TV host Sonia Kruger calls for end to Muslim migration to Australia

The TV presenter Sonia Kruger has called for an end to Muslim immigration to Australia, saying she agrees with the US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s stance on immigration.

The host of Channel Nine’s The Voice and Today Extra was discussing the massacre in Nice when she said she agreed with the views expressed by the Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, who argued in a column “the more Muslims we import, the more danger we are in”.

“Personally I think Andrew Bolt has a point here,” Kruger said to Today’s Lisa Wilkinson on Monday. “There is a correlation between the number of people in a country who are Muslim and the number of terrorist attacks.

ddd

“I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving, who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.

“Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia. I want to feel safe and I want to see freedom of speech.”

Kruger was backed by Channel Nine which released a statement citing “freedom of speech”.

“Nine’s view is that we believe in freedom of speech and the Mixed Grill segment on the Today show is a place where that happens. Sonia, [and the other presenters] David and Lisa each expressed a variety of opinions on the show this morning.”

Kruger repeated Bolt’s claim in his Monday column, Muslim migration in France opens door to terror, and said that Japan didn’t have many Muslims migrants so it had no terrorist attacks.

“I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do when they go out to celebrate Australia Day, and I’d like to see freedom of speech,” Kruger said.

But her remarks were challenged by her Today Extra co-host, David Campbell, who interjected: “I’d like to see freedom of religion as well, as well as freedom of speech. They both go hand in hand.”

Campbell, who is also a singer and the son of rock singer Jimmy Barnes, said of Bolt’s piece: “This sort of article breeds hate.”

But Kruger said victims of the Nice attacks would agree with her. “I would venture that if you spoke to the parents of those children killed in Nice, they would be of the same opinion.”

When she came off air Kruger posted a statement on Twitter, saying that, as a mother, she felt it was vital such issues should be discussed in a democratic society.

 

The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was drawn into the furore when he was asked about his view on the arguments put forward by Bolt and Kruger.

“As you know I’m not going to run a commentary on the commentators but, as you know, Australia has a non-discriminatory immigration program and a non-discriminatory humanitarian program, and has done for many, many years, and that is not going to change,” he said at a press conference in Canberra.

A former dancer, Kruger is a familiar face in Australian households as the longtime host of Dancing with the Stars and for her role as Tina Sparkle in the hit 1992 film Strictly Ballroom. She was a reporter on TV show Today Tonight and host of Nine’s Big Brother.

Her views on immigration also attracted attention in 2008 when hosting Dancing with the Stars. She joked about her outfit for the Melbourne Cup, saying a “sweat shop of illegal immigrants” was working on it, before turning to the show’s musical director, Chong Lim, and saying, “How’s the family Chong? All right?”

Seven eventually apologised for her comments after viewer complaints.

In his column Bolt again brought Waleed Aly, host of TV show The Project, into the debate, accusing him and other “prominent Muslims” of turning almost every discussion on Islamist terrorism into a criticism of the west.

“Of course, most Muslims are great citizens and some are widely admired,” Bolt said. “They hate terrorism. They want peace. All that is true and must always be kept in mind.

“But most are troublingly silent when their top Muslim leaders preach hatred, excuse terrorists and blame the west for inviting jihadist attacks.”

India : Muslim family to challenge court’s order over beef slaughter

LUCKNOW: Nearly a year after a mob in northern India killed a Muslim man over rumors that he had slaughtered a cow, his family faces prosecution for alleged cow slaughter following a neighbor’s complaint, police said Saturday.
Police registered a case of cow slaughter against Mohammad Akhlaq’s family on Friday following a court order, said police officer Daljeet Singh.
No arrests have been made so far. Yusuf Saifi, the family’s attorney, said he would challenge the court’s order.
The court is hearing a petition filed by the neighbor and backed by those accused of Akhlaq’s murder alleging that his family had killed a calf and that his brother Jaan Mohammad was seen slitting the throat of the animal. It names seven members of the family, including Akhlaq’s wife and mother.
The killing of Mohammed Akhlaq last September sparked furious debate about religious tolerance in India.

