Friday, September 27, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: Egypt is Boiling

by Mordechai Kedar

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

During the years of Mubarak's rule, he had only three true supporters: his wife Suzanne and his sons Gamal and Alaa. All of the other figures that surrounded Mubarak were politicians and sycophants who took advantage of their proximity to the president to extract favors as long as he was able to grant them. The moment that they felt that he was weak, they abandoned him to the fate of dismissal and the defendant's cage. In contrast, in Mursi's case there were, and still are, tens of millions of supporters who are ready at a moment's notice to fight to the end, in order to return him to power. This is the reason for the contrast between the ease with which Mubarak was taken down and the difficulties that the army has been experiencing in its attempts to stabilize the state since Mursi was thrown out of office about three months ago, at the beginning of July of this year (2013). 

The most important and sensitive indicator of the current state of political stability is what is happening in the educational system: If the schools open on schedule, students go to school as usual and studies in all of the institutions are conducted normally, it is a sign of a stable state, and a
functional government, based on legitimacy and wide public acceptance. When life is disrupted, the first thing to be harmed is the educational system because parents don't send their children out into the streets in a situation that they consider to be dangerous.

The Egyptian school year was supposed to begin these days. But despite the fact that many of its leaders are behind bars, the Muslim Brotherhood came out with the rhyming slogan: "La Dirasa wala tadris hata yarga al-Rais" - "No school and no instruction until the president's return". 

The universities are more than just institutions of higher learning, because they
also serve as a meeting place, a place to express solidarity and a field of activity for the young guard, the energetic ones of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are quite aware that after they successfully finish their academic studies, there will be several years of searching for work in their field, and many frustrations and disappointments stemming from the widespread protectionism that exists within the Egyptian job market, and certainly within the governmental job market.

Today, when the average age of marriage has risen to over thirty years of age because of economic difficulties, the young men and women channel their energies, their frustrations and their aggression into the political channel, in the absence of any other legitimate channel in a conservative society such as Egypt's.  Because of their age and family status, the pupils and students do not yet need to submit to the need for bribery and flattery that family heads have to, in order to maintain their livelihood, and this allows them to say, and even to shout, truth to power and its henchmen.

In high schools, colleges and universities throughout Egypt, and especially those in indigent and traditional areas, there are many demonstrations these days. Although these demonstrations are mostly peaceful in character, they express the emotions of the masses, who are enraged that the revolution has led to the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood. Some of the youths are armed, mainly with knives and handguns, and there is high potential for violence to break out.

In parallel with the teachers' strike there have been attempts to organize commercial strikes, but these attempts have failed because many of the unemployed in Egypt are street vendors who are not unionized, so it is difficult to get them to cooperate, since their income will suffer.

As of this writing, the UN Economic Council in New York is currently conducting activities, where Egypt is represented by Nabil Fahmi, the
army-appointed Foreign Minister in the current military government. This is another reason for ferment among the supporters of the deposed president, Mursi, and they have been organizing protest demonstrations in front of UN representatives in Egypt. These demonstrations, should they become habitual, might bring about a violent response from the army, similar to the violent evacuation of Rabia al-Adawiya Square last month (August, 2013), which cost the lives of dozens of people.

A Third Intifada?

These days, the Hamas movement has been trying to reignite the Palestinian arena by using social networking sites and the active support of the al-Jazeera channel. It has already been decided that Friday, the 27th of September, will be called "Al-Aqsa Friday". The end of September will mark thirteen years since the second intifada broke out, which was called the "Al-Aqsa" Intifada. The current use of this motif is intended to give the intifada a religious dimension and the weight of an Islamic obligation to go to jihad to free al-Aqsa from the Zionists' grip. 

Three factors are currently fanning the flames of the call for intifada: one is the competition between the PLO and the government in Ramallah on one hand, and Hamas and the government of Gaza on the other. The more one side progresses in making peaceful contacts with Israel, the more the other one attempts to set the area afire in order to pull the rug out from under the negotiators, and to negate any possibility of arriving at an agreement that would leave Israel even one square centimeter of "Palestine". So paradoxically, it is the peace negotiations themselves that are actually fueling terrorism and causing deaths and injuries, for example the deaths of the two soldiers in recent days.

Here, we must note that one of them - Tomer Hazan - was killed by an imprisoned terrorist's brother in order to serve as a bargaining chip to free the imprisoned brother. Hazan was a victim of the twisted practice of freeing murderers, which is something that only Israel engages in, of all the countries in the world. If Israel behaved like the United States, Britain, France or the rest of the democratic countries and did not negotiate with terrorists about the freeing of murderers, Israeli soldiers would not be kidnapped to be used as bargaining chips, and Tomer Hazan would still be among the living.

The dead end that the Hamas government in Gaza finds itself in, also adds to the desire to shake up the stable system that has consolidated around the Gaza Strip. Hamas leaders hate the name that the jihadists have given them, "Mishamer haGaful" ("Border Patrol"), as if they are the guarding Israel's borders against the jihadists' operations. Hamas' motivation, at least in the third intifada also comes from their desire to shake off this name.

