PENTAGON: TERRORISTS THREATENING TO CONTROL 40% OF AFGHANISTAN

So why is Congress OK’ing 2,500 more US visas for Afghan immigrants?

Front Page Magazine, by Paul Sperry, May 4, 2017:

A just-released Pentagon report suggests Afghanistan is spiraling toward civil war with the number of terrorist attacks, casualties and displacements of Afghans hitting record highs, thanks in no small part to former President Obama’s precipitous withdrawal of US combat troops starting in 2014.

As the Afghan government risks losing roughly 40 percent of the country to terrorists and insurgents, Congress proposes issuing 2,500 more visas to Afghan nationals to allow them to immigrate to America, a move that raises security concerns. The Pentagon says ISIS has established beachheads in several Afghan districts, along with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and these and other terrorist groups could use the visa program to infiltrate the US.

The new report from the Defense Department’s special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction paints a picture of chaos and instability throughout the country. Among the shocking findings:

* The number of terrorist attacks and other security incidents throughout 2016 and continuing into the first quarter of 2017 reached their highest level on record.

* Casualties suffered by Afghan security forces “in the fight against the Taliban and other insurgents continue to be shockingly high,” with 807 killed and 1,328 wounded in just the first six weeks of this year.

* Conflict-related civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose to 11,418 in 2016 – the highest on record.

* A whopping 660,639 people in Afghanistan fled their homes due to conflict in 2016 – a 40 percent jump over 2015 and the highest number of displacements on record.

* The Afghan government now controls barely 60 percent of the country’s 407 districts, while the Taliban and other insurgents control or threaten to control the rest.

“Preventing insurgents from increasing their control or influence of districts continues to be a challenge” for the Afghan government, the report warned, noting that Kabul’s control of the country has dropped from 72 percent in November 2015 to just under 60 percent today.

“Afghanistan remains in the grip of a deadly war,” inspector general John Sopko said, and one that has seen insurgents gaining more and more territory over the past 18 months.

The 2,500 special visas for Afghan refugees, championed by Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, were stuffed into the compromise spending bill and are up for consideration on the Hill this week.

US visas issued annually to Afghans nearly doubled under the Obama administration, soaring from 2,454 in 2008 to 4,156 in 2015, the latest year for which data are kept.

Experts say the number of Afghan refugees recently resettled in the US is on the rise.

“I’ve noticed an uptick,” Refugee Resettlement Watch director Ann G. Corcoran said. “The number is increasing.”

Few in Washington are raising alarms about this largely uncontrolled influx of new Afghan immigrants, but the security risk compounds the risk posed by Syrian refugees.

Though their numbers are relatively small next to the projected flood of Syrians, experts fear the Afghan immigrants could include jihadists who decide to lash out at their generous Western host — as they have in Germany, which is deporting 12,000 Afghan refugees after some carried out terrorist attacks there.

Several recent Afghan immigrants have already been busted for terrorism in America, including: Afghan refugee Hayatulla Dawari, who got as far as naturalization before authorities learned of his involvement with an Afghan terror group and convicted him in 2014; and Afghan refugee Sohiel Omar Kabir, who was sentenced in 2015 to 25 years in federal prison for providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill Americans.

Afghan immigration, moreover, factors into recent “homegrown” terrorism, including the Orlando, Fla., and Chelsea, N.Y., attacks.

Assurances that Afghan refugees will be vetted for security risks and monitored while in America are not comforting. The Pentagon can’t even keep track of the Afghans it brings here for military training exercises designed to help them go back and defend their own country.

Alarmingly, at least 45 Afghan soldiers have disappeared in the US over the past two years while training at military installations. Many of these AWOL immigrants, who also came here on special visas, have extensive training in weapons and explosives.

Further raising security alarms, the Taliban has infiltrated the Afghan security forces supplying these special immigrants. The Pentagon inspector general says the penetration is so deep that the Taliban are obtaining much of their weapons and ammunition, as well as gasoline, from US-supplied Afghan soldiers.

“Taliban commanders give instructions to their forces to buy weapons, ammunition and fuel from the Afghan army and police,” according to the Pentagon report.

Afghanistan is conspicuously absent from the list of seven terror-prone countries in President Trump’s indefinite immigration ban, even though al-Qaeda has reopened terrorist training camps there and ISIS is operating in several districts.

