Saturday, May 28, 2016

Obama admin's breathtaking Israel-Iran double-standard - Ari Soffer

by Ari Soffer

State Dept. slams 'right-wing' Israeli coalition - but what did it say when anti-US extremist was appointed to Iran's Assembly of Experts?

The US State Department has been caught employing a stunning double-standards vis-a-vis Israel and Iran, shedding a light on the antagonism towards the Jewish state by the Obama administration, even as it cozies up to the Islamic Republic.

Last week, State Department spokesman Mark Toner angered officials in Israel, after he criticized the Israeli coalition deal bringing in the right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party as "rais[ing] legitimate questions" over Israel's commitment to peace.

When asked at a Wednesday press briefing if he "had any comments" about the approaching coalition deal to bring in Avigdor Liberman, Toner responded:

"We have also seen reports from Israel describing it as the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history and we also know that many of its ministers have said they oppose a two-state solution. This raises legitimate questions about the direction it may be headed in ... and what kind of policies it may adopt."

Yet just a day earlier, Toner had this to say about the election of an extreme anti-American cleric to Iran's Assembly of Experts, the powerful committee of clerics who will select the next Supreme Leader of Iran.

"One is you’ll have seen, I’m sure, the reports that Ahmad Jannati, a 90-year-old anti-Western cleric, has been chosen as the head of Iran’s new Assembly of Experts, which is in charge of selecting the new or whomever will be the next supreme leader," Toner was asked. "Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? And does this suggest that Iran may be moving toward a more pro-Western, more open-toward-the-West stance?

"Or do you have faith in Iran’s internal democratic procedures?... And do you regard Iran as an ally in the fight against terrorism?"

Toner's noncommittal response was telling:

"We follow domestic events in Iran closely, as you know, but we don’t have any comment at this point on the outcome of the leadership elections of the Assembly of Experts."

The stark contrast was first highlighted by American Jewish journalist Yair Rosenberg, who called out the "remarkable hypocrisy" of the Obama administration.

Under President Barack Obama, the White House has pursued a warming of ties with Iran, brokering a controversial agreement with the Islamic Republic over its illegal nuclear program, while apparently making great efforts to encourage western states and banks to do business with Tehran.

At the same time, Obama has openly clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, most recently lambasting him along with other key American allies in an interview earlier this year.

Ari Soffer


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Turkey: Erdogan's Promised 'Reforms' - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil

In reality, both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the EU are pursuing a deal that will not work.

Turkey and the European Union (EU) have been negotiating a deal that ostensibly would stem the flow of hundreds of thousands of migrants into Europe; Turkey, on its part, would bring dozens of laws and regulations, including its draconian anti-terror laws, in line with Europe's; and nearly 80 million Turks would then be given visa-free travel to the EU's borderless Schengen zone. But now, as Turkey refuses to amend its anti-terror laws, the deal seems to be facing a stalemate.

That is hardly the heart of the matter. In reality, both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the EU are pursuing a deal that will not work.

In theory, Turkey would complete some tough homework, containing a list of 72 items. All went well until recently, when apparently the most controversial item on the list, which obliged Turkey to change its anti-terror laws, stalled the deal.

On May 14, according to Hansjörg Haber, the EU's top envoy in Ankara, the European Commission was still working to find an acceptable solution to the impasse with Turkey over the definition of "terror." Haber commented that "Turkey has long been mature for visa liberalization. I personally feel we had to do it much long ago. I still remain optimistic that we will eventually manage it."

In Turkey, there is a vast gap between what laws say and how they are enforced.
Days before that, Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear that he had no intention of changing the disputed legislation. In response, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the visa requirement would not be lifted for Turks before all criteria were met. That, in Erdogan's words, would mean "you go your way and we go ours."

Erdogan, for his part, wants to win the visa waiver in order to save millions of Turks from the torment of queuing up in front of European countries' embassies for visas -- undoubtedly a big vote-winner for him if he puts to a referendum the executive presidential system he so desperately craves.

The EU's leaders aim at a skillful balancing act: Return tens of thousands of future migrants to Turkey -- as stipulated in the accord -- and at the same time find a face-saving formula against criticism that to stop the flow of migrants, the European club is granting a totally undemocratic country what it wants. So, a little bit of pressure for a better-looking Turkish anti-terror law could help Brussels save face: We are not betraying our democratic culture merely to stop the migrant inflow; see how we forced Turkey to liberalize a key law!

That will be a commodity too hard to sell. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Turkey witnessed a drop in press freedom during the past year, as a result of a media crackdown that one prominent editor called a "witch-hunt." In its latest report, RSF ranked Turkey 151 out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index, down two points since 2015. It said:
As many as 2,000 individuals – reporters, celebrities, academics and students – are reportedly being officially investigated on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or spreading 'terrorist propaganda.'
Erdogan's deep problem with free speech is not only limited to Turkey. It recently moved, ironically, into the heart of Europe. Erdogan sought and won -- from Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel -- a green light for the prosecution of comedian Jan Böhmermann, who recited a crude poem about the Turkish president, on German television.

