Brookings Takes Both Sides of the Issue on Islamist Censorship

Part 3 of a 4-Part Investigative Series: Brookings Sells Soul to Qatar’s Terror Agenda

by Steven Emerson, John Rossomando and Dave Yonkman
IPT News
October 30, 2014

1081Brookings’ partnership with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in conjunction with its Qatari-backed Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, sends a mixed message for a think tank that claims to want “a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system.”

The OIC is a 57-government body (56 nations plus the Palestinian Authority) that constitutes the largest United Nations voting bloc.

Fighting against criticism of Islam and those who link the religion with violence under the banner of so-called “Islamophobia” features prominently in the OIC’s rhetoric and diplomacy.

“Freedom of expression … cannot be used as a pretext for inciting hatred … or insulting the deeply held beliefs of any community. It should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions,” OIC’s “Seventh Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2013-April 2014″ states.

Islamophobia under OIC’s definition even covers court-proven facts such as the use of zakat (charity) payments to fund terror, evidenced by the international body’s attack on FBI training materials that describes it as a “funding mechanism for combat.”

Zakat is the tithe Muslims must pay as a pillar of their faith. It may be spent on feeding the hungry or caring for the sick, but also for funding violent jihad. Muslim authors suchas Sheik Muhammad Ali Hashimi, a well-known author in the Arab world, teach that funding “jihad for the sake of Allah” is the most important use for zakat.

Court documents and classified State Department cables demonstrate that numerous charities such as Qatar Charity (formerly the Qatar Charitable Society), the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and countless others have diverted zakat collections to benefit terror groups such as al-Qaida and Hamas. A 2012 UN Security Council report notes that the Taliban uses zakat collected from areas it controls to finance its operations.

Instead of unequivocally and unconditionally defending free speech, Brookings sends mixed messages, with some experts endorsing the OIC’s effort on Islamophobia and others condemning its excesses.

Brookings scholar Ahmet T. Kuru argued following the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, that Muslims need “mechanisms and institutions” to prevent the dissemination of “anti-Islamic propaganda.” In this case, Kuru implicitly referred to the “Innocence of Muslims” video that the Obama administration and others blamed for triggering the attack.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has taken some important steps forward in promoting respectful, civilized and effective ways of fighting Islamophobia. Their diplomatic attitudes, however, have yet to spread at the grassroots level,” Kuru wrote, contrasting the OIC’s efforts with those of violent Muslim protesters. “The recent incident also shows how counterproductive Islamophobia is. There are politicians and religious leaders in the United States and Europe who, unfortunately, promote Islamophobia.

“Western countries need to develop effective mechanisms and institutions to marginalize Islamophobes; that will be consistent with their principle of working against discrimination, as well as serving their interests in different parts of the world.”

Other Brookings scholars reflect this line of reasoning about the threat from Islamophobia and their perspectives similarly align with many of the OIC’s complaints.

A few years earlier, in a June 2007 article, former Brookings scholar Peter Singer cited former U.S. diplomat William Fisher, saying that “an unreasoning and uninformed Islamophobia” served as a new prejudice that threatened to undermine U.S. foreign policy and that it was rapidly becoming “implanted in our national genetics.”

Brookings scholar David Benjamin extended this line of reasoning in an Oct. 7, 2008 paper, stating that Islamophobia driven by “the religious right and talk radio” had undermined the integration of Muslims into American society. He claimed this compounded the effects with “dubious prosecutions.”

“Officials should denounce incidents of anti-Muslim sentiment quickly and vigorously,” Benjamin wrote.

The OIC’s diplomatic efforts against so-called Islamophobia have included applying pressure to governments and international bodies to criminalize free speech.

OIC’s war on free speech

Brookings invited then-OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to speak at its annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum in 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013 in Doha. The conferences drew intellectuals and policymakers from the United States and across the Muslim world, and serve as a major part of Brookings’ Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.

Ihsanoglu’s organization for years has lobbied the European Union and the United Nations to outlaw criticism of Islam.

Read more

Guest Column: Terror’s Virus on the Northern Border

1069by David B. Harris
Special to IPT News
October 7, 2014

Ever since full-blown cases of the disease hit the United States, Canadians have dreaded the contagion’s arrival north of the 49thparallel.

Its effects: blindness and a deadly incapacity to recognize and adapt to reality.

The malady? The White House’s refusal to identify the leading terrorist enemy by name and combatant doctrine.

President Obama began his administration by avoiding counterterror language likely to link Islam with violence. This reflected a civilized and practical impulse to avoid alienating Muslims at home and abroad.

But perhaps influenced by the demonstrable fact that President Obama, as former terror prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy put it, “made Islamic supremacists key administration advisors,” this effort quickly got out of control. Now the White House fetishizes and enforces on its security agencies, a refusal to identify the doctrine underlying the bulk of the world’s terrorism woes: radical Islamism.

Remarkable, considering that Muslims sounded the alarm years ago.

“Obviously not all Muslims are terrorists but, regrettably, the majority of the terrorists in the world are Muslims,” wrote Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed in a 2004 Al-Sharq Al-Awsatarticle flagged by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Despite this, the Obama White House banned words like “Islamists,” “Muslims” and “jihad” from security documents, even from FBI and other government agencies’ counterterror training manuals.

