Category Archives: Middle East

George Clooney gives anti-Trump speech at César Awards: ‘Don’t let hate win’

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Trump won. Get over it.

Via Yahoo: While he’s not nominated for an Oscar this year, George Clooney did take home the French equivalent of the Academy’s golden statue at the César ceremony.

Touted beforehand as “the most charismatic actor of his generation,” the Ocean’s Eleven star and his wife Amal, pregnant with their twins, brought Hollywood glamor to Paris at the Salle Pleyel on Friday. Dressed in his signature black Armani tuxedo and bow tie, Clooney looked dashing next to his wife, who showed off her baby bump in a fitted white gown tapered with an ombré of ostrich feathers.

The father-to-be was honored with a career award at the ceremony, along with French film legend Jean Paul Belmondo, who also received a Lifetime Tribute during the evening.

After a lengthy clip real of his greatest hits, Clooney was called onstage by host Jerome Commandeur. Greeted with a standing ovation, Clooney thanked the crowd saying, “Merci, merci” several times. Commandeur then invited Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, Clooney’s Monuments Men costar, to present him with the César d’Honneur. The former costars embraced, and Clooney, excusing himself to the audience for his “horrible” French, asked Dujardin to translate for him.

The duo proceeded to bring down the house, as his former costar gently ribbed him by purposefully mistranslating his speech, adding words like “handsome” to Clooney’s description of himself. The speech also got political, with Clooney cautioning the audience, “As we stand here today the world is going through some pretty momentous changes, not all for the best.” He added, “As citizens of the world we’re going to have to work harder and harder not to let hate win.” At some point during Clooney’s measured words, Dujardin added on his own, “Donald Trump is a dangerous for the world.”

As for his expectant wife, Clooney gushed, “To my wife Amal, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not proud to be your husband. And I am excited about the years to come, and particularly the months to come. I love you very much.”

Clooney was in France last May for the world premiere of Money Monster at the Cannes Film Festival. His next directing project, Suburbicon, is slated for release later this year.

The César Awards is an annual ceremony recognizing the top achievements in the French film industry and is comparable to the American Oscars. Last year’s honorary César — an award named after the French sculptor who designed it — went to  Michael Douglas. Past honorees have included Scarlett Johansson, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp and Sylvester Stallone.

See also:

DCG

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Fort Hood jihadist shooter Nidal Hassan is ‘gay’ and wants a sex-change operation

Nidal Malik Hasan, 46, an American-born Muslim of Palestinian heritage, is the former Army Medical Corps psychiatrist and jihadist who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on November 5, 2009, for which he was convicted in a court martial and sentenced to death. He is incarcerated and awaiting execution at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks while his case is reviewed by appellate courts.

In letters to the National Enquirer, Hasan reveals he’s a homosexual transgender, and wants a sex change operation, on the taxpayer’s dime of course.

nidal-hassan

J.R. Taylor reports for The National Enquirer, Feb. 23, 2017, that in his letters, Hasan expressed no regrets for his shooting massacre. He said he was upset at the deployment of troops to Afghanistan and at a homosexual lover for ditching him.

According to The Enquirer, Hasan’s lover may have been an Islamic convert who worshiped at the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen that Hasan frequented. “Hasan claimed he was instructing the young man on Islam, but the rumor at the mosque was that he was in love with him,” an insider said.

In the letters, Hasan complained about his living conditions and his physical well-being from being shot five times by civilian police officer Sgt. Mark Todd who helped to end the Fort Hood carnage. Hasan whined that “I’m in solitary confinement. I’m also a paraplegic!”

Hasan also said he wants a sex-change operation: “I am trying slowly to change my ways into a woman who the Creator would be proud of. I’m trying to be a devout servant of God in an ungodly world. We need to do the best we can with the cards we’re dealt and what we did to ourselves.”

A military veteran told The Enquirer: “It’s quite ironic. He wants to be a woman — but it takes massive cojones to demand that taxpayers foot the bill!”

Teacher Gang Raped By 9 Iraqi Immigrants in Vienna Attack

rapefugees

From Express UK: Prosecutors charge the Iraqi men with “abuse of a defenceless person and rape in a very humiliating and agonising way for the victim”.

At the opening of the trial yesterday the court heard how the woman identified as Sabine K. was “blind drunk” when she went with the men to an apartment. Most of them deny the charges but DNA proved that sperm from six of them was found in or on her body.

The court heard how the victim arrived in Vienna on December 28, 2015 to spend the New Year with a female friend in the city. Shortly before midnight on December 31 they wandered into the city centre to join milling crowds celebrating the arrival of 2016 and at 2.00am were seen drinking in a bar-restaurant called Cactus.

Shortly before 3.00am the friend of Sabine noticed she was no longer there and was told by another patron that the men she had been talking with had “taken her away.”

The defendants, aged between 22 and 45, all arrived in Austria between May and December 2015 via the Balkan route. At the time of the attack, five of them had cemented their right to stay, the applications of the other four were still pending.

