Chris Cuomo’s Sharia Folly

PJ Media by Andrew Bostom, June 5, 2015:

In the wake of CNN’s Wednesday revelation that journalist/activist Pamela Geller was targeted for beheading by slain Boston area jihadist Usaama Rahim, CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviewed Ms. Geller Thursday. Most attention to the interview has been focused on Geller’s understandable reaction to Cuomo’s suggestion that non-profane, free-speech cartoons of Muhammad — for example, ex-Muslim artist Bosch Fawstin’s thoughtful drawing below, which was awarded first prize at the recent Garland, TX exhibit – were somehow too provocative.

Fawstin_Mohammad-Contest-Drawing-1-small-1024x814 (1)

Said Geller to Cuomo:

Drawing a cartoon … warrants chopping my head off? That’s too far? I just don’t understand this. They’re going to come for you, too, Chris. They’re coming for everybody and the media should be standing with me.

But the most illuminating — and in Cuomo’s case, pathognomonic — segment of the interview (starts at 6:57 of the below clip) was when Geller asked Cuomo:

Where are the mainstream Muslims teaching in the mosques against the [Islamic] blasphemy laws, against Islamic law, the Sharia, the jihadist doctrine?

Geller’s query elicited this breathtakingly ignorant though commonly reiterated media falsehood, here asserted by Cuomo with supreme confidence:

Sharia is not mainstream Muslim thought.

Mr. Cuomo and other media figures across the political spectrum would do well — before issuing such embarrassing, factually challenged pontifications — to study the serious work of Joseph Schacht (d. 1969), who was the most authoritative modern Western Islamic legal scholar.

The sharia, or “clear path to be followed,” as Schacht demonstrated, is the “canon law of Islam,” which “denotes all the individual prescriptions composing it.”

Schacht traced the use of the term “sharia” to Koranic verses such as 45:18, 42:13, 42:21, and 5:48, noting an “old definition” of the sharia by the seminal Koranic commentator and early Muslim historian Tabari (d. 923) as comprising the law of inheritance, various commandments and prohibitions, and the so-called hadd punishments.

These latter draconian punishments, defined by the Muslim prophet Muhammad either in the Koran or in the hadith (the canonical collections of Muhammad’s deeds and pronouncements), included:

(Lethal) stoning for adultery; death for apostasy; death for highway robbery when accompanied by murder of the robbery victim; for simple highway robbery, the loss of hands and feet; for simple theft, cutting off of the right hand; for “fornication,” a hundred lashes; for drinking wine, eighty lashes.

As Schacht further noted, sharia ultimately evolved to become “understood [as] the totality of Allah’s commandments relating to the activities of man.”

The holistic sharia, he continues, is nothing less than Islam’s quintessence:

The Sharia is the most characteristic phenomenon of Islamic thought and forms the nucleus of Islam itself.

Schacht also delineated additional characteristics of the sharia which have created historically insurmountable obstacles to its reform:

Allah’s law is not to be penetrated by the intelligence . . . i.e., man has to accept it without criticism, with its apparent inconsistencies and its incomprehen­sible decrees, as wisdom into which it is impossible to enquire [inquire].

One must not look in it for causes in our sense, nor for principles; it is based on the will of Allah which is bound by no principles, therefore evasions are consid­ered as a permissible means put at one’s disposal by Allah himself.

Muslim law . . . has always been considered by its followers as some­thing elevated, high above human wisdom, and as a matter of fact human logic or system has little share in it. For this very reason, the Sharia is not “law” in the modern sense of the word, any more than it is on account of its subject matter.

It comprises without restriction, as an infallible doctrine of duties the whole of the religious, political, social, domestic and private life of those who profess Islam, and the activities of the tolerated members of other faiths so far as they may not be detrimental to Islam.

Most importantly, Schacht elucidated how sharia — via the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad war – regulated the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. These regulations make explicit the sacralized vulnerability of unvanquished non-Muslims to jihad depredations, and the permanent, deliberately humiliating legal inferiority for those who survive their jihad conquest, and incorporation into an Islamic polity governed by sharia.

Consistent with the doctrine of jihad, in accord with the Sunna (the traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), by using foul language against the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Allah, or Islam, the non-Muslim transgressors put themselves on a war footing against Muslims, and their lives became licit (such as the poet Kaab b. al-Ashraf, who composed poems denigrating Muhammad, and was assassinated). (See herehere, and here.)

This “offense” was then constructed and legitimated by Muslim jurists when Islam was politically, militarily, and economically dominant, so that it was expected that the non-Muslims under Islamic rule would not denigrate the religion of Islam, nor cast aspersions on its major figures or institutions. (See herehere, and here.) The jurists saw any such denigration as an unacceptable hostile act, punishable by death, automatically, as per three of the main Sunni schools of Islamic Law (Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali), and the major Shiite schools.

According to the fourth major school of Sunni Islamic law, the Hanafi, the punishment of a non-Muslim guilty of blasphemy is left to the discretion of a Muslim judge. The death penalty was in fact most often applied by the Hanafis. (See here and here.)

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Mary, Muhammad, and Hypocritical Media Dhimmitude, From The New York Times, to Fox News

By Andrew Bostom, May 30, 2015:

Clay Waters of Newsbusters (h/t Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch) underscores the rank “free expression” hypocrisy, and sheer dhimmitude, of the New York Times, resplendent once again, in its Thursday, May 28, 2015 “Arts” section. A prominent photographic reproduction of the 1996 Ofili painting, “The Holy Virgin Mary”, which accompanied the story about its sale, included an accuratedescription of the painting’s contents. The Times report also made a rathercontemptuous assessment of then New York Mayor Giuliani’s reaction to Ofili’s deliberately insulting work, an unabashed “artistic” exercise in scatology and pornography.

The Australian collector David Walsh is selling Chris Ofili’s 1996 painting “The Holy Virgin Mary,” which caused a furor when it was shown at the Brooklyn Museum in October 1999 as part of Charles Saatchi’s touring “Sensation” exhibition of works by Young British Artists (YBAs). The eight-foot-high depiction of a black Virgin Mary, encrusted with a lump of elephant dung and collaged bottoms [i.e., naked buttocks] from pornographic magazines, outraged religious leaders and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who described Mr. Ofili’s painting and other works in the show as “sick stuff.” Mr. Giuliani’s attempts to close the exhibition by withholding public funds were rejected by a federal judge.

Yet the Times remains steadfast in its refusal to show any drawings of Muhammad, despite their obvious centrality to—wait for it—the news, given the very recent mass murderous Muslim reactions to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in Paris, and the failed attempt at similar jihadist carnage in Garland, Texas. The latter occurred following an educational conference which displayed historical and contemporary Muhammad images, produced by Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, and also included a contextual discussion of Islamic “blasphemy law,”which is antithetical to free speech as enshrined in the first amendment to our U.S. Constitution.

It must be emphasized, however, that The New York Times’ acquiescent dhimmitude, vis-à-vis its self-imposed “ban” on displays of any images of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, is shared uniformly by all our major television media,notably Fox News (see here; here; here; here; and here). The abject dhimmitude of Fox News is particularly egregious given the network’s continuous preening verbal support for free speech, and its history of appropriately condemning the hypocrisy of displaying works like Ofili’s Virgin Mary, but not artistic images of Muhammad.

I have included both the Ofili painting, and. just below it, Muslim “apostate” artist Bosch Fawstin’s drawing of Muhammad—a pure free speech political cartoon, which garnered first prize at the Garland conference exhibition—for juxtaposition.

Any rational, honest, objective human being should discern—and acknowledge—the stark contrast between these images.

How profound is our media dhimmitude that even “alternative” Fox News, by its repeated actions— i.e. refusing to display Fawstin’s sober, thoughtful Muhammad drawing, not Fox’s empty “free speech support” rhetoric—has effectively conflated Ofili’s dung-clotted, pornographic buttocks-collaged Virgin Mary, an “artistic” exercise in gratuitous profanity, with a brave ex-Muslim’s plaintive, non-profane image extolling our bedrock liberty, freedom of expression?

Ofili-Mary-778x1024

My Winning Mohammad Contest Drawing

Iraq Fiasco: Jihad Denial, “Surge” Mythology, & Abandonment of Iraq’s Non-Muslim Minorities. Discussion With Sam Sorbo

bolgerAndrew Bostom, May 28, 2015:

We are now in the middle of a full-blown Jihad, that is to say we have against us the fiercest prejudices of a people in a primeval state of civilization.—Gertrude Bell, Baghdad, Iraq, September 5, 1920

Sam Sorbo was kind enough to allow me to address, in brief, some of the crucial, if willfully ignored matters which have created the Iraq morass, rooted in denial of Islam’s Sharia-based doctrine of “international” (and domestic) relations”: jihad.

