Special Ops Command to Pentagon: Stop Ignoring Jihad

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But the Pentagon’s orders are to ignore the jihad come from on high.

CounterJihad, Sept. 26, 2016:

Staff officers of United States Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are stonewalling demands by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to add Salafi Jihad to the description of our enemies.  The Washington Times reports:

U.S. Special Operations Command has privately pressed the staff of the nation’s highest-ranking military officer to include in his upcoming National Military Strategy a discussion of the Sunni Muslim ideology underpinning the brutality of the Islamic State group and al Qaeda…  The 2015 public version does not mention Islamic ideology. It lists terrorists under the ambiguous category of “violent extremist organizations” and singles out al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

…Special Operations Command wants the National Military Strategy to specifically name Salafi jihadism as the doctrine that inspires violent Muslim extremists. Salafi jihadism is a branch within Sunni Islam. It is embraced by the Islamic State and used to justify its mass killings of nonbelievers, including Shiite Muslims, Sunnis and Kurds, as well as Christians.  People knowledgeable about the discussion toldThe Washington Times that SoCom has not been able to persuade Gen. Dunford’s staff to include Salafi jihadism in any strategy draft.

The National Military Strategy (NMS) will be a classified document that will spell out the nation’s strategic goals and means of attaining those goals.  It occupies a middle position in a cycle of obtaining the right means to the nation’s strategic ends.  The NMS follows the production of the National Security Strategy (NSS), which is issued by the President of the United States.  The NSS is more general, as the President occupies the higher position of Commander in Chief, and lays out what the President takes to be the important goals of the nation globally.  The NMS is then prepared by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and lays out in much greater specificity military means to supporting the ends identified by the President in the NSS.  The NMS then serves both as guidance for combatant commanders, such as the commander of USSOCOM, and also for helping Congress to identify military budget priorities.

It is a crucial document, in other words, but one over which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has only limited control.  The NSS sets limits on what the NMS can say.  Combatant commands like USSOCOM are deeply interested in the content of the document, as the NMS will set similar limits on what they are allowed to direct subordinate units to say and do.  SOCOM is encountering resistance at the Pentagon because they are asking the NMS to push out into territory that the author of the NSS does not want to enter.  The Pentagon’s orders come from the highest levels on this matter, indeed from the President of the United States himself.

For that reason it is no surprise that SOCOM’s pushback has not yet created any effect on the forthcoming strategy.  Nevertheless, they are manifestly correct about the importance of recognizing that the Islamic State (ISIS) is in fact Islamic.  As the classic text on war by Sun Tzu counsels, a nation can only be confident at war if its leaders understand not only themselves but also their enemy.  Refusing to understand your enemy is a crippling defect.

However, the identification of the problem as Salafi theology is only a partial fix.  Certainly within the context of the question of ISIS and al Qaeda, whom SOCOM have been instructed to treat as enemies, Salafi and Wahhabi Islam are the correct subsets of Islam to consider.  Yet there is another “brand” of Islamic theology that is just as radical, which is the velayat-e faqih model of Shia Islam pushed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.  SOCOM has not been ordered to treat Iran as an enemy.  Rather, the US military has been ordered to avoid conflict with Iran, and to operate alongside Iranian-backed irregulars in Iraq as if they were allies instead.  The result has been that our fighting forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria, as well as our naval forces in the Persian Gulf, have been exposed to huge risks that they are forbidden to combat.

Meanwhile Iran continues to develop long-range nuclear-capable missiles for warheads it currently swears it will never produce.  Iran installs advanced new anti-aircraft missiles to help fortify its Fordow nuclear site, which President Obama’s deal supposedly put beyond use.  Why fortify it against air attack, then?  Why develop missiles if you never intend to have a payload that would make them a useful option?

It is clear that our military is being forbidden from even thinking clearly, or speaking clearly, about the threats we face and where they originate.  The next President will need to reverse course, and quickly, if we are to avoid a disaster that costs American lives, America’s position in the world, and America’s national strategic goals.

Why It’s So Hard To Prosecute Islamists And Keep A Free Society

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Anjem Choudary’s case exemplifies the difficulties we in the West face in dealing with homegrown Islamic radicalism.

The Federalist, by M. G. Oprea, Aug. 23, 2016:

The British Muslim “hate preacher” Anjem Choudary has finally been convicted after 20 years of preaching fundamentalist Islam aimed at radicalizing young Muslims and encouraging them to engage in terrorist activities. Last week, he, along with Mohammed Rahman, was found guilty of inviting support for ISIS in speeches and lessons posted online. Choudary’s case, and his long history of Salafist extremism, exemplifies the difficulties that we in the West face in dealing with homegrown Islamic radicalism.

Choudary, a British citizen born to Pakistani parents, has spent two decades working toward global Islamic domination. These are his words. He wants Islamic law to spread throughout the world, and told the Washington Post in 2014 “We believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam.” He has also said that “Britain belongs to Allah.”

Choudary founded multiple Islamist and Wahhabist organizations in England, all of which were eventually banned. He has connections with numerous other Salafist and Islamist groups and is a known leader of “dark networks” that stretch across Europe and seek to radicalize young Muslims. He has praised terrorists, including the 9/11 attackers, and proclaimed they are in paradise. He has been friendly with a top ISIS figure and executioner, who at the time was part of the terrorist group Sharia4Belgium, and is connected to more than 100 British terrorists, and many terror plots.

Terrorism’s Victims Include Freedom of Speech

But somehow Choudary has managed to skirt the law all these years. A lawyer until 2002, he knew how to step up to the line of criminality without crossing it. Although his influence on European Muslims is well-known and -documented, he managed to skate by on technicalities of the law, because he hadn’t engaged in terrorist activities himself, nor was it proven he had directly sent people to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS.

What finally allowed authorities to arrest him last year and convict him this month was an oath he signed to ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in conjunction with speeches posted online that called on Muslims to join ISIS. As a prohibited organization, membership in ISIS is considered a criminal offence. British authorities convicted him of “inviting support for a proscribed organization,” under Terrorism Act 2000.

Choudary’s case raises questions of how far freedom of speech extends, and what ought to be done with terrorists once convicted. Although freedom of speech in Britain is a long-established common law right, in recent years it has suffered many setbacks. A Reason magazine article from last year highlighted the policing and punishment of Twitter users and journalists, as well as advertisers (a notable case was an ad banned in London for supposedly body-shaming women by depicting a fit woman in a bikini).

But what about here in the United States? People often ask what we should be doing at home to protect our country from Islamist terrorism. While presidential candidate Donald Trump would point solely to immigration, this misses the glaring fact that many Islamist terrorists were born in America or came as young children. This list includes Omar Mateen (Orlando), Faisal Mohammed (University of California-Merced), the Tsarnaev brothers (Boston Marathon), Syed Farook (San Bernardino), Nadir Soofi (Garland, Texas), and Nidal Hassan (Fort Hood).

Terrorists like these are drawn to Salafist Islam either in their communities and mosques or on the Internet. It isn’t always clear what the authorities can legally do beyond monitoring radical clerics and mosques and looking for connections between radicalized individuals and groups. How far can they go in policing what Islamists are preaching?

It Would Be Difficult to Prosecute Choudary in America

Freedom of speech is perhaps the most crucial right in a free society. There’s a reason it was the first right enshrined in the Bill of Rights: it’s meant to protect citizens from government attempts to silence dissent and regulate ideas and messages. In America, a country with arguably the most robust free speech protections, there are only a few exceptions to this First Amendment right. These include speech others own, child pornography, commercial speech, obscenity, and fighting words. None of these, however, are applicable to combatting Islamists, who are essentially supporting terrorism without providing terrorists with direct material support like guns, bombs, or money.

The one type of unprotected speech that would be applicable in a case like Choudary’s is incitement to violence. Speech that advocates force is unprotected, but only if its intention is to produce “imminent lawless action” and is likely to succeed. This could potentially apply to the sermons of Salafist imams, which, if encouraging people to fight with ISIS, are promoting lawless action. However, proving that they’re likely to lead to imminent action is more difficult.

Expressing even the most reprehensible views is protected by the First Amendment, including having a Ku Klux Klan parade or arguing for the overthrow of the government. So an Islamist imam could preach beliefs whose natural conclusion might be violence, but so long as he isn’t calling on a crowd to go out right away and commit terrorism, his speech is protected. This is why we may not have been able to prosecute a man like Choudary here in America.

Another way unprotected free speech comes into play is “true threats.” This recently made news when a Missouri woman was arrested for retweeting Twitter posts calling for the murder of U.S. law enforcement officials. The tweet contained names, addresses and phone numbers. Federal prosecutors argue that her retweets are tantamount to active support of ISIS, and charged the woman with conspiracy and transmitting a threat across state lines. Her defense, based on First Amendment grounds, argues the charges are unconstitutionally vague, once again illustrating the tension between free speech and national security.

