Islam: Has It “Always Been Part of America”?

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Frontpage, by Joseph Klein, Feb. 9, 2016:

President Barack Obama spoke for the first time as president at a U.S. mosque on February 3, 2016. His choice was the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque, where he portrayed Islam as having “always been part of America.”

The Islamic Society of Baltimore was established in 1969. If Obama had wanted to speak at “the oldest purpose-built mosque that is still in use today” in the United States, in order to try to demonstrate that Islam has “always been part of America,” he would have found it in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It would not have helped his cause, however. This mosque, known as “the Mother Mosque of America,” dates way back – drum roll, please – to 1934. The oldest mosque in the U.S. was built in North Dakota in 1929.

To provide some perspective on how short a time it has been since the first mosques in the United States were built, the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue building in North America, was completed in 1763.

Nevertheless, in making the case that Islam has “always been part of America,” Obama noted that Muslims were arriving on our shores as far back as colonial times.

“Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim,” Obama declared.

It is worth recalling the National Prayer Breakfast about a year ago, when Obama charged that “Slavery…all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” He evidently believes that the early waves of Muslims coming to America as slaves were entirely the victims of a Christian-based slavery system. He won’t admit the truth: that their Muslim brethren in Africa had sold some of “the slaves brought here from Africa” in the first place. These Muslim slave traders were jihadists operating in West African territories that had been forcibly taken over by Muslim warriors and turned into Islamic theocracies.

Muslims brought to America as slaves, approximately 10 to 15 percent of the overall slave population, carried with them the attitude of Islamic supremacy that they had grown up with in Africa.

“To live as a Muslim in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century West Africa was to live in an increasingly intolerant society,” Michael A. Gomez wrote in his article entitled ‘Muslims in Early America’ (Source: The Journal of Southern History).  “This was the period of the jihad, of the establishment of Muslim theocracies, of self-purification and separation from practices and beliefs that were seen as antithetical to Islam.”

Some Muslim slaves – “professors of the Mahomedan religion,” as a slave owner described them – were placed in positions of authority over their fellow slaves and helped put down slave insurrections. One of these “professors of the Mahomedan religion” referred to non-Muslim slaves as “Christian dogs.”

Perhaps such loathing in general for the majority Christian colonial population explains why only four or so Americans with Muslim-sounding names fought for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. By contrast, more than 100 Jews served on the American side, 15 of whom served as officers.

In any event, America’s first war against foreign states since achieving its independence was againstMuslim powers. Muslim potentates from the Barbary States – Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania – were plundering American commercial vessels and holding Americans hostage for ransom in the years beginning shortly after the United States won its freedom from Great Britain. They went to war with the United States when their demand for tribute was refused by President Thomas Jefferson. It took two Barbary Wars to defeat this Muslim threat.

Both Jefferson and John Adams had confronted the theocratic ideology of Islamic jihad first-hand years earlier, when they sought to negotiate an end to attacks by the Muslim Barbary Coast pirates and the holding of American captives for ransom. While Jefferson was serving as ambassador to France and Adams was serving as ambassador to Britain, both men met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the ambassador to Britain from the “Dey of Algiers.” They wanted to know why the Muslim rulers were sanctioning attacks on American merchant ships and taking Americans hostage when the young United States had done nothing to provoke any of the Muslim Barbary States.

As Jefferson and Adams described in a letter to John Jay on March 28, 1786, the Muslim ambassador explained that the conduct of the Barbary Coast pirates “was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

In short, when the newly independent United States was at its most vulnerable, our country faced Muslim enemies animated by jihad.

Nevertheless, in his remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque, President Obama attempted to demonstrate the positive influence of Islam on the Founding Fathers. He alluded to the fact that “Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran.” True, but this tells only part of the story.

For example, Obama neglected to share with his audience the unflattering opinion of Islam that appeared in the preface of the particular edition of the Koran that John Adams chose to purchase:

“This book is a long conference of God, the angels, and Mahomet, which that false prophet very grossly invented … Thou wilt wonder that such absurdities have infected the best part of the world, and wilt avouch, that the knowledge of what is contained in this book, will render that law contemptible…”

John Adams evidently believed what the preface commentary to his Koran had concluded. In a letter that Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson on July 16, 1814, Adams lumped Napoleon, “Mahomet” and other famous warriors in history together under the label “Military Fanatic.” Adams added, as translated from Latin to English: “he denies that laws were made ​​for him, and claims everything by force of arms.”

John Adams’ son, John Quincy Adams, was even blunter: “The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”

As for Thomas Jefferson, he studied his copy of the Koran to understand its jurisprudence. He rejected some of the harshest prescriptions of sharia law, such as the cutting off of limbs as a punishment for stealing. Such disproportionate punishments, he said, would “exhibit spectacles in execution whose moral effect would be questionable.”

After further study of the Koran and of various materials about Islam, as well as learning from his experience with the jihadist Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, Jefferson concluded that there could be no negotiation or compromise with the jihadists. As president, as already noted, he launched attacks against the Muslim powers. President Madison’s follow-up attacks led ultimately to the Muslim powers’ defeat.

In his work “How Thomas Jefferson read the Quran,” Professor Kevin J. Hayes wrote: “What Jefferson found most disturbing about the Qur’an was the Islamic claims to its infallibility.”

Apparently, Obama does not share Jefferson’s concerns about rigid Islamic dogma. He continues to harp on his contention that Islam has “always been part of America.” Yet the first major wave of voluntary immigration of Muslims to the United States occurred between 1880 and 1924, while the first wave of Sephardic Jews arrived in the colonies during the seventeenth century.

Obama mentioned during the course of his remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore that “Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars.” He offered this as an example of how “Generations of Muslim Americans helped to build our nation.” Jewish immigrants joined Muslim Americans on the assembly line. But it was a Jewish architect, an immigrant from Prussia named Albert Kahn, whom Henry Ford hired to design the first factory where a continuously moving assembly line could be used to manufacture the Model T.

President Obama claimed that Muslim Americans include “scientists who win Nobel Prizes.” As of 2015, only one of the three Muslim Nobel Prize winners for science worldwide is a Muslim American, who won the award in 1999.

The first Jewish American Nobel Prize winner in science, Albert Abraham Michelson, was an immigrant from Prussia. He received the award in 1907. At least 80 Jews who won the Nobel Prize in the sciences have been from the United States.

In the field of law, it took all the way until 1981 for the first Muslim in the nation’s history to serve as a judge. That is when Adam Shakoor, an African-American Muslim, was appointed as a judge of the Common Pleas Court for Wayne County, Michigan. The jihadist Council of American Islamic Relations(CAIR) honored Judge Shakoor with a banquet in 2015. “I thank Allah, and I thank Allah, and I thank Allah for the service that I have been able to give,” Mr. Shakoor said in accepting CAIR’s award.

According to a recent poll of Muslim Americans, commissioned by the Center for Security Policy, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.”

The first-in-the nation Muslim judicial appointment of Adam Shakoor occurred 71 years after Robert Heberton Terrell, the son of slaves, became the first African-American to serve on a Federal court in 1910. Terrell had delivered a speech in 1903 entitled “A Glance at the Past and Present of the Negro,” in which he said that the descendants of the slaves who came from Africa had “acquired the language and adopted the religion of a great people.” He referred to God five times in his speech, not Allah. He referred to Christianity, not Islam, as a source of inspiration for the liberation of the slaves.

In sum, to single out Islam as an unabashedly positive force that has “always been part of America” is simply not supported by the historical record. No mosques were even built in the United States until the early twentieth century. Muslim slave traders enabled the market for slaves to grow in America. The first war that the young United States fought against foreign powers was against Muslim states. The founding fathers cited by Obama who owned copies of the Koran were not comfortable with the rigidity of Islamic doctrine and its warrior mentality. Muslim Americans’ contributions to such fields as science and jurisprudence, such as they are, did not begin in earnest until well after the middle of the twentieth century.

If Obama decides to speak at another U.S. mosque while he is president, he would do better to focus his remarks on encouraging Muslim Americans to assimilate more fully into American culture. This would include respect for the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

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Also see:

Obama’s Foolish Gambit

Obama-Iran (1)Philos Project, by Andrew Harrod, Feb. 8, 2016:

“It’s a fiasco,” Hudson Institute analyst Michael Doran said bluntly, as he assessedPresident Barack Obama and his Iran policy. Doran and his fellow panelists at the Hudson Institute presented the stark dangers involved in the administration’s naïve hopes that Iran’s Islamic Republic can reform and become a reliable Middle East regional partner for a weakening America.

According to Doran, officials in the Obama Administration “believe that they are domesticating the Iranians; that they are showing them that a partnership is possible and elevating those more pragmatic and defensive elements in Iranian society.” He argued that, as it confronts a volatile Middle East, the Obama Administration is “looking at this mess stretching from Baghdad to Beirut and it looks over at Teheran and it sees a big, stable country that behind closed doors talks the language of regional stability. [The administration] thinks, ‘Wow. If we could just incorporate the Iranians into the security architecture, then they will work with us to stabilize the region.’”

Guiding the president and his advisors is a “deep aspect of American thinking about international politics to believe in the gradual, moderating influence of international markets.” Doran added that the administration officials “want to create conditions in Iran that will bring about the same kind of change of calculus” that has made China leery of confronting its major trading partner, America. Those individuals have argued that – as with a post-Marxist China – no Iranian leaders really believe in the Islamic “revolutionary rhetoric” left over from the 1979 revolution.

While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and other Iranians “present themselves to the Americans as consummate players of realpolitik,” Doran pointed out that in reality, the Islamic Republic remains a radical danger. The Islamic Republic leaders have specified that they desire an international revolution in the Middle East, “in the sense that they want the American-dominated system that existed to disappear, and a new system [to arise] in which they are the central player. The Iranians play this game of being both the arsonist and the fireman in Middle East conflicts, and develop instruments to blow things up. And they tell you, ‘If you work with us we won’t blow it up.’”

