminal illegals.
In late 2018 in Newman, California, false-documented illegal Gustavo Perez Arriaga, also known as Paulo Virgen Mendoza, gunned down police officer Ronil Singh. The shooter had gang connections and the murder victim was a legal immigrant from Fiji who came to the United States to become a police officer.
In 2014, criminal illegal Luis Bracamontes gunned down Sacramento police officers Danny Oliver and Michael Davis. In court, the Mexican national said he wished he had killed more cops and yelled “black lives don’t matter” at family members. Senator de Leon kept rather quiet over those crimes and showed no regrets about his sanctuary law.
In 2018 the termed-out De Leon failed to oust Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The man who claims his father was a Chinese cook from Guatemala then turned to the LA city council. In that post he compared an African American child to a “little yard bag.”
Nury Martinez, who said the black child “needs a beatdown,” and warned that those judios were going to “screw everyone,” has resigned from the city council. At this writing, Kevin de Leon has been removed from committee assignments but refused to step down.
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Circumnavigating the Jihad: Why Christopher Columbus Sailed West
Another Columbus Day—or as the left calls it, “Indigenous Peoples Day”—has come and gone. It was “celebrated” with typical and outraged wokeism concerning the Italian explorer’s alleged “genocide” against the natives. And another Columbus memorial was also defaced in Massachusetts—with the words, “Genocider” and “Death to Amerika” sprawled with blood red ink.
Once venerated as a great hero, it is hard nowadays to find a kind word about Columbus among America’s leadership. This, of course, does not apply to Floridian governor Ron DeSantis, who has no problem defying political orthodoxy. In fact, last year he signed a proclamation stating:
Columbus stands a singular figure in Western Civilization, who exemplified courage, risk-taking, and heroism in the face of enormous odds; as a visionary who saw the possibilities of exploration beyond Europe; and as a founding father who laid the foundation for what would one day become the United States of America, which would commemorate Columbus by naming its federal district after him.
While all this is true, Columbus stands for and is a reminder of something else that is now little known if not completely (and intentionally) forgotten: he was, first and foremost, a Crusader—an avowed enemy of the jihad; and his expeditions were, first and foremost, about circumventing and ultimately retaliating against the Islamic sultanates surrounding and terrorizing Europe—not just “finding spices” as we were taught in high school.
When he was born, the then more than 800-year-old war against Islam—or rather defense against jihad—was at an all-time high. In 1453, when Columbus was 2-years-old, the Turks finally sacked Constantinople, an atrocity-laden event that rocked Christendom to its core.
Over the following years, Muslims continued making inroads deep into the Balkans, leaving much death and destruction in their wake, with millions of Slavs enslaved. (Yes, the two words are etymologically connected, and for this very reason.)
In 1480, when he was 29, the Turks even managed to invade Columbus’s native Italy, where, in the city of Otranto, they ritually beheaded 800 Italians—and sawed their archbishop in half—for refusing to recant Christianity and embrace Islam.
It was in this context that Spain’s monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella—themselves avowed Crusaders, especially the queen, who concluded the centuries-long Reconquista of Spain by liberating Granada of Islam in 1492—took Columbus into their service.
They funded his ambitious voyage in an effort to launch, in the words of historian Louis Bertrand, “a final and definite Crusade against Islam by way of the Indies.” (It, of course, went awry and culminated in the incidental founding of the New World.)
Many Europeans were convinced that if only they could reach the peoples east of Islam—who if not Christian were at least “not as yet infected by the Muhammadan plague,” to quote Pope Nicholas V (d.1455)—together they could crush Islam between them. (The plan was centuries old and connected to the legend of Prester John, a supposedly great Christian monarch reigning in the East who would one day march westward and avenge Christendom by destroying Islam.)
All this comes out clearly in Columbus’s own letters: in one he refers to Ferdinand and Isabella as “enemies of the wretched sect of Muhammad” who are “resolve[d] to send me to the regions of the Indies, to see [how the people thereof can help in the war effort].” In another written to the monarchs after he reached the New World, Columbus offers to raise an army “for the war and conquest of Jerusalem.” (That his voyages centered on liberating Jerusalem from Islam is further evident in the title of one 2011 book, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem.)
