Europe’s Cities Absorb Sharia Law

Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan banned advertisements that promote "unrealistic expectations of women's body image and health". Now Berlin is planning to ban images in which women are portrayed as "beautiful but weak, hysterical, dumb, crazy, naive, or ruled by their emotions". Tagesspiegel's Harald Martenstein said the policy "could have been adopted from the Taliban manifesto".
  • The irony is that this wave of morality and "virtue" is coming from cities governed by uninhibited leftist politicians, who for years campaigned for sexual liberation. It is now a "feminist" talking point to advocate sharia policy.
  • To paraphrase the American writer Daniel Greenfield, the irony of women celebrating their own suppression is both heartbreaking and stupefying.

Within days after the Islamic State conquered the city of Sirte in Libya two years ago, enormous billboards appeared in the Islamist stronghold warning women they must wear baggy robes that cover their entire bodies, and no perfume. These "sharia stipulations for hijab" included wearing dense material and a robe that does not "resemble the attire of unbelievers".

Two years later, Europe's three most important cities – London, Paris and Berlin – are adopting the same sharia trend.

Paris has said au revoir to "sexist" ads on public billboards. The Paris city council announced its ban after the Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the move meant that Paris was "leading the way" in the fight against sexism. London Mayor Sadiq Khan also banned advertisements that promote "unrealistic expectations of women's body image and health". Now Berlin is planning to ban images in which women are portrayed as "beautiful but weak, hysterical, dumb, crazy, naive, or ruled by their emotions". Der Tagesspiegel's Harald Martenstein said the policy "could have been adopted from the Taliban manifesto".

The irony is that this wave of morality and "virtue" is coming from cities governed by uninhibited leftist politicians, who for years campaigned for sexual liberation.

There is a reason for this grotesque campaign banning these images. These cities host significant Muslim populations; and politicians — the same who frantically are enacting mandatory multiculturalism — want to please "Islam". It is now a "feminist" talking point to advocate sharia policy, as does Linda Sarsour. The result is that, today, few feminists dare to criticize Islam.

It is happening everywhere. Dutch municipalities are "advising" their employees to not wear mini-skirts. There are women-only hours at Swedish swimming pools. German schools are sending letters to parents asking children to avoid wearing "revealing clothes".

The first to suggest calling for a ban on posters or advertisements that "reduce women or men to sexual objects" was German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, a Social Democrat.

"To demand the veiling of women or taming of men," said Free Democratic Party leader Christian Lindner, "is something known among radical Islamic religious leaders, but not from the German minister of justice."

In 1969, Germany was overwhelmed by a debate on introducing into schools the "Sexualkundeatlas", an "atlas" of sexual science. Now the effort is to desexualize German society. The newspaper Die Welt commented:

"Thanks to Justice Minister Heiko Maas we finally know why on New Year's Eve, at Cologne Central Station, about a thousand women were victims of sexual violence: because of sexist advertising. Too many eroticized models, too much naked skin on our billboards, too many erotic mouths, too many miniskirts in fashion magazines, too many wiggling rear-ends and chubby breasts in television spots. It is another step in the direction of a 'submission'".

Instead of nipples and buttocks, Die Welt concludes, "should we urge the use of burqa or veil, as Mrs. Erdogan does?"

The same German élites who suggest banning "sexist" billboards censored the crude details of the mass sexual assaults in Cologne. Meanwhile, a liberal Berlin mosque, which banned burqas and opened its door to gays and to unveiled women, is now under police protection after threats from Muslim supremacists.

Europe's élites have adopted a double standard: they are proud to host an exhibit of a Christian crucifix submerged in urine, but quickly capitulate to Muslim demands to censor cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. The Italian authorities went to great efforts to spare Iran's President Hassan Rouhani a view of nudity on ancient sculptures in the Capitoline Museums of Rome.

The Western public appears fascinated by Islamic veils. Ismail Sacranie, a founder of Modestly Active, the manufacturer that designs burkinis, told the New York Times that 35% of their clients are non-Muslim. Aheda Zanetti, a Lebanese woman living in Australia who invented the burkini, claims that 40% of her sales are to non-Muslim women. The Western public, which has been romanticizing Islam, is apparently absorbing the pieties of Islamic law. The Spectator called it "a new puritanism" and "why some feminists make common cause with Islam".