Foundation for Defense of Democracies analyst Ali Alfoneh said that Iran is not a suicidal regime, nor is it comparable to Nazi Germany circa 1945, “but it is highly ideological.” His note that the most successful way to persuade the Iranian government to toe the line is to present it with existential threats was echoed by Washington Institute for Near East Policy expert Phillip Smyth, who pointed out that “just because you have a revolutionary mindset, it doesn’t mean you can’t pursue it pragmatically. A big term for the Iranians and for the Islamic Revolution is the saberin – the patient ones.”

Alfoneh said that Iran’s ruling Islamic ideologues view the “technocratic elites of Iran” as expendable. He added, “Now their time is over. They are now longer needed, because the nuclear deal is home, so you can activate the revolutionary elements again.” His prediction is that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will isolate moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by disqualifying many of his allies for the February legislative elections.

The panelists said that they believe Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement will ultimately fail to improve Islamic Republic behavior, as demonstrated by the recent Iranian seizure of two United States Navy patrol boats and their crew of 10 sailors. With this capture by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the “Revolutionary Guards got what it desired: to humiliate the U.S. and to assert itself as the one institution in Iran making decisions,” Alfoneh said, mocking Secretary of State John Kerry for touting the quick release of the American sailors as a triumph of improved American-Iranian relations.

According to Doran, the IRGC’s brief provocation brazenly risked the nuclear agreement’s then-imminent Iranian sanctions relief, which was valued at nearly $150 billion. The IRGC correctly assessed that the Obama Administration was “so hell-bent on achieving that nuclear deal that we will not take any kind of retaliatory action.” Alfoneh dismissed Obama Administration claims that sanctions relief would aid Iranian reform by strengthening Iran’s private sector. He said he believed the most likely scenario is that “the money is going to be transferred to the economic business empire of the Revolutionary Guards,” and to Iran’s security apparatus.

The panelists painted a picture of a Middle East power balance ominously shifting between an ascendant Iran and declining American influence. According to Doran, “Iran would love to crack up Saudi Arabia. Iran would love to take Mecca and Medina.” Alfoneh said that many Saudis often talk about “some hidden American-Iranian conspiracy to counter the Sunnis in the entire Middle East region.”

Smyth discussed the majority-Shiite Iran exploitation of repressed Shiite populations in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf State Sunni monarchies, calling this Iranian strategy a “low-burn trajectory until they want to turn up the flame.” With an increasing decline of American Middle East influence, “If they do feel emboldened, they might try to do something a little bit more spectacular.”

He explained that Gulf state responses to Iranian threats could threaten the United States, but added that “these Gulf states are going to be less considerate about the American point of view, the more we pull out.” Those countries have supported Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, against Iran’s Shiite proxies (Hezbollah and Bashar Assad’s dictatorship), and could similarly support Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula against Iran’s Yemen allies, the Shiite Houthi movement. According to Smyth, PoGulf State policymakers would rationalize supporting Al-Qaeda by arguing that “we might as well turn to them, because they know how to kill Iranians.”

Doran explained that the Iranian domination of Iraq and Syria alienated the Sunnis in the Gulf states, and he added that Turkey needed to defeat the 20,000-30,000 jihadists in the Islamic State. “If the choice is an Iranian-dominated order or muddling through with this horrible ISIS, they are going to muddle through with this horrible ISIS.” Obama’s leading from behind Iran gives hope only to the latter.

Assessing Obama’s Mosque Speech on Islam

1350By Daniel Pipes
Special to IPT News
February 8, 2016

Wishing to address growing anti-Islamic sentiments among the American public, Barack Obama ventured on Feb. 3 to the Islamic Society of Baltimore (sadly, a mosque with unsavory Islamist associations) to talk about Islam and Muslims. The 5,000-word speech contains much of interest. Here’s an in-depth assessment of its key points:

OBAMA: a lot of Americans have never visited a mosque. To the folks watching this today who haven’t — think of your own church, or synagogue, or temple, and a mosque like this will be very familiar. This is where families come to worship and express their love for God and each other. There’s a school where teachers open young minds. Kids play baseball and football and basketball — boys and girls — I hear they’re pretty good. Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts meet, recite the Pledge of Allegiance here.

PIPES: All true, but what about the dark side, the unique and repeated role of mosques in parlaying totalitarian ideas and fomenting violence? That goes unsaid in the president’s rose-colored presentation.

as Muslim Americans, you [worry that] your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few.

Obama makes Muslims sound like innocent bystanders when there’s a perfectly reasonable fear of them due to (1) so much violence emanating from this 1 percent of the U.S. population and (2) non-violent Muslims showing sympathy for the violent ones.

The Muslim American community remains relatively small—several million people in this country.

This is a coy way for Obama to walk back his exaggerated 7 million figure of 2009 without explicitly saying so.

recently, we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country.

A veiled critique of Donald Trump that Trump deserves.

No surprise, then, that threats and harassment of Muslim Americans have surged.

That’s ridiculous. In so far as there has been a surge of threats and harassment – and this is open to doubt given the disreputable nature of the reporting – this is due to Muslim violence. Reasonably, non-Muslims worry that a co-worker will behead them or attack them at a party, that they’ll be bombed attending a sporting event, or rammed into by planes when working at their offices. To blame non-Muslims for this commonsensical, life-preserving fear is to confuse symptom with cause.

For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace.

Some converts, to be sure, have been attracted to the peaceable side of Islam but many others have seen it as a militant force and converting as joining a winning team. Look at the Western converts who have gone to ISIS as one subset of these. Again, Obama just focuses on the cheery dimension and ignores the unpleasant one.

the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam — peace.

How can a person in a position of responsibility say something so patently wrong? Islam means submission, and does not derive from peace. As I explained in 2005, “There is no connection in meaning between salām and islām, peace and submission. These are two distinct words with unrelated meetings.” Shame on Obama.

For Christians like myself …

Standing in a mosque, Obama presumably feels a need to remind his audience that he’s not a Muslim. He would be more convincing if he could get his autobiography straight. For example, he sometimes declares he has “always been a Christian” and at other times that he “didn’t become a Christian” until after college. It would also help if he could date this important milestone rather than offer, in the view of Jason Kissner, an associate professor of criminology at California State University, Fresno, there are “two completely contradictory accounts” regarding its time frame.

Muslim Americans keep us safe. They’re our police and our firefighters. They’re in homeland security, in our intelligence community. They serve honorably in our armed forces.

Again true, but again not mentioning the other side – the persistent penetration of American security and military services by Islamist enemies.

it is undeniable that a small fraction of Muslims propagate a perverted interpretation of Islam.

Here we go again, Imam Obama declaiming on what the proper and the perverted interpretation of Islam are. He’s done this before, as have many other non-Muslim leaders, including prior U.S. presidents. It’s silly and embarrassing.

right now, there is a organized extremist element that draws selectively from Islamic texts, twists them in an attempt to justify their killing and their terror.

It would be more accurate to replace this with “right now, there is a organized extremist element that draws on medieval Islamic texts and interprets them in medieval ways to justify their killing and their terror.”

Part of what’s happened in the Middle East and North Africa and other places where we see sectarian violence is religion being a tool for another agenda — for power, for control.

This is typical left-wing materialism, which sees religion as a vehicle for something else, usually connected with economic benefit. No, the Islamists are true believers who engage in violence to pursue their vision, not for power as an end in itself, as Obama insists.

Thomas Jefferson’s opponents tried to stir things up by suggesting he was a Muslim – so I was not the first. No, it’s true, it’s true. Look it up. I’m in good company.

I did look it up – in Jefferson’s Religion, a 2007 book by Stephen J. Vicchio, and found no evidence that Jefferson was called a Muslim. His opponents called him names such as “French infidel,” “confirmed infidel,” “howling atheist,” and “fanatic,” but never “Mahometan.”

just as faith leaders, including Muslims, must speak out when Christians are persecuted around the world – or when anti-Semitism is on the rise – because the fact is, is that there are Christians who are targeted now in the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews who’ve lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault — sometimes by Muslims.

It’s not a complete or coherent sentence but it does correctly demand that Muslims speak out against religious persecution and it does note that Jews in Europe are “sometimes” (really, nearly always) attacked by Muslims. It’s a relief to see the dark side peek through for an instant.

the suggestion is somehow that if I would simply say, these are all “Islamic terrorists,” then we would actually have solved the problem by now, apparently. (Laughter.)

This is a cheap laugh line. No one thinks the problem of Islamist violence would be solved by Obama using the right wording; many, including me, however, say that he can’t properly address the problem unless he accurately identifies it.

Groups like ISIL are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders and holy warriors who speak for Islam. I refuse to give them legitimacy.

In fact, ISIL (or ISIS, Islamic State, Daesh) could not care less what Obama or other non-Muslims think of it. It cares only about the views of Sunni Muslims. So, Obama can deny it legitimacy all he wants; ISIS won’t notice or care.

the notion that America is at war with Islam ignores the fact that the world’s religions are a part of who we are. We can’t be at war with any other religion because the world’s religions are a part of the very fabric of the United States, our national character.

By this infantile logic, Hitler could not have been at war with Judaism because Jews were part of the very fabric of Germany.

the best way for us to fight terrorism is to deny these organizations legitimacy and to show that here in the United States of America, we do not suppress Islam; we celebrate and lift up the success of Muslim Americans.

No, the best way to fight Muslim violence is by (1) getting out of the way of law enforcement and others on the front line and (2) helping anti-Islamist Muslims find their voice.

we can’t suggest that Islam itself is at the root of the problem. That betrays our values. It alienates Muslim Americans. It’s hurtful to those kids who are trying to go to school and are members of the Boy Scouts, and are thinking about joining our military.

This nicely summarizes the Establishment mentality that one must not publicly connect Islam to violence; just whisper this behind closed doors.

Muslims around the world have a responsibility to reject extremist ideologies that are trying to penetrate within Muslim communities. Here at this mosque, and across our country and around the world, Muslim leaders are roundly and repeatedly and consistently condemning terrorism.

