Must Read Report – Islamic State: ‘The Threat to the United States’

isis-marching-AP-640x480 (2)Breitbart, by Jordan, Schachtel, Nov. 23, 2015:

A Mclean, Virginia-based defense think-tank has published a prescient white-paper on the Islamic State terror group, which has been made available exclusively to Breitbart News prior to its release.

The Threat Knowledge Group (TKG), headed by Katherine C. Gorka, its President, and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University and a Breitbart Contributor, released a comprehensive study Monday titled “ISIS: The Threat to the United States.”

After last week’s attacks in Paris that killed over one-hundred people and wounded hundreds more, particular national attention has turned to national security issues, as the American people continue to fear that the United States is becoming more vulnerable to jihadist attacks.

“The scope and lethality of the Paris attack changes everything. The U.S. will have to take the domestic threat of ISIS much more seriously now,” Threat Knowledge Group President Katherine Gorka told Breitbart News.

“We wanted to do this study because we felt that the Administration was downplaying the domestic threat of ISIS, focusing instead on ‘right-wing extremism.’ The problem with that is that it means law enforcement is not prepared. They’re looking out the window while the threat is coming in the door,” she added.

Threat Knowledge Group supports the Defense Department and FBI with strategic analysis and training, and this latest report unveils the Islamic State’s recruitment network inside of the United States.

They found that over 250 people from the United States have attempted to join ISIS, according to a report from the House Homeland Security Committee. Also, some 82 individuals in the United States have been interdicted by federal agents as part of ISIS plots, according to a database compiled by Threat Knowledge Group.

And the FBI already has almost 1,000 active ISIS investigations in the United States, the report adds.

In its study, TKG also compares and contrasts the Islamic State with Al Qaeda.

The report notes that “ISIS is a fully-fledged insurgency” and has been able to achieve far more than Al Qaeda has in its past. In such a short amount of time, ISIS has been able to recruit a force of tens-of-thousands of jihadis while also controlling territory, a feat that Al Qaeda has never accomplished by itself.

ISIS has trumped Al Qaeda’s recruiting capacity as well, according to the report. TKG found that from March 2014 to November 2015, ISIS arrests occurred over three times more often than for Al Qaeda members, with 4.1 ISIS cases per month compared to Al Qaeda’s monthly 1.5 average.

In an ultra-important measure to establish legitimacy in the Islamic world, ISIS “successfully declared the Caliphate after 90 years of absence, and it is growing,” the report adds.

The study also delves into several other issues related to understanding ISIS as a jihadi organization, covering topics such as “What ISIS believes in” and “Who is ISIS recruiting?”

TKG warns that the United States must steel itself for the “difficult times ahead” and be ready to counter the threats posed by ISIS inside of the United States. They recommend that U.S. officials follow five steps in countering the current threat environment.

In summary, TKG recommends that American officials should:

  1. “Stop downplaying the seriousness of the threat.”
  2. “Recognize that ISIS is targeting youth, and do more to protect youth from radicalization.”
  3. “Target the ideologues.”
  4. “Better utilize open-source intelligence.”

TKG Report the ISIS Threat

Post Paris: Can Sharia Law and the Constitution Coexist?


Published on Nov 18, 2015 PJ Media

After the terrors in Paris, Bill Whittle asks if we should just listen to our President and accept Islam as a progressive path for America… Can Sharia Law and The Constitution coexist?

‘ISIS Delenda Est’—What the Romans Knew About Winning a War

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Breitbart, by James P. Pinkerton, Nov. 21, 2015:

I. The Roman Way

In writing about the Paris massacre in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan was blunt:

These primitive, ferocious young men will not stop until we stop them.  The question is how.  That’s the only discussion.

Okay, let’s take up Noonan’s challenge: How do we stop ISIS? Once and for all?

Let’s stipulate that President Obama, who has been waging a phony war against ISIS for over a year, is not the man for the job.  And let’s stipulate, also, that Islam is not “peace,” as George W. Bush so famously suggested back in 2001.

Islam is something different. Not all Muslims are terrorists, not by a long shot, but in its current form, Islam provides safe harbor for way-y-y too many Salafi jihadists, aka, terrorists.  Here at Breitbart, Pamela Geller provides a handy itemization; her list of Islamic terrorist groups runs a full 27 lines.

As the late Samuel Huntington wrote in his landmark 1998 book, The Clash of Civilizationsa work approvingly cited by Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this month—Islam has “bloody borders.”

History tells us that no attitude is permanent.  Yet for now, extremist elements within Muslim societies make it impossible for many Muslim states to get along with their neighbors, either near, in Eurasia, or far, in America.

So what should we do in the face of a relentless, and remorseless, enemy?  The Roman Empire had a good answer.  Yes, 2,000 years before Ronald Reagan summed up his Cold War strategy as, “We win, they lose,” the Romans had the same idea.

Rome’s dogged determination to prevail is perhaps best exemplified by its long struggle against the rival empire of Carthage, in what’s now Tunisia.

The Rome-Carthage conflict—the so-called Punic Wars, of which there were three—raged all over the Mediterranean littoral and lasted, on land and sea, for over a century, from 264 BC to 146 BC.  Interestingly, the single best general on either side was the Carthaginian, Hannibal.  His smashing pincer-movement victory over the Romans atCannae in 216 BC is still studied at West Point and other military academies.

And yet the Romans were more organized and resourceful, as well as determined, and, over time, those qualities gave them the edge. For literally decades, the Roman senator Cato the Elder closed every speech to his colleagues with the ringing words, Carthago delenda est—“Carthage must be destroyed.”  And yet Cato, who died in 149 BC, didn’t actually live to see the final victory, which came three years later, when the Roman legionnaires besieged and and conquered the city of Carthage itself.

Appian of Alexandria described the final victory in his Historia Romana, written in the second century AD.  Here’s Appian describing Rome’s final military operations against Carthage; as we can see, under the leadership of General Scipio Africanus, the Roman legionarii were not nice:

Now Scipio hastened to the attack [on] the strongest part of the city, where the greater part of the inhabitants had taken refuge… All places were filled with groans, shrieks, shouts, and every kind of agony. Some were stabbed, others were hurled alive from the roofs to the pavement, some of them alighting on the heads of spears or other pointed weapons, or swords. . . . Then came new scenes of horror.  As the fire spread and carried everything down, the soldiers did not wait to destroy the buildings little by little, but all in a heap. So the crashing grew louder, and many corpses fell with the stones into the midst.  Others were seen still living, especially old men, women, and young children who had hidden in the inmost nooks of the houses, some of them wounded, some more or less burned, and uttering piteous cries.  Still others, thrust out and falling from such a height with the stones, timbers, and fire, were torn asunder in all shapes of horror, crushed and mangled.

You get the idea. Tough stuff, to be sure, but after Scipio’s triumph, Carthage was never again a problem for Rome.  In fact, the Romans not only razed the city but, for good measure, plowed the ground with salt to make sure that nothing would ever grow there.

The Roman historian Tacitus quoted a barbarian enemy to make an approving point about the Roman strategic approach: “And where they make a desert, they call it peace.”  Yes, when the Romans wanted to make a point—they made a point.  We might note that the Roman Empire endured for another 622 years after the fall of Carthage, all the way to 476 AD.

Of course, Americans would never do anything like obliterating Carthage, even if the few German survivors of the 1945 firebombing of Dresden, or the even fewer Japanese survivors of Hiroshima, later that same year, might beg to differ.  Still, we might pause to note that both Germany and Japan—two countries once both full of fight—haven’t so much as raised their fist at us even once in the last 70 years.

II. The Challenge in Our Time

Today, there’s an echo of the old Roman resolve in the voice of many Republicans.  As Sen. Ted Cruz, who frequently quotes Reagan’s we-win-they-lose maxim, declared the other day, “In a Cruz administration, we will say to militants, if you wage war against America, you are signing your death warrant.”

Needless to say, Cruz doesn’t speak for the intellectually fashionable, who preach a kind of defeatist sophistry.  Among the smart set, it is often said that we shouldn’t attack ISIS because that’s just what they want.   CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, for example, writing of possible US retaliation in the wake of the Paris raid, assures us that ISIS “wants all of this.”  And Sally Kohn, also of CNN, adds her voice: “Bombing terrorists feeds their ideology.”

And we have this dire headline from the lefties at Salon:

We’re already caving to ISIS: Bloodthirsty jingoism is precisely what the terrorists want: The chief goal of these terrorists is to launch a “cosmic war.” Bigotry and calls for invasion provide exactly that.

Well, maybe the leftists are correct: Maybe it would be a mistake for us if we defeated ISIS—but maybe not.  Indeed, it sure seems that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is doing his best to survive.  To be sure, he says he’s ready for martyrdom, but he’s not seeking it out.  If he really wanted to be dead, he already would be.

Yes, there’s something to be said for winning, not losing—for living, not dying.  As Osama bin Laden himself observed, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.” And of course, it’s no accident that Al Qaeda went into eclipse after bin Laden was killed by US forces in 2011, to be replaced, alas, by ISIS.

To put the matter starkly, being killed suggests that maybe God is not on your side.  It’s perhaps glorious to die for a winning cause, but not so glorious to die for a losing cause.

So let’s hereby resolve that we will be on the winning side.  And let’s get right down to it, and name—yes, name—the central challenge of our time: Defeating the Salafi terrorists once and for all.

