Reformist Approach to Sharia a Refreshing Break with Academic Apologists

Rumee-Ahmed-ramadan-770.JPGJihad Watch, by Andrew Harrod, May 2, 2015:

In a refreshing departure from Sharia apologias common in Middle East studies, University of British Columbia Islamic law professor  rejected the “myth” of Sharia (Islamic law) as a “static, fixed, reified entity” on April 22 in the Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies’ wood-paneled boardroom. Ahmed’s presentation, “Shari’a 2.0: Islamic Systematics and the Science of Islamic Legal Reform” before a student-dominated audience of about fifteen, demonstrated simultaneously Sharia’s all-too human origins as well as its embedded dangers.

He described a “sharp, sharp disconnect” between contemporary and historical Islamic interpretations of Sharia. According to the former, Islamic legal scholars substantiated their claim of being central to legitimating Islamic regimes that claimed to rule by God’s law. Yet judges who were not legal scholars often made politically motivated legal decisions that were subject to subsequent overruling by temporal rulers such as caliphs. Campaigning armies, meanwhile, would simply make unilateral decisions without consulting legal scholars on issues such as the division of spoils.

Concerning pre-colonial Islamic legal scholars, Ahmed questioned the power and reputation of such men in a world of three percent literacy. Political patronage could compromise the purity of their intentions. Danger lurked, he noted, since their struggles with rulers could lead to imprisonment or even execution.

Ahmed expressed a “very cynical view” regarding past legal use of Islam’s canonical texts. Quran 8:67-68, concerning the Muslim victory at the Battle of Badr under Muhammad, suggested that taking prisoners manifested a failure to fulfill a divine command to fight the enemy. But “sharp breaks” throughout history in the acceptance of taking and ransoming prisoners by Sunni Islam’sHanafi school of jurisprudence demonstrated how Islamic law responded to political developments with theological reinterpretation.

Practical realities aside, Ahmed described how earlier Islamic legal scholars created in their voluminous writings “subjunctive worlds.” Although these legal visions often had no expectation of implementation, they expressed the “ideal relationship between human beings and God.” “Writing a book of law is never a waste of time,” he noted, but is a “way to express your religiosity” or a “devotional act” similar to prayer. The intricacy of such legal thinking means that attempts to reform a single point of Islamic law on, for example, punishments involving whipping necessitates considering several other elements of Islamic legal theory.

Islamic legal history is replete with controversies surrounding reform, he said. Quran 5:38 was “pretty clear” in mandating hand amputation as punishment for stealing, although some had tried to interpret this verse to mean “cut off their power” with imprisonment. Several hadith, or canonical narratives of Muhammad’s life, however, did indeed mandate amputation and formed a corresponding pre-colonial Islamic legal consensus, contrary practice notwithstanding.

Slavery’s permissibility received a similar “unequivocal yes” in Islamic law sixty or seventy years ago. Political pressures forced Muslim scholars to justify abolition in what Ahmed described as a “little bit of a technical argument” premised on the understanding that “times have changed.” The Islamic State (ISIS), though, has recently reintroduced slavery, arguing that times have changed again.

Other controversies involving Sharia have been addressed creatively, Ahmed noted. The Egyptian jihadist group Gama’a al-Islamiyya, for example, discovered in Western contract law a unique basis for abolishing airline hijacking: the purchaser of an airline ticket may not violate its terms by destroying or seizing the plane. In the political sphere, while many European diaspora Muslims vote simply for the sake of political participation, the Sharia principle of maslaha or public good allows conservative Muslims to participate in non-Muslim politics in order to advance Islam.

One of Ahmed’s Powerpoints stated, “Gender: The Greatest Challenge to Islamic Reform.” “Gender pervades every part of Islamic law,” he explained, a law that was traditionally patriarchal. The Quran, for example 4:11, prescribes half the inheritance for women as for men.

Nonetheless, Sharia’s past malleability made Ahmed optimistic that in Islam, “any law, no matter how entrenched it seems in Muslim texts, can be reformed.” To this end, he is developing an application allowing popular citation of legal arguments and sources in order to “democratize” and “crowdsource Sharia.” That way, less educated and “state-sponsored ulama” (religious scholars) will “not have a monopoly on Islamic law.”

Ahmed himself would like to “get less religion” in Muslim governance, but Sharia is not going to disappear from Muslim societies anytime soon, including pertinent national constitution clauses. An “overwhelming number” of surveyed Muslims expressed a belief in Sharia, often including corporal punishment, as divine. Alternatively, millions of Muslims sought an Islamic theological basis to justify their support for human rights norms such as gender equality. “Context driving law is not just legitimate, it’s inevitable,” he concluded.

Ahmed’s illuminating and refreshingly honest examination of Sharia raised several important concerns surrounding Islamic law and its reform. On one hand, critical examination of Sharia’s past could cause many Muslims to be as reform-minded as Ahmed and to reject Sharia as a divinely-ordained, unalterable legal code that demands future application. On the other hand, Sharia contains serious moral failings not easily resolved even with the most sophisticated (or sophistic) Islamic theological and legal arguments.

As presented by Ahmed, Islamic law suffers from an unwieldy, unstable, and incoherent structure stemming from Islam’s doctrinal foundations. As one of his slides stated, Islam’s arbitrary conception of God is “beyond our moral code.” Islamic norms then derive from Muhammad, who “is supposed to be the pristine believer” in Islamic teaching and thus, according to some Islamic teachings, incapable of sin. On the basis of the life of this seventh-century desert dweller, Islamic law has accepted slavery while possessing an “unnecessary amount of information on the law of wells.” Developing modern legal standards for a free society within such a body of law will be difficult indeed, which is why Ahmed’s insistence on reform is so important.

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project; follow him on twitter at @AEHarrod. He wrote this essay for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Taxpayers Made To Pay For Islamic Indoctrination In US University

Hatem Bazian

Hatem Bazian

By Lee Kaplan Contributor to Shoebat.com, May 4, 2015:

Hatem Bazian is a senior lecturer in Near East Studies at UC Berkeley. A Palestinian Arab, Bazian is also a supporter of Hamas and one of the terrorist group’s apparatchiks in the United States. Bazian was the founder of the Students for Justice in Palestine which has chapters on over 80 campuses in the United States and that operates as a Hamas support network in the United States. Bazian also co-founded American Muslims for Palestine which also links to Hamas and functions as a propaganda and fundraising mechanism to Hamas in Washington and is active with the Muslim Students Association on over 150 campuses in the United States and Canada. As an organizer, Bazian is tough to equal and he has used the California college educational system and its taxpayer-funded deep pockets to help facilitate massive propaganda events and fundraising not only for the Palestinian terrorist group, but for pro-jihadist groups across American campuses and Europe as well.

It is through his bully pulpit at UC Berkeley that Bazian also created his Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender Project. Racism and Sexism are hot topics on college campuses today. The fact that Islam is not a race, nor is a concept of Palestinian nationalism one, both of theories are being sold by Bazian and his acolytes in the university sphere worldwide. Thanks to UC Berkeley and surrounding colleges like San Francisco State (where Bazian did his undergraduate studies and led a Palestinian takeover of that campus as class president), Bazian’s campaign keeps gaining legitimacy as it aids the endless war against both the United States and Israel by militant Islamists including those who are fighting U.S. troops abroad.

A perusal of the websites for Baizan’s “documentation project” and the Center for Race and Gender events page at UC Berkeley reveals endless programs, lectures, events and other promotions dealing with alleged prejudice against all Muslims and “Islam” in America as endemic racism. On May 7th, the Center offers a book signing and lecture by a colleague of Bazian’s at Cal who claims American racism is the result of a refusal to establish a Palestinian state that would be led by notorious terrorists who support America’s and Israel’s downfall, such as Hamas.

“Islamophobia” refers to an irrational fear of Islam. It is supposedly to counter this irrational fear that Bazian staged April 23-25, 2015 his sixth annual “International Conference on Islamophobia: The State of the Islamophobia Field.” As done last year, the event was staged at UC Berkeley’s prestigious Boalt Hall Law School. Aside from providing a free venue at a distinguished law school, the event gets the entire imprimatur of one of the most distinguished universities in America. Other “sponsors” of the event included the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who members of congress and terrorism experts have declared a Hamas front group in America. The “Ethnic Studies” department at San Francisco State was also a sponsor, a professor of “Resistance Studies” named Rebab Abdulhadi in attendance and one of the conference lecturers who had gained notoriety by spending $6,000 of California taxpayer’s money for a sabbatical to visit female terrorist Leila Khaled in jail in Jordan to “show solidarity.” It should also be noted Hatem Bazian posted personally the conference’s schedule on the website of Bay Area Intifada, a blog that claims to promote “News, Updates, Analysis & Action Alerts for 3rd World Liberation & Decolonization from the Bay Area & Beyond.” An Intifada refers to Palestinian terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of Israeli civilians. The blog features photos attacking Israel and the United States.

I attended this latest conference with a video camera and tape recorder. I did the same thing last year and sat almost next to Hatem Bazian the entire time. Bazian was very cocky back then during last year’s event and joked about my having recorders. I wrote an article about that event. Only last March, Bazian staged yet another “Islamophobia” conference where he claimed Muslims were being denied a voice for their “studies” in the American university system despite his constant conferences and demonstrations to the contrary that I previously reported on and recorded.

Things were to be different at this conference. Bazian had me watched closely. On the second day, he approached me in the audience and told me I had to turn off my recorders. On two more occasions during that day, two goons came to my seat and ordered me to turn off my recording equipment , the last one threatening to “call the police.” It is against state law in California universities to hold private meetings and prevent recordings and a quick cell call to the Chancellor’s Office who contacted the campus police prevented any problems. I noted this occurred after one of the attendees during a question and answer period addressed the current panel and asked to discuss how the “Zionists” (Jews) were responsible for contributing to Islamophobia in America and how a Jewish organization was sending people to Israel to learn public relations that could be deemed as contributing to Islamophobia and how the New York police department was being propagandized by Jews.

From the get go, the accusation that criticism of Islam was racism was a central theme of the entire conference. Discrimination of women was also frequently discussed, but never in the context of Islamic exclusion of women or issues such as honor killings.

Bazian kicked things off accusing certain reporters and writers of contributing to Islamophobia. He dropped the names of Steve Emerson, Frank Gaffney and Ayan Hisri Ali, Brigette Gabriel and Pamela Geller as well as Fox News as being responsible for what he claimed was a smearing Islam to the public. Ayan Hirsi Ali’s speeches on discriminatory practices against women were all branded as “lies.” All the opening panels suggested that Islam is in no way linked to terrorism and it is the misrepresentation by such “Islamophobes” and it is racism to suggest so. What struck me was that as the conference progressed over three days it became more like a meeting of the German-American Bund in support of the Third Reich before the Second World War.

