OIC Blames Free Speech for “Islamophobia” in West

by Soeren Kern:

The common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC’s repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for “the institutionalization of Islamophobia” in Western countries is freedom of speech.

“The Istanbul Process started with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton…. We need to build on it.” — OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Isanoglu

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has released the latest edition of its annual “Islamophobia” report.

The “Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2012-September 2013” is a 94-page document purporting to “offer a comprehensive picture of Islamophobia, as it exists mainly in contemporary Western societies.”

But the primary objective of the OIC—headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by dozens of Muslim countries that systematically persecute Christians and Jews—has long been to pressure Western countries into passing laws that would ban “negative stereotyping of Islam.”

In this context, the OIC’s annual Islamophobia report—an integral part of a sustained effort to prove the existence of a “culture of intolerance of Islam and Muslims” in the West—is in essence a lobbying tool to pressure Western governments to outlaw all forms of “Islamophobia,” a nebulous concept invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

The OIC report comprises five main chapters and several annexes aimed at documenting “incidents of slandering and demeaning Muslims and their sacred symbols including attacks on mosques, verbal abuses and physical attacks against adherents of Islam, mainly due to their cultural traits.”

But the common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC’s repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for “the institutionalization of Islamophobia” in Western countries is freedom of speech, which the OIC claims has “contributed enormously to snowball Islamophobia and manipulate the mindset of ordinary Western people to develop a ‘phobia’ of Islam and Muslims.”

According to the OIC, freedom of expression is shielding “the perpetrators of Islamophobia, who seek to propagate irrational fear and intolerance of Islam, [who] have time and again aroused unwarranted tension, suspicion and unrest in societies by slandering the Islamic faith through gross distortions and misrepresentations and by encroaching on and denigrating the religious sentiments of Muslims.”

Chapter 1 of the report deals with “Islamophobia, Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims,” and purports to reveal the “unabated rise of Islamophobia in Western countries, thereby exacerbating tensions at all levels and constituting additional obstacles to the diversity and multicultural fabrics of the societies.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Guest Column: Turkey’s Democratic Reforms Aren’t All That Democratic

by Abigail R. Esman:

 

Germany’s Sharia No-Go Zones

f5fb0eabefc48b7b9aaedb1aa38f647b-450x337By :

“To mark No Go Areas, that is to say law-free areas with high danger potential, is nothing unusual,” Rüdiger Franz of Bonn, Germany’s General Anzeiger (GA) newspaper wrote, as travel guide entries for cities such as Detroit, Istanbul, Johannesburg, or Mogadishu show.  Considerable controversy, however, ensued after a language school posted an Internet No Go Area map of Bonn and environs, drawing ongoing, often unwelcome attention to the problems Germany’s once serene former capital faces from newly arrived Muslim immigrants.

The No Go map at the website of the Steinke Institut (SI) language school’s Bonn branch first drew significant public interest at the conservative German website Politically Incorrect (PI) with a July 18, 2013, entry. Attention only grew in the following weeks with an “unexpectedly large echo” of about 50 Bonn residents contacting SI with approval, queries, and criticism, as an SI Internet statement at the beginning of September noted.

SI explained therein the school’s emphasis on teaching German as a foreign language to students “from the entire world.”  The No Go map resulted “exclusively” from some 250 such students reporting in the last six years “extremely negative experiences”  in various Bonn neighborhoods, with over 80% of the reports agreeing upon the map’s red-marked problem zones.  SI elaborated that these “negative experiences” entailed harassment of women, theft, robbery, break-ins, assaults, and insults.

In contrast to the suspicions of “some concerned callers” at SI, these experiences had no “Neo-Nazi context.”  Rather, “above all” East Asian and East European students “had made pertinent experiences with adolescents, who almost exclusively seem to have an immigration background.”  A landlord from Bonn’s Bad Godesberg (BadGo) suburb confirmed in an October 23, 2013, GA article that many of her young renters suffered harassment from immigrants, particularly women, for “supposedly too short skirts and the wearing of shorts.” SI teaching personnel, many of whom “themselves live in these same city areas and are very often themselves connected with a partner with an immigrant background,” likewise agreed with the students, SI noted.  On the other hand, the “overwhelming majority of the language students had a thoroughly positive impression of the German and/or as German perceived citizens of Bonn and confirm therefore the image of Bonn as a tolerant and cosmopolitan city.”

