Archive for April 17, 2017

How Erdogan’s Victory Might Be Europe’s Defeat

April 17, 2017

How Erdogan’s Victory Might Be Europe’s Defeat, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, April 17, 2017

American-Turks, however, showed the greatest resistance, with 83 percent voting “no.” Still, some prominent Islamist voices spoke out in support of Erdogan, including former Muslim American Society president and political activist Esam Omeish, who celebrated the referendum results on his Facebook page with a photo of himself holding a Turkish flag that reads “evet,” or “yes.”

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Over lunch in Istanbul last week, a friend and I spoke about the upcoming Turkish referendum. “Many European Turks are likely to vote ‘yes,'” I cautioned my friend, whom I knew was planning to vote ‘no,’ or against the measure to grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unlimited powers. A “yes” vote, by contrast, would end the democratic parliamentary government established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the republic, and in the eyes of most Western leaders, establish Erdogan as the Muslim world’s newest dictator.

My friend was visibly angered. “Then let them, with all their rights and freedoms, come here to live,” she retorted. “How dare they think that they can take these rights from us when we are the ones who have to live with the result?”

The outcome of Sunday’s referendum showed a Turkey split almost exactly in half, with 51 percent “yes” and just under 49 percent voting “no.”

Or did it?

It is too soon to make a full analysis of the vote results – which some rights groups have already contested – but one thing was immediately made clear: the vast majority of Turks living throughout Europe voted in support of Erdogan’s rule, even as the majority of those living in major Turkish cities – Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul – voted against it. If only the votes of Turks living in the country had been counted, would the results have been the same? Or would they show that Turkey’s residents support a secular, Western democracy while Europe’s Turks do not?

If my friends in Istanbul who voted “no” woke this morning afraid for their country’s future, so, too, should my friends in much of Europe. In the Netherlands, for instance, a whopping 71 percent of Dutch-Turks who participated in the vote chose “yes.” As the results of the referendum became known, thousands descended on the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam, waving Turkish flags and celebrating the victory of an Islamist leader who had pledged to “raise a new, religious generation,” end secular education, and who has imprisoned countless journalists, writers, artists, and others who have dared to criticize him.

It was not only in Holland. According to the Daily Sabah, 75 percent of Belgian Turks who voted opted for “yes,” as did 73 percent in Austria, 65 percent in France, and 63 percent in Germany. Only Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom showed majorities with “no” votes. And of these three, Sweden is effectively the only member of the EU.

 

American-Turks, however, showed the greatest resistance, with 83 percent voting “no.” Still, some prominent Islamist voices spoke out in support of Erdogan, including former Muslim American Society president and political activist Esam Omeish, who celebrated the referendum results on his Facebook page with a photo of himself holding a Turkish flag that reads “evet,” or “yes.”

In Europe, some have argued, as did “Volkan,” a pseudonym for the owner of the popular DutchTurks.nl blog, that the results were self-inflicted, the result of having antagonized Turkey and Erdogan in recent months. Holland, for instance, refused entry to pro-Erdogan officials seeking to campaign on his behalf. Germany, where rallies were similarly blocked, has also been outspoken in its criticism of Erdogan’s imprisonment of a German-Turkish journalist.

But such explanations do not account for the results in Austria and France, or for the similar outcome of the November 2015 election, in which majorities in Germany, the Netherlands, and France all voted for Erdogan‘s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

What I did not tell my friend, as we sat watching the sunlight dance over the Bosphorus, was that the European Turks who were voting to change the Turkish Constitution, who were effectively choosing to establish a more fundamentalist, Islamist Turkey in place of the secular, Western democracy that has been in place since 1923, have no interest in the “freedoms” that she spoke of. That they have them in Europe is meaningless: they don’t want them. They don’t want them in Turkey, where they come from; and they don’t want them in Europe, where they now live. Not for themselves. And not for anybody else.

