People say I’m a hero but I’m not a hero. I’m Lassana,” he said at the ceremony.
“I’ll stay the same. I would do the same again, because I was following my heart.”
So said Lassana Bathily, the Malinese muslim, who saved
6 customers of a Jewish store, that was also under attack during
the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in 2015
In october 2020, France was startled by two criminal attacks on civilians,
Austria, too, by one criminal attack, also in october, 2020. 
Despite the horroble things you daily read and see in the news, yet I was rather stunned by learning of the bizarre beheading, by an 18 years old Chechen muslim, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov [who was killed by the police], of the French middle school teacher Samuel Paty, who taught history, geographics and civics.
In a lesson about freedom of opinion, Paty had shown his student
the notorious Charlie Hebdo 2012 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
And that was not all:
Along came a second attack, possibly still more bizarre:
The stabbing of three people, who died of it, by a 21 Tunesian suspect. 
I wrote: ” still more bizarre”, because this happened in a Church in Nice…..
But there was more:
The third attack, in the same month [october] took place in Vienna, where
a gunman opened fire on innocent civilians in the city centre of Vienna. 
But there also was another side of the story:
In Vienna, two Turkish migrants who live in Austria saved the lives of
a police officer and two elderly women! 
Recep Tayyip Gultekin, one of the saviour Turks, added to his action of courage and
”“If the same thing happens tomorrow, I wouldn’t hesitate to save people. I don’t want to see discrimination between Muslims, Jews, or Christians. Terror has no place in these religions. Terror is terror everywhere.” 
That is the Spirit of true religion, whether Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any other religion or life philosphy.
REACTION OF THE FRENCH STATE ON THE ATTACKS
So far so good [or rather said: so bad]
And let there is no misunderstanding
Those three attacks on innocent civilians were horrible.
But that doesn’t mean that State reactions neglect elementary rights!
And elementary rights are not to be discriminated against, not
impose collective punishment, not to condemn without proof!
And that’s exactly what the French government did to
the muslim community in France!
THE STORM/ISLAMOPHOBIA IN EUROPE
Since 11 september 2001, a storm of Islamophobia came
over the Western countries.
In the Netherlands figures like the political fascist PVV leader
G Wilders, as the Islamophobic politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali 
In other Western countries the same negative developments took place.
The whole political
climate changed, since every attack from muslim
perpetrators had been reacted negatively on the whole muslim community.
Also Islamophobic provocations went on and on, as the
Muhammed cartoons, published by the Jylands Posten.
And in nearly all cases I stroke back, as in the case of
the Muhammed cartoons publications. 
Not to mention the general Islamophobia in Europe! 
Under note 11 a report on Islamophobia in France, of 2016 
But there is a lot to read about this subject, alas.
Search for yourself at Google!
BACK TO FRANCE/ISLAMOPHOBIC REACTION AND MEASURES OF THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT
BACK TO THE FRANCE STATE/ISLAMOPHOBIC MEASURES
In fact, the reaction of the French government was no more or less than a declaration of war against muslims in France and international!
Instead of an appeal for unity, French government polarized by the showing of the offending Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoons, hanging from French government buildings , thus violating article 1 of the French Constitution, stating equality and respect for everyone regardless descent, race or religion, as respect for all religion.  But French State madness was not over yet: To add insult to injury, president Macron stated, that ”France will not give up cartoons” in a homage to the beheaded school teacher. GREAT! Are the muslims in France, who are offended by those disrespectful cartoons,not also France?No wonder some islamic countries started a boycott against French products!  The reaction of the French government was demanding, as if France still were a colonial Power!The french minister of Foreign Affairs stated as a reaction to the boycot calls:””These calls for boycott are baseless and should stop immediately, as well as all attacks against our country, which are being pushed by a radical minority,” Not only a neo colonial and arrogant reaction, but also implying as if the countries, that appeal for the boycott, had anything to do with the recent attacks.Perhaps this minister and his government have to learn, thatthe days of French colonialism are over? THE WORST:MEASURES AGAINST ISLAMIC ORGANISATIONS IN FRANCE And now comes the worst! The third action of the French government was the more discriminatory:Minister of Internal Affairs Damartin announced the prohibition of a number of islamic organisations, being ”enemies of the Republic” ENEMIES OF THE REPUBLIC? Readers, does it remember you of the ”fifth column” demonization? Moreover: Without any given proof or connection with any terrorist attack, thus alienating the majority of peaceful muslims in France!GREAT, AGAIN! An example of Damartin’s witch hunt is the CCIF, a reliable collective that fights Islamophobia in France  AND SO LOW, TO LASH OUT AT REFUGEES! The intention is also the deportation of illegal refugees, who received thelabel ”muslimextremists” without any proof of involvement with any terrorist attack . 
EPILOGUE Those measures, punishing a number of islamic organisations with no proven connections whatever with the attackers, for their deeds is a form of”collective punishment” , fitting in a police State, not in a democracy, whichFrance claims to be.  To add my voice to the diminishing number of people and organisations, that fight against Islamophobia, discrimination and also racism, I wrote this article, I also protested by the way of a Letter to the Editor, which I sent to a number ofFrench, American, British and Turkish newspapers. I also protested in a Letter to the Editor in Dutch, sending it to a numberof Dutch and Belgian newspapers. This was my contribution. Readers, do you follow, fighting injustice! Astrid Essed SEE FOR NOTES
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Attacks in France/Samuel Paty,Nice/President Macron’s Islamophobic hysteria
President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday’s stabbings were an “Islamist terrorist attack”. Security is being stepped up throughout France.
The 21-year-old Tunisian suspect arrived in the city the night before the attack, his brother told the BBC.
Meanwhile, France’s interior minister said more militant attacks were likely.
“We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks,” said Gerald Darmanin. “We’re at war against an ideology, Islamist ideology.”
Security has been increased at places of worship and schools across France following two similar attacks within two weeks. Earlier this month a teacher was beheaded in a Paris suburb after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to some of his pupils.
Mr Macron’s subsequent defence of the right to publish the cartoons has stoked anger in several Muslim-majority countries.
Following the latest attack, police shot and wounded the suspected knifeman, who had only recently arrived in Europe. He is said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
President Emmanuel Macron has ordered that the number of soldiers being deployed to protect public places – such as churches and schools – rises from 3,000 to 7,000.
Meanwhile, police investigating the attack have made a second arrest.
What do we know about the victims?
The two women and a man were attacked inside the basilica in the morning before the first Mass of the day.
Two died inside the church. One of them, a 60-year-old woman who has not been named, was “virtually beheaded” close to the font, according to the French chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.
French media have named one victim as 55-year-old Vincent Loquès, a devout Catholic who had reportedly worked at the basilica for more than 10 years.
Mr Loquès, a father of two loved by many of the church’s regulars, was opening the building when the attacker slit his throat, police say.
The third victim was named by the Brazilian foreign ministry as Simone Barreto Silva, a 44-year-old mother of three born in Salvador on Brazil’s north-eastern coast. She had lived in France for 30 years.
She fled to a nearby cafe with multiple stab wounds but died shortly afterwards. “Tell my children that I love them,” she told those who tried to help her, according to French media.
On Friday morning, priest Philippe Asso stood on the church steps with other mourners before walking in with a wreath to the victims.
Others gathered outside the church to pay their respects.
Nice resident Frederic Lefèvre, 50, said he knew Mr Loquès.
“This is a tragedy once again,” he said. “We’re a free country, we have demonstrated freedom to all countries of the world. Today, this freedom is closing in on us. Life needs to be lived for everyone.”
Marc Mercier, 71, called the killings a “catastrophe”.
“It’s appalling. It’s been years that we’ve been saying that fear should shift to the other side [attackers] but it is still the same.”
”Collective punishment is a form of retaliation whereby a suspected perpetrator’s family members, friends, acquaintances, sect, neighbors or entire ethnic group is targeted. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions”
”ARTICLE 33 [ Link ] No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. ARTICLE 33, 4TH GENEVA CONVENTION’ https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/380-600038
Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad were projected onto government buildings in France as part of a tribute to history teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered by an Islamist terrorist last week.
The controversial depictions from the French satirical newspaperCharlie Hebdowere displayed onto town halls in Montpellier and Toulouse for several hours on Wednesday evening, following an official memorial attended by Paty’s family and President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Paty was beheaded while walking home on Friday evening, just days after he showed Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Mohammad to pupils in a class about freedom of expression.
In a tribute to the slain teacher, Macron described him as a “quiet hero” who “embodied” the values of the French Republic. The president posthumously awarded Paty the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian honour.
He was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic. He was killed because the Islamists want our future,” Macron said.
“Samuel Paty on Friday became the face of the Republic, of our desire to break the will of the terrorists… and to live as a community of free citizens in our country.”
The attack on Paty is the second terror incident in the capital since a trial began last month against the alleged accomplices of the 2015 killings that took place at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices.
The trial sees 14 people accused of providing weapons and logistical support to the gunmen, who were killed by police after three days of attacks that left 17 people dead and dozens injured.
The perpetrator of last Friday’s attack was also shot dead by police, and more than a dozen individuals have since been arrested as part of the investigation.
The front page of latest issue of Charlie Hebdo did not feature an image of the Prophet Mohammad – as it did following the 2015 attack – instead displaying decapitated cartoons of various professions with the headline: “Who’s turn next?”
END OF ARTICLE
ARTICLE 1, FRENCH CONSTITUTION
La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l’égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d’origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances”
Texte intégral de la Constitution du 4 octobre 1958 en vigueur
”France will not give up cartoons, President Emmanuel Macron vowed Wednesday in a homage to teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded for having shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed to pupils in a lesson on free speech.
“We will not give up cartoons,” Macron told a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne university attended by the family of the murdered teacher”
France will not give up cartoons, President Emmanuel Macron vowed Wednesday in a homage to teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded for having shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed to pupils in a lesson on free speech.
“We will not give up cartoons,” Macron told a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne university attended by the family of the murdered teacher.
The president said Paty was slain by “cowards” for representing the secular, democratic values of the French Republic.
Paty’s coffin stood in the centre of the university courtyard, adorned with French flags, as pupils, a friend, and a fellow history teacher paid moving tributes to the 47-year-old father of one.
The ceremony started with the song “One” by Irish rock band U2 played over loudspeakers at the Paty family’s request, and ended with applause.
Paty was killed on his way home from work after school last Friday by 18-year-old Chechnya-born Abdullakh Anzorov, who published an image of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter before he was himself shot dead by police.
Paty became the subject of an online hate campaign after he showed cartoons of the Prophet to pupils in a civics class to elicit debate on freedom of expression.
