Saturday, January 12, 2013

Israel's Jihad is Mine

by Qanta Ahmed

As Israel considers building a new fence to contain the Syrian conflict to the north, which fences can keep out Hamas's even more lethal ideologies? While Gaza and the Muslim Arab world continue to claim victory in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, for the sane observers among us, there is only ever defeat – the defeat of morality in the desecration of a great religion. While most Muslims laud Hamas and scorn Israel, for me, an observing Muslim, Israel's war against Hamas remains my struggle – my jihad.

Israel's eight-day operation "Pillar of Defense" sought to dismantle the Hamas apparatus from within Gaza. The predictably seamless alignment of the Muslim world against Israel was even more breathtaking than usual in the face of Syria's 22 months of systematic genocide, one which has consistently failed to trigger unanimous Muslim protest. What does this say about us as Muslims?

We are hypocrites.

While Muslims define Israel as the enemy, we ignore Assad, and diabolically laud Hamas. Hamas is never sated – each year it devours ever more Palestinians, regardless of age or gender. If Israelis lose fewer citizens than the Palestinians in these conflicts it is for the same reason Israel exchanges more prisoners for each captive soldier: quite simply Israel values human life more than does Hamas, which relishes ground operations taking place among densely populate civilian areas.

Explaining this to Muslims in the Twitterverse, I get sharply reminded that Hamas does not have the "luxury of launch sites" that Israel enjoys. Have we lost our minds, Muslims? How can we speak of 'launch sites' as 'luxuries' while disregarding the culling taking place in Syria? Perhaps we have not lost our minds, but we have most certainly lost our religion.

As I am not one to speak for others, allow me to let Hamas speak for themselves. They are bald-faced about their mission, seeking glory through death, annunciation through annihilation:

We are ready to offer 1,000, 2,000 or even 10,000 martyrs every year. We are ready to keep offering martyrs for twenty years because we are sure we are moving in the right direction and that we will prevail in the end" (Hamas leader Khalid Al Mish'al in Gaza"

To Hamas, a Palestinian life is worth more when "martyred," a dead child more of a blessing than one living. "The children of the kindergarten are the shaheeds [martyrs] of tomorrow," reads a sign displayed at a Hamas-run kindergarten. The martyrdom mantra is their anthem.

While observers speculate Hamas will shortly usurp the crumbling Fatah leadership and ideologically annex the West Bank, we must remember Hamas' raison d'etre: Islamist nihilism, a totalitarian ideology, jet-fueled on the language and images stolen from mighty Islam. Israeli negotiators who must engage with this opponent are walking on the sharp-edged sword of Damocles and unlike Muslims, the Israelis certainly know it.

Coloring their fascism with Islam, Hamas claims religious legitimacy to openly seek destruction of the Jewish state and eradication of the Jewish people. By grafting themselves onto Into Islamic ideals – the vertebral column of that which is most sacred to Muslims – they render Islam itself heinous, representing their true ruthlessness: theirs is a willingness to sacrifice anything –including Islam – to portray Israel as evil.

This ethos was captured in a single unprecedented obscenity: Hamas' morbid motorcade. Cocksure thugs, defiantly cruising on motorcycles trailed exposed cadavers of Palestinians – Muslim men – trousers pooled at dead ankles. To chants of 'Allah-hu-Akbar' as dozens of Palestinian onlookers silently watched, Hamas took its ghoulish victory lap explicitly to show Gazans how they execute 'suspected informers to Israel'. This is the Islam of Hamas.

This is why Hamas does not represent me, or other believing Muslims. This is why Israel's battle is mine. This is why Israel's struggle – Israel's jihad – is mine. These are the 'Muslims' that Israelis must confront and these are the "Muslims" who intimidate innocent Palestinians into subjugation to their monstrous political Islamism.
But we Muslims in particular, more than conflict-hardened Israelis, should hardly be surprised, for it was Muslims who were once forewarned of scourges such as Hamas.
The Prophet Mohammed (SAW) was once asked what he most feared for his followers. Centuries later, his response, recorded in the hadith, haunts, stating he feared those who:
…Interpret verses of the Qur'an out of context…A people that recite Qur'an….but it will not go past their throats, a people with excellent words and vile deeds. They will pass through the religion (of Islam) like the arrow passes through its quarry. They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its course. They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all creation. They summon to the book of Allah, but they have nothing to do with it. Whoever kills them is closer to Allah than they.
This is the true nature of Hamas, which recites the Quran yet doesn't hold it in their hearts, that "summon to the book of Allah but have nothing to do with it." By the above, it would seem the IDF (that eliminates Hamas) is surely closer to Allah than Hamas.

Yet instead of condemning Hamas, and recognizing them as imposters among us, the Muslim world celebrates them, even as Hamas violates the most profound Islamic principle: the sanctity of life, a right man must protect even in preference to any rights God claims from man.

When Muslims support Hamas, we support no less than the signatories to Islam's collective extinction. Muslim support renders Hamas legitimate, their methods acceptable, their ideals valid. Our support as Muslims is their lifeblood. In supporting them, we hemorrhage our only currency, our only asset – our great monotheism.

Two years into the Arab Awakening, the freshly turned soil is ripe for the seeding. Hamas operatives everywhere are already celebrated as 'liberators' of Gazans, when they have actually long been their jailers, 'victors' over Israel, when Hamas is the personal death knell of all pluralism in the region. Gazans so recently celebrating in the street are no more than hostages afflicted with the worst Stockholm Syndrome imaginable, heading to their own death through their misplaced hope in their virulently Islamist leadership.

During Operation Pillar of Defense, Jewish friends said "this must be such a difficult time for you, but I am glad of our friendship" implying that because I am Muslim, my loyalty must surely be to Gaza, my enmity automatically aligned with Israel.

Not so. As a Muslim, I am clear: my loyalty is with Islam, and therefore explicitly with justice, justice for all humanity, a humanity that must include Jews. Hamas is obscenely unjust, so how can my loyalty be with them? To be loyal to Hamas is no less than to abandon Islam. To be loyal to Hamas is the ultimate blasphemy.

