UKIP’s Controversial Candidates Cause Chaotic Scenes

A YouTube star-turned-Ukip candidate who said he “wouldn’t even rape” a female Labour MP has refused to apologise and insisted he was just treating women the same as men.

Carl Benjamin – known to online fans as Sargon of Akkad – said he would not “apologise for my crimes against political correctness”.

Ukip leader Gerard Batten appeared alongside Mr Benjamin as the launch of the party’s European election campaign descended into chaos as journalists attempted to question the would-be MEP.

In combative exchanges, Mr Benjamin – who is standing for election in the South West region – told journalists: “I’m not answering your questions, I’m not apologising for anything, you dirty, dirty smear merchants.”

In response to Labour MP Jess Phillips in 2016, he posted the comment “I wouldn’t even rape you, @jessphillips. #AntiRapeThreats #FeminismIsCancer” on Twitter.

Reporters were repeatedly shouted down by activists as they attempted to question Mr Benjamin and Mr Batten.

Challenged about the comment, Mr Benjamin said: “I think we should treat women the same as men.

“That means if a woman is being a giant bitch and laughing at male suicide, I’m going to be a giant dick back to her.”

Mr Benjamin said he was standing for Ukip to campaign for free speech, adding: “I’m not going to apologise for my crimes against political correctness, I hate political correctness.”

Birmingham Yardley MP Ms Phillips responded on Twitter: “Carl Benjamin will forever have whatever career he has defined by me, he will hear my name wherever he goes.

“His whole political life defined by little feminist Jess, that my friends is comedy.”

Mr Batten, who was joined on stage by both Mr Benjamin and another controversial candidate – Scottish comedian Mark Meechan, known as Count Dankula, who was fined £800 in 2018 for filming a pet dog giving Nazi salutes – defended his decisions.

Mr Meechan said: “I want to protect people from having their rights infringed upon in regards to freedom of speech and freedom of expression by draconian and authoritarian laws.”

Mr Batten said: “These gentlemen are free speech merchants making comedy acts.”

He added: “If they make jokes as part of their act, I’m not condoning any jokes or any ill-considered remarks, but this is what they are.”

Mr Batten insisted “the vast mass of people out there couldn’t care less”. He dismissed calls from local activists for Mr Benjamin to be deselected.

“There are people in Ukip who want to deselect me, it’s called politics,” he said.

“Whoever you select as a candidate, some people are going to object and some people are going to walk away.

“That’s the nature of the business.”

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Categories: Count Dankula, Jess Phillips, News, Sargon of Akkad

Jail for Somali Man Who Had Stash of IS Propaganda

A Somali man has been jailed for having a stash of Islamic State propaganda.

Abdirahman Mohamed, of Shadwell Drive in Northolt, west London, had been found guilty after an Old Bailey trial of eight charges of possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes and cleared of one count of disseminating a terrorist publication.

Police seized two laptops, a mobile phone and a USB memory stick after searching his home in July 2017.

Officers had found electronic copies of the IS magazine as well as other documents including “safety and security guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen”, the court heard.

The unemployed 42-year-old was sentenced at the Old Bailey to a total of two years and three months’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge and all the items are to be destroyed.

Prosecutor Kelly Brocklehurst had said: “It is not the Crown’s case that the defendant personally engaged in, or was about to engage in, violence to kill or maim people in a political, ideological or religious cause.

“Rather the Crown say he knowingly possessed a number of documents that the Crown say are the kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”

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Categories: Abdirahman Mohamed, IS Propaganda, Islamic State, jail, News, Somali Man

Christianity Grows in Syrian Town Once Besieged by Islamic State

A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and where the tide turned against the militants four years ago.

The converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to fight for Islam pushed them towards their new faith. After a number of families converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town’s first evangelical church opened last year.

Islamic State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq and Syria. After years of fighting, U.S.-backed forces fully ended the group’s control over populated territory last month.

Though Islamic State’s ultra-radical interpretation of Sunni Islam has been repudiated by the Islamic mainstream, the legacy of its violence has affected perceptions of faith.

