Focus Group Of Swing Voters Side With Trump On Immigration

Media outlet Axios formed a small focus group of 12 swing voters to gauge their opinion on how President Donald Trump is handling illegal immigration. Their responses are probably not what the media expected.

The voters were from Warren, Michigan, which is in Macomb County. Axios reported that the town voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by nearly 10 points (Axios described this as a “narrow” win but 51.9% to 42.7% is hardly narrow). Macomb County, however, voted for Trump by 48,351 votes.

The group “included nine people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and Trump in ’16, and three who flipped from Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton.” So, yes, the group was skewed toward Trump, but seeing as how the people had previously voted for Obama, they could change their vote in 2020.

One of the biggest takeaways from the group was how many agreed that giving illegal immigrants free things would just make the problem worse, Axios reported:

Eight of these participants, including one Romney-Clinton voter, agreed with this statement: “When we give migrants food, clothing, toiletries, and shelter, all we’re doing is encouraging more of them to come to the U.S., and we don’t want that.”

Axios reported that their focus group kept bringing up immigration, and that the “responses sounded a lot like the ‘America First’ message President Trump has been championing.” For example, the room reportedly “got really animated” when the issue of giving illegal immigrants free health care.

“Why would you want to give it to another person from a different country for free?” one person asked.

“Give them free benefits, this that and the other thing. That is ridiculous,” said another. “They’ll come from anywhere and get a house and a car, too.”

The group also pushed for more focus on American citizens.

“I don’t want to be a jerk,” the same participant said. “I feel terrible for these people, but there are people in this country who are struggling to survive. We need to focus on the United States.”

The group reportedly brought up the homeless and veterans as populations needing help in America.

The outlet reported that even those who disagreed with how Trump has been discussing the issue agreed with his actual actions.

“His stance on immigration is a little too far for me, but I tend to agree with it,” one person said. “His grandparents came from Italy ‘the right way,’ so to see people not following the rules … I have a problem with that.”

While a majority of Americans tell pollsters they disapprove of what Trump has done on the issue, actually talking to may find a different result. People aren’t always honest with pollsters for various reasons, including a fear of judgement.

And while the media have hyped Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration, his administration has not deported as many illegal immigrants as the Obama administration. It was also the Obama administration that created the conditions the immigrants now face, for which Trump is routinely demonized.

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WATCH AG Barr’s powerful, moving speech against anti-Semitism: A ‘cancer’ on American society

At a Department of Justice anti-anti-Semitism summit on Monday, Attorney General William Barr said that the United States government would “not tolerate” anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish people and compared anti-Semitism to a “cancer” on American society.

Barr began his remarks by saying that he is “deeply concerned about the rise in hate crimes and political violence that we have seen over the past decade. And this trend has included a marked increase in reported instances of anti-Semitic hate crimes.”

“The most ancient and stubborn form of racism throughout Western history has been anti-Semitism,” Barr continued. “Hostility or prejudice against the Jewish people has manifested itself in the organized violence of pogroms, expulsions, and massacres. Within living memory, these genocidal acts reached the unimaginable scale and evil of the Holocaust.”

“In the United States today, we do not see state-organized violence, but increasingly we are seeing hate-inspired violence against the Jewish community perpetrated by individuals and groups,” Barr expounded, mentioning recent attacks on synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Poway, California.

“In both instances, gunmen motivated by hatred against Jews opened fire, killing worshippers and injuring others; we were all horrified by these attacks,” Barr continued.

But while those attacks garnered nationwide media attention, Barr added, “far too often Jews and Jewish communities in America suffer outside the spotlight.”

“In New York city this past year,” the attorney general explained, “we have seen a sharp uptick in attacks on orthodox Jews, particularly in the Crown Heights neighborhood. People are attacking Jews in the streets and vandalizing synagogues. In Massachusetts in March, vandals desecrated 59 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery, knocking over headstones and scrawling swastikas and hateful graffiti.”

Barr said these lesser-known instances “form the daily background of concerns about security and safety that many in the Jewish community feel. The nation as a whole must be aware of these concerns and reject the forces that motivate them.”