Prisons Aren’t a Great Place for Islamists, Either

Once a conviction is made, as with Choudary, the problems don’t end there. Choudary faces up to ten years in prison. But what will he do once behind bars? Prison systems have become notorious in Europe and America for breeding radical Muslims, so a man like Choudary poses a threat inside as well as outside of prison.

Islamists in prison are treated like “aristocracy,” according to an audit of French prisons. When Salah Abdeslam, one of the Paris attackers, was arrested and sent to the Fleury-Mérogis prison he was “welcomed as the messiah,” according to one guard there. That same audit also found jihadi inmates can easily communicate with the outside world, including Syria.

So officials face a difficult decision between keeping Islamists like Choudary in the general population, where they can influence and indoctrinate other men, or concentrating Choudary and others like him in cell blocks so they don’t have access to non-radicalized inmates. This, of course, has its own dangers, namely that these men may plan future attacks and terrorist operations together. The third option, total isolation, is widely unpopular in places like Britain and France, where it is, perhaps correctly, seen as inhumane and cruel.

Choudary’s stay in prison will last a maximum of ten years. Then what? Does he get out in a few years after having been active in prison, and go on as he did before? Perhaps this time he’ll be more careful so as not to get caught. Some countries are working on de-radicalization programs, but their success has been dubious.

Choudary’s case typifies the difficulties the Western world faces in combatting radicalization. As a country that is fundamentally based on concepts of liberty and freedom of speech and of association, our principles and constitutionally protected rights sometimes run up against threats to national security. This is the great challenge we will face in the fight against Islamist ideology and homegrown radicalization in the years ahead. For a sense of the challenges to come, we need only look to Europe, where that fight is well underway.

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

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Muslim refugee brought to Maine by Catholic Charities dies waging jihad for the Islamic State

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 16, 2016:

Catholic Charities is criminally irresponsible and suicidally short-sighted. They are endangering people in Maine and all over the United States by bringing these jihadis into American communities that are unprepared for them, all the while lying to them and telling them that there is no jihad threat related to the refugees, and that anyone who says otherwise is a racist and a bigot and a dissenter from the magisterium.

Adnan Fazeli went to the Islamic State to wage his jihad. What if he had decided to wage it right there in Portland, Maine? What’s to stop the next jihadi refugee that Catholic Charities brings to Portland from deciding to do just that?

Islamic-State

“Documents: Freeport man died fighting for Islamic State,” by Scott Dolan and Megan Doyle, Portland Press Herald, August 16, 2016:

An Iranian man who came to Maine as a refugee in 2009 became radicalized in his Islamic faith while living here and was fighting for the Islamic State when he was killed last year in Lebanon, according to newly unsealed federal court documents.

Adnan Fazeli, 38, most recently of Freeport, came under investigation by the FBI for his connection to the terrorist group shortly after he left his job at Dubai Auto in Portland to fly to Turkey on Aug. 13, 2013, and never returned.

Fazeli, who also went by the names Abu Nawaf and Abu Abdullah Al-Ahwazi, was killed on Jan. 23, 2015, in a battle near Ras Baalbek in Lebanon as part of an Islamic State attack force of about 150 that was thwarted by the Lebanese army.

Those details, which were never revealed publicly before, were contained in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland last Oct. 27 by Maine State Police Detective George Loder, who was acting as a member of an FBI task force investigating whether other people were aware of Fazeli’s plans to fight for the Islamic State, helped him travel to the Iraq-Syria-Lebanon area or supported his efforts there. The affidavit remained under seal during the investigation, which ended with no criminal charges.

The affidavit gives the accounts of four anonymous informants for the FBI who described how Fazeli’s behavior began to change about a year after he came to the Portland area through Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services. They told the FBI that Fazeli frequently watched hours of Islamic videos online, grew a beard and began making anti-American remarks while at an Iraqi market in Portland.

While the informants are not named in the affidavit, Fazeli’s nephew, Ebrahim Fazeli, told the Portland Press Herald on Monday that he informed the FBI about his uncle after Adnan Fazeli called the family from Turkey. The affidavit describes one of the informants as a close relative of Fazeli’s.

“Fazeli’s change in behavior alienated him from many of his Shia and moderate Sunni friends in the area. However, there were a few local Sunnis who supported his fervor and treated him with a great deal of respect. Fazeli started holding occasional religious meetings at his home in Freeport,” Loder said in the affidavit, describing what one informant had said.

Ebrahim Fazeli, 25, said the family was unaware of his uncle’s plans to leave the United States. His uncle had become more religious and grew a substantial beard, but the nephew said no one realized he had become radicalized.

“That wasn’t enough for me to think an educated, smart guy has it in him to join an insane group of people,” said Ebrahim Fazeli, who lives in the Greater Portland area….

Fazeli initially came to the United States as a refugee in 2009, but did not adapt well. He told one informant that he hated Iran because the government was anti-Sunni and felt the United States had done nothing to help. Although Fazeli was raised a Shia Muslim, his family was not devout, one of the informants said. His behavior began to change while in the U.S., and he converted to Wahhabism, an austere form of Sunni Islam….

While Fazeli was abroad, he continued to communicate by Skype chats with at least one of the informants, who later shared videos of the chats with FBI investigators. In one video, Fazeli said that he and his Islamic State allies could kill 1,000 enemies for every 10 of their own killed. In another video, he wore a khaki camouflage military uniform and inquired whether any U.S. government authorities had begun asking questions about him….

Fazeli’s relative called the FBI on Jan. 26, 2015, to report that Fazeli had been killed, according to the affidavit. The same relative emailed a copy of a news article in Arabic from the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar to the FBI on Jan. 28, 2015, that describes how “tens” of ISIS fighters were killed in a clash in Ras Baalbek, a Lebanese Christian town near the Syrian border threatened by both the Islamic State and al-Qaida in Syria. The article listed one of the dead as Abu Abdullah Al-Ahwazi, Fazeli’s other name….

Jalali said Fazeli self-identified as Arab, not Iranian, because he came from the southern and western part of Iran. In Maine, he mingled primarily with Iraqis.

“He talked about enjoying religious freedom here. That’s why I am so shocked,” Jalali said. “He praised this society for its openness.

“How he could go through that transformation, that’s a mystery. That’s quite heartbreaking. It reminds us of the power of social media, brainwashing bright, educated men and turn them into fighters or killers.”…

The medium is not the problem. The message is the problem. This is not a story about the power of social media. It is a story about the power of Islam’s call to jihad.

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Saudi Arabia’s ambivalent relationship to terrorism

House of Saud - House of Cards?

House of Saud – House of Cards?

Saudi Arabia is often accused of supporting jihadist groups. Now, the monarchy is helping Berlin’s security authorities in the fight against terror. What appears to be a contradiction is not.

DW, by Kersten Knipp, Aug. 8, 2016:

A jihadi inspired rampage in a regional train near Würzburg; and a bomb attack – designed to kill a large number of people but gone awry – in Ansbach: Both attacks were supposedly orchestrated by men in Saudi Arabia that gave the attackers instructions from afar, via chat.

That is the story the German magazine “Spiegel” is reporting in connection to chat protocols in the possession of federal agencies. The magazine also refers to information provided by a high-ranking government official in the Saudi capital Riyadh. According to the official, several telephone numbers show that the two young men were in close contact with the terrorist organization “Islamic State” (IS) in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has now announced comprehensive cooperation with Germany in investigating the recent attacks in Bavaria.

For years, Saudi Arabia has been the source of what has appeared to be contradictory information. First, the country is accused of exporting an extremely conservative strain of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism, which also happens to be the kingdom’s state religion. Shortly after the outbreak of war in Syria, accusations that the monarchy was financing jihadi groups that were not only seeking to topple the Assad government but also create a new “caliphate” under the control of the terror organization “Islamic State” (IS), grew louder. And finally, for years the West has considered Saudi Arabia to be an important partner in the fight against jihadist terror.

Dubious commitment

Sebastian Sons, Middle East expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), tells DW that the news is not as contradictory as it initially seems. “The Saudi government has been involved in the fight against terror since the attacks on America in September 2001. That was partially a reaction to US pressure. But it was also because institutions in the kingdom were increasingly the target of jihadist attacks as well, first by al-Qaeda and later ‘IS.'”

At the same time there are a number of religious foundations in the country, and some of these, as well as a number of wealthy individuals, have great sympathy for the aims of “IS” and provide the organization with financing. “Such money transactions are now being very closely monitored.” Yet, there is no way to exert total control over them. “Firstly, Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the capacity to do so. And secondly, one has to say that there is serious doubt about whether they have the political will to do so.”

