Betting National Security on a Theory

IPT News
February 24, 2015

1137The debate over whether it’s a good idea to use phrases like “Islamic extremism” in fighting global terrorism took center stage last week as the White House hosted a summit to discuss what it generically calls “violent extremism.”

In a speech last Thursday at the summit, President Obama explained his rationale for eschewing references to terrorist groups’ Islamist ideology.

“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy,” he said. “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’ And they propagate the notion that America — and the West, generally — is at war with Islam. That’s how they recruit. That’s how they try to radicalize young people. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists.”

So accurately describing their ideology, or calling the terrorists “jihadists” grants them undo legitimacy as true representatives of the faith, the argument goes. The current policy aims to deny them that mantle.

That’s a theory. But there’s a key question no one seems to be asking: Does it work?

This is a continuation of a policy instituted during President George W. Bush’s second term, meaning it has been in place for more than seven years. If it is indeed the right, best policy, advocates should be able to point to tangible evidence to show its value.

Arguably, the Islamist ideology has never been more popular, given the flood of foreign fighters making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, or Boko Haram’s endless reign of terror in Nigeria. Hamas still enjoys strong support despite following policies which bring devastation to the people of Gaza.

And there is no mistaking the religious motivation driving these groups. Hamas is an acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western education is sinful.” And the Islamic State has a whiff of religious affinity.

The Atlantic this month devoted 10,000 words to explaining the core Quranic ideology, with an emphasis on an apocalyptic prophecy, which drives the Islamic State’s brutality. It “follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior,” Graeme Wood explains.

That’s more challenging when that belief system is deliberately kept out of deliberations.

Jeffrey Bale, an associate professor who studies political and religious extremism at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program, called the continued emphasis on avoiding references to Islamic doctrine by Western leaders and pundits “absurd.”

The policy has “not had any discernably positive impact on dealing with the threats that such groups pose,” he said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “On the contrary. The simple fact is that it is the Islamists, not Muslim moderates, who are winning the struggle for ideological hegemony throughout much of the Muslim world, and that Obama’s efforts to positively ‘re-set’ relations with the Islamic world have completely failed … In short, there is no evidence that this constant pandering to Islamist activists, these embarrassing efforts to whitewash Islamic history and doctrines, and the foolish insistence that jihadist groups have ‘nothing to do with Islam’ have had any beneficial effects. They have mainly served to confuse Western citizens about the extent and nature of the Islamist threat.”

Maajid Nawaz, a former radical who now tries to combat the narrative which fuels Islamist terrorism, argues the avoidance policy could be making things worse for everyone, including Muslims. In recent social media and television appearances, Nawaz, a co-founder of the London-based Quilliam Institute, calls it the “Voldemort Effect.”

Islam is a religion, he writes. Islamism is the attempt to make the laws of the religion supreme over a society. That’s the ideology that must be defeated, but that “cannot happen if you refuse to recognise it exists,” he wrote in a social media post addressed to Obama that he signed “a constantly betrayed liberal Muslim.”

If we dare not say its name, in other words, it can become more frightening to its foes and more alluring to prospective recruits.

In a recent appearance on Fox News, Nawaz expressed concern that this self-censorship actually makes life more difficult for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject terrorist brutality displayed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaida and others.

Non-Muslims in the West “they’re just petrified,” he said, “and that can lead to even more anti-Muslim hate crime. Because if they are unable to pinpoint specifically that we’re dealing with the Islamist ideology, in their ignorance they blame all Muslims. And of course then all Muslims face a backlash. So I think it’s better if we wish to protect mainstream Muslims from anti-Muslim hate crime to name the very specific ideology that we’re talking about, which is Islamism, and distinguish that from Islam the faith.

Nawaz is offering a theory, just like the people who advocate the policy embraced by the Obama administration. There’s a key distinction, however. As he describes in his autobiography, Nawaz helped recruit followers to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which dreams of a global caliphate and has been called a “conveyor belt” for jihadist terror. He knows which messages worked and which did not.

Some American Islamists showed last week that the Obama message is not working. They have criticized the White House summit as hostile toward Muslims despite the verbal contortions invoked to avoid that very reaction.

If we’re going to focus on extremist violence, they argue, the bigger threat to America is from right-wing, anti-government movements. It turns out the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about violence from “sovereign citizen” movements who believe they are exempt from state and federal laws.

But it would be wrong to talk about that, Linda Sarsour and Deepa Iyak wrote Feb. 17 in The Guardian.

“One thing is clear: the federal government’s one-note approach to countering violent extremism fosters distrust and hostility towards Muslim communities while disregarding threats to Americans’ safety from racist hate groups in the country.”

There is a key distinction, however. For the most part, sovereign citizen attacks are smaller scale, often erupting in what should be routine encounters with law enforcement officers. CNN cites a 2012 example involving a Louisiana traffic stop that led to a shootout between police and a father and his son.

