Video: Robert Spencer on The Hagmann Report on jihad in history and the destruction of the West today

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, June 17, 2018:

On The Hagmann Report several days ago, I discuss the history of Islam and conquest and how it relates to our current day situation both in America and Europe.

Preorder The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS here.

June 15, 1389: Islam Enters and Conquers Eastern Europe

The Battle of Kosovo

PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, June 15, 2018:

Editor’s note: The following account is partially excerpted from the author’s new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (with a foreword by Victor Davis Hanson). 

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Why Eastern Europeans are much more reluctant to accept Muslim migrants than their Western counterparts can be traced back to circumstances surrounding a pivotal battle that took place today, June 15, in the year 1389. The Battle of Kosovo raged between Muslim invaders and Eastern European defenders, or the ancestors of those many Eastern Europeans today vociferously hostile to Islam.

Because the jihad is as old as Islam, it has been championed by diverse peoples (Arabs in the Middle East, Moors — Berbers and Africans — in Spain and Western Europe, etc.). Islam’s successful entry into Eastern Europe was spearheaded by the Turks, specifically that tribe centered in westernmost Anatolia (or Asia Minor) and thus nearest to Europe — the Ottoman Turks, so-named after their founder Osman Bey. As he lay dying in 1323, his parting words to his son and successor, Orhan, were for him “to propagate Islam by yours arms.”

This his son certainly did; the traveler Ibn Batutua, who once met Orhan in Bursa, observed that, although the jihadi had captured some one hundred Byzantine fortresses, “he had never stayed for a whole month in any one town,” because he “fights with the infidels continually and keeps them under siege.” Christian cities fell like dominos: Smyrna in 1329, Nicaea in 1331, and Nicomedia in 1337. By 1340, the whole of northwest Anatolia was under Turkic control. By now, and to quote a European contemporary:

[T]he foes of the cross, and the killers of the Christian people, that is, the Turks, [were] separated from Constantinople by a channel of three or four miles.

By 1354, the Ottoman Turks, under Orhan’s son, Suleiman, managed to cross over the Dardanelles and into the abandoned fortress town of Gallipoli, thereby establishing their first foothold in Europe: “Where there were churches he destroyed them or converted them to mosques,” writes an Ottoman chronicler. “Where there were bells, Suleiman broke them up and cast them into fires. Thus, in place of bells there were now muezzins.”

Cleansed of all Christian “filth,” Gallipoli became, as a later Ottoman bey boasted, “the Muslim throat that gulps down every Christian nation — that chokes and destroys the Christians.” From this dilapidated but strategically situated fortress town, the Ottomans launched a campaign of terror throughout the countryside, always convinced they were doing God’s work. “They live by the bow, the sword, and debauchery, finding pleasure in taking slaves, devoting themselves to murder, pillage, spoil,” explained Gregory Palamas, an Orthodox metropolitan who was taken captive in Gallipoli, adding:

[A]nd not only do they commit these crimes, but even — what an aberration — they believe that God approves them!

After Orhan’s death in 1360 and under his son Murad I — the first of his line to adopt the title “Sultan” — the westward jihad into the Balkans began in earnest and was unstoppable. By 1371 he had annexed portions of Bulgaria and Macedonia to his sultanate, which now so engulfed Constantinople that “a citizen could leave the empire simply by walking outside the city gates.”

Unsurprisingly, then, when Prince Lazar of Serbia (b. 1330) defeated Murad’s invading forces in 1387, “there was wild rejoicing among the Slavs of the Balkans. Serbians, Bosnians, Albanians, Bulgarians, Wallachians, and Hungarians from the frontier provinces all rallied around Lazar as never before, in a determination to drive the Turks out of Europe.”

Murad responded to this effrontery on June 15, 1389, in Kosovo.

There, a Serbian-majority coalition augmented by Hungarian, Polish, and Romanian contingents — twelve thousand men under the leadership of Lazar — fought thirty thousand Ottomans under the leadership of the sultan himself. Despite the initial downpour of Turkic arrows, the Serbian heavy cavalry plummeted through the Ottoman frontlines and broke the left wing; the Ottoman right, under Murad’s elder son Bayezid, reeled around and engulfed the Christians. The chaotic clash continued for hours.

On the night before battle, Murad had beseeched Allah “for the favour of dying for the true faith, the martyr’s death.” Sometime near the end of battle, his prayer was granted. According to tradition, Miloš Obilić, a Serbian knight, offered to defect to the Ottomans on condition that, in view of his own high rank, he be permitted to submit before the sultan himself. They brought him before Murad and, after Milos knelt in false submission, he lunged at and plunged a dagger deep into the Muslim warlord’s stomach (other sources say “with two thrusts which came out at his back”). The sultan’s otherwise slow guards responded by hacking the Serb to pieces. Drenched in and spluttering out blood, Murad lived long enough to see his archenemy, the by now captured Lazar, brought before him, tortured, and beheaded. A small conciliation, it may have put a smile on the dying martyr’s face.

Murad’s son Bayezid instantly took charge: “His first act as Sultan, over his father’s dead body, was to order the death, by strangulation with a bowstring, of his brother. This was Yaqub, his fellow-commander in the battle, who had won distinction in the field and popularity with his troops.” Next Bayezid brought the battle to a decisive end; he threw everything he had at the enemy, leading to the slaughter of every last Christian — but even more of his own men in the process.

So many birds flocked to and feasted on the vast field of carrion that posterity remembered Kosovo as the “Field of Blackbirds.” Though essentially a draw — or at best a Pyrrhic victory for the Ottomans — the Serbs, with less men and resources to start with in comparison to the ascendant Muslim empire, felt the sting more.

In the years following the battle of Kosovo, the Ottoman war machine became unstoppable: the nations of the Balkans were conquered by the Muslims — after withstanding a millennium of jihads, Constantinople itself permanently fell to Islam in 1453 — and they remained under Ottoman rule for centuries (as documented in my new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West).

The collective memory of Eastern Europeans’ not too distant experiences with and under Islam should never be underestimated when considering why they are significantly more wary of — if not downright hostile to — Islam and its migrants than their Western counterparts.

Europe: Ramadan Roundup, 2018

In London, Southwark Cathedral hosted an iftar dinner — a meal after sunset during the month of Ramadan — as part of the program of events to mark the anniversary of the London Bridge attack. (Garry Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Gatestone, by Soeren Kern, 

  • In France, the government, which previously vowed to reduce foreign influences on the practice of Islam in the country, approved visas for 300 imams from Algeria and Morocco to lead Ramadan services in French mosques.
  • “Every message, no matter how poisonous the message is, should have the right to be expressed.” — Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • “The Turkish minister of foreign affairs tried to teach me a lesson about my Islamic identity. It is going too far if a foreign state, which is far away, tries to teach the mayor of Rotterdam about Dutch law and how I should apply it.” — Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Muslims across Europe are marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, which in 2018 was observed between May 17 and June 15, in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.

Ramadan, a major topic for public discussion in Europe this year, received considerable media coverage, a reflection of Islam’s rising influence.

Muslim leaders sought to leverage the media attention to showcase Ramadan — a time when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset, to commemorate, according to Islamic tradition, the revelation of the Quran to Mohammed — as the peaceful nature of Islam in Europe.

European multiculturalists, normally strict enforcers of secularism when it comes to Christianity, made great efforts to draw up guidelines, issue instructions and carve out special privileges to ensure that Muslims were not offended by non-Muslims during the festival.

Breaking with the past, however, a growing number of European politicians publicly spoke out against Ramadan, especially regarding the adverse effects of prolonged fasting on school-aged children. The backlash, evidenced by the emergence of politically incorrect political parties in Europe, appears to reflect a growing wariness of runaway multiculturalism and the steady erosion of Western values.

Following is a brief summary of a few Ramadan-related occurrences in several European countries:

In Austria, the Secretary General of the Austrian People’s Party, Karl Nehammer, called for a ban on fasting for school-age children. He said that he had received “innumerable” reports from teachers about the welfare of children during Ramadan. “If religious rituals, regardless of religion, endanger the health of children, this is clearly going too far,” Nehammer said. “If religion is placed above the welfare of the child, that must stop.”

The Islamic Religious Community in Austria (Islamischen Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich, IGGiÖaccused Nehammer of trying to “ban” Ramadan. IGGiÖ spokeswoman Carla Amina Baghajati described Nehammer’s comments as “offensive and humiliating” and, in a twist of logic, claimed that Nehammer was actually pushing Muslim children toward Islamic fundamentalism:

“This leads to a dangerous alienation in society. Children and adolescents especially feel this enemy policy. They are in danger of deliberately turning away from local society and becoming even more susceptible to radical ideas.”

Peter Kusstatscher, director of HTL Villach, the largest school in Austria, said that Ramadan itself was radicalizing some Muslim students: “You now notice how they radicalize themselves in the subject matter of Islam and radically live out their beliefs.” He described an incident where a Muslim student insulted a female classmate because she was wearing make-up during Ramadan. “Of course, we intervened because this was not about showing tolerance towards a religious community,” he said.

In Belgium, Saint John’s Catholic church in Brussels hosted an iftar dinner — a meal after sunset during the month of Ramadan. “What we are doing tonight is an extraordinary symbol of the power that comes from common initiatives like this,” said Catholic priest Jacques Hanon. “We want to show a strength that lies in responding to setbacks, fears, violence, hatred and discrimination together.”

The chairman of the Islamic communities in Brussels, Lahcen Hammouche, said:

“We have chosen this moment of the holy month of Ramadan, the month of sharing and forgiveness, to celebrate and share with churches of all faiths and all cultures, to show that Muslims are not all terrorists and that we are all capable and must have a good coexistence among religions and other philosophies.”

Hammouche did not say whether Belgian mosques would reciprocate by celebrating Christian holidays at their facilities.

In Cyprus, the Department of Public Works announced that it had fast-tracked the taxpayer-funded renovation of a mosque in Paphos so that it would be available for use during Ramadan:

“Despite delays in the project, the Department of Public Works, respecting the request of the Muslim community to secure a comfortable and safe site in order for them to exercise their religious rights and given that it was not possible to find another site managed to get the contractor to go ahead with construction work in the mosque so that it may be completed and used with safety during Ramadan.”

In Denmark, Integration Minister Inger Støjberg called on practicing Muslims to take a vacation during Ramadan to avoid negatively impacting the rest of society. In an opinion article published by the Danish newspaper BT, she wrote:

“We must address the problems that Ramadan presents us in the present. Undeniably, the demands of a modern and efficient society such as that of Denmark are quite different from those in Mecca during the time of Mohammed….

“It can be very dangerous for all of us if the bus driver neither eats nor drinks during the whole day, and of course one does not perform at the same level at the factory or at the hospital if you do not eat and drink during daylight hours for a whole month.

“I respect that Muslims want to practice their religion and traditions, but I think religion is a private matter and that it is necessary for us to ensure that it does not become a social issue. I do not want to deprive Danish Muslims of the opportunity to cultivate their religion and religious holidays, but I would encourage them to go on vacation during the month of Ramadan so that it does not adversely affect the rest of the Danish society.”

In France, the government, which previously vowed to reduce foreign influences on the practice of Islam in the country, approved visas for 300 imams from Algeria and Morocco to lead Ramadan services in French mosques. The move sparked a backlash from across the political spectrum. “To ask Algeria and Morocco to send us imams during the month of Ramadan is unacceptable,” said the former Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has pledged to “cut all bridges” between Muslims in France and “third countries.”

The leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, said that “it is unacceptable that the Ministry of the Interior organizes the arrival of 300 foreign imams in our country for Ramadan; it is a violation of the principle of secularism (laïcité).” Her former ally in the 2017 presidential race, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, demanded that foreign imams be required to swear an “oath of loyalty to France and the Republic.”

Elsewhere in France, in Chambourcy, the managers of a Carrefour hypermarket complied with Muslim demands to remove Israeli dates from the store’s “Ramadan department.” Customers complained that the presence of Israeli products was “an affront to Muslim customers.”

