Archive for the ‘Trump and Islamic terrorism’ category

At G7, Trump Diverts Agenda Away from Climate and Toward Islamist Terrorism

May 26, 2017

At G7, Trump Diverts Agenda Away from Climate and Toward Islamist Terrorism, Breitbart, Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D., May 26, 2017

(Possible WaPo headline: Trump promotes terror to dodge climate change. — DM)

TAORMINA, Italy – At President Trump’s first major meeting with international leaders, his world influence has become evident as conversations shifted from the bogeyman of climate change to the real and present danger of Islamist terrorism.

Prior to the G7 summit of the leaders of the world’s wealthiest and most advanced nations, “climate change” constantly appeared on the list of priorities highlighted by the heads of state especially of European nations.

As one headline read, “Trump talks terrorism while Europe shouts ‘Climate!’” In this shouting match, however, the U.S. President has definitely gotten the upper hand.

Reality has imposed itself, as a major jihadist attack last Monday in Manchester, England, claimed the lives of 22 persons and gunmen massacred some 26 Coptic Christians Friday morning south of Cairo Egypt. The latter attack coincided with the first day of Ramadan, the holiest season in the Islamic calendar.

While the phantasm of global warming hovers over the misty horizon, the reality of repeated slaughters of innocent men, women and children by terrorists inspired by Islamist ideology is an elephant that insists on being recognized.

European leaders have also found themselves asked repeatedly to respond to President Trump’s powerful speech against Islamist terrorism before 55 world leaders from Arab and other Muslim-majority nations in Riyadh earlier this week.

In that speech, Trump called for unity in pursuing “the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

In this unique and preeminent task, Trump said, “Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization.”

“Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith,” Mr. Trump said. “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.”

Asked for a reaction to that speech, the chairman of the European Union’s Council said he agrees with President Trump that the international community should be “tough, even brutal” on terrorism and the Islamic State.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said that he “totally agreed with him when he said the international community, the G7, the United States, Europe — should be tough, even brutal, with terrorism and ISIS.”

Tusk also recognized that “this will be the most challenging G7 summit in years,” because of President Trump’s independent views that do not always mesh with the European globalist establishment.

Throughout the day’s meetings in Taormina, Sicily, President Trump seemed eminently comfortable with his role as world leader and agenda-setter, one which his fellow heads-of-state appeared ill-equipped to counter.

President Trump and Pope Francis Meet Face-to-Face

May 25, 2017

President Trump and Pope Francis Meet Face-to-Face, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, May 25, 2017

(Please see also, Catholics Respond to Pope Francis’ ‘One-Sided, Misleading’ Message to Donald Trump. — DM)

[I]t is the fight against climate change that remains his top concern, which is of little comfort to the survivors and families grieving over their loved ones killed or injured in the Manchester slaughter. The same is true about those who suffered from the Islamic terrorist slaughter at a Coptic Christian church in northern Egypt on Palm Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

[I]n the spirit of moral relativism so prevalent today, Pope Francis has declared: “There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia. By confronting terror with love, we work for peace.”

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President Trump and Pope Francis held a half-hour private meeting at the Vatican on Wednesday. Despite their sharp differences on climate change, redistribution of wealth, the handling of refugees and other key global issues, the two men were at least outwardly cordial. Both clearly wanted to avoid anything that could be perceived as confrontational, which had characterized remarks each had made about the other on prior occasions.  However, Pope Francis used the occasion of the meeting to deliver a message to President Trump about the importance of remaining committed to the fight against climate change. He even decided to give the president a copy of his 2015 encyclical on saving the environment.

