Saturday, July 2, 2011

Beck Bids Adieu

by Arnold Ahlert

Yesterday was Glenn Beck’s last day on Fox. In his run there, which began in 2008 after Fox hired him away from rival network CNN, Mr. Beck was a lighting rod for relentless progressive vitriol. Perhaps only George W. Bush and Sarah Palin have been subjected to more criticism than the controversial TV and radio host. Yet despite the controversy, Beck leaves behind a solid legacy in two arenas: his attention to the far-left’s alliance with Islamic radicalism, and his exposure of the breathtaking degree of leftist radicalism that permeates the Democratic Party.

Beck has done yeoman’s work with regard to exposing radical Islam, as demonstrated by a a six-part series of videos (available here, here, here, here, here and here). In fact, Beck’s ongoing exposés of that radicalism remain unmatched by most in the mainstream media. Yet when Beck offered his rationale connecting Muslim radicals with the “hard-core socialist Left,” he was not only taken on by the Left, but conservatives as well. For instance, the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol accused Beck of “hysteria,” and National Review’s Rich Lowry called it a “well-deserved shot.”

The leftist/Islamist alliance is in fact quite ubiquitous and there are many disturbing examples of it that Beck took care to document. The radical leftist group Code Pink, which has forged ties with Hamas, did indeed spend time in early 2011 agitating in Cairo and at the Egyptian Rafah crossing, a border which many Egyptians believe Mubarak closed because he was a pawn of the Israelis. It was Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, along with leftist Weather Underground terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, who helped organize last year’s Free Gaza Movement which launched the “peace” flotilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This year’s 11-ship flotilla, with the same objective, includes a boat named the “Audacity of Hope” and carries American leftists, including author Alice Walker, who this week called Israel and America “terrorist states” (as the Iranians do). Beck also created a video montage of leftist organizations mingled with Islamic radicals, all promoting the same anti-Semitic message. Ironically, that video begins with Chris Matthews mocking Beck for making the connection.

Yesterday, on the same day Beck’s Fox career was coming to an end, he may have received one of the more satisfying vindications of his assertions: Commentary Magazine reported that the Obama administration is reversing a five-year ban on contact with the Muslim Brotherhood. That would be the same Muslim Brotherhood which spawned Hamas, whose charter is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and calls for the extermination of Jews. “We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful, and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps Beck is equally vindicated by another revelation which occurred recently. Left-wing Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), despite assertions that his statements had been “mischaracterized” by the Syrian media, was caught praising President Bashar Assad as a man “thinking about the different ways that would be the best way to address the needs of the people…And frankly, that’s a positive development.” How has Assad been addressing the needs of his people? By gunning them down in the streets for daring to stand against his thug regime. Over 1,400 men, women and children have been murdered so far.

Glenn Beck also made the Left hysterical when he took on one of its cherished icons, George Soros. Beck contended that Soros has a five-step plan to bring down America, a charge which was greeted with contempt. One of those steps, according to Beck, was to “control the airwaves.” Once again, Beck was vindicated when an in-depth Fox report revealed that Soros “has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets–including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC.” The breadth of Soros’ media connections are explained in great detail, but nothing sums up his influence better than this:

Readers unhappy with Soros’ media influence might be tempted to voice concerns to the Organization of News Ombudsmen–a professional group devoted to ‘monitoring accuracy, fairness and balance.’ Perhaps they might consider a direct complaint to one such as NPR’s Alicia Shepard or PBS’s Michael Getler, both directors of the organization. Unfortunately, that group is also funded by Soros.

The response to Beck’s efforts to expose Soros were characterized as anti-Semitic, with Daily Beast columnist Michelle Goldberg calling them an “updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” ADL leader Abraham Foxman piled on as well, calling Beck’s coverage of Soros’ actions as a boy during the Holocaust (when he aided Nazis in the confiscation of Jewish property) as “completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.” Yet a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft is where this information originated, and most of the controversy surrounding the interview has to do with Soros’ near-sociopathic lack of guilty for his conscription: “No feeling of guilt?” asked Kroft. “No,” said Soros. “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there. If I wasn’t doing it, somebody else would be taking it away anyhow. Whether I was there or not. So I had no sense of guilt.”

Of course, Beck’s exposure of the control of the far-left over what’s left of the Democratic Party, facilitated immensely by Soros, was monumental. From Obama’s czars, such as dedicated Marxist Van Jones and the FCC’s chief diversity czar and Hugo Chavez sympathizer Mark Lloyd, to the president’s spiritual advisor and self-admitted Marxist Rev. Jim Wallis, Beck has sought to shine the light on the assortment of radical elements that form the basis of this administration and its defenders.

For that he has been routinely excoriated by the American Left, various elements of which have actively worked toward or endorsed the abridgment of Beck’s free speech. Even to the end, as yesterday’s piece in the Baltimore Sun indicated, there will be no letup. Writer David Zurawik stated that Glenn Beck ”will leave a TV legacy of reckless, divisive and ugly speech in his wake,” and that “he and Fox News should both feel some shame for the harm they have done to the national political discourse — how they have taken an hour of dinnertime each weeknight and used it to help polarize us with paranoid and angry words.”

Despite such obtusely hyperbolic detractors — who consistently and bizarrely level more vitriol and hysteria toward Beck than the very “hate” they purport to despise him for — Beck remains popular. Even with a forty percent drop-off from his ratings high-water mark, Beck’s remained the most popular show on cable news in his time slot, with almost two and a half times the number of viewers as his closest rivals, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. And contrary to published reports that he was fired, Beck is leaving Fox because his contract is up, and his business and creative teams at Mercury Radio Arts prefer to get out from under the grind of producing his 5 p.m. show amid the corporate bureaucracy “where most ideas must be generated, spelled out in pitches, run by producers, budgeted, then run by more producers, approved by senior executives, etc.”

His next venture, GBTV, will be a web-based TV network, with two hour shows broadcast on weekdays from 5-7 PM EST, beginning on Sept. 12th. The show will also be available on demand. Subscriptions will cost $4.95 per month for access just to the show, or $9.95 for premium member access to all of the site’s programming. Advertising will provide additional revenue. “Lots of people are talking about the digital content revolution, but few are willing to risk it all and place a huge bet on the future,” said Christopher Balfe, President & COO of Mercury Radio Arts in a statement. “With GBTV, Mercury is doing just that. Fortunately, our incredible team at Mercury, as well as our industry-leading business partners, makes me confident that we will once again build something extraordinary.”

On his last show, Beck explained the reasons for his success. “I contend that is the reason we are successful here…because it’s true,” he said last night. “It seems as though there’s no truth anywhere anymore. We’ve made a lot of enemies on this program. We’ve taken on every single person we’ve been told not to take on…because the truth has no agenda. It will lead us where it leads us. This show has not only survived; we have thrived.” He then explained where he was going. “I have given up on admiring the problem. I am focused solely on the solution…I’m running to something. I know exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

Will Beck remain a controversial figure? Undoubtedly. Yet despite his well-publicized foibles, Beck was more than willing to take on the sacred cows of political correctness and their defenders, often by the most devastating method possible:

Their own words.

Arnold Ahlert is a contributing columnist to the conservative website


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

Obama Admin Lists Israel as a Terror Sponsor

by Dick Morris

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) maintains a list of “specially designated countries” (SDCs) that “have shown a tendency to promote, produce or protect terrorist organizations or their members.” The folks from these nations get special scrutiny when they enter the U.S.

Here’s the list:

West Bank
Saudi Arabia
And so forth.

Israel? Yes Israel is one of the thirty-six SDCs that “promote, produce, or protect” terrorists, according to the Obama Administration. With splendid equality, they manage to list the world’s biggest victim alongside the globe’s leading perpetrators of terrorism. Israelis coming into America get the same high level of scrutiny that Iranians do!

