Archive for the ‘Islamist objectives’ category

Boston Islamic Seminary Training Next Gen Extremists

November 21, 2017

Boston Islamic Seminary Training Next Gen Extremists, Clarion ProjectSam Westrop, November 21, 2017

Anti-Semitic Teachers at the Boston Islamic Seminary (left to right): Hisham Mahmoud, Yahia Abdul Rahman, Amr El-Fass and Suheil Laher. (Photos: social media)

New research by the Middle East Forum has uncovered evidence of extreme antisemitism among faculty members and guest speakers appointed by the Islamic Society of Boston to teach and promote its latest project: the Boston Islamic Seminary (BIS).

BIS was established in 2016 to “equip future religious leaders with the intellectual, spiritual and practical training to serve the American Muslim community.” Currently, it offers “continuing education” classes, but it hopes to offer an accredited graduate degree program by 2019, which will “train chaplains, imams, and other leaders to serve in a variety of contexts.”

And what exactly will this next generation of chaplains and imams learn at BIS?

Faculty listed on the BIS website include Yahia Abdul Rahman, who is described as an expert on “sharia-compliant” banking. On his social media accounts, Abdul Rahman has posted stories from “The Ugly Truth,” a website that describes itself as “intelligent ‘anti-Semitism’ for thinking Gentiles.”

Elsewhere, Rahman has shared claims that any Muslim who fails to oppose Israel is no longer a Muslim and is afflicted with a “Jewish heart.” Other posts of his claim the Jews were complicit in the 2008 financial crisis.

Another BIS lecturer, Suheil Laher, previously served as head of the (now-defunct) al-Qaeda charity, CARE International. On his old website, Laher published calls to jihad and linked to an al-Qaeda fundraising website. On his current website, Laher refers to homosexuals as “depraved sinners.”

Other current BIS faculty members include Amr El-Fass, who suggests that Jews are to blame for intra-Arab conflict, and Hisham Mahmoud, whom moderate Muslim groups denounced after he likened homosexuality to pedophilia and advocated that homosexuals should be punished.

Guest speakers are BIS are just as extreme. In June 2016, BIS invited Abdelrahman Murphy to address a BIS audience. Murphy, who is a former employee of the Islamic Society of Boston, works for the Qalam Institute, which hosts a document on its website warning that Muslims who seek “cleanliness” and “purity” should “not resemble the Jews.” Murphy has stated: “There is no such thing as an innocent Israeli.”

Another speaker at the BIS event with Murphy was Yousef Abdallah, who serves as the “East Coast Operations Manager” for Islamic Relief, a prominent Islamist charity. Abdallah has posted jokes on social media about “stinking” Jews, has written that Chris Christie is “down on his knees before the jewish lords” and has shared a story praising “martyrs” who provide guns to “kill more than 20 jews” and “fire rockets at Tel Aviv.”

The Middle East Forum has uncovered several other examples. We asked the Boston branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — which often talks about other examples of hate speech — for comment, but it did not reply. Curiously, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston also failed to respond.

For many readers, this must all seem like a familiar story. BIS is a project of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), which, since its founding over 10 years ago, has displayed much evidence of extremism. Inaugural trustees of the ISB included Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was praised by Bin Laden, and Abdulrahman Alamoudi, an al-Qaeda fundraiser who was jailed in 2004 for conspiring with the Libyan regime to assassinate a Saudi crown prince.

In 2004, Boston Jewish leaders condemned another mosque trustee named Walid Fitaihi, after he denounced Jews as the “murderers of prophets” and claimed that they “would be punished for their oppression, murder and rape of the worshippers of Allah.” The very same Walid Fitaihi is now listed on the BIS website as a faculty member.

The Boston Islamic Seminary promises to educate the next generation of Muslims in Massachusetts. These chaplains, imams and community leaders will in turn educate Muslim communities all over America for many decades to come.

Thus far, none of Boston’s political or religious leaders has expressed alarm over the extremists behind Boston’s newest Islamic institution. The question remains: Exactly how much hatred for Jews and other minorities must be revealed before leaders will speak out?

This article appeared originally on Middle East Forum and was reprinted with permission.

France: The New Collaborators

October 20, 2017

France: The New Collaborators, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, October 20, 2017

Under the assault of radical Islam, French civilization is eroding from within. And there are now large parts of French culture which are openly adding water to the mill of Islam. These have been just called by Le Figaro, “agents of influence of Islam”. Intellectuals, journalists, politicians, those who consider the Muslims “the new oppressed”.

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“They are those who believe that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and love and do not want to hear about an Islam of war, intolerance and hatred”. — Michel Onfray, Le Figaro.

Le Figaro just devoted an entire issue to Muslim women in France who are trying to fight radical Islam. They are journalists, activists and writers who want equality between men and women, freedom of expression and sexual freedom. These Muslims clearly care more about the French Enlightenment than many non-Muslims who advocate appeasing Islamists.

In short, France needs to start fostering its side of this cultural war. Even if it is too late to recover all of the lost ground, if France does not start immediately but just limits itself to “manage” this “state of emergency”, the lights turned off will not be only those of the Eiffel Tower, as happens after every terror attack, but also the lights of one of the greatest civilizations that history ever gave us.