Michael Vickers, a counter-terrorism subcabinet official in the Obama and Bush administrations—and an operative with a record going back to the CIA campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan—is flatly declarative about what must be done; we must defeat ISIS, or ISIL, by depriving it of its territory.  By any name, they—including the remnants of Al Qaeda—need to be defeated and their home-base destroyed:

ISIL, as its name implies, is a de facto state. It holds territory, controls population, and funds its operations from resources that it exploits on territory it controls. If there’s one thing the American military knows how to do it is defeating an opposing force trying to hold ground.

So yes, we must defeat ISIS.  ISIS delenda est.  But yet there are more variables to consider: Unless we plan to do to the Jihadi Zone exactly what the Romans did to the Carthaginians—that is, kill them all—we need a plan for not only pacifying the area, but also for keeping it pacified.

Read more

Obama Officials Trained To Focus On Behavior, Not Religion Or Ideology

Syrian refugees Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

Syrian refugees Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, Nov. 19, 2015:

Obama administration counter-terrorism officials have trained domestic Homeland Security law enforcement officers to focus on the behavior of people entering the United States, rather than their political, ideological or religious background.

The training directives from top Homeland Security officials raise questions about the effectiveness of the screening process for Syrian refugees.

Officials process a refugee’s biographic information such as name and date of birth, along with biometric data like fingerprints. This information is crosschecked over different U.S. databases and agencies.

U.S. officials overseas then conduct a series of in-person interviews in the next phase. The interviews are done by Department of Homeland Security officers who are trained to question refugee applicants and examine the credibility of their responses.

But that training requires that the officials collect intelligence based on “behavioral indicators” while downplaying “religious affiliation.”

DHS’s civil rights division released a “Countering Violent Extremism Training”best practices document for federal, state, and local government and law enforcement officials in October 2011.

The document calls for training programs that are not “overbroad, equating an entire religion, nation, region, or culture with evil or violence, For example, it is incorrect and damaging to assert that all Muslims have terrorist ties.”

Instead, the training encourages to “ensure that it uses examples to demonstrate that terrorists span ethnicity, race, gender, and religion.”

Since 2012, the FBI’s guiding principles training manual in the Touchstone Document has stated:

Training must emphasize that no investigative or intelligence collection activity may be based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation.  Specifically, training must focus on behavioral indicators that have a potential nexus to terrorist or criminal activity, while making clear that religious expression, protest activity, and the espousing of political or ideological beliefs are constitutionally protected activities that must not be equated with terrorism or criminality absent other indicia of such offenses.

“On September 28, 2011, I issued a memorandum to all heads of components and United States Attorneys to ‘carefully review all training material and presentations provided by their personnel, particularly training related to combating terrorism, countering violent extremism, and other training that may relate to ongoing outreach efforts in Arab, Muslim, Sikh, South Asian
and other communities,’” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a memorandum to all heads of components and United States Attorneys March 2012.

Cole continued, “Carefully review all training material and presentations provided by their personnel, particularly training related to combating terrorism, countering violent extremism, and other training that may relate to ongoing outreach efforts in Arab, Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and other communities.”

The FBI training manual principles extends to other members of federal law enforcement, including those who guard the nation’s borders and ports of entry.

“The FBI 2012 Guiding Principles Touchstone Document was just one in series of official policy directives that gradually, but severely, restricted the efforts of federal law enforcement officers to accurately and effectively assess whether an individual entering the county had any potential nexus to terrorist or criminal activity,” a government source familiar with national security told The Daily Caller.

“These gradual but severe restrictions were coupled with a simultaneous reduction in accurate, fact-based training to address the nature of the threat we face, leaving us inadequately prepared for the challenges we face today.”

The same year, the FBI’s counter-terrorism lexicon, following a purge of terminology of past years, deleted all references to “al-Qaida,” “Muslim Brotherhood,” or “jihad.”

The Justice Department continued to alter its training policy in 2012. In March of that year, Deputy Attorney General Cole sent another memorandum to the heads of components and United States Attorneys in regards to “training guiding principles.” The memo stated in part:

Training must be consistent with the Constitution and Department values. Training must promote, and never undermine, our fundamental principles of equal justice and opportunity for all, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and our other core national values. Trainings must not disparage groups or individuals based on their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic condition, political affiliation or other similar characteristics.

“The 2012 FBI directive to remove religious and political motivations from investigations and screening came at a time when the Obama administration was busy purging anything they believed might reflect poorly on Muslims, regardless of how it effected our national security,” national security consultant David Reaboi told The Daily Caller.

Reaboi explained, “Since then — and now, presumably, in screening refugees, investigators are trained not to ask about all the key identifiers that would allow them to spot Islamic terrorists or other Islamists who want to do harm to America. Because ISIS, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood understand themselves in precisely those ways, they’re prevented from asking anything meaningful beyond, ‘are you a terrorist?’”

“‘Are you a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? What school of Islamic law do you follow? Where do you go to mosque? Do you believe someone who insults Islam deserves to be killed? Would you like to make America an Islamic country?’ All of these questions — the most important ones — are off-limits,” Reaboi said.

Former Al Qaeda Terrorist: Another Attack Coming in ‘Two Weeks’


Megyn, seemingly hearing verses from the Hadith and Quran calling for jihad for the first time, asks “is that radical Islam?”

Fox News Insider, Nov. 17, 2015:

An ex-terrorist who later became a CIA double agent says a second public attack is likely to occur within the next fortnight.

“I believe that within the next two weeks, we will have an attack,” Morten Storm, a Danish former Al Qaeda member, said on “The Kelly File” tonight.

“The people who are on the run at the moment from ISIS in Europe are very desperate, and they know their time’s up, and they will need to do as much damage as possible,” he explained.

Storm said the security situation in Europe has become “quite severe.”

“And I also believe that copycats in America will do their best to do what their brothers have done in Europe,” he said.

Staging an attack here would be “a bit different,” because borders here are more tightly controlled, Storm noted.

But on the other hand, people here have more access to firearms, he said.

He says terrorist militants may focus on “softer targets” in America, such as civilians in “shopping malls,” he said.


During the interview Storm reads from the Hadith and the Quran to get across to the audience that we need to understand where the jihadists are getting their ideology from. Megyn Kelly, looking extremely alarmed, interrupts him and asks in a shocked tone of voice, “is that radical Islam?!” as if she had never heard those verses before. ***sigh***

The Paris Attacks Were Not ‘Nihilism’ but Sacred Strategy

Janet Daley has called ISIS a 'death cult'

Janet Daley has called ISIS a ‘death cult’

By Mark Durie, Nov. 17, 2015:

LEADING commentator Janet Daley’s article in Saturday’s TelegraphThe West is at war with a death cult’ stands for everything that is woeful about European elites’ response to Islamic jihad.

It is a triumph of religious illiteracy.

The jihadist enemy, she asserts, is utterly unintelligible, so beyond encompassing in ‘coherent, systematic thought’ that no vocabulary can describe it: ‘This is just insanity’, she writes. Because the enemy is ‘hysterical’, lacking ‘rational demands’, ‘negotiable limits,’ or ‘intelligible objectives’ Daley claims it is pointless to subject its actions to any form of historical, social or theological analysis, for no-one should attempt to ‘impose logic on behaviour that is pathological’.

Despite this, Daley then ventures to offer analysis of and explanations for ISIS’ actions, but in doing so she relies upon her own conceptual categories, not those of ISIS.

Her explanations therefore fall wide of the mark.


Daley writes: ‘We face a violent and highly contagious madness that believes the killing of civilians is a moral act.’  Here she appeals to Western concepts of war, reflected, for example, in the Geneva Convention, which provides detailed principles for the ‘protection of civilian persons’.

Yet the first step in understanding a cultural system alien to one’s own, is to describe it in its own terms.

ISIS does not subscribe to the Geneva Convention.  Its actions and strategies are based upon medieval Islamic laws of jihad, which make no use of the modern Western concept of ‘civilian’.

They do, however, refer to the category of disbelievers (mushrik or kafir).
ISIS believes that killing disbelievers is a moral act, in accordance, for example, with Sura 9:5 of the Qur’an, which states :‘Fight and kill the idolators (mushrik) wherever you find them’.

Not nihilism

Daley writes: ‘The enemy has stated explicitly that it does not revere life at all’ and ‘Civilians are not collateral damage in this campaign: their deaths are the whole point.’  She goes on to lament that the latest French attacks lack any purpose, but are ‘carried out for the sheer nihilistic thrill of it’.

The claim that ISIS does not ‘revere life’ seems to refer to any number of statements by Islamic radicals, including an ISIS militant who vowed to ‘fill the streets of Paris with dead bodies’, and boasted that ISIS ‘loves death like you love life’ (see here).  This is a theological reference to a series of verses in the Qur’an in which Jews are criticised for desiring life (Sura 2:94-96, 62:6-8).

According to the Qur’an, loving life is a characteristic of infidels (Sura 3:14; 14:3; 75:20; 76:27) because it causes them to disregard the importance of the next life.  The taunt much used by jihadis, ‘We love death like you love life’,  implies that jihadis are bound for paradise while their enemies are hell-bound.

The point of these statements is that Muslims are willing to fight to the death, while their infidel enemies will turn back in battle. This is not about reverence for life, but about who has the will to win. This has nothing to do with nihilism, which is a belief that there are no values, nothing to be loyal to, and no purpose in living. In fact ISIS fighters have strong and clear loyalties and values, alien though they may be to those of Europe.

Daley’s claim that the deaths are ‘the whole point’ is also mistaken. While it is true that the jihadis consider killing infidels a meritorious act, potentially earning the killer a place in paradise (see here), and they consider being killed in battle against infidels a ticket to paradise, in fact the killings do serve a strategic purpose. This is to make infidels afraid, and thereby to weaken their will to resist Islamic dominance.

