Are Nonstop Muslim Atrocities the ‘New Norm’?

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Aug. 25, 2016:

As hardly a few days pass without some Islamic terror attack in the West—recently and as of this writing an “Allahu Akbar” shouting Muslim man stabbed a Jew in France and an “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslim woman ran over two policemen in Canada—the West risks becoming desensitized to and seeing Islamic violence as “just another part of life.”

The words and deeds of Western leaders are not helping.  After the Islamic terror attack in Nice, France, where 84 were killed, counterterrorism chief Patrick Calvar said: “Today, France is clearly the most threatened country.  The question about the threat is not to know ‘if’ but ‘when’ and ‘where’.” Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that “Terrorism … is a threat that weighs heavily on France and will continue doing so for a long time.”

As if such resignation wasn’t bad enough, at the memorial event for the 84 Nice victims, Valls declared, “Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism.”

Actually, the main thing to change with time in France is its demography.  The largest Muslim population of Europe resides there and, in accordance’s with Islam’s Rule of Numbers, is the real reason why France “should learn to live with terrorism.”

More apathy was in the air during the Munich massacre, where a Muslim gunman killed nine.

While somberly addressing the massacre still in progress—with the usual boilerplate “our hearts go out to [X victim of terror]”—U.S. President Obama managed to crack a joke, grin, chuckle, and draw laughter from his audience.

After all, what is the big deal?  Shouldn’t we be used to Muslims rampaging and killing by now?  And really, what’s nine dead compared to the many hundreds killed by Islamic terrorists around the world in recent weeks?

As for the leader of the nation where the attack took place, Angela Merkel waited almost 24 hours before she delivered yet another perfunctory speech containing all the usual words, condolences, and platitudes.

Then again, what was the hurry? Muslims abusing, raping, and killing Germans in Germany is old hat.  A new poll by ZDF found that a record 75 percent of Germans “expect—which is not unlike accept—more terror attacks in their nation.  Must a statement be made after every single one?!

Needless to say, lesser Islamic terror attacks which once would’ve been extremely newsworthy and received condemnation from the highest echelons of the political wrung now receive perfunctory or no media coverage and little comment.

On July 18 in Germany, another “Allahu Akbar” shouting, axe-waving Muslim attacked train passengers and critically injured five.  The next day, on July 19 in France, a Muslim man stabbed a woman and her three daughters—the eight-year-old was left with a punctured lung and in critical condition—for being “scantily dressed.”

No immediate comments from Merkel and Valls.  (See here for numerous other examples of “minor” and “everyday” Muslim “disturbances” in Europe—such as vandalizing churches and urinating on St. Mary statues—that get little or no coverage or comment.)

Western people had better wise up: in the field of behavioral psychology, “systematic desensitization” is a well-known and effective form of graduated exposure therapy used “to help effectively overcome phobias and other anxiety disorders.”  Consider the following succinct definition with my relevant examples in brackets:

Systematic desensitization is when the client [the West] is exposed to the anxiety-producing stimulus [Islamic violence] at a low level [reports and images of Islamic violence “over there” in the Mideast], and once no anxiety is present a stronger version of the anxiety-producing stimulus is given [reports of violence closer to home, in the West]. This continues until the individual client [the West] no longer feels any anxiety towards the stimulus [Islamic violence].

Is this the plan?  Are the “global elite” producing situations, such as the manufactured “migrant crisis,” that cause the West to experience incrementally worse forms of Islamic violence, until it becomes desensitized, loses its “phobia”—in this case, “Islamophobia”—and simply “learns to live with terrorism,” in the words of France’s prime minister?

Indeed, if the attacks were to fall back to, say, just once a month, many might accept that as a “positive step” they can live with—at least in comparison to what they’ve been seeing, including four savage Islamic attacks in one recent week in Germany alone.

“Conspiracy theories” aside, a much better way exists.  Acknowledge the truth—Islam is inherently violent and intolerant—and build policies on this truth.  A ban on or serious vetting of Muslim immigration—which a majority of Americans support—and close monitoring of already existing mosques and Islamic centers would virtually eliminate Islamic terror from America.

For the fact remains: unlike natural disasters—earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and the like—we actually do not need to live with Islam.

Also see:

Confirmed: Islam, Not ‘Grievances,’ Fuels Muslim Hate for the West

isis (3)ISIS settles the debate—but will Western leaders still disseminate lies?

Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Aug. 19, 2016:

An old (and tiresome) debate appears to have been settled by those best positioned to settle it.  According to Andrew Gripp, a former political science professor:

Since 9/11, one of the defining fault lines in American and Western politics has concerned whether jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS are motivated by their religion or by politics – or more specifically, by grievances against Western foreign policy. Some insist that Islamic doctrine is the basis of their violence, while others insist that such groups are not truly Islamic, but are instead using the guise of religion to lash out against Western influence and intervention.

After indicating how “jihadist groups’ political behavior is consistently traceable to their beliefs about what the Quran, hadith, and respected commentaries say they have a divine injunction to do,” Gripp writes:

For years, however, making this case has been a challenge. This is in part because al-Qaeda was intentionally speaking to both sides in this debate. As the scholar Raymond Ibrahim demonstrates in The Al Qaeda Reader, the terrorist group would regularly frame its grievances in political terms when broadcasting its message to the West (so as to insinuate that once the West withdrew, peace would come). Yet when speaking to the Muslim world, the group would make highly sophisticated religious arguments, explaining why its actions, however reprehensible on their face, were in fact justified by a close reading of the holy texts.

This was indeed the main reason I sought to translate and publish al-Qaeda’s internal communiques to fellow Muslims side-by-side with al-Qaeda’s communiques to the West: to show the stark differences in tone and purpose.  As I wrote in the book’s preface ten years ago:

This volume of translations [The Al Qaeda Reader], taken as a whole, proves once and for all that, despite the propaganda of al-Qaeda and its sympathizers, radical Islam’s war with the West is not finite and limited to political grievances—real or imagined—but is existential, transcending time and space and deeply rooted in faith.

Now, however, the world need not rely on my translations and can get it straight from the horse’s mouth:  In a recent article titled “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You,” the Islamic State gives six reasons.   Reason number one says it all:

We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son [Christ], you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’” (Al-Mumtahanah 4 [i.e., Koran 60:4]). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option [“People of the Book”] – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims [per Koran 9:29].

This is as plain as it gets, not to mention wholly grounded in Islam’s traditional worldview.  As has been repeatedly pointed out, if Muslims are persecuting their fellow country men and women—people who share their nationality, ethnicity, culture, and language—on the simple basis that they are Christians, why should there be any surprise, or excuses of “grievances,” when Muslims terrorize the “infidels” of the West?

Reasons two and three of why ISIS hates and fights the West are essentially the same as reason one: Western secularists and atheists are hated and attacked for disbelieving in and living against Allah.  Although reason four cites “crimes against Islam,” this is a reference to the “crime” of refusing to submit to Islam’s authority and sensibilities, also known as “Islam’s How Dare You?!” phenomenon.

It is only in reasons five and six that ISIS finally mentions “grievances” against Western foreign policies—only to quickly explain:

What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list. […]  The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you [emphasis added].

It is this unrelenting hatred that Westerners cannot comprehend; a hate that compels Muslim husbands to hate their non-Muslim wives, and compels America’s great “friends and allies” Saudi Arabia and Qatar to publish government sanctioned decrees proclaiming their hate for America.

And it was always this hate that fueled al-Qaeda’s jihad—not grievances.  All of the Koran verses that call for hate against non-Muslims have been repeatedly cited by al-Qaeda in its Arabic writings to Muslims.  (Ayman Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s current leader, wrote a 60 page treatise devoted to delineating how Islam commands Muslims to hate non-Muslims, see “Loyalty and Enmity,” The Al Qaeda Readerp. 63-115.)

Osama bin Laden once wrote

As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: “We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone” [Qur’an 60:4 referenced above in ISIS’s recent publication]. So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility—that is, battle—ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed [i.e., a dhimmi], or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable [in which case, bin Laden later clarifies, they should dissemble (taqiyya) before the infidels by, say, insisting the conflict is about “foreign policy,” nothing more]. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy!… Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred—directed from the Muslim to the infidel—is the foundation of our religion.  (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).

Yet, in every communique he issued to the West, bin Laden stressed that al-Qaeda’s war was entirely based on Western foreign policies detrimental to Islam: eliminate these and terrorism would cease.  This rhetoric was accepted at face value by many so-called “experts” (such as ex-CIA agent Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris) and became the default answer to the tired question, “why do they hate us?”  As late as 2014 U.S. President Obama invoked the “grievance” meme concerning ISIS.

