Former Labour Foreign Minister: UK Can’t Defeat Terror Without Understanding Religion

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty

Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, March 24, 2017:

A former Labour Party foreign minister has implied the government of Tony Blair was wrong to ignore the religious roots of Islamist terror, urging authorities to ‘take on’ the ideology to defeat terror.

Kim Howells, who oversaw the work of MI5 and MI6 during the Blair and Brown years, said Islamist violence is distinct from other forms of terror and Western values such as democracy must be defended.

“I was part of a Government that said: ‘Well, we don’t do God.’ But you can’t afford not to do God on this one, I think,” he told Wales Online.

“These people aren’t motivated – not on the most part, anyway – by money or some kind of nationalism. It’s different from the IRA. These people are prepared to kill themselves and they do it because they think it’s a shortcut to paradise…

“Unless people have enough courage to take that on and try and convince young people that the Caliphate is not a better way of running society than a democracy they are going to be lured to these organisations.”

Whilst some say Islamic terror is largely driven by grievances such as “Islamophobia”, “alienation”, and Western foreign policy, Mr. Howells argues it is necessary to appreciate the importance of theological turmoil going on within Islam.

“These guys are not just trying to kill unbelievers and Christians and so on. Their main enemy is another form of Islam,” he said, referring to the violent schism between Sunni and Shia Islam.

People hold up placards during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty)

Many other nations and ethnic groups have been affected by foreign interventions and discrimination, yet the vast majority of recent terror attacks have occurred in countries afflicted by Islamist insurgencies.

According to the Global Terrorism Database, in 2015, “69% of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in five countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Yemen)”.

Terrorists returning from these conflict zones present a real challenge to the UK.

Between 700 and 1,500 Brits have travelled to join Islamic State terrorists, and Mr. Howell said former jihadists should be a “real worry” for the security of the nation.

“There’s going to be a significant proportion of those people who are determined to carry on the fight here. They’ve been trained in how to use guns and how to construct bombs,” he said.

“They are going to have to be watched very carefully. But just to watch one person takes a large number of people and a lot of money.

“How on earth you keep tabs on 400 or 500 people at any given time as well as those who never went to Syria but you judge are posing a threat is not easy.”

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:

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Keith Ellison Risks Legitimizing Extremists

Keith Ellison (Getty Images)

Keith Ellison (Getty Images)

Daily Caller, by Sam Westrop, Feb. 23, 2017:

The Democratic National Committee recently banned a candidate from the chairmanship race, after he claimed that fellow-candidate Keith Ellison, a Muslim Congressman, was unfit to lead the party because of his religion’s opposition to homosexuality. There is no evidence that Ellison himself is anti-gay, and it was unfair to suggest as such. Ellison does have a history, however, of sharing platforms with some of the most extreme anti-gay preachers in America.

In April, Ellison is billed to speak at a conference organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS). Ellison will be sharing the stage with an assortment of clerics known for their extremist rhetoric – including Siraj Wahhaj, who cites the death penalty for homosexuality, which he describes as a “disease,” and labels non-Muslims as “foul” and “corrupting.”

Under a Trump administration, some Democrats may feel particularly drawn to declaring solidarity with American Muslim communities. Islamist groups know this, and will seek to exploit the company of politicians who are keen to broadcast their anti-Trump credentials. Political patronage gives credence to the claim of Islamists to be community leaders – to be legitimate representatives of ordinary Muslims (who are given little say on the matter). It serves to distract attention away from their extremist ideas and links to terror. And it gives them an opportunity for influence that, as a minority group of extreme political operatives, they would otherwise never wield.

If all goes well in February’s DNC leadership elections, Representative Ellison could be addressing the ICNA-MAS conference in Baltimore as the newly-minted DNC chairman. For ICNA-MAS and its conference speakers, Ellison’s presence means the support of the liberal anti-Trump establishment. It means the whitewash of illiberal Islamism.

In December, Ellison withdrew from a similar conference, also organized by MAS and ICNA, after the Middle East Forum and its allies published research showing that almost half of the speakers had made comments advocating for jihad, promoting anti-Semitic and homophobic ideas, or praising terrorist groups such as Hamas. Several of those same extremist speakers are now also listed to speak at the conference in April.

Has Ellison agreed to attend the ICNA-MAS conference because the DNC election campaign will be over? Or perhaps it is simply because he is not aware some of the same extremists he distanced himself from in December will be again sharing his platform in April. In case Representative Ellison is simply uninformed, he should know a little more about at least one of his fellow speakers.

Siraj Wahhaj is a preacher with a long history of involvement in extremist causes. In 1995, the U.S. Attorney for New York named Wahhaj as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. Wahhaj also served as a character witness for Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious terrorist operative, whose group was responsible for the attack.

Newly-discovered sermons now reveal the full extent of Wahhaj’s extremist ideas. Wahhaj has advocated for jihad in America, and fundraised for the Benevolence International Foundation, a prominent front group for Al Qaeda, now banned. Elsewhere, he describes American society as “satanic”, supports “chopping off the hands” of thieves, advocates “death by stoning” for “adultery or fornication”, and labels non-Muslims as “dirty” and “corrupting.”

Wahhaj reserves quite a bit of his hatred for homosexuality. “The Prophet,” Wahhaj claims, “cursed the feminine man and the masculine women. …  Brothers and sisters, I don’t believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society.” Feminist movements, he adds, “are headed by lesbians.”

Although Wahhaj advises his audience not to “beat up homosexuals,” he nevertheless reminds them: “You know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad … said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to: kill them both.

Wahhaj is not the only extremist advertised to speak in April. Others include Yusuf Islahi, who claims that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks, as part of a conspiracy to defame Islam; and Yasir Qadhi, who incites hatred against Shia Muslims, and has described the Holocaust as “false propaganda.”

The hosting organizations have their own history of extremism. In 2014, MAS was designated by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization. And ICNA is the American arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent South Asian Islamist group that carried out mass-killings of civilians during the 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh.

As a congressman, Keith Ellison is perhaps just another liberal politician being exploited by illiberal Islamist groups. But as a possible DNC chair, he would be lending the legitimacy of the Democratic Party to some of the most abhorrent Islamist clerics and activists in America today, and betraying the trust of moderate American Muslims.

Politicians who oppose the Trump administration must take care not be so anti-Trump that they ignore the danger of Islamism. If politicians across the spectrum are serious about tackling extremism, radicalization and terror, they must deny Islamists the liberal stamp of approval. Keith Ellison, whether as Chairman or Congressman, must withdraw from this conference.

Sam Westrop is a writer for Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum

Also see:

Yes, It’s Legal To Designate The Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Organization

shutterstock_211423306Designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a serious impediment to continuing the bipartisan, but failed, policy of cooperating with Islamists in the Middle East.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, February 10, 2016:

As President Trump moves towards designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, we’re hearing all the reasons he can’t or shouldn’t.

The latest tactic has been to assert that designating the Muslim Brotherhood is not possible, or simply illegal, because it does not conform with the letter of the law regarding Foreign Terrorist Designations. This is a specious claim, but made with such confidence that it requires a serious examination to debunk.

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood Exists

One of the chief arguments that designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would be illegal is there is no such thing as the Muslim Brotherhood. A textbook example of this claim comes from Benjamin Wittes in the Lawfare Blog:

The short answer is that the Brotherhood is not in a meaningful sense a single organization at all; elements of it can be designated and have been designated, and other elements certainly cannot be. As a whole, it is simply too diffuse and diverse to characterize. And it certainly cannot be said as a whole to engage in terrorism that threatens the United States.

While Wittes admits that there does exist a single body known as the International Muslim Brotherhood, he claims “it is difficult to assess the strength of the ties between the international organization and the various Brotherhood chapters, because of the organization’s penchant for secrecy.”

Indeed, the International Muslim Brotherhood is so secretive that it published its bylaws on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website in 2010. These bylaws make clear that the leadership of national branches answer to the overall Muslim Brotherhood leadership. The bylaws state that branch “secretary generals must abide by the higher leadership’s decisions,” are obliged to “get approval of the general guidance office prior to making any important political decision,” must file “annual reports” with the higher leadership, and must “pay an annual subscription” to the higher leadership.