Europe 1 radio reported that Ramadan was a “commercial bonanza” for French retailers. Mimoun Ennebati, the head of a French Muslim association, said that “a priori, large distributors do not want to offend a certain clientele” during Ramadan. He estimated that practicing Muslims increase their spending by 30% during the month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, in Mantes-la-Jolie, a suburb of Paris, a 42-year-old man was charged with manslaughter after shaking his five-month-old daughter to death. The man, confessing to the crime, said: “I was observing Ramadan and without eating, my nerves were on edge.”

In Germany, Martin Sichert, a lawmaker from the anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), called for Muslim doctors, nurses, pilots, bus and train drivers to be banned from working during Ramadan if they are fasting. “What patient should have to be operated on by a surgeon who has not had anything to drink for 12 hours?” asked Sichert, a member of the parliamentary committee for labor and social issues. “Why should people have to be transported around by other people who might face concentration problems and dehydration because they have been fasting for hours?”

Family Minister Franziska Giffey warned that “strict interpretations” about fasting were having an adverse impact on Muslim students: “Children need to drink and eat regularly, otherwise they can no longer pay attention in class or work together in physical education.” She also said there was growing peer pressure to observe the fast during Ramadan: “There should be no discrimination, no matter if someone is fasting or not.”

Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the German Teachers Union (Deutsche Lehrerverband), expressed concern that “a lot of students now take the fast very seriously.” He complained that Muslim parents increasingly were pressuring teachers to reschedule exams until after Ramadan. This delay, he said, was having a negative impact on non-Muslim students.

In Landshut, Bavaria, Christian politicians and clergy walked out of an inter-cultural Ramadan festival after Quranic verses were sung in Arabic, rather than in German, as initially promised. “Singing the Quran in Arabic is incompatible with the goals of successful integration,” said Thomas Haslinger, the district chairman of the Christian Social Union in Landshut.

Meanwhile, Deutschlandfunk, a German public radio station, in a segment about Ramadan, claimed that “Ramadan is an old German custom that has been around here longer than Oktoberfest.” Author Eren Güvercin added: “Islamic religious practice has long since found its home in Germany. And we German Muslims are looking forward to Ramadan in our Germany. Nobody can deny that to us.”

In Greece, hundreds of Arab and Kurdish asylum seekers clashed in a dispute over the Ramadan fast at the Moria Refugee Camp, on the island of Lesbos. Mohammed Khalil, a 19-year-old Kurdish migrant from Syria explained: “The fight began when some Arab youths started to fight with Kurds over fasting…. Some Arabs from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Algeria came and said Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] Kurds are infidels and are not allowed to fast. Then the fight started. The refugee Arabs left and later returned with reinforcements. A bloody fight ensued.”

In Iceland, where the sun at this time of the year rises at 3am and sets at midnight, Muslims observed the Ramadan fast according to Mecca time, where the sun sets at around 7pm, to avoid having to fast for 20 hours or more. Ahmad Seddeeq, an imam at the Islamic cultural center of Iceland who is originally from Egypt, said it was easier to fast in a cool climate: “I have done this for years, and I find it more difficult in my country, where it is 40 to 45 degrees Celsius (104-113F).”

Read more

Sword and Scimitar: A Look into Raymond Ibrahim’s New Book

Front Page Magazine, by Jamie Glazov, May 28, 2018:

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Raymond Ibrahim, an author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist. He is currently a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum. His new book is Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.

Frontpage: Raymond, welcome to Frontpage interview.

Ibrahim: Good to be back Jamie, thank you.

FP: Congrats on your new book coming out. Introduce us to it.

Raymond Ibrahim: Thanks, Jamie.  The book’s title is Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.  As indicated by the title, it is a military history between Islam and the West, narrated around their eight most decisive clashes, the first and last of which occurred more than a millennium apart.  But while the eight battles/sieges form the centerpieces of the book’s eight chapters, the bulk of the narrative chronologically traces and tells the general (but much forgotten) story of Islam and the West, most of which of course revolved around warfare—with all the attendant death, destruction, slavery, and geopolitical demarcations and map rearrangements.

FP: Quite a fascinating and original approach.  How and when did you get this idea?

Ibrahim:  Well, we can say I began working on portions of this book some twenty years ago—since around 1998-99, when I first started doing academic research for what became my MA thesis (in History): a close examination, including through the original Arabic and Greek sources, of the battle of Yarmuk—the first major military encounter between Islam and the Eastern Roman Empire in 636 (highlighted in Chapter 1 of the book).

Since then, I’ve continued to study the historic clash between the West and Islam, writing sporadic but relevant articles—for example on the Second Siege of Constantinople and the Battle of Tours—and of course working on and fine tuning Sword and Scimitar.

FP: While the book is obviously historical, it also clearly has crucial contemporary relevance and significance. Can you talk a bit about that?

Ibrahim: Sure Jamie, thank you. Although the book and its narrative revolve around historic warfare, it offers, as you observe, many lessons of contemporary relevance.  Take for example the question of whether the behavior of Islamic groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is Islamic or not.  Those many “experts” who insist ISIS is just a gang of “terrorists” who have “nothing to do with Islam” will be hard pressed to explain why over a millennium of leading Muslims—caliphs, sultans, emirs, ulema and jurists of the highest order—have said to and done in Europe the same exact things ISIS says and does to “infidels” today.

The book also documents a little known fact: that what we today call “the West” is really the westernmost remnant of what was a much more extensive civilizational block that Islam permanently severed. Over the centuries, nonstop jihad and terror saw three-fourths of the post-Roman Christian world become Islamic, leaving the remaining quarter—Europe proper—in a permanent state of embattlement.  It is, incidentally, for this reason that tiny Europe’s self-identity did not historically revolve around ethnicity or language—hence why such a small corner of the Eurasian landmass (Europe) still houses dozens of both, some widely divergent, while much larger landmasses are homogenous—but rather religion: it was the last and most redoubtable bastion of Christendom not to be conquered by Islam.

The book should further bring Westerners up to speed with Muslims, at least when it comes to the latter’s frequent (and to Western ears, cryptic) referencing of history.   For example, when Yasser Arafat made a peace treaty with Israel in 1994 that was criticized by fellow Arabs and Muslims as offering too many concessions, the Palestinian leader justified his actions by saying, “I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca”—that is, a truce that Muhammad abolished on a pretext once he was in a position of power and able to go on the offensive.

Similarly, many of the otherwise bizarre and obscene things ISIS says to the West—“American blood is best, and we will taste it soon,” or “We love death as you love life,” or “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women”—are verbatim quotes spoken by the historic jihad’s greatest practitioners  Whereas many of the world’s Muslims make the connection and appreciate the deeper meaning behind the words and deeds of their politically active coreligionists, the West remains oblivious of the deliberate continuity.

In short, unlike most military histories—which no matter how fascinating are ultimately academic—Sword and Scimitar offers several contemporary lessons.  It further sets the much distorted historical record between the two civilizations straight and, in so doing, demonstrates once and for all that Muslim hostility for and terrorization of the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history.

FP: Tell us about your research method in writing this book and your extremely impressive utilization of primary sources.

Ibrahim: As mentioned, because I’ve been working on this book—even if sometimes only in my head—for about two decades, I managed to create a thoroughly comprehensive bibliography, as well as make copies of several older manuscripts during my years working at the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress.  I also utilized sources in and translated from other languages—particularly Arabic, including by providing to my knowledge never before translated excerpts of the historic clash.

And yes, firmly believing that history’s Muslims and Christians had a much better idea of why they were fighting and dying, I certainly did focus on primary sources (probably well over half of the book’s one-thousand endnotes cite primary source quotes).  Their words—separated by centuries and continents—evince a remarkable continuity that is alone significant.

That said, and because the oft-made boast of relying “only on primary sources” is all too often an excuse for not grappling with all the existing literature—that is, for not doing one’s homework (primary sources, especially if limited to translations, are usually only an iota of what is available)—I tried to supplement and balance the narrative with the interpretations and observations of authoritative historians, that is, secondary sources.

FP: When will Sword and Scimitar formally be published and are there any other interesting tidbits you can tell us?

IbrahimAugust 28 is the book’s official release date [pre-order here from your preferred distributor].  Because it deals with topics that fascinated me decades before I began writing about contemporary Islam, I can honestly say that I “went all out” with this book: as mentioned, it contains over one-thousand endnotes from some 220 books and monographs; 37 relevant photos (from epic paintings to modern atrocities) and a comprehensive, general map, tracing the historic struggle between Islam and the West.

My publisher, Da Capo, is moreover not only a leader in military history, but a member of the Hachette Book Group—the third largest publisher in the world—thereby positioning the book to receive suitable coverage and dissemination.

It’s also an honor that America’s premiere military historian, Victor Davis Hanson, has provided the book with an excellent foreword; similarly, a number of historians and professors in fields germane to the book—published scholars on the crusades, the Reconquista, Medieval Islam and jihad—have endorsed it.

Ultimately it’s my hope that Sword and Scimitar ends up being what I spent years working on it to be—something of a magnum opus, one that, while vividly bringing the past to life, goes a long way to make sense of the present.

FP: Thanks so much for joining Frontpage Interview, Raymond. And congratulations on this new exciting and educational read.  We wish you all the best with it.

Ibrahim: Thank you, Jamie.

***

Here is an excerpt from the book:

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: May 2018

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, 

  • Quilliam, a London-based counter-extremism group, in a new report — “FGM Legislation in Britain: A National Scandal” — noted that Britain has failed to bring a single perpetrator of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to justice, even though the practice has been outlawed there since 1985.
  • The Daily Mail reported that Amazon, the online retailer, was selling terrorist recruitment material and bomb-making manuals.
  • Baroness Cox and other members of the House of Lords called on the British government to “respond urgently” to a 2015 review on Sharia courts by drafting a law to protect vulnerable Muslim women. The review found that Muslim women are being systematically oppressed, abused and discriminated against by Sharia law courts, which treat women as second-class citizens.

May 1. Rana Irfan Aslam, a 51-year-old shopkeeper from Dundee, was sentenced to one year in prison for grooming a 12-year-old girl for sex during an 18-month period 20 years ago. The judge said it was the maximum possible sentence for the crime as Aslam did not engage in sexual intercourse with the girl. The court heard that Aslam gave the girl gifts of money, perfume and alcohol before sexually abusing her at various locations in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife between August 1998 and August 2000. In a blog post, Natasha Phillips, an expert on family law, explained that nuances in sentencing guidelines for non-recent abuse are resulting in unduly lenient sentences: “There are very real concerns about the way offenders of non-recent abuse continue to be sentenced and which bolster the view that unmerited leniency has managed to find its way into the system.”

May 1. Lewis Ludlow, a 26-year-old convert to Islam from Rochester, was chargedwith planning “a large scale multiple casualty vehicle-borne attack” on tourist hotspots in London. He was also charged with trying to join the Islamic State, in the Philippines.

May 1. Karen Sunderland, a Tory candidate for Town Council in Lewisham, London, was suspended after comparing Islam to Nazism on social media. Her offending tweet read: “Love your optimism. The thing is, religion undermines the hard fought for values and tolerances of progressed countries…suppresses free speech and is auto immune from criticism. This is toxic and where the hostility comes from. Religion is totalitarian. Islam has become the new Nazism.”

May 2. Jamie Janson, a 42-year-old British aristocrat who travelled to Syria to fight against the Islamic State, was arrested when he arrived back in Britain on a bus from France. Janson volunteered with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and fought against the Islamic State in Syria. Pro-Kurdish campaigners were angered by the arrest, which came after two other Britons were charged for fighting with the YPG. Mark Campbell, of the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, accused the British government of weakening the fight against ISIS and other jihadi groups: “Theresa May should spend more time opposing Turkey’s aggression against the best fighters against ISIS, the Kurds, and less time attempting to criminalize UK anti-ISIS volunteers on behalf of the Turkish regime.”