This information, which comes to us courtesy of the wonderful website, is as shocking as it is credible.

That Obama has tried to maintain that there is a moral equilibrium between Israel and the aggressive Arabs that surround it is well known. But to list Israel as a promoter, protector, or producer of terrorism is quite extraordinary.

Doubtless some politically correct soul at ICE or in the State Department felt that the U.S. needed to show impartiality in making up its list and include non-Muslim countries. What better rebuttal to those who would claim that the ICE is profiling Muslims than to say that Israel is also on the list?

But Israel’s inclusion on the list, to say nothing of the indignity inflicted on its citizens as they seek to enter the United States, is an insult and must be corrected at once!

Dick Morris


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Jewish Enablers of the War Against Israel

by Steven Plaut

The assault against Israel involves a war of words and concepts which are just as deadly as the vicious episodes of terrorist violence that punctuate daily life in the Jewish State. A propaganda narrative casting Israelis as “Nazis” who are perpetrating a Jewish version of the Final Solution against hapless Palestinians has spread from the Middle East into the capitals of Europe, and is echoed in the “boycott and divestment” movement and “Anti-Israel Apartheid Weeks” on prestigious American college campuses.

One of the most wrenching facts of this war against the Jews is the central role played by Jewish enablers of anti-Semitism. These individuals, mostly in the universities (American and Israeli alike), have given protective cover to the revival of Jew-hatred, which gains momentum with each passing day. The fact that these enablers are Jewish gives legitimacy to the hateful rhetoric about Jews and the Jewish State, and allows such ideology to flourish with utter impunity.

“Jewish Enablers of the War Against the Jews” by University of Haifa Professor Stephen Plaut exposes these Jewish Jew-haters—this is the only label for them—for what they really are. Plaut has written 20 searing portraits based on the words and deeds of these enablers, including figures such as the notorious Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein; the pseudo-rabbi Michael Lerner; and Harvard’s Sara Roy, an apologist for the terror group Hamas. This collection is comprised of Israelis as well, including Oren Yiftachel, who composes tracts purporting to show that his own country is a racist, apartheid state.

As Plaut’s work shows, these are not “self-hating” Jews; they hate both Israel and America.

To read the pamphlet, click here.

To purchase the pamphlet, click here.

The pamphlet is also available on Kindle.

Steven Plaut


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

Chad: Gaddafi's Best Ally

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

The war in Libya has mainly been characterized by inaction. But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that, where Libya is concerned, it is not only inaction that is leading this war to becoming similar of the Vietnam disaster, but also that the West is confused on who are its allies and who are its foes.

Clinton said Libya's southern neighbor, Chad, supports efforts to drive Muammar Gaddafi from power, and that Chad has been supporting Gadaffi opponents fighting to topple the Libyan leader.

"The Chadian government does not support Gaddafi," she said. "They have made that very clear. They want to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We are very supportive of their efforts to reach out to the Transitional National Council, which they have been doing in a more sustained way in recent days."

Things, however, seem to be quite different from the picture portrayed by Clinton.

Chadian President and Gaddafi's relation

Gaddafi has a long and complicated history with the neighboring Chad. The colonel brought the Chadian President Idriss Déby to power in 1990, by supporting him financially and militarily. In 1973, Libya's hegemonic ambitions brought the invasion of Chad, occupying and annexing the Aozou Strip, a region considered to be rich in uranium, some 44,00 square miles in the north of Chad bordering the whole 500-mile frontier with Libya. In 1987, Chad, under the leadership of President Hissène Habré, tried to take back the Aozou Strip from Libya. In order to contain Libya's regional aspirations, the United States and France gave military help to Habré. Chad, hence, managed to provide Libya with several setbacks, destroying also an airbase 100 kilometers inside Libya.

In October 1988, Libya and Chad restored diplomatic relations, even though the climate of tension between the two countries continued to exist. In retaliation of the United States and France's support to Habré, the Libyan leader sponsored the bombing of a U.S. Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. In 1990, the dispute over the Aouzou Strip between Chad and Libya was submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On February 3, 1994 the ICJ ruled that the Strip should remain under Chad's sovereignty. On May 30,1994, Gaddafi accepted the ICJ's decision and Libyan troops were pulled from the Aozou Strip.

Habré's government did not last long, however. In November 1990, a rebel offensive against the Chadian ruler was led by Idriss Déby, former army commander under Habré's regime belonging to the Zaghawa ethnic group, supported by Gaddafi. After three months of provisional government, Déby was declared president of Chad.

Déby owes Gaddafi his rise to power, but not only that. On February 2008, in the capital N'Djamena, Chadian rebels tried to topple Déby's regime, but he managed to stop the revolt thanks to Gaddafi's support. The Libyan opposition is now accusing the Chadian president of sending soldiers in order to pay back the debt he owes Gaddafi.

Two Chadian generals allegedly commanding mercenaries in Libya

In February 2011, Libyan revolutionaries accused the Chadian government of having played a vital role in providing "mercenaries" to Gaddafi to prevent his fall, through the overland route to Libyan town of Sabha, just across Chad's border. Ali Zeidan, spokesman for the exiled Libyan Human Rights League (LHRL), claimed that two Chadian generals were commanding the mercenaries, under the orders of the Chad's ambassador to Libya, Daoussa Déby, brother of the Chadian president.

The Chadian government denied providing mercenaries to Gaddafi, Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat saying in a statement:

"These are outrageous and malicious reports. Chad has never sent or authorized the recruitment of its nationals in order to fight in Libya," Mahamat said. "Chad cannot afford such a gesture, as we are concerned about the situation in our neighboring country."

On April 4, 2001, the Saudi-owned newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, reported that Libyan sources claimed the Chadian regime provided the weapons and ammunitions to support Gaddafi in addition to bringing in fighters from African countries. Furthermore, the Arab paper stated that:

"Gen. Ramadan Arobo, governor of [Chad's region of] Borkou and former Chadian security director; Gen. Sair Abadi, governor of [Chad's] Adre Province; and Gen. Tofa, the [Chadian] Republican Guards commander, were supervising the dispatch of African forces and deploying them in the areas between Al-Zawiyah and Tripoli. The same [Libyan] source said that these forces were protecting the road between these two cities, adding that 'the Chadian ambassador in Tripoli, Daoussa Déby, and a bank director are the ones paying the money for bringing in the Africans, particularly from Chad, who are then landed in the [Darfur's city of] Umm Jaras or [in the Chadian city of] Tanda airport at the borders with Libya and then taken by vehicles inside the country.' He pointed out that the elements, which took part in seizing Ra's Lanuf for Gaddafi's forces were Chadian forces."

Mahamat Assileck Halata, Chadian opposition leader, claimed in a February 2011 interview, that the Chadian government sent 1,500 men to fight against the rebels in Libya. These soldiers allegedly flew from N'Djamena to the South of Libya, where, by car, they had been transported to Tripoli. According to the Chadian opponent, Déby helped Gaddafi not only because he owes him his stay in power, but also because without the Libyan leader would be more vulnerable in relation to the Chadian opposition, as along the years Gaddafi has helped Déby to repress Chadian rebel groups.

The Chadian Ambassador to Tripoli, Daoussa Déby, was actually surveying, from Libya, rebel movements coming from the North of Chad to topple Déby's regime.

Omar Yahya, the Chadian president's adviser, rejected the allegations that Chad helped the Libyan leader to suppress the uprising. He instead told the Saudi paper, Asharq Al-Awsat, that his country "is not interfering in the Libyan affair or standing with any party despite the historic relations between Déby and Gaddafi." He has also pointed out that the accusations against Chad did not have evidence.

During the interview, Yahya said the closing of Chad's border with Libya was to stop the infiltration of any al-Qaeda organization elements. In an interview with Pan-African weekly, Jeune Afrique, Déby warned that "the Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Ténéré," a desert region of the Sahara, stretching from northeast Niger to western Chad. Déby's words seem to echo Gaddafi's claims that the terrorist group al-Qaeda masterminded the national uprising in Libya.

Anna Mahjar-Barducci


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Life for Palestinians in Gaza Strip Improved, So Why Send Flotilla There?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

It was a very hot weekend for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. That is why thousands of them preferred to enjoy their time on the clean beaches, swimming, sunbathing, riding horses, sailing, smoking water pipes and barbequing.

These photos were provided not by a Jewish photographer or some naïve Western reporter who happened to be in the Gaza Strip last week.

The photos were actually published by a Hamas-affiliated website in an attempt to show that the situation in the Gaza Strip under Hamas's rule is not as bad as many people think.

No one is saying that the situation in the Gaza Strip is very good. It was never good – not when Egypt was there, not when Israel captured it in 1967, not when the PLO assumed control over the area in 1994 and not under Hamas today.

There has always been poverty in the Gaza Strip, where more than 80 percent of the people rely on handouts from UNRWA and dozens of international aid organizations.

But the irony is that, in comparison with the past, the situation in the Gaza Strip these days is much better. The rate of crime has dropped to its lowest in decades, and many Palestinians there are saying that they don't miss the anarchy, corruption and lawlessness that prevailed under the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority.

In a few weeks, the largest Palestinian shopping mall is scheduled to open its gates in the Gaza Strip, offering Palestinians a wide range of services, including cinemas, modern coffee shops and boutiques carrying international brands such as Armani, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica.

According to Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, there is no shortage of basic foods. Periodic shortage of medical supplies is often attributed to the ongoing power struggle between Hamas and Fatah, whose representatives in the West Bank are sometimes accused of withholding medicine as a way of punishing the Hamas government.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh last week boasted that, unlike the Western-funded government of Salam Fayyad, his government was not in debt and does not have any problem paying salaries to tens of thousands of people who are on its payroll.

In light of all the good news from that area, one wonders about the purpose of the new flotilla of ships to the Gaza Strip. Is it about helping Palestinians in the Gaza Strip or is it simply intended to challenge Israel?

It is always nice to send humanitarian aid to people who need it. And there is no doubt that there are many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who are in need of such aid.

But are there not other ways of helping the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip without challenging and provoking Israel? Why not, for example, try to send humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt? Why aren't the flotilla organizers protesting against Egypt's continued restrictions on the movement of Palestinians? Why are the new rulers of Egypt preventing goods and humanitarian aid from entering the Gaza Strip through their territories?

Finally, wouldn't it have been better if the flotilla organizers had planned a journey to the border between Turkey and Syria to help the thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled from their country in recent weeks? Those refugees cannot go to the beach or shopping malls and many of them are complaining about lack of basic foods and medicine. Or how about a flotilla to help thousands of Libyan families who have fled to neighboring countries in the last few months? Or a flotilla to Saudi Arabia to express solidarity with women who are being arrested for driving cars?

Khaled Abu Toameh


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The Tipping Point: Embracing the Muslim Brotherhood

by Frank j. Gaffney, Jr.

The Obama administration chose the eve of the holiday marking our Nation's birth to acknowledge publicly behavior in which it has long been stealthily engaged to the United States' extreme detriment: Its officials now admit that they are embracing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan in Arabic). That would be the same international Islamist organization that has the destruction of the United States, Israel and all other parts of the Free World as its explicit objective.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to downplay the momentousness of this major policy shift by portraying it during a stopover in Budapest as follows: "The Obama administration is continuing the approach of limited contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood that have existed on and off for about five or six years." In fact, as former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy points out in a characteristically brilliant, and scathing, dissection of this announcement, Team Obama's official, open legitimation of the Brotherhood marks a dramatic break from the U.S. government's historical refusal to deal formally with the Ikhwan.
To understand why the Obama administration's embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood is so ominous, consider three insights into the organization's nature and ambitions:
First, here's the MB's creed: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." (Source: Husain Haqqani and Hillel Fradkin, "Islamist Parties: Going Back to the Origins.")
Second, here's the Ikwhan's mission in America:
"A kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, sabotaging its miserable house with their [i.e., Americans'] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." (Source: Muslim Brotherhood's "Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goals of the Group," entered into evidence by the Department of Justice in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism-finance trial. Archived at the NEFA Foundation.)
Third, here are excerpts from the Muslim Brotherhood's "phased plan" for accomplishing that mission:
Phase One: Discreet and secret establishment of leadership.
Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities. It greatly succeeded in implementing this stage. It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government.
Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. Currently in progress.
Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. It is aggressively implementing the above-mentioned approach. Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. It has noticeable activities in this regard.
Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united. (Source: Undated Muslim Brotherhood Paper entitled, "Phases of the World Underground Movement Plan." Archived at Shariah: The Threat to America.)
In short, the Muslim Brotherhood is deadly serious about waging what it calls "civilization jihad" against the United States and other freedom-loving nations in order to secure their submission to the Islamic totalitarian political-military-legal doctrine called shariah. The MB's goal in this country is to replace our Constitution with theirs, namely the Koran. And they regard this task as one commanded by none other than Allah. (For more details on the nature, ambitions and modus operandi of the Ikhwan, see the Team B II Report, Shariah: The Threat to America). To this end, as Andy McCarthy notes in the aforementioned essay, the MB's senior official, Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi, has effectively declared war on the United States.
Were there any doubt that legitimacy is what the Ikhwan is taking away from this gambit, consider this assessment from an expert in Islamic groups, Ammar Ali Hassan, cited by Associated Press: "...The Brotherhood will likely try to float ‘conditions' or ‘reservations' on any dialogue to avoid a perception that it is allowing the U.S. to meddle in Egypt's internal affairs. But in the end, the talks will give a boost to the group, he said, by easing worries some in the Brotherhood and the public have of a backlash if the Brotherhood becomes the dominant player in Egypt. ‘Now the Muslim Brotherhood will not have to worry [about] moving forward toward taking over power,' Hassan said."
Unfortunately, the U.S. government's dangerous outreach to the Ikhwan is not confined to Egypt but is systematically practiced inside the United States, as well. For example:
  • Muslim-American organizations identified in court by the U.S. government - and, in many cases, by the Muslim Brotherhood itself - as MB fronts are routinely cultivated by federal, state and local officials. Representatives of homeland security, Pentagon, intelligence and law enforcement agencies frequently meet with and attend functions sponsored by such groups.
  • MB-associated individuals are sent as our country's "goodwill ambassadors" to foreign Muslim nations and communities. MB-favored initiatives to insinuate shariah into the United States - notably, the Ground Zero Mosque and shariah-compliant finance, conscientious objector status for Muslim servicemen and stifling of free speech in accordance with shariah "blasphemy" laws - are endorsed and/or enabled by official institutions.
  • A blind eye is turned to the presence across the country of shariah-adherent mosques that incubate jihadism. A peer-reviewed study published last month in Middle East Quarterly determined that 81% of a random sample of 100 mosques exhibited such qualities - constituting an infrastructure for recruitment, indoctrination and training consistent with the Brotherhood's phased plan.
  • Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, individuals with family and other ties to the Muslim Brotherhood have actually given senior government positions. The most recent of these to come to light is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin (who also happens to be former Rep. Anthony Weiner's wife).
It seems a safe bet that, as Team Obama legitimates Muslim Brotherhood organizations and groups overseas, it will feel ever less constrained about further empowering their counterparts in the United States. If so, the MB will come to exercise even greater influence over what our government does and does not do about the threat posed by shariah, both abroad and here.
The absolutely predictable effect will be to undermine U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East and further catalyze the Brotherhood's campaign to insinuate shariah in the United States and, ultimately, to supplant the Constitution with Islamic law. Consequently, the Obama administration's efforts to "engage" the Muslim Brotherhood are not just reckless. They are wholly incompatible with the President's oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" and the similar commitment made by his subordinates.
These officials' now-open embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood constitutes a geo-strategic tipping point, one that must catalyze an urgent national debate on this question: Does such conduct violate their oath of office by endangering the Constitution they have undertaken to uphold?
At a minimum, such a debate would afford a much-needed opportunity to examine alternatives to the administration's present course - as well as the real risks associated with that its intensifying pursuit. For instance, one of the most astute American authorities on the Middle East in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, Dr. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in a posting at The American blog yesterday:
"Rather than embrace the Brotherhood, the Obama administration should be seeking to ensure that the group cannot dominate Egypt. Most analysts agree that the Muslim Brotherhood is by far the best organized group in Egypt, but that it only enjoys perhaps 25 or 30 percent support. The secular opposition remains weak and fractured. If the Obama administration wishes to remain engaged in Egypt's future and shape the best possible outcome for both U.S. national security and the Egyptian people, it should be pushing for electoral reform to change Egypt's dysfunctional system to a proportional representation model in which the secular majority can form a coalition to check a Muslim Brotherhood minority for which true democracy is anathema."
The same goes for the enemy within. Instead of relying upon - let alone hiring - Muslim Brotherhood operatives and associates, the United States government should be shutting down their fronts, shariah-adherent, jihad-incubating "community centers" and insidious influence operations in America. By recognizing these enterprises for what they are, namely vehicles for fulfilling the seditious goals of the MB's civilization jihad, they can and must be treated as prosecutable subversive enterprises, not protected religious ones under the U.S. Constitution.
Let the debate begin.

