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Keep blasphemy laws out of the UK



The UK, long the world’s leading exporter of enlightenment values ​​such as freedom of speech and religious coexistence, is now in danger of becoming the leading importer of Islamic blasphemy. As Britain worked to integrate immigrants from Pakistan, British culture too often succumbed to radical views of blasphemy, allowing activists to de facto impose blasphemy laws.

The latest incident took place last month in West Yorkshire, where students accidentally scratched a Koran belonging to a 14-year-old boy with autism. Things quickly escalated. A Labor Party adviser said the book had been “desecrated” and that the matter needed “to be dealt with immediately by all authorities”, including the police. Due to death threats, the school suspended four students from classes, although the director found that they had no malicious intent.

In a video widely shared on social media, the mother of a boy whose Quran had been scuffed appeared at the mosque, along with the imam, the local police chief and the head teacher of the school, to apologize and ask for mercy for her son.

The incident in West Yorkshire is part of a pattern. In 2016, a Pakistani man stabbed to death an Ahmadiyya Muslim store owner in Glasgow. Two years ago, death threats forced an English schoolteacher to quit his job and go into hiding after he showed students a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. Last year, angry picketers forced cinemas to make a film about the prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, which allegedly portrayed Islamic history through a militant Shiite lens.

Of all places, why is this happening in the UK, which has successfully integrated immigrants from all over the world? The answer is leading to extremist elements in the British Pakistani community of 1.6 million, says Alexander Meleagrove-Hitchens, an expert on radical Islam at the George Washington University Extremism Program.

“We are seeing this aspect of Pakistani Islam seep into the UK through British-Pakistani preachers with links to Pakistani anti-blasphemy groups,” Mr Meleagrow-Hitchens said in a telephone interview. “To understand what’s going on in Britain, you have to understand Pakistan.”

This is a sobering thought. Pakistan’s original blasphemy laws date back to colonial rule, but lynch attacks on alleged blasphemers have become common since the pious dictator General Zia ul-Haq introduced the death penalty for the crime in 1986. Since then, more than 1,500 people have been charged with offenses related to blasphemy. More than half were religious minorities – Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians and Hindus – although these groups make up less than 4% of the population.

These laws remain popular. As many as 75% of Pakistani Muslims supported the country’s blasphemy laws in a 2011 Pew poll, the last time the organization asked the question. In the 2018 elections, Tehrik-e-Labbaik, the pro-blasphemy party, won over 2.2 million votes, better than several long-established parties. And often a mere accusation of blasphemy is enough to provoke vengeful retribution. Last month, a mob in Punjab lynched a man accused of blasphemy after storming a police station.

Vigilante killers are sometimes immortalized as heroes. In 2011, police commando Mumtaz Qadri killed the Governor of Punjab. Salman Taseer, who publicly expressed sympathy for a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. Qadri’s tomb is now a place of pilgrimage.

As Mr Meleagrow-Hitchens points out, Qadri has a cult following in the UK as well. The fact that this aspect of Pakistani culture has made its way to the UK points to a wider discussion about immigration in the West: should we care more about where immigrants come from?

While each individual is unique, immigrant groups often retain aspects of their ancestral culture for decades, according to The Transplant of Culture, a new book by Garett Jones, an economist at George Mason University. In a telephone interview, Mr. Jones pointed to the large gap between British immigrants from India on the one hand, and immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh on the other, in education, income levels and women’s labor force participation. Mr. Jones wants Western countries to prioritize skills over family reunification in immigration, and give citizens of countries with a long history of liberal democracy a slight advantage.

Although Mr. Jones’s work is focused on economics, his general view is likely to extend to culture in a broader sense. Technology connects immigrants to their native culture in a way that wasn’t even a few decades ago. Many British Pakistanis remain closely connected to Pakistan through Facebook.,

Whatsapp and TV channels in Urdu. This does not mean that the UK should not let Pakistanis in. But by allowing themselves to be intimidated by the group’s radicals, the British have taught the world a lesson about how not to deal with Islamic extremism.

Fortunately, some politicians are ready to resist the radicals, but at the same time they try not to denigrate peaceful Muslims. In a recent Times article, Home Secretary Swella Braverman stated bluntly that “we don’t have blasphemy laws in the UK and we shouldn’t be complicit in trying to enforce them.”

Miss Braverman is right. The British Enlightenment project may have failed in today’s Pakistan. But the least we can expect is that it won’t run aground in Britain either.

Overview and forecast: On November 18, 2022, Jeremy Hunt released the UK budget. Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party has abandoned Liz Truss’ tax and regulatory reforms in favor of a plan to tax and spend Britain for prosperity.

Copyright © 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


Lyft co-founders step down; David Risher named CEO



Lyft’s co-founders said on Monday they would step down from their day-to-day responsibilities at the company, which has struggled with layoffs and disappointing financial results, even as Uber, its biggest competitor, strengthened.