For each red zone on SI’s map, SI sought confirmation in the media and linked many of these articles to the statement.  A subsequent PI entry criticized that SI “did not trust itself to name clearly what special kind of immigrants are responsible” for a “negative Germany image” among “peaceful and diligent foreign German learners.” Yet the linked “gruesome news reports” allowed an “unbiased observer” to surmise that the criticisms “all somehow had something to do with the I-word,” namely Islam.

Read more at Front Page

Saudi Arabia, the UN and the OIC

by Lawrence A. Franklin:

Saudi Arabia’s rejection of a term on the UN Security Council likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternate international order based on Sharia law. The 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation is already the largest international organization after the UN. For Islamists, the UN, like all secular international organizations, lacks legitimacy.

A stated Islamist goal, to replace Western civilization’s liberal democratic order with a Sharia-governed Ummah[community of Muslims], now seems to involve an effort to delegitimize Western international organizations, as seen this week by Saudi Arabia’s refusing a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Saudi Arabia’s refusal likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternative international order based on Sharia law. For Islamists, the United Nations, like all secular international organs, lacks legitimacy.

OIC vs. UN

The Islamic world threw down the gauntlet to the secular international order in 1990 when it drafted an alternative declaration of human rights, the Kairos Document, based on the Sharia law. The 56 countries of what was then called the Organization of Islamic Conference, since renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], criticized the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as being insensitive to religious concepts of the non-Western world. In Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi’s October 13, 2013 statement, explaining the sudden and unprecedented rejection of a seat on the Security Council, he cites Saudi Arabia’s “historical responsibilities toward its people, Arab and Islamic nations as well as toward the peoples aspiring for peace and stability in the world.” The Saudi explanation continues by enumerating a litany of UN failures to solve problems in the Mideast. This statement underscores Saudi Arabia’s role as the capital of a shadow-caliphate alternative to the current liberal democratic international order.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

Riyadh’s sentiment was preceded by last summer’s rebuttal — which revealed the global scope of Islamist objectives — by the Pakistani Taliban fugitive, Adnan Rashid[1], to the UN address by the heroic Pakistani Malala Yousafzai (then 15 years old), shot by the Taliban for having asked for women’s education. In a letter, Rashid denounced Malala’s naiveté for placing trust in an international organization that he claimed is a tool of the West with which to punish Islamic nations.

Rashid’s riposte, however, has an unwritten corollary. He and his fellow Islamists bear allegiance to an alternate network that exists in parallel with the institutions of the current international order, the most visible symbol of which is the OIC.[2] The OIC, which promotes Islamic social, economic, and political solidarity, is, in fact, already the second-largest international organization after the UN. It has not only attempted to negotiate disputes among Islamic factions in Muslim-majority countries, such as Iraq and Somalia, but has also helped to mediate disputes between non-Muslim-majority states and their Islamic minorities, as in the Philippines and Thailand. In adjudicating these disputes, the OIC has employed, as the legal frame of reference, the principles of Sharia law rather than international law.

One has only to examine the flag and the logo of the OIC to realize its ambition. A crescent moon encompasses the entire globe. The earth rests on a sea of green, the color of Islam, with the Kaa’ba in the center of the globe. The flag resembles the national banner of the al-Saud Kingdom (the only country among all the embassies in Washington D.C. that, on 9/11, did not lower its flag). The OIC, however, is just one of several all-Islamic multinational organs that parallel secular international community structures. There is also, for example, the International Association of Islamic Banks and several other organs for cooperation, such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization.

Jihadi terrorists, as a matter of targeting policy, strike at representative symbols of the existing international order. One of the initial targets of Iraq-based al-Qaeda terrorists was the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq.[3] Pakistani and Nigerian Muslim terrorists have routinely assassinated international volunteers, even those working to eradicate deadly diseases such as polio. The most extreme assassinations have occurred in Sharia-governed northern Nigeria and Pushtun tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan, where, in both places, the murders closely followed sermons that vociferously denounced ongoing inoculation campaigns. Any form of assistance from international organizations is rejected by Muslim extremists as part of a Western conspiracy to influence Muslims to abandon their faith. Inoculations against polio, for instance, have been described by Islamic extremists as a plot to sterilize Muslim children.[4] It is more likely, however, that the radical clerics who urge believers to renounce such aid efforts are more concerned about losing control of their constituency.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

Turkey: ‘Biggest Jail for Journalists in Europe’

Turkey arrests journalists”Turkey is the biggest jail for journalists in Europe,” said Erkan Ipekci, Turkish journalist and winner of the International Reporter of the Year Award given annually by the National Union of Italian Reporters (UNCI).

Ipekci is the president of the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS). He was given the award his organization’s untiring work defending the large number of Turkish journalists who have been arrested, fired from their jobs or sentenced to prison over the last number of years.

