Connecting the Dots 101

-213433477By Frank Gaffney:

The dramatic events in Boston last week have given rise to what President Obama would call a “teachable moment.”  The question is, will we “connect the dots”?  And, more to the point, will our leaders, the media and the rest of us have the intellectual integrity and courage to learn the evident lessons?

The initial indicators are not encouraging. We now know that, despite the unconcealed hopes of some elected officials, elite journalists and most especially the self-appointed arbiters of “hatred” – the hate-mongering Southern Poverty Law Center, the perpetrators of murderous attacks at the Boston Marathon and in the days that followed turned out not to be white Christian or anti-tax extremists, but Caucasians of a very different stripe.  Yet, their true character and motivations continue to be obscured.

In fact, Timerlan and Dhozkhar Tsarnaev were jihadists, born in the turbulent Russian republic of Chechnya – a honing fire for terror-wielding Islamists – and named, respectively for prominent figures in that movement’s distant and more recent past.

Here’s what we have learned from this episode that is highly instructive about the wider war we are in:

  • The Tsarnaev brothers became “radicalized” as they embraced their Muslim faith.  The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that their mother encouraged this course, that the elder boy brought along his younger sibling and that they attended the Islamic Society of Boston/ISB.  As a powerful video produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance makes clear, the ISBCC is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood – a group that seeks to impose its supremacist Islamic code of shariah worldwide.  Shariah commands its adherents to engage in or otherwise support jihad (or holy war).
  • Sources at the Tsaraevs’ mosque are spinning the press with stories that Timerlan was ejected at one point for challenging an imam’s endorsement of Martin Luther King. Also, shortly after the Marathon bombings, the ISBCC issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack.  Yet, these deflections cannot be allowed to obscure the reality that this mosque – like many others in America – promotes shariah and jihadism.  (See the peer-reviewed study published in 2011 by the Middle East Quarterly in which a random sample of one hundred such institutions found that 80% of them are associated with both shariah and jihad.)  As such, mosques like the Islamic Society of Boston must be considered to be part of the problem.
  • The FBI interviewed Timerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of a Russian government evidently concerned about the jihadist inclinations of this Chechen expat.  The Bureau says it “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the [Russian] government in the summer of 2011.”  Unfortunately, this statement seems to say more about the politically imposed limitations on the Bureau’s ability to understand and identify the roots in jihad of such terrorism than provide an accurate assessment of the elder Tsaraev’s behavior.
  •  Among such political constraints is President Obama’s assiduous rejection of any  association between terrorism and Islam.  In fact, his administration has gone so far as to characterize the former as “violent extremism,” “man-caused disasters” and “workplace violence.”  In response, the FBI has purged its files of training materials that might “offend” Muslims. That would, it seems, include any information about the direct connection between shariah, jihad and “terrorism.”  Like other government agencies, moreover, the Bureau has been directed to consult with “community partners” – which seems to mean Muslim Brotherhood front organizations – before engaging trainers or their curricula.
  •  Then there is this:  In 2012, the FBI adopted “Guiding Principles” that say, among other things, that “mere association with organizations that demonstrates both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).”  In other words, Timerlan Tsarnaev could not be considered dangerous as long as his jihadist affiliates also engaged in “legitimate” (that is, non-violent) efforts to bring about the triumph of shariah.
  • This absurd justification apparently underpins as well the Obama administration’s engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, both at home and abroad, resulting in the latter’s legitimation, empowerment, funding, arming and ascendancy – with our help – throughout the Sunni Muslim world.  The strategically disastrous consequences of this policy are now becoming manifest.

Given the foregoing problems, it is hardly surprising that the American people are largely uninformed about the true nature of the threat we are facing.  As a result, they are not being engaged, as they must be, in the defense of our republic against enemies foreign and domestic.

Read more at Center For Security Policy

The Weird Phenomenon of Ottoman Empire Nostalgia

The ethnic cleansing of Turkish Armenia was accomplished in a variety of ways including deportations and outright massacres. Here, Armenian deportees struggle to survive in makeshift tents erected in the Syrian desert to which they were deported in 1915.

The ethnic cleansing of Turkish Armenia was accomplished in a variety of ways including deportations and outright massacres. Here, Armenian deportees struggle to survive in makeshift tents erected in the Syrian desert to which they were deported in 1915.

By John Hinderaker at Powerline:

If you hate America and the West generally, but aren’t crazy enough to long for Nazism or Communism, what’s left? Remarkably, many leftists have recently been expressing affection for the Ottoman Empire. Seriously. If you think about it, the Ottomans fulfilled a liberal fantasy: authoritarian so you get to boss everyone around and always get your way, but usually without actually having to murder your enemies. Plus, with no shortage of sex. I ridiculed Tom Friedman’s yearning for the days of the Ottomans here, and included this throwaway line:

It turns out that “Iron Empires” means the Ottomans, who, as Friedman writes, “had a live-and-let-live mentality toward their subjects.” Unless, of course, they were Armenians.