The claimed ability to approve policy, enforce common decisions, and closely scrutinize activity, and the transfer of funds from lower members to higher leadership would all seemingly meet the requirement of a single organization. No doubt plenty of district attorneys would long for such an overt statement of hierarchy and cooperation when attempting a racketeering prosecution.

But the argument about the level of the Brotherhood’s cohesiveness is ultimately a distraction. The law governing Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation defines a terrorist organization by citing a separate section of law , 8 U.S. Code § 1182, which reads in part:

(vi) “Terrorist organization” defined As used in this section, the term “terrorist organization” means an organization—

(I) designated under section 1189 of this title;

(II) otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv); or

(III) that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).

The key section here is (III), “a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).” So while Wittes cites pro-Islamist experts to argue that the International Muslim Brotherhood lacks demonstrable cohesion or the ability to enforce common policy, ultimately the total level of organization is irrelevant. The only question is whether the organization has engaged, or possesses a subgroup that engaged, in terrorist activities. Here the answer is an obvious yes, given that Hamas is a self-acknowledged subgroup of the International Muslim Brotherhood, and is already a legally designated FTO.

Yes, Muslim Brotherhood Affiliates Engage in Terrorism

Even aside from the role of Hamas as a subgroup of the International Muslim Brotherhood, there is strong evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood engages in “the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).” Those read as follows:

(iv) “Engage in terrorist activity” defined As used in this chapter, the term “engage in terrorist activity” means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization—

(I) to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;

(II) to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;

(III) to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;

(IV) to solicit funds or other things of value for—

(aa) a terrorist activity;

(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization…

The key factor here is (IV), “to solicit funds or other things of value” for “a terrorist organization.” The U.S. government has already successfully argued in court that the Muslim Brotherhood founded Hamas, and that the Muslim Brotherhood created and maintained an international infrastructure to finance and support the Hamas subgroup. Specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood established a “Palestine Section,” which in turn oversaw “Palestine Committees” in each of the Muslim Brotherhood’s branches, in order to raise funds and engage in propaganda (obviously a thing of value) on behalf of Hamas.

Muslim Brotherhood apologists know that designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a serious impediment to continuing the bipartisan, but failed, policy of cooperating with Islamists in the Middle East.

Whether U.S. engagement with Islamists is useful is a policy question that can be debated, but it should be done openly. The recent invocation of claims it is “illegal” to designate the Muslim Brotherhood is an attempt to hide behind dubious legal claims, in order to avoid a policy argument on the merits. Such tactics perhaps suggest how weak the apologists’ policy position is.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.

How James Mattis As Defense Secretary Could Bust Our Deathly Political Correctness About Islam

Photo Wikimedia Commons

Photo Wikimedia Commons

The Federalist, by M. G. Oprea, November 30, 2016:

Is political Islam in America’s best interests? This question should be central to our strategy of fighting ISIS and Islamist terrorism in general. Yet it’s one that many political leaders would rather not answer, because of our politically correct climate. But since Trump’s transition team announced last week that it’s considering retired Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense, this reluctance might fade.

In a speech given at the Heritage Foundation last year, Mattis spoke about America’s position vis à vis political Islam. Rather than equivocating on the matter in order to avoid saying something uncomfortable or politically incorrect, Mattis simply pointed out that America needs to make a decision about its stance toward this ideology.

Recall that political Islam, or Islamism, is a movement within Islam: it works toward the increasing implementation of Islamic law and values in all areas of life—usually via state control—in order to make Islam a dominant force in the world.

Why We Don’t Talk About Islamism

Mattis’ suggestion—which sounds like a basic element of defense strategy—has been surprisingly neglected in the years since 9/11. The U.S. tends to deal with Islamism on a case-by-case basis. And so long as any particular group or political entity doesn’t have a direct and obvious link to terrorism, we tend to give them a pass. Even then, this is sometimes too high of a bar, as is the case with the Muslim Brotherhood and associated groups.

No one wants to delve into the question of Islamism because it has become a politically charged issue, one that often leads to accusations of bigotry and Islamaphobia. As Islam is increasingly treated as a protected class by America’s progressive Left, any scrutiny of any faction within Islam is considered off limits. This is done in the name of tolerance, but is in fact a highly intolerant position. But it’s successfully scared off politicians and military personnel, who tend to make vague and noncommittal statements on the topic.

This makes Mattis’ statements all the more notable. He’s simply urging the U.S. to make a decision. And what’s more, he’s arguing that this decision ought to be based on what we believe is in our best interest:

“Is political Islam in the best interest of the United States?…If we won’t even ask the question then how do we even get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight? And if we don’t take our own side in this fight we’re leaving others adrift.”

What Is In The Country’s Best Interests?

This is a surprisingly unpopular question to ask in general, and specifically when it comes to Islam. The concept itself—asking what is in America’s best interest—has largely been ignored as of late. Under Obama, America has pursued a policy of “leading from behind,” and more or less disregarding America’s interests abroad. The Obama administration has done this based on the notion, central to the progressive narrative of history, that America is a de facto colonialist power, whose influence in the world is malign and ought to recede of our own volition.

But if the U.S. can’t identify what is in its best interests, or refuses to pursue those interests out of an oversized sense of political correctness, there’s no way to forge a comprehensive global defense strategy. As Mattis points out, if we won’t even talk about political Islam with a critical eye, how can we figure out which side we’re on, and make decisions from that point? Neglecting the question not only hurts our interests—it leaves our allies unsure of where we stand and how we will proceed when Islamist movements gain traction in their countries.

Mattis also points out that ISIS is counting on Americans not having a debate on whether political Islam is good for America. If we don’t examine this question, we can’t create a cohesive strategy, and our fight against ISIS’s self-proclaimed Caliphate (or other groups like them) will ultimately fail.

This is the opposite of what some Islamist apologists and those on the left insist, which is that ISIS wants us to talk about the connections between Islam and violence, in order to make Muslims feel like the West is at war with their entire religion. Then, so the thinking goes, Muslims will turn on the West.

Mattis Would Change Our Reputation

As it is, ISIS has largely won this battle. Any serious strategic discussion about the relationship between political Islam and American national interests has been deemed illegitimate and offensive by the political Left. See, for example, the scrubbing of terms related to Islam from Department of Homeland Security training materials.

Mattis’ appointment as Defense Secretary would be a marked change not only from the Obama administration, but also from the Bush years. Both administrations were reluctant to substantively engage in a debate on the merits or threats of political Islam.

Since giving this speech at Heritage, ISIS has experienced significant territorial losses. But the question Mattis raises has not lost its relevance. It will be central to many of the Trump administration’s foreign policy challenges. Political Islam remains, and will remain, a problem for the West both in terms of domestic security and global strategy. Whether it’s the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the U.S., or political Islam in a post-Arab Spring Middle East, the U.S. needs to know where it stands on this issue.

Mattis concludes that political Islam is not, in the end, good for America. But he acknowledges that what’s most important is that we have a discussion about it—so that we can develop a broader strategy for how to deal with Islamism in the world. Without a cohesive strategy, there is little hope of checking the destructive influences of political Islam both at home and abroad.

M. G. Oprea is a writer based in Austin, Texas. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Muslim expert TORCHES Obama’s ‘countering violent extremism’ agenda

terrorist-thunderstormConservative Review, by Nate Madden, September 22, 2016:

The United States should ditch its current efforts at “countering violent extremism” and focus instead on “countering violent Islamism” (CVE), a prominent Muslim reformist told Congress on Thursday.

“Our current direction and lack of deeply flawed and profoundly dangerous for the security of our nation,” Dr. Zhudi Jasser, president of the American Islamic forum for Democracy, said at a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing Thursday. “As a devout Muslim who loves my faith, and loves my nation, the de-emphasis of “radical Islam” and the “Islamist” root cause of global Islamist terrorism is the greatest obstacle to both national harmony and national security.”

