Archive for the ‘Executions’ category

New video corroborates Hebron soldier’s testimony, supporters say

March 25, 2016

New video corroborates Hebron soldier’s testimony, supporters say, Times of Israel, Staff, March 25, 2016

(Sentence first, trial later, said the mad queen.

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— DM)

Screen-Shot-2016-03-24-at-14.30.03-635x357An IDF soldier loading his weapon before he appears to shoot an unarmed, prone Palestinian assailant in the head following a stabbing attack in Hebron on March 24, 2016. (Screen capture: B’Tselem)

Supporters of an IDF soldier being investigated for shooting an apparently disarmed Palestinian assailant in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday posted a video online of the moments before the shooting, which they say shows as reasonable the soldier’s claim that he feared the attacker may have had an explosive device.

The soldier was arrested Thursday after he was filmed shooting the Palestinian shortly after the latter had stabbed a different soldier. When the suspect shot him, the Palestinian was already lying on the ground wounded, as a result of troops’ gunfire during his attack.

The soldier was brought to the Jaffa Military Court Friday for an extension of his remand. He is now being treated as a murder suspect.

The Palestinian was one of two stabbers who attacked soldiers near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron.

F160324WH01Israeli soldiers remove the body of a Palestinian man who stabbed a soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron on March 24, 2016. The Palestinian was shot at the scene after stabbing and lightly wounding an Israeli soldier. (Wissam Hashlamon/Flash90)

The soldier’s shooting drew widespread condemnation, including from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a violation of the army’s ethical code. The army’s Military Police have launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

An investigation was also launched Thursday by the Central Command into the apparent failure of two officers on the scene to prevent the shooting.

But in a video posted on the Ynet news site, rescue crews are shown moments before the shooting, with the conversation clearly focused on the possibility that the stabber continued to constitute a threat to those around him.

“That terrorist is still alive, the dog! Don’t let him attack us!” one medic is heard saying after apparently seeing the Palestinian moving.

“It looks like he has a bomb on him,” shouts another voice. “Until a sapper comes, nobody touches him!”

The video appears to corroborate the suspect’s own testimony to investigators according to which the Palestinian was still “moving underneath his jacket, where he could have been hiding explosives or weapons,” as the soldier’s attorney Benjamin Malka explained Thursday.

This warning, however, was not unique to this incident. It is standard IDF operating procedure to assume that an assailant has an explosive device to carry out a secondary attack on first responders.

Other soldiers can also be seen in the two videos from the scene standing next to the two Palestinian assailants, making it unclear how serious the threat of an explosive device was considered by the people on the scene.

The graphic video of the Thursday morning incident went viral on Israeli social media, sparking controversy.

But lawyer Malka told Ynet shortly after the incident that his client should not be judged before an army investigation is completed.

In the video, the soldier is partially blocked from view by other members of his unit when the shot is fired. However, the impact of the bullet can be seen. The Palestinian man can then be seen bleeding from the head.

(Video contains graphic images)

 

In an earlier interview with Army Radio, Malka called his client an “outstanding soldier, salt of the earth,” adding that “he has yet to be allowed to defend his innocence.”

The video prompted the IDF to launch an investigation into what it said was “a very grave” incident.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz said the soldier had been arrested and pledged that there would be a thorough investigation into the shooting. “This is not the IDF, these are not the values of the IDF and these are not the values of the Jewish people,” Almoz said.

Ya’alon said the case would be handled “with all due severity,” saying the soldier’s apparent actions were “in utter breach of IDF values and our code of ethics in combat.”

As news of the shooting spread, Israeli lawmakers from the center-left reacted harshly, warning of the dangers of moral decline and of loose rules of engagement in the military.

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, accused Israel of committing “a war crime,” with PA Health Minister Jawad Awwad saying the Palestinian assailant had been “executed” by soldiers, and claimed the footage was “irrefutable evidence that Israeli soldiers commit field executions.”

Israel has come under criticism from Europe and the United States for allegedly using excessive force in stopping Palestinian terrorists. The PA and some countries, notably Sweden, have accused Israel of extra-judicial executions — something Israel has vigorously denied.

The incident in Hebron marked the first attack since Saturday, breaking a rare calm spell amid a wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel that has raged for nearly half a year.

In the nearly six months of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed. About 190 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

Saudi Arabia stews in policy hell

January 4, 2016

Saudi Arabia stews in policy hell, Asia Times, January 3, 2016

Last week’s mass executions in Saudi Arabia suggest panic at the highest level of the monarchy. The action is without precedent, even by the grim standards of Saudi repression. In 1980 Riyadh killed 63 jihadists who had attacked the Grand Mosque of Mecca, but that was fresh after the event. Most of the 47 prisoners shot and beheaded on Jan. 2 had sat in Saudi jails for a decade. The decision to kill the prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, the most prominent spokesman for restive Saudi Shia Muslims in Eastern Province, betrays fear of subversion with Iranian sponsorship.

Saudi-beheading22-300x183Official Saudi beheading

Why kill them all now? It is very hard to evaluate the scale of internal threats to the Saudi monarchy, but the broader context for its concern is clear: Saudi Arabia finds itself isolated, abandoned by its longstanding American ally, at odds with China, and pressured by Russia’s sudden preeminence in the region. The Saudi-backed Army of Conquest in Syria seems to be crumbling under Russian attack. The Saudi intervention in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi rebels has gone poorly. And its Turkish ally-of-convenience is consumed by a low-level civil war. Nothing has gone right for Riyadh.

Worst of all, the collapse of Saudi oil revenues threatens to exhaust the kingdom’s $700 billion in financial reserves within five years, according to an October estimate by the International Monetary Fund (as I discussed here). The House of Saud relies on subsidies to buy the loyalty of the vast majority of its subjects, and its reduced spending power is the biggest threat to its rule. Last week Riyadh cut subsidies for water, electricity and gasoline. The timing of the executions may be more than coincidence: the royal family’s capacity to buy popular support is eroding just as its regional security policy has fallen apart.

For decades, Riyadh has presented itself as an ally of the West and a force for stability in the region, while providing financial support for Wahhabi fundamentalism around the world. China has been the kingdom’s largest customer as well as a provider of sophisticated weapons, including surface-to-surface missiles. But China also has lost patience with the monarchy’s support for Wahhabi Islamists in China and bordering countries.

According to a senior Chinese analyst, the Saudis are the main source of funding for Islamist madrassas in Western China, where the “East Turkistan Independence Movement” has launched several large-scale terror attacks. Although the Saudi government has reassured Beijing that it does not support the homegrown terrorists, it either can’t or won’t stop some members of the royal family from channeling funds to the local jihadis through informal financial channels. “Our biggest worry in the Middle East isn’t oil—it’s Saudi Arabia,” the analyst said.

China’s Muslims—mainly Uyghurs in Western China who speak a Turkish dialect—are Sunni rather than Shia.  Like Russia, China does not have to worry about Iranian agitation among Shia jihadis, and tends to prefer Iran to the Sunni powers. As a matter of form, Beijing wants to appear even-handed in its dealings with Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example in recent contacts between their respective navies. Chinese analysts emphasize that Beijing has sold weapons to both—more in absolute to terms to Iran but more sophisticated weapons to the Saudis.

More pertinent than public diplomacy, though, is where China is buying its oil.

Nonetheless, China’s oil import data show a significant shift away from Saudi Arabia towards Russia and Oman (which China considers part of the Iranian sphere of influence). Russia’s oil exports to China have grown fourfold since 2010 while Saudi exports have stagnated. Given the world oil glut, China can pick and choose its suppliers, and it is hard to avoid the inference that Beijing is buying more from Russia for strategic reasons.  According to Russian sources, China also has allowed Russian oil companies to delay physical delivery of oil due under existing contracts, permitting Russia to sell the oil on the open market for cash—the equivalent of a cash loan to Russia.

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China’s interests in Syria coincide with Russia’s. Both have reason to fear the growth of ISIS as a magnet for their own jihadis.  Thousands of Chinese Uyghurs make their way into Southeast Asia via the porous southern border of Yunnan province, with financial assistance from Saudi supporters and logistical support—including passports—from local Turkish consulates. Chinese Uyghurs were implicated in the bombing of Bangkok’s Erawan Temple last August, and have linked up with ISIS supporters as far south as Indonesia. Turkey reported last month that most jihadists crossing its border into Syria to join ISIS are Chinese Muslims.

With Kurdish and allied forces gaining control of Syria’s border with Turkey, aided by Russian air support, Chinese Uyghurs may lose access to Syria. Late in December Kurdish forces crossed to the western bank of the Euphrates River and are in position to link up with Kurdish militias in northwestern Syria, eliminating Turkish hopes of a “safe zone” controlled by Turkey on the southern side of the Syrian border.  For its part, Turkey risks paralysis from a low-intensity civil war with its Kurdish population. The Kurdish-majority southeast of the country is under siege and fighting has spread to Turkey’s western provinces.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good, and China seems hopeful that it has contained its jihadist problem. On New Year’s Day, the Communist Party leader in China’s Xinjiang province declared that “the atmosphere for religious extremism has weakened markedly.”

China is extremely reluctant to commit military forces to overseas conflicts, and its military is ill-prepared to do so even if Beijing were to change its mind. The People’s Liberation Army lacks ground attack aircraft like the two squadrons of Russian Su-24 and Su-25 deployed in Syria. Nonetheless, Beijing is happy that Russia is reducing ISIS forces in Syria as well as Saudi- and Turkish-backed Sunni Islamists like the Army of Conquest.

It will be hard to evaluate the success of Russian bombing in Syria until the dust settles, but there is a great deal of dust in the air. According to Israeli sources, Russia is dumping vast amounts of its Cold War inventory of dumb bombs on Syrian Sunnis with devastating effect. The Russian bombing campaign makes up in volume what it lacks in sophistication, killing far more civilians than Western militaries would tolerate, but changing the situation on the ground. That explains Russian President Vladimir Putin’s newfound popularity among world leaders. He is doing their dirty work.

Saudi Arabia’s proxies in Syria are in trouble. Early in 2015, the Army of Conquest (Jaish al-Fateh), a coalition of al-Qaida and other Sunni Islamists backed by the Saudis, Turks and Qataris, had driven the Syrian army out of several key positions in Northwest Syria, threatening the Assad regime’s core Alawite heartland. The coalition began breaking up in November, however, and the Syrian Army recently retook several villages it had lost to the Army of Conquest. One of the Army of Conquest’s constituent militias, Failaq al-Sham, announced Jan. 3 that it was leaving the coalition to defend Aleppo against regime forces reinforced by Russia.

Everything seems to have gone wrong at once for Riyadh. The only consolation the monarchy has under the circumstances is that its nemesis Iran also is suffering from the collapse of oil revenues and the attrition of war. Iran began withdrawing its Revolutionary Guard forces from Syria in December, largely due to high casualties. The high cost of maintaining the war effort as Iran’s finances implode also may have been a factor. Iran’s Lebanese Shia proxy, Hezbollah, has suffered extremely high casualties, virtually neutralizing its whole first echelon of combat troops. And Russia has shown no interest in interfering with Israeli air strikes against Hezbollah.

The oil price collapse turns the competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran into a race to the bottom. But the monarchy’s panicked response to its many setbacks of the past several months raises a difficult question. In the past, the West did what it could to prop up the Saudi royal family as a pillar of stability in the region, despite the Saudis’ support for jihadi terrorism. Soon the West may not be able to keep the House of Saud in power whether it wants to or not.

Saudi Arabia: World’s Human Rights Sewer

September 21, 2015

Saudi Arabia: World’s Human Rights Sewer, Gatestone InstituteDouglas Murray, September 21, 2015

(This must be a premature April Fools Day joke. There have been several others recently, including criticisms of Donald Trump for not rebuking, correcting and silencing someone who claimed that Obama is a Muslim and of Dr. Ben Carson for saying he would not support a Muslim for President. Yeah, they must all be just sick jokes. I wish. — DM)

Saudi Arabia has been appointed as the head of a key UNHRC panel. This panel selects the top officials who shape international standards in human rights; it is intended to report on human rights violations around the world. The five-member group of ambassadors, which Saudi Arabia will now head, is known as the Consultative Group and has the power to select applicants to fill more than 77 positions worldwide that deal with human rights issues.

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  • Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, sentenced to be crucified, was accused of participating in banned protests and firearms offenses — despite a complete lack of evidence on the latter charge, and he was denied access to lawyers. Al-Nimr is also alleged by human rights groups to have been tortured and then forced into signing a confession while in custody.
  • Not only are the Saudi authorities preparing to crucify someone — in 2015 — whom they tortured into making a confession; they are preparing to crucify someone who was a minor at the time of arrest.
  • Alas not a week goes by without Saudi Arabia demonstrating to the world why they retain their reputation as one of the world’s foremost human rights sewers.
  • Crucifixion is a punishment which, it would appear, is not only Sharia-compliant but also — we must assume — Geneva-compliant.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is an organization that may be easy to critique, but it is very hard to satirize. Ordinarily, if you told anyone that there was a place in Switzerland where Sudan, Iran and others of the world’s worst dictatorships and human rights abusers have their views on human rights treated with respect and deference, you would assume the script was written by Monty Python. Idi Amin would make an appearance at some point to share his views on how to improve equal conditions for women in the workplace. Pol Pot would crop up in order to castigate those countries where living standards had not been sufficiently raised in accordance with global averages.

Everything that happens in Geneva is beyond satire. But last week provides a demonstration, outrageous even by the standards of the UN. For this week, it came out – thanks to the excellent organization UN Watch — that Saudi Arabia has been appointed as the head of a key UNHRC panel. This panel selects the top officials who shape international standards in human rights; it is intended to report on human rights violations around the world. The five-member group of ambassadors, which Saudi Arabia will now head, is known as the Consultative Group and has the power to select applicants to fill more than 77 positions worldwide that deal with human rights issues. It appears that the appointment of Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the UNHRC, Faisal Trad, was made before the summer, but that diplomats in Geneva have kept silent on the matter since then.