At the Middle East Quarterly, Efraim Karsh undertakes a more systematic demolition of Ottoman nostalgia:

It is commonplace among Middle East scholars across the political spectrum to idealize the Ottoman colonial legacy as a shining example of tolerance. “The multi-ethnic Ottoman Turkish Empire,” wrote American journalist Robert Kaplan, “was more hospitable to minorities than the uni-ethnic democratic states that immediately succeeded it. … Violent discussions over what group got to control which territory emerged only when the empire came to an end, after World War I.”

Karsh also cites the Armenian genocide in response to the idealization of the Ottomans:

While there is no denying the argument’s widespread appeal, there is also no way around the fact that, in almost every particular, it is demonstratively wrong. The imperial notion, by its very definition, posits the domination of one ethnic, religious, or national group over another, and the Ottoman Empire was no exception. It tolerated the existence of vast non-Muslim subject populations in its midst, as did earlier Muslim (and non-Muslim) empires—provided they acknowledged their legal and institutional inferiority in the Islamic order of things. When these groups dared to question their subordinate status—let alone attempt to break the Ottoman yoke—they were brutally suppressed, and none more so than the Armenians during World War I. …

A far cry from the tolerant and tranquil domain it is often taken for, Turkey-in-Europe was the most violent part of the continent during the century or so between the Napoleonic upheavals and World War I as the Ottomans embarked on an orgy of bloodletting in response to the nationalist aspirations of their European subjects. The Greek war of independence of the 1820s, the Danubian nationalist uprisings of 1848, the Balkan explosion of the 1870s, and the Greco-Ottoman war of 1897—all were painful reminders of the cost of breaking free from an imperial master. And all pale in comparison with the treatment meted out to the foremost nationalist awakening in Turkey-in-Asia: the Armenian.

He recites the brute facts of the Turks’ suppression of the Armenians; read it all if you aren’t already familiar with the depressing story. In the meantime, here are some excerpts. See whether some aspects of the story seem especially topical:

The first step in this direction was taken in early 1915 when Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army were relegated to “labor battalions” and stripped of their weapons. Most of these fighters-turned-laborers would be marched out in droves to secluded places and shot in cold blood, often after being forced to dig their own graves. Those fortunate enough to escape summary execution were employed as laborers in the most inhumane conditions.

At the same time, the authorities initiated a ruthless campaign to disarm the entire Armenian population of personal weapons before embarking on a genocidal spree of mass deportations and massacres. By the autumn of 1915, Cilicia had been ethnically cleansed and the authorities turned their sights on the foremost Armenian settlement area in eastern Anatolia. First to be cleansed was the zone bordering Van, extending from the Black Sea to the Iranian frontier and immediately threatened by Russian advance; only there did outright massacres often substitute for otherwise slow deaths along the deportation routes or in the concentration camps of the Syrian desert. In other districts of Ottoman Armenia, depopulated between July and September, the Turks attempted to preserve a semblance of a deportation policy though most deportees were summarily executed after hitting the road. In the coastal towns of Trebizond, for example, Armenians were sent out to sea, ostensibly for deportation, only to be thrown overboard shortly afterward. Of the deportees from Erzerum, Erzindjan, and Baibourt, only a handful survived the initial stages of the journey. …

Whenever the deportees arrived at a village or town, they were exhibited like slaves in a public place, often before the government building itself. Female slave markets were established in the Muslim areas through which the Armenians were driven, and thousands of young Armenian women and girls were sold in this way. Even the clerics were quick to avail themselves of the bargains of the white slave market. …

Nor for that matter is there any symmetry between the military (and other) resources at the empire’s disposal and those available to its subjects, not least since states by definition control the means of collective violence. In the Armenian case, this inherent inequality was aggravated by the comprehensive disarming of the community; and while some “gangs” may have retained their weapons, the vast majority of Armenians surrendered them to the authorities despite their stark realization that the 1895-96 massacres had been preceded by very similar measures.

We can only speculate as to why so many liberals have grown fond of the Ottomans.

See also:

The Armenian Genocide PBS Documentary posted at Kitman TV

A Look Inside Four California Mosques

By Kelly Williams

On October 7, mosques in Southern California scheduled an Open Mosque Day where non-Muslims could tour the mosques and talk with Muslims who attended the mosque.  We assembled a team (that will remain anonymous for obvious reasons) to obtain first-hand reports at four mosques.  One of the objectives of the mosque visits was to confirm the conclusions of a 2011 survey of 100 mosques published in the Middle East Quarterly that 81 percent of U.S. mosques display moderately violent to highly violent literature and that their practices showed strong compliance with Sharia Law. The reports below, therefore, address the evidence of rigorous enforcement of Sharia Law as well as other observations of interest to those who have wondered what actually goes on inside the mosques.   What stands out is the stark contrast between the “look and feel” of a mosque as compared with an American church or synagogue.

