Is Sisi Islam’s Long-Awaited Reformer?

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

by Daniel Pipes
The National Review
January 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does Europe Have No-go Zones?

by Daniel Pipes
The Blaze
January 20, 2015

Comments by Steven Emerson on Fox News have prompted a heated debate over whether predominantly Muslim “no-go” zones exist in Europe. On Jan. 11, Emerson said they “exist throughout Europe … they’re places where the governments like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany don’t exercise any sovereignty. .. you basically have zones where Shariah courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don’t go in, and where it’s basically a separate country almost, a country within a country.”

Steven Emerson spoke on Fox News Channel on Jan. 11 about Muslim-dominated areas of Europe.

Steven Emerson spoke on Fox News Channel on Jan. 11 about Muslim-dominated areas of Europe.

Although Emerson, whom I admire for his moral courage and investigative skills, immediately apologized for his “terrible error” of saying that cities like Birmingham, England, “are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go,” he did not address the larger question of whether no-go zones, in fact, do “exist throughout Europe” and are places where governments “don’t exercise any sovereignty.”

Is he right about this?

In a 2006 weblog entry, I called Muslim enclaves in Europe no-go zones as a non-euphemistic equivalent for the French phrase Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones. No-go zones subsequently became standard in English to describe Muslim-majority areas in West Europe.

After spending time in the banlieues (suburbs) of Paris in January 2013, as well as in their counterparts in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, and Stockholm, however, I have had second thoughts. I found that those areas “are not full-fledged no-go zones” — meaning places where the government had lost control of territory. No war lords dominate; Shari’a is not the law of the land. I expressed regret back then for having used the term no-go zones.

A travel agency in Berlin in October 2010.

A travel agency in Berlin in October 2010.

So, what are these places? A unique and as-yet un-named mix.

On the one hand, West European states can intervene anywhere and at any time in their sovereign territory. As the shoot-out in Verviers and the subsequent raids in Belgium suggest, their overwhelming advantage in force – including military, intelligence, and police – means they have not ceded control.

After a terrorist attack in May 2014, police were out in force in the Jewish area of Antwerp, Belgium.

After a terrorist attack in May 2014, police were out in force in the Jewish area of Antwerp, Belgium.

On the other hand, governments often choose not to impose their will on Muslim-majority areas, allowing them considerable autonomy, including in some cases the Shariah courts that Emerson mentioned. Alcohol and pork are effectively banned in these districts, polygamy and burqas commonplace, police enter only warily and in force, and Muslims get away with offences illegal for the rest of population.

The Rotherham, England, child sex scandal offers a powerful example. An official inquiry found that for sixteen years, 1997-2013, a ring of Muslim men sexually exploited – through abduction, rape, gang rape, trafficking, prostitution, torture – at least 1,400 non-Muslim girls as young as 11. The police received voluminous complaints from the girls’ parents but did nothing; they could have acted, but chose not to.

According to the inquiry, “the Police gave no priority to CSE [child sexual exploitation], regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.” Even more alarming, in some cases, “fathers tracked down their daughters and tried to remove them from houses where they were being abused, only to be arrested themselves when police were called to the scene.” Worse, the girls “were arrested for offences such as breach of the peace or being drunk and disorderly, with no action taken against the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault against children.”

Another example, also British, was the so-called Operation Trojan Horse that flourished from 2007 until 2014, in which (again, according to an official inquiry), a group of school functionaries developed “a strategy to take over a number of schools in Birmingham and run them on strict Islamic principles.”

What does one call Rotherham and Birmingham? They are not no-go zones, neither in terms of geography or sovereignty. This is where we – Emerson, others (such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal), and I stumbled. The English language lacks a readily-available term for this. And for good reason: I know of no historical parallel, in which a majority population accepts the customs and even the criminality of a poorer and weaker immigrant community. The world has never seen anything comparable to the contemporary West’s blend of achievement, timidity, and guilt, of hugely superior power matched by a deep reluctance to use it.

Instead of no-go zones, I propose semi-autonomous sectors, a term that emphasizes their indistinct and non-geographic nature – thus permitting a more accurate discussion of what is, arguably, West Europe’s most acute problem.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Yes, there ARE ‘no-go’ zones in Europe

muslims-franceBy ART MOORE:

In the wake of the Fox News apology for a guest expert’s on-air claims regarding Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe, an international clamor has ensued with condemnation of Fox, claims that Muslim immigrants really do want to assimilate, and a threat by the mayor of Paris to sue the cable network for “insulting” the great city.

There’s only one problem: Europe is full of Muslim “no-go” zones, which have been documented, lamented, reported on and openly discussed for years.

In fact, the governments of France and other European nations have identified specific enclaves, where Muslim immigrants have chosen not to assimilate, as areas in which law enforcement has lost some degree of control.

The French government lists on its website 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones, that the state does not fully control, notes Middle East foreign policy expert Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum.

The French zones, which have specific street demarcations, were first identified by the government in 1996. An estimate that is now 10 years old found 5 million people living in the zones, Pipes noted.

Nevertheless, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo declared Tuesday in a CNN interview the city will sue Fox News after the network’s coverage “insulted” them.

“When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo said. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”

On Saturday, “Fox Report” host Julie Banderas told viewers that in the previous week, “We have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.”

“Now, this applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in and police supposedly won’t go.

“To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country … and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion,” Banderas said. “There are certainly areas of high crime in Europe as there are in the United States and other countries – where police and visitors enter with caution. We deeply regret the errors and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense including the people of France and England.”

The New York Times declared in a headline: “Fox News Apologizes for False Claims of Muslim-Only Areas in England and France” while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blared, “Fox News admits ‘no-go zones’ are fantasy.”

Not so fast, says Robert Spencer, a long-time monitor of the conflict between Islam and Western civilization as editor of Jihad Watch.

He wrote in a Front Page Magazine column that the “only problem with all the cork popping around Fox’s apology was that there is a problem with Muslim areas in Europe – and the Fox apology didn’t go so far as to say there wasn’t.”

Spencer acknowledged inaccurate statements were made by Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. In a Fox News interview Jan. 11, Emerson said “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

“That is false, and Emerson has acknowledged that and apologized,” Spencer wrote.

But Emerson was not guilty of fabrication, Spencer quickly asserted, only of overstatement.

A zone in nearly every city

Pipes, who was one of the first to use the term “no-go zone” in reference to Muslims in Europe, noted in 2006 that France’s Sensitive Urban Zones ranged from two zones in the medieval town of Carcassonne to 12 in the heavily Muslim city of Marseilles, with hardly a town in the country lacking one.

Pipes has continuously updated his original 2006 post, citing references by politicians, civil leaders and journalists to “no-go zones” in Britain, Germany and Sweden, as well as France.

Since 2007, Pipes has visited largely Muslim areas of Paris, Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm, Berlin and Athens to find out for himself what is happening. He explained that for “a visiting American, these areas are very mild, even dull.”

“We who know the Bronx and Detroit expect urban hell in Europe too, but there things look fine. The immigrant areas are hardly beautiful, but buildings are intact, greenery abounds, and order prevails,” Pipes said.

“These are not full-fledged no-go zones,” he explained, “but, as the French nomenclature accurately indicates, ‘sensitive urban zones.’ In normal times, they are unthreatening, routine places. But they do unpredictably erupt, with car burnings, attacks on representatives of the state (including police), and riots.”

Britain’s chief inspector of constabulary, Tom Winsor, told the Times of London in an interview that parts of the U.K. are becoming no-go areas for police because minority communities are operating their own justice systems.

“There are some communities born under other skies who will not involve the police at all. I am reluctant to name the communities in question, but there are communities from other cultures who would prefer to police themselves,” said Winsor, who is responsible for the inspection of police forces in England and Wales.

“There are cities in the Midlands where the police never go because they are never called. They never hear of any trouble because the community deals with that on its own.”

Read more at WND

Paris attacks prompt fears France’s Muslim ‘no-go’ zones incubating jihad

no go

Fox News, by Karl de Vries, Jan. 12, 2015

In hundreds of French “no-go” zones  — neighborhoods where neither tourists nor cops dare enter — poor and alienated Muslims have intimidated the government into largely ceding authority over them, prompting fears that the kind of jihad that gave rise to last week’s attack in Paris is festering unchecked.

