Posted tagged ‘Fundamentalist Islam’

See No Sharia: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense

April 14, 2016

See No Sharia: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense, Secure Freedom via You Tube, April 14, 2016

Op-Ed: Contemplating a US/Russia Alliance

February 16, 2016

Op-Ed: Contemplating a US/Russia Alliance, Israel National News, Ted Belman and Alexander Maistrovoy, February 16, 2016

Before Donald Trump’s blowout win in New Hampshire he shocked the world by saying he would allow the Russians to do the “dirty work” and would “let them beat the s*** out of ISIS also.”. Trump went further, “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect,”

Putin, responded by saying: “He (Trump) says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.”

The condemnation of Trump for his remarks was immediate but certainly not universal. Many American’s are beginning to see Russia in a new light.

Until the fall of the USSR, the 20th Century was dominated by an ideological struggle between American capitalism and Russian communism. But now that Russia has abandoned communism and the US is embracing socialism, as seen by the Sander’s victory in the New Hampshire primary, the two powers are more alike than ever before.

Now we have a different ideological struggle to contend with, namely a civilizational war between the Christian/Secular West and the Islamic Caliphate. They are inimical to each other. North America, Europe and Russia are natural allies in this struggle as they are different daughters of one civilization.

In the past, both Russia and the US have backed different Arab states or Muslim groups, including radical Islamists. The end result of this US/Russia enmity was to destabilize the ME and Europe and to allow an Islamic fifth column into America and Europe.

The reality is that Russia, Europe and the US desperately need each other. Together they can withstand the hydra of pan-Islamism with its countless heads (ISIS, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, Salafis, Muslim brothers, etc.), can stabilize the Middle East, the cradle of Islamic fanaticism and can stabilize Europe.

For Russia, the triumph of the Caliphate in any form will be a deadly threat to its “soft underbelly”: the Caucasus and Volga region with Tatarstan.

Penetration of Islamic militancy from Afghanistan into Central Asia means the appearance of the Islamists on the longest and vulnerable southeastern border of Russia.

From Europe’s point of view, a destabilized North Africa and Middle East is resulting in a mass migration of Muslims including radical Islamists which threaten to tear it apart and irreparably change it. This in turn will have dire consequences for both Russia and America.

Both US and Russia are not able to cope with the global “jihad” separately” especially when they are supporting different sides. Russia has no resources for a war against radical Islam made more difficult by western sanctions and pressure. The West, in spite of its material power, lacks the will needed to defeat such a savage and ruthless enemy.

Thus an alliance is imperative.

“New Middle East”

A new Middle East is in the making. It will not look like the “New Middle East” as envisioned by Shimon Peres.  Syria, Iraq and Libya are no more. Lebanon looks like it will also fracture due to the influx of 1.5 million Sunnis, either Palestinian or Syrian. Hezbollah Shia have been reduced from 40% to 25% of the population by this influx so expect a power struggle to ensue there.

Alawite Syria, a strong Kurdish state in the north of former Iraq and Syria, tribal unions in Libya, Druze enclaves in Syria, a Christian enclave in Lebanon and perhaps in Iraq, all will appear on the map of the new Middle East. They will all need the support, both militarily and diplomatically, of either the US or Russia. In this way, the west will be empowered to keep the radical Islamists out.

Russia already has supported the Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party) in northern Syria diplomatically (Kremlin insists on PYD’s participation in negotiations about the future of Syria) and by providing them with weapons. The US is also supportive of the Kurds but bas been restrained by Turkey’s insistence that the Kurds be denied independence.  If the US forms an alliance with Russia it no longer needs an alliance with Turkey.

The American embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey must be seen as the aberration it is. Rather than support the Islamization of the Middle East and North Africa, America should fight it. Rather than embrace the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, as Obama did, the US should embrace Russia.

Pressure could then be brought to bear on Turkey to change its Islamist allegiances and to allow greater autonomy to its 10 million Kurdish citizens who otherwise will want to join the newly formed Kurdistan.

The US, by destroying Qaddafi and Mubarak, greatly destabilized North Africa. By waging war against Assad, the US has destabilized the Middle East and Europe. What is needed now is that the US and Russia come together to strengthen President al Sisi of Egypt to enable him to defeat ISIS in Sinai and Libya. Russia should be invited back into Libya to assist in its stabilization.  Europe and Tunisia will also benefit from this stabilization as will African states to the south.

In addition, US and Russia should cut a deal for a political solution for Syria in which Syria is divided into three states based on ethnic lines; Alawite Syria in which Russia holds sway, Kurdish Syria which will join with Kurdistan in Iraq and a Sunni state amalgamating the Sunni areas of both Syria and Iraq.

Such a deal will involve cooperation between Russia, US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. ISIS must be defeated and non-Islamist Sunnis must be put in charge. Saudi Arabia would have a major role in the creation and maintenance of such a state. It is not inconceivable that Jordan would in the end, amalgamate with this state given the number of Sunni refugees it is now host to. This state would serve as a bulwark to an expansionist Iran.

It is in the interest of Russia to placate Saudi Arabia so that Saudi Arabia will cut down on her oil production and allow the price of oil to rise. Saudi Arabia would be agreeable to doing so and to such a division of Syria if Russia would restrain Iran.

Iran

Today, Russia is the de facto ally of Iran and the US is a wannabe.  The Iranian star reached its zenith with the total capitulation of the US in the Iran Deal. Since then it’s been downhill all the way. Without the help of Russia they would have lost Syria as an ally and their connection to Hezbollah. But with that help, Russia is now calling the shots.

It wasn’t so long ago that Russia supported the sanctions on Iran and didn’t want to remove them because it meant the addition of Iranian oil to the world market and the weakening the already weak ruble. Kremlin couldn’t betray its ally but in fact (aside from rhetoric) will not object to a renewal of sanctions. This will save Russia from a powerful competitor in the energy market.