Of course, it was one thing for Western leaders to accept and disseminate al-Qaeda’s lies concerning “grievances,” and another thing for them to continue doing so now, in light of ISIS’ recent and open confessions concerning the true nature of the jihad.  Any Western leader, analyst, or “expert” who at this late hour continues peddling the “grievance” narrative falls within the ever growing ranks of fools and liars.

Also see:

Huffington Post: All Islamic Violence Comes From Hadith, NOT Quran

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PJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, AUGUST 12, 2016:

The Huffington Post recently published an article titled “The Source of Muslim Extremism” authored by Mike Ghouse. He is described as “a speaker, thinker, and a writer” who “offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.”

Ghouse argues that all violence and intolerance committed under the banner of Islam is not due to the Quran:

[Islamic violence and intolerance is] coming from a single source; the secondary books. The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it. Until we reject those other books, we don’t have a prayer.

Among these “secondary books,” Ghouse identifies the Hadith. The Hadith contains the words and deeds of Muhammad:

As a first step towards fixing our problems, we need to rehabilitate the Hadith.

By “rehabilitate,” Ghouse wants to expunge … :

 … [any hadith not] compatible with the statements that God is just and the Prophet is a mercy to the mankind.

Concludes Ghouse:

Let’s stick to the Quran, we simply cannot go wrong.

What to make of this argument?

Unfortunately, its thesis is built on a faulty premise. Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need no clarification from supplemental literature.

First, it should be noted that Quranism is not original to Ghouse. This position belongs to a small sect of reformist/heretical (depending on who you ask) Muslims known as “Quranists.” Their movement, Quranism, traces back decades, with echoes even earlier. Quranism holds:

… the Qur’an to be the only authentic source of Islamic faith. Quranists generally reject, therefore, the religious authority and authenticity of hadith, Sunnah, and reject traditional Sharia Law, with the assertion that they are false attributes to the Islamic Prophet Muhammed. This is in contrast to the Sunni, Shia, and Ibadi doctrines, which consider hadith necessary for Islamic faith.

The benefits of rejecting all textual sources but the Quran should be obvious. The corpus of Hadith literature is immense, and seems to have something to say about every conceivable topic. Sahih Bukhari — the most authoritative collection of Hadith, which Sunni Muslims hold second to the Quran in legislative importance – consists of nine volumes of Muhammad’s words and deeds on countless minutiae.

(For example: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘When you drink (water), do not breathe in the vessel; and when you urinate, do not touch your penis with your right hand. And when you cleanse yourself after defecation, do not use your right hand.’”)

Many forms of appalling behavior — from drinking camel urine to “adult breastfeeding” — are justified by finding some reference in the Hadith.

Although the Quran suggests that only Allah may torture with fire, a Sahih Bukhari hadith documents Muhammad using fire as a form of torture. Accordingly, the Islamic State referenced this hadith in their fatwa to justify burning a Jordanian pilot alive.

While Quranism resonates with the Western mentality — it’s simply the Islamic version of Protestantism’s sola scriptura — it is heresy in the Muslim world. Mainstream Muslim scholars, including so-called “moderates,” regularly and often denounce Quranists as apostates from Islam. They point out that Quran 33:2 commands Muslims to follow Muhammad’s example. And his example — his sunna, which 90 percent of the world’s Muslims are named after — is derived from the Hadith.

Of course, this is precisely why many lackadaisical Muslims (quietly) favor the elimination of the Hadith. As one more fervent cleric put it:

[M]uch of Islam will remain mere abstract concepts without Hadith. We would never know how to pray, fast, pay zakah, or make pilgrimage without the illustration found in Hadith.

Surely then, Quranism is welcome news to lukewarm Muslims? Unsurprisingly, Quranists are regularly persecuted and killed for their position:

— Rashad Khalifa, an eccentric Quranist, was found stabbed to death in Tucson, Arizona in 1990.– India’s Chekannur Maulavi disappeared in 1993 under “mysterious circumstances” and is believed to be dead.

— Egypt’s Ahmed Subhy Mansour was denounced by and fired from Al Azhar University (The world’s most influential Islamic university), imprisoned, and finally exiled.

Of all strategies dedicated to creating a “moderate Islam” — most of which have no theological basis, and are simply built on Western projections of itself onto Islam — Quranism is commendable in that it is at least methodologically viable.

But it rests on an immediately negated claim about the Quran.

Well over one hundred verses within the Quran itself call for nonstop war, or jihad, on non-Muslims. If “infidels” are beaten and still refuse to convert to Islam, they must live as third class subjects and pay tribute “while feelingly humbled” (e.g., 9:29).

The Quran itself prescribes draconian measures — crucifixions, whippings, amputations, stonings, and beheadings — as punishments.

The Quran itself requires the absolute subjugation of women (e.g., 4:34), with particularly devastating results for non-Muslim women.

In short, the first premise of Quranism — that “The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it,” to quote Ghouse — may only ease the daily life of the Muslim.

But Quranism brings no solace at all to the “infidel.”

Forget Motivation, Focus on Reason Why West is Losing against Islam

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Yes, there are only fools and liars defending Islam.

Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Aug. 11, 2016:

The most efficient way of solving a problem is to first break it down to its simplest parts—its bare-bone elements.

This was the ultimate point of a recent article where I asserted that:

When it comes to the connection between Islam and violence against non-Muslims, one fact must be embraced: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in the West are either liars or fools, or both.

No other alternative exists.

Both in the comments section on my site as well as those of other websites that carried the article, and through emails, many begged to differ.  They argued that there are other alternatives and my distinction—fool, liar, or both—is too simple.

Some argue that those Western leaders who refuse to connect Islam to violence and terrorism are simply being “politically correct,” or are “cowards,” or are bought-and-paid-for “traitors,” or are worried about their careers, or are intentionally trying to defuse a potential world conflict, i.e., “clash of civilizations.”

Others argue that many Western leaders sincerely believe that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism because they cannot think outside the box—because they cannot transcend their own Western epistemology; or because they are “delusional,” or overly “optimistic,” etc., etc.

Now, here’s the thing:  Depending on which Western leader and/or talking head is claiming that Islam has no connection to violence—that is, on a case by case basis—all of these explanations may be true.

Even so, they are only just that—explanations as to why they are claiming what they are claiming about Islam.   None of these explanations change the fact that what they end up saying is either a direct lie, or a product of a soft brain.

Whether it’s due to “political correctness,” “cowardice,” “treason,” or even sincere fear of international conflict, those who claim Islam is free of violence are, in the end, still liars.

Likewise, whether it’s due to mistaken “optimism,” or the inability to think out of the Western epistemic box, or simple delusional thinking, those who cannot accept that Islam is connected to violence are, in the end, still fools.

Incidentally, others argue that “Damage done by deceit is worse than damage done by stupidity, because it is done deliberately.”  I beg to differ: damage is damage, irrespective of cause.  If someone intentionally runs you over, or if someone accidentally runs you over, the end result is one: you’re dead.

It’s important to understand these distinctions to see through the fog.  Whatever their motivations or reasons, anyone who claims Islam does not teach violence and intolerance against non-Muslims is ultimately a liar or a fool, or a little bit of both—and nothing else.

Once the issue is boiled down to this simple explanation, it becomes clear how and why an intrinsically weak Islam has become such a threat to the West.  How to remedy the situation becomes even clearer: simply oust the liars and fools from power.  The rest is details.

Is Islam Violent? Forget the Koran, Let’s Talk About Islam’s PROVEN Historical Record

Islamic-history1.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, AUGUST 3, 2016:

Too often, the debate around Islamic violence centers around doctrine — around what the Koran and other scriptures (such as the Hadith — the words and deeds of Muhammad) really say and mean. Forgotten in this debate is that Islamic scriptures are unnecessary in determining whether Islam teaches violence and war against non-Muslims.

History suffices. Consider the facts, which have been attested to by both Muslim and non-Muslim primary historic sources.

A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia. In just a few decades, Muslims had permanently conquered what was then two-thirds of the Christian world. The heart of the Muslim world today — nations like Egypt, Syria, all of North Africa, Turkey and more later — had been, in the 7th century, the heart of Christendom.

Thereafter, it was a continuous war on Christian Europe.

That “Religion of Peace”? Ask Obama: If Islam is peaceful, shouldn’t Islam have been peaceful during and immediately following its founding?

Less than three decades after the traditional date of Islam’s founding (622), three of the five original Christian centers (“sees”) founded by the apostles — Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem — were forever swallowed up by Islam. The fourth, Constantinople, valiantly resisted the Islamic onslaught for centuries, but was finally conquered in the name of Islam in 1453.

Though sacked and burned by Muslims as early as 846, only distant Rome — the Vatican, fifth of the ancient Christian sees — remained unconquered.

Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination throughout the centuries are (to give them their modern names, and in no particular order):

Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.

The few European regions that escaped direct Islamic occupation due to their northwest remoteness include Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany. This of course, does not mean that these regions were not attacked by Islam.

Indeed, in the furthest northwest land of Europe – Iceland — Christians used to pray that God save them from the “terror of the Turk.” This was not mere paranoia. As late as 1627, Muslim corsairs raided Iceland.

They seized four hundred captives and sold them in the slave markets of Algiers.

Nor did America escape Islamic attack. A few years after the formation of the United States, in 1800, American trading ships in the Mediterranean were plundered and their sailors enslaved by Muslim corsairs.

The ambassador of Tripoli explained to Thomas Jefferson that it was a Muslim’s right and duty to make war upon non-Muslims wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners.

There was no mystery, no politically correct debate about Islam in those days.

As early as the 8th century, the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes wrote in hisChrongraphia:

He [Muhammad] taught those who gave ear to him that the one slaying the enemy — or being slain by the enemy — entered into paradise [e.g., Koran 9:111]. And he said paradise was carnal and sensual — orgies of eating, drinking, and women.Also, there was a river of wine … and the woman were of another sort, and the duration of sex greatly prolonged and its pleasure long-enduring [e.g., 56: 7-40, 78:31, 55:70-77]. And all sorts of other nonsense.

Six hundred years later, in the 14th century, Byzantine emperor Paleologus II told a Muslim scholar:

Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman — such as the command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

Such was the honesty of interfaith dialogue in former times.

It deserves repeating, by the standards of historiography, that the aforementioned historical outline is unassailable, and attested to by both Muslim and European historians, from the traditional beginning of Islam till the modern era.

In short, regardless of what the Koran and other Islamic scriptures really “mean,” for roughly one millennium — punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that the modern world is obsessed with demonizing — Muslims waged unrelenting war on the West.

They did this, and continue doing this, in the name of Islam.

Today? Whether as taught in high school or graduate school, whether as portrayed by Hollywood or the news media, the predominant historic narrative is that Muslims are the historic “victims” of “intolerant” Western Christians.

(Watch my response to a Fox News host wondering why Christians have always persecuted Muslims.)

Now we are paying the price of being an ahistorical society. A few years after the Islamic strikes of 9/11 — merely the latest strikes in the centuries-long, continents-wide jihad on the West — Americans elected (twice) a man with a Muslim name and heritage for president; a man who openly empowers the same Islamic ideology that Western warriors fought for centuries.

Surely the United States’ European forebears — who at one time or another either fought off or were conquered by Islam — must be turning in their graves.

But all this is history, you say? Why rehash it? Why not let it be and move on, begin a new chapter of mutual tolerance and respect, even if history must be “touched up” a bit?

This would be a somewhat plausible position — if not for the fact that this conquering stage of Islamic history never ended.

All around the globe, Muslims are still exhibiting the same imperial impulse and intolerant supremacism that their conquering forbears did. The only difference now is that the Muslim world is currently incapable of defeating the West through a conventional war.

Yet this may not even be necessary. Thanks to the West’s ignorance of history, Muslims are allowed to flood Europe, so that hardly a day now passes without headlines of unspeakable Muslim on non-Muslim violence. Most recently — or at least as of this writing — Muslims invaded a church in France, forced the priest on his knees, and slit his throat.

All this leads to another, equally important point: If the true history of the West and Islam is being turned upside down, what other historical “truths” being peddled today are equally false? The narrative concerning Islam’s alleged peacefulness is only being questioned because the world sees Muslims committing violence on a daily basis. But surely there are other nefarious and seditious forces that are intelligent enough not to expose themselves?

In the future (whatever one there may be), the histories written about our times will likely stress how our era, ironically called the “information age,” was not an age when people were well-informed. Ours will rather have been an age when disinformation was so widespread and unquestioned that generation lived in bubbles of alternate realities, comfortable in their ignorance, until the bubbles were finally popped.

***

Pope Francis: A Fool or Liar for Islam?

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, August 2, 2016:

At a time when Muslims all around the world are terrorizing and slaughtering non-Muslims in the name of Islam,Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, continues trying to distance Islam from violence.

Last Sunday a journalist asked him about the recent and “barbarous assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel” in France, and how the priest was clearly “killed in the name of Islam.” To this Francis

replied that he doesn’t like speaking about Islamic violence because there is plenty of Christian violence as well… [He] said that every day when he browses the newspapers, he sees violence in Italy perpetrated by Christians: “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics!  If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.  And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything.”

Is the Pope really that dense?  Is he incapable of distinguishing between violence committed in the name of a religion, and violence committed in contradiction of a religion?

Yes, Catholics—and people of all religions, sects, creeds—commit violence.  That is because humans are prone to violence (or, to use Christian language that some—maybe not Francis—might understand, humans are fallen creatures).   And yes, the Catholics that Francis’ cites do not commit crimes—murdering girlfriends and mother-in-law—because of any teaching contained in Christianity or Catholicism; on the contrary, Christian teachings of mercy and forgiveness are meant to counter such impulses.

On the other hand, the violence that Muslims are committing around the world—the beheadings, the sex slavery, the church burnings—are indeed contained in and a product of Islam, and they have been from day one.

Francis continued offering half-truths in the interview.  After he acknowledged that there are “violent persons of this religion [Islam],” he immediately added that “in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them.”

This is another sloppy generalization.  Sure, “in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists,” but that which is “fundamental” to them widely differs.  One may say that Muslim and Christian fundamentalists adhere to a literalist/strict reading of their scriptures.  While that statement may be true, left unsaid by those who think the issue is settled right there is: what do the Bible and Koran actually teach?

The long and short of it is, the Christian fundamentalist will find himself compelled to pray for his persecutors, and, depending on the situation, maybe even turning the other cheek; conversely, the Muslim fundamentalist will find himself attacking, subjugating, plundering, raping, enslaving, and slaughtering non-Muslims.  In both cases, the scriptures—Bible and Koran—say so.

Not for Francis.  Poverty is supposedly the real reason behind all the Islamic violence plaguing the world:

Terrorism grows when there are no other options, and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person — men and women — this is already the first terrorism! You have cast out the wonder of creation — man and woman — and you have put money in its place. This is a basic terrorism against all of humanity! Think about it!

This has got to be one of the silliest arguments ever devised to justify terrorism.  So the Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar!” while slaughtering a priest or driving a truck into people in France were suffering from poverty?  What about the fact that one of the richest nations in the world—Saudi Arabia—is violent to and intolerant of non-Muslims?  What about the fact that there are billions of impoverished non-Muslims—yet, strangely, they do not engage in wanton acts of terror against “infidels” in the name of their religion.  What to make of these facts?

But apparently none of these questions about scriptures and demographics matter; after all, Francis “knows how Muslims think”:

I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think.  They [Muslims] seek peace, encounter.”

This is just plain sad.  Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, arguably the most authoritative Islamic institution in the world, did indeed recently visit Francis and inform him of how Muslims desire peace and harmony with the world.

But back home in Egypt, the grand imam and Al Azhar promote an Islam that is virtually indistinguishable from that of ISIS.  Indeed, days before he went to take pictures hugging the pope, Tayeb said that it is a criminal offense to apostatize from Islam, and the punishment is death.

In response, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies blasted the grand imam and Al Azhar.  After accusing them of being twofaced—preaching a moderate Islam in the West and a radical one in Egypt—the statement concluded with some words that people like Francis should take to heart: http:

Combating terrorism and radical religious ideologies will not be accomplished by directing at the West and its international institutions religious dialogues that are open, support international peace and respect freedoms and rights, while internally promoting ideas that contribute to the dissemination of violent extremism through the media and educational curricula of Al Azhar and the mosques.

In the end, and when it comes to the question of whether Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims, Pope Francis falls within the ranks of those Western leaders who are either liars or fools, or a little bit of both.

