Saturday, September 7, 2013

What Are We Muslims Doing to Ourselves?

by Raheel Raza

My fellow Muslims are allowing our faith to be hijacked from us -- into the hands of theocrats and thugs.
An email had come my way saying that the Hizb-ut-Tahrir was planning a meeting at a community Center in Mississauga, Ontario.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir [Party of Liberation] is a radical, international pan-Islamic political organization. It is commonly associated with the goal of all Muslim countries: unifying as an Islamic state or caliphate, ruled by Islamic law, and with a head of state (caliph) elected by Muslims. Hizb-ut-Tahrir [HT], established in 1953 in East Jerusalem, has been banned in Russia, several Central Asian countries and many Middle Eastern Countries. It has also been banned in Germany on account of its desire to use force for political ends, as well as its anti-Semitism. It is even banned in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, already cauldrons of extremism.

Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects democracy as being un-Islamic and a Western system. But it[s] members seem to have no qualms about using Western freedoms to promote their expansionist agenda and aggressive goals. Article 56 of their draft constitution for the proposed state describes conscription as a compulsory individual duty, for all citizens: "Every male Muslim, fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad."

As the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir America, Dr. Mohammed Malkawi, remarked at a conference in Jordon in June 2013: "Let Britain, America, and the entire West go to hell, because the Caliphate is coming, Allah willing."

It was incomprehensible that they were hosting a meeting in Canada. Media inquiries received wishy-washy answers, as in, "We can't really do anything unless there is proof of violence." Further, as the HT meeting was scheduled to take place on a weekend, it was apparently of no particular interest to the media.

Were they really planning to establish a Caliphate even in the West? As a woman alone would arouse suspicion, my husband accompanied me. I pulled out the burqa I had imported from Afghanistan earlier in the year for a play. It would perhaps be the first and last time I adjusted a burqa around my body and even part of my face, with just my eyes showing – and dark glasses, and my husband in traditional Pakistani garb.

The heavily guarded community center in which the meeting was held was gender-segregated -- men and women separate. Most of the attendees were young converts, who had brought their children. When my husband sat with crossed legs, he was told that is not the Islamic way, so he immediately uncrossed them, in order not to attract attention.

Organizations such as HT are careful how they operate; their speakers are known for saying one thing in English and another in their own language. That way they can instill hardcore ideas and an ideology without being accused of using hate speech. At this meeting the message was clear: It is incumbent on every Muslim living in a non-Muslim land to impose sharia law; to work towards an Islamic state, and to convert people as is their mandate. According to the HT website, "The meaning of Jihad being a duty of sufficiency is that we initiate the fighting of the enemy even if he did not attack us. If the Muslims failed to initiate the fighting at any given time, they would all be sinful."

This by the way is totally against the teaching of the Quran, which advises Muslims to follow the laws of the lands in which they live. One young man in the audience asked who the Caliph would be, and was told it would be from among them.

I left the meeting trembling, partly with anger and partly with fear: anger because I saw a straightforward attempt to hijack our freedoms and, by turning them against us, to impose sharia; fear because my fellow Muslims are allowing our faith be hijacked from us -- into the hands of theocrats and thugs.

Raheel Raza


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

Legitimizing Israel's Destruction

by Samuel Westrop

Growing support for a one-state solution provides Hamas with a legitimate, internationally-approved method for the destruction of Israel -- a plan championed by Hamas operatives ensconced in the West and supported by their Western sympathizers.

What do a Norwegian government employee, a director of a "co-existence" program and several academics from the University of Exeter have in common? They are all happily colluding with a front group of the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas.

On September 7, the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) will be hosting an "International Conference on the Oslo Accords," which it has planned with the support of the Exeter Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, part of the University of Exeter.

Intelligence agencies regard the PRC as one of the leading lobby groups in Britain for Hamas, and claim that three of the PRC's trustees are "Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain" during the 1990s. Hamas leaders also regularly address the PRC's conferences.

The London-based Palestine Return Centre (PRC), it turns out, was originally established on the basis of opposition to the Oslo peace process. The conference is therefore unlikely to reach any positive conclusions about the Oslo Accords, or to recommend its revival.

Speakers at the PRC conference include:
  • Majed Al Zeer, director of the PRC. According to intelligence agencies, Zeer was a "Hamas activist in Judea and Samaria after the movement [Hamas] was established." In 2010, Al Zeer told Al-Jazeera TV of the necessity for "military resistance" [terrorist attacks] against Israeli targets.

