Archive for March 16, 2017

Opposing Trump Is The New Article Of Faith For Lawyers

March 16, 2017

Opposing Trump Is The New Article Of Faith For Lawyers, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, March 16, 2017

Attacking or obstructing Trump appears to be an accepted exemption from long-standing rules of legal practice and judgment. It is the legal version of the papal indulgences, which once forgave or reduced the punishment for sins. The legal indulgence appears to allow (and even celebrate) unprofessional acts, when taken in opposition to Trump or his administration. However, legal rules mean little if they become discretionary when they might support Trump. And if legal rules mean little, then lawyers will mean even less in this administration or any administration.

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Below is my recent column about a type of new article of faith for lawyers in opposing President Donald Trump and his Administration.  Here is the column:

It seems these days like lawyers are proving Jeremy Bentham correct that “lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.” Frankly, President Trump appears to bring out the worst in some lawyers. Indeed, opposing Trump appears to be a new article of faith for lawyers, including some who have been lionized for conduct that is facially unprofessional and arguably unethical.

Sally Yates and the obstruction of executive power

The strange influence that Trump has on lawyers was immediately apparent within days of his taking the oath of office. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates ordered the entire Justice Department to stand down and not to assist the president in the defense of his first executive order on immigration. In a letter to the president, Yates said she was not convinced that the law is just or right.

It was a curious position since the Justice Department argued for the last eight years, and as recently as 2016, that President Obama had sweeping authority over immigration. It is also the Justice Department that defended the alleged “torture program” under the Bush Administration without Yates or others taking such a stand. Yet, Yates effectively dared Trump to fire her over the immigration order and he did so.

Yates was immediately celebrated as a hero by many. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called her firing another “Saturday Night Massacre,” referring to Nixon’s forcing the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Yates, however, was less a political massacre as it was a ritualistic suicide. Yates could have resigned like Richardson and Ruckelshaus.

Indeed, she only had a couple days left at Justice Department. But she sought to prevent an entire federal department from supporting a sitting president of the United States. It was a highly unprofessional act that raised serious ethical questions about the duties of a government lawyer. Among the bar rules controlling the conduct of lawyers in Washington, Rule 1.3 requires any withdrawal to be done without harming the client.

Yates did not conclude that the order was unlawful but was simply not convinced of its legality even though many (including lawyers at the Justice Department) argued that the president had this authority. She articulated a reason to resign from her position but not to obstruct a president. Under the same logic, Yates’ position would allow officials to obstruct a host of executive actions based on the failure of the president to convince them of their wisdom.

Monica Herranz and the shielding of illegal immigrants

Oregon Judge Monica Herranz allegedly was not satisfied with just ordering staff not to assist the Trump administration. Herranz held a hearing with Diddier Pacheco Salazar, 22, an illegal immigrant who pleaded guilty to a driving under the influence (DUI) case. Immigration officers were waiting outside of the courthouse to take Salazar into custody.  However, he never emerged. When they went into the courtroom, he was gone. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers accused Herranz of allowing Salazar to use her personal chamber door to evade the officers.

If true, it was an act of knowing obstruction. It further contravenes federal law which makes it a crime to conceal, harbor, or shield an illegal immigrant from detection. Nevertheless, the U.S. attorney declined to criminally investigate the judge who will instead be subject to possible judicial discipline. In the meantime, many are celebrating a judge who is accused of using her judicial office to obstruct the enforcement of federal law.

Preet Bharara and the refusal to resign from his post

Most recently, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, took a baffling position in refusing a presidential directive to resign. The most charitable thing to say about Bharara’s action is that it was more unhinged than unethical. After Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of all U.S. attorneys, a standard change of political appointees in a new administration. New administrations (particularly with a change of party) often demand such resignations. Bill Clintondemanded the resignation of all U.S. attorneys and no Democrats or liberals objected. George W. Bush had more of a transition but ultimately replaced all but one U.S. attorneys.

