Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Conservative Party unveils plan to promote religious liberty abroad

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

From the Montreal Gazette.

Excerpt:

A Conservative government would create a new, special “Office of Religious Freedom,” the party announced in its electoral platform on Friday.

The office would be housed at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and its role would be:

  • To monitor religious freedom around the world;
  • To promote religious freedom as a key objective of Canadian foreign policy;
  • And to advance policies and programs that support religious freedom.

Under the heading, “Defending Religious Freedom,” the Conservatives said they recognize that “respect for religious pluralism is inextricably linked to democratic development.” And that the federal government could and should do more to respond to the plight of those “who suffer merely because of their faith.”

[...]The Conservative platform also includes a pledge to create a national Holocaust memorial in the Ottawa area and to support the establishment of a memorial to the victims of communism.

This is not a surprise, as the Canadian conservatives are famous for taking bold stands to defend the rights of persecuted Christians in places like Egypt.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in a round table discussion on security with Coptic Christian leaders.

A deadly suicide bombing in Egypt on New Year’s Day claimed the lives of some 21 worshippers.

And nearly 100 people were wounded in the attack as they left a midnight mass at an Alexandria church.

Harper condemned the attacks, saying the international community must stay vigilant against such violence against Coptic Christians.

Harper met with several priests at the Church Of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga Thursday.

He says he wants Coptic Christians in Canada to know the country stands behind their right to safely practice their faith.

So, not only is Harper introducing policies that will strengthen families and marriages so that there will be fewer abortions and healthier children, but he is also dedicated to defending the religious liberty of minorities abroad.

 

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Obama continues to oppose liberty and democracy in Honduras

Mary A. O'Grady

From Mary Anastasia O’Grady writing in the Wall Street Journal. She is writing about how Barack Obama and the Democrats are continuing to attack Honduras for legally removing former socialist Honduran President Manuel Zelaya after he tried to escape Constitutional term limits on his Presidency. The Obama administration continues to attempt to restore Zelaya, an ally of communist Hugo Chavez, as President, in spite of term limits defined by the Constitution of Honduras.

Excerpt:

Washington’s bullying is two-pronged. First is a maniacal determination to punish those involved in removing Mr. Zelaya. Second is an attempt to force Honduras to allow Mr. Zelaya, who now lives in the Dominican Republic, to return without facing any repercussions for the illegal actions that provoked his removal. Both goals are damaging the bilateral relationship, polarizing the nation and raising the risk of a resurgence of political violence.

[...]The U.S., as represented by Mr. Llorens, has been at the center of the Zelaya crisis all along. People familiar with events leading up to Mr. Zelaya’s arrest on June 28 say that had the U.S. ambassador not worked behind the scenes to block a congressional vote to remove the president a few days earlier, the dramatic deportation would never have happened.

[...]Honduras had defied Uncle Sam and the U.S., led by Mr. Llorens, decided that it had to be taught a lesson. It took out the brass knuckles and tried hard to unseat interim president Roberto Micheletti in the interest of restoring Mr. Zelaya to the office.

Honduras wouldn’t budge. That’s when Mr. Restrepo traveled to the capital with a U.S. delegation. The agreement reached included U.S. recognition of the November election. For a time it seemed things might return to normal.

But the Americans had scores to settle. The U.S had already yanked dozens of visas from officials and the business community as punishment for noncompliance with its pro-Zelaya policy. Then, just days before President Porfirio Lobo’s inauguration in January, Hondurans estimate it pulled at least 50 more from Micheletti supporters. The visas have not been returned, and locals say Mr. Llorens continues to foster a climate of intimidation with his visa-pulling power.

He hasn’t stopped there. In early March he organized a meeting of Liberal Party Zelaya supporters and the party’s former presidential candidate, Elvin Santos, at the U.S. Embassy. Some 48 hours later the party’s zelayistas and its Santos faction voted to remove Mr. Micheletti as party head. Rigoberto Espinal Irías, a legal adviser to the independent public prosecutor’s office, complained that the “meeting generated much bad feeling in Honduran civil society” because it was “perceived to have the purpose of intervening in Honduran national politics.”

