Saturday, July 02, 2016

Canada Week: Coda

Another Canada Day gone.

One hopes one enjoyed it because soon Trudeau will make good on his threat to turn Canada into a failed American-Mexican state.

Those were the days...

Twenty-eight were murdered in a siege in Bangladesh:

The hostages were given a test: recite verses from the Qur’an, or be punished, according to a witness. Those who passed were allowed to eat. Those who failed were tortured and slain.

The dramatic, 10-hour hostage crisis that gripped Bangladesh's diplomatic zone ended Saturday morning with at least 28 dead, including six of the attackers, as commandos raided the popular restaurant where heavily armed attackers were holding dozens of foreigners and Bangladeshis prisoner while hurling bombs and engaging in a gunbattle with security forces. The victims included 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, and two Bangladeshi police officers.

The attack marks an escalation in militant violence that has hit the traditionally moderate Muslim-majority nation with increasing frequency in recent months, with the extremists demanding the secular government revert to Islamic rule. Most previous attacks have involved machete-wielding men singling out individual activists, foreigners and religious minorities.

But Friday night's attack was different, more co-ordinated, with the attackers brandishing assault rifles as they shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) and stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's Gulshan area while dozens of foreigners and Bangladeshis were dining out during the Ramadan holy month.

The gunmen, initially firing blanks, ordered restaurant workers to switch off the lights, and they draped black cloths over closed-circuit cameras, according to a survivor, who spoke with local TV channel ATN News. He and others, including kitchen staff, managed to escape by running to the rooftop or out the back door.

But about 35 were trapped inside, their fate depending on whether they could prove themselves to be Muslims, according to the father of a Bangladeshi businessman who was rescued Saturday morning along with his family.

"The gunmen asked everyone inside to recite from the Qur’an," the Islamic holy book, according to Rezaul Karim, describing what his son, Hasnat, had witnessed inside. "Those who recited were spared. The gunmen even gave them meals last night."

The others, he said, "were tortured."

Nothing to do with Islam, apparently. 

Philippine troops on Saturday dug up what they believe is the body of Canadian hostage Robert Hall, who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf extremists more than two weeks ago in the south after a ransom deadline lapsed.

Villagers led the troops to a hinterland near Kamuntayan village in Sulu province’s Talipao town where the militants buried Hall’s body after killing him on June 13. Hall’s head was found abandoned outside a Roman Catholic cathedral, regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said.

Chances were high that it was Hall’s body, Tan said, citing intelligence reports and help from villagers. Police forensic experts would confirm the identity, he said.

If airlines and governments were serious about stopping terrorists boarding airplanes, the TSA would have been disbanded ages ago and this sort of thing would never have happened:

Nineteen-year-old Hannah Cohen and her mother Shirley are suing the TSA after a Thursday incident in which agents at the Memphis International Airport beat and jailed the young woman during a security check.

Only suing?

I'm thinking jail time and suing the American government. Ill teen-agers and women in wheelchairs are not threats to national security but people like Omar Mateen are.

Speaking of security....

The Obama administration has offered to help Russia improve its targeting of terrorist groups in Syria if Moscow will stop bombing civilians and opposition fighters who have signed on to a ceasefire and use its influence to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to do the same.

I remember a rare occasion when Russia paid it forward and warned the Americans that Chechen terrorists were planning an attack. That warning was perfunctorily ignored and three people were killed.

This kind of extortion is in keeping with Obama's narcissistic and callous personality.


Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has warned the United States of the "gravest consequences" if Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or any other Muslim prisoner is executed.

Oh, is it?

In a landmark finding inspired by a Supreme Court ban on niqab-wearing court witnesses, a Canadian study has come to the surprising conclusion that it is actually easier to detect a liar if their face is veiled.

“There’s concrete data from over 500 people showing that, in fact, the courts were incorrect,” said Amy-May Leach, an associate professor at the Oshawa-based University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Leach’s study, published in the latest edition of the journal of the American Psychological Association, had test subjects guess the truthfulness of women with and without religious veils.

The result? “Veiling actually improved lie detection.” ...

Leach’s study worked by taking female volunteers and showing them one of two videos featuring a woman and a backpack. In one video, a woman is shown vigilantly watching over a backpack. In the other, the woman is rifling through the backpack to steal its contents.

After the video, the volunteers are then led into a mock courtroom to be questioned by a “prosecution” and a “defence.” Whatever video they saw, the volunteer had to maintain that no theft took place. Thus, anybody who saw the “stealing” video was forced to lie.
Trials were staged with volunteers having their heads uncovered, wearing a hijab (a Muslim hair covering) or wearing a face-covering niqab.

Videos of the trials were then played to a second set of volunteers who were asked to guess if the witness was telling the truth.

For unveiled women, witnesses spotted the liars at a rate of about 50 per cent — no better than if they had flipped a coin.

“It was only when witnesses wore veils (i.e., hijabs or niqabs) that observers performed above chance levels,” wrote the study.

Subsequent repeats of the experiment in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands found similar results.

People spot better liars uncovered.

So the entire time law enforcement agencies spotted liars, they had been making mistakes?

There are tells - clues that the police and others agencies use to spot a liar, not only the kind of questions or consistency of testimony.

And then there is the little matter of taqqiya:

Taqiyya offers two basic uses. The better known revolves around dissembling over one's religious identity when in fear of persecution. Such has been the historical usage of taqiyya among Shi'i communities whenever and wherever their Sunni rivals have outnumbered and thus threatened them. Conversely, Sunni Muslims, far from suffering persecution have, whenever capability allowed, waged jihad against the realm of unbelief; and it is here that they have deployed taqiyya—not as dissimulation but as active deceit. In fact, deceit, which is doctrinally grounded in Islam, is often depicted as being equal—sometimes superior—to other universal military virtues, such as courage, fortitude, or self-sacrifice.

Back to the tea leaves, I guess.

And now, tiger cubs:

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