May 2. Mohammed Zahir Khan, a 40-year-old shopkeeper from Sunderland, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for encouraging terrorism, disseminating a terror publication and stirring up religious hatred. Newcastle Crown Court heard how Khan, who is originally from Birmingham, shared messages on social media in which he said Shia Muslims should be burnt alive. He also posted on Facebook a statement about martyrs and an image of the Islamic State’s flag.

May 2. The Women’s Wellbeing Clinic at Cardiff Royal Infirmary became the first clinic in Wales to provide medical and psychological help to victims of female genital mutilation (FGM). An estimated 2,000 women and girls in Wales are living with FGM. According to the BBC, one case of FGM was discovered on average every three days by maternity staff in Wales in 2016.

May 4. The Independent Press Standards Organization, the independent regulator for the newspaper and magazine industry in Britain, ordered the Daily Star, a tabloid newspaper, to publish a correction for an article that wrongly claimed that a “hijab row” would force all McDonald’s restaurants in the London borough of Islington to close. The Muslim Council of Britain, a Muslim umbrella group, complained that the article’s headline was misleading.

May 6. Melanie Phillips, a conservative columnist, ignited a firestorm of criticism after she said on BBC TV’s Sunday Politics that there is no equivalence between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia:

“Anti-Semitism is not just a form of racism, it is a unique derangement that is based entirely on lies and demonization. The same cannot be said of what is considered Islamophobia. The term Islamophobia itself is used to cover-up legitimate criticism of Muslims or the Islamic community.”

May 9. The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) warned Muslim glaucoma patients not to stop taking eye drop medication during Ramadan because stopping drops even for a short period of time can cause permanent loss of vision. Some Muslims have stopped using their eye drops during Ramadan, believing that using them will break their fast. IGA Development Manager Subhash Suthar said:

“We want to reassure the Muslim community that drops can be taken before dawn and after sunset (known as Suhoor and Iftar), when food and drink can be consumed. We also suggest that patients close the tear duct when taking eye drops (known as punctual occlusion) as this means that fluid stays in the eye and does not drain into the throat and so cannot be tasted.”

May 9. The Sentencing Council, an independent body responsible for developing sentencing guidelines for courts to use when passing a sentence, published changes for public order offenses, which include stirring up hatred against people on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation. If approved, judges would be able to increase punishments for offenders who are “in a position of trust, authority or influence and abuse their position to stir up hatred.” The Independent reported that having a high number of followers on social media, such as Twitter or Facebook, could be among the factors considered when making sentencing decisions. The Telegraph noted that the changes would give courts more power when sentencing Islamic hate preachers. The changes, however, could also be used to silence outspoken critics of Islam.

May 9. The Sunday Telegraph paid “substantial damages” to Mohammed Kozbar, the general secretary of Finsbury Park mosque, after it falsely portrayed him as a supporter of violent lslamist extremism, according to the Guardian. Finsbury Park mosque was once run by the radical preacher Abu Hamza before it was shut down in 2003. Kozbar said he has since worked to rebuild the mosque’s reputation and sued the Telegraph in order to take a stand against “Islamophobic media coverage.” The Telegraph removed the article from its website, published a ruling accepting that the article was defamatory, and paid damages of around £30,000 (€34,000; $40,000) to settle the case.

May 10. The trial began of Safaa Boular, an 18-year-old would-be jihadi from London, who is accused of plotting a gun and grenade attack at the British Museum after her attempts to become a jihadi bride were thwarted. Jurors at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, commonly referred to as the Old Bailey, heard how Boular decided to become a “martyr” after her Islamic State fighter fiancé was killed in Syria. Boular pled not guilty to two counts of preparing acts of terrorism. Her older sister, Rizlaine Boular, 22, her mother Mina Dich, 44, and their family friend Khawla Barghouthi, 21, have already pled guilty to terrorism charges, in what has been called Britain’s first all-female jihadist plot. They will be sentenced later this year.

May 10. The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), a specialized agency of the Home Office, reported 1,196 cases of potential or actual forced marriages in Britain in 2017. The victims in around 80% of cases were female; 256 of the victims were male. Where the age was known, 15.6% of cases involved victims below 16 years of age, and 29.7% involved under-18 year olds. The largest proportion of cases (17.9%) involved victims between the ages of 18 and 21. In 2017, children residing in Britain were sent to 65 different countries to undergo forced marriages. The top four countries with the highest number of cases in 2017 were: Pakistan, 439 cases (36.7%); Bangladesh, 129 cases (10.8%); Somalia, 91 cases (7.6%); and India, 82 cases (6.9%). In 2017, 120 (10%) of the cases had no overseas element, with the potential or actual forced marriage taking place entirely within the UK.

May 10. Yousef Abdul Latif Jameel, a businessman and philanthropist, donated£850,000 (€911,000; $1,075,000) to support scholarships at Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam. The center, part of the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion, was established in 2005 for research and teaching about Islam and Muslims in Britain.

May 21. Quilliam, a London-based counter-extremism group, in a new report — “FGM Legislation in Britain: A National Scandal” — noted that Britain has failed to bring a single perpetrator of FGM to justice, even though the practice has been outlawed there since in 1985. “The fact that we’ve been collecting detailed FGM data for some years now and still haven’t seen a single case brought to justice is a shame and utter disservice to the thousands of young girls and women who have undergone this horrific practice,” the report said.

A new report notes that Britain has failed to bring a single perpetrator of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to justice, even though the practice has been outlawed there since 1985. Pictured: Part of an anti-FGM poster produced in the UK by the Metropolitan Police, in conjunction with community organizations.

May 22. Religious advisers at the Masjid Ramadan mosque in Dalston, east London, said that bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, is halal (permissible according to Islamic law) for donations if it is “transacted in a lawful manner.” The mosque, also known as Shacklewell Lane Mosque, will accept donations in two different cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum. Zayd al Khair, a religious adviser at the mosque, said: “Any money or currency is neither halal, permissible, nor haram, impermissible. Guidance is about the value which it represents. If money is transacted in a lawful manner then it is halal. We do not always know the source of cash donations, but we take these in good faith too.”