The meeting occurred only two days after the horrific suicide bombing in Manchester, England that claimed at least 22 lives, including an 8 year old girl, and injured many more. Yet fighting against the foremost evil of our day, Islamic terrorism, did not appear to be foremost on Pope Francis’s mind at his meeting with President Trump.   A message had been previously issued in Pope Francis’s name, stating that he was “deeply saddened” by the “barbaric attack” in Manchester and extending his condolences. However, it is the fight against climate change that remains his top concern, which is of little comfort to the survivors and families grieving over their loved ones killed or injured in the Manchester slaughter. The same is true about those who suffered from the Islamic terrorist slaughter at a Coptic Christian church in northern Egypt on Palm Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

“With Allah’s grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester,” ISIS declared in a boastful statement. ISIS threatened more attacks to come against “the worshippers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah’s permission.” Children specifically will be targeted. A May 4th article entitled “The Ruling on the Belligerent Christians” previewed what lay ahead, declaring that the “blood” of women and children “is not protected” since they have not embraced Islam.

The Middle East and “the protection of Christian communities” did come up during the meeting between Pope Francis and President Trump, according to a statement released by the Vatican. However, they may well have been talking past each other.

When the Pope thinks of Christian communities, he tends to focus on what he considers to be the compassionate duty of Christians to reach out to the poor, including to care for the world’s many refugees and other migrants. Indeed, in February 2016, Pope Francis sharply criticized then candidate Trump for his views on immigration. “A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the Pope said. On another occasion, speaking to Catholics and Lutherans in Germany last October, Pope Francis said, “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help…”

Pope Francis has acknowledged the “serious harm to the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, where many brothers and sisters are oppressed because of their faith, driven from their land, kept in prison or even killed.” However, he has failed to single out for condemnation those responsible for such suffering and their animating ideology – radical Islamic terrorists, whose hateful ideology is rooted in their literal reading of the Koran and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and actions. Instead, in the spirit of moral relativism so prevalent today, Pope Francis has declared: “There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia. By confronting terror with love, we work for peace.”

Terrorism, according to Pope Francis, feeds on “fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration.” End economic inequality, the Pope believes, and voilà – love replaces hatred and terrorism gives way to peace. “This is no time for denouncing anyone or fighting,” he declared. In the Pope’s reckoning, Christian minorities will be safe if we can just all agree to get along and share the wealth.

President Trump, on the other hand, is a realist. He recognizes the clear and present danger to Christian communities, particularly in the Middle East, from genocide committed by Islamic terrorists. These terrorists are not especially motivated by poverty. Indeed, some have been very well-off, including the late Osama bin Laden. As President Trump realizes, they are motivated by their hateful supremacist radical Islamic ideology, which spurs them on to attack the “Crusaders” wherever they can be found. They seek to make their fundamentalist form of Islam the only legitimate religion in the world.  The rest of us either have to convert, pay a tax to live as a dhimmi, or die.

In a major speech on terrorism that Donald Trump delivered last August while running for the presidency, he described the atrocities committed in the name of “the hateful ideology of Radical Islam.” These atrocities included, he said: “Children slaughtered, girls sold into slavery, men and women burned alive. Crucifixions, beheadings and drownings. Ethnic minorities targeted for mass execution. Holy sites desecrated. Christians driven from their homes and hunted for extermination. ISIS rounding-up what it calls the ‘nation of the cross’ in a campaign of genocide.”

This genocide is a product of fundamentalist Islam-inspired ideology, which cannot be fought “with love,” as Pope Francis would like us to believe. Nor would the West’s “warm human welcome” and “authentic hospitality” to all refugees provide “our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism,” as Pope Francis would also like us to believe.

Again, President Trump is a realist. His policies towards refugees, which Pope Francis evidently thinks are heartless, aim to protect Americans from jihadists seeking to enter the United States from the most terrorist-prone countries in the world. The president sought to reverse Barack Obama’s discrimination against Christian refugees – the truly persecuted victims of radical Islamic genocide in the Middle East – and was called an Islamophobe and worse for his efforts. Pope Francis should be standing up for what President Trump tried to accomplish in this regard. But he hasn’t. In fact, the Vatican expressed concern about President Trump’s first executive order suspending travel and entry of refugees from certain countries, which had included a provision providing preferential treatment for persecuted religious minorities such as Christians.