Frank j. Gaffney, Jr.


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Unmasking the ‘International Community’

by Caroline B. Glick

While emptily mouthing slogans of tolerance, adherents to the rule of the “international community” embrace the agenda of the most violent, intolerant, totalitarian forces in the world.

For many years, the Left in Israel and throughout the world has upheld the so-called “international community” as the arbiter of all things. From Israel’s right to exist to climate change, from American world leadership to genetically modified crops, the Left has maintained that the “international community” is the only body qualified to judge the truth, lawfulness, goodness and justice of all things.

Most of those who uphold this view see the United Nations as the embodiment of the “international community.”

US President Barack Obama has repeatedly made clear that his chief litmus test for the viability or desirability of a foreign policy is the support it garners in UN institutions.

Obama is so averse to acting against the will of the UN that he is trying to strong-arm Israel into making suicidal concessions to the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority. Obama claims that if Israel agrees to accept indefensible borders, then he will be able to convince the Palestinians not to ask the UN to endorse Palestinian sovereignty in September. Since the success of the Palestinian initiative is entirely dependent on the US Security Council veto, by acting as he is, Obama is showing that he prefers sacrificing Israel’s future viability as a nation-state to standing up to the “will of the international community” as embodied by the UN.

Furthermore, in a bid to maintain faith with the UN Security Council resolution permitting the use of force in Libya to protect civilians, Obama has refused to articulate a clear goal for the US military involvement in Libya. The fact that the Security Council resolution essentially dooms NATO’s military intervention to strategic incoherence stalemate that can lead to the break-up of Libya is unimportant to the US president.

The only thing that is important is that the US abides by the limitations dictated by the UN Security Council resolution.

As to Libya, Obama’s decision to send US forces to Libya without congressional permission makes clear that from his perspective, the UN Security Council, rather than the US Congress, is the source of authority for US military action. To the extent that Congress calls for the president to act in a manner that is contrary to the UN Security Council, as far as Obama is concerned, it is the duty of the president to disregard Congress and obey the Security Council.

GIVEN THE totemic stature of the UN in the minds of the American president and the international Left, it is worth considering its nature.

A glance at UN affairs in recent days is revealing.

Last week UN members elected Qatar President of the General Assembly and Iran one of the body’s vice presidents. Both countries’ representatives will use their platform to advance their regimes’ anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Western agendas.

As Prof. Anne Bayefsky noted in The Weekly Standard last week, their first order of business will be leading the Durban III conference that will take place in New York on the sidelines of September’s General Assembly meeting. The first Durban conference was of course the infamously racist and anti-Jewish UN conference in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. At Durban, Israel was singled out as the only racist, xenophobic country in the world and Jewish people were denied their right to national rights and self-determination. The conference ended three days before the jihadist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

In addition to their anti-Jewish conference, the Qatari and Iranian leaders of the General Assembly will reliably advance a General Assembly resolution embracing Palestinian statehood and condemning Jewish statehood.

Perhaps anticipating its new leadership role in the “international community,” last weekend Iran hosted its first “World Without Terrorism Conference.” Speaking at the conference, Iran’s supreme dictator Ali Khamenei called Israel and the US the greatest terrorists in the world. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the US was behind the September 11 attacks and the Holocaust and has used both to force the Palestinians to submit to invading Jews.

Aside from the fact that the leaders from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – who owe their power and freedom to the sacrifices of the US military – participated in the conference, the most notable aspect of the event is that it took place under the UN flag. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent greetings to the conferees through his special envoy. According to Iran’s Fars news agency, “In a written message... read by UN Envoy to Teheran Mohammad Rafi Al-Din Shah, [Ban] Kimoon [commended] the Islamic Republic of Iran for holding this very important conference.”

According to Fars, Ban added that the UN had “approved a large number of resolutions against terrorism in recent years, and holding conferences like the Teheran conference can be considerably helpful in implementing these resolutions.”

When journalists inquired about the veracity of the Iranian news report, the UN Secretary-General’s Office defended its position. Ban’s spokesman Farhan Haq sniffed, “If we’re reaching out and trying to make sure that people fight terrorism, we need to go as far as possible to make sure that everyone does it.”

So as far as the UN’s highest official is concerned, when it comes to terrorism there is no qualitative difference between Iran on the one hand and the US and Israel on the other. Here it is worth noting that among the other invitees, Iran’s “counterterror” conference prominently featured Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges for the genocide he has perpetrated in Darfur.

The new General Assembly vice president is not merely the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. It is also a nuclear proliferator. This no doubt is why Iran’s UN representative expressed glee when earlier this month his nation’s fellow nuclear proliferator North Korea was appointed the head of the UN’s Conference on Disarmament.

This would be the same North Korea that has conducted two illicit nuclear tests; constructed an illicit nuclear reactor in Syria; openly cooperated with Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program; attacked and sank a South Korean naval ship last year, and threatened nuclear war any time anyone criticizes its aggressive behavior.

What these representative examples of what passes for business as usual at the UN show is that the international institution considered the repository of the will of the “international community” is wholly and completely corrupt. It is morally bankrupt. It is controlled by the most repressive regimes in the world and it uses its US- and Western-funded institutions to attack Israel, the US, the West and forces of liberty and liberalism throughout the world.

GIVEN THE utter depravity of the UN and the international system it oversees, what can explain the international Left’s kneejerk obeisance to it? From San Francisco to Chicago to Boston; from Stockholm to Paris to London, members of the international Left claim they support the victims of tyranny. They claim they stand for liberal values of freedom and tolerance and human rights. But like the UN, the truth about the international Left shows that its members are the opposite of what they claim to be.