While I understand the need for Israeli negotiators to engage with Hamas first to secure the current ceasefire and then for some sort of functional peace, the reality is their militant ideology must be suffocated out of existence or else the détente is little more than an illusion. For this, unlike for suicide bombers or Syrian rockets, there are no Israeli fences or walls, no Iron Domes, only Muslim barriers – robust barriers of counter-ideology.

It is Muslims who must take the first steps to excoriate Hamas, to expose them as the ruthless nihilists they explicitly announce themselves to be. We must scorn Hamas for masquerading among the poor as their savior when they are instead their executioner. Muslims must hold all media accountable for telling the truth: Palestinians are the Muslims orphaned not by Israel but by the entire Muslim world itself. Land-grabs and permanent refugee camps are testament to such.

We must ask ourselves the difficult questions. Does Hamas, who prostitute their progeny in the service of terror, represent Islam? Is Hamas emulating our Prophet as they rain rockets on unarmed, civilian, non-combatants? Do their Fajr missiles, named after Muslim prayers no less, encompass the spirit of Islam as was revealed to its followers? Do Hamas' stated goals – including elimination of Israel – represent coexistence with the People of the Book, who are cherished in the Quran as dear to God and their Messenger, Moses, particularly admired by our Maker for his courage in the face of fear?

Don't be fooled by Hamas' words Muslims; we have a duty to judge them on their vile deeds.
If Islam is to truly thrive, it will only do so when more and more anti-Islamist Muslims confront and extinguish radical Islamist ideologues. Otherwise, we stand to lose both Israel and Islam in one fell swoop of the Islamist axe. Whether rescuing Palestinians and Israelis captive to the whim of Hamas, or rescuing Islam from Islamist Hamas, this is truly our jihad and no one else's, which is why Israel's jihad is also mine.

Qanta Ahmed is a physician and author of In the Land of Invisible Women; Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion; @MissDiagnosis;


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What's Behind Abbas' New Tone?

by Dore Gold

Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech on Jan. 4, on the anniversary of the founding of Fatah, that may have marked a turning point in the relations between the Palestinian Authority president and the State of Israel. Using extremist rhetoric that he has not adopted before, Abbas spoke about the need of the Palestinians "to renew an oath to the heroic martyrs and to walk in their path."

In his list of Palestinian "martyrs" are not only recent leaders of Hamas, like Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and of the pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad, like Fathi Shkaki, but also figures from the 1930s, like Izzedine al-Qassam, and especially the notorious Jerusalem mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who openly collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

What happened to Mahmoud Abbas? Hasn't he been regarded by Israeli leaders for the last twenty years as a moderate who was interested in reaching a peace agreement? What is important is not the vapid debate over whether Abbas can still be regarded as a partner for peacemaking, but rather understanding the hard fact that conditions have changed influencing the declared intentions of leaders.

What is essential to internalize is that the political environment in 2013 no longer resembles what the Middle East looked like when Israel began talking to the Palestinians in 1993.

There were three very specific geostrategic conditions that prevailed when the political process of the last two decades was originally launched in 1991. These are now undergoing dramatic changes.

First, the Soviet Union was collapsing leaving the U.S. the sole superpower dominating the Middle East. With the U.S. armed forces deployed across the region after the American victory in the first Gulf War, the supremacy of American power was not theoretical but very real.

Second, with the defeat of Saddam Hussein, the most powerful member of what had been known as the “Rejectionist Front” was no longer a significant factor in the Middle Eastern balance of power. The pro-American Arab pragmatists were the predominant regional force.

And third, Iran, which had not yet recovered from its eight-year long war against Iraq in the previous decade, was not in any position to exploit the collapse of the 40-division strong Iraqi Army and assert itself as the new hegemonic power.

These three conditions set the stage for the convening of the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and later for the signing of the Oslo Agreements in 1993.

Yet, in 2013, that unique international constellation plainly no longer exists. The oil-rich Arab states, especially in the Persian Gulf, were concerned that the American withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011, marked a new period in which the U.S. would have far less to do militarily with the region and could no longer be depended upon to assure their security.

Qatar effectively jumped from the ship of American protection and made up with Tehran already in 2007, when the Bush administration published its National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. This move was interpreted as meaning that Washington was not going to dedicate military resources to resolve the problem of the Iranian march to nuclear weapons.

Moreover, with the uprisings in the Arab world since 2011, a new rejectionist front has come to power through Islamist parties that are now ruling from Tunisia to Egypt. Hamas, which already ousted the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip in 2007, serves as a Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and hence has a built-in advantage over Abbas, given the new regional map that was emerging.

Abbas, who in the past looked to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as his key ally, now had to contend with a Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo, which worked in favor of his Islamist rival, Hamas. In Middle Eastern capitals, it became widely believed that this shift came about with Washington's approval. This was a huge overstatement, but nonetheless it was a shared perception across the region.

Finally, despite the losses it faces in Syria (including Lebanon), Iran has been demonstrating an enhanced ability to project its influence with weapons, training, and in some cases, special forces, by inserting itself into multiple Middle Eastern conflicts, from Iraq to Yemen and from Sudan to the Gaza Strip. Its activism is likely to only increase, should it cross the nuclear threshold.

Israel does not have to reach the conclusion that it has no diplomatic options with the Palestinians and that an impasse is inevitable. But to proceed with any initiative in the future it needs to make several important adjustments in its approach. First, the next Israeli government must accept that given what is going on in the Middle East, it is completely unrealistic to propose negotiations to reach a full-blown final status agreement with the Palestinians.

Second, given the regional dangers that are on the horizon, any political arrangement in the future must have a much stronger security component than what was proposed in the past. It is unfortunate that in the internal political debate in Israel, politicians often take out of the file cabinet old diplomatic ideas that did not work, without reconsidering whether they are still applicable, if they ever were. More than ever, Israel needs to preserve the ability to defend itself, by itself, no matter how the declared intentions of its neighbors change.

Dore Gold


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It’s the Obama Doctrine, Stupid!

by Ruthie Blum

With all the justifiable carry-on about Chuck Hagel’s appointment as U. S. Defense Secretary — and John Brennan’s nomination for CIA chief — one key question remains. This is not whether the pair is or would be bad for America and Israel; nor whether either or both will be confirmed by Congress. 

