Created on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 09:44
Mocking Islam or mocking the prophet of Islam spells doom. In Egypt you will be arrested, home and property confiscated, and coerced to “force emigrate” from your town. Then count on a five-year prison term. This was exactly the penalty for four Coptic Christian school boys, ages 14 through 17, and their teacher.
Modernity grazed the 7th century when a lost cell phone turned up in the hands of a sectarian street thug ready for Sharia justice against its owner. The sim card showed a video of a 36-second
skit mocking ISIS terrorists praying to Allah. Away from home on a school trip, the boys used their teacher’s phone to record the funny scene they acted out, thinking ISIS was fair game and knowing that Islam was not. Unfortunately for them, the cell phone was lost or stolen and missing for a solid year. Found by Muslims who became offended by the “blasphemy”, the Egyptian courts overlooked the violent retaliation by the gang prompted to attack homes and businesses and instead arrested the boys and their teacher.
On the same day Muslims struck the town, the police were notified and arrested the four Coptic boys and their teacher. Before their convictions by the courts, the Christian blasphemers were forced to apologize. One month later, on May 27, 2015, the boys were released on bail, and February of this year they were sentenced to prison for five years. They were allowed to pay a two thousand pound fee per student to temporarily suspend the verdict’s start date because they were not present at the sentencing.
This last fact was a big factor in reversing their fortune. The boys were facing the devastation of their remaining adolescence. They would soon be housed behind bars in cells with jihadists, possibly members of the Muslim Brotherhood or worse. The prospect was bleak, but all is well now thanks to anonymous channels.
The hidden hand of a courageous heart behind the scenes knowing the complexity of such matters delivered the four boys from an Egyptian inferno. They were enabled to tackle security to obtain their passports and move through customs bound for Turkey (a country with bad diplomatic relations with Egypt). As tragic, glaring examples of religious tyranny and “refugee” status as defined by the U.N., the boys have now arrived in Switzerland where their request for religious asylum was granted.
Upon arrival to safety in the West, one of the boys told a news reporter, “There was no reason to be treated like that; all was a joke, but now we may have an opportunity for a better life.”
Egyptian authorities are alarmed from reactions around the world related to the story and the negative publicity. The state is now bombarded with criticisms of the regime and its court system broadcast by brave media hosts in Egypt. The conversation goes on with some saying the boys were wrong to escape their sentencing; it would have been better for them to respect the courts, honor their country, and serve their time.
Of course the goal of Sadat and Saudi Arabia is clear; as stated decades earlier, the Middle East must be cleansed of Christians. The question remains; will Islam succeed?
Created on Thursday, 12 November 2015 14:41
Beginning more or less with 9/11, the expression "radical Islam" became the accepted way for the media, politicians and public to define the religious and ideological foundations of Islam-based violence when referring to what the world calls "terror." This expression was meant to be contrasted with "moderate Islam" which presents Muslims as ordinary people who wish to live in peace with all of mankind - Christians, Jews, Buddhists, unbelievers and the rest of us. The world created the image of two Islams, one radical and impossible to live with, and one moderate and "just like us."
This differentiation between "radical" and "moderate" Islam is what gave rise to the claim that Islam had been "hijacked" by the radicals, implying that the real and original Islam is the moderate, not the false, radical one.
This is what allows today's Europe to relate positively to the wave of mostly-Muslim illegal immigrants washing up on its shores – they represent "moderate Islam" and all they want is to live in peace and harmony with their European neighbors.
Permit me to raise some doubts concerning the psychological mindset that claims the existence of two types of Islam. In order to do this, let us clarify an important point: Islam is a text-based framework of ideas and behaviors, covering religion, culture, strictures, politics, law and economics. It is an all-embracing way of life. The most basic text is the Qu'ran, followed by the Hadith (oral law) and the Sura – biography – of Muhammad. The Sharia, Muslim law, is a system of binding laws and injunctions that Muslims are obliged to obey.
There are no two Islams, no moderate one and no radical one, there is just one Qu'ran that includes everything: verses on Jihad and all out war against unbelievers along with verses that speak of recognizing the "other" and living beside him.
There are no two types of hadith, one radical and the other moderate; there is just one body of hadith that includes everything, both violent and moderate ideas.
Muhammad does not have a moderate biography and a radical one; there is only one life story of the prophet of Islam and it has stories that express a radical, violent approach and others presenting a moderate one.
There is also just one Sharia that includes everything, from the radical cutting off of a thief's hands to the unquestionably moderate admonition to care for the poor and indigent.
That being the case, there is no "moderate Islam" and no "radical Islam", just one Islam that incorporates both terms, ranging from extreme radicalism to extreme moderation. In practice, we see people with different cultures, some of them extremists and some moderates, all finding verses, ideas, precedents and laws that support their views on life and society in the same Qu'ran, Hadith, Sura and Sharia. The radical Muslim chooses to quote sources that support his extremist approach, while the moderate Muslim finds sources to buttress his moderate approach.
Those two Muslims, the most extreme and the most moderate, are "kosher", because they both rely on legitimate Islamic sources, and neither can claim that the other "hijacked" Islam. All the Muslims in the world, all one and a half billion of them, men, women and children, are to be found somewhere on the moderate-extremist continuum. They may live alone or as part of families, tribes, organizations and societies.
Islamic State is a state established and continuing its operations with the participation and cooperation of a large body of Muslims and converts to Islam who are on the extremist tip of the continuum. Al Qaeda is right there next to them, as are Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other terrorist organizations. On the other end of the continuum, the moderate one, are the members of the "Muslims for Tomorrow" organization, a totally moderate group of Muslims living in Toronto, Canada.
Along the scale connecting the endpoints of the continuum, one can find all the other Muslims in the world, each one on a point of his choosing, somewhere between radicalism and moderation. His place on the continuum is a dynamic, not a static one, and a once moderate Muslim can undergo a process of radicalization, while another, who was an extreme radical can change his views and become more moderate. Life has a way of moving people along the continuum, making it harder to predict the future of an individual or group.
Moderate Muslim migrants live in harmony with the foreign societies to which they have migrated. They blend in nicely, work for a living, are law abiding and contribute to the economy and society that absorbs them. More radical Muslims who migrate to new societies tend to live in the enclaves that preserve their culture and way of life, only partially blending into society and the work force and constantly attempting to influence and change for their own ends the society that let them in. If they are on the violent side of the continuum, that violence will be turned on the society that accepted them - a fact that is most evident in today's Europe.
Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed Editor.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.
Created on Monday, 09 March 2015 12:08
Karim al-Banna, who on Monday could hear an appeal court uphold his three-year jail term for "insulting" Islam with his atheism, wishes he could live anywhere but his native Egypt.
"All I want now is to leave Egypt. Life is not possible for atheists here," the 23-year-old engineering student told AFP from his home in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.
If he loses the appeal over his self-declared atheism on Facebook, Banna's last resort would be Egypt's cassation court.
Arrested in November, he was released on bail after having spent 55 days behind bars. "It was like living in a tomb," he said.
Banna, a former Muslim Brotherhood member, said he returned to being an avid reader of the Koran and prayed constantly to avoid being victimised by other inmates.
But he had "rejected religion" after having been disillusioned by the Brotherhood, which Egyptian authorities have worked to crush since the July 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Banna recalled how his father, to avoid a local scandal in the religiously conservative Arab country, had testified against him in court.
"He said I had opinions hostile to religion," said the young man, who was convicted along with a friend.
Banna had gone to the police after a dispute with his neighbors over his professed atheism, but was arrested instead.
Egyptian courts have jailed several people for having insulted religion, although the constitution in theory defends freedom of expression.
The same constitution, however, outlaws insults against Egypt's three recognized monotheist religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism. In practice, however, the laws are primarily used to stifle criticism of Islam.
"Atheists are one of Egypt's least-protected minorities, although the constitution ostensibly guarantees freedom of belief and expression," Human Rights Watch said in January.
"Egyptian authorities need to be guided by the constitution and stop persecuting people for atheism," the New York-based watchdog said.
Between 2011 and 2013, 42 defendants faced with the same charge have been ruled guilty, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
Created on Sunday, 08 February 2015 10:08
While the Palestinian Authority (PA) is commonly touted in international circles as a "moderate" alternative to its unity partner Hamas, a PA cleric's sermon broadcast on official PA TV last Friday put any doubts about the organization's virulent Islamic anti-Semitism to rest.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) exposed and translated the sermon made on the Muslim day of rest, in which the cleric demonized Jews as "apes and pigs" in classic Muslim anti-Semitic trope, and likewise called them the "slaves of deities."
"Many Muslims are being harmed these days by a group whose hearts were sealed by Allah. 'He made of them (Jews) apes and pigs and slaves of deities,'" the cleric can be seen saying, quoting the Koran (5:60).
He added "they are harming the livelihood of the believers (Muslims)...they withhold their (Palestinian Arabs') money and collect interest on it."
PMW points out that in no less than three places (Suras 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166) the Koran says Allah turned Jews into apes and/or pigs.
In the first instance, the text reads "and you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the Sabbath, and We said to them, 'be apes, despised.'"
The cleric also claimed that Jews' "hearts were sealed by Allah," an anti-Semitic slur likewise taken from the Koran (Surah 2:7). That verse does not specifically refer to Jews but rather to non-believers, notes PMW, and says they cannot improve because their "evil nature" has been "sealed."
"Indeed, those who disbelieve - it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them - they will not believe. Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment," reads the verse (2:6- 2:7).
In short, by applying the verse to Jews the PA cleric said Jews have a "sealed evil nature" and cannot improve, and are destined for "great punishment" as explained in the Koran.
It may come as no surprise that the PA has frequently employed similar Muslim anti-Semitic invective, with a poem read on PA TV last September calling Jews the "most evil among creations," "barbaric monkeys" and "wretched pigs."
Likewise the PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein has said Muslims are in a religious war against the Jews - calling them the "descendants of apes and pigs."
Created on Thursday, 05 February 2015 07:10
Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious center of learning, has called for the killing and crucifixion of terrorists from the Islamic State group (ISIS), expressing outrage over their murder of a Jordanian pilot.
In a statement after the burning alive of Maaz al-Kassasbeh, the Cairo-based authority called for the "killing, crucifixion and chopping of the limbs of Islamic State terrorists".
The use of crucifixion is recorded in Islamic scriptures, and has been employed by ISIS themselves to display the bodies of people executed for a variety of crimes in areas under its control.
The statement comes a month after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered a highly unusual and surprising speech
to Islamic clerics at Al-Azhar University last week, in which he called on Muslim leaders to reform Islam to rid the Muslim world of terrorism.
"It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (multinational community of Muslim believers) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world," Sisi said.
"That thinking – I am not saying ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’ – that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!"
Other Muslim countries have also responded to the pilot's murder with condemnation.
Saudi Arabia, the spiritual home of Islam and another member of the US-led coalition against ISIS, condemned the "misguided ideology" behind Kassasbeh's killing and accused groups like ISIS of seeking "to distort the values of Islam". Despite it's clear stance against ISIS, however, Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for its ties to other jihadi groups in Syria and elsewhere.
Iran also condemned the "inhuman and un-Islamic act" - a rather ironic statement considering that Tehran is a key supporter of the Assad regime, which rights groups say is in fact responsible for more atrocities than ISIS
. Iran also finances and trains a range of Shai Islamist militias, who have been accused of brutally expelling Sunni Muslims from areas captured from ISIS control.
The UAE - which a report Wednesday claimed had fearfully withdrawn
from the coalition shortly after al-Kassasbeh's capture - said the actions of IS "represent epidemics that must be eradicated by civilized societies without delay".
Created on Thursday, 29 January 2015 22:14
France's puerile educational response - and for that matter, Europe's general response - to the Charlie Hebdo and supermarket massacres, is worse than useless.
That the French ruling class had understood little or nothing of the massacres at Charlie Hebdo and at the kosher supermarket in Paris could have already been easily guessed.
The confirmation comes from the extensive program announced by the Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a French-Moroccan woman who was seen as the symbol of French integration.
"How could have we let our students become murderers?", asked the daily Le Monde borrowing the cry of four teachers of Aubervilliers, the Parisian suburb where the brothers Kouachi grew up.
But instead of promoting a Western "jihad" based on identity, France will respond to Islamic fundamentalism with an unprecedented, banal and secular offensive. A "Day of Secularism" will be celebrated every 9th of December, something akin to worshiping the Deity of Reason promoted by Robespierre. The Cardinal of Paris, Vingt-Trois, has rightly condemned the decision to celebrate the Day of Laïcité, because "secularism is not a religion that must organize religious holidays."
Belkacem, renamed "Ministre du Décervelage" - Minister of Brainwashing - by conservative associations and the press, also announced that "the paper of secularism" will be signed in schools at the beginning of each year. "Secularism must prevail everywhere," said Prime Minister Manuel Valls. The socialist government will also unleash "a thousand ambassadors of secularism" in the schools, dealing specifically with students "that show a worrying behavior in front of the symbols of French sovereignty."
An attempt to eliminate any claim of identity.
Because, as posited by one of the assistants of Mrs. Belkacem, the sociologist Christian Maurel, education means "getting out of any cultural affiliation". The sociologist Jean-Pierre Le Goff argues that Belkacem is part of "a school of thought that does not want to change society through violence and coercion, but through school and law."
But the conservative weekly Valeurs Actuelles comments on the Hollande-Belkacem project that now "secularism becomes a new religion. "
Teachers now will be judged not just on their knowledge and their teaching ability, but also "on their ability to share the values of the Republic." The plan also intends to strengthen Sartre's old "culture of commitment."
A French teacher, Isabelle Rey, just wrote that "many of our students do not share our dismay at the events. We can pretend the consensus, but it is an objective fact that a significant portion of our population believes that the journalists deserved their fate or that the brothers Kouachi died as heroes".
And when dealing with them, with the "lions of Islam", you cannot fight with this puerile kind of laicité.
You cannot convince the monsters who slaughtered Jewish children in Toulouse, who executed Western journalists in Paris, who raped Yazidi girls, who crucified Christians and threw gays from buildings.
Islam's black banner crying "No God but Allah" is marching heavily over Europe's secular ruins.
The Jewish Israel is different, and despite the leftist, gender neutral and secularized agenda of the Israeli élite, the Jewish people is above that and is winning. Only the strong State of Israel, in its whole and undivided land, with its healthy people and its shining Torah, can win over this monstrous ideology.
Only the God of Israel can resist and grow in the face of Islam's historic challenge to humanity.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
Created on Monday, 19 January 2015 23:54
Once Islam led the world in intellectual and cultural activity, as well as economic and military power. Then it closed its doors.
In an extraordinary speech (translated on Raymond Ibrahim’s blog and virtually unnoticed by the world media) delivered on New Year’s Day by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the religious imams of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, al-Sisi called for an Islamic religious Renaissance, the effect of which would be to modify the “corpus of texts and ideas that we have (made sacred) over the years” to the point that “we have antagonized the entire world.”
He exhorted the imams: “You cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective….. Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants - that is 7 billion - so that they themselves may live? Impossible! I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world ………. is waiting for your next move …. because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost - and it is being lost by our own hands.”
As he was speaking, other related events were transpiring in ISIS-controlled Syria and Iraq that dovetailed with al-Sisi’s remarks. In Raqqa (northern Syria) and Mosul (Iraq), ISIS has ordered schools closed while the curriculum is being made to conform with what the radical Islamic organization considers “sacred religious educational rules”. These “rules” effectively ban the study of philosophy, sports, physics, chemistry, fine arts, music, civics, social studies, history and psychology as ISIS maintains that these are “infidel” subjects that “do not fit in with the laws of God” (as noted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group).
At Al-Azhar, Al-Sisi spoke of the hideous violence around the world perpetrated in the name of Allah by radical Islamist organizations like ISIS, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, al-Shabab, the Taliban, and others, but he might have also directed his words to a comparison with another Islamic era a millennium ago that promoted the very same intellectual ideas that ISIS has banned – ideas and achievements that many noted scholars and historians (Muslim and otherwise) attribute to the “Golden Age of Islam.”
The Decline of the Islamic world
The religious zealotry that propels today’s radical Islamists can only be explained within the context of history. The odyssey that has carried the Arab Muslim world from the heights of its ancient glory to its modern day abyss is a story that spans fourteen hundred years and innumerable humiliations most of which can be traced to its own failings.
There was a time when Europeans, seeking enlightenment and learning, studied at the feet of Islamic scholars. It is a time long-past but not forgotten by Muslims like al-Sisi who yearn for an Islamic religious (and intellectual) renaissance.
Since its Golden Age during the Moorish Empire a millennium ago, Islamic history has been in an steady tailspin that has led to a culture of victimhood and death fueled by religious hatred, sectarian violence, centuries of isolation from Western enlightenment, and an overwhelming almost mystical desire to restore past glories.
Today, the Arab world is constituted by a series of twenty-one failed states bereft, for the most part, of progressive leaders and unable to produce one single manufactured product that can compete on world markets. Far from being an enlightened civilization, it has become a cultural backwater replete with massive poverty, repressive governments, vast illiteracy, medieval laws, rising Islamist anger and a Gross Domestic Product less than that of (coincidentally) Spain.
It has not always been that way.
The Golden Age of Islam
Islam arose in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century. Like Christianity, it officially condemned forced conversions, but unlike Christianity, Islam instructed its followers to ensure that the world was under the political control of the Faithful. Hence, Islam’s political domination could be, and was, spread by the sword. Islamic cavalries burst out of Arabia and quickly took control of the Middle East, Byzantium and Persia. The Middle Eastern armies of the Christian Byzantine Empire were defeated and annihilated in 636, and Jerusalem fell in 638.
By the early 8th century Arab Islamic forces had conquered North Africa, reached the Straits of Gibraltar and crossed into Visigothic Spain. By 712, they had reached the center of the Iberian Peninsula, and by the 730’s, they were raiding deep into the heart of France until defeated by the Frankish leader Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 732.1 Gradually retreating south over a period of centuries, they eventually consolidated their power in southern Spain.
There, over the next eight hundred years, the Arabs managed to develop a majestic civilization on the Iberian peninsula – a civilization that came to be known as Andalusia. For Muslims, Al Andalus (Andalusia) remains not only a symbol of vanished greatness, but a kind of alternative vision of Islam – a vision sought by Islamics today but unattainable in the modern era unless Islam itself is totally reformed.2
In The Age of Faith historian Will Durant wrote: “For five centuries, from 700 to 1200, Islam led the world in power, in refinement of manners, in standards of living; in humane legislation and religious tolerance; in literature, scholarship, science, medicine, and philosophy.”
The Arabs of Andalusia in southern Spain (known as “Moors” meaning “dark” – a negative term referring to the Berbers who came from Morocco) treated Christians and Jews with tolerance, enabling them to live, work and learn together in relative peace and harmony. While Europe was struggling through the throes of feudalism, the Moorish aristocracy was promoting private land ownership and encouraging banking. However, although there was little or no Muslim proselytizing, societal restrictions on infidels were imposed.3
Nevertheless, as Bernard Lewis has noted, for centuries the worldview and self-view of Arab Muslims seemed entirely justified. The Moorish Empire of Andalusia represented the greatest military and economic power in the world, trading in a wide range of commodities through a far-flung network of commerce and communications in Asia, Europe, and Africa; importing slaves, gold and other commodities from Africa, wool from Europe, and exchanging a variety of foodstuffs, materials, and manufactured goods with the civilized nations of Asia. The Moors improved trade and agriculture, patronized the arts, made valuable contributions to science, and established Cordoba as the most sophisticated city in Europe.
Inheriting and translating the scholarly works of the Greeks and Persians, they added new and important innovations from outside, such as the use and manufacture of paper from China and the decimal system imported from India.4
Within the span of two hundred years, the Moors had turned Andalusia into a bastion of culture, commerce and beauty. Irrigation systems imported from Syria and Arabia turned the dry plains of the peninsula into an agricultural cornucopia. To native olives and wheat, the Moors added fruits and herbs from throughout the known world – pomegranates, oranges, lemons, artichokes, cumin, coriander, bananas, almonds, henna, saffron, sugar-cane, cotton, rice, figs, grapes, peaches, apricots and rice as standard crops.
While Europe descended into feudalism, Andalusian homes featured marble balconies for summer and hot-air ducts under their mosaic floors for the winter. They were adorned with gardens with artificial fountains and orchards. Paper, a material still unknown to the West, was everywhere. There were bookshops throughout Andalusia and more than seventy libraries.5 The great library of Cordova held an estimated 600,000 manuscripts.
By the end of the first millennium, Cordoba had become the intellectual well from which Europeans came to drink. Students and scholars alike traveled from France and England to sit at the feet of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars to learn philosophy, science and medicine.
It was in Moorish Spain that Muslim mathematicians utilized decimals instead of fractions on a large scale, and Hindu numerals were, for the first time, incorporated in the inherited body of mathematical learning. Today, they are known as “Arabic numerals.” Even the concept of “zero” (sifr) came from the Arabic translations of Andalusia.6
To this rich inheritance, Andalusian Islamic scholars and scientists added an immensely important contribution through their own observations, experiments and ideas. In most of the arts and sciences of civilization, medieval Europe was a pupil and, in a sense, a dependent of the Islamic world, relying on Arabic translations for previously unknown Greek works. While medieval Europe floated on a sea of superstition, illiteracy and barbarism, Andalusians was busying themselves probing the limits of the arts, the cosmos and the sciences rather than dwelling on victimization (as the Arab world does today).
Islamic texts broke new ground in the fields of medicine, astrology, astronomy, pharmacology, psychology, physiology, zoology, biology, botany, mineralogy, optics, literature, architecture, sociology, philosophy, metallurgy, animal husbandry, physics, mathematics (notably algebra, geometry and trigonometry), music, meteorology, geography, mechanics, hydrostatics, navigation and history.
But what really caused the intellectual bombshell to explode were the Arabic commentaries on the Greek translations of Aristotle. These analyses and theorems shocked the West by giving religion and philosophy equal status to rational, scientific thought in explaining the nature of the universe.7 Most historians of the period agree that these debates and the use of scientific logic sparked what came to be known as the European Renaissance.
Unlike those in the Arab world today who seek to establish a global Islamic caliphate based upon a narrow regressive, radical interpretation of the Quran and the Hadith (its commentaries) like ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist organizations, the Moors of Spain encouraged free thought, experimentation, discussion and evaluation.
Islamic Spain produced scientists and scholars who enhanced the quality of the astrolabe not just to determine prayer times, but to serve as an astronomical guide to those who navigated the world’s oceans making it possible to establish both longitude and latitude.
Andalusian scientists advanced the work of the Greeks in the development of the magnetic compass and ascertained the earth’s circumference.
They produced books on astronomical tables that were used by European scientists for the next four centuries.
Andalusian Arabs coined the term “Algebra” (Kitab al-jabr wa l-muqabala – written by Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi in 825 CE) and the basic trigonometric functions of sine, cosine and tangent.
And it was from the Andalusian philosophers, Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) from whom great Christian scholars like St. Thomas Aquinas (who served as vicar provincial in Andalusia) drew the philosophies and concepts that eventually laid the foundations for the European Renaissance.
The Moors also made great advances in the field of modern surgery. They put the study of medicine on a scientific footing by eliminating superstition, introduced medical Codes of Conduct, and required the introduction of examinations and the taking of the Hippocratic Oath.
In the 9th century, an Andalusian physician was the first to diagnose smallpox and measles and relate them to the concept of “contagious” diseases (which, until that time, had been thought to originate only from within the body itself); and it was an Andalusian physician who pioneered the use of sutures made of animal gut to bind wounds.
Andalusian scientists constructed the first “globe” of the known world; broke new ground in the field of modern chemistry (or alchemy – a derivative of the Arabic word al Kimiya) – including the development of dosage standards (prescriptions) for patients and the process of chemical preparations for medicines. They developed the tables outlining the “angles of refraction” leading to an explanation of, among other things – twilight, established laboratories for long term experimentation and pioneered new methods of observation and measurement.
Andalusian Arabic scholars also left an intellectual imprint in the heavens as one can readily see when reading the names of the stars on a modern-day celestial globe. And because of this flood of knowledge flowing from Andalusian scholars, the first universities began to appear. College and university degrees were developed along with corresponding textbooks. Arabic music spread throughout Europe, giving us the keyboard, the flute and the concept of harmony.8
The translations of the works of the Moors continued even as the Moorish Empire broke apart into feuding factions. In the end, like the other Empires of history, Andalusia fell in 1492 to the Catholic princes of Castille and the counts of Barcelona in the Reconquista.
The Great Arab Decline
With the end of the Golden Age of Islam, the great Arab decline began. Rather than acknowledging the learning revolution brought forth by the European Renaissance, Islamic leaders scoffed at it in the certain belief that there was nothing to be learned from these infidel upstarts.
Over the intervening centuries, Islam became narcissistic and withdrew within itself.
In 1485, the printing press (a symbol of the Enlightenment) was banned from the Ottoman Empire by decree. Arnaud de Borchgrave has written that when Napoleon arrived in Egypt, in 1798, Cairo did not have a single printing press. By then the European intelligentsia had long since embarkedupon self-improvement through books and learning for almost two centuries while the Ottoman Empire languished.
The Muslims who were expelled from Andalusia took refuge mainly in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, but the legacy persisted. Some families, it is said, still have the keys to their no longer existent ancient houses in Cordoba and Seville. Today, in mosques from Mecca to Tehran, imams continue to invoke the memory of Andalusia in Friday prayers reminding their flocks of past glories and the humiliation Muslims have endured at the hands of the infidels.