Judge Petra Poschalko heard how the woman was taken by four of them to an apartment in Vienna’s Rustenschacher Allee where five other men were waiting. Sabine later said she found herself naked on a double bed being assaulted by the men one after the other. Evidence was heard that said she was assaulted in the dark so she could not identify the men, according to her lawyer Karina Fehringer.

After the attacks, which went on for several hours, the victim needed in-patient treatment at a trauma clinic and now is under psychiatric care for post traumatic stress disorder. She had another breakdown at the weekend and was too fragile to be in court to face her attackers.

Only one man, Mohamed Al-A., 31, admitted his role in the rapes and he sobbed in court and said he was “really drunk” on vodka at the time. And he further admitted: “This act is a crime in Iraq.”

He was with co-defendants Nazar Al-J., Mohammed Al-T. and Alaa Al-J. in the Cactus bar who took the victim back to the apartment. The other defendants – Hader Al-A., Mustafa Al-J., Nael Al-J., Marwan Al-J. und Sabah Al-J. – lay in wait for her there. Medical experts testified she was raped multiple times and sodomised.

The victim said she yelled at them, in German: “No, I don’t want this.” Then in English: “Listen to me, just a little bit.” Her attackers conversed only in Arabic.

Alaa Al-J. was said to be the rape ringleader. After it was over Mohammed Al-. escorted her to a toilet in the flat where he took a selfie with her on his mobile phone. Later he and Alaa Al-J. escorted her to a nearby tram stop where they tried to stem her sobbing by saying in English: “Don’t cry.”

After she went to police a tracking app on her mobile phone led officers to the rape scene. The app showed that her ordeal lasted from 4:20am to 6:20am on January 1 2016.

The court heard that with the exception of the man who confessed, none of the others feel guilty. Several denied rape in the face of the DNA evidence. One man claimed that the woman had been “offered” to them by relatives: another that she was a willing participant in whatever took place.

Judge Poaschalko seemed visibly angered at the shifts in their stories throught Tuesday’s hearing. The court resumes again on Thursday and sentencing will be handed down on March 6. She has warned them they face up to 15 years each in jail.

DCG

Montvale, New Jersey will not be a sanctuary city, mayor vows

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Mayor Michael Ghassali

Laws and legal immigration still mean something to some politicians.

From NorthJersey.com: As a Syrian immigrant whose family fled Aleppo in 1980, weeks before hundreds of civilians were killed in a brutal siege, Michael Ghassali knows well the horrors facing today’s refugees.

But as the mayor of Montvale, Ghassali said, his allegiance is to the laws of his adopted country – even those he may personally disagree with. That is why Ghassali has vowed that under his administration, Montvale will not be a sanctuary city.

“I will not be signing any executive orders that will ask our employees to defy federal laws. A mayor should not be advocating the defiance of federal laws,” Ghassali announced in a Facebook post last week that has elicited both praise and condemnation.

The statement was in response to pressure from various advocacy groups that Ghassali said have approached him to declare the borough a safe haven for undocumented immigrants illegal aliens.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order last month suspending travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from coming into the country. The order has been blocked by an appeals court, and Trump has said he will issue a revised order. But it sparked protests across the country, and local politicians have taken a public position either supporting it or opposing it.

Trump also has called for a crackdown on illegal immigration. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a sweeping set of orders that authorize all agents to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more forcefully, instructing them to identify, apprehend and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter.

Several North Jersey towns have either approved or are considering resolutions to become sanctuary cities, a term that generally means local police would limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officers.

Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, who is also a Syrian-born immigrant, issued an executive order in January declaring the borough a sanctuary city. “As an immigrant from a country ruled by a dictator, it is important to me that our commander in chief upholds the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land,” Khairullah said last month.

Ghassali recalled in an interview this week his experience entering the country at 15 years old and the hurdles his family faced.

In Syria, his father was a tailor, working hard for a middle-class life for his family of four children. Ghassali remembers always feeling safe in Aleppo, even at night. Nevertheless, the Islamist uprising, revolts against the secular government led mostly by the Muslim Brotherhood, had been brewing in the country since 1976.

“My father was wise enough to know what was going on. He told us, ‘At some point, this will not be a safe place to live.’ And he decided that we should leave,” Ghassali said.

In 1980, members of Ghassali’s family boarded a flight with green cards in hand and headed to New York City, where they had family from his father’s side waiting for their arrival. They settled in Dumont. Ghassali said he became a citizen in 1987.

“I know firsthand the vetting system is intense – it’s always been that way. I don’t know how much more intense it could get,” said Ghassali, a Republican who ran for mayor as an independent.

“I wish the administration spent more time analyzing the current process before issuing such an executive order,” said Ghassali. “They should spend the time to look at the current process before causing havoc among the refugees.”