“Since 2009, some 183 journalist have ended up in prison, 63 of whom are still in jail,” Ipekci said, speaking to ANSAmed News . “Since then we have begun to feel ever more the effects of amendments to anti-terrorism laws and those to the criminal code introduced in 2005 with European support.”

The new criminal code was ostensibly introduced to meet European standards necessary for Turkey to be accepted into the European Union. However, secularists and journalists feared Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would use some of the regulations to favor Islamists and suppress free speech by journalists.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Arabic Media Says Muslim Brotherhood “International Organization” Has Secret Plan To Smear Opposition

Ibrahim Munir Mustafa

Ibrahim Munir Mustafa

By :

Over the weekend, several Arabic reports have emerged on a secret meeting held by members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organisation in Istanbul, following the latest developments in Egypt. A report by the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, based on Sky News in Arabic, has claimed that a document has been put together, stating that in two weeks, slanderous media campaigns will be initiated against those who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and steps will be taken to create divisions within the Egyptian military. According to this report, the document sets a strategy of relying on the assistance of states like Qatar and Turkey, as well as various preachers in the Gulf States who support the MB and have a large following among youths. The document warns against internal divisions inside the MB, and against the MB’s compulsion to resume operating secretively.

The independent Egyptian news portal Elfagr names eleven MB figures who attended this meeting:

  • Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, Secretary General of the MB’s International Organisation [who has been living in London for many years]
  • Mahmoud Hussein Elibiary, Deputy-Secretary-General of the MB’s International Organisation
  • Ali Mohammed Ahmed Jawish (aka Gawish), General Supervisor of the MB in Sudan
  • Ibrahim Al-Masry, General Supervisor of the MB in Lebanon and member of the MB’s International Organisation Guidance Bureau
  • Ali Basha Omar Hajj, General Supervisor of the MB in the African Horn
  • Mohammed Riyadh Shaqfa, General Supervisor of the MB in Syria
  • Mohammed Faraj Ahmed, leader of the MB in Kurdistan
  • Ziyyad Shafiq Mohaisan Al-Rawi, General Supervisor of the MB in Yemen
  • Shaykhan Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al-Dabai, leader of the MB in Yemen
  • Mohammed Al-Hilali, second deputy head of the Moroccan Justice and Development Party

It should be noted that Ibrahim Munir denied these reports to Al-Masry Al-Youm, adding that he is currently in Turkey to speak at an international youth conference called for by the Turkish Saadat Party in support of democracy in Egypt. Ibrahim Munir further claimed that the youth conference will be followed by a rally of hundreds of thousands Egyptians and Turks in support of democracy and the legitimacy of President Morsi. Accrding to a Jordanian report, Ibrahim Munir confirmed that a ‘state of alert’ has been announced in all countries by the MB’s International Organisation.

Read more at The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch

Christendom’s Greatest Cathedral to Become a Mosque

ms-450x299By :

While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey—and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks—are quietly transpiring.  These include the fact that Turkey’s Hagia Sophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque.

Why does the fate of an old building matter?

Because Hagia Sophia—Greek for “Holy Wisdom”—was for some thousand years Christianity’s greatest cathedral. Built in 537 in Constantinople, the heart of the Christian empire, it was also a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.

After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts, Constantinople was finally sacked by Ottoman Turks in 1453. Its crosses desecrated and icons defaced, Hagia Sophia—as well as thousands of other churches—was immediately converted into a mosque, the tall minarets of Islam surrounding it in triumph.

Then, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, as part of several reforms, secularist Ataturk transformed Hagia Sophia into a “neutral” museum in 1934—a gesture of goodwill to a then triumphant West from a then crestfallen Turkey.

Thus the fate of this ancient building is full of portents. And according to Hurriyet Daily News, “A parliamentary commission is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque….  A survey conducted with 401 people was attached to the application, in which more than 97 percent of interviewees requested the transformation of the ancient building into a mosque and afterwards for it to be reopened for Muslim worship.”

Even lesser known is the fact that other historic churches are currently being transformed into mosques, such as  a 13th century church building—portentously also named Hagia Sophia—in Trabzon. After the Islamic conquest, it was turned into a mosque.  But because of its “great historical and cultural significance” for Christians, it too, during Turkey’s secular age, was turned into a museum and its frescoes restored. Yet local authorities recently decreed that its Christian frescoes would again be covered and the church/museum turned into a mosque.

