BPCA helps Pakistan’s last openly Jewish man to remove decades old discriminatory practice in Pakistan

One of Pakistan’s oldest discriminatory practices has been terminated thanks to Fishel Benkhald Pakistan’s last openly declaring Jew – with a little help from Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association.

Fishel Benkhald approached Mr Chowdhry about a year ago after he was having difficulties with altering his recorded faith within his Identity documents.

Fishel Benkhald as he now names himself is a man who was born of a Jewish mother and Muslim father. Fishel (chosen Yiddish name) was born Faisal Benkald in Karachi in 1987 and is the fourth of five children.

Fishel’s fondest memories are of his mother cooking fresh Challah (unleavened bread) every Friday, or reciting blessings over Shabbat Candles as she ushered in the Sabbath.

At a young age he found himself at odds with his siblings feeling more passion for his Jewish heritage then they ever exhibited by them. His mother always prepared Kosher food for him whilst she was alive as the two of them retained their Jewish identity.

His father was an engineer and often worked abroad in Africa enabling Fishel to experience a freedom to practice and learn Judaism in a manner that would have been limited in Pakistan. Sadly for Fishel his parents died when he was only 13 and he was forced to live with his more staunchly Islamic uncle.

Fishel now finds himself estranged from two of his siblings and the other two have rejected their Jewish heritage.

He began a campaign for his name to be altered on the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) about two years ago and called for them change his official religious status from Muslim to Jew.  An initial application was declined sometime near November 2015

Mr Chowdhry at the time reported the matter during evidence hearing sessions led by the All Parliamentary Party Group for International Religious Freedom (APPGIRF), at the UK Houses of Parliament (click here).  

However, although the issue of Mr Benkhald’s ID card was mentioned in the final report no further action or support was provided by the APPGIRF.

Fishel Benkhald had  been advised that it would be impossible for him to change his faith on his ID cards.  However he reapplied for the change late in 2016.  However, due to an unexplained delay without response he again approached Wilson Chowdhry for some assistance.

Mr Chowdhry organised a meeting with the First Minister at the Pakistani High Commission in London on 10th January 2017 and raised concerns about both Fishels ID card and a UK Citizen’s NICOP application.  The First Minister was pleasant and willing to help and sought further details of Fishel’s application tracking number.

After a few email exchanges it was agreed that The First Minister would raise a concern with the Interior Ministry about Fischel’s applications. He recognized that no law or guideline existed preventing the change in faith on identity documents and explained that the decisions were being made by senior executives at the NADRA department.

One week Later Fishel emailed Mr Chowdhry explaining that his application had been taken up to Interior Ministry level.  We immediately knew this was good news as the First Minister at the High Commissioner, informed us that some progress was being made. Even then to make sure of a good result the First Minister told us he would again raise the issue via the High Commissioner at a higher level.

Yesterday we received confirmation from Fishel Benkhald that he has been given the green light for his ID card, though it has not yet been produced for him. This will make Fishel the first registered Jewish Citizen in Pakistan for decades.   

Fishel is all that remains of a small but thriving Jewish Community that once had their own synagogue, graveyard and many businesses in Karachi, that once numbered an estimated 3000 people. Fishel’s mother told him that his maternal grandparents traveled to Pakistan from Iraq with a large number of Bene Muslim migrants.

The majority of the Jews in Karachi left for India and Israel in 1948 when a synagogue in the middle of the city became a centrepoint for demonstrations and violence during Israel’s, war for independence. Those who remained changed their names to more Muslim ones for their protection. So Fishel’s dilemma in reality is not one in isolation. In fact during the general elections in 2013, it was reported in dawn newspapers that 809 adult Jews were enrolled as voters. The number of Jewish women voters was 427 against 382 men in the community (click here).

By 2017, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan around 900 Jews were registered as voters in the country (click here).Despite the figures until now no passport holder in Pakistan is recognized as being of the Jewish faith. Pakistan’s highly discriminatory practice of labeling of citizens in this manner has often been blamed for the easy targeting and duress applied to minorities.

In 1988 despite international condemnation the Jewish synagogue was torn down for the building of a shopping mall, ignoring calls for it to be preserved as a heritage legacy. The contractors saved thousands of pounds when many extremists demolished the building by hand so intense was their hatred for anything Jewish. Fishel has been calling for the Jewish graveyard to be cleaned and preserved for heritage and now spends most of his time outside of Pakistan, working like his father did as an engineer. He hopes one day to create more empathy for Pakistan’s Jewish community and heritage.