Ghassali said he has family members who are refugees or have been killed in the war in Syria. “My whole network is either a refugee or has a family or friend who is a refugee. I feel it. It is very personal,” Ghassali said. But, he said, “I have to remove emotions out of this if I want to do my job.”

A close friend of Ghassali’s who attends the same Syriac Orthodox church in Teaneck has been in the country illegally for 15 years, he said. Ghassali said that declaring Montvale a sanctuary city would not change the reality of his friend’s situation. “He’s been scared for 15 years,” Ghassali said. “That doesn’t change when a mayor signs an executive order.”

Ghassali said he hoped his stance was not misconstrued as being against diversity. About one-fifth of Montvale’s approximately 8,000 residents are foreign-born, according to 2015 census. Twenty-two languages are spoken at home, Ghassali said.

Ghassali is married to an Iraqi immigrant. On his block alone, he said, his neighbors hail from India, Pakistan and parts of South America. “Montvale is not against refugees, against immigrants, against diversity,” he said. “We are as diverse as they come.”

DCG

The ‘Religion of Trash’ Caption Contest

This is the 144th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the pic:

wraiths

You know the drill:

  • Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on this thread (scroll down until you see the “LEAVE A REPLY” box), not via email or on Facebook.
  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a gorgeous Award Certificate of Excellence and a year’s free subscription to FOTM:D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

Every Monday morning, Ayesha plays a game of hide-and-seek with Dearborn’s trash collectors.

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, go here.

~Eowyn

Saudi Arabia ‘deports 40,000 Pakistani workers over terror fears’

deported

From the Independent: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expelled almost 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers in the last four months, local media has reported.

Over 39,000 people have been deported since October 2016 over visa violations and security concerns, the Saudi Gazette reported, citing unnamed interior ministry officials. As well as crimes including drug trafficking, forgery and theft, an unknown number of those removed from the country were suspected to have links to Isis and other extremist groups, the paper said.

The alleged mass deportations come after a year of strikes and other unrest in the kingdom due to unpaid wages following the oil market’s decline and subsequent blow to the Saudi economy.

Official Saudi statistics say that 243,000 Pakistanis were deported between 2012 – 2015. Mass deportations of migrant workers – which Human Rights Watch and other rights organisations say often involve illegal beatings and detainment in poor conditions – are fairly common.

2010 census figures show that 8.5 million of Saudi Arabia’s 27 million strong population, or around 30 per cent, are foreign nationals. According to a 2014 European University Institute report, there are approximately 900,000 people of Pakistani nationality currently employed in Saudi Arabia’s vast construction industry and other low-paid service jobs.

In Mecca in January, dozens of expatriate workers, mostly from poor Asian and Middle Eastern countries, were beaten and jailed over public protests against unpaid salaries that turned violent.

While the Philippines and India have also seen hundreds of thousands of citizens returned home after lay-offs in Saudi Arabia, the deportation of Pakistani workers has been mainly driven by security concerns, the New Arab reported.

Several prominent Saudi politicians, including Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chair of the security committee of the country’s Shura Council, have called for tougher screening processes for Pakistani nationals before they are allowed entry into the country. “Pakistan itself is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan. The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan,” he said.

Approximately 80 Pakistani nationals are currently in prison in Saudi Arabia charged with terror or security related offences. 

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Angela Merkel says Europe must take more refugees and Islam ‘isn’t source of terror’

merkel muslim

Earlier this month, Angela Merkel stated that Germany will offer cash handouts worth millions of pounds for migrants to leave Germany in an effort to silence criticism of her ‘open-door’ border policy. Now this? Proggies…they can never be consistent.

From Daily Star UK: The embattled leader says Europe has an obligation to take displaced people from Syria and Iraq. 

She also said Islam “is not the cause of terrorism” and that combatting extremism needs the cooperation of Muslim countries.

In a wide-ranging speech at a Munich security conference, the German chief also vowed to work closely with Vladimir Putin’s Russia in the fight with ISIS in the Middle East.

Mrs. Merkel has come under fire for taking in up to one million refugees amid security concerns and a string of migrant sex attacks across Germany.

After the Berlin lorry attack at a Christmas market in December, ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage said events such as that will be “Merkel’s legacy”.

Mrs. Merkel had been a strong critic of Brexit, saying she had “deep regrets” about it. She will go to the polls in September against Social Democrat candidate Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament President.

On Putin, she said Europe’s ties with Russia remained challenging, but it was important to work with them in the fight against Islamist terrorism. She said: “The joint fight against Islamic terrorism is one area where we have the same interests and we can work together.”

Her comments about Islam and refugees follow her criticism of Donald Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

New US Vice-President Mike Pence was in the audience and reaffirmed the US’ commitment to NATO in a speech of his own.

Germany is under increasing pressure to increase military spending, would do “everything possible” meet a NATO target for spending two percent of economic output on defence by 2024, Merkel told the conference.

Only last week, a student was dragged into woods and raped by a migrant who spoke no English near the campus of Bochum University.

DCG