The same images had unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo five years ago in which 12 people, including cartoonists, were killed.
Macron said Paty was killed “because he incarnated the Republic.”
Added the president: “He was killed because Islamists want our future,” while vowing “they will never have it.”
PARIS — Several Arab countries are condemning French President Emmanuel Macron after he said he would propose legislation to tackle Islamist separatism and paid tribute to history teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered after showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class. Macron has previously called Islam a “religion in crisis.”
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bangladesh and the Gaza Strip this week after Macron’s comments led to social media channels to be flooded with the hashtags #BoycottFrenchProducts and #NeverTheProphet.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan publicly called for the boycott of French products on Tuesday, decrying “rising Islamophobia in Europe.” Some shops have already removed dozens of French brands from their shelves. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday the French ambassador to Turkey would be called back to Paris for consultation amid rising diplomatic tensions.
Leaders and officials in Iran, Pakistan and Qatar have also come out to denounce Macron’s support of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, which many Muslims find disrespectful. Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, even called on Facebook to place a ban on Islamophobia and hate speech against Islam “given the rampant abuse and vilification of Muslims on social media platforms.”
The Qatari State has condemned an escalation of “populist rhetoric inciting the abuse of religions.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said insulting 1.9 billion Muslims for “the abhorrent crimes of such extremists is an opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech.”
The Oct. 16 killing of Paty has led to protests across France. The French Council for the Muslim Faith denounced the history teacher’s murder as “a betrayal of the message of the prophet” but said “forcing [the cartoons] on everyone by projecting them on public buildings or showing them to children in a compulsory education setting is another thing.”
On Sunday, Macron pleaded for unity.
“We are united,” he tweeted, adding, “We will not give in, ever” in both English and Arabic.
Debate around Islam is raging as the French government seeks to implement strong measures against radical Islamism.
Meanwhile, European leaders are standing behind France. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Erdogan’s comments “completely unacceptable” and European Union High Representative Josep Borelles said Turkey needs to “stop this dangerous spiral of confrontation.
 ”The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Monday that the swoops on Islamists – including individuals who expressed support for the attack – should send the message that “enemies of the republic cannot expect a minute’s respite” and more police operations would follow.” …………”Darmanin said about 80 investigations were under way into radical preachers and suspected extremists accused of spreading online hate, and authorities were urgently assessing about 50 associations in the Muslim community, “some of which will certainly be dissolved”. THE GUARDIANSAMUEL PATY MURDER: FRENCH POLICE RAID DOZENS OF ISLAMIST GROUPS https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/19/samuel-paty-french-police-raid-dozens-of-islamist-groups
French police have raided dozens of Islamist groups and suspected extremists amid growing pressure on the government to clamp down on religious fundamentalism three days after a teacher was beheaded outside his school.
The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Monday that the swoops on Islamists – including individuals who expressed support for the attack – should send the message that “enemies of the republic cannot expect a minute’s respite” and more police operations would follow.
Darmanin said about 80 investigations were under way into radical preachers and suspected extremists accused of spreading online hate, and authorities were urgently assessing about 50 associations in the Muslim community, “some of which will certainly be dissolved”
Police sources told French media that authorities were preparing to deport 213 foreigners who were on a government watchlist and suspected of holding extreme religious beliefs, including about 150 serving jail sentences.
Darmanin said a fatwa appeared to have been issued against Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher of history and geography who was decapitated on Friday outside his secondary school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 20 miles north-west of Paris.
As part of a class discussion on freedom of expression this month, Paty had shown pupils a series of cartoons and caricatures including two of the prophet Muhammad published by Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine that was the target of a 2015 attack in which Islamist gunmen killed 12 people.
Police shot dead Paty’s attacker, an 18-year-old of Chechen origin named as Abdullakh Anzorov. A photo of the teacher’s decapitated head was posted to Twitter from Anzorov’s mobile phone, along with the message: “I have executed one of the dogs from hell who dared to put Muhammad down.”
Among the organisations being investigated by authorities is the high-profile Anti-Islamophobia Collective, which Darmanin said appeared to be “clearly implicated” in the attack because the father of a child at the school had repeated its name in a video posted online calling for Paty’s dismissal.
The pupil’s father and Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a well-known Islamist radical with links to the organisation who routinely uses social media and local campaigns to pressure the government over alleged Islamophobia, are among 11 people who have so far been arrested in connection with the murder.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has announced a national tribute for the dead teacher to be held on Wednesday, and on Monday he received the teacher’s family at the Élysée Palace, expressing his condolences and assuring them of his support.
At an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday, Macron announced a series of anti-Islamist measures including concerted steps against “the structures, associations and people close to radical groups … who spread hate and can encourage attacks”. Macron reportedly told ministers: “Fear is about to change sides. Islamists must not be allowed sleep soundly in our country.”
France’s chief public prosecutors were summoned on Monday to an urgent meeting with the justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti, to discuss “additional measures necessitated by the situation”, while security at France’s schools is to be increased when classes return after the half-term break.
Marlène Schiappa, a junior interior minister, summoned social media bosses for an urgent discussion of the role social networks played in the attack in Conflans and in previous atrocities. Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, said: “Those who participated in the public lynching of this teacher on social media are in some way also responsible for what happened.”
A day after tens of thousands of people took part in dozens of rallies in towns and cities across to France to support free speech and honour Paty, Macron is under pressure to come up with an effective response to the latest in a series of Islamist terror attacks that have rocked France since the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
More than 240 people have died from Islamist violence since that attack, prompting opposition politicians – particularly on the right – to accuse the government of waging a battle of words rather than taking decisive action.
Bruno Retailleau, the parliamentary leader of the centre-right Les Républicains party, said Macron was “fighting a battle of vocabulary, even while a part of the country is defying the fundamental values of the French republic”.
The leader of the far-right National Rally, Marine Le Pen, laid a wreath outside Paty’s school on Monday. She called for “wartime legislation” to combat the terror threat and demanded an “immediate” moratorium on immigration and the expulsion of all foreigners on terror watchlists.
END OF ARTICLE
THE ISLAMOPHOBIC WITCH HUNT OF ISLAMO LEFTISTS IN FRANCE
t’s true that France is hardly unaccustomed to Islamist terrorist attacks, having had to endure more than most western countries in recent years. The Toulouse and Montauban shootings in 2012, the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket and on the Bataclan nightclub and other restaurants and cafés in 2015, and the truck attack in Nice in 2016, being just the most deadly and high-profile. There have also been many smaller-scale incidents, with a spike in such attacks recently in the context of the ongoing trial of the presumed accomplices of the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and two weeks ago the murder of school teacher Samuel Paty on the last day of term, decapitated ostensibly for having shown examples of Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons in a class on free speech and laïcité (even though Paty warned that some of his pupils may find the pictures offensive and invited them to turn away or leave the room).
That such incidents provoke a reactionary backlash among rightwing politicians and media outlets insensitive to distinctions between Muslims and Islamists is unfortunately to be expected, but it doesn’t take much to provoke such reductionism in France these days – a veil-wearing woman who dares to express an opinion, participate in a song contest or go jogging or to the beach is enough to warrant as much “debate” on the “Muslim problem” as mass murder. Nor is it confined to the right: a member of Macron’s centrist party recently asked a veiled woman to leave the room, in an echo of a far-right politician doing the same earlier last year.
Upping the stakes
But that which has followed Paty’s murder is taking things to a new level, with the government at the forefront of Islamophobic polemics, and with changes to the law, to the constitution, and to the very definition of laïcité, being proposed to combat the terrorist threat, as well as restrictions on free speech being suggested as a necessary step to defending… free speech! Instead of healthy debate into what the state could have done better to prevent the killing, the mainstream political and media consensus has been to scapegoat those they say are simply in denial about the threat posed by veils and people not eating pork, and in particular those who critique Islamophobia and Charlie Hebdo – a wide range of people they refer to under the umbrella-term of “Islamo-leftists”. Journalist Rokhaya Diallo (black, Muslim and left-wing!) was recently accused by “new philosopher” Pascal Bruckner, for instance, of having blood on her hands for having used the “privilege” afforded her by being a black, Muslim woman to incite hatred against Charlie Hebdo.
n the aftermath of Paty’s murder, the police raided the homes and offices of numerous individuals and over 50 associations that, in the words of the interior minister Gérald Darmanin, admittedly “had no link to the Paty murder”; instead the aim was to “send a message”. Far from being Islamists or suspected terrorists (as suggested in The Guardian), these were in most cases simply Muslims and associations that provide legal advice to Muslims or that protest against anti-Muslim discrimination: the charity Barakacity, a faith-based charity providing clean water in Africa and help to the homeless and refugees in France, was banned a few days ago because of its Muslim affiliation (Catholic charities such as the Secours Catholique pose no such threat to laïcité however); and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a small organization with a UN consultant status which organizes mediation and helps provide lawyers for those defending themselves against Islamophobic discrimination, has been declared an “enemy of the Republic” and also threatened with dissolution – it has since taken steps to extend its activities internationally because it no longer feels safe in France.
Darmanin also went on a media offensive to put the blame on: the existence of Halal (and Kosher) food sections in supermarkets; journalists, left-wing politicians and charities such as Amnesty International and La Ligue des Droits de l’Homme for their denunciation of supposedly non-existent Islamophobia or police violence; and academics for teaching “Anglo-Saxon” courses on racism (as well as gender, sexuality and intersectionality) – all of which apparently contribute to “communitarianism”, “separatism” and ultimately Islamist terror. This weekend he also announced plans to impose a fine up to 75,000 euros and to send to prison for up to 5 years anyone who refuses to see a doctor of the opposite sex.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister for education, has also spoken out against veils, which, although technically legal, are “not desirable” nor “compatible with republican values”, as well as the corrupting influence of Anglo-Saxon academic concepts such as intersectionality. For Blanquer (and, even more embarrassingly, many academics in France), such work essentialises minorities (and is thus racist and sexist itself) and inevitably fragments society, in contrast to the French republican tradition in which everyone is equal and everyone gets along just fine.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of the first day of the Algerian war, Jean Castex, the Prime Minister, spoke about the need for the French public to no longer critique France’s colonial history (something France has never really started doing), and to instead be proud of France’s “roots”, identity and freedom. Meanwhile, and in the face of boycotts of French products in some Muslim-dominant countries, Macron tells the international media how tolerant France actually is of Muslims, offering a very different discourse to the one aimed at French Muslims.
The recurring theme in such debates is the supposed conflict between free speech and laïcité on the one hand (whereby Muslims seem to be little more than convenient objects of ridicule), and Muslims and anti-racists on the other (who inconveniently insist on Muslims having the right to have a voice). This manufactured conflict is dependent upon a curious, neoconservative redefinition of laïcité and a libertarian fetishisation of absolutist free speech.
