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The Editor, 21/08/2012
SYRIA: REBELS ARE HOLDING 4 U.N. PEACEKEEPERS
In an ominous development and according to a Reuter report Syria's Martyrs of Yarmouk brigade is holding four U.N. peacekeepers who were monitoring the cease-fire line between Syria and the Golan Heights, the brigade and a U.N. spokeswoman said today.
According to the brigade's statement, the peacekeepers are being held for their own safety. In March, 21 U.N. observers were detained by Syrian rebels for a three-day period near the location of the May 7 incident.
Read story at -
SYRIA COULD STRIKE ISRAEL
Satellite images reportedly show that Syria has deployed surface-to-surface Tishreen missiles in preparation for a strike on Tel Aviv, should Israel launch another attack on Syrian territory, The Sunday Times reported May 19.
An Israeli official has said the Syrian regime would face crippling consequences if it strikes Israel. The Israeli airstrikes in Syria, though preventive measures, could have the unintended consequence of turning the Syrian civil war into a wider international conflict.
TURKISH MILITARY OFFICERS JAILED
Turkey's former armed forces chief has been jailed for life for plotting to overthrow the government, after five years of trials involving officers, lawyers, writers and journalists.
On 12th February 2011 the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported ‘163 PEOPLE ARRESTED’. Those arrested included a number of senior military officers including former heads of the Army, Navy and Air force. They had been present in court during a pre hearing to determine if they were to be tried on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. Contrary to the constitution the judges ruled that the accused must be jailed pending the outcome of their trial. Security forces immediately sealed all the courthouse doors and detained the defendants.
This action followed a referendum in September 2010 which strengthened the government’s control over the courts and army. Under Prime Minister Erdogan the constitutional controls on absolute power have been reduced.
Modern Turkey was created from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. It was established as a secular state in the 1920’s by Kemil Ataturk. The Army was given the role of guardians of the secular constitution. What happened in 2011 was the army’s recompense for successfully preventing past attempts to return the nation to Islamic rule.
Erdogan’s, Justice and Development Party the AKP was born out of the Welfare Party the RP. Both have their roots in the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. In 1996 RP came to power as part of a coalition government. The RP was known as being anti-Western, anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, anti-European, anti-democratic and anti-secular. In government it started to implement an Islamist agenda but was opposed by business and the military and removed from power a year later.
The RP re emerged as the AKP in 2001. It had rebranded itself as reformed, jettisoning the six elements of RP policy. The rebranding worked convincing many both inside the country and in the West that its previous religious extremism had been abandoned. In 2002 the AKP gained a majority in the Turkish parliament and Erdogan became Prime Minister.
Since then the AKP has improved Turkey's infrastructure: roads, the railway system, hospitals, schools and power plants. Over this period per capita income has trebled.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity is built on charitable works, opposition to corruption and a fair distribution of wealth. These policies led to the AKP increasing its representation in parliament following the 2011 elections.
Besides the welfare reforms the AKP have used the period to strengthen its grip on power. They have filled the judiciary with Islamist leaning judges and infiltrated the police.
The army once guardian of a secular constitution has been rendered powerless. There is increasing censorship of any journalism which is critical of the government. There are more journalists in prison in Turkey than in any other country in the world including China and Iran. As with Hamas in Gaza, a Muslim Brotherhood inspired political party, once in power, removes all effective opposition rendering the Western concept of democracy meaningless.
Turkey is making a bid for leadership in this new Islamic world. One way to increase its standing is to be more openly anti Israel. The other way will be support for those within the Muslim world who want to overthrow the existing powers and build a united Muslim nation under the Caliph.
The removal of President Morsi in Egypt and the setback to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ambitions there will increase the extent to which Turkey will be seen as offering the best chance to see a renewed (Sunni) Islam centred on a revived Caliphate.
For full report on recent trials see -
Coptic Pope Blasts Muslim Brotherhood, US and European Union
Since now former President Morsi's ouster on July 3, attacks on Egyptian Christians by members of the Muslim Brotherhood have taken place in most areas across Egypt.
According to a story by Mary Abdelmassih of the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), these attacks have escalated since security forces ended the pro-Morsi protests in central Cairo on Aug. 14.
