Report From the Future: The Umma States of America

city-3dfuture-city-3d-model-rdfcjun4Written by: Diana West 

Imagine a curious soul or two in the not-too-distant future furtively peeling back the layers and learning the cruel truth: that their forbears willingly exchanged all of their precious liberties for tyranny rather than assess and educate and protect themselves against Islamic conquest — violent, pre-violent, smooth, explosive, financial, political, kafiyya-wrapped or Armani-suited. I think they will marvel because, as they will so very tragically know first-hand, Islam is so simple: its culture of death, its oppression of women and non-Muslims, its defilement of children, its suppression of conscience, religion and speech. They will be astonished, also very angry, over the way free men and women in 20th-21st centuries saw fit, not to embark on emergency measures to ensure energy independence from Islamic oil, block Islamic immigration, and shield financial markets and academia from sharia-compliance, but rather to erect a massive and invasive security state that robbed all citizens of their liberties as they fiddled away the Islamic threat. Mustn’t offend? Mustn’t offend? That was more important than saving the blessed beauty of our lost civlization…?! Incredulously, they will learn how “public intellectuals” invented all manner of “division” within Islam, detected endless “signs” of “evolution” to come,  supported disastrous “democracy” movements, diagnosed “moderation” ever-aborning, projecting all in a static of isms and ists that confounded and dumbfounded and confused. To be sure, it kept “public intellectuals” gainfully occupied, but it did nothing to stem the waves of conquest that made life in the West a sharia-compliant and, of course, post-Communist hell on earth. Obamacare Allahu Akbar.

What brought all this on? About a decade of self-imposed confusion on “radical Islam,”  “extremist Islam,” or, lately, “sharia-ism” when the threat is simple Islam. The simplicity eludes us in exercises that are endlessly Baroque. That’s what I take away from Andy McCarthy’s response today at NRO to a piece by Daniel Pipes.

Andy writes:

His column is about “Islamism,” which is the ideology I (among others) call “Islamic supremacism” — a.k.a “radical” or “extremist” Islam, or even “sharia-ism” in the recent coinage of my friend Joy Brighton . . . all of us, it should be conceded, grappling for the pitch-perfect term that (we hope) justifies sidestepping the gnawing question whether Islam itself inevitably breeds aggressive Muslim groups even if it is otherwise widely construed, or at least practiced, benignly. (Italics in the original.)

To me, this paragraph is deeply depressing. I think it’s the egg-shell-delicate emotionalism with which Andy and his peers (“all of us”)  are still  “grappling” with this simple, simple subject of Islam — the “pitch-perfect term,” after all. Why such angst? Why such nonsense words (“sharia-ism”)? That there are people in this world who see fit to follow the totalitarian and supremacist precepts of the Koran and the rest of the authoritative Islamic texts is not a cause for Christian or Jewish or Zoroastrian embarassment. That there are people in this world who consider Mohammed, the first jihadist who “married” a six year old, their model is not a cause for agonizing guilt among those who follow Jesus Christ, Moses, Pan or the wind.

Our era’s seemingly eternal conversation about the “ists” and “isms” that mainly Christians and Jews like to cloak Islam with continues here. 

Andy makes one more comment to note:

Our interests lie, as they always have, with promoting authentic moderate Muslims — i.e., the non-Islamists we are hoping will defeat Islamists.

I disagree. To be sure, this is the basis of US policy going back before 9/11 but, hard as we “hoped,” it hasn’t worked. Islam, its influence (dhimmitude) advance unchecked. This is also the same “strategy” on which the US has disastrously gone to war. After all, what is counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN), as implemented in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a strategy to empower “authentic moderate Muslims” to defeat the rebel-insurgent-”Islamists”? That hasnt worked, either. Indeed, COIN became the mechanism by which our armies have increasingly submitted to sharia norms, as chronicled at this website.

Our interests lie, I submit, in devising every public policy possible to protect our Constitution, our country, our identity from the depredations of Islamization. Any “authentic moderate Muslim” is welcome to help.

Tony Blair on the Islamist Threat

ipeI-450x313By Mark Durie:

Tony Blair delivered a major speech on April 23 entitled, “Why the Middle East Matters”. In summary, he argued that the Middle East, far from being a “vast unfathomable mess” is deep in the throes of a multi-faceted struggle between a specific religious ideology on the one hand, and those who want to embrace the modern world on the other.  Furthermore, the West, blinded up until now as to the religious nature of the conflict, must take sides: it should support those who stand on the side of open-minded pluralistic societies, and combat those who wish to create intolerant theocracies.

In his speech Blair makes a whole series of substantial points:

He states that a ‘defining challenge of our time’ is a religious ideology which he calls ‘Islamist’, although he is not comfortable with this label because he prefers to distance himself from any implication that this ideology can be equated with Islam itself. He worries that “you can appear to elide those who support the Islamist ideology with all Muslims.”

He considers Islamism to be a global movement, whose diverse manifestations are produced by common ideological roots.

He rejects Western non-religious explanations for the problems caused by Islamist ideology, including the preference of “Western commentators” to attribute the manifestations of Islamism to “disparate” causes which have nothing to do with religion.  Likewise he implies that the protracted conflict over Israel-Palestine is not the cause of this ideology, but rather the converse is the case: dealing with the wider impact of Islamist ideology could help solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

According to Blair, what distinguishes violent terrorists from seemingly non-violent Islamists – such as the Muslim Brotherhood – is simply “a difference of view as to how to achieve the goals of Islamism”, so attempts to draw a distinction between political Islamist movements and radical terrorist groups are mistaken.  Blair considers that the religious ideology of certain groups like the Brotherhood, which may appear to be law-abiding, “inevitably creates the soil” in which religio-political violence is nurtured.

He considers “Islamism” to be a major threat everywhere in the world, including increasingly within Western nations. The “challenge” of Islamism is “growing” and “spreading across the world” and it is “the biggest threat to global security of the early 21st Century.”

Because of the seriousness of the threat of this religio-political ideology,  Blair argues that the West should vigorously support just about anybody whose interests lie in opposing Islamists, from General Sisi in Egypt to President Putin in Russia. He finds it to be an absurd irony that Western governments form intimate alliances with nations whose educational and civic institutions promote this ideology: an obvious example of this would be the US – Saudi alliance.

In all this, one might be forgiven for thinking that Blair sounds a lot like Geert Wilders, except that, as he takes pains to emphasize, he emphatically rejects equating Islamism with Islam. Tony Blair and Geert Wilders agree that there is a serious religious ideological challenge facing the world, but they disagree on whether that challenge is Islam itself.My Blair’s speech is aimed at people who do not wish to be thought of as anti-Musilm, but who need to be awakened to the religious nature of the Islamist challenge. He is keen to assure his intended audience that if they adopt his thesis they would not be guilty of conflating those who support radical Jihadi violence with all Muslims.Two key assumptions underpin Blair’s dissociation of Islamism the religio-political ideology from Islam the religion.

First, Blair presupposes that Islamism is not “the proper teaching of Islam”. It may, he concedes, be “an interpretation”, but it is a false one, a “perversion” of the religion, which “distorts and warps Islam’s true message.”  He offers two arguments to support this theological insight.One is that there are pious Muslims who agree with him: “Many of those totally opposed to the Islamist ideology are absolutely devout Muslims.”

This is a fallacious argument. It is akin to asserting that Catholic belief in the infallibility of the Pope cannot be Christian merely because there are absolutely devout protestant Christians who totally oppose this dogma.  The fact that there are pious Muslims who reject Islamism is not a credible argument that Islamism is an invalid interpretation of Islam.

Read more at Front Page

Denying the Truth of Islamic Terrorism in the National 9/11 Memorial Museum Film

World Trade  Center 9-11-01NER, By Jerry Gordon:

Anyone who witnessed the events of 9/11, what we described as the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century”, that took the lives of 3000 innocent people, knows the truth about what motivated the 19 Al Qaeda perpetrators from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It was radical Islam or Islamist terrorism spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood rejectionist doctrine of Egyptian Sayyid Qutb grounded in doctrinal Islam. Over the 13 years since those horrific events on 9/11,  that took down the iconic twin towers in lower Manhattan, there have been continuing efforts by Muslim and  fringe groups to suggest otherwise. Even to the point of engaging in blood libel, accusing Israel of perpetrating the attack. Bizarre Truthers even suggested that the CIA might have been involved. Those untruths are reflective of a disturbing aspect of Islamic Doctrine, taqiyyah – religiously sanctioned dissimilitude and kitman, omission of facts. That is reflected in obfuscation and outright denial of Jihad, calling it the inner struggle, instead of warfare against non-believers in furtherance of conquest of  Dar al Harb, the realm of war.

Benighted Muslim and non-Muslim interfaith groups have made these articles of dialog. They  propound the view that it was Al Qaeda terrorism and not Islam that former President Bush declared on 9/12 in a tableau at the Washington Islamic Center was a religion of peace. Hardly the case with more than 23,000 attacks since 9/11 against non-Muslims and nominal Muslims across the Umma, the global community of believers. One only has to bring up the images of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram – rejecting the West – slaughtering thousands in the areas of Nigeria that divide the Islamic north from the Animist Christian South. Or the burning of Churches in Egypt and extrajudicial violence perpetrated by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists against Coptic women. Or the beheading of Catholic priests in Syria by Al Qaeda affiliates, the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Then there are the attacks on Christians in Pakistan. In both Canada and America we have witnessed the honor killings of Muslim wives and daughters by professing Muslim fathers and husbands.

Which brings us to the matter of the controversy over the 7 minute film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda” produced by the National September 11 Memorial Museum. The film endeavors to tell the truth about the motivation of the 19 Jihadists who perpetrated the deaths of thousands of innocents in Lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia and in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A fateful late summer day in 2001 that is forever riveted in the minds of all who witnessed the horror up close and from afar.

The New York Times in a report in today’s edition noted the controversy over the film’s imagery:

The film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations

The controversy was created by a review of the film by a panel from the Interfaith Center in New York led by its executive director, Rev. Chloe Breyer, an Episcopal priest and daughter of US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She who had ministered to the injured and families of survivors following 9/11. The controversy followed the comments in a letter to the Museum’s director by a panel member Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy of the Masjid Manhattan Mosque who wrote:

The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum. Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.

In a separate interview, Elazabawy was reported to have said:

Don’t tell me this is an Islamist or an Islamic group; that means they are part of us. We are all of us against that.