May 22. Farooq Rashid, 43, of Bradford, was sentenced to two years in prison for possessing and sharing jihad-related material online. “Terrorist groups such as Daesh [ISIS] rely heavily on their propaganda being shared online to encourage support, radicalize, and provoke individuals to carry out attacks abroad and in the UK,” said Martin Snowden, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing in North East England.

May 23. A mother who forced her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. It was the first time a forced marriage case was successfully prosecuted in an English court. Forced marriage has been a punishable offense in Britain since 2014. Birmingham Crown Court heard how the woman duped the then 17-year-old into travelling to Pakistan to wed the man, who was 16 years her senior. Years before the ceremony, the girl was entered into a “marriage contract” with the man and became pregnant aged 13.

May 23. The Daily Mail reported that Amazon, the online retailer, was selling terrorist recruitment material and bomb-making manuals: “Many of the books, which have radicalized thousands of international terrorists, are available for next-day delivery. Some can be downloaded instantly as Kindle editions anywhere in the world. The inflammatory titles are sold by third parties using Amazon’s platform, allowing them global reach and lending them an aura of legitimacy.” Labour MP John Mann said: “This is Amazon giving assistance to terrorists and putting lives at risk. We’ve just had the anniversary of the Manchester bombing. They need to be held to account. Amazon is allowing terror material to circulate. Free speech arguments don’t apply when it comes to terrorists trying to recruit. There must be a full police investigation into Amazon.”

May 24. Baroness Cox and other members of the House of Lords called on the British government to “respond urgently” to a 2015 review on Sharia courts by drafting a law to protect vulnerable Muslim women. Lord Elton said that the problem of Sharia councils “seems to me bigger and more urgent than Her Majesty’s Government are giving it credit for.” Baroness Flather accused Whitehall of not taking the issue seriously. Baroness Cox asked whether the government “will make it a priority to respond urgently with appropriate legislation.” In April 2015, Baroness Cox authored a 40-page report — “A Parallel World: Confronting the Abuse of Many Muslim Women in Britain Today” — which documented how Muslim women across Britain are being systematically oppressed, abused and discriminated against by Sharia law courts, which treat women as second-class citizens. The report warned against the spiraling proliferation of Islamic tribunals in the United Kingdom.

May 25. Tommy Robinson, a 35-year-old anti-Islam activist, was arrested and jailed for contempt of court after livestreaming footage of participants in a criminal trial outside Leeds Crown Court. The trial involved members of a Muslim pedophile gang charged with sexually exploiting young girls. Outrage ensued after Judge Geoffrey Marson ordered a media blackout on Robinson’s arrest and incarceration.

May 29. A Pew Research Study found that 73% of Britons identify as being Christian, but only 18% attend church. In the UK, 45% of church-attending Christians say Islam is fundamentally incompatible with British values and culture, as do roughly the same share of non-practicing Christians (47%). Among religiously unaffiliated adults, 30% say Islam is fundamentally incompatible with their country’s values. The poll found that 69% of those who identify as Christian were in favor of reducing the levels of immigration, compared to 32% of non-affiliated adults.

May 29. A couple was convicted of forced marriage for luring their 19-year-old daughter to Bangladesh in an attempt to force her to marry her first cousin — so that he could obtain a British visa. Leeds Crown Court heard how the girl’s parents had told her they were going on a six-week holiday to Bangladesh to visit relatives. Just days after arriving, however, she was told by her father that he had found a husband for her. The victim, who was not named for legal reasons, told the court: “He said, ‘I have planned this for years, the guy is really suitable, I’ve given him money for university, and he’s a really attractive guy for round here.’ He was trying to get me to say yes, but at no point did I say yes. I thought it was disgusting because it was my first cousin and stood my ground.” She was rescued by British authorities before the marriage took place. The judge told the two defendants that they should expect an “immediate imprisonment” when they are sentenced on June 18.

May 29. The trial began of Anthony Small, a 36-year-old former boxing champion who converted to Islam in 2007, for terrorism offenses. Prosecutor Karen Robinson told the Old Bailey that Small “implored Muslims to take violent action against the West.” On his YouTube channel, Small described himself as “a former professional champion boxer who now works to take mankind out of the oppression of democracy and liberating themselves with Islam/Sharia.” In the video, he spoke out against McDonald’s and Coca Cola and other symbols of Western culture. He said the choice was to “either accept the flame-grilled burger or we are going to flame grill you from the sky.”

May 30. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called on the Conservative Party to conduct an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia within the party. At least five Tory candidates have been suspended in recent weeks for making so-called Islamophobic comments. On April 17, for example, Alexander van Terheyden, a council candidate in Hackney, was suspended after, on social media, he called Islam, a “violent political ideology” comparable to fascism and communism. In response to allegations of Islamophobia, Van Terheyden said: “I’ve stated Islam is a violent political ideology. Note the word ‘political’ and not religious. Note I do not refer to Muslims, I refer to the political ideology. My views have always been public. If you mean the fact that I’m happy to voice my discontent for communism, fascism, Islam and other extreme political ideologies there is no secret to this.” In December 2015, a government report found that the MCB is “secretly linked” to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic fundamentalist group committed to a “civilizational jihad” aimed at undermining liberal democracies in the West.

May 31. Khurram Javed, 35, of Rotherham was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The trial was part of the National Crime Agency’s Operation Stovewood, which is investigating child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

May 31. Husnain Rashid, 32, of Lancashire, pled guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to three terrorism offenses, including one in which he called for an attack against Prince George, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and third in line to the throne. Rashid will be sentenced on June 28 for the offenses spanning from October 2016 to April 2018.

May 31. Mohammed Aslam Rabani, a 61-year-old twice-married former imam at a mosque in Nottingham, was sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the mosque’s attic. Rabani repeatedly assaulted the boy between June 1990 and June 1993, when the victim was 12 years old. The victim, who is now married and a father, said: “He was a father figure to me and everyone. Not even my own family would believe what he was doing to me. I was scared, because beatings at home and at the mosque were commonplace in our community. Children just did as they were told and adults were always right. As a result, I didn’t speak out. Additionally, I thought it was normal, because I also believed that Rabani should be trusted. I assumed that because he was the imam, that whatever he did was right and that he was closest to God.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

A Turning Point in History

Crisis Magazine, by William Kirkpatrick, May 24, 2018:

I dare say that most people who have read history would like to think that if they had been present at some pivotal point in history, they would have chosen the right side—with the Allies and against the Axis, with Wilberforce and against the slave traders, with the Romans and against the child-sacrificing Carthaginians.