Moscow needs Iran primarily as a means to put pressure on the West but it can quite easily sacrifice it for the sake of strategic considerations. Iran is not a natural ally of Russian for it doesn’t have any historical or cultural connection similar to the connection both Serbia and Armenia have for example.

The View from the Kremlin

Since the 16th century, the main threat to Russia came from the West. Moscow was occupied by Poles in the 17th century and by Napoleon in the 19th century.  In 1941, the troops of the Wehrmacht came within a few kilometers of Moscow.  St. Petersburg was built by Peter Great to resist the invasion of the Swedes.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was a painful blow to Russia and the West took advantage of this collapse. The bombing of Serbia and recognition of Kosovo, the “color revolutions” in the former Soviet Union, NATO’s extension to the Baltic countries, and the constant hectoring of Russia on human rights served to undermine Russia and make her feel threatened. This formed the impetus for the revival of nationalism under the leadership of Vladimir Putin.

The US, Britain and France intervened in Libya in order to both destroy the Gadaffi regime and oust Russia.  Accordingly, they refused Russia’s mediation efforts.  Similarly they tried to oust Assad. But this time, Russia, who had lost its Mediterranean port in Libya was determined to keep its Mediterranean port in Syria.  After many years of death and destruction in Syria brought about by the desire of the US and Saudi Arabia to oust Assad, Assad was on his “death bed”. Russia and Iran doubled down on their efforts to support him. Russia supplied their air force and air defense radar systems and Iran provided more troops. As a result Assad has gained much ground and is in a much better negotiating position today.

During this period, Russia acquired Crimea from the Ukraine and supported an insurgency in eastern Ukraine. A majority of the population of both areas are Russian. The Russians didn’t understand why the West came to the defense of Ukraine. It’s impossible to believe that EU wanted to bring Ukraine into the EU given its large population and systemic corruption.  Moscow believes the West didn’t do so in order to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine but to weaken Russia.  Ukraine, after all, is the backyard of Russia, as Mexica is backyard of US and Corsica is backyard of France.

Last week Russia’s Prime Minister, Medvedev, urged a “more constructive and more cooperative relationship with Russia… I strongly believe that the answer lies with both more defense and more dialogue.”

Last week Henry Kissinger delivered a speech in Moscow in which he began:

“I am here to argue for the possibility of a dialogue that seeks to merge our futures rather than elaborate our conflicts. This requires respect by both sides of the vital values and interest of the other,”

And concluded,

“It will only come with a willingness in both Washington and Moscow, in the White House and the Kremlin, to move beyond the grievances and sense of victimization to confront the larger challenges that face both of our countries in the years ahead.”

Should the West want to pursue such an alliance, it must recognize Russia’s “Near Abroad” – its traditional zone of influence since the 18th century: Ukraine and Belarus, Crimea, whose history is inseparable from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Russia also seeks influence in Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is imperial policy but Russia is no longer obsessed with ideological madness.  Thus, it is possible to negotiate a rapprochement and to respect each other’s sphere of influence.

Israel is not an ally of Russia nor its enemy.  Israel and Russia agreed to respect each other’s spheres of interest in Syria. In addition, Moscow mediated in delicate situations between Israel and Hezbollah.  This model can be used on a global scale by the US.

It is of historical note that the Byzantium, otherwise known as the Eastern Roman Empire, fought a sustained battle against the Ottoman Turks, who had invaded, only to finally succumb in 1453.  The Turks changed the name of their capital city, Constantinople, to Istanbul.  The Ottoman Empire succeeded over the years in conquering more of Europe and finally laid an unsuccessful siege to Vienna in 1529. There followed 150 years of bitter military tension and attacks, culminating in the Battle of Vienna of 1683. This battle was won by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nations in league with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth thereby saving Europe from Islamic conquest.

What is needed today is a similar resolute stand by both east and west against the Islamic Jihad’s attempt to conquer Europe.

Will the old prejudices and enmity focused on Russia prevail over rational considerations and the instinct for self-preservation?

According to the Munich Accords just signed, perhaps not.

It now appears that Russia and the US have come to an agreement for the implementation of a ceasefire and a division of spheres of influence. The document was signed by 17 nations, including Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubayr for the Syrian opposition and Iran’s top diplomat Muhammed Javad Zarif in the name of the Assad regime.

DEBKA reports:

“The nub of the Munich accord was therefore the parties authorized to name the terrorists. This was spelled out as follows: “The determination of eligible targets and geographic areas is to be left up to a task force of nations headed by Russia and the United States.”

“This puts the entire agreement in the joint hands of the US and Russia. Lavrov emphasized, “The key thing is to build direct contacts, not only on procedures to avoid incidents, but also cooperation between our militaries.”

“The Munich accord therefore provided the framework for expanding the existing US-Russian coordination on air force flights over Syria to cover their direct collaboration in broader aspects of military operations in the war-torn country.

“Lavrov mentioned a “qualitative” change in US military policy to cooperate with Russia in continuing the fight against the Islamic State, but it clearly goes beyond that.”

“This pact as sets out a division of military responsibility between the two powers: The Americans took charge of areas east of the Euphrates, leaving the Russians responsible for the territory east of the river. “

Hopefully, this accord is just the beginning of a new alliance.

A (Much) Better Year

February 5, 2016

A (Much) Better Year, Front Page Magazine, Caroline Glick, February 5, 2016

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[A] of the Republicans candidates are significantly more supportive of Israel than the Democratic candidates. So it is simply an objective fact that Israel will be better off if a Republican is elected in November no matter who he is and no matter who the Democratic candidate is.

Part of the reason Obama is acting with such urgency and intensity is that he knows that regardless of who is elected to replace him, the next president will not be as viscerally hostile to Israel or as emotionally attached to Islam as he is.

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

On Wednesday the U.S. media interrupted its saturation coverage of the presidential primaries to report on President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque in Maryland. The visit was Obama’s first public one to a mosque in the US since entering the White House seven years ago. The mosque Obama chose to visit demonstrated once again that his views of radical Islam are deeply problematic.

Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a mosque with longstanding ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. During Operation Protective Edge, the leaders of the mosque accused Israel of genocide and demanded that the administration end US support for the Jewish state.

According to The Daily Caller, the mosque’s former imam Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh was active in the Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity deemed a terror group in 2004 after the US Treasury Department determined it had transferred funds to Osama bin Laden, Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

El-Sheikh left the Baltimore mosque to take over the Dar el-Hijra mosque in northern Virginia. He replaced Anwar al-Awlaki as imam after Awlaki moved to Yemen in 2003. In Yemen Awlaki rose to become a senior al-Qaida commander.

Awlaki radicalized many American jihadists both through direct contact and online. He radicalized US Army major Nidal Malik Hasan, and inspired him to carry out the 2009 massacre of 13 US soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood in Texas. Awlaki was killed by a US drone strike in 2011.

In 2010, a member of the Islamic Society of Baltimore was arrested for planning to attack an army recruiting office. According to the Mediaite news portal, the mosque reportedly refused to cooperate with the FBI in its investigation.

Obama’s visit to the radical mosque now is a clear signal of how he intends to spend his last year in office. It tells us that during this period, Obama will adopt ever more extreme positions regarding radical Islam.

Obama’s apologetics for radical Islamists is the flipside of his hostility for Israel. This too is escalating and will continue to rise through the end of his tenure in office.

The US Customs authority’s announcement last week that it will begin enforcing a 20-yearold decision to require goods imported from Judea and Samaria to be labeled “Made in the West Bank,” rather than “Made in Israel,” signals Obama’s intentions. So, too, it is abundantly clear that France’s plan to use the UN Security Council to dictate Israel’s borders was coordinated in advance with the Obama administration.

Part of the reason Obama is acting with such urgency and intensity is that he knows that regardless of who is elected to replace him, the next president will not be as viscerally hostile to Israel or as emotionally attached to Islam as he is.

On the Democratic side, neither candidate is a particularly energetic supporter of Israel or counter- jihad warrior. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s recently released email discussions of Israel with her closest advisers indicate that all of Clinton’s closest counselors are hostile to Israel.

For his part, Vermont’s socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders harbors the far Left’s now standard anti-Israel attitudes. Not only did Sanders – like Clinton – support Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. He boycotted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the Joint Houses of Congress where Netanyahu laid out Israel’s reasons for opposing the deal. Sanders gave television interviews condemning Netanyahu for making the speech, accusing him of electioneering on the back of the US Congress. Sanders criticized Israel during Operation Protective Edge and supports decreasing US military aid to Israel.

For all their anti-Israel sensibilities, though, neither Clinton nor Sanders gives the impression that they are driven by them as Obama is.

Unlike Obama, neither appear to be animated by their hostility toward Israel. Neither seem to be passionate in their support for Muslim Brotherhood- affiliated groups or in their desire to realign the US away from Israel, from its traditional Arab allies and toward Iran. This lack of passion makes it safe to assume that if elected president, while they will adopt anti-Israel policies, they will not seek out ways to weaken Israel or strengthen its sworn enemies.

On the Republican side, the situation is entirely different. All of the Republican presidential candidates are pro-Israel. To be sure, some are more pro-Israel than others. Sen. Ted Cruz, for instance, is more supportive than his competitors. But all of the Republicans candidates are significantly more supportive of Israel than the Democratic candidates. So it is simply an objective fact that Israel will be better off if a Republican is elected in November no matter who he is and no matter who the Democratic candidate is.

It hasn’t always been this way. And it doesn’t have to remain this way.

Back in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running against George H.W. Bush, if Israel was your issue, you voted for Clinton because he was rightly viewed as more pro-Israel than Bush.

Twenty-four years ago, supporting Israel carried no cost for Clinton. According to Gallup, in 1992, 52 percent of Democrats were pro-Israel.

On the other hand, Bush was probably harmed somewhat for the widespread perception that he was anti-Israel. In 1992, 62% of Republicans were pro-Israel.

Over the past 15 years, the situation has altered considerably.

Today, Republicans are near unanimous in their support for Israel. According to a Gallup poll from February 2015, 83% of Republicans support Israel.

Only 48% of Democrats do. From 2014 to 2015, Democratic support for Israel plunged 10 points.

The cleavage on Israel is particularly acute among partisan elites.

Last summer, pollster Frank Luntz conducted a survey of US elite partisan opinion on Israel. His data were devastating. According to Luntz’s data, 76% of Democratic elite believe that Israel has too much influence over US foreign policy. Only 20% of Republicans do.

Nearly half (47%) of highly educated, wealthy and politically active Democrats think that Israel is a racist country. Thirteen percent of their Republican counterparts agree.

And whereas only 48% of Democrats believe that Israel wants peace, 88% of Republicans believe that Israel wants peace with its neighbors.

These trends affect voting habits. According to Luntz, while only 18% of Democrats say they would be more likely to vote for a politician who supports Israel, 31% said they are less likely to vote for a pro-Israel candidate. In contrast, 76% of Republicans say they want their representatives to support Israel.

Forty-five percent of Democrats said they would be more likely to vote for a politician who is critical of Israel and 75% of Republicans said they would be less likely to vote for an anti-Israel candidate.

These data tell us two important things. Today Democratic candidates will gain nothing and may lose significant support if they support Israel.

In contrast, a Republican who opposes Israel will have a hard time getting elected, much less winning a primary.

Partisan sensibilities aren’t the only reason that Israel is will be better off if a Republican wins in November. There is also the issue of policy continuity.

Even though neither Clinton nor Sanders share Obama’s anti-Israel passion, their default position will be to maintain his policies. Traditionally, when an outgoing president is replaced by a successor from his own party, many of his foreign policy advisers stay on to serve his successor.

Moreover, if American voters elect a Democrat to succeed Obama, their decision will rightly be viewed as a vote of confidence in his policies.

Obama has radicalized the Democratic Party in his seven years in office. When Obama was inaugurated, the Blue Dog caucus of conservative Democratic members of the House of Representatives had 54 members. Today only 14 remain.

