Saturday, May 25, 2013

U.K. Beheading Shows It's Time To Fight the Doctrine of Jihad

by Tarek Fatah

When buses and trains exploded on 7/7 in London, the objective of the suicide bombers was to sow fear and terror in the very soul of the British people. 

In that the jihadis were successful. 

One would have expected the British authorities to not just hunt down the terrorists, but also to fight the cancer of Islamism that lies at the ideological roots of jihadi terrorism. Instead, successive governments in London have tried to pussyfoot around the challenge, hoping the jihadi terrorists and their ideology would melt away with time as Downing Street funded so-called "moderate" Muslim groups and "former" extremists to do the government's bidding.

As the brutal hacking death of a British soldier by two fearless jihadis chanting "Allah O Akbar" has shown, this strategy has failed. Muslims who see the West as the enemy and seek its destruction have become even more emboldened by the lack of resolve, which they see as cowardice. In addition, jihadis in the U.K. are no longer restricted to the second generation Pakistani Britons; they now come from places as far apart as Chechnya and Nigeria.

While the run-of-the-mill jihadi terror attack relies on suicide bombers and remote-controlled improvised explosive devices, Wednesday's attack came straight from medieval times, with the two jihadis using knives and cleavers to hack away at the victim and then beheading him. If this was not enough, they played to the gallery, demanding they be filmed as they chatted with passers-by, proudly defending their actions and promising more attacks on non-Muslims to come.

If the latest act of jihadi terror was different in nature, the reaction by mainstream Islamic groups and prominent Muslims in Britain was not. It was exactly the same as it has been after every tragic incident. Old press releases were brushed off and sent afresh to the media.

While ordinary Britons and non-Muslims around the world are bewildered by these never-ending acts of terrorism, the response of the leaders of the Islamic community is the tired old cliche -- Islam is a religion of peace, and jihad is simply an "inner struggle."

The fact these terrorists are motivated by one powerful belief -- the doctrine of armed jihad against the "kuffar" (non-Muslims) -- is disingenuously denied by Islamic clerics and leaders.

Yesterday, instead of calling on Muslims to shelve the doctrine of armed jihad, predictably, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) issued a quick press release claiming the "barbaric" attack has "no basis in Islam."

Not true, MCB. As a Muslim, I can say without fear, the latest terror attack has a basis in Islam and it's time for us Muslims to dig our heads out of the sand.

The MCB was not alone. Imam Makkah Masjid in Leeds, Qari Asim, MBE said, "Islam does not permit vigilante attacks on anyone and therefore such inhumane acts have no place in Islam."

If the Imam was trying to put the best face of Islam to the British people, the London Muslim Centre was careful not to even mention the fact the two terrorists were Muslim, claiming instead that "criminals and murderers do not represent any community or religion. We remain steadfast in opposing all forms of hate and terrorism."

The Islamic Society of Britain joined in the chorus, stating, "justifying this killing in the name of faith or religion is false and rejected," again failing to mention the fact the terrorists were killing in the name of Islam, not just any "faith or religion."

Hundreds of British Muslims tweeted their condemnation of the act, but not one individual or organization had the courage to point out and admit the fact Sharia-backed doctrine of armed jihad does permit holy war on non-Muslims, specially in the land of the "kufaar."

This was an opportunity for the Muslim leadership to confess they have failed and that the time has come to admit that jihadis cannot be fought without fighting the doctrine of jihad.

It is worth noting that not a single Muslim cleric since 9/11 has mustered the courage to say the doctrine of armed jihad is defunct and inapplicable in the 21st century. They rightfully denounce terrorism, but dare not denounce jihad.

On the contrary, we keep hearing the propaganda that "Jihad" has nothing to do with warfare. Here is what the "Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam" has to say about Jihad:

"DJIHAD(A), holy war. The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. It narrowly escaped being a sixth 'rukn,' or fundamental duty."

The only Muslim group that has come to this conclusion are Ahmadi Muslims, whose founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the nineteenth century had the wisdom to declare:
"I have brought a commandment for you people; it is that henceforth 'jihad by sword' [armed jihad] is forbidden ... Now jihad for the sake of religion is prohibited."
For uttering these words, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was deemed to have blasphemed and was declared an apostate by the orthodoxy in Islam; the same school of thought that provides intellectual sustenance to the Muslim establishment in the West today.

The armed jihad launched against the infidels, is clearly promoted by the 20th-century writings of such Islamists as Syed Qutb and Hassan al-Banna of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the late Syed Maudoodi of Jamaat-e-Islami of Indo-Pakistan.

In his book Towards Understanding Islam, Maudoodi exhorts ordinary Muslims to launch jihad, as in armed struggle, against non-Muslims. "Jihad is part of this overall defence of Islam," he writes. In case the reader is left with any doubt about the meaning of the word "jihad," Maudoodi clarifies:
"In the language of the Divine Law, this word (jihad) is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of God against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice is the responsibility of all Muslims."
Maudoodi goes on to label Muslims who refuse the call to armed jihad as apostates:
"Jihad is as much a primary duty as are daily prayers or fasting. One who avoids it is a sinner. His every claim to being a Muslim is doubtful. He is plainly a hypocrite who fails in the test of sincerity and all his acts of worship are a sham, a worthless, hollow show of deception."
If Maudoodi's exhortations are not enough to motivate Muslims to conduct acts of terror, we have the words of the late Hassan al-Banna being distributed in our schools and universities. Al-Banna makes it quite clear that the word "jihad" means armed conflict. He mocks those who claim jihad is merely an internal struggle.