In a letter published in the German daily Welt am Sonntag, Mathias Döpfner, chief executive of the German publisher Axel Springer, expressed solidarity with Böhmermann by saying he had laughed out loud at the poem and 'wholeheartedly' supported what Böhmermann said. Erdogan's lawyers sued Döpfner too. A German court rejected Erdogan's injunction against Döpfner, but Erdogan's lawyers said they would appeal that decision. This is the man the EU is, presumably, trying to convince that his country's anti-terror laws should be given a more democratic touch if he wants visa liberalization for the Turks.

The EU has little leverage on a country that is going full speed toward darker days of Islamist authoritarianism.
The EU must understand -- or maybe it already has, but too late -- that it has too little, if any, leverage on a country that is going full speed toward darker days of Islamist authoritarianism. If they are not trying to fool a European population of more than 500 million with a too-cheap pragmatism, they should understand that in third world democracies such as Turkey, there is a vast gap between what laws say and how they are enforced.

Here is a nice assortment of what the Turkish constitution says about civil rights and abuse of religion in politics, in contrast with how real life in Erdogan's Turkey is about:
  • Article 5, for example, promises "to ensure the welfare, peace and happiness of the individual and society (and) to strive for the removal of (obstacles) which restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms." Not funny enough?
  • Take Article 10, then: "All individuals are equal before the law without any discrimination irrespective of language, race, color, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect or any such consideration."
  • Article 20 states that "everyone has the right to demand respect for his private and family life.
  • Article 22 guarantees that "secrecy of communications is fundamental."
  • When read in 2016, Article 24 is probably one of the funniest in the whole charter: "Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religious belief and conviction ... No one shall be allowed to exploit or abuse religion or religious feelings ... for the purpose of personal or political influence, or for even partially basing the fundamental, social, economic, political and legal order of the State on religious tenets."
  • It is not an awfully bad joke: Article 28 even claims "the press is free, and shall not be censored."
With or without legal amendments to its anti-terror laws or a deal with the EU, Erdogan's Turkey will de facto follow the path of Islamist autocracies, where any kind of dissent amounts to terrorism and treason.

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based columnist for the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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Senate Republicans demand AG Lynch cease persecution of climate change skeptics - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

In March, Ms. Lynch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI was looking into information regarding climate change dissent and “whether or not it meets the criteria for what we could take action on.”

Five Senate Republicans have sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch demanding that efforts to criminalize climate change skepticism cease.

Sixteen Democratic attorneys general across the country have signed on to prosecute fossil fuel companies that they charge knew about the effects of climate change but hid their findings from the public.

Washington Times:
The letter cited several causes of concern: In March, Ms. Lynch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI was looking into information regarding climate change dissent and “whether or not it meets the criteria for what we could take action on.”
Last year, a coalition of environmentalists and lawmakers asked the Justice Department to launch a racketeering investigation into ExxonMobil over the company’s statements and research on climate change.
In March, 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and an independent — announced that they would pursue “fraud” allegations against climate change dissenters. At least two attorneys general — New York’s Eric Schneiderman and the Virgin Islands’ Claude E. Walker — have issued subpoenas as part of climate change investigations.
“These actions provide disturbing confirmation that government officials at all levels are threatening to wield the sword of law enforcement to silence debate on climate change,” said the Wednesday letter from the Senate Republicans.
“As you know, initiating criminal prosecution for a private entity’s opinions on climate change is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and an abuse of power that rises to the level of prosecutorial misconduct,” said the letter.
The letter was signed by Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, David Perdue of Georgia, and David Vitter of Louisiana.
Last week, 13 House Republicans sent letters seeking information from the coalition of state attorneys general, known as AGs United for Clean Power, citing free-speech concerns.
Ms. Lynch’s comment at the March 9 oversight hearing came after Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, accused the Justice Department of doing “nothing so far about the climate denial scheme.”
“This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” Ms. Lynch said.
The possibility that the DoJ will use the RICO racketeering statute to prosecute climate skeptics is real and would be a disaster for the fossil fuel industry.  As for the state A.G.s, they are looking for deep pockets to set up a fund for "climate change mitigation" – a slush fund for states to use in any manner they wish as long as they can connect it to climate change.

A government that seeks to war against free speech is not a government that will protect the right of free speech, turning the Constitution upside-down.  This is a horrible, dangerous precedent to set, and for the executive department set up to protect our rights to promote this cause shows how far the totalitarians on the left will go to win.

Rick Moran


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Former President Of Al-Azhar University Osama Al-'Abd: We Must Reform Our Religious Discourse To Confront The Extremists - MEMRI


"--the world does not stand still and that people who do not renew themselves become weak and perish."

Addressing the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, which convened in Aswan, Osama Al-'Abd, former president of Al-Azhar University, called for reform in the Islamic religious discourse. Al-'Abd said that the world does not stand still and that people who do not renew themselves become weak and perish. The conference was aired on Channel 1 of the Egyptian TV on May 14, 2016.
Following are excerpts:

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV


Osama Al-'Abd: "There is an attempt to bring the Islamic nation to its deathbed, a plot to make it weak. You are the ones entrusted with its protection. A heavy responsibility rests upon our shoulders. If we do not rise to the challenge, we shall be held accountable by Allah. It is legitimate to reform and develop the religious discourse, because the world does not stand still, and there is a new thing every day. If people do not renew themselves, they become weak and perish. Therefore, we must always examine the Quran and the sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. People would ask the Prophet Muhammad questions, and he would issue different rulings to different people, to each according to his needs. This is the meaning of reform and development.


