Erdogan vs. the New York Times, and Democracy

1167by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
May 28, 2015

For 13 years, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has worked to impose his Islamist vision on Turkey’s proud secular democracy, reshaping the country into a neo-Ottoman republic. His success can be credited in no small measure to his manipulation and intimidation of the press, and the occasional censorship of social media and the Internet overall. Now, in a gesture that betrays either Islamist imperialism, sheer ignorance of Western democracy, or both, Turkey’s president and former prime minister is expanding his reach, raising his fist – and, he hopes, his influence – at the West, using the New York Times as his target.

Infuriated by a “shameless” May 23 Times editorial that called him “increasingly hostile to truth-telling” and accused him of “brute manipulation of the political process” in the upcoming June 7 elections, Erdogan accused the paper of “overstepping the limits of freedom” and “meddling in Turkish politics.” Speaking in Istanbul on Monday, the Turkish leader called on the Times to “know its place,” and alleged that if the paper were to criticize U.S. leaders, those leaders “would immediately do what is necessary” – an ominous suggestion that spotlights his own way of dealing with journalists who say things he doesn’t like: he puts them in prison, often on charges of “terrorism.” In 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists cited Turkey as the leading imprisoner of journalists for the second year in a row. The release of eight of those journalists in 2014 put the country in second place, but signs are strong that 2015 will see the country take the lead again.

Indeed, only days after his rant against the Times, Erdogan took revenge on formerTimes reporter Stephen Kinzer, revoking his promise to grant him “honorary citizenship” and instead calling him “an enemy of our government and of our country.” That change of heart appears to have come when someone on the president’s staff uncovered a Jan. 4 article Kinzer penned for the Boston Globe, in which he observed, “Once seen as a skilled modernizer, [Erdoğan] now sits in a 1,000-room palace denouncing the European Union, decreeing the arrest of journalists, and ranting against short skirts and birth control.”

This is hardly the first time Erdogan has wrestled with the “Gray Lady.” In 2014, the then-prime minister refuted the Times’ report that Turkey had allowed weapons to flow into Syria to aid ISIS. Turkey, he insisted, “is against terrorism of all kinds, indiscriminately.” It was an ironic statement at best, coming from a man with Muslim Brotherhood sympathies who is also the leader of a country that allegedly serves as a Hamas headquarters. It is also worth noting that while Erdogan called Kinzer an “enemy of the government,” he openly welcomed members of the Brotherhood expelled from Egypt after the fall of Mohamed Morsi.

But it wasn’t just the article Erdogan found problematic, he also criticized the Times’use of a photograph of him exiting a mosque, claiming it suggested that he and the mosque were responsible for recruiting jihadists for ISIS. The paper subsequentlyapologized for the image, saying it was “published in error.” That led Erdogan to crow locally that he had triumphed over the Times – and so, he meant to suggest, over America. Similarly, in the aftermath of the latest Times conflict, he warned that theTimes no longer rules Turkey: “They are used to ruling the other side of the world from 10,000-15,000 kilometers’ distance,” he declared. “But there is no such Turkey. There is no more old Turkey. There is a new Turkey.”

It was a typical Erdogan gesture: he often seeks that kind of triumph – not only over America, but over the entire world. He has famously stated that Muslims, not Columbus, discovered America, a position he defended with the assertions that “as the president of my country, I cannot accept that our civilization is inferior to other civilizations,” and that “Western sources shouldn’t be believed as if they are sacred texts.”

At speeches in Europe, he has exhorted Turkish-Europeans to resist assimilation. “Assimilation is a crime against humanity,” he told an international audience of 20,000 who attended his 2008 speech in Cologne, Germany. And in 2013, in a highly controversial move, he demanded that the Dutch government place Turkish-Dutch foster children only in Muslim homes – despite the fact that there are few Muslim families offering to house foster children.

More recently, the Islamist party he founded in 2001, the Justice Development Party (AKP), went so far as to proclaim that “God is on our side” in the upcoming parliamentary elections – a statement that in itself defies the deepest principles of a secular, democratic republic. It is a position also in keeping with Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman agenda, which to date has included the institution of mandatory religion classes and lessons in Arabic-Ottoman script in all Turkish schools. (Kemal Ataturk banned Ottoman script with the founding of the Turkish Republic, replacing it with a Latin alphabet aimed at Westernizing Turkey, turning it away from its Islamic and Arab history.)

Much about Erdogan’s vision, in fact, can be read into this reinstatement of Ottoman Turkish; as the Washington Post observed, his opponents have taken the move “as a sign of the creeping Islamization of Turkey’s resolutely secular society that has taken place under Erdogan’s watch. Bans on headscarves and veils have been lifted by Erdogan. The number of students studying in state-run religious seminaries has grown from 63,000 in 2002, when Erdogan first came to power, to nearly 1 million today – a statistic the Turkish president celebrates.” Not for nothing did Erdogan promise early in his administration to build “a new religious youth.”

From all of this emerges a confused, somewhat bizarre understanding of the role of the written word, be it in journalism or religious text, and a confusion between the two. It is forbidden to criticize Mohammed, for instance, but it is equally forbidden, evidently, to criticize Turkey’s president (as it is the leaders of most, if not all, Muslim countries).

Indeed, a 16-year-old schoolboy was arrested last December on charges of insulting the president over comments defending secularism and alleging government corruption. In an Islamist society – that of political Islam – there is no distinction between Islam and the state: to criticize one is tantamount to criticizing the other.

In the same way, Erdogan’s aim of creating a “new Turkey” that restores the Ottoman Empire and is more powerful than America or Europe, is akin to the ideal of a world Caliphate – a world under Islam. Already it is plain that, as he gradually erodes the legacy of a secular Turkey, increasingly he paves the way for the sharia state he has reportedly advocated in the past. What he may not realize is that the harder he tries to silence these truths, the clearer he makes them.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

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The Conquest Unit is scheduled to march behind the Ottoman military band. File photo

The Conquest Unit is scheduled to march behind the Ottoman military band. File photo

Turkish army forms ceremonial Ottoman unit on Erdoğan’s order

The Turkish Armed Forces have formed a new ceremonial brigade, dressed as Ottoman soldiers, to attend events marking the 562nd anniversary of the Turks’ conquest of Istanbul, upon the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The 1st Army headquarters in Istanbul formed the 478-man “Conquest Unit” through its personnel. The ceremonial brigade will be joined by an 84-men Ottoman military band, known in Turkish as the “Mehter,” in the official ceremony for the anniversary, which will be held in Istanbul on May 30 this year, a day later than the conquest’s traditional commemoration date.

Costumes of the Conquest Unit, which will march behind the Mehter, will be provided by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The full set of historic attire will include 14 different costumes to represent different units of the Ottoman military.