Nevertheless, even if the royal house had the will, it would be able to do little about it. Because the House of Saud, which has controlled the country since it was founded in the eighteenth century, is totally dependent upon the conservative Wahhabis. It is the religious movement that lends the Sauds the ideological legitimacy upon which their rule is based.

Alliance between religion and politics

The moral foundation for the rule of the Sauds was established by a religious scholar hailing from an area near what is now the capital Riyadh. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, as the scholar was known, was born in 1703, the son of a judge.

Ibn Wahhab developed an entirely new criteria with which to judge the legitimacy of regional rulers. This legitimacy, he said, only existed as long as rulers abided by the tenets of religious faith. Political leaders, according to Wahhab, must comply to the will of god in all that they do. Should they fail to do so, they forfeit their legitimacy.

Thus, subjects were given a clear criteria with which to judge their rulers: Do their actions express the will of god, or not? It was a radically emancipating idea, yet it carried the seed of later abuses in it from the start: For who determines what god’s will is?

Ibn Wahhab came up with a unique solution to the problem: He directly tied religious power to political power. And he did so by seeking out an alliance with the most powerful partner of his day: Prince Saud l., ibn Abd al-Aziz ibn Muhammad al-Saud, the conquerer of the Emirate of Diriyah, the first Saudi state. The prince secured the theological power of his religious partner with his own military might. And in return, the legitimacy of his political rule received the scholar’s religious blessing.

The alliance between these two families, the ruling Sauds and the descendants of ibn-Wahhab responsible for answering all religious questions in the kingdom, has continued to hold until this day.

Unresolved dilemma

This alliance, by necessity, also determines the royal family’s current reaction to terror. “The royal family sees terrorism as an extreme security threat, but it still has to align itself with the Wahhabi scholars in terms of ideology,” says Sebastian Sons. This means that the monarchy is constantly forced to tolerate its – at times radical – world view. They rarely have the luxury of refusing to give their support. “The structure of the Saudi state is based upon the alliance between Wahhabi scholarship and the House of Saud. That is a unsolvable dilemma for the royal family, even today.”

That means that the rest of the world will have to live with the reality of more attacks being orchestrated from Saudi Arabia. As long as ideological extremism cannot be overcome, security measures can only help to a point.

A Saudi Morals Enforcer Called for a More Liberal Islam. Then the Death Threats Began.

Saudi women stand on the opposite side of the hallway from men at the American Express World Luxury Expo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in March. An argument that much of what Saudis practiced as religion was in fact Arabian cultural practices that had been mixed up with Islam has drawn a sharp backlash. (Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times)

Saudi women stand on the opposite side of the hallway from men at the American Express World Luxury Expo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in March. An argument that much of what Saudis practiced as religion was in fact Arabian cultural practices that had been mixed up with Islam has drawn a sharp backlash. (Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times)

New York Times, by Ben Hubbard, July 10, 2016:

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia — For most of his adult life,  worked among the bearded enforcers of Saudi Arabia. He was a dedicated employee of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice — known abroad as the religious police — serving with the front-line troops protecting the Islamic kingdom from Westernization, secularism and anything but the most conservative Islamic practices.

Some of that resembled ordinary police work: busting drug dealers and bootleggers in a country where alcohol is banned. But the men of “The Commission,” as Saudis call it, spent most of their time maintaining the puritanical public norms that set Saudi Arabia apart not only from the West, but from most of the Muslim world.

A key offense was ikhtilat, or unauthorized mixing between men and women. The kingdom’s clerics warn that it could lead to fornication, adultery, broken homes, children born of unmarried couples and full-blown societal collapse.

For years, al-Ghamdi stuck with the program and was eventually put in charge of the commission for the region of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. Then he had a reckoning and began to question the rules. So he turned to the Quran and the stories of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, considered the exemplars of Islamic conduct. What he found was striking and life altering: There had been plenty of mixing among the first generation of Muslims, and no one had seemed to mind.

So he spoke out. In articles and television appearances, he argued that much of what Saudis practiced as religion was in fact Arabian cultural practices that had been mixed up with their faith.

There was no need to close shops for prayer, he said, nor to bar women from driving, as Saudi Arabia does. At the time of the Prophet, women rode around on camels, which he said was far more provocative than veiled women piloting SUVs.

He even said women had to cover only their faces if they chose to. And to demonstrate the depth of his own conviction, al-Ghamdi went on television with his wife, Jawahir, who smiled to the camera, her face bare and adorned with a dusting of makeup.

It was like a bomb inside the kingdom’s religious establishment, threatening the social order that granted prominence to the sheikhs and made them the arbiters of right and wrong in all aspects of life. He threatened their control.

Al-Ghamdi’s colleagues at work refused to speak to him. Angry calls poured into his cellphone and anonymous death threats hit him on Twitter. Prominent sheikhs took to the airwaves to denounce him as an ignorant upstart who should be punished, tried — and even tortured.

In an undated handout photo, Ahmed Qassim al-Ghamdi and his wife, Jawahir, appear on TV. (Handout via The New York Times)

In an undated handout photo, Ahmed Qassim al-Ghamdi and his wife, Jawahir, appear on TV. (Handout via The New York Times)

For the Western visitor, Saudi Arabia is a baffling mix of modern urbanism, desert culture and the never-ending effort to adhere to a rigid interpretation of scriptures that are more than 1,000 years old. It is a kingdom flooded with oil wealth, skyscrapers, SUVs and shopping malls, where questions about how to invest money and interact with non-Muslims are answered with quotes from the Quran or stories about the Prophet Muhammad.

The primacy of Islam in Saudi life has led to a huge religious sphere that extends beyond the state’s official clerics. Public life is filled with celebrity sheikhs whose moves, comments and conflicts Saudis track just as Americans follow Hollywood actors. In the kingdom’s hyperwired society, they compete for followers on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. The grand mufti, the state’s highest religious official, has a regular television show, too.

For Saudis, trying to navigate what is permitted, “halal,” and what is not, “haram,” can be challenging. So they turn to clerics for fatwas, or nonbinding religious rulings. While some may get a lot of attention — as when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran called for killing author Salman Rushdie — most concern the details of religious practice.

Al-Ghamdi, 51, said the world of sheikhs, fatwas and the meticulous application of religion to everything had defined his life.

But that world — his world — had frozen him out.

As a new member of the commission in Jiddah, al-Ghamdi had felt that he found a job that was consistent with his religious convictions. Over the course of a few years, he transferred to Mecca and cycled through different positions.

But he developed reservations about how the force worked. His colleagues’ religious zeal sometimes led them to overreact, breaking into people’s homes or humiliating detainees.

“Let’s say someone drank alcohol,” he said. “That does not represent an attack on the religion, but they exaggerated in how they treated people.”

In 2005, the head of the commission for the Mecca region died and al-Ghamdi was promoted. It was a big job, with some 90 stations throughout a large, diverse area containing Islam’s holiest sites. He did his best to keep up, while worrying that the commission’s focus was misguided.

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After Mideast, will the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus destabilize East Asia?

on JUNE 15, 2016 in

Southeast Asia’s youths are getting radicalized as Saudi Arabia is pouring money for the spread Wahhabism, a fundamental Sunni school of Islam, in the region. If the U.S. is serious about counter-terrorism, it should break the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus by dismantling the religious-industrial complex of Saudi-funded mosques and madrassas that serve as jihad factories producing suicide bombers from Africa to Europe and now Asia.      

Professor Brahma Chellaney from India’s Center for Policy Research has sound advice for the next American president regarding US militarized approach to fighting terrorism.

In a December 2015 article entitled “Saudi Arabia’s Phony War on Terror”, Chellaney pointed to the Wahhabi ideology, “a messianic, jihad-extolling form of Sunni fundamentalism” as the root cause of global terrorism.

He warned that unless expansion of Wahhabism is arrested, the global war on terror is ineffective. ‘No matter how many bombs the US and its allies drop, the Saudi-financed madrassas will continue to indoctrinate tomorrow’s jihadists.[1]

After two years of bombing campaign, Pentagon officials reveal US is now running out of bombs to drop on Islamic State (IS).[2] And the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus continues to indoctrinate new jihadists — now in East Asia.

Southeast Asia next jihadi battleground

 In May, Malaysia shocked the world when Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government threw its support behind hudud, the 7th century shaira law that includes amputations and stonings, threatening the hitherto democratic and multi-ethnic country.[3] Razak received a $681 million gift from Saudi Arabia in April.[4]

Calling it the “Saudization of Southeast Asia”, retired Malaysian diplomat Dennis Ignatius back in March 2015 had warned the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus “is the greatest single threat to peace and stability in the world today.”[5]

Ignatius noted how over the years, Riyadh built up a significant cadre of Wahhabi-trained academics, preachers and teachers across the region. They act as “lobby groups agitating for greater Islamization, demanding the imposition of Shaira law, pushing for stricter controls of other faiths, and working behind the scenes to influence official policy and shape pubic opinion.”