But it is a convenient scapegoat for their own shortcomings.
Nevertheless, the end of the Andalusian Empire has never been forgotten by Arabia. For al-Qaeda and ISIS, its restoration is seen as the fulfillment of the will of Allah and as “divine retribution” to the descendants of those who conquered and destroyed Al Andalus.9
To the radical Islamists, President Obama is simply another infidel in a long line of infidels – from the Byzantine emperors of Constantinople, to the Holy Roman Emperors, to Queen Victoria, and to other European imperialists – who represent mere impediments to the divinely ordained expansion of Islam. “Interference” with the will of Allah, they believe, cannot stop the restoration of their new caliphate.
But those who support radical Islam fail to appreciate how Andalusian society achieved its greatness.
In their zeal to exact revenge and to punish infidels for past transgressions (real or imagined), these radical Islamists have placed their faith in an interpretation of Islam that renders tolerance, independent thought, debate and all creative, scientific experimentation heresy unless carried out solely for the purpose of waging jihad (holy war) against the perceived enemies of Islam.
Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus of Princeton University and the leading Western scholar on Islamic history argued with some merit that the success of Muhammad in establishing not merely the Muslim religion, but also a state dominated by that faith (Islam has yet to separate church from state) created a society that was and remains in its essence totalitarian, “bound by rules and strictures that make it too static to adapt and compete with a West (that) does not demand control over the political and economic spheres.”10
As a result, the radical Islamists of today are caught in a self-imposed religious prison to which al-Sisi referred in his speech at Al-Azhar. The kind of society that produced Andalusia – one that encouraged scholarship through the study of science, learning, independent thought, debate and discussion – represents the very antithesis of the kind of society radical Islamists seek to impose on the world by force and submission. If Taliban Afghanistan and ISIS in Iraq and Syria are the best they can do, it is a far cry from the glories of their past.
As Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared in his New Year’s Day speech to Egypt’s imam scholars - without an Islamic religious (and intellectual) reformation, restoring the dignity of the Islamic world will fail.
1. Paul Crawford, “Crusades: Political and Military Background,” ORB Online Encyclopedia, 1997.
2. Lawrence Wright, “The Terror Web – Were the Madrid bombings part of a new, far-reaching jihad being plotted on the Internet?” The New Yorker, August 2, 2004.
3. Moorish Spain practiced d’himmitude, which saw Islamic rulers require tens of millions of non-Muslim peoples treated as second-class citizens as they are required to be treated by the Quran. Jews and Christians were tolerated under Islam provided that they paid a poll or head tax (jizya) and accepted Islamic superiority. They had no right whatsoever to an independent existence and could live under Islamic rule so long as they kept to the rules that Islam had promulgated for them. Great injustices often flowed from this status. The works of Bat Ye’or, the world’s foremost authority on d’himmitude are the seminal writings on this subject.
4. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle East Response (Oxford University Press, 2002).
5. James Burke, The Day the Universe Changed, (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1985) p. 37-38; See also: Dean Derhak, Muslim Spain and European Culture.”
6. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong, op. cit.
7. James Burke, The Day the Universe Changed, op. cit. 1985 p. 42.
8. Dr. K. Ajram, “Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science,” Appendix B, 1992; Paul J. Balles, “Arabs (Muslims): Illusion and Reality;” see also: Islamic Civilization E-Book, http://cyberistan.org/ebook1.htm
9. Reuel Marc Gerecht, “Holy War in Europe,” American Enterprise Institute, April 7, 2004; Ron Fraser, “The Spanish Connection,” theTrumpet.com, May 2004; DEBKA counter-intelligence sources (from December 2002) note that three months before the US invasion of Iraq, al Qaeda began issuing a stream of fatwas designating its main operating theatres in Europe. All are designed to redress what they perceive as historical injustices including the loss of Andalusia. Turkey topped their “hit” list followed by Spain. Italy and its capital Rome were next. Muslim fundamentalists view Rome as a “world center of heresy because of the Vatican and the Pope.” Finally, there was Vienna because “the advancing Muslim armies were defeated there in 1683 before they could engulf the heart of Europe.” On November 3, 2003, Turkey saw two terrorist outbreaks in Istanbul that claimed 63 lives and injured more than 600. Islamic fundamentalists assert that these acts were committed to “recover the honor and glory of the Ottoman caliphates that were trampled by Christian forces in 1917 in the last days of World War I.” On March 11, 2004, Spain followed with over 200 dead and 1,500 injured when al Qaeda stuck at Madrid’s commuter rail system. In their mind, they are one step closer to restoring their Andalusian empire. To the world, the goal of restoring Andalusia is fantasy. To the followers of al Qaeda and ISIS, it is inevitable. Their religious edicts dictate the “liberation” (by terrorism) of all lands once under Muslim rule, and the plan of conquest spans the oceans to America as well.
10. Bernard Lewis, The Crisis in Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (NY: Random House, 2003); Dennis Mullin, “Call it by any other name, it still adds up to a crusade,” The Washington Post, January 5, 2003; Review by La Shawn Barber, Townhall.com, 2005.
The writer is a foreign policy analyst for the Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel). He is a former member of the Canadian Justice Department, a past Director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Western Office), a member of Hadassah's National Academic Advisory Board and a Contributing Editor for Family Security Matters and Intellectual Conservative. He served as a Consultant to the Secretary General of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem during the first Palestinian intifada. His book "The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad" and articles are archived at www.acpr.org.il andwww.marksilverbeg.com.
Created on Sunday, 18 January 2015 20:35
British politicians on Thursday criticized publisher Oxford University Press over its advice to omit pigs and sausages from books for children sold abroad, in a politically correct attempt not to "offend" the Muslim or Jewish communities.
The existence of the recommendations was revealed during a debate on BBC Radio 4 on freedom of expression in the wake of the attack against magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week, in which Islamist terrorists murdered 12 for "vengeance" after the paper published a cartoon of Mohammed.
Presenter Jim Naughtie read out a letter sent from Oxford University Press (OUP) to an author warning not to include "pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork" in their book.
The move meant not to "offend" Muslims comes after British Sky News refused to show Charlie Hebdo's
latest cover that features Mohammed, in a surprising act of censorship that comes as world media has in general rallied to support freedom of speech after the attack.
When contacted by AFP, an OUP spokesman stressed the publisher did not have "a blanket ban on pigs or pork products" in its titles.
But he added: "We provide guidance to authors on a range of areas that might cause offense in specific markets. This does, amongst other things, include advice around the use of images of pigs."
The initiative sparked angry reactions in Britain, whose children are brought up watching animated television series "Peppa Pig."
Conservative MP Philip Davies asked: "How on earth can anyone find the word 'pig' or 'pork' offensive? We have got to get a grip on this nonsensical political correctness."
The criticism bridged political and religious gaps, as Muslim Labor MP Khalid Mahmood also called the guidelines "absolute utter nonsense."
A spokesman for the Jewish Leadership Council explained that Jewish law only prohibited eating pork, "not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives."
Created on Friday, 09 January 2015 15:56
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered a highly unusual and surprising speech to Islamic clerics at Cairo's Al-Azhar University last week, and a translated version has been uploaded to the internet.
“It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (multinational community of Muslim believers) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world,” Sisi declaimed. “Impossible!”
“That thinking – I am not saying ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’ – that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!
“Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!…
“I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands," said Sisi.
Created on Sunday, 30 November 2014 11:53
Somali terrorists of the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab
organization murdered 28 people in an attack on a bus in Kenya's northeastern Mandera county on Saturday - before shooting their victims in the head they separated out the Muslims.
Around ten heavily-armed terrorists stopped the bus bound for Nairobi not far from the Somali border, forced passengers off, and then had them read from the Koran to pick out the non-Muslims and brutally shoot them, witnesses told BBC.
Ahmed Mahat, a passenger on the ill-fated bus, told the British news source there were over 60 passengers on board, and the driver tried to outpace the terrorists before getting stuck in mud.
"When we got down, passengers were separated according to Somali and non-Somalis," Mahat said. "The non-Somalis were ordered to read some verses of the holy Koran, and those who failed to read were ordered to lie down. One by one they were shot in the head at point blank range."
Mahat, a teacher from Mandera, said some Somalis who asked the terrorists not to shoot the non-Somali passengers were themselves shot.
Al-Shabaab released a statement saying the attack was "retaliation" for police raids on mosques in Mombasa earlier this week, in which security forces tried to crack down on weapons caches.
Mandera county where the attack occurred has a long border with Somalia, with guns passing freely over the border, and from southern Ethiopia where the Oromo Liberation Front operates.
Just over the border in Somalia, Al-Shabaab has a base called Gadondhawe which has been targeted by Kenyan airstrikes.
Created on Sunday, 30 November 2014 06:23
Cuba has reportedly rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's offer to build the country's first mosque.
Erdogan's offer came during a speech in Istanbul to Muslim leaders from Latin America, in which he made the bizarre claim that Muslims discovered America
nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus.
"Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178," Erdogan said at the televised address.
"Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast," he added, and said that Ankara was even prepared to build a mosque at the site mentioned by the Genoese explorer.
"I would like to talk about it to my Cuban brothers. A mosque would go perfectly on the hill today."
But according to the Turkish World Bulletin website, the head of Havana's tiny Muslim community, Pedro Lazo Torres, said that his joint efforts with Turkey's Religious Affairs Foundation (TDV) to open a mosque in the Cuban capital was rejected by the country's communist government.
He expressed his disappointment at the decision, contrasting it to the decision to allow Russia to build at Russian Orthodox church in the country. Cuba's 4,000 Muslims are currently restricted to praying in private homes.
The TDV's initiative is reportedly part of a wider drive to build mosques throughout the Caribbean.
Erdogan's claim of an ancient mosque in Cuba is likely a reference to an article published in 1996, in which historian Youssef Mroueh cites a diary entry from Columbus that mentions a "mosque" "on top of a beautiful mountain" in Cuba. But the diary entry is widely understood as a metaphoric reference to a protuberance on the summit of a mountain that resembles a mosque's dome or minaret.
A tiny minority of Muslim scholars have recently suggested a Muslim presence in the Americas before Columbus, but no remains of an Islamic structure antedating the discoverer has ever been found.
Created on Saturday, 08 November 2014 10:30
"The number of persecuted Christians in the world is 150 million." There are many other figures, terrifying and dramatic, in the pages of the "Black book of the plight of Christians in the world", a unique initiative of French scholars and coordinated by journalist Samuel Lieven. Snapshots of a global and amorphous war.
In particular, there is a disconcerting statistic: "80 percent of the acts of religious persecution in the world are directed against Christians." How many victims? The Center for the Study of Global Christianity brings the average of one hundred thousand Christians killed each year for their faith throughout the last decade. An average of five Christians every minute.
Yesterday, in Pakistan, two Christians, including a pregnant woman, were burnt alive in the brick kiln where they worked. It was a pogrom with the participation of four hundred Muslims.
Haim Korsia, Chief Rabbi of France, cries out his reaction in the face of the spread of hatred against Christians, and establishes a comparison with the destruction of Eastern Sephardic Jewry:
"Where are the Jewish communities once so rich of Aleppo, Beirut, Alexandria, Cairo or Tripoli? Where are the schools of Nehardea and Pumbedita in Iraq? And where is the flourishing of Judaism in Esfahan and Tehran? In our memory. Driven out, killed, decimated, persecuted and exiled, the Christians of the East are personally experiencing the same plight as the Jews with whom they have lived for so long and have seen leaving those places".
The NGO Open Doors declared that the persecution in Iraq has reached "biblical proportions". Tuesday, in Rome, the annual report of Aid to the Church in Need was also presented. It told that of the 20 countries in the world where religious freedom is virtually absent, 14 are Muslim, and the others military or communist dictatorships, such as North Korea.
We are facing what Habib Malik of Stanford University calls "the final phase of the regional decline of Christians."
Today Mosul appears to have been swallowed up, like Jonah in the belly of the whale.
"Between 2003 and 2009, nearly 800 Christians were executed [there] in cold blood, not counting the fifty martyrs of the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, including two priests, killed on October 31, 2010. To date, we have exceeded one thousand Christians killed, including a bishop and five priests. More than sixty churches were destroyed. "
In the book, a jihadist from the Islamic State speaks on the phone with his terrorist leader: "I've got a family of Christians who do not want to convert, what do we do?". A phrase that reminded me of the Seventh Day Adventist Tutsi pastors who, during the genocide in Rwanda, appealed to their pastor with a letter: "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families."
There are the Christians of Ma'aloula in Syria, such as Taalab Antoun and his two cousins, who received the ''aman", the Islamic guarantee to be spared. Unarmed and trusting the word of the rebels, they were killed and then beheaded.
Five hundred thousand Christians have already left Syria.
And before them, there was the story of Jean-Pierre Schumacher, the last monk of Tibhirine, Algeria, where Islamists slaughtered the wonderful Trappist monks who shared meals with Muslims. He was saved because the jihadists counted wrong. Later, at the funeral of the monks, Brother Jean-Pierre asked to open the coffin to pay his last respects to his companions. He found that the crates contained no bodies, but only seven heads.
That massacre was the green light for future massacres.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
Created on Sunday, 28 September 2014 20:55
On September 21, 2014, Muslims Facing Tomorrow held a public rally in Queen’s Park, Toronto, on the steps of the Legislature, “in Support for minority Christians and other religious communities in the Middle East and the Muslim World.”
Approximately 125 people turned out for this Muslim-initiated rally against “ISIS…and for the minority communities of Christians and non-Christians who have been brutally attacked, killed, or forcefully converted into Islam under pain of death.”
Speakers included Raheel Raza
, President of the Council, Vice-President of Muslims Facing Tomorrow author Salim Mansur
, the Honorable Federal Minister of State for Multi-Culturalism, and former Member of Parliament (MP), Tim Uppal
. In addition, four other MPs spoke: MPs John Carmichael, Devinder Shory, Brad Butt, and Bernard Trottier. Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent a strong message of support.
In addition, Rev. Majed el Shafie, President and founder of One Free World International; Avi Benlolo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Arshad Mahmood, Director, Progressive Muslims Institute, Canada, Peter Bhatti,
Chairman, International Christian Voice, Christopher Khokhar
, son of the late Shuja Khokhar and Chairman of International Christian Awaaz, and Tahir Aslam Gora
, TV producer, editor, and founder of the Muslim Committee Against Anti-Semitism—all spoke as well.
In other words: Religious and non-religious Muslims, ex-Muslims, Muslim converts to Christianity, Christians--including Pakistani Christians, Sikhs, Jews, and secularists-- immigrants originally from Egypt, Pakistan, and India, to name only a few countries of origin, took a stand at this rally. This is a symbolically important turning point because Canada has, for so long, been a leader in terms of multi-cultural “sensitivity.” This has allowed countless immigrant communities to bring their tribal and religious customs with them—even if those customs are breaking Canadian law. Over time, the Canadian government has begun to understand and address the dangers of Sharia, honor-based violence including honor killings, forced marriage and forced veiling.
Ex-Muslim author Ibn Warraq has often said that while there may be “moderate Muslims, Islam itself is not moderate.” I will go further and note that while the Muslim world as a whole is certainly not rising up against Islamic fundamentalism, there are still a number of heroic Muslims and ex-Muslims who are strongly and openly anti-Islamist. They genuinely share Western concepts of human rights, democracy, the separation of religion and state, the right to choose one’s religion and not to be coerced into it, etc. Some who live in Muslim lands are frequently executed for expressing such beliefs.
For example, on September 18, 2014, a Pakistani scholar accused of blasphemy for a speech he made in the United States two years ago was shot dead in Karachi. The scholar, Muhammed Shakil Auj
, was the author of fifteen books and was considered a “progressive liberal.” His exact crime is unclear but he was known for issuing “fatwas pronouncing, for example, that a Muslim woman could marry a non-Muslim man, and that women need not remove lipstick or nail polish before saying their prayers.”
On September 17, 2014, in Afghanistan, the seventh journalist this year, this time a woman, Palwasha Tokhi
(or Palwasha Tokhi Miranzai), was repeatedly stabbed to death by a group of unknown men in Mazar-i-Sharif. Her crime? She was a woman—she had an M.A. degree, she dared to work outside the home and for Bayan –Shamal, a new network as a media analyst
Even in Canada, there are risks to Muslims and Pakistanis who speak out. One may be ex-communicated by one’s family
and one’s community; one may also be punished for choosing one’s own spouse
, forcibly married, forcibly veiled
, death-threatened, beaten, and honor-killed
in Canada for refusing to accept these tribal and religious customs and for saying, out loud, what was said at this rally in Toronto. There are risks to non-Muslims, including Christians, Jews, and atheists, for saying what is considered “politically incorrect” by the multi-cultural relativist government and intelligentsia.
At the Toronto rally, Raheel Raza said:
While my co-religionists are murdering innocent people, setting homes and lives ablaze and carrying out heinous crimes in many Muslim lands, I come here in solidarity for the victims and to categorically denounce these barbaric acts. I stand here today as a Christian, a Yazidi, a Jew, a Sikh, an Ahmadi, a Shia—any minority who has faced persecution. ISIS is a satanic cult which has no place in the civilized world and must be condemned. As my hero, Martin Luther King Jr. said so eloquently: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Sharia laws, especially those that dehumanize women are man-made laws which are obsolete….In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. I already have two fatwas on my head—I invite a third.
Speaking to Breitbart News, Salim Mansur said he was both cheered at this beginning but also disappointed because, despite “immense effort in getting the word out, there were scarcely any so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims there. [This phrase is a] fairy tale term crafted by the media apologists of CAIR, ISNA, and other Islamist organizations. They are apologists whose silence is, in effect, providing oxygen to the killers among us.”
Dr. Mansur also spoke at the rally. He said:
Muslims have been the first victims of these terrorists…but it is long over-due for us Muslims to denounce and oppose these terrorists, these monsters in human shape and form, and to say openly and without any doubt that these Muslim terrorists, these monsters of ISIS and all the other jihadi movements are truly the Gog and Magog of our time, the enemies of people, the enemies of God and all that God has deemed sacred for all of His creation.
These are the Muslims and ex-Muslims with whom I stand. I suggest that such an interfaith alliance of real dissidents, heroic dissidents, may, eventually, have the power to become a resistance movement worthy of that name. Nothing else will.
This article also appeared on Breitbart.com
Prof. Phyllis Chesler
The writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is at work on a fourth. Her latest book is An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan). Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com
Created on Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:16
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday denounced a European court ruling against Turkey's compulsory religion courses, calling them a necessary tool to fight Islamic radicalization.
The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday that compulsory religion courses in Turkish public schools violated educational freedoms, and called on Turkey to reform its school curriculum.
"If proper religion is not taught, it produces unhealthy and incorrect religious information that leads to the radicalization seen in our
neighboring countries," Davutoglu said during a joint conference with the education minister in Ankara.
Davutoglu was apparently referring to the extremist Islamic State group that has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria and is holding 49 Turks abducted from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in Iraq in June.
He rejected claims that his Islamic-rooted government was using religion courses as a tool of coercion on children whose parents do not practice Turkey's dominant Sunni Islam.
"In some countries students are even taken to church as part of religion and morality classes. It's impossible for us to ignore this," he said. "Just like I should know about Marxism despite the fact that I am not a Marxist, it is necessary for an atheist to have knowledge of religious culture."
He said, however, that Ankara would review the European court ruling.
The case reviewed at the Strasbourg involved a complaint from members of Turkey's Alevi minority, an offshoot of Shia Islam.
The Alevi parents of a student argued that the compulsory religious courses promoted a Sunni understanding of Islam.
"The Turkish education system was still inadequately equipped to ensure respect for parents' convictions," the court said, ordering that Ankara "remedy the situation without delay".
The ECHR told Turkey to allow students to "be exempted from religion and ethics classes without their parents having to disclose their own religious or philosophical conviction."
Alevis, who follow a moderate form of Islam and make up around a quarter of Turkey's 76 million citizens, have been strong supporters of Turkey's secular system, even though they frequently complain of official discrimination.
In Turkey, only Christian and Jewish students can be exempted from religion and morality classes.
Created on Saturday, 23 August 2014 05:25
A Yazidi leader and activist, Haider Elias, spoke at our rally in solidarity with the victims of the worldwide jihad. Mr. Elias was a member of the Yazidi delegation during the Sinjar crisis and a former U.S. army translator. During this Yazidi crisis, along with a delegation, Haider Elias has been working closely with the State Department to manage the crisis.
The Muslim army forced tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee their homes or face certain death. Last weekend the Islamic State killed at least 500 killed prior to Friday’s news, according to Iraq’s human rights minister. They kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi girls, savagely raped them (many of them killed themselves after the gang rape). They buried Yazidi men alive, killed children and kidnapped women to be slaves.
The Yazidis, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists — minority populations oppressed, persecuted and slaughtered by Islamic jihad.
Created on Sunday, 29 June 2014 20:12
An Egyptian court has sentenced a Coptic Christian man to six years in jail for "insulting Islam" and stirring up sectarian strife in his village, his lawyer told AFP on Wednesday.
Egypt's constitution outlaws insults against the three monotheist religions recognized by the state - Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Kirollos Shawki, 29, was convicted Tuesday by a court in the southern province of Luxor, Mohamed Ahmed Abdelaal told AFP.
He handed himself in to police at the end of May after tension flared between Christians and Muslims in his village in Luxor, because he posted a picture of Muslim prophet Mohammed with an insulting comment on his Facebook page, Abdelaal said.
But a police official said the man was arrested along with six others who had hurled stones at his house after he posted the picture, and that the six were later released.
Islam forbids the depiction of God or Mohammed.
The court sentenced him to three years for "contempt of religion" and another three years for "stirring up sectarian strife," Abdelaal added.
The man has appealed the verdict and should be freed on bail until an appeals court rules, his lawyer said.
Copts, who comprise some 10 percent of the country's 86-million population, are the Middle East's largest religious minority. They have long suffered sectarian violence at the hands of Muslim extremists, including attacks on churches.
Parents had filed a complaint alleging that she had told her students that late Coptic pope, Shenouda III, was better than the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
Created on Sunday, 16 March 2014 10:06
The My Yesha Shabbat pamphlet, sponsored by the Yesha Council, features an article this week calling Israel "the Land of the Jews" - by none other than a Muslim Sheikh.
Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, a Muslim scholar living in Jordan, has published articles in the past dispelling the myth that the Koran designates the Land of Israel as a Muslim holy site.
"There are classes in Islam which claim that the Koran seeks to abolish the Torah and Bible," the Sheikh wrote this week. "There is no truth to that. The direction of prayer of the Muslim people is to Mecca, and the direction of Jewish prayer is to Jerusalem - and this is meaningful, because this is expressly stated in the Koran."
"Allah chose to call this land 'Israel' and not 'Palestine.' The term 'Palestine' does not appear in the Koran either," he continued. "According to our faith, Allah promised Israel to the Jewish people, and they are the sole official inheritors of that land. Therefore, the war of Muslims and Arabs against the Jews must stop, and they must let the Jews live in peace on their land."
Adwan has maintained on numerous occasions that the Muslim world "distorts the Koran" and that the Jews are a peaceful people who have the right to defend themselves.
He has also slammed the Palestinian Arab community before, calling them "the killers of children, the elderly and women" in using them as human shields in order to falsely accuse the Jews of targeting them.
"This is their habit and custom, their viciousness, their having hearts of stones towards their children, and their lying to public opinion, in order to get its support," he added.
Adwan is not the first authority on Muslim scriptures to note that the Koran has no reference to Israel as a homeland for Muslims. Middle Eastern affairs professor Nissim Dana
recently told Arutz Sheva that Muslim scholars have maintained the Jews' right to the Jewish homeland before, using the Koran and other Muslim holy texts as proof.
Created on Friday, 07 February 2014 12:46
Allah has promised Israel to the Jews -- so says Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, a Muslim scholar living in Jordan, who declared on his Facebook page recently that "Palestine" doesn't exist.
Blogger Elder of Ziyon translated Arab news sources that this Saturday reported on Adwan's statements, in which he quotes the Koran saying Allah assigned Israel to the Jews until the Day of Judgement (Sura 5 Verse 21), and that Jews are the inheritors of Israel (Sura 26 Verse 59).
"I say to those who distort...the Koran: from where did you bring the name Palestine, you liars, you accursed, when Allah has already named it 'The Holy Land' and bequeathed it to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment," argued Adwan. "There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in the Koran."
"Your demand for the Land of Israel is a falsehood and it constitutes an attack on the Koran, on the Jews and their land. Therefore you won’t succeed, and Allah will fail you and humiliate you, because Allah is the one who will protect them (i.e. the Jews)," warns Adwan.
The sheikh had more harsh words for the "Palestinians," calling them "the killers of children, the elderly and women" in using them as human shields in order to falsely accuse the Jews of targeting them. He reports having seen the same tactic used by "Palestinians" against the Jordanian army in the 1970s.
"This is their habit and custom, their viciousness, their having hearts of stones towards their children, and their lying to public opinion, in order to get its support," declared Adwan.
Adwan has previously said his support for the Jewish people "comes from my acknowledgment of their sovereignty on their land and my belief in the Koran, which told us and emphasized this in many places, like His (Allah’s) saying ”Oh People (i.e the Children of Israel), enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned unto you'" (Sura 5, Verse 21).