The Pentagon reveals that no fewer than 20 terrorist groups, including ISIS, are now operating in Afghanistan, mostly along the Pakistan border.

“This is the highest concentration of terrorist groups anywhere in the world,” it says.

The department also notes that “the Taliban and other insurgents have gained territory over the past two years,” as Obama hastily withdrew US troops, and now threaten to control more than 40 percent of the country.

Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of the bestsellers “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.” Follow him on Twitter: @paulsperry_

Weaponization of Political Correctness

Secure Freedom Radio, Jim Hanson interview with Dr. James Mitchell, April 19, 2017:

Dr. JAMES MITCHELL, Key architect of the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Program, author of Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America:

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

  • Effectiveness of enhanced interrogation
  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s prediction that America would defeat itself

(PART TWO):

Podcast (podcast2): Play in new window | Download

  • The obligation to jihad
  • Terrorism funding through zakat

(PART THREE):

Podcast (podcast3): Play in new window | Download

  • Islamic reform

(PART FOUR):

Podcast (podcast4): Play in new window | Download

  • Three ways to vet immigrants
  • Social media factor analysis

Another Attempt at “Extreme Vetting”

By Daniel Pipes, April 4, 2017, Cross-posted from National Review Online

The Travel Ban Is about Vetting — Which Means It’s about Islam

President Donald Trump prepares to sign an executive order. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

Because the United States is in a defensive war against sharia supremacism.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, March 18, 2017:

It is not about the executive orders. When it comes to protecting the United States from the threats posed by radical Islam, it has never been about President Donald Trump’s executive orders: the first one that was torpedoed by the radical judiciary in January, and the new and improved version that was suspended this week — the Lawyer Left having conveniently managed to shop its challenge to Barack Obama’s fellow Hawaiian and Harvard Law School classmate Judge Derrick Watson.

The issue is vetting. Each executive order was conceived as a temporary step, a “hold in place” measure while the permanent solution, vetting, was carefully crafted and ultimately implemented.

Now, just as the Left hoped, the temporary step has not only overwhelmed the permanent solution. It has made the permanent solution much more difficult — perhaps impossible — to achieve.

The president’s first order was not invalidated because it was invalid. It was invalidated by an outrageous political maneuver disguised as a judicial decision by the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court. Yet government lawyers — especially the law-and-order, have-faith-in-the-system types — can’t help themselves. They see litigation as a high-minded chess game, winnable by reasoned strategy: Look at what the court said the infirmities were, address them, and then take another crack at persuading the tribunal.

But that’s not the game being played by the Ninth Circuit and the many progressive activists among the 300-odd lawyers President Obama placed on the federal bench (that’s life tenure, boys and girls). They are about winning the war, not the skirmish.

The Ninth Circuit struck down the first executive order not because it transgressed the theoretical constitutional rights of lawful permanent-resident aliens, immigrant visa holders, or state universities. The judges struck it down because they are the political Left. This had nothing to do with law. The Left has a policy objection to the notion of subjecting Muslims to heightened immigration scrutiny, because it has a policy objection to government recognition of the nexus between Islamic scripture and terrorism committed by Muslims.

For the Left, the law is not a corpus of constitutional and statutory principles to be applied. It is a pliable weapon for achieving policy goals, enabling will-to-power to masquerade as a “legal process.”

No tweaking of an executive order will overcome that.

Tweaking the executive order is not going to bring the Ninth Circuit around. Or judge Watson. Or federal-district judge Theodore Chuang of Maryland, another Obama-appointee who joined Watson in blocking Trump’s directive. Understand this: There is no way to craft an order restricting immigration from Muslim countries that will satisfy them — no matter how rife with jihadism the countries are, no matter how manifest it is that their dysfunctional or anti-American regimes make visa background checks impossible.

The Trump administration seems oddly stunned by this. It is as if they believed they were in a real, bona fide legal dispute; as if a few modifications in response to the judges’ express legal objections were going to make the Left’s implacable policy objection go away.

It was never going to work that way.

The courts were never going to grapple with the four corners of the executive orders — the undeniable, unambiguous, sweeping legislative authority vested in the president to restrict alien entry into the U.S.; the fact that non-immigrant aliens outside the U.S. do not have constitutional rights; the fact that our system makes border security against foreign threats the responsibility of the accountable political branches, not the unaccountable judiciary.

This is politics of a most demagogic kind, not legal analysis. So what the courts offer instead is a dark theory of purportedly rabid anti-Muslim bias, cobbled together by parol evidence of campaign-trail rhetoric.

And the administration fell for it. The administration has been goaded into replying, “No, no, no — this has nothing to do with Islam.” It points to the 85 percent of Muslim aliens globally who are unaffected by the orders. It stresses that the countries with the world’s largest Muslim populations — Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan . . . — are not touched by the orders. It notes that countries covered by the order were first cited in legislation signed by Obama, not because they were Muslim but because they had unstable or hostile regimes that defy reliable immigrant screening. It emphasizes that of the original seven Islamic countries, one has now been exempted from the temporary ban — i.e., that the trajectory is to affect fewer Muslims, not more.

That’s great . . . if what you’re trying to achieve is a temporary step followed by . . . nothing.

The goal here, though, is to achieve a screening system that vets for Islamic radicalism. How do you ever get there if, to try to justify a temporary step that provides no material security improvements, you disavow a purpose to subject alien Muslims to heightened scrutiny?

If that is not what President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is about, then what’s the point? Why bother with any of this?

Here is the blunt, inescapable fact: The United States is in a defensive war against what is imprecisely called “radical Islam.” The war proceeds on two tracks: the kinetic militancy of jihadists, and the cultural challenge of anti-Western, anti-constitutional Islamic law and mores. The ideology that catalyzes both tracks is sharia supremacism — the implementation and spreading of sharia, classical Islam’s societal structure and legal code, is the rationale for all jihadist terror and of all the Islamist cultural aggression that slipstreams behind it.

The dividing line is sharia supremacism. On one side of it we find patriotic, pro-American Muslims who are spiritually devout but reject the imposition of sharia on civil and political life; on the other, the Islamists — the sharia supremacists. The challenge posed by the latter is not merely that some percentage of them are jihadists; it is that as a population — or as enclaves that take hold in the West — they are assimilation-resistant, and their ideological havens will breed the jihadists of the future while stifling the Constitution in the here and now.

That is what we have to vet for. That is what the majority of the American people want: Muslims who embrace our way of life invited in, Muslims who threaten our way of life kept out. You can’t get there without subjecting Muslim aliens to more-extensive inspection.

Of course it is unfortunate that innocent, pro-American Muslims have to be put through more paces than other aliens. But it is not quite as unfortunate as the incontestable fact that inadequately vetted Muslims commit mass-murder attacks. While some of the innocent, pro-American Muslims will resent the heightened scrutiny (though many will see the need for it), those who are eventually admitted to our country will be safer because of it — a matter of no small consequence since peaceful Muslims, more than any other group, are killed and persecuted by jihadists and other sharia supremacists. In any event, though, the security burden has to be imposed on someone, and as between Americans and aspiring Muslim immigrants, it is less the responsibility of Americans than of alien Muslims that Islam endorses war and conquest. We didn’t create this problem.

This is the vetting that the Left and the courts are determined to prevent. They would have you believe that the Constitution is a suicide pact: that alien Muslims somehow have a First Amendment establishment-clause right against enhanced inspection; that an immigration system that has always vetted against totalitarian political ideologies cannot vet against this one, sharia supremacism, because it shrouds itself in religion.

So forget the executive orders. This is the ground on which the Left has to be defeated. We will never get there by denying that Islam is the heart of the matter.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

The Truth Behind Media’s New Favorite Euphemism: ‘Muslim-Majority Countries’

Breitbart, by John Hayward, March 9, 2017:

Both versions of President Trump’s executive order have been caricatured as a “Muslim ban,” even though they applied to only six or seven specific countries, leaving 90 percent of the world’s population out of the mix.

The fallback euphemism is to say that Trump is “banning” immigration (they never say it is conditional and temporary) from several “Muslim-majority” countries. This is also misleading because those countries are not merely inhabited by a majority of Muslims. They are Muslim countries, period. They all have some form of Islamic law written into their legal codes.

With Iraq removed from the equation, the remaining nations affected by the order are Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. The original executive order did not list the affected nations; it merely referred to Obama-era legislation that named them as nations of particular concern. The revised version of the order does name the affected nations because it explains why each of them is on the list.

The first version of the order did not mention Islam at all. The revised version does, but only to explain why the first order did not because this is not a “Muslim ban”:

Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

Islam is not a “minority religion” in any of the six countries named by the order. In fact, all six of them officially incorporate Islamic sharia law into their legal codes.

Of the six, Iran is an outright Islamic theocracy. Its Supreme Leader is the Ayatollah, a top-ranking Muslim cleric. Iran’s legal code is explicitly based on sharia, with a smattering of civil ordinances thrown in. Iranian courts have been known to invoke sharia for such judgments as requiring a woman to be blinded in retribution for throwing acid in a victim’s face.

Iranian law nominally has some protections for religious minorities, but the absolute supremacy of Islam is not questioned. Observers have reported that religious freedom is growing steadily worse in the theocracy.

Libya is the most complex of the six nations to classify, because it does not have a functioning central government at all, following Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous intervention – a fact the mainstream media prefers not to dwell on. “Libya’s post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities,” as the CIA World Factbook tactfully puts it.

The capital city of Tripoli was seized by an Islamist coalition, with the Muslim Brotherhood a major player. Another is Ansar al-Sharia, a Salafist Islamic militia. The presence of “sharia” in its name is not a coincidence; they declared Libya an Islamic “caliphate” in 2014.

There has been success in the battle against Libyan ISIS, but al-Qaeda is still a major player. U.N.-backed unity governments tend to include a lot of people from the more extreme wings of Libyan politics. They have to because Islamists are a powerful political force in the country.

Another major force in chaotic Libya is widely described as a “secularist,” General Khalifa Haftar. Some observers wonder just how “secularist” he really is, especially if he gains control of the country and has to make deals with the powerful Islamist elements he is currently fighting.

Haftar is an old Qaddafi hand, and while the late dictator is remembered as a brutal and mercurial secularist loathed by hardline Islamists in Libya, he was sometimes given to Islamist sentiments of his own. For instance, Qaddafi once declared Islam was the only universal human religion and said, “all those believers who do not follow Islam are losers.” He named his son and once-presumed successor Saif al-Islam.

Libya’s future is a question mark, but it is highly disingenuous to describe even its present state as merely “Muslim-majority.” The interim Libyan constitution of 2011 begins with the invocation of “Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” states that Islam is the official religion of the country, and declares “sharia shall be the main source of legislation.” Until and unless a different constitution is put into effect by an internationally-recognized national government, Libya is a Muslim nation.

Somalia officially imposed sharia law through its Cabinet in 2009. “Islamic Sharia is the only option to get solutions for the problems in this country,” one minister declared. Less than 0.1% of the population follows a religion other than Islam.

The Somali government banned Christmas celebrations in December 2015, because “having Muslims celebrate Christmas is not the right thing,” as a top official put it. He likened Christmas celebrations to apostasy and said they are “not in any way related to Islam.” Foreigners were graciously allowed to celebrate Christmas in their homes, but even hotels were instructed to prevent guests from holding celebrations.

The al-Shabaab terrorist organization thinks the central government is not Islamist enough and imposes an even harsher sharia code on the sizable portions of the country it effectively controls. Many of the people living under al-Shabaab control have told interviewers they support its legal code.

Sudan is officially an Islamic state with a sharia legal code. Even the leaders of breakaway South Sudan, which want to return to a common-law system on the British model, have been struggling to purge sharia from the legal system.

Sudan, like Somalia, is not “majority Muslim” – it is about 96% Muslim, and the 3% Christian minority is brutally persecuted, despite some nominal legal protection for other religions. World Atlas notes that “some interpretations of the Muslim Law in the country fail to recognize or accept apostasy and marriages to non-Muslims,” and concludes that “Sudan leads the world as the most difficult country for Christians since freedom of religion or belief is systematically ignored.”

Syria is an uncomfortable case, as some religious minorities say they fared much better under the Assad dictatorship. Some Syrian Christians bluntly refer to Bashar Assad as their “protector” and have similar hopes for the intervening Russians. Of course, critics of the brutal Syrian regime argue that Assad’s alliance with Christians is purely cynical, and even accuse him of inflaming the Christian fear of Muslims for political gain.

Assad’s government is nominally secular, while even most of the “good guy” rebels supported by Western powers practice Islamic law through sharia courts. Syrians in contested areas complain that different sharia courts loyal to various factions, from “moderates” to hardcore al-Qaeda Islamists, issue conflicting verdicts.

At the height of the rebellion, many Syrians expressed a desire to replace the Syrian Arab Republic with an Islamic state. Then they found themselves saddled with the Islamic State, which may have led some of them to reconsider. However, there are still calls to impose sharia across Syria, portraying it as an instrument of peace and justice.