As a result, this “culture of intolerance, hate and violence” that permeates so much of the Middle East is now manifesting in Southeast Asia, with young Muslims from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines gravitating to Syrian jihad.  In the face of Saudi-sponsored proliferation of extremism, Ignatius predicts Southeast Asia would be the next jihadi battleground.

Indeed Jakarta has already suffered IS and Al Qaeda attacks, and various Wahhabi sect jihadi groups now plague Southeast Asia.[6]

Will US continue to shelter the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus?

 Ironically, the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus is enabled and shielded by the US security umbrella with Washington purporting to be a leader of global counter-terrorism efforts.

However, from the Asian perspective, Wahhabism is the root cause of terrorism in the West and now in Asia. With Washington’s support for the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus being partly accountable for this scourge, it has severely downgraded the legitimacy of US as a leader in counter-terrorism.[7]

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Dr. Sebastian Gorka: ‘Potentially Some Very Embarrassing Things’ For Saudi Government In 9/11 Documents

SETH MCALLISTER/AFP/Getty Images

SETH MCALLISTER/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John  Hayward, April 18, 2016:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, national security editor for Breitbart Newsand author of the new book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War,tells host Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Daily about tensions with Saudi Arabia, as pressure to declassify the Saudi-related “28 Pages” of 9/11 documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee report grows.

Gorka explained that the backstory to Saudi involvement in 9/11 began with “the siege of Mecca in 1979, and the deal that was cut between the Royal Family and the radical clerics that helped facilitate that jihadi attack on the Grand Mosque of Mecca.”

“For the next twenty years, elements of the government were deep into the export of jihadi ideology,” he continued.

Gorka recalled how the nation of Saudi Arabia was created “in a deal between the House of Saud and a man called ibn Wahab, who was a fundamentalist preacher, a cleric of Islam.” He said no one should be surprised by the continuing influence of fundamentalist Islam and jihadi ideology on Saudi politics – an influence likely to be spotlighted by those 28 pages of classified documents.

“I think what we’re going to find, if we ever see those 28 pages, is even if there wasn’t a systematic, holistic Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks, we will find – and we’ve seen already, in the unclassified domain – there are connections between at least two of the hijackers and the Saudi embassy in Washington,” said Gorka. “So there are potentially some very embarrassing things in those 28 pages.”

Bannon noted the Saudis appear to be very apprehensive about the possible exposure of those documents, and legislation that would make Saudi officials vulnerable to lawsuits by 9/11 families, citing a story from the weekend about Saudi threats to sell off $750 billion in U.S. Treasury securities if the 9/11 bill is passed – a move that could destabilize the dollar and throw global markets into turmoil.

Gorka said he was not surprised by this threatening behavior from our “schizophrenic” ally, although he was a little surprised by “how unsubtle a move this is,” combined with equally heavy-handed attempts by the Saudis to put pressure on the United States through OPEC.

“There must be something that’s very potentially damaging – otherwise, why would you even make such a noise publicly?” he wondered. “So I think that they’re at a crescendo point, with regards to their reputation internationally.  Remember, this is not a good time to be Saudi Arabia. If you look at what’s happening in the region, if you look at the rise of Iran’s power, the collapse of Sanaa in Yemen to the Shia, this is scary time, if you want to keep your royal privileges intact on the Arabian continent.”

Gorka said it was unfortunate that Western media underestimated the importance of the 1979 jihadi siege of the Grand Mosque, and the connections it established between the Saudi monarchy and fundamentalist Islam, because it was difficult for Western citizens to look past the official line on Saudi Arabia’s conduct without knowing its history. He attributed this ignorance to the “short attention span” of the media, even decades before the rise of social media, causing the Grand Mosque siege to be eclipsed in importance by other major events of the era.

“The siege of Mecca is the beginning of when the jihadi movement of the 20th Century goes global – in part thanks to the Saudi regime, or elements within the Saudi regime,” Gorka said.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.

You can listen to the full interview with Dr. Sebastian Gorka below:

Also see:

Saudi Arabia Buying Regional News Influence: Cables

King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Photo: © Reuters)

King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, June 23, 2015:

Leaked cables from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry reveal that the Wahhabist government is spending millions of dollars to influence regional media coverage. One cable shows that the Saudis granted $5 million to a popular Lebanese television channel named Murr TV, known locally as MTV (no relation to the MTV network based in the U.S.).

The secret document reveals that a directive was given on May 8, 2012 to form a committee to exploit Murr TV’s financial troubles by offering a bribe in return for pro-Saudi coverage. The committee had representatives from the Saudi Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Culture, Media and General Intelligence Agency.

Murr TV’s board chairman requested $20 million from the Saudis. The committee met on May 15, 2012 and decided that only $5 million would be offered.

The network’s website boasts of its “independence,” saying it started in 1991 and began covering news in 1995. The Lebanese government was unhappy with its coverage and shut it down in 2002. It then re-launched in 2009.

“MTV displayed a fervent commitment to acting as the fourth power, disclosing the untold about abuses of power and corruption, and speaking the mind of a suffocated public opinion, being consistently and unswervingly objective and responsible, and defending the public interest,” the website says.

It is owned by Gabiel Murr, a Christian involved with the oppositionchallenging the Lebanese political forces favorable to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Hezbollah. MTV aired stories about human rights abuses and interviewed opposition leaders.

A 2014 study found that MTV is the top source for television entertainment in Lebanon. It is the third most popular news channel.

The leaked cable indicates that this is only one front in the Saudi campaign to influence regional news media.

“Emphasizing that in principle the support to any foreign media should serve the policy of the Kingdom and its interests. The committee doesn’t see anything to prevent the support of MTV within this policy,” the committee is reported as stating.

Other leaked cables show that the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Media sponsored two dozen media outlets in countries like Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Guinea, and Mauritania. Wikileaks says these payments ranged from $33,000 to as little as $500.

It’s possible that the Saudis were satisfied with Lebanese MTV simply continuing coverage that undermines the Syrian and Iranian regimes and Hezbollah, but the wording of the document suggests an actual promotion of the Saudi point-of-view. At the very least, the Saudis would demand favorable coverage that looks past its support for Islamist extremism and human rights abuses.

Saudi funding for media outlets is dangerous for Western security because a favorable treatment of Saudi Arabia means a favorable treatment of the radical ideology its governance is based on, often referred to as “Wahhabism.” If the Saudi point-of-view is promoted, that means promoting Wahhabism, hostility to the West and Islamist terrorism.

Yet, media outlets and political forces in the region, including Christians, are so desperate for funding that they are willing to get into bed with the Saudis.

Another cable reveals that Samir Gagea, the leader of a Christian political party opposed to the Syrian regime, asked for Saudi financial aid. He’s quoted as saying, “I’m broke. I’m ready to do what the Kingdom demands.”

The Saudis weren’t the first choice of the Christians. After all, the Saudis persecute Christians and ban the construction of churches. There is a power vacuum being filled by the Saudis that could instead by filled by the West. There is a middle-ground between Shiite extremism and Sunni extremism but those in-between these two sides are currently compelled to choose one or the other.

If we are to ever defeat Islamist radicalism and achieve peace in the Middle East, Saudi influence over the region’s media and politics will have to be countered.

ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the West

The famous photograph of Abdulaziz ibn Saud meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy symbolizes the incongruity of the Saudi-American "special relationship." (Image source: U.S. Navy)

The famous photograph of Abdulaziz ibn Saud meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy symbolizes the incongruity of the Saudi-American “special relationship.” (Image source: U.S. Navy)

Gatestone Institute, by Salim Mansur, June 14, 2015:

  • What principally mattered in accepting Christian support was whether such support served the followers of Islam in spreading the faith. The same thing could also apply to an alliance with the Jews and Israel in defending Saudi interests.
  • In the age of totalitarianism — which in the last century flourished under the various headings of Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Hitler’s National Socialism and Maoism — Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb added Islamism. Shariah, as God’s law, in covering and monitoring every detail of human conduct, as Qutb insisted, is total; its enforcement through jihad made for an ideology — Islamism — consistent with the temperament of the totalitarian era.
  • American support in the reconstruction of Germany and Japan after 1945 was crucial. The transformation of imperial and militaristic Japan into a peaceful democracy was testimony to how American support can make for a better world. In the Korean Peninsula, American troops have held the line between the North and South since the end of the Korean War in 1953; this has made the vital difference in turning South Korea into a democracy and an advanced industrial society.

