The Brotherhood must not be seen as moderates

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The National, by Hassan Hassan and Ola Salem, February 12, 2017

For many people, Yusuf Al Qaradawi epitomises moderate Islam. From banning female circumcision to allowing coeducation, the Qatar-based Egyptian cleric’s bold and progressive edicts have challenged conservative views for decades. But he often comes under fire for his views in favour of suicide bombing.

In April 2001, Dr Al Qaradawi said it was permissible for Palestinians to carry out suicide operations targeting Israelis, and described the tactic as “one of the greatest forms of jihad”. He was responding to a counter fatwa by Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Abdelaziz Al Sheikh. When Al Jazeera reported on the issue, it concluded: “Such a fatwa is specifically common among Palestinians fighting against the Israeli occupation.”

But the fatwa created a slippery slope. In 2014, Dr Al Qaradawi expanded the remit of his fatwa to civil wars in the Middle East. He said that it was acceptable for Syrians to blow themselves up, as long as the bomber acts as “part of a group”. Individuals cannot do it, he emphasised.

These attacks spare no one, including Muslim worshippers inside mosques. During Ramadan last year, for example, suicide attacks hit Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and killed nearly 350 people. A suicide attacker struck near the burial site of the Prophet Mohammed, killing four security guards.

After the attack in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Munir, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, asked clerics to rethink their opinion on suicide operations. “Killing innocent civilians has become common because suicide bombers rely on these fatwas to blow themselves up,” he said.

Suicide bombing is rejected by traditional clergy because suicide is explicitly prohibited in the Quran. Islamist clerics, such as Dr Al Qaradawi, who have a mainstream following legitimise views long perceived to be fringe and extremist. Also, these clerics sometimes preside over councils or are close to religious institutions that operate in the West. Dr Al Qaradawi is chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.

When he was criticised for his views on suicide bombing after the Medina attack, countless supporters expressed solidarity with him. Some pointed out that other clerics have also sanctioned suicide bombing.

What many of those who defended Dr Al Qaradawi’s view on suicide bombing do not realise, though, is that their cleric walked back on his edict in the summer.

“The Palestinian brothers were in need of the [tactic] to instal terror told in the hearts of Israelis,” he said in July. “They told me they no longer need it, so I told them I no longer approve of it.”

The way he disavowed the fatwa is telling – as though he prescribed medicine to a patient. The prescription was stopped because the patient no longer needed it. He failed to disapprove of the practice in general. He made no mention of his approval of the tactic in Syria. The genie is out of the bottle and the side effects are too damaging.

The story of Dr Al Qaradawi and the fatwa he issued more than 15 years ago should be part of the continuing debate over whether the new United States administration should designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The arguments raised by supposed experts tend to be ignorant of the insidious aspects of Islamism.

A key problem with the current debate is that opposition to the designation has led to outright apologism. Even if one argues that the US government should not label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, a mechanism to address the contribution of such groups to the jihadist world view should be in place. The opposite is happening: academics and so-called experts often call for engaging Islamists as representatives of Muslim communities, as the previous American administrations effectively did.

Suicide operations have become an accepted political tactic against opponents everywhere, not only by ISIL but also by groups that subscribe to less extremist ideologies. Should policymakers continue to ignore the fact that it is Islamist clerics such as Dr Al Qaradawi who approve of such tactics, in stark contrast to traditional clergy?

Designating the Brotherhood as a terroist group might not help, but something needs to be done to counter these views. How do the US and other countries determine that clerics such as Dr Al Qaradawi should be stopped from promoting violence in their communities or online? The Muslim Brotherhood affirm peaceful political engagement yet their television channels and writings promote extremism.

Experts who oppose the idea of designating the Brotherhood a terrorist group tend to gloss over such issues. Recognition of the troubling discourse and views that often help groom youngsters for jihadism is critical, if the world is to properly deal with the issue of terrorism.

Hassan Hassan is a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. Ola Salem is a journalist in Virginia, the United States

Trump has Islamic clerics wetting their pants

fatwa-amjaWND, by Leo Hohmann, January 9, 2017:

North American Islamic scholars have issued a legal ruling or “fatwa” in the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning victory and imminent presidency, instructing the faithful on what to expect and how they should respond to shifting political realities.

Changes are coming, warns the Assembly of Muslim Jurist of America, and Muslims are told to get ready. The fatwa is titled “AMJA Post-Election Statement: Principles and Roadmap.”