Indeed, as the IPT noted after the November 2015 elections, of the 4.6 million Turks living in Europe, a majority seems to prefer to live in an Islamic state, and not a secular one.

This is the frightening lesson that Europe must learn from the results of the April 16 referendum. While its leaders now confer about the “proper” response to Erdogan in his new role and what they expect of him as the leader of a clearly-divided country, they might also consider their response to his supporters who are not just Turkish citizens, but Europe’s own. How to reckon with Europeans who choose against European norms and values, who actively vote against the separation of church and state, who seek a more Islamized society? What does this say about the failure of integration? More, what does it say – or threaten – about Europe’s potential future? And what can be done to save it?

There is no viable American alternative to the Muslim reform movement

April 17, 2017

There is no viable American alternative to the Muslim reform movement, Dan Miller’s Blog, April 17, 2017

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

I have read many articles on the Muslim reform movement, both positive and negative; for example, this is negative, this is positive and this is negative. Here is a link to a response to the negative articles. However, I have found no article suggesting any viable alternative way for America to begin to ameliorate its Islamist problem, and I have been unable to think of any.

The Anti-Muslim Reform Movement

The essential claims of critics of the Muslim Reform Movement are that its proponents are not “real Muslims” and that it has had only minimal success thus far. The word “real” is not used, but that’s the clear thrust. “Real Muslims” are those like the leaders of Saudi Arabia, savages like those of the Islamic State and Muslims who won’t “rat” on other Muslims whom they think are about to commit acts of terror. (The video below repeats itself beginning at about 5:46.)

Unlike “fake” Muslims (the word “fake” is not used, but that’s the thrust), “real” Muslims rape and butcher little girls, often little Yazidi girls who aren’t “real” Muslims.

America’s “real Muslims” also want Islamic (Sharia) law to displace foul “Man-Made” laws, including the U.S. Constitution. That has not worked out well in Europe, and even in our mother country, Britain. There, for one small example, a Sharia Council

is indirectly responsible for what essentially has become a rape pandemic, since it does nothing to stop or refute halala [a ritual enabling a divorced Muslim woman to remarry her husband by first wedding someone else, consummating the union, and then being divorced by him]. In fact, it declares that the practice is completely legal under sharia law. The only caveat, the council states, is that the imams presiding over it are not following the proper guidelines, according to which the second marriage and divorce should not be premeditated, but rather happen naturally.

If one asks how all of this jibes with British law, the answer is that it does not. But young Muslims in the UK are discouraged by their communities from marrying through the British system, and are told to have imams perform their weddings and sharia councils register their marriages. Couples who comply end up being at the mercy of Islamic authorities in family matters, including divorce.

America’s “fake Muslims”  reject Sharia law and even have the temerity to support “Man-made” laws such the Constitution and laws enacted pursuant to it.

Genital mutilation? For “real Muslims,” it’s cool. The Trump administration is apparently the first to try to stop it in America.

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities have charged a Detroit doctor with performing genital mutilation on 7-year-old girls in what is believed to be the first case brought under a law prohibiting the procedure.

Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency room physician at a Detroit hospital who performed the procedures at an unnamed medical clinic in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, was scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls,” acting U.S. Attorney in Detroit Daniel Lemisch said in a statement. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.” [Emphasis added.]

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, typically involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and is barred by numerous international treaties. The practice is common in several African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Egypt, where it is often a cultural or religious tradition.

The practice was outlawed in the United States in 1996, though the Justice Department said the Michigan case appeared to be the first criminal prosecution of its kind. [Emphasis added.]

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a reformist and therefore a “fake Muslim,” recently commented on the first genital mutilation prosecution in America.

“Healthcare professionals, especially physicians, should be the safest people our children encounter outside of their families. What we at the front lines of reform against radical Islamism know is that one of the ideology’s symptoms is the regular violation and abuse of women and girls, especially through efforts to control or destroy their bodies and sexuality. As a physician, Muslim, father, and husband – I am appalled – but not surprised – to learn of this doctor’s mutilation of girls. I urge authorities to conduct a full and vigorous investigation. Since girls were brought to Nagarwala from out of state, it appears that she may be just a piece of a network of individuals facilitating the mutilation of girls and women in the United States.

