The Ideology Problem in Timbuktu Is Not al-Qaeda’s Making — It Is Classical Islam

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy:

Andrew’s post describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali is essential, if excruciating, reading. Beyond the monstrously cruel but all too usual punishments being imposed, I’m struck by two things, which really show how willful blindness leads inexorably to spring fever: The Guardian attributes the atrocious penalties to the “menace of al-Qaida”; it also notes, however, that the “ban [on music] comes in the context of a horrifically literal and gratuitous application of Sharia law in all aspects of daily life.”

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, al Qaeda did not make up sharia law. Islam did. And in the West, it is a key tenet of due process that law is imposed literally — ambiguous laws violate the principle that people of ordinary intelligence must be on fair notice of what is prohibited. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about applying as it is written.

16044762We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem. As I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that al Qaeda’s local franchise is enforcing in Mali is “literal” because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, while it seems only militant jihadists proudly urge this construction in practice, it is enthusiastically endorsed in principle by two of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East: al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Don’t just take my word for it. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law is not some al Qaeda pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s reliance (1)provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think-tank begun in the early eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”) — and from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West (“We certify,” the famed scholars wrote, that the “translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…. There is no objection to printing it and circulating it…. May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.” There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.).

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Reliance is also endorsed by Islamic authorities in Jordan (leading influences on a largely Palestinian population that may well overthrow the pro-Western monarchy) and Syria (leading influences on the “rebels” on whose side interventionists — including both presidential candidates — would have us jump to abet the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing campaign to oust the minority Alawite Assad regime).

Here, as I summarize in Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about the arts:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

“Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage), and “[o]n the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” However, if unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Those sharia provisions are complemented by these — again, endorsed by al-Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and our “moderate” “allies” in the region:

Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

[Note: These latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah or the prophet are the basis for imposing death for blasphemy. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated worse than Muslims by sharia (see, e.g., Sura 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.”)]

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” (Reliance o9.0.)

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity” –zakat can only be given to Muslims and is designed strictly to fortify the Muslim community, not benefit the less fortunate generally); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster…. They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1-17.)

Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued, such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feast-days.” (Reliance o11.0 & ff.)

Offenses committed against Muslims, including murder, are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims. (Reliance o1.0 & ff; p2.0-1.)

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliancep50.0 & ff; p.74.0& ff.)

The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year.” (Relianceo12.0 & ff.)

The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death. (Reliance p17.0 & ff.)

A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam). (Reliance m6.0 & ff. – Marriage.)

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliancep42.0 & ff.)

A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child. (Reliance m13.2-3.)

A woman has no right of custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries “because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending to the child.” (Reliance m13.4.)

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Relianceo14.0.)

The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes.” (Reliance o16.3; p.14.2.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliancep7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Relianceo24.7.)

If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses.” (Reliance o24.9.)

The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male. “The Prophet … said, “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (Reliance o25.0 & ff; see also p28.0, on Mohammed’s condemnation of “masculine women and effeminate men.”)

This is not al Qaeda doctrine. This is sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. It is not the construction of Islam that many Muslims in the West wish to live under. But it is the mainstream supremacist Islam of the Middle East, which Islamic leaders — including those who come to the West to preach it — would not dream of discrediting, even if they are not as enthusiastic as al Qaeda where imposing it is concerned.

The State Department and the leading foreign policy voices of both major American political parties say sharia is perfectly compatible with “democracy” and the Western conception of human rights — of liberty and equality. Sure it is. And then you wonder why the Obama administration opens a consulate in Benghazi, one of the most perilous places in the world for Americans, refuses to safeguard it despite multiple pleas for beefed up security, and then fraudulently claims a pluperfectly predictable atrocity was caused by a video no one ever saw. If you’re going to live in a dreamworld, better get used to nightmare consequences.

The Beltway’s Syria Fairy Tales

pic_giant_111114_SM_Syria-Civil-WarNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Nov. 11, 2014:

Since the outbreak of the latest Middle East war a few years back, we have been chronicling the Washington political class’s Syria Fairy Tales. In particular, there is the story line that Syria is really teeming with secular democrats and authentic moderate Muslims who would have combined forces to both overthrow Assad and fight off the jihadists if only President Obama had helped them. But his failure to act created a “vacuum” that was tragically filled by Islamist militants and gave rise to ISIS. At this point in the story, you are supposed to stay politely mum and not ask whether it makes any sense that real democrats and actual moderates would agree to be led by head-chopping, mass-murdering, freedom-stifling sharia terrorists.

In point of fact, there simply have never been enough pro-Western elements in Syria to win, no matter how much help came their way. There was never going to be a moderate, democratic Syrian state without a U.S. invasion and occupation for a decade or more, an enterprise that would be politically untenable — and, as the Iraq enterprise shows, unlikely to succeed. The “moderate rebels” had no chance against Assad unless they colluded with the Islamist militants, who are vastly superior and more numerous fighters. And they would have even less chance of both knocking off Assad and staving off the jihadists.

The Obama administration and the Beltway commentariat have done their best to obscure these brute facts. Their main tactic is to exploit the American public’s unfamiliarity with the makeup of Syria. Obama Democrats and much of the Beltway GOP continue to invoke the “moderate Syrian rebels” while steadfastly refusing to identify just who those purported “moderates” are.They hope you won’t realize that, because of the dearth of actual moderate Muslims and freedom fighters, they must count among their “moderate rebels” both the Muslim Brotherhood (which should be designated as a terrorist organization) and various other Islamist factions, including . . .  wait for it . . . parts of al-Nusra — i.e., al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise.

We’ve also noted that a new wrinkle has recently been added to the Beltway’s Syria Fairy Tales: Obama’s Khorasan Fraud. In a desperate attempt to conceal the falsity of Obama’s boasts about destroying what is actually a resurgent al-Qaeda, the administration claimed that the threat to America that impelled Obama to start bombing Syria was not ISIS (supposedly just a “regional” threat), not al-Qaeda (already defeated, right?), but a hitherto unknown terrorist organization called the “Khorasan group.”

To the contrary, the Khorasan group, to the extent it exists at all, has never been a stand-alone terrorist organization. It is an internal component of al-Qaeda — specifically, an advisory board (or, in Islamic terms, a shura council) of al-Qaeda veterans who advise and carry out directives from Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s emir. During the fighting in Syria, some of these operatives were sent there by Zawahiri to conduct operations under the auspices of al-Nusra. These operations have included jihadist activity against both the United States and Assad allies, plus negotiations for a rapprochement with the Islamic State (or ISIS). The limited success of those negotiations has led to fighting among the jihadists themselves.

The ball to keep your eye on here is al-Qaeda. The al-Nusra terrorist group is just al-Qaeda in Syria. Even ISIS is just a breakaway faction of al-Qaeda. And the Khorasan group is just a top-tier group of al-Qaeda veterans doing al-Qaeda’s work in conjunction with al Nusra — i.e., al-Qaeda.

The Obama administration disingenuously emphasizes these various foreign names to confuse Americans into thinking that there are various factions with diverse agendas in Syria — that al-Qaeda is no longer a problem because Obama has already dealt with it, and what remains are sundry groups of “moderate rebels” that the administration can work with in the effort to vanquish ISIS. Meanwhile, you are supposed to refrain from noticing that Obama’s original Syrian project — remember, he wanted Assad toppled — has given way to fighting ISIS . . . the very Sunni jihadists who were empowered by Obama’s lunatic policies of (a) switching sides in Libya in order to support the jihadists against Qaddafi and (b) abetting and encouraging Sunni Muslim governments in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to arm Sunni militias in the fight against Assad — those militias having all along included al-Qaeda elements, some of which split off to become ISIS and now threaten to bite off the very hands that once fed them.

