Saturday, October 13, 2012

Romney's Edge

by Jerrold L. Sobel

Last week, before all the world to see, the president of the United States was subjected to one of the most embarrassing spectacles in recent political history.  Never before in his brief but mercurial political career has Barack Obama faced an opponent willing to look him directly in the eye and expose the hollowness of the past four years and his bankrupt incumbency. 

According to Nielsen, 67 million people watched what turned out to be more a scolding than a debate.  The president, minus a teleprompter and an adoring youthful crowd chanting "yeah, yeah," "right on," "you know that too," was perplexed at the onslaught of facts thrown at him by his Republican adversary, Mitt Romney. 

As several commentators -- many of them Democratic -- observed, if this had been a Little League game, the 15-run rule would have been invoked and the game ended.  Instead, on and on it went.  To the vexation of his most ardent supporters such as Wolf Blitzer at CNN and Chris Matthews at MSNBC, the president's performance was feeble at best.  A more discerning person might wonder, why all the surprise?

After all, would it make sense for a baker to argue electrical circuitry with an electrician?  Is it logical for a rabbi to tell a musical engineer how to run a recording studio?  How about a social worker arguing business and finance with a professional businessman? 

Isn't this exactly what happened?

Romney's Bain Capital, the object of constant Democratic denigration, invested private money in the following companies:
• AMC Entertainment
• Burger King
• Burlington Coat Factory
• Clear Channel Communications
• Dominos Pizza
• Dunk n' Donuts
• Guitar Centers
• The Sports Authority
• Staples
• Toys "R" US
• Warner Music Group

By all accounts, the main issue in this presidential race is jobs and their creation.  One can only imagine the aggregate employment created by these companies.  Once again, the key phrase here is "private money."

President Obama, playing businessman with your money, invested in:
• Solyndra
• Ener 1
• Beacon Power
• Abound Solar
• Amonix Solar
• Spectra Watt
• Eastern Energy
All of these companies have two things in common: they were, coincidently, all contributors to Obama's campaign, and eventually all went bankrupt

So without even referencing Romney's rescue of the 2002 Olympics, this wasn't a fair fight from the beginning.  Despite the laughable comments of "internet inventor" Al Gore to blame the president's humiliation on the altitude and David Axelrod's assertion that moderator Jim Lehrer failed to enforce time limits, the defeated look on the president's face told it all.  It revealed a man who quickly realized he was way over his head in this -- if you'll excuse the expression -- debate.

About halfway through this debacle, there was an interesting exchange on the economy and jobs.  Romney castigated the president for misrepresenting his tax proposal as a gift to the wealthiest 3% of American small businesses.  He correctly stated that 97% of small businesses are taxed at less than 35% percent, whereas the remaining 3% employ half of all people that work in small business.  Those are the businesses that employ one quarter of all the workers in America.  He also noted that the president's plan would take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent, costing 700,000 American jobs.  At which point Obama looked at Jim Lehrer and replied, "Jim, you may want to move onto another topic."

Not to worry: in less than 24 hours, Obama the resilient picked himself up from the canvas and continued doing what he does best: pontificating to crowds of left-wing youth on the campus of UW-Madison, continuing to trump style over substance.

As reported by CNN, Obama came onstage and quickly showed he had clearly gotten his "groove" back.  Gone was the timid man nervously looking down and writing notes while being taken to task.  He was calm, articulate, and relaxed, firing off daggers at his Republican opponent.

With the confidence of a schoolyard bully no longer having to face up to a man having just made him look so silly, the president addressed the crowd:
I just flew in from Denver, and I was telling folks when I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But I know it couldn't have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy, and yet the fellow on the stage who looked like Mitt Romney said he did not know anything about that.

By Sunday's talk shows, the president and his shills made it clear an even greater scorched-earth policy was now in effect: "Romney is a liar."

On CBS's "Face the Nation," a tired and disheveled David Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, had this to say: President Obama was "taken aback at the brazenness" of Romney.  Axelrod continued, "I'm saying that he was dishonest in his answers. You can characterize that any way you want."

In an article entitled "Pinocchio for President," the New York Post characterized it this way: "Mitt Romney the extremist is out. Mitt Romney the liar is in."  If ever there was a case of predicting the predictable.

How patently absurd -- Obama going down the road of honesty.  On February 29, 2009, Mr. Truthfulness stated, "Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term."  He never came close.

On Jerusalem: at a speech before AIPAC in June 2008, candidate Obama stated: "Any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized, and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel."  Check Jay Carney's press conference on July 26, 2012 to see how that worked out.  Better yet, check the brouhaha over Jerusalem having been omitted, then reinstated during the Democratic Convention. 

And let's not forget the latest and greatest lie and cover-up of them all, the destruction of our consulate and murder of our ambassador, along with three other Americans, in Benghazi, Libya.

For weeks following this outrage, in contradiction to his own advisers, Obama has steadfastly refused -- and still refuses -- to forsake the narrative that this dastardly event was a result of a premeditated attack.  At the U.N. he doggedly stuck to this false mantra no less than six times in his speech before the General Assembly and continued the charade that the "crude and disgusting video sparked the outrage."

To this day, Obama continues to insult the intelligence of the American people by maintaining this ridiculous narrative.  It's a blatant lie, and cover-up, for which Governor Romney will surely treat him to another spanking at next week's foreign policy debate.

But what else can this president do?  If he came clean and admitted to the American people that these murders and the anti-U.S. riots throughout the Muslim world were premeditated, it would be a refutation of his "outreach" to that region and an admission of the abject failure of his defunct foreign policy.

By his own record, this president stands naked before the nation.  On his watch and despite all obfuscation, unemployment has hovered at a record rate of 8%.  The deficit is going through the roof, and the stimulus money being wasted on a moribund economy forebodes rampant inflation down the road.

Throughout the country the price of gas has at least doubled since 2009, and in California, a state Obama will surely carry, it's $5.00 a gallon in some parts.

