Posted tagged ‘Islamic culture’

Hugh Fitzgerald: Those Danish Right-Wing “Racists,” Their “Harsh” Demands and “Hate” Speech

September 8, 2016

Hugh Fitzgerald: Those Danish Right-Wing “Racists,” Their “Harsh” Demands and “Hate” Speech, Jihad Watch


The other day the New York Times published a story about how Danes are souring on Muslim immigrants, and how some feel guilty about it:

Johnny Christensen, a stout and silver-whiskered retired bank employee, always thought of himself as sympathetic to people fleeing war and welcoming to immigrants. But after more than 36,000 mostly Muslim asylum seekers poured into Denmark over the past two years, Mr. Christensen, 65, said, “I’ve become a racist.”

He believes these new migrants are draining Denmark’s cherished social-welfare system but failing to adapt to its customs. “Just kick them out,” he said, unleashing a mighty kick at an imaginary target on a suburban sidewalk. “These Muslims want to keep their own culture, but we have our own rules here and everyone must follow them.”

When Christensen says “I’ve become a racist,” he has internalized the false charge made by Muslims, and their willing collaborators, that those who are sensibly anxious about Islam are “racists.” Since that scare-word automatically consigns one to the outer darkness, when even perfectly intelligent people with perfectly reasonable grievances turn that word on themselves, it is clear that something is amiss. Mr. Christensen needs to be unapologetic for his views, and he should start by watching his language: Islam is not a race, antipathy to Muslims does not constitute “racism.” Leave that word alone.

If Mr. Christensen wishes to feel guilty, he ought to feel guilty only about what future generations of Danes will inherit: a country which, because of the numbers of Muslims allowed in during Mr. Christensen’s time, will be far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for native Danes than it might otherwise have been.

As the Times story notes, “Denmark, a small and orderly nation with a progressive self-image, is built on a social covenant: In return for some of the world’s highest wages and benefits, people are expected to work hard and pay into the system. Newcomers must quickly learn Danish — and adapt to norms like keeping tidy gardens and riding bicycles.”

But just look at how the Times reporter then slants the story at every point: “The center-right government has backed harsh measures targeting migrants, hate speech has spiked, and the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party is now the second largest in Parliament.”

“Harsh measures targeting migrants,” “hate speech has spiked,” “anti-immigrant party.” It all sounds so terrible, until you ask a few questions.

What “harsh measures” are these? Apparently the “harshest” measure, passed in January, empowers the Danish authorities to confiscate valuables from new arrivals, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to offset the cost of settling them. It has seldom been enforced, and does not apply to the first $1,500 a migrant possesses.

Why exactly is this considered “harsh”? Should migrants not be expected to contribute, when they are capable of doing so? After all, they arrived uninvited, are immediately the recipients of a cornucopia of expensive benefits, and these benefits now flowing to them were paid for by generations of Danish taxpayers, who thought they were providing for poorer members of their own, that is Danish, society.

Is it “harsh” to require immigrants to pass exams in Danish? At present, only 72%, or a little more than 2/3, manage to learn even elementary Danish. Is it “harsh” to make immigrants take a citizenship exam, requiring them have studied the laws and mores of the Danes, given that they have the great good fortune to have been admitted to this peaceful pleasant land? Is it wrong to require immigrants to study the history of Denmark, since they have decided they’ve come to Denmark to stay? If the goal is to integrate these foreigners, the free courses and tests required will only further that goal.

And why are these putatively “harsh” measures described as “targeting immigrants,” rather than, in less loaded words, described simply as “applying to immigrants”? Since these are measures to further the successful integration of immigrants, of course they apply only to — but do not “target,” which has a distinctly menacing ring — immigrants. As to the casual assertion that “hate speech has spiked,” where is the evidence for this? Since not a single example of such “hate speech” appears in the entire Times piece, the reader must simply take it on faith that Danes – again labelled as “right-wing” – have been guilty of “hate speech.”