From this perspective, nothing could symbolise the beauty of republican freedom more than anti-religious satire such as Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Muhammad as a terrorist or of a veil-wearing student union representative or other Muslims as animals. To suggest that such pictures are more Islamophobic and racist than they are representative of free speech (as indeed the European Court of Justice has done, arguing that depictions of Muhammad are not covered by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights), is not just seen as an affront to free speech and the French tradition of anti-religious satire, but contrary to the very principles of laïcité.
While the Observatoire de la Laïcité has sought to calm tensions in recent years by explaining that laïcité means simply that the state should be neutral and that the public should be free to practise whatever religion they want, figures from the (so-called) intellectual (so-called) left, such as the Printemps Républicain and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, have sought to push an alternative conception of laïcité whereby it is the public that is expected to be neutral (so, no more veils, no getting offended, no being too Muslim). In recent years they have been waging a war with the Observatoire (a neutral organisation whose task is to basically explain neutrality) which they regard as ideologically-influenced, partisan and unhelpful in the combat against the Islamist threat. In contrast, Laurent Bouvet, the leader of the perfectly neutral Printemps Républicain, recently posted on Twitter pictures of bacon masks, sent to him as a gift in the fight against the twin pandemics of Covid and Islam. This version of free speech and laïcité is the one that is winning the war, with the government now turning its attention to the Observatoire and threatening to “renew” its staff and role next year.
Free speech provocateurs
But it is almost as if the fearless defenders of free speech think that it is only speech that stigmatises Muslims that should be free. The government ministers who are so adamant about the need to celebrate the content of Charlie Hebdo as an exemplar of free speech have no problem in filing complaints for defamation against Mediapart, an independent online newspaper, for user-generated blog content they’ve hosted criticising police violence. A hundred academics have also just signed a letter siding with the reactionary comments of the minister for education against intersectional studies, asking for the state to intervene to prevent students from wearing headscarves and to put a stop to lecturers teaching such subjects. A few days ago, the Sénat passed an amendment to oblige academics to conduct their research “within the framework of Republican values”, which could be a perfectly banal and vague formulation, but which could also be the end of academic freedom, at least for those that do “critique” and “studies” (i.e. cultural, postcolonial, queer etc.).
I myself had problems organising a conference on Islamophobia, racialization and the “Muslim problem” when I was (very inconveniently) banned from using the words Islamophobia, racialization and the “Muslim problem” because they were too “provocative” (a favourite word of the free speech fetishists whenever they try to limit someone else’s free speech) and my university was too scared of offending the Printemps Républicain (Bouvet is a professor at the same university). I was also banned for the same reason from using an image of a woman wearing a tricolore veil to illustrate the event, and was instead asked to use orientalist images of Muslims as people from another continent and another century – I declined, but one person’s offence is clearly another person’s freedom.
One person’s offence is clearly another person’s freedom.
What seems worryingly clear, however, is that the free speech of academics, journalists, politicians, Muslims, anti-racist organisations, and law and order organisations is currently under threat, and that limits are being placed on the free speech of those who try to hold power to account simply to protect the free speech of those who feel it’s important to ridicule and stigmatise the powerless. And this is going to be done in the name of free speech.
Also, that in the name of neutrality (and even tolerance, of all words – where that now seems to mean the tolerance of offensiveness), the state is going to crack down even harder on the “proselytising” veil and proselytise Republican values instead. The extent to which school teachers and university lecturers go along with this remains to be seen. Further, the blanket approach to blaming both the left and Muslims for Islamist terror attacks, to side-lining critical scholarship and anti-racism activists, and to undermining anyone who tries to be neutral and balanced in their approach to debating such issues rather than reactionary and stigmatising, is going to be a prevailing feature of such polemics.
The extent to which critical scholars of race and intersectionality have taken over academia in France is rather unconvincing, however, seeing as it’s so hard to organise academic events on such topics (and when they are organised, they’re cancelled because of pressure from the very people claiming they’re rampant).
Similarly, the extent to which the organised left are in any way active in combatting Islamophobia is also dubious. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the founder of La France Insoumise, has always been explicitly anti-religious and guilty of Islamophobia himself (emphasising at one point that it simply isn’t French to wear a veil); it was only last year that he became convinced that there was a problem, agreeing to participate in a march against Islamophobia that is still being used against him as proof that he’s an Islamo-leftist. Despite several people from his party denouncing the current climate, there is still little prospect of a left-wing protest rally in front of the offices of the CCIF or Barakacity.
Macron’s move to the right on these issues (a far cry from his balanced tone during his presidential campaign) is perhaps politically-motivated. Le Pen and the far-right will probably be the force to beat in the next election. But the influence of the Printemps Républicain shouldn’t be discounted as well – this movement of the republican left is seeking to transform itself into a political party, with Valls and other big name politicians on both the left and right likely to be tempted to join what could become an attractive (not too obviously racist) alternative for many voters.
The focus for the immediate short-term, though, will be on the teachers and pupils returning to school today for the first time since Paty’s murder. Much is being made of the need for teachers to address what happened and for urgent classes on free speech and laïcité, in which many teachers will force racist cartoons upon the children in their class and encourage “debate”, whilst being simultaneously alert to any sign of radicalisation (presumably anyone looking away or debating too much).
In a further ironic twist, the text that teachers are to read out to their pupils today just before a minute’s silence – a text from Jean Jaurès on the role of the teacher, free speech and laïcité – appears to have been amended to emphasise the “fermeté” (determination, assertiveness) of teachers instead of their tenderness, while the passage on the autonomy of teachers has been completely removed. So, no autonomy for teachers or lecturers, and discouragement of critical thinking and debate among pupils and students, and all in the name of free speech, tolerance and neutrality.
Meanwhile, the much-mediated acts of Islamist terrorism continue unabated by the crackdown on Islamo-leftists, while the relatively unmediated acts and threats of violence against mosques, Muslim veil-wearing women and anti-racist academics seem to be occurring ever more frequently.
”and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a small organization with a UN consultant status which organizes mediation and helps provide lawyers for those defending themselves against Islamophobic discrimination, has been declared an “enemy of the Republic” and also threatened with dissolution – it has since taken steps to extend its activities internationally because it no longer feels safe in France.”
THE ISLAMOPHOBIC WITCH HUNT OF ISLAMO LEFTISTS IN FRANCE
La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l’égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d’origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances”
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Notes at ”Islamophobia in France/The witch hunt of president Macron and his team on the French muslim community”
THE WITCH HUNT OF PRESIDENT MACRON AND HIS TEAM ON THE FRENCH MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Letter to the Editor
This is the limit!Since the bizarre beheading of the French middle schoolteacher Samuel Patyby an 18 years old Chechen muslim, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov [whowas killed by the police], because of showing his students the Charlie Hebdo 2012 Muhammad cartoons, followed by the stabbing of three Church visitors in aChurch in Nice by a 21 Tunesian suspect, two very tragic events, all Hell broke out in France.Because the [re]actions of the French government were a de facto declaration of war to muslims, not only in France, but also international.Immediately after the news broke out about the beheading of the school teacher, the French government got bananas.The first bizarre action was the showing of the offending Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoons, hanging from French government buildings, violating article 1 of the French Constitution, stating equality and respect for everyone regardless descent, race or religion, as respect for all religions.Although the showing of the cartoons pretended to be in the name of”freedom ofopinion”, the French government knew full well, that many muslims, asIslamic countries, would consider it as a declaration of war.Again, a for muslims holy symbol as the Prophet Muhammed was shownon a disrespectful way, this time by a ”neutral” government.To add insult to injury, president Macron stated, that ”France will not giveup cartoons” in a homage to the beheaded school teacher.Do then the muslims in France not belong to France?No wonder some islamic countries started a boycott against French products.The third action of the French government was the more discriminatory:Minister of Internal Affairs Damartin announced the prohibition of a numberof islamic organisations, being ”enemies of the Republic”, withoutany given proof or connection with any terrorist attack, thus alienating the majority of peaceful muslims in France.An example of Damartin’s witch hunt is the CCIF, a collective that fights Islamophobia in France.The intention is also the deportation of illegal refugees, who received thelabel ”muslimextremists” without any proof of involvement with any terroristattack.In my view as the view of International Law, this is a ”collective punishment” This is no State policy anymore, but a ruthless witch hunt, which has nothing to do with democracy, but with a police State.Especially in those times, dangerous for France, the French government should connect, not polarize.
Astrid EssedAmsterdamThe Netherlands
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor The witch hunt of president Macron and his team on the French muslim community
MAILTITLE:CORONAMAATREGELEN ALLEEN VOOR CORONABESTRIJDING, NIET ALS ACHTERDEURTJE VOOR BEPERKING DEMOCRATISCHE SPEELRUIMTE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE MAILTITLE: CORONAMEASURES FOR FIGHTING CORONA ONLY, NOT AS A BACK DOOR FOR THE LIMITATION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS The Letter to the Editor is a Wake Up Call regarding the Dutch coronameasures, a warning that the coronameasures, although absolutely necessary, must not be used as a backdoor to limit democratic freedoms in the sense that they must not used as a repressive measure in other cases, which have nothing to do with corona.Read for yourself. The reason I have translated my Letter in English is at the request of someone I highly value for her scientific historical work and has become a good and valuable emailcontact.She can read Dutch, but to make it easier for her to grip the details I translated my Letter in English.This translation is also a gesture to my other English readers Enjoy reading! Stay healthy and safe Astrid Essed A IN DUTCHMY LETTER TO THE EDITOR Published by NRC ”Blijf alert als rechten worden ingeperkt” https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2020/04/14/extreme-maatregelen-blijf-alert-als-rechten-worden-ingeperkt-a3996654
MAILTITLE:”CORONAMAATREGELEN ALLEEN VOOR CORONABESTRIJDING, NIET ALS ACHTERDEURTJE VOOR BEPERKING DEMOCRATISCHE SPEELRUIMTE”
Ingezonden Stuk Geachte Redactie
Nu het Coronavirus als een spook door Nederland, Europa en de wereld rondraast, heeft een aantal landen maatregelen genomen om het virus in te dammen, wat noodzakelijk is,Sommige maatregelen gaan ver, zoals in Frankrijk, waar politieagenten massaal zijn gemobiliseerd en checkpoints zijn ingesteld en zoals in een aantal landen, waar de noodtoestand is uitgeroepen..Ook Nederland heeft noodzakelijke maatregelen genomen, die minder ver gaan, en hopelijk vruchten afwerpen.Toch kleeft er een gevaar aan dit alles, niet voor nu, maar mogelijk voor de toekomst.Want wat gebeurt er met die beperkende maatregelen, als het Coronavirus is overwonnen?Wat als hier, in het kader van de coronacrisis, de noodtoestand wordt ingesteld wat betekent, speciale bevoegdheden, zoals veel meer politie en zelfs het leger op straat.Weinig mensen zullen daartegen dan bezwaar maken, maar speciale maatregelen plegen nog al eens te beklijven, ook als het niet meer noodzakelijk is.Een voorbeeld is Frankrijk, waar de noodtoestand in 2015 werd ingevoerdnaar aanleiding van aanslagen in november 2015.Twee jaar later werd die noodtoestand opgeheven, maar is grotendeels omgezet in ruimere wetgeving, met meer bevoegdheden.Of Hongarije, waar premier Orban de coronamaatregelen heeft aangegrepen om praktisch een greep naar de macht te doen.Nu was Orban reeds lang een halve dictator en is Frankrijk veel autoritairder dan Nederland.Ik zeg dus niet, dat Nederland het Franse of Hongaarse voorbeeld zal volgen, maar toch is van belang, ervoor te waken, dat na de coronacrisis geen maatregelen blijven hangen, die de democratische speelruimte beperken en de privacy verder schenden.Noch, dat de publieke opinie, afgeschrikt door de coronacrisis, het makkelijker aanvaardbaar vindt, als er in andere situaties opnieuw beperkende maatregelen worden genomen.Laten we daar als samenleving alert op blijven.