President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II successfully worked together, projecting military and spiritual power respectively, to defeat the evil of their day – communism and the Soviet Union. The evil of our day is radical Islamic terrorism, not climate change. Will Pope Francis follow in the footsteps of Pope John Paul and work with President Trump to help save Christians and other civilized people from this evil source of mass slaughter? Based on his record so far, it is doubtful, but we shall have to wait and see.

Another lesson from Manchester

May 24, 2017

Another lesson from Manchester, Washington TimesTammy Bruce, May 24, 2017

People cry after a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The president’s remarks in Saudi Arabia and Israel, and no doubt through the rest of his tour, make it clear the United States and our allies must view ISIS, al Qaeda and other terror-mongers as something to be destroyed. The president’s approach is one that can bring both Islamic nations and Europe out of a self-imposed coma and back into a world that has dispatched mass-murdering fascists and their ideology before. 

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After the horrific carnage unleashed by the terrorist attack in Manchester, England, some of the reactions were inexplicable. We’re used to jihadis celebrating the horror of mass murder, but it’s still perplexing to hear Western leaders and media reissue their bizarre insistence that we need to get used to the sick and depraved.

For some, perhaps it’s a reflection of a sense of hopelessness in the face of a savage enemy that has been allowed to flourish; considering the passive and useless attitude of the previous American president and rhetoric of his admirers, it’s not surprising the left remains stuck in dangerous cynicism.

Consider BBC anchor and frequent U.S. news show guest Katty Kay. On Tuesday morning after the attack, the Daily Caller reported, “Kay told MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ … that Europeans have no choice but to get used to terrorists murdering their families because ‘we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out. … Europe is getting used to attacks like this, Mika. They have to, because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out,’ Kay said.”

Ms. Kay continued, “As ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq, we’re going to see more of these kinds of attacks taking place in Europe, and Europe is starting to get used to that.”

Ms. Kay’s defeated sentiment isn’t new. While not her intention, she articulated not the reality of our situation, but the policy preference of failed western leadership.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee, was interviewed by The New York Times. When asked “What it would take for Americans to feel safe again,” Mr. Kerry answered, “We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.”

Even with the Sept. 11 attacks just a few years earlier, making the nature of the Islamist terror threat clear, Mr. Kerry exposed the left’s surrender to carnage and chaos. The suggestion that terrorism should be viewed as a nuisance indicates an acceptance of it as a regular part of our lives.

All normal human beings reject the grotesque suggestion we simply adapt, but his comment wasn’t a lark. It ended up being one of the first articulations of liberal Western leadership’s strategy of management of the scourge, abandoning the idea of destroying it.

Fast forward to August 2016. Sensing that terrorism was an actual problem, Mr. Kerry had another idea. Speaking in Bangladesh he noted, “If you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. … Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on.”

Genius. Let’s just not mention it, and everything will be OK.

A month later, the viral nature of this menacing naivete was affirmed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim and son of Pakistani immigrants. Touring New York when the Chelsea terrorist bomb exploded, Mr. Khan blithely noted to a reporter, terrorism is “part and parcel of living in a big city.” Like riding the subway, going to a baseball game, enjoying the ballet? Sure, let’s add getting blown up by the occasional bomb pressure cooker.

Just a few months later, London suffered the horrific Westminster terrorist attack in which an Islamist used a car and a knife to murder people.

And now, Manchester. A terrorist attack at an event appealing to young people, as of this writing, killing 22 and wounding over 50. In every city where terrorists strike, local citizens transform into super heroes, as was the case in Manchester.

People coming together in the midst of horror to help one another is magnificent, and worthy of celebrating, but it’s safe to say everyone in the world who had to deal with terrorism wished they hadn’t had to face it at all. We still prefer our “part and parcel” normal to be safe and sound, void of mass murdering maniacs.

Breitbart reported, “Europe, the United Kingdom, and Russia have witnessed terror attacks or attempted attacks every nine days in 2017 on average, analysis of security incidents has revealed.”