The second factor leading toward a third intifada is the situation in the Arab world, especially in Syria. Potential jihadists see that
by waging a stubborn and determined battle, they can turn a functional state into a torn and splintered country, and can threaten even a strong regime and send a tyrant to the edge of the abyss, where he must defend himself by the use of chemical weapons. The involvement of jihadists, who came from all parts of the world to take part in jihad against Asad the infidel, emphasizes the specifically Islamic aspect of the battle for Syria. The situation in Syria encourages organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad to try to copy the model of the battle in Syria to Israel as well, not only to get rid of the "Occupation of 1967" but also to bring to an end to the "Occupation of 1948".

The rage over what has happened in Egypt also worries the "Palestinian" jihadists, and they are especially angry about the "act of mass murder" that was carried out - according to them - by the infidel Egyptian army against their Muslim brothers in the Sinai Peninsula. The operation in Sinai also has a negative influence on the state of Hamas in Gaza, and this is another reason for the increasing rage among the "Palestinian" Islamists. The fact that Israel supports the military regime in Egypt and helps it in its fight against the jihadists of Sinai, increases the motivation to direct their rage specifically toward Israel, and also because that's what exists in the PA as well.

The Third factor that is encouraging people to begin a third intifada is the wave of violence  driven by Islamist motivations in many places the world over: the takeover by "Shabab al-Mujahidin" militias - a branch of al-Qaeda in Somalia - on the mall in Nairobi, Kenya, which attracted world-wide media attention; the slaughter that Boko Haram ("the West is Forbidden") carried out in Nigeria in which about 150 Christians were murdered; the daily massacres in Iraq; the slaughter in the church in Peshawar, Pakistan; the American failure to depose Asad, the infidel, despite his use of chemical weapons; the increasing influence on events in the Middle East exerted by the
Russians, which itself has murdered Chechen Muslims, and supports Asad the murderer of Muslims.

In the midst of such an unstable environment, both near and far, the fact that Israel enjoys peace and quiet is especially aggravating to the Palestinian Islamists and motivates them to use the same methods that Islamic fighters use, who currently dictate the agenda of many countries in the world.

Israel must keep its finger on the pulse, and must not sink into the euphoria of a "house in the jungle" [a peaceful, civilized haven in the midst of a barbaric environment] or of being the "only democracy in the Middle East". Specifically because it is a democratic, peaceful, secure country, scrupulous about human rights and political freedoms, these specific qualities raise the envy and ire of its enemies, and they long very much to undermine its stability, even if the outcome will leave them in a worse situation.

Islam raises the flag of the "tzabar" (native Israeli) quality - "patience and the ability to tolerate difficulties and hardships" - and promises the suffering Muslim "al-Farj b'ad al-shida" - redemption after the difficulties. Therefore, even if the third intifada causes a deterioration of the quality of life, the price is still worth it, because for them, the freeing of all of Palestine - in the future, in sha Allah - justifies the suffering and the hardships.

Israelis tend to assess the likelihood for an intifada to break out according to cost and benefit
considerations, characteristic of Western societies. These considerations, as worthy and important as they are, are not always the considerations of Muslims who live among us and near us.

Media Involvement

Al-Jazeera again appears to be promoting Islamic violence these days, in Egypt and in Israel. Only for comparison: Egypt occupies only a marginal amount of space in the news of the Arab world today, and Syria is front and center of media interest. On al-Jazeera - in contrast - Egypt still occupies a central position, with many reports and details about the actions of the masses - especially those of the Muslim Brotherhood - against the military rule. Al-Jazeera gives intensive coverage to the school and commercial strikes that are currently occurring in some of the cities of Egypt.

This is the reason that the Egyptian regime has closed the offices of al-Jazeera in that country, and the channel has been forced to base its reports on rebel videos from video sharing sites such as YouTube. Israel must consider whether it should do as the Egyptians have, because al-Jazeera's media jihad is not limited to Egypt, and Israel is a permanent target of jihad.

If there is any medium that can ignite the spirit of a third intifada, it is al-Jazeera. Israel must remove jihadist media from its territory before the entire country is set afire.

Dr. Kedar is available for lectures

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

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

Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

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

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

Obama’s Shift from AIPAC to J Street

by Joseph Puder


J Street, the self-described pro-Israel and pro-peace organization, has announced on its website that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will be its keynote speaker at its annual conference scheduled to commence on September 28, 2013. Hitherto, President Obama has been unwilling to authorize his high-ranking officials to participate in the J Street conferences. However, Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago buddy of Barack Obama, who now serves as Senior Advisor to Obama and as Assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, was a major presenter at J Street’s 2012 conference. The significance of Biden’s acceptance of the invitation is that it may signal an Obama administration shift from supporting the traditional Jewish mainstream positions of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) on Israel to that of the left-leaning, and openly Democratic Party stalwart J Street.

Clearly, Barack Obama no longer needs AIPAC to help him win a presidential election.  He does, however, want and need Jewish Democrat participation in the 2014 Congressional elections in order to take away the House of Representatives from the Republicans. He would like to reward Nancy Pelosi with the House Speakership. The preservation of ObamaCare is particularly important for Obama’s personal legacy.

