A Disappointing Silence on Erdogan’s Excesses

IPT NewsMay 18, 2017:

The man with the bullhorn already had been knocked to the ground, repeatedly kicked and beaten. Then the man with a mustache, wearing a sharp suit and a handgun on his hip, raced up and launched a fierce kick, hitting the man with the bullhorn square in the face.

The man with the bullhorn was protesting visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The man with the mustache is an Erdogan bodyguard. This beat-down, captured on video by the Voice of America, took place Tuesday, just 1.4 miles from the White House, where Erdogan met with President Trump.

Nine people were injured, including two who required hospitalization. A similar, but smaller brawl broke out last year when Erdogan was greeted by protesters outside a speech at the Brookings Institution.

The State Department issued a statement Wednesday saying it would tell the Turkish government that it is “concerned by the violent incidents …. Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest.”

It’s difficult these days for stories outside the White House’s struggle to contain the Russia investigation to gain much traction.

But events in and near the White House Tuesday should not get lost in the shuffle. Even without the violence by Erdogan’s goon squad, his White House visit should concern those who expected the Trump administration to follow through on its tough talk about confronting radical Islam.

For all the talk about naming radical Islamic terrorism where it exists, there appears to have been no mention of Turkey’s ongoing support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offshoot Hamas. Rather, President Trump publicly lauded Erdogan, saying it was an honor to host him and that he looked forward to working together to create Middle East peace.

Erdogan is a favorite of U.S.-based Islamists, especially those with Muslim Brotherhood links, like Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad. That may be due, at least in part, to his view that Hamas is not a terrorist group, but a national liberation movement.

Erdogan provided a safe haven for Hamas operative Salah Arouri even after Arouri was implicated in the deadly kidnapping of three Israeli teens that led to the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. In that conflict, Erdogan predicted that Israel would “drown in the blood that they shed,” and likened the Jewish state to Adolph Hitler: “Just like Hitler tried to create a pure Aryan race in Germany, the State of Israel is pursuing the same goals right now.”

Arouri was asked to leave Turkey only last year, as part of an effort to restore diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey – relations Erdogan severed in 2010.

But that doesn’t mean Erdogan has turned a corner. In February, Turkey hosted a meeting of Hamas officials and affiliates. Last week, Erdogan repeated the baseless claim that Israel is an apartheid state, asking, “What’s the difference in Israel’s current practices from the racist and discriminatory policies implemented towards the blacks in America in the past, and in South Africa more recently?”

The ignorant talking point ignores the equal voting rights enjoyed by Israeli Arabs. The International Committee of the Red Cross rejected Erdogan’s rhetoric outright: “There isn’t a regime here that is based on the superiority of one race over another; there is no disenfranchisement of basic human rights based on so-called racial inferiority.”

In addition, Erdogan was slow to stem the tide of foreign fighters crossing his border in order to join ISIS in Syria. When he does act, he often targets U.S.-backed Kurdish forces fighting ISIS – a stateless minority Turkey oppresses.

While Erdogan and Trump praised each other publicly, ABC reports that “they made little progress to deal with their sharp differences on issues like terrorism and Syria.”

Erdogan, meanwhile, has purged tens of thousands of government employees, teachers and jailed scores of journalists in a clamp-down on any potential opposition. His crackdown is not limited to his own borders, as European critics have been targeted for arrest and surveillance.

Under his rule, Turkey’s secular education system has been weakened as religious training schools known as imam hatip grew more than 15 times in enrollment since 2003. His radical Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) wants Turkey to be governed by an Islamist authority that demands adherence to strict religious tenets.

The White House meeting lasted about 20 minutes, McClatchy reports. Beforehand, 81 members of Congress issued a statement urging the president to raise Erdogan’s human rights abuses in the meeting.

“Erdogan and his allies have mounted an assault on the rule of law, particularly using sweeping state of emergency authorities to stifle fundamental rights including free speech, undermine the independence of the judiciary, and quash any opposition to their undemocratic actions,” they wrote.

