Posted tagged ‘Islamist victimhood’

Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East

October 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

New Jersey: Court forbids residents to mention “Islam” or “Muslim” at public hearing on mosque construction

August 2, 2017

New Jersey: Court forbids residents to mention “Islam” or “Muslim” at public hearing on mosque construction, Jihad Watch

The Quicks reside within 200 feet of the proposed mosque construction in a zoned residential area. Yet, the settlement agreement prohibits them from describing the many unique features of Islamic worship which will impact design of the building, traffic density, water and sewage, traffic control problems, road construction, and parking arrangements. 

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Most Americans have no idea how severely imperiled the freedom of speech really is. I discuss in detail in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). But as this fundamental freedom slips away, most people don’t even care. Look: Kardashians!

“Court: Residents Can’t Mention ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslim’ At Public Hearing on Mosque Construction; Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit,” Thomas More Law Center, August 1, 2017:

ANN ARBOR, MI – In a settlement agreement, which reads more like an instrument of surrender, Bernards Township (“Township”), New Jersey officials agreed that, in addition to a $3.5 million payment to Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”), residents and citizens of the Township are prohibited from commenting on “Islam” or “Muslims.” at the upcoming public hearing to approve the settlement. Astonishingly, a federal judge approved the prohibition as a fully enforceable Order of the Court.

As a result of this suppression of speech, the Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday, filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey Federal District Court on behalf of Christopher and Loretta Quick. The lawsuit was filed by TMLC affiliated New Jersey attorney, Michael Hrycak. Mr. Hrycak was assisted by TMLC staff attorney, Tyler Brooks. The TMLC is representing the Quicks without charge.

TMLC’s lawsuit alleges that Bernards Township’s settlement agreement constitutes a prior restraint on speech based on content, as well as, a violation of the Establishment Clause because it prefers Islam over other religions. The lawsuit asks the court to: declare that the settlement agreement is unconstitutional; and to enter a preliminary and permanent injunction against its enforcement….

The Quicks reside within 200 feet of the proposed mosque construction in a zoned residential area. Yet, the settlement agreement prohibits them from describing the many unique features of Islamic worship which will impact design of the building, traffic density, water and sewage, traffic control problems, road construction, and parking arrangements. According to the settlement agreement, ISBR is permitted to make statements concerning Christians and Jews and their places of worship, but in contrast, the Agreement prohibits commentary relating to Islam or Muslims. In fact, ISBR has previously discussed the Christian and Jewish religions and their places of worship.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “As we have previously documented, ISBR has taken the extraordinary step of concealing significant links on their website to a radical group named by the federal government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in America history, the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”). ISNA is claimed by the Muslim Brotherhood as one of “our organizations.” According to internal documents seized by the FBI, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is to engage in a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within . . .”

Thompson continued, “While claiming that the Township had a religious animus against Muslims, ISBR hid from the public view its animus toward Christians and Jews, by not only hiding anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verses published on its website, but also hiding its significant ties to ISNA. Instead of standing up to defend its citizens against ISBR’s hate-filled anti-Semitic and anti-Christian bias, the Township colluded with ISBR’s “Civilization Jihad” by capitulating to payment of millions of dollars to ISBR, allowing the construction of the new mosque and Islamic center in violation of zoning codes, and now even suppressing speech concerning Islam or Muslims at a public meeting.”

In March 2016, ISBR filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey Federal District Court alleging that Bernards Township had discriminated against the Islamic Society when it declined to approve the construction of a large mosque on a lot that was far too small to handle the contemplated structure. And in November 2016, the United States represented by the U. S. Justice Department filed a second lawsuit against the Township on similar grounds. The settlement agreement covers both lawsuits….

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: June 2017

July 28, 2017

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: June 2017, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, July 28, 2017

Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor and one of the most prominent Muslim lawyers in Britain, warned that an “industry” of Islamist groups in the country is undermining the fight against terrorism. He singled out the Islamist-dominated Muslim Council of Britain and also condemned “self-appointed” community leaders whose sole agenda was to present Muslims “as victims and not as those who are potentially becoming radicals.”

Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, charged London Mayor Sadiq Khan with “appeasing jihadists” for authorizing the Al-Quds Day march.

More than 40 foreign jihadists have used human rights laws to remain in Britain, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office.

June 3. Khuram Shazad Butt, a 27-year-old Pakistani-born British citizen, Rachid Redouane, a 30-year-old who claimed to be Libyan and Moroccan and Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Moroccan-Italian, murdered eight people and injured 50 others in a jihadist attack on and around the London Bridge. The three assailants were shot dead by police. It was the third jihadist attack in Britain in as many months.

Floral tributes at London Bridge on June 6, 2017, following the 3 June 2017 terrorist attack. (Image source: Matt Brown/Wikimedia Commons)

June 3. Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor and one of the most prominent Muslim lawyers in Britain, warned that an “industry” of Islamist groups in the country is undermining the fight against terrorism by peddling “myths” about the Prevent strategy, the government’s key anti-radicalization policy. He singled out the Islamist-dominated Muslim Council of Britain, and said he was shocked that in the agenda for its annual meeting there was “nothing about radicalisation and nothing about the threat of people going to Syria.” Afzal, who prosecuted the Rochdale sex-grooming gang, also condemned “self-appointed” community leaders whose sole agenda was to present Muslims “as victims and not as those who are potentially becoming radicals.”

June 3. Khalid Al-Mathkour, chairman of Kuwait’s sharia council, and Essam Al-Fulaij, a Kuwaiti government figure known for his anti-Semitic diatribes, are listed as trustees of a UK-registered charity that is building a mosque in Sheffield, according to the Telegraph. They have helped channel almost £500,000 ($650,000) into the project from Kuwait. Another £400,000 ($525,000) has been donated to the charity, the Emaan Trust, by a Qatari organization. The stated aim of the new mosque, which will have a capacity for 500 worshippers, is to “promote and teach Islamic morals and values to new Muslim generations.”

June 4. Prime Minister Theresa May said there was “far too much tolerance of extremism” in Britain and promised to step up the fight against Islamic terrorism after the London Bridge attack. “Enough is enough,” she said. May also claimed the jihadists held to an ideology that was a perversion of true Islam: “It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.”

June 5. Conservative election candidate Gordon Henderson said that Muslims are duty bound to report extremists in their midst:

“The only people who can defeat the Islamic terrorists are the British Muslims in whose midst they find sanctuary. It is time for peace-loving Muslims to start providing information to the police about those within their community that they suspect of plotting attacks. The only other option is to put all suspected terrorists in internment camps, and that is not a route I would like to go down. We tried it with the IRA and all it did was make the prisoners into martyrs.”

June 6. Khuram Butt, one of the London Bridge attackers, was known to British authorities, according to the Telegraph. He had appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about British extremists called “The Jihadis Next Door.” Butt was also filmed at events attended by questionable Islamic preachers, and had tried to go to Syria to become a jihadist there.

June 7. Three “Asian girls” shouting “Allah will get you” slashed a woman near a nursery in Hermon Hill, London. The victim, named as Katie, was walking along the street when she was ambushed from behind. Police said they were not treating the attack as a terrorist incident.

June 10. Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim woman to serve in a British cabinet, said that Britain’s relationship with its Muslim community needs to be reset from scratch:

“When things go wrong with an iPhone or a coffee machine, pressing the restart button is usually a good, safe place to start. Right now, Britain’s relationship with her Muslims is within that frozen, overloaded, splurging episode — we need to press the button….

“Just because you don’t speak English does not mean you’re going to be a terrorist — the majority of terrorists speak good English. Secondly, there’s always a fraction of religious groups that choose to live separate lives and that is not an issue of integration. We have to keep the issue of terrorism and integration separate.”

June 10. Police increased patrols at local mosques in Cambridge after strips of bacon were left on four cars parked at the Omar Faruque Mosque. A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage.