“Attacks and attempted attacks have taken place in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Security services in Britain — population 65 million — are known to be tracking 3,500 potential terror suspects or persons posing a threat. Meanwhile Belgium, with its population of just 12 million, is tracking around 18,000 potential jihadists,” revealed Breitbart.

The importance of President Trump’s Middle Eastern and European trip is now even more clear. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama eliminated the word “destroy” when referring to actions against the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS. All that was left was the intention to “degrade” the terrorist scourge, as though our only hope was to try to keep in check a cancer that was metastasizing around the world.

Mr. Trump’s remarks in Riyadh made it clear that is not good enough. Accepting terrorism as a “nuisance” or simply a part of big city living is obscene and is rejected.

The president’s remarks in Saudi Arabia and Israel, and no doubt through the rest of his tour, make it clear the United States and our allies must view ISIS, al Qaeda and other terror-mongers as something to be destroyed. The president’s approach is one that can bring both Islamic nations and Europe out of a self-imposed coma and back into a world that has dispatched mass-murdering fascists and their ideology before. And we will do it again.

Gen. McMaster Squanders Tremendous Capital Trump Earns in Saudi Arabia

May 24, 2017

Gen. McMaster Squanders Tremendous Capital Trump Earns in Saudi Arabia, Front Page magazineKenneth R. Timmerman, May 24, 2017

(Ho, ho ho. McMaster gotta go. — DM)

The newly-created Center for Combating Extremism established by the Saudi government may be a step in the right direction. But as the President said, we also need the Saudis and other Arab Muslim leaders to drive the jihadis and the preachers who inspire them “out of the mosques” and out of the public square.

We cannot succeed in this monumental task when the National Security Advisor turns the President’s steely injunctions against Islamist terrorism into mush.

We are fighting an ideological enemy. We will never defeat him if we refuse to name the ideology that inspires him.

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President Trump did not shy away from calling an Islamist terrorist by his real name when he addressed the heads of state of some fifty Muslim countries over the weekend in Riyadh.

His language and his message were clear: the United States needs the leaders of Arab Islamic nations as partners. As non-Muslims, we can not eradicate the scourge of a terrorism that draws its source from authentic Islamic texts, nor can we cast out terrorist leaders who model themselves on Mohammad, the prophet of Islam.

Indeed, that is what the Manchester bomber did, blowing himself up in order to kill the children of the Unbelievers. (Quran 3:151: “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.”)

ISIS proudly draws on the Quran, and the Sura – the Life of the Prophet Mohammad – to justify its actions and its manner of imposing Sharia law over territory it controls.

In its training manuals and propaganda videos, ISIS regularly calls on young Muslims to join the ranks of the jihad, because it is their duty as good Muslims. How can they say this? Because Mohammad himself told them.

Indeed, there are 164 well-known versus in the Quran where Mohammad calls on Muslims to fight the Unbelievers and carry out jihad.

“I hear so many people say ISIS has nothing to do with Islam – of course it has. They are not preaching Judaism,” says Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim who is the religion and ethics editor at the BBC.

“It might be wrong, but what they are saying is an ideology based on some form of Islamic doctrine. They are Muslims. That is a fact and we have to get our head around some very uncomfortable things,” Mr. Ahmed went on.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia knows this. Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq knows this. Egyptian president al-Sissi knows this. So does King Abdallah II of Jordan and all the other leaders President Trump met at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh.

None of them blushed when the President spoke these “very uncomfortable things” in his speech on Sunday. They know that it is up to them to lead the fight against the jihadis and “drive them out,” as the President said – not because the jihadis represent the true face of Islam, but because they are the forces of Evil in today’s Muslim world, whose first victims tend to be Muslims.

Enter Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster.

In a five minute interview with FoxNews host Bret Beier in Riyadh, Gen. McMaster swept away all the gains the President had just made.

He acknowledged that the President had used the term “Islamic terrorism” in his speech, then immediately tried to back away from it.

“These are not Islamic people. These are not religious people. These are people who use a perverted interpretation of religion to advance their criminality. It’s a political agenda,” McMaster said of ISIS. “And you saw great agreement on that in all the speeches yesterday. King Salman used almost the same language.”