MAIL TITLE: CORONAMEASURES FOR FIGHTING CORONA ONLY, NOT AS A BACK DOOR FOR THE LIMITATION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS
Letter to the Editor Now that the Coronavirus is wandering like a ghost across the Netherlandfs, Europe and the world, a great number of countries have taken measures to fight the virus, which is necessary.Some measures are firm and go far, like in France, where police officers have been mobilized and checkpoints are set, as in a number of countries, where the state of emergency has been established.The Netherlands have taken also taken serious, less far going measures, that hopefully will help.Yet there is some snake in the grass, not for now, but maybe in the future.Because what will happen with the coronameasures, when corona is defeated?What when here [in the Netherlands] the state of emergency is established, which means special authorizations like more police or even the army in the streets.Because of the necessity to fight corona, few people will object, but the problem is, that ”special measures” tend to remain in the political spectrum, even when there is no need for them anymore.One example is France, where in 2015 the state of emergency had been established in response to the terrorist attacks in november 2015.Two years later the state of emergency had been lifted, but was converted to broader legislation, with more authorizations.Another example is Hungary, where prime minister Orban has used the coronamesaures as a pretext to take a firmer hold of power
Now Orban always has been half of a dictator and France is far more authoritarian than the Netherlands.
.I don’t say, that the Netherlands will follow the French or Hungarian example, yet it is of the utmost importance to be watchful that after the coronacrisis no measures will continue to exist, that will limit the democratic space and violating the privacy rights.We must also be watchful that the public opinion, deterred by the coronacrisis, easier accepts, when in other situations also strict measures are taken.As a society we have the duty to remain alert on any limitations of democratic rights.
Astrid EssedAmsterdam ADDITIONS
MACRON ANTI TERROR LAW REPLACES FRENCH STATE OF EMERGENCY
President Emmanuel Macron’s signature anti-terror law has come into force after France’s two-year state of emergency ended on Wednesday. Critics say the new legislation bears many hallmarks of the emergency decree.
Wednesday marks the final day of France’s state of emergency, imposed after terror attacks in Paris in November 2015 that killed 139 people.
The emergency decree will be replaced by a new law which President Macron said gives authorities the powers they need to “deal with terrorist threats while preserving citizens’ rights.”
“A promise kept: we are ending the state of emergency on November 1 while reinforcing the security of our fellow citizens,” Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.
“The terrorist threat remains great,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb (above, left) said after Macron signed the bill into law.
MPs amended the government draft of the bill so that almost all the new powers will expire automatically at the end of 2020.
Macron gets tough
Macron, elected in May, had said he wanted to allow the emergency provisions to expire and in his campaign cited a parliamentary report showing the expansion of police powers had produced ‘modest’ results since the Paris attacks.
The government now claims the enhanced police powers have helped prevent more than 30 attacks.
Under the state of emergency, 11 religious centers have been shuttered “for incitement to commit terrorist acts” and 41 individuals have been placed under house arrest for harboring extremist sympathies.
France is a main target for the “Islamic State” (IS) in the West, with 30 percent of attacks or foiled plots related to the extremist group, according to research published by the Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism.
Criticizm of the law
Critics say the law will leave the country in a permanent state of emergency. Rights groups, the radical left and the far-right National Front all argue the measures risk making emergency powers part of ordinary law.
The bill sparked a heated debate in the French parliament, with critics arguing that it will be used to persecute minorities, particularly Muslims, with impunity.
“France has become so addicted to the state of emergency that it is now injecting several of these abusive measures into ordinary law,” Human Rights Watch said before parliament backed the legislation.
Two UN experts also criticized the bill in October for its “vague wording,” which they said does not define terrorism nor the threats to national security sufficiently well. They also worried that Muslims may face “discriminatory repercussions.”
According to a poll by Le Figaro newspaper, 57 percent of the French public back the measures, although 62 percent agreed that it was a restriction of basic freedoms.
Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for spreading misinformation and gives no clear time limit to a state of emergency that allows the nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, to rule by decree.
Parliament voted by 137 to 53 to pass the measures on Monday afternoon, with the two-thirds majority enjoyed by Orbán’s Fidesz party enough to push them through in spite of opposition from other parties, which had demanded a time limit or sunset clause on the legislation.
The bill introduces jail terms of up to five years for intentionally spreading misinformation that hinders the government response to the pandemic, leading to fears that it could be used to censor or self-censor criticism of the government response.
As of Monday morning, Hungary had 447 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 15 deaths, although the real figures are likely to be higher. The country is under a partial lockdown, with people discouraged from going outside except for essential activities, and schools, restaurants and many shops closed.
Rights groups and government critics say that while it is clear coronavirus brings extraordinary challenges, checks and balances should be placed on the government response, especially given Orbán’s erosion of democratic norms during his 10 years in power.
“This bill would create an indefinite and uncontrolled state of emergency and give Viktor Orbán and his government carte blanche to restrict human rights,” said Dávid Vig, Amnesty International’s Hungary director. “This is not the way to address the very real crisis that has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Hungary’s liberal opposition had said that although it had concerns over a number of elements of the law, it was willing to overlook them in the spirit of compromise as long as a sunset clause was introduced.
Of course we support the emergency situation. We agree with the government that there’s an emergency and that they have to do everything to combat it. We offered almost everything, but we asked for the time limit,” said Ágnes Vadai, an MP with the opposition Democratic Coalition party.
However, the ruling party had made it clear that it was not willing to back down over the sunset clause, she claimed. “I think from the very beginning, they didn’t want an agreement, because they have used the whole thing for political communication,” said Vadai.
Immediately after the vote, the senior Fidesz minister Katalin Novák wrote on Twitter: “The parliament authorized the government to continue fighting effectively against #Covid_19 … Regrettably, the opposition parties do not support this fight.”
END OF ARTICLE
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Coronameasures for fighting corona only, not as back door for the limitation of democratic rights/April 2020
LETTER TO THE EDITORFIRST IN DUTCH, LATER IN ENGLISH, WITH ADDITIONS ENJOY!
Ingezonden Stuk Geachte Redactie, Dat het kabinet ondanks het levensgevaarlijke karakter van het Coronavirus, dat vanaf 27 februari aan meer dan 5000 mensen het leven gekost heeft, reeds in een betrekkelijk snel stadium overgaat tot een mega versoepeling van de coronamaatregelen, is onverantwoordelijk en kortzichtig.Feitelijk is het Russische roulette spelen met de volksgezondheid.Want de nieuwe maatregelen vanaf 6 mei, aangekondigd in het ”coronaspoorboekje” liegen er niet om.Reeds was besloten, dat de basisscholen op 11 mei hun deuren zouden openen.Mijns inziens onverantwoord, want kinderen naar school betekent meer ouders op straat, belasting voor het Openbaar Vervoer en onzekerheid over het besmettingsrisico.Volgens deskundigen zijn kinderen minder besmettelijk naar anderen toe, maar dat wordt door een recent Duits onderzoek van viroloog Drosten bestreden, zonder dat het onderzoek in Nederland serieus is meegenomen in de afweging.Vanaf 11 mei mogen kappers hun deuren openen, vanaf 1 juni gaan de terassen en restaurants weer open, alsmede de bioscopen [30 mensen].Dat betekent meer mensen op straat, met toenemend besmettingsrisico.Ook is het houden van anderhalve meter afstand bij een kappersbehandeling of een rij-instructeur [wordt ook vrijgegeven] natuurlijk niet mogelijk. Mondkapjes zijn vanaf 1 juni verplicht in het openbaar vervoer, maar bieden een schijnveiligheid, omdat zij maar voor maximaal 20 procent risico-dekkend zijn.Leuk wordt dat, als het drukker wordt in het openbaar vervoer!Dat vakantieparken en dierentuinen vanaf 1 juli open worden gesteld, doet bij mij de vraag rijzen, of dit kabinet niet totaal de weg kwijt is.Waarom niet eerst het effect van de openstelling van de scholen op 11 mei afgewacht, in plaats van, [nog] niet gehinderd door veel kennis over dit virus en een mogelijke tweede heftigere golf, vrijwel alles open gooien?Dit gaat te snel, dit is onverantwoordelijk, hier wordt gespeeld met de veiligheid van mensen.Heropstarting van de economie?Belangrijk, maar nogal moeilijk, als een groot deel van de bevolking hetzij ziek wordt, hetzij overlijdt.Zonder mensen, geen economie.Nu maar hopen, dat dit kabinet alsnog tot rede komt. Astrid EssedAmsterdam LETTER TO THE EDITOR8 MAY 2020TITLE OF LETTER/MAIL:Relaxation of the coronmaeasures with the help of the ”coronaspoorboekje”[coronatrainbook] is a life threatening game of the government
[This Letter to the Editor has been publ;ished by the newspaper ”De Telegraaf”, see under this text] Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor, Given the life threatening character of the Coronavirus, that from 27 february has taken the lives of more than 5000 people, I think it is irresponsible and shortsighted, that the Dutch government is moving on to a mega relaxation of the coronameasures.In fact the way the government is acting now is playing Russian Roulette with the public health.Because the new measures from 6 may, announced in the ”coronaspoorboekje” [corona trainbook] are clear and mean.Already there was decided to open the elementary schools from 11 may.I think that’s irresponsible, because children going back to school means more parents on the streets, a burden for the public transport and insecurity about the risk of contamination.According medical experts children are less contagious for others, but that has been contradicted by a recent German investigation by top virologist dr Drosten.Why his investigation didn’t play a role by the Dutch decision to re open the elementary schools?From 11 may barbershops are allowed to open again, and from 1 june also cafe’s and restaurants, as cinema’s [30 people]That means more people on the streets with an increasing risk on contamination.And of course social distancing [1,5 meter distance] isn’t possible at the barbershop and driving lessons [also opening again]From 1 june mouth masks are mandatory in the public transport, but [non medically mouth masks] offer only a false security, because they they cover the risk only for 20 percent.That can be fun, when the public transport becomes more crowded!The opening of holiday resorts and zoo’s raises the question, whether this government has lost its way completely.Why not first waiting for the effect of opening the schools on 11 may, before, not yet hindered by much knowledge about the spreading of the virus, as a possible second corona wave, opening nearly all sectors of social life?This is too fast, this is irresponsible, this is jeopardizing the safety of people.Restart of the economy?Important, but rather difficult, when a great number of the population gets ill, or dies.Without people, no economy.It is really to be hoped, that this government gets its senses back! Astrid EssedAmsterdam SEE FOR THE DR DROSTEN INVESTIGATION, UNDER THE DE TELEGRAAF LINK/ARTICLE A DE TELEGRAAF LINK/ARTICLE
THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BY THE DUTCH NEWSPAPER ”DE TELEGRAAF” UNDER DE TITLE OF”VERSOEPELING IS ONVERANTWOORD”TRANSLATED IN ENGLISH RELAXATION IS IRRESPONSIBLE” SEE THE LINK TO THE DE TELEGRAAF ARTICLE https://www.telegraaf.nl/watuzegt/427305715/versoepeling-is-onverantwoord SEE THE [DUTCH] TEXT, WHICH IS THE SAME AS THE ABOVE DUTCH TEXT: TELEGRAAFVERSOEPELING IS ONVERANTWOORD
08 mei 2020 in WAT U ZEGT
Dat het kabinet ondanks het levensgevaarlijke karakter van het Coronavirus, dat vanaf 27 februari aan meer dan 5000 mensen het leven gekost heeft, reeds in een betrekkelijk snel stadium overgaat tot een mega versoepeling van de coronamaatregelen, is volgens Astrid Essed onverstandig.