As a physician, Ms Nagarwala – I will not call her ‘doctor’ – knows full well the position of the American Medical Association on this issue. As an expert on medical ethics and a person of conscience, I must urge that her license(s) be revoked, that she remain jailed, and that all who acted with her be brought to justice. Further, any girls and women she harmed must receive intensive counseling, and their families investigated. I also encourage investigations of their schools, universities, and other places where they may have complained of physical pain, or been absent for periods of time during which the mutilation took place and immediately after.”

Obviously, the Muslim Reform Movement must not be allowed to succeed and therefore must be stopped before it has a fighting chance to do so.

Seriously though, and rejecting the essential anti-reformation argument — that American reformers are not “real” Muslims — what can and should America’s Federal Government do about violent jihadists and proponents of Sharia law? 

The “fake Muslim” argument has substantial validity insofar as Islamist countries are concerned. However, in America we have freedom of religion; no state actor has authority to dictate what is a “fake” or “real” Christian, Jew, Muslim or adherent to any other religion. Individuals are entitled to accept or reject whatever tenets of their respective religions they wish to. Should acting in accordance with those tenets be criminal in nature — as acting in accordance with many tenets of “real” Islam would be — such acts can and should be punished in accordance with our laws; not Sharia law.

To the greatest extent possible, America needs to get rid of the “real Muslims” who are already present and to keep more from coming. However, our options are quite limited. Here’s why:

America will not impose a total Muslim ban to keep out all Muslims, unknown numbers of whom are potentially violent jihadists and/or “merely” want to win the civilization war by imposing Sharia law. A total Muslim ban would very likely be deemed violative of the First Amendment.

The results of a partial ban based on “extreme vetting,” intended to exclude only those Muslims who flunk the vetting process, would depend on the success of the vetting — an area in which we have had little if any real experience. Muslim reformers might be able to offer useful insights. Perhaps the appropriate officials will ask them.

Even if it were possible to prevent all future arrivals of Muslims from foreign countries, America would still have substantial numbers of Muslims, first, second or later generation, as well as converts to Islam, some of whom are anxious to engage in violent jihad and/or to attempt to secure the imposition of Sharia law. Anti-Islamophobia laws, as recently enacted in Trudeau’s Canada, are a first step toward Sharia law. We won’t shoot all or even many of them, or send them to internment camps as we did to many Japanese after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Japanese Americans were incarcerated based on local population concentrations and regional politics. More than 110,000 Japanese Americans in the mainland U.S., who mostly lived on the West Coast, were forced into interior camps. However, in Hawaii, where 150,000-plus Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the population, only 1,200 to 1,800 were also interned.[9] The internment is considered to have resulted more from racism than from any security risk posed by Japanese Americans.[10][11] Those who were as little as 1/16 Japanese[12] and orphaned infants with “one drop of Japanese blood” were placed in internment camps.[13]

Unfortunately, the Obama administration ignored Sharia law, its precursors and consequences.

Even without anti-Islamophobia laws, statements offensive to Islamists (proponents of political Islam such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)) are characterized as “Islamophobic” to silence them. Too often, the tactic has been successful.

America should reject Sharia law as well as its precursor, anti-Islamophobia laws. Much of Europe has embraced both, to its extreme detriment.

The Islamisation of formerly-Great Britain and Europe has been unpleasant to watch from afar, and I assume that it has been substantially more unpleasant to experience close-up. The Gatestone Institute frequently publishes articles on the worsening situation resulting from an Islamic invasion and the resulting Islamisation. Here are a link to a recent Gatestone article titled A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: March 2017 and a short excerpt:

March 18. The BBC apologized after a tweet from the BBC Asian Network account asked, “What is the right punishment for blasphemy?” The tweet provoked criticism that the BBC appeared to be endorsing harsh restrictions on speech. In an apology posted on Twitter, the network said it had intended to debate concerns about blasphemy on social media in Pakistan. “We never intended to imply that blasphemy should be punished,” it said. [Emphasis added.]