In some ways, these 751 areas designated by the French government — officially called zones urbaines sensibles (sensitive urban zones), or ZUS, for short, but referred to as “no-go” zones by some observers — resemble poor sections of America’s cities where gangs rule, crime and drugs are rampant and police only enter with significant backup. But in the wake of last week’s massacre at Charlie Hebdo and the fact that hundreds of radicalized Muslims who went to train or fight in Syria and Iraq could return, some experts fear the next terror attack will be launched from inside one of France’s no-go zones.

“These ‘no-go’ zones are essentially breeding grounds for radicalism, and it’s a very big problem,” Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, told FoxNews.com. “These are areas where essentially the French government has lost control.”

Created in 1996, the zones are sprinkled throughout cities and suburbs in rundown neighborhoods France sought to revitalize with tax breaks for businesses. Most of the zones are blocks of neighborhoods, with the average ZUS containing about 6,000 residents. An estimated 5 million people live the zones, and most of the residents are part of France’s 10 percent Muslim population. In some zones, Islamic law actually supersedes the French legal system on civil matters such as property disputes, adultery and divorce.

“Most of the time, these are quiet places with nothing going on,” said Daniel Pipes, the president of the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank. “But they’re apt to flare up.”

Examples of flare-ups within the last decade include the infamous 2005 riots, when the accidental deaths of two teenagers in an impoverished Paris suburb during a police sweep touched off a national wave of unrest. For the next three weeks, violent clashes between immigrant youths and police took place in nearly 300 towns and suburbs, resulting in the torching of schools, community centers and thousands of cars, as well as nearly 3,000 arrests and an estimated 200 million euros in damage. Two years later, when two minority teenagers were killed after their motorscooter collided with a police car in a blue-collar town on Paris’ northern edge, rioting and arson ensued for several days. That time, however, the rioters — joined by what a police union official called “urban guerrillas” — fought police officers with shotguns and gasoline bombs, injuring dozens.

Part of the problem, say experts, has been an inability of France to assimilate its Muslim population. Unlike America, where each passing generation seems to become more integrated into the national identity, the opposite is true in France, experts say, with the relationship between the overwhelmingly white, Roman Catholic majority and dark-skinned, Muslim immigrant community becoming more estranged in the past decade.

In 2004, the government passed a controversial law prohibiting the wearing of religious apparel in France’s public schools, including Islamic head scarves. The move triggered demonstrations by Muslims around the world. Seven years later, France formally banned full-face veils in public places, ostensibly as a security measure but widely seen as an affront to Islamic custom and a way to make Muslim women feel unwelcome in French society.

As the divide grows, many second- and third-generation Muslim youths, seeking an identity and a sense of belonging, are becoming more religious than their parents and grandparents.

“These kids … have no relationship to Morocco or Algeria at all, but they’re not integrated into French society at all,” Kern said. “In a way, they’re stateless. They get drawn to radical Islam as a way to give them meaning in their life.”

Meanwhile, immigrants, particularly those from northern Africa, have difficulty landing good jobs or climbing in French society. A Newsweek correspondent estimated in August that 40 percent of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds are unemployed, and a 2010 Stanford University study found that a Christian of African heritage was two and a half times more likely to get called for a job interview in France than an equally qualified Muslim with the same ethnic background.

With much of the country’s Muslim population living in the downtrodden ZUS, they’re vulnerable to jihadist recruitment. A poll conducted last summer by Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya found that 15 percent of French citizens had a positive opinion of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS, or ISIL, and last month, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve revealed that twice as many French nationals in 2014 had joined or were planning to join ISIS than in 2013.

“You see these disenfranchised people, and it’s a very good recruitment pool,” said Scott Stewart, the vice president of tactical analysis of Stratfor Global Intelligence. “(Jihadists) are looking for angry, underemployed guys. It’s a good target audience for them.”

Among that audience were the three men linked to last week’s rampage at Charlie Hebdo and the subsequent manhunt that ultimately claimed 17 victims. The brothers behind the attack, Said and Cherif Kouachi, were French citizens of Algerian descent who were known to authorities for years. Cherif, the 32-year-old younger brother, was part of a cell known as the 19th arrondissement network, a group located in northeast Paris that sent European Muslims to fight in Iraq after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion. Along with several others, he was convicted in 2008 on terror charges, but he did not serve any time after conviction because part of his sentence was suspended and he was credited for time served in his pre-trial detention.

It’s also emerged that Said Kouachi, 34, had traveled to Yemen in 2011 and had direct contact with an Al Qaeda training camp. And Amedy Coulibaly, 32, a French citizen of Senegalese descent who claimed to be a compatriot of the brothers and was gunned down Friday at a Kosher grocery store in east Paris after killing four hostages, had declared allegiance to ISIS in a video that emerged on Sunday.

But while authorities piece together the events and causes behind last week’s events, debate is underway on how French authorities should try to assert more oversight and better relations with those in the ZUS.

Kern wants to see European governments crack down on welfare benefits that he believes entice immigrants, particularly for those with polygamous families. Pipes believes the French government should impose more restrictive immigration policies while demanding newcomers embrace western culture and its freedoms of expression.

Michele Lamont, however, a Harvard professor of sociology of African and African-American studies who is an expert on racism in France, fears that a hard-line response would only inflame tensions further. She believes the majority of Muslims want to be integrated with the rest of the French society, and the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks will be a critical time during which the nation’s Muslim population will either be drawn closer to the rest of the country or face further estrangement.

“It pushes all Muslims to make choices about where they stand,” she said.

*******

The 751 No-Go Zones of France

by Daniel Pipes
Nov 14, 2006

updated Jan 11, 2015

They go by the euphemistic term Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones, with the even more antiseptic acronym ZUS, and there are 751 of them as of last count. They areconvienently listed on one long webpage, complete with street demarcations and map delineations.

What are they? Those places in France that the French state does not control. They range from two zones in the medieval town of Carcassone to twelve in the heavily Muslim town of Marseilles, with hardly a town in France lacking in its ZUS. The ZUS came into existence in late 1996 and according to a 2004 estimate, nearly 5 million people live in them.

Comment: A more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam, the place where Muslims rule. (November 14, 2006)

Nov. 28, 2006 update: For an insight into how bad things are, the police in Lyons demonstrated on Nov. 9, denouncing “violence against the forces of order.” Things have reached a pretty sad state when the police have to demonstrate in the streets against the criminals.

Jan. 5, 2008 update: In a remarkable statement, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Pakistani-born bishop of Rochester, writes in the Daily Telegraph about the situation in Great Britain:

there has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into “no-go” areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability. Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them.

Jan. 16, 2008 update: Paul Belien of Brussels Journal provides an update on the ZUS, connecting them to organized crime in a way that helps explain police reluctance to intervene:

In May [2007], the French voters elected Mr. [Nicolas] Sarkozy as president because he had promised to restore the authority of the Republic over France’s 751 no-go areas, the so-called zones urbaines sensibles (ZUS, sensitive urban areas), where 5 million people – 8 percent of the population – live. During his first months in office he has been too busy with other activities, such as selling nuclear plants to Libya and getting divorced. While the French media publish nude pictures of the future (third) Mrs. Sarkozy, the situation in the ZUS has remained as “sensitive” as before.

People get mugged, even murdered, in the ZUS, but the media prefer not to write about it. When large-scale rioting erupts and officers and firemen are attacked, the behavior of the thugs is condoned with references to their “poverty” and to the “racism” of the indigenous French. The French media never devote their attention to the bleak situation of intimidation and lawlessness in which 8 percent of the population, including many poor indigenous French, are forced to live. Muslim racism toward the “infidels” is never mentioned.

Xavier Raufer, a former French intelligence officer who heads the department on organized crime and terrorism at the Institute of Criminology of the University of Paris II, thinks that organized crime has a lot to do with the indifference of the French establishment.