Here, too, a few examples from the past week suffice to tell the tale of liberal intolerance and violence. On Sunday, US Congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann appeared on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Towards the end of her interview, Stephanopoulos informed Bachmann that she can expect the media to begin attacking her family, and specifically the 23 foster children that she and her husband cared for.

As he put it, “I know you want to shield them [the foster children] but are they prepared and are you prepared for the loss of privacy that comes with the president [sic] campaign? And is that something you are concerned about for them?” Stephanopoulos’s menacing warning was notable for what it says about the nature of the leftist-dominated media. In a recent interview, first lady Michelle Obama thanked the media for protecting her family from scrutiny. Yet Stephanopoulos had no compunction about threatening Bachmann’s family with a journalistic lynch mob.

And this makes sense. As fellow leftists, the Obamas get a free ride. But as a conservative Republican, and as a non-leftist woman, Bachmann – like the Sarah Palin – has no right to expect tolerance for her family’s privacy from the enlightened, feminist, liberal media.

Then there was the mob assault on Israeli historian Benny Morris outside the London School of Economics two weeks ago. As Morris described it at The National Interest, on his way to give a lecture at the university, “a small mob...

of some dozen Muslims, Arabs and their supporters, both men and women, surrounded me and, walking alongside me for several hundred yards as I advanced towards the building where the lecture was to take place, raucously harangued and bated me with cries of “fascist,” “racist,” “England should never have allowed you in,” “you shouldn't be allowed to speak.”

He added, “To me, it felt like Brownshirts in a street scene in 1920s Berlin.”

No less appalling than the behavior of the mob was the behavior of the professor at LSE who hosted Morris’s lecture. As Morris described it, in his “brief introductory remarks,” the professor “failed completely to note the harassment and intimidation (of which he had been made fully aware)..., or to criticize [Morris’s attackers] in any way.”

In New York last weekend, when conservative television and radio host Glenn Beck went to New York’s Bryant Park to watch a movie with his family, they were accosted by the people around them who professed hatred for “Republicans.”

THE EXTRAORDINARY intolerance of the Left for Israel is on full display among the participants in the so-called “flotilla.” The purpose of the flotilla is to break international law by providing aid and comfort to Hamas-controlled Gaza and to weaken with the intention of ending Israel’s lawful maritime blockade of Gaza’s Hamas-controlled coastline.

As Ehud Rosen exposed Thursday in a report for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, this year’s flotilla is organized by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood with the active participation of leftist anti-Israel groups.

In their public statements, participants in the Hamas flotilla profess bottomless tolerance for Hamas and its genocidal agenda. And they profess no tolerance whatsoever for Israel or its right to exist.

In their behavior, participants in the flotilla from the Obama-aligned Code Pink group and sister organizations ape the behavior of UN Secretary- General Ban in celebrating Iran’s provocative conference on terrorism, and overseeing North Korea’s ascension to the head of the UN’s Conference on Disarmament’ and Qatar’s and Iran’s leadership of the General Assembly.

While emptily mouthing slogans of tolerance, all these adherents to the rule of the “international community” embrace the agenda of the most violent, intolerant, totalitarian forces in the world. Not only do they embrace them, they serve them.

It doesn’t take much to tear off their flimsy mask of sweetness and light. Pity so few can be bothered to do it.

Caroline B. Glick


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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Radical Flotilla Roster Portends Another Violent Clash

by IPT News

A flotilla is determined to sail to the Gaza Strip this weekend in breach of Israel's naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled territory. This decision comes in spite of growing international pressure to stop the campaign, damaged ships and fewer passengers than expected.

The United Nations, United States, European Union, Britain, Canada, Greece, France, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Israel have called on organizers of Freedom Flotilla II to abandon their plans in an effort to avoid a repeat of the violent confrontation between Israeli commandos and activists of the first Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010. That encounter claimed the lives of nine passengers and injured nine Israeli soldiers, causing international outcry and tensions between Turkey and Israel.

Last year's flotilla was comprised of six ships, organized by a coalition of international organizations, including the Islamist Turkish organization IHH. IHH has extensive ties to Hamas and is under consideration for designation by the U.S. State Department.

Leaders of the IHH-owned Mavi Marmara ship launched a premeditated attack on Israeli commandos last May when the Israeli Navy attempted to intercept the ship before it reached Gaza. Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara following repeated warnings, and were immediately attacked by activists wielding clubs, knives, axes, hammers and other weapons.

IHH was gearing up to participate in the second flotilla, but announced earlier this month that the Mavi Marmara would not sail. IHH leader Bulent Yildirim cited "technical problems" as the reason for withdrawing. Other sources say pressure on Turkey from the United States government led to IHH's decision. Although IHH is no longer officially involved, some of its members plan to sail on other ships.

The Israeli Navy is preparing for various scenarios, including the possibility of "extreme violence" from flotilla participants.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed Monday that some flotilla participants said their intentions are to "murder" and "spill the blood" of IDF soldiers. Others have prepared sacks of sulfur, which according to the IDF, is a chemical that can be used to paralyze and burn a victim to death.

Israeli officials said Tuesday that radical Islamist activists were intermingling with nonviolent passengers, which creates "special operational challenges for the IDF." Senior Israeli officials have also identified two activists with known ties to Hamas who will participate in the flotilla.

Intelligence received by Israel late Monday further suggests that extremists will be among passengers on the U.S.-flagged ship in the flotilla. The U.S. ship, The Audacity of Hope, plans to sail with close to 50 U.S. citizens, including media personnel, in defiance of repeated calls from the State Department to abort its plans.

Including the U.S. boat, Freedom Flotilla II will consist of up to 10 ships with close to 350 participants from at least fourteen countries, such as Canada, Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Greece and Holland. The boats are leaving from various ports and plan to meet in the Libyan Gulf before proceeding to Gaza, according to a Greek organizer. Many of the boats, including the U.S. ship, are already docked in Greece, but have been blocked from sailing by Greek authorities.

Flotilla organizers are experiencing setbacks, as some ships may be declared unfit to sail. It is also possible that the Greek government will withhold a departure authorization, according to the Israeli news outlet Ynet. Organizers in Greece said Tuesday that their departure may be postponed until next week.

In the meantime, Israel is continuing talks with European leaders and American Senators to try to have the entire flotilla cancelled.

Organizers said in a statement Monday that their effort is not "simply about increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza. It is about freedom for Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories."

But only two out of the ten boats in the upcoming flotilla are cargo ships carrying aid, raising questions about whether the flotilla has humanitarian motives at all. Last month, Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, increasing the flow of goods into the territory.

The opening of the Rafah crossing ended a four-year land blockade of Gaza jointly imposed by Egypt and Israel after Hamas' forceful takeover of the area in 2007. The blockade was intended to limit the access of rockets and other war materials into Gaza that could be used against Israeli civilians. Israel's naval blockade was not implemented until 2009 when Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in response to continued rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel has maintained corridors for the transfer of humanitarian aid and other goods into the region. In April, the deputy head of the Red Cross in Gaza, Mathilde Redmatn, confirmed the effectiveness of these routes when stating, "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

Israeli Cabinet Ministers voted Monday in favor of an Israeli Navy plan to stop the flotilla from reaching Gaza. That same day, Israel and Egypt agreed flotilla ships could unload their cargo at the Egyptian El-Arish port. Cargo unloaded at either El-Arish or at the Israeli port of Ashdod will be inspected and transferred by land to Gaza. However, ships that attempt to reach Gaza will be stopped and participants arrested.

Flotilla Organizers' Radical Ties

The main organizers of this year's flotilla include the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), the European Campaign to end the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) and The International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG). All these organizations also played leading roles in the first flotilla.

Founded in 2006 with the goal of breaking "the siege of Gaza," the Free Gaza Movement was created by senior members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who continue to occupy leadership positions within FGM.

