Article: Beware the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada (but no group by that name in North America?)

Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) stresses his group has no ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) stresses his group has no ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS

“To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community.”
– Lorenzo Vidino, director of the program on extremism at George Washington University

By Cultural Jihad, May 16, 2015:

The below article covers a presentation at a Canadian Senate committee by Lorenzo Vidino .  See our comments following the article excerpt as to the disconnect we see with his  message.

Beware of the Muslim Brotherhood, expert warns

From: The Ottawa Citizen
By: Ian Macleod, May 16, 2015

Authorities should be concerned about the unseen hand of the Muslim Brotherhood gripping sections of Canada’s diverse Muslim community, says a U.S. security expert.

The movement has planted its revivalist interpretation of Islam, political ideology and activism among some Muslims here and sees itself as a minder and broker between them and the rest of society, Lorenzo Vidino, who specializes in Islamism and political violence, told the Senate’s national security committee recently.

“They basically aim to be the gatekeepers to Muslim communities, that whenever politicians, governments or the media try to get the Muslim voice, if there were such a thing, they would go through them, sort of the self‑appointed leaders of Muslim communities,” he said.

Vidino is director of the program on extremism at George Washington University and author of The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Columbia University Press, 2010). He sees no direct links to terrorism among the group’s western supporters. In fact, some work to prevent violent radicalization, he said.

Full Article: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/beware-of-the-muslim-brotherhood-expert-warns

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  The headline is certainly sound advice, but …..

With that said, the article claims that the Muslim Brotherhood does not actually exist as a group in North America.  The cited expert, Lorenzo Vidino, advises that the threat comes from “an informal network where you have strong links based on personal and financial connections, and at the end of the day what matters the most: ideology. They all embrace a certain world view.”

Vidino makes a point of downplaying the threat posed, seeing no direct links to terrorism by western supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood .

This certainly conflicts with well documented past terror funding investigations such as Global Chemical/International Islamic Relief Organization,   Benevolence International Foundation , SAAR, and the Holy Land Foundation – all tied to Muslim Brotherhood interests.

Even if fundraising is not considered a direct link, Vidino appears to have overlooked the testimony he provided before the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis, and Counterintelligence on April 13, 2011:

In the United States, argue pessimists, someone like Abdurahman Alamoudi exemplifies this approach. In 1990, upon finishing his graduate studies in Boston, Alamoudi settled in Washington D.C., where he co-founded the American Muslim Council (AMC), a small but influential Muslim Brotherhood-linked lobbying group. Alamoudi soon became a staple of Washington life, establishing good relationships with both Republican and Democratic administrations and even managing to lobby Congress to host, for the first time in history, the opening invocation from an Islamic leader. The Department of Defense put Alamoudi in the powerful position of training and vetting the imams who attend to the religious needs of American Muslims serving in the military. His organization was praised by the FBI as “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States,” and the State Department appointed him as a goodwill ambassador.

Washington’s establishment considered Alamoudi a successful, representative and moderate Muslim leader who could be a spokesman for the American Muslim community. In 2003, however, this veneer collapsed. An investigation triggered by a routine customs control at London’s Heathrow Airport showed that Alamoudi was involved in a murky al Qaeda-linked plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah. Alamoudi later pled guilty to all charges and is now serving a 23-year sentence. Wiretaps and recordings that emerged after his arrest showed that Alamoudi had consistently praised al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah in private and in various public gatherings. Although the height of Alamoudi’s fall make his case unique, critics argue that Alamoudi’s ability in advancing his agenda while displaying a moderate façade when interacting with Western elites is hardly an exception but rather the Brothers’ standard modus operandi.

For most, being involved in an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate someone would certainly be a direct link to terrorism.

In regards to a Muslim Brotherhood presence in North America – or lack there of – the Ottawa Citizen article continues with …

To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community. They exert a disproportional influence over mosques, schools and spaces where Muslims come together, said Vidino.

This is a concept Vidino had pushed in a 2011 brief, “The Global Muslim Brotherhood: Myth or Reality“.   Relying on information provided by Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and the Middle East he wrote:

Entities belonging to the “global Muslim Brotherhood” work according to a common vision but in complete operational independence. There are consultations and constant communication, but each is free to pursue its goals as it deems appropriate. Therefore the global Muslim Brotherhood is today most properly identified not as a group or even a loose federation, but simply as an ideological movement, in which different branches choose their own tactics to achieve their short-term goals in complete independence.