To paraphrase the American writer Daniel Greenfield, the irony of women celebrating their own suppression is both heartbreaking and stupefying.

Europe might soon have to apologize to the Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker. She was criticized — denounced — for advising women to keep "at an arm's length" from strangers to avoid sexual harassment.

If the West keeps on betraying the democratic value of individual freedom on which Western civilization is based, Islamic fundamentalists, like those who imposed burqas on Libyan women, will start imposing them on Western women. They may even begin with those feminist élites who first created the sexual revolution to emancipate women in the 1960s, and who are now infatuated with an obscurantist garment that hides women in a portable prison.

If the West keeps betraying the democratic value of individual freedom, Islamic fundamentalists, like those who imposed burqas on Libyan women, will do the same to Western women. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

The day the credit crunch began, 10 years on: ‘the world changed’

Key players in the drama recall the day that sparked the first UK bank run in 140 years and heralded a global financial crisis

The ninth of August 2007 was the first day of Mervyn King’s holiday. The governor of the Bank of England spent it at Lord’s cricket ground where he was interviewed by the former England cricket captain Michael Atherton. While Lord King was watching the cricket, the French bank BNP Paribas announced it was freezing the assets of hedge funds that were heavily exposed to the US sub-prime mortgage market.

It was the first and last day of King’s holiday. He would not have another for several years. Within six weeks, members of the Bank’s court – its oversight body – were being whisked into the back entrance of Threadneedle Street in a people carrier with blacked-out windows to be told that money was haemorrhaging out of Northern Rock.

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Americans Spend The Most For Health Care, Still Die Young

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development just released its latest batch of data seeking to measure the quality of health care in each of its member states.

The rankings show that although the US spends more per capita on health care than any of the 34 other OECD member states, its average life expectancy of 78.8 years ranks is among the lowest found in the group, according to a Bloomberg analysis. 

According to the data, the US ranks near the bottom compared with its developed-country peers in prevalence of infant mortality and maternal mortality, as well as deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“It has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the OECD, the sixth highest maternal mortality rate and the ninth highest likelihood of dying at a younger age from a host of ailments, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

There’s also a surprising disconnect between how healthy Americans believe they are, and how healthy they really are.  

“The U.S. is the most obese country in the OECD, leads in drug-related deaths and ranks 33rd in prevalence of diabetes. Yet 88 percent of Americans say they are in good or very good health, according to OECD statistics. Only 35 percent of Japanese, who have the highest life expectancy in the OECD, regard themselves as healthy or very healthy.

Bloomberg attributes the gap to the America’s reliance on “voluntary” health insurance, saying that OECD countries that rely on public health-care plans have much higher life expectancy, presumably because patients in these countries are incentivized to seek preventative care.

“Unlike other countries in the OECD, the U.S. mostly relies on voluntary health insurance to fund health-care costs. Public health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, accounts for 27 percent of coverage. By contrast, the 10 countries with the highest life expectancy depend on voluntary insurance for an average of less than 6 percent of their costs, and government spending for nearly half.”

Pharmaceuticals are of the biggest drivers of the US's high health-care costs: The US spends more per capita on prescription medicines and over-the-counter products than any other country in the OECD.

The data arrive as President Donald Trump and Senate GOP leaders consider their next move in a battle to repeal and replace Obamacare. Their latest effort, a so-called “skinny repeal” bill that would’ve rolled back some of the more controversial aspects of Obama’s landmark health initiative was rejected by a one-vote margin when Sen. John McCain, who’s suffering from brain cancer, surprised his peers by voting “no” in an early-morning vote last week.

Health insurance costs are on track to rise much more quickly than inflation as Trump considers using executive actions to ditch key payments to Obamacare insurance companies if a repeal and replace bill is not passed. Insurers in five states requesting premium increases of more than 30%, using this “policy uncertainty” as an excuse the blame the president.

With so much “uncertainty” surrounding the future of health-care in the US, maybe Bernie Sanders will succeed in passing a single-payer initiative that he’s vowed to introduce. Of course, the tax increases that would be required to implement the legislation might trigger a few unintended health crises of their own once taxpayers see the bill.

The complete rankings can be found below: