Archive for the ‘Islam – Shiite vs. Sunni’ category

Obama vs Baghdad on Sunni cleansing of Mosul

October 20, 2016

Obama vs Baghdad on Sunni cleansing of Mosul, DEBKAfile, October 20, 2016

baaj_road_19-10-16

A major dispute on combat tactics which has sprung up between Washington and Baghdad hangs over the coalition’s Mosul offensive after three days of combat. Thursday, Oct. 20, President Barack Obama and US commanders challenged Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi and is generals over a 500km long route, the Ba’aj Road, which does not appear on maps, but is pivotal for the offensive’s continuation, DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources report.

This route is a kind of “Burma road” developed by the Islamic State as a private corridor between Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the terrorist group’s Syrian capital, during the terrorist group’s two years of control. It runs through the Iraqi town of Tal Afar before crossing into Syria and passing south of areas controlled by Syrian Kurdish militias, among which US special operations forces are embedded.

The argument flared over a demand by President Obama and US commanders that Iraqi government forces turn to the Syrian border and block the Ba’aja Road, and so cut off the ISIS fighters’ escape route from Mosul to Syria. The Americans can’t bomb the corridor because it is also packed with a stream of refugees in flight from the fighting in Mosul.

So long as it is open, ISIS is free to move thousands of fighters and masses of weapons, ammunition and other supplies between its two strongholds. This freedom of action, Obama warned Al-Abadi, would prolong the Mosul operation beyond the Dec. 20 deadline set by the coalition for its termination.

However, according to our sources, the Iraqi prime minister countered this demand with a proviso unacceptable to Washington. He was prepared to order Iraqi forces to block the Ba’aja Road provided Mosul’s entire population of 750,000 Sunni Muslims was expelled from the city. He argued that ISIS could not be defeated until then because the Sunnis were supporting and collaborating with the Islamist terrorists.

Obama fiercely opposes the mass Sunni expulsion, seeing it as an attempt by the Shiite Iraqi prime minister to cleanse Iraq’s second city of its Sunni inhabitants and using the Mosul offensive against ISIS as a pretext for such action.

mosul_soulemeni_19-10-16EXCLUSIVE: Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani greets Shiite fighters outside Mosul.

DEBKAfile’s sources add that Al-Abadi has found support for his side of the argument with the arrival of the Iranian Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani at the command posts of the pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias, who have not yet been thrown into the Mosul battle.

The Mosul offensive came up in the third US presidential debate in Las Vegas early Thursday. The Republican candidate Donald Trump, who appeared to have been updated on the state of play there, commented that the big winner from that offensive would be Iran.

Our military sources report that three days of combat have not brought any major coalition forces advances against ISIS. On some sectors Iraqi forces are moving forward slowly, backed by US air strikes and rocket artillery fire; on others, they are stalled by Islamist resistance.

Sharia in Denmark – Part II

July 20, 2016

Sharia in Denmark – Part II, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, July 20, 2016

♦ “All the bullying happens in Arabic… The hierarchy of the Arab boys creates a very violent environment. … I have filmed the particularly vile bullying of a Somali boy. You can see the tears in his eyes. They are destroying him; it is very violent. ” — From a dissertation by Jalal El Derbas, Ph.D.

♦ Danish teachers are the least respected and are spoken of in denigrating and humiliating terms.

♦ “I am not saying that all the Arab children did ugly things, but we witnessed on a regular basis… using derogatory Arabic language towards Somalis and girls.” — Lise Egholm, former head of the Rådmandsgade school in Copenhagen.

♦ Whether Danish parliamentarians wish to acknowledge this problem or not, they are up against far wider issues than that of religious incitement in mosques by radical preachers.

After the television documentary, “Sharia in Denmark“, embarrassed Danish authorities by revealing how widespread the preaching of sharia is in mosques in Denmark, the Danish government, in May, concluded a political agreement about “initiatives directed against religious preachers who seek to undermine Danish laws and values and who support parallel legal systems”.

“We are doing everything we can without compromising the constitution and international agreements,” Bertel Haarder, the Minister for Culture and Church, said about the political agreement.

The agreement centers on a number of initiatives, which are supposed to compensate for the detrimental effects of all the years in which sharia was allowed to spread in Denmark while most authorities paid only scant attention to what was happening. Part of the new effort, therefore, will be the mapping of all existing mosques in Denmark.

It will now be obligatory, according to the agreement, for all priests, imams and others who are not part of the Church of Denmark, and who wish to be able to perform weddings — as well as for foreign preachers who apply for residence permits — to learn about Danish family law, freedom and democracy. At the end of the course, all will have to sign a statement that they will accept Danish law, including freedom of speech and religion, gender equality, freedom of sexual orientation, non-discrimination and women’s rights.

The government will examine how to create more transparency in foreign donations to faith communities in Denmark, including controlling and, if necessary, preventing such donations. As part of this work, on May 4 the government presented a law making it a crime to receive funding from a terror organization to establish or run an institution in Denmark, including schools and mosques.

Another element in the political agreement is the establishment of national lists with the names of traveling foreign (non-EU) religious preachers who will be excluded from entry into Denmark on the grounds that they are a threat to public order in Denmark. These named preachers will not be granted an entry visa and will be denied entry at the border. In addition, a non-public list, containing the names of such preachers who are EU citizens, will be established. The purpose of this list is to create awareness of the existence of these preachers, as, due to EU rules on free movement, they cannot be denied entry.

The final component of the agreement is the criminalization of certain speech. According to the agreement, it will become illegal explicitly to support terrorism, murder, rape, violence, incest, pedophilia, the use of force and polygamy as part of religious training, and whether or not the speech was made in private or in public. Both the activities of religious preachers and the activities of others, who speak as part of religious training, are included in the criminalization.

The political agreement is expected to become law when the Danish parliament reconvenes after the summer vacation.

Danish parliamentarians are aware that it will be difficult to measure whether these initiatives have any effect — how do you measure whether religious preachers are indeed not explicitly supporting terrorism, murder, rape and pedophilia, unless you place them under constant surveillance? But lawmakers are nevertheless confident that the new initiatives will have an effect. “This will have an impact on what people put up with from their religious leaders.” Culture and Church Minister Bertel Haarder says.

Another parliamentarian, Naser Khader, who appears more realistic, says,

“We are well aware that more initiatives are needed. But this stops hate preachers from coming to Denmark, preachers who only want to come here in order to sow discord between population groups and who encourage violence, incest and pedophilia.”

 

1703After the documentary “Sharia in Denmark” embarrassed Danish authorities, the government reached a new a political agreement, which Danish Member of Parliament Naser Khader supported, saying, “this stops hate preachers from coming to Denmark, preachers who only want to come here in order to sow discord between population groups and who encourage violence, incest and pedophilia.”

While Danish politicians have taken yet another step on an uncertain road that may or may not succeed in stemming the rise of sharia in Denmark, other problems abound, which compound the impression that this initiative will not amount to much more than a symbolic band-aid.

A recent Ph.D. dissertation by Jalal El Derbas, as reported by the Danish newspaper, Berlingske Tidende, shows that in several Danish schools with Arab students, the latter, mainly boys, use Arabic as a means to sexually and racially harass and bully other students as well as their teachers, especially girls, Somalis and ethnically Danish teachers, who do not understand the insults hurled at them in Arabic.

According to the article, El Derbas was shocked when he went through the video footage of 12- and 13-year-olds in two different Danish public schools with a majority of pupils with minority background. The purpose of his Ph.D. was to examine the possible causes of why bilingual boys — who speak both Danish and Arabic — continue to lag behind other Danish students. He wanted to see what those bilingual boys actually do in the classroom. The footage was taken over five months and it displayed a world characterized by hierarchy, sexual and religious harassment, bullying and racism, in which the first language of the students, Arabic, played a central and leading role. According to El Derbas:

“I could see that the students used Arabic as a secret code and they only used it negatively to disturb the schoolwork. If they did not want to do the work, they simply shifted to Arabic. The schools were very flexible and allowed the students to use Arabic both inside and outside the classroom. But all that this freedom accomplished was that the students shifted from Danish to Arabic if they were getting into a fight and if there was a teacher nearby whom they did not want to understand what they were saying.”

The video footage also revealed a hierarchy consisting of sexual harassment and racism, because the Arab boys consider themselves higher-ranking than girls and Somali students.

“All the bullying happens in Arabic. All the ugly and mean words are uttered in Arabic. The hierarchy of the Arab boys creates a very violent environment. I have video footage of severe sexual harassment against Arab girls and I have filmed the particularly vile bullying of a Somali boy. You can see the tears in his eyes. They are destroying him; it is very violent.”

According to El Derbas, Sunni and Shia Muslim strife is also imported into the grounds of these Danish schools. With the majority of the boys being Sunni Muslims, they look down on the Shia Muslim students and a teacher who is a Shia Muslim is called “Satan” or “witch”, whereas a Sunni Muslim teacher is addressed courteously as “uncle” or “aunt”. Danish teachers are the least respected, and are spoken of in denigrating and humiliating terms.

