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

Opening Wide the Gates of Vienna

BurqaSharia-293x350By :

The debate over the nature of Islam continues to fester not only between liberals and conservatives, left and right, but among conservatives as well. It is one of those issues that remain divisively controversial, even among those who share a common or similar political orientation. There is no ultimate consensus on the horizon and there will probably not be a decisive verdict until civil disruption and social mayhem can no longer be ignored or dissembled—what we might designate, taking a page from Janet Napolitano, as “Muslim-caused disasters.” But for the time being, the discussion seems clearly to favor those who maintain that Islam is a “religion of peace” that has been “hijacked” by the extremists within its ranks, a conclusion promoted by politicians seeking votes, professional multiculturalists, brain-dead Hollywood celebrities and producers, and a vast and corrupt media conglomerate that lost its bearings back in the diversity-crazed Sixties when minority hiring and a concomitant “fractious ethnic politics”, as William McGowan put it in a 1993 article for City Journal, became the rules of the game.

Sometimes the pro-Islam argument is rendered a little more intricate to introduce distinctions that lend a scholarly patina to the dispute. Clare Lopez, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, writes of a member of the anti-Muslim Brotherhood community who nevertheless regards “Islamist ideology as a mere ‘Sharia Hypothesis’…that has no demonstrable connection to classical Islam” (personal communication). For this conflicted individual, as for so many of his likeminded counterparts, Islamic doctrine does not form the basis for Islamic terrorism. Frequently we are told that Islam does not constitute a solid bloc of theological conviction and practice but is many different things, a protean religion subject to myriad interpretations. The split between Shia and Sunni would seem to reinforce this notion, except for the lamentable fact that both wings of the faith are united in their desire to restore the Caliphate and to subdue the West to its hegemony.

Often a historical thesis is added to the mix, that is, Islam enjoyed its benign and enlightened periods over the long course of time and flourished as an emancipatory culture in Abbasid Baghdad, Umayyad Cordoba, and during portions of the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately for this pleasant perspective, major historians of Islam like Ignaz Goldhizer, Robert Irwin, Serge Trifkovic, Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye’or and Andrew Bostom, among a constellation of others, have scuttled this urban myth so thoroughly in their painstakingly researched volumes—revealing the lapses and misconceptions that vitiate much of the work of such experts as Bernard Lewis and Malise Ruthven—that there is no longer any excuse for continuing to believe in Islam as a civilizing force.

At the outset, it should be obvious that one cannot begin to understand Islam, or at least come to some reasonable approximation of what Islam entails, unless one has read the Koran. Most of those interlocutors with whom I have discussed the question of Islam—Western liberals and conservatives, who twist themselves into knots to avert the accusation of “Islamophobia”—simply have not done so. They have read desultory commentaries by various ostensible pundits or perused newspaper editorials or watched the TV News, that is, they glean their information chiefly from tainted sources. Some have actually read books about Islam, usually presenting laundered versions of the faith, but when I ask them what they make of the pivotal ayah in Koran 2:193, for example, they are at a complete loss. Islam is a religion of imperial conquest, and the Prophet’s marching order is clear and inescapable: “Fight against them until there is no more fitnah (temptation, tumult, disbelief) and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.” There is no way to interpret this passage as anything other than a divinely inspired summons to perpetual war leading to the establishment of a universal Caliphate—a command devoutly adhered to by the so-called “extremists.”

Reading the Koran is only a start. Those who wish to enter the intellectual fray equipped with a modicum of credibility should also gain some familiarity with the ancillary literature, both canonical and exegetical. Reformist Muslims will already possess the requisite erudition, but unfortunately the tendency they evince is to cherry-pick mainly those earlier, generally superseded passages in the Koran that impart a rosy hue to their argumentation, or they set about assiduously re-interpreting and contextualizing whatever tropes and injunctions are manifestly indigestible, as I contended in a recent article for this site. Their efforts are understandable since they cannot surrender the faith that cradles their needs and susceptibilities, despite its dogmatic and ingrained resistance to beneficial change. Thus they must find ways to accommodate what they know to what they want.