This strategy is commended by the Qur’an, for example in Sura 8:12, ‘I shall cast dread into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So strike above (their) necks and strike (off) all their fingers!’, as well as by the successful example of Muhammad in fighting the Jews of Medina, referred to in Sura 33:26-27, ‘He brought down from their fortifications those of the People of the Book who supported them, and cast dread into their hearts. You killed a group (of them), and took captive (another) group. And he caused you to inherit their land, their homes, and their wealth, and a land you had not set foot on.’  A similar passage is Sura 59:2, which ISIS has in fact been quoting in its celebrations of the Paris carnage.

It may seem to Daley that ISIS’ often-stated intention of defeating the West is fanciful, but the point is to understand ISIS, and as far as it is concerned, these deadly attacks are instrumental in weakening the will of infidels and hastening eventual victory.

Daley wonders what possible point these attacks could serve. She speculates:  ‘… what is the alternative that is being demanded? Sharia law? The subjection of women? An end to liberal democracy? Are any of these things even within the bounds of consideration? What could be accomplished by national self-doubt or criticism at this point, when there is not even a reasonable basis for discussion with the enemy?’  It is hardly a secret that the ultimate goal of ISIS is to bring non-Muslims everywhere  to convert to Islam or live under an Islamic caliphate as dhimmis. Sharia law and the subjection of women are part and parcel of this.

It is odd that Daley laments having no reasonable basis for negotiating with the enemy.  ISIS is not playing by a Western-style negotiating rule book. It is following Muhammad’s instructions to his followers to offer three choices to infidels: conversion, surrender, or the sword.  Bin Ladin has explained that the West’s rejection of this framework is the whole reason for its conflict with what he calls ‘the authority of Islam’:

“Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue; one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice, and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: [1] either willing submission [conversion]; or [2] payment of thejizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; or [3] the sword, for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.” (The Al Qaeda Reader)

It may seem unimaginable to European elites that ISIS is fighting for the goal of the surrender or conversion of Europe, but ISIS is thinking in time frames which extend to centuries, and their forebears conquered vast territories using such tactics.  A final act of conquest can be preceded by decades, or even centuries, of military raids.

While killing is currently the main mode of ISIS’ attacks inside the West, if they could they would use other tactics as well, such as taking booty and slaves or destroying infrastructure, as they have been doing in Syria and Iraq.


Daley claims it is pointless to argue with people who have no reasonable grievances, for ‘the French people did not deserve this, just as Americans did not deserve 9/11’.  However the important question is how ISIS sees its own motivations.  Their ideology teaches them that infidels deserve death, simply by virtue of their unbelief.  This has nothing to do with France’s history of colonialism or its treatment of Muslim minorities.  ISIS needed no appeal to grievances to justify killing and enslaving Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, so why should they view the people of France any differently?  Their objection to Europeans is that they are not Muslims, and their objection to European states is that they do not implement sharia law.


It is irresponsible and dangerous to claim that a tenacious enemy is insane and incomprehensible. To refuse to acknowledge the ideology of ISIS, and to deny its relevance is tantamount to a death-wish.
Like so many other revivalist Islamic groups, ISIS believes that it will be successful if it stays faithful to its divinely-mandated goals and tactics.  It believes the nations of Europe are morally corrupt, weak infidels who love life too much to fight a battle to the death with stern Muslim soldiers who have set their hearts on paradise.  It believes Europe stands on the wrong side of history.

To combat this ideology it is necessary for Europe to prove ISIS wrong on all counts. It must show strength, not weakness. It must have confidence in its cultural and spiritual identity. It must be willing to fight for its survival. It must show that it believes in itself enough to fight for its future. It must defend its borders.  It must act like someone who intends to win an interminably long war against an implacable foe.

There is a great deal Europe could have done to avert this catastrophe.  It could, long ago, have challenged the Islamic view of history which idolised jihad and its intended outcome, the dhimma.  It could have demanded that Islam renounce its love affair with conquest and dominance.  It could have encouraged Muslims to follow a path of self-criticism leading to peace.  This lost opportunity is what Bat Ye’or referred to in a prescient 1993 interview as the ‘relativization of religion, a self-critical view of the history of Islamic imperialism’.

Instead the elites of Europe embarked on decades of religiously illiterate appeasement and denialism.

There is still much that European states could do to defeat ISIS.  They could, for example, inflict catastrophic military failure upon it as a powerful counter-argument to its theology of success.  This will not deliver decisive, final victory against jihadism, but it will make the supremacist claims of ISIS less credible and hurt its recruitment.  Islam’s laws of war allow Muslims to suspend their battle with infidels temporarily if there is no immediate prospect of victory and the risks to their cause are too great.

Europe also needs to act to suppress incitement of jihadi ideology by its clients, including the anti-Israeli jihadism of the Palestinian Authority.  It must put more pressure on the militarily vulnerable Gulf states to stop funding Islamic radicalism throughout the Middle East and exporting jihad-revering versions of Islamic theology throughout the whole world.

One hope for Europe is that Islamic populations will get tired of the doctrine of jihad and all its bitter fruits. There are some signs that this is already happening, and many of the Muslims who are now seeking asylum in their hundreds of thousands will have come to this conclusion.  However it seems likely that Muslim communities now established within Europe will be the last to reconsider their dogmas and their take on history, because they have not had to suffer first-hand the harsh realities of life under Islamic dystopias such as the ISIS ‘caliphate’ or Iran’s Islamic Revolution.  A 2014 opinion poll found that among French 18-24 year olds, the Islamic State had an approval rating of 27%, which must include the overwhelming majority of young French Muslim men.  For Europe, the challenge from within will be more enduring and intractable than the challenge from without.

Nevertheless, European states could still do much on their own turf. They could ban Saudi and other Middle Eastern funding to Islamic organisations, including mosques. They could stop appeasing Islamists in their midst. They could, even at this late hour, demand that the large and rapidly growing Muslim communities now well-established across Europe engage in constructive self-criticism of their religion, for the sake of peace.

This article first appeared in Lapido Media.

Mark Durie is the pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Founder of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.

ISIS Supporter To Breitbart: ‘We’re Coming For The U.S.’ – ‘We’ll Shake Your Existence’

nusra-front-black-flag-AP-640x480Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Nov. 17, 2015:

Abu Al-Ayna al-Ansari, leader of an ISIS-aligned Salafi jihadist group in the Gaza Strip, said he believes ISIS will strike the home fronts of “all countries that participate in the anti-Islamic State coalition” in Syria and Iraq.

“The [Islamic] State will not leave these countries alone without them having to suffer from the blows of the Mujahideen in a way that will let them understand that their war is lost,” the terrorist said. “There is no way that ISIS territory remains under aerial bombardment without a violent retaliation deep in the capitals of those countries.”

Ansari addressed the possibility of attacks inside the U.S., saying, “Certainly the Mujahideen of the Islamic State will not hesitate to attack the head of the infidel states and the head of global terrorism – America – and all those who support the U.S. and back it in its crusade war against the Muslims in Syria and Iraq.”

Ansari further stated that “the Mujahideen of the Islamic state are waiting for every opportunity in order to carry out attacks in all countries of the crusader coalition.”

The gunman continued with a diatribe against “America and the Jewish enemy, as well as Russia and all the infidel Western countries that take part in the crusade against our brothers, the Mujahideen.”

He warned that these countries “must wait for more of our strikes that will shake their existence. Wars are dynamic and the battle will move soon to the depth of their homes, it will happen sooner or later.”

Al Ansari added that “the little drop of the Russian plane was the beginning and the blessed invasion of Paris will not be the end. … Our Mujahideen are scattered everywhere and will not hesitate to offer their lives for the sake of Allah.”

He was asked how ISIS can justify the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Paris, some of whom may have been Muslims.

Ansari sidestepped the question, asking, “Does France and America and their followers of the Cross alliance differentiate between civilians and armed Mujahideen when they bombard innocent civilians in Raqqa, in Aleppo and in Mosul?”

When Breitbart Jerusalem persisted, Ansari claimed that “dozens of civilians” are killed in “the daily raids of the crusader coalition and then you lie to the world by saying the raids target the headquarters and sites of the Islamic State.”

“The civilian victims and the areas targeted prove that it has nothing to do with the ISIS infrastructure,” he claimed.

Ansari went on to bash reports that Middle Eastern refugees may have participated in the Paris massacres. The passport of a Syrian refugee was found on or near the body of one of the suicide bombers, and Greece subsequently confirmed that it was used by a refugee registered on the island of Leros in early October. The same passport was used to cross the southern border of Serbia a few days later.

Nonetheless, Ansari said that “Such claims have nothing to do with reality and are not true. No refugee is among the brothers who carried out these blessed attack. … No refugee who wanted to come and live in France was chosen for this attack.

“Some political forces are trying to exploit the incident in a campaign against the refugees. Even before the Paris attack, those political forces were against the migrants for numerous reasons that are connected to the nature of their countries and to their general position on the migration phenomenon.”

Ansari failed to mention that ISIS documents released in February announced that the group was planning to use Libya as a “gateway” to smuggle refugees into Europe.

The ISIS material further raised the possibility of storming southern European cities to cause “pandemonium” or attempting to close international shipping lines in the Mediterranean Sea.

Op-Ed: There is no “radical Islam” and there is also no “moderate Islam”


The recent Democratic debate where candidates were challenged to use the phrase “radical Islam” has stirred up a lot of discussion over political correctness in naming the enemy. The problem with most of these debates is that everyone keeps conflating individual Muslim beliefs with Islamic doctrine. As Dr. Kedar points out, Muslims follow Islamic doctrine in varying degrees. And adding to the confusion is the duality of the texts due to abrogation and the fact that the Quran is not written in chronological order. What must be understood is that Islamic doctrine, when followed to the letter is exactly how ISIS is conducting itself. 