***

Also see:

Hungary Blasts EU with Common Sense on Muslim Migration

orbanMEF, by Raymond Ibrahim  •  Jul 29, 2016
Cross-posted from RaymondIbrahim.com

In “an astonishingly savage tirade”—to quote from the UK’s Express—Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban recently tore into the European Union “over migration and taunted Angela Merkel for failing to protect German people from Islamist terror.” (Click here to learn why central and eastern European nations, Hungary chief among them, are wary of Islam.)

In the course of his speech, Orban made two important points that I habitually make, and which explain the true reasons behind the unprecedented rise of terrorism in EU nations: 1) Islam’s Rule of Numbers; 2) Western enablement of Islam.

In regards to the first point, Orban

issued a stunning rebuke to Mrs Merkel on migration, blaming recent terror attacks on the mas[s] influx of refugees… Migration, he argued, “increases terrorism and crime” and “destroys national culture” in a thinly-veiled swipe at Mrs Merkel’s decision to roll out the red carpet to millions of people from the Middle East.

This is as simple as it gets. Over three years ago, in May 2013, a Muslim man decapitated a British solider with a meat cleaver in the middle of a busy London street. I explained it as follows:

It reflects what I call “Islam’s Rule of Numbers,” a rule that expresses itself with remarkable consistency: The more Muslims grow in numbers, the more Islamic phenomena intrinsic to the Muslim world—in this case, brazen violence against “infidels”—appear….

Thus as Muslim populations continue growing in Western nations, count on growing, and brazen, numbers of attacks on infidels—beheadings and such.

And so it has been. While EU leaders and Western media scurry to find pretexts to explain the rise of terrorism—from “Muslim grievances” to wars for “money” and “natural resources,” as Pope Francis recently claimed after Muslims slaughtered a priest in France—reality is much simpler: Islam promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims.

Accordingly, wherever Islam is in power, such as the Muslim world for example, non-Muslims are grossly persecuted—and not just by ISIS, but by “regular Muslims“—from heads of state, to police, to educators, down to the mob.

If Muslims persecute non-Muslims where they are strong, is it any wonder that, as Muslim numbers grow in Europe, as they have in recent times, attacks on non-Muslims grow with them? Or, as Orban put it, Muslim immigration “increases terrorism and crime.”

The Hungarian prime minister’s second important point agrees with another point I’ve been repeatedly making, most recently last week in an article titled, “Eject Western Traitors, Beat Islamic Terrorists“:

Those who seek to reverse this situation [growing Islamic terrorism] must begin by embracing a simple fact: Islam is not terrorizing the West because it can but because it is being allowed to….

Today [as opposed to historically], Muslim terrorists, rapists, and criminals are not entering the West against its will but because of it….

Orban agrees:

We must make it clear that our problem is not in Mecca, but in Brussels [capital of the EU]. The obstacle for us is not Islam, but the bureaucrats in Brussels. We would be able to deal with Islam if we were allowed to deal with it in the way we think we should.

Simply put, whatever Islam is or teaches—whether it is violent or not, whatever it does “over there” in Mecca and elsewhere—is not the immediate problem.

Rather, the immediate problem is that EU “bureaucrats in Brussels” are imposing Islam “over here,” or, as I had more bluntly concluded:

Western policymakers who insist that Islam is peaceful (despite all evidence otherwise) and that the West is “obligated” to receive Muslim migrants, are 100% responsible for the daily victims of jihad, most recently an octogenarian priest…. The war begins with them. Kick them and their suicidal policies out, and watch Islamic terror on Western soil fizzle out.

It’s all very simple: More Muslims equals more violence against non-Muslims. This formula acknowledges that not all Muslims, or even the majority, are inclined to acts of terrorism. However, as Muslim numbers grow in general, it’s only natural that the numbers of “radicals” grow with them (e.g., 10 % of 100 is only 10, but 10% of a 1,000 is 100).

And the immediate issue isn’t whether or why Islam is violent; the immediate issue is that Western leaders are the ones enabling and importing it into the West.

It still remains to be seen if Orban is right “that other European nations would come around to Hungary’s no-nonsense way of thinking as the reality of regular terror attacks set in.”

Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

When It Comes to Islam, Western Leaders Are Liars or Idiots

obama-merkel-germany-islam.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, JULY 22, 2016:

When it comes to the connection between Islam and violence against non-Muslims, one fact must be understood: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in the West are either liars or fools, or both.

No other alternative exists.

The reason for this uncharitable assertion is simple: If Islam was once a faraway, exotic religion, today we hear calls for, and see acts of, violence committed in its name every day. And many of us still have “ears that hear and eyes that see,” so it’s no secret: Muslims from all around the world and from all walks of life — not just “terrorists” or “ISIS” — unequivocally and unapologetically proclaim that Islam commands them to hate, subjugate, and kill all who resist it, including all non-Muslims.

This is the official position of several Muslim governments, including America’s closest “friends and allies” like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

It’s the official position of Islamic institutions of lower and higher learning: from Bangladeshi high schools to Egypt’s Al Azhar, the world’s most prestigious Islamic university.

It’s the official position broadcast in numerous languages on Islamic satellite stations that air in Muslim homes around the world.

In short, there’s no excuse today for anyone to still be ignorant about Islam, and especially for those in positions of leadership or authority. Yet it is precisely this group that most vehemently denies any connection between Islam and violence.

Why?

On July 18 in Germany, an axe-waving Muslim refugee attacked a number of train passengers and critically injured three. Although an ISIS flag was found in his room, although he called for the slaughter of any Muslim who dares leave Islam, although he yelled “Allahu Akbar” — Islam’s unequivocal war cry — authorities claimed “it was too early to speculate about the motives of the attacker.”

Catholic Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wuerzburg, where the axe attack took place, was bewildered: “One is speechless at such a moment. This fact can not be understood.”

Instead of being vigilant around Muslim migrants, he said: “Maybe we need to help the unaccompanied young refugees even more and help them to overcome their own traumas.”

About a month earlier in Germany, this same scene played out. While screaming “Allahu Akbar” and “infidels must die,” another Muslim man in another train station stabbed to death one man and injured three others. Still, German authorities “found no evidence of Islamist motive.”

In neighboring France — which has “Europe’s largest Muslim minority” and is also (coincidentally?) the “most threatened country” — this sequence of events (a Muslim attacks in the name of Islam, authorities claim difficulty in finding “motive”) is becoming endemic.

On July 19, a Muslim man vacationing with his pregnant wife and children stabbed a neighboring woman and her three daughters for being “scantily dressed.” The youngest girl, 8, was in critical condition with a punctured lung.

Although this is a common occurrence throughout the Muslim world — many Muslim women wear the hijab because they know the consequences of not in public — and although French television was brave enough to say that the man, named Mohamed B, 37, “may have acted out of religious motives,” Mayor Edmond Francou said he preferred “not to speculate about the motive of the attack.”

A few days earlier, another “Allahu Akbar”-screaming Muslim killed 84 people in Nice.

Yet according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the killer’s “motives [were] not yet established.” Asked if he could at least confirm the attacker’s motives were linked to jihadism, he said, “No.”

Reuters went so far as to write an article blaming France for its own terrorization.

Turning to the United States, one finds the same pattern. Most recently, a Muslim man entered a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49. Despite the fact that ISIS regularly kills homosexuals and that the killer — who “recited prayers to Allah during the attack” — pledged his allegiance to ISIS, “Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the investigation is still ongoing, and a motive has yet to be established,” while “the FBI was confused about [his] motive.”

Read more

Once Again, Al-Qaeda Brands Itself as Social Justice Warriors

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PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, July 14, 2016:

After the Orlando massacre, when an armed Muslim murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub, al-Qaeda published a guide urging more such “lone wolf” attacks – with the added caveat that jihadists should exclusively target mainstream white Americans.

According to the jihadi group’s online publication “Inspire guide: Orlando operation,” killing homosexuals is “the most binding duty.” However, would-be jihadis are advised to “avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America,” and instead to target “areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated.”

In response, several pundits warned that al-Qaeda is shifting gears, somehow trying to portray itself as a “social justice warrior.”

In fact, al-Qaeda has long presented itself to the West in this manner. These latest instructions are hardly new. Further, they help explain the real differences between al-Qaeda and ISIS, and which stage of jihad they see themselves in.