What Islamist terrorists want, what they urge followers to carry out, are mass casualty attacks that can target specific groups deemed to have offended Islam or simply any place where many people gather.

The United States has rigidly followed a policy, going at times to uncomfortable lengths, to avoid putting a religious label on terrorism clearly driven by a rabid adherence to centuries-old Islamic theology. The uninterrupted flow of new recruits to the Islamic State indicates that the policy has not had the desired effect.

“American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca),” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, writesin Time magazine.

“How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators.”

For the West, the sanitized language and tap-dancing around the issue makes it impossible to fully understand the enemy’s motivation, writes Robert R. Reilly, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

“You cannot go into a war of ideas without understanding the ideas you are at war with. Yet, throughout the two speeches, [Obama] never mentions the substance of the enemy’s ideas once,” Reilly writes. “…This is like saying, in World War II, that we were fighting the Nazi ideology, but never mentioning the thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Rosenberg or Adolph Hitler. Or, during the Cold War, saying we are fighting the ideology of Communism, but never mentioning the ideas of Karl Marx, Lenin, or Stalin.”

Rather than continuing to do the same thing and hope for a better outcome, perhaps it is time to listen to the Muslim reformers asking for a more honest, tough love approach. Terrorists are committing acts of barbarism daily in the name of Islam. That doesn’t mean all, or even most, Muslim see the same commands in their faith.

It might delegitimize terrorists more to emphasize how most of their victims are fellow Muslims, and to clearly draw the lines between the terrorists and the hundreds of millions of Muslims who reject their savagery.

It’s a theory, anyhow.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama Must Confront the Threat of Radical Islam

An ISIS member waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria on June 29, 2014.

An ISIS member waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria on June 29, 2014.

ISIS is recruiting young Muslims from around the globe to Jihad, and the White House apparently doesn’t understand why

Time, By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Feb. 20, 2015:

How can the Obama Administration miss the obvious? Part of the answer lies in the groups “partnering” with, or advising, the White House on these issues. Groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council or the Islamic Society of North America insist that there should be no more focus at the Summit on radical Islam than on any other violent movements, even as radical Islamic movements continue to expand their influence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

Amplifying a poor choice of Muslim outreach partners, however, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have argued in recent days that economic grievances, a lack of opportunities, and countries with “bad governance” are to blame for the success of groups such as ISIS in recruiting Muslims to their cause. Yet, if this were true, why do so many young Muslims who live in societies with excellent governance—Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, the United States—either join ISIS or engage in Jihadist violence in their own countries? Why do young Muslims with promising professional futures embark on the path of Jihad?

Neither the Summit partners nor the U.S. Administration can effectively answer these questions.

Both Denmark and the Netherlands have “good governance.” Denmark and the Netherlands not only offer free health insurance but also free housing to Muslim refugees, along with high-quality education for their children. This should produce an outpouring of gratitude by young Muslims towards the host society, and no Jihadists.

Yet there are dozens of Jihadists hailing from the Netherlands and a recent attack in Copenhagen was committed by a man who was raised in Denmark and had effectively enjoyed years of Danish hospitality.

The question is not limited to Europe. Minnesota, for instance, is hardly a state with “bad governance.” Minnesota offers ample opportunity for immigrants willing to work hard. Yet more than a dozen young men from the Twin Cities area have joined the Jihadist movement in recent years.

How can Barack Obama or John Kerry explain this? Based on President Obama’s public statements and John Kerry’s analysis in The Wall Street Journal, they cannot.

It is worth remembering Aafia Siddiqui, the M.I.T.-educated neuroscientist who could have enjoyed a prestigious and lucrative career in the bio-tech industry but instead chose to embrace radical Islam, eventually becoming known as “Lady Al-Qaida.”

Or think of the three Khan siblings who recently sought to leave Chicago in order to go live in Syria under the rule of ISIS. The Khan sister, intelligent and studious, had planned to become a physician. The siblings were intercepted before they could fly out of the country, and prosecutors argue they wanted to join armed Jihad. Defense attorneys have a different explanation, stating the siblings desperately wanted to live under a society ruled by Shariah law—under the rule of Allah’s laws, without necessarily wanting to commit acts of violence.

It is this motivation—the sincere desire to live under Islamic religious laws, and the concomitant willingness to use violence to defend the land of Islam and expand it—that has led thousands of Western Muslims, many of them young and intelligent—and not the oft-described “losers”—to leave a comfortable professional and economic future in the West in order to join ISIS under gritty circumstances.

In its general strategy, the U.S. Administration confounds two things. It is true that in “failed states” criminal networks, cartels, and terrorist groups can operate with impunity. Strengthening central governments will reduce safe havens for terror networks. Secretary Kerry’s argument in The Wall Street Journal is different, however, namely: If we improve governance in countries with “bad governance,” then fewer young people will become “violent extremists.” That’s a different argument and not a plausible one. In fact, it’s a really unpersuasive argument. Muslims leave bright, promising futures to join ISIS out of a sense of sincere religious devotion, the wish to live under the laws of Allah instead of the laws of men.