Obama’s Democratic Party is not Bill Clinton’s party.

A party that isn’t forced to pay a price for its policies isn’t likely to change them. If the Democrats are not defeated in the run for the White House in November, their party will not reassess its shift to radicalism and reconsider its increasingly hostile stance on Israel.

That then brings us to the state of the presidential race following the Iowa caucuses and ahead of next Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire. The Iowa caucuses showed a significant gap in enthusiasm among partisan voters. Participation rates in the Republican caucuses were unprecedented.

Cruz shattered the record for vote getting in the state that saw participation rates up 30% from 2012. On the Democratic side, participation rates were below the 2008 level.

On the Republican side, the three top candidates – Cruz, businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio – are all backed by committed, fervent supporters. On the Democratic side, Clinton’s supporters are reportedly diffident about her. And while Sanders enjoys enthusiastic support from voters under 45, he can’t seem to convince people who actually know what socialism is to support him.

If Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, on the face of it, it is difficult to see his path to victory in the general election. Whereas Obama was elected by hiding his radical positions, Sanders is running openly as a socialist and attacks Obama from the Left. Whether America is a center-right or center-left country, the undisputed truth is that it is a centrist country.

As for Clinton, the likelihood grows by the day that by the general election, her inability to inspire her base will be the least of her problems.

The FBI’s ongoing probe of her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state is devastating her chances of getting elected.

The State Department’s revelation last week that 22 of Clinton’s emails were too classified to be released, even with parts blacked out, makes it impossible to dismiss the prospect that she will be indicted for serious felony offenses. Yet, as Jonah Goldberg argued Wednesday in National Review, with her narrow victory in Iowa, Clinton blocked the opening for a less damaged candidate – like Vice President Joe Biden or former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg – to step into the race.

In other words, the Republican nominee will have an energized base and will face either a legally challenged or openly socialist Democratic opponent.

According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, before Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, he asked the FBI for its opinion of the mosque. FBI investigators informed Obama of the mosque’s ties to terrorism. They urged him not to confer it with the legitimacy that comes with a presidential visit.

Obama ignored the FBI’s advice.

The next 11 months will be miserable for Israel.

But we should take heart. By all accounts, next year will be better. And judging by the way the presidential race is shaping up, next year may be a much, much better year.

Obama’s Mosque Speech: Missing a ‘Berlin Wall Moment’

February 4, 2016

Obama’s Mosque Speech: Missing a ‘Berlin Wall Moment’ Clarion ProjectRyan Mauro, February 4, 2016

(Please see also, The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen For His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties. — DM)

Obama-mosque-visit-640Screenshot during Barack Obama’s mosque speech in Baltimore on Feb 3.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his first speech from a mosque on February 3. He pushed the Muslim-American community to lead the Muslim world into a better future, but he missed a “tear down this wall” moment by speaking at a mosque with a radical history instead of giving a lift to Muslim reformists who confront Islamism.

Here are three hits and three misses from Obama’s speech in alternating order:

Hit: Using quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, Obama simultaneously countered Islamist preaching that Muslims cannot reconcile their faith identity with American patriotism. This is also a strong rebuttal to those that wish to exempt Muslims from constitutional protections simply for their choice of faith. He said:

Back then, Muslims were often called Mahometans.  And Thomas Jefferson explained that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom he wrote was designed to protect all faiths — and I’m quoting Thomas Jefferson now — “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan.”  (Applause.)

…Benjamin Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”  (Applause.)

Miss: He implied that Muslim terrorists and extremists purposely “twist” Islamic verses to suit their agendas, as if groups like ISIS do not actually believe in the Islam they practice and impose. He said:

“Right now, there is an organized extremist element that draws selectively from Islamic texts, twists them in an attempt to justify their killing and their terror. Part of what’s happened in the Middle East and North Africa and other places where we see sectarian violence is religion being a tool for another agenda—for power, for control.”

By denying the Islamist ideological root of these threats, President Obama removes the obligation from the Muslim world to directly address, debunk and reform Islamic interpretations that are dangerous and strongly-held. He disarms the chief argument of the best Muslim allies, like those in the Muslim Reform Movement.

Hit: Pressuring Muslim leaders to confront anti-Western propaganda, anti-Semitism in Europe and persecution of Christians.

Obama did not call on Muslim leaders to refute Islamism overall but he did directly tell them that they have an obligation to confront anti-Western views that present the U.S. and its allies as an enemy of their faith.  He said:

“Muslim political leaders have to push back on the lie that the West oppresses Muslims, and against conspiracy theories that says America is the cause of every ill in the Middle East. Now, that doesn’t mean Muslim Americans aren’t free to criticize American-U.S. foreign policy. That’s part of being an American.”

“…The fact is, there are Christians who are targeted now in the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews who’ve lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault—sometimes by Muslims.”

The Islamists’ constant depiction of the U.S. and its allies as evil, including reflexive bashing of the integrity of law enforcement, acts as a trigger for radicals to become violent jihadists. We need genuinely democratic Muslims around the world to hold Islamist propagandists accountable for their incitements.

Miss: The choice of the Islamic Society of Baltimore as a venue, which he described as “an all-American story.”

The ideological war against Islamism is somewhat like a political campaign. The Muslim reformers need positive press, resources and a platform. By praising the Islamic Society of Baltimore, the president gave a helping hand to the Islamist side of the competition.

The Islamic Society of Baltimore, as documented in this impressiveexpose by the Investigative Project on Terrorism , has a long history of promoting Islamist extremism including the very same views Obama pushed Muslim leaders to confront.

A Muslim Brotherhood leader from Sudan named Mohammed Adam El-Sheikh served as the imam for a total of 15 years from 1983 to 1989 and 1994 to 2003. He was instrumental in setting up the U.S. branch of the Brotherhood. He also led the radical Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, was regional director for an al-Qaeda-linked charity and said in 2004 suicide bombings are justifiable if authorized by afatwa and if it’s in a situation where “Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means.”