Ironically, presidents will sometimes ask for global resignations from political appointees only to decline to accept some on an individual basis. Bharara’s action guaranteed that he would not be one of them. U.S. Attorneys Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein did submit their letters and the president reportedly declined to accept their resignations. We will never know if Bharara might have been on that short list because he placed himself on an even shorter list in refusing to resign.

Bharara said that he believed that Trump agreed to have him continue as U.S. attorney. Yet, even that is true, what professional standard is Bharara relying on for this obstructive position? Bharara is a rebel without a cause. He has no vested interest in this political position even if a promise were made. Yet, he is being again lionized for his highly unprofessional and frankly juvenile demand that he be fired. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe tweeted Bahara “is a hero. His firing was no ordinary turnover.”

All U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. Bharara insisted on being fired despite the fact that Trump was entirely within his right to ask for resignations and was following the course of other presidents. It is hard not to conclude that Bharara was using his office to try to embarrass the president of the United States. By doing so, he played to political passions rather than performing his professional duties.

Attacking or obstructing Trump appears to be an accepted exemption from long-standing rules of legal practice and judgment. It is the legal version of the papal indulgences, which once forgave or reduced the punishment for sins. The legal indulgence appears to allow (and even celebrate) unprofessional acts, when taken in opposition to Trump or his administration. However, legal rules mean little if they become discretionary when they might support Trump. And if legal rules mean little, then lawyers will mean even less in this administration or any administration.

The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

March 16, 2017

What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts. Some

by Bassam Tawil

March 15, 2017 at 5:00 am

Source: The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

  • What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.
  • Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.
  • Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

What does Hamas mean when it says that it “accepts” an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem without recognizing Israel’s right to exist?

Is this a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of the extremist Islamic terror movement? Or is it just another ploy intended to deceive everyone, especially gullible Westerners, into believing that Hamas has abandoned its strategy of destroying Israel in favor of a two-state solution?

Recent reports have suggested that Hamas is moving towards “declaring a Palestinian state over the 1967 borders.”

According to the reports, Hamas is also contemplating changing its charter so that it would no longer include anti-Semitic references. The charter, which was drafted in August 1988, contains anti-Semitic passages and characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty. The same reports also claimed that Hamas’s revised charter will also state that the terror movement is not part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some analysts in Israel and the West have interpreted these reports as a sign that Hamas is finally endorsing a policy of pragmatism toward Israel and Jews. They are particularly excited about Hamas’s purported intention to declare (in its revised charter) that its conflict is “only with Zionism and the occupation, and not with Jews around the world.”

Judging from the analyses published by some commentators and Palestinian affairs “experts” in the past few days, one might conclude that Hamas is on its way to making a dramatic change in its vicious ideology. Unfortunately, however, the facts suggest otherwise.

Changes or no changes, the movement has no intention whatsoever of abandoning its jihad to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

The purported shift in Hamas’s policy is illusory. What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.

When Hamas talks about “accepting” a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines without recognizing Israel’s right to exist, it is actually saying, “Give us a state so that we can use it as a launching pad to destroy Israel.”

Indeed, senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan leaves no room for ambiguity when he explains this point. Hamas, he says, does not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 “borders,” but this does not mean that “we will recognize the Zionist occupation and that the entire Palestinian land belongs to Palestinian and Islamic generations.” He also repeated Hamas’s opposition to any form of negotiations with Israel.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was also quick to refute claims that his movement was headed toward accepting the two-state solution. Calling for stepping up the “intifada” against Israel, Zahar said that Hamas’s goal was to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.

Hamas’s recent internal and secret election saw the rise of Yahya Sinwar as the top leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip. His election is seen as an indication of the growing influence of Hamas’s military wing. Sinwar, a convicted murderer, was released from Israeli prison a few years ago. The rise of Sinwar to power is also a sign that Hamas is headed toward more extremism and terrorism and preparing for the next war with Israel.

