3 terror attacks in 48 hours: Hey Islamapologists, what’s your excuse this time?

japanese_hostage-300x180By Allen West, Jan. 26, 2015

Over the past 48 hours, there have been three more terror attacks worldwide, but I doubt you’ve even heard about them:

1.In the Philippines, one person was killed and 48 injured when a car bomb exploded, which local authorities believe the al-Qaida-backed Abu Sayyaf group was behind – and of course we reported here how the Obama administration decided to end U.S. support against Islamic jihadism there.

2.The Taliban conducted a truck bomb attack at a gas station in Kabul near the military airfield there. Officials think it might have been a premature suicide attack; thankfully only two civilians were wounded.

3. ISIS executed a Japanese hostage by beheading and is still holding another under threat of execution, demanding an exchange for a female Islamic suicide bomber being held in Jordan.

Now mind you, this was just in the last 48 hours.

What gets me is how fast those “Islamapologists” in the West continue to push the narrative of the “hijacking of a peaceful religion” by a few radicals. Well, it seems to be more than a few, and what if this narrative is totally wrong? What if this “hijacked” narrative is just something being contrived in the West to advance a state of denial — such as we saw last week in President Obama’s State of the Union address and in his previous statements of “Let me be clear, ISIS is not Islamic” – even though the first the letter in ISIS stands for Islamic.

First of all, I suggest we stop using the phrase “radical Islam.” The proper classification should be “militant Islam” — that is if you’ve read the Koran, the hadiths, and the suras. If you understand the respective phases of Islam’s development and expansion and how it relates to world history — not progressive socialist or Islamist revisionist history — “hijacked a religion?” I don’t think so. As matter of fact, I said this back in 2009 on a panel in New York City moderated by Jeb Babbin, which included Andrew McCarthy and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Meyers. You can watch it here.

 

History does not agree with the “hijacked” reference — and that subject has been covered most recently by the Israeli paper, Haaretz.

As written by Salman Masalha, “One of the fundamental problems with Islam is the view that its doctrines – exactly as written, exactly as they were developed and forged in the Arabian desert in the 7th century – “are good for all times and all places.”

“The religious ideology that all Islamic scholars of all Islamic sects uphold rests on the Koranic text and the canonical traditions attributed to the Prophet Mohammed. According to Islam, the world is divided into two: the camp of the faithful, comprised of those who believe in the religion of Islam, and the camp of the infidels, which comprises the rest of the world, including Christians and Jews.”

“The infidels are divided into three categories: people of the book – the Jews and Christians … those who have a sort of book – the Zoroastrians … and those with no book – those who worship idols or the stars,” the Shi’ite scholar Al-Tusi wrote in the 10th century. And Islam’s attitude toward unbelievers nowadays is made very clear in the words of religious arbiter Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, the former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia: “The Koran, the laws of the prophet and the general agreement among Muslims all teach us that Muslims have an obligation to be the enemies of the infidels – the Jews, the Christians and the rest of the idol worshippers.”

In the West we must stop finding any means possible to dismiss what Islamic doctrine and text commands. There is a reason why the flag of Saudi Arabia has a koranic verse and the sword of Muhammad. I don’t recall Jesus Christ carrying a sword, do you?

Once Muhammad departed from Mecca (first Mecca phase) and ended up in Medina he took a turn towards violence. The corresponding verses in the Koran reflect that and history does as well. Muhammad led some 20-25 raids — combat operations — the first being circa 622 AD with the Nakhla raid. The abrogated verses of the Koran results in the latter verses – the more violent once — superseding the previous “peaceful” verses — but they are all words and revelations from Allah.

This leads to the duplicitous and hypocritical nature of Islam — it means whatever it wants to mean, a religious buffet. And that’s why I say “radical Islam” is not the correct definition. There’s nothing radical about their text — as they see it. However, after the first Mecca phase to the present, Islam has been militant in its designs — proselytization and expansion has not been done by a peaceful means, but rather from the end of a sword.

So why this widespread sense of denial?

Mr. Masalha explains, “As Islamist terror appeared on the world stage over the past few decades, many Muslims cried out, claiming that such terror besmirched Islam and didn’t represent it. The terrorists have kidnapped Islam, they said. But the question that begs to be asked is, who kidnapped whom? Isn’t it more reasonable to assume that the Islamic texts are the ones that kidnapped the terrorists, not the reverse?”

“When reports emerged after a recent conference of Islamic scholars at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University that one religious arbiter had implied that members of ISIS were heretics, Al-Azhar was forced to issue a denial. Muslim religious scholars find themselves at a disadvantage compared to those who wave the banner of militant Islam – for reading the publications of these fundamentalist organizations shows that they derive their strength and inspiration from the very same foundational texts of Islam itself.”

But hey, I know that no matter how many facts I present, the Islamapologists will brand me as the Islamophobe. However, what about taking the militant Islamists at their word?

“These Islamists aren’t ashamed to proclaim their worldview in public. From their perspective, Islam is “an aggressive religion, a religion of war, a religion of jihad, a religion of beheadings and bloodshed,” as Hussein bin Mohammed wrote in an article published on an Islamist website under the title “The beheading issue.” “It’s neither beheading unbelievers nor terror that besmirch Islam,” he argued, but rather “all those who want Islam to be in the image of Mandela or Gandhi, without bloodshed and beheadings.” The provocative writer then added, “That isn’t the religion of Mohammed, who was sent out with his sword until Judgment Day; Mohammed, of whom the only chapter in the Koran that bears his name is called the war chapter. … All those who try to paint Islam as a religion of peace, doves and love … are doing so under the influence of the West’s false views and its evil ideas, which are being exported to the Islamic nation in order to weaken it.”

Nope, I’ll take the enemy at their word, and for what they believe. I will not be a member of the dismissive “coexist” crowd who do so only in fear of having to face this historic evil. So henceforth, I will be keeping track of everyone who comes out and supplies the false narrative that, “Islam is a peaceful religion that has been hijacked by radicals.”

Islam must have a reformation that brings it into the 21st century — leaving behind the savage and barbaric violence of the text from the 7th and 8th century. Until that happens, well, nothing else matters — as Mr. Masalha states, “only a root canal of Islam’s ideas can move the Arab and Muslim world toward modernity.”

But more importantly, some in the West urgently require another medical procedure to remove their heads from a certain lower part of their anatomy.

Saudi Arabia’s New King Helped Fund Radical Terrorist Groups

King Salman, Saudi Arabia's newly enthroned monarch / AP

King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly enthroned monarch / AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo, Jan. 26, 2015

King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly crowned monarch, has a controversial history of helping to fund radical terror groups and has maintained ties with several anti-Semitic Muslim clerics known for advocating radical positions, according to reports and regional experts.

Salman, previously the country’s defense minister and deputy prime minister, was crowned king last week after his half-brother King Abdullah died at the age of 90.

While Abdullah served as a close U.S. ally and was considered a reformer by many, Saudi Arabia has long been criticized by human rights activists for its treatment of women and its enforcement of a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Tuesday to pay respects to Abdullah and meet with Salman, who also has been seen as a moderate friend of the United States.

However, throughout his public career in government, Salman has embraced radical Muslim clerics and has been tied to the funding of radical groups in Afghanistan, as well as an organization found to be plotting attacks against America, according to various reports and information provided by David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

In 2001, an international raid of the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, which Salman founded in 1993, unearthed evidence of terrorist plots against America, according to separate exposés written by Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, and Robert Baer, a former CIA officer.

Salman is further accused by Baer of having “personally approved all important appointments and spending” at the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a controversial Saudi charity that was hit with sanctions following the attacks of September 11, 2001, for purportedly providing material support to al Qaeda.

Salman also has been reported to be responsible for sending millions of dollars to the radical mujahedeen that waged jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, according to Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who is now director of the Brookings Intelligence Project.

“In the early years of the war—before the U.S. and the Kingdom ramped up their secret financial support for the anti-Soviet insurgency—this private Saudi funding was critical to the war effort,” according to Riedel. “At its peak, Salman was providing $25 million a month to the mujahedeen. He was also active in raising money for the Bosnian Muslims in the war with Serbia.”