El-Sheikh signed a letter condemning ISIS, but the letter endorsed the foundational doctrines of ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.

A screenshot from 2000 shows the mosque’s chosen resources for Muslims were radicals, including known supporters of terrorism like Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, Bilal Philips and Jamal Badawi.

Even after El-Sheikh left, the mosque has not been a model for countering Islamist extremism. Its imam preaches against“progressive groups within Muslims” like those that tolerate homosexuals. It has radicals as guest speakers, such as Zaid Shakir in 2008.

The Obama Administration did a better job in selecting the Muslim participants in the preceding roundtable with Obama, but still included Imam Khalid Latif, who was a board member of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in 2008. The FBI’s official policy prohibits using CAIR as a liaison partner because of evidence linking it to Hamas. The New York chapter has been a particularly radical chapter of CAIR.

Hit: Advising Muslims to respond to negativity by rejecting extremist views and maintaining patriotism.

After ISIS’ attacks in Paris, Clarion Project wrote here and explained on Fox News how the group’s supporters were salivating at the prospect of reprisals against innocent Muslims. ISIS and other jihadists have a separatist view and want Muslims to see democracy as a failed concept for them and to accept Islamism as the alternative.

Obama urged Muslims not to respond to anti-Muslim sentiment by validating these views, decreasing their patriotism or accepting propaganda legitimizing hostility towards the West. He said:

“You’re not Muslim or American. You’re Muslim and American. (Applause). Don’t grow cynical. Don’t respond to ignorance by embracing a worldview that suggests you must choose between your faith and your patriotism. Don’t believe that you have to choose between your best impulses and somewhat embrace a worldview that pits us against each other—or, even worse, glorifies violence.”

Miss: Failing to endorse or at least include the best Muslim allies for this cause, even if they are less resourced and well known.

Imagine what would have happened if Obama gave global coverage to the declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement, putting them on at least equal footing with the Islamists. Imagine the shiver down the spine of the Islamists who have defamed them essentially as “apostates,” all the while touting their own professed inclusiveness and moderation.

Imagine if Obama used the microphone of the White House to form a common thread between Muslim activists against Islamism everywhere: From Malala Yousefzai to the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam who cursed off Islamists promoting separatism in Europe; from the Muslims of the Green Movement who protested against the Iranian regime in 2009 to the Muslims who demonstrated and defeated the Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia; from the Muslims in Libya, who asked for U.S. help in their fight against Islamist militias and held pro-American rallies after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, to the Syrian protestors who greeted the American ambassador with cheers, roses and olive branches.

Just outside the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Muslim women protested the mosque for its gender separation and inequality. Asra Nomani wrote a powerful op-ed about Obama’s choice of venue. She pointed out how photos from 2010 showed the “second-class conditions women endure in spaces akin to a ‘penalty box.'”

Imagine what a quick photo-op with the Muslim women would have caused. Think of the attention to their cause and productive dialogue that it would have spurred simply due to a choice by the Obama Administration to be inclusive of Muslim reformers and their progressive agenda.

Watch President Barack Obama’s full speech at the Islamic Society of Baltimore:

The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen For His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties

January 31, 2016

The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen For His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties, Daily Caller, Chuck Ross, January 30, 2016

The Baltimore mosque President Obama has chosen as the first U.S.-based mosque to visit during his presidency has deep ties to extremist elements, including to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The White House announced on Saturday that Obama will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) on Wednesday. He has visited several mosques overseas as president but has resisted visiting one in the homeland. The purpose of the trip, according to the White House, is to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”

But ISB is a curious choice for Obama’s first domestic visit.

The mosque is a member of a network of mosques controlled by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim civil rights group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror case. Several executives with that organization were convicted of sending money to aid the terrorist group Hamas.

An imam who served at ISB for a total of 15 years has also been a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood network and has worked for an Islamic relief group that was designated as a terrorist organization by the Treasury Department in 2004.

Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh, who served two stints as ISB’s imam, from 1983 to 1989 and from 1994 to 2003, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan in the 1970s. He also co-founded the Muslim American Society, a Falls Church, Va.-based group that is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

While in Baltimore, el-Sheikh served as a regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency. That group’s parent organization is the Islamic African Relief Agency, which the Treasury Department says provided funds to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

After leaving Baltimore, el-Sheikh served as imam at the infamous Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. That mosque has a lengthy roster of known terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. Its imam during much of the 1990s was Mohammed al-Hanooti. He was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people.

Dar al-Hijrah came under the control of Anwar al-Awlaki in 2001. He’s the American al-Qaeda recruiter who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army major who killed 13 people at Fort Hood in Nov. 2009, is said to have attended the Virginia mosque when al-Awlaki served there. The pair also reportedly exchanged emails. Two of the 9/11 hijackers also attended Dar al-Hijrah during al-Awlaki’s tenure.

El-Sheikh took over at Dar al-Hijrah in Aug. 2003, a little over a year after al-Awlaki left. While there he defended Palestianian suicide bombings against Israel.

“If certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that, then it becomes acceptable as an exceptional rule, but should not be taken as a principle,” he said in 2004, according to a Washington Post article at the time.

As The Post reported Saturday, ISB’s website states that it seeks “to be the anchor of a growing Muslim community with diverse backgrounds, democratically governed, relating to one another with inclusiveness and tolerance, and interacting with neighbors in an Islamic exemplary manner.”

But that desire for tolerance — which President Obama frequently touts as well — does not appear to be a virtue shared by ISB’s resident scholar, Yaseen Shaikh.

A 2013 Youtube video shows Shaikh, who previously served as imam at a mosque in Plano, Tex., speaking out forcefully against homosexuality in Islam.

During an hour long diatribe, Shaikh called homosexuality a psychological disorder that has no place in Islam or society. He also lamented that gay rights groups have “hijacked” political discourse.