Similarly, the 5th century Studios Monastery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is set to become an active mosque.  And the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, 5th century Mor Gabriel Monastery is at risk. Inhabited today by only a few dozen Christians dedicated to learning the monastery’s teachings, the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and the Orthodox Syriac tradition, neighboring Muslims filed a lawsuit accusing the monks of practicing “anti-Turkish activities” and of illegally occupying land which belongs to Muslim villagers. The highest appeals court in Ankara ruled in favor of the Muslim villagers, saying the land that had been part of the monastery for 1,600 years is not its property, absurdly claiming that the monastery was built over the ruins of a mosque—even though Muhammad was born 170 years after the monastery was built.

Read more at Front Page

 

Tayyip Erdoğan, “God’s Gift to Turkey”

turkey-silent-protests-7by Robert Ellis:

“In the Islamic world, democratization has led to an increasing role for theocratic politics.” — Fareed Zakaria

The Turkish Minister for EU Affairs, Egemen Bağış, has declared that Prime Minister Erdoğan is a gift sent by God to Turkey and to humanity. But what do half the Turkish electorate do – as well as the rest of humanity – when the gift is unwanted?

There is no doubt that the Almighty has bestowed upon the world a special gift.

We have ex-Libyan leader Colonel Mohammed Gaddafi’s word for that: in November 2010 the Turkish prime minister was awarded with the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights for “distinguished service to humanity.”

During the award ceremony Prime Minister Erdoğan declared that Islamophobia was a crime against humanity and that Muslims come from a tradition that also regards anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity. At a meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations in March, however, he added Zionism to the list, together with fascism.

To cap it all, when Erdoğan was in Algeria during his recent North Africa tour, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Algiers, also for his contribution to humanity. On his return, Erdoğan was given a rapturous welcome by his supporters and saluted not only his brothers in Istanbul and Turkey but also those in Sarajevo, Baku, Beirut, Skopje, Damascus, Gaza, Mecca and Medina. There was no mention of Europe or elsewhere.

The crowd shouted, “Let’s go to Taksim and crush them,” but the Prime Minister preferred to quote the Turkish poet Yunus Emre: “I don’t come to fight, my job is for love. The friend’s home is in hearts, I come to build hearts.” In the meantime, the police in Taksim Square in Istanbul and Kuğulu Park in Ankara got on with the business of winning hearts and minds.

In his speech Erdoğan rejected the notion that he was only prime minister for the 50% and claimed he was the servant of Turkey’s 76 million. The great leap forward for the Turkish economy under the AKP that he mentioned is undoubtedly true, but it has come at the expense of civil liberties and a growing division in Turkish society.

Last November, celebrating the AKP’s 10 years of government, Prime Minister Erdoğan spoke of a mental revolution; this, again, is true. Religion has played a leading role in Turkish society, both with regard to public appointments and in awarding public contracts, and in the whole conduct of society. Shortly after the AKP came into power, one wag at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed his out-of-office reply to, “Gone to namaz[prayer].”

*******

Tayyip Erdoğan has apparently stepped back from the brink and agreed to abide by the court decision to suspend the Gezi Park project and later hold a plebiscite on its future. At the same time, the Prime Minister has declared his patience has come to an end and Taksim Square and Gezi Park have been cleared by the police. His Minister for EU Affairs, Egemen Bağış, has also stated that anyone who enters Taksim Square will be considered a terrorist. Woe betide the visitor to Istanbul who loses his way.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

What Turkey’s Riots Mean

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
June 19, 2013

Rebellion has shaken Turkey since May 31: Is it comparable to the Arab upheavals that overthrew four rulers since 2011, to Iran’s Green Movement of 2009 that led to an apparent reformer being elected president last week, or perhaps to Occupy Wall Street, which had negligible consequences?

 

The government of Istanbul told mothers to “bring their children home” but instead they joined the protests in Taksim Square.

The unrest marks a deeply important development with permanent implications. Turkey has become a more open and liberal country, one in which leaders face democratic constraints as never before. But how much it changes the role of Islam in Turkey depends primarily on the economy.

China-like material growth has been the main achievement of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the party he heads, the AKP. Personal income has more than doubled in the decade that he has been in power, changing the face of the country. As a visitor to Turkey since 1972, I have seen the impact of this growth in almost every area of life, from what people eat to their sense of Turkish identity.

That impressive growth explains the AKP’s increased share of the national vote in its three elections, from 34 percent in 2002 to 46 percent in 2007 to a shade under 50 percent in 2011. It also explains how, after 90 years of the military serving as the ultimate political power, the party was able to bring the armed forces to heel.

