The Muslim Brotherhood’s winter offensive

3831235057Center for Security Policy, By Frank Gaffney:

Sixty-nine years ago this month, Nazi Germany mounted its last, horrific offensive in the dead of winter in what came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge.  Perhaps taking a page from the playbook of their fellow totalitarians, the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have its own audacious winter offensive underway – only this one is being waged inside America, a country the Brothers have declared they seek “to destroy from within.”

At the moment, the object of this exercise appears to be to prevail on the U.S. government to do what it did once before: help install a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt.  The difference, of course, is that the last time was in the heyday of the so-called “Arab Spring,” a moment when the ambitions of Egyptian Islamists and those of their counterparts in Tunisia, Libya, Syria and elsewhere were temporarily obscured by disinformation and wishful thinking.

In short order, however, the determination of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk to impose the supremacist and brutally repressive doctrine they call shariah became evident in Cairo and the rest of the Middle East.  Whether they gained power via violent revolution or through the ballot box, the goal was the same: compel moderate Muslims, secularists, Christians and everybody else to submit to orthodox Islamic misrule. Resistance was met with violence, imprisonment and the destruction of churches.

Fortunately, as many as thirty million Egyptians took to the streets of their cities last summer to denounce the Brotherhood and demand the removal from power of its president, Mohamed Morsi.  He was overthrown and arrested in July by the military-led opposition, his organization banned and its other leaders incarcerated.  Most sentient Americans recognized this as a very positive development.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s operatives, front organizations and allies in this country have nonetheless demanded Morsi’s restoration. They present themselves as champions of democracy, hoping no one will notice the practical effect of the Brothers’ policies when in power: a state in which elections amount to nothing more than one man, one vote, one time.

The Brotherhood’s advocates enjoy considerable access to and influence with the Obama administration.  For example, the President and his subordinates take counsel from Homeland Security Department advisors like Mohamed Magid, the president of this country’s largest Muslim Brotherhood front, the Islamic Society of North America, and Mohamed Elibiary, an Islamist community organizer based in Plano, Texas. At the urging of their ilk, Mr. Obama cut off military sales to the Egyptian government a few months ago.  In addition to needlessly alienating Cairo when it is rolling up our mutual enemies, he thus created an opportunity for Vladimir Putin to pick up the slack and, in the process, further reestablish Russia in the Middle East.

The Muslim Brotherhood in this country (the subject of a free ten-part online course at www.MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com) is evidently determined to do even more for their fellow jihadists in Egypt.  Hence, they have created new fronts to promote Egyptian “democracy” and held lobbying and fundraising events in several U.S. cities featuring top Brotherhood personalities.

As the indispensable Investigative Project on Terrorism first reported, one of those is Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna.  Ramadan was allowed into the United States in January 2010 at the direction of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose longtime aide, Huma Abedin, also has extensive personal and family ties to the Brotherhood.

Even more outrageous is the presence at several of these events – including one in the House Cannon Office Building on December 5th – of Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arian would seem an unlikely choice to sell Congress on so dubious a proposition as restoring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt.  After all, he not only engaged in what the Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad” in the United States. That’s the stealthy subversion Islamists employ until they are able to use violence to foist shariah worldwide.

Sami al-Arian was also convicted in 2006 of aiding Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a designated terrorist group he led for many years.  PIJ has been responsible for murders of innocents in the past and applauded a bus bombing in Israel just last Sunday.  Why on earth would Judge Leonie Brinkema allow Al-Arian, who is awaiting disposition of contempt of court charges and faces possible deportation, to collaborate and agitate with his fellow Muslim Brothers, albeit with a location-monitoring bracelet?

It is obscene that anyone in Congress would host such a jihadist. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), a Muslim legislator who sponsored the event at which Al-Arian appeared, claims not to have known that he would be there.  True or not, he and President Obama have certainly failed to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood for the enemy it is.

That failure makes all the more dangerous the Muslim Brotherhood’s present offensive.  As we mark the anniversary of the bloody and avoidable Battle of the Bulge, we would do well to reflect upon an event held last month at the Brotherhood beachhead at Georgetown University, the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.  Among those invited to promote a “return to democracy” in Egypt was a featured guest speaker named Rami Jan, who happens to be a member of the Egyptian Nazi party.

Egypt Buries the Brotherhood

Protest against President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Egyptby :

It’s not unusual for the United States and a Muslim country to be on the opposite sides of the War on Terror. It is unusual for a Muslim country to take a stand against terrorism while the United States backs the right of a terrorist group to burn churches, torture opposition members and maintain control of a country with its own nuclear program.

But that’s the strange situation in what Egypt’s public prosecutor has declared “the biggest case of conspiracy in the country’s history.”

The media assumes that the charges accusing Muslim Brotherhood leaders of conspiring with Hamas and Hezbollah, passing state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and plotting to help foreign terrorists kill Egyptian soldiers is a show being put on for Western audiences. They couldn’t be more wrong.

This isn’t about winning international PR points. It’s about destroying the credibility of the Brotherhood in the eyes of Egyptians and burying it along with what’s left of the Arab Spring in the waters of the Nile.

Obama assumed that cuts to military aid would force Egypt to restore the Muslim Brotherhood to power. He was wrong and the latest round of criminal charges show just how wrong he was.

The charges that the Muslim Brotherhood conspired with Hamas and Hezbollah to unleash a wave of terror against Egypt go to the heart of this struggle between the Egyptian nationalism of the military and the Islamic transnationalism of the Muslim Brotherhood. They paint the Muslim Brotherhood as not merely corrupt or abusive, the way that many tyrannies are, but as a foreign subversive element.