    Zeer (left) shares a platform with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (right). In the middle is Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pur, an Iranian cleric who helped establish the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah; alongside him, former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad, who claims that Jews control the World and so need to be "confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred."
  • Baroness Jenny Tonge, a Peer previously forced out of the Liberal Democrat Party after she stated -- while sharing a platform with Ken O'Keefe, who compared Jews to Nazis -- "Beware Israel. Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form. One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70 billion a year to Israel to support what I call America's aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough. Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown."

    Further, echoing a Hezbollah conspiracy claim, Tonge has previously peddled the slander that Israeli medical teams were harvesting the organs of children in Haiti -- an invocation of the medieval European blood libel, which accused Jews of drinking the blood of non-Jewish children.

  • Jeremy Corbyn, MP, a British Labour parliamentarian who, in 2009, declared that he was proud to be hosting an event in Parliament with "our friends from Hezbollah." Hezbollah attacks have murdered Jews all around the World, from the bombing of a Jewish culture center in Argentina to the suicide bombing of a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

    In 2011, Corbyn invited the Islamist preacher Raed Saleh to speak in Parliament. Saleh, who admitted to aiding organizations that fund Hamas, has claimed that 4,000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on 9/11; those who killed the "Martyr, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden" had "sold their consciences to Satan"; and that the honor-killing of girls is acceptable.

  • Abdul Bari Atwan, a Palestinian journalist and the former editor of London-based publication Al Quds Al Arabi, will be delivering the keynote speech at the conference. In 2008, Atwan declared that the murder by Palestinian terrorists of eight Jewish students "was justified," and that subsequent celebrations showed "the courage of the Palestinian nation." Atwan has also said, "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel -- by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square, and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel."

    In 2012, Arabic and British media reported that Libya's transitional government released documents demonstrating that Atwan had received monthly payments of around $3000 from Colonel Gaddafi's regime.

  • Daud Abdullah, Director of Middle East Media Monitor, a pro-Hamas publication, which brought the Hamas activist Raed Saleh to the United Kingdom. Abdullah was also the former deputy-secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, with which the British government severed links after Abdullah became a signatory to the Istanbul Declaration, a document which called for attacks on British troops and Jewish communities

  • Khaled Waleed, from the UFree Network, who campaigns on behalf of Hamas terrorists in Israeli jails, whom he describes as "political prisoners." Waleed is also an outspoken supporter of Dirar Abu Sisi, a Hamas operative detained by the Israeli government for his role in building rockets fired at Jewish civilians.

  • Ismail Patel, chairman of Friends of Al Aqsa. In 2009, at a rally in support of Hamas, Patel addressed the crowd with: "Hamas is no terrorist organization. The reason they hate Hamas is because they refuse to be subjugated, occupied by the Israeli state, and we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel [...] to the state of Israel: you no longer represent the Jewish people."

    Patel's website, "Friends of al Aqsa," has published writers such as Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, whose post claimed that Jews control America, and that the Iraq war "was conceived in and planned by Israel through the mostly Jewish neocons in Washington;" Gilad Atzmon, who claims "Hitler might have been right after all;" and Israel Shamir, who said, "In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble -- and that is Jewish supremacy drive."

    Ismail Patel with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
In 2010, the Israeli government banned the Palestinian Return Centre, and declared that the PRC "functions as Hamas's organizational branch in Europe and its members are senior Hamas leaders who promote the movement's agenda in Europe, and directly interact with various Hamas leaders, particularly from Damascus."

Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of Jews worldwide and straightforwardly repudiates a peaceful settlement of the dispute with Israel -- as made clear from its charter. Article 7, for instance, states:
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews) ... Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. … There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.
Why, then, would a Hamas front-group organize an academic conference to discuss the Oslo accords?

The reason, according to the noted Middle East analyst Itamar Marcus, is tactical. Over the past year, as Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh notes, Hamas has lobbied to be removed from U.S. and European Union terror lists. The refusal of some policy makers, such as the UN's Counter-Terrorism official Jean-Paul Laborde, and journalists, such as Glenn Greenwald, to condemn Hamas as a violent terror group is a corollary of Hamas's tactic to -- as Marcus terms it -- "Talk Peace in English, deny it Arabic."