Feitelijk is het Russische roulette spelen met de volksgezondheid. Want de nieuwe maatregelen vanaf 6 mei, aangekondigd in het ’coronaspoorboekje’ liegen er niet om.
Reeds was besloten, dat de basisscholen op 11 mei hun deuren zouden openen. Mijns inziens onverantwoord, want kinderen naar school betekent meer ouders op straat, belasting voor het Openbaar Vervoer en onzekerheid over het besmettingsrisico.
Volgens deskundigen zijn kinderen minder besmettelijk naar anderen toe, maar dat wordt door een recent Duits onderzoek van viroloog Drosten bestreden, zonder dat het onderzoek in Nederland serieus is meegenomen in de afweging.
Vanaf 11 mei mogen kappers hun deuren openen, vanaf 1 juni gaan de terassen en restaurants weer open, alsmede de bioscopen. Dat betekent meer mensen op straat en een toenemend besmettingsrisico.
Ook is het houden van anderhalve meter afstand bij een kappersbehandeling of een rij-instructeur natuurlijk niet mogelijk.
Mondkapjes zijn vanaf 1 juni verplicht in het openbaar vervoer, maar bieden een schijnveiligheid, omdat zij maar voor maximaal 20 procent risico-dekkend zijn. Leuk wordt dat, als het drukker wordt in het openbaar vervoer!
Dat vakantieparken en dierentuinen vanaf 1 juli open worden gesteld, doet bij mij de vraag rijzen, of dit kabinet niet totaal de weg kwijt is.
Waarom niet eerst het effect van de openstelling van de scholen op 11 mei afwachten, in plaats van vrijwel alles open te gooien?
Dit gaat te snel, hier wordt gespeeld met de veiligheid van mensen. Heropstarting van de economie is belangrijk, maar nogal moeilijk, als een groot deel van de bevolking hetzij ziek wordt, hetzij overlijdt. Zonder mensen, geen economie. Nu maar hopen, dat dit kabinet alsnog tot rede komt.
B ARTICLE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE STUDY OF DR DROSTEN
Experts said the new data suggest that cases could soar in many U.S. communities if schools reopen soon. Among the most important unanswered questions about Covid-19 is this: What role do children play in keeping the pandemic going?Fewer children seem to get infected by the coronavirus than adults, and most of those who do have mild symptoms, if any. But do they pass the virus on to adults and continue the chain of transmission?The answer is key to deciding whether and when to reopen schools, a step that President Trump urged states to consider before the summer. Two new studies offer compelling evidence that children can transmit the virus. Neither proved it, but the evidence was strong enough to suggest that schools should be kept closed for now, many epidemiologists who were not involved in the research said. Many other countries, including Israel, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have all either reopened schools or are considering doing so in the next few weeks.In some of those countries, the rate of community transmission is low enough to take the risk. But in others, including the United States, reopening schools may nudge the epidemic’s reproduction number — the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case,commonly referred to as R0 — to dangerous levels, epidemiologists warned after reviewing the results from the new studies.
In one study, published last week in the journal Science, a team analyzed data from two cities in China — Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, and Shanghai — and found that children were about a third as susceptible to coronavirus infection as adults were. But when schools were open, they found, children had about three times as many contacts as adults, and three times as many opportunities to become infected, essentially evening out their risk.Based on their data, the researchers estimated that closing schools is not enough on its own to stop an outbreak, but it can reduce the surge by about 40 to 60 percent and slow the epidemic’s course.“My simulation shows that yes, if you reopen the schools, you’ll see a big increase in the reproduction number, which is exactly what you don’t want,” said Marco Ajelli, a mathematical epidemiologist who did the work while at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy. The second study, by a group of German researchers, was more straightforward. The team tested children and adults and found that children who test positive harbor just as much virus as adults do — sometimes more — and so, presumably, are just as infectious.
“Are any of these studies definitive? The answer is ‘No, of course not,’” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who was not involved in either study. But, he said, “to open schools because of some uninvestigated notion that children aren’t really involved in this, that would be a very foolish thing.”The German study was led by Christian Drosten, a virologist who has ascended to something like celebrity status in recent months for his candid and clear commentary on the pandemic. Dr. Drosten leads a large virology lab in Berlin that has tested about 60,000 people for the coronavirus. Consistent with other studies, he and his colleagues found many more infected adults than children. The team also analyzed a group of 47 infected children between ages 1 and 11. Fifteen of them had an underlying condition or were hospitalized, but the remaining were mostly free of symptoms. The children who were asymptomatic had viral loads that were just as high or higher than the symptomatic children or adults.“In this cloud of children, there are these few children that have a virus concentration that is sky-high,” Dr. Drosten said.He noted that there is a significant body of work suggesting that a person’s viral load tracks closely with their infectiousness. “So I’m a bit reluctant to happily recommend to politicians that we can now reopen day cares and schools.” Dr. Drosten said he posted his study on his lab’s website ahead of its peer review because of the ongoing discussion about schools in Germany. Many statisticians contacted him via Twitter suggesting one or another more sophisticated analysis. His team applied the suggestions, Dr. Drosten said, and even invited one of the statisticians to collaborate.“But the message of the paper is really unchanged by any type of more sophisticated statistical analysis,” he said. For the United States to even consider reopening schools, he said, “I think it’s way too early.”In the China study, the researchers created a contact matrix of 636 people in Wuhan and 557 people in Shanghai. They called each of these people and asked them to recall everyone they’d had contact with the day before the call. They defined a contact as either an in-person conversation involving three or more words or physical touch such as a handshake, and asked for the age of each contact as well as the relationship to the survey participant.Comparing the lockdown with a baseline survey from Shanghai in 2018, they found that the number of contacts during the lockdown decreased by about a factor of seven in Wuhan and eight in Shanghai.“There was a huge decrease in the number of contacts,” Dr. Ajelli said. “In both of those places, that explains why the epidemic came under control.” The researchers also had access to a rich data set from Hunan province’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials in the province traced 7,000 contacts of 137 confirmed cases, observed them over 14 days and tested them for coronavirus infection. They had information not just for people who became ill, but for those who became infected and remained asymptomatic, and for anyone who remained virus-free.Data from hospitals or from households tend to focus only on people who are symptomatic or severely ill, Dr. Ajelli noted. “This kind of data is better.”
The researchers stratified the data from these contacts by age and found that children between the ages of 0 and 14 years are about a third less susceptible to coronavirus infection than those ages 15 to 64, and adults 65 or older are more susceptible by about 50 percent. ‘They also estimated that closing schools can lower the reproduction number — again, the estimate of the number of infections tied to a single case — by about 0.3; an epidemic starts to grow exponentially once this metric tops 1.In many parts of the United States, the number is already hovering around 0.8, Dr. Ajelli said. “If you’re so close to the threshold, an addition of 0.3 can be devastating.”However, some other experts noted that keeping schools closed indefinitely is not just impractical, but may do lasting harm to children. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the decision to reopen schools cannot be made based solely on trying to prevent transmission.“I think we have to take a holistic view of the impact of school closures on kids and our families,” Dr. Nuzzo said. “I do worry at some point, the accumulated harms from the measures may exceed the harm to the kids from the virus.” E-learning approaches may temporarily provide children with a routine, “but any parent will tell you it’s not really learning,” she said. Children are known to backslide during the summer months, and adding several more months to that might permanently hurt them, and particularly those who are already struggling.
Children also need the social aspects of school, and for some children, home may not even be a safe place, she said.“I’m not saying we need to absolutely rip off the Band-aid and reopen schools tomorrow,” she said, “but we have to consider these other endpoints.”Dr. Nuzzo also pointed to a study in the Netherlands, conducted by the Dutch government, which concluded that “patients under 20 years play a much smaller role in the spread than adults and the elderly.” But other experts said that study was not well designed because it looked at household transmission. Unless the scientists deliberately tested everyone, they would have noticed and tested only more severe infections — which tend to be among adults, said Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.“Assumptions that children are not involved in the epidemiology, because they do not have severe illness, are exactly the kind of assumption that you really, really need to question in the face of a pandemic,” Dr. Hanage said. “Because if it’s wrong, it has really pretty disastrous consequences.” A new study by the National Institutes of Health may help provide more information to guide decisions in the United States. The project, called Heros, will follow 6,000 people from 2,000 families and collect information on which children get infected with the virus and whether they pass it on to other family members. Study to determine incidence of novel coronavirus infection in U.S. chil…NIH-funded study also will ascertain percentage of infected children who develop COVID-19.