No, the only real puzzle is why anyone should be the slightest bit surprised by President Barack Obama’s picks for positions on which America’s national security depends. Many U.S. Jews who voted for Obama both times around are experiencing a touch of buyer’s remorse, due to Hagel’s openly anti-Israel stance, anti-Semitic comments, and dovish attitude toward Iran. They feel as though they’ve been slapped in the face by the administration they have been backing.

Others have been saying that Obama’s choices — among them economic progressive Jack Lew for secretary of the treasury — indicate that the president is now “showing his true colors.” Those of us whose tendency is to guffaw right now are too busy tearing our hair out. After all, Obama has been a staunch radical throughout his life.

Two of his mentors, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the late Saul Alinsky, are worth mentioning here. That he was drawn to them in the first place was no more of an accident than was their grooming of him. Though neither could have guessed that he would become president one day, each saw his potential as a representative of “The Cause”: undermining the United States of America.

During Obama’s 20 years of attending the Rev. Wright’s church, he was treated to endless venom about the “White Man” and the Jews. But that was on Sundays.

The person who shaped the rest of Obama’s proverbial week well before that was actually both a white man and a Jew. Alinsky, who died in 1972, was the quintessential “community organizer” — the father of the particular form of radicalism that was Obama’s lifeblood.

In the last of his books, “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals,” Alinsky spelled out his methodology for “those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be.”

“The Prince,” he said, “was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. 'Rules for Radicals' is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."

The way to do this, he explained, was for the “organizer” to establish credibility. Since his purpose is to undo the existing order, Alinsky asserted, this organizer has to work within the system that he is trying to destroy. Through a combination of seduction and resentment-fanning, he can create a “mass army” to carry out the task.

Much suspicion has been raised about Obama’s past, and not only about whether he was actually born in the United States — a claim, by the way, that was originally laid by Hillary Clinton’s people during the 2008 Democratic primary. Another aspersion has to do with Obama’s alleged less-than-stellar academic history.

There is no doubt, however, that the president was a straight-A student of Alinsky’s tenets and tactics — which he has been carrying out to the letter since he was a community organizer in Chicago, through his sting in the Senate, and now into his second term as the leader-from-behind of the Free World for which he has disdain.

Indeed, Obama has elevated Alinsky-ism to new heights, by taking it beyond America’s borders. The “have-nots” on behalf of whom he has been working to grab power now include radical Islamists the world over.

During his first term, Obama was still learning the ropes and worrying about holding on to his seat in the Oval Office. As he indicated to the Russian leadership a few months ago, once re-elected, he would no longer be hindered by such constraints. Well, now he is being true to his word.

It is Alinsky’s legacy that is behind the appointments of Hagel, Brennan, and Lew. And it is Obama who will continue to undermine the United States from within and without, even if they are not confirmed. No wonder the regime in Tehran is pleased.

Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’”


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Obama's Congressional Puppets Give him the Green Light to Defy Debt Limit Law

by Rick Moran

How would you describe Democrats in Congress who are urging the president to ignore the law and up the limit on government borrowing by executive fiat?

The party and ideology that passed the War Powers Act because they felt the executive had overstepped his authority in waging war, now proposes to lay down and grovel before the president, unilaterally giving up their prerogatives as co-equal partners in government.

It is sickening to watch.


The top four Democrats wrote Obama on Friday to urge him against allowing the debt ceiling becoming a bargaining chip with Republicans, who might threaten to vote against any increase in the debt limit without new spending cuts or entitlement reforms from the administration.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and three other Democrats wrote:

In the event that Republicans make good on their threat by failing to act, or by moving unilaterally to pass a debt limit extension only as part of unbalanced or unreasonable legislation, we believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis -- without Congressional approval, if necessary.  

There is only one "lawful step:" Obey the law governing raising the debt limit.

MSNBC seems a little confused on this point:

The White House has been loath to assert the type of broad executive privileges that would allow the president to unilaterally increase the amount of money the government is able to borrow in order to cover its obligations. Traditionally, approval of an increase in the debt ceiling has been the province of Congress.

The only thing "traditional" about Congress having the authority to raise the debt ceiling is that it is the law of the land. By ascribing congressional power to act in raising the debt limit as a choice, rather than a legal obligation, MSNBC throws its weight behind another illegal power grab by the Obama administration.

It's not clear what authority Obama would invoke to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. Popular theories argue he could invoke the 14th Amendment (which says the "validity of the public debt of the U.S. ... shall not be questioned"), invoke an obscure provision allowing the government to mint a $1 trillion coin to pay for the debt, or even issue I.O.U.s.
"We support your view that an extension of the debt limit is not something for which Democrats should have to negotiate," the Democratic leaders wrote. "At the same time, as a separate matter, we agree about the importance of developing a broad, bipartisan agreement on fiscal policy that strengthens our economy and reduces our long-term budget deficit."
That last bit is horsesh*t. If Democrats support a "bi-partisan agreement on fiscal policy," they would act in a bi-partisan manner and not unilaterally give up congressional powers and accede to the demands of the executive. Who are they trying to kid?

Why not just send congress home and let the president rule by decree? Proroguing the legislature is a fine old tradition of tyrannical kings. Perhaps Obama will soon assert his divine right to rule us. Maybe he'll get the pope to annoint him emperor. 

Governing a democracy is hard. The Democrats seem to believe that because of this, constitutional short cuts, flouting the law, and ceding congressional power can be substitued for the hard, slogging, dreary work of legislative sausage making. There are many reasons we have a dysfunctional government and one of the big ones is that Congress and the president are just too damn lazy to make it work. There will always be ideologues on both sides unwilling to reach any agreement short of getting everything they want. The key is leadership - something so obviously lacking that it is painful to watch.  

The fact is, we have an inept president unable to reach out to solve problems not of his own making as well as fixing those policies that he has implemented that have been injurious to the public purse. Instead, we find a monumental disrespect for the Constitution by both the president and his puppets in Congress. 

