Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian who was sentenced to death for leaving Islam, despite never having been a Muslim (according to Sudanese law she is as her father was one), arrived in New Hampshire today. She refused to recant her Christian faith despite the death sentence placed on her by the Sudanese government. Although the death sentence was postponed until her daughter, born in May, reaches the age of two years, the child and her 18 month old brother both lived with their mother in a filthy Sudanese jail. Daniel Wani, Meriam’s husband, is a naturalized American citizen hence she and the children can legally live in the United States.
The Italian government played a major role in helping the family leave the Sudan and also sent a government plane to bring them to Italy. After meeting the pope and spending a week in Rome they flew to Philadelphia were they were greeted by Mayor Michael Nutter who spoke of freedom and about how fitting it is that she should arrive in the United States at Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, which was founded for people of all faiths. He also presented her with a small replica of the Liberty Bell. I’m sure she understood the symbolism of this gesture, and if she does not know it already, she will soon learn that the Liberty Bell was cast with these words from the bible on it: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." (Leviticus 25:10). From there they headed to Manchester, NH, where there is a community of about 500 Sudanese. Her husband and his brother make their home in Manchester.
It had been speculated, even a few days ago, that the family would somehow go to, or through, Washington, DC, and indeed that could still happen. But the White House has been silent on her release, the American Embassy in Khartoum was most unhelpful (until the story went viral) or she would have arrived here months ago, and their story exposes the truth about Islam and about Christianity. The truth is that Islam is very, very bad, especially for women and children, while Christianity is quite the opposite. It also reveals that people want to live in America and that it is a refuge for the oppressed, while the Sudan (97% Islamic) is a place they want to escape from. Hence, it seems unlikely they will be invited or even want to visit Washington, DC to meet American officials there.
Let My People Go
America is not as free as it once was, and although the decline started decades ago, it has accelerated since 2008. Meriam Ibrahim has two small children and a husband with health issues, so one cannot realistically expect her to become an activist in the near future. However she will most certainly become an American citizen, and even if she never becomes an activist, her story exposes the falsehoods that we are presented with here in America on an almost daily basis. Just as it will be impossible for her children to ignore this history, so too will it be impossible for the Sudanese and evangelical communities in America to conceal the truth. These truths of American greatness and of the superiority of Christianity to Islam are embedded in their story. This was a victory for Christianity, for freedom, for America, and also for Italy.
But what about the many problems we face in America, now headed by a Muslim (or at the least a Muslim-world sympathizer)? The freedom we still have is in marked contrast to what she and her family have known in the Sudan. We can expect that their story will be told and retold to countless numbers of people throughout the land. This is a story that is unfolding now, there is a photograph of them on Facebook mid-flight on their way to Rome, and there are photographs of them in Rome and arriving in Philadelphia. This story needs to be told, far and wide. Let those who learn of their story draw their own conclusions, as the conclusions are obvious.
Among those being considered to succeed Pope Benedict XVI is a
notorious anti-Semite, Cardinal Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras.
His name has appeared on various media short lists and his photograph
was featured, along with other possible candidates, on the front page of
the Miami Herald. He was also under consideration the last time around,
and his Latin American heritage is considered a plus this time. He is
very charismatic and popular in his home country and was recently
invited to speak to Latino Catholics in the United States.
To put it most simply, Rodriguez Maradiaga is an out and out
Jew-hater. He has said that "the Jews" are to blame for the scandal
surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners!
The Jews? How did Rodriguez Maradiaga ever come up with this
hair-brained idea? Here is his "logic." He begins by asserting that the
Vatican is anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian (as he says it should be). It
follows, therefore, that "the Jews" had to get even with the Catholic
Church, while at the same time deflecting attention away from Israeli
injustices against the Palestinians. The Jews managed to do this by
arranging for the media—which he says they control—to give
disproportionate attention on the Vatican sex scandal.
Following the recent war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza,
Italian soccer fans unfurled a banner reading "Free Palestine" at a match last
Thursday in Rome when the Italian team "Lazio" played their British rivals
the Tottenham Hotspur. Local media initially blamed Thursday's attack on
hard-core fans or 'ultras' supporting Lazio, who Tottenham had traveled to the
capital to play in the Europa League.
The Tottenham club has a large contingent of Jewish fans and in addition to
taunting the British fans with the provocative banner, witnesses told Italian
media that masked men armed with knives and baseball bats shouted "Jews, Jews"
as they laid siege to a pub where the Tottenham supporters were drinking in a
district popular with tourists in an old quarter of Rome.
Ten people were injured in the attack, which left Ashley Mills, a
25-year-old English fan in serious condition. According to the Rome
hospital where he is being treated, Mills underwent surgery for a severed
artery in his leg on Friday and was being monitored by doctors.