Let’s try to figure out what the reporter had in mind as conceivable “hate speech.” Suppose a member of the Danish People’s Party points out that Muslim Somalis in Denmark commit ten times as many crimes per capita as native Danes. That is a statement of fact, not “hate speech.” Or suppose a member of the Danish People’s Party notes that Muslim immigrants receive a much larger benefits package, and for a longer period, given their high unemployment, as compared to what non-Muslim immigrants and native Danes receive. Would that be “hate speech,” or simply a statement of fact?

“There is new tension between Danes still opening their arms and a resurgent right wing that seeks to ban all Muslims and shut Denmark off from Europe.”

So the reporter sees a Morality Play with two kinds of Danes: the Good Danes, “still opening their arms,” and the Bad Danes, “a resurgent right wing that seeks to ban all Muslims.” But even the Good Danes did not invite the Muslims in, and never quite were “opening their arms.” And even if the Bad Danes want to end Muslim immigration, none have as yet called for removing all of the Muslims already in Denmark. Not quite a Morality Play.

The Times reporter continues:

There is tension, too, over whether the backlash is really about a strain on Denmark’s generous public benefits or a rising terrorist threat — or whether a longstanding but latent racial hostility is being unearthed.

First, what does it mean to write “there is tension” over whether the “backlash” is about “a strain on generous public benefits” OR “a rising terrorist threat”? “Tension” over trying to apportion blame for the anxiety Muslims have caused? Why can’t there be anxiety among Danes about both the cost to their welfare system of Muslim migrants, and about the threat of Islamic terrorism to their very lives? Why can’t there be more than one reason for growing antipathy to Muslim migrants in Denmark?

And then there is that other proffered reason, which Muslims and their apologists find much to their liking: Could anxiety about the effect of Muslim migrants on Danish society reveal “a longstanding but latent racial hostility”? Just think, this “racial hostility” has been so longstanding but so very latent that no one noticed it, and strange to say, now that the Danes have revealed themselves as “racists,” their “racism” apparently doesn’t apply to all black people, for black African Christians in Denmark have rarely had any troubles, while, strange to say, even white Muslims (as from Syria) have engendered antipathy. So this hostility must have to do not with race but with Islam. The Danes are not revealing “racial hostility,” but well-grounded fears about Islam and the behavior of Muslims. Those who talk about a “latent racial hostility” in this famously tolerant country are deliberately trying to make the Danes feel guilty about their well-justified fears, and to deflect attention away from Islam

The Times reporter does concede that “perhaps the leading — and most substantive — concern is that the migrants are an economic drain. In 2014, 48 percent of immigrants from non-Western countries ages 16 to 64 were employed, compared with 74 percent of native Danes.” There then follows the sensible comments of immigration officials about the need to avoid “parallel societies,” and the story of one Muslim immigrant family’s success (but no similar stories about the many cases of immigrant unemployment and crime), that of an Iraqi engineer who allows his children to eat pork at school, and who with his family attends church to learn about Christianity. How typical do you think this Muslim immigrant family is?

This report from Denmark, with its loaded words – “right-wing,” “hate speech,” “targeting immigrants,” “harsh measures” – does not leave much room for thoughtful analysis of what is clearly a grave problem everywhere in Western Europe. That problem, let me repeat, is that Muslim migrants, in large numbers (one million arrived in Germany alone in 2015), have been moving into Europe, bringing Islam with them in their mental luggage, putting great strain on the welfare systems of every country in which they end up, and on the criminal justice systems because of their sky-high crime rate, and, given Muslim terrorist attacks in nearly a dozen Western countries, on the security services too.

Yet it is amazing that even now, after all the murder and mayhem that has been committed by Muslims, and not only those of ISIS who dutifully cite Islamic texts to justify their every act, people in Denmark are embarrassed to admit to an anxiety about Islam, and instead accuse themselves (“I’ve become a racist”) rather than ask what it is about the ideology of Islam that makes it uniquely difficult, perhaps even impossible, for Muslim migrants – always with a few remarkable exceptions — to integrate.