A few days ago Abdelkader Merah, the brother of the Islamic terrorist who gunned down four Jews in Toulouse in 2012, went on trial, charged with complicity in terrorism. “Beginning in 2012, we entered an age of terrorism, where before we believed ourselves protected; it was a turning point in French history”, said Mathieu Guidere, a professor of Islamic studies in Paris.

Since then, France has faced severe challenges by Islamic fundamentalists in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron is now trying to manage a terrible situation: some 350 Islamic terrorists currently sit in prisons; 5,800 are under police surveillance; an additional 17,000 have been classified as a “potential threat”, while since 2015, more than 240 lives have been lost to jihadi terrorists.

It seems that France has decided to accept what it might see as unavoidable: the Islamic takeover of parts of the country. This view is reflected in the very idea of a “state of emergency”. France’s lower house of parliament just passed a new anti-terrorism law, taking measures which have been in place for two years under a previous “state of emergency” and enshrining them into law.

After the murderous January of 2015 attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Macron’s predecessor, President François Hollande, officially declared that “France is at war“. Until now, however, the war has been fought only on one side, by the Islamic fundamentalists.

Although some scholars, such as Gilles Kepel, estimate that a “civil war” could break out in the future, there is a more realistic scenario: a country split along demographic and religious lines — the secular French republic vs. the Islamic enclaves, the “French 100 Molenbeeks“, from the name of Brussels’ jihadist nest.

France used to be regarded as a jewel of civilization. One of France’s great intellectuals, Alain Finkielkraut, recently said: “France has become for me a physical country, since its disappearance has entered into the order of the possibilities”. Finkielkraut, a member of French civilization’s holiest shrine, the Académie Française, was not thinking about the physical disappearance of French bakeries, boutiques or boulevards; he seemed rather to mean the disappearance of France as the capital of Western culture.

Under the assault of radical Islam, French civilization is eroding from within. And there are now large parts of French culture which are openly adding water to the mill of Islam. These have been just called by Le Figaro, “agents of influence of Islam”. Intellectuals, journalists, politicians, those who consider the Muslims “the new oppressed”.

The French essayist Michel Onfray recently called them “the new collaborators”, like the French who stood with the Nazis:

“They are those who believe that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and love and do not want to hear about an Islam of war, intolerance and hatred… The collaborator wants to see only the first [type of] Islam by believing that the second has nothing to do with Islam. These collaborators are the Islamo-leftists”.

And they are winning the cultural war.

How can France prevent an Islamic takeover of parts of the country with fatal metastases for the entire European continent? “In order to disarm terrorists, we must disarm consciences”, Damien Le Guay just wrote in a new book, entitled La guerre civile qui vient est déjà là (“The Coming Civil War Is Here Already”).

France needs to stop talking with “non-violent Islamists”, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and instead to speak with the true liberal reformers, the internal dissidents of Islam. The daily newspaper Le Figaro recently devoted an entire issue to Muslim women in France who are trying to fight radical Islam. They are journalists, activists and writers who want equality between men and women, freedom of expression and sexual freedom. These Muslims clearly care more about the French Enlightenment than many non-Muslims who advocate appeasing Islamists.

France also needs to close its borders to mass immigration and select new arrivals on the basis of their willingness to retain the present culture of France, and to abandon multiculturalism in favor of respect for a plurality of faiths in the public space. That means rethinking the phony French secularism, which is aggressive against Catholicism but weak and passive with Islam.

France needs to close the Salafist mosques and ban the preaching of radical imams who incite Muslim communities against the “infidels” and urge Muslims to separate from the rest of the population.

France needs to prevent the arrival of propaganda from the dictatorial regimes of the Middle East: their mosques, satellite channels, pamphlets, libraries and books.

France needs ban polygamy; Islamic law, sharia; female genital mutilation (FGM); Islamic supremacism and forced marriages.

France needs to tighten its alliance with Israel, the one outpost of Western culture in a region that has rejected it. Israel is the West’s only true ally in an area that is collapsing under the weight of radical Islam.

France needs to protect and renovate its Christian treasures. A few weeks ago, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris promoted a fundraising project to save the building from decaying. The French authorities need to play their part and not forsake France’s Christian heritage. France needs to send Islamists the message that France is a secular country, but not a de-Christianized one.

France needs to protect its Jewish community, which in ten years has lost 40,000 people who fled the country as a result of anti-Semitism met with indifference.

France needs to strengthen Western culture at schools, museums, universities and publishing houses: Enlightenment, as the foundation of freedom of conscience, expression and religion, separation of religion and state; and the Judeo-Christian tradition as the root of all the great achievements of European culture.

France needs to demand reciprocity. The right to build a mosque in France should be linked to the right of Christians in the Middle East to practice their faith: a mosque for a church. France has the political and diplomatic connections in North Africa and Middle East to impose this reciprocity. What is lacking is any political will.

In short, France needs to start fostering its side of this cultural war. Even if it is too late to recover all of the lost ground, if France does not start immediately but just limits itself to “manage” this “state of emergency”, the lights turned off will not be only those of the Eiffel Tower, as happens after every terror attack, but also the lights of one of the greatest civilizations that history ever gave us.