The equation of “reject[ing] extremist ideologies” and “condemning terrorism” reveals Obama’s facile understanding of the Islamist challenge, reducing it merely to wanton political violence. Stop that violence and the problem is solved. Hardly; for lawful Islamism poses a deeper threat than some bomb-totting fanatics.

this is not a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam. This is a struggle between the peace-loving, overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world and a radical, tiny minority. And ultimately, I’m confident that the overwhelming majority will win that battle. Muslims will decide the future of your faith. And I’m confident in the direction that it will go.

I would phrase it quite differently but I endorse these sentiments.

If you’re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States: You fit in here – right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America, too. You’re not Muslim or American. You’re Muslim and American.

I endorse this as well.

We are blessed to live in a nation where even if we sometimes stumble, even if we sometimes fall short, we never stop striving for our ideals. We keep moving closer to that more perfect union. We’re a country where, if you work hard and if you play by the rules, you can ultimately make it, no matter who you are or how you pray. It may not always start off even in the race, but here, more than any place else, there’s the opportunity to run that race. …

After more than 200 years, our blended heritage, the patchwork quilt which is America, that is not a weakness, that is one of our greatest strengths. It’s what makes us a beacon to the world.

These are unusually patriotic and warm words for the United States from a leftist who rarely has much good to say about his own country. Good to hear them.

In all, this speech gets much more wrong than it gets right, from factual mistakes to evasions to distortions. It does get a few points right, especially toward the end, but as a whole, it’s a typically shoddy Obama production.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2016 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

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Frank Gaffney discusses the President’s rhetoric while visiting a Jihadist mosque in America on Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler:

Also see:

President Obama’s Speech at Islamic Center of Baltimore: A Fact Check

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Breitbart, by Clare Lopez, Feb.5, 2016:

Perhaps it’s because he was making faces in Qur’an class instead of paying attention to his teacher. Or maybe he just has a selective memory about what he was taught as a young Muslim student in Indonesia.

Whatever the reason, President Barack Obama got a lot of things factually wrong in his 3 February 2016 speech at the Islamic Center of Baltimore. Things that are basic to doctrinal Islam are not only knowable because they are readily available in English but, it might be argued, obligatory that an American commander-in-chief should know in fulfillment of his oath to defend the Constitution against “all enemies foreign and domestic.”

First, Mr. President, a mosque is not simply the Muslim version of a church, synagogue or temple. Because of the example of Muhammad, who is called the perfect man in the Qur’an (believed by Muslims to be the exact words of Allah), we know that mosques are established not only as places of prayer and worship, but also as centers for indoctrination, the dispensing of shariah justice, the stockpiling of weapons, and the launching of jihad. If in doubt about any of this, please check with the French police, who recently have been conducting raids on mosques and Islamic Centers in the wake of horrific jihadist attacks in Paris.

The president must have missed more than one lesson on Arabic grammar, too. When he claims that “the word itself, Islam, comes from salam—peace,” he is mistaken. While the words “Islam” and “salam” share the same three root letters—s, l, m—they are, in fact, very different words with completely different meanings. While “salam” indeed means “peace” in Arabic, “Islam” means “submission.” Submission to what? To Allah and Islamic Law. A “Muslim” is a person who submits. Surely the president knows this. Or maybe the White House Arabic language translator needs to be replaced.

Unfortunately, in pursuit of that submission, Islamic doctrine obligates Muslim conquest of the Dar al-Harb (places not yet subjugated to shariah). We know this not only from the example of Muhammad’s own life as taught to Muslim students from the 1st grade, but also from the Qur’an and hadiths. For example, Qur’an verse 9:29 says: “Fight those who believe not… until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” The Qur’an is quite clear in verse 3:85 as well: ‘Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted of him…’ Islamic Law defines jihad quite simply: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.”

This is not cherry-picking Qur’anic verses. This is Islamic doctrine as uniformly presented in the Qur’an, hadiths, biography of Muhammad, and Islamic Law. It is the agreed consensus of all authoritative Islamic scholars throughout the centuries. We may wish that more Muslim scholars would teach the prohibition of terror (jihad). But of course, they cannot teach what is contrary to Islamic doctrine. For the Qur’an itself commands Muslims to “make ready your strength to the utmost of your power… to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy.” (Q 8:60)

And when the President purports to quote the Qur’an about killing an innocent, he either willfully or out of ignorance is misquoting Islamic scripture. In fact, Qur’an verse 5:32cites from a Jewish commentary on the Talmud: “On that account, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person—unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land—it would be as if he slew the whole people…” This is the definition of killing without right in Islam. The takeaway here is that a Muslim may not kill except those who themselves have killed without right or perpetrated “mischief in the land”—which may include failing to accept Islam. What the President and others too often leave out is the next verse, Q 5:33, which lays out the punishments for those who disobey 5:32. They are: “death, crucifixion, amputation of the hand and foot on opposite sides or exile from the land.” The President might be asked why he left those out, when they are precisely the punishments the Islamic State (IS) is applying to those under its control in faithful obedience to what they believe is the word of Allah. This isn’t an IS version or interpretation of the Qur’an. It is what the Qur’an actually says.

These are just a few of the things the President might have said, were his intention to be accurate about the enemy we fight. He might have added that we are not actually fighting terrorism: we are fighting to defend the Constitution from attack by forces of jihad seeking to impose shariah. This does not mean we must be at war with all Muslims. But all those who fight or support the Global Jihad Movement are on the wrong side of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the way of life Americans treasure because, unlike Islamic doctrine, they enshrine principles of individual liberty, equality before man-made law, government by consent of the governed, and the right to freedoms of belief and speech.

Those, Mr. President, are the “first things” principles we Americans are willing to fight and die for. American Muslims who accept and defend them are patriots, too—but unfortunately, these are not principles to be found anywhere in the authoritative Islamic canon—and Americans need to know that.

Clare M. Lopez is Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

Secure Freedom Radio: Patrick Poole on Obama’s outreach to the wrong Muslims

Getty Images

Getty Images


Secure Freedom Radio, by Frank Gaffney, Feb. 4, 2016:

With Patrick Poole

PATRICK POOLE, National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media:

Why is America Reaching Out to the Wrong Muslims?

Frank Gaffney spoke to Patrick Poole on the radio today. Poole is the National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media.

Gaffney began by asking Poole about Obama’s recent visit to a mosque in Baltimore. Poole responded:

“This is kind of emblematic of the failure of the Obama administration’s handling of violent extremism or CVE (countering violent extremist) policies which go back to the latter half of the Bush administration where we see this engagement with known bad actors in the Muslim community, promoting them as moderates that are supposedly going to help us de-radicalize yet in fact we’re seeing from an empirical point of view, we’re seeing more terrorists now than we’ve ever seen before.”

Poole then noted the irony of Obama having to travel all the way to Baltimore for a mosque visit because local mosques in the DC area had too many red flags associated with them. Gaffney noted that even the mosque in Baltimore has an imam who has been controversial. Poole reminded us that the Islamic Society which runs the mosque in Baltimore is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Gaffney suggests that America has essentially been suborned by enemy operatives from the Muslim Brotherhood . Poole agrees and suggests that this group has somehow become acceptable as a group with which our government believes it can work.

That seems unreal when you learn the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood. Poole explained:

“The Muslim Brotherhood’s endgame is identical to that of Al-Qaeda,  the Islamic State and a number of these other terrorist groups… to re-establish the caliphate and impose Sharia Law.”

As Gaffney correctly pointed out, it seems like Obama is reaching out to “the wrong Muslims.”

Many Americans probably don’t know that there was even a petition launched for the White House on Change.org to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization that was signed by over 200,000 Americans which the administration brushed aside claiming there was no evidence that the Brotherhood was committed to violence.

What we have is a situation not unlike what Europe is facing.  Through increased Muslim immigration, jihadists are being embedded in our society. Some are waging cultural jihad and when that fails, militant jihad.

At the same time, we’ve got progressive leaders like New York City mayor Bill de Blasio shutting down surveillance of mosques in the name of political correctness which Poole suggests could cost American lives. Of the people who are against surveillance, Poole says:

“They’re creating the conditions which Muslims are going to be subject to more inspection because we hear these advocates saying, who basically use the Muslim community as a human shield for the extremists, and when something happens, much as it did after 9/11 when most of the surveillance took place in New York… when the next event happens it will be the whole Muslim community rather than these hot spots of jihad. It’s not rocket science.”

Gaffney makes the excellent point that if we keep reaching out to the wrong Muslim groups, it leaves very little space for the type of Muslims we want living in America who reject Sharia Law and don’t want to live under it themselves.

Gaffney and Poole concluded their discussion by noting the irony of Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood as our administration seems to embrace them. Poole, who has visited Egypt numerous times said that he’s often asked by the people there why we are working with the Muslim Brotherhood after millions of Egyptians protested them.

Why indeed?

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

  • President Obama’s visit to the Baltimore mosque is emblematic of the Administration’s CVE (countering violent extremism policies)
  • Islamic societies in this country and what we know about their relationships to the Muslim Brotherhood
  • America has been suborned by enemy operatives

(PART TWO): Podcast (podcast2): Play in new window | Download

  • How does the Muslim Brotherhood differ from terror organizations like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State?
  • Systematic outreach of the Obama administration to the wrong Muslims
  • Obama administration’s response to public petition to make the Muslim Brotherhood a designated terror organization

(PART THREE): Podcast (podcast3): Play in new window | Download

  • DHS and State Department shutting down investigation that could have uncovered critical evidence in preventing the San Bernardino attacks
  • CVE encouraging domestic terrorism
  • Civilization jihad becoming militant in the US similar to what’s happening in Europe

(PART FOUR): Podcast (podcast4): Play in new window | Download

  • Censorship of NYPD’s radicalization report
  • Is mosque surveillance necessary?
  • How Muslim communities are used as shields for radicals
  • President el-Sisi’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

(PART FIVE): Podcast (podcast5): Play in new window | Download

  • Conflagration between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood
  • President el-Sisi’s speech at Al-Azhar University
  • The Obama administration’s embrace of radicals domestically and around the world

Learning from Barack and Hillary’s Libyan Adventure

President Obama delivers a statement on the US consulate attack in Benghazi, September 12, 2012.

