Educating Conservatives About Modern ‘Shi’ite Quietists’

By Andrew G. Bostom:

The so-called “P5 +1” interim agreement [1] with Iran was announced on November 24, 2013, amidst great fanfare, and giddy expectations of continued diplomatic success. Putatively, these negotiations were going to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and constrain the regime’s hegemonic aspirations, including its oft-repeated bellicose threats to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

Less than three months later, punctuated by cries of “down with the U.S.”—and “death to Israel”—Iranians took to the streets en masse, February 11, 2014, commemorating the 35th anniversary [2] of the 1979 Islamic putsch, which firmly re-established Iran’s legacy of centuries of Shiite theocracy, transiently interrupted by the 54-year reign (r. 1925-1979) of the 20th century Pahlavi Shahs.

download (77)Many alarming developments since the P5 +1 deal was announced epitomize the abject failure of a delusive and dangerous policymaking mindset I have dubbed, “The ‘Trusting Khomeini’ Syndrome,” in my new book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel [3]. This “Syndrome” is named after infamous Princeton International Law Professor Richard Falk’s February 16, 1979 essay, “Trusting Khomeini [4],” dutifully published in the The New York Times. The parlous denial—born of willful doctrinal and historical negationism—evident in Falk’s February, 1979 essay, now shapes formal U.S. policy toward Iran, merely updated as “Trusting Khamenei,” Iran’s current “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini. I further maintain that the sine qua non of this crippling mindset—bowdlerization of Islam—currently dominates policymaking circles, running the gamut from Left to Right.

The late Islamologist Maxime Rodinson warned [5] 40-years ago of a broad academic campaign—which has clearly infected policymakers across the politico-ideological spectrum—“to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world.” A pervasive phenomenon, Rodinson ruefully described [5] the profundity of its deleterious consequences:

Understanding [of Islam] has given way to apologetics pure and simple.

A prototypical example of how this mindset has warped intellectually honest discourse about Iran by conservative analysts, was published [6] February 17, 2014 in The Weekly Standard. The essayist decried [6] what he saw as misguided appropriation of Cold War era paradigms—“wishful thinking built around imagined Cold War analogies”—even by members of the Israeli “security establishment,” let alone their Obama Administration counterparts. Although correctly dismissive of the sham notion that Iranian President “Rouhani and his crowd are moderates,” the essayist also insisted [6] Iran’s “ayatollahs” have somehow “perverted Shia Islam with the state takeover of religion.” He then ads [6]“the older quietist school [ostensibly of Shiite Islam] still has many adherents.”

The Weekly Standard essayist’s authoritative sounding [6] reference to the “quietist school” of Shiite Islam and its “many adherents,” expressed the accepted wisdom on these matters published in a flagship conservative/neoconservative journal, and shared by a broad swath of like-minded conservative analysts. But who are exemplar  modern Shiite “quietists” and what are their views (in writing and/or speech) on such critical matters as jihad, the imposition of the Sharia, including Shiite “najis,” or “impurity” regulations—and the Jews?

Decidedly hagiographic post-mortems written by American conservatives appeared immediately after the announcement of Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri’s death at age 87, on December 20, 2009. Neoconservative Michael Ledeen opined [7],

Some of us who have long fought against the terrible regime in Tehran were fortunate to have received wise observations from Montazeri over the years, and I am confident that, with the passage of time and the changes that will take place in Iran, scholars will marvel at the international dimensions of the Grand Ayatollah’s understanding and the range of his activities. 

Perhaps the most curious of these early assessments included a contention [8] by Michael Rubin that  “…the real Achilles Heel to the Iranian regime is Shi’ism.” Reuel Marc Gerecht, writing in October, 2010, ten months after Montazeri’s death, dubbed the Ayatollah [9], simultaneously, “the spiritual father of Iran’s Green Movement,” and the erstwhile “nemesis of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ruler,” whom Gerecht derided (in contrast to Montazeri), as “a very mediocre student of the Sharia.”

These odd viewpoints were (and remain) merely the extension of a profoundly flawed, ahistorical mindset which denies the living legacy of Shiite Islamic doctrine and its authentic, oppressive application in Iran, particularly, since the advent of the Safavid theocratic state [3] at the outset of the 16th century. Iran’s Safavid rulers, beginning with Shah Ismail I [3] (r. 1501-1524) formally established Shiite Islam as the state religion, while permitting a clerical hierarchy nearly unlimited control and influence over all aspects of public life. The profound influence of the Shiite clerical elite, continued for almost four centuries, although interrupted, between 1722-1795 (during a period precipitated by [Sunni] Afghan invasion [starting in 1719], and the subsequent attempt to re-cast Twelver Shi’ism as simply another Sunni school of Islamic Law, under Nadir Shah [3]), through the later Qajarperiod (1795-1925), as characterized by E.G. Browne [3]:

The Mujtahids [an eminent, very learned Muslim jurist/scholar who is qualified to interpret the law] and Mulla [a scholar, not of Mujtahid stature] are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics.

A gimlet-eyed evaluation of Montazeri’s recorded modern opinions—entirely concordant with traditionalist Iranian Shi’ism since the Safavid era—does not comport with the conservative eulogies of the late Ayatollah by Ledeen, Rubin, Gerecht, and their ilk.

