Banned in the British Library

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
April 8, 2014

Prominent counter-jihadis like Geert Wilders, Michael Savage, and Robert Spencer have the distinction of being banned from entry into the United Kingdom – and, now, Her Majesty’s Government, in its wisdom, has also banned two websites connected to me. It’s not quite the same, admittedly, and I am working to get this ban removed, but I also wear it as a perverse badge of honor given that government’s shameful record vis-à-vis Islamism.

Say you’re in the British Library, the national depository library and a government institution, roughly equivalent to the Library of Congress in the United States or the Bibliothèque nationale in France. Say you want to read what David Brog writes about declining Evangelical support for Israel in the latest Middle East Quarterly. You type in MEForum.org and get the following result:

Or perhaps you wish to learn why I distinguish between Islam and Islamism, or why I worry about Islamist aggression in Britain, so you type in DanielPipes.org only to find this:

The distinction between the two sites particularly charms me. The British Library categorizes MEForum.org as “Religion, Intolerance” and DanielPipes.org as “Religion, Adult Sites, Intolerance, Blogs.” (It’s probably titles like “Arabian Sex Tourism” that won me the X-rating.) Oddly, both sites are blocked for the same reason: “Intolerance.”

Should you, however, be in the British Library and wish to develop hatred toward Jews, no problem! Here are some antisemitic sites, all accessed in the past few days:

  • Exposing the Holocaust Hoax Archive: the name tells it all
  • Gilad Atzmon: the personal website of a toxically antisemitic Jew
  • Jew Knowledge: contains learned inquiries into Jewish control of Hollywood, Jewish connections to 9/11, and the like
  • Muslim Public Affairs Committee, UK: an antisemitic jihadi group
  • The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: the “warrant for genocide” is available in multiple versions

Then, if you need firing up to go murder people on jihad, the British Library makes rich pickings available to you:

  • Al Muntada: runs some of the worst hate preachers in Europe and stands accused in Nigeria of funding Boko Haram
  • Anjem Choudary: possibly the most extreme of British Islamists, he praised the perpetrators of the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks
  • FiSyria: promotes the Sunni jihad against the Assad regime in Syria
  • Friends of Al-Aqsa: a pro-Hamas British group
  • Hizb ut-Tahrir: an international movement seeking to replace existing countries with a global caliphate
  • Islamic Education and Research Academy: a Qatari-funded Salafi group that includes a number of openly pro-terror operatives. Its trustees openly incite hatred against Jews, women, et al.
  • Muslimah’s Renaissance: an anti-Semitic, anti-Shia group
  • Al-Qassam: the military wing of Hamas, widely categorized as a terrorist organization
  • Palestinian Forum of Britain: a Hamas front
  • Palestine Return Centre: another Hamas front
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: deemed a terrorist group by both the European Union and the U.S. government

And then, perhaps the worst of all:

  • Tawhed: al-Qaeda’s Arabic-language ideological website which promotes writings by Osama Bin Laden and Ayman az-Zawahiri

There could be a technical explanation for this bizarre situation. The British Library issued a press release in December 2013, “Web filtering on the British Library’s WiFi service,” explaining that

in our public areas where there are regular visits by school children, we filter certain online content, such as pornography and gambling websites. We have recently introduced a new WiFi service. It’s early days in the implementation of this service and we are aware that the new filter has been blocking certain sites erroneously. We are actively working to resolve this issue.

Might this be the problem? I have written the library and requested that it unblock the sites. Now, let’s see if the censorship was “erroneous” or intentional.

(In contrast, the British Library has not yet excluded me from the UK union catalog of books; so, the same organization that bans my website permits my books. That makes as much sense as the rest of the British government’s policies.)

Apr. 9, 2014 update: For updates, see “No Longer Banned in the British Library!

Fort Hood Trial: Don’t Say the “T” Word

fort_hood_trial-450x337By Deborah Weiss:

(excerpt)

An independent commission conducted an investigation of the Fort Hood shootings. DoD released its report in January 2010.  It found that the Pentagon was unprepared to defend itself against internal threats.  DoD and other government agencies have characterized the massacre as “workplace violence” and omitted any mention of Islamist ideology or terrorist behavior.

The leaders of the investigation stated that their concern was “actions and effects, not necessarily motives”.  And, Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey proclaimed that “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

The FBI determined that because Hasan had no co-conspirators, further investigation was unnecessary.

In his public address and at the eulogy, President Obama also refused to acknowledge the role of Islamic terrorism in the massacre.

Yet motive is what distinguishes one type of homicide from another.  A homicide victim is equally dead regardless of motive.  But our legal system and moral code mandate that intent be taken into account when determining what, if any punishment should be accorded.

The omission of the terrorist motives in the Fort Hood massacre is resulting in the denial of purple hearts for the fallen soldiers, and a denial of medical benefits and financial compensation for the survivors.

Though the UCMJ does not have terrorism in its code as a possible charge, the military court could have waived jurisdiction, allowing Hasan to be prosecuted in Federal Court where a charge of domestic terrorism would have been in order.

Even if Hasan was not criminally charged with terrorism, the government could make a political determination that this was a terrorist act, allowing the victims to be properly compensated.  DoD officials claimed that Hasan could have argued he couldn’t get a fair trial due to accusations of criminal liability.

However, Hasan has already admitted criminal guilt.  Therefore, it is more likely that the government’s characterization of the massacre as workplace violence was made in line with its pattern of denial regarding Islamist ideology.

This Administration has rewritten all national security training material to delete all reference to Islamic terrorism and has launched an aggressive campaign of interfaith dialogue and  “peer pressure and shaming” to stifle all debate on the issue of Islamism.

The Administration has also formed close alliances with Islamist organizations in a quest to silence all speech critical of Islam, in a manner tantamount to blasphemy codes.