The Jews are a peaceful people according to Adwan, who says "if they are attacked, they defend themselves while causing as little damage to the attackers as possible. It is an honor for them that Allah has chosen them over the worlds – meaning over the people and the Jinns (spiritual creatures) until the Day of Judgment. ...When Allah chose them, He didn’t do so out of politeness, and He wasn’t unjust other peoples, it is just that they (the Jews) deserved this.”
Video (mostly in Hebrew) from Orot TV shows Adwan's 2012 visit to Tzfat, where he met with the city's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
and expressed his support for Israel:
Created on Friday, 07 February 2014 12:10
Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shalah is currently in Iran to meet senior officials of the Islamic regime. On Wednesday, the terror group leader met Ali Larijiani
, chairman of the Iranian parliament.
Larijani praised the "victories" of the Arabs in Gaza during the two most recent clashes with the IDF, Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Defense. According to the Iranian, the two operations "marked a new chapter in the history of the struggle of Palestine."
The Iranian official stressed that armed warfare against the "Zionist regime" is the only way to "free Palestine," and that Iran's policy has always been the "defense of the Muslim peoples, and particularly the rights of the Palestinian people under occupation." He did not note that Iran has also been sending soldiers
to take part in the Syrian bloodbath that has Muslims killing Muslims.
Larijani further claimed that the "occupation" is trying to weaken the Islamic opposition and make it forget the reasons to "free Palestine," and called for unity and solidarity against the "pompous forces" of the West and Israel who are trying to capitalize on "differences of opinion" in the Muslim world.
Also speaking of unity, Hossein Salami, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said this Saturday that "if the Islamic nation would unite, it could minimize the breathing room of the US and the West until the Zionist regime would no longer have room to breathe
Abdullah Shalah responded to Larijani by expressing his appreciation for Iran's support of the terror groups combating Israel, calling Iran the "largest supporter of the Palestinian people." Recent reports have indicated Turkey surpassed Iran as the leading sponsor
of the terror organization Hamas.
Abdullah Shalah visited Iran similarly in 2012 to meet with then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
, who told him what an "inspiring role that the Palestinian people's resistance has played in driving Muslim nations to stand against their tyrannical rulers."
Created on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 12:00
How Copts in Egypt take the brunt of rampant violence: Everything changed; all remains the same
Egyptian Copts have been paying a high price for survival in the land of their ancestry. In the seventh century, Arab-Muslim conquerors of the Roman occupiers of Egypt demanded that Copts (Egyptians) convert to Islam or die. Fortunately, there was a third choice that kept the native Copts alive – as a denigrated class of citizens they were mandated to pay exorbitant taxes called Jizya on wages. This lasted through the mid-19th century. Faith in Christ, belief in miracles, reliance on the church body and clergy made and make it possible for Copts to co-exist with Islamic supremacy. Oppression and discrimination against Copts has been normalized over many centuries.
In October of 2010, a few months before the outbreak of the freedom movement in the Egyptian streets made headlines across the world as a part of the “Arab Spring,” a quiet revolution began to stir among Christ worshippers deciding for the first time to defend their churches and neighborhoods against the barrage of unprovoked attacks by Muslim gangs and their police accomplices suffered for so long. The Mespero freedom fighters, a group originating with this revolt, soon joined with liberal, secularist, pro-democracy freedom fighters in January of 2011 to form a genuine Egyptian freedom coalition.
When the Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the protest coalition in early 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square revolts solidified against the Mubarak regime. Ousting the president-dictator was optimal, but, as a result of this, today’s conflict between Egyptians arose. At first, the secular, liberal Egyptians lost out to the Muslim Brotherhood terror organization and the religiously conservative Morsi presidency. Copts bore the brunt of Morsi’s Islamist power surge and received worse after his removal. In fact, the entire three-year span of Egypt’s revolution brought a flood of deadly aggression against Copts. Even now, as the tide is reversing to subdue Islamists and oust terrorist groups, nothing has altered the Copts’ tragic situation as targets of violence.
A review of recent history where Copts have been under attack, suffer great losses and remain under threat
The Upper Egypt province of Alminya (150 miles south of Cairo) was the first area to receive acts of revenge after the January 2011 uprising. These included episodes of deadly assaults and kidnappings of children. Stores and homes were looted, and the towns of Samalut, Abu kurkas and Magagha saw Christian medical doctors kidnapped and held for ransom. Of course trials were never held for those arrested for the crimes because Copts were intimidated into “peace” agreements with the perpetrators, agreeing not to press charges and to pay extortion money to the attackers. Copts were forced to participate in the Arab-Muslim arbitration sessions to bring such “justice” about.
In Delga, after Morsi was arrested, Copts were forced to walk away from their land or sell property for minor compensation, yielding to the thug power of Islamist forces. The ancient seventh century Church of the Virgin Mary was burned and destroyed and now remains among the world’s prominent historic losses due to Islamic hatred of non-Muslims and their religious beliefs.
In Assiut, the capitol of Upper Egypt, a child Copt is worth a ransom of one million Egyptian pounds. Mubarak’s installation in the early 1980’s marked the beginning of violence against Copts in Assiut’s highly-concentrated Christian population. After Morsi’s removal, Assiut suffered an Islamist wave of atonement called “takfier” with a Muslim Brotherhood campaign to systematically target churches there. Takfier is the Islamists’ justification for last October’s killing spree of Copts leaving a wedding at Saint Mary Church in Al Waraq in the province of Giza where a speeding motorcycle sprayed gunfire into the exiting crowd killing an eight year-old girl and four others.
The Coptic churches in Cairo often are targeted after Islamic Friday prayers. This proves to Christians that mosque preaching and prayers stimulates hatred toward them. Muslims responsible for graffiti cursing the Coptic Pope soiled the wall of the historic Church of Saint Mary in Zyton, the section of Cairo where Copts have claimed a sighting of the Virgin Mary.
In Dahshor, Muslim mobs firebombed homes and businesses in this predominantly Coptic town taking revenge on an entire population for the accidental damage done to a shirt of a Muslim client by a Coptic-owned laundry. Copts (130 families) fled their homes to save their lives. Only 30 families braved a return to their neighborhood where Muslim raiders now occupy their Christian neighbors’ homes.
Created on Friday, 03 January 2014 12:13
Human rights groups report that thousands of women have been raped by Syrian army soldiers in the ongoing war, which is now in its third year and has left 130,000 dead. That trend appears likely to only increase, as a deputy to the Chief Mufti (Islamic scholar) of Syria has given religious permission to rape.
On Thursday, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman Ali al-Dala, aid to the chief mufti of Syria, who is loyal to President Bashar Assad, gave an interview to Sham FM, a radio station that supports Assad.
In the interview, Al-Dala said Syrian army soldiers have permission to "marry" unmarried and married women, sisters and mothers of the rebel fighters, without any official marriage agreement. He clarified that the rape is intended as a punishment for not reporting the rebels to the goverment forces.
In making his statement, the Sheikh placed his religious authority behind the rape of women and girls by soldiers, as part of their fight against the rebels.
According to testimony taken from captured soldiers and captains before they were put to death by rebels, rape has been employed as a common practice by the army, well before Al-Dala's official religious support was stated.
While particularly attractive women are reportedly brought to senior commanders, rape victims include religious muslim women dressed in face veils and full-body cloaks (niqab).
It must be noted that for their part, the rebels have publicized religious permission for their fighters to do as they please with women who fall into their hands. Rebels from Al Qaeda have also apparently have been forcing Syrian Druze communities to convert to Islam.
A study in November found that Syria was the fourth worst country in the Arab world in terms of women's rights. Egypt was found to be the worst.
On December 31, Syria missed the deadline to transfer its most lethal chemical weapons out of the country for destruction.
Created on Thursday, 02 January 2014 07:47
Jabhat Al Nusra, an Islamist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, maintains an infrastructure of governance as one of the central opposition forces. Aside from managing religious courts based on Islamic sharia law, the group has opened new schooling programs emphasizing Islam and jihad.
In the southern Syrian town of Daraa, a school established by the organization teaches roughly 30 students ranging in age from 10 to 15 to believe in Allah, follow Islam, and aspire to jihad holy war.
Video footage from the school shows students learning by rote passages from the Koran, reading "our path is the path of jihad."
The use of child soldiers
by rebel forces, including the more "moderate" Free Syrian Army (FSA), has been documented, and shows how the lessons learned in the school may quickly be turned into action.
On the walls of the classroom hang posters featuring verses from the Koran, including one praising jihadist "martyrs," explaining that they aren't "dead" but rather "living" with Allah.
One of the teachers explains that the students learn how to use weapons and are prepared to become jihadists. Video can be seen here:
The Islamist nature of the Syrian opposition forces has been a point of contention, with Russia recently claiming the West understands Syrian President Bashar Assad is "better
" than the rebels.
The Russian comment came after Islamic Front
battalions, which call for an Islamic state, took over warehouses held by the more secular FSA in early December, leading the US and Britain to suspend military funding
to rebel factions.
Geneva II peace talks
, aiming to end the 3 year conflict that has claimed over 100,000 lives and created over 2 million refugees, are set for January 22.
Created on Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:14
One Jewish woman converted to Islam after immigrating from the Caucasus; the other, from Croatia. Al-Jazeera reports that an organization in the Arab Israeli village of Kafr Qara has been, systematically and slowly, spreading Islam to Jewish women.
The group is called Dar Al-Islam (lit. "house of Islam"), and is located in the village of Kafr Qara, in north-central Israel.
One of the converts has renamed herself Aisha - after the wife of the Muslim prophet Mohammed who married him at age 9. When Aisha was visiting Israel from her native Caucasus, an Arab handed her a pamphlet entitled "The Way to Happiness." Back home, when afflicted with a serious illness, Aisha thumbed through the pamphlet.
The pamphlet gave her comfort - and roped her in to the world of Islam. After she contacted the Dar Al-Islam organization, who had distributed the pamphlet, she studied Islam rigorously for 6 months before going to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem to convert.
According to the report, she kept Islam in secret for months, only revealing her decision to her father; she describes her mother as a religious Jew and an "extremist." Eventually, she ran to the Dar Al-Islam center, where she lived there with 5 other Jewish girls who had chosen to convert to Islam.
Aisha's friend, a woman in her mid-twenties from Croatia, chose the name Hanin when she converted. She claims what drew her to the faith is "the way Islam treats women and family life" as well as seeing positive conversion experiences from her friends.
The center's director, Sheikh Rassan Athamneh, is also Imam of the Nida Al-Haq Mosque. The center publishes books on Islam in several languages - including Hebrew - and sends out missionaries of sorts of both genders to spread Islam in Israel.
From the report, it is evident that women are the primary target of the organization - especially unhappy Jewish women with little to no background. The organization appears to lure them into the fantasy of a traditional family life, while leaving out the systemic discrimination Islam often employs against women.
According to Islamic law, women must ask permission to leave the house at any time. After marriage, a woman is instructed that she must be available at all times to satisfy her husband's whims - with or without her explicit consent. The Quran allows husbands to hit their wives if they disobey them, and it is common for Muslim men to take multiple wives.
The tactic of luring women away from modern Western views of women's roles is not new among Islamists. In December, the pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir held an event in Jerusalem, featuring a 13-year-old girl preaching against women's rights.
Created on Saturday, 21 December 2013 14:37
Barack Obama is a creature of relativism, even though, without logical consistency, this “post-American” president exalts Islam.
The longest chapter in Machiavelli's "Prince" is devoted to conspiracy. No conspiracy—if it may be called that—is more significant than the one enfolding in the United States under its “post-American” president, Barack Hussein Obama.
Let us try to place Obama in historical context.
The context is one of contradiction. Obama is the creature of rootless modernity and a ruthless Islam. The two have a single enemy, Judaism, the religion of reason. The primary target of modernity, beginning with Machiavelli, was the Bible of Israel. None of Machiavelli’s followers is more insidious than Thomas Hobbes, a closet atheist who, to be “politically correct,” punctuated his seminal work, the Leviathan, with the word “G-d.” What is paradoxical about Hobbes is that he is linked to the Age of Reason, even though he is the most obvious and toxic critic of reason.
According to Hobbes, the primary motive of man is the desire for riches, safety, and glory—or as Harold Lasswell, once president of the American Political Science Association put it, the desire for "income, safety, and deference." This is one way of saying that all politicians are egoists. Lasswell put Lenin and Lincoln on the same level.
This leveling “reductionism” is rooted in Hobbes’ contention that reason is merely an instrument of the passions. Freud followed suit: man as simply an ensemble of desires—the Id—and reason is only an instrument for determining how to obtain the object of one’s desires. As Hobbes says, “The thoughts are to the desires, as scouts and spies, to range abroad, and find the way to the things desired.” Freud will call this instrumental reason the Ego. And since man regards the objects of his desires “good,” Freud will call this translation the Super-ego. Freud therefore explained the "higher"—say moral values—in terms of the "lower": what is noble is henceforth explained in terms of what is commonplace. Enter the era of Democratic Man.
This debased or democratic conception of human nature has dominated the social sciences for more than a century. It is rooted in subjectivism—meaning, there are no objective standards of right and wrong, the position of moral relativism. European philosophy via relativism has undermined the cherished beliefs and values of America.
For example, relativism rejects the semi-classical and semi-Jewish concept of the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" affirmed in the American Declaration of Independence. Therein is the source from which was derived our rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
The protection of these rights necessitates limitations on the powers of the State. Ignore those limitations and you get “Statism." Statism can take the form of fascism, socialism. or the "Nanny" State of “entitlements.” Health care, social security, etc., has been evolving in American society in tandem with the university-bred doctrine of moral relativism.
Barack Obama is a creature of this relativism, even though, without a stitch of logical consistency, this “post-American” president exalts Islam. His mentality may be traced to Herbert Marcuse, who was driven not by logic but by resentment against Tradition. Marcuse deified Change, the mantra of Obama’s first presidential campaign.
Known as the "philosopher of the Left," Marcuse was an eclectic who combined the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, the psychology of Freud, and the communism of Marx—all moral relativists. These thinkers produced the mentality of Barack Obama, the first full-blown relativist to become President of the United States.
Obama’s teleprompter has virtually nothing to say that is clearly and logically related to the political heritage of “G-d damn America”—the malediction of his mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama attracts alienated youth, knee-jerk liberals, and people who see only the self-aggrandizing side of Capitalism, but who therefore disregard its creativity and contribution to America wealth. This wealth liberated countess men and women from toil and tribulation.
But the wealth produced by Capitalism has made America the home of countless immigrants—a land of opportunity for the talents of oppressed mankind. America is the universalistic nation par excellence.
Obama calls himself a “cosmopolitan.” Devoid of the learning required to be a genuine cosmopolitan, Obama is really a man without a country. He is ignorant of the blessings of individualism for which America stands; he is ignorant of America’s unequalled contribution to human freedom as well as to Nobel Prizes.
Like his pastor Jeremiah Wright, Obama harbors a deep racial hatred of America. Steeped in racial resentment, and influenced by half-educated left-wing intellectuals, Obama wants to unravel America, which is rooted in the Bible of Israel. Enough to recall Edward Alexander’s article "Obama Demotes the Jews," which appeared in the April 10, 2009 edition of Commentary Magazine. Alexander writes:
"In his inaugural address President Obama jettisoned the long-established locution that embodies the generally-accepted notion of 'the Judeo-Christian tradition.' That tradition, in America, mandates the phrase 'Christians and Jews' … Obama, however, said on January 20, 2009, that 'We are a nation of Christians and Muslims,' and then, after a slight pause, 'Jews and Hindus,' another slight pause, 'and unbelievers.'
"Later, in his Al-Arabiya interview, he demoted the Jews still further, calling America a country of 'Muslims, Christians, and Jews.' Obama's actions (and inactions) with respect to Jewish concerns suggest that this demotion [of the Jews] is real and not merely verbal."
It’s hard to say whether Obama is merely a fool or a fraud or a person devoid of any cultural depth or spiritual identity. One thing is quite clear: he hates American supremacy, just as he hated white supremacy. But given his ego-enhancing Arabic middle name—which means handsome—magnified by the arrogance of his unlearned mind, Obama is oblivious of the arrogance underlying Islamic supremacism. It was Islamic supremacism that incited the genocides Islam committed against the race with which Obama identifies.
It will not be easy to undo his “obamanation” of America. His relativism is entrenched in his appointments to the Supreme Court; and his left-wing party has tens of millions of rootless supporters and immigrants—voters who live on the handouts of his "nanny" state.
If America could rightly be called a Judeo-Christian civilization, it is undergoing the fate of Rome.
Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI), www.i-ari.org, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.
Created on Monday, 16 December 2013 15:26
In Saskatoon, Canada, Muslim taxi drivers are refusing to give rides to blind people with seeing-eye dogs. The drivers have been citing religious grounds, saying dogs are considered "unclean" animals in Islam.
Mike Simmonds, who has been blind for close to 10 years, requires a guide dog with him at all times. He reported to the Sun newspaper that he is bitterly disappointed after taxi drivers at the station by his home have repeatedly refused to give him a ride.
Simmonds turned to the taxi company's management, and was told that the company has no guidelines forbidding discrimination against dog owners. After he was refused by taxis 3 times, Simmonds submitted a complaint to the Saskatchewan Committee of Human Rights.
Muslim antagonism towards dogs is not a new thing in Canada. In 2012, Toronto police arrested a Jew after he shoved back a Muslim who had punched him for not moving his “unclean” dog further away from Muslim women during an anti-Israel rally.
Canine cruelty in the Muslim world was highlighted during the Muslim Brotherhood protests in Egypt, as in late October protesters were found to be using "puppy bombs" by dipping dogs in gasoline and setting them on fire.
Created on Thursday, 28 November 2013 12:13
Just over a week since an American university severed ties with the Hamas-linked Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, after pictures emerged showing a Nazi-style on-campus rally by Islamic Jihad in November, further evidence of fascist-style events at the flagship Palestinian Arab institution has emerged.
Video footage, posted by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), shows clips from two separate rallies at Al-Quds University, in which Islamic Jihad members, cheered on by other students, take part in a live performance at which they brandish imitation assault rifles and black Islamist flags, and give Nazi salutes.
The live "show" features terrorists killing Israeli soldiers and executing a "collaborator", who is denounced as a "traitor" and a "spy", and suggests that the initial pictures, which were first released by British journalist Tom Gross, were not from a one-off incident but evidence of a much wider phenomenon.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Tom Gross said that the footage proved that attempts by Al-Quds to excuse the November 5th rally as an isolated event were disingenuous:
"The emergence of a video showing another Fascistic-style, militaristic Islamic Jihad rally, on what appears to be the main campus of Al-Quds University this past May - together with Palestinian students at Al-Quds who have informed me that the student factions of both Hamas and the PFLP held similar rallies at Al-Quds University this semester a few weeks ago - calls into question the claims by the Al-Quds university authorities that the November 5 rally was a one-off event, which they claim they didn't know about until they saw the photos of it."
Many Israelis point to the lionization of Nazi and other anti-Semitic figures as a reason to doubt the sincerity of the Palestinian Authority's commitment to any future peace agreement.
The use of Nazi symbols is worryingly common, although tends to go unnoticed by many mainstream media outlets.
Just this past October, for example, Jewish motorists were horrified to see a Nazi flag flying over a major thoroughfair near the Arab town of Beit Umar. The flag had apparently been placed there by residents of the town, located near Hevron.
That incident was in fact the second occasion in which Beit Umar residents had flown a Nazi flag over the same highway, in an apparent "gesture" to their Jewish neighbors.
Later that same month, a youth magazine linked to the Palestinian Authority published a list of "famous quotes" from none other than Adolf Hitler, aimed at glorifying the Nazi leader.
Link between "Palestinian nationalism", Nazism?
Apart from the frequency with which such instances occur, some have pointed to the role of prominent Palestinian Arab and Muslim leaders promoting anti-Semitism and encouraging the use of Nazi symbols specifically to goad Jews.
For example, during a 2009 interview with a London-based Arabic language TV station, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, remenisced fondly about how his class once drew a swastika on the classroom blackboard to provoke their Jewish teacher.
More famous is the case of the infamously anti-Semitic Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini.
In October, reacting to ongoing incidents of incitement and anti-Semitism by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu used a keynote speech at Bar Ilan University to point to a deep link between the Palestinian national movement and Germany's Nazi regime.
Netanyahu noted that Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the founder of "Palestinian nationalism", was an admirer and supporter of Adolf Hitler, had met the Nazi Fuhrer on numerous occasions and was actively involved in encouraging Hitler and his henchmen in their project of annihilating the Jewish people.
Far from playing a "minor role" in the Holocaust, as some have claimed, the Mufti played an "important" part in ordering the extermination of Jews and "was directly involved in The Final Solution", Netanyahu said.
Back in January, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - whose organization is currently involved in US-brokered "peace talks" with Israel - hailed the Muft as a "hero", whose ways should be emulated. The transcript of that speech - made at a Fatah party rally - was also translated by MEMRI though it garnered very little mention from the majority of international media outlets.
But according to Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar, the issue extends further still. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Kedar asserts that adopting of the trappings of the ultimate enemy of the Jewish people - Nazism - is simply a manifestation of a zero-sum way in which politics and conflict is pursued in the Middle East at large.
"Unfortunately there are people in the United States of America and elsewhere, Jews and non-Jews alike - usually liberal, open-minded people - who think that the Middle East acts according to American rules, and that views and approaches which can work in America can work in the Middle East.
"These people fail to understand that the Middle East works according to totally different rules, because the mindset of people in this region is different.
"In America people think that every struggle, every dispute, has some kind of solution. In the Middle East, what prevails is the belief that a struggle finishes when one of the sides ceases to exist. This is the end of a conflict," he explained.
For him, framing the saga over the use of fascist or other anti-Semitic symbolism as a "Palestinian" issue misses the point.
"Palestinians are no different from any Arab group which lives in this region," he continued. "Whatever they do, whether peacefully or not, is meant to undermine the existence of the State of Israel...through undermining the legitimacy of the State of Israel, through vilifying it and demonizing [it]. Of course this also extends to non-violent methods, like media clips, demonstrations, etc.
"Everything revolves arond one purpose, which is to get rid of Israel altogether from the map of the Middle East."
The fact that it is often senior religious figures - as well as political ones - who so often lead such efforts is indicative of the fundamentally religious aspect of the Arab-Israel conflict, says Kedar.
"Even universities like Al-Quds university are established especially in Jerusalem, in order to show that Arabs and Muslims are the masters of this place and not the Jews, because in their view, if Judaism will control Jerusalem it will mean that Judaism came back to life after Islam came to replace it.
"This is why the basis of the struggle over Jerusalem and over the whole land of Israel is a religious struggle - not between Israel and the Arabs but between Judaism and Islam. This is the essence of th struggle, and everything stems from this archimedic point of the struggle."
His view offers a unique glimpse into the conflicting ways in which the conflict is seen from inside and outside the region.
Dr. Kedar insists that the much of the difference in the way things are perceived in the western world stems primarily from ignorance. For him, the Brandeis-Al-Quds saga represents a unique shattering of an illusory discourse.
"Unfortunately there are people who don't believe that this is true, and tend to accept all kind of Arab and Islamic standpoints and institutions as if they are meant to live side-by-side with Israel.
"I believe that recognizing Al-Quds university by Brandeis University came from this point: that Jews - or those that run Brandeis University - would like to see a situation where everybody in the Middle East sits by one fire and sings kumbaya together."
Pursuit of genuine coexistence isn't the problem, however. Rather, it is a lack of willingness to learn "about the realities of the Middle East" - a result, he says, of institutionalized academic bias.
"Those teachers and those books which tell the truth about the Middle East usually don't see any attention in universities in the US. School curricula in America usually are politicized, therefore the texts which students are exposed to are based on the political views and approaches of the teachers - who in too many cases have very little understanding of the nature of the Middle East."
However, "there is a limit," and incidents such as that which occured at Al-Quds are too blatant to ignore.
"When the Islamic Jihad group, which lives under the wings of Al-Quds University - comes out with a very problematic clip, even bleeding-hearts in Brandeis University cannot take it any more.
"This is the minute when they start to understand the nature of the struggle - not betwen Israel and the Arabs, but between Islam and Judaism."
Yet regardless of the cognizance of others, Kedar insists that "we Jews cannot have the luxury of not believing our own enemies."
"Some 80 years ago we didn't believe; unfortunately, some people failed to learn the lessons from those days and to start believing our enemies."
Created on Monday, 25 November 2013 08:18
The African nation of Angola has reportedly become the first country to ban Islam and Muslims, reports On Islam. Concerning the ban, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Sunday "this is the final end of Islamic influence in our country."
Angola's ban was first announced last Friday, when Angolan Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva said "the process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice."
India Today reports Silva's statement was made at the 6th Commission of the Angolan National Assembly, and that the ban includes orders to demolish mosques in the country.
Silva reportedly said the ban was necessary since Islam is "contradictory to the customs of Angola culture."
Angola's population of 16 million is predominantly Christian, with only 80,000-90,000 Muslims, the majority of whom are migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin, according to the US State Department.
The crackdown on Islam comes as Christians in the Middle East are being forced from Muslim countries.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren noted in 2012 that the Christian population in the Middle East dropped from 20% a century ago to 5% currently amid ongoing persecution of Christians by Muslims.
Oren noted in Egypt 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes in 2011 amid anti-Christian violence during the "Arab spring" uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak.
In 2012 Saudi Arabia's top Muslim leader, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh, issued a fatwa (religious decree) to demolish all churches on the Arabian peninsula.