Al-Banna says this redefinition of the term "jihad" to depict it as a non-violent act of self-examination, is in fact a conspiracy so that "Muslims should become negligent."
And here is what Syed Qutb, another Egyptian stalwart of the Islamist movement and the Muslim Brotherhood, writes in his seminal work on Islam and its relationship with the West, Milestones:
"A Muslim will remain prepared to fight against it (non-Muslim country), whether it be his birthplace or a place where his relatives reside or where his property or any other material interests are located."
Unless the leaders of British mosques as well as the Islamic organizations in the U.K. denounce the doctrine of jihad as pronounced by the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami, and distance themselves from the ideology of Qutb, al-Banna and Maudoodi, they stand complicit in the havoc that these jihadis are raining down on the rest of us.

They cannot have it both ways: promoting the teachings of Maududi and Qutb among Muslim youth, while concealing the same teachings from the rest of Britain.

Tarek Fatah


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

Media Analysts Dodge Jihad Connection in Boston, London

by John Rossomando

In separate attacks a month apart, Islamist terrorists made it clear that they believed they acted in the name of their religion, exacting vengeance for their fellow Muslims. Yet several media pockets have gone into overdrive to deflect attention from that Islamist motivation.
Still carrying the weapons that killed British soldier Lee James Rigby in his bloody hands, Michael Adebolajo explained why he attacked an unarmed man on a London street Wednesday: "We swear by Almighty Allah, we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. The only reasons we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. We apologize that woman had to see this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don't care about you."

The New York Times omitted reference to the attacker's invocation of Allah, relegating it to page A7. ABC, NBC and CBS similarly omitted the Islamic reference.

Media Matters for America went further, accusing Fox News of "Islamophobia," for comments about the attackers' motivations. The liberal organization made no reference to the attackers' own words, but emphasized condemnations of the attack from British Muslim leaders. Commentator Michelle Malkin was singled out in the Media Matters post for saying the videotaped attacker was "quoting chapter and verse, sura and verse, from the Quran the justification for beheading an innocent solider there, and of course they've targeted civilians as well."

In fact, that's exactly what Adebolajo did at 1:15 of the graphic video below.
"But we are forced by the Qur'an, in Sura At-Tawba, through many ayah in the Qu'ran, we must fight them as they fight us," he says.

Yet Media Matters cites Malkin's comments as an example of Fox's "Islamophobia."
Following the Boston bombing last month, not even the discovery jihadist propaganda on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's YouTube channel and other social media platforms was enough to convince some media liberals that the he and his brother Dzhokhar were motivated by religion. Instead they chose to look for other more secular explanations such as Chechen nationalism or disillusionment with U.S. foreign policy.

Hours after Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's names became public, The Atlantic's Megan Garber penned a column titled "The Boston Bombers Were Muslim: So?" in which she suggested pinning the Muslim label on them reduced them to being "caricatures" and "whitewashed" their humanity.

Had the bombers been white right-wing extremists like Timothy McVeigh chances are that Garber would not have called for tolerance and suggested using a label made them into "caricatures" or demeaned them.

Not to be outdone, Media Matters' Eric Boehlert charged that Fox News was engaged in a "war on Islam," a conspiratorial, delusionary and incendiary narrative that Canadian intelligence says is the leading cause of radicalization among young Muslims.

Boehlert has consistently ignored the treatment of women as second-class citizens and the imposition of the death penalty on homosexuals in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran.

He has also routinely uncritically echoed the radical Islamist narrative pushed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and other groups. In turn, they have frequently cited his work in their own defense.

The Media Matters senior fellow has defended Islamic extremists such as Sami Al-Arian, a Florida professor who pleaded guilty in 2006 of aiding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, accusing his detractors of "sloppy journalism" and of having a "pervasive anti-Arab bias."

Boehlert also defended Islamic charities in a March 22 blog written after a biography about Fox CEO Roger Ailes showed that Ailes compared the charities to terrorist organizations. In fact, numerous Muslim charities have been shut down and prosecuted due to their support for terrorist groups. The Holy Land Foundation had been the largest Muslim charity in the United States before being convicted of routing more than $12 million to Hamas.

According to a Foreign Policy magazine article published in February, the involvement of Islamic charities in terrorist fundraising continues.

Boehlert refuses to use the term Islam and terrorism in the same sentence. Yet he had no such qualms about using the terms "right-wing" and "terrorist" in the same sentence following the Boston bombing to falsely describe Fox News's supposed inattention to white supremacist violence during an April 29 interview on Current TV.

"When a right-wing nut, an extremist goes on shooting rampages, the response is how do they possibly stop a lunatic?" Boehlert said. "When a Muslim is accused of an act of terror, Fox News definitely knows how to stop the lunatic, and they are definitely interested in assigning political blame."

This came six days after reports indicated that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his interrogators that he and his brother, as NBC reported, "were motivated by a desire to defend Islam because of 'the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.'"

That has since been reinforced by reports about Dzhokhar's note, scrawled inside the boat he was captured in on the night of April 19. "When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims," he wrote.