If the Democrats allow this, we will be accelerating down a slippery slope toward an uncertain future.

Rick Moran


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The Left’s War on Minorities, the Poor, & Working Americans



To order the Freedom Center’s pamphlet “Government Versus The People,” click here.

The policies of the socialist Left, under the banners of “social justice,” “equality,” and “compassion,” have inflicted catastrophe in many forms—poverty, moral decline, criminality, violence, illness, and death—upon countless millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. The programs and policies that led to these disastrous outcomes were often promoted by “progressives” as expressions of high-minded “liberal” idealism that promised to improve the living conditions not only of people in great need, but also of those in the so-called middle class.

Leftists unfailingly view their own prescriptions for all manner of social ills—e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia, intolerance, greed, alienation—as solutions uniquely rooted in enlightenment and decency. (By contrast, they portray conservative social policy as the outgrowth of selfishness, greed and mean-spiritedness.) But the solutions they have advanced in the form of social and ideological crusades—often prosecuted with messianic zeal—have actually brought immense, needless suffering to the very same “victims” in whose names they have acted.

To explore this theme in great depth, DiscoverTheNetworks has created a new special feature titled “The Left’s War on Minorities, the Poor, & Working Americans.” Specifically, it demonstrates:
• how a host of leftist attitudes and public policies have inflicted incalculable harm on America’s black community;
• how the welfare state in particular has devastated African Americans, miring them in decade upon decade of family breakdown, poverty, and criminal victimization;
• how the housing crisis of 2008, which was a direct result of left-wing government policies that forced lending institutions to abandon the common-sense practices they had traditionally employed, plundered the wealth of nonwhites and wiped out literally decades of economic progress they had made;
• how the public education system, dominated by leftist ideology and unfailingly supportive of the Democratic Party, has consigned generations of blacks and Hispanics to academic failure and, consequently, to lives of poverty and underachievement;
• how left-wing law-enforcement policies in Democrat-controlled black and Hispanic population centers have needlessly sent millions of minorities to early graves;
• the massive costs—in terms of dollars and cents—that the ever-expanding welfare state imposes on all American taxpayers;
• how the radical gay Left’s refusal to accept traditional public-health practices needlessly caused hundreds of thousands of homosexuals to die of AIDS;
• the ill-advised tax-and-spend policies that plunged the state of California into economic ruin; and
• the fiscal irresponsibility that led directly to Illinois’ economic demise.

To explore these topics in depth, visit DiscoverTheNetworks’ new special feature by clicking here.


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The Taliban’s Jihad on Polio Vaccines

by Frank Crimi


The Pakistani Taliban’s unending war on children continues unabated as the Islamist terror group in the past month has shot and killed 16 health aid workers for administering polio vaccines to children.

The execution of the polio workers — mostly young women in their teens and early 20s — is the Taliban’s latest effort to forestall a United Nations-backed polio immunization drive in Pakistan, one of three countries (along with Afghanistan and Nigeria) where the disease still remains endemic.

The most recent Taliban victims were six female health workers and a male doctor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, all brutally slain when the van they were riding in was sprayed with bullets fired from automatic weapons wielded by Taliban gunmen.

Their gruesome deaths had been preceded in mid-December when over a span of two days, Taliban gunmen in the Pakistani cities of Peshawar and Karachi killed 9 health workers, seven of whom were women.

Those victims, one who was only 14 years old, were all shot in the head execution-style, including two women who were slain while they were in the process of administering polio drops to children.

Perhaps not to be outdone by its jihadist brethren, as these killings were being committed Taliban in the eastern Afghanistan province of Kapisa shot and killed a 16-year-old schoolgirl for reportedly working as a volunteer on a local UN-funded polio-immunization program.

While the Pakistani Taliban has denied responsibility for the murderous spree, Pakistan police said culpability for the brutal and well-coordinated attacks led unmistakably to the doorstep of the barbaric Islamist militant group.

That conclusion should come as little surprise given that the Taliban and its Islamist allies in the region have long been threatening violence toward those who dare to participate in efforts to protect vulnerable children from the dreaded viral disease.

Those threats had been openly announced back in July when the Taliban issued an edict banning UN-backed health workers from administering polio vaccine in its territory, claiming the vaccinators were really US spies in disguise trying to locate new Taliban targets for American drone strikes.

Despite the ludicrousness of that charge, it should be noted that the Taliban developed a skeptical view toward vaccination campaigns of any kind after it learned the United States had used a fake anti-hepatitis immunization campaign to help capture and kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

As a result, the Taliban has fought to disrupt any effort aimed to inoculate the nearly 300,000 children living in the Taliban-controlled region along the Afghan-Pakistan border, an area that represents 75 percent of all polio cases in Pakistan.

To some, however, the Taliban’s aversion toward the polio immunization campaign is simply just a cover for its broader and more deadly hostility aimed at female health workers.

That animus was brutally on display from 2007 to 2010 when the Taliban controlled the Swat Valley in Pakistan’s Khyber province and instituted a Sharia-based reign of terror which 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 that time, the Taliban also launched a targeted war against women serving as Lady Health Workers (LHW), a Pakistani government program where women provide basic community health services in rural and poverty stricken areas, services that include vaccinating infants.

Specifically, the Taliban found it offensive that the LHWs were conducting their door-to-door work unaccompanied by men, a violation of Sharia law that rendered them “prostitutes” and thus, according to Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, “fit for murder.”

According to a study done by the British Medical Journal, the LHWs were then subjected to “beheadings, as well as public beatings and firing on their houses and murders of their colleagues’ family members.”

In addition to that barbarity, the Taliban also issued a fatwa against the LHWs that declared it was “a Muslim man’s duty to kidnap the women health workers when they paid home visits, to marry them forcibly even if they were already married women, or to use them as sexual slaves.”

So given that, it shouldn’t surprise then that the Taliban remains perfectly comfortable with subjecting children under its control to an acute viral infection that can lead to permanent paralysis and, in some cases, death.

Yet unfortunately, the Taliban’s hostile view of polio vaccinations has found fertile soil among a disturbingly large percentage of Pakistani Muslims.