Having said that, the constitution of the “secular” Syrian Arab Republic explicitly requires the president to be a Muslim, and requires that “Islamic jurisprudence shall be a major source of legislation.” This was true of both the older constitution and the revised document prepared in 2012.

The same article declares “the State shall respect all religions, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order,” but there is no question: Syria is a Muslim nation, not a “Muslim-majority nation.” Islam enjoys a privileged position in its legal code that Western liberals would not tolerate without comment from any other religion.

Yemen practices a mixture of sharia law and common law in what passes for its central government – which, of course, was overthrown by the Houthis, a Shiite Muslim insurgency supported by the Iranian theocracy. The internationally recognized Yemeni government has said the Houthis want to transform Yemen into a caliphate ruled by lineal descendants of Mohammed.

Even Houthi spokesmen who strongly disagree with that characterization have said they think “sharia should be one of the main sources of the law in Yemen, not the only source.”

The large portions of Yemen controlled by al-Qaeda are noted for the strict rule of Islamic law, including the oppression of women. Al-Qaeda regards the failure to strictly obey sharia as “debauchery.”

The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen explicitly declares it to be an Islamic state, and stipulates “sharia is the source of all legislation.” Islam is unambiguously named as the official state religion. Denouncing Islam is a crime punishable by death. Over 99% of the population is Muslim.

Iraq: Even though it is no longer listed in Trump’s executive order, it should be noted that Iraq is an explicitly Islamic nation, according to its 2005 constitution. “Islam is the official religion of the State and is a fundamental source of legislation,” Article 2 declares. “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.”

Religious freedom is nominally protected, as long as the supremacy of Islam is acknowledged by all: “This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice such as Christians, Yazedis, and Mandi Sabeans.”

Some Iraqi clerics agitate for stricter adherence to sharia law, which introduces the dangerous question of whether Sunni or Shiite law should reign supreme.

The incorporation of Sharia law into the legal codes of these countries occurs to a degree that would revolt the American Left, if any religion except Islam was involved. Rest assured that no one in today’s mainstream media would describe, say, 15th-century Spain as a “majority Catholic” nation.

For that matter, they do not seem inclined to describe Israel as “majority Jewish”; they simply refer to it as a “Jewish state.” Israel is, in fact, only about 75% Jewish. A recent effort supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to formally define Israel as a Jewish state failed, in part due to concerns that it could lead to discriminatory policies against the Arab population.

Its legal code includes extensive protection for religious minorities, and there are Muslim and Druze members of its parliament. Last November, one of them staged the Muslim call to prayer during a parliamentary session to protest a bill that would prevent all places of worship from using loudspeakers to summon their worshipers, because it was seen as unfairly targeting mosques.

Equivalent stunts are unwise for members of religious minorities in “Muslim-majority nations,” including the six listed in President Trump’s executive order.

In conclusion: all of the nations mentioned in both versions of President Trump’s executive order are Muslim countries, period. Every single one of them has Islam as the state religion and bases its legal code on sharia. Not a single one of these countries is a “Muslim-majority” nation that practices full and complete religious pluralism under a secular government.

Trump’s New Immigration Order Creates Database of Honor Killings

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PJ MEDIA, BY ROBERT SPENCER, MARCH 7, 2017:

President Trump’s new executive order on immigration calls for the establishment of a public database of honor killings, which are defined as “gender-based violence against women … in the United States by foreign nationals.”

This is an extraordinary first step towards protecting Americans not just from jihad massacres, but from the cultural encroachments of a societal system that institutionalizes discrimination against women, non-Muslims, gays, and others.

Predictably, the Left hates it. They have steadfastly refused to notice anything about Sharia that is oppressive or destructive to the human spirit.

Jeva Lange writes in The Week:

Alleged “honor killings” are a major concern of opponents of the U.S. refugee programs, although supporters of refugee programs say the language demonizes Muslims and that there is insufficient evidence of such killings by refugees in the United States.

“Demonizes Muslims”? This is just more Leftist hysteria. In reality, the new version of the immigration ban maintains that the first version was “not motivated by animus toward any religion,” and doesn’t associate honor killings with Islam. Lange is concerned, however, about comments from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the target of the Leftist establishment’s latest attempt to demonize and destroy members of the Trump team:

[Sessions] has expressed concern about honor killings in the past, such as in a 2016 discussion with a State Department official.