Boehlert has yet to acknowledge a religious motivation for the Boston bombings.
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and her guests provided a compelling example of the contortions people will go to in order to minimize the radical Islamic connection to terrorist attacks in her April 21 broadcast.

They took turns grasping at a serious of unrelated "what-ifs" that could have been in play.
"I keep wondering if there will ever be a discussion of that this was because of Ben Affleck, a connection between Boston and movies about violence, and of course the answer is no!" Harris-Perry said. "But given that they are Chechen, given that they are literally Caucasian, our very sense of connection to them is this framed up notion of Islam making them into something that is non-normal."

Georgetown sociology professor and MSNBC political analyst Eric Michael Dyson chimed into the discussion saying that the discussion of a religious motive following the Tsarnaevs' discovery was due to stereotyping and profiling.

"We do what makes us the most comfortable that this is an exceptional, extraordinary case that happened because they are this," Dyson said. "So you take the one part of the element that he's Muslim. He might have listened to classical music … He might have gone to some lecturer."

Peter Hart of the far-left Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting tore into Fox's Bill O'Reilly in an April 25 post for saying that "only radical Islam allows terror murder."

"Islam, radical or otherwise, does no such thing–just as it would be wrong to blame Catholicism for O'Reilly's calls to attack civilians in several predominantly Muslim nations," Hart wrote, referring to his support O'Reilly's  for the Bush administration's invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11.

FAIR has frequently been cited as the go-to source of media criticism by the Communist Party USA's news website People's World.

It does not take long to read Osama bin Laden's 1998 fatwa calling it a duty for Muslims to kill Americans anywhere they can, or the Hamas Charter, to see that the terrorists do base their acts on Islamic religious texts.

"Praise be to God, who … says in His Book: 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer hem and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war),'" bin Laden wrote. "And peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdullah, who said: 'I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but God is worshipped, God who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders.'"

The opening paragraph of the Hamas charter invokes Surat Al-Imran (III), verses 109-111, before saying "Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors. The Islamic World is burning." Later, it cites Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120, before declaring "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad."

The media campaign to minimize radical Islam as a driver of terrorism is contradicted by at least two policy papers from non-conservative foreign policy think tanks.

A 2010 report by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that the only common denominator for Muslim radicalization in America was a "religious fervor" that led them to justify violent behavior, and the Council on Foreign Relations found in a 2011 report that this thread has played out repeatedly in homegrown Islamic terrorists as diverse as Anwar al-Awlaki, Faisal Shahzad and Jose Padilla.

Another reality is that many Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist and Wahhabist clerics who control Islamic religious institutions in the Muslim world as well as the West have openly rationalized "martyrdom operations" or "legitimate resistance" to justify terrorism. This has particularly been true with regard to terror attacks against Israel and the United States.

"I encourage the Palestinians to… If only I, along with my brothers, my friends, and all the preachers, could go to that sacred land and die there as martyrs… Alas, it was not to be. Nevertheless, I encourage my brothers in Palestine to continue these wonderful, Jihadi, martyrdom operations," Sheikh Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif, assistant professor in the Department of Islamic Studies, King Abdul Aziz University, said in a Jan. 17 interview with Iqra TV that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute  (MEMRI).

Another noted example is Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, a Qatari-based Egyptian cleric who is touted by American Islamist groups including CAIR as a moderate. Following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Qaradawi declared that Muslims who died fighting Americans in the Persian Gulf area would be considered "martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will."

Qaradawi republished a fatwa on his website on earlier this month, originally written May 7, 2001 urging Muslims to engage in a jihad against their enemies.

"There is no doubt that the Muslim is enjoined to wage jihad on the enemies of his religion and his homeland," Qaradawi wrote. "The Muslim does not take the infidel as a friend, and the pious does not take as a friend the impious, for if he takes him as a friend, it is evidence of a lack of faith, or the disappearance of his conversion to Islam, God forbid, for it is a kind of apostasy, and a type of defection from Islam. The Muslim if he cannot wage Jihad on his enemies with the sword, should then at least wage jihad on them by boycott."

The unwillingness to recognize religion's role in these attacks by many in the media stems from a false belief that Muslims are victims in need of defense leads to a moral equivalency, according to Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

Jasser argues that the white supremacist narrative following the bombing stems from an  acceptance by many liberals of the paranoid American Islamist narrative that Muslims are the victims of an imaginary plot to subjugate Islam.  Many liberals in the media have also bought into the idea that the Muslim terrorists arrested since and Islamic charities closed by the government as fronts for terrorist groups in the wake of 9/11 were framed by the government. Another false belief is that Muslims have been the predominant victims of religiously motivated hate crimes since 9/11.

Hate crimes against Muslims have fallen dramatically since 2001, when Muslims accounted for 26.3 percent of all hate crimes targeting religion. In 2011, that number stood at 13.3 percent, according to FBI statistics. By contrast, the same statistics show that hate crimes against Jews accounted for 57 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in 2001 and 62 percent in 2011.

Jasser argues that politics feeds the white supremacist narrative and jihad denial of many media figures.

"This is part of a growing meme of thou shalt not be critical of minorities," Jasser said. "Those who refuse to acknowledge that while not all Muslims are Islamists, all Islamists are Muslim are in denial. That denial can be manifested many ways in order to deflect debate and genuine critique or reform."