These aren’t merely criminal charges. They are accusations of treason.

There are two narratives of the Arab Spring. In one of them, the people rose up against the tyrants.  In the other an international conspiracy of Western and Muslim countries collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood to take over Arab countries.

To destroy the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the state has to do more than accuse Morsi of abuses of power; it has to show that he and his organization were illegitimate because they were Un-Egyptian.

That will prove that the differences between Mubarak and Morsi aren’t incidental. Mubarak may have been thuggish and corrupt, but he was an Egyptian patriot. Morsi will be charged with being an Iranian traitor who conspired to take away the Sinai and turn it over to the terrorist proxies of a Shiite state.

Read more at Front Page

 

Esman: Women are “Biggest Losers” in Arab Spring

Muslim Brotherhood: A history of terror

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann

Daily News Egypt, By Michele Bachmann:

If the decision of the interim government of Egypt is to consider the organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, then the United States should follow.

From the time of Hassan al-Banna and the “secret apparatus” staging terror attacks across Egypt and the assassinations of Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha and judge Ahmed El-Khazindar in 1948, to the ongoing attacks on Coptic Christians and churches and the terror campaign targeting the military in the Sinai and elsewhere, the Muslim Brotherhood has always kept terrorism as part of its arsenal and living up to their motto, “Jihad is our way.”

We’ve seen the Brotherhood engage in a two-faced policy of publicly condemning terrorism to media outlets in the West, and then supporting terrorism when they think no one is looking. When they get caught, the predictable response is to claim that they were misquoted or taken out of context. This is why Alain Chouet, the former head of the French Security Intelligence Service, observed that “like every fascist movement on the trail to power, the Brotherhood has achieved perfect fluency in double-speak.”

After the 25 January Revolution, the Obama administration and the American media fell for this double-speak, embracing the so-called “moderate Muslim Brotherhood.”

But as the people of Egypt quickly discovered, they were anything but moderate. Under former President Morsi’s brief tenure, the Muslim Brotherhood’s program of extremism was given a green light. Following his election, one of Morsi’s first agenda items was to demand the release of convicted terrorist leader Shiek Omar Abdel Rahman from American prison. The “Blind Sheik” was convicted in his role in federal court for his leadership role in authorising the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned follow-up “Day of Terror” attack. Morsi also released scores of convicted terrorists from Egyptian jails.

Under the Morsi regime attacks against women and religious minorities, including Coptic Christians and Shi’ites, increased dramatically with no response from the government. In April, when mobs and police attacked a funeral at St. Mark’s Cathedral, killing at least one mourner, one of Morsi’s top aides took to Facebook to blame the Coptic Christians for the attacks. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party have continued to incite violence against the Coptic community since Morsi’s removal

When Morsi issued his 22 November, 2012 declaration claiming that his power was beyond the review of the courts and that all his decrees could not be appealed – effectively declaring himself dictator – the Obama administration issued no condemnations. As protestors were being tortured by Muslim Brotherhood cadres in front of the presidential palace, the United States was continuing with plans to send planes, tanks, tear gas and financial aid to the Morsi regime over the protests from myself and many of my colleagues in both chambers of the United States Congress.

As Egyptians were being jailed and tried for “defamation” and “insulting the president” and after Morsi appointed a former Jamaa Islamiya terrorist leader as governor of the Luxor Governorate, where his terror group had attacked and killed 62 tourists in 1997, Obama’s Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson gave a speech in Cairo just days before the 30 June Tamarod protests continuing to back Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In October 2003, the former counter-terrorism “czar” for both President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Richard Clarke, testified before the US Senate that virtually every Islamic terrorist organisation in the world had in common membership and inspiration from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only has virtually every leader of Al-Qaeda passed through the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, but several of the 9/11 hijackers, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, were known to have been radicalised through the Brotherhood.

In February 2011, just days after Mubarak announced he was stepping down, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller told the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”

The move in Egypt to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation is one born out of urgent necessity and the group’s long history of terror. If this decision is made by the Egyptian government then the United States should follow. The designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation is warranted and long overdue.

Michele Bachmann is an American Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, and a former U.S. presidential candidate.

More Slaughter in Muslim Lands; Media, Governments Silent

Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2013

By Raymond Ibrahim:

811 (1)Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria another in Egypt.

On October 21 in Syria, the U.S.-supported Islamic rebels invaded and occupied the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the military.  During that week, “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” in the words of Orthodox Archbishop Alnemeh, took place.  Among other things, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; mass graves were discovered; all of Sadad’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found buried at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).

The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater,” which John McCain equated to a Christian saying “thank God”).  Another video, made after Sadad was liberated, shows more graphic atrocities.

The day before rebels invaded Sadad, on Sunday, October 20, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Warraq near Cairo, Egypt, was attacked during a wedding ceremony, leaving four dead and nearly two dozen wounded.  According to a report issued by forensics, two of those murdered were young girls, each named Mary:  12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who took five shots in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (“Masih” meaning “Christ”), who took a bullet in the back which burst from the front.

As happens frequently in Egypt and other Islamic nations, the security forces charged with protecting the church were seen leaving their posts immediately before the massacre began.  Similarly, in the words of Asia News, “Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous distress calls, police and ambulances only arrived on the scene two hours after the shooting.”

Both the massacres in Syria and Egypt received scant attention and even less condemnation by Western media and government.  Instead, people like Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security advisercondemned Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt as promoting “Islamophobic” bigotry.

Similarly, although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries—as this monthly series attests—with little condemnation or even acknowledgment by the U.S. government, when five Muslims were killed in western Burma,  the United States, according to Voice of America, formally condemned it, “urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there.”