Salman also has embraced radical Saudi clerics known for their hateful rhetoric against Israel and Jews.

Salman has worked closely with Saleh al-Moghamsy, who tweeted in August 2014 that “Allah only gathered Jews in the land of Palestine to destroy them.”

Al-Moghamsy also stated in a 2014 television interview that “the hatred of Jews toward Muslims is an eternal hatred.” He also claimed in 2012 that Osama bin Laden had died with more “sanctity and honor” than any infidel, or non-Muslim.

Despite this rhetoric, Salman has maintained close ties to al-Moghamsy.

Salman chairs the board of an organization run by al-Moghamsy and has sponsored the cleric’s public events, including a 2013 festival. Salman and al-Moghamsy were pictured many times together at that event, according to regional reports.

Al-Moghamsy also has been an adviser to two of Salman’s sons, one of whom posed for a selfie with the cleric in July.

Salman also has reached out to other hardline preachers, including Safar Hawali, a one-time mentor of Osama bin Laden who has called for non-Muslims to be expelled from Saudi Arabia.

In 2005, Salman called Hawali to inquire about his health and in 2010 praised him upon the release of a book.

While crown prince, Salman also made a point of phoning Aidh Abdullah al-Qarni, a Saudi author currently on the U.S. Terrorist Screening Center’s No Fly List who has praised Hamas and calledIsraelis “the brothers of apes and pigs.”

Additionally, Salman, in his role as crown prince, has recently visited Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the nation’s highest religious authority, who has asserted that 10 is an appropriate age of marriage for girls and called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula.

Weinberg, who has been tracking Salman closely, said that the new monarch is taking up his predecessor’s mantle of moderate reform.

“Just like King Abdullah tried to present himself as a reformer, some are trying to suggest that the new king, Salman, is a moderate who will continue his half-brother’s so-called progressive policies,” Weinberg said. “But just look at where Saudi Arabia is after Abdullah: people are being decapitated and flogged by the state in the streets.”

“Women are systematically oppressed by their own government, and the regime continues to propagate incitement and intolerance,” he continued. “Salman’s background funding mujahedeen abroad and embracing hateful clerics suggests that he is at best a political opportunist who will tolerate continued religious extremism, even if he does not hold such views himself.”

Death of Saudi King & Coup in Yemen: Signs in Iranian Prophecy

Foreground: Iranian Revolutionary Guards, banner in background: the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Foreground: Iranian Revolutionary Guards, banner in background: the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The coup in Yemen by Iranian proxies and the death of Saudi King Abdullah must be seen through the eyes of Iranian regime elements focused on the “end-of-times” prophecies. These huge developments are seen not only as strategic opportunities by the Iranian regime; they are seen as fulfillments of prophecy signaling the imminent appearance of the Mahdi to bring final victory over the enemies of Islam.

THE END-OF-TIMES WORLDVIEW

The Iranian regime’s view of the world is centered around the appearance of the Mahdi, also known as the Hidden 12th Imam in Shia Islam. It also explains its strategy in the context of prophecies surrounding the Mahdi’s arrival on the scene, including issues related to Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Former President Ahmadinejad famously displayed his belief that the Mahdi’s return is very near to the point that other regime elements derided him and his clique as “deviant” for believing that the Mahdi is directly guiding them.

Ahmadinejad was not doing this for domestic political reasons. If anything, it hurt him politically. He’s continued the rhetoric even after leaving the office. In April, he said the Iranian regime will “provide the setting for the Hidden Imam’s world revolution” and it’s the “prime goal” to facilitate the “beginnings of the emergence of the Hidden Imam.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s beliefs are not different. He likewise preaches that the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran is the fulfillment of prophecy to set the stage for the Mahdi to defeat Iran’s enemies.

Like Ahamdinejad, Khamenei believes Iran has a responsibility to consciously fulfill prophecy in order to trigger this event. His representative in the Revolutionary Guards said in June that Iran needs to shape the necessary “regional preparedness” for it to happen.

In July 2010, a senior Iranian cleric said that Khamenei told his inner circle that he had met with the Mahdi, who promised to “reappear” during his lifetime. A sermon by a top cleric in Qom and shown on state television claimed that Khamenei said “May Ali protect you” the second he was born.

The most vivid explanation of the end-of-times prophecy in the Iranian regime’s calculations came in 2011 when a terrifying videowas leaked titled, “The Coming is Upon Us.” It was obtained by Reza Kahlili, a former CIA spy within the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Iranian regime did not contest its authenticity.

The basis of the video was that the Iranian regime is fulfilling specific prophecies to trigger the appearance of the Hidden 12th Imam. Supreme Leader Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah are depicted as the incarnations of figures foretold in prophecy.

Kahlili said the production of the film was overseen by President Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and it ends with a list of endorsements from clerics. A portion was shown on the regime-controlled media.

The blowback was fierce even from within the regime. A major seminary in Qom even condemned the comparison of Ahmadinejad to the military commander who will lead the final war. Significantly, it did not condemn the comparison of Khamenei to the political leader who will ally with the Mahdi known as “Seyed Khorasani.”

The regime tried to distance itself from the video, but the filmmakers said it was shown to Khamenei and Ahmadinejad for approval. They also pointed out that prominent clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders call him “Seyed Khorasani” to his face. Khamenei’s representative in the Guards told a state newspaper on April 12, 2011 that ayatollahs agreed that Khamenei is Khorasani.

The Iranian regime’s foreign policy is based on a fusion of these strategic and ideological goals. It rationally pursues these extremist objectives. The mistake that many Western analysts make is conflating the two. The regime appears Soviet-like in its strategic calculations, but they are made for a highly ideological end.

DEATH OF SAUDI KING & COUP IN YEMEN

The full significance of the death of Saudi King Abdullah can only be understood through the Iranian prophetic framework.

Read more at Clarion Project

Video: Nonie Darwish on Obama and the Koran

Published on Jan 22, 2015 by The Glazov Gang

POLLACK: HE Stands With THEM

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Truth Revolt, by William Pollack, Jan. 25, 2015

Is there a soul who still believes Barack Hussein Obama stands with and for America? It has been six years since women fainted, a pundit’s leg tingled and a hysterical electorate screeched the nonsensical rhetoric “yes we can” and “hope and change.” Reality has set in for most Americans.

What single policy of his has strengthened American interests at home and abroad? Name one ally still confident of America’s friendship? Whether it’s Obama’s leftist ideology and/or a more sinister belief in weakening our nation, his decisions have created a vacuum void of strong American global leadership. Enemy alliances are exponentially growing as global commentators interpret the Obama administration as one that dithers and is inattentive. Spin an old fashioned globe you might find in a library or antique shop and wherever it stops, there’s trouble.

“Islamic Terrorism” is a euphemism this administration will not use even ordering the military to delete such references in manuals. We may not identify our enemy but they clearly identify us when chanting “Death to America.”

Strangely, the Obama administration prefers phrases like “overseas contingencies” and “workplace violence” to protect what must be the brass unblemished image of Islam in the president’s mind. His goofy cheerleaders at the State Department explain beheadings, extermination of entire Christian villages, enslaving little girls into the sadistic sex trade, killing young boys for watching a soccer game, stoning women for “allowing” themselves to be raped and hanging gays from cranes in public squares as not representative of the “peaceful” religion of Islam. We are told these “extremists” represent 10% or 20% of Islam’s 1.5 billion believers. You do the math and will most likely realize how dangerous this festering enemy truly is. France, Australia, Britain and most other non-Muslim nations are paying the price of an open-ended immigration policy that has created unmitigated violence and “no go” zones.

How often do we hear the illusive cry moderate Muslims must condemn their ongoing atrocities against innocents? With rare exception, they never do. Our own President won’t even join a chorus of condemnation without caveats that somehow excuse the inexcusable. Mr. Obama has gone so far as to apologize to the Arab world for America’s “exceptionalism” by suggesting at times we have been “arrogant.” Talk about ironies.

