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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by :

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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by :

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.

****

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

 

UK Hate Preacher Choudary Linked to Terror Network

Anjem Choudary 3

British Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary and his al-Muhajiroun network has been named as “the single biggest gateway to terrorism in recent British history,” according to a large and significant investigation of the group.

The investigation, conducted by the anti-extremist organization called “Hope Not Hate,” found that Choudary’s network “facilitated or encouraged” close to 80 young Muslims from the UK as well as between 250 and 300 from other locations in Europe to join radical jihadi groups linked to Al Qaeda fighting with rebel forces in Syria.

“While painted by some as a figure of fun, an extremist crackpot whose media stunts are rightly ridiculed, Anjem Choudary has become a serious player on the international Islamist scene,” the report states “Perhaps it is time to start concentrating on his role as a facilitator of terror. Al-Muhajiroun has quite simply been the single biggest gateway to terrorism in recent British history.”

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Although Choudary is not specifically mentioned in the following video, this BBC reports follows a young jihadi, from his ideological radicalization in the UK to his joining an Al Qaeda-linked group fighting in Syria:

 

Read more at Clarion Project

What If Islamists Took Control of the White House?

whBy Howard Rotberg:

Dear me, I worry so much about the future of our freedoms in the West, as so many begin to “submit” to the values and demands of radical Islam, or what is called “Islamism.”

The other day, I began to worry what would happen if the Islamists took over the American government and placed one of their own in the White House.

I started to think about the agenda that an Islamist president would fulfill.   Here are some of my thoughts:

[1] He would make it clear that the American Constitution and the history of American freedoms were no more exemplary than the history of Islam.   He would argue that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.   Instead, he would say, they overlap and share common principles.  He would be clear in his moral equivalence between America and the totalitarian Islamic regimes.   He might go so far as to say the “common principles” were justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.   And if he got away with comparing the American justice system and the tolerance of most Americans with the totalitarian justice systems of the Islamic states and with comparing American tolerance to the intolerance of peoples who riot and kill if they think political cartoons are offensive, then he would go further:  He would assure everyone that it is Islam that has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibility of religious tolerance and racial equality.   If the American people were too stupid to know about the persecution of Christians and Jews in Muslim countries (including the often-ignored fact of nearly a million Jews being expelled from Arab countries in the ‘40s and ‘50s), then that would just make his task all the easier.

[2] He would as quickly as possible give out important awards, like the Medal of Freedom, to those complicit with the goals of radical Islam, who head NGOs and United Nations bodies that support the notion that the Israelis are the new Nazis and the Palestinians are the new Jews.   And he would announce such awards on a date of symbolic significance to the Jews – Tisha B’Av, the historic day of mourning for the loss of the Jewish temples and the occurrence of other national tragedies, so that the Jews knew that he was putting them in their place, for the sooner they got the message, the better.

[3] He would make a quick symbolic snub to Eastern Europe so as to emphasize that the quid pro quo for Russian support of Islamists (outside the former U.S.S.R only, of course) would be the removal of defensive missiles from Poland.   He would drive home the point by not informing the Poles very much ahead of the announcement and would make the announcement on September 17, 2009, which everyone in Central Europe knew was the 60th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, followed by the annexation of eastern Poland to the USSR.   This would be another important symbolic act to show how in the future the world would be divided between radical Islam, Russia and China.

[4] To further the goals of Radical Islam, the U.S. must be dramatically weakened from the inside, including its once strong and proud economy.  He would have to create unheard of budget deficits.  He would make a budget that spends more than any other in history, creates the largest deficits in history and imposes the largest tax increases in history.  He would spend over a trillion dollars more each year than he took in, and would project a cumulative deficit within ten years of $14.29 trillion – more than the country’s GNP.  That way, the U.S. would end up being owned by China and other foreign lenders and the American people would be so preoccupied with their economic woes, and his governments lies about the terms of a socialized medical system, there would be little regard paid to the increasing rate of Islamification of its culture and freedoms.

[5] Any captured terrorists would be given civilian trials, with the same constitutional rights as American citizens, rather than giving them military trials like enemy soldiers receive.   This would show that Islamic terrorists are really the same as American citizens and would make it difficult to secure convictions.  It would also make it difficult to keep anti-terrorist measures secret, because they would be subject to pre-trial discovery of civilian trials.

[6] He would change many of the terms that are meant to suggest American values are superior to Islamic values.  He would downplay any sense that America is at war with radical Islam.  In fact, he would avoid using the term “Global War on Terror” [GWOT] and instead use “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

[7] He would refer to any terrorists that kill dozens of Americans on American soil not as “terrorists” or “murderers” or “agents of Islamism” but as mere “extremists” – making such killers no more evil than, say, right-wing Republicans.   He would not do anything to stop Islamists infiltrating the American military.

Read the rest at Front Page

 

Sharia on Tour

Siraj Wahhaj

Siraj Wahhaj

By :

If you live near Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta or Rochester and want to see a Sharia-promoting show, you’re in luck. The Islamic Circle of North America and Muslim American Society, two groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, have announced four conferences featuring rock stars of the Islamist movement.