The Hamas military wing has a rather spotty history of following the directives of the movement’s political leaders. For example, recurring attempts by Mashaal and Haniyeh to end the dispute with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) have been repeatedly thwarted by the Hamas military wing and other leaders of the movement, first and foremost Zahar.

Let’s remember, for a moment, the annual rallies held by Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip. At these rallies, masked Hamas terrorists remind the world that their true goal is to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Armed Hamas militiamen on parade with a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher in Gaza, in August 2016. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

At one such rally, Zahar announced that Hamas already has an army whose mission is to “liberate all of Palestine.” He continued: “By God’s will, this army will reach Jerusalem.”

Hamas continues to remain committed to all forms of terrorism against Israelis. There are no signs whatsoever that the movement is on its way to endorsing a peaceful and popular resistance against Israel. Quite the opposite is true: Hamas never misses an opportunity to clarify that it continues to encourage terrorism against Israel. The latest assertion from Hamas came this week when one of its spokesmen, Abdel Latif Al-Kanou, issued a statement praising a stabbing attack against two Israeli policemen in Jerusalem. Hailing the attack as a “heroic operation,” the spokesman stressed that the “intifada” against Israel would continue.

This is not the first time that Hamas has talked about “accepting” a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

In the past, some Hamas officials were quoted as saying that they do not rule out the possibility that their movement would one day accept such an idea. But these statements always came in the context of Hamas’s effort to rid itself of its growing isolation in the Gaza Strip.

The latest reports concerning floated changes in Hamas’s charter, too, ought to be seen in the context of the movement’s ongoing effort to end its isolation. But it is nothing but a smokescreen to mislead the international community into believing that it is on its way to toning down its murderous intentions.

So, what is prompting this disingenuous “change of heart”?

Reports that the Trump Administration is considering the possibility of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. In all likelihood, Hamas is simply seeking to appear as if it is moving toward moderation. In other words, Hamas is prepared to lie — at least in English — about its independence from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Disturbingly, some Westerners are already marketing Hamas’s deception tactics as a “major shift” in the movement’s ideology and plans. Facts, however, are that Hamas remains a terrorist organization that has not and will not abandon its plans to eliminate Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Here is a dose of deadly reality: Hamas seeks to extend its control to the West Bank as part of its plan to destroy Israel. It wants Israel to give the Palestinians more land so that it would be used as a launching pad to drive the Jews into the sea. This is Hamas, like it or not.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

Zuhdi Jasser’s assistant attended Garland jihad shooters’ mosque in Phoenix

March 16, 2017

AIFD’s Community Outreach Coordinator is or was a member of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, the mosque attended by the jihad terrorists who attacked our American Freedom Defense Initiative free speech event in Garland, Texas on May 3, 2015.

By – on March 15, 2017

Source: Zuhdi Jasser’s assistant attended Garland jihad shooters’ mosque in Phoenix – Geller Report

Yesterday I called Zuhdi Jasser “the Grand Mufti of the Stealth Jihad.” This is more evidence of the correctness of the title. Courtney Lonergan is a “moderate” — she works for Jasser’s AIFD. But she was close friends with Garland jihadi Ibrahim Simpson. She knew all about him. The distinction between “moderates” and “extremists” is not as large as many non-Muslims imagine it to be — witness Jasser’s endorsement of Alija Izetbegovic, about which I also wrote yesterday.

“Zuhdi Jasser’s assistant attended Garland jihad shooters’ mosque in Phoenix,” by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, March 15, 2017:

Yesterday I cited professional moderate Muslim Zuhdi Jasser’s endorsement of pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist Alija Izetbegovic as an example of the problematic aspects of the entire moderate Muslim enterprise. Here is more. At Jasser’s American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) website, the “Our Team” page contains biographies of two people: Jasser himself and Courtney Lonergan, AIFD’s “Community Outreach Coordinator.” (Demonstrating yet again Jasser’s capacity for sonorous gobbledegook that he displayed in such abundance on his Blaze show denouncing me and others as “alt-jihadists,” we’re told that “Courtney is an enthusiastic and compelling participatory facilitator who engages the diverse perspectives of her stakeholders in meaningful dialogue to elicit inspired action and thoughtful working groups.” Good participatory facilitators are hard to come by these days, much less enthusiastic and compelling ones.)

