Into the fray: Will the West withstand the Obama presidency?

By MARTIN SHERMAN:

The really chilling aspect of the Obama-incumbency is that it is difficult to diagnose whether the abysmal results it produced—including the recent Geneva debacle—reflect crushing failure or calculated success

US President Barack Obama.

US President Barack Obama. Photo: Reuters
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. – Barack Hussein Obama, Cairo, 2009For anyone who understands that the US Constitution is not a Sharia-compliant document –neither in letter nor in spirit – it should be alarmingly apparent that the Obama-incumbency is a dramatic and disturbing point of inflection in the history of America and its “Western” allies. By “Western” I mean countries whose political practices and societal norms are rooted in Judeo- Christian foundations in a cultural rather than in any religious sense.

The devil is not in the details 

One does not have to be an expert in Islamic history or culture, or be familiar with the details of Koranic verse or Hadithic texts to realize that Obama’s characterization of the alleged affinity between America and Islam is entirely detached from any reality on the ground–particularly with regard to the matters he enumerates in the preceding excerpt from his 2009 Cairo speech.

All one has to do is follow the daily news that routinely convey reports of the Hobbesian horrors that flared across Syria, Libya, Egypt and other Arab countries once the Leviathan “cap” of tyranny, holding these bestial impulses in check, was “uncorked.”

Worse, in some parts of the Muslim world, blood curdling atrocities have become so commonplace they hardly make the news at all.

For when it comes to issues such as justice, progress, tolerance and respect for societal and/or religious diversity, a yawning chasm divides America from Islam. Indeed, American society, as a product of the values embodied in the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian values it draws on; and Islamic society as a product of Sharia and the Muslim values it draws on, are irreconcilably exclusive and antithetically opposed to one another.

No amount of convoluted scholarly debate on the intricacies of Islamic scriptures or benign interpretations of their “real” significance, can change the gruesome facts that prevail throughout Muslim-majority societies – from West Africa to East Asia.

Justice? Like stoning of female rape victims for “adultery? Progress? Like fathers slaughtering daughters to preserve their “honor”? Tolerance? Like summary lynching of “gays” because of their sexual preferences? Dignity of all human beings? Like butchery of non- Muslim “infidels” for practicing their faith?

Pervasive and perverse 

Neither are these unrepresentative or isolated anecdotal instances of barbarity and bigotry that occur in Islamic societies. Indeed, they– and other manifestations of harsh brutality, totally foreign to American and “Western” ways –pervade much of the Muslim world. Extensive surveys of Muslim majority countries across Africa and Asia show that there is widespread endorsement for making Sharia the law of the land and adopting the severe practices prescribed in it.

A recent 2013 poll by Pew Research Center found that “solid majorities in most of the countries surveyed across the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia favor the establishment of sharia, including 71% of Muslims in Nigeria, 72% in Indonesia, 74% in Egypt and 89% in the Palestinian territories.”

An earlier pre-Arab Spring survey conducted in 2010 across seven major Muslim countries from Nigeria to Indonesia found that in most there were large majorities in favor of stoning for adultery, amputation of limbs for theft and death for apostasy (leaving Islam).

So while there is considerable country-to-country variation in the degree of support for the enforcement of the more brutal Sharia compliant prescriptions, it is clear that in terms of defining societal parameters – individual liberties, gender equality (including equality before the law), religious tolerance and socio-cultural pluralism – a gigantic gulf separates America from Islam.

One would be hard pressed to find any area where they do in fact “overlap and share common principles” in any significant manner.

‘Islam has always been part of America’s story’

In his Cairo “outreach” speech, with the Muslim Brotherhood seated in positions of prominence –much to the chagrin of his host Hosni Mubarak – Obama told his audience: “I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” Then extolling the alleged Muslim contribution to the development of the US he declared, no more than a few years after 9/11, when in the name of Islam, Muslims reduced the Twin Towers to a pile of rubble, he remarked: “Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have… built our tallest building [sic].”

Admittedly, much water has flown under the bridge since Obama’s initial outreach address to the Muslim world in June 2009, shortly after his election. But precisely because it was delivered when he was still unencumbered by domestic constraints and foreign frustrations, it perhaps reflected most accurately the unfiltered essence of the political instincts he brought to the Oval Office and the inputs that have gone into shaping his geopolitical credo.

His interpretation of the international role the US should play, the nature of the country’s interests, and the manner in which they should be pursued; his perception of friend and foe and the attitudes that should be adopted towards them, all seem to entail dramatic and disconcerting departure from that of most of his predecessors.

