UK: Politicians Urge Ban on the Term “Islamic State”

political correctnessGatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern,July 4, 2015:

  • “If we deny any connection between terrorism and religion, then we are saying there is no problem in any of the mosques; that there is nothing in the religious texts that is capable of being twisted or misunderstood; that there are no religious leaders whipping up hatred of the West, no perverting of religious belief for political ends.” — Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
  • “O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war… Mohammed was ordered to wage war until Allah is worshipped alone… He himself left to fight and took part in dozens of battles. He never for a day grew tired of war. — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State.
  • While Western politicians claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic, millions of Muslims around the world — referring to what is approved in the Islamic texts — believe that it is.

The BBC has rejected demands by British lawmakers to stop using the term “Islamic State” when referring to the jihadist group that is carving out a self-declared Caliphate in the Middle East.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC’s director general, said that the proposed alternative, “Daesh,” is pejorative and using it would be unfair to the Islamic State, thereby casting doubt upon the BBC’s impartiality.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently joined the growing chorus of British politicians who argue that the name “Islamic State” is offensive to Muslims and should be banned from the English vocabulary.

During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on June 29 — just days after a jihadist with links to the Islamic State killed 38 people (including 30 Britons) at a beach resort in Tunisia — Cameron rebuked veteran presenter John Humphrys for referring to the Islamic State by its name.

When Humphrys asked Cameron whether he regarded the Islamic State to be an existential threat, Cameron said:

“I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic state. What it is is an appalling, barbarous regime. It is a perversion of the religion of Islam, and, you know, many Muslims listening to this program will recoil every time they hear the words ‘Islamic State.'”

Humphrys responded by pointing out that the group calls itself the Islamic State (al-Dawlah al-Islamiyah, Arabic for Islamic State), but he added that perhaps the BBC could use a modifier such as “so-called” in front of that name.

Cameron replied: “‘So-called’ or ISIL [the acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is better.” He continued:

“But it is an existential threat, because what is happening here is the perversion of a great religion, and the creation of this poisonous death cult, that is seducing too many young minds, in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere.

“And this is, I think, going to be the struggle of our generation. We have to fight it with everything that we can.”

Later that day in the House of Commons, Cameron repeated his position. Addressing Cameron, Scottish National Party MP Angus Robertson said that the English-speaking world should adopt Daesh, the Arabic name for the Islamic State, as the proper term.

Daesh, which translates as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Syria), is the Arabic equivalent to ISIL. Daesh sounds similar to the Arabic word “Daes,” which means “one who crushes something underfoot,” and “Dahes,” which means “one who sows discord.” As a result of this play on words, Daesh has become a derogatory name for the Islamic State, and its leaders have threatened to “cut the tongue” of anyone who uses the word in public.

Robertson said:

“You are right to highlight the longer-term challenge of extremism and of radicalization. You have pointed out the importance of getting terminology right and not using the name ‘Islamic State.’ Will you join parliamentarians across this house, the US secretary of state and the French foreign minister in using the appropriate term?

“Do you agree the time has come in the English-speaking world to stop using Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL and instead we and our media should use Daesh — the commonly used phrase across the Middle East?”

Cameron replied:

“I agree with you in terms of the use of Islamic State. I think this is seen as particularly offensive to many Muslims who see, as I see, not a state but a barbaric regime of terrorism and oppression that takes delight in murder and oppressing women, and murdering people because they’re gay. I raised this with the BBC this morning.

“I personally think that using the term ‘ISIL’ or ‘so-called’ would be better than what they currently do. I don’t think we’ll move them all the way to Daesh so I think saying ISIL is probably better than Islamic State because it is neither in my view Islamic nor a state.”

Separately, more than 100 MPs signed a June 25 letter to the BBC’s director general calling on the broadcaster to begin using the term Daesh when referring to the Islamic State. The letter, which was drafted by Rehman Chishti, a Pakistani-born Conservative MP, stated:

“The use of the titles: Islamic State, ISIL and ISIS gives legitimacy to a terrorist organization that is not Islamic nor has it been recognized as a state and which a vast majority of Muslims around the world finds despicable and insulting to their peaceful religion.”

Scottish Nation Party MP Alex Salmond, in a June 29 newspaper column, wrote:

“We should start by understanding that in a propaganda war language is crucial.

“Any description of terrorists which confers on them the image that they are representing either a religion or a state must surely be wrong and an own goal of massive proportions. It is after all how they wish to refer to themselves.

“Daesh, sometimes spelled Daiish or Da’esh, is short for Dawlat al Islamiyah fi’al Iraq wa al Sham.

“Many Arabic-speaking media organizations refer to the group as such and there is an argument it is appropriately pejorative, deriving from a mixture of rough translations from the individual Arabic words.

“However, the real point of using Daesh is that it separates the terrorists from the religion they claim to represent and from the false dream of a new caliphate that they claim to pursue.

“It should become the official policy of the government and be followed by the broadcasting organizations.”

The BBC, which routinely refers to Muslims as “Asians” to comply with the politically correct norms of British multiculturalism, has held its ground. It said:

“No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organization this is. We call the group by the name it uses itself, and regularly review our approach. We also use additional descriptions to help make it clear we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves, such as ‘so-called Islamic State.'”

The presenter of the BBC’s “The World This Weekend” radio program, Mark Mardell, added:

“It seems to me, once we start passing comment on the accuracy of the names people call their organizations, we will constantly be expected to make value judgements. Is China really a ‘People’s Republic?’ After the Scottish referendum, is the UK only the ‘so-called United Kingdom?’ With the Greek debacle, there is not much sign of ‘European Union.'”

London Mayor Boris Johnson believes both viewpoints are valid. In a June 28 opinion article published by the Telegraph, he wrote:

“Rehman’s point is that if you call it Islamic State you are playing their game; you are dignifying their criminal and barbaric behavior; you are giving them a propaganda boost that they don’t deserve, especially in the eyes of some impressionable young Muslims. He wants us all to drop the terms, in favor of more derogatory names such as “Daesh” or “Faesh,” and his point deserves a wider hearing.

“But then there are others who would go much further, and strip out any reference to the words “Muslim” or “Islam” in the discussion of this kind of terrorism — and here I am afraid I disagree….

“Why do we seem to taint a whole religion by association with a violent minority? …

“Well, I am afraid there are two broad reasons why some such association is inevitable. The first is a simple point of language, and the need to use terms that everyone can readily grasp. It is very difficult to bleach out all reference to Islam or Muslim from discussion of this kind of terror, because we have to pinpoint what we are actually talking about. It turns out that there is virtually no word to describe an Islamically-inspired terrorist that is not in some way prejudicial, at least to Muslim ears.

“You can’t say “Salafist,” because there are many law-abiding and peaceful Salafists. You can’t say jihadi, because jihad — the idea of struggle — is a central concept of Islam, and doesn’t necessarily involve violence; indeed, you can be engaged in a jihad against your own moral weakness. The only word that seems to carry general support among Muslim leaders is Kharijite — which means a heretic — and which is not, to put it mildly, a word in general use among the British public.

“We can’t just call it “terrorism”, as some have suggested, because we need to distinguish it from any other type of terrorism — whether animal rights terrorists or Sendero Luminoso Marxists. We need to speak plainly, to call a spade a spade. We can’t censor the use of “Muslim” or “Islamic.”

