Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Views on the News - 15/10/2009

Republicans scared of Muslims participating in the American political system

Four House Republicans on Wednesday accused the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group of trying to "infiltrate" Capitol Hill by placing interns in the offices of lawmakers who handle national security issues. The four lawmakers, members of the anti-terror caucus, asked for an investigation into the Council on American Islamic Relations after discovering an internal memo noting the group's strategy. They also highlighted a new book by Paul Sperry titled "Muslim Mafia," scheduled for release on Thursday, which claims the group has been actively infiltrating Congress.Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina , Trent Franks of Arizona , Paul Broun of Georgia and John Shadegg of Arizona asked the Internal Revenue Service to determine whether CAIR deserves its nonprofit status. They also are asking their colleagues to review a summary of findings that led the Justice Department to name CAIR as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case. The internal memo, provided to, stated that CAIR would "focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community.”

It appears that American is so paranoid that even when Muslims seek to partake in the American political system they are branded as terrorists.

British banks steal money from its depositors

An increasing number of hard-pressed Scots, struggling with debt repayments, are finding themselves left without money to pay their rent, heat their homes, or even buy food, because their bank is snatching wage and benefit payments from their current accounts without warning. Money Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice Scotland both confirmed to The Herald that they have seen a considerable rise in the number of their clients being left in extreme financial hardship as a result of set-off. This little known practice gives banks the right to take money without warning from a customer’s account if they fall behind with repayments elsewhere within the same banking group, such as those on a credit card or loan account. Yvonne MacDermid, chief executive of Money Advice Scotland , said: “We have seen an increase in this [practice] and I think we will see more of this, especially as banks can’t bring in so much money through [bank] charges etc.” The only way to stop a bank using set-off is to ensure that current account, savings account, credit card and personal loans are all held with separate institutions. The guidance on the Banking Code, to which all UK banks are supposed to adhere, appears to forbid this. It says that banks “should acknowledge that income should only be used to repay ‘non-priority’ debts once provision has been made for any ‘priority’ debts. The subscriber [bank] should leave the customer with sufficient money for reasonable day-to-day expenses”.

Clinton praises Russia for promoting tolerance in Muslim areas

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday visited Kazan , the capital of Russia 's predominantly Muslim Tatarstan region, lauding it as an example of multi-ethnic tolerance and peace. Over half of the region's population are Tatars, a Muslim Turkic people who live alongside a large ethnic Russian Orthodox Christian population and other minorities. "You are well known as someone who has fostered religious tolerance. It's a wonderful example of what can be done if people work together," she told the local president in the mosque. "I am happy to be here in a place that models interfaith tolerance. So important in the world today," she added. Shaimiyev, who has ruled Tatarstan since the collapse of Communism in 1991, for his part declared that "there are no interfaith problems here. We have plenty of mixed marriages."”A much better way to live," agreed Clinton . In the 15th century, Kazan was the capital of the Kazan Khanate, a Tatar state that was a major Muslim power in the region, before it was sacked by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and brought under Moscow 's control. Muslims make up over 20 million of Russia 's 140 million-strong population.

Situation in Afghanistan 'desperate': General

The military situation in Afghanistan is "serious" and "desperate," the top Canadian commander in the country, General Jonathan Vance, warned in an interview with CBC television station. "It's a serious, desperate situation. It's a major emergency," he said.

He said it was important to explain the situation to the Afghan and Canadian publics, but not to "sugar coat anything, and it's certainly not to make the mission seem better than it is.But (I)... try and put all of that into some sort of context such that people -- whether they believe we should be here or not -- at least they understand," he said in the 20 minute interview broadcasted on Wednesday.

Militant attack on Pakistani army GHQ foretold

The News International, a local English-language newspaper, had published the details of a report by the interior ministry that an attack on the General Headquarters (GHQ) was imminent. The 5 October report said that fighters from militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi - with the support of the Taliban in South Waziristan - were planning such an attack.

It said attackers meant to penetrate security by using army uniforms to get into the compound and wreak havoc at the heart of the military's command. "It is simply incredible that the agencies, despite being aware of these facts, could not stop this attack," says Raza, an employee at a local multinational. "If I, as a common citizen, was aware through the news this was going to happen, what does that say about our security services?"

Oct 15 2009

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