In the realm of foreign policy, Obama seeks the coveted legacy of being the peace-maker between Israel and the Palestinians.  He is cognizant that his recent predecessors have all failed in their quest to bring accommodation, if not peace. Bill Clinton’s Oslo Accords are in a shambles and Arafat’s September, 2000 intifada saw to that. Israelis rejected the Oslo Accords twice by electing Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister. The Palestinians, as well, did not get what they were promised by Arafat: a collapsed Israel that will give way to an Arab Islamic Palestine from the River to the Sea. George W. Bush’s Road Map has had torturous twists and has led to nowhere. Obama has decided that his approach, which is the same as J Street, would make the difference.

The J Street blog (September 24, 2013) points with pride to President Obama’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, suggesting that Obama adopted J Street’s vision of peace between Israel and the Palestinians (which Palestinians,  Hamas or Fatah?) based on the two-state solution. J Street stated that it “welcomes that call and urges other American Jewish organizations to do the same.” The blog quoted Obama saying, “Friends of Israel, including the United States, must recognize that Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends on the realization of a Palestinian state. And we should say so clearly.”  The President stressed that “Israel’s future as a democracy and a Jewish homeland depended on reaching peace with the Palestinians. There’s a growing recognition within Israel that the occupation of the West Bank is tearing at the democratic fabric of the Jewish state.”

J Street also welcomed Obama’s pledge to test the “diplomatic path in an effort to solve the nuclear crisis with Iran peacefully.”

The premise of a Palestinian State J Street shares with President Obama is naïve, if not erroneous. A Palestinian State at this stage in history will be an unstable and terrorism-prone state.  Israel’s Jewish character and its vibrant democracy have been sustained now for 46 years without a Palestinian state. And the demographic boogieman that J Street and the Israeli-left warned about is far from a reality. Recent decades, moreover, have witnessed a surge in Jewish demographic growth and a decline in Arab-Palestinian growth, as the latter become wealthier, more educated and urbanized.

The U.S. and the West have been testing the “diplomatic path” with Iran since 2009, and the only result is that it has allowed the radical Islamic regime to come closer to developing a nuclear bomb.

In its policy positions, J Street declares, “In the 21st century, we have reached a moment in history where supporting a Palestinian state is the only way to ensure Israel’s survival as a democracy and a national home for the Jewish people. Being pro-peace is, indeed, being pro-Israel.”

J Street believes that Israel must return to the June 4, 1967 boundaries, with a few modifications, such as land swaps. In the modern age of terrorism and missiles, that would be akin to what Abba Eban, Israel’s legendary Foreign Minister called “Auschwitz borders.” But, J Street endorsed President Obama’s May 19, 2011 statement. “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

J Street supports the division of the holy city, Jerusalem. “Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem would fall under Israeli sovereignty and the Arab neighborhoods would be under Palestinian sovereignty.” This would mean that historical and religious Jewish sites will come under Palestinian control. The Prospects of Jewish access to holy places such as the Kotel would be fraught with danger from Palestinian shooters. Moreover, the Cave of the Machpela in Hebron, (burial place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) just like Joseph’s tomb in Nablus, would be forbidden to Jews.

J Street, like Israel’s Peace Now movement, takes the view that the settlements are an “obstacle to peace.”  When Israel agreed to the “Road Map” in 2003, it agreed to freeze settlement construction on the condition that the Palestinians would renounce their terrorist tactics and end the deadly incitement against Jews and Israelis as well as recognize Israel as a Jewish State.  Israelis, therefore, continued to expand existing settlements as needed to accommodate the “natural growth” of the inhabitants. There are no legal prohibitions on Israeli Jews living anywhere in Judea and Samaria. Arabs, after all, live in Israel, and it would be hypocritical to deny the same rights to Jews, unless of course you are Saudi Arabia or Jordan, which are legally “judenrein.”
According to J Street:
Continued settlement growth undermines the prospects for peace by making Palestinians doubt Israeli motives and commitment, and by complicating the territorial compromises that will be necessary in final status talks. The arrangements that have been made for the benefit of settlers and for security – checkpoints, settler-only roads, and the route of the security barrier – have all made daily life more difficult for Palestinians, deepening hostility and increasing the odds of violence and conflict.
Suffice it to say that under the Oslo Accords, Area C, where virtually all Jewish settlements are located, was designated to be under both Israeli military and civilian control. Areas A and B are under Palestinian control. Once the border issues are negotiated, it is more than likely that significant portions of area C would become part of Israel.

It is understandable why Obama supports J Street. The latter group fully supports his vision of an Israeli-Palestinian peace. What is hard to understand is Biden’s move to please J Street. Biden has been the most hawkish pro-Israel member of Obama’s team, and a frequent guest of AIPAC. The Louis Susman factor is one reason. Susman, one of Obama’s chief campaign-contribution bundlers, has also been a close friend of Biden. J Street recruited Susman to be a member of their board and used his influence to bring Biden to the J Street conference. In considering a run for the U.S. Presidency, Biden needs people like Susman. But, it could also signal the Obama administration open shift from supporting the traditional Jewish mainstream positions of AIPAC on Israel to that of J Street.