“That just lets too many people off the hook. If we deny any connection between terrorism and religion, then we are saying there is no problem in any of the mosques; that there is nothing in the religious texts that is capable of being twisted or misunderstood; that there are no religious leaders whipping up hatred of the west, no perverting of religious belief for political ends.”

What does the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, have to say? In a May 2015 audio message, he summed it up this way:

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war. Your Prophet (peace be upon him) was dispatched with the sword as a mercy to the creation. He was ordered to wage war until Allah is worshipped alone. He (peace be upon him) said to the polytheists of his people, ‘I came to you with slaughter.’ He fought both the Arabs and non-Arabs in all their various colors. He himself left to fight and took part in dozens of battles. He never for a day grew tired of war.

“So there is no excuse for any Muslim who is capable of performing hijrah [migration] to the Islamic State, or capable of carrying a weapon where he is, for Allah (the Blessed and Exalted) has commanded him with hijrah and jihad, and has made fighting obligatory upon him.”

While Western politicians claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic, millions of Muslims around the world — referring to what is approved in the Islamic texts — believe that it is. While the former are performing politically correct linguistic gymnastics, the latter are planning their next religiously-inspired attacks against the West. A new twist on an old English adage: The sword is mightier than the pen.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

UK POLICE KNEW AND DID NOTHING TO PROTECT GIRLS FROM MUSLIM PREDATORS

muslimrapegang_2 (1)

Better to sacrifice some British kids on the altar of multiculturalism than overturn the altar altogether.

Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, July 2, 2015:

Not only do recent revelations concerning  the endemic sexual grooming of British girls by Muslim men demonstrate how crippling political correctness is, but they show how political correctness complements the most abusive elements of Islamic law, or Sharia.

According to a June 24 report by the Birmingham Mail, as far back as March 2010, West Midlands Police knew that Muslim grooming gangs “were targeting children outside schools across the city—but failed to make the threat public.”

A confidential report obtained under a Freedom of Information Act indicates that police were well aware that British pupils were being targeted by mostly Muslim men.  Several passages from the report make this clear:

In one heavily redacted passage, entitled ‘Schools’, it states: “In (redacted) a teacher at a (redacted) that a group of Asian males were approaching pupils at the school gate and grooming them. Strong anecdotal evidence shows this MO (modus operandi) is being used across the force.”

The 2010 report also reveals how these “Asian” gangs used victims to target other girls.  For example, by using “a young girl in a children’s home to target and groom other residents on their behalf….   The girl’s motivation to recruit new victims is often that the provision of new girls provides her a way to escape the cycle of abuse.”

Other victims were systematically “forced into prostitution and high levels of intimidation and force are used to keep the victims compliant.”

Although police knew all this, the Birmingham Mail said it “is unaware of any police public appeals or warnings from that time”—appeals and warnings that no doubt would have saved many girls from the Islamic sex rings.

So what paralyzed police from any action, even warnings to the community?  The report sheds light:

The predominant offender profile of Pakistani Muslim males… combined with the predominant victim profile of white females has the potential to cause significant community tensions…. There is a potential for a backlash against the vast majority of law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities from other members of the community believing their children have been exploited.

Once again, then, political correctness—this time under the pretext of fear of a “backlash”—was enough to paralyze the police from arresting Muslim sex predators and releasing their victims.

And what if a “backlash” were to occur?  Why is it okay for innocent children to be plied with drugs and passed around in kabob shops and taxicabs while police standby—but it’s not okay for the so-called “majority of law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities” to ever experience anything negative?

Maybe if they did, they’d actually reign in the sexual predators of their community—some of whom are, in fact, “pillars of their community.”   Maybe they’d implore their imams in the UK—the majority of whom reportedly promote the sexual grooming of “infidel” children—to change their tune.

In reality, the great fear is that a backlash would demonstrate once and for all that multiculturalism—especially in the context of Islam—is an abysmal failure; it would be an admittance that even the West is part of the “real world,” one full of ugly truths that must be combatted, not merely “understood” or appeased.

Better sacrifice some British kids on the altar of multiculturalism than overturn the altar altogether.

It’s also interesting to see that political correctness not only exonerates Islamic-inspired crimes, but has a symbiotic relationship with the supremacist elements of Sharia.

For example, some know that, while Islamic law bans any mockery of its founder, Muhammad, so too does Western censorship in the name of political correctness accommodate this Sharia statute (meanwhile, Islamic teachings—based on the precedent of Muhammad—holds it the right of a Muslim tocurse, mock, and desecrate other religions).

In the case of Muslim-led sex grooming rings in Britain, just as Islamic law permits the sexual exploitation of “infidel” women, so too does Western political correctness allow it to flourish in Western lands.

Worst of all, it’s not just politicians and other jesters who are engaging in this form of Sharia-enabling political correctness.  In the UK, it’s the very police departments themselves.

U.S. Troops Face Eating, Drinking Restrictions During Ramadan

Weekly Standard, by Jeryl Bier, June 29, 2015:

A top commander in southwest Asia reminded U.S military personnel stationed in Muslim countries in the Middle East of the restrictions placed on them during Ramadan. According to a report by the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs, Brig. Gen. John Quintas, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander in Southwest Asia, said that the U.S. is “committed to the concepts of tolerance, freedom and diversity.” But he added that soldiers should “become more informed and appreciative of the traditions and history of the people in this region of the world… [R]emember we are guests here and that the host nation is our shoulder-to-shoulder, brothers and sisters in arms, risking their lives for our common cause to defeat terrorism.”

During the 30-day religious celebration of Ramadan, even non-Muslims are expected to obey local laws regarding eating, drinking, and using tobacco in public. Violators can be fined up to $685 or receive two months in jail. A spokesperson for United States Central Command [CENTCOM] said that “we are not aware of any specific instances of anyone being arrested” for such violations.

\For military personnel outside of U.S.-controlled areas, the only exceptions for the rules are for those “performing strenuous labor.” Such personnel are “authorized to drink and consume as much food as they need to maintain proper hydration and energy.” It is unclear what constitutes “strenuous labor” or whether additional exceptions might be made during a heatwave affecting some areas of the region that has taken hundreds of lives.

When asked if the restrictions were new or simply a continuation of past policy, a CENTCOM spokesperson replied:

There has been no change in policy…  [W]hile the US does not have a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the UAE, it is common practice to ensure all Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines deployed to Muslim countries are culturally aware that during the month of Ramadan, practicing Muslims do not consume anything from sunrise to sunset as a pillar of their faith. Commanders throughout the AOR create policies to ensure their subordinates respect the laws and culture of our hosts at all times.

The report on CENTCOM’s website is accompanied by the following graphic urging military personnel to “respect Ramadan.”

ramadanweb

Also see:

thereligionofpeace.com)

thereligionofpeace.com)

America’s only remaining choices – civil disobedience or collapse

20150627_ThomasJeffersonquotelawunjustFamily Security Matters, by Lawrence Sellon, Ph.D., June 27, 2015:

The United States no longer has, as the Constitution designed, a government composed of executive, legislative and judicial branches, separate, but equal in power.

The federal government is now an alliance of branches, devoted to the preservation of government itself, separate, not from each other, but from the American people and dedicated to tyranny.