Although The Al Qaeda Reader documents al-Qaeda’s dual approach — preach unrelenting jihad to Muslims, whine about grievances to Westerners — a nearly decade-old communique from al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is sufficient to understand the strategy behind these latest instructions. In that letter, as-Zawahiri spoke to the many “under-privileged” of the world:

That’s why I want blacks in America, people of color, American Indians, Hispanics, and all the weak and oppressed in North and South America, in Africa and Asia, and all over the world, to know that when we wage jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging jihad to lift oppression from Muslims only; we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind, because Allah has ordered us never to accept oppression, whatever it may be …This is why I want every oppressed one on the face of the earth to know that our victory over America and the Crusading West — with Allah’s permission — is a victory for them, because they shall be freed from the most powerful tyrannical force in the history of mankind.

American blacks, however, were Zawahiri’s primary targets. Zawahiri praised and quoted from the convert to Islam, Malcolm X:

Anytime you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something you have to do for yourself. The price of freedom is death.

The al-Qaeda leader also appealed to another potentially sympathetic population — environmentalists:

[The U.S.] went out and ruined for the entire world, the atmosphere and climate with the gases emitted by its factories.

Years earlier, Osama bin Laden himself complained about the U.S. not signing the Kyoto protocols:

You [the U.S.] have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history.

What does this ostensibly disparate group of people — “third-worlders,” environmentalists, and disaffected American blacks — have in common? They all harbor anti-Western sentiments that can be appealed to for purposes of exonerating al-Qaeda’s jihad.

Now, al-Qaeda is again reaffirming that killing homosexuals is “the most binding duty,” but it’s still best to continue targeting non-minorities in America — “Anglo-Saxons” — because they are so easy to demonize.

Al-Zawahiri used the same strategy in Egypt in 2014. During a particularly brutal period of Christian persecution — dozens of churches were burned — he counseled Egypt’s Muslims to stop attacking Coptic Christians. The al-Qaeda leader, who on numerous occasions had exhibited his antipathy for Christians, made clear that his directive was purely for PR purposes; he was concerned about jihad’s image in the West.

While agreeing to the most draconian of Sharia’s tenets, al-Qaeda also knows that many of these — for example, the destruction of churches and subjugation of “infidel” Christians — needs to be curtailed or hidden from the Western world.  Otherwise, al-Qaeda’s efforts of portraying jihadis as “freedom fighters” resisting an oppressive West risk being undermined.

On the other hand, ISIS represents the unapologetic jihad, indifferent to Western opinion.

By widely broadcasting its savage triumphalism in the name of Islam, ISIS forfeits the “social warrior” card and instead plays the “strength” card. In this manner ISIS has inspired hundreds of millions of Muslims, according to some disturbing polls.

Al-Qaeda was born at a time when deceiving the West about the aims of the jihad was deemed necessary; ISIS was been born at a time when deceiving an already passive West is no longer deemed important.

Time will tell which strategy works better.

Obama’s Refugee Policy: Yes to Potential Terrorists, No to Genocide Victims

By Raymond Ibrahim, June 6, 2016:

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute

The Obama administration has been escalating a policy that both abandons Mideast Christians and exposes Americans to the jihad. Late last year it was revealed that 97% of Syrian refugees accepted into the U.S. were Sunni Muslims—the same Islamic sect to which the Islamic State belongs—while fewer than half-a-percent were Christians.

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This disparity has since gotten worse. From May 1 to May 23, 499 Syrian refugees—a number that exceeds the total number of refugees admitted during the last three years—were received into the U.S.  Zero Christians were among them; 99 percent were Sunni (the remaining one percent was simply listed as “Muslim”).

These numbers are troubling:

First, from a strictly humanitarian point of view—and humanitarianism is the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees—Christians should receive priority simply because currently they are among the most persecuted groups in the Middle East.  Along with the Yazidis, Christians are experiencing genocide at the hands of ISIS, as the State Department recently determined.  The Islamic State has repeatedly forced Christians to renounce Christ or die; has enslaved and raped them, and desecrated or destroyed more than 400 of their churches.

As Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) put it this March, “Without doubt, Syrians of all confessions are being victimized by this savage war and are facing unimaginable suffering.  But only Christians and other religious minorities are the deliberate targets of systematic persecution and genocide.”

Sunni Muslims are not being slaughtered, beheaded, and raped for refusing to renounce their faith since it is identical to ISIS’.  They are not having their mosques burned, nor are they being jailed and killed for apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytization.  On the contrary, non-ISIS affiliated Sunnis are responsible for committing dozens of such atrocities against Christian minorities every single month all throughout the Islamic world.[1]

Unsurprisingly, many Sunnis entering America and Europe—including the terrorists who killed 120 people in Paris, 32 people in Brussels, and 12 in California—share the sameSunni-sanctioned hate for and opposition to non-Muslim “infidels.”  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admits that ISIS is “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow.”

Even if one were to operate under the assumption that refugee status must be made available to all Syrians, regardless of religion, the simple demographics of Syria expose the pro-Sunni, anti-Christian bias of the current Obama refugee policy:  Christians account for 10% of Syria’s total population—yet they account for less than .5% of the refugees.  Sunni Muslims are 74% of Syria’s population—yet 99% of those received into America.  In other words, there should be 20 times more Christians and about one-quarter fewer Sunnis granted refugee status than there already have been.

Finally, the excuse given by those who defend this disparity does not pass the smell test.  According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, Christian and other minorities “fear that registration might bring retribution from other refugees.” So supposedly they do not register and are left out of the process.  Indeed, as ongoing reports reveal, the majority of those at refugee camps—Sunnis—are persecuting the Christians in their midst, sometimes killing them.  During one Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Sicily, Muslim “refugees” shouted “Allahu Akbar!”  as they hurled as many as 53 Christians overboard.

Although the U.N and U.S. know that Sunni refugees are terrorizing Christians in their camps, they abandon the true victims who deserve sanctuary in the West, while “humanitarianly” taking in their persecutors.

The Catholic Church and several mainline Protestant denominations are equally guilty.  Most recently, “Christian refugees [were] ‘let down’ by Pope [Francis]: he promised to take them to Italy but then took only Muslims instead.”

Such hypocrisy has been on open display since the question of refugees was first raised in America.   Months ago, Barrack Obama—who was raised a Sunni Muslim—described the proposal that preference should be given to Christian minorities as “shameful”: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” loftily added the American president.

Today, however, it is clear from the statistics alone that there is a very clear bias[2]  in the refugee program: it favors those most prone to committing acts of terror in America while ignoring those experiencing genocide.  It is the Obama administration’s own refugee policies that are “shameful,” “not American,” and do not represent “who we are.”

—————–

[1] Even before ISIS’ new “caliphate” was established, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim mobs, Muslim individuals, Muslim regimes, and Muslim terrorists, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian, etc.)—and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one.  See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians who are especially deserving of refugee status.

[2] These recent revelations of the Obama administration’s pro-Muslim and anti-Christian policies fit a clear and established pattern of religious bias within his administration.  Examples follow:

Also see:

‘Radical’ vs. ‘Moderate’ Islam: A Muslim View

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, June 1, 2016:

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

After his recent electoral victory, it emerged that Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, had described moderate Muslim groups as “Uncle Toms”—a notorious racial slur used against blacks perceived to be subservient to whites, or, in this context, Muslims who embrace “moderate Islam” as a way of being subservient to the West.

One of Iran’s highest clerics apparently shares the same convictions.  After asserting that “revolutionary Islam is the same as pure Muhammadan Islam,” Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad recently declared:

Some say our Islam is not revolutionary Islam, but we must say to them that non-revolutionary Islam is the same as American Islam. Islam commands us to be firm against the enemies and be kind and compassionate toward each other and not be afraid of anything….

According to AB News Agency, “Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad stated that revolutionary Islam is this same Islam. It is the Islam that is within us that can create changes. The warriors realized that Islam is not just prayers and fasting, but rather they stood against the enemies in support of Islam.”

How many Muslims share these convictions, one from a Sunni living (and now governing) in London, the other from a Shia living and governing in the Middle East?

An Arabic language article offers perspective.  Titled (in translation) “The Truth about the Moderate Muslim as Seen by the West and its Muslim Followers,” it is authored by Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Khadr in 2011.

According to the findings of this article,

Islamic researchers are agreed that what the West and its followers call “moderate Islam” and “moderate Muslims” is simply a slur against Islam and Muslims, a distortion of Islam, a rift among Muslims, a spark to ignite war among them.  They also see that the division of Islam into “moderate Islam” and “radical Islam” has no basis in Islam—neither in its doctrines and rulings, nor in its understandings or reality.

Khadr goes on to note the many ways that moderates and radicals differ.  For instance, radicals (“true Muslims”) aid and support fellow Muslims, especially those committed to jihad, whereas moderates (“false Muslims”) ally with and help Western nations.