But King Salman did not use almost the same language. Instead, he acknowledged that ISIS terrorists “consider themselves as Muslims” and that they drew their inspiration from periods of Islamic history outside the “bright eras… of mercy, tolerance and coexistence.”

Gen. McMaster returned to the Obama-era white-washing of Islam and denial of Islamic doctrine, bending over backwards out of fear of offending Muslim leaders whose support we need to fight ISIS.

While one can hope that the damage he did to the budding anti-jihadi alliance will be transitory, and that wiser officials with a more sophisticated knowledge of Islamic doctrine will be put in the forefront of our cooperation with potential Muslim allies, ISIS leaders must be laughing at the foolishness of McMaster’s words.

Of course their allure draws its source from Islam’s earliest days, when Mohammad and his armies put their enemies to the sword, pillaged their cities, raped their wives, enslaved any survivors, and plundered their crops.

ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing. We will learn soon enough whether Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who murdered so many innocents, acted alone or was part of a larger cell.

But what we know for sure is that the ideology motivating him to mayhem wasn’t Judaisim or Christianity or some “perverted interpretation” of them. That ideology was Islam as practiced by Mohammad and his followers.

Sugar-coating Islam’s blood-soaked history will not end terrorism. It will not convince young wannabe jihadis to put down the sword of Islam.

Instead, we need serious, effective programs that attack the causes of radicalization, programs devised by Muslims that speak to Muslims, programs that convincingly reject the jihadi doctrines on which ISIS is based.

The newly-created Center for Combating Extremism established by the Saudi government may be a step in the right direction. But as the President said, we also need the Saudis and other Arab Muslim leaders to drive the jihadis and the preachers who inspire them “out of the mosques” and out of the public square.

We cannot succeed in this monumental task when the National Security Advisor turns the President’s steely injunctions against Islamist terrorism into mush.

We are fighting an ideological enemy. We will never defeat him if we refuse to name the ideology that inspires him.

 

 

 

Trump’s ‘Islam Speech’ Invited The Muslim World To A Renaissance

May 24, 2017

Trump’s ‘Islam Speech’ Invited The Muslim World To A Renaissance, The Federalist, May 24, 2017

Trump’s Riyadh Summit speech builds on common themes in Abrahamic faiths to advocate for human potential. One of those themes is the archaic but powerful idea of “good versus evil,” as we heard with the repeat phrase “drive them out” as you would drive out the devil that possess the hearts and minds of people, causing mischief in the land. It’s a language not only understood by people in that room, but also by the world watching. Speaking in simple binaries that break down the world into good and evil, President Trump created an opportunity that doesn’t shame Muslims plagued by terrorism. Instead it gives them something greater still to be a part of. That something is humanity.

The alternative is grim. The detriment and the high cost of doing nothing, as Trump points out, is not only the death of life under religious extremism, but also the death of dreams. Let’s give people something to work together for, whether those people are heads of states or those crushed under the weight of war. The speech also powerfully reframed refugees not as destitute victims, but as integral to building stable societies that give them not only autonomy but also dignity.

However flawed they still are, if Muslim nations are willing to come together in partnership with the United States for a common goal, then let’s work with them to secure all our interests

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President Trump embarked on an iconic first foreign tour this weekend to the Middle East that started with a stop in Saudi Arabia to deliver a much-anticipated speech on Islam. Americans sat at the edge of their seats in anticipation of what we all sensed was a defining moment in history.

The tour is described as resetting Middle East foreign policy, with President Trump as the first sitting president to embrace complex themes of faith tightly knotted in a rich and often violent regional history. Effectively, he’s channeled the most powerful seat in the world as a vehicle for the most burgeoning diplomatic struggle of the last century.

Yet what makes President Trump’s speech on Islam so iconic is that it wasn’t about Islam. It was about human potential. Presented at the Riyadh Summit, the speech paints a picture of the world that can still be created if nations unite in a common interest of security and advancement through mutual gain. That he spoke at the birthplace of Islam is symbolic because it points at the root of the problem: violent extremism linked to the most fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.