The ZUS are centers of drug trafficking. According to a recent report of the French government’s Interdepartmental Commission to Combat Drug Traffic and Addiction (MILDT) 550,000 people in France consume cannabis on a daily basis and 1.2 million on a regular basis. The annual cannabis consumption amounts to 208 tons for a market value of 832 million euros ($1.2 billion in U.S. dollars). MILDT estimates that there are between 6,000 and 13,000 small “entrepreneurs” and between 700 and 1,400 wholesalers who make a living out of dealing cannabis. The wholesalers earn up to 550,000 euros ($820,000) per year. Since they operate from within the ZUS the drug dealers are beyond the reach of the French authorities.

The ZUS exist not only because Muslims wish to live in their own areas according to their own culture and their own Shariah laws, but also because organized crime wants to operate without the judicial and fiscal interference of the French state. In France, Shariah law and mafia rule have become almost identical.

Mar. 8, 2008 update: Britain has “ethnic” no-go areas for military personnel in uniform, the Times(London) reports today at “Military uniforms in public ‘risk offending minorities’.”

Certain areas in Britain will still have to remain off-limits for servicemen and women in military gear, despite the Government’s desire for a nationwide uniform free-for-all, senior RAF sources acknowledged yesterday. … one senior air force source said that military commanders had to be aware of potential problems of personnel wearing combat and other military clothes in the street. “We’re aware of the sensitivities, for example, in some ethnic minority communities which is why we need to have a dialogue with local authorities and police if we don’t want to cause a problem.”

Mar. 16, 2008 update: John Cornwell, a leading historian and commentator on religion, is generally skeptical of Nazir-Ali’s no-go areas but finds that if anyplace fits the profile, it’s Bury Parkin Luton:

Luton, like other enclaves, has experienced a spate of incidents that look all too like attempts to make Bury Park a no-go area to non-Muslims. Between November of last year and last month there were 18 attacks – all registered by the police – on five non-Muslim homes in the area. One couple, Mr and Mrs Harrop, white residents in their eighties, have had bricks hurled through their windows. The home of Mrs Palmer, a widow of West Indian origin, aged 70, has been attacked four times; on one occasion a metal beer keg crashed through her bay window while she was watching TV.

Such attacks are not typical of the activities of the sort of radicals who preach a global Islamic state, or potential terrorists, who, according to one of my MI5 informants, merge into a background of “innocent normalcy” till the last minute. DCI Ian Middleton of Bedfordshire police says: “It’s the perception of the victims that their Muslim neighbours are to blame, and we have to respect that. But we have our doubts.” Middleton suspects, as does Margaret Moran, MP for Luton South, that the attacks could be the work of small groups of white or Muslim extremists, stirring up racial and inter-religious hatred for its own sake.

I was to come across comparable “no-go” incidents in other parts of Britain, such as threats against Muslim converts to Christianity, and attacks on visiting social workers and Salvation Army facilities.

July 28, 2008 update: For information on the German case, see Kristian Frigelj, “Unter Feinden,”Die Welt. The teaser explains that “In many German urban areas, the police hardly dare enter because they are immediately assaulted.” July 29, 2008 update: For a translation of this article, see “In Enemy Territory.”

Jan. 12, 2009 update: I consider the potential political import of these no-go zones at “Muslim Autonomous Zones in the West?

July 19, 2010 update: Due to problems with Turkish delinquents, German police want their counterparts from Turkey to come in and patrol problem areas of North Rhine-Westphalia. Also today, Baron Bodissey discusses the general issue of no-go zones at “A Little Piece of Dar al-Islam.”

Aug. 22, 2011 update: Soeren Kern returns to this subject with an important overview at “European ‘No-Go’ Zones for Non-Muslims Proliferating.”

Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of “no-go” areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims. Many of the “no-go” zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The “no-go” areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.

He then surveys developments in the United Kingdom, france, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Aug. 4, 2012 update: The French Interior Ministry has created a new type of no-go zone, calledZones de Sécurité Prioritaires (ZSP), or Priority Security Zones. The first batch contains 15 of them, basically the Muslim-majority regions of major cities like Lille, Paris, Strasbourg, Lyons, and Marseilles, as well as in French Guyana. Aug. 24, 2012 update: Soeren Kern explains these new zones in “France Seeks to Reclaim ‘No-Go’ Zones.”

Nov. 11, 2013 update: Andrew Harrod discusses the problems in Bonn at “Germany’s Sharia No-Go Zones.”

Oct. 1, 2014 update: The Swedish police published a report on 55 areas of heightened criminal activity under the anodyne title of En nationell översikt av kriminella nätverk med stor påverkan i lokalsamhället (“A national survey of criminal networks with great influence in the local community”). No ethnicity is mentioned but many happen to be regions with Muslim majorities.

Jan. 10, 2015 update: The number of “zones urbaines sensibles” in France has now reached 976.

Jan. 18, 2015 9:09 a.m. UPDATE: The above version of Daniel Pipes article is as it appeared on his website on Jan. 13, 2015 at 9:45 am. Daniel Pipes continues to update his article on no go zones appearing to walk back his use of the term “no go zones”.  The update I have highlighted in red above stating that the number of no go zones in France has now reached 976 has since been removed.

This is the updated portion from later that day through Jan. 17, 2015:

Jan. 13, 2015 update: Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, says that most big French cities have “no-go zones” where non-Muslims, including police, cannot enter:

It’s happening right across Europe. We have got no-go zones in most of the big French cities. We’ve been turning a blind eye to preachers of hate that have been coming here from the Middle East and saying things for which the rest of us would be arrested. In parts of northern England we’ve seen the sexual grooming of under-age girls committed by Muslim men, in the majority, and for all of these things we are seeing the law not being applied equally, we’re seeing the police forces not doing their job because we’ve suffered from moral cowardice. We have through mass immigration and through not checking the details of those people who have come to our countries, we have allowed big ghettos to develop and when it comes to confronting tough issues we’re run a mile and that is why we’re in the mess we’re in, we’ve been led very badly. … So, wherever you look, wherever you look you see this blind eye being turned and you see the growth of ghettos where the police and all the normal agents of the law have withdrawn and that is where Sharia law has come in.”

He added that he is “hoping and praying” that similar no-go zones do not develop in British cities.

Jan. 14, 2015 update: Jack Sommers, a UK-based reporter for Huffington Post, posed this series of questions to me about the ZUS and their equivalents elsewhere in Europe:

Could you describe the places you visited in more detail? What were your impressions of these places before you visited them? Did you feel personally safe visiting them? Do you think there is any truth to the claims being made that police and non-Muslims fear to visit them?

My reply:

​I have visited predominantly immigrant (and largely Muslim) areas of Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, and Athens.​ In the case of Paris, I spent time both in Belleville and in such suburbs as Sarcelles, Val d’Oise, and Seine Saint Denis.

Before my travels, I expected these areas to be similar to the worst areas of the United States, such as the Bronx or Detroit, where buildings are decrepit, streets menacing, and outsiders feel distinctly unwelcome.

My experiences starting in 2007 belied this expectation. All the immigrant areas turned out to be well maintained, with safe streets, and no sense of intimidation. I walked around, usually with camera in hand, and felt at ease. I encountered no difficulties at all.

That said, there is a reason why the French government calls these regions sensibles(sensitive, delicate). They contain many social pathologies (unemployment, drugs, political extremism), they seethe with antagonism toward the majority society, and are prone to outbreaks of violence.

So, from an American point of view, these areas are a bit confusing: potentially dangerous, yes, but in normal times very ordinary looking and with no sense of foreboding. Thus, the term no-go zone does not accurately reflect the situation.

Jan. 17, 2015 update: Research into the term no-go zones referring to Muslim habitations in Western Europe done by the pseudonymous Yoel Natan finds its earliest use to be on my website, DanielPipes.org: An Australia resident who calls himself “fed up” wrote on March 22, 2006, that “In Sydney, Australia, we have large areas of our city that are deemed no-go zones.”

The next use was by the Norwegian analyst who calls himself Fjordman, on July 13, 2006, who defined “Muslim no-go zones” as places “where anything representing a Western institution (post office truck, firemen, even mail order delivery firms) was routinely ambushed with Molotov cocktails.”

Then came my use of the term on November 14, 2006.