Mosque: King Fahd Mosque, Culver City.

Sharia-compliant behavior:

* Segregation of women in prayer. * Some men with beards. * Most women in hijabs/scarves. * Markers in carpet for prayer lines. * Some attendees bearded with head covering and wearing traditional garb.

Militant literature on sale or in library:

* Arabic books outnumbered English books about 4 to 1. * Authors included Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Ibn Taymiyah, Martin Lings, and Karen Armstrong. * Most of English Qurans were post-1970 translations.

Foreign influence in the Mosque:

*Could not identify mosque leader. Guides said the mosque was run by a rotating committee and numerous prayer leaders. * All inscriptions were in Arabic. *Mosque funded by Saudi Arabia, and past imams have been on the payroll of the Saudi Arabian Consulate of Los Angeles.

Visitor Pamphlets:

*Free Qurans available, but no visitor pamphlets were on display.

Gender Discrimination:

*Women separated from men for tours of mosque. *Women prayed in separate balcony area. *Most women wore hijabs or scarves.

Racial Discrimination:

*Worshipers were of all races and nationalities – no one race was predominant.

Sectarian Discrimination:

*Mosque website says it is a Sunni (traditional) mosque.

Observations: 

Male Team Member 1: The man who guided me around was from Afghanistan and had been in the U.S. for about 20 years.  He denied any knowledge of former terrorists attending the mosque, and said they don’t keep membership rolls. He was very congenial, and I was convinced that he was not involved in the Islamist agenda. He did not read Arabic, however, and when I asked tough questions about Islam, he handed me off to Shakeel Syed, Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.

One issue discussed was the condemnation of Christians and Jews in Surah 1 of the Quran. Mr. Syed was clearly very proficient in takiyya, using the reference books in the mosque’s own library, and then he quickly cut off the conversation and said he would continue the conversation via email.

Female Team Member 2: We ladies were first warmly greeted by Najat, a Moroccan woman, and Billie, a Burmese woman whose brother was also heavily involved in the mosque. I decided to get right to the point and challenged Billie (by now it seemed too intense for Najat, so she left) on Surah 4:34 (commanding men to beat their women). She was quick to defend that domestic violence occurs in all religions, and that she runs a shelter for abused Muslim women.  I also challenged the segregated prayer areas and she pointed out that women prefer to pray their own way, and do not want to prostrate in front of men with their butts up.  We also got into a bit of the life of Mohammad, who she said was the perfect man to emulate, and I pointed out that I was not convinced of that, since he married his daughter-in-law, and a 6-year-old (Aisha). She dismissed that, as the son was adopted and Aisha was betrothed. She seemed uncomfortable and kept telling me that I should speak with her brother as he has good explanations about these issues.  I told her that it was obvious to me that she hadn’t read the Koran, and she said she can recite in Arabic, but doesn’t know the meaning.  I told her it was important to know the meaning, as she may find that her prophet may not be as pure as she was lead to believe.  We parted on friendly terms with her giving me her contact information.

Female Team Member 3: Welcoming atmosphere?Well, not really. We turned into the parking lot and waited while a young man took his time and strolled in front of the car with his face directed away from us. Forget about asking him where we should park. We were not worthy of his attention. No signage saying “visitors park here” or “stairway this way” or “welcome visitors. Please leave your shoes here.” We actually violated protocol accidentally by walking up the “no shoes” stairwell, not knowing any other way to get into the mosque.

No plates of cut up fruit or carafes of juice. There was some bottles of water, some coffee from Starbucks in cardboard dispensers, one meager plate of cookies or pastries. I didn’t want to eat from it in case that was all they had and the kids might go hungry. This was in complete contrast to church and synagogue open houses/hospitality hours and other events where if there isn’t homemade food, there is bakery food, and plenty of drinks on ice.

The ladies who greeted us were gracious and friendly. It was prayer time so we were hustled out to go upstairs with the women because the men had to begin their prayers. Upstairs in the women’s balcony it was hot and stuffy. The windows opening to the men’s main prayer room were mostly closed, but you could look down and observe. The windows toward the outside were frosted glass and were closed. The men got a fresh cool breeze from outside, upstairs we were sweltering. Not that anybody would pay attention to my opinion, but why not give the ladies the most appealing and comfortable spot and go upstairs like gentlemen?