Particularly in Africa, analysts have commented that Islamist forces have been killing and expelling Christians largely with negligible international criticism.
Aside from Islam, other religions that have not been legalized will face similar measures in Angola. The non-legalized religions on the list "published by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in the Angolan newspaper 'Jornal de Angola' are prohibited to conduct worship, so they should keep their doors closed," said Silva.
The Minister of Culture added that there is a legalization process through which over a thousand religious sects are currently applying.
Created on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 06:16
The arrest and expulsion of an Egyptian man over an alleged "offense to Islam" has sparked riots, in the run up to a Muslim religious holiday.
Soror Hassan Srour, an Egyptian citizen who worked at American oil company Baker Hughes in the oil production department, has been expelled from Iraq after being accused of an "offense to Islam." His alleged crime: tearing down posters mourning the death of Imam Al-Hussein, a Shi'ite "martyr" who refused to surrender the Islamic Caliphate to Sunni leaders in 680 CE.
Iraqi media news outlets report that the decision to expel the Egyptian worker was made by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is himself a Shi'ite Muslim. Another British worker at the company has also been deported after reports of similar alleged crimes.
Dozens of locals protested outside of the Baker Hughes offices, claiming that the workers' actions are "an offense to Islam." The Basra Provincial Council has also filed a lawsuit against the American firm. One of the council spokespeople explained to reporters that the American embassy responded by sending a letter stating that it will retrain its employees to avoid committing sensitive religious offenses.
Sectarian tensions between Iraq's Shi'ite majority and Sunni minority have reached fever pitch over the past few months, with thousands died during a wave of attacks by Islamist groups.
Despite being the majority, Shi'ites faced persecution under the rule of Saddam Hussein and were politically marginalized. Saddam's ouster at the hands of western forces in 2003 paved the way for a Shi'ite resurgence, which Iraq's Sunni population says has translated into persecution of their own communities, as well as an expanded Iranian influence in the country.
The riots come just ahead of the Islamic holiday of Muharram, the beginning of the new year on the Islamic calendar. Shi'ite Muslims commemorate the day by working themselves into a frenzy in the morning of Hussein’s ‘martyrdom.’ Some also engage in self-flagellation, going so far as to include razors and spikes in the chains they use to whip themselves.
According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Mohammed fasted on this day and asked other people to fast as well. Sunni Muslims also remember the day, claiming that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberating the Israelites from Egypt.
Created on Saturday, 21 September 2013 20:51
In a controversial ruling that is bound to anger Bangladeshi Islamists, the country's Supreme Court has sentenced a
leading Islamist figure to death by hanging, for crimes he committed during the Bangladesh's struggle for
independence against Pakistan.
65 year-old Abdul Quader Molla is the fourth-highest leader of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party and had
originally been sentenced to life in prison by Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal.
But a retrial was called after that original sentence was slammed by both secularist groups (for being too lenient)
and Islamists (for being too harsh) - and triggered riots in which at least 100 people were killed.
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal to acquit Molla of all charges.
The decision has been celebrated by secularist groups, who accuse Molla of being the notorious "Butcher of
Mirpur," and demanded his execution over the murder of hundreds of innocent villagers in a suburb of the country's
capital, Dhaka, during the "Liberation War" of 1971.
His defense lawyers, however, described his shock at the verdict.
"We are stunned by the verdict. This is the first time in South Asian judicial history that a trial court sentence has
been enhanced by a supreme court," said Defense lawyer Tajul Islam.
The sentencing is likely to trigger an angry response from Islamist supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami, as security
forces prepare for violence.
Created on Monday, 02 September 2013 17:01
Islamists are known for their ultra-conservative views on alcohol, women and other aspects of western culture they routinely lambast as corrupt and haram (forbidden).
But it appears that such Islamic puritanism only goes so far - and where there's money to be made, even the most radical Islamists are ready to 'cut corners.'
One such organization is the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). Despite its friendly-sounding name, the IHRC is in fact an extremist group linked to the Iranian regime, and has expressed support for terrorist organisations and has promoted hate preachers, according to the anti-extremism group Stand For Peace.
The IHRC is particularly known for inviting speakers with violently anti-Semitic views. In 2010, the IHRC provided a platform to Nigerian Islamist preacher Ibrahim Zakzaky, head of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, who has described Jews as “the lowest of creatures on earth…sons of monkeys and pigs.”
In 1994, the group's chairman, Massoud Shadjareh, spoke on a platform in Trafalgar Square in central London draped with a banner which read, ‘Death To The Enemies Of Islam’. In a briefing on the Lebanon crisis, the Shadjareh’s IHRC has called upon British Muslims to provide the terror group Hezbollah with ‘financial, logistical and informational support.'
Under Shadjareh, the IHRC also organises the annual Al Quds Day March in London, in which crowds chant, “We are all Hezbollah … with blood, with guns, we will free Palestine”.
As with other Islamist groups, the IHRC condemns the consumption and selling of alcohol. One of its reports, entitled ‘Quest for Unity’, declares:
"The greatest underminer and saboteur of discipline and confidence is alcoholism as well as so-called social drinking.
"No amount of rationalisation is going to change the fact that alcohol is the curse of the oppressed people and a boon for the oppressors. Not only is the oppressor making enormous profits from liquor but it also totally immobilizes and paralyses the critical faculties of the oppressed.
"We submit, therefore, that it isn’t only an obligation on Muslims to be teetotallers, it is the revolutionary duty of all the oppressed people to refrain from:
"l) Producing liquor; ll) Distributing liquor; lll) Consuming liquor."
But the IHRC has now been accused of “rank hypocrisy”, after it emerged that it has invested thousands of pounds in a chain of bars that encourages its clientele to “unleash your inner animal."
The Baa Bar Group, in which the IHRC’s charitable trust’s filed accounts show it held £38,250 in shares, operates a string of swanky bars across the North West of England where revelers can “follow their own deepest of animal instincts."
While the company’s image could not be more at odds with the IHRC’s fundamentalist Islamic values, it is part of a strategy used by many Islamist groups to further their ultimate goals, according to Jacob Campbell, Stand For Peace's Head of Research:
"Although bizarre on the face of it, it actually isn't all that surprising," said Campbell.
"Islamist groups tend to take the view that the ends invariably justify the means," he added. "We know, for instance, that Hezbollah relies heavily upon drug-smuggling to raise revenue. Al-Qaeda terrorists often immerse themselves rather enthusiastically in the local nightlife, ostensibly to evade detection."
"So what's a little profiteering if it hastens the return of the Twelfth Imam?" asks Campbell, referencing the Shi'a Muslim belief in a Muslim messiah, "Better by far to become morally bankrupt than financially so!"
Created on Sunday, 18 August 2013 20:01
The Egyptian Coptic church has released a statement backing the country's military-backed government, and slamming the western media for its coverage of the violence in Egypt, which has killed more than 600 people.
Referring to perceived sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood by western media outlets, the statement, translated by Al Arabiya, called on the West to "read objectively the facts of events, and not give international and political cover to these terrorists and bloody groups."
The church reaffirmed its support for the Egyptian authorities, following the ouster of Muhammed Morsi.
“The Egyptian Coptic Church is following the unfortunate developments on the ground of our country Egypt and emphasizes its strong stance with the Egyptian police, armed forces and other organizations of the Egyptian people in the face of groups of armed violence and black terrorism.
“While we appreciate the sincere and friendly position that understands the nature of the developments, we strongly deplore the media fallacies that are prevalent in Western countries,” the statement read.
Egypt's Coptic Christian community makes up around 10% of the country's 90 million-strong population. Copts are indigenous to Egypt, their presence predating the Arab conquests of northern Africa. Egyptian Copts have long complained of widespread discrimination, persecution and violence by both the Egyptian state and Islamist non-state actors.
Anti-Christian violence has seriously escalated in the aftermath of the removal of Islamist Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, whose supporters have been accused of scapegoating the Coptic community, after its leader, Pope Tawadros II, came out in support of the move by the army to oust Morsi.
A number of Christians have been murdered, and scores of churches and Christian-owned houses and businesses have been torched, ransacked and vandalized in the weeks since Morsi's removal.
At least two more Christians have been murdered since Wednesday, when Egyptian security forces forcibly broke-up protest camps in the capital Cairo. Two Christian schools were also attacked, in addition to churches and other Christian establishment.
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose members have been accused of playing a major part in anti-Christian attacks, has denied that it has anything to do with them, and has issued a condemnation of such violence on its official website.
The post was taken from the Facebook page of Dr. Murad Ali, who was identified as "Media Spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party" (FJP). The FJP is the party which successfully fielded Morsi as a presidential candidate.
The statement addressed "false Twitter and Facebook accounts in the name of the Freedom and Justice Party publishing justifications for the burning of churches," saying:
"These are attempts to ignite sectarian divisions to distract everyone from the real issue. Our stance is clear, we have announced it, and we reiterate:
“Based on the true nature of our religion, and pursuant to our party’s indivisible principles, we strongly condemn any attack, even verbal, against Copts, their churches or their property."
The statement went on to condemn "violence and vandalism" as harmful to the Brotherhood's reputation, insisting that the protest movement against Morsi's removal was "peaceful."
Created on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 09:16
More than a thousand bearded men, muffled in scarves and accompanied by veiled women, stand under the hot sun, waving black and white flags and chanting “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Greatest).
This is not a scene from the Middle East or Central Asia but a rally of the supporters of the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Freedom) in Simferopol -- the capital of the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea.
Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to re-establish a Caliphate -- a pan-Islamic state based on Islamic rule like in the medieval era -- across the Middle East and Central Asia.
Banned in several states, it is now showing surprising strength in Crimea, a balmy seaside holiday resort region which has its own substantial Muslim Tatar minority.
The head of the information office of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Ukraine, Fazyl Amzaev, told AFP that the party’s ambition of reviving the Caliphate does not extend to Ukraine and its presence is educational.
“Our work in Ukraine does not mean that we act or will act to change the borders of the state,” Amzaev said.
“Achieving the goal of establishing the Caliphate is real only in countries with a predominantly Muslim population. But in Ukraine, we, as Muslims, are obliged to inform the society about Islam in its correct form.”
The first devotees of Hizb ut-Tahrir appeared in the Crimea in the early 1990s. Twelve percent, or 250,000 of the nearly two million inhabitants of Crimea are Sunni Muslim Crimean Tatars.
Now they number between 2,000 and 15,000 -- Hizb ut-Tahrir does not disclose the true number, claiming only a permanent climb in supporters.
“The world is a big village, and everywhere there is a struggle against Islam in favour of liberal-democratic values,” Amzaev said, calling on Ukrainian Muslims not to assimilate but to keep their values.
“The Caliphate is not a threat, but on the contrary is the salvation for mankind amid a crisis of capitalism, democracy and liberal values in general.”
‘Democracy is a system of unbelief’
Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, established in 1953 in East Jerusalem, has been banned in Russia and several Central Asian countries. It is also outlawed in Germany due to anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli propaganda.
The Spiritual Board of Muslims of Crimea -- the main umbrella group for Muslims in the region -- has already called on the authorities to take a closer look at the group's work in Ukraine.
Its deputy head Aider Ismailov told AFP that Hizb ut-Tahrir’s teachings can contradict local religious tradition and practices.
“This party creates a negative image of Islam and Muslims, people are scared of their rallies,” he said.
Ismailov is not pushing for the party to be banned in Ukraine, but he considers its ideology harmful.
“We would like to see the government state its position towards a religious-political group which preaches that democracy is a system of unbelief,” he said.
Ukraine appears in no hurry to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, if just because the group simply does not exist in the legal framework of the country -- it is not registered either as a party or as a public or religious organization.
Party members themselves do not seek for their formalization, citing ideological reasons.
“Hizb ut-Tahrir in Ukraine does not seek political goals, and our participation in non-Islamic authorities is forbidden by the canons of faith,” Amzaev said, saying it neither plans to take part in elections nor seek power.
The authorities so far have taken merely small steps to avoid possible confrontations between Hizb ut-Tahrir members and their opponents, in particular with court decisions trying to ban party rallies.
In June, a court approved a suit from local authorities banning a scheduled rally that could not guarantee order.
Despite the prohibition, the action took place, and the police, as in similar cases in the past, limited themselves to drawing up a protocol on an administrative law violation.
The Crimean members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, however, also behave with extreme care to prevent possible attacks from opponents and punitive actions by the authorities.
In Simferopol, they have no headquarters and their information office is a virtual concept not linked to any postal address.
Amzaev is however a prominent public figure, giving interviews, speaking on television, writing on social networks, and recruiting supporters.
During the last rally of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Simferopol, almost every speaker called on fellow Muslims to aid the Syrian rebels battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which sparked protests in the Crimean Tatar community against the possible sending of militants to Syria.
Amzaev said: “We are not recruiting the rebels, but I do not rule out some of the Crimean Tatars fighting against Assad.”
Created on Saturday, 27 July 2013 15:17
Last Night, continuing a White House tradition, President Obama hosted his fifth Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan. The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting during Ramadan, when Muslim families eat together after sunset. During his remarks, the President thanked the Muslim community for the sacrifices they’ve made for the United States.
"Throughout our history, Islam has contributed to the character of our country, and Muslim Americans, and their good works, have helped to build our nation -- and we’ve seen the results. We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants -- farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities. Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped to unlock the secrets of our universe.
Every day, Muslim Americans are helping to shape the way that we think and the way that we work and the way that we do business.
And that’s the spirit that we celebrate tonight -- the dreamers, the creators whose ideas are pioneering new industries, creating new jobs and unleashing new opportunities for all of us.”
President Obama also wished Muslim Americans and Muslims all around the world a blessed Ramadan.
Created on Friday, 26 July 2013 07:53
Protests erupted in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Thursday, after a senior secularist leader was shot dead outside his home.
Mohammed Brahimi, 58, a prominent member of the Arab nationalist Popular Front party, was shot by two men on a moped, according to The New York Times. His assassination was remarkably similar to that of another Popular Front politician, Chokri Belaid, back in February. Both men were outspoken opponents of the ruling Islamist Ennahada party, and their supporters have blamed Islamists for the killings.
Belaid's killing triggered the largest mass demonstrations in Tunisia since those which brought down the former autocratic president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and sparked off the so-called "Arab Spring."
As news broke of Brahimi's murder, thousands of Popular Front supporters protested outside the Interior Ministry, according to France 24.
"The Tunisian public was not happy with the way in which the Chokri Belaid assassination investigation was dealt with... if they mess this up, I think it's going to be extremely bad for them, for their domestic support," said Laryssa Chomiak, director of the Institute for Maghreb Studies.
For its part, the ruling Ennahada party was quick to condemn the assassination as a "cowardly and despicable crime," calling for the "urgent arrest" of the assassins.
But protesters were less than impressed, reportedly chanting "down with the rule of the Islamists."
With one eye on the fate of their Islamist cousins the Muslim Brotherhood in neighboring Egypt, Ennahada and its allies will want to be seen to act quickly and decisively against the killers to avoid the same kind of anti-Islamist backlash.
The assassination comes as Tunisia celebrated its 56th anniversary of independence from France.
Created on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:35
Syrian opposition hails EU Hizbullah ban
Syria's mainly Sunni opposition is celebrating yesterday's decision by the EU to blacklist the "military wing" of the Shia Islamist group Hizbullah as a terrorist organisation, Lebanon's NOW news agency reported.
The Syrian National Coalition declared that the ban was "a step in the right direction and highlights the need for the European Union to take measures to stop [the] militia from intervening in Syria," and called for "Hizbullah officials to be brought to justice for the terrorist crimes they committed on Syrian soil".
"The free world must take preventive measures against Hezbollah's leaders, members and supporters, who participated in the spilling of Syrian blood," the statement added.
Hizbullah - based in Lebanon - is backed by both Iran and the Syrian regime of Bashar el-Assad, and has played an increasingly important role in recapturing rebel-held areas, though at considerable cost to its own manpower.
Israel and other western states, including Great Britain, have long urged sanctions against the group for a long string of terrorist atrocities, but it was apparently the groups intervention in Syria which finally cost it dearly, convincing EU member-states who were previously against a ban to change their minds.
The ban may only have gone "halfway" by excluding Hizbullah's "political wing", to quote Avigdor Lieberman, but it will mean significant restrictions on the group's activity in one of its most important pools of fundraising - including denying visas to key individuals and freezing assets across the continent. Hizbullah's Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, has himself previously remarked that a European ban would "destroy" the group because 'the sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed."
The Assad regime, meanwhile, condemned the move.
In a statement, the Syrian Foreign Minister declared,
"Syria strongly condemns this decision and the powers that are behind it because it targets the present and future of the Arab nation... and serves Israel's plans in the region."
Kurdish rebels drive Sunni jihadis from villages
Also on Tuesday, AFP reported that Kurdish groups made rapid advances in northern Syria, expelling Sunni jihadists from several villages.
Tuesday's fighting hit several villages including Yabseh, Kandal and Jalbeh, which lie in the northern province of Raqa on Syria's border with Turkey and are home to a mixture of ethnic and religious communities, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It also reported that the Kurds expelled the jihadists from Kur Hassu, Atwan, Sarej and Khirbet Alu villages in the same area, which lies near the majority Kurdish town of Cobany.
In Hasake to the east, Kurdish-jihadist fighting went into the seventh consecutive day in the Jal Agha area and other villages in the majority Kurdish province, the Observatory added.
The latest battles come a week after fighters loyal to the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG) expelled the jihadist Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) from the strategic Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain in Hasake province.
Ever since, fighting has spread from Hasakeh in northeastern Syria to several hotspots in Raqa province in the north.
At least 70, most of them jihadists, have been killed in eight consecutive days of Kurdish-jihadist fighting, said the Observatory.
"What we are seeing is the spreading of fighting between Kurds and jihadists westwards, across areas that are home to both Arab and Kurdish communities," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Though the fighting is between jihadists and organised Kurdish forces, there is "a growing gulf between Kurdish and Arab residents of these areas," Abdel Rahman said.
"The battle is morphing from a fight between the YPG and the jihadists to a struggle between Kurds and Arabs as a whole."
Prior to the outbreak of the 2011 revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, the Kurds suffered for decades from marginalisation and oppression at the hands of the Syrian Arab regime.
When the revolt erupted, one of the first measures taken by Assad was to grant the Syrian nationality to Kurds who had up until then been deprived of this right.
Then, starting mid-2012, Assad's forces withdrew from Kurdish regions which now are run by local Kurdish councils.
The Kurds, who represent about 15 percent of the Syrian population, have since walked a fine line, trying to avoid antagonising either the regime or the rebels.
But as abuses by jihadist groups in areas that have fallen out of Assad's control mounted, the Kurds announced they would seek a temporary autonomous state and establish a constitution.
The speedy developments have brought to the surface a deep-seated mistrust that has been heightened by the Syrian opposition's failure to adequately represent Kurdish groups, activists say.
"There hasn't been real trust at the political level since the start" of the revolt, Syrian Kurdish activist Havidar told AFP via the Internet.
"We (Kurds) all stood by the revolution but unfortunately the Syrian opposition... has played games with the Kurds... and marginalised them," Havidar said.
As a consequence, "there is a very obvious divide now" between Kurds and Arabs, he said.
The Kurdish people are the largest nation without an independent state in the Middle East. There ancestral homeland is currently occupied by Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria, although the Kurdish populations in the latter two states are enjoying increasing levels of autonomy.
Created on Saturday, 13 July 2013 18:56
The operation of Sharia courts in a democracy has nothing to do with religious freedom, but everything to do with political power and the appropriation of the host culture.
It was not so long ago, in 2008, that Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, welcomed Islam into the United Kingdom. He now speaks of having to adapt further to the growing Muslim population, now numbering two million, with 85 Islamic courts in the UK, where women are unequal to men and remain unprotected from the violence of their fathers and husbands.
At least one cleric, Suhaib Hasan, is advocating stoning and amputation (one more adaptation to national acceptance of One Law for All). Apparently, English law has already evolved and adopted some aspects of Sharia law, yet Williams now entertains further adjustments to achieve a society that works for the ever-popular “common good.” Sharia law, however, is not compatible with democracy and never can be.
For what other immigrant society was adaptation implemented in England? I reviewed the migration pattern for the UK since 1100, when merchants from the Netherlands first settled; followed by the Dutch and French Protestants in the 1500s; enslaved Asians in the 1600s; the refugees from the French revolution and Chinese sailors in the 1700s; Jews from Poland, Ukraine and Belarus in 1800s;, followed by Irish settlers escaping the famine, and trading Indians and Chinese. Throughout, England was recognizably England.
In the 1900s, came the Belgian refugees who escaped WW I, refugees who escaped Nazi oppression in the 1930s, Poles who came from 1940 – 1960, Jamaicans who arrived in 1948, followed by immigrants from the Caribbean. Of all these cultures, not one had the audacity to demand changes to the laws of the land. While they maintain their identity and surely a measure of their culture, they have assimilated and consider themselves English, and they abide by English law.
Not so with the Muslims, and the reason is quite simple. Muslims came not for the same reasons as their forerunners, but with a different purpose, a different mission.They came not to become English, but to transform the English into their own identity, with Muslim laws, rules, and eventually, religion. Just as Mohammed and his followers entered and conquered new lands in the Middle East and parts of Europe to implant their religion and course of conduct into the new host country, so their descendants follow the same path and purpose today.
The naïve Archbishop of Canterbury permitted these new immigrants to insist on Sharia laws, to which he yielded, and which can only lead to the downfall of the United Kingdom. In the interest of showing an acceptance of multiculturalism, or perhaps because he was unable to defend himself against accusations of intolerance or narrow-mindedness, the Archbishop sold out his country.
No country, once Islamized, has ever been able to regain its previous identity. Centuries after La Reconquista of 1492, Spain is again teetering under a new Muslim assault. India has been dealing with the presence of da’wa-Jihad for about 1300 years, with Muslims now numbering 280 million.
And now, in the presence of mosque clergy, Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan, thanked them and God for welcoming him as a friend and family member when, in fact, it is they who should have shown their gratitude for his country’s welcome, freedom, security, and life without Islamic oppression. Dolan misspoke when he indicated they love the same God, for Dolan’s God does not demand the subjugation of Christians and Jews, or require Dolan’s co-religionists to slay those who do not share his beliefs – such as beheading a Catholic priest or blowing up school buses of Christian and Jewish children.
I call upon Cardinal Timothy Dolan to understand that what is transpiring in the United Kingdom has already become full-blown in the once-non-Muslim countries of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Syria, Turkey, and others. Islam is now the predominant religion in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, northern Africa, and parts of Asia.
Large communities also exist in China, the Balkans and Russia, and in each of these countries, Muslims are imposing Sharia law in increments, until that country will no longer be recognized for what it once was. The operation of Sharia courts in a democracy has nothing to do with religious freedom, but everything to do with political power and the appropriation of the host culture.
The Archbishop has taken it upon himself to represent his people in an arrangement for which he is ill-prepared. He has wrongfully assumed he understands Islamic intentions and that he alone is capable of creating a harmony that no one has been able to achieve through 14 centuries of Islamic jihad. He is gambling with the lives of millions!
The goal of Islam is to deal with every aspect of life in every society, to bring its way of life to everyone in all corners of the globe, “until there is no more tumult or oppression and the Religion of Allah prevails. Qur’an (2:193), -- although in every country where the Religion of Allah does prevail, there is great chaos, oppression, suffering and bloodshed, even among their own people. Muslims must wage Jihad, as an all-consuming, divinely ordained endeavor, or they believe they will be barred from Paradise along with the non-believers.
Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 1922, said,
"We summon you to Islam, the teachings of Islam, the laws of Islam and the guidance of Islam, and if this smacks of “politics” in your eyes, then it is our policy . . . Islam does have a policy embracing the happiness of this world . . . We believe that Islam is an all-embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on every one of its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order.
"Islam is a faith and worship, a country and a citizenship, a religion and a state. It is spirituality and hard work. It is a Qur’an and a sword.
"O ye who believe! Fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him” (9:123)
"Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free (Explanation: Idolaters are to be killed, unless they convert to Islam, and begin following Islamic laws, such as paying alms)."
Islam’s double identity takes the form of groups that appear outwardly moderate, but advance the jihadist agenda through various non-violent initiatives – even as the members themselves have ties to violent jihadist organization.
The Ayatollah Khomeini, in true Muslim fashion, stated, "Eleven things are impure: urine, excrement, sperm . . . non-Muslim men and women."
The biographer of Mohammad recorded his master as saying: "I have been made victorious with terror". Bukhari. Vol 3, Book 52.
These are just a few of the sacred beliefs of those the Cardinal is befriending. They do not worship the same God or share the principles of Christianity or Judaism.
Islam is a totalitarian, supercessionist theology that demands obedience or uses armed conflict to achieve obedience, and Dolan has an obligation to his co-religionists and to his fellow Americans not to sell them out by bowing and scraping to those who have come to woo and then betray his allegiance, rather than become part of American society.
Ms. Korol, based in Ohio, USA, blogs at Right Truth, RenewAmerica, Jewish Indy, New Media Journal, among others.
Created on Saturday, 13 July 2013 09:05
The Syrian rebels are continuing to turn on one another. Syrian rebels linked to Al-Qaeda killed a senior figure in the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Thursday, an FSA source told Reuters.
Kamal Hamami, a member of the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council, known by his nom de guerre Abu Bassel al-Ladkani, was meeting with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the port city of Latakia when they killed him, Qassem Saadeddine, a Free Syrian Army spokesman, told the news agency.