“As attorney general and a fellow citizen, I want to assure the Jewish community that the Department of Justice and the entire federal government stands with you and will not tolerate these attacks,” Barr said to thunderous applause.

Barr  went on to explain that anti-Semitism takes other forms besides violence toward Jewish people and organizations. “We need to combat anti-Semitism on all fronts as a government, but also as a society.”

“Hate crimes and civil rights prosecutions are important tools, but they cannot solve the problem on their own,” Barr added. “Hearts and minds must be changed, but that is not always the task to which the government is particularly well-suited. We have a legal obligation to respect the free speech rights of even despicable speakers and our harshest critics. But lines can be drawn by our society, sometimes easily and sometimes not so easily, between that commitment and repudiation of anti-Semitism.”

“I think of the various forms of anti-Semitism as very much like different kinds of cancer,” Barr explained. “A healthy body with a strong immune system can have success in preventing cancer from emerging or spreading. But if the immune system weakens, cancer can emerge. Some might be localized, but others can rapidly metastasize and become systemic. Just like a physical body, a body politic must have an immune system that resists anti-Semitism and other forms of racial hatred.”

“We’re a pluralistic nation composed of very distinct groups, each bound together by ethnicity, race, or religion — each group proud of its identity and committed to its faith and traditions,” Barr concluded. “Yet, despite these differences, we can be bound together into a broader community: Not one that seeks to grind away our distinctive identity. Not one that seeks to overbear our religious commitments, which must be paramount, but one that respects, indeed delights in, the freedom of each of us to hold fast our identity, our values, our religion, the part of us that give meaning to our lives, that help us understand our place and our purpose in this creation.”

Barr’s full speech can be viewed on C-Span.



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BREAKING: Lawsuit Outs Reporter Ellen Ratner as Source for Seth Rich Information

Businessman Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit on Monday that outed FOX News reporter Ellen Ratner was his source for the Seth Rich information.

This comes after Michael Isikoff’s report last week that labeled Butowsky as a Russian source.

Ed told The Gateway Pundit today that Ellen Ratner lied to Isikoff.
Ed provided The Gateway Pundit with a copy of his email with Ratner.

Butowsky added that he spoke with Isikoff off the record and he broke his trust by contacting Ratner.

Butowsky told The Gateway Pundit that after last week’s report he was forced to speak out.
Ed also says he has more evidence that Ratner was his source on the Seth Rich information.

Butowsky claims Ratner gathered the information on Seth Rich after contact with Wikileaks officials.
The Gateway Pundit has not confirmed that information.

Isikoff is already tied to the Trump-Russia collusion scandal after reporting on the junk dossier in his Yahoo report in 2016. The deep state leaked the info specifically to Isikoff who they knew to be a friendly reporter.

Lawflog.com reported:

Fox News news analyst Ellen Ratner relayed information from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Texas businessman Ed Butowsky regarding Seth Rich’s role in transferring emails to Wikileaks, according to an amended lawsuit that I filed this morning on behalf of Mr. Butowsky.

Although Ms. Ratner appears on Fox News, she is by no means a Republican or a conservative, and her role in the Seth Rich saga (like that of journalist Sy Hersh) obliterates the Democratic narrative that right-wing zealots fabricated the story about Mr. Rich leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Rich, a DNC employee, was murdered in Washington, D.C. on July 10, 2016, and the murder remains unsolved. Here’s an excerpt from the amended suit (“RCH” stands for “Russian Collusion Hoax”):

45. Mr. Butowsky stumbled into the RCH crosshairs after Ellen Rattner [sic], a news analyst for Fox News and the White House correspondent for Talk Media News, contacted him in the Fall of 2016 about a meeting she had with Mr. Assange. Ms. Rattner’s brother, the late Michael Rattner, was an attorney who had represented Mr. Assange. According to Ms. Rattner, she made a stop in London during a return flight from Berlin, and she met with Mr. Assange for approximately six hours in the Ecuadorean embassy. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth’s parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth’s murder.