Founders Logan Green, Lyft’s chief executive, and John Zimmer, Lyft’s president, will remain on the company’s board of directors, they said.

After founding Lyft in 2012, Mr. Green and Mr. Zimmer, now 39, were big names in the early days. They pitched Lyft as a friendly alternative to Uber and its aggressive CEO Travis Kalanick and avoided many of the controversies that engulfed their competitor.

When the company first started out, cars powered by Lyft were easy to spot. They often had fluffy pink mustaches sticking to the front grille, and for a while, Lyft passengers were even encouraged to sit in front with the driver.

But Lyft, like many other gig companies, has failed to turn a profit despite years of rapid growth and has recently fallen even further behind Uber in the taxi business, failing to expand into other areas such as food delivery.

David Risher, CEO of the nonprofit Worldreader and Lyft board member, will replace Mr. Green as CEO. Mr. Green’s last working day will be April 17, and he will become chairman of the board. Mr. Zimmer will leave his current position at the end of June to become Vice Chairman, the company said.

“As I pass the baton to David, I want to share this: we still have an incredible opportunity to push the boundaries of how transportation can help bring people together and build a better future,” Mr Green said in a blog post.

Mr. Green and Mr. Zimmer were united by their interest in improving transportation and reducing traffic through taxi services. While the business was much smaller than Uber’s, they saw promising results in 2017 when a campaign to remove the Uber app kicked off, sparking interest in Lyft.

But critics say they squandered their brief edge by betting without ambition, such as small businesses like scooters and bikes.

Lyft’s business has been slow to recover from lockdowns in the early days of the pandemic as driver supply issues led to high prices and long passenger waits. Lyft’s share price has fallen below $10 from about $40 a year ago and is approaching $80 at its peak.

News about the resignations that were previously reported by The Wall Street Journalcaused the value of the company’s shares to rise after hours.

Mr. Risher, 57, was a general manager at Microsoft and a vice president at Amazon in the 1990s before founding Worldreader, which helps kids access digital books.

“John and Logan came up with this incredible idea that really defined the whole sector a few years ago,” he said in an interview on Monday. “And like many, many entrepreneurs, they did a few things right along the way and then ran some experiments that probably didn’t work out the way they expected. Then the pandemic hit and the deck shuffled the deck again.”

The search for a new leader began late last year, Risher said, when Mr. Green told the board that he was considering stepping down. While Lyft may be an underdog to Uber, he said his company may be approaching customers differently.

“When I look at an 800-pound gorilla, I see a company that I think is very business model oriented. But we will focus on customers,” Mr. Risher said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Lyft and Uber were almost on an even footing, with the vast majority of their businesses having to close and laying off many of their employees.

But Uber, which has a global footprint that Lyft lacks, bounced back faster, in part because its global availability and food delivery business kept drivers on its platform and smoothed the impact of the pandemic, analysts and former employees say.

Uber has also invested more in financial incentives to convince drivers to return to the platform after the pandemic has subsided, while Lyft did not initially have enough drivers to keep up with growing rider demand.

In November, Lyft laid off 13% of its employees. Then, in February, he spooked investors when his financial forecasts for the year fell short of their expectations, sending his stock prices plummeting. At the time, Lyft said it needed to cut prices to be more competitive.

Lyft posted record $1.2 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter, as well as a $588 million loss.

Uber, on the other hand, reported $8.6 billion in revenue and told investors it expects to reach an operating profit margin at some point this year, indicating a strengthening of its business.

Tom White, senior analyst at financial firm DA Davidson, said he sees the leadership change as a “potentially modest positive.”

The new lead, he said in an email, “may signal an increased readiness to slightly expand Lyft’s strategic aperture in terms of other possible related products (shipping?), partners, or ways to create value.”

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The Yellow Vests tie seasons 1 and 2 to The Beaches.



You have to laugh a little, cry a little, until the ritual cannibalism wears off a little. This is history, this is fame yellow jackets.

In case you missed it, yellow jackets Seasons 1 and 2 tie into one of cinema’s most iconic stories of love and long-term friendship, with a few references to the movie that still brings tears to our eyes. beaches

It stars Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey as lifelong friends CC Bloom and Hillary Whitney. beaches was released in 1988, eight years before the Yellow Jackets plane crashed in the desert in 1996. A tale of complicated lifelong friendships, the film draws several parallels with yellow jacketsFrom the deeply competitive relationship between Shauna (Sophie Nelisse) and Jackie (Ella Purnell) to Misty’s (Samantha Hanratty) and Krystal’s (Nooh Jess Isman) emerging bond as social outcasts. But yellow jackets also contains direct links to beaches script and soundtrack, so let’s dive in.

yellow jackets References to season 1 beaches in the final.