The policies pursued by the Obama Administration and facilitated by cowardly politicians and a compliant media are not simply the intersection of radical ideology and incompetence, but a dangerous subversive element of an anti-American and anti-Western strategy.

Cultural Marxism and its many variants, such as political correctness and multiculturalism, is now firmly ensconced in the White House and the Democrat Party, while the Republican Party, dominated by eunuchs and the avaricious, continuously accommodates its “principles” to match an ever-shifting leftward movement of the “conventional wisdom.” It does so solely in to maintain its place as the token opposition and grifter at the federal tax-revenue trough for the personal financial benefits that it provides.

After the successful 1917 communist revolution in Russia, it was widely believed that a proletarian revolt would sweep across Europe and, ultimately, North America. It did not.

As a result, the Communist International began to investigate other ways to create the state of societal hopelessness and alienation necessary as a prerequisite for socialist revolution – in essence, to destroy western democracy from within.

The single, most important organizational component of this conspiracy was a Communist think tank called the Institute for Social Research, popularly known as the Frankfurt School. The task of the Frankfurt School was first, to undermine the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western civilization that emphasized the uniqueness and sacredness of the individual and, second, to determine new cultural forms which would increase the disaffection of and division among the population.

Just as in classical economic Marxism, certain groups, i.e. workers and peasants, are a priori good, and other groups, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital owners, are evil; in Cultural Marxism feminist women, racial and ethnic minorities and those who define themselves according to sexual orientation are deemed good and “victims” of societal injustice. Similarly, white males and “privilege” and, by extension, Western civilization, are automatically and irredeemably malevolent.

Sound familiar? It has been the playbook of the American left for over sixty years. The aim is not to solve social injustice or protect “rights, “of which the left can concoct an endless supply, but to undermine and topple Western democracy.

The new element in this formula, using the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” paradigm, is what David Horowitz described as an unholy alliance between leftists and radical Islam. They have been brought together by the traits they share – their hatred of Western civilization and their belief that the United States is the embodiment of evil on earth. While Islamic radicals seek to purge the world of heresies and of the infidels who practice them, leftist radicals seek to purge society’s collective “soul” of the vices allegedly spawned by capitalism — those being racism, sexism, imperialism, and greed.

That combination of these ultimately mutually exclusive, but temporarily useful, ideologies is arguably the modus operandi of Barack Hussein Obama and his inner circle with a larger cast of fellow travelers and useful idiots.

It is no surprise, then, that lying and secrecy have become the hallmarks of an administration immune both to facts and reason, plagued by contradictions and led by an individual with the impatience and petulance of an insecure adolescent from a political party with the emotional stability of a disgruntled postal worker.

Obama’s transformation is fundamentally the degradation and humbling of a great nation he considers venal and corrupt, but is, in reality, merely a description of the content of his own character.

He and his present anointed successor and Mini Me, Hillary Clinton, are manifestations of modern-day, totalitarian Liberalism, in its insatiable thirst for power, where persuasion is replaced by coercion to implement policies that are inherently damaging to liberty and the national interest.

Unfortunately, the federal government, as an institution, has largely come to reflect those same characteristics, the tyranny that led the Founding Fathers to declare independence.

In their effort to make the central government “too big to fail,” the political-media complex has made it too corrupt to reform.

It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government – Thomas Paine

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

 

A proper edit of the OSCE meeting on security and free speech from May 2015

woman-silenced.preview

Update: Gates of Vienna has the background information on the OSCE session:

The OSCE Wants to Enforce the OIC Narrative

A few days ago we posted video excerpts from one of the OSCE sessions in Vienna last month. Since then Vlad has been working on a slightly longer version using the same material. The video below includes additional comments made by the panelists, and more detailed annotations.

These excerpts were recorded at the OSCE Security Days at the Hofburg, Vienna, on May 21, 2015. The event was the Night Owl Session: “How can the media help prevent violent radicalization that leads to terrorism?” It was an official OSCE forum, with opening and closing remarks by OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.

The BPE/ICLA team at OSCE included Henrik Ræder Clausen, Stephen Coughlin, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and Renya Matti.

The panelists, from left to right, were:

  • Victor Khroul, a correspondent for Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency and Associate Professor at Moscow State University. Rossiya Segodnya is wholly owned by the Russian government, as is MSU.
  • Leila Ghandi, a Moroccan presenter for 2M TV. She is “an award winning TV host journalist, producer, commentator, book author, speaker, photographer and civil society activist.” 68% of 2M TV is owned by the Moroccan government, with the Moroccan royal family owning 20.7%
  • Randa Habib, the director of the bureau of Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Amman, Jordan.
  • Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, from Bosnia
  • Simon Haselock, Albany Associates

So the panel consisted of a Russian, a Moroccan, a Jordanian, a Bosnian, and a Briton. No Poles. No Danes. No Czechs. No Italians. No one from a sensible European country.

It seems reasonable to assume that the Russian gentleman represents the Russian government. The three women hail from three Muslim countries that do not enforce the wearing of hijab. But are they otherwise representing the interests of the Ummah? Based on the contributions of Ms. Ghandi and Ms. Habib to the discussion about truth vs. “hate speech”, it is at least plausible that they are.

Simon Haselock is a promoter of “global governance”, UN-style. He is described as a “pioneer in media intervention in post-conflict countries” — that is, he helps the United Nations manage the news flow in areas where the “international community” has discovered a compelling interest.

Take, for example this article from 2003 discussing his role in Bosnia:

In Sarajevo, [Simon] Haselock served as media spokesman for the Office of the High Representative, the European agency governing the Bosnians in the aftermath of the Dayton Agreement. In Kosovo, he became media commissioner.

The problem, in a nutshell: He’s British, and holds to a European view of how media should work, in terms of public responsibility, free expression, libel law, and similar issues. Haselock and others like him attempted to impose a European media regime on the Bosnian and Kosovar journalists, and there is every indication the same effort will be made in Iraq.

Put simply, this means that a governmental body will supervise media. It has already been reported that Haselock has written a proposal for control of broadcast and print media, including the establishment of state electronic media and the appointment of a board that will handle “complaints about media excesses” and levy fines for misconduct. These are exactly, down to the boilerplate vocabulary, the policies that were tried in Sarajevo and Prishtina. They failed miserably, and sometimes grotesquely.

IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, the stated mission of foreign media administrators embodied pure political correctness: It was to separate media from nationalist self-expression and political parties. This meant that although Bosnian Muslims felt they had survived a deliberate attempt at genocide, and while Serbs and Croats felt they had legitimate communal demands to put forward, their journalists were forbidden from dealing with these topics. The argument of the “internationals,” as the foreigners in the Balkans love to style themselves, was that any such commentary would constitute hate speech and would incite further violence.

Same shtick, different decade.

In his remarks, Mr. Haselock references non-Islamic terror groups that sprang from European roots. What he does not mention is that we were allowed to call them by the names they called themselves. We called them the “Red Brigades”, the “Bader-Meinhof Group” [Red Army Faction], and the “Irish Republican Army”, and we identified their ideology at the same time — which is what allowed us to counter them.

The rules are different for any group that has “Islam” and “Muslim” in its name. In such cases we are told not use the name that the group uses for itself. We must instead identify it by a pseudonym invented by Simon Haselock or some other “media administrator”. And we must never, ever talk about Islamic ideology or sharia.