El Derbas, stressed that the pupils come from ghetto areas, saying:

“Many of the teachers have given up on engaging the parents in any way, but if this is to change it has to happen through the parents. Maybe it would help if the parents took turns of being present in the classroom to see how their children behave. Most of them [the parents] are not working or studying anyway. I think that could lead to an improvement. Because no parents will accept that their children behave in this manner”.

The results of the dissertation come as no surprise to Lise Egholm, now retired, but who for 18 years, until 2013, was the head of Copenhagen’s Rådmandsgade school, which has many Arab students.

“I am not saying that all the Arab children did ugly things,” says Egholm, “but we witnessed on a regular basis exactly the phenomenon of using derogatory Arabic language towards Somalis and girls… Back then the biggest group of children in the school was Arabic speaking, and the words which in Arabic mean ‘whore’ and ‘f— your mother’ they all knew.”

In a written statement to Berlingske Tidende, Minister of Education, Ellen Trane Nørby, wrote,

“It is never all right to bully, whether this happens in Danish, Arabic, or in a third language. That is why I have initiated a large initiative, which has as its purpose to prevent and combat bullying. The teachers have to signal very strongly that there has to be room for all children and that you have to treat other pupils with respect. If some pupils do not understand this and speak in ‘code language’ or use a language that excludes and bullies other pupils, the schools must intervene. Danish is the language used for teaching in Denmark, and pupils should not be excluded or bullied because of parallel languages in school”.

However, what the minister of education fails to mention is that the problems with this kind of behavior are not likely to remain inside the school, but will inevitably spill into the streets. Then what? No amount of lists of radical religious preachers and laws is going to change that fact.

Whether Danish parliamentarians wish to acknowledge this problem or not, they are up against far wider issues than that of religious incitement in mosques by radical preachers. Notably, El Derbas’s findings have not caused any debate remotely resembling that, which was caused by the “Sharia in Denmark” documentary. They should.

A Ramadan Piece: The “Other” Islam

July 5, 2016

A Ramadan Piece: The “Other” Islam, Gatestone InstituteSalim Mansur, July 5, 2016

(A fascinating history of the battle between political Islam and non-political Islam. The battle continues. — DM)

♦ Abrahamic monotheism as represented in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, precedes and stands apart from politics as an ethical vision that transcends history. It was a vision which invited people to embrace their common humanity as created and gifted by one omnipotent deity, and to follow a revealed code of ethics for righteous living, holding the promise of peace with an end to interminable conflicts that divided people into warring tribes.

♦ Thoughtful Muslims, for nearly a century before the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the Caliphate, had been writing about the need for an Islamic reform. Europe’s cultural advancement following the Reformation and Enlightenment held up a mirror for the Islamic world to follow in similar direction to similar ends. There was a consensus among Muslims that Islam was not intrinsically opposed to the modern world, and a readiness to follow in the footsteps of the West.

♦ This is the “other” Islam. This is submission to truth, whose most righteous exemplar was Abraham when his faith was tested by his Deity, according to the Hebrew Bible, to sacrifice his son. And this is the faith of Sufis who took Muhammad’s message to people in places far removed from the desert confines of Arabia. It is simply, as the Qur’an reminds (30:30), deen al-fitrah, the natural religion, or inclination, of man to know his Creator. There is no return of this “other” Islam; it never went missing.

The cover of the January 1976 issue of Commentary magazine announced its main story, “The Return of Islam,” by Bernard Lewis. The year of publication coincided with the coming end of the fourteenth century of Islam, and the anticipation of a new Islamic century beginning in 1979. Forty years later this essay by Lewis, widely recognized and respected as the most eminent scholar on the Middle East and Islam alive today, came to be celebrated as the first warning of the coming upheaval inside the world of Islam.

Lewis’s essay was a corrective to viewing the Middle East and its people, Arabs and Muslims, in terms of Western values. “Modern Western man,” wrote Lewis, “being unable for the most part to assign a dominant and central place to religion in his own affairs, found himself unable to conceive that any other peoples in any other place could have done so… [or to] admit that an entire civilization can have religion as its primary loyalty.” This meant, Lewis continued, the “inability, political, journalistic, and scholarly alike, to recognize the importance of the factor of religion in the current affairs of the Muslim world”.

Recent events have proven that Lewis was correct in pointing to this critical flaw in much of Western understanding of Islam and Muslims. But the title of the essay was unfortunate and misleading; there was no “return of Islam” for Muslims, since at no point in Islamic or Muslim history had Islam been missing, or dormant.

Instead of the “return of Islam,” it was the return of political Islam, or Islamism. Lewis’s essay was a timely review of Muslim history in terms of political Islam. But political Islam is but one facet of Islam. It is a recurring mistake to see political Islam as the defining feature of Islam that obscures Islam’s spiritual dimension, which is more vital than the coarse authoritarian features of political Islam.

In antiquity, politics was inseparable from religion. It might be said that politics was the handmaiden of religion. A ruler among people in ancient times was a chief priest, or a demigod. This feature of the ancient world in which religion and politics were bound together could be described as “theopolitics”, and Islam was as much influenced in its history by theopolitics as were Judaism and Christianity.

Lewis wrote:

“The three major Middle Eastern religions are significantly different in their relations with the state and their attitudes to political power. Judaism was associated with the state and was disentangled from it; its new encounter with the state at the present time raises problems which are still unresolved. Christianity, during the first formative centuries of its existence, was separate from and indeed antagonistic to the state with which it only later became involved. Islam from the lifetime of its founder was the state, and the identity of religion and government is indelibly stamped on the memories and awareness of the faithful from their own sacred writings, history, and experience.”

A lot of history is compressed in this passage, and so some misreading of that history is inevitable. Lewis went on to discuss Islam as being entwined with political Islam since its inception. “Islam was associated with power from the very beginning,” wrote Lewis, “from the first formative years of the Prophet and his immediate successors.” Consequently, in Islam “religion is not, as it is in Christendom, one sector or segment of life, regulating some matters while others are excluded; it is concerned with the whole of life—not a limited but a total jurisdiction.”

The problem with Lewis’s view of Islam is that he uncritically accepted the theology of political Islam. This theology was constructed during the three centuries after the Prophet Muhammad when, in the course of events between the seventh and the tenth century of the Common Era, Arabs came to rule a vast empire. It was consistent with the temper of late antiquity, and it put a stamp on Islam ever since that most Muslims have accepted without questioning.

Abrahamic monotheism as represented in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, however, precedes and stands apart from politics as an ethical vision that transcends history. It was a vision which invited people to embrace their common humanity as created and gifted by one omnipotent deity, and to follow a revealed code of ethics for righteous living, holding the promise of peace with an end to interminable conflicts that divided people into warring tribes.

It was the resistance of pagans and polytheists to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam at their origins that compelled their early followers in the course of their respective histories to seek in politics protection for their religious beliefs. In Judaism and Islam, the founders — Moses and Muhammad — combined in their personalities the roles of prophet, warrior, and statesman. The life of Jesus, in this respect, was different.

In Moses’s case, he never entered the promised land, and it was left to his successors to eventually found a state for the Jews. In the instance of Muhammad, there is the question that has divided Muslims ever since his death: was his prophetic mission primarily to establish an Islamic state that would define, for Muslims for all times, Islam as the ideal arrangement in which religion and politics were one and indivisible?

The answer to this question was surrounded in controversy right from the moment of the Prophet’s last illness before his death. The controversy over his succession, and what such succession meant, tore apart the immediate followers of the Prophet, and incited tribal warfare, fratricide and schisms that since then have provided the backdrop to Muslims in respect to their own understanding and practice of Islam as religion and politics.

Islam as the Abrahamic vision of man’s relation with God was supplanted by the theology of political Islam. The process began in the midst of the Prophet’s last illness and accelerated with his death. The majority Sunni sect in Islam coalesced around the view that the immediate successors of the Prophet, elected or chosen, ought to be the closest companions of Muhammad, and their rulings in the formative stage of Muslim history became the standard by which subsequent generations of Muslims innovated the requirements of ruling an empire.

Those Muslims who dissented from the majority view represented by Sunni Islam were the Shi’a, or the party of Ali. Ali was a cousin of the Prophet, raised from his childhood in the Prophet’s household and, hence, the closest companion of Muhammad. Ali was also the Prophet’s son-in-law by marriage to Fatima, his only surviving child. The Shi’a Muslims believed Ali was the designated successor of the Prophet because of their familial ties, but he was forcefully denied the succession by those who usurped it immediately following the Prophet’s demise. Shi’a Islam evolved as the main minority sect with its own theopolitics within Islam.

The first Muslims were Arabs of the desert, the Bedouins, among whom Muhammad was born. Their tribalism persisted despite the Prophet’s warnings and it shaped Islam from the first hour of the post-Prophetic history. Sectarianism within Islam was the unavoidable outcome of clan and tribal conflicts among the first Muslims, and the Sunni-Shi’a divide became the main cleavage as a result, setting the template of further divisions as sects proliferated over time in the history of Islam.

