The Christian owners of a hotel in southern England have lost a U.K. Supreme Court appeal over whether their refusal to let a gay couple stay amounted to discrimination.
Peter Bull and his wife, Hazelmary, were ordered to pay damages in 2011 to Martyn Hall and his partner Steven Preddy for turning the couple away from Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion in southwestern England.
The Bulls — both devout Christians — had refused on religious grounds to let Hall and Preddy share a room.
The committee of MPs and peers normally takes evidence from the security chiefs in secret.
But they have been under pressure to be more open after leaks by ex-US security contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying by GCHQ and the US National Security Agency.
MI6 chief Sir John Sawers warned the politicians that “our adversaries were rubbing their hands with glee, al Qaeda is lapping it up” in the wake of the Snowden revelations, adding: “The leaks from Snowden have been very damaging, they’ve put our operations at risk”.
GCHQ chief Sir Iain Lobban said activists in the Middle East and “closer to home” had been monitored discussing ways of switching away from communications they “now perceived as vulnerable”.
“The leaks from Snowden have been very damaging, they’ve put our operations at risk”.He also suggested the leaks could help paedophiles avoid detection, and said the success of intelligence operations required the country’s enemies to be “unaware or uncertain” of methods.
The Intelligence and Security Committee has already carried out a limited investigation into claims that GCHQ used the American National Security Agency’s vast Prism programme, which gathers information from internet companies, to circumvent UK laws.
Sir Iain was asked about these claims, but said his agency acted within the law and rejected the idea that they were involved in widespread snooping.
Robinson has since appeared on Newsnight and was allowed to reel off pre-prepared monologues without serious interrogation by an unusually passive Jeremy Paxman. For instance, when asked ‘have you changed your views?’ Robinson said only ‘I want people to listen to my views’. You could say the leopard remains as dangerous as ever, changing only his spots.
He hasn’t explicitly apologised for his activities over the past four years, including being arrested with a van full of EDL members on their way to ‘occupy’ a mosque, nor does he appear to have renounced the EDL’s core ideology. Maybe his future actions will prove louder than words over the coming years; but for now he appears to have gained a great deal of credibility without really changing his views.
What’s allowed Robinson this graceful exit from the EDL into the ‘establishment’, given the continued vagueness over what he believes? In my view, the process is worryingly indicative of a wider shift in the British perception towards Islam and immigration. As Muslims are increasingly portrayed as outsiders, the two subjects are intertwined in the minds of many people, while polls show that people persistently perceive immigrants and their descendants to be much more numerous than they are.
Pavlo Lapshyn came to Britain in April from Ukraine after winning a prize to further his studies, but within days he had stabbed Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham. Photograph: Reuters
A white supremacist who hoped to “ethnically cleanse” Muslims has been told he will serve at least 40 years imprisonment for a terror campaign in which he hunted down a Muslim to murder before he bombed three Midlands mosques aiming to kill and maim worshippers.
Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, came to Britain in April from Ukraine after winning a prize to further his studies. Instead he tried to trigger a race war, fuelled by extremist material on his computer - including a video game called “ethnic cleansing” which celebrated racist violence.
Within a day of arriving and starting a work placement in Birmingham, Lapshyn who was a PhD student, was viewing an extremist rightwing Russian website used by those imprisoned for racist crimes, including murder.
A day later he photographed himself with a Buffalo River hunting knife in his bedroom and three days later took it onto the streets, “intent on finding a Muslim to murder”, Mr Justice Sweeney said as he sentenced Lapshyn.
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer must be thrilled! The Anti Muslim “counter jihad” is really paying off.
The “beautiful game” wasn’t so beautiful at the West Ham stadium last Saturday.
A group of Muslim West Ham supporters were harassed by fellow fans of the football team as they took a moment to observe afternoon prayers in the concourse area of the stadium, ten minutes before halftime. A video shows the disturbing attack, which ironically occurred after West Ham invited local groups to watch the game with discounted tickets through West Ham United Community Sports Trust, which focuses on community outreach.
The video shows a small group of Muslims gathered for prayer in corner under the stands, when their worship sparked the anger of fellow fans.
Note - There’s also a video but, I had trouble getting to play for some reason.
Instead the hit piece, labelling a Jewish refugee who fought for Britain in World War II “The Man Who Hated Britain”, was roundly condemned, including by the Prime Minister. It brought back up the history that the owner of the Mail before the war supported Hitler.