That is the question to be asked again and again: what explains the success of so many non-Muslim immigrants in managing to integrate into many different European countries, and the failure of so many Muslim immigrants to do so in those same countries? And why do the peoples of Western Europe allow themselves to feel so apologetic about their anxiety about, and antipathy toward, Islam? And when will we, the world’s Infidels, dare to study the texts that explain Muslim acts and attitudes, or shall we forever deny ourselves the right to engage in such study, that is, from doing the one thing that makes the most sense?

Sharia in Denmark – Part II

July 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Gangster Islam” in Europe

July 12, 2016

“Gangster Islam” in Europe, Gatestone Institute via YouTube, July 12, 2016

The blurb beneath the video states,

“Gangster Islam,” a crime wave packing prisons and overtaking Europe, is a problem the mainstream media will not report. Ordinary Europeans — for fear of being called “racist” or even being imprisoned for “hate speech” — are afraid even to talk about it.

Anger, Honor and Freedom: What European Muslims’ Attack On Speech Is Really About

June 30, 2016

Anger, Honor and Freedom: What European Muslims’ Attack On Speech Is Really About, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, June 30, 2016


Indeed, much of the Muslim violence in Europe is about exactly this: intimidating non-Muslims into a fearful capitulation, where words like “I hate Muslims” and drawings of Mohammed become extinct because the Muslim communities insist that it be so. It is about forcing Westerners to rearrange their lives, their culture, to accommodate the needs and values and culture of Islam. It is about control, and the power over freedom. And it is about creating a culture in which honor is injured by words and restored through violence and terror.


“Clash of civilizations,” some say. Others call it the “failure of multiculturalism.” Either way, the cultural conflicts between some Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide continue to play out as Western countries struggle to reconcile their own cultures with the demands of a growing Muslim population.

But herein lies the problem: in many ways, the two cultures are ultimately irreconcilable. There is no middle ground. And hence, the conflicts and the tugs-of-war continue.

Over the past two months, the events surrounding controversial Dutch columnist Ebru Umar have encapsulated that “clash” at its core, a salient metaphor for the tensions, particularly in Europe, between the West’s Muslim populations and its own. More, they illuminate the enormity of the problems we still face.

Umar is no stranger to the spotlight, or to the wrath of Dutch Muslims who read her many columns, most of them published in the free newspaper, Metro. For years, the Dutch-born daughter of secular Turkish immigrants has raged against the failure of other Dutch-born children of immigrants, mostly Moroccan, to assimilate into the culture of their birth. She loudly condemns Dutch-Moroccan families for the shockingly high rates of criminality and violence among Dutch-Moroccan boys – as much as 22 times the rate of Dutch native youth – a phenomenon she ascribes to their Islamic upbringing and their parents’ refusal to allow their children to mingle among the Dutch.

But her critiques have earned her no converts. Instead, Dutch-Moroccan youth, whom she calls “Mocros,” have regularly taunted her, both online and in the street.

This past April, however, Umar added a new team of enemies to her portfolio: when, in response to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erodogan’s demand that a German satirist be prosecuted for insulting him on TV, Umar tweeted “f***erdogan,” Dutch Turks turned on her in fury. “How dare you insult our president!” cried these Dutch-born subjects of Holland’s King Willem-Alexander. And while Umar took a brief holiday on the Turkish coast, one such Dutch-Turk turned her in to the police. She was arrested at her vacation home in Kusadasi, and though released the following day, was forbidden to leave the country. The charge: Insulting the Turkish president. It took 17 days before discussions between Holland’s prime minister and Turkish authorities enabled her to return to the Netherlands.