Less than a century after the Prophet’s death in 632 C.E., his followers, the Bedouin Arabs, became the rulers of an empire that stretched from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to the Indus River in the East. There was nothing in the Qur’an, or in the traditions of the Prophet, to instruct these Arabs on the mechanics of administrating an empire. They took to imitating the rulers of Persia, whom they defeated, and adopted the administrative manuals of both Byzantine and Persian officialdom to rule the lands and peoples they conquered. And in order to provide legitimacy in the name of Islam to Arab rule in Damascus and later in Baghdad, the ulema(religious scholars) worked out the details of law and society, the Sharia, derived from the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions.

The origin of Islamic culture and civilization lies in the empire that Bedouin Arabs, through the force of arms, established in a very short period. This was also the origin of political Islam, which came to represent the dominant face of Islam as theopolitics.

The fight that erupted, with the news of the Prophet’s demise, among his closest companions over succession related to temporal power that the Prophet had exercised, and not his role as a Messenger of God (Rasul Allah). This fight culminated in 680 C.E. with the defeat of the Prophet’s grandson, Husayn, killed and decapitated in the field of Kerbala, close to the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq, by the army sent out by Yazid I, the Ummayad Caliph of the rapidly expanding Islamic empire.

The event in Kerbala was a watershed in the history of Islam. Ethnic Arabs, recently converted to Islam, delivered Husayn’s cruel end. Ever since, this crime, as sordid as the crucifixion of Jesus, has stained Muslim history with the mark of Cain.

After Kerbala, it could no longer be said that Islam, as Abrahamic monotheism, guided politics ethically along the path of justice and mercy. Instead, the politics that surfaced upon the death of the Prophet hardened after the killing of Husayn, and politics henceforth came to define Islam as faith, culture, and society.

699In the Battle of Kerbala, depicted in Abbas Al-Musavi’s painting, Husayn, the son of Ali and grandson of Muhammad, was killed along with his family and all his followers by the armies of the Umayyad Caliphate. It was the most crucial moment in the split between Shi’a and Sunni Islam. (Image source: Brooklyn Museum)

The Ummayads in Damascus, the imperial capital, were the first dynastic rulers among Arabs in Islamic history. The founder of the dynasty, Muawiyyah, seized power following the murder of Ali, the fourth Caliph and the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet. With the Ummayads the institution of the Caliphate, which was an innovation to fill the void of leadership among the Arabs in Medina following Muhammad’s death, adopted the pomp and pageantry of the Persian and Byzantine rulers. The Caliphate, from that first century of Islamic history until its abolition in 1924 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was the embodiment of Oriental Despotism.

Those Muslims who witnessed the tribal conflicts erupt after the Prophet’s demise and recoiled in revulsion from politics turned inward in seeking union with the divine mystery, as mentioned in the Qur’an. They sought solace in the spiritual dimension of Islam and emulated the Prophetic tradition of withdrawal from the world through prayer and meditation. They became the founders of the Sufi, or mystical, tradition in Islam. This was the “other” face of Islam, distinct from political Islam.

The physical expansion of the Islamic empire was carried forth by the armies of the Caliphs. But the spread of Islam as a faith tradition was a slow process, carried forth by Sufi missionaries belonging to various fraternal orders and independent of political rulers of the world of Islam.

There is a world of difference in conversion brought about at the point of sword of conquering armies, and conversion that results from the communion of hearts and minds among people. The latter is more genuine and transformative than the former in every religion. The Qur’an itself — verse 49:13 — warned the Prophet that the acceptance of Islam by the Arabs of the desert was one of submission in the face of defeat, and that belief had not entered their hearts. This verse might be read as forewarning of crimes Muslims would commit through history in the cause of political Islam, beginning with the killing of Husayn in Kerbala.

Political Islam from its outset was an inquisition. It began with Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, when he subverted the Islamic principle stated in the Qur’an — “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) — and declared war on those Arab tribes who withheld their loyalty from him following the death of the Prophet. The “Ridda Wars,” or the “Wars of Apostasy,” launched by Abu Bakr inaugurated political Islam, and since then, the precedent he set for Muslim-on-Muslim violence has plagued Islamic history into our times.

The role of the a’lem (pl. ulema; religious scholars) was instrumental in the making of political Islam. The ulema provided legitimacy to the Ummayad Caliphs in Damascus in the period of intra-tribal conflicts that had led to the killings of the three Caliphs (Umar, Uthman, and Ali) after Abu Bakr and then the massacre in the field of Kerbala.

The consensus of the ulema — accepted by those who eventually came to represent the majority Sunni Muslims (the word “Sunni” derived from Sunna, meaning following the path or tradition of the Prophet) — was that political and social order however provided and maintained was preferable to fitnah (disorder). This consensus provided doctrinal legitimacy to the Caliphs. In return, the Caliphs recognized the special function of the religious scholars and jurists in the drafting, codification, and implementation of Sharia, or Islamic laws.

As a result of this bargain between men wielding swords and men wielding pens, the foundational arrangement of political Islam was firmly established. It was an arrangement consistent with the thinking prevalent in antiquity that religion (deen in Arabic) prescribed the totality of human affairs. This meant, as it was understood by the ulema in the formative period of Islamic history, that the primary function of state and government (dawlat in Arabic) was the establishment of the rule of Sharia. As Ann K.S. Lambton in her study, State and Government in Medieval Islam(1981), observed:

“The law precedes the state and is immutable at all times and under all conditions. The state is there to carry out the law. To disobey a law or to neglect a law is not simply to infringe a rule of the social order: it is an act of religious disobedience, a sin, and as such involves a religious penalty.”

Once the bricks and mortar of political Islam were set in the making of the Islamic civilization, Islam as the official doctrine of the state and empire clearly demarcated the norm as prescribed in the Sharia and made the ulema its official guardians. The Islamic state was a nearly perfect embodiment of a closed totalitarian system designed by men towards the end of the first millennium of the Common Era, and any suggestion of change or adoption of new idea in matters of either religion or politics was condemned as bid’ah (heresy deserving punishment).

But Muslim dissidents who viewed the doctrine of political Islam, or what might also be referred to as “official” Islam, as an aberration, went underground and kept the “other” Islam free from the shackles of politics. Beneath the hardened features of political Islam, the “other” Islam of Sufis provided solace to Muslims by tending to their humanity in the light of God’s most favoured attributes of mercy and compassion.

The “other” Islam, unlike political Islam, is not bound by time and space. It is directed to man’s inner yearnings for that which is eternal. It plunges in search of the inner meaning of the Qur’an as the Word of God, and the assuredness that God’s mercy is not denied to any of His creations. The Qur’an states, “We are nearer to man than his jugular vein” (50:16), reassuring man that he is not alone and God is not some distant uncaring deity.

Whereas the defining characteristic of political Islam was religion inseparable from politics, in “other” Islam politics was the corruption of religion and the dissolution of belief. Hence, from the perspective of “other” Islam, the Sharia as the corpus of Islamic laws codified by the ulema and sanctioned by the Caliphs was a poor, even corrupt, representation of the divine Sharia (in Arabic, a “path”) imprinted in the hearts of all believers as the path to acquiring God’s infinite grace.

ii.

Political Islam and the Islamic civilization it inaugurated was time-bound as a theopolitical system constructed in a certain historical period or context. It was a construct of late antiquity and the early medieval era. Since it was a fixed and closed system, it was invariably given to decay and dissolution.

During the Middle Ages, the Islamic civilization flourished just as other civilizations had. As Abdus Salam (1926-1996) — a physicist of Indo-Pakistani origin and the first Muslim scientist awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 — observed in one of his lectures, the world of Islam and the world of Christianity (Europe) were more or less at a similar stage of development around the middle of the seventeenth century.

The evidence of this relative equality of the two civilizations, Salam suggested, could be seen in their technological achievements represented by the two monuments, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England, completed about the same time. Some two decades later, Salam observed,

“there was also created — and this time only in the West — a third monument, a monument still greater in its eventual import for humanity’s future. This was Newton’s Principia, published in 1687.”

Newton’s monument had no counterpart in India, or anywhere else in the Muslim world.

The Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, led by men of astounding intellect from Leonardo da Vinci to Galileo and Newton, propelled Europe out of the medieval age into the making of the modern world. But Islamic civilization, held together by political Islam, descended into a death spiral. A century after Newton published his major work, the Ottoman Empire was turning irreversibly into a pale shadow of a civilization that once had threatened the powers of Europe at the gates of Vienna.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington by the Islamist terrorists of al Qaeda, Bernard Lewis published What Went Wrong? (2002). It was Lewis’s effort to answer why, and how, the world of Islam had failed to accommodate the imperatives of the modern world.

“In most of the arts and sciences of civilization, medieval Europe was a pupil and in a sense a dependent of the Islamic world,” wrote Lewis.

“And then, suddenly, the relationship changed. Even before the Renaissance, Europeans were beginning to make significant progress in the civilized arts. With the advent of the New Learning, they advanced by leaps and bounds, leaving the scientific and technological and eventually the cultural heritage of the Islamic world far behind them.”

The civilizational success of political Islam in late antiquity and the early medieval era ironically carried within it the seeds of its own decline and demise. World War I eventually put an end to the anachronism that the Ottoman Empire had become, and the abolition of the Caliphate was a formal effort to bury political Islam for good.