That this appointment had to leak out months after the event raises the possibility that the UNHRC, contrary to popular perception, actually does have some sense of shame. Otherwise, why not shout from the rooftops that Saudi Arabia has won this prestigious position? Why not distribute a press release? After all, Saudi Arabia — and by extension the UNHRC — have nothing to be ashamed of, do they?

Alas not a week goes by without Saudi Arabia demonstrating to the world why they retain their reputation as one of the world’s foremost human rights sewers. Saudi Arabia may have beheaded more people in the last year than ISIS, but only rarely do any of these cases get more than a flicker of international attention. Occasionally a case breaks above the waves of public opinion. One such case is that of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, sentenced last year to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes for “insulting Islam.” The plight of Raif Badawi, who has already been served the first 50 lashes, and is being held in prison while awaiting the rest, has garnered international attention and condemnations of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s response has been strongly to denounce “the media campaign around the case.”

But the glare of international opinion clearly disturbs the Saudi authorities — a fact well worth keeping in mind. And it is not as though they have nothing to hide. This week brings a case that should get at least as much attention as that of Raif Badawi.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested by the Saudi authorities in 2012, during a crackdown on anti-government protests in the Shia province of Qatif. He was accused of participating in banned protests and firearms offenses — despite a complete lack of evidence on the latter charge. Denied access to lawyers, al-Nimr is alleged by human rights groups to have been tortured and then forced into signing a confession while in custody. Campaigners say that it seems he has been targeted by authorities because of his family association with Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the 53-year-old critic of the Saudi regime who is his uncle. The Sheikh has also been convicted and sentenced to death. After the confession and “trial,” his nephew was convicted at Saudi’s Specialized Criminal Court and sentenced to death. The trial itself failed to meet any international standards. Al-Nimr appealed against his sentence, but this week that appeal was dismissed. It now seems likely that he and his uncle will now be executed. Because charges include crimes involving the Saudi King and the state itself, it seems likely that the method of death will be crucifixion.

1255Imprisoned Saudi dissidents Raif Badawi (left) and Ali Mohammed al-Nimr (right).

If this were in any way to cause a flicker of concern among other participants in the UNHRC farce going on Geneva, they have at least some consolation. For in Saudi Arabia crucifixion is not what it used to be. Indeed, in Saudi Arabia crucifixion begins with the beheading of the victim and only then the mounting of the beheaded body onto a crucifix, to make it available for public viewing. This is a punishment which it would appear is not only Sharia-compliant but also — we must assume — Geneva-compliant.

Of course, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr counts as having been a juvenile at the time of his arrest, so not only are the Saudi authorities preparing to crucify someone — in 2015 — whom they tortured into making a confession – they are preparing to crucify someone who was a minor at the time of arrest. Perhaps the authorities at the UNHRC in Geneva do indeed blush when they appoint Saudi officials to head their human rights panels. But it does not seem to affect their behaviour. Just as Saudi authorities think it is “international attention” rather than flogging people to death or crucifying them after beheading that is the problem, so the UNHRC in Geneva seems to think it is public awareness of their grotesque appointments rather than the appointments themselves that are the problem.

The international attention paid to the case of Raif Badawi has not yet seen him released, but it seems to have delayed the next rounds of lashes. Which suggests the Saudi authorities have the capacity to feel some shame. This should in turn be a cause for some hope among everyone who cares about human rights. It should also provide a reminder to everyone to increase global attention on the case of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and the many others like him who suffer under a government and judicial system that should utterly shame the world outside Geneva, even if it cannot shame the UN.

Funding the Mullahs’ exeution spree

August 4, 2015

Funding the Mullahs’ exeution spree, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, August 4, 2015

(Yet “progressive” supporters of the “deal” seem not to be bothered — unless an African lion is killed. — DM)

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Unfortunately, although President Obama is very vocal about defending the nuclear deal, the lifting of economic sanctions on the Ayatollah, the release of over a hundred of billion dollars to the ruling clerics of Iran, he has not issued any serious criticism against the leaders of the Islamic Republic with regards to the execution spree.

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How the Obama administration is facilitating Iran’s unprecedented killing binge.

President Obama is determined to defend the Islamic Republic as a legitimate government that should receive sanctions relief. He has even overstepped his constitutional authority by signing the nuclear deal (a treaty) in the United Nations Security Council without getting the two-third vote of the Senate. He did not give Congress time to review the nuclear deal as he previously promised.

The Obama administration is advocating for a regime that has been on an execution spree on an unprecedented level, according to Amnesty International’s latest report. Since the beginning of this year, the Islamic Republic has executed approximately 700 people.

People being executed are usually not told about their death sentence until the noose is put around their neck and until they reach the gallows. Family members of the victims often do not know about the execution until weeks after.

As Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program said, “Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale.” He added, “The use of the death penalty is always abhorrent, but it raises additional concerns in a country like Iran where trials are blatantly unfair.”

I regularly speak with Iranian people living in various cities in Iran including Esfahan, Tehran, Tabriz, and Khorasan in order to obtain a better understanding on the ground. My family lives there too. The words of every one of them (about the current situation in Iran after the nuclear deal was reached) echoes what Zahra, an English teacher in the province of Esfahan, told me. She said, “Any cash given to the these Sheikhs in the government (the clerics) by the powers because of the nuclear deal, will not be distributed to the people. The money will not be used to improve people’s economic standards. The people on top will steal the money, saving it in their bank accounts, or send it to their Arab allies, Bashar Al Assad, Hezbollah, and the Iraqi government. They [Iranian leaders] are also going to increase domestic suppression if they begin seeing the flow of cash.”

If we look at the history of the Islamic Republic closely, we see that when a “reformist” president (Mohammad Khatami) was in power in Iran, the nation witnessed the same increase in executions and suppression. It was one of the worst periods of oppression and crackdowns on civil liberties. In addition, the number of executions normally rises under the so-called “moderates” and “reformists” rules.

When Iranian people feel that they might finally have a better relationships with the West, the ruling establishments ratchets up their imprisonment, torture, suppression and killings in order to show the people who is in charge and in order to impose fear. By using these tactics, they send a clear message that the Islamists are in charge, not the youth.

This staggering number of executions suggests that, as the ruling clerics of the Islamic Republic were gaining global legitimacy due to the nuclear negotiations and “normalizing” relationships with the Obama administration, they have also increased their mass scale killings of their own citizens. At the same time, several American citizens are still spending time in Iran’s prison.

Unfortunately, although President Obama is very vocal about defending the nuclear deal, the lifting of economic sanctions on the Ayatollah, the release of over a hundred of billion dollars to the ruling clerics of Iran, he has not issued any serious criticism against the leaders of the Islamic Republic with regards to the execution spree.

In the Islamic Republic, one can be executed for actions which might not even be a crime or it might be a misdemeanor in other democratic countries. For example, one can be executed for “enmity against Allah” or “corruption on earth.” In addition, a non-Muslim man can be executed for having sex with a Muslim women, but not vice versa. One can be executed or stoned if he/she is married and has sex with an unmarried person. One can also be executed for cursing or using bad words against the prophet.

As the report by Amnesty International described, “They [death sentences] are imposed either for vaguely worded or overly broad offenses, or acts that should not be criminalized at all, let alone attract the death penalty… Trials in Iran are deeply flawed, detainees are often denied access to lawyers, and there are inadequate procedures for appeal, pardon and commutation.”

Boumedouha observed, “For years, Iranian authorities have used the death penalty to spread a climate of fear in a misguided effort to combat drug trafficking, yet there is not a shred of evidence to show that this is an effective method of tackling crime…”

The more the Iranian leaders are empowered and emboldened financially, economically and politically, the more they tighten the noose on all freedoms (including speech, assembly, press, etc.), as well as basic inalienable human rights.

There are currently thousands of innocent people on death row waiting to be unfairly executed in the Islamic Republic. While President Obama finds it urgent to overstep his constitutional authority to quickly sign the nuclear deal with Iran and push for sanctions relief against the ruling clerics, he needs to pay close attention to how the empowerment of the ruling Islamists in Iran is adversely affecting the lives of millions of innocent people.

Who is Responsible for the Atrocities in the Muslim World?

June 27, 2015

Who is Responsible for the Atrocities in the Muslim World? The Gatestone InstituteUzay Bulut, June 27, 2015


  • If colonialism were the main problem, Muslims, too, still are, colonizers — and not particularly “humanitarian” ones, at that.
  • Islamic jihad and Islamic violence; the sanctioning of sex slavery; dehumanization of women; hatred and persecution of non-Muslims have been commonplace in the Islamic world ever since the inception of the religion. Deny everything and blame “the infidel.”
  • But is it America that tells these men to treat their wives or sisters as less than fully human? If we want to criticize the West for what is going on in the Muslim world, we should criticize it for not doing more to stop these atrocities.
  • Trying to whitewash the damage that the Islamic ideology has done to the Muslim world, while putting the blame of Islamic atrocities on the West, will never help Muslims face their own failures and come up with progressive ways to resolve them.

Every time the ISIS, Boko Haram, Iran, or any terrorist group in the Muslim world is discussed, many people tend to hold the West responsible for the devastation and murders they commit. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Blaming the failures in the Muslim world on Western nations is simply bigotry and an attempt to shift the blame and to prevent us from understanding the real root cause of the problem.

When these Islamic terrorist groups abduct women to sell them as sex-slaves or “wives;” conduct mass crucifixions and forced conversions; behead innocent people en masse; try to extinguish religious minorities and demolish irreplaceable archeological sites, the idea that this is the fault of the West is ludicrous, offensive and wrong.

Western states, like many other states, try to protect the security of their citizens. What they essentially need, therefore, are peaceful states as partners with which they can have economic, commercial and diplomatic relations. They do not need genocidal terrorist groups that destroy life, peace and stability in huge swaths across the Muslim world.

Western states also have democratic and humanitarian values, which Islamic states do not. The religious and historical experiences of the Western world and the Islamic world are so enormously different that they ended up having completely different cultures and values.

The West, established on Jewish, Christian and secular values, has created a far more humanitarian, free and democratic culture. Sadly, much of the Muslim world, under Islamic sharia law, has created a misogynistic, violent and totalitarian culture.

This does not mean that the West has been perfect and sinless. The West still commits some appalling crimes: Europe is guilty of paving the way for the slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust, and for still not protecting its Jewish communities. Even today, many European states contort logic to recognize Hamas, which openly states that it aims to commit genocide against Jewish people.

The West, however, accepts responsibility for the failures in its own territories: for instance, not being able to protect European women from Muslim rapists. These men have moved to Europe to benefit from the opportunities and privileges there, but instead of showing gratitude to European people and government, they have raped the women there, and tried to impose Islamic sharia law.

If we want to criticize the West for what is going on in the Muslim world, we should criticize it for not doing more to stop these atrocities.

The West, and particularly the U.S., should use all of its power to stop them — especially the genocides committed against Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims in the Muslim world.

We should also criticize the West — and others, such as the United Nations and its distorted Gaza War report — for supporting those who proudly commit terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, and we should criticize the West for not siding with the state of Israel in the face of genocidal Jew-hatred.

We should criticize the West for letting Islamic anti-Semitism grow in Europe, making lives unbearable for Jews day by day.

We should criticize the West for having accepted without a murmur the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus for more than 40 years.

We should also criticize the West for leaving the fate of Kurds, a persecuted and stateless people, to the tender mercies of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria — and now the Islamic State (ISIS). On June 25, ISIS carried out yet another deadly attack, killing and wounding dozens of people in the Kurdish border town of Kobani, in Syrian Kurdistan.

And we should criticize especially the current U.S. government for not being willing to take serious action to stop ISIS, Boko Haram and other extremist Islamic groups.[1]

The list could go on and on. Moreover, it would not be realistic to claim that these groups or regimes all misunderstand the teachings of their religion in exactly the same way.

It would also not be realistic to claim that the West has created all these hundreds of Islamic terror groups across the Muslim world.

The question, then, is: Who or what does create all these terrorist groups and regimes?

In almost all parts of the Muslim world, systematic discrimination, and even murder, are rampant — especially of women and non-Muslims. Extremist Islamic organizations, however, are not the only offenders. Many Muslim civilians who have no ties with any Islamist group also commit these offenses daily. Jihad (war in the service of Islam) and the subjugation of non-Muslims are deeply rooted in the scriptures and history of Islam.

Ever since the seventh century, Muslim armies have invaded and captured Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian lands; for more than 1400 years since, they have continued their jihad, or Islamic raids, against other religions.

Many people seem to be justifiably shocked by the barbarism of ISIS, but Islamic jihad does not belong just to ISIS. Violent jihad is a centuries-long tradition of Islamic ideology. ISIS is just one jihadist army of Islam. There are many.

All of this is an Islamic issue. The free West has absolutely nothing to do with the creation and preservation of this un-free culture.

The West has, on the contrary, been the victim of Islamic military campaigns and imperialistic pursuits: Christian peoples of Europe have been exposed to Ottoman invasions and subjugation for centuries. The fall of Byzantine Empire marked the peak of Islamic Jihad in Christian lands. Many places in Europe — including Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Cyprus, among others — were all invaded and occupied by the Ottoman armies. Other targets, including Venice, Austria, and Poland, had to fight fierce defensive wars to protect their territories.

The historical and current troubles in the Muslim world are not, therefore, problems “imported” from an outside source; they are internal cultural and political problems, which Muslim regimes and peoples have reproduced for centuries.

Some of the things that women in Saudi Arabia may not do were listed in The Week magazine: Saudi women are not allowed to “go anywhere without a male chaperone, open a bank account without their husband’s permission, drive a car, vote in elections, go for a swim, compete freely in sports, try on clothes when shopping, enter a cemetery, read an uncensored fashion magazine and buy a Barbie and so on.”

Of course, there is nothing specific in Islamic scriptures about cars, fashion magazines or Barbie Dolls. But there is enough there that indicates why all of these abuses, and more, are widespread across the Islamic world, and why the clerics, imams and muftis approve them.

The central issue is to see how the lines that the Islamic theology draws seed the soil in which this kind of discrimination systematically buds, why it is extolled and how it is advocated.

