Political Islam Is Today’s Anti-American ‘Long March Through The Institutions’

The Federalist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, March 27, 2017:

The following is an excerpt of the Hoover Institution publication “The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It,” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You may read the full report here. ​ This excerpt was originally published in Defining Ideas. ​Copyright © 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.

It is refreshing and heartening that President Trump acknowledges the need for an ideological campaign against “radical Islam.” This deserves to be called a paradigm shift.

President Bush often referred to a “war on terror,” but terror is a tactic that can be used for a variety of ideological objectives. President Obama stated that he was opposed to “violent extremism” and even organized an international summit around this subject. Yet at times he made it seem as if he worried more about “Islamophobia” than about radical Islam.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, Obama declared: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” In what follows, however, I shall refer to “political Islam” rather than radical Islam.

Political Islam is not just a religion as most Western citizens recognize the term “religion,” a faith; it is also a political ideology, a legal order, and in many ways also a military doctrine associated with the campaigns of the Prophet Muhammad. Political Islam rejects any kind of distinction between religion and politics, mosque and state. Political Islam even rejects the modern state in favor of a caliphate. My central argument is that political Islam implies a constitutional order fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and with the “constitution of liberty” that is the foundation of the American way of life.

Yes, Islamists Have Everything to Do with Islam

There is no point in denying that political Islam as an ideology has its foundation in Islamic doctrine. However, “Islam,” “Islamism,” and “Muslims” are distinct concepts. Not all Muslims are Islamists, let alone violent, but all Islamists—including those who use violence—are Muslims. I believe the religion of Islam itself is indeed capable of reformation, if only to distinguish it more clearly from the political ideology of Islamism. But that task of reform can only be carried out by Muslims.

Insisting that radical Islamists have “nothing to do with Islam” has led U.S. policy makers to commit numerous strategic errors since 9/11. One is to distinguish between a “tiny” group of extremists and an “overwhelming” majority of “moderate” Muslims. I prefer to differentiate among Medina Muslims, who embrace the militant political ideology adopted by Muhammad in Medina; Mecca Muslims, who prefer the religion originally promoted by Muhammad in Mecca; and reformers, who are open to some kind of Muslim Reformation.

These distinctions have their origins in history. The formative period of Islam can be divided roughly into two phases: the spiritual phase, associated with Mecca, and the political phase that followed Muhammad’s move to Medina. There is a substantial difference between Qur’anic verses revealed in Mecca (largely spiritual in nature) and Qur’anic verses revealed in Medina (more political and even militaristic). There is also a difference in the behavior of the Prophet Muhammad: in Mecca, he was a spiritual preacher, but in Medina he became a political and military figure.

It cannot be said often enough that the United States is not at war with Islam or with Muslims. It is, however, bound to resist the political aspirations of Medina Muslims where those pose a direct threat to our civil and political liberties. It is also bound to ensure that Mecca Muslims and reforming Muslims enjoy the same protections as members of other religious communities who accept the fundamental principles of a free society. That includes protection from the tactics of intimidation that are so central to the ideology and practice of political Islam.

Background on Today’s State of Affairs

The conflict between the United States and political Islam in modern times dates back to at least 1979, when the U.S. embassy in Tehran was seized by Islamic revolutionaries and 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days. In the decades that followed, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania reminded Americans of the threat posed by political Islam.

But it was not until the 9/11 attacks that political Islam as an ideology attracted sustained public attention. The September 11, 2001, attacks were inspired by a political ideology that has its foundation in Islam, specifically its formative period in Medina.

Since 9/11, at least $1.7 trillion has been spent on combat and reconstruction costs in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The total budgetary cost of the wars and homeland security from 2001 through 2016 is more than $3.6 trillion. Yet in spite of the sacrifices of more than 5,000 armed service personnel who have lost their lives since 9/11 and the tens of thousands of American soldiers who have been wounded, today political Islam is on the rise around the world.

Violence is the most obvious—but not the only—manifestation of this trend. Jihadist groups have proliferated all over the Middle East and North Africa, especially where states are weak and civil wars rage (Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, not forgetting northern Nigeria). Islam-inspired terrorists also have a global reach. France is in a permanent state of emergency, while the United States has been profoundly shaken by terror attacks in Boston (the Marathon bombers); Fort Hood, Texas; San Bernardino, California; Orlando, Florida; and Ohio State University, to name but a few.

Of the last 16 years, the worst year for terrorism was 2014, with 93 countries experiencing attacks and 32,765 people killed. The second worst was 2015, with 29,376 deaths. Last year, four radical Islamic groups were responsible for 74 percent of all deaths from terrorism: the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. Although the Muslim world itself bears the heaviest burden of jihadist violence, the West is increasingly under attack.

How large is the jihadist movement in the world? In Pakistan alone, where the population is almost entirely Muslim, 13 percent of Muslims surveyed—more than 20 million people—said that bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies.

Disturbingly, the number of Western-born Muslim jihadists is sharply increasing. The United Nations estimated in November 2014 that some 15,000 foreign fighters from at least 80 nations have traveled to Syria to join the radical jihadists. Roughly a quarter of them come from Western Europe.

Yet the advance of political Islam manifests itself not only in acts of violence. Even as billions are spent on military intervention and drone strikes, the ideological infrastructure of political Islam in the United States continues to grow because officials are concerned only with criminal conspiracies to commit acts of violence, not with the ideology that inspires such acts.

According to one estimate, 10−15 percent of the world’s Muslims are Islamists. Out of well more than 1.6 billion, or 23 percent of the globe’s population, that implies more than 160 million individuals. Based on survey data on attitudes toward sharia in Muslim countries, total support for Islamist activities in the world is likely significantly higher than that estimate.

What Scholarship on Political Islam Says

There are two sets of academic literature aimed at helping policy makers grapple with the threat of radical Islam. In the first set, Islamic religious ideas form a marginal factor at best. Authors such as John Esposito, Marc Sageman, Hatem Bazian, and Karen Armstrong argue that a combination of variables such as poverty and corrupt political governance lies at the root of Islamic violence. They urge the U.S. government and its allies to tackle these “root causes.”

For these authors, devoting attention to religious motives is at best irrelevant, and at worst a harmful distraction. They are not concerned about political Islam as an ideology, only about individual acts of violence committed in its name.

A second set of scholars—which is growing in importance—sees a radical ideology derived from Islamic theology, principles, and concepts as the driving force of our current predicament. Scholars such as Michael Cook, Daniel Pipes, Jeffrey Bale, and David Cook, and authors such as Paul Berman and Graeme Wood, acknowledge that factors such as poverty and bad governance are relevant, but argue that U.S. policy makers should take seriously the religious ideology that underlies Islamist violence.

The failed polices since 9/11 (and even before) in the struggle against radical Islam were built on false premises derived from the first set of literature, which absolves Islam wholly of the atrocities that it inspires. As the failure of American strategy since 2001 has become increasingly clear, however, the view has gained ground that the ideology underlying Islamist violence must be tackled if our efforts are to be successful.

This view is not only held by a few Western scholars. All over the world, there are now Muslims who are engaged in a long-overdue process of reassessing Islamic thought, scripture, and laws with a view to reforming them. These Muslim reformers can be found in positions of leadership in some governments, in universities, in the press, and elsewhere. They are our natural allies. An important part of our future policies in the war on Islamic extremism should be to encourage and empower them.

It’s Time to Understand Dawa

From 9/11 until now, the dominant Western response to political Islam has been to focus only on “terror” and “violent extremism.” This approach has failed. In focusing only on acts of violence, we have ignored the ideology that justifies, promotes, celebrates, and encourages those acts. By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam (or “Islamism”) as an ideology and against those who spread that ideology, we have made a grave error.