Baizan and company discussed only fleetingly the attack on 9/11 and how the Patriot Act supposedly had a deleterious effect on Muslims in America. But there was no logic to this. The fact is, the day after 9/11 the President and the US government declared that Islam is a peaceful religion and that the US was not at war with Islam itself, only militant Islamists and terrorists. This is still the US government’s position, yet the “academics” at this conference chose to suggest that any opposition to terrorism at all was just another manifestation of “Islamophobia.”

Of interest also was that Islam was not defined as a major religion, or idea, with different sects at this conference . What about Wahhabism? Or Sufi Islam, Shiism or Sunni Islam? None of these differences were discussed or explained, nor the fact that different sects of Islam sometimes fight wars between themselves. The entire conference was a “them v. us” event where any criticism or negative discussion of Islam was branded “Islamophobia,” particularly in the US or Western Europe. Terrorism wasn’t discussed at all unless to accuse the US and West of terrorism, or of false accusations against all Muslims, and no mention was given of terrorism where Muslims killed other Muslims. ISIS was not discussed at all. The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris were mentioned, but not in terms of their relationship to Islam as much as something westerners brought upon themselves.

Almost fifty presentations were made as examples of Islamophobia from presenters from across the United States and some even from Europe. But not all were academics or college professors or PhD candidates. Some, like Ramah Kudaimi from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which is the renamed International Solidarity Movement in the US, another pro-Hamas organization whose activists devote their full-time calling for the destruction of Israel and who support terrorist groups, promoted what she called the Adab, or Muslim-American etiquette to promote Islamic activism against the West and American support for Israel. Sana Saeed, a producer for Al Jazeera, the television network funded by Qatar, a Hamas funder, lectured on “The New American Muslim and Faithwashing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in which she called for Muslims to meet their obligations to call for the continued attacks on Israel rather than outlining Islamophobia in the US. Bazian followed where he lectured on “How does it feel to be a Muslim? Thinking through the present colonial perspective. His speech was hardly an example of Islamophobia as much as an adversarial approach by Muslims in America to be at odds with the US government and those fighting militant Islam.

Read more with video

How the Muslim Brotherhood Operates in Tennessee (Part 5 of 8)

tnjihad (1)

Gates of Vienna, May 4, 2015:

Below is the latest newsletter from the Tennessee Council for Political Justice.

Private Islamic Schools in Tennessee

The Muslim Brotherhood’s plan also anticipated and set out details for the education of the “children of the American Ikhwani branch.” Ikhwan is the name that the Muslim Brotherhood uses for themselves.

Tennessee has several private Islamic full-day schools that offer an immersion style Islamic religious education in addition to secular studies. According to the Tennessee Code and State Board of Education rules that define non-public schools, these schools are considered “Category IV Church-based schools” and as such, are exempt from all education regulations. This means that the State Board of Education, Department of Education or local boards of education are prohibited from regulating the selection of faculty, textbooks or curriculum of these schools.

Pleasant View School, Memphis (PVS), pre-K – 8th grade

In 2010 PVS announced on its website that Dr. Hamed Ghazali had been hired as “the new consultant for PVS’ Islamic Studies, Quaran & Arabic.” Dr. Ghazali serves as Chairman of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Council of Islamic Schools (MASCIS), recognized as Muslim Brotherhood affiliates.

In 2004 MAS’ Secretary-General admitted in court, under oath, that MAS was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. MAS’ own archived website details its associations with the Muslim Students Association, ISNA and NAIT – all named organizations in the Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memo.

On page 12 of the Explanatory Memo it states:

“We have a seed for a ‘comprehensive Dawa educational’ organization: We have the Dawa’ section in ISNA….the center run by brother Hamed Ghazali…”

A Hamed Ghazali is listed individually in the Muslim Brotherhood telephone directory introduced into evidence during the HLF prosecution.

MAS is one of the organizations the UAE included on its terrorist designation because it is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

During the joint MAS – ICNA 2012 annual convention, Hamed Ghazali, told the audience in Arabic that “Allah gave us the Jews” as the primary historical and religious example of those who “take the wrong path.” A recent article described him as “taking a moderate approach to Islam.”

Ghazali spoke at the “Zakah Seminar” on December 6, 2014 at the Islamic Center of Tennessee. “Zakah” (sometimes spelled “zakat”) is the charity vehicle that was the subject of the HLF terrorism financing prosecution.

On April 8, 2012, PVS announced that Dr. Mohammed Malley was hired to be the new principal.  Dr. Malley was the President of his university’s MSA. He later served with the Brotherhood’s, MAS- Austin Chapter.

Dr. Malley was introduced at a PVS fundraiser keynoted by Kifah Mustapha, an active member of the Chicago-area Muslim community.  Mustapha was dismissed from serving as the first Muslim chaplain for the Illinois State Police after his ties to the HAMAS-support network were discovered.   It was disclosed that he had been a paid employee for the Holy Land Foundation and is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF prosecution.

Annoor Academy, Knoxville, pre-K – 8th grade

The school’s 2013 promo video displays a row of textbooks titled “What Islam Is All About.” This textbook was written by Muslim convert Yahiya Emerick who said that he wrote this book in standard English to teach Muslim children living in the U.S. about Islam.

Emerick’s textbook, following the dictates of the Quran, warns students about getting too friendly with non-Muslims and denigrates Jews and Christians and their religions and beliefs.  More than anything, Emerick offers Islam as a civilization alternative reflecting the Muslim Brotherhood plan for the West.

Emerick speaks at the ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) conferences. ICNA is among the 29 organizations listed in the Muslim Brotherhood plan. ICNA has long held its annual conferences in conjunction with the MAS (Muslim American Society.)

ICNA’s pursuit of establishing Islam as the “sole basis of global society and governance” was published in its 2010 Member’s Hand Book which also sanctioned deceit while proselytizing their way to this goal.

Mark Durie, theologian and human rights activist, cites Emerick’s textbook in his blog post about the Muslim Brotherhood agenda for establishing Islam, ie, the Muslim Brotherhood plan. . Durie explains that the Brotherhood’s plan is about succeeding in phases. He quotes Emerick’s textbook at p. 378 as “reflect[ing] the Brotherhood’s ideology of phases for establishing Islam.”

Nadeem Siddiqi, Chairman of the Tennessee Islamist political organization, the American Center for Outreach, is currently a board member of the Annoor Academy. Siddiqi works closely with the “unofficial” imam in Knoxville Rafiq Mahdi who also serves as the Director of Community Development for ICNA Relief USA, the charity arm of ICNA named in the Muslim Brotherhood plan.

Abdulrahman Murphy, a former CAIR intern who spent time training in Saudi Arabia, was faculty at the Annoor Academy until sometime in 2014. Murphy also worked with the UT Knoxville MSA and was a speaker at ISNA’s 2013 conference in Dallas. Both the MSA and ISNA are named Muslim Brotherhood affiliates. He is appears to be a very close associate with imam Suhaib Webb who was sent by the Brotherhood’s MAS to study at Al-Ahzar University in Cairo. Webb was then hired as the Imam for the Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Roxbury, a mosque managed by MAS-Boston.  This mosque is the sister campus of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) mosque attended by the Boston marathon bombers.

Murphy and Webb both teach at the Ella Collins Institute at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC). Webb’s associations included al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.

Nashville International Academy (NIA), pre-K – 7th grade

The Islamic School of Nashville was established by the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) in 1995. In 1999, under the guidance of the ICN’s imam Abdulhakim Mohamed who had served at the radical al-Farooq mosque in Brooklyn, New York. The school was renamed the Nashville international Academy and ICN advertised for a principal with the Brotherhood’s ISNA organization.

Even though the school did not meet Tennessee’s statutory criteria to be granted Category IV status, the State Board of Education approved their application in 2007 for this purpose.

In 2012 the warranty deed for NIA showed the owner as D.B. Client Service, LLC.  Devon Bank in Chicago created D.B. Client Service to manage special clients. Devon Bank has been involved with sharia compliant financial products since early 2000. In 2008 it was reported that sharia compliant products made up more than 75% of the bank’s mortgage portfolio.  Devon Bank products receive their Shariah compliant blessing from the Sharia Supervisory Board of America whose Vice-President is Mufti Usmani.

Usmani, is a jihadist who has ties to the Taliban and has called for jihad against the West. He is a central leader with the madrassa that produced the Taliban and he has publicly endorsed suicide bombing.

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi says “sharia finance is nothing less than ‘Jihad with money.’ As al-Qaradawi explains, ‘God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and with our money.’”

***

For previous newsletters in this series see:

How the Muslim Brotherhood Operates in Tennessee – 8 Part Series

Eleven Reasons to Reject Sharia Law in Any Form

sharia1 (1)Citizen Warrior, May 2, 2015:

The following list was posted at the Infidel Blogger’s Alliance and has been attributed to Larry Houle. It is a countdown of the top eleven reasons to reject Shari’a. Shari’a is Islamic law, based on the Quran and the Sunnah. It is considered my Muslims to be Allah’s law, and the only rightful set of laws on earth.

Several countries apply Shari’a today, and millions of Muslims around the world are uniting and recruiting and willing to die to get Shari’a applied in more countries. Here is why their efforts must be stopped:

11. Shari’a condones slavery.

Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora notes: “the Quran stipulated that female slaves might lawfully be enjoyed by their masters.” Mohammad himself owned many slaves, some of whom he captured in wars of conquest and some he purchased. The names of forty slaves owned by Mohammad are recorded by Muslim chroniclers.

Islamic law (Sharia) contains elaborate regulations for slavery. A slave had no right to be heard in court (testimony was forbidden by slaves), slaves had no right to property, could marry only with the permission of the owner, and were considered to be chattel, that is the movable property, of the slave owner.

Muslim slave owners were specifically entitled by Sharia law to sexually exploit their slaves, including hiring them out as prostitutes. One reason why very little has been written about the Arab involvement in slavery is that traditional Islamic culture still condones slavery. The Sharia, the codified Islamic law which is based upon the teachings and example of Mohammad, contains explicit regulations for slavery. One of the primary principles of Islam is following the example of Mohammad.

Whatever Mohammad did, we must do, what he forbade, we must forbid, what he did not forbid, we may not forbid.

As Mohammad himself traded in slaves and owned slaves, accumulating multiple wives, even marrying a six year-old, and having concubines — slavery and the sexual exploitation of women is deeply ingrained in Islamic tradition.