Jasser charges that accusations from media figures fuel Islamist efforts to sow alienation and hatred of the West. That makes young Muslims susceptible to al-Qaida's message, as the Tsarnaev case shows.

John Rossomando


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

A Woman's Voice at the Mosque

by Raheel Raza

[Editor's note: This piece reveals a truly noble soul - the writer, a Muslim woman, expresses values held by both Jews and Christians, and perhaps by adherents of other religions as well. Note, though, that Ms. Raza lives in Canada, and has perhaps has absorbed at least some aspects of Western, "Judeo-Christian" culture by osmosis. Would the Islam that Ms. Raza conceives ever be acceptable to the Muslim countries of the Middle East? If there is any hope that Islam can coexist comfortably with the other Abrahamic religions, it will have to evolve into something very like Ms. Raza's concept of Islam. I wonder how likely that is.]

Most of all, we have to use reason and logic and broaden the use of ijtihad – individual reasoning in religious affairs.
In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, Toronto and Montreal saw arrests of two Muslims charged with terror related activities. There's been some hand-wringing and questions about "what leads Muslim youth towards violence?"

Amid an array of reasoning, one constant factor that has emerged is the possible influence of Wahhabi mosques. This is not new. For years after 9/11, we were concerned about possible seditious messages coming from the pulpit, some of which I have heard.

While the sermon every Friday in the mosque may not ask Muslims outright to commit violent acts, I believe that what is not being said is the issue here.

Keeping in mind that one day soon we will be hearing women's voices in the mosque giving a sermon, if not every Friday, then, we hope, at least once a month, I decided to be prepared and have written up a sample sermon. Of course, sermons should evolve with time but this is something along the lines I would have liked my kids to have heard as they were growing up in Canada. At present Muslim women can lead prayer and offer sermons only to a congregation exclusively made up of women.
I begin in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Salaam Alaikum. Peace upon all those who gather here.
Let us speak to the concept of compassion and mercy. If we want to ask God for compassion and mercy, then we must try and show the same compassion and mercy for all God's creation, which includes people of all faiths, the environment and animals.
We greet each other with the universal Muslim greeting of peace. Just saying 'peace be upon you' does not create peace. Peace is something we have to actively work towards and put into practice, because only when are at peace with ourselves, can we can spread peace towards others. Peace is also about justice so when we want justice for ourselves, we must be prepared to offer the same justice to others.
We live in a society where we meet people of diverse faiths, ethnicities and nationalities. This is a blessing and we have to learn to interact with respect and dignity. Remember when we offer our prayers five times a day, we send blessings upon the progeny of Abraham who are Jews and Christians. Today Christians are being persecuted in Muslim lands and anti-Semitism is on the rise. We must speak out when we see this happening.
Most of you are either born in the West or have chosen to live in the West. A wise man once said that your home is not the country you were born in, but the country you will die in. So whether you were born in Multan, Mangalore or Malaysia, when you become a citizen of a country in the West and death overtakes you in Sydney or London or Montreal, wherever you come from you will die as a citizen of that place.
Therefore my brothers and sisters that place is home – that is the country we have to build, fight for, live for and bring about the change we want from within.
There is a tradition in Islam where we are commanded to follow the laws of the land in which we live. Thus it is incumbent on us to obey the laws of those lands, which give us our livelihood, a roof over our heads and our bread and butter.
This does not mean that you have to accept everything you see around you. In a liberal democracy there is the beauty of disagreeing, and all of you have the right to disagree with your political leaders but there are ways of making this work. We have systems at our disposal through which we can address our discontent.
There is a profound verse in the Quran, 5:32: "As we (Allah) prescribed to the House of Israel, to kill one person, unless it is for murder or sedition, is to kill all of humanity, and to save one person is to save all of humanity." If we can keep this uppermost in our hearts and minds while teaching this to our children, we will be better human beings.
Most of all we must learn to use reason and logic and broaden the use of ijtihad – individual reasoning in religious affairs. As Qur'an mandates in verse 2:44, "Do you bid other people to be pious, while you forget your own selves - and yet you recite the divine writ? Will you not, then, use your reason?"
The next sermon will be about women's right based on the Qur'an: the account of the life of Muhammad we have received as Muslim believers, and the example of his first wife, Khadijah, who chose him for marriage. For this we hope to see women as equal participants in the mosque.
Let us pray that God grants us the wisdom and knowledge to be good human beings, exceptional citizens, and doers of good deeds. Ameen.

Raheel Raza is president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow and led the first mixed-gender prayer in Canada. She hopes that it was not the last.


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

U.S. Praises Sharia Censorship

by Deborah Weiss

The United States is silent as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) passes its most recent UN Resolution that unravels global consensus to support freedom of speech.

From 1999-2010, the OIC succeeded in passing its "defamations of religions" resolutions, which ostensibly would protect Islam from all criticism, including true statements of fact. Though the name of the resolutions indicated that it would pertain to all religions equally, in the OIC's interpretation, it applied to Islam only.

Realizing the clash that this concept holds with that of free expression, the US State Department urged the OIC to produce an alternative resolution which would address the OIC's concerns about "Islamophobia" and still protect free speech.

Accordingly, in March 2011, the OIC introduced the now infamous Resolution 16/18 to combat intolerance based on religion or belief, purportedly proposed as a replacement for the defamation of religions resolution. It garnered wide-spread support and Western states touted it as a victory for free speech. They believed that its focus marked a landmark shift from suppression of speech critical of religions to combating discrimination and violence against individuals based on their religious beliefs.