In reading Kerry’s piece, I am glad that in the late 1940s the U.S. had people such as George Kennan employed in its service to see the Communist threat clearly and describe it clearly. But where is today’s Kennan in this administration? Who in the U.S. government is willing to describe the threat of radical Islam without fear of causing offense to several aggressive Islamic lobby groups?

American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca).

How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators. In such a reform project lies the hope for countering Islamism. No traditional Islamic lobbying group committed to defending the reputation of Islam will recommend such a policy to the U.S. government. Yet until American policymakers grapple with the need for such reform, the real problem within Islam will remain unresolved.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation and the author of Infidel, Nomad, and the forthcoming Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation, to be published next spring.

How to Answer the Paris Terror Attack

After the horrific massacre Wednesday at the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, perhaps the West will finally put away its legion of useless tropes trying to deny the relationship between violence and radical Islam.

This was not an attack by a mentally deranged, lone-wolf gunman. This was not an “un-Islamic” attack by a bunch of thugs—the perpetrators could be heard shouting that they were avenging the Prophet Muhammad. Nor was it spontaneous. It was planned to inflict maximum damage, during a staff meeting, with automatic weapons and a getaway plan. It was designed to sow terror, and in that it has worked.

The West is duly terrified. But it should not be surprised.

If there is a lesson to be drawn from such a grisly episode, it is that what we believe about Islam truly doesn’t matter. This type of violence, jihad, is what they, the Islamists, believe.

There are numerous calls to violent jihad in the Quran. But the Quran is hardly alone. In too much of Islam, jihad is a thoroughly modern concept. The 20th-century jihad “bible,” and an animating work for many Islamist groups today, is “The Quranic Concept of War,” a book written in the mid-1970s by Pakistani Gen. S.K. Malik. He argues that because God, Allah, himself authored every word of the Quran, the rules of war contained in the Quran are of a higher caliber than the rules developed by mere mortals.

In Malik’s analysis of Quranic strategy, the human soul—and not any physical battlefield—is the center of conflict. The key to victory, taught by Allah through the military campaigns of the Prophet Muhammad, is to strike at the soul of your enemy. And the best way to strike at your enemy’s soul is through terror. Terror, Malik writes, is “the point where the means and the end meet.” Terror, he adds, “is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose.”

Those responsible for the slaughter in Paris, just like the man who killed the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, are seeking to impose terror. And every time we give in to their vision of justified religious violence, we are giving them exactly what they want.

In Islam, it is a grave sin to visually depict or in any way slander the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims are free to believe this, but why should such a prohibition be forced on nonbelievers? In the U.S., Mormons didn’t seek to impose the death penalty on those who wrote and produced “The Book of Mormon,” a satirical Broadway sendup of their faith. Islam, with 1,400 years of history and some 1.6 billion adherents, should be able to withstand a few cartoons by a French satirical magazine. But of course deadly responses to cartoons depicting Muhammad are nothing new in the age of jihad.

Moreover, despite what the Quran may teach, not all sins can be considered equal. The West must insist that Muslims, particularly members of the Muslim diaspora, answer this question: What is more offensive to a believer—the murder, torture, enslavement and acts of war and terrorism being committed today in the name of Muhammad, or the production of drawings and films and books designed to mock the extremists and their vision of what Muhammad represents?

To answer the late Gen. Malik, our soul in the West lies in our belief in freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. The freedom to express our concerns, the freedom to worship who we want, or not to worship at all—such freedoms are the soul of our civilization. And that is precisely where the Islamists have attacked us. Again.

How we respond to this attack is of great consequence. If we take the position that we are dealing with a handful of murderous thugs with no connection to what they so vocally claim, then we are not answering them. We have to acknowledge that today’s Islamists are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in the foundational texts of Islam. We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.

This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement. We appease the Muslim heads of government who lobby us to censor our press, our universities, our history books, our school curricula. They appeal and we oblige. We appease leaders of Muslim organizations in our societies. They ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us that theirs is a religion of peace, and we oblige.

What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets.

There can only be one answer to this hideous act of jihad against the staff of Charlie Hebdo. It is the obligation of the Western media and Western leaders, religious and lay, to protect the most basic rights of freedom of expression, whether in satire on any other form. The West must not appease, it must not be silenced. We must send a united message to the terrorists: Your violence cannot destroy our soul.

Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of “Infidel” (2007). Her latest book, “Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation,” will be published in April by HarperCollins.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali fights radical Islam’s real war on women

In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)

In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)

By Ashe Schow:In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights.

The decision was triggered by Hirsi Ali’s outspoken criticisms of Islam. The Somali-born activist has sounded alarms about the prevalence of extremism in Muslim countries and the misogyny that pervades even mainstream Islam.