Joseph Daniels, President of the non-profit museum issued a statement in rebuttal to Sheik Elazabawy, noted by the New York Times article on the controversy, saying:

From the very beginning, we had a very heavy responsibility to be true to the facts, to be objective, and in no way smear an entire religion when we are talking about a terrorist group.

What helps me sleep at night is I believe that the average visitor who comes through this museum will in no way leave this museum with the belief that the religion of Islam is responsible for what happened on 9/11. We have gone out of the way to tell the truth.

9/11 families had reviewed the film and expressed some disquiet over the content. But it was left to the Interfaith Center panel who reviewed the film and related exhibit at the Museum to create the controversy. As the New York Times report noted they were pleased with pictures of grieving Muslims and the comments of  US Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim. However, what really disturbed the interfaith panel were the uses of the terms “Jihadists’ and “Islamism” that they conveyed in a letter on Monday to the Museum director and staff.

The Interfaith Center was previously involved in the support for the controversial Lower Manhattan Mosque, the so-called Cordoba Initiative championed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Last night, Megyn Kelly, host of Fox News’The Kelly Files, weighed into the controversy of the Museum 9/11 film, especially the obsessive public correctness of the Interfaith Center panel and its leader, Rev. Chloe Breyer.  Kelly, who had previously tackled the Honor Diaries, a Clarion Project film, and the CAIR contretemps, brought back into the discussion Brooke Goldstein of The Lawfare Project. She ably contested the arguments by Breyer and Sheik Elazabawy of the Interfaith Center panel. The contrasts between the positions of Rev. Breyer and Goldstein were stark. Breyer supported  the Interfaith  panel and Elazabawy’s  requests for redaction of the Museum film, while Goldstein vigorously and effectively argued that you cannot deny the truth of the extremist Islamic doctrine that motivated the 9/11 perpetrators to commit mass murder.

Watch this You Tube video of Fox News host of The Kelly Files, Megyn Kelly’s interview with Rev. Breyer of the Interfaith Center and Brooke Goldstein of The Lawfare project:

We will publish an interview with Ms. Goldstein about this and related issues of Lawfare in the May edition of the New English Review.

Also see:

UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism

In the West, the Arabization of Muslim communities has occurred with government assistance, which, through imposed policies of multiculturalism in the name of diversity, has effected the destruction of South Asian culture.

by Samuel Westrop:

Britain’s multiculturalism policies have imposed Islamist leadership upon Britain’s Muslim communities and brought about the destruction of South Asian culture.

British suicide bomber and jihadist, Abdul Waheed Majeed, in his last moments before ramming a truck laden with explosives into a Syrian prison, posed in a white Islamic tunic and black scarf for the cameras. Asked by the cameraman to say a few words in Arabic before his “martyrdom,” Majeed replied: “Sorry? I can’t speak. Everyone asks me that and … I’m not a very good speaker.”

 

Abdul Waheed Majeed (left), of Crawley, England, poses for photographs moments before driving a truck-bomb into a prison in Aleppo, Syria. (Image source: Jabhat al-Nusra video)

Majeed, like a large number of British Muslims, was not an Arabic speaker. He was of Pakistani heritage. About 70% of British Muslims are, in fact, South Asian. A mere 6.6% are believed to be of Arab descent. And very few British Muslims can actually speak Arabic.

Nevertheless, British Islam is firmly focussed on the Middle East. The poet Hamza Beg, writing in the journal of a taxpayer-funded organization, Asfarnoted: “Since 1999, Pakistan, for example, has had a military coup, a purported return to democracy, and the assassination of the leader of the opposition, Benazir Bhutto. However, an entire generation of British-born Pakistanis have been more interested in Israeli incursions into Lebanon, the occupation of Palestine, and the war on Iraq. How has this occurred and what does it mean?”

British Muslims, Beg continued, have rejected “their parents’ cultural understanding of Islam as a religion. British-Pakistani Muslims have become Muslims first, and are losing patience with the Pakistani practice of the religion embedded in Sufi traditions.”

“In rejecting a culturally conditioned Islam,” Beg concludes, “Muslims in Britain have given up their equal footing and fallen prey to Arab imperialism.” Indonesian scholar Azyumardi Azra refers to this process as “Arabization.”

In a similar story, one South Asian blogger in the United States writes, “Why hasn’t South Asian poetry, art and dress impacted any of the large American Islamic organizations of today? Why are nearly all Muslim converts distinctly Arabic in appearance, style, and culture? … This idea of Arabization of tongue and culture, of course, has been devastatingly successful, and fed right into the weaknesses of the colonized South-Asian inferiority complex. Hence South Asia began marginalizing their own culture only a few decades after the Saudi’s [sic] began the propaganda machine. The rich colors of the South Asian woman have been discarded…”

Over the past century, Arab-focussed Islamists have attempted to homogenize Islamic cultures outside the Middle East. This process initially occurred in South Asia – Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of India.

The Indian academic Baladas Ghoshal blames the “Wahhabi creed” of Saudi Arabia, which, he claims, has attempted to purge South Asian Islam of its cultural practises and emblems, and has instead imposed a “pure and ideal form of Islam to be followed by Muslims all over the world.”

Wahhabis, Ghoshal writes, believe that the “adaptation of other customs, traditions and cultures in its path toward the expansion of the religion had only led to aberration and corruption of original and pristine ideas of Islam. It is only through the practice of mediaeval [sic] Arab traditions and way of life that the evil eyes of other religions can be kept at bay.”