President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu are both scheduled to attend the event in Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square a week before the June 7 general election.

Soon after his election as Turkey’s president in August 2014, Erdoğan moved in to the massive newly-built presidential palace in Ankara, where he has hosted foreign guests flanked by actors dressed in traditional Turkish military costumes from multiple eras.

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Commemorating The Armenian Genocide Centennial

1915

Published on Apr 23, 2015 by Brigitte Gabriel

100 years ago, the first genocide of the 20th century began. On that date, the Islamic Turks commenced their campaign of deportation, murder and starvation against Christian Armenians. As we observe this solemn anniversary, we should remember the repeated failure of the world community to act against genocide, and contemplate what we can do to stop genocide from occurring on our watch.
http://www.actforamerica.org

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Jihad, Still: “100 Years On, Armenians in the Middle East Are Still On the Run”

Barack Obama speaks to members of congress and guests in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday. The administration revealed that Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Barack Obama speaks to members of congress and guests in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday. The administration revealed that Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

By Andrew Bostom, April 22, 2015:

From this April 21, 2015, report, “100 Years On, Armenians in the Middle East Are Still On the Run”:

As Armenians this week mark 100 years since the massacres that killed more than one million people, the fear and persecution faced by their ancestors remains alive today. With Syria and Iraq in chaos, Armenians in the Middle East are once again homeless and on the run. “We are having the same destiny as our grandfathers, as our ancestors, we are just like them,” said Annoush Garabadian, a 53-year-old Armenian woman who fled Mosul when ISIL captured the city last June. “We saw everything with our eyes like history was repeating itself.”… Not long after, neighbours sent them a picture showing their old house with ISIL’s logo painted on it. Their house and car now belonged to the so-called “caliphate”, and her son received a threatening phone call from ISIL militants saying if they ever returned, they would be beheaded.

These jihad depredations against today’s Middle Eastern Armenians illustrate an unchanged dynamic I described yesterday (3/21/15) at PJ Media. Such ongoing horrors, as I explained, are Why Congress Must Recognize the Jihad Genocide of the Armenians. The essay opens with a reference to my brief exchange with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, September 12, 2014, embedded just below, and elaborated in the extracts which follow:

During a Fox News Hannity panel appearance on Friday September 12, 2014, I alluded to the 1915-19 jihad genocide of the Armenian, Assyro-Chaldean, andSyrian Orthodox Christian communities of Anatolia, and northern “Mesopotamia,” i.e., modern Iraq, by the last Caliphate—the Ottoman Caliphate.

Notwithstanding the recent horrific spate of atrocities committed against the Christian communities of northern Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) jihadists, the Ottoman jihad ravages were equally barbaric, depraved, and far more extensive. Occurring, primarily between 1915-16 (although continuing through at least 1918), some 1 to 1.5 million Armenian, and 250,000 Assyro-Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox Christians were brutally slaughtered, or starved to death during forced deportations through desert wastelands. The identical gruesome means used by IS to humiliate and massacre its hapless Christian victims, were employed on a scale that was an order of magnitude greater by the Ottoman Muslim Turks, often abetted by local Muslim collaborators (the latter being another phenomenon which also happened during the IS jihad campaign against Iraq’s Christians).

I concluded my brief comments September 12, 2014 by noting, “we are only coming up on the 100th anniversary next year (i.e., 2015) of the Armenian Jihad Genocide.”

That solemn centennial commemoration will take place this Friday, April 24, 2015. Failure to formally recognize the genocidal anti-Christian jihad depredations of the World War I era, and its immediate aftermathpunctuated by the Armenian genocide—is a lingering moral stain on the U.S. body politic.

…The geo-political consequences of this profound ethical and intellectual delinquency—rooted in jihad appeasement, and denial—are once again manifest. Vestigial remnant Eastern Christian populations who barely survived those 20th century jihad depredations, may now face their final liquidation, wrought by contemporary jihadists.

Majority approval of H. Res 154 (the Armenian Genocide Truth and JusticeResolution) would mark a necessary, albeit very limited, first step in rectifying the continued tragic impact of this state of denial

The historical record of the jihad genocide of the Armenians a century ago, through the present day jihadist atrocities against Christian communities in the Middle East, and beyond, demonstrates that ancient Islamic jihad war theorycontinues to be acted upon by Muslims, regularly, across the globe, till now.  What remains is for the Muslim religious and political leaders to acknowledge, and then eliminate this genocidal practice.

A long overdue, mea culpa-based Muslim self-examination will never begin if the non-Muslim, especially Christian, targets of jihad genocide, remain in their own abject state of jihad denial.

U.S. politicians could help facilitate that Muslim re-evaluation process by not only demanding recognition of the Armenian genocide, but further identifying those mass killings as a jihad genocide, specifically

The essay includes background discussions defined by these subheadings: Why The Armenian Genocide Was a Jihad, and April 24th is an Appropriate Commemoration Day; American Witnesses to the Armenian Genocide: Observations from U.S. Diplomats, 1915-1917; and From the Armenian Jihad Genocide to The Holocaust.

Please read the essay in full, here.

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Update: Just came across this!

Uploaded on Jan 30, 2008 by hyebiz

Sen. Barack Obama Discusses Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide and the Ethics of Remembrance

remFrontpage, April 15, 2015 by Vladimir Tismaneanu and Marius Stan:

“To conceal or deny Evil is the same as allowing a wound to bleed without bandaging it.”

This statement by Pope Francis in April 2015 was linked to the first official Vatican use of the word genocide to deplore and condemn the state-sponsored mass murders perpetrated against a huge civilian population a hundred years ago in what used to be the Ottoman Empire. The Pope is right: Forgetfulness, denial, and silence cannot but perpetuate a culture of complicity with Evil.

The massacre of a million and a half Armenians (men, women, elderly people, and children) initiated in April 1915 and appallingly completed by 1923, was the first genocidal experience of what an American historian called the age of social catastrophes. That exterminist cataclysm was the Armenians’ Holocaust. We use the term exterminist in the sense put forward by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen in his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners.” The purpose was not just exclusion and elimination, but complete annihilation of the targeted collectivity, in this case the Armenians, later the Jews, the Gypsies, the Tutsis and so on. It was not a spontaneous explosion of murderous hatred, but a meticulously designed and methodically executed plan to physically destroy those labeled as sub-humans or even non-humans.

Killing an Armenian—or later a Jew, a Kulak, a Bosnian, any member of a community stigmatized as superfluous (a term introduced by Hannah Arendt)—was the same as getting rid of a pernicious insect. The hateful genocidal propaganda always referred to the “obnoxious vermin.” Symbolic dehumanization made way for physical termination. Ideology precedes and legitimizes the hecatomb. The ultimate goal is the ethnically or socially pure (and purified) community.