This claim ignores the documentation discovered during the Holy Land Foundation investigation that included an organizational phonebook and the Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America , a portion of which reads (we added the bold/underlined):

One: The Memorandum is derived from:
1 – The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference for the year [I987] is “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is”.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch countered the conclusions in Vidino’s 2011 brief with:

Vidino cites no actual evidence for the assertion that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is simply an “ideological movement” whose entities have “complete operational independence.” Even more concerning is that he does cite various proclamations from Brotherhood sources such as self-described foreign minister Youssef Nada or the Muslim Brotherhood website, all of which would have us believe that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than “a common way of thinking.” However, it should not have to be repeated that the Brotherhood is, at it heart, a covert organization and their are few reasons to accept and many reasons not to accept their statements about themselves at face value. Where actual evidence exists, it points to a far more sophisticated organizational structure than admitted to by the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

We concur with the Ottawa Citizen headline – not so much the body of the article.

RELATED INTEREST: Report raises concerns of Muslim Brotherhood’s links to Canadian groups – (5/2014)

The Black Book of the American Left: Volume IV: Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews

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Frontpage, April 15, 2015 by Jeffrey Herf:

To order David Horowitz’s “The Black Book of the American Left: Volume IV:  Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews,” click here.

In this spirited and savvy collection of recent essays and speeches, David Horowitz argues that progressives, that is, left of center politicians, journalists and intellectuals have contributed to “undermining the defense of Western civilization against the totalitarian forces determined to destroy it.” Specifically, the threat comes from “the holy war or jihad waged by totalitarian Islamists in their quest for a global empire.” (p.1) These essays, many of which are lectures at university campuses or reports about those lectures, will reinforce the views of those who already agree that “Western civilization” is a good thing, that Islamism is a form of totalitarianism and that its Jihad is quest for a “global empire.” They may not convince those who think Western civilization is another name for racism, imperialism and war, that totalitarianism is an ideological relic of the Cold War and that an otherwise peaceful and tolerant Islam has been “hijacked” by violent extremists who misconstrue its texts and their meanings. Yet they may strike a nerve with those liberals who think it is absurd to deny the clear links between Islamism and terror and who, especially after the murders in Paris in January, understand that Islamism is a threat to the liberal traditions of Western politics and culture.

This volume addresses a by now much discussed paradox of our political and intellectual life. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, the liberal intellectual Paul Berman in Terror and Liberalism made the compelling case that the Islamist ideology that inspired the Al Qaeda terrorists emerged from a profoundly reactionary set of ideas which had lineages to Nazism and fascism. In Germany, Matthias Kuentzel, in his Jihad and Jew-Hatred:  Nazism, Islamism and the Roots of 9/11 examined in more detail the illiberal views of the 9/11 terrorists as well as the political and ideological connections between Islamism and Nazism. A number of us historians have documented those connections. The irony of the years since 2001, and especially of the Obama years, is that, with some exceptions, much of the sharpest criticism of the reactionary nature of Islamism and defense of classically liberal values has not come from the historic home of anti-fascism among leftists and liberals. Rather, as the 55, mostly short essays in this collection indicate, that critique has migrated to centrists and conservatives or those who are now called conservatives.

“Islamophobia,” the longest essay in the collection is co-written with Robert Spencer, also importantly draws attention to the international connections of Islamist organizations in the United States. The authors write that “the purpose of inserting the term ‘phobia’ is to suggest that any fear associated with Islam is irrational” and thus to discredit arguments that suggest a connection between Islamism and terror as themselves forms of bigotry. Horowitz and Spencer connect this criticism of the concept to discussion of the organizational connections between the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2005, the FBI seized the Northern Virginia headquarters of the Holy Land Foundation, then the largest Islamic “charity” in the United States. In a trial in 2007 that led to the conviction of the Foundation’s leaders on charges of supporting a terrorist organization, the prosecution entered a seized a remarkable document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”(18)  The group’s goal was the establishment of “an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which adopts Muslim causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at directing and unifying Muslim’s efforts, presents Islam as a civilizational alternative, and supports the global Islam state wherever it is.”  Muslims, it continued “must understand their work in American is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” Horowitz and Spencer perform an important service in drawing attention to this document and to the political campaign that it has inspired.