AIFD’s Community Outreach Coordinator is or was a member of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, the mosque attended by the jihad terrorists who attacked our American Freedom Defense Initiative free speech event in Garland, Texas on May 3, 2015. And according to Lonergan herself, they were acting upon teachings they heard in the mosque. Pamela Geller wrote at Breitbart in July 2015: “And the jihadis who tried to commit mass murder last May at our free speech event in Garland, Texas, Ibrahim (formerly Elton) Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were members of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Simpson’s friend Courtney Lonergan remembers, according to the Arizona Republic, that “Simpson would never waver from the teachings he picked up in the mosque and elsewhere.” Lonergan said: “He was one of those guys who would sleep at the mosque. The fact that he felt personally insulted by somebody drawing a picture had to come from the ideological rhetoric coming out of the mosque.”

That Arizona Republic article also notes that Lonergan “met Simpson at that mosque about 10 years ago.” Her bio at the AIFD site doesn’t say when she started working for Jasser. Nonetheless, I’ve been harshly criticized (and dubbed a “hate-group leader” by the hard-Left Southern Poverty Law Center) for saying that there was no distinction in Muslim communities between “moderates” and “extremists,” which has been represented as my saying that all Muslims were terrorists, when obviously I meant that “moderates” in mosques were not reporting or expelling the “extremists.” This is proof of that fact: Lonergan, who is a “moderate Muslim” herself and works for the “moderate” Jasser, was well acquainted with the “extremist” Simpson and the teachings of mosque. She didn’t say anything to the Arizona Republic about trying to get Simpson expelled from the mosque for his “extremism.” Wouldn’t it be a strong sign that Jasser’s “Islamic reform” had a real chance of succeeding if mosques were acting strongly against would-be jihad murderers such as Ibrahim Simpson, and if Islamic Community Center of Phoenix mosquegoers were rejecting the mosque teachings that led to the Garland jihad attack?

US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People’

March 16, 2017

The United States expressed outrage on Wednesday over a report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” that “dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

By – on March 16, 2017

Source: US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People’ – Geller Report

This is just more of the same from the UN. It has demonized Israel relentlessly for years. At least now we have an administration that isn’t joining in, but instead is resolutely on the side of Israel.

“US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People,’” Algemeiner, March 15, 2017:

The United States expressed outrage on Wednesday over a report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” that “dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” American UN Envoy Nikki Haley said in a statement. “That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising.”

“The United Nations Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether,” Haley went on to say. “The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon stated, “The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.”

Emmanuel Nahshon — spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry — compared the ESCWA report to Nazi propaganda.

“Friendly advice — don’t read it without anti-nausea pills,” he tweeted.

Reuters quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying that the publication of the report was not coordinated with the UN Secretariat.

“The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general (Antonio Guterres),” Dujarric clarified.

The ESCWA is headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon and is comprised of 18 member states from the Middle East and North Africa….

EXPOSED! Took awhile, but the bad smell I noticed several years coming from FOX News “go-to moderate Muslim,” Zuhdi Jasser, has turned into a poisonous gas

March 16, 2017

STEALTH JIHADIST Dr. Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser, who likes to call himself a Muslim reformer, is anything but as he proves when he says, “There’s no greater threat” than Pamela Geller and her counter-ji…

Source: EXPOSED! Took awhile, but the bad smell I noticed several years coming from FOX News “go-to moderate Muslim,” Zuhdi Jasser, has turned into a poisonous gas – BARE NAKED ISLAM

STEALTH JIHADIST Dr. Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser, who likes to call himself a Muslim reformer, is anything but as he proves when he says, “There’s no greater threat” than Pamela Geller and her counter-jihad colleagues.