Consistent with the institutionalized codifications  of Islam’s classical Sunni and Shiite legists, Montazeri’s written views [3] (from his Islamic Law Codes[Resaleh-ye Tozih al-masael]) on jihad war reiterate the doctrine of open-ended aggression to establish global Islamic suzerainty, and the universal application of Sharia:

[T]he offensive jihad is a war that an Imam wages in order to invite infidels and non-monotheists to Islam or to prevent the violation of treaty of Ahl-e Zemmah [Ahl-al-Dhimma, the humiliating pact of submission binding non-Muslim “dhimmis” vanquished by jihad]. In fact, the goal of offensive jihad is not the conquest of other countries, but the defense of the inherent rights of nations that are deprived of power by the infidels, non-monotheists, and rebels from the worship of Allah, monotheism, and justice. “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world].,” (Koran 8:39)…This verse includes defensive as well as offensive jihad. Jihad, like prayer, is for all times and is not limited to an early period of Islam, such as Muhammad, Ali, or the other Imams. Jihad is intended to defend truth and justice, help oppressed people, and correct Islam. In the Mahdi’s occultation period, jihad is not to be abandoned; even if occultation lasts for a hundred thousand years, Muslims have to defend and fight for the expansion of Islam. Certainly, if in early Islam the goodness was in the sword, in our time the goodness is in artillery, tanks, automatic guns and missiles. . . in principle, jihad in Islam is for defense; whether defense of truth or justice, or the struggle with infidels in order to make them return to monotheism and the divine nature. This is the defense of truth, because the denial of Allah is the denial of truth.

How would non-Muslims fare under the Shiite Islamic order—forcibly imposed by jihad—as  envisioned by Montazeri?

Read more at PJ Media

Why Sunnis Fear Shiites

missile_2By  Hillel Fradkin & Lewis Libby:

The recent Arab revolts in the Middle East and the concomitant “Islamic Awakening” have not merely shaken up the order of an already violent and unstable region. They have reanimated the bloodiest and longest-running dispute in Muslim politics: which branch of Islam, Sunni or Shia, is to rule the Muslim polity. This rivalry dates back some 1,300 years to the death of Muhammad, and while it has occasionally been set aside for reasons of expedience, it has never been resolved. The continuing conflagrations following the mislabeled Arab Spring, increasingly shaped by this ancient Sunni–Shia tension, are set to rage on indefinitely. Affairs in the Middle East are accelerating back to the old normal: a state of hot holy war.

The seemingly internal conflict in Syria has become the war’s central front. Sunni and Shia alike have been drawn into the conflict as the Syrian tragedy has unfolded. Inspired by the revolts in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, in March 2011 Syrians—a predominantly Sunni population—mounted initially peaceful protests against the rule of the Shia-offshoot Alawite regime headed by Bashar al-Assad. Secure in his support from the extremist Iranian regime, Assad responded with great brutality. His opponents responded in kind, fueled by money and arms from their Sunni patrons in the Gulf Arab states and by Sunni Islamists from both the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda. They fear what they have taken to calling, with alarm, the “Shia crescent.” The term connotes a swath of Iranian Shiite influence across the Arab world and, via Syria, to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Syria functions as Iran’s direct operational link to its terrorist arm Hezbollah and to the Shiite plurality in Lebanon. It borders Iraq, whose Shiite majority may be radicalized, and Turkey, whose Sunni leadership can be monitored and checked.

As the Syrian revolt proceeded, sectarian elements came to the fore. The momentum frequently shifted back and forth between the Iranian-backed Assad and the Sunni rebels. But this past spring, when Assad’s fortunes waned, Iran doubled down. It arranged for Shiite Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite “volunteers” to join the fray directly and massively, tipping the battle for Syria into Shiite hands. Iran is now winning what one Iranian officer has described as “an epic battle for Shiite Islam.”

As this has gone on, the willful retraction of American influence in the region has fanned both Iranian ambitions and Sunni fears. The Middle East is well versed in the posturings and weaknesses of foreign sovereigns. In Shiite and Sunni eyes alike, President Barack Obama’s proposed deals relating to Syrian chemical weapons and Iran’s nuclear program translate into large gains for radical Shiism.

It is tempting, naturally, for Americans to stay out of a fight between two holy armies who oppose the United States and its allies. To put it very mildly, neither radical Shiite nor radical Sunni groups share our values or serve our interests. Still, as a practical matter, this does not mean that one of our enemies is not a more potent threat than the other. Of all the distasteful regimes in the region, only Iran’s has defined itself from its foundation as our mortal enemy and acted accordingly ever since. Moreover, Iran’s capacity to pursue hostile action toward America is currently growing. Thus, Iran presents the more serious threat to our well-being. If it emerges the victor in the fight for the future of political Islam and regional dominance, American interests will probably be endangered to an extent not seen since the Cold War. This is especially true if an Iranian victory is coupled with the regime’s attainment of a nuclear weapon. Not only will America’s ally Israel be under constant threat of annihilation, but American influence in the Middle East will be made hostage to credible Iranian policy blackmail. And yet, given the current status of the Sunni–Shia conflict, this is where we’re headed. “Iran grows more powerful day by day,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently gloated. It’s hard to disagree.

There are several reasons for thinking that radical Shiism, as manifested in the Iranian regime, might continue to dominate and ultimately win this holy war. First, the Shiite camp enjoys the advantage of the more-or-less unitary leadership of Iran. Perhaps in time internal Iranian opposition could challenge the regime in Tehran, but for now the ayatollahs seem to have stifled any such efforts. Outside Iran, some Shiite clerics in Iraq reject the Khomeinist doctrine of the “Rule of the Jurisprudent,” but this “quietist” school of Shiism is not interested in governing its Persian neighbors and, in any case, is frequently undermined by other clerics working in Iraq on Iran’s behalf. So the concentrated center of Shiite power remains in Iran and is, moreover, strengthened by the support of outside non-Muslim powers—principally Russia and China.

By contrast, the Sunni camp is profoundly divided, and therefore weak. This weakness is manifest in the split among the Sunni Islamist forces fighting Assad in Syria. The result is increasingly frequent military fights between sides, to say nothing of the ongoing fights with more secular Sunni militias.

Beyond Syria, things are scarcely more cohesive for Sunnis. The Sunni nations of Arabia and the Gulf lack the size and reach of Iran. They have provided money and arms to the Sunni rebels fighting Assad, but as they themselves support different Islamist groups inside Syria, they’ve also contributed to the infighting. What’s more, the broader conflicts among these countries have derailed joint efforts.

The unsettled condition of Sunni-majority Egypt, the world’s largest Arab country, has had a demoralizing and divisive effect as well. While ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi had suggested that Egypt might provide greater support for the Syrian opposition, that proposal proved so unpopular it might very well have been a contributing factor in his removal by the Egyptian military. The new regime has made clear that it wants no part of the Syrian civil war.