Jasser went on to say that until America can “name this, and once we can name it, treat it and then counter it,” its national security efforts will remain channeled through a “Whac-a-Mole program” that focuses on tactics, rather than ideology.

A report issued earlier this year from a DC-based counterterrorism consulting firm found the Obama administration’s CVE programs to be a “catastrophic failure” due to its inefficacy, poor management, and, most of all, because of the administration’s engagementwith organizations that have known extremist affiliations, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America.

Both organizations were unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation case; trusting such organizations to counter jihadism is akin to “treating arsonists like firefighters,” Jasser said.

While these groups may not be intrinsically extremist in their messaging, Dr. Jasser said, they “are distributing literature that glorifies political Islam, that glorifies sharia state ideology […] that ultimately ends up causing the harms that radicalize our community.”

Not only does government engagement with these organizations further empower the global jihad movement and “leaves us bare against the threat of radical Islamism,” Jasser added, it also “renders our greatest allies within the Muslim community — genuine reformers — entirely impotent and marginalized.”

Throughout the rest of his prepared testimony, Jasser also suggested that Congress reopen investigations into CAIR’s extremist ties, calling the group “one of the most obvious beneficiaries of this embrace of Islamist groups.” He also recommended that the administration stop all engagement with groups that have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and “recognize their misogynist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and anti-American ideological underpinnings.”

Also on the panel was Shireen Qudosi, a senior contributor at CounterJihad.com, who pointed out to members the difference between Islam and Islamism, and that the latter “is a political ideology that must be studied, understood, and defeated.”

Qudosi went on to attack the “Islamophobe” labelling of anyone who criticizes Muslims, saying that the accusation “moves Islam from a religion into a racial or biological context,” rather than approaching it as a belief system.

“Islam is a religion,” she added, one that should be challenged intellectually without fear of automatically being labeled an Islamophobe or racist for doing so. “It is an idea, a set of concepts and beliefs. As such, ideas, concepts, and beliefs do not have human rights; individuals do.”

“The best way to tackle ISIS, beyond Whac-a-Mole CVE systems, is to tackle their political ideology,” said Qudosi.

During an earlier panel in the hearing, George Selim, Department of Homeland Security Office of Community Partnerships director, told the subcommittee that the current CVE program under his direction isn’t even being guided by a complete, strategic plan, according to a report at the Washington Examiner. After being repeatedly hounded by committee members, Selim admitted that a strategic plan for a $10 million endeavor was “nearly ready,” and that he could only point to “anecdotal” evidence that the program had actually countered some violent extremism.

“I can’t sit here before you today and definitively say that person was going to commit an act of terrorism … but we’re developing that prevention framework in a range of cities across the country,” Selim confessed under oath.

***

Pete Hoekstra: Obama’s Embrace of US Muslim Brotherhood Groups Damages American Foreign Policy:

Texts of all witness testimonies can be found here

Entire Hearing:

Also see:

15 Years Since 9/11, Is Al-Qaeda’s 20 Yr Plan Coming To Fruition?

9/11 from Brooklyn Bridge. (Photo: © Reuters)

9/11 from Brooklyn Bridge. (Photo: © Reuters)

How does the “War on Terror” look 15 years after the worst terrorist attack in American history? Al-Qaeda’s 20 year plan is scarily close to reality.

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, Sept. 11, 2016:

Today marks 15 years since Al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, murdering 2, 977 people. Since that day, in 2001, at least another 1,000 people have died from illnesses caused by exposure to debris from the failing towers.

Warning: This short clip shows the World Trade Center after it was hit:

A US-led NATO taskforce invaded Afghanistan shortly afterwards to remove the Taliban, and to find and capture Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden is now dead, but Afghanistan is still at war. Al-Qaeda’s successor organization, the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), has established a state of sorts across swathes of Syria and Iraq. Al-Qaeda itself is an active participant in Syria’s increasingly-complicated civil war.

Since the attack, efforts to defeat terrorism have been successful. Here are three things to bear in mind:

1-3With the collapse of the USSR, Islamism is the only ideological alternative to Western hegemony

Islamism is a comprehensive political system that offers a total ideological alternative to the mainstream Western consensus of democracies enforcing liberal values, backed by American hard power. Since international communism collapsed, those opposed to this system have been left without an ideological home.

This fact puts into perspective the close relationship between sections of the hard left, such as the UK’s Jeremy Corbyn or Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin, with totalitarian Islamists such as Hamas or insurgents fighting American forces in Iraq. Both Corbyn and Benjamin transitioned seamlessly from traditional left-wing and socialist/communist alignment to apologism for terrorist groups who were deemed to be oppressed, as part of a broader strategy of defiance against American and Western power.

In 2009, Corbyn called Hamas a force for “social good” and his “friends”, while Benjamin collected $600,000 in medical supplies and cash in 2004, to deliver to the families of terrorist insurgents fighting the US in Iraq.

Opposed to what they term “neo-liberalism” in principle, activists like these will seek out any allies opposed to it which, in the current era, means Islamist extremists, who have pretty much the only viable (if horrific) alternative ideology to Western neo-liberalism.

2-2Al-Qaeda Wanted to Provoke an Overreaction

As early as 2005, a book entitled This is How We See and Want Jihad was circulating showing Al-Qaeda’s twenty-year long game plan to defeat the West and establish an Islamic Caliphate. This was further illuminated by the groundbreaking work of Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussain. The plan has seven phases. The first phase, between 2000 and 2003, aimed to draw America into an intractable war against Muslims and thus “crown al-Qaeda as the leader of the nation.”

Later phases aimed to make the war intractable and thus gain support for Al-Qaeda while demoralizing the West, and toppling Arab regimes allied to America and Israel. The plan includes creating a jihadi army in Syria and Iraq, and drawing in funding and recruits from outside.

Once US power began to wane, after a decade of an expensive war of attrition, a Caliphate was to be declared at some point from 2013 to 2016. After 2016, the phase of “total war” would begin, waging attacks against Western targets around the world; the “beginning of the confrontation between faith and disbelief, which would begin in earnest after the establishment of the Islamic caliphate.”

Al-Qaeda and its successor the Islamic State seem remarkably on track with this plan, especially considering the turmoil engulfing the region. It is also very important to note that they see terrorism as a means of destabilizing the West to further the establishment of a Caliphate, rather than as an end in itself.

3-1Ideology is the Key to Victory

Bearing in mind the first two points, we see that Al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups see terrorism as a means to an end. To prevent another 9/11 from taking place, therefore, we have to tackle their end goal and show the world precisely how and why an Islamist caliphate is a bad idea.

When we can do that, young jihadis will not be motivated to sacrifice their lives in an attempt to establish this Caliphate, and idealistic activists will not make excuses for people fighting for these goals.

Such clarity is needed now more than ever because, 15 years after the tragic September 11th attacks, there is still no end in sight for the “War on Terror.”

Also see:

Stop Asking ‘Why Do They Hate Us?’

Muslims hold placards as they march towards the U.S. embassy in London May 6, 2011. On the frontline of the war against terrorism -- and Britain is undoubtedly a frontline -- private initiatives hint at the failure of state-sponsored efforts to counter jihad. Almost six years on from a massive coordinated terror attack on London's transport system, the main nationwide programme to deter young men from extremism still hasn't moved past mistrust and suspicion. Picture taken May 6, 2011. To match Special Report BRITAIN-MUSLIMS/RADICALS REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Muslims hold placards as they march towards the U.S. embassy in London May 6, 2011. On the frontline of the war against terrorism — and Britain is undoubtedly a frontline — private initiatives hint at the failure of state-sponsored efforts to counter jihad. Almost six years on from a massive coordinated terror attack on London’s transport system, the main nationwide programme to deter young men from extremism still hasn’t moved past mistrust and suspicion. Picture taken May 6, 2011. To match Special Report BRITAIN-MUSLIMS/RADICALS REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Daily Caller, By A.J. Caschetta, 04/11/2016

Shortly after the latest ISIS suicide bombers struck in Brussels on March 22, German Green Party MP Franziska Brantner tweeted “Why do they hate us so much?” The intelligentsia’s ignorance perseveres in spite of the answer right in front of them: it’s not hatred but an ideology called Islamism that compels violence. We are now almost 15 years beyond 9/11, and it’s time to stop asking this question after every major jihadist attack.