Many in the mostly Kurdish areas of northern Syria, whose urban centres are often secular, say agnosticism has strengthened and in the case of Kobani, Christianity.

Christianity is one of the region’s minority faiths that was persecuted by Islamic State.

Critics view the new converts with suspicion, accusing them of seeking personal gain such as financial help from Christian organisations working in the region, jobs and enhanced prospects of emigration to European countries.

The newly-converted Christians of Kobani deny those accusations. They say their conversion was a matter of faith.

“After the war with Islamic State people were looking for the right path, and distancing themselves from Islam,” said Omar Firas, the founder of Kobani’s evangelical church. “People were scared and felt lost.”

Firas works for a Christian aid group at a nearby camp for displaced people that helped set up the church.

He said around 20 families, or around 80 to 100 people, in Kobani now worship there. They have not changed their names.

“We meet on Tuesdays and hold a service on Fridays. It is open to anyone who wants to join,” he said.

The church’s current pastor, Zani Bakr, 34, arrived last year from Afrin, a town in northern Syria. He converted in 2007.

“This was painted by IS as a religious conflict, using religious slogans. Because of this a lot of Kurds lost trust in religion generally, not just Islam,” he said.

Many became atheist or agnostic. “But many others became Christian. Scores here and more in Afrin.”

MISSIONARIES AND CRITICS

One man, who lost an arm in an explosion in Kobani and fled to Turkey for medical treatment, said he met Kurdish and Turkish converts there and eventually decided to join them.

“They seemed happy and all talked about love. That’s when I decided to follow Jesus’s teachings,” Maxim Ahmed, 22, said, adding that several friends and family were now interested in coming to the new church.

Some in Kobani reject the growing Christian presence. They say Western Christian aid groups and missionaries have exploited the chaos and trauma of war to convert people and that local newcomers to the religion see an opportunity for personal gain.

“Many people think that they are somehow benefitting from this, maybe for material gain or because of the perception that Christians who seek asylum abroad get preferential treatment,” said Salih Naasan, a real estate worker and former Arabic teacher.

Thousands of Christians have fled the region over decades of sectarian strife. From Syria they have often headed for Lebanon and European countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017 banned entry for all Syrian refugees indefinitely and imposed a 90-day ban on travel from several other predominantly Muslim countries.

“It might be a reaction to Daesh (Islamic State) but I don’t see the positives. It just adds another religious and sectarian dimension which in a community like this will lead to tension,” said Naasan, a practicing Muslim.

Naasan like the vast majority of Muslims rejects Islamic State’s narrow and brutal interpretation of Islam. The group enslaved and killed thousands of people from all faiths, reserving particular brutality for minorities such as the Yazidis of northern Iraq.

Most Christians preferred not to give their names or be interviewed, saying they fear reaction from conservative sectors of society.

The population of Kobani and its surroundings has neared its original 200,000 after people returned, although only 40,000 live in the town itself, much of which lies in ruins.

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Categories: Christianity, Conversion, Islamic State, Kobane, Kobani, News, Syria

IS Supporter Husnain Rashid Who Encouraged Others to Target Prince George Has Sentence Cut

An Islamic State supporter who called for an attack on Prince George has had his minimum jail term cut on appeal.

Husnain Rashid used a chat group to encourage supporters to target the young prince, posting the address of his school with the chilling message “even the Royal family will not be left alone”.

The 32-year-old, of Leonard Street, Nelson, Lancashire, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years at Woolwich Crown Court in July last year after pleading guilty to four terror offences.

But his tariff was reduced to 19 years by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with two other senior judges, upheld Rashid’s life sentence, rejecting an argument by his lawyers that it was not justified.

He told the court: “We are satisfied that (the Crown Court judge) was entitled to come to the conclusion that the seriousness of these offences, taken together, was such as to justify a sentence of life imprisonment.”

However, he said the original minimum term was too long, adding: “We accept that the judge fell into error in some aspects of his application of the sentencing guidelines.”

The court heard police found nearly 300,000 messages on Rashid’s mobile phone, and further evidence on his computer, when he was arrested in November 2017.