Read more at Commentary Magazine

 

Iraqi Shiite Militia Leader Watheq Al-Battat: I Would Support Iran in a War against Iraq

 

Iraq: A US-Midwived Iranian Client State

Followers of Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr carry an image of him and chant slogans against the U.S. and sectarianism during a protest in Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad on March 16, 2013.

Followers of Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr carry an image of him and chant slogans against the U.S. and sectarianism during a protest in Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad on March 16, 2013.

by Andrew Bostom:

Back in February, 2004, I described with great uneasiness the refusal of “moderate” Ayatollah Sistani (an Iraqi denizen, but one who never relinquished his Iranian citizenship) to meet with U.S. Civilian Administrator in Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer.  At the time I suggested that al-Sistani’s spurning of Ambassador Bremer may well have reflected the odious and Sharia supremacist Shiite doctrine of  “najas-based”  regulations—the physical and spiritual debasing of the non-Muslim infidel for their alleged “uncleanliness” of body and mind. I ended with this foreboding observation:

For Ambassador Bremer to remain willfully oblivious to the deeply entrenched Shi’ite dogma of najas, or worse, ignoring and tacitly accepting its discriminatory effects, bodes poorly for American efforts to help Iraqis create a modern democratic and ecumenical society. The “culturally authentic” but brutally oppressive Shi’ite theocracy of neighboring Iran demonstrates clearly the corrosive impact of najas dogma in a contemporary Muslim society.

In a series of essays at The American Thinker, beginning in March of 2006 (herehere, and here), I warned of a policy failure that by virtue of its willful blindness to totalitarian Islam, was abetting Sharia supremacism, in general, and simultaneously, Iranian Sharia-based hegemonic aspirations, with regard to Iraq. By September 13, 2006,  commenting on then President Bush II’s absurdly ebullient, making the world safe for Sharia assessment of the “accomplishments” in Iraq, I made this gloomy prognostication citing the same misplaced optimism expressed in 1935 by the British Arabist S.A. Morrison. Despite great expense of British blood and treasure, more than a decade of military occupation, and even after the Assyrian massacres (by Arab and Kurdish Muslims) of 1933-34, shortly after Britain’s withdrawal, Morrison wrote, (in “Religious Liberty in Iraq”, Moslem World, 1935, p. 128):

Iraq is moving steadily forward towards the modern conception of the State, with a single judicial and administrative system, unaffected by considerations of religion or nationality. The Millet system [i.e., dhimmitude—not reflected by this euphemism] still survives, but its scope is definitely limited. Even the Assyrian tragedy of 1933 does not shake our faith in the essential progress that has been made. The Government is endeavoring to carry out faithfully the undertakings it has given, even when these run directly counter to the long—cherished provisions of the Shari’a Law. But it is not easy; it cannot be easy in the very nature of the case, for the common people quickly to adjust their minds to the new legal situation, and to eradicate from their outlook the results covering many centuries of a system which implies the superiority of Islam over the non—Moslem minority groups. The legal guarantees of liberty and equality represent the goal towards which the country is moving, rather than the expression of the present thoughts and wishes of the population. The movement, however, is in the right direction, and it may yet prove possible for Islam to disentangle religious faith from political status and privilege.

I concluded with these disquieting observations (circa September, 2006), regarding unintended, if predictable Iranian empowerment, in particular:

Over seven decades later, the goals of true “liberty and equality” for Iraq remain just as elusive after yet another Western power has committed great blood and treasure toward that end. More ominously, Iraq’s newly empowered Shi’ites and their leaders appear to have forged an unholy alliance with Iran which is more likely to promote Sharia despotism, than liberal democracy. [emphasis added]

Now The Los Angeles Times (hat tip Jihad Watch) is formally acknowledging what I began warning about in 2004, and maintained was well underway by 2006. In a March 28, 2013 analysis with the eponymous title, “Ten years after Iraq war began, Iran reaps the gains,” reporter Ned Parker proffers these summary conclusions:

American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington’s political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad’s new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow.

Parker cites these two pathognomonic examples of the abject US policy failure in Iraq—which has clearly empowered Iran—the second despite ongoing, feckless American pursuit of our ostensibly “vital role” in mollifying “tensions” between Iraq’s sectarian Shiite and Sunni factions, and the inexorable spillover effect of this Shiite-Sunni animosity into the Syrian civil war:

The signs are evident in the prominence of pro-Iran militias on the streets, at public celebrations and in the faces of some of those now in the halls of power, men such as Abu Mehdi Mohandis, an Iraqi with a long history of anti-American activity and deep ties to Iran. During the occupation, U.S. officials accused Mohandis of arranging a supply of Iranian-made bombs to be used against U.S. troops. But now Iraqi officials say Mohandis speaks for Iran here, and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki recently entrusted him with a sensitive domestic political mission.

American officials say they remain vital players in Iraq and have worked to defuse tension between Maliki and his foes. During a visit to Baghdad on Sunday, however, Secretary of State John F. Kerry was unable to persuade Maliki to stop Iranian flights crossing Iraqi airspace to Syria. The U.S. charges that Iranian weapons shipments are key to propping up Syrian President Bashar Assad; Maliki says there is no proof that Tehran is sending anything besides humanitarian aid. Kerry’s visit was the first by a U.S. Cabinet official in more than a year.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ” (Prometheus, November, 2008)

 

Saudi Arabia to Behead Hajj Pilgrim

mock beheadingSaudi Arabia arrested a Shiite pilgrim from Iraq during the Hajj and sentenced him to death by beheading, according the Ahlul Bayt News agency.

The agency reports that Salaam Kazim was arrested for crying in the Baqi Cemetery after being told to stop by Saudi security forces.

The cemetery is a point of contention between Sunni and Shiite Muslims after the King of Saudi Arabia demolished the mausoleums at the site in 1925. The destruction, which was decried internationally, included the mausoleum containing the remains of Mohammed’s grandson, the second in line of imams revered in Shiite Islam.