If you thought the Khorasan fraud was just a passing fad to get Obama through the initial stages of trying to rationalize his incoherent Syria air campaign, think again.

You see, Obama continues to have a problem. Everyone knows that ISIS, the main target of U.S. bombings in Syria and Iraq, cannot be defeated — or even stalled much — by a mere air campaign, which has been half-hearted at best anyway. Ground forces will be needed. So the administration and Washington’s foreign-policy clerisy keep telling Americans: Never fear, there is no need for U.S. ground troops, because we can rely on “moderate rebels” to fight ISIS. But the so-called “moderates” Obama backs have been colluding with al-Qaeda (i.e., al-Nusra) for years — at least when not being routed by al-Qaeda/al-Nusra.

Now, the sensible thing at this point would be to concede that there are no viable moderate forces in Syria, and that it would be folly for us to continue pretending those forces either exist or will materialize anytime soon. But no, that would be honest . . . which is not the Obama way — nor, frankly, is it the Washington way — to end our willful blindness to the lack of moderation among Middle Eastern Muslims.

So if honesty is not an option, what to do? Simple: Let’s just pretend that al-Nusra — part of the al-Qaeda network we have been at war with for 13 years — is, yes,moderate!

But wait a second? How can we possibly pull that off when we know al-Nusra/al-Qaeda is also plotting to attack the United States and the West?

Easy: That’s why we have the “Khorasan group”!

I kid you not. Even as al-Nusra/al-Qaeda mow down any “moderate rebels” who don’t join up with them, the Obama administration is telling Americans, “No, no, no: The al-Nusra guys are really good, moderate, upstanding jihadists. The real problem is that awful Khorasan group!”

Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio have the story at The Long War Journal:

CENTCOM draws misleading line between Al Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group

US Central Command [CENTCOM] attempted to distinguish between the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and the so-called Khorasan Group in yesterday’s press release that detailed airstrikes in Syria.

CENTCOM, which directs the US and coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, denied that the five airstrikes targeted “the Nusrah Front as a whole” due to its infighting with the Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front, but instead claimed the attacks were directed at the Khorasan Group.

“These strikes were not in response to the Nusrah Front’s clashes with the Syrian moderate opposition, and they did not target the Nusrah Front as a whole,” CENTCOM noted in its press release.

The CENTCOM statement goes a step further by implying that the Al Nusrah Front is fighting against the Syrian government while the Khorasan Group is hijacking the Syrian revolution to conduct attacks against the West.

“They [the US airstrikes] were directed at the Khorasan Group whose focus is not on overthrowing the Assad regime or helping the Syrian people,” CENTCOM continues. “These al Qaeda operatives are taking advantage of the Syrian conflict to advance attacks against Western interests.”

[Emphasis added.]

Read Tom and Bill’s entire report, which sheds light on the web of jihadist connections.

Understand, the Khorasan group is al-Nusra, which is al-Qaeda. The “moderate Syrian rebels” are neither moderate nor myopically focused on Assad and Syria. (Indeed, Syria does not even exist as the same country anymore, now that ISIS has eviscerated its border with Iraq while capturing much of its territory.) The overarching Islamic-supremacist strategy of al-Qaeda has never cared about Western-drawn borders. The ambition of al-Qaeda, like that of its breakaway ISIS faction, is to conquer both the “near” enemies — i.e., the Middle East territories not currently governed by its construction of sharia — and the West. Al-Qaeda (a.k.a. al-Nusra, a.k.a. the Khorasan group) wants to overthrow Assad, but it still regards the United States as its chief nemesis.

The Khorasan group exists only as an advisory group around Zawahiri. The Obama administration’s invocation of it to divert attention from al-Qaeda and launder al-Nusra into “moderate Syrian rebels” is sheer subterfuge.

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

A Mismanage-able Problem

pic_giant_091014_SM_Obama-Manages-ISIS

Obama’s belief that he can “manage” the Islamic State may collide with reality.

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Sep. 10, 2014:

President Obama says he intends to shrink the al-Qaeda-spawned Islamic State into a “manageable problem.” Perhaps we’ll learn more about how when he speaks to the nation on Wednesday evening. Still, the question presses: Is he the manager for the job?

In answering that question, past performance is more a guarantee of future results than is any statement of newfound purpose from a president whose innate dishonesty has turned his signature phrase “Let me be clear” into notorious self-parody.

In late September 2012, Mr. Obama’s administration quietly approved the transfer of 55 jihadist prisoners out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center. As Tom Joscelyn explained at the time, most of the detainees had previously been categorized as “high risk” because they were deemed “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies” if released. Almost all of the rest had been assessed “medium risk” — still posing a threat, albeit one less certain than the “high risk” jihadists.

But Obama officials overruled those judgments. Rife with members of the Lawyer Left vanguard who had stampeded to volunteer their services to al-Qaeda detainees during the Bush years, who had smeared Gitmo as a gulag, and who had fought bitterly against the Bush/Cheney paradigm that regarded al-Qaeda’s jihad as a war rather than a crime wave, the administration determined that the anti-American terrorists were fit to be sprung from American custody.

Wait a second . . . two years ago in September . . . what was going on then? Why yes, the Benghazi massacre — whose second anniversary we mark this Thursday.

The Obama administration would like us to forget that bit of old news since “dude, this was like two years ago.” You may nonetheless recall it as an act of war in which al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists attacked a sovereign American government compound. The terrorists murdered our ambassador to Libya, killed three other Americans, and wounded many more in an eight-hour siege during which President Obama declined to take any meaningful responsive action. Indeed, agents of the U.S. security team in Benghazi say they were prevented from trying to save Ambassador Stevens.

Among those carrying out the attack were operatives of Ansar al-Sharia. That’s the al-Qaeda affiliate with cells in Eastern Libya’s jihadist hotbeds, Benghazi and Derna.Ansar is led by Sufian Ben Qumu, a former Gitmo detainee who, inexorably, went right back to the jihad.

News of Obama’s approval of the mass transfer of Gitmo detainees came less than two weeks after the Benghazi massacre. Let that sink in: The Obama administration knew that a former Gitmo detainee was complicit in the most humiliating defeat suffered by the United States since the 9/11 attacks that took the nation to war; yet, the president approved the transfer of dozens more Gitmo terrorists. Just as, only a few months ago, he approved the transfer of five top Taliban commanders even as the Taliban was (and is) continuing to conduct terrorist operations against American troops in Afghanistan.

Shocking, yes, but how surprising from Barack Obama? Mind you, this is the president who, though AWOL (and still unaccountable) while terrorists were killing and wounding American personnel in Benghazi, had the temerity not just to fly off to a Vegas fundraiser the very next day but to pick that setting, and that moment, to declare victory: “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”

Yes, bin Laden is dead. But the terrorist hordes chanted, “Obama, we’re all Osama!” as they torched our embassies and raised the black flag of jihad — the flag the Islamic State vows to fly over the White House. And just two days after Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” fundraiser, Ansar al-Sharia’s Tunis cell attacked the American embassy there. That al-Qaeda franchise is led by Seifallah ben Hassine, long-time jihadist confidant of bin Laden and his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Some path to defeat.

Of course, the Benghazi massacre would never have happened had Obama not switched sides in Libya, dumping the Qaddafi regime — theretofore an American counterterrorism ally — and partnering with Eastern Libyan jihadists. The president’s strategy ensured that enemies of the United States would acquire much of Qaddafi’s arsenal, empowering jihadist cells throughout North Africa and the Middle East, growing al-Qaeda and what would become the Islamic State. And as we have seen in just the last few weeks, Obama’s “lead the jihad from behind” strategy has resulted in the near complete disintegration of Libya, with Ansar al-Sharia and its allies now controlling much of Tripoli.