But she could not return home. In her absence, Umar’s home had been burgled and vandalized, the word “whore” scrawled on a stairway wall. Death threats followed her both in Turkey and on her return. When it became clear she could not ever return to the apartment she had lived in for nearly 20 years, she announced on Twitter (Ebru Umar posts constantly on Twitter) that she would be moving out.

Meantime, in Metro and elsewhere, she continued her criticism of Moroccans and, as she herself notes, of Islam overall.

And so it was that on the day Ebru Umar moved out of her apartment in Amsterdam, a group of Dutch-Moroccans in their twenties came to see her off, taunting her with chants: Ebru has to mo-o-ve, nyah nyah.” Though furious, she ignored them – until one of them began to film her loading her belongings into her car. For Umar, being taunted by the very people whose threats had forced her from her home in the first place was bad enough: but this violation of what little privacy remained for her was more than she could take. She grabbed her iPhone and began filming them right back. “Go ahead,” she challenged. “Say it for the camera.”

Scuffles ensued, and soon one of the Moroccans had her iPhone in his hand. The others laughed. Then they ran away. Umar filed a police report and, still smarting, took to Twitter once again: “C**t Moroccans, I hate you,” she posted. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you and I hate your Muslim brothers and sisters, too. F**k you all.” (It is important to note that, however offensive, the expression “c**t Moroccans” is a common epithet in the Netherlands.)

But, hey – she was angry. Her phone had been snatched from her hand in a brutal, aggressive gesture that left her feeling violated and, vulnerable. She had just been forced to leave her home. She had endured prison, a criminal inquiry, and death threats, all at the hands of the same group on whom she now spewed her fury.

Her words may have been harsh or inappropriate, but they were words. She had not struck her tormenters as they filmed her. She did not call for their demise, or strap a bomb around her waist and visit the local mosques.

She took to Twitter and said: I hate you.

“But hate,” she tells me later in an e-mail, “is just an emotion.” And in a column penned more than two years ago, she observed, “Hate me till you’re purple, but keep your claws off me.”

Here is where Ebru Umar’s story becomes the story of the Western world. In response to her words (“I hate you. F*** you”), several Muslims – Moroccans and others – filed charges against her for hate speech. (Though ironically, “I hate you” does not legally qualify as “hate speech.”) Such words are an attack upon their honor, a humiliation: and if there is one thing experts on Arab and Muslim culture will agree on, it is the significance of humiliation and honor in governing their lives. For this, Dutch Moroccan youth threaten Umar on the streets, and have done so, she says, for years: after all, she insults them.


But in truth, it isn’t just the youth. The broader Muslim community stands by, silent: they do not condemn the youth who taunt her, who rip her telephone from her hands, or post things on the Internet like “We hate you, too – can you please kill yourself?” or “Oh, how I hope she ends up like Theo van Gogh.”

Theo van Gogh, also a controversial columnist, was shot and stabbed to death in 2014 by a radical Dutch-Moroccan Muslim.The commenter wishing her the same fate used the name “IzzedinAlQassam,” the founder of modern Palestinian jihad, and an icon of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

For people like this, it doesn’t matter that Umar – or van Gogh – inflicted no violence, any more than it mattered that the editors of Charlie Hebdo were not violent. It was the insult, the humiliation – to them, to Islam, to Mohammed – that mattered: and an insult, a humiliation, deserves a violent response.

Indeed, much of the Muslim violence in Europe is about exactly this: intimidating non-Muslims into a fearful capitulation, where words like “I hate Muslims” and drawings of Mohammed become extinct because the Muslim communities insist that it be so. It is about forcing Westerners to rearrange their lives, their culture, to accommodate the needs and values and culture of Islam. It is about control, and the power over freedom. And it is about creating a culture in which honor is injured by words and restored through violence and terror.

When Umar says “I hate you,” what she hates, really, isn’t the Moroccans who attacked her or their “Muslim brothers and sisters.” What she hates is this – this effort, this battle over honor and speech and freedom, and this clash between violence and expression, guns and conversation.