As to foreign policy, the Middle East is ablaze with America-hatred.  In both power and prestige, the United States is in full retreat.  During the past four years, we've emboldened our enemies such as North Korea, Iran, and Syria.  The Muslim Brotherhood, the grandfather of Islamic extremism, now controls Egypt and is spreading its influence throughout the Middle East.  Iraq is rapidly falling sway to its neighbor Iran.  As a result of Obama's hasty withdrawal, Afghanistan will once become Talibanistan soon after 2014.

Next Thursday, in their second presidential debate, Obama will no doubt mount the podium and attempt to defend the indefensible by proving correct the old adage: "More times than not, the biggest liars are those who accuse others of lying."

Jerrold L. Sobel


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

The Taliban’s Barbaric Shooting of Child Activist

by Frank Crimi


Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old girl who garnered international acclaim for having the courage to publicly speak out against the Pakistani Taliban, was shot in the head and critically wounded by the barbaric Islamist terror group.

According to Pakistani police, Malala was riding home from school in the Pakistani city of Mingora when a man stopped the school bus and asked the students to point her out. Once identified, the assassin shot Malala as well as her friend who was seated next to her.

Despite her young age, a Taliban spokesman said it had no choice but to eliminate Malala as she “was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and… she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.”

Both girls were fortunate to survive the cowardly murder attempt, in particular Malala, given that the bullet that entered her head had passed through her skull without causing any damage to her brain.

However, Malala’s reprieve from death may be short lived as the Taliban has stated that it still intends to kill this “secular-minded lady” and thus finish “this chapter,” a murder that it hopes will prevent other young Pakistani people from speaking ill of the Islamist terror group.

Unfortunately, Malala has been a target of assassination since she was just 11-years-old and the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) was ruling her home region, Pakistan’s Swat Valley, in a Sharia-based reign of terror.

The Taliban reign, which began in earnest in 2007, included such niceties as public segregation of the sexes; bans on music, movies, and television; a ban on girls’ education; and public whippings, beatings and stoning meted out to violators of the new rules.

During this time Malala, using a pseudonym, documented the abuses being perpetrated under the Taliban occupation by writing a blog under a Pakistani-language BBC website called the “Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl.”

Malala’s blog, among other things, highlighted the Taliban’s disdain for “un-Islamic education” in general and hatred of girls’ education in particular, scorn which found its expression in the group’s rampant destruction of over 400 of Swat’s nearly 1,600 schools, 70 percent of which were girls schools.

It should be noted that the TTP’s enlightened views on education are equally shared by its brethren in Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban have attacked and destroyed over 240 girls schools throughout the country, assaults which include 17 poison-gas attacks on schools as well as numerous acid attacks on girls attempting to attend school.

So, when the Pakistani military ousted the Taliban from control of Swat in 2009, Malala used the national attention her blog had generated to drop her pseudonym and openly campaign on the need for educating girls.

For her efforts, Malala was awarded in 2011 Pakistan’s National Peace Award and also nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize, notoriety that only served to enlarge the Taliban target on her back.

In fact, despite Taliban death threats, Malala had courageously broadened her campaign to include other human rights issues anathema to the Taliban, including a focus on the rights of Pakistani children, an area decidedly lacking in Taliban concern.

Of course, to be fair, life for children in Pakistan is far from good even when removed from underneath the Taliban yoke, a fact highlighted in a recent report from a leading Pakistani child advocacy group, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC).

SPARC’s Dickensian statistics on Pakistan include 25 million children not enrolled in school, the second highest number worldwide; Pakistan’s ranking among the five most dangerous countries in the world for kidnapping, with about 7,000 child abductions reported in 2011; and most of the children working as domestic workers in Pakistan being between 10-15 years of age.

Nevertheless, the Taliban has taken its disregard for children to a completely new and ruthless level.
After all, this is the same barbaric group that along with its Islamist allies in the region have constructed and operated a slew of suicide training facilities, death factories that have trained over 5,000 Pakistani children, many as young as eight, as suicide bombers.

In fact, the Pakistani jihadists’ enthusiasm for sacrificing children can be witnessed by the fact that of the 2,488 incidents of terrorism in Pakistan since 2009 — which have claimed the lives of 3,169 people — most were the result of suicide bombings conducted by underage terrorists.

That casual disregard for child welfare was recently on display in comments made by a Taliban spokesman in the days preceding Malala’s shooting, when he said the Taliban would continue to target Pakistan’s educational system, one which he said spreads “un-Islamic culture and vulgarity.”

Specifically, if that targeting included killing innocent girls and boys in the process, the Taliban spokesman said the group was, nonetheless, still providing a valuable public service as “We consider our activities beneficial because they are good for them in the afterlife.”

So given that, it’s certainly not surprising then to find that the Taliban would casually shoot a bullet into the head of a young girl simply for putting them in a bad public spotlight.

It’s certainly not surprising to Kamila Hayat, a senior official of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who said of the attack on Malala, “This is an attack to silence courage through a bullet. These are the forces who want to take us to the dark ages.”

Tragically, for Malala Yousufzai and millions of Pakistani girls like her, those dark ages have already arrived.

Frank Crimi


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

The Alawites and the Future of Syria

by Harold Rhode

Assad and the Alawites cannot give in. They are fighting for their very existence. The only way to end this civil war is to let them have control over their destiny -- either as an autonomous region in Syria or as an independent entity.
The Alawites are a small, historically oppressed people, whose political future will determine whether Syria remains united in some form or disintegrates into even smaller ethnic and religious entities.

As they will play such an important role, America, Israel, and other forces interested in the future of Syria might do well to get to know them, their concerns, and how others can best come to terms with them.