Lawyer and retired US military intelligence officer Major Stephen C. Coughlin exposed the censorship’s extent at a February 2010 conference. In 2004, he noted, the 9/11 Commission Report made 126 mentions of “jihad,” 145 of “Muslim,” and used the word “Islam” over 300 times. No surprise.

But Washington later purged such terms completely from the FBI counterterrorism lexicon (2008), National Intelligence Strategy (2009) and even the 2010 panel reviewing jihadi Nidal Malik Hasan’s 2009 Fort Hood massacre – except as unavoidable parts of names of terror organizations or the like. The practice seems to continue.

Consequences?

Understanding the threat – extremist Muslims, in this case – requires understanding their doctrine. If terrorists were invoking Christianity – it has happened – security and intelligence organizations would focus on problematic churches and related facilities connected to radical preaching, funding and recruitment. Christian holy literature would be scrutinized, in order to anticipate terrorists’ plans, targets and attack-dates. Redouble the guard on Christmas or Easter? Could atheists, Muslims or Jews be targets? Regardless whether extremists’ interpretations should, in any objective sense, be true or false representations of the ideology in question, serious intelligence must look at these things in order to understand and master the threats posed by all extremist strains of religion or other ideologies. Politicians and the public must discuss them. Public education, transparency, democracy and our defense, demand this. Anything else is misleading, self-deceiving and likely self-defeating.

Northern Exposure

So it was that, three years ago, the Canadian government published the first of its annual series of public threat reports. This straight-talking assessment pinpointed “Sunni Islamist extremism” as a primary menace to Canadians.

But, tragically, the D.C. disease had overtaken Canada’s security bureaucracy by the time August brought the 2014 Public Report On The Terrorist Threat to Canada. This report expunges all direct references to Islamists, other than in terror-organization names.

Take, for example, the latest report’s warning about Canadians joining terror outfits abroad. Gone are terms like “Islamist extremists” and even “violent jihad.” The report’s authors – apparently burdened by “advice” from misguided outreach to Canadian Islamists – slavishly substituted generic terms like “extremist travellers” for language revealing the religious claims, affiliations, motivations and doctrines of our enemies. “Extremist travellers” appears dozens of times to the exclusion of meaningful nomenclature – an editing embarrassment, on top of a national-security one. From the 2014 report:

Europol estimates that between 1,200 and 2,000 European extremist travellers took part in the conflict in Syria in 2013. There appears to be an increase in extremist travellers. This suggests that the threat posed to Europe by returning extremist travellers may be more significant than the threat facing North America because greater numbers of extremist travellers are leaving, then returning to Europe, than are leaving and later returning to North America. This difference between Canada and Europe in numbers of extremist travellers can be attributed to a variety of factors. Regardless, Europe and Canada face a common, interconnected threat from extremist travellers. [Emphasis added.]

In just one paragraph, Canada’s self-censoring report says that many Europeans are “fighting abroad as extremist travellers“; “they attract extremist travellers … and continue to draw European extremist travellers“; there were “European extremist travellers in Syria and other conflict zones”; the “influx of these extremist travellersinto Syria” increases the European terror risk; “an extremist traveller who returned from Syria” allegedly slaughtered several Belgians. (Emphasis added.)

This doubletalk undermines public awareness, public confidence in authorities and the ability of officials and citizens alike to recognize, assess and confront terrorist and subversive enemies and their doctrine.

We saw the absurd far reaches of this self-blinding mentality a few years ago when Canadian police officers at a terrorism news conference thanked “the community” for facilitating an Islamist terrorist take-down. When a journalist asked which community they meant, the officers – not daring to say “Muslim” – all but froze, thawing only enough to become caricatures of stymied stumbling. Because paralyzing PC protocols banned the M-word, the conference ended without the officers having been able explicitly to thank the deserving “Muslim community.”

How has Canada come to this?

Among other sources, Canadian security officials get advice from their federal government’s Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security. Prominent member Hussein Hamdani reportedly campaigned to drop language implicating things “Islamic.” Meanwhile, Hamdani, the subject of a just-released report by Canada’s Point de Bascule counter extremist research organization, remains vice-chair of the North American Spiritual Revival (NASR) organization. On its website, NASR boasts – as it has done for years – of sponsoring an appearance in Canada by U.S. Imam Siraj Wahhaj, frequently tagged a radical and a 1993 World Trade Center bombingunindicted co-conspirator. Fellow American Muslim Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, once said of Wahhaj: “He’s the No. 1 advocate of radical Islamic ideology among African-Americans. His stuff is very appealing to young Muslims who are on a radical path.”

Hamdani’s NASR also brought American Imam Ziad Shakir to Canada. His disturbingideology, as I’ve written elsewhere, “was condemned by moderate American Muslim leader and retired U.S. naval Lt. Cmdr Zuhdi Jasser, and by the American Anti-Defamation League.” Some have other concerns about Hamdani.

Now comes word that Hamdani, squired by Angus Smith, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) analyst sometimes linked to the censorship policy, will appear on a Montgomery County, Md. panel tomorrow to enlighten Americans about radicalism and the ISIS terror threat.

Much more here

Muslim Activists Demand Overhaul of All U.S. Law Enforcement Training

CAIRdiorama32

Judicial Watch:

Islamic activists that strong-armed the FBI to purge anti-terrorism training material considered “offensive” to Muslims have made their next wave of demands, which include an overhaul in the way all law enforcement officers are trained in the United States.