Mr. Haselock refers to “the narrative we are offering”. But whose universal values does such a narrative enforce? And against whom? And who decides?

In essence, the UN establishes narratives that are to be enforced against national identities as a requirement. Everyone on the OSCE panel supports these narratives and their enforcement.

By Vlad Tepes, June 26, 2015:

This is the third edit of this video although the second one was only published for an hour or so, and deleted.

The reason for so much effort on it, is that two things make it very important that needed to be underlined in the video.

1. That this meeting and these panelists matter. They affect our lives

2. That their reasoning ranges from what appears to be a dedicated pursuance of an Alinksy narrative for the destruction of nation states world wide, to simple political correct naiveté at best.

I had the opportunity to sit down and go over it with one of the participants fully and this is the result. I hope you will all feel it is worth ploughing through for a second (and for a few of you, a third) time

Entire session:

 

A Counterjihad Survey From a British University

oxfordummahGates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey (Ned May) June 25, 2015:

A few weeks ago a PhD candidate at a British university sent us the following email.

I am a PhD student at [a major British institution of higher learning]. I am researching groups set up to oppose radical Islam in Europe and North America, including anti-Jihad, anti-Sharia and anti-halal organisations.

I would like to interview activists within these organisations, to help me understand how they became involved, what their concerns are about radical Islam, and how they are going about countering them.

I would welcome the opportunity to interview someone from Gates of Vienna as part of my research, given that it is one of the most prominent counter-jihad websites.

Depending on the questions, I’m not averse to answering such surveys, even though I know the all but universal multicultural agenda of the institutions that sponsor them. I wrote him back and told him that if he wanted to use my answers to compile statistical results, that was fine. But if he quoted me, I required that he include the entire questionnaire — all his questions and my answers in full — somewhere in his published material, even if only as an appendix. In the past, various Counterjihad people (including several of my friends) have had the unfortunate experience of being quoted out of context. This method at least makes the entire context available for anyone who is interested. Plus, of course, I am posting it here — I told him that I reserved the right to publish the entire interview myself.

When the questionnaire arrived, it was prefixed with an option to choose between two waivers:

Delete as appropriate: EITHER: I agree that these answers may be attributed to me in published materials; OR: I would prefer to remain anonymous in published materials.

Please note: There is no compulsion to answer any question. If you prefer not to answer a question, just leave the box blank.

I chose the second option, but appended a proviso:

I agree that these answers may be attributed to me in published materials provided that they are made available to readers in their entirety, including the complete wording of each question.

The questions and my responses are reproduced below in their entirety:

Part A: Personal details

Name: Ned May
Organisation: Gates of Vienna
Position within organisation: Editor
Age: 60+
Gender: M
Ethnicity: Human Race

Part B: Questionnaire

1. When and how was Gates of Vienna set up?

We put up our first post on October 9, 2004. For the first eight and a half years we were hosted for free at blogspot.com, under the aegis of Blogger (i.e. Google). Then, after a series of incidents in which our blog was closed or locked by Blogger, in January 2013 we moved to our own domain gatesofvienna.net hosted by a commercial service.

For the first couple of years most of the blogging was done by my wife Dymphna. After I was laid off in 2006, I started blogging more regularly. As Dymphna’s chronic illness worsened, I took on more tasks, and now perform most of them.

2. What is your role in Gates of Vienna?

I am the principal editor. We have a number of translators and contributors, and it is my job to edit their prose where appropriate, find and prepare images to use as illustrations, and do the general formatting for each post. This is in addition to writing an occasional post myself.

I also maintain the database used to create each day’s news feed, and write the programming code that makes it possible.

3. Were you involved in political activism before Gates of Vienna? If so, please indicate which organisations.

No, I was never politically active. My wife and I made modest campaign contributions to our congressman from time to time, but that was all.

4. How would you describe the purpose or aims of Gates of Vienna?

Our principal aim is to resist the Islamization of Western societies. More specifically, we want to prevent the imposition of Islamic law (sharia), which is encroaching on our legal system piecemeal at an increasing rate, by a process that is commonly known as the “stealth jihad”.

Examples of the new sharia-based rules include the “religiously-aggravated Section 5 public order offences” in the U.K., the “hate crime” prosecutions by the various Human Rights Commissions in Canada, and the prosecutions for the “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion” in Austria. Numerous other examples may be found in almost all Western countries.

Sharia-based norms violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the constitutions of the countries in which they are implemented. In that sense they are illegal or extra-legal, and not in conformance with the law of the land.

Islamization is only making headway in the West because the existing cultural matrix has been damaged. For that reason, Gates of Vienna frequently examines other issues that pertain to our ongoing social and political breakdown.

5. What are the main challenges or obstacles you face in achieving these aims?

(a) Lack of funding. Everything must by financed by small individual donations from readers.
(b) The unwillingness of the legacy media to cover these issues in depth and without bias. Counterjihad people are routinely characterized as “racists” and “far-right”, while at the same time the issues we raise are virtually never examined on their merits.
(c) The toxic smog of political correctness that shrouds all public discourse and prevents an honest discussion of Islam as a totalitarian political ideology, and not just as a religion.

6. What is Gates of Vienna’s relationship to the wider counterjihad movement?

As envisioned by the original participants in the 910 Group (later CVF and then ICLA), we function as a “network of networks”. That is, we help expedite contact and communication between and among individuals and groups that share the same broad Counterjihad goals.

When I say “we”, I mean the very loosely associated groups under the ICLA umbrella. Gates of Vienna serves as a clearinghouse and bulletin board for those groups and their leaders.

7. What is your assessment of the counterjihad at this point in time?

The Counterjihad is fairly fragmented and often at odds with itself. Cooperation across a broad spectrum of groups is relatively rare. Like the rest of the culture, the members of the loose constellation of groups and people who oppose Islamization are afraid of being called “racists”. That fear causes people to shy away each other if there is even a faint perception of “racism” on one side or another. For this reason broad, sustained coordination among groups is very difficult to achieve.

However, due to the rise of the Islamic State and the increasing incidence of atrocities committed by jihad groups, more and more people are becoming aware of the nature of the crisis that faces us. As a result, I can see our work becoming less difficult in the not-so-distant future — we will not be required to overcome as much initial resistance as has been true in the past.

“Racism” will eventually seem less important, given the immediacy of violent jihad and the illiberal cultural regimen imposed in areas that have accepted sharia rules.

8. If the counterjihad were to be successful, how would the world be different in twenty years’ time?

Your question doesn’t make any sense, because the Counterjihad can’t possibly achieve success within twenty years, or even forty. This is the “Long War”. I expect it to last at least two more generations. I will be long dead before there is any final resolution, so I’m reluctant to predict the shape of things to come.

Let’s just say that I expect that we will experience an undetermined number of grim and bloody decades before this is over.

9. If someone wanted to learn more about the issues discussed on Gates of Vienna, where would you direct them? For example, are there particular books, websites, or other resources that you would recommend?

As a starter, I recommend the book Among the Believers by V.S. Naipaul. After that, anything written by Robert Spencer in his books, or at JihadWatch.org, would help the reader become fully informed. To stay abreast of the violence and brutality of Islamic terrorists worldwide, people should read TheReligionOfPeace.com every day.