Joseph Puder


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

The Danger In Our Midst

by Raheel Raza

Is it because there are verses in the Qu'ran that can be, and have been, used to justify violence against non-Muslims? If this is the situation, then it is time for us to lift our heads out of the sand, and understand that the enemy is within.

The past week has been bloodier than usual in the Muslim world. Three major attacks in different parts of the world -- Iraq, Pakistan and Kenya -- have one thing in common: they were pre-meditated terror attacks on civilians executed in a wanton manner as part of an armed jihad.

On the attack in Kenya at Nairobi's Westgate Mall, Kenya's President Uhunu Kenyatta made a clear statement: "We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get to them and we shall punish them for this heinous crime. We have overcome terrorist attacks before. We will defeat them again. They want to cause fear and despondency in our country, but we will not be cowed." Then, referring to Somalia's al-Shabab terrorists who claimed responsibility for the assault, he added, "Terrorism is a philosophy of cowards."

For those of us sitting in North America in the wake of such carnage, Kenyatta's words resonate well: he addressed the problem head-on. We look for support to the leader of the free world, the U.S., because the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] has let us down by giving priority to their own agenda on Islamophobia in the West and remaining silent when Muslims indulge in wanton terrorism -- in fact, they object to use of the word "terrorist" attached to Muslims. It seems, however, that the free world has a soft stance on terrorism. The only bold statement made a while ago was, "we have destroyed Al-Qaeda." Then why is the U.S. continuing to arm it in Syria?

We have become somewhat immune to the games being played while innocent lives are lost. One of the games is the instant knee-jerk reaction of the apologists and conspiracy theorists. How much more bloodshed and carnage do we have to see and endure before we wake up to the reality that something dangerous has taken root in the heart of the Muslims who kill in the name of faith?

There were two other suicide bombings this week. One in Baghdad and the other in Pakistan where a church was bombed.

What is surprising and baffling is that even today we cannot come to terms with the evidence that we have a serious problem within our ranks.

In Pakistan, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), considered to be one of the world's largest intelligence agencies, has not contained the violence unleashed upon Pakistan's minorities. According to some recent reports, there is a special squad, financed by petrodollars and sanctioned by the authorities, created exactly for the purpose of killing minorities -- and this is seemingly why nobody to date has been brought to justice. Recently there have also been massive jailbreaks, freeing hundreds of terrorists.

Further, it is rumoured that many shipments of U.S. arms, on their way from Karachi harbor to Afghanistan, have gone missing. Ironically, both the escaped terrorists and the arms surfaced in Syria.

So now, my co-religionists, there are some pressing questions we must ask because our faith as practiced today doesn't embrace humanity, modernity, music, arts or literature. What we have to see is whether the reformists, academics and scholars can pull this faith into the 21st century to co-exist with others, or will the militant swords cut the hands that hold the pen?

Furthermore, why is it that, when there is even a single death in the "conflict in the Middle East," Pakistanis will beat their chests, run out on the street, and rally with slogans against the USA and Israel -- but do not come out into the streets when their own countrymen massacre entire families of Christians and destroy churches?

And why is it that there is no voice from the pulpit, and the Sunni majority does not even bat an eyelash about the death squads against Shias and the persecution of Ahmedis?

Is it because "Cyber Mullahs," "Hadeeth Hurlers" and "Qu'ran Thumpers" are invoking their interpretation of the Qu'ran, and insisting that armed jihad is valid and needed today while we say it is time to make it obsolete?

Is it because there are verses in the Qu'ran that can be, and have been, used to justify violence against non-Muslims?

If this is the situation, then it is time for us to lift our heads out of the sand, and understand that the enemy is within.

Platitudes about Islam being a faith of peace are not credible anymore. Islam is only as good as the way its followers practice it; and if they have created killing fields in the name of Islam, then Islam will be recognized by the silence of those who did not speak out when their faith was being massacred to massacre humanity.

Raheel Raza


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

Iran and the Nuclear Chicken

by Ali Salim

The use of weapons of mass destruction to kill civilians in Syria is merely the preview for the main event, which, as soon as Iran's nuclear project is completed, will be, in the name of Allah, the destruction of entire nations -- especially those with oil -- as the Saudis see better than anyone. For stability in the region, the Iranian bomb must be eliminated -- while it is still a chicken.

Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people is both a catastrophe and a crime against humanity, but also an object lesson for the West. A chemical weapons attack, Sarin gas if the UN report is credible, carried out at a time when he felt threatened, illustrates both how decisions are made in the Middle East and the logic Islamist leaders use to solve problems and resolve conflicts. It is also an opportunity for Western leaders, with their tragic difficulty in understanding Arab and Islamic social and religious norms, to get a glimpse of what it might cost the people of the free world if mistaken perceptions lead to serious errors in judgment.

To understand how Assad, considered the Father of the Syrian People, could kill his own civilians, one has to know that in our part of the world, an angry Arab father will behead his own daughter, whom he held as an infant and watched grow up, if she has been accused of immodest or immoral behavior. He -- or her brothers -- will kill her because she rebelled, humiliated the family in the eyes of society and tarnished the family honor -- especially if she has been accused of having premarital sex.