Nor were Spain and Columbus the first to implement this strategy. Once Portugal was cleared of Islam in 1249, its military orders launched into Muslim Africa. “The great and overriding motivation behind [Prince] Henry the Navigator’s [b. 1394] explosive energy and expansive intellect,” writes historian George Grant, “was the simple desire to take the cross—to carry the crusading sword over to Africa and thus to open a new chapter in Christendom’s holy war against Islam.” He launched all those discovery voyages because “he sought to know if there were in those parts any Christian princes,” who “would aid him against the enemies of the faith,” wrote a contemporary.
Does all this make Columbus and by extension Ferdinand and Isabella—not to mention the whole of Christendom—“Islamophobes,” as those few modern critics who bother mentioning the jihadist backdrop of Columbus’s voyage allege?
For example, in an LA Times op-ed, Yale historian Alan Mikhail wrote:
A primary force behind Columbus’ Atlantic crossings was a fear and hatred of Islam…. This shaped how white Europeans engaged with the “New World” and its native peoples for centuries, and how today’s Americans understand the world.… Columbus was born into Europe’s anti-Islamic mind-set in 1451…
While much of this is true, Mikhail does not bother explaining why there was such a “fear and hatred of Islam,” or why Europe had an “anti-Islamic mind-set,” in the first place. “White Europeans” were just unenlightened bigots (“racists” in contemporary, if infinitely overdone, parlance).
But therein lay the irony: yes, Columbus and Europeans were “Islamophobes”—but not in the way that word is used today. While the Greek word phobos has always meant “fear,” its usage today implies “irrational fear.” However, considering that for nearly a thousand years before Columbus, Islam had repeatedly attacked Christendom to the point of swallowing up three-quarters of its original territory, including for centuries Spain; that Islam’s latest iteration, in the guise of the Ottoman Turks, was during Columbus’s era devastating the Balkans and Mediterranean, slaughtering and enslaving any European who dared travel east through their domains; and that, even centuries after Columbus, Islam was still terrorizing the West—marching onto Vienna with 200,000 jihadists in 1683 and provoking America into its first war as a nation—the very suggestion that Western fears of Islam were, or are, “irrational” is itself the height of irrationalism.
Originally published by The Stream.
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Woman sues childcare company for allegedly firing her for refusing to read LGBT books to kids
A childcare teacher in California is suing her former employer after she was allegedly fired for refusing on religious grounds to read books to children that featured same-sex couples.
Nelli Parisenkova, who formerly worked at Bright Horizons Children’s Center in Studio City, filed the complaint in the Superior Court of California on Thursday.
According to the lawsuit, Parisenkova had been working at Bright Horizons for four years, having been aware of the books at the location, but not having been forced to read them.
In April, Katy Callas, the director of the location, who is a lesbian, became aware of Parisenkova’s beliefs, took exception to them, and ultimately led to her being dismissed.
Arab Racism: Sudan anger over racist slur caught on air at Bashir trial
A racist insult broadcast live on Sudanese television during a high-profile trial involving ex-President Omar al-Bashir has triggered an outcry against the racism that continues to permeate Sudanese society three years after the long-time leader was ousted.
Warning: This article contains words which some may find offensive
Bashir’s defence team were chatting among themselves in the courtroom in the capital, Khartoum, and did not realise that their microphones were still on.
One of them was heard to say: “This ‘slave’ with his ugly nose irritates me.”
The Arabic word for slave, “abd”, is often used in Sudan to refer to people whose perceived roots are thought to be African instead of Arab – and is a derogatory term used to describe black people.
The comment, about three hours into the hearing, had nothing to do with the trial being aired on Sudan TV and the YouTube and Facebook pages of the Sudan News Agency (Suna).
The men were discussing renowned journalist Lukman Ahmed, who had just been sacked as director of the state-owned broadcaster, where I also used to work.
Ahmed, a former BBC Arabic correspondent who originally comes from Darfur, had been appointed to the role when a civilian coalition and the military were sharing power after Bashir’s ousting.
Last October, the generals reneged on the power-sharing deal, launching a coup. Ahmed stayed on in his post for another six months, but in the end he was accused of failing to honour the military head of state, having relegated news about him to the bottom of the bulletins.
A clip of the lawyer’s comments went viral, with many on social media quick to denounce the racist slur made at Ahmed’s expense.
It brought to mind one of the slogans of the 2019 uprising when revolutionaries chanted: “Oh you arrogant racist, the whole country is Darfur.”