There is no indication whether that topic was discussed. After the meeting, Erdogan expressed appreciation for the president’s hospitality. That’s fine, but the failure to openly challenge Erdogan’s increasingly Islamist, authoritarian direction is disappointing. Turkey’s help is needed in the fight against ISIS. But if the United States intends to confront radical Islam, it missed a golden opportunity on Tuesday.

President Trump did ask that Turkey release jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson, the White House readout of the meeting said. The two leaders also plan to meet again next week during the president’s first official international trip.

Unless he challenges Erdogan then, the lasting images of this will be the unprovoked violence Erdogan’s armed bodyguards inflicted on peaceful demonstrators in the heart of the nation’s capital instead of a direct and honest challenge to Erdogan’s ongoing and egregious support for Islamist terrorists.

Also see:

CAIR Chief’s Reflexive Terror Denial Stands Apart

Nihad-AwadIPT News, July 15, 2016

Before the bodies of all the victims had been removed from the streets of Nice, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad insisted that religion had nothing to do with the terrorist attack that killed at least 84 people.

A French resident of Tunisian descent rammed a truck into a crowd of revelers gathered to watch fireworks commemorating Bastille Day. The truck traveled as much as two kilometers, leaving twisted bodies in its wake.

French President Francois Hollande described the “undeniable terrorist nature” of the attack, which was further established by the presence of guns and explosives inside the killer’s truck.

“All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism,” Hollande said. “Our vigilance must be relentless.”

To Awad, this was reckless and inflammatory.

“French President #Hollande is pouring oil on the fire by describing the #Nice crime as Islamic terrorism and subjects France’s Muslims to danger,” Awadwrote, in Arabic, on Twitter. “What is Islamic about this crime?”

Plenty of analysts have shown exactly how terrorist groups like ISIS are deeply rootedin Islamic theology. As IPT Shillman Senior Fellow Pete Hoekstra noted, Islamist terrorists have been calling for such attacks for years, and al-Qaida specifically suggested this kind of attack in 2010, using a mock Ford-150 ad: “With the right tools and a little effort, the truck can be turned into a killing machine from a Wes Craven horror film,” an article in al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine said.

That seems to be a pretty good description for what happened in Nice.

ISIS spokesman Abū Muhammad al Adnānī ash Shāmī made a similar suggestion in a2014 statement: “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war … kill him in any manner or way however it may be … Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.” [Emphasis added]

Awad’s denial does nothing to discredit these ideas or the Islamic theology underpinning them. In another tweet, he claimed such talk was “blaming all Muslims for the heinous #Nicemurders.#Don‘tCallTerroristsJihadists.”

Compare Awad’s reaction with other Muslim voices. He doesn’t win points for courage.

Writing in the Telegraph, former Islamist Maajid Nawaz begged Muslims and non-Muslims alike to stop pushing the counter-productive “nothing to do with Islam” message. “Your good intentions towards us Muslims are only making the problem worse,” he wrote.

Terrorist groups like ISIS successfully recruit new members in part because “we have allowed hardline Islamism to permeate our communities and mobilise the vulnerable,” Nawaz wrote. “To stop it we have to make it less attractive, and that is a long-term struggle, similar to those against racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism.”

He could have been speaking directly to Awad when he added, “please stop denying the nature of jihadism. Please stop ignoring the narratives which drive these attacks. Instead of aiding extremists who insist Islam today is perfect, perhaps you should aid us beleaguered reformist Muslims who are attempting to address this crisis within Islam against all the odds.”

Nawaz also called out the hypocrisy of critics who don’t think images of the carnage in Nice should be shown.

Speaking on Fox News Channel, American Islamic Forum for Democracy President Zuhdi Jasser explained that “intoxicant of theocratic Islam, the sharia state” must be confronted for the terror to wane. That starts by “looking at the schools of thought of jihadism, Wahabism and Salafism. And the fact that most Americans don’t even know what those terms are is a crime.”