Islamist movements in South Asia also adopted these efforts at Arabization. In the 1930s, ideologues such as Abul Hasan Nadwi – part of the radical Islamic Deobandi sect, which later gave birth to the Taliban – attempted to establish in India a single, unique Islamic identity based on “pure Islam.” According to Nadwi, this meant dressing like Arabs, speaking Arabic and reading the Arabic language press.[1] Islamic revivalism, Nadwi claimed, required “emphasizing its affinities to his Muslim confreres in the Middle East.”[2]

Islamist groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami have since adopted these ideas; they claim that culture cannot exist outside of Islam and that Pakistani Muslims were part of the “Arab nation.” The Jamaat-e-Islami ideologue, Abdul Ala Mawdudi, has said that culture destroys the “inner vitality” of Islam: it “blurs its vision, befogs its critical faculties, breeds inferiority complexes, and gradually but assuredly saps all the springs of culture and sounds its death-knell.”[3]

Over the past decades, since Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have distributed vast amounts of money to non-profit groups and schools run by South Asian Islamist movements, Jamaat-e-Islami, for example, set about purging Pakistani and Bengali Muslims of their cultural ideas. The Muslim writer Sazzad Hussainobserved the consequences of Islamist-led homogenization of his culture in the Indian state of Assam:

“The Islamist fundamentalist has one very distinctive characteristic—the denial of modern nation-state identity of Muslims to form a uniformed ‘Islamic’ identity at the cost of local tradition and cultural practices. … These days the Muslims of Assam are not identified as Assamese Muslims or Muslim of East Bengali descent. Instead they are merely homogenized as ‘Muslims’ … The use of Burqa and Hijab are alarmingly rising among the Muslim women in Assam. The ankle length Thaub, a Bedouin male dress and the red and white chequered headgear Kaffaiah are now in fashion for many Mollahs and Maulvis [clerics] and Madrassa students in Assam. It has reached to such an extent that this red-white or green-white chequered Kaffaiah is now replacing the Phoolam Gamocha, the symbol of Assamese culture…”

“Arabization and Islamization,” Ghosal writes, “are inseparable parts of a single cultural ideal.” In the West, and particularly in Britain, the loss of South Asian identity to the pervasively unifying label of “Islam” is readily apparent. The change of Muslim dress, some British Muslims believe, is a telling sign of this Islamization. Muslim cultures in the West, some claim, became Arabized before parts of the Muslim world itself. Pakistani writer Bina Shah has written:

“Growing up in Pakistan, I’d never seen anyone wear a hijab …. It was only in the late 1980s that I saw my first hijab, worn by the mother of a Pakistani-American girl from Peoria, Illinois. Saudi-Wahabi social influence filtered to Pakistan and much of the rest of the non-Arab world throughout the next two decades, thanks to a campaign that attempted to export the kingdom’s religio-social values to its would-be satellite states. Slowly, more and more women started to wear the black burqa and the tight hijab.”

The Islamization of Western Muslim communities has occurred with government assistance, which, through imposed policies of multiculturalism in the name of diversity, has effected the destruction of South Asian culture.

British multiculturalism has encouraged British society to exist as a federation of communities in which each minority community was not required to adopt the values of the majority. This inverse segregation only served to chain particular communities to their self-appointed community groups. Among Britain’s South Asian community, these groups were Islamist-run. Consequently, multiculturalist polices served to homogenize a community whose very diversity it had promised to preserve.

Read more

You Still Don’t Understand Islamism, Do You?

BY :

Around 2007, I gave a lecture at the Defense Department. One of the attendees presented a scenario suggesting that the “problem of Islam” was not political but a problem of verbiage.
There was a secret debate happening in the Defense Department and the CIA in which some people thought that all Muslims were a problem, some believed that only al-Qa’ida was a problem, and still others thought the Muslim Brotherhood was a problem.
The main problem, however, was that all Islamism was a political threat, but it was the second position that eventually won over the Obama administration. Take note of this, since 2009, if you wanted to build your career and win policy debates, only al-Qa’ida was a problem. The Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat; after all, it did not participate in September 11. This view was well known in policy circles, but it was easy to mistake this growing hegemony as temporary.
Actually, it only got worse.
A Muslim Foreign Service officer recounted how some U.S. officials were trying to persuade the powers that be that al-Qa’ida was split from the Muslim Brotherhood. Imagine how horrified he was. Still other officials told me that there was heavy pressure and there were well-financed lobbyists trying to force officials into the idea that al-Qa’ida was the only problem. Some high-ranking defense department officials–for example, one on the secretary of defense’s level–were pressured to fire anti-Muslim Brotherhood people. I know of at least five such incidences.
For example, I was asked to participate in a contract and co-direct a project for the federal government, and my paper was to be on the idea that all Islamists posed a threat. To my surprise, I was told that my paper was rejected. Shocked, I asked to speak to the two co-contractors on the telephone. Isn’t it true, I said on the phone, that I was to have co-direction of this project? The response was yes it was, nevertheless, a more junior member of the press could not prevail. By the way, this co-director, who likely became interested in the Middle East in large part because of me, was very rude. I then told him that though the project had originally been my idea, I was going to walk away from it and not demand compensation.
In another incident, a high-ranking CIA official posited a paper that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat, only al-Qa’ida was, and U.S. policy should therefore depend on the Brotherhood.
In another case, a U.S. official made a statement at a public function that neither Hizballah nor Hamas posed a threat to U.S. interests.
By 2013, this sprouted in a few people’s arguments that Iran could be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. The theoretical situation to government officials was thus clear: If you wanted to make some money in Washington, you would have to toe the line that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat. If sanctions ended against the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamists, including Iran, this could also lead to trillions of dollars in potential trade deals. Note that in 2009 and 2010, an attempt was made to build such a model with Syria, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were being murdered in a civil war.
But Iran was a far more valuable state. In fact, Tehran was a far easier target because it had far more money and could possibly be bought simply by agreeing not to build a nuclear weapon.