Muslim nations had engaged in the slave trade for over 600 years before Europe became involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

THE RIGHTS OF SLAVES UNDER ISLAM

According to the Hughes Dictionary of Islam, slaves had few civil or legal rights. For example:

  • Muslim men were allowed to have sex anytime with females slaves – Sura 4:3, 4:29, 33:49.
  • Slaves are as helpless before their masters as idols are before God – Sura 16:77
  • According to Islamic tradition, people at the time of their capture were either to be killed, or enslaved. Shows you that they were at the bottom of the barrel to start with.
  • According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves were merchandise. The sales of slaves was in accordance with the sale of animals.
  • Muhammad ordered that some slaves who were freed by their master be RE-ENSLAVED!
  • It is permissible under Islamic law to whip slaves.
  • According to Islam, a Muslim could not be put to death for murdering a slave. Ref. 2:178 and the Jalalayn confirm this.
  • According to Islam, the testimony of slaves is not admissible in court. Ibn Timiyya and Bukhari state this.
  • According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves cannot choose their own marriage mate. – Ibn Hazm, vol. 6, part 9.
  • According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves can be forced to marry who their masters want. – Malik ibn Anas, vol. 2, page 155.

Slavery continued in Islamic lands from about the beginning to this very day (read one man’s recent experience escaping slavery in Sudan). Muslim rulers always found support in the Quran to call ‘jihad’, partly for booty, partly for the purpose of taking slaves.

As the Islamic empire disintegrated into smaller kingdoms, and each ruler was able to decide what Islam’s theology really meant. Usually, he always found it in support of what he wanted to do. Their calls of jihad against their neighbors facilitated the taking of slaves for Islam. The Quran and Islamic jurisprudence support the taking of slaves, so, those petty Muslim rulers were following the Quran when they needed slaves.

WHO CAN BE MADE SLAVES UNDER ISLAM?

  • Islam allows Muslims to make slaves out of anyone who is captured during war.
  • Islam allows for the children of slaves to be raised as slaves.
  • Like (a), Islam allows for Christians and Jews to be made into slaves if they are captured in war. After Muslim armies attacked and conquered Spain, they took thousands of slaves back to Damascus. The key prize was 1000 virgins as slaves.
  • Christians and Jews, who had made a treaty with the ruling Muslims could be made into slaves if they did not pay the “protection” tax. This paying for ‘protection’ was just like paying a Mafia racketeer! This allowed Muslim rulers to extort money from non-Muslim people.

10. Shari’a commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.

In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging not only for illicit sex (see reason number 9 below), but also for drinking alcohol. In 2005, in Nigeria a Shari’a court ordered that a drinker should be caned eighty strokes. In 2005, in the Indonesian province of Aceh, fifteen men were caned in front of a mosque for gambling. This was done publicly so all could see and fear. Eleven others are scheduled to undergo the same penalty for gambling.

After going through two previous confusing stages before coming down hard on drinkers and gamblers, the Quran finally prohibits alcohol and gambling in Sura 5:90-91; they do not prescribe the punishment of flogging, but the hadith does.

A poor ‘criminal’ was brought to Muhammad who became angry: The Prophet felt it hard (was angry) and ordered all those who were present in the house, to beat him [the drinker dragged into Muhammad’s presence].

(Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6774-6775)Thus, we see no offer of help for the alcoholic when he is dragged before Muhammad and his followers. Why does Muhammad not offer rehabilitation? Why does he immediately go to corporal punishment? The later classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith, so we do not need to examine them here.

9. Shari’a allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.

In 2004, Rania al-Baz, who had been beaten by her husband, made her ordeal public to raise awareness about violence suffered by women in the home in Saudi Arabia. Saudi television aired a talk show that discussed this issue. One of the guests was an Islamic scholar holding up sample rods that husbands may use to hit their wives.

The Quran says:

4:34 . . . If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of Allah], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. Allah is most high and great. (MAS Abdel Haleem, the Quran, Oxford UP, 2004)

The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws:

Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘Abdur Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. ‘Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” (Bukhari)

This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his girl-bride, Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr:

Muslim no. 2127: ‘He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain.’

It is claimed that Islamic societies have fewer incidents of fornication and adultery because of strict laws or customs, for example, women wearing veils over their faces or keeping separate from men in social settings. But these results of fewer incidents of sexual ‘crimes’ may have unanticipated negative effects in other areas, such as the oppression of women.

Generally, Shari’a restricts women’s social mobility and rights, the more closely Shari’a is followed. For example, in conservative Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive cars.

In Iran, the law oppresses women. For example, women’s testimony counts half that of men, and far more women than men are stoned to death for adultery.

8. Shari’a allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge — physical eye for physical eye.

In 2003, in Saudi Arabia a man had two teeth extracted under the law of retaliation.In 2003, a court in Pakistan sentenced a man to be blinded by acid after he carried out a similar attack on his fiancé. In 2005, an Iranian court orders a man’s eye to be removed for throwing acid on another man and blinding him in both eyes.The Quran says:

5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Quran, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)

This passage allows for an indemnity or compensation instead of imposing the literal punishment of eye for an eye. No one should have a quarrel with this option. According to the hadith, the plaintiff also has the option to forgive, and this is legitimate, provided a judge oversees the process. The problem is the literal law of retaliation.

The hadith and later legal rulings demonstrate that this excessive option was actually carried out, as do the three modern examples linked above.

Islamic law calls all of humanity to march backwards 1,400 years BC (the law is based on the Torah) and to re-impose the old law of retaliation — literally, and the evidence suggest that the Torah never intended the law to be carried out literally.

7. Shari’a commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.

This punishment is prescribed in the Quran, the eternal word of Allah. It does not exist only in the fevered imagination of a violent and sick radical regime like the Taliban, which once ruled in Afghanistan. The Quran says:

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done — a deterrent from Allah: Allah is almighty and wise.

5:39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

At first glance, verse 39 seems to accept repentance before the thief’s hand is cut off. But the hadith states emphatically that repentance is acceptable only after mutilation. Muhammad himself says that even if his own daughter, Fatima, were to steal and then intercede that her hand should not be cut off, he would still have to cut it off (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6788)

6. Shari’a commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.

In September 2003, Scotsman Sandy Mitchell faced crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He was beaten and tortured until he confessed to a crime he did not commit: a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. An article about it said of this punishment that it was the worst kind of execution and that two have been carried out in the last twenty years.

In 2002 Amnesty International reports that even though Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in October 1997, amputation is prescribed under both Hudud (punishments) and Qisas (law of retaliation).

AI has recorded thirty-three amputations and nine cross-amputations where the alternate hand or foot is mutilated. The Quran says:

5:33-34 Those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter…unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that Allah is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

It may be difficult to accept, but the hadith says that Muhammad tortured these next people before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33-34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:

Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away…The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6802)

The next hadith reports that the renegades died from bleeding to death because Muhammad refused to cauterize their amputated limbs. Then the hadith after that one reports that the renegades were not given water, so they died of thirst. They probably died of both causes: thirst and loss of blood.

Islamic law says that these punishments are imposed for highway robbery, and in some cases crucifixion does not need a murder before it is imposed.

5. Shari’a commands that homosexuals must be executed.

In February 1998, the Taliban, who once ruled in Afghanistan, ordered a stone wall to be pushed over on top of three men convicted of sodomy. Their lives were to be spared if they survived for 30 minutes and were still alive when the stones were removed.

In its 1991 Constitution, in Articles 108-113, Iran adopted the punishment of execution for sodomy.

In April 2005, a Kuwaiti cleric says homosexuals should be thrown off a mountain or stoned to death.

On April 7, 2005, it was reported that Saudi Arabia sentenced more than 100 men to prison or flogging for ‘gay conduct.’ These homosexuals were lucky. Early Islam would have executed them, as these hadith demonstrate.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad’s punishment of homosexuals: …’If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.’ (Abu Dawud no. 4447)
This hadith passage says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have a wall pushed on them:

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, ‘Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did.’ In a version…on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

Though this punishment of a wall being toppled on them is extreme, the Taliban were merely following the origins of their religion.

4. Shari’a orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.

In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging for illicit sex. The Quran says:

24:2 The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s law]. (Hilali and Khan)

The additions in the brackets, though not original to the Arabic, have the support of the hadith. These command flogging only of unmarried fornicators: Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6831 and 6833. The classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

In Iran, a teenage boy broke his Ramadan fast, so a judge sentenced him to be lashed with eighty-five stripes. He died from the punishment. Though his sad case does not deal with fornication, it is cited here because it shows that lashing can be fatal.

In December 2004, Amnesty International reports: An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co-defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging.

Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped. She is to be buried up to her chest and stoned to death.

This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death:

And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her… (Muslim no. 4206) The Prophet prayed over her dead body and then buried her.

Truthfully, though, how effective was the prayer when Muhammad and his community murdered her in cold blood? The rest of the hadith says that Muhammad told Khalid not to be too harsh, but the Prophet’s words drip with irony. Perhaps Muhammad meant that Khalid should not have cursed her. However, if they really did not want to be harsh, they should have forgiven her and let her go to raise her child.

Later Islamic legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

3. Shari’a orders death for Muslim and possible death for non-Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even Shari’a itself.

In 1989, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote The Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel’s role in inspiring the Quran.

Now the extremists in the highest levels in Iran have recently renewed the fatwa. In 2005, The Muslim Council of Victoria, Australia, brought a lawsuit against two pastors for holding a conference and posting articles critiquing Islam. Three Muslims attended the conference and felt offended. The two pastors have been convicted based on Australia’s vilification law. While on trial, one of them wanted to read from the Quran on domestic violence (see 9, above), but the lawyer representing the Council would not allow it. The pastors are appealing their conviction.

In 2005, British Muslims have been campaigning to pass a religious hate speech law in England’s parliament. They have succeeded. The Muslims’ ability to propagandize has not been curtailed. Opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech that may criticize Muhammad, the Quran, and Islam. Here are the classical legal rulings:

First, the Muslim deserves death for doing any of the following (Reliance of the Traveler pp. 597-98, o8.7):

  1. Reviling Allah or his Messenger;
  2. being sarcastic about ‘Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat';
  3. denying any verse of the Quran or ‘anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it';
  4. holding that ‘any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent';
  5. reviling the religion of Islam;
  6. being sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law;
  7. denying that Allah intended ‘the Prophet’s message…to be the religion followed by the entire world.

‘It is no wonder that critical investigation of the truth claims of Islam can never prevail in Islamic lands when the sword of Muhammad hangs over the scholars’ head.