A message sent to a Telegram chat group on October 13 that year included a photograph of Prince George, then aged four, who had started at Thomas’s Battersea in south-west London a month earlier.

The picture was superimposed with silhouettes of two masked jihadi fighters and Rashid had added: “School starts early.”

The court heard his plans were “indiscriminate” and made no distinction between adult and child, or between members of fighting forces and civilians.

Lord Justice Holroyde said Rashid’s suggestions included injecting poison into supermarket ice creams and targeting Prince George at his first school.

He also discussed how to bring down an aircraft using lasers with a British terrorist in Syria, the court heard.

He also posted suggestions of which British football stadiums terrorists could strike following the deadly attack outside Besiktas’s ground in Turkey.

Over a year-long period before his arrest he ran a Telegram channel and online magazine, both named the Lone Muhajid, where he provided detailed information to help people plan and commit terror attacks.

His list of targets for “lone wolf” attacks, involving vehicles, weapons and bombs, were wide-ranging and included British Army bases, shopping centres and Government buildings.

He also suggested supporters should target high-profile events including the 2018 football World Cup in Russia and the New York Halloween parade.

The court heard he planned to flee to Syria to fight for IS and had researched potential travel routes, but had been unable to get a “recommendation” from a jihadi fighter by the time of his arrest.

Rashid also posted a photograph of the Burmese ambassador to the UK, saying “You know what to do”, and urged others to “fight and spill the blood to the apes in your land”.

Sentencing him, Judge Andrew Lees said: “The message was clear – you were providing the name and address of Prince George’s school, an image of Prince George’s school and the instruction or threat that Prince George and other members of the royal family should be viewed as potential targets.

“You provided what you regarded as inspiration for suitable targets for lone wolf terror attacks.

“Attacks in Western countries were, in your eyes, the only suitable acceptable alternative to jihad itself.”

Rashid initially maintained his innocence, but changed his pleas to guilty after the prosecution outlined its case at trial.

He admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and one count of encouraging terrorism.

Two further charges of dissemination of a terrorist publication were laid on file.

 

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Categories: Husnain Rashid, Islamic State, News, Prince George

Teenager Praising Adolf Hitler Tells Fellow Pupils He Was Going “On a Rampage” to “Kill Many People”

A teenager charged with terror offences told police that being arrested was “cool” and he would show off about it “forever”, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old boy is accused of accessing bomb-making instructions on the internet and making a potential bomb filled with shrapnel, but denies intending to harm anyone.

The trial at Leeds Crown Court heard that he told fellow pupils at his school that he was going to “go on a rampage” and “kill many people”.

The jury was told that the teenager also told students he was going to carry out a school shooting and had praised Adolf Hitler.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, read out statements from the boy’s interview with the police following his arrest in August last year.

The court heard he said he would be able to show off to his friends about being arrested “forever”.

Mr Greaney said he told police: “When I have kids I’ll probably still talk about this.”

He described being in the cells as “wicked” and said the situation was “cool and funny”, the court was told.

But the jury heard he told police it “wouldn’t be a joke any more” if he was charged with offences.

The trial has heard that the boy developed an interest in extremist far right ideology and accessed videos and information about murder, torture and mutilation on the internet.

When asked about the violent material, the court heard he told police:

“I find that stuff cool like any teenager would.”

The teenager said he was bullied at school and would say and do “stupid stuff”, the court was told.

Mr Greaney said the boy told police he talked about bombs because:

“Bombs sound cool and will make me sound cooler. It makes me stand out and I look more cool.”

The barrister said the boy added: “I know in my head I wasn’t going to do anything, or haven’t really been doing anything wrong, so it’s cool to me.

“I know I wasn’t going to do anything bad or harm to anyone.”

The court has heard that a search of the teenager’s home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, found a device made from two carbon dioxide canisters joined together and filled with metal tacks, which could have been a “viable CO2 bomb” with the addition of gunpowder and a fuse.

Talking about the device in the interview with police, the court heard that the boy said: “If I was a terrorist, do you think I would leave the device on the bedroom floor?