Over time it became clear that the OIC retained its long term goal to protect Islam from "defamation" and indeed to criminalize all speech that shed a negative light on Islam or Muslims. Resolution 16/18 turned out to be a tactical move by the OIC to bring the West one step closer toward realizing its goal of achieving global blasphemy laws, by using language more palatable to the West, and open to interpretation.

Against this backdrop the US held the first conference to "implement" Resolution 16/18, the process now known as the "Istanbul Process."

Unfortunately, America's concern for the protection of free speech seems to have gotten lost as its focus moved closer to the OIC's positions, and an emphasis was placed on protecting Muslims in the West from "Islamophobia."

Some circles including free speech advocates, national security experts, and those concerned about the Persecuted Church, have beaten the drum against Resolution 16/18 and the continuation of the Istanbul Process. Their efforts have been to no avail as the Istanbul Process continues.

However, while awareness of the perils of Resolution 16/18 is on the increase, news on Resolution A/HRC/22/L.40 has gone virtually unreported. It retains the same title as Resolution 16/18, but has glaringly dangerous amendments.

To focus on just one, it asserts that "terrorism…cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group." This is obviously problematic. The lumping together of these categories implies a false equation of immutable characteristics such as nationality and ethnicity with those that are subject to choice such as religion or belief.

Religions and belief systems come in all stripes. To preclude the possibility that any of them might be ideologically associated with terrorism leads to a position based on an unexplored assumption rather than a conclusion based on fact. Indeed, the assertion condemns the mere exploration of the facts a priori, a notion which is not only illogical but dangerous.

After 9/11 and the multitude of terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam, one ought to be able to raise legitimate questions about Jihadi ideology without being labeled a bigot. Government has an obligation to determine the motivational ideology of terrorism even if even if it turns out to be an interpretation of a religion.

The government should not get into the business of ascertaining what is or is not proper theological interpretations of any religion. But a distinction has to be made between those who are truly practicing a religion as the word is understood in the West, versus those who are implementing a subversive political ideology cloaked in the language of religion.

Anyone who has conducted a good faith investigation knows that there is such a phenomenon as "Islamic terrorism." Only those in denial can claim otherwise. Truth should never constitute prohibited speech, no matter how ugly reality might be.

The condemnation of honest discussion on this important matter, along with other disturbing speech restrictive clauses in Resolution L.40, demonstrates the unraveling of the "consensus" by nation states to promote freedom of expression. Those who follow the OIC closely know that its allegiance to this concept was folly from the onset. One need only take a cursory glance at the OIC countries to determine the disingenuousness of this portention, as many OIC countries fine, jail and even execute the exercise of speech deemed blasphemous to Islam. For those less informed, nothing more than the language embodied in Resolution L.40 is needed to realize that the OIC's commitment to free speech is a sham.

Subsequent to passage of Resolution L.40, the EU representative to the UN expressed unabashed concern over the erosion of international consensus to support free speech. He insisted that the EU will continue to uphold the ideas pertaining to the protection of minorities, but will oppose any efforts to undermine the right to free expression, including discussion of Islamic terrorism.

The US representative stated no such concern. She failed to make a principled statement on America's position regarding freedom of speech. Instead, she lavished praise on the OIC for maintaining a "consensus" on Resolution 16/18 for three consecutive years.

The Obama Administration has erroneously characterized the Fort Hood attack as mere "workplace violence"; has cleansed from its national security and counterterrorism lexicon any reference to Islamic terrorism, has blamed the Benghazi attacks on the an "anti-Islam video" and has taken a lead role in the Istanbul Process, promising to use "peer pressure and shaming" against American citizens who speak out on these issues in a way that the Administration finds disagreeable.

Therefore, it should have come as no surprise when after the Boston bombings, during a time of trial, tribulation and grief, the President's address emphasized that people should prioritize America's value of diversity. No doubt that this diversity of ideas includes the motivational ideology of Islamic terrorism, even though acknowledgment of its existence is now verboten.

Deborah Weiss


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

Caroline Glick: Thank You, Hafez al-Assad

by Caroline Glick

Clinton and Assad.JPG
The threats emanating from Syria have become downright frightening. For the past several days, Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan has been warning repeatedly that it is certain that Israeli population centers will be hit by Syrian ballistic missiles and that we have to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios, including Scud missile-launched chemical weapons attacks on Israel's metropolitan centers.

On Wednesday, Air Force commander Maj.- Gen. Amir Eshel spelled out Israel's concerns from a military perspective. The chance of war breaking out at any time is extremely high. Syria has a massive arsenal that includes advanced anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles and surface- to-surface missiles. Syria also has large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, advanced artillery as well as the other components of a large conventional military force.

Eshel warned, "Syria is collapsing before our eyes. If it collapses tomorrow we could find its vast arsenal dispersed and pointing at us."

In that event, Eshel said, the air force will have to operate at 100 percent of its capacity to clear a path for ground forces to operate in Syria and secure the armaments to prevent them from being dispersed, or used against Israel.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned that Israel could easily find itself fighting a three-front war in the near future. Presumably we would be fighting Syria, Lebanon and Iran - whose nuclear program continues to move to completion undaunted by empty US and European threats.