Free speech constitutes a human right and is critical to maintaining the cause of freedom.  It is especially important to allow open debate on the nature of national security threats and their motivational ideology.

Denying the threat of Islamic radicalism has consequences.  Resulting policies hamper America’s ability to defeat those that wish us harm.  Whether the Benghazi attacks, the Fort Hood massacre or other Islamic terrorist attacks, most Americans realize that purging the language does not eradicate threats.

This awareness does not apply to the Administration, however, where the folly continues.

Read it all at Front Page

This article was commissioned by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine and the Washington Times.  She is a contributing author of “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011).  A partial listing of her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org.

 

 

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The Center for American Progress’ Willful Blindness

images (76)By Andrew E. Harrod:

The Center for American Progress (CAP) unveiled its report Foreign Law Bans: Legal Uncertainties and Practical Problems at a May 16, 2013, event at CAP’s Washington, DC, headquarters.  CAP’s analysts are unconcerned by the influence of sharia and other foreign laws in America.

CAP’s event and report opposed state-level legislative efforts across the United States to implement versions of the American Law for American Courts (ALAC) model law of the American Public Policy Alliance (APPA).  The text of this law voids any foreign legal decision not respecting the “same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the U.S. and [State] Constitutions.”  Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee have adopted such laws.

Stephen M. Gelé, a Louisiana lawyer active in his state’s adoption of ALAC, explored its rationale at Breitbart.  Gelé analyzed six appellate cases reviewing trial court decisions with varying results based upon troubling elements of sharia.  Gelé drew upon 50 state court appellate cases involving sharia law documented in a Center for Security Policy (CSP) study.

Contradicting CAP arguments that existing law negated sharia’s influence on the American judiciary, Gelé cautioned that “some appellate opinions, and almost all trial court judgments, are not widely published.” “Many, if not most, trial court decisions applying sharia” underwent no appeal, a process costing $10,000-50,000 in divorce and child custody cases.  Regardless, “women and children should not be forced to play legal Russian roulette” with courts “applying legal doctrines, including sharia, inconsistent with American constitutional rights and public policy.”

Similar concerns prompted me at the end of the CAP panel (mark 1:13 on the online video) to ask about any “seepage” of sharia norms into American free speech jurisprudence.  As referenced by me, in recent years several American incidents involving Islam and free speech have been deeply disturbing.  An October 2011 assault by a Muslim immigrant upon an atheist mocking Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in a Pennsylvania parade, for example, led to a district court judge dismissing clearly documented criminal charges amidst his discussion of Islamic prohibitions on blasphemy.

Another concern is so-called “libel tourism” in which various Muslim individuals have sought libel judgments against American authors in foreign jurisdictions not possessing America’s strict free speech safeguards.  In response, the APPA, the Middle East Forum’s (MEF) Legal Project (LP), and others have promoted “Rachel’s Law,” named for Rachel Ehrenfeld after being found guilty in a British court for libelously accusing a Saudi prince of funding terrorism.  Now in effect at the federal level and in several states, such laws prevent the enforcement of foreign libel judgments not respecting American free speech standards.  As indicated by me in my question, Rachel’s Law parallels the analysis of ALAC with respect to the single issue of libel, and ALAC would make any specific Rachel’s Law unnecessary.

David Yerushalmi, derided in the CAP report as the key “anti-Islam” activist behind the foreign law bans, meanwhile, has taken on along with his colleague Robert Muise at the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) several cases defending free speech involving Islam.  AFLC, for example, defeated breaching the peace charges brought against four Christians who distributed religious literature to Muslims at a 2010 Dearborn, Michigan, Arab festival.  In a civil rights suit against Dearborn city officials, AFLC later obtained a settlement including a city apology for the arrest and prosecution.  AFLC is similarly currently litigating another case involving the very same Dearborn Arab festival in 2012 and proselytizing Christians.

Intricate legal concerns involving posited unintended consequences from foreign law bans dominated the CAP panel and report.  As a matter of principle, however, CAP and its allied panelists seemed to recognize no threat in sharia, as the recorded response to my question shows.  Report coauthor Faiza Patel from the Brennan Center for Justice, for example, discussed the judicial “Void as against Public Policy Rule” previously cited by the panel and the CAP report such that any free speech infringement “would be kicked out.”  Yet as this article indicates,this rule, in the words of the APPA, is often unavailing “because state legislatures have generally not been explicit about what their public policy is relative to foreign laws.”

Read more at American Thinker

The Dhimma Returns to Syria

360_syria_christians_0915By Mark Durie:

The following report comes from Martin Janssen in Amman, Jordan (original in Dutch). The preceding notes and translation from Dutch into English are by Dr. Mark Durie, an Anglican vicar in Melbourne, Australia, author of The Third Choice, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum.

In his report Janssen tells of his experience of a prayer walk in Amman, held on May 21 2013 for the two abducted Syrian clergy, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim.  These Archbishops have been captured by Syrian rebels.

After the prayer walk Janssen had the opportunity to meet with Syrian Christian refugees, who told him how they came to flee their homes and villages.  Their village was occupied by rebel forces, who proceeded to announce that they were now under an Islamic emirate, and were subject to sharia law.

The Christian residents were offered four choices:

1. renounce the ‘idolatry’ of Christianity and convert to Islam;
2. pay a heavy tribute to the Muslims for the privilege of keeping their heads and their Christian faith (this tribute is known as jizya);
3. be killed;
4. flee for their lives, leaving all their belongings behind.

Some Christians were killed, some fled, some tried to pay the jizya and found it too heavy a burden to bear after the rebels kept increasing the amount they had to pay,  and some were unable to flee or pay, so they converted to Islam to save themselves.

The scenario reported by Syrian refugees is a re-enactment of the historic fate of Christians across the Middle East.  The Muslim historian Al-Tabari reported that when the Caliph ‘Umar conquered Syria, he gave the following command to his armies:

“Summon the [conquered] people to Allah; those who respond unto your call, accept it [their conversion to Islam] from them, but those who refuse must pay the jizya out of humiliation and lowliness. If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency.”

Umar’s command referenced Sura (chapter) 9 verse 29 of the Koran:

“Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the jizya readily, being brought low.”

This policy of subjugating Christians under the yoke of jizya taxation was also based upon the teaching of Muhammad who said:

“Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah.
Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war …
When you meet your enemies who are polytheists,
invite them to three courses of action.
if they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold
yourself from doing them any harm.
Invite them to (accept) Islam;
if they respond to you, accept it from them
and desist from fighting against them ….
If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya.
If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands.
If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”
(Sahih Muslim. The Book of Jihad and Expedition. [Kitab al-Jihad wa’l-Siyar])

Classical Islamic law mandates that ‘People of the Book’ should be given three choices, however the Syrian rebels are augmenting this with the fourth option of allowing them to flee.

In Islamic law, Christians who accept to pay the jizya in order to keep their faith – and their head – are known as dhimmis.For a full explanation of the Islamic doctrine of the three choices, including the psychological meaning of the jizya tribute, see The Third Choice especially Chapter 6: The Dhimma: Doctrine and History).

It is a matter of deep concern that European states and the US are assisting the Syrian rebels as they implement this Islamic ‘emirate’, which includes the restoration of the dhimma system by re-enacting the conditions of jihad conquest against Christians.

A conversation with Syrian refugees in Ammanby Martin Janssen
Last Tuesday, May 21 a prayer walk was held in the Jordanian capital Amman around nightfall.  Its purpose was to inquire after the unknown fate of the two Syrian bishops who were kidnapped over a month ago.  I had agreed with some members of the congregation where I always worship to take part and traveled there with them. During the journey I was brought into contact with a Syrian priest from Aleppo who after the journey was concluded introduced me to a group of Syrian Christian refugees. The priest suggested that we all spend the rest of the evening together so that as a correspondent from Europe I could listen to the stories and testimonies of these Syrians.

Syrian refugees of all religious backgrounds – not just Christians – do not feel at ease in neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. They get the very strong impression that they are not welcome and that the open hostility of the local population towards them is growing. In Jordan, for example, some parliamentarians have been calling on the government for months to expell all Syrian refugees from the country because they pose a security risk. The problem is that this accusation contains an kernel of truth. Our evening discussion group of 12 people included some Jordanian Christians. They reported that a few weeks early the Jordanian security services had managed to thwart an assassination attempt on Abdullah, the Jordanian monarch. This attack was planned and orchestrated by a sleeper cell of the Syrian, al-Qaida affiliated, Jabhat al-Nusra movement. It was precisely to escape such radical Islamic movements that Syrian Christians have fled to Jordan.

My interlocutors this evening were almost all from northern Syria. They came from Idlib, Aleppo and villages in the countryside between the two cities. Their testimony was unanimous. Many of these villages had a large Christian presence until a few years ago, but now Christians no longer lived there. Jamil, an elderly man, told the following story during which other attendees began to nod violently in agreement. They appeared to have experienced exactly the same things.

Jamil lived in a village near Idlib where 30 Christian families had always lived peacefully alongside some 200 Sunni families. That changed dramatically in the summer of 2012. One Friday trucks appeared in the village with heavily armed and bearded strangers who did not know anyone in the village. They began to drive through the village with a loud speaker broadcasting the message that their village was now part of an Islamic emirate and Muslim women were henceforth to dress in accordance with the provisions of the Islamic Sharia. Christians were given four choices. They could convert to Islam and renounce their “idolatry”. If they refused they were allowed to remain on condition that they pay the jizya. This is a special tax that non-Muslims under Islamic law must pay for “protection”. For Christians who refused there remained two choices: they could leave behind all their property or they would be slain. The word that was used for the latter in Arabic (dhabaha) refers to the ritual slaughter of sacrificial animals [MD: i.e. by cutting the throat].

After Jamil had finished his story a gloomy silence descended. I asked him how the 30 Christian families in his village had perished since then. He replied that a number of families – including his own family – had initially opted to pay jizya. When the leader of the armed militia in their village, however, noticed that they were able to do this, the amount kept increasing in the following months. Like almost all other Christian families he eventually fled the village. His land and farm were lost. Some Christian families in his village who were unable to escape or pay the jizya converted to Islam. To his knowledge, there were no Christians killed in his village, but he had heard other stories from a neighboring village where only three Christian families survived. They were all murdered in the middle of the night.

Miryam, an Armenian middle-aged woman from Aleppo, made the biggest impression on me. A common thread running through all the stories from different places in northern Syria during this evening was the constant complaint that armed militias looted and plundered. From wheat, bread and diesel in the villages to the complete inventory of schools, businesses and factories in Aleppo. Factory owners who protested were executed without mercy. Miryam said acquaintances who fled to Turkey learned that members of these armed militias were selling this “war booty” at bargain basement prices in Turkey. Miryam looked at me thoughtfully and said something which remained constantly with me over the following days. She told me that she had learned last year that a human being has a tremendous ability to adapt to the most difficult conditions. They had to learn to live in Aleppo without water or food, and sometimes no electricity for days on end. They even had to learn to live with the sounds of explosives and gunfire that tore them from sleep at night.

However, what a man cannot live with is the constant terror that paralyzes him completely:  the daily fear that the bus transporting children to their school would be targeted by a suicide attack; the psychological fear that comes over you on Sunday when you go to church knowing there are groups active in your neighborhood who consider it a religious duty to kill as many Christians as possible; and finally the situation that at night you do not dare to go to bed because you have received reports about acquaintances and relatives who were surprised by a rocket that crashed out of nowhere onto their property while they slept; or what can happen when you spend hours in a long line at one of the few bakeries that still make bread. Indeed Miryam told me that she never could have imagined that even the simplest of life’s activities had suddenly become dangerous.