In addition to seeing polio immunization as a dastardly CIA plot, these Pakistanis also view immunization as either a violation of Islamic law or an orchestrated Western-led plot to depopulate the Muslim populace through vaccines laced with HIV and sterilization chemicals.

That latter view was perhaps best expressed by a Pakistani lawyer in the city of Peshawar who recently said, “These vaccines are meant to destroy our nation. The [polio] drops make men less manly, and make women more excited and less bashful. Our enemies want to wipe us out.”

That enlightened viewpoint may also help to explain why a growing number of Pakistani parents are refusing to vaccinate their children, refusal which has sparked an increase in violence being levied against health workers administering polio vaccinations in areas outside of Taliban-control.

Yet, while the Taliban’s deliberate cold-blooded execution of polio vaccinators has ratcheted up the level of violence to new and disturbing levels, it has so far failed to end the anti-polio campaign. After a temporary suspension, the polio immunization drive in Pakistan has restarted with vaccination teams being provided extra police and military protection.

Unfortunately for those volunteer polio workers, given recent events, no amount of added protection seems capable of stopping the Taliban’s unrelenting efforts to murder them.

Frank Crimi


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"Democracy is Forbidden in Islam"

by Khaled Abu Toameh

"Government should be only in the hands of Allah."
Why are radical Muslims opposed to the upcoming parliamentary election in Jordan?
Because they believe that democracy is in contradiction with Islam's concept of the sovereignty of Allah's law. They argue that Islam and democracy cannot go together, and they are obviously right, especially if one considers the experiences of people living under Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Thanks to the "Arab Spring," which has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of countries, Muslim extremists today feel free to express their opinion on political and religious issues.

One of them, Abed Shehadeh, leader of the Salafi Jihadi movement in Jordan, ruled this week that democracy in its concept as "ruling of the people by the people" and "should be forbidden in Islam."

Shehadeh, who is also known as Abu Mohammad Tahawi, explained that sovereignty and government belong to Allah alone and not to the people.

He said that the upcoming parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for January 23, were forbidden and contradictory to Islamic Shariah "because the parliament legislates laws and regulations that contradict Allah's law."

Shehadeh also criticized electoral programs presented by the candidates and lists. He said that the "the electoral slogans used by the candidates were "impossible to implement on the ground."

He urged Jordanians to boycott the elections because "choosing legislators other than Allah is forbidden."

The Salafi Jihadi leader's call for boycotting the election does not seem to have fallen on deaf ears in Jordan, where many voters seem determined to boycott the vote.

Although it is banned in Jordan, the Salafi Jihadi movement has managed to recruit several thousand supporters over the past few years.

In April 2011, the movement held one of its largest demonstrations in the industrial town of Zarqa north of Amman. Eighty-three policemen were wounded, including four who were stabbed by Salafis.

It now remains to be seen whether the Salafi Jihadists will resort to violence to prevent or foil the parliamentary election.

Jordanian security officials have expressed deep concern over the radical movement's involvement in the civil war in Syria. Dozens of Jordanian Salafis have crossed the border to join various Islamist terror groups waging Jihad [holy war] against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's regime.

The Jordanians' biggest fear is that when the Salafis are done with Syria, they will intensify their efforts to turn the kingdom into an Islamic state.

The Jordanian Salafis who are fighting in Syria are not seeking to install democracy. Nor are they seeking to enable Syrians to hold free and democratic elections to choose their representatives. As their leader, Shehadeh, explained, democracy and elections are forbidden in Islam.

The Salafis, like other radical Islamist groups, want to establish an Islamic empire and impose strict Shariah laws on Arabs and Muslims. They are convinced that sovereignty and "government should be only in the hands of Allah," who has entrusted them with serving as his representatives and messengers on earth.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Egyptian Discourse on the Social Networks: Polarization and Collapse

by Dekel, Udi and Perlov, Orit

In the two rounds of voting in the referendum on Egypt's constitution (December 15 and December 22, 2012), only 17 million Egyptians – 32 percent of the 52 million Egyptians eligible to vote – cast ballots. Of these, 10 million, i.e., 64 percent of those voting, voted in favor of the constitution, and 7 million, 36 percent, voted against. For every 100 Egyptians, 20 voted in favor, 12 voted against, and 68 did not bother to vote.

The dialogue in the Egyptian social media paints a dismal picture: “forgery, fraud, fear, despair, anger, depression, polarization, and rage” are words that appear frequently in connection with current events in Egypt. The constitution was intended to be a cornerstone of Egypt post-revolution: a reflection of Egyptian society, revolutionary demands, and a national consensus on Egyptian values. Instead, however, the constitution is deepening religious and social rifts in Egypt – between Islamists and secularists, extremists and liberals, rural and urban, and rich and poor, and between those who claim to speak in the name of God and those who speak in the name of liberalism and freedom.

Since President Morsi pushed his constitution through, a sense of social chaos – due to incompetent governance, lack of personal safety, and impending economic collapse – has been expressed on the social networks. This has led Egyptian citizens to arm themselves for self-protection, buy up US dollars, and hunker down against the approaching storm. In other words, there is a sense that it is only a matter of time before Egypt’s socioeconomic pyramid collapses. What follows is a breakdown of the main trends now being discussed on Egypt's social networks.

The Shrinking Base of the Muslim Brotherhood
Public opinion leaders on the networks emphasize that only 10 million Egyptians voted in favor of the constitution that affects 90 million citizens, while 7 million voted against. The fact that 68 percent of those eligible to vote boycotted the referendum is a reflection of the lack of confidence in the system.

Cairo: In the capital city, 57 percent of voters rejected the constitution. A statistical analysis shows that the Islamic camp has lost the support of the social and intellectual elite, the middle class, and in some urban neighborhoods, even the poor.

Alexandria: Alexandria has long been known as the primary support base of the Salafist parties in Egypt. In the parliamentary elections, 66 percent of the city's voters cast their ballots for the Freedom and Justice Party or the al-Nour Party. In the referendum, only 56 percent voted in favor of the constitution. The explanation given in the social media is that the tools for mobilization traditionally employed by the Islamists – namely, religious ceremonies and Friday sermons in the mosque – have lost their efficacy.