If I had lived back then, we tell ourselves, I would have fought with the right side, no matter the odds.

Well, now’s your chance. Because it looks very much as though we are at one of those pivotal moments—possibly at one of the major turning points in history, and probably one of the most dangerous. We tend to think that historical turning points generally involve a breakthrough to a higher plane—a turn for the better rather than a turn for the worse. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the pendulum of history swings backward and slices off centuries of progress. The turning point at which we now stand threatens to cast us back more than a thousand years to some of history’s darkest days. We may soon be fighting for things we thought had been secured for all time—basics such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and even freedom from enslavement.

The turning point I refer to is the civilizational struggle between Islam and the West (acknowledging, of course, that much of the Western tradition has been adopted by people who live outside the traditional geographic boundaries of the West). On a larger view, the struggle can more accurately be described as a conflict between Christianity and Islam, because if the West loses its Christian soul, it will also lose the ability and the will to defend its freedoms.

Of course, some people deny that there is any “clash of civilizations.” All religions and all cultures want the same thing, they say, and they assure us that the tiny handful of trouble makers in the Muslim world do not represent the vast majority.

But time and again, polls have shown that at least a majority of Muslims want to be ruled by sharia law—a throwback to the harsh legal system that developed in seventh-century Arabia. Contrary to “enlightened” expectations, it turns out that a great many Muslims in a great many places favor cruel and unusual punishments for theft, adultery, blasphemy, and apostasy.

That’s what they want for fellow Muslims who go astray. But if you’re a non-Muslim you don’t have to go astray in order to be punished. The mere existence of Jews, Christians, and other minorities is considered an affront by many Muslims. As a result, discrimination against non-Muslim is endemic in the Muslim world. It can’t be blamed on a tiny minority of bigots, because just about everyone—including police, government officials, employers, and next-door neighbors—expects unbelievers to know their place.

Jews and Christians got the message a long time ago. That’s why there are so few of them left in places that used to be their homelands—in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. For those who don’t leave voluntarily, the daily low-level persecution sometimes breaks out into organized violence. That was the case in the 1914-1923 genocide against Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Christians living in the Ottoman Empire, in the 1933 massacre of Assyrian Christians in Simele, Iraq, and in the 1941 Farhud (pogrom) against the Jewish population of Baghdad. In more recent years we’ve witnessed the slaughter of Christians and Yazidis by ISIS in Syria and Northern Iraq, the numerous massacres of Christians carried out by Boko Haran in Northern Nigeria and by al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya, and the frequent attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Egypt.

“Witnessed” may be too strong a word. Many in the West simply noted these atrocities, and then continued to go about their business as though nothing had happened. But, to paraphrase Trotsky, “You may not be interested in the clash of civilizations, but the clash of civilizations is interested in you.” For a long time, people in the U.S. and Europe were able to ignore the barbarities in Africa, Iraq, and elsewhere. But then the clash of civilization moved north and into Europe. When the “clash” made its appearance in the streets of Paris, in Christmas markets in Germany, and in a concert hall in Manchester, only the willfully blind could fail to notice.

But, apparently, there are a lot of those. In Europe, America, and Canada, the elites in government, media, academia, and even the Church continue to insist that there is no clash. That’s true in a sense. You can’t have a clash if only one side is fighting. And thus far the pushback against jihad—both of the armed variety and the stealth variety—has been feeble. The elites won’t even contemplate the obvious first step—tight restrictions on Muslim immigration.

Moreover, they do everything they can to cover up the clash. Police aren’t allowed to report on the extent of immigrant crime, news media won’t carry stories about the crimes unless they are exceptionally violent, outspoken critics of Islam or immigration are brought before magistrates, and ordinary citizens who post “Islamophobic” remarks on Facebook are visited by police.

The West’s self-imposed blindness to what is happening forces us to another observation about the historical turning point that is now developing. The battle is not simply a civilizational struggle between Islam and the West; it also involves a war within Western civilization itself. Many of our Western institutions now reject the Western heritage, and many of them have effectively taken the side of Islam.

On almost any issue involving a conflict between Islam and traditional Western values, the schools, the media, the courts, and many of the churches stand with Islam. They may not look at it that way. They may rationalize their actions as nothing more than a defense of the civil rights of Muslims. Many of them are likely unfamiliar with the concept of stealth jihad. But they are facilitating it just the same. The main form this facilitation takes is the suppression of any bad news about Islam. Thus, in 2012, Congress refused to investigate Muslim Brotherhood penetration of government agencies, and in the same year the FBI, the Pentagon, and other security agencies bowed to Muslim pressure and purged their training materials of any suggestion that Islamic terrorists were motivated by Islamic ideology. More recently, media giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have taken to stifling the voices of those who speak out against Islamic oppression.

One could cite numerous other instances of this near suicidal impulse to side with our ideological enemies: the judges who block restrictions on Muslim immigration, the bishops who sign up with the deceptive anti-“Islamophobia” campaign, the Obama administration’s gift of billions of dollars to Iran.

With a few exception, such as the bishops, these enablers of cultural jihad are secular progressives. Despite their moniker, however, progressives can be decidedly regressive. They champion abortion at every stage of pregnancy—a practice which suggests that the distance between us and the child-sacrificing Carthaginians is not as great as we may think. Progressives promise to pull us into the future, yet they often act to drag us into the past. Several progressive voices now want severe restrictions on freedom of speech. This has already happened on college campuses where hate speech codes effectively stifle free expression. The average college student today has no more freedom of speech than a serving woman in the court of Cleopatra. The “enlightened” progressives who run Google, YouTube, and Facebook don’t have much use for freedom of expression either. Critics of Islam are particularly liable to be restricted, suspended or banned by these Internet monopolies.