(Image source: Falcon® Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

The Old Arab Fear Tactic That Came to Washington

October 17, 2017

The Old Arab Fear Tactic That Came to Washington, Gatestone InstituteNonie Darwish, October 17, 2017

After a year of being ruled by Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi, the majority of Egyptians turned against the Muslim Brotherhood — a decision that understandably does not sit well with pro-sharia media. These, such as Al Jazeera, are dedicated to trying to save the reputation of the Muslim Brotherhood, sharia and Islam itself, at any cost. Their number-one enemy has become critics of jihad and sharia, especially those who live in Western freedom. The Arab media’s “solution” to a mass defection from extremism is to accuse moderates and critics of sharia not only of being “collaborators” with infidels but also that they “collude” with terrorists.

The current goal of the Arab media, especially Al Jazeera, is to portray critics of jihad and sharia, as well as apostates, as being just as bad as Islamists, if not worse.

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The true threat to the US, the West, and even stable Arab governments, as Egypt is realizing, is political Islam as furthered by groups such the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaeda and their offshoots.

This real threat has become a terrible burden to every Muslim head of state and is behind all the political chaos, coups and revolutions currently raging throughout the Islamic world.

In a chaotic, propaganda-prone area of the world, Qatar’s Al Jazeera has always reported sympathetically about Islamist groups and promoters of sharia, and against moderate Arab leaders. No moderate leader could survive under such conditions.

It is unfortunate that the tactics of the Arab media — to accuse people of collusion in order to silence any opposition — have now moved into US mainstream media regarding Trump and Russia, which the US media would apparently like to regard as their new “enemies.” This the same media that defends sharia law and inaccurately insists that Muslim terrorists who shout “Allahu Akbar” have “nothing to do with Islam.”

Now that the note supposedly showing “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia has been outed by Foreign Policy as mainly an attempted Russian hit-job on William Browder, what is the true threat to the United States?

For months, the lawless FBI has snubbing subpoenas (is complying with subpoenas optional?), and avoiding transparency under Special Counsel Robert Mueller[1] and his equally lawless, crime-“challenged” “investigation.” The true threat to the United states — if not Mueller and the FBI itself — is not the president, his campaign or even the Russians. Moreover, it is not exactly a news-flash that many countries have been spying on one another for ages.

“Collusion with Russia” was just the newest dirty word in American politics created by anti-Trump political operatives and the media. It seems intended to confuse the public in order to tarnish Trump’s reputation and bring down his administration. It is an extremely old ruse.

Collusion,” or the “appearance of collusion,” has been a common fear tactic used by Arab media for centuries. Fear tactics are the only solution in cultures that refuse to deal with the truth in the open.

The major red line that no citizen of a totalitarian system can ever cross is engaging in behavior that might bring about an accusation of “collusion” — collaboration with enemies or perceived enemies. Arab citizens have learned to avoid any contacts, friendships, communication, shaking hands or even being in the same room with “undesirable” enemies of the state. Try asking any Arab diplomat on how he or she acts and feels in the presence of an Israeli official. For decades, when Israeli officials gave speeches in the United Nations, Arabs left the room.

In much of the Middle East, Christians, if they refrain from praising Islam and Muslims or blame them for their oppression, get the same treatment as Jews.

In Egypt, in the days of anti-Semitic tyranny when the mere appearance of any kind of friendship, or just being in the same room with a Jew, could mean death, Christians always had to keep their distance from the Jews: the price to pay was simply too high.

After a visit to the United Kingdom in my youth, after innocently telling a journalist college friend that I had met Jews in the UK and could not believe how nice they were, her response was: “You know what happens to those who collude with Jews? They come back to Egypt in a box.” Shortly after, when a few of us teenagers, speaking English combined with some French and Arabic — not uncommon among some Cairo residents — were stopped in a village on the way from Cairo to Alexandria, the villagers called us Jews and the police were called. It took a while to get out of that mess.

Reality, finally, has hit Egypt. Its enemies’ list had to change in the face of the constant challenge to the stability of moderate governments. The true threat to stable Arab governments, as Egypt is realizing, is not Israel; it is political Islam from groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and so on. This real threat has become a terrible burden to every Muslim head of state and is behind all the political chaos, coups and revolutions currently raging throughout the Islamic world.

After Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Arab nations developed the courage to demand shutting down Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar. In a chaotic, propaganda-prone area of the world, Qatar’s Al Jazeera has always reported sympathetically about Islamist groups and promoters of sharia, and against moderate Arab leaders. In an atmosphere such as that, no moderate Muslim leader is able to bring his nation out from under the coercion of jihadist terror and sharia tyranny.

Every Arab leader knows that to bring modernity and serious reformation would be considered a violation of sharia. Islamists are not only feared because of their promotion of terror, but they are also considered the guardians of sharia. Islamic law dictates that every Muslim head of state must rule by sharia, wage jihad against non-Muslim nations and never allow himself or his citizens to collude with, or seek peace with, Islam’s enemies. No moderate leader could survive under such conditions.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia is to be commended for finally issuing a decree that allows half the population of his country, women, to obtain the paperwork to drive — but they usually still need permission from a male guardian to leave the home alone.

As the last thing the Muslim public is ready for is the truth, convoluted games and accusations are the only way that many Arab leaders think they can preserve their legitimacy. The war between moderates, who want less sharia, and Islamists, who want full sharia, consists — regardless of “truth” — of winning over the average Arab citizen and leading him to believe that they represent the “real Islam”.

All sides thereby play the game of “collusion”. When Islamists accuse moderate leaders of collusion with the West, moderates respond by accusing Islamists of being the creation of the West. On many Arab media outlets, ISIS is the creation of the West (as was Al-Qaeda before it).