The experts all agreed on one thing: that governments should hold active discussions on what reopening schools looks like. Students could be scheduled to come to school on different days to reduce the number of people in the building at one time, for example; desks could be placed six feet apart; and schools could avoid having students gather in large groups.Teachers with underlying health conditions or of advanced age should be allowed to opt out and given alternative jobs outside the classroom, if possible, Dr. Nuzzo said, and children with underlying conditions should continue to learn from home.The leaders of the two new studies, Dr. Drosten and Dr. Ajelli, were both more circumspect, saying their role is merely to provide the data that governments can use to make policies.“I’m somehow the bringer of the bad news but I can’t change the news,” Dr. Drosten said. “It’s in the data.”
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Corona trainbook [”Spoorboekje Corona] of the Dutch government/Playing Russian Roulette with human lives/May 2020
le mercredi 1 mars 2006, à 09:26, Astrid Essed écrivait :
The Danish cartoons: Freedom of _expression or licence to insult
Since a couple of weeks, a deep crisis has been developed regarding the publication dd september 2005 by the Danish paper The Jylands Posten of twelve cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, among else depicting him as a terrorist.
A number of Arabic governments and the Iran government not only asked the Danish ambassador for an explanation, also a great number of Arabic supermarkets decided to remove Danish products, for example in Saudi-Arabia, Algeria, Bahrein, Jordan, Kuwait, Morrocco, Qatar, Yemen and Tunesia Recently, dd 6-2, the Iran government has decided to cut off all commercial relations with the Denmark. Also the governments of Saudi Arabia and Libia has closed their embassies in Denmark.
Apart from those government-reactions, a great number of muslims protested against those cartoons, by which in many cases European embassies, in particular Danish embassies, were being violated. Also the protests were expanded to the American military. Recently four people were killed by the often trigger happy Afghan police, when a group of people marched on a U.S. military base in Southern-Afghanistan, out of protests against the Danish cartoons
To give a thourough analysis of this crisis and the controversy between the freedom of _expression, which is the point of view of most European media, and the lack of respect, which is the point of view of most muslims in and outside Europe, it is of importance to give a short review of the events.
The first publication of the Danish cartoons:
Dd 30-9-2005, the first publication by the Danish paper The Jylands Posten took place. This caused a strong reaction, not only under moslims and moslim-organisations in Denmark, but also in Arabic diplomatic circles. They asked for a conversation with the Danish prime-minister Rasmussen, who refused. Seeing the recent crisis, mr Rasmussen has tried to calm down this by means of diplomacy, which failed. However, he refused to make further excuses about the cartoons, calling the publications of the cartoons ”freedom ofexpression”
The second publication of the Danish cartoons:
However, despite of the crisis, which was caused by the first publication and which has also led to serious threatments to the address of the cartoonists, the Jylands Posten decided to republish the cartoons after the Christmas-period
It needs no surprise at all, that this second publication again lead to a serious crisis, by which not only the Danish government was being asked for an explanation, but also Danish products were being boycotted, diplomatic and commercial relations were broken and a huge people’s protest in a great number of countries burst out. The main protests took place in Saudi-Arabia, the occupied Gaza-area, the occupied West-Bank, Yemen, Somalia, Indonesia, the by India ruled disputed Kashmir area, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nigeria and Libanon.
Probably under the pressure of the worldwide protests, the Jylands Posten offered her excuses to the moslims dd 30-1, which was being accepted by the islamic community in Denmark
The publication of the cartoons in the European media:
Soon after the first reactions from the Arabic world on the second publication of the referred cartoons, a number of European media-papers, following the line of the Jylands Posten, were publishing also the Danish cartoons, claiming that they did this under the pretext of ”freedom of _expression” The cartoons were among else published in several Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, French, Belgian, Italian and German papers
The editor of the French paper ”France Soir” not only was publishing them, but also added some own caricatural contributions to them. Therefore he was fired soon after publising the cartoons As reaction, out of socalled solidarity with his indeed unacceptable resignation and again, in the name of the ‘freedom of _expression”, a number of Belgian papers were also publishing the cartoons.
Of course it is evident, that the European newspapers have the right on publishing the cartoons as an information-source for the judgment of the public opinion. However, out of their point of view and regarding some editorial comments, they are of the opinion, that freedom of _expression can be ventilated totally, without any consideration for the religious rights of certain groups of people
Freedom ofexpression versus licence to insult:
Of course I consider freedom of _expression as one of the most fundamental rights of humanity, but that doesn’t imply, that there is no limitation to it. Without any limitation namely, anywone would be free to utter racism and anti-semitism and other fundamental violations of human rights, as being condemned by as well European legislative law as International Law In extremis it can lead to the opinion of a Dutch cartoonist J Collignon, who remarked in connection with the crisis round the cartoons, that it is no problem to publish Mein Kampf either
Also the socalled defenders of the freedom ofexpression forget, that their own legislative law has limited a total freedom of opinion, because the rights of different groups would be violated, as is being said above
In the first place, in European legislative Law, The ECHR [European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms], article 10 guarantees the freedom of _expression, there is an addition, that states that it is limited ”by everyone’s responsibility of the law”
In the Netherlands, where a great number of papers have published the cartoons, also article 7 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of _expression, there is an addition, that states that it is limited ”by each responsibility of the law”
Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution states, that racism and discrimination is not permitted.
Insult of the religion of certain groups:
More specifically yet, article 137c of the Dutch criminal law, forbids insults of the religion of the several groups in society
The insulting character of the cartoons:
It is obvious, that the Danish cartoons, from which some are depicting the for muslims holy Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist, is violating the muslims in their most sacred feelings and is therefore a violation of their religious rights. Moreover the provocation lies in the fact, that it also implies a connection between the Islam and terrorism, which makes fundamentally no sense (being, like Christianity and Judaism, based on the principle of Love) and also a connection between muslims in general and terrorism, a serious European prejudice.
However I think, this is not only a question of legislative law, but responds also to the deeper principle of fundamental respect for other human beings.
By publishing those cartoons, the European papers not only has shown a fundamental lack of respect for the muslims outside Europe, but also for their moslims-co-citizens on their own country.
This sort of freedom of opinion bigotry is leading in extremis only to the further escalation of the growing tension between European autochtones and especially islamic allochtones, with the great risk of further radicalisation.
Reactions in the Arabic world:
Of course I am of the opinion, that the diplomatic reactions of the Arabic and Iranian government, not only regarding the boycot of the Danish poducts, but especially also against the Danish government, are extrapoportionnal, since the government of a country has no power over the edition-policy of a newspaper.
Also I condemn the reactions of violence in parts of the islamic world, which is directed against the foreign embassies.
However it is evident, that such an outburst of violence has more causes than the publication of the cartoons
Backgrounds of the violent outbursts:
Yet apart from the reaction on the publications of the Danish cartoons, it is obvious, that for such outbursts, more explanations must be seek
I am of the strong opinion, that those violent reactions, which take place in so many countries, are directly interconnected with the feelings of powerlessness and humiliations, which are being mainly caused by the European military support of the British-American occupation of Afghanistan and especially Iraq. This is also combined with the decennia-long European political attitude to the Middle-East crisis, which is de jure condemning the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian areas and the Israeli war-crimes and human rights violations, but de facto is maintaining the status quo, by not taking any political or economical measures to pressure on Israel to implement the UN-Security Resolution 242 dd 1967, to withdraw our of the occupied territories and also to dismantle the settlements, which are illegal according to International Law and break down the Wall, which has been condemned by the International Court of Justice dd 9-7-2004, because of cutting through occupied Palestinian area.
This, in combination with the since 11 september 2001 amounted anti-Islam hysteria in Europe, from which the publication of those cartoons are one of the utterings, is leading to those violent protests, which is only being worsened by the provocative attitude of a number of European papers, from which for example the Dutch Volkskrant [literary translared: People’s Paper] is one of the most extreme, by publishing the cartoons two times in a short period.
Denigrated remarks of de Volkskrant:
Not only ”De Volkskrant” was very bigot in her defense of the freedom of _expression by placing the cartoons twice, in an editionary comment ”Geen slappe knieeen” [”No weak knees”, by wich was meant no capitulation for ”religious fundamentalism”, which as so often in the European media is used in a wrong way] she also utttered very denigrating remarks considering the muslim protesters. So every protest was being ”directed” from ”the authorities”, by which they forgot, that it is highly unlikely, that so many protests in so many countries would be ”put in scene” Further they called the protests ”opgelopte lucht” [litery ”cooked air”, which means ”of no real meaning and irrational”], which shows a complete lack of respect for the intelligence and think-capacity of the protesters.
Further the Volkskrant also neglected a remark by a French muslimleader, who was comparing the cartoons with the anti-semite cartoons from the 30 years of the former century Their comment was, that the comparison was not just, because the systematic nazi-propaganda of that time is not to be connected with those cartoons
Yet the Volkskrant is missing a very important point here. Although there the anti-Islamhysteria is happily not to be compared with the nazi-propaganda from the years 30 of the former century, yet there are comparisons. For example the Jews were being considered as untrustworthy [the same qualification is given to moslims nowaday in Europe], they would plan an ”international plot to dominate the world” [compare with the generalisation of all moslims with the ”international terrorism”] and they were out to ”destroy the German cultural society” [compare with the muslims, who would ”destruct” ”the democratical European society”]
In my opinion I am also supported by no-one less than the very respected Dutch-Jewish rabbi Soetendorp, who stated that there are a number of comparisons between the anti-semite propaganda in the 30 years and the present European anti-Islamhysteria.
Political signature of the Jylands Posten:
Considering the Jylands Posten, it is perhaps interesting to commemorate, that this paper was in the 20, 30 and 40ths of the former century, a fervent political supporter of the racist-facistic regimes of as well Hitler as Mussolini Although the past is not to be considered in this, it is being named by me, because nowadays this paper is a very right-wing paper also with ideological ties with the extreme right party in Denmark
Reaction of the AEL [Arab-European League]
The chairman of the Arab-European League, mr D Abou Jahjah, has recently decided, in reaction on the publication by the European media, also to publish a number of cartoons. The deeper meaning is not only to explore the limits of real freedom ofexpression, by placing certain cartoons, which are a taboo in the European ideological train of thought, but also confont the European defenders of the freedom of _expression, who don´t care about insulting the feelings of muslims, with cartoons, which are shocking to them.
Considering the fact, that the holocaust is such a taboo, he has placed already a cartoon, by which Hitler shares the bed with Anne Frank
Although I can understand the purpose of this and in reactions a possible double standard point of view can be read, I think it is unacceptable to make a cartoon, even for testing this principle, of a genocide like the holocaust.