Syria's non-Sunnis have historically lived in apprehension of what the Sunnis might do to them. Although Arab Sunnis are the largest religio-ethnic group in Syria, non-Sunni Arabs make up upwards of 40% of the population. Historically, until the end of Ottoman rule after World War I, the Sunnis assumed they were the region's natural rulers, and by and large controlled the destinies of the large numbers of non-Sunnis who lived among them. The non-Sunnis seem to have "known their place" in Syrian society – second class citizens. The Sunnis determined the rules.

In the 19th century, Western concepts of nationalism and equality for all people began to appear in the Middle East. The idea that everyone – irrespective of ethnicity or religion – is equal before the law has seemed anathema to the Sunnis: such an idea would contradict the basic Islamic principle that non-Muslims – known as dhimmis, or second-class, barely-tolerated citizens – could live in an Islamic society only if they accepted their place as unequal and unworthy of political and social equality. However, even though all Sunnis might consider themselves equal, in reality, clans, tribes, or ethnic identities, not to mention gender, usually prevail.

After World War I, when the French ruled Syria, they tried to introduce the concept of equality of all people before the law – a principle that never took root. During French rule, the people today known as Alawites – and who today rule Syria – begged the French to allow them to set up their own state in their ancient homeland along the Mediterranean coast between today's Lebanon and Turkey. One of those who most passionately supported this option was the grandfather of the ruler of Syria today: Suleyman al-Assad.

This is because Syrian Sunnis have historically referred to individual Alawites as "abid" [slave], and treated the Alawites as such. The Alawites were servants in Sunni households. Alawite tradition is filled with horror stories of Sunni abuse, both working in Sunni households and in other areas of as well.

The Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, were terribly discriminated against under Sunni rule. The Sunnis attitude towards the Alawites – and towards the other non-Muslims – was "noblesse oblige," or an attitude of condescension, if not outright hostility.

According to Alawite religious beliefs, the Muslim prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law – Ali – was a deity. That a human could be a deity is anathema in Islam. Moreover, even though Christians are officially regarded as dhimmis, or second-class citizens, by the Muslims, many also refer to Christians as pagans: Christians deify Jesus who, in Muslim eyes, was a merely a prophet, born to a human mother and father.

Under the French and in the early years of Syrian independence after 1946, wealthy and respectable Sunnis did not want to have their sons serve in the military. Their Alawite servants, however, recognizing the military as a way to advance, persuaded their Sunni masters to sign recommendations to allow the children of their Alawite servants enter the military. Gradually, the Alawites rose in the ranks. Eventually in 1966, they overthrew the existing order to took over the country, and have dominated it since.

Many of these military officers, like their Christian counterparts, embraced Arab nationalism, perhaps hoping through nationalism to gain the equality that had eluded them in religion under the Sunni-dominated, society. These officers did their best to put their non-Sunni identities aside, and hoped – at times even demanded – that their Sunni fellow-Arabs do the same.

As the Alawites rose in the military, they also rose to senior positions in the Ba'ath Party, the basic tenant of which is militant Arab nationalism. But even as militant anti-Israeli Arab nationalists, these Alawites still feared that the majority-Sunnis would lie in wait, and pounce on the Alawites if the Alawites showed any weakness. The Alawites never allowed themselves forget that the Sunnis hated them; and that even though they controlled Syria, they had better come to an agreement with the leading Sunni families to provide them with stability and enable them to make money – in return for the Sunnis allowing the Alawites to control the country militarily and also make money.

During the so-called peace talks between Syria and Israel, the Alawites, according to their own admission, appointed Sunnis – and not Alawites – to negotiate with the Israelis – so that Alawites would not to be held responsible if any concessions were made to the Israelis. The Alawites were most likely concerned that if they had given in even ever so slightly to any Israeli requests, the Sunnis would have used that as an excuse to claim that the Alawites were not "true" Arabs.

Many Alawites have believed that the Arab-nationalist route of being accepted by the majority-Sunnis was doomed. According to discussions with people who have escaped Syria, as well as many still there, they feared, in their heart of hearts, that, just has the President Syrian President Assad's grandfather had warned, whatever they did, the Sunnis would never accept them. For these Alawites, the only solution would be a separate Alawite state, or entity, where they could control their destiny and not be under the dreaded Sunni yoke.

Many Alawites, who, quietly, had long opposed Assad's rule, are again, like Assad's grandfather in the 1930's, trying to put forward the idea of creating an independent Alawite state. Every day they can see around them that Middle Eastern culture places a high value on revenge, so that the Sunnis would never forgive them for having been ousted from power 46 years ago. The Alawites would be wise to fear that whatever happens in Syria, the Sunnis will massacre them for having governed Syria and for having killed so many Sunnis during the current war.

The concept of compromise simply does not exist in the Middle East – one either wins or loses. Compromise, because it invariably entails a partial loss, is evidently seen as bringing shame on oneself – to be avoided at all costs. Syria's Alawite regime therefore probably sees no alternative other than to keep fighting the Sunni-dominated opposition – which itself is succumbing to Turkish, Saudi, and Qatari-inspired Islamic fundamentalist leadership – and to try to ethnically cleanse the Alawite areas of all Sunnis in the hope of retreating to that area with the help of outside allies – be they Iranians, Russians, or other non-Sunni Arabs in the area – and barricading themselves in against the Sunnis.

Consequently, it is hard to imagine any settlement in which Syria remains a centralized and unified state. One could imagine local autonomous regions, where the Alawites could finally control their own destiny. Maybe other groups – such as the non-Arab Kurdish Sunnis in the north – might also have their own entities to throw off the yoke of Arab rule. Whatever the eventual outcome, the Kurds know that their Sunni Arab neighbors, even though they all share the same faith, will never let bygones be bygones. Just as the Muslims in general are relentless in pursuing Israel, they would never accept any solution where they do not eventually take over the entire area.

Therefore, if there is ever to be some sort of peace-like arrangement – albeit temporary – in what is Syria today, there is no way that Syria can remain a centralized state, with new rulers, whoever they might be, who would continue to oppress other Syrians . Of all the ethnic and religious groups in Syria, the Alawites have the most to lose, which they undoubtedly know and which is why they must have control over their own destiny. They would have no alternative other than to remain well-armed; if not, the Sunnis would again take them over and subject them to the slave-like status they had in the past.