At the end of the night I struggled inwardly with a question that I did not dare to express but which I finally found the courage to utter. What next? What did these Syrian refugees have to say about their own future and that of Christianity in Syria? Later I realized that in fact no one answered this question. The Armenian Miryam said she was thinking of emigrating with her family to Armenia, while Jamil talked about relatives who lived in Sweden.  Perhaps their answer to my question lay hidden in these comments.

Just after midnight I drove home with the members of my church from Amman. Everyone was silent and seemed lost in thought. I was to be dropped off at the church. This church sits on a hill which was once almost always enchantingly lit, but I had  noticed recently that this was no longer the case. While getting out of the car I asked about the reason and was told that “there were people who had taken offense”. I also saw three young men quasi-nonchalantly keeping watch at the church.  When I asked if this was necessary, the short reply I got was “Yes.”

This report was originally published by the Religious Freedom Coalition

 

 

The Incontrovertible Dead-End of Islam Revisited

20121006_MAP003_0Islam is nothing if not a political ideology. The first time Mohammad raised his sword to forcibly convert men to Islam, and abandoned persuasion, that was the inauguration of political Islam. It has not changed since then. Force, coercion, slavery, death, and submission are the sole hallmarks of Islam.

By Edward Cline:

Excerpt:

The following is a revised and expanded version of “The Incontrovertible Dead-End of Islam,” which first appeared on October 30th, 2010. The revision and expansion are prompted by a May 13th, 2013 article by Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, “Islam vs. Islamism,” which also appeared in the Washington Times on May 13th. His article reflects a troubling central premise of alleging a necessary distinction between Islam and “Islamists,” that is, between ordinary, non-violent Muslims and their violent, “extremist” or “radical” brethren.

Pipes opens with a reference to the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15thand the foiled attack on the Canadian rail link to the U.S.:

What motives lay behind last month’s Boston Marathon bombing and the would-be attack on a VIA Rail Canada train?

Leftists and establishmentarians variously offer imprecise and tired replies – such as “violent extremism” or anger at Western imperialism – unworthy of serious discussion. Conservatives, in contrast, engage in a lively and serious debate among themselves: some say Islam the religion provides motive, others say it’s a modern extremist variant of the religion, known as radical Islam or Islamism.

As a participant in the latter debate, here’s my argument for focusing on Islamism.

His argument proposes a false dichotomy between Islam and “Islamists,” that is, between Muslims who wage violent jihad on the West and even amongst themselves for sectarian reasons, and those who don’t.

Islam is the fourteen-century-old faith of a billion-plus believers that includes everyone from quietist Sufis to violent jihadis. Muslims achieved remarkable military, economic, and cultural success between roughly 600 and 1200 C.E. Being a Muslim then meant belonging to a winning team, a fact that broadly inspired Muslims to associate their faith with mundane success. Those memories of medieval glory remain not just alive but central to believers’ confidence in Islam and in themselves as Muslims.

Major dissonance began around 1800, when Muslims unexpectedly lost wars, markets, and cultural leadership to Western Europeans. It continues today, as Muslims bunch toward the bottom of nearly ever index of achievement. This shift has caused massive confusion and anger. What went wrong, why did God seemingly abandon His faithful? The unbearable divergence between pre-modern accomplishment and modern failure brought about trauma.

Muslims have responded to this crisis in three main ways. Secularists want Muslims to ditch the Shari’a (Islamic law) and emulate the West. Apologists also emulate the West but pretend that in doing so they are following the Shari’a. Islamists reject the West in favor of a retrograde and full application of the Shari’a.

These paragraphs astounded me. The first one glosses over the conquest of the Middle East and North Africa which necessitated forced conversion, butchery, and slavery. Remarkable military successes, indeed. But for their defeat at the Battle of Tours, the “Islamists” would have carved out a huge empire in Europe. What economic accomplishments? The period he cites spans the economically stagnant Dark Ages and early Western Medieval periods. Cultural successes? Other than a certain architectural style, translating some Aristotle and other ancient thinkers – whose works Islam subsequently rejected – I can’t recall any great symphonies, artwork, or literature Islam produced in those six hundred years.

“Major dissonance” within Islam began over who was going to be Mohammad’s official successor in the 630’s. Thus the interminable conflicts between Sunnis and Shi’ites and other splintering sects of Islam. Islam never had any “cultural leadership.”

Secularist Muslims may want Islam to ditch Sharia law but only at the risk of being deemed apostates and of their deaths. Apologist Muslims feign a hypothetical reconciliation between Sharia and Western concepts of freedom, and demand the incorporation of Sharia into Western law. “Islamists,” however, are consistent with their creed, know that it is“retrograde” and primitive, and wage jihad to achieve that end.

Raymond Ibrahim, associate director of the Middle East Forum, on October 28, 2010, however, published an article, “Offensive Jihad: The One Incontrovertible Problem with Islam,” also in the Middle East Form (October 28, 2010), which seems to be at fundamental odds with Pipes’ article. Ibrahim’s article addresses one of the fundamental problems of and with Islam, one which I have continually stressed: jihadJihad is a core tenet in what is a codified system of irrationalism that cannot be “reformed” without obliterating Islam as a distinct religious creed. Remove the belligerent jihadist commands from the Koran and Hadith to wage jihad, for example, and it would cease to be Islam, not only in Muslim minds but in non-Muslim, as well.

There would, of course, remain a host of other irrational assertions and imperatives, such as the sanctioning of wife-beating and the murder of apostates and the like, which constitute, after some astounding mental gymnastics by Islamic clerics and scholars, the byzantine and illogical underpinnings and text of Sharia law. The jihadist elements of Islam, however, are easily transmutable into a political policy, which is conquest of all non-Muslim or infidel governments and societies and their submission to Sharia. That makes it an ideological doctrine. Muslims are either obliged to wage jihad, or they are not. Mohammad and Muslim scholars say they are. End of argument, so far as Koranic interpretation goes, and that interpretation is biased towards the literal.