Saudi Arabia is not the only Muslim country where women are dehumanized. Throughout almost the almost the entire Muslim world — including Turkey, considered one of the most “liberal” Muslim countries — women are continually abused or killed by their husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers or other males. [2]

Is it America that tells these men to treat their wives or sisters as less than fully human?

Is the West really what stops them from respecting human rights or resolving their political matters through diplomatic and peaceful ways? Are Muslims too stupid to make wise decisions, and act responsibly? Why should Americans or Europeans have evil wishes for the rest of the world?

Demonizing Western nations — even after all of their cultural, scientific and rational progress — is simply pure racism.

“The belief that the West is always guilty is among the dozen bad ideas for the 21st century,”wrote the Australian pastor, Dr. Mark Durie. “This irrational and unhelpful idea is taught in many schools today and has become embedded in the world views of many. It is essentially a silencing strategy, sabotaging critical thinking.”

Another term that prevents one from understanding the root causes of the conflicts in the Muslim world is “moral relativism” — a politically correct term that really means moral cowardice.

Defending “moral relativism” and saying that “all cultures are equal” really means saying a culture that encourages child marriages, beating women and selling girls on slave markets has a value equal to a culture that respects women and recognizes their rights, and which renounces wanton violence.

Another popular target of blame for the failures in the Muslim world is historical British colonialism.

If colonialism were the main problem, however, Muslims, too, were, and still are, colonizers — and not particularly “humanitarian” ones, at that. The Muslim colonizers do not even seem to have contributed much to the culture of the places they invaded and colonized. In fact, they have actually delayed the progress of the areas they colonized. The printing press, for instance, came to the Ottoman territories almost 200 years later than to Europe.

“Books… undermine the power of those who control oral knowledge, since they make that knowledge readily available to anyone who can master literacy,” wrote Professor Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. This threatened to undermine the existing status quo, where knowledge was controlled by elites. The Ottoman sultans and religious establishment feared the creative destruction that would result. Their solution was to forbid printing.” [3]

“European Empires — the British, French and Italians — had a short-lived presence in North Africa and the Middle East compared with the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over that region for more than 500 years,” said the historian Niall Ferguson.

“The culture that exists in the greater Middle East and North Africa today bears very, very few resemblances to the culture that Europeans tried to implement there, beginning in the late 19th century and carrying on through to the mid-20th century.

“You can’t say it is the fault of imperialism and leave out the longest living empire in the Middle East, which was the Ottoman Empire, a Muslim Empire, which went back much farther than any of the European Empires mentioned in that piece.”

Muslim states continue to occupy and colonize various territories — including Kurdistan, Baluchistan and the northern part of Cyprus, an EU member state.

“One of the most tragic consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, “and the subsequent illegal occupation of 36.2% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, is the violent and systematic destruction of the cultural and religious heritage in the occupied areas.

“Hundreds of historic and religious monuments in various regions of the occupied areas have been destroyed, looted and vandalized. Illegal ‘excavations’ have been carried out and cultural treasures have been stolen from museums and private collections and were sold abroad.”

Muslim groups and regimes continue to persecute indigenous peoples such as Assyrians, Chaldeans, Mandaeans, Shabaks, Copts, Yezidis, and Bedoon, among many others.

“A substantial segment of the Bedoon population lives with the constant threat of deportation hanging over it,” according to the analyst Ben Cohen. “Around 120,000 Bedoon live without nationality and with none of the rights that flow from citizenship.”

“Its members cannot obtain birth or marriage certificates, or identity cards, or driving licenses. They are banned from access to public health and education services. Their second-class status means they have no access to the law courts in order to pursue their well-documented claims of discrimination. And on those rare occasions that they summon the will to protest publicly—as they did in 2011, when demonstrators held signs bearing slogans like, ‘I Have a Dream’—the security forces respond with extraordinary brutality, using such weapons as water cannons, concussion grenades, and tear gas with reckless abandon.”

It is not the West or Israel committing these crimes against the Bedoon community; it is Kuwait, a wealthy Islamic state, which treats defenseless people as if they are slaves.

In Qatar, another wealthy Islamic state, Nepalese migrants building a football stadium, “[h]ave died at a rate of one every two days… This figure does not include the deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers…. The Nepalese foreign employment promotion board said that 157 of its workers in Qatar had died between January and mid-November” last year. In 2013, the figure for that period was 168.”

1131The family of a Nepalese migrant worker, who died in Qatar, prepares to bury him. Nepalese laborers in Qatar are forced to work in dangerous conditions, and die at the rate of one every two days. (Image source: Guardian video screenshot)

“In Libya, naturalisation is only open to a man if he is of Arab descent,” reported the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “And many Akhdam in Yemen, a small ethnic minority who may be descendants of African slaves, are reportedly unable to obtain citizenship.”

Is that not apartheid?

In Kuwait, only Muslim applicants may seek naturalization, while Libya’s nationality law allows for the withdrawal of nationality on the grounds of conversion from Islam to another religion.”

Is that not apartheid? Apartheid laws seem to reign over many places in the Muslim world.

Trying to whitewash the damage the Islamic ideology has done to the Muslim world, while putting the blame of Islamic atrocities on the West, will never help Muslims face their own failures and come up with progressive ways to resolve them.

“All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though,” wrote the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on Twitter, after which other Twitter users piled on to criticize him.

It seems that having oil reserves, per capita, that dwarf anything available to Western countries does not create leading scientific nations.

What holds Muslims back when they have unmatched advantages of underground treasures? Why did the scientific revolution not happen in the Muslim world? Why has much of Islamic history been marked by aggressive jihad?

Islamic jihad and Islamic violence; the sanctioning of sex slavery; dehumanization of women; hatred and persecution of non-Muslims and homosexuals; suppression of free speech; and forced conversions have been commonplace in the Islamic world ever since the inception of the religion.

Many teachings in the Islamic scriptures, as well as the biographies of the founder of the religion, set up the parameters where these abuses not only occur but remain protected on a gigantic scale. These are the teachings that have become the culture of the Muslim world.

Sadly, most Muslims have wasted much time, energy and resources on killing and destruction, but — with the exception of some civilization’s most dazzling artistic splendors — not on scientific and cultural advancement.

Recently, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar, said that claims that Qatar paid bribes to win the hosting rights of the 2022 World Cup were “not fair” and stemmed from the West’s Islamophobia and racism towards Arabs.

Recent events indicate that he was, at best, “misinformed.”

Deny everything and blame “the infidel” for your shortcomings. Nothing is more important than your honor, and nothing worse than your shame.

If Muslims wish to create a brighter future, nothing is stopping us but ourselves. We should learn to analyze critically our present and our past.

Human rights activists and academics in the West are lying to Muslims about their culture, and bashing and threatening America, Europe or “Zionism” for the problems of Muslims; this can never lead to any positive developments in the Muslim world. It is the Islamic culture and religious ideology that are responsible for these problems

If there is ever going to be an enlightenment, reform or renaissance in the Muslim world, only a hard look and hard questioning can be its starting point.