During our interview (embedded below) earlier today (Thursday 5/28/15), we touched upon the following:

  • General Daniel P. Bolger’s “Why We Lost—A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars,” is a sobering read. Bolger went from a 1 to 3 star General in Iraq, and then Afghanistan, and once commanded 20,000 troops in Baghdad. He served 8-years in these war zones, between 2005 to 2013. Bolger characterized (on 256) the much ballyhooed 2007 Iraq “surge,” at its tactical conclusion, thusly: “The casualty and hostile attack rates went down in the fall of 2007, never again to rise to their previous heights, at least during the remaining years of the American campaign.But the fighting never stopped either. It lingered, a third of the previous rate, but that was no comfort to those who fell, killed or wounded, or to their families. Al-Qaeda in Iraq, unrepentant Sunni rejectionists, surly Sadrists [Shiite followers of Muqtada al-Sadr], and Iranian handlers all kept their pieces on the board. As long as the occupiers remained, there would be attacks. As long as Iraq was Iraq, violence remained part of the picture.” Gen. Bolger elaborated on these sentiments in a November 2014 op-ed, while exploding the standard mythical trope about how the alleged “decisively victorious” troop surge—with irony, repeatedly dubbed “fragile and reversible” by its putative architect, General Petraeus—was “squandered” by the Obama Administration’s policies. …
  • When President George W. Bush announced the “surge,” during 2007, he maintained the overall objectives for this great expenditure of precious U.S. blood and treasure were to establish a “…unified, democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror.” Any rational post-mortem indicates none of those goals were achieved, from either an Iraqi or U.S. perspective, even in the near term, let alone chronically.
  • Born of sheer willful ignorance about living Islamic doctrine, and history, this deficient mindset begot a corollary dangerous absurdity: embrace of the General David Petraeus “COIN” theory, a see no jihad, see no Islam military strategy designed, perversely, to somehow “defeat” the ancient-cum-modern forces of global Islamic jihadism.
  • The current predicament of Iraq’s Yazidis, and Christians, past as prologue, also illustrates, starkly, mainstream conservative ignorance and dishonesty about Islam, and the creed’s timeless sine qua non institution, jihad. Post-surge Iraq — the paragon of Petraeus’ counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine “triumph” — rapidly deteriorated, well-before the emergence of thetraditionalist Islamic Caliphate movement IS/IL, per se, into a hotbed of anti-Christian, and anti-Yazidi, Islamic brutality.
  • Pew survey results reported in 2013 have confirmed the abject failure of the U.S. midwifed Iraqi and Afghan “democracies” to fulfill the utopian aspirations of the (Bernard) Lewis doctrine. The negative prognostications, epitomized by my colleague Diana West’s evocative description “Making the world safe for Sharia,” have instead, been realized. Specifically, the Pew data indicated 91% of Iraqi Muslims and 99% of Afghan Muslims supported making Sharia the official state law of their respective societies.Hurriyya, the Arabic term for “freedom,” but meaning “perfect slavery to Allah and his Sharia”—Islamic religious totalitarianism—has triumphed over the diametrically opposed Western, Judeo-Christian conception of individual liberty, founded upon the bedrock freedoms of conscience and expression.
  • We have a moral obligation to oppose Sharia which is antithetical to the core beliefs for which hundreds of thousands of brave Americans have died, including, between 2001 and the end of 2014, over 6800 in Iraq, and Afghanistan. There has never been a Sharia state in history that has not discriminated (often violently) against the non-Muslims (and Muslim women) under its suzerainty. Moreover, such states have invariably taught (starting with Muslim children) the aggressive jihad ideology which leads to predatory jihad “razzias” on neighboring “infidels”—even when certain of those “infidels” happened to consider themselves Muslims, let alone if those infidels were clearly non-Muslims. That is the ultimate danger and geopolitical absurdity of a policy that ignores or whitewashes basic Islamic doctrine and history, while however inadvertently, making or re-making these societies “safe for Sharia.”

Also see:

Fox News Lets Sharia (Donald) Trump Freedom of Expression

My Winning Mohammad Contest Drawing

By Andrew Bostom, May 14, 2015:

Last week Fox News’s Sean Hannity was uniquely supportive of journalist/activist Pamela Geller, hosting her on his show 5 nights in a row (including one evening with guest host, Eric Bolling). Ms. Geller remains underISIS death threat for conducting a thoughtful Garland, Texas event upholding freedom of expression in defiance of Islamic Sharia totalitarianism, enforced by would be mass murderous jihadist attackers, who were fortunately slain by an intrepid policeman. (The Garland event can be viewed in full here; and its 30 minute highlights, here). Earlier this week, Hannity courteously provided Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, featured at the Garland free speech conference, aforum to explain his views.

Sadly, Hannity’s humane behavior was the exception at Fox News, and he was apparently forced to abide Fox News’s Sharia-complaint ban on actually showing the Garland conference’s liberty-affirming symbol—courageous ex-Muslim artist Bosch Fawstin’s brilliant drawing (shown above), which garnered first prize at the exhibit. Megyn Kelly, who conspicuously distanced herself from the conference organizers, also towed the Sharia-complaint line. Despite Kelly’s “passionate” rhetorical endorsement of free expression, she never displayed Fawstin’s drawing, emblematic of the craven hypocrisy decried in Robert Tracinski’s cogently entitled analysis, “Mohammed Cartoons: If You’re Not Publishing, You’re Pretending.” Jeanine Pirro stepped all over her Saturday evening (5/9/15) monologue warning of the threat of Sharia supremacism by concluding that the Garland event was a “dumb move,” segueing into an utterly uninformed, rather hostile interview of Geller, and kowtowing to Fox’s interdiction on display of the Fawstin drawing.

Worse still were Fox News’s “sorry seven” (a composite of hosts/guests), whose sniping, ignorant, and cowardly commentary was summarized in a series of extracts by Brendan James. The Fox News statements of Donald Trump best illustrate this toxic genre of sheer idiocy and cowardice—the latter made all the more despicable by the phony bravado with which it was conveyed.

I watched Pam Prior [sic], and it looks like she’s just taunting everybody. What is she doing? Drawing Muhammad and it looks like she’s taunting people…what are they doing drawing Muhammad? Isn’t there something else they can draw? They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas and on Muhammad? You know, I’m one that believes in free speech, probably more than she does. What’s the purpose of this? She’s taunting them…I don’t know, maybe she likes risk. What the hell is she doing?

Overall, Fox News’s coverage of the Garland free speech conference was appalling—it amounted to journalistic dereliction of duty, indeed malpractice, for willful sins of commission and omission. I have elaborated on this depressing phenomenon at these blogs (here; here; and here), and yesterday (5/13/15) in an interview with Tom Trento, who attended and scrupulously recorded the entire Garland event. Please watch our interview embedded below, starting at 13:40.

See more videos with Tom Trento here: theunitedwest

Educating CNN and Fox News About Pamela Geller and the Sharia Assault on Free Speech in Garland, Texas

Fawstin_Mohammad-Contest-Drawing-1-small-1024x814By Andrew Bostom, May 5, 2015:

Today we are getting confirmation (here; here) of potential direct ISIS involvement in the jihad terror attack on a Garland, TX free speech gathering, Sunday May 3, 2015. Mercifully, the jihadist assault-weapons wielding attackers were slain by an intrepid handgun-wielding policeman before they could complete their Sharia (Islamic Law)-compliant act of carnage.

Veteran journalist, author, and brave activist par excellence, Pamela Geller, organized the Garland event which featured artistic cartoon depictions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The conference was assembled in direct defiance of the Sharia’s First Amendment/ free speech-crushing blasphemy law—a form of medieval cum modern Islamic obscurantism, “enforced” by murderous violence, or non-violent coercion.

Geller’s courageous and informative effort (view the full 3-hour event here)—nearly terminated via jihadists desirous of mass-murdering “blasphemous” innocents—has been ignorantly misrepresented not only by the likes of Alisyn Camerota on CNN, but also Martha MacCallum, and even to a lesser extent, Megyn Kelly, of Fox News. More egregiously, neither of these networks have displayed the thoughtful Muhammad cartoon drawn by artist Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim freethinker of Albanian descent, whose depiction (above) was awarded first prize at the free speech exhibition. Indeed, Mr. Fawstin was told specifically not to show his cartoon drawing, prior to his interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren (see my twitter exchanges here, here, and here with Fawstin and Van Susteren).

Sam Sorbo graciously provided me a radio forum to attempt to educate news media talking heads Camerota, MacCallum, Kelly, Van Susteren, and their ilk. Over 13-years after the murderous jihad cataclysm of 9/11/2001, these news intermediaries evidence a woefully deficient understanding of the living Islamic doctrinal and historical basis for behaviors such as the thwarted Garland, TX attack. They are equally oblivious to hard contemporary data on both global, and U.S. Muslim attitudes toward such critically relevant matters as “blasphemy,” as well as what a preeminent, mainstream North American Muslim jurists association opines about “punishment” for criticism of Islam’s prophet. This professional knowledge deficit—a dereliction of journalistic duty—is manifest in their coverage of the free speech event, and/or their interactions with Ms. Geller.

The yawning gaps in Camerota’s, MacCallum’s, Kelly’s, and Van Susteren’s understanding are summarized in the following bullets, and within the Sam Sorbo interview (embedded below), and elaborated here, and here:

  • Muhammad’s prototype behaviors which sanction violent jihadism, non-Muslim (especially Jew)-hatred, misogyny, and lethal attacks on his—and Islam’s—critics.
  • Sharia, and Sharia-based blasphemy law, per Muhammad’s example, and its contemporary manifestations, include: widespread application in Islamic societies; the ominous support for Islamic blasphemy amongst U.S. Muslims—58% rejecting free speech criticism of Islam 45% wanting such “blasphemers” prosecuted, and 12% supporting lethal punishment for “blasphemy”; and sanction, i.e., a formal fatwa (Islamic legal ruling) by the mainstream Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America that killing blasphemers remains valid for North American Muslims.

Finally, Sam Sorbo and I also discussed the issue of so-called “provocation,” versus rational, informed assessment of Muhammad’s pious Muslim biography, and the intimately related Sharia. This concluding exchange riveted upon demonstrable facts, not wishful, defensive, and accusatory ignorance.