Nor is that all. Hours before the Benghazi attack began on September 11, 2012, there had been rioting at the American embassy in Cairo. It was stoked by al-Qaeda leaders — including Zawahiri’s brother, Mohammed. The latter had called for attacks against the United States to avenge the recent killing of the network’s leader in Libya. The al-Qaeda leaders had also been threatening to besiege the embassy to extort the release of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, imprisoned in the U.S. on terrorism charges. These jihadists had been enabled in their incitements against America by the Muslim Brotherhood–controlled government — a government the Obama administration had pressured Egypt’s military leaders to make way for.

When the Left says it intends to make the challenge of international terrorism “manageable,” that is usually code for saying it wants to return counterterrorism to the law-enforcement paradigm, in which terrorism is a crime addressed by indictments. Crime — petty theft, graft, racketeering, and the like — is a constant that society manages. National-security threats, on the other hand, cannot be indicted into submission. And they are not “managed” by imagining that if we ignore them they will go away.

President Obama probably does believe the Islamic State could become a manageable problem. Unfortunately, he also believes that when his ideology collides with reality, it is reality that must give. Reality does not see it that way.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, was released by Encounter Books on June 3.

Obama’s America Is September 10th America

Barack ObamaNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Our barbaric jihadist enemies – the ones President Obama repeatedly assured us he had “decimated” and put on “the path to defeat” – are now stronger than ever. Not stronger than they have been in years, or decades – stronger than ever. They have seized a country-size swath of territory (and growing). They have just beheaded an American journalist – which is the sort of thing they do as a matter of routine but has obviously, and finally, gotten our attention.

Not to worry, though: The Obama Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation. I’m sure ISIS is quaking.

The Obama administration has spent six years miniaturizing the global jihad as a series of non-ideological, unconnected groups of “violent extremists,” pursuing parochial political objectives through acts of “workplace violence.” The enemy kills our ambassador to Libya, a palpable act of war, and the administration pretends it’s about a video. The enemy decapitates an American because he’s an American, and the administration announces the opening of a criminal investigation. The enemy bombs and beheads, we subpoena and indict.

The title of this post, “Obama’s America Is September 10th America” is not a random description of the now. It’s the title of a column I wrote six years ago … when then-candidate Obama was promising policies that would, inevitably, lead to an increasingly imperiled America – a provocatively weak America that regarded our enemies as mere defendants, just as we did before 9/11 … when our enemies responded by attacking us again and again.

The column was prompted by then-Senator Obama’s remarks during an astounding 2008 campaign speech:

What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated. And the fact that the [Bush] administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, “Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.” So that, I think, is an example of something that was unnecessary. We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws.

As I noted at the time, this was “a remarkably ignorant account of the American experience with jihadism.” The vast majority of terrorists responsible for attacks against us had not been “brought to justice.” In fact, the major terrorists who orchestrated strikes against us – Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to name just a few – remained at large for a decade or more despite being under indictment. From foreign safe havens far removed from the writ of American courts and the authority of American law-enforcement, they continued choreographing terrorist attacks against the United States. To the extent top jihadists were “neutralized,” it was because our armed forces killed or captured them. We had no chance of suppressing the enemy by relying on American judicial processes.

Here was my conclusion in mid-2008:

The fact is that we used the criminal justice system as our principal enforcement approach, the approach Obama intends to reinstate, for eight years — from the bombing of the World Trade Center until the shocking destruction of that complex on 9/11. During that timeframe, while the enemy was growing stronger and attacking more audaciously, we managed to prosecute successfully less than three dozen terrorists (29 to be precise). And with a handful of exceptions, they were the lowest ranking of players.

When an elitist lawyer like Obama claims the criminal-justice system “works” against terrorists, he means it satisfies his top concern: due process [for the terrorists.]. And on that score, he’s quite right: We’ve shown we can conduct trials that are fair to the terrorists. After all, we give them lawyers paid for by the taxpayers whom they are trying to kill, mounds of our intelligence in discovery, and years upon years of pretrial proceedings, trials, appeals, and habeas corpus.

As a national-security strategy, however, and as a means of carrying out our government’s first responsibility to protect the American people, heavy reliance on criminal justice is an abysmal failure.

A successful counterterrorism strategy makes criminal prosecution a subordinate part of a much broader governmental response. Most of what is needed never happens in a courtroom. It happens in military operations against terrorist strongholds; intelligence operations in which jihadists get assassinated — without trial; intelligence collections in which we cozy up to despicable informants since only they can tell us what we need to know; and aggressive treasury actions to trace terror funds.

That is how you stop the homeland from being attacked, which is what we have done for the last seven years. And it is that from which Obama wants to move away.

Obama would bring us back to September 10th America. And September 10th is sure to be followed by September 11th.

Admittedly, that was before Obama empowered the virulently anti-American Muslim Brotherhood; made Islamic supremacists key administration advisors; blinded our national security agents by purging Islamic-supremacist ideology from training materials; colluded with Islamic-supremacist countries to restrict American free speech rights; tried to give civilian trials to enemy-combatant terrorists responsible for mass-murdering Americans; imported enemy-combatant jihadists for civilian trials despite congressional proscriptions; waged an unauthorized war in Libya that enabled our enemies to kill American officials and besiege North Africa and the Middle East; negotiated with Iran-backed terrorists in trading jihadist leaders for the remains of British casualties; negotiated with Taliban terrorists in trading jihadist commanders for a deserter; assured Iran’s acquisition of nuclear arms; issued visas to terrorist operatives for consultations on American foreign policy; sided with Hamas during its latest war of aggression against Israel; and declined to acknowledge that the jihadist mass-murder of 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood was a terrorist attack.

But I still think it holds up fairly well.

How Not To Indict a Terrorist

pic_giant_070514_SM_How-Not-to-Indict-a-TerroristBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

What happens when the president who has politicized law-enforcement to a degree unprecedented in American history meets a terrorist responsible for killing Americans he has recklessly failed to protect, decimating his pretensions about “decimating” al-Qaeda?

What happens is: You get the most politicized terrorism indictment ever produced by the Justice Department. Behold United States v. Khatallah, Case No. 14 Crim. 141, quietly unsealed in a Washington courtroom last Saturday while the country dozed off into summer-vacation mode.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, of course, is the only suspect apprehended in connection with the Benghazi massacre, a terrorist attack on a still-mysterious U.S. diplomatic installation. J. Christopher Stevens, the United States ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans — State Department official Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — were killed. Until recently, such attacks have been known as acts of war carried out by the enemy. In the age of Obama, they are now known as “crimes” for which “defendants” like Khatallah are “brought to justice” — rather than brought to Gitmo. Meaning: They are whisked into our country when no one’s paying much attention. The red carpet is rolled out at a federal courthouse, where the “defendant” is given Miranda warnings, taxpayer-funded counsel, and all the rights of the American citizens they plot to kill, including lavish discovery-of-intelligence files relevant to their civilian trial.

Gold-plated due process for our enemies begins with the constitutional right to an indictment returned by a grand jury, providing the “defendant” with notice of the charges against him. In Khatallah’s case, the first thing you’ll notice is that the indictment is tiny: less than two pages long — 15 measly lines of text once you discount the caption, citations, and signature lines. This is a startling departure from Justice Department indictments in jihadist terror cases, a turn to brevity that cannot be explained solely by Obama’s banning of words like “jihadist” from the government lexicon.

Read more at National Review

Tax Dollars for Terrorists – Will Congress stop Obama’s lawless material support to Hamas?