An example, notes Marcus, is Hamas Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh, who "told CBS on March 16 that he hoped to some day sign a peace agreement with Israel." Later, according to Marcus, "a Hamas MP, speaking in Arabic to a PA newspaper, immediately denied these statements as lies, and part of a conspiracy of the US media to damage the true image of the Hamas."

This stratagem, while hardly sophisticated, has nevertheless served to sanitize Hamas and so legitimize it as a significant political voice in the West, while allowing it to retain its reputation as a violent "resistance" organization in the East.

Hamas also pursues a similar approach within European politics. Its affiliates and supporters include charities and interfaith community organizations. The PRC's academic conference in September, then, is most likely designed to legitimize opposition to any form of peace agreement with Israel as a reasonable approach.

Moreover, by working with academics and the University of Exeter, the PRC affords further legitimacy to the approval of Hamas by the West. Speakers include Rosemary Hollis is a professor of Middle East Policy Studies and director of the Olive Tree Programme, an academic "co-existence" course for Israeli and Palestinian students at City University in London; and Petter Bauck, a senior advisor at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, a directorate of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Bauck is due to address the conference on "Oslo's fatal flaws."

Given Hamas's dedication to exterminating Israel, should a director of a "co-existence" program be addressing a conference run and staffed by the terror group? Would Norwegian taxpayers be happy that their employed public officials are promoting the Hamas agenda?

The co-sponsor of the conference, as stated, is the Exeter Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, established with a donation of £680,000 from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the Saudi royal who, in 2002, also donated $27 million to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers; and, following the 9/11 attacks, tried to offer New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani $10 million with the suggestion that the US "re-examine its policies in the Middle East."

The Institute's academics invited to address the PRC conference include Ghada Karmi, Ilan Pappé and Uri Davis. All are strongly opposed to the two-state solution, which the Oslo Accords was designed to facilitate.

Ghada Karmi, an Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute, is a signatory to the Stuttgart Declaration, which condemned the two-state solution in favour of a single state, which could be demographically overwhelmed by Muslims.

Ilan Pappé, a Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute, also supports a "one-state solution." He submitted testimony supporting the anti-Semitic Hamas preacher, Raed Saleh, to a British immigration tribunal examining Saleh's claims that Jews drank the blood of Christian children in Europe.

Uri Davis, another supporter of a one-state solution, is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute, and a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, which promotes "armed struggle."

The conference sessions are due to be presented almost entirely by extremists and academics who already support, both directly and indirectly, the PRC line. It would appear that Hamas, despite its dedication to killing Jews, is working to establish itself as an important, possibly "moderate," contributor to the Western narrative.

As for the "one-state solution" promoted by the attending Exeter academics: it was originally the brainchild of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist faction within the PLO, and has received plaudits for its supposed advocacy of "co-existence."

Not all, however, see it that way. Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for Bloomberg News about a Harvard conference on the one-state solution, observed:
The other strain of thought -- the "destroy Israel" approach to the Middle East problem -- didn't fade away, but the rejectionists divided into two camps, at least rhetorically.
The first camp organized themselves mainly around Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and cast their struggle against Israel in religious terms. This camp's rhetoric is bluntly anti-Semitic (as are its terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians).
The second, more secular camp understood that violent rhetoric was limiting the appeal of its cause among Westerners, and so it tried to hide its ultimate goal -- the forced disappearance of Israel -- behind a screen of euphemisms. This group argues for the "one-state solution," the merging of the Palestinian and Jewish populations between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea into a single political entity. It is an entirely unworkable and offensive idea, but because it is couched in the language of equality and human rights, rather than murder and anti-Semitism, it has gained currency in certain not-entirely-marginal circles.
The two camps identified by Goldberg are, nonetheless, gradually pitching their tents closer together. Hamas, for example, benefits greatly from the increasing calls for a one-state solution: not only does that proposal necessitate the inclusion of Hamas (and accordingly afford the terror group recognition by the West) in a future "single state," it also undermines the role of Hamas's chief rival, the Palestinian Authority, or Fatah, which is publicly committed to the two-state solution.

Most importantly, in practical terms: growing support for a one-state solution provides Hamas with a legitimate, internationally-approved method for the destruction of Israel – championed by Hamas operatives ensconced in the West.

Hamas has long embedded its rhetoric and activities in the language of human rights – as shown by its involvement with charities and even interfaith dialogue. However, as illustrated by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's simultaneous promises of both "peace" and genocide of Jews, Hamas can sustain the one-state narrative without ever having to pledge support for actual co-existence.

