Monday, October 23, 2017

British government wants to refer to 'pregnant women' as 'pregnant people'

By Rick Moran

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is having a difficult time ignoring biology.  It seems that the U.N. is engaging in another fruitless exercise in denying individual liberty by trying to "define" human rights.  Of course, the more careful the U.N. is in defining "rights," the narrower it makes the definitions.
The "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" was passed in 1976, and the British government is proposing an amendment to the treaty that would replace the term "pregnant woman" with "pregnant people."  The reason is – you guessed it – that the term "pregnant women" ignores "transgendered" people, or people who have had babies and then decided they weren't women anymore.
A British government office cautioned against the use of the term "pregnant woman" in a U.N. treaty, saying that it "excludes" transgender people.
The Sunday Times reported that the country's Foreign and Commonwealth Office submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights opposed the term because it may "exclude transgender people who have given birth." The appropriate term, it says, is "pregnant people."
Sarah Ditum, a feminist writer in England, told the Times:
This isn't inclusion. This is making women unmentionable. Having a female body and knowing what that means for reproduction doesn't make you "exclusionary." Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult. 
The treaty, which the UK joined in 1976, says that pregnant women must be given special protections, for instance not being subject to the death penalty, according to the Daily Mail.
"Facts are stubborn things," and science is even more intractable.  Somewhere, someone has written down that only women can have babies.  I don't know exactly where, but I'm sure someone has thought of that already.
You can claim there are as many genders as there are stars in the sky, but biology is biology.  It's faintly humorous that the British government is twisting itself into a pretzel shape trying to accommodate the "feelings" of transgendered people.  I doubt more than a handful of people are even aware of this obscure U.N. treaty, so how denying biology saves transgenders' feelings from being hurt is a mystery. 
No institution in the West is safe from political correctness.  Apparently, even biology must take a back seat to this relentless attack on reason and common sense.

Identitarian Activists Unfurl Giant ‘Defend London, Stop Islamisation’ Banner on Westminster Bridge

Identitarian movement activists unveiled a large banner on Westminster Bridge Monday morning, their anti-Islamification message facing directly onto Britain’s Houses of Parliament.

The banner, which read besides the movement’s name and lambda symbol ‘Defend London Stop Islamisation’, is the latest in a string of Identitarian stunts across European cities, bringing attention to the anti-mass migration cause of the group.
A statement posted to social media by the group immediately after the action explained the symbolism of the location for the stunt. The group said: “On 22 March 2017, a terrorist attack took place on Westminster Bridge. The Islamist inspired attack killed 5 people and injured more than 50.
“London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, believes that the threat of terror attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city”. On the contrary, we think that the source of islamisation lies in mass immigration, which must be stopped.”
The London action follows a number of other high profile stunts, including banner and leaflet drops at European landmarks, giving care parcels to Hungarian border guards to thank them for their service, to even chartering a ship to man illegal immigration patrols in the Mediterranean.

Breitbart London reported in April after the group launched a protest on the roof of the world famous Imperial Theatre in Vienna, where they used ladders and climbing ropes to ascend to the top of the building and deploy a banner reading ‘hypocrites’. The group also threw leaflets from the roof decrying the gang rape of European women by illegal migrants to the ground below.

Radical Islamist ‘Hate Books’ Found in Austrian Prison Library

Authorities in Austria discovered a number of radical Islamist “hate books” in a prison library leading to fears Muslim inmates are being actively radicalised by hate preachers.

The discovery of Islamist hate literature in the library at the Korneuburg prison in Austria has raised the spectre of Islamic radicalisation in the country’s prisons. The book, which is written in Cyrillic script, is apparently not the only piece of radical Islamist literature to be found in the Austrian prison system, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter said there have been at least 30 radical Islamist books found in prison libraries which were subsequently removed.
Since 2010, responsibility for the stocking of Islamic texts in prison libraries has been with the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ), but after the discovery, the government has decided to bring in a different organisation.
The IGGÖ has been criticised in the past for participating in an anti-Israel demonstration in 2014 which contained overtly anti-Semitic signs and posters.
Justice Minister Brandstetter said there must be a “zero tolerance” for Salafist ideas in the prison system. “Such a find is counter to all our efforts in the fight against radicalisation in prison, so we must, of course, draw consequences,” he said.
IGGiÖ President Ibrahim Olgun hit back at Brandstetter saying: “Hysteria and panic-making are counterproductive,” and added: “We acknowledge that a mistake has been made, and we have taken the necessary measures to avoid such incidents in the future.”
Islamic radicalisation in prisons across Europe has become an issue for many governments. In France, it was recently reported that a pair of inmates were not only radicalised within a prison but were plotting a terror attack to be committed after their release.
The pair had even managed to smuggle in mobile phones with which they covertly communicated with members of Islamic State to coordinate their terror plot.

Austria has been one of the countries that have been the most effective on banning the distribution of radical Islamist literature. Last year, the government banned the distribution of the Quran by a known extremist group.