46. Upon her return to the United States, Ms. Rattner asked Mr. Butowsky to contact the Rich family and relay the information from Mr. Assange, apparently because Ms. Rattner did not want her involvement to be made public. In the two months that followed, Mr. Butowsky did not attempt to contact the Rich family, but he grew increasingly frustrated as the DNC and #Resistance “journalists” blamed the Russian government for the email leak. On December 16, 2016, Mr. Butowsky sent a text message to Ms. Ratner:

BUTOWSKY [7:10 a.m.]: “Why don’t [sic] you speaking up about email hack?”

RATTNER [9:28 a.m.]: “I have”

Ms. Rattner subsequently told Mr. Butowsky that she had informed Bill Shine, who was then the co-president of Fox News, about her meeting with Mr. Assange in London. Ms. Rattner also informed Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman about her meeting with Mr. Assange.

47. On December 17, 2016, at the instigation of Ms. Rattner, Mr. Butowsky finally contacted Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of Seth, and he relayed the information about Ms. Rattner’s meeting with Mr. Assange. During that conversation, Mr. Rich told Mr. Butowsky that he already knew that his sons were involved in the DNC email leak, but he and his wife just wanted to know who murdered Seth. Mr. Rich said he was reluctant to go public with Seth’s and Aaron’s role in leaking the emails because “we don’t want anyone to think our sons were responsible for getting Trump elected.” Mr. Rich said he did not have enough money to hire a private investigator, so Mr. Butowsky offered to pay for one. Mr. Rich accepted the offer and thanked Mr. Butowsky in an email.

48. On December 29, 2016 at 1:51 p.m., Mr. Butowsky sent an email to Ms. Rattner from his iPad: “If the person you met with truly said what he did, is their [sic] a reason you we aren’t reporting it ?” At 3:48 p.m. that afternoon, Ms. Rattner responded as follows: “because— it was a family meeting—- I would have to get his permission– will ask his new lawyer, my sister-in-law.”

The complaint also mentions an interesting development in my ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI. The feds claimed they had no information pertaining to Seth Rich, but they appear to be changing their tune. Shortly after Attorney General William Barr announced plans to declassify documents related to the Russian Collusion Hoax, the FBI’s attorney informed me that new documents were being processed. I should receive them not later than July 22, 2019. The DNC’s objections to our subpoenas for “Russian hacking’ information are also due on July 22, 2019, and production is due on August 8, 2019.

The more I’ve reviewed the Seth Rich case, the more I’m convinced of its central role in the whole Russian Collusion Hoax. I believe DNC officials knew that the emails would become public as the result of an internal leak, and they knew that the emails would be very damaging, so they attempted to turn the tables by pointing fingers at Donald Trump and the Russians. Hopefully we will know more by next week.

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Trump orders sweeping changes to asylum rules

Donald Trump managed to score a big win against illegal immigration without Congress’ help. Can he win another on his own? Rather than flexing economic power with Mexico to gain tougher enforcement against illegal immigration, this time Trump will act on his own to remove the incentives for it. A new rule entered in the federal register will deny most asylum applications from Central America regardless of circumstance by imposing a de facto “safe third country” requirement:

The Trump administration is preparing a new rule that would dramatically limit the ability of refugees to seek asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Under the rule, released online today, with limited exceptions refugees seeking asylum would have to do so in a third country through which they transited, rather than at the U.S. border.

“Ultimately, today’s action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,” Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement.

Attorney General William Barr highlighted this change as a bulwark against fraud. Barr’s likely honing a legal argument that he will have to deliver in court soon:

Attorney General William Barr insisted the new rule will “decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States—while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground.”

On its face, the change is long overdue and returns the policy of asylum to its original intent. Asylum claims are supposed to deal with oppression by totalitarian and genocidal governments, not just a degraded economic and police environment. Normal immigration suffices for those conditions, and the United States provides for a regulated legal process for applications to emigrate for all others. The US is relatively generous when it comes to legal immigration, and we could afford to be even more generous if we ever clamp down on illegal immigration.

In the absence of Congress, or what has really been an abdication by Congress, the Trump administration is making a logical choice to remove the incentives for illegal immigration. First they forced Mexico to act responsibly in securing its own southern border and curtailing the trafficking of illegal immigrants through their country, a move long overdue. Now they want to end the draw for the caravans — the asylum policy and practices that makes border enforcement a sieve.