Mr. Obama shrugs when Jewish innocents are murdered on the streets of Paris, Jerusalem and Miami while satirical cartoonists are shot down at point blank range; all in the name of Allah. In response, Obama’s main propagandist Josh Earnest eerily suggests it was not wise for a free press to publish a cartoon demeaning Muhammad.  We have come a long way since a courageous president of the United States warned “you are either with us or against us.” But why should we expect this president to show solidarity with those of us who embrace freedom won by the toil of better men than him? Watching TV was his choice over joining 40 world leaders marching in unity together in France. In fairness, he did send a folk singer to serenade the French a week and a half later.

Is there anything more alarming with an almost unimaginable deadly consequence than Obama’s possible gift of nuclear weapons capability to the Iranian regime? As Iran’s economy was collapsing under imposed sanctions and the decline of oil revenues, Mr. Obama unleashed billions in frozen assets to the Iranians. He has written pleading letters to the ayatollahs begging for a deal even as satellite images indicate this dictatorial terrorist regime has ballistic missiles designed to carry a nuclear warhead to our shores. Despite his rhetoric, only the most naïve would believe Obama would use force to stop the largest exporter of terrorism responsible for thousands of American deaths from acquiring the weapons to blackmail the world into submission. As Iran is allowed the time and money to test fire this hellish weapon, Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry worries climate change is the greater danger. Honestly, do you have to be insane to be this president’s Secretary of State?

Again and again, Obama saves his greatest ire for Israel; America’s strongest and virtually only remaining ally in the Middle East. Israel is a tiny democracy surrounded by Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and the Palestinians; all sworn to her demise. Iran’s leadership openly calls for the Jewish State’s destruction while denying the Holocaust ever happened. Yet hardly an utterance of support for Israel and condemnation of Iran’s conduct emanates from this President. His animosity and insulting demeanor toward Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is legendary and out of control. Just as Churchill tried to warn the world, so too does Netanyahu and Obama resents it.

All this makes one wonder whose side HE is on. His policies leave little doubt.

William Pollack is a broadcaster and movie theater owner based in Memphis, TN. 

Also see:

World Leaders Lavish Praise on Saudi King Despite Rights Record Plus Tarek Fatah with the Truth

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz with then US President George W. Bush.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz with then US President George W. Bush.

Clarion Project, BY ELLIOT FRIEDLAND, January 25, 2015

Official flags at government buildings in the United Kingdom have been lowered to half-mast as per a request put out by the office of the Queen as a sign of respect for the late King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah.

This display, along with the long line of world leaders flocking to Saudi Arabia to pay their respects has seen a backlash as commentators, politicians and ordinary people have pointed out Saudi Arabia’s dismal human rights record.

A formal request to lower the flags was put out by officials in the office of the Queen. Officials from the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport sent out the request to other government departments and told reporters that the request had come from the Queen’s palace. It was described as “a matter of protocol.”

The Scottish parliament refused to lower flags, stating “We offer the people of Saudi Arabia our condolences following the passing of King Abdullah.” The spokesman added “Flags are not routinely flown at half-mast from Scottish government buildings to mark the deaths of foreign heads of government or state.”

The flag is flying at half-mast at Westminster Abbey, the most important church in the UK (along with Canterbury Cathedral) and at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence in London.

As Ed West of the Spectator asked “Why is Westminster Abbey honoring the king of a country where Christianity is banned?

Rather than a “patient and skillful moderniser of his country” as Tony Blair described him, King Abdullah was a staunch conservative who’s advisory council (solely appointed by him) refused a petition of women to end (among other things) male guardianship under which women are forbidden from travelling, doing business, marrying, divorcing, opening a bank account  – even undergoing certain medical procedures – without the permission of their male guardian.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said that King Abdullah was a strong advocate for women “in a very discrete way.” The reality was quite different. Along with refusing women the right to drive, the king also kept four of his own daughter imprisoned in a royal compound for 13 years.

US President Barack Obama praised the king for having “the courage of his convictions” while previous President George W. Bush called him “a man I admire and was honored to work with” adding that he had “very fond memories of my visits to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” During his visit to Saudi Arabia, the former President would not have been able to visit Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, as non-Muslims are banned from entering.

These comments by world leaders are surprising in the light of Abdullah’s policies. King Abdullah has imprisoned hundreds of civil dissidents and oversaw the beheading of at least 79 people in 2013 alone, leading The Independent to ask “Who Beheads More People, ISIS or Saudi Arabia?” Two weeks ago the Saudi government gaveRaif Badawi the first 50 out of 1,000 lashes in spite of international pleas for clemency and an offer by leading religious freedom activists to take the lashes in Raif’s place.

Read more at Clarion Project

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Tarek Fatah eulogizes Saudi King Abdullah - with the truth

Published on Jan 23, 2015 by AlohaSnackbar01

 

Also see:

Exclusive: Freed Al Qaeda Agent Was Part of Proposed Swap for Jailed Americans

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The Daily Beast, by Shane Harris and James Kirchick, Jan. 25, 2015
An American couple’s freedom may have come at a steep price: the release of a convicted terrorist from Supermax prison.
Before he was released from a U.S. maximum-security prison last week, a confessed al Qaeda sleeper agent was offered up in a potential prisoner swap that would have freed two Americans held abroad.

The Daily Beast has learned that the proposal was floated in July 2014 to the then-U.S. ambassador in Qatar by an individual acting on behalf of that country’s attorney general. According to two individuals with direct knowledge of the case, the proposition was made shortly after the Obama administration traded fiveTaliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Those fighters were also sent to Qatar, where they’re to remain under government watch until later this year. U.S. officials have said they’re at risk of plotting further attacks against the United States.

The proposed swap involving the al Qaeda agent, Ali Saleh Al-Marri, raises troubling questions about whether the Bergdahl trade opened a kind of Pandora’s box, signaling to foreign governments that they can pressure the United States to make concessions on terrorism by trading American prisoners abroad for dangerous extremists held in the United States.

“I believe we must examine the administration’s decision in the case of Al-Marri and determine if his release is connected to negotiations of any kind,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s hostage negotiations, wrote Thursday in a letter to Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the House Armed Services Committee chairman, obtained by The Daily Beast.

Governments’ hostage negotiations policies are once again taking center stage after ISIS released a photograph Saturday showing the apparent beheading of Haruna Yukawa, one of two Japanese men the group is holding. Unexpectedly, ISIS has now dropped an earlier demand of $200 million ransom and says it will free the remaining hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, in exchange for the release of Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber who’s imprisoned in Jordan for her role in an attack on three hotels in Amman in 2005, which killed 60 people.
ISIS has made other demands for freeing prisoners, including a Pakistani woman held in the United Sates, Aafia Siddiqui, known in counterterrorism circles as “Lady Al Qaeda,” who was convicted in 2010 of attempting to kill Americans in Afghanistan. Siddiqui has been used as a bargaining chip in other negotiations, as well. In 2012, Pakistani officials offered to try and win the release of Bergdahl if the United States would free Siddiqui. The Obama administration quickly rejected the idea because releasing her would be seen as offering concessions to terrorist groups and put a potentially dangerous woman back on the streets, according to current and former administration officials.

In his letter, Hunter accused the administration of failing to pursue other avenues for freeing Americans abroad and relying on prisoner releases or exchanges, “which are often counter to U.S. security interests, for leverage in negotiations.” The congressman also alluded to other potential swaps, saying it’s his understanding that “other foreign nationals” who are still in U.S. custody “have also been named as potential figures of interest in other cases, with Qatar at the forefront.”

Tara Todras-Whitehill/The New York Times, via Redux

Tara Todras-Whitehill/The New York Times, via Redux

Qatar has emerged as a go-between in various hostage negotiations. It agreed to take custody of the five Taliban fighters for a period of one year after Bergdahl’s release. And sources close to efforts to free other Americans held abroad said that Qatar facilitated a ransom payment to help free journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was held for two years by al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

Hunter helped spur the administration to review its hostage negotiation policy, which is widely seen by experts and family members of Americans held abroad as dysfunctional.