"The Islamic State phoned me saying that they killed Abu Bassel and that they will kill all of the Supreme Military Council," Saadeddine said from Syria.
"He met them to discuss battle plans," Saadeddine added.
Reports earlier this week indicated that local infighting between Islamist rebel factions – and between the jihadists and the more moderate opposition forces – has begun in Syria.
The violence is taking place despite the fact that the civil war between the opposition fighters and loyalists defending President Bashar Al-Assad has not yet ended.
A merger formed between the Islamic State of Iraq, and al-Sham (ISIS), the Syrian unit, has been working to swallow northern Syrian real estate over the past year.
It also is becoming increasingly clear that ISIS has swallowed the local Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front), which once was the largest faction in the Islamist Front for the Liberation of Syria – the 13-member rebel coalition that broke away from the main opposition force.
Members of Al-Nusra have performed atrocities during the ongoing civil war, including publicly beheading a Catholic priest who was accused of collaborating with the Assad regime.
There has been growing pressure to arm the Syrian rebels, particularly since the U.S. government confirmed that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against rebel forces on multiple occasions, thus violating the “red line” set by Obama.
However, there has also been reluctance by some to arm the rebels, out of a fear that the weapons may end up in the hands of the radicals.
Created on Saturday, 29 June 2013 12:12
Great Britain has barred a pair of American anti-Islam activists from entering the country, labeling them “extremists” whose “presence here is not conducive to the public good,” The Hill reported.
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the organization Stop Islamization of America, had been invited to speak at a rally of the English Defense League, but the British Home Office informed them Tuesday that they were not welcome in the country after the leftist group “HOPE not hate” initiated a campaign against them.
“The Home Secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviors by making statements that may foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK,” the Home Office letter said, as reported by The Hill.
Geller and Spencer were leaders in the movement to stop the construction of a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York City. Geller sponsored a poster campaign against Jihad on the New York City Transit System
"In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam," Geller said, "the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead."
Created on Monday, 24 June 2013 07:04
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group in Gaza announced on Sunday that it was temporarily suspending ties with Hamas, which rules the region, accusing Gaza authorities of being responsible for the death of one of the group's members.
According to the Ma’an news agency, Raed Qassim Jundeyeih, a member of Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades, died on Sunday after being shot a day earlier by Hamas police officers.
Police had gone to an address in Gaza City on Saturday to deliver summons orders to a member of the Jundeyeih family, reported Ma’an. Upon approaching the home, members of the family opened fire at the officers and Jundeyeih was wounded in the ensuing gunfight.
He died from his injuries on Sunday.
Islamic Jihad told Ma'an that members affiliated with Hamas were responsible for the death, describing Jundeyeih's death as a "favor" for Israel, whether intentional or not.
Tensions further increased after a member of Islamic Jihad was hit by a jeep driven by a Hamas member during the funeral procession of Jundeyeih, reported the news agency.
Islamic Jihad said that Jundeyeih was wanted by Israeli authorities for being the head of a rocket-firing unit.
"Despite losing this great martyr, our only option remains to resist our common enemy which is the Zionist enemy and the powers of injustice that support it," the group added, according to Ma’an.
Hamas rules Gaza with an iron fist but often gets into rows with some of the other groups in the region, most notably the radical Salafists, who have challenged the movement both over confrontations with Israel and the practice of Islamic rule, prompting it to crack down on them.
Created on Friday, 14 June 2013 05:49
Advertising isn’t usually overly concerned with the silly notion called truth. Rather, it simply wishes to sell something like - hold it, Islam is the religion of what?
Mark Twain once said that "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." Indeed. One word inserted or, for that matter, left out, can make all the difference in the world.
I couldn’t help but think how Mark Twain would have responded with a rather quirky smile to a recent advertising campaign that took place in south Florida. It was on billboards every few miles along the busy, crowded super highway of 95. It’s the free road that runs clear up the eastern coast of the United States.
It was splattered across the long sides of public busses. And it was even on private citizen’s individual cars in bumper sticker format.
I must admit, my eyebrows turned up every time I saw these ads.
They stated in bold letters: “Islam – The True religion of peace.” The ads also made some references linking together the likes of Abraham, Moses, & Jesus to Islam.
Along with my surprise came the realization that advertising isn’t usually overly concerned with this silly notion called truth. Rather, it simply wishes to sell something.
Take cigarette ads for example. Let’s play the game where I say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Okay, ready? Marlboro. If you’re like most of the general population, we’ve been bombarded with all sorts of slick ads for this classic smoke. And most of us will respond with something like “cowboy” or “horseback riding” or “macho guy with rope out on the range.”
Thus, despite the overwhelming scientific proof that smoking produces the exact opposite of a robust, healthy bucking bronco, nonetheless, the advertising campaign has worked wonders for Marlboro. It’s the preferred cig of many of my teenage students, making them feel like they too are ready for a two-week cattle drive far from civilization. Well, not too far, mind you. They’d go as long as there’s some corner stores on the journey where they can continue to support their nicotine Marlboro habit.
Those ads touting the virtues of Islam felt like one of those off-based tobacco ads. I pictured myself calling the number listed on the ads in case I yearned for “further information” to save my soul. The following scenario played out in my head.
“Hello & thanks for calling the information line on Islam. Press 1 if you’re a Sunni who wants to get rid of the Shiites.”
“Press 2 if you’re a Shiite who wants to off the Sunnis.”
“Press 3 if you’re a Wahhabi who wants to get rid of Shiites and Sunnis.”
“Hey, can I speak to…”
“Press 4 if you’re a member of Al Qaeda and don’t care who you get rid of.”
“Whoa, slow down.”
“Press 5 if you’re generic Islamic and simply want to behead infidels.”
At this point I hang up. The memories of the sickening murder of British soldier Lee Rigby too fresh to even ponder. Here it was two Islamic “extremists” who beheaded Lee, a drummer in the English army. This terrorist act was done in broad daylight on a busy London street, to the shock of those civilians on their way to or from work or their local English pub.
One of the terrorists was quoted as saying he was avenging the blood of Muslims & Arabs spilled by England. I guess he wasn’t too up to date on current events. For if he knew about the 100,000 estimated deaths in the civil war in Syria, he probably should have started there.
Although he may have simply not been sure who’s side to fight on and which enemy Arabs to behead. In London it was a much easier choice.
There probably weren’t too many buyers from this recent Islam peace ad campaign. The unrest in the Arab world, where it’s usually Muslim against Muslim, hasn’t done much to help the promotion.
The vast majority of Muslims are good, decent people. They don’t promote violence or this notion of killing off the infidels. They believe in living together in a peaceful society. But unfortunately, their voices have for the most part, been silenced by this ever more vocal tiny minority of Islamic extremists.
Journalists in the Arabic countries who portray the truth and practice free speech are often arrested – many never to heard from again.
To be sure, not every Muslim is a terrorist. Far from it. But it sure seems today that nearly every terrorist is a Muslim. And this certainly hasn’t helped the Islamic religion or cause. It hasn’t brought in thousands of people calling the hotline number on those ads for further information about the true religion of peace. It may have had the opposite effect. People waiting on the roadsides with their spray paint cans ready to add their own choice words to the billboards.
But I wouldn’t waste too much paint. It’s very easy to change an exclamation mark into a question mark. And thus the ad would more accurately read: “Islam – The true religion of peace?”
The proof is not on the non-Islamic world whether to accept or reject their beliefs. It’s not on our shoulders. It’s up to the moderate Muslim world to truly espouse and create this atmosphere of peace and put their best foot forward. Their so-called religious leaders who urge for killing, warfare, and terror need to be silenced. They, perhaps more than anything else, have led to Islam being associated with the opposite of peace.
The voices and more importantly the actions within moderate Islam need to be heard and demonstrated in very clear terms. Until then, the world of reality and advertising is like the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.
Dr. David Lazerson
The writer, known as Dr. Laz, is an educator, author, musician, and conflict resolution specialist. He currently runs a music & drama therapy program for special needs students in Broward County in south Florida . He was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2008. His third book, Sharing Turf, was turned into a major movie called "Crown Heights," in which Howie Mandel plays the role of Dr. Laz. He has several websites: www.ProjectCUREtheWorld.com, wwwTeachMeIfYouCan.org & www.drlaz.com
Created on Thursday, 13 June 2013 08:35
Once again, terror groups in Gaza will be holding “summer camps” for children and youth ages 6 through 16, further indoctrinating them with hatred of Israel and Jews. The camps, sponsored and paid for by Islamic Jihad, will run throughout the summer, and are free for all campers.
Most summer camps teach kids skills like camping and swimming, but the Islamic Jihad summer camps specialize in teaching terror tactics, including how to throw rocks and firebombs for maximum effect, how to properly choose victims, how to assemble a firebomb, and how to survive in desert conditions while hiding from the IDF.
The curriculum also stresses religious belief, and the need for Muslims to conduct a Jihad against Israel and the West. It's expected that the best “campers” will eventually be recruited to the ranks of Islamic Jihad or other terror organizations.
A spokesperson for the group, Daoud Shibab, said that Islamic Jihad “is training the next generation of Palestinians to defend themselves and their people from Israeli attacks.” Training, he said, includes “teaching first aid, civil defense, personal defense skills, leadership skills, and avoiding depression.” In addition, he said, the camps will conduct “military-style training maneuvers.”
Created on Friday, 07 June 2013 16:20
The civil war in Syria is becoming a religious war which splits the Muslim world between Sunnis and Shiites, notes Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi.
The rebels belong to Sunni Islam while the regime is Alawite, a branch of Shiism supported by Iran and assisted by fighters from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, units from the Shiite group Hizbullah and Shiite volunteers from Iraq.
Rebels in Deir ez-Zor proclaimed war against the Shiites following their defeat in the battle in Al-Qusayr. In a video posted to YouTube they announce the launch of a sectarian war, while chanting "Death to the Shia" and recalling the 637 The Battle of al-Qadisiyyah, when Muslim Arab forces defeated the Persians.
Senior clerics in Saudi Arabia have backed the position of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who attacked Iran and Hizbullah over their support of Assad and warned of the Shiites’ attempts to take over Sunni states. Fatwas issued in Saudi Arabia stipulate that all Muslims are religiously obligated to take part in the jihad in Syria, whether by giving money to jihad or by physically participating in the fighting against the Assad regime.
The Syrian army, with the help of Hizbullah, has managed to retake the city of Al-Qusayr which borders Lebanon, but this military success is not necessarily indicative of the regime's ability to reverse the situation, says Halevi. Many other areas continue to be under control of the rebel forces, who have the support of the population.
A rebel Sharia court has been established in Aleppo in northern Syria, and it often functions as a court martial for “traitors” and “criminals.” A recently released video documented executions of two people who allegedly collaborated with the Assad regime and who were involved in acts of corruption and crime.
After the verdict of the Sharia court was read, the two were executed by a firing squad, as a message to all "government agents and traitors."
The video is difficult to watch, and so it was decided not to post it here.
Created on Monday, 20 May 2013 20:06
Would al-Qaeda have stopped after 9/11 if in response America had given them a portion of California to create their own state?
Countries all over the world have taken hold of the idea of ‘appeasement’ from the 1930’s and made it their policy regarding radical Islam. Western nations are the anthill and Islam the magnifying glass in the sun; where they cast their glance, people cower in fear.
This embarrassing fear has led to such ideas as: the presentation of a global ban on insults to Muhammad at the UN General Assembly as recently as September, 2012, the blame and subsequent incarceration of an American citizen because he insulted Islam in a movie which was used as an excuse for riots in the Middle East and the murder of a US diplomat in Benghazi, and the UN and Obama’s belief that the answer to the constant rocket attacks, threats of destruction, murder of Israeli civilians, and possible third Arab Intifada in Judea and Samaria is to simply give them what they want: more Israeli land, a Palestinian state, and other concessions which will lead to the eventual destruction of all Western nations.
Twenty years ago these ideas would have been laughed at by the media and the general populace, not thought of as great ideas to achieve peace. Would al-Qaeda have stopped after 9/11 if in response America had given them a portion of California to create their own state?
It seems that the world’s policy is to merely mitigate the destructive nature that is Islamic extremism, rather than cure the world of this infectious disease. We celebratedwhen a report shows that less Israelis were murdered this year than at the same time last year or when only one act of terrorism occurred during the entire month of January.
When did murder and destruction become the status quo in the Middle East? Why is the world more focused on the poor Palestinian refugees that never were and less on the families that are being slain in their beds by extremists?
The countries of the world seem content with slowing the rate of death and destruction caused by Muslim extremists and show no concern over a future where Islamic ideas have spread so far and have become so deeply rooted that it is too late to act. This is the reality that we face today.
Too long have the Western countries shown fear in the face of the enemy, too long has the only peaceful Western-friendly country in the Middle East been told it cannot defend itself, and too long has there been the attempted appeasement of an enemy that needs to be destroyed rather than given concessions.
Appeasement does not work. This was shown when Hitler understood the policy of appeasement to be a weakness and continued on his path of murder and destruction until it was almost too late for the entire world. This is where the world is headed again. Islamic extremists have rooted themselves in communities across the globe. Soon the riots will spread from the Middle East to all over Europe and the US, as they already have, yet this time there will not be any way to stop them.
The extremists have learned a very valuable lesson: kill a few Americans, kill a few Israelis, and the world will do nothing but bend its knee and beg for you to stop. The extremists attack and murder innocent civilians, yet there is no response due to the fear that the extremists will retaliate. The world’s response has been weak, if not nonexistent.
Islamic extremism is the weed that needs to be plucked from the garden before it spreads and destroys all that is held dear. The Western nations have a decision to make: strike back at the heart of the beast that bares it’s fangs to the world, or continue to fruitlessly appease and risk becoming an Islamic nation themselves.
Jasen James Butler
The writer works at Independent Marine Oil Services, Corp. of Jupiter, Fl and in Rishon Lezion. and in Rishon Letzion.
Created on Friday, 10 May 2013 07:10
The Obama administration is ignoring the link between radical Islam and terrorism, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Thursday.
In an interview with Fox News, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) tied the terrorist attack in Benghazi to the Boston Marathon bombings, saying that in both cases, the Obama administration had ignored the connection to radical Islam.
"There's a wider thing here, some narrative throughout the administration where they just don't want to admit who the real enemy is and confront the enemy head on, and that's radical Islam," McCaul said.
On Wednesday, three State Department officials testified that they were disappointed with the department's response to the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Created on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 06:39
After the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Obama asked, “Why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence?”
Despite the scholarships and the positive press, the money and the good times that came their way, the Tsarnaevs were never truly part of our communities or our country. As the words of a Jihadist song in Dzhokhar’s playlist go, “Be in this temporary world a stranger/Infidels rule the earth/for the faithful life is torture.”
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were strangers. Tamerlan had an American wife and Dzhokhar had plenty of American friends but they chose to treat a city and a nation that had taken them in as targets in a terrorist war. As infidels who deserved nothing more than to be lied to and killed.
The Tsarnaevs weren’t insane. Nor were they nihilists looking to go out with a bang just for the kicks. Their social media accounts reveal the world of two men who had strong beliefs and commitments. These beliefs and commitments however were not to this country. They were to the Islamic Ummah.
Two months before his killing spree, Tamerlan reproved another Muslim for not believing. Unlike him, Tamerlan believed. What he believed in was not the mere nationalism of a land that he had never lived in. If Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had only wanted Chechen independence, they could have joined the fight there. But if the thought ever crossed their minds, they were reoriented in another direction.
To Americans, the Chechen Jihadists, the Syrian rebels, the Palestinian terrorists, the Afghan Taliban and the Mali Turaeg fighters all represent national struggles. To Muslims, they are all local manifestations of a global struggle between Islam and the world. For the Tsarnaevs, Chechnya wasn’t any different than Afghanistan, Nigeria, Thailand, America or any other theater of battle in a world war. Instead of trying to fight a war in a country he had never seen, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was dispatched or dispatched himself to fight a battle in the country that he knew best.
In Obama’s speech, the willingness of the Tsarnaev brothers to kill the people of the country they had grown up in is a paradox. But it isn’t a paradox; it’s the point.
Communists in America undermined the country not just because they saw it as the greatest villain, but because Communists in every nation were committed to undermining it in order to remake it. Each Communist movement was fighting a local front in a transnational struggle. For Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev their local front was not Chechnya; it was Boston.
Chechnya to the Tsarnaevs represented the Islamic transnationalism of the Jihadist that transcended nations. Their Chechen nationalism, like Hamas’ Palestinian nationalism and the Syrian nationalism of the rebel brigades linked to the Muslim Brotherhood derived from a common Islamic identity. It could have no meaning without Islam.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev carried out the marathon massacre not because they were on the outside, but because they were on the inside. Islamic terrorism was their way of expressing their American identity. When they detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon, they weren’t doing it as Chechen Muslims, but as American Muslims.
Like Anwar al-Awlaki and Nidal Hasan, they wanted an American identity that would be based on Islam in the same way that Chechen identity was based on Islam. They wanted it because they believed it to be the only possible way of making America over into a country that would reflect their own values.
There is a reason why second and third generation Muslims are more likely to turn terrorist than their immigrant parents. It is because they have become American, British, Canadian and Australian part of the way. They have gone deep enough to begin making a claim on the country. The Western Islamist seeks to align his internal Islamic identity and his external national identity by unifying them through Islamization.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were not fighting for Chechnya at the Boston Marathon. They were fighting against the American infidels who were barring the way to an Islamic America. They were fighting to make America like Chechnya. Islam is not just a religion. It is a political system. You cannot expect a devout Muslim to live as an American, the same way that you could not expect a Communist, Nazi or any other consuming political identity to just keep it private or local. To think that way is to truly misunderstand Islam.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not become radicalized. They became religious. They embraced a transnational ideology which applied not only to them, their mosque or their community, but to the entire world. Eventually the discontinuity between their beliefs and the life of the city around them became too great to be tolerated. And so the Tsarnaevs, inspired in no small part by the Islamist culture that they found on the internet and perhaps at their own radical mosque, set out to resolve the conflict through terrible violence.
The two brothers were showered with educational and financial advantages. The United States took them in as refugees. The City of Cambridge awarded Dzhokhar a $2,500 scholarship. Tamerlan aspired to be a boxer and found a woman who loved him enough to take his religion. They lived the good life, but it wasn’t enough. It could never be enough.
The liberals who refuse to see what the Tsarnaev brothers stood for passionately believe in the things that they think it will take to make the world a better place. The Tsarnaevs believed that only one thing was necessary; Islam.
Islam was born out of war and terror. It spread through the sword and the slave. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were not the disciples of some imaginary religion of peace, but a religion of war. What they did was horrifying, but not surprising. They were taking part in a world war that had begun over a thousand years ago.
They did not expect to strike the finishing blow; just another blow to bring America closer to the form of submission known as Islam. Like other Muslim terrorists operating in the countless theaters of the world war, from Asia to Africa to the Middle East to Australia and America, they sought to shock and horrify, to break our will to resist and force us to submit.
“He it is who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist.” Koran 61:9
In Boston the infidels resisted the messengers of Mohammed and Allah. They patched up the wounded and saved as many as they could. They hunted down the messengers and shot them. But more will come. They will speak the language of our popular culture and their classmates will remember them as nice young men. No one will understand what caused such nice young men to do it except other nice young men like them who feel the tension between Islam and America inside them waiting to break.
Also appeared on Frontpage.com
The writer is a popular New York City based freelance commentator and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He blogs at sultanknish.blogspot.com
Created on Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:36
Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev sent text messages to his mother as early as 2011 suggesting he was willing to die for Islam, the FBI told lawmakers this week, according to Fox News.
Tsarnaev, who was killed days after the April 15 bombing in a shootout with police, is said to have embraced radical Islam in recent years and recruited his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to carry out the attack that killed three and wounded more than 180 near the marathon’s finish line.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who suffered a gunshot wound to the throat before his capture late Friday, was charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction, for which he could get the death penalty.
Officials said on Wednesday that both the CIA and the FBI had flagged the deceased bombing suspect over possible terror ties, although no action was deemed necessary at the time, the AFP news agency reported.
The CIA asked the top US counterterrorism agency to add Tsarnaev to a terror watchlist more than a year before the bombings, a US intelligence official said.
The spy agency reportedly made the move after Russian officials contacted their CIA counterparts in September 2011 about their concerns over Tsarnaev.
Meanwhile, FBI agents interviewed the parents of the suspects on Tuesday in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, officials said.
Asked about Tamerlan's visit to Dagestan, the parents said he "did not make contact with radical Islamists," a local security source told AFP.
The brothers' father Anzor, an ethnic Chechen born in Kyrgyzstan, has repeatedly said in media interviews that his sons were innocent and could not have carried out the bombings.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said earlier that the two brothers were headed to the Big Apple "to party" after the deadly bombing.
Created on Friday, 15 March 2013 22:46
MOSQUES, IN MOSCOW
In Moscow, you can snub an entire religion and not have it blow back on your political career. Mayor Sergey Sobyanin is doing just that in his battle against "excessive" numbers of migrant workers, many of whom happen to be Muslim.
Sobyanin recently declared that he would not allow any new mosques to be built in his city, quite a change of pace from his other pastime of ruining gay-pride parades. The city only has four mosques, but that's plenty, according to the mayor, who believes new ones won't be needed once Moscow's estimated 2 million unregistered foreigners are "dealt with." Here's more of his reasoning, via RT:
“It has turned out that the praying Muslims are not at all Russian citizens and they are not Moscow residents. They are labor migrants. There are only 10 percent of Moscow residents among them and building mosques for everyone who wants it – I think this will be over the top."
Sobyanin went on to say that the average Moscow citizen is "irritated by people who speak a different language, have different manners, with aggressive behavior," and then quickly added he wasn't trying to make an argument on "purely ethnic" grounds.
Needless to say the city's Muslims are not happy with the ban. The Russian Mufti Council has promised to fight it, saying it's sending a request to build a new mosque to President Vladimir Putin himself.
BUILDING-DESTROYING BIRDS, IN AUSTRALIA
Officials in Yarra Ranges Shire, located to the east of Melbourne, are pulling out the big guns to deal with flocks of small birds. The problem is Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, which to normal pet owners are funny little feather-friends but to Yarra Ranges homeowners are awful, biting, poop-happy vandals. For the past few years cockatoos have been on a destructive tear, destroying properties by pecking away facades, pulling out roof nails and chewing through outdoors furniture. According to one councilwoman quoted in the Herald-Sun Leader, "They don't just stop at wood, they go for powerlines and mortar from tiles." Another councilman called them a "damn curse."
Now Yarra Ranges is trying to make it a crime to feed the animals. A new law would make it a finable offense to set out birdseed even in one's backyard. This prohibition would affect people in Kallista, The Patch, Mount Dandenong and other wonderfully named parts of town; anybody who wants to actually own a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo has to apply for a permit (that rule goes for peafowls and galahs, too). The ban will theoretically help reduce the bird-based infrastructural damage, and with luck give a break for the city employee who maintains the "Reducing Cockatoo Damage" webpage (helpful tips include scaring them at night with lights and "some shooting").
THE IRISH FLAG, IN FLORIDA
Irish descendents in Florida got a shillelagh to their freedom of personal expression recently when a local council cracked down on the display of their old homeland's flag. The problem began when the owners of Culhane's Irish Pub, located in Atlantic Beach, decided to fly the tricolor outside their doors to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. That prompted a visit from code enforcement in February, which issued them a citation and gave a 24-hour ultimatum to take the flag down. "Shocked," Culhane's part-owner told First Coast News. "This is America, the land of every nationality."
What's the beef here? It so happens that Atlantic Beach has an old law on the books forbidding the use of non-United States flags for commercial purposes, according to the Daily News. (As to why it's OK to use the American flag to shill stuff, it's because it's not considered a prohibited "pennant" or "banner.") After receiving much unflattering attention from international media, town officials decided to revisit this regulation and temporarily lift the ban. Now the flag is out of storage and tacked up again on the pub, where it will oversee legions of beer-chugging masses on St. Patrick's.
is a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities.
Created on Sunday, 10 March 2013 16:43
The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups threatened on Friday that a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Temple Mount during his upcoming visit to Israel will be a declaration of war on the Arab and the Islamic world.
A Hamas representative in the Al-Aqsa mosque, Mushir al-Masri, even called for a third intifada (uprising) and for Egyptian assistance in the "resistance" if Obama chooses to visit the Temple Mount.
According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, the Gaza-based terrorist organizations made the threats during a protest march on Friday over the riots that broke out earlier in the day on the Temple Mount.
According to the report, Khalid al-Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad member, also called to prevent Obama from visiting the compound.
Obama will be arriving in the region later this month, and PA media has been widely speculating that he plans to visit the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque. However, Washington is not planning such a visit.
Political and religious leaders in the Palestinian Authority have stressed that Obama should not visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in a way that might compromise what they called its "Muslim sovereignty."
Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, head of the higher Islamic council and former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said that Obama must enter through a gate that was not under Israeli auspices.
"Any visitor is welcome to Al-Aqsa, but they should follow the regulations of the Waqf and enter through the Lions' Gate and not through Mughrabi Gate, to ensure Muslim sovereignty," he said.
Israel liberated the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six Day War, leaving the Waqf in charge of the compound.
The Waqf, in return, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site and has consistently destroyed Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.
Several Israeli police officers and Muslim worshippers were injured during the Temple Mount riots on Friday afternoon.