President Obama delivers a statement on the US consulate attack in Benghazi, September 12, 2012.

Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, PhD, Feb. 4, 2016:

To learn more about the September 11, 2012, attack upon the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, portrayed in themovie 13 Hours:  The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, read Architects of Disaster:  The Destruction of Libya by Pete Hoekstra.  The former congressman insightfully analyzes the “naiveté run amok” concerning global jihad of President Barack Obama and “his chief foreign policy lieutenant, Hillary Clinton—who hopes to be the next commander-in-chief.”

Hoekstra, former House Intelligence Committee chairman, examines how this attack “was the culmination of a foreign policy on Islamic terrorism that was grounded in wishful thinking and self-delusion” concerning “moderate” Islamists.  This Obama administration definition often required “nothing more than a group’s professed commitment to nonviolence, however unsavory the group’s ultimate objectives.”  During the 2011 overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Obama cooperated with “countless salafi-jihadist veterans of the global Al Qaeda.”  American policymakers were “seemingly content to buy jihadists’ assurances that they would pursue jihad solely in their homeland.”

Hoekstra remains at a loss to justify the Libya campaign’s estimated 9,700 NATO airstrikes and 20,000 tons of weapons delivered by Qatar, mostly to jihadists like those that brutally killed the fallen Gaddafi.  Although the Libyan campaign was supposedly a humanitarian intervention, “sensational reports of humanitarian abuses, having been largely generated by Gaddafi’s opposition, were vastly overstated.”  In the face of Gaddafi’s imminent victory, the foreign intervention was “not seeking to bring the killing to a halt or to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the war, but rather to help the losing side win—by definition a prolongation of the conflict.”

Hoekstra fully recognizes that “Muammar Gaddafi was a monster, but he was our monster” at the time of his overthrow.  Hoekstra had first visited Libya with a 2003 congressional delegation specifically requested by President George W. Bush to determine whether Gaddafi genuinely sought better relations with the West.  Hoekstra had multiple meetings with Gaddafi during two subsequent official visits.

“Gaddafi was obviously driven by his instinct for self-preservation,” Hoekstra writes, but the transformation of American-Libyan relations under a despot previously notorious for international terrorism “was nothing short of stunning.”  After “September 11, 2001, Gaddafi had emerged as one of America’s greatest assets in one of the world’s most dangerous regions, northern Africa—strategically located between the tinder box of the Sahel and the soft underbelly of southern Europe.”  Additionally, “human rights conditions in Libya generally improved during this period.”

Contrastingly, a chaotic post-Gaddafi “Libya is today a central nexus for training and equipping jihadists across the Middle East,” notes Hoekstra.  Along with shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, “Islamic terrorists almost surely got their hands on the remnants of Gaddafi’s chemical weapons arsenal.”  Libya exemplifies how Obama has “thrown out dictators only to embrace far worse.  American foreign policy has been turned upside-down.”

“Gaddafi, for all his sordid history, was infinitely wiser than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton” concerning Islam, notes Hoekstra.  “Gaddafi appreciated—in ways few Americans could—how vast were the jihadists’ global ambitions” and that “their scorn for democracy and individual rights dwarfed even his own.”  Accordingly, under him the Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood “was never allowed the opportunity to expand its influence by building a substantial social welfare network,” in contrast to neighboring Egypt.

Hoekstra finds a certain precedent for Obama administration Islam fantasies in President George W. Bush, who “repeatedly proclaimed Islam a ‘religion of peace.’”  Bush wanted “to avoid being seen as attacking the overwhelming majority of Muslims, who go about their lives peaceably,” yet “such a formulation also left too many things unsaid.”  This “refusal of the Bush administration to take seriously or understand the realities of Muslim culture” led him “to grossly underestimate the enormous obstacles that it faced in seeking to foster Western-style democracies in that part of the world.”

Hoekstra contrasts the “heads of state and chief intelligence leaders of just about every country that bordered Iraq” that he visited before the 2003 invasion.  “Almost to a person they said the same thing:  ‘You’re making a huge mistake.  You don’t know what you will be unleashing.’”  Today “Iraq is a disaster of incalculable proportions…We owned Iraq for a time, but we left before the job of rebuilding was done—assuming that it could have ever been completed.”  Similarly, the “Afghanistan we are now leaving is little different from the Afghanistan we inherited.”

“If such countries are ever to change fundamentally, we must understand that their change will be a long and exceedingly slow process” and “locally driven, not imposed by outsiders,” Hoekstra concludes.  He recalls a 2007 Jordan visit in which during “three days I talked with the Iraqi Sunni chieftains, and over and over I heard the same thing.”  “We have a system of local government that has worked thousands of years:  It is called the tribal system,” they stated, “if you think that you can impose democratic electoral reforms at the local level, we will continue to fight you.”  “General David Petraeus took heed,” writes Hoekstra, with a “surge” campaign making explicitly “clear to the local Sunnis that America was suspending efforts at democratization at the local level…and the rest is history.”

“Failing to grasp the fundamental lesson of those earlier experiences—that once broken, a nation is very difficult to put back together—President Obama broke Libya,” Hoekstra writes.  He is amazed that the “chief celebrant of Gaddafi’s murder,” Clinton, “actually gloated on camera: ‘We came, we saw, he died.’”  “It is an image that will likely haunt her presidential campaign and should,” Hoekstra notes.

“Geopolitical affairs are rarely black or white,” Hoekstra soberly concludes from his years on the intelligence committee.  He “traveled to more than eighty countries, sometimes meeting with leaders rightly reputed as being among the harshest and most oppressive in the world,” yet “they were the lesser of two evils…the devil we knew.”  “The world needs a strong America—an America that understands who it is, what it will do, and what its power can, and cannot, achieve.”

Andrew E. Harrod is a 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, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

President Obama Chose Terror-Tied Mosque for First U.S. Visit, Snubs Reformers

omCSP, by Kevin Samolsky, Feb. 3, 2015:

February 3, 2016, President Obama visited an American Mosque for the first time. However, the visit has been marked with criticism since the mosque is known to have ties to terrorist organizations.

The Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) has been around for several decades, but those who come through and preach inside its doors have been known to support terrorist organizations.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism lists one particular individual of interest as Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, a Sudan native who actively participated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sudanese branch. El-Sheikh served as imam for the ISB twice, 1983-1989 and 1994-2003. During his time with ISB el-Sheikh also served as a regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency, which has been cited by the Treasury Department as having ties to Al Qaeda (AQ).

Not only was El-Sheikh employed with IARA, but also during his time at ISB, the mosque actively issued an action alert calling on its members to support Chechen jihadists financially, through IARA. The alert also encouraged financial support to other known terror finance entities: Qoqoz.net (a website tied to the Al Qaeda-linked Caucasus Emirate), Benevolence International Foundation (designated as a terror finance entity by the Treasury Department) and Islamic Relief Worldwide, an Islamic charity suspected of terror finance ties and designated by Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

The action alert also called for support for the American Muslim Council, an organization founded by convicted Al Qaeda financier Abdurrahman Alamoudi.

While serving as imam, El-Sheikh helped found the Northern Virginia-based Dar Al-Hijrah mosque. This mosque was once led by Anwar al Awlaki, an American al Qaeda affiliate who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011, and was attended by Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter. However, these are not the only notable individuals linked to terrorism who have passed through or served at the mosque:

  • Mohammed Al-Hanooti, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, served as imam in 1999. Al-Hanooti was also active in the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts in Palestine. Al-Hanooti served as President of the Islamic Association Palestine where he raised around $6 million for Hamas-linked entitles.
  • Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, convicted in 2005 of providing material support to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, and conspiracy to assassinate President Bush, served as an Islamic studies teacher and camp counselor for the mosque.
  • A member of Dar Al-Hijrah’s Executive Committee, Abelhaleem Hasan Abdelraziq Ashqar, was convicted in November 2007 of contempt and obstruction of justice for refusal to testify before a grand jury with regard to Hamas.

In 2004, El-Sheikh spoke about the Islamic justification for suicide bombing, telling theWashington Post, “if certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that, then it becomes acceptable as an exceptional rule, but should not be taken as a principle.”

This was not the only controversial statement made by an ISB member. Yaseen Shaikh, a resident scholar of ISB, was videoed giving a sermon condemning homosexuality. It would seem odd that President Obama would honor this group despite his stance on gay rights.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch lists as the most damning tie to ISB as Maqbool Patel, the long-time ISB President. Maqbool has been an activist for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a group associated with the American Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Southeast Asia’s Jamaat-e-Islami. Just this past December Patel spoke at an ICNA convention in Baltimore.

The President has claimed he seeks set and example for tolerance and inclusion, but even members of the Islamic community are outraged by the visit. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told Fox News on Sunday “As a Muslim American I’m just insulted, this is disgraceful that this is one of the mosques — or the mosque — that he’s chosen to visit.”

It is troubling to think that the Obama Administration did not look into the mosque’s history. There are several examples the Administration could have drawn from, but instead they chose to look past this and try to promote tolerance and inclusion with a group that has spoken out against gay rights and justifies terror.

Also see:

‘Gender Apartheid’: NYT Op-Ed Calls Obama Mosque Visit a Setback for Muslim Women’s Rights

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Breitbart, Feb. 3, 2016:

A New York Times op-ed argues that Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque “demonstrates tacit acceptance of a form of gender apartheid.”

From the New York Times:

As President and Michelle Obama argued decades ago in the context of the U.S. civil rights movement, separate is indeed unequal. To Muslim women’s rights activists fighting for equal access to mosques as part of a broader campaign for reform — from equal education for women and girls to freedom from so-called “honor killings” — the president’s visit to a mosque that practices such blatant inequity represents a step backwards. While it may be meant to convey a message of religious inclusiveness to American Muslims,  the visit demonstrates tacit acceptance of a form of discrimination that amounts to gender apartheid. For that reason, we will be standing outside the mosque on Johnnycake Road, as close as the Secret Service allows, to protest the separate and unequal standards inside and advocate for equal rights.