If a father can act this way toward his daughter, why should the Father of the Syrian People not do the same thing to his Syrian children? If the average Arab father can kill his own flesh and blood in situations of stress or for religious reasons, why would an Arab leader not use chemical or atomic weapons to destroy the children of his country, let alone the children of his enemies? As Bashar Assad attacked his own people, so can the leader of Iran attack Arabs or Israel; that is the nature of Islamic leaders in the Middle East.

The legacy of the Middle East teaches the individual that there are situations that demand an instant, violent reaction. Anything related to loss of face or deterrence of one's enemies demands an immediate response, or, at the very least, using the first opportunity to take revenge. The West's patience for the leaders of the Middle East is interpreted only as weakness.

There is an old Bedouin story about the aged head of a Bedouin clan who lived in the desert. In preparation for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that ends the Muslim religious month of Ramadan, the old man personally fattened a chicken and spent his time thinking about eating it. But when the chicken was to be killed and cooked, it was nowhere to be found -- someone had stolen it. The old man assembled his sons and ordered them to find the chicken and punish the thieves.

The sons brought their father a different chicken, larger and fatter than the one that was missing. "No," he said, "I want my chicken." The following night, his daughter was kidnapped and raped. He called his sons to him and again demanded the chicken. "Father," they said, "our sister was kidnapped and raped, and you are asking for that chicken?" "Yes," he said, "I want my chicken." The following night, their tent was burned down. "You see?" he said to his sons. "If you had brought me my chicken, your sister would not have been raped and our home would not have been burned down!"

Lack of moral fiber lies behind corruption and depravity all over the world. But in the Middle East, Arabs and Muslims also manipulate and interpret Islam to suit their own agendas. For decades Qur'an verses and religious traditions have been the raw material from which Islamic sheikhs manufacture theories, often issued as fatwas [religious edicts] to: incite and support terrorist attacks, murder civilians, assassinate moderate leaders, plunder and destroy -- all in the name of Islam.

There are fatwas enabling Muslims to use weapons of mass destruction; they say that was what Allah did to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and what Muhammad did when he used projectiles as weapons of mass destruction when attacking the city of Ta'if.

Men, such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who say they want to kill every Jew and "infidel" on earth, use the hadiths [the Islamic oral tradition] to justify attacks as we have seen in Pakistan, Iraq and Kenya this week. Anyone who wants to attack Christians, and loot and burn their churches, will use a hadith to justify his actions. And hadiths are used to justify the murder of Jews on the grounds that they are treacherous, enemies of Allah, and the descendants of monkeys and pigs. According to the hadiths, even if a Jew hides behind a rock, the rock will speak and reveal him. Misinterpretations of the Islamic tradition have turned it into a weapon that can be used for any enterprise, all in the name of Allah.

During the recent upheaval in Egypt, this double standard could be seen in the arguments between Sheikh Qaradawi, the senior religious authority for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sheikh Muhammad al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University.

Sheikh Qaradawi, supported by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claimed that al-Tayyeb was not a genuine sheikh but an idiot and a faker, appointed by the Egyptian army, despite his lack of knowledge of Islam, to provide a religious cover for the Egyptian army against the regime of President Muhamed Morsi. Al-Tayyeb and a cadre of sheikhs had quoted a hadith to convince Egyptians not to participate in demonstrations, and to give religious support to the soldiers and police.

According to his enemy, Sheikh Qaradawi, however, Sheikh al-Tayyeb, had justifed the army's "slaughter" of demonstrators. Sheikh Qaradawi claimed the head of the army, General Sisi, and all his supporters were infidels according to the Sharia [Muslim religious law], for having raised their hands against the "legitimate Islamic regime" of Muhamed Morsi, who had been elected according to Sharia law.

That argument is an example of how for decades the religion of Allah has become a tool in the hands of sheikhs and other Muslim leaders responsible for the deaths of innocents.

Unfortunately, there is the same kind of amorality and hypocrisy in the rhetoric of Western leaders when they relate to the Arab-Muslim world. All of them, the U.S. included, have so far turned a blind eye to the Assad regime's murder of more than 100,000 Syrian civilians and the forced exile of more than two million. But when the Syrian regime used chemical weapons to kill 1,400 civilians of all ages in Ghouta near Damascus, the hypocritical leaders of the Western world suddenly called for action against Syria. What difference does it matter what kind of weapon of mass destruction is used? Where were the moralists until now?

Examples of the world's apathy and hypocrisy are legion, most based on personal and national interest. People who ignore and are unaffected by murders carried out far from home seem not to believe that they, too, might eventually pay the price -- when the cost in both life and treasure will be even higher.

The use of weapons of mass destruction to kill civilians in Syria is merely the preview for the main event, which, as soon as Iran's nuclear project has been completed, will, in the name of Allah, be destruction of entire nations, especially those with oil -- as the Saudis see better than anyone.

For stability in the region, the Iranian bomb must be eliminated -- while it is still a chicken.