But will it work without congressional action? Needless to say, a rational lawmaking process to reform immigration laws is much more preferable than EOs for all sorts of reasons, the first being that the policy would be better prepared against legal action. The Associated Press outlines the legal fight ahead for the Trump administration:

The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge. U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so, but there is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe.” But the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined “safe”; it says “pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement.”

Right now, the U.S. has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country,” only with Canada. Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided. Guatemalan officials were expected in Washington on Monday, but apparently a meeting between Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was canceled amid a court challenge in Guatemala over whether the country could agree to a safe third with the U.S.

The new rule also will apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a “credible fear” interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving to the U.S., not those who are already in the country.

Federal judges have not been as kind to Trump’s unilateral acts on immigration as they were to Barack Obama’s. Given the murky language of the Immigration and Nationality Act, courts may well find that Trump has some leeway to define the policy in this manner, but they’re more likely to issue temporary injunctions against it and engage in lengthy trials to discuss the issue. It might take months before the appellate circuits set any kind of precedent, and it’s a good possibility that those will conflict, requiring the Supreme Court to settle the issue. Donald Trump would have to win another term in office to press the case that far, and it might be that long before such a policy could be enforced outside of congressional action to codify asylum more specifically.

Still, this ratchets up the pressure in two different ways. First, it’s likely to discourage the free-for-all run at the border that we saw earlier this year as asylum looks like an even worse bet for migrants than it did before. Second, it will shift attention on Congress to get something done on immigration reform. Incentivizing Presidents Pen-and-Phone by inaction is eroding Congress’ ability and legitimacy to govern, and even a compromise on immigration might not be the worst of all worlds for future Congresses — or even this one.

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GRAHAM: Border Fraud So Prevalent ‘A Terrorist Could Easily Get In’

Sen. Lindsey Graham recently went down to the U.S.-Mexico border, and what he saw alarmed him.

The South Carolina Republican didn’t moan about conditions or drinking fountains. Instead, Graham declared the current U.S. policies are making America vulnerable.

“This is a sick system, it’s rotten to its core,” Graham told host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Graham said that some 30% of foreigners who illegally cross the U.S. with children are “fake families,” and that “children are being exploited.” He said some of the children are used over and over again to get adults into the U.S. “The word is out in Central America,” he said.

“Our laws are set up such so that if you can bring a small child to America coming from Central America, we can only hold the child for 20 days, then we let the entire family go because we don’t want to separate families,” Graham said.

He said 52,000 people have been released into the U.S. at the center he visited on the border.

On his visit, he said he also heard that at least 60 children who were released later came back with different “parents.”

“They pick the child up in Central America, they bring them to the United States, everybody’s released, and the child goes back to Central America to do it again,” he said. “They’re taking this journey, God knows what happens to them along the way.”

But wait, it gets worse.

Graham, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said fraud at the border is so bad that “a terrorist could easily get in this group.”

“This will never stop until we change our laws,” he said, adding that a bill he will soon propose “will put the smugglers out of business.”

Watch:

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Former Obama Officials Admit Trump Admin Didn’t Delay Tubman $20 Bill

Despite numerous liberal politicians and pundits excoriating the Trump administration for delaying the Harriet Tubman $20 bill, former Obama administration officials recently revealed there was no actual delay.

The Trump administration announced in May that it would not replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Tubman by the 2020 deadline announced by the Obama administration. "The primary reason we’ve looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues. Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explained during a congressional hearing.

The "delay" was blasted by a number of high-profile Democratic politicians, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who called it "unnecessary" and "an insult to the hopes of millions."

But an investigation from the Washington Post found that while the Obama administration publicly claimed the Tubman bill would be ready in 2020, internally the Treasury Department recognized that deadline would not actually be met.

"A confidential 2013 report by the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence committee, an interagency group that oversees the redesign of U.S. currency, said the $20 bill would not enter circulation until 2030, similar to the timeline announced by the Trump administration…" the Post reported. Two Obama-appointed officials also confirmed on background that the actual plan was for the bill was closer to a 2030 release.