In a hard-hitting essay on ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) for The Daily Mail, the 2001 Nobel Prize winning author, V.S. Naipaul, wrote: “ISIS could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.” Among the writings on Islam and Muslims in recent years, Naipaul’s, as in the books Among the Believers and Beyond Belief, have been perhaps the most incisive and penetrating in exploring the extremist politics of the global Islamist movement from inside of the Muslim world. And that ISIS on a rampage, as Naipaul observed, revived “religious dogmas and deadly rivalries between Sunnis and Shi’as, Sunnis and Jews and Christians is a giant step into darkness.”

Ever since the relatively obscure Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stepped forth on the pulpit of the Great Mosque in Mosul, Iraq, on June 28, 2014 to announce the rebirth of the Caliphate (abolished in 1924 by the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk), with al-Baghdadi himself assuming the title of Caliph Ibrahim, the ruling head of the ummah, or worldwide community of Muslims, many might agree with Naipaul, despite the hyperbole — he has left out a potentially nuclear Iran — that “ISIS has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich.”

It is baffling to read about or watch the sweep of terror spawned by ISIS in the name of Islam — a world religion with a following approaching two billion Muslims. It is insufficient merely to point out that the barbarism of ISIS reflects its origins in the fetid swamps of the Sunni Muslim insurgency of post-Saddam Iraq. But ISIS is neither a new presence in the Arab-Muslim history, nor is the response to it by Western powers, primarily Britain and the United States, given their relationship with the Middle East over the past century.

We have seen ISISes before, and not as al-Qaeda’s second coming.

The first successful appearance of an ISIS in modern times was the whirlwind with which the Bedouin warriors of Abdulaziz ibn Saud (1876-1953) emerged from the interior of the Arabian Desert in 1902 to take hold of the main fortress in Riyadh, the local capital of the surrounding region known as Najd. Some twenty-four years later, this desert warrior-chief and his armies of Bedouin raiders defeated the ruling Sharifian house in the coastal province of Hejaz, where lie Islam’s two holy cities, Mecca and Medina.

Husayn bin Ali (1854-1931), Sharif of Mecca and Emir of Hejaz, had joined his fate with the British against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. One of his sons, Prince Feisal, led the “Arab Revolt” for independence from Ottoman rule made famous by T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935). But in the aftermath of the Great War, which brought the Ottoman Empire to its ruin, Bedouin tribes in the interior of the Arabian Desert were jostling for power, and the House of Sharif Husayn proved inept at maintaining its own against threats posed to its rule over Hejaz, and as the khadim [steward] of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Another Englishman, a counterpart to T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), was Harry St. John Philby (1885-1960), sent as a British agent during the Great War into the interior of the Arabian Desert. Philby would get to know Abdulaziz ibn Saud; eventually he worked for Ibn Saud as the warrior-chief rose in power and prominence. Philby chronicled the emergence of Abdulaziz ibn Saud as “the greatest of all the kings of Arabia,” and wrote the history of Ibn Saud’s tribe and people under the title Arabia of the Wahhabis. In the West, ironically, Philby is better known as the father of Kim Philby, the Soviet double agent, instead of the confidant of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Philby apparently became Muslim, took the name of Abdullah, and lived among the Arabs.

The defeat of the Sharifian forces in Hejaz in 1925 cleared the path for Abdulaziz ibn Saud’s eventual triumph in creating the eponymous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The fall of Mecca to the Bedouin warriors known as the Ikhwan, or the Brethren (to be distinguished from the movement known as Ikhwan al-Muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood] founded by the Egyptian Hasan al-Banna in 1928), ended the ambition of Sharif Husayn and his sons to rule Arabia with the support of the British. The Sharifian defeat also meant that Britain would not have to referee the conflict between two of its allies — Sharif Husayn and his sons on one side, and Abdulaziz ibn Saud and his Ikhwan warriors on the other — competing for mastery over Arabia.

Philby’s loyalty to Abdulaziz ibn Saud restrained him from mentioning the terror and havocIkhwan warriors perpetrated in the occupation of Hejaz and the capture of Mecca and Medina.[1]But he was effusive in describing what he viewed as the renewal of Islam’s original revolution in the desert soil of its birth. He became the premier salesman of Abdulaziz ibn Saud and his family to the outside world, as T.E. Lawrence was of Prince Feisal and the Sharifian claims to rule the Arabs.[2] Philby wrote,

“Ibn Sa’ud made it clear from the beginning that he would tolerate no criticism of or interference with God’s law on earth… On Friday, January 8th, 1926, in the Great Mosque of Mecca after the congregational prayers, Ibn Sa’ud was proclaimed King of the Hijaz with all the traditional ceremony prescribed by Islamic precedent. It was at once an act of faith and a challenge to the world: to be made good in due course, without deviation from the principle on which it was based, to the glory of God, of whose sustaining hand he was ever conscious amid all the vicissitudes of good and evil fortune, which in the long years to come were to lead his people, under his guidance, out of the wilderness into a promised land flowing with milk and honey. The great fight, of four and twenty years almost to the day, was over; and a greater span, by nearly four years, yet lay before him to develop the fruits of victory for the benefit of generations yet unborn: generations which ‘knew not Joseph’, nor ever heard the war-cry of the Ikhwan.”[3]

ii.

The objective of the ISIS is apparently to remake the map of the Middle East, which was drawn by Britain and France as victorious powers in World War I, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The goal is to unite the Fertile Crescent — the region between the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf — under the newly resurrected Caliphate’s rule, where “God’s law” will rule without anyone’s interference — much Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdulaziz ibn Saud, announced in 1926 on entering Mecca.

ISIS’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in announcing the re-establishment of the Caliphate, have set for ISIS a hugely ambitious program, even if it seems anachronistic for Muslims in the twenty-first century.

But ISIS’s gamble to engineer the creation of the Caliphate and obliterate the post-WWI settlement is not entirely far-fetched when considered in the context of the making of Saudi Arabia.

There is also the shared doctrine of the Wahhabi-Salafi interpretation of Islam, which Abdulaziz ibn Saud insisted, and ISIS insists, is the only true Islam; all other versions and sects of Islam among Muslims are denounced as heresy or, worse, as apostasy, to be violently punished.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire let loose forces in the Middle East, some of which were contained by Britain and France, as victorious powers, in accordance with their Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.

In the Arabian Peninsula, Britain kept in check the forces let loose, preventing their spillover into the Fertile Crescent, until one coalition of Bedouin warriors led by Abdulaziz ibn Saud emerged as clear winner over the territories previously held by Turkey in the Fertile Crescent.

The deep forbidding interior of the Arabian Peninsula consists of the highlands and desert of Najd, far removed from what were once the major centers of the Islamic civilization at its peak. Inhabited by Bedouin tribes, deeply conservative in their customs and manner of living, and disapproving of the ways of the outside world, Najd was a primitive backwater of the Middle East and was left on its own.

The emergence of Abdulaziz ibn Saud as the ruler of Najd and Hejaz in the 1920s, and then as the monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the watchful eyes of Britain as the hegemonic power in the Middle East after the World War I, was not merely the result of one coalition of Bedouin tribes trouncing its opponents for the spoils of war. It was also the victory of a doctrine — of Wahhabism,[4] to which Abdulaziz ibn Saud was wedded as a legacy of his family and tribal history, and which provided the religious and ideological legitimacy for the so-called “conservative revolution” or the Wahhabi version of Islamic “reform” he heralded in establishing his kingdom.

Read more

Saudis Plan Tourist Venue Where Foundation of Radical Ideology Was Formed

Al-Diriyah-on-the-northwestern-outskirts-of-Riyadh.-APHassan-Ammar-640x480Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, June 1, 2015:

Saudi Arabia plans to turn the birthplace of Wahhabism–just outside the capital city of Riyadh–into a tourist destination filled with entertainment, historic exhibits, parks, and restaurants.

Wahhabism, the radical Islamic ideology that is promulgated worldwide through Saudi influence and the dominant philosophy of Saudi Arabia, was founded over 250 years ago in the village of Diriyah, thanks to an alliance between the Saudi royal family and a radical cleric, according to the New York Times.

In Diriyah, the House of Saud inked an alliance with Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, who would be allowed to preach his radical jihadist ideology in exchange for a guarantee that the Saudi royal family would be allowed to stay in power. Tow-hundred-and-fifty years later, the treaty between the radical Islamists and the Saudi royalty remains in place.

Al-Wahhab’s Wahhabism preaches a puritanical version of Islam. Supporters describe the ideology as “pure Islam” that is perfectly compliant with Sharia law.