Merkel: Give Turkey Billions More Euros to Keep Migrants out of Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has advocated giving the Turkish government billions of more euros for Syrian asylum seekers in order to reinforce the European Union (EU) migrant pact, while EU leaders agreed to give Turkey less money to prepare for EU accession.

The German chancellor said Turkey had handled the migrant issue well and the EU-Turkey pact had greatly reduced the number of migrants flowing into Europe. “This is where Turkey is doing great things,” Ms. Merkel said at the EU summit in Brussels earlier this week, Die Welt reports.
Turkey is set to receive three billion euros in the near future with another three billion being planned for a later date. Other EU leaders agreed with the proposition as none wanted to create a possibility of breaking the EU-Turkey migrant pact.
The migrant pact has not been without problems over the last year and a half as the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly made threats to end the agreement and send migrants to Greece. The first issue with the pact was over visa-free access to the EU for Turkish citizens which has still yet to happen.
Following the attempted coup in the summer of 2016, Turkey has made increased demands of the EU and had threatened at one point to send 3,000 migrants a day to Greece.
While Merkel praised the Turks for their handling of the migrant crisis, she expressed concern at the growing number of foreign journalists being arrested by the Erdoğan regime. One of the most famous journalists to have been arrested on terror charges is German Die Welt writer Deniz Yucel.
Earlier this year, Merkel made a plea to Erdoğan to release Yucel saying: “Independent journalism must be able to exist; journalists must be able to do their job.” Yucel still remains in Turkish custody.
The EU leaders have decided to reduce the amount of money to Turkey for pre-accession aid. Currently, the EU plans to give Turkey 4.5 billion euros from a period between 2014 and 2020 which is to go toward various grants to the government and civil society projects. The funds to the projects will remain, but those going to the government directly will drastically decrease.

Whether or not Turkey will ever become a member of the political bloc is also up for debate. Earlier this year Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz promised to vetoaccession talks and after winning last Sunday’s Austrian election he will likely further his opposition to Turkey when sworn in as chancellor.

UK's Hateful Hate-Crime Hub

by Douglas Murray
  • The problem is that "hate" is an ill-defined thing. What is hateful to one person may not be hateful to another. What is hateful in one context may not be hateful in another.
  • British authorities have gone along with a definition of hate-crime which allows the victim (real or perceived) to be the arbiter of whether an offence has been committed. This privilege allows a list of people who believe they have been "trolled" or "abused" online over their "race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity" to be arbiters as well as reporters of any and all such crimes. It is worth considering where this can end up.
  • Can anyone daring to express dissent against any popular view be reported for "trolling", "abusing" and "committing a hate crime"?
If you were a police officer what would you rather do: sit in the cold outside the house of a known extremist all day, or sit behind a desk with a cup of tea and scrolling through Twitter?
In May, just after the second of four Islamist terrorist attacks in the UK so far this year, British intelligence officials apparently identified 23,000 known extremists in the country. Of these, around 3,000 are believed to pose a present threat and are under investigation or active monitoring. The other 20,000 are categorised as posing a "residual risk". Due to the strain on resources, those 20,000 are not under constant observation.
This is a subject which, since the terrorist attack in May, has caused some agonising among the British public, not least because of the identities of the attackers. Khalid Masood, the Westminster Bridge and Parliament assailant, for instance, as well as Salman Abedi (the young man of Libyan heritage who carried out a suicide bombing outside a concert in Manchester) had both been on the radar of the British authorities -- both had been in the pool of people considered "former subjects of interest" but not an immediate threat. If the authorities had sufficient resources to follow everyone of interest, perhaps they would have been under observation at the time they were planning their attacks. Perhaps, also, a number of people killed in those attacks would still be alive.
The public, though, can be forgiving on these matters. They recognise that resources are not endless, that judgements have to be made and that departments have to choose where to allocate their budgets.
These choices are another reason why the public may judge dimly last week's announcement from the Home Office. Last week, Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the creation of a new national police hub to crack down on hate-crime and "trolling" online. The unit -- which will apparently be run by specialist officers -- will assess complaints and work out whether they amount to a crime or not. They will also recommend removing material from online platforms if they -- at the official hate-crime hub -- deem such material "hateful".
Last week, Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the creation of a new national police hub to crack down on hate-crime and "trolling" online. Pictured: Rudd (left) and Prime Minister Theresa May (center) meet Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
The initiative claims to "improve support for victims and increase prosecutions of trolls who abuse others online over their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity." The Home Secretary has said:
"What is illegal offline is illegal online, and those who commit these cowardly crimes should be met with the full force of the law. The national online hate crime hub that we are funding is an important step to ensure more victims have the confidence to come forward and report the vile abuse to which they are being subjected."
The problem is that "hate" is an ill-defined thing. What is hateful to one person may not be hateful to another. What is hateful in one context may not be hateful in another. Might there one day be people who will claim to find material "hateful" when it is in fact merely material containing opinions with which they do not agree?
There are, quite rightly, already strong and appropriate provisions in place to prevent incitement, which is already a crime. But "hate" is different from incitement. Let alone "hate" when allowed to be diagnosed by such a broad range of people.
In Britain, there is an added complexity. Since 1999 and the publication of the Macpherson Report (into the racist murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence) in the UK, the British authorities have gone along with a definition of hate-crime which allows the victim (real or perceived) to be the arbiter of whether an offence has been committed. This privilege allows a list of people who believe they have been "trolled" or "abused" online over their "race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity" to be arbiters as well as reporters of any and all such crimes. It is worth considering where this can end up.
Someone who is transgender, for instance, may well be referred to unpleasantly by somebody online. If someone says they will kill him, that this is already a crime. What, however, if someone simply asks, for instance, what their chromosomes are? What if the "trans" person says he is unwilling to concede that chromosomes matter, and it is how he identifies them -- and that alone -- that matters. Can anyone daring to express dissent against this -- or any popular -- view be reported for "trolling", "abusing" and "committing a hate crime"? Will material which says that chromosomes matter be removed from the internet? It is hard to see how it could remain available, able as it is to cause such deep upset and potential cries of "hate".
Consider furthermore what might happen if someone -- anyone -- were to go along with the official line that Islamism is a major problem but differed with the official view -- which is that this Islamism has no connection with the peaceable and popular religion of Islam. What if they expressed this concern or thought? It is not inconceivable that somebody one day might? How then will the authorities view this? Is it hate? Can things that are hateful also be true? And if so, which do we prioritise: "hateful" facts or "hate-less" lies?
Alert to such criticisms, the relevant authorities have stressed that freedom of speech will still exist within in the UK. And the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for hate crime, assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, has said: "We recognise and will uphold the right to free speech even where it causes offence -- but this does not extend to inciting hatred or threatening people."
In 2015-2016, a total of 62,518 hate crimes were recorded by forces in England and Wales. The Crown Prosecution Service says that it completed 15,442 hate crime prosecutions during that year. All of which happened at the same time as Khalid Masood, Salman Abedi and 20,000 other "known extremists" were allowed to walk free. And so the priorities of the authorities and the priorities of the public would appear to be dividing: a fact that can only have negative consequences -- whether they are "hateful" or not.