Obama-era Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Larry R. Felix told the Post that the public promises of the bill being ready in 2020 "were not grounded in reality. The U.S. had not at the time acquired the security features to redesign and protect the notes." He says he told officials as early as 2015 that the deadline would have to be pushed back.

Current Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Leonard R. Olijar was also appointed by President Barack Obama. "BEP was never going to unveil a note design in 2020," he said in a statement. "No Bureau or Department official has ‘scrapped’ anything."

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UK Police Begin Forced Marriage Crackdown as Numbers Spike

Police across the UK began the first ever national crackdown on forced marriage at a number of airports on Monday as latest figures show a spike in children being trafficked abroad to marry family members or acquaintances.

The most common destinations are seen as India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Somalia and Bangladesh.

A number of support charities have joined police alongside social and health services in working with the Border Force for Operation Limelight.

Set to run between 15-19 July, Operation Limelight will focus on flights between the UK and destinations where there is a known high level of forced marriage. Airport and airline staff will receive further education around spotting warning signs, in the hopes that this will increase their confidence in reporting suspicious activity.

The Home Office’s Forced Marriage Unit reported in May it had reported 1,764 cases of suspected forced marriage over the course of 2018. One-third of cases (574) handled involved young people under the age of 18, with authorities handling cases coming from over 70 countries.

The highest rates of forced marriage travel in 2018 from the UK involved travel to Pakistan (769 cases), Bangladesh (157) and India (110). Numbers are thought to be higher, as forced marriages are often hidden crimes.

Lasy year Breitbart News reported there has been a 100 percent year-on-year rise in the number of forced marriage cases linked to Somali heritage youngsters alone, with many tricked into returning to Africa where they are often detained and abused.

Some of the children and teenagers are imprisoned and held against their will and only given their freedom back if they agree to marry.

Forced marriage has been a specific criminal offence in the UK since 2014, as it was outlined in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Often other criminal offences also apply, such as violence and coercive control.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for forced marriage, Commander Ivan Balhatchet, said police will “investigate every case fully and take all available steps to detect and prosecute those involved in this heinous crime. Forcing someone to marry is punishable by up to seven years in prison.”

He urged anyone with concerns around forced marriage to act immedately, saying , “any other harmful practices affecting our children or vulnerable adults to come forward and tell police. We will treat each individual case sensitively and confidentially.”

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Doctors Condemning ‘Green New Deal’ Select President Donald Trump for Defense of Freedom Award

An organization of physicians that has praised President Donald Trump for withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is granting him its highest honor: the award for Defense of Freedom.

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP), a group based in Tucson, Arizona, will honor the president at its annual meeting July 19-21.

The organization, which has condemned the Green New Deal, global warming, human-caused climate change, the banning of DDT, and other “environmental scares,” states its Edward Teller Award for the Defense of Freedom recognizes “extensive, selfless, and effective work in defense of our nation.”

In a letter to Trump, dated June 25, DDP President Dr. Jane Orient led the doctors in praising Trump for his “many accomplishments,” among them his work in “opposing the failed hypothesis of human-caused climate change,” his “withdrawal from the Paris ‘accord’” and his “accomplishments and proposals regarding hydrocarbon and nuclear energy.”

In honoring Trump, the doctors wrote, “Your election has already proved to be the greatest political gift to our nation in more than a century.”

DDP was founded 37 years ago with the primary mission of promoting nuclear civil and strategic defense, and planning a medical response in the event of man-made or natural disasters, including terrorism or war.

“We now also work vigorously, entirely upon sound scientific grounds, to make sure our nation has abundant hydrocarbon energy in the present and abundant nuclear energy in the nuclear era that will soon come,” the doctors continued in their letter to the president.

In a press release, DDP noted its meetings have featured topics such as “civilian mass casualty care, emerging infectious diseases, radiation monitoring, chemical and biological warfare, accurate assessment of environmental hazards, terrorist events, climate modeling and weather forecasting, and nuclear energy.”

“Our presenters have included top experts in civil and strategic defense as well as top experts in many fields of science and medicine,” the doctors observed.

DDP’s most recent articles include: “Should You Cancel Your July 4 Barbecue to Save the Planet?” “What Happens to Single-Family Homes Under the Green New Deal?” and “Who Should Be Prosecuted for the ‘Climate Crisis?’”