Read more

450749fad583a3f3215c5cfa3588d83eProf. Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan)

 

Re-posting this for those who have not seen it, (Published on May 3, 2013)

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow and Director, National Security Fellows Program, Foundation for Defense of Democracies [Click here for transcript: http://bit.ly/14z8oJn]

Topic: Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence in the Second Obama Administration: Persistence of Threat Denial?

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill

Egypt’s New Constitution: As Bad as its Old One?

by Michael Armanious:

Amr Moussa, chairman of the committee tasked with amending the Islamist constitution, talked about how the new constitution guarantees that Egypt will have a “civilian government” and promote the creation of a “democratic and modern country.”

But he did not promise that it would be a secular one. Moussa asserts that the new constitution bans the creation of parties based on religion, but it gives Egypt’s theocrats-in-waiting a way to get around the ban on by allowing parties to be established on “Islamic reference”; and Article Two remains.

“In Egypt, a civil state means a modern nationalist state that is compatible with Islamist provisions.” — Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s former Grand Mufti.

Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour has set January 14 and 15, 2014, as the dates for a referendum on the country’s amended constitution.

Amr Moussa – the chairman of the (fifty-member) Committee of Fifty tasked with amending the 2012 Islamist constitution – appeared in multiple televised interviews to tell about the importance of the new amended constitution for the future of Egypt. He talked about how the new constitution guarantees that Egypt will have a “civilian government” and will promote the creation of a “democratic and modern country.” He stressed that Egypt will have no military or theocratic government. He also listed several articles that will guarantee freedom for Egyptians, including freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

A closer look at the constitution itself reveals that it is not the freedom-promoting document Moussa describes it as being.

 

Amr Moussa, pictured here at a 2013 World Economic Forum conference, says that Egypt’s proposed constitution will not allow for a military or theocratic government. (Image source: World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell)

The amended constitution still includes Article Two of the previous constitution, which states that Islam is Egypt’s religion and that the “principles” of the Islamic Sharia law are the country’s main source of legislation. This clearly puts Egypt’s religious minorities, most notably the Coptic Christians, in a position of extreme vulnerability. When this was pointed out, Moussa stated that there was nothing to be done because the article had been approved unanimously by the Committee of Fifty, which included Coptic leaders. What Moussa failed to report, however, was that a Copt who served on the Committee of Fifty openly admitted on national television that he had caved into the demands of Islamists who want to turn Egypt into an Islamic theocracy.

Retaining Article Two is not the only problem with the constitution. It also places Egypt’s military beyond civilian oversight, rendering the phrase “civilian government” meaningless. This condition is a huge problem: Egypt’s armed forces have amassed an enormous and independent economic empire which includes gas stations, banquet halls, construction operations, factories, and vast tracts of land. Consequently, Egyptian generals are the feudal lords of modern Egypt; their underlings are their squires and scribes, and those outside the military are turned into defenseless peasants.

This arrangement is solidified by another part of the constitution that allows Egyptian civilians to be tried in a military court. In an effort to allay fear over this, Moussa stressed that civilians can only be tried in a military court in specific kinds of cases – when someone attacks a military buildings or equipment, for example.

But Major General Medhat Radwan Gazi, chief of military justice, contradicted Mr. Moussa. Gazi confirmed that disputes between civilians and the operators of military owned-businesses could be settled by a military court to protect the officers or soldiers who work and manage these businesses.

Gazi also said that there is no difference between an officer defending the country in a tank or pumping gas or managing a gas station. They are all officers of the armed forces, so any dispute with the public will be tried in military court. In sum, the proposed constitution entrenches a modern-day system of feudalism in the land of the Nile.

This plan is a disaster. Egypt has been under military rule for over 61 years, and emergency laws have been used for over 32 years of its recent history. Thousands of civilians have been tried and convicted in military courts for all kinds of charges. Gazi confirmed that the armed forces will continue governing Egypt for the foreseeable future.

One would think that in exchange for cementing the status of Egypt’s generals as modern-day Pharaohs, the new constitution would at least protect Egyptian citizens from an onslaught of theocratic extremism. It does not.

Moussa asserts that the new constitution bans the establishment of political parties based on religion, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, but it gives Egypt’s theocrats-in-waiting a way to get around this ban by allowing parties to be established on “Islamic reference.”

What is the difference? So far, 11 parties have already followed this path, including the Hizb El-Benaa Wa El-Tanmia, and the Al Nour Party.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

Swiss Member of Parliament Oskar Freysinger has had Enough of Islam: “It Gnaws at the Pillars of our System of Laws”

 oskar-freysingerBy :

Oskar Freysinger, a member of the Swiss Parliament, gave a passionate speech filled with truth that no politician in Washington, DC has yet to give from the floor of Congress.