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By Andrew C. McCarthy:

The problem with writing a book about President Obama’s lawlessness, as I have just done in Faithless Execution (which will officially be published Tuesday), is that eventually the author has to stop writing so the book can be printed. The administration’s illegal conduct, by contrast, rolls right along — so by the time the book comes out, I find myself several impeachable offenses behind.

At the moment, we are still processing the latest executive malfeasance: the president’s release this weekend of five senior Taliban jihadists in exchange for a U.S. soldier who is alleged to have abandoned his post in 2009 after complaining that “the horror that is America is disgusting” (and whose father is on a campaign to free all anti-American terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay).

Some lawmakers have pointed out that the release, which flouts American policy against negotiating with terrorists (Obama is a recidivist offender on that score), also violates federal law. Specifically, the president must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring detainees out of Gitmo, in addition to explaining how the threat to the United States has been mitigated so that the release is justified. Obviously, the president disregarded the law because complying would have made it clear that the transfer exacerbates the threat to the United States, sparking public and congressional protests that would have scotched the deal. It is a swap that the administration, which is delusionally courting the Taliban in hopes of an Afghan peace settlement, has been trying to make for years. So Obama did what Obama does when the law is against him: He ignored it, claiming not to be bound by it if he concludes the circumstances are “unique and exigent,” as a White House spokesman put it.

The swap, it should be noted, also violates federal laws prohibiting material support to terrorism. The Obama administration may think it can sidestep this inconvenience by its longstanding refusal to designate the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization. Federal law, however, bars giving support — including providing personnel, as Obama has done here — not only to formally designated terrorist organizations but to groups known to engage in terrorist activity, whether the State Department gets around to designating them or not. (See Sections 2339A and 2339B of Title 18, U.S. Code.) There is no doubt that the U.S. government knows the Taliban and its confederates engage in terrorist activity — it has been telling us for 13 years that this is why we must have thousands of American troops in Afghanistan.

Even as we come to grips with the administration’s newest outrage, though, it is necessary to look ahead to the next one — actually, an ongoing one that is about to get even worse: our government’s material support to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, announced Saturday that a “unity government” has been formed between his faction, Fatah, and Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. It is pledged by charter to the destruction of Israel.

Read more at National Review

Faithless Execution

book_coverBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column is adapted from a speech I gave in New York City on May 29, announcing the publication of Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Faithless Execution is about presidential lawlessness.

Specifically, my new book, which Encounter Books will release this week, is about how the Framers of our Constitution fully anticipated that a president could fail to honor his core duty to execute the laws faithfully — could fail to meet his basic fiduciary obligations to the American people.

Viewing the Obama presidency through the prism of these constitutional norms, Faithless Execution argues that we are experiencing a different kind of presidential lawlessness than our nation has ever known: a systematic undermining of our governing framework, willfully carried out by a president who made no secret of his intention to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

What is the president trying to transform?

Well, the constitutional framework he is undermining enshrines two core principles: separation-of-powers and accountability.

The first is the foundation of a free society. President Obama presumes the power to decree, amend, and repeal laws as he sees fit, effectively claiming all government power as his own. But as James Madison, the principal author of our Constitution, put it, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” And so it is.

Accountability, the second constitutional principle at issue, is how our system holds a president singularly responsible for executive lawlessness. The Constitution vests all executive power in a lone elected official — the president. Not in the broad, dizzying array of executive-branch agencies; in the president himself.

Meaning that if the IRS harasses the president’s political opposition in violation of their First Amendment rights; or if the Justice Department recklessly orchestrates the transfer of thousands of guns to violent Mexican gangs, resulting in the murder of a Border Patrol agent; or if administration officials willfully defraud the American people about the cause of the Benghazi massacre or about being able to keep their health insurance; it is the president whom our Constitution holds responsible. Not Lois Lerner or Susan Rice. Not Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius, or Eric Shinseki. The president.

The president does not get to vote “present.” The Constitution does not permit him to be a mere spectator to abuses of power by his subordinates. It holds the president accountable, whether he quietly engineered the administration’s lawlessness or stood idly by while others ran amok.

The subtitle of Faithless Execution — “Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment” — has caused something of a stir. But any serious discussion of these issues has to consider impeachment. As a number of legal scholars testified at a congressional hearing late last year, impeachment was quite intentionally included by the Framers as the ultimate check against presidential lawlessness.

This is where “high crimes and misdemeanors” comes in.

As Faithless Execution recounts, at the time of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, this standard was well established in British law. The Framers thus borrowed it in order to address not only intentional abuses of power but gross negligence or incompetence.

Contrary to popular belief, the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” does not refer to ordinary crimes. It does not mean a president has to be indictable before he is removable. Instead, high crimes and misdemeanors are the political wrongs of high executive officials in whom great public trust is reposed.

Again, it is all about separation-of-powers and accountability. The idea is that the president is fully responsible: not just for criminal acts, but for abuses of power committed by himself and his subordinates — abuses of power that very much include misleading the public and stonewalling Congress.

To borrow a familiar phrase, “Let me be clear”: Faithless Execution is not a call for President Obama’s immediate impeachment and removal. In fact, I contend that the best thing for the country would be for the president to honor his oath, execute the laws faithfully, and finish his term that way.

The Framers of our Constitution understood this, too — understood how divisive the removal of a president could be for our society. Thus, as the book makes very clear, impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one. You can have a thousand provable impeachable offenses, but before Congress may remove the president from power, there must be strong popular support — a public will that cuts across partisan and ideological lines.

That is to say: Unless there is such public outrage over presidential lawlessness that two-thirds of the Senate can be pressured into voting for the president’s removal, it would be pointless for the House of Representatives to file articles of impeachment. Not just pointless but counterproductive. That is why I spend most of a chapter in the book rebutting arguments from some on the right that, because Republicans control the House, impeachment articles should be filed right now.

By all means, impeachment must be considered. It is the Constitution’s ultimate answer to presidential lawlessness, and the only way to build public support for it is to consider it.

Read more at National Review

Confusion on Boko Haram and Terrorism

George Will3By Andrew C. McCarthy, May 17, 2014:

For admirers of George Will and Charles Krauthammer, it’s a real treat to find them together many nights on Bret Baier’s panel on Special Report. But I must confess to nearly falling out of my chair upon watching the replay of a segment last night in which Mr. Will opined that Boko Haram seemed to him more like “a military insurgency” than a terrorist organization. Dr. K vigorously refuted this assertion and was right to do so.

At issue was the State Department’s failure, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary, to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. I sympathize with Will’s (very) general premise that “terrorist” is an overused term. But the premise was inapposite in this case.

Terrorism is the use and threatened use of mass violence in violation of the laws of war in order to coerce a government or society into policy changes or the acceptance of some ideological agenda. It does indeed trivialize the term to apply it to people who do not commit terrorism, whether they are serious criminals (e.g., mafia hit-men or serial murderers) or, as is fashionable on the Left, to people who merely represent things with which one disagrees (e.g., energy-producers, “the one percent,” or the Tea Party). It is not wrong, however, to refer to terrorists as terrorists—it’s entirely accurate.

Will said he sees terrorism as “random” violence, while Boko Haram seemed to him more like a military insurgency against the Nigerian government. Since Boko Haram has what Will sees as “military objectives,” that somehow suggests to him that its violent attacks are more like lawful combat operations than terrorism. It is tough to unwind all he gets wrong here (though Krauthammer did a very good job of it).

A terrorist organization is distinguished from a militia by its failure to comply with the laws and customs of war—particularly, its intentional targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Al Qaeda has military objectives, too; so does every terrorist organization. The fact that a terrorist organization has “military objectives” is beside the point if it pursues those objectives through mass-murder attacks in conjunction other operations distinguished by their extreme cruelty—like brutally murdering scores of school boys and turning young girls into sex slaves, as Boko Haram does.