The rest of October’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Egypt & Russia: Cold War Alliances Revived

636122-01-08-414x350by :

U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the nuclear deal with Iran is propelling the Arab world into the arms of Russia. The Egyptian government, formerly a U.S. ally, will buy $2 billion in arms from Russia, signaling a strategic realignment in the Middle East that leaves Putin in control.

Egypt’s open embrace of Russia started immediately after the Obama Administration suspended some military aid to the Egyptian government in response to the overthrow of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. While American aid continued unabated after the Islamists took over, it was cut after they were overthrown.

Support for America and President Obama in particular collapsed in Egypt in response. Only a single percent of Egyptians have confidence in the U.S. and three percent have confidence in Obama. The U.S. support for the Brotherhood has made it a casualty of the regional backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia is embarking on a similar course. Saudi officials now openly talk to reporters about how their country will be more independent in reaction to U.S. policy. Reports about the acquisition of Pakistani nuclear weapons are met with non-denials. The Saudis offered Russia a strategic alliance and major oil partnership if Putin abandons the Assad regime.

“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president [Obama], which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former director of Saudi intelligence.

The Royal Family of Bahrain, a foe of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, feels the same way. Crown Prince al-Khalifa recently said, “America seems to suffer from schizophrenia when it deals with the Arab world.”

He compared the U.S. unfavorably to Russia; a shocking assessment considering Bahrain’s hostility to Putin.

“The Russians have proved that they are reliable friends,” he explained.

This trend didn’t start after the Arab Spring brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the forefront. It started shortly after President Obama took the oath of office. By June 2010, Egyptian and Jordanian officials were privately fretting about American diplomacy, specifically how the administration was reaching out to Syria.

“Only if you’re tough with America and adopt an anti-U.S. stance will the U.S. have a more flexible attitude and pay you,” an Egyptian official anonymously stated.

Read more at Front Page

 

Sec. of State Kerry Pushing Back on Pro-Brotherhood Policy

John Kerry

We must hope that Kerry’s public contradictions of administration policy reflect of a behind-the-scenes debate.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The disastrous effect of the Obama Administration’s support for theMuslim Brotherhood appears to be seen by Secretary of State John Kerry. In recent months, he has twice contradicted the administration’s policy with public statements against the Brotherhood and in support of the Egyptian military.

On August 1, Kerry enraged the Brotherhood by justifying the Egyptian military’s overthrow of President Morsi.

“The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descent into chaos, into violence,” he said, adding that the military was “restoring democracy.”

Then on November 20, Kerry said that the Muslim Brotherhood had “stolen” the Egyptian revolution that first toppled President Mubarak. He said that the Brotherhood won the elections afterwards because it was “the one single most organized entity in the state.”

The Brotherhood characterizes itself as the democratically elected representative of the Egyptian people. Kerry’s powerful statement undermines the Brotherhood’s claim to legitimacy and echoes the criticism of its opponents.

The Obama Administration as a whole, however, stands against the military intervention and cut off some military aid to Egypt in response. The policy is pushing Arab countries allied with the U.S. into the arms of Russia and has alienated the Egyptian population.

Read more at Clarion Project

The Genocidal Axis

hate_america_crush_israel-viBy Frontpagemag.com

Editor’s note: Below is the transcript to the panel discussion, “The Genocidal Axis,” which took place at the Freedom Center’s 2013 Restoration Weekend. Restoration Weekend was held November 14th-17th at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Erick Stakelbeck: I just want to say a few words about why we’re here today. And we talk about the Genocidal Axis.

To me, the two pillars of that axis are the global Muslim Brotherhood movement and the Iranian regime.

Robert Spencer: That’s correct.

Erick Stakelbeck: And we’ve talked about the Muslim Brotherhood. I just wrote a book about the Brotherhood. And in my research — look, I knew these were bad guys. This is the granddaddy of all Islamic terrorist groups. In the modern era, it spawned from the Muslim Brotherhood. Our good friends, the moderates, as the Obama Administration tells us, spawned al-Qaeda, created Hamas.

Without the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood way back in 1928 in Egypt, 9/11 would’ve never happened. Everyone behind that attack, from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri — before they formed al-Qaeda, they belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is the gateway drug to Islamic terrorism.

They’re also the gateway drug, in this era, to Islamic anti-Semitism. And we talk about the Genocidal Axis. We talk about the efforts of jihadists to wipe Christians and Jews from the face of the planet. In writing my book — again, I knew these were bad guys. This is the granddaddy, the Brotherhood — but the depths of their anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic ideology shocked even me, to a degree.

In 1933 — you may be shocked to learn this — there were some 80,000 Jews living in Egypt, mainly in Cairo and Alexandria. Always, as Robert could tell you, under dhimmi status, but they were there. Eighty thousand Jews. There were even anti-Hitler rallies in 1933 in Cairo.

Then, along came the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in 1928, gradually gained strength throughout the 1930s, and established a working relationship, folks, with the Nazis. The Muslim Brotherhood worked hand-in-glove with Hitler’s war machine to extend the Final Solution from the Jews of Europe to the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa.

So by 1937, 1938, just five years after those anti-Nazi rallies in Egypt, we have synagogues being burnt to the ground. We have pogroms against the Jews of Egypt, spurred by the Muslim Brotherhood, using Nazi literature and Nazi propaganda.

By 1948, as the State of Israel in my view was being miraculously reborn, we had legions of Arab armies closing in on the fledgling Jewish state. The Muslim Brotherhood sent battalions to assist in the invasion of Israel.