Unable to argue on the merits, Awad and his CAIR colleagues tend to dismiss Jasseras a sellout and simply ignore reformist voices like Nawaz’s.

But even Hamza Yusuf, founder and president of Berkeley’s Zaytunah College, an Islamic institution, acknowledges there is an Islamic root for the recent wave of terrorism. In an essay he titled “The Plague Within” – which he posted after terror attacks in Orlando, Baghdad, Bangladesh and elsewhere that were carried out during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – Yusuf likened radical interpretations of Islam to “brain-eating amoebas.”

Citing another cleric, Yusuf said the plague is “the bitter harvest of teachings that have emanated from pulpits throughout the Arabian Peninsula, teachings that have permeated all corners of the world, teachings that focus on hatred, exclusivity, provincialism, and xenophobia. These teachings anathematize any Muslim who does not share their simple-minded, literalist, anti-metaphysical, primitive, and impoverished form of Islam, and they reject the immense body of Islamic scholarship from the luminaries of our tradition.”

While Yusuf still seems to balk at the phrase “Islamic radicalization,” he still called for action from scholars and others to counter the ideology driving the terrorism: “What we do not need are more voices that veil the problem with empty, hollow, and vacuous arguments that this militancy has little to do with religion; it has everything to do with religion: misguided, fanatical, ideological, and politicized religion. It is the religion of resentment, envy, powerlessness, and nihilism.” [Emphasis added]

Yusuf has spoken at CAIR fundraisers, and the organization spotlighted a message of his just last year.

These are but a few examples of Muslims who are trying to wage a battle of ideas within Islam in hopes of discrediting the ideology that fuels shooting massacres in Orlando and Paris, bombing massacres in Turkey, Belgium Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and now a vehicle massacre in Nice.

With the possible exception of Maajid Nawaz, none of them has the profile and bully pulpit Awad and his organization enjoy. Reporters quote them all the time and television news airs their views almost every day.

The message so far – don’t talk about religion when religious zealots kill – is a wasted opportunity of immeasurable proportions.

Deaths From Islamic Terror Soar 9-Fold On Obama’s Watch

French President Francois Hollande , pictured here in the White House, found his comments on "Islamist terrorism" cut out of remarks translated by the Obama administration. To some, this is a sign of hyper-sensitivity by the White House as Islamist-led terrorist attacks worldwide soar. (AP)

French President Francois Hollande , pictured here in the White House, found his comments on “Islamist terrorism” cut out of remarks translated by the Obama administration. To some, this is a sign of hyper-sensitivity by the White House as Islamist-led terrorist attacks worldwide soar. (AP)

IBD, April 4, 2016:

Global Jihad: A new report shows Islamic terrorism exploding on President Obama’s watch. Little wonder: he is more concerned with delinking Islam from terrorism — even censoring foreign White House guests who make the link — than fighting it.

Last week, the White House was caught scrubbing a video of French President Francois Hollande saying “Islamist terrorism” is at the “roots of terrorism.”

The White House briefly pulled video of the press event on terrorism with Obama off its website. When it reappeared on WhiteHouse.gov, the audio of Hollande’s translator goes silent, beginning with the words “Islamist terrorism.” It only begins again at the end of his sentence.

No other remarks by Hollande are edited in the video.

It’s bad enough that the White House would resort to Orwellian censorship, stripping out politically incorrect facts from the historic record like the Ministry of Truth. But now we also learn that it’s been inviting known jihadists to meet privately with the president, including one connected to the al-Qaida cleric who ministered to some of the 9/11 hijackers.

Secret Service logs show that Esam Omeish has visited the White House at least nine times since 2011, including a 2013 visit during which he was photographed with Obama, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) found. Another photo shows Omeish meeting with United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power when she worked in the White House as a senior official on Obama’s security team.

