Marine Le Pen calls globalization, ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ threats against French

French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen decried the “two totalitarianisms” of globalization and Islamic fundamentalism Sunday in a speech formally launching her presidential campaign.

Looking to translate her high early poll numbers into votes, Le Pen evoked a frightening image of France’s future during her much-anticipated speech. The country, enslaved to the European Union and unrecognizable as French, risks losing its identity if the political status quo endures, she said.

“We are at a crossroads … This election is a choice of civilization,” she said, asking whether her three children and other young citizens would have the rights and cultural signposts of the current generation. “Will they even speak our French language?”

She issued a call for French voters on the left and right to join her, saying “You have a place at our side.”

“We do not want to live under the rule or threat of Islamic fundamentalism. They are looking to impose on us gender discrimination in public places, full body veils or not, prayer rooms in the workplace, prayers in the streets, huge mosques … or the submission of women,” she said.

The estimated 5,000 people in the amphitheatre and watching on big screens cheered and chanted “On est chez nous” (“We are in our land”).

Le Pen reiterated some of the 144 “commitments” she has pledged to fulfil, if elected. It is a nationalist agenda laying out plans for France to leave the European Union, control its borders and readopt the old French franc as the national currency.

Running under the slogan “In the Name of the People,” her platform also would create popular referendums on any issue that gathered at least 500,000 signatures. And it would put French people first, with “national preference” enshrined in the Constitution.

Le Pen has been a leader in early polls, which place her at the top in the April 23 first-round vote but not winning the May 7 runoff.

If elected, she envisions a “government of national unity” formed after June legislative elections.

Le Pen took control of the National Front in 2011 and largely rid it of the overt anti-Semitism that flourished under her father’s leadership.

Since then, the party has drawn supporters from the length of the political spectrum by tapping into disgust over France’s 10-per-cent unemployment rate and political corruption scandals. But the portrait its presidential candidate paints is as stark as her prescriptions for change.

The European Union, she said, “is a failure.” “It hasn’t upheld one of its promises especially in terms of prosperity and security,” Le Pen told the cheering crowd on Sunday.

If elected, she plans to call a referendum on EU membership within six months. She also predicted other European members will join her. She said the EU is “historical parentheses and, hopefully, one day, just a bad memory.”

Along with leaving the EU, Le Pen would withdraw France from NATO’s integrated command, crack down on illegal immigration and reduce regular immigration to 10,000 people a year. No one living in France illegally would be issued residency documents or allowed to acquire French citizenship, she said.

She said she would arrange for foreigners convicted of crimes in France to serve their prison terms in their homelands.

“There will be no other laws and values in France but French,” she said.

 

Turkey concerns about the PKK

Because of the IS crisis in Iraq some European nations decided to equip the Kurds in northern Iraq with modern weapons. This, according to the daily newspaper Der Standard, leads to serious concerns in Turkey. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said last week during a NATO meeting, that the terror organization PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) would also be equipped with some weapons. The report explains that the PKK would actively participate in the fight against the IS.

Toronto mosque’s congregation torn over article praising Libya’s Gadhafi

Toronto Star – June 3, 2011

Haroon Salamat, chairman of the Toronto and Region Islamic Centre, used a North York mosque’s congregation’s newsletter to condemn NATO and Western efforts to defend Libyans from longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Some worshippers are upset because the centre was built by money provided by the Libyan government. Salamat told the Toronto Star, he wrote the opinion piece because he wanted to provide an alternative to what is in the mainstream media. He added that even though the centre has received funds from Libya for 20 years, it is not a mouthpiece for the regime.

The mosque, commonly referred to as TARIC Islamic Center, has received money from the World Islamic Call Society, funded by the Libyan government to spread Islam.

In 1991, it was given $1.5 million to build the centre, which is located on the northeast corner of Highways 400 and 401. Since then, it has received up to $20,000 each year for some of its programs.

Dutch Turks Free To Practice Islam

December 8 2010

The Dutch government has reassured Turkey that the country’s governing coalition does not share politician Geert Wilders’understanding of Islam, reinforcing the freedom for Dutch-Turks to practice their religion. Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal spoke to a group of Turkish journalists to clarify the stance of his government on the issue, following discussions with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahment Davutoglu during the NATO Summit last month.

Incoming NATO chief pledges to confront religious prejudice, but defends prior position over Muhammad cartoons

The incoming head of NATO Fogh Rasmussen called for a balance between free speech and respect for religious feelings, after a dispute over his support for the right to caricature the prophet Muhammad. Rasmussen, who received objections from Turkey about his suitability for NATO’s top job, said he plans to pay close attention to religious sensibilities and sensitivities when he takes over the post of secretary-general in August.