Fishel, said:

“I am pleased with this result which comes just before the Jewish celebration of the Passover, when the Torah tells us Jews escaped from Egypt.  It feels like shackles have been removed from me and I feel a great sense of liberty now.

“I failed in a campaign to save the Synagogue in Karachi but I do not think the previous government had any passion for this.

“I hope the current government who have emancipated me through their decsions will be more inclined to preserving an important part of Pakistan’s wonderful and vibrant history.”

Wilson Chowdhry, Chowdhry Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

“I am ever so pleased for Fishel who has campaigned hard and alone for most of the time.  Seeking the freedoms that we enjoy in the west in the oppressive climate of Pakistan.

“The incumbent Government are proving to be more willing to assist minorities then any in Pakistan’s history. Only recently they also helped BPCA with a project to bring clean, fresh water to some of Pakistan’s most deprived Christian communities (click here).

“This change in mindset will benefit Pakistan greatly as it will help build stronger more enriched communities, who can work together to develop a wonderful nation.

“Moreover the inclusion of minorities in the advancement of Pakistan, will prove their value to the nation which will help eradicate the division and schism that has caused an increase in violence and fear.”

This is not the first time Mr Chowdhry has helped removed a discriminatory practice regarding passports.  In 2010 Mr Chowdhry received an award from the British Sikh Council, after he successfully spearheaded a campaign to remove a discriminatory practice that prevented Sikhs obtaining a 24 hour passport in the UK. Read more (click here)

In the Same year he also won a London Peace Award form then Mayor of London Boris Johnson (click here).

H/T Pamela Geller
by Wilson Chowdhry ||Image Credit

VIDEO: Students sign petition to ban Trump supporting professors

The millennials are indeed a generation lost. They mirror the intolerance and hate of the young fascists in the lead up to World War II.

Student Cabot Phillips to campus to see how students’ professed love of diversity didn’t extend to ideological diversity.

Cabot went undercover, posing as a student with the fictitious group ‘American Students for Diversity.’ He asked students if they’d be willing to sign a petition urging the school to ban the hiring of any professor who had voted for Donald Trump.

Over the course of an entire afternoon of filming, just one student who stopped to talk with Cabot would decline to sign.

  • Only one student declined to sign the petition.
  • At one point, faculty member stopped to sign the petition offered words of encouragement.
Campus Reform: While many students and administrators often refer to their love of diversity, how do they feel about a diversity of opinion amongst their professors?To find out, I went undercover at American University, posing as a student with the fictitious group “American Students for Diversity.” Armed with a clipboard, I asked students if they would be willing to sign my petition to urge the school to ban the hiring of any professor who had voted for Donald Trump in November.

Throughout the day it became clear that the overwhelming majority of students on campus had no interest in hearing from any professor holding political beliefs different from their own. Student after student eagerly signed the petition; one said having a professor who voted for Trump would “really inhibit people from going to class.”

 

At one point, faculty member stopped to sign the petition and offer me words of encouragement.

Another student signed the petition adding, “[America] is not really a democracy any more so we can’t really play by the normal rules anymore.”

Over the course of an entire afternoon of filming, just one student who stopped to talk with me would decline to sign.

H/T Pamela Geller
by Pamela Geller ||Image Credit

UK: Muslim politician says British volunteers in IDF should be prosecuted

The left is relentless. It wants to criminalize all dissent, all stands for freedom. Devout Muslims want to destroy Israel. The two come together in Sayeeda Warsi.

“Baroness Warsi: British volunteers in IDF should be prosecuted,” Times of Israel, March 29, 2017 (thanks to Lookmann):

The woman who was once the most prominent Muslim politician in Britain, Baroness Warsi, was back in the headlines today with an interview in which she called for British volunteers for the Israeli army to be treated as foreign fighters and prosecuted on their return to the UK.

Lady Warsi, who resigned from the government as Foreign Office minister during the Gaza War in 2014, saying its policy on Gaza was “morally indefensible”, has now published a book, “The Enemy Within”, which was launched on Wednesday night.

The one-time chairman of the Conservative Party gave an interview to Middle East Eye (MEE) to launch the book, in which she said that there were two different narratives, relating to Muslims who went to fight for non-state groups and militant organisations, and British citizens who volunteered to fight for Israel.

She complained of a “loophole designed to protect Israel” and said that “the only reason we allow the loophole to exist is because of the IDF, because we are not brave enough to say, if you hold British citizenship, you make a choice. You fight for our state only. That has to go out strong [sic].”

Those who went out to fight for groups, Lady Warsi claimed, were prosecuted on their return. She felt the same should apply to those who fought for state armies such as Israel’s.