For comprehensive, in-depth analysis of sharia law and jihad, the book
Catastrophic Failure by Maj. Stephen Coughlin is highly recommended.

10. Are there any issues not covered in your previous responses that you think should also be considered as part of this research?

I would like to emphasize the importance of studying Islamic law. Until non-Muslims in the West grasp the essentials of sharia, they will remain confused and perplexed by current events involving Islam.

Sharia is based directly on core Islamic scriptures — the Koran, the hadith, and the sunna — and has not changed in any meaningful way in more than a thousand years. When one has acquired a basic understanding of how it all works, such disparate phenomena as Boko Haram, the Islamic State, Louis Farrakhan, the Taliban, Hamas, and Anjem Choudary begin to make sense. The interconnectedness of events concerning Islam — whether “moderate” or “radical” — will start to become clear.

After reading some of the books and websites mentioned earlier, interested citizens should acquire a copy of ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper. It is commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English.

English-speakers should read the Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994), “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ‘Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The publisher is listed as amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland.

This is an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law, because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar; it is the closest equivalent to the Vatican that can be found in Islam.

Stephen Coughlin’s “Red Pill” Q&A part 1

red pill brief 2

Published on Jun 25, 2015 by Vlad Tepes

This is the first part of the question and answer session after Stephen Coughlin’s Red Pill brief given in Austria in May 2015

***

For the rest of the briefing go HERE

Stephen Coughlin’s “Red Pill” Brief

red pill brief
Maj. Stephen Coughlin is a retired U.S. Army officer and one of the foremost experts on Islamic law in the United States. For years he was well-known inside the Beltway for his “Red Pill” briefings of military commanders and defense officials on the topics of jihad and sharia. He was so effective in his work that the Muslim Brotherhood successfully arranged to have him pushed out of the Pentagon.

More recently, he is the author of Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad, which incorporates material from the “Red Pill” brief, as well as much additional material on the Muslim Brotherhood’s penetration of Western governments, transnational bodies, NGOs, and the “interfaith” industry.

The videos below are of a “Red Pill” briefing Maj. Coughlin gave to the Wiener Akademikerbund on May 23 under the auspices of Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, following his participation with the team at the OSCE conference in Vienna.

Recorded by Henrik Ræder Clausen and edited by Vlad Tepes (h/t Gates of Vienna)

***

More with Stephen Coughlin:

US Embassy in Indonesia Makes Independence Day Sharia Compliant

390717_2102228974583_2036546133_nCSP, by Jim Hanson, June 10, 2015:

In the world at large, perception is reality. Moving our national holiday out of misplaced deference to a month long Islamic holiday gives the world a perception of US weakness. It was totally unnecessary since Muslims fast sunrise to sunset, and we could have simply held the event after dark. Some people see this as respectful and wonder what the bother is. But honor cultures, like Islam, see things differently and this appears as submission to them. Not a good thing when we are negotiating with Iran and losing a war to ISIS.

Also see:

 

America’s See-No-Islam Problem Exposed With Boston Jihadism

The Blaze, by Ben Weingarten, June 9, 2015:

The Boston Globe published a column in the wake of the shooting of an Islamic State-linked jihadist from Rosindale, Massachusetts that is a quintessential example of why the West is losing to Islamic supremacists.

In “Are Boston terrorism cases a trend?” two Globe authors reach out to several “antiterrorism specialists” and ask why it is that Boston appears to be so “vulnerable to violent extremism.”

Some submit that Boston’s “emergence as an international hub may leave it exposed to strains of radicalized behavior.”

Others find the existence of Boston-based jihadists curious given these jihadists “cannot be traced to one network, and individuals and groups do not appear to be connected.”

One such expert who has written on the Islamic State, J.M. Berger, acknowledges that “There is some degree of social network here that seems to be involved in radical thought.”

Halfway through the Globe article, the reader is left utterly unaware of any link between Boston jihadists and…jihadism. In fact, readers will not find the word “jihadist” in the column.

What readers do see is the lexicon of our see-no-Islam national security establishment, including euphemisms such as “violent extremism,” “homegrown terrorist,” and “radical presence.”

Somewhat closer to the mark are comments of James Forest, director of security studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, who says: “The ideology that motivates these kind of attacks, there are no geographical boundaries.”

What this “ideology” is, the reader is left to guess.

Usamma Rahim was wielding a knife when he was shot by Boston police. Rahim had planned to attack “boys in blue” according to his intercepted communications. (Source: WCVB-TV)

Usamma Rahim was wielding a knife when he was shot by Boston police. Rahim had planned to attack “boys in blue” according to his intercepted communications. (Source: WCVB-TV)

Next quoted in the piece is Farah Pandith, the first special representative to Muslim communities in then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Pandith asserts that Muslim millennials are “asking questions that parents aren’t answering. The loudest voices seducing these kids are extremists.”

Pandith notes that “extremism” is not so much a matter of geography as “what’s happening in virtual space around the world.”

As for the “seductive” “extremist” voices and the impact of social networks, of course the young and impressionable can be brainwashed, but what are they being brainwashed in, and who is doing the brainwashing? Should not these millennials and their parents be both rejecting as well as rooting out this ideology from their communities altogether?

Some experts seem to recognize an ideological component to what we have seen in Boston – an Islamic supremacist ideology that can proliferate wherever computers or cell phones are found, that thrives especially in tight-knit Muslim communities in free Western countries — yet they cannot bring themselves to define this ideology.

Credit: Steven Coughlin

Credit: Steven Coughlin

Juliette Kayyem, another Obama administration official who served as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security, is next given the floor.

Kayyem believes that Boston — which the columnists describe as a “global city that is diverse, tolerant, and welcomes immigrants and students” – is “a breeding ground for the disaffected to either radicalize or hide.”

Kayyem asserts that “We are going to see this kind of radicalization in any urban area globally.”

But do global cities become “breeding grounds[s] for the disaffected to either radicalize or hide” in a vacuum?

Throughout world history, international locales have been free of the scourge of “violent extremism,” a politically correct term used to avoid offending Muslims while simultaneously drawing moral equivalence with and thereby smearing “right-wing” Americans.

One would think that modern, cosmopolitan, liberal urban areas by their very nature would consist of modern, cosmopolitan, liberal people.

Only to the degree to which these global cities invite in people with retrograde views antithetical to these ideals does their diversity and tolerance make them “breeding grounds” for jihadism.

It is hard to fault the piece’s authors for quoting “mainstream” “antiterror experts.” Yet these “experts” all seem to subscribe to the very see-no-Islam philosophy that paralyzes our national security establishment more broadly, rendering us unable to defeat our enemy.

Parenthetically, the idea of an “antiterror” expert should itself draw our ire, given that terror is a tactic, not the name of an ideologically-driven enemy. After all, during the Second World War we didn’t call upon anti-Blitzkrieg experts to define our enemies. We understood and were able to articulate that we were at war with a foe, not a fighting method.

Meanwhile, today there is nary a mention of Islamic religious tenets like jihad, abrogation and taqqiya, nor a discussion of Islam’s ultimate goal to create a global Ummah under which all submit to Shariah law.

This is not an issue of semantics. If we fail to be precise in how we describe our enemy and its ideology, it will defeat us.