First, the obligatory disclaimer: “they” refers to Islamists and “we” to everyone else, including moderate Muslims (with all due respect to Donald Trump).

The self-indulgent introspection began in earnest on October 14, 2001 when Fareed Zakaria asked in Newsweek “Why Do They Hate Us?”  Zakaria blamed the victim. US support of “Israel’s iron-fisted rule over the occupied territories” and various other “oppressive police states” in the Arab world is the cause. Zakaria acknowledged briefly the “total failure of political institutions in the Arab world” but still blamed the U.S. for having “neglected to press any regime there to open up its society.” That essay ends with the admonition that “We have no option but to get back into the nation-building business.”

Several days later in LA Weekly John Powers concurred that American support for “brutal, undemocratic Middle Eastern regimes” is the root of the problem and concluded that “they hate us because we don’t even know why they hate us.”

The question persisted throughout the next decade and returned with new vigor in 2015, a year that began and ended with ISIS attacks in Paris. On November 13, 2015, while the dead in the Bataclan concert hall and in the streets of Paris were still being counted, Bill Maher asked guests on his television show “why do they hate us?” (they blamed “the Bush Doctrine.”) before concluding that “we still don’t know the answer.”

On December 7, 2015 Hisham Melhem asked the same question in Politico and found the answer in poor assimilation and rampant Islamophobia from San Bernardino to the banlieues of Paris.  After the Brussels attacks Politico ran an unsigned op-ed titled “Why Do They Hate Us So Much?” bemoaning Europe’s growing populism and nativism. Moustafa Bayoumi raised this question in The Nation, answering that “Only when we face up to our delusions and actions and stop torturing others into silence will we be able to keep ourselves out of darkness.”

Has the West learned nothing in the past decade and a half? Why do we still ask this question when the answer is clear?

The theological underpinnings of the most violent strain of Islamism (what some analysts call bin Ladenism) are found in four doctrines, all easily grasped. Together they make up the ideology that seeks to conquer the world. All who oppose it are treated in a way that only seems like hatred because we cannot imagine any other motive for the violence.

First, the Doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity prevails among Islamists whose dichotomous world view is comprised of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. Mark Sageman translates these two as the “Land of Islam” and the “Land of Conflict.” Loyalty and a strict adherence to Sharia law are demanded of all who inhabit Dar al-Islam, while everyone else is the ultimate “other.” Islamists consider the West to be Dar al-Harb.

Second is the Doctrine of Offensive Jihad. Whether they are following Ibn Taymiyyah, Syed Abul Ala Maududi, Sayed Qutb, Abdus Salam Faraj, or Osama bin Laden himself, Islamists have internalized the doctrine of loyalty and enmity to the extent that they believe engaging in offensive jihad is the only way to remain faithful to Muhammad’s example. Offensive jihad is often portrayed as a defensive jihad against ideological “attacks” emanating from Dar al-Harb.

Third is the Doctrine of Martyrdom. People misunderstand suicide terrorism by thinking that only hatred could cause someone to seek revenge in an act that requires his death. This in fact is wrong, for not only do Islamists from Hamas to Hezbollah and even bin Laden claim that they love death like we love life, but they also make a distinction between suicide, which is committed “out of depression and despair” according to Ayman al-Zawahiri, and martyrdom, which is carried out “to service Islam.” The one thing witnesses remember about the Hezbollah suicide bomber who killed 141 Marines on October 23, 1983 is that he was smiling as he drove his truck into their compound in Beirut, Lebanon. When Palestinian suicide bombers detonate themselves, their comrades and families celebrate their wedding to dark-eyed virgins, not their hatred.

Last is the Doctrine of Takfir, an Arabic term referring to the process whereby an Islamist accuses a moderate Muslim of being insufficiently Islamic and therefore no longer worthy of the protection conferred by the doctrine of loyalty. Those so identified become just another enemy from Dar al-Harb. Only takfir, not hatred, can explain the preponderance of Muslims killed by Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Those who fail to understand the ideology of Islamism will remain confused by it, attributing the violence to hatred because they don’t understand the real motives. So like battered spouses, victims of Islamist violence continue trying to alter their behavior in futile attempts to make “them” love “us.”

A.J. Caschetta is a senior lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum.  He can be reached atajcgsl@rit.edu.

DATA: Young Muslims in the West Are a Ticking Time Bomb, Increasingly Sympathising with Radicals, Terror

Getty

Getty

 Breitbart, by RAHEEM KASSAM, March  22, 2016:

On the back of the Brussels terror attack it is worthwhile remembering that while a majority of Muslims in the West appear to have no truck with terrorism or extremism, there are a significant number who sympathise with terrorism and repeatedly attempt to justify attacks on the West.

TERRORISM

An ICM poll from 2006 revealed that 20 per cent of British Muslims sympathised with the 7/7 bombers who brought terror to the streets of the British capital, killing 52 and injuring hundreds. This number rose to one in four British Muslims, according to NOP Research for Channel 4. With a British Muslim population of over 3 million today, that translates to roughly three quarters of a million terror-sympathising people in the UK.

The number rises for younger British Muslims – a sure sign that radicalisation through schools, mosques, and prisons (often via Saudi-funded groups) is creating a long-term problem in Europe. Thirty-one per cent of younger British Muslims endorsed or excused the 7/7 bombings of 2005, with just 14 per cent of those over 45 doing so.

Twenty-seven per cent of those polled in the United Kingdom say they had sympathy with the attacks on Charlie Hebdo – the French satirical magazine that published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammed last year, with 78 per cent supporting punishment for the publication of cartoons featuring Muhammed and 68 per cent supporting the arrest and prosecution of British people who “insult Islam.”

And this number pales in comparison to global Muslim population figures. According to World Public Opinion (2009) at the University of Maryland, 61 per cent of Egyptians, 32 per cent of Indonesians, 41 per cent of Pakistanis, 38 per cent of Moroccans, 83 per cent of Palestinians, 62 per cent of Jordanians, and 42 per cent of Turks appear to endorse or sympathise with attacks on Americans or American groups.

A 2013 study found that 16 per cent of young Muslims in Belgium believed that state terrorism is “acceptable,” while 12 per cent of young Muslims in Britain said that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified.

Pew Research from 2007 found that 26 per cent of young Muslims in America believed suicide bombings are justified, with 35 per cent in Britain, 42 per cent in France, 22 per cent in Germany, and 29 per cent in Spain feeling the same way.

And Muslims who are more devout or dedicated to Islam are three times more likely to believe that suicide bombings are justified — a harrowing statistic when you consider that 86 per cent of Muslims in Britain “feel that religion is the most important thing in their life.”

While just 5 per cent of UK Muslims said they would not report a terror attack being planned, the number leaps to 18 per cent amongst young, British Muslims. The anti-police narrative fuelled by groups like Black Lives Matter are no doubt contributing to this idea that people should not work with the police, with the British Muslim Youth group recently urging a boycott of police.

More recently, in 2015, it was revealed that 45 per cent of British Muslims think that hate preachers that advocate violence against the West represent “mainstream Islam.”

Forty per cent of British Muslims say they want Sharia law in the West, while 41 per cent oppose it.

Despite the fact that “Islamophobia” did not rise after the Paris Attacks, there remains a grievance industry across the Western world which targets young Muslims especially, urging them to feel victimised by Western governments for taking a stance against Islamism – and scarcely a tough stance at that.

No more was this evident than in the case of Tell MAMA, a government-backed Muslim grievance group which saw its state funding removed after it was found trying to artificially inflate statistics on hate crimes against Muslims in the UK.