Reading the debates about what Islam’s mission is and the role of jihad in it and what they truly “mean,” I am always reminded of H.L. Mencken’s observation on religious zealotry: “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” Islam is a puritanical creed that makes no allowances for either infidels or apostates or its adherents. I cannot believe that beneath the pious exterior of any person who would be seduced by Islam is not a seething, percolating envy of men who are indeed free, an envy easily and maliciously transfigured into violent jihad.

This policy is operative and underway today in Western nations with varying degrees of success, and it is making progress only by default. Islam is strong only because the West’s defenders are emasculated by multiculturalist premises and a general disinclination to condemn any religion. Aggravating the problem is an unadmitted but general fear in tolerance-obsessed pragmatists of “offending” Muslims, who might start rioting and demonstrating again, claiming discrimination, defamation, and disrespect, and etc., none of it spontaneous but clearly organized and orchestrated by so-called “radicals.”

I was initially impressed by Ibrahim’s quotation from an entry on jihad in the Encyclopedia of Islam, which is an admission that “Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad can be eliminated” – until I realized that it could just as well mean that, after a global caliphate has been established, there would be no more justification for violentjihad. Every nation would by then be conquered, recalcitrant infidels slain, enslaved, or reduced to dhimmitude, and Sharia made the law of every land.

In short, after all the killing, enslaving, and oppression, jihad would be wrong!!

But, if Islam is completely” made over” in the sense of reforming it, what would be left of Islam that virtually any other creed could not claim as its fundamental tenets, as well? And to” make over” Islam, its principal font of “kilman” or wisdom, the objectionable and barbaric Mohammad, would need to be dispensed with. He is a role model for killers and tyrants and other psychopathic individuals. Remove that one critical link of the irrational and arbitrary in Islam, and all the other links fall to the floor or dissolve into nothingness.

 
Read more: Family Security Matters

Bin Laden’s Death is a Dangerous Anniversary

Bin Laden DeathBy Alan Caruba:

Thursday, May 2, is a day to be especially watchful. Jihadists are particularly fond of celebrating anniversaries and on that day in 2011 Seal Team Six found and killed Osama bin Laden. September 11. 2001 is now an indelible part of U.S. history and on September 11, 2012, jihadists attacked and killed an American ambassador and three others.

The threat that Islam presents to America in particular and the world in general is beginning to influence what non-Muslims think of this death cult.

In a recent commentary, the Dr. Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, referred to the process by which opinion in democratic nations turns against Islam as “education by murder.”

Dr. Pipes was sanguine regarding the American response to the Boston Marathon attack. He did not foresee any increase in security measures or a greater preparedness for what he called “sudden jihad syndrome” violence. Even so, he said “High profile terrorism in the West—9/11, Bali, Madrid, Beslan, London—moves opinion more than anything else.”

A new report about the Islamist terrorist threat, “Al Qaeda in the United States”, issued by the Henry Jackson Society, a British-based think tank, noted that, of the 171 al Qaeda related or inspired acts of terrorism from 1997 to 2011, 54% were by American citizens, some naturalized, but more than a third (36%) were born in the U.S., concluding that this statistic dispels the myth that the terrorist threat is primarily external.”

I keep wondering how long it will be before Americans will begin to take seriously the threat that Islam represents. The list of attacks is a long one such as the 1982 attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut and the 1983 attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks after Reagan sent them there as peacekeepers. The first attack on the World Trade Center was in 1993. In October 2000, the USS Cole was attacked. On September 11, 2001, the second attack killed 3,000 Americans. When George W. Bush came into office, he told his national security advisor, Condoleeza Rice, that he was “tired of swatting flies.”

Yes, the list of attacks is a long one: Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. or Against Americans

Daniel Pipes Speaks On The Obama Administration’s Middle East Policy

Daniel Pipes1

Streamed live on Apr 16, 2013

(There were some sound issues in the beginning. Go to 0.13.45. Frank Gaffney starts at 0.16.59. Daniel Pipes begins at 0.24.21. 

Delivered by Dr. Daniel Pipes
“The Obama Administration’s Middle East Policy”

The Reserve Officers Association, in conjunction with the Center for Security Policy and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, hosted Dr. Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum, to give this year’s Jackson-Kyl Lecture on National Security, part of the living legacy of two our nation’s great practitioners in that portfolio: the late Senator Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson (D-WA) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

This event is sponsored by:

The Defense Education Forum of ROA
The Center for Security Policy

Islamist Assassinations in the West

by Daniel Pipes
Gatestone Institute
February 25, 2013

Terrorism broadly takes two forms: against random individuals who happen to be at a market place or on a bus at the wrong time; or against specific individuals because of who they are. The latter in turn divides into two: against broad categories of people (the military, Jews, people who wear eyeglasses) and against specific public figures, either individuals or institutions. In effect, these last are assassinations (defined by Merriam-Webster as “to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons”).

Horrific as the first two genres are, assassinations are the most terrifying and effective. Whereas the first two can happen to anyone and have the effect of creating a universal but vague dread, the third focuses on a small pool of targets and sends a specific signal to others not to follow in their footsteps. In general, therefore, assassinations inspire the most consequential fear, intimidate the most, and have the greatest consequences.