Ali Salim is a scholar based in the Middle East

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

Barry Rubin: Syrian Rebels Say: We Demand Radical Islamism; U. S. Says: We Can’t Hear You!

by Barry Rubin

Can it be more obvious? Thirteen Syrian rebel groups–including the most important in Aleppo and Damascus–demand an Islamist state in Syria and say they don’t care what the official rebel, U.S.-backed politicians say.
By the way, only one of these groups is an al-Qaida group, Jabhat al-Nusra. There is also the large Salafi Islamist group, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiya. The others include the powerful Liwa al-Tawhid (Aleppo) and Liwa al-Islam. Both groups operated as part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) umbrella.
What about the U.S-backed Free Syrian Army? As the GLORIA Center’s Syria expert Dr. Jonathan Spyer put it: “This is much of the Free Syrian Army.”
The Syrian rebel statement, distancing these militias from the FSA’s leadership said, “These forces call on all military and civilian groups to unite in a clear Islamic context that… is based on sharia (Islamic) law, making it the sole source of legislation”. “The [Syrian] National Coalition and the proposed government under Ahmad Tomeh [the Obama Administration- supported “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood puppet who wields little power] does not represent us, nor do we recognize it,” said 13 of Syria’s most powerful Islamist rebel groups.
In other words the rebels themselves deny they are “moderates”. Note that when the United States tried to get the Syrian rebels to denounce al-Qaida over a year ago they all refused. They would rather alienate America than al-Qaida.
A question that comes up is would not the people of Syria suffer? The tragic truth is that they will suffer either way. Of course, there will be ethnic massacres. First, the Sunni Muslims will be slain; then the Christians, Druze, Kurds, Shi’ites, and Alawites will be massacred. How many hundreds of refugees will Arab and Western countries absorb?
The current civil war will not be the last war.  There will be a civil war between the victorious partners, at least the Brotherhood-types and al-Qaida, and perhaps the Salafists. Then there will be a war between the Sunni Islamists (al Qaida and Brotherhood-types) and the Kurds. There has already been fighting between al-Qaida style organizations and other Sunni Islamist rebels against the Kurds. Intra-Sunni Islamist rebel infighting is increasingly occurring. Al-Qaida groups have also fought one another and other rebel groups.
War without end, amen. Syria will be turned into a smoking ruin for a generation, perhaps 20 percent of the population will flee. This is no war of liberation but a tragedy.
Will America give hundreds of millions to the Syrian economy? Will it train and reform the Syrian Islamist army? Will it advise the Brotherhood against al-Qaida while ignoring ethnic massacres?
But yes the greater strategic danger by an edge is Iran. Yet why would America be expected to handle this danger, an America that is taking the wrong side in Egypt? Better to keep Washington away from being a rent-an-army for the Arab League in direct engagement in Syria.
There is, however, another factor. There are now boots on the ground of Iranian troops in Syria. You think Russia will take care of that as well? Actually, the regime is in long-range trouble. It is running out of reliable soldiers to fight for it. Iranians and their Shi’ite Islamist proxies will predictably make up for these numbers.
That doesn’t mean we should want the regime to win. It is certainly in U.S strategic interests for the rebels to prevail.  But have no doubt that when they do defeat the regime, the rebels will blame the United States and Israel–though they opposed the regime and helped the rebel side–as well as Iran, Russia, and Hizballah for their problems. They will fight against peace, be willing to stage anti-American terrorism, and be against U.S interests. This could be justified by the defeat for Iran but don’t be over-enthusiastic.

Barry Rubin


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Obama: Dhimmi or Dunce?

by Timothy Furnish


When I went to Iran in 2008 (to attend and present a paper at the annual Mahdism conference there) one of the Muslim presenters spoke about the future Mahdiyah as a global state where Christians would be given the choice to convert to Islam and acknowledge the returned Twelfth Imam—or be put to death.  Alas, as anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows, neither Shi`i nor Sunni  (al-Shabab; Syrian jihadists; Pakistanis) Muslims are waiting for the Mahdi to persecute Christians.  Indeed, despite being the world’s largest religion in number of adherents (2.2 billion), Christians are the world’s most-persecuted believers of any stripe—and mostly at the hands of followers of the world’s second-largest religion: eight of the top ten most dangerous countries for Christians are majority Muslim.

So it is indeed “open season on Christians.”   Yet other than Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and, before he stepped down from the chair of St. Peter, Benedict XVI—no major world leader or organization has spoken up, much less fought for, Christians.  Case in point: President Obama gave a long speech at the United Nations Tuesday and stated that the two greatest problems emanating from the Middle East are Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   The chronic and toxic torment of his own co-religionists was never mentioned—except in passing reference to undesignated “terrorists” and “extremists” who engage in “sectarian conflict.”

Obama’s white-washing of Islamic violence—rooted, that is, in the Qur’an and in both the examples and hadiths (alleged sayings) of Muhammad, Islam’s founder—extended even to the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the president once again adduced a purported fatwa against nuclear weapons by Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei, which does not, in fact, exist.