CRIMINALITY

Earlier this year it was reported that one in five prisoners in the United Kingdom’s top security jails is now Muslim, a rise of 23 per cent from just five years ago. In total, a 20 per cent increase in the jail population in Britain has been outstripped by the rise in Muslim inmates — up 122 per cent over 13 years.

The same disproportionate figures are borne out across the United States, where Pew datafrom 2011 revealed that Muslims made up 9 per cent of state and federal prisoners though at the time Muslims made up just 0.8 per cent of the U.S. population.

In 2008, the Washington Post reported “About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in [France’s] prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country’s population.”

ANTI-SEMITISM

“An average of 55 percent of Western European Muslims harbored antisemitic attitudes. Acceptance of antisemitic stereotypes by Muslims in these countries was substantially higher than among the national population in each country,” an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report found in 2015.

A Swedish government report from 2006 found that that 5 per cent of the total population held anti-Semitic views, with the number surging to 39 per cent amongst adult Muslims.

In Germany in 2012, a study of the country’s burgeoning Turkish population revealed that 62 percent of Turks in Germany said they wanted to only live amongst each other, with 46 per cent wanting the country to become a Muslim majority nation. This report also found that 18 per cent of the Turkish population thought of Jews as “inferior.”

Breitbart News reported in January about an ongoing exodus of French Jews, with some 8,000 headed for Israel in 2015 and many others migrating to the UK or the U.S, as a result of rising anti-Semitism.

INTEGRATION

Despite hundreds of millions of pounds, dollars, and euros spent on integration projects, it appears to be a Sisyphean task – calling into question the rate at which immigration is occurring throughout the Western world and the tolerance with which our societies have operate thus far.

The BBC found that 36 per cent of 16 to 24-year-old Muslims believe that if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death. Thirty five per cent of Muslims say they would prefer to send their children to an Islamic school, and 37 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds say they want government-funded Islamic schools to send their kids to.

The report again highlights the radicalisation of the Muslim youth in the West, with 74 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds preferring Muslim women to wear the veil, compared with only 28 per cent for those over the age of 55.

Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of Breitbart London. He tweets at@RaheemKassam and you can follow him on Facebook here

NPR Proves Willing Accomplice To Islamists’ U.S. Agenda

shutterstock

shutterstock

NPR’s shilling on behalf of Islamists represents a wider ignorance of Islamic doctrine and history that Islamists in the West have aggressively exploited.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, March 14, 2016:

A recent article by National Public Radio’s religion reporter Tom Gjelten praises a push towards “fighting extremism” by urging Muslims to emulate the prophet Mohammed through increasing religious literacy and examination of the hadiths, the sayings and stories about Mohammed as recorded by Muslim scholars. The article asserts, absent any evidence, that groups like the Islamic State “misrepresent” hadiths to justify violence.

Particularly egregious in this regard are the statements regarding Mohammed’s interactions with the Jewish tribes of Medina, as related by Dalia Moghed, head of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). Moghed, a former advisor to President Obama, says Mohammed:

‘wanted to lessen the barrier between Muslims and Jews. He wanted to connect with them.’ This was a story, she says, with implications for how Muslim-Americans should see their role in U.S. society. ‘What this means is, we have to understand the culture and the context we live in,’ she says. ‘We should do all that we can to connect to people and respect their culture.’

What Moghed does not say and the entire NPR article fails to address is that Islamists view Mohammed’s behavior in Medina as an example for establishing Islam as the dominant political system, at the expense of the Jews, which Islamic historiography identifies as being massacred and expelled. Moghed herself can scarcely be unaware of this, seeing as ISPU is itself a pro-Islamist think tank whose members include numerous Muslim Brotherhood-associated thinkers.

The Medina Model

The Muslim Brotherhood pioneered the revival of Islamic antisemitism in part through invoking the Medinan example. As German historian of antisemitism and Islamism Mathias Kuntzel notes regarding the earliest participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in attacks on Israel,

Islamists justify their aspiration to eliminate the Jews of Palestine by invoking the example of Muhammad, who in the 7th century not only expelled two Jewish tribes from Medina, but also beheaded the entire male population of a third Jewish tribe, before proceeding to sell all the women and children into slavery. Third, they find support and encouragement for their actions and plans in the Koranic dictum that Jews are to be considered the worst enemy of the believers.

More important, though, is the role Medina plays as the pinnacle of Islamists’ effort to install Islam as total system of both political and spiritual life. Brotherhood figures, like Tunisian MB leader Rachid Ghannouchi, have repeatedly cited Mohammed’s “Charter of Medina” as an example to emulate. Coincidentally, they typically justify the massacre and expulsion of Jews from Medina in part by their supposed violation of this charter.

The Islamist focus on Medina derives from the belief that the Brotherhood is the vanguard in establishing the Islamic State through a gradual process of stages. These stages are designed to match the example of Islam’s progressive revelation of the Quran to the prophet Mohammed. The early Muslims’s arrival in Medina is thus viewed as a key turning point in the interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims in the realm of political affairs.

Code for Establishing Sharia

This view is best understood by examining Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb’s seminal work, “Milestones.” Qutb wrote:

In Makkah the Muslims were not autonomous nor did they have any influence in the society. Their practical life had not taken a permanent form so that they could have organized themselves according to the Divine Law (Shari’ah); hence no regulations and laws were revealed to them by Allah Almighty. They were taught only belief and those moral principles which follow from this belief after it penetrates the mind. Later, when an autonomous state came into existence in Medina, general laws were revealed and that system came into existence which satisfies the needs of a Muslim community, and the power of the state was behind its enforcement.

The call by individuals affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to adopt the position of Mohammed at the time of Medina is thus highly suggestive. It is essentially a veiled reference saying the time has come to begin implementing Sharia, Islamic law. Qutb continued, referring to the very same “Charter of Medina”:

In the pact it was agreed by all parties that no one would make a treaty of peace or declare war or establish relations with any outsider without the express permission of the Prophet. Thus, the real power in Medina was in the hands of Muslim leadership.

But ultimately the transition into a Medinan stage suggests an implacable movement forward towards Sharia through, eventually, force of arms, in the same manner in which Muslims eventually conquered Medina. Nor has the Brotherhood been shy in recent years of announcing exactly that, as it did in a New Years’ message dated October 15, 2015:

A new Hijri year is a new hope. For it is based on the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions to a new life in Medina, to lay the foundation for our great Islamic state. On their return to Mecca, the good Prophet announced that ‘there is no migration after the Conquest (returning to Mecca), only jihad – and if you are called to arms, go forth’.

NPR’s shilling on behalf of Islamists is representative of a wider ignorance of Islamic doctrine and history, which Islamists in the West have aggressively exploited. This tactic was perhaps best described by Omar Ahmad, an identified U.S.-based Hamas leader and founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, when the FBI recorded him saying, “You send two messages; one to the Americans and one to the Muslims.”

Thanks to NPR’s willful ignorance, they are happy to treat Mohammed’s example at Medina as a positive role model for “fighting extremism” among the Muslim community without any awareness the hearers may receive an entirely different message.

Ted Cruz Unveils Military Plan Aboard Aircraft Carrier: ‘Islamism Will Join Other Discredited Ideologies … on the Ash Heap of History’

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 16, 2016:

MOUNT PLEASANT, SOUTH CAROLINA— Hundreds came to see Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate for President of the United States, as he unveiled his national defense strategy aboard the USS Yorktown Tuesday morning.

He was joined on the aircraft carrier by former Texas Governor and U.S. Air Force veteran Rick Perry, who said Cruz had a “Deep and heartfelt commitment to the men and women” in the United States military. Cruz was also joined by South Carolina Congressman Rep. Mark Sanford , a 10-year air force veteran and former governor of the state.

“Unfortunately, President Obama’s global agenda” has not worked out, Cruz said in his remarks. In fact, his agenda has “encouraged” the “aggressive behavior” of our enemies, he said.

“We now know what a world without America would look like. Far more dangerous, and beholden to terrorist and criminal regimes,” the Texas Senator said.