Read more 

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ISIS Demands Hostage Swap, WH CoS Assures ‘We Don’t Negotiate With Hateful Characters’

New York Times Discovers Yemen’s ‘Death to America’ Houthi Rebels are Moderates and Possible U.S. Partners

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On January 26, 2015

The New York Times launched some weapons-grade stupidity on Sunday with an article by Rod Nordland and Eric Schmitt citing “experts” claiming that the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen that have swept though critical parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa, are not just moderates, but possible U.S. counter-terrorism partners.

Because of the ongoing Houthi offensive, Yemen’s information minister admitted last week that the government had lost effective control of the country.

Amanpour tweet

Thankfully, the Times is here to assure us that when the Houthis shout “Death to America” they really don’t mean it:

At first glance the official slogan and emblem of the Houthis, who are now the dominant force in Yemen, does not offer much hope to American policy makers.

It includes the words “Death to America, death to Israel, damnation to the Jews.” Houthis shout it when they march, wear it on arm patches, paint it on buildings and stick it onto their car windows. When pictured, those words are rendered in red, framed by “God is great” and “Victory to Islam” in green, on a white background.

Sometimes the red words are shown dripping blood.

But for all their harsh sloganeering, the Houthis may be a lot more moderate than it suggests, according to many diplomats and analysts who have followed them closely. They say it would be premature to dismiss them as Yemen’s Hezbollah, despite their alliance with Iran.

For reference purposes, here’s the slogan in question:

Houthi logo

Houthis tweet

Ah, but we have nothing to fear, because they fight Al-Qaeda says the Pentagon:

On Wednesday, Michael G. Vickers, the Pentagon’s top intelligence policy official, noted that the Houthis’ dominance had been growing over the past several months as they expanded their control since last September, but he said that has not interfered with American missions. “The Houthis are anti-Al Qaeda, and we’ve been able to continue some of our counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the past couple months,” Mr. Vickers said.

And they’re nothing like yet another Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, say the “experts”:

“The Houthis are not Hezbollah,” said Charles Schmitz, an expert on the group and a professor at Towson University, referring to the Iranian-supported group that dominates Lebanon and is actively fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. “They are domestic, homegrown, and have very deep roots in Yemen, going back thousands of years.”

In fact, they could be U.S. counter-terrorism partners if they only dropped their “Death to America” sloganeering (!!) the “experts” continue:

April Alley, a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group in Sana, said: “Theoretically there is quite a bit of common ground in Yemen between the Houthis and the U.S., particularly when it comes to security issues and Al Qaeda. But so far it’s not been enough to overcome the obstacles. The Houthis have their own limits in which they can engage the Americans given the political narrative they have propagated.”

It should be noted that last week a U.S. Embassy vehicle carrying U.S. personnel was shot up at a Houthi checkpoint.

And a Houthi checkpoint featuring the “Death to America” signs has been operating right outside the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa since September:

Yemen photo

 

Houthi checkpoint tweets

 

One curious omission in the Times article, however, is that Obama hailed Yemen as one of his administration’s counter-terrorism successes back in September:

t4

 

So with Iran or Iranian proxies in charge of another Arab capital (Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Sanaa) we have nothing to fear, the New York Times is here to tell us.

And the Houthis take their place as acclaimed moderates in the U.S. foreign policy narrative bubble, along with the “largely secular” Muslim Brotherhood, the“vetted moderate” Syrian rebels, the “moderate elements” of Hezbollah (as cited by CIA Director John Brennan), and even “moderate” Al-Qaeda.

American Muslim group attacks “American Sniper,” demands Eastwood and Cooper denounce fictional “islamophobia”

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Breitbart, by Pamela Geller, Jan. 6, 2015

One of the foundational principles of the Bush Doctrine was and is the oft-repeated dictum, “You are either with us or against us.” Little did President Bush know that the American Muslim community was…against us.

George Bush believed that the moderates in the Muslim world would denounce and destroy the devout (that is, the “radicals”). He was expecting a war within Islam that never actually took place. Imagine Bush’s dismay when he discovered that no one was behind him, like John Belushi in Animal House when he goes running out the front door shouting, “Who’s with me?!?,” only to discover that he is utterly alone.

The faked hate narrative that Muslim groups and leaders use is now the default talking point any time that jihad — or patriotism, for that matter — is being discussed. If Muslims spent as much time instituting programs in mosques and Islamic centers against jihad recruitment and the jihadic doctrine as they do fighting the myth of “Islamophobia,” the world would be a vastly safer place.

A Muslim-dominated group, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), alleges that Muslims have become targets of “violent threats” because of American Sniper. Nobody believes it. They are demanding that American Sniper director Clint Eastwood and actor Bradley Cooper denounce the alleged hateful language directed at Muslims because of the film.

This it is what they do: victim jihad. When one part of the Muslim world kills, the other half cries victimhood. Whack and whine. It is a distraction to get people to stop talking jihad and instead address their demands.

Apparently, the ADC is claiming that a couple of tweets offended their sensibilities. They want action! More like submission. It’s called free speech, brutes.

Why don’t Muslim groups demand that leaders of the Muslim world, imams, Al Azhar university, et al denounce the hateful, racist, anti-semitic, misogynist, anti-kuffar language in the Qur’an that is responsible for all of these Muslim wars across the world?

The idea that the film “glorifies war and sanitizes [Chris] Kyle,” as the ADC claims, is laughable. The only war talk or war movie that the left enjoys is a war in which the US loses or stands down. The left demands that we hang our heads in shame if we triumph. Which is why American Sniper is such an invigorating breath of fresh air.

As for “sanitizing Kyle,” let’s get real. It is the enemedia and the elites that sanitize jihad and Islam. And they do it every day, in every news story. Hollywood doesn’t just sanitize jihad and Islam; they avoid them at all costs. It is the gravest threat to freedom, and Hollywood pretends that it doesn’t exist.

As my colleague Daniel F. points out:

Now it’s American Muslims who are complaining about ‘violent threats,” allegedly incited by the hit movie American Sniper. And this time the media is trumpeting this story. Two rules of history converge here:

1) When Muslims in an a non-Muslim country reach a certain critical mass, they seek to dominate the surrounding community – and then move on from there. cf. Britain, Germany, Sweden and France, inter alia.

2) Free speech is unknown in the Muslim world, actually it’s anathema. So it starts with trying to shut us up and stopping us from casting Islam in a negative light. And does it work? For one thing, you can be certain the entertainment industry is now poring over their scripts and deleting “offending” sections. Other “projects” will simply bite the dust. Of course, Obama didn’t need cajoling. As soon as he took office he banned certain phrases from the government’s lexicon that might reflect poorly on the Muslim religion. Makes you wonder what that man is all about, doesn’t it?

For the record, I saw the film back in December when it was first given a very limited release — just two theaters in New York City. I loved it. I tweeted that it was the best film in decades. It’s hardly a rah-rah cheerleading film. It is a film about a deeply good and decent man, a true American patriot.

The record breaking box-office numbers show how out of touch the elites are with the American people. And that is even more true of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Pamela’s temporary site:

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/pamela_geller/2015/01/american-muslim-group-attacks-american-sniper-demands-eastwood-and-cooper-denounce-fictional-islamop.html

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.

Four years on from Egypt’s uprising, are Copts better off?

Voice of the Copts, by Asma Ajroudi-Al Arabiya News, Jan.25, 2015
coptic-christians

coptic-christians

It has been four years since hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters gathered in the capital’s Tahrir Square in a popular uprising that ousted then-president Hosni Mubarak.