In this regard, he is the first US president who is explicitly and overtly unmoored, both cognitively and emotionally, from the bollards of America’s founding Judeo-Christian heritage, and who somehow conceives that Islam is not inherently inimical to American values.

It is through this Islamo-philic prism that the Obama-administration’s attitude to, and performance of, its foreign policy must be evaluated–including last weekend’s acquiescence on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The chilling thing 

In the course of half a decade, under the stewardship of Obama, the US has had its standing shredded both in the eyes of its allies – and worse – in the eyes of its adversaries.

Debacle has piled upon debacle. Allies have been abandoned and enemies emboldened, worse, empowered. Inappropriate action has been complemented by equally inappropriate inaction. True, in 2009 Obama was handed an unenviable heritage from the preceding administration–a severe financial-turned-economic crisis and two ill-considered ground wars in Asia. But Obama has ensured that the latter will end in futile failure– even demoralizing defeat; while in dealing with the former he has precipitated soaring deficits, crippling debt and chronic and debilitating joblessness, coupled with burgeoning dependence on welfare.

But the really chilling aspect of the Obama incumbency is that it is genuinely difficult to diagnose whether the abysmal results we see represent a crushing failure of his policies or a calculated success; whether they are the product of chronic ineptitude or purposeful foresight; whether they reflect myopic misunderstanding, moronic incompetence or malicious intent.

This general conundrum is particularly pertinent with regard to what transpired in Geneva last Sunday, which appeared to many – including erstwhile Obamaphiles – to be an inexplicable US climb-down from what looked “suspiciously” like positions that heralded emerging success.

Some had little doubt as to what lay behind the move. In a forceful article, Caroline Glick asserted bluntly: “His goal is not to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power…The goal of Obama’s foreign policy is to weaken the State of Israel.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post

Islam: Silencing Its Critics with Violence

Under-Sharia-those-who-insult-Muhammad-or-300x225By Rachel Molschky:

Few dare to criticize the “religion of peace” for fear of a violent retaliation. Ironic? Not really, considering the fact that violence pervades the very essence of this “peaceful” religion. Case in point, the recent case in France of Abdelhakim Dekhar, who stands accused of four recent attacks, one being a shooting at a Paris newspaper office where he shot an assistant photographer. As usual, the mainstream media ignores the Muslim name and suggests the motive is “hazy.” However, Dekhar had written a letter complaining of “media manipulation,” that “evil” capitalism, and was angry about Syria among other things. These are all typical Muslim grievances.

The Islamic response to criticism is death. When there is no self-defense, and armed with no logical explanation in order to combat the critics, the only way out is violence. That’s why whenever there are “peaceful” protests, the placards Muslims proudly hold high call for our beheadings. If you’ve never witnessed this firsthand, there are countless photos to prove it. Men, women and children all parade around with signs calling for our savage murders. Why? Because we dared to criticize.

619545-childsign-225x300Yet criticism brings about change, which is how we progress as a society. Sometimes we progress a little too far and make excessive changes, but certainly some reform is a good thing. For example, some critics of Judaism will say that the punishment of stoning exists in the Torah. Gary T. Panell of Bible Christian discusses capital punishment in the Bible and offers his interpretation regarding the use of rocks to administer it: “As harsh as it may seem, using stones to kill someone, there was a practical side to it. Wherever you were, there would always be plenty of rocks.”

Guess there are a lot of rocks in the Muslim world.

No matter how you want to interpret those verses, the fact remains, Jews no longer “stone” people, which makes such criticism positively senseless. Furthermore, different denominations of the religion have come about as civilization has progressed, and people disagree over the meaning of this or that as well as the application of it in our lives today.

The same is true of Christianity. Martin Luther brought about the Protestant Reformation, and even the Catholic Church itself has made tremendous changes throughout the years and is not the same as it once was. There will always be critics of those changes. Sometimes the modifications may be a step in the wrong direction, but overall the Judaism and Christianity of today cannot be compared to the barbaric stonings and beheadings which not only exist in Islam today but are an intrinsic part of it.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

Islamists Take Nose Dive in 2013 Issue of “Muslim 500”

Muslim 500

The Islamist ascent in the first wave of the Arab Spring triggered a movement against the Muslim Brotherhood in the second wave.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The second wave of the Arab Spring defined the Muslim world in 2013. The Islamist ascent in the first wave triggered a movement against the Muslim Brotherhood in the second wave. The power shift’s importance is apparent in the rankings in this year’s issue ofThe Muslim 500, an annual publication compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan which ranks the most influential Muslims worldwide.