The 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly has just begun. Unless a diplomatic miracle happens, that body will soon approve what amounts to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Palestinian spokesmen say they had no choice but to make their end run around serious negotiations with Israel—because what Israel is offering in such negotiations is just a fraction of the territory to which the Palestinians are entitled.
To appreciate the hubris in this justification, it helps to recall a historical fact: Virtually no nation founded in modern times has been born in possession of all the territory to which it could lay plausible claim. Settling for half a loaf—that is, statehood in a territory significantly smaller than the historic or desired homeland—is the price that most national liberation movements have paid for self-determination and international recognition.
Giuseppe Garibaldi, the pre-eminent military leader of 19th-century Italian unification, was born to an Italian family in Nice, where most inhabitants spoke the language of northern Italy. One of Garibaldi's goals was to unify the Italian peninsula into a single state, including Nice. When a peace treaty was imposed giving the city to France in exchange for statehood, Count Cavour, the political leader of the nationalist movement, at one point tendered his resignation as prime minister.
So let’s get this straight, Tunisian refugees were taken in by (presumably) a Christian minister, who was then repayed by having his church set on fire?
Sounds like systems normal to us:
Tunisian refugees have set on fire a church at Lampedusa Island, Italy. No details of this incident have yet been revealed.
For some days, the situation on the island has been very tense. Local residents were unsatisfied by the torrent of Tunisian refugees, while the latter complained of poor accommodation conditions.
image: Migrants near a burning caravan on Lampedusa Island, Italy (file)
The church was set on fire after the priest had accommodated 36 teenage refugees in the parish.
Amid all the romantic, hand-wringing tales of those brave ‘migrants’ (a good number of whom are, in fact, criminals, racketeers and Islamists) traversing the Mediterranean to find safe harbour in stable, proseperous Europe™ on the newswires this morning; there was this lonely little ‘gem’ – untouched by the mainstream media. (continue reading at UnDhimmi and be sure to read the comments)
A European Union member and close U.S. ally, Italy has largely followed EU foreign policy in its dealings with Iran, both diplomatically and economically, though it isdistinguished by being Iran’s largest European trading partner.
Having maintained close diplomatic relations with Iran for many years, Italy is a key liaison between the West and Iran. Italy’s financial, naval, and military support for Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq War strained the Italian-Iranian relationship, which was repaired in 1988 at the conflict’s end.
In recent years, the Italian government chose to align itself with EU and US diplomatic policy toward Iran, condemning Iran’s nuclear program and supporting the idea of stronger sanctions should Iran not comply with UN regulations. However, Italy’s resolute attitude toward Iran’s nuclear program has shifted in recent months.
In February 2011, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini congratulated Ali Akbar Salehi on his official appointment as Iran's Foreign Minister . Salehi is designated by the European Council  and the United Kingdom  and is subject to a European Union travel ban for his activities in advancing his country’s sanctioned nuclear program. Salehi has spent many years in positions officially connected to the Iranian nuclear program, first serving as Iran’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (1997-2005) and later as the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. He is also a vice president of the Islamic Republic, known for his defiance on the nuclear issue and belligerence vis-à-vis Western powers.
In October 2010, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi expressed to Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, his doubts about the effectiveness of US and EU sanctions against Iran, saying “I fear that sanctions will not bring success.” Even though Italy has participated in such sanctions, Berlusconi claimed that sanctions have a tendency to reinforce regimes. He suggested that “a gentle and circumspect approach may be more helpful.”
That same week, Italy's Secretary of State Stefania Gabriella Anastasia Craxi expressed her country's support for Iran's right to peaceful applications of nuclear development. She pointed out that the EU and Italy are feeling the effects of complying with sanctions against Iran.
On Oct. 27, 2010, IPALMO, Istituto per le Relazioni tra l’Italia e i Paesi dell’Africa, America Latina, Medio ed Estremo Oriente (Institute for Relations among Italy and the countries of Africa, Latin America, and the Middle and Far East), held a conference during which former Italian foreign minister, Gianni De Michelis, criticized the US and other European countries for the most recent round of sanctions. He also praised Iran’s ‘positive’ role in Iraq and Afghanistan and said that “Iran can play a central role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.”
In a meeting between Frattini and Iranian Vice President, Hamid Baghei, on November 16, 2010, Frattini said “We recognize the right of all countries, including Iran, to peaceful nuclear energy.” Frattini also called for an expansion of practical cooperation between the two countries on international issues. He pointed to the progress of finalizing a draft agreement for cooperation in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
In January 2008, before Italy’s recent skepticism about the effectiveness of UN sanctions and before he became Italy’s Foreign Minister, Frattini, stated: "I support severe [Security Council] sanctions" if Tehran does not halt its uranium enrichment program within a month. Europe "cannot leave Israel alone" in its efforts to thwart Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb, and it should have the international community’s diplomatic support, said Frattini. Iran must freeze its nuclear program, including the parts it claims are for civilian use, until it provides complete information on it to the international community, Frattini added. "If they would have agreed about transparency of their nuclear exercise the situation would be different. But without that they are leading us toward adopting a third set of sanctions," he said.