The coalition of influential and politically-connected Muslim rights groups is demanding that the Obama administration implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state and local law enforcement officials who may have been subjected to materials they deem “biased and discriminatory” against Muslims. There must also be an audit of all federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering training and educational materials to identify and remove information that could exhibit bias against any race, ethnicity, religion or national origin, the groups demand.

Additionally, the administration must pursue disciplinary action against agents and officials who engage in discriminatory conduct as well as those responsible for the anti-Muslim training materials. Finally, the coalition insists that all federal funding to local and state law enforcement agencies be withheld unless they ban all training materials considered to be biased against race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. In short, these empowered Muslim activists want to dictate how our nation’s law enforcement agencies operate at every level.

The outrageous demands were made this month in a letter to Lisa O. Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Among the signatories is the terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has repeatedly proven that it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration. Founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists, CAIR got the FBI to purge anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal last summer and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. JW also published a special in-depth report on the subject in December.

CAIR also got several police departments in President Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands. The group responded with a statement commending officials for their “swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns.” CAIR has wielded its power in a number of other cases during the Obama presidency, including blocking an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S. and pressuring the government to file discrimination lawsuits against employers who don’t accommodate Muslims in the workplace.

Other signatories include the powerful open borders group Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Muslim Advocates, the Sikh Coalition, Women in Islam Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to name a few. The group’s claim that recent administration directives to promote multicultural and diversity sensitivity training in law enforcement aren’t enough because they don’t specifically address anti-Muslim materials.

“Without executive branch actions, including those we recommend below, trainings that perpetuate gross stereotypes and false information about Islam and Muslims will continue to proliferate at the state and local level,” the letter says. It continues: “The use of anti-Muslim trainers and materials is not only highly offensive, disparaging the faith of millions of Americans, but leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion, not evidence of wrongdoing.” This will foster fear and suspicion of Muslims and will lead to an increase in discrimination, bullying, harassment and anti-Muslim violence, the letter asserts.

Also see:

JIHADIS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS WANT A USG RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM

 

JIHADIS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS WANT A USG RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM

muslimgroupcoalitionBreitbart, by CLARE M. LOPEZ:

In a chilling 14 August 2014 letter to Lisa O. Monaco, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism advisor at the National Security Council (NSC), reminiscent of the Red Chinese and Soviet gulags, a group of 75 signatories urged the Obama administration to “implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state, and local law enforcement officers” who have been exposed to “anti-Muslim” training.

Former FBI counter-terrorism Special Agent, former head of the FBI SWAT team and former combat Marine John Guandolo– a member of the Center for Security Policy (CSP) Team B IIand Founder of Understanding the Threat– was singled out for particular criticism, as was FBI analyst William Gawthrop.

Among the signatories to the letter are CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations, the U.S. HAMAS wing), the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), which includes Helping Hand for Relief & Development USA, the charitable wing of Muslim Brotherhood front group, Islamic Circle of North America), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), whose Executive Committee includes the likes of Siraj Wahhaj (named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Ihsan Bagby (member of several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)). To round out the Islamic representation, there are two Shi’ite affiliates, the Imam Hussain Islamic Center and Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA, which seems to have only a Facebook presence online).

Joining them in signing the letter was a gaggle of fellow travelers drawn from across a span of leftist organizations. Perhaps it’s all the ghastly publicity from the Middle East that’s been drawing attention to how Islamic Law (shariah) really looks when it’s implemented in all its barbaric fulsomeness. Or maybe the signatories just decided it was time for the old Red-Green alliance to reprise the glory days of its original efforts to remove training about how Islamic terrorism takes its inspiration from Islamic doctrine, when a 19 October 2011 letter to Monaco’s predecessor, John Brennan, succeeded in launching a U.S. government-wide purge of such curriculum. Then again, it’s possible somebody pulled out a dog-eared copy of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to review some tips on how to neutralize Guandolo’s stunningly effective law enforcement training about Islam, shariah, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Red-Green coalition obviously has realized (likely with dawning horror) that even if Guandolo weren’t still out there reaching sheriffs’ departments across the country, the residual effects of earlier pre-purge training still inform countless law enforcement counterterrorism programs. And the thought that such training lately must only be reinforced by the never-ending stream of atrocities out of the Middle East may have been just enough to tip the group over into serious panic. Hence the letter to Ms. Monaco to urge a little brainwashing, just to make sure nobody somehow connects any of those awful beheadings and crucifixions with Islam (see Qur’anic verses 8:12 and 5:32-33 for details).

First came the physical purge of the training materials. Now must follow the psychological purge of all those minds that absorbed that training. Stalin and Mao—never mind Qutb and Khomeini—would be so proud.

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

Also see:

CAIR goes after “National Security Summit” I’m moderating

By Allen West:

One of our cherished freedoms is our First Amendment right of free speech. It is a freedom the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us as a result of England’s attempt to silence their voices — as detailed in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence grievances.

So how is it we’ve come to a point in America where any special interest group feels it is entitled to or capable of silencing the voices of others? And even more disturbing, this special interest group is clearly aligned with America’s enemies.

The group of which I speak, of course, is the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). We’ve addressed this group countless times here as an unindicted co-conspirator of the largest terrorist funding case in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation case in Houston, Texas.