I did notice while observing my team members challenge the hosts and hostess, that when they quoted passages from the Quran the immediate response was that it wasn’t true; that the interpretation was incorrect. The yellow-shirted man in the library (Shakeel Syed) wanted to stop team member 1 from talking then and there and put him off until a later time. Young boys were watching avidly as team member 1 pressed his points. It was a case of we want to educate and indoctrinate you, but you may not ask any questions because we don’t have the answers or we don’t like the answers and we don’t want to admit it in any case. Their host’s and hostess’s voices raised, all the while addressing us as “Brother” and “Sister” and being very sincere, in the case of the woman, offering to bring in her brother-in-law the imam to explain because she really didn’t know the Koran very well and the man because he would explain later. She really was sweating it. His voice got very tight.  Both team members were asking pointed questions. My rabbi could have handled such challenges so much better than the Imam and the Muslima lady. In fact, so could his 14-year-old daughter.

Shakeel Syed assumed that I was team member 1’s wife. How odd, that there can be no single woman not connected to a male owner. Like, who is controlling the woman who is in the same room with you?

THE LIBRARY: Where are the tables and chairs for students to sit and read the books? A Muslima carried in some chairs for a group of elderly white ladies she was escorting around and lecturing to, and there were a few chairs and two desks in the back where a pair of bored teenage boys sat minding a couple of computer screens.

One of the male guides tried to distract me from recording the names and authors of the books by talking about the library. He pointed to all the collections on the opposite wall, how they were so beautiful. I had seen them earlier, of course. There was shelf after shelf of antiquated sets of volumes with matching bindings and gold script on the spines, but since all of them were in Arabic, I hadn’t explored them further. They were of all colors, which reminded me of encyclopedia sets. He told me that they got all their books from donors. What did it matter the beauty of the collections, if none of it compelled anyone to pick them up and enjoy them? And how could one read if there were no chairs to sit in and read?  How many members of the mosque actually read Arabic?

SECURITY SYSTEM AND CAMERAS: I looked around the garage for security cameras when we parked and also looked around the ceilings while we walked around  the mosque. I didn’t notice any. But later I spotted a big screen TV divided into about 20 squares showing all kinds of angles viewing inside the mosque. Such a lot of money on security for a building that is unlikely to be breached or damaged or vandalized, yet nothing in the library to encourage reading or study the way most libraries are outfitted.

Important Fact: Two of the 9/11 hijackers (Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar) and the soldier who killed fellow soldiers in Kuwait with hand grenades in March 2003 (Sgt. Hasan Karim Akbar) attended the King Fahd Mosque before their acts of terrorism.  The mosque’s Imam Fahad al Thumairy, an employee of the Saudi Arabian Consulate, was deported in May 2003, for supporting terrorism.  The mosque is supported by The Islamic Foundation of Shaikh ibn Taymiyyah (who died in prison in 1328), whose book “Answering Those Who Altered the Religion of Jesus Christ” is considered one of the most important Islamic books published in the United States.

Read the reports on the other 3 mosques at Front Page

Founding National Myths – Fabricating Palestinian History

by David Bukay Middle East Quarterly Summer 2012, pp. 23-30 (view PDF)

The vast literature proving the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has been extensively manipulated and distorted as part of the Palestinian politics of nationalism. Propaganda, indoctrination, and socialization, both domestically and internationally, are essential parts of the strategy and tactics of asserting Palestinian nationhood and statehood. By appropriating to themselves the values, traditions, and historical facts that belong to the Jews, Palestinians have managed to fabricate a “legitimate” history and political traditions out of nothing while denying those of Israel.

A Palestinian flag emblazoned with “Jesus.” Not even Jesus’s origin as a Jew is safe from the Palestinian fabrication of their history. While Jesus was certainly viewed for centuries as a Muslim prophet (along with Abraham and Moses), only recently has he become a model Palestinian shahid, a martyr to their cause.

The Palestinian Nation-building Strategy

Nation-building often involves the invention of foundation myths although these normally require a certain relationship to historic facts, however tenuous. Palestinian leaders, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and his successors, adopted a different tack: stealing the enemy’s heritage, history, and values, and denying its legitimacy as a people and a state. The Palestinian objectives are to disqualify Israel’s historical standing and to inherit its belongings by delegitimizing and even dehumanizing its national identity and personality.

Palestinian tactics are simple yet sophisticated: preaching and dispersing lies and distortions of reality. History proves that the bigger the lie and the more common its reiteration, the more it is accepted as authentic and genuine. Moreover, most people are unwilling to accept the idea that an entire national leadership would dare to totally distort and fabricate history in full.

Part of the Palestinians’ success in doing so is also due to the fact that most people do not know the history of the Land of Israel and of Jerusalem.

Usurping the Jewish, Biblical, and Christian Pasts

Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel by erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history is a central goal of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and something that the early generations of Palestinian leaders, including the notorious Hajj Amin Husseini, who led the Palestinian Arabs to their 1948 defeat, dared not do. This fictitious history, which ignores all historical documentation and established historical methods, is based on systematic distortions of both ancient and modern history with the aim of denying Israel’s right to exist.

Read more