How did we get to a point over a decade after Sept. 11, 2001 when columnists writing about Boston jihadists dance on egg shells around the Islamic supremacist ideology that by the jihadists’ own admission animates them?

While Nazism and Communism were political ideologies, jihadists subscribe to a theo-political ideology based in Islam’s core texts and modeled on the behaviors of Muhammad.

This offends the sensibilities of Americans either ignorant of Islam or uncomfortable with the idea that religion could be used to justify the slow motion worldwide slaughter of Jews, Christians, Hindus, infidel Muslims, gays, women, apostates, cartoonists and others.

In the case of the recently killed would-be jihadist Usamma Rahim, a simple set of Google searches regarding Rahim and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) might have provided the Globe columnists and the antiterror experts they quote an illuminating fact pattern worth investigating in response to their question, “Is Boston more vulnerable to violent extremism than other parts of the country?”

Below are some of those relevant data points:

  • Usamma Rahim had been a security guard at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Roxbury, Massachusetts, an affiliate of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB)
  • Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev prayed at the ISB’s Cambridge, Massachusetts mosque
  • Notwithstanding ISB denials, Tsarnaev had been the latest in a long line of jihadists linked to the organization:
    • The ISB was founded by Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah currently serving a 23 year prison sentence on terrorism charges
    • ISB’s Cambridge mosque is operated by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Muslim American Society
    • According to Discover the Networks, among other revelations:
      • “FBI surveillance documents show that two days before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Suhaib Webb, Imam of ISB’s Boston mosque, joined al-Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki in headlining a fundraiser on behalf of the Atlanta-based Muslim extremist Jamil al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), who had recently murdered two police officers in Georgia.”
      • “Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at ISB’s Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans to carry out a chemical attack in New York City. Siddiqui subsequently tried to gun down some U.S. military officers and FBI agents, and is now serving an 86-year prison sentence for that offense.”
      • “Tarek Mehanna, who worshipped at ISB’s Cambridge mosque, received terrorist training in Yemen and plotted to use automatic weapons to inflict mass casualties in a suburban shopping mall just outside of Boston. In 2012 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid Al Qaeda.”
      • “Yasir Qadhi, who lectured at ISB’s Boston mosque in 2009 and again in 2012, advocates replacing American democracy with Sharia Law; characterizes Christians as “filthy” polytheists whose “life and prosperity … holds no value in the state of Jihad”; and accuses Jews of plotting to destroy Muslim peoples and societies. Further, Qadhi is an acolyte of Ali al-Timimi, a Virginia-based Imam who is currently serving life in prison for inciting jihad against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.”

The Boston Globe article is instructive because it represents the very line of thinking and questioning that is mandated in the halls of America’s national security institutions.

It is also instructive — in light of the facts about the ISB — that a see-no-Islam national security stance leads us to ignore the threats hiding in plain sight, to America’s great detriment.

Those who ignore the nature of the Islamic supremacist threat we face are doomed to submit to it.

Also see:

The U.S. Embassy’s Problem in Indonesia Isn’t Scheduling

Fireworks for the Fourth of July in Washington D.C.

Fireworks for the Fourth of July in Washington D.C.

Fourth of July celebrations were re-scheduled out of respect for Ramadan. This approach highlights Western inability to engage constructively with the Islamic world.

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, June 8, 2015:

This year the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, celebrated the Fourth of July a month early so as to avoid clashing with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Not only is this absurd, but what could have been a beautiful and respectful intercultural moment instead became a case study of the problematic and wrong-headed way Western leaders often engage with the Muslim world.

The Fourth of July, as America’s Independence Day, should be marked on that day by members of its diplomatic corps, who are America’s representatives around the world. After all, it is the job of American ambassadors to represent their country. That includes proudly celebrating American holidays and presenting the best of America to the world.

Moving Independence Day, on the other hand, belittles America’s standing in the world and shows others that America’s traditions, customs and festivals are negotiable.

The baffling part is that the Fourth of July is not in any way incompatible with Ramadan. One is a religious holy month that Muslims believe commemorates the first revelation of the Quran by Mohammed. The other is a national holiday celebrating independence.

Fourth of July celebrations could easily have been combined with an iftar dinner, the traditional Muslim post-Ramadan feast, taking place after dark and after the fasting has ended. Fireworks are better at night anyway.

Such a thing would have been an appropriate and encouraging demonstration of two cultures coming together in mutual respect to honor each other’s traditions.

Celebrating iftar and the Fourth of July one after the other should also have been no problem, if celebrating them both together seems too much like celebrating neither. If that would not have worked, a more low-key (and foodless) celebration during the day could easily have been arranged.

Many countries around the world celebrate such days and there is no indication that celebrating them causes offense to Muslims (or other faith groups).

Radical Islamists find national holidays offensive because they don’t believe in nations, holding instead that sovereignty belongs to Allah alone and power should be wielded in his name by the caliph. No doubt they will be overjoyed at the decision of America to move the Fourth of July.

But radical Islamists are not the group with which that America needs to be ingratiating itself. On the contrary, they have to be firmly and resolutely opposed to this group.

In and of itself, moving Independence Day is purely symbolic and some might argue, trivial.

But in diplomacy, symbols are very important. This is symptomatic of a broader unease and inability of Western leaders to engage constructively with Islam. In this case they simply negated the American in deference to the Islamic – a pointless gesture which only serves to embolden radicals, infuriate anti-Muslim bigots and confuse moderates.

In other cases, such as Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ preposterous call to ban the Quran, Westerners have demanded that Muslims negate their tradition, religion and culture.

Both approaches are fundamentally flawed.

If we are serious about combatting radical Islamism and supporting open and tolerant Muslim societies then we have to be confident in the ability of two cultures to interact together.

Rather than being a fine example of cultural sensitivity, this moving of Independence Day sends the message that the organizers themselves do not believe that American Independence is compatible with Islam.

That is a far bigger problem than mere scheduling.

OSCE Conference in Vienna: Don’t Mention the “I” Word

Tundra Tabloids, May 31, 2015:

ISLAM.

Winston Churchill whispers to FDR:

”Don’t say German National Socialism, for in doing so it gives the impression that being German motivates people to war, terrorism and other crimes.”

Also read: OSCE in Free Fall

Gates of Vienna:

The Word That Wasn’t There

Yesterday, upon the air,
I heard a word that wasn’t there.
It wasn’t there again today,
I wish that it would go away…

(With apologies to Hughes Mearns)

In his report yesterday on the latest OSCE conference, Henrik Ræder Clausen included this summary of a dominant meme among ideological leaders in the West:

Panel members stressed the importance of not calling the Islamic State the “Islamic State”, for doing so could give the impression that Islam motivates people to war, terrorism and other crimes.

The avoidance of the I-word seems to have become a fixation in the revolving-door world of NGOs and state functionaries, particularly in Europe. It’s as if all the participants have been mysteriously hypnotized, and now wander around glassy-eyed, muttering the phrase “nothing to do with Islam” over and over again, their repetitive chant forming a background susurrus at every international function where important people assemble to hand down momentous policy decisions.

A notable example of the mindset may be found this handout from the OSCE Viennameeting:

The four terrorist outfits shown in the chart are composed of different ethnic groups, operate in geographically separate areas, represent disparate cultures, and speak a variety of languages. The only thing these groups have in common is the word that wasn’t there.