Here is the situation in brief. We stand at one of the major turning points of history. Two powerful forces for regression threaten to drag us into a dark past. On the one hand, Islamists want to bring back the subjugation of women, female genital mutilation, sex slavery, beheadings, and dhimmitude for non-believers. On the other hand, their hi-tech progressive enablers are decimating non-Muslim populations by promoting contraception and abortion, while simultaneously controlling the flow of information about Islam using speech-suppressing strategies that no absolute monarch could ever have imagined.

If you’ve ever wished that you could have been around at one of history’s decisive moments, your wish had been granted. And if you’ve ever wished to be on the side of the beleaguered underdog, that wish also has been granted. The forces of regression are in the ascendancy, and Christian civilization is in retreat.

Now is a time for choosing. I won’t say the choice is clear. Much has been done to muddy the waters—to make sure that we remain confused and complacent. Moreover, few things are ever completely clear when you’re caught in the middle of events. For many Jews in the early 1940s, their situation only became completely clear when they were hauled off to concentration camps. For many Americans in 1941, the world situation only became clear with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Those who wait for absolute clarity often find that they have waited for too long.

Although the means of obfuscating the truth are far more sophisticated now than they were in the 1940s, we still have a marked advantage over our counterparts in that era. We have far more historical perspective than was available to them. For example, when the Nazis were building up their military machine in the 1930s, there was no thousand-year history of Nazi aggression to serve as a warning. The Nazi party was little more than a decade old, and Hitler had not come to power until 1933. There was some excuses for those who naively gave the Nazis the benefit of the doubt.

We, on the other hand, have very little excuse for ignoring the signs of the time. For those who study history, they are very familiar signs. That’s because Islam has a 1,400-year history of aggression. And the battle plan has been remarkably consistent over time—even including migration as a means of invasion. The latest installment of that 1,400-year-old plan for world conquest in the name of Allah has already begun. We are witnessing a remarkable expansion of Islam into every corner of the world—Africa, Australia, the Philippines, China, Russia, Europe, North and South America.

Only this time the forces of Islam are being aided and abetted by the very powerful forces of leftist progressivism. Earlier, I mentioned some of the ways leftists defend Islam. Here’s another. One year ago, after delivering a lecture in Iceland on the jihad threat, author Robert Spencer was poisoned by a leftist, then denied proper testing and treatment by an emergency room doctor (also a leftist ideologue). Although more than a year has passed, police have taken no action against the suspected poisoner, and the Icelandic Medical Ethics Committee has taken no action against the derelict doctor.

Committed leftists and committed Islamists: it’s a hard combination to beat. Both believe very firmly in what they believe. Unless Christians believe very firmly that they must be stopped, both will continue to expand. We stand at a decisive point in history. Choosing to stay on the sidelines only serves to increase the odds that these regressive forces will triumph.

Editor’s note: Pictured above are Ottoman soldiers posing in front of hanged Armenian doctors in Aleppo Square, 1916.

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily,and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

A BRIDGES TOO FAR

Powerline Blog, by Paul Mirengoff, May 2, 2018:

Tonight, the Department of Justice/FBI will continue its 17-year practice of meeting quarterly with representatives of the Muslim community in southeast Michigan. It’s called a BRIDGES meeting. BRIDGES stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity.

Not security, which should be the FBI’s mission. Sensitivity.

Indeed, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan no longer even mentions trying to prevent jihad as the mission of BRIDGES. Rather, the point is “to ensure that all Americans receive the full protection of the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The stated target is alleged Islamophobia.

Jihad, in fact, has been defined away as a threat to security. At the last meeting, Bushra Alawie, an “outreach” specialist with the FBI in Detroit, claimed that jihad means “inner struggle” — e.g., her struggle not to eat cheesecake — as well as the struggle to defend one’s property.

On this account, it would be churlish to oppose jihad. Unfortunately, the account is BS.

To whom does the FBI “reach out” by inviting to BRIDGES meetings? A heavy dose of CAIR personnel.

CAIR stands for Council on American Islamic Relations. The Department of Justice named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation and others for providing support to the terrorist group Hamas. The court in that case sustained the designation.

Moreover, the head of CAIR Michigan, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, was convicted in 2011 of conspiring to work for a foreign government by running a group that supported the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq against U.S. forces. Yet, Al-Hanooti is among those invited to meet with the FBI/Justice tonight.

So is Dawud Walid, the current head of CAIR Michigan. He has claimed that “the number one perpetrators of terrorism in the United States. . .are not Muslims; they are actually white men.” This too is BS.

Lena Masri, CAIR’s national litigation director, is also on the invitee list. She leads CAIR’s resistance to President Trump’s travel ban. That’s her (and CAIR’s) right, of course. But why is the Trump administration Justice Deparment/FBI collaborating with her?

What will go down at tonight’s meeting? Most likely, the same kinds of things that occurred a few months ago. A report from the last meeting states that it served as “a fresh reminder of how the FBI has made a concerted effort to divert the eyes of law enforcement away from Muslim communities as potential breeding grounds for terror, and refocus attention on ‘Islamophobic’ American citizens.” Nearly the entire meeting was “spent focusing on Islamic religious and cultural practices and trying to debunk any derogatory information police officers may have received about Islamic ideology.”

One eyewitness said that guests of the American Middle Eastern Christian Congress were refused the right to record the meeting. By contrast, according to the same witnesses, the right to record was granted to the Arab American News. If true, this means that the DOJ/FBI discriminated against Christians and in favor of Muslims.

The BRIDGES program should be suspended, pending an investigation by Main Justice. If the meetings are reinstated, they should reflect a more balanced, more realistic assessment of the threats our country faces from terrorists. All elected Michigan representatives in Congress should be invited. I’m told that currently only Rep. Debbie Dingell, a left-liberal Democrat, is.

And, of course, Christian groups should have the same right to record the meeting as Muslims do.

It’s difficult to imagine a government operation more out of line with the views expressed by candidate Donald Trump than BRIDGES, as presented constituted. The program can be viewed as a pocket of “resistance” within the administration. Couple that with the program’s willful blindness to the threat of jihad, and the need to stop BRIDGES in its tracks could hardly be more obvious.

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