Is it the job of the the President of the United States to impose his will on other democracies? Is this not imperialism and colonialism of the worst kind?

Are Obama, Zelaya and Chavez really so different?

Here’s a picture of Barack Obama and Manuel Zelaya’s friend Hugo Chavez.

Hey, Chavez! I'm helping your buddy Zelaya!

They seem to get along well. Perhaps because they share the same views? They all don’t seem to like Constitutional limits on power when it gets in the way of their socialist policies.

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Scary happenings around the world that the Democrats ignore

I was trying to work my way through the latest voluminous post from my buddy Binks over at Free Canuckistan, and I thought that I would share some links with you from stories around the world. Warning, these are pretty depressing.

Brazil: Brazilian President Will Seek to “Criminalize Words and Acts Offensive to Homosexuality”.

In a written address delivered to the Third Congress of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites, and Transsexuals (ABGLT), Lula denounced groups, most of them Christian, who have objected to plans to outlaw such speech, calling them “hypocrites.”

“Some backward as well as hypocritical sectors … have criticized our government for supporting initiatives that criminalize words or acts that are offensive to homosexuality,” he wrote. “That has no importance.  I will continue, with the support of the entire government, to maintain that attitude.”

As LifeSiteNews has reported in the past, Lula has for several years sought to pass a “homophobia law” that would make it a crime to criticize homosexual behavior.

India: India is in peril. Obama is making it worse.

The real threat is of an Islamist takeover of Pakistan. Yet Obama’s strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan (or ‘Af-Pak’ in Washingtonese) inspires little confidence. Throwing more money at Pakistan and keeping up the pretence that the badly splintered and weakened al-Qa’eda poses the main terrorist threat risks failure.

…As Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley pointed out just before leaving office in January, ‘You can’t really solve Afghanistan without solving Pakistan.’

…Yet to mend a broken policy on Pakistan, Obama is doing more of what helped to create the failure — dispensing rewards upfront.It’s no wonder that even as the Taleban’s sway in Pakistan spreads, the US defense secretary Robert Gates declared in Krakow that the United States ‘would be very open’ to an agreement in Afghanistan similar to the one Pakistan made with the Taleban which ceded control of the Swat Valley to the Taleban. All this is music to the ears of the Pakistani military and its offspring — the Taleban.

Venezuela: In Venezuela, political opposition has a price.

In 2002-2004, almost 5 million Venezuelans signed one or more in a series of three petitions calling for an election to remove President Hugo Chavez from office. After Chavez survived the recall vote of August 2004, the names of those who had signed the final petition were compiled into a database using software called Maisanta.

Now economic analysis has found evidence that petition signers paid a price in lost employment and wages. This tends to corroborate long-held suspicions that the Chavez government used the Maisanta database as an enemies list. The analysis also quantifies the loss to Venezuela’s economy due to the regime’s apparent indulgence of political vendettas.

Middle East: Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, Jihadic Style.

…there were three carefully organized explosions on one day in Iraq, which killed a total of 80 civilians. One explosion was carried out by a woman in a black abaya, holding a 5 year-old child’s hand, (probably not her own). She killed herself and 28 other Muslims in a crowded market in a Baghdad slum. The civilians, many of whom were other women, were waiting on line for free flour, cooking oil, tea, macaroni, and other staples that the police were handing out. Of course, police officers died as well.

I have written a number of articles about Muslim mothers who have participated, both directly and indirectly, in the honor killing of their daughters; and about female Muslim suicide-homicide bombers who have specifically targeted other women and children.

For example, in 2008, in Iraq, one of four female homicide bombers entered a tent that provided shelter to weary female religious pilgrims. She sat down, read the Koran with them, and left a bag behind that, moments later, blew them all up. Please note that she targeted weary, religious Muslim women.

Thus, I was dismayed but not surprised when a Sunni, Al-Qaeda plot emerged, one in which male terrorists raped eighty Muslim girls and women, then turned them over to Samira Jassim who patiently, persistently, “maternally,” persuaded the rape victims, (many of whom had been targeted because they were depressed or mentally ill), to “cleanse” their shame by blowing themselves and other Muslims up. Twenty eight women did so.