As the host of the February, 2009 G8 summit, Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, invited the Iranian Foreign Minister Manucher Mottaki to the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in Trieste, in an attempt to use Italy’s relationship with Iran to improve relations between Iran and the West. However, following the disputed June 2009 Iranian elections and the subsequent crisis which engulfed Iran, the Iranian government declared it would not attend the summit. Frattini affirmed that Iran would be a top priority topic at the G8 Summit, and called for the immediate cessation of violence, stating that there was a strong possibility that the G8 nations would impose some form of sanctions on Iran following the summit.
Despite economic sanctions against Iran, Italian import of oil has increased by 92 percent in the first ten months of 2010-- imports from Iran accounted for 15.3 percent of Italy’s total crude oil imports  According to the Italian Institute of Foreign Trade, Italian imports went up by 161% in the first three quarters of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, Italy buying over €3.744 billion worth of Iranian goods. Italian exports to Iran have also increased during the first three quarters in 2010. Just in the engineering economic sector, Italian exports rose 50% last year. The Federation of Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries reported that the robotics field increased its exports to Iran by 384%, the steam turbines exports increased by 236% and thermic machines imports grew by 106%. The economic relationship between Italy and Iran is largely based on the trade of materials used for infrastructure, industry, and energy. Crude oil accounts for 85 percent of Iranian exports to Italy.
On October 25, 2010, the EU issued new regulations on restrictive measures against Iran. An energy update published by Delphi Global Analysis, reported that the new regulations outlined tough restrictions on investment and the sale of equipment and technology to the Iranian oil and gas industry. Unlike legislation passed in the US, the new EU regulations still allow for the import and export of oil and gas to Iran. An EU official said that in allowing imports and exports of oil and gas to Iran, the EU seeks to protect the Iranian population from feeling the negative effects of sanctions that could deprive them of energy.
In April 2010, Eni SpA, an Italian oil and gas giant, handed over the Darkhovin oilfield, its sole operational asset in Iran, to local partners in order to avoid US sanctions. Eni said its output in Iran was 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2009 and that its capital expenditures were over $20 million per year in Iran over the last ten years.
As part of the wide-ranged international sanctions against Iran, Eni, along with Total of France, Statoil of Norway, and Royal Dutch Shell of Britain and the Netherlands, drafted an agreement on September 30, 2010, in which they all pledged to end investments in Iran and avoid new projects in the country’s energy sector. In response, the US said that the companies would be protected from possible penalties for doing business with Iran. With the agreement, Eni settled to exit Iran when all current deals expire. Because of the agreement, Iran Air is able to refuel at only three European airports, causing significant business disruptions.
Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni announced on November 23, 2010, that Eni will continue to import Iranian crude oil for another three years in order to settle deals dating back to 2000 and 2001. Of Eni’s original $3 billion investment in Iran, $1.4 billion is not yet recovered, which Scaroni said will be paid back in crude oil. Eni has said that its current projects in Iran are reduced to these buy-back deals.
In January 2008, the National Iranian Oil Company NIOC and Italy’s Edison International signed a $107-million (73-million-euro) contract for exploration in Persian Gulf waters. It involves geological and seismic studies as well as drilling up to two wells in Iran’s Dayyer Block. The Block is located in the most abundant hydrocarbon basin in the world with total reserves amounting to 18 TcF gas and an estimated oil pay at 1 billion barrels.
In May 2010, it was confirmed that drilling for the project was well underway with an exploratory well projected to reach 3,600 meters. At the same time, Edison International was seeking other partners for the venture, offering a stake ownership of more than 40%. The project has another two years to run, open to a one-year extension.
In July 2008, the Swiss power company Laufenburg (EGL), announced that its second gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Italy, Rizziconi Energia, was operational after 27 months of construction. The National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) signed a long-term agreement with EGL in March 2008 to provide the gas used to operate the Italian power plant.
Italy has also played a role in the projected Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline for which the bidding process will soon begin. According to a Frattini press statement, it is expected that Eni will compete in the bidding process with the full support and even requisite funding from the Italian government.
According to Wikileaks, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi believes Israel might attack Iran, even with nuclear weapons, as a preventive measure, if Israel feels threatened by the Iranian nuclear program. Berlusconi’s opinion was expressed to the U.S Secretary of Defense Robert Gates while he was visiting Rome on February 6, 2010. 
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