The PRC, in its September conference, seems to be trying to extend this two-faced approach even farther. By employing the support of academics, governmental employees and "human rights" activists, and using the facade of a seemingly virtuous alternative, the PRC seems to be trying to legitimize opposition to any real, two-state solution -- leaving the door wide open for Hamas's agenda.

Samuel Westrop


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

Gulliver Tied Down by Lilliputians

by David P. Goldman

One in five applicants for jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency have ties to Muslim terrorist organizations, according to the latest round of Snowden leaks. And Israel is a major target of American counterintelligence. Washington is insane.

Three years ago, the Washington Post sketched the elephantiasis in the U.S. intelligence establishment without, of course, access to the detailed numbers leaked by Edward Snowden last week. It doesn't matter how much money you spend if you can't hire people you can trust. If you spend $52 billion in the "black budget," you create so many conflicting bureaucratic interest groups as to cancel out any possible signal with a wave of noise.

As I pointed out in a 2010 post at First Things, at last count there were fewer than 2,500 Americans studying Arabic at advanced university courses (not counting, of course, the internal training of the U.S. military). Fewer than 250 were studying Farsi. The total pool of truly competent Arab speakers coming out of American universities per year probably is in the low hundreds. How many of these can U.S. intelligence agencies recruit? If we can't recruit translators among Americans whose background is verifiable, we rely on first- and second-generation immigrants from Arab countries whose background is not verifiable. We should assume that our intelligence services are riddled with hostiles. We are Gulliver tied down by Lilliputians.

Israel, by contrast, has a surfeit of Arabic translators — the language is taught in every Israeli high school, and is easy for Hebrew-speakers to master. Israeli friends of mine who were trained as Arabic translators for intelligence work were sent to guard duty in the Negev because the military had too many skilled linguists.

The U.S. has relied extensively on friendly Arab intelligence services, above all the Egyptians, to fill the gap — except that the Obama administration did its best to bring down the Egyptian military in 2011 and install the Muslim Brotherhood. The Israelis have plenty to tell, but little that Washington wants to hear: Israel never fell victim to the mass delusion about the so-called Arab Spring, and has warned throughout (along with Saudi Arabia) that Iran's nuclear ambitions must be crushed. Israel therefore is treated as an intelligence target rather than as a collaborator, while the Arab intelligence services who most might help us — Egyptian and Saudi — must regard us with skepticism in the best of cases and hostility in the worst.

America is flying blind into a hurricane. Americans who write about the Middle East now depend on what other countries choose to leak to us. Washington isn't in the loop any longer.

Mr. Goldman, president of Macrostrategy LLC, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and the London Center for Policy Research.


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Muslims Riot on Temple Mount after Cleric Arrested for Incitement

by Efrat Forsher

Police order Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah's arrest for incitement, 10 days after making a speech declaring that Israeli police intended to torch Temple Mount • Court issues restraining order to keep Salah out of Jerusalem.

The head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah [Archive]
Photo credit: Israel Police

Efrat Forsher


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Are non Al Qaeda Syrian Rebels ‘Moderate’?

by Jonathan Spyer

For elected representatives and the public to have the necessary discussion regarding action in Syria, it is crucial that a clear picture of the realities on the ground in Syria be presented.

Regarding the Assad regime and its apologists, nothing needs to be cleared up. This is a regime characterized by murderous brutality since it first emerged in the 1960s. It has been perhaps the single most destabilizing factor in the Levant throughout the years of its existence. An apparent use of nerve gas against its own civilians fits entirely with the more general pattern of its behavior.

But as the U.S. grapples with the issue of what, if anything, is to be done, it is clear that a rival campaign of deception is underway: an attempt to present the Syrian armed rebels as consisting in the main of “moderate” and pro-democratic forces. If only that were so: in reality, the spectrum of orientation among the observable Syrian rebel units spans from a Muslim Brotherhood-type outlook to open identification with al-Qaeda.

This means the most “moderate” rebel units share the ideas of former President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. And Hamas.

Let’s take a closer look. According to the most authoritative studies on the subject, there are three main blocs among the Syrian rebels.

The most radical element is the al-Qaeda-type groups: Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). The latter is the direct descendant of the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of Iraq’s organization. (For those who don’t remember, this individual was known as a brutal sectarian murderer of Iraqi Shia before he was killed by U.S. forces.) Much evidence has emerged showing that his current followers are faithful adherents to his methods. Also, both of these groups are openly and directly loyal to the core al-Qaeda group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri.