Thoughtful Muslims, for nearly a century before the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the Caliphate, had been thinking and writing about the need for an Islamic reform. Europe’s cultural advancement following the Reformation and Enlightenment held up a mirror for the Islamic world to follow in similar direction to similar ends.

In India under British rule, for instance, there were a significant number of Muslims who painfully recognized the malaise of Islamic societies and offered remedy for their advancement into the modern world. Among them the notable were Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-98), the founder of the Aligarh University; Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1928), jurist and historian; and Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), poet and philosopher.

One of the most important works was published in 1925 by Ali Abd al-Raziq (1888-1966), an Egyptian scholar and jurist at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. In his seminal work, titled al-Islam wa ‘Usul al-Hukm (Islam and the Fundamentals of Authority), al-Raziq pointed out that there was no basis in the Qur’an and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet for the institution of the Caliphate.

Al-Raziq was not someone from outside the ranks of the ulema, or a lay scholar unfamiliar with the intricacies of Islamic jurisprudence and theology in the construction of Sharia. He was a student of Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) at al-Azhar, when Abduh had been appointed the Grand Mufti of Egypt.

Al-Raziq’s main contention was based on the distinction between spiritual and temporal authority. He indicated that the confusion among Muslims in the period after the Prophet arose from their inability to distinguish between the Apostolic role of Muhammad and the authority he derived as the Messenger of God (Rasul Allah), and the Caliphate as a temporal institution. Al Raziq wrote:

“Muhammad was but an apostle, sent on behalf of a religious summons, one pertaining entirely to religion and unmarred by any taint of monarchy or of summons to a political state; and he possessed neither kingly rule nor government, and he was not charged with the task of founding a kingdom in the political sense, as this word and its synonyms are generally understood.”

Al-Raziq was denounced by his peers. He was made to appear before the Council of the Greatest Ulema of Al-Azhar to hear the judgment against him, as his license to teach and practice law was revoked. Egypt was then ruled under Britain’s supervision, which likely saved al-Raziq from even more severe punishment.

But al-Raziq had stripped away the argument of traditional Islam on the sanctity of the Caliphate, and with it went the idea of Sharia being sacred. In the half-century following the abolition of the Caliphate by Mustafa Kemal, Muslims under European rule gained their independence as new states emerged in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world of Islam.

This period in the middle decades of the last century was a period of intense expectations on the part of Muslims for progress in their living conditions. A massive effort was invested to make the transition from the world of pre-Newtonian knowledge and learning to the modern world of science, industry and democracy.

There was a consensus among the rich and the poor that Islam was not intrinsically opposed to the modern world. There was a readiness among Muslims to follow in the footsteps of the West.

This consensus was reflected in a well-known and widely circulated aphorism attributed to Muhammad Abduh. On returning to Cairo from a visit to Europe, Abduh told his students, “I travelled in the West and found Islam, but no Muslims; I have returned to the East and find Muslims, but not Islam.”

The transition into the modern world, however, proved immensely complex and difficult. Europe’s transition had required several generations and a couple of centuries to break away from the feudal age into the modern age. The resistance from those invested in the ancien arrangements of society and culture was immense, and wars that followed were fierce.

Something similar to the European experience was unavoidable for Muslims in their effort to break from the hold of their traditional culture. And not unlike the wars in Europe, wars within the world of Islam since the 1970s are symptoms of the Muslim struggle to transit into the modern world.

iii.

The abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 was the formal announcement of political Islam’s death. But it refused to die, even as it was laid to rest. Its twitching was felt in the deep dark interior of the world of Islam, in remote and unwelcome places such as Nejd inside Arabia.

Here in Nejd, the medieval theology of Ibn Taymiyyah had struck roots. It had impressed an eighteenth-century itinerant preacher in the region, Abdul Wahhab (1703-92), who turned Ibn Taymiyyah’s extremist thinking into an even more rigid and austere doctrine, hostile to all things inimical to the Bedouin tribal culture of his time and environment.

Abdul Wahhab’s version of political Islam impressed a local tribal chief, and the marriage of convenience between the preacher and the tribal leader gave birth to the first Saudi state in the interior of Arabia. But when it sent tribal warriors to raid towns inside the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire, it provoked the Caliph of Islam in Istanbul, on whose orders this nascent state of the Wahhabi ruler was destroyed.

But the eventual collapse of the Ottoman Empire provided the conditions for the rebirth of the Saudi state as a kingdom under Abdul Aziz ibn Saud in the 1920s. Fortune, in the guise of great power politics, smiled upon him. He seized the support offered by the British, in return for influence in a region of strategic importance. The discovery of oil made the Saudi kingdom a prize to be protected by the Western powers, first Britain and later the United States, with far reaching consequences for the rest of the world, and even more so for the world of Islam and Muslims.

Any modernizing revolution is hugely disruptive. The movement from one stage of social development to another is not linear; it is, instead, filled with zigzags and reversals at every stage of the process toward an uncertain future.

When a people, however, pushes back against this process of change in their midst, or seeks to abort it, this reactionary effort pins its hopes on longing for an idealized past. The Newtonian revolution and the emergence of modern Europe made political Islam anachronistic. Wahhabism, as the official doctrine of the Saudi kingdom, was much more than a return of the most extreme version of political Islam in the early decades of the last century. It was, and remains, a demented effort of the most backward people within the world of Islam to remain culturally tied to antiquity, or jahiliyya (the age of ignorance), which Islam at its origin derided and rejected.

Political Islam in whatever version — Wahhabism, Khomeinism, Ikhwanism (the Muslim Brotherhood) and their derivatives — has no answer for Muslims on how to make their historic transition into the modern world. It can continue to rage against the modern world until its civilized inhabitants, including Muslims, have had enough of its destructiveness and obliterate it.

Then that vision of Abrahamic monotheism, which Muhammad was mysteriously directed to deliver to his people, will be emancipated from political Islam.

This message Muhammad was given admonished Arabs for their lack of faith, provided them with ethics for living honorably, told them in no uncertain term that the God of Abraham made no distinction among nations and people who believe in Him, and that on the Day of Final Reckoning, they need have no fear if they strive in doing what is right.

This is the “other” Islam. This is submission to truth, whose most righteous exemplar was Abraham when his faith was tested by his Deity, according to the Hebrew Bible, to sacrifice his son. And this is the faith of Sufis who took Muhammad’s message to people in places far removed from the desert confines of Arabia. It is simply, as the Qur’an reminds (30:30), deen al-fitrah, the natural religion, or inclination, of man to know his Creator. There is no return of this “other” Islam; it never went missing.

Iraqi Cleric Al-Kubeisi: ISIS Controlled by Netanyahu; Al-Baghdadi Stupid, Can’t Be Held Accountable

June 21, 2016

Iraqi Cleric Al-Kubeisi: ISIS Controlled by Netanyahu; Al-Baghdadi Stupid, Can’t Be Held Accountable, MEMRI-TV via YouTube, June 21, 2016

The blurb beneath the video states,

In a recent TV interview, Sunni Iraqi cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al-Kubeisi said that ISIS was an asset in the hands of Netanyahu, who “holds the remote control” and “gives orders to all the rulers of America, Europe, and elsewhere” and that the Jews are the masters of the land today. Al-Kubeisi further said that his fatwa ruling that people killed fighting ISIS were martyrs did not apply to the mostly-Shiite militia Popular Mobilization Units, because they “are killing Muslims just because they are Sunnis.” Asked about Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, he said that he was “so stupid that when he was detained in Camp Bucca… they used him as a scarecrow and then chucked him into the garbage.” The interview aired on the Iraqi Sumaria TV channel on June 11, 2016.

How US gave Fallujah’s Sunnis into Iranian hands

June 20, 2016

How the US gave Fallujah’s Sunnis into Iranian hands, DEBKAfile, June 20, 2016

Displaced_Sunni__Iraqis_from_Fallujah_6.16Sunni refugees

In the last few days, the Western press has been full of harrowing reports on the death and destruction wrought by the Islamic State in Fallujah, western Iraq. But no media outlet is covering the still ongoing human disaster in which tens of thousands of the city’s Sunni residents are fleeing for their lives, including many elderly people, women and children. Some are escaping the intense fighting or because their homes were destroyed. But many Sunnis are fleeing in dread of their ‘liberators,” the pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias that captured the eastern and central parts of Fallujah.

These militias, the Popular Mobilization Forces and the Badar Forces, take their orders from Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Al Qods Brigades, and Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps ground forces.

There is not much difference between the barbarous acts perpetrated by ISIS and the savagery of Shiite militiamen against the Sunni dwellers of the Iraqi city. In many cases it is even worse. The pro-Iranian fighters are burning down and blowing up houses, murdering and raping women, and executing children and the elderly with bayonets or gunfire.

The Iraqi Special Republican Guard, also called the Golden Division, which participated in the capture of the city center, withdrew from the parts of Fallujah that the pro-Iranian fighters entered. They did so even though Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi had promised the US via Douglas Ollivant, White House aide in charge of Iraq, that the SRG would protect the city’s Sunni population from the Shiite militias. What happened in fact was that the Iraqi soldiers opened the door for the atrocities.