ISM is a radical world-wide network of anti-Israel activists "committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles," and it "aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance." According to a report from The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, ISM activists served as human shields for terrorist operatives and provided terrorists and their families with financial, logistical and moral support during the Second Intifada. Today, ISM volunteers are active in the Gaza Strip, hinder IDF counterterrorism operations and engage in anti-Israel protests worldwide in an effort to delegitimize Israel.

Huwaida Arraf, one of the founders of ISM and a leader of FGM, played an active role in organizing the upcoming flotilla and will sail on the U.S. boat. Arraf recently said that there would be no weapons aboard the ships, but activists are being trained to use "different tactics" in order "to keep the soldiers off our boat nonviolently."

In a 2002 article, Arraf and her husband, co-founder of ISM Adam Shaprio, wrote, "The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics – both nonviolent and violent." They also claimed that an act of non-violent resistance is "[n]o less of a jihad. This is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah."

Other ISM and FGM activists are passengers on the U.S. boat, organized by a group called The U.S. Boat to Gaza. Greta Berlin, another founder of FGM and a passenger on the U.S.-flagged Audacity of Hope, helped FGM organize the first Freedom Flotilla. A long time anti-Israel activist, Berlin said in a July 2010 interview, "Israelis think everyone is a terrorist, because that's how they got their country originally." She added, "What right do they [Israel] have to collectively punish a population of 1.5 million Palestinians for resisting occupation and for voting in one of the fairest elections held in the Middle East?"

ECESG is a radical umbrella group of dozens of anti-Israel and pro-Hamas organizations in Europe. A founder and ECESG leader, Amin Abou Rashed, was previously a member of the Al-Aqsa Foundation in Holland, which was shut down by the Dutch government for financing terror. The Al Aqsa Foundation and all of its branches were designated as terrorist entities by the U.S. Treasury in 2003. Rashed, who was on the Mavi Marmara ship last May and plans to sail in the upcoming flotilla, has been called a top Hamas official in the Netherlands. A Dutch report called him the "brain" behind the flotilla, saying he allegedly organized the majority of the funding for the campaign.

Similarly, ICBSG is headed by former high ranking Hamas operative Mohammad Sawalha, who now resides in the UK. According to U.S. court documents, Sawalha instructed Hamas terrorists Muhammad Salah and Mohammed Abu Marzook on "Hamas-related activities" in the early 1990's. ICBSG has partnered with Viva Palestina, a UK group which has delivered millions of dollars to Hamas through land convoys to Gaza. Sawalha was instrumental in planning last year's Freedom Flotilla, and recently declared in an interview, "Now the Israelis have to understand that their policies and crimes will not make us turn away and go back. We will continue under any circumstances until we break the siege on Gaza."

Several reports indicate that a Jordanian ship with radical ties also plans to participate in the flotilla. The ship was purchased by the Jordanian Lifeline Committee (JLC), headed by Wael Sakka. Sakka is the former president of the Jordanian Engineers Association, a group connected to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Jordan. Sakka headed the Jordanian delegation on last year's Mavi Marmara ship, which included MB activists. JLC also participated in Viva Palestina convoys to Gaza. The Jordanian ship is expected to carry up to 200 people from Arab countries, including members of Islamic Movements.

Hamas leaders have repeatedly supported the efforts of the upcoming flotilla, calling for international protection of the ships. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh recently declared, "No doubt the occupation is preparing for a crime similar to the first, but this time it should not go without punishment." He added, "This time the flotilla must come to Gaza and we are ready to receive it."

Flotilla leaders' ties to Hamas and other radical groups indicate that the latest operation is not a humanitarian effort to support the Palestinians in Gaza. Rather, the flotilla aims to delegitimize the State of Israel, with some participants ready to confront the State violently.

IPT News The Investigative Project on Terrorism


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

How Islamic Absurdities Prove Islamic Violence

by Raymond Ibrahim

The other day I saw a video of a sheikh warning Muslims against disregarding Muhammad’s sunna, or the rules and customs the prophet prescribed for Muslims. To support his point, he read a hadith wherein Muhammad told Muslims: “When you wake up from sleep to pray, wash your hand before you put it in the ablution water, for you do not know where your hand has spent the night.”

Then the sheikh told about a man who, upon hearing Muhammad’s words, deridingly said, “What, am I not going to know where my own hand has been?!”

This man woke up to find his arm—from hand to elbow—shoved up his anus.

The moral of the story? It is dangerous to ignore Muhammad’s words. The sheikh stressed the authoritative source of this anecdote, Sharh Sahih Muslim, and read its closing warning: “Thus let the mortal fear Allah and not make light of the sunna—for see what happened to this man for rebelling and mocking the words of the prophet.”

There is a reason why Islam’s guardians—past and present—always threaten Muslims to take the sunna seriously: Muhammad has said any number of bizarre or perverse things that naturally provoke abhorrence, if not laughter.

Let us examine just one: the notion of adult breastfeeding, or rida’ al-kabir in Islam, which started when Muhammad commanded a woman to “breastfeed” a grown man. Because it is contained in a canonical hadith, today, nearly 1400 years later, top Muslim authorities still advocate this perverse practice. After all, to reject it or any other canonical hadith is to reject the sources and methodology of usul al-fiqh—in short, to reject Sharia.

Now, let us connect the dots to see how the bizarre in Islam demonstrates the violent.

Consider: If Muslims are still compelled to be true to things like “adult breastfeeding,” simply because 7th century Muhammad said so, is it not logical to accept that they embrace their prophet’s even better documented and unequivocal words concerning the infidel?

Look at it this way: the issue of adult breastfeeding is embarrassing for Muslims; far from providing them with any sort of advantage or benefits, it places them, especially their women, in a ludicrous position (indeed, it is ranked first in this list of “top ten bizarre or ridiculous fatwas“). So why is it still a relevant issue among Muslims? Because Muhammad once commanded it. Thus, like it or not, Muslims must somehow come to grips with it.

What, then, of Muhammad’s other commandments—commandments that, if upheld, far from embarrassing Muslims, provide them with power, wealth, and hedonistic joys—that is, commandments that jibe quite well with mankind’s most primitive impulses? I speak of Muhammad’s (and by extension Sharia’s) commandments for Muslims to wage war (“jihad”) upon the infidel, to plunder the infidel of his wealth, women, and children, and to keep him in perpetual subjugation—all things that define Islam’s history vis-à-vis the non-Muslim.

In other words, the Muslim mentality that feels the need to address adult breastfeeding, simply because Muhammad once advised it, must certainly be sold on the prophet’s constant incitements for war and conquest.

Living in an era where the Muslim world is significantly weaker than the infidel world, and so currently incapable of launching a full-on offensive, one may overlook this fact. But the intention is surely there. One need only look to how non-Muslim minorities, especially Christians, are treated in the Muslim world—where they are persecuted, kidnapped, raped and ransacked—to be sure of it.

Raymond Ibrahim


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

Saudi Women Risk All for Small Rights

by Lisa Richards

After centuries of methodical Islamic gender apartheid that holds Saudi women in virtual enforced slavery as possessions of men, slight signs of rebellion are being seen, as many women are defying the fatwa against women drivers.

In order to understand why recent driving protests are an enormous step forward for Saudi women, one must comprehend the brutal world in which Saudi women are forced to live.

According to Freedom House, Saudi women lack all equality, are denied benefits of citizenship, their employment is limited, and laws are designed to discriminate against women. This is because a female is not considered a full person. Thus, a woman can be arrested for eating in public without a male family member, an act considered immoral and punishable in court. If a woman marries a non-Saudi, her children are considered foreigners. In order for Saudi women to receive identity cards, virtue, through state officials, must be proven in court.