Israeli National News, by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, November 12, 2015

Beginning more or less with 9/11, the expression “radical Islam” became the accepted way for the media, politicians and public to define the religious and ideological foundations of Islam-based violence when referring to what the world calls “terror.”  This expression was meant to be contrasted with “moderate Islam” which presents Muslims as ordinary people who wish to live in peace with all of mankind – Christians, Jews, Buddhists, unbelievers and the rest of us. The world created the image of two Islams, one radical and impossible to live with, and one moderate and “just like us.”

This differentiation between “radical” and “moderate” Islam is what gave rise to the claim that Islam had been “hijacked” by the radicals, implying that the real and original Islam is the moderate, not the false, radical one.

This is what allows today’s Europe to relate positively to the wave of mostly-Muslim illegal immigrants washing up on its shores – they represent “moderate Islam” and all they want is to live in peace and harmony with their European neighbors.

Permit me to raise some doubts concerning the psychological mindset that claims the existence of two types of Islam. In order to do this, let us clarify an important point: Islam is a text-based framework of ideas and behaviors, covering religion, culture, strictures, politics, law and economics. It is an all-embracing way of life. The most basic text is the Qu’ran, followed by the Hadith (oral law) and the Sura – biography – of Muhammad. The Sharia, Muslim  law, is a system of binding laws and injunctions that Muslims are obliged to obey.

There are no two Islams, no moderate one and no radical one, there is just one Qu’ran that includes everything: verses on Jihad and all out war against unbelievers along with verses that speak of recognizing the “other” and living beside him.

There are no two types of hadith, one radical and the other moderate; there is just one body of hadith that includes everything, both violent and moderate ideas.

Muhammad does not have a moderate biography and a radical one; there is only one life story of the prophet of Islam and it has stories that express a radical, violent approach and others presenting a moderate one.

There is also just one Sharia that includes everything, from the radical cutting off of a thief’s hands to the unquestionably moderate admonition to care for the poor and indigent.

That being the case, there is no “moderate Islam” and no “radical Islam”, just one Islam that incorporates both terms, ranging from extreme radicalism to extreme moderation. In practice, we see people with different cultures, some of them extremists and some moderates, all finding verses, ideas, precedents and laws that support their views on life and society in the same Qu’ran, Hadith, Sura and Sharia. The radical Muslim chooses to quote sources that support his extremist approach, while the moderate Muslim finds sources to buttress his moderate approach. [emphasis added]

Those two Muslims, the most extreme and the most moderate, are “kosher”, because they both rely on legitimate Islamic sources, and neither can claim that the other “hijacked” Islam. All the Muslims in the world, all one and a half billion of them, men, women and children, are to be found somewhere on the moderate-extremist continuum.  They may live alone or as part of families, tribes, organizations and societies.

Islamic State is a state established and continuing its operations with the participation and cooperation of a large body of Muslims and converts to Islam who are on the extremist tip of the continuum.  Al Qaeda is right there next to them, as are Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other terrorist organizations. On the other end of the continuum, the moderate one, are the members of the “Muslims for Tomorrow” organization, a totally moderate group of Muslims living in Toronto, Canada.

Along the scale connecting the endpoints of the continuum, one can find all the other Muslims in the world, each one on a point of his choosing, somewhere between radicalism and moderation. His place on the continuum is a dynamic, not a static one, and a once moderate Muslim can undergo a process of radicalization, while another, who was an extreme radical can change his views and become more moderate. Life has a way of moving people along the continuum, making it harder to predict the future of an individual or group.

Moderate Muslim migrants live in harmony with the foreign societies to which they have migrated. They blend in nicely, work for a living, are law abiding and contribute to the economy and society that absorbs them. More radical Muslims who migrate to new societies tend to live in the enclaves that preserve their culture and way of life, only partially blending into society and the work force and constantly attempting to influence and change for their own ends the society that let them in. If they are on the violent side of the continuum, that violence will be turned on the society that accepted them – a fact that is most evident in today’s Europe.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed Editor.   


Brigitte Gabriel: 15 to 20 percent of all Muslims are radical…you’re looking at 180 to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western Civilization…the peaceful majority are irrelevant”

Also see:

Obama’s Dead Wrong About the Paris Attacks


It can happen here too.

First off the president should acknowledge that this atrocity was committed by Islamic jihadis

US News, by Christopher Hull, Nov. 14, 2015:

Paris is my favorite city in the world.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote “if you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” I was lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, and Hemingway, if only on this, was right.

So during the Paris attacks my heart broke watching helplessly as reports came from the scene of the Bataclan club massacre. One apparent club-goer, who was himself wounded, posted on Facebook that the terrorists were slaughtering people, “one by one.”

But we are not helpless. Not yet, anyway.

[READ Reaction from around the world to Paris attacks]

President Barack Obama would have you believe, “This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

But he’s flat, dead wrong. All of humanity does not share Western values, or the Paris attack wouldn’t have happened.

Specifically, though the president painfully and repeatedly refuses to say so, Islamic jihadis do not share Western values.

If they did, President Obama’s cowardly withdrawal from Iraq and refusal to enforce his own red line in Syria would not have led to Islamic State’s rise in the first place – and the resultant surge of refugees into Europe, including, reportedly, at least one Paris attacker.

Yet President Obama would also have you believe that his limp and increasingly unpopular response to Islamic State has “contained” the jihadi army and kept it from “gaining strength,” as he claimed literally hours before the Paris attacks.

Of course, he would also have you believe that climate change is a bigger threat than (Islamic) terror. He insists, “There’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change.” Well, Paris – and New Yorkon 9/11 and Beirut in 1983 and well, New York in 1993 and Beirut last week and Paris earlier this year – are trying over and over to teach us different. The truth is, and the Western world is united in believing it, here’s no greater threat to our planet than Islamic jihad.

And here’s where this matters to you. The Obama White House would also have you believe that the 10,000 Syrian refugees the president is in the process of bringing to America this year alone will “go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States.” Just last week, the administration acknowledged that it was bringing online refugee screening outposts in the Middle East to “push out really ambitious goals” to “increase the channels” for bringing Syrians to America.

Unfortunately, President Obama’s own FBI director, James Comey, says the U.S. can’t properly vet Syrians for ties to Islamic jihad. Likewise, the assistant director for the FBI, Michael Steinback, has told Congress that when it comes to Syrian refugees, “We don’t have it under control.”

“Absolutely, we’re doing the best we can,” he testified in February before the House. “If I were to say that we had it under control, then I would say I know of every single individual traveling. I don’t. And I don’t know every person there and I don’t know everyone coming back. So it’s not even close to being under control.”

Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, who chairs the Senate Immigration and the National Interest subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, repeatedly asked Matthew Emrich, associate director of the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to confirm or deny Mr. Steinback’s claim that Syrian refugees were “clearly a population of concern” and that U.S. databases don’t have information on them. Emmrich eventually fell silent.

[MORE: Editorial Cartoons on the Islamic State Group]

But you don’t have to. This is where we are not yet helpless.

Refugees – amusingly called “migrants” by sympathetic news outlets trying to finesse that they are generally both illegal and immigrants – have swept through Europe and permeated the national media, as well. The image of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Kurdish refugee washed up on a Turkish beach touched heartstrings around the world, including mine. He looked painfully like my two-year-old boy Thomas.

However, in a sadly goofy way, so did little Richard Martin, the boy killed in the Boston Marathon Bombing by Chechen refugees. In fact, refugees and asylees have played key roles in terror activities from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the ongoing flow of al-Shabab recruits from Minnesota.

And it will get worse if we ignore the threat, as Paris suggests. “Just wait,” says an Islamic State group operative, who claims that ISIS has successfully smuggled 4,000 jihadis into Europe hidden among refugees. More to come – in Paris, and if we make the mistake of believing our president, here as well.

So what is to be done?

First, we need to acknowledge that the Ted Kennedy-drafted 1980 law that governs refugee resettlement was, like his 1965 Immigration Act and the Immigration Act of 1990, designed more to maximize the influx of potential Democrats to the United States than to keep it secure in the face of an enemy like the global Islamic jihad.

So, second, Congress should include in the omnibus spending bill required by December 11, 2015some variation of Texas GOP Rep. Brian Babin’s Refugee Accountability National Security Act, which would place a moratorium on refugee resettlement until Congress deems the program has been adequately reviewed, as well as a Government Accountability Office audit of its costs. Even simply defunding all refugee resettlement from Syria would be a start, though the problem of jihadis posing as refugees extends far beyond Syria.

Third, Congress should pass and President Obama should sign the bill sponsored by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, which would restore control over how many refugees the U.S. admits each year to the legislative branch, where it belongs.

Fourth, Congress should pass and President Obama should sign the bill sponsored by Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Florida GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization, just as have Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and arguably even Syria.

[MORE Paris Terror Attacks by ISIS Called ‘Act of War’]

Fifth, the U.S. should militarize its southern border. Attempts to “secure the border” started as early as the late 1800s and have by and large failed. After 9/11, however, George W. Bush ordered 6,000 national guardsmen to the border to at long last seal it for security reasons. Yet as the 2004 elections approached, Bush, who favored immigration expansion for political and business interest reasons, gradually relaxed his grip on the border. President Obama, who favored it to pack the country with left-leaning voters, has literally broken the law to bring people across the border and keep them in the country. Today we have what Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, then acting commander of the U.S. Southern Command, called an “existential” threat to America.