During their six weeks of protests, Muslim Brotherhood leaders explicitly threatened to harm the Copts should they be forced to end their protests, which they vowed to prolong until Morsi is restored to power.
“Over the past weeks we have witnessed an increasing trend of anti-Christian rhetoric calling for 'the attack upon and eradication of Christians and churches in Egypt,'" said Coptic Bishop Anba in the United Kingdom.
The Coptic Church also criticized the way in which the crisis is reported outside of Egypt. It expressly speaks of “false broadcasts by Western media,” and urged for an “objective” revision to be made of the descriptions given to the actions of those “blood-thirsty radical organizations.”
The views of the Coptic church are also held by Copts in general, who are angry with the US and EU powers, “who almost daily issue statements threatening to take further actions against our interim government and army, portraying the Muslim Brotherhood as victims while not even mentioning the destruction of over 80 churches, as well monasteries, orphanages, businesses and Coptic schools by the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Read full report..
THE PLANNED DESTRUCTION OF CHRISTIANS IN SYRIA
Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA)[testified] that the Obama Administration has given a “green light” to Sunni countries in the region “to militarily destabilize Syria,” and that the human rights of religious minorities, especially Christians, are at risk.
Eibner said, “Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey may be beloved by America’s military and economic interests, but all have grave democracy deficits and cannot serve as models for religious pluralism…Saudi Arabia and Qatar are Sunni absolute monarchies. All religious minorities are banned in the former. Nearly one hundred years ago the Christian minorities were virtually eradicated in Turkey by means of genocide. Successive Turkish governments, including the current government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, have taken patriotic pride in genocide denial.”
Christian Solidarity International 'Genocide Alert'
VATICAN TAKES THE THRONE IN 'THE UPPER ROOM'
The Israeli government has granted the Vatican a 'special modicum of control' by granting the pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
An additional privilege for Rome is a tax exemption that Israel will grant to all of the Vatican's institutions in Israel.
FLARE UP ON JERUSALEM'S TEMPLE MOUNT
Israeli police have clashed with Palestinian protesters on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
A police spokesman said about 20 youths threw stones and fireworks at officers from the holy site, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
Police then entered the compound and arrested three people, he added.
The unrest came as the Israeli parliament prepared to debate a motion calling on Israel to "realise its sovereignty over the Temple Mount".
RUSSIA CALLS UKRANIAN FORCES TO SURRENDER, OR ELSE
According to the Interfax-Ukainian news agency Russia's Black Sea Fleet has given Ukranian forces in Crimea unti 5.00 local time (3.00pm GMT) on Tuesday to surrender or face all-out assault.
Russian defence ministry officials have stated: ""If by 5am tomorrow morning they do not surrender a real assault will begin on units and sections of the Ukrainian armed forces all over Crimea,"
SYRIAN CHRISTIANS MUST SUBMIT TO ISLAMIC RULES
Christians in Raqqah have now become formally subject to strict Islamic 'rules of submission' enforced by the extremist group which controls this northern city.
The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) issued the rules in the form of a contract which it has forced Christian community leaders to sign.
Christian signatories have three options: to abide by the contract's regulations, to convert to Islam or to be considered 'enemies of Islam'. The contract has been posted on extremist websites.
Under the rules, Christians must pay a special tax, known as jizya, and must conduct their religious activities in places and in ways that are not visible or audible to Muslims.
No Christian symbols are permitted to be on public display and Christians have to abide by Islamic regulations on commerce, dress code and diet. Furthermore, they are not allowed to restore or repair any church buildings that have been damaged in the conflict.
This system has been operating informally since the extremists took control of the city but has now been formalised. In early 2011, Raqqah had a population of 3,000 Christians, making up about one per cent of its population.
(Source: Middle East Concern)
UKRAINE PREVENTS RUSSIAN FLIGHTS DISEMBARKING
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine on March 26 of breaking international convention and risking lives by not allowing Russian pilots and crew to deplane after passenger flights to Kiev, Reuters reported.
The ministry said Ukraine was violating flight safety regulations by not allowing the crews to rest. Russia earlier accused Ukrainian authorities of being unable or unwilling to prevent two incidents in which Moscow says Ukrainian nationalists targeted Russians in robberies.
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