Actual public Western victims of Islamist violence have included:

  • 1980: Ali Akbar Tabataba’i, Iranian dissident, in the United States*
  • 1980: Faisal Zagallai, Libyan dissident, in the United States
  • 1990: Rashad Khalifa, Egyptian religious innovator, in the United States*
  • 1990: Meir Kahane, Israel politician of American origins, in the United States*
  • 1991: Hitoshi Igarashi, Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses*
  • 1991: Ettore Capriolo, Italian translator of The Satanic Verses
  • 1993: William Nygaard, Norwegian publisher of The Satanic Verses
  • 2004: Theo van Gogh, Dutch artist*
  • 2010: Kurt Westergaard, Danish cartoonist
  • 2010: Lars Vilks, Swedish artist
  • 2010: Jyllands-Posten, Danish newspaper
  • 2012: Charlie Hebdo, French satiric magazine
  • 2013: Lars Hedegaard, Danish historian and political analyst

Notes: * indicates a fatality. Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi, head of the Libyan government, was an Islamist in 1980. I do not list here victims of Muslim but non-Islamist assassinations, such as Malcolm X in 1965 or the attempt on the pope in 1981. For the record, a Palestinian Christian killed Robert Kennedy in 1968.

Statistical comments:

(1) Other than one isolated attack in 2004, this listing of 13 inexplicably divides into two distinct periods, seven in 1980-93 and five in 2010-13.

(2) Listed by their identity, the victims include 8 connected to culture and the arts, 3 political figures, 1 religious one, and 1 analyst. Of the eight cultural attacks, 4 involved cartoons, 3 Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, and one a movie, Submission.

(3) Geographically, 8 took place in Europe, 4 in the United States, and one in Japan. Of the European cases, three took place in tiny Denmark. Britain and Germany are conspicuously missing from this list. Oddly, the 4 American instances took place in either 1980 or 1990.

(4) State involvement can be discerned only in the first 3 cases (Iranian, Libyan, and Saudi, respectively).

(5) In terms of deadliness, 5 attacks led to a fatality, 8 did not.

Lars Hedegaard presented Daniel Pipes with the Danish Free Press Society award in March 2007.

 

And a personal note by way of conclusion: the Feb. 5 attack on Hedegaard – a friend and colleague at the Middle East Forum – inspired me to compile this listing in the hopes that aggregating these loathsome crimes will help wake more Westerners to the danger within.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum.

Philadelphia’s Burqa Crisis

black-burqa-441x350Daniel Pipes:

Philadelphia, the city where I live, has quietly and unassumedly become the capital of the Western world as regards female Islamic garb as an accessory to crime.

First, a tutorial on Islamic coverings, all of which tend to be called veils in English but fall into three main categories. Some (the abayahijabchadorjilbab, or khimar) cover parts of the body, especially the hair, neck, and shoulders, but reveal the face and identity of the woman; some cover the face (the yashmak) but show the body shape; and some hide the whole body, including the identity and gender of the wearer. The latter – our topic here – is better described as a full-body cover than a veil: it in turn has two types, those that cover the person entirely (the chadari or burqa) or those with a slit for the eyes (the haik or niqab).

By my count, the Philadelphia region has witnessed 14 robberies (or attempted robberies) of financial institutions in the past six years in which the thieves relied on an Islamic full-body cover. They took place in January 2007, June 2007, May 2008, November 2009, October 2010 (two), February 2011, June 2011, December 2011, January 2012, March 2012 (two), and April 2012 (two). The most violent attack took place on May 3, 2008, when Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski was killed with an AK-47 in a shoot-out following a successful robbery using burqas; the police then killed one of the criminals.

As the Middle East Forum’s David J. Rusin points out in his detailed survey of Philadelphia burqa crimes, Muslim garb holds two great advantages over other forms of disguise: First, many full-body covered women walk the streets without criminal intent, thereby inadvertently providing cover for thieves; the more full-body coverings around, the more likely that these will facilitate criminal activity. Second, the very strangeness and aloofness of these garments affords their wearers, including criminals, an extraordinary degree of protection. As in other cases (three purchases of alcohol in Toronto state liquor stores by a 14-year-old boy in a burqa; Muslim women not checked at Canadian airports), clerks so fear being accused of racism or “Islamophobia” that they skip state-mandated procedures, such as requiring niqabis to show their faces and establish their identities.

To their credit, some banks no longer allow head coverings. For example, a PNC Bank office in Philadelphia boasts a front-door sign stating: “The safety of our employees and customers is our foremost concern. We request that you remove any hats, caps, sunglasses or hoods while inside this financial institution.” Such policies should reduce burqa bank robberies.

But as banks become harder targets, Islamic garb presents a more general danger to soft targets. For example, in the Philadelphia area, assailants donned Islamic garb to rob a real estate office in 2008 and commit murder at a barber shop in 2012.

Not fatal but equally horrific, was the Jan. 14-15 abduction and rape of a 5-year-old child in Philadelphia. A niqabi signed Nailla Robinson out from the Bryant Elementary School pretending to be her mother taking her to breakfast. Investigators believe the two walked a few blocks to where a man awaited them. Nailla then disappeared for nearly a day and was only found the next morning shivering half-naked in a park by a passerby. Last week, the police arrested Christina Regusters, 19, an daycare center employee with prior contact with Nailla. The fourteen charges against her include kidnapping, rape, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy.

The usual two factors noted above were critical to this crime’s commission: the spread of full-body gear (Nailla’s mother, Latifah Rashid, wears Islamic garb, meaning the abductor could plausibly pretend to be her) and the Bryant school staff deferring to a niqabi (completely ignoring the many rulespertaining to the escorting of a child from school).

This survey of Philadelphia’s crisis prompts several reflections: First, almost any Western city at any time could have Philadelphia’s problems. Second, this is deadly serious issue, involving violent robberies, rapes, and murders. Third, as full-body Islamic covers spread, criminals increasingly depend on them. Fourth, government workers need to surmount their timidity and apply normal procedures even to those wearing full-body covers, even in liquor shops, airports, and elementary schools. Finally, this problem has an obvious solution: ban the niqab and burqa in public places, as the national governments in France and Belgium have recently done.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum.

 

Islam and Islamism in the Modern World: An interview with Daniel Pipes

by Tom Bethell
The American Spectator
February 2013

Daniel Pipes1Daniel Pipes, one of our leading experts on Islam, established the Middle East Forum and became its head in 1994. He was born in 1949 and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father, Richard Pipes, was a professor of Russian history, now emeritus, at Harvard.