As well, CAIR is listed on the FBI no-contact list as a result of its questionable affiliations. CAIR is nothing more than a Muslim Brotherhood front group in America and its fundraising efforts have served to benefit the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas. And when it comes to stifling free speech in America, let’s remember CAIR’s efforts to stymie Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s recognition at Brandeis University where their tactics of fear, intimidation, and coercion made the administration there fold like a cheap chair. CAIR used that success as a rallying cry in a fundraising email to its supporters — aka “stealth jihad terrorist sympathizers.”

cair-488x630

Now CAIR is using social media and the same ol’ tactics to try and cancel another event and this time they picked the wrong fight because I’m involved in it. CAIR very kindly posted the entire flyer on its Facebook page. Its part of a speaker series entitled, “Israel Security Summit: The Fight for Western Civilization, Israel-Global Jihad-America.” The panelists assembled include two retired U.S. military three-star generals, men who have dedicated their entire lives to the service of our Republic — one, LTG Boykin was an original founding member of U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment (Delta): “Delta Force.” You can download the complete flyer here.

However, you can see CAIR is already starting its campaign to have this event cancelled. They’re using threats of violence to scare the community of Stoughton, Mass. Now, I have a simple question. Why is it when another Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) wants to hold a conference, no one is trying to get it cancelled? But that doesn’t mean there aren’t many of us who want to sound the alarm and educate our fellow Americans about the goals and objectives of these cultural jihadists.

cair-Twitter-630x539

Spare me the “Islamophobe” bovine excrement. I can’t think of a better time to have a panel to discuss Hamas, ISIS, al-Qaida, AQIM, AQAP, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Abu Sayyaf, Jemmat al-Islamiya, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Taliban, Haqqani Network, Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, Turkey — as you can see, we do have a problem with the rise of Islamic totalitarianism and jihadism globally.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/08/cair-goes-national-security-summit-im-moderating/#3GeYolCsPs6QwiJJ.99

Also see:

American Muslim Organizations Pen Letter Against Surveillance of Islamist Groups (counterjihadreport.com)

 

 

‘Freedom X’ Takes on CAIR

fg-450x314by Arnold Ahlert:

A lawsuit has been filed in Tennessee by Freedom X, a nonprofit law firm that specializes in First Amendment issues. ACT! for America Knoxville vs. Knox County Schools alleges that Knox County School officials and Superintendent Jim McIntyre canceled an April after-hours presentation at Farragut High School that was to center around Sharia Law and its increasing acceptance in the United States due to complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “Public officials, and that includes public school officials, violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment whenever they censor speech merely because it offends someone,” said William J. Becker, Jr., Freedom X’s president and general counsel. “Unfortunately, we are seeing this trend grow as Muslim activists play the victim card.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of John Peach, director of the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, a group founded by Lebanese immigrant Brigitte Gabriel. Act! for America describes itself as a “non-partisan, non-sectarian organization whose mission is to give Americans concerned about national security and terrorism a powerful, organized, informed and mobilized voice.”

Apparently giving Americans that voice doesn’t sit well with CAIR. Prior to the event, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper sent a letter to Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds insisting that the scheduled speakers— Dr. Bill French, aka Bill Warner, an expert on Islam and the Koran, and Matt Bonner, Knoxville chapter director of the Crescent Project, a Christian group that engages in Muslim evangelization—were “bigots.” Hooper further claimed that the event itself

will be viewed as having the endorsement of school officials and has the potential to promote bullying and to create a hostile learning environment for Muslim students. It may also serve to create a negative impression of Islam and Muslims in the minds of students of all faiths.

Hooper then claimed he supported the First Amendment right to free speech,

even the kind of hate speech used by these speakers—but believe, because of the need for a safe and inclusive learning environment, that a school is not the proper setting for such an event. I therefore respectfully request that you review district policies to determine whether you (sic) high school is an appropriate venue for a potentially hate-filled program.

After receiving Hooper’s letter, a school official told CAIR that “Farragut High School does not support this event, nor do we share the presenters’ views.” Soon after, the invitation was rescinded.

Knox County Superintendent Jim McIntyre explained the decision. “The primary purpose of our school facilities is to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable learning environment for our students,“ he said in a statement. “When other uses of the facility begin to impinge on or interfere with the administration’s ability to provide a suitable education atmosphere, it is necessary for us to reconsider that use.”

Act! For America noted the hypocrisy:

Why is it that Muslims engage in teaching about how good Islam is for Tennessee at the Cedar Bluff Library – a public building – but feel ‘uncomfortable’ when ACT! For America plans an event to show the opposite viewpoint at a public building?

That CAIR has any political traction whatsoever is a testament to what Freedom X describes as “creeping Sharia.” In a June 2009 ruling arising from the 2008 trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), during which five HLF official were convicted of 108 counts of abetting terrorist organizations, Judge Jorge Solis revealed that CAIR had ties to Hamas. “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas,” it stated. Solis agreed with CAIR that his ruling should have remained sealed based on Fifth Amendment protections, but he refused to remove references to CAIR from the trial record. “CAIR’s status as a co-conspirator is a matter of public record,” he explained.

In an unfortunate twist in the story, the Internet media group PRWeb, an organization that boasts of having a network of 30,000 journalists and the ability to get stories featured on “major local and national news sites,” has attempted to suppress this information about CAIR. When Becker sought to get the story of Freedom X’s lawsuit disseminated to a wider audience, and included the published references of CAIR’s ties to Hamas in his press release, PRWeb refused to run it.

