MEMORIAL DAY IN A DIVIDED NATION

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, May 29, 2017:

It has been over 150 years since our nation’s last civil war. Time enough has passed that we have come to associate the holiday once known as Decoration Day with the graves of soldiers fallen on other continents far from home.

It is important to honor our wartime dead. But Memorial Day has a powerful meaning that we have forgotten. It was the holiday that reunited our country after the Civil War. It began when Americans, from the North and the South, entered the cold gray stone fields of the dead, and decorated the graves of the fallen from the Grand Army of the Republic and the Confederacy with freshly cut flowers.

They followed no presidential order. They acted under no regulation. Instead the mothers and wives of men who would return home no more brought flowers to the graves of their fallen sons and husbands, and to the resting places of the young American men who might have slain them, who had been the enemy, but who still deserved honor and respect.

Those women, of the North and the South, brought America together.

Today a new breed of leftists gleefully tears down Confederate memorials. And it will not end with flags and statues. They will not be satisfied until the cemeteries that were once decorated have been desecrated. It is ominously fitting that the event which marked the end of one civil war now arrives to foreshadow the beginning of another war between brothers.

On a Memorial Day long ago, President Theodore Roosevelt praised the Union soldiers who “left us the right of brotherhood with the men in gray, who with such courage, and such devotion for what they deemed the right, fought against you.”

The Right of Brotherhood is what binds a nation. It cannot be imposed by force even when a war is won. It can only be won through mutual respect. Out of the brutality of the Civil War, came respect for the courage of those who fought and died on both sides. And once more, we called each other brothers.

“They not only reunited States, they reunited the spirits of men. That is their unique achievement, unexampled anywhere else in the annals of mankind,” President Wilson said in his Memorial Day address.

Like the American Revolution, the aftermath of the Civil War was indeed a unique achievement. It is now vanishing before our eyes. And Memorial Day has become a sad reminder of its diminution.

A day once marked by mutual respect for the courage of former enemies is now being ushered in with the deliberate desecration of Civil War memorials in New Orleans. And beyond this ugliness, Memorial Day sharply divides the country between conservatives who believe this country is worth fighting for and leftists who see it as a racist colonial monstrosity that must be erased with open borders and terror.

While there are no armies of the Blue and the Gray exchanging fire on grassy hills, earlier this month cities across America remembered the courageous men and women in blue murdered by the racist supremacist and separatists of Black Lives Matter who deny that the lives of other races matter.

Last summer, Black Nationalist terrorist Micah Xavier Johnson murdered five police officers in Dallas. They were remembered on Police Memorial Day. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio intends to march in the racist Puerto Rican Parade honoring FALN terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera. FALN was responsible for maiming NYPD police officers including Angel Poggi who lost an eye and Richard Pascarella who lost his vision and five fingers.

When Bill Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama freed FALN terrorists, it was a declaration of war on Americans. Once again heroes in blue were being murdered by racist separatists backed by the Democrat political faction. Every police officer in blue murdered by left-wing racist terrorists is another casualty in the new civil war being fought against America by the radical left-wing “Resistance”.

We will never know how many men in blue fighting to preserve the unions of our communities against racist criminal terror were murdered or imprisoned through the actions of Barack Hussein Obama.

The left-wing tactics of racist terror are a deliberate effort to divide us.

Over 150 years after the Civil War, the Democrats have once again refused to recognize the Republican winner of an election. They have endeavored to bring down a democratically elected government by any means. Meanwhile their sanctuary cities and states are in a state of rebellion. Their judges seek to rule as unelected tyrants and their media urges on “Resistance” street violence on college campuses.

Millions of Americans on both sides recognize that a conflict is underway. Many of them feel helpless to stop it. And they wonder what can be done to avert it.

Memorial Day’s origins offer us one answer. Mutual respect.

Certain disagreements are intellectually, culturally and emotionally irreconcilable. The Civil War emerged out of such a conflict. The civil war we are sliding toward now is being born out of another. But mutual respect can make coexistence possible even in the face of fundamental divisions. And where there is no such respect, even minor differences become impossible to reconcile except through force.