This is who they are. We should not be surprised when, a few months ago, the not-so-dearly departed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was captured on video tape calling Jews the sons of apes and pigs. And as Robert will tell you, there was some theological ammo, to say the least, behind that statement.

There can never be peace with Israel or, as they call it, Palestine. I’ve interviewed Muslim Brotherhood operatives face-to-face. I’ve been in their offices, their mosques, their homes. One thing that galvanizes them more than any other issue is a hatred of the Jewish people. The word “Israel” does not exist in their lexicon. It is only “the Zionist entity.”

And I have to say these people look like you and I. They wear suits and ties, they speak — they’re very charming. They speak fluent English, they’re Western-educated — designer suits. This is the Brotherhood strategy. Stealth. And it works.

What we have right now, ladies and gentlemen, playing out in the Middle East, in real time, before your very eyes, is the old adage in the world of jihad and Islamism. First, the Saturday people. Then, the Sunday people.

Look, the Saturday people have been emptied, the Jewish people have been emptied, from the nations of the Middle East and North Africa. One million Jewish refugees fled countries like Iran, Yemen, Morocco, Libya in the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s. Sometimes with only the clothes on their backs. One million Jewish refugees.

Number one, where is their right of return?

(Applause)

Not that they’d want it.

(Laughter)

Number two, we’re seeing this scenario played out again, folks. Christians right now, in places like Egypt. Churches are being burnt to the ground. In August, there were 70 to 80 churches, according to some estimates, burnt to the ground by the Muslim Brotherhood and its minions in Egypt. Sometimes with worshippers inside, in places like Nigeria. We’re seeing this repeat itself across the Muslim world.

First came the Saturday people. Now the bull’s eye is on the backs of every Christian, every Sunday person, in the Middle East and North Africa.

(Applause)

This is who they are. You cannot negotiate with these people. Dialogue and diplomacy do not work. On the Sunni side, you have the Brotherhood; on the Shia side, you have Iran and Hezbollah. It’s not a coincidence that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah — who’s probably hiding in an underground bunker as we speak right now, hiding from the IDF — he was quoted a few years ago as saying — it’s good that the Jews have gathered in one nation, the land of Israel. Because that’ll save us the trouble of pursuing them around the world and killing them. They’re all in one place, this is great.

This is the mindset of this regime. Nasrallah is an acolyte of the Iranian regime, an appendage of the Iranian regime. This is who we want to strike a grand bargain with, folks, and allow to have nuclear weapons. What a comforting thought, especially for Israel.

You have Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, who wrote a book a few years ago, in 2003, saying the war is not just between Israel and the Arab nations; it’s between every Jew and every Muslim. Folks, the goal is not just the liquidation of the Jewish state; it’s the liquidation of the Jewish people.

So, without further ado, we’re going to start with Caroline Glick.

Read more 

The Middle East Now Has Three Alliances: None Are With the U.S.

Iran's navy

U.S. policy is a fatal contradiction: The White House favors both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, which has alienated all U.S. allies.

BY RYAN MAURO:

Turkey and Iran’s move to form an Islamist super-bloc is changing the balance of the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have chosen to lead an Arab bloc of their own, rather than capitulate to their enemies’ dominance.

Our last analysis of this development explained that three distinct blocs were formed since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled in Egypt:

1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.

2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.

3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.

The first two blocs are on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but are hoping to negotiate a ceasefire that allows them to mend ties. The third bloc feels so threatened by the other two that Saudi Arabia is widely rumored to be offering Israel access to its airspace to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Clarion Project was recently told by an intelligence source that the Saudis and Israelis have moved “beyond talking” and there will likely be on-the-ground preparations for this scenario soon.

The Syrian civil war had put Turkey and Iran at odds, but the prolonged stalemate is compelling the two governments to look for a way forward. The Turkish Foreign Minister was recently in Tehran, where he said they agreed to push for a ceasefire. He also saidTurkey and Iran will “join hands” to be “the backbone of regional stability.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Islamic Jihad on Christian Nuns: A History

Maaloula: ancient Christian site where inhabitants still spoke Aramaic, language of Jesus, before being devastated by the jihad, its nuns abducted, its ancient churches desecrated.

Maaloula: ancient Christian site where inhabitants still spoke Aramaic, language of Jesus, before being devastated by the jihad, its nuns abducted, its ancient churches desecrated.

by :

Yet another phenomenon with a long paper trail in Islamic history has just taken place, even as the Western “mainstream”—little acquainted with true history or reality—dismisses it as an aberration.  Asia News has the details:

Islamist rebels have kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Thecla (Mar Taqla) in Maaloula [an ancient Christian community where Christians were earlier forced to convert to Islam or die]…  “Armed men burst in the monastery of St Thecla in Maaloula this afternoon [Dec. 2]. From there, they forcibly took 12 women religious,” Mgr Zenari said …. Neither the nuncio nor the Greek Orthodox Church know [the] reason behind the kidnapping.

The “reason behind the kidnapping”?  Sexual abuse and rape certainly should not be discounted, as these have been the lot of thousands of women abducted by U.S.-sponsored “freedom fighters” in Syria. Indeed, a new report issued by the National Reconciliation Commission in Syria states that some 37,000 women have been raped since the war started.

To keep the jihad in Syria alive, pro-war Islamic clerics have issued any number of fatwas, or Islamic rulings, permitting sexually-frustrated, female-deprived rebels to rape women.  Most of these are based on the simple fact that Islam permits jihadis, based on the example of their prophet, to copulate with any captured woman—or, in the words of the Koran, “what your right hands possess” (see “The Jihad on Christian Women: Abduction, Rape, and Forced Conversion,” pgs. 186-199 in Crucified Again for detailed information).

