Saturday, February 23, 2019

Real Scandal Of Trump Term Starts To Unravel - Conrad Black

by Conrad Black

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Without realizing the proportions of the emergency, America has survived the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War.

The most immense and dangerous public scandal in American history is finally cracking open like a ripe pomegranate. The broad swath of the Trump-hating press that has participated in what has amounted to an unconstitutional attempt to overthrow the government are reduced to reporting the events and revelations of the scandal in which they have been complicit, in a po-faced ho-hum manner to impart to the misinformed public that this is as routine as stock market fluctuations or the burning of an American flag in Tehran.

For more than two years, the United States and the world have had two competing narratives: that an elected president of the United States was a Russian agent whom the Kremlin helped elect; and its rival narrative that senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and other national intelligence organizations had repeatedly lied under oath, misinformed federal officials, and meddled in partisan political matters illegally and unconstitutionally and had effectively tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election, and then undo its result by falsely propagating the first narrative. It is now obvious and indisputable that the second narrative is the correct one.

The authors, accomplices, and dupes of this attempted overthrow of constitutional government are now well along in reciting their misconduct without embarrassment or remorse because — in fired FBI Director James Comey’s formulation — a “higher duty” than the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution compelled them. Or — in fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s words — “the threat” was too great. Nevermind that the nature of “the threat” was that the people might elect someone he and Mr. Comey disapproved of as president, and that that person might actually serve his term, as elected.

The extent of the criminal misconduct of the former law enforcement and intelligence chiefs is now notorious, but to make the right point here, it has to be summarized. The fact that the officially preferred candidate lied to federal officials about her emails and acted in outright contempt of Congress and the legal process in the destruction of evidence, was simply ignored by the FBI director, who announced that she would not be prosecuted, though he had no authority to make that determination.

The dossier of salacious gossip and defamatory falsehoods amassed by a retired British spy from the lowest grade of intelligence sources in Russia, commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, was circulated to the media by high public officials and cited in illegal and dishonest applications to authorize surveillance of the campaign of the other presidential candidate. A special counsel was empowered on the false pretext of the necessity to get to the bottom of Trump-Russian collusion in the election, of which there was and remains no evidence, because it did not occur and was a complete partisan fabrication.

The special counsel then packed his staff with militant Clinton partisans, and acted very late and only when his hand was forced by the press to remove two officials who referred in texts to each other to the Bureau’s ability to smear and provoke the impeachment of the winning candidate as “an insurance policy” against his filling the office to which he was elected.

Large sections of the press colluded with the Democratic campaign and produced the doctrine that anything was justifiable, no matter how dishonest, to destroy the incoming president’s reputation and damage him in public opinion polls to legitimize attempts to remove him from office. Large sections of the press deliberately deluged the public with stories they knew to be false about the new president and referred to him in terms of unprecedented vituperation in what purported to be reportage and not comment.

This unorganized but widespread campaign of defamation was taken up by a great number of ordinarily newsworthy celebrities and was accompanied by false, unresearched stories denigrating President Trump’s supporters, such as the false claims about Catholic school students’ treatment of an elderly native American and the false claim that actor Jussie Smollett had been beaten up and reviled by Trump supporters. The former intelligence chiefs of the nation under President Obama repeatedly have accused this president of treason, the most heinous of all crimes, and have asserted with the authority of their former positions that the Russians determined the result of the 2016 presidential election. They knew this to be entirely false.

The special counsel has failed to find any evidence of the collusion and electoral interference that was the justification for establishing his inquiry, and the Democrats are already expressing disappointment in his failure to produce such evidence when the leading Democratic members of congressional investigative committees still robotically claim to have at least prima facie evidence of such collusion.

The dishonest attempt of much of the opposition and what even left-leaning media-monitoring organizations record as 90% of the national press, continued for more than two years to try to condition the country to believe that the president had committed the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required by the Constitution for impeachment and removal from office.