At the same time, two vulnerabilities have become more evident, especially since the June 2011 elections, jeopardizing Erdoğan’s continued domination of the government.

Dependence on foreign credit. To sustain consumer spending, Turkish banks have borrowed heavily abroad, and especially from supportive Sunni Muslim sources. The resulting current account deficit creates so great a need for credit that the private sector alone needs to borrow US$221 billion in 2013, or nearly 30 percent of the country’s $775 billion GDP. Should the money stop flowing into Turkey, the party (pun intended) is over, possibly leading the stock market to collapse, the currency to plunge, and the economic miracle to come to a screeching halt.

 

Erdoğan instructs parents, “I am watching you. You will make at least three children.”

Erdoğan’s sultan-like understanding of his democratic mandate. The prime minister sees his election – and especially the one in 2011, when the AKP won half the popular vote – as a carte blanche to do whatever he pleases until the next vote. He indulges his personal emotions (recall his confrontation with Shimon Peres in 2009), meddles in the tiniest matters (his deciding the use of a city park prompted the current turmoil), social engineers (telling married couples to bear three or more children), involves Turkey in an unpopular foreign adventure (Syria), and demonizes the half of the electorate that did not vote for him (calling them beer-guzzlers who copulate in a mosque). This attitude has won the fervent support of his once-downtrodden constituency, but also has wrought the fury of the growing numbers of Turks who resent his authoritarianism, as well as the criticism of Europe leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel pronounced herself “appalled” by the recent police crackdown.

These two weaknesses point to the importance of the economy for the future of Erdoğan, the AKP, and the country. Should Turkey’s finances weather the demonstrations, the Islamist program that lies at the heart of the AKP’s platform will continue to advance, if more cautiously. Perhaps Erdoğan himself will remain leader, becoming the country’s president with newly enhanced powers next year; or perhaps his party will tire of him and – as happened to Margaret Thatcher in 1990 – push him aside in favor of someone who can carry out the same program without provoking so much hostility.

 

After two weeks of demonstrations, the Istanbul stock exchange lost nearly 10 percent of its value.

But if “hot money” flees Turkey, if foreign investors go elsewhere, and if Persian Gulf patrons cool on the AKP, then the demonstrations could end AKP rule and rupture the drive toward Islamism and the application of Islamic law. Infighting within the party, especially between Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, or within the Islamist movement, especially between the AKP and Fethullah Gülen‘s powerful movement, could weaken the Islamists. More profoundly, the many non-Islamist voters who voted for the AKP’s sound economic stewardship might abandon the party.

Payroll employment is down by 5 percent. Real consumer spending in first quarter 2013 fell by 2 percent over 2012. Since the demonstrations started, the Istanbul stock market is down 10 percent and interest rates are up about 50 percent. To assess the future of Islamism in Turkey, watch these and other economic indicators.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Turkish man inspires hundreds with silent vigil in Taksim Square

Erdem Gunduz – dubbed ‘standing man’ – stages eight-hour vigil and is joined by 300 people during silent protest

Erdem Gunduz in Taksim Square

Erdem Gunduz stands in Taksim Square during a ‘duranadam’, or standing man protest, in Istanbul. Photograph: Vassil Donev/EPA

The Guardian:

A Turkish man has staged an eight-hour silent vigil in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the scene of violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in recent weeks, inspiring hundreds of others to follow his lead.

Erdem Gunduz said he wanted to take a stand against police stopping demonstrations near the square, the Dogan news agency reported.

He stood silently, facing the Ataturk Cultural Centre which was draped in Turkish flags and a portrait of Turkey‘s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, from 6pm on Monday.

By 2am on Tuesday, when the police moved in, about 300 people had joined him. Ten people, who refused to be moved on by police, were detained.

Gunduz, swiftly dubbed “standing man” on social media in Turkey, inspired similar protests elsewhere in Istanbul, as well as in the capital, Ankara, and the city of Izmir on the Aegean coast.

The silent protests were in stark contrast to demonstrations at the weekend, which saw some of the fiercest clashes so far when police fired teargas and water cannons to clear thousands from Taksim Square.

What began in May as a protest by environmentalists upset over plans to build on a park adjoining Taksim Square has grown into a movement against the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, presenting the greatest public challenge to his 10-year leadership.

Turkish Doctors Union (TTB) released a statement, saying that at least 4 people lost their lives and 7,822 protestors were injured in Gezi Park demonstration in 13 cities across Turkey.

The union said the statement included all police violence-related injuries until June 17 at 6 pm local time.

TTB said public hospitals, private hospitals and volunteer infirmaries that station in approximate with hot clash zones admitted 7,882 patients.

