Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brits Refuse to Fund Some UN Agencies

by Rick Moran

It's not going to save a lot of money, but the symbolic importance of the British government refusing to fund some UN agencies, cutting funding for others, and criticizing the whole bloody mess overall should not be lost on anyone - especially the one worlders, the anti-American multi-lateralists, and international blood suckers who live off UN grants.

Fox News:

In a sweeping and hard-nosed reorganization of priorities for its $10.6 billion multilateral foreign aid program, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron has pulled the financial plug entirely on four U.N. agencies at the end of next year, put three others judged merely "adequate" on notice that they could face the same fate unless they improve their performance "as a matter of absolute urgency;" and issued pointed criticisms of almost all the rest.

The major exception: UNICEF, the U.N. children's aid agency, which got a strong endorsement and a funding increase.

The tough actions were revealed as the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has been gearing up an extended critical look at U.N. funding as part of its overall budget austerity plan. The British revelations also came while U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was on an extended cross-country tour, drumming up grass-roots support for U.N. funding in what is sure to be a protracted battle. Unveiling of the new British priorities undoubtedly will hearten her opponents on Capitol Hill.

Moreover, the British actions change the focus of the debate, from gauzy generalizations about the need for and importance of the U.N. to a realistic look at what it actually achieves.

The agencies that will be cut off are fairly minor, but the critique of some of the UN's major programs was unusually harsh:

Other U.N. organizations got sharp critiques of their "poor value for money," and stern warnings to shape up within two years or face deep funding cuts-or perhaps worse. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was slammed for "long-lasting historic underperformance." The $1 billion International Organization of Migration (IOM), which manages refugee camps, among other things, "only fills a marginal gap in the international humanitarian architecture." The $2.2 billion Food and Agriculture Organization, which the British government says has a "key role" to play on global food security issues, "does not adequately fulfill a critical role."

Some of the mightier U.N. organizations, like the U.N. Environmental Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organization, were deemed "critical" by the British in terms of their international role, but were rated merely "adequate" for their performance.

The UN is not only a mess economically, it is corrupt to its core. The Secretariat - the office of the Secretary General - is so bloated with waste and fraud that no one can say for sure how much they spend every year. Entire agencies are milked by their program chiefs with the help of large corporations and NGO's while not accomplishing a single one of its goals.

No one knows where all the money goes. No one in the US actually knows how much we spend on the UN because a lot of money that we give to private organizations like the Global Fund to Fight Aids is actually administered by the United Nations. They act as Project Managers for billions of funds, taking their cut while expensing [sic] the organizations for first class accomodations [sic] and the like.

If a couple of more western nations wake up and start to demand accountability, the gravy train might be slowed a bit. Meanwhile, Republicans in the House have no doubt taken what the Brits have done to heart and will slash US funds with even more enthusiasm.

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Rick Moran

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

A Muslim Upbringing and Terrorism

by Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist who worked for several years with young criminal Muslims in a Copenhagen prison. He is the author of Among Criminal Muslims. A Psychologist’s Experience from the Copenhagen Municipality. The book will be out in English later this year. He can be contact[ed] at:

FP: Nicolai Sennels, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about how a Muslim upbringing creates terrorists.

Let’s begin with this question: as a child psychologist, how would you explain that so many Muslims become terrorists or sympathize with terrorists?

Sennels: Thanks Jamie.

I have been working with children and adolescents for 15 years and as an experienced psychologist I have both theoretical and practical experience with the development of children’s personality. Having counseled more than 150 Muslim children and their parents, my clear conclusion is that Muslims in general raise their children very differently than non-Muslims. Even though all children are innocent babies when they are born, they can develop into violent and hateful fanatics when they grow up, if confronted with certain psychological circumstances.

Many have asked themselves: Why do so many Muslims become terrorists or sympathize with the terrorists? The answer does not only involve theology, but also psychology.

The question is if there are aspects of the way children are raised in Muslim culture that promotes a mindset that makes people more prone to become terrorists or to use terrorist like tactics such as using fear and violence in order to further a case that is directly against basic human rights, basic human values in general and the law.

My professional experience from working with criminal and non-criminal Muslims is that the general Muslim way of educating children contributes to the psychological development of such a mindset.

FP: Ok, so how exactly does a Muslim upbringing differ from a Western upbringing?

Sennels: Muslim upbringing is under the influence of religious views and cultural traditions which put the Muslim and Western cultural psychology into opposition in several central areas. As I have written about before (“Muslims and Westerners: The psychological differences” and “Among Criminal Muslims“) I have observed four major differences between the Muslim and the Western mind. I will explain later how these four Muslim psychological traits increase the risk of becoming a terrorist.

The first concerns anger. Western children are brought up to think that anger is a negative thing and that showing anger is embarrassing and probably the fastest way to “lose face” (lose social status). It is a sign of lack of control, joy and ability to do what one wants. As we say in Denmark “Only small dogs bark”. Muslim children on the contrary are to a high degree taught that anger and aggression is a socially acceptable tool for handling conflicts and expressing frustration. These clinical observations are supported by a major study done by the German University of Lower Saxony involving intense interviews with 45,000 children between 14 and 16 years of age. The conclusion is that “boys growing up in religious Muslim families are more likely to be violent“. The study, which was conducted by the leader of Lower Saxony Research Institute of Criminology and former Minister of Justice Christian Pfeiffer, also showed that “even when other social factors were taken into account, there remained a significant correlation between religiosity and readiness to use violence” among Muslims. My professional experience with Muslims is that not showing aggression when feeling provoked or criticized is seen as lack of courage or ability to protect one’s honor and this will cause loss of social status. The lack of will will in Western countries to defend our culture and values are generally among Muslims seen as an exploitable sign of vulnerability, because it makes us look weak, without courage and without pride in what we stand for.

The second difference between Muslim and Western upbringing concerns honor and self confidence. Westerners are in general brought up to think that handling criticism objectively and emotionally undisturbed is a sign of mental balance and personal strength. Trusting oneself and being able to use the criticism constructively if it is true and not caring if it is not, is a sign of authenticity and true self-confidence. In Muslim culture criticism is seen as an insult and it is expected – according to their view on anger – to respond aggressively. Being acutely aware of any kind of criticism and reacting aggressively (even being ready to kill own family members) in order to protect one’s honor is not seen as honorable in Western psychology. It is a sign of feeling insecure, weak and mentally out of balance. A recent study in so-called gelotophobia highlights this important cultural difference.

Gelotophobia is the “fear of being laughed at” and gelotophobic people easily feel ridiculed and victimized. They are characterized by a low self-esteem and lack of humor. Some societies are more gelotophobic than others. Studies show that the Middle East (33 percent) is three times more gelotophobic than the average Western European country (11-13 percent). Denmark turned out to be the least gelotophobic country in the world (1,7 percent is slightly gelotophobic). Gelotophobic cultures can not participate in intellectual debates because this involves taking critical arguments serious[ly]. People who can not handle criticism and only have very few valid arguments, easily feel powerless. Violence and threats (terrorism) then very easily becomes an – unfortunately often effective – option to avert criticism and get one’s way.

A third difference in the upbringing concerns the experience of how our lives are generally shaped. Psychology talks about inner and outer locus of control. Western culture is dominated by a feeling of inner control. This means that we see ourselves as the main responsible for our own actions, situation and state of mind. We see the way we think, our own viewpoint, our ability to handle our emotions and the reactions, we chose as the main factor giving our lives direction and deciding our feelings of happiness and suffering. If we have personal problems we ask ourselves “What did I do wrong, what can I do different?” We look for the answers within and a whole industry of countless psychologists, therapists, coaches, self-help books and magazines are built up around this world view.

The Muslim world has nothing of this belief system and no industry of personal counseling. This is because it is dominated by an outer locus of control. Muslim societies have strict outer cultural traditions, religious rules, powerful male authorities and often totalitarian regimes deciding almost every aspect of the individual’s life. There is little – if any – room for reflecting on, questioning or criticizing these outer factors of control. When a Muslim has personal problems he or she is therefore very likely to ask “Who did this to me?” Where we in the West believe in the Free Will, Muslims have their ”Insha’ Allah”. Inner locus of control leads to self responsibility and increased ability of self-reflection. Outer locus of control leads to victim mentality and a need for outer borders in order to behave socially. Child psychological studies on Muslim upbringing show that “prevention of deviance through moral education is neglected in favor of punishment.” Put in another way: Installing fear for outer authorities is more important than developing the individual’s moral.

The fourth psychological difference concerns identity and tolerance. Until recently, where cultural relativism has proved to be a naive theory conceived by abstract minded professors without maturing life experience, most Westerners were taught that all religions and cultures are equal. We are told to be tolerant and even today many fear being called a racist when criticizing totalitarian religions, foreigners’ high crime rates or EU and our national states’ loose immigration laws. Muslims on the other hand are told that they belong to a certain religious group and that their loyalty are to the tribe (the Muslim society and the Umma) and to the religion – on the expense of loyalty towards respectively national identity and secular laws, and on the expense of tolerance towards “the others” – the non-Muslims. The strong Muslim identity among Muslims creates an equally strong Us-Them mentality. Research show that only 14 percent of the Muslims living in Denmark identify themselves as “Danish and democratic”. In Germany only 12 percent of the Muslims feel “German”.

A Swedish study quoted in the former Danish minister Karen Jespersen’s book Islam’s Power supports my own clinical observations and the above research in identity from Denmark and Germany. The study concluded that Muslim criminals never robs other Muslims, and that the violence and robberies against the non-Muslim Swedes are mainly intended to cause submission: “The robberies, which are only rarely planned, could happen weekly or even daily. The purpose was far from just getting money for consumption. The aim was also very much to show power and humiliate Swedes. It did not matter who was the victims [sic], as long as it was a Swede: ‘When we make robbery, we feel that we are at war with the Swedes.’ ‘Yes, our assaults is an act of war, we are in war with the Swedes.’ ‘To me it is power, when the Swedes lay on the ground and kiss my feet.’ The psychology of identity and loyalty plays an immense role when assessing the risk of terrorist acts commuted by a person, group, organization or culture.

FP: How do these four Muslim psychological traits increase the risk of them becoming terrorists?

Sennels: Anger, hurt pride, a victim mentality and a strong feeling of belonging to a group that is superior and opposed to all others are the main components of the terrorist’s mindset. And this is exactly the feelings that Muslim upbringing and Muslim culture instills into a great many Muslims’ personality.

The cultivation of anger and seeing anger as a sign of strength provides the necessary aggression and motivation to harm the object on which one projects the anger. The hurt pride creates a feeling of need for revenge, fuels the anger and increase the wish for domination (”I will show you who are the strongest!”). The outer locus of control – the cause of the widespread and well known victim mentality in Muslim societies – creates an experience of oneself as a persecuted victim that is allowed to defend himself by all means against the brutal and unjust suppressor. The strong identity pinpoints both friends and enemies. Both in wars and in the Hollywood movies the designation and denigration of the enemy helps people feel less empathy with the enemy and thus destroys the psychological border that normally prevents us from harming “the bad guys” or feeling joy when they suffer or are killed. The values implemented in Muslim child education creates and strengthen this tendency to a great extent. Houndreds of thousands of Muslim children in the West attend Quranic schools and in many cases their negative view on non-Muslims are enhanced there.

Muslim culture basically creates a lot of angry people, with fragile self confidence, a great amount of victim mentality and a feeling of being opposed to non-Muslims. Combining such a culture with a violent ideology is the worst possible combination between psychology and religion you can have.

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Jamie Glazov

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Resurrecting the Caliphate

by Ryan Mauro

The Islamist forces are enthusiastic about the uprisings throughout the Arab world, knowing they will offer an opportunity to begin gradually recreating an unofficial Caliphate. Oppressive pro-Western governments, nationalist sentiments and secular forces stand in their way, but the Islamists’ organizational capabilities and clerical support give them an advantage. The Muslim Brotherhood suddenly has a chance to rapidly come to power throughout the entire Middle East and have parties and governments able to jointly reshape the region.

Egypt has received the most attention regarding a possible Muslim Brotherhood takeover. A World Public Opinion poll in 2009 showed that 69 percent of Egyptians believe the Brotherhood is genuinely democratic and 64 percent give it a positive rating. Less than one-fourth consider it to be an extremist group. A Pew poll in 2010 found strong support for a judicial system based on Sharia, including 84 percent supporting the execution of apostates. The most recent poll found only 15 percent supported the Brotherhood but it only surveyed Egyptians in Cairo and Alexandria whereas the Islamist support comes from the poorer areas of the country.

Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, who Robert Spencer has appropriately dubbed “Egypt’s New Hitler,” led prayers on stage at Tahrir Square. He used the moment to sideline Google executive Wael Ghonim, an instrumental figure in the Nile Revolution, refusing to allow him to take the stage. The Brotherhood’s apparatus has gone into high gear to prepare for elections by registering to participate under the name of the Freedom and Justice Party, beginning a monthly newspaper and various other publications and announcing plans for a new satellite television show.

The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to modify its image by saying it is a moderate force in favor of democracy and will not seek a parliamentary majority or even participate in presidential elections. This is a political trick. The group probably concluded it would not win a majority in parliament and even if it could, it will still be better to form a bloc with parties that arouse less suspicion. The reason it isn’t going to run a candidate in the presidential elections is because it already has a candidate: Mohammed el-Baradei.

The alliance between Mohammed el-Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood is welcomed news in Tehran, as el-Baradei has said the Iranian regime is reasonable and he may have received covert Iranian financing. The Muslim Brotherhood, though Sunni, has allied to Iran as the regime has sponsored Hamas. The Brotherhood recently put any doubt about its extremism or stance toward Iran to rest when one of its top officials spoke at a conference in Tehran and said that Ahmadinejad is the “bravest man” in the Middle East and that more “innocent, honest and brave leaders like him” are needed.

Luckily, the Wall Street Journal says political parties in Egypt are “sprouting like weeds” and different factions of the Muslim Brotherhood may start breaking away to form their own parties. The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa, is running for president and though he is a ferocious critic of Israel, he is an opponent of Iran. The poll of Egyptians in Cairo and Alexandria showed him with a massive lead over el-Baradei and every other candidate.

In Tunisia, the return of Rachid Ghannouchi of the Islamist al-Nahda party was welcomed by thousands. In 1989, his party won about 17 percent of the vote. He has preached much more moderately since when he was a ferocious critic of secularism. He now says he is nothing like Ayatollah Khomeini and that the implementation of Sharia law has “no place in Tunisia.” There have been expressions of anti-Semitism since President Ben Ali’s fall but it is difficult to evaluate the strength of support for Sharia-based governance. It is certain, though, that al-Nahda has a base of support that it can use to effectively campaign that the secularists currently do not.