Cruz made clear that he rejected the current of isolationsim that is making its way through United States politics.

We are told “If we mind our own business, the outside world will leave us alone,” he said, adding, “Isolationism does not work.”

“Hostile actors … will not hesitate to strike us here at home if they believe they can get away with it,” Cruz reminded the audience aboard the USS Yorktown.

But this doesn’t mean a Republican administration should just  dump money into the Defense Department, he said, noting the “bloated bureacracy” at the Pentagon. Additionally, he called for the auditing of the Pentagon, so as to control waste there.

The Texas Senator laid out statistics in support of his argument that the U.S. military needs to be revamped.

“Rebuild our military so it will be feared by our enemies and trusted by our allies,” he said.

He highlighted Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of peace through strength.  “When your adversaries understand your strength, suddenly their appetite for conflict diminishes markedly,” Cruz stated.

And The U.S. must also develop a cohesive strategy for its Mid East affairs, he said.

“We should focus on utterly defeating ISIS using our overwhelming airpower,” Cruz stated.

In addition to partnering on counter-terrorism operations with the Israelis, Egyptians, and Jordanians, the United States “should work with our long time allies the Kurds,” he said. And members of this Middle East coalition should be supporting each other in operations to go after Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Nusra, and other terror entities, Cruz stressed. Hopefully, “Islamism will join other discredited ideologies … on the ash heap of history,” he said.

The Republican candidate for President targeted “a total active duty” force  “of at least 1.4 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.”

The “nation must be prepared for multiple, near simultaneous conflicts,” he said.

Sen. Cruz’s full military proposal is available here

 

Gingrich Calls For Declaration Of Worldwide War On Islamic Terror

AP

AP

Breitbart, Dec. 7, 2015:

Below is a National Defense University speech given by Newt Gingrich on December 1, 2015, reprinted with permission.

We are living in a world rapidly evolving away from the mental constructs and language of the last 375 years. These ideas can be traced to the Treaty of Westphalia ending the 30 Years War in 1648 and Grotius proposal of a system of International Law in the same era. The ideas were then extended through the development of state warfare culminating in the Napoleonic Wars.

This intellectual framework was applied and reapplied through two World Wars and the Cold War. It is the framework within which academic and bureaucratic careers were made and are still being made.

It is now a framework which distorts reality, hides from uncomfortable facts, and cripples our ability to develop an effective national security and foreign policy.

The gap between the old world in our heads and the new world we now find ourselves in is so large that the very language of the past blocks us from coming to grips with an emerging future that will be radically different.

Consider these challenges to the old intellectual order:

1. We are in a Long War which could easily last 100 years or more, which will transcend all national boundaries and which ignores or rejects a century of work trying to routinize and tame warfare.

2. There are technological and doctrinal breakouts on the horizon which will challenge our very survival. ElectroMagnetic Pulse, cyber war, loyalties to religiously inspired movements transcending traditional concepts of patriotism, militarization of space, are examples of breakouts which will reach require new thinking and new organizations and doctrines.

3. The Chinese system of strategic competition in a world of “no war, no peace” ( see Sun Tzu’s  the Art of War with its injunction that the greatest of all generals win bloodless victories as an initial starting point for Chinese strategies of blending war and peace into one continuum) as illustrated by the nine dash line and the long project to assume sovereignty over the entire South China Sea is an example of how different that competition will be. The ongoing cyber competition is a good example of the blurring of war and non war boundaries. This pattern is actually historically more normal than the American effort to draw a sharp line between war and peace.

4. Russia is re-emerging as an opportunistic, predatory state with loyalty to its self defined national interests rather than to any theory of international legality. The Russian nuclear arsenal requires us to think much more deeply about how we communicate with and seek to negotiate with Russia. Managing the evolving Russian challenge may require more 19th century Real politick in the Bismarck-Disraeli tradition and less reliance on legalisms.

5. The sobering reality is that we are at the end of the 70 year strategy of attempting to contain the spread of nuclear weapons and at the beginning of a dangerous new era of coping with the threat of nuclear weapons. The gap between the new dangers and the old thinking can be seen in the totally inadequate design of the Department of Homeland Security. As originally proposed in the Hart-Rudman Commission’s work in 2000 this department should be sized to handle simultaneous nuclear events in three different cities. Today, 15 years later, it could not adequately handle one nuclear event. Yet the spread of nuclear capability to North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere virtually guarantees weapons could be used in the near future. We now have to develop a two prong strategy which both focuses diplomatically on minimizing their spread and the danger of their use and focuses national security and homeland security assets on surviving nuclear events if diplomacy fails.

6. Lawfare combined with ubiquitous regular media and social media coverage is creating new ground rules for the effective use of force in defense of American safety.  For two generations we have allowed lawyers, media members, and non governmental organizations to define an ever more complex and more unwieldy set of ground rules. The efforts to turn war into criminal justice and to find “humane” methods of waging war have largely come at the expense of American national security. Confronted by enemies like Islamic Supremacists who don’t care about either the rule or law or the public opinion pressures created by visible violence, the United States will find itself at increasingly one sided disadvantages.  The notion of “bringing to justice” those who attacked us on 9/11 or Paris this November is absurd. Not only do we need to move the lawyers, NGOs and media to the side, but our new leaders must communicate directly and bluntly the nature of the threats we face, and make it plain that we all must sacrifice something if we want this nation to endure. We have to cease treating our enemies with the kind of disdain (the “J.V. team” comment, for example) that allows our leaders to demand little of themselves and nothing of us.

7. As I noted at the beginning, we are engaged in a Long War. Hollywood began recognizing that war with movies like Black Sunday 38 years ago (1977) in which a Palestinian group sought to kill thousands at a Super Bowl. Today, 36 years after the Iranian illegal seizure of the American Embassy and year long hostage crisis, 22 years after the first bombing of the World Trade Center, 17 years after the bombing of the  United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 15 years after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, 14 years after the attack of 9/11killed 2,996 people, we need to have the courage to face the facts. We are losing the Long War. Our elites in America and Europe have an enormous resistance to dealing honestly and effectively with the Islamic Supremacists who seek to kill us and destroy our civilization. Until we can find accurate words to describe the realities of the Long War we have no hope of even beginning to win it.  We have to recognize that this Long War may require totally new approaches completely outside the American historic experience. Furthermore the enemy’s ability to adapt may force us to dramatically shift away from the traditional “American Way of War”.

8. The Long War will last at least 50 to 100 years unless there is a disaster so large the West is compelled to mobilize with ruthless efficiency and destroy the capacity for Islamic Supremacists to function. We have no language or doctrine for sustaining a century long struggle in a free society. We have no serious efforts underway in our national security community to even begin thinking about such a long war. We certainly have no plans or systems  which enable America to cope with technological breakouts, Chinese scale and complexity, Russian opportunism and a Long War simultaneously. We also have no plans to communicate with the American people and organize understanding among Americans to sustain a century long effort which will inherently be both foreign and domestic. Since we can’t talk with ourselves it is no wonder we can’t build support among our allies.

9. As I outline in my new novel, Duplicity, Islamic Supremacism is a virus and has to be seen as an epidemiological phenomenon. Seen in this context the internet and social media are the centers of gravity for the Long War. Any effort which focuses on geographic campaigns, such as defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, is by definition a misunderstanding of the Long War. Our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere for the last 14 years  have failed in large part because we have no larger strategic context of defeating Islamic Supremacists within which to orient them. Imagine we had confused Guadalcanal for World War Two and you can see how far we have to go to rethink our current activities. It will be extraordinarily hard to get our national security bureaucracies and professionals to admit how big the failures are and how deep the change has to be. It will be even harder to get our political elites to understand how badly we are losing and how much we must rethink our current analyses, strategies, and activities.