In that respect also the comparison would have more meanful, when the AEL had published a rabbi, being a terrorist.
I know almost certainly, that that would not be considered als ´´´freedom ofexpression´´, but as anti-semitism.
My other objection however is, that it is better to protest against the publication of the cartoons, rather than to place possible shocking cartoons, but of course that is the responsibility of the AEL-Europe.
Overwiewing the insulting character of the publication of the cartoons and the fact, that the freedom ofexpression has its limits, when it comes to violating of the rights of groups of people, regardless whether they are cultural, national or religious, it would be wise, when the European media would not have pubish them, at least not out of the point of view of ´´defending of the freedom ofexpression´´
In the first place, there is a difference between freedom ofexpression and licence for insult In the second place, papers have not only their responsibility to bring news as objectively as]they can, but also a responsibility to society in respecting all citizens, also people, who have a different religion and descent Depicting intentionally cartoons, knowing it will hurt people in their deepest authentic feelings, whether religious or on another part of their identity, lacks the most elementar feeling of respect, which is also a part of the principles of democracy
By this arrogant attitude, only national and world-tensions will escalate, with as a consequence an amount of bitterness on the side of the powerless and already humiliated people in this world
It is time for Western media and a number of anti-religious or anti-Islam intellectualistic publicists, columnists, to show some respect.
Without that attitude, violent outbursts and more tensions will be the answer
I´´ll end to show my respect and appreciation for those European papers, which didn´t publish the cartoon in a senseless obsession with the ´´freedom ofexpression´´
In that respect many European newspapers could learn from the American papers, from which a very little part has published those cartoons
Dear Readers, One of the songs I cherish is Lou Reed’s ”Just a Perfect Day”Why…….Listen with me and just enjoy……..
Just a perfect day Drink Sangria in the park And then later When it gets dark, we go homeJust a perfect day Feed animals in the zoo Then later A movie, too, and then homeOh, it’s such a perfect day I’m glad I spent it with you Oh, such a perfect day You just keep me hanging on You just keep me hanging onJust a perfect day Problems all left alone Weekenders on our own It’s such funJust a perfect day You made me forget myself I thought I was Someone else, someone goodOh, it’s such a perfect day I’m glad I spent it with you Oh, such a perfect day You just keep me hanging on You just keep me hanging onYou’re going to reap just what you sow You’re going to reap just what you sow You’re going to reap just what you sow You’re going to reap just what you sow
At the request of someone I highly value for her excellent scientific historical work and who has become a valued and dear emailfriend [as I may say so], I sent her my Letter to the Editor.And although she can read Dutch well, I consider it as a special gesture to her, to translate my Letter in English too. And I wished to share it with you too.
HERE MY LETTER TO THE EDITOR TITLE [As I have emailed it to the papers] ”CORONAMEASURES OF THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT ARE STUPID, UNRESPONSIBLE AND DANGEROUS” Letter to the Editor The Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero warned the Senate [aristocratic precursor of the contemporary parliaments] in a number of speeches against a [finally prevented] coup d’etat of co senator Lucius Sergius Catilina.Without having the audacity to compare myself with Cicero, by means of this Letter to the Editor I want to warn against the dangerous Corona policy of this government, that is becoming worse and worse, despite the treath of a second Corona wave.The relaxation of the Corona measures, the socalled Corona trainbook [”Coronaspoorboekje], announced on 6th of may which implied except for the opening of schools and barbershops, the opening of almost the whole Dutch social live like the cafe’s, cinema’s, etc, has turned to be highly dangerous, because it led [especially in cafe’s] to more and more infections.And to make matters worse, lesser and lesser people followed the necessary coronarules, like social distancing and avoiding crowded places.And what is the policy of this government regarding those negative developments?Instead of tighten reins more [for example a lockdown of cafe’s and other outbreaks of contamination [like for example cafe’s or perhaps cinema’s], this government does nothing else to declare that discotheques and nightclubs remain closed [that had to be added!] and ”advising” people to follow the rules [that are violated increaslingly], giving ”advice” to go in quarantaine after visiting countries with ”code orange” [countries with great coronarisks] and an ”advice” to let yourself tested on corona.The political stupidity is, that an ”advice” need not to be followed, but a legal prohibition is binding.Why no mandatory testing at Schiphol Airport, when people return from risk countries and mandatory quarantaine [at Schiphol Airport] when tested positive on Covid 19?Why the GGD [Dutch Healthcare Centre]  has no centres where people are going in mandatory quarantaine when tested positive on Covid 19?Then there is a chance to avoid the second corona wave instead of stupid talk about ”own responsibility” and [a quote from prime minister Mark Rutte] ”I am no dictator”This isn’t a joke!It concerns maybe thousands of people, who can lose their life in the second corona wave, also predicted by some virologists.And what also helps is, that ministers [here mr Grapperhaus, minister of Justice and Security] follow the very rules they have set, in stead being a cry baby in parliament. A minister of substance would have done the right thing, namely resign.No wonder people increasingly don’t follow the coronarules, when ministers, who are responsible for maintaining the rules, don’t care about those rules at all!When this government doesn’t want a pandemia like the Spanish Flu [1918-1919, 38 thousand dead in the Netherlands] it is high time to take strict measures.To save public health and to prevent worse.
“I also sent a letter around my department to the people, giving the same accountability as I did in parliament,” Grapperhaus said to newspaper AD. “I did not serve as an example and for that I am very sorry. That this should not have happened with me as Minister of Justice and Security either.”
During the parliamentary debate, which lasted hours on Wednesday night, parliament asked the Minister to ensure that not everyone who gets a fine for violating a coronavirus rule gets that mentioned on their criminal record. Grapperhaus said that he would start working on that. Though he added that people who deliberately and aggressively break the coronavirus rules, such as by spitting in someone’s face for example, should still get that on their criminal record.
EMOTIONAL JUSTIC MIN AGAIN APOLOGIZING FOR SOCIAL DISTANCE BLUNDER; SURVIVES DEBATE
3 SEPTEMBER 2020
A visibly emotional Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security again apologized for not adhering to coronavirus rules at his wedding during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Wednesday. Despite the criticism against him, he finds he has enough credibility to enforce the coronavirus policy. He did say that he would look into whether coronavirus fines could be kept off of people’s criminal records in some cases.
Photos from the Grapperhaus’ wedding show him not only standing too close to his guests, but also shaking hands and hugging people. “During my wedding, compliance with the coronavirus measures went wrong. I have expressed my regret about this and I am doing that again today to the parliamentarians,” Grapperhaus said. “I didn’t do it right myself. I got caught up in the events of that day.” The Minister was visibly overcome with emotions and had to pause. “We talked about it at home. We said to each other: if only we had done it just the two of us together.”
Parliamentarians from the entire political spectrum raised doubts about whether Grapperhaus could still credibly enforce the coronavirus policy. He believes that he can. “Let one thing be clear: I fully support the corona policy that we have agreed on and implemented with the cabinet and I will continue to propagate that in the future.”
MPs also asked him how citizens should accept fines that go onto their criminal records for breaking the same rules he did. Grapperhaus said that he would look into whether these fines can be kept off of people’s criminal records in some cases. But he wants to keep that note on the criminal record for people who spit in the face of others, are aggressive, and deliberately flout the corona rules, he said.
When asked about waiving the fines, Grapperhaus said that was absolutely impossible. The decision of whether a fine was justified or not lies with the Public Prosecution Service and the courts, and the Minister has no businesses interfering with that, he said.
As Minister of Justice and Security, Grapperhaus was responsible for enforcing the coronavirus rules. Opposition parties called it scandalous that he then broke the two most basic rules in place to curb the spread of this virus – staying 1.5 meters apart, and not shaking hands. “Making a mistake and standing too close to someone else can happen to us all,” GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said before the debate started. “But shaking hands, you just don’t do it, especially as Minister of Justice. It was the first agreement we made in March.”
The union for enforcement officers NBB, whose job it is to fine citizens for breaking the same rules Grapperhaus did, raised this same issue. “The understanding for the corona fine is getting smaller. And the enforcer is noticing this. It is complicated to explain why people can get a corona fine if the responsible Minister himself does not comply with the rules,” NBB chairman Richard Gerrits said to NOS earlier this week.
Grapperhaus eventually apologized, saying that he feels especially bad given he has to set an example as a Minister. He paid 780 euros – twice the amount of the fine for not adhering to the coronavirus rules – to the Red Cross, but was not officially fined. Then on Tuesday, more photos surfaced, showing Grapperhaus shaking hands with people and embracing his mother-in-law.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed support for Grapperhaus on Friday, saying that him violating the coronavirus rules at his wedding does not affect his credibility as far as the Prime Minister is concerned. “Credibility is related to facing up when something is not going well. He is doing that,” the Prime Minister said.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Rutte did not specifically mention Grapperhaus, but he did talk about social distancing and fines for not adhering to the rules. “The 1.5 meters is always necessary everywhere,” Rutte said about social distancing. “Sometimes difficult to maintain. Sometimes you’ll bump into someone on the street. I really get it. And again, we’re not all perfect. And it is not the case that the police immediately impose fines, it does not work that way. Relatively few fines are imposed.”
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Coronameasures and the Grapperhaus Case/Coromameasures of the Dutch government are stupid, unresponsible and dangerous
ZIONIST LEADER AND LATER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER DAVID BEN GURION, WHO ONESIDEDLY DECLARED IN MAY, 1948 THE STATE OF ISRAEL AND ONE OF THE ARCHITECTS OF THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINETHIS LETTER TO HIS SON ONLY SHOWS HIS PREPAREDNESS FOR ETHNIC CLEANSINGS, ALREADY IN 1937! https://la.indymedia.org/news/2008/05/217559.php
‘ We must expel Arabs and take their place. Up to now, all our aspirations have been based on an assumption – one that has been vindicated throughout our activities in the country – that there is enough room in the land for the Arabs and ourselves. But if we are compelled to use force – not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev or Transjordan, but in order to guarantee our right to settle there – our force will enable us to do so. ” AN EXCERPT FROM THE UNDERLYING LETTER, REVEALING THE LONG MADE ZIONIST PLAN TO ETNICALLY CLEANSE THE ”ARABS” [PALESTINIANS]………
PALESTINA KOMITEELETTER FROM DAVID BEN GURION TO HIS SON AMOS, WRITTEN 5 OCTOBER 1937 Obtained from the Ben-Gurion Archives in Hebrew, and translated into English by the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut
Letter from David Ben-Gurion to his son Amos, written 5 October 1937 Obtained from the Ben-Gurion Archives in Hebrew, and translated into English by the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut
5 October 1937 Dear Amos,
I was not angry at you, but I was very sorry indeed that there was no reply from you. I cannot accept the excuse that you have no time. I know you have a lot of work at school, in the field, and at home, and I am happy that you are so preoccupied with your studies. But it is always possible to find free time if necessary, not only on Sabbath days but even during weekdays. Your excuse that I keep moving from one country to another is not convincing. You can write to me in London. Here they [the Jewish Agency office] always know where I am, and they are efficient in forwarding my mail. As to the question of my membership in the executive committee [of the Jewish Agency], I shall explain to you in person if I meet you in Tel Aviv upon my return. Here what I want to talk about is the conflict you are experiencing between your reason and your emotions with regard to the question of the state. Political matters should not be a question of emotions. The only thing that should be taken into account is what we want and what is best for us, what will lead to the objective, and which are the policies that will make us succeed and which will make us fail.