American sources in Washington and Baghdad reported on Monday, June 20, that President Barack Obama and his top aides are furious with Al-Abadi for not keeping his promise. But DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources point out that none of this would not have happened were it not for US military involvement in the war on the side of the Iranians.

The pro-Iranian militias were enabled to reach central Fallujah and overwhelm ISIS by the massive bombing raids carried out by US AV-8B Harrier II jets, which flew in from bases in the Persian Gulf, and F/A-18 Hornets from the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean.

Even the urgent American calls on Prime Minister Al-Abadi over the last few days to halt the murders and other outrages against the Sunnis population were pointless. Washington knows that he has no authority over the Iranian generals or commanders of the Shiite militias for halting the slaughter.

DEBKAfile’s military and counterterrorism sources point to an especially grave repercussion coming as a direct result of the war crimes allowed to occur in Fallujah. Washington will be hard put to enlist any local Sunni allies for the capture of the two main ISIS strongholds, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Some of the American field commanders may believe they can dispense with Sunni support and rely on other local forces, such as the Kurds, to step forward. But they must take into account that many young Sunnis, after witnessing pro-Iranian atrocities in Fallujah may well opt to side with ISIS as the lesser evil.

Orlando and Willful Blindness at the New York Times

June 14, 2016

Orlando and Willful Blindness at the New York Times, PJ Media,  Andrew C. McCarthy, June 14, 2016

It is really not that difficult to grasp our enemies’ ideology. We just need to end the willful blindness.

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

The New York Times has an interesting profile of Omar Mateen, the Orlando terrorist who murdered 49 people and wounded more than 50 others at a gay nightclub over the weekend. In the main, the Gray Lady grapples with the profound challenge the FBI faces in striking the balance between investigating ambiguous signs of potential terrorist inclinations and clearing suspects (or “persons of interest,” as they say in the biz) as to whom the evidence seems weak.

It will take some time to draw firm conclusions about Mateen’s case. Still, FBI Director Jim Comey has been admirably open in explaining that while agents appear to have (twice) probed Mateen responsibly, the Bureau must keep exploring whether clues were missed and more could have been done.

That aside, there are two major flaws in the Times’ account, and quite possibly in the government’s self-examination of its performance.

These errors illuminate Washington’s quarter-century of consciously avoiding the proximate cause of jihadist terror: sharia-supremacist ideology.

Our opinion elites resist acknowledging this because it is drawn literally from Islamic scripture.

Sharia-Supremacist Ideology

Drawing on an interview with Mateen’s ex-wife and on aspects of Mateen’s behavior that have been uncovered so far — e.g., frequenting gay bars, possibly using a gay dating app — the Times reasonably speculates that Mateen may have been gay and deeply conflicted about “his true identity out of anger and shame.”

The paper, however, steadfastly avoids asking: What could have caused such wrenching self-loathing?

After all, if he was gay, Mateen would hardly have been the first person to experience great anguish over his sexual preference, despite the fact that American culture has dramatically normalized homosexuality. Yet, those people manage to control their psychological turmoil and depression without walking into a gay club and committing mass-murder.

Assuming that the “he was gay” angle pans out, what could cause such deep conflict in Mateen that he would carry out such an atrocity?

Part of the explanation — probably the explanation — has to be sharia supremacism.

The Times account includes some indicators that Mateen, despite his “Americanization,” leaned toward Islamic fundamentalism: his Afghan roots, his two pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, his apparently inflated claims of acquaintance with terrorists, his sometimes discriminatory and cruel treatment of his ex-wife. We now know, moreover, that Mateen came onto the FBI’s radar screen because he was acquainted with and attended the same mosque (the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, Florida) as Mohammed Abu Salha, an American fundamentalist of Palestinian descent. Salha, who had been trained by al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al-Nusra, ultimately returned to Syria and died carrying out a jihadist attack.

Yet the Times omits the possibility, reported by Fox News, that Mateen also enrolled in an online radical indoctrination course: the Islamic “seminary” run by Marcus Robertson (aka Abu Taubah), whose jihadist roots trace back to the early 1990s.

Robertson’s lectures are said to have been extremely hostile to homosexuals. In conjunction with other facts that have been developed, the “seminary” connection suggests that in recent years Mateen had immersed himself in sharia supremacism.

That is significant because of a point I stressed over the weekend — a point the Times ignores: For over a millennium, classical sharia has endorsed the condemnation and brutal killing of homosexuals.

The Times and the Obama administration have gone to great lengths to nail down whether there was a Mateen tie to ISIS: Was he merely “inspired” by the jihadist organization with which he expressed solidarity even as he carried out his attack? Or was there — as seems highly unlikely — some more formal, operational relationship between Mateen and ISIS?

I do not mean to suggest that this is an irrelevant question. But it does miss a key point that Washington and the media always resist exploring: The persecution of gay people is not an ISIS thing or an al-Qaeda thing; it is an Islam thing.

More specifically, it is a bedrock of sharia law and has been since long, long before there was an ISIS.

If Mateen was deeply conflicted over his alleged homosexual leanings, it had to be because they cut so deeply against the grain of his adherence to sharia supremacism. That ideology, not “inspiration by ISIS” (or by other jihadists Mateen invoked, like the Boston Marathon bombers), is far more likely the root of Mateen’s inner rage.

The Sunni-Shiite Alliance Against Common Enemies

The second weakness of the Times report is its botching of historical alliances between jihadist groups. In a transparent attempt to minimize the Islamist ideological underpinnings of Mateen’s atrocity, the report states:

The F.B.I. director said on Monday that Mr. Mateen had once claimed ties to both Al Qaeda and Hezbollah — two radical groups violently opposed to each other.

The not-so-subtle takeaway for readers is that sharia-supremacism cannot really have much to do with Mateen’s actions because Mateen seems to have been woefully confused about it.

No, the Times is confused.

To be sure, al-Qaeda is Sunni and Hezbollah (Iran’s Lebanon-centered jihadist militia) is Shiite. Uninformed analysts, perhaps looking only at the current conflict in Syria where the two organizations find each other on opposite sides, jump to the conclusion that al-Qaeda and Hezbollah are “violently opposed to each other.” The opposite, however, is actually closer to the truth: al-Qaeda and Hezbollah have had a close working alliance for a quarter-century.

This is not open to debate. It has been proved in court and in major investigations by congressional panels and special commissions. For example, in the prosecution of the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the Justice Department’s indictment expressly alleged:

Al Qaeda also forged alliances … with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.

Investigators have proved the al-Qaeda/Hezbollah alliance again and again. I’ve laid out some of the highlights several times, including in a recent National Review column:

Iran had an alliance with al-Qaeda beginning in the early 1990s. It principally included training by Hezbollah (the Beirut-based terrorist faction created and controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and such joint ventures as the 1996 Khobar Towers attack, in which 19 U.S. airmen were killed….

Toward the conclusion of its probe (and thus without time to investigate the matter fully), the 9/11 Commission learned that Iran had provided critical assistance to the [al-Qaeda] suicide hijackers by allowing them to transit through Iran and Lebanon as they moved from obtaining travel documents in Saudi Arabia (Saudi passports and U.S. visas) to training for the attacks in al-Qaeda’s Afghan safe havens.

Indeed, we now know that Iran’s assistance was overseen by none less than Imad Mugniyah, the now-deceased Hezbollah master terrorist who spent much of his life killing Americans, most notoriously in the Beirut marine-barracks bombing in 1983, and almost certainly at Khobar Towers. In October 2000, Mugniyah went to Saudi Arabia to “coordinate activities” (as the 9/11 Commission put it) with the [al-Qaeda] suicide hijackers. (See 9/11 Commission Report at page 240, as well as affidavits of former CIA officers and a 9/11 Commission staffer, here and here). Thereafter, Mugniyah and other senior Hezbollah members accompanied [al-Qaeda’s] “muscle hijackers” on flights through Iran and Lebanon.

By enabling the hijackers to cross through these countries without having their passports stamped — an Iranian or Lebanese stamp being a telltale sign of potential terrorist training — Iran made it much more likely that the jihadists’ applications for Saudi passports and U.S. visas would be approved, as they were. That is why, on the topic of potential Iranian [and derivatively, Hezbollah] complicity in the plot, the 9/11 Commission wrote, “We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. government.”

There is, furthermore, an extensive, well-known history of alliance between Hezbollah and Hamas. The latter is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian terrorist branch, and notwithstanding its Sunni roots, Hamas has been lavishly backed by Iran’s Shiite regime.

Patently, it is not a sign of confusion about, or overstated connection with, sharia-supremacism to claim, as Mateen did, ideological sympathy with both Sunni and Shiite jihadists. The Iranian regime, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood have been expressing it for at least 25 years.

Indeed, Abdurrahman Alamoudi, one of the more notable al-Qaeda- and Hamas-linked terrorists prosecuted by the Justice Department since 9/11, was recorded at a White House rally in 2000proclaiming:

We are all supporters of Hamas! Allahu Akbar! I wish to add here I am also a supporter of Hezbollah!