Middle East: Nine Muslim countries among top 13 “egregious” violators of religious freedom. (Quote below is from CNN)

A U.S. government panel listed 13 countries Friday as “egregious” violators of religious freedom.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report named Myanmar, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Cuba: What Bob Gates Should Do With the Gitmo Uighurs.

So, Defense Secretary Gates now confirms for the first time that, yes, the Obama administration intends to release “some” Uighurs into the US–said Uighurs being the 17 Chinese Muslims at GItmo whom Andy McCarthy describes as being “steeped in jihadist ideology, trained in explosives and assassination tactics, and anxious enough to get that way that they high-tailed it from China to Afghanistan to become more lethal terrorists.”

Egypt: Coptic Priests and Women Assaulted.

The Egyptian State Security forces attacked and demolished on 26/04/09 at 7.30 am the services building belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Masrah Matrouh, assaulting the Coptic priests and Coptic women and men. More than 1000 Copts have surrounded the remains of the demolished building, ready for martyrdom, said a church member.

Scotland: Scottish Schoolchildren to Attend Government Funded “Islamophobia Workshops”. (from UK Press)

The Scottish Government is to back efforts to challenge Islamophobia in schools across the country.

More than £81,000 will be spent on holding more than 150 workshops in secondary schools over the next two years.

The move was announced by the Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop and welcomed by the charity Show Racism The Red Card, which will put on the 90-minute workshops.

And here’s one from Laura over at Pursuing Holiness…

Europe: Hey, Europe – don’t like U.S. control of the internet? Then build your own.

ICANN is a non-profit organization that coordinates things like the system that allows you to type hotair.com instead of 67.192.179.13 into your browser’s address bar.  It has that authority thanks to a Joint Project Agreement with the Department of Commerce.  It also manages domain name disputes like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals vs. People Eating Tasty Animals fight over peta.org.  (The carnivores lost.) That JPA is going to expire on September 30th, and the United Nations and the European Union are continuing their ongoing fight to gain control.

I’m not a big fan of ICANN for a number of reasons.  But turning control of basic internet functions that we’ve come to take for granted over to the nanny-state Europeans is even worse.  People who “issue binding regulations governing all aspects of public life on all member states, right down to the sizes of apples and oranges in street markets” are not fit guardians of the internet.

They micromanage business and their impulse is to criminalize and control dissenting opinion

Commenter ECM sent me this article from the UK Times featuring a video of actual torture.

The 45-minute tape shows a man that the Government of Abu Dhabi has acknowledged is Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan — one of 22 royal brothers of the UAE President and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince — mercilessly and repeatedly beating a man with a cattle prod and a nailed board, burning his genitals and driving his Mercedes over him several times. He is assisted by a uniformed policeman.

This act, by a member of the United Arab Emirates Royal Family, is actually torture. When the USA waterboards a terrorist, it’s not torture, and we potentially save thousands of lives from future terrorist attacks. Check out this article from the Weekly Standard regarding the Democrats’ politicization of national security and foreign policy.

Excerpt:

…In a letter to his intelligence community colleagues last Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair described those briefings. “From 2002 through 2006 when the use of these techniques ended, the leadership of the CIA repeatedly reported their activities both to Executive Branch policymakers and to members of Congress, and received permission to continue to use the techniques.”

That passage from Blair’s letter – along with another confirming that the interrogations produced “high-value information” that provided a “deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization attacking this country” – was dropped when language from the letter was released publicly. A spokesman for Blair attributed to the omission to normal editing procedures.

In an interview this morning, senior Bush administration official accused the DNI of “politicizing intelligence” by attempting to hide his judgment that the program had produced valuable results. This official also accused the Obama administration of double standards, citing its professed belief in transparency and its unwillingness – at least so far – to declassify memos that demonstrate the value of the interrogation techniques Obama has banned.

I have an idea. Let’s kick these bums out in 2010!

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