As a moderate Arab leader, it is therefore not easy to survive without the constant threat of an Islamist uprising. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan are considered moderate leaders, and many want them to stay that way, but the pressure from Islamists is immense. Recently Sisi said that he wants to promote a new form of fear, a “phobia against bringing down the State.” One can sympathize with his attempt to put into words the obstacles to governing in a majority Muslim nation. Sisi seems to want to encourage Egyptians to develop a fear of succumbing to radical propaganda that aims to bring down moderate governments. What he seems to be telling Egyptians is that revolutions, coups d’état and assassinations are not the solution to every problem but rather, it is — or should be — the ballot box.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seems to want to encourage Egyptians to develop a fear of succumbing to radical propaganda that aims to bring down moderate governments. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

After a year of being ruled by Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi, the majority of Egyptians turned against the Muslim Brotherhood — a decision that understandably does not sit well with pro-sharia media. These, such as Al Jazeera, are dedicated to trying to save the reputation of the Muslim Brotherhood, sharia and Islam itself, at any cost. Their number-one enemy has become critics of jihad and sharia, especially those who live in Western freedom. The Arab media’s “solution” to a mass defection from extremism is to accuse moderates and critics of sharia not only of being “collaborators” with infidels but also that they “collude” with terrorists.

The current goal of the Arab media, especially Al Jazeera, is to portray critics of jihad and sharia, as well as apostates, as being just as bad as Islamists, if not worse.

Because the views of the critics of sharia and jihad resonate with average Arabs, radical Arab media outlets have no choice but to counter the enthusiasm for modernity and freedom of the public with false accusations: that critics of jihad and sharia are in fact colluding with terrorist groups. The Arab media evidently see such wildly false accusations against critics of jihad as the only way, in their minds, to save radical Islam.

Today, a segment of Egyptian society, especially the vulnerable and uneducated, have been lulled into believing the propaganda that moderates and critics of jihad and sharia are colluding not only with infidel enemies of Islam, but also with radical Muslim groups such as the unpopular Muslim Brotherhood.

A prominent Egyptian magazine, Rose El Youssef, in 2007, falsely portrayed Dr. Wafa Sultan and this author in their front-page as “alt-jihadists” — collaborators with the Taliban and the Muslim Brotherhood. Yesterday, a close friend in Egypt sent a warning of rumors in the Egyptian media, after the assassination of a journalist by the Muslim Brotherhood, that the Muslim Brotherhood has apostate “collaborators” in the West such as me. This shameless and reckless propaganda is intended to confuse the Egyptian public about who their true enemies and friends really are.

It is unfortunate that the tactics of the Arab media — to accuse people of “collusion” in order to silence any opposition — are now moving into US mainstream media regarding Trump and Russia, which the US media regard as their new “enemies” — the same media that defends sharia law, Islam and Islamic terrorism in the West.

Nonie Darwish, born and raised in Egypt, is the author of “Wholly Different; Why I chose Biblical Values Over Islamic Values”

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[1] Like the false investigation that wrongly accused Scooter Libby of a leaking the name of then CIA agent Valerie Plame, that they knew all the while had been leaked by Richard Armitage.

Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East

October 14, 2017

Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East, Gatestone Institute, Philip Carl Salzman, October 14, 2017

Many Middle Easterners see the disasters around them, and blame outsiders: “It is the fault of the Jews”; “The British did this to us”; “The Americans are to blame.”[5] Many Western academics and commentators say the same, dignifying this counter-historic theory with the label “postcolonialism.” But given that tribal dynamics were dominant in the region for a thousand years since the foundation of Islam, and thousands of years before that, blaming outsiders for regional dynamics is hardly credible. Nonetheless, “postcolonialists” will claim that pointing to regional culture as the foundation of regional dynamics is “blaming the victim.” We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love “victims.” But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

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Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour that is won by such loyalty.

There was no group and no loyalty above the tribe or tribal confederation until the rise of Islam. With Islam, a new, higher, more encompassing level of loyalty was defined. All people were divided between Muslims and infidels, and the world was divided between the Dar al-Islam, the land of believers and peace, and Dar al-harb, the land of unbelievers and war. Following the tribal ideology of loyalty, Muslims should unite against infidels, and would receive not only honour, but heavenly rewards.

Honour is gained in victory. Losing is regarded as deeply humiliating. Only the prospects of a future victory and the regaining of honour drives people forward. An example is the Arab-Israel conflict, in the course of which the despised Jews repeatedly defeated the armies of Arab states. This was not so much a material disaster for the Arabs, as it was a cultural one in which honor was lost. The only way to regain honor is to defeat and destroy Israel, the explicit goal of the Palestinians: “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.” This why no agreement over land or boundaries will bring peace: peace does not restore honor.

We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love “victims.” But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

Living as an anthropologist in a herding camp of the Yarahmadzai tribe of nomadic pastoralists in the deserts of Iranian Baluchistan clarified some of the inhibitions to peace in the Middle East. What one sees is strong, kin-based, group loyalty defense and solidarity, and the political opposition of lineages, whether large or small.[1] This raised the question how unity and peace could arrive in a system based on opposition.

Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour which is won by such loyalty. These are the cultural imperatives, the primary values, held and celebrated. When conflict arises and conflict-parties form based on loyal allegiance, the conflict is regarded as appropriate and proper.