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See more videos here

Jihad, Still: “100 Years On, Armenians in the Middle East Are Still On the Run”

Barack Obama speaks to members of congress and guests in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday. The administration revealed that Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Barack Obama speaks to members of congress and guests in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday. The administration revealed that Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

By Andrew Bostom, April 22, 2015:

From this April 21, 2015, report, “100 Years On, Armenians in the Middle East Are Still On the Run”:

As Armenians this week mark 100 years since the massacres that killed more than one million people, the fear and persecution faced by their ancestors remains alive today. With Syria and Iraq in chaos, Armenians in the Middle East are once again homeless and on the run. “We are having the same destiny as our grandfathers, as our ancestors, we are just like them,” said Annoush Garabadian, a 53-year-old Armenian woman who fled Mosul when ISIL captured the city last June. “We saw everything with our eyes like history was repeating itself.”… Not long after, neighbours sent them a picture showing their old house with ISIL’s logo painted on it. Their house and car now belonged to the so-called “caliphate”, and her son received a threatening phone call from ISIL militants saying if they ever returned, they would be beheaded.

These jihad depredations against today’s Middle Eastern Armenians illustrate an unchanged dynamic I described yesterday (3/21/15) at PJ Media. Such ongoing horrors, as I explained, are Why Congress Must Recognize the Jihad Genocide of the Armenians. The essay opens with a reference to my brief exchange with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, September 12, 2014, embedded just below, and elaborated in the extracts which follow:

During a Fox News Hannity panel appearance on Friday September 12, 2014, I alluded to the 1915-19 jihad genocide of the Armenian, Assyro-Chaldean, andSyrian Orthodox Christian communities of Anatolia, and northern “Mesopotamia,” i.e., modern Iraq, by the last Caliphate—the Ottoman Caliphate.

Notwithstanding the recent horrific spate of atrocities committed against the Christian communities of northern Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) jihadists, the Ottoman jihad ravages were equally barbaric, depraved, and far more extensive. Occurring, primarily between 1915-16 (although continuing through at least 1918), some 1 to 1.5 million Armenian, and 250,000 Assyro-Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox Christians were brutally slaughtered, or starved to death during forced deportations through desert wastelands. The identical gruesome means used by IS to humiliate and massacre its hapless Christian victims, were employed on a scale that was an order of magnitude greater by the Ottoman Muslim Turks, often abetted by local Muslim collaborators (the latter being another phenomenon which also happened during the IS jihad campaign against Iraq’s Christians).

I concluded my brief comments September 12, 2014 by noting, “we are only coming up on the 100th anniversary next year (i.e., 2015) of the Armenian Jihad Genocide.”

That solemn centennial commemoration will take place this Friday, April 24, 2015. Failure to formally recognize the genocidal anti-Christian jihad depredations of the World War I era, and its immediate aftermathpunctuated by the Armenian genocide—is a lingering moral stain on the U.S. body politic.

…The geo-political consequences of this profound ethical and intellectual delinquency—rooted in jihad appeasement, and denial—are once again manifest. Vestigial remnant Eastern Christian populations who barely survived those 20th century jihad depredations, may now face their final liquidation, wrought by contemporary jihadists.

Majority approval of H. Res 154 (the Armenian Genocide Truth and JusticeResolution) would mark a necessary, albeit very limited, first step in rectifying the continued tragic impact of this state of denial

The historical record of the jihad genocide of the Armenians a century ago, through the present day jihadist atrocities against Christian communities in the Middle East, and beyond, demonstrates that ancient Islamic jihad war theorycontinues to be acted upon by Muslims, regularly, across the globe, till now.  What remains is for the Muslim religious and political leaders to acknowledge, and then eliminate this genocidal practice.

A long overdue, mea culpa-based Muslim self-examination will never begin if the non-Muslim, especially Christian, targets of jihad genocide, remain in their own abject state of jihad denial.

U.S. politicians could help facilitate that Muslim re-evaluation process by not only demanding recognition of the Armenian genocide, but further identifying those mass killings as a jihad genocide, specifically

The essay includes background discussions defined by these subheadings: Why The Armenian Genocide Was a Jihad, and April 24th is an Appropriate Commemoration Day; American Witnesses to the Armenian Genocide: Observations from U.S. Diplomats, 1915-1917; and From the Armenian Jihad Genocide to The Holocaust.

Please read the essay in full, here.

***

Also see:

Update: Just came across this!

Uploaded on Jan 30, 2008 by hyebiz

Sen. Barack Obama Discusses Armenian Genocide

Shameful Corker “Compromise” Is a Triumph For The Obama Administration’s Iran Negotiations Strategy

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Corker talks to reporters before meeting with Secretary of State Kerry on Iran nuclear negotiations in WashingtonBy Andrew Bostom, April 15, 2015:

Yesterday, April 14, 2015 a much ballyhooed “compromise” regarding S.615, “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.” was unanimously agreed upon within the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Independent Politico.com, and Washington Post assessments of critical aspects of the lauded compromise brokered by Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, and Democrat Ben Cardin helped eliminate my own cautious optimism about what in fact transpired.

Politico noted:

Though it gives Congress an avenue to reject the lifting of legislative sanctions that will be a key part of any deal with Iran, it explicitly states that Congress does not have to approve the diplomatic deal struck by Iran, the United States and other world powers… nor does it treat an Iran agreement like a treaty

This claim is substantiated on p. 32 of the updated bill, under a section entitled, “EFFECT OF CONGRESSIONAL ACTION WITH RESPECT TO NUCLEAR AGREEMENTS WITH IRAN,”which states in lines 16-19,

16‘‘(C) this section does not require a vote by

17 Congress for the agreement to commence;

18 ‘‘(D) this section provides for congressional

19 review,

Moreover, as Karen DeYoung and Mike DeBonis added in their Washington Postreport:

Obama retains the right to veto any action to scuttle an Iran pact. To override, a veto would require a two-thirds majority of both House and Senate.

Accordingly, the Corker-Cardin compromise validates the Obama Administration’s negotiations strategy. That “strategy” is contrary to almost all past arms control agreements of consequence, which have been Senate Advice and Consent Treaties, whose approval requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate. The Obama Administration, in contrast, is hell-bent on giving legitimacy to Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and waiving economic sanctions on Iran, while not submitting the fruits of its masterful negotiations to a Congressional vote for initial approval, prior to implementing the agreement. These developments should be a tocsin of looming calamity given that the framework fiasco for this pending deal includes an inadequate/“hotly contested” inspections process, while also fully ignoring Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear weaponization programs.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) commented wistfully that although the bill “created” the role of post-hoc “congressional review,” it remained “a long way from advice and consent” for an agreement which “rises to the level of a treaty.” But Iran—a self-proclaimed jihadist state with global hegemonic aspirations—remains in an open-ended, “fierce” jihad war with the U.S. “at all levels,” as one “moderate” Iranian adviser to former moderate Iranian President Khatami recently explained. Notwithstanding Sen. Johnson’s rueful acknowledgment, Senate Republicans have shirked their Constitutional, and moral responsibility, rather than confront the implications of Iran’s religiously-inspired bellicosity. With the exception of a gimlet-eyed young Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)—who speaks candidly about tactical destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which is the only rational way to thwart Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons capability—Senate Republicans have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled “warmongers.”

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A Formula for Rubber-stamping Obama’s Iran Deal by Frank Gaffney

On the surface, yesterday’s insistence by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Congress get a vote on a nuclear deal with Iran appears to be a victory for what is left of our constitutional republic.

Two clues suggest otherwise: First, the panel’s legislation was adopted unanimously. And second, the White House says Mr. Obama is willing to sign such a bill.

The President and his partisans on Capitol Hill are on board for a simple reason: Instead of this deal facing the high hurdle the Constitution requires for treaties – in which the executive branch must persuade two-thirds of the Senate to approve it, the mechanism set up by the proposed legislation will require opponents to come up with that super-majorityin both houses of Congress.

This arrangement serves Iran’s interests, not America’s.

***

Obama’s One-Man Nuclear Deal – WSJ

President Obama says he wants Congress to play a role in approving a nuclear deal with Iran, but his every action suggests the opposite. After months of resistance, the White House said Tuesday the President would finally sign a bill requiring a Senate vote on any deal—and why not since it still gives him nearly a free hand.

Modern Presidents have typically sought a Congressional majority vote, and usually a two-thirds majority, to ratify a major nuclear agreement. Mr. Obama has maneuvered to make Congress irrelevant, though bipartisan majorities passed the economic sanctions that even he now concedes drove Iran to the negotiating table.

The Republican Congress has been trying to reclaim a modest role in foreign affairs over Mr. Obama’s furious resistance. And on Tuesday afternoon the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a measure that authorizes Congress to vote on an Iran deal within 30 days of Mr. Obama submitting it for review.

As late as Tuesday morning, Secretary of State John Kerry was still railing in private against the bill. But the White House finally conceded when passage with a veto-proof majority seemed inevitable. The bill will now pass easily on the floor, and if Mr. Obama’s follows his form, he will soon talk about the bill as if it was his idea.

Mr. Obama can still do whatever he wants on Iran as long as he maintains Democratic support. A majority could offer a resolution of disapproval, but that could be filibustered by Democrats and vetoed by the President. As few as 41 Senate Democrats could thus vote to prevent it from ever getting to President Obama’s desk—and 34 could sustain a veto. Mr. Obama could then declare that Congress had its say and “approved” the Iran deal even if a majority in the House and Senate voted to oppose it.

Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker deserves credit for trying, but in the end he had to agree to Democratic changes watering down the measure if he wanted 67 votes to override an Obama veto. Twice the Tennessee Republican delayed a vote in deference to Democrats, though his bill merely requires a vote after the negotiations are over.