Sixth, the president (and this could not possibly be Barack Obama) should unite the world around a hard-nosed, realist foreign policy that supports Western civilization’s allies and devastates its enemies – not just in what we now think of as Syria and Iraq, the source of the current refugee tidal wave, but around the world.

Finally, Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform – and not the amnesty that both the U.S. Chamber and the Democratic Party use that term to describe. A real reform that would:

  1. Reverse the Obama administration’s suicidal (not to mention illegal) decision to unilaterally change the law to allow in immigrants with “limited” terror contact
  2. Eliminate funding for the so-called voluntary agencies which have turned into lobbies to expand the number of refugees ad infinitum
  3. Stop chain migration that immigration forces dub “family reunification” (think about it – why can’t families remain unified in the countries where they start out?) and that could be used to expand President Obama’s 10,000 Syrians exponentially
  4. Give the U.S. control over whom we deem a refugee, not the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which has a rotten record that has led some to speculate about how closely it cooperates with the Organization of Islamic Countries.
  5. Eliminate politically correct, politically driven, problem-prone and wildly unsafediversity visas” dreamed up by (who else?) the late Senator Kennedy
  6. Follow the lead of then-Sen. Joe Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, who once proposed eliminating citizenship for those who join foreign terror organizations
  7. Wipe out President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty to align the rule of law and perceived incentives to break it
  8. Likewise, end the practice of having anchor babies that those who otherwise disdain and ignore the Constitution incorrectly call the constitutional guarantee of “birthright citizenship,” and which Obama has stood on its head by granting illegal amnesty to parents of these tiny citizens
  9. Finally, let’s give those from native English speaking countries higher priority in immigration law. They put less of a strain on schools, do better over the long term and, well, are less likely to kill us: 83 percent of alleged terrorist attacks take place outside of native English-speaking countries.

That’s a pretty hefty agenda. To even move in that direction, here’s one thing that we as a nation – and the entire Western World – must do before anything else: acknowledge that we are in a war with Islamic jihadis who want us dead for ideological reasons and will stop at nothing to kill us.

Otherwise, not only my favorite city will continue to face an ever-greater risk of senseless slaughter at the hands of blood-thirsty Islamic jihadis.

Yours will too.

Christopher C. Hull, Ph.D., a former adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University, is the immediate past chief of staff for Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. He works with clients including the Center for Security Policy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national security think tank.

Also see:


paris-jihad-attackFrontpage, by Robert Spencer, Nov. 14, 2015:

That didn’t take long: one of the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis who murdered at least 160 people in Paris on Friday held a Syrian passport and passed through Greece in October. In October, he was a “refugee” seeking asylum in Europe from the Syrian war zone; in November, he was murdering French civilians for the Islamic caliphate. The Migrant Jihad has begun.

French and European authorities can’t say they weren’t warned. Last February, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister recently said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have recently come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.

So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.” These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: “They are going like refugees,” he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, “Just wait.”

A year before that the Islamic State issued a call for jihad murders of French civilians: “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be.”

Then after the attacks the Islamic State issued a statement claiming responsibility for them, and warning: “Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their jets, which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris. Indeed, this is just the beginning. It is also a warning for any who wish to take heed.”

So war was declared, and acts of war carried out – and the response has been drearily predictable. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was swift to try to dissociate the Paris attacks from the migrant influx into Europe: “I would like to make this urgent plea to avoid drawing such swift links to the situation surrounding refugees.” Alas for de Maiziere, there was the inconvenient fact of that Syrian “refugee” who pass through Greece on his way to jihad in Paris.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama was true to form, not mentioning Islam or Muslims in his statement on the Paris attacks, and not giving a hint that it was his precipitous and politically motivated withdrawal from Iraq that created the vacuum that allowed for the rise of the Islamic State. Indeed, the Islamic State could end up being the most significant legacy of the Obama Administration. Obviously American troops couldn’t have stayed in Iraq forever, and the Iraq project from its beginnings was based on false assumptions about Islam, ignoring its political, supremacist and violent aspects; but Obama’s hasty and ill-thought out withdrawal took into account none of the realities on the ground: the Sunni/Shi’ite divide, the Iranian influence in Baghdad, the Sunnis’ unwillingness to participate in the Baghdad government and the Shi’ites’ refusal to allow them to do so in any significant way, and more. France today is paying the price for the willful ignorance and short-sightedness of Obama and his administration.

The Leftist media is firmly stuck in willful ignorance mode as well. Salon published a piece entitled, “Our terrorism double standard: After Paris, let’s stop blaming Muslims and take a hard look at ourselves,” and another entitled, “And so the hate speech begins: Let Paris be the end of the right’s violent language toward activists.” The Guardian worried that after the Paris jihad murders Friday, “far-right groups may well fuel more hatred.” Neither Salon nor the Guardian, nor any other mainstream media outlet, published any realistic assessment of the advancing jihad threat in France and the West in general.

And so as the Western intelligentsia fell into familiar patterns of response, it only ensured that there would be many, many more attacks, in Europe and the U.S., like the one in Paris Friday. It seems as if no amount of disconfirming evidence will move the establishment Left to remove its blinkers, discard its politically correct fantasies, and face the jihad threat realistically. The Leftists in the corridors of power are today ensuring that there will be much, much more bloodshed.

Also see:

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the cowardly media refuse to discuss Islamic ideology


We Need to Talk About Islam,  by Paul Cooper, Nov.14, 2015:

Yet again the sheer horror and barbarity of Islamic terror visits the streets of Paris. Yet again the synchronized response from the mainstream media has been lacklustre in nature, demonstrating pitiful levels of cowardice.

The intellect mainstream media bring to this scenario is meagrely constrained and limited to, “oh ok, they were ISIS.” Petrified and crippled by political correctness, they feign obliviousness which is cringe worthy, disconcerting and embarrassing all in perfect harmony. It is intolerable for media outlets to haphazardly dismiss ideological rationale behind this atrocity. People deserve more. The innocent people massacred in Paris deserve more.

Attributing the entire process of Islamic indoctrination, commitment to political Islamism and ultimately violent Jihadism as “just ISIS” may be blissful ignorance for many, however hazardous for all. Assigning the label ‘ISIS’ or ‘Daesh’ to anyone who is willing to engage in literal Islamic narratives debilitates opportunities to progress resolving the issue. The ideology and inherent complexities of literal Islamic narratives receive a ‘get out of jail’ free card.  It was “ISIS” we hear them say. Sure, perhaps they were ISIS affiliated but there was a journey they undertook to get there which must be openly discussed, not swept under the rug as would be the preference of our media and politicians.

The cowardly media and politicians – to the detriment of everyone – fervently refuse to give literal Islamic narratives the attention they desperately require. The issue of home grown Jihadists in particular must not be dismissed. The media remain petrified of mentioning the I word, Islam, and the M word, Muhammad. The regressive left sit in wait, ready to berate anyone willing to broach the issue as ‘Islamophobic”. The regressive left, forever a roadblock in achieving progress.

Will the media enlighten its viewers of the martyrdom concept within Islamic ideology. Most of the Islamic attackers detonated suicide vests. You would think the concept of martyrdom is something the media would perhaps broach in their 24 hour a day analysis. To question the concept of martyrdom would be to question and enquire on Islamic ideology itself, which of course political correctness paralysis prevents. People yet again sit around watching the television hearing how these attacks are ‘nothing to do with Islam’. Yet again everyone is expected to swallow the effluent the media regurgitate, that martyrdom – or anything for that matter – has nothing to do with the religion which has nothing to do with itself.

Are the media going to provide a platfrom for debate, one which pragmatically breakdowns and categorises intricacies involved in the journey to progress from a Muslim male just attending the local Mosque to becoming a violent Jihadist. No they won’t. Political correctness mandates we sit around like pathetic lame ducks waiting for the next attack to occur. Discussing Islamic ideology and its associated literal narratives would be just too Islamophobic wouldn’t it.

If a Christian man walked into a restaurant and prior to barbarically executing everyone stated, “in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit,” the entire political and media establishment would irrefutably state a Christian terror attack had occurred. Why is Islam entitled to an ISIS ‘get out of jail free card’? The next time such a Christian attack happens I’ll write an article about it, however I suspect you may be waiting a while.

There are thousands of Muslims in France embracing the attacks, claiming it as a victory for Allah. Social media is rife with gleeful celebrations of what occurred. Media willingness to provide coverage of the condemnations of the attacks is not in question. At the other end of the spectrum, to provide an impartial perspective they must cover the many people rejoicing. There are millions of people thinking this way. Isn’t it kind of important to talk about it?

Condemnation from prominent Islamic community groups continue to be disappointing, demonstrating the customary magnitude of ambiguity. Meagre statements such as, “this is not Islam” are so ambiguous it’s hard not to question their integrity. Is it “not Islam” because the attacks were not approved by representatives of their specific community, or is it “not Islam” because they condemn violence in no uncertain terms. In fact, have we ever witnessed Islamic community leaders unambiguously condemn violence in no uncertain terms and in any given scenario?

Ideology cannot be beaten with violence, of that I am sure. It will only be strengthened with violence. We need to address the core and fundamental ideology. As long as our cowardly media and politicians continue to avoid discussing Islamic ideology – in a manner in which you’d expect someone to avoid the bubonic plague – how can we address anything? You guessed it, we’ll sit around feebly waiting for the next appalling attack on our freedoms, which undoubtedly will have ‘nothing to do with Islam’.