We Have a Common Threat Despite Internal Differences

As hinted in his speech, the last monotheistic faith is still awaiting its renaissance. While there are other issues including non-violent Islamic extremism (Islamism), government corruption, theocracies, autocracies, dictatorships, human rights violations, and failed women’s rights, and on and on, the greatest shadow darkening the future for a world of people is violent jihad that seeks to destroy all standing civilizations equally, including Islamic nation-states it sees as not being Islamic enough.

Back at home, Americans have questioned the authenticity of Muslim nations participating at the summit. American Muslims see the Saudi Arabia as hypocritical in its fight against extremism. Saudis are rightly accused of being both arsonists and firefighters in the fight against extremism.

What also rings true is the strong sense of survival and self-interest fueling the global coalition. Nations should be allies in a common fight, with the understanding that we will not agree on every front or tangential issue. We do not need to all agree; we just need to be aligned on the single greatest threat and work from there. That is how we move forward. Internally, each nation faces its own complications.

A common American reaction was petulant expectation that President Trump “tackle Saudi Arabia” short of going to war with the kingdom. Yet the man is not even allowed to effectively tackle homegrown Islamists in the United States without overwhelming opposition by media and interest groups using propaganda and disinformation.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is dealing with a house divided between Saudis who want progress and those reluctant to move into the twenty-first century, although both sides agree there is an existential threat coming from outside forces even more fundamentalist than they. They can also agree that it is in their collective interest to ally with the United States, something on which all representatives at the Riyadh Summit concur. President Trump understands the most direct path to effecting change is to work in people’s self-interest, to cater to advancement through mutual gain — a strategy that also won him the election.

Let’s Get Beyond Survival

At this exact moment in history, this is about survival. But it is also about what comes after survival. What does the next phase of human evolution look like, and how do we rally the world of people around it?

Trump’s Riyadh Summit speech builds on common themes in Abrahamic faiths to advocate for human potential. One of those themes is the archaic but powerful idea of “good versus evil,” as we heard with the repeat phrase “drive them out” as you would drive out the devil that possess the hearts and minds of people, causing mischief in the land. It’s a language not only understood by people in that room, but also by the world watching. Speaking in simple binaries that break down the world into good and evil, President Trump created an opportunity that doesn’t shame Muslims plagued by terrorism. Instead it gives them something greater still to be a part of. That something is humanity.

The alternative is grim. The detriment and the high cost of doing nothing, as Trump points out, is not only the death of life under religious extremism, but also the death of dreams. Let’s give people something to work together for, whether those people are heads of states or those crushed under the weight of war. The speech also powerfully reframed refugees not as destitute victims, but as integral to building stable societies that give them not only autonomy but also dignity.

In this way, not only was President Trump’s speech iconic, it was visionary for emphasizing humanity and what can still be achieved if we come together. As a Muslim reformer, I focus on getting us to the next phase of human evolution, something that cannot happen without uniting world powers for a common goal. It is a powerful move necessary to destroy the Goliath that’s draining our resources and diverting our attention.

That “Goliath” is the version of Islam that demands we forfeit our humanity. To defeat it, we will need everyone on board, including the people we see as enemies today. If we have to sit at a table with Saudi Arabia to do it, so be it. If Americans expect the Middle East to shed the skin of their tribal identities, then we too have to break out of the tribal mindset that only sees people and populations as one-dimensional. However flawed they still are, if Muslim nations are willing to come together in partnership with the United States for a common goal, then let’s work with them to secure all our interests.

Al Qaeda criticizes Saudi relations with West during President Trump’s visit

May 22, 2017

Al Qaeda criticizes Saudi relations with West during President Trump’s visit, Long War Journal May 22, 2017

Al Qaeda seized on President Donald J. Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia to once again criticize the royal family and call for an uprising.