This sounds similar to Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad’s assertion that “non-revolutionary Islam is the same as American Islam. Islam commands us to be firm against the enemies [“infidels”] and be kind and compassionate toward each other.”

Among the more important distinctions made in Khadr’s article are the following (translated verbatim):

  • Radicals want the caliphate to return; moderates reject the caliphate.
  • Radicals want to apply Sharia (Islamic law); moderates reject the application of Sharia.
  • Radicals reject the idea of renewal and reform, seeing it as a way to conform Islam to Western culture; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals accept the duty of waging jihad in the path of Allah; moderates reject it.
  • Radicals reject any criticism whatsoever of Islam; moderates welcome it on the basis of freedom of speech.
  • Radicals accept those laws that punish whoever insults or leaves the religion [apostates]; moderates recoil from these laws.
  • Radicals respond to any insult against Islam or the prophet Muhammad—peace and blessing upon him—with great violence and anger; moderates respond calmly and peacefully on the basis of freedom of expression.
  • Radicals respect and reverence every deed and every word of the prophet—peace be upon him—in the hadith; moderates don’t.
  • Radicals oppose democracy; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals see the people of the book [Jews and Christians] as dhimmis [third class “citizens”]; moderates oppose this.
  • Radicals reject the idea that non-Muslim minorities should have equality or authority over Muslims; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals reject the idea that men and women are equal; moderates accept it, according to Western views.
  • Radicals oppose the idea of religious freedom and apostasy from Islam; moderates agree to it.
  • Radicals desire to see Islam reign supreme; moderates oppose this.
  • Radicals place the Koran over the constitution; moderates reject this.
  • Radicals reject the idea of religious equality because Allah’s true religion is Islam; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals embrace the wearing of hijabs and niqabs; moderates reject it.
  • Radicals accept killing young girls that commit adultery or otherwise besmirch their family’s honor; moderates reject this.
  • Radicals reject the status of women today and think it should be like the status of women in the time of the prophet; moderates reject that women should be as in the time of the prophet.
  • Radicals vehemently reject that women should have the freedom to choose partners; moderates accept that she can choose a boyfriend without marriage.
  • Radicals agree to clitorectimis; moderates reject it.
  • Radicals reject the so-called war on terror and see it as a war on Islam; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals support jihadi groups; moderates reject them.
  • Radicals reject the terms Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism; moderates accept them.
  • Radicals reject universal human rights, including the right to be homosexual; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals reject the idea of allying with the West’ moderates support it.
  • Radicals oppose secularism; moderates support it.

Khadr makes other charges outside of his chart, including that moderates believe religion has no role in public life, that it must be practiced in private, while radicals want it to govern society; that moderates rely on rationalism, while radicals take the text of the Koran and hadith literally; that the first place of loyalty for moderates is the state, irrespective of religion—marveling that the moderate “finds hatred for non-Muslims as unacceptable”—whereas the radical’s loyalty  is to Islam, a reference to the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity.

Khadr’s conclusion is that, to most Muslims, “moderate Muslims” are those Muslims who do not oppose but rather aid the West and its way of life, whereas everything “radicals” accept is based on traditional Islamic views.

If true—and disturbing polls certainly lend credence to Khadr’s findings—the West may need to rethink one of its main means of countering radical Islam: moderate Muslims and moderate Islam.

ISIS or Islam: Which Breeds Terrorism?

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Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, April 12, 2016:

Originally published by PJ Media.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

A lie conceals the truth.  And ugly but hidden truths never have a chance of being acknowledged, addressed, and ultimately ameliorated.

Because of this simple truism, one of the greatest lies of our age—that violence committed in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Islam—has made an intrinsically weak Islam the scourge of the modern world, with no signs of relief on the horizon.

One of the latest manifestations of this lie took place in Pakistan.  On Easter Sunday, March 27, a suicide bombing took place near the children rides of a public park, where Christians were congregated and celebrating the resurrection of their Lord.  At least 74 people—mostly Christian women and children—were killed and nearly 400 injured.  “There was human flesh on the walls of our house,” recalled a witness.

Who—or what—was responsible for this assault?  “We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter,” said Jamaatul Ahraar, a splinter group of the Taliban.  In a media statement, the group said it had “deliberately targeted the Christian community,” adding that “we had been waiting for this occasion.”

The Taliban and its affiliates are not alone.  Click herehereherehere, and here, for numerous examples of similarly lethal attacks on Christians celebrating Christmas or Easter by other Islamic groups and individuals around the world who also “had been waiting for this occasion.”  Even “the terror cell that struck in Brussels [last month, killing 34] was planning to massacre worshippers at Easter church services across Europe, including Britain, intelligence chiefs believe.”

Still, connecting the dots and understanding what binds all Islamic terrorist groups is a big no-no for the so-called mainstream media.  The problem, we will be told, is the “Taliban,” which “has nothing to do with Islam.”  Rather, it’s a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat it, and the problem vanishes.

Meanwhile, about 5,000 miles west of Taliban territory, in Nigeria, Christians are also under attack.  Indeed, according to a new report, since 2000, some 12,000 Christians have been slaughtered for their faith and 13,000 churches destroyed.  Just last month, over 500 Christians were butchered.

According to the official narrative, something called “Boko Haram” is responsible.  This is another group that defines itself exclusively according to Islam; another group thathabitually bombs churches during Christmas and Easter; and another group that, we are told, “has nothing to do with Islam,” but rather is a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat it, and the problem vanishes.

About 5,000 miles west of Nigeria, in the U.S., Americans were told that something called “al-Qaeda” attacked and killed 3,000 of their countrymen on 9/11; defeating that finite group would cease the terror.  Its leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed, and victory loudly proclaimed—except that an even more savage manifestation, this time called the “Islamic State” (it too “has nothing to do with Islam”) came on the scene and has gone further than al-Qaeda could’ve ever dreamed, in great part thanks to the Obama administration.

It gets worse.  The problem is not only that the media and decision-makers refuse to connect the dots and insist on treating each of the aforementioned groups as disparate, finite groups with different motivations—none of which has to do with Islam.  The problem is that regular Muslims who are not called “Taliban,” “Boko Haram,” “al-Qaeda,” “ISIS,” ad infinitum commit similar acts, and much more frequently, though this is rarely ever mentioned by the MSM.

Thus, although the “Taliban” was behind the recent Easter Day massacre, it is everyday Muslims who discriminate against, persecute, enslave, rape and sometimes murderChristians every day in Pakistan (click here for a typical month); it was everyday Muslims who burned a young Christian couple alive due to unsubstantiated rumors that they had insulted Muhammad.

Those who slaughtered 500 Christians last month in Nigeria were not “Boko Haram” but rather un-affiliated (but Muslim) herdsmen.  Likewise, “Northern Muslim political and religious elite are also major actors of targeted violence towards the Christian minority.”

Although ISIS claimed the Brussels attack, it is everyday Muslims who ban, burn, bomb, and urinate on Christian churches, and who, as in Pakistan and other Muslim majority nations, target non-Muslim European women for rape on the basis that they are subhuman “infidels.”

This is the real issue.  While the media may name the terrorist groups responsible for especially spectacular attacks—followed by the customary admonitions that they “have nothing to do with Islam”—few dare acknowledge that Muslims in general engage in similar acts of violence and intolerance against non-Muslims.  According to a recent study, Muslims —of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, hardly just “terror groups”—are responsible for persecuting Christians in 41 of the 50 worst nations to be Christian in.

These statistics are consistent with a recent Pew poll finding that, in 11 countries alone, at least 63 million and as many as 287 million Muslims support ISIS.  Similarly, 81% of respondents to a recent Al Jazeera poll supported the Islamic State.

In sum, what “extremist” “terrorist” and “militant” groups (that “have nothing to do with Islam”) are doing is but the tip of the iceberg of what Muslims are doing all around the world.  (See “Muslim Persecution of Christians,” reports which I’ve been compiling every month since July 2011 and witness the nonstop discrimination, persecution, and carnage committed by “everyday” Muslims against Christians.  Each monthly report contains dozens of atrocities, any of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive 24/7 blanket coverage.)

Media aren’t just covering up for Islam by pretending that the spectacular attacks committed by Islamic groups on non-Muslims “have nothing to do with Islam.” They are covering up for Islam by failing to report the everyday persecution non-Muslims experience at the hands of everyday Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, Muslim police, and Muslim governments (including America’s closest “friends and allies”)—not just Muslim “terrorists.”