I assume that by “random” attacks, Will means that terrorists terrorize by creating an atmosphere of intimidation in which anyone could be attacked at any time. Military insurgencies, by contrast, conduct more regular, predictable attacks, concentrating on targets that have military value (even if hitting them causes collateral damage to civilians). If that’s how he sees it, one has to assume that he simply does not know much about Boko Haram. Its attacks are as random as any other terrorist organization’s. There are more of them, but that is because Boko Haram is a particularly vicious group, not because it is fighting a traditional battlefield campaign. And while it attacks government targets (just like al Qaeda has attacked the Pentagon, U.S. embassies, and U.S. military installations), Boko Haram routinely targets civilian centers, school children, churches, and other Western targets that could only be considered “military objectives” by a violent jihadist who sees non-Muslims as “at war with Islam.”

Moreover, as Bret Baier pointed out, Tom Joscelyn has outlined long-standing ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda. (Tom’s latest on that, in the Weekly Standard, is here.) Will appears to be under the misimpression (one the State Department promotes) that Boko Haram is not part of the global jihad but is simply waging a local war for political control of Nigeria. But this canard elevates what progressives want to believe about Boko Haram (and radical Islam generally) over the reality of how these groups define themselves.

Boko Haram’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, meaning “People (or The Group) Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teaching and Jihad.” The short handle Boko Haram reflects a part of this overarching Islamic supremacist mission: “Western education is forbidden.” (Note the wishful thinking of progressives repeatedly peddled over the past few days: Boko Haram, we’re told, is not an Islamist group; they are just a backward-thinking political group opposed to education. In fact, what they oppose is Western education; they are all for Islamic education because they are an avowedly Islamist group.)

Boko Haram’s explicit goal is the imposition of sharia law, first in Nigeria (because that’s where they are) but ultimately worldwide. Even then-Secretary Clinton, despite failing to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, acknowledged in congressional testimony that Boko Haram shared al Qaeda’s “jihadist” ideology (see the clip Bret played last night—jihadist is the word Clinton used … no doubt because the Obama administration was being criticized at the time for suppressing it). This jihadist ideology does not recognize national borders, so it is foolish to portray it as content to wage local wars for political control of this country or that. It sees the world as Dar al-Harb (the realm of war) versus Dar al-Islam, in which the latter must conquer the former. In fact, as I noted here at Ordered Liberty a few days ago—citing Tom Joscelyn’s Long War Journalpartner, Bill Roggio—Boko Haram’s leader, Abubaker Shekau, explicitly threatened the United States (in sympathy with al Qaeda) in 2010: “Do not think jihad is over. Rather, jihad has just begun. America, die with your fury.” Like al Qaeda, Boko Haram sees itself as at war with the West and non-Muslims generally, not just with the Nigerian government.

Read more at PJ Media

Unsafe Places: Islamist Mosques

mosque-American-flag-ReutersBreitbart, by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR.

The contempt that America’s enemies have for the United States these days is palpable. The most obvious current example is Vladimir Putin’s disdain for President Obama, whom he regards as little more than a speed-bump on the road to his conquest of Ukraine and perhaps other nations in what the Kremlin calls Russia’s “near-abroad.”

Not content with snatching Crimea and preparing reprises elsewhere, Putin has a jet buzz one of our ships in the Black Sea for ninety minutes then launches a new multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile. By contrast, Team Obama is busily dismantling what’s left of our navy and strategic forces.

Then there’s the back of the hand treatment China showed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel when, during his recent visit to the People’s Republic, the Pentagon chief had the temerity to lecture his hosts about how to behave internationally. They took him to see their just-refurbished aircraft carrier and unveiled a new fighter aircraft to operate from it. The best Hagel could do was announce that the U.S. was going to respond to Beijing’s increasing belligerence in the region by sending there a grand total of two more anti-missile destroyers–by 2017.

A more subtle, but no less in-your-face kind of contempt has just been served up by Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other Islamists in this country.

To mark the occasion of the first anniversary of two of their fellow jihadists’ murderous attack at the Boston Marathon, the leaders of several Brotherhood fronts have launched something called the “Safe Spaces Initiative.” They evidently think we are so stupid, or at least now so submissive, that they can try to put mosques off-limits to law enforcement. This is all the more astounding since we know that the perpetrators of the terrorism of a year ago used the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge to become versed in the ways of the supremacist Islamist doctrine known as shariah and the jihad it commands.

A chief proponent of this Safe Spaces gambit is Salam al-Marayati, the president of an Islamist influence operation out of California with extensive access to the Obama administration, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). In an opinion piece posted by altmuslim blog on March 28, al-Marayati actually makes plain the true purpose of his Safe Spaces Initiative.

Notwithstanding the portrayal of this proposal as a means of preventing radicalization in mosques, in the words of al-Marayati: “Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque. In essence, we want to enhance both a spiritual safety and public safety.” (Emphasis added.)

Unfortunately, the latest announcement by William Bratton–the former police commissioner recently re-appointed by New York’s new, Islamist-friendly mayor, Bill de Blasio–would sure seem to justify the Brothers’ low regard for us. As the New York Timesreported today “The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods….Plainclothes detectives looked for ‘hot spots’ of radicalization that might give the police an early warning about terrorist plots.”

The Times quoted the NYPD’s chief spokesman, Stephen Davis, who made clear the completeness of the department’s submission to the Islamists who style themselves as the “leaders” and “representatives” of all Muslim Americans: “‘Understanding certain local demographics can be a useful factor when assessing the threat information that comes into New York City virtually on a daily basis,” Mr. Davis said. “In the future, we will gather that information, if necessary, through direct contact between the police precincts and the representatives of the communities they serve.”

I discussed the folly of making mosques surveillance-free zones in an interview on Secure Freedom Radio this evening with former federal prosecutor and best-selling author Andrew C. McCarthy. Here’s part of our conversation (for the entire podcast, click here):

FRANK GAFFNEY: The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who’s a Muslim Brother fellow-traveller jihadist type, has a rather poetic turn of phrase for it. He says, “The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks, and the faithful our army.” And, Andy, this gives rise to a concern that I’m sure you share about an initiative that some of these Muslim Brotherhood types, notably Mohamed Magid, the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States, the Islamic Society of North America–and, oh, by the way, a frequent visitor at the Obama White House and prominent source of counsel to him and others in his Administration–

ANDY MCCARTHY: And another unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation.

FG: Indeed. These guys have cooked up something called the “Safe Spaces Initiative.” I wonder what you make of that idea, particularly as it seems their purpose is to, as one of them put it, “keep government informants…from violating the sanctity of the mosque.”

AM: Yeah, well, you know, it’s unfortunate that with this particular Justice Department and this Administration they’re probably pushing on an open door.

FG: It’s probably a wired game, let’s be honest. These guys have almost certainly got this rigged with the Justice Department.

AM: But the amazing thing is for all of Obama and Eric Holder’s caterwauling about, you know, how we’ve proved again and again that the civilian justice system is the best way to prosecute terrorism cases–well, why don’t they ever check into what was proved in those prosecutions that they like to tout around? Because if they open the transcripts…what they would find is that mosques were used as recruitment centers, they were used for conspiratorial conversations and agreements, they were used to house weapons, they were used to transfer weapons, and they really were used to light a fire under people who might have been fence-sitters but who were powerfully influenced by some of the imams, particularly the guy who I prosecuted in the 1990s, the Blind Sheikh.

It was in the mosques that [Omar Abdel-Rahman] did most of the damage that he did to the United States. So this is not something we speculate about, Frank. This is something that’s actually been proved in court, and proved again and again and again. So, if you’re going to say that a mosque needs to be a safe space, then what you’re really saying is we’ve taken willful blindness, which was a problem, and we’ve now codified it, so it’s not just willful blindness; it’s just mulish, absolute refusal to come to terms with what we’re up against.