Syria is a mess because there are no good guys in a position to win. Syrian President Bashar Assad is one of the most dangerous leaders in the world. He is a major supporter of terrorist groups. He enabled al-Qaida and Hezbollah to use Syria as a logistical base in their war against US forces in Iraq. He is a vassal of Iran. He is allied with Hezbollah. He is a mass murderer.

Since the civil war began two years ago, Assad's complete dependence on Iran and Hezbollah - as well as on Russia - has been exposed for all to see. There is little doubt that whatever checks the US was able to exert against him before the civil war began no longer exist. And if he survives in power, he will be completely indifferent to US pressure and so will behave far more violently than he did before the war began.

And yet for all Assad's horrific behavior and the reasonable presumption that his actions will only become more violent and dangerous with each additional day he remains in power, the most telling aspect of the Syrian civil war is that Israel, the US and Europe are incapable of deciding whether he is better or worse than the alternatives.

Because standing opposed to Assad and his Hezbollah and Iranian protectors is al-Qaida.

Last week, we were regaled with news analyses and stories about how the al-Qaida forces fighting Assad are now splintering. According to breathless, detailed reports, the "moderate" al- Qaida group, the Nusra Front, is being overwhelmed by the "extremist" al-Qaida in Iraq faction. The latter has moved into Syria and is taking over operations, much to the consternation of their moderate Syrian al-Qaida brothers.

But on second thought, since both the Nusra guys and the al-Qaida in Iraq guys are loyal to al-Qaida boss Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Zawahiri told the al-Qaida in Iraq fellows to move to Syria, and since al-Qaida in Iraq formed and financed the Nusra Front, it is not at all clear that anyone is splintering off from anyone, or that anyone is upset about anything.

Aside from revealing the pathological stupidity of Western news services, the attempt to make a distinction between good and bad al-Qaida forces fighting Assad points to the futility of trying to choose sides in this horrible war, which has already seen more than 80,000 killed.

At this point, despite Assad's successful campaign to restore his control over Qusair, a strategically vital city adjacent to the Syrian-Lebanese border, most assessments indicate that the war is not nearly over. The sides may well stay bogged down fighting one another for years.

Then again, as Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said, it is also possible that it will all be over quickly.

In short then, no one knows how the war will play out in Syria. All Israeli political and military leaders know is that whatever happens, the situation in Syria is dangerous and highly flammable.

Moreover, everyone agrees that the conflict can spill out in two ways - ways which are not mutually exclusive.

First, both the government forces and their Shi'ite allies, and well as their al-Qaida opponents, could attack Israel. Both sides have a clear interest in attacking Israel, since the one thing they all agree on is that they wish to see Israel destroyed. So as is the case for the Palestinians from all parties, for both Assad and his Shi'ite allies and his Sunni opponents, attacking Israel is a surefire way to build public support.

This danger has already materialized. Assad's forces shot at an IDF jeep patrolling the border this week and rushed to get the story - and their exaggerated version of its outcome - to the media. Rebel forces have taken pot shots at Israel, and targeted UN forces along the border, accusing them of siding with Israel.

As Eshel made clear, the second danger is that the weapons in Syria will proliferate far and wide. US officials have already admitted that they have lost track of much of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

This week, PJ Media reported that a State Department whistle blower is about to come forward to divulge new information about the September 11, 2012, al-Qaida attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US personnel were murdered in the attack. The whistle blower will reportedly reveal that Stevens was sent to Benghazi in a secret State Department effort to buy back anti-aircraft Stinger missiles that al-Qaida received from the State Department during the 2011 US-led NATO campaign to overthrow the regime of longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Since Gaddafi was defeated, his massive arsenal of terror weapons has spread out across the region, and particularly to Syria and Gaza. If Syrian weapons are similarly dispersed, the Libyan disaster will look like the military equivalent of a skinned knee.

The party most responsible for the barbarous, protracted Syrian civil war that will almost certainly drag Israel into a regional war with is of course the Syrians themselves. But the party second most responsible for this mess is the Obama administration.

Since the outset, the US had only one good option for intervention. It could have operated jointly with Israel to destroy Syria's missile arsenals and confiscate its weapons of mass destruction.

That is the only sure bet move the US had.

Every other action came with high risks.

Rather than take its sure bet move, at every turn, the Obama administration has opted for the most dangerous action with the smallest possible payoff.

For instance, rather than actively build an opposition army based on Syrian Army defectors, Kurds and other relatively moderate forces, Obama subcontracted the formation of the Syrian opposition to Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As Israel and others warned, Erdogan used his power as the US contractor to build an opposition dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose ideology is largely indistinguishable from al-Qaida. It was the Brotherhood's domination of the Syrian opposition forces that paved the way for al-Qaida to enter and dominate opposition forces.

After Obama ensured that pro-Western forces would have no chance of taking over a post- Assad Syria, he allowed Russia to make matters worse. Rather than threaten Russian President Vladimir Putin in a credible way to prevent him from supplying S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, Obama sat back and did nothing to block the imminent transfer of the game-changing system to Syria.

And as Eshel warned, Syria's advanced anti-aircraft batteries, which will threaten Israel's air superiority, will increase in a profound way the probability that Assad will attack Israel.

In the face of American rank incompetence, Assad has already broken all the red lines he and his father followed for more than 40 years.

He has already used chemical weapons. He has proliferated advanced weaponry to Hezbollah.