His latest concessions shorten the review period to 30 days, which Mr. Obama wanted, perhaps to mollify the mullahs in Tehran who want sanctions lifted immediately. After 52 days Mr. Obama could unilaterally ease sanctions without Congressional approval. Mr. Obama has said that under the “framework” accord sanctions relief is intended to be gradual. But don’t be surprised if his final concession to Ayatollah Khamenei is to lift sanctions after 52 days.

Mr. Corker also removed a requirement that the Administration certify to Congress that Iran is no longer supporting terrorism. This sends an especially bad signal to Iran that Congress agrees with Mr. Obama that the nuclear deal is divorced from its behavior as a rogue state. One of Mr. Obama’s least plausible justifications for the nuclear deal is that it would help to make Iran a “normal” nation. But if Tehran is still sponsoring terrorism around the world, how can it be trusted as a nuclear partner?

***

Our own view of all this is closer to that of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who spoke for (but didn’t offer) an amendment in committee Tuesday to require that Mr. Obama submit the Iran nuclear deal as a treaty. Under the Constitution, ratification would require an affirmative vote by two-thirds of the Senate.

Committing the U.S. to a deal of this magnitude—concerning proliferation of the world’s most destructive weapons—should require treaty ratification. Previous Presidents fromJFK to Nixon to Reagan and George H.W. Bush submitted nuclear pacts as treaties. Even Mr. Obama submitted the U.S.-Russian New Start accord as a treaty.

The Founders required two-thirds approval on treaties because they wanted major national commitments overseas to have a national political consensus. Mr. Obama should want the same kind of consensus on Iran.

But instead he is giving more authority over American commitments to the United Nations than to the U.S. Congress. By making the accord an executive agreement as opposed to a treaty, and perhaps relying on a filibuster or veto to overcome Congressional opposition, he’s turning the deal into a one-man presidential compact with Iran. This will make it vulnerable to being rejected by the next President, as some of the GOP candidates are already promising.

The case for the Corker bill is that at least it guarantees some debate and a vote in Congress on an Iran deal. Mr. Obama can probably do what he wants anyway, but the Iranians are on notice that the United States isn’t run by a single Supreme Leader.

***

Ignatius: WH Left Kerry Like a ‘Beached Whale’ When They Realized They’d ‘Get Clobbered’ on Iran Washington Free Beacon

***

Also see:

The Iranian Nuke Weapons Threat & Fox News: Islamic Jihad is Iran’s Animating Ideology, NOT “Persian Merchant Culture”

!cid_image014_jpg@01D075CAy Andrew Bostom, April 13, 2015:

Yesterday (Sunday 4/12/15) I discussed the Iranian nuclear weapons threat with Lisa Benson. Her spontaneous opening reference (which I had not seen till I went to the catalogued Fox news video clip online this morning) was to a thoroughly uninformed Friday April 10, 2015 Fox News O’Reilly Factor (with affable guest host Eric Bolling) discussion of Iran. During the segment, the invited analyst, Ralph Peters, invoked an alleged “Persian merchant culture” [note: I am not jesting; go to 2:25 to 2:40 of the interview], devoid of any mention of Shiite Iran’s explicit guiding Islamic ideology—deeply rooted in jihad.

[relevant comments on this video at 1:13]

I have analyzed the three pillars of Iran’s Islamic motivations—jihad, Islamic Jew- and broader infidel-hatred, and the related doctrine of infidel physical and spiritual impurity, or “najis,”—at great length in my book “Iran’s Final Solution For Israel,” as well as this recent Breitbart essay (especially part 2). In a print media interview with Leo Hohmann published last week, I elucidated the Islamic law jihad doctrine of tactical treaties/armistices (based on Islam’s prophet Muhammad’s so-called “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah”) critically relevant to understanding the Iran negotiations, and even openly acknowledged by an Iranian “moderate” Middle East expert and former adviser to “moderate” Iranian President Khatami, the Iranian expert literally blurting out, regarding the nuke negotiations process, that it was “a Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, to be followed by a conquest of Mecca”. Consistent with all such rather bland and superficial discussions of Iran on Fox News, this key Islamic jihad war doctrinal concept was not mentioned by the under informed Fox News analyst, but “Persian merchant culture” was discussed.

My interview with Lisa Benson is embedded below.

The Iran Nuke “Deal” and Islamic “Treaties”

Secretary of State John Kerry talks with President Barack Obama. The two have led the way in getting Iran to sign a treaty on nuclear weapons in return for elimination of sactions.

Secretary of State John Kerry talks with President Barack Obama. The two have led the way in getting Iran to sign a treaty on nuclear weapons in return for elimination of sactions.

By Andrew Bostom, April 10, 2015:

Below are extracts from a report by WND’s Leo Hohmann on the Iran nuke negotiations. Leo asked me to provide background on the Islamic Law “principles” which must be understood when examining such negotiations.

It has become axiomatic in our sad era that such Islamic principles—based on the military behaviors of Islam’s prophet, and prototype jihadist, Muhammad—will be ignored. As I point out, even a clear Iranian statement of these Islamic principles regarding the proposed “nuke deal,” less than three weeks after the original November 24, 2013 “framework” announcement, never registered with our policymaking “expert classes.” Issued by an Iranian analyst and former adviser to “moderate” President Khatami, the statement referred to the negotiations with the U.S., as “a Treaty of al-Hudaybiyyah, to be followed by a conquest of Mecca.” Hudaybiyyah refers to the treaty/armistice brokered by Muhammad, and then unilaterally broken by him, when his Muslim forces had achieved the tactical advantage.

Such willful ignorance didn’t always hold sway within our State Department. I highlighted an 1880 U.S. State Department monograph written to educate diplomats and other personnel assigned to areas controlled by the then Ottoman Empire. These didactic materials described Islam’s “international relations law,” i.e., the doctrine of jihad, and included specific information about “treaties,” from an Islamic, jihad war perspective.

From Hohmann’s analysis:

Ingrained in Islamic legal teaching

Dr. Andrew Bostom has studied Islamic jurisprudence for years and written five books about the history of jihad and Shariah, including “The Legacy of Jihad” and “Sharia Versus Freedom.”

indexBostom addresses the principle of Hudaibiya as it relates to the current nuclear deal in his new book, “Iran’s Final Solution for Israel.” 

“It is a principle of Islamic law, that as a Muslim leader, as a Muslim society, you’re not supposed to sign a treaty for longer than 10 years. It is based on Muhammad,” Bostom told WND. “It’s a well-enshrined doctrine, and you are to enter into a deal like this only when you’re in a position of weakness.” The deal the Obama administration negotiated with Iran expires after 10 years. Iran has been under harsh economic sanctions for decades, and oil prices have fallen to the lowest level in a decade.

Bostom says all the classical Islamic jurists have accepted Hudaibiya as a binding principle. In fact, in December 2013, Iranian leaders talking about the negotiations with the six world powers were openly referring to Hudaibiyah. “In my book is a very pertinent example: Within three weeks of when the initial announcement was made in December 2013 about the plan to reach an agreement an adviser to former Iranian President Khatami actually invoked the treaty of Hudaibiyah,” he said. “So you can see how it’s used to illustrate exactly this deal.”

Bostom also documents in his book that the U.S. State Department has been aware of the Islamic view of treaties with non-Muslim countries since 1880: “Edward A. Van Dyck, then U.S. Consular Clerk at Cairo, Egypt, prepared a detailed report in August, 1880 on the history of the treaty arrangements (so-called ‘capitulations’) between the Muslim Ottoman Empire, European nations, and the much briefer U.S.-Ottoman experience. Van Dyck’s report – written specifically as a tool for State Department diplomats – opens with an informed, clear, and remarkably concise explanation of jihad and Islamic law.” (“Iran’s Final Solution for Israel,” Page 74) “The Muslim jurists teach that Muslim rulers are never to make a lasting peace with unbelievers but can only make temporary truces, ‘to be broken at the pleasure by the prince and in the interest of the believers,’” Van Dyck wrote in 1880, quoting from the works of Abu al-Hussein el-Quduri of the Hanafite School of doctors, who died in 1037 A.D.

“This is a cardinal principle of Islamic law, not just something from Muhammad’s lore or Muhammad’s past,” Bostom told WND. “This is Islamic law. Muhammad is just cited as the precedent for it, but it’s embedded in their law that you don’t engage in any sort of negotiation or treaty unless you’re in some position of weakness; otherwise, you just keep waging jihad.”

The 1880 State Department document “lays it all out there, all the facts,” Bostom said. “But that was back when we still had knowledgeable people, actually educated people, handling things in our government.”

Also see:

Andrew Bostom: Maimonides, the Houthi “Motto”, & My Limited Sympathy For War-Torn Yemen

“Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam”—Houth motto http://www.voanews.com/content/analysts-see-possibility-us-houthi-cooperation/2622553.html

“Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam”—Houth motto http://www.voanews.com/content/analysts-see-possibility-us-houthi-cooperation/2622553.html

By Andrew Bostom, April 2, 2015:

KEY EXTRACTS, BELOW; FULL PJ MEDIA ESSAY HERE

“And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them [the Jews] and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah’s revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression.”—Koran 2:61

“The nation of Ishmael…persecute us severely and devise ways to harm us and to debase us…None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have. We have done as our sages of blessed memory instructed us, bearing the lies and absurdities of Ishmael. We listen, but remain silent…In spite of all this, we are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness, and their outbursts at any time. On the contrary, the more we suffer and choose to conciliate them, the more they choose to act belligerently toward us.” —Maimonides, Epistle to the Jews of Yemen (1172) [Stillman translation]

“Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam”Houthi motto

Even my eye, jaundiced as it is from studying the chronic plight of Yemenite Jewry under Islam, is not blind, or fully inured to the daily, ongoing Sunni-Shiite sectarian carnage in Yemen. This is a human tragedy, amongst many similar examples within Islamdom, daily unfolding before our collective eyes.