Critics of Wahhabism have noted that the group’s adherents tend to support worldwide terrorist movements across the globe. Some allege that Wahabi officials and clerics are responsible for fostering ideological support for jihadist groups and bankrolling outfits such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey has said of Wahhabism:

Those who direct Saudi Arabia’s state religion, the Wahhabi sect of Islam, loathe Christians, Jews, other Muslims, modernity, decency toward women, and freedom itself. The Saudi establishment has accepted a Faustian bargain, buying protection for itself by financing the spread of Wahhabi hatred around the world.

Nonetheless, the Saudis are following through with the tourist venue, which will be “filled with parks restaurants, and coffee shops,” the Times reports. “Nearby stands a sleek structure that will house a foundation dedicated to the sheikh [Al-Wahhab] and his mission,” the report adds.

The man in charge of the project, Abdullah Arrakban of the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh, said in support of the Wahhabi tourist venue, “It is important for Saudis who are living now, in this century, to know that the state came from a specific place that has been preserved and that it was built on an idea, a true, correct and tolerant ideology that respected others.”

More whitewashing:

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar Set Sights on Cuba’s Muslims

The island of Cuba, located just south of Florida.

The island of Cuba, located just south of Florida.

Why 4,000 Muslims on a Caribbean island mean so much the world’s leading purveyors of Islamic extremism and terrorism

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamist governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia see a growing Muslim community in Cuba and are acting quickly to ideologically lead it. The Saudis and Turks have separately asked for permission to build a mosque there. President Erdogan wants it to reflect the Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic caliphate that was abolished in 1924.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are competing over who will build the mosque in Havana for the estimated 4,000 Muslims in Cuba. The Saudis originally expressed interest, but now the elected Islamist government of Turkey is bidding for it. Turkish President Erdogan says his country hopes to build elsewhere in Cuba if its application is rejected.

Saudi Arabia remains an extremist state and continues to promote Wahhabism, a very radical interpretation of Islam. The Saudis spendan estimated $3 billion a year promoting Wahhabism. It is a national security threat to have the Saudis shaping the Cuban-Muslim community only 90 miles away from Florida.

Turkey is no better. President Erdogan’s government is rolling back democratic freedoms, hosts a Hamas terrorist network and is a stalwart supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a scandal in Turkey over his intelligence service’s cover-up of its arming of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs says the envisioned mosque in Havana will be modeled after an Ottoman mosque in Istanbul. Its insistence that it builds the mosque without any other country’s involvement shows that this project isn’t about serving Cuban Muslims. It’s about indoctrinating the growing Cuban-Muslim community into following Turkish Islamism.

Turkey is also involved in Cuba through a terrorism-linked entity named the Humanitarian Relief Foundation. This group, based in Istanbul, is closely involved with Erdogan and his Islamist party. Over the summer, it registered people to be human shields for Hamas. The group is also linked to the scandal over Turkish intelligence’s arming of Al-Qaeda.

The IHH website says in an article all the way back in August 2012 that it is “sponsoring masjid [mosque] construction in Cuba.” IHH said hopes to “address the shortcoming of books on Islam in Spanish soon” and fly Cuban Muslims to Turkey for Islamic studies. The article says IHH delivered humanitarian aid and met with the Turkish and Saudi ambassadors there.

It’s worth reflecting on the importance of that article. The Cuban Muslim community is in need of texts to help it learn about Islam. The group that is stepping in to decide what those texts will be is openly radical and linked to the Hamas terrorist group, as well as the increasingly anti-Western government of Turkey.

The Islamist Turkish government is spreading its neo-Ottoman ideology by building mosques around the world, much as Saudi Arabia has done with Wahhabism. There are currently 18 large mosques being constructed by Turkey in the U.S., the Palestinian Territories, Somalia, the U.K., the Philippines, Russia and Central Asia.

Turkey is building the largest mosque in the Balkans in Albania. Erdogan does not hide that this was part of his neo-Ottoman project,declaring in an October 2013 speech, “Do not forget that Kosovo is Turkey and Turkey is Kosovo.”

Turkey is even constructing a 15-acre $100 million mega-mosque in Maryland that was endorsed by then-Governor O’Malley, who appears likely to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The project is reported to “become [one of] the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the Western hemisphere.”

Erdogan’s government is also reaching out to Native American tribes. Turkey’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C. spent over $1 million in 2010 alone to pay for congressmen and Native American tribesmen to visit Turkey, according to Islamist-Watch, which broke the story. The director of the organization says Turkey’s strategy could cause “the Islamist ideology to spread like wildfire throughout Native American tribes.”

In addition, Erdogan is building the world’s biggest mosque in Turkey and a shipping canal rivaling the importance of the Panama Canal and Suez Canal. He is competing with Egypt by building a rival university that will “replace” Al-Azhar University as the leading Islamic authority. The overall agenda is one of aspiring domination where the Muslim world falls into the neo-Ottoman Islamist fold.

Read more at Clarion Project

An American Ally’s Grand Mosque of Hate

Sophie James/Alamy

Sophie James/Alamy

New proof that the richest little emirate in the world is playing a double game with Washington and the so-called Islamic State.

Daily Beast, Jamie Dettmer, Feb. 19, 2015:

The Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Masjid Doha is the biggest mosque in the emirate of Qatar, and it is a fountain of hate.

Built mainly in the first half of the 20th century mixing traditional and modern Islamic architecture, the air-conditioned, red-carpeted, chandelier-lit central hall can accommodate 11,000 men at prayer with a special enclosure for 1,200 women.

Re-inaugurated in 2011, the Grand Mosque was renamed after the founder of Wahhabism in the desert wastes of the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th century. Although his extreme and ascetic view of Islam has come to be associated mainly with the Saudis, it is also the official faith of incredibly rich little Qatar, which sits on a spit of land and a huge amount of natural gas in what most people know as the Persian Gulf. And Wahabbism, whether Saudi- or Qatari-funded (their zealous zillionaires compete), has provided the underpinning for the extremism in the Muslim world that spawned al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State.

So Qatar, which is also home to a major American military installation, to branches of major American universities (Northwestern, Georgetown, and Carnegie Mellon among them) and to Al Jazeera television, whose English and American branches are responsible for award-winning reporting, tries to be many things to many different audiences.

But the Islamic State and its self-anointed caliph are highlighting the deep contradictions, and nowhere is that more obvious than at the Grand Mosque.

Thus, Qatar’s authorities were quick to condemn this month the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Muadh al Kasasbeh. One would expect such a reaction from a country that is part of the international coalition arrayed against the Jordanian’s murderers.

Yet in Doha’s cavernous Grand Mosque on the Friday after the ISIS barbarians posted a video of the grisly killing, an imam who is also a member of the country’s Supreme Judicial Council offered the considered opinion that the Jordanian should have been traded in a prisoner swap or ransomed in accordance with Islamic principles. This, even though ISIS clearly never had any such intention and had lied in negotiations, claiming al Kasasbeh was alive when he was most certainly dead.

In recent weeks, the Qataris have come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration and other Western governments to curb the emirate’s ties with radical Islamist movements—U.S. officials say Qatar has now replaced its neighbor Saudi Arabia as the source of the largest private donations to the Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates.

When the spotlight is on—when jihad moneymen in Qatar and their funding networks are exposed and attract high levels of Western protest—Qatari authorities take some limited actions.

But there seems to be no persuading Qatar to stop running with the hare and hunting with the hounds—and that remains the case with providing platforms for ideological fellow-travelers of ISIS and al Qaeda or their supporters. And when Western attention is focused elsewhere, the Grand Mosque rings to sermons promoting the same intolerant strain of Islam endorsed by ISIS and used to justify the group’s barbarity.

 

On the Friday before ISIS posted the horrific footage of the burning pilot, a preacher sermonizing from the Grand Mosque’s minbar prayed for the destruction of the faithful of other religions. “Allah, strengthen Islam and the Muslims, and destroy your enemies, the enemies of the religion,” intoned Saudi cleric Sa’ad Ateeq al Ateeq. “Allah, destroy the Jews and whoever made them Jews, and destroy the Christians and Alawites and the Shiites.”

His comments wouldn’t have been out of place in ISIS-controlled Mosul or Raqqa. He also beseeched Allah to save the al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third-holiest site in Islam, from the “claws of the Jews.”

Al Ateeq, who was on his sixth visit to the state-supervised Grand Mosque since 2013, reserved his most bellicose remarks for the part of the sermon called theduaa, when the preacher encourages the faithful to join in guided prayer.

Within minutes, Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs promoted al Ateeq’s remarks on Twitter. And the sermon was broadcast on several local television channels, including Qatar TV, the official state channel, signaling another stamp of approval, according to analysts Oren Adaki and David Andrew Weinberg of the U.S.-based think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), who unearthed the video of al Ateeq’s sermon.