Does “what is the right punishment for blasphemy” suggest that punishment of some sort is appropriate? Yes. Does it suggest that the Islamisation of England is proceeding apace? Yes.

Even were England and Europe to prohibit all future Muslim immigration, the substantial numbers of Muslims already there, and their fertility rate which substantially exceeds that of native Brits and Europeans, suggest that their Islamisation will continue.

Conclusions

Here is a May 2015 interview with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) about the then current state of Islam.

I do not know whether there will be widespread Muslim reformation in America or if there will be, how long it will take. It is proceeding very slowly and may well take many years, as did the Christian reformation, to produce tangible results.

Unable to think of any viable alternative, I believe that we should help the Muslim reformation to enhance the ability of American Muslims to accept the parts of Islam they want and to reject the parts they don’t want. Here are some ways:

  • We should stop considering violent Islamic jihad and Sharia law as “real Islam” and Muslim reformers as “fake Muslims.” In America both are real, even though there now seem to be substantially fewer of the latter than of the former. Drawing such a distinction legitimizes the former and delegitimizes the latter — essentially labeling them as apostates and therefore endangering them physically and putting more obstacles than would otherwise exist in the path of a Muslim reformation. How many Muslims want to be considered “fake Muslims?” How many Christians would like to be considered “fake Christians?” How many Jews would like to be considered “fake Jews?”
  • Providing support for Sharia law — unchallenged under Obama — should be a principal factor in our efforts to combat Islamist activities, violent or otherwise.
  • Department of Education efforts to promote Islam in our schools should never have begun and should cease promptly, as I suggested in a recent article titled The U.S. Department of Education has been promoting Islam for years. America is not, and should not be, a theocracy. The Constitution forbids it. The Federal Government should not be in the business of promoting Islam or any other religion.

  • America should terminate all support for, and consultation with, CAIR, et al., which have labeled the Muslim Reform Movement “Islamophobic” and have done their utmost to make it fail. Supporting CAIR, et al, helps them to impose their vision of “real” Islam on Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims.
  • The true nature of CAIR, et al, should be publicized.
  • America should provide at least as much support – financial and otherwise – to Muslim reformist groups as it previously gave to Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as CAIR.
  • The Trump administration should consult with Islamic reform groups at least to the extent that it previously consulted with CAIR, et al.
  • America should also render CAIR and its affiliates as impotent as can be done constitutionally; to the extent that new laws need to be enacted, they should be.
  • America should publicize the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • America should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and related Islamist gangs as foreign terrorist organizations, and prohibit both foreign and domestic funding of CAIR and other Islamist organizations. Please see also, Muslim Activist to Trump: Brotherhood Should be Banned.

I hope that others will suggest additional ways to give the reform movement at least a fighting chance of success. What other viable options do we have?

Update, April 19, 2017

Please see also, Kurdistan Independence Referendum and Why It Matters so Much in the Fight Against Radical Islam.

Most Kurds are Muslim, but reject religious rule in favor of secular governance so that all religious people and ethnic minorities can have fair and equal representation. The Kurds have adopted secular lifestyles seen just by visiting the capitol city of Erbil where you’ll hear American music, see a booming economy, or have conversations about new business enterprises.  If you’re lucky, you may run into the Erbil Men’s Club. Kurds don’t identify as “Sunni” or “Shia” at the outset. While they will openly say what religion they practice, they refuse to allow their identity to be encompassed in the sectarian strife they’ve witnessed throughout the Middle East. They want no form of oppressive sharia law in their governance to promote the rights of women and minorities. In fact, Kurdish government mandates that 30% of Parliament members be women. I witnessed that firsthand and it looks a lot like the United States: churches, mosques, and synagogues side-by-side with equal numbers and mutual respect between all religious leaders.