The memo called for the creation of front organizations including the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine and the parent group of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR. Another front group identified in the Holy Land memo was the International Institute for Islamic Thought, said to have invented the term “Islamophobia.”  Horowitz and Spencer’s discussion of CAIR’s “Islamophobia campaign” is particularly interesting. In the Holy Land case, the US Department of Justice named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator and produced evidence that it has received $500,000 dollars from the Holy Land Foundation to set itself up.  CAIR was created in 1994 as a spinoff of a Hamas front group, the Islamic Association for Palestine, a group that the US government shut down in 2005 for funding terrorism. CAIR has defined Islamophobia as “closed minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims” and has described anti-terror measures adopted by the US government as forms of “prejudice” and “hatred.” The authors argue that the use of such terms has been an effective instrument in blunting or stifling criticism of Islamism.

On American university and college campuses, the Muslim Students Association and “Students for Justice in Palestine” have sponsored “Israel Apartheid Weeks.” In recent years, the MSA has been particularly active at the campuses of the University of California in Davis, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in the anti-Islamophobia campaigns. Remarkably, such efforts have received support from coalitions of leftwing student groups active in student governments. The authors write that “perhaps the chief asset possessed by the jihadists is a coalition of non-Muslims-European and American progressives—who support the anti-Islamophobia campaign,” one that “had a venerable antecedent in the support that progressives provided to Soviet totalitarians during the Cold War.” (p.48) Again, the remarkable aspect of the current coalitions between Islamists and leftists was that these leftists were making common cause with organizations famous for anti-Semitism, subordination of women to second class status or worse and deep religious conviction, a set of beliefs at odds with some of the classic values of the radical left in the twentieth century. Then again, in view of the anti-Zionist campaigns of the Soviet Union and its allies during the Cold War and the hostility of the global radical left to Israel in recent decades, such “Red-Green” leftist-Islamist coalitions of recent years are not so surprising.

Horowitz sees a parallel between the “secular messianic movements like communism, socialism and progressivism” and the religious creeds they replaced. “It is not surprising therefore, that the chief sponsors of the blasphemy laws and the attitudes associated with them have been movements associated with the political left. It is no accident that the movement to outlaw Islamophobia should be deeply indebted to the secular left and its campaign to stigmatize its opponents by indiscriminately applying repugnant terms to them like ‘racist.’”  The invention and application of the concept of Islamophobia “is the first step in outlawing freedom of speech, and therefore freedom itself, in the name of religious tolerance.”(55)

The remainder of this volume elaborates on these themes with twenty essays on Islamo-fascism, thirteen on the Middle East Conflict and eleven on “the Campus War against the Jews.” Horowitz’ reports on his many speeches at various campuses where some of the above mentioned Islamic organizations turn up to protest. There the front organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the Muslim Students Association, emerged to challenge his arguments about the links between Islamism and fascism. Two essays are particularly important—and depressing. In “Suicidal Jews” and “”Hillel”s Coalitions with Israel’s Enemies,” Horowitz describes instances in which liberal and left-leaning Jewish undergraduates turn their criticism towards him rather than towards the anti-Israeli activists on campus.

This fourth volume of Horowitz’s essays depicts the bizarre nature of our contemporary political culture in which leftists make common cause with Islamists, Israel is denounced as a racist entity while the anti-Semitism of the Muslim Brothers, Hamas and the government of Iran are non-issues for leftists, and the United States government refuses to state the obvious about the connection between Islamist ideology and the practice of terrorism. The defense of liberal principles has liberal advocates but as this valuable collection indicates the core of the defense has become a preoccupation of the center and right of American intellectual and political life. This volume is an important document of that endeavor.

Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished University Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent book is Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. His work in progress is entitled “At War with Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1989.”

Mark Steyn Pushes Back on the Media’s Denial of ‘No-Go Zones

12863279085_6467259d66_k-640x480Breitbart, by JOHN HAYWARD, Jan. 30, 2015

When the mayor of Paris threatened to sue Fox News for “slandering” her city by reporting on Muslim-dominated “no-go zones,” liberal media outlets forgot their own years of reporting on those zones to bash their hated right-leaning cable news adversary.