In the course of his arrest, Kazim objected to the presence of the Saudis (who adhere to the Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam) being in the cemetery and summarily cursed the forces and their teachings. Kazim was arrested immediately, taken to court and sentenced to be beheaded after the Hajj.

The incident comes on the heels of a statement released by Amnesty International about their latest report on Saudi Arabia’s dismal human rights record. Amnesty released the statement ahead of a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva to discuss the Kingdom’s human rights record.

Amnesty’s latest report titled “Saudi Arabia: Unfulfilled Promises,” criticizes the Kingdom for “ratchet[ing] up the repression” in the last four years. Since 2009, the Amnesty report says that Saudi Arabia has engaged in “an ongoing crackdown including arbitrary arrests and detention, unfair trials, torture and other ill-treatment.”

Read more at Clarion Project

 

“Our Holy Pilgrimage will be Complete Once We Have Killed You, Ripped Out Your Hearts and Raped Your Women.”

slide_3825_54092_large1-450x327FPM,By :

Muslims in America are trained to spend a lot of time complaining about Islamophobia. But some Muslims from Dearbornistan only learned what the real thing was when they made their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Like so many Dearbornies, they were Shiites. And Saudi Arabia is a Sunni country.

A group of Americans visiting Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj were threatened and attacked earlier this week on Oct. 16 by a radicalized group of extremists. When they encountered a group that identified themselves as not only Americans, but also as Shiite Muslims, they were threatened and attacked by the group of men, who were apparently armed with knives and other blades.

In continuing the assault, the men also shouted “We’re going to do Karbala all over again,”

The Americans fled the tent area, which the Saudi government had specifically designated for American and European pilgrims. During the escape, many of the group, almost entirely U.S. citizens and mostly hailing from Dearborn, Michigan suffered bruises (in one case, due to an attempted strangulation), concussions, broken bones, and black eyes.

During the attack, the men reportedly shouted “Our [holy pilgrimage] will be complete once we have killed you, ripped out your hearts and eaten them, and [then] raped your women.”

Nothing says Holy pilgrimage like a little heart-eating and woman-raping. And who are we to judge their heart-eating rape culture anyway?

Radicalized extremists?

So that must mean that the heart-eaters and rapists weren’t representative of the moderate Saudi population and government in general.

Victims of the attack reported that nearby police refused to take action, and in some cases were openly laughing at the attack. The Americans approached other officers, including one described as a “lieutenant with stars on his shoulder pads.” They reported the attack and showed police video footage of the attack taken on cell phones.

The “lieutenant” confiscated the phones and immediately deleted the videos in front of onlookers. Without comment, he returned the phones to their owners and left.

It’s almost like the Saudi population and government is a bunch of radicalized extremists. But we all know that’s impossible.

“I personally thought it was the end,” said one of the victims of this attack, a dentist from Michigan, not wishing to be identified for fear of reprisal from the Saudi police or other extremists.

So the Saudi police are now “extremists”? Doesn’t that mean the entire Saudi system is “extremist”?

The attackers are believed to be of the Salafi sect, more popularly known as Wahabis, who are often associated with strong anti-Shiite viewpoints. Critics believe that many of Al-Qaeda’s members subscribe to the Salafi belief system.

Really? There are Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia; a Wahhabi country? I’m shocked. So that’s only a tiny minority of twenty million extremists.

Members of the group also turned to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia for assistance, but were told help could only be provided if members of the group had died in the attacks.

Non-Saudis turning to the US embassy whose sole task is to funnel Saudis into the United States at the directive of a State Department that asks how high every time the Saudis tell it to jump.

Surprising that didn’t go well.

In countries run by our “moderate” oil-rich allies, the US embassy is every bit as helpful as the local authorities. That is unless you’re a Saudi with terrorist ties looking for a visa to the US.

This incident is the latest in a string of attacks against Westerners in Saudi Arabia. In different incidents in past years, Shi’ite Imams from the United States and Canada were either assaulted or arrested for complaining about assaults.  The previous incidents, as well as this week’s attack, all required medical treatments.

And if Shiites owned Mecca and were a majority in the region, then Sunnis would be treated about as well.

Human rights and separation of mosque and state are alien notions in the Muslim world. Whoever has the most power kicks around everyone else. That’s what the Syrian Civil War is really about.

The Dearbornies might have gotten away from all that in the United States, but instead they’ve chosen to push Islamization which perpetuates the same conflicts that they found in Saudi Arabia.

Obama’s Ongoing Betrayal of America’s Sacrifices in Iraq

Baghdad-car-bomb-010-450x270By :

On Oct. 5, a suicide bombing just outside a graveyard in Baghdad killed 51 people, many of them Shi’ite pilgrims on their way to a shrine. The attack, commonplace in today’s Iraq, is symptomatic of a nation once again on the brink of civil war. The media largely ignore these ongoing horrors, and for very obvious reasons: it is becoming more evident by the day that the disintegration of Iraq may have been preventable were it not for President Obama’s politically-motivated premature withdrawal of American troops in December 2011, against the advice of military advisors. Now, al-Qaeda in Iraq is surging and slaughtering civilians dozens at a time, while the enormous sacrifices of thousands of American soldiers have been made into a mockery.

In July, more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed by bombs and gunfire, marking the deadliest month since violence between Sunni and Shi’ite sects reached its apex between 2006 and 2008. Kenneth Katzman, an analyst of Middle Eastern affairs for the Congressional Research Service, illuminated the fundamental problem. “The growing Sunni rebellion in Iraq has fueled the resurgence [of al-Qaeda in Iraq], as has the fact that the U.S. isn’t there providing intelligence, backstopping the Iraqi security forces or continuing to train and keep up their skill levels,” he explained.

The U.S. isn’t there because Obama failed to negotiate a new Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq’s nascent government. Obama claimed Iraqi intransigence was to blame for the failure, because they wouldn’t grant U.S. troops legal immunity if they were breaking Iraqi law. Yet as Max Boot explained in a 2011 Wall Street Journal article, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other government officials had expressed the same reservation in 2008, when there were far more American troops in the country. Nevertheless, President Bush was able to secure an agreement.