“Europe is an idea,” Freysinger said, “a cultural landscape, an intellectual space shaped by history. Europe is the cradle of the modern constitutional democracy, the treasure-house of opinion and expression….or at least it used to be that, until recently.”

He says this history of Europe has been put into jeopardy by the “political elite bend(ing) their necks before a certain religious dogma which is completely alien to our intellectual history, our values and rule of law.”

Obviously, Freysinger was speaking about nothing more than Islam. To this assertion, he received thunderous applause.

“This dogma is gnawing away at the pillars of our system of laws, wherever it is granted the space to do so,” he continued. “This dogma demands total obedience from its followers.”

So what does Mr. Freysinger say about such people with those “values”?
Read more at Freedom Outpost

MPAC Denounces Extremism Yet Sponsors Extremist Event

MPAC al-Maryati

The Muslim Public Affairs Council’s “Declaration Against Extremism” belies its actions, which are more important.

By Ryan Mauro:

On Friday, the Muslim Public Affairs Council issued a Declaration Against Extremism. Only six days prior, MPAC announced it was “proud to be a cosponsor” of an Islamist conference in California run by a group with a background filled with the type of extremism MPAC purports to stand against.

MPAC is a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins and a long historyof advancing the Islamist cause. It changed its tone in recent years, but the same leadership is in place. At its 12th annual conference, MPAC founder and Senior Advisor Maher Hathout said, “We don’t want to enforce Sharia anywhere” and that Sharia’s penal code is unsuitable for today’s world.

MPAC also stood out as the only major group with a Brotherhood background to support the revolution that toppled Egyptian President Morsi over the summer. The other major Muslim-American groups with Brotherhood links were silent or rallied for Morsi.

“We rejoice and celebrate the victory of the Egyptian people against the exploitation of religion to suppress the masses and rob them of their God-given freedom and dignity,” MPAC’s July 3 statement reads.

Its new “Declaration Against Extremism” is another step that makes today’s MPAC seem different than the MPAC of the past. Unfortunately, the hope that MPAC has evolved in a positive direction is undermined by its proud cosponsoring of the inaugural conference of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

The theme of the AMP event is “A Movement United” and it took place on December 7 at the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center. The movement that AMP is a part of is undeniably Islamist.

Shortly before the MPAC-sponsored event, AMP held a large conference on Thanksgiving Weekend in Illinois. The speaker roster consisted largely of vocal Islamists, including supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. This was not new for AMP: Last year’s conference had at least 13 Islamist speakers.

The December 7 event was also sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. Another sponsor was the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors say was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

Read more at Clarion Project

 

Mullahs Threaten Global Oil Crisis

ayatollah-ali-khamenei-450x330by :

A few days after the Obama administration signed the nuclear deal with the Islamist state of Iran, after the easing of sanctions on the ruling cleric and Iranian authorities began to take off, the Mullahs initiated their first hegemonic ambition to reclaim and regain its No.2 position in OPEC, threatening to trigger an oil price war if the other 12 countries oppose Iran’s plan. In addition, Iran has put forward a candidate for the position of OPEC secretary general, considered to be the voice of the OPEC organization between meetings.

If the next time you stopped to fill up your car at a gas station, or to buy any other product, and you notice a sudden increase in prices, this can be attributed to the tireless efforts of the Obama administration to start lifting sanctions on Iran, easing pressure on the nation and integrating the Islamists of Iran into the international community, legitimizing them, giving them credibility, calling them rational actors, and pushing for the recent nuclear deal with the ruling cleric in the Iranian regime.

Last week, ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting, Iran threatened to trigger a price war in the global oil markets. Iranian authorities warned OPEC’s 12 members that Tehran will ratchet up its oil output, no matter what the consequences would be, in an attempt to gain its former influential position. Bijan Zangeneh, Iran’s Oil Minister, said before going into the closed meetings that “we will not give up our rights on this issue.” The sanctions, accumulated through many years in the international community, reduced Iran’s leverage to disrupt and control the world economy through managing oil prices. However, the recent agreement with President Obama gave the Iranian Ayatollah and leaders a freedom to more aggressively reclaim and reassert their Islamist ambitions in the region and on the international scale.

There is a special quota assigned for each main oil exporter at OPECIranian leaders stated that they will not comply with that quota. This will result in a disruption in supply and demand, which will ultimately create uncertainty in the market and lead to the rising of oil prices. For industrial countries, this will affect the prices of many other goods, because oil is used as a primary source for fuel. If Iran does not respect individual targets of oil sales in the global market and the quotas of OPEC members, Tehran’s attempts can definitely result in oil glut. In addition, this will lead to an increase in geopolitical tensions in the region and particularly among OPEC members.

Read more at Front Page

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and he serves on the board of Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Twitter @majidrafizadeh

The UK Confronts Islamism

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A century ago the murder of a British soldier in broad daylight in London would have been an act of war. In this post-imperial and post-everything age, an atrocity leads to a task force which produces a report which is then filed in a desk drawer by the undersecretary for something or other.

Like clockwork, the murder of Lee Rigby led to a task force and to a report. The report is 7 pages long. It’s possible to read it in much less than the twenty minutes that it took London police to respond to the murder in progress. You could even get through it a few times in real time while a Muslim convert who describes himself as a soldier of Allah saws away at a fallen Englishman’s head with no one to stop him.