June 11. Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick said that jihadists do not discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims in their attacks:

“An attack in London is an attack on all of us. I understand Muslim communities are feeling shattered and there are concerns within the community that it may find itself as a target of hate crimes.

“What I will say to the Muslim communities is that we must all stand up in the face of terrorists. The London Metropolitan Police are here to work with Muslims, to protect them and to work with them to stop crimes. If you are a target, we will work hard to protect you.”

June 13. Mak Chishty, who recently retired as the most senior Muslim police officer in Britain, said it was time for Muslims to stop “skirting around the issues” and have some “very difficult conversations.” He issued a “call to action” to all British Muslims, urging them to launch a social media blitz to let the rest of the country know how strongly they feel about extremism:

“I would like to issue a call for action today for every single Muslim, from a young person all the way through to my mother-in-law who is well in her mid-60s but has got a WhatsApp or a Facebook, to get on there and start to denounce extremism as not theirs.

“All of a sudden, maybe you will find that these extremist voices start to shrink… remove their dominance, starve them of oxygen. Make sure they have got a powerful lobby against them. We can do that now, we can do that today.”

Chishty also said that terrorism and extremism is “hurting” Islam:

“It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to be loyal to the country in which they live and we are now asking questions to understand how extremism and hatred has taken hold within some elements of our own communities. Muslims must do more to stop such attacks from happening again and we want to know how we can play a greater role in the future.”

June 13. Lugman Aslam, 26, was sentenced to five years in prison for plowing his van into five men in Leicester after an argument during Ramadan. Aslam admitted to dangerous driving and attempting to inflict intentional grievous bodily harm. Recorder Justin Wigoder said:

“You quite deliberately drove your van at that group who were walking along the pavement. I’ve seen it on CCTV and you deliberately mounted the pavement and drove straight at them and right through the middle of them at speed…. I accept it was completely out of character. You’re of very positive good previous character and I’ve received a considerable number of references setting out all the good that is in you. You’re a good family man with a young daughter and I take that very much into account.”

June 14. Shamim Ahmed, a 24-year-old Bangladeshi from Tower Hamlets, East London, was sentenced to six years in prison for trying to join the Islamic State in Syria. During his trial, Ahmed pointed his finger at Judge John Bevan QC and warned him he, Ahmed, would continue to “wage jihad”: “Give me 20 years, I will come out the enemy.”

June 15. New statistics showed that in the year to March 2017, police arrested 304 people for terrorism-related offenses — a 20% increase compared to the previous 12 months. Combined with those held since March, the total arrests in 2017 may top the previous record of 315, set in 2015.

June 18. Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters carrying Hezbollah flags marched through the streets of London to mark Al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), an annual event initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, ostensibly to support the Palestinians, but undoubtedly to promote hatred of Jews. At a rally outside the U.S. Embassy after the march, one speaker blamed the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower public housing project on so-called Zionists. “Some of the biggest supporters of the Conservative Party are Zionists,” the speaker ranted. “They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.” Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, charged London Mayor Sadiq Khan with “appeasing jihadists” for authorizing the march.

June 19. Darren Osborne, a 47-year-old unemployed father of four, drove a van into a group of worshippers close to the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London. One person was killed and eight others were injured in the attack, which police said was premeditated. Osborne was “self-radicalized into his extremist hatred of Muslims,” according to the Guardian.

June 20. Armed police were deployed to the Neolithic Stonehenge to protect thousands of pagans celebrating the summer solstice from jihadist attacks. David Spofforth of the Pagan Federation said it was “very sad” that armed police were necessary: “I am not saying I am welcoming this, I sadly accept it. But you just have to look at the events such as at Finsbury Park, a peaceful religious gathering where people suffered so much by the actions of one hate-filled individual.”