For Hitler, who openly admired Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and saw himself as a “Father of the Nation,”, the Armenian massacre (the term genocide had not been coined yet) was proof that humankind is quick to forget, that one should not be held back by moral reservations. Totalitarianism bets everything on opportunism, cowardice, and amnesia. And, most obviously, on sadism—be it social or racial.

In conversations with his minions, Hitler used to mention the following when explaining the “necessity” to exterminate the European Jews: “Who even remembers the Armenian annihilation nowadays?” What is truly terrifying is that many of those who committed these mass murders seemed normal people, persons who “wouldn’t hurt a fly” (a point made by Croatian writer Slavenka Drakulić in her book “They Would Never Hurt a Fly” ). They wouldn’t harm an ant, but mercilessly massacred women and children. And even took pictures of it…

Here is a copy of a famous painting by Arshile Gorky, born Vosdanig Adoian. Alongside creations by Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, Gorky’s work was American Abstract Expressionism’s moment of supreme glory. The artist was himself a genocide survivor, his mother died of starvation in 1918.

pl1It is admirable that Pope Francis urges humanity not to forget Evil and we agree with his stance. In the spirit of Albert Camus, Nadezhda Mandelstam, and Monica Lovinescu, we advocate the ethics of unforgetfulness. Because remembrance is always the result of a will not to forget Evil. The democratic ethos is rooted in this need to acknowledge the tragedies of the past. Forgiveness cannot be granted in the absence of repentance. Yet we dare to wonder whether the term “Stalinism” used by Pope Francis in his speech (together with Nazism) is clear enough to help understand that it comprises the communist crimes of the last century, including those perpetrated by Maoism. Just between 1958 and 1961, during the so-called “Great Leap Forward”, 45 millions of Chinese citizens died.

These crimes against humanity have been genocidal. They should be called by name, known, condemned, and commemorated with sorrow and empathy, regardless of what the various chancelleries specialized in the diplomatic concealing of the truth might say. Regardless of what the self-proclaimed experts in “linguistic hygiene” might say.

To conclude, we recommend here Charles Aznavour’s moving song “Ils sont tombés.”

Ils sont tombés sans trop savoir pourquoi
Hommes, femmes et enfants qui ne voulaient que vivre
Avec des gestes lourds comme des hommes ivres
Mutilés, massacrés les yeux ouverts d’effroi
Ils sont tombés en invoquant leur Dieu
Au seuil de leur église ou le pas de leur porte
En troupeaux de désert titubant en cohorte
Terrassés par la soif, la faim, le fer, le feu

Nul n’éleva la voix dans un monde euphorique
Tandis que croupissait un peuple dans son sang
L’ Europe découvrait le jazz et sa musique
Les plaintes de trompettes couvraient les cris d’enfants
Ils sont tombés pudiquement sans bruit
Par milliers, par millions, sans que le monde bouge
Devenant un instant minuscules fleurs rouges
Recouverts par un vent de sable et puis d’oubli

They Fell – text in English
They fell that year,
they vanished from the earth,
Never knowing the cause
Or what laws they’d offended,
The women fell as well
And the babies they tended.
Left to die left to cry
All condemned by their birth.

They fell like rain
Across the thirsty land,
In their hordes they were slain,
In their god still believing
All their pity and pain,
In that season of grieving
Called in vain all in vain
Just for one helping hand.
For no one heard their prayers,
In a world bent on pleasure
From others peoples cares
They simply closed their eyes
They craved a louder sound
In jazz and raggtime measure
The trumpets screamed till dawn
To drown the children’s cries.

They fell like leaves
This people its prime,
Simple men kindly men,
And not one knew his crime
They became in that hour
Like the small desert flower
Soon covered by the silent wind
In sands of time.

They fell that year
Before a cruel foe
They had little to give
But their lives and their passion,
And their longing to live
In their way
In their fashion
So their harvest could thrive
and their children could grow.
They fell like flies
Their eyes still full of sun
Like a dove its flight
In the path of rifle
That falls down were it might,
As if death were a trifle
And to bring to an end
A life barely begun.

And I am of that race,
Who died in unknown places
Who perished in their pride,
Whose blood in rivers ran,
In agony and fright
With courage on their faces
They went in to the night,
That waits for every man.
They fell like tears
And never knew what for
In that summer of strife
Of massacre and war
Their only crime was life
Their only guilt was being
The children of Armenia
Nothing less nothing more

Vladimir Tismaneanu is a professor of politics at the University of Maryland (College Park) and author of numerous books, including most recently “The Devil in History: Communism, Fascism, and Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century.” Marius Stan is a Romanian political scientist, author of books in Romanian and Polish, and currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bucharest. This essay was translated from Romanian into English by Monica Got.

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Armenian Genocide Then and Now

Armenian GenocideFinally nations are recognizing what occurred in Turkey as genocide

Religious Freedom Coalition, By Andrew Harrod, PhD, April 13, 2015:

Armenian-Canadian writer Raffi Bedrosyan sees Middle Eastern “history repeating itself” in modern Christian suffering in the centennial of the Ottoman Empire’s 1915 genocide of Armenians and other Christian populations.  Bedrosyan and other participants of an all-day, March 28 Institute of World Politics (IWP) conference concerning the Ottoman 1915 genocides showed a disturbing continuity of Islamic human rights violations by various actors across a century.

Before over 50 audience members filling IWP’s conference room, Institute of World Politics Professor Marek J. Chodakiewicz indicated the confessional nature of 1915’s slaughter in his presentation on forms of “democide” or governmental mass murder.  Descended from “Christendom’s eldest kingdom,” most Armenians in 1915 had a pre-modern understanding of nationality, he said.  Despite recent secular legal reforms in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, Armenians still suffered the “scourge of sharia and the whims of the caliphate.”

The East Coast premiere of Turkey, the Legacy of Silence, a French documentary about Turkish citizens uncovering their hidden Armenian heritage, also featured a Christian-Islamic confessional divide.  A Turkish man, for example, recounted how authorities in 1915 told one man concerning Armenians that “kill seven and you will go to heaven,” but instead he hid a boy who was later raised a Muslim under the name Abdullah.  After another woman’s death, relatives found a Bible in a ceremonial case that usually contains a Quran in Turkish homes.  Such individuals, the film noted, were hidden survivors of a brutal attempt to create the fiction of Turkey as a land that has been purely Turkish for millennia.