Daniel studied Arabic and Islamic history and lived in Cairo for three years. His PhD dissertation became his first book, Slave Soldiers and Islam (1981). Then his interest in purely academic subjects expanded to include modern Islam. He left the university because, as he told an interviewer from Harvard Magazine, he has “the simple politics of a truck driver, not the complex ones of an academic.”

His story of being harassed through the legal system by a Muslim who later committed suicide was recently told in The American Spectator (“A Palestinian in Texas,” TAS, November 2012). He has been personally threatened but prefers not to talk about specifics except to note that law enforcement has been involved.

I interviewed Pipes shortly before Christmas, when the Egyptians were voting on their new constitution. I started out by saying that the number of Muslims in the U.S. has doubled since the 9/11 attacks.

DP: My career divides in two: before and after 9/11. In the first part I was trying to show that Islam is relevant to political concerns. If you want to understand Muslims, I argued, you need to understand the role of Islam in their lives. Now that seems obvious. If anything, there’s a tendency to over-emphasize Islam; to assume that Muslims are dominated by the Koran and are its automatons—which goes too far. You can’t just read the Koran to understand Muslim life. You have to look at history, at personalities, at economics, and so on.

TB: Do you see the revival of Islam as a reality?

DP: Yes. Half a century ago Islam was waning, the application of its laws became ever more remote, and the sense existed that Islam, like other religions, was in decline. Since then there has been a sharp and I think indisputable reversal. We’re all talking about Islam and its laws now.

TB: At the same time you have raised an odd question: “Can Islam survive Islamism?” Can you explain that?

DP: I draw a distinction between traditional Islam and Islamism. Islamism emerged in its modern form in the 1920s and is driven by a belief that Muslims can be strong and rich again if they follow the Islamic law severely and in its entirety. This is a response to the trauma of modern Islam. And yet this form of Islam is doing deep damage to faith, to the point that I wonder if Islam will ever recover.

TB: Give us the historical context.

DP: The modern era for Muslims began with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798. Muslims experienced a great shock at seeing how advanced the blue-eyed peoples from the north had become. It would be roughly analogous to the Eskimos coming down south and decimating Westerners, who would uncomprehendingly ask in response, “Who are these people and how are they defeating us?”

TB: So how did they respond?

DP: Muslims over the past 200 years have made many efforts to figure out what went wrong. They have experimented with several answers. One was to emulate liberal Europe—Britain and France—until about 1920. Another was to emulate illiberal Europe—Germany and Russia—until about 1970. The third was to go back to what are imagined to be the sources of Islamic strength a millennium ago, namely the application of Islamic law. That’s Islamism. It’s a modern phenomenon, and it’s making Muslims the center of world unrest.

TB: But it is also creating discomfort?

DP: It has terribly deleterious effects on Muslims. Many of them are put off by Islam. In Iran, for example, one finds a lot of alienation from Islam as a result of the Islamist rule of the last 30-odd years.

TB: Has it happened anywhere else?

DP: One hears reports, especially from Algeria and Iraq, of Muslims converting to Christianity. And in an unprecedented move, ex-Muslims living in the West have organized with the goal of becoming a political force. I believe the first such effort was the Centraal Comité voor Ex-moslims in the Netherlands, but now it’s all over the place.

Read more at DanielPipes.org

Militant Muslims Cutting Out Tongues

by Raymond Ibrahim

Why so much violence against the tongue? As the Sheikh of Islam himself: Ibn Tamiyyah, once wrote, “Waging war verbally against Islam might be worse than waging war against it physically.”

Dr. Abdullah Badr

A professor of Islamic exegesis at Cairo’s preeminent Islamic university, Al Ahzar, Dr. Abdullah Badr, recently proclaimed on Egyptian television that a new day has arrived: apparently from now on, there will be absolutely no more toleration for anyone who speaks against Islam—including people who speak against the implementation of Sharia law and its seventh century punishments.

Badr is currently on trial for possibly libeling and defaming a female Egyptian artist, Elham Shahin, whom he called, among other disparagements, a “whore.” An unrepentant Badr appeared again on TV, and made the following oath:

I have sworn to Allah, that any dog—for that is how Allah described them, for they are like dogs that are constantly panting—that any dog who mocks the Sharia, or mocks Islam, or blames it, we will cut out his tongue. I say this without hesitation: We will cut out his tongue! That’s it. The time of transgressing against Islam, and speaking insolence, has passed—it is over. Today, the People of Lies

defend their falsehoods with great zeal; so shall we defend Islam with all our might—no matter what it costs, no matter what it costs! Let the whole world burn, but Islam not be mocked.

None of this is figurative. Days after Dr. Badr made these pronouncements, on October 30, a roaming band of Salafis in Suez attacked, severely beat and tried to cut the hand off a young Egyptian grocery store worker because he prevented one of their gang from using the store bathroom without permission. The bearded Salafi had said: “I do not ask for permission.”

The assaulted youth’s brother, angered at what had happened, then “insulted the men.” Accordingly, Suez’s new roaming band of Sharia enforcers, who call themselves the “Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” after Saudi Arabia’s “morality police,” claimed that he had insulted Islam and ordered that the man’s tongue be cut out. This is the same group that earlier stabbed to death a young Egyptian man for walking in public with his fiancée.

The father of the two boys, a longtime local, gave more detail, including how he had never seen the Salafi group, who “spoke in formal/Quranic Arabic;” also, in this video, the father explains how one of the Salafis, “a short man,” kept screaming at the top of his voice that his son “has insulted the religion! His tongue must be severed as soon as possible!”