June 22. A Muslim woman sued her former employers after allegedly being ordered to remove her black headscarf because the garment had “terrorist affiliations.” The estate agent had been working for Harvey Dean in Bury for almost a year when she says managers took issue with her hijab. A complaint filed at the Manchester Employment Tribunal said the woman was told that moving from a back office into public view meant “that it would be in the best interest of the business for her to change the color of her hijab, due to the supposed terrorist affiliation with the color black.” The woman said she felt “singled out” as the only Muslim woman in the office and claimed the company discriminated against her on the basis of both religion and gender.

June 23. Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, the schools regulator, vowed to crack down on Islamic extremism in British schools. She said that school children must be equipped with the “knowledge and resilience” required to combat the violent rhetoric “peddled” by hate preachers who “put hatred in their hearts and poison in their minds.” She added:

“One area where there is room to improve is the active promotion of fundamental British values in our schools. Recent attacks in Westminster, London Bridge, Manchester and Finsbury Park have brought into stark relief the threats that we face.”

June 24. More than 40 foreign jihadists have used human rights laws to remain in Britain, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office. The study, a copy of which was leaked to the Telegraph, describes how lawyers, funded by legal aid, have successfully prevented foreign-born terror suspects from being sent back to their home countries.

June 25. Michael Adebolajo, who together with Michael Adebowale murdered British soldier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich barracks in south-east London in May 2013, is now regarded as the most dangerous prisoner in the British penal system, according to prison sources. A prison officer described him as “violent, unpredictable and a major danger to other prisoners.” He has also radicalized dozens of inmates, including non-Muslim prisoners who are said to have converted to Islam and sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. One prison official said:

“Adebolajo spends most of his waking hours preaching his distorted form of Islam to anyone who will listen. He sees every inmate as a potential Islamic State soldier whether they are Muslims or not. He has a big personality and is very charismatic and some of the more vulnerable prisoners will fall under his spell. He is a very dangerous individual.”

June 27. Muslims launched an online petition to oppose a new veil policy at John Thursby Community College, in Burnley, Lancashire. The school announced plans for a universal-length headscarf that some Muslims said is too short and not sufficiently modest. Previously girls were free to choose any length they pleased. Some feel that the move is aimed at deterring girls from wearing headscarves at all. Local councilor Shah Hussain said: “The whole point is that it is supposed to protect the wearer’s modesty, and that does not happen.” The school’s head teacher David Burton said he may reconsider the policy. “We are sorry there have been suggestions that the school is against headscarves. This is not true. We fully respect the wishes of girls to wear a headscarf.”

June 28. The trial began in London of four jihadists — Naweed Ali, 29, Tahir Aziz, 38, Khobaib Hussain, 25, and Mohibur Rahman, 32 — for allegedly plotting a knife rampage on British soil. The men, who called themselves “The Musketeers,” were accused of sharing “the same radical belief in violent jihad.” Prosecutors said the terror plot involved a samurai sword and a meat cleaver with the word “Kafir” (unbeliever) scratched onto the blade. The four men were arrested after a stash of weapons, ammunition, and a pipe bomb were found in Ali’s car during a counter-terrorism operation in Birmingham.

June 29. Three men were arrested in the Armagh and Coalisland areas of Northern Ireland for displaying anti-Muslim posters and stickers. Police said the material — which included the slogan “Rapefugees Not Welcome” — was likely to stir up “racial hatred.”

June 30. Tarik Chadlioui, a 43-year-old Moroccan cleric living in Birmingham with his wife and eight children, was accused of recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State. Chadlioui, a Salafist, is wanted in several European countries and is believed to be the spiritual leader of an Islamic State cell in Spain. Chadlioui, also known as Tarik Ibn Ali, is said to have formed links with jihadist groups which aim to impose Sharia law in Europe.