Read more at Front Page

The Grid: Hamas Weaponizes Social Media against Israel

shutterstock_189356837_ngsd_article_img_lgThe Grid, Gaza 2014:

Hamas Interior Ministry to Social Media Activists:

  • Always Call The Dead ‘Innocent Civilians’
  • Don’t Post Photos Of Rockets Being Fired From Civilian Population Centers

In light of the recent round of fighting in Gaza, the Hamas interior ministry has issued guidelines to Gaza Strip social media users for reporting events and discussing them with outsiders.

The ministry’s guidelines, which it is calling the “Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign,” were issued via an instructional video posted on its official website and via posters published on its Twitter and Facebook pages. Both the video and the posters were also posted on the ministry’s social media accounts and forums

OBJECTIVES:

  • ensuring preservation of the line of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations;
  • preventing the leaking of information that would be of military value to Israel;
  • bolstering Hamas’s propaganda efforts outside the Gaza Strip, in both the Arab world and the West; and
  • preventing damage to Hamas’s image. 

Hamas particularly seeks to cement the perceptions that its actions are a response to Israeli aggression and that all Gaza casualties are “innocent civilians,” and to ensure that there is no evidence of rockets being fired from Gaza population centers.

The Hamas interior ministry website included the following text along with its instructional video: “The Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security has instructed activists on social media websites, particularly Facebook, to correct some of the commonly used terms as they cover the aggression taking place in the Gaza Strip. The following Information Department video calls on all activists to use the proper terminology, in order to play their part in strengthening the home front and in properly conveying information worldwide.”

“Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign” instructional video posted on official Hamas interior ministry Facebook page

Message to Facebook activists on Hamas interior ministry website:

Excerpts from the guidelines-

  • “Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.
  • “Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase ‘In response to the cruel Israeli attack,’ andconclude with the phrase ‘This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.’Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of ‘the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.’
  • “Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation’s version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.
  • “Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.
  • “To the administrators of news pages on Facebook: Do not publish close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence. In your coverage, be sure that you say: ‘The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza’…”
  • Additionally, the interior ministry prepared a series of suggestions specifically for Palestinian activists who speak to Westerners via social media. The ministry emphasizes that conversations with them should be conducted differently from conversations with other Arabs. It stated:
  • “When speaking to the West, you must use political, rational, and persuasive discourse, and avoid emotional discourse aimed at begging for sympathy. There are elements with a conscience in the world; you must maintain contact with them and activate them for the benefit of Palestine. Their role is to shame the occupation and expose its violations.
  • “Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it [the Holocaust] with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.
  • “The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [Butwhen speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.
  • “Do not publish photos of military commanders. Do not mention their names in public, and do not praise their achievements in conversations with foreign friends!”

 

WHY YOU DON’T SEE HAMAS FIRING ROCKETS ON TV

Hamas-RocketsBreitbart, by JAMES DELINGPOLE:

From the Facebook page of Israeli filmmaker Michael Grynszpan:

I met today with a Spanish journalist who just came back from Gaza. We talked about the situation there. He was very friendly. I asked him how comes we never see on television channels reporting from Gaza any Hamas people, no gunmen, no rocket launcher, no policemen.. We only see civilians on these reports, mostly women and children. He answered me frankly : “it’s very simple, we did see Hamas people there launching rockets, they were close to our hotel, but if ever we dare pointing our camera on them they would simply shoot at us and kill us.” Wooh, impressive. Then I asked him “would you mind saying that on camera? I can film you explaining this…” For some reason I cannot really understand he refused and almost ran away. I guess my camera is as dangerous as Hamas threats… So just for you to know, the truth will never appear on the images you see on television.

As the Elderofziyon blog reports, this has long been common practice among Islamist militias.

It is worth reminding people about how reporters in southern Lebanon dealt with Hezbollah intimidation in 2006. CNN’s Nic Robertson dutifully accompanied Hezbollah on a planned tour of a bombed out building, repeating Hezbollah’s talking points about not seeing any military targets there and not telling viewers that it was staged entirely by Hezbollah.

Only when he was safely back in the US, and challenged on TV about his report, did he admit the truth, as reported by Newsbusters:

Hezbollah has “very, very sophisticated and slick media operations,” that the terrorist group “had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath,” and he even contradicted Hezbollah’s self-serving spin: “There’s no doubt that the [Israeli] bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities.”

 

Criticizing Islam Becomes “Incitement to Imminent Violence”

998_largeby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 11, 2014

You could say it is a new form of Islamic honor crime: the silencing of those who dare besmirch the honor of Islam or its prophet, except the suppression now doesn’t come from Muslims only. These days, it’s the work of secular groups and governments: theaters in Germany, prominent publishers in England and the USA, of public prosecutors in the Netherlands, and most recently, of the Spanish Supreme court.

On May 30, that court ruled that Pakistani refugee Imran Firasat be stripped of his refugee status and deported. A Pakistani Muslim apostate, Firasat for years received death threats for marrying a non-Muslim, and for his outspoken criticism of Islam. In 2006, he received amnesty in Spain, a country where he was guaranteed the glorious freedoms unavailable to him in his homeland – freedoms enshrined in the foundations of any Western democracy: of religion, of opinion, and of speech.

But evidently he was not.