With help from others, the youth managed to escape Sharia justice.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Ten Years of Campus Watch

By Cinnamon Stillwell

It was ten years ago this week, on September 18, 2002, that Campus Watch—a project of the Middle East Forum that reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them—opened its doors. The response was instantaneous: the Middle East studies establishment, long unused to outside scrutiny, recoiled in horror at the prospect of accountability and proclaimed themselves martyrs. Declaring “solidarity” with eight academics Campus Watch (CW) had identified as apologists for Palestinian violence or militant Islam, over 100 faculty and graduate students, most from fields other than Middle East studies, requested to be listed on the CW website. Thus was born the “Solidarity with Apologists” list and more importantly, the preposterous conceit that outside criticism of academia is a form of “McCarthyist” censorship.

Such delusions continue to this day in the form of mischaracterizations, name-calling, smears, caricatures, and false claims of victimhood; indeed, CW now has a “Setting the Record Straight” section to respond to the deluge. Meanwhile, opponents refuse to treat seriously the five problems the CW mission statement sets out to address: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students.

Nonetheless, they now know that their discipline’s long record of radicalism and indoctrination is well known off-campus to parents, students, legislators, and donors. Its sustained critique has put the Middle East studies establishment on the defensive in a way that almost certainly wouldn’t have been accomplished by more general critics of higher education, whose attention is spread across all disciplines as well as administrative matters and finances. Campus Watch’s relentlessness has proved a great asset.

One of the most significant indicators of CW’s impact is the backhanded endorsements from Middle East studies academics. Being cited on CW’s website has become a bragging rite, with University of California, Los Angeles history professor Gabriel Piterberg even claiming as much before it was true, while the specter of CW “spies” (that is, contributors who attend public lectures and write about them for CW) haunts lecture halls, leading professors and audience members alike to publicly reference CW in ominous terms. There’s also the possibility of being ridiculed in CW’s prominently displayed “Howler of the Month.”

CW is certainly not alone in its efforts to challenge academia’s status quo, considering organizations such as the National Association of Scholars, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the Manhattan Institute, and books such as Middle East scholar Martin Kramer’s seminal Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America and president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)Richard Cravatts’s Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews. Moreover, CW, building on the work of  Stanley Kurtz and Martin Kramer to pass legislation that requires federally-funded Middle East centers to offer a diversity of opinion in their outreach activities, plans to bring those centers to account.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, for as we’ve seen time and time again, the advice of “experts” on the Middle East, both via policymakers and the media, has thwarted the nation’s understanding in the region. Whether it be the mistaken belief that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has the capacity for moderation; that Israel is the root cause of instability in the region; that Iran and its proxy Hezbollahwill undertake honest negotiations;that Islamist Turkey and Tunisia are models of governance; that the rise of Islamism in the wake of the “Arab Spring” is negligible; or that “Islamophobia” is what’s ailing the Muslim world—all such misapprehensions can be traced back to the field of Middle East studies. And these are the people responsible for educating the next generation.

Read more at Front Page

Islam’s ‘Holy Month’ of Christian Oppression

Egyptian Christian, Maher Rizkalla Before and After Ramadan

by Raymond Ibrahim

The month of Ramadan, which ended earlier this week, proved to be a month of renewed Muslim piety on the one hand, and renewed oppression of non-Muslim minorities on the other. In Nigeria, for example, Islamic militants are living up to the assertion that “Ramadan is a month of jihad and death for Allah,” proving that killing Christians is not only reserved for Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter – when militants bombed churches killing dozens – but is especially applicable during Islam’s Ramadan.

Professors and Politicos Fooled by the Muslim Brotherhood

by Cinnamon Stillwell Jul 27, 2012

Engagement with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is the consensus among elite opinion and certainly among the ranks of North American Middle East studies academics, the “experts” tasked with informing the public and, often, policy-makers on foreign policy in the region. Since the Egyptian revolution, these academics have whitewashed the Muslim Brotherhood, downplayed its Islamist agenda, and urged U.S. cooperation—a policy suggestion the Obama administration has clearly taken to heart.

Many have been shocked by the speed with which the Obama administration has pursued this policy of outreach. The current debate within Congress about the potential influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department—a deliberation that crosses party lines—demonstrates just how deeply the influence has spread.

The symbiotic relationship between the academic and political spheres came to the fore in April of this year. No sooner had representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, met with White House officials than the same delegation was taking part in a panel discussion at Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) on April 4, 2012 (click here to watch).

That the Saudi-funded ACMCU and its founding director John Esposito—a notorious apologist for radical Islam and the moderator of the panel discussion—would host the FJP makes perfect sense. So, too, did the FJP representatives’ deceptive claims to uphold democratic rights, women’s rights, religious and political pluralism, and a pro-American foreign policy, even as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist philosophy, stated goals, and the words of its own members—when directed towards Arabic-speaking audiences—all indicate otherwise. In reality, the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal of establishing a global caliphate in which Sharia (Islamic) law reigns supreme remains unchanged. (In the U.S., as noted by Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes, this entails replacing the “Constitution with the Koran.”) The challenging question and answer period indicated that the audience at Georgetown was not entirely misled by the FJP’s façade of moderation, despite the fact that they were given a platform by a prestigious institution in the field of Middle East studies.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Obama administration, which seems determined to forget the lessons of the 1979 Iranian “Islamic revolution.” From the halls of academe to the corridors of power, the advice of “experts” can have far-reaching consequences.

Campus Watch Blog  

 

Mightier Pen 2012: The Growing Censorship of Free Speech

 

Published on Feb 29, 2012 by    

The Center for Security Policy presented its 2012 National Security & New Media Conference and Mightier Pen Award in New York City. The theme of the conference was “Under the Gun: Reporting News in a Dangerous World,” and featured participants of this panel were: Sam Nunberg (Middle East Forum-The Legal Project), Brooke Goldstein (The Lawfare Project, author of “Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech”) and Andrew McCarthy (National Review). Moderated by the Center for Security Policy’s Fred Grandy.