Read more at Front Page

 

MUSLIMS PROTEST PROF TEACHING ISLAM-TERROR LINK

jonathan-matustiz-340x161By ART MOORE:

A university professor who believes there’s a relationship between terrorism and Islam has been accused of anti-Muslim bigotry by a prominent U.S. Muslim advocacy group that was founded by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the University of Central Florida against Professor Jonathan Matusitz, charging that his communications courses portray Islam in an inaccurate and biased way, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

CAIR – founded in 1993 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood who aspire to replace the U.S. government with an Islamic state – points to a video posted on Youtube of a lecture in a special series on terrorism at UCF in which Matusitz, 36, emphasizes the link between terrorism and Islamic culture.

The professor contends countries should resist the global spread of Islam.

“Why do so many Muslims, relative to other religions, want to kill us?” he asks in the video. “The answer is easy, very easy. It is seven letters –culture.”

Matusitz, who was given an award by his university for outstanding performance, also contends Islam cannot be changed.

“How can you change a movement in which you have 1.5 billion members? It’s impossible,” he says. “We just have to resist it and just elect people who are willing just to resist it and just be true American. That’s the only answer. We’re not going to change Islam.”

Matusitz, according to his bio on the UCF website, came to the U.S. from Belgium in 2000. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. He has 95 academic publications and more than 100 conference presentations to his credit and taught at a NATO-affiliated military base in Belgium.

CAIR touts itself as Muslim civil rights group, but federal prosecutors in 2007 named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund Hamas, and more than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in 1928 in Egypt after the demise of the Ottoman Empire with the aim of resurrecting the Islamic caliphate and helping establish the global rule of Islam, as taught in the Quran.

 

 

Read more at WND

Christendom’s Greatest Cathedral to Become a Mosque

ms-450x299By :

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

Why does the fate of an old building matter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Front Page

 

Understanding the Turkish Demonstrations

201363211056436734_20In the culture of the Middle East, there is no such thing as a win-win compromise. Turks, like their neighbors, consider backing down or apologizing dishonorable.

by Harold Rhode:

Turkey, although nominally part of the West, is in most ways culturally closer to the Middle East. Turks live with pent-up grievances — as do we all — but with virtually no way to resolve them. People in a supposedly democratic Turkey are reluctant to air their grievances even in public surveys out of fear their government might take revenge on them. During the past few years, people in Turkey have been saying that they are petrified to speak to others, write things, or talk freely on the telephone for fear they will be arrested. At present, Turkey has more journalists in jail than any other country.

The ruling AKP government has set up countless apparatuses to monitor dissent; these cause those who disagree with the government to fear not just arrest but interrogation. People and groups have therefore chosen largely to suffer in silence.

Moreover, in the culture of the Middle East, there is no such thing as a win-win compromise. Turks, like their neighbors, consider backing down or apologizing dishonorable.

Consequently, they spend much time blaming each other and looking for scapegoats — but almost never admitting responsibility for problems. As a result, tensions — with no means of being put to rest — constantly seethe below the surface.

This is the context through which to understand the riots and demonstrations against the government which have spread across Turkey.

Before Erdoğan came to power in 2002, with his unspoken promise to reinstate Islam as a central part of the state, many observant Muslims complained that the state discriminated against them. Under Islam, there can be no separation of religion and state. The state must be ruled by Muslims, and must be guided by Islamic law and culture. Observant Muslims felt oppressed by the secular Kemalist government in place since the 1920s, after the Ottoman Empire had been disbanded and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had come to power. Atatürk established policies condemned by Islamic fundamentalists such as education for women, separation of religion and state, and Western dress. His supporters and he said they wanted to relegate Islam to the realm of the private, and teach individuals make decisions for themselves instead of blindly following religious leaders. Those who wanted the state to remain Islamic said they felt under constant pressure to keep their views to themselves; doing otherwise, they feared, might bring down on them the wrath of the secular state. Some of Atatürk’s people were personally religious, but kept their religion separate from activities related to the state. Atatürk did not invade the realm of the private — unlike what Erdoğan has been trying to do.

Since Erdoğan and his AKP ["Truth and Reconciliation Party"] came to power, they have slowly but resolutely done their best to dismantle the secular apparatus of the state and have been trying to impose their version of Sunni fundamentalist Islam on everyone, especially the non-Sunni Alevis who make up approximately 30% of Turkey’s population.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

The Turkish Summer?

turkey-protests-450x300By :

I’ve referred to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan as the “king of the Islamists” because of his ability to swoon the West, make Israel bend and maintain popularity while implementing Sharia using the doctrine of “gradualism.” He now faces his biggest internal challenge as protests against him enter their fifth day in what one expert compares to the “eruption of a volcano.”