Omeish drew national attention in 2007 when the governor of Virginia had to boot him from a state immigration panel after a video surfaced showing him praising Palestinians who choose “the jihad way.” He also reportedly had a role in hiring 9/11 cleric Anwar Awlaki as prayer leader of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, located just a few miles from the Pentagon. Omeish served as vice president of the mosque and also headed the Muslim American Society, which the FBI has identified as the U.S. branch of the pro-jihad Muslim Brotherhood.

According to court records first revealed in the book “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington,” Omeish put up his home as bond collateral to help spring from jail a terrorist suspect who was arrested allegedly casing the Chesapeake Bridge for attack.

Despite these clear jihadi associations, the White House has rolled out the red carpet for Omeish. It’s even involved him in policy deliberations over Libya.

The same government that’s supposed to be leading the global war against jihad is coddling jihadists. Is it then any wonder that the death toll from Muslim terrorist attacks has soared nearly 800% since Obama took office?

According to a new IPT study, Muslim terrorists have killed an average of nearly 30,000 people per year since 2010, when terrorism’s death toll was 3,284.

The report noted that the exponential jump shows two disturbing trends: More attacks are occurring, and they tend to be deadlier than ever.

“The magnitude of the increase of the attacks surprised us, especially in the past five years,” IPT director Steve Emerson said. “Even if you look back at the annual reports issued by the most senior analysts in the top five intelligence and counterterrorism agencies, there is not one report that predicted or forecasted that we would likely see such a massive escalation of attacks.”

The number of Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. and around the world mushroomed to 10,088 last year from 1,440 in 2010.

The alarming increase in both attacks and deaths is due in large part to an American commander in chief who signals to Islamic terrorists around the globe that he will do more to protect their faith than to take them out.

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

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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.

If We’re Shaming Violent Rhetoric, Target The Muslim Brotherhood

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The Left wants to say investigative videos incite violence but not that Islamist clerics and leaders do, although they call for violence and pro-lifers condemn it.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, Dec. 8, 2015:

Following the murderous attack at a Colorado Planned Parenthood by disturbed loner Robert Lewis Dear, the discussion quickly centered on a “climate of hate” or “culture of violence” pro-life organizations supposedly created against abortion supporters.

This was in part because Dear may have uttered the phrase “no more baby parts,” a possible reference to a series of pro-life undercover videos documenting how individuals affiliated with Planned Parenthood have engaged in the sale and transfer of fetal issue.

This messaging targeting pro-life organizations was not accidental, but rather part of a concentrated effort, BuzzFeed reported:

The word ‘terrorism’ is important, activists told BuzzFeed News. They’re trying to make the case that anti-abortion rhetoric ties directly to abortion clinic vandalism, and, finally, to the Colorado shooting. ‘Terrorism’ signals that the ideology behind the shooting was extreme in nature, activists said, and suggests a network of anti-abortion groups and advocates are helping to fuel violence.

Hogue said she knows a thorough investigation into the Colorado shooting is ongoing, and that details of the shooter and his motivations will continue to come out. But the deaths at a Planned Parenthood clinic are about more than one man’s acts, she told BuzzFeed News in an interview.

‘The story is not about this one guy,’ she said. ‘The story is about a really well-funded, really well-connected infrastructure that outlives any one candidate, any one guy, and creates a culture.’

By comparison, following the attack at the Inland Regional Center, where Syed Farooq and his wife Tasheen Malik killed 14 and wounded many more, the Left’s reaction was almost entirely the opposite, seeking to limit the discussion to just the perpetrators. While finally forced to do so following the discovery of an entire “IED factory” in their home, reports admitted Farooq had “been radicalized,” a passive phrase offering no clues as to who or what had created the “culture of violence” surrounding the two terrorists.

A recently revealed Twitter account evidently belonging to Syed Farooq was discovered, however, showing the shooter followed several organizations typically viewed as “mainstream” Islamic groups, including the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), CAIR-San Francisco Bay-Area, the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)’s “Why Islam” campaign Twitter, in addition to several pro-Islamic feeds and the official Free Syrian Army page.

Will there be any analysis about whether these organizations may have used rhetoric resulting in a “climate of hate?” Every one of these groups has been recognized as members or allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global Islamic organization dedicated to imposing Sharia law. Isn’t it possible that the MB and its front groups bear some responsibility for rhetoric that might invite violence?

Islamists Certainly Use Violent Rhetoric

Consider that in 2010 Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie (now in prison in Egypt) gave a speech entitled, “The U.S. Is Now Experiencing the Beginning of Its End,” where he described the United States as “immoral” and headed for its demise, and called for waging jihad.

Closer to home, in 1998 CAIR National founder emeritus Omar Ahmad told an audience, “Islam wasn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to be dominant.” CAIR executive director Nihad Awad informed readers of Islam Online that there is a “coordinated campaign against Islam” in the United States carried out by Christians and the pro-Israel lobby, and that the anti-terror policies of the U.S. government were racist. In 2001, Awad said “resistance” to Israel “may be necessary.”

CAIR San Francisco leader Zahra Billoo encouraged anti-American hatred on her Twitter feed, raising questions of whether U.S. troops should be honored for fighting “unjust wars” but seeking help for a “clack liberation soldier,” Jamil Abdullah Amin (a.k.a. H.Rap Brown), a Georgia-based imam and former Black Panther in jail for murdering a police officer.

Amin’s arrest also motivated now-deceased al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar Awlaki, who was investigated by the FBI while he went on tour speaking to raise funds for Amin’s defense. In fact, that speech occurred in southern California just two days after 9/11, and was sponsored by CAIR, MAS, and ICNA, among other MB-affiliated groups.

Islamists Have Also Gone from Words to Violence

Nor is CAIR alone in ratcheting up tensions with their words. Former ICNA President Abdul Malik Mujahid has described American Muslims as “living in a Virtual internment camp,” and as a population “under siege.” Mujahid has been criticized for his statement at a 1995 Islamic Society of North America conference apparently attempting to encourage Muslims to fight jihad in Bosnia:

Qital [killing] is an essential element of Islam. And sometimes you don’t like it. Qital is ordained upon you, though it is hateful to you, but it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you…. And one example is, now we have 60 or so Muslim countries, and not a single one of them wants to go for Qital and Jihad for Bosnia. Qital is ordained upon you though it is hateful to you.

Mujahid has admitted to making the statement, but claims it was taken out of context. Mujahid was also one of the organizers of a “Stand With the Prophet” rally against the “blasphemous” drawing of Islam’s prophet Mohammed in Garland, Texas. A cartoon contest held in the same location in support of free speech was attacked by Islamic State supporters Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi earlier this year.

ICNA is the U.S. front of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), a Pakistan-based Islamic movement related to the Muslim Brotherhood. The leader of JeI in Pakistan, Sirajul Haq, declared in January that the West had chosen a path leading “to a third world war” due to its “extremist” stance supporting freedom of speech by permitting people to draw Mohammed.

Former MAS Freedom Foundation director Mahdi Bray has described the United States as waging a “war on Muslims” (a propaganda point also frequently used by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State), of “stealing from poor Muslim Americans,” and said a U.S. anti-terrorism trial “legally lynched” convicted (and deported) Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizer Sami Al-Arian.

Given Farooq’s support for these groups, and given their rhetoric, perhaps its time to ask how these statements influenced the “climate of violence”? There’s certainly a better case to be made that Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups, whose leaders extol “resistance” and say “killing is ordained upon you” might have a bigger role in those who carry out murder than a series of investigative videos.

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.