The non-Muslims living under Islamic rule are not allowed to do the following (p. 609, o11.10(1)-(5)):

  1. Commit adultery with a Muslim woman or marry her;
  2. conceal spies of hostile forces;
  3. lead a Muslim away from Islam;
  4. mention something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet…or Islam.

According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative, the punishments for violating these rules are as follows:

  1. death,
  2. enslavement,
  3. release without paying anything, or
  4. ransoming in exchange for money

These punishments also execute free speech — even repulsive speech — and freedom of religion or conscience. Ultimately, censorship testifies to a lack of confidence in one’s position and message. If the message of Islam were truly superior, one could trust in the power of truth.

As it stands, Shari’a — with its prescribed punishments for questioning Muhammad, the Quran, and the Shari’a itself — testifies to their weakness since Shari’a threatens those who dare to differ. How confident was Muhammad (and today’s Muslims) in his message that he had to rely on violence and force to protect his message, besides reason and persuasive argumentation?

2. Shari’a orders apostates to be killed (an apostate is someone who leaves Islam).

In Iran, an academic was condemned to death for criticizing clerical rule in Iran. The rulers assert that he was insulting Muhammad and Shi’ite laws. He was charged with apostasy.

Apostates are those who leave Islam, like Salman Rushdie, whether they become atheists or convert to another religion. They are supposed to be killed according to the Quran, the hadith, and later legal rulings. See the previous point number 3 for acts that entail leaving Islam according to Islamic law.

Citing Quranic verses and hadith passages, Sayyid Maududi, a respected Islamic scholar, argues that Sura 9:11-12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death. Apostates should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed.

And the number one reason why Shari’a is bad for all societies…

1. Shari’a commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.

Muhammad is foundational to Islam, and he set the memetic code for Islam — waging war. In the ten years he lived in Medina from AD 622 to his death of a fever in AD 632, he either sent out or went out on seventy-four raids, expeditions, or full-scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to kill anyone who insulted him, to the Tabuk Crusades in late AD 630 against the Byzantine Christians. Muhammad had heard a rumor that an army was mobilizing to invade Arabia, but the rumor was false, so his 30,000 jihadists returned home, but not before imposing a jizya tax (“protection” tax) on northern Christians and Jews.

Money flowed into the Islamic treasury.

What are some of the legalized rules of jihad found in the Quran, hadith, and classical legal opinions?

  1. Women and children are enslaved. They can either be sold, or the Muslims may ‘marry’ the women, since any previous marriages of slaves are automatically annulled upon their capture, according to Shari’a.
  2. Jihadists may have sex with slave women. Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, did this.
  3. Women and children must not be killed during war, unless this happens in a nighttime raid when visibility was low.
  4. Old men and monks could be killed.
  5. A captured enemy of war could be killed, enslaved, ransomed for money or an exchange, freely released, or beaten. One time Muhammad even tortured a citizen of the city of Khaybar in order to extract information about where the wealth of the city was hidden.
  6. Enemy men who converted could keep their property and small children. This law is so excessive that it amounts to forced conversion. Only the strongest of the strong could resist this coercion and remain a non-Muslim.
  7. Civilian property may be confiscated.
  8. Civilian homes may be destroyed.
  9. Civilian fruit trees may be destroyed.
  10. Pagan Arabs had to convert or die. This does not allow for the freedom of religion or conscience.
  11. People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had three options (Sura 9:29): fight and die; convert and pay a forced ‘charity’ or zakat tax; or keep their Biblical faith and pay a jizya or poll tax. The last two options mean that money flows into the Islamic treasury.

Thus, jihad is aggressive, coercive, and excessive, and Allah never revealed to Muhammad a revelation to stop these practices. Therefore, Islam is violent — unjustly and aggressively.

Also see:

Congressman seeks to unlock secret refugee program

The Syrian civil war has caused 3.5 million refugees, with more than 350,000 being targeted by the United Nations for resettlement outside the region.

The Syrian civil war has caused 3.5 million refugees, with more than 350,000 being targeted by the United Nations for resettlement outside the region.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, May 4, 2015:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has received a response to his letter demanding answers from Secretary of State John Kerry about the planned resettlement of dozens of foreign refugees in his state.

But the answers failed to shed much light on the secrecy that surrounds the refugee program. The process by which cities and towns across the U.S. are selected to receive displaced persons from United Nations refugee camps remains largely a mystery.

As Gowdy discovered, the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was approved for the infusion of 60 refugees, mostly from Syria and Africa, by its own state government headed by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.

And if the program plays out in Spartanburg as it has in communities in Minnesota, California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and other states, then the 60 refugees will blossom into hundreds and thousands in future years. Minnesota, for example, is now receiving more than 2,000 Muslim refugees, mostly from Somalia, every year. Texas receives around 7,000 per year, and California more than 6,000, directly from the Third World.

Here are the top 10 states for refugee resettlement based on 2014 figures from the State Department website:

Texas, 7,2011

California, 6,110

New York, 4,079

Michigan, 4,000

Florida, 3,519

Arizona, 2,963

Ohio, 2,812

Pennsylvania, 2,743

Georgia, 2,693

Illinois, 2,578

The United Nations and nine private resettlement agencies are pressuring the United States to accept at least 65,000 refugees from Syria by the end of President Obama’s term in office.

Of the 815 Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. so far, 749, or 92 percent, have been Muslim, according to State Department data.

Only 43 Syrians allowed into the U.S. have been Christians, even though the turmoil in Iraq and Syria has driven thousands of Christians from their homes under threat of death by ISIS.

Some local residents are upset and asking questions about not only the security risks associated with the Muslim refugees but the numbers of refugees that will eventually end up in Spartanburg and how much it will cost to absorb them into schools, housing and health-care facilities.

Almost all refugees coming into the U.S. from war-torn countries are hand-selected by the United Nations.

The plan to send refugees from Syria and Africa to Spartanburg first surfaced in March when a story appeared in a local newspaper, which didn’t provide answers to any of the hard questions.

Gowdy pressed Kerry’s State Department for more information in an April 13 letter.

Kerry’s response on May 1 indicated the process of picking Spartanburg as the country’s newest refugee haven actually began back in April 2013, when World Relief, one of nine private agencies that contract with the government to provide resettlement services, was contacted by local faith groups in Spartanburg. Gowdy’s own office was notified of the plans in August 2014.

Gowdy was not happy with Kerry’s response and has fired off another letter on May 4 to the secretary of state.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

“To begin, it is important to clarify and correct the timeline of events for the proposal. In your response you stated there were two community meetings, one in August 2014 and one in January 2015,” Gowdy wrote to Kerry. “You also stated the proposal was submitted in July 2014 and approved in November 2014. Is this correct? If so, does this mean the resettlement agency had only one community meeting, which occurred after the proposal was submitted and before the State Department’s approval?”

And that one community meeting included no invitations to media or notices to the public, WND has learned.

Gowdy said he sent his initial letter to the State Department on April 13 because he could not answer questions brought to him by constituents regarding plans for a refugee resettlement in Spartanburg.

“We have provided State’s response so the public can read it. But some of the answers are inadequate and fail to provide specificity on who was consulted at the city and county level, within the public school system, and law enforcement, and if they provided input,” Gowdy said in a statement.

Gowdy is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration and border security, which has oversight responsibility for the refugee program.

He sent a staff member, Josh Dix, to the secret meeting in August but Dix did not raise any concerns about the resettlement, according to Kerry’s response to Gowdy’s letter.

Gowdy’s press secretary denied WND’s request for an interview with the congressman Monday and would not answer any questions.

Baptists working to resettle refugees in S.C.

World Relief, a nonprofit evangelical organization that works to resettle refugees nationwide, opened an office earlier this year in Spartanburg.

A group of 40 churches and other faith-based organizations has signed on to help World Relief resettle the refugees, according to Kerry’s letter to Gowdy. One of the lead agencies working with World Relief is the Spartanburg County Baptist Network.

But the plan to place refugees in Spartanburg has been brewing for more than a year, long before any local residents caught wind of it. Kerry’s letter provides a window into how a small group of people in the federal government, local church groups, a federal contractor and a state refugee coordinator conspire to plant “seedlings” of refugees into communities across the U.S.

These refugees are seen by the White House and its network of pro-immigration and refugee partners – groups like National Council for La Raza, Welcoming America and the National Partnership for New Americans – as potential “new Americans.” The refugees are placed on a fast track to citizenship and full voting rights.

The White House is also pushing to have the thousands of Central Americans who crossed the southern border last year afforded asylum status, which qualifies them for various welfare benefits and a direct track toward citizenship.

So while Spartanburg residents found out about the plan for their town in March and April, others in key positions have known about it for more than a year. No public hearings have been held before the city council or local school board. Gowdy is still trying to find out exactly who in Spartanburg was made privy to the plans and who provided input.

“The initial interest in resettling refugees in Spartanburg emerged in April 2013 when World Relief was approached by Spartanburg County Baptist Network,” Kerry’s letter states. “The group, along with 25 other individuals and church organizations, expressed their support for a World Relief resettlement program in their city.”

Kerry said the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration requires that the national resettlement agency, in this case World Relief, “thoroughly assess the local resettlement capacity and environment of any new proposed resettlement sites before determining whether to proceed with resettling refugees in that location. World Relief did conduct a full assessment of the community following its U.S. Site Selection Protocol.”

As for Gowdy’s knowledge, he should have been briefed on the program last summer by a staffer who attended a meeting convened by World Relief in August. Whether that happened is not known because Gowdy’s staff would not answer questions from WND. But the staffer Gowdy had present at the meeting in August did not raise any concerns about the program during the meeting, according to Kerry’s letter.

“Two community meetings (August 2014 and January 2015) were convened to discuss refugee resettlement in the area,” Kerry wrote to Gowdy. “The August meeting, convened by World Relief, was attended by 54 members of the community including Josh Dix from your office, members of local churches, the Immigration Forum, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau for Spartanburg. Mr. Dix did not offer any concerns during the meeting or in follow-up afterward.”

The National Immigration Forum, which was present at the meeting, receives funding from billionaire George Soros. It is the driving force behind the so-called “Evangelical Immigration Table,” or EIT. Breitbart called it “a front group for players on the institutional left including billionaire George Soros and the Ford Foundation.”

The Immigration Forum and EIT were involved in an advertising campaign promoting the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill in 2013, a bill seen by many right-leaning lawmakers as “amnesty.” One of the Gang of Eight members was Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Kerry said in his response to Gowdy that Graham was also invited to attend the August meeting on refugees but no one from his staff showed up.

