The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the grandest cathedral in the Christian world, until it was captured and converted to a mosque by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Middle East is full of churches and synagogues turned into Islamic sites. Today, every traveler in a modern European city can notice the new mosques being built alongside abandoned and secularized churches, some converted into museums. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)
In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. The Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam once was the Saint Ignatius Church. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the Al Aqsa Mosque. In Flanders, in place of a famous church, a luxury hotel now stands. Catholic arches, columns and windows still soar between menus and tables for customers.
“The French will not wake up until Notre Dame becomes a mosque.” — Emile Cioran, author.
Germany is literally selling its churches. Between 1990 and 2010, the German Evangelical Church closed 340 churches. Recently in Hamburg, a Lutheran church was purchased by the Muslim community.
“History teaches us that these transformations are rarely innocent.” — Bertrand Dutheil de La Rochère, assistant to Marine Le Pen.
Last year, at the famous Biennale artistic festival in Venice, Swiss artist Christian Büchel took the ancient Catholic Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia and converted it into a mosque. The church had not been used for Christian worship for more than forty years. Büchel decorated the baroque walls with Arabic writing, covered the floor with a prayer rug, and hid the crucifix behind a prayer niche indicating the direction of Mecca, the holy city of Islam. It was a provocation.
“You have not anchored Germany to Europe,… You have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work.“
– Margaret Thatcher
Army Deputy Chief of Staff Reinhard Kammerer (center), new commander of the DSK Eberhard Zorn (right), and former commander of DSO Joerg Vollmer mark the integration of Dutch forces in Stadtallendorf, Germany. ( Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
Dutch tanks are now under German command—preparing the way for a German-led multinational tank division and a European army.
Huge portions of the Dutch military are being merged with the German Army, in a process that many want to see rolled out across the whole Continent. Two of the Netherland’s three combat brigades have officially begun the process of joining the Bundeswehr.
The country is Europe’s leading supplier of jihadists, as it has the highest number of foreign fighters per capita in Iraq and Syria in the EU:Armed police raided the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek on Sunday and Monday, arresting seven people believed to be connected to the Paris attacks, and returning focus to this rundown, densely-populated area with a large Muslim population. When authorities investigated the assassination of anti-Taliban leader Ahmed Shah Massoud in 2001, the 2004 Madrid bombings, last year’s Jewish Museum shooting in Brussels, and the Amsterdam-to-Paris train attack in late August, their lines of enquiry led them to Molenbeek. Continue reading →
So-called smart cities, with wireless sensors controlling everything from traffic lights to water management, may be vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to a computer security expert.
Last year, Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentine security researcher and chief technology officer at IOActive Labs, demonstrated how 200,000 traffic control sensors installed in major hubs like Washington, New York, Melbourne and Lyon were vulnerable to attack. Mr. Cerrudo showed how information coming from these sensors could be intercepted from 1500 feet away — or even by drone — because one company had failed to encrypt its traffic.
Just last Saturday, Mr. Cerrudo tested the same traffic sensors in San Francisco and found that, one year later, they were still not encrypted. Continue reading →
It shouldn’t take a genius to see where this is going. They’re jumping ship before it sinks.
President Knot of the Dutch Central Bank with ‘his’ gold.
In what could definitely be called a stunning move, the Netherlands has announced it has repatriated in excess of 120 tonnes of gold from the vaults of the Federal Reserve in New York to the Dutch Central Bank in Amsterdam. Officially a move made to rebalance the locations where the gold is being stored, one cannot ignore the fact that the Netherlands only repatriated a large part of the gold which was stored in New York and it did not touch the gold stored in Canada and London.
Additionally, it’s not just ‘some’ gold being brought back home, no, the total amount is 122.47 tonnes or almost 4 million ounces with a market value of $5B. This will reduce the exposure of the Dutch Central Bank to the US financial system as now just 31% of its gold is being stored in the vault of the Fed, coming down from 51%. We have the impression this won’t be the last repatriation as the Dutch Central Bank is keeping its shipping route secret ‘in case more gold needs to be repatriated’. Continue reading →
Germany’s foreign intelligence agency says its review of the crash of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in Ukrainian has concluded it was brought down by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk.
After completing a detailed analysis, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has concluded that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 19 in eastern Ukraine while on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Continue reading →
Intercepted phone calls purportedly between Russian military intelligence officers and members of a pro-Russian separatist group that appear to capture the moment the rebels realized the plane they shot down was a civilian passenger plane could be the smoking gun that helps prove Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed Ukraine by the insurgents.
The tapes were released by SBU, Ukraine’s security agency, and transcript was published in the Kiev Post. It appears to capture the chaotic moments after the plane was shot down — and the realization that it was a passenger plane rather than a Ukrainian transport plane, which had been targeted in recent days by the Russia-backed separatists.
“We have just shot down a plane,” says a man the SBU identified as Igor Bezler, a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. Continue reading →
The Hack in the Box (#HITB2013AMS) security conference in Amsterdam has a very interesting lineup of talks [pdf]. One that jumped out was the Aircraft Hacking: Practical Aero Series presented by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n.runs in Germany. According to the abstract, “This presentation will be a practical demonstration on how to remotely attack and take full control of an aircraft, exposing some of the results of my three years research on the aviation security field. The attack performed will follow the classical methodology, divided in discovery, information gathering, exploitation and post-exploitation phases. The complete attack will be accomplished remotely, without needing physical access to the target aircraft at any time, and a testing laboratory will be used to attack virtual airplanes systems. Continue reading →
From another outside view, Britian is wishing to maintain is national sovereignty and control over its own destiny. It has seen the traps laid before it, such as what Greece and Cyprus have fell into: Keep receiving bailouts (which momentarily keep the riots at bay) in exchange for piece-by-piece control over every inch of your economy by waiving jursditcion and handing it over to the troika. Sadly, this also is not a permanent solution as it will still cause the economy to crash, and even harder.
On the eve of the British PM’s much-anticipated speech on Britain’s EU membership, the Brussels correspondent of Greek daily I Kathimerini says that, no matter what David Cameron may say in Amsterdam, Britain has already cut itself loose.
To an outsider here in Brussels, Britain’s stance toward Europe is utterly incomprehensible. Continue reading →