The results of absolute commitment to kin and cult groups, and the structural opposition to all others, can be seen throughout Middle Eastern history, including contemporary events, where conflict has been rife. Turks, Arabs and Iranians have launched military campaigns to suppress Kurds. Meanwhile, Christians, Yazidis, Baha’is and Jews, among others, have been, and continue to be ethnically cleansed. Arabs and Persians, and Sunnis and Shiites, each try to gain power over the other in a competition that has been one of the main underlying factors of the Iraq-Iran war, the Saddam Hussein regime, and the current catastrophe in Syria. Turks invaded Greek Orthodox Cyprus in 1974 and have occupied it since. Multiple Muslim states have invaded the minuscule Jewish state of Israel three times, and Palestinians daily celebrate the murder of Jews.

Some Middle Easterners, and some in the West, prefer to attribute the problems of the Middle East to outsiders, such as Western imperialists, but it seems odd to suggest that the local inhabitants have no agency and no responsibility for their activities in this disastrous region, high not only in conflict and brutality, but low by all world standards in human development.

If one looks to local conditions to understand local conflicts, the first thing to understand is that Arab culture, through the ages and at the present time, has been built on the foundation of Bedouin tribal culture. Most of the population of northern Arabia at the time of the emergence of Islam was Bedouin, and during the period of rapid expansion following the adoption of Islam, the Arab Muslim army consisted of Bedouin tribal units. The Bedouin, nomadic and pastoral for the most part, were formed into tribes, which are regional defense and security groups.[2]

Bedouin tribes were organized by basing groups on descent through the male line. Close relatives in conflict activated only small groups, while distant relatives in conflict activated large groups. If, for example, members of cousin groups were in conflict, no one else was involved. But if members of tribal sections were in conflict, all cousins and larger groups in a tribal section would unite in opposition to the other tribal section. So, what group a tribesmen thought himself a member of was circumstantial, depending on who was involved in a conflict.

Relations between descent groups were always oppositional in principle, with tribes as a whole seeing themselves in opposition to other tribes. The main structural relation between groups at the same genealogical and demographic level could be said to be balanced opposition. The strongest political norm among tribesmen was loyalty to, and active support of, one’s kin group, small or large. One must always support closer kin against more distant kin. Loyalty was rewarded with honour. Not supporting your kin was dishonourable. The systemic result was often a stand-off, the threat of full scale conflict with another group of the same size and determination acting as deterrence against frivolous adventures. That there were not more conflicts than the many making up tribal history, is due to that deterrence.

There was no group and no loyalty above the tribe or tribal confederation until the rise of Islam. With Islam, a new, higher, more encompassing level of loyalty was defined. All people were divided between Muslims and infidels, and the world was divided between the Dar al-Islam, the land of believers and peace, and Dar al-harb, the land of unbelievers and war. Following the tribal ideology of loyalty, Muslims should unite against infidels, and would receive not only honour, but heavenly rewards.

Honour is gained in victory.[3] Self-sacrifice in the attempt is lauded, but honour comes from winning. Having lost and being a victim is not an esteemed position in Arab society. Having lost in a political struggle results in loss of honour. This is felt deeply as a loss that should be corrected. Losing is regarded as deeply humiliating. Only the prospects of a future victory and the regaining of honour drives people forward. An example is the Arab-Israel conflict, in the course of which the despised Jews repeatedly defeated the armies of Arab states. This was not so much a material disaster for the Arabs, as it was a cultural one in which honour was lost. The only way to regain honour is to defeat and destroy Israel, the explicit goal of the Palestinians: “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.” This why no agreement over land or boundaries will bring peace: peace does not restore honour.

None of this is unknown to Arab commentators, who repeatedly refer to the tribal nature of their culture and society. Of course, today, few Middle Easterners live in tents and raise camels, but villagers and urbanites share the same tribal assumptions and values. According to the Tunisian intellectual Al-Afif al-Akhdar, the Arabs cherish their “deep-culture of tribal vengefulness” and consequent “fixated, brooding, vengeful mentality.”[4] Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has said that “We need an ideological revolution; our tribal mentality has destroyed our society.”

Dr. Salman Masalha, an Israeli Druze literary intellectual, argues:

“The tribal nature of Arab societies is deeply embedded in the past, and its roots date back through Arab history to the pre-Islamic era. … Since Arab societies are tribal in nature, the various forms of monarchies and emirates are the natural continuation of this ingrained social structure in which tribal loyalty comes before all else.”

Mamoun Fandy, an Egyptian-born American scholar, wrote in the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat:

“The Arabs, even after the arrival of Islam, were never “ideological” people who sought to develop an intellectual vision of ourselves and the outside world. Instead, we are the people of blood relations and family ties, or “Shalal” as we call it in Egypt. … Despite the fact that Islam was the greatest intellectual revolution in our history, we, as Arabs, have succeeded in adapting Islam to serve the tribe, the family, and the clan. Islamic history began as an intellectual revolution, and as a history of ideas and countries; however, after the beginning of the Orthodox Caliphate, it was transformed into a somewhat tribal state. The State of Islam became the Umayyad State, and after that the Abbasid, the Fatimid, and so on and so forth. This means that we now have a history of tribes instead of a history of ideas. … Has this tribal history, alongside tribal and family loyalties and the priority of blood relations over intellectual relations gone forever after the “Arab spring?” Of course not; what has happened is that the families and tribes have dressed themselves up in the cloak of revolutions in Yemen and in Libya, and in Egypt the opposition consists of tribes rather than concepts.”