1468702030124454200
Akhlaq’s family left the village after the attack and is living in New Delhi.
Hindus make up more than 80 percent of India’s population of 1.25 billion. Many Indian states banned cow slaughter long ago, and hard-liners want a national ban.
Violent protests have erupted at several places in recent months over rumors of cow slaughtering by Muslims.
Near the Himalayan town of Shimla, a mob beat a man to death and injured four other people in October over rumors that they were smuggling cows.

Why France has a more fraught relationship with its Muslim communities than the U.S.

Why France has a more fraught relationship with its Muslim communities than the U.S. – LA Times

news that the attacker who killed at least 84 people in France was a Tunisian citizen and a Muslim legally working in the country quickly became ammunition for American politicians suggesting that the United States also faces a serious threat from within.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, reiterated his call to ban Muslims from entering the country. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recommended that Muslims be deported if they believe in Islamic law.

But France and the United States are markedly different in their relationships with their Muslim immigrant populations, with several factors making the threat of organized Islamist extremism — as opposed to attacks by individuals who were simply inspired by the ideology — more likely in France. They include the country’s colonial history in North Africa, its insistence on assimilation and the greater isolation of its Muslim communities.

In addition, France’s proximity to the Middle East increases the chances that young men may have traveled to Syria to join Islamic State militants and then returned to France with the intent to carry out attacks like the ones that took place in Paris last year. However, no evidence has emerged to suggest that was the case in the deadly assault Thursday in Nice, in which the assailant drove a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day

Why France has a more fraught relationship with its Muslim communities than the U.S. – LA Times

France does not collect census data on religious affiliation, but it estimates that Muslims make up 5% to 10% of its 65 million people, which would give it the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.

Many trace their roots to Algeria and Tunisia, both former French colonies. Their parents and grandparents arrived as immigrant laborers to help rebuild France after World War II — with more than 470,000 coming from Algeria alone by 1968. Over the next dozen years, that number reached 800,000.

Their arrival, however, had an ugly backdrop: For more than a century, the colonies were locked in a vicious fight with France for independence. Battling brutal repression by the French, the insurgents latched on to Islam as a organizing tool.

Algeria and Tunisia became the birthplace of some of the earliest militant Islamist groups. It is little surprise to experts that today Tunisia is the largest supplier per capita of Islamic State recruits to Syria.

By the time Algerian independence came in 1962 — six years after Tunisian independence — France’s relationship with its Muslim immigrants from North Africa was showing signs of trouble.

As their construction and manufacturing jobs began to dry up, many recommitted to their religion as a way of restoring their sense of dignity, said Gilles Kepel, a French political scientist and Islam specialist. Ever since, social mobility has been severely limited

Why France has a more fraught relationship with its Muslim communities than the U.S. – LA Times

France struggles much more than the U.S. to absorb its immigrants.

Muslims in France today — even second and third generation — are concentrated in their own enclaves, suburbs known as banlieues that are usually little more than a cement jungle of decrepit high-rises where frustration is the dominant feeling.

Clichy-sous-Bois was the epicenter of race riots in 2005, when two teenagers, the children of African immigrants, were electrocuted while hiding from the police in a power station. Though the suburb is only 10 miles from central Paris, it takes more than an hour to reach due to the absence of a rail link. Its cafes are more likely to serve Moroccan mint tea and merguez sausages than French cafe and croissants.

Children of immigrants identify as French and bristle at questions about their origin. But they also complain of not enjoying the same opportunities as other French citizens.

“Muslims or people perceived as such do not have equal access to education, jobs, housing or even healthcare,” Yasser Louati, a spokesman for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, said in an interview via social media on Friday.

“You can’t tell generations of kids ‘You don’t belong here’ and be surprised they grow up like they don’t belong here.”

The divisions appear to be worsening. In 2011, a government-sponsored study found that the children of immigrants were twice as likely as their parents to report a sense of discrimination linked to origin, even though they speak French fluently.