FG: Yeah. And to speak to the other subject of your trilogy there, it is a formula for more of the grand jihad, not less. It is a certainty that you will find more Tsarnaev boys being recruited, or being trained, or being armed, or in other ways being enabled. It simply is mindboggling, Andy, and I think the American people couldn’t comprehend what’s going on here, or believe it if told it.

We can’t afford more of the sort of willful blindness that will give rise to more unsafe mosques and other places, and more jihad.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan.  He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio. 

The Roots of CAIR’s Intimidation Campaign

pic_giant_041214_SM_The-Roots-of-CAIRs-Intimidation-Campaignby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

Author’s Note: This week, capitulating to Islamic-supremacist agitation led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Brandeis University reneged on its announced plan to present an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the heroic human-rights activist. In my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad, I devoted a chapter to the origins and purposes of CAIR, its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas-support network, and its aim to silence critics of Islamic supremacism. In light of the continuing success of this campaign – despite a federal terrorism-financing prosecution that exposed CAIR’s unsavory background – it is worth revisiting that history. What follows is an adapted excerpt from that chapter.

In January 1993, a new, left-leaning U.S. administration, inclined to be more sympathetic to the Islamist clause, came to power. But before he could bat an eye, President Bill Clinton was confronted by the murder and depraved mutilation of American soldiers in Somalia. A few weeks later, on February 26, jihadists bombed the World Trade Center. The public was angry and appeasing Islamists would have to wait.

Yasser Arafat, however, sensed opportunity. The terrorist intifada launched at the end of 1987 had been a successful gambit for the Palestine Liberation Organization chief. Within a year, even as the body count mounted, the weak-kneed “international community” was granting the PLO the right to participate (though not to vote) in U.N. General Assembly sessions. And when Arafat made the usual show of “renouncing” terrorism – even as he was orchestrating terrorist attacks in conjunction with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Islamist factions – the United States recognized him as the Palestinians’ legitimate leader, just as the Europeans had done. Arafat blundered in 1991, throwing in his lot with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, and that seemed to bury him with the Bush 41 administration. But Clinton’s election was a new lease on life.

Anxious to chase the holy grail of Middle East peace and suddenly in need of demonstrating toughness against jihadist terror, the new “progressive” president was made to order for the wily Marxist terror master. If Arafat could resell his “I renounce terrorism” carpet yet again, chances were he could cash in. And so he did, purporting to commit the Palestinians to the 1993 Oslo Accords – an empty promise of peaceful coexistence exchanged for hundreds of millions in aid (much of which he pocketed), an open invitation to the Clinton White House (where he became a regular visitor), international recognition (as a statesman, no less!), and a ludicrous Nobel Peace Prize (forever degrading a once prestigious honor into a punch line).

The Muslim Brotherhood, for one, was not amused. Islamists had murdered Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981 for striking a peace pact with Israel. Sure, they knew Arafat and understood what chicanery he was up to. But acceptance of the Zionist entity’s right to exist was utterly unacceptable, even if done as a ploy.

Israel, the Brotherhood also realized, would not be the only thing squeezed by Clinton at Arafat’s urging. After a shaky start, the new president was winning global plaudits for his Orwellian “peace process.” Clinton must have known that Arafat was stringing him along, but with the theater of negotiation and ostensible progress drawing rave reviews, that was a problem for another day. The immediate concern was that Hamas jihadists could spoil the show with their implacable jihad, their blunt insistence that nothing less than Israel’s obliteration would satisfy them. That gave the fledgling administration a powerful incentive to crack down on them. Arafat would be the beneficiary as the Americans squeezed his rivals for power.

A ‘Media Twinkle’ in Philadelphia
Though the United States had been a cash cow for Hamas, it was thus a perilous time for the organization when 25 of its members and supporters gathered at a Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia on October 27, 1993. They were unaware that the FBI was monitoring their deliberations. The confab was a brainstorming exercise: How best to back Hamas and derail Oslo while concealing these activities from the American government?

A little more background to the Philadelphia meeting: For nearly two decades until his extradition in 1997, Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook was the most consequential Muslim Brotherhood operative in the United States. Now living in Egypt, he remains to this day deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau. In the early Nineties, he actually ran the terrorist organization from his home in Virginia.

During his time in the U.S., Marzook formed several organizations to promote the Palestinian jihad against Israel. In 1981, for public-relations purposes, he established the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in conjunction with two other jihadists: future Hamas chief Khalid al-Mishal and Sami al-Arian (the latter was eventually convicted of conspiring to support Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

In December 1987, the intifada was launched and Hamas was born. Marzook immediately formed the “Palestine Committee” to serve as an umbrella organization, directing the various pro-Hamas initiatives that were developing. He brought under its wing both the IAP (which concentrated on “the political and media fronts”) and a fundraising entity he had established. That entity would eventually be called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) – though it was then known as the “Occupied Land Committee.” The reorganization would better enable the Palestine Committee to comply with the Muslim Brotherhood’s instructions to “increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas,” to “fight surrendering solutions” (like Oslo), and to publicize “the savagery of the Jews.”

It was under the auspices of the Palestine Committee that the 1993 Philadelphia meeting was convened. It was clear even then that Marzook’s Hamas network was anticipating the birth of yet another organization. The Palestine Committee’s amended by-laws declared that an as-yet-unnamed entity was already in the larval stage, “operat[ing] through” the IAP, and soon to “become an official organization for political work, and its headquarters will be in Washington, insha Allah.”

In the United States, the “political work” was crucial. The overarching mission, of course, was quite clear. As the IAP had explained in a December 1988 edition of its Arabic magazine, Ila Filastin, “The call for jihad in the name of Allah is the only path for liberation of Palestine and all the Muslim lands. We promise Allah, continuing the jihad way and the martyrdom’s way.” But while blatant summonses to jihad might stir the faithful in Islamic countries openly hostile to Jews, they were not going to fly in America – and even less so in an America whose financial heart had just been shaken by the jihadist bombing of the World Trade Center. The Brotherhood’s approach in the U.S. would have to be more subtle.

That was where the new organization would come in, as those gathered in Philadelphia – including Marzook’s brother-in-law and HLF co-founder Ghassan Elashi – explained. Although the Brotherhood had ideological depth and impressive fundraising mechanisms, Marzook had long been concerned that his network lacked the media and political savvy needed to advance an agenda in modern America. Now more than ever, they needed what HLF’s Shukri Abu Baker called “a media twinkle.”

In the U.S., Hamas was now perceived as the principal enemy of the popular “peace process.” After all, its charter explicitly called (and continues to call) for Israel’s annihilation by violent jihad. Therefore, its known supporters – the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, the IAP, and the others – were tainted in the American mind as terror-abettors, hostile to U.S. interests. As one attendee urged in Philadelphia, “We must form a new organization for activism which will be neutral, because we are placed in a corner. . . . It is known who we are. We are marked.” The new entity, by contrast, would have a clean slate. Maybe it could steal a page out of Arafat’s “hear what I say, don’t watch what I do” playbook. The new entity’s Islamism and Hamas promotion would have to be less “conspicuous.” It would need to couch its rhetoric in sweet nothings like “social justice,” “due process,” and “resistance.” If it did those things, though, it might be more attractive . . . and effective. A Muslim organization posing as a civil-rights activist while soft-pedaling its jihadist sympathies might be able to snow the American political class, the courts, the media, and the academy. It might make real inroads with the transnational progressives who dominated the Clinton administration.