One cleric permitted the abduction and rape of any Syrian woman, provided she is not Sunni.  Yet apparently because there are still not enough women for the jihadi hordes, many of whom are foreigners—one Christian child was recently raped by 15 men before being killedSunni Muslim women are also being targeted through sex jihad fatwas.

So would such jihadis and their clerics have any special respect for Christian nuns?

The fact is, raped nuns is a phenomenon that goes back centuries.   According to Muslim historian Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi (1364-1442) during his raids on Egypt, Caliph Marwan II (r.744–50) “made captive a number of women from among the nuns of several convents. And he tried to seduce one of them.”  The account describes how the enslaved nun tricked him into killing her, by claiming she had a magic oil that make skin impenetrable: “She then took some oil and anointed herself with it; then stretched out her neck, which he smote with the sword, and made her head fly.  He then understood that she preferred death to defilement.”

Read more

Georgetown University’s One-Way Street of Christian-Muslim Understanding

Georgetown_University_-381Juicy Ecumenism, December 4, 2013, by  (@AEHarrod)

The “more strongly you are committed to your faith,” emerging church leader Brian McLaren stated at Georgetown University on November 21, 2013, the “more tolerant and compassionate you are.”  McLaren’s equivalency among all faiths fit perfectly into the conference “Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century:  Challenges & Opportunities,” a day-long, one-sided presentation of Islam as a pacific faith unjustly maligned by Christians and others.

Presented by Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the conference has already produced considerable controversy.  The keynote address by popular British religion writer Karen Armstrong, for example, unconvincingly argued that Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks resulted from Muslim grievances inflicted by the West in general and the British Empire in particular.  Outside of the conference’s estimated 100 attendees at Georgetown’s Copley Hall, Armstrong’s arguments have met with universal revulsion, if comments upon my previously published analysis are any indication (see here and here, for example).

A panel moderated by Islam scholar Natana J. DeLong-Bas, meanwhile, preceded Armstrong.  As a moderator, DeLong-Bas did not have much too say, which was probably just as well, as research has revealed her to the unsuspecting at the conference and elsewhere as an Islamism apologist and 9/11 truther.  Among other things, she has doubted the role of Osama bin Laden in 9/11 and has praised the “democracy” efforts of Hamas.

Armstrong and DeLong-Bas were perhaps predictable given the tone set at the conference’s morning introduction by ACMCU’s director, the frequent Islamism apologist and internationally renowned Islam scholar John Esposito.  Along with the “Arab Spring” becoming “potentially the Arab Winter” and “Sunni-Shia sectarianism,” Armstrong’s fellow United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) High Level Group member Esposito identified the “rise of Islamophobia” as a global issue facing Islam.  McLaren likewise during the conference’s final panel spoke of Islam substituting for Communism after the Cold War’s end had for many Americans “take[n] away their enemy” and identity “crutch.”

Participants on “The Arab Uprisings, Islamic Movements & the Future of Democracy” panel, meanwhile, seemed mystified by any threat perception within Islam.  Emad Shahin, for example, judged concerns about Islam’s compatibility with democracy a “useless question.”  According to Shahin, anyone, not just the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), could have “made mistakes” ruling Egypt following the downfall of its dictator Hosni Mubarak.  Opponents of deposed Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi from the MB “should have respected the process” and the Arab Spring’s “people power.”

Shahin’s fellow panelist, the late addition Radwan Masmoudi from the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), also decried the “myth that Islam and democracy are not compatible.”  As CSID’s president, Masmoudi claimed that his organization had produced hundreds of papers demonstrating that Islamic faith and freedom could coexist, a claim Masmoudi saw borne out in the Arab Spring.  “We are going to succeed” with an Islam-democracy combination, Masmoudi confidently predicted.

Like Shahin, Masmoudi considered it “not fair” to judge Egypt’s MB rule a failure in light of the “long process to build democracy” cut short after fewer than two years.  While Masmoudi assessed post-Saddam Hussein Iraq as a “mess,” he nonetheless considered Middle East democracy promotion under George W. Bush to have been “great.”  “Foreign intervention” in Tunisia and Egypt, meanwhile, from Western countries “afraid of democracy” had repeated America’s historic “mistake” of supporting Middle East dictators, “one of the main reasons for extremism.”  By contrast, “good relations with the Arab and Muslim world demands democracy.”

Fears of countries like Egypt emulating Iran’s theocratic dictatorship received little consideration from Masmoudi.  United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s determination that Egypt’s “Muslim Brotherhood stole democracy” baffled Masmoudi.  He correspondingly criticized a supposed American “green light” for the Egyptian military’s July 2013 ouster of Morsi, even though most evidence indicates that President Barak Obama opposed Morsi’s removal.

Rather than question any “faith in the people” in majority-Muslim societies, Masmoudi saw recurring elections as the means of controlling any Muslim political malfeasance.  Thereby Masmoudi discussed “Islamism” as a “most misunderstood word,” for, according to him, variants of Islamism existed, not all of which were malignant.  As a practical matter, Masmoudi considered impossible the political exclusion of Islamists, estimated by him at about 30-40% of Arab Spring country populations.

Contrasting with this positive presentation of Islam, leftist evangelical Richard Cizek offered comments critical of American evangelicals while sharing the stage with Armstrong.  Once the National Association of Evangelicals’ (NAE) top staffer as Vice President for Governmental affairs, Cizek left NAE in 2008 after his support for same-sex civil unions as well as climate change theories and the recently elected Obama caused uproar in evangelical circles.  Now heading the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good with funding from leftwing atheist billionaire George Soros, Cizek at Copley Hall criticized evangelical “subcultural bubbles.”  Here prevailed a “black helicopters” view of the United Nations and complaints about an “alleged intrusion” upon religious freedom by the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.