It was aimed at Bashir, who first came to power in 1989 in an Islamist-backed coup and who became infamous around the world for the conflict in Darfur.
He has been charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with committing war crimes and genocide there after pro-government, horse-riding Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, in the early 2000s started targeting villages and driving out their non-Arab residents – or “Zurga”, the local term for ethnic black communities. Bashir refuses to go to The Hague but denies the charges, saying they’re politically motivated.
The fact that it was one of Bashir’s lawyers who made the comment somehow drove home for the revolutionaries that Sudan has taken a step backwards.
Bashir and his contemporaries may still be on trial, but the man who ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years, holding the highest army rank of field marshal, is no longer in jail.
Since the coup he has been in a private military hospital, and many believe the junta will eventually move him home, under house arrest, on humanitarian grounds – continuing the rollback of the revolution that forced him from power.
“This is the outcome of a culture of a corrupt mentality,” the leader of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), which had been part of the civilian coalition that was overthrown, tweeted.
As well as Twitter outrage, the Darfur Bar Association has come out in support of Ahmed, launching a case on his behalf against the defence team and the lawyer.
Ahmed told the BBC it was intended “fight racism from spreading in the country”.
To see such blatant racism aimed at a “broad sector of the Sudanese and humanity across the world” in a formal setting “by men of law” was shocking, he said.
To make matters worse, one of the lawyers also used a blasphemous term about Ahmed, saying he cursed his religion – ironically missing the point that the journalist is Muslim too, in what is a majority Muslim country.
Since independence in 1956, racist attitudes have been prevalent in Sudan, both in private and in public – a legacy of the 19th Century slave trade when Ottoman, European and Arab traders launched raids to the south to bring back captives to sell.
It has been a long-held belief that the racist attitudes of Khartoum’s elites has been a driving factor in the country’s turbulent history.
It ultimately pushed the South Sudanese to independence as well as triggering the rebellions against marginalisation in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile, which all have large non-Arab populations.
Sudan’s racism is also the focus of a trial at The Hague, where a former Janjaweed leader denies charges of committing crimes against humanity in Darfur.
Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, is the first person to be tried by the ICC over the conflict that left about 300,000 people dead and more than two million homeless.
Since the October coup, public discourse has again become loaded with racist undertones, hate speech and incitement to violence.
Darfur has again witnessed a resurgence of ethnic clashes and a wave of violent crime has swept the capital and other cities in recent months.
Groups from outside Khartoum from different ethnic backgrounds are being blamed for the street gangsterism, which usually involves armed men on motorbikes, known as “long nines” because of the multiple passengers aboard.
Social media is full of clips of vigilantes beating alleged criminals and lynchings, further fuelling ethnic tension.
The gangs have become associated with rebels from groups in places like the Blue Nile, Darfur and the Nuba Mountains, who felt snubbed by the power-sharing government and have since sided with the military – effectively joining the side they were once fighting.
Those the rebels were purportedly representing see it as an outrage – and it feeds into distrust by Khartoum’s elites of outsiders, leading to pernicious relations between the country’s different regions.
Sudan’s deputy leader, Lt-Gen Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo, is using all this to his advantage. Seen by the elite as an outsider, from Darfur, he heads the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Force that has grown out of the Janjaweed.
But his new alliance with his former enemies – the Darfur rebels-cum-mercenaries – has allowed him to further cultivate his power.
Added to this toxic mix is the fact that Sudan has no law criminalising racism – meaning Ahmed is likely to lose his legal battle.
Yet he and his supporters hope the case will shine a light on how racism continues to undermine the country’s social fabric – and so eventually bring some change.
Arab Racism in Tunisia: ‘I lost the will to leave my home’
According to a survey commissioned by BBC News Arabic, 80% of Tunisians believe that racial discrimination is a problem in their country – the highest figure in the Middle East and North Africa region. With black people making up 10-15% of the Tunisian population, there are fears the fight against racial discrimination is now at a standstill after the suspension of parliament, the country’s first black female MP has told the BBC.
Lassad Karim loved his job and had spent 12 years at the same company, until he said he faced racism at the hands of a new manager.
“We were having a discussion when out of the blue she insulted me,” he told the BBC.
Mr Karim accuses the manger of using a term commonly used to demean black people as servants: “This is not an acceptable word, it’s hurtful.”