Obama pointed out that “the U.N. was designed to prevent wars between states” but “increasingly we face the challenge of preventing slaughter within states” [emphases added].  His reference clearly was to Syria, but nary a presidential peep was uttered about equally-horrific venues where Christians are being butchered, such as Nigeria, Pakistan or Iraq; or where churches were burned, as in Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood; or where Christians are not even allowed to have churches, as in Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, relative to Syria, Obama’s obsession with international treaties and norms is rather selective:  violating the Geneva Convention rubrics on chemical weapons is reason to use military force; but breaching Geneva Convention genocide prohibitions—which include “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”—elicits no such outrage on the part of Obama, Sec of State Kerry or Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan when Christians are the victims. This despite the fact that a Sudanese Anglican bishop has written to Obama, asking him to help persecuted Christians in Sudan.

Obama may not be a practicing Muslim, but is it any wonder that so many Americans suspect he might be?  He rarely attends church, and both his policies and closest advisers are pro-Muslim—most notably his DCI, Brennan, who publicly lies about jihad’s Islamic origins and orthodoxy.  Even the National Park Service under Obama is putting out mendacious videos extolling Islam. Why? Perhaps the best and most succinct explanation is that the American Left—of which Obama is the apotheosis (and messianic figure)—is still convinced that Christianity is the great enemy of Reason and “progress,” and no amount of Islamic misogyny, polygamy, decapitation and murder will convince them otherwise.

Thus, many otherwise-intelligent Americans reflexively disapprove of Christianity, yet give Islam a pass.  But the why is not really the crux of the issue;  rather, it is that Islam and Muslims have Western defenders and apologists, to go along with their own such entities, such as: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; the Council on American-Islamic Relations; Iran; Saudi Arabia; neo-Ottoman Turkey, and, yes, non-state terrorist groups like al-Qa`ida [al-Qaeda, or AQ] and Somalia’s al-Shabaab (which killed only non-Muslims in its Kenyan mall attacks) and an unholy host of others.  Christians, on the other hand, have one rather unsavory state advocate, Russia’s President; and, with Pope Francis, a defender who (at least next to his predecessor) appears lukewarm at best.  (It’s been a long time since Catholic arms saved European Christendom at Lepanto and Vienna.)

Of course, we Christians have ourselves to blame, in many ways, for the lack of a united front: Evangelicals understand the Islamic threat but prefer pillorying the papacy to working with Catholics, and would rather convert Orthodox to Calvinism than save them from Muslims;  Catholic bishops are often more enamored of Vatican II “can’t we all just get along” theology than speaking the Gospel truth to the Islamic world;  and liberal American Protestants would rather grasp a live rattlesnake during Liturgical Dance than admit, ever, that Evangelicals could be right about anything—least of all Islam. Our Orthodox friends in Syria, Egypt and Iraq, as well as our orthodox African brothers and sisters of various denominations, meanwhile, face the brunt of Islamic jihad but are powerless to stop it. And if the world’s largest Christian power—for that is what the US is, its 310 million people  being 76% Christian—won’t help them, who will?

In the name of charity, perhaps the appalling ignorance about Islam in Washington, DC,  is more real than feigned. Yesterday, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer interviewed former CIA and FBI analyst Philip Mudd on “America’s Newsroom” about Islamic terrorism in relation to the Nairobi attacks. Mudd stated categorically that “public opinion in the Muslim world does not support terrorism and jihad.”  Really?  Perhaps Mr. Mudd should stick to deconstructing Jane Eyre (he has a BA and MA in English literature) and leave the analysis of the Islamic world to those of us with more relevant, and frankly better, training.

But even someone hobbled by English degrees should be able to take a look at the Pew report “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society” and ascertain that large percentages of Muslims do support some rather unsavory, indeed atavistic, practices.  For example, huge majorities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Egypt support imposition of shari`a;  at least 2/3 of Muslims in Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Egypt favor whippings or amputation of hands for thieves;  over 80% of Pakistanis, Afghanis, Palestinians and Egyptians support stoning of adulterers, and almost the same percentages think “apostates” from Islam should be executed. Across all 39 countries surveyed, 28% of Muslims say suicide bombing is at least sometimes justified; this means, in real terms, that some 448 million Muslims support suicide bombing. Even in the US, 19% of American Muslims—some 475,000 people—think suicide bombings are occasionally justified.

Mr. Mudd has been a senior analyst for both the CIA and FBI, and as such his views have no doubt been influential in intelligence and policy-making circles for decades.  There is no better example in the secular world of policy-makers “gathering around a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (II Timothy 4:3).   The Obama Administration is not the only American one to heed the likes of Mudd, thus relying on pettifoggery and practicing wishful thinking as foreign policy—but it has sunk to new depths of willful ignorance regarding Islamic jihad and its mainly Christian targets, and in the process is aiding and abetting the violence perpetrated in the name of Allah against the followers of Jesus. Whether Obama does so as an obsequious dhimmi  (subservient Christian under Islamic law), a knowing da`i (Islamic propagandist) or an oblivious dunce is the question.