The revolution in Libya is not religious in nature but anarchy could permit terrorists to find safe haven. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has endorsed the uprising. There is a report that former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group have seized weapons and declared an “Islamic Emirate of Barqa” in Derna but this claim came from an anonymous “security official” and Qaddafi’s deputy foreign minister. Residents in the area say this is not true, but there is reason to be concerned. The country has acted as a significant recruiting ground for terrorists in the past as Saudis and Libyans made up the largest portion of foreign fighters in Iraq. Over 60 percent of the Libyan militants came from Derna and about 24 percent came from Benghazi, two areas currently freed from Qaddafi’s grip. The Muslim Brotherhood has also been active in Libya since the 1950s and Sheikh al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa for Libyan soldiers to kill Qaddafi.

Algeria is another country in play for the Islamists in North Africa. A bloody civil war erupted when the military took over to prevent the Islamists from coming to power democratically. The state of emergency that was put into place to clamp down on the Islamists was lifted in February in response to large protests and riots. Al-Qaeda has also established a powerful branch in North Africa that has been very active in Algeria.

A main opposition group in Morocco is the Islamist Justice and Development Party. Its unofficial newspaper has spouted anti-Semitic and anti-Western rhetoric, such as saying that a tsunami in December 2004 was a judgment from God upon disobedient Muslims. The paper’s website has linked to Sheikh Qaradawi’s Union of Good, a network of charities that finance Hamas. However, the party does have competition as it came in second in the 2007 parliamentary elections, though foul play was alleged. The Islamist party did not endorse large protests that were recently held, showing an independent streak on the part of the demonstrators.

Sudan may be the next country to become a thoroughly Sharia-based state. President Omar Bashir has said that once South Sudan secedes, he will make Sharia the only source of legislation and Arabic the only language in the country. This is probably a move to appease his Islamist opposition, led by Muslim Brotherhood leader Hasan al-Turabi. Bashir arrested the cleric after he called for an uprising following the Jasmine Revolution and protests immediately formed to demand his release. Nearby in Somalia, the Al-Qaeda-affiliate al-Shabaab controls the southern and central parts of the country including parts of Mogadishu.

The Islamists are also in a good position in the Gulf. The majority of the population in Jordan is Palestinian and polls show a high level of extremism. The Muslim Brotherhood is the dominant opposition force, though it is currently protesting alongside various other parties and organizations. The protests in Iraq are not aimed at overthrowing the government and the pro-Iranian parties lost in a landslide in the last elections, but Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iraq and may benefit from the government’s declining support. The government of Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood and has grown closer to Iran and Syria but still hosts a major U.S. base. Protests are being organized now to demand the resignation of the Emir, the cutting of ties to both Israel and Iran and the removal of the U.S. base.

The Yemeni President has taken an anti-American turn in his rhetoric since facing his own uprising. The main opposition bloc is the Joint Meetings Party, of which the Islamist Islah Party is the strongest component. Islah is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and it has won support from tribal chiefs and Salafists. It supports creating a religious police like that in Saudi Arabia to “promote virtue and combat vice” and is critical of Yemen’s relationship with the U.S. The Treasury Department has designated one of its top leaders, Sheikh Abdul Majidal-Zindani, as a terrorist for his ties to Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Sheikh Qaradawi. He continues to have significant support and recently spoke in front of thousands of protesters. He does not hide his goal, saying “an Islamic state is coming.” Even if Islah does not come to power, instability in Yemen will benefit the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The situation is less clear in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The younger Saudi population is in favor of reform but a very strong Wahhabist clergy and elements of the Royal Family like Prince Nayef oppose them. Kuwait’s Islamist forces suffered a major defeat at the polls in 2009 but remain a potent force, especially the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate called the Islamic Constitutional Movement and the Islamic Salafi Alliance. There is a Salafi religious network in Kuwait to be concerned about, such as a popular cleric named Sheikh Hamid al-Ali who has been designated by the U.S. as a financier of terrorism.

In Bahrain, 70 percent of the population is Shiite, which one would presume would benefit Iran. However, the Shiite opposition says “We are not looking for a religious government like Iran’s” and another opposition leader said, “We want genuine democracy, not clerical.” Cables released by Wikileaks show that Bahrain told General Petraeus in 2008 that the Shiite opposition was being trained by Hezbollah in Lebanon but the U.S. had “seen no convincing evidence of Iranian weapons or government money here since at least the mid-1990s” and Bahrain was unable to offer proof.

Radical Islamic anti-Western governments are already in power in Iran, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip and Turkey has moved decisively in a pro-Iran, Islamist direction. Syria, though governed by a secular regime, is a strong ally of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. Ironically, the Assad regime’s most organized opposition force is the Muslim Brotherhood. The latest protests by Palestinians threaten the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank more than the Hamas regime in Gaza. It is not inconceivable that Hamas could control both Palestinian territories as the terrorist group is viewed favorably by 47 percent of those in the West Bank.

As these governments become unstable, a struggle will ensue between those who favor secular democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that view separation of mosque and state as a heresy and jihad against the West as a command from Allah. The stakes could not be much higher.

Original URL:

Ryan Mauro

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Will a UN Agency Succumb to Palestinian Threats?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Palestinians are up in arms over plans to teach the Holocaust in their schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Over our dead bodies." This has been the response of Hamas and Fatah officials to unconfirmed reports that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] may include the Holocaust in the curriculum of schools that it operates in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians have even warned UNRWA against committing the "crime" of including the Holocaust in the curriculum, threatening to foil the reported plan.

Many Arab governments have been teaching their constituents that the Holocaust is something that Jews made up to justify the creation of a homeland in Palestine.

They believe that the entire history of the Jews is one big "fabrication." Just recently, the Western-funded Palestinian Authority published a "study" that allegedly proves that the Western Wall has no religious significance to Jews.

According to the reports, the Holocaust would be taught to Palestinian children in the context of a lesson on human rights.

One can understand why Hamas would be opposed to such a move. But it is not clear why a Palestinian government that receives funding from the US and Europeans and that is formally involved in a peace process with Israel would be denying children the right to learn about the suffering of the other side.

"UNRWA should implement the curriculum of the host countries," said Ziad Thabet, Deputy Minister of Education for the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. "We will prevent UNRWA from implementing any new curriculum without returning to the Ministry of Education."

Fatah representatives and media outlets have also come out against any attempt to educate young Palestinians about the Nazi crimes.

Fatah activist Salah al-Wadiyeh urged Palestinian leaders to "confront this plan and to stand united against it."

He said that teaching the Holocaust in Palestinian schools was a "Zionist plot aimed at brainwashing our children and instilling in them sympathy for their killers. They are trying to occupy our minds through this scheme."

Al-Wadiyeh said that the "Palestinians know, more than any other people, the history of their enemies and their lies and endless false claims."

The Palestinians are opposed to teaching the Holocaust in their schools because first, many believe it never took place, and second, they are afraid that it some young men and women might identify with the Jews' plight during World War II.

The Palestinians, like many other Arabs, have convinced themselves that the Holocaust is nothing but a "Zionist conspiracy" to justify the occupation of their lands.