And he has already attacked Israel on the Golan Heights. Now that he has already crossed all of these red lines, the only question is how much he will escalate. Equipped with the S-300, the probability that he will escalate drastically has risen precipitously.

For all the danger emanating from Syria, Israel has one ace in the hole. We have a consensus that we must win the coming war with Syria decisively, whatever the cost. And for that consensus, we have just one man to thank: the late Hafez Assad.

During the 1990s, the Israeli Left and the Clinton administration managed to convince the Rabin, Netanyahu and Barak governments to offer to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria.

The only reason that the initiative failed was because Assad Sr. rejected Israel's repeated offers to surrender the strategic plateau in exchange for a piece of paper with a smiley face on it.

Had Assad accepted Israel's offers, we would have been facing a situation today that we would be hard pressed to contend with. On the one hand, we would be facing an all but certain war with Syria with al-Qaida or Iran controlling everything from the Jordan Valley to Haifa Bay.

On the other hand we would be facing this threat as a fractured society.

To hide their culpability for rendering Israel all but powerless to defend itself, those who supported surrendering the Golan would be pretending the dangers away. Instead of being free to discuss how to win a war in Syria, we would be bogged down in discussions of whether we have a right to fight in Syria.

In other words, if it hadn't been for Assad Sr. and his unyielding hatred for Israel, we would be facing the same situation in relation to Syria today that we faced in Lebanon in 2006 and as we have faced in Gaza since we withdrew in 2005. The lack of consensus regarding our strategic imperative to defeat our enemies in Gaza and Lebanon caused the IDF to fail to win its campaigns in both theaters.

So at this bitter juncture, as we face the all but certain prospect of war with Syria while our one ally is behaving like a drunken bull in a China shop, we have one man to thank for our continued ability to face this daunting challenge.

Thank you, Hafez Assad. Your hatred has saved us.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

Caroline Glick


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

Israel Treats Palestinians and Syrians–over PA and Syria’s Objections

by Evelyn Gordon

You couldn’t make this up: As thousands of people in large swathes of the planet, including war-torn Syria, are dying daily for lack of adequate medical care, the one geographic area whose “health conditions” are slated for condemnation at the World Health Organization’s annual conference is, naturally, “the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.” What makes this surreal isn’t just that the above areas enjoy far better “health conditions” than much of the rest of the world. It’s that the Palestinian Authority (Israel’s “peace partner”), together with Syria and other Arab countries, is seeking to condemn Israel at a time when it is actively providing medical services to both Palestinians and Syrians.

The denunciation of health conditions on the Golan is particularly surreal: Syrians in Syria, where medical care of any kind is often simply unavailable, would be thrilled to get the same state-of-the-art care as their brethren on the Golan–where, as in East Jerusalem, Israeli law applies, entitling residents to the same services as all other Israelis.

But thanks to Israel, some of those Syrians actually are getting such care–which is doubtless Syrian President Bashar Assad’s real gripe. Israel has quietly set up a field hospital on the Golan where dozens of Syrians wounded in the civil war have been treated; others, who need more intensive care, have been transferred to regular Israeli hospitals.

Israel has also offered treatment to some Syrian refugees. Just this month, via Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart program, Israeli doctors saved the life of a four-year-old Syrian refugee with a serious heart condition. Similar treatment was offered to three other Syrian children in Jordan who have similar conditions, but their parents refused: Apparently, they fell victim to their own anti-Israel propaganda. Still, the doctors are hoping they will change their minds once the first girl returns to Jordan healthy and happy.

In the PA and Hamas-run Gaza, health care is also far better than in much of the rest of the world, though admittedly not up to Israeli standards. Of course, any deficiencies are their own fault: Both have had complete autonomy in civil affairs for years; Israel can hardly be blamed if they chose to invest in, say, military training for schoolchildren rather than better health care.

But more importantly, they have an advantage most other countries with similar health-care systems don’t: generous access to Israeli hospitals for any problems their own can’t treat. And you needn’t take my word for it: Just this month, after PA Health Minister Hani Abdeen visited Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital, the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that “30% of the patients who are children are Palestinians.” It also reported that Hadassah is now training some 60 Palestinian doctors, who will then return to serve the PA’s own population.

It’s disgraceful that an otherwise respectable organization like WHO would lend its countenance to a farcical resolution like this. But it’s an excellent lesson in why the positions of the “international community” are often deserving of derision rather than respect–especially when it comes to Israel.

Evelyn Gordon


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

U.S. Military: We Could Have Saved Ambassador Stevens

by Jonathon Moseley

Elite U.S. troops were completely capable of saving Ambassador Chris Stevens during the Benghazi Consulate attacks on September 11, 2012.  Elements of the highly specialized Combatant Commanders In-Extremis (CIF) units are always on alert, on forward deployment, ready to respond.  Their job description is to hit the ground in 3 to 5 hours.  CIF elements are ready to engage in active combat anywhere in their region, 3 to 5 hours after the call.

Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense at the time, either misled the U.S.  Congress or was incompetent.  Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 7, 2013 that the U.S. military could not have responded in less than 9 to 12 hours.

Obama's first secretary of defense, Robert Gates, told CBS's Face the Nation on May 12, 2013 that "[w]e don't have a ready force standing by" in that region. 