“I would never myself depict any religious figure, including the Prophet Muhammad, in a way that could hurt other people’s feelings, […] I respect Islam as one of the world’s major religions,” the former Danish prime minister said at a conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

Rasmussen tried to distance himself from the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, but resisted calls to apologize for them, citing freedom of speech, and that his government could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark’s free press.

The row over his appointment was brought to resolve after US President Barack Obama guaranteed that Turkish commands would be present at the alliance’s command, and that one of Rasmussen’s deputies would be a Turk.

US seeks Al-Qaeda suspect’s extradition from Belgium

US authorities are seeking the extradition of Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian convicted in Belgium for planning terrorist attacks and have suspected links to an Al-Qaeda network. Trabelsi lodged an appeal to a Belgian court to approve his extradition. “The Americans think that Nizar Trabelsi is an active Al-Qaeda member who was developing activities beyond those he was convicted of in Belgium,” said Lieve Pellens, a spokesperson for federal prosecutors. Trabelsi was arrested just two days after the 9/11 terror attacks. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to drive a car bomb into a NATO airbase in northern Belgium, where American military personnel work.

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Taliban claims attack on Dutch chief’s son is retaliation for ‘Fitna’

Lieutenant Dennis van Uhm he son of the Netherlands’ new military chief was one of two Dutch NATO soldiers killed in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan on Friday. Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack, and said that the attack was in retaliation for the anti-Islam film _Fitna’ released by a Dutch MP. “We knew that the son of Dutch chief of staff was in the vehicle” said rebel spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi – changing his account from a previous statement that the militant group did not know the identities of those in the car. “This [attack] was part of our operation against the Dutch. First it was because they have occupied our country and secondly it was in retaliation to the Dutch insult to our great prophet Mohammed,” said Ahmadi.

Report: German Turk behind suicide attack on US Afghan base

Berlin – A German extremist of Turkish origin was responsible for a suicide bomb attack in March on a US post in eastern Afghanistan, press reports said in Germany Saturday. The reports in the mass-circulation Bild newspaper and in the weekly news magazine Focus cited unnamed German security sources. German federal prosecutors could provide no information on the reports when contacted by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. The attack, which took place in Khost province on March 3, claimed the lives of two soldiers deployed with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and two Afghan workers. Six others were injured. The reports said the man was 28-years-old and had lived near Ansbach in the southern state of Bavaria with a wife and two children. One of the reports linked him to an Islamist terrorist cell uncovered in September last year. The plotters, who included two German converts to Islam and a Turkish Muslim, had allegedly been planning large bomb attacks on US facilities in Germany.

Protests continue in Afghanistan over Dutch film and Danish cartoons; demand troop withdrawal

Thousands of Afghanis demonstrated last weekend in Western Afghanistan, shouting slogans against Denmark and the Netherlands for alleged insults against Islam, concerning the re-printing of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers, and the upcoming release of an anti-Quran film by a Dutch lawmaker. An estimated 10,000 people took part in the protest, where shouts were heard of Death to Denmark for insulting our prophet” and “Death to the Netherlands for insulting our religion.” Protesters torched flags of each nation, and said that Kabul must sever ties with the Dutch and Danish governments, including the expulsion of their troops serving with a NATO-led force to tackle extremist insurgency.

Terror Arrests in New Jersey; 6 Men Arrested In a Terror Plot Against Ft. Dix

Six Muslim men from New Jersey and Philadelphia are charged with plotting to attack Fort Dix with automatic weapons and possible rocket-propelled grenades; taped conversations show plan was to kill as many soldiers as possible; arrests follow 15-month investigation during which Federal Bureau of Investigation and two informers taped group training with automatic weapons, conducting surveillance of military bases in Northeast, watching videos of Osama bin Laden and and trying to buy AK-47 assault rifles; authorities describe suspects as Islamic extremists and say they represent newest breed of threat: loosely organized domestic militants unconnected to–but inspired by–Al Qaeda or other international terror groups; complaint describes effort that was alternately ambitious and clumsy, with men eager to sacrifice their lives in name of Allah; suspects include ethnic Albanian brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, whose immigration path is not known, but who may have fled after US-led NATO air attacks against Yugoslav forces in Kosovo; coordinator of plot is Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, Jordanian-born US citizen; other suspects include Agron Abdullahu, born in former Yugoslavia, and Serdar Tatar, legal resident of US born in Turkey; it is unclear when attack was to take place, because in taped conversation suspects say there were waiting for fatwa.