Pamela Geller  In one fell swoop, “moderate Muslim” Zuhdi Jasser has dropped a MOAB on the most effective counter-jihadists in the West. The Grand Mufti of the Stealth Jihad has devoted an entire episode of his show (see below) on The Blaze Network, “Reform This!” to smearing me and many of my colleagues, including Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, Clare Lopez, John Guandolo, and others, as “alt-jihadists.”

He even says “there are no greater jihadists than the alt-jihadists when it comes to living in the land of freedom. Because they seem to be wanting to kill us and knock us off at the knees.” That’s right: “No greater jihadists” than me and my colleagues. “Alt” means Nazi. He knows exactly what he is doing.

Who even knew he had a show on The Blaze? No one. Why is Glenn Beck giving this vicious saboteur a platform? Jasser did this deliberately, knowing it would blow up — that speaks volumes about his character and his true motives.

But some people are endlessly eager to be fooled. Frank Gaffney immediately wrote to a group of us whom Jasser targeted, telling us to hold off in the interest of peacemaking! It was striking how quickly Gaffney jumped to Jasser’s defense. (I’ve never seen him jump to my defense like that.) What a step-and-fetch-it boy Gaffney is for Jasser.

This epitomizes how much people who recognize the jihad threat have been fooled into thinking they have to have moderate Muslims on board or their efforts will be criticized by the left as “islamophobic.” The left is going to say that anyway, no matter what they do.

Jasser talks a good game as you can see by his website:

As for me, I didn’t start this war, and I’m not going to let Jasser’s lies just sit out there unchallenged. It is Jasser who has thrown down the gauntlet (again) — the idea that he is defending himself against attacks, as Patrick Poole claimed on Twitter, is nonsense.

I was right about Jasser all along. When I interviewed Jasser back in 2007, he could not answer my questions about how the “immutable” word of the Quran could be radically reinterpreted, or about the fact that such “reformation” or “reinterpretation” is punishable by death. In other words, you can’t have your private little Islam. Period.

And then when he referred to Israel as occupied territory in the last five minutes of the interview, he blew his cover. Further, Jasser claimed that Islamic antisemitism didn’t exist in the interview as well.

In 2011, I published an article in the American Thinker entitled “Where Are All the Jassers?,” in response to an attack on me by Jasser in which he claimed, as he does now on his Blaze show, that I was aiding the “Islamists.” Read that article. In it, I show how dishonest Jasser is about what the Qur’an says about Jews, and about beating disobedient women, and more.

In this new attack, Jasser’s whole premise is false. We are “alt-jihadists” for pointing out how jihadists use Islamic teachings as their motivation and impetus? So those who told the truth about the Nazis were just like the Nazis, because they were reinforcing the Nazis message? He admits that Islamic government and the most respected Islamic institutions do not reflect his interpretation of Islam, but then he hits us for noticing the same thing. He wants us not to believe reality, and instead to embrace a fantasy that has failed catastrophically post-9/11.

Here is another truth that Jasser doesn’t want aired about: his organization is minuscule. Where is the invisible giant movement of his? And why has he not prevailed and gained a huge Muslim following in the wake of the unfathomable bloodshed for which jihadis are responsible, if that bloodshed were so very un-Islamic? He has no significant following among Muslims, and is not going to get one. He is much more popular among non-Muslims who are just aching to be fooled.

Jasser is lying about 15 Muslim Reformer groups. I doubt that there are even 15 people. If there are, where are they? No one has ever seen them.

Jasser and his ilk are not moderates. They are liars. There’s a difference. Jasser proves that on his show when he cites Alija Izetbegovic as an example of a Muslim reformer. In his “Islamic Declaration,” Izetbegovic said: “Muslim nations will never accept anything that is explicitly against Islam…He who rises against Islam will reap nothing but hate & resistance…” “The first & foremost of such conclusions is surely the one on the incompatibility of Islam & non-Islamic systems. There can be no peace or co-existence between the ‘Islamic faith’ & non-Islamic societies & political institutions…”

In a piece from Right Side News, Jasser has proven himself to have a PhD in taqiyya. “Taqqiya, in Islam, is a doctrine of pious fraud or religious dissimulation… whereby Muslims may under certain circumstances openly deceive infidels by feigning friendship or goodwill provided their heart remains true to Islam.” Jasser says it clearly:  “I sit before you a proud, devout, American Muslim whose country is polarized on its perceptions of Muslims.”