A second, larger bloc consists of openly anti-democratic Salafi Islamist fighters, gathered together as the Syrian Islamic Front bloc. The main element of this grouping is the powerful Ahrar al-Sham militia.

These groups have been prominent in the fighting in northern Syria; they are responsible for capturing the single provincial capital to fall to the rebels: Raqqa. Today, Raqqa has exchanged the repression of the Assads for the repression of the Islamists.

Then we have the third bloc, the largest collection of brigades. These are the ones who we are encouraged to see as “moderate” and “democratic.”

The main element of this third bloc is called the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. Its 20 constituent units are loyal to the Western-supported Supreme Military Council (SMC), or General Staff of the Military and Revolutionary Forces. They include some of the most powerful rebel brigades, including Liwa al-Islam in the Damascus area, the Tawhid Brigade of Aleppo, and the Farouq Brigades.

The SMC is headed by former Syrian Army Major General Salim Idris. It is today responsible for the distributing of Western and Gulf assistance to the rebels, and on this basis has secured the loyalty of most of the SILF rebel units. (A number of smaller factions, including Afhad al-Rasul and Asifat al-Shamal, also align with the SMC, though not the SILF.)

All of the groups mentioned here pledge allegiance to some form of Sunni Islamism.

I have made several trips to rebel-controlled northern Syria over the last year. In September 2012, I interviewed one of the senior commanders of the Tawhid Brigade in Aleppo, and I spent several days traveling with the brigade’s fighters at the height of the fighting there. I also interviewed members of the emergent Sharia councils in the rebel-controlled areas.

Alignment with the SMC is the passport to receiving Western-approved money and guns. But there is little reason to believe that these brigades regard themselves as under orders to General Idris because of this affiliation. The Syrian rebellion emerged in the impoverished rural Sunni Arab parts of Syria; these areas are tailor-made for the political style of the Muslim Brotherhood. This political style unmistakably characterizes the Tawhid, Farouq, and other powerful units engaged in the rebellion – yet it is these units which are being referred to when claims of “moderate” and “democratic” rebels are made.

The claims themselves are obviously disingenuous. I watched a recent broadcast during which an advocate for the rebels showed a chart referring to the SILF as the “Syrian Liberation Front.” The deception was obvious, and contemptible.

The American people and their elected representatives need clear information in order to reach a decision on Syria. Yet what they are currently getting from pro-rebel mouthpieces is an attempt to re-brand Muslim Brotherhood-oriented militias as “moderate” and “democratic.” In reality, they resemble Morsi and Hamas.

Don’t be fooled.

Jonathan Spyer


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Obama’s Shout-Out To Muslim Brotherhood Entity

by Ryan Mauro


The 50th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) featured the usual long list of Islamists that profess to be pro-Sharia and “moderate” in the same breath, but this year the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity had a special speaker: A gleaming President Obama thanking ISNA for its partnership and interfaith campaigns.

In congratulating ISNA on its 50th anniversary, Obama endorsed an event with over 20 Islamist speakers, most of whom teach multiple sessions. The most frequent speaker is Imam Zaid Shakir, who taught 32,000 Muslims over Memorial Day Weekend that the U.S. Constitution is inferior to Sharia Law because it grants equality to Muslims and non-Muslims. He is teaching at least eight sessions.

As originally reported by the Clarion Project, Obama’s videotaped address praised the “proud legacy” of ISNA. A confidential source within the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network  informed the FBI as early as 1987 that ISNA is a front whose purpose is to advance the “Islamic Revolution” in America.

This source is vindicated by a secret U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum written three years later that listed ISNA and its components as part of its network to wage a “kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

In 2007, the U.S. government labeled ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas-financing “charity” that shared an address with ISNA. The Brotherhood’s apologists contest the significance of that label, but what they can’t contest is that federal prosecutors specifically listed ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.

Stunningly, President Obama boasted of his administration’s relationship with ISNA:
“[M]y administration is proud to be your partner in our shared efforts to promote economic opportunity, accessible health care and affordable education in Muslim communities throughout our country,” he said.

Ponder that for a moment. The U.S. government concluded that ISNA is a Brotherhood entity, yet the leader of that government is heaping praise upon it.