The South Carolina state refugee coordinator, who works for Gov. Nikki Haley, gave her approval in November for the resettlement program to move forward.

Christina Jeffrey, a political science instructor at Wofford College in Spartanburg and former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives, said Kerry’s response shows that the refugee program is ingrained not only in the federal bureaucracy but in state governments as well.

“It’s another grant program; it isn’t just the feds cramming this down our throats. It’s government corruption at all levels,” she said, “with a lot of money at stake flowing to these contractors.”

World Relief, as the main contractor in Spartanburg, will be awarded a grant from the State Department of $1,975 for every refugee it resettles. Federal rules require $1,125 of that to be used in providing services directly to the refugee such as cash stipends, rents for housing or other material needs during the first 30 to 90 days of the refugee’s arrival. The remaining $850 may be used for staffing and administrative costs.

Nearly 70 percent of World Relief’s budget is covered by government grants. Others among the nine contractors, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Migration Services, have upward of 90 percent of their refugee work covered by government grants.

Seeking a moratorium on refugees

Jeffrey said she’s happy that Gowdy has taken an interest in the program, but she believes his responsibility goes beyond fact finding.

“I can do my own information gathering. I’m not looking to Trey Gowdy for that. I’m looking for him to do his job and provide oversight on whether this is a good use of taxpayers’ money,” Jeffrey told WND. “Rather than just gathering information on the Spartanburg resettlement, how about let’s put the whole program on hold until Congress has a chance to investigate it?”

Jeffrey and others have also voiced concerns about national security. Dozens of people from Muslim countries have come to America as refugees only to be charged with providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, according to FBI reports. At least another 48 cases have been confirmed of Muslim immigrants leaving the U.S. to fight for ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia. The Boston Marathon bombers were asylum seekers from Chechnya.

The refugee program has flown under the radar for more than 30 years, but controversy flared in February when a top FBI counter-terrorism official, Michael Steinbach, testified before the House Homeland Security committee and said the U.S. has no way to vet the Syrian refugees for possible connections to ISIS and other terrorist organizations. As WND reported, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, sent a letter to the White House Jan. 28 citing “serious national security concerns” about the Syrian refugee program and imploring Obama to not let it become a “back door for jihadists.”

Read more

Islam and Free Speech: Missing the Point in Garland

pic_giant_050415_SM_Garland-SWAT-Mohammed2

The purpose of the free-speech event was to highlight the threat posed by Islamic supremacists.

National Review, by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY May 4, 2015:

‘Even free-speech enthusiasts are repulsed by obnoxious expression.” That acknowledgment prefaces the main argument I’ve made in Islam and Free Speech, a just-released pamphlet in the Broadside series from Encounter Books. Alas, in view of last night’s deadly events at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, the argument is more timely than I’d hoped.

In Garland, two jihadists opened fire on a free-speech event that was certain to be offensive to many Muslims. The gunmen wounded a security guard before being killed when police returned fire. The jihadists are reported to be roommates who resided in Phoenix. As this is written, only one of them has been identified: Elton Simpson. The wounded security guard, Bruce Joiner, was treated and released. Joiner works for the Garland Independent School District, which owns the Culwell Center.

Simpson was apparently what my friend, terrorism analyst Patrick Poole, describes as a “known wolf.” That’s a radical Muslim whom the Obama administration and the media are wont to dismiss as an anonymous, unconnected loner but who, in fact, has previously drawn the attention of national-security agents over suspected jihadist ties.

Simpson previously attempted to travel to Africa, apparently to join al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda franchise. He was reportedly convicted of lying to FBI agents, though a judge found the evidence insufficient to prove he was trying to join the terror group. The al-Shabaab connection seems salient now: Police are investigating tweets about the Garland event prior to the violence, allegedly posted by a young al-Shabaab jihadist who is said to be an American citizen.

The Garland free-speech event was a contest, sponsored by Pamela Geller’s New York–based American Freedom Defense Initiative. Participants were invited to draw cartoons of Islam’s prophet, in homage to the Charlie Hebdo artists killed by jihadists in France. Besides Ms. Geller, the featured speaker at the event was Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian whose life has been threatened for years for speaking openly about the scriptural moorings of Islamic terrorism. Al-Qaeda has publicly called for Wilders to be killed, and a notorious Australian imam called on Muslims to behead him because anyone who “mocks, laughs [at], or degrades Islam” must be killed by “chopping off his head.”

In Garland, activists opposed to the violence endorsed by Islamic doctrine and to the repression inherent in sharia law were invited to draw caricatures of Mohammed, with a $10,000 prize awarded to the “best” one. The contest was sure to yield images offensive to Muslims just as transgressive artist Andres Serrano had to know the public exhibition of his Piss Christ photograph would offend Christians.

Yet, as I argue in Islam and Free Speech, it will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures, or the rioting after a Danish newspaper’s publication of anti-Islam cartoons was caused by the newspaper. The violence is caused by Islamic supremacist ideology and its law that incites Muslims to kill those they judge to have disparaged Islam.

It will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures.

Christians were offended by Piss Christ, but they did not respond by killing the “artist” or blowing up the exhibiting museum. If any had, they would have been universally condemned for both violating society’s laws and betraying Christian tenets. In such a case, we would have blamed the killers, not the provocative art. There can be no right against being provoked in a free society; we rely on the vigorous exchange of ideas to arrive at sensible policy. And the greater the threat to liberty, the more necessary it is to provoke. 

The threat to liberty in this instance is sharia blasphemy law. A bloc of Muslim-majority countries, with the assistance of the Obama administration (led by the U.S. State Department, particularly under Hillary Clinton), is trying to use international law to impose Islam’s repressive law to make it illegal to subject Islam to negative criticism. No sensible person favors obnoxious expression or gratuitous insult. But as I contend in the pamphlet, there is a big difference between saying “I object to this illustration of insensitivity and bad taste” and saying “I believe that what repulses me should be against the law.”

Ms. Geller’s detractors are predictably out in droves today, prattling about how the violence would not have happened were it not for the offensive display. No one would feel deprived by the lack of sheer insult, they say, so wouldn’t it be better to compromise free-expression principles in exchange for achieving peaceful social harmony? But that line of thinking puts violent extortionists in charge of what we get to speak about — an arrangement no free society can tolerate.

It is very unfortunate that this debate is so often triggered by forms of expression that non-jihadists will find insulting and therefore that even anti-jihadists will find uncomfortable to defend. This grossly understates the stakes involved. This is about much more than cartoons. As I outline in Islam and Free Speech, classical sharia forbids most artistic representations of animate life, not just expressions that are obviously sacrilegious. More significantly, it deems as blasphemous not just expressions that insult the prophet and Islam itself but also

critical examinations of Islam . . . especially if they reach negative conclusions or encourage unbelief[;] proselytism of religions other than Islam, particularly if it involves encouraging Muslims to abandon Islam[; and any] speech or expression [that] could sow discord among Muslims or within an Islamic community. And truth is not a defense.

It is not the purpose of Pam Geller, Geert Wilders, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and other activists to insult Muslims. Their mission is to awaken us to the challenge of Islamic supremacists — not just the violent jihadists but also the powerful Islamist forces behind the jihad. Islamists are attempting to coerce us into abandoning our commitment to free expression. They are pressuring us to accommodate their totalitarian system rather than accepting assimilation into our liberty culture.

You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.

It would be easy, in our preening gentility, to look down our noses at a Mohammed cartoon contest. But we’d better understand the scope of the threat the contest was meant to raise our attention to — a threat triggered by ideology, not cartoons. There is in our midst an Islamist movement that wants to suppress not only insults to Islam but all critical examination of Islam. That movement is delighted to leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihadists, and it counts the current United States government among its allies.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Duke University Islamic Studies Professor Omid Safi Blames Critics of Jihad for Muslim Violence

By David Wood at Answering Muslims, May 4, 2015:

The Islamic Studies Center of Duke University has a message for critics of jihad: When terrorists decide to murder you for what you say, it’s your fault.

Omid Safi, Director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center, was quick to condemn Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller for a jihadist attack on a Muhammad cartoon contest:

The fact that Safi’s comments don’t cause outrage at Duke University is quite disturbing. If someone were to murder, say, Richard Dawkins for his criticisms of Christianity, it would never cross my mind to say, “Two groups are responsible for the murder of Richard Dawkins: the people who murdered him, and Dawkins and his associates for mocking Christianity.” There is simply no connection, logical or theological, between (a) making fun of Christianity, and (b) being murdered. Hence, if a murderer were to attempt to make a connection, the rest of the world would be puzzled.

Omid Safi

Omid Safi

But Omid Safi is the latest proof that there is a clear connection between (a) making fun of Islam, and (b) being murdered. The connection doesn’t just exist in the mind of the murderer; it exists in the minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, including many moderate Muslims.

Yes, we can blame ISIS for beheading journalists. But we also need to blame the journalists for upsetting ISIS.Oddly enough, Safi’s attempts to blame Spencer and Geller for jihadist violence only underscore the need to address Muhammad’s teachings. Safi portrays himself as a “progressive Muslim.” But if even highly educated, “progressive” Muslim scholars believe that critics of jihad and sharia are asking to be killed, doesn’t this tell us something about Islam?
Following Safi’s reasoning, we shouldn’t be surprised to read future tweets declaring:

 

  • Yes, we can blame Boko Haram for kidnapping and raping Christian girls, but let’s not forget to blame the girls themselves. If they had been devout Muslimahs, they wouldn’t have been raped. So it was their decision.
  • Yes, we can blame Al Qaeda for the 9-11 attacks. But the victims of those attacks paid taxes to the U.S. government, and the U.S. government has killed many Muslims. Hence, those who died on 9-11 got what they deserved.
  • Yes, we can blame the Taliban for murdering girls who want to go to school. But since the girls decided to go to school, it’s their fault as well.

 

It’s sad to see that the next generation of Islamic Studies scholars are being taught that cartoonists who are murdered for drawing pictures of Muhammad must be blamed for their own deaths. But it’s exactly what we should expect when we realize that Muhammad ordered his followers to murder people who made fun of him. There is a connection between criticizing Islam and being murdered because the prophet of Islam demanded it.