How France Became an Inviting Target of the Jihad


PJ Media, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Nov. 14, 2015:

Earlier this year, following the Charlie Hebdo massacre and related terrorist attacks in and around Paris, I wrote Islam and Free Speech, a Broadside” that is part of the series published by Encounter Books. The following is an excerpt.

How did we get to this historical anomaly in France where, as the estimable scholar Daniel Pipes observes, “a majority population accepts the customs and even the criminality of a poorer and weaker community”? It is the result of a conquest ideology taking the measure of a civilization that no longer values its heritage, no longer regards itself as worthy of defense.

France’s population of 66 million is now approximately 10 percent Islamic. Estimates are sketchy because, in a vestige of its vanishing secularist tradition, France does not collect census data about religious affiliation. Still, between 6 and 7 million Muslims are reasonably believed to be resident in the country (Pew put the total at 4.7 million back in 2010 – other analysts peg it higher today). To many in France, the number seems higher, due to both the outsize influence of Islamist activists on the political class and the dense Muslim communities in and around Paris – approximating 15 percent of the local population. An online poll conducted by Ipsos Mosi in 2014 found that the average French citizenbelieves Muslims make up about a third of the country’s population.

As night follows day, when Muslim populations surge, so does support for jihadism and the sharia supremacist ideology that catalyzes it. The reason is plain to see, even if Western elites remain willfully blind to it: For a not insignificant percentage of the growing Muslim millions in Europe, infiltration – by both mass immigration and the establishment of swelling Islamic enclaves – is a purposeful strategy of conquest, sometimes referred to as “voluntary apartheid.”

One of its leading advocates is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. A Qatar-based Egyptian octogenarian, Qaradawi is a Muslim Brotherhood icon. He is a copiously published scholar graduated from Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning for over a millennium, and thus oversees both the International Union of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Thanks to his pioneering of the highly trafficked IslamOnline website and, especially, to his hugely popular al-Jazeera television program, Sharia and Life, he has become the world’s most influential sharia jurist.

Qaradawi is the sharia backbone of the violent jihad to exterminate Israel – a tiny country surrounded by hundreds of millions of hostile Muslims. The sheikh also vows that Islam will “conquer” both Europe and America, but acknowledges that this conquest will require a strategy more suited to a determined minority that knows it cannot win by force of arms. The key, he asserts, is dawa, the Muslim equivalent of proselytism. In radical Islam, it is hyper-aggressive, pushing on every cultural cylinder, pressuring every institution, and exploiting the atmosphere of intimidation created by jihadist terror to blur the lines between legal advocacy and extortion.

In France, dawa presses against laïcité, the credo of secularism through the strict separation of religion and the state. Qaradawi is quite clear that “secularism can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society.” He is equally adamant that Muslims, who are bound to live in accordance with the strictures of sharia, must reject a secular framework because “acceptance of secularism means abandonment of sharia, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions.” Thus, he elaborates, “The call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of sharia is downright apostasy.”

This nexus between free speech and Western democracy is worth pausing over. Notice that, in focusing on the incompatibility between Islamic law and democracy’s secular, pluralist underpinnings, Qaradawi draws the inevitable conclusion that democracy equals apostasy. The term apostasy is not invoked idly in radical Islam. As explained in Reliance of the Traveller, a classic sharia manual endorsed by al-Azhar scholars, the renunciation of Islam is a death penalty offense.

Free speech does not exist in a vacuum. It is the plinth of freedom’s fortress. It is the ineliminable imperative if there is to be the robust exchange of knowledge and ideas, the rule of reason, freedom of conscience, equality before the law, property rights, and equality of opportunity. That is why it must be extinguished if there is to be what Qaradawi calls a “place of religion” – meaning his religion. For all its arrogance and triumphalist claims, radical Islam must suppress speech because it cannot compete in a free market of conscience.

To sustain their movement, therefore, Islamist leaders must separate Muslims from secular society. In the West, this means forming Islamic enclaves in which sharia gradually takes root as the de facto and, eventually, the de jure law – enabling Muslims to resist the challenge of critical thinking under the guise avoiding the near occasion of apostasy. Over time, dominion is established over swaths of not only physical territory but legal privilege. Qaradawi puts the matter succinctly:

Were we to convince Western leaders and decision-makers of our right to live according to our faith — ideologically, legislatively, and ethically — without imposing our views or inflicting harm upon them, we would have traversed an immense barrier in our quest for an Islamic state.

The key to the conquest strategy is to coerce the West into accepting a Muslim right to resist assimilation, to regard sharia as superseding Western law and custom when the two conflict. For precisely this reason, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – a bloc of 56 Muslim countries (plus the Palestinian Authority) – has decreed that “Muslims should not be marginalized or attempted to be assimilated, but should be accommodated.” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist president of Turkey who has systematically dismantled that country’s secular, pro-Western system, similarly pronounces that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in the West “is a crime against humanity.”

Free expression is the gateway to assimilation. Consequently, radical Islam cannot tolerate it.

As a result, France is now rife with Zones Urbaines Sensibiles – “sensitive urban areas.” The government officially lists some 751 of them: Islamic enclaves in the banlieues, often referred to as “no go zones” because the indigenous populations discourage the presence of non-Muslims who do not conform to Islamic standards of dress and social interaction, and of public officials – police, fire-fighters, emergency medical teams, and building inspectors – who are seen as symbols of the state’s effort to exercise sovereignty in areas Muslims seek to possess adversely.

Some of these zones inevitably evolve into hotbeds of jihadist activity. As the Gatestone Institute’s Soeren Kern notes, there has been no shortage of Internet traffic suggesting, for example, “the killing of France’s ambassadors, just as the manly Libyan fighters killed the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi.” In a low-intensity jihadist thrum stretching back several years, the torching of automobiles has become a commonplace – as many as 40,000 cars burned annually. Perhaps most alarmingly, over a thousand French Muslims, more than from any other Western country, are estimated to have traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS – meaning many will return to the country as trained, battle-hardened jihadists. Beyond the direct ISIS participants, moreover, the Washington Post has reported that a recent poll found 16 percent of French citizens expressing some degree of support for ISIS – an organization whose rule over the vast territory it has seized is best known for decapitations, rapine, the execution of homosexuals, mass graves, and the enslavement of non-Muslim communities.

Once one grasps the voluntary apartheid strategy, it becomes obvious why radical Islam’s inroads in France, and elsewhere in Europe, seamlessly translate into demands for the enforcement of sharia’s curbs on speech and artistic expression. What is not so obvious is just how profound a challenge to the West this constitutes.

Why Americanized Muslim Reformers Are Failing

pl_1Frontpage, by Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, Nov. 12, 2015:

For many years we in the United States have regularly heard from a small number of Muslim American “reformers” who aspire to change Islam in ways that will make it more “modern” and compatible with American values such as freedom of speech and religion, and the equality of all people.  According to these reformers, such change would rescue Islam from the “perverted” and “radical” interpretations of thejihadists, and return it to the way the reformers claim Muhammad originally taught it: as a religion that commanded peace and tolerance toward all, and promoted the rights of women.

These aspiring reformers seem to be generally Muslim males who were either born in the United States, or have spent a significant portion of their life in the United States.  They have used the freedoms in the United States to explore Islam and to strike out on their own in providing an interpretation of that religion that conforms largely to American values.  These personal interpretations commonly focus on Islam as a religion of peace that has been perverted by a few radical jihadists, and the aspiring reformers present Islam as such to non-Muslim audiences.  I use the term “Americanized Muslim reformer” as a general reference to these aspiring Muslim reformers.

But what most non-Muslims don’t realize is that Islam prohibits exactly what these Americanized Muslim reformers are trying to do.  Let’s look in the Koran, the holy book of Islam considered by Muslims to consist of the timeless, perfect, unchangeable words of their god Allah.

Islam was Perfected during the Time of Muhammad

Allah states in 5:3 of the Koran that the religion of Islam was perfected and finalized during the time of Muhammad:

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion[.]

In 15:9 Allah states that the Koran cannot be changed.  According to Muslim scholars, 2:85 of the Koran prohibits picking and choosing among its verses (e.g., Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 1, p. 88).

And to reiterate this, the prophet Muhammad said the penalty for denying a verse of the Koran was death:

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever denies a Verse of the Qur’an, it is permissible to strike his neck (i.e. execute him)[.]”

Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2539

And Muhammad talked about being in Paradise to greet the Muslims who died after him, and seeing some of those Muslims taken away because of changes they had made to Islam after he died:

“There will come to me some people whom I know and they know me, and then a barrier will be set up between me and them.”  Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri added that the Prophet further said, “I will say those people are from me (i.e. they are my followers).  It will be said, ‘You do not know what new changes and new things (heresies) they did after you.’  Then I will say, ‘Far removed (from mercy), far removed (from mercy), those who changed, did new things in (the religion) after me!'”

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Nos. 7050-7051

And once an issue has been decided in the Koran and/or in the teachings of Muhammad, it is blasphemy for a Muslim to disagree with that decision.  This is plainly stated in the Koran, e.g:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger, have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.  And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.   (33:36)

Their god and their prophet say that Islam cannot be changed after the time of Muhammad, so what are the Americanized Muslim reformers to do?  Below are some of the major approaches I have found taken among these reformers.  These approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and the use of more than one of these approaches, or variations thereof, is not uncommon.

The Koran Only

There are Muslims known as “Koranists.”  They believe that the only source of Islamic Doctrine is what is found in the Koran.  The Koranists reject the Sunnah (the teachings and example of Muhammad).