Assad, therefore, cannot give in. He and the Alawites – whether they support or oppose Assad – are fighting for their very existence. They only way to end this civil war is to let them have control over their destiny – either as an autonomous region in Syria, or as an independent entity. Whatever happens, they will insist that they remain well-armed. They – like other minorities in the Middle East – will continue to live in eternal fear of the Arab Sunnis. As the concept of overlooking past grievances is alien to the culture of that region, true peace between the Alawites and the Arab Sunnis – or, for that matter, Arab Sunnis and non-Arab Sunnis – is sadly out of the question.

Harold Rhode


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

The Islamic Republic of Catalonia

by Soeren Kern

"We will all vote for the Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils, and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented." — Abdelwahab Houzi, Salafist preacher, Lleida.
A successful push for independence in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia would lead to the establishment of a country with the third-largest percentage of Muslims in Western Europe, just behind France and Belgium, and far ahead of Britain and Germany.

An independent Catalonia, with its capital in Barcelona, would also be home to the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe; it would emerge as ground-zero for Salafi-Jihadism on the continent and become one of the top incubators for Islamist terrorism in the West.

Catalonia, historically one of the wealthiest and most industrialized regions of Spain, has harbored a strong streak toward independence since medieval times, when Barcelona was a Mediterranean trade center with its own parliament. But the ongoing economic crisis in Spain has redoubled calls for Catalonian secession from Spain and the establishment of an independent state.

Catalonia, the economy of which is larger than Portugal's (it accounts for one-fifth of Spanish output and generates 30% of its exports), is struggling to make repayments on its €40 billion ($51.5 billion) debt. On August 31, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's slashed Catalonia's debt to junk-bond status.

Catalan politicians are blaming the central government in Madrid for the region's economic woes. They say the central government collects €16 billion more in taxes from Catalonia each year than it spends in the region.

On September 20, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy flatly rejected a demand by Catalan President Artur Mas that Catalonia should be allowed to collect and spend its own taxes. This demand for "self-determination" came just days after a massive pro-independence rally in Barcelona on September 11, in which up to 1.5 million Catalans called for forming a new European state.

On September 25, Mas announced a snap election in Catalonia (to be held on November 25), which is being viewed as a plebiscite to gauge popular support for his pro-independence platform. The Catalan parliament also approved a resolution to hold a non-binding referendum on secession once the new legislature is installed.

The ruling parties of Catalonia have also sought guidance from Brussels on the legality of secession from Spain, requesting a "roadmap" for membership of the European Union, along with the use of the euro, as an independent state.

Catalonia has 7.5 million inhabitants, including an estimated 450,000 Muslims, who account for 6% of the total Catalan population. In some Catalan towns and cities, the Muslim population now reaches up to 40% of the population.

As a result of mass immigration from Muslim countries, which began in the 1980s, Catalonia has emerged as "a major Mediterranean center for radical Islamists," and the United States has even proposed setting up an intelligence hub at the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona to counter the growing threat, according to American diplomatic cables that were obtained by Wikileaks and published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper.

A five-page cable, dated October 2, 2007, for example, describes the link between mass immigration to Catalonia and the rise of radical Islamism in the region.

The document, which is classified "secret" and apparently authored by then-Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre, states: "Heavy immigration -- both legal and illegal -- from North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria) and Southeast Asia (Pakistan and Bangladesh) has made Catalonia a magnet for terrorist recruiters. … The Spanish National Police estimates that there may be upwards of 60,000 Pakistanis living in Barcelona and the surrounding area; the vast majority are male, unmarried or unaccompanied, and without legal documentation. There are even more such immigrants from North Africa. … They live on the edges of Spanish society, they do not speak the language, they are often unemployed, and they have very few places to practice their religion with dignity. … Individually, these circumstances would provide fertile ground for terrorist recruitment; taken together, the threat is clear."

The cable also states: "There is little doubt that the autonomous region of Catalonia has become a prime base of operations for terrorist activity. Spanish authorities tell us they fear the threat from these atomized immigrant communities prone to radicalism, but they have very little intelligence on or ability to penetrate these groups."

According to Spain's National Intelligence Center (CNI), Catalonia is home to hundreds and possibly thousands of Salafi Islamists, who CNI says, pose the greatest threat to Spain's security.

Salafism is a branch of radical Islam that seeks to forcibly re-establish an Islamic empire (Caliphate) across the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, which Salafists view as a Muslim state that must be reconquered for Islam.

Much of Spain was ruled by Muslim conquerors from 711 and 1492, and Salafists believe that the territories the Muslims lost during the Spanish Reconquista still belong to them, and that they have a right to return and establish their rule there.

The historical irony is that unlike the rest of Spain, Catalonia was only briefly part of al-Andalus, the Arabic name given to the Spanish territories under Muslim domination. Barcelona, for example, was taken back from Muslim conquerors in the year 801, only 90 years after the Umayyad invasion in 711. For many years, Catalonia actually served as a buffer state (known as the Marca Hispanica) that prevented the northward spread of Islam into southern France. As a result of its relative freedom from Muslim occupation, Catalonia does not possess the Islamic cultural heritage (especially in terms of architecture) common to other parts of Spain.

Today, however, Catalonia not only has the highest Muslim population in Spain, it is also one of the most Islamized regions of the country. (See here for a 45-minute documentary about the Islamization of Catalonia.)

Consider the municipality of Salt, a town near Barcelona where Muslim immigrants now make up 40% of the population. Salafi Muslims have turned Salt into what has been dubbed the "New Mecca of the Most Radical Islamism." Among other projects, the Salafists are seeking to build a Saudi-financed mega-mosque in the town, where around 12,000 of Salt's 30,000 inhabitants are Muslim immigrants. The structure, with four stories comprising 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet) accompanied by towering minarets, would be the largest Salafi mosque in Europe.