When required to identify a common ideology, Western bien-pensants prefer to discuss “extremism” or “radicalization” — modifiers with no substantive objects. If cornered, they may refer to “Islamism” or “radical Islam”, but never plain old unmodified ISLAM.

It seems that a prerequisite for receiving funding from any government agency or charitable foundation is the absolute refusal to consider Islamic political ideology as an explanation for anything bad that happens in the world.

You can’t say that, old chap. It just isn’t done.

MIT Hillel Rabbi and Head Chaplain Defend Colleague With Terror Fundraising Past

Screencap/Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Screencap/Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Breitbart, by  ILYA FEOKTISTOV & CHARLES JACOBS, May 28, 2015:

On May 11th, we released a mini-documentary on Breitbart.com chronicling how Suheil Laher, MIT’s Muslim Chaplain for sixteen years, raised money for Al Qaeda affiliates around the world, incited Boston Muslims against Jews and Christians, and called on all Muslims to join in a violent Jihad against non-Muslims. Despite these serious charges, two religious leaders at MIT, a Jew and a Christian, are defending Laher.

MIT’s Head Chaplain Robert Randolph wrote a defense of Laher to MIT President Rafael Reif on May 20th. MIT has been sending this letter to people who have written to President Reif with concerns about Laher.

In his letter, Randolph claims that our investigation of Laher “is a mash up of speculation, innuendo and poorly researched details about Suheil’s work with the Muslim community.” He writes: “The video speaks to fears shared by many, but does not describe the man I have known and worked with.” Randolph repeats this line of ad hominem argument throughout the letter, but he fails to address or refute a single factual assertion that we have made in our reports on Laher.

Likewise, MIT Hillel Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder called Suheil Laher an “upstander” on MIT Hillel’s official Facebook page and insisted that, “my experience of him is nothing like what is presented in this ‘expose.’” He then accused us of “lashon ha’ra,” or slanderous talk that is considered a sin against G-d, for making the film. Like his boss, Chaplain Randolph, Goldfeder fails to address a single statement of fact in our investigation of Laher, choosing instead to attack us as sinners in religious terms.

One of the reasons Goldfeder and Randolph are unwilling to address the facts that prove Laher was involved in jihadist fundraising is because these facts are simple and incontrovertible:

  1. The Justice Department has described Boston-based Islamic charity Care International as a front that raised funds and recruited for jihadist causes in Boston.
  2. Laher is listed as Care International’s president in official Care International filings with the Massachusetts Secretary of State that were signed under penalty of perjury by Laher himself.
  3. Laher’s own sermons posted by him on his own website are full of hatred toward Jews and Christians, as well as of incitement to violent Jihad.

Randolph and Goldfeder’s ad hominem attacks on our motivations and quality of research are belied by the fact that we are not the only, or even the first, people to report on Laher’s jihadist past. In a 2006 article in Worcester’s 150 year-old Telegram and Gazette, staff journalist Kevin Keenan wrote that “Mr. Laher wrote and distributed material advocating the global jihad in Care International’s name.” In a 2008 Der Spiegel article, “The Most Dangerous Woman in the World,” Juliane von Mittelstaedt described how MIT-student-turned-Al Qaeda-operative Aafia Siddiqui got radicalized at MIT:

She met several committed Islamists through the Muslim student group at MIT. One was Suheil Laher, the group’s imam, an open advocate of Islamization and jihad before Sept. 11. For a short time, Laher was also the head of the Islamic charity Care International.

Writing in Vogue Magazine in 2005, and later in her 2012 book, Wanted Women, award winning investigative journalist Deborah Scroggins specifically focused on MIT’s Muslim student group as the incubator for Aafia Siddiqui’s radicalization:

As I pieced her story together from interviews, court documents, and published reports, I came to believe that if Aafia was drawn into the world of terrorism, it may have been through the contacts and friendships she made in the early 1990s working for MIT’s Muslim Student Association. … At MIT, several of the MSA’s most active members had fallen under the spell of Abdullah Azzam, a Muslim Brother who was Osama bin Laden’s mentor. … In the eighties, he had established the al-Kifah (“The Struggle”) Refugee Services Center [Care International’s original name]. It would become the nucleus of the al-Qaeda organization. At least two contemporaries of Aafia’s at MIT’s MSA, Suheil Laher and Mohamad Akra, were al-Kifah volunteers. Aafia soon took up the cause too.

Our research was meticulously cited with all this evidence, yet this didn’t matter to Chaplain Randolph and Rabbi Goldfeder. Our guess that they didn’t even look at the facts as cited. In his letter, Chaplain Randolph claimed that, despite all the reporting to the contrary over the past decade, “at no time has the community described [to me] efforts to radicalize our campus.” Rabbi Goldfeder refused to meet with us when we reached out to him and offered to go over our claims and the evidence for them in person.

This is bizarre behavior– a Hillel rabbi is speaking out in support of an anti-Semitic Islamic extremist who raised money for Al Qaeda causes. Rabbi Goldfeder’s response to us reveals another reason why he and Chaplain Randolph are unwilling to address the ample and wide-ranging evidence in this case. Their judgement of whether Suheil Laher fundraised for Al Qaeda causes and/or is a jihadist is not informed by a rational analysis of the facts at hand, but rather by deeply emotional dynamics: It is hard to admit to yourself that you’ve been deceived. Moreover, Goldfeder and Randolph seem to be driven by a politically correct knee-jerk impulse to side with someone perceived as a member of a vulnerable minority.

These are by now familiar moral failures to those who observe the leftist ideology prevalent on contemporary campuses. They form the basis of the liberal abandonment of oppressed Christian minorities, women, gays, and secularists in the Muslim world, all of whom are victimized by Islamists.

Our investigative video highlights the aftermath of a terrorist attack on a Russian school by a Chechen terrorist outfit funded and lionized by Laher’s Care International. The jihadists took all the children in the school hostage, held them without food or water for three days in a hot school gymnasium, and surrounded the kids with homemade bombs. They then set off the bombs and shot the surviving children in the back as they ran for their lives. Over 300 people were killed, more than half of them elementary school kids.

It takes a special type of callousness to watch the graphic scenes of an Islamic terrorist attack on a school full of schoolchildren, and then defend the man who help fund and promote the terror group that carried out that attack. But because they seem to be true believers in today’s morally-inverted campus orthodoxy, Chaplain Randolph and Rabbi Goldfeder also truly believe that they are doing the right thing; that it’s the jihadist who needs the Rabbi and the Chaplain on his side, not the jihadist’s victims.

Randolph and Goldfeder bring shame on MIT by defending Suheil Laher. It is even more shameful that so far there has been no public response to the revelations about Laher by the MIT administration. There is something clearly awry with MIT’s “Religious Life” division headed by Chaplain Randolph when even the non-Muslim officials in charge look the other way and insist that all is well. When MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was murdered by the Islamic extremists who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, Suheil Laher was still in place as the Muslim chaplain. It is clear from the support he’s getting that his legacy still remains on campus. MIT President Rafael Reif must investigate MIT’s Religious Life division and clean house.