Other Arab governments are prepared to admit that Jews were indeed slaughtered during the Holocaust, but that the figure six million has been exaggerated to win sympathy and "extort" Germany and other European countries into paying compensation.

Israeli newspapers often publish stories documenting Palestinian suffering and human rights violations both by by the IDF and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But when was the last time anyone read an article in a Palestinian or Arab newspaper about the suffering on the other side?

Teaching the Holocaust to Palestinian children should be seen as a sign of strength, and not weakness. The Palestinians should learn from those Israelis who supported teaching the "nakba" [catastrophe – a reference to the establishment of Israel in 1948] and the poems of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in Israeli schools.

It now remains to be seen whether the UN agency will succumb to the Palestinian threats.

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Khaled Abu Toameh

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Attacks, Attempts Show Cost of Radicalization

by IPT News

He was living the American dream, but Faisal Shahzad gave it up to wage jihad and try to kill Americans with a car bomb near Times Square last May. In a pre-recorded video issued by the Pakistani Taliban, Shahzad recounted a spiritual journey that led him to give up a promising career as a financial analyst and become a terrorist just one year after becoming an American citizen.

"I had everything in the world. I had a nice car. I had a house. I had an excellent job," he said. "They were paying me good money. But deep inside I always had this thought that there's probably more than this to life."

He was raised in a moderate Muslim family, Shahzad said. It was only when he started studying on his own that he learned the significance of jihad.

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee holds its first hearing on radicalization within the American Muslim community. Critics have blasted the concept for singling out Muslim Americans.

Ibrahim Ramey of the Muslim American Society – a group formed by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States – likened the hearings to a modern-day McCarthyite assault. "What is likely to emerge from these hearings is not a deeper understanding of 'Islamic' radicalism, or even the legitimate exposure of threats to our security," he wrote, "but rather, another round of taxpayer-funded Muslim bashing that whips up even more divisive xenophobia and religious bigotry in the nation."

In the past two years, however, FBI agents have stopped more than a dozen plots by Muslims in America to carry out terrorist attacks here and abroad. That includes the attempted bombing of a Christmas tree ceremony in Portland, and similar plots targeting a Baltimore Army recruiting center and the D.C. Metro system. A Chicago man even played a pivotal role in scouting targets for the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, in which more than 170 people were killed.

Such plots were not happening with this frequency, if at all, three or four years ago. Since then, al-Qaida's effort to recruit Westerners has grown far more sophisticated.

Charismatic Americans like Anwar al-Awlaki and Omar Hammami have made al-Qaida's message exciting and accessible to Westerners, Jarret Brachman, managing director of Cronus Global, testified during a March 2 hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

Online videos and the glossy magazine Inspire, which offers relatively simple suggestions for terrorist attacks and instructions on carrying them out, makes Islamic jihad "an adventure that kids can be part of," he said.

"They are the proverbial Bat Light," Brachman said. "They shine the light into the sky and they convince American citizens that they can be Batman."

On Thursday, two New Jersey men pled guilty to charges they tried to answer that Bat Light. Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte admit they intended to kill people by joining the al-Shabaab terrorist group. According to their criminal complaint, the men were influenced both by Awlaki and Hammami.

"Through covert recordings and their admissions today, Alessa's and Almonte's own words confirm they took steps down a deadly path," said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. "The defendants planned and trained for a mission that began in their New Jersey neighborhoods and would end with the murder of innocent civilians."

Shahzad's case, however, offers a greater case study into the reasons why radical Islamist ideology increasingly is attracting people living comfortable lives in America. In the 40-minute video, Shahzad reads a series of Quranic passages justifying his actions.

Muslims are humiliated and oppressed throughout the world because they have abandoned jihad – which Shahzad defines as "holy fighting in Allah cause [sic] with full force of numbers and weaponry." This has "utmost importance in Islam," he said, because "by jihad, Islam is established. Allah's word is made superior."

It is as much of a pillar of the faith as fasting and giving charity, yet too many people fail to wage jihad.

A series of attempted attacks inside America – and two deadly ones – show that homegrown Islamist radicalization is an emerging threat. Abdulhakim Muhammad, a convert, opened fire at an Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Ark., killing one soldier and wounding another. Muhammad told police "that he was mad at the U.S. Military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past." His attack followed a trip to Yemen where Muhammad studied at a radical madrassa and spent time in prison.

At Fort Hood, Texas, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at a processing center killing 13 people and wounding 32 others. Hasan, like many homegrown jihadists, was influenced by Awlaki's sermons and even had direct contact with him.

Awlaki also motivated five young men from Northern Virginia now serving 10-year prison terms in Pakistan. Led by a dental student, they disappeared just after Thanksgiving 2009, only to be arrested by Pakistani authorities as they tried to find their way to a battlefield and kill American soldiers. "We are not terrorists," Ramy Zamzam told a reporter. "We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism."

No one is saying the current terror threat represents anything more than a sliver of the Muslim-American community. But the problem is growing and stands to do so dramatically if ignored. In the past six months, FBI agents thwarted a number of would-be plots, including several in which suspects thought they had built their own bombs, only to learn they were inert when they tried to detonate them.

Shahzad would have killed people had he done a better job identifying the proper chemicals for his bomb.

Toward the end of his video, Shahzad is shown embracing Hakimullah Mehsud – the Pakistani Taliban leader reportedly killed in a drone strike January 2010. He looks into the camera and calmly expresses his intent to wage an attack in Manhattan.

He concluded by encouraging others to follow his lead, telling "my brothers, Muslim, living abroad, that it is not difficult at all to wage an attack on the West, and specifically in the U.S. and completely defeat them, Insha'Allah (God willing). Get up and learn from me and make an effort. Nothing is impossible if you just keep in mind that Allah is with you."

Original URL:

IPT News

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Egypt’s Renegotiation Threat

by Evelyn Gordon

Yesterday, I discussed Israel’s reasons for fearing that the current Arab revolutions could produce even worse regimes. But what if, against all odds, genuine Arab democracies do emerge? In the long run, that’s clearly good for Israel. But in the short run, all signs indicate that the first casualty of Arab democracy may well be Egypt’s peace with Israel — because so far, Egypt’s opposition has been unanimous in demanding that the treaty be either scrapped entirely or “renegotiated” out of existence.

As Jonathan noted, even Ayman Nour, who heads a liberal, secular, democratic party, is demanding the treaty’s renegotiation; that demand has been widely echoed. The veteran secular opposition group Kifaya has long demanded its abrogation, as has the Muslim Brotherhood, which reiterated this just last month. Presidential contender Mohammed ElBaradei effectively conditioned the treaty’s continuance on establishment of a Palestinian state — an impossible demand given that the Palestinians still refuse even to sit in the same room with Israeli negotiators. And so forth.

And while “renegotiating” the treaty may sound less threatening than scrapping it altogether, it isn’t. For the two items most Egyptians want to renegotiate are precisely those that made the treaty viable for Israel: one essential to its economic security, and one to its physical security.

Let’s start with the less important one: Egypt supplies almost all of Israel’s oil and natural gas, and this is highly unpopular. Israel’s own recently discovered reserves can eventually replace Egyptian natural gas. But for oil, Israel has no obvious alternative supplier: No other regional producer will sell to it, while buying through middlemen or distant suppliers like Russia is both more expensive and less reliable, with potentially severe economic consequences. Hence Israel never would have ceded Sinai’s oilfields without promise of a steady Egyptian supply.