We believe it is the role of government to protect women’s rights within religion, if a place of worship gets federal nonprofit benefits, just as it protects civil rights in the secular space. Places of worship in the U.S. would not be allowed tax-exempt status if, for example, they were to seat African Americans in segregated spaces. To condone the mosque’s gender segregation is particularly ironic coming days after the White House announced efforts to win equal pay for women and increased workplace benefits for women in the military.

President Obama should be aware that on any given day a woman or girl worshiping in the mosque would be dispatched away from the musallah where he will stand to speak out against “Islamophobia,” to the “prayer room for females,” as one worshipper described it. In much the same way that he wants to mitigate Americans seeing Muslims as the “other,” we have to challenge the Muslim systems that segregate women as the “other.” He should know that promoting women’s rights in mosques is a key part of fighting the ideology of extremism — a fight that he asked American Muslims to help wage in an address to the nation in December. A theology of Islamic feminism is our best answer to the extremism of ISIS, al-Qaeda and other Muslim militant groups. Even the most conservative of Islamic scholars acknowledge that, in the 7thcentury, the sunnah, or tradition of the prophet Muhammad, was to allow women to pray in the main hall of his mosque in Medina without any barrier in front of them.

“While the free world awaits a Muslim reformation, the leader of the free world shows blatant disregard for gender equality by visiting a mosque that treats females like second-class citizens,” says Raheel Raza, a Pakistani-Canadian activist, author and cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement, a new initiative that we support, advocating for peace, women’s rights and secular governance.  “This makes our work as activists extremely difficult because equality is one of the main tenets of our reform movement.”

The president has an opportunity to shine light in a place once associated with the darkest extremes of Islam. His motorcade will re-trace the path of al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki: FBI surveillance notes document that al-Awlaki, then a local imam, drove down Johnnycake Road to enter the Islamic Society of Baltimore at 5:56 p.m. on the evening of November 11, 2001. (A copy of the notes was released under the Freedom of Information Act).

Today, in an estimated two-thirds of mosques around the United States, women and girls are segregated in dark basements, sparse balconies, separate rooms and even behind shower curtains in the “sisters’ section,” listening to Friday sermons piped in through shaky sound systems and watching them, if we are lucky, via TV screens. It’s too often only on “interfaith” occasions like the president’s visit that women and girls get to step forward into the “brothers’ section.”

Read the rest of the story here.

***

‘Not Who We Are’: At Mosque, Obama Laments ‘Inexcusable’ Anti-Muslim Rhetoric (insider.foxnews.com)

Also see:

White House: Obama’s Mosque Visit ‘Fits in Constellation’ of Religious Freedom Events

President Obama tours the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama tours the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, FEBRUARY 1, 2016

The White House suggested today that President Obama’s trip this week to a local mosque represents a balancing out of bookend events with Jewish and Christian communities.

Press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing today that Obama is “certainly looking forward to his trip to the Islamic Society of Baltimore,” his first official visit to a U.S. mosque in more than seven years in office.

“It will be an opportunity for the president to celebrate the contributions that Muslim-Americans have made to our nation,” Earnest said. “But to also reaffirm the importance that religious freedom has to our way of life. And you know, there obviously has been some discussion about this in the context of the political debate in the country. And you know, this is — the president’s visit I think, is an important moment to acknowledge those two things.”

“I mean, I think it’s also worth noting the context in which his visit occurs. Obviously, the president last week, had the opportunity to visit the Israeli Embassy to speak at the Righteous Among the Nations ceremony. And of course, later this week, the president will speak at the National Prayer Breakfast.”

Last week’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day event at the embassy included filmmaker Steven Spielberg and a video message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The National Prayer Breakfast has Christian hosts yet welcomes guests each year from a range of faiths. The president traditionally delivers remarks.

“So, you know, I think this sort of fits in the constellation of events the president is doing to talk about religious liberty and to talk about the role that faith plays in our public debate,” Earnest continued. “I think it will also be an opportunity for the president to talk about the role that faith plays, even in his own life.”

Asked why Obama is just now visiting a mosque, despite earlier invitations from Muslim groups, the press secretary said “it’s hard to just sort of explain why we didn’t do something.”

“I think I can do my best to try to explain to you why we are doing something. And I think in this case, you know, it’s an opportunity for the president to celebrate the contributions of the Muslim American community to our country,” Earnest said.

“It’s also an opportunity to reaffirm that religious freedom and religious tolerance essential to our way of life in this country. It certainly is central to the kinds of values that were present at the formation of this country. And those values endure in more than — more than 240 years later.”

Earnest said the administration anticipates pushback from Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, but the president “believes that this kind of visit is important for the country.”

“We anticipate that the president’s visit to a mosque will be rather conspicuous. All of you will be interested in covering it,” he said. “I won’t be surprised if there are some of the president’s critics that decide to criticize the president for doing it. But all of that, I think, will serve to elevate a debate that the president believes is worth having.”

He couldn’t say why the White House chose this mosque other than it “represents the diversity of the Muslim population in America.”

“And hopefully that will be evident from the audience that the president speaks to,” Earnest added. “But we will have more on why this mosque was chosen as the president prepares for his visit.”

Earnest was asked if Obama plans on visiting any Hindu or Sikh places of worship.

“I’m not aware of any additional travel plans that I can announce from here, but I do think you can expect that the language in the message that the president will be delivering not just at the mosque on Wednesday but also at the prayer breakfast on Thursday is that the religious diversity of the United States contributes to our strength, and drawing on that diversity allows the United States to overcome challenges that other countries are not able to surmount, and that that is — that that diversity is something that we should treasure and that freedom is something that we should work assiduously to protect,” he replied.

***

***

It seems that Stuart Varney did not research the background of his “moderate Muslim” guest:

Discover the Networks profile on Salam Al-Marayati

  • Founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Accused Israelis of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks
  • Hamas and Hezbollah sympathizer

Salam Al-Marayati is the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a Los Angeles-based Islamic advocacy group that defends Muslim extremist violence. MPAC has condemned the anti-terrorism measures of both the U.S. and Israel, and has called for a repeal of the Patriot Act.

During a 1997 speech he delivered at the University of Pennsylvania, Al-Marayati equated the concept of jihad to the statements of the eighteenth-century American statesman Patrick Henry. Said Al-Marayat, “[T]he person who we think in America would epitomize jihad would be Patrick Henry, who said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ That is a way of looking at the term jihad from an American perspective.”

On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, Al-Marayati used a Los Angeles talk radio program as a forum in which to accuse the Israelis of responsibility for that morning’s attacks on New York and Washington. Al-Marayati has also called for the U.S. government to unfreeze the assets of two Islamic charities, the Global Relief Foundation and the Holy Land Foundation, that were shut down by the government because of funding they had given to terrorist organizations.

Al-Marayati refuses to call Hezbollah a terrorist group. “I don’t think any group should be judged 100% this or that,” he says. “I think every group is going to have . . . its claim of liberation and resistance.” He has similarly justified Hamas‘ existence as a political entity that promotes social programs and “educational operations.” “Yesterday’s terrorists in the Middle East are today’s leaders,” he says. “The PLO is the number one example of this . . . The PLO 35 years ago was considered a terrorist organization, nobody should deal with them . . . But they became the people in authority, in Palestine, today. So Hamas today, the way it’s being viewed, is exactly how the PLO was viewed 30 years ago. And in fact, even Hamas in terms of its social and educational operations is doing exactly what the PLO was doing 35 years ago, as well as its quote unquote military operations.”

In October 2010, the Barack Obama administration picked Al-Marayati to represent the U.S. government at the annual Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe human-rights conference, known as the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.

Also see:

Obama Admin Has Not Prosecuted a Single Palestinian Terrorist Who Killed Americans

Attorney General Loretta Lynch / AP

Attorney General Loretta Lynch / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb.2, 2016:

The Obama administration has not prosecuted a single Palestinian terrorist responsible for killing Americans abroad, despite a congressional mandate ordering the Justice Department to take action against these individuals, according to disclosures made by lawmakers on Tuesday.

Palestinian terrorists have murdered at least 64 Americans, including two unborn children, since 1993. Yet the U.S. government has failed to take legal action against those who committed the crimes, lawmakers disclosed during a Tuesday hearing on the Justice Department’s failure to live up to its mandate to bring these terrorists to justice.

Many of the terrorists continue to roam free across the Middle East, with one hosting a Hamas-affiliated television show in Jordan.

With criticism mounting from Congress and U.S. victims of terrorism, Justice Department officials say they are working to initiate cases, but warn that this could take “many years” to play out.

The Justice Department has repeatedly declined to comment when faced with questions from Congress about the lack of prosecutions, according to Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security.

The Justice Department “has not been able to cite one example for this committee of even a single terrorist who has been prosecuted in the U.S. for any of the 64 attacks against Americans in Israel,” DeSantis said. “Indeed, many of these terrorists roam free as the result of prisoner exchanges or evasion.”

“This is not what Congress intended” when it created the DOJ’s Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism in 2005, DeSantis added. “This is not what the American people want, and this does not provide justice to the victims’ families that has been so tragically elusive.”

The Justice Department has sought to evade questions about its failure to prosecute known terrorists responsible for the murder of U.S. citizens.

This includes its failure to level charges against Ahlam Tamimi, the Palestinian woman responsible for blowing up a Jerusalem pizza shop in 2001. The attacks killed 15, including a pregnant American woman. Tamimi currently resides in Jordan and hosts a television show on the Hamas-owned Al Quds station.

“When the [oversight] committee questioned the DOJ about this case, the department declined to comment,” DeSantis said. “If in fact bringing to justice the perpetrators of terrorism against Americans in Israel is a high priority for the DOJ, then surely people of this nature should be prosecuted for their crimes.”

Justice Department officials who testified maintain that they are aggressively working behind the scenes to make cases against foreign terrorists who have killed and injured Americans.

Brad Wiegmann, the deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s national security division, maintained that there are a number of “open investigations,” though he declined to provide further information.