Public debate, she believed, focused “exclusively on demanding loyalty from British Muslims, the same rule should apply to all. Let’s shut down this loophole. If you don’t fight for Britain, you do not fight.”

But MEE was unable to come up with anything more specific than that “dozens of British citizens are currently volunteered to the IDF through its Mahal program”. A spokesperson for Mahal told MEE that the exact number was a “state secret” and referred inquiries to the Ministry of Defence.

Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, said “Sayeeda Warsi lost all touch with reality when she walked out of government over her Gaza issues, and into well-earned obscurity. If she is really suggesting that a Briton who volunteers for the French Foreign Legion or serves in the armed forces of an close ally is a traitor, then no-one can treat her seriously.”

Lady Warsi also told MEE that she believed Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza in 2014 when she was part of David Cameron’s coalition government.She said: “I fundamentally believe that our policy towards Israel is flawed. If you go back to statements that [then-Foreign Secretary] William Hague made, at the time of the recognition of Palestine as a state, the government said not now, maybe in six months’ time.

“Now we are four or five years forward. What’s changed? The settlements are still being built. There is no formal recognition [of Palestine], the peace process is no further forward. The reality on the ground is changing.”

Theresa May, she said, had shown a “real lack of moral courage and leadership” by failing to attend the Paris peace conference in January and blocking the EU from adopting its closing statement.

Lady Warsi said: “When you have colleagues who stand up in parliament and deny the right of Palestine to exist, as Rob Halfon [Conservative MP for Harlow] did when he said that Palestinians can live in Jordan, that’s denying Palestinians a right to exist. All sorts of legitimate opposition to current Israeli government policy are now being seen as illegitimate.”…

H/T Pamela Geller
by Pamela Geller ||Image Credit

Trump Warns Freedom Caucus: Get on Board or Be Challenged in 2018 Elections

President Donald Trump sent a blunt warning Thursday morning to the Freedom Caucus, demanding the House GOP group that blocked the Obamacare repeal bill stop fighting the ‘Republican agenda’.

Trump posted to Twitter, “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

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The tweet followed one on Monday by Trump attacking the Freedom Caucus, “The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After so many bad years they were ready for a win!”

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Wikipedia has an unofficial list of Freedom Caucus members:

The House Freedom Caucus does not disclose the names of its members.[31] In the current (115th) Congress, the group has about three dozen members.[31] A number of members have identified themselves, or have been identified by others, as members of the Freedom Caucus, as of March 2017 including:

Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Chairman, 2017–present[32][31]
Justin Amash of Michigan[32]
Brian Babin of Texas[33]
Joe Barton of Texas[34]
Andy Biggs of Arizona[35]
Rod Blum of Iowa[33]
Dave Brat of Virginia[36]
Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma[37]
Mo Brooks of Alabama[38][39]
Ken Buck of Colorado[40]
Warren Davidson of Ohio[41]
Ron DeSantis of Florida[32]
Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee[42]
Jeff Duncan of South Carolina[43]
Trent Franks of Arizona[40]
Tom Garrett Jr. of Virginia[44]
Louie Gohmert of Texas[34]
Paul Gosar of Arizona[45]
Morgan Griffith of Virginia[4]
Andy Harris of Maryland[33]
Jody Hice of Georgia[46]
Jim Jordan of Ohio,[32] Chairman, 2015–2017[47]
Raúl Labrador of Idaho[32]
Alex Mooney of West Virginia[33]
Thomas Massie of Kentucky[48]
Gary Palmer of Alabama[37]
Steve Pearce of New Mexico[40]
Scott Perry of Pennsylvania[33]
Bill Posey of Florida[33]
Mark Sanford of South Carolina[33]
David Schweikert of Arizona[40]
Randy Weber of Texas[49]
Ted Yoho of Florida[49]

Rep. Ted Poe of Texas recently quit the Freedom Caucus over their stand against the Obamacare repeal bill.

The post Trump Warns Freedom Caucus: Get on Board or Be Challenged in 2018 Elections appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

H/T Gateway Pundit
by Kristinn Taylor || Image Credit

Hawaii Judge Puts Trump’s Refugee Order On Hold Indefinitely

The people elected President Trump because he promised to enact these very policies. How is it that some autocratic leftwing judge in Hawaii can undermine the will of the American people and issue a nationwide halt to the President’s urgently needed immigration order?

The job of a judge is to enforce the law (whether he likes it or not). It is not to make law, legislate or be an activist from the bench. Our enemies will exploit the actions of the enemies among us who care nothing of our security and only of their failed ideology.