“This is another example showing that Qatar’s commitment to the war on terror is ambiguous,” argues Weinberg. “The emirate shows one face to the international community projecting a desire to help in the fight against terrorist organizations, while providing a platform for the preaching in their own backyard of the same kind of hate-filled extremism of ISIS.”

Doha’s Grand Mosque has long been a stopover for militants from across the region heading to wage jihad in the Levant. And despite the emirate’s membership in the coalition against ISIS, and while U.S. warplanes launch their bombing raids on the militants in Syria and Iraq from the American airbase in Qatar, the landmark mosque has remained a top venue to hear radical Islamic sermonizing.

Last September, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani insisted while on a visit to Germany that the emirate “will never support terrorist organizations.” But in addition to the failure of the emirate’s authorities to stop Qatar being used as a hub for terror financing, there seems to be no will by the government to curb the promotion of a radical ideology that is helping to fuel jihadist groups.

Government invitations to extremist preachers have continued apace. Visiting preachers at the Grand Mosque in the past three years have included: Kuwaiti Hamid Abdullah al Ali, who has been blacklisted by the U.S. and UN for funding jihadists in Iraq and who in his sermon on March 2, 2012, praised the “great jihad” being waged in Syria by al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra; Nabil al-Awadhi, another alleged jihad financier, who has delivered at least three sermons there; and Hamid Hamad al Ali, who refers to himself as an “al Qaeda commando.”

But then maybe it isn’t surprising there has been no letup in the roster of militants allowed to use the Grand Mosque. Harith al-Dhari, allegedly a major jihadist fundraiser, was a guest of honor when the current emir’s father inaugurated it in 2011.

Qatari officials reject the charge they are encouraging radical Islam, insisting they oppose extremists. “We are repelled by their views, their violent methods and their ambitions,” Khalid al Attiyah, the emirate’s foreign minister, said in a statement last year in response to claims that Qatar has offered a variety of assistance—including sanctuary, money, and weapons—to radical groups from the the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hamas in Gaza to Islamist militias in Libya and jihadists in Syria.

But the Qataris’ claims of innocence as they leverage their wealth and strategic location to maximize their influence and hedge their bets across the region is increasingly frustrating allies in the coalition against jihadists.

Last month, the U.S. released the admitted al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh Kahlah al Marri from a federal prison prior to his completing a 15-year sentence, citing “time served,” and also as part of a repatriation agreement. Qatari authorities had sought his release from U.S. custody for years—offering among other things to swap him for an American couple held in jail in Doha.

On his arrival in Qatar, al Marri was welcomed as a returning hero. And not just by family members but by local celebrities and officials. As video footage demonstrated, he even received a congratulatory phone call from the emirate’s prime minister.

SAUDI ARABIA AND 9/11: THE REAL CONNECTION

saudi bushBreitbart, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Feb. 8, 2015:

Many expect a smoking gun to be found in the 28 still-classified pages of the official 9/11 Commission Report, evidence linking Saudi Arabia to Al Qaeda. The truth about the Kingdom’s links to the Global Jihadi Movement is historic and already established.

Again this week, there were calls to declassify the missing sections of the 9/11 Commission report. This time, the pressure comes from relatives of the 9/11 victims, who have brought a court case alleging that a charity linked to the government of Saudi Arabia was funneling funds to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. The revelation of official statements made last year by the so-called “20th hijacker,” Zacarias Moussaoui have given the accusations more credence. You can read the transcripts of his depositions here, here, here, and here.

Over the years, Moussaoui has made serial claims about Al Qaeda’s international links and plots beyond the 9/11 attacks, including a plan to down Air Force One with a Stinger missile. Now, he accuses members of the Saudi royalty of being financiers of Osama bin Laden and his organization. Unsurprisingly, the official response from the Saudi government has been swift and dismissive, with the embassy in Washington, D.C. stating that “Moussaoui is a deranged criminal” and that “His words have no credibility.”

Those who expect some kind of resolution or spectacular revelation will likely be disappointed even if the redacted portions of the Commission report are released. As has been documented, a wide range of Moussaoui’s stories in the past have been demonstrated to be not only questionable but even impossible. It should be remembered that back in 2006 he was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Even if he no longer suffers from mental illness, his latest statements may be just another pedestrian case of a “lifer” bargaining testimony for concessions.

The truth about the Kingdom’s connections to the international jihadist movement are in fact much older and well documented.

To begin with, the Kingdom was actually created out of the pact made between Mohammad bin Saud and the fundamentalist religious leader Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the puritanical version of Sunni Islam know as Wahhabism. Subsequently, the nation that resulted was one defined in stark contrast to enlightened modern monarchies such as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or secular Muslim republics such as Ataturk’s Turkey. But the definitive connection between the House of Saud and the Global Jihadist Movement can be traced back to 1979. In a year that would see the Soviets invade Afghanistan and catalyze a Holy War against themselves, and a theocratic revolution erupt in Iran, 500 jihadi terrorists stormed the holiest site in Islam, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Their leader, Juhayman al Otaybi, launched the assault because of his belief that Islam had lost its way, that Muslims were weak because they had become unfaithful, and their leaders, starting with King Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had become un-Islamic.

Eventually, the siege was broken with the help of French counterterrorism operators that had been smuggling into the Kingdom and “converted” to Islam so they could enter Mecca. However, when the king found out that Saudi clerics, members of the learned ulema, had endorsed this holy war against him and his royal house, the king made a deal with the jihadist clerics. In exchange for Saudi Arabia being kept free from jihadist ideologically internally, his regime would support the export and dissemination of Jihadism outside of Saudi Arabia, to non-Muslim lands. For chapter and verse see the excellent book The Siege of Mecca. As a result, for several decades, the Saudi government facilitated the growth internationally of jihadist ideology, be it through Arab Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, or the Balkans, or elsewhere, until the First Gulf War. When the then-king invited “infidel” US troops to station themselves on the Arabian peninsula, Osama bin Laden added the House of Saud onto his target list, despite being born a Saudi Arabian and his father being very close to the royal family. For bin Laden, the House of Saud had become false Muslims, just as in the eyes of the original Meccan raiders on 1979. This has all been well-documented, most especially in Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower. When we sent troops to the land of Mecca and Medina, Al Qaeda reinvented itself as an organization that would not only kill infidels, but also apostate or “false” Muslims, including a campaign after 9/11 that targeted the Saudi security services and government officials.

In recent years, especially with the rise of The Islamic State, Saudi Arabia has fundamentally reassessed its attitude to the Global Jihadist Movement. That does not mean, of course, that all its princes or government officials are whole-heartedly on the side of America and her allies, but it does mean that events such as the recent immolation of the Jordanian pilot Muadh al Kasasbeh have a much greater significance for the Islamic governments of the region.

Sebastian Gorka PhD. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University. You can follow him of Twitter at @SebGorka.

Saudi religious leader OKs rape of children

150102muslimgirlWND, by F. MICHAEL MALOOF, Jan. 3, 2015:

WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, the kingdom’s top religious authority in the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, has ruled it’s acceptable for men to marry girls so young the West would deem it nothing short of pedophilia and rape.

Despite the Saudi justice ministry’s failed efforts to date to set 15 as a minimum age to marry a girl in the kingdom, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz declared there is nothing prohibiting Muslim men from marrying girls even younger.

As Grand Mufti, Abdulaziz is president of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing Fatwas, which means he speaks authoritatively in Islamic teachings.

Grand Mufti Abdulzaiz’s more recent ruling on marrying young girls comes following a similar ruling in 2011 by Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of the Saudi’s highest religious council, who issued a fatwa, or religious edict, that there is no minimum age to marry girls, “even if they are in the cradle.”

Fawzan’s fatwa came from a similar edict in the Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari li Ibn Battal, which said the ulema, or Islamic scholars, agreed to permit fathers marry off their small daughters.

“The ulema have agreed that it is permissible for fathers to marry off their small daughters, even if they are in the cradle,” the edict declared. “But it is not permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men. And their capability in this regard varies based on their nature and capacity. Aisha was six when she married the prophet, but he had sex with her when she was nine, that is, when she was deemed capable.”

Fawzan said there is nothing in Islamic, or Shariah law, that sets a minimum age limit on marrying girls, citing Quran 65:4.

“It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Shariah, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit,” Fawzan said. “For laws are Allah’s province, and legislation is his exclusive right, to be shared by none other. And among these are the rules governing marriage.”

Scholars say the age of marrying young girls and consummating the “marriage” is based on the example set by Muhammad when he married Aisha when she was no more than seven years of age, consummating the marriage when she was nine.

“The grand point of the Saudi fatwa, however, is not that girls as young as nine can be married, based on Muhammad’s example, but rather that there is no age limit whatsoever,” Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim writes in Middle East Forum. “The only question open to consideration is whether the girl is physically capable of handling her ‘husband.’”