“The majority of injuries were due to pepper gas-related burnt and respiratory complications; injuries related to canister hits, plastic bullets and muscle-skeleton system traumas (soft tissues injuries, cuts, burns, broken bones); head traumas; eyesight problems extending to vision loses due to use of plastic bullets; and internal organ injuries.

According to the statement 4 people lost their lives: Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (Istanbul), Abdullah Cömert (Antakya), Mustafa Sarı (polis officer, Adana), Ethem Sarısülük (Ankara).

The statement cited 59 to be in serious condition. The city distribution of those with life-threatening condition is as follows: Istanbul (4), Ankara (1), Eskişehir (1). 100 people suffered from head trauma and 11 lost eyesight, and 1 lost spleen, the statement said.

 

 

7,822 Injured with 59 in Serious Condition:

Turkish Doctors Union (TTB) released a statement, saying that at least 7,822 people were injured with 59 in serious condition. 4 protestors lost their lives and 11 lost eyesight, TTB said.

Turkish Doctors Union released the distribution of casualties according to cities as follows:

Istanbul: 4,477 injured. 21 gravely wounded. 1 dead. 4 still in critical condition. 6 lost eyesight. 6 suffered head trauma.

Ankara: 1,350 injured. 21 gravely wounded. 7 head traumas. 1 dead. 4 lost eyesight.

Izmir: 800 injured with 2 in critical condition.

Antakya: 161 injured with 3 in critical condition. 1 dead.

Adana: 162 injured with 6 in serious condition. 1 dead. 5 head traumas.

Eskişehir: 300 injured with 3 in serious condition. 2 still ICU.

Muğla: 50 injured with 1 serious condition.

Mersin: 17 injured with 1 in serious condition.

Bursa: 1 head trauma, 2 injured.

Balıkesir: 155 injured.

Kocaeli: 10 injured.

Antalya: 150 injured including 1 in serious condition.

Rize: 8 injured. (AS/BM)

Turkey: Massive Protests Against Erdogan’s Islamism #occupygezi

Turkish police detain a protester (Photo: occupygezipics.tumblr.com)

Turkish police detain a protester (Photo: occupygezipics.tumblr.com)

By Abigail R. Esman:

Early Friday morning, a friend e-mailed me from Istanbul in despair. Police were firing tear gas through the streets, she said, shooting water cannons at peaceful protesters in the area of Taksim, men and women who opposed a government plan to raze a city park and build a shopping center in its place.

“Help us,” she urged.  “He is killing us.”

What she hoped for, by contacting me, was media attention.  Thanks to demands by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, local television had covered none of it, fearing, in part, Erdoğan’s tendency to imprison journalists who write or broadcast anything he doesn’t like.

Consequently, my friend feared, most Turkish citizens knew nothing of what was going on, either of the sit-in at Gezi Park or the violence that was now raging through the city.  But if the world knew, she believed, international pressure would bring the gassing of civilians to an end.

I told her I would do what I could.

But to some extent, the world was already beginning to discover; for what Erdoğan could not stop – or hadn’t yet, in any case — was social media and YouTube. There I found information spread across the Twitterverse (hashtag “occupygezi”), and images in locally-posted photographs and videos – horrifying images that showed hundreds of people fleeing from the attacks, chased by gas canisters and policemen up and down the popular Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim, the hottest part of town.

(One photo of a man shot in the face has circulated widely on Twitter.  http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com )  More than 100 people were reported injured; and as the day wore on, at least two people were killed in the clashes with police.

Video: Turkish police kicking and stomping on protester

Three days later, the world now knows.  In the interim, at least four people have been reported dead and several hundred more injured. Four protesters in Istanbul alone have been blinded.

And still the clashes not only continue, but are growing, first across the vast expanse of Istanbul, and then extending to the country’s capital in Ankara and Izmir.  Some call it the “turning point” for the administration of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  Some say it will make no difference; his power has grown too strong.  But has it?

For the duration of his10 years in office, Erdoğan has systematically sought to undermine much of the secularization of the country that has defined it since the founding of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.  While vastly popular among the country’s more religious population, he is loathed by the so-called secular elite: the intellectuals and educated urbanites, largely, who call him a “sultan” and see him as a dictator-in-the-making.

And while they decry his authoritarianism,  it is his campaign to Islamize the country they fear the most – or his efforts, as , Cem Uçan, a social media executive who has been active in the demonstrations, put it,  to create   “a religion-based, more and more conservative Turkey, who will play a leading role for other Muslim powers in the region.”