Why France has a more fraught relationship with its Muslim communities than the U.S. – LA Times

The ideal of diversity espoused in the United States has not been embraced in France, where being seen as French means giving up the culture where you came from.

la-1468711689-snap-photo

Kepel, the political scientist, has written that the French government sees Islam as an impediment to Muslims becoming fully integrated citizens.

It has discouraged — and in some cases banned —  certain forms of religious expression in an attempt to promote assimilation and unity.

In 2004, the French Assembly passed a law prohibiting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in public schools. The controversy dates back to at least 1989, when a high school principal barred three girls from wearing the hijab on school grounds because it violated France’s tradition of secular education.

But critics say those policies have had the opposite effect, deepening a feeling among some Muslims that the government is anti-Islam and they will never be fully accepted.

The relationship between French Muslims and their countrymen has only become more fraught amid terrorist attacks claimed by Islamic State

After Coup Attempt, Turkish President Demands US Extradite Muslim Cleric Fethullah Gulen

After Coup Attempt, Turkish President Demands US Extradite Muslim Cleric Fethullah Gulen – ABC News

Could A “Sports Hijab” Change FIFA’s Stance Against Devout Muslims?

Earlier this month, FIFA authorities dealt the Iranian women’s soccer team a terrible blow when they dismissed players from an Olympic pre-qualifier for wearing Islamic headscarves. Officials claimed that the garments, which veiled athletes? necks and heads, violated the organization’s dress code and posed a potential safety threat. Their reasoning is pretty dubious, but still, we’ve got to wonder: Could a well-designed headscarf appease both FIFA and Muslim women alike?

 

 

 

Elham Seyed Javad, general director of ResportOn and an Iranian-born French-Canadian designer, hopes so. Her sleek “sports hijab” is customized for female Muslim athletes who want to take the field in full head-and-neck cover. The scarf is a tight-fitting hood that attaches to a high-collared T-shirt and is made of stretchy, fast-drying fabric. An internal pouch keeps hair away from the neck, and wearers can adjust their hair through an opening at the back. The company’s tagline: “Be yourself. Unveil your performance.”

FIFA has included headscarves in a larger rule against players who “use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player…” since 2007. How, exactly, a headscarf passes as dangerous is something of a mystery. (And never mind that by that rationale, FIFA might as well banponytails.) A player could, we suppose, yank an opponent’s loose headscarf and use it as some kind of strangulation device. But a snug-fitting garment, such as Javad’s and, to a lesser extent, the one the Iranian women’s team wore? AsAmerican Progress‘s Alyssa Rosenberg points out: to “ban closer-fitting headscarves on safety grounds seems like fairly dramatic overstretch. This ain’t Quidditch; people aren’t going to be mysteriously attached by their own well-designed equipment.”

 

 

 

Earlier this month, FIFA authorities dealt the Iranian women’s soccer team a terrible blow when they dismissed players from an Olympic pre-qualifier for wearing Islamic headscarves. Officials claimed that the garments, which veiled athletes? necks and heads, violated the organization’s dress code and posed a potential safety threat. Their reasoning is pretty dubious, but still, we’ve got to wonder: Could a well-designed headscarf appease both FIFA and Muslim women alike?

Elham Seyed Javad, general director of ResportOn and an Iranian-born French-Canadian designer, hopes so. Her sleek “sports hijab” is customized for female Muslim athletes who want to take the field in full head-and-neck cover. The scarf is a tight-fitting hood that attaches to a high-collared T-shirt and is made of stretchy, fast-drying fabric. An internal pouch keeps hair away from the neck, and wearers can adjust their hair through an opening at the back. The company’s tagline: “Be yourself. Unveil your performance.”