China’s Korea policy ‘in tatters’ as both North and South defy sanctions

April 17, 2017

China’s Korea policy ‘in tatters’ as both North and South defy sanctions, Washington Post, Simon Denyer, April 17, 2017

(Please see also, President Trump Realigning Geo-Political Alliances, and Few Paying Attention…. — DM)

“Even before the United States upped the tempo, China was in the unusual position of having really very bad relations with both the North and the South — that’s something of an accomplishment,” said Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. “Its peninsula policy was in tatters, and things have only got worse since.”

China is not alone in struggling to construct a successful policy toward North Korea, as the United States can attest. But the failure of its approach has seldom been more starkly outlined, as Pyongyang presses ahead with its nuclear program, the United States sends an aircraft carrier strike group to the region and fears of military conflict mount, analysts say.

“China may marginally increase economic pressure on North Korea by cutting down trade, tourist flows or food aid, but its primary goal is to placate Washington,” said Yanmei Xie, a politics and foreign policy expert at Gavekal Dragonomics. “Beijing has reasons and means to discipline Kim but is more concerned with ensuring the survival of his regime, thus maintaining a buffer against U.S. military presence in the South.”

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More than half a century ago, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops died in the Korean War, fighting on the side of their Communist allies in the North against the U.S.-backed South. Yet today, China finds itself in the uncomfortable position of falling out with both sides on the Korean Peninsula.

On Monday, South Korea announced that it would press ahead with the “swift deployment” of a U.S. missile defense system, despite vociferous Chinese opposition.

In February, China said it was cutting off coal imports from North Korea in accordance with sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council in a bid to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear and missile program. On Sunday, North Korea ignored China’s pleas not to raise regional tensions by conducting another missile test, albeit one that failed.

China has also imposed unofficial and unilateral sanctions against South Korea to persuade it not to deploy the missile defense system, experts say. On Monday, as Vice President Pence warned North Korea not to test U.S. resolve, South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, vowed to press ahead with the “swift deployment” of that system, known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD.

“Even before the United States upped the tempo, China was in the unusual position of having really very bad relations with both the North and the South — that’s something of an accomplishment,” said Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. “Its peninsula policy was in tatters, and things have only got worse since.”

China is not alone in struggling to construct a successful policy toward North Korea, as the United States can attest. But the failure of its approach has seldom been more starkly outlined, as Pyongyang presses ahead with its nuclear program, the United States sends an aircraft carrier strike group to the region and fears of military conflict mount, analysts say.

Both Beijing and Washington share the same goal — a peninsula free of nuclear weapons — but they often appear to be trying to realize those goals in mutually incompatible ways.

Under President Barack Obama, the United States tried to isolate and pressure North Korea economically, an approach that China argues has raised tensions and forced its leader, Kim Jong Un — and his father before him — into a corner.

China had banked on a different approach, believing that building up North Korea’s economy would gradually bring about more moderate politics. That policy, though, has simply given North Korea the resources and the technology to build up its nuclear and missile programs, experts say.

Nor has it brought Beijing the leverage it desires: Kim has never met Chinese President Xi Jinping, and channels of communication between the two governments have never been thinner, experts say.

“China’s hope-based approach has encountered Kim Jong Un’s ‘I’ll have my cake and eat it’ approach,” Graham said. “What’s changed in the political relationship is Kim Jong Un’s total willingness to humiliate China, to slap it in the face, not to give China even the ritual obeisance his father did.”

China believes that the deployment of THAAD, with its sophisticated radar and missile defense capabilities,on its doorstep will allow the United States to spy on it and undermine its national security interests.