The special counsel, apart from smearing the president, distracted public attention from or tended to justify the ever more evident misconduct of the president’s enemies. We now know that Mr. Comey, despite his “higher duty,” lied to the president about his not being a target of an FBI investigation, illegally leaked to the New York Times the contents of a self-serving memo he purloined from the government, and lied to Congress by claiming 245 times in one sitting to be ignorant of recent matters that no one of sound mind could have forgotten.

Now we have Andrew McCabe’s proud confirmation that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein not only continued the illegal counterintelligence investigation of President Trump, but actively discussed methods of securing his removal from office by deliberate misuse of a variety of laws, including the Emoluments Clause, the 25th Amendment to deal with mental incompetence, and the Logan Act of 1799, which has never been used successfully and has not been tested in 150 years.

This entire monstrous travesty is finally coming apart without even waiting for the horrible disappointment of the special counsel’s inability to adduce a scrap of evidence to justify his replication of Torquemada as an inquisitor and of the Gestapo and KGB at rounding up and accusing unarmed individuals who were not flight risks. The collapse of this grotesque putsch, under the irresistible pressure of a functioning attorney general and Senate committees that are not hamstrung by NeverTrumpers, will cause a revulsion against the Democratic Party that will be seismic and prolonged.

The disgrace of their misconduct is profound and shocking. Richard Nixon, against whom there is no conclusive evidence that he broke any laws (although a number of people in his entourage did) never did anything like this. J. Edgar Hoover in 47 years at the head of the FBI and its predecessor organization, never tried to meddle in a presidential election. Those responsible will pay for this, including at the polls.

Without realizing the proportions of the emergency, America has survived the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. All those who legitimately oppose or dislike the president, including traditional high-brow Republicans who find him distasteful, should join in the condemnation of this largely criminal assault on democracy, and then, if they wish, go out and try to beat him fair and square, the good old-fashioned way, in a free election. But they must abide by the election’s result. From American Greatness.

Conrad Black


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Muslim Association President Promotes Video Blaming Jews for 9/11 - Joe Kaufman

by Joe Kaufman

"Anti-crime" groups legitimize a notorious anti-Semite's Jew-hate.

Sofian Zakkout, President of the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), is on the board of directors of both Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County and Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County. He is also a notorious anti-Semite. These anti-crime groups have known about Zakkout’s bigoted activities for years but have made a conscious decision not to do anything about it. This month, Zakkout promoted on his social media a video claiming a wild conspiracy theory that prominent American Jews along with Israel were responsible for 9/11.

Will Crime Stoppers and Citizens Crime Watch finally take action to rid themselves of this hate?

On February 12th, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout took to Facebook to promote ‘Israel Did 9/11,’ an over-two-hour-long video based around the wild conspiracy theory that prominent American Jews along with Israel were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The video is narrated by Kenneth O'Keefe, a pro-Palestinian activist whom the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labels “a raving, David Duke-endorsing anti-Semite.” In August 2014, during a speech he gave at the IONA London Forum, in London, England, O’Keefe stated that the “ultimate insult” is to call someone a “f--king Jew.”

One section of the video discusses “Jewish controlled” and “Jewish owned” media. It features Milton Kapner – an anti-Semitic street preacher who goes by the name Brother Nathanael – rattling off the names of prominent Jews in the media, while each of their images appears on the screen with a Jewish star affixed to them. In the video, Kapner states, “You see, the only news you’re going to get is what the Jews deem fit to print.”

This is not the first time Zakkout has advertised Jewish involvement in the September 11th attacks. In April 2016, Zakkout promoted on Facebook a report, titled ‘FORGET THE HASBARA ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA, 9/11 WAS A ZIONIST JOB.’ The report begins, “It ain’t debatable! Soup to nuts, top to bottom, the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. were an ‘Israeli’-Jewish job.”

The report names twelve Jews, whom it calls the “REAL planners and executors of 9/11,” including different Israeli Prime Ministers, then-soon-to-be Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, and then-head of the criminal division of the Justice Department Michael Chertoff. It labels them “chosenite brethren.”