10. The biggest zone of controversy will be the inherently transnational nature of the Long War. Because Islamic Supremacism is a virus and because it spreads through the internet and social media it will require strategies and institutional relationships which have both domestic and foreign operating capabilities. We have to study the American struggle against Nazis in the 1930s (the House Un-American Activities Committee was established in 1938 to go after Nazi penetration of the United States). We  have to study the frighteningly effective Soviet penetration of the American government in the 1930s and 1940s and the systematic government response to eliminate Soviet spies, agents and sympathizers. The history of other countries and their campaigns to eliminate penetrations by foreign enemies also should become part of such a study.

11. Unavoidability is the first key to understanding the scale of the national security challenge we face. Whether we want to fight Islamic Supremacists or not is irrelevant. They intend to fight us. Whether we would like to live in a world of extreme nuclear danger or not is irrelevant. Every year countries like North Korea, Pakistan and Iran get more nuclear capability. Whether we want to deal with domestic subversion and domestic enemies or not is irrelevant. As Paris just proved once again, ignoring your enemies doesn’t mean they will ignore you. In fact it may create space for them to become more dangerous and more lethal.

12. The sheer range and complexity of challenges and the speed with which any one problem can erupt requires a new approach to monitoring threats and managing responses. Just as we had to develop fleet and theater information integration systems to cope with speed and complexity we will have to build national command systems that integrate all departments and all sources of information.the Army Training and Doctrine Commands new emphasis on complexity is a welcome step in this direction. Their new doctrine manual “Win in a Complex World” is an important step in the right direction,a

13. Rethinking national strategy on this scale takes time and inevitably involves very intense arguments. The emergence of the American response to the Soviet challenge after World War Two is a good example. George Kennan wrote his 8,000 word “long telegram” analyzing the Soviet’s as a global threat in February, 1946. It set the stage for a four year process of policy development culminating in the April, 1950 adoption of NSC 68 outlining the containment strategy for the Cold War. If it took the generation who fought in World War One and led the country in World War Two four years of thinking we shouldn’t be surprised if it takes us a lot of argument, thinking and innovation to develop a grand strategy for the 21st century. It has to be done but it wont be done easily.

14. Our first assignment is to look at facts and develop new words and new constructs to accurately describe what we are facing. Until we have done that we will be crippled by the very words we use and the obsolete ideas we are trapped in.

***

Carol Brown has some interesting comments on Gingrich’s ideas over at American Thinker

Also see:

Video: Radical Islam Is Now The World’s Most Dangerous Ideology

 

raymond-ibrahim-prager-u-680x365The Hayride, by Scott McKay, Sep. 28, 2015:

Here’s a very succinct, no-nonsense video which puts Sharia Islam in a proper historical perspective. Namely, that for the last 100 years or so the world has been wracked with conflict originating from ideologies which legitimize state tyranny along utopian lines. First came fascism, as it emerged in Germany, Italy and Japan, and to a lesser extent in Spain (though the Spanish government of Francisco Franco was distinctly inward in its worldview and didn’t project itself on its neighbors). Then came international communism in the wake of fascism’s demise in World War II. But the victory of free people in the Cold War in the second half of the 20th century made us believe the fight against “isms” was over.

Sadly, it wasn’t. Islamism, or Sharia Islam, has made a roaring comeback out of the ash-heap of history that Western colonialism had relegated it to in the 19th century and is now in an ascendant position in a significant swath of the globe. Even more frightening is that Islamism is creeping into states which aren’t even Muslim, and those states – specifically in Europe – are in swift demographic decline. Islamism is a far more primitive and unappealing ideology than fascism and communism before it; fascism and communism purported to bring heaven on earth through scientific principles and thus create equality and prosperity and technological advancement as never seen before, while the utopia Islamism promises contains a host of features non-Muslims generally find abhorrent on their face.

And yet in the face of Western cultural decline it’s Islamism that’s on the rise. Which is perplexing, and unnerving.

A full explanation comes in this video, narrated by Raymond Ibrahim, the author of The Al Qaeda Reader…

Article: Beware the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada (but no group by that name in North America?)

Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) stresses his group has no ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) stresses his group has no ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS

“To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community.”
– Lorenzo Vidino, director of the program on extremism at George Washington University

By Cultural Jihad, May 16, 2015:

The below article covers a presentation at a Canadian Senate committee by Lorenzo Vidino .  See our comments following the article excerpt as to the disconnect we see with his  message.

Beware of the Muslim Brotherhood, expert warns

From: The Ottawa Citizen
By: Ian Macleod, May 16, 2015

Authorities should be concerned about the unseen hand of the Muslim Brotherhood gripping sections of Canada’s diverse Muslim community, says a U.S. security expert.

The movement has planted its revivalist interpretation of Islam, political ideology and activism among some Muslims here and sees itself as a minder and broker between them and the rest of society, Lorenzo Vidino, who specializes in Islamism and political violence, told the Senate’s national security committee recently.

“They basically aim to be the gatekeepers to Muslim communities, that whenever politicians, governments or the media try to get the Muslim voice, if there were such a thing, they would go through them, sort of the self‑appointed leaders of Muslim communities,” he said.

Vidino is director of the program on extremism at George Washington University and author of The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Columbia University Press, 2010). He sees no direct links to terrorism among the group’s western supporters. In fact, some work to prevent violent radicalization, he said.

Full Article: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/beware-of-the-muslim-brotherhood-expert-warns

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  The headline is certainly sound advice, but …..

With that said, the article claims that the Muslim Brotherhood does not actually exist as a group in North America.  The cited expert, Lorenzo Vidino, advises that the threat comes from “an informal network where you have strong links based on personal and financial connections, and at the end of the day what matters the most: ideology. They all embrace a certain world view.”

Vidino makes a point of downplaying the threat posed, seeing no direct links to terrorism by western supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood .

This certainly conflicts with well documented past terror funding investigations such as Global Chemical/International Islamic Relief Organization,   Benevolence International Foundation , SAAR, and the Holy Land Foundation – all tied to Muslim Brotherhood interests.

Even if fundraising is not considered a direct link, Vidino appears to have overlooked the testimony he provided before the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis, and Counterintelligence on April 13, 2011:

In the United States, argue pessimists, someone like Abdurahman Alamoudi exemplifies this approach. In 1990, upon finishing his graduate studies in Boston, Alamoudi settled in Washington D.C., where he co-founded the American Muslim Council (AMC), a small but influential Muslim Brotherhood-linked lobbying group. Alamoudi soon became a staple of Washington life, establishing good relationships with both Republican and Democratic administrations and even managing to lobby Congress to host, for the first time in history, the opening invocation from an Islamic leader. The Department of Defense put Alamoudi in the powerful position of training and vetting the imams who attend to the religious needs of American Muslims serving in the military. His organization was praised by the FBI as “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States,” and the State Department appointed him as a goodwill ambassador.

Washington’s establishment considered Alamoudi a successful, representative and moderate Muslim leader who could be a spokesman for the American Muslim community. In 2003, however, this veneer collapsed. An investigation triggered by a routine customs control at London’s Heathrow Airport showed that Alamoudi was involved in a murky al Qaeda-linked plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah. Alamoudi later pled guilty to all charges and is now serving a 23-year sentence. Wiretaps and recordings that emerged after his arrest showed that Alamoudi had consistently praised al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah in private and in various public gatherings. Although the height of Alamoudi’s fall make his case unique, critics argue that Alamoudi’s ability in advancing his agenda while displaying a moderate façade when interacting with Western elites is hardly an exception but rather the Brothers’ standard modus operandi.

For most, being involved in an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate someone would certainly be a direct link to terrorism.

In regards to a Muslim Brotherhood presence in North America – or lack there of – the Ottawa Citizen article continues with …

To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community. They exert a disproportional influence over mosques, schools and spaces where Muslims come together, said Vidino.

This is a concept Vidino had pushed in a 2011 brief, “The Global Muslim Brotherhood: Myth or Reality“.   Relying on information provided by Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and the Middle East he wrote:

Entities belonging to the “global Muslim Brotherhood” work according to a common vision but in complete operational independence. There are consultations and constant communication, but each is free to pursue its goals as it deems appropriate. Therefore the global Muslim Brotherhood is today most properly identified not as a group or even a loose federation, but simply as an ideological movement, in which different branches choose their own tactics to achieve their short-term goals in complete independence.