But energy is minor compared to Egyptians’ other gripe with the treaty: the demilitarization of Sinai, on which Israel’s defense depends. From northern Sinai, Egyptian tanks could reach Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in a few hours — not nearly enough time for Israel to mobilize its reserves. And since Israel’s standing army is minuscule compared with Egypt’s, its entire defense strategy depends on mobilizing the reserves.

If Egyptian forces are allowed to mass in northern Sinai once again, Israel will be right back where it was pre-1967: facing military annihilation at any moment. Hence Israel would never have ceded Sinai without the demilitarization agreement.

Moreover, Egypt’s army is incomparably better equipped now, after three decades of massive American aid, than it was during the last Israeli-Egyptian war. And it still trains almost exclusively for war against Israel.

“Renegotiation” is thus a euphemism for gutting the treaty of everything that made it viable for Israel. As such, it’s worse than abrogation, since for that, Egypt would be blamed. But if Israel refused to amend the treaty, a world chronically unsympathetic to its security needs would blame it for failing to support Egypt’s fledgling democracy.

Still, would a democratic Egypt really declare war on Israel? Given how rampant anti-Israel sentiment is there, it’s hardly inconceivable. After all, a democratic government must satisfy its voters, yet it will be hard-pressed to produce growth and jobs quickly enough to do so. Playing the anti-Israel card may thus strike any government as the only solution.

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Evelyn Gordon

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The New Middle East

by Caroline B. Glick

A new Middle East is upon us and its primary beneficiary couldn’t be happier. In a speech Monday in the Iranian city of Kermanshah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Politburo Chief Gen. Yadollah Javani crowed, “Iran’s pivotal role in the New Middle East is undeniable.

Today the Islamic Revolution of the Iranian nation enjoys such a power, honor and respect in the world that all nations and governments wish to have such a ruling system.”

Iran’s leaders have eagerly thrown their newfound weight around. For instance, Iran is challenging Saudi Arabia’s ability to guarantee the stability of global oil markets.

For generations, the stability of global oil supplies has been guaranteed by Saudi Arabia’s reserve capacity that could be relied on to make up for any shocks to those supplies due to political unrest or other factors. When Libya’s teetering dictator Muammar Gaddafi decided to shut down Libya’s oil exports last month, the oil markets reacted with a sharp increase in prices. The very next day the Saudis announced they would make up the shortfall from Libya’s withdrawal from the export market.

In the old Middle East, the Saudi statement would never have been questioned. Oil suppliers and purchasers alike accepted the arrangement whereby Saudi Arabian reserves – defended by the US military – served as the guarantor of the oil economy. But in the New Middle East, Iran feels comfortable questioning the Saudi role.

On Thursday, Iran’s Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi urged Saudi Arabia to refrain from increasing production. Mirkazemi argued that since the OPEC oil cartel has not discussed increasing supplies, Saudi Arabia had no right to increase its oil output.

True, Iran’s veiled threat did not stop Saudi Arabia from increasing its oil production by 500,000 barrels per day. But the fact that Iran feels comfortable telling the Saudis what they can and cannot do with their oil demonstrates the mullocracy’s new sense of empowerment.

And it makes sense. With each passing day, the Iranian regime is actively destabilizing Saudi Arabia’s neighbors and increasing its influence over Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite minority in the kingdom’s Eastern Province where most of its oil is located.

Perhaps moved by the political unrest in Bahrain and Yemen, Saudi regime opponents including Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite minority have stepped up their acts of political opposition. The Saudi royal family has sought to buy off its opponents by showering its subjects with billions of dollars in new subsidies and payoffs. But still the tide of dissent rises.

Saudi regime opponents have scheduled political protests for March 11 and March 20. In an attempt to blunt the force of the demonstrations, Saudi security forces arrested Tawfiq al- Amir, a prominent Shi’ite cleric from the Eastern Province. On February 25, Amir delivered a sermon calling for the transformation of the kingdom into a constitutional monarchy.

Iran has used his arrest to pressure the Saudi regime. In an interview with Iran’s Fars news agency this week, Iranian parliamentarian and regime heavyweight Mohammed Dehqan warned the Saudis not to try to quell the growing unrest. As he put it, the Saudi leaders “should know that the Saudi people have become vigilant and do not allow the rulers of the country to commit any possible crime against them.”

Dehqan continued, “Considering that the developments in Bahrain and Yemen affect the situation in Saudi Arabia, the [regime] feels grave danger and interferes in the internal affairs of these states.”

Dehqan’s statement is indicative of the mullah’s confidence in the direction the region is taking.

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Iran is deeply involved in all the anti-regime protests and movements from Egypt to Yemen to Bahrain and beyond.

“Either directly or through proxies, they are constantly trying to influence events. They have a very active diplomatic foreign policy outreach,” Clinton said.

Iranian officials, Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists and other Iranian agents have played pivotal roles in the anti-regime movements in Yemen and Bahrain. Their operations are the product of Iran’s long-running policy of developing close ties to opposition figures in these countries as well as in Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Morocco.

These long-developed ties are reaping great rewards for Iran today. Not only do these connections give the Iranians the ability to influence the policies of post-revolutionary allied regimes.

They give the mullahs and their allies the ability to intimidate the likes of the Saudi and Bahraini royals and force them to appease Iran’s allies.

THIS MEANS that Iran’s mullahs win no matter how the revolts pan out. If weakened regimes maintain power by appeasing Iran’s allies in the opposition – as they are trying to do in Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen – then Iranian influence over the weakened regimes will grow substantially. And if Iran’s allies topple the regimes, then Iran’s influence will increase even more steeply.

Moreover, Iran’s preference for proxy wars and asymmetric battles is served well by the current instability. Iran’s proxies – from Hezbollah to al- Qaida to Hamas – operate best in weak states.

From Hezbollah’s operations in South Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s, to the Iranian-sponsored Iraqi insurgents in recent years and beyond, Iran has exploited weak central authorities to undermine pro-Western governments, weaken Israel and diminish US regional influence.

In the midst of Egypt’s revolutionary violence, Iran quickly deployed its Hamas proxies to Sinai.

Since Mubarak’s fall, Iran has worked intensively to expand its proxy forces’ capacity to operate freely in Sinai.

Recognition of Iran’s expanded power is fast altering the international community’s perception of the regional balance of forces. Russia’s announcement last Saturday that it will sell Syria the Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile was a testament to Iran’s rising regional power and the US’s loss of power.

Russia signed a deal to provide the missiles to Syria in 2007. But Moscow abstained from supplying them until now – just after Iran sailed its naval ships unmolested to Syria through the Suez Canal and signed a naval treaty with Syria effectively fusing the Iranian and Syrian navies.

So, too, Russia’s announcement that it sides with Iran’s ally Turkey in its support for reducing UN Security Council sanctions against Iran indicates that the US no longer has the regional posture necessary to contain Iran on the international stage.

Iran’s increased regional power and its concomitant expanded leverage in international oil markets will make it impossible for the US to win UN Security Council support for more stringent sanctions against Tehran. Obviously, UN Security Council-sanctioned military action against Iran’s nuclear installations is out of the question.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has failed completely to understand what is happening.

Clinton told the House of Representatives and the Senate that Iran’s increased power means that the US should continue to arm and fund Iran’s allies and support the so-called democratic forces that are allied with Iran.