Brigitte Gabriel and Dave Rubin: Terrorism, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Linda Sarsour

July 9, 2017

Brigitte Gabriel and Dave Rubin: Terrorism, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Linda Sarsour via YouTube, May 19, 2017

(The transition of Lebanon from a vibrant homogeneous society into an Islamist state where Muslims, formerly friends of Christians and Jews, became violent enemies — about five minutes into the video — bodes ill for much of Europe. Although this video was posted on YouTube on May 19th, some of the content suggests that the interview occurred significantly earlier.  — DM

 

Paranoid Terrorist Apologism Dominates ISNA Convention in Chicago

July 7, 2017

Paranoid Terrorist Apologism Dominates ISNA Convention in Chicago, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, July 7, 2017

(What a great place for the U.S. Army to look for recruits. Maybe they can find another Nidal Hasan. — DM)

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) wants to be viewed as a mainstream Muslim organization, but its recent convention suggests it remains anything but moderate.

ISNA’s annual convention drew thousands of people in Chicago last weekend, spreading paranoid messages such as claiming President Trump wants to put Muslims in concentration camps, and presenting speakers who cast convicted terrorists as victims.

Invoking Japanese internment camps from World War II, speaker Zahra Billoo warned that Muslims face a similar fate despite assurances from politicians today.

“And we know from our experience that unless we have laws in place… and we [know they have done this] with other communities, that they’re going to send us to concentration camps,” she said.

Billoo is the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) San Francisco director. In the past, she has urged Muslims to “build a wall of resistance” between themselves and law enforcement, equated Americans in the Israeli army with ISIS terrorists, and accused the FBI of fabricating terrorist threats for public consumption.

ISNA saw her as an ideal person to lead a political discussion. Joining her was a former CAIR official who used the opportunity to advocate for convicted terrorists, including one whose case has been championed by al-Qaida and ISIS.

“…[Some] of them are our leaders,” Cyrus McGoldrick said. “Some of them are our youth, who were entrapped, some people were framed, I’m talking about Imam Jamil Al-Amin, I’m talking about Tarek Mehanna, I’m talking about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. A number, hundreds, hundreds of leaders who, and Muslims who are in prison right now. And we forget them, we forget them. No one’s talking about that at this convention. We need to do more.”

Jamil Al-Amin, a Black Panther formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was convicted in 2002 for killing a Fulton County, Ga., sheriff’s deputy who tried to serve an arrest warrant.

Tarek Mehanna was convicted in 2011 for conspiring to provide material support for al-Qaida and lying to federal investigators. After traveling to Yemen seeking training in order to then fight U.S. soldiers in Iraq, Mehanna returned to the United States where he posted al-Qaida recruitment videos and other documents online.

Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained neuroscientist, represents the most extreme case McGoldrick cast as “political prisoners” to his ISNA audience. Afghan security officers detained her in 2008, finding “handwritten notes that referred to a ‘mass casualty attack'” and a list of New York landmarks. During subsequent interrogation, Siddiqui, known as “Lady al-Qaida,” managed to grab a soldier’s M-4 rifle and open fire. She allegedly shouted, “I’m going to kill all you mother**kers!” and “Death to America.”

Before executing prisoners James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Kayla Mueller, ISIS offered their release in exchange for Siddiqui.

Ironically, U.S. Armed Forces recruiters set up a booth in the exhibit hall not far from where McGoldrick defended convicted terrorists.

Despite such rhetoric, ISNA remains politically influential. It played a key role in convincing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to purge FBI training materials dealing with Islam. Former ISNA President Mohamed Magid served on President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. During the Obama administration, ISNA representatives met with then President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and ISNA hosted then-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson at its convention last year.

ISNA’s congressional allies include people like U.S. Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va.; Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; Andre Carson, D-Ind.; U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

Another ISNA speaker, John Morrow, who teaches at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana and directs the Covenants of the Prophet Foundation, launched into conspiratorial rhetoric accusing the U.S. of using the CIA to support jihadi groups with the intent of spreading anti-Muslim hatred.

“How do you ensure that the public continues to support the War on Terror, which is really a war on Islam and Muslims?” Morrow asked. “By means of terrorist attacks, by means of false flag operations, that way the eternal endless war of the globalist totalitarian fascists continues unabated to the pleasure of big brother, or as we know him in Islam, the one-eyed liar.

“The philosophy is clear. Keep the focus on fear.”