With respect to evangelical relations with Islam, Cizek had several complaints.  Christian Zionism, for example, supported the “theft of Palestinian land.”  Cizek also critically cited a figure according to which 60% of evangelicals rejected the assertion that Western civilization had a significant Islamic heritage.

Cizek also noted his meeting with fellow evangelical James Dobson at the National Cathedral following 9/11.  In contrast to Dobson’s understanding of 9/11 as jihadist aggression, Cizek, like Armstrong, seemed to express understanding for Al Qaeda’s motives.  Cizek referenced American military personnel stationed on Saudi Arabian soil at the time of 9/11 and an Arab-Israeli conflict having claimed 4 million dead and wounded, according to Cizek.

Yet most estimates of Arab and Jewish casualties since fighting began during Zionist settlement of the British Palestine Mandate are far lower.  One accounting lists 115,000 dead and 102,000 wounded among civilians and soldiers.  In a ranking of conflicts with over 10,000 fatalities since 1950, the Arab-Israeli conflict occupies 49th place.  Cizek also did not explain why the defensive deployment of American forces to Saudi Arabia is any less justified than similar American deployments around the world.

Appearing with Masmoudi and Shahin, Georgetown professor Yvonne Haddad offered the one indication during the conference that all was not well with Islam.  Haddad described a “panic” among the Middle East’s Christians as a “vanishing minority” who resented Muslim-majority domination expressed in terms for non-Muslim monotheists like “dhimmis.”  In Syria there were “targeted killing of Christians,” something Haddad ascribed to rebel anger at Christian unwillingness to fight the Bashar Assad regime and not general Islamist persecution of non-Muslims.  “Bush’s Spring” overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq had also unleashed Islamist furies and Christian flight.

Yet Haddad’s assessments of Arab Christians’ friends and foes were surprising.  Discussing transient Western interventions in the Middle East going back to the Crusades that had always ultimately weakened Christian communities there, Haddad asserted that Arab Christians did not want outside rescuers.  Denominational disputes with Western evangelists had also antagonized Arab Christians in the past.

Israel is also no friend of Christians in Haddad’s view.  One evangelical group’s online map of Christian persecution in the Middle East received her criticism for omitting Israel.  Yet Israel is for Haddad a country that places Arab Christians and Muslims in “concentration camps,” an increasingly popular slander of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.  Christian Arab population statistics tell a different story, however, as indicated by me in a question to Haddad.  In contrast to the Christian exodus from the Middle East noted by her, Christians in Israel have grown in number from 34,000 in 1949 to 125,000 in 2011.  Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967, meanwhile, saw the Christians there decline from 25,000 to fewer than 13,000.

Appearing on DeLong-Bas’ morning panel, South Africa’s ambassador to the United States, Ebrahim Rasool, had called upon his audience “to embrace shared space” in an “exciting world of multiculturalism.”  In such a world the existence of a “mosque in Cape Town” reciprocally demanded the allowance of a “church in Saudi Arabia.”  This new paradigm also involved a “move away from competitive faith to cooperative faith” amidst a “declining carcass” of believers in an increasingly secularized world.

Interfaith harmony invocations, though, rang hollow at this morally inverted conference.  While Islamism’s uniformly aggressive and authoritarian aspects went unexamined, conference panelists attributed prejudice and persecution almost exclusively to Christians and Jews.  Yet concerns about Muslim-majority societies in the Arab Spring and elsewhere undergoing something other than Rasool’s described “surge for freedom” are hardly “useless,” pace Shahin.  Nor does religious devotion always have a direct relationship with human decency, as Esposito’s reference to Sunni-Shia sectarianism indicates contrary to McLaren’s assertion.

Peace among peoples can only result from considered respect for principles such as human equality, something requiring rigorous intellectual inquiry and not the ACMCU’s Islamophile illusions.  Rasool’s claim, for example, that Muslims have “no monopoly” upon a “fundamentalist-extremist mindset” given Israeli “fundamentalism” and Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher’s “economic fundamentalism” deserves closer scrutiny.  Rasool’s assertion with respect to Jews in the Third Reich and 1948 Israeli War for Independence Palestinian refugees that “we all carry the burdens of victimhood” is also suspect.  Such examination necessary for Christian-Muslim or any other understanding, however, is unlikely ever to occur at Georgetown’s ACMCU.

 

Andrew E. Harrod, PhD, JD, Esq. is the author of over 100 articles online and in print concerning various political, religious, and international relations topics. 

New Egyptian Constitution: A Slap at the Brotherhood

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Egyptians have a new draft constitution to vote upon in a referendum to be held either later this month or in January 2014. It is meant to replace, with amendment language and new provisions, the more Islamist-oriented constitution rammed through by former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi. “It is now the right of every Egyptian to declare that this is their constitution,” said Bishop Bola, the representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church on the panel that was responsible for drafting the new constitution.

The big loser will be the Muslim Brotherhood, eclipsed by representatives from a more conservative Islamist party and from Al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni learning, who spoke for Islamists on the drafting panel and have backed the new constitution. The drafting panel also consisted of activists from Tamarod, the secular youth movement that rallied millions of Egyptians who demanded that Morsi step aside, leading to his ouster and replacement by an interim government under the rule of the defense minister, General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi.