In 2012, Firasat produced a film critical of Islam in which he included footage of the attacks of 9/11, along with subsequent Islamic terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. According to a report from Gatestone Institute, “Shortly after Firasat’s film was released, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo and Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz initiated a process to review his refugee status.”

The reason? Garcia-Margallo had determined that Firasat’s film created a security risk from Muslims who might be angered by its content. (That those Muslims themselves posed a risk seems not to have entered the discussion.)

The Supreme Court’s decision, which affirms the ruling of a lower court, reflects the growing influence of an anti-blasphemy measure introduced to the United Nations in 2011 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), comprised of the 56 Islamic states. That measure, Resolution 16/18, aims to limit – even criminalize – speech that can be understood as “discriminatory – which, as I wrote at the time, “involves the ‘defamation of religion’ – specifically that which can be viewed as ‘incitement to imminent violence.'”

But nearly anything can be called “incitement to imminent violence,” just as a woman walking the street without covering herself ankle to brow in a niqab could be called an “incitement to imminent rape.” Who decides what “incitement” and “imminent” are? Should we now arrest all non-veiled women in the West? Has Spain become another Sharia state? Has UN Resolution 16/18 marked the end of freedom as we know it in the West?

In fact, as the Heritage Foundation recently reported, “throughout Europe, in Canada, and even in the United States, judicial systems in countries with large Muslim minorities are under pressure to adopt Sharia free speech restrictions. As a result, in many places, including Denmark, it is now a crime to say anything negative about Islam or the prophet Mohammed, regardless of whether such statements are factually true or not. The concept that even offensive speech is protected—so fundamental to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment—is collapsing.”

Such attacks on democratic values – and their success in destroying them – are what have many experts, human rights groups, and politicians concerned about multiculturalism in the West. The idealized model – in which multiple cultures coexist peacefully within the same society – simply doesn’t work; the conflicts of values are too extreme.

True, it would be easy enough to wave off such incidents of censorship if they were limited to a mere one or two: but they aren’t. In 2010, for instance, Comedy Centralpulled a “South Park” episode satirizing the violent reactions to depictions of the prophet Mohammad after a New York-based Islamic group, Revolution Muslim, threatened the show’s writers with death.

Four years prior, the Berlin-based Deutsche Oper cancelled its run of Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” in which the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed are placed on chairs onstage. Explaining their decision, the organizers of the opera, which was first performed in 1781, cited warnings from the police that “the publicity surrounding the play would severely heighten the security risk.” (Neither Buddhist nor Christian groups, it should be noted, expressed any discomfort with the production.)

And there are others: the extended criminal case against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders for his statements against Islam and his film “Fitna,” which, like Firasat’s, focused on a recent history of Islamic terrorism and various calls for violence written in the Quran; or (also in the Netherlands) the arrest, at the demand of a radical imam, of pseudonymous cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot for sketches deemed “insulting” to Muslims.

America has hardly been immune: in 2008, Random House publishers cancelled publication of The Jewel of Medina, described as “a fictional account of the life of Mohammed’s wife, Aisha.” A year later, Yale University Press deleted images from a book about the so-called “Danish Cartoons” – a series of cartoons that ran in Denmark’s Jyllands Post in 2005, citing fears of “insulting Muslims” and – there it is again – a risk to national security.

And earlier this month, the New York Times demanded that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) revise an ad slated to run on the Gray Lady’s web site, claiming that there had been numerous complaints about a previously approved, full-page version of the ad in the print edition of the paper. Explained the IPT at the time, “The NYT ordered us to insert the word ‘radical’ before the term ‘Islamist groups,’ so that it read, ‘Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty, and free speech.'”

That change was not as minor as it might at first seem, argued IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson in an editorial for the IPT website. It suggested that Islamist groups who are not radicalized – like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – are not dangerous. And yet it is precisely these organizations worldwide which often exert the kind of pressure that results in censorship of speech, in the subjugation of the arts, in the compromise of truth.

Fortunately, America’s capitulation to pressure on this issue has been limited to the private sector. But Firasat’s story should be taken as a warning, as much for the U.S. as for Europe, of the damage Resolution 16/18 and similar efforts are having on our culture – and on our future.

One week after the Spanish court robbed Firasat of his democratic rights in a democratic country, President Barack Obama stood on the beaches of Normandy and spoke to those gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On that day, he said, the world marked the moment of “commitment” to liberty and freedom; and since then, “From Western Europe to East; from South America to Southeast Asia; seventy years of democratic movements spread. Nations that once knew only the blinders of fear began to taste the blessings of freedom.

That would not have happened without the men who were willing to lay down their lives for people they’d never met, and ideals they couldn’t live without.”

Those ideals still remain our ideals. We still cannot live without them. We cannot give up the fight.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

New York Times Censors Ad Decrying Islamist Censorship

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
June 5, 2014

Note: This article originally was published by the Daily Caller.

The New York Times has become complicit in a stealth jihad against free speech in the United States undertaken by Islamists and their sympathizers who masquerade as “civil rights” groups.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) recently bought a full-page advocacy adin the print edition of the Times. It discussed extensively the need for the media and government to directly address the reality that many acts of terrorism are rooted in radical Islam — as articulated by the terrorists themselves — and that Islamist groups attempt to deflect attention from radical Islam’s role.

A similar yet more concise version of the ad was scheduled to run on the NYT website the following day. However, something happened from one day to the next that caused the Times to demand that the IPT change the language immediately, or it would pull the ad.