According to the Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Saudi women are forbidden from studying biology and chemistry, and girls are banned from playing sports in school, something the CDHR reports is creating serious health problems in women. Saudi women are also forbidden from studying abroad.

Amnesty International reports that Saudi laws are purposely intended to discriminate against women for the purpose of subjugation. Conspicuously, for example, unmarried women are forbidden from establishing a business without a male benefactor. Also, women are prohibited from riding in the front of public buses, “even when the buses are empty.”

Women in this brutal regime are forced into arranged marriages—not by mothers, but male family members who have absolute authority over Saudi women’s lives. Women rarely initiate lawsuits, in part because of strict laws stipulating that two male family members must speak on behalf of women as witnesses. Even then, women are at the mercy of men, who provide help depending on whether or not the case brings shame to the family.

While Saudi women, like many women in Muslim countries, live under harsh laws constraining them as prisoners in their very homes, Saudi Arabia’s laws are more brutal than those of other Arab countries. Saudi laws forbid women to go out in public unaccompanied by male family escorts. Any woman caught in public without a male family member is automatically accused of prostitution under Saudi law and must be imprisoned. As punishment for such “crimes,” Saudi woman are made to endure physical as well as mental torture before being sentenced to severe lashings or death.

Furthermore, it is illegal for Saudi women to remove the veil in public, or even to appear in public without being accompanied by male relatives. Violations of such strictures can invite rape. When rape occurs, only the female victim bears the sin and shame of the act: rape is declared a crime of the woman. Under Saudi laws, women must have four witnesses to the rape or the court throws the case out. And women’s rights in court are only worth half that of a man. If the shame of rape is exacerbated, it is the victim who may incur the extreme penalty of execution.

Freedom House also reported on the 2002 tragedy involving the Saudi veiling laws and a deadly girls’ school fire. Rescue attempts were prevented because many girls fleeing the blaze were not wearing their head scarves. Thus, firefighters “intentionally obstructed the efforts to evacuate the girls. This resulted in the increased number of casualties.”

A Safe World For Women reports that economic abuse is virtually starving the poorest sector of divorced Saudi women. These impoverished women are denied inheritances, forbidden education, jobs, and money needed to feed children, of whom they are only allowed custody until the child reaches age seven. Making their lives worse, women cannot “legali[ze] a contract or undergo medical treatment without the assent of a close male relative—father, husband, grandfather, brother or son.”

Given the extent of this oppression, it is astonishing to learn that, in recent years, some Saudi women have decided to risk their lives in order to defy the tyrannical Saudi norm depriving woman of the elementary right to drive a car.

Acts of defiance against this Saudi norm first surfaced in the early 1990s when Saudi women protested a fatwa — a religious ruling that does not appear in the Saudi law books — that forbids women from driving, even though at the time an appreciable number of Saudi women had a driver’s license from having lived in Western countries. Long-enduring the disparity in conventions, some women suddenly rebelled, expressing their defiance by driving alone through the capital city of Riyadh.

Restrictive driving laws are an extension of misogynist constraints stipulating that women must never travel alone without male family escorts, a precaution instituted by authorities for the stated reason that women might become tempted to interact and converse with male strangers. In fact, under Muslim religious law codes— the Sharia — if a woman speaks to a male stranger in public, she sullies herself and her family. This also includes forbidding her from talking to male co-workers. Such behavior, judged disgraceful, is measured worse than criminal activity, and is punishable by death.

By the year 2007, women’s rights activists pushed against the driving fatwa, petitioning the king to remove the law. However, this was to no avail. But today, four years later, Saudi women are standing up again, fighting to change the brutal repression of their country.

In May 2011, 32-year-old Manal Al-Sharif reignited the 90s protest campaign against women driving. She videotaped herself driving alone while speaking against the regime’s laws. She posted the video on Youtube, declaring women in Saudi Arabia hold PhDs, are college professors, yet they don’t know how to drive, because it’s forbidden. She noted that the situation is so bad that when husbands are away for long periods, some women have gone so far as to ask their male children — in one instance, a ten-year-old male child— to drive them to buy food.

Al-Sharif declared that she is tired of the fatwa and refuses “to be humiliated” any more by “begging” for a male family driver, as well as “begging” them to accompany her when she must have the inspection renewed on a car that happens to be “in [her] name.” Al-Sharif declared, “We want to change the country.”

Al-Sharif, who had learned to drive in the United States, was quickly arrested after the video was posted on the web. She was detained in prison as a criminal for 10 days on charges of defaming Saudi Arabia’s reputation and rousing public judgment against Islamic laws. Only after she was forced to sign a document stating she will never operate a vehicle again was she released. The arrest incident, however, did not fade from public notice.

The arrest of Al-Sharif sparked outrage from human rights groups and inspired resistance in the hearts of women living inside the most oppressive dynastic monarchy in the Arab world. Saudi women declared they want “the right of transportation” without the humiliation of being forced to use the services of taxi drivers. One woman asserted, “[W]e [women] are capable of doing things on our own” and “wish to live our daily lives with dignity.” Another woman was inspired to drive for 45 minutes through the capital city of Riyadh, because, as she said, “I woke up today believing with every part of me that this is my right. I woke up believing this is my duty, and I was no longer afraid.”

The protest by women against driving restrictions is monumental. In the context of Saudi gender apartheid, such defiance by women can be expected to bring a harsh response from authorities. That some women are willing to stand against such penalties speaks to the fact that something new is in the wind, perhaps brought about by increased communication with the outside world, enabled by the Internet and other electronic media. Wajiha Huwaidar, the woman who video-taped Al-Sharif, observed,

“Saudi women have been fighting for the right to drive for the past 25 years. In the 1990s, a group of about 40 women drove their cars on the same day to denounce the ban. Manal was capable of reaching a much bigger number of people because of Facebook and Twitter. I remember in 2007 trying to rally my friends by email and over the phone: it was a much longer process.”

This rebellion, of course, has not been greeted by Saudi authorities without alarm. To Saudi religious leaders, women driving is unsettling and heralds frightening change. Saudi cleric Shaykh Abd-al-Rahman al-Barrak said women will “tempt God’s wrath” and “they will die, God willing, and will not enjoy this.”

Saudi women are now protesting their subjugation; they are standing up for their rights as human beings. They have a long fight ahead, but one hopes that by winning this small battle, it will be a portent of change in Middle Eastern and Islamic culture writ large.

Lisa Richards


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

Flotilla II: The Merchant Ships of Hamas Propaganda

by Joseph Klein

The pro-Hamas flotilla of international ships planning to defy Israel’s lawful naval blockade of Gaza is getting underway, despite some delays caused by insurance and mechanical problems. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was spot on when he told Israel Radio that the so-called Freedom Flotilla II participants are nothing more than “terror activists, seeking to create provocation and looking for blood.”

The merchant ships of Hamas propaganda are supporting the terrorist organization that is the governing authority in Gaza and whose covenant calls for the killing of all Jews, the destruction of Israel, and the replacement of Israel with an Islamic state. The flotilla’s purpose is to rally international public opinion against the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, striving to achieve on the propaganda front what Hamas is aiming to do with rockets and suicide bombers.

Flotilla activists seek to create an international incident by replicating last year’s flotilla confrontation, which led to the deaths of nine Hamas-sympathizers on board a Turkish ship. These extremists attacked Israeli soldiers who were attempting to enforce Israel’s lawful maritime blockade. Israeli’s soldiers acted in self-defense.

At least one of the vessels due to participate in this year’s flotilla is reportedly carrying “sacks of dangerous chemical materials” to be used against the Israeli troops, according to Israeli intelligence. The flotilla organizers are making sure that members of sympathetic press agencies, such as Al-Jazeera, CNN, and NBC, will be on hand to beam Israel’s “brutal” response to the world.