“The lives of countless young girls are devastated because of this teaching,” Ibrahim said.

He cited the case of an 8-year-old girl who died on her “wedding” night when her “husband” raped her. He also referred to a 10-year-old girl who hid from her 80-year-old “husband.”

Grand Mufti Abdulaziz and Fawzan’s fatwas come even as Saudi men have been reportedly purchasing young girls from Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

As WND recently reported, rich Saudi Arabian men – some associated with the Saudi royal family – have been purchasing for their sexual pleasure Syrian girls and young women from among the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war conflict to Lebanon and Jordan.

Most of these Saudi men are said to be in their 60s and 70s. When they tire of the girls, they often hand them off to other men.

“They come into Lebanon and Jordan and go to the Syrian refugee camps where the Syrian families there have nothing,” one Lebanese source told WND. “The Saudis then offer $200 for girls aged 9 to 14 years and take them from their families. Because the families are so desperate for money, they give in to the temptation.”

The United States, allied with Saudi Arabia, has been silent on its treatment of young girls..

“Given the influence the United States has over Saudi Arabia, why hasn’t your president confronted the Saudis about this?” one source asked WND. “Sometimes, the girls are returned to their families, but they won’t have a future.”

F. Michael Maloof, senior staff writer for WND/ G2Bulletin, is a former security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He can be contacted at mmaloof@wnd.com.

Allah in our schools

sysliderimagee1377122791697vi1-viAmerican Thinker, By Carol Brown, Dec. 28, 2014:

Jihad, in its many guises and forms, is being waged across America. No aspect of our society has been untouched by this relentless attack. Including our schools.

Our education system has been infiltrated by the enemy, as the next generation of Americans is brainwashed with white-washed Islam.

The assault is coming from all directions and it never sleeps.

Muslim Brotherhood front groups have been, and continue to be, integrally involved in the development of Common Core curriculum. They make sure a false picture of Islam is integrated into lessons, from K – 12. Our children are exposed to all manner of “educational” activities that amount to Islamic propaganda, which is now endemic in the school system.

In addition to Muslim Brotherhood front groups, Saudi Arabia exerts outside influence on school curricula. The Saudis spread a lot of money around, giving it to organizations that promote Islam throughout our institutions. Schools receive a hefty sum of brand name sickness called Wahhabism. As Stanley Kurtz wrote in NRO several years ago: “…the Saudis have figured out how to make an end-run around America’s K-12 curriculum safeguards, thereby gaining control over much of what children in the United States learn about the Middle East.” (To learn more about how the Saudi’s achieved this, see here and here.)

Then there are garden variety Muslims bent on advancing Sharia law in our schools who also wield enormous power. Take, for instance, Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is a Muslim committed to the advancement of the Islamic state. He has called for the destruction of the United States and all infidels. And he has set up a network of publically-funded charter schools.

Factor in political leadership that is clueless (at best) or willfully collaborating with the enemy (at worst) along with an electorate that has been marinating in politically-correct-multicultural-moral-equivalence “thinking,” and you’ve got a powerful force mangling the minds of our youth.

I wish I could call what is going on a battle. Or a war. But I can’t. Because thus far America has hardly put up a fight. And so, Islam advances. Marching through the halls of our schools.

To get a taste of what’s going on, please take the abbreviated tour below. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). The following all have taken place at one or more schools:

  • Students are taught the five pillars of Islam.
  • Students recite “all people must submit to Allah,” “there is no God but Allah,” and “Allah is great,” among other Muslim prayers. Sometimes students recite these words in Arabic. Students also recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic, saying: “One nation under Allah.”
  • Lesson plans promote Sharia law, polygamy, and burqas.
  • Classes unrelated to history or religion often morph into Islamic propaganda.
  • A Saudi-funded 3-week program on Islam has students living as Muslims, during which time, among other things, they recite Muslim prayers and chants and are prohibited from wearing a cross or saying the name “Jesus.”
  • Students are taught that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews.
  • Students must write about how, if they were a travel agent, they would create a travel package promoting the Golden Age of Islam.
  • Textbooks include the Muslim call to prayer, whitewash Islam, denigrate Christians and Jews, and describe Muhammad as a wise spiritual leader; a gentle merchant with a strong moral compass; and a man who was deeply concerned about the mistreatment of others.
  • Student field trips bring them to mosques where students are given Korans, kneel down and pray to Allah, and are told that Muslims treat those they conquer better than minorities are treated in the United States. One field trip was to the mosque the Tsarnaev brothers attended, where non-Muslim boys joined adult males in prayer and girls were told Islam is pro-woman (among other egregious things).
  • A curriculum used a video that framed non-Muslims as bigots and enforced blasphemy laws.
  • Lessons teach more about Islam than any other faith.
  • Students must write essays about what it would be like to travel to Mecca.
  • Fill-in-the-blank assignments include answers that read: “Islam, at heart, is a peaceful religion” and “Most Muslims faith is stronger than the average Christian,” among other lies.
  • Korans are introduced into the classroom.
  • Muslim clerics, members of CAIR, and representatives from Islamic centers come into classrooms to observe and/or lecture.
  • Female students wear burqas as part of a lesson on Islam.
  • Lessons teach that terrorists must be called freedom fighters.
  • Students are required to study Arabic.
  • A teacher is forced to resign after making critical statements about Obama and Islam on a talk radio program. CAIR accuses a teacher of being a “racist” because she drew an analogy between the Taliban and Hamas during lessons on bullying. Christian teachers are harassed by Muslims in the school hierarchy.
  • Muslim students are given special privileges that students of other faiths are not afforded, including several times during the school day when they are allowed to leave the classroom to pray.
  • Muslim holidays are added to school calendars.

The list above is by no means exhaustive, but you get the idea. Needless to say, everything that is being taught is the taqiyya version. Would that it were the truth, we could take heart that our children were learning about an enemy intent on cutting their lives short. Instead, brainwashing is taking place that will help the enemy advance with even less resistance than it currently faces. (And it faces precious little.)

In many situations parents were kept in the dark about the Islamic propaganda being peddled in their children’s schools and only learned about it after seeing something on their child’s homework assignment.

In some cases, after parents found out about what was being taught, they challenged the school and/or pulled their children out of school. Some have pursued legal action and there have been some victories because parents became informed, took action, and fought back.

On the flip side, many parents appear unaware, unconcerned, or even supportive of this dangerous assault – otherwise known as “soft jihad” – against the minds of our young people. In addition, in many cases power brokers in the school system have stood behind the twisted ways Islam is impacting the education of our youth.

Moral equivalence, ignorance, and dhimmitude have taken hold.

So how are we dealing with this avalanche of jihad reigning down on our children?

Poorly.

In dribs and drabs. Here and there. With a barely perceptible, momentary flicker of light. And then it goes out. While the forces we are up against are organized and gaining ground by the day.

Here’s an example of the kind of slick organization that is operating to advance Sharia. It’s called the Islam Project. Their mission statement is filled with buzzwords so many Americans have come to embrace. It’s Exhibit A for taqiyya-in-action and is an example of the first stage of the 3 stages of jihad:

The PBS films Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet and Muslims are the keystones of the Islam Project, which also includes a national community engagement campaign to raise public awareness, build community bridges, support dialogue, offer educational resources, and explore workplace issues as they relate to Muslims.

The Islam Project is partnering with interfaith and other community-based organizations to focus attention on issues facing Muslims in America and throughout the world. The campaign includes a range of tools — both video and print — for use by community organizations, educators, civil rights leaders, policymakers, journalists, employers, and those in the general public who want to learn more about Muslims and Islam.

Communities in ten cities — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Wichita, Kansas — have launched campaigns based on the tools of the Islam Project….

The Cliff Notes for the above would be: If you believe any of what you just read, you’re an idiot. Our goal is submission and we will achieve this goal by any and all means. Useful idiots welcome. Until you’re no longer needed.

An army is on the march. Where is our army to beat back this beast?

We cannot afford to lose one more child – and certainly not another generation – to the deadly influence of Islam in our schools.

Speak out. Get involved. You don’t have to start from scratch. You can, for example, join ACT! for America, a large organization dedicated to national security and battling Islamic supremacism. ACA has 280,000 members and nearly 900 chapters across the country. Become a member and help our army swell to millions.

Additional ideas for taking action can be found here (action items at end of article).

To read more about how Islam is taking hold in our schools, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. To read about a 2008 study by the American Textbook Council called Islam in the Classroom, see here.

Hat tip: While I used multiple sources for my research, I’d like to express a special word of acknowledgement to the website Bare Naked Islam which was an extraordinary resource.