Concerns for physical survival and social acceptance caused many of these individuals to keep secret their Armenian ancestry even if they knew about it.  A woman in the film narrated how Turkish nationalists in the army killed her son on April 24, the day commemorating since 1915 the genocide, 17 days before he completed his military service.  Another man whose Armenian heritage became known faced the animosity of his school classmates who read in Turkish textbooks that Armenians betrayed the Ottoman Empire during World War I.  Some individuals nonetheless embraced their heritage like the man who accepted baptism and rejected being an “Islamicized Armenian” after learning of his true origins.

Bedrosyan elaborated upon “The Hidden Armenians of Turkey” following the screening and during a subsequent interview.  Islamization of Armenians began in 1915 when the Ottoman government initially allowed Armenians to convert to Islam and avoid ultimately deadly deportations.  Turkish army orphanages transformed orphan boys of Armenian genocide victims into rabid Muslim Turks while orphan girls became sex slaves or entered forced marriages.  One Kurdish chieftain took as his child bride a girl from among the 13 survivors of over 10,500 massacred Armenians from a suburb of southeastern Turkish town Diyarbakir.  Bedrosyan expressed amazement at how jihadists in the Islamic State (IS) or Nigeria’s Boko Haram displayed today the same patterns of behavior.

Ottoman efforts to obliterate Armenian culture encompassed property as well as persons.  Bedrosyan cited 4,000 churches in Turkey that after 1915 were destroyed or converted to other uses, including one that became a brothel.  He noted a destroyed Diyarbakir church used as a government warehouse until its 2011 restoration by private groups as a genocide memorial.  Its official opening saw many individuals disclose their Armenian ancestry.

An earlier presentation by stolen property expert Dr. Tania C. Mastrapa elaborated that the Turkish government had closed certain archives as a “national security threat.”  Their publication could facilitate property claims by Armenians and others stemming from 1915 calculated in the trillions of dollars.  Her co-panelist Kate Nahapetian from the Armenian National Committee of America stated that police today will investigate in certain Turkish villages visitors suspected of searching for lost Armenian property.

Bedrosyan explained that Turkish government actions demonstrated how the Turkish republic throughout its history has assiduously upheld the myth of a homogenous Turkish and Sunni Muslim population.  An interviewed Genocide Watch PresidentGregory H. Stanton, whose morning presentation concerned genocide denial, analogized between the Khmer Rouge and Turkish Republic founding father Kemal Ataturk.  Like Cambodia’s genocidal Communists who “wanted to start at year zero,” Ataturk’s “utopian vision for a new Turkey” sought cultural erasure of even Christian populations like the Assyrians who predated Turkish presence in Anatolia.

In this environment, Bedrosyan stated, Armenian/Christian affiliations entail discrimination, meaning that many of Turkey’s estimated 2.5 million people with Armenian descent do not recognize or reveal their heritage and remain “Islamicized.”  Christians de facto “cannot even become a garbage man” in the public sector, he stated while discussing one public school teacher who broke a taboo by accepting baptism after discovering Armenian roots.  Individuals serving in the military sometimes learn of the ineligibility for sensitive positions such as fighter pilots when the government suddenly reveals records of Armenian descent.

Individuals who know of their Armenian heritage therefore often resort to subterfuge in a society where Armenian is a swear word and graffiti like “1915 was a blessed year” vandalizes Istanbul churches.  Bedrosyan recounted how one hidden Armenian prayed to Jesus at home while serving as a Muslim imam, while others secretly accepted baptism in Europe before returning to Turkey.  Amongst themselves, hidden Armenians often know, and marry their children to, each other.

Steven Oshana, executive director of the Middle East minority advocacy group A Demand for Action, reflected during an interview on the historic continuity of Muslim repression suffered by his Armenian and Assyrian ancestral communities.  Assyrians, for example, fled Ottoman genocide to areas of modern Iraq, only to endure the August 1933 Simele massacre by Iraqi troops and another flight to Syria, where Assyrians today are targets of IS.  “The genocide just keeps following,” the “methods are the same, the brutality is the same,” stated Oshana.

Oshana and other conference speakers noted how Islam played a role among pious and non-pious alike in conflicts with Christian and other minorities.  While IS differed from the Ottomans in publicly claiming credit for atrocities against non-Muslims, he stated that “faith is always a pretext” for political calculations seeking to stimulate violence against non-Christians.  Bedrosyan concurred that Ottoman leaders who saw during World War I threats in Armenians and other Christians “were using Islam as an instrument” of mobilization among Muslims like Kurds.  This role of Islam was “very, very direct” in the actions of Ottoman leaders, Stanton noted.  They cynically urged Muslim authorities such as muftis to call for the killing of Christians considered allied with the Ottoman Empire’s “infidel” enemies.

Institute of World Politics’ Armenian genocide conference instructively brought to light a past that has not passed, but rather remains depressingly relevant today.  Time and again Islamic doctrines have repeatedly incited the same patterns of death, destruction, and cultural cleansing against Christians and other non-Muslims. George Santyana’s dictum that “[t]hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is hardly more relevant than here.  Forewarning of these past lessons is necessary for policymakers who want to be forearmed against future dangers.

The International Christian Union, a Christian human rights organization, commissioned this article.

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Official in Turkey’s Ruling Party Refers to President Erdogan as ‘Caliph’

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, after passing between two columns of 16 troops, each dressed in the warrior regalia of past Turkic states, bearing period armour and toting weapons ranging from swords to lancers. Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, after passing between two columns of 16 troops, each dressed in the warrior regalia of past Turkic states, bearing period armour and toting weapons ranging from swords to lancers.
Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

CSP, by Aaron Kliegman, March 19, 2015:

An official in Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) caused controversy this week by tweeting that the country should “get ready for the caliphate” and referred to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “caliph.”

Fuat Özgür Çalapkulu, the man who wrote the tweet on March 17, is the head of the AKP in the southeastern province of Siirt. He was responding to Erdogan’s opponents who object to the Turkish leader’s plan to change Turkey’s government from a parliamentary system to a presidential system. Erdogan would be the leader, thus giving him more power.

Erdogan’s main criticism came from Selahattin Demirtaş, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair, who said his party “will never let you [Erdogan] be president” in such a proposed system of government. Çalapkulu was mainly countering this statement with his tweet and also referred to past comments by Erdogan opponents that the leader could not even be a village headman (muhtar).

Çalapkulu backed off his words, however, after receiving harsh reactions because of them. On March 19, he changed his Twitter account to private so that only confirmed followers can see his comments and released a written statement saying he had a different meaning for the term caliph.

Part of his statement reads, “I use this word to refer to a leader who has command of all the problems, institutions and administration of his country; a leader who is the independent and powerful voice of the world’s downtrodden; the protector of the oppressed; a good, successful, pioneering and visionary leader.”