FIFA has included headscarves in a larger rule against players who “use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player…” since 2007. How, exactly, a headscarf passes as dangerous is something of a mystery. (And never mind that by that rationale, FIFA might as well banponytails.) A player could, we suppose, yank an opponent’s loose headscarf and use it as some kind of strangulation device. But a snug-fitting garment, such as Javad’s and, to a lesser extent, the one the Iranian women’s team wore? AsAmerican Progress‘s Alyssa Rosenberg points out: to “ban closer-fitting headscarves on safety grounds seems like fairly dramatic overstretch. This ain’t Quidditch; people aren’t going to be mysteriously attached by their own well-designed equipment.”

Javad tells Co.Design that she submitted the sports hijab to FIFA and other sports federations, like the body governing Taekwondo, in hopes that they’ll approve the design for international competition. It’s tough to say whether she — and, more to the point, the Muslim women whose athletic careers are at stake here — will triumph. To judge by the pictures, Javad’s hijab is awfully similar to the one that got the Iranian women’s team booted out of competition in the first place, though the former appears slicker and tighter. (And ultimately, this is just a small design solution to a much larger cultural issue.) Besides, everyone knows that as long as Sepp Blatter’s around, there’s a good chance that the only wardrobe overhaul he’ll oversee is the sort that makes female players look like Hooters waitresses.

 

 

 

12 Ignorant Things Women Who Wear Hijabs Are Sick of Hearing

OK first, a Very Brief Note about hijabs: the term usually describes the headscarf that some Muslim women wear, but it can also refer to the covering of a woman’s hands, chest, and feet. Also, men have their own versions of a hijab. Wearing a hijab is an obligation in Islam, but whether or not a Muslim person decides to adhere by it, well, that ain’t yo’ business. Some Muslim women wear a hijab, some Muslim women get weekly blow-outs and flip their hair all over the place.

 45

With great hijab comes great responsibility — and a tons of uncomfortable situations and misconceptions. And yes, there is a difference between genuine curiosity and obnoxious ignorance. I encourage the former.

1. “Do you shower with it on?”

Ah, classic. I don’t understand why people assume the hijab is glued to our heads or something. I promise it comes off. And not only when we shower.

2. “You’re so lucky you don’t have bad hair days.”

This is true. At least to the public. But I’d just like to point out that bad hijab days exist, too. And even when you’re having a supposedly “good” hijab day, the wind always manages to mess shit up for you.

3. “Can I see your hair?”

Would I be wearing this if you could see my hair? Sit down, child. (Women, kids, and male family members are the only exception.)

4. “Oh your friend is Muslim? So why doesn’t she wear the headscarf too?”

Maybe because that’s a personal decision she has made and it’s meant to stay between her and God? Also, how does this answer affect your life in any way? Keep scrolling.

5. “Does your dad make you wear the headscarf?”

Funny story: I remember when I first told my parents I wanted to put on the hijab. They both thought I was joking and walked away (but, of course, they’re always super proud of me). So to answer your question, go back and read no. 4.

6. “Do you get hot in the summer?”

No. Never. The minute you put on the hijab, you are no longer a mammal.

OF COURSE IT GETS HOT. Hijab is all about da struggle. It’s not meant to be easy.

7. “At least in winter you don’t have to worry about wearing a hat.”

Actually, yeah, that is pretty nice.

8. *sees someone else wearing a hijab* “Is that your sister/friend/cousin?”

Yes. Every girl you see wearing the headscarf is my child. Jokes aside, it’s more like the Cheetah Girls song:

‘Cause we are sistersWe stand togetherWe make up one big family though we don’t look the sameOur spots are differentDifferent colors

Ya feel me?

9. “Your scarf is pretty, but you shouldn’t wear it next time you fly.”

Yeah, I’m putting a specific TSA agent on BLAST. She went on to say it was because the material signaled the metal detector (more like your Islamophobia did).

10. “Do you have hair under there?”

Do you have a brain in there? It’s covered, but that doesn’t mean I don’t cut it, dye it, style it — come on people. Just because you can’t see it does not mean it doesn’t exist.

11. “Were you born with it?”

Or maybe it’s Maybelline.

Yes, I have really been asked this. Please just take a step back and really think about your question for one second.

12. “Where are you really from?”

I don’t get it.