The sharks are now circulating for the frothingly right-wing Editor. Politicians in particular seem to have lost their fear of him, much as the scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s British papers caused them to lose their fear of him.
Jonathan Freedland looked at how the attack on Ralph Miliband resurrected familiar anti-semitic tropes.
So much as mention antisemitism and someone will pop up to tell you that Arabs are semites too so why do Jews insist on hogging, as it were, all the antisemitism for themselves. But the word was not a Jewish invention. It was popularised by a 19th-century German Jew-hater called Wilhelm Marr, keen to put his loathing on a pseudo-scientific basis: he used “semites” to mean Jews and, partly because “anti-Jewish racism” is a mouthful, the word has stuck.
Despite the name, it is not a phenomenon safely buried in the past. Just because hatred of Jews reached a murderous climax in the 1940s does not mean it ended with the war in 1945. It is alive and well even in 2013. Whether it’s on Twitter or in the cartoons that routinely appear in much of today’s Middle Eastern press, crude slurs and hideous caricatures of Jews - hook-nosed and money-grabbing - endure.
Move away from the gutter, however, and antisemitism is rarely so obvious. It is communicated through nods and winks, hinted at rather than spoken. In Britain especially, prejudice against Jews has long been of the latent, rather than overt, variety. Even the words Jew or Jewish are often avoided: spotting the euphemisms - “flamboyant North London businessman” - is a pastime in its own right. So those ready to acquit the Mail because there was no bald, outright statement of antisemitism were probably using the wrong measure.
Instead, there are familiar tunes, some centuries old, which are played again and again. An especially hoary trope is the notion of divided allegiances or plain disloyalty, as if, whatever their outward pretence, Jews really serve another master besides their country. Under Stalin, Jews, especially Jewish intellectuals, were condemned as “rootless cosmopolitans” (another euphemism) lacking in sufficient patriotism. The Mail’s insistence that Miliband Sr was not only disloyal but actively hated his country fits comfortably in that tradition.
In the antisemitic imagination, Jews are constantly working for some other, hidden goal.
The Vlaamse Volksbeweging (VVB), or Flemish People’s Movement, was an official participant at Saturday’s major rally for Scottish independence in Edinburgh, organised by the SNP-dominated campaign for a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.
Steven Vergauwen, the VVB’s chairman, attended alongside Alex Salmond, the SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland. Mr Vergauwen had said on Friday: “Scotland and Flanders are one, joined on their way towards independence and real democracy.”
The VVB seeks Flemish independence from Belgium.
But Prof Kris Deschouwer, the head of the politics department at Brussels Free University, said: “The VVB are ultranationalists and the SNP should watch who they mix with.
There were violent confrontations as supporters of the far right English Defence League clashed with anti-fascists during a march in South Shields.
Around 200 police officers contained the opposing factions for most of the march through the town but there was a flashpoint as the EDL protesters passed a park.
There was a surge from their number towards the rival group and they broke through the police lines, damaging a barrier in the process.
A skirmish broke out in the park which was broken up by police with dogs. At least three men were arrested.
The march was organised by the EDL along with another organisation which calls itself the North East Infidels (NEI).
‘Europe’s biggest street carnival’ opened today, 49 years after it was started by West Indian immigrants.
Over a million enjoy the parade, Trinidad style, innumerate sound systems and great international food. All in the same place as the film (which forgot it ever happens).
Kevin Rudd has used the first election debate to promise legislation on same-sex marriage within 100 days of re-election and Labor was ready with a social media campaign harking back to Labor’s famous 1972 “It’s time” election slogan ready to back up the pledge.
Rudd said he supported legalising same-sex marriage “as a mark of decency to same-sex couples across the country who wish the same loving, caring relationship that, for example, I have had with Therese my wife now for the last 32 years, and for that to be formalised”.
He promised Labor MPs would again have a conscience vote on the issue and he “appealed to Abbott to do the same because folk out there want this to happen”.
Tony Abbott said he understood same-sex marriage was “a very important issue”, acknowledging his gay sister, Christine Forster, who was in the National Press Club debate audience with her partner.
But he said the matter had been recently debated by the parliament and would not be a high priority for an incoming Coalition government. He said it would be up to the Coalition party room to decide whether Coalition MPs should get a conscience vote, if it ever came up in the future.