Betting National Security on a Theory

IPT News
February 24, 2015

1137The debate over whether it’s a good idea to use phrases like “Islamic extremism” in fighting global terrorism took center stage last week as the White House hosted a summit to discuss what it generically calls “violent extremism.”

In a speech last Thursday at the summit, President Obama explained his rationale for eschewing references to terrorist groups’ Islamist ideology.

“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy,” he said. “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’ And they propagate the notion that America — and the West, generally — is at war with Islam. That’s how they recruit. That’s how they try to radicalize young people. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists.”

So accurately describing their ideology, or calling the terrorists “jihadists” grants them undo legitimacy as true representatives of the faith, the argument goes. The current policy aims to deny them that mantle.

That’s a theory. But there’s a key question no one seems to be asking: Does it work?

This is a continuation of a policy instituted during President George W. Bush’s second term, meaning it has been in place for more than seven years. If it is indeed the right, best policy, advocates should be able to point to tangible evidence to show its value.

Arguably, the Islamist ideology has never been more popular, given the flood of foreign fighters making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, or Boko Haram’s endless reign of terror in Nigeria. Hamas still enjoys strong support despite following policies which bring devastation to the people of Gaza.

And there is no mistaking the religious motivation driving these groups. Hamas is an acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western education is sinful.” And the Islamic State has a whiff of religious affinity.

The Atlantic this month devoted 10,000 words to explaining the core Quranic ideology, with an emphasis on an apocalyptic prophecy, which drives the Islamic State’s brutality. It “follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior,” Graeme Wood explains.

That’s more challenging when that belief system is deliberately kept out of deliberations.

Jeffrey Bale, an associate professor who studies political and religious extremism at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program, called the continued emphasis on avoiding references to Islamic doctrine by Western leaders and pundits “absurd.”

The policy has “not had any discernably positive impact on dealing with the threats that such groups pose,” he said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “On the contrary. The simple fact is that it is the Islamists, not Muslim moderates, who are winning the struggle for ideological hegemony throughout much of the Muslim world, and that Obama’s efforts to positively ‘re-set’ relations with the Islamic world have completely failed … In short, there is no evidence that this constant pandering to Islamist activists, these embarrassing efforts to whitewash Islamic history and doctrines, and the foolish insistence that jihadist groups have ‘nothing to do with Islam’ have had any beneficial effects. They have mainly served to confuse Western citizens about the extent and nature of the Islamist threat.”

Maajid Nawaz, a former radical who now tries to combat the narrative which fuels Islamist terrorism, argues the avoidance policy could be making things worse for everyone, including Muslims. In recent social media and television appearances, Nawaz, a co-founder of the London-based Quilliam Institute, calls it the “Voldemort Effect.”

Islam is a religion, he writes. Islamism is the attempt to make the laws of the religion supreme over a society. That’s the ideology that must be defeated, but that “cannot happen if you refuse to recognise it exists,” he wrote in a social media post addressed to Obama that he signed “a constantly betrayed liberal Muslim.”

If we dare not say its name, in other words, it can become more frightening to its foes and more alluring to prospective recruits.

In a recent appearance on Fox News, Nawaz expressed concern that this self-censorship actually makes life more difficult for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject terrorist brutality displayed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaida and others.

Non-Muslims in the West “they’re just petrified,” he said, “and that can lead to even more anti-Muslim hate crime. Because if they are unable to pinpoint specifically that we’re dealing with the Islamist ideology, in their ignorance they blame all Muslims. And of course then all Muslims face a backlash. So I think it’s better if we wish to protect mainstream Muslims from anti-Muslim hate crime to name the very specific ideology that we’re talking about, which is Islamism, and distinguish that from Islam the faith.

Nawaz is offering a theory, just like the people who advocate the policy embraced by the Obama administration. There’s a key distinction, however. As he describes in his autobiography, Nawaz helped recruit followers to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which dreams of a global caliphate and has been called a “conveyor belt” for jihadist terror. He knows which messages worked and which did not.