During the Brandeis controversy, a CAIR spokesman called her “one of the worst of the worst of the Islam-haters in America.”

But Hirsi Ali’s warnings about Islamic extremism were quickly supported by world events, as just a week after Brandeis rescinded her honorary degree, the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in the first of many such abductions throughout the summer. A few months after the kidnappings began, news spread that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another terrorist group, was selling Yazidi women into sexual slavery.

Related: Seven horrific examples of the real “war on women”

In recent years, as part of its efforts to leverage its historical electoral advantage with female voters, Democrats in the United States have promoted the idea that Republicans have been waging a “war on women.” At various times, the term has been associated with politicians who oppose late-term abortions; conservatives who defend the right of religious business owners to decline to provide contraception coverage to employees; and those who question the assumptions behind the statistic that women on average earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. During the 2014 midterm election season, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz even claimed Tea Party Republicans were “grabbing [women] by the hair and pulling us back.”

Many on the Right have responded to this campaign either by mocking the idea that a war on women exists or by challenging many of the claims liberals make to perpetuate the narrative — pointing out, for example, that nearly all of the gender wage gap can be explained by the career choices women make. But the truth is that there is a war on women. It just isn’t occurring where American liberals claim it is, but rather in countries where women are forbidden to leave their homes without a male escort; seen as nothing more than chattel to be sold or abused; killed if they disobey their family’s wishes; mutilated to prevent them from having sex; and attacked with acid when they try to escape.

If American liberals were as concerned about women’s rights as they claim to be, they would have to shift their focus to other countries, but that would mean giving up a cherished narrative about conservatives here at home and acknowledging the threat radical Islam poses to women worldwide.

From Earlier: Ayaan Hirsi Ali slams modern American feminism’s “trivial BS”

The real horrors facing women in the world aren’t discussed in America, where those who try to point out what is going on in other countries or criticize the trivial nature of feminist obsessions are sidelined from the public debate.

But recent events have cast a glaring light on the brutal treatment of women by those claiming to act in the name of Islam, posing a challenge to the American Left by creating a conflict between the liberal desire for women’s equality and a multicultural reluctance to criticize other cultures. This philosophical tension gained national attention in October, when HBO’s liberal host Bill Maher noted the connection between Islamic ideology and violence, igniting a bitter argument with celebrity guest Ben Affleck.

Bundled up and fearful of shaking hands because of a cough, Hirsi Ali sat down with theWashington Examiner in November before being presented an award by the Independent Women’s Forum at its Women of Valor Dinner in Washington. She noted that where extremist ideology spreads, death and mayhem flourish.

“That consequence you see today in parts of Iraq and Syria,” Hirsi Ali said. “You see it in what Boko Haram is doing. You’ve seen it with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Everywhere where that idea is implemented it has a sudden pattern.”

Critics have attacked Hirsi Ali as Islamophobic and have argued that the portrait she paints is not representative of Islam at large. But her disagreements with Islam are rooted in her own East African upbringing.

Hirsi Ali was subjected to female genital mutilation at the age of 5 in her home country, Somalia, while her father, who opposed the traditional practice, was in prison. Her father escaped and moved the family to Saudi Arabia, then to Ethiopia and finally to Kenya when Hirsi Ali was 11 years old.

MORE: The real “war on women”: A victim speaks

She grew up as a Muslim woman, reading and accepting the Quran and its teachings. But when her family prepared to force her into an arranged marriage, she fled to the Netherlands. She eventually became a translator, speaking on behalf of Somali women who, like her, were seeking asylum.

Hirsi Ali discovered many women continued to suffer under Islam even in the secular, liberal Netherlands. She decided to enter politics to bring attention to the plight of Muslim women and girls, and in 2003 she was elected to the Dutch parliament.

Her charisma and criticism of Islam as a member of parliament gained the attention of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. She wrote and narrated his film “Submission” about oppressed women in Holland, a film that outraged Dutch Muslims. On Nov. 2, 2004, an Islamist shot and stabbed van Gogh to death in Amsterdam as he rode his bicycle to work. A letter was pinned to van Gogh’s dead body with a knife, a letter that included a death threat against Hirsi Ali.

She moved to the United States in 2006 following her resignation from parliament amid accusations that she lied on her asylum application. But even in America, a security detail accompanies her wherever she goes.

Hirsi Ali has a reputation as a fearless critic of Islam, but she spoke quietly, almost timidly, even though her security detail was on alert just outside the secluded room where our interview took place.

Liberals, she said, protect Islamic extremists partly because the Left has no idea what really goes on in Muslim countries.

“They feel all religions are the same, and they’re not,” she observed. “I think if I adopt the position in good faith to multiculturalists and leftists, I would say [they take the position they do] because they see them [Muslims] as victims. They see them as victims of the white man and so they think: ‘Let’s protect them from the white man. Let’s protect them from capitalism.’… That is misguided at best and malicious at worst.”