It is possible that Çalapkulu did not mean to use the title caliph with its full religious connotations or was being facetious, but the tweet is worth noting given Turkey’s increasing Islamic identity and pivot away from the West under Erdogan’s rule.

More importantly, the AKP official is not the first person to refer to Erdogan as a caliph, in jest or not. Some of Erdogan’s followers have called him this title before and essentially pledged allegiance to him like many have been doing recently to Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Furthermore, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential clerics in Sunni Islam and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has said that Istanbul, Turkey is the capital of the coming caliphate and has suggested that Erdogan is blessed by Allah and could be the one to lead the Islamic world order.

Çalapkulu may have been joking or using caliph in a non-literal way, but in its full context the AKP official’s tweet is part of a larger narrative where Turkey is becoming more Islamic and identified, at least by some, as a central part of a future caliphate. In fact, Erdogan and the AKP have actually perpetuated this image and a neo-Ottoman atmosphere. Erdogan’s religious-based policies and centralization of power are helping in this endeavor.

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Speaking of images, have you seen Erdogan’s “White Palace”?

Shoebat: The Ottoman Conquest Of The Middle East Begins

By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)

Turkish soldiers launched an overnight raid into neighboring Syria sending 600 ground forces backed by  a combination of 100 tanks and armored vehicles crossing the border near the border town of Kobani. There were also drones and airplanes flew reconnaissance missions overhead as Davutoglu disclosed on Sunday today.

The mission, they claim, is for “saving Turkish soldiers” stuck for months at the tomb of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, moving the crypt Sunday back to Turkey after ceremonially planting the country’s crescent-and-star flag after destroying the complex where the tomb is located. ISIS who are Wahhabist are notorious for blowing up tombs and do not approve of elevating tombs above the ground or having folks visiting tombs.

But that is not the full scoop.

The military operation commenced as one group traveled to the tomb, some 22 miles from Turkey on the banks of the Euphrates River in Syria’s embattled Aleppo province where the remains where, Davutoglu said while another groupseized an area of Syrian territory only yards from the Turkish border in Syria’s Ashma region, according to a statement from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office.

“Before the Turkish flag was lowered at (the tomb), the Turkish flag started to be waved at another location in Syria,” Davutoglu said.

Turkey is not simply moving the remains of the Ottoman bones back home to Turkey where it belongs, the Turkish Prime Minister emphasized the transfer of the remains is “temporarily moved to Turkey to be buried later back in Syria, and ensuring the security zone in Syrian territory in the town of Ashma, which is only a few kilometers from the border, to later re-transfer the remains of Suleiman Shah back to Syria in the coming days.”

So Turkey now has technically invaded Syria, as Shoebat.com continually predicted will happen, and is camped in Ashma which is Syrian, not Turkish territory, raising its flag there declaring Syrian land as Turkish soil while antagonizing Syria to dare retaliate.

This is what makes this a major news piece.

 

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In reply to the incident, Syria’s official source at the Foreign Ministry denounced what it called a “blatant aggression” by Turkey saying that:

“Turkey is not here only to provide all forms of support and tools for ISIS gangs and other terrorist organizations linked to al-Qaeda, but at the dawn of day they traveled here to show aggression on Syrian territory.”

The Syrians are absolutely correct.

It is for this reason that Syria announced the Turkish military incursion into Syria as “a military invasion of Syrian soil”. That, plus, ISIS has never blown up Ottoman tombs and has always only returned Turkish hostages unharmed while executing all other nationalities.

Turkey is using the tomb to invade Syria since the tomb is considered sovereign territory by Turkey, and they consider their claim to it being protected by a 1921 treaty, but this does not include the new Syrian territory that Turkey is laying claims to at Ashma regionTurkey in fact was caught when leaked recordings of previous plans by Turkey for an invasion using the tomb as an excuse.

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The U.S.-led coalition forces were informed of the Turkish operation after its launch to prevent any casualties, Davutoglu said.

Read more

Also see:

Turkish President Declares Lawrence of Arabia a Bigger Enemy than ISIS

1413221153467.cachedBy Jamie Dettmer:

In a stunning speech, Erdogan railed against Western “spies” and journalists and seemed to endorse the ISIS plan to redraw the region’s borders.
GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took on the iconic Lawrence of Arabia Monday in a furious anti-Western diatribe.  The Turkish president compared the outside meddling in the region now to the role the renowned British army officer played during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during World War I. And Western diplomats here say the tirade bears a rather striking resemblance to some of the propaganda that has come out of the so-called Islamic State, widely known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL.

Last week, stung by Western criticism of Turkey’s conspicuous absence from the U.S.-led air combat against the terror organization, and the refusal of the Turkish government to rescue the besieged town of Kobani, just across the Syrian border, Erdoğan insisted he had no sympathy for the jihadists.

But on one very important point of history and geography it now appears there’s a serious convergence of views between ISIS and Erdoğan. In his speech Monday at a university in Istanbul, the Turkish president blasted the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret understanding (signed behind Lawrence’s back) that divided up the Middle East after World War I between British and French spheres of influence. That deal opened the way for a British vow to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine and led to borders drawn by the European powers that created modern Syrian and Iraq. Historian David Fromkin summed up the mess that resulted in the title of his book The Peace to End All Peace.

“Each conflict in this region has been designed a century ago,” said Erdoğan. “It is our duty to stop this.”

In point of fact, T. E. Lawrence was opposed to the secret Anglo-French agreement, because it reneged on promises given the Arabs by London in a bid to persuade them to revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule. He tried mightily to sabotage the deal. But Erdoğan is either unaware of that or sought to simplify history.

ISIS, meanwhile, has done some simplifying of its own, and on similar lines. Its militants say explicitly they are out to erase the borders that Sykes-Picot established across most of the modern Middle East. In the summer, after sweeping in from Syria to seize Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, they produced a video called, yes,  ”The End of Sykes Pico,” in which they blew up a border outpost and leveled part of the earthen barrier on the Iraqi-Syrian border. They declared triumphantly they would bulldoze other Western-imposed borders as well.

The Erdoğan speech was suffused with an angry anti-Western narrative—he also tilted at Western journalists, accusing them of being spies—and will no doubt thrill some of Erdoğan’s supporters. In southern Turkey, some local officials in his Justice and Development Party (AKP) express sympathy for ISIS. But it will ring alarm bells in Western capitals at a time coalition officials are redoubling their efforts to try to persuade a reluctant Turkish government to play a forward-leaning part in the American-led war on the jihadists.

Turkey is considered crucial if President Barack Obama’s war aim to “degrade and defeat” ISIS is to be accomplished. The country has been the main logistical base for the Islamic militants, the main transit country for foreign fighters to enter neighboring Syria and a key source of it’s revenue from the smuggling of oil tapped in captured oil fields. In his determination to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, Erdoğan has been accused of at best turning a blind eye to the rise of ISIS and at worst actively encouraging it.