“I was in shock. Why? What am I guilty of? What did I do? I was broken.”
It shook his self-esteem, even to this day.
“I loved being out and about. Now I’ve lost the will to go anywhere beyond my front door,” he said.
There is widespread acknowledgement of racism in Tunisia. Some 80% agree that discrimination is a problem, according to a poll carried out for BBC News Arabic by the Arab Barometer network.
New legislation, called Law 50, was introduced in 2018, making Tunisia the first country in the Arab region to outlaw discrimination specifically on racial grounds.
It was the culmination of years of campaigning by activists who felt empowered by the 2011 democracy protests which saw the overthrow of long-time President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
Under Law 50, those found guilty of racist language or acts can receive a prison sentence of up to three years. Authorities can also impose a maximum fine of 3,000 dinars ($950; £775).
It has so far succeeded in prosecuting some of those guilty of discrimination, including a case in the city of Sfax where a woman was found guilty of racially abusing her daughter’s Afro-Arab teacher.
But this was not the case for Mr Karim. His employer denied racism or firing him and his case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Mr Karim is one of many black people who say they are still victims of racism, despite this relatively new legal deterrent, as the country’s first black MP explained.
“Almost daily, I receive letters from citizens, especially black people. I receive their messages. I receive their complaints,” Jamila Ksiksi said.
She said after the suspension of parliament, lawmakers can no longer raise in the channels of power the plight of constituents suffering from racism, nor scrutinise the efforts of the government to tackle it.
“The Tunisian people have no voice without a parliament,” she continued.
Tunisia’s ongoing social and economic crisis deepened last July after President Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed the government.
President Saied had said his decision was the only way to reform the country and break Tunisia’s political paralysis.
The 64-year-old president last month ordered parliamentary polls after a referendum on a new constitution granted him sweeping new powers.
According to Ms Ksiksi, Tunisia’s parliament used to have a central role in scrutinising the implementation of the landmark anti-racism legislation, but that is no longer possible.
She fears that court cases looking into racial discrimination will now take longer to be processed by the courts because of the political turmoil.
“There is no entity to help push, or to ask for the reasons behind the delays. Dissolving the parliament is a huge obstacle for people to get their rights.”
Ms Ksiksi also worries about what she sees as a lack of clarity over whether the new constitution would protect civil rights legislation, particularly Law 50.
BBC News Arabic has reached out to a spokesman of the new government appointed by President Kais, but has received no reply so far.
However, a prominent Tunisian politician and an ally of the president has denied the fight against racism has been sidetracked by recent events.
“The judiciary’s work has never stopped. They are still implementing Law 50,” said Amal Hamrouni of the El-Tayyar El-Chaabi party.
As for scrutinising the work of the government, Ms Hamrouni said President Kais had no choice but to suspend parliament.
“The legislative chamber was not doing its job. It was mired in internal struggles. It was right of the president to suspend it,” she said.
The scope of Law 50 is not just about tackling isolated events of racism, but also about addressing a legacy of discrimination in Tunisia.
Kamal Atig Zeiri, a taxi driver, said he has faced racism all his life and wants to drop the “Atig” in his surname because of the history of the word, describing it as “embarrassing”. Atig means “freed by”.
His ancestors were among millions of black Africans sold as slaves throughout the Arab world over the centuries. Tunisia became the first Arab country to abolish this trade in 1846.
“It worries me a lot and I won’t rest until I delete it from my surname,” Mr Atig Zeiri told the BBC. “This word has caused me a psychological problem,” he continued.
In theory, Law 50 should give Mr Atig Zeiri the freedom to change his name, however, he is still waiting for the courts to approve his request. His daughter, Lena, has been able to alter her surname.
Transferred to Spain a young Algerian burned alive after rejecting a marriage proposal
A young Algerian, Ryma, has been transferred to Spain to receive health care due to serious burns suffered after being doused with gasoline and set on fire by a neighbor who rejected his marriage proposal.
The 28-year-old woman is originally from Makuda, in the Algerian wilaya of Tizi Uzu and her injuries are very serious, third and fourth degree burns all over her body, according to the Algerian news portal TSA.
Ryma is a French teacher and led a peaceful life with her family until September 26, when a neighbor asked for her hand. Seeing himself rejected, he set fire to the young woman as revenge.