Boot explains the contrast. “Quite simply it was a matter of will: President Bush really wanted to get a deal done, whereas Mr. Obama did not,” he wrote. “Mr. Bush spoke weekly with Mr. Maliki by video teleconference. Mr. Obama had not spoken with Mr. Maliki for months before calling him in late October to announce the end of negotiations. Mr. Obama and his senior aides did not even bother to meet with Iraqi officials at the United Nations General Assembly in September.”

Boot further notes that Obama’s constant bragging about ending the war, which culminated in his decision to keep only 5000 troops in Iraq (as opposed to the 20,000 initially requested by military commanders or even the 10,000 that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen judged to be the absolute minimum to maintain security) convinced Iraqis they would be left to fend for themselves.

Once our troops withdrew, Maliki moved to consolidate power. Crackdowns were undertaken again Sunni and Kurdish leaders, and other opposition forces. Those crackdowns reached a critical point on April 23, when government forces killed dozens of Sunni protesters in the city of al-Hawijah. The protesters were demonstrating against government policies, including Maliki’s increasing alignment with Iran. A week later, former Iraqi Ambassador Ryan Crocker characterized the crackdown as a turning point, noting that Sunni and Shi’ite leaders who had previously opted to solve their differences without violence were no longer inclined to do so. “Now Sunni Arab sheikhs who had been urging restraint are calling for war,” he wrote. “Some reports say that the tribes are gathering former insurgents and preparing to fight.” In April, 712 Iraqis were killed, a figure that represented the highest number of monthly casualties since 2008.

It hasn’t been that low ever since.

On July 21, a major prison break in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, freed as many as 800 terrorists, including senior members of al-Qaeda. Suicide bombers drove explosives-laden vehicles to the gates of the prison and blasted their way into the compound. “The prison break was a major blow, suggesting not only that [al-Qaeda in Iraq] has enough manpower, but it also has the ability to train, plan, move around undetected and use weaponry,” Katzman explained. “It is a very serious example of how it now has much more freedom of action than they did when the U.S. was militarily present in Iraq.”

Read more at Front Page

 

Islam Needs an Intervention

addicted_to_terrorism_billboard_at_night_9-22-13-2 (1)

Bad luck for Iran’s new President Rouhani.  He arrives in New York just after the carnage in  Kenya and Pakistan.

Of course these mass murdering terror attacks were perpetrated by Sunnis, not Iranian Shiites, but most of the American public doesn’t know the difference.  And those of us who do are only reminded these killings are just the latest in a long and sadly predictable history of such events, Sunni and Shiite, during which, according to one website, a staggering 21269 deadly attacks have been undertaken by Islamic terrorists since  September 11, 2001. (To give you an idea of how many deaths this comes to, the Mumbai mass killing of 2008 in which 164 died is only one of this over twenty-one thousand, as are the 2004 Atocha Station bombings in which 191 died. And 68 and 78 died, so far, in the Kenya and Pakistan attacks, also part of the over twenty-one thousand.)

So Barack Obama should be aware, if he is in the mood to appease an Islamic regime with multiple terrorist tentacles, that it might not be the best week for such an action. Too bad, Rouhani. (Or let’s hope it’s “Too bad, Rouhani,” whose “moderate” track record fits right in with the 21269 deadly attacks above, although his pre-dates 9/11.

Indeed, like a badly failing family member — an alcoholic or a drug addict — what Islam desperately needs now is not nuclear appeasement or CAIR-style “tolerance” but an intervention.

To say that something is decidedly wrong in the Islamic world is a monumental understatement. And Muslim societies make almost no serious effort to correct themselves, ricocheting back and forth between military totalitarianism and religious totalitarianism while — like that family heroin addict — blaming everyone but themselves for their fate.

They are indeed in deep need of an intervention. The question is how to do it.

Of course, just by raising that question you are accused of Islamophobia, an absurd almost self-contradictory term, which always applies better to those using it. They are the ones who are phobic about Islam because they are the ones who are fearful (actually terrified) of what Islamic people will do if told the truth.  So they come up with those equally absurd lies, like defining the crime of a soldier who murders his fellows while shouting “Allahu Akhbar” as “workplace violence.”

This real Islamophobia has been the pathetic stance of our government and military since 9/11, made worse by the delusions of Barack Obama.  Of course it has failed.  How could it possibly succeed when it is fundamentally dishonest?

Meanwhile, another large sector of our society wants us to throw up our hands at the whole thing — let these madmen destroy each other.  I am sympathetic — how could I not be?  We have already lost so much in treasure, human and material.

But I will remind those people — and myself — that in our tradition we are our brother’s keeper.  And that is one of the most important values, if not the key value, that gave us this great country.

Furthermore, such a violent ideology left unchecked could destroy the world. It already infects over a billion Muslims, with painfully rare, though highly laudable, exceptions.  (The depressing truth is that I met almost all of them in my job at PJM. Where are the rest? Why is it there is no really organized attempt within Islam for any kind of serious reform — only the most momentary lip service after a terror attack?)

So back to the question of how to stage this intervention.  This is extremely difficult, but I am going to take a flyer with some suggestions. I invite all to respond.  (And, yes, I know, rounding up all the Muslims in the world for an intervention like your Cousin Phil is a tad inconvenient, but think metaphorically.)

1. Most importantly, start being honest.  Say that Islam itself is the cause of all this atrocious violence and must be corrected, must have a fundamental reformation of the religion. Keep talking about the reformation — keep demanding it of them — all the time.  Why have you not joined the modern world?  Why do you oppress women? Urge them to reform and never stop.  No more euphemisms about “religion of peace” or “work place violence.”  If you kill for Allah, you are evil, immoral and sick.  You don’t kill for anybody’s God.