How Terrorism Harms Radical Islam

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
January 9, 2015

An epidemic of recent high-profile attacks by Muslims in the name of Islam – in Canada, Israel, Nigeria, Australia, Pakistan, and France – raises an obvious question: How do the Islamist perpetrators figure that murdering an honor guard, driving cars into pedestrians, slaughtering non-Muslim bus passengers, taking hostage the patrons of a café, or massacring army kids and cartoonists will achieve their goal of applying Islamic law and building a caliphate?

Logically, their violence only helps if it terrorizes their enemies and compels them to bend to the Islamists’ wishes; intimidation, after all, is the essence of terrorism. Sometimes, Islamist terrorism does achieve this objective. For example, to stay out of trouble, a sizeable number of artists have censored themselves concerning Islam; and the botched government response to the 2004 Madrid train bombings helped the opposition party win an election, then withdraw Spanish forces from Iraq.

As a rule, however, terrorism leads not to intimidation but to anger and hostility. Instead of cowing a population, it raises consciousness and provokes hatred for the Islamist cause among Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Rather than advance the Islamist cause, high profile acts of violence harm it. Some prominent examples:

  • 9/11 removed Islamism from the shadows where it had flourished, stimulating an American-led “war on terror” and a large increase in anti-Islamic sentiment;
  • The 2004 massacre of school children in Beslan poisoned Russian attitudes toward Muslims and helped Vladimir Putin consolidate power;
  • The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing locked down a large metropolitan area, giving millions a first-hand taste of Islamist oppression.
  • Wednesday’s killing of twelve in Paris created a national mood of defiance that put Islamists on the defensive as never before. If the first hours anticipate future developments, a significant portion of the French electorate will demand more effective measures against radical Islam.
 

The cover of “Charlie Hebdo” that most bothered Islamists.

Ironically, obscure acts of terror do not have this counterproductive effect. To take one of many examples, when an Egyptian Muslim beheaded two Coptic Christians in New Jersey in 2013, few took notice and little anger ensued. Because of reluctance among police, politicians, the press, and the professoriate, most jihadi-style attacks of this nature tend not to publicized, thus avoiding an increase in anti-Islamic sentiments. (Sadly, those with a duty to protect too often hide the truth.)

If high-profile violence is counterproductive, why do Islamists persist in this self-defeating behavior? Out of anger andbecause of a violent disposition.

 

 

Yusuf Ibrahim beheaded two Egyptian Christians in New Jersey – and hardly anyone noticed.

Anger: Islamists, especially the more extreme ones, exude bitterness, bile, resentment, and envy. They celebrate the medieval period, when Muslims were the richest, most advanced, and most powerful of peoples, and interpret Muslim decline as the result of Western duplicity and betrayal. Only by striking back righteously at these conniving Crusaders and Zionists can Muslims regain their rightful place of honor and power. Expressing anger becomes an end in itself, leading to myopia, an inability to plan, an absence of strategic thinking, and pulsating grandiosity.

A violent disposition: Exulting in their sense of direct knowledge of God’s will, Islamists favor violence. To make the enemy cower in fear, then smite him is the ultimate Islamist dream, a fulfillment of intense ill will, a triumph of Islam’s superiority over other religions and those Muslims who lack the fire of their faith. Suicide bombings, beheadings, gangland-style murders, and other acts of grotesque recrimination express a deep desire for vengeance.

In the long term, then, these acts of violence do immense damage to the Islamist cause. Turned around, the victims of that violence – some 10,000 fatalities in 2,800 attacks in 2013 alone – did not die in vain but unwittingly sacrificed their lives in a dreadful war of wills. Targeted assassinations, such as those against the French cartoonists, have an outsized impact on public opinion.

In sum, self-indulgence and strategic ineptitude are the hallmarks the Islamist campaign. The catastrophe of the Islamist program is matched by the ineptitude of its tactics. And so, I conclude, its fate will be the same dust-heap of history where fascism and communism can be found. Like those two other totalitarianisms, it promises terrible destruction and many deaths before ultimately failing. The war will be long and painful but in the end, again, the forces of civilization will vanquish those of barbarism.

The recent drumbeat of terrorism in the name of Islam may appear to help the Islamist cause. In fact, it brings its agenda closer to a deserved collapse.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

The War On Israel and the Middle East

Frontpage:

Below are the video and transcript to the panel discussion “The War on Israel and the Middle East,” which took place at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 20th Anniversary Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 13th-16th at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Daniel Pipes: I’d like to make three geostrategic points in my few minutes, and I apologize in advance for having to leave, but the plane schedule is as it is. The first point is that — and this has been said before, I’d like to reiterate it — that Iran is a far greater threat than ISIS, and we are making an extraordinary mistake in joining with the Iranians against ISIS. Need one point out that ISIS has perhaps $5 million a day in oil revenue and 15,000 troops and, granted, a dynamism, but that Iran is a powerful state of 75 million people, an oil revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars, and an army of hundreds of thousands and, of course, a terror network and is building up their weapons? I would predict to you, ladies and gentleman, that ISIS, which appeared so suddenly, will disappear suddenly as well because it has so many enemies, it is so overextended, it is trying to do so much at the same time that it is going to collapse before very long and it is going to disappear as a state whereas Iran is going to be a longer lasting entity.

Let me also predict that the real importance of ISIS, Islamic state, ISIL, Daesh, call it what you will, lies not in this sizeable state that now exists between Bagdad and Turkey but rather in the resurrection of the idea of the caliphate. The last executive caliph with power was in the 940s — 940s, not 1940s — a long, long time ago. Yes, the institution of the caliphate continued until 1924, but it was meaningless. It was just a title. The actual caliphate, executive caliphate, disappeared over a millennium ago and then suddenly, this man who calls himself Caliphate Ibrahim resurrected it on June 29, 2014, and this has sent a frisson of excitement through the Muslim world, and this has created the notion of a feasible caliphate once again after having been gone for a millennium, and this is important. I can well imagine other groups taking up this same standard and demanding that they be accepted as the caliphate. I can further imagine that states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and even Iran in its own Shiite way taking up the claim of caliphate and so this turns Islamist politics into an even more radical direction than it has been in the past and therefore is a very negative development, but that is an idea, and the notion that the U.S. government should be working with Iran against ISIS is madness, just simple madness.

Iran is the ultimate enemy, which is my second point. Iran is of course the ultimate enemy today. The acquisition by Iranian leadership of nuclear weapons will not only change the Middle East but will change the world. Other tyrants have had nuclear weapons — think of Stalin and Mao — but there’s something different about this group of tyrants in that they’re thinking about the end of days. They’re apocalyptically minded. They have ideas that, were they to deploy nuclear weapons, they would bring forward the days of the Mahdi, the Dajjal, and the other sequence events leading to the day of resurrection, so they are even more dangerous. Now, I could have a nice seminar extending for hours on whether they actually would deploy nuclear weapons or not, but I don’t want to find out, and I suspect you don’t either. It is absolutely imperative that they be stopped from doing that and that would not be easy because the Iranian leadership, like the North Korean leadership, is absolutely determined to get nuclear weapons and will pay whatever price is necessary. In North Korea it was mass starvation. In Iran, it will be economic deprivation and other problems, but they’re going to go ahead and while computer viruses and targeted assassinations and bombings, which have been taking place, will certainly slow things down, they cannot stop it. The only way to stop it is through use of force against the Iranian nuclear installations.

So, that I think is all pretty clear, but I’m going to go beyond that and say that when the happy day comes that the Islamic Revolution of Iran is overthrown — and that is a prospect that is real; we saw one run up toward it in June 2009 and it was suppressed, but it wasn’t eliminated and there will be further attempts — and it is certain that one of these days, the Islamic Republic will collapse. When that happens, I suggest to you, the Iranian people who are sick of this ideological state will become quite friendly. Posts show that the overwhelming majority of Iranians hate their government and hate the Islam that their government is purveying. I think that Iranians will be good friends when that day comes.