This is the same narrative that ISIS jihadist recruiters use to lure disaffected Muslims into becoming terrorists.

Prominent Muslim activist Linda Sarsour falsely asserted that white supremacists were a bigger terror threat in the United States than Muslims.

“I will not be on a national platform condemning terrorism as a Muslim. I will only condemn terrorism as a human being because that’s the only place that we should be condemning terrorism, because terrorism should never be framed as a conversation that should be just had with Muslims in a country where white supremacists have killed more people since 9/11 than Muslims have,” Sarsour said.

Even the liberal New America Foundation now admits that Muslim terrorists have killed more Americans since 9/11 than white supremacists.

Sarsour accused the Trump administration of being an “authoritarian racist regime” that needed to be resisted.

“I hope, that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad,” Sarsour said. “That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America.

“You have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

The ISNA convention also featured hatred of Israel.

Several speakers promoted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that aims to isolate Israel. Sarsour proudly proclaimed that the prominence she received due to her involvement in the Women’s March in January gave her a better platform to discuss the BDS movement.

“I have been able to have our country reckon with this conversation about what does it mean for a Muslim or a Palestinian American to be part of the resistance and to be working with allies who are now taking up the cause of BDS and supporting the Palestinian people,” Sarsour said. “So, what I am saying to you is don’t be afraid to be the center of controversy.”

Billoo repeatedly referred to the Jewish state as “apartheid Israel.”

McGoldrick attacked the Muslim Leadership Institute (MLI), which “invites North American Muslims to explore how Jews understand Judaism, Israel, and Jewish peoplehood.” MLI brings people to “occupied Palestine,” McGoldrick said, indicating he had no interest in recognizing its legitimacy. He condemned MLI for teaching Muslims about Zionism in a positive manner and for instructing them about Judaism in “so-called Israel.”

This kind of hateful rhetoric is a staple at ISNA conferences. In 2009, a speaker lamented Jewish “control of the world.”

In 1993, ISNA signed a declaration calling Israel’s creation a crime. “To recognize the legitimacy of that crime is a crime in itself and any agreement which involves such recognition is unjust and untenable. The League of Ulama in Palestine declared on Sept. 14 ’93 that no one has the authority to concede the rights of the Islamic Ummah in Palestine.”

It would seem that ISNA’s radical past still is very much part of its radical present. Politicians should think twice before working with ISNA as long it tolerates and gives a platform for narratives that enable terrorist recruiters.

UK Universities and the PC Police

July 3, 2017

UK Universities and the PC Police, Clarion ProjectMeira Svirsky, July 3, 2017

Jonaya English (Photo: Video screenshot)

A police offer in the UK has threatened young woman he will pressure her university to withdraw her acceptance over a comment she made on social media about Islamist terrorism. He has also threatened her with charges of harassment.

The young woman, named Jonaya English and who is set to enter Newcastle University, engaged with a former high school acquaintance on Twitter after the attack at the Finsbury Mosque.

The acquaintance, who tweets under the handle of @mariamiwaseem posted a tweet stating that UK’s anti-radicalization program Prevent is tainted because it created suspicion about Muslims being terrorists; moreover, the Finsbury Mosque attack proves that Muslims are victims, not perpetrators.

In response, English tweeted back that, while the attack on the mosque was wrong, one attack on a mosque proved nothing and that the majority of the time, Muslims were the perpetrators of attacks. “Where do they learn it?” English asked. “The Quran.”

English subsequently received an email from Police Constable Mohammed Khan, saying that if she didn’t engage with him, he would ask Newcastle University to withdraw its offer to her as a “safeguarding measure.”

The officer’s communications to English appear below in a tweet by UK media personality Katie Hopkins who asks the officer’s  Northumbria Police Department: “Who is the head of your force please? Are you guys sharia?”

“I was stating a fact,” English states in a video (below) she made to explain the incident. “Muslims are the perpetrators most of the time, and they get these ideas from the Quran.”