Among the longtime observers who pushed back against no-go zone denialism is author Mark Steyn, who has mentioned these hostile, unassimilated communities in his columns and books for years.

Steyn appeared on Canadian host Ezra Levant’s program to discuss no-go zones and the Islamization of Europe on Thursday:

 

Steyn makes a crucial point about how Islamization thwarts the healthy assimilation process of immigrant communities, leaving them permanently alienated from host cultures they perceive as weak and spiritually unsatisfying.  The resulting “hole in the heart,” as Steyn describes it, is a void radical Islam eagerly rushes forward to fill.  The degree of alienation present in these no-go zones is horrifying.  We can debate what percentage of a community’s population is accurately represented by the angry and dispossessed people who make outsiders reluctant to travel into a hostile district, but the practical result, no matter how informally it might be understood, cannot be erased with happy thoughts or media spin.

In his decade-old book America AloneSteyn related an incident that illustrated the informal, but very real, understanding that non-Muslims are not welcome in certain Muslim-dominated districts:

When Martine Aubry, the Mayor of Lille, daughter of former Prime Minister and EU bigwig Jacques Delors and likely Presidential candidate in the post-Chirac era, held a meeting with an imam in Roubaix, he demanded that it take place on the edge of the neighborhood in recognition that his turf was Muslim territory which she was bound not to enter. Mme Aubry conceded the point, as more and more politicians will in the years ahead.

Steyn quoted another passage from America Alone with a certain no-go flavor in a blog post on the day the Charlie Hebdo killers were brought down by French police:

Four years after 9/11, it turned out there really is an explosive “Arab street,” but it’s in Clichy-sous-Bois. Since the beginning of this century, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They’re losing that battle…

If Chirac, de Villepin and co aren’t exactly Charles Martel, the rioters aren’t doing a bad impression of the Muslim armies of 13 centuries ago: They’re seizing their opportunities, testing their foe, probing his weak spots. If burning the ‘burbs gets you more “respect”, they’ll burn ‘em again, and again. In defiance of traditional immigration patterns, these young men are less assimilated than their grandparents. And why should they be? On present demographic trends, it will be for ethnic Europeans to assimilate with them.

The tendency of Western authorities to pretend Islamist tendencies are an insignificant ripple in the deep pool of peaceful Islamic thought was indicted by Steyn in that January 10 blog post: “The louder the perpetrators yell ‘Allahu Akbar’ and rejoice that the Prophet has been avenged, the louder M Hollande and David Cameron and Barack Obama and John Kerry and the other A-list infidels insist there’s no Islam to see here. M le Président seems to believe he can champion France’s commitment to freedom of expression by conscripting the entire nation in his monstrous lie.”  The subsequent push by French politicians and American editorial writers to pretend the banlieues don’t exist fits neatly into that thesis.

The subject of no-go zones came up last week, during one of Steyn’s regular appearances on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show:

I’ve walked around the East End. I’ve walked around, for example, past what used to be a famous gay pub on, just off the Commercial Road that is no longer there, where what they call the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets is, now holds sway. A couple of years ago on Holocaust Memorial Day, a group of Jews were touring the old Jewish West End, where fellows like Lionel Bart, the composer of Oliver, came from. And they were greeted by youths of a certain persuasion who pelted them with stones, and a Canadian tourist and an American tourist wound up being taken to the hospital. That’s Jews stoned on Holocaust Memorial Day in the East End of London.

Likewise, there are no-go zones in parts of Birmingham in the Midlands, where in nothing flat, a city that was 0% Muslim 50 years ago now is 22% Muslim. They’re the demographic energy in the city. A senior British police officer was talking about this. He was saying, he wasn’t calling them no-go zones. He was putting it in a sort of positive way, that these communities prefer to police themselves, as it were. And that’s why we just leave them to get on with it. And one consequence of that is that nobody who isn’t a member of those “communities” likes to go there. But those no-go zones are not as advanced as they are in France, but they are real and they are growing in British cities.