Read more at The Daily Beast

Also see:

The 100-Year-Old Agreement You Need to Know About to Understand What’s Driving the Islamic State

Glenn Beck broke down the history of the Middle East on his television program Thursday, focusing on a nearly 100-year-old agreement that he says is integral to understanding the motivations of the Islamic State: the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

If you do not understand the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Beck said, you cannot fully understand the Islamic State, or why the Israelis and the Palestinians will never reach a two-state solution.

Though many go back to 1948 and the creation of the modern state of Israel when examining the history of Middle Eastern conflicts, Beck said you actually have to go back to 1916 and World War I.

T.E. Lawrence and World War I

Glenn Beck speaks about T.E. Lawrence, right, on his television program September 18, 2014. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)

Glenn Beck speaks about T.E. Lawrence, right, on his television program September 18, 2014. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)

“This is the last time the Arab world had a united Islamic State led by a religious leader: the Ottoman Empire, the caliphate,” Beck began. “The Allies knew the Ottoman Empire could shut down key shipping routes and cripple Britain’s economy, France’s. … They had to neutralize it. So Great Britain sent over an Army officer from Britain, and his name was T.E. Lawrence. There was a movie made about him, a great movie with Peter O’Toole called ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’”

Lawrence was tasked with convincing the Arabs to fight against the Ottoman Empire. After Lawrence promised the Arabs rule over a new united Arab kingdom of greater Syria — which encompassed present day Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and parts of Iraq and Jordan — he succeeded.

“To get to the root of the current Middle East conflict, that is your starting point,” Beck said. “It is at the center of everything that is happening today.”

“The problem here — Great Britain never intended to honor the promises that they made,” Beck continued. “They had used the Arabs in order to protect their own interests. Remember, they needed to get the Ottoman Empire out of the way.”

Sykes-Picot Agreement

“The entire time Lawrence was negotiating with the Arabs, Great Britain, behind everybody’s back, was negotiating with France, and planning how they were going to actually divide up the Middle East after the war,” Beck said. “They needed to make sure there was no united Arab kingdom that would ever get in the way.”

Under the Sykes-Picot agreement, the British and the French drew new boundaries, fracturing the region so, Beck said, “the British and their allies in the region could control it.”

“Remember, the goal was to divide the Arabs, not to unite them, divide them, so they could protect the trade routes,” Beck said. “They didn’t care about the Arabs, they didn’t care about the Jews, they didn’t care about anything. They wanted the trade routes.”

“The Arabs were forced to accept this western European model of the nation-states because they had no choice,” Beck remarked. “Arab resentment grows in the wake of that treaty, Sykes-Picot, where they have divided everything and made new lines. They wanted — the Palestinians, the Arabs — what was promised to them — the rule of greater Syria.”

 

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In the decades after the Sykes-Picot Agreement, after the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the British created the British Mandate for Palestine. The area east of the Jordan River was called Transjordan, and the area west of it was a land for the Jewish people.

“How would the Arab world be able to unite now? They needed a new rallying cry. They would use the Balfour Declaration, Britain’s promise of a Jewish homeland in Palestine,” Beck said. “[They] needed to start blaming the Jews, the pawns.”

“The motive becomes clear when you see how the Arab world reacted when the British Mandate in Palestine was set to expire,” Beck said. “The Palestinian Arabs were about to be presented with a chance to finally have what they said they’d always dreamed of. All they wanted was their own land. So now, here comes the UN, and they have this mandate.”

“Remember, the British put together this partition — Transjordan and the Israeli state. So it was a two-state solution. It was split 56 percent Jewish, 43 percent Arab. 56 looks big, but much of the land’s not sufficient for crops, so it’s pretty close. Jerusalem, an international zone. The Jewish people accepted the plan. And if a Palestinian homeland was the goal for the Arab world — not the Palestinians, the Arab world — all they had to do was agree. But remember, the scapegoat goes away.”

Read more at The Blaze with more videos

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham

Jawad-Figure-7by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
MERIA
December 11, 2013

PDF version available here

This article examines the rise of the al-Qa’ida-aligned group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) since its announcement in April 2013 until September 2013. It focuses in particular on its military operations and its relations with other rebel groups. The article concludes by examining what the future holds for ISIS on the whole.

INTRODUCTION: THE IDEOLOGY

The group under consideration in this paper–like al-Qa’ida central under Usama bin Ladin and subsequently Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Tehrik-e-Taliban of Waziristan, and others–is part of what one might term the “global jihad” movement. This movement is not a coherent whole organized by a strict central hierarchy, but rather one defined by a shared ideology. This ideology aims firstly to reestablish a system of governance known as the Caliphate–an Islamic form of government that first came into being after Muhammad’s death under Abu Bakr and saw its last manifestation in the Ottoman Empire–across the entire Muslim world. From there, the intention is to spread the Caliphate across the entire world.[1]

This worldview is one of many answers formulated to answer a question posed in the wider Muslim world: Namely, what has been the cause of decline of the Muslim world–and the Arab world in particular–in contrast to the apparent success of the West since the nineteenth century? The answer formulated by ideologues of the global jihad movement is that the cause of this decline is rooted in the Muslim world’s deviation from the path of Islam by not applying Islamic law to governance in its totality. This is to be contrasted with the “Islamic Golden Age” in Islam’s first five centuries or so–idealized in different ways by others not of this orientation–when the Muslim world was supposedly uncontaminated by foreign influences. Of course, given that era’s exploitation of the classical Greek heritage through the translation movement under the Abbasids- the global jihad movement’s portrayal of this era is blatantly unhistorical. Nonetheless, the perception is what matters.

In light of the ISIS’ ambitious goals, it is imperative to consider the group’s fortunes in Syria, which in turn will allow policymakers to assess what threat, if any, the group poses to the wider international order in the long-term.

Read more 

The Orient Express from Mecca to the Vatican Christians in the Cross Hairs

Turkey’s Gülen Movement: Between Social Activism and Politics

[Left: Fethullah Gülen, from Diyar Muhammed, via Flickr; right: Prime Minister Erdoğan, from World Economic Forum via Flickr.]

[Left: Fethullah Gülen, from Diyar Muhammed, via Flickr; right: Prime Minister Erdoğan, from World Economic Forum via Flickr.]

By Bayram Balci:

Since its election in 2002, the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP), under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has transformed Turkey. The reforms initiated by this conservative government with Islamic roots have amounted to a passive revolution—they have profoundly altered Turkish society, modernized its institutions, and strengthened its economy, which is now the sixteenth-largest in the world in terms of GDP.