"We have some deep-rooted principles that we do not question, or allow anyone to question. But the circumstances of the Islamic nation today are difficult, requiring us to reform our way of thinking. Active Muslims and active religious scholars are what is needed now. We do not need passive scholars. In all honesty, we must all think in an active way, in order to confront the dark extremism that is always associated with Islam, even though Islam has nothing to do with it. [The extremists] have done more harm to us than to others. Therefore, we must reexamine ourselves and our institutions in an honest and critical manner. Have they fulfilled their obligations? Have we? This is what we are doing in this conference."



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Sweden: Is Islam Compatible with Democracy? - Ingrid Carlqvist

by Ingrid Carlqvist

Part I of a Series: The Islamization of Sweden

  • It is not a secret that democracy can be used to abolish democracy.
  • It may have finally begun to dawn on the people that Swedish Sweden will soon be lost forever, and in many areas replaced by a Middle Eastern state of affairs, where different immigrant groups (mainly Muslims) make war on each other as well as on the Swedes.
  • According to Dr. Peter Hammond, in his book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, the goal of Islam is not to convert the whole world, but rather, to establish sharia law all over the world.
  • There is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law.
In Sweden's last census in which citizens were asked about their religious beliefs, in 1930, fifteen people said that they were Muslims. Since 1975, when Sweden started its transformation from a homogenous, Swedish country into a multicultural and multi-religious one, the number of Muslims has exploded. Now, approximately one million Muslims live here -- Sunni, Shia and Ahmadiyya from all the corners of the world -- and Mosques are built and planned all over the country.

No one, however, seems to have asked the crucial question upon which Sweden's future depends: Is Islam compatible with democracy?

The Swedish establishment has not grasped that Islam is more than a private religion, and therefore it dismisses all questions about Islam with the argument that Sweden has freedom of religion.

Two facts point to Islam not being compatible with democracy. First, there is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law. Some point to Malaysia and Indonesia -- two countries where flogging and other corporal punishments are meted out, for example, to women showing too much hair or skin, as well as to anyone who makes fun of, questions or criticizes Islam. Others point to Turkey as an example of an "Islamic democracy" -- a country which routinely imprisons journalists, political dissidents and random people thought to have "offended" President Erdogan, "Islam" or "the nation."

Second, Muslims in Europe vote collectively. In France, 93% of Muslims voted for the current president, François Hollande, in 2012. In Sweden, the Social Democrats reported that 75% of Swedish Muslims voted for them in the general election of 2006; and studies show that the "red-green" bloc gets 80-90% of the Muslim vote.

It is no secret that democracy can be used to abolish democracy -- yet, this crucial issue is completely taboo in Sweden. Politicians, authorities and journalists all see Islam as just another religion. They seem to have no clue that Islam is also a political ideology, a justice system (sharia) and a specific culture that has rules for virtually everything in a person's life: how to dress; who your friends should be; which foot should go first when you enter the bathroom. Granted, not all Muslims follow all these rules, but that does not change the fact that Islam aspires to control every aspect of human life -- the very definition of a totalitarian ideology.

While the establishment closes its eyes to the problems that come with a rapidly growing Muslim population in Sweden, ordinary Swedes seem to be growing increasingly upset. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, however, appears to be at a complete loss as to why this is. He recently told the British newspaper, Financial Times:
"But the more surreal thing is that all the numbers are going in the right direction, but the picture the public have is that the country is now going in the wrong direction. It's not only a question about if they are afraid of the refugee crisis; it's as if everything is going in the wrong direction."
This comment says a lot about how disconnected Prime Minister Löfven is from the reality that ordinary Swedes are facing. The mainstream media withhold information about most of the violence that goes on in, and around, the asylum houses in the country, and it is not very likely that Stefan Löfven reads the alternative media sites; he and others in power have, in unison, dubbed them "hate sites." He obviously has no idea about the anger and despair many Swedes are now feeling. It may have finally begun to dawn on them that Swedish Sweden will soon be lost forever, and in many areas replaced by a Middle Eastern state of affairs where different immigrant groups (mainly Muslims) make war on each other as well as on the Swedes.

While the establishment closes its eyes to the problems that come with a rapidly growing Muslim population in Sweden, ordinary Swedes seem to be growing increasingly upset. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (right), however, appears to be at a complete loss as to why this is. Pictured at left: The results of rioting in a Stockholm suburb, December 2014.

The people suffering most cruelly in the "New Sweden" are the elderly. The costs of immigration borne by the welfare state have led to a quarter of a million retirees living below the EU poverty line. Meanwhile, the government recently added another 30 billion kronor (about $3.6 billion) to the migration budget. The 70 billion kronor ($8.4 billion) Sweden will spend on asylum seekers in 2016 is more than what the entire police force and justice system cost, more than national defense costs, and twice the amount of child benefits.