It is this, in fact, that has really set off the protests, which, while touched off by the threats to raze a city park, in fact are fueled by some of Erdoğan’s most recent efforts to impose his religious values on his people.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Does the Istanbul Process have something to do with Benghazi?

images (60)By William Federer:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience in Brussels in 2009, “Never waste a good crisis.”

In the weeks leading up to the Benghazi attacks, Clinton inexplicably removed defense personnel and denied Ambassador Christopher Steven’s repeated requests for security.

Six hours into the Benghazi attack, President Obama called Hillary, as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted on Feb. 20, 2012 to CNSNews.com.

At some point, an unidentified person in authority gave a stand-down order that no help would be sent to Ambassador Stevens.

Why did Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama act in the way they did?

Was it ineptness, or something else? If the latter, can a motive be established?

A possible motive could be the Istanbul Process.

In 2012, Hillary Clinton co-chaired a meeting with 57 Muslim countries in Istanbul, Turkey.

The closed-door meeting was for the purpose of devising a process to implement U.N. Resolution 16/18, which would prohibit speech insulting Islam.

Championed by the Obama administration, Resolution 16/18 claims to seek a balance between freedom of religion and freedom of expression by “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief.”

Forbes’ Abigail R. Esman wrote on Dec. 30, 2011:

Proposed … in an effort to clamp down on anti-Muslim attacks in non-Muslim countries, Resolution 16/18 has been through a number of revisions over the years in order to make it palatable to American representatives concerned about U.S. constitutional guarantees of free speech.

The resolution, though, is disingenuous in that it is the initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is made up of Muslim countries that do not allow equal freedom of speech or religion to non-Muslims living within their borders.

The resolution limits free speech viewed as “discriminatory” or which involves “defamation of religion” — specifically, speech which can be viewed as “incitement to imminent violence,” with Islam itself being the religion most known for allowing itself to be incited to “violence.”

This resolution will limit the free speech of non-Muslims, which is the Sharia law restriction placed on conquered peoples, called “dhimmi.” Resolution 16/18, for those who dare admit it, would effectively establish global Sharia law.

In fact, in the OIC countries, the very act of proclaiming that Jesus is the son of God or that Israel is the Jewish homeland would be enough to incite violence.

At the close of the Istanbul meeting in 2012, Secretary Clinton called for “formulating international laws preventing inciting hatred.” OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu commended the Obama administration. “I particularly appreciate the kind personal interest of Secretary Clinton and the role played by the U.S. towards the consensual adoption of the resolution,” he said.

Are there places in the world where these types of laws have already been implemented, and by what process?

In 2005, there were Muslim riots in Europe after a Dutch cartoon was published. The European Union quickly mandated religious-hate-speech codes which prohibit insulting Islam.

Riots, and the process of inciting them, has been a political tactic dating as far back as Rome’s Mark Anthony; or the French Revolution’s Robespierre; or Chicago Labor’s 1886 Haymarket Riot; or Bill Ayers’ Chicago Days of Rage.

Stalin said: “Crisis alone permitted the authorities to demand and obtain total submission and all necessary sacrifices from its citizens.”

Someone who codified this process was Saul Alinsky.

In 1969, Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis at Wellesley College was titled “There Is Only the Fight — An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”

President Obama taught Alinsky’s tactics while a Chicago community organizer.

What did Saul Alinsky write in Rules for Radicals?

“The organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems.”

“An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent.”

“The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community.”

“Fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.”

“He must search out controversy and issues rather than avoid them … for unless there is controversy the people are not concerned enough to act.”

In other words, Alinsky’s tactics are designed to incite people.

Could those tactics have been applied to implement the Istanbul Process?

In the vein of “Fast and Furious,” if there could, just by chance, be a spontaneous riot incited that could be blamed on someone insulting Islam, then there would be the justification for a hurried rush for Americans to give up their free speech rights.

Read more at Daily Caller

OIC Seeks Global Watchdog on Free Speech

Rashad Hussain,

Rashad Hussain,

By Clare Lopez:The 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Cairo, Egypt February 6-7, 2013 with a full agenda of issues to address.

The U.S. Special Envoy to the OIC, Rashad Hussain, attended. One of the key takeaways from the two-day Heads of State Summit appears to be a renewed commitment to the Istanbul Process, the OIC-initiative to criminalize criticism of Islam globally.

According to Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, director of cultural affairs at the OIC general secretariat and spokesman for the OIC secretary general, the next session of the Istanbul Process will be held sometime in the spring of 2013 and will focus anew on getting individual nation states to draft laws that would criminally sanction “denigration of religions.”