In addition to Salt, other towns in Catalonia have become centers for Salafi Islam in Spain. The movement is based in the Catalonian city of Tarragona, but Salafi Islam also has a major presence in the municipalities of Badalona, Calafell, Cunit, El Vendrel, Gerona, Lleida, Mataró, Reus, Roda de Bara, Rubí, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Boi, Torredembarra, Valls, Vic and Vilanova, not to mention Barcelona, which hosts five Salafi mosques.

Salafi preachers in Catalonia teach that Islamic Sharia law is above Spanish civil law. They also promote the establishment of a parallel Muslim society in Catalonia. Salafi imams have set up Sharia tribunals to judge the conduct of both practicing and non-practicing Muslims in the region, and to punish those who fail to comply.

In Lleida, where Muslims now make up around 20% of the city's total population, local residents have accused Muslim immigrants of poisoning dozens of dogs in the city because according to Islamic teaching dogs are "unclean" animals.

In Reus, nine Islamists kidnapped a woman, tried her for adultery based on Sharia law, and condemned her to death. The woman, by fleeing to a local police station, just barely managed to escape being executed.

In Tarragona, an imam forced a 31-year-old Moroccan woman to wear a hijab Islamic head covering. The imam also threatened to burn down the woman's house: according to him, as she works outside of the home, drives an automobile and has non-Muslim friends, she is an "infidel." The local prosecutor had asked the judge to jail the imam and three others for five years for harassment; but the imam was cleared of all charges after the Socialist mayor of the town said she wanted to prevent "a social conflict."

In Terrassa, an industrial city north of Barcelona, an imam from Morocco who preaches at a large mosque in the city center promoted violence against women by instructing his listeners to "hit women with the use of a stick, the fist or the hand so that no bones are broken and no blood is drawn." When questioned by police, he refused to provide evidence; he said he does not recognize the legitimacy of the Spanish state.

In Gerona, an eight-year-old Moroccan girl was suspended from a public school for refusing to remove her hijab in class. The Catalan government intervened by ordering the school to allow the girl to wear the hijab on grounds that it would be discrimination not to do so.

In Barcelona, a Moroccan imam said it is absolutely necessary to accept Islamic values as European values and that from now on, when describing Western Civilization, Europeans should replace the term "Judeo-Christian" with term "Islamo-Christian."

Elsewhere in Catalonia, Muslim immigrants are imposing Sharia law in public schools, where non-Muslim school children are regularly harassed for bringing ham sandwiches (see video here) to school for lunch.

Many of Catalonia's current problems with Salafi-Jihadism are self-inflicted. In an effort to promote Catalan nationalism and the Catalan language, Catalonian pro-independence parties have deliberately promoted immigration from Arabic-speaking Muslim countries for more than three decades, in the belief that these immigrants (unlike those from Latin America) would learn the Catalan language rather than speak Spanish.

Although some Catalans are having second thoughts about the wisdom of promoting Muslim mass immigration as a strategy to achieve Catalan independence, it is estimated that up to 10,000 Catalans with links to the separatist movement have actually converted to Islam in recent years. It is believed, for example, that two out of every ten Catalan radicals who belong to the far-left political party, the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), are converts to Islam.

According to one newspaper account, "the new converts refuse to observe Christmas, eat sausage, drink champagne or dance the Sardana [a Catalan circle dance], but prepare their meals with halal meat, read the Koran in Catalan and engage in proselytizing, especially among the more radical Catalan nationalists. One new convert says: 'I'm learning Arabic, but I prefer to read the Koran in Catalan. I praise God in Catalan. It is the language I feel in.'"

Catalan multiculturalists are also actively proselytizing Muslim immigrants, seeking to convert them to the religion of Catalan nationalism. In July, for instance, Catalan pro-independence activists, seeking to capture future Muslim voters, posted signs in front of mosques around Catalonia which stated that "Catalan sovereignty will help to integrate Muslim immigrants."

Salafi preachers, who do not believe in democracy -- it is a form of government made by man and not by Allah - -- are now calling on Muslims who are eligible to vote to support Catalan separatist parties as a means firmly to establish Islamism in Catalonia.

Abdelwahab Houzi, for example a Salafi jihadist preacher in Lleida who adheres to the radical Wahhabi sect of Islam, recently said: "Muslims should vote for pro-independence parties, as they need our votes. But what they do not know is that, when they allow us to vote, we will all vote for Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented." 

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

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

Meet Obama’s Wahhabist Relatives

by Walid and Theodore Shoebat


While discussion of Obama’s connections to his Muslim family in Kenya is an acceptable topic for discussion in the Arab world, it is viewed as a great taboo in the United States. But why is that so? This taboo should be considered unfair at best, purely prejudiced at worst. Is it fair, after all, that we censor such discussions just because Obama’s relatives are Muslim?

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) should condemn the media for keeping a tight lid on the subject, and it’s high time to go beyond what is disclosed by President Obama in his book, Dreams From My Father, or Wikipedia’s limited information, which includes the only photo released by the Obama family:

For the purposes of this article, we will cover only three of the closest Kenyan relatives to president Obama:
1. Sarah, Barack’s beloved and benevolent grandmother.
2. Sayid Obama, his closest favorite uncle.
3. Musa Ismail Obama, his first cousin and Sayid’s main sidekick.
After President Obama was inaugurated, the Muslim side of the Obama family in Kenya boomed, and it went from rags to riches overnight. They became one of the most influential families in western Kenya and even extended their sphere of influence to Saudi Arabia. When Sarah, president Obama’s grandmother, decided to go to the Hajj, an obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca with Musa, president Obama’s first cousin, they were welcomed with open arms and were provided a special escort with full security detail and first-class treatment at the Saudi royal court:
His Royal Highness Prince Mamdouh bin Abdul Aziz accompanied the family of U.S. President Barack Obama in his palace in Jeddah after the performance of the Hajj this year. The event was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Thamer bin Abdul Aziz, and His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Mamdouh Bin Abdul Aziz, and his HRH Prince Abdullah bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, and a number of other princes and officials.
The reason for such treatment, as explained in an exclusive interview with Musa Ismail Obama on Al-Jazeera, is that a close relationship was built between the Saudi royals, and like president Obama’s call for education in the United States, the Kenyan Obamas embarked on a similar project.