“While I cannot discuss these investigations today or the facts of specific cases, it’s important to note the absence of public charges associated with a particular overseas attack does not mean that there are no charges, or that no such charges will be brought,” Weigmann said, noting that a prosecution could take place “many years” after an attack.

“I can certainly understand the frustration of some of the families that the Department of Justice has not prosecuted more cases involving terrorist attacks against Americans in Israel,” Wiegmann said, noting that the Obama administration has pursued some cases against terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda and ISIS.

Yet most of “these cases do not involve any of the recent attacks within Israel,” Weigmann admitted.

American victims of terrorist acts abroad who testified at the hearing offered sharp criticism of the Justice Department for failing to take on terrorists in the U.S. courts.

Sari Singer, who was injured in a 2003 Palestinian terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem, said that she has lost faith in the government.

“The government’s track record in extraditing or even seeking extradition of Palestinian terrorists who have murdered American citizens is nonexistent,” Singer said. “I grew up believing that my country would be there for me and protect me no matter where I was in the world. These last years have left me feeling let down.”

Peter Schwartz, whose nephew Ezra was shot in the head by a Palestinian terrorist in November 2015, said that the Obama administration has not been forthcoming about any potential investigations into the incident.

“We are not aware of what if any U.S. actions have been undertaken to investigate this case, and we still have many unanswered questions about the attack that claimed Ezra’s life and what role our government can play in answering them,” Schwartz told the committee.

The Obama administration was criticized in August when it sought to limit the restitution American victims of terrorism could receive. The administration argued in a legal briefing issued to the court that a large cash award to these victims could complicate the administration’s efforts to foster peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Obama’s Dubious Mosque Choice

Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency/AFP

Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency/AFP

IPT News
February 2, 2016

1345Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) Wednesday, his first visit to a U.S. mosque since becoming president.

ISB leaders have amassed a record of support for radical Islamic causes over the years, including endorsing the Chechen jihad and Palestinian suicide bombings. Its former imam was active in a charity later linked to terror financing including Hamas, the Taliban, and for providing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to Osama bin Laden.

More recently, a resident scholar described homosexuality as a threat to societal health, in stark contrast to the president’s views on the issue.

It’s safe to assume the White House vetted the ISB and found it an acceptable venue for a presidential appearance despite this history. And that is not surprising. The Obama administration has repeatedly embraced contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, repeatedly meeting with its officials during and after the Arab Spring while ignoringsecular democracy advocates. It praised the early tenure of Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi when he briefly served as Egypt’s president. The administration also helped a Brotherhood delegation skip routine screening by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon landing in America.

And, as we reported in December, a White House meeting also aimed at standing by the Muslim-American community featured representatives of Islamist groups, including some with consistent records of opposing U.S. law enforcement counter-terrorism efforts.

ISB officials have worked closely with one of those groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In 2014, two ISB officials joined with CAIR in a news conference blasting Israeli military actions in Gaza. The conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge, started when Hamas operatives kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens and continued its incessant campaign of firing rockets with the hope of killing Israeli civilians.

Those rockets were fired from densely populated areas, including near schools andhouses of worship.

But Hamas’ murders and ongoing efforts to carry out more were never mentioned by the CAIR and ISB officials. Instead, they blamed Israel when raids aimed at rocket launchers and other Hamas targets inadvertently killed and injured civilians.

ISB President Muhammad Jameel recklessly invoked “genocide in the name of self-defense” and said that, “as an American I am ashamed to stand here.”

Abid Husain, the ISB’s general secretary, joined Jameel in calling for the U.S. to pressure Israel into opening Gaza’s borders, ending an embargo that was enacted to stop the flow of weapons and materials used to make them.

“The U.S. government must not remain silent about Israel’s indiscriminate assault and unjust use of force,” Husain said. “The right of a nation to defend itself does not extend to unrestrained aerial bombardments of civilian populations and must be condemned.

Far from genocide, which is the systematic elimination of a people, and from an indiscriminate attack, Israel campaign against Hamas “went to extraordinary lengths” to minimize civilian casualties, said Gen. Martin Dempsey, then-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Israel dropped leaflets and called residents of buildings targeted for bombing in hopes the residents would heed the warnings and seek safer locations.

After the conflict ended, Dempsey sent a team of senior officers to learn from Israeli military leaders to study the tactics in Gaza to minimize civilian casualties. “In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he said.

Another ISB official, resident scholar Yaseen Shaikh, sermonized against homosexuality as a mental disorder and “something which we despise.” The talk is dated May 2013, just weeks before he joined the ISB.

The Quran says “harm them” to those who engage in homosexuality, he said. “What does this mean? If it was not an aberrant act, if this was not a despised act, why would Allah … say, ‘Harm them’? Allah then says, ‘[Several Arabic words],’ ‘If they repent and they reform and they transform themselves and change, then let them be.”

As the Daily Caller reported, a past ISB imam worked with an Islamic charity latershuttered by the Treasury Department for supporting terrorists.

Mohamad Adam El Sheikh was a regional representative for the Islamic Africa Relief Agency (IARA) in Baltimore the same time that he was an ISB imam and director.

1346

An archived ISB action alert says that the “Islamic Society of Baltimore was recently visited by an IARA representative who brought the attached pictures of atrocities committed by Russians against the Muslims in Chechnya.”

Although links to several pictures from the Chechen jihad are still available on ISB’s archived web page, the actual pictures are no longer accessible.

“Despite all of this, by the grace of Allah, the Mujahidin in Chechnya have been able to defend themselves and remains a formidable threat to heavily armed Russian Army. However, it is also our responsibility as Muslims all over the world to help them in their Jihad effort,” the action alert added.

The action alert further solicited donations “to help the Refugees and Mujahidin in their struggle.”

In 2004, El-Sheikh justified Palestinian suicide bombings, saying they are acceptable when “certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that.”

Another page on the ISB’s archived “Official English Site” links to a feature on the “Jihad in Chechnya” on the Azzam Publications website. Azzam publications was an al Qaida-tied website that was “one of the most well-known supporters of jihad, or holy war, on the internet.” The site is replete with material promoting jihad and martyrdom operations and includes a photo and link to a biography of Osama bin Laden’s mentor,Abdullah Azzam.

Just after 9/11, the ISB hosted speakers who would become prominent advocates of jihad, including American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike. Awlaki’s online sermons remain some of the most watched, most effective terrorist recruiting material online.

A page from ISB’s archived website links to the homepage of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi. Qaradawi has issued fatwas or religious rulings in support of terrorism and described suicide operations as “heroic martyrdom operations.” In a 2004 fatwa, Qaradawi called abducting and killing Americans in Iraq is “a [religious] duty.”

At a 1995 conference held by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) in Toledo, Ohio, Qaradawi called for the “conquest” of Europe and America through Dawa, or proselytizing. “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Dawa,” he said.

The ISB’s leaders have had connections with radical Islamists and espoused extreme viewpoints throughout its history. Like a lot of mosques, it continues to segregate men and women during prayer, something American-Islamic Forum for DemocracyPresident Zuhdi Jasser called “gender apartheid.”

During an appearance on Fox News Monday, Jasser said he was insulted by the president’s choice of the ISB. It continues an administration policy of working with Islamist groups and ignoring Muslims like him who stand against theocracy.

“It’s disgraceful that this is one of the mosques – or the mosque – that he’s picked to be the first visit,” he said. ISB’s website looks like “a covert operation. There’s no name on it. It basically has pictures of individuals, but no names.”

For an event that is expected to focus on tolerance, diversity and inclusion, Obama made a puzzling choice in the ISB. Its leaders sympathize with terrorists, hate homosexuals and treat women as less than equal.

Reviving American Power After Obama

Flickr/White House

Flickr/White House

National Interest, by Kim R. Holmes, February 2, 2016: (h/t Fortuna’s Corner)

For the last seven years we have witnessed an unprecedented experiment based on a fundamental question: What would the world look like if the United States pulled back from its traditional leadership role? That was after all, the key thrust of President Barack Obama’s new foreign policy. He promised to embark on a radically new way of dealing with the world—one where we would “engage” our enemies rather than confront them.

The verdict is in.

The world is a far more dangerous place today than when Obama took office. Global terrorism is rising dramatically. The Middle East is a cauldron of war and instability. Instead of “ending,” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan persist—and in the case of Iraq, under far worse conditions than Obama inherited in 2009. We face a terrorist threat arguably as bad, if not worse, than Al Qaeda was at its height: ISIS is more vicious, controls territory and even has a government, which, as far as safe havens for terrorists go, poses a more dangerous threat than in 2008. Russia and China are more powerful and threatening than they were in 2008. Our friends and allies are confused and afraid. And our enemies are significantly emboldened.

The new order Obama wants to establish is, unfortunately, one in which the United States cannot possibly win. It is hopelessly stacked against us: an asymmetrical strategic environment in which our adversaries can make huge gains at our expense—and at relatively low cost to themselves. Examples include not only the Iranian nuclear deal, where Tehran reaps a huge financial windfall but is left free—in ten or fifteen years (if not earlier)—to pursue nuclear weapons. They also include as Exhibit A Obama’s Russia “reset” policy, which paved the way for the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine with Russian surrogate forces.

Obama’s foreign policy has been a historic failure. But frankly, recognizing this fact does not automatically tell us how to correct it. We can’t just go back and recreate the world as it was before Obama sought to transform it. Too much water has passed under the bridge, and it will be much more difficult to get America back on track than many realize. We are in a very deep hole, and it will require brutal honesty to dig our way out of it.

We must do nothing less than completely overhaul Obama’s way of approaching the world. Every flawed assumption must be challenged. He claims adversaries will be more cooperative if we “engage” them. We must insist the opposite is true—that they stand down or back away only when they are confronted. He argues that our costs (both in terms of money and influence) go down when we appease our enemies. We must counter with the opposite; that they go up astronomically, as witnessed not only by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine but even by Iran’s bellicosity in the wake of the nuclear deal. He contends we will be more respected if we display a more open hand toward our adversaries. Polls of world opinion, not to mention the disrespect many world leaders (like Vladimir Putin) show toward Obama personally, prove otherwise. He promises a cheap and easy peace if we simply pull back and let others take the lead. We must show that the opposite is true—that peace is hard and expensive to achieve, and others, including our allies, follow only when we lead them.