In contrast, I think our great problem in the Middle East will be Turkey. Turkey, which is also a very substantial state of some 80 million people and which is in an important strategic location, has a real economy, an educated population. Turkey has approached Islamism – well, the Turkish leadership has approached Islamism — in a far more intelligent way than the Iranians. I call Khomeini, “Islamism 1.0,” and Erdogan, “Islamism 2.0.” Khomeini used revolution and violence and so forth and his successor rules despotically, but Erdogan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the dominant figure of Turkish politics, is a far more clever figure who has won I think nine elections in 13 years of various sorts, parliamentary, referendum, residential, has tripled the size of the economy and is a figure of enormous importance and popularity in the country. He has a very strong base. This is a not a despotism. Now, granted, over time, he’s becoming increasingly authoritarian, autocratic, unpleasant, decisive, but he has won his place democratically, and he will last and his regime will last much longer than Khomeini’s, and I believe as one looks at 10-20 years in the future, it will be Turkey, not Iran, that will be our great problem and that we should be preparing for that today.

Read more with Ken Timmerman, Daniel Greenfield and Caroline Glick

Sweden to Opt for Suicide by Immigration?

pic_giant3_123014_SM_Stockholm_Parliament-DTLeft and Right came together to marginalize popular concerns about immigration.

National Review, By Daniel Pipes, Dec. 30, 2014:

Woe to anyone in Sweden who dissents from the orthodox view that welcoming large numbers of indigent peoples from such countries as Iraq, Syria, and Somalia is anything but a fine and noble idea. Even to argue that permitting about 1 percent of the existing population to emigrate annually from an alien civilization renders one politically, socially, and even legally beyond the pale. (I know a journalist threatened with arrest for mild dissent on this issue.) Stating that there exists a Swedish culture worth preserving meets with puzzlement.

And yet, the realities of immigration are apparent for all to see: welfare dependency, violent bigotry against Christians and Jews, and a wide range of social pathologies from unemployment to politically motivated rape. Accordingly, ever-increasing numbers of Swedes find themselves — despite known hazards — opting out of the consensus and worrying about their country’s cultural suicide.

The taboo on such attitudes means that political parties, with only one exception, staunchly support continued immigration. Only the Sweden Democrats (SD) offer an alternative: real efforts to integrate existing immigrants and a 90 percent decrease in future immigration. Despite an unsavory neo-fascist past (not something unique to it, by the way), SD has become increasingly respectable and has been rewarded with electoral success, doubling its parliamentary vote from 3 percent in 2006, to 6 percent in 2010, to 13 percent in 2014. All the Swedes with whom I spoke on a recent visit expect the SD vote to grow further, something recent polls confirm.

If a party or bloc of parties held a large majority in Sweden’s unicameral parliament, SD would be virtually irrelevant. But the Riksdag’s two blocs are almost equally balanced. Three left-wing parties control 159 of 349 seats, while the “right wing” (quotation marks to denote that, from an American perspective, it’s hardly conservative) Alliance for Sweden, consisting of four parties, has 141 seats. This means that SD, with 49 seats, holds the balance of power.

But SD is deemed anathema, so no party bargains with it to pass legislation, not even indirectly through the media. Both Left and “Right” seek to isolate and discredit it. Nevertheless, SD has played kingmaker on certain crucial legislation, particularly the annual budget. In keeping with its policy to drive from power every government that refuses to reduce immigration, it brought down an Alliance for Sweden government in early 2014. Recent weeks saw a repeat of this scenario, when SD joined the Alliance in opposing the leftist budget, forcing the government to call for elections in March 2015.

But then something remarkable occurred: The two major blocs compromised not only on the current budget, but also on future budgets and power-sharing all the way to 2022. The left and “right” alliances worked out trade-offs so that elections need not take place in March, allowing the Left to rule until 2018, with the “Right” possibly taking over from 2018 until 2022. Not only does this political cartel deprive SD of its pivotal role but, short of winning a majority of parliamentary seats in 2018, it has no meaningful legislative role for the next eight years, during which time the immigration issue is off the table.

This is nothing short of astonishing: To stifle debate over the country’s most contentious issue, 86 percent of the parliament joined forces to marginalize the 14 percent that disagrees. The two major blocs diluted their already tepid differences to exclude the insurgent, populist party. Mattias Karlsson, the acting SD leader, accurately notes that with this deal, his party has become the only real opposition.

In the long term, however, things look good for SD, which will likely gain from this undemocratic sleight of hand. Swedes, long accustomed to democracy, do not appreciate a backroom arrangement that almost surely nullifies their votes in 2018. They don’t like its bullying quality. Nor do they take well to removing a highly controversial issue from consideration. And when the time comes to “throw the bums out,” as always it does, the Sweden Democrats will offer the only alternative to the tired, fractious coalition that will have been in power for eight long years — during which time immigration problems will alarm yet more voters.

In other words, this blatant act of suppression is spurring the very debate it is intended to quash. Before too long, the supreme issue of national suicide might actually be discussed.

Also see:

Is CAIR a Terror Group?

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan explains why his government considers CAIR to be terrorist.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan explains why his government considers CAIR to be terrorist.

By Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
November 28, 2014

We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on Nov. 15 when the news came that the United Arab Emirates’ ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

This came as a surprise because the UAE authorities themselves have a record of promoting Islamism; because CAIR has a history of raising funds in the UAE; and because the UAE embassy in Washington had previously praised CAIR.

On reflection, however, the listing makes sense for, in recent years, the Islamist movement hasgravely fractured. Sunnis fight Shi’is; advocates of violence struggle against those working within the system; modernizers do battle against those trying to return to the seventh century; and monarchists confront republicans.

This last divide concerns us here. After decades of working closely with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its related institutions, the Persian Gulf monarchies (with the single, striking exception of Qatar) have come to see the MB complex of institutions as a threat to their existence. The Saudi, Emirati, Kuwaiti, and Bahraini rulers now view politicians like Mohamed Morsi of Egypt as their enemies, as they do Hamas and its progeny – including CAIR.

While the Gulf monarchs have not become any less Islamist, they have acquired a clear-eyed appreciation of the harm that MB-related groups can do.

Having explained why the UAE listed CAIR on its terror manifest, we must pose a second question: Is the listing warranted? Can a Washington-based organization with ties to the Obama White House, the U.S. Congress, leading media outlets, and prestigious universities truly be an instigator of terrorism?

 

CAIR can rightly be so characterized. True, it does not set off bombs but, as the UAE’s foreign minister explains, “Our threshold is quite low. … We cannot accept incitement or funding.” Indeed, CAIR incites, funds, and does much more vis-à-vis terrorism:

Apologizes for terrorist groups: Challenged repeatedly to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups, CAIR denounces the acts of violence but not their sponsors.

Is connected to Hamas: Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and many other governments, indirectly created CAIR and the two groups remain tight. Examples: in 1994, CAIR head Nihad Awad publicly declared his support for Hamas; and the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas front group, contributed $5,000 to CAIR; in turn, CAIR exploited the 9/11 attacks to raise money for HLF; and, this past August, demonstrators at a CAIR-sponsored rally in Floridaproclaimed “We are Hamas!”

 

The Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front group, made an early $5,000 donation to CAIR to help establish it.

Settled a lawsuit: CAIR initiated a libel lawsuit in 2004 over five statements by a group called Anti-CAIR. But two years later, CAIR settled the suit with prejudice (meaning that it cannot be reopened), implicitly acknowledging the accuracy of Anti-CAIR’s assertions, which included:

  • “CAIR is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists”;
  • “CAIR … is supported by terrorist supporting individuals, groups and countries”;
  • “CAIR has proven links to, and was founded by, Islamic terrorists”; and
  • “CAIR actively supports terrorists and terrorist supporting groups and nations.”
For two years, 2004-06, CAIR sued Anti-CAIR, eventually to settle with prejudice.

Includes individuals accused of terrorism: At least seven board members or staff at CAIR have been arrested, denied entry to the US, or were indicted on or pled guilty to or were convicted of terrorist charges: Siraj Wahhaj, Bassem Khafagi, Randall (“Ismail”) Royer, Ghassan Elashi, Rabih Haddad, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, and Nabil Sadoun.

Is in trouble with the law: Federal prosecutors in 2007 named CAIR (along with two other Islamic organizations) as “unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers” in a criminal conspiracy to support Hamas financially. In 2008, the FBI ended contacts with CAIR because of concern with its continuing terrorist ties.