Thus, president Obama’s grandmother, Sarah Obama, started the Sarah Obama Benevolent Fund Institute, otherwise known as the Mama Sarah Obama Children Foundation, which raises 90% of its monies primarily from donors in the United States and some from Europe, solicited as humanitarian aid — as the promotional website advertised: “to make a lasting impact on the lives of the orphans and underprivileged children by improving their housing, their education, their upbringing,” which “continued to weigh heavily on Mama Sarah.” All this and “to help the neglected HIV/AIDS infected and affected in Kogelo village by linking them to care-givers and professional health services providers.”

Barack Obama with step-grandmother Sarah

This is the version we are told. But when one peruses the foundation’s real activities in Arabic, one finds a very dark side to what the family’s efforts are really all about.

Musa Ismail Obama, the president’s cousin, in an exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera TV (see all three parts,, and, explained all the troublesome detail, which does not bode well when translated into English: the bulk of the Sarah Fund as it turns out sends little to widows and orphans while the rest goes towards giving free scholarships to studying Sharia at the most influential Wahhabist centers in Saudi Arabia.

In the shocking interview, Musa was asked about his communications with cousin Barack, the president of the United States. The soft-spoken Musa explained that the president’s preferred method of communications was through one chosen conduit that relays messages back and forth with the family in Kenya by going through uncle Sayid Hussein Obama. This is the man who, with Mama Sarah, was also in attendance at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

Mama Sarah begins her trip to see Barack inaugurated

Musa, Sayid’s sidekick and the public promoter of Mama Sarah’s non-profit, became the family’s key advertiser to the social efforts in Kenya. He selects specific Arab media asking wealthy audiences for help, but mandates as a prerequisite that no questions are asked regarding any details of such communications with president Obama or the delving into any political views. Yet, he tells just enough to connect the dots to the wealthy Arab audience of Al-Jazeera. He relays the message to raise all necessary funds since his mission is to transform Kenya to an Islamic majority by using the Obama household name and his grandmother’s non-profit organization.

The fund has little to do with secular education or the care for widows and orphans and never even once mentions anything in any Arabic media in regards to helping the HIV infected. The bulk of Sarah’s Benevolence Fund, as Musa explained, goes to sending scholarships destined to Saudi Arabia’s most virulent Wahhabi Sharia centers: the Islamic University in Medina, Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah and the University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. These are, as the Gulf Issues Centre For Strategic Studies describes, “Salafi schools, which imbibed radical ideas” and are “the spring of Wahhabism”:
[Wahhabists] grew up in the Wahhabi and Salafi schools which imbibed radical ideas in the Islamic University in Medina, Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, and the University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. (See essay, The Role of Wahhbist Movements, under a section entitled The Circle of Violence.)
Musa expresses in classical Arabic how he memorized the entire Quran and how he graduated and became an Islamic scholar on Sharia from the Islamic University in Medina.
“I studied Arabic and Sharia at the Islamic university in Medina in Saudi Arabia,” exclaimed Musa while telling how he visited Umm Al Qura University with his uncle Sayid. “We also in the month of Muharram visited the dean of Umm Al Qura University, me and my uncle Sayid,” he told Al-Jazeera during the interview.

“The nature of the visit,” Musa explains, “was to facilitate scholarship to send students to Umm Al Qura.”

Umm Al Qura University has a heritage that includes being one of Saudi Arabia’s historical and national monuments. A paragon in Wahhabist education, it takes pride that the university was the first to print the works of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab, the founder of the most virulent brand of Islam—Wahhabism. The history of its Wahhabist connections can be seen here.

On a cover-page of one of Wahhab’s collections from Umm Al Qura University, one can clearly see in fanciful Arabic calligraphy, the title: “Writings of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab,” and a stamp that says “A gift from Umm Al Qura University-Mecca” is clearly visible.

In The Danger of Wahhabism in The Muslim World, by moderate Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al-Sayeh who abandoned the teachings, he reflects on his studies at Umm Al Qura: “I studied Wahhabism, I studied their curriculum at the University of Umm Al Qura…”

At Umm Al Qura University, Musa and Sayid Obama—president Obama’s favorite uncle—are seen taking photo ops and were described by several Arab media sources as diligent workers in advancing scholarships for Kenyans to study Sharia, courtesy of Sarah’s fund.

Sayid Obama on right standing with Musa Ismail Obama at Umm Al Qura University

On right: Director of Umm Al-Qura University, Dr. Bakri bin Ma’touk A’sas Musa Ismail Obama on left next to Sayid Obama

On left – Sayid Obama

Meetings of President Obama’s favorite uncle Sayid can even be seen at the official website of Umm Al Qura University where it proudly states:
His Highness the Director of Umm Al-Qura University, Dr. Bakri bin Ma’touk A’sas received at his office in university city at Babidah Mr. Sayid Obama the uncle of His Excellency the President of the United States of America Barack Obama and Mr. Musa Ismail Obama the cousin of U.S. President …
“When they [the students] submit an application to Sarah Obama Benevolent Fund, they expect to get what they want but we are flooded,” explains Musa.

As a result of the flood of students in the Wahhabi Sharia universities in Saudi Arabia, the interviewer then asks regarding the excess: “So you are opening an avenue in other universities?” For that, Musa explains he had to send the excess to nearby Doha in Qatar where he visited and arranged everything.