While the fatwa received no media attention, this declaration contains the principles to which imams in the nation’s more than 3,100 mosques will be looking for guidance on how to instruct their congregations.

Philip Haney, a retired Homeland Security officer and co-author of the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing,” said the document is loaded with coded language that signals a possible uptick in jihadist attacks during Trump’s presidency.

The fatwa starts out by referring to a “political storm” that has “taken over this country.”

The Islamic scholars at AMJA go on to explain that “Muslims of America are neither guests nor strangers” and they will strengthen their bonds with the country’s civil rights organizations and work to defend Muslim rights “whenever needed.”

“However, at the same time, we must always fulfill our obligations completely and be active participants in society working to protect the security and well-being of its inhabitants,” the fatwa states.

And what are their “obligations?”

“Their obligations are set by Shariah law,” Haney said.

The AMJA never had to issue such a declaration under President Obama because he gave the Muslim community everything they wanted, Haney said.  Now, they are expecting to meet resistance and they are preparing the troops.

“This whole fatwa is about fitnah,” Haney said.

“Fitnah” is an Arabic word meaning “trial” or “test,” which can take the form of oppression against Muslims in a society dominated by infidels. In the modern sense, “fitnah” equals “Islamophobia.”

“And the whole fitnah they expect to encounter is the new administration of Donald Trump,” Haney said. “That is what this whole fatwa is about, that the American Muslim community is about to encounter an intensification of what they consider Islamophobia.”

The AMJA’s Fatwa Committee is led by its senior member, the Egyptian-born radical Waleed Idris al-Maneese, imam of al-Faroq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, which has been attended by at least five Somali refugees who ended up being terrorists, as previously reported by WND.

The fatwa committee never mentions Trump by name, but it’s clear who they are talking about. They quote the Quran to reiterate that they themselves are the proper authorities to which all American Muslims should look for guidance in the coming days of trial.

“They’re laying the groundwork on the response to this fitnah,” says Haney. And what is the response?

While they don’t come right out and say it, the language of the directive will be understood by Muslims to mean that violent jihad could be within the realm of what is expected of them in the fight against the Trump-led fitnah or “oppression,” Haney said.

The threat is made with the following statement:

“There is no blame upon a country if it does what is needed to protect its interests and security as long as it does not transgress or oppress by denying or violating rights.”

Of course under Islamic law, where Muslims are able to rule, the government tramples all over people’s “rights,” especially those of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities. But in a Western democracy where Muslims are the minority, it helps further the cause of Islam to play the victim and claim to be “oppressed.”

“Osama Bin Laden was always talking about oppression,” Haney said. “These are capital offenses in Islam,” he added, as long as it is non-Muslims who are doing the oppressing. Otherwise it is expected that Muslims should oppress and subjugate non-Muslims where Muslims have the upper hand in a Muslim-majority society.

The fatwa continues by stating that Islam, with respect to its beliefs and legal foundations, is “unalterably fixed. It does not accept any replacement for change.”

That’s a warning to any moderates within the Islamic community, that they have no standing to make any claims on behalf of Islam, Haney said.

“What about all this talk about moderate Muslims? This is AMJA telling you there is no conceivable flexibility in Islam, it’s fixed, it will not change,” he said. “This ruling or fatwa is to accommodate anybody through any time or place, that’s why AMJA exists, to help Muslims in this non-Muslim community navigate the challenges of fitnah under Donald Trump.”

The fatwa states that only the AMJA can be trusted to represent the face of Islam in America:

“One must refer to the people of knowledge to know that the principle is being applied properly. A Muslim must comply with his faith and refer confusing or troublesome matters to the well-grounded scholars. AMJA is of the view that there has yet to occur – and they do not expect to occur – a situation in which one is required to flee with one’s faith or wherein one is excused from performing some parts of the faith’s teachings.”

“They’re telling the people you have to comply with the parameters of Shariah law,” Haney explains. “They’re telling Muslims, ‘we’re about to go down into a danger zone, so don’t go off on your own, you must listen to the enlightened ones.’

“They’re saying we’re not at that point yet where you need to flee. They’re telling you you’re not excused from observing Shariah law and we are telling you now you are obligated to keep it. You will flee America before you compromise with Shariah law. ”

The fatwa exhorts Muslims to “reach out to the other ethnic and religious group as well as political movements on the left and right. This will be the only way to stop those who deal in hate.”

The fatwa authors then re-emphasizing that Muslims must double down and support civil rights organizations, which signals that the Muslim community plans to step up its filing of lawsuits against governments and businesses that do not continue the Obama-era policies of affording special rights and privileges to Muslims and mosques that practice Shariah.

Without naming them, the call for donations is clearly directed at lining the coffers of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, which is an offshoot of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, identified as a co-conspirator in funding Hamas terrorists in the Holy Land Foundation trial of 2007.

The fatwa states:

“From among the most important obligations during this stage is to support those institutions and organizations that serve the Muslim community, such as those interested in defending freedoms, civil rights and political activism, those dedicated to social services and relief, and those dedicated to dawah, religious instruction and providing religious rulings.

“It is most unbelievable that there are some who cry over the state of the community and then they are too stingy to donate their time or money to such organizations. Worse than that are those who are even too stingy to pray for them or give them a kind word. But the worst of all are those who seek to destroy such organizations.”

‘Prepare for any possibility’

Haney said this is perhaps the most revealing segment of the fatwa.

“They’re telling you the whole structure of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States right there, and when you see it it’s as clear as day,” he said. “And they’re saying it is your obligation to support them.”

They see oncoming time of trial or Islamophobia as a test but that doesn’t alleviate the consequences for those people who are causing the difficulties for Muslims.

“That last line, where it says, ‘But the worst of all are those who seek to destroy such organizations’ is very revealing,” Haney said. “That is directed at those who go around trying to get CAIR out of our police departments, out of the FBI and out of our military. This could include Congress itself if they designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. This is the worst kind of fitnah, and what is the fate of those people? Jihad.”

The last admonition in the fatwa is perhaps the most chilling.

“No one knows the unseen except Allah. It is possible that an individual hates something while Allah has placed a lot of good for him in it. We must prepare for any possibility while hoping for the best outcomes.”

This comes directly from the Quran.

“The thing you hate you may have to do,” Haney says. “Devout Muslims know when they hear that phrase what it means. So it’s written in shorthand for those who know what it means.”

Flurry of lawsuits, activism on the way

So Haney, the career DHS officer who developed a database that could predict jihad attacks only to see it deleted from the DHS system by the Obama administration, expects to see an uptick not only in terrorist activity under the Trump administration. He believes America Muslims are also going to become more Shariah compliant.

“And that will spill over into the courts,” he said. “We will see more lawsuits filed, more allegations of hate crimes, hijab ripping, mosque defiling, and all those other things they consistently harp on are going to go up, because they see them as catalysts that reinforce this fatwa. They are going to be hyper-sensitive as a community to any perceived offense, because they are going into this new administration with the expectation that Trump is going to be oppressive, that they’re going to suffer, in other words an increase in Islamophobia, which is all fitnah is.

“So you’re going to hear the drumbeat of islamophobia louder and louder and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because if Trump actually does designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization, then AMJA is going to be one too, because they are a front for the Brotherhood that provides the guidance.”

“It will edge them closer to violence because they’re told they must comply with the principles of Shariah and fitnah, and when you’re presented with the fitnah you must fight against it,” he said.

Haney believes the AMJA fatwa should be studied by the Trump administration as he believes it telegraphs the Muslim leaders’ plan to “set the stage” for a new level of activism and violence.

The AMJA is not just an American organization. It’s a part of the global Islamic hierarchy.

“They come to these fatwa decisions after consulting with their brethren around the world. This is not an independent organization,” he said. “It’s a global consortium that speaks in a unified voice, and they wrote this fatwa specifically about their expectation of fitnah with the election, but did it in consultation with the global community of Islamic scholars.”

“It is a declaration,” he added. “They are telling the community how to respond to the new administration, and what they should do. This is a paramilitary declaration, a clarion call to the minutemen, ‘the British are coming, the British are coming’ and they are expecting an open confrontation and telling them in advance that those trying to shut these organizations [like CAIR] down are the worst.”

Also see:

U.S. Islamist Group: Fake Friendship with Non-Believers

Sheikh Waleed Basyouni is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA)-Fatwa and Research Committee and the Director of Texas Dawah Convention. He is pictured here giving a speech titled "Reclaiming Islam from the Extremists."

Sheikh Waleed Basyouni is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA)-Fatwa and Research Committee and the Director of Texas Dawah Convention. He is pictured here giving a speech titled “Reclaiming Islam from the Extremists.”

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, January 2, 2017:

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, an influential group that issues fatwas (Islamic religious declarations), teaches Muslims that they “are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly but never inwardly.”

The 2009 fatwa , which was originally brought to our attention by John Rossomando of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, cites Islamic scripture in its directive that Muslims must not befriend a non-believer over a Muslim except as a form of deception in response to a possible danger.

See the fatwa below:

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AMJA has a history of extremist fatwas and sermons, including teaching that Hamas is not a terrorist group and ruling out offensive jihad against the U.S. only as a matter of pragmatism. You can read more about their background here.

Because AMJA doesn’t get in front of the cameras or maintain a high profile, it is often overlooked as part of the Islamist network in the U.S., but its influence should be taken seriously. In 2014, it trained 200 imams at its conference in Texas. Last year’s imams’ conference was in Chicago, as will 2017’s.

Its leadership council also spearheads Islamic online universities in the U.S. Its fatwa committee includes clerics with positions in Washington, D.C., Michigan, Minnesota and Texas.

AMJA’s list of “our experts” and list of members includes Islamist clerics from across the country, including top leaders from the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, Al-Maghrib Institute, the North American Imams Federation, the Muslim Association of Virginia and various mosques. The lists also include many international clerics, even though AMJA presents itself as an American organization.

The group’s influence can be seen behind efforts undertaken by the more publicity-hungry Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that the Justice Department identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front that deceptively casts itself as a “moderate” civil rights group.

When I was booked to give educational counter-terrorism training to law enforcement in California, the San Diego chapter of CAIR responded aggressively, going so far as to compare my training of law enforcement officials to having the leader of the KKK teach police about black people. The CAIR official leading the charge had only months earlier traveled all the way to Chicago to attend AMJA’s imams’conference.

AMJA can serve as a window into the Islamist strategy. The extremism of AMJA is so clear that it cannot effectively operate in the limelight, so it stays away. Instead, the so-called “moderates” that serve as experts go in front of the cameras to wage their jihad against Islamism’s enemies.

When they speak, the official titles they have with their primary “moderate” organizations are used. But they are part of AMJA’s network even though few know it and the affiliation won’t show up in a byline in an article or interview. All it takes is using a different title and the AMJA member is never held accountable for the group’s radical fatwas.

However, these people must be held accountable. No genuine Muslim reformer will join AMJA. If a cleric involved with AMJA is positioning himself as an unobjectionable moderate to unbelievers, he is following his group’s radical fatwa.

University Spikes Lecture Due to ‘Hateful’ Chalk Messages Criticizing Terrorists

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Breitbart, by John Hayward, April 21, 2016:

It’s yet another story of politically-correct lunacy involving a university losing its collective cookies over chalk writings, but this time the “hateful” speech isn’t Donald Trump’s name.

It’s the question: “Why do terrorists hate America?”

That message, repeated in chalk advertisements and flyers, is the reason Wingate University in North Carolina cited when revoking the funding for a lecture by Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim of Egyptian descent. She is the author of several books, including Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad For America, Israel, and the War on Terror, and most recently The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East.

An administrator for Wingate University emailed Young Americans for Freedom, organizers of the event, to say that chalk advertisements for the lecture were of “extreme concern.”

“Concerns have also come to my attention regarding ‘flyers’ that have been posted around campus and although I have not seen them personally, this in conjunction with the concern of a number of individuals that have reached out to me is yet again concerning,” the administrator added.

Evidently not a matter of concern was the administrator’s admission that she hadn’t even seen the concerning messages that made her concerned enough to pull the plug on the concerning lecture this uncertain number of unnamed individuals expressed their concerns about.

The flyers and chalk drawings in question included the title of Darwish’s lecture: “Why Terrorists Hate America and the West.”

“We do not promote and/or associate hate with a Faith Lyceum event,” the administrator declared — an interesting standard, given that the Lyceum program compares itself to Aristotle’s lectures, boasts of airing “big ideas,” and claims to be a program “designed to expose students to ideas and opportunities they don’t have in the classroom.”

“I am requesting that you immediately remove all flyers that promote this event as a Lyceum and would ask that you remove all chalk advertisements as well,” the administrator told the YAF. “With this no longer being a Lyceum, I also am no longer able to fund this event and ask that you please plan accordingly.”

The Wingate YAF denounced the administrator’s decision as “cowardly” and “stepped in to pay the additional cost in order to ensure that students at Wingate University will have the opportunity to hear Nonie Darwish speak.”

“There are constant attempts to silence us by many Islamic organizations. We are the No. 1 target of jihadists and ISIS sympathizers who are now in all fifty states,” Darwish told Fox News just a few weeks ago, when discussing the fatwa (Islamic religious edict) that has been issued for her death.

She said “we” because the Fox report discussed five other women sentenced to death by Islamist edicts. One of them, cartoonist Molly Norris, was literally erased from society by a tidal wave of death threats, and a fatwa from Al-Qaeda guru Anwar al-Awlaki, because she drew unpublished images of Mohammed that were leaked onto the Internet. “There is no more Molly,” her erstwhile publisher Seattle Weekly wrote, by way of bidding her farewell when she went into hiding.

Apparently the jihad sympathizers Darwish spoke of are active at Wingate University, and their “concerns” are taken very seriously by the administration.

The Jihad in Ireland

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By Counter Jihad, March 17, 2016:

An Irish Muslim named Sajid Aslam left his family in Ireland and went to join the armies of the Islamic State.  He is far from alone.  Though Ireland is a country of only five million people — and its Muslim population a tiny fraction of that number — it has contributed more fighters to ISIS than the massive nation of India with its vast Islamic population.  Ireland has also contributed seven times as many ISIS fighters per capita as the United States of America.

Recently a religious leader in Ireland raised concerns with the police about the visit of radical preachers from Kuwait. Muslim leaders in the Irish nation asked that the preachers sign an anti-extremism pledge that they authored.  The terms of the pledge would require these radical preachers to reject al Qaeda and ISIS as well as to praise Irish gays and lesbians.

“I am not in favour of banning foreign preachers but I am in favour of being very careful about bringing foreign speakers to speak to Muslims in Ireland,” said Dr Al Qadri, who is the Imam of the Al-Mustafa Mosque in Blanchardstown and chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council….

“I believe foreign speakers should be asked to sign a statement in which they condemn Osama bin Laden, ISIS and all extremist militants, call for tolerance and respect for all people including the LGBT community, respect democracy and the permissibility to vote in western countries,” he said….  “They don’t believe in democracy and to them, Osama Bin Laden is a hero. . . Dr Al Khamees is very outspoken against Shia Muslims, not just highlighting the difference in theology, but speaking of them in a very insulting and derogatory and sectarian manner,” he said.

The problem is that such pledges are completely unreliable. Under the Islamic law principle of taqiyya, it is perfectly fine — and can even be mandatory — to lie when it is useful to the cause of spreading Islam. There is no reason to think that even such a pledge as this would not be given gladly, and falsely, in order to have the chance to spread the dangerous ideology.

And it is dangerous.  According to the media advertising the event, one of the radical preachers held a fatwa session to give legal opinions on questions from the audience.

“He could be asked all type of questions in regards to living as a Muslim in the West,” said Al Qadari.  “This could range from religious affairs to political affairs such as democracy, engagement with non-Muslims, homosexuality and people will expect and assume the verdicts he will give are binding on them.”

Al Qadri said that both Kuwaiti were preachers of Wahhabism, the sect of Islam that produced both al Qaeda and the Islamic State.  We know what kind of answers such men would give.  They would likely lead to radicalized Muslims, who might follow other Irish Muslims in joining ISIS or stay to fight at home.

Also see:

PART II: Michael Rubin on Obama: ‘He is Constructing an Imaginary Iran’

unnamed1-640x480Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, April 17, 2015:

Breitbart’s Adelle Nazarian had the opportunity to speak with renowned Middle East expert and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Dr. Michael Rubin recently. Dr. Rubin provided his analysis on U.S.-Iran relations under the Obama Administration and provided a look into the future through the periscope of the past.

This is Part II of a two-part series. For the first installment, click here.

BREITBART: Why didn’t the Obama administration look back at Khomeini’s letter from 1988 calling for nuclear weapons and compare it to Khamenei’s supposed nuclear fatwa today when approaching the nuclear talks?

RUBIN: You’ve got a situation where the Obama Administration is cherry picking dishonestly. And frankly, if Obama acted this way as a university professor, he would be dismissed. He is constructing an imaginary Iran. Take the case of the fatwa.

Does the fatwa actually exist? According to open source center there was something delivered in 2014 that purports to  be the text of the fatwa to the United Nations. But in that text — according to the open source center of the United States — it doesn’t use the word “never.”

Here’s another problem. It’s Diplomacy 101 to know that you don’t rely on anything that’s not written down. Even with North Korea, we got the North Koreans and the Americans to agree on a piece of paper.

I’m not sure John Kerry is even competent to negotiate with a 5-year-old over chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I mean how could you not get something in writing? It’s the same thing with Obama and the fatwa. Get it in writing. How come Obama can’t put this up on the White House website? He puts up everything else.

BREITBART: Is it true that a fatwa, either verbalized or written, can be changed at any time?

RUBIN: Yes. It can. And Obama is operating in a vacuum.

It’s like Groundhog Day. In 2003, Mohammaed Javad Zarif negotiated with the Americans with regard to non-interference in Iraq. According to the Iranian press, the Iranians proceeded to break that agreement and inserted 2,000 Revolutionary Guardsmen into Iraq.

Now the question is, did Zarif lie? Or was he sincere but he didn’t have the power to ensure that all aspects of the Iranian government would abide by the agreement? And why is it that, 12 years later, we’re having the same discussion about the same man? Either Zarif is a liar, in which case we never should have sat down with him again. Or he’s powerless and a conman, in which case we should have never sat down with him again.

There is a major misconception under the current administration– with Obama and Kerry– that it was due to a lack of diplomacy under the Bush Administration that the number of centrifuges skyrocketed in Iran.

#1: Between 2000-2005, the European Union almost tripled its trade with Iran and sat down with them regularly. That directly corresponds to the rapid increase in Iranian centrifuges. It was because of diplomacy, not because of coercion.

#2. During that same period, the price of oil almost quintupled and the bulk of hard-currency windfall went into Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. That was under the so-called “reformists,” and this is why the so-called reformists like to claim that they are responsible for the success of the nuclear program. But this raises questions about why Obama would again repeat the same issue.

The Iranian economy, according to Iran’s Central Bank, had declined 5.4% in the year before we sat down to negotiate the joint plan of action. Now, Iran’s economy is in the black because we’ve given them an infusion of cash. But if we hadn’t given them that infusion of cash in conjunction with the halving of the price of oil, then we could literally force Iran to drink from the chalice of poison.

Those were the words that Khomeini said when he ended the Iran-Iraq War after swearing he would never do it until Jerusalem was liberated.

Giving someone $12 billion is not forcing them to drink from a chalice of poison. What Obama did was the equivalent to giving a five-year-old dessert first and then asking him to eat his spinach.

BREITBART: What has to be done strategically to stop Iran from expansion?

RUBIN: It’s the same thing with Putin and any other expansionist dictators. The more you appease, the more you show that your red lines are drawn in pink crayon and the more they are going to test you. What we forget is when Iran tested the U.S. under Reagan, Reagan responded with Operation Praying Mantis. He sank the Iranian Navy which gave way to a joke from that time. “Why does the Iranian Navy have glass bottomed-boats? So they can see their air force as well.”

Operation Praying Mantis was the largest surface naval engagement since WWII and it taught the Iranians that you don’t mess with the United States. Obama doesn’t understand that the Middle East isn’t a neighborhood to organize. He doesn’t understand that he’s the leader of the free world and not a zoning commissioner. In effect, the bad guys are running all over him. And the problem is, he’s too naive or too arrogant to care.

BREITBART: Should the next President of the United States of America be an expert on Iranian issues?

RUBIN: What you need in a presidential candidate is not someone that knows the Iran issue inside and out. What you need is someone that is true to their values, can provide moral leadership, is not afraid of moral clarity and understands the following:

#1. The importance of individual liberty, because individual liberty is a character which no dictatorship can withstand. You need someone who isn’t afraid of understanding that we should not live in a morally and culturally equivalent world.

#2. The United States is not the equal to countries like Iran or Russia. We are their moral superiors and as such it is important that we win and our adversaries lose. It’s important that freedom and liberty triumph.

You don’t need to be an expert in Iran to understand that. But you need to be someone who is not going to calibrate their foreign policy to the latest poll. Principles have to trump polls and I think that’s where Bush and Clinton are going to be disasters.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz

Obama Cites Ayatollah’s Fatwa on Road to Nuclear War

354x199xobama-iran2Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, March 26, 2015:

As Iran continues edging closer to developing nuclear weapons—a major threat to the entire Mideast region, especially longstanding U.S. ally Israel—U.S. President Obama has come to the aid of the Islamic Republic, by citing an Islamic fatwa no less. In a video recording posted on the White House’s website, Obama said, “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”

This is the same Rouhani who, after recently showcasing Iran’s newly developed missiles, described his nation’s diplomatic talks with the U.S. as an active “jihad”: “Our negotiations with the world powers are a source of national pride. Yesterday [during the Iran-Iraq War], your brave generals stood against the enemy on the battlefield and defended their country. Today, your diplomatic generals are defending [our nation] in the field of diplomacy–this, too, is jihad.”

Other administration officials—such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes—have previously referred to the ayatollah’s reported fatwa in the context of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The Obama administration’s citation of this fatwa is utterly wrongheaded on many levels.

First, the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims. Islamic prophet Muhammad himself regularly lied to his infidel enemies, often resulting in their murder (such as the case of Ka‘b ibn Ashraf). He also proclaimed that lying was permissible in three contexts, one being war. Moreover, throughout the centuries and due to historic circumstances (discussed here), taqiyya became second nature to the Shia—the sect currently ruling Iran.

Then there is the fact that Islamic law takes circumstance into account. When Muhammad was weak and outnumbered in Mecca, he preached peace and tolerance (hence why Meccan Suras appear peaceful); when he became strong in Medina, he preached war and went on the offensive (hence why Medinan Suras are violent and intolerant). This dichotomy—preach peace when weak, wage war when strong—has been Islamic modus operandi for centuries.

Speaking of fatwas, Dr. Yusuf Burhami, a prominent Islamic cleric in Egypt, recently said that destroying churches in Egypt is permissible if not advisable—but not if doing so prompts Western infidels to intervene and occupy Egypt, which they could do “because the condition of Muslims in the current era is well known to the nations of the world—they are weak.” Burhami further added that circumstance is everything, “just as the prophet allowed the Jews to remain in Khaibar after he opened [conquered] it, once Muslims grew in strength and number, [second caliph] Omar al-Khattab drove them out according to the prophet’s command, ‘Drive out the Jews and Christians from the Peninsula.’”

And who can forget Yasser Arafat’s reference to Muhammad’s Hudaybiya pact? In 1994, soon after negotiating a peace treaty criticized as conceding too much to Israel, Arafat addressed an assembly of Muslims and said: “I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the [infidel] Quraysh in Mecca.” In other words, like Muhammad, Arafat gave his word only to annul it once his ranks became strong enough to go on the offensive.

In short, it’s all very standard for Islamic leaders to say they are pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes while they are weaker than their infidel foes—as Iran is today—but once they acquire nukes the jihad can resume in earnest.

Then there is the fact that Shia theology is rife with apocalyptic aspirations. An August 2007 report compiled by the Congressional Research Service said: “Ahmadinejad [previous president of Iran] believes his mission is to prepare for the return of the 12th ‘Hidden’ Imam, whose return from occultation [i.e., “hiding”] would, according to Twelver Shi’ite doctrine, be accompanied by the establishment of Islam as the global religion.”

Like other Iranians, Ahmadinejad cited the eschatological (and canonical) hadith wherein Muhammad said: “The Hour [Judgment Day] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and until the Jews hide behind the trees and rocks and the trees and rocks will say, ‘O Muslim, O Servant of God! Here are the Jews! Come and kill them!”

Indeed, during a recent speech, supreme leader Khamenei—whose fatwa Obama is now citing—boasted about Iran’s uranium enrichment, even as his military commanders shouted, “Allah Akbar. Khamenei is the leader. Death to the enemies of the leadership. Death to America. Death to England. Death to hypocrites. Death to Israel.”

Yet despite all this—despite the fact that Islamic doctrine mandates lying to infidels; despite the fact that the Shia—Iran’s leadership—have perfected taqiyya into an art; despite the fact that Islamic law holds that Muslims should preach peace when weak, war when strong; despite the fact that Iranian leadership openly boasts that its nuclear negotiations are a “jihad” against the infidel; despite the fact that Iran has previously been exposed developing uranium enrichments suitable for nuclear warheads—here is Obama and his administration relying on the “word” of the ayatollah of Iran.