Sweden's 9.5 million residents are thus forced to spend 70 billion kronor on letting citizens of other countries come in. In comparison, the United States, with its 320 million residents, spent $1.56 billion on refugees in 2015. The editorial columnist PM Nilsson commented in the business paper, Dagens Industri:
"To understand the scope of the increase in spending, a historic look back can be worthwhile. When the right bloc came to power in 2006, the cost was 8 billion [kronor] a year. In 2014, it had gone up to 24 billion. That summer, then Minister of Finance Anders Borg talked about the increase being the most dramatic shift in the state budget he had ever seen. The year after, 2015, the cost rose to 35 billion, and in 2016, it is projected to rise to 70 billion."
For many years, the politicians managed to fool the Swedish people into thinking that even if immigration presented an initial cost, the immigrants would soon enable the country to turn a profit. Now, more and more research indicates that the asylum seeker immigrants rarely or never find work. The daily newspaper Sydsvenskan reported in February, for example, that 64% of Malmö's immigrants are still unemployed after living in Sweden for ten years. The government openly calculates in its budget that in four years, 980,000 people will be living on either sickness benefits, disability pensions, unemployment benefits, "introduction benefits" or social welfare.

Swedes, who for many years have paid the highest taxes in the world without whining, are now taking to social media to express their anger that their money is going to citizens of other countries. More and more Swedes are choosing to emigrate from Sweden, mainly to the other Nordic countries, but also to Spain, Portugal and Great Britain, where taxes on pensions are considerably less.

But there are worse problems than the economic aspect. A sense of insecurity and fear has gripped the many Swedes who live close to asylum houses. On some level, the government seems to have grasped that danger: in a recent decision to continue maintaining border controls, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman wrote:
"The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap), MSB, makes the assessment that the flow of migrants still brings challenges to upholding security in society, when it comes to the ability to maintain certain important public functions, among other things. Several of these challenges are expected to persist over time. The Police Authority's assessment is still that a serious threat to public order and internal security exists. The Immigration Service still advocates border controls."
Despite these ominous words, politicians still do not seem to understand that many Swedes are already experiencing "a serious threat to public order and internal security." New asylum houses are opening at an alarming pace, against the will of the people living near them. In the Stockholm suburb of Spånga-Tensta, on April 15, local authorities held a public meeting, the purpose of which was to allow local residents to ask the politicians and officials questions about planned housing for 600 migrants -- next to a school. 
The meeting, which was filmed, showed a riotous mood among those gathered there, many shouting that they were going to fight "until their last breath" to keep the plans from materializing.

Some of the comments and questions were:
  • "We have seen how many problems there have been at other asylum houses – stabbings, rapes and harassment. How can you guarantee the safety for us citizens? This is going to create a sense of us against them, it's going to create hate! Why these large houses, why not small ones with ten people in each? Why haven't you asked us, the people who live here, if we want this? How will you make this safe for us?"
  • "We already have problems at the existing asylum houses. It's irresponsible of you to create a situation where we put our own and our children's health in jeopardy, with people who are not feeling well and are in the wrong environment. Why is this house right next to a school? What is your analysis?"
  • "Will Swedes be allowed to live in these houses? Our young people have nowhere to live. You politicians should solve the housing issue for the people already living here, not for all the people in the world."
When the chairman of the meeting, Green Party representative Awad Hersi, of Somali descent, thanked the audience for the questions without giving any answers, the mood approached that of a lynch mob. People shouted: "Answer! Answer our questions! We demand answers!"

Everything points to the so far docile Swedes now having had enough of the irresponsible immigration policy that has been going on for many years, under socialist and conservative governments alike.
People are furious at the wave of rapes that have given Sweden the second-highest rate of rape in the world, after only Lesotho, and that recently forced the Östersund police to issue a warning to women and girls not to go outside alone after dark. People are scared: the number of murders and manslaughters has soared. During the first three months of this year alone, there have been 40 murders and 57 attempted murders, according to statistics compiled by the journalist Elisabeth Höglund.

The authorities have long claimed that lethal violence in Sweden is on the decline, but that is compared to a record-breaking year, 1989, when mass immigration to Sweden was already in full swing. If one instead were to compare the present to the 1950s and 1960s, when Sweden was still a homogenous country, the number of murders and manslaughters has doubled. Recently, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet), BRÅ, had to admit that lethal violence did, in fact, increase in 2015, when 112 people were killed -- 25 more than the year before. It was also revealed that the kind of lethal violence that has gone down was run-of-the-mill drunken homicides committed by Swedes, while the number of gangster-style hits carried out by immigrants has gone up dramatically. Improved trauma care for wounded victims also helps keep the number of murders and manslaughters down.

A recent poll showed that 53% of Swedes now think immigration is the most important issue facing the country. The change from 2015 is dramatic -- last year, only 27% said that immigration was most important. Another poll showed that 70% of Swedes feel that the amount of immigration to Sweden is too high. This is the fourth year in a row that skepticism about the magnitude of immigration has increased.

More and more people also seem to worry about the future of Sweden as a democracy with an increasing number of Muslims -- through continued immigration as well as Muslim women having significantly more children than Swedish women do.