Zakkout has also promoted material claiming the Nazi Holocaust that sought to wipe out the entire Jewish population was a hoax. In February 2016, Zakkout advertised on social media a report titled ‘How the Holocaust was faked.’ It begins: “The alleged ‘Holocaust’ of ‘6 million Jews’ at the hands of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany during WWII is the biggest lie ever foisted upon humanity.” It was produced by The Realist Report, an anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-gay independent media outlet, which describes Hitler as “the greatest leader in modern Western history.”

Zakkout has repeatedly referred to Jews as “monkeys and pigs.” In December 2015, Zakkout posted a photo of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who is a decorated veteran of many different wars and battles fought by Israel over the last three-plus decades. Above the picture of Eizenkot, Zakkout wrote in Arabic, “You’re a Jew, the grandson of a monkey and a pig.” He signed it “Sofian.”

In July 2017, Zakkout posted on his Facebook a four minute clip from a speech made by Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan, where Farrakhan repeatedly labels the Jewish people “Satan.” And in January 2018, Zakkout posted a video clip of a speech made by Steve Anderson, pastor of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, with Anderson claiming that Jews are “under the curse of God for having rejected the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Moreover, Zakkout is an ardent supporter of the terrorist organization Hamas. In July 2014, he organized a pro-Hamas rally held outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Miami. Rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” After the rally, Zakkout wrote the following in Arabic, above photos from the event: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” He signed it “Br. Sofian Zakkout.”

The next month, Zakkout declared in Arabic, "Hamas is in my heart and on my head."

In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Zakkout and his organization AMANA for featuring what the ADL called a “venomous” anti-Semitic video on the AMANA website. The video was produced by and featured white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. Zakkout has since posted a number of Duke videos onto social media and has championed Duke as “David Duke, a man to believe in!”

Sofian Zakkout’s frequent actions aimed at scapegoating and dehumanizing Jews have repeatedly been pointed out to the leadership of both Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County and Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County, but the message has fallen on deaf ears, as the groups have continued to harbor and legitimize this anti-Semite.

To be 100% clear, Crime Stoppers and Citizens’ Crime Watch are very aware of Zakkout’s actions, and they have made the conscious decision to do nothing about it.

It is indeed surreal that groups involved with fighting crime and affiliated with law enforcement would continue to tacitly condone Zakkout’s pro-terror activities and anti-Semitic incitement. In fact, these groups consist of a number of high profile individuals, including police officials and government representatives.

The Citizens' Crime Watch Executive Committee, on which Zakkout sits, has, as its Vice President, the Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), Juan J. Perez (305-468-5900 /

Also on the Executive Committee are:
Miami attorney Craig M. Dorne (305-531-7890 /
MDPD Sergeant Joseph Bermudez (305-471-1745 /
Co-Director of the Center for the Administration of Justice at Florida International University (FIU) Ana Carazo Johanning (305-348-5952 /

President and CEO of Continental National Bank Guillermo Diaz-Rousselot (305-642-2440 /
Florida Senator Anitere Flores (305-222-4117 /
Miami attorney Teri Guttman Valdes (305-740-9600 /
Miami Commissioner District 11 Joe A. Martinez (305-552-1155 /
MDPD Deputy Director Alfredo Ramirez III (305-471-2625 /
Assistant Director for Programs at the University of Miami (UM) Priscilla M. Rivera (305-284-2959 /
and Director at Miami-Dade County Public Schools Mark Zaher (305-995-7324 /

If you wish to contact any of these individuals, please do so in a courteous and respectful manner.

The sanctioning of the bigoted and radical behavior of a member of their advisory boards makes a mockery of their missions and reflects on them, as well. Each day they remain connected to Zakkout, erodes their credibility and sullies their organizations’ names. Shame on every one of them for allowing this travesty to continue.

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

Joe Kaufman was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican nominee for United States House of Representatives in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America. He has been featured on all major cable networks, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS and C-SPAN. Joe has been instrumental in getting terrorist charities shut down and terror-related individuals put behind bars. Exactly one month prior to the September 11 attacks, he predicted the attacks by stating in an article that “the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was no aberration” and that it would happen again.