_________________

 

[1] Also the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Republic of Iran, al-Qaeda, Al-Badr, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Islamic Jihad, al-Nusra Front, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Al Ghurabaa, Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, Al-Mourabitoun, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, Jamaat Ul-Furquan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, Jamiat al-Islah al-Idzhtimai, Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front, Al-Shabaab, Abu Sayyaf, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Supreme Military Majlis ul-Shura of the United Mujahideen Forces of Caucasus, to name just a few.

[2] See: “Gender Equality Gap Greatest in Islamic Countries, Survey Shows“, by Patrick Goodenough, October 29, 2014; “The Treatment of Women In Islam,” by Rachel Molschky, October 7, 2013; “Women Suffer at the Hands of Radical Islam“, by Raymond Ibrahim, January 9, 2014; “As Muslim women suffer, feminists avert their gaze“, by Robert Fulford, National Post; Ayse Onal, a leading Turkish journalist, says in her book, Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed, that in Turkey alone honour killings average about one a day — 1,806 were reported in the period between 2000 and 2005.

[3] Daron, Acemoglu & Robinson, James (2012), Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Crown Publishing Group.

The Iran scam worsens — Part III, Human rights and support for terrorism

June 22, 2015

The Iran scam worsens — Part  III, Human rights and support for terrorism, Dan Miller’s Blog, June 22, 2015

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

It is likely that the P5+1 nuke “deal” with Iran will be approved soon. Military and other nuke sites which Iran has not “disclosed” will not be inspected. Nor will Iran’s nuke ties with North Korea — which P5+1 member China seems to be helping, Iran’s massive support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record be considered because they are also deemed unnecessary for “deal” approval. Sanctions against Iran are moribund and will not be revived regardless of whether there is a “deal.” However, a bronze bust of Obama may soon be displayed prominently in Supreme Leader Khamenei’s office and one of Khamenei may soon be displayed proudly in Dear Leader Obama’s office.

Iran fenced in

Iranian support for terrorism

According to the U.S. State Department, The Islamic Republic of Iran continued its sponsorship of terrorism during 2014. The linked article observes,

Iran has increased its efforts to finance and carry out terrorist activities across the world and remains a top nuclear proliferation threat, according to a new State Department assessment. [Emphasis added.]

Iran is funding and arming leading terrorist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere, according to the State Department’s 2014 Country Reports on Terrorism, which thoroughly documents how Tehran continues to act as a leading sponsor terror groups that pose a direct threat to the United States.

The report comes as Western powers work to finalize a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of a self-imposed June 30 deadline, though it is unclear whether the new findings will come up in negotiations.

It seems clear that the new findings will not be considered.

Among many other terrorist organizations, Iran supports the Taliban.

Afghan and Western officials say Tehran has quietly increased its supply of weapons, ammunition and funding to the Taliban, and is now recruiting and training their fighters, posing a new threat to Afghanistan’s fragile security.

Iran’s strategy in backing the Taliban is twofold, these officials say: countering U.S. influence in the region and providing a counterweight to Islamic State’s move into the Taliban’s territory in Afghanistan. [Emphasis added.]

According to James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, the intelligence community considers Iran to be the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”

The assessment came after criticism from the Senate that the information was omitted in a global threat assessment submitted to Congress [in February of this year.] Initially, Iran and Hezbollah were not included as terror threats in the intelligence community’s report to the Senate in February. [Emphasis added.]

Might the Obama administration have been trying to ignore Iran’s continuing support for terrorist activities because of its fixation on getting a “deal” with Iran in the ongoing P5+1 “negotiations?” Probably, but that was then. Now, it is apparently not a problem to report on Iran’s terrorist activities because they are deemed unworthy of consideration by the P5+1 negotiators. It’s terrible, but so what?

Iran is the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism. Its tentacles have a hold on Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and the Gaza Strip. Its terrorist operations know no border and its proxies partake in mass killings and war crimes. But as it has been demonstrated time and time again, the West appears unperturbed by all that. It views Iran as a potentially constructive state actor, which, as long as it gets its way, could serve to stabilize the region. [Emphasis added.]

Iran could, of course, “stabilize” the region with its own military and its terror proxies in much the same way that Hitler tried to “stabilize” Europe — by gaining military control and forcing his ideology on subjugated residents. At first, there was some resistance but that was shown to be useless as Britain under Chamberlain gave Hitler Czechoslovakia. Eventually, Britain and later her ally, the United States, became sufficiently upset to intervene militarily.

As noted in an article at Asia Times on Line, the “free world” is unwilling to confront Iranian hegemony:

For differing reasons, the powers of the world have elected to legitimize Iran’s dominant position, hoping to delay but not deter its eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons. Except for Israel and the Sunni Arab states, the world has no desire to confront Iran. Short of an American military strike, which is unthinkable for this administration, there may be little that Washington can do to influence the course of events. Its influence has fallen catastrophically in consequence of a chain of policy.

. . . .

President Obama is not British prime minister Neville Chamberlain selling out to Hitler at Munich in 1938: rather, he is Lord Halifax, that is, Halifax if he had been prime minister in 1938. Unlike the unfortunate Chamberlain, who hoped to buy time for Britain to build warplanes, Halifax liked Hitler, as Obama and his camarilla admire Iran. [Emphasis added.]

The bountiful windfall soon to be given to Iran if the P5+1 “deal” is approved, via a “signing bonus” and other Sanctions relief, will help Iran’s terror sponsorship.

[S]hould the “treaty” with Iran be consummated, this sponsor of global terrorism will receive at least $100 billion in sanctions relief. Not only will this money be used for Assad, but it will bankroll Hezbollah and Hamas with a new generation of rockets and weapons.

For Tehran, money buys weapons, and weapons buy power and influence. President Obama is counting on an accommodative Iran that receives foreign assistance. But is there any reason to embrace this hypothesis? And even if someone does, at what point can the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), or any other relevant body, determine the turnabout in Iran’s nuclear program? How do we know when a genuine peace has arrived? [Emphasis added.]

Iranian leaders have made it clear that dreams of a Persian kingdom dance like sugar plums in their imagination. For that to happen, the money pump cannot run dry. There is a need to support their Houthi surrogates in Yemen; resupply Hamas rockets that were destroyed in the last war with Israel; continue to add to the Hezbollah war machine that is poised to attack Israel; and keep Assad afloat, the mechanism by which control of Lebanon is retained. [Emphasis added.]

Iran’s abysmal human rights record is getting worse

Executions in Iran

According to Iranian Human Rights,

[T]he Iranian regime has executed a prisoner every two hours this month.

“So far in 2015, more than 560 have been executed, and we are just in the first half of the year… What we are witnessing today is not so much different from what ISIS is doing. The difference is that the Iranian authorities do it in a more controlled manner, and represent a country which is a full member of the international community with good diplomatic relations with the West.” — Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesman for Iran Human Rights. [Emphasis added.]

Now the West, with the possibility of a nuclear deal, stands to increase Iran’s diplomatic standing.