The riots began when the worshippers started throwing rocks at security forces.
Police stationed at the Mughrabi gate broke in and began to throw stun grenades to disperse the stone throwers. The rioters responded with firebombs.
According to the police, nine officers and five protesters were injured during the incident.
Created on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 22:19
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced Sunday that the French government will be taking steps in the coming days to deport several radical Muslim clerics from the country in an effort to counter the rising tide of radical Islam and prevalent threat of “global jihadism.”
"Many radical preachers of foreign origin will be deported in the coming days." Valls said, addressing an international conference in Brussels, as reported by the Franch Le Nouvel Observateur.
“I do not confuse this radical Islam with Islam as practiced in France generally,” he said, “but there is a religious environment, there are groups who adhere to Salafism, which is a political process, which quite simply aims to monopolize, at the same time, associations and the educational process and which has taken a firm grip in the minds of many families.”
His remarks come shortly after the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Choukri Belaid, an outspoken critic of the country’s Islamist government.
“We will expel all these imams, these preachers, these foreigners who prey on women, hold beliefs contrary to our values and who advocate the need to fight France. From this standpoint, there is a need to be extremely resolute, and I will be,” Valls asserted.
“There is an Islamic fascism rising everywhere, but this obscurantism must, of course, be condemned because it denies the democracy for which the Libyan, Tunisian and Egyptian people have fought,” Valls told Europe 1 radio.
On Saturday, thousand supporters of Tunisia’s ruling Ennhada Islamist party rallied in the capital Tunis to protest “French interference” in Tunisian interior affairs.
The demonstrators waved flags of the Ennahda party and shouted "Get out, France!"
Tunisians overthrew the autocratic but secularist president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, sparking the “Arab Spring” revolutions.
Referencing the brutal March 2012 murders in Toulouse, Valls said the perpetrator , Mohamed Merah, who killed seven people including three Jewish children before being shot dead by armed French police, was not a “lone wolf”.
“The actions of Merah were the result of careful preparation, a learning process involving many contacts. Clearly, he was not acting alone. He carried out the killings on his own but he had travelled in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He had contacts and he lived in an environment where he undoubtedly received rudimentary weapons training,” Valls asserted.
Created on Monday, 14 January 2013 09:38
An Egyptian historian has fingered the Muslim Brotherhood as being responsible for the country's Jews fleeing Egypt.
The history professor, Khaled Fahmi, made the remarks during an interview which aired on Al-Nahar TV on January 3, 2013. They were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"The Muslim Brotherhood bears much of the responsibility for the fleeing of the Jews from Egypt," Fahmi said. "All the writings of the Muslim Brotherhood... If you grab a copy of their Al-Nazir newspaper [from the late 1930s], the editor-in-chief of which was Salah Al-Ashmawi, you will see that there were many anti-Jewish articles – articles that did not distinguish between Zionism and the Jews. An article published in 1938 accused the Jews, among many other things... The article was titled 'The Danger of the Jews to the Islamic and Christian world.' It accused the Jews of being the cause of British colonialism in India. It claimed that the real colonialists in India were the Jews, not the British."
According to Fahmi, "The conflict in Palestine also left its mark on Egypt. There were big skirmishes in 1945. The Jewish synagogue in the Mosky neighborhood was burned down, grenades were thrown, grenades were thrown, and people died."
A Muslim Brotherhood official and a senior aide to President Mohammed Morsi recently caused an uproar in Egypt over his remarks that Egyptian Jews should leave Israel and reclaim their properties back at home.
The official, Essam al-Erian, said during a television interview that "it is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation."
He added that the Jews should return immediately to Egypt to "make way for the Palestinian people" and said, "Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion."
Erian later sought to dispel the controversy he caused by saying that the "ideology of Zionism" had ended in failure and predicting that Israel will cease to exist within a decade.
"Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians' right of return," he said. "Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine."
Erian subsequently resigned from his position, with analysts saying that there was no doubt that he was pressure to quit after inviting back to Egypt the descendants of Jews who were thrown out of the country, or who fled due to anti-Semitic violence.
In response to Erian's comments, the Islamic Jihad terrorist group vowed to fight Jews if they return to Egypt, saying they deserve to be killed.
A video recently released by MEMRI shows that Morsi himself in 2010 rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as "apes and pigs".
Created on Sunday, 13 January 2013 08:48
In an interview on Saudi Arabian TV December 27, 2012, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad declared that “Islam and the U.S. are twins, linked by common values. The values upon which the U.S. was founded are the same values advocated by Islam: Freedom, and especially freedom of religion, freedom of speech, protection of minorities and spreading justice among all sectors of society.”
Awad went on to give us his vision for America, saying, “Every day I live as an American-Muslim citizen I rediscover the firm bonds between the humane system that the U.S. created for its people and the values advocated by Islam. This marriage of Islam and the U.S. will be the best suited for humanity because Islamic values are divine values, conveyed by Allah… the U.S. is not perfect but is moving toward a more perfect union.”
How will that “perfect union” be accomplished, according to Awad? “The combination of my American nationality and the practice of my Islamic religion, creates a beautiful blend, “ he said. “ … This is a civilized blend, which proves Islam flourishes in an atmosphere of freedom, and spreads freedom, justice and equality.”
Awad is one of the founders and the executive director of CAIR, an organization that was named by the U.S. government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history.
He is on record as supporting Hamas, a terrorist entity that advocates, promotes and executes suicide bombing and other horrific attacks on civilian populations.
He recently demanded that the U.S. government allow a radical, extremist Muslim, Saudi Sheikh Ayed Al-Qarni, into America after State Department and the Department of Homeland Security denied his entry on the grounds that he was dangerous.
Al-Qarni was named as one of the Saudi clerics who influenced Osama Bin Laden’s followers and is on record cursing Americans for fighting against Sadam Hussein and praying for their violent demise. “We curse all of them every night and pray that Allah will annihilate them, tear them apart and grant us victory over them ... Throats must be slit and skulls must be shattered," he said. Al-Qarni also says he prays that Allah "will destroy the Jews and their helpers from among the Christians and the Communists, and that He will turn them into the Muslims' spoils.”Awad and Al-Qarni were scheduled to speak at the same Islamist conference last December. Perhaps they were going to elucidate the crowd on how “Islam and the U.S. are twins, linked by common values.”
In the interview, Awad also gives us a history lesson, saying, “It is extremely important to know how Islam began in the U.S. There are historical accounts according to which Muslims preceded Columbus, who is said to have discovered the U.S. Some documents and accounts indicate that Muslim seafarers were the first to reach the U.S. The bottom line is that Islam played a part in the establishment and development of the U.S.”
This fallacy of Awad’s imagination is extremely dangerous in that, many Islamists believe that once a land was occupied by Muslims, it must ultimately revert back to them.
Awad also says in the interview that “Islam’s worldview is one of coexistence, of respect for pluralism, and of peace,” and that “Most of the wars waged between nations were the result of failure to acknowledge and respect the other.”
Just two weeks ago, Awad joined forces with the radical extremist Muslim imam preacher and virulent anti-Semite Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, to make a movie about the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Qaradawi is on record as saying, among many other extremist statements, “I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.”
Qarawadi’s extremism led the United States, Britian and France to ban him from entering their countries as well.
Later in the interview, Awad tells his Saudi viewers that, “After 9/11, we saw great interest among the American public in becoming better acquainted with Islam by studying and reading about it. We found that few books on Islam were available in the public libraries … and most of these books were misleading or anti-Islamic. Therefore, we decided to publish several books on Islam … We decided to send them free of charge to the American public libraries.”
Awad quotes statistics that show there are 16,200 public libraries in the U.S. serving 300 million Americans. He says, “We managed to provide this collection [he holds up a stack of books for viewers to see] free of charge to half of the public libararies [in America.]”
This means that if you take a look at the books on Islam in your public library, there is a good chance that the information you find will have been provided under the auspices of CAIR, who hopes to “twin” with the United States to make a “perfect union” of Islam and America.
Created on Sunday, 13 January 2013 06:35
It's no secret that Iran has been supplying Hamas with weapons and rockets to use against Israel, but a special report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center concluded just how deep the terror link between Iran and Hamas runs, and showed how Operation Pillar of Defense marked a major turning point in the relationship between the terrorist organization and the renegade state.
In Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF struck hard at the military power of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, mainly hitting their weapons stockpile, either supplied directly by iran or built in Gaza using Iranian technology.
It has long been known that the major military capabilities of Hamas were the product of massive Iranian support. The medium-range Fajr-5 rockets (made in Iran) and M75s (manufactured in Gaza with technology from Iran) targeted Israeli civilian population centers, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The report noted that aid from Iran to Hamas was being sent over in massive numbers in the years leading up to the military operation.
"The main route for smuggling arms was from Iran to Sudan and from Sudan to Egypt and into the Gaza Strip through the smuggling tunnels controlled by Hamas," said the report, adding that sea routes were also used to smuggle in weapons, as revealed on March 15, 2011 when the freighter Victoria was seized by the IDF. "The ship was carrying arms bound for the Gaza Strip by way of Egypt, whose arrival would upgrade military capabilities of the terrorist organizations. Among the weapons on board the Victoria were C704 anti-ship missiles, which could be used to attack not only military and civilian vessels but also strategic targets in the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon," the report noted.
The main turning point that came with Operation Pillar of Defense is that before the operation Iranian aid to Hamas and the smuggling of weapons was always kept secret and always denied by Iran. However, after the operation, Iran decided to reveal that it had been giving military aid to the terrorist organizations in Gaza.
"In our assessment, that was because of Iran's deep frustration with the way Egypt and other Muslim countries, such as Turkey and Qatar, had made political and propaganda capital from their support for Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense," the report stated. "By exposing its military aid Iran hoped, in our assessment, to make political capital."
"Hamas' dependence on Iran for military support is still strong, and is, in our assessment, a necessary condition for rebuilding the military infrastructure damaged by Operation Pillar of Defense."
Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah said in a recent speech that the arrival of weapons from Iran though Egypt would "continue in the future as well." In addition, a Hizbullah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper reported that Hassan Nasrallah, meeting with Hizbullah operatives, said that Iran, as it had in the past, would continue sending "large quantities of high-quality weapons" to Hamas.
Therefore, the report noted, Iran is fully expected to play a key role in rebuilding the weapons stockpile of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. "Special attention will be paid to medium-range rockets, whose existence in the Gaza Strip serves Iran's clear interest in creating a rocket threat to Israel from both the north (through Hizbullah) and the south (through Hamas and the Islamic Jihad)," the report stated.
Created on Friday, 11 January 2013 16:17
The group behind last year’s controversial anti-Jihadist advertisements that appeared throughout the New York subway system is planning what is expected to be its largest campaign to date.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative purchased space next to 228 clocks in 39 New York subway stations for ads with an image of the burning World Trade Center and a quote attributed to the Quran saying: “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.”
The clocks are suspended from ceilings above subway platforms in stations across the city.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said the ads went up Monday and will run for a month.
In September, the group displayed similar ads in transit stations, which read “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad” and characterized Islamist opponents of the Jewish state as “savages.”
Nearly all of the ads were vandalized shortly after they had been posted.
Officials at the MTA initially rejected the campaign, citing its demeaning language. However, the American Freedom Defense Initiative sued and in July won a federal court ruling on First Amendment grounds.
In September, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Amended its advertising policy to require all such advertisements to include a disclaimer that they do not imply the authority’s endorsement of their views, The New York Times reported.
The authority’s new guidelines also included prohibitions on ads that the agency “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”
The group's executive director Pamela Geller said that the advertisements — intended to be displayed beside actual clocks, not the countdown clocks that predict train arrivals — cost roughly $320 each for a four-week placement — about $70,000 for all the clocks, according to The Times.
She said that the clocks were her latest advertising target “because metaphorically it’s so powerful. The clock is ticking, from a civilizational point of view.”
Created on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 14:49
A prominent Saudi Islamic scholar was reported on Wednesday as saying wrestling and other dangerous games are prohibited in Islam because they harm the body.
Sheikh Ali Al Hikmi, a member of the 7-man Supreme Scholars Authority in the Gulf Kingdom, said Muslims are not permitted to hurt themselves under any circumstances.
“Therefore, dangerous games such as wrestling and other fighting duels are not permitted in Islam since they cause unnecessary harm to oneself and the opponent,” he was quoted as saying by the Arabic language daily Alhayat.
“It is not permissible for a Muslim to hurt oneself in one way or another…dangerous games like wrestling and other fighting duels could lead to impairment or harm in the brain or the body….therefore, it is prohibited to practice such games.”
He said that God has forbidden Muslims and others from hurting themselves without what he described as a legitimate reason.
“Fighting games could lead to serious fractures or in some cases, to concussion, to those involved in such games because of the blows the opponent might receive on the head with the aim of hurting the opponent and winning the game.”
Created on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:44
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group has vowed to fight Jews if they return to Egypt, saying they deserve to be killed, the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Thursday.
The Islamic Jihad called on the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party’s Essam al-Erian to resign from his role as advisor to the president and apologize to the Egyptian people for his statement asking Egyptian Jews to leave Israel and reclaim their properties back at home.
Last week, Erian caused a storm in Egypt when he said during a television interview that "it is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation."
He added that the Jews should return immediately to Egypt to "make way for the Palestinian people" and said, "Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion."
In response, Mohamed Abou Samra, a leading figure in the Islamic Jihad said, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm, “We shall fight them vigorously if they return, especially the Egyptian-Israeli Jews. Islamic Sharia says they deserve to be killed.”
He added, “Erian is violating religion to be a national hero for the Jews at the expense of the Islamists. And the Brotherhood’s denouncement of his remarks was too mild.”
“They will destroy the economy and foment sedition,” said Samra, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm. “Their return will be over our dead bodies.”
“We will continue fighting the Jews until the liberation of Palestine or Doomsday,” he stressed.
Earlier this week, Erian sought to dispel the controversy he caused by saying that the "ideology of Zionism" had ended in failure and predicting that Israel will cease to exist within a dcade.
"Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians' right of return," he said. "Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine."
"There will be no such thing as Israel,” he continued, “instead there will be Palestine which will be home to Jews, Muslims and Druze and all the people who were there from the start.”
"Those who want to stay will stay as Palestinian citizens. Those who conquered Palestine will have to go back to their countries," he added.
A video released Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows that Erian's boss, Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, in 2010 rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as "apes and pigs".
"These futile [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations are a waste of time and opportunities," Morsi is shown saying. "The Zionists buy time and gain more opportunities, as the Palestinians, the Arabs, and the Muslims lose time and opportunities, and they get nothing out of it. We can see how this dream has dissipated. This dream has always been an illusion. Yet some Palestinians, who erroneously believe that their enemies might give them something... This [Palestinian] Authority was created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests."
He adds, "No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."
Created on Tuesday, 25 December 2012 21:50
Militant Islam is wiping out Christianity in the Muslim Middle East, according to a new study by the British think tank Civitas.
“Christianity is in serious danger of being wiped out in its biblical heartlands because of Islamic oppression,” wrote the report’s author, journalist Rupert Shortt.
Israel, the only country in the region where Jews, Muslim and Christians are free to practice their religion, was not covered in the report. Israel opened up churches and other holy sites to Christians in Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem after Jordan fled the areas in the Six-Day War in 1967. Jordan prohibited Christians from visiting the site during its occupation of the area form 1947 to 1967.
Since the rise of the Islamic Hamas movement, Christians have been on the run in Israel, but mainstream media have tried to blame Israel for the diminishing Christian community, particular in Bethlehem.
Violence against Christians by Muslims in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, outside of Israel, has been ignored by “blind” politicians, largely because it is politically incorrect to criticize Muslims and then risk being accused of “racism.”
The refusal of young Christians in the West to become “radicalized” and mount violent protests against the attacks on their faith also helps to explain the “blind spot” about “Christianophobia” in influential liberal Western circles, wrote Shortt.
He traced the rise of Christianophobia in Egypt to the early 1970s when the quadrupling of oil prices gave Saudi Arabian religious extremists the material means to export their intolerant views around the world.
Civitas stated that “Shortt illustrated the mounting hostility to Christians by quoting the Salafist website ‘Guardians of the Faith’, which published an article saying 'Being a Muslim girl whose role models are the wives of the Prophet, who were required to wear the hijab, is better than being a Christian girl, whose role models are whores.'"
Converts to Christianity often are killed in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Iran, the report said and converts who remain alive may be subjected to heavy legal punishment.
One of the worst offenders of activity against Christians is the non-Muslim country of China, but a Chinese government official has charged that the United States and other Western nations “deliberately export Christianity to China and carry out all kinds of illegal evangelistic activities” with the aim of using the religion “to change the character of the regime...in China and overturn it.”
But Muslim countries are the most widespread offenders of freedom of religion, and Civitas estimates that between a half and two-thirds of Christians in the Middle East have left the region or have been killed in the past century.
Created on Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:53
A Tunisian support group for minorities said Wednesday that it has lodged a complaint against an imam, accusing him of inciting hatred against Jews in a fiery television sermon.
"We have lodged a complaint with the court of the first instance in Ben Arous against the imam of Rades mosque, Sheikh Ahmed S'hili, for inciting hatred," the association's lawyer Kais Baltagi told AFP.
The complaint is based on legislation which stipulates that anyone using media to "incite hatred between races, religions and people" can be jailed for up to three years.
S'hili's sermon was aired on November 30 by the private network Hannibal TV.
The channel itself is not included in the complaint because it broadcast the imam's remarks live and was unaware in advance of the nature of his comments, Baltagi said.
In the sermon, S'hili heaped abuse on Jews and urged G-d to wipe them from the face of the earth.
"O Allah, you know what those accursed Jews have done, the corruption they spread across Earth... Strike them so that there is not one of them left. Allah, make the men and women sterile," he said, as quoted by AFP.
The Jewish community in Tunisia is one of the largest in the Arab world but its numbers have dropped from 100,000 at independence from France in 1956 to around 1,500 today.
Created on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 06:37
A joint effort by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), IDF and police has uncovered the terror cell that bombed a Tel Aviv bus in late November.
The cell is based in the area around the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah, in the Samaria (Shomron) region. Its members are affiliated with the Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations.
The attack in which 26 Israelis were wounded came on the final day of Operation Pillar of Defense, the counter terror offensive to silence rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel from Gaza.
The State Attorney's Office announced plans to to file an indictment Wednesday morning against an Israeli Arab man in connection with the attack.
The suspect, a resident of of the Israeli Arab city of Taibe was allegedly recruited by the terror cell. He is believed to have left several bombs on the bus and then detonated one of them using a cell phone.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai requested permission from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to begin the unusual procedure of revoking the citizenship of the suspect, anticipating the possibility that he may be convicted.
In a letter to the Attorney General, Yishai noted that the attack was an act of terror and thus qualified as grounds for revocation of the accused terrorist's Israeli citizenship under the Citizenship Law.
The suspect, a former resident of the Palestinian Authority, became a citizen of Israel through marriage via the Family Unification Law.
Created on Monday, 10 December 2012 08:17
Islamic Jihad has placed Israel on warning it will break the ceasefire on missile attacks if its leader is banned from entering Gaza.
Israel has been spared rocket and missile attacks since the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire took effect on November 21 after the IDF’s Pillar of Defense campaign and the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system pushed the de facto Hamas regime into a position of having to back down or face a massive ground incursion.
Islamic Jihad, Hamas’ major rival terrorist organization, and other terrorist groups adhered to the truce. Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh said in Gaza Sunday, "We had hoped that Dr. Shalah could have visited Gaza accompanied by Hamas leader Mashaal, but the Israeli occupier had a different opinion.”
Sources quoted by Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency said that Israel threatened to assassinate Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah if he enters Gaza, causing the party to reconsider a planned visit.
Egyptian authorities told Islamic Jihad that Israel rejected the visit and would target leader Ramadan Shalah and his deputy Ziad Nakhla if they went into Gaza, sources close to the discussions told Ma'an.
"We want Palestinian unity, national reconciliation and we want to see unity embodied when Shalah and the Palestinian Authority’s president Mahmoud Abbas visit the Gaza Strip along with all resistance factions. After that we will focus our efforts on our enemy,” al-Batsh said.
Abbas has not yet visited Gaza nor is he expected to do so in the foreseeable future, despite his announced unity with Hamas.
Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal visited Gaza last Friday. Several Israeli leaders from both sides of the political fence said that Israel should have taken the opportunity to drop a missile on Mashaal.
Created on Saturday, 01 December 2012 20:58
PA terror groups in Gaza announced earlier this week that they supported the PA's statehood bid and were fully behind PA chief Mahmoud Abbas in his attempt to get the UN General Assembly to upgrade the PA's delegation to non-voting state observer status. But on Thursday, hours before the UN vote, spokespeople for both Hamas and Islamic Jihad indicated that their leadership might not be fully on board with Abbas' program.
According to Bethlehem-based news service Ma'an, Hamas top terrorist Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas was in favor of the bid. “Nobody is against statehood, and (my government) supports any political movement to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied Palestinian territory,” Ma'an quoted Haniyeh as saying. “Our vision is to have a state based on inalienable Palestinian principles, and a state on the pre-1967 borders does not mean ceding the rest of Palestinian land.”
But on Thursday, Hamas spokesperson Mushri al-Masri added a note of dissonance to Haniyeh's comments. “The statehood bid has no meaning,” he said. “The PA did not ask the public what their opinion of this process was before going to the UN. A statehood bid must be based on a consensus of the Palestinians.” Al-Masri's comments, said Israeli analysts, indicated a level of discomfort in Hamas with the process, in line with Hamas' efforts to be seen as more “radical” than Abbas.
According to Ma'an, Islamic Jihad was supposed to be on board with the PA bid as well, but in a statement, top Jihad terrorist Abdullah Shami said that the group was actually opposed to it. “We will never support attempts by Mahmoud Abbas to get PA recognition at the UN,” he said. “Our goals and ideals are far greater than going to the UN General Assembly,” he added.
According to PA-watchers, there is a bare majority for the bid among Arabs living in PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, but by no means a consensus. A Ramallah resident quoted by Yediot Aharonot said “I support this effort because we will get a lot of support from the international community.” However, another resident, echoing a common concern among PA Arabs, said that he was opposed to the plan, “because many countries will stop sending funds here.”
A Voice of Israel public radio reporter, who was present at what was supposed to be a major PA-sponsored "independence rally" in Ramallah, said that his impression was that there was "not a consensus among PA Arabs for this move. I have seen the square where these rallies are held far fuller on other occassions." The reporter said that it appeared that many of the attendees were actually government employees who had been let off work earlier in the day, as well as schoolchildren who had apparently been brought from class, With that, the reporter said, there were only about 1,000 people at the event. "The relatively empty square indicates that not all Palestinians are in favor of this move, it appears," the reporter said.
Created on Monday, 26 November 2012 12:43
The Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research into Its Early History by Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R Puin (Jul 30, 2009),
The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran by Christoph Luxenberg (Mar 2007)
Created on Thursday, 15 November 2012 07:53
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government is suggesting that the country’s new constitution be based on the principles of Islam.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s website published on Monday the draft of the new constitution, which was put together by a special committee numbering 100 members, the majority of which are members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist parties.
According to the draft, translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi, the main clauses in the new constitution are:
“[Sunni] Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is the official language and the principles of Islamic law are the main source for legislation.”
"The principles of the religion of the Christians and the Jews are the main source of legislation for the personal and religious affairs and for the purpose of choosing their spiritual leaders."
"The Al-Azhar (considered the highest authority in Sunni Islam) is an independent Islamic institution ... whose purpose is to spread the message of Islam and religion. All residents are equal before the law ... there shall not be discrimination because of sex, origin, language, religion, belief, opinion, social status or disability. The state ensures the freedom of religious worship of monotheistic religions in accordance with the law.”
The draft also notes that "freedom of opinion is guaranteed, and should not hurt the Prophet of Prophets."
On Friday, more than 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims demonstrated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, demanding that Egypt's new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic Sharia law.
The rally was organized by a number of minority Salafi groups, but neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor the main Salafist Al-Nour party backed the protest.
Demonstrators demanded that the panel tasked with writing the new constitution override liberal and secular objections and include language that could allow religious scholars to influence legislation.
During his election campaign, Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Morsi reiterated his commitment to jihad and to the Islamic Sharia law.
“The Koran was and will continue to be our constitution,” the Muslim Brotherhood candidate said in a speech broadcast on Egyptian television. “The Koran is our constitution. The prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration.”
Morsi also said, “This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic Sharia. I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text (of the constitution), Allah willing, the text will truly reflect (the Sharia).”
Created on Monday, 12 November 2012 07:08
Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the younger brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, said that news reports suggesting that his Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is planning to establish an Islamic emirate in Sinai were inaccurate and were misleading the public.
In statements to Al Arabiya, Zawahiri denied that his group was “Takfiri,” meaning that it accuses people with opinions different from its own of apostasy.
He also denied reports that his group was planning to carry out terrorist bombings in Cairo, describing such reports as part of a media campaign against his group.
He said media and security entities in Egypt should be cleansed of former regime figures. “The seditions that some parties are trying to ignite will destroy the nation as a whole and those parties need to put national interests at the top of their concerns,” he said, according to the report.
He claimed that his group, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, is trying to spread its message of Islam with lectures, conferences and books and not with weapons.
Zawahiri also noted that his group has no plans to take part in forming a political party or taking part in the elections because it does not believe in “the concept of democracy.”