I could go on, but I won’t, because generally, hijabis want you to ask (nice, reasonable) questions and love to talk about our choice to wear hijab. But no — you cannot “try it on.”

Nice, France Muslim Leaders Are Heartsick and Furious

Even without a link to ISIS, the fact that the man who killed 84 people on Bastille Day was Muslim is cause enough for several leaders to call for getting more aggressive against terrorism in the name of Islam.

Muslim leaders in Nice, France said Friday they are both heartsick and furious over the deadly truck attack on the city seafront that killed at least 84 people on Bastille Day. Several told The Daily Beast said it is time for them to take “an even more aggressive stand” against terrorism done in the name of Islam.

A 31-year-old Tunisian immigrant named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel has been identified by police as the attacker, but he has no known nexus to terrorism.

“We are living through a theater of the absurd and a theater of horror,” Bekri Boubekeur, head of Nice’s largest Muslim organization said. “Enough is enough. We have to act. The man who committed this carnage is not one of us. He is not a religious man. He is a common criminal.”

Karim Taimiyyah, a 22-year-old Algeria-French activist who is both a fundamentalist Muslim and a vocal opponent of ISIS, said that the suspect is well known in the tight-knit community known as a “Nice Nord” on the outskirts of the city.

“He lives 10 minutes from me,” Taimiyyah said. “He is not religious at all. He had a problem with his wife. They are in the middle of a divorce. We thought it was DAESH (ISIS) too until his name was released. I’ve spoken to three other people who know him too. I can’t emphasize enough that he was not a religious guy. There is just no proof yet that this was really a terrorist attack.”

Taimiyyah said “dozens” of police showed up in his neighborhood, which is about four miles inland from where the attack took place, within minutes of the reports of the deadly truck careening down the Promenade des Anglais.

“The police started questioning us right away and controlling us as if we were to blame for the attack,” Taimiyyah said. “But that’s business as usual. We’re used to it.”

Boubekeur and his fellow Muslim leaders have organized a blood drive for the victims of the massacre that will take place Saturday in hospitals all over Nice.

“We have to organize and speak out more,” Boubekeur said, choking up as he spoke. “The world thinks a criminal like this, a murderer, represents Islam. He does not.”

Boubekeur is part of a loosely organized group of Muslim leaders that stretches from Nice to Marseille, the heavily Muslim city where many believed an attack of this scope would occur before it occurred in Nice.

The Cote d’Azur’s Muslim leaders—imams, rectors and mosque administrators—represent a significant portion of the region that the average tourist or expat rarely sees but which is growing in power and influence.

Some of them are allied with what is called the “French French” power structure, which on the Cote d’Azur radiates out from the headquarters of the right-wing mayor Christian Estrosi. Estrosi, for example, fought for years to prevent a big new mosque from opening up in Nice because he said it was funded with Saudi money, but it finally opened up last month.

Others, like Moustapha Dali, 69, the scholarly, well-spoken rector of the central mosque in Cannes, 18 miles east of Nice, is often at war with local city officials and said he was unfairly accused of radicalizing the notorious Cannes-Torcy terrorist cell at his mosque. The mosque’s imam was rousted out of bed by French police and told he could not return to Dali’s mosque but the imam fought the charges and was vindicated.

“We are being targeted because it’s convenient for some of France to do so,” Dali told said. “It is at the point where you really cannot believe half of what you read. There are so many players in this game.”

Less than three tram stops from the iconic Hotel Negresco and the bustling cafes and pastel-colored apartments in the postcard-perfect Old Town where everyone from Matisse to Maupassant and Berlioz lived, is a parallel universe the tourist never sees. Here the streets are filled with women wearing headscarves or the niqab pushing strollers and the men gather in the so-called “Islam du caves” – makeshift underground mosques in garages.

Neighborhoods like the Ariane or La Trinité have a reputation for trouble but until Thursday night, the only proven terrorist to come out of the neighborhood was Omar Diaby, the so-called superjihadiste also known as Omar Omsen, the prescient PR mastermind and Senegalese native who began disseminating pro-jihad and anti-Western-imperialism videos in 2012, well before the rise of the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS. Omsen was reported to have been killed last year.