The world Obama has left us is filled with new forces intent not only on threatening our security but disrupting the international order we helped create. Russia, Iran, ISIS and even China are trying to replace the old order with a new instability—perhaps even chaos—in which they win and we lose. For them, it truly is a zero-sum game. Yes, Russia and China partially benefit from the order they deride (especially China economically); but they do so mainly on their own terms, not ours or even those of the rest of the international community.

It’s in that dynamic that the asymmetry resides. It’s asymmetric because our adversaries and rivals pick and choose their fights at pressure points convenient to them, while we pretend that any attempt on our part to counter them only leads to more disorder. This is utterly false; in fact, it’s the exact opposite. Our refusal to stand up to adversaries signals a lack of commitment to that order, and to the security of our allies and friends who depend on us. Obama’s famous caution is not perceived by much of the world as a cool weighing of options (as his defenders imagine), but as indecision and even indifference. When he saves all his vigor and passion for issues like climate change, and neglects our defenses and makes deals with adversaries like Iran, he’s broadcasting his priorities loud and clear: America is getting out of the superpower business, and it’s time for the world to get used to our shrinking strategic presence.

There is only one way to reverse this dynamic: disrupt the disrupters—that is, those who wish to disrupt America’s leadership in the world. We should be thinking of ways to invert the cost ratios that now favor revisionist powers and forces like Russia, China, Iran and ISIS over us. In other words, we need to raise their costs for opposing us, while reducing the costs we incur from not opposing them. It may cost us more in the short run to challenge them, but in the long run we save because deterrence works better than appeasement. If we don’t do this, the price of peace will only go up. We will face a cascade of escalating challenges unleashed by the perception that we are an easy mark, and that it pays to challenge the United States of America.

It is true that we can never be as cynical as Russia or China in manipulating conflicts. Our values and international commitments will force us into the frustrating position of not being able always to meet them tit-for-tat. But there is no reason why we can’t make it more costly for them when they blatantly threaten us or our allies. That was the way Ronald Reagan confronted the Soviet Union, and it worked quite well.

We need to do more of some things but less of others. We must focus on what really counts, and stop chasing windmills like pretending climate change is the world’s biggest threat. We need to stand up a viable and friendly Syrian force to combat both ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not waste our time on fruitless diplomatic initiatives at the United Nations that serve no purpose other than to offer cover for Russia’s backing of Assad. We need to spend a lot more money on national defense and stop pretending as if advanced technology or mere “smart” diplomacy can make up for military weakness.

Above all, we must choose confrontation (mostly diplomatic, but in the case of ISIS, military) wisely but deliberately. We must be very careful about picking our fights—but when we do, we must win them. In choosing confrontation, we should think not only about the specific tactical problems involved, but whether they serve some larger strategic purpose. Think of them as inflection points that can bend a strategic curve in our favor. We must always keep the overall curve in mind, and how all the points fit together.

There are four such inflection points. First and foremost is the destruction of ISIS’s capability to make war, inflict terror and control territory. That is what defeating ISIS means. Its total defeat is necessary, not only to protect the homeland from terrorist attacks but to reverse the trajectory toward more war and chaos in the Middle East. This goal can be achieved only by interjecting a substantial increase of U.S. combat forces into the fight against ISIS.

Second is to arrange for the defeat of Putin’s adventure in Ukraine. So much is riding on whether he succeeds or not. If he pulls it off, he will likely move onto other low-hanging fruit, possibly in the Baltics. But if he fails, it will prove his gambit to change the international order in Europe has miscarried and show the Russian people that adventurism doesn’t pay. Under those circumstances, Putin could end up facing the same misfortune as Soviet leaders did after the failure of the Afghanistan invasion in 1979.

How to do this? By dramatically increasing lethal assistance to Ukraine. A year ago, such a move looked risky because Putin was on a roll and in a strong position at home. Now he faces not only a potential quagmire in Ukraine, but increasing criticism for poorly handling the economic crisis. Politically, Putin is weaker, which means he no longer enjoys the easy escalation dominance he once did.

Third, we must reverse Obama’s strategic tilting in favor of Iran. It is upending a region already roiled by bitter sectarian and state power rivalries. If not reversed, it will lead to more war and bloodshed and possibly a nuclear arms race. This will require the next president to reverse the Iran nuclear deal as soon as possible. America’s allies, who salivate over renewed commercial ties with Iran, will have to be told they must choose between Iran and the United States. If given no other choice, they will choose us.

Fourth, we need to make clear to Beijing that China’s territorial expansionism will not be accepted as part of rules for a “new type of major power relations,” which is Chinese code for accepting a more dominant role for China in East Asia. This will entail a more forceful policy against China and substantial new naval deployments in East Asia—much more than those that accompanied Obama’s paltry “rebalancing” or “pivot” to Asia. It will also necessitate stronger support for friends and allies in the region in resisting China’s maritime territorial claims.

Some conflicts are simply intractable. That’s true not only for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also for the ongoing nuclear drama with North Korea. These and other conflicts cannot be ignored, and they do need to be managed. But we should not expect that any new U.S. diplomatic initiative would make any significant difference. In fact, trying to do so could backfire, giving the Palestinians and the North Koreans new openings to exploit the differences of opinion we have with our friends and allies. Nevertheless, we should be moving briskly to build a missile defense system to deal with the North Korean threat. In addition, we should not rule out military preemption as an option if the North Koreans posture their nuclear weapons in a threatening manner.

Taking these actions could dramatically alter the diplomatic terrain left by Barack Obama. They would show a new style of U.S. leadership. They would reveal a new strategic focus on the most important issues facing us and our friends. They would show our friends that we are reliable and our foes that we should not be crossed.

Most importantly, they would demonstrate that the Obama experiment tried is over, and that the United States is back in the superpower business. The trajectory of American decline that once looked inevitable will have been reversed. America’s traditional leadership role, so derided and neglected by Obama, will be back. Only then can we begin the long and arduous process of restoring some sense of order and stability to a world unsettled by some of the biggest foreign policy mistakes in U.S. history.

Kim R. Holmes, a former Assistant Secretary of State, is a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation. His latest book, “The Closing of the Liberal Mind” (Encounter Books), will be published in April.

The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen For His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties

Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency/AFP

Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency/AFP

Daily Caller, by Chuck Ross, Jan. 30, 2016:

The Baltimore mosque President Obama has chosen as the first U.S.-based mosque to visit during his presidency has deep ties to extremist elements, including to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The White House announced on Saturday that Obama will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) on Wednesday. He has visited several mosques overseas as president but has resisted visiting one in the homeland. The purpose of the trip, according to the White House, is to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”

But ISB is a curious choice for Obama’s first domestic visit.

The mosque is a member of a network of mosques controlled by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim civil rights group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror case. Several executives with that organization were convicted of sending money to aid the terrorist group Hamas. (RELATED: Here’s A Map Of Radical Mosques In The U.S. [Interactive])

An imam who served at ISB for a total of 15 years has also been a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood network and has worked for an Islamic relief group that was designated as a terrorist organization by the Treasury Department in 2004.

Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh, who served two stints as ISB’s imam, from 1983 to 1989 and from 1994 to 2003, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan in the 1970s. He also co-founded the Muslim American Society, a Falls Church, Va.-based group that is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

While in Baltimore, el-Sheikh served as a regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency. That group’s parent organization is the Islamic African Relief Agency, which the Treasury Department says provided funds to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

After leaving Baltimore, el-Sheikh served as imam at the infamous Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. That mosque has a lengthy roster of known terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. Its imam during much of the 1990s was Mohammed al-Hanooti. He was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people.

Dar al-Hijrah came under the control of Anwar al-Awlaki in 2001. He’s the American al-Qaeda recruiter who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army major who killed 13 people at Fort Hood in Nov. 2009, is said to have attended the Virginia mosque when al-Awlaki served there. The pair also reportedly exchanged emails. Two of the 9/11 hijackers also attended Dar al-Hijrah during al-Awlaki’s tenure.

El-Sheikh took over at Dar al-Hijrah in Aug. 2003, a little over a year after al-Awlaki left. While there he defended Palestianian suicide bombings against Israel.

“If certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that, then it becomes acceptable as an exceptional rule, but should not be taken as a principle,” he said in 2004, according to a Washington Post article at the time.

As The Post reported Saturday, ISB’s website states that it seeks “to be the anchor of a growing Muslim community with diverse backgrounds, democratically governed, relating to one another with inclusiveness and tolerance, and interacting with neighbors in an Islamic exemplary manner.”

But that desire for tolerance — which President Obama frequently touts as well — does not appear to be a virtue shared by ISB’s resident scholar, Yaseen Shaikh.

Imam Yaseen Shaikh

Imam Yaseen Shaikh

A 2013 Youtube video shows Shaikh, who previously served as imam at a mosque in Plano, Tex., speaking out forcefully against homosexuality in Islam.

During an hour long diatribe, Shaikh called homosexuality a psychological disorder that has no place in Islam or society. He also lamented that gay rights groups have “hijacked” political discourse.

“This whole subject of homosexuality in the public sphere…is no longer a religious issue, unfortunately, as much as we want to use the religious card and try to defeat this, now it’s become a politicized issue,” Shaikh says in the video.

“Politicians are highly influenced by people who back them, and we find that these politicians who are calling for gay rights and marriage and supporting gay rights are lobbied and campaigned by gay activists, by gay groups. And they are throwing money at it left and right to gain some acceptance in society, to be considered normal people, to be treated normally.”

Obama is one such politician who has supported gay rights.

“We have to counter the efforts that are taking place elsewhere,” Sheikh says in the video, advising that “if our children are taught that [homosexuality is] okay, we have to teach them it’s not okay.”