Lower Egypt (north): In Monufia, Sharqia, Kafr el-Sheikh, and Dakahlia, poor regions with high illiteracy rates, 60 percent of voters approved the constitution, significantly less than the 84 percent who voted for the Islamist parties in the parliamentary elections in 2011. Many on the social networks believe that vote rigging flourishes in impoverished areas, where the votes of the poor are easily bought with handouts of bread, sugar, and fuel. The results of the referendum, however, reveal that even in the poor governorates, such traditional methods are becoming less effective.

Upper Egypt (South): Although the south is also poor with high illiteracy rates, 81 percent voted in favor of the constitution, which the social networks attribute to hatred of and prejudice against the large Coptic population. Islamist imams played the ethnic card, preaching in their Friday sermons: “You have to choose: the Christians or us. Decide whom you want: Muhammad or George." The majority of the Copts boycotted the elections. In the sentiment voiced on the Egyptian social networks, Egypt "is truly a country where the dead can vote, but the Copts can't.”

Chaos: Lawlessness and Poor Governance
The regime's incompetence in running the country, its failure to deal with the economic crisis, and the weakening of law and order are popular topics of discussion in the social media. Although the Muslim Brotherhood is successful in mobilizing support in elections, it is unable to govern effectively. Five months after President Morsi was elected, he is still unable to pass laws without being forced to suspend or rescind them shortly afterwards. Between early October and December, Morsi enacted four laws: a “constitutional declaration” that granted him absolute power, a ban on pornography, a curfew on shops and cafes, and tax hikes on soft drinks, alcohol, and cigarettes. All were suspended or rescinded because of widespread outrage on the social networks. In December, after the decision was announced that the referendum would proceed as scheduled even in the absence of a national consensus, many senior officials announced their resignation: Egyptian Central Bank Governor Farouq el-Oqda, Egyptian Vice President and former Judge Mahmoud Mekki, the new public prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim, Minister of Communications Hany Mahmoud, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mohamed Mahsoub, and several presidential advisors. Attempting to preserve a facade of stability, President Morsi announced that he did not accept their resignations, forcing the officials to withdraw them.

Weakening of Internal Security
Descriptions abound of entire neighborhoods that have armed themselves to protect their residents from theft, violence, and other criminal activity. In December, 30 party headquarters and offices of the Muslim Brotherhood were vandalized, and some even torched. The main office of the al-Wafd party, the offices of the independent media, and several Cairo police stations were attacked, and two Salafi preachers in Alexandria were forced to take refuge in mosques after being chased by angry mobs. Meanwhile, the Sinai Peninsula has become fertile ground for terrorism and organized crime, including weapons and drug smuggling, which has created a flourishing black market in gas and basic foodstuffs.

The Collapse of the Socioeconomic Pyramid
One of the goals of the Egyptian revolution was to replace the traditional socioeconomic and political structure with a more democratic and liberal alternative. The first year of the revolution witnessed the collapse of the top tier of the pyramid, including the removal of President Mubarak, senior officials in his administration, and later, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. The second year of the revolution featured the victory of political Islam and its clash with the secular liberal camp. However, the battle between these two middle class forces over Egypt's future identity is becoming increasingly burdensome on the lower class. In the third year of the revolution, two groups from the bottom of the pyramid are expected to make their own breakthrough: the poor and the radical Salafis. These groups were among the 68 percent who did not vote in the referendum, either because of a lack of interest and frustration, or because the only law they recognize is “God’s law.” Any economic reform that results in price hikes of food, fuel, and cigarettes could easily ignite this highly volatile situation.

Future Challenges: Polarization and Collapse
Taken together, incompetent governance, weak internal security, economic deterioration, the stagnant tourism industry, and the ongoing civil revolt in Egypt are driving the country towards a severe crisis. Despite the success of the Islamist camp in every election thus far, the secular liberal camp is gaining momentum and their political and organizational power is growing stronger. Although the leaderships of both camps want to avoid complete economic collapse, fear and rejection of the other distracts them from the nation's needs. Locked in this zero-sum struggle over the rule of sharia or liberal freedoms, it is clear to both sides that whoever blinks first will lose. The social networks note that until now, “Sharia has yet to feed even a single empty stomach,” and that freedom and human rights will therefore prove triumphant.

The balance of power between the Islamist and secular liberal camps will inevitably affect the character and identity of Egypt. The current socioeconomic structure is unstable given the imbalance between government, the economy, civil society, religion, and internal security. According to the assessment of public opinion leaders on the social networks, despite domestic and foreign interests in Egypt's stability, socioeconomic collapse is inevitable unless the two camps reach a consensus.  

Dekel, Udi and Perlov, Orit


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

Hagel Should Be the Red Line for Pro-Israel Dems

by Alana Goodman

Senator Chuck Schumer hasn’t publicly taken a side in the Chuck Hagel debate yet, but as Politico reports, his final decision could tip the scales:
Schumer, the most powerful Jewish Democrat in Congress, has been noncommittal in his public statements on Hagel’s nomination. But privately, several sources say he has told senators it would be “very hard” for him to support Hagel as the next defense secretary because of his positions on Israel over the years. In New York, Schumer has told allies and power brokers in the Jewish community that he’s uneasy about Hagel’s nomination, a concern he reiterated at a private breakfast in Manhattan’s posh Park Avenue Winter restaurant on Wednesday.
If Schumer were to oppose Hagel, it would almost certainly amount to a fatal blow to his candidacy since a number of pro-Israel Democrats who are squeamish about the nominee could very well be influenced by the No. 3 Democrat’s position. It would also give bipartisan political cover to Republicans and neocons fighting Hagel’s nomination.
Still, Schumer could also provide critical support for Hagel’s nomination. Should he support Hagel, it very likely would ride on what the former Nebraska GOP senator eventually says on Israel at an upcoming one-on-one meeting with the New York Democrat and during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Schumer declined to be interviewed Thursday for this story. The White House also declined to comment.
It’s hard to overstate Schumer’s power in this debate. Pro-Israel Senate Democrats who aren’t getting much guidance on this issue from AIPAC (at least not officially) will look to Schumer for cues. This is particularly important in the case of his fellow New York Senator, Kirstin Gillibrand, whose vote on the Armed Services Committee could be the deciding factor in whether Hagel’s nomination is referred to the floor.