They’re true in Sweden. I walked through Rosengard in Sweden. And I was warned by the two lovely, leggy Swedish blondes I was having a cup of coffee with twenty minutes earlier not to go there at dusk. And you go there at dusk, and it’s all fiercely bearded young men and covered women who came from Muslim countries where they didn’t have to be covered, but they emigrate to Sweden, and suddenly, not to get into any trouble from those bearded, young men, they’re forced to go covered. Those no-go zones are real in almost every country in Western Europe now.

But we’re supposed to believe they’re not real, because they don’t have big “KEEP OUT OR DIE, INFIDEL!” billboards denoting their perimeter, and they’re not labeled “Muslim No-Go Zone #23″ on the official maps of major European cities. The whole debate turned into one of multi-culturalism’s frequent “I See Five Lights” tests, where we’re supposed to signal our submission to intellectual torture by formally disavowing the evidence of our lying eyes.  It’s not likely to prove an effective antidote against an aggressive ideology whose appeal flows from conquering weaker cultures.  Conquerors do not regard the willfully blind as difficult opponents.

One other location that should be highlighted on any map of no-go zones is Rotherham, in South Yorkshire, England. Rotherham was more precisely a didn’t-go zone. Over 1,400 girls, as young as 11 years of age, were sexually abused in Rotherham over the course of 16 years by a “grooming gang” of mostly Pakistani Muslim men. (In fact, the UK Daily Mail reports that, as more victims keep coming forward, Labour MP Sarah Champion recently said she thinks the final total will be well over 2,000.)  The girls were threatened with harm, and harm to their families, if they spoke out… but some of them did contact the authorities, only to be roundly ignored due to politically-correct blindness.  The fear of being called out as racist or bigoted paralyzed local authorities.

Even after a bombshell report made the dimensions of the Rotherham horror clear – including gang rape, human trafficking, and such disciplinary measures as dousing a young girl with gasoline and threatening to strike a match unless she kept quiet – resignations and reprimands came at an agonizingly slow pace.  In fact, the Daily Mail quotes one of the victims saying in December that she thinks the grooming gangs are still in business, perhaps worse than ever, but slightly more circumspect about hiding their activities from marginally less blind authorities.  “I’m still seeing my abusers driving young girls in their car. They’re untouchable,” she complained, adding that six months after the scandal broke, “we’ve had no arrests, we’ve had no charges, evidence is still being lost.”

The refusal to assimilate ultimately requires a certain degree of indulgence from the host society.  Insularity is difficult to enforce against a confident surrounding culture.  The legal principles and economic policies of a nation have a great deal to do with how directionless and alienated young people from all racial and cultural backgrounds feel.  There are no-go zones and won’t-go splotches of politically correct blindness on the map because they are tolerated, and that won’t change if politicians and the media insist on ignoring them.

What will it take for us to stop doing business with Qatar?

UN-GENERAL ASSEMBLY-QATAR

We’ve let the desert state face both ways on funding extremism.

The Spectator, Simon Heffer, 4 October 2014:

On 17 June, a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society, held in the House of Commons, discussed (according to the minutes published on the society’s website) how a tribal elder in northern Cameroon who runs a car import business in Qatar has become one of the main intermediaries between kidnappers from Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru and those seeking to free hostages. It was alleged that embezzlement of funds going to Qatar via car imports might be disguising ransom payments. It was also alleged that Qatar was involved in financing Islamist militant groups in West Africa, helping with weapons and ideological training, and (with Saudi Arabia) funding the building of mosques in Mali and Nigeria that preach a highly intolerant version of Islam.

This was far from the only time such accusations have been levelled. Yet Qatar is supposed to be one of our allies, supporting air strikes against the Islamic State. Its ruler even thinks his enormous wealth entitles him to blag his way into Her Majesty’s carriage at Royal Ascot. Given Qatar’s questionable role in the current tide of savage Islamism, should its ruler be allowed anywhere near our Queen? And should they be allowed to buy up our country, as they have done relentlessly since the crash of 2008?

After the overthrow of President Morsi of Egypt, Qatar became a place of refuge for the Muslim Brotherhood. However, on 12 September it asked several leading Brotherhood figures to leave. They duly did, not in outrage or indignation, but apologising for causing embarrassment. Clearly, they felt a debt to the Qataris, and a senior Brotherhood spokesman, Amr Darrag, said what it was. He issued a statement thanking Qataris for their support to ‘the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta’.