She was admitted that same day to the intensive care unit of the Tizi-Uzu University Hospital, but due to the lack of adequate resources, she decided to request her transfer abroad.
On October 14, Ryma was transferred to Madrid on a medicalized plane and has been admitted to the Quironsalud University Hospital in Madrid.
Ryma’s family and friends have launched a donation drive to cover the costs of a story that has quickly gone viral and drawn solidarity from Algeria.
“We appeal to all charitable souls to donate,” explained the mother from the hospital. “Ryma needs you, everyone to continue living,” added other relatives. The Leetchi fundraising page has already raised more than 52,500 euros and the goal is to reach 100,000 (https://www.leetchi.com/c/ryma-fhm25).
Qatar Funds Islamist Separatism in Germany
Qatar Charity and Eid Charity, two Qatari Islamist groups masquerading as humanitarian organizations, have sent millions of euros to finance mosques in Berlin and at least nine other German cities, according to a new trove of previously unpublished documents leaked to German media. The documents, which include financial requests, payment plans, and thank-you letters exchanged between the charities and the mosques, show that Qatar continues to promote Islamic separatism in Germany under the cover of charity work.
In so doing, Qatar is undermining the ability of Germany to assimilate Muslim immigrants into its society. This fits a wider pattern of Qatari efforts to disrupt Western democracies such as the United States where the regime has invested millions to promote its agenda on college campuses.
The greatest beneficiaries of Qatari largesse in Germany appear to have been two Berlin mega-mosques: the so-called Intercultural Center for Dialogue and Education (Interkulturelle Zentrum für Dialog und Bildung, IZDB), and the Neuköllner Meeting Center (Neuköllner Begegnungsstätte, NBS), also known as the Dar-as-Salam Moschee. Together, the institutions, which are close to the Muslim Brotherhood, received millions of euros from the quasi-governmental Qatari charities between 2012 and 2016.
The IZDB, based in Berlin’s Wedding district, received at least €6 million from Qatar Charity, according to the documents. The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that the land and building used by IZDB was paid for by Europe Trust, a United Kingdom-based charity founded by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), which has been described as “the overarching organization” for Muslim Brotherhood groups in Europe. Europe Trust paid €4 million for the property in December 2012, according to the documents. Since then, senior Islamic leaders have been invited to speak at the mosque. In December 2021, for instance, IZDB hosted Ali al-Qaradaghi, an influential Sunni expert on Sharia law who is the secretary-general of the Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, an organization close to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Among the documents is a letter from Qatar Charity addressed to the IZDB. It includes a financial transfer plan, according to which the IZDB was to receive over €1 million in 2012 and another €5 million between 2013 and 2016.
The NBS, based in Berlin’s Neukölln district, has been surveilled by Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency (Verfassungsschutz Berlin) for suspected extremist activities, but its leader, the Tunisian-born Mohamed Taha Sabri, presents himself as a moderate and is well-connected in local politics, especially with the Greens, the Social Democrats and the Left Party. He has been awarded the Berlin Order of Merit, the highest recognition for outstanding service to Berlin.
In a 2017 interview with the television program Kontraste, Sabri was asked if NBS had received donations from abroad. “Our funding is exclusively from our people who attend here, or from a few businesspeople, restaurants or shops,” he responded. “They give something every now and then. Otherwise, we have no other source.” The interviewer asked again: “You have no source of foreign investors?” Sabri: “No.” Interviewer: “Not at all?” Sabri: “No, none.”
A subsequent investigation conducted by a team of reporters from Germany’s ARD television and the weekly newspaper Die Zeit uncovered a series of Arabic videos produced by Qatar Charity and recorded in various German cities in which Sabri admits that Qatar paid for the mosque. In one video, Sheik Ahmed Hammadi, a representative of Qatar Charity, was visiting Sabri in the Neukölln mosque. Sabri states: “This mosque was purchased in 2007, thank Allah, with most of the cost being borne by the Qatari people. May Allah thank them for their deeds.”
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Crisis of Faith: Sweden’s Liberal Church Faces Hundreds of Closures
As fewer and fewer Swedes attend churches belonging to the Church of Sweden, it faces closing hundreds of churches in the coming years, with many likely being sold off.
The Church of Sweden faces having to sell hundreds of churches in the coming years and has already been forced to sell over a hundred due to a lack of income as the Swedish population participates less and less in its services.