Read more: Family Security Matters

CAIR’s Jihad against Honor Diaries

20120418_CAIR_FSMby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

Honor Diaries is an important film that explores the brutality and systematic inequality faced by women in Muslim-majority societies. It features both believing Muslim women, like Dr. Qanta Ahmed (whose compelling essay about the film was published here at National Review Online yesterday), and former Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the renowned author and human-rights activist.

The purpose of Honor Diaries is to empower women by shining a light on the hardships they endure – including “honor” killings (i.e., murders over the perception of having brought shame to the family by violating Islamic norms), beatings, genital mutilation, forced marriage – particularly of young girls – and restrictions on movement, education, and economic opportunity. The film highlights authentic Muslim moderates struggling against the dead-end of Islamic supremacism.

So naturally, the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) does not want you to see it.

At Fox News, Megyn Kelly has been covering the film anyway, despite CAIR’s howling. The segments that aired on Monday and Tuesday are available on Megyn’s website, here and here.

CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood creation, conceived as the primo American public-relations firm for Islamic supremacists, particularly Hamas – a task CAIR pulls off by masquerading as a “civil rights” organization.

Hamas, as I recounted in The Grand Jihad, is a formally designated terrorist organization under federal law. It is also the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. In the early Nineties, the Brotherhood established a “Palestine Committee” to promote Hamas in the United States, an agenda topped by fundraising and efforts to derail the 1993 Oslo accords – the futile, Clinton administration-brokered attempt to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. CAIR’s founders, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmed, attended a three-day summit in support of Hamas in Philadelphia in 1993, much of which was wiretapped by the FBI. CAIR was established shortly afterwards. By summer 1994, the Palestine Committee was listing CAIR in internal memoranda as one of its “working organizations.”

We’ve discussed CAIR here many times, including in my 2009 column about the FBI’s long-overdue severing of “outreach” ties with the organization. It is infuriating that the Feebs and the wider government thought it was worth canoodling with CAIR in the first place, but the Bureau officially ended the affair after the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial, in which several Hamas operatives were convicted. CAIR, though unindicted, was shown by the Justice Department to be a co-conspirator. In sum, prosecutors established that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was the primary Hamas fundraising arm in the United States. Like CAIR, HLF was identified by the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee as one of its “working organizations.” As terrorism researcher Steve Emerson has shown, CAIR got $5,000 in seed money at its inception from HLF, and thereafter helped raise money for HLF. The federal government shut HLF down in 2001 because of its promotion of terrorism.

Although Honor Diaries has been widely acclaimed and screened internationally, CAIR has been agitating against it. As reliably happens when CAIR plays its tired “Islamophobia” card, universities across the nation cower – especially universities with active Muslim Students Association chapters. (As we’ve observed before, the MSA is the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in the United States.) Starting with the University of Michigan at Dearborn, several schools have now decided not to screen the film after all.

Why it is “Islamophobic” to condemn violence and abuse against Muslim women is not entirely clear to me. It is, however, clear to Linda Sarsour, a “community organizer” and “immigrants’ rights activist” who is celebrated on President Obama’s website, WhiteHouse.gov, as a “Champion of Change.” As reported on The Kelly File, this particular “champion” reacted to Honor Diaries by tweeting:

How many times do we have to tell White women that we do not need to be saved by them? Is there code language I need to use to get thru?

Thoughts like Ms. Sarsour’s make for depressing reading, but clearly she is referring to some of the filmmakers, who happen to be white women (the others include white men and a black woman, Ms. Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born executive producer who was raised as a Muslim). The film has also been promoted by yet another highly accomplished woman, Brooke Goldstein, the human-rights attorney and filmmaker who directsThe Lawfare Project; and by the Clarion Project, a New York-based organization that promotes moderate Islam and publicly challenges “extremist” Islam.

The community organizers at CAIR have obviously read a bit farther along in Rules for Radicals than Ms. Sarsour. Rather than racist tweets, they couch their character assassination of the film’s backers in the poll-tested sensitivities of everyday Americans, pretending to endorse the film’s message while telling you not to watch it. They issued a statement on Monday that Megyn Kelly aired:

American Muslims join people of conscience of all faiths in condemning female genital mutilation, forced marriages, ‘honor killings,’ and any other form of domestic violence or gender inequality as violations of Islamic beliefs. If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam. The real concern in this case is that the producers of the film, who have a track record of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, are hijacking a legitimate issue to push their hate-filled agenda.

Right. Women are being brutalized but our “real concern” should be the “track record” of some film producers. Beyond CAIR’s say-so that it is “hate-filled,” this purportedly dark track record is not described. But, after all, who would know more about what counts as “hate-filled” than a PR flack for a terrorist organization whose charter vows to annihilate Israel by violent jihad?

On Tuesday night, CAIR’s Chicago branch dispatched Agnieszka Karoluk, one of its “senior communications coordinators,” to Fox in order to regurgitate CAIR’s statement. Questioned by Megyn Kelly, Ms. Karoluk gave a dizzying explanation: CAIR, we’re told, agrees that Honor Diaries raises vital issues, opposes the abuse of women just like the film does, and is not really happy that colleges are canceling screenings (even though CAIR put out a smiley-face tweet when the first cancellation was announced). But CAIR is “disgusted” by the Clarion Project because it is – all together now – “Islamophobic.” Ms. Karoluk declined to say what makes it so (of course, to get into that would bring attention to episodes of Islamic extremism Clarion has exposed). So because Clarion likes the film, you shouldn’t watch it even though its content is accurate and significant – got it? Confronted by Brooke Goldstein about CAIR’s own record, Ms. Karoluk predictably replied, “I’m not here to talk about CAIR, I’m here to talk about the film” . . . and then continued to avoid talking about the film.

It is no doubt true, as CAIR’s statement asserts, that American Muslims substantially join the rest of us in condemning the abuse of women. CAIR, however, is in no position to speak for American Muslims – and in fact speaks for very few of them. Even if one were inclined to accept CAIR’s statements at face value, Honor Diaries is about the abuse of Muslim women; it is not about the filmmakers. If CAIR truly condemned these misogynistic practices it would be encouraging people to see the film. Instead, as Dr. Ahmed told Megyn, “They claim to be defending the vulnerable whereas they’re actually silencing exposure about the vulnerable.”

But there is no reason to take CAIR’s statements at face value. Under the old adage that actions speak louder than words, the inescapable fact is that CAIR does not condemn the horrific abuse of women in Muslim-majority countries. It is feigning condemnation in hopes of rendering people more receptive to CAIR’s actual message, which is: Avoid Honor Diaries because anyone who exposes atrocities committed by Muslims is unworthy of consideration, no matter how valid the exposition.

And I can prove it.

CAIR has a very close relationship with another Muslim Brotherhood creation, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) – an Islamic-supremacist think-tank we’ve also discussed in these pages (see, e.g., here). As Steve Emerson points out, disclosure forms IIIT filed with the IRS show thousands of dollars in contributions to CAIR. IIIT was also a major financial backer of Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, whom CAIR continued to champion even after his guilty plea to a terrorism charge.

As I’ve previously recounted, IIIT is one of the influential Islamic academic outfits that have endorsed Reliance of the Traveller, the English translation of the classic sharia manual, `Umdat al-Salik. Indeed, the endorsement, written by IIIT’s then-president, Taha Jabir al-`Alwani, is included in the introduction section of the published manual. Dr. Alwani, a revered figure in Muslim Brotherhood circles, highly recommended Reliance as both a “textbook for teaching Islamic jurisprudence to English-speakers” and a legal reference for sharia scholars.

Here are just some of the things Reliance teaches about the treatment of women under Islamic law (with supporting citations to sections of the manual):

Read more: Family Security Matters

Iran Vehemently Denies that Its Foreign Minister Opposes a Second Holocaust

Javad Zarif / AP

Javad Zarif / AP

NRO, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Whew, glad they cleared this one up.