The constitution drafters and the interim government leaders hope that there will be a significantly larger turnout of voters to approve this constitution than showed up to approve Morsi’s constitution.  A larger turnout and vote in support of the draft constitution would serve to legitimize the current interim government’s self-proclaimed move towards a more inclusive, democratic regime – at least, that is what the interim government leaders are claiming. Whether presidential or parliamentary elections would be held first following the constitution’s ratification remains an open question, possibly to provide the opportunity for Sisi to run for president and consolidate his influence in advance of more contentious, drawn-out parliamentary elections.

On paper, the new constitution would grant new important rights to Egyptian citizens, including protection against torture, human trafficking and persecution for religious belief. It bans parties founded on religion or sect and mandates equality between men and women, both slaps in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood which tried to remake the country in its own image of an Islamist state. In practice, however, the new constitution is but another in a series of constitutional documents, more honored in their breach than their observance. While the new draft pays lip service to human rights and is more secular in nature than its predecessor, the draft keeps Sharia law as the basis for legislation. Repression of dissent, limitations on freedom to practice one’s own religion, and violence and discrimination against women are likely to remain the grim reality on the streets of Egypt. State institutions such as the military and the police will retain their privileged status.

Not surprisingly, the Muslim Brotherhood has already denounced the new draft constitution. It said that “abusive coupists” were trying to “distort Egypt’s legitimate constitution,” by which they mean the Islamist-oriented constitution foisted on the Egyptian people last year by a far less inclusive drafting process.  Liberals, secularists and the Coptic Church were on the outside looking in, in contrast to their inclusion in the current drafting process.

The Obama administration appears to be taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the new draft constitution. But, in the meantime, the administration continues to punish the interim regime by cutting off vital military aid, including the delivery of F-16s, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters. It does so on the pretext that the regime’s forcible suppression of dissent and lack of inclusiveness forced the administration to the point that “we could not continue business as usual with respect to our assistance.”

Why not begin resuming at least some deliveries now that the interim government has taken at least a preliminary step on its roadmap towards a more inclusive civil democracy? The excuse appears to be a recently passed law placing restrictions on protest demonstrations, which was aimed at curbing the incessant protests by Islamists supporting Morsi before violence could erupt but has also ensnared some disaffected secularist activists. In a press statement issued on November 25, 2013, Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson, said that “this law, which imposes restrictions on Egyptians’ ability to assemble peacefully and express their views, does not meet international standards and will not move Egypt’s democratic transition forward.”  Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, piled on with this tweet on November 26th: “New law regulating peaceful protests in #Egypt simply doesn’t meet intl standards. Gov’t must protect freedoms, and this law restricts them.”

Why didn’t the administration apply the same “international standards” when it kept the arms flowing unabated to the repressive, non-inclusive Morsi regime? The truth is that the administration would have preferred the Islamist Morsi regime to remain in power.

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In the words of A. Savyon, director of MEMRI’s Iran Media Project, and Y. Carmon, President of MEMRI, in their analysis of the roots of the U.S.’s policy change in the Middle East that led to the Obama administration’s disastrous interim nuclear agreement with Iran:

“In previous attempts to appeal to the peoples of the region, that is, in Ankara and Cairo in 2009, Obama presented a vision of an America that is no longer an imperialist power that maintains military bases in the region and intervenes militarily to protect the status quo, but a country that identifies with the aspirations and interests of the Arab and Muslim peoples and disregards their regimes. In Obama’s perception, the overall U.S. shift in recent years – the pinnacle of which is his attempts at reconciliation with the Iranian regime – does not stem from weakness but is ideologically directed; it dovetails with and intensifies the revolutionary changes taking place in the Arab world since the Arab Spring, with the aim of integrating the U.S. into the Arab and Muslim world of the future.”

Read more at Front Page

 

Sharia and the New Egyptian Constitution

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The single greatest priority of the United States and other Western governments towards Egypt should be to encourage the drafting of a constitution based on full equality of all citizens. This means the new constitution cannot be based in Sharia law.

The US and EU claim to care about human rights and women’s rights, which were increasingly suppressed and targeted under Morsi. After Morsi’s ouster, Copts have borne the brunt of Muslim Brotherhood outrage through targeted murders and kidnappings of Copts and destruction of their churches, monasteries, schools, homes and businesses.  According to a recent Reuters report, Egypt is the very worst country in which to be a woman: “Egypt scored badly in almost every category, including gender violence, reproductive rights, and treatment of women in the family and their inclusion in politics and the economy.”

Unfortunately, many in the West seem blind to the far-ranging impact that the denial of religious freedom has on an entire society. Citing from The Price of Freedom Denied, a letter from the international religious freedom community to President Obama, says, “where there is less religious freedom, there is less women’s empowerment, less economic development, and more political instability and conflict, violent extremism and terrorism.”

If we want to see an Egypt in which poverty is decreased due to economic development, in which women are empowered to participate in politics, receive an education, work, and travel without fear of harassment; in which individuals can practice their faith both publically and privately without fear of attack on their person, possessions, and houses of worship, and a country that is stable without constant terrorists attacks, the single greatest antidote would be to ensure religious freedom for all, which has been proven through Pew research to improve all these other aspects of society and economy.

This is the very discussion happening with the drafting of the new constitution in Egypt. Islamists such as the Salafists (the “export” version of the notorious Saudi Wahabis), and those sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood insist that the new Constitution must be based on Sharia law even more explicitly than previous constitutions have been. If the constitutional committee does not comply, they face the threat of even greater terrorism and violence by the Muslim Brotherhood and a withdrawal of support from the Salafists in finalizing the constitution.