It has whipped up nationalist outrage against South Korea over the issue, with the sale of package tours to the country abruptly halted in March and tourist numbers plunging. State-run media have called for boycotts of South Korean businesses and goods, and primary school children have even been encouraged to stage protests. South Korean films were barred from a recent international movie festival in Beijing, and music videos were blocked on streaming services.

Lotte, the South Korean conglomerate that turned over land for THAAD use, has faced huge losses as 87 of its 99 stores in China reportedly have been closed, mostly for ostensibly breaching fire regulations.

But even as Beijing tries to persuade Seoul to cancel the deployment of THAAD, Pyongyang shows utter disregard for China’s interests by launching missile after missile, making the case for the defense system ever stronger.

Now, Beijing has a new headache: brinkmanship not just from Kim but also from President Trump, experts say, with the threat of U.S. military action against North Korea on the table.

There is little doubt this has focused minds in Beijing.

Trump spoke to Xi about North Korea by telephone last week. He later said China is “working with us on the North Korean problem.”

But despite its frustration with Pyongyang, is Beijing really prepared to turn up the heat on its old ally?

There appear to be some within the Communist Party who think it should.

The nationalist Global Times newspaper argued in an editorial on Sunday that China should send a clear message to North Korea: If you conduct a sixth nuclear test, we will cut off the vast majority of your oil imports, through stiffer U.N. sanctions.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said Beijing is “still hesitant” to take such a radical step, one that would threaten the fuel supplies that keep the North Korean military running.

Indeed, if the United States continues to turn up the heat, with more verbal threats or an even more robust naval presence, China could flip the other way, Shi argues: decide that Washington is the real threat to stability on the peninsula and “shift from suppressing North Korea to opposing the United States.”

Even though coal imports from North Korea appear to have been cut, and Air China canceled some direct flights between Beijing and Pyongyang this week, overall imports and exports between the two countries were up sharply in the first quarter of this year, data released by Chinese customs showed.

In the final analysis, some experts say, the legacy of the Korean War and the survival of the regime China backed at the cost of so much blood remain paramount.

“China may marginally increase economic pressure on North Korea by cutting down trade, tourist flows or food aid, but its primary goal is to placate Washington,” said Yanmei Xie, a politics and foreign policy expert at Gavekal Dragonomics. “Beijing has reasons and means to discipline Kim but is more concerned with ensuring the survival of his regime, thus maintaining a buffer against U.S. military presence in the South.”

Cadence Column: Asia, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Cadence Column: Asia, April 17, 2017,  Pacific Daily Times via China Daily Mail, April 17, 2017

(Excessive optimism? — DM)

Cadence

If the Chinese and Russians wanted to send a message to Washington, they’d send attack vessels like Putin sent late to Syria—at least, he pretended to send a message.

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It’s over. North Korea has been defrocked from among Communist nations. Russia and China aren’t trying to send any kind of message to the US by sending intel-gathering vessels to monitor the Vinson. Spectating usually indicates some kind of support. The “Ruskies” and “Chi-Coms”, as some affectionately call them, kicking back with coke and popcorn in hand isn’t exactly opposition. They are trying to send a message to Communists worldwide, including their own people: Act unruly and you’ll end up like North Korea.

The US can’t do an operation in their back yards without the neighbors keeping a close watch—and Northern Korea is in both Russian and Chinese back yards. If the Chinese and Russians wanted to send a message to Washington, they’d send attack vessels like Putin sent late to Syria—at least, he pretended to send a message.

Countries must appear strong. There is a lot of chest puffing and thumping, even with the soon-to-be-deposed occupation of Northern Korea. The Russians and Chinese will be glad to have the dictator child off of their table of concerns. And, in the process, they want their own people to know whose still boss.

So, it’s over. Soon, we’ll find out just how many Northern Koreans cried for the death of their late “Dear Leader” because they missed him or because they feared what the child dictator would do them if they didn’t. Korea is about to become one country, finally. Kim Jong-Un decided that over the weekend when he threw the temper tantrum that broke every camel’s back in the caravan. Now, the caravan is coming for him.