Like the majority of Egyptians living under Mubarak’s 30-decade rule, Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who account for estimated 10 percent of the country’s 85 million population, demanded change.
But as Egypt marks its fourth anniversary of the Jan.25 revolution, many within Egypt’s Christian minority say the country is now better off. In fact the situation for Egypt’s Christians is “better than what it was under the Muslim Brotherhood rule, Hosni Mubarak, and even their predecessors,” according to Charl Fouad El-Masri, editor-in-chief of Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm.
While the Mubarak state promoted itself as one of coexistence, the regime cracked down on building new churches and Christian worship sites. Christians were seldom assigned to leading positions in the government and especially in the military, in what many critics described as an official discrimination by the state. And like Muslim Egyptians, a significant number of Christians lived under poverty line and worried about unemployment and lack of freedoms.
But with the rise of religious extremism in the Arab world in the 1970s and with the emergence of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda calling Arab Christians “legitimate targets,” the Christian minority found itself a target of violent sectarian attacks and a victim of an indifferent state. The 2011 revolution coincided with the deadliest year of sectarian violence in decades, including the bombing of an Alexandria church and the killing of two dozen Coptic protesters by Egyptian security forces.
Following the fall of the Mubarak regime and the beginnings of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi’s rule, however, security became a pressing priority in Christians’ demands. Attacks on Copts, who make 95 percent of Egypt’s Christian population, and their institutions have been widely reported on by the national and international media.
The emergence of ultra-conservative groups in post-revolution Egypt brought about a new wave of sectarian clashes that the government, according to critics, did not pay attention to. In 2013, a video emerged online showing Egyptian police standing idly by as a mob attacked a cathedral during a mass funeral.
“Egypt’s Copts suffered during the Muslim Brotherhood rule greatly,” El-Masri added.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won the majority of seats in the 2011 parliamentary election; and its member Mursi became Egypt’s fifth president in June 2012.
Mursi’s decree, which granted him unlimited powers, reports about violent crackdowns on journalists, liberals and demonstrators were among many issues that brought thousands of Egyptians back out on the streets calling for the president’s resignation. On June 30, 2013, and in response to the new wave of clashes that paralyzed Egypt, the Egyptian army, led by General Abdelfattah al-Sisi, ousted Mursi.
Since then, the Muslim Brotherhood was pronounced a “terrorist organization,” and its members became targets of a violent state crackdown, resulting in hundreds of deaths among Mursi supporters. Sisi became Egypt’s president on June 8, 2014.
“The outcome of the January 25 uprising was a disaster for Egyptian Christians who participated in the uprising as citizens of Egypt demanding democracy and liberty,” said Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, the founder and president of Voice of the Copts.
“When the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group achieved power, it became a nightmare not only for Christians but for anyone opposed to them,” Ramelah added.
Under Mursi, Egypt’s Christians were “unwanted, targeted, and about to face the same terror Iraqi and Syrian Christians face under Islamist terrorism there.”
“I feel Egypt would have gone in that exact direction if the Egyptian army had overlooked the people’s demands to overthrow Mursi,” Ramelah added.
Recently, Sisi has promised to rebuild damaged churches in the country.
Also see:

CAIR Mourns Charlie Hebdo, Yet Advocates Censorship

Cair posterAmerican Thinker, By Andrew E. Harrod, Jan. 25, 2015

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas-derived “civil rights” group, “repeated its defense of freedom of speech” in a baffling January 7 press release that “condemned” the Paris jihadist Charlie Hebdo massacre. A trip down a bad memory lane, though, is necessary in order to evaluate critically CAIR’s commitment to free speech rights with proverbial grains of salt equivalent to the Dead Sea’s renowned salinity.

CAIR, an unindicted terrorism coconspirator, and “defense of freedom of speech” simply do not match. CAIR, for example, has unsuccessfully tried to stop critical commentary on Islam in an American public library and school. CAIR has also harassed a Michigan individual who opposed a mosque construction with frivolous subpoenas, ultimately quashed. One 2012 article on the CAIR-Chicago affiliate website discussed how the First Amendment has “been manipulated to make America the catalyst for unjust hate.”

Nihad Awad

Nihad Awad

Accordingly, CAIR executive director Nihad Awad sounded an uncertain free speech trumpet when presenting the press release that noted Charlie Hebdo’s “derogatory references to Islam and its Prophet Muhammad.” Awad equated “extremists of all backgrounds who seek to stifle freedom and to create or widen societal divisions,” placing thereby Charlie Hebdo’s victims on a level with their murderers. Similar analysis had appeared in a 2006 CAIR press release concerning the Danish cartoons, even as CAIR, the 2015 press release recalled, “rejected the sometimes violent response to Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.”

“We all value freedom of expression,” Awad had written to the Danish ambassador in 2006. “But we should also use good judgment and common sense to avoid actions” that are “intentionally insulting” or “promote hatred.” Awad proposed CAIR “as a bridge between the Muslim community worldwide and the government of Denmark” in “offering proactive educational measures.” CAIR could therefore exploit the affair to present Islam in a positive manner and effectively proselytize.

At the same time, Parvez Ahmed, CAIR’s then chairman and a Hamas/Hezbollah apologist who had also extended a speaking invitation to a neo-Nazi while leading CAIR’s Florida chapter, expressed support for blasphemy laws. Ahmed wrote on his website that a “connection between terrorism and a venerated religious figure such as Prophet Muhammad transgresses all bounds of decency.” “Free speech, like every other freedom, comes with responsibility,” Ahmed intoned, and the “affair was avoidable had all sides approached the issue wisely.” Ahmed demanded the “same zero tolerance for Islamophobia as… anti-Semitism” while painting dark scenarios of speech inciting violence. He feared “plunging the world into the abyss of a clash between civilizations.”

Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago’s director and a similar Hamas and Nazi apologist, also discussed “racism targeting Muslims” during a 2008 radio interview on republishing the Danish cartoons. “The majority of Muslims are both against the cartoons and, of course, against death threats,” was Rehab’s immoral equivalence. America does not have “absolute freedom of speech” allowing pornography on daytime television, for example, but a “responsible tradition of free speech.”

The Danish cartoons were a “red flag” for Rehab who, like Ahmed, falsely analogized criticizing Islam to anti-Semitic prejudice. “Long before there was any indication of gas chambers,” European Jews confronted bigoted “freedom of expression.”  The “demonization of a particular faith community or race-based community,” Rehab hyperbolically warned, can incite “further violence against that group or… discrimination.” “Just because one has a right” to speak, Rehab added online in 2010, “does not make it the right thing to do” under a “standard of decency.”

The strategies of CAIR et al. to equate criticism of Islamic ideas with prejudice against individuals and warn of non-Muslim speech inciting Muslim violence have not been without effect. President Barack Obama condemned the Charlie Hebdo assault as an “attack on our free press,” but in 2012 an Obama spokesperson had doubted the magazine’s “judgment” in publishing Muhammad cartoons. Days later Obama infamously declared before the United Nations General Assembly that “future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s fifty-seven member states, meanwhile, have advocated for years legal suppression of “Islamophobia” as a “crime against humanity” resembling anti-Semitism. Countries like Denmark have obliged with hate speech prosecutions against Islam’s critics, something not protested by CAIR. Private news organizations also often refrain from showing cartoons offensive to Muslims, while showing no such scruples towards Christians.

Under CAIR’s standards, individuals touching the third religious rail of Islam might escape with their lives, but not their liberty. If social ostracism does not suffice to silence those irreverent towards Islam, groups like CAIR will not refrain from seeking where possible legal instruments of censorship. While trying to talk a good talk on liberty, CAIR’s past shows all too clearly where it is heading.

Islam: A Diseased Ideology

By Justin O. Smith

rage2The world is being torched and destroyed by Islam __ the Mother of all totalitarianisms __ and its Koran, the precursor to Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ and “Judenrein”. No matter the terms “moderate” or “extremist”, wherever one looks today, from Niger and the recent burning of seven Christian churches, the Yemeni government’s collapse, seventeen murders in Paris and Christian genocides in Iraq and Syria, Islam is found at the heartless center of these atrocities, as its leaders have stubbornly refused to modify, humanize and reform Islam and reconcile Islam with the modern, civilized world. And the world must not allow Islam to persist.

From their own lips, the world hears Islamic religious leaders and Muslim adherents to Islam confess their desire to commit heinous acts against America, Israel and the West in the name of Allah, because the Koran demands it. We hear them utter Islamic prayers and scream “Allahu Akbar” as they commit their murders. So, there’s an obvious problem within Islam that awaits rectifying.