But If Schumer backs him, it would essentially give Hagel’s views the kosher seal of approval, letting the White House claim that any criticism of his Israel record is a faux controversy drummed up by the GOP. Politically, Schumer probably has an interest in doing this: the White House would owe him a major favor, and he’d be able to dodge a high-profile fight he has a real possibility of losing.
Pro-Israel Democrats should ask themselves this. How did they get to a point where the leader of their party is nominating one of the most anti-Israel senators who ever walked the halls of the Capitol–a man who routinely made the anti-Semitic Washington Report of Middle East Affairs’ annual Congressional Hall of Fame list?

The party is shifting around them. The ranks of the pro-Israel Democrats in Congress are shrinking. Representatives Rothman, Frank, Berman, Ackerman, Weiner, and Senator Joe Lieberman are gone. The advocacy groups and think tanks incubating the next generation of Democratic leaders are increasingly moving against Israel.

There is still a strong up-and-coming generation of pro-Israel Democrats. But they have fewer leaders to look to and fewer roles to fill in the party. If people like Schumer won’t stand up against Hagel, what message would this send to these young activists and operatives working in the trenches? That they should either change their opinions or their party affiliation?

Hagel is the red line. He is the most anti-Israel defense secretary nominee in memory, chosen at a time when Iran is on the verge of nuclear weapons capability. If pro-Israel Democrats cave on his confirmation, what would they possibly stand against?

Alana Goodman


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Islam ‘Helped to Shape’ CIA Nominee John Brennan’s World View

by Patrick Goodenough

( – As a college student in the 1970s, John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee for CIA director, traveled in Indonesia where – he recalled in a speech in New York in 2010 – “despite my long hair, my earring and my obvious American appearance, I was welcomed throughout that country, in a way that is a reflection of the tremendous warmth of Islamic cultures and societies.”

Brennan’s Feb. 13, 2010 address to a meeting at the Islamic Center at New York University, facilitated by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), provided an insight into his views on Islam, a faith which he said during the speech had “helped to shape my own world view.”

Travels around the world over more than three decades had taught him about “the goodness and beauty of Islam,” said Brennan, whose 25-year career at the CIA until 2005 included a stint as station chief in Riyadh.

“Like the president during his childhood years in Jakarta, I came to see Islam not how it is often misrepresented, but for what it is – how it is practiced every day, by well over a billion Muslims worldwide, a faith of peace and tolerance and great diversity.”

In the speech, during which he drew applause after speaking in Arabic for more than a minute, Brennan used terms evidently designed to appeal to his audience, such as “Al-Quds” for Jerusalem, “Palestine” and “as the Qur’an reveals” – in keeping with the Muslim belief that the Qur’an was “revealed” directly by Allah to Mohammed through the angel Jibril (Gabriel).

He condemned what he said were negative stereotypes in the U.S. about Muslims and hostility towards Islam, adding that government actions and policies had contributed to the problem but saying this would change under Obama.

“Ignorance is a threat to our national security, prejudice is a threat to our national security, discrimination is a threat to our national security. And those who purport to be religious are frequently the most egregious purveyors of ignorance, prejudice and discrimination – and it must stop,” he said.

“We must also acknowledge that over the years the actions of our own government have at times perpetuated those attitudes,” Brennan continued.

“Violations of the Patriot Act; surveillance that has been excessive; policies perceived as profiling; over-inclusive no-fly lists subjecting law-abiding individuals to unnecessary searches and inconvenience; creating an unhealthy atmosphere around many Muslim charities that made Muslims hesitant to fulfill their sacred obligation of zakat [an Islamic tithe or tax] – these are challenges we face, we face together as Americans, and President Obama and his administration are pursuing a comprehensive approach to address them,” he said.

As Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, Brennan – a Jesuit-educated Catholic – has played a prominent role in the administration’s outreach to Muslims, American Muslims especially. He has also been a leading proponent of the effort to stop using terms many Muslims find offensive, such as “jihadist” as a descriptor for terrorists acting in the name of Islam.

“They are not jihadists,” he told the NYU audience in 2010, “for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify, for a legitimate purpose. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing holy or pure or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.”

Brennan had made similar comments the previous August, telling a Center for Strategic and International Studies event that “describing terrorists in this way, using the legitimate term ‘jihad’ – which means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal – risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve.”

The administration’s National Security Strategy, released three months after the NYU speech, repeatedly used variations of the phrase “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” in identifying the enemy. The term “jihadist” and did not appear in the 52-page document and the word “Islam” appeared twice – the U.S. was not fighting a war against Islam, it said, and “neither Islam nor any other religion condones the slaughter of innocents.”

(By contrast the Bush administration’s 2006 NSS stated that “the struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century,” although it also said that Islam “has been twisted and made to serve an evil end.”)

When he previewed the NSS document in a speech several days before the launch, Brennan said, “Our enemy is not terrorism because terrorism is but a tactic. Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.”

Newspapers in the Islamic world routinely use the term “jihadist” (or, in South Asia, “jihadi”) in their news reporting on terrorist acts, without suggesting that the term has been misappropriated.

Patrick Goodenough


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: The State of the Jewish Brotherhood

by Mordechai Kedar

Read the article in the original עברית
Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)

The elections  are approaching in Israel, and polls are predicting what the Arab media calls, with great dread, "the meteoric rise of the radical right in Israel". Every article about  the Israeli political map has the latest polls, showing the obvious trend that all of us here are aware of. In recent days this writer's telephone has been ringing constantly, with a representative of one Arab media outlet or another on the other end, all of whom are absorbed by one great concern:  the strengthening of the Jewish spirit in Israel. The radio stations in the Palestinian Authority, where - I must admit - I am often interviewed, express the most apprehension.