According to bin Laden, these early Saudi dealings with the West led to the British capture of Palestine and, later on, the establishment of the Israeli state.

Osama bin Laden liked to argue that there is a “Zionist-Crusader” conspiracy against Muslims. His son, Hamza, has continued with these themes, making it one of his central talking points and accusing the House of Saud of being part of it.

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On May 20, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab, released an audio message from Hamza bin Laden. The junior bin Laden follows in his father’s footsteps by blasting the Saudi royal family. His speech is the second part in a series aimed at the House of Saud. Part 1, in which Hamza called for regime change, was released last August.

It’s not clear when Hamza recorded his latest anti-Saudi message. He does not mention President Trump or the American delegation. Instead, he focuses on the early decades of the Saudi dynasty, portraying it as a corrupt regime that serves the interests of the West. Still, al Qaeda undoubtedly wanted to maximize the audience for Hamza’s audio by releasing it during President Trump’s visit.

Then, on May 21, al Qaeda published the 15th issue of its Al Nafir Bulletin (seen below). The one-page newsletter is devoted to Trump’s visit. “The Al Saud rulers and all apostate rulers appear before us today in wasteful ceremonies to offer loyalty and renew their allegiance to the hateful Crusader master of the White House, Trump,” the newsletter reads.

Just hours before Al Nafir was released online, President Trump attended a ceremony with King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to commemorate the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh. Unsurprisingly, Al Nafir’s editors criticize the move, arguing that the “rulers” had really committed to building “an apostate army to fight jihad and the Mujahideen in the name of fighting terror and terrorism.” The center will be used “to fight faith, purity, and commitment, under the call to fight extremism, backwardness, and intolerance,” al Qaeda contends.

In Al-Nafir, al Qaeda also argues that the Saudi government should give its money to the people instead of investing it in defense deals and other arrangements with the US. Al Qaeda uses these two issues — the Saudis’ supposed misuse of funds and the creation of the new center — to renew its call for jihad.

“So here are the Crusaders and the apostates, and they have stolen your money, fought your religion, shed your blood, and transgressed against your honor,” Al Nafir reads. “When will you return to your religion and do jihad in the cause of Allah?”

Hamza bin Laden’s critique of Ibn Saud

Al Qaeda has been raising Hamza’s media profile since the summer of 2015, when he was first introduced as a prominent jihadist figure. On May 13, just one week before Hamza’s new anti-Saudi message, As Sahab released another speech from Osama’s heir. In that talk, Hamza provided advice to “martyrdom seekers” living in the West. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report: Hamza bin Laden offers ‘advice for martyrdom seekers in the West’]

In his latest message, Hamza accuses the Saudi government of promulgating a false version of its own history, arguing that “generations have been raised” ignorant of what truly transpired during the first years of the 20th Century, when the House of Saud rose. Bin Laden is keen to undermine King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud’s (Ibn Saud) legacy, portraying him as a witting agent of the British. Only when the proper history is told, Hamza says, will Muslims “understand the magnitude of the injustice brought upon” their country and then work to “restore” their “stolen rights.”

Bin Laden accuses Ibn Saud of working with the British from the beginning, seeking their “approval” before leaving Kuwait (where the Saud family lived) and conquering the city of Riyadh in 1902. Riyadh and large parts of the Arabian peninsula were controlled by Ibn Rashid’s men, who were allied with the Ottoman Empire at the time. Bin Laden says Ibn Saud could only expand his power at the expense of the Ottoman Empire’s allies and he sought assistance from the British to do it. This, from al Qaeda’s perspective, violates Islamic law, as Ibn Saud attacked fellow Muslims while working with the British.

According to bin Laden, the Saudi telling of Ibn Saud’s early conquests omits these “sharia violations,” including the assault on the Ottoman’s ally “to serve the English” and the “unlawful killing of Muslims.”