The unexpected spark was Erdogan’s plan to redevelop Gezi Park in Taksim Square. Reuters explains that Taksim honors the secular legacy of Ataturk, while the other squares in the capital reflect upon the days of the Ottoman Empire. When Erdogan planned to transform the park into an Ottoman-theme shopping center with a mosque, apartment complex and model of Ottoman-era barracks, it was seen by secularists as a washing away of Ataturk.

Opponents of Erdogan had been looking for an opportunity, angered over the government’s new restrictions on alcohol sales and advertising, the morning-after pill, the rejection of a gay rights law, and other moves towards Sharia governance. About 100 Turks publicly kissed in a subway station after officials said passengers must “act in accordance with moral rules” regarding public displays of affection.

A recent poll found that 35% of Turks consume alcohol, an act that is forbidden in Islam. It did not flatly ask respondents whether they oppose the new restrictions, but 61% felt it was an intervention in personal lives. Interestingly, a 2009 poll that found high levels of hostility towards Christians, Jews and atheists also found that 54% of Turks don’t want “Sharia supporters” for neighbors.

The protest at Gezi Park began as a small sit-in at the park, with participants planting trees and reading books. It quickly grew as the demonstration took on broader meaning. Tens of thousands joined and protests spread to 67 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

“We are Mustafa Kemal’s soldiers,” chanted some protesters, referring to Ataturk.

The police’s reaction, by Erdogan’s own admission, was excessive. At least two have died, one at the hands of an unidentified gunman, perhaps a police officer. About 1,700 have been arrested and thousands more injured, including a young boy who lost an eye because of a plastic bullet. The Turkish opposition claims that detainees have been forced into signing testimonies and are being refused access to lawyers.

The protests are bound to get larger in the coming days as they garner international attention. One of the country’s four major unions, the 240,000-strong Public Workers Unions Confederation, is launching a two-day “warning” strike on Tuesday.

Erdogan reacted as Islamists usually do. He claimed that the protestors are extremists allied with terrorists and are part of a foreign conspiracy. He said, “The thing that is called social media is the biggest trouble for society now,” setting the stage for restrictions on the Internet.

Contrary to Erdogan’s insistence that the protesters are part of a fringe group, The Atlantic observes that “all of Turkey was represented: the young and the old, the secular and the religious, the soccer hooligans and the blind, anarchists, communists, nationalists, Kurds, gays, feminists and students.”

Read more at Front Page

HISTORIAN: OBAMA HELPING RESURRECT OTTOMAN EMPIRE?

ottoman-340x161By JEROME R. CORSI:

NEW YORK – Is Obama helping advance a grand plan by Turkey, with the support of Germany, to restore the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic caliphate that controlled much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa for more than six centuries?

That is a question posed by historian Robert E. Kaplan in an article titled “The U.S. Helps Reconstruct the Ottoman Empire,” published this week by the international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute.

Kaplan, a historian with a doctorate from Cornell University, specializing in modern Europe, says history suggests a possible partnership between Turkey and Germany, which has seen influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Muslims worldwide for its own interests.

He asks why the U.S. government “would actively promote German aims,” including the destruction of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the re-creation of the Ottoman Empire through the “Arab Spring.”

Kaplan points to Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ultimate victor in the “Arab Spring”; the U.S. backing of radical Islamic “rebel” groups in Libya with ties to al-Qaida; and current support for similarly constituted radical Islamic “rebel” groups in Syria aligned with al-Qaida.

Each of these U.S. military interventions occurred in areas that were under the Ottoman Empire.

Bring back the Ottoman Empire?

Kaplan sees a similarity between the Clinton-era attacks against the Serbs and the Obama administration hostility to well-established regimes in Libya and Syria.

He writes:

Since the mid-1990s the United States has intervened militarily in several internal armed conflicts in Europe and the Middle East: bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of Izetbegovic’s Moslem Regime in Bosnia in 1995, bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of KLA Moslems of Kosovo in 1999, bombing Libya’s Gaddafi regime in support of rebels in 2010. Each intervention was justified to Americans as motivated by humanitarian concerns: to protect Bosnian Moslems from genocidal Serbs, to protect Kosovo Moslems from genocidal Serbs, and to protect Libyans from their murderous dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Kaplan observes that neither President Clinton nor President Obama ever mentioned the reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire as a justification for U.S. military intervention.