“This whole subject of homosexuality in the public sphere…is no longer a religious issue, unfortunately, as much as we want to use the religious card and try to defeat this, now it’s become a politicized issue,” Shaikh says in the video.

“Politicians are highly influenced by people who back them, and we find that these politicians who are calling for gay rights and marriage and supporting gay rights are lobbied and campaigned by gay activists, by gay groups. And they are throwing money at it left and right to gain some acceptance in society, to be considered normal people, to be treated normally.”

Obama is one such politician who has supported gay rights.

“We have to counter the efforts that are taking place elsewhere,” Sheikh says in the video, advising that “if our children are taught that [homosexuality is] okay, we have to teach them it’s not okay.”

Islam’s Sexual Abuses in Sweden and the “Cultural Challenge”

January 22, 2016

Islam’s Sexual Abuses in Sweden and the “Cultural Challenge” Front Page MagazineNima Gholam Ali Pour, January 22, 2016

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It’s really no big secret how the majority of women are treated in the Middle East and in most of the Muslim world. It is also no big secret what the content of the Qur’an and Sunnah says about women and how these writings are interpreted today by a large portion of the Muslim world. At best, women are treated as second class citizens and as property.

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The sexual abuse incidents in Europe have exposed the logical flaws in the Swedish debate about immigration and they also show how unprepared Sweden and Europe are in facing the challenges that have arisen because of the migration crisis.

After women were assaulted by “asylum seekers” in several places in Europe, it emerged that it also had happened in Sweden. However, in Sweden this had happened in August 2015 at the “We are Sthlm”  festival where about 150 girls had been victims of sexual abuse by “refugee youths” from Afghanistan.

The reason that this August 2015 incident was not reported until January 2016, was because one of Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, and the Swedish police, who had access to the information, did not report these incidents to the public.

Dagens Nyheter is known as a newspaper that romanticizes immigration and multiculturalism but the actions of the police shocked many in Sweden, because the police are one of the institutions in Sweden that many Swedes have great confidence in. The explanation that the police chief Peter Ågren gave for not reporting the sexual abuses in August 2015 was:

“This is a sore point, sometimes, we do not dare to say how things really are because we believe it will play into the hands of the Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats). We have to take responsibility for this within the police.”

The fact that a Swedish police chief was making political considerations came as a shock to a country that never had to think about what political views the police have. In Sweden, the general view is that police chiefs who let their political views affect their job are found in other countries, mostly in dictatorships, and not in Sweden. That the police chief wants to disfavor the third largest party in the Swedish parliament just makes the situation even more uncomfortable. It must also be said that Sweden’s national police commissioner, since 2015, Dan Eliasson, holds openly hostile views against the fastest rising party in Sweden. One of the famous tweets of the national police commissioner is that he wants to “vomit” over the party-leader of the Sweden Democrats.

At the same time, the Swedish police’s work with newly arrived migrants is completely classified. It is impossible for Swedes to know about the security situation in the homes where “asylum seekers” are staying, or how many of the newly arrived migrants have broken the law.

But this whole situation also reveals much about the important role of culture in the immigration issue. The migration crisis has not only created huge economic costs. Large parts of Sweden and Europe have learned in a furious pace that all migrants coming into Europe have not become feminists or liberals when they crossed the border. Many migrants have brought their cultural framework which includes a clear “non-European” view of women.

It’s really no big secret how the majority of women are treated in the Middle East and in most of the Muslim world. It is also no big secret what the content of the Qur’an and Sunnah says about women and how these writings are interpreted today by a large portion of the Muslim world. At best, women are treated as second class citizens and as property.

During 2015, 70 percent of the 162,877 asylum seekers in Sweden came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, 64 percent of the Syrians, 82 percent of the Afghans and 73 percent of the Iraqis were men. The ordinary Muslim “refugee” to Sweden is a young man, so young Muslim men’s views against women in the Muslim world becomes relevant.

The Muslim countries’ legislation can be easily found on the Internet. There are thousands of books on what role women have in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq and the oppression they are enduring every day. Despite this, many in Sweden are surprised that this kind of sexual abuse has occurred. It is as if the Left in Sweden lacks any knowledge of how other cultures view women in other parts of the world.

One would hope that the fact that so many women have been attacked in Europe by young male asylum seekers would make the Swedish Left wake up. After the sexual abuses in Cologne Kerstin Weigl, the columnist for Sweden’s largest newspaper Aftonbladet, wrote:

“All men know that it is wrong to assault women. Yet it happens. It is done in different ways, based on different conceptions of what is accepted, what a man can allow himself, to get away with. But this is everyday life. And in at least me there is a reflex to avoid drunk Swedish men in group. The crucial difference is that Swedish women know that they can notify the police and be taken seriously.”

Two days after her column, where her message was that Swedish girls will “be taken seriously” by Swedish police, it emerged that the police had covered up sexual abuse against girls because the perpetrators were Muslim “asylum seekers”. The Swedish Left’s response to sexual abuse committed by “asylum seekers” has been to portray all Swedish men as rapists in to get away from the fact that those who were behind the latest sexual abuses have been “asylum seekers”. But it is an assertion that feels strange to the Swedish people, who have never seen similar sexual abuses like those committed by the newly arrived “asylum seekers”.

In addition to the Swedish Left’s lack of understanding that all the migrants who come to Sweden will not become feminists at the border, they have also completely missed the power relationships between cultures. 1.6 billion people are part of the Islamic cultural sphere. Sweden has approximately 9.5 million inhabitants. If someone comes to Sweden from a part of the Muslim world, and ends up in a situation where he/she has to choose between Islam and Sweden, the person will usually choose Islam, because Islam is the stronger party. What the Left in Sweden has missed is that the values of 1.6 billion people ends up being stronger than the values of 9.5 million Swedes.

As Sweden does not have a policy of assimilation and has not had any such policy since 1975, there are not many immigrants that are assimilated in the Swedish society and power relations between the Islamic world and Sweden makes it problematic for Muslims to voluntarily embrace the Swedish culture.