According to officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Iran has “the best human rights record” in the Muslim world;[11] that it is not obliged to follow “the West’s interpretation” of human rights;[12] and that the Islamic Republic is a victim of “biased propaganda of enemies” which is “part of a greater plan against the world of Islam“.[13] According to Iranian officials, those who human rights activists say are peaceful political activists being denied due process rights are actually guilty of offenses against the national security of the country,[14] and those protesters claiming Ahmadinejad stole the 2009 election are actually part of a foreign-backed plot to topple Iran’s leaders.[15] [Emphasis added.]

Conclusions

Iran’s abysmal and already worsening records of human rights violations and support for terrorism will likely get even worse as it gets (or gets to keep) the bomb, along with a reward of massive further sanctions relief. None of that is deemed worthy of consideration by the P5+1 “negotiators,” lest Iran decline to sign a deal or lest its feelings be hurt — as they would be were IAEA inspections of “undisclosed” sites be demanded or if any Iranian demands were not met.

Iran and North Korea share not only nuclear weaponization technology; they also share a common contempt for human rights. Yet the North Korea – Iran nuclear nexus (denied by Iran) appears to be of no concern to the P5+1 “negotiators.”

Obama long ago “opened his heart” to the Muslim world.

“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” Obama declared in his first inaugural address. The underlying assumption was that America’s previous relations with Muslims were characterized by dissention and contempt. More significant, though, was the president’s use of the term “Muslim world,” a rough translation of the Arabic ummah. A concept developed by classical Islam, ummah refers to a community of believers that transcends borders, cultures, and nationalities. Obama not only believed that such a community existed but that he could address and accommodate it.

The novelty of this approach was surpassed only by Obama’s claim that he, personally, represented the bridge between this Muslim world and the West.

ALL of My policies are the best ever

ALL of My policies are the best ever

Obama does deserve some credit: His foreign policies are the most foreign in U.S. history to the security of the United States and of what’s left of the free world. Much the same is true of His domestic policies.

Shaking Hands with Iran

June 19, 2015

Shaking Hands with Iran, The Gatestone InstituteDaniel Mael, June 19, 2015

  • According to the organization Iran Human Rights, the Iranian regime has executed a prisoner every two hours this month.
  • “So far in 2015, more than 560 have been executed, and we are just in the first half of the year… What we are witnessing today is not so much different from what ISIS is doing. The difference is that the Iranian authorities do it in a more controlled manner, and represent a country which is a full member of the international community with good diplomatic relations with the West.” — Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesman for Iran Human Rights.
  • Now the West, with the possibility of a nuclear deal, stands to increase Iran’s diplomatic standing.

As negotiations between the P5+1 countries and Iran continue, human rights concerns under the Iranian regime remain on the periphery.

The Obama Administration, over the objections of countless human rights organizations, has made clear that the United States is not seeking to alter the nature of the Iranian regime. Rather, the aim of the direct negotiations is solely to reach an agreeable compromise over the Iran’s continued nuclear enrichment. The current nominal deadline for negotiations is June 30.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is notoriously the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Proxy organizations include Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Houthi rebels in Yemen. The regime’s support of barbarism is reflected within Iran as well, as Iranian leaders support unspeakable human rights abuses on a daily basis.

With the deadline for negotiations only days away, June 2015 has been no exception.

According to a June 17 press release from the organization Iran Human Rights, which “supports the Iranian people’s struggle for human rights and amplifies their voices on the international stage,” the Iranian regime has executed a prisoner every two hours this month:

“According to reports collected by IHR so far in June at least 206 people have been executed in different Iranian cities. 60 of the executions have been announced by the official sources while IHR has managed to confirm 146 other executions which have not been announced by the authorities.”

“So far in 2015 more than 560 people have been executed in the country and we are just in the first half of the year,” Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesman of IHR, said in an interview. “This is unprecedented in the last 25 years! Unfortunately, people in Iran feel that the international community has closed its eyes on what they are going through.”

The executions are just the tip of the crane. As IHR reported Wednesday morning, Mohammed Moghimi, a defense lawyer for civil activist Atena Faraghadani, was scheduled to be released from prison on June 16, after three days in prison. What, exactly, was his crime?

“Mohammad Moghimi was charged with ‘non-adultery illegitimate relations’ for shaking hands with his female client,” writes IHR. “He had gone to Evin Prison to meet Ms. Faraghadani and to prepare an appeal request for her 12-year prison sentence.” According to IHR sources, the forbidden handshake “happened in the presence of two agents in the room. Atena apologized for this right there… but the agents didn’t let it go and took her back to her prison ward and arrested Mr. Moghimi right there.”

Moghimi release was released on condition that he meet a bail of roughly $60,000.

And why is Faraghadani in prison? For Facebook posts. A Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced her to 12 years and 9 months in prison for posts against the government, which constituted “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “insulting the Supreme Leader, the President, Members of the Parliament, and the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] Ward 2-A agents, ” according to IHR.

“What we are witnessing in Iran today is not much different from what ISIS is doing,” argues Amiry-Moghaddam. “The difference is that the Iranian authorities do it in a more controlled manner, and represent a country which is a full member of the international community with good diplomatic relations with the West.”

Now the West, with the possibility of a nuclear deal, stands to increase Iran’s diplomatic standing — and with not even a minimal regard for human rights.

While U.S. negotiators shake hands with Iranian diplomats during the next round of talks in Geneva, Iranian citizens cannot shake hands among themselves without fear of years of imprisonment. While officials, both from the West and from Iran, share updates on social media, Iranians at home face jail time for staking out the wrong position in Facebook posts.

1118Does Iran’s foreign minister risk going to jail? Iranian FM Javad Zarif (right) is apparently touching the arm of EU Foreign Affairs representative Federica Mogherini (second from right). Back in Tehran, the lawyer Mohammad Moghimi (inset top) was arrested and charged with “non-adultery illegitimate relations,” for shaking hands with his female client, Atena Faraghadani (inset bottom). Faraghadani was sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison, for Facebook posts critical of the regime

If the Iranian regime cannot trust its own citizens’ handshakes, how can the West trust the Iranian regime with uranium centrifuges?

Why Does the Iranian Regime Rape its Own Citizens?

June 7, 2015

Why Does the Iranian Regime Rape its Own Citizens? The Clarion Project,  Elliot Friedland, June  7, 2015

(Don’t worry. Once The Islamic Republic of Iran gets the bomb, it may become as civilized as the Islamic State. — DM)

Iran-Basij-Hooded-Men-IP_1In 2009 the Basij militia (pictured here) raped protesters as a matter of policy. (Photo: Reuters)

In prisons, virgin girls who are sentenced to death (the death penalty covers a wide variety of crimes, including the nebulous charge of Moharabeh, “enmity against God”) are typically forced into “temporary marriages” with the prison guards and raped on the night before their execution.

According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center this is “because the guards believed young girls executed while virgins would go to heaven” and they wanted to prevent that.

Rape and other forms of sexual assault are a means of humiliation and degrading the regime’s opponents – and are also a potent means of intimidating others into cowed obedience.

******************

Like all countries which use sharia law as state law, the Islamic Republic of Iran institutionalizes a litany of women’s rights abuses.