As statistics on religious beliefs are no longer kept, no one knows exactly how many Muslims are in Sweden. Last year, a poll showed that Swedes believe 17% of the population is Muslim, while the actual number, according to the polling institute Ipsos Mori, may be more like 5%. The company does not account for how it arrived at this number, and it is in all likelihood much too low. Ipsos Mori probably counted how many members Muslim congregations and organizations have, but as Islam is also a culture, and the country is equally affected by the Muslims who do not actively practice their faith, yet live according to Islamic culture.

In 2012, the Swedish alternative newspaper, Dispatch International, calculated how many Muslims were registered residents of Sweden at that time, based on the Swedish name registry. The number the paper arrived at was 574,000, plus or minus 20,000. For obvious reasons, illegals and asylum seekers were not included. The actual number may therefore have been much higher.

Since then, close to 300,000 people have sought asylum in Sweden. Not all of them have had their applications approved, but despite that, very few actually leave Sweden. The Immigration Service told Gatestone Institute that only 9,700 people were deported last year. Most asylum seekers are Muslim, which means that the number of Muslims in Sweden is fast approaching one million, or 10% of the population.

In his book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, published in 2005, Dr. Peter Hammond describes what has always happened throughout history when the number of Muslims in a country increases. Admittedly generalities, Hammond outlines the following:
  • As long as the Muslims make up about 1%, they are generally considered a peace-loving minority who do not bother anyone.
  • At 2-3%, some start proselytizing to other minorities and disgruntled groups, especially in prison and among street gangs.
  • At 5%, Muslims have an unreasonably large influence relative to their share of the population. Many demand halal slaughtered meat, and have been pushing the food industry to produce and sell it. They have also started to work toward the government giving them autonomy under sharia law. Hammond writes that the goal of Islam is not to convert the whole world, but rather, to establish sharia law all over the world.
  • When Muslims reach 10%, historically, lawlessness increases. Some start to complain about their situation, start riots and car fires, and threaten people they feel insult Islam.
  • At 20%, violent riots erupt, jihadi militia groups are formed, people are murdered, and churches and synagogues are set ablaze.
  • When the Muslims reach 40% of the population, there are widespread massacres, constant terror attacks and militia warfare.
  • At 60%, there is the possibility of uninhibited persecution of non-Muslims, sporadic ethnic cleansing, possible genocide, implementation of sharia law and jizya (the tax for "protection" that unbelievers must pay).
  • When there are 80% Muslims in the country, they have taken control of the government apparatus and are, as in, for instance, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, committing violence in the name of Islam or political power.
  • When 100% are Muslims, the peace in the house of Islam is supposed to come -- hence the claim that Islam is the "religion of peace."
Hammond also writes that in many countries, such as France, Belgium, Great Britain and Sweden, most of the Muslim population lives in Islamic enclaves -- and apparently prefer not to be assimilated into a Western society. This detachment strengthens the group internally, allowing them to exercise greater power than their share of the population might indicate.

Hammond's description of the 10%-limit accurately describes Sweden. In the so-called exclusion areas, there are car torchings every day, and riots occur in the cities. (To name but a few examples, there were serious riots in Malmö 2008, Gothenburg 2009, Stockholm 2013, and Norrköping and Växjö 2015.) Sometimes, the unrest starts after a local Muslim has been arrested or shot by the police. Muslim leaders then immediately say they sympathize with their people's reaction. During the Husby riots in 2013, Rami Al-Khamisi of the youth organization "Megafonen" wrote: "We can see why people are reacting this way."

The artist Lars Vilks, who drew the Muslim prophet Muhammed as a roundabout dog, has been the target of several assassination attempts, and now lives under round-the-clock police protection.

Yet, almost no one in Sweden is willing to speak of these problems and how it all fits together. For months, Gatestone Institute has called politicians, civil servants, organizations and various minority groups, to ask how they feel about Islam in Sweden. Do they think Islam is compatible with democracy, freedom of speech and legal equality -- and if so, in what way or what way not?

The questions seemed to provoke anger as well as fear. Some of the people we called said they were angry at the mere questions, but assured the callers that Islam poses no problem whatsoever for Sweden. Others appeared frightened and refused to answer altogether. In the hopes of getting at least some honest answers, we presented ourselves as ordinary, concerned Swedes. Countless people hung up the phone, and in general, many answers pointed to an abysmal ignorance about what Islam is, what consequences the Islamization of a country might have, or how much trouble Sweden really is in. The country appears totally unprepared for what lies ahead.

Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist and author based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.   Follow Ingrid Carlqvist on Twitter 

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Tariq Ramadan, Islam’s Goebbels - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Meet the star of European Islam.

The path to French citizenship should have been much easier: his wife is French, his four children are French and it is in France that the Swiss preacher Tariq Ramadan emerged in the early Nineties. He took the decision to apply for French citizenship after President François Hollande suggested that France should act to deprive ISIS fighters of their citizenship.

Ramadan launched his challenge to the government. “I want to send a message: Islam is part of France”. Prime Minister Manuel Valls just replied to Tariq Ramadan, explaining that “there is no reason” to give French nationality to Mr. Ramadan.