So it was that Clinton told the Senate that the Obama administration thinks it is essential to continue to supply the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese military with US arms. Clinton claimed that she couldn’t say what Hezbollah control over the Lebanese government meant regarding the future of US ties to Lebanon.

So, too, while Palestinian Authority leaders burn President Barack Obama in effigy and seek to form a unity government with Iran’s Hamas proxy, Clinton gave an impassioned defense of US funding for the PA to the House Foreign Relations Committee this week.

Clinton’s behavior bespeaks a stunning failure to understand the basic realities she and the State Department she leads are supposed to shape. Her lack of comprehension is matched only by her colleague Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ lack of shame and nerve. In a press conference this week, Gates claimed that Iran is weakened by the populist waves in the Arab world because Iran’s leaders are violently oppressing their political opponents.

In light of the Obama administration’s refusal to use US military force for even the most minor missions – like evacuating US citizens from Libya – without UN approval, it is apparent that the US will not use armed force against Iran for as long as Obama is in power.

And given the administration’s refusal to expend any effort to protect US interests and allies in the region lest the US be accused of acting like a superpower, it is clear that US allies like the Saudis will not be able to depend on America to defend the regime. This is the case despite the fact that its overthrow would threaten the US’s core regional interests.

AGAINST THIS backdrop, it is clear that the only way to curb Iran’s influence in the region and so strike a major blow against its rising Shi’ite-Sunni jihadist alliance is to actively support the prodemocracy regime opponents in Iran’s Green Movement. The only chance of preventing Iran from plunging the region into war and bloodshed is if the regime is overthrown.

So long as the Iranian regime remains in power, it will be that much harder for the Egyptians to build an open democracy or for the Saudis to open the kingdom to liberal voices and influences. The same is true of almost every country in the region. Iran is the primary regional engine of war, terror, nuclear proliferation and instability. As long as the regime survives, it will be difficult for liberal forces in the region to gain strength and influence.

On February 24, the mullahs reportedly arrested opposition leaders Mir Hossain Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi along with their wives. It took the Obama administration several days to even acknowledge the arrests, let alone denounce them.

In the face of massive regime violence, Iran’s anti-regime protesters are out in force in cities throughout the country demanding their freedom and a new regime. And yet, aside from paying lip service to their bravery, neither the US nor any other government has come forward to help them. No one has supplied Iran’s embattled revolutionaries with proxy servers after the regime brought down their Internet communications networks. No one has given them arms.

No one has demanded that Iran be thrown out of all UN bodies pending the regime’s release of the Mousavis and Karroubis and the thousands of political prisoners being tortured in the mullah’s jails. No one has stepped up to fund around-the-clock anti-regime broadcasts into Iran to help regime opponents organize and coordinate their operations. Certainly no one has discussed instituting a no-fly zone over Iran to protect the protesters.

With steeply rising oil prices and the real prospect of al-Qaida taking over Yemen, Iranian proxies taking over Bahrain, and the Muslim Brotherhood controlling Egypt, some Americans are recognizing that not all revolutions are Washingtonian.

But there is a high likelihood that an Iranian revolution would be. At a minimum, a democratic Iran would be far less dangerous to the region and the world than the current regime.

The Iranians are right. We are moving into a new Middle East. And if the mullahs aren’t overthrown, the New Middle East will be a very dark and dangerous place.

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Caroline B. Glick

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Mosques Flourish in America; Churches Perish in Muslim World

by Raymond Ibrahim

As Muslims prepare to erect a mega-mosque near the site of the 9/11 atrocities, it is well to reflect that the sort of tolerance, or indifference, that allows them to do so, is far from reciprocated to churches in the Muslim world. I speak not of Islamist attacks against churches—such as the New Year attack in Egypt that killed 21 Christians; or when jihadists stormed a church in Iraq, butchering over 50 Christians; or Christmas Eve attacks on churches in Nigeria and the Philippines. Nor am I referring to state-sanctioned hostility by avowedly Islamist regimes, such as Iran's recent "round up" of Christians.

Rather, I refer to anti-church policy by Middle East governments deemed "moderate." Consider: Kuwait just denied, without explanation, a request to build a church; so did Indonesia, forcing Christians to celebrate Christmas in a parking lot—even as a mob of 1,000 Muslims burned down two other churches. If this is the fate of churches in "moderate" Indonesia and Kuwait—the latter's sovereignty due entirely to U.S. sacrifices in the First Gulf War—what can be expected of the rest of the Islamic world?

The best example of anti-church policy is Egypt, where the Middle East's largest Christian minority, the Copts, lives. During Mubarak's tenure alone "more than 1500 assaults on Copts have occurred, without any appropriate punishment given to criminals or compensation to the victims," says Coptic Solidarity.

For starters, Egypt's state security has a curious habit of disappearing right before Coptic churches are attacked—such as in the aforementioned New Year attack. They also tend to arrive rather late after churches are attacked: it took security "hours" to appear when six Copts were murdered while exiting their church last year. Considering that weeks ago an Egyptian policeman identified and opened fire on Christians, killing a 71-year-old—while yelling Islam's medieval war-cry, "Allah Akbar!"—none of this should be surprising.

Since the 7th century, when Islam invaded and subjugated formerly Christian Egypt, the plight of churches has been tenuous. The very first condition listed for Christians to obey in order not to be molested in the notorious Pact of Omar—which informs sharia law, "the principal source of legislation" in Egypt—says it all: "We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks' cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims." Accordingly, in the words of reporter Mary Abdelmassih:

[U]nlike Muslim citizens, who only need a municipal license to build mosques, the Copts require presidential approval for a church … [and] the approval of the neighboring Muslim community. Even after obtaining licenses for a church, Muslims still attack Christians and demolish or burn their churches. A rumor that Christians are meeting to pray is enough reason for Muslim neighbors to carry out acts of violence against them. On various occasions, it only takes Muslims to protest against the building of a church for State Security to stop the works, under the pretext that it is causing "sectarian strife."

In fact, citing minor building violations, Egypt's state security recently stormed a partially constructed church in the Talbiya region where over one million Christians live without a single church. In the process, state security fired tear gas and live ammunition on protesters, claiming the lives of four Copts, including an infant (79 were severely injured, 22 blinded or semi-blinded, and 179 detained, including woman and children). One human-rights activist complained that the wounded Copts "were shackled to their hospital beds and then sent to detention camps."

All this is exacerbated by well-connected Egyptian Muslims who issue fatwas comparing the building of a church to the building of "a nightclub, a gambling casino, or building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs"; or who appear on Al Jazeera ludicrously accusing Copts of stockpiling weapons in their churches and torturing Muslim women in their monasteries.

Incidentally, all this was under the "secularist" Mubarak. As for Egypt's current power-holders, the military, armed forces just stormed a 5th century monastery, opening fire on monks to chants of "Allah Akbar!" (see video here). Consider the fate of Copts should the Muslim Brotherhood assume power.

Such, then, is the plight of Christians and their churches in the Muslim world—and such is the irony: while mosques, some of which breed radicalization and serve as terrorist bases, start dotting America's landscape, churches are on their way to becoming extinct in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity. More pointedly, as America allows Muslims to build a mega-mosque near Ground Zero—which was annihilated by Islamists partially radicalized in mosques—America's "moderate friends" in the Muslim world blatantly persecute Christians and their churches.

Such flagrant double standards are—or should be—unconscionable. Yet here we are. Is it any wonder, then, that the Western mindset has a long way to go before it understands how to deal with the scourge that is "radical Islam"?