The U.S. offered other reasons for intervening in Serbia, including a desire to gain a strategic foothold in the Balkans, to defeat communism in Yugoslavia, to demonstrate to the world’s Muslims that the U.S. is not anti-Muslim, and to redefine the role of NATO in the post-Cold War era.

Recurring pattern

At its height in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire stretched from its capital in Turkey, through the Muslim-populated areas of North Africa, Iraq, the costal regions of the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Balkans.

Kaplan points out that since the 1990s, “each European and Middle Eastern country that experienced American military intervention in an internal military conflict or an ‘Arab Spring’ has ended up with a government dominated by Islamists of the Moslem Brotherhood or al-Qaida variety fits nicely with the idea that these events represent a return to Ottoman rule.”

In these conflicts, Kaplan sees recurring patterns employed by Clinton and Obama to justify U.S. military intervention:

Read more at WND

 

Turkey Stakes Claim in America With $100 Million Mega-Mosque

A drawing of Turkey's $100 million mega-mosque complex being built in Maryland

A drawing of Turkey’s $100 million mega-mosque complex being built in Maryland

The construction project in Maryland is about more than a mega-mosque. It’s symbol of how Turkey aspires to lead the Islamic ummah, including the American Muslim community.

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamist government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland. Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site on May 15 in a ceremony that was attended by the leaders of two groups linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Also present was the Maryland Secretary of State, representing Maryland Governor and likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, Martin O’Malley.

The mega-mosque is called the Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center and, according to the Muslim Link,  it “will likely become the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the western hemisphere” when it is finished in 2014. The Muslim Link explicitly says it is “a project of the government of Turkey.”

On May 15, Prime Minister Erdogan spoke to hundreds of people at the construction site and said he’d come back for the opening ceremony next year. He warned the audience that there are groups promoting “Islamophobia,” branding potential critics as paranoid bigots. Erdogan recently said that “Islamophobia” and Zionism are equivalent to fascism and anti-Semitism, saying they are a “crime against humanity.”

On the same trip to the U.S., Erdogan brought a special guest: The father of one of the Islamists killed in Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish flotilla that tried to break Israel’s legal blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Erdogan reportedly wanted to him to meet President Obama.

The site will have five buildings, including a mosque “constructed using 16th century Ottoman architecture that can hold 750 worshipers.” The site’s design reinforces concerns that Turkey wants to restore its glory days as the Ottoman Empire.

The event was also attended by the leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.

The first, Naeem Baig, is the president of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo, which says its “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” lists ICNA as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” It even refers to meetings with ICNA with talk about a merger.

ICNA is linked to the Pakistani Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami and its conferences feature radical speakers. A former ICNA president was recently indicted for horrific war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 succession from Pakistan – the torture and murder or 18 political opponents.

The second official from a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that attended the event was Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA and several of its components are listed as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the same 1991 Brotherhood memo. ISNA was also an unindicted co-conspiratorin the Holy Land Foundation case, dubbed the largest Islamic terror-funding trial in the history of the U.S.  Federal prosecutors in the case also listed ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.

Read more at The Clarion Project

THE FORGOTTEN GENOCIDE — AND WHY IT MATTERS TODAY

By Raymond Ibrahim:

Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the Armenian genocide that took place under Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire, during and after WWI.  Out of an approximate population of two million, some 1.5 million Armenians died. If early 20th century Turkey had the apparatuses and technology to execute in mass—such as 1940s Germany’s gas chambers—the entire Armenian population may well have been annihilated.  Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:

More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse.  A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century.  At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000….  Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.

A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including crucified Christian girls.

Indeed, evidence has been overwhelming.  U.S. Senate Resolution 359 from 1920 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.”  In her memoir, Ravished ArmeniaAurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (which agrees with Islam’s rules of war).  Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.”  Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.

What do Americans know of the Armenian Genocide?  To be sure, some American high school textbooks acknowledge it.  However, one of the primary causes for it—perhaps the fundamental cause—is completely unacknowledged: religion.  The genocide is always articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that deems valid only those factors that are intelligible from a modern, secular, Western point of view, such as identity politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. As can be imagined, such an approach does little more than project Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations of different eras, thus anachronizing history.

Read more

See also: The Weird Phenomenon of Ottoman Empire Nostalgia (counterjihadreport)