Ibn Ishaq on Killing Critics

Dossier on Suspects in Garland, Texas Jihad Attack: Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack May 3, 2015

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi
Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack
May 3, 2015

NER, by Jerry Gordon, May 4, 2015:

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, both suspects killed in the Garland, Texas jihad attack have been identified from the Arizona vehicle registrations and driver photo IDs.   Simpson, 30, and Soofi, 34 were roommates in a central Phoenix condominium. The Phoenix condominium was the subject of an FBI and police bomb squad investigation early this morning

Simpson was the author of the tweets sent just before the attack.   He has been the subject of an FBI terrorism investigation since 2006 and was convicted in a Federal Court trial in 2011 for material support for terrorism, an attempt to travel to Somalia to Join Al Shabaab.   One of the two perpetrators is alleged as having connections to CAIR, the self-styled Muslim civil rights group, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

ISIS in a series of tweets,  sent prior to the May 3rd Muhammad Art Contest sponsored by Pam Geller’s American Freedom  Defense Initiative,   inspired brothers  in the US to undertake an attack on the event. ISIS social media claimed responsibility for the attack in which both perpetrators were killed and a security officer slightly injured. The pre-event ISIS tweets doubtless increased the security arrangements at the AFDI event. A purported Muhammad Art contest  that featured a speech by Dutch Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders and appearances by Rep. Louie Gohmert, Geller and Robert Spencer and others.  200 attendees were in lockdown following the attack and vehicles impounded as evidence in the crime scene. The event was webcast yesterday by the team from The United West led by Tom Trento.

Trento will discuss his experience at the Garland, Texas Muhammad Art Contest event today at 4PM (CST) 5PM (EST) with this writer and Mike Bates, co-host of “Your Turn” on 1330amWEBY, Northwest Florida‘s Talk Radio.  You may listen live here.

Heavy.com has compiled a dossier on the perpetrators of last night jihad attack in Garland, Texas, “Elton Simpson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.”  The article reported:

Elton Simpson has been identified as one of the two gunmen who opened fire Sunday night outside the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. An unarmed security guard was shot, but survived with a non-life-threatening wound, before Simpson and his accomplice were killed by police.

Simpson, 30, and the other gunman, his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Hamid Soofi, are from Phoenix, Arizona.

Simpson was “well known” by the FBI and was the subject of a previous terror investigation, ABC News reports. He and Soofi were armed with assault rifles and wearing body protection, police said. They exchanged fire with a Garland police officer armed with handgun.

Simpson’s father, Dunston Simpson, told ABC News, “We are Americans and we believe in America. What my son did reflects very badly on my family,” adding that his son “made a bad choice.”

WFAA reports that FBI agents were searching the gunmen’s Phoenix, Arizona home.

Police also remain at the scene of the shooting, and have been examining the gunmen’s car. They were concerned about explosives being hidden inside it.

[…]

The FBI began investigating Simpson in 2006, when they began recording conversations he was having with an informant. He was arrested in 2010.

According to court records, Simpson received a sentence of three years probation in 2011 after he was found guilty of making a false statement to the FBI.

Simpson told FBI agents he had not talked with others about traveling to Somalia, when he in fact had talked to others about traveling to the African country, according to court documents. Judge Mary H. Murguia found there wasn’t enough evidence to support the FBI’s claim that the travel was related to terrorism. He had elected for a trial by the judge, rather than a jury.

The FBI had claimed that Simpson was traveling to Somalia to engage in “violent jihad.” The FBI claimed he was planning to travel to Africa to join the al-Shabaab terror group, which has since been responsible for the deadly Kenyan terror attacks at the Nairobi mall and Garissa University.
Simpson’s probation ended in 2014.

The Volokh Conspiracy blog wrote about the case in 2011, calling it a “partial government victory / partial defeat.”

Read the court order explaining why Simpson was found guilty:

According to court documents, Simpson was born in Illinois and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he “converted to the Muslim religion at a young age.”

His attorney during the 2010 trial, Kristina Sitton, told ABC News that Simpson was on the no-fly list and the FBI had tried to convince him to cooperate with them, including after his conviction. Sitton said she thought Simpson was “harmless,” according to ABC News:

He grew up the most normal guy. Just a normal high school guy… Converting to Islam seemed like a good thing for him. He had been going down a bad path and then he found Islam. He never struck me as someone who would do this sort of thing. I’m not a bleeding heart, I’m a Republican. I’ve seen some pretty bad guys and he seemed pretty normal.

Simpson was working at a dentist’s office in Arizona, but had been on vacation prior to the shooting, his father told ABC News. Dunston Simpson said he last spoke to his son three weeks ago, but they “had not much to talk about, because we had some very serious differences.” Dunston Simpson said Elton was a “good kid.”

Here are some items from the Heavy.com dossier on Nadir Hamid Soofi,   “Nadir Hamid Soofi: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”:

According to his Facebook page, Soofi spent a considerable amount of time with his little brother. He’s a graduate of the University of Utah and the International School of Islamabad in Pakistan. His page also shows multiple posts featuring Palestinian and anti-police propaganda. Frequently, he posts the phrase “Eid Mubarak” meaning celebration to the blessed. Soofi was the owner of Effinity Solutions, a carpet cleaning business in Phoenix. In July 2013, he called himself a “newbie to the carpet cleaning industry.”

[…]

AZ Family reports that the two gunmen lived at an apartment on 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road (above) in Phoenix. The day after the shooting, FBI agents, some clad in bomb squad gear, searched the apartment. The car they drove to the attack in Garland was registered in Arizona. The car, a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, was owned by Soofi. He tried to sell it back in March 2015 for nearly $9,000.

Police said prior Soofi’s name being released that the two had gone to the event with the intention of killing people. Both were armed with assault rifles. Garland cops stopped short of calling the attack a terrorist incident.

Garland Shooting: The Jihad Against Free Speech Comes to Texas

garland-swat-AP-640x480

Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, May 4, 2015:

We are living in infamous times. Reality outpaces fiction, and the worst case scenarios keep unfolding in our daily headlines.

Critics of torturers and mass murderers are demonized as “extremists” and “provocateurs.” Israel is accused of human rights atrocities it has never committed by those very entities who themselves actually commit such atrocities; anyone who points this out is deemed an “extreme conservative” and a “racist.” Anti-infidel hate speech—as long as it is directed against America and Israel—is seen as protected by the First Amendment and by the doctrine of Free Speech; exposing the diabolical Big Lies is considered politically incorrect “racist” hate speech which has no place in the Western media, on campus, at the UN, or in any international human rights organization.

Either the West fights back or it surrenders to these Orwellian rules. Many Western intellectuals prefer scapegoating Israel and surrendering quietly to these diabolical Islamist rules rather than risk their reputations and their lives.

Some of us fight back. We do so in different ways. Some of us use only our pens. Others launch demonstrations and lawsuits. Some do both—and some push the envelope, looking for certain trouble, welcoming it, in order to provide an object lesson to those who will not see the Jihad that is upon us, the Jihad that only Israel once faced, the Jihad that is destroying the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Now jihad just took place in Garland, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, in the United States of America.

Enter Pamela Geller, the blogger-activist and founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Robert Spencer, the best-selling author and founder of JihadWatch, and Dutch Parliamentarian and filmmaker Geert Wilders—all long-time freedom fighters against radical, terrorist Islamism. These three have just joined the august ranks of the publisher of the original Mohammed cartoons and the International and Danish Free Press Societies, not only in terms of their having all been awarded pariah status as “Islamophobes” and “racists,” but now in terms of having “provoked” criminal gunfire.

The British and American media has identified a suspected former terrorist Elton Simpson as one of the two gunmen who shot an officer protecting the AFDI’s Mohammed Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest award ceremony yesterday. Both gunmen were shot dead and an officer was wounded. The gunmen lived in Phoenix, Arizona and was on an FBI “No-fly” list.

Shortly before the attempted attack, an account believed (though not confirmed) to belong to Simpson tweeted “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” Another tweet, registered toAbuHussainAlBritani reads: “When will the kuffar understand and stop insulting the prophet s.a.w? learn from history & save your people! #Paris #Denmark#Texas.”

According to the Daily Mail, followers of ISIS had been “calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning about the cartoon contest.”

This event was a “defiant gesture” in support of Free Speech in the wake of the January massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists—and, I would add, in the wake of the cowardice of those PEN authors who are protesting the Freedom of Expression Courage award being given to a surviving Charlie Hebdo editor and a cartoonist.

Geller wrote on her website, “This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?”

Free speech and, in America, the First Amendment, were crafted to protect all free speech, including that which some people find offensive or even scurrilous. We are not all meant to like or agree with it. This concept is the fruit of centuries of Western-style evolution, something that Islam has never enjoyed.

In Islam, “blasphemy” as well as “apostasy” are viewed as capital offenses. In 1988, when Salman Rushdie published a novel that the Ayatollah Khomeini profoundly disagreed with, the Ayatollah did not write an opposing novel or critique. In 1989, he issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death and the Iranian government backed this fatwa through 2005. Rushdie lived in hiding and with police protection. One of Rushdie’s translators was murdered, bookstores were firebombed, publishers threatened.

Publishers as well as authors began to self-censor.

In 2004, Dutch filmmaker, Theo Von Gogh was butchered by Moroccan-Dutch jihadist, Mohamed Bouyeri, who did not like Von Gogh’s (and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s) filmed critique of Islam’s treatment of women.

In 2005, Flemming Rose published the original Mohammed cartoons in Jyllens-Posten, the Danish newspaper. These cartoons were relatively tame. Jihadists secretly added some more malicious cartoons to the mix—and sent it around the globe via the internet. Violent and highly choreographed riots ensued around the world. Gunmen in Gaza invaded the EU’s offices there demanding an apology.

Between 2005-2013, protests spread across the Middle East. Infidel Embassies were attacked. Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons and reaped a whirlwind of lawsuits and attacks.

In 2008, the Danish police arrested several suspects who were plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard, the original Mohammed cartoonist.

In 2009, Yale University Press published a book about the cartoon controversy by Jytte Klausen. However, without telling the author, the Press removed the actual cartoons from her book.

In 2010, a Somali Muslim with an ax and a knife entered Westergaard’s house; luckily, Westergaard fought him off.

In 2010, American cartoonist Molly Norris proposed an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” She published her own rather harmless and funny cartoon. Norris has had to live in hiding ever since. In hiding. In America.

In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were burned down in an arson attack the day after they published an issue with the prophet Mohammed as the Editor-in-Chief.

In early 2015, Jihadists massacred 12 Charlie Hebdo writers in Paris; for good measure, they murdered five Jews later the same day.

Also in 2015, in Copenhagen, a gunmen opened fire at a debate on Islam and Free Speech. One documentary filmmaker, Finn Noergaard, was shot and three police officers were injured. The shooter, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, got away and soon after murdered a security guard at a synagogue; he was then killed.