There is a thing that organizations say when they know that they are hip deep in a crisis. They say that “we are taking this seriously.”

The report, “Tackling Extremism in the UK” certainly takes matters seriously. The evidence of that is not so much in the report, as in the task force which included the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, four Secretaries of State, three Ministers, one Chancellor, one Lord Chancellor and a partridge in a pear tree.

Like so many of the more “serious” and “sincere” efforts at tackling the biggest threat to civilization in the twenty-first century, the report mixes occasional good ideas with politically correct absurdities. It starts off by equating Islamophobia with Al Qaeda and rolls out a plan to fight back against Islamism.

“As the greatest risk to our security comes from Al Qa’ida and like-minded groups, and terrorist ideologies draw on and make use of extremist ideas, we believe it is also necessary to define the ideology of Islamist extremism,” the report states. And then it goes on to carefully avoid defining it except to contend that, whatever it is; it is not Islam.

“This is a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. It is an ideology which is based on a distorted interpretation of Islam, which betrays Islam’s peaceful principles, and draws on the teachings of the likes of Sayyid Qutb.”

The mention of Sayyid Qutb is startling considering that the UK seemed to be pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “moderate” group. Say what you will about Cameron, but I don’t see Obama chairing a task force that would produce a report denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood’s evil genius.

But Qutb’s mention feels like a random aberration thrown in by someone a little too knowing. Beyond that the only further definition of Islamist extremism is that, “they seek to impose a global Islamic state governed by their interpretation of Shari’ah as state law, rejecting liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality.”

In other words, Islamists are seeking to impose Islam on everyone. But then they aren’t a distorted interpretation of Islam. Islamism is simply the organized political implementation of Islam in the same way that Nazism was the implementation of National Socialism and Marxism is the attempted implementation of Karl Marx’s ideas.

Apologists can argue that Marxism distorts Marx and that Islamism distorts Islam, but those remain unconvincing defenses. Implementing a set of ideas always distorts them, but realizing ideas is the only truly objective way to assess their merit by seeing their consequences.

What the report is clumsily getting at is the idea that Islam is legitimate in private practice, but not in public imposition. It’s Islam when a Muslim goes to a mosque or avoids alcohol, but Islamism when he harasses barflies or chops off heads under the dictates of Islamic law. Unfortunately this distinction has no meaning in Islam which was never rewired to function as a private religion in a secular state.

America dealt with the clash between religion and tolerance by separating church and state allowing churches to retain their full doctrine while secularizing the machinery of the state.  Europe dealt with it by secularizing and liberalizing national churches to such a degree that they no longer had any religious content that anyone could object to.

Islam was absent from Europe when this rewiring took place. Unlike its Christian and Jewish antagonists, it hasn’t been liberalized or secularized. And it insists on being a public religion because theocracy is what it was built to do. Islam was not the religion of the oppressed. It was the religion of the oppressors. It equates morality with authority. If it doesn’t control the public square, then it has no function.

To Europeans, the infringement of religious values on public life is considered extremism. More so than blowing up buses. But Islam is dedicated to doing exactly that. It is an unreconstructed theocracy.

Read more at Front Page

An Islamist Thanksgiving

american-muslims-for-palestine-ad-metro-northby Ryan Mauro

Islamists even see Thanksgiving as a time to advance their cause. In the morning, Islamists exploited the parade and in the evening, Islamists assembled in Illinois for the “Conference for Palestine in the U.S.” And one of their favorite evangelicals was there to join them.

The organizer of the event was American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and it took place at Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois from November 28 to December 1. The Islamist group often works with interfaith coalitions and one of its very partners is Presbyterian Reverend Donald Wagner, former director and current board member of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding.

Last year’s AMP conference had at least 13 Islamist speakers with pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood agendas and had education for children about their cause. Reverend Wagner was also on the speaker’s roster and is back again this year.

The AMP explicitly says that he “works internationally to educate Christians about the problems of Christian Zionism.” He falsely states that evangelicals support Israel only to trigger an Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. To put it another way, Wagner and his group see them as the Christian equivalent of Ahmadinejad.

And his group isn’t just talking among themselves and to Islamists that don’t need convincing. In November 2012, Wagner’s group held a Middle East briefing at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College. The speakers were hostile to Israel and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Wagner’s fellow speakers at the Thanksgiving Weekend conference are prominent Islamists whose backgrounds are simple to find. He and the other non-Muslim speakers like Max Blumenthal and Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, have no excuse. They are either don’t care about the conference’s extremism or don’t care to know.

AMP Chairman Hatem Bazian is one of the Islamist co-founders of Zaytuna College in California. In 2004, he was videotaped calling for an “intifada” in America to “change fundamentally the political dynamics here.” He told Muslims to follow in the footsteps of Palestinians fighting Israel and Iraqis fighting U.S. forces.

Osama Abu Irshaid is a board member of the AMP. He used to be the editor for a Muslim Brotherhood front in the U.S. and legitimized Hamas’s attacks on Israel in 2010 as legally justifiable. He also has called Hamas “the resistance.”

Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University is well-known for his incendiary comments. He says he is a “severe critic” of Hamas but described the killing of Israeli soldiers as “resistance” in 2002. His wife also worked for the PLO when it was officially designated as a terrorist group by the U.S.