Asked about the new demand, the Times replied: “In addition to being inundated with customer complaints. [sic] I have been asked for the immediate change by the publisher.”

The NYT ordered us to insert the word “radical” before the term “Islamist groups,” so that it read, “Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty and free speech.”

An “Islamist” is not simply an individual who privately observes Islam as his faith. An Islamist is an individual who blurs the ideological lines between personal religion and the nation state — a boundary upheld as one of America’s founding principles and sustained in the First Amendment — to foster a governmental system that relies upon the supremacy of Islam.

“Islamic,” on the other hand, is an adjective that describes an idea or element derived from or inspired by Islam. Islamists promote an Islamic agenda, though some do it more subtly than others.

Groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are Islamist, hiding behind their Muslim faith and a veneer of “civil rights” as they seek to mainstream an agenda that elevates Islam above other faiths. Their agenda subjugates democracy and supports overseas terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and various individuals such as Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Qaradawi, who inspires suicide attacks and other forms of violence.

The NYT’s directive to add the word “radical” is a seemingly minor, nuanced change. But here’s why it matters: IPT’s ads hold Islamist groups like CAIR accountable for refusing to acknowledge what many terrorists themselves acknowledge — that their acts of violence were motivated by Islamic text.

That the publisher saw fit to order changes at such a late stage — after the ads had already been approved, purchased by the IPT, and were running on nytimes.com — and that the demands for change escalated so quickly is unusual.

We have to wonder who exactly exerted what kind of pressure.

We can only conclude that the same Islamist forces that the IPT devoted its full-page ad to discussing were at work again — abetted by media sympathizers — in this case, the publisher of the newspaper of record.

CAIR would probably have preferred that the Times shut down the digital ad altogether — as part of its longer-term campaign to paint the IPT as anti-Islam and Islamophobic, while portraying itself as moderate. In a letter to the Times about IPT’s ad, CAIR said, “[IPT's] new ad takes up this defamatory theme by bizarrely attacking the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, for rightly stating that ‘Islam is not the problem; extremism and violent extremism is the problem’ when it comes to terrorist attacks.”

The IPT never said Islam is the problem in its ads. IPT suggested that radical Islam is a problem, and that CAIR — and other Islamists like them — are a problem, for their unwillingness to call out other members of their own faith who use Islam to justify their atrocities. IPT’s print ad specifically lauded those Muslim voices who criticize Islamists. Our digital ad used the word “Islamists” rather than Muslims on purpose.

The very attempt to discuss the role of radical Islam in motivating terrorists spawned a campaign to shut the debate down.

America is not at war with Muslims or Islam. The U.S. remains a welcoming and tolerant nation – one in which Muslims are freer and more secure to practice their faith than anywhere else in the world.

The censorship of free speech by Islamist groups and their media apologists continues to prevent America from addressing the core threat of radical Islam. Recognizing reality is not an attack on Islam or Muslims. Those who say otherwise are the ones of whom we — and, particularly, those in the media such as the NYT — should be wary.

Steven Emerson is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

‘Muslim Mafia’ author: Muslims working with Facebook to silence critics of Islam

135d74c68d744c0a8ba9abf757e3a456The Examiner, By Joe Newby:

On Wednesday, Dave Gaubatz, a former Air Force investigator and author of “Muslim Mafia,” told Examiner.com that he “infiltrated” a Muslim conference held in Detroit earlier this month. While at the conference, he reportedly spoke to a representative of a group known as Muslim Advocates, who said the organization is working “closely” with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to close down accounts of users critical of Islam.

“They are asking these groups to close the accounts of anyone who is critical of Islam,” he said. “This is considered serious hate speech and should not be allowed on the Internet.”

According to Gaubatz, the representative also said that “anyone critical of Islam and sharia law are haters.” Ditto for those who oppose either the construction or expansion of a mosque in the United States.

“We are experts with deep experience in the courtroom and powerful connections in Congress and the White House,” Gaubatz recalled being told by the Muslim Advocates representative.

“This should be of no surprise to anyone,” Gaubatz said.

Gaubatz also said the conference, which was attended by representatives and leaders from several groups, should have been named the “U.S. Constitution and the 1st Amendment are for MB terrorists and not for American Patriots.” For four days, he said, he stayed at the same hotel as leaders from over a dozen groups that support the Muslim Brotherhood.

He reportedly met and spoke with executives from the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust.

“I was informed that NAIT owned several hundred million dollars of property in America, and has the funding from 400 plus Islamic Centers in America,” he added.

But Gaubatz’ report of collusion between these groups and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter present a clear danger to the fundamental right of free speech and Americans’ ability to freely express themselves online. As we have reported multiple times, Muslim activists have called for global blasphemy bans and an end to free speech in the United States, despite the clear language of the First Amendment.

Last Wednesday, we reported that one page critical of Islam — “Islam Exposed” — was yanked by Facebook after administrators received death threats. Facebook later restored the page, saying it was yanked in error.

On Wednesday, a post at the page advising visitors to avoid hateful speech was removed by Facebook for allegedly violating the site’s community standards. Facebook did not explain why the post was pulled and one administrator received a 30-day ban.

But as we have reported, Facebook routinely turns a blind eye to threats from users with Muslim-sounding names. Last August, for example, Facebook told a conservative female they could not confirm direct threats she received violated their community standards. One threat reported to Facebook was quite specific: “We will kill you.”