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Fake Noose - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Jussie Smollett manufactures a myth to boost his $1 million salary - and Democrats look the other way.

Manqué cineaste Simon Lynxx needs to raise money for his film, so he pays two black friends to mug elderly movie mogul Hermann Wolff, so Lynxx can rescue him and get cash out of gratitude. That’s from Take Five, a D. Keith Mano novel released in 1982, the year actor Jussie Smollett was born.

Nearly four decades later, Smollett is an actor in the Fox series Empire, centered on hip-hop artist Lucious Lyon, CEO of Empire Entertainment. In real life, not on the show, Smollett sends a threatening letter to himself showing a noose, then pays two black friends to attack him in Chicago, which they proclaim is “MAGA country!”

The pair beat Smollett and string a rope around his neck while yelling racist and homophobic slurs. Smollett somehow escapes unscathed. The tale soon unraveled, and as Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson put it, Jussie Smollett “paid $3,500 to stage this attack...The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” reportedly more than $1 million per year before taxes.

Smollett paid the $3,500 to Abel Osundairo, his personal trainer, and Ola Osundairo, a former extra on Empire. Police have the check and a video shows the pair buying the masks. The story was less credible than Al Sharpton’s Tawana Brawley hoax, but Smollett cast himself as a Trump victim. So right from the start leftist Democrats were all in.

“The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching,” proclaimed Cory Booker. “I’m glad he’s safe.” In similar style, fellow presidential candidate Kamala Harris tagged the attack a “modern day lynching.”  Green New Dealer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who believe walls are immoral, called it a “racist, homophobic attack.” The media echo chamber also chimed in.

On February 14 Robin Roberts interviewed Smollett on “Good Morning America.” Smollett contended he was a victim and did not orchestrate the alleged attack. According to Roberts, “It’s a setback for race relations, homophobia, MAGA supporters. I cannot think of another case where there is this anger on so many sides and you can understand why there would be.”

Yet as the story unraveled, Smollett’s siblings blamed the media.

Jocqui Smollett and Jurnee Smollett-Bell reposted on Instagram a 1964 quote attributed to Malcolm X. “This is the media, an irresponsible press. It will make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. If you aren’t careful, the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

Though suspicious from the start, Chicago police gave Smollett the benefit of the doubt and assigning a dozen detectives to what the victim said was a hate crime. Old-fashioned police work quickly exposed Smollett’s fakery and, as Superintendent Johnson said, “When we discovered the actual motive quite frankly it pissed everybody off.”

By February 20 Smollett’s story had completely collapsed, and African American comedians were mocking the actor. Chicago police were coming after Smollett with charges of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. At that point, the establishment media escalated the rhetoric.

Thursday morning, Keith Boykin and Van Jones appeared on “At This Hour” with Kate Bolduan and both defended their belief in the story as it broke. “A lot of people say, how can you believe this story from the beginning?” Boykin said. Jones responded  “Because it happens!” and described Smollett as “a Jackie Robinson against homophobia in the black community, an icon, a beloved icon.”

Boykin said “I’m hoping still despite all the overwhelming evidence that is presented that it’s not true.” And as the CNN commentator explained, “we had Nazis marching in Charlottesville not long ago. We have people sending pipe bombs to CNN. We have just today or yesterday, we have a Coast Guard white nationalist who is involved in plotting a terror attack on Americans. So, we live in difficult, extreme times. When a story comes up however implausible it seems on its face, unfortunately, we live in a world now where these things are even possible.”

That is the prevailing ethos of fakery on the left.

Since such bad things are possible, that trumps any concern over the “overwhelming evidence”  of the Smollett case and other hoaxes. Like Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez, Booker and Harris, Van Jones and Keith Boykin said nothing about Smollett’s motive for the fakery, to boost his salary beyond $1 million a year, and whether that constituted greed. Also missing was analysis of leading Democrats who got it wrong, the slander toward those who elected Donald Trump president of the United States, and the effect of fakery on actual victims of hate crimes.