This is who and what the left is. They refuse to accept plurality or the results of a fair and free election. They impose their will by edict. They have destroyed this country, and we must fight with everything we have to get it back.

“Hawaii Judge Puts Trump’s Refugee Order On Hold Indefinitely,” by Kevin Daley, Daily Caller, March 30, 2017:

A federal judge in Hawaii has indefinitely barred enforcement of President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugee and migrant entry, pending a full review of the order’s legality by the courts.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of the District of Hawaii issued the order late Wednesday. Watson issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) earlier this month on March 15, barring the directive’s enforcement pending further proceedings. However, TROs are usually short-term orders that expire after several weeks. Watson issued a permanent injunction on Wednesday, which simply ensures Trump’s order will remain enjoined while the court’s assess it on the merits.

Watson’s decision did not come as a surprise — the best shot lawyers from the Department of Justice seemed to have was to convince Watson to narrow the scope of his order, instead of urging him to scrap it all together. Still, they argued during a hearing Wednesday that Hawaii had failed to show it would suffer irreparable harm without a permanent injunction, and that the order was a lawful exercise of presidential power.

The court remained unconvinced of the government’s arguments, and reiterated assertions made in its original order of Mar. 15. Watson explained he believed Trump’s order could violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause, as comments made during the general election campaign by Trump and his surrogates could leave much of the country with the impression the order’s intent is to disparage Islam.

“Where the ‘historical context and ‘the specific sequence of events leading up to” the adoption of the challenged Executive Order are as full of religious animus, invective, and obvious pretext as is the record here, it is no wonder that the Government urges the Court to altogether ignore that history and context,” Watson wrote. “The Court, however, declines to do so. The Court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has seen.”…

H/T Pamela Geller
by Pamela Geller ||Image Credit

London’s Westminster Devout Muslim Terrorist Received Government Welfare Before Engaging In His Attack

You have to give them credit — these Muslim invaders know how to exploit our weakness and scam the system. Imagine British taxpayers funding this killer in the making while Muslim leaders in Britain whined about “islamophobia.”

“London’s Westminster Terrorist Received Government Welfare Before Engaging In His Attack,” by Russ Read, Daily Caller, March 27, 2017:

Khalid Masood, the radical ISIS terrorist responsible for London’s Westminster terror attack, did not have a job and was receiving government benefits before engaging in his attack.

Masood, 52, was unemployed and living in Birmingham before he killed four people and injured approximately 40 others in Wednesday’s attack. He was also reportedly receiving government benefits, according to The Telegraph.

Born Adrian Ajao, Masood had a violent criminal history, including several knife attacks. He had not previously been convicted for terrorism-related activities, but he was investigated by MI5, the U.K.’s domestic intelligence service, for his part in a terrorist bombing plot in 2010.

Known as a partier in his youth, Masood enjoyed playing soccer while in school. He was the father of four children, two daughters from a relationship in the 1990s, and a daughter and a son with his most recent partner. Masood is also believed to have been married to a Muslim woman at some point in 2004.

Masood’s employment history is spotty, though he is known to have taught English to foreigners. He spent two stints living in Saudi Arabia, the first of which occurred in 2005. Masood claimed to have a degree in economics, according to his resume, as well as a career in sales at a British chemical company.

Terrorists receiving government welfare is a common theme discovered in many post-terror attack investigations.

Anis Amri, the terrorist who killed 12 and injured 48 at a Christmas market in Berlin in December, was under investigation for committing welfare fraud under several different identities before carrying out his attack. Several of the plotters of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, including Paris mastermind Salah Abdeslam, are also known to have collected government welfare. The Danish government reported last year that 36 ISIS members had received welfare benefits prior to traveling to Iraq and Syria.

In some cases, these radicals use welfare schemes to fund their terrorist activities. The Paris and Brussels attackers collected a total of $56,000 in welfare, but spent only $37,000 to carry out the attacks.

Masood is known to have lived under various pseudonyms, including Adrian Elms, though it is unclear if he engaged in welfare fraud.

H/T Pamela Geller
by Pamela Geller ||Image Credit

Kids Taste Something Off In School Lunches, Horrified By What They Find

Written by Michael DePerry for Mad World News

New York City public schools serve food to 1.1 million students. However, after a horrifying discovery in one school cafeteria, students are now eating at an outside deli while school officials are scrambling to put in place a cover-up of the entire disgusting, hazardous affair. […]

H/T Mad World News
by Michael DePerry || Image Credit