These include:

  • The husband is the head of the family, and his wife is legally bound to obey him. Article 1,105 of the civil code states: “In relations between husband and wife, the position of the head of the family exclusively belongs to the husband.”
  • A married woman cannot leave the country without her husband’s permission.
  • A woman’s testimony as a witness is worth half that of a man, in compliance with the Sharia basis of the legal system.
  • Women are forced to wear the hijab, a headscarf, in all public places. More broadly, Islamic modesty requirements are enforced by a morality police.
  • Polygamy and temporary marriage are permitted for men (up to four wives are allowed, subject to certain restrictions), but not for women.

Moreover, women are frequently subject to honor killings. In cases where the father kills his daughter, he is not liable for the death penalty, but only for imprisonment. This is further compounded as when someone is murdered, the family of the victim can forgive the murderer and choose to forgo punishment.

As harsh as the everyday discrimination is, however, the most serious violations are meted out against dissenters.

Use of rape as a method of torture against political opponents has been deployed widely against both men and women, as well as sexual taunts, threats and other forms of assault.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran told PBS that in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election, “rape was routinely practiced as a matter of policy to intimidate young ordinary people from ever coming out to protest again.”

In prisons, virgin girls who are sentenced to death (the death penalty covers a wide variety of crimes, including the nebulous charge of Moharabeh, “enmity against God”) are typically forced into “temporary marriages” with the prison guards and raped on the night before their execution.

According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center this is “because the guards believed young girls executed while virgins would go to heaven” and they wanted to prevent that.

A former Iranian Basij militia man spoke to The Jerusalem Post on the condition of anonymity and recorded his role in perpetrating these rapes when he was a prison guard.

He said, “I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their ‘wedding’ night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning, the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die. I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over. I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her fingernails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her.”

Rape and other forms of sexual assault are a means of humiliation and degrading the regime’s opponents – and are also a potent means of intimidating others into cowed obedience.

Thus, the Islamic Republic inflicts on the bodies of its citizens the purest demonstration of raw power, reminding them who rules Iran.

Muslims in Texas Respond to the Right of Free Speech

May 4, 2015

OFFICER AND TWO SUSPECTS DOWN IN GUNFIGHT AT ISLAMIC CARTOON CONTEST IN TEXAS, POSSIBLE EXPLOSIVES FOUND
by BRANDON DARBY 3 May 2015 Via Breitbart


(Je suis Charlie. – LS)

UPDATE, 9:56 PM: In an interview with Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM, Breitbart Texas Director Brandon Darby speculated that the shooting was timed for the end of the conference so that the gunmen could target the crowd flooding out into the parking lot. The event went longer than expected, which potentially prevented further casualties. The event was initially scheduled to end at 7 PM.

UPDATE, 9:49 PM: The wounded officer was reportedly shot in the leg, according to The Telegraph, which was swift to attribute its disapproval of the event to “critics”:

Two gunmen have been shot dead after opening fire at an art exhibition in Texas where caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed were being displayed.

Police said the suspects, allegedly armed with explosives, were killed outside the Curtis Culwell Centre in Garland, which was hosting an art show of drawings of the Prophet.

An officer was also reportedly injured after being shot in the leg.

The event was billed as a “free speech event” by its sponsor, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which has been criticised by opponents for being anti-Islam.

UPDATE, 9:45 PM: Cops are herding people back into the building, while buses help to evacuate the attendees. 

UPDATE, 9:33 PM: Police are searching multiple vehicles for explosives: 

 

Two men have been shot by police outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas Sunday afternoon, Garland police have confirmed. Police said two men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland ISD Police officer outside the building. The men were then shot and killed by Garland police. The officer who was shot remains in a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Businesses near the area were evacuated, including a nearby Walmart. Police are preparing to search vehicles parked outside for explosives.

 

UPDATE, 9:20 PM: The car may contain explosives, according to WFAA8: 

 

Two men were shot and killed in a parking lot outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Sunday afternoon, SWAT officials told News 8. The two suspects drove up and opened fire on the center, which was hosting a Muhammad Art exhibit, and hit a Garland ISD officer. That officer suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to a spokesman for Garland Police. Police were searching the area for a vehicle that had explosives in it. SWAT members were already at the scene for the art event.Rowlett/Sachse Scanner reported on Facebook that a suspect was inside a nearby Walmart, off Garland Avenue and Naaman Forest Boulevard, with a hand grenade. A 1,000-foot radius around the Walmart was shut down and the Academy Store was evacuated, according to that page.

 

UPDATE, 9:14 PM: Garland Police have reportedly evacuated a nearby WalMart and are searching the car the suspects allegedly drove to the event. 

UPDATE, 9:06 PM: A local NBC reporter says the two suspects are dead.

UPDATE, 8:59 PM: Police have the area blocked off and have removed reporters for up to half a mile away. Helicopters are patrolling the skies and police are standing in the intersection, blocking the roads and are armed with M-16s. 

UPDATE, 8:51 PM: A senior officer has said that the officer taken to the hospital will be OK, and that the two suspects will not be OK. The 100 people being held inside singing the Star-Spangled Banner to comfort themselves. 

UPDATE, 8:45 PM: Police appeared to have escorted a few individuals through a conference room, and continue to patrol the perimeter. 

UPDATE: Suspects had two AK-47’s according to police on the scene. The officer has been transported to the hospital. The suspects are still on the ground at the scene. They are not moving and are not being touched at this time until a bomb squad checks out their bodies.

Approximately 100 people are being held by police in a secured facility inside the event.

GARLAND, Texas — Armed police officers rushed in to the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest and quickly removed Pamela Geller and whisked her away to safety after a gunfight erupted outside of the event. A law enforcement officer and two suspects are reportedly down, according to police on the scene. Three Breitbart Texas reporters are locked down inside of the event. The officers on the scene said that possible explosives were found. The extrication of Geller occurred during a live video interview with Breitbart Texas.

The attendees to the exhibit were forced into lockdown by police. Several officers entered to exhibit and informed the attendees that an officer was down, two suspects had been shot, and that possible explosives were found.

Breitbart Texas will update this post as more information becomes available.  Most of the Breitbart Texas team is currently on lockdown inside of the event.

 

Report: U.S. Drone Airstrike Against ISIS Accidentally Kills Two Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commanders In Iraq…

March 30, 2015

Report: U.S. Drone Airstrike Against ISIS Accidentally Kills Two Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commanders In Iraq
Via Weasel Zippers as reported by the AP


(No apologies necessary. – LS)

(AP) – Tehran says a U.S. drone strike killed two Iranian advisers in Iraq last week, but the United States says it has only struck Islamic State (IS) militants in its campaign.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said on its sepahnews.ir website on March 30 that the strike occurred on March 23, just after the U.S.-led coalition began air strikes to support Iraqi forces trying to retake the IS-held city of Tikrit.

The website identified the dead as Ali Yazdani and Hadi Jafari. It said they were buried on March 29.

The Associated Press news agency quoted the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as saying the “international coalition is aimed at Daesh only,” using another term for the IS extremist group.

Without directly addressing the Iranian claim, the statement said, “All airstrikes are carried out through the alliance with the Iraqi government and in full coordination with the (Iraqi) Ministry of Defense.”

(Oops ! – LS)