But Diaby, who was well-known to Nice police as a petty criminal, turned out to have faked his own death  and revealed that he was still alive in June. The men who run the snack shop in Nice that Diaby used to own are as scornful about Diaby’s alleged religious fervor as they are about the speculation in the international media today about the killer truck driver massacring people in the name of Islam.

48953521.cached

“We know everyone in this community,” said Mohamed, who did not want to give his last name. “We know who ISIS tries to recruit. They don’t come to the mosques where people know and practice true Islam. They recruit the Muslim drug dealers on the corner.”

A detective at a Nice police station in the middle of one of the city’s biggest North African neighborhoods told The Daily Beast that it was “way too soon” to know what the suspect’s motives were for the attack.

“We’re buried under with all sorts of conflicting information right now,” he said. “We have a number of (undercover cops) embedded in the Muslim neighborhoods here. We are in the process of working with several of them. Nobody knows anything yet for sure.”

Maryam, whose parents left Iran when she was 8 and moved to Nice, is now a communications executive in Washington, D.C. and feels despair when she watches American television and then hears from her many friends still living in Nice.

“America is all about making everything black and white and France is all about the nuances and there are so many variables to this situation,” Ayromlou said.

“Americans don’t understand how segregated Muslims are in France. They often live and work in separate areas. My friends called me this morning outraged that they referred to (the suspect) as Tunisian. He was born in France. But they call him Tunisian. That attitude is what Americans don’t understand. All of what we’re seeing in the media is like a cancer on Islam.”

 

Newt Gingrich Explains His Calls to ‘Test’ Muslims in America

Newt Gingrich clarified a suggestion he made in which he said that American Muslims should be tested to see if they are loyal to the United States.

The former Speaker of the House, who was widely considered one of the top three vice presidential contenders for Donald Trump, held a Facebook live chat today to expand on remarks he first made during a phone interview following the deadly attack in Nice, France, on Thursday.

Gingrich did not make any mention of Trump’s decision to choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, instead focusing on recent terror attacks with ties to what he classified as radical Islam.

 

AP_Gingrich_Trump_MEM_160713_4x3_992

 

During the phone interview with Fox News, Gingrich said that “we should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia law, they should be deported.”

Gingrich tweeted this morning that there were “amazing distortions” of his remarks and later expanded upon the ideas during a 26-minute Facebook live session.

“I believe that we have to recognize that we’re at war — a very real war with people who would destroy our civilization, and people who are being recruited on the internet and people who are recruiting themselves,” he said.

He did not specifically detail how he would suggest determining if any American Muslims are threats, but said there was a way to do preventative intelligence collection without infringing on civil liberties.

“If you are a practicing Muslim and you believe deeply in your faith but you’re also loyal to the United States and you believe in the Constitution, you should have your rights totally, completely protected within the Constitution. You should have nothing to fear, your children should have nothing to fear.”

“This is not about targeting a particular religion or targeting people who practice in a particular way,” he added during the Facebook live session. “This is about looking for certain characteristics that we have learned painfully time after time involve killing people, involve attacks on our civilization.”

Gingrich did cite the surveillance program established by the New York City Police Department in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as being a strong example to follow.

He said that at the time, the program was doing an “extraordinary job of tracking potential radicals, finding out what they were doing and if necessary intervening.”

Gingrich said the case was not the same for Muslims who are in the United States but not citizens, and they should be deported if found to be in violation of the framework he laid out. And Muslims who are not currently in the United States and seeking access, “they have no right to come here.”

“We have every right and every obligation to our own citizens to screen people,” Gingrich said, saying that it would be appropriate to find out if they believe in killing homosexuals, people who leave the Islamic faith, Jews, or Christians.

He also said it should be necessary to see if anyone hoping to live in the United States is “willing to assimilate” and learn English.