Yet, animated by Islam’s Jew-hating canon, the ugly historical context that I have chronicled—Yemen’s Jews being subjected to a millennium of continuous, grinding Islamic persecution, interspersed with paroxysmal acts of mass Muslim violence—compelled me to recall two very recent, bitter reminders of this specific, living doctrinal, and historical legacy.

Shiite worshippers from Iran’s surrogate minions at the Houthi Al-Hashoush Mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, on March 20, 2015, were engaged in the following exchange just as they were immolated by an ISIS homicide bombing:

Preacher: “Our belief in Allah will increase after today. We will triumph over their deceit and their arrogance. Allah is with us…” Worshippers: “Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam. Allah Akbar.”

Six days after that ghoulish scene of depraved Islamic Jew-hatred, literally in the midst of internecine Muslim sectarian slaughter, Houthi official Khaled Al-Madani, of the Supreme Revolutionary Council, addressed thousands of supporters assembled outside Sanaa’s old city. Al-Madani’s Thursday, March 26, 2015 invective was directed principally against Saudi Arabia. He intoned, “The horn of Satan [i.e., Saudi Arabia] has hired mercenaries to attack Yemeni soil, but Yemen will become their graveyard.” And once again, these comments drew the same response from the gathered Shiite Muslim masses previously uttered by the Al-Hashoush Mosque attendees immediately before their immolation:

Allah Akbar. Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam.

A pathognomonic New York Times story from February 18, 2015, entitled,“Persecution Defines Life for Yemen’s Remaining Jews,” noted the ubiquity of this Shiite Muslim motto (i.e., Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam), which

is chanted at all Houthi rallies, broadcast on television and painted on what seems like every blank wall space in areas they control.

Previous Houthi violence—death threats and Houthi jihadists burning down Jewish homes—was directed at the then 200, or fewer, Jews in Saada province, during 2006 to 2007. According to Yemenite Jew Salem Mousa, in 2006, he and his family fled because,

Houthis pursued us everywhere we went. Attacks and even forced conversions were common at that time

More than eight centuries before Salem Mousa’s account of the 2006 Muslim depredations against the Jews of Yemen, including “attacks and even forced conversions,” Maimonides’ The Epistle to the Jews of Yemen was written in approximately 1172, as a response to inquiries by Jacob ben Netan’el al-Fayyumi, then leader  of the Jewish community in Yemen. The Jews of Yemen wereexperiencing a crisis, as they were being forced to convert to Islam, an effort launched in about 1165 by Abd-al-Nabi ibn Mahdi. Maimonides offered al-Fayyumi and his flock what encouragement and guidance he could. The Epistle to the Jews of Yemen elucidates Maimonides’ views of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, whom he dubbed “the Madman,” and of Islam in general

…October 8, 1983, Bat Ye’or interviewed Yemenite Jews Hannah [Lolou] and Sa’adya b. Shelomo Akiva [Aqua], born respectively at Dhamar and Menakha (Yemen). They left Yemen in 1949, became citizens of Israel, and lived in Nes Ziyyona. Their recorded testimony affirms the additional chronic humiliations and oppressions experienced by Yemen’s Jews, resulting from the application of the sharia, right up until the community was effectively liquidated after the creation of Israel.

Until our departure from Yemen in 1949, it was forbidden for a Jew to write in Arabic, to possess arms, or to ride on a horse or camel. The Jews could only ride on donkeys, both legs on one side [sidesaddle] and were obliged to jump to the ground when passing a Muslim, and had to make detours. Pedestrians went on the left of Muslims. It was forbidden for Jews to enter mosques…The Arabs forbade us to wear shoes, so that we hid them when, as children, we went searching for wood for cooking. When we were far enough away, we put on our shoes; on returning, we took them off and hid them in the branches. The Arabs frequently searched us, and if they found them, they punished us and forbade us to collect wood. We had to lower our head, accepting insults and humiliations. The Arabs called us “stinking dogs.

Jewish children who became orphans before they were fifteen were forcibly converted to Islam. The families tried to save them by hiding them in bundles of hay. Afterward, the children were sent to other villages where they hid with another family and were given other names. Sometimes the children were put into coffins and the Arabs were told that they had died with their parents. Then they were helped to escape.

Georges Vajda’s comprehensive 1937 analysis of the portrayal of the Jews in the hadith remains the definitive treatment of this subject matter…These archetypes, Vajda concluded, in turn justify Muslim animus toward the Jews, and the admonition to at best “subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination,” as dhimmis, treated “with contempt,” under certain “humiliating arrangements.”

Vajda (d. 1981) also made these sadly prescient observations in 1968 regarding Islamic doctrines that continue to shape the behaviors of Muslim governments and societies toward any Jewish communities remaining in their midst, no matter how small or unobtrusive, present day Yemen offering a striking illustration:

[I]t seems clear that, unless it changes its principles, goes against the deepest feelings of its coreligionists and calls in question its own raison d’être, no Muslim power, however “liberal” it may like to think itself…could depart from the line of conduct followed in the past and continued de facto in the present [emphasis added], in conferring on Jews anything but the historic status of “protection,” patched up with ill-digested and unassimilated Western phraseology

Reposting: EMET/CSP panel addresses the question “What are Iran’s True Intentions”

iran20a (1)Center For Security Policy, Published on Jan 16, 2014:

As the Obama Administration continues to move forward negotiating with Iran, there has been little attention paid to the underlying motivations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. What is the Iranian end game? What are the ideological motivators of the Islamic regime in its conflict with the United States of America and Israel? Are the genocidal threats issued by Iranian leaders to”wipe Israel off the map” and achieve a “world without America” only posturing? Or are these goals the Iranian regime is committed to achieving?

EMET and the Center for Security Policy have put together a great panel of experts to address these questions and answer, what are Iran’s true intentions?

 Introduction

Walid Phares

Dr. Walid Phares serves as an Advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the US House of Representatives and is a Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism, a Euro-American Caucus, since 2009. Dr Phares briefs and testify to the US Congress, the European Parliament and the United Nations Security Council on matters related to international security and Middle East conflict. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Task Force on Future Terrorism of the Department of Homeland Security and the Advisory Task force on Nuclear Terrorism. Dr Phares teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense University. He has published several books in English, Arabic and French including the latest three post-9/11 volumes: Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West; The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy and The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad.

Clare Lopez

Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on national defense, Islam, Iran, and counterterrorism issues. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, The Clarion Project, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Canadian Meighen Institute and vice president of the Intelligence Summit, she formerly was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006. Ms. Lopez is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on subjects related to Iran and the Middle East and the co-author of two published books on Iran. She is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby and co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, “Shariah: The Threat to America”.

Andrew Bostom

Dr. Andrew Bostom is the author of the highly acclaimed works The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: from Sacred Text to Solemn History, Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism and the recent monograph The Mufti’s Islamic Jew-Hatred: What the Nazis Learned from the “Muslim Pope.” Dr. Bostom’s forthocoming monograph is entitled, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran. Dr. Bostom has published numerous articles and commentaries on Islam in the New York Post, Washington Times, The New York Daily News, Pajamas Media, National Review Online, The American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine.com, and other print and online publications. More on Andrew Bostom’s work can be found at his:http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/

Mark Langfan

Mark Langfan is a noted security analyst who in 1991 created a 3 dimensional topographic raised-relief map system of Israel. Viewing the 3D Israel map one can easily and quickly be informed of many of the underlying resource and security issues involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict such as West Bank water resources and Israeli ‘defensible’ borders. Over the past 20 years, Mark has briefed many Congressional and Senate offices, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Israel Desk, and the New York Times Editorial Board. Mark wrote and published seminal articles concerning the Israeli/Middle East region including the 1992 “Demilitarization Risks” warning of future Palestinian Katyusha rocket barrages from vacated Israeli territory, the 1995 “US Troops on Golan Quicksand” warning of the unique topographic dangers of deploying US Troops to the Golan Heights, and the 2006 “Iran: The 4th Reichastan” exposing the Iranian arming of Iraqi Insurgents against US forces, and of Iran’s other regional and strategic goals. Mark has published numerous articles in newspapers and security journal. For more information visit www.marklangfan.com.

This presentation by Mark Langfan with Erick Stakelbeck shows the maps better:

Also see the Clarion Project’s Fact Sheet: IRANIAN SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM

Jihad, Islamic Jew-Hatred, and ‘Najis’ Doctrine in Shiite Iran: Past as Prologue

Ayatollah Khamenei Facebook

Ayatollah Khamenei Facebook

Breitbart, by Andrew G. Bostom, March 2, 2015:

In light of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Congress this week and the continuation of Iranian nuclear talks, it is important to understand Iran’s history of Islamist threats against both Israel and the United States. For Part I of this analysis, click here.

Briefly, Shiite doctrine on jihad evolved to be indistinguishable from its Sunni counterpart by the late 13th century, i.e., open-ended warfare against non-Muslims. Iran’s theocratic Shiite Safavid and Qajar dynasties, its primary rulers from 1501-1925 (i.e., barring a period of Sunni Afghan invasion, internecine turmoil, and the heterodox reign of Nadir Shah, covering ~ 70 years during the 18th century), fully implemented this warfare doctrine, including the notion that jihad was more laudable in the absence of the 12th imam.

