Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Muslim politicians in the Western world come in two general varieties: those rare ones who are candid about their desire to transform the West in accordance with the dictates of their faith, and those, far greater in number, who prefer to disguise that ambition. The first category includes people like Abdirizak Waberi, a Swedish MP turned Islamic school principal who has actually admitted he believes in “banning music and dancing, prohibiting boys and girls from socializing, and allowing men to beat their four wives with sticks when they became disobedient,” and Brussels city councilman Redouane Ahrouch, who openly advocates for sharia government and recently called for a separation of the sexes on that city’s public transport.

In the second category are Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who while striving to pose as a progressive allows his mask to slip now and then (recently, he told an interviewer that “every Muslim is a bit of a salafist”), and London mayor Sadiq Khan, another faux liberal who has, in fact, ordered police to put less emphasis on monitoring potential terrorists and more emphasis on harassing Islam critics. And let’s not forget Minnesota’s (and the DNC’s) own Keith Ellison, who poses as a standard-issue Democrat but belonged for a decade to the Nation of Islam, speaks at CAIR events, and has ties to several pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic groups.

Also belonging to the latter category is Somali-born Bashe Musse, a Norwegian Labor Party politician who has been a member of the Oslo City Council since 2011. During the last couple of weeks he’s been making headlines because of a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) report on “dumping.” What’s dumping? Like honor killing and female genital mutilation, it’s a common practice in Europe’s Muslims communities. Instead of sending their kids to regular neighborhood schools, many Muslim parents in Europe send their children off to madrasses – Koran schools – in the countries from which they, the parents, emigrated. The children stay in these schools for years at a time, memorizing the Islamic holy book while their agemates back in Europe learn math, science, and literature.

“Dumping” is eyebrow-raising for more than one reason. Many of these kids’ parents were allowed into Europe in the first place because they professed to be refugees from oppression in their homelands. The fact that they’re shipping their kids off to schools in those same countries gives the lie to those claims. The parents also often maintain that they’re proud to be French, Swedish, or whatever, and that they’re striving to assimilate into their adopted nations. But the whole point of sending these kids to madrasses in the Muslim world is to shield them from what the parents consider the baleful influence of Western civilization.

Last year, NRK produced, as noted, a report on Somali madrasses in which children from Norway have been enrolled. Many viewers considered the revelations eye-popping. In fact it was old news. In a 2004 study, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Norway’s Human Rights Service (HRS) documented, in extraordinary and devastating detail, the grim reality of daily life in these institutions, where the conditions are almost always primitive and where the atmosphere is less that of a First World school than of a Third World prison. NRK’s report, which contained interviews with children living in Norway who had attended the Somali madrasses, confirmed HRS’s findings: at those “schools,” the children had been tied up, whipped, beaten, and subjected to other sorts of brutal treatment that would ordinarily be considered torture.

Which brings us to Bashe Musse, who in addition to being an Oslo city councilman is also the official chief spokesperson for Norway’s Somali community, the largest non-Western immigrant group in the country. After NRK’s report aired last year, he claimed to be shocked by its contents. But on May 29 of this year, NRK reported that in an interview aired on Somali TV, Musse had dismissed the children’s testimony about the madrasses and regretted that such lies, as he called them, had been “sold to the Norwegian people” by the Norwegian media, which he characterized as “one-sided.”

When confronted by NRK with a transcript of his comments to Somali TV, Musse insisted that the person who had translated his words from Somali into Norwegian had fouled up, entirely misrepresenting his views. NRK thereupon engaged the services of another translator, whose product was essentially identical to that of the first translator. It then presented the transcript to various government officials. Frode Jacobsen, head of the Oslo Labor Party, said he was “surprised and shocked” by Musse’s “double communication,” which he described as “very unfortunate.” Norway’s Minister of Integration, Jan Tore Sanner, also expressed concern, but did not call for any action against Musse. The Progress Party’s immigration spokesman, Jon Helgheim, went quite a bit further, scorning Musse as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and urging that the Labour Party discipline him in some way. But as far as I have been able to determine, no one in a position of power has demanded Musse’s resignation or removal from the City Council.

Lying to infidels, of course, has a name in Arabic – taqiyya – and it is one of the chief weapons of Islam in its eternal conflict with non-believers. Among its more celebrated practitioners is “Euro-Islam” proponent, Oxford professor, accused serial rapist, and current jailbird Tariq Ramadan, who is known to routinely say one thing to Western audiences in French or English and another to Muslim audiences n Arabic. Indeed, Caroline Fourest’s book about him is entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. To employ taqiyya, as Musse appears to have done, is to demonstrate definitively that one is not on the side of the West but that one is a double agent – a partisan, a person whose true loyalty lies, shall we say, elsewhere.

Within a few hours of being caught dead to rights on NRK as a practitioner of doublespeak, Musse made an announcement. Did he resign? Of course not. He declared that NRK had represented him to the Norwegian public as a liar and, what’s more, had painted an unflattering picture of Somalia.  Accordingly, he had contacted a lawyer, Arild Humlen, to ascertain what legal rights he had in the matter. 

What makes this story important, needless to say, is that Musse is not an outlier. Far from it. Increasingly, all over the West, Muslims hold elected positions, some of them at a very high level. It is considered to be racist, or at the very least to be in terribly bad taste, to question whether they can be loyal at once to their totalizing, all-encompassing religion and to their officially secular country and its (still) mostly non-Muslim inhabitants. Once those poiticians are caught engaging in taqiyya, of course, there is no further reason for doubt on this score.

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Will the Supreme Court’s gambling ruling help or hurt sports and budgets? – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

“A true Englishman,” Jules Verne once quipped, “doesn’t joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as a wager.”