Jasser seemed to be the harshest critic of Barack Obama, yet it was Obama who appointed Zuhdi Jasser Commissioner at the US Commission for International Religious Freedom.Jasser’s book “Battle for the Soul of Islam” is a palliative compilation of his groundless wishful thinking that he proposes to non-Muslim Americans, as his publisher writes: “He offers non-Muslims a definitive comprehension of the difference between Islam and the spiritual cancer known as Islamism, or political Islam, and how violence and extremism run counter to Islam’s true teachings.”

Zuhdi Jasser never accepts responsibility that the 9/11 attacks were a result of Islam and the Koran teachings. He says that 9/11 was the result of actions by “foreign agents.”He also never condemns severely the acts of 9/11 committed by barbaric Muslim terrorists in the name of Islam.

And when he does condemn, it is only to say it is not Islam, that they were not related to the religion of Islam, and that’s blatantly delusional, misleading and deceptive. Asked why was it so difficult for him to say that 9/11 perpetrators who caused the massacres were Muslim terrorists, he again said that it was not related to religion.

Jasser has taken to his show at The Blaze to record an hour-long rant entitled “Alt-Jihadists: Useful Idiots of the Global Islamist Establishment.”

Clarion Project tries to show that Islamic reform is possible, instead only shows how easy it is to be fooled

March 16, 2017

The Clarion Project has always dissembled about the ideological roots of the phenomena it covers.

By – on March 16, 2017

Source: Clarion Project tries to show that Islamic reform is possible, instead only shows how easy it is to be fooled – Geller Report

The Clarion Project has always dissembled about the ideological roots of the phenomena it covers. Its “Honor Diaries” video falsely claimed that honor killing was un-Islamic. Its “Third Jihad” video went out its way to assure us that the vast majority of Muslims not only didn’t participate in jihad activity, but rejected and abhorred it (while numerous international surveys show otherwise). The Grand Mufti of the Stealth Jihad, Zuhdi Jasser, is on its advisory board, so it’s no surprise that Clarion would rush to his aid in our recent controversy. (See my response to Jasser’s libels here.) But Robert Spencer thoroughly eviscerates their claims and shows them to be the ignorant, easily-led naifs they are.

“Clarion Project tries to show that Islamic reform is possible, instead only shows how easy it is to be fooled,” by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, March 15, 2017:

The Clarion Project, of which moderate Muslim Zuhdi Jasser is an advisory board member, has rushed to his aid in our recent controversy, claiming to demonstrate in this piece that reform of Islam is not only possible, but happening now in all sorts of ways I am not acknowledging. Now, I have never said Islamic reform is not possible, but this Clarion article unfortunately only confirms several points I have made many times before: that much of what is touted as reform of Islam is really nothing of the kind, as the central doctrines of Islam are left untouched; and also that much of what is touted as reform of Islam is actually cynical deception designed to keep Infidels complacent. Both are on abundant display in this Clarion piece. More below.

“Is Muslim Reform Even Possible?,” by Elliot Friedland, Clarion Project, March 15, 2017:

Clarion advisory board member Dr. Zudhi Jasser has hit out of critics who claim that Muslim reform movements are bound to fail because they are not accepted within the Muslim community….

Spencer later adds, “I’d love to see Islamic reform succeed. I’m just not willing to kid myself or others about its prospects, or pretend that it has a greater standing in Islamic doctrine or tradition than it does.”These are important questions that must be addressed honestly.