“I don’t want Muslims to leave,” she tells me, again by e-mail. “I want them to embrace the Enlightenment, Western society, the Netherlands.” And in turn, she calls on the Dutch to “set rules: no violence in any sense. And stop using culture or religion as an excuse for behavior.”

Ebru Umar’s words. More of us should listen.

Muslims in US Rebrand Polygamy as “Cultural Wives”

May 21, 2016

Muslims in US Rebrand Polygamy as “Cultural Wives” Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, May 21, 2016


I wrote a while back about the “race, religion, culture” shell game that Muslims play to extract every possible advantage.

What is Islam? The obvious dictionary definition answer is that it’s a religion, but legally speaking it actually enjoys all of the advantages of race, religion and culture with none of the disadvantages.

Islam is a religion when mandating that employers accommodate the hijab, but when it comes time to bring it into the schools, places that are legally hostile to religion, American students are taught about Islam, visit mosques and even wear burkas and recite Islamic prayers to learn about another culture. Criticism of Islam is denounced as racist even though the one thing that Islam clearly isn’t is a race.

Islamist organizations have figured out how lock in every advantage of race, religion and culture, while expeditiously shifting from one to the other to avoid any of the disadvantages.

Now they’re trying it out with polygamy. Suddenly second wives are not religious, they’re cultural. And you can’t criticize culture.

The federal government says a man considered by Somali immigrants as the most important Muslim cleric does not have the “good moral character” to remain a U.S. citizen.

The U.S. attorney’s office wants the citizenship granted to Mohamed Idris Ahmed in 2003 revoked. Prosecutors say he lied on his naturalization application by not mentioning that he had two wives and had traveled outside the United States.

Ahmed, 38, testified that he has a “legal” wife from a civil marriage living with their children in Kenya and a “religious or cultural” wife and family in Saudi Arabia. He said a U.S. consulate official in Saudi Arabia advised him to bring only the legal wife and children to the United States. Because of that, he believed he did not need to mention the religious marriage.

This distinction is purely imaginary. Polygamy is fully legal and approved in Saudi Arabia. There are no cultural or religious wives.

Ahmed is well-respected at the Islamic Association of North America, according to Executive Director Hassan Jama. The association is based in Minneapolis, Minneapolis, which has the largest population of Somali immigrants in the United States. Columbus is second.

I’m sure he is. Considering what ISNA is, that’s hardly a recommendation.

The organization grew out of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), which also was founded by Brotherhood members.

Federal prosecutors included ISNA on a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Hamas-financing prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). ISNA is listed among “individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.” The trial ended with guilty verdicts on 108 counts in November 2008.

Its conferences have featured rhetoric in support of terrorist groups and other radicalism. This continued at the 2009 convention, where panelists expressed extreme anti-Semitism and support for the terrorist group Hizballah.

Having ISNA come to your defense is like being accused of armed robbery and then having Charles Manson defend you by explaining that you’re one of his serial killers.

Sweden’s Holy War on Children’s Books

May 21, 2016

Sweden’s Holy War on Children’s Books, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, May 21, 2016

♦ Taken to its extremes, the urge to cleanse a culture of elements that do not live up to the politically correct orthodoxy currently in political vogue unsettlingly echoes the Taliban and ISIS credos of destroying everything that does not accord with their Quranic views. The desire “not to offend,” taken to its logical conclusion, is a totalitarian impulse, which threatens to destroy everything that disagrees with its doctrines. Crucially, who gets to decide what is offensive?

♦ The question arises: How much purging and expiation will be needed to render a country’s culture politically correct?

♦ “When we have days of carnivals and music the goal is that these days should be experienced as positive by everyone. The Swedish flag is not allowed as part of carnival dress. … Positive and bright feelings must be in focus. … School photos must obviously be free of national symbols.” — Swedish school in Halmstad.

♦ Rome covered up its classical nude statues for a visit from Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, in January 2016. A decade ago, who would have even imagined such sycophancy?