Because of these entrenched lies, the world must continue to suffer from Islamic terror.  Not only have these lies allowed countless innocents to be persecuted into oblivion in the Muslim world, but they have allowed the same persecution to enter America and Europe, most recently via mass immigration.

The fact remains: an ugly truth must first be acknowledged before it can be remedied.   It may be hard to acknowledge an ugly truth—that Islam, not “radical Islam,” promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims—but anything less will just continue to feed the lie, that is, continue to feed the jihad and terror.

Blasphemy Convictions Intensify in Sisi’s Egypt

Gatestone Institute, by Raymond Ibrahim, April 6, 2016:

  • “There have been more blasphemy cases and convictions during the Sisi era than during the Morsi era.” — Ibrahim Eissa, Muslim television host in Egypt.
  • Their crime was to have made a 20-second video on a mobile phone mocking the Islamic State — an act interpreted as mocking Islam. In the video, the boys appear laughing and joking, as they pretend to be ISIS members praying and slitting throats. “The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment [five years].”
  • Egypt is becoming more like Pakistan. Although that nation also prohibits the defamation of all religions, only Christians and moderate Muslims are targeted and imprisoned; some, such as Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old Christian woman and mother of five, are on death row. Conversely, Muslims who openly defame Christianity — and they are many — are regularly let off.

Despite Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s many pluralistic words and gestures, which have won him much praise from the nation’s Christians and moderates, he appeases the Islamist agenda in one very clear way: by allowing the controversial defamation of religions law, colloquially known as the “blasphemy law,” to target Christians and moderates in ways arguably worse than under the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

Last month three Christian teenagers were jailed for five years for breaking the defamation of religions law. A fourth defendant, 15, was given juvenile detention for an indefinite period. [1]Earlier, they were detained for 45 days and subjected to “ill-treatment,” according to a human rights group.

Their crime was to have made a 20-second video on a mobile phone mocking the Islamic State — an act interpreted as mocking Islam. In the video, the boys appear laughing and joking, as they pretend to be ISIS members praying and slitting throats. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, an independent rights group, confirmed that the four teenagers were performing scenes “imitating slaughter carried out by terrorist groups.” Even so, according to their defense lawyer, Maher Naguib, the Christian youths “have been sentenced for contempt of Islam and inciting sectarian strife…. The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment.”

Considering that even Egypt’s Al Azhar — the Islamic world’s most prestigious university —refuses to denounce the Islamic State as being un-Islamic, it is not surprising that mockery of ISIS is being conflated with mockery of Islam.

The Christian youths made the brief video in January 2015, when three of them were aged 17 and one 15. It is believed that the court kept delaying their case until the three 17-year-olds turned 18, so they could receive the full penalty as adults. Their teacher, who also appeared in the video, had earlier been sentenced to three years in jail.

Despite Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s many pluralistic words and gestures, he appeases the Islamist agenda by allowing the “blasphemy law” to target Christians and moderates. Pictured above: Sisi became the first Egyptian president ever to visit the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass, on January 6, 2015. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

Several other Christians have been prosecuted under Sisi’s tenure for insulting Islam and Muslims. One young Christian man was sentenced to six years for “liking” an Arabic-language Facebook page administered by Muslim converts to Christianity. A female Christian teacher was imprisoned for six months after Muslim parents accused her of insulting Islam and evangelizing.Bishoy Armia Boulous, a Muslim convert to Christianity, remains behind bars on trumped up charges of blasphemy, according to his lawyer.

While Christian minorities are the most prone to being targeted by the blasphemy law, secular Muslim thinkers and writers are also on the hit list. In January, Muslim writer Fatima Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison after she criticized the sadistic slaughter of animals that takes place during the Islamic festival, Eid al-Adha. The month before that, television host Islam al-Behairy was sentenced to one year in prison for questioning the validity of some of the sayings (hadiths) attributed to Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Although Egypt’s constitution outlaws the “defamation of religions,” the plural indicates that, along with Islam, Judaism and Christianity are protected. In reality, however, the law is almost exclusively used to prosecute Christian minorities and secular Muslims. Despite the fact that there are many more Muslims than Christians in Egypt, rarely are Islamists arrested and prosecuted for defaming Christianity.

In this, Egypt is becoming more like Pakistan. Although that nation also prohibits the defamation of religions — which technically includes Christianity — only Christians and moderate Muslims are targeted and imprisoned; some, such as Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old Christian woman and mother of five, are on death row. Conversely, Muslims who openly defame Christianity — and they are many — are regularly let off one way or the other. A few weeks ago, a Muslim broke into a church and proceeded to burn its Bibles. Although several Christians caught him and handed him over to police, the perpetrator claimed he was mentally unstable and could not stand trial. In another case, a Muslim shopkeeper started selling shoes that depict the Christian cross on their soles. Christians demonstrated but police did nothing.

On January 26, soon after the sentencing of the writer Fatima Naoot, another moderate Muslim and television host in Egypt, Ibrahim Eissa, scathingly criticized the Sisi government, including by saying that “there have been more blasphemy cases and convictions during the Sisi era than during the Morsi era.” He continued:

There is no greater contradiction between what the state says and claims about itself and the reality on the ground… The Egyptian state is schizophrenic because it says what it does not do…. It’s amazing and baffling to see a state who’s president regularly preaches about the need for religious discourse and renewal — and yet, during Sisi’s 18-19 month tenure, the nation has witnessed more reports, cases and convictions, and the imprisonment of writers, in the name of defamation religions than during the one year tenure of the Muslim Brotherhood president…. The [Sisi] revolution dropped the Brotherhood but kept the ideology unchanged.

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (a Gatestone Institute and Regnery publication, April 2013).


[1] Although only now making English language media, this story was translated here in April 2015, soon after riots and attacks on Christians broke out when Muslims learned of the video.

The West’s War on Jihad Begins at Home

EDL-protestor-holds-a-banne-009American Thinker, by Raymond Ibrahim, April 1, 2016:

As someone specializing in Islamic jihadism, one would expect I’d have much to say immediately after jihadi attacks of the sort that recently occurred in Brussels (35 killed), or San Bernardino (14 killed), or Paris (130). Ironically, I don’t: such attacks are ultimately symptoms of what I do deem worthy of discussion, namely, root causes. (What can one add when a symptom of the root cause he has long warned against occurs other than “told you so”?)

So what is the root cause of jihadi attacks? Many think that the ultimate source of the ongoing terrorization of the West is Islam. Yet this notion has one problem: the Muslim world is immensely weak and intrinsically incapable of being a threat. That every Islamic assault on the West is a terrorist attack — and terrorism, as is known, is the weapon of the weak — speaks for itself.

This was not always the case. For approximately one thousand years, the Islamic world was the scourge of the West. Today’s history books may refer to those who terrorized Christian Europe as Arabs, Saracens, Moors, Ottomans, Turks, Mongols, or Tatars — but all were operating under the same banner of jihad that the Islamic State is operating under.

No — today, the ultimate enemy is within. The root cause behind nonstop Muslim terrorization of the West is found in those who stifle or whitewash all talk and examination of Muslim doctrine and history; who welcome hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants while knowing that some are jihadi operatives and many are simply “radical”; who work to overthrow secular Arab dictators in the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” only to uncork the jihad suppressed by the autocrats (the Islamic State’s territory consists of lands that were “liberated” in Iraq, Libya, and Syria by the U.S. and its allies).

So are Western leaders and politicians the root cause behind Islamic terrorization of the West?

Close — but still not there yet.

Far from being limited to a number of elitist leaders and institutions, the Western empowerment of the jihad is the natural outcome of postmodern thinking — the real reason an innately weak Islam can be a source of repeated woes for a militarily and economically superior West.

Remember, the reason people like French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in power — three prominent Western leaders who insist that Islam is innocent of violence and who push for Muslim immigration — is because they embody a worldview that is normative in the West.

In this context, the facilitation of jihadi terror is less a top down imposition and more a grass root product of decades of erroneous, but unquestioned, thinking. (Those who believe America’s problems begin and end with Obama would do well to remember that he did not come to power through a coup but that he was voted in — twice. This indicates that Obama and the majority of voting Americans have a shared, and erroneous, worldview. He may be cynically exploiting this worldview, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s because this warped worldview is mainstream that he can exploit it in the first place.)

Western empowerment of the jihad is rooted in a number of philosophies that have metastasized into every corner of social life, becoming cornerstones of postmodern epistemology. These include the doctrines of relativism and multiculturalism on the one hand, and anti-Western, anti-Christian sentiment on the other.