This claim ignores the documentation discovered during the Holy Land Foundation investigation that included an organizational phonebook and the Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America , a portion of which reads (we added the bold/underlined):

One: The Memorandum is derived from:
1 – The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference for the year [I987] is “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is”.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch countered the conclusions in Vidino’s 2011 brief with:

Vidino cites no actual evidence for the assertion that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is simply an “ideological movement” whose entities have “complete operational independence.” Even more concerning is that he does cite various proclamations from Brotherhood sources such as self-described foreign minister Youssef Nada or the Muslim Brotherhood website, all of which would have us believe that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than “a common way of thinking.” However, it should not have to be repeated that the Brotherhood is, at it heart, a covert organization and their are few reasons to accept and many reasons not to accept their statements about themselves at face value. Where actual evidence exists, it points to a far more sophisticated organizational structure than admitted to by the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

We concur with the Ottawa Citizen headline – not so much the body of the article.

RELATED INTEREST: Report raises concerns of Muslim Brotherhood’s links to Canadian groups – (5/2014)

The Black Book of the American Left: Volume IV: Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews

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Frontpage, April 15, 2015 by Jeffrey Herf:

To order David Horowitz’s “The Black Book of the American Left: Volume IV:  Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews,” click here.

In this spirited and savvy collection of recent essays and speeches, David Horowitz argues that progressives, that is, left of center politicians, journalists and intellectuals have contributed to “undermining the defense of Western civilization against the totalitarian forces determined to destroy it.” Specifically, the threat comes from “the holy war or jihad waged by totalitarian Islamists in their quest for a global empire.” (p.1) These essays, many of which are lectures at university campuses or reports about those lectures, will reinforce the views of those who already agree that “Western civilization” is a good thing, that Islamism is a form of totalitarianism and that its Jihad is quest for a “global empire.” They may not convince those who think Western civilization is another name for racism, imperialism and war, that totalitarianism is an ideological relic of the Cold War and that an otherwise peaceful and tolerant Islam has been “hijacked” by violent extremists who misconstrue its texts and their meanings. Yet they may strike a nerve with those liberals who think it is absurd to deny the clear links between Islamism and terror and who, especially after the murders in Paris in January, understand that Islamism is a threat to the liberal traditions of Western politics and culture.

This volume addresses a by now much discussed paradox of our political and intellectual life. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, the liberal intellectual Paul Berman in Terror and Liberalism made the compelling case that the Islamist ideology that inspired the Al Qaeda terrorists emerged from a profoundly reactionary set of ideas which had lineages to Nazism and fascism. In Germany, Matthias Kuentzel, in his Jihad and Jew-Hatred:  Nazism, Islamism and the Roots of 9/11 examined in more detail the illiberal views of the 9/11 terrorists as well as the political and ideological connections between Islamism and Nazism. A number of us historians have documented those connections. The irony of the years since 2001, and especially of the Obama years, is that, with some exceptions, much of the sharpest criticism of the reactionary nature of Islamism and defense of classically liberal values has not come from the historic home of anti-fascism among leftists and liberals. Rather, as the 55, mostly short essays in this collection indicate, that critique has migrated to centrists and conservatives or those who are now called conservatives.

“Islamophobia,” the longest essay in the collection is co-written with Robert Spencer, also importantly draws attention to the international connections of Islamist organizations in the United States. The authors write that “the purpose of inserting the term ‘phobia’ is to suggest that any fear associated with Islam is irrational” and thus to discredit arguments that suggest a connection between Islamism and terror as themselves forms of bigotry. Horowitz and Spencer connect this criticism of the concept to discussion of the organizational connections between the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2005, the FBI seized the Northern Virginia headquarters of the Holy Land Foundation, then the largest Islamic “charity” in the United States. In a trial in 2007 that led to the conviction of the Foundation’s leaders on charges of supporting a terrorist organization, the prosecution entered a seized a remarkable document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”(18)  The group’s goal was the establishment of “an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which adopts Muslim causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at directing and unifying Muslim’s efforts, presents Islam as a civilizational alternative, and supports the global Islam state wherever it is.”  Muslims, it continued “must understand their work in American is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” Horowitz and Spencer perform an important service in drawing attention to this document and to the political campaign that it has inspired.

The memo called for the creation of front organizations including the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine and the parent group of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR. Another front group identified in the Holy Land memo was the International Institute for Islamic Thought, said to have invented the term “Islamophobia.”  Horowitz and Spencer’s discussion of CAIR’s “Islamophobia campaign” is particularly interesting. In the Holy Land case, the US Department of Justice named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator and produced evidence that it has received $500,000 dollars from the Holy Land Foundation to set itself up.  CAIR was created in 1994 as a spinoff of a Hamas front group, the Islamic Association for Palestine, a group that the US government shut down in 2005 for funding terrorism. CAIR has defined Islamophobia as “closed minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims” and has described anti-terror measures adopted by the US government as forms of “prejudice” and “hatred.” The authors argue that the use of such terms has been an effective instrument in blunting or stifling criticism of Islamism.

On American university and college campuses, the Muslim Students Association and “Students for Justice in Palestine” have sponsored “Israel Apartheid Weeks.” In recent years, the MSA has been particularly active at the campuses of the University of California in Davis, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in the anti-Islamophobia campaigns. Remarkably, such efforts have received support from coalitions of leftwing student groups active in student governments. The authors write that “perhaps the chief asset possessed by the jihadists is a coalition of non-Muslims-European and American progressives—who support the anti-Islamophobia campaign,” one that “had a venerable antecedent in the support that progressives provided to Soviet totalitarians during the Cold War.” (p.48) Again, the remarkable aspect of the current coalitions between Islamists and leftists was that these leftists were making common cause with organizations famous for anti-Semitism, subordination of women to second class status or worse and deep religious conviction, a set of beliefs at odds with some of the classic values of the radical left in the twentieth century. Then again, in view of the anti-Zionist campaigns of the Soviet Union and its allies during the Cold War and the hostility of the global radical left to Israel in recent decades, such “Red-Green” leftist-Islamist coalitions of recent years are not so surprising.

Horowitz sees a parallel between the “secular messianic movements like communism, socialism and progressivism” and the religious creeds they replaced. “It is not surprising therefore, that the chief sponsors of the blasphemy laws and the attitudes associated with them have been movements associated with the political left. It is no accident that the movement to outlaw Islamophobia should be deeply indebted to the secular left and its campaign to stigmatize its opponents by indiscriminately applying repugnant terms to them like ‘racist.’”  The invention and application of the concept of Islamophobia “is the first step in outlawing freedom of speech, and therefore freedom itself, in the name of religious tolerance.”(55)

The remainder of this volume elaborates on these themes with twenty essays on Islamo-fascism, thirteen on the Middle East Conflict and eleven on “the Campus War against the Jews.” Horowitz’ reports on his many speeches at various campuses where some of the above mentioned Islamic organizations turn up to protest. There the front organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the Muslim Students Association, emerged to challenge his arguments about the links between Islamism and fascism. Two essays are particularly important—and depressing. In “Suicidal Jews” and “”Hillel”s Coalitions with Israel’s Enemies,” Horowitz describes instances in which liberal and left-leaning Jewish undergraduates turn their criticism towards him rather than towards the anti-Israeli activists on campus.

This fourth volume of Horowitz’s essays depicts the bizarre nature of our contemporary political culture in which leftists make common cause with Islamists, Israel is denounced as a racist entity while the anti-Semitism of the Muslim Brothers, Hamas and the government of Iran are non-issues for leftists, and the United States government refuses to state the obvious about the connection between Islamist ideology and the practice of terrorism. The defense of liberal principles has liberal advocates but as this valuable collection indicates the core of the defense has become a preoccupation of the center and right of American intellectual and political life. This volume is an important document of that endeavor.

Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished University Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent book is Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. His work in progress is entitled “At War with Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1989.”