On learning of the UAE listing, CAIR called it “shocking and bizarre,” then got to work to have the Department of State protest and undo the ruling. Nothing loath, department spokesperson Jeff Rathke noted that the U.S. government, which “does not consider these organizations to be terrorist organizations,” has asked for more information about the UAE decision. The UAE minister of state for Foreign affairs replied that if organizations can show that their “approach has changed,” they are eligible to appeal “to have their names eliminated from the list.”

Pressure from the Obama administration might reverse the UAE listing. Even so, this will not undo its lasting damage. For the first time, an Islamist government has exposed the malign, terroristic quality of CAIR – a stigma CAIR can never escape.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

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Also  see:

 

The Hotheads vs. the Moderates

Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey:

The major divide within the Counterjihad movement is between those who believe in the “Moderate Muslim”, and those who don’t.

Nine years ago, in the early days of this blog, whenever the topic of the Moderate Muslim came up I used to say, “The jury is still out on whether he exists or not.” And the jury was out as far as I was concerned — I had only just begun observing the Great Jihad, and was still gathering evidence.

Well, that was 2005, and this is 2014. I’ve collected enough data now. The jury’s in: The Moderate Muslim does not exist.

Mind you, in a strict ontological sense he does exist. You can find a few moderate Muslims here and there. Sincere, well-meaning, decent people who adhere only lightly to the Koranic basis of their religion, and wish to mold it into something humane and modern. Men like Tarek Fatah and Zuhdi Jasser. Women like Irshad Manji. You can’t help but like them (some of them, anyway), and their stance in the face of death threats from their less moderate co-religionists can be admirable.

But they are few in number. None of them leads a large broad-based following. There is no Moderate Muslim with devoted disciples crowding around him trying to touch the hem of his garment. None of them stands on a podium in front of thousands of cheering supporters. They work for (or found) modestly-funded think-tanks and appear from time to time on TV, eloquently presenting their polite, humane point of view.

The rest of the supposed moderates — people like Tariq Ramadan and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf — are really just skilled taqiyya artists for the Muslim Brotherhood, suave persuasive fellows with golden tongues — sometimes several of them apiece. In truth they are no more moderate than Yusuf al-Qaradawi, but simply adept obfuscators whose job it is to anesthetize the cultural elites in Western countries so that they never feel the Islamic stiletto sliding between their ribs.

The rest of 21st-century Islam — Sunni or Shiite or Sufi, Asian or Middle Eastern or African or European — is a seething mass of superstitious backwardness, trapped in an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy* that requires rapine, slaughter, mass destruction, and world domination.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I bring all of this up because of the question and answer session that followed Geert Wilders’ speech in Denmark yesterday.

Daniel Pipes is perhaps the most prominent proponent of the Moderate Muslim. Or, to be more exact, a Moderate Islam. In his disagreement with Geert Wilders, he asserted that in the last forty years Islam has changed — for the worse, unfortunately — and it’s possible that it may change again. Why, asked Dr. Pipes, should we write off the possibility that Islam may change for the better? That Islamic scholars may reinterpret the core foundational texts of Islam in such a way that their religion could be led into a humane modernity?

Daniel Pipes might thus be styled a Moderate Counterjihadist, while Geert Wilders and Lars Hedegaard — not to mention a large chunk of the Danes in the audience, and myself — are the Hotheads. We find the desperate search for the Moderate Muslim to be a faintly ludicrous enterprise.

Even if the longed-for change were to arrive someday, what purpose does it serve to dwell on that faint possibility? Should we modify our policies towards Islam as it exists and is widely practiced now? Would we be well advised to pause and wait for Moderate Islam to somehow, against all odds, appear and revolutionize the Muslim world?

Dr. Pipes acknowledges that we must fight “Islamism”; in that he completely agrees with Messrs. Hedegaard and Wilders. So what practical change of policy would he propose, given his belief that Islam may someday change for the better?

If Islam were to undergo such a change, it would have to occur entirely within Islam itself, with no input from the infidel world. Any interference by non-Muslims in Islamic theological exegesis could only arouse anger and resistance, and might further harden the traditional ijtihad codified a millennium ago.

Therefore hoping for Moderate Islam can produce no useful, practical results for us. None whatsoever.

And to persist in focusing on the Moderate Muslim might even be dangerous. The vain hope of discovering large numbers of Moderates might well attenuate the grim, determined response which will soon become absolutely necessary — in fact, it is already past due — to deal with the nasty realities of our time.

Fortunately, the wind is blowing in the direction of the Hotheads. Thanks to the antics of ISIS and the “lone wolves” of Western jihad, more and more people are latching onto what Geert Wilders says and nodding their heads in agreement.

And, strangely enough, Geert Wilders found himself in the novel position of being a “moderate” compared to one of the Danes in the audience, who told Mr. Wilders that he didn’t go far enough.

The time of the Hotheads is fast approaching.

 

Below is a video of the speech delivered by Daniel Pipes last Sunday in Copenhagen on the 10th Anniversary of Theo Van Gogh’s Assassination.

Terrorism Defies Definition

by Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld
The Washington Times
October 24, 2014

Defining terrorism has practical implications because formally certifying an act of violence asterrorist has important consequences in U.S. law.

Terrorism suspects can be held longer than criminal suspects after arrest without an indictment They can be interrogated without a lawyer present. They receive longer prison sentences. “Terrorist inmates” are subject to many extra restrictions known as Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs. The “Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002” gives corporate victims of terrorism special breaks (it is currently up for renewal) and protects owners of buildings from certain lawsuits. When terrorism is invoked, families of victims, such as of the 2009 Ft. Hood attack, win extra benefits such as tax breaks, life insurance, and combat-related pay. They can even be handed a New York City skyscraper.

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Despite the legal power of this term, however, terrorism remains undefined beyond a vague sense of “a non-state actor attacking civilian targets to spread fear for some putative political goal.” One study, Political Terrorism, lists 109 definitions. American security specialist David Tucker wryly remarks that “Above the gates of hell is the warning that all that who enter should abandon hope. Less dire but to the same effect is the warning given to those who try to define terrorism.” The Israeli counterterrorism specialist Boaz Ganor jokes that “The struggle to define terrorism is sometimes as hard as the struggle against terrorism itself.”

This lack of specificity wreaks chaos, especially among police, prosecutors, politicians, press, and professors.

“Violence carried out in connection with an internationally sanctioned terrorist group” such as Al-Qaeda, Hizbullah, or Hamas has become the working police definition of terrorism. This explains such peculiar statements after an attack as, “We have not found any links to terrorism,” which absurdly implies that “lone wolves” are never terrorists.

If they are not terrorists, the police must find other explanation to account for their acts of violence. Usually, they offer up some personal problem: insanity, family tensions, a work dispute, “teen immigrant angst,” a prescription drug, or even a turbulent airplane ride. Emphasizing personal demons over ideology, they focus on an perpetrator’s (usually irrelevant) private life, ignoring his far more significant political motives.

But then, inconsistently, they do not require some connection to an international group. When Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez shot eight rounds at the White House in November 2011, the U.S. attorney asserted that “Firing an assault rifle at the White House to make a political statement is terrorism, plain and simple” – no international terrorist group needed. Similarly, after Paul Anthony Ciancia went on a shooting spree at Los Angeles International Airport in November 2013, killing a TSA officer, the indictment accused him of “substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of a person and to commit an act of terrorism.”

This terminological irregularity breads utter confusion. The whole world calls the Boston Marathon bombings terrorism – except the Department of the Treasury, which, 1½ years on “has not determined that there has been an ‘act of terrorism’ under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.” The judge presiding over the terrorism trial in January 2014 of Jose Pimentel, accused of planning to set off pipe bombs in Manhattan, denied the prosecution’s request for an expert to justify a charge of terrorism. Government officials sometimes just throw up their hands: Asked in June 2013 if the U.S. government considers the Taliban a terrorist group, the State Department spokeswoman replied “Well, I’m not sure how they’re defined at this particular moment.”

The whole world, except of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, sees the Boston Marathon bombings as terrorism.

The whole world, except of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, sees the Boston Marathon bombings as terrorism.