Are you quoting The Beaches to me right now?
Credit: Kaylee Schwerman/Showtime

Like Shauna and Jackie in the first season, CC and Hillary navigate their friendship through a complicated love triangle; them with CC’s showbiz boss, John. Hillary and John sleep together, which causes a rift between the two friends, although John later marries CC – sounds familiar, right Jeff? Later in life, Hillary unexpectedly discovers that she is pregnant by her cheating husband and CC rushes to support her, as did Jackie in the case of Shauna’s pregnancy, albeit before she learns the truth.


‘Yellow Vests’ season 2 kicks off with the perfect song

However, the biggest connection comes in the Season 1 finale, during Shauna and Jackie’s final argument. Jackie Shona Chastees for Narcissism: “The rest of us, we’re just extras in the movie of your fucking life!” – Something that makes Hillary fight CC in beaches.

“Did I force you to live in my shadow, Shona?” Jackie speaks in yellow jackets. “It must be hard to be so jealous all the time. You’re so fucking jealous of me you can barely breathe.”

“You are quoting beaches me right now?” Shauna grins incredibly.

“What?! No,” Jackie replies sincerely, as if she internalized the script to believe it was her own words.

“You’re so damn jealous of me you can barely breathe.”

The line that Jackie is apparently unknowingly quoting is taken from a scene in beaches in which Hillary and C.C. have a brutal, cold-hearted argument in a department store in which everything they ever wanted to say to each other comes out. The tension builds when the topic turns to the idea of ​​having children, and Hillary makes a remarkable statement: “I just thought, someone likes you Don’t care about the kids, you’re so obsessed with your career and everything.” From that point on, Hillary continues to lay out her judgments, provoking a full-on domestic truth session between these two supposedly best friends. In the end, CC declares Hillary’s problem. as “plain, old-fashioned jealousy”.

“I’m living a life you didn’t have the guts for, so don’t tell me you’re not jealous,” she says. “You’re so jealous you can barely breathe.”

In a more subtle additional nod, Jackie’s “shadow” comment sounds like a reference to lyrics from Midler’s Grammy-winning song. beaches the song “The Wind Under My Wings” – “It must have been cold there in my shadow.”

yellow jackets Season 2 references beaches in the first episode.

Krystal physically can’t stop singing it.
Credit: Kaylee Schwerman/Showtime

In season 2 beaches the soundtrack establishes another connection with the Yellowjackets team. The soundtrack would have brightened up the Yellow Jackets’ childhood, as “Wind Beneath My Wings” topped the Billboard singles chart in 1989 and won a Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1990. You couldn’t avoid it. in New Jersey, in the fictional hometown of the Whiskeyock team. But most importantly, one of the songs from beaches appears in season 2, episode 1 of the TV series Yellow jackets.

Although she is constantly despised by her teammates for this, Krystal loves to sing well even in the desert. In one scene, when she believes she’s alone, Krystal breaks out in the Broadway version of Love’s Glory, the same song she hummed in the cabin earlier before Gen told her to leave her.

“Glory of Love” appears twice in beaches, marking the beginning and end of CC and Hillary’s friendship. This is the first song Hillary hears as a child from her new friend CC (played by Mayim Bialik), and after Hillary’s funeral, CC Midler sings a dark version of the ballad at one of her concerts, closing the film.

“Do you know that song I just finished?” CC tells Hillary’s daughter, Victoria, after the show. “I sang this song the day your mom and I met in Atlantic City. We were about your age, did you know that?”

The girl sits on the snow in the forest, near the hut, collects ice in a bucket and leans on a stump.

Misty (Samantha Hanratty) finds a friendship with another social outcast.
Credit: Kaylee Schwerman/Showtime

IN yellow jackets, Krystal begins to sing “The Glory of Love”, thinking she is performing a solo in the snow after peeing. She is surprised by Misty, who was sent to get ice for the water. again and who, in particular, shares the bad experience of being bullied by her teammates. Misty instantly guides Gen and tells Krystal so she can do it; however, Krystal easily changes Misty’s mind.

“I know it’s annoying for people who aren’t into theater like I am,” she says, speaking the magic words to the audience as we know Misty big into her adult life, listening Phantom of the Opera soundtrack before the kidnapping of Jessica Roberts in the first season. “You should try it sometime, it helps,” Krystal adds, before offering to teach Misty how to sing, no, “harmonise.” This is the first offer of friendship and kindness Misty has received from Frank any in the Yellow Jackets camp and she is clearly embarrassed by this real olive branch.

The girl is standing in the snow in the forest, smiling.

🎶This is a story, this is the glory of love.🎶
Credit: Kaylee Schwerman/Showtime

With several beaches A reference linking the two series, The Yellow Jackets uses one of the most famous on-screen friendships in cinema from the late 80s, early 90s to draw parallels between the girls’ bonding with each other. Unfortunately, Jackie and Shauna won’t have a lifelong friendship like CC and Hillary, but Misty and Krystal have hope.

yellow jackets Season 2 airs on Showtime with new episodes airing weekly on Fridays.(Opens in a new tab). Episodes also air every Sunday on Showtime at 9:00 pm ET.

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