Al-Amili (d. 1622), a distinguished jurist under Shah Abbas I, encapsulated these views in his authoritative manual of Islamic Law. He wrote, “Jihad against followers of other religions, such as Jews, is required unless they convert to Islam, or pay the poll-tax (per Koran 9:29)”

Predatory jihad campaigns (under the longest reigning Safavid Shah Tahmasp, r. 1524-1576) waged against Christian Georgia—punctuated by massacre, pillage, enslavement, and deportation—were consistent with this doctrine. The killing of non-combatants during jihad campaigns was fully sanctioned according to the prominent 14th, and 18th (to early 19th) century Shiite jurists, respectively, Allameh Helli [Hilli](d. 1325), and Sayyid Ali Tabatabai (d. 1816). Allameh Helli maintained there was a consensus among Shiite legalists that if defeating the enemy required attacking and killing children, women, and the elderly, then these actions were to be undertaken. Ali Tabatabai invoked Muhammad’s campaigns against the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Nadir and his siege of Taif to justify such actions

This shared, mainstream Sunni and Shiite doctrine on jihad is the validating context in which Iran’s 1979 Constitutional provision on its self-proclaimed “Ideological Army” must be evaluated. Animated by the ideology of jihad, The Islamic Republic’s aggressive, conquering Weltanschauung, is self-evident.

Invoking Koran 8:60, the 1979 Iranian Constitution declares:

In the formation and equipping of the country’s defense forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of Allah’s law throughout the world (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse “Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them” [8:60]).

*** (read more)

Conclusions

The Islamic Republic of Iran melds Islam’s totalitarian religious zealotry—a living embodiment of aggressive jihadism and Sharia supremacism—to Shi’ism’s najis-inspired Jew-hatred. Having forcibly returned its indigenous vestigial remnant Jewish population (i.e., the small minority of those 120,000 post-World War II Iranian Jews who have not fled!) to a state of obsequious dhimmitude, this toxic amalgam of belligerent, if “sacralized” Islamic ideologies animates Iran’s obsession to destroy the autonomous Jewish State of Israel, the initial goal of its larger hegemonic aspirations. Moreover, the Islamic Republic’s “pious” adherence to a jihad martyrdom mentality renders deterrence of its expressed nuclear annihilationist designs on Israel, a dubious proposition. Regardless, Iran’s jihadist proxies, in particular, Lebanese Hezbollah, with itsdemonstrated jihad martyrdom pedigree, and now possessing an estimated 100,000 rockets, could operate with impunity under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Deciding to cancel a planned visit to her Iranian homeland, Jewish refugee Farideh Goldin, born (1953) and raised in the Shiraz, Iran Jewish ghetto, made these plaintive observations, in a 2006 essay:

Visiting Iran for the last time in the summer of 1976, I vowed never to return. But during the past few years, the temptation slowly crept into me, like a long-abandoned addiction…My husband has never visited the country of my birth. We had planned to spend a year in Iran after he finished his medical internship…[A] medical conference in Mashad [Iran] seemed to be my best chance to introduce my husband to my first homeland. I made the decision to go with much trepidation, however. I am a woman; I am Jewish; I am a writer; each category subjected me to discrimination and suspicion…That was October 21, 2005. Barely a week later, Iran was in the headlines. Its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called for the destruction of the state of Israel: every man, woman and child; artist, farmer scientist, grocer; the young girl whose parents walked from Yemen; my friend who was carried out of Syria in her father’s arms, screaming from hunger; the young man from Ethiopia who left everything behind; …—and yes, my mother, father and sister too. What are they to this fanatic leader but a small price to pay on the road to heavenly redemption? …How could I go back to Iran? I mourn for my parents’ loss of dignity, for all the Iranian Jewish refugees still numb with the political earthquake that tumbled their lives. The hands of evil are strong and long, seeking them still—not with daggers and clubs, as when my parents and grandparents lived in the dark ghettos of Iran, when Jew-haters, encouraged by fanatical mullahs, rampaged through their meager belongings—but now with missiles and atomic bombs.

All the potentially catastrophic dynamics Goldin characterized with such eloquence—and despair—persist, and now, after the delusive and destabilizing “P5 + 1” negotiations process approaches finality, have advanced to a truly imminent stage.

The question arises as to why more than 12-years after the August 14, 2002 revelations about Iran’s Natanz and Arak nuclear installations—6-years under the Bush II Administration, and another 6-years (and counting) during the Obama Administration—sound, practical U.S. geostrategic arguments, and actions, such as those advocated by Professor Matthew Kroenig, have been dismissed. My book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel examines at some length, the origins of this tragic, yet entirely avoidable failure of imagination, and will, rooted in intellectual sloth, and cowardice.

The case for limited, targeted military strikes on Iran’s four known nuclear facilities has been made with cogent clarity by Professor Kroenig, Georgetown University International Relations Professor, and expert on Iran’s nuclear program. Kroenig’s dispassionate May, 2014, study, A Time to Attack, elucidates the profoundly destabilizing threat posed by an Iran armed with nuclear weapons:

From Iran, a revisionist and risk-acceptant state, we can expect…reckless behavior. Iran will almost certainly be willing to risk nuclear war in future geopolitical conflicts, and this will mean that it will be able on occasion to engage in successful nuclear coercion. It also means that, in playing these games of brinkmanship, it will increase the risk of a nuclear exchange.

Kroenig then outlines the tactical obstacles military strikes on Iran’s four established nuclear facilities would confront, from the relative ease of attacking the surface Isfahan and Arak sites, to the difficulty of targeting the underground Natanz and Qom complexes.

…Isfahan and Arak are above ground and therefore are easy military targets. We [the U.S.] could easily destroy these facilities using air- or sea-launched cruise missiles, launched from U.S. B-52 bombers operating outside Iranian airspace or U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

Natanz is buried under seventy feet of earth and several meters of reinforced concrete, and Qom is built into the aide of a mountain and is therefore protected by 295 feet of rock. To destroy these sites we would need to use the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP. The MOP weighs 30,000 pounds and according to open source reporting, is capable of penetrating up to 200 feet before exploding. Some simple arithmetic (200 feet is greater than 70+ feet) suggests that Natanz doesn’t stand a chance. It is unlikely that the MOP could penetrate into the enrichment chamber of Qom in a single shot (295 feet is greater than 200 feet), but we could simply put subsequent bombs in the crater left from a previous bomb and thus eventually tunnel our way in. Putting multiple bombs in the same hole requires a fair bit of accuracy in our targeting, but we can do it. In addition to destroying their entrances, exits, ventilation heating and cooling systems, and their power lines and sources. The MOP can only be carried on the U.S. B-2 stealth bomber. Since it can be refueled in midair, the B-2 can be sent on a roundtrip mission from U.S. bases in Missouri and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to its targets in Iran and back home again without stopping. The B-2 could also be escorted by stealthy U.S. F-22 fighters, or F-16s, to protect it against fighter aircraft.

This relatively limited, and very brief campaign consisting of “a barrage of cruise missiles and bombing sorties,” Kroenig observes, plausibly conducted in one night, would almost certainly succeed in its intended mission and destroy Iran’s key nuclear facilities.

Citing four historical precedents where pre-emptive bombing of nuclear facilities achievedthe goal of non-proliferation, decisively—“Nazi Germany during World War II, Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq several times in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, and Syria in 2007”—Kroenig concludes by enumerating the multiple benefits which would accrue from similarly destroying Iran’s known nuclear installations:

There is absolutely no doubt that a strike on Iran’s nuclear facility would significantly set back Iran’s nuclear progress and create a real possibility that Iran would remain non-nuclear for the foreseeable future. Moreover…[a] strike…would stem the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and bolster the nonproliferation regime around the world. Furthermore, a U.S. strike would also strengthen American credibility. We declared many times that we were prepared to use force if necessary to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. A strike would demonstrate that we mean what we say and say what we mean and that other countries, friends and foes alike, would be foolish to ignore America’s foreign policy pronouncements.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Deputy Commander Brigadier-General Hossein Salami made the following comments at a conference held in Tehran, which aired on Al-Alam TV on March 11, 2014:

Despite the geographical distance, we are attached to the hearts of the Palestinians. How is it that our slogans and goals are identical to the slogans and causes of the Palestinians? Why do we strive to become martyrs and risk our lives for the Palestinian cause?  The answer is that the religion of Islam has designated this for us – this goal, this motivation, this belief, this energy – so that we, here, can muster all our energies in order to annihilate the Zionist entity, more than 1,400 kilometers away. We are ready for that moment in the future.

The “Trusting Khomeini-Khamenei-Rohani” brain trust shaping current Obama Administration Iran policy maintains the good general Salami doesn’t mean any of this, and it is somehow mere “cultural bluster.” Conservative “Trusting Montazeri/Green Movement,” self-styled “Iran shenasans” (“Iran experts”) would argue the good general is simply “distorting” Shiite Islam and we must be patient, support the (Soylent) Green Movement of Iranian Jeffersonian Democrats, and at some unstated future time point, “regime replacement” will solve the Iranian nuclear weapons, and all other such problems engendered by the “distortion of Shiite Islam.” Accordingly, we must ignore the hard data that show 83% support for the Sharia in Iran, or the 63% of Iranians who insisted that Iran should continue to develop its nuclear program, even at the height of the period of strictest international economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Till now, those are your Iran policy options from the ones who control such discourse—and current or  planned actions—across the political and ideological spectrum. As a potential alternative to this dangerously misguided policy morass, I queried Professor Kroenig (in early November, 2014) about the possibility of urgent Israeli airstrikes. Kroenig’s  A Time to Attack argues persuasively about the limitations of such an Israeli campaign, Israel lacking any known capability, for example, to penetrate the deeply embedded fortifications of Iran’s Qom/Fordow uranium enrichment facility. However, given what is truly needed two-years from now, hope against hope—a complete U.S. political and policymaking class “regime change”—I offer Professor Kroenig’s temporizing solution until the U.S. regains its geostrategic and moral bearings: 

As a last resort, an Israeli strike– and the year or two of breathing space, at minimum, it would buy– would be preferable to acquiescing to a nuclear Iran.