The bottom line is quite simple. Despite their differences and simmering hostilities, Sunni jihadists and Shiite jihadists enthusiastically collaborate with each other when dealing with a common enemy — in particular, the United States or Israel. But when the common enemy is not much of a factor, they tend to turn quite viciously on each other, as they are doing in Syria (even as they continue to collude against the U.S. and Israel on the global jihad’s other fronts).

It is really not that difficult to grasp our enemies’ ideology. We just need to end the willful blindness.

We just need to accept that, if we are ever to prevail, we have to study sharia supremacism, including its Islamic roots, and see it plain.

Islam and terror: Attempts at apologetics

April 8, 2016

Islam and terror: Attempts at apologetics, Israel Hayom, Martin Sherman, April 8, 2016

Barely 20 days before the bloody massacre at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the subsequent slaughter among the shelves of the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher in the French capital — both perpetrated in the name of Islam — I took part in a televised debate on “The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the West”( i24 News, Dec. 16, 2014).

In an attempt to debunk the claim that Islam could or should be blamed for the wave of terror carried out overtly in its name, my opponent, Sami Abu Shehadeh, secretary general of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa branch of the anti-Zionist Israeli-Arab faction Balad, made the following pronouncement:

“One out of every six people all over the world is a Muslim. … Trying to say anything in general about this huge community — 1.5 billion people — will be wrong. … The vast majority of these populations are not involved with what’s happening with violence and terror all over the world. … I don’t think there is anything essential that connects between this huge and historically important religion, and all the terrorism that’s going on.”

Of course, there is much truth to Abu Shehadeh’s claim that most Muslims are not actively involved in terrorism. However, while this claim is factually correct, substantively it is meaningless.

(Obama Video at the link. — DM)

Islam is to terror as rainfall is to flooding

Indeed, for anyone with a reasonably informed grasp of world affairs and an iota of intellectual integrity, the answer to whether Islam and violence/terrorism are causally connected should be unequivocally clear. To ask whether Islam is associated with terrorism is a little like asking if rainfall is associated with flooding.

Of course it is, as can be irrefutably deduced from Abu Shehadeh’s very attempt to exonerate it. After all, if one in six people in the world is Muslim, then five out of six are not. Accordingly, if there were no inordinate Islamic affinity for violence/terrorism, the number of Muslim acts of terrorism should be one-fifth that of non-Muslim terrorism — that is, one would expect five times as many non-Muslim acts of terrorism as Muslim acts of terrorism.

Clearly, this is not the case. Terrorist attacks committed by adherents of Islam far outstrip those carried out by non-Muslims.

So, in stark contrast to the dubious precepts of political correctness, it seems there is little choice but to accept the commonsense conclusion that there is a wildly disproportionate causal connection between Islam on the one hand and acts of ideologically-politically motivated violence against civilian populations — terrorism — on the other.

Try as one may, in the modern world, there is no way that any other faith or creed can be as associated with such violence/terrorism, in scope, size, frequency or ubiquity.

The ‘colonialism’ canard

Numerous attempts have been made to explain away much of the prevalence of violence in the Muslim world and its conflict with the West.

Arguably, the most prominent among such apologists has been none other than U.S. President Barack Obama. In his 2009 “outreach address” in Cairo, he offered the following explanation for the sad state of affairs between the West and Islam, which, he alleged, followed “centuries of coexistence and cooperation” (yeah, right). Obama suggested that “more recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.”

This argument clearly holds no water whatsoever, for while it is true that much of the Middle East was under imperial rule for centuries, this was mostly Muslim imperialism — the Ottoman Empire. After all, with perhaps the exception of North Africa, Western colonialism was imposed only for a relatively short period after World War I, and ended soon after World War II. This hardly seems sufficient to engender the obdurate Islamic enmity we see today.

So if complaints are to be lodged regarding colonialist deprivation of Muslim rights and opportunities, shouldn’t they be directed at Muslim imperialism?

Significantly, the crucibles of today’s most extreme anti-Western Islam were barely touched by colonialism — the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.

Although neither has endured any imperial — including Western — rule of any consequence, the former birthed the Sunni-derivative version of Islamic radicalism; the latter, the Shia-derivative.

Clearly, this fact sits uneasily with the diagnosis ascribing ongoing tensions between Muslims and the West to colonial injustices.

No cries of ‘Kill for Krishna’?

Moreover, one might well ask why the iniquities of colonialism have not afflicted, say, the Hindu majority in India, certainly “denied rights and opportunities” under the same yoke of British imperialism, no less than the Muslims in adjacent Pakistan.

Yet, in stark contrast to the bloodcurdling yells of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”) so frequently heard as a precursor to some act of Muslim-related atrocity, we somehow hear no cries of “Kill for Krishna” or “Ganesh is Great” from embittered Hindu terrorists, blowing themselves up in crowded buses, markets, cafes and mosques. Nor do we see aggrieved devotees of Shiva embarking on a global holy war, dedicated to the subjugation of all to the Hindu creed.

So why has India, to a large extent, been able to put its colonial past behind it, and become a vibrant economic juggernaut? Why has it not allowed itself to remain tethered to its past and mired in fratricidal frustration that has so beset its Muslim neighbor, Pakistan? After all, since by far most victims of Muslim violence are other Muslims, rights and opportunities allegedly denied by foreign occupiers, seven decades ago, seem an unpersuasive explanation for Islam’s current conduct.

Modernity as culprit?

Some have tried to contend that the onset of modernity and globalization has generated a perceived threat to Islamic values, which has precipitated tensions with the West. Thus, in Cairo, Obama suggested that “the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to Islamic traditions.” This, too, is difficult to accept.

After all, Islam is the youngest of all major religions, founded centuries — even in some cases, millennia — after Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. Why would the newest religion find that the developments of modernity threaten its traditions in a manner that, apparently, does not threaten the traditions of faiths far more ancient? Why do they not generate the same tensions with the West that we find in the case of the Muslim faith? Could it perhaps be that Islam is fundamentally incompatible, not only with modernity, not only with anything that is not Islam, but even with variations of Islam within itself?

After all, as appalling as Muslim violence against non-Muslims might be, it pales in comparison to the violence between Muslims.

Horrors of intra-Muslim strife

Indeed, as the Pakistani website Dawn lamented (June 17, 2013): “From Aleppo in Syria to Quetta in Balochistan, Muslims are engaged in the slaughter of other Muslims. The numbers are enormous. … Millions have perished in similar intra-Muslim conflicts in the past four decades. Many wonder if the belief in Islam was sufficient to bind Muslims in peace with each other.”

And wonder we might. For even before the unspeakable barbarism of al-Nusra and Islamic State began to sweep across the Levant, and the ghastly savagery of Boko Haram and al-Shabaab ravaged huge swathes of Africa, and merciless massacres of Muslims at the hands of Muslims abounded.

For example, in the almost 10-year Algerian civil war, internecine frictions between rival Islamist factions resulted in massive fratricide, with a death toll reaching, by some estimates, 150,000. Acts of unimaginable brutality were perpetrated, with entire villages wiped out and victims’ bodies mutilated.

Likewise, regular bombings of markets and mosques across countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have produced massive loss of Muslim life at the hands of belligerent brethren, yet hardly generate a footnote in the mainstream media. The intra-Muslim conflict seems so intense and complex that even a reasonably informed layman would find it almost impossible to figure out who is killing whom, and why.

The majority of Muslims

The pervasive violence in the Muslim world inevitably raises the question of the general character of Islam, and the kind of behavioral patterns it seems to generate. It also raises the thorny question of minority actions versus majority inaction.

Thus, while Abu Shehadeh is probably right to claim that only a minority of Muslims engage in abhorrent acts of terrorism, it is highly unlikely they would be able to sustain this activity without the support — or at least the tacit approval — of much larger segments of the population.

Even if the majority does not actively endorse the conduct of a delinquent minority, there is little evidence of effective disapproval, let alone active opposition to it. So, although, as Abu Shehadeh contends, it is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations for 1.5 billion people, several edifying measures are available that paint a daunting picture of the views held by much of the Muslim world.

The Pew Research Center has conducted numerous in-depth surveys across much of the Muslim world. Its findings show solid — at times, overwhelming — majorities in many countries (and significant minorities in others) in favor of harsh corporal punishments (whipping/amputation) for theft/robbery; death by stoning for adultery; and death for apostasy.

With such a propensity for violence as a widely accepted cultural norm, it is not implausible to assume that wide sections of the Muslim population would not find the use of violence and terrorism overly incompatible with their core beliefs.

Islam is a political theory of conquest

We, in the West, would do well to heed the clarion call from someone who has intimate firsthand knowledge of Islam — the Somalian-born former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was forced to flee to the U.S. because of threats to her life over her criticism of Islam. She warned: “Islam is not a religion of peace. It’s a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can. Every accommodation of Muslim demands leads to a sense of euphoria and a conviction that Allah is on their side. They see every act of appeasement as an invitation to make fresh demands” (March 21, 2009).