Yet it would be a mistake to attribute the many successes that have enhanced Turkey’s role as a major regional and international player to AKP leadership alone. Erdoğan’s government has enjoyed support from a number of political organizations as well as from influential religious and social forces within Turkey. The most invaluable, but also the hardest to assess, is a movement that plays a fundamental role in Turkey’s social and religious life: the Gülen movement of Fethullah Gülen, referred to by the terms cemaat or hizmet.

The AKP and the Gülen movement established an alliance in 2002 based on a common desire to push back the central role of the military in the country and create a new, more conservative, and more Muslim Turkey. Each brought different skills to the task—Erdoğan and his AKP colleagues were experienced in political activism and electoral politics, while the Gülen movement used education and social activism to promote its objectives. This alliance was not without disagreements, but until recently common interests outweighed differences.

During the past few months, however, tensions have deepened between Erdoğan and the Gülenists in the realms of both domestic and foreign policy, causing speculation that the alliance is headed for a fundamental break. There can be no doubt that rifts have emerged over a variety of issues, from the rising power of the Gülen movement to the increasingly authoritarian actions of the prime minister. But talk of a complete break may well be premature.

THE GÜLEN MOVEMENT

Fethullah Gülen emerged as a religious authority in Turkey in the 1970s, and little by little he became the spiritual leader of a vast community that now boasts an estimated 3 million sympathizers. Gülen, who moved to the United States in 1999, encourages his disciples to become modern, moderate Muslims. An adherent of free markets, he champions the Islamic faith and the spirit of capitalism. He is also a nationalist, seeking to boost Turkey’s influence and prestige abroad.

Gülen relies heavily on education to transmit his ideas, and he has formed a network of hundreds of schools and businesses worldwide. This network is active on every continent, including in the United States, where his sympathizers run approximately 130 charter schools, mainly in Texas.

He focuses his efforts on educating new generations and promoting the emergence of elites who are simultaneously pious, modern, patriotic, committed to globalization, and comfortable with economic success. Like the Jesuits and other missionaries who trained Turkey’s republican, Kemalist elites to value secularism and follow a Western path through the schools they founded at the end of the Ottoman Empire, Gülen aspires to use education to help forge new generation of Anatolian, conservative elites (or counterelites) that might play a key role in creating a modern, more openly Islamic Turkey.

Read more at Carnegie Endowment For International Peace (H/T Patrick Poole, @pspoole)

The Mosque Takeover: The Symbolic Conquest

By Paul Wilkinson:

How many times have you heard of a new mosque application in your area, and a spokesman will say something like this in Cork, Republic of Ireland, recently: “A new Islamic Cultural Centre (aka ‘mosque’) on Shandon Street … has pledged to make the facility a vibrant part of the wider community,”? Obviously an ideology that compares non-believers to that of, to name but a few, semen, excrement and urine, will never ‘benefit the wider community’!

Back to the Very Beginning

From the outset, mosques were seen as a conquest over other cultures and religions. Indeed, “Islam’s most sacred site, al-Kaaba, in Mecca was a pagan shrine that predated Islam by hundreds of years.”

One need only look to the history of 1400 years of Islamic conquest to understand that according to the Hijra, the Islamic doctrine of cultural invasionMuslims are required to build mosques following a successful attack. Sacred sites would have mosques built in their place, for example, “following the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, the Ummayad Caliphate proceeded to build the Dome of the Rock, the Masjid Qubat al-Sakhra, on top of the Jewish Temple Mount in 689. Inscribed on the inner walls of the shrine are clear warnings to Christianity, professing Islamic supremacy… Having defeated their Christian enemies, the Umayyads built a grand mosque on top of Judaism’s most sacred site that contained a clear declaration of Muslim supremacy over their brother Abrahamic religions.” Another example is The Grand Mosque of Damascus, also known as the Umayyad Mosque, which was converted from a church dedicated to John the Baptist in 705.

Dome of the Rock, the Masjid Qubat al-Sakhra on top of the Jewish Temple Mount.  Source: http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/DomeRock.html

Dome of the Rock, the Masjid Qubat al-Sakhra on top of the Jewish Temple Mount. Source: http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/DomeRock.html

Since Islam’s inception, it has been waging war with the infidels at one place or another for approximately 90% of its existence, as Dr Bill Warner describes in his excellent presentation: “Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret.” 

Islamic conquests saw large swathes of Christian Europe, Middle East and North Africa taken and many of the natives converted to Islam through force or fear. Large areas of Spain, Portugal and Southern France were invaded by the Moors from North Africa, and large areas Eastern Europe fell to the Ottoman Empire culminating in the Siege of Vienna, which ended on 12 September 1683. (Curiously 11th September was when Islam’s advancement c/o the Ottoman Empire into the West was at its peak. Does the date 9/11 sound familiar?)

“Moreover, recent territories that have returned to Muslim rule following decolonization have seen the return of the conversions of religious sites into mosques. Muammar Qaddafi, the ruler of Libya, converted 78 synagogues into mosques in the 1970s.”

The Modern Day Conquest

The spread of Islam. Source: http://www.hudsonfla.com/artislam.htm

The spread of Islam. Source: http://www.hudsonfla.com/artislam.htm

The last few centuries Muslims haven’t invaded the West through conventional war due to our military superiority, but the simple fact remains, Islam still hates us and wants to either convert the kuffar, or give inferiority status. If those both fail, then death is the only other option.Our forefathers knew this, however political correctness and suicidal mass immigration of Muslims has forced Islam upon us; and Muslims have adopted ‘stealth jihad’ methods by penetrating positions of influence and authority in our societies.

The Qur’an explicitly states Allah’s hatred for Christians and Jews many times and calls for Muslims to emigrate and spread Islam in Judeo-Christian societies because immigration will further Islam’s socio-political development by increasing Islamic influence and demands on the host nation. Then as the Muslim population grows, a power-grab will finally occur when the time is right and the Shari’a is implemented.

Part of this process is building lots of mosques, which given the chance will be colossal structures with towering minarets and architecture that does not blend in to its environs, therefore intentionally dominating the skyline.
Welcome to 21st Century Leicester, England. Source: http://martinbrookes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/masjid-umar-evington-muslim-centre.html

Welcome to 21st Century Leicester, England. Source: http://martinbrookes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/masjid-umar-evington-muslim-centre.html

Unlike churches or synagogues, mosques preach incompatible politics and Islamic doctrines. Documentaries such as ‘Channel 4 Dispatches ‘Undercover Mosque’, which via hidden cameras“captured chilling sermons in which Saudi-trained preachers proclaim the supremacy of Islam, preach hatred for non-Muslims and for Muslims who do not follow their extreme beliefs – and predict a coming jihad. ’An army of Muslims will arise,’ announces one preacher. Another preacher said British Muslims must ‘dismantle’ British democracy – they must ‘live like a state within a state’ until they are ‘strong enough to take over”.” Western societies have ‘separated Church from State’, but in Islamic countries the ‘Mosque is the State’, and a 7th Century Arabian Peninsula one at that.