“If I was a terrorist, I would hide it to the best of my abilities. Why would I have it in my bedroom just sitting on the floor?”

He denied planning an attack on anyone or any place.

The boy denies one count of making an explosive substance with intent, one count of making an explosive substance and three counts of possession of a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday.

The post Teenager Praising Adolf Hitler Tells Fellow Pupils He Was Going “On a Rampage” to “Kill Many People” appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: Adolf Hitler, News, Teenager

Why was a far-right activist ‘invited’ onto a Counter Terrorism Advisory Group panel?

A political candidate for the far-right For Britain party was pictured making the “okay” hand gesture, which depending on the context, has been used by white supremacists like terror suspect Brenton Tarrant and so-called ‘alt-right’ trolls, at a far-right event last year, a Tell MAMA investigation can reveal.

The wide-ranging investigation of Frankie Rufolo’s social media usage raises further questions about his suitability to sit on the Government’s Counter Terrorism Advisory Group for young people.

There’s another immediate concern: why was an individual, whose views on the For Britain group are traceable in 2017, who has been referred to Prevent, was able to secure such an invitation.

The photograph of Mr Rufolo and others making the “okay” hand gesture appeared on the social storytelling website Wattpad last year, in a poem titled “Union Flag” where he recalled attending a far-right rally. Without context or explanation, the photograph in question appeared at the end of the poem.

During a pro-Brexit protest in Exeter with well-known Islamophobe Katie Hopkins, Frankie Rufolo was pictured in an “Anti-Communist Action” t-shirt, the logo on this shirt, however, is closer to the neo-Nazianticom” front, which differs from the version sold by the US-based ‘Liberty Hangout’.

Credit:Twitter/KTHopkins

Mr Rufolo, however, has liked the Facebook page of the former. The page has engaged in Holocaust revisionism, including placing the number of Jewish Holocaust victims in quotation marks. Anticom helped to organise a neo-Nazi rally in Shelbyville in 2017 under the ‘White Lives Matter’ hashtag and provided security for the neo-Nazi Richard Spencer. The anticom Facebook page continues to post violent memes which target the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which mirrors the authoritarian violence of General Pinochet in Chile. Violently Islamophobic memes have also appeared on the Anticom Twitter account.

News of the Exeter bridge protest went viral after a man threatened to throw Mr Rufolo and a woman off the bridge.

Credit:DevonLive

Frankie Rufolo made headlines again after he burnt a copy of the Holy Quran in an Exeter pub following a ‘heated’ political debate.

Writing for “Make Britain Great Again”, the website of Luke Nash-Jones in 2017, an individual linked to the far-right storming of a left-wing bookshop in central London last year, Rufolo attempted to push the racialised idea of ‘Muslim-on-Muslim violence’, echoing a similar mythologised trope of ‘black-on-black violence’.

Frankie Rufolo has lionised Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson), and the Mussolini-praising Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, on Twitter.

 

Credit:RufoloFrancesco/Twitter.

Credit:@RufoloFrancesco/Twitter.

On January 25, Rufolo tweeted, “Islam is evil and the sooner it dies out, the better.” Other notable tweets include a reference to a “Muslim rape gang” and following news of a stabbing in London, made a crude reference to London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, with the phrase “Khanage”’.

Other controversial ‘likes’ on the Facebook of Mr Rufolo includes the extremist Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh, who once claimed that “backwardsness is the most ‘powerful’ weapon of Islam,” was invited into parliament by Conservative MP Bob Blackman. Tell MAMA wrote a formal complaint to parliament following the appearances of Ghosh in 2017.

Photographs with the leader of For Britain, Anne Marie Waters, who expressed a desire to close mosques, end immigration from Muslim-majority countries, and for deportations, when standing for Ukip in 2015, appear on his social media.

Anne Marie Waters has sat on the leadership committee of Pegida UK, alongside Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and Paul Weston. In 2014, Ms Waters shared a platform with Lars Hedegaard, an individual who forms part of the wider ‘counter-Jihad’ network.

Mr Rufolo called David Lammy a “racist hypocrite” following the Labour MP’s criticism of Stacey Dooley, for perpetuating “tired and unhelpful stereotypes” about Africa, following her campaign work with Comic Relief.