Terrorism expert Patrick Poole and I explored ISNA’s relationship with the White House is a 700 Club segment with Erick Stakelbeck, author of The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy.

“[H]ere we have the United States government going into federal court saying, ‘These are the bad guys, they’re supporting terrorism, they’re a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.’ And then as soon as they leave federal court, ‘These are our outreach partners, these are the moderates, these are the people that we need to be dealing with,’” Poole explained.

The best example of ISNA’s influence is the Clarion Project’s May 2013 expose of the role of ISNA and other Islamist-friendly groups and individuals in crafting training guidelines for the Department of Homeland Security. As you probably guessed, these guidelines reject instruction based on the broader Islamist ideology and teaching about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network and its legal methods.

ISNA is also a political ally of the administration. The administration courted ISNA to rally Muslim support for gun control and for immigration reform. The White House’s Office of Public Engagement admits that ISNA is its primary Muslim outreach partner.

President Obama was sure to specifically point out the accomplishments of ISNA’s interfaith programs:

“I’m especially grateful to the work that ISNA has done to advance interfaith understanding and cooperation here at home and around the world,” he said.

The interfaith campaign praised by Obama is led by former ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, who was recorded in 2006 saying, “Our job is to change the Constitution of America.”

ISNA’s website has an entire page dedicated to its interfaith efforts. It has a list of official interfaith partners that includes major Christian and Jewish organizations. ISNA’s interfaith political coalition, Shoulder to Shoulder, was presented to the Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey as one of its crowning achievements.

To put Syeed’s achievement in the proper prospective, we must look at his background.
In 1987, the FBI informant in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network warned that a front called the International Institute of Islamic Thought had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States,” beginning with “peacefully get[ting] inside the United States government…”

The Director of IIIT’s Academic Outreach at that time was Sayyid Syeed—the same official whose work was just praised by Obama.

The transferring of Syeed from Secretary-General of ISNA to Director of its Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances shows how much importance ISNA places in its interfaith work. Earlier this year, Syeed spoke in front of about 100 evangelical leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast.

This embrace of ISNA helps explain the pro-Muslim Brotherhood angle of American foreign policy. When the government embraces U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities as partners and advisors, we should expect nothing less.

This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Ryan Mauro


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'Sinai Jihadis Want to Overthrow Egypt, then they'll Come for Israel'

by Yoav Limor

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman says Israel is preparing for every scenario in Gaza and Egypt • He warns that the turmoil in Sinai may create a new security reality along the southern borders.

GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman
Photo credit: Ziv Koren

Yoav Limor


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Administration Believed Iran would Ditch Assad over Use of WMD

by Rick Moran

The notion that Iran would abandon President Assad because he gassed his own people may strain credulity for you and me, but recall that this is a president who actually thought writing a nice letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei would lead to a breakthrough in nuclear negotiations.

Self delusion is a large part of Obama's foreign policy so why should it surprise us that he thinks Iran is a sane actor on the world stage?

Washington Examiner:

Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, hoped that a team of UN investigators - many of whom, presumably, have a longstanding relationship with Iranian leaders -- could write a report that would convince Iran to abandon its ally at the behest of the United States.
"We worked with the UN to create a group of inspectors and then worked for more than six months to get them access to the country on the logic that perhaps the presence of an investigative team in the country might deter future attacks," Power said at the Center for American Progress as she made the case for intervening in Syria.
"Or, if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran - itself a victim of Saddam Hussein's monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 - to cast loose a regime that was gassing it's people," she said.
Rather than "cast loose" Assad after the latest chemical weapons attack, as the Obama team hoped, "Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has warned the Obama administration against any proposed military strike on Syria," as the International Business Times reports.
Only someone besotted with an ideology that believes the rest of the world acts selflessly and is animated by humanitarian and other lofty concerns would make such a remarkably ignorant statement like that.  To actually believe that Russia and Iran would act against their own national interest regardless of what their ally has done reveals  a dangerous - even suicidal mind set.

Liberals believe everyone in the world thinks as they do because, obviously, they are morally superior to those who think differently. I don't know whether it's political correctness or idealism run wild that causes people supposedly smarter than the rest of us to believe nonsense like this, but whatever it is, there is real potential for these incompetents to blunder into World War III - and then blame it on Bush.