My April 8, 2010 article (see April 8. NEWCOPY – FOX NEWS), for ‘The Reader’, illuminated a large Islamic threat to the U.S. from the Pakistani cleric Mubarak Ali Gilani and his Jaamat al-Fuqra groups based in New York, which have been responsible for ten assassinations and seventeen bombings in America, along with 100 Hamas and Hezbollah terror cells. Leo Hohmann at WND and the Clarion Project recently duplicated this information on January 20, 2015, using the same FBI files I referenced; however, in addition, they verified the locations of 22 paramilitary camps, from California to Tennessee, and they also suggested this number is closer to thirty-five.

In a recent recruiting video captured from Gilani’s “Soldiers of Allah”, Gilani states: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are in America.”

A British terrorist supporter, imam Anjem Choudary and “Muslims Against the Crusades” began work in 2011 to turn twelve British cities, including London (“Londonstan”), into Islamic states. They advocate and plan for autonomous areas controlled by Sharia law, outside British jurisprudence; eighty-five Sharia courts now exist there.

Choudary defended the murderous ‘Charlie Hebdo’ terrorists. He also recently stated that the West can change their laws or there will be a “bloodbath”.

And so, why do the leaders of the United States and the European Union insist on bringing hundreds of thousands more Muslims into our nations, when the greater percentage of them seek our destruction and the end of our liberty? Just look at the Boston Bombers, the Tsarnaev brothers and Adnan Shukrijumah. But of course, Islam’s diseased ideology has infected many native born Muslims too, such as Anwar al-Awlaki, the Kouaci brothers and Anjem Choudary.

Europe and the U.S are properly alarmed by thousands of disenchanted Muslims, holding E.U. and U.S. passports, who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Combine this with open borders policies and an expanding cesspool of irrational, angry Islamofascists stretching from North Africa to Pakistan, and these Muslims pose a deadly threat to the civilized world.

The Egyptian government, Egypt’s President Sisi and the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies have warned the Obama administration repeatedly that the Muslim Brotherhood is exerting an inordinate influence on the U.S. government. They warn that the Muslim Brotherhood sponsors Hamas and that the MB is an international terrorist organization operating in sixty nations, “based on restoring the religious empire” (Islamic Caliphate).

On January 8th, the head of Britain’s MI5 Security Service, Director General Andrew Parker gave a speech at MI5 headquarters in London. He warned that Al Qaeda in Syria was preparing to inflict mass casualties in the West, possibly attacking public transportation and “iconic targets”. Part of his assessment stems from the appearance of Pakistani Al Qaeda in Syria.

While ninety-percent of Muslims will probably never be actual terrorists, well over 50% of the Muslim world has engaged in violent protests, mob violence and some act of war against the West, Israel and even its own people, since the Six Day War. Most Muslims also remain silent, but many cheer, about their brethren’s horrific terrorist attacks, such as 9/11 and, more recently, ‘Charlie Hebdo’.

Staying true to form after murdering more than 10,000 civilians last year (Reuters), the Islamofascists of Boko Haram murdered 2000 more innocent civilians, mostly Christians, in the Nigerian town of Baga, during the first week of January 2015. And we hold rallies, while the enemy continues on its murderous rampages, without a peep of protest squeaking out from any of the so-called “moderate” Muslims.

Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan represents a regime that has provided material support to Hamas. He states that the term “moderate Islam” is “very ugly _ it is an offense and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam … “.

No politician has ever moved Islam to reform. A few have tried to create a new Islamic order, such as Sayyid Ali Muhammed (1819-50) and his Babi movement attempted. A decade ago, Pakistani President Musharaff and King Abdullah of Jordan called for “enlightened moderation”, however, the current Islamic trend is the systematic reversal of any gains made towards reform, like Ataturk’s philosophy in Turkey, and turning the “Arab Spring” into a campaign for the Islamic State and the return of the Caliphate.

On January 1, 2015, Egypt’s Pres, Abdel al-Sisi challenged religious leaders at Cairo’s Al Azhar University to start a “religious revolution”, because the Muslim community “is being … destroyed and is going to hell”. He continued: “It is inconceivable that the wrong ideas that we sacralize should make the entire [Muslim community] a source of concern … and destruction for the whole world”.

The Islamic component of terrorism must be confronted with extreme prejudice and deadly force by Europe and the United States, since millions of Muslims, who aren’t “extremists”, tacitly support Islam’s intolerance and terrorism. Without any reform forthcoming and the Islamic world beyond the force of reason, America must take the terrorists at their word and send these Islamofascists to hell, in a bloodbath of their own choosing, generation after generation, until they are all dead or they no longer seek to spread Islam by the sword and go forth to make war no more.

Christian Persecution Worldwide Has Become A Metastasizing Cancer

Religious Freedom Coalition, By Andrew E. Harrod, PhD, Jan. 24, 2015

The “cancer of Christian persecution is metastasizing” in an “epidemic” that is “spreading at an unprecedented rate in modern times,” stated Open Doors USA president David Curry at a January 7 briefing in Washington, DC’s National Press Club.  Curry’s presentation before an audience of about 30 of Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List (WWL) depressingly reviewed ongoing Christian martyrdom, often at the hands of Marxists and Muslims.

The WWL, an Open Doors press release noted, is a unique annual survey of the persecuted church worldwide, praised by Curry as the most dependable study of its kind.  Open Doors research is “meticulous,” concurred at the briefing religious freedom scholarNina Shea from the Hudson Institute.  The WWL “ranks the top 50 countries where it is most dangerous and difficult to be a Christian,” the press release explained.  An accompanying map displayed at the briefing and available online with the report showed these countries coded by color according to persecution severity.

“Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world,” the press release observed.  “This year, the threshold was higher for a country to make the list, indicating that worldwide levels of persecution have increased.”  Curry noted that the number of Christians dying for their faith has more than doubled since last year’s WWL.  “While the year 2014 will go down in history for having the highest level of global persecution of Christians in the modern era,” the press release elaborated, “current conditions suggest the worst is yet to come.”

Church destroyed in Aleppo, Syria by Sunni rebels associated with the Free Syrian Army

Church destroyed in Aleppo, Syria by Sunni rebels associated with the Free Syrian Army

North Korea, with an estimated 70,000 Christians imprisoned according to the press release, headed the list for the 13th consecutive year and appeared blood red (“Extreme Persecution”) on the map.  No other regime is so “militantly atheistic” as North Korea’s “Stalinist brand,” Shea observed, where the regime suppresses any competition to what Curry described as a “cult worship.”  North Korea exemplifies in Shea’s words how “remnant Communist” countries like China (list place 29, colored green for “Moderate Persecution”) are one significant source of Christian persecution.  Another threat came from “nationalist regimes,” Shea noted, such as the “Hindu fundamentalism” cited by the press release in India.

Shea’s third “Islamist” category,” however, was the largest threat in the WWL.  “Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution in 40 of the 50 countries,” the press release noted, including India, where both Islam and Hinduism endangered Christianity from various quarters.  “This relatively small but virulent strain of ideology,” Curry assessed, “has made the Middle East the most perilous region of the world for Christians.”  “More than 70 percent of Christians have fled Iraq since 2003,” the press release calculated, “and more than 700,000 Christians have left Syria since the civil war began in 2011.”  Bright red accordingly marked majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East and beyond on the WWL map, including Afghanistan and Iraq, two lands where the United States attempted with much blood and treasure to create stable, free societies.

For Shea, “intensifying persecution” of Christians in Muslim countries makes the word “so inadequate” that Shea prefers “religious cleansing” to describe a campaign of “total Islamization” eliminating non-Muslims.  Under the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a “completion of religious cleansing” of Christians as well as Yazidis has occurred in western Iraq, Shea stated.  Absent effective remedies, a “2,000 year-old church will be completely gone,” part of an “attack on the entire Christian presence in the region.”

Iraqi Christians have fled to Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, where Kurds have “put out a welcome mat” and demonstrated that not all Muslims are hostile.  Unlike half a million Muslims who have fled ISIS there as well, though, the Christians lack regional allies and often avoid United Nations camps where international aid deliveries and refugee registration occur.  Accordingly, Iraqi Christians are suffering a “humanitarian crisis so dire” that it is an “existential threat,” Shea warned.