It is not only Swedish women who will face a “cultural challenge” in the coming years that will make their lives more frightening and insecure. Women and children who have immigrated to Sweden and live in accommodations for “asylum seekers” live risky and precarious lives as well. Despite the fact that the Swedish police does not report about the security situation in the accommodations of “asylum seekers”, there has been reports about rape attempts in these accommodations, in Swedish media.

The fact is that if you come into Europe and then migrate through safe countries all the way to Sweden, then you are not really a refugee. A refugee seeks refuge at the first safe country. Having thousands of frustrated young men with a medieval attitude towards women in a country where women have a liberal way of life creates the conditions for a cultural confrontation. We have already seen some of the consequences of such a cultural confrontation in the sexual abuses that occurred in different cities in Europe.

Sweden and Europe will learn that even if democracy, freedom, equality between women and men and human rights are things that are respected in Europe, there are cultural discourses in which these things are not respected. Sweden and Europe will learn in the near future, the hard way, why women do not go out alone on the streets of Kabul.

The difficulties that Europe will face is a consequence of ignorance and arrogance disguised as ideology. There has been an establishment that has had an illusion that people belonging to an expansionist civilization like Islam will come to Europe and then when they’re here, they’ll just embrace European values. The establishment in Europe has believed that young men who have been brought up with a medieval view towards women will suddenly start respecting women. This establishment is now colliding with reality and thus finds itself in an ideological crisis.

The multicultural ideology that gives influence to non-European cultures in European nations is under current circumstances a threat to Europe and the European nations’ identities and freedoms.

Europe and Sweden are compelled to embrace an ideology, because of the massive migration that has taken place, where the society has to stand up and support the national culture and let this culture continue to steer the development of society while having a workable policy of assimilation without empty phrases and political slogans, that can be implemented.

The sexual abuses, carried out by “asylum seekers”, in European cities are a part of a larger crisis that right now is about how women should dress, and how and where women should move, but in the long term it will be about issues that concern the entire European society. If European nations do not firmly confront this Islamic “cultural challenge,” then they will pay a much higher and painful price than they have done so far.

The Problem with Islam Is Aggressive Scripture, Not Aggressive ‘Traditionalism’

January 17, 2016

The Problem with Islam Is Aggressive Scripture, Not Aggressive ‘Traditionalism’ National Review, Andrew C. McCarthy via The Counter Jihad Report, January 16, 2016

(Islamic tradition is based on Islamic scripture, which Muslims generally rely on religious authorities to interpret for them. To rely on one’s own lay scriptural interpretations is considered a great sin. Unless Islamic religious authorities are moved to give preference to early verses from the Qu’ran — which were abrogated by later verses — divorcing Islamic tradition from unabrogated scriptures will likely be very difficult if not impossible. — DM)

quranReading the Koran at a mosque in Bahrain. (Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty)

On the Corner this week, the eminent Jim Talent touted (with some reservations) an essay about “moderate Islam” by Cheryl Bernard. A Rand Institute researcher, she is also a novelist, a defender of war-ravaged cultures, and the wife of Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to post-Taliban (or is it pre-Taliban?) Afghanistan. With due respect to Dr. Bernard, who does much heroic work, I believe the essay highlights what is wrong with Western academic analysis of Islam.

The problem comes into focus in the very title of Senator Talent’s post, “Aggressive Traditionalism.” That is the attribute of Islamic societies that Dr. Bernard blames for the frustration of her high hopes for “moderate Islam.” In truth, however, the challenge Islam poses for moderation is not its tradition; it is Islamic doctrine — the scriptural support for traditional sharia and Islamic supremacist ideology.

I give Bernard credit. She is the unusual strategist who is willing to admit failure — in this instance, of the strategy of promoting “moderate Islam” as the antidote to “radical Islam.” But even this concession goes off the rails: She maintains that the strategy was somehow “basically sensible” despite being “off track in two critical ways.” The real problem, though, is not the two errors she identifies but the fatal flaw she fails to address: The happenstance that there are many moderate Muslims in the world does not imply the existence of a coherent “moderate Islam.” Try as she might, Bernard cannot surmount this doctrinal hurdle by blithely ignoring the centrality of doctrine to a belief system — without it, there is nothing to believe.

But let’s start with the two critical problems she does cite. The first is the matter of defining what a “moderate” is. Bernard concedes that she and other thinkers adopted a definition that was “too simplistic” — meaning, too broad. It made “violence and terrorism” the litmus test for “moderation.” This enabled what she labels “aggressive traditionalists” to masquerade as moderates.

Who are the “aggressive traditionalists”? Muslims who, though nonviolent themselves, “harbor attitudes of hostility and alienation” against non-Muslims. The failure to account for the challenge that “aggressive traditionalism” poses for moderation led to the second flaw Bernard admits: the undermining of “integration” — a reference to Muslim assimilation (or the lack thereof) in the West.

This is fine as far as it goes. In fact, Bernard is quite correct about the main challenge posed by hostile, alienated, integration-resistant Muslims: Even if they are personally nonviolent, the communities they create become “the breeding ground for extremism and the safe harbor for extremists.”

But “extremism” about what? This is the salient question, and it is one Bernard studiously ducks. The error is implicit from the very start of her essay (my italics):

Over the past decade, the prevailing thinking has been that radical Islam is most effectively countered by moderate Islam. The goal was to find religious leaders and scholars and community ‘influencers’ — to use the lingo of the counter-radicalization specialists — who could explain to their followers and to any misguided young people that Islam is a religion of peace, that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment,and that tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail.

Plainly, the “prevailing thinking” casually assumes “facts” not only unproven but highly dubious. Bernard takes it as a given not only that there is an easily identifiable “moderate Islam,” but also that this . . . what? . . . doctrine? . . . attitude? . . . is the most effective counter to “radical Islam.”

But what is moderate Islam? She doesn’t say. She maintains that there are countless moderate Muslims who, by her telling, embrace “Western values, modern life and integration.” In fact, she assumes there are so many such Muslims that they constitute the “mainstream” of Islam. Yet, that proposition is not necessarily true even in the West, where Muslims are a minority who might be expected to assimilate into the dominant, non-Muslim culture; and it most certainly is not true in the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East.