But we absolutely do "have a ready force standing by" to reach any trouble spot in a few hours.  Insider reports previously revealed that CIF elements were training in Croatia and could have been in Benghazi in three and a half hours.

Although rotating out of the United States, some CIF elements are always forward-deployed within each military command region, always on stand-by.  Their training includes expertise within each local region.  Some of each region's unit is always ready.  They don't need to pack.  Being ready to go -- immediately -- is their job description.  It's the reason they exist. 

The U.S. military has developed a range of capabilities, from CIF teams to the Navy SEALs, to Rangers, to Green Berets.  But now many in the special forces/special operators community feel betrayed.  Commanders in Extremis units are so highly trained and expert that even elite Green Berets wash out of the highly demanding CIF training in large numbers. 

Standard military doctrine is to activate all such resources immediately, even if they are ultimately not used.  Military's plans require getting such teams in the air and on the way, not waiting to see if they will be needed.

So Panetta's and Gates's statements to the public violate standard military protocol.  Leon Panetta telegraphed to our enemies an image of incompetence of U.S. forces.  Panetta's testimony was an insult to the U.S. military.  Elite forces go through constant, grueling training to be able to do what Panetta and Gates say they cannot do.  One of the purposes of "special operators" is deterrence.  Panetta and Gates undermined that deterrence.

The U.S. military perfected capabilities after the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, the 2008 U.S. Embassy bombing in Yemen, and similar events.  Gates emphasized the need for planning; Commanders in Extremis forces plan constantly for all contingencies.

CIF units answer directly to the general for each regional command to eliminate delay.  Therefore, if AFRICOM -- the U.S. military's regional command for matters involving Africa -- had actually wanted to rescue Ambassador Stevens -- and the classified secrets in the Consulate -- the AFRICOM general would have communicated directly with the CIF team on forward deployment in the region.

Panetta testified that the U.S. military could not react because they didn't know the situation on the ground in Benghazi.  In fact, two unmanned drones were overhead, sending real-time video, including infrared and night-vision cameras, back to the national command authority.  Everyone but Panetta seems to know how dumb Panetta's statement was.

Panetta testified that we should not send in aircraft without knowing what is happening on the ground.  Au contraire.  You send in the correct aircraft to find out what is going on.  It's called reconnaissance.  The U.S. Air Force has been conducting reconnaissance since World War I (then as part of the U.S. Army).  Unless maybe our leaders don't want to know.

In fact, it is reported that CIF elements assigned to AFRICOM were already mobilizing and preparing to respond in Southern Europe.  But they were ordered to stand down.  It is believed they were mobilizing at a U.S./NATO air base in Sigonella, Italy, near Naples.

Sigonella air base is only 475 miles from Benghazi.  Fighter jets from Sigonella could have been above Benghazi in 20 minutes from takeoff at the F-16's maximum speed of 1,500 miles per hour.  Transports and gunships could have reached the Consulate in 90 minutes from take-off.

F-16s can carry fuel for a flight of 2,000 nautical miles.  So the 475-mile flight from Sigonella would have left enough fuel for an hour of operations over the Consulate in Benghazi plus a flight to Andravida Air Base in Greece, only 405 miles away, to land and refuel.  Greece is a NATO partner.  Later waves could have refueled first in Andravida, 405 miles away.

Meanwhile, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and its battle group were within range to assist the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.  Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette was relieved of command and flown back to the States on undisclosed allegations of inappropriate judgment, as reported in the military's Stripes magazine.  It is widely believed within the U.S. military that Admiral Gaouette was mobilizing a response to come to the aid of Ambassador Stevens but was ordered to stand down.  The allegation of "inappropriate judgment" was that Admiral Gaoutte insisted on mounting a rescue, leading to sharp words being exchanged.

Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya, immediately tasked his embassy defense attaché with calling for help from the U.S. military.  According to Hicks's testimony on May 8, AFRICOM told the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli that the U.S. airbase in Aviano, Italy could have F-16s over Benghazi in 2-3 hours but that there were no aerial tankers in the area to refuel the F-16s.

That excuse rings false.  Throughout Europe, U.S.-compatible standard refueling tankers are always available.  That's why they exist.  NATO exists so that all NATO countries will come to the aid of any of their fellows when attacked.

Furthermore, why Aviano?  Sigonella was roughly half the distance.  Sigonella's F-16s could have reached Benghazi in 20 minutes from wheels up, conducted action above the Consulate, and returned to Italy or Greece with fuel to spare.  Remember: a "spotter" from the Benghazi CIA annex was on the roof of the Consulate, "laser designating" the attackers' mortar team and reporting by radio.

Gates also commented that U.S. F-16s could not have simply buzzed the Benghazi Consulate to scare away the attackers because of the risk of anti-aircraft missiles.  Hogwash.  For months the year before the U.S. Air Force and NATO jets had strafed and bombed the Libyan military and decimated its anti-aircraft weaponry.  And since when are members of the U.S. military afraid to come to the defense of civilians because someone might hurt them?

Even liberal columnist Maureen Dowd commented: "The defense secretary at the time, Leon Panetta, insisted, 'We quickly responded.' But they responded that they would not respond."  Dowd sums it up: "All the factions wove their own mythologies at the expense of our deepest national mythology: that if there is anything, no matter how unlikely or difficult, that we can do to try to save the lives of Americans who have volunteered for dangerous assignments, we must do it."

Jonathon Moseley


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