But the Koran itself specifically rejects the premise of the Koranists.  These are some of the Koran verses that stress the importance of the Sunnah of Muhammad:

  • He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah[.] (4:80)
  • And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination! (4:115)
  • Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. (33:21)
  • And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).  And fear Allah; verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. (59:7)

In the Koran Allah specifically commands Muslims to obey and follow the teachings and example of Muhammad.  So where does a Muslim find such teachings and example, including in matters such as how to pray, actions to be taken during the Hajj, or ablution?  They are not in the Koran, they are in theSunnah.

The Koranists not only ignore the words of Allah, but they ignore the words of their prophet Muhammad:

Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I have left two things with you.  As long as you hold fast to them, you will not go astray.  They are the Book of Allah and the sunna [sic] of His Prophet.

Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas, 46.3

So in defiance of the commands and teachings of their god and prophet, the Koranist Muslims ignore theSunnah.

Personal Interpretations of Salad Bar Islam

This approach is probably the one most used among the aspiring Americanized Muslim reformers and was the genesis for my first article about Fantasy Islam.  With this approach, changing Islamic Doctrine runs the gamut from a few tweaks here and there, to Islam being simply whatever the individual Muslim wants it to be.  The common denominator is that the changes are based on the personal opinion of the aspiring reformer.

With this approach, hadith collections that have been considered authoritative since the 9th Century are questioned, with certain hadiths among them actually being deemed false, solely on the basis of the individual Muslim’s opinion.

Verses of the Koran that are specific can be deemed allegorical, the eternal words of Allah can be judged applicable only to a specific time period, and verses of the Koran can be completely dismissed, solely on the basis of the individual Muslim’s opinion.

With this approach, the Doctrine of Abrogation, based on 2:106 of the Koran, is frequently dismissed. This Doctrine is fundamental to understanding Islam, and it states that if there is a conflict between the messages of two “revelations” in the Koran, then the most recent “revelation” is the one to be followed.  Consequently, a “revelation” made in Medina would supersede a similar, earlier “revelation” made in Mecca if there was a conflict between the messages of the two. The significance is that the “revelations” in Mecca tended to be more peaceful and accommodating toward non-Muslims than the verses later “revealed” in Medina.  The verses from Medina are generally more belligerent and intolerant, and more inclined to make sharp differentiations between Muslims and non-Muslims.  By ignoring the Doctrine of Abrogation, the aspiring Muslim reformer can concentrate on the Meccan verses, which, however, while more appealing to non-Muslim ears, simply don’t carry the weight of Islamic Doctrine anymore.

This approach also dismisses centuries of accepted Muslim scholarship in the form of authoritative Koran commentaries (tafsirs), such as the Tafsir Al-Qurturbi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, and Tafsir Al-Jalalayn. This approach also dismisses such 20th Century tafsirs as Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan and Tafsir As-Sa’di.  Dismissing authoritative tafsirs allows the aspiring reformer to then rely on new, personal interpretations of the meaning of verses in the Koran, even though such interpretations might directly conflict with the writings in authoritative tafsirs over the centuries.  These new interpretations are based solely on the individual Muslim’s opinion.

These aspiring reformers apparently ignore the fact that Muhammad had his own opinions about Muslims following this approach:

Muhammad bin Jarir reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Prophet said, ‘Whoever explains the Qur’an with his opinion or with what he has no knowledge of, then let him assume his seat in the Fire.’ 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, pp. 32-33

Muhammad said: The most truthful speech is Allah’s Speech, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad.  The worst matters are the newly invented (in religion), every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a heresy, and every heresy is in the Fire.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 2, p. 588

Inaccurate Historical Information

It is not unusual to find Americanized Muslim reformers presenting historical information that is simply inaccurate. Here are three common examples:

The peaceful conquest of Mecca:  You will hear that when Muhammad led an army of 10,000 Muslim warriors against Mecca in 630 AD, the Meccans surrendered peacefully and there was no bloodshed.  You might even hear that Muhammad specifically prohibited the killing of any individuals.  In reality, there was some resistance by the Meccans that resulted in the battle deaths of 2-3 Muslims and 12-13 Meccans.  And before entering Mecca, Muhammad had ordered the killing of nine specific individuals, including four women.  Some of these individuals were subsequently captured and killed, while others saved themselves by converting to Islam before they could be killed.  As Muhammad explained it:

If anyone should say, The apostle killed men in Mecca, say God permitted His apostle to do so but He does not permit you.

The Life of Muhammad, p. 555

The Verse of the Sword is a pejorative term created by non-Muslims:  You might hear Muslims claim that non-Muslims created the term “Verse of the Sword” to disparage 9:5 of the Koran.  Here is the first part of that verse:

Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun [non-Muslims] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush[.]

In reality, Muslim scholars have referred to this verse as the “Verse of the Sword” for centuries (e.g.Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, pp. 375 and 377).

The Verse of the Sword was revealed before it was revealed:  You might hear Muslims claim that 9:5 was among the verses “revealed” during the early period of Islam, when aggressive threats by militarily strong non-Muslims were being made against the young, weak Muslim community.  You might also hear the claim that this verse was applicable only to a particular time period and/or circumstance in the past (e.g., Zuhdi Jasser claimed it was “revealed” in and applicable only to 623 AD).

In reality, 9:5 was among the verses “revealed” in late 630 AD and early 631 AD.  By this time Muhammad had already conquered Mecca, and the remaining non-Muslim tribes on the Arabian Peninsula, confronted by the burgeoning Muslim armies, were flocking to Medina to convert to Islam.  And these verses were not related to a specific battle or to a specific tribe, but rather were directed toward all non-Muslims (Life of Muhammad, pp. 617-619; The History of al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, pp. 77-79; and Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, pp. 370-376).

And there is no basis in Islamic Doctrine for the claim that 9:5 has no relevance today.  Such a claim ignores the facts that Muslims believe the Koran consists of the eternal words of Allah, and Chapter 9 of the Koran was the last chapter to be “revealed” to Muhammad.  Consequently, the commands found in Chapter 9 were Allah’s final, timeless instructions to the Muslims on how to deal with non-Muslims.

Their Audience Appears to be Mainly Non-Muslims

Americanized Muslim reformers appear on non-Muslim media and in front of non-Muslim organizations on a frequent basis, and almost always after a major jihadist attack.

But what I have yet to hear about is the number of mosques and Muslim organizations that allow these aspiring reformers to come in and advocate for their personal version of Islam.  The Muslim reformers are vocal about their appearances on non-Muslim media and in front of non-Muslim organizations, but when it comes to any occurrence of similar appearances in mosques and in front of Muslim organizations, there seems to be silence.

Based on my research into the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska, I think these Americanized Muslim reformers are silent because they seldom, if ever, are allowed to present their personal version of Islam in a mosque or in front of a Muslim organization.  The Tri-Faith Initiative is an experiment in interfaith dialogue and coexistence between Muslims, Jews, and Christians.  However, in a series of articles I have shown that Islamic doctrine prohibits such a venture and actually maligns, and preaches violence against, Jews and Christians (here, here, here, and here).  And I have also shown that most of the money for this initiative comes from non-Muslim organizations and a few aspiring Muslim reformers, with apparently no support for the initiative from mosques and Muslim organizations in Nebraska (hereand here).

When I have corresponded with Tri-Faith partners and proponents, and Nebraska mosques and Muslim organizations, about what Islamic Doctrine teaches and the lack of support for the Tri-Faith from the greater Muslim community in Nebraska, there has been only silence from the Muslims and character attacks on me from the non-Muslims.


Here are reasons why Americanized Muslim reformers are failing:

  1. They create their own versions of Islam, relying on their own personal opinions and interpretations, and arbitrarily dismissing parts of Islamic history and centuries of established Muslim scholarship.
  2. They claim to follow the Koran, but actually go against verses of the Koran by arbitrarily dismissing one of the two columns upon which Islam rests: the Sunnah of Muhammad.
  3. They go against the commands of Allah in the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad by picking and choosing, and actually dismissing verses in the Koran.
  4. They personally decide which hadiths are authentic, again arbitrarily dismissing centuries of established Muslim scholarship.
  5. As a result, their beliefs are heretical.  And as Muhammad said above, every heresy sends one to the Fires of Hell.
  6. Because these reformers are heretics, they have little, if any support for their reforms from the greater Muslim community in the United States.
  7. Consequently, the reformers have to appeal to non-Muslims to help them reform Islam.  This would be as if Martin Luther had relied on Muslims for his main support during the Reformation.
  8. So what are the chances of success for an Americanized Muslim heretic and his non-Muslim followers to change Islam from that which was taught by Muhammad to that which is advocated by the heretic?  Zero.

Does it really matter that Americanized Muslim reformers are going around trying to create personalized, “modern” versions of Islam?  Yes, because they are relying on non-Muslims for support.  And to get that support, the reformers are presenting “the true” Islam as a religion of peace, similar to Christianity and Judaism, and able to be modified and modernized.  And the reformers are presenting the jihadists as outliers who have perverted and hijacked that religion.  But the reality is that the Muslim reformers are perverting and hijacking the religion, and it is the jihadists who are following the Islam taught by Muhammad.

How one understands a religion, whether correctly or incorrectly, is a major factor in how one welcomes it adherents. In terms of the mass migration of Muslim “refugees” into Europe, the European leadership and many Europeans in general appear to think that Islam is as the aspiring reformers have presented it.  So the Muslim “refugees” have been generally welcomed with open arms.  But would there have been such a welcome if the realization had been more wide spread that the reformers are heretics with little support in the greater Muslim community?