When Al-Jazeera asked, “Do all these scholarships involve studying Arabic and Sharia?” Musa explained, “Some of those do not involve Sharia, like medicine or engineering.”

Al-Jazeera then asks, “But the majority involves what?” Musa answers: “Uuuhhh…. The majority of course is Sharia schools” adding, “because my connections in the institutions is with Sharia schools.”

In what seems like a prepared script, Musa reads what he considers the catastrophe of Kenya, the lack of the process of proselytization, which goes hand-in-hand with Saudi interests seeking help from wealthy Saudis to transform Kenya to become a Muslim majority.

This goal is also expressed by Al-Arab Newspaper, which covered the call of the Obamas in an interview with Musa Ismail Obama on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of World University Ruff in Nairobi (photo here).

Under the title, “Scholars in Kenya Call Their Brethren to Spread Islam and Teach Arabic” it states: “Muslims [in Kenya] suffer from the monumental Christianization aided by Zionist expansionism that infiltrates the nation.” (Muhammad Lasheeb, Al-Arab Newspaper, 8816th edition, published on August 1st, 2012).

(Photo above of Musa on Al-Arab Newspaper)

Al-Arab Newspaper expounds on the effort to advance “education” by the Obama family in Kenya. Under the title “Education First,” assistant Mufti of the coastal city of Mombasa Ahmad Bimsallam chimed in explaining, “that the grand destruction that came upon Muslims in Kenya, came from the education and schools that are planted all over the nation by Christian missionary movements.”
Al-Arab does not even consider President Obama’s conversion to Christianity an issue and included a section entitled, “Obama’s Islam” stating:
President Obama’s Islamic faith was considered a polarizing subject between Muslims and Christians in the Republic of Kenya. It is a center of struggle in the media and continues, as the Anglican Church there attempted to orchestrate a baptismal ordination for his grandmother Sarah in a grand celebration at the Gomokinyata playground in Kizimo, the third largest city in Kenya. It was a trick to trap her, pretending to invite her as a guest, as the church sent out information about her conversion and abandonment of Islam. The young Musa Ismail Obama, the cousin of the American president commented during his interview with Al-Arab that he was with his grandmother during Ramadan in the Holy Land in Mecca to do the Umra festivities after she completed her pilgrimage by invitation from the King of Saudi Arabia. Musa Obama who studied Sharia in Medina spoke to us regarding the situation of Muslims in Kenya calling upon the Arab and Islamic states to put more efforts towards aiding the Kenyan Muslim brethren especially that since there is much support coming from Western nations and Western churches spreading to the rest of Kenyan society from different religions. Musa pointed that the situation of Muslims in Kenya is continually getting better, pointing that the village of Barack Obama, Kogelo, which is situated on the shores of Victoria Lake, in Western Kenya, for example, had no Muslims except his family. But now, they are increasing, and that the majority of new Muslims adopted Islam from the kind treatment of their family and that they have now a benevolent institution to raise funds and give important aid to the orphans and the poor, and it also gives scholarships to study Sharia in Medina [Saudi Arabia]. Musa also stated that despite [the fact that] Barack Obama hasn’t visited his tribe in Kenya since his election in the United States, there is a continual communication between him and several members of his family and his tribe in Kenya, which the Kenyan prime minister is also a member. We have also had members of the tribe who came to celebrate the appointment of one of their tribesmen as president of the United States a while ago. Musa also clarified that the election of Barack Obama had an impact for the betterment of the Muslim situation in Kenya to a certain degree, despite the attempts of churches to obstruct Muslim demands and rights, especially what relates to segregation and persecution against them in schools, as well as the issue of hijab and the lack of constitutional rights for Muslims in establishing Sharia courts.
Likewise, and probably most explosive, is president Obama’s uncle Sayid Hussein Obama, who is active in his work with the notorious Muslim World League (MWL) as reported by Saudi media:
His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, and a member of the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia in Makkah received on Monday Mr. Saeed Hussein Obama, Kenyan businessman, and uncle of President Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, who paid a visit to the Muslim World League, accompanied by a number of Kenyan graduates from Saudi universities.
This, despite the MWL’s numerous connections with al Qaeda operatives. In fact, several MWL employees have worked with al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda gained material support and sponsorship, along with a cover, from MWL offices around the world. Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, who received Sayid, is one of the most renowned Wahhabi scholars and a pioneer in spreading Wahhabism through education.

So are the Kenyan Obamas.

Walid and Theodore Shoebat


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

Biden’s Lie About Religious Freedom

by Jonathan S. Tobin

Here’s one final note about the vice presidential debate. Both Vice President Biden and Paul Ryan had their weak moments. Ryan couldn’t explain what Mitt Romney would do differently in the future to deal with the tragedy in Syria even if he was right about President Obama’s mistakes. He was also flummoxed by Biden’s comeback about his request for stimulus funds for his Wisconsin congressional district, something for which he should have been prepared. The list of Biden’s mistakes is much longer. Biden told a flat out lie when he claimed he opposed the Iraq War and the add-on of the prescription drug plan to Medicare. He voted for both of the wars and the free drugs for seniors. But as bad as that was, far more offensive was the lie about the administration’s attack on religious freedom via ObamaCare.

In response to Ryan’s accurate charge that the HHS Mandate under ObamaCare forces religious institutions to violate their consciences to pay for services their faith opposes, Biden claimed the following:
With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Indeed, one might ask Biden if Georgetown is not being compelled to pay for contraception, then what exactly was behind the ruckus about Sandra Fluke’s complaints about the university’s refusal to do so. Biden’s claim was not only an offensive falsehood, it was a stupid one since even his liberal supporters know that is what is happening.

In truth, the attempt to force both church institutions and individuals to bow to the dictates of the president’s signature health care legislation is the subject of legal challenges that are still making their way through the courts. As the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty noted today, there are currently 33 such cases representing over 100 hospitals, universities, businesses and schools that are seeking to defend their constitutional rights against the administration’s attempt to compel them to do exactly what Biden says they are not being asked to do. These plaintiffs face potential government fines of millions of dollars, but they are determined to stand up for their faith and their beliefs in spite of the government’s efforts to intimidate them.