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Raymond Ibrahim

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Farrakhan: Jews Behind Mideast Crisis


Louis Farrakhan, the reliably anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, claimed Tuesday at the Nation’s annual meeting in the Chicago area that Jews and Zionists were “trying to push the US into war” and — in a revival of hoary anti-Semitic clichés — that “Zionists dominate the government of the United States of America and her banking system.”

The elderly Jew-hater also directed a warning to the president not to move against the man Farrakhan called “my brother and my friend,” Muammar Gaddafi: “President Obama, if you allow the Zionists to push you, to mount a military offensive against Gaddafi and you go in and kill him and his sons, as you did with Saddam Hussein and his sons… I’m warning you this is a Libyan problem, let the Libyans solve their problem among themselves.”

Farrakhan at the same time denied that he was – despite appearances — “just somebody who’s got something out for the Jewish people.” Farrakhan directly addressed those who might get such a crazy idea: “You’re stupid.” And he explained: “Do you think I would waste my time if I did not think it was important for you to know Satan? My job is to pull the cover off of Satan so that he will never deceive you and the people of the world again.”

A rational analyst would be hard-pressed to explain why Zionists might wish the U.S. to embark upon a military operation to remove Gaddafi, when the successor to his odious regime is likely to be an Islamic state that is even more virulently anti-America and anti-Israeli than that of the aging rock star who is still quixotically holding the fort in Tripoli. But Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish conspiracy paranoia is not entirely irrational, either: it is founded in a book revered by Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, albeit not in a wholly conventional fashion: the Koran.

Neither Sunni nor Shi’ite Muslim authorities generally regard the Nation of Islam as an orthodox expression of Islam; nevertheless, its adherents identify themselves as Muslims and read the Koran. And the Koran, whether or not it really is, in the words of Michael Potemra, Deputy Managing Editor of National Review magazine, “one of the loveliest books ever written…full of spiritual wisdom,” is undeniably full of venomous hatred toward the Jews.

The Koran puts forward a clear, consistent image of the Jews: they are scheming, treacherous liars and the most dangerous enemies of the Muslims. This theological tenet provides a basis for Islam’s deeply rooted anti-Semitism, and illuminates Farrakhan’s latest outburst. For the Koran depicts the Jews as a gang of corrupt, deceitful cut-throats.

The Koran condemns Jews for speaking “a lie concerning Allah knowingly” (3:75). The Jews are “men who will listen to any lie” (5:41). They also spread them: “There is a party of them who distort the Scripture with their tongues, that ye may think that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture. And they say: It is from Allah, when it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie concerning Allah knowingly” (3:78). They are so deceitful that they dare to distort “Divine Revelation and Allah’s Sacred Books. Allah says in this regard: ‘Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby’” (2:79).

The Jews in the Koran are so obstinate before Allah that they refuse to believe in the prophets Allah has sent them, even Moses, telling him: “O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly” (2:55). They are hypocrites (2:14; 2:44) who “grow arrogant” before the messengers of Allah, refusing to believe in some and killing others (2:87). They are so arrogant and haughty that they “claimed to be the sons and of Allah and His beloved ones” – a fault they share with the Christians: “The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones” (5:18).

The Jews also try to lead others away from the truth: “Many of the People of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them” (2:109). They rejoice in others’ ill-fortune: “If a lucky chance befall you, it is evil unto them, and if disaster strike you they rejoice thereat” (3:120).

And so when Farrakhan refers to Jews as Satanic deceivers, he is actually being more moderate than the Koran itself. For Farrakhan and his ilk, eliminating the Jewish state is not just a foreign policy goal; it is a religious imperative.

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Gaddafi Strikes Oil Areas, Arabs Weigh Chavez Mediation

by Al Arabiya Latest News

Muammar Gaddafi and key aides will be probed over allegations they committed crimes against humanity while fending off the uprising in Libya, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor said Thursday.

"We have identified some individuals with de facto or formal authority, who have authority over the security forces," that have clamped down on a rebellion that started on February 15, Luis Moreno-Ocampo told journalists in The Hague.

"They are Muammar Gaddafi, his inner circle, including some of his sons."

Ocampo also listed individuals including the veteran Libyan leader's head of personal security, and the head of the external security forces.

More than 100,000 people have already fled Libya to escape a vicious crackdown by Gaddafi loyalists which has left at least 1,000 dead, according to UN estimates.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi's forces struck at rebel control of oil export hubs in Libya's east for a second day on Thursday as Arab states weighed a plan to end turmoil Washington said could make the country "a giant Somalia."

A leader of the uprising against Gaddafi's 42-year-old rule said he would reject any proposal for talks with Gaddafi to end the conflict in the world's 12th largest oil exporting nation.

Chavez’s offer considered

We can confirm Libya's interest in accepting this proposal, as well as the Arab League's
Andres Izarra, Venzuela's information minister

Libya and the Arab League are considering a mediation proposal by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in the North African nation, a Venezuelan minister said Thursday.

"We can confirm Libya's interest in accepting this proposal, as well as the Arab League's" interest, Information Minister Andres Izarra told AFP.

He added that Chavez, an ally of Gaddfi, recently spoke personally by telephone with Libya's embattled strongman to discuss the proposal.

The Arab League's secretary general Amr Mussa told AFP Thursday that it is "studying" Chavez's proposal.

"We are studying the proposal," Mussa said, declining to give any further details on the regional forum's response to Chavez's suggestion.

Meanwhile, France rejected Thursday Chavez’s offer and dismissed talk of any solution that would allow embattled leader Gaddfi to stay in power.

"Any mediation that allows Colonel Gaddafi to succeed himself is obviously not welcome," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in response to Chavez's proposal, speaking after talks with his British counterpart William Hague.

Chavez and Gaddafi have discussed plans for an international peacekeeping mission to mediate the crisis in Libya, rocked by two weeks of bloody clashes with protesters seeking to topple his 41-year-old regime.

Both leaders regularly make public condemnations of U.S. "imperialism" and have exchanged visits in recent years. Ties are so close that Gaddafi was rumored at one point to have fled to Caracas, claims later denied.

Venezuela's leader also refused to condemn Gaddafi for his crackdown on protesters, spoke with the Libyan leader on Tuesday, Information Minister Andres Izarra said through Twitter.

Oil terminal bombed

Witnesses said a warplane bombed the eastern oil terminal town of Brega, a day after troops loyal to Gaddafi launched a ground and air attack on the town that was repulsed by rebels spearheading a popular revolt against his four-decade-old rule.

The rebels, armed with rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and tanks, called on Wednesday for U.N.-backed air strikes on foreign mercenaries it said were fighting for Gaddafi.

But perhaps mindful of a warning by Gaddafi that foreign intervention could cause "another Vietnam", Western officials expressed caution about any sort of military involvement including the imposition of a no-fly zone.

A rebel officer said government air strikes targeted the airport of Brega and a rebel position in the nearby town of Ajdabiyah, referring to two rebel-held locations.

Opposition soldiers also said troops loyal to Gaddafi had been pushed back to Ras Lanuf, home to another major oil terminal and 600 km (375 miles) east of Tripoli.

"Gaddafi's forces are in Ras Lanuf," Mohammed al-Maghrabi, a rebel volunteer, told Reuters, echoing comments by others.