Now, Jihadists have attacked Free Speech in America. Whether or not people find Geller, Spencer and Wilders “extremely provocative troublemakers” both they and We the People are absolutely entitled under our laws to exercise our First Amendment rights. About anything.

We cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Some believe that Geller et al are doing just that, causing trouble when trouble can be avoided if one only follows Islamist guidelines.

Many elitists and scholars favor  “nuance;” “sensitivity;” “anti-racism,” “inter-faith dialogue.” But they should favor freedom more and double standards less. Westerners have absolutely no trouble criticizing Christianity and Judaism. Why so much angst about criticizing one religion only: Islam?  If what Geller, Spencer, and Wilders have just done advances the cause of freedom of speech, we may not all have to follow their tactics, but we should at least acknowledge that we support their goals.

If not, what exactly are our alternatives?

*****

Let the conversation begin:

Watch VIDEO: CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Cross-Examines Defendant Pamela Geller

Watch the speeches at the AFDI Muhammad Cartoon Contest

drawmuhammadfinal700

Thanks to Tom Trento and his crew at The United West:

Garland Police Stop “Known Wolf” Jihadists but Free Speech Threat Remains

6850320CSP, by Kyle Shideler, May 4, 2015:

Sunday night, May 3rd, outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Texas, two would-be jihadists attempted to launch an attack against a free speech event being held by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Thanks to the swift response by local security and GPD, the two suspects were killed, while an officer was wounded, but soon released from the hospital.

One of the suspects was identified as Elton Simpson, an Arizona man convicted in 2011 for lying to federal agents regarding his attempt to travel to Somalia to join a terror group. On a twitter page reportedly connected to Simpson, the author swears an oath of allegiance to Islamic State leader AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi just moments prior to the attack taking place, with the hashtag #Texasattack. An investigation is currently underway to determine who the second suspect was, identified in Simpsons’ twitter page only as “the bro with me.”

There is no doubt that many in the media will attempt to paint the responsibility for this attack on the hosts of the event, for having the temerity to hold an art exhibit featuring a number of drawings (both contemporary and historical) of Islam’s prophet Mohammad. But an examination of Simpsons’ earlier trial documents make clear Simpson was committed jihadist. From the Court quoting transcripts from the audio recordings submitted by the FBI:

In that recording, Mr. Simpson told Mr. Deng that Allah loves an individual who is “out there fighting [non-Muslims]” and making difficult sacrifices such as living in caves, sleeping on rocks rather than sleeping in comfortable beds and with his wife, children and nice cars. Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away.” Mr. Simpson then said:

“[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”

Simpson went on to describe the importance of Shariah law, and the willingness to fight to establish it:

They’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws. That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.”

As we have noted previously, Shariah blasphemy laws call for death for perceived insults to either Allah or Mohammed, and multiple Muslim-majority countries maintain the death penalty for blasphemy, and in many others extrajudicial killings are routine. The attempted attack on the Curtis Culwell Center should likewise be viewed as an attempt to enforce a foreign system of law against the constitution, through violence. It is not an irrational act by those “angered” or offended by a display, but one attack in a campaign targeting America’s system of governance.

Such attacks do not occur in isolation, but are part of a larger political effort to impose Shariah over American law. This is done first by equating the act of speech with the violence directed against the speakers. As we noted at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris:

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years. Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s“test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

This same line was adopted by the Islamist organizers of the “Stand With the Prophet” Rally, also held in Garland, Texas. From a Free Beacon article covering the event:

“Frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet?” the event materials ask. “Fuming over extremists like ISIS who give a bad name to Islam? Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet? Or the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’?”

“When real events warrant, like the Danish Cartoon controversy, Sharia ban, Quran burning, Boko Haram kidnappings. [Islamic State] brutality, etc., we articulate fresh talking points and content quickly, and in a timely manner, working with professionals to disseminate it through community spokespersons and our allies,” organizers state on their website.

The publication of cartoons and other acts of free speech are being directly equated here with kidnapping, brutality and terrorism as part of an intentional effort to permit the banning of free speech that offends Islam. It’s the same logic that led Congressmen Andre Carson and Keith Ellison to demand Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders be barred from the country. Wilders attended and spoke at the Garland event.

Sadly this rhetoric has clearly caught on, and was on hand following the Garland shooting as journalists, bloggers and “Countering Violent Extremism” analysts lumped the AFDI and those who attempted to murder them together as “extremists.”

We should all be thankful that swift action by the Garland police put down a violent threat to free speech and the Constitution on Sunday.  But we should all respond equally swiftly to the political threat to free speech by loudly and unapologetically insisting that the Constitution trumps Sharia law, and free speech trumps  “so-called” blasphemy.

And there’s nothing extremist about that.

Kerry Tries to Dismiss Criticism of Iran talks as “Hysteria”

87446063CSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 4, 2015:

In a statement to Israel’s Channel 10 News over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry aggressively defended the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear diplomacy with Iran and dismissed critics of the nuclear talks as engaging in “hysteria.”

This kind of talk is typical of the way Kerry and other Obama administration have defended their nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  They refuse to discuss criticisms of the talks and instead attack their critics as uninformed and partisan.

Kerry defended the nuclear talks in unusually strong terms, claiming under the deal, inspections would remain in place “forever” and that “We will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran’s pathways to a bomb and that doesn’t give us the confidence — to all of our experts, in fact to global experts — that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.”

No serious person believes international inspectors will be in Iran forever.

This kind of rhetoric shows how worried Kerry is about the nuclear talks.  His briefings to Congress about the negotiations have gone very badly.  There are bipartisan concerns that the Obama administration has made enormous and dangerous concessions to Tehran and got nothing in return.

The Obama administration’s Iran policy also is in deep trouble because Iranian officials claim it lied about what will be in a final nuclear agreement.

Today, the Center for Security Policy released a compelling ad on the Iran nuclear talks titled “Why are the Mullahs laughing?”   This ad helps explain the dangers of the Obama administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  You can watch this ad below or click HERE.

Please also check out our new website IranTruth.org for more information about the Obama administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Free Speech, “But” – Paris, Copenhagen, Now Garland Texas

by Sundance:

Considering the jihadist attack in Garland Texas, it will not take long for the professional left to begin espousing the familiar tome: “free speech, but“….

There is no “but” in any sentence about “free speech”.  It is, it exists, -or-, it is not, it does not exist.  It is that simple.

Mohammad-Contest-Drawing-1-small

The fact that a simple event depicting pictures of Muhammad needs to spend $10,000 to hire security -IN AMERICA- should be the real story.  The fact that a simple event depicting pictures would be considered “controversial” -IN AMERICA- should be the sub line of the real story.  Alas, these simple considerations will be lost amid the “but” crowd.

“But”, free speech does not protect offensive speech – is another familiar, perhaps the most frequent, refrain from the “but” crowd.  Insufferably wrong.   The only speechthat needs first amendment protection is “offensive speech”, if your speech wasn’t controversial or offensive it would not need protection.

As BigFurHat accurately opines:

[…] This event was to see if ordinary Americans could draw a F*CKING CARTOON without the penalty of death.

Apparently not. So why would you be sympathetic to hair-trigger unreasonable monsters in our midst? Why would you cower, rather than say, “ya, right, if I doodle your prophet I’m going to die. Not in America, Omar.” (link)

And, in a larger sense, showcasing this absurdity is exactly the purpose of the event.

Texas Muhammad

Why do marchers march?  Why do protesters protest?  Why can every American carry their soapbox to any street corner or public square and stand atop it?  Because the central tenet of our foundational principles says We Are Free To Speak.  Period.

“But”, you must accept the consequences therein – yet another similar refrain.  And what “consequences” should be allowable? “Consequences” yes, but drawing out those consequences while contrast against the foundational principle of freedom is exactly what the event was highlighting.

Authentic Islam, carried out to it’s fullest political construct, is antithetical to our U.S. constitutional freedom.

If the central tenet of any belief commands a person to kill another person for drawing a picture – it’s the belief that must be confronted within a society that values freedom, not the artist drawing the picture.

But”, other progressive societies restrict “provocative speech – another espousal from the “But” crowd.   We are not ‘other societies’, we are a formed national society based on valuing ‘individual freedom’ not ‘collective freedom’.  Our foundation puts the freedom of speech as the first freedom, the first amendment – a bill of unalienable rights endowed not by government or man.

We, our nation, were born as a constitutional republic, not a democracy.  The outlined rights of the individual are embedded as more valuable than the rights of the state, so long as the expression of those individual rights does not impede upon the same rights of another – nor form a delivery obligation unto another individual.

But”, your expression of freedom (drawing a picture), is by measure and consequence, having an impact upon my ability to believe in my religion.   A statement finally reached when having a conversation with anyone practicing Authentic Islam.

This is where it is claimed that the tenet of their belief demands they must not allow depictions of the Prophet Muhammad; and therefore an individual freedom of expression or belief is impacting their first amendment right to their religious belief.

That part of the argument is exactly evidence that Authentic Islam is antithetical to our U.S. constitutional freedom.

That part of the argument is exactly what the purpose of the event in Garland Texas was drawing out.

The Heroine For Freedom - Pam Geller Wins First Amendment Case In Washington DC

Free Speech, you either have it or you don’t….

….there is no “but”.

The Unwavering Failsafe – Just to make sure there never would be a “but” our forefathers cemented the first amendment with the establishment of the second amendment to protect it.

Last night in Garland Texas their foresight worked seamlessly.

Also see:

Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism, Suspect ID’d as Elton Simpson of Phoenix

Simpson was arrested in 2010 on terror-related charges, but given probation. No time served.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole. May 4, 2015:

BE SURE TO SEE UPDATES BELOW

The name of one of the suspects in last night’s shootout outside a Dallas-area free speech event has been released.

ABC News 13 in Phoenix has ID’d Elton Simpson as the individual who posted a message with #texasattack to his Twitter account just before the shooting.

twitter.com_2015-05-03_23-53-45a

They report:

A controversial cartoon contest in north Texas yesterday depicting the prophet Mohammed ended in deadly gunfire.

ABC News can confirm that one of the suspects is Elton Simpson, an Arizona man who was previously the subject of a terror investigation. He’s from Phoenix and television stations in Phoenix are reporting the second shooter was Simpson’s roommate. We’re still waiting on his name.

The FBI believes Simpson sent out a tweet using the hashtag #texasattack about a half hour before shooting.

ABC News adds that police have been executing search warrants at Simpson’s home in Phoenix overnight.