Abdelfattah Mourou is a co-founder of the Ennahda Party that currently leads Tunisia. The population that once elected it to power has since turned against it. It is essentially the Brotherhood’s branch there and he co-founded it with Rachid Ghannouchi, a prominent Islamist with a long record of extremism.

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha is an imam and Associate Director at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois. He is an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation.

The U.S. government specifically listed him as an elite operative of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as a member of its secret Palestine Committee. These operatives covertly advance the interests of Hamas through a web of fronts. He was even in a pro-Hamas band.

According to AMP, Mustapha is the chairman of the Quran Institute of the Chicago chapter of the Muslim American Society. He is also the President of the Shura of Islamic Family Counselors of America and chairman of the Illinois Council of Imams and Scholars. Several other positions are listed in his bio, reflecting the success the Brotherhood has had in building and infiltrating Islamic institutions in America.

Read more at Front Page

New Egyptian Constitution: A Slap at the Brotherhood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Front Page

 

Islamists to Join NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

paradeBy Ryan Mauro:
The New York City Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature marchers demonstrating against the Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a U.S.-based group linked to the Islamist movement.
On November 25, the Facebook page of Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights posted an announcement about “R4abia in Thanksgiving Parade” at 5:00 AM at 56th St. and 6th.
The announcement includes a photo of a large inflatable turkey with the “R4abia” sign on it.
flyerThe “R4abia” sign is an expression of solidarity with pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators that clashed with the Egyptian security forces on August 14 near Cairo’s Rabia al-Adawiya mosque.
The Facebook announcement has been shared over 600 times and “liked” over 1,000 times. The organization’s page is full of pictures, videos and statements supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Egyptian President Morsi.
The President of Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR) is Hany Saqr. An Egyptian newspaper recently identified him as a Muslim Brotherhood operative in America.
A 1992 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood phonebook identified him as a member of its Executive Office. A
secret U.S. Muslim Brotherhood strategy memo written the previous year said its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…”
The EADHR website does not list its leadership, but another reported leader and co-founder is Shaker Elsayed, the imam of the radical Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia. He has spoken at EADHR events as a representative. He was taped preaching armed jihad at a Virginia high school in January.
Read more at Clarion Project
  • Pro-Morsi Egyptians to Picket Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC (freebeacon.com) “Here we see a hallmark of agenda-driven groups—namely trying to use a treasured American holiday and one of the most visible events of that day, the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, to push their foreign grievances and agenda,” said national security correspondent and terrorism expert Patrick Poole. “And it should be no surprise that at the head of this business is a man identified by the Egyptian media as a senior U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader.”
  • Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Egyptians to Picket Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com) Geller, “Yeah, ruin Thanksgiving for us – a delicious, completely American non-dominational  holiday celebrating our good fortune to live in this country. Of course Islamic supremacists intend to crap all over it. It’s what they do.”
  • Muslim Brotherhood Supporters to Protest Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (frontpagemag.com) Greenfield, “Well protesting Snoopy is easier than protesting the Egyptian military. And no one ever accused the Muslim Brotherhood of courage.”

Islam: Love Is Not in the Air

love-valentine-astounding-love-tree-wallpaper-2013-728x500-300x206By Rachel Molschky:

Love may be in the air, but it is not allowed in the world of Islam. Several recent cases of public kissing and hugging have caused such a stir, one would think something truly tragic must be happening. But no, it is nothing more than a string of cases where people just want to be friendly.

Modesty and morality are fantastic traits to have, but the Islamic religious police have become so overzealous, what is called a “conservative culture” by the mainstream media, is really a stifling civilization fixated on suppressing any and every demonstration of love. This is apparently out of fear of contaminating their otherwise sparkling clean, healthy and moral society. Right? After all, rapes, tortures, honor killings, child marriages, female genital mutilation, slavery and constant human rights abuses in general, all point to a “moral and modest” society. Well, this is morality in a Muslim world.

Immorality in a Muslim world is kissing or hugging in public. Two Moroccan teenagers were recently arrested for kissing outside their high school and posting the photo on Facebook. A third boy was also arrested for taking the photo. Why were they all arrested? For being a danger to social order. No public kissing allowed in this Muslim society.

Though not all Moroccans are on board with such harsh rules. Dozens have protested in the form of a “kiss-in,” many taking pictures of their kisses and posting them on Twitter.

This is reminiscent of the kiss which took place in Turkey several months ago. A couple was caught on CCTV at the metro station kissing in protest of a new morality campaign put forth by the authorities in Ankara. On the loud speaker, kissing couples on the subway were getting reprimanded for not following the moral rules imposed by the transit authority, who had banned such public displays of affection. This in turn infuriated the Turkish public, and around 200 young people held a kissing protest, just as the Moroccans did after their controversial kissing episode.

Then the morality police arrived with their own counter-protest, the morality police of course being hardcore knife-carrying Islamists, screaming “Allahu Akbar” and forcing themselves in between the kissing couples. One young man was stabbed as a result because somehow kissing “deserves” the punishment of stabbing. Imagine wreaking such havoc with a simple kiss?

In an unrelated case over the summer, British teenager Dwayne Ward was stabbed while on vacation in Turkey for kissing a local girl in a bar. As a result he was hit over the head, stabbed 19 times, stripped naked and left for dead. The doctor who saved him said the 17 year-old was lucky to be alive.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

 

Sharia and the New Egyptian Constitution

shariaby :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Front Page