These merchant ships of Hamas propaganda are not “the Freedom Riders of this era,” nor a continuation of the fight against slavery, as one of the American flotilla leaders, Alice Walker, tried insanely to claim:

When black people were enslaved for 300 years, it took a lot of people from outside our community to help free us. This is a fine tradition–going to help people who need us anywhere on the planet. I look at you in the room; if we have salvation as humankind, it is in the room.

The abolitionists and Freedom Riders risked their lives to peacefully secure freedom and civil rights for our nation’s African-Americans. It is an insult to their memories to equate them with the flotilla agitators who have aligned themselves with terrorists trying to kill Jews simply because they are Jews.

The flotilla organizers deny they are on the side of Hamas. They claim they are just ordinary people moved by the human suffering of the Gazan people and who want to do what they can to bring the suffering to an end. Yet the truth gets in the way of their fairy tales. For example, the Free Gaza Movement is an affiliate of the International Solidarity Movement, which opposes the existence of the Jewish state. Adam Shapiro, an American co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and leader of the Flotilla II brigade, had this to say about violence back in 2002:

Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both violent and nonviolent. But most importantly, it must develop a strategy involving both aspects.

Sounds like the model for Shapiro’s flotilla comrades to use in their upcoming manufactured confrontation with Israel’s defense forces.

Then there is Hamas activist and United Kingdom Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Kazem Sawalha, who has been identified by Iranian media as the coordinator of the current Gaza flotilla. And there is the European Campaign To End The Siege On Gaza, which is playing a leading role in organizing the flotilla. It just happens to operate from the same address and has the same telephone number as the Palestinian Return Centre, which just happens to have strong ties to Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

The flotilla is certainly not the humanitarian mission that some of its propagandists would have us believe. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Recognizing that the humanitarian fiction is being exposed, the activist Palestinian lawyer Huwaida Arraf tried to change the subject. She admitted to a press conference that the flotilla is not about humanitarian aid after all. It is intended to support Palestinians’ demand for “liberation.”

Even Jamal El-Khoudary, chairman of the board of the Islamic University in Gaza who has led Gaza’s Popular Committee Against the Siege, conceded that the siege on goods is now mostly over. The flotilla participants and supporters know they can get whatever true humanitarian aid they wish to provide to the Gazan people delivered to them through internationally recognized channels.

As reported by The New York Times on June 25th:

For the past year, Israel has allowed most everything into Gaza but cement, steel and other construction material — other than for internationally supervised projects — because they are worried that such supplies can be used by Hamas for bunkers and bombs.

Humanitarian and consumer goods enter Gaza on a daily basis. The Israeli Defense Force itself transports to Gaza 5800 tons of goods a day, roughly double what the flotilla claims to be bringing.

Considering Hamas’s use of Gaza to launch more than 10,000 rockets into Israeli civilian populations, Hamas’s ongoing state of armed conflict against Israel (which it has vowed to destroy), and its blatant attempts to smuggle in arms by land and sea, Israel is fully entitled under international law to protect its citizens by inspecting goods entering Gaza to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas. This is the purpose of the naval blockade. Ships’ cargo is inspected and can be delivered to bona fide recipients in Gaza once it is determined that no arms and materials for military use are included. Regardless of the security risks, Israel has made sure that the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza continue to be met.

According to the Times, “health conditions remain better than across much of the developing world.” Unemployment is down and there has been a building boom in Gaza, as the Times goes on to describe:

Two luxury hotels are opening in Gaza this month. Thousands of new cars are plying the roads. A second shopping mall — with escalators imported from Israel — will open next month. Hundreds of homes and two dozen schools are about to go up. A Hamas-run farm where Jewish settlements once stood is producing enough fruit that Israeli imports are tapering off.

Serious problems persist in Gaza, to be sure. But they are largely of Hamas’s own making, as it focuses more on planning and launching attacks against Israel than taking care of its own people. The flotilla is nothing more than a propaganda diversion from that hard truth.

Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.


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Why Muslim Demands for Headscarves Are Exaggerated

by Raymond Ibrahim

Islamic attire for women—the burqa and hijab—are back in the news, though with a twist, as they cause problems and lawsuits in America, where they are legal. In France, however, they have been banned, and Muslim women are happily complying.

There is an instructive reason for this, but first, the stories from this week.

A Muslim-American woman, Kulsoom Abdullah, is trying to change the rules of competitive weightlifting to accommodate her. The rules require arms and legs to be bare so judges can see when elbows and knees are "locked," therefore being able to determine if a lift is successful. Most competitors wear a form-fitting body suit with short sleeves and short pants. Abdullah, however, says that "such exposure would violate her deeply held religious beliefs. But rather than giving up on her dreams of competitive weightlifting, she is pressing for a change in the sport's international rules," including "with the help of a lawyer, Muslim activists and the U.S. Olympic Committee."

And she won. The rules have been changed, in the words of the International Weightlifting Federation, to "promote and enable a more inclusive sport environment and break down barriers to participation."

It was also reported this week that Muslim-American Hani Khan is suing Abercrombie & Fitch, claiming the clothing retailer fired her for refusing to shed the hijab, an experience which in Khan's words "shook my confidence." She would be the third Muslim woman to sue Abercrombie for hijab reasons. But Khan is not trying to get her job back; rather, "her suit seeks to force Abercrombie to change its dress code to loosen restrictions on religious clothing… and is seeking back wages and unspecified damages."

In a statement, Abercrombie said, "We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all individuals regardless of religion, race or ethnicity. ... We comply with the law regarding reasonable religious accommodation."

Oddly, Khan's lawyer asserted that "Abercrombie prides itself on requiring what it calls 'a natural, classic American style.' But there is nothing American about discriminating against someone because of their religion." Apparently, work dress codes are now tantamount to "discriminating against someone because of their religion."

Meanwhile, in France, where Islamic dress is altogether banned, a new report suggests that Muslim women are happily complying—indeed, more Muslim women are traveling to France than before the ban:

Wealthy Gulf tourists are expected to continue to flock to France this summer in spite of a law that prohibits Muslim women from wearing the burqa, travel agencies said. Travel industry experts had initially feared a decline in Arab tourists after the April ban on full veils but now report no decline in peak-season bookings to France., the parent company of the online travel website, has seen a 219 percent increase in the number of searches for France from its Arabic Middle East site from April 1 to date. Searches for Belgium, which in 2010 passed a bill banning any clothing that would obscure the identity of the wearer, have increased 300 percent the website said.

Lest you think these Gulf women are any less pious than their American counterparts, there is a simple reason for why they are complying:

Islam's doctrine of taysir allows for hiyla, or the relaxation of Islamic law whenever Muslims find it inconvenient to uphold aspects of Sharia law, like when they are under infidel/Western authority. In fact, some of Islam's top leaders, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, for example, are great advocates of taysir, "especially for those Muslim minorities living in Europe and America."

Taysir is like a broader concept of taqiyya, which permits Muslims to lie when circumstances call for it, while taysir only permits Muslims to drop aspects of Sharia law when circumstances call for it.

But there is another distinction. The Gulf women traveling to France are tourists who are not nearly as acquainted with the West as their American counterparts. They naturally assume the West is like the Islamic world—actually tenacious about its customs and laws, hardly to be pushed around by minority groups. (This is precisely why Muslims in the West shamelessly push for the Ground Zero mosque -- Muslims in the Middle East can't believe it and think it's a Zionist conspiracy.)

Muslims living in the West, on the other hand, know how easily the West can be pushed into submission, so why settle for the Muslim option of taysir when they can score a victory for Islam—and make some money while at it?

Raymond Ibrahim


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