The question is: Why is the Arab world so concerned and what are they worried about? One possible answer is that the radical right will take over the country and Israel will go to war against the Palestinians in order to destroy the Palestinian Authority and undo all of the achievements, especially the international recognition that they won in the General Assembly of the UN about two months ago. Even if I cannot deny this possibility, it doesn't seem to me that this is the real reason for the anxiety, because there are many - especially in the Palestinian Authority - who wish to dissolve the PA, as we saw last week in the article that we published on this honorable platform.

The reasons for the concern are deeper than this, and stem from the cultural mindset of the region. An Israel that has a strong character and is confident of itself and the justice of its cause, might stop behaving like a dishrag, as it has done in the past, more than once, under the irresponsible leadership of the bleeding hearts who are the "Pursuers of Peace", and might adopt a pattern of behavior
typical to the Middle East. More than a few Israeli politicians, some of them prime ministers, who sought "a solution now" have earned for Israel the image of "peace seekers", according to their point of view, but which the Middle East understood as "Obsequious beggars pleading for a little peace and quiet". In the Middle East only the vanquished, pleading for his life to be spared, begs for peace, and usually he will get a big, strong kick that will hurl him all the way down the stairs. Peace is the last thing you get when you beg for it.

In the embattled region where Israel is situated, the weak individual gets beaten up: he is shot at, missiles rain down upon him, his buses are blown up, he is de-legitimized, marginalized diplomatically, sued in international courts, states are established on his back that threaten him and declare their violent struggle against him again and again, and he - the weak one - must take all of this garbage that is rained down upon him and say, "It's only words". Sometimes he issues a warning but few take him seriously because he is weak and obsequious; he "seeks peace".

In contrast, only the strong and self-confident, he who can pose a threat, who does not restrain himself at all from utilizing full force, who will not surrender anything due to him, will have peace and tranquility. Everyone else will leave him be because they fear him, and this is the only peace that is recognized in the Middle East. Peace belongs to the one who responds with great power to the first missile that falls into his territory, even if it falls in an open area; who doesn't say on the radio, "no damage was caused", because the truth of the matter is that indeed great damage was caused to his sovereignty, and nothing is more important than his sovereignty.  Would a normal person accept someone shooting at his house, even if "no damage was caused"?

The Arab world fears an Israel that after the elections might be - good heavens - more Jewish, because then the world might remember that the Jews, not the Israelis, were expelled from here 1942 years ago, and now the Jews have returned to their historic land - Judea. A more Jewish Israel might be a "bad" example to Europe, where a sense of national identity is in continual decline and where they watch with indifference the alien invasion that is threatening the character of Europe. The strengthening of the Israeli Right might therefore encourage the European Right to put an end to the great immigration of the masses who expect to turn Europe into their land.

A Jewish Israel could be a magnet attracting Jews the world over to immigrate to Israel and to make Israel the center of their life, and thus it will be strengthened demographically, economically, socially and politically. This process might be encouraged by the antisemitism in Europe, which is rising as the Jews lose their influence and the public weight is transferred to groups of immigrants that don't become part of the society of old, sleepy Europe.

A Jewish Israel will  concentrate within it the educated Jews, the entrepreneurs, the inventors, the developers and the cutting-edge scientists who brought the Jewish people a prodigious number of Nobel prizes, and thus Israel will become a bastion of science, technology and development, innovation and entrepreneurship, while everything around it - chiefly in the past two years - becomes a quagmire of blood, fire and tears, pillars of smoke, destruction and devastation.

A sovereign and self-confident Jewish Israel will prove to its neighbors again that the Jews are not just another "protected people" ("ahl dhimmi" in their language) who must live according to rules determined by the imams, and must "pay the head tax in a humiliated condition" (Qur'an, Sura 9, Verse 29) according to the custom in the Arabian Peninsula of the seventh century CE. A Jewish Israel will cling with more determination to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews since 3000 years ago, long before the sons of the desert broke into it and invented a history that supposedly grants them the rights to Jerusalem since the creation of the world.

With a Jewish Israel, the mutual bonds of responsibility will be strengthened among Jews, and they will establish a more just, unified, fair and humane society, and Jewish society will be stronger and more robust, more determined and more able to stand the tests  of life that anyone who wants to survive in the Middle East are subjected to. This society will have a clearer self image, and will not need to discriminate against minorities only in order to prove to itself that it is "different". As a result of this, the way the state relates to minorities, especially the Muslim minority, will be more humane and understanding, because - after all - many of the Jewish majority and the Muslim minority see eye to eye concerning the true problems of traditional society in a modern and permissive physical and virtual environment. Jews and Muslims alike aspire to promote the education of the young generation, ethical behavior of the sons and daughters of their society, restricting the use of drugs and alcohol, honoring parents and teachers and adherence to religious and traditional values.

A Jewish Israel will present a solid wall of defense against Islamic radicalization and tribalism in the Arab world, and will prove that only a people who clings to its identity and is faithful to its heritage can stand strong against the tidal wave of radicalization and violence that engulfs the Middle East, and this is exactly what frightens our neighbors: those who hoped that with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, Israel would be paralyzed with fear and would flee from all of its assets, discover that, contrary to their theory, Israel is the state of the Jewish Brotherhood, and will not flee from an enemy. A Jewish state such as this will prove to those near and far that the Jews have returned to their historical and eternal homeland and will remain there forever and ever, and only this way will Israel win peace from her neighbors. It will not be a peace of hugs and kisses, because there is no such thing in the Middle East, but rather it will be a peace that stems from our neighbors' recognition of the reality that the Almighty has imposed upon them, and the realization that they have no choice but to accept it as it is. Within Islamic tradition, there is a way to give peace to infidels who are invincible; temporary peace that continues as long as the enemy is invincible. This is the peace that Israel can win from her neighbors, and it will continue forever, but only if Israel is invincible forever.

A more Jewish Israel will ensure peace among all of the citizens and will oblige her neighbors to leave her in peace, and this is the reason that her neighbors fear a more Jewish Israel.

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
a-salam 'alaykum warahmat Allah wabarakatuhu.
[Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and his blessings.]


Dr. Kedar is available for lectures

Dr. Mordechai Kedar
( is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.

Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.