Egypt’s constitutions saw the mention of Sharia for the first time when Sadat in 1971 inserted in Article 2 that “principles of Sharia” be “a” main source of legislation. In a further effort to appease Islamists, he changed the stipulation in 1980 to make “principles of Sharia the main source of legislation.” In an attempt to clarify these “principles,” the Constitutional Court defined them (in May 1993) as the “Sharia injunctions, which are peremptory in proof (of origin) and significance,” somewhat limiting the possibility of applying the myriads of interpretations and rulings that date back to the tenth century. The Court further clarified that the constitutional article was addressed to legislators (not to judges) and that it was not applicable retroactively on existing laws.

Family status is entirely based on Sharia and matters related to adoption, heritage or custody apply to non-Muslims as well. More important than impacting the legislation over three decades, Article 2 had a devastating effect on Egypt. It implicitly justified treating non-Muslims as second class citizens and set the foundation of the process of Islamization of the country. Both Mubarak’s regime and the Islamists, led by the Brotherhood, participated in a competition, whose terrain was the media, education and societal behavior, to be regarded as “more pious” than the other. It set the stage for the emergence of “religious parties,” calling for ever more Sharia-compliant measures. Appealing to raw religious passions and instincts of uneducated masses, they used “the ballot box” to democratically impose fascistic rule–just as happened with the Brotherhood during the past two years.

Read more at Front Page

 

Georgetown Rescinds Invite to Egyptian Nazi

trager2IPT News:

A daylong Georgetown University conference on Egypt’s political state in the wake of July’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was to include a member of Egypt’s Nazi Party.

Hosted and organized by the school’s Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Center for Christian Muslim Understanding, the Dec. 5 program is entitled “Egypt and the Struggle for Democracy.” The lone Coptic Christian invited, Ramy Jan, is part of Egypt’s small Nazi Party and sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, theWashington Free Beacon reports.

Jan is listed representing “Christians Against the Coup” in a promotional flier for the event posted by Georgetown Tuesday morning. He is omitted from an updated flierposted six hours later. In between the two, Jan’s Nazi ideology was exposed in a Twitter post by Hudson Institute Fellow Samuel Tadros.

“It’s remarkable to find such a guy,” Tadros told the Beacon. “Just by inviting him that tells us something about the nature of the conference and those organizing it.”

In addition, Eric Trager, a Washington Institute on Near East Policy fellow who specializes in Egyptian politics and the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote that it also was odd to see the only Coptic speaker on the program be someone opposed to Morsi’s ouster. This “suggests [the conference's] goal is advocacy, not analysis,” he wrote.

Egyptian Copts overwhelmingly supported Morsi’s removal after he sought to entrench Islamist political power and failed to protect minority rights. The Christian minority has been targeted for a barrage of attacks by Islamists since the government was toppled.

Dalia Mogahed, a former White House advisor and protégé of the Georgetown center’s director John Esposito, wrote that Jan’s invitation “had already been handled” before the Twitter attention and that he would not be attending the event. Mogahed is scheduled to speak at the event.

The decision to change the program appears to be limited to Jan’s inclusion. The rest of the speakers, the Beacon reported, are all pro-Muslim Brotherhood. That includes a senior member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice political party and a former senior adviser to Morsi. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who has enjoyed close relationships with American Islamist groups, is scheduled to give the keynote address.

Georgetown University to Host Member of Egypt’s Nazi Party

A pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in Tahrir Square / AP

A pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in Tahrir Square / AP

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Georgetown University is scheduled to host an event on Egypt that features a member of Egypt’s Nazi Party.

Georgetown University’s Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Center for Christian Muslim Understanding is scheduled to host a Dec. 5 event on “Egypt and the Struggle for Democracy.”

The event features a slew of speakers sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Coptic Christian Ramy Jan, who cut his teeth on the Egyptian political scene as a member of the country’s Nazi Party, according to multiple sources.

The event is scheduled to take place all day at Georgetown’s ICC auditorium and feature a keynote address by Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.).

In addition to Jan, a who’s who of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated speakers are scheduled to be flown in from Egypt to attend and participate in the forum, which includes multiple panel discussion about Egypt’s recent coup and the current state of the country’s democracy.

Egypt experts criticized both Georgetown and event organizers for holding an event that will primarily feature pro-Muslim Brotherhood propaganda under the guise of free and open discussion.

They also expressed surprise at the inclusion of Nazi Party member Jan, who was featured in a 2011 documentary on the Nazi Party’s “pursuit of world supremacy for the Egyptian race.”

“Several businessmen want to finance us, and we have to choose between them,” Jan told interviewers in Arabic, according to a translation of his remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“We do not recognize the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel,” Jan said before explaining his desire for Egypt to build a nuclear reactor.

“We want to build an Egyptian nuclear reactor—a reactor that will be built by Egyptians and will have Egyptian components,” he said. “All Egyptians will unite around this national project.”

Egypt’s Nazi Party is very small and comprised of only a few key members, including Jan.

Jan is featured in a promotional flyer for the event as a member of the little-known group, “Christians Against the Coup.”

Egypt experts dismissed the event as an attempt by Muslim Brotherhood supporters to push their agenda with the backing of a prominent American university.

“I think Georgetown has some serious questions to answer,” such as why are they providing a “platform for the Egyptian Nazi Party,” said the Hudson Institute’s Samuel Tadros, author of Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity.

“Out of 17 speakers, most of these people are members of the Muslim Brotherhood” except for the “one token Christian—and the one Coptic out of million of Copts who also happens to be a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Tadros said.

“It’s remarkable to find such a guy,” he said. “Just by inviting him that tells us something about the nature of the conference and those organizing it.”

Read more at Free Beacon

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