Timothy Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic History and is an author, analyst, and consultant to the US military who specializes in transnational Islamic movements, eschatology and Mahdism.  His website is


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Rouhani's Farce

by Boaz Bismuth

Fars (Persepolis) was the official capital of the Persian Empire, built in the time of Cyrus the Great, around 560 B.C.E. A farce is also a comedy. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani's speech at the U.N. was able to link the two.

The Iranian farce enjoys a steady audience that takes it seriously. Even U.S. President Barack Obama is changing his tone toward Iran. Obama is choosing, once more, to give diplomacy a chance. And again -- just as he did five years ago -- he made that peculiar link between the Palestinian issue and the nuclear threat, even though reality has proven that the two are not connected.

In his speech, Obama instructed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue dialogue with Iran. The foreign ministers of the six world powers are scheduled to meet with the Iranian foreign minister on Thursday. This time, we will not witness the impromptu handshake we saw between Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Iranian counterpart at the General Assembly in 2001 -- this time the handshake will be official.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with the foreign ministers of Italy, Britain and the Netherlands on Wednesday, as well as with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who was very excited about the Iranian minister's "energy and tenacity." This is the same Ashton who was equally excited by Zarif's predecessor, Saeed Jalili, and who has been heading the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West since October 2009. The last meeting took place in April, in Kazakhstan. Only Borat was missing to make the farce official. But the Americans are enthusiastic.

Obama's speech at the U.N. was less than exciting. Reality has proven to him and us both that pretty words do not change the world. Obama, by the way, stated that he does not believe that "America or any nation should determine who will lead Syria." The Egyptian delegation to the General Assembly in New York must have been sorry that he did not think the same about Egypt.

Obama has a far less romantic view of the Middle East these days and he is hoping that Iran, off all things, will keep him from being a lame duck until his second term in office is over. Obama needs to show that he has accomplished something -- just like Rouhani, who wishes to see the sanctions lifted. It is no wonder that the Iranian courtship of the U.S. is working.

Iran has been given an American line of diplomatic credit. Is it because Rouhani has admitted that Tehran will continue to pursue its nuclear program? Is it because just like his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he claims that the nuclear program is peaceful?

American political commentator Charles Krauthammer noted recently that in his Washington Post op-ed, Rouhani stressed the "culture of peace" promoted by Iran -- the same Iran that has an official "Death to America Day." The children of Iran need not worry -- it does not look like the day off they get on that day it will be voided any time soon. The ayatollahs' Iran will not part with the "Great Satan" -- or with its nuclear program -- easily.

Boaz Bismuth


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Netanyahu to World: Don't be Fooled by Iran

by Shlomo Cesana, Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: International community must judge Iran by its actions, not its words • Netanyahu says Iranian President Hasan Rouhani's U.N. speech was "cynical and full of hypocrisy" • Netanyahu to depart for U.S. on Saturday night.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns world to not be fooled by Iran
Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Shlomo Cesana, Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff  


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Peas in a Pod: Farrakhan sups with Rouhani

by Rick Moran

Say you're the brand new leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and you visit the US for the first time. Just who do you want coming to dinner?

If you're President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, one name you simply can't leave off  the guest list is Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The fiery black nationalist and friend to former Obama advisor Reverend Jeremiah Wright has been right at home having dinner with America's enemies over the years.

Fox News:
Farrakhan and his entourage attended a dinner party hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday night. Rouhani's dinner party was held on the second floor of the One UN Hotel, where the Iranian delegation is staying, and at the same time as President Obama's party at the Waldorf Astoria just blocks away.
The private dinner party was held just hours after Rouhani's speech to the general assembly.
Farrakhan, the fiery 80-year-old who has previously sidled up to the likes of Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi, and his massive entourage and private security detail were seen departing the hotel around 10 p.m. Tuesday. Pedestrian traffic was stopped while the minister and his group piled into various cars with lights and sirens and New Jersey license plates.
Also in attendance at Rouhani's party was German Deputy Foreign Minister Peter Florin, who was elected president of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
Farrakhan made headlines during the General Assembly last year when he dined with Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Farrakhan is no stranger to controversy. He has been blasted for his anti-Semitic remarks and has aligned himself with former Iranian presidents and other controversial world leaders. In 2011, Farrakhan blasted Obama, calling him a "murderer" in response to the death of Qaddafi.
"We voted for our brother Barack, a beautiful human being with a sweet heart," Farrakhan said. "Now he's an assassin."
Rouhani doesn't appear to think any more of Obama, who extended an olive branch to the rogue nation when he told the General Assembly "regime change" in Iran is not the goal of the U.S., and urged peaceful talks to diffuse Tehran's nuclear program. But Rouhani spurned Obama later, refusing to shake his hand because there was "not enough time."
No doubt Rouhani had to toddle off to dinner, which prevented him from shaking the hand of the lightworker. 

Doesn't it sound like Farrakhan knows Obama pretty well? The two met at the White House back in 2009, according to visitor logs, and he may have been there another time with his family. Prior to that, no self-respecting black politician could run in the state of Illinois without Farrakhan's blessing. Whether the two met back then is unknown, but it's not surprising that Obama would try and hide his connection to such a radical, anti-Semitic, anti-American hater.

Farrakhan amd Rouhani: made for each other.

Rick Moran


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