One need only remember the tragic shooting at Fort Hood in 2009 to see such indifference to extremism in action. U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded many more after becoming radicalized and corresponding with Yemeni-American terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Despite evidence that Hasan’s rampage was religiously motivated — he shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”) before opening fire — the Obama administration classified the attack as “workplace violence.”

The Left’s kid-glove treatment of even radical Islam exposes the logical flaw at the heart of multiculturalism. How does one tolerate the murderous intolerance of another culture? Is someone really a principled supporter of diversity, of women’s rights, of gay rights, if he refuses to resist or even acknowledge the mortal threat that is posed to those causes by a different culture?

Read more at Washington Examiner

Also see:

The Buckley Program Stands Up for Free Speech

6a00d83451c36069e20168eb9dbef6970cBy Bruce Thornton:

The William F. Buckley Program at Yale University lately showed bravery unusual for an academic institution. It has refused to be bullied by the Muslim Students Association and its demand that the Buckley Program rescind an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on campus September 15. Hirsi Ali is the vocal Somalian critic of Islamic doctrine whose life has been endangered for condemning the theologically sanctioned oppression of women in Islamic culture. Unlike Brandeis University, which recently rescinded an honorary degree to be given to Hirsi Ali after complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Buckley Program rejected both the MSA’s initial demand, and a follow up one that Hirsi Ali share the stage with one of her critics.

The Buckley Program is a rare instance of an academic organization staying true to the ideals of free speech, academic freedom, and the “free play of the mind on all subjects,” as Matthew Arnold defined liberal education. Most of our best universities have sacrificed these ideals on the altar of political correctness and identity politics. Anything that displeases or discomforts campus special interest groups––mainly those predicated on being the alleged victims of American oppression–– must be proscribed as “slurs” or “hateful,” even if what’s said is factually true. No matter that these groups are ideologically driven and use their power to silence critics and limit speech to their own self-serving and duplicitous views, the modus operandi of every illiberal totalitarian regime in history. The spineless university caves in to their demands, incoherently camouflaging their craven betrayal of the First Amendment and academic freedom as “tolerance” and “respect for diversity.”

In the case of Islam, however, this betrayal is particularly dangerous. For we are confronting across the world a jihadist movement that grounds its violence in traditional Islamic theology, jurisprudence, and history. Ignoring those motives and their sanction by Islamic doctrine compromises our strategy and tactics in defeating the jihadists, for we cripple ourselves in the war of ideas. Worse yet, Islamic triumphalism and chauvinism–– embodied in the Koranic verse that calls Muslims “the best of nations raised up for the benefit of men” because they “enjoin the right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah”–– is confirmed and strengthened by the way our elite institutions like universities and the federal government quickly capitulate to special interest groups who demand that we endorse only their sanitized and often false picture of Islam. Such surrender confirms the jihadist estimation of the West as the “weak horse,” as bin Laden said, a civilization with “foundations of straw” whose wealth and military power are undermined by a collective failure of nerve and loss of morale.

This process of exploiting the moral degeneration of the West has been going on now for 25 years. It begins, as does the rise of modern jihadism, with the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Islamic revolution. The key event took place in February 1989, when Khomeini issued a fatwa, based on Koran 9.61, against Indian novelist Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses, which was deemed “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran,” as Khomeini said. Across the world enraged Muslims rioted and bombed bookstores, leaving over 20 people dead. More significant in the long run was the despicable reaction of many in the West to this outrage against freedom of speech and the rule of law, perpetrated by the most important and revered political and religious leader of a major Islamic nation.

Abandoning their principles, bookstores refused to stock the novel, and publishers delayed or canceled editions. Muslims in Western countries publicly burned copies of Rushdie’s novel and encouraged his murder with impunity. Eminent British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper suggested Rushdie deserved such treatment. Thirteen British Muslim barristers filed a formal complaint against the author. In their initial reactions, Western government officials were hesitant and timorous. The U.S. embassy in Pakistan eagerly assured Muslims that “the U.S. government in no way supports or associates itself with any activity that is in any sense offensive or insulting to Islam.”

Khomeini’s fatwa and the subsequent violent reaction created what Daniel Pipes calls the “Rushdie rules,” a speech code that privileges Islam over revered Western traditions of free speech that still are operative in the case of all other religions. Muslims now will determine what counts as an “insult” or a “slur,” and their displeasure, threats, and violence will police those definitions and punish offenders. Even reporting simple facts of history or Islamic doctrine can be deemed an offense and bring down retribution on violators. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example, earned the wrath of Muslims in part for her contribution to Theo van Gogh’s film Submission, which projected Koranic verses regarding women on the bodies of abused women. Van Gogh, of course, was brutally murdered in the streets of Amsterdam. And this is the most important dimension of the “Rushdie rules”: violence will follow any violation of whatever some Muslims deem to be “insulting” to Islam, even facts. In effect, Western law has been trumped by the shari’a ban on blaspheming Islam, a crime punishable by death.