Ilya Feoktistov is Research Director and Charles Jacobs is President of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

National Cathedral Presents More Kumbaya Islam

muslims-hold-prayer-inside-the-washington-national-cathedralFamily Security Matters, by Andrew Harrod, May 19, 2015:

The Very Reverend Gary Hall declared “one of the great blessings” in his life as being able to “encounter Islam” while introducing in Washington, DC, an April 21 National Cathedral presentation on “Islam and Politics in the U.S.”  The National Cathedral dean’s words once again set in this “spiritual home for the nation” a politically correct tone for a subsequent discussion naively presenting Islam as morally equivalent to Judeo-Christian beliefs.

An Islamic prayer service in the National Cathedral indicates that total lack of obedience to Jesus Christ in this alleged church which is now more more than a general for rent auditorium.

Like the previously analyzed first session of the National Cathedral’s “Exploring Islam in America” series, Hall emphasized ecumenism before about 60 mostly middle- and senior-aged individuals in the Perry Auditorium.  His opening prayer invoked the “God of the Prophet Muhammad” along with the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” and the “God of Jesus.”  He then cited religion scholar Huston Smith for the proposition that a Martian “would see one religion with three branches” in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  “Deep continuity” and “respect” marked in his view the relationships between these three faiths claiming ancestry from Abraham.

Other event participants complemented Hall’s ecumenism.  As at the previous “Exploring Islam in America” presentations, the late Edward Said‘s sister Grace introductory prepared remarks befitted her brother’s distorted leftist views.  She discussed coming from an Arab community in which her Christian faith supposedly harmoniously coexisted with Islam throughout history.  “Exploring Islam in America” moderator Yvonne Haddad, a Georgetown University professor from a Christian Arab background like the Saids, likewise emphasized intra-Muslim harmony among Shiites and Sunnis.  She discussed how they had lived together and intermarried until the 20th century, overlooking an often bloody history of Shiite-Sunni animosity that has reemerged in recent years to make their intermarriages lethally acrimonious in places like Iraq.

The evening’s featured speaker, Brookings Institution fellow Khaled Elgindy, also asserted monotheistic and moral commonalities between Judaism, Christianity, and an “Islam…firmly rooted in the Abrahamic tradition.”  Concurring with Haddad’s assessment that the United States has “shariaphobia all over the place,” he found “no more abused term in the Islamic lexicon than sharia,” in American discussions of which  the “vast majority is nonsense.”  He cited the Islamic doctrine that sharia protects five fundamental values, namely life, worship, intellect, property, and lineage (a person’s knowledge of their ancestry), goals that could count as “natural rights in a liberal sense.”

Elgindy’s reference to these goals is a popular argument for sharia apologists, but scrutiny reveals the inadequacy of such platitudes in protecting human dignity in an Islamic context.  Muslims, for example, cite Quran 5:32‘s text that “whoever saves one-it is as if he had saved mankind entirely” in support of protecting human life.  Such citations, though, omit this verse’s exception for killing a person for taking a “soul or for corruption [done] in the land” such as blaspheming Islam, the capital punishment for which the subsequent verse 5:33 brutally delineates.

Likewise the “primary goal of sharia is to preserve the deen” or religion, notes one Muslim commentator, raising questions about worship in Islam suppressing the free expression of non-Muslim faith.  References to intellect also do not explain Muslim restrictions on intellectual pursuit of truth to protect against criticism.  Property under sharia excludes interest and forbidden items like pork while “penal laws that govern the breach of this right” noted by the commentator include Quran 5:38‘s command to amputate a thief’s hand.  That “Islam seeks to protect the lineage and honor of people” in his words can also include prohibitions against criticizing an Islamic faith with which many Muslims identify.

Elgindy found “frightening how pervasive” is “nonsensical fearmongering” concerning sharia, “almost like a straw man,” and decried that 22 states had passed anti-foreign law/sharia legislation to deal with an “imaginary threat.”  He repeated stock canards against such American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) initiatives, saying that they could prohibit Islamic marriage or inheritance while analogizing sharia to Jewish religious law (Halacha).  He also noted the sharia doctrine that Muslims should obey the laws of the lands in which they live.

Elgindy’s anti-ALAC arguments do not withstand scrutiny.  Such laws merely prohibit American courts fromapplying foreign law like sharia in their judgments in violation of state and federal constitutional rights, leaving unobjectionable matters like marriage or inheritance unaffected.  ALAC thereby parallels British law, which recognizes sharia contracts, but only upon court review of their conformity with British law as the Center for Islamic Pluralism’s report on sharia infiltration in Western Europe notes.

Elgindy’s sharia-Halacha equivalence is also false.  Halacha nowhere constitutes foreign law (not even in Israel) applicable under ALAC and recognizes a country’s civil law as binding, thereby relegating Jewish religious courts to minor ceremonial roles and private arbitration.  Additionally, one rabbi notes, “generations of interpretation explain a number of mitzvoth (Torah commandments) out of existence according to the principle of Torah Lo Bashamayim Hi (Torah exists here for us, not in Heaven).”  Therefore Old Testament passages contrary to modern human rights norms have no current applicability.

Elgindy’s comments notwithstanding, sharia diverges from Halacha’s subordination to civil law.  ALAC, after all, concerns American judicial application of foreign sharia laws, under which Muslims would indeed obey the laws of a land, just not America.  Obeying the laws of the land also says nothing about changing a country’s law and practices in conformity with Muslim norms, as evident in various Western societies with respect to matters like polygamy.

To prove that “Islam does not preclude the notion of modern citizenship rights” such as religion-state separation, Elgindy cited as a “social contract” the seventh-century Constitution of Medina drafted under Islam’s prophet Muhammad.  This popular Islamic apologia, though, inflates the importance of what was essentially an alliance between the early Muslim community and Medina’s Jewish tribes.  This alliance, moreover, ended with conflict between Muslims and Medina’s Jews and the latter’s expulsion and extermination.

Elgindy’s whitewashing of Islamic law has special significance in light of his comment that “not that huge” a distance separates Saudi Arabia from the murderous Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  While Saudi authorities refrain from wearing black masks and publicizing their beheadings, “ideologically there are clearly similarities” between this globally prominent Muslim state and ISIS.  The latter’s proclaimed caliphate also has a “very romantic” appeal for many Muslim youth, further refutation of his contention that brutal Muslim groups like ISIS or the Taliban come to power primarily due to political chaos.

Elgindy has previously made ludicrously benign prognoses of Islamic developments flying in the face of facts.  This former advisor to the Palestinian Authority, for example, wrote in 2012 that the jihadist terrorist group Hamas’ “shunning by Washington may be…outdated and counter-productive.”  Unnoticed by others and perhaps influenced by the Brookings Institution’s Qatari funding, he found that a “growing pragmatism” and “yearning for political normalcy” marked Hamas’ “significant changes in recent years.”

Despite Elgindy’s best efforts, he simply cannot explain away serious Islamic controversies.  Problems associated Europe’s “ghettoized Muslim communities” are not simply attributable to, for example, a French “inherited sense of superiority” towards immigrants from former colonies or phobias about “swarthy men.”  Sharia-supporting Muslim groups with their dangers are not similar to “revivalist movements” in other faiths like evangelical Christians.  National Cathedral personnel like Canon Patty Johnson, however, are unlikely to understand these issues anytime soon.  At the presentation’s end, she hawked copies of the leftist Center for American Progress’ report Fear, Inc. on the “Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” as a “wonderful document…one of the best I have ever seen.”