“We are importing religious conflict”
- A mob of a thousand men of “Arab or North African” origin sexually assaulted more than 100 German women in downtown Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Similar attacks also occurred in Hamburg and Stuttgart. Cologne’s Mayor Henriette Reker, said that “under no circumstances” should the crimes be attributed to asylum seekers. Instead, she blamed the victims for the assaults.
- “There is nothing wrong with being proud German patriots. There is nothing wrong with wanting Germany to remain free and democratic. There is nothing wrong with preserving our own Judeo-Christian civilization. That is our duty.” — Geert Wilders, Dutch politician, addressing a rally in Dresden.
- “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law. German security agencies are unable to deal with these imported security problems, and the resulting reactions from the German population.” — From a leaked government document, published by Die Welt.
- Germany will spend at least €17 billion ($18.3 billion) on asylum seekers in 2016 — Die Welt.
- Saudi Arabia is preparing to finance the construction of 200 new mosques in Germany to accommodate asylum seekers. — Frankfurter Allgemeine.
Germany’s Muslim population skyrocketed by more than 850,000 in 2015, for the first time pushing the total number of Muslims in the country to nearly six million.
Escalating tensions between Iran and the Sunni Arab gulf states will further polarize the Middle East along sectarian lines, stoke the proxy wars waged by Tehran and Riyadh, and reduce the already low chances of forging diplomatic agreements to defuse civil wars in Syria and Yemen.…
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been bitter rivals competing for regional dominance since the 1979 Iranian revolution injected an ideological hostility into a relationship already strained by competing nationalisms (Arab vs. Persian) and sectarian differences (Sunni Saudi Arabia vs. Shiite Iran). Continue reading
While you were busy being distracted by the World Cup:
No initial reports of injuries or damage after massive barrage across country; Netanyahu vows to widen Gaza operation, as cabinet okays call-up of 40,000 troops; rockets shot down over Tel Aviv; terrorists killed in firefight at Zikim army base; Gazan death toll in double digits
Israel launched a major operation against Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza in the early hours of Tuesday morning, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, following heavy Hamas rocket fire over the preceding days. The fast-escalating situation in the south comes in the shadow of spiking Jewish-Arab tensions in Israel over the brutal killings of four teenagers — three Jews and one Arab — by extremists. Stay with The Times of Israel’s liveblog for updates throughout the day. Continue reading
Western diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to ensure the ouster of Assad in 2012.
The sources said Obama, urged by allies that range from France to Saudi Arabia, was persuaded that without U.S. intervention, Al Qaida would emerge as the leading force in Syria.
“The game is on the ground,” the diplomat said. “The political opposition in exile has no control or even influence in Syria, while FSA is seen as active, even if that is not really the case.”
The sources suggested that Washington was already involved in major operations against the Assad regime. The operations were said to have included a failed FSA attempt to poison the regime leadership, particularly Assad’s powerful brother-in-law, Assaf Chawkat.
Full article: Obama to U.S. intelligence: Oust Syria’s Assad in 2012 (World Tribune)