A May 2013 shooting in New Orleans, which injured 19, was even more muddled. An FBI spokeswoman called it not terrorism but “strictly an act of street violence.” The mayor disagreed; asked if he considered it terrorism, he said “I think so,” because families “are afraid of going outside.” Challenged to disentangle this contradiction, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s New Orleans field made matters even more opaque: “You can say this is definitely urban terrorism; it’s urban terror. But from the FBI standpoint and for what we deal with on a national level, it’s not what we consider terrorism, per se.” Got that?

The U.S. Department of State has yet to figure out whether the Taliban are or are not terrorists.

The U.S. Department of State has yet to figure out whether the Taliban are or are not terrorists.

This lack of clarity presents a significant public policy challenge. Terrorism, with all its legal and financial implications, cannot remain a vague, subjective concept but requires a precise and accurate definition, consistently applied.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum, where Teri Blumenfeld is a researcher. © 2014 All rights reserved by Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld.

Congress: Stop Subsidizing Biased Middle East Studies

by Daniel Pipes
TheBlaze.com
October 8, 2014

In return for receiving taxpayer funds for foreign regional studies, universities must agree, according to Title VI of the Higher Education Act (HAE), to conduct “public outreach” programs aimed at K-12 teachers and the general public.

Problem is, as shown in research by Campus Watch and others, the Middle East studies centers betray a relentless bias in their Outreach programs against the United States and its allies, especially Israel, while showing a willful blindness to radical Islam. Three examples:

  • Gilbert Achcar of the University of London began a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, in October 2011 by declaring, “Don’t expect me to take a pro-Israel view. I’m an Arab.” Achcar went on to declare that “The Shoah [Holocaust] ended in 1945, but the suffering of the Palestinians is never-ending.”
  • Ilan Pappé of the University of Exeter in the U.K. spoke at UCLA in February 2012 and charged Israel with being a “settler-colonial state” that engages in “criminality” by its very existence. He also offered this apologia for Palestinian terrorism: “Peace is not the only means of bringing an end to an oppression, in this case colonization, dispossession, and ethnic cleansing.”
  • Sherman Jackson of the University of Southern California said at Harvard in November 2013 that the U.S. Constitution “can be challenged, modified or even abandoned” to conform to Islamic law, or Shariah.
 

Sherman Jackson.

To remedy this torrent of bias, critics convinced the U.S. Congress to pass reforms in 2008 requiring that government grants be made on the condition that the Outreach programs “reflect diverse perspective and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs.” In other words, don’t just offer the usual anti-American screeds but also something mainstream.

However, the 2008 legislation failed to provide an enforcement mechanism to hold universities accountable and so, in the end, it proved toothless.

To fix this problem, a group of ten organizations announced on September 17 an effort to cut off taxpayer support from biased, anti-American, and anti-Israel Middle East studies programs at American universities.

Those ten organizations are: the Middle East Forum, Accuracy in Academia, AMCHA Initiative, American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Endowment for Middle East Truth, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, Zionist Organization of America.

2971This initiative calls on Congress, when reauthorizing HEA (which is now underway), to take two small steps to address the problem of bias:

First, require universities receiving Title VI funds to establish grievance procedures in case programs do not in fact “reflect diverse perspective and a wide range of views.”

Second, instruct the U.S. Department of Education to establish a formal complaint-resolution process such as that already in use to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

These two steps should help. But if they do not fix the problem, Congress should defund any Title VI Middle East studies centers that flout the law, mislead the public, and undermine the country’s security.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 All rights reserved by Daniel Pipes.

Think Tanks for Sale or Rent

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
September 15, 2014

In a eyebrow-raising 4,000-word exposé, “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks” published in the New York Times on September 7, Eric Lipton, Brooke Williams and Nicholas Confessore look into the novel issue of foreign governmental financing for American think tanks.

The trio found that while the total scope “is difficult to determine … since 2011, at least 64 foreign governments, state-controlled entities or government officials have contributed to a group of 28 major United States-based research organizations.” Using the sketchy available information, they estimate “a minimum of $92 million in contributions or commitments from overseas government interests over the last four years. The total is certainly more.”

In exchange for this largesse, the research institutions in question offered their donors two main benefits: One, they pressured staff members both to “refrain from criticizing the donor governments” and “to reach conclusions friendly to the government [that had provided] financing.” And two, they have been “pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.” The result: Overseas money has thrown doubt on the legitimacy and objectivity of think-tank research while “increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington.”

My responses, a week later, to this bombshell of a report:

Some of this funding has been given clandestinely, with think tanks taking money under the table while benefiting from a moral image of disinterestedness. In the most prominently egregious example, the government of Qatar, as the NYT reported, “funneled hundreds of millions to Hamas-led Gaza and encouraged its rocket and tunnel assault on Israel,” also signed a four-year $14.8 million deal in 2013 to fund the Brookings Institution where Martin Indyk serves as vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program. Indyk worked for Secretary of State John Kerry from July 2013 to June 2014 as special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. As someone on the same payroll as is Israel’s mortal enemy, how could Indyk be expected to act in a neutral way?

Martin Indyk (right) with his former boss, Secretary of State John Kerry.

The president of Brookings, Strobe Talbott, not only did not apologize or show a shred of embarrassment that foreign governments underwrote some 12 percent of his funding, but had the temerity to respond that “think tanks should take money from foreign governments.” Deploying such self-serving buzzwords as “governance” and phrases like “the philanthropic culture is changing,” he fatuously argued that it “is entirely appropriate for us to work with [governments] when we have the capacity to contribute analysis and prescription on issues that they are dealing with in the policy realm.”

 

The Brookings Institute, founded 1916, is both the oldest American think tank and a leader ​in taking monies from foreign taxpayers.

The Times article exposed – astonishingly – the corruption of liberal establishments such as the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, and the National Democratic Institute. How honest, honorable, and unexpected from a newspaper that has become the nation’s billboard for unthinking liberal bromides. Conversely, the exposé found not a penny going to conservative institutions such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Hudson Institute. (If the Times continues with journalism of this caliber, I might even pay for its iPhone app!)

 

Mitchell Bard tells about the real Middle Eastern lobby working in Washington.

Similarly, concerning the Middle East, where the article mentions several countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE) whose governments play this influence-and-opinion-buying game, not one of them is called Israel. This pattern emphatically verifies the thesis presented by Mitchell Bard in the subtitle his 2010 book, The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East (Harper). As Steven J. Rosen, formerly of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, notes, if “measured by level of effort, if not results, the Arab lobby is equal, or superior to, anything done by the friends of Israel.”

Finally, the Times exposé placed all think-tanks on the defensive. If white-shoe organizations like Brookings are on the take, none of us is exempt from suspicion. In this light, the organization I head (slogan: “Promoting American interests”) immediately issued a press release, “The Middle East Forum Takes No Funds from Foreign Governments,” which stated unequivocally that “we have never sought or taken funding from any foreign government, nor from any agent of a foreign government. And we never will.”

More broadly, as John B. Judis argues, “foreign funding of think tanks is corrupting our democracy.” Therefore, it’s time for all research organizations presenting themselves as providing objective analysis to take a similar pledge, or else to label clearly who bought and paid for their conclusions.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

ISIS Is Not Islamic?

by Daniel Pipes
Sep 10, 2014
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

In a televised address this evening, President Barack Obama outlined his ideas on how to defeat the Islamic State. Along the way, he declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.”

In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children “a terrible perversion of Islam.” George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”

Word magic permits Obama to turn ISIS into a "not Islamic" organization.

Word magic permits Obama to turn ISIS into a “not Islamic” organization.

Indeed, Obama compounds his predecessors’ errors and goes further: Clinton and Bush merely described certain actions (treatment of women and children, acts of violence against innocents) as un-Islamic, but Obama has dared to declare an entire organization (and quasi-state) to be “not Islamic.”None of the three has any basis for such assertions. To state the obvious: as non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: “it is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam.” (That Obama was born and raised a Muslim has no relevance here, for he left the faith and cannot pronounce on it.)

The only good thing about this idiocy? At least it’s better than the formulation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (known as CAIR) which has the nerve to call ISIS “anti-Islamic.”