In 1966, one of Sweden’s most popular children’s writers, Jan Lööf, published Grandpa is a Pirate, an illustrated children’s book, which featured, among other characters, the wicked pirate Omar and the street peddler, Abdullah. The book has been a bestseller ever since, and has been translated into English (as My Grandpa is a Pirate), Spanish, French and other languages. Ten years ago, 100,000 copies of it were even distributed to the Swedish public with McDonald’s Happy Meals, as part of an initiative to support reading among children.

Ah, but those were the days of yesteryear! Now, fifty years later, the book is no longer tolerable. The now 76-year-old author told Swedish news outlets that his publisher recently said that unless he rewrites the book and changes the illustrations, it will be taken off the market. The publisher also threatened to withdraw another of his books unless it is redone: it features an illustration of a black jazz musician who sleeps with his sunglasses on.

Lööf’s publisher, the Swedish publishing giant Bonnier Carlsen, says that it has not yet made a final decision and that it only views the rewriting and re-illustrating of the books as “an option.” There is no doubt, however, that they consider the books in question extremely problematic.

“The books stereotype other cultures, something which is not strange, since all illustrations are created in a context, in their own time, and times change,” said Eva Dahlin, who heads Bonnier Carlsen’s literary department.

“But if you come from the Middle East, for instance, you can get tired from rarely being featured on the good side in literary depictions. Children’s books are special because they are read over a longer period of time and the norms of the past live on in them, unedited. As an adult, one may be wearing one’s nostalgic glasses and miss things that could be seen as problematic by others.”

Dahlin further explained that the publishing house spends a lot of time reviewing older publications, to check if such “problematic” passages occur. She added that the publishing house does not check for only culturally sensitive passages:

“There are many female editors, and therefore we have probably been more naturally aware of gender-biased depictions than these type of questions. But now we have better insights and a greater awareness of these issues.”

1612One of Sweden’s most popular children’s writers, Jan Lööf, was recently told by his publisher that unless he makes his bestselling 1966 book, Grandpa is a Pirate, more politically correct by rewriting it and changing the illustrations, it will be taken off the market

Sweden is no stranger to “literary revisions” of this kind, or other cultural revisions in the name of political correctness. Both Pippi Longstocking and other children’s books have gone through assorted revisions or have even been taken off the market. In the Pippi Longstocking television series, a scene in which Pippi squints her eyes to look Chinese has been edited out altogether, so as not to offend anyone. In 2013, a popular, award-winning Danish children’s book, Mustafa’s Kiosk, by Jakob Martin Strid, was taken off the market in Sweden after complaints on Swedish social media that it was racist and “Islamophobic.” Ironically, the author wrote it in 1998, when he was staying in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, as “an anti-racist statement.” Tellingly, the book had been on the Swedish market since 2002 with no complaints. In his response to the criticism, the Danish writer noted that an equal and non-racist society only comes about “when you are allowed to make (loving) fun of everyone.” “I also make fun of Norwegians,” he added.

In 2014, after complaints on Swedish social media that some of its candy was “racist,” the Haribo company decided to change one of its products, “Skipper Mix,” which consisted of candies shaped in the form of a sailor’s souvenirs, including African masks.

The question arises: How much purging and expiation will be needed to render a country’s culture politically correct?

That question raises an even bigger one: How high is the price of political correctness in terms of “cleansing” the past and present of perceived slights, anywhere, to just about anyone?

Taken to its extremes, the urge to cleanse a culture of elements that do not live up to the politically correct orthodoxy currently in political vogue unsettlingly echoes the Taliban and ISIS credos of destroying everything that does not accord with their Quranic views. The desire “not to offend,” taken to its logical conclusion, is a totalitarian impulse, which threatens to destroy everything that disagrees with its doctrines. Crucially, who gets to decide what is offensive?