The uprising, the bloodiest yet against long-serving rulers in the Middle East and North Africa, is causing a humanitarian crisis, especially on the Tunisian border where tens of thousands of foreign workers have fled to safety.

NATO intervention

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday it has no intention of intervening in Libya but is planning for "all eventualities."

Rasmussen said at a press conference that NATO officials "take note" of a request from the Libyan opposition for foreign nations to launch airstrikes against mercenaries hired by Muammar Gaddafi's.

"We follow and monitor the situation closely, take note of requests forwarded," he said after meeting with Montenegro's Prime Minister Igor Luksic at NATO headquarters.

However he added: "I would like to stress that NATO does not have any intention to intervene but as a defense alliance and security organization we do prudent planning for all eventualities."

The NATO chief has insisted the UN Security Council would have to approve any military action in Libya, including the enforcement of a no-fly zone.

Meanwhile, Germany said that it is against any foreign military intervention in Libya, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday.

"We do not participate, and we do not share a discussion of military intervention, because we think this would be very counterproductive," he said at a meeting of central European foreign ministers in Slovakia.

He also said the situation was not ripe to decide on imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.

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Al Arabiya Latest News

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There Are No Jews in Tahrir Square

by Rachel Wahba

You will find no Jews in Tahir Square. Or in Mansoura, where Grandfather Wahba had a drug store. I scan the architecture on CNN looking past the screaming demonstrators. I want to see Egypt, Dad’s Egypt, and imagine what he would be saying about the situation today; almost four years since he died.

Egypt is in the news and how I miss my father.

I see “Rioting in Mansoura, Cairo, Alexandria,” flash on the news. Cities that were home to my dad, at different points in his life. Born to an old Egyptian family in Mansoura, “the Wahbas were real (not transplants from another country), Egyptians” he bragged. They were indigenous to the land, originally farmers, peasants, in Midghram.

When President Obama spoke in Cairo he didn’t ask, “Where are your Jews”? Once not so long ago Egyptian Jews were an integral part of Egypt’s infrastructure. Obama did mention the Copts (Egypt’s Christians,) another indigenous group who suffer discrimination and he asked for “tolerance”.
ASK WHERE ARE THE JEWS WHO LIVED HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS I wanted to break through his eloquence. But yelling at the TV is not my style.

And now I shall deliver some mostly ignored facts and have my own Tahir Square experience:

In 1948 there were 75,000 Jews in Egypt After the expulsion in l956 during Nasser’s reign, most of Egypt’s Jews were forced to flee. My grandfather had to sign a document saying he would never return. A variety of creative humiliations accompanied the confiscation of any property. Nothing of monetary value was allowed out with their one suitcase of clothing.

Penniless, the majority of Egyptian Jews ended up in transit camps in Israel.

A wave of expulsions of Arab Jews from all over the Middle East and North Africa numbered in the tens of thousands:

Financially ripped off and exiled from their native lands, some since Biblical times: Aden (8,000), Algeria (140,000), Iraq (135,000), Lebanon (5,000), Libya (38,000), Morocco (265,000), Tunisia (105,000) and Yemen, (55,000).

The total count is 800,000. Kicked out, and all their possessions confiscated. The world did not scream and there was no CNN, and I don’t know if the refugees made it in the Movie Reel News.

No, there are no Jews demonstrating in Mansoura or Tahir Square today. No Egyptian Jews strolling The Corniche in Alexandria.

In 2005 there were approximately 100 old Jews left in Egypt.

And I imagine most are dead or too old to walk today.

So what next?

Israel is home to most Jews from Arab lands today. They are long out of the Maabarot, the transit camps. They are grandparents and great grandparents to children who serve in the Israeli army.

Egyptian Jews are watching the news, perhaps also scanning the once familiar landscape. They utter “Inshallah,” God willing, may this Uprising end well. I too, from my safe home in America, pray, Inshallah, may it end well, and Israel be safe.

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Rachel Wahba

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The Indefensible Case for Withdrawal

by Ari Harow

The Middle East is in the midst of an historic upheaval. But despite the Arab street’s clear demands for regime change, there are still those who insist that a withdrawal from the West Bank is the recipe for regional stability.

They could not be further from the truth.

In reality, moves to delegitimize our presence in Judea and Samaria, and ultimately to hasten our withdrawal to the 1967 armistice lines, would prove catastrophe for democratic hopes in the region. If there is to be any progress, it must be grounded in the concept of defensible borders.

As the world waits for Libya to become the latest tyranny to tumble, it is far from certain that democracy will follow Muammar Gaddafi’s exit. Similarly, the path to freedom and truly representative government in Egypt and Tunisia is paved with uncertainty.

Democracy ranks alongside military rule, theocracy and numerous other shades of autocracy as possible outcomes.

Lebanon is the most recent reminder, if one were needed, that the Middle East version of democracy is tenuous at best, forever at the mercy of antidemocratic forces. Lebanon is a regional rarity, enjoying free elections for a multiparty parliament.

Yet in January, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah engineered the dismantling of prime minister Saad Hariri’s government, replacing him with a stooge for the Shi’ite terror movement. Abusing the tools of democracy, Iran has strengthened its stranglehold on the country. Only five years ago, Lebanon appeared poised for freedom after its “Cedar Revolution” had ousted Syria. It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to picture the “Jasmine Revolution” and the “Facebook Revolution” deteriorating in similar fashion.

ISRAEL TOO has been guilty of placing its faith in half-baked democracies. The unconditional withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 was heralded as an opportunity for the Palestinian Authority to institute freedom, prosperity and the rule of law. Instead, previously thriving industries in Gaza were left to rot, and poverty remained. Seizing the opportunity, another Iranian proxy, Hamas, seized the reins of power, violently overthrowing Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah, whose officials fled for their lives. More than five years later, the Negev still faces Hamas rockets.

With Hamas dedicated to our destruction, the international community urges greater trust to be placed in the hands of Abbas. Yet his regime is anything but a model of good government. Abbas’s term as PA president expired more than a year ago, and parliamentary elections are similarly overdue. Abbas, seemingly terrified his tenuous rule will be the next target of Arab uproar, scrambled to call elections last week.

And yet this failed democracy is the regime that so many insist we empower by withdrawing from the West Bank.

Even if Abbas were willing to genuinely reform his authority, introducing genuine checks and balances and democratic principles, the clear danger remains that Hamas, backed by its Iranian patrons, will repeat its Gaza trick.

With the Middle East at an historic crossroads, a withdrawal to the indefensible 1967 armistice lines is a risk we simply can’t afford to take, and which the likes of Hamas are all too eager to exploit. A pullout from the West Bank would surely only encourage the Iranian- inspired fundamentalists who hope to add our eastern flank to the trophies of Gaza and Lebanon. Regionally, other extremist forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood would gain inspiration from a perceived Israeli capitulation, fuelling their own appetite for power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries whose futures have yet to be determined.

Withdrawal threatens not only Israel, but also Western illusions of peace and democracy in the Middle East. A pullback to the 1967 lines would leave the region’s only genuine democracy exposed at a time of immense uncertainty.

In doing so, reconciliation and genuine peace would become even more unlikely. Any future Israeli-Palestinian talks must therefore be predicated on the necessity of defensible borders.

If not, the dream of a democratic triumph will become more distant than ever.

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Ari Harow served as bureau chief to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and is currently president of 3H Global Enterprise.

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