“We reject the current democracy that gives sovereignty to people, because sovereignty is to God only, and this is what we demand,” he said. “But we recognize the democracy that seeks to establish justice, equality and human dignity because it is compatible with the teachings of the Islamic religion.”
“Our only demand is that sovereignty be to God and that everything that is against God's law is illegitimate,” he added, according to Al-Arabiya.
Al-Zawahiri has previously called for Jihad against the Jews, as is customary among those belonging to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.
In a television interview, which aired on Egypt’s CBC TV on October 4, Zawahiri said, “Fighting Israel, fighting the Jews is a religious duty incumbent upon all.”
“The Egyptian government should have been fighting the Jewish enemy. Perhaps due to circumstances – its weakness, its interests – the Egyptian government ignored a religious duty incumbent upon it. Not just the Egyptian government – the Jordanian one as well. This is a religious duty incumbent upon all Muslims,” he added.
Created on Monday, 05 November 2012 08:37
Imagine that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – the traditional site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus – has been taken over by Cromwellian Puritans. The new owners of the shrine plan to send bulldozers in, replacing the old church with a monstrous building resembling a concrete spaceship. This is so pilgrims can pray without being distracted by “superstitious” icons. Also, the Old City will be buried under hotels that make Vegas look like Venice.
It wouldn’t happen, would it? Christians would fight to the death to preserve Jerusalem. So would Jews and Muslims. And, for once, they’d have the support of secular politicians and scholars, horrified by the prospect of an act of cultural vandalism unprecedented in modern times.
Unprecedented until now, that is. The long-cherished ambition of Saudi Arabia’s ruling Wahhabi sect to smash up the ancient buildings of Mecca and Medina is nearing fruition.
In Mecca, the house of one of Mohammed’s wives has been demolished to make space for public lavatories. His birthplace may disappear, too, as part of King Abdullah’s scheme to complement the skyscrapers and shopping malls with a Grand Mosque fashioned from the same materials as a multi-storey car park in Wolverhampton.
As for Islam’s second holiest place, the city of Medina, a recent article by Jerome Taylor in the Independent revealed a megalomaniac plan to pull down three 7th-century mosques. Taylor added: “Ten years ago, a mosque which belonged to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited. Pictures of the demolition that were secretly taken and smuggled out of the kingdom showed the religious police celebrating.”
Only a small minority of the world’s billion Muslims are Wahhabis, despite the tens of billions of petrodollars spent by the Saudis propagating their creed. (Bosnia, for example, is now littered with Saudi-style mosques, replacing the graceful Ottoman architecture that Wahhabis detest.) Many pilgrims to Mecca are revolted by the marriage of Puritanism and greed they find there. Yet protests are scattered and muted. Why?
One answer is that the House of Saud, though widely hated, is also feared: its wealth and terrorist connections make it unlikely that, say, a Pakistani politician would speak openly about the desecration of the Hajj.
The West can hardly complain about such gutlessness: this year’s Hajj exhibition at the British Museum was creepily sanitised – no mention of bulldozers or the 2,000ft clock tower built right next to the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building that is the centrepiece of Islamic devotions.
But what sticks in the craw is the hypocrisy of Muslims who throw a fit if Israeli archaeologists carry out non-intrusive work underneath the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, “Islam’s third holiest place”, as we’re constantly reminded. Such anger would be more convincing if the first and second holy sites weren’t being ploughed up by a police state. Likewise, are cartoons of Mohammed really more offensive than reducing the remains of his life to rubble?
As one Middle East expert put it to me: “Jews disturbing the Dome of the Rock fits into an anti-Western narrative, so Muslims can cope with that. The Saudi destruction of Mecca doesn’t fit into that narrative, and so there’s virtual silence.” Something worth bearing in mind, perhaps, when you wonder why the murder of Muslims by Muslims in Darfur or Syria provokes only limited outrage in the Islamic world.
Polly’s praise has a hollow ring
Dear Polly Toynbee was in such a tizzy over the EU in yesterday’s Guardian, trying to reconcile her support for Labour’s new line with her ferocious Europhilia. I’ll spare you the details of her contortions, except to say that she ended up by praising the one Blairite minister who had been properly “tireless” in his support of the European Union: Denis MacShane. That’s the same Denis MacShane MP who resigned yesterday after being found guilty of tirelessly submitting 19 false invoices for “research and translation” services. As Polly says, a man truly in communion with the spirit of Brussels.
Vicars with a satanic side
"An ex-Satanist returns to the Catholic Church,” read a headline on a US website this week. Alas, it was just about some woman who’d given up astrology, surely the realm of the feeble-minded rather than of Devil-worshippers.
As it happens, I do know a Christian who used to be a Satanist punk rocker. He’s now an Anglican vicar and a jolly good one, so I won’t embarrass him by naming him.
Mention of Satan and vicars always reminds me of “The Daemons”, my favourite Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story, in which Roger Delgado’s Master poses as the Rev Mr Magister.
He strikes me as your typical Low Church country parson – until, that is, he retires to the crypt to conduct black magic rubrics with distinctly Anglo-Catholic flamboyance.
A sorry state of affairs
Here’s a contender for most humiliating apology of the year: a 540-word mea culpa issued to Lord Ashcroft by Dr Éoin Clarke, whose boring and sanctimonious blog “The Green Benches” is devoted to exposing the wickedness of Conservative health policy. Dr Clarke has been forced to say sorry on five separate counts, including wrongly suggesting that Ashcroft donated money to the Tory party in order to increase the use of agency staff in the NHS.
Incidentally, we’re not talking about a GP blogger who was too busy to check his facts. The only house calls Dr Clarke is qualified to make are to people urgently seeking info on Irish women’s history, the subject of his PhD. As I’ve noted before, Clarke is so proud of his doctorate that he even calls himself “@DrEoinClarke” on Twitter. Bless.
Incidentally, how do you pronounce his name? Says my Gaelic expert: “It’s basically 'Eeyore’, but with just a hint of the click sound made by Xhosa tribesmen.”
The plot thickens
How very, very odd. We learnt this week that the Slimming World All-Party Parliamentary Group, which allows Westminster politicians to discuss “weight management”, is being wound up. The reason given: a fall in membership. Hmm. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but why have the numbers dropped off since 2010? Might it be politically disadvantageous, shall we say, for an ambitious Tory MP to show too much interest in the subject of double chins?
I seek out my Deep Throat in the Downing Street kitchens. At the mention of the words “Slimming World” she raises a knowing eyebrow. “You’ll have to do your own research,” she says. “All I can tell you is: follow the custard.”
Damian Thompson is Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. He was once described by The Church Times as a "blood-crazed ferret". He is on Twitter as HolySmoke. His new book is called The Fix: How addiction is invading our lives and taking over your world.
Created on Monday, 29 October 2012 10:57
Al-Qaeda has formed an all-female 'Burkha Brigade' to infiltrate and hit Western military bases and targets, as they are less likely than men to attract suspicion.
A film posted online shows the all-female unit of al-Qaeda using an alarming array of weapons, including machine-guns, grenade rocket launchers and sniper rifles during their training session at an unknown location.
The women are thought to have been recruited from the war-torn Russian republic of Chechnya by an al-Qaeda-linked group, with bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, The Sun reported Sunday.
The report has raised concerns that the global terror network has formed all-female units because they are less likely to attract suspicion than men and can more easily infiltrate security barriers.
Women also remain less conspicuous as they generally hide the explosives beneath the abaya — the black cloak worn from head to toe, according to The Sun.
In September, a female suicide bomber in Afghanistan rammed an explosive-laden car into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least 12 people, including eight South Africans.
In August, a 30-year-old Russian actress who converted to Islam killed Dagestan’s top Muslim spiritual leader Sheikh Said Afandi and six others in a suicide attack.
Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:56
Christian Martinez of Sydney, Australia, knowingly, willingly and intelligently converted to the extremely strict branch of Islam known as Wahhabism.
Martinez found out first hand exactly how strict and violent Wahhabism is.
Four men, Wassim Fayad, 44, Zakaryah Raad, 21, Tolga Cifci, 21, and Cengiz Coskun, 22, were charged with administering 40 lashes to Martinez with an electrical cable.
All of the accused have plead not guilty.
As reported by News9 of Australia, after Martinez admitted to ingesting both alcohol and cocaine to his spiritual leader (Fadi Alemaddin) Fayad, the Burwood Local Court heard a recording of a telephone conversation between the two, in which Fayad was heard to tell Martinez;
"It means I'm going to tie you up, brother, because that's what you need."
What Martinez didn't know was that he would be forcibly held down to his own bed by Raad, Cifci and Coskun, while his Fadi Alemaddin beat him.
Fayad reportedly told his victim;
"Next time you think of picking up a drink, you will remember this pain."
During court testimony, Martinez stated;
"(Fayad) told me I was going to be punished under Islamic law for what I'd been doing with drugs and alcohol."
The Muslim quartet gave Martinez a break after the first 10 lashes... only so he could vomit.
The accuser testified he was crying and begging them to stop;
"I was begging, 'please no more, I don't want any more.'"
Reportedly, there was another vomit-break at the 20 lash mark.
Martinez also stated in court that;
"he was told he should be getting 80 lashes for intoxication and that only the infirm were given 40 lashes."
As testified, Fayad told Martinez the reasoning for the lashing was;
"I did it because I love you."
Created on Monday, 15 October 2012 15:53
An estimated 10,000 Muslims protested outside of Google’s offices in London in an attempt to force the company to remove “Innocence of Muslims,” the anti-Islam film that has gained notoriety for mocking the prophet Mohammed, from YouTube in the United Kingdom, The Telegraph reported.
Masoud Alam, the organizer of the London protests, told the newspaper that, “Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film.”
“This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed,” he said.
According to The Telegraph, barricades were erected in front of Google’s headquarters as the crowds carried posters saying: “We love our prophet more than our lives” and “Prophet Mohammed is the founder of freedom of speech.”
Organizer and speaker at the rally Sheikh Fayez al-Aqtab Siddiqui, was quoted by the paper as saying that, “terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this film have terrorized 1.6 billion people.”
“Organizations like Google are key players and have to take responsibility for civility. You can’t just say it doesn’t matter that it's freedom of speech. It’s anarchy,” he said.
A spokesman for YouTube responded by saying, “we work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions.”
“This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video -- which is widely available on the Web -- is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” he said, according to paper.
Created on Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:58
Hate-filled abu izzadeen Islamist told the UK Home Secretary "how dare you come to a Muslim Area?" UK - "Muslim Area"? Really?
"One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory."
- Houari Boumedienne, president of Algeria at the United Nations in 1974
Created on Thursday, 11 October 2012 08:39
According to a news story on the respected Worldnet News Daily (WND) web site – with an accompanying array of photos as evidence – U.S. President Barack H. Obama has been wearing, since his days in college, a ring on which is inscribed the Shahada, the main Muslim prayer. The report quoted Egyptian-born Islamic scholar and author of five books on Islam, Mark Gabriel, as saying that based on the photos, Obama, if not a Muslim, had a very close connection to the religion. There can be no doubt that someone wearing the inscription ‘There is no god except Allah,’ the main feature of the Shahada, has a very close connection to Islamic beliefs, the Islamic religion and Islamic society to which this statement is so strongly attached,” Gabriel said.
Obama has for years denied any connection to Islam, stating that he is a Christian, and that he has been a long-time member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, presided over by the infamous Reverend Jeremiah Wright. But Gabriel said that Obama's wearing of the ring did not jibe with that claim. “Christians never use the statement,” Gabriel told WND. “By wearing the Shahada on jewelry, a person communicates that Allah is in control of all circumstances. Allah controls you; Allah is the one and only one.”
The article contains numerous photos of Obama throughout his academic and political career in which he is seen wearing the ring, which contains the Arabic letters representing the Shahada in gold inlay, written in a calligraphic style commonly used in Islamic design and literature for the prayers. The photos go back to 1981, when Obama was a student was at Occidental College, and continue through the period when he worked in Chicago, and throughout the presidential campaign and the years of his presidency.
The article also contains an excerpt from an interview by Nicholas Kristoff, an op-ed writer for the New York Times, with Obama during the 2008 campaign. Kristoff discussed with Obama his childhood education in Indonesia, where Obama said that he attended Islamic school, and learned the Adhan, the call to prayer that is broadcast at mosques around the world five times a day, which he demonstrated for Kristoff. The writer noted that Obama, who said the prayer in Arabic, pronounced it with “a first-rate accent.” He then went on to quote Obama as saying that the prayer, as far as he was concerned, was “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
The ring was also described in a 2009 New York Times article recounting Obama's wedding with his wife Michelle. The article quotes the Times' piece as noting the “intricate design” on Obama's ring, unlike Michelle's, which was a traditional wedding ring. Apparently, the article said, many people who have come into contact with Obama over the years have noted the ring and questioned the President about its meaning, with Obama dodging an answer each time. The WND article cites a satirical edition of the Harvard Law Review put out by students in 1990, in which Obama is listed as having been successful at, among other things, “Deflecting Persistent Questioning About Ring On Left Hand.”
“Muslims recite the Shahada when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night,” Gabriel told WND. “It is repeated five times every day in the call to prayer in every mosque. A single honest recitation of the Shahada in Arabic is all that is required for a person to convert to Islam,” he said, adding that there was “no way” Obama could have remained oblivious to the meaning and context of the ring's inscription for so long. “By wearing this religious statement on one’s hand, it connects the person to Islam,” Gabriel said, adding that it was “a blessed statement in Islam.”
Created on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 20:14
Militants in Gaza fired two rockets into southern Israel on Wednesday evening in the midst of a recent cross-border fracas. Israeli police told AFP that nobody was injured.
Wednesday morning the IAF hit targets in the northern Gaza Strip.
Palestinian security sources told the AFP the air strike “hit a training camp in Beit Lahiya which was used by militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement.”
The Israeli military described the target as "a terror tunnel" and said that it was attacked "in response to over 40 rockets that were fired at Israel this week."
A small group of Salafists claimed responsibility early on Wednesday for the rocket fire. Salafists, such as the Islamic extremists in Egypt have been gaining strength throughout the Middle East, and especially in Hamas controlled Gaza.
Earlier in the week, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired a round of rockets at southern Israel a day after the IAF raided the border town of Rafah.
The recent activity marks the end of a de facto cease-fire that began in June.
Created on Friday, 05 October 2012 08:55
The leader of the Islamic Jihad terror group, Ramadan Shallah, said on Thursday that it is time to re-examine the ceasefire with Israel, which terrorists from Gaza usually break in any case.
In a recorded speech to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Jihad, Shallah said that all arrangements with Israel have failed miserably.
"We object to the prevention of the realization of the armed struggle or taking it out of the agenda, and we support the possibility to agree on a period of calm, but if this calm becomes open-ended it causes a risk to the struggle and to the Palestinian problem,” he said in the speech, translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi. “We demand that this policy be reconsidered.”
Shallah said there were both positive and negative aspects for Palestinian Authority Arabs in the Arab Spring. On the one hand, he said, the Arab Spring has drawn attention away from PA Arabs, a fact which he said gives an advantage to Israel, which exploits the situation to establish facts on the ground.
On the other hand, said Shallah, the Arab Spring opens the possibility to recruit greater support from the Arab and Islamic world for the PA, and the question at hand is when this will be translated into action.
He said that “we do not expect and do not demand that anyone start a war against Israel for Palestine tomorrow, even if this is an obligation, but we say that a diplomatic campaign can be launched for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is facing collapse because of the underground excavations for the purpose of the construction of the false Temple.”
The ceasefire to which he was referring is likely one that was brokered by Egypt in June after Gaza-based terrorists fired more than 100 rockets at Israel within several days.
Such “ceasefires” are usually announced by Gaza’s Hamas rulers after each round of escalation, but the Gaza-based terrorist groups, the Islamic Jihad included, always take advantage of these “ceasefires” to periodically send a reminder to Israelis that they have the ability to fire rockets.
A rocket fired from Gaza crashed into southern Israel on Thursday night, without causing casualties or damage.
The attack comes after a similar one on Monday.
Created on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 18:00
Egypt's top Muslim cleric on Saturday called for an international ban on all forms of attacks against Islam, after a controversial film allegedly triggered the recent wave of violent protests that have erupted in the Middle East and North Africa.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning, stressed "the need for an international resolution (banning) any attack on Muslim religious symbols," in a statement addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and published by official MENA news agency.
The resolution should "criminalize attacks on Islamic symbols and on those of other religions, after the violence against those who provoked challenges to world peace and international security," Tayyeb said.
An amateur film produced in the United States, titled "Innocence of Muslims," has been accused of inciting a wave of bloody anti-American violence in Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and several other countries. While the Muslim world has been blaming the recent protests on the provocative film, it is likely a convenient ploy and timely excuse to renew the violent attacks.
The imam added that it was the UN's responsibility to "protect world peace from any threat or aggression," so that "these dangerous events cannot recur."
He called on "Egyptians in these trying times (to show) wisdom and restraint."
Thousands of people across the Islamic world on Friday staged anti-American protests against the film, which portrays Muslims and the Prophet Mohammed in a negative light.
Created on Sunday, 16 September 2012 08:51
Three Arab youths were caught Saturday night desecrating Jewish holy books at a sacred Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem. The vandals were in the process of trying to burn several Tehillim – volumes of the Book of Psalms authored by the Biblical King David – at the ancient Mount of Olives Cemetery.
The three perpetrators, Arab teens about 16 years old, are residents of the Arab neighborood adjacent to the cemetery. All were arrested; two confessed to the crime, and the third was also found to have been involved although he continued to deny it. Police told reporters they plan to expedite prosecution of the case.
When a controversial Florida-based Christian cleric burned the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an in 2010, the incident sparked worldwide rage and violent riots by Muslims around the globe. One week ago, an obscure, amateur video clip produced by an individual in the U.S. mocking the life of the Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, sparked massive violent attacks against U.S. and other Western diplomatic missions around the world as well.
A U.S. Ambassdor, three American diplomats and two U.S. Marines were murdered and diplomatic missions in Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Sudan were badly damaged by Muslim extremists last week -- all using the "insulting" video clip as the excuse.
The Mount of Olives cemetery is an ancient, sacred Jewish burial ground still used today for interrment of modern rabbinic leaders along side holy Torah sages dating back thousands of years. The great Torah Sage and head of the worldwide Lithuanian hareidi-religious yeshiva world, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was laid to rest at the cemetery earlier this summer, when he passed away at age 102. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the modern State of Israel, is among the righteous Jewish leaders who are interred at the cemetery.
But there have been numerous reports in various news outlets – including Arutz Sheva – noting complaints about countless incidents of Arab vandalism, desecration and attacks on Jews at and near the site. Some examples:
This past July, Arabs in a car who struck a vehicle with Jewish passengers near the cemetery got out of their car and began to attack the Jewish driver and his daughter. The lone police officer present was unable to stop the violence and was forced to call for backup.
In a separate incident, a Jew who visited his grandfather's grave at the cemetery in June was horrified to discover local Arabs had used the cemetery as a place to throw out trash and burn household waste.
In February, U.S. Representatives Elliot Engel and Jerry Nadler, and Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein were attacked by Arab rock throwers during their own visit to the Mount of Olives. The two lawmakers and Hoenlein all noted past video evidence of Arab vandalism and desecration at the Jewish holy site. Charley J. Levine, adviser to the Preservation Committee in Israel, told Arutz Sheva at the time, “This is not a freak occurrence. This sort of vicious vandalism and desecration occurs at Har HaZeitim (Mount of Olives) every single day – some orchestrated, and some spontaneous."
Created on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 19:19
In Gaza, young children were sent Monday to approach the border with Israel to bring sweets, cakes and chocolates to Islamic Jihad terrorists stationed at various strategic outposts.
The little boys brought the candies and other goodies to the terror organization's fighters in celebration of the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The guerrilla fighters and guards who were stationed in the western area of the region said they were surprised to see the small children approaching. They thanked their mothers and promised “not to deviate from the path of jihad and resistance, despite all cost and difficulties.”
One of the terrorists, Abu Hamza, told the website of the Islamic Jihad's military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, “We were encouraged by the wonderful children's visit. We expected them to talk like that, because they have experienced the crime of occupation, and they know they have rights that have been denied, and which must be returned by force.”
According to the report posted on the terror organization's website, one of the children who came along for the visit said he had waited with great excitement.
"Yesterday I planned with friends to visit the mujahideen,” said Mahmoud. “We waited for this moment. When I told my mother, she made special sweets for us to give [the fighters] and said to give them regards.”
He added that he too wants to join the Al-Quds Brigades, “to protect my people and my land, and to avenge the martyrs, the prisoners and the wounded.”
Created on Friday, 03 August 2012 17:32
Allah honored women by instigating punishment of beating. While beating her, he must not curse her!
He beat her in order to discipline her!
Created on Saturday, 14 July 2012 19:43
This is a documentary aired on Norwegian Television, Nov, 2010 (English subtitles).
Created on Monday, 02 July 2012 08:20
How Islam Jihad expanded Islam then.... history of Islam
Created on Saturday, 23 June 2012 17:21
The Islamic Jihad terror movement claimed on Friday that it held its fire during recent Israeli raids on Gaza because the attacks were limited in scale, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported on Friday.
The IAF launched a series of airstrikes in response to continuous rocket attacks on southern Israel this week. One attack targeting operatives riding a bicycle through the region eliminated two Islamic Jihad terrorists.
Ma’an noted that the Islamic Jihad did not respond but that the military wings of other Gaza-based terror groups, including Hamas, fired rockets into southern Israel.
Islamic Jihad leader Nafeth Azzam told Ma'an, “The escalation was not huge like the previous time, but we were ready and always available. We were not pressured by any side whether to participate or not.”
Political analyst Yahya Rabbah told Ma’an that in the last round of violence the Islamic Jihad “took the entire burden of facing the occupation as most of the martyrs and the injured were its leaders and no one stood beside it until a truce was made through Egyptian mediation.”
In March, terror gangs in Gaza led by the Islamic Jihad fired over 200 rockets into Israel over a period of four days, following the targeted killing of Popular Resistance Committee leader Zuhir Musa Ahmed Qaisi and his deputy, Mahmoud Ahmed Mahmoud Hanani.
He suggested that Islamic Jihad stayed on the sidelines this week “to see how others would face the Israeli aggression.”
Analyst Akram Atallah told Ma’an that the Islamic Jihad did not respond to the Israeli raids on Monday because it was still abiding by a previous truce – which was broken several times.
“Suddenly the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, shelled Israeli villages and areas near Gaza but Islamic Jihad stayed committed (to the truce),” Atallah said, suggesting that Hamas resumed rocket fire on Israel after making political calculations related to Egypt's presidential elections.
He said Hamas fired rockets to test Israel's reaction in light of regional changes, and for this reason the Islamic Jihad did not participate.
The Islamic Jihad has claimed it has rockets that can reach Tel Aviv and has threatened that it is ready to expand the reach of its rocket fire "beyond the Israeli town of Ashdod."
Category: Women rights
Created on Monday, 11 June 2012 18:48
When Dr Zabina Shahian married Pervez Choudhry she thought he would be the man with whom she would settle down for the rest of her life and start a family.
But she did not know the former Conservative party leader on Slough Borough Council was still married.
Choudhry, 54, who claimed he did not realise the marriage in Pakistan was legally valid in the UK, was given a community order after admitting bigamy.
A "devastated" Dr Shahian now wants to help other women who are victims of polygamous marriages - a practice a leading family lawyer says is "rife" within the British Muslim community.Dr Shahian believes the episode has meant she has "missed the boat" at starting a family.
The GP, in her 40s from Erdington in Birmingham, spent more than two years and thousands of pounds gathering evidence against Choudhry.
The investigations, which involved a private detective, revealed Choudhry married his first "arranged" wife in 1986, with whom he had three children but never legally divorced.
But Dr Shahian, who did not want her picture published, realises she was lucky, as a career woman, to have been able to afford the detective fees and also to have support from her family to go through with the prosecution.
However she said some members of her local South Asian Muslim community were less understanding."When I go down to my parents I get all the neighbours looking at me.
"As a Muslim woman I'm supposed to keep a low profile. I feel like I've committed a crime here although I'm the victim.
"You're supposed to keep your mouth shut and you're supposed to just carry on. It is impregnated into our culture."
Despite this she is determined to help other Muslim women who find themselves the victim of polygamy, women who may not have the same financial security and who may feel cultural pressure not to speak out.
The Choudhry bigamy case was unusual, as more commonly the actions of Muslim men who take more than one wife are not answerable under UK law.
This is because they are able to avoid having their second or third marriages registered in the UK by having a Nikah ceremony instead - an Islamic non-registered marriage contract not recognised under British law.
For a Nikah wedding to be recognised in the UK, the marriage needs to have an accompanying civil ceremony.
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, director of think tank The Muslim Institute, said men could exploit the "cruel loophole" of the Nikah, allowing them to have more than one wife under Islamic law but not having to register the marriage in the UK, which means the woman would have no spousal rights if the marriage were to fail."They dump their first wife and simply go to Pakistan, Bangladesh or wherever and marry again," he said.
Leading family solicitor Annemarie Hutchinson, who represents Muslim women, said no official statistics were available but that Dr Shahian joined thousands of Muslim women in the UK who were victims of polygamous marriages.
"There are lots and lots of second marriages and second wives - it's rife."
But in cases where prosecution would be possible, she said there would be no case "unless the first or second wife pushes for it".
"It's bigamy but the police won't prosecute because there would be thousands of cases," she said.