The Washington Free Beacon notes that, in an outbreak of temporary sanity, Iranian foreign minister (and John Kerry negotiating partner) Javad Zarif asserted that the “Holocaust should not happen again” and that “the extermination of Jews by the Nazi regime was tragically cruel and should not happen again.”

Publication of these sentiments provoked great outrage in the Islamic republic and now, top Iranian officials are vehemently denying that Zarif said any such thing. According to the Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency, Zarif’s deputy, Hassan Qashqavi, insists that the reports are “not true,” and that “in a phone conversation that I had with Mr. Zarif, he completely rejected the remarks attributed to him.” Qashqavi stressed that “the Islamic republic’s stance” on Israel “has not changed” a bit from “what has been repeatedly announced by this country’s diplomacy apparatus.”

That stance, of course, is that Israel must be destroyed.

The Islamic republic regrets any confusion. We now return to the Obama administration’s regularly scheduled legitimization of a nuclear program for the world’s leading sponsor of jihadist terror.

Kerry Sees Common Ground With Tehran’s Barbaric Terror Regime

kerryBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Secretary of State John “I don’t think we’re stupid” Kerry should think again.

Yesterday, a branch of al Qaeda executed atrocious twin suicide bombings against Iran’s embassy in Beirut, killing at least 23 people, with more than 140 wounded. Those of us who have urged that the United States should stay out of the Syrian civil war have contended that, deprived of our lightning rod effect, America’s mortal enemies on both sides of the conflict would turn on and thus degrade each other. That is precisely what has happened: al Qaeda, the terror network that is aligned with its fellow America-hating Sunni supremacists, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the effort to oust the Assad regime, has now effectively declared war on Assad’s main Shiite backers, Iran – the world’s chief state sponsor of terrorism – and its Lebanese jihadist militia, Hezbollah.

So what is our Secretary of State’s response to this unintended foreign policy coup? (For all policy coups during the Obama administration are unintended.) Kerry actually proclaimed that the attack proves there is common ground between the United States and Iran, with whose jihadist rulers he and President Obama are desperate to make a deal, any deal – as John Bolton explains here, with our Michael Ledeen adding context here. Just like mullahs, Kerry twaddled, “the United States knows too well the cost of terrorism directed at our own diplomats around the world.”

Well, yes, we do. But that’s because, for over 30 years, Iran has aided and abetted terrorists in strikes against American diplomats and other American personnel serving overseas – in addition, perhaps, to attacks on Americans here at home.

As I’ve recounted before, the modern Iranian regime was in fact spawned by Iran’s siege against the U.S. embassy, which began on November 4, 1979. Ultimately, the new jihadist regime held 52 American hostage for well over a year – 444 days, to be exact. Eight U.S. servicemen were also killed during the Carter administration’s botched rescue attempt, undertaken after American diplomats, who sounded very much like John Kerry, were mocked by Ayatollah Ruhollah Kohmeini when they tried to flatter the Iranians and negotiate an end to the crisis.

In early 1982, Iran sponsored the creation of Hezbollah. The dividends were immediate: On April 18, 1983, Hezbollah car-bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people (17 of them Americans). Six months later, on October 23, 1983, it attacked the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon with a truck bomb, killing 241 of our military personnel (218 marines, 20 sailors and three soldiers) – also killing 58 French soldiers in a separate attack the same day.

Less than two months later, on December 12, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Kuwait was bombed, killing six and wounding scores of others. The bombers were tied to al-Dawa, a terror organization backed by Iran that was then leading the Shiite resistance against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime (with which Iran was at war). Incidentally, the leader of Dawa’s “jihad office” in Syria at the time was none other than Nouri al-Maliki — now the prime minister of Iraq (you know, the “democrat” who will not relinquish power, supports Iran and Hezbollah, despises Israel, and is now helping re-plunge his country into civil war). Dawa was closely aligned with Hezbollah – indeed, the Kuwait operation was led by Youssef Badreddin, the cousin and brother-in-law of the late Hezbollah chief, Imad Mugniyah.

Read more at PJ Media

Obama on National Security: Serial Fraud

fraud

WASHINGTON, DC– Today the Center for Security Policy released a web ad and email campaign entitled, “Obama on National Security: Serial Fraud,” featuring former federal prosecutor, National Review columnist and bestselling author Andrew C. McCarthy.

The Center’s campaign focuses on what it calls “Obama’s national security fraud” and makes parallels from the president’s misrepresentations on Obamacare to our nation’s defense and security. The text Americans are urged to send to Obama, declares, boldly, that “We, the people, refuse to be lied to, especially about our national security. Too much is at stake – our children, our country, our lives. Your promises about health care and other domestic issues have seriously damaged your credibility.”

Send an email to President Obama

 

 

Transcript: Obama on National Security: Serial Fraud

Can we afford to leave national security to a president accused of fraud and repeatedly lying to the American public?

McCarthy: “‘You want your plan, you keep your plan’ is just the beginning. We’re talking about serial fraud on multiple levels…”

Now, he’s rushing to make a deal to leave Iran with nuclear weapons that Israel warns will make the entire world more dangerous and unstable. After what he did to healthcare, America cannot risk the same Obama train wreck… on national security.

Amir Taheri Still Flush with Spring Fever

egypt_hand_grenade_thumbnail_10-9-11-2-85x85

Rose-tinted revisionism: Islamic supremacism was not imposed on Egyptians; it was chosen by Egyptians.

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

My great respect for Amir Taheri notwithstanding, his hopes for democratic transformation of the Middle East cause him, yet again, to misinterpret the most recent developments in Egypt.

There, the initial draft of a new constitution is about to be published, the product of a committee overseen by the military, which has run Egypt’s government since Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. The new constitution will reportedly preserve sharia (Islam’s societal framework) as the country’s main source of law. It will also codify the “special status” of the armed forces as protectors of the state vested with supreme power in matters of national defense, foreign relations, and economic affairs — possibly including, the Washington Post reports, the discretion to try civilians (such as Muslim Brotherhood operatives) in military courts.

In a recent New York Post column, Taheri argues that the new constitution will thus be an insidious pact between the generals and the “Salafists” — Muslim supremacists who, like their Brotherhood political rivals, are determined to create a caliphate beholden to Islam’s repressive principles. It will betray hopes for real democracy that are shared, Taheri insists, by the vast majority of Egyptians.

Adopting the conveniently pliable passive voice, Taheri writes (the italics are mine):

The coup that returned the military to power after a year-long interval was presented as an attempt to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from imposing an Islamist dictatorship with a constitutional facade. Highlighted were two articles in the Morsi constitution that identified the Islamic sharia as the source of legislation in Egypt and gave Al-Azhar, the official seminary, a virtual veto on certain issues.

The crowds that for weeks filled Tahrir Square called on the army to intervene to save the nation from a burgeoning sharia-based dictatorship. Well, when the new draft constitution — written by a 50-man committee appointed by the military — is published, the Tahrir Square crowds are likely to be disappointed. The two controversial articles will still be there, albeit under different numbers and with slight changes in terminology.

This is rose-tinted revisionism. Yes, the coup “was presented” by democracy romantics as a rejection of Islamic totalitarianism. But that did not make it one. Egypt is a big, complex country, and there was no single rationale for Morsi’s ouster, which was supported by some important Salafist factions — groups that could not be more opposed to Western liberalism. The impetus for removing Morsi that came closest to a societal consensus was not the desire for real democracy; it was — as our colleague David Goldman has observed — that Egypt is an economic basket-case that Morsi and the Brothers were steering toward failed-state status.

Read more at PJ Media