Read more at PJ Media

 

Analysis: The Regional Implications of a U.S. Strike on Syria

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
August 27, 2013

The Mosque: Center of Religion, Politics and Dominance

by Clare M. Lopez:

Islamic-style authoritarianism is the dominant characteristic shared by both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, theocrats and non-theocrats: one or the other must be dominant. The cannot share power. One side or the other must come out on top. Both of these conflicts, in Syria and Egypt, are, at their base, about the inseparability of Mosque and State in Islam, and the burning zeal of those believers who have no tolerance for Arab and Muslim regimes they see as allowing the two to function apart.

News reports out of Syria are airing graphic footage of extensive interior damage to the historic Khalid Ibn Al-Walid Mosque in Homs. Syrian government troops, backed by Hizballah fighters, captured the mosque from Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces on July 27, 2013 in heavy fighting that has engulfed the northern Homs neighborhood of Khaldiyeh.

Although the mosque holds little strategic value to the Sunni rebels, it holds great symbolic status as the centuries-old mausoleum of Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, revered by Muslims as a companion of Muhammad, as well as commander of the Islamic military forces that conquered Syria after the defeat of the Christian Byzantine forces at the 636 CE Battle of Yarmouk. Syrian television footage showed the dome of the mausoleum had been knocked out in the recent fighting, causing heavy fire damage to the interior, with debris strewn across the floor. Clearly, the mosque assault by Syrian forces loyal to the Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad, with back-up support from Shi’ite Hizballah, was intended to incite intra-Islamic sectarian rage from the Sunni rebels.

 

The Khalid Ibn Al-Walid Mosque in Homs, Syria, as photographed in 2008. (Source: Noura Raslan)

The extent to which that objective will now be met remains to be seen, but is reminiscent of the February 22, 2006 bombing of the great golden-domed Shi’ite Askaria Mosque in Samarra, Iraq, by al-Qa’eda elements, under the command of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. That carefully-calculated outrage is credited with igniting a savage multi-year civil war in Iraq, which, tragically, appears to be breaking out anew: July 2013 attacks on mosques and worshippers have killed at least 700.

Unfortunately, Iraq and Syria are but the current-day iterations of a 1,300-year-old blood feud over who has the greater legitimacy to rule over the Islamic ummah [Nation of Islam]: Shi’ites or Sunnis. After the 632 CE death of Islam’s traditional founder, the companions and bloodline descendents of Muhammad disagreed—vehemently—over whom should be granted the allegiance of his followers, with all the power the position of Caliph entailed. Then, as now, there was never any question about invoking the consent of the governed, or acknowledging the status or natural worth of the individual, to contribute to the political functioning of the Islamic state. As described so starkly by the Greek-American political scientist P.J. Vatikiotis, and cited here by Andrew Bostom, the essentially authoritarian, autocratic ethos of Islam “may be lasting, even permanent,” and shackles its adherents to an endless “No Exit” cycle of coup, counter-coup, revolution and oppression. Shi’ite and Sunni are doomed to internecine combat over the centuries because both Islamic sects are bound to an ideology based on dominance, not good faith mutual concessions or participatory collaboration. The name of this power-obsessed ideology is Islam. As a belief system, it is deeply bound up with the compellingly spiritual dimensions of Islam and cannot be separated from them, but nevertheless, as ideology, prioritizes the political dimensions.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

EU Blacklists Hezbollah: Not Really

by Soeren Kern:

EU governments agreed only to blacklist the “military” wing of Hezbollah, thus maintaining the politically expedient fiction that a clear distinction can be drawn between Hezbollah terrorists and those members of the group’s “political” wing. European officials are afraid of Hezbollah reprisals against European interests at home and abroad. They are especially worried that if they antagonize Hezbollah, the group may activate sleeper cells and carry out attacks in European cities.

After years of equivocating, a reluctant European Union agreed on July 22 to place part of Hezbollah on itsterrorism blacklist, ostensibly to cut off the Shiite militant group’s sources of funding inside Europe.

But the unanimous decision by the 28-member bloc is likely to have only a limited impact on the Lebanon-based, Iranian-financed Hezbollah.

In a classic European fudge, EU governments agreed only to blacklist the “military” wing of Hezbollah, thus maintaining the politically expedient fiction that a clear distinction can be drawn between Hezbollah terrorists and those members of the group’s “political” wing.

 

A Hezbollah poster.

Blacklisting all of Hezbollah would have deprived the “Party of Allah” of potentially significant sources of fundraising by enabling the freezing of all of its bank accounts and assets in Europe. But by prevaricating on the true nature of Hezbollah, the EU has effectively limited the ability of law enforcement agencies to crack down on the group’s shadowy fundraising activities in Europe.

Instead, the onus will be on European counter-terrorism police to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hezbollah monies — which are often raised by entities masquerading as charities — are being expressly destined for terrorist activities rather than for “political” purposes.

Because of this legal uncertainty, it remains unclear if the EU will actually target any of Hezbollah’s assets or individuals in Europe.

The decision to list only a part of Hezbollah as a terrorist group comes more than five months after the Bulgarian government said it was clear that Hezbollah was behind a 2012 bus bombing in the Bulgarian city of Burgas that killed five Israelis and their driver.

In addition, a court in Cyprus recently sentenced Hezbollah operative Hossam Taleb Yaakoub to four years in prison for plotting to kill Israelis in the EU member state.

But the EU’s decision to blacklist Hezbollah was not primarily in response to the group’s terrorist activities in Europe. Instead, the EU has repeatedly cited its “concerns” over Hezbollah’s growing involvement in the war in Syria.

European officials have long rationalized their lack of resolve against Hezbollah by claiming that the organization has both a military wing and a political wing, and that cracking down on the former would cripple the latter. This, they say, would lead to the destabilization of Lebanon and thus the broader Middle East.

Many analysts, however, say this rationalization is a smoke screen Europeans are hiding behind to conceal the real reason why they are reluctant to confront Hezbollah, namely, fear of reprisals.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

Shias: The Arab Spring’s Latest Victims

by Raymond Ibrahim:

The U.S.-sponsored “Arab Spring” continues to expose itself as a Sunni supremacist takeover.  While the indicators are many—from the al-Qaeda Benghazi consulate attack to the ongoing persecution of Christian minorities—attacks on Shia Muslims are also on the rise.