Jean Baubérot, scholar of secularism, has established a parallel between Ramadan and Communism. Both share the idea of ​​a cultural hegemony. In fact, Ramadan, who will be in Italy in the next few days for a conference, has set up a formidable propaganda machine. His office is in the Parisian banlieue of Saint Denis, from where he coordinates four branches (London, Doha, Geneva, Washington). With two million Facebook fans, 30 books and thousands of audio tapes that the Tawhid editions distributed to the Muslim youth of the suburbs, Ramadan is the star of Europe’s Islam.

His face appeared on a giant screen at the gala dinner in Paris of the “Committee against Islamophobia”. After a message of solidarity to the guests, Ramadan offered for auctioning a lunch with him.

He has academic chairs all over the world, from Freiburg to Malaysia, he is the director of the Research Center for Islamic Law in Doha (Qatar), president of the European Muslim Network, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and he is the star of Al Jazeera and of Iran’s Press TV.

Ramadan has just published “The genius of Islam” (Presses du Chatelet), which seems to herald the “genius of Christianity” of Chateaubriand.

In France there are even clones of Ramadan imitating his look and way of speaking. One of the Ramadan "boys," Muhammad Marwan, has just been hired as a consultant on Islamophobia at OECD in Vienna. Ramadan is linked to several non Muslim personalities, from Christian Pastor Jean-Claude Lenoir to the late Stéphane Hessel and the philosopher Edgar Morin, with whom Ramadan wrote a book in the gardens of the Mamounia luxury hotel in Marrakech.

His propaganda machine is well oiled by Qatar: in fact, Tariq Ramadan spends two weeks per month there. “Qatar has bought Ramadan,” said political scientist Vincent Geisser.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Georges Bensoussan, one of France’s most important scholars of the Holocaust. He told me that “Tariq Ramadan’s request for French nationality is a political provocation of the same nature as that used and abused by the Nazis against the Weimar democracy. It is the Islamist version of Nazi tactics of 1930-1932 years, when Goebbels said that the Weimar Republic had given the Nazis the weapons of its own defeat.”

Tariq Ramadan is Islam’s Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. This Nazi official punctually arrived late at his own rallies: “It increases the tension”, Goebbels said. And to those who reproached him because he used a taxi, Goebbels replied: “You have no idea of what is propaganda. I would have to get two taxis, one for me and one for my bag.”

It was Goebbels’ idea to launch the Nazi appeal to the heart in order to manipulate public opinion. “The art of propaganda” he said, “consists precisely in the ability to solicit the public’s imagination with an appeal to the feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will attract attention and will touch the hearts of the masses of the nation.”

Joseph Goebbels was frail, slender, with a large head and a hollow face, a beautiful voice. People flocked to hear him, because he was able to instill in the public different feelings such as hysteria, hatred, enthusiasm. He knew how to use every means: books and films, radio and music, media and tourism. He conquered writers, philosophers, scientists, intellectuals. “It is nice to exercise power with guns, but wonderful is gaining power over the hearts and the brains,” Goebbels said.

This is exactly what Mr. Ramadan and other Islamists are doing today in Europe: the ferocious appeal to the Muslim masses, the manipulation of hatred and emotions through mosques and schools, the conquest of brains and hearts through televisions and rallies.

Dr. Goebbels and Dr. Ramadan also share the same goal: the submission of Europe. Yesterday to the Aryan race, today to Islam.

Giulio Meotti


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Lieberman’s First Challenge - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The time has come for Israel to reconsider its strategic position and options.

Last week, a mob of 300 Muslim men in southern Egypt stripped a 70-year-old Christian woman naked and paraded her through the streets.

This Islamist atrocity came a few days before an EgyptAir flight from Paris exploded in the skies near Alexandria. It was the second passenger jet bombed by jihadists in Egypt in recent months.

Egypt is hanging on by a thread. Like the attack that downed a Russian passenger jet over Sinai last October, this week’s attack is likely the work of an Egyptian airport employee. It is yet more proof that nearly three years after the military deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadist government, the Brotherhood’s supporters remain seeded throughout the country and are capable of threatening the regime and the very survival of the Egyptian state.

It isn’t in the least surprising that Islamists have this power. Most Egyptians support them.

In the parliamentary elections four-and-a-half years ago, Islamists won more than 65 percent of the vote. Those were the most open elections in Egyptian history.

Given their strength, it is far from certain that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will long succeed in preventing the most powerful and populous country in the Arab world from becoming another branch of Islamic State.

From Israel’s perspective, how this battle pans out is of pivotal importance. But you wouldn’t know it from the media – or from our national security leaders.

As far as they are concerned, the gravest threat facing Israel is the Israeli Right. From their perspective, the most significant development of the year was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Avigdor Liberman to replace Moshe Ya’alon as defense minister.

Consider for example a recent national security program on Army Radio.

On Tuesday veteran Arab affairs correspondent Avi Issacharof hosted Egyptian journalist Munib Muhamed on his radio show. Since the show was broadcast two days after the EgyptAir attack, Issacharof might have been expected to ask Muhamed about the bombing.

But then Israel wouldn’t have been the story. Instead, Issacharof asked Muhamed what Egyptians think of Liberman. And again, there was nothing out of the ordinary in his discussion topic.

As the states around us collapse or struggle to survive, our media and our security brass spend the better part of their time telling us that Israeli society is dangerous. Our democracy is in danger. We are dangerous people. And we are making our neighbors angry.

As our elites obsess over Netanyahu’s coalition building and demand that the rest of the world obsess with them, we spend precious little time thinking about the long-term strategic implications of the revolutionary changes happening all around us.

Next week will mark the 16th anniversary of the IDF’s pullout from the security zone in south Lebanon. It will also mark the 16th anniversary of Hezbollah’s takeover of southern Lebanon.

Nine years ago, Hezbollah took control of the Lebanese government. Today the Iranian foreign legion is reputedly also in control of the Lebanese military.

In the 10 years that have passed since the end of the Second Lebanon War, former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his allies in and out of the military repeatedly argued that the quiet that has largely endured along the northern border proves that Israel won the war. Israel, they claimed, restored its deterrence. Hezbollah won’t dare to attack us again.

But it is far from clear that Israel is deterring Hezbollah. Since the war, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 150,000 missiles that it points at Israel. These include precision-guided missiles with a range long enough to destroy targets in southern Israel. Hezbollah has installed a “missile room,” in every house and apartment in southern Lebanon.

Its offensive strategy is predicated on holding Lebanese civilians hostage.

Hezbollah acts this way because it knows that it can depend on the West. If Israel strikes its missiles, and so harms the civilians who defend its war machine, then Europe will condemn Israel and the US will sue for a cease-fire.

In other words, with its Western enablers, it is Hezbollah that is deterring Israel while it builds a capacity to paralyze the country.

And that isn’t even taking into account its plans for a ground offensive in northern Israel To mark the 16th anniversary of the IDF’s withdrawal, Hezbollah’s media mouthpiece As-Safir bragged this week about Hezbollah’s subterranean tunnels traversing the border. According to the paper, Hezbollah forces along the border with Israel “work day and night... conducting observations, preparing, and digging tunnels that cause the settlers and enemy soldiers to lose sleep.”

And again, if Israel strikes Hezbollah’s positions along the borders, the West will condemn us.

This then brings us to Hezbollah’s Palestinian twin, Hamas, which runs its own terrorist tyranny in Gaza.

On Tuesday Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold told the UN Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul that Hamas diverts 95 percent of the cement imported into Gaza to build offensive tunnels. Israel permits cement imports to facilitate the reconstruction of Gaza in the aftermath of the 2014 war.

Gold’s revelation naturally raises the question, why is Israel allowing Hamas to import cement? The answer is equally clear.

Israel continues to provide Hamas with the means to attack our citizens because we are afraid of international condemnation.

Like Hezbollah, under the protection of Western powers, Hamas has developed the means to deter Israel and force us to stand by or even assist as it reconstructs the war machine with which it will attack us.

This Western alliance with jihadist armies is not likely to be broken in the foreseeable future.

Given the demographic, political and social dynamics of the Western world, it is fairly clear that Western animosity is not a function of Israeli behavior.

As these dynamics become stronger, Western hostility is likely to grow. Even today, the West’s mistreatment of Israel reaches new heights seemingly on a daily basis.

This week, for instance, Israel was condemned by the UN’s World Health Organization. With the support of Germany, France, Britain and other EU member states, the WHO condemned Israel for carrying out fictional crimes against the health of the Palestinians and the Syrians.

It goes without saying that the WHO had nothing to say about Hamas’s use of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as its forward command post or the Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons.

The time has come for Israel to reconsider its strategic position and options.

Ever since the since the PLO set up its statewithin- a-state in Lebanon in the 1970s, Israel’s policy for fighting sub-state actors has been to hold the state they operate within responsible for their aggression. So it was that when the PLO, or Hezbollah, attacked us, Israel retaliated against Lebanese targets. In so doing, Israel was able to avoid hitting the civilian targets the terrorists used as human shields for their aggression.

The idea was that by attacking the regime, Israel would be able to coerce it into curbing the terrorist armies itself.

Today, Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government.

To the extent it operates at all, the Lebanese government serves as Hezbollah’s errand boy. The Lebanese government won’t rein in Hezbollah. If it tries to, its leaders will meet the same end as Rafik Hariri, and they know it. And the West will respond with the same paralysis as it did to Hariri’s assassination.

Just as Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government, so Hamas dominates Fatah. And just as the Lebanese government serves as Hezbollah’s surrogate for attacking Israel in the diplomatic sphere, so the PLO uses international diplomacy to criminalize the Jewish state.

Under these circumstances, the first step Israel needs to take to develop a constructive strategy for defending itself is to recognize the nature of the threat and the hostile system operating against us. To do so, the first thing we need to do is cease our self-obsession. We are not the story.

We are not the engine of regional events.

For incoming defense minister Liberman this means that his primary task isn’t to convince Western powers that he wants peace. His primary task is to develop a strategy for restoring deterrence.

At this point, deterrence cannot be restored through threats. Empty promises to raze Lebanon if Hezbollah again attacks us are no longer taken seriously. The only way to restore our deterrence is to weaken Hezbollah on the ground. And we cannot wait until Hezbollah starts the next war to do so.

Indeed, given the offensive capabilities Hezbollah has developed, we cannot afford to allow it to initiate the next war. We need to be the side that initiates the next round, on a battlefield that exploits our relative advantages.

How we strike and the means we choose to strike is for Liberman and the government to decide. Perhaps we can use stealth. Perhaps we can use surrogates. Perhaps we will need to invade southern Lebanon. But time is of the essence. With Western support, Iran will continue to expand its power throughout the region.

As for Hamas, in formulating a strategy for cutting the terrorist regime down to size, Israel should take a lesson from Syria. There are a half dozen Islamic State-like militias operating along the border on the Golan Heights. But they are too busy fighting one another to attack Israel.

Such militias operate in Gaza as well and are already engaged in an internecine battle with Hamas.

Israel should constantly check and diminish Hamas’s military capabilities to prevent it from rebuilding its arsenals and offensive capabilities.

It should also help to destabilize it as a coherent fighting group. The presence of other jihadist militia in Gaza facilitates the accomplishment of this goal.

Finally, Israel needs to realize that there is unlikely to be a clear-cut resolution of this struggle, at least in the next generation.

With the traditional Arab regimes still in place fighting for their survival, and Iran ascendant, Israel needs to assume that more terrorist regimes like Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas will be formed from the wreckage of the Arab state system in the future. Instability, then, can be expected to remain a chronic condition of the Arab world.

The good news is that Israel has the capacity to adapt and forge constructive strategies for weakening and dividing our enemies. The bad news is that so long as we insist on obsessing over ourselves, we are unlikely to do so.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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US military chiefs overrate damage to ISIS - debkaFile

by debkaFile

Our military and anti-terror experts claim it is too soon to determine whether the US commitment is real.

The US military chiefs fighting ISIS, have recently claiming that the US has re-organized its military resources and is determined to cut down the Islamic state after its lame efforts in the last two years.

These words of encouragement have come from genral Votel commander of US Middle East forces and the first US General to be assigned to Syria in its nearly six years of war, and Lt. Gen Charles Brown commanding the US Al Udied Air Base in Qatar where 750 aircraft operating in the Gulf and Middle East are based.  

When US airstrikes against the Jihadist organization began the offensive in late 2014 was marred by inadequate intelligence and (specifically that of intelligence analysis), and sporadic aerial action.

debkafiles repeatedly reported that American and coalition air strikes  against the Jihadists were too few, misfired and many of the bombers returned to base with much of their ordinance unused.

It appears that the Obama administration has finally decided to tackle ISIS in earnest.

Our military and anti-terror experts claim it is too soon to determine whether the US commitment is real.

It is true that there are signs of limited US military movement in Syria, Libya and Iraq indicating a possible change.

For example: Increasing the number of US special forces in these three countries, far beyond the framework that President Obama is talking about publicly, when he says ‘small forces’.

There are about 7,500 US soldiers deployed in Iraq and Syria, with an additional  2,000-3,000 fighters working for private security contractors. In Libya there are an additional 1,000 to 1,250  soldiers. American planes take off from Incirlilk base in South Turkey 350km by air from Raqqa, ISIS Syrian capital, and 700km from Mosul, ISIS Iraqi capital, and do not need to fly more than 1,450km (about 770 miles) when they approach from the Persian Gulf.

ISIS still shows no sign of cracking or dismantling its Islamic Caliphate, and its military and terrorist capabilities.

There are several reasons for this:​

  •  ISIS is expanding fast. While the Obama administration treats Iraq and Syria as the main fronts against the jihadi organization, ISIS has opened three more fronts: in Egypt, Sinai Peninsula, and Libya. While the US had quietly added 4 to 5 detachments of US special forces, these forces are too small to be a military challenge to the terror organization, and all they can do is fight ISIS with the help of local forces, as the US are doing in Iraq and Syria.
  • In addition to Mosul and Raqqa, the ISIS has established additional capitals at the Lybian port of Sirte on the Mediterranean Sea and in Jabal Halal mountain range in central Sinai with a cluster of ISIS bases. They provide a fallback for the terrorist organization even in the still distant prospect of Raqqa and Mosul falling to US and local forces.
  • When General Brown reported that the US Air Force is now hitting ISIS held oil fields, funds and headquarters, and that its revenue has fallen "only" to $56 million per day, he omitted to mention the ISIS Lybian oil fields and their revenue. In fact, debkafile's military sources note that ISIS  is making up for revenues shortfall in Syria and Iraq by pumping oil in Libya and the surrounding desert.
  • While US military sources claim that 45 percent of the territory the Islamic State seized in Iraq in 2014, and 20 percent in Syria, has been reclaimed, ISIS still hangs on to its key strategic assets.
  • Furthermore ISIS this week launched an offensive in the northern and eastern Syrian regions of Aleppo, Azaz, and Deir-a-Zor`; and inflicted damaging assaults on May 14 and May 23 on Russian bases and Syrian Syrian government centers near Jableh and Tartous in Western Syria. It is obvious its external terrorist capacity has not been cut down as was expected.
  • US and Middle East intelligence agencies hold information showing that ISIS is going to expand its bomb attacks in major cities in Europe and the Middle East, in the coming weeks. This follows an estimate of the organization’s leaders that the attacks on the Russian and Egyptian passenger aircrafts, and the terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and Tunisia, to be very successful.



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