Read more at Radical Islam

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood To Form Political Party

GMBDR:

Global media is reporting that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood intends to form a political party. According to an AFP report:

AFP Published:  07.20.12, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, a key opponent of President Bashar Assad’s regime, announced plans Friday to launch an Islamist political party, saying it was ready for the post-Assad era.   ‘The decision has been taken to create an Islamic party,’ the head of the Brotherhood’s political wing, Ali Beyanouni, told journalists after the group completed a four-day conference in Istanbul.   Related articels: Syria denies Assad ready to step down Rebels: Assad will be next Blast kills members of Assad’s inner circle   The new party would be ‘open to all Syrians’ and will promote a ‘democratic and pluralist’ vision of the state based on the equality of all citizens, Beyanouni said.   ‘We are ready for the post-Assad era, we have plans for the economy, the courts, politics,’ said Mulhem al-Droubi, the Brotherhood’s spokesman.   The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist political movement founded in Egypt in 1928 and has branches and affiliates around the world.   The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was banned there in 1963. Many of its members fled Syria following a revolt that was violently suppressed in 1982, leaving nearly 20,000 people dead according to estimates.   Spokesman al-Droubi acknowledged the group’s current reach was limited.   ‘My opinion is that in case of free elections the Muslim Brothers wouldn’t have more than 25% of the votes,’ he said.   But the group’s leader, Mohammad Riad al-Shakfa, said the Brotherhood was still ‘present everywhere in Syria’.   The Brotherhood plays a key role in the Syrian National Council, the opposition coalition opposing Assad.

A post from last week reported that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood had begun a two-day meeting near Istanbul to discuss how to support the Syrian uprising against the Assad government. A post from late June reported that CIA officers were operating inside Turkey using a network that includes the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to funnel arms to the opposition. In May, a Lebanese newspaper traced the dominant role of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the opposition to the Assad regime. Also in May, writer and analyst John Rosenthal’s summarized the cooperation between the Obama Administration and the Syrian opposition focusing on the role of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Previous posts have noted that the SNC includes at least two known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood- Louay Safi, a leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Najib Ghadbian, a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). The relationship between the SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi should also be noted.

In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported on moves by the U.S. Government to reach closer relations with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

For a comprehensive account of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in 2006, go here.

Disillusioned German Islamists Abandoning Jihad

By Oezlem Gezer and Holger Stark in Istanbul

More than 200 Islamists are believed to have left Germany to join the jihad in Pakistan. But, after learning what life there is really like, many of them are abandoning the cause and heading home — right into the unwelcoming arms of the law.

Istanbul’s Kumkapi neighborhood is normally the kind of place where belly dancers can be found gyrating their hips in front of drunk patrons. For Peter B., who is currently locked up in a cell in Kumkapi, it’s the place where God is testing him for paradise.

The Turkish prison for detainees awaiting deportation is a beige, sandstone building. Surveillance cameras monitor the three floors, and guards armed with submachine guns are posted at the entrance. In a room on the ground floor, Peter B. is kneeling on white tiles in front of his 3-year-old son, Uwais. The boy asks his father: “Why did the police arrest you?” Stroking his father’s face, he adds: “If you pray a lot, they’ll let you out.”

 

An armed guard monitors the family reunion behind bars. Peter B. places his hand on his son’s neck and recites a verse from the Koran. It’s meant to protect him from shaitan, the devil. “I left Pakistan so that my children’s brains wouldn’t be numbed,” he says. He was disappointed by his fellow Muslims, whose video messages had lured him to Waziristan, a mountainous part of the Hindu Kush region and a stronghold of the Taliban and al-Qaida.

They had promised that there would be schools and hospitals there, he says, adding: “You trust your brothers, and you think they don’t lie.” He raises his left eyebrow and says: “There was nothing there except flying drones.”

A Reversing Trend

For years, the mountainous region straddling the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan seemed like a mecca of sorts for militants. More than 200 volunteers left Germany, traveling alone or with their families, headed for Waziristan. Those who had gone first then appeared in Internet videos to recruit more volunteers. They promised a paradise on earth, or at least a precursor to it. For German law-enforcement officials, the combatants were a nightmare, and they were viewed as the biggest threat to domestic security.

But this trend has been reversing itself for some time now. The number of volunteers is declining, while the number of those making the journey back home is growing.

Living conditions in the mountains are tougher than portrayed in the promotional clips. Death is constantly raining down from the sky in the form of missiles from American drones. A dozen combatants from Germany have already died.

Read more at Spiegel Online