It appears that this attack is yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome, when the suspect is already known to law enforcement and intelligence. Virtually every terror attack in the West over the past year has been by one of these “known wolf” suspects.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Simpson was well known to the FBI, ABC News reported. Five years ago he was convicted for lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Africa, “but a judge ruled the government did not adequately prove he was going to join a terror group there.”

Simpson was apparently known to the FBI since 2006:

ha tweet

UCLA Law professor Eugene Volokh actually wrote about Simpson’s case back in 2011. Quoting from the judicial opinion:

On January 13, 2010, a grand jury indicted Defendant Elton Simpson for knowingly and willfully making a materially false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). The indictment also charged that the statement involved international and domestic terrorism. The indictment specified that on or about January 7, 2010, the Defendant falsely stated to special agents of the FBI that he had not discussed traveling to Somalia, when in fact he had discussed with others traveling to Somalia for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad. The Government is charging Mr. Simpson with making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001. The Government is also charging that the false statement involves international or domestic terrorism as defined under section 2331, so that he is eligible for a sentence enhancement pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1001. […]

… The problem … is that the Government has not established with the requisite level of proof, that the Defendant’s potential travel to Somalia (and his false statement about his discussions regarding his travels) was sufficiently “related” to international terrorism. Rather, the Government missed several steps to meeting its burden for establishing this charge. As a result, the Court cannot find the Defendant eligible for the sentence enhancement.

According to ABC News, Simpson was convicted of lying to the FBI, but was placed on probation and never went to prison.

I’ve been chronicling these recent “Known Wolf” terrorism cases here at PJ Media:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

This was also the subject of a Capitol Hill briefing I gave back in late January sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET):

The suspect had tweeted that he had been arrested in 2010. His Twitter account has been deactivated, but I’m trying to find the screenshot of the tweet I made last night. I’ll post here when I find it.

From a U.S.-based jihadist supporter:

jihadi tweets

UPDATE: ABC has posted a picture of Simpson

Here is the court decision in that prior 2010 case:

UPDATE #2: Dallas Morning News adds more detail, including his known association with Al-Qaeda traitor Hassan Abu Jihad:

Simpson told agents in 2010 that he planned to study Islam at a madrassa in South Africa, records show. He said he would be gone for five years and didn’t have “firm plans” for what he would do after his studies.

But in a 2007 recorded conversation, Simpson spoke about fighting non believers for Allah. He also spoke about Afghanistan and Iraq and “Jewish oppression of Muslims.” And he criticized those who “don’t believe that they should be over there fighting.”

The FBI also got him on tape in 2009 speaking to someone about his plans.

“It’s time to go to Somalia, brother,” he said. “We know plenty of brothers from Somalia…I’m telling you, man. We gonna make it to the battlefield, akee, it’s time to roll.”

Simpson said non believers, known as “kuffar,” are “fighting against us because they don’t want us to establish sharia,” records show.

And he told an associate that he could sell his car to finance a trip overseas to fight.

“That’s a plane ticket right there. Bye-bye America,” Simpson said.

Simpson in 2009 also told someone he sent a link to someone else about “how they gonna use the car with bombs on it.” He said he was going to school at the time but that it was “just a front.” […]

When FBI agents visited Simpson in 2010, he asked them about an acquaintance, Hassan Abu Jihad, who was appealing his 2008 federal conviction in Connecticut for providing material support to terrorists.

Abu Jihad also was found guilty of “communicating national security information to persons not entitled to receive it,” records show. He was sentenced in 2009 to 10 years in federal prison. Simpson told agents he was concerned about Abu Jihad’s future.

Simpson said he knew Abu Jihad when the man lived in Phoenix previously. Abu Jihad was arrested in Phoenix in 2007.

************

Police searching car, apartment after shooting outside Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas (foxnews.com)

Police in Texas were still checking a car for possible explosives early Monday and authorities reportedly were searching the Phoenix home of the two suspects who were killed in an attack on an art exhibit that inflamed radical Muslims.

The City of Garland, Texas said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that the men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center on Sunday night and began shooting at a security officer. Garland Police Department officers returned fire, killing both gunmen, the statement said.

The statement did not say whether the shooting was related to the event, a contest hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

One of the suspects was known to U.S. intelligence and had been part of a recent terror investigation for allegedly trying to travel to Africa, home of the Al Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab, sources told Fox News.

Officials have been at the Phoenix apartment complex – some 1,100 miles from the Garland, Texas, crime scene — since late Sunday night and are reviewing computer records from materials found at the residence. Police tape continues to surround the area, KSAZ reports.

Authorities also are investigating Twitter messages from overseas posted prior to the event calling for violence. The tweets were posted by a 25-year-old American jihadi with al-Shabaab, investigators told Fox News.
FBI spokesman Perryn Collier on Monday confirmed that the Phoenix residence is being searched for indications of what prompted the shooting.

The FBI said the men involved in the shooting were roommates, according to 12 News.

Authorities said they were worried that the suspects’ car in Garland could contain an incendiary device. Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and a bomb squad was on the scene early Monday. Police had cordoned off a large area and at least three helicopters circled overhead.

The Garland Independent School District, which owns and operates the Culwell Center, identified the wounded security officer as Bruce Joiner. The district said in a statement that Joiner — who was shot in the ankle — was treated and released from a local hospital.

The FBI said the men involved in the shooting were roommates, according to 12 News.

Authorities said they were worried that the suspects’ car in Garland could contain an incendiary device. Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and a bomb squad was on the scene early Monday. Police had cordoned off a large area and at least three helicopters circled overhead.

The Garland Independent School District, which owns and operates the Culwell Center, identified the wounded security officer as Bruce Joiner. The district said in a statement that Joiner — who was shot in the ankle — was treated and released from a local hospital.

Roby said he then heard two single shots.

Geller told the AP before Sunday’s event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad. Though it remained unclear several hours after the shooting whether it was related to event, she said Sunday night that the shooting showed how “needed our event really was.”

In January, 12 people were killed by gunmen in an attack against the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had lampooned Islam and other religions and used depictions of Muhammad. Another deadly shooting occurred the following month at a free speech event in Copenhagen featuring an artist who had caricatured the prophet.

Geller’s group is known for mounting a campaign against the building of an Islamic center blocks from the World Trade Center site and for buying advertising space in cities across the U.S. criticizing Islam.

When a Chicago-based nonprofit held a January fundraiser in Garland designed to help Muslims combat negative depictions of their faith, Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: “Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!” Others held signs with messages such as, “Insult those who behead others,” an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OFFICER AND TWO SUSPECTS DOWN IN GUNFIGHT AT ISLAMIC CARTOON CONTEST IN TEXAS, POSSIBLE EXPLOSIVES FOUND

UPDATE, 9:20 PM: The car may contain explosives, according to WFAA8: 

Two men were shot and killed in a parking lot outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Sunday afternoon, SWAT officials told News 8.

The two suspects drove up and opened fire on the center, which was hosting a Muhammad Art exhibit, and hit a Garland ISD officer.

That officer suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to a spokesman for Garland Police.

Police were searching the area for a vehicle that had explosives in it.

SWAT members were already at the scene for the art event.

Rowlett/Sachse Scanner reported on Facebook that a suspect was inside a nearby Walmart, off Garland Avenue and Naaman Forest Boulevard, with a hand grenade.

A 1,000-foot radius around the Walmart was shut down and the Academy Store was evacuated, according to that page.

UPDATE, 9:14 PM: Garland Police have reportedly evacuated a nearby WalMart and are searching the car the suspects allegedly drove to the event.

UPDATE, 9:06 PM: A local NBC reporter says the two suspects are dead.

UPDATE, 8:59 PM: Police have the area blocked off and have removed reporters for up to half a mile away. Helicopters are patrolling the skies and police are standing in the intersection, blocking the roads and are armed with M-16s. 

UPDATE, 8:51 PM: A senior officer has said that the officer taken to the hospital will be OK, and that the two suspects will not be OK. The 100 people being held inside singing the Star-Spangled Banner to comfort themselves. 

UPDATE, 8:45 PM: Police appeared to have escorted a few individuals through a conference room, and continue to patrol the perimeter. 

UPDATE: Suspects had two AK-47’s according to police on the scene. The officer has been transported to the hospital. The suspects are still on the ground at the scene. They are not moving and are not being touched at this time until a bomb squad checks out their bodies.

Approximately 100 people are being held by police in a secured facility inside the event.

GARLAND, Texas — Armed police officers rushed in to the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest and quickly removed Pamela Geller and whisked her away to safety after a gunfight erupted outside of the event. A law enforcement officer and two suspects are reportedly down, according to police on the scene. Three Breitbart Texas reporters are locked down inside of the event. The officers on the scene said that possible explosives were found. The extrication of Geller occurred during a live video interview with Breitbart Texas.

The attendees to the exhibit were forced into lockdown by police. Several officers entered to exhibit and informed the attendees that an officer was down, two suspects had been shot, and that possible explosives were found.

Breitbart Texas will update this post as more information becomes available.  Most of the Breitbart Texas team is currently on lockdown inside of the event.

Curtis Culwell Center Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know (heavy.com)

A shooting has been reported at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, where thecontroversial Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest is being held.

Two gunmen and a police officer were shot, according to WFAA reporter Jobin Panicker, who was at the event.

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The context and art exhibit, created in response to a pro-Muslim event in January that drew thousands of protesters, included the awarding of a prize to the cartoonist who drew the best depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. More than 300 entries were received for the contest, with an award of $10,000, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. An Officer Said They Are Concerned the Gunmen Had Explosives

The event was being livestreamed on YouTube. A SWAT team officer interrupted the event and told the crowd that two suspects had been shot. He said they were “worried” that the gunmen may have also “possibly had explosives on them.”

He tells people to remain calm and orderly as they brought them to safety. Someone from the crowd yelled to him, “were the suspects Muslim?” and he responded that he has “no idea right now.”

WFAA reporter Jobin Panicker tweeted that those in attendance at the event were moved into a secure room by police.

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Nearby businesses were also evacuated.

Panicker posted video of the event’s attendees singing the Star Spangled Banner after being evacuated.

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2. Police Said the Gunmen Drove Up & Started Shooting

Garland Police told Jocelyn Lockwood of NBC 5 that a gunman drove up to the event, got out and started shooting with handguns.

3. The American Freedom Defense Initiative’s Event Has Been a Subject of Controversy

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The event created controversy with some saying that it is an attack on Islam. The event’s organizers, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, said it was just exercising its right to freedom of speech, according to the Dallas Morning News.

4. The Organizers Created the Exhibit After a Pro-Islam Event at the Curtis Culwell Center

Read more at Heavy with updates