“You can be an American and practice Islam. … We’re not saying you have to give up core beliefs. But we are saying that you have to decide to become an American in order to be allowed to migrate to America,” he said.

The White House responded to Gingrich’s original claims from the Fox News interview at this afternoon’s briefing.

“Proposals like that, rhetoric like that, is un-American by its very definition,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said of Gingrich’s comments. “This is also the worst possible time for leaders or aspiring leaders to suggest that somehow Americans should start turning on one other — that’s exactly what the terrorists want us to do.”

Obama slams suggestion of Muslim test in wake of Nice attack

President Barack Obama on Friday angrily denounced suggestions from some Republican leaders that Muslims in America be “tested” after an attack in Nice, France, that killed at least 84 people, calling the idea “repugnant.”

Making his first public comments since a Tunisian man drove a truck through a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks, Obama told a gathering of ambassadors at the White House that the United States stands with France and vows to fight terrorism.

Obama did not explicitly link the attack to Islamic State militants who have been connected to other recent attacks around the globe, saying that the details were not yet clear. He vowed to continue to fight the group.

Gerard Araud (R), Ambassador of France to the United States, listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speaking about the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice at the Diplomatic Corps Reception at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Gerard Araud (R), Ambassador of France to the United States, listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speaking about the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice at the Diplomatic Corps Reception at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

“These terrorists are targeting and killing innocent people of all backgrounds and all faiths, including Muslims. I know I speak for all of us when I say these individuals and these networks are an affront to all of our humanity,” he said.

Without naming names, Obama responded to a suggestion from Newt Gingrich, a former Republican speaker, who on Thursday said a religious test was needed for Muslims in America, deporting them if they believe in Sharia law.

Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the Nov. 8 presidential election, has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

“In the wake of last night’s attacks, we’ve heard more suggestions that all Muslims in America be targeted, tested for their beliefs, some deported or jailed,” Obama said.

“The very suggestion is repugnant and an affront to everything we stand for as Americans,” Obama said.

Obama, who spoke earlier on Friday with French President Francois Hollande, said he met with French Ambassador Gerard Araud to offer sympathy and help.

Obama also spoke about a father and son from Texas who were killed in the attack. “Their family, like so many others, are devastated,” Obama said.

What Is Going On in Turkey?

The Turkish military announced on Friday that it has taken over the country from Turkey’s civilian leadership. “To regain our constitutional, democratic, and human rights, we are now officially controlling the country,” the military announced on Turkish television.

It’s still unclear the military’s commanders authorized the coup or if the attempt was made by a smaller faction of the military. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, speaking on Turkey’s NTV station, had said earlier on Friday afternoon that at least some Turkish military units were attempting a coup against the country’s civilian leadership, but insisted it was a “a group within the military” and downplayed the presence of soldiers in the streets of Istanbul.

Just minutes later, the military took over the airwaves, shutting down state broadcaster TRT and making its announcement. Several outlets also reported that the military has closed Istanbul’s Atatürk airport, with no flights currently leaving. Later, after the military’s takeover, Reuters reported that the “statement made on behalf of armed forces was not authorized by military command.”

Modern Turkey has a long history of military coups dating back to 1960. The Turkish military has typically acted as a guardian of the secular vision espoused by the country’s founder, Kemal Atatürk, and stepped in when it believed civilian governments were violating those principles. But under Prime Minister and now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, religion has played a much larger role in Turkish public life and there had not been a coup attempt since 1997. Erdoğan has also attempted to consolidate power, cracking down heavily on journalists and protest movement while attempting to change the constitution to give his office more power. Erdoğan was reportedly on vacation when the coup attempt began.

Images and videos of Turkish military units in Istanbul blocking bridges to the city’s Asian side and apparently telling motorists to return to their homes began appearing on social media around 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on Friday.

Other posts showed military jets were buzzing over the city at low altitude, and gunfire was reported.

While there was at first confusion about whether the military presence was due to a terror alert or some other event, Yildirim said military units had attempted an uprising and would “pay the highest price.”