Pictured: Bedouin men in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The history of the Middle East, the centuries of tribal wars, and the ongoing fissures in Arab society all testify to the Arab tribal culture and structural opposition. There may have been good reasons to stick with tribal culture and organization in pre-modern times: states and empires were despotic, exploitative, and heavily dependent on slave-labor, and tribal organization gave some people a chance to remain independent. In recent times, with the modern state model, governments in the Middle East have tried to establish states, but these have foundered on tribal loyalties and oppositions, which do not fit with constitutional states. Rulers in the region have all turned to coercion to maintain their positions, making all Muslim states in the region despotic.

Many Middle Easterners see the disasters around them, and blame outsiders: “It is the fault of the Jews”; “The British did this to us”; “The Americans are to blame.”[5] Many Western academics and commentators say the same, dignifying this counter-historic theory with the label “postcolonialism.” But given that tribal dynamics were dominant in the region for a thousand years since the foundation of Islam, and thousands of years before that, blaming outsiders for regional dynamics is hardly credible. Nonetheless, “postcolonialists” will claim that pointing to regional culture as the foundation of regional dynamics is “blaming the victim.” We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love “victims.” But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

Philip Carl Salzman is Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, Canada.


[1] Philip Carl Salzman, Black Tents of Baluchistan, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.

[2] Philip Carl Salzman, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2008.

[3] Frank Henderson Stewart, Honor, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.; Gideon M. Kressel, Ascendancy through Aggression, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996.

[4] Quoted in Barry Rubin, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Hoboken, NY: Wiley, 2006), 80-81.

[5] Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel, NY: Free Press, 2007, p. 47.

CAIR Conducted Sensitivity Training for Philadelphia Teachers

October 11, 2017

CAIR Conducted Sensitivity Training for Philadelphia Teachers, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, October 11, 2017

(Please see also, CAIR Loses San Diego Schools Partnership. — DM)

Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, testified before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last spring that CAIR was a religious organization whose primary purpose is to spread Islam.

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Philadelphia’s public school system allowed the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to conduct sensitivity training for its teachers last year, CAIR press releases and school district documents obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism show.

CAIR attorneys conducted a presentation for educators on Election Day, focusing on Islamophobia and the civil rights of Muslim students, a November press release said. The seminar was described as the first in a series of planned workshops on those issues.

“In the current political environment, Muslim American students are facing increased rates of bullying, emotional abuse, physical threats, and verbal epithets due to their faith, race, or ethnicity,” CAIR Philadelphia said in the release.

CAIR Philadelphia provides zero evidence to support this assertion.

Still, the director of the school system’s Multilingual Family Support Center argued that, “We need CAIR helping our schools.”

Asheq Fazlullah, a member of CAIR Philadelphia’s executive committee, and then-CAIR attorney Ryan Houldin conducted the Nov. 8 training, a school district email shows.

For a subsequent session, Fazlullah and Houldin would discuss “issues of diversity, equity, and fairness” at a January 3 professional development day, Colette Langston, principal at Philadelphia’s Swenson Arts and Technology High School, wrote in an email to teachers. The morning seminar was called, “Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity Workshop #1 Topic: Islamophobia.”

The school district did not provide course materials in response to the IPT’s public records request. School district officials did not respond to queries as to whether they conduct sensitivity training for other religious groups including Christians, Jews, Sikhs, or Hindus.

The school district’s reliance on CAIR could raise constitutional issues because the group’s executive director has described CAIR as a religious ministry.

Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, testified before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last spring that CAIR was a religious organization whose primary purpose is to spread Islam.

“[Awad] testified at length about the Employer’s role in conducting educational services in the fields of religion, culture, education, society, and history concerning Islamic issues. These services are provided to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. [Awad] described the Employer’s role in explaining the Islamic faith itself,” Charles L. Posner, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, wrote in an April 7 ruling.

Awad’s acknowledgement prompted the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) to publicly back away from a CAIR-sponsored anti-bullying program. The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) was suing to bar CAIR from influencing public school programming.

San Diego’s anti-bullying plan violated California law, along with students’ 1st and 14thamendment rights because CAIR is a religious organization and because the program gave Muslim students special treatment, the lawsuit said.

Those arguments could apply equally to Philadelphia’s public schools. “The San Diego case is far from over, so there is no doubt it could have precedential value in a legal challenge to Philadelphia schools’ partnership with CAIR,” FCDF Executive Director Daniel Piedra told the IPT.

School districts may not aid one religion, one religion over another, or religion over non-religion, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal bulletin said. It cites the seminal 1972 U.S. Supreme Court case, Lemon v. Kurtzman.

“Under the so-called ‘Lemon test,’ a court must inquire (1) whether the government’s action has a secular or a religious purpose; (2) whether the primary effect of the government’s action is to advance or endorse religion; and (3) whether the government’s policy or practice fosters an excessive entanglement between government and religion,” the ACLU bulletin said.

In the San Diego case, FCDF argued that CAIR’s definition of Islamophobia is too vague and that what it considers bullying could ensnare legitimate criticisms of Islamic practice. FCDF also asserted that the SDUSD’s “anti-bullying” program unconstitutionally established Muslims “as a privileged group within the school community.”