A Muslim Marriage Working Group, set up by the Ministry of Justice, met on Monday for the first time to identify the issues "some Muslim women experience when they do not have a legally registered marriage", according to a spokesman.
But combating a cultural pressure on some Muslim women is difficult, says Dr Siddiqui.
Polygamy "is so widely spread they don't blame men having a second wife or a third or fourth wife," he said.
"They accept this is their lot."
Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain and who is an imam, said in the Koran it stated men were allowed to take more than one wife, but only under strict rules that included obtaining consent from the first wife and treating all wives equally and fairly.
He did not think there were many polygamous marriages in the UK but "condemned" the actions of men who flout the polygamy rules.
He also described as "sad" the "cultural pressures" that prevent women standing up for justice.
"Whatever cultural norms there may be, what Islam does not allow is the mistreatment of women, full stop."
Dr Shahian said: "Islam does not allow deceit and lies, but there are a lot of women who, due to their circumstances and due to their financial problems, accept being the second wife.
"I hope a lot of women out there who are suffering would put a stop to this."
Category: Press Releases
Created on Friday, 08 June 2012 20:54
Protect freedom of speech, expression and religion in Italy, Europe and the Arab-Islamic world, provide legal and (wheever possible) financial support to anyone suffering from ''legal jihad'' (i.e. censorship in the name of Islam by religious extremists) are some of the ambitious aims of the association Vincere La Paura (''Overcoming Fear'').
The association will be presented this afternoon by the researcher Valentina Colombo, who teaches Arabic Language and Literature at the Bologna University and who has translated numerous Arab classics, including the Nobel Prize for Literature winner Naguib Mahfouz. ''Censorship in the name of Islam does not exist solely in Muslim-majority countries,'' said the new president of the association. ''The gagging of the intellectual class, and not only, by Islamic extremism is now also seen in the West.'' Here, she continued, ''anyone who speaks out against a representative of Islamic extremism or who does not abide by 'Islamic correctness' is regularly reported and brought before a judge.
'' Vincere La Paura also aims to help anyone who is forced to convert in order to be married according to civil rites, and supports anyone who is threatened in general and therefore limited in their freedom of religion and expression. If one of the advantages of armed jihad is that of being clear and therefore easily recognisable,'' said Colombo, ''there is another type of jihad, a much more subtle one, which is conducted in courthouses.''
The associations aims to ''unmask the tactic of Islamic extremism which accuses, threatens and persecutes its enemies indiscriminately, accusing respectable Muslims of apostasy and non-Muslims of Islamophobia,'' concluded Colombo. Founding the new association alongside the researcher are the lawyers Gabriele Gatti, Tommaso Monfeli, Sara Occhipinti, Gherardo Fiume, Giovanni Formicola, Roberto Ponte and Rita Sermoneta.
Created on Monday, 04 June 2012 18:49
More than 70 students in South Africa have been left without a roof over their heads after they were kicked out of college dormitories for refusing to comply with Islamic traditions and rules, The Independent Online reported.
The Coastal KZN As-Salaam campus in Braemar suspended classes two weeks ago after students protested that those staying in the college dormitories were being forced to study the Qur’an and wear Muslim garb.
While the campus was reopened Tuesday, more than 70 students who had been living in the dormitories were told to find their own off-campus living arrangements.
Those living in the college dormitories had been receiving financial aid from the Department of Higher Education and noted that without the assistance they would be unable to pay for their college expenses.
“Now that we have been kicked out of the dormitories, our parents have been forced to pay for rent outside the college. I’m paying R300 a month and I’m sharing the room with 11 other students, and I still have to buy groceries. In the dormitories, I was sharing the room with four people, and the meals were provided by the college,” said a student who studies at the university.
The campus belongs to the Department of Higher Education, which rents the premises to the As-Salaam Institution and promotes Islamic education and religion.
“All we wanted was to be free to practice our own religions and not be forced to follow Islam, but now we have been punished by being deprived of safe accommodation,” the student noted.
“Some of my classmates have not returned to the college as they were concerned about their safety if they live outside the college.”
The head of the Coastal Central further education and training college, Patche Tigere, said that while he was not in a position to talk to the situation, he was working to resolve it.
Higher Education spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said her department was talking with the college management and education officials in the province to resolve the matter.
Created on Sunday, 03 June 2012 07:32
A best-selling author questioning the origins of Islam in a new book has received death threats on the Twitter social networking website.
Robert Spencer, director of the website “Jihad Watch,” questioned the source of Islam in a new book, “Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into the Obscure Origins of Islam,” published by ISI Books. Spencer is also the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth about Muhammad (both New York Times best-sellers) and is a columnist for FrontPage Magazine.
But upon publication of his latest book, which theorized that the founder and prophet of Islam, Muhammad, did not really exist, Spencer was threatened with a violent death.
The threat of beheadings and stabbings was sent on May 30 to the author via Twitter by an Australian Muslim whose ID was 'abdulhakim'.
The potential attacker, whose Twitter handle is @83_amira sent a tweet that stated: “1,200 of your books were burnt in Australia yesterday by me Cause you a liar, lucky you are miles &miles away.” A second threat sent was “slandering the prophet is not freedom of speech you dog, scumbag. I would not slash u, but cut you head off and hang it on the White House.”
Several more threats from the same Twitter account were also sent, calling for killing David Wood, a blogger and Teaching Fellow in Philosophy, as well as blogger Pamela Geller who writes on the "Atlas Shrugs" website. The threat to Geller stated, “she needs to be hung or slaughtered because of her hatred.”
The following day tweets from “Adam' whose handle is @allahuakbar12 added fuel to the fire, saying “Its your fault you brought it upon yourself.” Another tweet in favor of violence followed from @frigidfire23, writing “That man would do humanity a great favor!Maybe he should pay you a visit too.World would be a much better place without u2!”
The Twitter account @83_amira has since been suspended.
Created on Saturday, 02 June 2012 20:13
A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified criminal, after he criticized the Prophet Mohammed, on air, according to a Russian news agency.
Sergey Aslanyan, 46, was brought to Moscow’s hospital with numerous non-penetrating knife wounds to the chest, neck and arm.
According to the police report, on late Monday evening an unknown man called Aslanyan’s apartment over the building intercom asking him to come outside for a talk.
When the journalist stepped out of the entranceway he was knocked over the head with a heavy object and then attacked with a knife.
Aslanyan claimed that the attacker was shouting, “you are Allah's enemy!” during the attack.
There are conflicting reports as to whether there was one or several attackers.
The journalist is reportedly conscious and in stable condition and his flat is currently being guarded by police.
Investigators say they do not have a primary lead, but hope to identify the perpetrator using porch surveillance camera data, the news agency reported.
While speculations remain, the attack is said to have been the result of Aslanyan’s remarks against the Prophet Mohammed while on the air.
“The Prophet Mohammed, as we know, was not a religious figure. He was a businessman, but after getting considerable financial support built plans as to how to get to the top,” Aslanyan had said. He also asserted that the Prophet “rewrote the Bible” so that “now everyone would know the Prophet Mohammed was not a market shopkeeper, but an outstanding political figure.”
According to Aslanyan, the idea of Islam was a “business project from the very beginning,” and turned out to be successful due to “handsome financing.” He also speculated that the Prophet had some sort of sexual disorder.
While he did later apologize for his remarks, he has nonetheless stirred outrage in the Muslim community and has prompted a widespread angry reaction on the Islamic internet forums.
Muslims from the Republic of Tatarstan, where Islam is the dominant religion, wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General’s office saying, “These insults wound our religious feelings and come into conflict with Russian legislature, because they unleash ethnic discord and interreligious hatred.”
“Islam does not recognize the resort to force – for this there are authorities and courts,” the spokesperson of the Clerical Administration of the Republic of Tatarstan told Izvestia.
The radio host’s colleagues said that despite being a well-known agitator, Aslanyan had always been cautious regarding the comments he made on the air.
Recently, the Muslim community has been in, what seems like, a daily uproar regarding various ‘blasphemous’ being made against Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabians expressed outrage over a McDonald's toy, which, they say, mocks the Prophet.
This week, too, an Egyptian court upheld a three-year sentence against a teenage Christian student for posting a drawing on his Facebook page that allegedly did the same, while prosecutors in Turkey demanded charging an internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist for comments he made on Twitter insulting Islam.
Created on Saturday, 02 June 2012 18:07
A Turkish court on Friday formally charged an internationally known pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values, in comments he made on Twitter.
According to The Associated Press, the court in Istanbul voted to approve an indictment against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, National Orchestra of France and Tokyo Symphony.
The 42-year-old Say faces charges of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting “religious values.” He allegedly mocked Islamic beliefs about paradise in April.
Say’s lawyer, Meltem Akyol, told AP the pianist has denied the charges. The trial will be held on Oct. 18, she said.
“We certainly do not accept the charges," Akyol said. “He has stated in his initial testimony during the probe that he had no intention to humiliate any religion. He was basically criticizing those who are exploiting religion for profit.”
Akyol said Say's tweets and retweets on social media cannot be considered as public remarks because only people who follow him can see them.
In one tweet cited in the indictment, Say said, “What if there is raki (traditional anisette drink) in paradise but not in hell, while there is Chivas Regal (scotch) in hell and not in paradise? What will happen then? This is the most important question!!”
Islam forbids alcohol and many Islamists might consider such remarks unacceptable. In one of Say’s retweets, one excerpt questioned whether paradise was a “brothel?” according to the indictment.
Akyol claimed that line belonged to the wine-loving 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, adding that Say “was merely expressing his ideas within free speech.”
She confirmed that Say closed his Twitter account before the court decision Friday, because he was annoyed with messages.
“He has lately incurred the wrath of some people,” Akyol told AP. “He has even been receiving death threats.”
Say could face a maximum 1 1/2 years in prison if he is convicted, according to the AP report.
Previously, the report noted, Turkey's Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was prosecuted for his comments about the mass killings of Armenians, under a law that made it a crime to insult the Turkish identity. The government eased that law in an amendment in 2008.
In another incident in 2007, ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who received death threats because of his comments about the killings of Armenians by Turks in 1915, was shot dead outside his office in Istanbul.
Created on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 21:09
An Egyptian court upheld a three-year sentence against a teenage Christian student for posting a drawing on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohamed, Egypt Independent reported.
The Assiut Court of Appeals said that it has found 16-year-old Gamal Abdu Massoud guilty of defaming religion, state-run news service MENA reported on Tuesday.
Juvenile court sentenced Massoud to three years in prision in April, after he published the ‘blasphemous’ cartoons in December of that year.
“Assiut child’s court ordered the jailing of Gamal Abdou Massoud … for three years after he insulted Islam and published and distributed pictures that insulted Islam and its Prophet,” the court said in a statement seen by Reuters.
Muslims reacted angrily to Massoud’s ‘insulting’ cartoons by attacking Christians and burning houses in the Manqabad village in the southern city of Assiut, home to a large Christian population.
According to Article 98(f) of the Penal Code, “Confinement for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years… shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever makes use of religion in propagating, either by words, in writing, or in any other means, extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity.”
Human rights activists say that this article poses a threat to freedom of expression.
This year, Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, a founder of the liberal Free Egyptians political party, faced similar charges of defaming Islam after he posted pictures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse wearing Islamic attire on Twitter.
Renowned comedic actor Adel Imam was also brought to court on charges of “contempt of religion."
Created on Monday, 28 May 2012 22:21
Prosecutors in Turkey have demanded charging an internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist for comments he made on Twitter, insulting Islam.
According to reports, Fazil Say, an avowed atheist, is being accused of inciting hatred and "public enmity" and insulting “religious values.”
In one tweet Say wrote, “wherever there is a stupid person or a thief, they are believers in God. Is this a paradox?”
On a different occasion, he tweeted, “After tonight everyone in the country will be an atheist.”
Last month, he sent controversial tweets questioning whether heaven in Islamic belief is like a brothel or pub, because the Quran says that there are rivers flowing with alcoholic drinks and that beautiful virgins are waiting for martyrs and others who commit ‘good deeds,’ noted Today’s Zaman.
The state-run Anatolia news agency reported on Friday that an İstanbul court will decide whether to accept the proposed indictment against the pianist.
Say has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France and Tokyo Symphony.
He is not alone in being targetted for expressing his conscience via twitter in a Muslim country. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates have also leveled criminal charges - and in some case stiff penalties - against citizens for posts they made on the Internet.
Created on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 17:08
The Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank on Wednesday fired a Christian employee who refused to wear a scarf to cover her hair as part of uniform for female staff.
“The bank warned Vivian Salameh to cover her hair as part of the women’s uniform approved earlier this year, but she refused,” Iman Afaneh told AFP.
“Five other Christian women are working at the bank, and they are committed to wearing full uniform, including the headscarf.”
But Salameh said she “refused to wear the partial head cover because it is against my principles,” and is religious coercion.
“The bank uniform registered at the trade and industry ministry does not include wearing anything to cover my hair,” she added.
Salameh described her attire as modest and well-within the norms for business attire in Jordan, where her branch is located.
Hijab – traditional Muslim dress – is not required by law in Jordan and not all Muslims, let alone non-Muslims, choose to wear it.
Queen Raina of Jordan – frequently seen in public without a headscarf – has stressed all women should have the right to choose whether to adopt hijab.
"I am a staunch supporter of every woman’s right to wear the Hijab, just as I am a staunch supporter of every woman’s right to choose not to wear it," she told the BBC in 2010.
The Jordan-based Islamic bank is a public shareholding company which launched operations in 2010.
Created on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:25
Islam forbids atomic weapons and other arms of mass destruction, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted on Wednesday ahead of his country’s nuclear talks with world powers in Baghdad, as Israel urged world powers not to waver in key talks with Iran.
“Based on Islamic teachings and the clear fatwa (edict) of the supreme leader, the production and use of weapons of mass destruction is haram (forbidden) and have no place in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense doctrine,” he said.
Ahmadinejad’s message was read out at a conference in the western city of Borujerd to commemorate Iranian victims of chemical weapons during a 1980-1988 war against Iraq, the official news agency IRNA reported.
World powers were to hold crunch talks in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday with Iran to try to persuade Tehran to suspend sensitive nuclear work.
Ahmadinejad’s mention of a fatwa against nuclear weapons by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referred to an edict which officials say he laid down in either 2004 or 2005.
Though no published fatwa exists, Iranian scholars point out that declarations by prominent ayatollahs can later take on the weight of a fatwa.
Khamenei has spoken out against nuclear weapons on several occasions, most recently on Feb. 22 when he said that possessing an atomic bomb “constitutes a major sin.”
“The Iranian nation has never been seeking an atomic weapon and never will be,” while developing nuclear energy was in Iran's interest, he said.
The United States has seized on Khamenei’s stance as a possible basis to resolve the dangerous standoff with Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that Iranian officials “point to a fatwa that the supreme leader has issued against the pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
World powers expect Tehran to back up that position by demonstrating “clearly in the actions they propose that they have truly abandoned any nuclear weapons ambition,” she said.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged world powers not to waver in key talks with Iran on Wednesday, warning that any failure to halt enrichment would see Tehran obtain a nuclear weapon.
“In Baghdad, we must watch out that partial concessions do not allow Iran to avoid a tightening of sanctions,” he said, just hours before the start of a second round of talks between Tehran and six world powers in the Iraqi capital.
“Without strengthening the current painful sanctions, Iran will continue towards a nuclear capability,” the defense minister told Israel’s public radio.
“We must not blink, give up or capitulate until the very last minute,” he said.
“If they let them continue, Iran will keep on enriching uranium from 20 percent to 60 percent and 90 percent and they really will get a nuclear weapon. I don’t know exactly when but it will happen,” he warned.
“Now is the time for the entire world to stop them,” said Barak.
A day ahead of the second round, U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said his agency was poised to ink a deal with Tehran, in a move which was greeted with deep suspicion by Israel, which sees Iran's willingness to talk as a ploy to win an easing of sanctions and to gain more time for enrichment.
Israel has also poured scorn on the P5+1 talks, with Barak deriding its demands of Tehran as “minimalist” and saying they would never be enough to make Iran halt its nuclear program.
Created on Saturday, 19 May 2012 08:37
I had the great honor and pleasure of interviewing Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders yesterday.
Wilders is in the United States to mark the long-awaited publication of his book, Marked for Death: Islam's War on the West and Me, with a packed round of radio, TV and print interviews. So far, these include an in-depth interview with Glenn Beck on GBTV, and also an appearance on Fox News' Sean Hannity show.
For the heartburn alone that Wilders' appearance with Hannity undoubtedly caused the Saudi Dictatorship Family, a scion of whom infamously owns the second largest stake in Fox's parent company News Corp, the Hannity spot was was worth it. As a Fox-watcher long horrified by the specter of Saudi-Islamic influence over many reputedly conservative flaghsip outlets -- Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post -- I have to congratulate Hannity, Fox's biggest brand, for inviting Wilders on the show. That said, what a deeply fallen state we in America are in when a leading political affairs show host has to be patted on the back for going against the Sharia-Powers that Be and inviting arguably the most remarkable man in politics in the world -- Geert Wilders -- on the air.
Wilders, as most readers know, is world-famous as a proponent of free speech and as an opponent of Islamization in the Netherlands and the wider West. The two go together. They must because Islam, in keeping with its kindred totalitarian systems Communism and Nazism, is all about the erasure of free speech. For this reason alone, a prince of sharia like Alwaleed bin Talal, nephew of the King of Sharia Arabia, headquarters of the OIC, should be barred from holding stock in US media companies. While protected by the First Amendment, the media companies can hardly help being compromised by a chilling effect.
Thus, Sean Hannity has to get a pat on the back for presenting even five minutes of Wilders' clarity and insights on the ongoing Islamization of the West to grossly under-served Fox viewers.
And what of Fox part-owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal? Somebody, somewhere knows what his reaction to Wilders on Hannity was. I can picture him on that $500 million Airbus 380 of his, gnashing his teeth in the magnetic-Mecca-rotating prayer room, flying into Jeddah, Sharia Arabia, and rushing over to OIC headquarters, calling for action. Wilders has crossed the "red lines" again! Do something, heads of state and foreign mininsters of the umma -- all of whom regularly participate in OIC, proto-caliphate activities.
Fantasy no doubt. Still, the very next day, Wilders and his book were "deplored" in a noticeably overwrought OIC statement:
May 2, 2012:
A Spokesman of the Islamophobia Observatory of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation expressed dismay on the recent publication of a book titled “Marked for Death, War against the West and Me” by his [sic] author Mr. Geert Wilders, a Dutch Parliamentarian and a self-proclaimed activist against Islam. The Spokesman reiterated that the new book is nothing but a repetition of Mr. Wilders campaign of hate mongering against Islam in abusing of his right of freedom of expression.
Watch out, America. This notion of abusing the right to freedom of expression is the latest technique to hamstring criticism of the repressions of Islam.
Suffice it to say that his activities have been denounced and disavowed by the Dutch Government, Dutch Parliament, the European Parliament as well as the Council of Europe.
Meanwhile, the Dutch people have made Wilders' party the third-largest in the country even as all of Islam, as represented by the sharia-guided OIC, the largest voting bloc inside the UN, singles him out for condemnation.
Created on Friday, 18 May 2012 10:14
A number of books published in recent years have demolished the myth of an allegedly tolerant Islamic culture that preserved the Greco-Roman heritage. Ibn Warraq’s book Why the West Is Best is among the better and more accessible titles in this field. As I concluded in one of my earlier essays, the only part of the ancient Greek heritage that proved to be more compatible with Muslim than with Christian European culture was slavery, and possibly anal sex with young boys in certain parts of the Islamic world.
In early 2012 the historian Emmet Scott published Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy. If you have any interest in the subject of the Greco-Roman legacy and Islam as they relate to medieval Europe, I strongly recommend that you buy this book. For those who are interested, Scott has published some excerpts from this work online at the New English Review.
Many books claim to be groundbreaking, but rather few of them actually are. Emmet Scott’s Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited falls into the latter category.
He shows convincingly that archaeological excavations paint a very clear picture of devastation brought by the Arab conquests throughout the entire Mediterranean region, from Syria to Spain, in the seventh century AD.
The Belgian historian Henri Pirenne in his work Mohammed and Charlemagne, published posthumously in 1937, suggested that Islam and the Arab conquests constituted the real dividing line between the civilization of Greco-Roman Antiquity and that of medieval Europe. Moreover, Islamic raids in the Mediterranean partially cut Europeans off from their Classical roots. Scott supports this hypothesis but goes even further than Pirenne — who focused on Europe — by showing that the Arab conquests and Islamic repression largely destroyed Greco-Roman Classical civilization in North Africa and parts of the Middle East, which were more urbanized than Europe.
In short, rather than preserving the Classical heritage, as their apologists like to claim, Arabs and Muslims did more than anybody else to wipe out Greco-Roman civilization. The modest contributions they made by preserving certain Greek texts through Arabic translations cannot in any way make up for this massive wave of destruction.
Scott demonstrates that by cutting off the normal trade of Egyptian papyrus to Europe, leaving Europeans only with expensive parchment made from animal skins as a viable alternative, the Arabs essentially doomed much of the Classical literature to oblivion due to a chronic shortage of good writing materials. Sadly, the heroic efforts made by medieval Christian monks in Europe for centuries could only partly make up for this loss.
The author also describes how certain ideas such as an early version of the Inquisition, the concept of Holy War and other often negative innovations were spread due to Islam. The first massacres of Jews in Europe were carried out in Spain by Muslim mobs early in the eleventh century; in 1011 (in Cordoba) and 1066 (in Granada).
He rejects the distorted and romanticized view of Muslim tolerance. On the contrary, with the Arab conquest of North Africa and Spain, “a reign of terror was to commence that was to last for centuries.” After the appearance of Islam, “the Mediterranean was no longer a highway, but a frontier, and a frontier of the most dangerous kind. Piracy, rapine, and slaughter became the norm – for a thousand years!” Yet this fact has been almost completely overlooked by historians, especially those of northern European extraction. As Scott concludes in his book:
With the arrival of Islam, Mediterranean Europe was never again at peace – not until the early part of the nineteenth century, anyway. Muslim privateers based in North Africa, the Barbary Pirates, terrorized the Mediterranean until after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. In the centuries preceding that, Muslim armies, first in the form of the Almoravids and later the Ottomans, launched periodic large-scale invasions of territories in southern Europe; and even when they were not doing so, Muslim pirates and slave-traders were involved in incessant raids against coastal settlements in Spain, southern France, Italy, Dalmatia, Albania, Greece, and all the Mediterranean islands. This activity continued unabated for centuries, and the only analogy that springs to mind is to imagine, in northern Europe, what it would have been like if the Viking raids had lasted a thousand years. It has been estimated that between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries Muslim pirates based in North Africa captured and enslaved between a million and a million-and-a-quarter Europeans. Although their attacks ranged as far north as Iceland and Norway, the impact was most severe along the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, France and Italy, with large areas of coastline eventually being made uninhabitable by the threat.
Because of this constant Islamic threat for more than a thousand years, the Mediterranean coastal lands of southern Europe from Spain to the Balkans had to live in a state of constant alert, with fear of pirates and Jihadist slave raids never far removed. A similar pattern can be detected in the Black Sea region, from Romania to Russia.
Scott’s book does have a few weaknesses. Among the minor ones, Scott occasionally gives too much space to describe fringe hypotheses such as the one positing three missing centuries during the Early Middle Ages that supposedly never happened.
My most serious objection to Scott’s book is that, with some minor exceptions he seems to take traditional Islamic history at face value, and accepts that the Islamic expansions took place the way Muslims claim that they did. Robert Spencer’s recent book Did Muhammad Exist? presents a very different view on this matter.
It must be treated as a serious possibility that when the Arab conquests began, Islam as we think of it today simply did not exist. If that is the case, this creates some gaping holes in the apologia about the allegedly “tolerant” nature of the Arab conquests. We know both from archaeological evidence and from comments by conquered peoples that the Arabs were quite brutal conquerors. Furthermore, if Islam did not exist in recognizable form then it was not possible for the Arabs to forcibly convert the conquered peoples to Islam at this date.
Nonetheless, the single most positive thing to be said about Emmet Scott’s book is that Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited is truly groundbreaking. This is especially so when Scott explains how the archaeological evidence clearly indicates a sudden wave of massive destruction throughout the entire Mediterranean region in the seventh century of our era that can hardly be attributed to anything other than the Arab conquests.
While there are a few minor flaws in this work, the central thesis of the book is convincingly demonstrated: The decline of Greco-Roman civilization seems to coincide with the rise of Islam. That is hardly coincidental. The historical pattern is very clear: Where Islam enters, civilization soon exits.
Created on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:31
Americans believe Islam is in global conflict with the West, a Rasmussen poll reveals, but most think the US should ignore the Islamic world.
Two polls reveal that a large majority of Americans believe there is a global conflict between Islam and Western civilizations and that Americans are split over whether Muslims see the United States is an enemy, but they also think their country should ignore the Islamic world.
The Rasmussen polling organization released on Monday results of a telephone survey that showed nearly 63 percent of the respondents see a conflict between their civilization and Islam.
Only 18 percent felt there is no conflict, while the others are not sure, but the majority nevertheless take an isolationist view when asked, “Should the United States do more to encourage the growth of democracy in the Islamic world, or should it leave things alone?”
In a separate Rasmussen poll of likely U.S. voters, 39 percent believe that Muslims view the United States as an enemy, while 35 percent disagree. The remainder were not sure.