But Spencer misses the point in three key ways:

Firstly, Spencer’s arguments belie the fact that Islam has already changed many times throughout the centuries. It has seen intellectual flourishing, such as in the Abbasid House of Wisdom, and iconoclastic destruction, such as that meted out against Hindu India by the Ghaznavid Empire, or, of course, the contemporary Islamic State (who cited the exploits of Mahmud of Ghazni in the latest issue of their propaganda magazine Rumiyah). Just like Christianity has gone from the charity of St Francis of Assisi to the torture chambers of the Inquisition to fighting for both the abolition of and the maintenance of slavery in the 19th century.

This bespeaks a confusion about what reform of Islam actually is, or would be. Of course Islam, like all other religions and belief systems, has been expressed in different ways by its various adherents. But that is not the same thing as it undergoing an actual change of doctrine, such as, say, a rejection of the violent jihad imperative or the necessity to subjugate the “People of the Book” (i.e., Jews, Christians, and a few other groups) under the hegemony of Islamic law as dhimmis. There has never been such a rejection. The Abbasid House of Wisdom, for example, was flourishing amidst Islamic oppression that will sound familiar to people who have been reading about the atrocities of the Islamic State. Raymond Ibrahim reports this about the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid: “In the West [he] is depicted as a colorful and fun-loving prankster in the Arabian Nights. Though renowned for his secular pursuits — including riotous living, strong drink and harems of concubines, to the point that a modern day female Kuwaiti activist referred to him as a model to justify the institution of sex-slavery — Harun al-Rashid was still pious enough ‘to force Christians to distinguish themselves by dress, to expel them from their positions, and to destroy their churches through the use of fatwas by the imams.’”

To take but two recent examples: In 2016, the Marrakesh Declaration saw more than 250 scholars from around the Muslim world convene at the request of the King of Morocco (a direct descendant of Muhammed himself and hardly a marginal figure) to “AFFIRM that it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries.”

The Marrakesh Declaration does indeed say that. This does not, however, constitute any reform of Islam in the slightest degree. A hadith has Muhammad saying, “He who hurts a dhimmi hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys Allah” (At-Tabarani). Muhammad didn’t by saying this cancel the Qur’anic imperative to make sure that the dhimmis “pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). He didn’t want the dhimmis hurt because their jizya tax money was an important source of revenue for the Muslim community: the caliph Umar is quoted in a hadith saying that the jizya is the “source of the livelihood of your dependents” (Bukhari 4.53.388). One shouldn’t harm the goose that is laying the golden eggs. But this doesn’t mean that the dhimmis were any less subjugated. When the Marrakesh Declaration says that “it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries,” it is not reforming or rejecting the Qur’anic imperative to subjugate those minorities as dhimmis. In Islamic law, the dhimmis have rights; they just don’t have all the rights that Muslims have.

Closer to America, since 2013 the Muslim Leadership Initiative has seen Muslim leaders from America come to Israel to learn about Jews and Zionism, abandoning the decades long opposition to any interaction at all with the Jewish state within the establishment leadership in the Muslim community. Although this provoked a massive backlash, the fact that it happened at all is monumental in showing that it is possible to have a dialogue and move towards solutions to some of the seemingly intractable inter-communal problems that we face.

This one is really embarrassing for Clarion. Listed as an “MLI Facilitator” is none other than Haroon Moghul, a name that will be familiar to longtime Jihad Watch readers. Moghul is one of the most ridiculous exponents of the “Islamophobia” victimhood propaganda industry, and he has shown himself to be many times. Obsessed with furthering claims of Muslim victimhood, Moghul traffics in malicious defamation (likening Pamela Geller and me to jihad mass murder mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki) and dishonesty (discounting the reality of jihad terror while magnifying the fiction of “Islamophobia”) and taking advantage of his audience’s ignorance about Islam to invert reality, portraying Muslims as victims of a cruel “Islamophobic” machine, instead of non-Muslims threatened by the global jihad. He is the very model of a cynical pseudo-moderate taking advantage of the ignorance of his non-Muslim interlocutors in order to lull them into complacency regarding the jihad threat.