The left expresses its radicalism as violent contempt. If it wants to understand where Trump came from, it need look no further than the contempt that its political and cultural leaders express for opponents. Its conviction of moral superiority makes it impossible for it to accept President Trump or his voters, and leads it to assault Trump supporters, vandalize memorials, attack the Constitution and openly plot subversion and secession.

Memorial Day arose not only as a way to honor those who fought for our side, but even those of our brethren who fought on the enemy side. Its lesson is that heroism does not occur only on the battlefield, but in the aftermath in which after trying to kill each other, we learn to live together as one people.

It takes one sort of moral courage to win a victory and another form of moral courage to rebuild afterward. Victory demands conviction. Rebuilding requires that we cast aside the conviction of superiority that war requires and to understand that our enemies are men like us.

The left is convinced of its utter moral superiority and the total moral inferiority of its enemies. Its utopian projects are pursued with ruthless violence and secured with unlimited power. Its enemies exist only to be brutally ground under. Those who are not of the left have no right to exist upon the earth. They are accorded no rights, no freedoms and no respect. Only a choice between slavery and death.

That is why the left wins its victories and then covers the land in blood. Its societies collapse into misery and repression. This was where the American Revolution differed so fundamentally from the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution. We celebrate that difference on the Fourth of July. It is also where the Civil War differed from so many other civil wars not in its battles, but in its aftermath. That is the great moral victory that we remember on Memorial Day. A mutual victory of national reunification.

The Civil War saved the Union. But the mutual respect of Decoration Day preserved it. If the Union is to survive, the Democrats must learn to respect those they have come to consider their enemies. History teaches us that mutual respect can either avert a civil war. Or it must be learned after a civil war.

This Memorial Day, let us hope that it will not take another civil war for respect to prevail.

***

CJR: I recently came across a very good explanation of the postmodernism ideology that has led to our current political climate by Dr. Jordan Peterson. This is a must watch:

***

Here is the audio of the book he refers to: (h/t Vlad Tepes)

Drive them out: Time to deport known American jihadis

CJR: Listen to Phil Haney pointing out that the phrase “drive them out”  appears in the Quran and has been used by jihadists to exhort Muslims to drive out the infidels. This phrase therefore may resonate with the Arab mindset. From Secure Freedom radio: Podcast (podcast2): Play in new window | Download

American Thinker, by Karin McQuillan, May 24, 2017:

The children of Manchester were killed by a Jihadi known to authorities.  So were the victims of 12 out of the 14 Islamic terror attacks in America under Obama’s watchful eye.  That must end.  Our terror watch list must become a terror deportation list.

President Trump went to the very heart of Islam, Saudi Arabia, and told the assembled leaders of the Muslem world they must drive the Jihadis out of their mosques, out of their communities, out of their country and out of this earth.

The Saudis are responsible for their country.  We are responsible for America.  Let us start right here and right now.  We need to drive all those who preach Jihad out of our American mosques, community, and country.

Preachers in America are not allowed to encourage murder or the overthrow of our government.  It is immoral and illegal to allow the preaching of Jihad in our mosques.  Yet time after time, whenever we have an Islamic atrocity in our country, we discover the killer attended a radical mosque.  One estimate is thathalf of the mosques in our country were founded by radical Muslim Brotherhood members.

In 2012, then-President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, banned radical imams from entering France; in 2016, France closed down a handful of radical mosques where they found terrorist weapons caches. We should do that and more.  We should close all radical mosques.  Especially for those who believe Islam is a religion of peace, it is clear these are not true religious institutions, but centers promoting Muslim supremacy, violence, and the suppression of other religions.

Make no mistake.  Islamism in America reaches far beyond mosque walls.  We have a pro-Jihadi curriculum in our schools, Jihadi preachers and speakers in ourmosques and prisonsJihadi bureaucrats and support staff in our government, Jihadi judges in our courts (one appointed by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie), and Jihadis serving on oversight committees of police departments, theFBI and Homeland Security.

President Trump is asking the Muslim leaders across the globe to step up.  We have to step up at home.  We have to step up at every level.  We need to support courageous citizen activists like Pamela Geller and Brigitte Gabrielle, the remarkable Charles Jacobs and Steven Emerson.  These heroic Americans have been carrying the burden to fight Jihad.  They have been doing it almost alone for years.  We need an all-out effort by city and state governments, Congress and every federal department, and yes, the president, who has to get moving.  They are supposed to protect us from organized killers.

Defending ourselves from Jihadi murderers is impossible, we are told by multiculturalists, without doing irreparable damage to freedom of religion andfreedom of speech.  Wrong.  Our freedom of religion and speech will beimpossible unless we stop the immigration of adherents of Sharia, and drive out American Jihadis.  Our Constitution does not require us to adopt as fellow citizens people who hate our constitutional freedoms, let alone those who are crazed with an evil piety to maim and kill infidels. Free speech has never protected those organizing violence.

Naturalized citizens who break their oath of citizenship can have their citizenship revoked.  Their American-born children and other American Muslims involved with terror supporting-Islamist groups should be declared enemy combatants, and appropriate action taken.

Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America

Oath

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

The multiculturalists who dominate our media, universities and the Democratic Party are in deep moral confusion. Their imperative is to protect their ideals.  Progressives would sacrifice all of us to the idol of their delusions.

They turn their faces away as innocents in the Middle East and Africa are kidnapped, burned alive, beheaded, raped, and tortured.  They are sad, but willing to do nothing, as innocent Christians and Jews in America and Europe are targeted on purpose, blown up, run over, and shot.

The multiculturalists enjoy that hit of moral superiority, each time they preach to us that we must tolerate Islam — if beautiful toleration requires our lives be snuffed out, they are willing to accept that price.  Terrorism, President Obama lectured us, is not an existential threat.  It was never a serious problem to him.

It is a serious problem to us.  We are not willing to sacrifice a single American life.  Toleration of evil is not good.  We are protecting our freedoms, not harming them, when we take up the burden of fighting jihad in America.  It is moral to drive Islamists out of our country.

The answer to known wolves (a phrase coined by Patrick Poole) is not a terror watch list, but swift deportation.

In France, within hours, national security risks are put on a plane to their country of origin; appeals may follow from the home country.

In the U.K., the Home Secretary has broad power to deport any foreign national whose removal would be ‘conducive to the public good.’  Appeals go to a special court, not to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

In Ireland, the Minister of Justice “would make no apology” for deporting people who support Islamic extremism without taking the case to court.

In America, it seems we treat national security threats little different from minor immigration violations.  We also deport national security risks, but we do it rarely and very slowly.  Our laws are not well designed for the 21st reality of the Jihadi threat.

The idea that we are helpless to stop Islamist murderers before they act is a purposeful lie, pushed by progressives and the D.C. swamp because they wish to do nothing, says Andrew McCarthy:

Virtually every time a terror attack has occurred, the actor initially portrayed as a solo plotter lurking under the government’s radar turns out to be — after not much digging — an already known (sometimes even, notorious) Islamic extremist.

As amply demonstrated by Poole’s reporting, catalogued here by PJ Media, “lone wolves” — virtually every single one — end up having actually had extensive connections to other Islamic extremists, radical mosques, and (on not rare occasions) jihadist training facilities.  There are, and can be, no lone wolves.  The very concept is inane, and only stems from a willfully blind aversion to the ideological foundation of jihadist terror: Islamic supremacism.

The global, scripturally rooted movement to impose sharia — in the West, to incrementally supersede our culture of reason, liberty, and equality with the repressive, discriminatory norms of classical Islamic law — is a pack. The wolves are members of the pack, and that’s why they are the antithesis of “lone” actors. And, indeed, they always turn out to be “known” precisely because their association with the pack, with components of the global movement, is what ought to have alerted us to the danger they portended before they struck.

Patrick Poole elaborates:

As I’ve noted here at PJ Media going back to October 2014, the “lone wolf” canard was spun by the Obama administration to exonerate themselves whenever a terror attack occurred….

The United States might not be suffering from terror — AT ALL — if our law enforcement agents had not been hamstrung by the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton “politically correct” approach to monitoring Muslim suspects.

They placed the sensitivities of Muslim Americans ahead of public safety. Not their rights — law enforcement already operates knowing that rights must be respected to successfully win a later prosecution in court.

Not their rights. Just their sensitivities.

We KNEW about virtually EVERY terrorist. But FAILED TO ACT IN TIME on virtually every terrorist.

We are done with tolerating Islamist murderers in our midst.  We agree with President Trump that Islamic extremism is evil and must be driven out of our mosques, our communities and our country.  Start driving, Mr. President.

Vox Voxplains Radical Islam As No Threat To Americans Or The West

Photo U.S. Department of Defense / Public Domain

The Federalist, by  Megan G. Oprea, May 12, 2017:

Will Wilkinson at Vox wants to warn us about the strange men influencing President Trump’s White House and pushing for the Muslim ban. But instead of settling for a reasonable critique of their beliefs—and there is certainly much to criticize—he opts for a full-throated insistence that there are no reasonable arguments to be made that radical Islam poses any threat to the United States or Western civilization.

Wilkinson begins by attacking the idea that there’s going to be an all-out war with Islam. Here, he focuses on Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart executive and Trump’s advisor, who has said, “We’re in a world war against a messianic mass movement of evil people, most of them inspired by a totalitarian ideology: Radical Islam.” I won’t defend Bannon’s views, because I don’t agree with many, but I will point out the confused assertions Wilkinson makes, showing his limited knowledge not only of Islam but of international affairs.

Wilkinson compares the military budgets and economic strengths of the United States and its NATO allies with those of the nine top-spending Muslim-majority countries, pointing out that the West has the obvious advantage. He’s right that radical Islam can’t really pose a threat to the United States or its NATO allies in military capacity to conduct traditional warfare. Then again, no one is really arguing that point.

Wilkinson goes on to dismiss Iran as a threat by simply saying it “spends less on its military than Canada.” Never mind the danger Iran poses throughout the Middle East, most specifically to our ally Israel, and the questionable status of its nuclear program. He also argues that Pakistan, the only Muslim nuclear power, is of no concern because we’re allies.

Yes, Lots of Muslims Support Hostile and Radical Policies

Finally, he acknowledges that “this is an exceedingly silly exercise. It shows only that even if the entire Muslim world were hostile to the United States, and unified in that hostility, it would not pose much of a threat. But how many radical anti-US Muslims are there? Not many. Again, the vast majority of the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims live in countries with which the US is friendly.”

He’s right that it’s a silly exercise. One of the reasons it’s silly is because he conflates the official position of a Muslim country’s government toward the United States with the number of “radical anti-US Muslims” in that country. Wilkinson apparently thinks that because Pakistan is officially a U.S. ally, its population must not adhere to a fundamentally anti-liberal interpretation of Islam, and the number of Pakistanis who do have those beliefs must be inconsequential.

In fact, vast numbers of Pakistanis inside and outside their government do have radical beliefs about Islam, which certainly made a difference in sheltering Osama bin Laden for ten years.

Wilkinson can barely bring himself to acknowledge that “Muslims in countries in which Islam is already recognized as the official religion do tend to support the integration of sharia into their countries’ legal codes.” In the Pew study he cites, this “tendency” is overwhelming in the largest Muslim-majority countries. He can’t come to terms with this because he doesn’t understand that in most of the Muslim world, although certainly not all, the integration of government and religion isn’t radical. It’s simply what Islam calls for, because Islam is a fundamentally political religion.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternative interpretations of Islam that reject that notion. There certainly are, especially among Muslims living in the West. But they aren’t even close to the majority in the Muslim world.

So why should we care whether Muslims outside the West want Sharia law or ascribe to fundamentalist views if it’s not an “existential threat,” as Wilkinson points out? We should care when it involves human rights, like equality for women and the LGBT community, or when it threatens our allies, like Israel, or promotes instability in a region, like in Syria and Iraq, or when it means sheltering terrorists who are plotting attacks against America. We should care, for example, when Jakarta’s Christian governor is imprisoned for insulting the Quran.

All Who Notice Radical Islam Are Not Steve Bannon

Wilkinson sets up a straw-man argument in which Bannon supposedly represents anyone who argues that there are real and threatening trends in the Muslim world that could not only affect Western liberal values but threaten the growth of peace, equality, and democracy around the world. Since Bannon is such an easy target, and has many oversized, sometimes hysterical, opinions about Islam, it’s easy to knock him down.

Although Wilkinson does acknowledge the existence of al-Qaeda and ISIS, he argues that “from the perspective of empirically grounded risk assessment, this barely ranks as a minor threat to American or Western life and limb. The threat to European or American civilization is zilch.” Again, another handy conflation, this time between the risk of a wholesale military defeat and the wearing away at the Western values of freedom, democracy, and the separation of church and state.

Here, Wilkinson shifts gear to attack the proposition that there’s a threat from “stealth jihad,” what he calls an intellectual “retreat” for those bested by his arguments against the all-out war theory.

A key assumption of stealth jihad propaganda is that something like ISIS’s fundamentalist vision of Islam — the medieval elements, the torture, the beheadings, the obsession with building a caliphate — is indeed the genuine article. On this view, Islam is essentially committed to the imposition of religious law, or sharia, on believers and nonbelievers alike.

In their heart of hearts, therefore, all Muslims are committed to replacing secular political authority with Islamic religious law. This makes Islam an inherently seditious doctrine impossible to square with loyalty to a secular liberal-democratic regime.

First, most of the people who are worried about stealth jihad are not concerned that we are going to begin seeing torture and beheadings in the West. As for the concept of building a caliphate and the implementation of Islamic law, as noted earlier Wilkinson is apparently unaware of some very basic concepts within Islam, not to mention beliefs held by the majority of Muslims around the world. But let’s just look at Muslims in the West.

There Is Good Data on Western Muslims, Lots of It Scary

Wilkinson claims that “There’s no good data on Muslim support for the incorporation of sharia into the official law of Western liberal democracies, because it’s irrelevant. Muslims are very small minorities throughout Europe and North America.” Offering only the example of German Muslims of Turkish descent as proof of how un-radical Muslims living in Western countries are, he points out that only 12 percent of Turks want to replace German law with Islamic law.

What he fails to note is that young Muslims in Western countries tend to hold far more radical views than the older generation does. A BBC poll from 2007 found that 36 percent of Muslims in the United Kingdom aged 16 to 24 think Muslims should be killed if they convert to another religion. Seventy-four percent think women should wear a veil. Eighty percent of young Turks in the Netherlands don’t think it’s wrong to commit jihad against a non-believer.

If there is no problem with integration, and if so few Muslims in the West believe in sharia, jihad, or any other number of fundamentalist values, then why is it that after the Bataclan massacre in Paris, it took police months to find the prime suspect because he was being hidden and sheltered in the largely Muslim Molenbeek neighborhood in Belgium?

Wilkinson thinks it’s crazy to believe that Muslims “seek to replace secular, democratic government with sharia,” but he’s willing to grant it to make the point that, even so, there are so few Muslims in the West that it doesn’t matter. “The means by which such tiny minorities could assert control in strong states dominated by other religions and robust liberal norms remains utterly mysterious.” Yet we’ve seen both here in the United States and in Europe the extent to which the Left bends over backward to accommodate Muslim communities and push back against any criticism of them whatsoever.

Whenever the topic of women’s rights in the Muslim world is brought up, there’s always a backlash from the Left, which prefers its multiculturalism to its feminism. Or take the Rotherham sex abuse scandal, in which city officials didn’t pursue evidence of a child sex ring because the perpetrators were of Pakistani origin and they were afraid of being accused of Islamophobia. Or the fact that whenever there’s a terrorist attack in the West perpetrated by a Muslim, there’s a stampede to insist it has nothing to do with Islam, despite the avowal of the attacker himself.

These efforts are significantly supported by Islamist organizations in the United States like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has taken upon itself to be the spokesman for American Muslims, pushing out more moderate voices, and which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, a terrorist organization. It would seem, contra Wilkinson, that fundamentalist interpretations of Islam do, indeed, have a strong influence in the West, despite being a small minority.

The Truth Is, the Muslim World Is Largely Illiberal

Unlike Wilkinson, I am not interested in making radical and absolutist claims. I don’t think we’re at war with Islam; I don’t think we’re about to see beheadings codified into law; and I don’t anticipate an imminent global battle between Western countries and Muslim countries.

I do, however, think that the Muslim world, while home to many kind and charitable people, is also largely illiberal—and that in itself is a problem that we should care about. The majority of Muslims in the West, especially in the United States, tend to be a self-selecting group of people open to moderate interpretations of Islam, which is one reason they have settled in the West to begin with.

But they are not all like that, and their voice is not as weak as Wilkinson would have us believe. What is most worrisome is the increasing de facto censorship of any criticism of Islam, even in its most extremist manifestations. That, not roving bands of machete-wielding mujahedeen, is what threatens Western civilization and liberal values.

Wilkinson concludes with an obtuse declaration that “In the real world…the idea that anything at all about the West could be threatened by ‘stealth jihad’ is either an expression of studied ignorance or a form of malicious religious intolerance.” His reductive argument would have been infinitely stronger had he understood the issue not as black and white, as a choice between believing the armies of Islam are marching on the West or denying there’s any reason for concern.

But Wilkinson made no real effort to persuade, which is why he’ll fail to convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with him. Then again, maybe his purpose was not to persuade, but merely to signal his own virtue.

Megan G. Oprea is editor of the foreign policy newsletter INBOUND. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Spain: “Pacifist” Imam Arrested on Terror Charges

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, May 11, 2017:

  • Several months after the New York Times published its hagiography of Shashaa, he was arrested for physically assaulting his third wife, who was hospitalized with a broken nose and shoulder. “The attack was obviously very brutal,” a hospital spokesperson said at the time. “What a man does with his wife does not concern the authorities,” Shashaa said.
  • Spanish High Court Judge Eloy Velasco ordered Shashaa — who lives in a 10,000 square meter (108,000 square foot) mansion in Teulada-Moraira, a small coastal town on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, with his four wives and 18 children — to be held in prison without bail.
  • Spanish authorities are now investigating the source of Shashaa’s wealth. His mosque in Munich was shuttered in October 2015 due to financial difficulties, while the mansion he purchased in Spain in February 2015 is said to be worth more than half a million euros.
  • More than two weeks after Shashaa was arrested, the New York Times still has not reported on the fate of its poster boy for Salafist pacifism.

Spanish authorities have arrested a Muslim cleric — whom the New York Times once praised for his efforts to fight radicalization within Germany’s Islamic community — for alleged ties to the Islamic State.

Hesham Shashaa (aka Abu Adam), a 46-year-old Egyptian-Palestinian, was detained near Alicante in southeastern Spain on April 26 on charges of aiding the Islamic State, extolling terrorism and promoting Salafi-jihadism.

The Spanish Interior Ministry said that Shashaa had facilitated the travel to Spain of Islamic State jihadists from Syria and Iraq by providing them with money, refuge and fake documents.

Most recently, Shashaa had made arrangements for two jihadists — who are the subjects of international arrest warrants for their membership of the Islamic State — to travel from Turkey to Spain by providing them with false passports.

In addition, Shashaa fraudulently tried to obtain for two jihadists letters of invitation with the aim of facilitating their travel from Egypt to Spain.

According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, Shashaa has also been charged with disseminating Islamic State propaganda:

“The detainee took advantage of his privileged position within the Islamic Community of the province of Alicante to spread content extolling attacks committed by the terrorist organization Islamic State and cruelly disparaging their victims. In addition, he used social networks as a tool to generate hate by publishing videos in which terrorist leaders indoctrinate their followers to engage in violent jihad.”

Jijona, in Alicante Province, Spain. (Image source: Getty Images)

On April 29, Spanish High Court Judge Eloy Velasco ordered Shashaa — who lives in a 10,000 square meter (108,000 square foot) mansion in Teulada-Moraira, a small coastal town on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, with his four wives and 18 children — to be held in prison without bail. Velasco ruled that Shashaa was a flight risk and that there was a danger he would repeat his criminal behavior (reiteración delictiva).

Shashaa settled in Spain in 2012, shortly after the New York Times published a glowing profile of his moderation while he was an imam at the Darul Quran mosque in Munich, Germany. The story, entitled “Munich Imam Strives to Dilute the Elixir of Radical Islam,” stated:

“A growing number of imams in Europe and the Middle East have denounced suicide missions and terrorist acts. Many of these imams, however, still view Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or Hamas as legitimate resistance movements, while Mr. Shashaa openly declares that they are violating the tenets of Islam.

“He travels to mosques and madrasas throughout Europe, as well as the Middle East and Pakistan, telling young Muslims that fighting against American troops and other forces is a violation of their religion. He condemns militant recruiters in his sermons, urges worshipers at Friday Prayer to call the police if they hear about plans for an attack and readily talks with law enforcement officials about the reasons for radicalization and the best way to combat it.”

In an interview with the Times, Shashaa portrayed himself as a pacifist:

“They [the militants] use the religion for their personal aims and declare war on Jews and Christians, but I want people to follow what Islam really says. We cannot just sit down and let other people hijack our religion.”

The Times also quoted a senior German security official, who said:

“We know that he speaks and works against terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and that is important. He is the only example of someone who is doing it in this way here in Germany, and in this sense he is effective.”

Shashaa told the Times that he ended up in Germany after he lost his briefcase there on a 2000 stopover while on his way to Britain from Romania, where he had been living. “Everything was gone, the papers, the money,” he said. “So I thought it was God’s will that I should stay here.”

Several months after the New York Times published its hagiography of Shashaa, he was arrested for physically assaulting his third wife, who was hospitalized with a broken nose and shoulder. “The attack was obviously very brutal,” a hospital spokesperson said at the time.

The woman, a Syrian, told police that she had wanted to live a more Western lifestyle; she wanted to find a job and stop wearing the hijab. Shashaa refused. After the woman called police, Shashaa refused to let them in. “What a man does with his wife does not concern the authorities,” he said. Shashaa was arrested and then released.

During a raid on Shashaa’s mosque in Munich, police found copies of a book — Women in the Shade of Islam — which has been banned in Germany because of its calls for violence against women. Shashaa defended his possession of the book: “I need to know what is in these books. How else will I know how to argue with recruiters?”

Spanish authorities believe Shashaa moved to Spain to evade German law enforcement, which had become increasingly suspicious of his activities. Die Zeit reported:

“In 2012, German intelligence called him a Salafist: He opposed a pluralistic society, repeatedly stated that a woman should not leave the house without her husband’s permission, and during the Gaza War in 2009 preached a sermon that disparaged Jews. He wants a theocracy, which would be inconsistent with the separation of powers, the rule of law and the parliamentary system. He posted several videos with extremist content. According to the 2012 intelligence findings, his claims to have distanced himself from extremism were deemed ‘questionable.'”

Shashaa, who does not speak Spanish, said he moved to Spain to establish a “center for cultural understanding.” Through an interpreter, Shashaa told a Spanish newspaper that “spreading culture is the best way to end prejudice and to promote tolerance.” He said that his cultural center would operate under the premise of “openness and integration” and that its doors would be “open to the whole world.” He added that the walls of the center “must be made of glass so that everyone can see how we are and what is going on in there.” Shashaa also insisted that “fundamentalism is a disease we must eradicate.”

Spanish authorities are now investigating the source of Shashaa’s wealth. His mosque in Munich was shuttered in October 2015 due to financial difficulties, while the mansion he purchased in Spain in February 2015 is said to be worth more than half a million euros.

Meanwhile, more than two weeks after Shashaa was arrested, the New York Times still has not reported on the fate of its poster boy for Salafist pacifism.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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