Finally, the American public, regardless of the attitudes of current political leadership and policymaking elites, appears fully cognizant of Iran’s intentions, and the unacceptable security threat posed by an Islamic Republic armed with nuclear weapons. Polling data from a U.S. national sample of 1800 Americans completed Sunday, November 23, 2014,indicated the following:

  • 85% of Americans do not believe the Iranians’ assertions that their nuclear program is peaceful
  • 81% of Americans do not believe the current government in Iran can be trusted to keep agreements
  • 69% of Americans oppose any negotiated agreement leaving Iran with nuclear capabilities

Hope springs eternal such gimlet-eyed Americans will elect equally astute political leaders also endowed with the courage necessary to authorize targeted military strikes which complete a task Israel will have initiated by 2015: destroying, or severely damaging the Islamic Republic of Iran’s current nuclear development facilities, forestalling, and perhaps even preventing long term, a nuclear weapons-armed Iran.

Illustrative materials, particularly key background doctrinal and historical quotes were reproduced from the author’s Iran’s Final Solution For Israel, re-published with an updated preface November 26, 2014.

Israel and the U.S.: Two (‘Unclean’) Dogs in the Same Fight With Iranian Jihadism

iran1a-640x401Breitbart, by ANDREW G. BOSTOM,  March 2,  2015:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to address Congress Tuesday, March 3, 2015 regarding his concerns over the so-called “P5 (i.e., the U.S., Russia, China, France, and Britain) +1 (Germany)” nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, a week before Netanyahu’s scheduled appearance– which is clearly unwelcome by the Obama Administration– Susan Rice, the Administration’s national security adviser, told PBS’s Charlie Rose, bluntly:

I think it’s [Netanyahu’s address] destructive of the fabric of the [U.S.-Israel] relationship.

Subsequently, Israel National News (on March 1, 2015) repeated unconfirmed allegations from a Kuwaiti newspaper that President Obama personally thwarted a planned Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014, threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they reached their Iranian targets. By Sunday evening (3/1/15), in a statement issued toThe Washington Times, a senior Obama Administration official claimed the Kuwaiti report was “totally false.”

Pair this frank denial of the Kuwaiti story with Ms. Rice’s icy, hostile remark, and it reflects an Obama administration thoroughly, even vindictively dismissive of the Israeli Prime Minister’s grave, rational apprehensions. Mr. Netanyahu appropriately rejects the current negotiations process which abets, and de facto legitimizes, Iran’s nuclear aspirations, under the guise of regulated uranium enrichment for promised non-military uses, while ignoring the Islamic Republic’s long range ballistic missile development, and nuclear weaponization programs. Speaking at Bar Ilan University, on February 9, 2015, Netanyahu offered a plaintive rationale for his Congressional address in early March, highlighting the shared existential threat to Israel, and the U.S:

The true question is whether Iran will have nuclear bombs to implement its intention to destroy the State of Israel. That is something we will not allow. This is not a political issue either in Israel or the U.S. This is an existential issue.

Referencing the disturbing findings of a confidential IAEA report exposed by the New York Times on February 20, 2015 (discussed below), Netanyahu later expressed his “astonishment” that the P5 +1 negotiations had not been abandoned altogether:

Not only are they continuing, there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, the coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threaten our existence.

The Israeli Prime Minister re-affirmed his view of the unacceptable dangers such an agreement posed to Israel, and the international community overall. He also criticized the moral depravity of negotiations with an Iranian regime that continued to actively support global jihad terrorism.

[T]herefore, I will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world. [Iran] continues its murderous terror activities around the region and the world, does not, unfortunately, bother the international community, which is continuing to talk with Iran about a nuclear accord that will allow it to build an industrial capacity to develop nuclear arms.

The sobriety of Prime Minster Netanyahu’s tocsin of looming calamity is completely validated by the following recent developments, which highlight Iran’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear and conventional military capabilities (directed against both Israel, and the U.S.), all inspired by its openly avowed, bellicose Islamic ideology:

  • An independent report of 102 pp. issued on 11/20/2014, reviewing over a decade of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) analyses (and other investigative findings), concluded (despite repeated, disingenuous countervailing protests) that the Iranian regime continued to engage in “systematic,” “vigorous” combined military, and dual military-civilian efforts “such as enrichment, weaponization, warhead, and delivery system at some stage,” whose ultimate goal was procuring nuclear weapons capability. There were “no serious indications that Tehran has stopped or abandoned this project or intends to do so.” Iran, on the contrary, “has resorted to further secrecy and concealment to keep its program intact and unhindered.” Additional discoveries and data all underscored how “a military program and military related activities” remain “at the heart of the Iranian nuclear program.”
  • A subsequent updated report by the IAEA itself, leaked to the New York Times and disclosed on February 20, 2015, stated that the agency “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Adding Iran had not provided explanations for the IAEA’s queries about all Iranian nuclear-related work, the IAEA report claimed the agency was “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
  • An Israeli TV Channel 2 Wednesday, January 21, 2015 report showed images taken by the Eros B commercial Earth observation satellite revealing that “Iran has built a 27-meter-long missile, capable of delivering a warhead far beyond Europe, and placed it on a launch pad at a site close to Tehran.”
  • Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz published (on January 22, 2015) a conservative estimate that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium—which has burgeoned since 2009—could be readily further enriched to provide 6 to 8 nuclear weapons. Reviewing Fleitz’s data, Ollie Heinonen, previously an IAEA official who now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School, maintained that Iran could produce a “higher number” of weapons—perhaps as many as 11—from the enriched uranium it has accumulated since 2009.
  • On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claimed that a complex, dubbed Lavizan-3, on the outskirts of Tehran, was “buried deep underground in tunnels and underground facilities” with “radiation-proof doors” to prevent any leaks that could be detected by the United Nations International Energy Agency inspectors. The NCRI claimed it smuggled out a photograph demonstrating a 1-foot thick lead-lined door which shields the complex from radiation, alleging further that the clandestine rooms and hallways are insulated for sound and radiation leaks so that they would remain undetected. The NCRI also maintained that the Iranian regime has secretly used the site to enrich uranium with advanced centrifuges since 2008, consistent with a long established deceptive pattern of hiding its actual nuclear activities.
  • The presence of Iranian command posts and special forces in the Golan Heights now extends beyond Iran’s pattern of supporting proxy activities (i.e., by Hezbollah). Per May 2014 statements by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) senior official Hossein Hamedani that were censored and removed immediately after publication in Iran, the command posts are designed to coordinate “130,000 trained Iranian Basij fighters waiting to enter Syria.” A February 13, 2015 essay in the Lebanese publication Al-Akhbar by Nahed Al-Hattar noted, appositely, that while Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities were constrained due to international considerations, Iran has amassed a “practical, direct and conventional” threat against the Jewish State: “Israel faces a fateful crisis. As much as it feared the Iranian nuclear program, it never imagined that Iran would be standing on its border even before its nuclear agreement with the Americans was complete. The Iranian threat to Israel is no longer theoretical, nor does it have anything to do with Israel’s deterrent of using its nuclear weapons, which cannot be used considering the international power balance. The threat has become direct, practical and conventional.”
  • Iran’s Fars News Agency reported February 25, 2015 that at a simulated “life size” U.S. aircraft carrier was destroyed by IRGC missiles during the IRGC Navy’s massive “The Great Prophet 9” war games in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. In a Sunday 3/1/15 follow-up statement, Iranian legislators lauded the IRGC’s naval war games: “Using the hi-tech weapons and complicated and high-precision missiles in these military drills was a clear message to the world that sanctions can never prevent Iranians’ access to the most advanced and state-of-the-art weapons.”
  • On February 11, 2015, during events marking the 36th anniversary of the 1979 “revolution,” the theocratic putsch’s virulently anti-American and anti-Israeli character was re-affirmed. Prominent displays of hatred toward President Obama, shown hanging from a gallows, and Secretary of State Kerry, depicted as a devious fox, were featured. And at a February 11, 2015 address in Kermanshah, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi declared“The Iranian people calls in unison the slogans ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel’. America and Israel will end up like the rest. The Iranian nation’s unity will cause the elimination of these arrogant [countries]…The 5+1 coalition [the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – who are conducting nuclear negotiations with Iran] is a coalition against humanity and against Islam. The enemies always fear Islam and the progress of the Iranian nation…”
  • Finally, a domino display held in the city of Gonabad, in the Razavi Korasan Province of Iran, February 16, 2015, riveted upon Iran’s nuclear program. Structures made of dominoes simulating obstacles to the Iranian nuclear program—sanctions, the Stuxnet virus, the assassination of scientists—were toppled, being replaced by messages proclaiming Iran’s nuclear accomplishments. Some of the US-related models featured, such as the word “CIA,” the RQ-170 drone, and the US flag, were collapsed. The show concluded with a missile destroying a domino structure of an Israeli flag.