After the Supreme Court’s ruling two weeks ago effectively legalizing sports wagering, Americans, too, are starting to take gambling seriously, both inside and outside the world of sports.

Alex Ovechkin controls the puck against Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt in the first period in game one of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via REUTERS

In Murphy v. NCAA, the Supremes held by a 7-2 margin (more or less) that a congressional act forbidding state legislatures from authorizing sports gambling violated the “anti-commandeering” doctrine of the Tenth Amendment and therefore was unconstitutional.

Under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1991 (PASPA), instead of prohibiting sports gambling outright, Congress declared it “unlawful” for a state to “advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact . . . a lottery, sweepstakes, or other betting, gambling, or wagering scheme” based on competitive sporting events.

In 2011, voters in New Jersey approved a state constitutional amendment authorizing just that, and the following year, the state legislature formally authorized sports betting. Shortly thereafter, the major sports leagues and the NCAA challenged the legislation in court, arguing it was barred by PASPA. New Jersey countered that PASPA itself was unconstitutional because the Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from “order[ing] the State to regulate in accordance with federal standards” — a principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

After further judicial and legislative maneuverings, the case found its way to the Supreme Court, where Justice Alito, writing for the majority, explained that the anti-commandeering doctrine derives fundamentally from the Framers’ “decision to withhold from Congress the power to issue orders directly to the States.” This “structural protection of liberty” helps “promote political accountability” and “prevents Congress from shifting the costs of regulation to the States.”

And in the case of PASPA, the high court held that by purporting to tell legislatures not what they must affirmatively do but what they must not do, Congress overstepped its bounds and violated the doctrine.

Thus, New Jersey and the 49 other states found themselves suddenly liberated to enable sports betting within their borders. Anticipating the ruling, several states, including New York, West Virginia, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, did exactly that. Another 15 states have taken steps in this direction.

But the Supremes’ Murphy decision nevertheless left sports fans and others alike wondering whether sports will benefit or suffer from the ruling.

Predictably, libertarians celebrated, and with good reason. Americans are already betting enormous sums of money on sports, they reckoned, so why not legalize it outright and at least capture some tax revenue?

According to statistics cited by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, while Americans legally wagered nearly $5 billion in 2017, they bet $123 billion per year on sports, almost all illegally. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of states conduct lotteries and permit some form of casino gambling, generally on Indian reservations.

But doesn’t widespread, legalized sports gambling run the risk of interfering with the integrity of games? Worse, wouldn’t the prospect of, say, in-seat touchscreens in sports arenas, on which spectators could place bets on all aspects of the game they’re watching, ruin the stadium experience?

The four major sports leagues, which had joined the NCAA in the original suit against New Jersey, wasted little time in calling for uniform national standards, with the National Basketball Association emphasizing that “the integrity of our game remains our highest priority” and the National Football League reportedly “focusing on getting paid for selling rights to its own data and video footage — intellectual property that legal betting operators will want to pay for in order to help them set lines and prop bets.”

What also remains uncertain is whether sports wagering will benefit local and state coffers.

Interestingly, misery and ecstasy have blended on the Strip: Las Vegas sports bookmakers stand to lose big as the city’s juggernaut National Hockey League expansion team, the Golden Knights, has overcome tremendous odds to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

In addition, a 2016 report from the State University of New York’s Rockefeller Institute found that “state authorizations and promotions of gambling offer little long-run relief to state revenue problems” because while “new gambling activities may generate short-run increases in public revenues . . . these increases are getting smaller and their duration shorter, perhaps as more and more states compete for a limited pool of gambling dollars.”

Thus, many questions remain as we enter the brave new world of sports gambling. Jules Verne wasn’t joking around.

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Ireland overwhelmingly votes to overturn abortion ban, reject unborn’s right to life

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It was widely predicted, given exit polling data, the vote to reject the unborn’s right to life would be a landslide — and it was. However, the numbers were not as large as predicted.

What are the details?

Irish media outlets reported, citing exit polling data, that 68-70 percent would vote to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, a 1983 law that legally declared unborn babies have a right to life, and a law declaring abortion illegal.

  • A whopping 66.4 percent of the Irish voted to repeal the Eighth and legalize abortion, while just 33.6 percent voted against it.
  • The vote saw a record turnout of 64.5 percent, according to the Guardian.
  • Dublin, Ireland’s capital, and the surrounding areas held the biggest concentration of voters for abortion. In fact, more than 70 percent of Dublin voted to legalize abortion.
  • Only one Irish voting district voted against the repeal, and even there it was close: 52 percent to 48 percent.

Friday’s numbers are almost an exact reversal of the 1983 vote to bar abortion and honor the unborn’s right to life. During that vote, about two-thirds of Ireland voted against abortion, while just one-third voted in-favor of it.

What happens next?

Irish citizens wishing to obtain an abortion will not be able to do it today and for at least the next several days. However, the country’s legislature is predicted to quickly change that.

According to the Guardian, lawmakers will soon bring legislation allowing all abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy with a three-day waiting period prior to the operation. The Guardian reported:

Between 12 and 24 weeks, abortion will be available only in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, a risk to a woman’s life or a risk of serious harm to the health of the mother. After 24 weeks, termination will be possible in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

There will be provision for conscientious objection among medical practitioners, although doctors will be obliged to transfer care of the pregnant woman to another doctor.

After Ireland’s historic vote, only one country in European remains with a complete ban on abortion: Malta.

However, Poland and Cyrus severely limit the operation to “grave risk to the health of the mother, fatal foetal abnormality, rape and incest,” according to the Guardian.

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