The group also published a “Climate Change IQ Test” and “Climate Change Questions for Democratic Presidential Candidates.”

 

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MLB Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera Reveals Why He Supports Israel

In a recent interview, Hall of Fame New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera took time to explain why he is a big supporter of Israel.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner about his support of Israel, Rivera noted that his love of that country is rooted in his Christian religion.

“As a Christian, I do believe that the Lord gave us the Bible,” he told the newspaper. “The Bible speaks about Israel. Everything — from New Testament, Old Testament — it’s all about Israel and the relationship his people have. So as a Christian, I understand that the chosen people of God is Israel — Jewish Israel. The country was made by him. All the other countries were made by men. This country was built by him for his people.”

He added that support of Israel is part of being a Christian. “They are the people of God,” Rivera said. “They are the chosen people, so I’m not going to be against God.”

The Yankees legend added that he had visited Israel several times and those visits only made his support stronger.

“Every time that I go to Israel, it blows my mind,” Rivera said. “I wanted to see more, I wanted to understand more. I wanted to learn more. The Bible comes to life when you’re there.”

The player was also fully aware that support of Israel brings criticism from the left.

“I’m OK with that,” Rivera told the paper. “I know what I stand for: That won’t change. So, to me, criticism is more motivation to keep going forward — to push forward — for what I believe, for what I stand for. And again, that will make me even stronger.”

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Malaysia Warns Breweries Not to Sell Alcohol-Free Beer as It ‘Confuses Muslims’

The Malaysian government warned the country’s breweries on Sunday not to sell or produce alcohol-free beer on the grounds that it “confuses Muslims” about whether they can drink it.

Speaking to reporters outside a mosque in his home constituency of Parit Bunda, Dr. Mujahid Yuso, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Religious Affairs, urged beer manufacturers to stop producing the product as some Muslims may wrongly believe they are allowed to consume it.
“Using the name alcohol-free beer is confusing as the process of producing the drink including distillation is carried out in the system used to produce alcohol products,” he said. “We know the alcohol-free drink is produced by a beer manufacturer but it would cause confusion as some Muslims thought they could consume the drink.”

Yuso’s comments were specifically aimed at a viral campaign by the Dutch manufacturer Heineken with the tagline “Now You Can.” The company later clarified that their product was non-halal and only for non-Muslims.

“All Heineken 0.0 products are only available at the non-halal zone of supermarkets and convenience stores, with clear signage indicating that the product is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above only,” said the company’s Malaysian branch. “In addition, for stores without designated non-halal areas, we are placing clear signages to inform consumers that Heineken 0.0 is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above.”

The company also said that their alcohol-free product named “Heineken 0.0” was intended to allow people to enjoy a beer-like beverage at social occasions without experiencing the effects of alcohol.

“The ‘Now You Can’ tagline attached to Heineken 0.0 refers to the various new occasions that the drink can allow non-Muslim consumers to enjoy a beer, including lunch, work meetings, or driving,” they added.
Launched in 2017, Heineken 0.0. is said to have a similar taste to normal Heineken but without alcohol. However, the drink still has a negligible amount of alcohol at 0.03 percent, compared with five percent to the classic beverage. Each 330ml bottle also has 69 calories, while the traditional product has 150 calories.

The presence of alcohol, albeit negligible, means the product is forbidden under Islamic Law. As of 2017, Muslims comprise the majority (61.3 percent) of the country’s population, with minority religions being Buddhism (19.8 percent), Christianity (9.2 percent), and Hinduism (6.3 percent).

In recent years, Malaysians have seen the country’s theocratic authorities crack down on a range of civil liberties, including the introduction of blasphemy laws and the censorship of various artistic content.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes in their 2018 report that Malaysia’s human rights situation “improved significantly in 2018 after the election of a new government that ran on a manifesto promising make the country’s rights record “respected by the world.’”

“Since the landmark election last May, Malaysia has been a bright spot for progress on human rights in Southeast Asia,” said Phil Robertson, HRW’s deputy Asia director. “But it will only remain that way if the government stops backtracking and follows through on its promises for human rights reforms.”

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com

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