Syria: Toddler reportedly chained to a fence and made to watch jihadis kill her Shia parents

In Syria, where foreign Sunni jihadis, supported and armed by the United States, are attacking all non-Muslims—Christians are prime and obvious targets, and reports of church attacks, abductions of Christians, and their slaughter are many—Shias, who are seen as “false Muslims,” are naturally also under attack. For example, Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-‘Ajlawni recently issued a fatwa saying that those Muslims fighting to topple secular president Bashar Assad and install Sharia law are free to “capture and have sex with” all non-Sunni women, specifically naming President Assad’s sect, the Alawites, as well as the Druze and other Shia branches.

Days ago, popular news outlet, Syrian Truth, posted a photo of a toddler living in the Deir ez-Zor Governate in eastern Syria, along the Iraq border, who was reportedly tied with chains to a fence from where she witnessed the killing of her Shia mother and father at the hands of the Sunni jihadis making the ranks of the “Free Syrian Army.”  Syrian Truth correctly describes them as takfiris, that is, Muslims who, like al-Qaeda, accuse—and slaughter—other Muslims, in this case, Shias, for not being “true” Muslims.

And now in Egypt, where Shias make roughly one percent of the nation, a Sunni mob reportedly numbering in the thousands—also described by Arabic reports as takfiris—attacked the home of the spiritual father of Egypt’s Shia, Sheikh Hassan Shehata, killing him and four of his followers, and wounding dozens of other Shias that had congregated at his home. The mob descended on his residence last Sunday, savagely beating him and his followers with sticks, before setting his house on fire.

Watch the graphic video (also embedded below) as the mob beats the men and drags Shehata’s bloodied body all over the street. According to the general manager of Hawamdia Hospital in Giza, where the Shia leader was taken after his beating, “when Sheikh Hassan Shehata arrived to the hospital, he appeared to be slaughtered from his neck, in addition to several injuries around his body … the rest of the bodies had several injuries as well as skull fractures.” Another report mentions “numerous puncture wounds and severe bruising.”

Eyewitnesses told Ahram newspaper that police stood by and did nothing to stop the attack—just as they invariably do when Egypt’s Christian Copts and their churches are attacked.

Egypt: Shia cleric Hassan Shehata, before and after

Much of these recent attacks on Shias come in response to Salafi clerics—Salafis are ultra “purest” Sunnis—whipping their followers into frenzies against the Shias, especially in the context of the Syrian war.   Countless clerics are calling on Sunni Muslims to go to Syria to join the battle against President Assad, not to mention Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president himself, Muhammad Morsi, who recently condemned Assad, cutting all ties with Syria.

Thus the “Arab Spring” is proving to be an Islamic takeover by the largest and strongest Islamic faction—Sunni supremacists—who are cleansing the lands of all “non-believers,” from indigenous Christians like Egypt’s Copts to all Shia branches.  While apathetic Americans living a world away may think this has little to do with them, it is well to connect the dots and realize that all this is prelude to the resurrection of the caliphate—the chief goal of Sunni Islam, whether for the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda.  And the caliphate exists for one ultimate purpose: to expand, until, in the words of Koran 8:39, “all religion is for Allah,” interpreted to mean, until Islamic Sharia law governs the entire world.

The Shi’ite crescent holds its ground

835_largeby Yaakov Lappin:

Developments in Syria are unfolding quickly, as the country’s civil war takes new twists and turns every week, and the impact of the conflict on the Middle East (and beyond) is growing.

After two years of fighting and at least 80,000 casualties, it is possible to conclude that the Syrian civil war has degenerated into a long-term, regional, sectarian Sunni-Shi’ite conflict which has crossed into neighboring Lebanon and Iraq and threatens to spill over into Turkey, Jordan and Israel. No resolution to this feud is in sight.

Inside Syria, Syrian President Basher Assad’s Allawite regime defied the predictions of many observers and held firm against the Sunni rebels seeking his overthrow.

In fact, Assad has begun to make gains against the rebels.

This is possible due to the growing presence of highly trained Shi’ite Hizballah battalions that, under Iranian orders, have mobilized from their bases in Lebanon and crossed into Syria to offer vital battlefield assistance to the Syrian regime’s strained army.

This situation has sparked outrage across the Sunni world, and prompted Sunni religious and political figures to issue call for jihad against Hizballah, on behalf of the beleaguered Syrian rebels.

Assad hails from Syria’s Allawite minority, and the Allawite sect is an offshoot of Shia Islam, the center of which is Iran.

For Iran, Assad remains its only state ally and strategic partner in the Middle East. Syria’s strategic value for Iran is paramount, especially at a time when the region is awash with Sunni Islamist elements who view Iran and its Shi’ite satellites as threats and heretics.

Hizballah’s deep involvement in Syria is stretching sectarian tensions in neighboring Lebanon to breaking point. Non-Shi’ite Lebanese leaders are openly describingHizballah as a foreign Iranian entity. Such direct, public criticism was rare before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, and indicates the collapse of Hizballah’s credibility and image among Sunnis.

In retaliation, Syrian rebels have begun firing rockets from Syria at Shi’te areas in northern Lebanon that are Hizballah strongholds.

Additionally, Lebanese Sunni gunmen fired rockets at Hizballah’s Dahiya district in south Beirut.

The northern Lebanese city of Tripoli is racked with gun battles between Sunni militias and armed Allawite elements loyal to Assad. The potential for a further spillover of Syria’s civil war into Lebanon has risen.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar continue to fund and arm the rebels, while Turkey is providing them with territory to establish safe bases outside of the fighting zones in Syria.

Turkey and Qatar are keeping supply lines open to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated rebels in Syria, while Saudi Arabia is providing support for the Salafi-jihadi fighters there.

Israel wants to avoid being dragged into the volatile events developing north of its borders.