He gave the Facebook page of Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) a 5-star review, adding that he was an “absolute lad”. Mr Benjamin, who intends to run as a candidate for Ukip at the upcoming European elections, was back in the news after their rape tweet to Labour MP Jess Phillips in 2016, was defended by Ukip leader Gerrard Batten, as “satire” during his appearance on the Andrew Marr Show. Following that tweet, Jess Phillips received over 600 rape threats.

A pro-refugee and pro-migrant group called “Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants-Bristol” was also given a 1-star review on Facebook by Mr Rufolo.

This Tell MAMA investigation raises further questions about Frankie Rufolo’s supposed involvement with any previous and future involvement in the Counter-Terrorism Advisory Group for young people.

 

 

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Categories: Anne Marie Waters, For Britain, Frankie Rufolo, News

Legal Aid for IS Teenager Shamima Begum Makes Me Uncomfortable – Jeremy Hunt

The Foreign Secretary has said giving Shamima Begum access to legal aid to challenge the decision to deprive her of UK citizenship would make him “very uncomfortable”.

Jeremy Hunt said Ms Begum, who left the UK at the age of 15 to marry an Islamic State fighter, “knew the choices she was making”, but acknowledged that the UK is a country which believes people should have access to legal representation.

The Daily Mail reports that Ms Begum is now hoping to get legal aid to challenge a decision to strip her of UK citizenship.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hunt said: “On a personal level, it makes me very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices.

“However, we are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them and, for obvious reasons, those decisions are made independent from politicians.”

Mr Hunt added: “The decision to deprive her of her citizenship was taken by a politician. Obviously the decision about whether she accesses legal aid or not has to be done independently.”

Dal Babu, a former chief superintendent in the Metropolitan Police, is a friend of the family.

He told Today that Ms Begum should have legal aid to make sure the correct process is followed.

Mr Babu said: “Isis is a murderous organisation. They are a horrendous organisation and I don’t think anyone in their right mind would be joining that organisation.

“She was a young woman. She was 15 when she was groomed. The police were aware of this, the counter-terrorism police were aware of this, the school she was at was aware of this, and the social workers at Tower Hamlets Council were aware of this.

“There has been no serious case review. Normally, when a young person dies as a result of failures in safeguarding, there is a serious case review.”

Mr Babu said that, in order for a proper review to take place, Ms Begum needed to get legal aid.

“I think legal aid is a principle of the British legal justice system.

There will be people who can afford to have swanky lawyers, there will be people who have no money who are in desperate situations.”

A Legal Aid Agency spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases.

“Anybody applying for legal aid in a Special Immigration Appeal Commission case is subject to strict eligibility tests.”

Mark Tipper, whose brother Trooper Simon Tipper was killed in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing, is among critics who have condemned the move as “absolutely disgusting”, according to the Daily Mail.

He was refused funding to pursue a case in the civil courts, although the decision was later reversed following public outrage.

Corey Stoughton, advocacy director at Liberty human rights group, described the granting of legal aid in this case as “not just appropriate but absolutely necessary to ensure that the Government’s decisions are properly scrutinised”.

She said: “Stripping someone of their citizenship is among the most severe punishments a government can exercise, and the evidence that this decision will render Shamima Begum effectively stateless presents a powerful argument for subjecting this case to rigorous scrutiny in court.

“This case could have widespread repercussions for thousands of people, and more broadly for how the Government uses dramatic powers to take away fundamental rights.”

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Categories: Jeremy Hunt, Legal Aid, News, Shamima Begum

Congresswoman Has Had An ‘Increase in Direct Threats Against My Life’ Since Trump Tweet

Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar has said she has faced increased death threats since US President Donald Trump retweeted a video that purports to show her being dismissive of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

“This is endangering lives,” she said, accusing Mr Trump of fomenting right-wing extremism.

Ms Omar said she had experienced “an increase in direct threats on my life”, adding: “It has to stop.”

Her statement followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she has taken steps to ensure the safety of the Minnesota Representative and calling for Mr Trump to take down the video.