There is support in the United States for the Obama administration’s call to bring in tens of thousands of these Muslim “refugees.”  But before allowing this to happen, we must ask the question that the Europeans should have asked, but for whom now it is too late to ask: Will these Muslim “refugees” follow the Islam of our Americanized Muslim heretics or will these “refugees” follow the centuries-old intolerant, supremacist, violent teachings of their god Allah and their prophet Muhammad?  The fate of Western culture lies in the answer.

Just as it is obligatory to accept the commandments proven by the textual evidence from the Qur’an, and that it is utter disbelief to reject them, so are the commandments proven by the hadeeths of the Messenger of Allah.  It is obligatory to act by them, and it is sheer disbelief to deny them.

Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 1, pp. 622-623

Facing God


Frontpage, by Danusha V. Goska, Nov. 11, 2015:

The Judeo-Christian tradition recognizes the individual, apart from the mob. That individual is invited to meet and talk, face to face and utterly spontaneously, with God, without interruption from any earthly authority. That encounter is the life spark of Western Civilization.

We define, and recognize, by contrasts. I learn much about Christian prayer and Christian monasticism by comparing them with their opposites. I think of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” and what it says about my faith – specifically, what it says about the Judeo-Christian concept of God, of man, and of prayer. I think of how that artwork and its implications contrast with other belief systems: modern Atheism, ancient Paganism, and Islam.

Between 1508 and 1512, on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo depicted the spark of life in the fingertip-to-fingertip, eye-contact encounter between one, loving, creator God and one human being – not a teeming mass – just one person. In Michelangelo’s fresco, we see Adam’s full naked form, from head to toe. God looks like Adam, and Adam looks like God. They are the same size. Every detail here matters – that Adam is just one man, that he is naked, that he is anatomically detailed, that he is the same size as God, that God and Adam are fundamentally structured the same, that Adam is making eye contact with God, that God looks upon Adam with fiercely attentive love – every detail here has an impact on the life anyone can live in a Judeo-Christian society.

Organized Christophobes and anti-Semites have targeted Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” for attack. They call themselves “The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” They blather, “Oh, you Christians and Jews are so stupid; you think God is an old man in the sky with a long, white beard.” They insist that it doesn’t matter what story a society tells itself about its origins. They say that the Judeo-Christian God may as well be a monster made of spaghetti. They are ignorant and childish enough to believe that if we told ourselves that story, we’d be able to have the same society that we have now. They are wrong on every count.

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them”: Sofers, ancient Jewish scribes, committed these words to print in the book of Genesis thousands of years ago. Each individual person is the image of a loving God – “tzelem elohim” in Hebrew, “imago dei” in Latin. Michelangelo used the language at which he was fluent – his gift for accurately depicting anatomy and physiology – to communicate the essence of the relationship between the Judeo-Christian God and each individual person.

Adam and God meet face to face, eye to eye, in the Sistine Chapel fresco. Exodus 33:11 tells us that “The Lord spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend.” Deuteronomy 5:4 tells us that “the Lord spoke to his people Israel” face to face as well. In Numbers 6:25, God blesses thus “The Lord let his face shine upon you.” The Bible repeatedly adjures us to seek God’s face. “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” Psalm 27:8. “Face to face:” this metonym has meant intimate connection – human and spiritual – for the past four thousand years. “To face” means “to meet.” The sixth amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to face one’s accuser. “Face” often means “dignity,” e.g. “To save face.” This is true not just of English, but of many languages. In Medieval Slavic languages, “without face” means “shame.” In China and other Asian cultures, face is reputation, honor, and dignity.

Adam is an individual, apart from a mob. The Talmud teaches that God created only one Adam, rather than a group of men at once, to emphasize the value of each, individual life. One man, in himself, is an entire universe. The Bible teaches: you matter. Not some ideal you. Not you as a cog in a big machine. You who you are, right now. You matter. The God who created the universe wants contact with you. Bring your moment-by-moment concerns to God. Suffering? Pray. Rejoicing? Pray. Sick? Pray. Worried about someone else? Pray. Anxious for yourself? Pray. (James 5 13-18, Philippians 4:6). David, Mary, and Jesus model candid, spontaneous prayer. David nags God in the Psalms, Mary spikes the ball in the Magnificat, and Jesus on the cross holds back nothing. No prayers are as poignant as the prayers of desperate women. Hannah is reprimanded for the intensity of her prayer – “Lady, are you drunk?” – and the woman with a hemorrhage prays her tentative, tiny prayer silently, “If only I can touch the hem of his garment.”

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The Indonesian Jihad on Christian Churches

Gatestone Institute, by Raymond Ibrahim, November 11, 2015:

  • “We will not stop hunting Christians and burning churches. Christians are Allah’s enemies!” – Islamic leaders, Aceh region.
  • In other parts of Indonesia, where Islamic law, or Sharia, is not enforced, churches, even fully registered ones, are also under attack
  • On Dec. 25, 2012, with all required paperwork in place, when the congregation assembled on empty land to celebrate Christmas, hundreds of Muslims threw rocks, rotten eggs, and bags filled with excrement at the Christians. Police stood by and watched.
  • For Indonesia, the country once hailed as the face of “moderate Islam,” the “extremist” behavior one would expect of ISIS has apparently become the norm.

In compliance with Islamic demands, Indonesian authorities in the Aceh region have started to tear down Christian churches. Their move comes after Muslim mobs rampaged and attacked churches. At least one person was killed; thousands of Christians were displaced.

On Friday, October 9, after being fired up during mosque sermons, hundreds of Muslims marched to the local authority’s office and demanded that all unregistered churches in Aceh be closed. Imams issued text messages spurring Muslims from other areas to rise up against churches and call for their demolition.

On Monday, October 12, authorities facilitated a meeting with Islamic leaders and agreed to demolish 10 unregistered churches over the course of two weeks.

Apparently this was not fast enough to meet Muslim demands for immediate action. On the following day, a mob of approximately 700 Muslims, some armed with axes and machetes, torched a local church, even though it was not on the list of churches agreed upon for demolition.

church burning

The Muslim mob then moved on to a second church, an act that led to violent clashes. One person, believed to be a Christian, died after being shot in the head. Several were injured, as Christians tried to defend their church against the armed mob.

Approximately 8,000 Christians were displaced; many fled to bordering provinces. Their fears were justified: Islamic leaders continued issuing messages and text messages saying, “We will not stop hunting Christians and burning churches. Christians are Allah’s enemies!”

Instead of punishing those who incited violence and took the law into their own hands by torching and attacking churches, local authorities demolished three churches (a Catholic mission station and two Protestant churches) on October 19. In the coming days, seven more churches are set to be demolished; in the coming months and years, dozens more.

Authorities had originally requested of church leaders to demolish their own churches. “How can we do that?” asked Paima Berutu, one of the church leaders: “It is impossible [for us to take it down] … Some of us watched [the demolition] from afar, man and women. It was painful.”

The situation in Aceh remains tense: “Every church member is guarding his own church right now,” said another pastor

As for the displaced Christians, many remain destitute, waiting for “desperately needed clean water, food, clothes, baby food, blankets, and medicines.” As Muslim militants were reportedly guarding the border with an order to kill any Christians crossing the line, reaching the Christians is difficult.

Many Muslims and some media try to justify this destruction by pointing out that the churches were in the wrong for not being registered. In reality, however, thanks to Indonesia’s 2006 Joint Decree on Houses of Worship, it is effectively impossible to obtain a church permit. The decree made it illegal for churches to acquire permits unless they can get “signatures from 60 local households of a different faith,” presumably Muslims, as well as “a written recommendation from the regency or municipal religious affairs office” — that is, from the local sheikh and council of Muslim elders: the same people most likely to incite Muslims against Christians and churches during mosque gatherings. Christian activists say there are many mosques that are unregistered and built without permits, but the authorities ignore those infractions.

Others try to justify these recent attacks on churches by pointing out that they took place in Aceh, the only region in Indonesia where Islamic law, or Sharia, is officially authorized, and where, since 2006, more than 1,000 churches have been shut.

Yet in other parts of Indonesia, where Islamic law is not enforced, even fully registered churches are under attack. These include the Philadelphia Protestant Church in Bekasi — nearly 1,500 miles south of Sharia-compliant Aceh. Even though it had the necessary paperwork, it too was illegally shut down in response to violent Muslim protests. On December 25, 2012, when the congregation assembled on empty land to celebrate Christmas, hundreds of Muslims, including women and children, threw rotten eggs, rocks, and plastic bags filled with urine and feces at the Christians. Police stood by and watched.

A church spokesman stated, “We are constantly having to change our location because our existence appears to be unwanted, and we have to hide so that we are not intimidated by intolerant groups. … We had hoped for help from the police, but after many attacks on members of the congregation [including when they privately meet for worship at each other’s homes], we see that the police are also involved in this.

Bogor is another area where Islamic law is supposedly not enforced. Yet the ongoing saga of the GKI Yasmin Church there illustrates how Islamic law takes precedence over Indonesian law. In 2008, when local Muslims began complaining about the existence of the church, even though it was fully registered, the authorities obligingly closed it. In December 2010, the Indonesian Supreme Court ordered the church to be reopened, but the mayor of Bogor, refusing to comply, kept it sealed off.

Since then, the congregation has been holding Sunday services at the homes of members, and occasionally on the street, to the usual jeers and attacks by Muslim mobs. On Sunday, September 27, the church held its 100th open-air service.

The Indonesian jihad is taking place in varying degrees all throughout the East Asian nation and is not limited to Sharia-compliant zones such as Aceh. For the country once hailed as the face of “moderate Islam,” the “extremist” behavior one would expect of the Islamic State (ISIS) — hating, attacking, and demolishing churches — has apparently become the norm.

Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

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