ICNA is identified as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” in a once-secret 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo. It explicitly states the network’s “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…”

The organization is a derivative of the Jamaat-e-Islami group in Pakistan. One of ICNA’s former leaders, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was recently sentenced to death in Bangladesh for his involvement in Jamaat-e-Islami’s war crimes. Unsurprisingly, ICNA is upset at the ruling.

The 2010 ICNA handbook advocates a gradualist strategy that culminates in a “united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari’ah (Islamic law).” The Islamist leaders that the handbook looks to for guidance include the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Brotherhood’s current spiritual leader and the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami.

MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” according to federal prosecutors in a 2008 case. Last year, a former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader testified that “everyone knows that the MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Both groups have held rallies to protest the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi in Egypt.

Houston is the first stop on the ICNA-MAS Sharia tour. From November 29 to December 1, they will be holding their joint South Central Convention at a JW Marriott Hotel. The overall theme is, “Blueprint for a Lasting Legacy.”

One of the speakers is Imam Khalid Griggs, the chairman of the ICNA Council for Social Justice. Former CIA case officer Clare Lopez found out that he used to be involved with the Islamic Party of North America, a group that explicitly preaches “a revolutionary Islam.” Its inspirers include Khomeini, Qutb, Qaddafi and Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Another speaker is Sheikh Omar Suleiman. According to his bio, he studied under Sheikh Salah As-Sawy and Dr. Hatem al-Haj. These are two Salafist clerics that lead the very radical Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. The closest the organization can bring itself to foreswearing violent jihad is to oppose itbecause “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time [emphasis added].”

On November 30, ICNA is holding its first conference in upstate New York at Rochester Riverside Convention Center, themed as “Islam: The Pursuit of Happiness.”

Speakers include the notorious Imam Siraj Wahhaj, whose version of “pursuing happiness” includes violent jihad and replacing Western democracy with Sharia Law.

Wahhaj has an undeniable, documented record of extremism that would make any genuinely “moderate” Muslim group sprint away from him. He’s had to tame down his anti-Americanism and support for violent jihad and theocracy in the post-9/11 atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean his beliefs have changed.

Read more at Front Page

Islamists Take Nose Dive in 2013 Issue of “Muslim 500″

Muslim 500

The Islamist ascent in the first wave of the Arab Spring triggered a movement against the Muslim Brotherhood in the second wave.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The second wave of the Arab Spring defined the Muslim world in 2013. The Islamist ascent in the first wave triggered a movement against the Muslim Brotherhood in the second wave. The power shift’s importance is apparent in the rankings in this year’s issue ofThe Muslim 500, an annual publication compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan which ranks the most influential Muslims worldwide.

Last year, seven of the top 10 Muslims ranked by the publication were Islamists, with Saudi King Abdullah and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan topping the list. This year, the number has fallen to four. Overall, this year’s tally is very negative for the Muslim Brotherhood and very positive for Muslim leaders less hostile to the West.

The opening of the issue includes a blistering critique of the Brotherhood by Professor S. Abdallah Schleifer, a prominent Middle East expert. Notably, he talks about a backlash against the Islamists.

“So if a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt stood in the beginning of 2013 as the highest expression of the tide of Islamism, it is also possible that the overthrow of that government … may be a sign that this Islamist tidal wave is beginning to recede,” Professor Schleifer writes.

The Muslim 500 identifies three ideological camps in the Muslim world:

The first and largest one is “Traditional Islam” or “Orthodox Islam” and is based on scholarly consensus. The publication says that this represents 96% of the Muslim world and (supposedly) is not politicized. All of the Islamic schools of jurisprudence are included in this category.

This camp includes Islamists like the Saudi King and non-Islamists like the Jordanian King.

The second camp is “Islamic Fundamentalism, ” which is highly politicized and explicitly anti-Western. The fundamentalists describe themselves as “reformers” and are very aggressive. The Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists/Wahhabists and Revolutionary Shiites are included in this category.

The publication says this camp represents 3% of the Muslim world.

The third and smallest camp is “Islamic Modernism.” Adherents consider themselves to be “reformers” but want Islam to become more pro-Western and “progressive.”

In the words of The Muslim 500, “this subdivision contextualized Islamic ideology for the times—emphasizing the need for religion to evolve with Western advances.” It says:

“They thus called for a complete overhaul of Islam, including—or rather, in particular—Islamic law (sharia) and doctrine (aqida). Islamic modernism remains popularly an object of derision and ridicule, and is scorned by traditional Muslims and fundamentalists alike.”

According to the publication, this camp only represents 1% of the Muslim world. The most influential modernist is Queen Abdullah of Jordan. She took 32nd place, whereas last year she was in 37th.

The second most influential modernist is Professor Dr. M. Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of the Muhammadiyya organization in Indonesia. The organization has 35 million members. He is in 33rdplace. He was in 39th last year.

It could be argued that the Indonesian organization Nahdlatul Ulamafalls into this category. Its leader, KH Said Aqil Siradj, is now ranked as the 15th most influential Muslim. He came in 19th last year.

This year’s most influential Muslim is Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He is a traditionalist opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood who endorsed the Egyptian military’s overthrow of President Morsi.

Read more at Clarion Project