Soon after Ms Pelosi’s statement, the video disappeared as a pinned tweet at the top of Mr Trump’s Twitter feed, but it was not deleted.

Ms Pelosi was among Democrats who had criticised Mr Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim politician.

An upstate New York man was recently charged with making death threats against her.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Mr Trump, saying the president has a duty to highlight Ms Omar’s history of making comments that others deem anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term politician.

But Ms Omar said that since Mr Trump retweeted the video on Friday night, she has received many threats on her life that referred or replied to the posted video.

“Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world,” she said.

“We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.”

She said: “We are all Americans.”

Earlier, Ms Pelosi issued a statement while travelling in London saying she had spoken with congressional authorities “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff”.

Ms Pelosi said officials will continue to monitor and assess threats against Ms Omar, and called on Mr Trump to discourage such behaviour.

“The president’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” Ms Pelosi said.

“President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

The video in Mr Trump’s tweet included a snippet from a recent speech Ms Omar gave to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in which she described the September 11 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre as “some people did something”, along with news footage of the hijacked planes hitting the Twin Towers.

Mr Trump captioned his tweet with: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

Critics accuse Ms Omar of being flippant in describing the perpetrators of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

She later sought to defend herself by tweeting a quote from George W Bush, in which the Republican president referred to the attackers as “people” just days after 9/11.

Neither Mr Trump’s tweet nor the video included Ms Omar’s full quote or the context of her comments, which were about Muslims feeling that their civil liberties had eroded after the attacks.

The tweet was posted at the top of Mr Trump’s Twitter feed for much of Sunday, with more than nine million views.

It remained lower in the feed after Ms Pelosi requested that the video be pulled.

Ms Sanders questioned why Democrats were not following Mr Trump’s example and calling out Ms Omar.

Democrats who criticised the president over the tweet defended Ms Omar, with some noting their past disagreements with her.

“Certainly the president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone, but the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman for her – not only one time – but history of anti-Semitic comments,” Ms Sanders said.

“The bigger question is why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing? It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments that she continues to make and has made and they look the other way.”

Ms Omar has repeatedly pushed fellow Democrats into uncomfortable territory with comments about Israel and the strength of the Jewish state’s influence in Washington.

She apologised for suggesting that politicians support Israel for pay and said she is not criticising Jews.

But she refused to take back a tweet in which she suggested American supporters of Israel “pledge allegiance” to a foreign country.

Representative Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat who represents Manhattan’s financial district, which was targeted on 9/11, said he had no issues with Ms Omar’s characterisation of the attack.

“I have had some problems with some of her other remarks, but not – but not with that one,” he said.

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Categories: Death threats, Ilhan Omar, News, Trump tweet, tweet

Short Transcript of Interview with Female British ISIS Recruiter, Tooba Gondal

This information has been obtained from the Rojava Information Centre and is a short transcript of an interview undertaken with female British ISIS recruiter, Tooba Gondal in the Ayn Issa camp. She survived 4 years within Islamic State territory.

Interviewer: We actually went there (Baghouz), what was it like?

Tooba Gondal: Getting out was like the biggest relief, it was like being trapped there was no food, it was just constant food, constant bombing, sniping and bullets, it was war. All the four years I’ve been in Syria was war. The last part there was no food. Eventually food trucks came in, there was not double but the prices… it was a dollars market. And maybe I bought 1 packet of diapers for 100 dollars. It was ridiculous.

The women and the children became the victims, we didn’t know, I didn’t know who’s on the left attacking us, who’s on the right attacking us, who are we even with, who is amongst us. It was a complete mess. And even trying to leave was almost… it was a mission, to try to find any way to escape or any reliable smugglers who could help you.

Interviewer: You didn’t leave with the buses?

Tooba Gondal: there was no buses… this time, there was no buses, it was just your own contacts… there was no buses.

Interviewer: What happened to your husband?

Tooba Gondal: He got killed.

Interviewer: Where?

Tooba Gondal: In the village of Khsam.

Interviewer: Where was he from?