FCDF cited a 1993 statement by CAIR’s national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune as part of its complaint against SDUSD. Hooper told the paper he “wouldn’t like to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. … I’m going to do it through education.”

“We know that CAIR is committed to advancing its anti-Islamophobia initiative nationwide, so we are equally committed to making sure it dies in San Diego. Ideally, that would be done by a precedential court decision,” Piedra said.

None of the school district records indicated that the program is being repeated this school year. The Philadelphia School District declined to comment whether the San Diego case would impact future decisions about working with CAIR.

CAIR Chief Among American Islamists Eulogizing Brotherhood Leader

September 28, 2017

CAIR Chief Among American Islamists Eulogizing Brotherhood Leader, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, September 28, 2017

It’s not uncommon for members of an immigrant community to mourn a prominent figure from their homelands. But Akef led a religious movement which seeks global dominance and which cultivated an Islamist ideology that inspires Sunni terrorist groups throughout the world.

His U.S.-based mourners can continue trying to deny their Brotherhood affinity, but actions speak louder than words. If the leader you pray God places “in the higher paradise with the prophets, the pious, and the martyrs” led a global Islamist movement, sanctioned terrorism and served in a secretive, violent Brotherhood branch, you’ve tipped your hand.

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A number of U.S.-based Muslim group leaders who vehemently reject evidence connecting them to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in public made a point of publicly mourning the group’s former spiritual guide, who died in prison Friday.

Mohamed Akef was praised as the “Sheikh of the Mujahidin” and received prayers that Allah place him “in the higher paradise with the prophets, the pious, and the martyrs.”

“What kind of tyrannical regime would imprison a sick 90 years old man?” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote Saturday after Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Akef’s death. “Who resisted the colonizer, and raised generations on righteousness and the love of their country? #Mahdi_Akef, consider not Allah to be oblivious.” His Twitter post was in Arabic, so many of Awad’s U.S. followers may not have appreciated its significance.

Esam Omeish, a past Muslim American Society president who serves on the board of Northern Virginia’s Dar Al-Hijrah mosque, along with a fellow board member, are among the religious leaders and political activists who publicly eulogized the Brotherhood’s leader.

In addition to running an organization which ultimately seeks a global Islamic government, Akef left a long history of extreme rhetoric that his mourners didn’t mention.

Akef led the Muslim Brotherhood from 2004-2010. During his tenure, all members had to swear a religious oath of allegiance to him known as bayah. As supreme guide, his word was absolute for members. He signed a 2004 fatwa written by Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi which said Muslims had “an obligation … to kill American citizens in Iraq, since they are in Iraq in order to assist the soldiers and the occupation forces; it is forbidden however to desecrate their corpses.” Bombings against American soldiers in Iraq and against Israelis in the Palestinian territories were “religious obligation[s],” Akef said months before signing that fatwa during an interview with Egypt’s Al-Arabi newspaper that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He rejected calling Osama bin Laden a terrorist, saying the al-Qaida leader was “without a shadow of a doubt – a jihad fighter. I do not doubt the fact that he opposes occupation, nor that he does this in order to get closer to Allah, may He be praised and extolled,” Akef said in a 2008 interview with the website Elaph.com.

Akef was just 12 years old when he joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1940. He worked closely with founder Hasan Al-Banna and spent more than 20 years in Egyptian prisons. Akef joined the Muslim Brotherhood’s “secret apparatus” that was involved in bombings and assassinations in the late 1940s.

Akef helped inspire the foundation of the Muslim American Society (MAS) during his trips to the U.S. in the early 1990s, a 2004 Chicago Tribune article said.

Brotherhood members founded MAS and continued to be inspired by Brotherhood ideology, Shaker Elsayed, imam of the Falls Church, Va. based Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, told the Tribune.

Elsayed generated controversy last spring after he endorsed partial female genital mutilation during a sermon. He remains on the job.

Omeish, one of Dar Al-Hijrah board members responsible for Elsayed’s continued employment, prayed that Akef be placed “in the higher paradise with the prophets, the pious, and the martyrs, whose company is exalted. The best of people is he who lives longer and perfected his deeds. I remember this giant man, I remembered his smile and the warmth of his faith, as a pious guide, a compassionate father, a decisive leader, and an ascetic laborer.”

Omeish acknowledged his past Brotherhood membership during a 2011 talk at American University, calling it a “wonderful experience.” He also lavished praise on the Muslim Brotherhood last December in another Facebook post.

Similarly, this was not Awad’s first time toeing the Muslim Brotherhood party line. “We congratulate the Egyptian people and their new president on this great achievement in Egypt’s struggle for freedom,” Awad said after the Brotherhood’s 2012 election victory in Egypt.

Other CAIR leaders defended the Muslim Brotherhood on social media against claims it engaged in authoritarian tactics before it fell from power in July 2013. Awad also defended Turkey following last year’s failed coup despite Islamist President Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s transformation of his country into a police state where dissent is illegal.

Awad’s past membership in the Muslim Brotherhood is documented in internal records seized by the FBI. A telephone list places Awad on the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which was tasked with providing political and financial support for Hamas in the United States.

Another pro-Brotherhood individual who serves with Omeish on the Dar Al-Hijrah board eulogized Akef. Akram Elzend, a co-founder of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR), posted his own tribute to Akef on Facebook: “The Sheikh of the Mujahidin has died #Farewell_Akif,” Elzend wrote.