Read more at Frontpage

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali Urges Yale MSA To Refocus Energies

Published on Sep 17, 2014 by Washington Free Beacon

Ayaan Hirsi Ali questions why America, the West can unite against apartheid but not sharia

kelly fileBreitbart,  By Jeff Poor:

On Friday’s “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, Harvard Kennedy School fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali made an appearance to discuss the plight of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for her Christianity that recently gave birth in a Sudanese prison.

Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic and victim of Islam for female genital mutilation, urged those in the West, including states, to unite against tenets of Sharia Law, which call for the punishment she and Ibrahim faced, as they did against South Africa’s apartheid in the 1980s and 1990s.

“It’s not a dichotomy — it’s not like black and white between having boots on the ground versus doing nothing,” Hirsi Ali said. “Remember apartheid — we stopped it through writing books, writing, through songs, through trade boycotts, through diplomacy. We were united as a — just not America but the West and all moral countries to say it is unacceptable to divide humanity to blacks and whites and what are we seeing with Sharia? We’re seeing it in Brunei. We’re seeing it in Sudan. We know it in our lives, Saudi Arabia and others. On grounds of, you know … we are not taking the positions, the moral positions that we need to and we’re not fighting that moral positions with the tools we have.”

Also see:

The Boko Haram Girls May Already Have Been Mutilated

Nigeria--School-girl-AFPBreitbart, by Phyllis Chesler:

The entire world is focused on the captured Nigerian girls, many scenarios have been envisioned–and yet there is at least one issue no one has raised: That it is entirely possible that these poor girls have also been genitally mutilated. If so, that means that their rapes will be doubly torturous and traumatizing.

And make no mistake: They will be raped by their captors on their “wedding” night and/or over and over again by strangers if they are trafficked into a brothel.

Nigeria is both an African and an increasingly Muslim country. Read the exquisite and excruciating Memoirs about being genitally mutilated by Soraya Mire (the girl with three legs) and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel), both of whom write about their horrific experiences in Somalia.

Experts have warred over whether female genital mutilation (FGM) is primarily pre-Islamic and tribally African or whether there is a basis for it in Islam. Both points of view have merit.

If the majority of the girls are Christians, they may also be mutilated, but this means that the “gender cleansing” is also a form of ethnic and religious cleansing. I am not sure if most of the captured girls are Christian but it is certainly a possibility. Islamists are capturing, raping, and marrying mainly Hindu girls in India. It is a radically demographic solution to getting rid of infidels and increasing the Muslim population.

To the extent to which Boko Haram are following the rules of Islamic Jihad (and they are, they surely are), they will not think of rape as “rape.” This is what women are for, to be used, to be profitable, to produce children and be domestic slaves. A Boko Haram warrior will have no conception of how this intimately violent act affects his victim–whom he does not think of as a “victim.” These are Western and infidel concepts and Boko Haram–they are forbidden.

Boko Haram are, no doubt, using rape, not as a spoil of war, and not as a weapon of war, but as a form of gender cleansing, also possibly as a form of religious or ethnic cleansing when the victims are not Muslims.

This kind of Jihad-rape was widely practiced in Sudan. Black African girls and women, sent out to forage for firewood and water, were publicly, repeatedly, gang-raped by ethnic Arab Muslims; some children were as young as five or six years old.

Rape shames its victims, it breaks them, they offer no resistance and become resigned to a life of suffering. Many rape victims become clinically depressed and suicidal.

Imagine the pain of being forcibly penetrated when you have been sewn shut and thick scar tissue exists where there was once a clitoris, labia, and a vagina.

According to UNICEF, the U.S. State Department, and a variety of medical reports, either there are 30 million genitally mutilated women in Nigeria;  or 41% of the female population has been mutilated. One report guesstimated that between 10-90% of women in the state of Borno, where Boko Haram are based, have been genitally mutilated.

In 2007, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken and Thomas Uwer wrote in the Middle East Quarterly, “there are indications that FGM might be a phenomenon of epidemic proportions in the Arab Middle East” and being done, not for African tribal reasons, but for Islamic reasons. The authors note that, surprisingly, FGM has been widely practiced in “Iraqi Kurdistan and in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.” They believe that Arab Muslim societies are not free or stable enough to allow serious research on this subject. The women who perform this atrocity believe they are doing what the Qu’ran or the Hadith command.

In 2013, Shereen El Feki, in Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, documented the epidemic nature of FGM in Egypt where more than 90% of the women have been mutilated. Increasingly, doctors and nurses perform the procedure. El Feki writes: “Those who support FGM believe they have God on their side…that the practice is obligatory for Muslims….the Prophet Muhammad is said to have advised a female practitioner in Medina to “not cut too severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.”

Whether FGM is truly a “Muslim” obligation or whether it isn’t, what matters is that so many Muslims believe it is and therefore act accordingly.