Tooba Gondal: He was from Pakistan.

Interviewer: So what happened in the time you were without a husband?

Tooba Gondal: It was the most hard time I’ve ever seen, maybe in my life. In the last year and a half, it was the most difficult time, always with two small children, always having to move from one village to another, there’s no one taking care of you, no one helping you. You have to do everything by yourself.

Interviewer: Where are you from originally?

Tooba Gondal: I’m originally Pakistani, originally Muslim,  but I was born in France, but I have a permanent British residence.

Intreviewer: When did you move to Britain?

Tooba Gondal: When I was 3 or 4. I left from Britain, I spent almost all the life that I can remember in Britain, I grew up in London.

Interviewer: How old are you?

Tooba Gondal: I’m 25 now.

Interviewer: And how old were you when you left Britain?

Tooba Gondal:  21, newly 21. I’ve been here now 4 years.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about the life in the Ayn Issa camp here?

Tooba Gondal: Life here is very harsh, very difficult. I can complain almost about anything, the military here they don’t… help us with any of our issues, we have tents here that almost always the water is coming through, the leaking, the food… UNICEF are supporting us, really good things, they give us food monthly and solar chargers so that we can have light inside our tents. But other than that it’s really horrible, the toilets are absolutely disgusting, there’s one small shop. We shop through the window and every time we wait maybe 2 to 3 hours to buy something. There’s no schooling, there’s on and off medical care but also not so great, we really have to make a big thing to get any type of medicine. … They don’t help, especially with children.

Interviewer: do you know why you were brought here and not in the other two camps?

Tooba Gondal: No, I don’t know… I just know that the smuggler sold us to this, to this military here. I got captured by them from the borders. I was maybe 15 minutes close to the border of Turkey when I got brought here in the night.

Interviewer: do you know of people who made it out?

Tooba Gondal: From here back to their countries?

Interviewer: From Baghouz, Raqqa, out…

Tooba Gondal: No, all I know, almost everyone has been captured and sent to the camps. I don’t know anyone…

Interviewer: Do you have friends, acquaintances in the camp?

Tooba Gondal: yes, a few, I have some… there aren’t many British people here… there are Pakistani families that are really nice.

Interviewer: How did the smugglers bring you from Baghouz to the Turkish border?

Tooba Gondal: We were in a car, close to the border and stopped at the checkpoint, the Kurdish checkpoint. That’s when women, men with arms searched us and forced us into a car and brought us here immediately, it was very fast. We got searched maybe 2-3 times, they took our money, they took our gold, they took our watches, all electronics, we have to start life from zero.

Interviewer: How did you make it out of Baghouz?

Tooba Gondal: It was arranged through a smuggler. So I hooked up with some people, that have contacted the smuggler. and the smuggler he have contacts to arrange a car, and we move from car to car, we travel through the desert moving from car to car over five days.

Interviewer: Where were you before Baghouz?

Tooba Gondal: Moving from village to village, four to five villages, so always it was constantly moving, every two to three weeks, moving from Hajin village, going to Sousa village, constant moving, tired, bombing, war, I have an injury here, shrapnel landed between my eyebrows. It’s from military, the regime… I don’t know how you say it in English… A bullet which explodes into the air and it hit me in between my eyebrows. It still remains, they stitched over it, I don’t know if they were doctors or amateurs, I don’t know.

Now I have a big nerve problem in my head, I complained to them and I had no help, I had many symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, maybe the shrapnel is touching a nerve but I have no help. I complain but still now, being here over 2 months they didn’t have any x-rays for anything.

Interviewer: Do you feel more British, Pakistani, French, how do you feel?

Tooba Gondal: I feel British. But Britain refuses to take us in, and I’m just left with hope for any life again in any place where I can live a normal life and educate my children.

Interviewer: Why do you think Britain doesn’t want to take you back?

Tooba Gondal: I know Britain, I grew up in Britain, and I heard after they refused um…

Interviewer: Shamima Begum?

Tooba Gondal: After they refused her, I know the British public, they are scared, they don’t want to deal with us, but they must deal with us. But we can’t stay in this camp for the rest of our lives, they must deal with us. We are not a threat to their society, we just want a normal life again.