If Islamism is the ideology, then dawa encompasses all the methods by which it is spread. The term “dawa” refers to activities carried out by Islamists to win adherents and enlist them in a campaign to impose sharia law on all societies. Dawa is not the Islamic equivalent of religious proselytizing, although it is often disguised as such by blending humanitarian activities with subversive political activities.

Dawa as practiced by Islamists employs a wide range of mechanisms to advance the goal of imposing Islamic law (sharia) on society. This includes proselytization, but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia. Islamists rely on both violent and nonviolent means to achieve their objectives.

Dawa is to the Islamists of today what the “long march through the institutions” was to twentieth-century Marxists. It is subversion from within, the use of religious freedom in order to undermine that very freedom. After Islamists gain power, dawa is to them what Gleichschaltung  (synchronization) of all aspects of German state, civil, and social institutions was to the National Socialists.

There are of course differences. The biggest difference is that dawa is rooted in the Islamic practice of attempting to convert non-Muslims to accept the message of Islam. As it is an ostensibly religious missionary activity, proponents of dawa enjoy a much greater protection by the law in free societies than Marxists or fascists did in the past.

Worse, Islamist groups have enjoyed not just protection but at times official sponsorship from government agencies duped into regarding them as representatives of “moderate Muslims” simply because they do not engage in violence. Islamist groups that have been treated in this way include:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
The Islamic Society of Boston

For organizations engaging in dawa, the main elements of the strategy are:

  • to have well-organized Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood claim to speak on behalf of all Muslims, while marginalizing Muslim reformers and dissidents.
  • to take ownership of immigration trends to encourage the “Islamization” of Western societies by invoking hijra, the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.
  • to reduce women to the status of reproductive machines for the purpose of demographic transformation.
  • to take advantage of the focus on “inclusion” by progressive political parties in democratic societies, then to force these parties to accept Islamist demands in the name of peaceful coexistence.
  • to take advantage of self-consciously progressive movements, effectively co-opting them.
  • to increase Islamists’ hold over the educational system, including some charter schools, “faith” schools, and home schooling.

Typically, Islamists study target societies to identify points of vulnerability. In the United States, Islamists focus on vulnerable African-American men within prison populations, as well as Hispanic and Native American communities. Recent targets of Islamist infiltration include the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter.

Agents of dawa also systematically lobby private-sector organizations, governments, and international bodies:

  • They seek to pressure governments to accede to Islamist demands on the grounds of freedom of religion or status as a religious minority.
  • They urge the United Nations and the European Council to combat “Islamophobia” by devising what amounts to censorship guidelines for politicians and journalists and by punishing those who dissent.
  • They press institutions such as the Associated Press to distort the language they use to suit Islamist objectives.
  • They wage sustained campaigns to discredit critics of radical Islam.

The Sinews of Dawa

The global infrastructure of dawa is well funded, persistent, and resilient. From 1973 through 2002, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spent an estimated $87 billion to promote dawa efforts abroad. Josh Martin estimates that, since the early 1970s, Middle Eastern charities have distributed $110 billion, $40 billion of which found its way to sub-Saharan Africa and contributed heavily to Islamist ideological indoctrination there.

Nongovernmental organizations in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia continue to distribute large sums overseas to finance ideological indoctrination and activities. Powerful foundations such as the Qatar Foundation continue to grant financial support and legitimacy to radical Islamic ideology around the world.

Many Islamic charitable foundations use zakat (mandatory charity) funds to mix humanitarian outreach with ideological indoctrination, laying the ground for future intolerance, misogyny, and jihad, even if no violence is used in the short term. When informal funding mechanisms are included, the zakat funds available could reach “hundreds of billions of dollars” worldwide each year.

The Key Problem Is Using Our Freedoms to End Them

Let it be said explicitly: The Islamists’ program is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, religious tolerance, the equality of men and women, the tolerance of different sexual orientations, and other fundamental human rights.

The biggest challenge the United States faces in combating political Islam, however, is the extent to which agents of dawa can exploit the constitutional and legal protections that guarantee American citizens freedom of religion and freedom of speech—freedoms that would of course be swept away if the Islamists achieved their goals.

In 2010, one senior American intelligence analyst summed up our predicament: “In the US there are First Amendment issues we’re cognizant of. It’s not a crime to radicalize, only when it turns to violence . . . America is thus vulnerable to a threat that is not only diversifying, but arguably intensifying.”

To give just one example: A cleric in Maryland, Imam Suleiman Bengharsa, has openly endorsed the Islamic State, posted gruesome videos, and praised terrorist attacks overseas. As of February 2017, however, he remains a free man and U.S. authorities insist nothing can be done against him because he has not yet plotted to commit a specific act of violence. One expert has said that Imam Bengharsa “can take his supporters right up to the line. It’s like making a cake and not putting in the final ingredient. It’s winks and nods all the way.” This is what we are up against.

The global constitution of political Islam is formidable. The Muslim Brotherhood, with its numerous American affiliates, is an important component, but not the only one. Even if one were able to eliminate the Brotherhood overnight, the ideological infrastructure of dawa would remain powerful. The network of radical Islamist preachers, “charities,” and organizations that perpetuate political Islam is already well established inside and outside the United States.

To resist the insidious advance of political Islam, we need to develop a strategy to counter not only those who use violence to advance their politico-religious objectives—the jihadists—but also the great and complex ideological infrastructure known as dawa, just as we countered both the Red Army and the ideology of communism in the Cold War. Focusing only on “terror” as a tactic is insufficient. We ignore at our peril the ideological infrastructure that supports political Islam in both its violent and its nonviolent forms.

It is not just that jihad is an extension of dawa; according to some observers, it is dawa by other means. Put differently, nonviolent and violent Islamists differ only on tactics; they share the same goal, which is to establish an unfree society ruled by strict sharia law. Institutionally, nonviolent Islamists have benefited from terror attacks committed by jihadists because such attacks make nonviolent Islamists appear moderate in the eyes of Western governments, even when their goals and values are not. This is known as the “positive radical flank effect. Ian Johnson, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, observed:

Al Qaeda was the best thing to happen to these [Islamist] groups. Nowadays, our bar is so low that if groups aren’t Al Qaeda, we’re happy. If they’re not overtly supporting terrorism, we think they’re okay. We don’t stop to think where the terrorism comes from, where the fish swim.

Dawa must therefore be countered as much as jihad.

Yet, as things stand, dawa cannot be countered. Its agents hide behind constitutional protections they would dismantle unhesitatingly were they in power. In 2017, Congress must therefore give the president the tools he needs to dismantle the infrastructure of dawa in the United States and to counter the spread of political Islam at home and abroad.

While recognizing that our freedoms are sacrosanct, we must also remember the wise words of Karl Popper, who memorably identified what he called “the paradox of tolerance,” namely that “unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.”

If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.

But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.

We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

Ayaan is a fellow at The Harvard Kennedy School, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
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This was a very good debate that took place in 2010. It is worth watching again if you have time:

On This ‘Day Without a Woman,’ Don’t Leave Women Oppressed by Sharia Law Behind

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LYNE LUCIEN/THE DAILY BEAST

The Daily Beast, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, March 8, 2017:

Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and the organizers of the Women’s March are holding another protest. This one is called A Day Without a Woman, in solidarity with those women who have lower wages and experience greater inequalities.

The protest encourages women to take the day off work, avoid shopping other than in small women- and minority-owned stores, and wear red.

The problems being protested against Wednesday—inequality, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity—are all too real for many disadvantaged women, but the legal protections for them are in place here in the United States. Women who are unfairly treated at work or discriminated against can stand up, speak out, protest in the streets, and take legal action. Not so for many women in other parts of the world for whom the hashtag #daywithoutawoman is all too apt.

Around the world women are subjected to “honor violence” and lack legal protections and access to health and social services. According to Amnesty International’s recent annual report, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, women and girls are denied equal status with men in law and are subject to gender-based violence, including sexual violence and killings perpetrated in the name of “honor.”

The relationship between the sexes in Muslim majority countries is inspired and often governed by a mix of tribal, traditional practices and Islamic law. Algerian author Kamel Daoud recently referred to this system as entailing “sexual misery” for both men and women throughout the Islamic world.Daoud favors the full emancipation of Muslim women, yet many commentators criticized him as being guilty of “Islamophobia,” a term increasingly used to silence meaningful debate.

International Women’s Day should be a day to raise our voices on behalf of women with no recourse to protect their rights. Yet I doubt Wednesday’s protesters will wave placards condemning the religious and cultural framework for women’s oppression under Sharia law. As a moral and legal code, Sharia law is demeaning and degrading to women. It requires women to be placed under the care of male guardians; it views a woman’s testimony in court as worth half that of a man’s; and it permits a husband to beat his wife. It’s not only women’s legal and sexual freedoms that are curtailed under Sharia but their economic freedoms as well. Women generally inherit half of the amount that men inherit, and their male guardian must consent to their choosing education, work, or travel.

In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and parts of Nigeria, where Sharia law underpins the judicial system, women’s rights suffer greatly.

There is a growing trend among some feminists to make excuses for Sharia law and claim it is nothing more than a personal moral guide, and therefore consistent with American constitutional liberties. Yet the rules that such “Sharia-lite feminists” voluntarily choose to follow are also invoked to oppress women—to marry them off, to constrain their economic and human rights, and to limit their freedom of expression—who have not consented to them. The moral conflict between Sharia and universal human rights should not be dismissed as a misunderstanding, but openly discussed.

Many Western feminists struggle to embrace universal women’s rights. Decades ago, Germaine Greer argued that attempts to outlaw female genital mutilation amounted to “an attack on cultural identity.” That type of deference to traditional practices, in the name of cultural sensitivity, hurts vulnerable women. These days, relativism remains strong. Too many feminists in the West are reluctant to condemn cultural practices that clearly harm women—female genital mutilation, polygamy, child marriage, marital rape, and honor violence, particularly in non-Western societies. Women’s rights are universal, and such practices cannot be accepted.

The revival of part of the women’s movement, catalyzed by the election of Donald Trump, has deeper roots than can be seen on the surface. Like Wednesday’s protest, a large portion of Western feminism has been captured by political ideologues and postmodern apologists. Rather than protecting women’s rights, many feminists are focused on signaling opposition to “right-wing” politics.

One of the organizers of the Women’s March movement recently tweeted: “If the right wing is defending or agreeing with you, you are probably on the wrong side. Re-evaluate your positions.”

I’m all for dissent, but that “us vs. them” mentality has caused political gridlock, even on humanitarian issues where the left and right should work together. Hostility and intolerance to others’ views have made rational discussion on important issues taboo. A robust defense of universal women’s rights should welcome support from both the left and the right, overcoming domestic partisan divisions in order to help women abroad attain their full rights.

This International Women’s Day, we should protest the oppression of women who have no access to legal protections. We should support those Muslim reformers, such as Asra Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser, and Irshad Manji, who seek to reform Islam in line with full legal equality between men and women. And we should strive to overcome domestic political divisions to defend the universality of women’s rights.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the founder of the AHA Foundation, which exists to protect women and girls from abuses of the sort described in this article.

Also see:

VanNess: Linda Sarsour, Women’s March Organizer and Fake Feminist

THEO WARGO/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

THEO WARGO/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

Breitbart, by Alex Vanness, Febtuary 3, 2017:

Linda Sarsour is a principal organizer for Woman’s March on Washington following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Her rise to liberal stardom following the march has occurred in spite of her support for anti-feminist views and outrageous attacks on anti-Sharia women leaders.

Sarsour, who serves as the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) and who was honored by former-President Obama’s White House as a “champion of change,” seems as if she makes it a point to attach herself to every social justice cause known to man and tie it to Palestine. For example, in November, she attached herself to the cause of blocking Dakota Access Pipeline and made sure to bring her Palestinian flag.

This shameless promotion could also be seen at the Women’s March as well. When addressing the crowd, she made sure to inject some Palestinian solidarity into the cause, stating “you can count on [her], your Palestinian Muslim sister to keep her voice loud.” She also made sure to note that she was her “Palestinian grandmother’s who lives in occupied territory wildest dream.”

However, her biggest splash that weekend was when the level of her hypocrisy towards the cause espoused by the Woman’s March was pointed out to the public.

Specifically, a tweet of Sarsour’s dismissing the misogynistic views of Saudi Arabia simply because the country has a paid maternity leave program, has been making the rounds on social media.

linda-sarsour-tweet-saudi-maternity-leave-2016

Sarsour dismisses the fact that women in Saudi Arabia are treated as second-class citizens who are unable to drive, interact with men, and dress as they please as inconsequential.

In addition to her dismissal of Saudi subjugation of women, she has attacked a documentary calling attention to the plight of women in the Islamic world. Sarsour has been a vocal critic of the executive producer of the film, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch Parliamentarian, ex-Muslim, and vocal critic of Islam who was also the victim of female genital mutilation.

In 2011, Sarsour took to twitter and vulgarly berated Hirsi Ali; and ACT for America founder, Brigitte Gabriel, and said, “I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.” This is especially in vulgar considering the suffering Hirsi Ali has endured. Shortly after the tweet was uncovered, instead of owning up to the vulgar tweet and apologizing, she tried to delete it before it was seen by too many people.

sarsour-ayaan-hirsi-ali-tweet-2011

Sarsour also has a long history of criticizing Israel in ways that cross the line into anti-Semitism and terrorist sympathizing.

She supports the discriminatory and terror-tied BDS Movement and has claimed that “nothing is creepier” than Zionism.

She called for solidarity with Muhammad Allan, a member of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad who has a history of recruiting suicide bombers.

After her hypocrisy towards Woman’s issue’s was exposed, she defended herself by describing attacks on her as fascist, claiming “Fascism is here” and that “[w]e cannot allow them to criminalize our leaders and movements using baseless claims… Remember, we are and can be the true #NeverAgain generation.”

She describes those supporting her as her “Love Army.” To them, legitimate criticisms of both her views and her associations ring hollow.

Groups that sponsored the march – including the official twitter account of Woman’s March, Human Rights Watch, Black Lives Matter, Amnesty International, and the Southern Poverty Law Center – have launched a full scale defense of Sarsour. The hashtag #IMarchWithLinda trended on Twitter.

Cable news personality Sally Kohn issued several tweets defending Sarsour, including calls for people to donate to the AAANY. I don’t think Kohn is aware that the AAANY used to receive financial support from Qatar Foundation International, an organization closely linked to the Qatari government. Additionally, because of her ties to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, the AAANY was able to secure $500,000 in funding for the AAANY.

Sarsour also received several celebrity endorsements from, among others, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, and Russell Simmons.

Hey, if Mark Ruffalo likes her she must be good, right?

While personal attestations are nice, they are not proof that someone’s even a good person. Even terrible people can find someone who thinks they’re nice.

Those supporting her do not care that she promotes terrorists; they don’t care that she vulgarly called for a victim of female genital mutilation to have her genitalia removed; and they are not concerned that she downplays misogyny in Saudi Arabia. As far as they’re concerned, she helped set up a March so therefore she’s the bees knees.

Sarsour is seen as a rising star in leftist circles and the Democratic Party.   The left needs to take the blinders off and take a long, hard look at the people they’re propping up as role models.

Alex VanNess is the director of the Middle East Peace & Security Project at The Center for Security Policy.

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Also see:

Keith Ellison’s Disinformation Campaign

ipt2by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 2, 2016

Confronted by his own words and facing a direct threat to his bid to become the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison flagrantly lied Thursday. We are releasing the full audio and transcript to prove this.

Two days earlier, the Investigative Project on Terrorism released audio of Ellison during a 2010 political fundraiser, criticizing what he saw as the inappropriate and disproportionate influence Israel carries over American foreign policy.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million,” said Ellison, D-Minn. “Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?”

In a statement Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it found Ellison’s comments “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” That’s because, “whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives.”

In an open letter to the ADL, Ellison falsely claimed that “the audio released was selectively edited and taken out of context.” He also claimed that he was merely “responding to a question about how Americans with roots in the Middle East could engage in the political process in a more effective way.” And then he chose to attack the messenger.

None of Ellison’s comments are true.

We have released the full audio of his remarks (click here to hear them and to read a complete transcript) to show no edits were made and to show the full context. Let him also explain this other clearly anti-Semitic comment he made: “But it makes all the sense in the world when you see that that country has mobilized its diaspora in America to do its bidding in America.”

Ellison and Context

As we reported, Ellison’s 2010 comments came during a fundraiser for Esam Omeish’s state assembly campaign. Omeish is a former president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group created by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. In 2007, Omeish was forced to resign from a Virginia immigration panel after the IPT produced video of him praising Palestinians in 2000 for learning that “the jihad way is the way to liberate your land.” A second video, shot two months earlier, shows Omeish congratulating “our brothers and sisters in [Palestine] for their bravery, for their giving up their lives for the sake of Allah.”

Just this week, Omeish posted a paean to the Muslim Brotherhood on Facebook.

Nihad Awad, the only executive director the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has ever had, also attended the Omeish fundraiser. Court records show Awad was a member of a Muslim Brotherhood created Hamas support network in the United States called the Palestine Committee. So was CAIR, the organization he leads.

Awad attended a pivotal 1993 gathering of committee members in Philadelphia, convened to discuss ways to “derail” the U.S. brokered Oslo Accords.

Palestine Committee members opposed it because it included recognition of Israel’s right to exist and because it empowered the secular Fatah movement over the Islamists in Hamas. We know this because the FBI secretly recorded the meeting.

He has never explained why he joined the otherspresent in referring to Hamas in the agreed-upon, yet crude code of reversing the spelling and speaking about “Samah.”

Six months later, Awad appeared in Miami, where he publicly stated that, after some research, “I am in support of the Hamas movement more than the PLO.”

When Keith Ellison stands before Omeish and Awad and asks whether it makes sense that America’s Middle East policy “is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people,” or when he says “that country [Israel] has mobilized its diaspora in America to do its bidding in America,” the context seems pretty clear.

Democrats should choose the candidate they think can best lead their party to success in the future. They might decide Ellison fits that description.

They do so armed with greater understanding of Ellison’s true feelings toward an issue pivotal for a lot of voters of all political persuasions.

Former Muslim warns that if Islam continues as is, the West will not

 (AP Photo/Shiho Fukada)

(AP Photo/Shiho Fukada)

Family Security Matters, by Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.) October 26, 2016:

A 1986 television commercial punch line for makers of Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup proved very successful in marketing their product. The line, “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV” was delivered by actor Peter Bergman who played a doctor on daytime television.

Seeking accurate medical advice, one left to choose between a real doctor and an actor playing one, obviously would opt for the former as a knowledgeable duty expert.

Why then, seeking to understand Islam, do we accept what our non-Muslim leaders tell us about the religion being peaceful, ignoring what we are told by real duty experts-those once-practicing Muslims more intimately knowledgeable about it?

President Barack Obama has supposedly read the Koran. He assures us, although not a Muslim himself, the religion is peaceful. Having grown up in Muslim countries, he may have played the role of a Muslim but he was not one. Thus, his repeated pronouncements Islam is peaceful should carry no more weight than a diagnosis of a real illness by an actor playing a doctor on television.

Somali-born author, activist and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a duty expert on Islam. Just like Christianity underwent a Protestant Reformation, she explains, Islam also needs reform. And, while she admits only Muslims can make it happen, “the West cannot remain on the sidelines as though the outcome of this struggle has nothing to do with us.”

Ali lived as a Muslim before experiencing its dark side. Forced into marriage with a man she never met, she experienced firsthand abuses directed at Muslim women. But, she warns, should the West remain on the sidelines concerning reform, terrorist attacks will continue.

Ali makes a connection Obama refuses to make. She warns [emphasis added]:

“I believe it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam, can somehow be divorced from the religion itself…Islam is not a religion of peace…There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world…The call to violence and justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred text of Islam. Moreover, this theologically-sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offences including, but not limited to, adultery, blasphemy, homosexuality and apostasy…Those who tolerate this intolerance do so at their peril.”

Clearly Ali, unlike Obama, sees the Koran as a spring-loaded trigger for violence-activated by numerous offenses-which, while viewed in the West as the exercise of individual rights, are viewed by Islam as crimes punishable by dismemberment or death.

Ali is dumbfounded Western liberals and progressives believing “so fervently in individual liberty and minority rights make common cause with the forces in the world that manifestly pose the greatest threat to that very freedom and those very minorities.”

As an example, Ali told of her experience, despite working for Muslim women’s rights and being invited to accept a degree from Brandeis University in 2014 for doing so, of then being disinvited by professors and students protesting her criticism of Islam.

“My disinvitation…was no favor to Muslims-just the opposite,” Ali explained. “By labeling critical examination of Islam as inherently racist, we make the chances of reformation far less likely.”

Ali points out, while other religions are fair game for criticism, we contort Western intellectual traditions, giving Islam a free pass-even ignoring Muslim activists who risk life and limb seeking Islam’s badly needed reform.

She notes Western hypocrisy in having supported Cold War activists seeking to reform the Soviet Union’s system, but ignoring today’s Muslim activists seeking to reform Islam.

“These are the Muslims we should be supporting for our sake as much as for the sake of Islam,” Ali says. Yet, “the West either ignores them or dismisses them as ‘not representative.’ This is a grave mistake…If we do, in fact, support political, social and religious freedom, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity. We need to say to Muslims living in the West, if you want to live in our societies, to share in the material benefits, then you need to accept that our freedoms are not optional. Islam is at the crossroads of reformation or self-destruction-but so is the West.”

There is a frighteningly real declaration Islamic expert Ali makes that clearly is at odds with representations by non-expert Obama. Ali states, “The call to violence and justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred text of Islam.”

Thus, Muslims answering the call need feel no remorse for their violence. This leaves non-Westerners to determine, among those invited into their countries as refugees and immigrants, who among them will heed the call. It is a near impossible task to screen out those who agree with this command now or, who may choose to obey it in the future.

The bottom line is this: every Muslim entering a non-Western nation does so with a license, issued by the Koran, to commit violence in Allah’s name. Just like one who obtains a fishing license, some will choose to use it and fish; some will not; but all have the right to do so.

Shockingly, while assuring us Islam is peaceful, Obama continues to embrace as such the Muslim Brotherhood. That Brotherhood’s basic tenet is a global caliphate-a tenet it cannot renounce and seeks to impose upon the world-violently if necessary. For that reason, even our U.K. ally has condemned Obama’s “peaceful” Brotherhood.

There is a basic misconception about Islam Obama perpetuates: It is not, as he claims, extremists who have hijacked Islam, trying to give it a violent spin; it is moderates who have hijacked the religion, trying to give it a peaceful one. The trigger for violence is written into the Koran for followers to obey.

It is time to heed the voice of a real expert on Islam and not that of he who plays one as our president.

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

Prager U Video: Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women

silence

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on why this matters more than ever.

Truth Revolt, June 27, 2016:

Are women oppressed in Muslim countries? What about in Islamic enclaves in the West? Are these places violating or fulfilling the Quran and Islamic law?

In Prager University’s newest video, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an author and activist who was raised a devout Muslim, describes the human rights crisis of our time, asks why feminists in the West don’t seem to care, and explains why immigration to the West from the Middle East means this issue matters more than ever.

Check out the short video above. Transcript below:

Culture matters. It ‘s the primary source of social progress or regression. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the status of women. The Judeo-Christian culture — and perhaps a more apt word is civilization — has produced over time the law codes, language and material prosperity that have greatly elevated women’s status.

But this progress is not shared everywhere.

There are still hundreds of millions of people that live in a culture  — the Islamic, for instance — that takes female inferiority for granted. Until recently, these cultures — the Western and the Islamic — were, for the most part, separated. But that is changing. Dramatically so.

Large numbers of immigrant men from the Middle East, South Asia and various parts of Africa have brought a different set of values to the West, specifically Europe.  More than a million arrived in 2015 alone. More are on the way.

As a result, crimes against girls and women — groping, harassments, assaults and rape – have risen sharply. These crimes illustrate the stark difference between the Western culture of the victims and that of the perpetrators.

Let me be clear: not all immigrant men, or even most, indulge in sex attacks or approve of such attacks, but it’s a grave mistake to deny that the value system of the attackers is radically different from the value system of the West. In the West women are emancipated and sexually autonomous. Religiosity and sexual behavior or sexual restraint is determined by women’s individual wishes. The other value system is one in which women are viewed as either commodities (that is, their worth depends on their virginity), or on the level of a prostitute if they are guilty of public “immodesty” (wearing a short skirt for example).

I do not believe these value systems can coexist. The question is which value system will prevail. Unfortunately, this remains an open question.

The current situation in Europe is deeply troubling: not only are Muslim women within Europe subject to considerable oppression in many ways, such norms now risk spreading to non-Muslim women who face harassment from Muslim men.

One would think that Western feminists in the United States and Europe would be very disturbed by this obvious misogyny.  But sadly, with few exceptions, this does not appear to be the case.

Common among many Western feminists is a type of moral confusion, in which women are said to be oppressed everywhere and that this oppression, in feminist Eve Ensler’s words, is “exactly the same” around the world, in the West just as in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

To me, this suggests too much moral relativism and an inadequate understanding of Shariah law.  It is true that the situation for women in the West is not perfect, but can anyone truly deny that women enjoy greater freedom and opportunities in the United States, France and Finland than they do in Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia?

Other feminists have also argued that non-Western women do not need “saving” and that any suggestion that they “need” help from Western feminists is insulting and condescending to non-Western women.

My perspective is a practical one: any efforts that help Muslim women — whether they live in the West or under Islamic governments should be encouraged. Every effort to pressure these governments to change unjust laws should be supported.

Western feminists — and female Western leaders — have a simple choice to make: either excuse the inexcusable, or demand reform in cultures and religious doctrines that continue to oppress women.

Nothing illustrates this better than what happened in Cologne, Germany on New Years Eve, 2015. That night, during the city’s traditional celebrations, numerous German women (467 at the last count) reported being sexually harassed or assaulted by men of North African and Arab origin. Within two months, 73 suspects had been identified — most of them from North Africa; 12 of them have been linked to sexual crimes. Yet, in response to the attacks, Cologne’s feminist Mayor Henriette Reker issued an “arm’s length” guideline to women. ” Just keep an arm’s length distance between you and a mob of Arab men, she advised Cologne’s female population, and you will be fine.

Mayor Reker’s comments underline the seriousness of the problem: a culture clash is upon us. The first step in resolving it is to unapologetically defend the values that have allowed women to flourish. Feminists with their organizations, networks and lobbying power need to be on the front lines on this battle. Their relevance depends on it. And so does the well being of countless women, Western and non-Western.

I’m Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Harvard University for Prager University.

SIGN THE PETITION! Demand that feminist activists fight for Muslim women! https://goo.gl/MmS1kq

***

Steve Coughlin drills down on the facts of Islamic law that Islam apologists either aren’t aware of or, in the case of stealth jihadists, purposely try to hide.

Responding to Muslim deceptions 1 Honour killings and innocence MRCTV:

Published on Jun 29, 2016 Vlad Tepes

Islam’s Jihad Against Homosexuals

BN-OL651_hirsia_J_20160613134428The rise of modern Islamic extremism has worsened an institutionalized Muslim homophobia.

WSJ, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, June 13, 2016:

The Orlando massacre is a hideous reminder to Americans that homophobia is an integral part of Islamic extremism. That isn’t to say that some people of other faiths and ideologies aren’t hostile to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community. Nor is to say that Islamic extremists don’t target other minorities, in addition to engaging in wholly indiscriminate violence. But it is important to establish why a man like Omar Mateen could be motivated to murder 49 people in a gay nightclub, interrupting the slaughter, as law-enforcement officials reported, to dial 911, proclaim his support for Islamic State and then pray to Allah.

I offer an explanation in the form of four propositions.

1. Muslim homophobia is institutionalized. Islamic law as derived from scripture, and as evolved over several centuries, not only condemns but prescribes cruel and unusual punishments for homosexuality.

2. Many Muslim-majority countries have laws that criminalize and punish homosexuals in line with Islamic law.

3. It is thus not surprising that the attitudes of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are homophobic and that many people from those countries take those attitudes with them when they migrate to the West.

4. The rise of modern Islamic extremism has worsened the intolerance toward homosexuality. Extremists don’t just commit violence against LGBT people. They also spread the prejudice globally by preaching that homosexuality is a disease and a crime.

Not all Muslims are homophobic. Many are gay or lesbian themselves. Some even have the courage to venture into the gender fluidity that the 21st century West has come to recognize. But these LGBT Muslims are running directly counter to their religion.

In his 2006 book “Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law,” the Dutch scholar Rudolph Peters notes that most schools of Islamic law proscribe homosexuality. They differ only on the mode of punishment. “The Malikites, the Shiites and some Shafi’ites and Hanbalites are of the opinion that the penalty is death, either by stoning (Malikites), the sword (some Shafi’ites and Hanbalites) or, at the discretion of the court, by killing the culprit in the usual manner with a sword, stoning him, throwing him from a (high) wall or burning him (Shiites).”

Under Shariah—Islamic law—those engaging in same-sex sexual acts can be sentenced to death in nearly a dozen countries or in large areas of them: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, the northern states of Nigeria, southern parts of Somalia, two provinces in Indonesia, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates. Death is also the penalty in the territories in northern Iraq and Syria controlled by ISIS.

Iran is notorious for hanging men accused of homosexual behavior. The Associated Press reports that since 2014 ISIS has executed at least 30 people in Syria and Iraq for being homosexual, including three men who were dropped from the top of a 100-foot building in Mosul in June 2015.

No fewer than 40 out of 57 Muslim-majority countries or territories have laws that criminalize homosexuality, prescribing punishments ranging from fines and short jail sentences to whippings and more than 10 years in prison or death.

These countries’ laws against homosexuality align with the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of their populations. In 2013 the Pew Research Center surveyed the beliefs of Muslims in 36 countries with a significant Muslim population or majority, including asking about their views of homosexuality. In 33 out of the 36 countries, more than 75% of those surveyed answered that homosexuality was “morally wrong,” and in only three did more than 10% of those surveyed believe that homosexuality was “morally acceptable.”

In many Muslim-majority countries—including Afghanistan, where Omar Mateen’s parents came from—LGBT people face as much danger from their families or vigilantes as they do from the authorities.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Islamic extremists condemn homosexuality in the strongest possible terms. The Middle East Media Research Institute reported in 2006 that whenSheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the world’s leading Sunni clerics and chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, was asked how gay people should be punished, he replied: “Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement. . . . The important thing is to treat this act as a crime.”

Such ideas travel. In 2009 Anjem Choudary, an infamous London imam and self-proclaimed “judge of the Shariah Court of the U.K.,” stated in a press conference that all homosexuals should be stoned to death. Here in the U.S., Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, has written: “Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption . . . No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.”

Farrokh Sekaleshfar, a Shiite cleric educated in London, declared of homosexuality in 2013: “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence.” He was speaking at the Husseini Islamic Center outside Orlando. Yes, Orlando. He spoke there again in April.

These men express their hostility toward the LGBT community only verbally, but the Orlando attack was hardly the first manifestation in the U.S. of Islamist antigay violence. During a New Year’s Eve celebration in the first hours of 2014, Musab Masmari tried to set fire to a gay nightclub in Seattle; he is serving 10 years in prison on federal arson charges. Law-enforcement officials say that Ali Muhammad Brown, an ISIS supporter who is now in prison for armed robbery, also faces charges for terrorism and four murders, including the 2014 execution of two men in Seattle outside of a gay nightclub.

Following the horrific attack in Orlando, people as usual have been rushing to judgment. President Obama blames lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration. Neither is right. There has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. The perpetrator in this case was born in the United States. This is not primarily about guns or immigration. It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.

Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of “Infidel” (Free Press, 2007) and “Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation” (HarperCollins, 2015).

An In-Depth Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam and the Defense of Western Civilization

ayaanPublished on Jun 1, 2016 by The New Criterion

For The New Criterion, Ben Weingarten, commentator and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media sits down with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ardent defender of Western civilization and individual liberty against Islamic supremacism, New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Caged Virgin,’ ‘Infidel’ and ‘Nomad’ and ‘Heretic,’ former Dutch MP, fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, founder of the AHA Foundation Ayaan Hirsi Ali and recipient of The New Criterion’s fourth annual Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture & Society for an in-depth interview. During their discussion, Weingarten and Ali discuss America’s inability under both Presidents Obama and Bush to recognize and defend against Islamic supremacism as the totalitarian existential threat of our time, the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West and the ideology of the global jihadist movement, the Islamization of Europe, how the West can defend its freedoms from a subversive global jihadist movement seeking to use those freedoms against us, the war on free speech in the West being waged by Islamic supremacists with the help wittingly or unwittingly of many on the Left and more. For more from The New Criterion’s April 2016 ‘Edmund Burke Award’ gala and other compelling content, check out The New Criterion’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNewCriterion/featured

Also see:

In defense of dissidence – Text of a lecture delivered by Ayaan Hirsi Ali after she received the fourth Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society.

Imam Who Threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali With Death For Apostasy Led Interfaith Service After Paris Attacks

Hirsi-Ali-ElBayly.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, APRIL 23, 2016

A Pennsylvania imam who was fired last year by the Bureau of Prisons for his claims that author and Harvard lecturer Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserved to be killed under Islamic law for apostatizing from Islam recently led an interfaith prayer service after the ISIS attacks in Paris last November.

Fouad ElBayly, the imam at the Islamic Center of Johnstown, led the Nov. 21 prayer event, where he invited the community saying:

The Islamic Center of Johnstown and all the Muslim communities in our region condemn the evil doing of the people who carried out that terrible attack against innocent people.

This is similar to the statements he made at a March 2002 prayer service for the 9/11 victims on United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, PA, not far from ElBayly’s mosque:

Imam Fouad El Bayly of the Islamic Center of Johnstown and Somersetasked people to be tolerant. He said the Muslim extremists who hijacked the plane also hijacked the Islamic faith.“In the name of God, in the name of peace, in the name of brotherhood, in the name of mankind, let there be peace,” he said. “We cannot condemn a nation, a religion, for the acts of a few.”

But peace and tolerance are are apparently hard concepts for ElBayly to follow himself.

Last year he was fired as a Bureau of Prisons chaplain at the Federal Correction Institute of Cumberland, MD after it was reported he was hired under a $10,500 February 2014 federal contract despite his 2007 comments calling for the killing of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He later received another $2,400 contract to teach Islam in the same federal prison in December 2014.

In January, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to the Bureau of Prisons inquiring about the flaws in their hiring process that led to ElBayly’s employment.

After it was revealed he had been hired, Hirsi Ali penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal expressing surprise that the imam who had threatened her with death was now employed by the Justice Department.

She also appeared on the Bill O’Reilly program discussing the controversy:

After his firing by the Bureau of Prison, ElBayly claimed his prior comments were “taken out of context.” And yet his own wife was quoted by the local media expressing the same sentiments:

“She is slandering God almighty himself, and making fools of anybody who believes in God,” said his wife, Patricia, a Somerset County native.

The issue between ElBayly and Hirsi Ali goes back to an invitation she received from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown in April 2007 to speak at their school, an event that ElBayly and the founder of the Johnstown mosque wanted shut down.

When Hirsi Ali appeared at the event, she was flanked by security guards. At the time, ElBayly was quoted by the local media saying he was having to restrain the mosque attendees from lashing out:

Islamic leaders tried unsuccessfully to convince university officials to cancel her appearance, arguing that her attacks against Muslims are “poisonous.”Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Islamic Center of Johnstown, feared her mere presence would incite violence. He said that in the eyes of the Islamic community, Hirsi Ali’s rejection of her Muslim faith and “all of her lies” warrant a death sentence.

He worried that someone would try to carry it out.

“I’m trying to control my people here. I don’t want people to get hot and cause trouble,” said ElBayly, whose community includes an active core of about 30 families and a number of others who attend occasional services and programs.

“We have no capacity to execute a sentence, but her sentence would be death for turning on her religion to make a profit and for speaking out against it.”

Several days later, the local media followed up again on her appearance at the school, where ElBayly stated plainly that under Islamic law she deserved to be killed:

Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali’s appearance.“She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death,” said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976 […]

Although ElBayly believes a death sentence is warranted for Hirsi Ali, he stressed that America is not the jurisdiction where such a crime should be punished. Instead, Hirsi Ali should be judged in a Muslim country after being given a trial, he added.

“If it is found that a person is mentally unstable, or a child or disabled, there should be no punishment,” he said. “It’s a very merciful religion if you try to understand it.”

A few weeks later, representatives of the mosque claimed that ElBayly had been removed from his position at the mosque and that they were shocked and rejected his statements:

“The board and members of the Islamic Center of Johnstown were shocked and regret the comments made by Imam ElBayly regarding the visit of author Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The statements regarding the Islamic Center’s reaction to her visit were incorrect, unfounded and not the views of its members,” Dennis J. Stofko, the center’s attorney, said in a letter to the Tribune-Review.Stofko indicated that ElBayly’s views “are not shared or tolerated by the Muslims” associated with the Johnstown center.

“The Islamic Center of Johnstown was established to foster religious tolerance, education and the exercise of its religious beliefs,” Stofko wrote, adding that members “strongly believe in exercising religious freedom, which is the right of all citizens. The Islamic Center of Johnstown sincerely respects the rights of individuals to speak their opinions openly and freely without the fear of reprisal.”

And yet despite the widespread claims he had been asked to resign and protests that his views did not represent the mosque or its attendees, ElBayly remains the imam at the Islamic Center of Johnstown today with no apparent break in his employment there.

Hirsi Ali shines in Debate on Islam

panel with HirsiMEF, by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
April 19, 2016

New York was recently the scene of a heated debate on the status of Muslim women under Islamic law. In it, one of the bravest women in the world, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, faced off against three other Muslim women and a hostile moderator, Barkha Dutt.

Dutt, known for her soft spot for Muslims in her own country of India, identified so much with the three Muslims attacking Hirsi Ali the New York Times mistakenly described her as a Muslim, reporting four powerful Muslim women had faced off against Hirsi Ali. (The paper later issued a correction).

The debate, hosted by the group “Women in the World,’ started with Dutt telling the packed audience that in her opinion all religions were misogynist and thus it was unfair to focus only on Islam.

The debate opened with the moderator telling the audience all religions are misogynist.

To reinforce her argument, Dutt equated the actions of Islamic fundamentalists to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, saying: “What he (Donald Trump) said about women, according to me, is so much worse, so much worse than the Muslim fundamentalists he seeks to keep out of the United States of America.”

Then, turning her guns on Hirsi Ali, Dutt asked: “There are so many misogynists and they belong to so many different religions, why are you picking only on Islam?”

Hirsi Ali immediately recognized she was being set up to run a gauntlet of criticism and so chose to go for the jugular.

I reject Islamic law because it’s totalitarian … because it’s bigoted and especially bigoted against women… Where Islamic law becomes the law of the land … women will need a male guardian, child marriage is reintroduced, you will be disinherited. If you are raped it’s your fault, and you will get stoned to death … I reject Islamic law because it’s inherently hostile to women. It is so bigoted.

To applause from the audience, Hirsi Ali concluded: “We will not defeat and we will not eradicate these practices, unless we talk about the principle, and the principle is enshrined in the Islamic law, unreformed.”

Dutt would not relent. She pushed Hirsi Ali further by suggesting that in her own country of India, Hindu women were as excluded as Muslim women from places of worship.

The response of a stern and visibly frustrated Hirsi Ali again drew applause from the audience. “We have 30 minutes to talk about women in Islam … can we please, for just these 30 minutes, focus on the topic,” she said.

In a bid to refute Hirsi Ali, Zahra Langhi, co-founder and director of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace, argued: “There’s no such thing as Islamic law – there’s something called sharia. It’s the dynamic process – it has to be contextualized.” (Dynamic? That’s a word not even Islamists would associate with sharia.)

One of the most heated moments occurred when Hirsi Ali brought up the issue of child marriage, giving the example of Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, who Islamic scholars insist was only six at marriage, while the marriage was consummated when she was only nine. “That is Islamic law,” Hirsi Ali asserted. That angered another panelist, leading to a later shouting match between the two that continued off stage after the event ended.

It seems conflicts within Islam that began 1,400 years ago on the deathbed of Prophet Muhammad are going to be with us for as long as we Muslims remain oblivious to our surroundings.

Apologies to the rest of you.

Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at theToronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Also see:

CPAC 2016: Fighting for Victory Against Radical Islam

CPAC 2016 Jim Hanson

Via C-SPAN, MARCH 3, 2016

Van Hipp moderated a panel discussion on combating radical Islam and cyberwarfare. Panelists included Representative Steve King (R-IA), Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Jim Hanson.

Via Counterjihad.com:

The most justly famous among the members of this panel was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch-American leader for the reform of Islam whose life has been in constant peril for her courageous activism.  Less famous, perhaps chiefly because his background is as a ‘quiet professional’ with the US Special Forces, is Jim Hanson, Executive Vice President of the Center for Security Policy.  Also featured was Representative Steve King, a thirteen year Congressman whose interest in these questions is well-known. The panel was chaired by Van Darrel Hipp Jr of American Defense International.

Jim Hanson called for clarity in defining the enemy, which he said was not easy because anyone who tries to engage the conversation is labeled a hater of Muslims.  All Muslims are not the enemy, he said:  there are plenty of good Muslims in the world.  “The problem is Muslims who believe that sharia — the Islamic totalitarian ideology, which is more than a religion — is their calling, and they must spread it around the world,” he said.  “ISIS is now an intercontinental Caliphate.”  While this is a larger percentage of Muslims than many want to admit, Hanson said, it is the enemy and must be defeated.  This enemy comes in two forms, he went on to say:  the easy-to-understand violent jihad, which everyone sees, and the front groups that work to pave the way for conversion to sharia compliance.  They are, indeed, behind the campaign to label anyone discussing the problem as hateful.  That is a core part of their strategy, Hanson said.  “You cannot possibly defeat an enemy you will not name:  the enemy is radical Islam, sharia-adherent Islam.”

Ali began by saying that Islam, as a set of ideas, can be discussed without slander to any race or ethnic group because Islam has adherents of all races and ethnic groups.  She called upon the peoples of representative democracies to correct their elected leaders when they “insult our intelligence” by trying to talk us out of what is plainly obvious about the threats we face.  She also pointed out that the taboo against criticism of Muhammad, or even depicting him, makes it impossible to understand Islam because he is the model every Muslim child is taught to emulate.  You have to be able to discuss and depict him to understand what the faith is trying to teach people to become.

Rep. King pointed out that the southern border of the United States could be easily defended from jihadist infiltration by building a wall, for less money than we are spending now just to “watch people come across.”

The panel discussion treated questions of security and immigration, including problems of getting Muslims to assimilate.  In the Netherlands, Ali said, there was a traditional thought that engaging Muslim immigrants in the political process would make them assimilate.  “That’s not going to happen,” she said, “if we self-censor.”  Just because of the refusal to talk about the ways in which Islam’s political traditions are problematic, bringing Muslims into the elected power structure did nothing to assimilate them in the Netherlands.  It just gave them power they used to push for sharia compliance.  The problems were compounded rather than relieved because of this self-censorship by citizens of the West.

View the rest of the discussion in the video above.  It is very much worth your time.

A Conversation With Ayaan Hirsi Ali

ayaanhirsiali (1)Weekly Standard, by Daniel Harper, Jan. 4, 2016:

The latest episide of Conversations With Bill Kristol features Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

“A best-selling author and fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the American Enterprise Institute, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a brave, impassioned, and provocative analyst of the problems in Islam today, including the dangers of what she calls ‘Islamic totalitarianism.’ In this conversation, Hirsi Ali narrates her own experiences as a young woman in Kenya attracted by radical Islam and explains the dangerous allure of Islamism to youth all over the world. She calls on Westerners to assert the superiority of liberal societies to political Islam—and argues that our current obsession with multiculturalism and political correctness has rendered us ill-equipped to do so,” writes the Foundation for Constitutional Government, the sponsor of the series.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: No More Unvetted Muslim Immigrants

ayaanhirsialiThe Daily Wire, by Robert Kraychik, Nov. 17, 2015:

Following last week’s Islamic terrorist attacking in Paris and the ongoing flood of Muslim refugees and migrants into Europe, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is calling on Europe to change its immigration policies and reinforce its border security.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Ali warned that if political leaders in Europe follow Merkel’s example of “making a virtue of the openness of their borders,” then right-wing populist movements will continue to grow. Given the threat of Islamic extremism, Ali says that Europe must revisit its treaties, laws, and policies in order to tighten its controls of the flow of people into and throughout the continent. She called for cultural and ideological screening of those wishing to make Europe their home.

Ali also called for a determined “war of ideas” against Islamists. European leaders, Ali said, must pursue the “infrastructure of indoctrination”: mosques, Muslim schools, and Islamic websites. Pretending that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims, however, will prevent this from being possible. Given the multicultural ethos of Europe, this recommendation of Ali’s is all the more difficult to actualize. Multiculturalism discourages cultural integration of immigrants, contributing to ghettoization and Balkanization. It is also fused with cultural relativism, further obstructing the acculturation of immigrants by discouraging the promotion of Western values. If no culture is superior to any other, why should Europe preserve its own in light of cultural change brought in by the mass immigration of Muslims? Ali’s proposal to proselytize the values of Western Civilization is only possible in an environment which believes in the superiority of Western values over alternatives.

Ali heralded Israel’s counterterrorism systems as a model to be emulated by European security services. From Israel’s founding, it has dealt with the threat of Islamic terrorism. Nowadays, Ali says, such a mass casualty attack in Israel as was seen in Paris is unthinkable. Islamic terrorists in Israel, she continued, are now relegated to using knives and vehicles. “We should stop demonizing Israel. We should start learning from Israel,” said Ali.

Joining Megyn Kelly last night, Ali exposited on her article. She said that President Barack Obama’s rhetorical strategy of denying the overlap between Islamic terrorism, Islam, and Muslims is a “failure.” After acknowledging that a nuanced grasp of Islam and Muslims is necessary in order not to indict the entire religious group for acts of Islamic terrorists, Ali stated that radical Islam must still be seen as a subset of Islam. The attempt to excise Jihadism and completely separate it from Islam and Muslims makes it impossible to effectively combat it. “We should start by naming it,” said Ali. Ali rebuked the view that carefully crafted rhetoric denying the religious underpinnings of Islamic terrorism will pacify its perpetrators.

Ali warned that this is a long-term struggle, saying, “Islamic extremism is older than this election cycle, and the last one, and 9/11. It’s going to outlast this election cycle.”

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Video: John Stossel “Censored in America”

censored StosselFox Business, by John Stossel, October 08, 2015{

America is the first country to say to its people: all of you have a right to speak. But today speech is under siege.

ISLAM: Americans fear speaking about Islam – and with good reason. Ten cartoonists were recently murdered for drawing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. Other critics have been shot, firebombed, and hacked to death. I interview people brave enough to speak out, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is on an Al Qaeda “Wanted Dead or Alive” hit list, and Bosch Fawstin, who won the “Draw Mohammad” cartoon event in Garland, Texas that was attacked by Islamic gunmen. They argue that if Americans want freedom, everyone must refuse to be censored by violent extremists.

CAMPUS CENSORSHIP: Students today are kept away from words and ideas they may find disturbing. “The Silencing” author, Kirsten Powers, says colleges are “ground zero” in the fight for free speech, but George Mason Professor Jeremy Mayer says complaints about censorship are right wing paranoia. Powers also argues that leftists have gone from opposing censorship to supporting it. They even attack their own for stepping outside left-wing orthodoxy; people who say the wrong thing lose jobs.

HOME RAIDS: In Wisconsin, police raided the homes of political activists, accusing them of illegal “collusion” with campaign staffs. Authorities confiscated their computers and cell phones, and ordered them (and their children!) not to speak to anyone about the raids. Recently Wisconsin’s Supreme Court revoked the speech ban, saying prosecutors “employed theories of law that did not exist.” But by then, Republican activists had been silenced for 5 years.

VICTIMS: The former CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich, Pax Dickinson of Business Insider, Paula Deen of the Food Network, and real estate entrepreneurs David and Jason Benham all lost jobs because of something they said.

MY AND MARK STEYN’S TAKE: Mark Steyn was prosecuted by the Canadian government for criticizing Islam. He spent his own money defending his right to speak and won. He explains why more speech, not less, is the answer to diverse ideas. Half a century ago, gay rights was an extremely minority idea. “It’s only because…you could argue your case…that a tiny little minority idea expanded.” That doesn’t happen in “control freak societies,” like the Muslim world, where “there’s nothing left to do but kill, and bomb, and shoot.”

Published by John Cerkez:

A Problem From Heaven – Why the United States Should Back Islam’s Reformation

Egyptian men read the Koran at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo,  September 2008 NASSER NURI / REUTERS

Egyptian men read the Koran at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, September 2008 NASSER NURI / REUTERS

Imagine a platform for Muslim dissidents that communicated their message through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Imagine ten reformist magazines for every one issue of the Islamic State’s Dabiq or al Qaeda’s Inspire. Imagine the argument for Islamic reform being available on radio and television in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, and Urdu. Imagine grants and prizes for leading religious reformers. Imagine support for schools that act as anti-madrasahs.

Such a strategy would also give the United States an opportunity to shift its alliances to those Muslim individuals and groups that actually share its values and practices: those who fight for a true Muslim reformation and who currently find themselves maligned, if not persecuted, by the very governments Washington props up.

Foreign Affairs, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, June 16, 2015:

We have a problem—not a problem from hell, but one that claims to come from heaven. That problem is sometimes called radical, or fundamentalist, Islam, and the self-styled Islamic State is just its latest iteration. But no one really understands it. In the summer of 2014, Major General Michael Nagata, the commander of U.S. special operations forces in the Middle East, admitted as much when talking about the Islamic State, or ISIS. “We do not understand the movement,” he said. “And until we do, we are not going to defeat it.” Although Nagata’s words are striking for their candor, there is nothing new about the state of affairs they describe. For years, U.S. policymakers have failed to grasp the nature of the threat posed by militant Islam and have almost entirely failed to mount an effective counteroffensive against it on the battlefield that matters most: the battlefield of ideas.

In the war of ideas, words matter. Last September, U.S. President Barack Obama insisted that the Islamic State “is not Islamic,” and later that month, he told the UN General Assembly that “Islam teaches peace.” In November, Obama condemned the beheading of the American aid worker Peter Kassig as “evil” but refused to use the term “radical Islam” to describe the ideology of his killers. The phrase is no longer heard in White House press briefings. The approved term is “violent extremism.”

The decision not to call violence committed in the name of Islam by its true name—jihad—is a strange one. It would be as if Western leaders during the Cold War had gone around calling communism an ideology of peace or condemning the Baader Meinhof Gang, a West German militant group, for not being true Marxists. It is time to drop the euphemisms and verbal contortions. A battle for the future of Islam is taking place between reformers and reactionaries, and its outcome matters. The United States needs to start helping the right side win.

TONGUE-TIED

How did the United States end up with a strategy based on Orwellian Newspeak? In the wake of 9/11, senior Bush administration officials sounded emphatic. “This is a battle for minds,” declared the Pentagon’s no. 2, Paul Wolfowitz, in 2002. But behind the scenes, there was a full-blown struggle going on about how to approach the subject of Islam. According to Joseph Bosco, who worked on strategic communications and Muslim outreach in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2002 to 2004, although some American officials defined Islam as inherently peaceful, others argued that, like Christianity, it had to go through a reformation. Eventually, an uneasy compromise was reached. “We bridged the divide by saying that most contemporary Muslims practice their faith peacefully and tolerantly, but a small, radical minority aspires to return to Islam’s harsh seventh century origins,” Bosco wrote in The National Interest.

Administration officials could not even agree on the target of their efforts. Was it global terrorism or Islamic extremism? Or was it the alleged root causes—poverty, Saudi funding, past errors of U.S. foreign policy, or something else altogether? There were “agonizing” meetings on the subject, one participant told U.S. News & World Report. “We couldn’t clarify what path to take, so it was dropped.”

It did not help that the issue cut across traditional bureaucratic demarcations. Officers from the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command argued for the integration of public diplomacy, press relations, and covert operations. State Department officials saw this as yet another attempt by the Pentagon to annex their turf. Veterans of the campaign trail warned against going negative on a religion—any religion—ahead of the 2004 election. For all these reasons, by the middle of that year, the Bush administration had next to no strategy. Government Accountability Office investigators told Congress that those responsible for public diplomacy at the State Department had no guidance. “Everybody who knows how to do this has been screaming,” one insider told U.S. News. But outside Foggy Bottom, no one could hear them scream.

Administration officials eventually settled on the “Muslim World Outreach” strategy, which relied partly on humanitarian projects carried out by the U.S. Agency for International Development and partly on Arabic-language media outlets funded by the U.S. government, such as Alhurra (a plain vanilla TV news channel) and Radio Sawa (a 24-hour pop music station that targets younger listeners). In effect, “Muslim World Outreach” meant not touching Islam at all. Karen Hughes, who was undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2005 to 2007, has said that she “became convinced that our nation should avoid the language of religion in our discussion of terrorist acts.”

Here, if in few other respects, there has been striking continuity from Bush to Obama. From 2009 to 2011, Judith McHale served in the same position that Hughes had. “This effort is not about a ‘war of ideas,’ or winning the hearts and minds of huge numbers of people,” McHale said in 2012. “It’s about using digital platforms to reach that small but dangerous group of people around the world who are considering turning to terrorism and persuading them to instead turn in a different direction.” The whole concept of “violent extremism” implies that the United States is fine with people being extremists, so long as they do not resort to violence. Yet this line of reasoning fails to understand the crucial link between those who preach jihad and those who then carry it out. It also fails to understand that at a pivotal moment, the United States has opted out of a debate about Islam’s future.

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