The consequences of disregarding this will be dire — and deadly.

Mosul Campaign Hampered by Fear of Iraq’s Shia Army

April 7, 2016

Mosul Campaign Hampered by Fear of Iraq’s Shia Army, Washington Free Beacon, April 7, 2016

FILE - In this Saturday, March 26, 2016 photo, Iraqi security forces fire at Islamic State militants positions from villages south of the Islamic State group-held city of Mosul, Iraq. The Iraqi military backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft on Thursday launched a long-awaited operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants, a military spokesman said. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this Saturday, March 26, 2016 photo, Iraqi security forces fire at Islamic State militants positions from villages south of the Islamic State group-held city of Mosul, Iraq. The Iraqi military backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft on Thursday launched a long-awaited operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants, a military spokesman said. (AP Photo, File)

The grinding village-to-village war against ISIS in Northern Iraq has been weighed down by public complaints from Kurdish officials and military commanders who fear that the Shia-dominated Iraqi army will provoke stiffer resistance from ISIS defenders in Mosul.

Sunni, Shia, and Kurd units all want the political capital that goes with liberating a city of a million people and the capital of Sunni Iraq from ISIS, according to military observers.

A see-saw battle between elements of the predominantly Shia 15th Iraqi Army Division and ISIS fighters over control of abandoned villages on the Makhmour Front 40 miles southwest of Mosul took a turn for the worse on Monday, April 4, according to sources near the front. Last week the Iraqi Army, supported by Kurdish Peshmerga forces, captured four villages, including Al Nasr, but an ISIS counterattack recovered the village and left 20 soldiers dead, Rudaw reported.

Of these casualties, six were Peshmerga soldiers killed by a suicide vehicle that passed through the front line, said Ali Awni, a Kurdish Democratic Party leader in the Shekhan District north of Mosul.

The Shia soldiers reportedly abandoned their posts in the recent combat, according to Awni. “They left behind many guns, ammunition, and equipment for ISIS,” Awni said.

The campaign to retake the Iraq’s northern province of Nineweh started on March 24, according to the Iraqi Defense Ministry. That day, Iraqi Security forces backed by the Peshmerga and anti-ISIS Sunni tribal fighters recaptured four villages west of Makhmour.

Iraqi military spokesmen hailed the operations as “heroic,” but military observers say there is no sign of the final offensive to retake the city. The Iraqi defense minister has promised that the campaign to capture Mosul will start no later than May.

The array of armed forces ready and eager to retake the city of Mosul includes the Shia brigades of the Iraqi Security Forces, the Peshmerga army of the Kurdish Regional Government, the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units, and Sunni-tribal fighters from Nineweh itself.

Until now, however, the Iranian-backed forces have not been allowed to join the campaign to recapture Mosul due to the high aversion to them by Sunni citizens in the north of Iraq.

The Iraqi Army has approximately 4,500 soldiers in the current campaign, not nearly an adequate force to secure the city, according to Michael Pregent, a career Army intelligence officer and former adviser to the Peshmerga in Mosul during 2005-06, who now serves as an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

“The force to retake Mosul has not been built yet. It must be a majority-Sunni unit to be accepted by the population,” Pregent said, adding that the defending force of ISIS fighters has been weakened and could be defeated by a patient, intelligence-heavy counter-insurgency campaign.

“There are more than 4,000 reluctant ISIS fighters in Mosul who don’t want to be there, who as soon as an operation begins may dwindle down to 1,500 or 2,000 as they melt into the population to wait the offensive out,” Pregent told a closed briefing at the Westminster Institute in Mclean, VA recently.

Awni, the Kurdish official, says the residents of Mosul despise the Popular Mobilization Units and will fight hard to resist them. “The people of Mosul believe the PMU will destroy the city with artillery and air strikes the way they did Ramadi a few months ago and Tikrit last year. When they entered Tikrit the looted houses and killed many people,” Awni says, adding: “the Mosul residents say if Shia militia are joining the fight, they will fight with ISIS, but if not, they will support the Coalition forces.”

Col. Tariq Ahmed Jaff, deputy commander of the 9th Combat Brigade of Peshmerga based in Kirkuk said in an email, “After ISIS we may have to fight the PMU. These guys pretend to be heroes but they intimidate elderly men, women, and children.” Sectarian war is a pervasive threat throughout Iraq’s territory south of Kurdistan’s borders. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died in sectarian fighting that worsened after the U.S. invasion of 2003.

“Wherever there is PMU, there is Baghdad, and where there is Baghdad there is Tehran,” observed Ernie Audino, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general and a Senior Military Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

“All three are Shia, all three are allies to some degree, and all three vigorously support the concept of a unified Iraq, by force if necessary,” said Audino, who spent a year as an embed with the Pershmerga.  “Consequently, Shia militias cadred by Iranian Quds Forces, and Shia-dominated Iraqi Army units have pressed into Kurdish areas in and around Jalawla and Tuz Khurmatu to directly challenge Peshmerga control. Their continuing presence is seen by Kurds as a hammer waiting to fall.”

Analysis: Iran, ISIS Likely to Unite for WWIII

February 28, 2016

Analysis: Iran, ISIS Likely to Unite for WWIII, The Jewish PressHana Levi Julian, February 28, 2016

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Israeli military analysts are now beginning to prepare top officials, who are in turn beginning to prepare the nation, for what eventually may become the start of World War III.

Most analysts still believe the Syrian crisis is a sectarian conflict between the Sunni, Shi’a and Alawite Muslims. But that time is long gone.

A cataclysmic clash of civilizations is taking place in Syria, one that a number of nations have patiently awaited for decades.

Turkey, so deeply invested in the glorious history of its Ottoman Empire period, would find great satisfaction in stretching its influence with a modern-day “Turkish Islamic Union” that might embrace like-minded nations in the region and perhaps also beyond.

Da’esh, as it is known in the Middle East and which in English calls itself the “Islamic State” (known by others as ISIS or ISIL) is rapidly stretching its influence to build a worldwide Sunni caliphate. It began as a splinter group from the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, and then morphed into the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (hence “ISIS”) — but at last count had successfully recruited more than 41 other regional Muslim terrorist organizations to its cause from around the world on nearly every continent.

And then there is the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Shi’ite Muslim nation, which is extending its tentacles as rapidly throughout the world as Da’esh, but far more insidiously and certainly more dangerously. If in this world one might define any nation today as Amalek, that ice-cold, black-hearted evil that first picks off the weakest of the Jewish nation, it is Iran, which has quietly extended its influence and control farther and more deeply than any other enemy Israel has ever had. Wealthy, patient, smiling and calculating, Iran acquires new allies each year, even among those Israel once counted as friends. Meanwhile, Iranian officials never forget to keep the home fires burning, to stir the pot and keep it simmering, and always to nurture the various conflicts at home in the Middle East.

This past week, Iran announced the money it donates to families of Arab “martyrs” who murder Israelis will be paid via its own special charity organization, and not through the Palestinian Authority government.

But Tehran has yet to reveal the details of exactly how it intends to pay.

Instead, a high-ranked government official simply made an announcement this weekend saying Iran did not trust the Ramallah government, driving a deeper wedge already dividing the PA’s ruling Fatah faction from Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization — Iran’s proxy group.

Hamas has been planting sleeper cells and budding regional headquarters, however, throughout the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and it is clear the group’s next goal is an attempt to wrest control of those two regions from the PA, thus completing Iran’s takeover of the PLO — the PA’s umbrella organization and liaison to the United Nations.

Money is always helpful in such an enterprise, and Iran has recently enjoyed a massive infusion of cash that came courtesy of the United States and five other world powers after sanctions were lifted last month as part of last July’s nuclear deal.

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Fath’ali announced last Wednesday that Iran would pay Arab families for each “martyr” who died attacking Israelis in Jerusalem and each Arab family whose home was demolished by Israel after one of its occupants murdered Israelis in a terror attack.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani last week underlined Tehran’s continued strong support for the wave of terror against Israel.

“The Islamic Republic supports the Palestinian Intifada and all Palestinian groups in their fight against the Zionist regime. We should turn this into the main issue in the Muslim world,” Larijani said in a meeting with a number of “resistance” groups in Tehran,FARS reported Sunday (Feb 28).

But it is clear that Iran is not content solely with a takeover of the PLO.

Tehran has its eye on a much wider goal, now more clearly than ever the resurrection of an updated Persian Empire — in modern parlance military analysts refer to it as an “Axis of Evil” — in much the same manner that Sunni Da’esh (ISIS) is single-mindedly pursuing its goal of rebuilding a worldwide caliphate.

Iranian forces via proxies have already managed to involve themselves in what once were domestic affairs in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, Cuba, Mexico, the United States, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Qatar, Turkey and numerous other nations.

Larijani has at last proclaimed officially that Iran doesn’t differentiate between Shiites and Sunnis since they share many commonalities, adding that Tehran “has supported the Palestinian nation (although they are Sunnis) for the past 37 years.”

The remark is significant in that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah guerrillas – another Iranian proxy – are fighting Sunni opposition forces in Syria on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad. Iranian forces are fighting the Sunni Muslim Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization that seized a significant percentage of territory in Syria.