Last year, seven of the top 10 Muslims ranked by the publication were Islamists, with Saudi King Abdullah and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan topping the list. This year, the number has fallen to four. Overall, this year’s tally is very negative for the Muslim Brotherhood and very positive for Muslim leaders less hostile to the West.

The opening of the issue includes a blistering critique of the Brotherhood by Professor S. Abdallah Schleifer, a prominent Middle East expert. Notably, he talks about a backlash against the Islamists.

“So if a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt stood in the beginning of 2013 as the highest expression of the tide of Islamism, it is also possible that the overthrow of that government … may be a sign that this Islamist tidal wave is beginning to recede,” Professor Schleifer writes.

The Muslim 500 identifies three ideological camps in the Muslim world:

The first and largest one is “Traditional Islam” or “Orthodox Islam” and is based on scholarly consensus. The publication says that this represents 96% of the Muslim world and (supposedly) is not politicized. All of the Islamic schools of jurisprudence are included in this category.

This camp includes Islamists like the Saudi King and non-Islamists like the Jordanian King.

The second camp is “Islamic Fundamentalism, ” which is highly politicized and explicitly anti-Western. The fundamentalists describe themselves as “reformers” and are very aggressive. The Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists/Wahhabists and Revolutionary Shiites are included in this category.

The publication says this camp represents 3% of the Muslim world.

The third and smallest camp is “Islamic Modernism.” Adherents consider themselves to be “reformers” but want Islam to become more pro-Western and “progressive.”

In the words of The Muslim 500, “this subdivision contextualized Islamic ideology for the times—emphasizing the need for religion to evolve with Western advances.” It says:

“They thus called for a complete overhaul of Islam, including—or rather, in particular—Islamic law (sharia) and doctrine (aqida). Islamic modernism remains popularly an object of derision and ridicule, and is scorned by traditional Muslims and fundamentalists alike.”

According to the publication, this camp only represents 1% of the Muslim world. The most influential modernist is Queen Abdullah of Jordan. She took 32nd place, whereas last year she was in 37th.

The second most influential modernist is Professor Dr. M. Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of the Muhammadiyya organization in Indonesia. The organization has 35 million members. He is in 33rdplace. He was in 39th last year.

It could be argued that the Indonesian organization Nahdlatul Ulamafalls into this category. Its leader, KH Said Aqil Siradj, is now ranked as the 15th most influential Muslim. He came in 19th last year.

This year’s most influential Muslim is Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He is a traditionalist opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood who endorsed the Egyptian military’s overthrow of President Morsi.

Read more at Clarion Project

British Education System: The New Start of the Islamisation Process

16808382_458703c-300x199By Paul Wilkinson:

In 2007 the ‘Muslim Council of Britain’ (MCB) was empowered to produce a glossy 72-page brochure entitled ‘Towards Greater Understanding; Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools’. However this ‘guidance’ was really a set of demands to accommodate Islam within the state education system.

Through political correctness, Islam has unfortunately been successful in elbowing its way into British society. The entitlement has grown and is highlighted in this uninspiring MCB statement:

“Islam and Muslims are part of the mosaic that comprises modern Britain, 50% of the Muslim population being British born… The faith commitments encompass all aspects of everyday life and conduct, including daily life in school. It is important therefore, that educators and schools have good understanding of how they can respond positively to meeting the needs of Muslim pupils.”

The table has been fully turned by the stealth jihadists of the MCB because Islam does not affect non-Muslims’ lives in any way, shape or form, unless of course we pander to it. The MCB’s objective is a deliberate attempt at undermining our secular society based on Judeo-Christian values by differentiating Islam and calling for special status on an exponential scale.

Throwaway statements such as “Islam holds knowledge and learning as sacred and, therefore, central to the development of any civilisation”, are aplenty and just do not mesh with reality. In the Muslim world there has been a total lack of progression, scientific discoveries and almost continuous violence and war since the illiterate, caravan robbing Prophet Muhammad was told to read by Angel Gabriel in mountain cave near Mecca!

The MCB predictably makes a case for Islam’s ‘Golden Era’, where mostly existing concepts and ideas from Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian and Chinese civilisations were used.