Elzend also alluded to supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in a March 2015 Facebook post emblazoned with the Brotherhood’s crossed sword-logo that linked to an article written by the group’s spokesman vowing to “liberate Egypt from the grip of this bloody coup.” EADHR co-founder Hany Saqr eulogized Akef as someone who could not be described with words.

“May Allah repose the martyr Mr. Mohamed Mahdi Akef and elevate him in the higher paradise and make his blood be upon them who did him injustice,” Saqr wrote on Facebook. Those internal Palestine Committee records which tie Awad to the Brotherhood network also identify Saqr as a onetime “Masul” or leader of the American Brotherhood’s Administrative Office for East America.

Osama Abu Irshaid, a board member of the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) together with Awad, joined in the chorus of Akef mourners.

“May Allah repose Akef and all the martyrs of injustice in Egypt; may Allah curse their killers, those who enslave Egypt and their supporters, may Allah reward the liked of Habib according to their malicious acts,” Abu Irshaid wrote.

Abu Irshaid has his own past connection with a Palestine Committee entity. He served as editor of Al-Zaitounah, a pro-Hamas Arabic periodical published by the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). IAP was the Palestine Committee’s propaganda arm.

Support for Akef showed particular intensity among leaders associated with Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ), who have shown strong pro-Brotherhood sympathies for years.

President Hani Elkadi eulogized Akef as a hero who “died holding his head high; he asked for no mercy, he did not entreat his jailers, or his executioners. The hero and the martyr died giving an example in patience, defiance, manhood, and steadfastness in truth.”

Elkadi made several other Facebook posts mourning Akef. EAFJ spokesman Mahmoud ElSharkawy hailed Akef as the “sheikh of the revolutionaries” who was martyred while in prison.

“May Allah rest the soul of the captive and the martyr, and we ask Allah to grant us the best of end on the path of truth and martyr without any alteration,” ElSharkawy wrote.

Elkadi and ElSharkawy’s support for Brotherhood-linked Egyptian terrorists is made clear by their numerous social media posts.

Formal memorial services for Akef were arranged by EAFJ-linked people in New York and in New Jersey. A banner at the New Jersey event called Akef the “Sheikh of the Mujahideen” in Arabic and described him as a martyr in both English and Arabic.

EAFJ co-founder Sheikh Mohamed Elbar of Brooklyn’s Islamic Center of Bay Ridge eulogized Akef as a martyr and a “mujahid” or holy warrior. Elbar belongs to the International Union of Muslim Scholars headed by Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue and EAFJ co-founder.

“We ask Almighty Allah to elevate Mahdi Akef to the ranks of the martyrs … Oh Allah, he died as a Mujahid for your cause, so grant him the status of the Mujahideen,” Elbar said.

Speaker Hemmi Khairallah likewise described Akef as a martyr and warned that Muslims in America were under attack from “Zionists” and “Crusaders.”

Elbar’s mosque held a separate memorial service for Akef.

It’s not uncommon for members of an immigrant community to mourn a prominent figure from their homelands. But Akef led a religious movement which seeks global dominance and which cultivated an Islamist ideology that inspires Sunni terrorist groups throughout the world.

His U.S.-based mourners can continue trying to deny their Brotherhood affinity, but actions speak louder than words. If the leader you pray God places “in the higher paradise with the prophets, the pious, and the martyrs” led a global Islamist movement, sanctioned terrorism and served in a secretive, violent Brotherhood branch, you’ve tipped your hand.

Illogically Choosing Friends & Allies in This War

September 25, 2017

Illogically Choosing Friends & Allies in This War, Understanding the Threat, September 25, 2017

If the Bonnano crime family (mafia) initiated a turf war against the Gambino family in New York, does that mean the Gambino crime family is a friend to the New York Police Department?

If the Islamic State publicly condemns the Muslim Brotherhood, does that mean the Muslim Brotherhood is a “friend” of the United States?

In today’s illogical world, the answer seems to be yes to both these questions when you ask senior U.S. government officials.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s objective from its inception until today is to wage jihad to establish an Islamic State (caliphate) encompassing the entire world.  This is the same objective as Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and all other jihadi groups across the globe.

Last spring the Islamic State called the Muslim Brotherhood out for being apostates.

Why would the Islamic State, many of whose members are Muslim Brothers, do such a thing?

Remember, this is much more a counterintelligence and espionage war than it is merely “terrorism,” and our enemy is primarily engaging us in the information battlespace – propaganda and the like.

Deception is key to how they fight and how they win this war.  And they plan on winning.

When Islamic leaders and groups come against each other, it is over matters of sharia or power.

When the Islamic State calls out the Muslim Brotherhood as “apostates,” the antenna of savvy UTT followers should go up.

At the same time President Trump was moving to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), the Islamic State declares the MB “apostates.”  The MB then turns around and uses this to prove they are “moderate” to draw American politicians closer to them.

This “contrast” between the barbarity of the Islamic State and the suit-wearing jihadis of the Muslim Brotherhood’s U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Muslim Advocates, and all the others, is exactly what the Islamic Movement is after.

Our enemies use this contrast to appear more “moderate” to give the impression we can work with them. The problem is, our leaders in government, law enforcement, intelligence, and religious communities are falling for it.

Never forget, they all want the same objective and – per Islamic Law (sharia) – are obliged to lie in pursuit of this objective.