In that discussion, Sessions noted:

Twenty-seven people were killed in the United States for honor killings according to a DOJ report.

Obama State Department official Simon Henshaw replied:

I have no evidence that there were any honor killings among the refugee population resettled in the U.S., sir.

Sessions:

Well, it’s from the same cultural background, I would say.

Lange then quoted Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates claiming that while Sessions was in the Senate, he was:

 … one of the most, if not the most, anti-immigrant senator in the U.S. Senate. … He has a long record of demonizing non-white immigrants, especially Muslim and Latino immigrants.

While making these utterly baseless charges that Sessions is a racist, Khera was apparently silent about the reality of honor killing. (Lange doesn’t mention the fact that it was Khera who wrote to John Brennan in 2011 demanding that all mentions of Islam and jihad be removed from counterterror training materials. Brennan immediately complied.) Was Sessions correct when he noted that immigrants “from the same cultural background” as those who have committed honor killings in the U.S. might share a positive view of the practice, and even resort to it themselves in extreme circumstances?

To answer that question, it is useful to know that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide — and they do so with justification for their actions in Islamic law.

A manual of Sharia which was certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that:

[R]etaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.

However:

[N]ot subject to retaliation [is] a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring. ( Reliance of the Traveller o1.1-2).

Someone who kills his or her child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. And this is not just some legal abstraction — it is incorporated into present-day law in many Islamic countries:

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders.

Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, but there is no change yet.

Syria, in 2009, scrapped a law limiting sentences for honor killings. However:

“[T]he new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’”

In 2003, the Jordanian Parliament voted down, on Islamic grounds, a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported:

“Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Until the encouragement Islamic law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer. The Palestinian Authority, Iraq, and Jordan are not named in the ban, but the countries that are named share this “cultural background.”

Trump is right to protect women from this scourge.

Will another Leftist court, acting in the name of “tolerance” and “multiculturalism,” find it somehow unconstitutional to protect women in this way?

10 Points You Won’t Hear About Trump’s Revised Travel Restrictions

Syrian refugees arrive in the U.S. after spending five years in a refugee camp in Turkey (Illustrative Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, March 7, 2017:

President Trump has issued an executive order modifying his controversial travel restrictions which have been incorrectly derided as a “Muslim ban.”

Of course, despite major changes, groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are still calling it a “Muslim ban” and are committed to retaining the issue’s divisiveness so they can endlessly bash Trump as a bigot and raise their own profile in the process.

“This executive order, like the last order, is at its core a Muslim ban, which is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” said the executive-director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, who nonetheless touted the revisions as a “partial victory.”

Below are 10 points about the revised executive order that you’re unlikely to hear from media outlets and politically-driven organizations who have are dependent upon continued controversy:

1. As previously, it is not a “Muslim ban.” 

As explained by Clarion Project advisory board member and leader of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow in this video (see below), the restrictions are based on an intersection of geography and security risks. They are limited to 6 of 50 Muslim-majority countries and impact non-Muslims as well. And, just as before, the restrictions are a pause rather than a ban.

The order is for between 90 to 120 days, depending on whether the person is a visitor or a refugee. As we’ll discuss, the exceptions are so wide that even describing this order as a “pause” is a bit of an overstatement.

2. Iraq is removed from the list, bringing the list of impacted countries down to 5.

Including Iraq (and especially the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan) was a mistake from the beginning. That is now fixed. The executive order implies that this change is due to the fact that the Iraqi government agreed to improved intelligence-gathering and security measures.

Those conversations with the Iraqis obviously took place after the initial executive order, which shows the Trump Administration can be influenced by constructive criticism.

3. The executive order justifies the inclusion of the other five countries.

The order explains why the president chose these five countries, which is a scaling back of Trump’s campaign pledge to ban immigration from all terror-prone countries (which in itself is a scaling back of his initial pledge to ban all Muslim immigration).

Iran, Syria and Sudan are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism and  the former two are explicit enemies of the U.S. Libya and Yemen are failed states with inadequate counter-terrorism abilities and so much chaos that the U.S. doesn’t even have operating embassies in these locations. Somalia is similarly unstable and contains a major Al-Qaeda foothold. In addition, the Somali community in the U.S. is known for its high rate of radicalism.