Referencing Sudan and Iran’s Islamic republics, Shea worried about “extremist influences being mainstreamed” in society and government beyond jihadist groups like ISIS.  The Iraqi government in the past, for example, marginalized Christians, who were therefore “dealt out of the deck” in the distribution of American aid.  Governments in Muslim countries likewise often turn a “blind eye and deaf ear” to persecution of Christians by private actors.

In particular, Saudi Arabia, a “towering figure within Islam” with oil resources, regional Gulf predominance, and control over Islam’s holy sites, has been “very counterproductive” by “spreading an ideology of hatred.”  Thus Saudi textbooks demonize non-Muslims and advocate “violent jihad” in Islam’s name.  As a result, “Saudi Arabia did create its own monster” in ISIS, a group Saudi Arabia has now attacked with air strikes, Shea observed.

Shea identified five “red flags” that characterize the “crime against humanity” of “religious cleansing,” elements taken together that are “greater than the sum of their parts.”  “Forcible conversion,” for example, presented Christians with Islamic law’s traditional trinity of choosing between death, conversion to Islam, or acceptance of “medieval dictates” in a “second-class citizenship.”  Nigeria’s Boko Haram “ruthlessly…applied” these alternatives during door to door searches of villages.  Laws also punished blasphemy and apostasy in Muslim countries such as Pakistan, whose “strictest black letter law” in this matter gave a “license to kill” to Muslim vigilantes.  Targeted assassination of Christian leaders, abductions, and targeted attacks on churches completed Shea’s list.

Like Curry, though, Shea assured that “prominent Muslim voices” and the “majority of Muslims” oppose religious persecution.  Shea asserted that Middle Eastern Christians “have long coexisted with the Muslim majority” in the region.  By contrast, Shea described as “extremists” the perpetrators of the Paris Charlie Hebdo jihad attacks on the very day of her remarks.

Yet the widespread, often state-based Muslim persecution of Christians noted by Shea and the WWL seemed to belie Shea’s confidence and suggest problems larger than a radical minority.  Various Middle Eastern Christians, meanwhile, have consistently contradicted Shea in discussions with this reporter (see here, here, and here).  In their experience, faith-based Islamic repression of Christians has marked the region since its eighth century Arab-Muslim conquest.

Queried about Muslim religious tolerance advocates, Shea cited interfaith activist Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal from Jordan and Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.  The latter, Shea noted, has “not encouraged any kind of eradication of Christianity” in his country and has “condemned the attacks on the churches.”  Shea, however, professed ignorance when this reporter mentioned past criticism of Sistani as a “false moderate.”  Sistani, for example, has supported sharia in Iraq, has advocated executing homosexuals, and has expressed anti-Semitic, anti-Christian sentiments against these non-Muslims and their “impurity.”

Similarly asked about moderate Muslims, Curry responded that “I don’t have any names off the top of my head.”  “We have not yet seen a major movement of moderate Muslims to condemn the teachings and ideologies” of groups like ISIS, Curry stated, his professions of a “relatively small” Islamic extremism notwithstanding.  Moderate Muslims “themselves will become a target” of jihadists by advocating for Christians and other persecution victims.

Shea bemoaned Christian persecution as an “ignored human rights crisis” in America among policymakers while “even our religious leaders are far too quiet” on the matter.  “The world still does not get it,” Curry concurred, and called the WWL a “wakeup call” for Christians to notice a “genocide going on.”  No country on the WWL has improved in recent years, Curry stated in an interview, “it’s only gotten worse.”

Shea criticized that secularized American leaders struggle to comprehend a “strong religious belief” in an “extremist version of Islam.”  Voice of America reporter Jerome Socolovsky, previously criticized for obligingly benign views on Islam, similarly seemed to exhibit at the event such incomprehension.  Socolovsky asked Shea whether American domestic respect for Islam, shown by opposition to mosque vandalism or interfaith events like the National Cathedral’s Muslim prayer service, could influence Muslims worldwide.  Shea countered that “there is no comparison” between Muslims protected by American law and often brutal Christian persecution abroad.  “Gestures” like those at the National Cathedral would also not “make a difference whatsoever” among ISIS jihadists and others.

The Nigerian Damaris Atsen gave personal witness at the briefing to the trials and tribulations of modern persecuted Christian faith.  Boko Haram terrorists in March 2010 seized her husband riding home from work and stomped him to death by the road, leaving Atsen widowed with four children, “gifts from the Lord.”  Romans 8:35 (“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”) “always encourages me” that the “spirit of the Lord is there” during her times of mourning, she said.  “I have to forgive,” she added while discussing her husband’s murderers.  “If I do not forgive, the Lord will not forgive me.”  “Pray for Nigeria,” she concluded.

A Conversation about Anti-Semitism with Dr. Phyllis Chesler and Dr. Richard Landes

Israel— and the West— are encircled by evil and slander. We cannot afford to appease them, for appeasement only feeds the appetite of these beasts which , tasting blood, always thirst for more. – Phyllis Chesler

 

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology at City University of New York. She is a best-selling author, a legendary feminist leader, a retired psychotherapist and expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious, and human rights campaigns in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and the Far East. Her work has been translated into many European languages and into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hebrew.

Dr. Chesler is a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), The National Women’s Health Network (1974), and The International Committee for Women of the Wall (1989). She is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at The Middle East Forum, and a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP).

She is the author of fifteen books, including the landmark feminist classic Women and Madness, as well as many other notable books including With Child: A Diary of Motherhood;Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody; Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman; and Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site. After publishing The New Anti-Semitism (2003), she published two more books: The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle For Women’s Freedom(2005) and An American Bride in Kabul (2013), which won a National Jewish Book Award.

book_new_anti_semitism-coverIn December, Gefen Publishing brought out the new edition of Chesler’s 2003 work The New Anti-Semitism, which has been expanded, strengthened, lightly updated, and which has a new Introduction. Gefen is an English-language publisher based in Jerusalem and New Jersey. Gefen will publish a one- or two-volume edition of her Collected Writings (2003 – 2014) on this subject.

Since 9/11, Dr. Chesler has focused on anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel; the psychology of terrorism; the nature of propaganda; honor-based violence and the rights of women, dissidents, and gays in the Islamic world. Dr. Chesler has published three studies about honor-related violence, including honor killings, and a position paper on why the West should ban the burqa; these studies have all appeared inMiddle East Quarterly. She has testified for Muslim and ex-Muslim women who are seeking asylum or citizenship based on their credible belief that their families will honor kill them.

Dr. Chesler was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where she went to Hebrew Schools and joined Hashomer Ha’tzair. She lives in Manhattan and is a very proud mother and grandmother.

Dr. Chesler has been profiled in many encyclopedias, including Feminists Who Have Changed America,Jewish Women in America, and in the latest Encyclopedia Judaica. She invites readers to visit her website, where many of her articles are archived and where readers may contact her: www.phyllis-chesler.com.

The Muslim Brotherhood Inquiry: What’s Happening?

Gatestone Institute, by Samuel Westrop, January 23, 2015

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the “principal findings” of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

“Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in each country work according to a common vision — but in complete operational independence, making the Brotherhood an informal global movement. It’s what makes designating the whole movement a terrorist organisation virtually impossible in the UK, as authorities knew from the very beginning. But the lack of a ban does not equal an exoneration or an endorsement — hardly the general tone of the review.”

The British government will publish only the “principal findings” of an inquiry commissioned by the British government into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Although the former head of the MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has described the Brotherhood as being, “at heart, a terrorist organization,” Brotherhood organizations in the UK have, nevertheless, long enjoyed the support of government ministers and taxpayers’ money.

Previous media statements have indicated that the report written for the inquiry, first commissioned in April 2014, has since sparked a great deal of argument between government ministers and officials and has led to a lengthy delay.

The biggest point of contention has reportedly focused on concerns over the expected reaction of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — both of which have recently designated the Muslim Brotherhood and some of its front groups as terrorist organizations – if the inquiry’s report is perceived to be a whitewash.