Interviewer: What do you think will happen if these people, these children stay in these camps for 5 to 10 years?

Tooba Gondal: I hope that never happens, that sounds like an absolutely terrible thing for the women and children to be trapped in such camps, no help, no facilities, um, if that’s the case then the children are already so uneducated, have already adapted to such bad manners and foul language, so they will grow up to not have any manners and to not have any education… the women will maybe lose their sanity, I think I will lose my sanity. More sicknesses, more diseases, many stories, cases of deaths, illness that already took place… if it continues like this then it’s very bad.

Interviewer: Just to clarify, you have British residency?

Tooba Gondal: Yes, I have a permanent British residency.

Interviewer: And a French passport?

Tooba Gondal: Yes.

Interviewer: And a Pakistani passport?

Tooba Gondal: No.

Interviewer: So you just have a French passport?

Tooba Gondal: Yes. I have it with me till now, they didn’t find it, the military here didn’t find it, and I had it sewn in my diapers, through my children’s diapers. I still have it with me after all this war that I’ve seen and that’s the only thing I have left.

Interviewer: Just to play devil’s advocate, you say you just want to go back into a normal life…

Tooba Gondal: If I did not harm to anyone, if I committed no harm in Syria for 4 years, what kind of threat can I be to Britain?

The post Short Transcript of Interview with Female British ISIS Recruiter, Tooba Gondal appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: Islamic State, News, Rohaja Forces, Syria, Tooba Gondal

Batten Defends Belief of ‘Islam as a Death Cult’ and Defends Candidate’s Rape Tweet to Jess Phillips as Satire

Ukip leader Gerard Batten has described a candidate’s rape tweet to MP Jess Phillips as “satire”, and defended his own belief that Islam is a “death cult”.

Carl Benjamin was announced as an MEP candidate for Ukip in the South West this week, with Mr Batten celebrating the decision having come after an “exhaustive process”.

Mr Benjamin had previously written that “I wouldn’t even rape you” to the Labour politician on Twitter.

Mr Batten defended the tweet on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, saying: “I think this was satire.”

Describing the candidate as “a classical liberal”, Mr Batten said: “I don’t know the exact context of that and I certainly don’t condone any remarks like that but he is not a bad person as he’s being portrayed.

“He is a proponent of free speech. The context that he said it was satire against the people he was saying it about. He wasn’t actually making a literal statement.”

Mr Benjamin – a YouTuber with a large following – reportedly sent the tweet in 2016 when responding to Ms Phillips having written: “People talking about raping me isn’t fun, but has become somewhat par for the course.”

He replied: “I wouldn’t even rape you, Jess Phillips.”

Ms Phillips later said she received in excess of 600 rape threats in a night.

After Batten’s defence, the MP for Birmingham Yardley said her husband had questioned: “Is this man satire?”

The Ukip leader was also asked whether he hates Islam, the religion he calls a “death cult”.

“I do not like the ideology, the literalist interpretation of Islam,” he replied.

“I know lots of people in this country who do take a literal interpretation of Islam. I think that’s the worrying thing.”

He also defended his proposal that mosque building should be banned in the UK.

“What I have said in the past is that we should not allow planning permission for mosques until they allow planning permission in Islamic countries for churches, Hindu temples and other forms of religion.”

The group also said the BBC should “reflect long and hard about giving such people airtime without proper scrutiny”.

However, Ms Phillips said she could not criticise the programme for airing the interview, writing on Twitter that “covering and challenging Ukip on the issue, it’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Batten took over the party last year after a tumultuous period since the departure of Nigel Farage and has appointed the activist known as Tommy Robinson as an adviser.

Mr Farage, who has formed a new Brexit Party, criticised his old stable as now being linked to “extremism, violence, criminal records and thuggery”.

The post Batten Defends Belief of ‘Islam as a Death Cult’ and Defends Candidate’s Rape Tweet to Jess Phillips as Satire appeared first on TELL MAMA.

Categories: Brexit Party, Farage, Gerard Batten, News