I hope that U.S. Navy Seals are on the ground and about to find these poor girls. I fear their fate was sealed long ago when radical Islam arose in the world again and the West, for many reasons, did nothing to stop it.

Bill Maher: ‘Islam Is The Problem’

maherDaily Caller, By Jamie Weinstein:

Bill Maher went after Islam Friday night on his HBO show “Real Time.”

With the Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapping hundreds of teenage girls to sell into slavery, the Sultan of Brunei establishing the repressive Sharia law in his country and Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree being rescinded by Brandeis University, Bill Maher pointed his finger at Islam as a major problem in the world today.

“Islam is the problem, correct. All religions are the problem, but especially this one,” the ardent atheist Maher told some of his liberal guests who were offended by his attacks on the faith.

Earlier in the discussion of Islam, conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza argued that “there’s a civil war in the mind of the liberal.”

“On the one hand you’re a defender of individual rights and minorities and if this were the Catholic Church, you’d be all on it,” he explained. “But on the other hand you’re committed to multiculturalism and Islam is a victim and we don’t want to make the Muslims feel bad. And so these two impulses have got to be brokered, one against the other. And that’s why there is a protection of Islam. The problem isn’t the Muslims. The problem is all the multiculturalists on campus who protect and defend them.”

Deceptive Islamist Support for Nigerian Girls

Guest Column: CAIR’s Hypocrisy At America’s Schools

CAIR’s Newest Enemy

Where Does Naomi Wolf’s Hypocrisy End, Or Does It?

nwFront Page, by :

Naomi Wolf has joined the Hamas chorus by attacking feminist hero Phyllis Chesler with being a Zionist agent. How facilely Wolf has adopted the language of Jew-haters the world over — an even more bitter irony coming from someone who has written an entire book comparing democratic America to Nazi Germany.

And Chesler’s sin? To have dared to challenge the Left’s party line of defending the Islamic mutilators of adolescent girls, and practitioners of gender apartheid. But then again, this isn’t anything new for Wolf, seeing that she is on the record as finding the burqa sexy.

In her recent article, “Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment,” Phyllis Chesler criticized Brandeis’ phony feminists for their complicity in the University denying an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  In a response on her Facebook page, Wolf joined the anti-Semites of the Mearshimer-Walt-Blumenthal set, claiming that Chesler has no mind of her own but is merely a puppet of the organized Jews:

“She is funded these days by pro-Israel advocacy organizations that support journalists and writers to advocate ‘the party line’ in terms of hardline anti-Islam and right-wing policy outcomes regarding Israel.”

This is pretty crude even for a brain-dead Marxist.

Wolf goes on to complain that Chesler,

“has made some outlandish, grossly factually incorrect attacks on me whenever I write anything that encourages Western readers to have a deeper understanding of Islam.”

What she means is a more grovelling supine attitude of appeasement towards barbaric Islamic attitudes and practices. When Wolf encourages people to have a “deeper understanding” of Islam, she is not alluding to caring more about the horrifying Islamic practices of female genital mutilation, honor killing, forced marriage and veiling, acid attacks practices against Muslims in the name of a perverse view of Islam. Chesler has already answered Wolf’s sick attack with a little tongue in cheek acidity:

“Naomi: Are you on the payroll of the public relations crisis management team Brandeis has reportedly hired? Are you now or have you ever been funded by George Soros? Or merely by the Democratic Party? Is Al Gore, for whom you once consulted, and who sold his cable channel to Al-Jazeera, backing you? Is he supporting your Woodhull Institute? Or are the Jordanian royals helping you? I know you visited with them and wrote about them very favorably.”

Wolf’s attack on Chesler is an extension of the collision that occurred between the two a few years back, after Wolf went on a political pilgrimage to the Muslim world and returned singing the praises of the burqa. Chesler dismantled Wolf’s embarrassing fairy tales of the female gulag that Islam has constructed for nearly a billion women with such precision that one wonders why Wolf is now even bothering stepping back into this mismatch. Unlike Wolf, Chesler is a true scholar of Islam and as the former bride of a Muslim in Afghanistan, she has first-hand experience of the horrors of Islamic gender apartheid.

Naomi Wolf is a sad emblem of the pathetic state of the Left and of its pseudo feminist wing: ignorant, arrogant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-American and an embarrassing fifth column for the Islamic barbarians of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Chicago ABC Station, Financial Institutions Co-Sponsor CAIR Banquet

Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment

by Phyllis CheslerPhyllis Chesler

April 16, 2014

The Brandeis professors who demanded that Ayaan Hirsi Ali be “immediately” dis-invited wrote that “we are filled with shame at the suggestion that (Hirsi Ali’s) above-quoted sentiments express Brandeis’s values.” The professors also castigated Hirsi Ali for her “core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples” and for her suggestion that “violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam.” The professors note that such a view “obscure(s) such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus.”

This is exactly what these professors are teaching the more than four thousand Brandeis students who signed a petition to rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s award. (Read it here.)