 

English continued, “The thing that made this disgusting was that the officer, who was also a Muslim, said that he will try to get the university to withdraw my [acceptance]. I wrote a tweet  about a political opinion which is all over the political forum which is Twitter. Somebody [who] clearly doesn’t like this decides  to report me for ‘harassment.’ It’s …  simply an allegation (and a false one at that) and the officer says he’s going to get my offer withdrawn.”

As one former police officer said: “This officer has exceeded his power and abused his position.”

While the saga of this story continues, it is worth contrasting it to statements made by the president of the UK’s Salford University’s Student Union. Zamzam Ibrahim, a Muslim of Somali decent who was elected president of the union in March, recently made headlines with her responses to questions posed on AskFM (a question and answer-based social media network).

When asked, “What’s the one book you think everyone should be required to read?” she answered, “The Quran, We would have an Islamic takeover!”

Ibrahim, who recently completely a bachelor’s degree in business and financial management, also opposes the UK government’s Prevent program, calling it “disastrous” and “racist.”

Writing under the hashtag #IfIwasPresident, Ibrahim tweeted, “I’d oppress white people just to give them a taste of what they put us through! #LMFAO [Laughing my f—king ass off] ”

Yet, no complaints of harassment or threats from the police have been brought against Ibrahim.

The stifling of conversation – including the chilling effect on free speech caused by members of the UK police force – set a dangerous precedent for democratic societies worldwide. Officers, whose job it is to uphold the law – which includes the guarantee of free speech — are becoming self-appointed (or worse, are directed to become) enforcers of political correctness  (i.e., whatever values happen to be in style at the moment).

Preventing the free exchange of ideas and, in this case, pushing the narrative that Islamists are not the main perpetrators of terror attacks, not only defies the facts, but it creates an atmosphere that breeds violence such as the revenge attack on the Finsbury Mosque.

If we not allowed to talk about Islamism, the driving force behind the world’s current blight of terrorism, it will be left to the far-right extremists to defend their countries in the only language they are convinced will be effective.

 

Bringing Ramadan in With a Bang: Killing Christians

May 29, 2017

Bringing Ramadan in With a Bang: Killing Christians Front Page MagazineJack Kerwick, May 29, 2017

The point of this essay is to puncture the West’s Politically Correct meme, an ideologically-useful fiction according to which Muslims are always victims and Christians are victimizers—or, at the very least, are never victimized. 

The painful reality is that, globally speaking, when it comes to the topic of religious persecution, the adherents of Islam are the biggest persecutors while those of Christianity are victimized more so than the members of any other religious faith. 

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Jeremy Joseph Christian is a 35 year-old white man who, according to some press reports, is also a “white supremacist.”

Christian, you see, while aboard a train in Portland, Oregon, allegedly hurled “ethnic and religious” slurs at two young women who, evidently, appeared to have been Muslim. “Get off the bus and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,” Christian is reported to have said.  He also, supposedly, expressed a dislike for Muslims and characterized them as “criminals.”

Three men who are now being hailed as “heroes” intervened.  Christian killed two of them, slashing their throats.  The third man was stabbed as well, but survived and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

There is much to this story that is still unclear (more will be written at a future time).  Predictably, the Islamic activists of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spared not a moment to exploit this tragedy for their partisan purposes.  CAIR’s National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, expressly implicated President Trump: “President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in our nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities.”

Awad’s remarks are not only fundamentally untrue.  For more than one reason, they are profoundly offensive.

One reason that they are offensive is that Muslims, far from being the most persecuted of religious groups in today’s world, are in reality the biggest persecutors.

The reality is that if there is a “rising tide” of any species of violent bigotry, it is Christophobia, not Islamophobia.  No religion is as persecuted around the planet as that of Christianity.

In February, the Center for Studies on New Religions released a study showing that last year, 90,000 Christians throughout the world were murdered because of their faith.  Nearly one-third of these victims were killed by Muslims.  According to Open Doors, an advocacy organization for persecuted Christians, 14 of the 20 worst purveyors of Christian persecution are Islamic countries, and the latter constitute 35 of the worst 50.