‘Extremist’ Parents Drive Christian Charity from Church School After Children Hear About ‘Sin’

A group of parents who withdrew their children from school assemblies, claiming concern over “extremist” content, have been accused of trying to “drive mainstream Christian teaching” out of a Church of England (CoE) primary school.

Dan Turvey, headmaster of St. John’s in Tunbridge Wells, announced that CrossTeach workers would no longer lead assemblies or lessons after some parents complained that teaching about sin had upset children at the religious primary school.
In a letter to parents, he noted that over a period of 15 years of involvement the school had never had any issues with CrossTeach, but in the “best interests of all concerned” ordered staff from the charity to stay away.
“A group of about 25 parents wrote a letter of complaint expressing concerns that the school were supporting extremist Christian teaching in assemblies held by CrossTeach and individuals from St John’s Church,” he wrote.
“I do not believe CrossTeach has done anything wrong,” the headteacher told pupils’ families, adding that the charity “do not deserve the tarnishing of their good name”, nor “allegations of extremism”, and will continue to run voluntary after-school activities.
Photo published for Drag Queens to Visit Primary Schools in Bid to End 'Intolerance' - Breitbart
On Wednesday, Kent Live reported that local vicar Reverend Giles Walter fingered protesting parents as the“extremists” in the argument, and not CrossTeach or St. John’s Church.
In a statement released to the newspaper, he said: “The behaviour of this small group of parents has hurled a hand grenade into a previously happy and harmonious environment.
“They seem determined to drive mainstream Christian teaching out of our church school: and it is they and not ourselves who should be charged with extremism and non-inclusiveness.”
The minister, who has led assemblies at St. John’s for 24 years, also pointed out that not once previously had he been asked to “withdraw, or apologise for” anything he had taught or spoken about at the school.
In his letter, Turvey lamented that the “online campaign” by complaining parents had damaged the reputation of the school, church, and CrossTeach in a “significant” way.
Photo published for Schools to Be Rated on How 'Transgender-Friendly' They Are
According to The Telegraph, one parent said she would prefer her children “learn about all religions”, telling the newspaper: “If you want them to be raised as Christians there are plenty of Sunday schools.
“No one minds Nativity plays and Bible stories but considering most of the parents at the school aren’t practising Christians I think the feeling is that it’s all too much.”
The Guardian reported another parent claiming her son was told last week at the school that “men can’t marry men”.
The statement prepared by parents opposed to CrossTeach said: “We recognise and respect the school’s Christian values but think there is a brand of Christianity that is abusing that respect.

“The basis of [our] complaint relates purely to concerns over the welfare and safeguarding of children who we believe are being exposed to potentially damaging ideology.”