Some American Islamists showed last week that the Obama message is not working. They have criticized the White House summit as hostile toward Muslims despite the verbal contortions invoked to avoid that very reaction.

If we’re going to focus on extremist violence, they argue, the bigger threat to America is from right-wing, anti-government movements. It turns out the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about violence from “sovereign citizen” movements who believe they are exempt from state and federal laws.

But it would be wrong to talk about that, Linda Sarsour and Deepa Iyak wrote Feb. 17 in The Guardian.

“One thing is clear: the federal government’s one-note approach to countering violent extremism fosters distrust and hostility towards Muslim communities while disregarding threats to Americans’ safety from racist hate groups in the country.”

There is a key distinction, however. For the most part, sovereign citizen attacks are smaller scale, often erupting in what should be routine encounters with law enforcement officers. CNN cites a 2012 example involving a Louisiana traffic stop that led to a shootout between police and a father and his son.

What Islamist terrorists want, what they urge followers to carry out, are mass casualty attacks that can target specific groups deemed to have offended Islam or simply any place where many people gather.

The United States has rigidly followed a policy, going at times to uncomfortable lengths, to avoid putting a religious label on terrorism clearly driven by a rabid adherence to centuries-old Islamic theology. The uninterrupted flow of new recruits to the Islamic State indicates that the policy has not had the desired effect.

“American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca),” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, writesin Time magazine.

“How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators.”

For the West, the sanitized language and tap-dancing around the issue makes it impossible to fully understand the enemy’s motivation, writes Robert R. Reilly, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

“You cannot go into a war of ideas without understanding the ideas you are at war with. Yet, throughout the two speeches, [Obama] never mentions the substance of the enemy’s ideas once,” Reilly writes. “…This is like saying, in World War II, that we were fighting the Nazi ideology, but never mentioning the thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Rosenberg or Adolph Hitler. Or, during the Cold War, saying we are fighting the ideology of Communism, but never mentioning the ideas of Karl Marx, Lenin, or Stalin.”

Rather than continuing to do the same thing and hope for a better outcome, perhaps it is time to listen to the Muslim reformers asking for a more honest, tough love approach. Terrorists are committing acts of barbarism daily in the name of Islam. That doesn’t mean all, or even most, Muslim see the same commands in their faith.

It might delegitimize terrorists more to emphasize how most of their victims are fellow Muslims, and to clearly draw the lines between the terrorists and the hundreds of millions of Muslims who reject their savagery.

It’s a theory, anyhow.

Immigration, Infiltration and Canada’s Growing Islamist Threat

by Jerry Gordon and David B. Harris (August 2012)

On December 14, 1999, Ahmed Ressam, an Al-Qaeda trained Algerian Jihadi and resident of Montreal, was arrested in Port Angeles, Washington after he drove off a ferry from Canada with a trunk load of explosives. Thus began the unraveling of the Millennium plot, an attempt by al Qaeda using sleeper cells in the US and Canada, to conduct an attack on the Los Angeles International Airport.

Canada has witnessed its own spectacular Islamist attack plots. On June 2, 2006, counter-terrorism raids in Metro Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario netted 18 suspected Al Qaeda terrorist cell (“Toronto 18”) operatives at several para-military training camps. In Toronto, the suspects were planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and attack the Canadian Broadcasting Centre and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) regional headquarters. In Ottawa, Canada’s Parliament was to be invaded and the Prime Minister of Canada, beheaded. A trial subsequently disclosed significant evidence that resulted in guilty pleas and convictions that were later upheld by an Ontario appeals court in 2011. In April 2004, a Canadian citizen of Lebanese Muslim background firebombed the library of the United Talmud Torahs Jewish School in Montreal, Quebec. This was a clearly Islamist antisemitic attack that sent a fearful message to Canada’s 380,000 Jews.