For further reading on that theme see Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America by Laird Wilcox and Wilfred Reilly’s Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War. Based on the record, and the fathomless credulity of the media, readers can expect more fakery in the style of Jussie Smollett, who faces three years in prison. 

Meanwhile, Simon Lynxx got money for his movie but went on to lose his senses one at a time, so Take Five is paginated in reverse. As the Jussie Smollett case confirms, the left has lost all sense of truth, and the soi-disant progressives march backward on the road to serfdom.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, recently updated, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie IndustryBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, is a collection of his journalism.


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Trump administration will cut funds to Planned Parenthood for abortion services - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

New rules in funding Title X family planning programs will take the emphasis off abortion.

The Trump administration will issue sweeping new rules on government funding of family planning facilities that will include denying money to Planned Parenthood facilities that refer clients for abortions.

Planned Parenthood allies are screaming about the cuts, but in actuality, none of PP's "women's health" services is affected. Birth control and medical care for poor women will continue to be funded. The new rules also do not impact Medicaid payments.

But the rule changes will affect Planned Parenthood's involvement in abortions.

Yahoo News:
The major changes include a new requirement that all participating Title X providers "maintain physical and financial separation from locations which provide abortion as a method of family planning." This means that any clinic or doctor's office that also offers abortions is no longer allowed to receive federal grants that would help provide free or low-cost birth control for low-income women.
Although a spokesperson from the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees Title X, told Refinery29 via email that the Trump administration "seeks to serve more women and men than previously served in the Title X program," advocates say the new changes will do precisely the opposite.
Reproductive rights advocates say this is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood, which via the organization's nationwide network of family planning clinics, is currently the largest provider of Title X-funded birth control services. Roughly 41% of patients receiving birth control funded by Title X get those prescriptions at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Reproductive rights advocates say this is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood, which via the organization's nationwide network of family planning clinics, is currently the largest provider of Title X-funded birth control services. Roughly 41% of patients receiving birth control funded by Title X get those prescriptions at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
The new rules will not prevent anyone from getting birth control pills. It's a straw man argument to claim otherwise.
The new rules also include strict guidelines around what participating providers can and cannot say about pregnancy and abortion. In short, participating providers will no longer be required to offer both pregnancy or abortion counseling, as they were before. Now they are only permitted to offer "nondirective pregnancy counseling" and crucially, they are prohibited from even referring women to abortion providers.
Reproductive health experts have referred to this change as a "gag rule" because it limits what providers can and cannot say to patients. Major medical associations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association have opposed the rule on the grounds that it violates medical ethics to keep information from patients.
It's unclear how many of these rule changes will survive a court challenge, but with the overly broad definition of "women's health" used by Planned Parenthood and its allies, some of the rule changes will almost certainly be struck down. What the rules do is take the emphasis in Title X off abortion and put it where it belongs: the reproductive and physical health of women.

Rick Moran


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Pervasive Antisemitism in Dutch Soccer Stadiums - Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Chants like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” have entered the public domain.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,094, February 22, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Antisemitism pervades soccer in the Netherlands.  Chants like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” have entered the public domain. The Supreme Court has forbidden this chant, but it can still be heard at matches. A song about burning Jews was publicly sung in January 2019 by soccer fans in the streets of Leeuwarden, a Dutch provincial capital. Though Jews represent only 0.2% of the Dutch population, in 2017, out of all complaints about punishable discrimination which reached prosecution, 41% concerned antisemitism, and most of those were soccer antisemitism.   

“My father served with the commandos, my mother was with the SS. Together they burned Jews, because Jews burn best.” This is the text of one of the classic antisemitic songs chanted on Dutch soccer fields.

Antisemitism in the soccer world is not limited to the Netherlands. The problem is so persistent at the leading London Chelsea football club – which has a Jewish owner – that the club has announced a campaign against antisemitism. What is happening in the Netherlands is, however, far worse. It is long-lasting, has spread widely among soccer fans, and has entered the public domain.

More than thirty years ago, a group of fanatical non-Jewish supporters of a major Amsterdam soccer club, Ajax, started to call themselves “Jews.” As a reaction, fans of competing clubs began to use antisemitic slogans against them. Ajax has no specific relationship with the Jewish community and is not owned by Jews. (Decades ago, Ajax had two international players who each had a Jewish father. It has also had a chairman or two who were Jewish, but this does not add up to much of a Jewish character or image.)

In its 1999-2000 Annual Report, Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute of Anti-Semitism and Racism reported: “Anti-Semitic slurs have long become the norm at football matches in the Netherlands. Hissing, slogans and chants such as ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas’ are often heard during games.”

At the end of January, Ajax played in Rotterdam against local nemesis Feyenoord.  When the bus with the Ajax players arrived at the Rotterdam stadium, five Feyenoord supporters shouted antisemitic slogans. In a rather rare occurrence, the police identified them, and they were each fined 500 euros ($600).

These antisemitic outbursts among soccer fans also occur elsewhere. On the same day, in the center of Leeuwarden, a provincial capital, fans of two other Dutch football clubs publicly chanted the song about burning Jews. One supporter posted the event on social media and received positive reactions from his followers. There was not a single negative reaction to this Facebook post. It has since been removed.

This pervasive soccer antisemitism is the result of tolerance for expressions of extreme hate, including antisemitism, in Dutch society. It manifests itself in many ways. As far back as 2004, the director of the CIDI organization, which fights antisemitism, said it was futile to lodge complaints with the authorities. He said he had appealed to the court concerning extreme expressions of antisemitism, and the prosecution did not want to deal with them.

Worse still, also in 2004, the mayor of Heerenveen, a town with a major football club, took the position that the commission dealing with soccer vandalism should not take serious action against hate songs. He said it would be a reward to the hooligans if a game were stopped because of 100-200 fans – a substantially lower number of hooligans than there were in reality.

On International Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, 2008, a text message appeared on the video screen at the Vitesse stadium during a game against Ajax. It read, “Hoezee, hoezee, Long live Zyklon B,” referring to the gas used in extermination camps during the Holocaust. A Vitesse spokesperson later expressed the club’s regret, explaining that fans can send SMS texts to be displayed on the video screen. She said that before they are posted, they are checked, but that that particular one slipped through.

In 2011, the late Uri Coronel, the then chairman of Ajax, who was Jewish, tried to convince the fans of his club to stop using the nickname “Jews.” His efforts had no result. Coronel said he once entered the Feyenoord stadium between a double lineup of youngsters who made the Heil Hitler salute.

Antisemitic hate chants, which are regularly heard by tens of thousands of spectators in stadiums, have spread to other targets besides Jews. A match in 2004 between two first league clubs, ADO from The Hague and PSV Eindhoven, was refereed by René Temmink. Many fans chanted, “Hamas, Hamas, Temmink to the gas,” which caused the match to be suspended.  A year earlier, at a game between the same two clubs, the PSV fans shouted “Cancer Jew” at a referee.

The antisemitic hate chants have spread into the public domain. In 2009, there was an anti-Israel demonstration in Amsterdam in which two left-wing parliamentarians participated. There, as in the stadiums, chants of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” were heard. The parliamentarians later claimed they had not noticed them.

By 2011, the public mood was finally ready for a zero-tolerance approach toward expressions of antisemitisim in stadiums. Thus, much publicity was focused on hate chants at a celebration of ADO supporters after its victory against Ajax. There, the fans, including ADO players, chanted, “We go chasing Jews,” as well as the old favorite, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” The latter chant had been prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2009. The trainer of ADO and his assistant were both present, and one of the players was heavily fined by ADO.

Then parliamentarian Richard de Mos of the Freedom Party, who is still a member of the Municipal Council in The Hague, condemned the antisemitic chants and submitted parliamentary questions asking for measures against such slogans in professional soccer. Thereafter, de Mos, an ADO fan himself, received death threats from supporters of the club.