It seems to me that I, too, have “emotions” [quotation marks in original.Hebrew: regesh]. Without these emotions I would not have been able to endure decades of our hard work. It definitely does not hurt my feelings [regesh] that a state is established, even if it is small.
Of course the partition of the country gives me no pleasure. But the country that they [the Royal (Peel) Commission] are partitioning is not in our actual possession; it is in the possession of the Arabs and the English. What is in our actual possession is a small portion, less than what they [the Peel Commission] are proposing for a Jewish state. If I were an Arab I would have been very indignant. But in this proposed partition we will get more than what we already have, though of course much less than we merit and desire. The question is: would we obtain more without partition? If things were to remain as they are [emphasis in original], would this satisfy our feelings? What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish [emphasis original]. A unified Eretz Israeli would be no source of satisfaction for me–if it were Arab.
From our standpoint, the status quo is deadly poison. We want to change the status quo [emphasis original]. But how can this change come about? How can this land become ours? The decisive question is: Does the establishment of a Jewish state [in only part of Palestine] advance or retard the conversion of this country into a Jewish country?
My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning.
When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.
We shall admit into the state all the Jews we can. We firmly believe that we can admit more than two million Jews. We shall build a multi-faceted Jewish economy– agricultural, industrial, and maritime. We shall organize an advanced defense force—a superior army which I have no doubt will be one of the best armies in the world. At that point I am confident that we would not fail in settling in the remaining parts of the country, through agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or through some other means.
We must always keep in mind the fundamental truths that make our settlement of this land imperative and possible. They are two or three: it is not the British Mandate nor the Balfour Declaration. These are consequences, not causes. They are the products of coincidence: contingent, ephemeral, and they will come to an end. They were not inevitable. They could not have occurred but for the World War, or rather, they would not have occurred if the war had not ended the way it did.
But on the other hand there are fundamental [emphasis original] historical truths, unalterable as long as Zionism is not fully realized. These are:
1) The pressure of the Exile, which continues to push the Jews with propulsive force towards the country 2) Palestine is grossly under populated. It contains vast colonization potential which the Arabs neither need nor are qualified (because of their lack of need) to exploit. There is no Arab immigration problem. There is no Arab exile. Arabs are not persecuted. They have a homeland, and it is vast. 3) The innovative talents of the Jews (a consequence of point 1 above), their ability to make the desert bloom, to create industry, to build an economy, to develop culture, to conquer the sea and space with the help of science and pioneering endeavor.
These three fundamental truths will be reinforced by the existence of a Jewish state in a part of the country, just as Zionism will be reinforced by every conquest, large or small, every school, every factory, every Jewish ship, etc.
Our ability to penetrate the country will increase if we have a state. Our strength vis-à-vis the Arabs will likewise increase. The possibilities for construction and multiplication will speedily expand. The greater the Jewish strength in the country, the more the Arabs will realize that it is neither beneficial nor possible for them to withstand us. On the contrary, it will be possible for the Arabs to benefit enormously from the Jews, not only materially but politically as well.
I do not dream of war nor do I like it. But I still believe, more than I did before the emergence of the possibility of a Jewish state, that once we are numerous and powerful in the country the Arabs will realize that it is better for them to become our allies.
They will derive benefits from our assistance if they, of their own free will, give us the opportunity to settle in all parts of the country. The Arabs have many countries that are under-populated, underdeveloped, and vulnerable, incapable with their own strength to stand up to their external enemies. Without France, Syria could not last for one day against an onslaught from Turkey. The same applies to Iraq and to the new [Palestinian] state [under the Peel plan]. All of these stand in need of the protection of France or Britain. This need for protection means subjugation and dependence on the other. But the Jews could be equal allies, real friends, not occupiers or tyrants over them.
Let us assume that the Negev will not be allotted to the Jewish state. In such event, the Negev will remain barren because the Arabs have neither the competence nor the need to develop it or make it prosper. They already have an abundance of deserts but not of manpower, financial resources, or creative initiative. It is very probable that they will agree that we undertake the development of the Negev and make it prosper in return for our financial, military, organizational, and scientific assistance. It is also possible that they will not agree. People don’t always behave according to logic, common sense, or their own practical advantage. Just as you yourself are sometimes split conflicted between your mind and your emotions, it is possible that the Arabs will follow the dictates of sterile nationalist emotions and tell us: “We want neither your honey nor your sting. We’d rather that the Negev remain barren than that Jews should inhabit it.” If this occurs, we will have to talk to them in a different language—and we will have a different language—but such a language will not be ours without a state. This is so because we can no longer tolerate that vast territories capable of absorbing tens of thousands of Jews should remain vacant, and that Jews cannot return to their homeland because the Arabs prefer that the place [the Negev] remains neither ours nor theirs. We must expel Arabs and take their place. Up to now, all our aspirations have been based on an assumption – one that has been vindicated throughout our activities in the country – that there is enough room in the land for the Arabs and ourselves. But if we are compelled to use force – not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev or Transjordan, but in order to guarantee our right to settle there – our force will enable us to do so.
Clearly in such event we will have to deal not only with the Arabs living in Eretz Israel, since it is very probable that Arabs from the neighboring countries will come to their aid. But our power will be greater, not only because we will be better organized and equipped, but also because behind us stands a force still greater in quantity and quality. This is the reservoir of the millions in the Diaspora. Our entire younger generation of Poland, Romania, America, and other countries will rush to our aid at the outbreak of such a conflict. I pray to God that this does not happen at all. Nevertheless the Jewish state will not rely only on the Jews living in it, but on the Jewish people living in every corner of the world: the many millions who are eager and obliged [emphasis original] to settle in Palestine. There are not millions of Arabs who are compelled or willing to settle in Palestine. Of course it is likely that Arab adventurers and gangs will come from Syria or Iraq or other Arab countries, but these can be no match for the tens and hundreds of thousands of young Jews to whom Eretz Israel is not merely an emotional issue, but one that is in equal measure both personal and national.
For this reason I attach enormous importance to the conquest of the sea and the construction of a Jewish harbor and a Jewish fleet. The sea is the bridge between the Jews of this country and the Jewish Diaspora – the millions of Jews in different parts of the world. We must create the conditions that will enable us in times of necessity to bring into the country in our own ships manned by our own seamen, tens of thousands of young men. Meanwhile we must prepare these young men while they are still in the Diaspora for whatever task awaits them here.
I am confident that the establishment of a Jewish state, even if it is only in a part of the country, will enable us to carry out this task. Once a state is established, we shall have control over the Eretz Israeli sea. Our activities in the sea will then include astonishing achievements.
Because of all the above, I feel no conflict between my mind and emotions. Both declare to me: A Jewish state must be established immediately, even if it is only in part of the country. The rest will follow in the course of time. A Jewish state will come.
My warm greetings [Hebrew: Shalom Rav].
When do you return to Kadoorie [agricultural school]? Write to me. Show this letter to your mother and sisters.
Sincerely, Your father
END OF THE LETTER
SEE ALSO JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACEBEN GURION: LETTER TO HIS SON, OCTOBER 5, 1937
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Letter from David Ben Gurion to his son Amos, written 5 october 1937/About the ethnic cleansing of the ”Arabs” [Palestinians]
ALLIED BOMBINGS OF GERMAN CITIES DURING WORLD WAR II ARE WARCRIMES/LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Dear Readers, Despite of the heathwave it is important to mention the wrongs in history!I already did it in Dutch [article and Letter to the Editor], but now I wrote this Letter to the Editor about the allied bombings of German cities during WO II,Especially because it strikes me, that even after 75 years liberation of the nazi terror, there are still people, and many of them, who deny the fact that those allied bombings on cities, civilian goals, were forbidden, even in those times! This Letter to the Editor I’ve sent to a number of British, American and German newspapers.Of course I have no idea, whether they publish it or not, so I want to share my Letter with you.See the Letter to the Editor under note 1 Hoping you all stay healthy in those dangerous Corona days. Astrid Essed
 The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.
ALLIED BOMBINGS OF GERMAN CITIES DURING WORLD WAR II ARE WARCRIMES
Letter to the Editor Dear Editor,
Again and again it strikes me, that even after 75 year liberation of the Nazi terror, many people still deny the fact, that the British-American bombings of German cities were warcrimes.Of course there is a story behind this:After the killing of 40 000 British civilians by German bombings during the Blitz [warcrimes of course, but nobody denies that], it was payback time, not only out of revenge, but also to destroy the German economy and war industry.Another motive for lage scale bombing was to break the morale of the German people and the hope they would rise up against the nazi regime.Rather ridiculous, since the deadly air attacks were caused by the Allied forces and the caused destruction was ther sole responsibility.Therefore it was no surprise, that the German people became more and more hostile to the Allied forces, being the killers of the people they loved.Not only bombings on civilians and civilian goals are morally wrong, even in that time they were forbidden according article 25 of the Hague Convention Attacks on military goals of course were permitted.Yet bombings on civilian goals took place, as well by the Allied as the Central Powers.Firestorms on German cities and villages, since firebombs were used, with as a consequence, that people burned alive.In 1942, the German city Cologne was attacked with 1000 firebombs and at an attack on the German city Pforzheim in february 1945, 30 percent of the population had been killed.Was the Nazi top hunted and killed?Not at all, ordinary people.Dozens of cities were attacked, Cologne,Hamburg,,Berlin,Dusseldorf,Osnabruck,Kalsruhe,Dessau,,Potsdam and on and on.Deeply morally inferior was the fact, that even in may 1945, when Germany was about to surrender,bombing took place.Not only the bombing of Dresden [february 1945] was a warcrime, all those other bombings, too.More than half million German civilians were killed by those merciless carpet bombings and miliions of people were left homeless.High time to acknowledge that ”the good side of history” committed warcrimes too and not only Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Allied bombings of German cities during World War II are warcrimes/Letter to the Editor