London, it seems, has long been an important hub for the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the past 50 years, Brotherhood members have established dozens of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, including lobby groups, charities, think tanks, television channels and interfaith groups.

The secretary-general of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, Ibrahim Munir, is a resident of London. In 2013, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry al-Youm reported that Munir was providing funds to the Egyptian Brotherhood through British Brotherhood groups such as the Muslim Welfare House — but under the guise of fundraising for Palestinians in Gaza.

This government inquiry was established to examine not just the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, but to understand better the workings of the worldwide Brotherhood network. This network is both big and nebulous. The inquiry sought to examine the network comprehensively, including the Brotherhood’s collaboration with other Islamic groups, such as Jamaat-e-Islami, a South Asian Islamist network that also has a strong presence in Britain.

Why, then, has the report been delayed?

The question that has dominated most British media reports of the inquiry’s findings has centered on the allegation of terrorism. The relationship between Western governments and the Brotherhood on this point has long appeared murky. In 2002, for instance, the United States government shut down the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood fundraising group for the Hamas terrorist organization. And in 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives: “I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”

At the same time, however, both the Bush and Obama administrations also sought to woo the Muslim Brotherhood. One anonymous Palestinian official, quoted in Asharq Al-Awsat, claimed: “The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, represented by Muslim Brotherhood, would be able to combat radical Islam.”

The inconsistency seems to have revolved around the Muslim Brotherhood’s connection to Hamas. Although Hamas’s 1988 covenant asserts that, “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine,” Western governments have nevertheless treated Hamas and the Brotherhood as unconnected entities — despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

In the United Kingdom, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas networks appear to overlap heavily. In 2005, for instance, the British government handed over the running of London’s Finsbury Park mosque to the Muslim Association of Britain [MAB]. The Muslim Association of Britain was founded by Muslim Brotherhood activists including Kemal Helbawi, who described the Israel-Palestinian conflict as “an absolute clash of civilisations; a satanic programme led by the Jews and those who support them, and a divine programme carried [out] by Hamas … and the Islamic peoples in general.”

One of the trustees appointed to run the Finsbury Park mosque was Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who, according to BBC reports, is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London. Yet the police and local government continue to fund the mosque with tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London, is a trustee of the Finsbury Park mosque, which receives tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money. (Image source: inminds YouTube video screenshot)

By ignoring both the operational and ideological relations between the Brotherhood and Hamas, Western governments have been able to claim a dedication to opposing terrorism while at the same time courting Islamist allies, ostensibly to help fight the jihadist threat. By 2009, for instance, the British government provided the Muslim Welfare House, mentioned earlier, with £48,000 of “counter-extremism” funds. To this day, leading Islamist charities, established by Brotherhood figures, continue to receive millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

The Muslim Brotherhood, without Hamas, has worked hard to present itself as a benign organization. It is the government’s apparent failure to demonstrate adequate evidence of connections to terrorism, some critics argue, that has led to the delay in publishing the inquiry’s report. The prominent newspaper journalist, Peter Oborne, has claimed that the report “had discovered no grounds for proscribing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group… Publication of the report as originally written would infuriate the Prime Minister’s Saudi allies — and not just them. The United Arab Emirates have long been agitating for the defenestration of the Brothers…. The reason [for the delay] is simple: money, trade, oil, in a number of cases personal greed.”

Peter Oborne, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, was, in fact, echoing the line taken by the Brotherhood itself. British Brotherhood operatives, such as Anas Al-Tikriti, recently placed an advertisement in the Guardian newspaper that claimed, “this review is the result of pressure placed on the British government by undemocratic regimes abroad, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.” The letter was signed by a number of senior Brotherhood activists, MPs, Peers and journalists — including Peter Oborne.

The “Saudi pressure” argument serves a useful purpose. There is not a lot that can undermine a government inquiry so much as an accusation of political leverage and foreign financial influence. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE regard the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat, and would like to see it suppressed. But neither the Saudis nor the Emiratis are naïve: both have worked to influence the British government for decades and both know how Westminster works. Hence, both know that it is extremely unlikely that the British government would ban the Muslim Brotherhood.

All that said, it is still possible to ignore Hamas and nevertheless link the Brotherhood to violence. In September 2010, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, advocated violent jihad against the United States, and declared that, “the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life… The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.” In 2013, Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters in Egypt attacked 70 Coptic Christian churches, and more than 1000 homes and businesses of Coptic Christian families were torched.

Banning the Brotherhood, however, is difficult for another reason. Security analyst Lorenzo Vidino writes:

“Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in each country work according to a common vision — but in complete operational independence, making the Brotherhood an informal global movement. It’s what makes designating the whole movement a terrorist organisation virtually impossible in the UK, as authorities knew from the very beginning. But the lack of a ban does not equal an exoneration or an endorsement — hardly the general tone of the review.”

If the delay in the report’s release has been the product of political wrangling at all, the debate within Westminster is most likely over the influence of the Brotherhood upon extremism and radicalization, and with which groups the government should continue to work.

There is already some indication that changes are taking place. On December 18, 2014, the government announced publicly that two Brotherhood-linked Islamic charities, Islamic Help and the Muslim Charities Forum, were to lose their government grants over links to extremism. The Department for Communities and Local Government stated that it would not fund any group “linked to individuals who fuel hatred, division and violence.” This loss of funding followed a Gatestone Institute report investigating the Muslim Charities Forum’s links to extremism, which was subsequently picked up by mainstream British media.

Also in December, Islamic Relief, after being placed on terror lists by both the governments of the UAE and Israel, published an “independent audit,” claiming there was “absolutely no evidence” to link the charity to terrorism.

The British government, which has provided over £3 million of funding to Islamic Relief since 2013, offered little comment, but did publish, at the end of December, a document revealing that the UK government would match £5 million of donations to Islamic Relief until 2016.

Herein lies the contradiction. The Muslim Charities Forum is essentially a project of Islamic Relief. The present chairman of the Muslim Charities Forum, in fact, is Hany El Banna, who founded Islamic Relief, the leading member body of the Muslim Charities Forum. Islamic Relief, as the Gatestone Institute has previously revealed, has given platforms to the same extremists as those promoted by the Muslim Charities Forum, an act that led to its loss of funding. Why would the British government discard one charity while embracing the other? Is this perhaps a sign of further sleight-of-hand to come? Rather than sanction the Brotherhood as a whole, is the government likely in future to work only with sections of the Islamist network?

We have seen such posturing before. In 2009, Britain’s Labour government cut ties with the Muslim Council of Britain after some of its officials became signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document that calls for attacks on British soldiers and Jewish communities. The government has continued, however, to work with and fund interfaith groups partly managed by MCB figures and Istanbul Declaration signatories.

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the “principal findings” of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

In spite of the expectedly unexciting report, the global Muslim Brotherhood still seems worried. Even the most benign report could damage the legitimacy upon which the Brotherhood thrives. Although unlikely, visas for Brotherhood residents in Britain could be revoked, and the report could produce a domino effect — sparking inquiries in other European countries. Evidently, the Brotherhood attaches great importance to its political and diplomatic connections and influence.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the report, media misinformation and Brotherhood propaganda have been spreading. Back in April 2014, the British government’s announcement of the inquiry produced a great deal of noise. The actual scope of the inquiry and the possible consequences, however, were left to the imaginations of the many commentators and conspiracy theorists.

Consequently, just as the full findings of the report are unclear, so is its significance. If certain sections of the Brotherhood are declared unsuitable, it seems that the report might provide a useful opportunity for the British government — aided by new statutory powers for the Charity Commission and proposed new counter-extremism powers — to crack down on those parts of the Muslim Brotherhood which serve to accrue financial and political support for Hamas.

Thus far, for the government, the Muslim Brotherhood inquiry has been a PR disaster. The eventual publication of the inquiry’s report could provide an opportunity for the British government to end its continued support and funding for Britain’s Muslim Brotherhood charities, and to stop treating Brotherhood operatives as representatives of Britain’s Muslim community. It would indeed be a shame if the only outcome of the inquiry were an even cozier realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities.