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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No tweaking of an executive order will overcome that.

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

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

It was never going to work that way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plaintiff behind Trump travel ban runs Muslim Brotherhood mosque

Imam Ismail Elshikh, a native of Egypt, leads a Muslim Brotherhood-tied mosque in Honolulu, Hawaii, and claims he is suffering ‘irreparable harm’ by President Trump’s temporary travel ban.

Imam born and raised in Egypt, migrated to U.S.

WND, by Leo Hohmann, March 16, 2017:

The main plaintiff in the Hawaii case blocking President Trump’s revised temporary travel ban is an imam with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The irony is hard to miss: Trump has talked about declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and now it is a Brotherhood-backed imam who is playing a key role in blocking his executive order on immigration.

Imam Ismail Elshikh, 39, leads the largest mosque in Hawaii and claims he is suffering “irreparable harm” from the president’s executive order, which places a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from six countries.

One of those six countries is Syria. Elshikh’s mother in law is Syrian and would not be able to visit her family in Hawaii for 90 days if Trump’s ban were allowed to go into effect.

Hawaii’s Obama-appointed federal judge, Derrick Watson, made sure the ban did not go into effect, striking it down Wednesday while buying Hawaii’s claim that it amounts to a “Muslim ban.” The state’s attorney general, along with co-plaintiff Elshikh, claims the ban would irreparably harm the state’s tourism industry and its Muslim families.

According to the lawsuit:

“Plaintiffs allege that the Executive Order subjects portions of the State’s population, including Dr. Elshikh and his family, to discrimination in violation of both the Constitution and the INA, denying them their right, among other things, to associate with family members overseas on the basis of their religion and national origin. The State purports that the Executive Order has injured its institutions, economy, and sovereign interest in maintaining the separation between church and state.”

Muslim Association of Hawaii mosque in Honolulu

The vast majority of Hawaii’s roughly 5,000 Muslims attend Elshikh’s mosque, the Muslim Association of Hawaii, which is located in a residential area of Manoa, Honolulu. The mosque, despite its ties to what many believe is an extremist and subversive organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, may now hold the key to whether the Trump travel ban passes muster in the federal court system.

Elshikh was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, the home base of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is to spread Shariah law throughout the world.

The proof that his mosque is affiliated with the Brotherhood is found in the court records for Honolulu County, which lists the deed holder as the North American Islamic Trust.

John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist and now private consultant to law enforcement at Understanding the Threat, said all mosques under the “Muslim Association of” moniker are typically affiliated with the Brotherhood.

But the clincher in this case is that the mosque property is traced to NAIT, “confirming it is a Muslim Brotherhood organization,” Guandolo told WND in an email.

Screenshot of the parcel ownership recorded at Honolulu County Courthouse

The Trump administration has said it is considering banning the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. by including it on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

NAIT is one of more than 200 unindicted co-conspirators named in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial of 2007-08 in Dallas, Texas. The organization has direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, as documented by the FBI in evidence presented at the trial. (See Sec. VII, Page 8 of court document.)

NAIT is a financial subsidiary of the Islamic Society of North America and holds the deed to more than 325 mosques in 42 U.S. states that are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Discover the Networks.

“Because NAIT controls the purse strings of these many properties, it can exercise ultimate authority over what they teach and what activities they conduct. Specifically, the Trust seeks to ensure that the institutions under its financial influence promote the principles of Sharia law and Wahhabism,” according to Discover the Networks.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Cairo, Egypt, by Hassan al-Banna. It has been banned by Egypt’s current regime, as well as in Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

A bill in Congress, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015-16, has been languishing in committee since November 2015. House Speaker Paul Ryan has not advanced the bill or done anything to promote it.

Several members of the Trump administration have said they favor declaring the Brotherhood a terrorism organization, but so far that has not happened. One high-level Trump adviser, Mike Flynn, said he was in favor of banning the Brotherhood before he was forced to resign for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, described the Brotherhood as “an agent of radical Islam” during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told Breitbart News last month that the U.S. should declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

“The fact is, the Brotherhood is a front for terrorism,” he said. “A number of Arab majority-Muslim countries, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have already designated it as a terrorist organization. I’ve had Muslim leaders from the Middle East say to me, ‘Are you people blind to what’s going on right in front of you and the role that the Brotherhood performs, really on an international basis?’”

But instead of banning the Brotherhood, the U.S. is letting a Brotherhood-backed imam dictate U.S. refugee and visa policy, Guandolo said.

Judge Watson, who was a Harvard law classmate of Barack Obama’s, issued an injunction halting Trump’s executive order from going into effect, agreeing with Hawaii’s claim that the temporary ban, 90 days on visa travelers and 120 days for refugees, would irreparably harm the state’s tourism industry and its Muslim families.

As for refugees, Hawaii takes very few. Of the 49 states participating in the federal refugee resettlement program, only Mississippi has taken in fewer refugees than Hawaii since 2002. Only 127 refugees have been sent to Hawaii since 2002, and nearly zero have been Muslims from the six nations on Trump’s list. The vast majority sent to Hawaii have been from Burma and Vietnam.

The six nations on Trump’s list for a 90-day moratorium on visas and a 120-day pause on refugee resettlement are Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.

Of the 127 refugees Hawaii has taken since the State Department started keeping online records in 2002, only one refugee has been from a country on Trump’s list, Iran, according to the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center database.

“There was one refugee from Iran who went to Hawaii and that probably was a Christian. That is the majority of what we are taking from Iran are Christians,” said Ann Corcoran, editor of Refugee Resettlement Watch, which has been tracking resettlements in the U.S. for the past 10 years. “The biggest group were from Burma and Vietnam, and there were none from Africa, so what we have in Hawaii are a bunch of hypocrites whining about ‘irreparable harm’ from pausing refugee resettlement when, in fact, they take hardly any refugees and almost no Muslim refugees.”

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Refuting the claim that the Explanatory Memorandum has been ‘debunked’

March 15, 2017 Secure Freedom Radio interview with STEPHEN COUGHLIN, Served in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate, Author of Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad: Podcast: Play in new window | Download

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Turkey rallies row: Germany and Netherlands harden stance

President Erdogan’s supporters held protests after two Turkish ministers were barred from attending rallies in the Netherlands

BBC, March 12, 2017:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany and the Netherlands of “Nazism” after officials blocked rallies there.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte called his comments “unacceptable”, while Germany’s foreign minister said he hoped Turkey would “return to its senses”.

Denmark’s leader said he was postponing a meeting with Turkey’s prime minister.

Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was concerned that “democratic principles are under great pressure” in Turkey.

He added that he had postponed the meeting later this month Binali Yildirim because: “With the current Turkish attacks on Holland the meeting cannot be seen separated from that.”

The rallies aim to encourage a large number of Turks living in Europe to vote yes in a referendum expanding the president’s powers.

However, planned rallies in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands were blocked after officials cited security concerns or said the rallies could stoke tensions.

A gathering in France however went ahead after local officials said it did not pose a threat.

Ties between the Turkish and Dutch leaders became particularly strained at the weekend after two Turkish ministers were barred from addressing rallies in Rotterdam, with one of them escorted to the German border.

Mr Erdogan likened the Netherlands to “a banana republic”, demanded international organisations impose sanctions on the Netherlands, and accused countries in the West of “Islamophobia”.

“I have said that I had thought that Nazism was over, but I was wrong. Nazism is alive in the West,” he added.



On Sunday, Mr Rutte demanded Mr Erdogan apologise for likening the Dutch to “Nazi fascists”.

“This country was bombed during the Second World War by Nazis. It’s totally unacceptable to talk in this way.”

The Netherlands would have to consider its response if Turkey continued on its current path, he added.

On Sunday a protester outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul briefly replaced the Dutch flag with a Turkish one

Meanwhile, German ministers also appeared to harden their rhetoric against Turkey.

Despite Chancellor Angela Merkel saying her government was not opposed to Turkish ministers attending rallies in Germany, as long as they are “duly announced”, her interior minister said he was opposed to Turkish political gatherings in Germany.

“A Turkish campaign has no business being here in Germany,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told local media.

Angela Merkel said it was “depressing” and “unacceptable” that Mr Erdogan likened the rally bans to “Nazi practices”

Separately, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Turkey had “destroyed the basis for further progress in co-operation”.

Reports say the owner of a venue in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, also cancelled a pro-Erdogan rally on Sunday that was to have been attended by Turkey’s agriculture minister.

Sweden’s foreign ministry said it was not involved in the decision and that the event could take place elsewhere.

What is the row about?

Turkey is holding a referendum on 16 April on whether to turn from a parliamentary to a presidential republic.

If successful, it would give sweeping new powers to the president, allowing him or her to appoint ministers, prepare the budget, choose the majority of senior judges and enact certain laws by decree.

President Erdogan is hoping to win sweeping new powers

What’s more, the president alone would be able to announce a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.

There are 5.5 million Turks living outside the country, with 1.4 million eligible voters in Germany alone – and the Yes campaign is keen to get them on side.

So a number of rallies have been planned for countries with large numbers of eligible voters, including Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

Why are countries trying to prevent the rallies?

Many of the countries, including Germany, have cited security concerns as the official reason.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Mr Erdogan was not welcome to hold rallies as this could increase friction and hinder integration.

A rally did go ahead in Metz in France on Sunday (AFP)

Many European nations have also expressed deep disquiet about Turkey’s response to the July coup attempt and the country’s perceived slide towards authoritarianism under President Erdogan.

Germany in particular has been critical of the mass arrests and purges that followed – with nearly 100,000 civil servants removed from their posts.

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Also see:

The radical ties of the Imam behind the Trump immigration lawsuit

Isrmail Elshikh | YouTube

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, March 10, 2017:

The plaintiff listed in Hawaii’s lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order on immigration is a member of an organization that has several current and former leaders tied to terrorist activity.

Dr. Ismail Elshikh — the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii — is suing Trump in reaction to the second version of his immigration moratorium, which was signed on Monday. The order imposed a 90-day hold on foreign nationals from six terror-tied countries from entering the United States.

According to the Muslim Association of Hawaii website, Imam Elshikh is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), a fringe Islamic organization that has a board and current leadership stacked with radical Islamic connections.

Kyle Shideler, a terrorism expert and director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, tells CR that it’s concerning that Imam Elshikh is a part of NAIF.

“Given NAIF’s history it should come as no surprise that the end goal of this lawsuit is, ultimately, weakening American counter-terrorism or immigration security efforts,” Shideler said.

He added: “That a member of an organization whose leaders have included a convicted war criminal, an individual who defended donating money to a Hamas linked charity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism bombing wants to tell the American people who they can admit for immigration should say a lot about why such an executive order is needed in the first place.”

Steven Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, also voiced his concerns about Elshikh’s associations. He tells CR:

“NAIF is an extremely radical Islamist group whose leaders and members have defended some of the most violent terrorist groups in the world. Some members have been found to be actually linked to acts of Islamist terrorism. This is a group, some prosecutors have argued, whose incitement for violence could qualify their categorization as a providing material support for terrorism.”

Current NAIF board members include the former leader of an al-Qaeda-connected mosque and a radical preacher. Former leaders include a man convicted of leading an international death squad, and a prominent Islamist preacher who has praised Osama bin Laden.

Current NAIF leadership

Omar Shahin, a current board member of NAIF, is the former president of the Islamic Center of Tucson, a mosque that was once utilized as the “de-facto al-Qaeda headquarters in the United States,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. As imam of the mosque, Shahin raised funds for the Holy Land Foundation, which was later shut down for funneling money to the terrorist group Hamas. He also held fundraisers for the Global Relief Foundation, which was later deemed by the U.S. Treasury Department to be connected to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

El Shikh received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Foundation Islamic Studies Department, which is headed by Shahin. The program was created in collaboration with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that was started as a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

Dr. Waleed Meneese, another NAIF board member, has explicitly called for fellow Muslims to kill Jews. “When the Children of Israel returned to cause corruption in the time of our Prophet Muhammad,” Meneese said in a recent sermon. “And they disbelieved him, God destroyed him at his hand. In any case, God Almighty has promised them destruction whenever they cause corruption,” he said of the Jewish people.

Meneese has also called for the killing of apostates from Islam, and for the treating of non-Muslims as second-class citizens.

Former NAIF leadership

Ashrafuzzaman Khan is the former president of NAIF and a current leader at the Muslim Brotherhood-connected Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). In 2013, he was tried in a Bangladesh court as he was accused of drafting a kill list of intellectuals inside the country. He was charged with 11 counts of war crimes as the alleged leader of the Al-Badr death squad. In 2013, he and an accomplice were sentenced in absentia for the abduction and murder of 18 people, including nine university professors, six journalists, and three physicians.

Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim was the chairman of NAIF at the turn of the century. In 2005, he agreed to deportation to Qatar after U.S. authorities were concerned about his potential connections to terrorist organizations. Ghoneim has called Osama bin Laden a “martyred heroic mujahid” and is now closely tied to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. He has been banned from entering several countries due to his radicalism.

Another former NAIF board member is Siraj Wahhaj, who was infamously listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Wahhaj testified in defense of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who served a life sentence for being the mastermind behind terrorist plots in the United States.

What else?

The North American Imam Federation is perhaps best known as the group that allegedly planned and staged the “flying imams” incident. After a 2006 NAIF conference, several imams connected to the group were booted from a domestic flight after exhibiting bizarre, threatening behavior, terrifying fellow passengers. NAIF and the Hamas-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) showcased the incident as a prime example of America’s supposed problem with “Islamophobia.”

President Trump’s immigration moratorium, blocking non-citizens from coming into the U.S. from the six terror havens of Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, will go into effect next week, barring a successful legal challenge by Elshikh and Hawaii or other actors.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel

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

Breitbart, by John Hayward, March 9, 2017:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s New Immigration Order Creates Database of Honor Killings

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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

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

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

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

Jeva Lange writes in The Week:

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

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

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

In that discussion, Sessions noted:

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

Obama State Department official Simon Henshaw replied:

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

Sessions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump is right to protect women from this scourge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Three hundred refugees are currently under FBI investigation.

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

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

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

6. There is a 10-day advance notice.

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

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

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

8. Syrian refugees are no longer singled out.

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

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

9. There are very wide exceptions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump’s Executive Order: Officials Must Identify Immigration Applicants Who Support ‘Acts of Violence’

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, March 6, 2017:

President Donald Trump’s immigration Executive Order directs federal officials to set new immigration rules that will identify and exclude people who support the use of violence, and also hints at the exclusion of people who embrace orthodox Islam’s “violent extremism.”

Senior officials “shall implement a program, as part of the process for [immigration] adjudications, to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry,” said Section 5 of the new Executive Order, which likely will reverse President Barack Obama’s open-door policies to foreign migrants. 

The anti-extremist language in the new March 6 Executive Order is narrower and more legalistic than the pro-American language in the judge-blocked Jan. 27 Executive Order, which said:

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Allied left-wing and Islamic advocates, including Democratic activist Khizr Khan, complained that Trump’s “hostile attitudes” language was intended to exclude immigrants with Islamic beliefs.

The language bolsters the often-ignored language in the current N-400 citizenship application document, which asks applicants if they have “EVER advocated (either directly or indirectly) the overthrow of any government by force or violence? Have you EVER persecuted (either directly or indirectly) any person because of race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion?”

The new memo also directs officials to collect and share information about immigrants and refugees who commit crimes, including the terror and anti-women crimes associated with people from Islamic-majority countries.  Section 11 of the new order declares officials should collect information about:

(i)    information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;

(ii)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;

(iii)  information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals.

 (iv)   any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

The new Executive Order says it does not “discriminate” against any particular religion, which is likely meant to rebut progressive claims that opposition to Islam’s combined religious and political ideology is similar to legal curbs on the practice of Christianity and other religions which do accept the separation of church from state.

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

The Executive order directs agency heads to quickly establish the new entry rules, saying:

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the program described in subsection (a) of this section within 60 days of the effective date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the effective date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the effective date of this order.

The president also directs the agencies to toughen routine screening of legal visitors, such as tourists or business executives. “In the first 20 days, [the Department of Homeland Security] will perform a global, country-by-country review of the identity and security information that each country provides to the U.S. Government to support U.S. visa and other immigration benefit determinations. Countries will then have 50 days to comply with requests from the U.S. Government to update or improve the quality of the information they provide.” 

Trump’s immigration and visitor rules will likely be very different from former President Obama’s open-door policies. Obama described his globalist policy in a Nov. 2014 speech to Democratic supporters in Chicago:

Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently. And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration.  If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks’ — even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.

Obama made the same diversity-first claim in September 2015:

When I hear folks talking as if somehow these [foreign] kids are different than my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow that they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American. I don’t believe that, I think it is wrong and I think we should do better, because that’s how America was made.

Obama’s outside policy is expressed more crudely by the alliance of Islamic and left-wing groups which are protesting Trump’s pro-America immigration policies.

Government Report: Islamists Building ‘Parallel Society’ in Sweden Aided By PC Culture of Silence

David Ramos/Getty

Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, March 4, 2017:

Aided by a politically correct culture of “tolerance”, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is secretly building a “parallel” society in Sweden by infiltrating organisations and political parties, a government report has concluded.

Surprisingly, the document takes aim at “political elites” for fostering a doctrine of multiculturalism and silence, which can help and facilitate the nefarious ends of anti-democratic organisation like the Brotherhood.

Somewhat predictably, however, the publication of such claims in Sweden – where open criticism of liberal, multicultural ideals is rare – has caused a row, with critics labelling the report “conspiratorial” and claiming it misrepresents Islam.

Published Friday, the document was commissioned by Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), part of the country’s Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for civil protection and public safety.

The paper’s authors claim the Brotherhood is working to increase the number of practicing Muslims in Sweden, encouraging tension with Secular society, and targeting political parties, NGOs, academic institutions and other civil society organisations.

They also slam the “established structure of values among the country’s political elite [which] places a high value on ‘acceptance’ and ‘tolerance’ of citizens who are in some sense different from the mainstream”.

In the report, the Islamism of the MB is described as a totalitarian political ideology born out of Islam, a religion. This can make it “difficult to oppose what on the surface appears to be (a vulnerable minority) religious rights”, it explains.

Critics, therefore, “run the risk of being called ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ and because of the situation in Swedish society such classifications endanger people’s careers”.

The press was quick to label these claims inflammatory, and 22 academics and “experts” in religion have published a blog post questioning the methodology of the research.

The academics – from many of Sweden’s leading universities – say it is “almost conspiratorial” to suggest criticism of Islamism is difficult in Sweden. They also insist the claim that the Brotherhood is building a parallel society is refuted in past research.

In response to the blog post, the department has refuted the criticism of their methodology, and the report’s editor, Magnus Norell, told public service broadcaster SVT:

“Had they smoked something before they read it? You just need to read the report. If someone doesn’t accept this, there’s not much I can do about it. It’s proven.”

Controversially in Sweden, the report also links Islamism and poor social integration to immigration.

“Islamists aim to build a parallel social structure competing with the rest of the Swedish society the values of its citizens. In this sense, MB’s activists pose a long-term challenge in terms of the country’s social cohesion”, it states.

Adding: “Migration from Africa and the Middle East is likely to continue in coming years, both in form of relatives and refugees…

“Given that MB’s goal is to increase the number of practising Muslims in Swedish or European territory, there is a great likelihood that a ‘tug of war’ will occur between the majority community and the Islamic community with the MB’s encouragement…”

The authors of the blog post objected to this claim. “The [report’s] authors seem to conclude that Swedish Islam is a homogeneous phenomenon and that Swedish Muslims are led by the Muslim Brotherhood…” they write.

“It is a conclusion that goes against the overall research, which rather points towards the Muslim community being diverse and there being competition between Muslim groups…”

Founded in 1826, the MB aims to create a global, Sunni Islamic Caliphate by organising Muslims politically. It is arguably the largest Islamist organisation in the world and has links to the Muslim Council of Britain and many other mainstream European Islamic institution.

The group has been accused of fostering links to militants and is considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Also see:

***

Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Banning Travel from Six Terror-Tied Countries

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, Mar 6, 2017:

President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order blocking the arrival of travelers from six conflict-prone countries for 90 days, and freezing the inflow of refugees from any country for the next 120 days. 

The new order shifts the task of stopping the refugees from officers at U.S. airports over to officials at U.S. embassies overseas, who have been told to stop preparing needed travel documents until Trump’s aides complete a national security review, according to documents released today by the White House.

The shift to overseas embassies may prevent judges from trying to block the new order, just as three California judges on Feb. 3 blocked part of Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order on refugees. Under the Constitution, judges have even less authority to block administrative actions in overseas embassies than judges now claim to have over officers working for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The order blocks document processing for would-be refugees from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. A seventh country, Iraq, was dropped from the list when Iraqi officials promised to upgrade their security checks, the White House said. 

The order also cuts the annual inflow of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000, and orders federal officials to determine the law allows local communities any say in where refugees are settled in the United States. 

The new order cancels the prior refugee order. Officials also say the new order begins March 16, so giving time for people with valid visas to get into the United States.

According to an explanation released by the White House:

Per the Executive Order, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, who are outside the United States and who did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017, and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible to enter the United States while the temporary suspension remains in effect. Thus any individual who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the Executive Order is not barred from entry …

Visas will not be revoked solely as a result of the Executive Order. The Department of State has broad authority under Section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to revoke visas…

Returning refugees and asylees, i.e., individuals who have already been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States, are explicitly excepted from this Executive Order. As such, they may continue to travel consistent with existing requirements….

The Executive Order is effective at 12:01 A.M., Eastern Standard Time, on March 16, 2017.

The new order also shows how the president has the full authority under the Constitution and the laws to curb the inflow of refugees, despite opposition form U.S-based Islamic groups, judges, progressives and Democratic party legislators. The presidential claim of legal authority is needed to push back against judges, such as the three California judges who declared Feb. 3 that U.S. businesses and individuals can get judges to grant visas to foreign individuals.  

The Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017, allows for the proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals. The United States has the world’s most generous immigration system, yet it has been repeatedly exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm. In order to ensure that the U.S. Government can conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the national security risks posed from our immigration system, the Executive Order imposes a 90-day suspension of entry to the United States of nationals of certain designated countries—countries that were designated by Congress and the Obama Administration as posing national security risks with respect to visa-free travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

The U.S. Government must ensure that those entering this country will not harm the American people after entering, and that they do not bear malicious intent toward the United States and its people. The Executive Order, together with the Presidential Memorandum, protects the United States from countries compromised by terrorism and ensures a more rigorous vetting process. This Executive Order ensures that we have a functional immigration system that safeguards our national security…

The Congress provided the President of the United States, in section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), with the authority to suspend the entry of any class of aliens the President deems detrimental to the national interest. This authority has been exercised repeatedly for decades, and has been a component of immigration law since the enactment of the original INA in 1952.

Read it all here and here

Pro-immigration groups complained about the new safety measures. “The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban,” said a statement from the ACLU. “Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people.”

***

Also see:

AP ‘Fact Check’ FAIL: Trump Claim on Terrorism and Immigration Correlates with Justice Dept. Data

trump-sotu-terrorism-immigration-sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 28, 2017:

During his Tuesday address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump cited Justice Department terrorism figures:

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.

We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm.

The Associated Press “fact check” on this claim pretends that Trump pulls this number out of thin air:

From the AP:

TRUMP: “According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.”

THE FACTS: It’s unclear what Justice Department data he’s citing, but the most recent government information that has come out doesn’t back up his claim. Just over half the people Trump talks about were actually born in the United States, according to research from the Department of Homeland Security revealed last week. That report said of 82 people the government determined were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to attempt or carry out an attack in the U.S., just over half were native-born citizens.

This terrorism data identifying 280 terrorism cases from 9/11/2001-12/31/2014 come from a Justice Department letter (dated January 13, 2016) sent to Senator Ted Cruz and then-Senator (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. This letter is provided below.

When the staff of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest examined the open-source data for the 580 cases, this is what they found:

Based on open-source research conducted on a list provided by the Department of Justice, the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest has determined that at least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014, were born abroad.  

On August 12, 2015, December 3, 2015, and January 11, 2016, letters were sent to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State, requesting the immigration histories of individuals implicated in terrorism since early 2014. For over 10 months, the Obama Administration has refused to provide this crucial and easily accessible information. Since sending the last letter on January 11, however, the Subcommittee has identified 18 additional individuals implicated in terrorism since early 2014 – bringing the total to 131, of whom at least 16 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 17 of whom are the natural-born citizen children of immigrants.

However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did provide the Subcommittee with a list it maintains of 580 individuals not only implicated, but convicted, of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014. DOJ has deferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide immigration background information regarding these individuals, but to this day, DHS has not done so – despite having the information on the foreign-born easily accessible in its records and databases.

Using this list, the Subcommittee conducted open-source research and determined that at least 380 of the 580 were foreign-born (71 were confirmed natural-born, and the remaining 129 are not known).  Of the 380 foreign-born, at least 24 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 33 had overstayed their visas. Additionally, of those born abroad, at least 62 were from Pakistan, 28 were from Lebanon, 22 were Palestinian, 21 were from Somalia, 20 were from Yemen, 19 were from Iraq, 16 were from Jordan, 17 were from Egypt, and 10 were from Afghanistan.

So Trump is correct: 380 of 580 (65.5%, or just under 2/3) were in fact foreign born.

It is no mystery, contra the Associated Press, where this data came from. And as you can note, all of these cases involved Category I, II, and III terrorism offenses.

That notwithstanding, some in the media and terrorism industry began throwing out other terrorism numbers from a number of difference sources with no reference to the Justice Department data cited by President Trump:

Gorka & Jasser: We Are Fighting ‘Not a War with Islam, but a War Inside Islam’

Flickr/AFP

Flickr/AFP

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 24, 2017:

Broadcasting live from CPAC 2017, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow spoke with Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser about national security, Islamist terrorism, and their panel discussion, “When Did World War III Begin?”

Marlow began by asking his guests what they expected from the national security segment of President Donald Trump’s scheduled address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

LISTEN:

“Exactly what we’ve heard before,” Gorka replied. “If you really want to understand the direction of the White House and how much everything changed at 12:01 on January the 20th, you look at two things: you look at a speech that really wasn’t carefully addressed or really paid enough attention to, that’s the Youngstown campaign speech, which was about the threat of jihad in general and what we’re going to do about ISIS.”

“Specifically, it really bears repeating, the inauguration, the address that the president gave at the inauguration, was explicit,” he continued. “Number one, we are going to eradicate the Islamic State – not degrade, not manage, not ameliorate – eradicate. And secondly, words have meaning. When he says our enemy is ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ that is a 180 degree change from the last eight years, when we weren’t allowed to even say who the enemy was.”

“Zuhdi knows it better than anybody because he understands that this isn’t about poverty or lack of education. It’s about people who are fighting for the soul of Islam – not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam; as King Abdullah, as General Sisi has said, for which version is going to win,” Gorka said.

Marlow asked Dr. Jasser about the topic of language control Gorka touched upon and the previous administration’s reluctance to use explicit language like “radical Islamic jihad” to describe the enemy.

“We got to this point because we had an administration who was being whispered to by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, by apologists, by governments that might be our allies against al-Qaeda and ISIS, but they love a whack-a-mole program. They don’t want to treat the disease, which is not ‘violent extremism’ but violent Islamism,” Jasser charged.

“We have to start focusing on our own values,” he urged. “There’s nothing more American than fighting theocracy, and yet the Left for the last eight years has invoked blasphemy laws in America by telling us we can’t criticize Islamist political movements.”

Jasser predicted the new administration would succeed in destroying ISIS but warned that “it will come back in another form – two, three, four years later – unless we engage Muslim reformists, like our Muslim reform movement, to treat the underlying theocracy.”

Marlow complained that the mainstream media swiftly denounce candid talk about the problem of radical Islam as “hate speech” even when confined to straightforward reporting without editorial opinion, making it difficult to have a constructive discussion about the problem.

“I think this is exactly what the Saudi regime, the Iranian Khomeinists, the Brotherhood want, is they want to dominate what Islam means,” Jasser said. “And yes, it’s not my Islam, but we have to thread that needle. Because if you don’t call it political Islam or Islamism as the threat, you’re not going to be able to figure out who to engage. We want to engage anti-Caliphate, anti-violent jihad Muslims who are pro-freedom, pro-equality of men and women, who share our values. If we don’t do that discernment in our verbiage, we’re going to miss it and actually end up helping our enemies and end up actually not only being the firefighters, but the arsonists. We have to stop that cycle.”

“Let’s just take it one level deeper. It’s not just empowering our enemies, which would be bad enough,” Gorka added. “If you don’t talk truthfully about who the enemy is, how are you going to win? What we saw in the last eight years is a policy that actually weakened our most important allies.”

“So when you’ve got the president of the most populous Arab nation in the world say this is a war for the heart of Islam, General Sisi, when you’ve got King Abdullah with his Amman statement saying, ‘Look, we have to stop the jihadis hijacking the religion’ – we have a president here who stands up and says, ‘No, no, no, these are not the droids you’re looking for, the religion has nothing to do with this,’” he elaborated, referring to the Obama administration’s insistence on framing the war as a struggle against generic violent extremism.

“Do you know who we hurt the most? Those Muslims who are on the front lines with the jihadis, who understand this isn’t about poverty or lack of education; it’s about an ideology. So we’ve actually hurt the people who are on the front line the most. We’re not prepared to do that anymore. This administration’s going to help the Jordanians, help the Egyptians, help them fight this war,” Gorka vowed.

“I think we have to own what it means to be diverse,” Jasser suggested. “What is ‘diversity’ in the Muslim community? It’s not ethnic diversity. Being Muslim is not an identity movement of a monolithic homogenous group. It is a diverse ideological movement that has fundamentalist, orthodox, liberal, secularists that are all in this Muslim diverse group. So if the Left actually believes in diversity different from what Pelosi whispered into Andre Carson’s ear – ‘Tell them you’re Muslim’ – Islam is not a race. They’re racializing the faith. That’s the biggest obstacle.”

“I think the other thing I hope to see is not only us being against jihadists, but what are we for,” he added. “I think that will be the difference between some of the dictators in the Middle East, that yes, some of them have been on our side against jihad, the militants, but we are the adults in the world, in being for liberty and freedom. I hope that will be part of a Trump Doctrine.”

Gorka agreed, saluting Jasser as “the point man here in America for sense, for common sense in this battle.”

“The saddest part is there are people like him in the Middle East. There are people every day risking their lives on their blog sites, in North Africa, in the Middle East pushing back on this, saying, ‘I’m a Muslim, but I don’t think an infidel needs to be killed.’ That means he’s put the crosshairs on his chest,” Gorka noted. “In some parts of the Muslim world, that’s an instant death sentence.”

“That’s why the four million Muslims in America need to step up and act because we can do things here that you just can’t do in the Middle East,” Jasser said. “They end up in prison. They end up slaughtered, tortured.”

Marlow proposed that “the stifling of speech in the Muslim world is really what has allowed a lot of the jihadist movements to flourish.”

“Why do you think they use the term ‘Islamophobia’ instead of talking about, yes, there might be some bigotry against Muslims in the West?” Jasser asked. “They use the term Islamophobia because they want to anthropomorphize Islam so that you don’t criticize it, and they suppress free speech. That’s how they invoke blasphemy laws in the West.”

“You’re absolutely right. The freedom of speech issue is huge in the Middle East because it’s a life and death issue in many cases,” Gorka said. “But here, it’s almost as important. It’s not life and death, but it is closing down the discussion.”

“You look at what’s happened in the last four weeks with this administration,” he said. “There’s a phrase in soccer: you play the man on the ball. We’re not going to talk about policies; we’re going to attack individuals, whether it’s Kellyanne, the president, myself, Steve Bannon. They do that how? ‘We don’t want to talk about the threat to America. You’re a racist. You’re an Islamophobe. You’re a xenophobe. Oh, well, in that case, we can’t talk to you.’ That’s as dangerous as just the constant ad hominem attacks because then there is no discussion.”

Jasser said his message to CPAC was that “there is hope” for a lasting victory in the long war against Islamist extremism.

“The first step is to defeat the militants, which this president will finally do,” he said. “The second step is to go back to our American roots and defeat theocracy, work with Muslims and our Muslim reform movement. We have a two-page declaration that can be used, I hope, not only to vet refugees, to figure out which groups are with us and against us. I hope we start doing security clearances through those who share our values.”

“There are so many that are – not in this administration, but that are in the government from the previous administration – that I think are Islamists, that might not be violent extremists, but we need to shift the axis of the lens of Homeland Security, foreign policy, to countering violent Islamism. There’s nothing this group here and the country can do to better empower reform-minded Muslims that share our values than to shift from this blasé CVE to CVI,” Jasser said, lampooning the Obama administration’s acronym for “Countering Violent Extremism.”

Gorka referred to CVE as “garbage from the last eight years that obfuscated the threat.”

He said the most important step taken by the new administration was President Trump’s executive order to temporarily limit immigration from the most unsecure Middle Eastern nations.

“Whatever the final version of the reform measures are, the fact is, when an Iraqi collars me in the halls of Congress and says, ‘My friends back home in Iraq applaud this measure because they know how many bad guys are in Iraq that want to come over here, so do it. Thank you,’” Gorka said.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is deputy assistant to President Trump and was formerly national security editor for Breitbart News. He is the author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6AM to 9AM Eastern.

Listen to the audio of the full interview above.

***

Sweden Top Cop on No Go Zones: Europe’s Open Borders ‘Has Brought Crime Here’

ROBERT GRANSTROM/TT,ROBERT GRANSTROM/AFP/Getty Images

ROBERT GRANSTROM/TT,ROBERT GRANSTROM/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Oliver JJ Lane, Feb. 23, 2017:

A Swedish police officer is now being investigated for pointing out that migrants are responsible for many crimes in his country, but a retired senior colleague has also spoken out on the phenomenon and called out Europe’s open borders for increasing crime in the formerly peaceful nation.

Breitbart London spoke to recently retired Swedish police officer Torsten Elofsson in 2015 as his heavily resettled home city of Malmo was experiencing a serious spike in attacks committed by migrant communities with smuggled hand grenades.

The former INTERPOL officer and director of Swedish criminal intelligence division said the population of the city, which has been the first point of entry for tens of thousands of illegal migrants as they moved north through Europe into Scandinavia, had gone up by 50 per cent in two decades but the number of officers to police it had halved.

Senior cop Elofsson told Breitbart:

Sweden became a member of the European Union in 1995 and opened our borders.

We are part of the Schengen treaty, so you have that freedom of movement which has also brought criminality here… Gun and drug related crime has definitely increased. Until recently the possession of guns by criminals was very rare – now finding people with firearms is a daily occurrence here… most of the guns we seize are used in criminal activity, are held illegally, and are smuggled into Sweden.

Slovakia is very interesting right now – it is very easy to buy deactivated guns there but they are converted back when they are imported here.
Malmo is infamous for explosions. Yet thankfully nobody has been killed by the explosions yet – some of them are just used to frighten people. We had one case in Rosengard where a group were given a court order to leave an apartment because they were a disturbance for the neighbours. And then suddenly hand grenades and explosions outside the office of the real estate company.

Explaining the rise of populist, anti-mass migration parties like the Sweden Democrats Mr Elofsson said normal voters were starting to realise the rosy picture painted by centrist politicians didn’t tally up with their everyday experiences.

He said:

…the politicians, the media sends out a message that everything is safe and secure, you don’t have to worry. But people act according to their own experience – they see things, they experience things, they talk to their neighbours. And they feel the picture being presented in the media is not entirely accurate.

Many people think the media and the politicians have merged together to make people believe that it is safe and sound to live here, and there are no problems. The media says immigration is always a positive thing because we have an ageing population and we need a young workforce to come from other countries. People don’t buy that picture 100 per cent.

Living here you can see a lot of the crimes are committed by people originating abroad. Look at the unemployment here – you have 15 per cent in Malmo, which is twice the rest of Sweden.

Of the number of people arrested and dragged into police stations, the majority are of foreign origin to be honest. There is an over-representation of violent crimes committed by people from other countries.

But you can’t fool people. And that’s why the Sweden Democrats are rising. It was 25 per cent last week, now it is 27. There is a debate happening, you see all of the refugees coming… but we don’t have apartments, housing for them. How do we provide schooling for them? And then you see the costs. There is a feeling we can’t afford an influx of immigrants.

So-called ‘No go zones’ have been a hotly contested topic in the debate surrounding mass migration to Europe, with some activists strongly denying their existence. Whether the Swedish state admitted the fact or not, Elofsson said he’d experienced them in Malmo, and they made policing a more difficult job. He told Breitbart:

We have a number of no-go-zones in Sweden and they are expanding… police can go to these places, but you have to take precautions.

Years ago you could go with two officers, no problem. Now you have to send four officers and two cars – if the fire brigade want to go, they have to take a police escort. They throw stones and try to stop the fireman from putting out fires.

They sabotage the police cars. You can’t leave them unguarded – when you come back to it you find the windows smashed and the tyres deflated. It isn’t quite a no-go zone, but we have had to develop special routines to go there.

The comments last week of serving Swedish Police officer Peter Springare, made in an exasperated Facebook post about what he called a clear link between migrants and crime levels are all the more unusual for having come from a serving officer. While he is now under investigation by his own force for “incitement to racial hatred”, he at least has the support of one Swedish academic who too has spoken out.

As reported by Breitbart London Thursday, Criminology Professor Leif GW Persson appeared on a Swedish television and said “There is a strong prevalence of criminal immigrants. It is so obvious when it comes to crimes of this nature. Very serious violent crime… Yes, I have made the same observation… anyone with eyes to see can know who is doing these kinds of actions”.

Read the original interview with Torsten Elofsson from September 2015 at Breitbart London

Read: Ten Reasons Sweden’s ‘Multicultural Utopia’ Is Massively Failing

Also see:

***

Trump’s Immigration Guidance: The Rule of Law Returns

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz. (Reuters phoot: Lucy Nicholson)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz. (Reuters phoot: Lucy Nicholson)

PJ MEDIA, BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017:

On Tuesday, John Kelly, President Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, published a six-page, single-spaced memorandum detailing new guidance on immigration enforcement. Thereupon, I spent about 1,500 words summarizing the guidance in a column at National Review. Brevity being the sole of wit, both the memo and my description of it could have been reduced to a single, easy to remember sentence:

Henceforth, the United States shall be governed by the laws of the United States.

That it was necessary for Secretary Kelly to say more than this – and, sadly, that such alarm has greeted a memo that merely announces the return of the rule of law in immigration enforcement – owes to Obama administration abuses of three legal doctrines: prosecutorial discretion, preemption, and separation of powers (specifically, the executive usurpation of legislative power).

To the extent President Obama declined to enforce immigration law (notwithstanding his constitutional obligation to execute the laws faithfully), he did so under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. In the pre-Obama days, prosecutorial discretion was an unremarkable, uncontroversial resource-allocation doctrine. It simply meant that since resources are finite, and since it would be neither possible nor desirable to prosecute every crime, we target law-enforcement resources to get the most crime-fighting bang for the taxpayer buck. That means prioritizing enforcement action against (a) the worst offenders and (b) the unlawful causes of the activity.

This is easily illustrated by federal drug enforcement. There are comparatively few federal narcotics agents, compared, say, to police in a major city. But while both feds and cops have authority to arrest traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs, only federal jurisdiction is interstate and international. Consequently, the best use of finite federal enforcement resources is to limit them to prosecutions of significant felony importation and distribution offenses, leaving it to the states and municipalities to handle street pushers and misdemeanor violations involving the use of drugs.

Significantly, the fact that federal enforcement policy, which is made by the executive branch, does not target lesser felons or users does not mean this policy effectively repeals federal drug laws, which are written by Congress. The non-targeted crimes are still crimes, and the feds reserve the right to prosecute them in appropriate cases (e.g., if they encounter these offenses in the course of carrying out other criminal enforcement missions).

In the area of immigration enforcement, Obama contorted this resource allocation doctrine into a de fact immunity scheme. That is, the Obama Homeland Security Department announced what it labeled enforcement “priorities.” If an illegal alien did not fit into the priorities, it was as if the alien were insulated against prosecution – effectively, it was as if there was nothing illegal about being an alien unlawfully present in the United States; it was as if Obama’s policies were a legal defense against Congress’s duly enacted laws.

This was complemented by a second legal distortion: Obama’s mangling of the so-called preemption doctrine. As we’ve noted, there are certain areas of law – like immigration and narcotics enforcement – in which the federal and state governments have concurrent jurisdiction: both are permitted to regulate and prosecute. This can work well (it generally does in drug enforcement); but it can be counterproductive if the dual sovereigns work at cross-purposes.

In some areas, like immigration, the courts have ruled that the federal government is supreme (on the dubious but now well-rooted theory that immigration-law enforcement is primarily a federal responsibility). This means that the federal government has the power to preempt state action. Importantly, preemption is a power of Congress. That is, in an area of federal supremacy, states are prohibited to act in a manner that would contravene federal law.

Obama, to the contrary, took the position that states were forbidden to take action that contravened Obama immigration policy. This was brought into sharp relief by the administration’s conflict with the state of Arizona. Far from seeking to countermand federal law, Arizona sought to enforce Congress’s statutes. Yet, Obama took the position that the state was bound not by Congress’s statutes but by Obama’s proclaimed enforcement policies – even if those amounted to non-enforcement of Congress’s statutes.

This was a perversion of both preemption and prosecutorial discretion. As long as Arizona was taking action consistent with federal law, its enforcement measures could not be preempted. Moreover, even if Arizona’s enforcement policy was broader than Obama’s, that should not have mattered: as we’ve seen, a federal exercise of prosecutorial discretion just means lesser crimes are not targeted, not that they are no longer crimes. If Arizona took action against those lesser crimes, that was completely appropriate; it was filling a gap in federal enforcement, not defying federal law.

The obstacles imposed by Obama’s immigration proclamations bring us to the third legal abuse: the usurpation of legislative authority. In effect, Obama’s announced priorities became not guidelines for immigration enforcement but new federal laws. According to the administration, only those aliens who fit Obama’s guidelines could be prosecuted. The Homeland Security Department was instructed to halt enforcement action at the earliest possible stage – i.e., once it was understood that an illegal alien did not fit a priority category, all investigative activity was to stop, even though it was known that the alien was acting illegally.

In effect, the Obama priorities operated like law. They controlled what federal investigators and prosecutors could do, and they were used to block states from enforcing their own laws. In this, at least for as long as Obama was president, they supplanted Congress’s laws – a clear violation of separation of powers.

All the Trump guidance announced in Secretary Kelly’s memo really does is repeal Obama’s decrees. The memo essentially says: the law of the United States is back to being the law of the United States. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Gorka: Left Cares About Alinsky Tactics and Political ‘Triangulation’ More Than Safety of Americans

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, February 13, 2017:

Deputy Assistant to the President Dr. Sebastian Gorka, formerly National Security editor for Breitbart News, addressed the controversy over National Security Adviser Mike Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily.

“I can’t comment on what was said, or what wasn’t said, on those telephone calls even though the good general himself says that he can’t remember all the details,” Gorka said. “All I can tell you is my personal experience. I spent several months working very closely with General Flynn and the transition team, in his National Security Council transition team. He’s a man you would trust with your life. He’s a great patriot, man of honor, worn the cloth of the Republic.

“The bottom line is, he shook things up in the DIA, and there are a lot of people who want to take revenge on him. Names I’m not going to list across the airwaves right now, but people who do a little bit of research can work out. The Establishment doesn’t like General Flynn, and for me, that’s a good thing,” he told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Marlow proposed that Flynn was but the latest target of the Left’s “pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” strategy, as defined by Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals.

“You’re absolutely correct,” Gorka said. “Whether it’s Steve Bannon, whether it’s Stephen Miller, whether it was Monica Crowley, or whether it’s General Flynn now. Important point for the listeners, and this is what has to be grasped: it’s never about the issues. It’s not about Russia, it’s not about the safety of Americans, it’s not about preventing attacks like Paris or Nice happening in America. It’s the triangulation. We have to isolate and take down the individuals, separate them from their community, pillory them, and then just make their position untenable. It’s classic Alinsky, and I’m sorry, they’re just picking on the wrong guy, because this guy is as hard as nails.”

[CJR: I feel very bad about Monica Crowley. She deserves her reputation back. Read this – Rising to Monica Crowley’s defense ]

Turning to President Donald Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Gorka said “the message that has to be taken home by everybody – our allies, our partners, and our competitors and our potential enemies – is that our relationship with Japan is back on track.

“Do you remember the ‘Asia pivot’ that wasn’t a pivot, that ended in China intimidating all her neighbors, building fake atolls with military installations on top of them? That age is over. Whether it’s sending a message to put Iran on notice, or whether it’s rekindling one of our closest ties in the region with Japan, this is a new age for America in foreign policy.”

Gorka said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to the White House would cover the “obvious issues,” such as “what can we do, as the outside potential interlocutor, to bring stability, to bring some kind of lasting peace to the region?”

“As part of that, it’s going to have to be a discussion of settlements, what is the status of settlements,” he said. “On top of that, one of the things that we are very keen on is to represent an understanding to the world that Israel isn’t alone. It’s not the threat to Israel from local terrorists. It’s the same thing as Orlando, as the attacks in New York, in Boston. There is this, what I like to call the global jihadi movement, and Israel is as much on the frontline – if not more – than any other country. So we want to bring that international recognition that Israel isn’t just our strongest partner in the region, it’s also really on the frontline of the war against the global jihadists.”

Gorka said the White House was not so much “shifting policy” with its latest statements on Israeli settlements, but offering a “nuanced explication of what our policy is.”

“I’m not part of that team, but I’ve spoken to the people that are working that issue, and it’s a fine line,” he said. “What we have suggested is that when it comes to the settlements, you can build on what you’ve already got. So if you’ve got a building, and you want to go up another story, it’s fine. But going to new territories is not going to help anybody. So we’d like to see a little bit of a snapshot in time. Let’s not have any more territory taken as part of the settlements, so that we can get down to some serious negotiations right now.

“That’s a nuanced policy statement from the team, but I think it bears recognition as acting in good faith, so we can bring the partners to the table.”

Another imminent presidential meeting will involve Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, described by Marlow as “pretty much the anti-Trump” for being “a young man who is very photogenic,” raised in an atmosphere of deep left-wing politics for his entire life.

Gorka thought the two leaders might find common ground by acknowledging “there are issues that have to be dealt with in every country,” including “the tension with regard to the terrorist threat internally.”

“We may be from different political communities, but the bottom line, it’s our northerly neighbor. They share a lot of the same issues that we share, especially when it comes to national security,” he observed. “President Trump is the master of the deal, and he can negotiate with people who even have different political opinions. So let’s see what the day brings, but I think it will be a substantive meeting for both parties.”

Gorka said President Trump will soon decide how to proceed on his immigration executive order, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judicial restraining order against it. He praised the analysis Breitbart News has offered on the decision.

“Let’s not talk about the fact that the Ninth Circuit Court has been reversed 82 times. That’s their batting average. What Breitbart has very, very rightly revealed is that of the seven nations on the list that came from the Obama administration, 72 nationals of those nations have been convicted of jihadi terrorist activity in America since September the 11th,” he said.

“This narrative, this politicized narrative that it’s Islamophobic, and it has nothing to do with terrorism, and nobody from those countries has ever committed terrorist acts in America is so totally and utterly fallacious that we need to reset the standard of the discussion. It’s about national security. Seventy-two people – think about that. That’s more than five times the number of hijackers that did September the 11th. So we are going to maintain our commitment to that executive order and those seven countries being on a temporary halt.”

Same interview:

Gorka: Radical Islam Has Grown ‘Much, Much Stronger’ Since 9/11

On Monday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked for Deputy Assistant to the President Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s assessment of radical Islam and its position in the world today, compared to its influence on the morning of September 11, 2001. “Is radical Islam stronger now as a movement, or has it been weakened since 9/11?” he asked.

“Superb question,” Gorka replied. “And the answer is unequivocally, without a doubt, much much stronger.”

“Just think about one metric. Let’s look at ISIS. ISIS, the Islamic State, has achieved that which no other jihadi group has been able to do in 90 years since the dissolution of the Caliphate by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924. He fired the caliph, he dissolved the Caliphate, when he created the secular republic of Turkey. For 90 years, the bad guys – al-Qaeda included – have tried to re-establish a theocratic Caliphate. ISIS didn’t talk about it. They did it,” he noted.

“They did it in 2014 from the pulpit of the Grand Mosque in Mosul,” he continued. “According to our own counterterrorism center – this is open source – ISIS has 18 operational affiliates around the world. Compare that to just three years ago, when they had seven. They are getting stronger.”

“This is why it’s very important to understand, we’re not at war with Islam, but there is a war inside Islam, for which version is going to win. And right now, it’s the wrong version,” he warned. “It’s the seventh-century atavistic bloodcurdling version that is represented by the Islamic State. The version that is portrayed by Jordan, by Egypt, by the Emiratis, that needs our support because we cannot see the Islamic State expand any more. That is why the president used the phrase, ‘We are going to eradicate the Islamic State.’”

Gorka said there were two important conclusions to draw from the foreign policy speech President Trump gave in Youngstown, Ohio, during the campaign, principles that continue to shape his policy outlook since the election.

“Number one, it’s very clear, he’s given the generals 30 days to come up with a war plan to defeat the Islamic State, as the epitome of the threat right now – destroy it in theater with our allies, with our partners,” he said. “But that’s the smaller part. We’re the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. We can do that relatively easily.”

“Long-term victory, if you read General Flynn’s book, you’ll see this explicitly laid out,” he continued, referring to The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is now national security adviser to President Trump’s. “Long-term victory comes when people don’t want to become jihadis anymore.”

He said this would require a longer and more difficult second-stage strategy to “delegitimize the narrative of jihad.”

“Just as Ronald Reagan undermined the narrative of the communists, we have to help our allies, the Sunnis of the region, make the totalitarian ideology of the jihadists look hollow and crumble in upon itself,” Gorka urged. “The larger part of our task is to have a very, very full-throated counter-propaganda campaign, which means the Islam of our allies against the Islam of groups like the Islamic State.”

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is the author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War and was national security editor for Breitbart News before joining the Trump administration.