In both Västra Götaland and the Diocese of Gothenburg churches have been sold simply to cover costs. Other churches may need to be amalgamated in order to bear the brunt of future costs, SVT reports.
American Parents Who Protest Schools are Terrorists. Muslim Parents are “Multifaceted”
The wave of protests against sexual materials and agendas in schools spreading around the country appeared in Dearborn, Michigan. Islamists in America had long grappled with how to manage both their leftist alliances and the sexual agendas of those allies. Most opted for public expressions of support and private repression. The breach broke out in the open in Dearborn with videos of angry Arab Muslims, among others, speaking out at school board meetings.
They waved signs, booed speakers, and denounced the board members. The same sort of stuff that led Biden and Garland’s DOJ to illegally coordinate a school board association letter preparing to treat them like terrorists.
But they can’t treat Muslims like terrorists.
The sheer awkwardness was captured by the local NPR affiliate’s story on the protests.
.Community members within the Dearborn Public School District have been in heated debate over several LGBTQ-positive books and their availability to students. The debate in Dearborn came to a head at a school board meeting this week.
It’s not the first time a religious, conservative group has opposed the availability of books that include LGBTQ-positive stories and sentiments.
However, unlike we’ve seen before, many of those religious conservatives are Muslim. It’s the first time someone other than Evangelicals and far-right constituents have been a sizeable force in the protests at the school board.
Reporter Niraj Warikoo provided some context on this multifaceted issue. We also heard from someone who’s taken a stand in favor of age-appropriate, LGBTQ-positive books.
When American parents protest sexual materials being inflicted on their kids, it’s terrorism. But when Muslims protest, it’s “multifaceted”.
That’s especially true since the local CAIR appeared to be involved in guiding some parents behind the scenes while cautioning them away from public protests. Others however, with fewer woke alliances, took a more vocal stand.
One of Michigan’s most prominent faith leaders, Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights, urged people during his Friday sermon to attend the protests.
“Some of those books are completely inappropriate for our children to read,” Al-Qazwini said. “Some of those books promote pornography. Some of them promote homosexuality. We don’t need this. Go and attend this meeting.”
Al-Qazwini and others said that they have the democratic right to decide what is appropriate in their schools since their faith is now in the majority. Dearborn is about 47% Arab American, most of them Muslim, and Dearborn Heights is about one-third Arab American, according to census data
What’s the Left going to do? Shut up and take it. At least in public. And explain how multifaceted it all is, and double down on pushing this stuff anyway. Publicly, dissent is impossible. And impracticable. The Left hopes to run the same routine that it did with the black community, but it doesn’t understand the territory. Or the players.
They’re the majority and they mean it.
When similar incidents happened in the UK, there was some handwringing and inspectors were sent to investigate Jewish and Christian schools. Expect the media and activist lefties to loudly shift attention back to safer targets. And then call them terrorists.
What the heck is wrong with Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot?
There is no doubt among those paying attention that Chicago is in crisis. Crime has exploded, with ordinary citizens living in fear of venturing out from their homes. (And, if they live in the wrong neighborhoods, their homes may be shot up as drive-by gang assassination attempts hitting neigboring homes.)
Mayor Lori Lightfoot may try to downplay the severity of the trendline, but Chicagoans understand the risks they take merely by walking or driving on the streets as recidivist criminals are set free to wreak mayhem again and again on the innocent:
Prosecutors said Friday that a Chicago man on parole for possessing a stolen motor vehicle and on bail for possessing another motor vehicle shot a concealed carry holder during a carjacking attempt in the South Loop.
Cortez Crayton, 24, is the 45th person accused of killing or shooting—or attempting to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago while awaiting trial for a felony this year. The alleged crimes involved at least 83 victims, 21 of whom died.
Major companies and well-to-do taxpayers are fleeing the city.
In the space of just seven weeks in May and June, Chicago was hit by a pair of corporate defections: Illinois’s richest man, Ken Griffin, announced he’s moving the home of his $57 billion Citadel hedge fund to Miami and Boeing Co. said it would pull its headquarters from the city. Caterpillar Inc. also decided to move its global headquarters to Texas from the nearby suburb of Deerfield.
So, how does Lightfoot respond? In a fashion that would make Emperor Nero blush. Watch this cringeworthy performance, apparently taking place in her City Hall chambers: