The deaths of 50 attendees at a New Zealand mosque a week ago shocked the world and have led to international condemnation of right-wing extremism.
The attack follows similar attacks on a synagogue and on churches in the US. It seems that houses of worship are now targets. Such attacks have a long history in the Middle East, but now in the West, too.
Hasty judgments and decisions have been made in the last few days that may make things worse.
New Zealand has been spared the horrors of international terrorism, but neighboring Australia has not. The perpetrator of the NZ shootings was an Australian. While attacks in Australia have been relatively small, they have mostly been perpetrated by people of Middle Eastern origin.
The one common denominator in these attacks and Friday’s attack in Christchurch are the country’s immigration policies. Islamic immigration has led to attacks on non-Muslims in many western nations; while the perpetrator of the mosque attack was reacting to that same immigration. People seem increasingly inclined toward extremism as a reaction against immigrants from other cultures.
Change the immigration laws and these attacks would not take place.
Instead, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, has changed the gun laws. While it is commendable that New Zealand’s parliament can act so quickly, in contrast to the US Congress, if there is more sectarian violence, this will make it more difficult for people to defend themselves. Where criminals are concerned, it will drive the price of guns up, as people will always find a way to get what they want.
On Monday, a Turkish immigrant in Utrecht, Holland, held up a tram and murdered three people.
On Wednesday, a Senegalese immigrant bus driver in Milan, was set to blow up a school bus with 51 people on board, most of them school children. He planned on setting the bus on fire in protest at Italy turning away migrants. Fortunately, one boy called his parents who contacted the police. There were, however, some casualties, with children slightly burned.
The number of sectarian attacks seems to be increasing.
Matthew 24 is a chapter in the Bible that predicts end-time events. In verse 7 we read that: “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” A kingdom is a political entity whereas nation is from the Greek “ethnos” – it describes sectarian violence increasing as we approach the end of the age.
It should also be noted that, in Holland, a populist anti-immigrant party was elected to the Senate in the last 24 hours. Populism is gaining more support across Europe, in reaction to multiculturalism. Diversity is not appreciated by everybody. Not all of these people are extremists. If leaders really want to end extremism, they should do something about immigration.
BREXIT – WILL IT HAPPEN OR WON’T IT?
With just a few days to go until Brexit, scheduled for March 29th, Mrs. May is asking the EU for an extension. Latest reports say they will let her have until May 22nd, which is the day before the European elections. However, it is unlikely that it will make any difference, as the search for a “deal” remains elusive.
Division in the British parliament is the worst anybody can remember. It does not bode well for the future of the country.
“EU leaders will today try to achieve the impossible: navigating a cliff-edge Brexit with a prime minister already in freefall.” (Jim Brunsden, “The Brexit Slalom,” Brussels Briefing, Financial Times, 3/21)
NATO @ 70
”Reaching 70 is an extraordinary achievement for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Most alliances die young. External threats change; national interests diverge; costs become too burdensome. Russia’s pact with Nazi Germany survived for only two years. None of the seven coalitions of the Napoleonic Wars lasted more than five years. A study in 2010 by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank, counted 63 major military alliances over the previous five centuries, of which just ten lived beyond 40; the average life-span of collective -defense alliances was 15 years.” (The Economist, NATO at 70, 3/16).
President Trump is to recognize the Golan Heights as a part of Israel. They have been ruled by Israel since 1967 when they were captured by Israel during the Six Day War.
The strategically important Heights should make Israel stronger and easier to defend. The decision goes against the United Nations policy on the Golan.
SYRIA’S THREE CIVIL WARS
“Three new wars have started in Syria. They are taking place in the three de facto independent areas whose boundaries are becoming apparent as the smoke from the previous battle clears: the regime-controlled area, guaranteed by Russia; the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are primarily composed of Kurdish fighters protected by the United States and Western air power; and finally the area controlled by the Turks and their Sunni Islamist allies in Idlib province.” (Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, 3/18).
Australian PM pillories Erdogan for ‘reckless’ and ‘vile’ Christchurch comments
(Australian prime minister) Scott Morrison says he will review ties after Turkish president said anti-Muslim Australians would be ‘sent back in coffins’ like in WWI.
MUSLIM COMMENT ON NEW ZEALAND MARTYRS
On March 15, 2019, the Al-Azhar Mosque in Belmore, a suburb of Sydney, Australia hosted an emergency panel discussion following the massacre at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of the speakers, Sheikh Jamil El-Biza, suggested that attack was the result of governments’ and politicians’ defense of freedom of speech. Sheikh Jalal Chami, another one of the panel members, said that it is an honor for the victims of the shooting to have died for Islam and that Muslims should be happy for them and pray that they are accepted as martyrs. He said: “We give our life freely for the sake of Allah and His religion.” Another panel member, Sheikh Omar Najjarine, said that people in Australia and New Zealand have thoughts of harming Muslims like the Christchurch shooter did. He also said that he felt jealousy towards the victims of the shooting because they entered Paradise, and he said that it is sad that most people would be thankful if they escaped or survived such a shooting, when they would have lost out on the blessing of dying as a martyr.
Sheikh Najjarine added: “Who would ever think that a person in a non-Muslim country [who is not waging] Jihad could attain martyrdom.” (MEMRI, No. 7088, 3/19)
US SANCTIONS WILL LEAD TO CONFLICT WITH THE EU
Newsletter – Struggle for Global Power Status
(Own report) – The United States is preparing sanctions against European companies participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to senior US government officials. German government officials, on the other hand, predict that US sanctions will lead to a confrontation with the whole of the EU. “We will do everything necessary to complete the pipeline.” At the same time, the power struggle over the participation of the Chinese Huawei Corporation in setting up the 5G grid in Germany and the EU is escalating. After the German government indicated that it would not exclude, a priori, Huawei, the US ambassador in Berlin is threatening to reduce cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services. US President Donald Trump is also considering calling on countries to pay the full cost of stationing US forces on their soil, plus 50 percent more. German government advisors are pleading for a “policy of ‘softer’ or ‘more robust’ countervailing power formation.” Europe’s “strategic autonomy” is at the core of this power struggle. (German Foreign Policy. 3/14)