Instances of mosques and madrassas teaching children how to amputate hands and feet, or that ‘Jews are plotting to take over the world’, segregate from the kuffar or arranging child marriages and even physical violence towards children are all too common nowadays.

Mosques are the Islamic conveyor belt that indoctrinates the next generation to believe that women can be beaten and treated less favourably, promote terrorism or violence and call for homosexuals and apostates to be killed. Even after an epidemic of Muslim gangs raping vulnerable British girls, around 75% of mosques refused to deliver a sermon telling Muslims that it is wrong.

Mosque construction ticks the ‘politically correct’ boxes that usually ensure the planners at the local council usher through planning permission for another centre for preaching intolerance, hate and inequality. Many planners want a PC feather in their cap these days; however people like Gavin Boby illustrate that things can be done to successfully resist mosques popping up like mushrooms.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

The Gates of Vienna Are Wide Open – Conquest By Other Means

IslamizationBy Don Feder:

Besides the anniversary of the 2001 World Trade Center attack and the murders of four Americans in Benghazi last year, September 11 also marks the 330th anniversary of the beginning of the battle of Vienna in 1683, which stopped the Islamic advance in Europe – temporarily.

But where Ottoman armies failed, Muslim immigration, homegrown terrorism, demographic jihad and multiculturalism are succeeding.

The combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – under the command of the Polish King Jan III Sobieski – lifted the Ottoman siege begun two months earlier.

The battle marked the turning point in the 300-year struggle between Christendom and the Ottoman Empire – itself an extension of a European war that started almost a thousand years earlier, with the Umayyad conquest of Spain in the 8th century.

Within a few decades of the battle, the Ottomans had lost most of their European domains. Viennese bakers celebrated their deliverance with what came to be called the croissant, a pastry in the shape of the Muslim crescent. Take a bite out of Islam?

Today, sans uniforms or siege engines, Islam’s armies are on the march across Europe.On May 22, in the London neighborhood of Woolich, two Muslims hacked to death and tried to behead British soldier Lee Rigby. The killers made no attempt to escape. Waving a bloody machete, one shouted at bystanders: “We must fight them as they fight us…. You people (Brits) will never be safe.”

Prime Minister David Cameron resolutely declared, “We will never give in to terror or terrorism.” Cameron added that the murder wasn’t just an attack on the British way of life, but “a betrayal of Islam.”

“There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act,” Cameron intoned – no doubt based on his extensive knowledge on the Koran and Hadith, after a lifetime of study. Rumor has it he’s memorized most of the Suras in Arabic.

At a procedural hearing, accused Michael Adebolajo (who missed the memo on the incompatibility of terrorism and Islam) kissed a copy of the Koran and asked the judge to address him as “mujahid” – Arabic for “fighter” or “warrior.”

Private Rigby is another casualty in a global conflict – where one side wields machetes and plants bombs, while the other mouths inane clichés.

On Armistice Day in 2010, while Englishmen were laying wreaths at monuments to their war dead, Muslim protestors in London waved signs that said “British soldiers burn in hell” (for fighting the civilizing influence of the Taliban in Afghanistan) and “Allah is our protector. And you have no protector.” The British police blame such incidents on the English Defense League, for making Muslims feel bad about themselves by pointing out the obvious connection between the religion-of-bloody-machetes and acts of barbarism.

In “The Story of the Malakand Field Force,” Winston Churchill, who experienced the business end of Islam in Afghanistan’s borderlands and the Sudan, wrote that, unlike Christianity: “The Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.”

The man who faced another totalitarian threat half-a-century later referred to Islam as “the religion of blood and war.” In Cameron’s Britain, Churchill would be hauled before a human rights tribunal and charged with inciting religious hatred.

In the U.K. and Western Europe, tolerance is a one-way street.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

The West’s Blind Spot Towards Russia

By Ralph H. Sidway:

Perhaps there really is a “colonial mentality” afflicting the Western Powers after all.  How else to explain the succession of disastrous foreign policy choices by Barack Obama, David Cameron, and the NATO alliance regarding the “Arab Spring,” which are not merely ill advised, but downright immoral.

The Burning of Christian Smyrna by Turkish Troops, September 14, 1922

It’s one thing to put forth a foreign policy which tries to spread democracy, but it is quite another when one puts one’s finger on the scale—as the Obama Administration has done in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and now Syria—in order to leverage into power repressive forces who historically have persecuted their neighbors, and have stated their intention to do so again today.

Democratic governance in Islamic nations should not, in fact, be the goal of United States foreign policy. As Raymond Ibrahim has written, “as with all forms of governance, democracy is a means to an end: based on whether that end is good (freedom) or bad (tyranny) should be the ultimate measure of its worth.”

Indeed, as we have seen in the bloody persecution of Christians under Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and the other poisonous fruits of the “Arab Spring,” Islamists do not respect the principles nor the goals of democracy, but merely use it as a tool, a means to theirend, even likening voting to a form of jihad, their ultimate goal being the institution of shariah law. And as nearly fourteen hundred years of Islamic history has proven, the shariah means tyranny for non-Muslims.

This extreme dissonance regarding the end goal is one component of the West’s blind spot towards the Levant. Mistaking the process of democracy as a goal in and of itself, the West has chosen some spectacularly unsavory bedfellows. And by allying itself to the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the cannibalistic Syrian rebel jihadis, the Obama Administration and its partners have launched out on a course which can only lead to another genocide against indigenous Christians, a classic case of history being repeated.

In the early-mid 19th century, although Great Britain, France and Russia together sought to protect the Christian minorities under the Ottoman yoke, Britain later, under Disraeli, actually aligned with the Ottomans, and effectively allowed severe repressions of the Serbs in 1875, and massacres of Bulgarians in 1876, in which as many as 100,000 Christians were slaughtered by Turkish forces.

It was only the Russians who actually came to the defense of the Armenians and the Balkan Christian populations in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Romania, Serbia and Montenegro gained full independence through the Russian victory, and Bulgaria autonomy. Britain became more alarmed, however, at Russia’s resurgence than at the Ottoman threat to Christian minorities, and forced Russia out of Ottoman territory through the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. This led to a soft-influence, “lead from behind” approach by the Great Powers, which ultimately enabled the irrefutably documented Turkish genocidal massacres of Armenian and Christian populations from 1894 through to 1915.

The similarities to our own age are startling.

Read more at Raymond Ibrahim’s blog