***

Also see:

Obama Joins Israel Boycott, Labels West Bank Goods

Associated Press

Associated Press

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Jan. 28, 2016:

In a step towards joining an Israel boycott, the U.S. is now requiring goods originating from the West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria) to be labeled separately from products from the rest of Israel, following the European Union’s crackdown on products from the disputed territories.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection service, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has issued new mandates requiring that West Bank products not be marked “Israel,” citing a notice from the year 1997 that offers such instructions.

The memo from DHS, titled, “West Bank Country of Origin Marking Requirements,” reads:

“The purpose of this message is to provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufactured in the West Bank.”

According to the instructions, “It is not acceptable to mark” goods from the West Bank as having been from “Israel,” “Made in Israel,” or from “Occupied Territories-Israel.”

In its statement, U.S. Customs threatens, “goods that are erroneously marked as products of Israel will be subject to an enforcement action carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

“Goods entering the United States must conform to the U.S. marking statute and regulations promulgated thereunder,” the statement adds.

Groups advocating “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS) against Israel have demanded separate labeling of Israeli goods from the West Bank and the Golan Heights as a step toward a total boycott of Israeli products.

Israel maintains that under international law, the West Bank is “disputed,” and not “occupied,” since there was no legitimate sovereign in the territory when Israel took control of it in self-defense after Jordan attacked Israel in 1967.

Many of the products that will be affected are made within areas of the West Bank, such as the Etzion bloc, are likely to be part of Israel under any peace agreement.

The new instructions were published by DHS over the weekend, following complaints from Palestinian and fringe leftist outfits that the U.S. was not complying with a 1995 law that calls for the marking of goods from the West Bank, Israel National News reports.

In November, the European Union mandated the labeling of Israeli products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Critics, including presidential candidates, have argued the labeling of products only from “Israeli areas” of the West Bank, and not Palestinian-controlled territories, is a discriminatory and anti-Semitic act.

The EU now refuses to allow the label “Made in Israel” on products made anywhere outside of the pre-1967 lines.

Following the implementation of EU labeling mandates, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the actions an “exceptional and discriminatory step.”

“This will not advance peace; it will certainly not advance truth and justice,” he added.

Last week, the State Department effectively endorsed the anti-Israel labeling measures.

On Wednesday, to mark Holocaust Remembrance day, President Obama pledged to confront worldwide anti-Semitism:

“Here, tonight, we must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise. We cannot deny it,” he said from the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Also see:

13 Hours in Benghazi, and the Still-Missing White House Timeline

shutterstock_114757342.sized-770x415xcPJ Media, by Claudia Rosett, Jan. 24, 2016:

It’s almost two weeks since the release of “13 Hours,” the movie about the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. In the modern news cycle, that’s time enough for the importance of this movie to be buried by news of the blizzard from which the East Coast is now digging out. But I found this movie so good that I went to see it twice.

Both times, I came away wondering the same thing. What, precisely, was President Obama doing during the hours — all those many hours — in which the Americans in Benghazi, abandoned by their leaders in Washington, fought for their lives?

What was Obama doing, amid the comforts and command centers of the White House, while State Department officer Sean Smith and Ambassador Chris Stevens were choking on the smoke of a diesel-fueled inferno at the poorly secured U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi? What was Obama doing during the hours in which the assault targeted the CIA annex near the compound? What was he doing when al Qaeda-linked terrorists fired mortars at the Americans defending the annex, killing former SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods?

Benghazi in that season was six hours ahead of Washington. The attacks began about 9:45 P.M. in Benghazi, and went on intermittently all night, with the deadly mortar assault coming at about 5:15 A.M. It took another five hours, and then some, before the last of the survivors, assembled at the airport, along with the bodies of the four dead Americans, were flown out of Benghazi — not by American forces, but aboard a Libyan C-130 military cargo plane. Thus the roughly 13 hours referred to in the title of the movie, from approximately 9:45 PM on the evening of Sept. 11, until about 10:30 A.M on the morning of Sept. 12.

In Washington, six hours behind, that timing corresponded to roughly 3:45 P.M. on Sept. 11 until 4:30 A.M., Sept. 12, with Americans killed during the first eight hours of this terrible span. When mortar fire killed Doherty and Woods, about 5:15 A.M. in Libya, it was about 11:15 P.M., Sept. 11, in Washington. In other words, on the White House clock, the assault in Benghazi began mid-afternoon, Washington time, and went on for the rest of the afternoon and the entire evening. It was close to midnight, Washington time, when the mortar onslaught killed Woods, who was based in Benghazi, and Doherty, who had flown in that night from Tripoli as part of a small rescue squad. They died as part of a small group of warriors defending the other Americans under attack.

What was America’s president doing, during all those hours? No one expects the U.S. president to involve himself directly in every firefight that might endanger Americans in far away places. But he is the commander-in-chief, the executive at whose desk the buck is supposed to stop. And there was nothing ordinary about what happened in Benghazi. The symbolically loaded date was Sept. 11. The first target was an American diplomatic compound, which was hit with AK-47 fire and rocket propelled grenades, invaded, plundered and torched with diesel fuel — killing the ambassador and one of his staff. The next target was a nearby “secret” CIA annex, housing Americans. While far from U.S. shores, what took place in Benghazi was a brazen, heavily armed, terrorist assault on America and its citizens. It was the first time in 33 years that an American ambassador had been murdered.

From the Americans under attack, there were desperate calls for help. It was the president who had the authority to dispatch American forces in the region to race to Libya, to help. Whatever the debate over how quickly such help could have arrived, or how effective it might have been, this much is clear: No such help came.

Nor have we ever learned the full timeline of what Obama himself did that evening. Plenty hasbeen asked. Too little has been answered. Various observers, myself included, have tried to fill in the gaps, piecing together whatever could be discerned from afar, or urging that more be doneto find out.

But there are still big gaps. We know that when the assault began in Benghazi, Obama was making his Sept 11 official rounds at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington. We know that after after leaving Walter Reed, Obama had a 5 P.M. meeting already scheduled at the White House with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, at which Obama was certainly informed of the attack.

And, as I outlined on PJ Media more than three years ago, in “Benghazi and the Missing Obama 9/11 Timeline,” we know from the sole press release put out by the White House that evening, Sept. 11, 2012 (which made no mention of Benghazi), that sometime before about 8 P.M. Obama phoned Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (well after midnight in Israel). To judge by the contents of the ensuing White House press release, Obama made this apparently urgent evening call not to talk about Benghazi — where his ambassador to Libya had just been killed, and the assault was far from over  — but to quash a story gaining legs that day in the media, and damaging to Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, that Obama had snubbed Netanyahu’s request for a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly opening later that month.

We know that at about 10 P.M., Obama spoke by phone with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Shortly after that call, the State Department put out a press release under Clinton’s name, implying that “inflammatory material posted on the internet” (or, as Clinton later described it, a “hateful” video) had provoked the Benghazi attacks. As far as I’m aware, we’ve heard nothing further about Obama’s activities after that phone call with Clinton. The next time he turns up on the radar is the following morning, more than 12 hours later, at 10:43 A.M., making public remarks about the American deaths in Benghazi from the White House Rose Garden (in which he, like Clinton, implied that the video, not terrorism, was to blame: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”).

Maybe there’s information out there that I’ve missed. If anyone knows anything more, please write in. But as far as I’m aware, there has been no full accounting, no timeline, that gives us anything close to a full picture of what the president did that long evening, or the extent to which, as the assault went on and on in Benghazi, he concerned himself with doing everything in his power to help. Or, as the available information suggests, he didn’t.

Of course, to borrow a line from Hillary Clinton, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” The behavior of Clinton herself still matters, for the obvious reason that she is running to be the next president. But Obama is wrapping up his final year in office, and shows no interest in changing his ways. Does it really matter, by now, what he did or did not do on Sept. 11, 2012?

That brings me back to the matter of the film, “13 Hours,” and why it is so good. It is good because it depicts, in ways that any audience can understand, the hell that was unleashed against those Americans in Benghazi. It is good because it it clarifies, graphically, that what took place was a planned terrorist assault (viewers can decide for themselves how that squared with Obama’s claims of a receding tide of war, and al Qaeda on the run). It is good because it shows the folly of pitting wishful diplomacy against murderous realities.

At core, “13 Hours” is a movie about the vital human business of keeping faith, of doing what’s right — who did, and who did not. This film shows how, in the face of folly from on high, and the deadly results on the ground, a small band of American warriors saw what had to be done, and did it. They stepped up to keep faith with themselves and their fellow Americans — while back in Washington, their leaders, including America’s commander-in-chief, did no such thing. For all the American military might that was standing by that night, “spinning up” beyond Libya’s borders, no help was sent into Libya. All that arrived, courtesy of orders from above, was an unmanned drone, a vehicle in this case for bearing witness — a microcosm of President Obama’s foreign policy.

That betrayal was the essential horror of the Benghazi story (a betrayal compounded by the U.S. administration’s negligence that preceded the attack, and amplified by the official obfuscations that followed). That failure at the top, along with the heroism of the warriors on the ground, is what comes across in this film. Obama himself is not shown in the movie, neither is Clinton. Obama is a distant voice, leading from behind, speaking briefly in the background, lauding the prospects for Libya, at the opening. The film shows us, up close, the Americans who were abandoned by their leaders back in Washington, and left fighting for their lives.

When it ends, you sit there in silence. This movie does not preach. But there are lessons to be drawn, and they pertain not only to Libya, but to America. The more we grasp of what happened in Benghazi, the bigger the questions ought to loom about what we expect of our leaders — and the missing piece, the timeline yet to be filled in, the full story of what America’s president was doing, or not doing, on the evening of Sept, 11, 2012, as this battle played out, hour after hour, in Benghazi.

***

Published on Jan 25, 2016 by theunitedwest

The President Obama/Hillary Clinton Benghazi disaster is, in the words of Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, “a dereliction of duty” by the Obama Administration and the Pentagon. Check out this in-depth analysis by Tom Trento and Admiral Lyons in the context of the powerful Hollywood feature film, “13 Hours, the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.”