Qatar asked its former friends to leave because of pressure applied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some may come to London: there is already a group of Brotherhood members in Cricklewood, under scrutiny from the authorities. But even now, Qatar remains home to an array of exiled Islamists, and thus a focus of suspicion to its neighbours. Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia and the UAE in withdrawing its ambassador from Doha this spring. It has been widely reported that Qatari money funds extremists in Libya, and when these ambassadors were recalled, the Zionist Organisation of America asked the US government to declare Qatar a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Emir of Qatar’s personal fortune and the country’s sovereign wealth fund are rumoured to amount to £50 billion. Qataris own substantial amounts of real estate — such as the Shard, the Olympic Village, One Hyde Park, a part of Canary Wharf, the United States Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, the Chelsea Barracks development and Harrods. They have large stakes in the stock exchange, Sainsburys and Barclays bank. Almost all Britain’s liquefied natural gas comes from Qatar, accounting for a quarter of our gas needs. The desert state has also bought the 2022 World Cup — rather like playing a cricket Test series at the South Pole — in a fashion so seemingly corrupt that there have been widespread calls for a boycott.

Sir John Jenkins, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has compiled a report exposing extremist activity among members of the Brotherhood and their links to jihadis. It named three Muslim charities in Britain that seemed to be sending funds to extremists in the Middle East. At the very least this should lead Britain to expel members of the Brotherhood, close down the charities and sequester their funds; but the problem will never be dealt with until the source of the funding is cut off. At some stage the British government must ask itself a simple question: however much we want Qatari gas, how much longer can we permit commercial relations with such people?

In June the American magazine The Atlantic asserted that Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa’eda proxy in Syria, had somehow received ‘Qatar’s economic and military largesse’. There is no suggestion this was sanctioned or funded by the Qatari government: but every suggestion it came from interest groups based in Qatar and wealthy Qatari nationals. The problem has been around for years. Wikileaks published a memorandum from Hillary Clinton, when US secretary of state, saying Qatar had the worst record of counter-terrorism co-operation of any ally of the United States.

The Qatari foreign minister, Khalid al-Attiyah, called claims such as The Atlantic’s ‘Qatar-bashing’, and denied the country or anyone in it was bankrolling IS. Certainly, most of the evidence for IS’s funding points to groups and individuals in Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia may provide training camps for anti-IS groups from Syria approved by the Americans. In response to a US request for similar assistance, the Qataris said it would be ‘premature’. Meanwhile, the Americans continue to accuse Qatar and Kuwait of being ‘permissive environments’ for the funding of terrorism, and believe Qatar has unhealthily close links with Jabhat al-Nusra. Certainly, Mr Attiyah has sought to play down its activities by pointing instead to atrocities committed by those loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

Israel has driven America’s scepticism over Qatar, accusing it of funding Hamas and of exporting terror not just through Jabhat al-Nusra but through IS. A German minister, Gerd Müller, then said that when the question was raised about funding IS, ‘The key word there is Qatar.’ This brought an immediate repudiation from the Qataris, who argued they had been among the first to condemn the beheading of the murdered American hostage James Foley.

However, the Americans — whose largest base in the Middle East is, ironically, at Al Udeid in Doha — believe Qatar has funded extremists not merely in Syria and Libya but also in Tunisia, Mali and Iraq. Another Wikileaks cable revealed Meir Degan, a former head of Mossad, telling the US that ‘Qatar is trying to cosy up to everyone’, and warning America to close its bases there.

Qatar’s pretence that it is an honest broker in the Middle East, attempting to see all sides of an argument, may wash in Doha. It won’t, however, resonate in countries such as Britain and America whose citizens are targeted by jihadis financed by people who may be Qataris, and who have enjoyed Qatari hospitality. Qatar needs to be reminded that the civilised parts of the world with which it does business won’t tolerate apologists for savage extremists. It can’t face both ways on this. Britain must expel members of the Brotherhood and sequester their funds. And it must tell Qatar that unless it stops turning a blind eye to some of its people funding murder and extremism, and stops equivocating about extremists, its assets will be frozen and trade with it suspended until it does.

Simon Heffer, is a columnist for the Daily Mail and a former deputy editor of The Spectator.

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.

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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.

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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