Rick Moran


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United Nations’ War on Free Speech Continues

by Andrew Harrod


German federal authorities have responded to earlier criticism by the United Nations’ (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) of lax German hate speech measures with troubling proposals to restrict further freedom of expression.  These developments in a case previously documented by my Legal Project (LP) colleague Sam Nunberg and me demonstrate once again the dangers for freedom that foreign organizations can present, especially in light of international campaigns against “Islamophobia.”

An April 4, 2013, CERD decision had condemned the German refusal to prosecute former German central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin for hate speech against Arabs and Turks.  CERD deemed the discontinuance of Sarrazin’s criminal investigation a violation of German commitments under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

In a July 1 verbal note to the Geneva-based CERD, the German federal government responded that it “currently is examining German legislation for the punishment of racist statements in light of” CERD’s decision.  This examination, though, would take account of the right to free expression.  Federal authorities had furthermore requested of the relevant Berlin prosecutors “to review every possibility of reconsidering” Sarrazin’s case.  Yet, the prosecutors reported, this review of the case’s “factual and legal aspects” meant that the “cessation of prosecution stands.”

The German government received encouragement in stiffening hate speech laws from the federally-funded nonprofit organization German Institute for Human Rights (Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte or DIMR).  DIMR’s Hendrik Cremer, in particular, criticized in an interview that an initial charge of Sarrazin under the German Criminal Code’s Section 185 against “Insult” fell through.  Cremer found Sarrazin’s case “not untypical” as “current precedent” did not allow for “collective insults.” Even if statements are racist, “it is regularly assumed that they lack intensity” for an “insulting character” if directed “against a large number of persons.” Cremer criticized that racist speech convictions usually affected “only persons who clearly belonged to a rightwing extremist environment” while “racism from the middle of society” went overlooked.

These German developments make all the more worthy of review the lone dissenting opinion in the CERD judgment from the American representative, Georgetown University professor of law Carlos Manuel Vázquez.  Vázquez determined that Sarrazin’s 2009 interview with a Berlin magazine resulting in prosecution “contains statements that are bigoted and offensive.” CERD precedent, however, “does not require the criminal prosecution of all bigoted and offensive statements.”

As “extensively explained in writing,” both the Berlin prosecutors and a reviewing General Procurator found no basis for insult or “incitement to racial hatred” (German Criminal Code Section 130) charges.  The procurator review, for example, found that “Sarrazin did not characterize members of the Turkish minority as ‘inferior beings’ or ‘bereave [sic] them of their right to life as an equally worthy person.’”

Yet CERD itself recognized that a convention violation demanded that a state “acted arbitrarily or denied justice,” a “deferential standard…particularly appropriate” with respect to speech. Here state authorities “have a far greater mastery” of the pertinent language than CERD members and a “far better position to gauge the likely impact of the statements in the social context prevailing.”  Moreover, the convention allowed for prosecutorial “discretion” in preventing both racist speech and any “‘chilling’ effect” on free speech presented by marginal cases. Issues such as a statement’s public significance, danger to public peace, or ability to give notoriety to otherwise insignificant persons could also factor into prosecutorial decisions.

Vázquez did not see Sarrazin’s main arguments as hate speech.  His “ideas for possible legislation” in the interview involved restricting immigration to skilled workers as well as social spending limitations for immigrants, not racial demagoguery. For Vázquez, “the concept of incitement to legislation is, to my knowledge, a novel one.”

Sarrazin also argued with respect to Turks and Arabs that the “culture or belief system that prevails among a national or ethnic group inhibits their chances of achieving a particular goal.” This is “not outside the scope of reasoned discourse” and “not prohibited by the Convention.”  Additionally, “Sarrazin’s main point” was that the “provision of social welfare leads to habits and ways of life that inhibit economic success and integration.”  “It is true,” Vázquez noted, that “Sarrazin at times employed denigrating and offensive language.” Yet “freedom of expression extends even to statements framed in sharp and caustic terms.”

Vázquez’s views from the Land of Liberty are far more reasoned than those Germans anxious to do the bidding of CERD’s members, most hailing from countries not noted for equality under the law. Stiffer hate speech laws would penalize many controversial political statements and involve the law in all manner of insults unrelated to public peace. It is to be hoped that Germany will ultimately heed Vázquez’s restraint, despite successive attempts to overcome rational German rejections of Sarrazin’s prosecution.  Observers outside of Germany, meanwhile, should take Sarrazin’s tale to heart as an example of foreign institutions infringing domestic freedom.

This article was commissioned by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

Andrew Harrod


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