Are eight year-old girls being genitally mutilated at Brandeis or forced into polygamous marriages with men old enough to be their grandfathers? Are they being forcibly face-veiled or honor murdered for refusing to marry their first cousins? Perhaps they are being executed because they have been raped, for leaving an abusive marriage, or for daring to express an independent opinion?

Eighty seven professors or 29% of the Brandeis faculty signed this letter. These professors teach Physics, Anthropology, Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, English, Economics, Music, Film, Computer Science, Math, Sociology, Education—and Women and Gender Studies. Four percent of the signatories teach Anthropology, 6% teach Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, 9% teach Physics—and 21% teach Women and Gender Studies.

In my 2005 book, The Death of Feminism, this is precisely what I was talking about, namely, the feminist departure from universal human rights, a greater focus on anti-racism than on anti-sexism, and a deadly multi-cultural relativism. These Brandeis feminists, both male and female, are defending Islamist supremacism, (which is not a race), and attacking an African Somali women, who happens to be a feminist hero.

Feminists have called Hirsi Ali an “Islamophobe” and a “racist” many times for defending Western values such as women’s rights, gay rights, human rights, freedom of religion, the importance of intellectual diversity, etc.

The 1960s-early 1970s feminism I once championed — and still do — was first taken over by Marxists and ideologically “Stalinized.” It was then conquered again by Islamists and ideologically “Palestinianized.” I and a handful of others maintained honorable minority positions on a host of issues. In time, women no longer mattered as much to many feminists — at least, not as much as Edward Said’s Arab men of color did. The Arab men were more fashionable victims who had not only been formerly “colonized” but who, to this day are, allegedly, still being “occupied.”

Feminists became multi-cultural relativists and as such, refused to criticize other cultures including misogyny within those other cultures.

Feminists have been attacking Ayaan Hirsi Ali for years as a “racist” and an “Islamophobe.” They are guided by the same false moral equivalents which the above Brandeis professors share. It is similar to the kind of false moral equivalence that author Deborah Scroggins made when she compared Hirsi Ali to one Aafiya Siddiqui in her 2012 book: Wanted Women. Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui., Scroggins is far more sympathetic to the Pakistani-born, American-educated Aafia Siddiqui, who became an Islamist terrorist and a rabid Jew hater (she is known as Lady Al Qaeda), than she is towards the Somali-Dutch feminist and apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who eloquently opposes Islamic jihad, Islamic gender and religious apartheid. Hirsi Ali also supports the Jewish state.

Siddiqui married the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), one of the masterminds of 9/11. She disappeared into Pakistan for many years. Then she was found wandering in Afghanistan, in Ghazni, where she was arrested by American soldiers after they found her carrying bomb-making and chemical warfare instructions. In captivity, she picked up one of the soldiers’ guns and shot at him.

Guess what? Siddiqui received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University. The university is certainly not to blame for her actions. However, according to Scroggins, as a student in America, Siddiqui joined the infamous Muslim Students Association and fell under the spell of one of bin Laden’s own mentors who ran a Muslim charity in Brooklyn, New York. This is the same Muslim Student Association (a Muslim Brotherhood- and Hamas-related enterprise in America) that has just played such a prominent role in the Brandeis campaign to dis-invite Hirsi Ali.

Scroggins still views Siddiqui as a victim. Siddiqui is a religious Muslim, veiled to the eyeballs, and has been sentenced to 86 years in prison. Many Muslims view her as a freedom fighter and, therefore, as innocent and as unjustly imprisoned.

Scroggins—and the “dis-invite her” Brandeis professors–represent your typical left point of view. The West has caused jihad due to its allegedly imperialist, colonialist, racist, and capitalist policies. Anyone who does not blame the West, especially America and Israel, is politically suspect. Scroggins, like so many left feminists, has absolutely no idea about the long and barbaric history of Islamic imperialism, colonialism, racism, slavery, and its practice of gender and religious apartheid.

Hirsi Ali championed the West, democracy, women’s rights, human rights, religious tolerance, etc. over and above the Islam that she had been exposed to in the Middle East. She became an apostate, a member of the Dutch Parliament, and ultimately, a woman who needed round-the-clock security against all the Islamist death threats against her.

Nevertheless, throughout the book, Scroggins shares Aafiya’s political analysis and condemns and challenges Ayaan’s views. Only on the very last page of her book, does Scroggins admit that the entire premise of her “morally equivalent” comparison is flawed. She writes:

“That is not to say they are equivalent figures, morally or otherwise. They are not. Ayaan…fights only with words whereas the evidence leads me to conclude that Aafiya was almost certainly plotting murder during her missing years and perhaps prepared to further a biological or chemical attack on the United States on a scale to rival 9/11.”

I wonder if the above Brandeis professors would also sympathize with Aafiya Siddiqui. I mourn the loss of an activist, vibrant, intellectually independent, and politically incorrect feminist Academy.