4. The five countries were chosen based on the Obama Administration’s determination.

The executive order explains that these five countries were selected based on the Obama Administration considering them to be “countries of particular concern” that could not participate in the visa waiver program.

It was the Obama Administration that stated that persons coming to the U.S. from these countries pose a greater security risk than those from other countries. Everyone who argues that there’s no reason to treat these countries as unique risks is arguing with Trump and Obama. Where were the condemnations of President Obama’s “Islamophobia” for identifying these Muslim-majority countries as posing a special danger?

5. Three hundred refugees are currently under FBI investigation.

 It is true that refugees undergo a lengthy screening process, unlike typical visa applicants. Opponents of the travel restrictions point to how only a small percentage of refugees have been convicted of terrorism-related offenses. The Senate Judiciary Committee said only about 40 had been convicted, representing about 7 percent of the total of 580 since the 9/11 attacks.

The executive order points out that 300 people who were admitted into the U.S. as refugees are now under FBI counter-terrorism investigations; a much higher number than the previous figures used for gauging the risk.

However, in fairness, a Department of Homeland Security report says most refugees who become terrorists are radicalized years after arriving in the U.S., so we don’t know if this figure necessarily proves there’s a major gap in the refugee vetting process. We also don’t know how many of the 300 refugees are from the five affected countries.

6. There is a 10-day advance notice.

The previous executive order went into effect immediately, catching airlines and governments off-guard. This one goes into effect in 10 days, giving time for preparation.

7. The new executive order explicitly does not apply to current visa and green card holders.

Permanent residents and current visa-holders are not affected this time. The original executive order’s unclear language has been fixed.

8. Syrian refugees are no longer singled out.

The original executive order suspended refugee admission for 120 days but singled out Syrian refugees for indefinite exclusion “until such time” that the government determines that they can be safely admitted. The singling out was unnecessary, as that’s the same standard for allowing refugees from other places, but the original language emphasized that Trump was delivering on a campaign promise to reject Syrian refugees.

That language is no longer. A refugee of Syrian nationality is not viewed as inherently more objectionable than a refugee of another nationality.

9. There are very wide exceptions.

This executive order uses clearer language to allow for major exceptions even within the 120-day refugee pause and the 90-day pause on visitors from the five countries.

Far from a wholesale treatment, it emphasizes that each applicant will be handled on a “case-by-case basis” in case they qualify for a waiver. There are waivers for when the applicant’s entry into the U.S. is in our “national interest” or rejection of the person would cause them “undue hardship.”

The order gives various examples of what qualifies as “undue hardship,” for example people who have worked in the U.S. and are seeking re-entry; those coming to reside with a family member; those with a significant network of contacts in the U.S.; those with business or professional obligations here; children; those in need of medical attention; those previously or currently employed by the U.S. government, and other situations where rejection would cause an “undue hardship.”

These are the reasons most people from these countries are coming to the U.S. How many other situations are left where a waiver isn’t suitable?

Of course, some biased critics aren’t paying attention to these very important facts. Right after the executive order was released, Grace Meng of Human Rights Watch was uncritically quoted in an article on Politico as saying that the new executive order is “going to harm people fleeing gender-based violence” like women trying to escape rapists.

Actually, such women would obviously qualify for the “undue hardship” exception. But readers of that article wouldn’t know that because Politico unquestionably posted her quote.

10. The type of vetting that is being proposed is in alignment with the Founding Fathers’ opinions on immigration.

Joshua Charles, an expert on the Founding Fathers, collected some of the founders’ most insightful quotes on immigration in an article he wrote in January. They explained the U.S. is more than a piece of land with opportunities for wealth. Rather, it is a country held together by foundational beliefs that are unique and not inherently understood and embraced by all persons upon birth.

The executive orders emphasize improving the overall vetting process to screen for hostile ideologies. It’s not just about discovering covert terrorists and criminals; it’s about separating those who support the U.S.’ secular-democratic values from those views are incompatible with that, such as (but not limited to) Islamist extremists.

Opponents of Trump and this policy have a choice to make: They can emphasize (or lie about) the parts they continue to disagree with, elongating a cycle of divisiveness, or they pair their criticism with positive reinforcement that acknowledges the improvements that have been made.

Decreasing the sound of the alarm is not in the best interest of hyper-partisan commentators or Islamist activists like CAIR who are enjoying the limelight and seeking increased donations, but it is in the best interest of the country.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.