Even worse is Bernard’s assertion — uncritical, and without a hint that there may be a counter-case — “that Islam is a religion of peace, [and] that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment.”

As is the wont of Islam’s Western apologists, Bernard is attempting to shield from examination what most needs examining. Her reliance on the potential of “moderate Islam” to quell “radical Islam” is entirely premised on the conceit that Islam is, in fact, moderate and peaceful. Her assumption that the vast majority of Muslims can be won over (indeed, have already been won over, she seems to say) to Western values is premised on the conceit that those values are universal and, hence, locatable in the core of Islam — such that “tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail” because Islam is all for them.

Islam, however, is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of conquest that was spread by the sword. Moreover, it is not only untrue that jihadrefers “mainly” to the individual’s internal struggle to live morally; it is also untrue that the Islamic ideal of the moral life is indistinguishable from the Western conception.

To be clear, this is not to say that Islam could not conceivably become peaceful. Nor is it to say that jihad could not be reinterpreted such that a decisive majority of Muslims would accept that its actual primary meaning — namely, holy war to establish Islam’s dominance — has been superseded by the quest for personal betterment. To pull that off, though, will require a huge fight. It cannot be done by inhabiting an alternative universe where it has already been done.

That fight would be over doctrine, the stark omission in Bernard’s analysis. I do not think the omission is an oversight. Note her labeling of faux moderates as “aggressive traditionalists.” Citing “tradition” implies that the backwardness and anti-Western hostility she detects, to her great dismay, is a function of cultural inhibitions. But what she never tells you, and hopes you’ll never ask, is where Islamic culture and traditions come from.

Alas, they are direct consequences of Islamic scripture and sharia, the law derived from scripture. She can’t go there. She wants Islam to be moderate, but its scriptures won’t cooperate. She must rely on tradition and culture because traditions and cultures can and do evolve. Scripture, by contrast, does not — not in Islam as taught by over a millennium’s worth of scholars and accepted by untold millions of Muslims. Mainstream Islam holds that scripture is immutable. The Koran, the center of Islamic life, is deemed the “uncreated word of Allah,” eternal. (See, e.g., Sura 6:115: “The Word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and justice: None can change His Words: For He is the one Who heareth and knoweth all.”)

Bernard must blame aggressive traditionalism because if the problem is aggressive doctrine rooted in aggressive scripture, then it’s not changing any time soon — or maybe ever. Moreover, she is not in a position to challenge doctrine and scripture without deeply offending the believers to whom she is appealing. They are taught that any departure from centuries-old scholarly consensus is blasphemy.

The story Dr. Bernard tells of Islamic intransigence in her own Northern Virginia neighborhood is instructive. A Muslim-American friend of hers is a social worker who finds jobs for Muslim immigrants. He lands openings for a group of Somali women in a hospital laundry service; but the women first tell him they must check with their imam, then they turn down the jobs because they will not be allowed to wear their hijabs. The social worker and Bernard are exasperated: Why don’t the women and their adviser grasp that because hijabs could get caught in the machinery and cause injury, there is a “pragmatic reason” for departing from the traditional Islamic norm?

Notice: Bernard never considers, or at least never acknowledges, that there is doctrinal support for every decision the Somalis make: The scriptures instruct Muslims to consult authorities knowledgeable in sharia before embarking on a questionable course of conduct; they instruct Muslim women to wear the veil (particularly in any setting where they will be exposed to men who are not their husbands or close relatives). And while pragmatism suggests to the rational Dr. Bernard and her moderate, Westernized social-worker friend an obvious exception to Islam’s usual clothing rule, mainstream Islam in the Middle East and Somalia admonishes that Western reliance on reason and pragmatism is a form of corruption, a pretext for ignoring religious duty.

Doctrine is the answer to virtually every immoderate instance of aggressive “traditionalism” Bernard complains about: the separation of men from women in the mosque, and the decidedly poorer accommodations (“often unacceptable and even insulting,” as Bernard describes them) to which women are consigned; the separation of the sexes in work and social settings; the instructions not to trust or befriend “unbelievers”; the admonitions to resist adopting Western habits and developing loyalty to Western institutions. There is scriptural support for every one of these injunctions.

From the fact that she has moderate, “modernized” Muslim friends, who do not comport themselves in such “traditional” fashion, Bernard extravagantly deduces that tradition is the problem. She never comes close to grappling with doctrine — i.e., the thing that most devout Muslims believe is what makes them Muslims. The closest she comes is the fleeting observation that her moderate social-worker friend “is a scholar [presumably of Islam] and a professor who emigrated from a conservative Muslim country.” The obvious suggestion is that if he is not troubled by the flouting of traditional Islamic mores, surely there must not be any credible scriptural objection. But if it is relevant that her friend is a scholar, is it not also relevant that there are thousands of other scholars — scholars who actually do Islamic jurisprudence rather than social work for a living — who would opine that sharia requires these traditional behaviors and that it is the social worker who is out of touch?

When Dr. Bernard’s husband, Ambassador Khalilzad, served in Kabul, he midwifed the new Afghan constitution that purported to safeguard Western notions of liberty while simultaneously installing Islam as the state religion and sharia as fundamental law. In short order, Afghanistan put former Muslims who had publicly renounced Islam on capital trial for apostasy. Dr. Khalilzad, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other Western officials and intellectuals pronounced themselves duly shocked and appalled — notwithstanding that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Islamic scripture knows that it calls for public apostates to be killed.

To great American embarrassment, the apostates had to be whisked out of the country lest the incompatibility of civil rights and sharia become even more painfully apparent. It is worth acknowledging, however, that what chased them out of Afghanistan was not aggressive traditionalism. It was Islamic doctrine, which simply is not moderate. Looked at doctrinally, the challenge for “moderate Islam” is . . . Islam.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.