Secondly, Spencer does not acknowledge the damage done by rejecting Muslims like Jasser. When Muslims like Jasser are not seen as authentic by non-Muslims, it makes it that much harder for him to pitch to Muslims that his path will lead to acceptance. Fear is an incredibly powerful factor in politics. If Muslim communities fear they will be excluded no matter what, that non-Muslims have no interest in protecting them or their rights and are only interested in them as opponents of jihad, they have little incentive to speak out.

As I explained yesterday, Muslims actually don’t care what non-Muslims think about Islam, any more than Christians care about whether the Ayatollah Khamenei or caliph al-Baghdadi think they’re Christian or not. As influential as it is, this argument doesn’t get any less absurd by constant repetition. Until some Muslim appears who can honestly say, “I was going to join ISIS until I heard Pope Francis say that the Qur’an rejects violence,” I will continue to think it absurd.

Thirdly, Spencer does not recognize that these things take a long time. Even within living memory, the West has seen monumental cultural shifts, on women’s rights, on gay rights, on race relations. These changes have pushed the contemporary West further in the direction of upholding human freedoms than any other civilization in the history of the world….

Muslim Reform is happening. Just slower and more quietly than Robert Spencer would like.

Great. How slow is too slow? Is there a timetable? How long do we have to wait? How many people have to get killed by jihadists before we realize that waiting for this reform to happen is pointless?

The Clarion Project tried in this article to show that Islamic reform is possible and happening now. Instead, it only showed the perils of ignorance and how easy it is to be fooled by cynical sharpies such as Haroon Moghul.

‘Wars of religion will start in Europe’ – Turkish FM

March 16, 2017

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned that Europe is headed for “wars of religion,” claiming Dutch politicians are taking the continent “to a cliff.” The statement comes amid a bitter dispute between the two countries.

Source: ‘Wars of religion will start in Europe’ – Turkish FM — RT News

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned that Europe is headed for “wars of religion,” claiming Dutch politicians are taking the continent “to a cliff.” The statement comes amid a bitter dispute between the two countries.

READ MORE: Activists in German town protest mosque construction with crosses (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Cavusoglu was speaking at a rally in Antalya on Thursday and gave his assessment of the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. The outcome of the polls saw a failure for the populist politician Geert Wilders to garner a majority of the votes, after a campaign rallying for the closure of mosques and banning of the Koran.

However, instead of rejoicing that the politician and his anti-Islam views had been defeated by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Cavusoglu warned that Wilders’ beliefs are shared by others across the Netherlands.

“There is no difference between the mindsets of Geert Wilders and social democrats in the Netherlands. They all have the same mindset…that mindset is taking Europe to the cliff. Soon wars of religion may and will start in Europe,” Cavusoglu said, as quoted by Reuters.

The comments come amid a bitter feud between the Netherlands and Turkey. Ankara suspended high-level relations with the European country on Monday, after it banned ministers from addressing Turks at a rally in Rotterdam, where they were expected to advocate for a constitutional referendum in Turkey.

Following the ban, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Netherlands of acting like “Nazi remnants.”

Erdogan also accused the Netherlands of state terrorism and having a “rotten” character earlier this week, claiming the Dutch were responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War.

“We know how rotten their character is from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there. Nobody should try to give us lessons on morality, especially not those who have blood on their hands,” he said.

Dutch peacekeepers have been accused of standing down at the time, allegedly allowing Bosnian Serb forces to kill up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims.

Prior to Turkey imposing diplomatic sanctions on the Netherlands, Rutte warned Ankara that his country would “never negotiate under threats by the Turkish government.”

He said he would attempt to “de-escalate” the row, but stressed that it “takes two to tango.”

Erdogan is lobbying for 5.5 million expatriate Turks to vote ‘yes’ in an upcoming referendum which would give him sweeping new powers to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and state officials, and dissolve parliament.

Critics say the move would be a step backwards for democracy, removing the system of checks and balances.