In the period leading up to World War I, the Ottoman government sought to reconcile the opposing forces inside the Arabian Peninsula. And so a deal was struck between the Ottomans and Ibn Saud, which granted the Saudi patriarch territorial rights in exchange for military cooperation and an agreement to prevent “foreign powers” from expanding their influence in the region. But Ibn Saud broke this agreement as well, bin Laden says, after he again sided with the British. (Ibn Saud’s territory was declared a British protectorate as part of a treaty in 1915.) Ibn Saud moved on the Turks’ main client, Ibn Rashid, despite their previous understanding. In so doing, bin Laden charges, the founder of the Saudi dynasty paved the way for “the English and their allies to occupy the homelands of the Muslims.”

Bin Laden reminds his audience that Captain William Henry Irvine Shakespear, a British emissary, served as Ibn Saud’s military adviser and had “command” of the Muslim forces while organizing “their ranks.” This was part of Britain’s broader “financial and military” support for Ibn Saud. This is all “clear evidence” of English support, bin Laden says, and led to “Crusader hegemony” over the region.

According to bin Laden, these early Saudi dealings with the West led to the British capture of Palestine and, later on, the establishment of the Israeli state.

Osama bin Laden liked to argue that there is a “Zionist-Crusader” conspiracy against Muslims. His son, Hamza, has continued with these theme, making it one of his central talking points and accusing the House of Saud of being part of it.

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’

May 22, 2017

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, May 22, 2017

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

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“I love the people of Israel,” you told me in the Oval Office. Seeing as this wasn’t our first interview — I had already gotten to know you rather well during the campaign — I know you were speaking from the heart, rather than trying to curry favor with me.

I know you are sincere when you say you are committed to the security and future of Israel. You believe the United States and Israel are allies that share common values, and that America must not forsake old friends. Your powerful bond with Israel and the Jewish people was not imposed on you by your position. There are even those who say that your affection for Israel is a family affair.

The commitment and affection between Americans and Israelis is mutual. There is a great deal of love in Israel for the U.S. and its people. Throughout your campaign, Mr. President, you had many supporters here in Israel. Less in the media and more on the street — see? I told you the U.S. and Israel have a lot in common.

Here in Israel, no one burns American flags. Not now and not ever. The American flag is almost as popular here as the Israeli flag. For us, both flags symbolize liberty and hope.

Mr. President, you arrive here from Saudi Arabia with a passion to see Israel and its neighbors make peace. We thank you for this genuine desire and wish you, and us, success in this endeavor. But you must know that the last thing we need is another failed peace process. We are tired of futile diplomacy that only leads to more bloodshed, prompting us to adopt a more sober view regarding the prospects of successful negotiations and tempering our faith in peace. We want peace, not a peace process.

The country of the Jewish people

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

In Riyadh on Sunday, we heard King Salman talk about the need to combat terrorism and warning of the Iranian threat that is jeopardizing the prospects of regional peace. Israel has been saying this for years. In your speech, you, too, sought to distinguish between good and evil. We need this distinction, after years of politically correct ambiguity.

You noted in your speech the need to combat the extremists; you mentioned Iran, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. But this axis of evil claims the opposite: that Israel and the U.S. are responsible for terrorism around the world. College campuses across the U.S. are disgracefully portraying Israel as being responsible for terrorism.

But the sad truth is quite the opposite: For over 100 years, we have been subjected to murderous terrorism in various forms, long before the so-called “occupation.” Terrorism in Israel needs to be treated the same as terrorism anywhere else in the world. All terrorism draws on the same source.

There is no Zionism without Zion

Mr. President, you chose to visit during a festive week. Fifty years ago, Israeli soldiers liberated Jerusalem from foreign rule. It has been 1,835 years since Bar-Kokhba’s fighters entered the destroyed city in 132 C.E. They engraved coins with the words “To the freedom of Jerusalem” and commemorated King David, who made it the eternal city. Jerusalem is Zion. There is no Zionism without Zion. This is the place we yearned to return to for 2,000 years. Now that we have returned, nothing can ever cut out the heart of the Jewish people.

Israel welcomes you with blessings, Mr. President. We wish you a successful visit. We bless your arrival with these words: The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).