In the end, though, neither U.S. presidents nor Islamist apologists fool people. Anyone with eyes and ears realizes that ISIS, like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda before it, is 100 percent Islamic. And most Westerners, as indicated by detailed polling in Europe, do have eyes and ears. Over time, they are increasingly relying on common sense to conclude that ISIS is indeed profoundly Islamic. (September 10, 2014)

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Is CAIR Lying about a Rally for Hamas?

by Daniel Pipes
Gatestone Institute
August 22, 2014

A “Stop the Bloodshed in Gaza” rally in downtown Miami on July 20 featured aggressive Islamist chants typical of anti-Israel events. In English, the demonstrators yelled “We are Hamas!” and “We are Jihad!” (as can be seen and heard here). In Hebrew, a Hamas partisan screamed at an Israel-supporter, “Son of a bitch” and “Go to Hell!” and made an obscene arm gesture. In Arabic, the crowd chanted the infamous “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jew, Muhammad’s army will return” (a reference to a massacre of Jews under the auspices of Islam’s prophet in A.D. 629).

As I say, just a typical anti-Israel demonstration, and far from the worst. Typical – except that some of its sponsors desperately seek respectability.

In a July 23 report on the demonstration, investigative researcher Danielle Avel posted a scan of a glossy paper flier advertising the event, listing its seven sponsors:

American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Syrian American Council of South Florida (SAC), American Muslims for Emergency & Relief (AMER), and American Muslims Foundation.




The event’s Facebook page lists a coalition of eight organizations, some of which overlap with those on the flier:

Join us & spread the word! In coordination with our coalition: Al-Awda Coalition, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-FL, POWIR, Broward Green Party, CAIR, National Lawyers Guild (South Florida), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – FAU, and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – FIU.



Two groups in particular, CAIR and ICNA, caught Avel’s eye because they aspire to invitations to the White House, appearances on network television and at leading universities, and other signs of public acceptance. What took place in Miami, she correctly noted, reveals their true extremism.

Six days later, on July 29, CAIR’s Florida chapter responded with a denial:

CAIR-Florida was not part of, did not plan, did not sponsor, did not participate in, and had absolutely nothing to do with the July 20 rally. If any document lists CAIR-Florida as a sponsor of the event, that listing was included without CAIR-Florida’s permission.



I doubt the veracity of this denial for several reasons.

  • CAIR’s mendacity is so widespread that I have an entire bibliography of my writings exposing the reasons not to trust it.
  • The flier, of which I have a copy, twice states that Sofian Zakkout organized the rally. Zakkout is so close to CAIR, he’s effectively a staff volunteer: he coordinates with it, is quoted by it, seeks helpfrom it, and is listed as a contact by it. (For more on Zakkout, see Avel’s exposé.) A year earlier, he listed CAIR’s Florida branch on another rally flier. It beggars the imagination that he would list CAIR without authorization.
  • The Facebook page still lists CAIR as a sponsor, two weeks after CAIR’s statement of denial.
  • Perhaps CAIR seeks to conceal the truth through semantics. Both the national organization (on the Facebook page) and the Florida chapter (on the flier) are listed as sponsors. The July 29 statement only denies permission from the latter, not the former. It is more than credible that CAIR nationalgave its permission to be listed as a sponsor while CAIR’s Florida chapter did not.

Given these facts, I disbelieve CAIR’s statement.

I do believe it sponsored the vile event in Miami; that its denial of that sponsorship is false; and that the despicable words at the Miami rally revealed the true face of CAIR.

CAIR must not be validated by invitations and appearances. It should be treated as a marginal and despised group like the Ku Klux Klan or the Nation of Islam.

Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

 

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1053

Turkish Support for ISIS

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
June 18, 2014

N.B. Washington Times title: “Turkey’s support for ISIS Islamist terrorists. Aiding jihadists could put Ankara at odds with Iran”

The battle in Iraq consists of “Turkish-backed Sunni jihadis rebelling against an Iranian-backed Shi’ite-oriented central government,” I wrote in a recent article.

Some readers question that the Republic of Turkey has supported the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” the main Sunni group fighting in Iraq. They point to ISIS attacks on Turkish interests, within Turkey, along itsborder with Syria, and in Mosul and a successful recent meeting of the Turkish and Iranian presidents. Good points, but they can be explained.

First, ISIS is willing to accept Turkish support even while seeing the Islamist prime minister and his countrymen as kafirs (infidels) who need to be shown true Islam.

Second, the presidential visit took place on one level while the fighting in Syria and Iraq took place on quite another; the two can occur simultaneously. Turkish-Iranian rivalry is on the rise and, as the distinguished Turkish journalist Burak Bekdil notes in the current issue of the Middle East Quarterly:

Recent years have often seen official language from the two countries about prospering bilateral trade and common anti-Israeli ideological solidarity. But mostly out of sight have been indications of rivalry, distrust, and mutual sectarian suspicion between the two Muslim countries.

Ankara may deny helping ISIS, but the evidence for this is overwhelming. “As we have the longest border with Syria,” writes Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a Turkish newspaper columnist, “Turkey’s support was vital for the jihadists in getting in and out of the country.” Indeed, the ISIS strongholds not coincidentally cluster close to Turkey’s frontiers.

Kurds, academic experts and the Syrian opposition agree that Syrians, Turks (estimated to number 3,000), and foreign fighters (especially Saudis but also a fair number of Westerners) have crossed the Turkish-Syrian border at will, often to join ISIS. What Turkish journalist Kadri Gursel calls a “two-way jihadist highway,” has no bothersome border checks and sometimes involves the active assistance of Turkish intelligence services. CNN even broadcast a video on “The secret jihadi smuggling route through Turkey.”

Actually, the Turks offered far more than an easy border crossing: they provided the bulk of ISIS’ funds, logistics, training and arms. Turkish residents near the Syrian border tell of Turkish ambulances going to Kurdish-ISIS battle zones and then evacuating ISIS casualties to Turkish hospitals. Indeed, a sensational photograph has surfaced showing ISIS commander Abu Muhammad in a hospital bed receiving treatment for battle wounds in Hatay State Hospital in April 2014.

 

Abu Muhammad of ISIS in Hatay State Hospital in April 2014, recovering from wounds received fighting in Syria.

One Turkish opposition politician estimates that Turkey has paid $800 million to ISIS for oil shipments. Another politician released information about active duty Turkish soldiers training ISIS members. Critics note that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has met three times with someone, Yasin al-Qadi, who has close ties to ISIS and has funded it.

 

The flag of Rojava, or Syria Kurdistan.

Why the Turkish support for wild-eyed extremists? Because Ankara wants to eliminate two Syrian polities, the Assad regime in Damascus and Rojava (the emerging Kurdish state) in the northeast.

Regarding the Assad regime: “Thinking that jihadists would ensure a quick fall for the Assad regime in Syria, Turkey, no matter how vehemently officials deny it, supported the jihadists,” writes Cengiz, “at first along with Western and some Arab countries and later in spite of their warnings.”

Regarding Rojava: Rojava’s leadership being aligned with the PKK, the (formerly) terrorist Kurdish group based in Turkey, the authoritative Turkish journalist Amberin Zaman has little doubt “that until recently, Turkey was allowing jihadist fighters to move unhindered across its borders” to fight the Kurds.

More broadly, as the Turkish analyst Mustafa Akyol notes, Ankara thought “anybody who fought al-Assad was a good guy and also harbored an “ideological uneasiness with accepting that Islamists can do terrible things.” This has led, he acknowledges, to “some blindness” toward violent jihadists. Indeed, ISIS is so popular in Turkey that others publicly copy its logo.

 

An Istanbul-based charity (acronym: HİSADER) has adopted the ISIS logo with the Islamic statement of faith.

In the face of this support, the online newspaper Al-Monitor calls on Turkey to close its border to ISIS while Rojava threatened Ankara with “dire consequences” unless Turkish aid ceases.

In conclusion, Turkish leaders are finding Syria a double quagmire, what with Assad still in power and the Kurdish entity growing stronger. In reaction, they have cooperated with even the most extreme, retrograde and vicious elements, such as ISIS. But this support opened a second front in Iraq which, in turn, brings the clash of the Middle East’s two titans, Turkey and Iran, closer to realization.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

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