Ironically, Facebook has said it supports free speech and reviews all complaints equally.

We contacted both Facebook and Muslim Advocates to verify Gaubatz’ claim and received no reply as of this writing.

Update: A few hours after this article was published, Facebook falsely flagged the link as “unsafe” in what appears to be a bid to keep it from being circulated. We have reached out to Facebook, but have not received a response.

Update #2: Muslim Advocates spokesperson Fatima Khan responded with an email claiming we misquoted their representative, even though we did not. The statement relayed to us was Gaubatz’s recollection, not a direct quote from MA or any of their representatives. We specifically asked Khan about the quote, and about allegations the group is working to shut down social media accounts of those critical of Islam. Khan never responded. The article was flagged by Facebook after our contact with Khan. More on the incident can be seen here.

Also see:

Guardian Copy Editor Brags About Joining Islamist Censorship Campaign

Investigative Project on Terrorism Posts Full Page NYT Ad on Radical Islamist Censorship

shariah_protest_APBreitbart, by FRANCES MARTEL:

The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit research center dedicated to exposing the threat of violent extremist terror around the world, is launching a full-page advertisement in The New York Times warning against censorship by radical Islamist groups.

The ad, titled “Still here. Still free. But for how long?”, commemorates the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum and warns that “the threat from radical Islamist terrorists who killed thousands of innocent Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 is as real today as it was then, if not more so.” One major threat to the stability and freedom of the West, the ad warns, is the repeated attempts to censor those who wish to target radical Islam, and a campaign, according to the IPT, to eliminate the word “Islam” from discussions of radical Islamist terror.

“Islamist groups, masquerading as ‘civil rights’ groups, have embarked on a bullying campaign to censor the word ‘Islam’ when discussing Islamic terrorism,” the ad states, “And the media plays a key role in this deception by legitimizing these radical Islamic groups and not exposing them.”

According to IPT Executive Director and Founder Steven Emerson, the ad is meant to target both the alleged radicals attempting to censor Americans and the American officials that have tolerated the initiative. “Perhaps most chilling” about the censorship, Emerson notes in a statement, “is that the U.S. government and civic institutions at the highest levels are capitulating to their aggressive censorship campaign.”

Read the full ad hereOn its website, the IPT notes that the ad is a “call to action” to accurately target terrorist threats and combat the dangers of radical Islam, both internationally and on American soil. The ad is running in conjunction with the posting of a White House petition demanding an end to the Obama-era “policy of censoring free speech in discussing radical Islam,” as well as a campaign to involve the American people in the fight against terrorism by calling for contact with Congressional representatives demanding transparency in discussing the threats facing the United States from fundamentalists.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism regularly contributes to coverage of radical Islam at Breitbart News. Read their coverage here.

9/11 Museum Film’s Critic Says Jews Killed Jesus

CAIR Again Shows It Can’t Stand Other Muslim Viewpoints

IPT, By Steven Emerson:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) waged a new attack Tuesday on anti-Islamist Muslim Zuhdi Jasser, asking that a federal commission investigate Jasser’s financial supporters.

Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, also serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). CAIR and other Islamist groups tried to block that appointment in 2012. Now, CAIR wants the USCIRF to investigate Jasser’s donors, who also give to other groups CAIR doesn’t like. The AIFD received $45,000 from the Abstraction Fund from 2010-12, a letter from CAIR’s Corey Saylor said.

The New York-based fund also gives money to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Middle East Forum and Jihad Watch. All, Saylor claimed, play an “active role in spreading anti-Islam prejudice.”

“At issue here is the reasonable concern that arises regarding Dr. Jasser accepting financial support from anti-Muslim groups while he is serving on a commission advocating for religious freedom,” Saylor wrote.

What a load of nonsense. As we have shown, CAIR and others toss around accusations of “Islamophobia” as a means of stifling criticism and deflecting attentionfrom their own shady records. Jasser is a devout Muslim who repeatedly points out that Muslims are freer to practice their faith in the United States than anywhere else in the world. He calls out the victimization narrative promoted by CAIR and other Islamist groups.

In response to CAIR’s attack Tuesday, Jasser posted a link to a 2011 IPT reportshowing CAIR solicited money from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad praised Gaddafi’s rambling, 100-minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly for having “an impact in the hearts of many people in the world.” Awad later sought financial help from Gaddafi to underwrite a program to give away 1 million Qurans to government officials and the general public in America and to help start up a new foundation.

In addition, State Department records obtained by the IPT show CAIR solicited huge donations during 2006 trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Despite that, CAIR continues to label information about its foreign financial support as “Internet Disinformation.”

“CAIR’s operational budget is funded by donations from American Muslims,” its website says. (To see a debunking of CAIR’s “disinformation” claims, click here.)

Tuesday’s letter was CAIR’s second to the USCIRF about Jasser in the past month. It also took statements Jasser made during a recent television appearance to argue that he would “deny religious rights to Muslim military personnel.” In fact, Jasser – a Navy veteran – said that during his service “I was able to practice my faith, fast, pray, and I never saw the need for” new policies allowing for beards, turbans and other religious garb for active duty military members.

It’s fine to debate that point. But CAIR’s ongoing campaign to strip Jasser of his position shows they don’t want debate. They want a monopoly on determining what is acceptable for American Muslims to believe.