What begins innocently enough, by taking out passages from books that may hurt someone’s feelings, can end up turning into something far more sinister, as it indeed has in Sweden. Former Swedish Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt famously stated in 2014 that Sweden belongs to immigrants, not to the Swedes who have lived there for generations. He thereby communicated that he believes the future of Sweden will be shaped by non-Swedes, showing a curious contempt for his own culture.

This contempt has spread fast throughout official Sweden. In 2014, a Swedish school in Halmstad forbade displaying the Swedish flag, after a student painted his face in the Swedish colors for a carnival. In its new rules, the school specified why:

“Most students look forward to school traditions. When we have days of carnivals and music the goal is that these days should be experienced as positive by everyone. The Swedish flag is not allowed as part of carnival dress. … Positive and bright feelings must be in focus. … School photos must obviously be free of national symbols.”

However, the “precedent” for such rules had already been set ten years prior, in 2004, at a school in Vaargaarda, when two girls had worn printed sweatshirts which happened to display the Swedish flag and the word “Sweden.” They were told that this kind of clothing was not allowed at school. One of the girls told reporters that singing the national anthem had also been forbidden at the school.

In 2012, two members of Sweden’s parliament suggested that statues of the Swedish Kings Carl XII and Gustav II Adolf should be removed, because they represent a time when Sweden was a great military power, “a dark time in our country as well as in other countries, which were affected by Swedish aggression,” as the MPs wrote in the motion. Instead, the MPs suggested, the squares of central Stockholm should be adorned in a way such that they “signal peace, tolerance, diversity, freedom and solidarity.”

In 2013, a Baroque painting of the nude goddess Juno was removed from the restaurant of the Swedish parliament, ostensibly to avoid offense to feminist and Muslim sensibilities.

The above should not be discarded as crazy practices peculiar to Sweden. On the contrary, they present a perfect case-study of the consequences of politically correct culture driven to the extreme.

Indeed, these consequences are already proliferating across the Western world. One particularly noteworthy instance took place when Iranian president Hassan Rouhani visited Rome in January 2016. To prevent Rouhani having “a hormonal shock and ripp[ing] up the freshly signed contracts with our Italian industries,” as one Italian columnist, Massimo Gramellini, wrote, Rome covered up its classical nude statues. Who would have even imagined such sycophancy a decade ago?

In Britain, students have recently campaigned for the removal of symbols of British imperialism, such as a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University. These students claim the campaign is not only about the statue itself, but that it is “…a campaign against racism at Oxford, of which the Rhodes statue is a small but symbolic part.” Already in 2000, the London Mayor Ken Livingstone suggested that statues of two 19th-century British generals should be removed from Trafalgar Square in London, based on his own ignorance:

“The people on the plinths in the main square of our capital city should be identifiable to the generality of the population. I haven’t a clue who two of the generals there are or what they did. I imagine that not one person in 10,000 going through Trafalgar Square knows any details about the lives of those two generals. It might be time to look at moving them and having figures ordinary Londoners and other people from around the world would know.” The problem with all this, of course, is that most of London’s wealth and greatness in terms of art and architecture is due largely to British colonialism, so the question is just how many buildings would be left standing in the British capital, if one were to take this issue and bring it to its logical conclusion.

The trouble with wanting to scrub the cultural and historical slate clean, as it were, is, of course, that countries cannot just press “delete” on their culture and history. Such a move would entail not just the removal of books, paintings and statues, but a complete purge. Those who truly care for history will know that this experiment has already been attempted, not once but several times over, by the various communist and Nazi movements of the twentieth century. While there is little comparison between those movements and the culture of political correctness, the impulse governing them all nevertheless remains the same: To forge and impose one singular “truth” on everyone, rooting out everything that does not fit the utopian mold. That is neither “diverse” nor “tolerant.”

So agreeable: Hillary Clinton nods almost non-stop during roundtable

March 25, 2016

So agreeable: Hillary Clinton nods almost non-stop during roundtable, Washington Free Beacon via You Tube, March 24, 2016