Taken together, these cornerstones of postmodern, post-Christian thinking hold that there are no absolute truths and thus all cultures are fundamentally equal and deserving of respect. If any Western person wants to criticize a civilization or religion, then let them look “inwardly” and acknowledge their European Christian heritage as the epitome of intolerance and imperialism.

Add to these a number of sappy and silly ideals — truth can never be uttered because it might “hurt the feelings” of some (excluding white Christians, who are fair game), and, far from suspecting them, the West should go out of its way to appease Muslims until they “like us” — and you have a sure recipe for disaster, that is, the current state of affairs.

Western people are bombarded with these aforementioned “truths” from the cradle to the grave — from kindergarten to university, from Hollywood to the news rooms, and now even in churches — so that they are unable to accept and act on a simple truism that their ancestors well knew: Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant creed that cannot coexist with non-Islam (except insincerely, in times of weakness).

The essence of all this came out clearly when Obama, in order to rationalize away the inhuman atrocities of the Islamic State, counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that their Christian ancestors have been guilty of similar if not worse atrocities. That he had to go back almost a thousand years for examples by referencing the crusades and the Inquisition — both of which have been completely distorted by the warped postmodern worldview, including the portrayal of imperialist Muslims as victims — did not matter to America’s leader.

Worse, it did not matter to most Americans. The greater lesson was not that Obama whitewashed modern Islamic atrocities by misrepresenting and demonizing Christian history, but that he was merely reaffirming the mainstream narrative that Americans have been indoctrinated into believing. And thus, apart from the usual ephemeral and meaningless grumblings, his words — as with many of his pro-Islamic, anti-Christian comments and policies — passed along without consequence.

Once upon a time, the Islamic world was a superpower and its jihad an irresistible force to be reckoned with. Over two centuries ago, however, a rising Europe — which had experienced over one millennium of jihadi conquests and atrocities — defeated and defanged Islam.

As Islam retreated into obscurity, the post-Christian West slowly came into being. Islam didn’t change, but the West did: Muslims still venerate their heritage and religion — which impels them to jihad against the Western “infidel” — whereas the West learned to despise its heritage and religion, causing it to become an unwitting ally of the jihad.

Hence the current situation: the jihad is back in full vigor, while the West — not just its leaders, but much of the populace — facilitates it in varying degrees. Nor is this situation easily remedied. For to accept that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant is to reject a number of cornerstones of postmodern Western thinking that far transcend the question of Islam. In this context, nothing short of an intellectual/cultural revolution — where rational thinking becomes mainstream — will allow the West to confront Islam head on.

But there is some good news. With every Islamic attack, the eyes of more and more Western people are opened to the true nature of Muhammad’s religion. That this is happening despite generations of pro-Islamic indoctrination in the West is a testimony to the growing brazenness of the jihad.

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Yet it still remains unclear whether objective thinking will eventually overthrow the current narrative of relativism, anti-Christianism, and asinine emotionalism.

Simply put, both celebrating multiculturalism and defeating the jihad is impossible.

However, if such a revolution takes place (sooner rather than later), the Islamic jihad will be easily swept back into the dustbin of history. For the fact remains: Islam is terrorizing the world, not because it can, but because the West allows it to.

U.S. Policy Made 2015 the Worst Persecution of Christians “in Modern History”

Gatestone Institute, by Raymond Ibrahim, March 15 2016:

  • In 35 nations, Islamic extremism “has risen to a level akin to ethnic cleansing” of Christians.
  • Something else stands behind this rise of genocidal “Islamic extremism”: U.S. foreign policy. In every Muslim nation where the U.S. has intervened in the name of “freedom and democracy,” Christian life has exponentially worsened.
  • For years, the Obama administration has refused to list Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, and has argued that its violence had nothing to do with Islam and was a result of poverty and grievances. Instead, the U.S. pressured the Nigerian government to make concessions.
  • The primary achievement of U.S. foreign policies, apart from wasted American blood and treasure — is the unprecedented rise in Muslim nations of Islamic forces outspokenly bent on destroying America.

2015 was the “worst year in modern history for Christian persecution,” according to Open Doors, a human rights organization that has been documenting the persecution of Christians since 1955.

According to its latest data, more than 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2015 — almost twice as many as in 2014. In addition, more than 2,400 churches were attacked, damaged or destroyed — again, more than double the number of the previous year.

In the words of Open Doors’ CEO, David Curry:

The 2016 World Watch List [which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted] documents an unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians, making this past year the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history. … This research has concluded that after the brutal persecution of Christians in 2014, 2015 proved to be even worse with the persecution continuing to increase, intensify and spread across the globe. … The level of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying.

Who or what is behind these unprecedented levels of persecution? Some of it is related to the tendency of non-Western nations to associate Christianity with the “hated West.” Four are Communist nations — Vietnam (ranked #20), Laos (#29), China (#33), and North Korea (#1), where “Christianity is not only seen as ‘opium for the people,’ as is normal for all communist states, it is also seen as deeply Western and despicable,” notes the report. Three are reclaiming their religious heritage in contradistinction to what is portrayed as a depraved West — Hindu India (#17), Buddhist Bhutan (#38) and Myanmar (#23). And two — Mexico (#40) and Columbia (#46) — are fueled by organized crime and drug cartels.

“Islamic extremism” is cited as the source of persecution for the remaining 41 nations that make the list of 50 worst persecutors of Christians. North Korea aside, the rest of the eight nations where Christians experience the worst form of persecution (“extreme persecution”) are all Islamic. In 35 nations, Islamic extremism “has risen to a level akin to ethnic cleansing” of Christians.

A close examination of the report indicates that something else stands behind this rise of genocidal “Islamic extremism”: U.S. foreign policy. In every Muslim nation where the U.S. has intervened in the name of “freedom and democracy,” Christian life has exponentially worsened. Put differently, those who most despise “freedom and democracy” — radical and jihadi Muslims — tend to be the ones most empowered by U.S. foreign policies.

Iraq today, according to the report, is the second worst nation in the world in which to be Christian. Afghanistan is fourth, Syria fifth, and Libya tenth. A decade ago, none of these countries even made the top 10 list. Syria and Libya — when they were ruled by secular autocrats who were eventually demonized by U.S. politicians and media, and then underwent U.S. intervention — did not even make the top 20.

In 2004, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was ranked 32 and scored only 35.5 (out of 100). After a decade’s worth of American lives and treasure were wasted, Iraq now scores 90 and is the worst Muslim nation in which to be Christian. The situation is the same in those other Muslim nations that the U.S. government brought “freedom and democracy” to — and with Syria, which it continues trying to bring “freedom and democracy” to:

  • Syria: A decade ago it was ranked #47 and scored only 24.5. A nation must score at least 50 to count as containing “sparse persecution.” Today it is ranked #5 and scores 87 , or “extreme persecution.”
  • Libya: A decade ago it was ranked #22 and scored 41; today it ranks #10 and scores 79.
  • Afghanistan: A decade ago it ranked #11 and scored 53; today — a decade after the U.S. declared “victory” over al-Qaeda and the Taliban — it is ranked #4 and scores 88.

Even in nations where U.S. intervention is not obvious, Christian persecution has reached unprecedented levels. In Nigeria, Boko Haram — an Islamic group possibly more savage than ISIS — slaughtered more Christians in 2015 than any other terrorist group. Yet for years the Obama administration has refused to list Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, and has argued that its violence had nothing to do with Islam and was a result of poverty and grievances. Instead, the U.S. pressured the Nigerian government to make concessions, including by building more mosques — the very structures, as the Nigerian lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe said, where Muslims are radicalized and recruited for the jihad.

Some of the hundreds of Christian Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted last year by Boko Haram. (Image source: Boko Haram video)

In May 2013, soon after Nigerian forces killed 30 Boko Haram members in a particularly strong offensive, Reuters reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “issued a strongly worded statement” to the Nigerian president: “We are … deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism” from Boko Haram.

Those many Americans indifferent to all this persecution “over there” would do well to connect the dots: Globally empowering forces hostile to Christians is synonymous with globally empowering forces hostile to America. Those Muslims who hate and persecute Christians also hate, and seek to persecute, Americans for exactly the same reason: Westerners all are hated non-Muslim infidels.

In short, the primary achievement of U.S. foreign policies, apart from wasted American blood and treasure — is the unprecedented rise in Muslim nations of Islamic forces outspokenly bent on destroying America.

Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (a Gatestone Publication, published by Regnery, April 2013), is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.