Above and beyond this, Islam’s main ‘contributions’ to the world have seen an almost relentless 1,400 years of invading Africa, Europe, Persia and Asia, spreading Islam by the sword, enslavement and destroying civilisations and cultures. Approximately 270 million people were killed in the process. Now Qur’an inspired Islamic terrorism is a continual threat towards global peace.

news_alert_photo-300x225Even if the Islamic Golden Era were to be true, where has it all gone wrong? What has Islam achieved since the Dark Ages? Why has it not progressed? The answer is simple:Islam cannot progress due to the oppression of science that will factually refute the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. As Richard Dawkins highlighted: “All of the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge.” Or a quick look at previous Nobel Peace Prize winners will reveal very few Muslim recipients compared to Jewish awardees, despite Jews constituting approximately 0.23% of the world population with a 22% share of Nobel Prizes! Even Muslim medical students have boycotted lectures on evolution because it ‘clashes with the Qur’an’.

It is frightening that approximately 22% of the world’s population contribute so little, with Muslim countries generating <5% of global GDP. Western countries spend around 5% of their GDP on research, whereas the Muslim population spends <1%.

European civilisation was in the Dark Ages, but Christianity was reformed, and society progressed into the Age of Enlightenment. Separation between Church and State was a key element because scientific discoveries were allowed to be made, whereas Islamic societies have never done this. Even Muslim countries’ main source of revenue, oil, is reliant on Western innovation and technology. Oil just happens to be under their soil/sand. 

MCB neglects to mention any of these truths or even when Muslims emigrate to ‘better themselves’, children from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish and Somali backgrounds still under-perform on a supposed ‘level playing field’. Muslim adults fare no better becauseapproximately 76% of Muslim women and 53% of Muslim men are economically inactive in Britain. 

However MCB continue to rejoice unabated in nonsensical statements, such as: “Today, Muslims form a vibrant community that forms an integral part of British society.”

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

 

Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years

4by Nicolai Sennels:

While almost all other cultures changed from primitive and medieval to democratic and egalitarian societies, one culture managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values for 1,400 years until today. Still today, the majority of Muslims prefer to live by values that can be traced all the way back to the desert tribes in which the founder of their religion lived. Getting to know life in Muslim families and societies is like traveling back in time to the time of Muhammad. Here one finds shocking laws and traditions that are obviously criminal and inhumane — but for some reason accepted — in our otherwise humanistic culture.

While non-Muslim scientists invent new fantastic medicines and technologies daily, discover the most amazing things about the universe, its building blocks and inhabitants, and Western voters and politicians have created the most humane, rich and free societies in world history, most Islamic countries are still amputating limbs for theft, stoning women and homosexuals, heavily inbred, denying people free speech and democracy, and contributing absolutely nothing when it comes to science, human rights or peace.

What are the cultural psychological factors making Islam able to stay medieval for 1,400 years?

Religion

One main factor is that while all other religions allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death. The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into modern, humanistic civilisations.

The fact that Muslims deviating from the Quranic world view are to be punished has the direct consequence that scientific facts conflicting with the naive and childish world view held in pre-Enlightenment cultures are suppressed. Together with massive inbreeding — 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many generations) — this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners. Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.

Within Islam, faith and tradition is obviously valued far, far more than inventions and discoveries that would ease suffering and lead to a more reasonable understanding of the complexity of the universe and the potential of its inhabitants.

Read more at Jihad Watch

Britain: “A World Capital for Islamic Finance”

sovereign-wealth-funds-are-also-more-cautious-about-investing-in-europeby Soeren Kern:

“I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain.

But critics say that British ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel financial system based on Islamic Sharia law. The Treasury also said some sukukIslamic bond issues may require the government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

The London Stock Exchange will be launching a new Islamic bond index in an effort to establish the City of London as one of the world’s leading centers of Islamic finance.

Britain also plans to become the first non-Muslim country to issue sovereign Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, beginning as early as 2014.

The plans are all part of the British government’s strategy to acquire as big a slice as possible of the fast-growing global market of Islamic finance, which operates according to Islamic Sharia law and is growing 50% faster than the conventional banking sector.

Although it is still a fraction of the global investment market — Sharia-compliant assets are estimated to make up only around 1% of the world’s financial assets — Islamic finance is expected to be worth £1.3 trillion (€1.5 trillion; $2 trillion) by 2014, a 150% increase from its value in 2006, according to the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, published in May 2013 by the consultancy Ernst & Young.

But critics say that Britain’s ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel global financial system based on Islamic Sharia law.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans during a keynote speech at the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, which was held in London from October 29-31, the first time the event has ever been held outside the Muslim world.