What animates Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, a quest initiated under the combined leadership of Mir Hossein Mousavi (now a “Green Movement” leader), and Ayatollah Khomeini himself, between 1987 to 1988? Though almost universally ignored, or willfully obfuscated and trivialized, Iran’s central abiding motivations are pellucid. Brazenly articulated by its foundational ideologues and governmental decrees, repeated in countless religio-political pronouncements over the intervening 36-years since the retrograde Khomeini “revolution” of 1979, the three pillars of Iran’s hegemonic aspirations remain jihad, canonical Islamic Jew-hatred, and the uniquely dehumanizing Shiite Islamic conception of “najis,” “impurity/uncleanliness,” as it pertains to non-Muslims (which I will elaborate).

For the second part of this analysis, click here.

Bostom Discusses Obama’s Nat’l Prayer Breakfast Speech, Islam as a ROP, Iran, Muslim Reformer M.Z. Jasser, and More

 

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By Andrew Bostom, Feb. 7, 2015:

Audio link (just under 40 minutes): https://soundcloud.com/blazebooks/islam-scholar-dr-andrew-bostom-on-whether-islam-is-a-religion-of-peace-iran-and-much-more

Again, I referred to this two part essay “Jihad Begot the Crusades”, from 2005: Jihad begot the Crusades (1); Jihad begot the Crusades (2)

As for “Slavery”, since the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, see this comparison of U.S. and Ottoman Slavery: Sesquicentennial Comparisons: Black Slavery in America and Ottoman Turkey

The Inquisition and its (Prototype?) Antecedents The Muslim Mihna (an intra-Muslim Inquisition imposed by the inappropriately “lionized” Mutazilities), and more immediately (i.e., to the Inquisition) the Almohad Persecutions are discussed in these essays: Mutazilite Fantasies: Dross in Islam’s “Golden Age of Reason” (The Muslim Mihna); Maimonides and the “Meshugga” Prophet; & The Cordoba House and the Myth of Cordoban ‘Ecumenism’ (the Almohad Persecutions)

For additional understanding of my brief discussion of Muslim reformer Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser, see these essays: Sharia Über Alles (polling data of Muslims across the globe, and within the U.S., Jasser uniformly ignores) Blog: Zuhdi Jasser’s Predicament — And Ours (his apologetics, which, when challenged, devolve into angry lashing out)

These recent discussions of Iran (in print and video), and certainly my book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel, cover aspects all of what I alluded to on Iran: Jihad, Najis, & Islamic Jew-Hatred, The 3 Pillars of Iran’s Hegemonic Aspirations: My 1/28 Appearance on The Iran Truth Panel; Message to Michael* Ledeen on Mousavi, Montazeri, and the Soylent Green Movement; End the Bush-Obama Fecklessness: Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Facilities Now; Updated Author’s Preface to “Iran’s Final Solution For Israel”; A True Iranian Reformer, and His Movement?

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Update, Feb. 9, 2015 : Benjamin Weingarten gives his synopsis of the interview at The Blaze:

Let me start with the Civil War — I mean this is a president who — we can excuse him for his ignorance of Islamic theology and Islamic history, you know despite his nominal background in Islam as a child. But excuse me, but the abolitionists were Christians, and the United States literally went to war with itself, unlike any other society before, to extirpate the longstanding, thousand year longstanding evil of slavery in virtually every human civilization. It’s just appalling that he doesn’t even grasp that fundamental decency about this country.

…[I]f you look at what he’s [President Obama’s] referring to in terms of the Crusades…if I could just share with you something that I wrote ten years ago [from Bostom’s “Jihad Begot the Crusades,” parts 1 and 2]…

The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Qur’anic revelation itself, whereas the Crusades were circumscribed historical events subjected to (ongoing and meaningful) criticism by Christians themselves. Unlike the espousal of jihad in the Qur’an, the constituent texts of Christianity, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, do not contain a form fruste [incomplete] institutionalization of the Crusades. The Bible sanctions the Israelites conquest of Canaan, a limited domain, it does not sanction a permanent war to submit all the nations of humanity to a uniform code of religious law. Similarly, the tactics of warfare are described in the Bible, unlike the Qur’an, in very circumscribed and specific contexts. Moreover, while the Bible clearly condemns certain inhumane practices of paganism, it never invoked an eternal war against all of the world’s pagan peoples [for example like Koran 9:5does…].

The Crusades as an historical phenomenon were a reaction to events resulting from over 450 years of previous jihad campaigns.

So I just did what I could back then to put some of this…blather in context. And then of course he [President Obama] goes on and talks about the Inquisition.

Well…Islam too has had its inquisitions. It’s had its inquisitions against other Muslims dating back to the 9th century…and it also had a horrific inquisition…in the 12th century, imposed upon the Jews in particular, who were massacred, pillaged and enslaved by the tens of thousands, and then forcibly converted to Islam. And some practiced crypto-Judaism, and they were subjected to the same practices curiously that were adopted by the inquisitioners in the same region, so you could argue this might have even been a historical prototype, just within a couple centuries later.

Bostom added:

And the big difference Ben, I think, is that we in the West, as religious and non-religious people, criticize all of these ideologies — whether they’re religions like Christianity and Judaism, or whether they’re very, very horrible secular totalitarian ideologies like Nazism and Communism.

All of the baggage that we have accumulated — and we have accumulated a lot of baggage, unlike in Islamdom, is open to criticism. And that is a profound difference Ben.

Is Sisi Islam’s Long-Awaited Reformer?

In view of the news that Sisi sets conditions to reconcile with Muslim Brotherhood the following assessment of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s views on reform of Islam deserves close scrutiny. Andrew Bostom has been sounding the alarm on this all along.

by Daniel Pipes
The National Review
January 19, 2015

908In a widely praised January 1 speech at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the country’s religious leadership, saying the time had come to reform Islam. He’s won Western plaudits for this, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I have reservations about the speech.

To begin with, no matter how fine Sisi’s ideas, no politician – and especially no strongman – has moved modern Islam. Atatürk’s reforms in Turkey are systematically being reversed. A decade ago, King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan gave similarly fine speeches on “the true voice of Islam” and “enlightened moderation” that immediately disappeared from view. Yes, Sisi’s comments are stronger, but he is not a religious authority and, in all likelihood, they too will disappear without a trace.

As for content: Sisi praised the faith of Islam and focused on what he calls fikr, literally meaning thoughtbut in this context meaning wrong ideas. He complained that wrong ideas, which he did not specify, have become sacralized and that the religious leadership dares not criticize them. But Sisi did criticize, and in a colloquial Arabic highly unusual for discussing such topics: “It is inconceivable that the wrong ideas which we sacralize should make the entire umma [Muslim community] a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction for the whole world. This is not possible.”

Nonetheless, that is precisely what has occurred: “We have reached the point that Muslims have antagonized the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] want to kill the rest of the world’s population of 7 billion, so that Muslims prosper? This is not possible.” Sisi continued, to faint applause from the religious dignitaries assembled before him, to call on them to bring about a “religious revolution.” Barring that, the Muslim community “is being torn apart, destroyed, and is going to hell.”

Kudos to Sisi for tough talk on this problem; his candor stands in sharp contrast to the mumbo-jumbo emanating from his Western counterparts who uphold the pretense that the current wave of violence has nothing to do with Islam. (Of many flamboyantly erroneous remarks, my favorite is from Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, who responded to the Charlie Hebdo massacre with, “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am.”)

But Sisi gave no specifics regarding the revolution he seeks; what might he have in mind? Contrary to what his admirers say, I believe he champions a subtle version of Islamism, defined the full application of Islamic law (Shari’a) in the public sphere.

Several indications point to Sisi having been an Islamist. He was a practicing Muslim who apparently has memorized the Koran. The Financial Times found that his wife wore thehijab (headscarf) and one of his daughters theniqab (the covering that reveals only eyes and hands). The Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, appointed Sisi his defense minister precisely because he saw the then-general as an ally.

While a student in Pennsylvania in 2005-06, Sisi wrote a paper advocating democracy adapted to Islam, one that “may bear little resemblance” to its Western prototype but “will have its own shape or form coupled with stronger religious ties.” His version of democracy did not separate mosque and state but was established “upon Islamic beliefs,” meaning that government agencies must “take Islamic beliefs into consideration when carrying out their duties.” In other words, Shari’a trumps popular will.

Also in that paper, Sisi partially aligned himself with Salafis, those long-bearded and burqa’ed Islamists aspiring to live as Muhammad did. He described the early caliphate not merely as “the ideal form of government” but also “the goal for any new form of government” and he hoped for the revival of “the earliest form” of the caliphate.

It’s certainly possible that Sisi’s views of Islam, like many Egyptians’, have evolved, especially since his break with Morsi two years ago. Indeed, rumors have him affiliated with the radically anti-Islamist Quranist movement, whose leader, Ahmed Subhy Mansour, he cited in his student paper. But Mansour suspects Sisi is “playing with words” and waits to see if Sisi is serious about reform.

Indeed, until we know more about Sisi’s personal views and see what he does next, I understand his speech not as a stance against all of Islamism but only against its specifically violent form, the kind that is ravaging Nigeria, Somalia, Syria-Iraq, and Pakistan, the kind that has placed such cities as Boston, Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris under siege. Like other cooler heads, Sisi promotes Shari’a through evolution and popular support, rather than through revolution and brutality. Non violence, to be sure, is an improvement over violence. But it’s hardly the reform of Islam that non-Muslims hope to see – especially when one recalls that working through the system is more likely to succeed.

True reform requires scholars of Islam, not strongmen, and a repudiation of implementing Shari’a in the public sphere. For both these reasons, Sisi is not likely to be that reformer.

Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.