Middle Eastern wars in places like Yemen, Syria, and Iraq have been particularly hard on the ancient Christian communities that exist among the Islamic majorities.  Legions of men, women, and children have been slaughtered, maimed, and/or displaced.

Yet the world utters virtually a peep.  Pope Francis, for example, the Pope of my church, while he has indeed commented here and there on the oppression of Christians, he may as well have said nothing, for the Pope’s remarks on this matter have been like whispers relative to the pleas that he makes incessantly on behalf of Islamic refugees.

And while the leftist media in the West seeks to establish a connection between the beginning of Ramadan and Jeremy Christian’s insulting of two Islamic women, over in Egypt some Muslims inaugurated the holy month by…slaughtering dozens of Christian men, women, and children.

The most recent outrage committed against Christians occurred on May 26 in Egypt.  Islamic terrorists attacked a bus full of Coptic Christians, murdering 28 and injuring many more.  Children were among the victims.

The victims were reportedly heading to St. Samuel the Confessor monastery when their bus was blocked by three vehicles and eight to ten assailants wearing military uniforms and masks. The attackers proceeded to blast gunfire into the bus.

The so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) claimed “credit” for the bloodbath.

In what now reads as ominously as it does presciently, an article published but two days before this attack at the website of Open Doors and authored by one of its Egyptian staff members speaks to the fever-pitch anxieties that the impending Islamic holiday of Ramadan have induced in the members of Egypt’s Christian community.  It is worth reading “Janelle P” in her own words:

“As much excitement as the Islamic holy month brings to Muslims, it does carry a great deal of burdens and concerns to the Christian community in Egypt.  It is a very long 30 days during which Christians in schools, work or public spaces will receive harsh looks and verbal harassments from devout Muslims because of their faith.  They are ridiculed for not fasting like Muslims.  Even in some cases, Christians may face physical violence due to the fact that they were caught eating their lunch by their fasting Muslim coworkers or neighbors!”

Think about this: Due to the celebration of an Islamic holiday, Christians have to brave insults, hostility, and even physical violence.

Janelle P continues:

“It’s not uncommon for Christians to hide somewhere to eat their lunches away from the eyes of the Muslims.” Janelle recalls his own experiences growing up in Egypt. “I remember as a young boy having to eat and drink in the school toilet to avoid trouble with Muslim classmates and teachers.”

Young Christian children must take shelter in school restrooms if they want to eat their lunch unmolested by their Islamic classmates.

“It’s almost protocol during the month of Ramadan for devout Muslims, wherever they are, to turn to the Christians around them and bombard them with intimidating questions about their faith. They aim to distract themselves from the long fasting hours and, if they’re lucky enough, to plant doubt in the hearts of the Christians.”

Janelle P concludes by acknowledging that “We, the Christians of Egypt, feel many different emotions regarding Ramadan.” However, he presumably speaks for his coreligionists in Egypt when Janelle expresses, not rage or hatred, but rather faith that God will show Muslims the error of their ways and bring them to Him.  It is this, at any rate, for which they pray.

The attitude of love that the most oppressed Christians hold toward their Islamic oppressors stands in glaring contrast to that which Muslims have toward those who do not share their vision.

Of course, the point here is not to suggest that all of the world’s billion or so Muslims deserve to be condemned for the actions of the exploitative, oppressive, and murderous among them.  Such a suggestion is unwarranted.  Nor it would be right to suggest that no Muslims experience persecution. There are indeed persecuted Muslims throughout the world, but the persecution that they suffer is almost without exception at the hands of other Muslims.

The point of this essay is to puncture the West’s Politically Correct meme, an ideologically-useful fiction according to which Muslims are always victims and Christians are victimizers—or, at the very least, are never victimized.

The painful reality is that, globally speaking, when it comes to the topic of religious persecution, the adherents of Islam are the biggest persecutors while those of Christianity are victimized more so than the members of any other religious faith.