“Already London is the biggest center for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world,” Cameron told the audience of more than 1,800 international political and business leaders from over 115 countries.

“And today our ambition is to go further still. Because I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”

 

UK Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London on October 29, 2013. (Image source: 10 Downing St. Facebook page)

Cameron said the new Islamic bond index on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would help stimulate fixed-income investments from Muslim investors — especially investors from oil-rich Persian Gulf countries — by helping them identify which listed companies adhere to Islamic principles.

Investors who practice Islamic finance — which is said to be structured to conform to a strict code of ethics based on the Koran and Sharia law — refuse to invest in companies that are linked to alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork. Islamic finance also forbids collecting or paying interest and requires that deals be based on tangible assets.

Unlike conventional bonds, sukuk are described as investments rather than loans, with the initial payment made from an Islamic investor in the form of a tangible asset such as land. The lender of a sukuk earns money as profit from rent, as in real estate, rather than traditional interest.

Cameron says the British Treasury will issue £200 million (€235 million; $320 million) worth of sukuk as early as 2014. The objective is to enable the government to borrow from Muslim investors. The Treasury plans to issue fixed returns based on the profit made by a given asset, thereby allowing Muslims to invest without breaking Islamic laws forbidding interest-bearing bonds.

The Treasury also said some sukuk bond issues may require the British government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

 

The Desert of Islamization

sahara desertby Daniel Greenfield:

Wars are fought with steel and of words. To fight a thing, we have to understand what we are fighting and why. A blindness in words can kill as effectively as blindness on the battlefield.

Words shape our world. In war, they define the nature of the conflict. That definition can be
misleading. Often it’s expedient.

The real reasons for the last world war had very little to do with democracy. The current war does involve terrorism, but like fascism, it’s incidental to the bigger picture. The United States would not have gone to war to ensure open elections in Germany. It hasn’t been dragged into the dysfunctional politics and conflicts of the Muslim world because of terrorism.

Tyranny and terrorism just sum up what we find least appealing about our enemies. But it’s not why they are our enemies. They are our enemies because of territorial expansionism. The Ummah, like the Third Reich, is seeking “breathing room” to leave behind its social and economic problems with a program of regional and eventually world conquest.

Islam, like Nazism, makes a lot of utopian problems and pays the check for them through conquest. Like Communism, we’re up against a rigid ideology, brainwashed fanatics, utopian fantasies and ruthless tactics. And we can only win by being honest about that.

We are not yet dealing with armies. This is still an ideological conflict. Terrorism is just the tip of a much more dangerous iceberg. It’s the explosion of violence by the most impatient and least judicious of our enemies.

What we are dealing with is Islamization. Islamization is the imposition of ideological norms in increasing severity. Like Nazification, it transforms a society by remaking it in its own image from the largest to the smallest of details.

Islamization begins with the hijacking of “secular” spaces transforming them from neutral into explicitly Islamic forms and functions. The process can be grandiose or petty. A group of Minnesota Muslim taxi drivers who refuse to transport passengers carrying alcohol are “Islamizing” part of the transportation system around that airport. They are imposing Islamic norms on the airport and the passengers. Similarly a Target cashier who refuses to scan pork is Islamizing her line.

Islamic organizations encourage this form of seemingly petty Islamization even while they angle for bigger things. Their followers are foot soldiers in the same political war that destroyed secular spaces in their home countries.

Small scale Islamization becomes large scale Islamization. The women who begin wearing Hijabs are imposing a new social norm that eventually leads to Burkas. By then, women no longer have the right to leave the house, either legally or in social norms. The outlawing of liquor or pork begins in the same way. It doesn’t just happen in large ways, it also happens in small ways.

In Germany, the exchange of the greeting “Gruss Gott” for “Heil Hitler” was the bellwether of a larger social change underway. Nazification was not just a matter of Hitlerian speeches, it was in what you read, what you saw and how you said hello to your neighbors. A Nazi was not just someone who marched around in a uniform. It was also someone who said “Heil Hitler” or who in any way participated in the Nazification of public spaces.

Similarly an Islamist is anyone who participates in the Islamization of public spaces. The media has mischaracterized Islamist as a follower of some rogue branch of Islam followed by a tiny minority. But there is no rogue branch. Even Wahhabism is hardly rogue. If anything, it’s simply more literal.

Islam is Islamist in that it “Islamizes” what it comes into contact with. Islamists are not a separate movement. They are Muslims following a legacy of intolerance by practicing Islamization.

Read more