From a strategic perspective, because of its role as a backbone in the Tehran-Damascus-Hizballah axis, the Syrian regime poses a far greater threat to Israel than the Sunni rebels.

The Sunni Islamist elements fighting against Assad are lightly armed and poorly organized. The more radical rebel elements could create limited security problems, which the Israel Defense Forces should be able to contain.

Assad’s fall would weaken Iran, Israel’s foremost foe, and damage Hizballah, the largest terror entity in the Middle East, which has 80,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israeli civilians. Hence, from an Israeli perspective, the threats stemming from Assad’s survival outweigh those posed by extremist groups among Sunni rebels, like Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Either way, the turmoil in Syria has made it more likely that pinpoint security incidents will end up setting off larger confrontations that could drag Israel into the picture.

One such threat is the transit of Iranian and Syrian weapons to Hizballah, a development Israel has made clear it would not accept.

Israel Observes as Sunnis Rage

Iran is supplying Syria with weapons and military advisers from its Revolutionary Guards Corps to help Assad gain victories over the rebels.

For the time being, Iran has successfully safeguarded its ‘Shi’ite crescent,’ a continuous chain of territories under its influence.

The crescent begins in Iran, stretches over Iraq (which has a majority Shi’ite population, an Iran-friendly government, and pro-Iranian militias), and passes through Syria. It ends on Israel’s border, in southern Lebanon, where Hizballah maintains a heavily armed Iran-sponsored state-within-a-state among the Shi’ite population there.

Read more at IPT

Islamists Rename Prostitution for Terrorists as “Sexual Jihad”

muslim-prostitutesBy Daniel Greenfield:

Who says Islam isn’t feminist? Cutting edge eight-wave Islamist feminism is constantly finding new roles for women in Islam, beyond the default one of staying inside and never talking to a man.

First there was the female suicide bomber, initially a controversial innovation that allowed women to participate in killing non-Muslims, so long as they also killed themselves.

And now Islamists have found a way to legalize prostitution by calling it “Sexual Jihad” giving Muslim women three life paths.

1. Staying indoors

2. Killing themselves

3. Becoming Islamic prostitutes

If you’ve been following the Syrian Civil War (the Sunni vs Shia grudge match), a whole lot of Sunni young men have flooded into Syria from other countries to fight the Neo-Shiite government. Due to the extended fighting, there’s the usual problem that comes with a sizable army.

Since the Salafists pretend to be righteous Islamists who won’t even smoke, they can’t officially utilize prostitutes. So the ongoing problem has been to find a way to get them prostitutes without calling them prostitutes.

The Shiites are ahead in this game because Shiite Islam legalizes prostitution as temporary marriage. But Sunnis have always sneered at that exigency. So their temporary marriage may be Sexual Jihad.

According to media reports and mujahideen who returned to Tunisia after participating in jihad in Syria, 13 Tunisian girls headed to the battlefield in response to the “sexual jihad” fatwa.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

Troubling Times for Once Mighty Hizballah

813_largeby Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
March 27, 2013

How Muslims Celebrated Islamophobia Awareness Month

Islamophobia is bogusby Robert Spencer

“Islamophobic prejudice is worryingly prevalent in the mainstream; on display in political life, in the the [sic] media and in the attitudes of the police and the courts.” So said a poster for Islamophobia Awareness Month, which Muslims in Britain and Europe marked with a series of events throughout November. The inaugural event in London on November 2 featured talks from human rights lawyer Imran Khan; Peter Oborne, the chief political commentator for The Daily Telegraph; Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn; Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition; and many others. But other Muslims worldwide had their own creative ways to mark the special month:

  • In Florida, two Muslim brothers, Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, were charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in the cause of jihad to commit mass murder of Americans.
  • In Tehran, Muslims brutally murdered and dismembered a Jewish woman, in the crowning episode of an ongoing attempt to seize her property for use by an adjoining mosque.
  • In Moscow, a Muslim, Ilyas Saidov, received a fifteen-year prison sentence for his role in plotting jihad-martyrdom suicide bombing attacks.
  • In Baghdad, Sunni Muslims used three car bombs to murder 23 Shi’ite Muslims who were participating in processions for Ashura, the Shi’ite mourning festival marking the death of the Shi’ite leader Husayn bin Ali in the battle of Karbala against the Sunnis in the year 680.
  • In Norway, a Muslim politician, Khalid Haji Ahmed, wrote on Facebook: “Damn Jew whores, wish Hitler could come back and shower you some more.”
  • A Florida imam, Abu Taubah (a.k.a. Marcus Robertson), was exposed as having ties to the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center jihad bombing.
  • Hamas’s official al-Aqsa TV station ran a music video containing the words: “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.”
  • In India, a young Muslim who had appeared on a television show speaking about his fear of being honor-killed for marrying without his parents’ consent was indeed murdered.
  • In Libya, a jihadist group claiming to operate under authority of the Ministry of the Interior kidnapped twelve men it accused of homosexual activity, and threatened them with mutilation and execution.
  • In Austria, Muslims protesting against Israel’s defensive action in Gaza chanted “Death to the Jews” while their leftist fellow protesters looked on in silence.
  • On Facebook, a Muslim posted an admiring photo of Adolf Hitler, with the caption: “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.” Many other Muslims chimed in with “likes” and favorable comments.
  • In Mali, Muslim officials arrested three Catholics for the crime of declining to listen to an Islamic sermon.
  • In Nigeria, Muslims bombed a church and ambushed churchgoers, murdering fourteen Christians.
  • And a Muslim wrote a comment at my website, saying: “Whenever I see Robert Spenser’s [sic] face I feel like having my palms around his neck, its a good thing we never meet eye to eye because he would be licking my boots if we ever did. I’m actually a very reserved and polite gent but when I hear that guy’s voice or see his face I feel like shutting him up permanently.”

That list doesn’t actually take us through the whole of “Islamophobia Awareness Month.” All that happened in just the past two weeks.

Read more at PJ Media

See also:

Islamophobia, Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future by David Horowitz and Robert Spencer