There is a lively debate going on about the future of health care, but there may be no more insidious aspect to the ObamaCare issue than this threat to religious liberty. Both Biden and his party support the HHS Mandate, something that was made abundantly clear at the Democratic Convention at which Ms. Fluke was unveiled as a prime time liberal star. But the vice president’s willingness to lie about that support tells us that he understands just how unpopular this stand is outside of the precincts of the left. He should have had the guts and the honesty to say so.

Democrats repeating their “liar, liar” mantra about Romney and Ryan (and claiming that this justified Biden’s boorishness) need to own up to the barefaced lies Biden told at the debate.

Jonathan S. Tobin


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

Biden, Obama and the Politics of Personal Destruction

by Caroline Glick

Thursday the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger published a column called "Obama and the L-word." In it he described with disgust and dismay the way the Obama administration has been playing fast and loose with the term "liar" to describe Mitt Romney since Romney trounced Obama in last week's presidential debate.

Henninger noted that the use of the term, cheapens and coarsens the political discourse in the US in a manner that is unprecedented in US politics. He also noted , rightly that this is not part of the American political tradition. It is of a piece with the propaganda of totalitarian regimes. 

As he explained: 

The Obama campaign's resurrection of "liar" as a political tool is odious because it has such a repellent pedigree. It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars was at the center of it. The idea was never to elevate political debate but to debauch it.
The purpose of calling someone a liar then was not merely to refute their ideas or arguments. It was to nullify them, to eliminate them from participation in politics. That's what is so unsettling about a David Axelrod or David Plouffe following accusations of dishonesty and lies with "whether that person should sit in the Oval Office." And that is followed by President Obama himself feeding the new line in stump speeches without himself ever using the L-word.
This Obama campaign is saying, "We don't want to compete with Mitt Romney. We want to obliterate him."

Henninger ended his column by wondering how the Obama campaign' post-presidential debate employment of this tactic against Romney would impact Biden's debate performance.
And last night we got the answer. Throughout the debate, Biden treated Rep. Paul Ryan with contempt. He never responded to any of Ryan's reasoned, substantive criticisms of Obama's policies. He simply called him a liar, repeatedly. With no justification. He sneered. He guffawed. And he maligned Ryan for 90 minutes. 

I watched the debate on Fox News. I suppose the commentators hadn't read Henninger's article. They were all expressing shock at Biden's nastiness. They didn't seem to recognize that it is part of the Obama campaign's strategy. 

Another aspect of this that both Henninger and the Fox commentators were too gentle to mention outright - although Henninger nearly did is that the politics of personal destruction is based on projection. The side doing it is accusing their opponents of doing precisely what they are doing. In last night's debate, Biden lied, flat out lied, repeatedly. He lied about what the military thinks of the sequestration policy of gutting military budgets. He lied about what the intelligence community said about the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.  He lied about how Medicare is impacted by Obamacare. 

And that's just off the top of my head.

A word about those lies. At least in the case of the Benghazi lie, Biden's actions show how lies are part and parcel of how the Obama administration does its business on a daily basis.
The only basis for the claim that US intelligence said the attack wasn't a terror attack but was a response to that stupid, irrelevant anti-Islam film on YouTube was a statement by James Clapper, Obama's appointed Director of National Intelligence. 

It must be said, Clapper is not a credible source.

Clapper has abused his office repeatedly to politicize intelligence and facts in order to serve the appeasement-of-Islamic-terrorists agenda of the president he serves. 

This came across most brazenly during the uprising against longtime US ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. On Feb 10, 2011, the day before the Obama administration forced Hosni Mubarak to resign from the Egyptian presidency, Clapper appeared before the House Select Committee on Intelligence and told the Congressmen that the Muslim Brotherhood is a "largely secular movement."

In his words, "The term 'Muslim Brotherhood' is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam. They have pursued social ends, betterment of the political order in Egypt, etc."

This was a complete lie and anyone with even a modicum of awareness about the Brotherhood - even without the benefit of classified information - knows that it is a lie. He should have been fired for saying such nonsense because it isn't just wrong, it is dangerous, as we see today with the Muslim Brotherhood in charge in Egypt.

But this is par for the course for Obama appointees. And it shows the depths to which its officials will sink in order to push the President's agenda. 

Lies are not a simply campaigning tactic or strategy. They are the heart of how this administration does business.

Steven Hayes on Fox made the important point that in the space of just a couple of minutes Biden said US intelligence misled the administration on Libya and could be totally trusted to get Iran's nuclear capabilities just right. 

Do you feel safe with that assessment?

I was dismayed that Ryan didn't just come out and attack Biden for doing what he was doing. But he was in a tight spot. Martha Raddatz, the moderator was there playing interference for Biden the whole time. Every time Ryan started making a point, she'd interrupt him and change the subject. 

Aside from that I felt the age disparity worked in Biden's favor because Ryan was clearly trying to be deferential to his elder who clearly did not deserve any deference from him. Ryan was playing by the old rule book, treating his opponent with respect. Biden was playing by the Obama rulebook and treated his opponent with contempt as a means of destroying him personally.

Commentators all say that Ryan held his own. And that's true and good for him, as far as that goes. But that isn't the point. 

The point is that Romney has been warned, by Biden and the campaign. He needs to stay on offense. And that doesn't just mean to defend his positions or call Obama on the failure of his policies. It means to confront Obama on what he is doing in his campaign and refuse to pretend that this is business as usual. 

The ugliness we saw last night is just a foretaste of what will come in the next three week and Romney better be ready. Because if he isn't, the ugliness he will need to deal with in the next three weeks will be nothing in comparison to the ugliness that will become America in a second Obama administration. 

Caroline Glick


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