Then there was the gruesome evidence of honor killings in the Shafia and Parvez cases. The quadruple murder involving the Quebec Afghan Shafia family resulted in the conviction of the father, his second wife and son in a Kingston, Ontario Court in early 2012. In 2007, 16-year-oldAqsa Parvez was strangled by her brother in Mississauga, Ontario, allegedly because of Ms. Parvez’s penchant for Western dress, flaunting Sharia compliance traditions of “modesty.” The Parvez case sparked international outrage about Islamist treatment of women.

We have written extensively on the case of Canadian-born al Qaeda detainee at Guantanamo, Omar Khadr, who may soon be an unwelcome returnee in Canada. According to arrangements made between the US State Department and Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Canada seems disposed to consider accepting Khadr’s return to Canada in order to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was sentenced to 40 years at a Guantanamo Tribunal in October 2010 for his act in August 2002 of killing of Sfc. Christopher Speer, a US Army Special Forces medic, after the battle for the al Qaeda bastion of Khost, in Afghanistan.

Then there were the human rights tribunals in Alberta, Ontario and elsewhere. Among other things, these saw free-speech advocate Ezra Levant and Maclean’s magazine pursued for what seemed to most Canadians to have been the reasonable exercise of rights of free expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Levant had published some of the Danish Muslim cartoons in the Western Standard magazine, while Maclean’s had published excerpts from the bestselling book by columnist Mark Steyn, America Alone. Questionable complaints against Levant were laid by a radical imam, and against Maclean’s, by the Canadian Islamic Congress, Muslim Brotherhood-oriented group. While the complaints ultimately did not succeed, the processes involved cast a chilling effect, at least for a time, over free speech in Canada.

Taken together, recent instances of home-grown Islamist terrorism, honor killings and suppression of free speech, can be regarded to varying degrees as byproducts of Canada’s very liberal immigration and multiculturalism policies.

Jerry Gordon:  David Harris thank you for consenting to this interview.

David B. Harris:  Thank you for inviting me

Gordon:  Why do you refer to Canada as Islamism’s “happy hunting ground”?

Harris:  The Islamists have been highly active in infiltrating and penetrating a variety of institutions within Canada, ranging from government and the private sector, through academe and certain police elements, not excluding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “outreach” function. In recent days, FOX News and other news sources have reported that, through its Embassy in Canada, Iran may be attempting to recruit Iranian Canadians for the purposes of infiltrating government, and terrorism and subversion, some of it targeting the United States. These are disturbing and arresting developments in themselves, but especially striking to those of us who traditionally have been brought up to view Canada as, as the old expression has it, “the peaceable kingdom”.

Gordon:  Has Canada’s peaceable kingdom, its governing structure and multiculturalism given rise to this predicament?

Harris:  I think it has to be conceded even by those who have been among the greatest enthusiasts of multiculturalism – and here I refer to the statist multiculturalist phenomenon as understood in Canada – that multiculturalism has been a serious problem and promises to become an even greater one. In Canada, the state, which is to say, the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, has been inclined to involve itself, through funding and various other forms of support, in multiculturalist policies and a variety of related initiatives. These, taken together, seem to reinforce the separateness of any number of groups, including most notably those that might be inclined to self-isolate within the larger Canadian community. If we are dealing with certain sorts of radical groups, and the Islamists most emphatically count significantly among these, we find that radical tendencies within these streams will be inclined to be reinforced, rather than to diminish, over time. When one takes into further account the virtually unprecedented and unparalleled nature of immigration in Canada and Canadian immigration policy and approaches, one can see a combination that promises to be all the more difficult in the future for Canada and allies intimately involved with Canada.

Gordon:  How have Canada’s immigration policies aided the rapid growth of its Muslim population?

Harris:  The situation in Canada, especially Islamic radicalism, cannot be understood without registering the fact that Canadian immigration inflows are the biggest per capita of all 193 countries on the planet.

Read more at New English Review