But south of Israel, Iran’s proxy Hamas, a Sunni Muslim group, has been providing material and technical support to the same Da’esh — but its “Sinai Province” terror group in the Sinai Peninsula.

Here we finally see that Iran is willing to adapt and support terror wherever it can be found, as long as it meets two of three criteria: (1) it furthers its goal to destabilize the region, (2) in the process it works towards the annihilation of Israel, and/or (3) will contribute towards conquest and influence to reach the goal of an ultimate renewed, updated Persian Empire.

How long then until Iran connects the two dots and simply arranges a meeting between its own Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leader of Da’esh, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal will likely be invited for dessert …

The other question is how long until someone strikes the spark that ignites the conflagration — the region is already in chaos.

The Refugee Hostel: Germany’s Islamist Hell

February 23, 2016

The Refugee Hostel: Germany’s Islamist Hell, Front Page MagazineStephen Brown, February 23, 2016

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They fled religious hatred, rape and violence in their homelands for the “safe” haven of Germany — only to encounter the same, brutal conditions in their new accommodations: the refugee hostel.

Violence in refugee centers became a national topic in Germany last October, only weeks after Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel invited into Europe one million, mainly Muslim, refugees. But exposure of this disgraceful situation appears to have had little effect, as German newspapers are reporting this month that conditions remain unchanged.

In fact, life in German refugee hostels has now become so unbearable that religious minorities, women traveling alone or with children, and homosexuals are fleeing their accommodations. For them, according to one paper, the word “hostel” has become synonymous with ‘”defenselessness”.

The constant harassment and mistreatment at the hands of Muslim male refugees is not only becoming intolerable and dangerous, but, for some, life-threatening.

“Torn bibles and insults, ripped off crosses and even blows to the face, the complaints about violence in the refugee centers do not let up,” the German newspaper, Die Welt, stated recently.

According to Rainer Wendt, chairman of the German Police Union, outbreaks of violence in German refugee centers were occurring before last August. In the first six months of 2015, police were called out 1,288 times to refugee asylums and registered 499 crimes. One problem is definitely the overcrowding, Wendt said, but there are also “knallharte” (very brutal) criminal structures among the refugees.

Most violent incidents occur between Muslims themselves. They form groups, Wendt says, according to “ethnicity, religion or clan structure and go at one another with knives and self-made weapons.” And the fights, which can involve dozens on each side, concern “power struggles” and are “above all, religious or politically motivated.” Numerous violent disputes have ended in death.

“Here the Sunnis fight the Shiites, there are Salafists of different brands …women are forced to wear the veil. Men are forced to pray. Islamists want to install their values and order there,” said Wendt.

But among the mistreated minority groups, one is especially targeted for abuse: Muslim converts to Christianity. Many are from Iran and Afghanistan where Christians are a persecuted minority and Islamic law demands that they be put to death for leaving the faith.

One human rights organization official says the chances of a Muslim convert to Christianity, unwilling to hide his faith, being subjected to violence or mobbing in a refugee center is “nearly 100 percent.” And the situation is only going to get worse.

“Among those arriving now, a not insignificant portion is at least on the level of the Muslim Brotherhood in its religious intensity,” he said.

Pastor Gottfried Martens, who counts six hundred Christian converts from Islam in his Berlin parish, agrees. Martens, who baptized many of them himself, said, it is “above all Christian converts from Islam who have to suffer as a minority” in the hostels. Christians are not allowed to prepare their meals in the kitchens and “whoever does not pray five times a day in the direction of Mecca is mobbed.”

“Almost all of them have huge problems in their hostels,” said Martens. “Strictly believing Muslims there convey the view: Where we are, sharia rules, our law rules.”

Which causes one to wonder: What does this situation bode for Germany’s future once these “refugees” are let loose in society?

One Christian refugee from Iran is probably also asking himself this same question. In an anonymous interview with Die Welt, he said he would never have thought he would face religious persecution in Germany like that in Iran. There, he had belonged to an underground church and fled after the secret police had arrested his brother for attending one too. After crossing Turkey on foot, he made it to Germany where he thought he could finally live out a Christian life without fear.

But he was wrong. Placed in a hostel with mostly strictly believing Sunni Syrians, the young Iranian says he cannot openly profess his faith or “then I will be threatened.”

“During Ramadan, they wake me up before dawn and say I should eat before the sun comes up,” he told Die Welt. “When I decline, they say I’m an “infidel.” They spit at me. They treat me like an animal and threaten to kill me.”

The one other group suffering equal, and possibly worse, abuse in German refugee asylums is women traveling alone. Overall, women make up 25 percent of the migrant population. And they, as well as children, are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence. The federal official responsible for this area in refugee asylums nation-wide says reports of such violence reach him daily from around Germany.

As regards the number of such incidents, no one knows for sure. But according to the Psychosocial Center for Refugees, “there are many.” In a center in Giessen, there were 15 reported cases of sexual abuse of women in one month, leading police to investigate cases of rape and forced prostitution. The situation there is described as “a second- or third-world situation…like a UN refugee camp in Africa.”

But the “dark number” regarding sexual assaults is thought to be “high.”

“It is difficult to bring a refugee woman to make a statement to the police,” states one article on the subject. “There often exists cultural inhibitions or the fear an act of violence could negatively affect their asylum application.”

Women are usually greatly outnumbered by men in the hostels. In one center, of the 600 residents, only 87 are women and 34 are underage girls. Such is their fear, they rarely go out their doors, keeping to themselves. As a result, women refugees often feel like “fair game” for the male residents and of having been “abandoned” to them.

“For many women in their accommodations, it is like a co-ed visiting a men’s prison,” said one woman, a former hostel employee.

In some hostels, men are reported to be “always lying in wait.” One Iranian Christian woman said male residents in her hostel are constantly trying to grab her between the legs or touch her hair, a foreshadowing of the mass sexual assault of women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. And, again, a foreshadowing of what is in store for women once these savages descend in large numbers on all of German society.

A female Russian journalist, who fled to Germany after running afoul of the Putin government, said after living in four different refugee hostels that she “would never have thought such conditions are possible in Germany.”

In one asylum, the violence between two groups of men, she relates, was so severe that “many police came every evening.” She also lived in fear her door could be broken open at any time. Once, conditions were so bad, she did not shower for five days. And women only went to the washroom in pairs.

But it was in the women’s washroom that the Russian journalist witnessed the most “humiliating” occurrence. In three of the hostels, a man was constantly there, as if standing guard, changing his “watch” regularly with others. The intruder may have been charging money to use the facilities, as sometimes happens in refugee centers, although she never had to pay. Nevertheless, she believes these men wanted to show women by their unwanted presence “we despise you, you have nothing to say.”

“I comprehended that this had system,” she said. “…The women there are worth nothing, nothing at all. They are being treated like dogs.”

When the Russian refugee asked one asylum administration why it wasn’t doing anything about the danger women face, she got the impression it was being “silently accepted.” The ten thousand private security men stationed in refugee hostels around Germany are obviously providing insufficient protection. Refugees have also sometimes complained about their behaviour.

Some politicians and German police chiefs, like Wendt, demanded last October, after receiving the initial reports of violence, that religious minorities, women traveling alone and unaccompanied children should have separate accommodations. Which would be the sensible solution. But little has been done despite the federal official’s admission that “abusers have it very easy establishing closeness to women and children and committing acts of sexual violence.”

The reason for such inexcusable, and perhaps criminal, indifference, as for much else that is destroying Western civilization, is ‘political correctness’. By separating the refugees by gender, religion and ethnicity, liberals believe one would already be setting up “parallel societies” in the hostels. As well, separation would represent “a victory” for the Islamists as it repudiates Western values regarding equal treatment, thus hindering integration. Such liberals believe that “intensively religious Muslims must learn to live with other religions.”

Good luck with that.

Incredibly, some liberals have convinced themselves the hostels’ problems are not gender, religion or ethnicity related but rather are owed only to organizational factors like cramped living conditions or better staff training. For example, one woman, who researches gender-specific violence with a German human rights organization, sees no “special connection between the hostels, the residents’ origin and the potential for violence.”

“What happens there also happens to German women outside the accommodations,” she said.

With the existence of such indifferent and shameful attitudes among some of those involved with the hostels, it is not surprising one female observer has concluded that women refugees “have no hope for help and understanding.”

And in their dangerous naivety liberals, as usual, fail to recognize the true reality: Strictly believing Muslims, upon crossing the German border, do not automatically become potential human rights activists who are “suddenly filled with the spirit of Western tolerance.” Instead, they shout out ISIS slogans in the refugee hostels and threaten Shiites with beheadings. Tolerating and respecting women, different ethnic groups and religions is not high on their list of things to do in Germany.

Thus, the real tragedy of the refugee asylums is that people, living human beings, are being heartlessly and needlessly sacrificed on the leftists’ altar of utopian ideas, offerings to their multicultural god. Little account is taken of the naked fear women, children and religious minorities are experiencing. Once again proving that Liberal “humanitarianism” only extends as far as its politically correct beliefs.