Soccer antisemitism has by now been fully integrated into the wider “culture” of Dutch antisemitism. Even though self-defining Jews represent only 0.2% of the Dutch population, in 2017, out of all complaints about punishable discrimination that reached prosecution, 41% concerned antisemitism.  More than three-quarters of these were related to soccer.

The head of the Dutch rabbinate, Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, said more than ten years ago that when something happens in Israel, “I am shouted at in the street, ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.’”

Jacobs tells the story of once entering a train together with a non-Jewish psychologist. “It was full of Feyenoord supporters who sang ‘Jews to the gas,’” he recalled. He remarked that the psychologist was very afraid. Jacobs said, “I showed indifference as a sign of strength.” He added, “One could consider this incident as hooliganism, but if one of these idiots had attacked us, probably many of them would have done the same.”

The extreme Dutch antisemitism on display at soccer matches shows how hate-mongering can freely develop in a country where the elite falsely believes their nation is tolerant.

This is an edited version of an article that was published in Algemeiner on February 13, 2019.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a Senior Research Associate at the BESA Center and a former chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He specializes in Israeli–Western European relations, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism, and is the author of The War of a Million Cuts.


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Trump-Hating Lesbian Tennis Champ Destroyed for Saying Men and Women Are Different - Jim Daws

by Jim Daws

"Transgender" activists went nuclear.

Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She holds the record for most singles and doubles titles in the Open Era (167 and 177, respectively), including 17 Grand Slam singles titles. For 15 straight years, from 1977 to 1993, she never fell below the top 3 ranking in Women's Tennis Association singles. At a time when baseline play was the norm, she revolutionized women's tennis with her aggressive serve and volley style reminiscent of her male counterparts of the era. 

Navratilova defected from communist Czechoslovakia in 1975 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. That same year, when there was still a price to be paid for doing so, she came out as a lesbian and has since engaged in a long career of LGBT activism. She lent her name and support to ballot initiatives, spoke at LGBT marches, and in 2000 was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT lobbying group. She is active on Twitter and firmly in the Orange Man Bad camp. No one could ever accuse Martina of not being down for the cause.

All this was not enough to protect Navratilova from ostracization and accusations of bigotry last week when she questioned the wisdom of allowing men pretending to be women to compete in women's sports. In an equivocal, diplomatic, almost apologetic column in the Sunday Times, she suggested that men have an unfair advantage over actual women.

Perhaps in recognition of the absurdity of their position, the reaction from transsexual, transgender activists was quick, severe, and unforgiving. Navratilova was accused of being "transphobic" on social media, attacked in the LGBT press, and kicked off the board of an organization called Athlete Ally that promotes athletes based on their sexual orientation.

To normal people, it's common sense that the reason men and women compete separately is so females can experience the many benefits of athletic competition. From health benefits to life lessons from sportsmanship to lucrative careers, girls and women in Western nations have long enjoyed many of the same athletic opportunities as their male counterparts. Pioneering women, including Navratilova herself, have struggled to win equal access to sporting competition.

All of that is now under threat, as radical transsexual activists have demanded and won the right for male athletes to compete against women and girls. The results of this lunacy have not been pretty, as larger, more muscular men win events, take titles, and destroy records in women's sports.

In Australia, 39-year-old transgender weightlifter Laurel (né Gavin) Hubbard easily crushed the competition to win the international title by more than 20 lbs. Looking at the photos from the event, it's puzzling why a large, burly man is on the podium, looking down on the female competitors. Weightlifter Deborah Acason, from the Australian Weightlifting Federation, asked, "If it's not even, why are we even doing the sport?"

At the Connecticut state track and field championships, Terry Miller, a sophomore who had competed the prior year as a boy, won the girls' 100- and 200-meter dashes, setting state records in both events. Adding insult to injury, another boy, Andraya Yearwood, came in second in both events after having won them the previous year. One of the girl competitors understandably complained, "I think it's unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Open and New England's."

Last year, at the widely publicized event that first caught Navratilova's attention, Dr. Rachel McKinnon, a male, took the UCI Masters cycling world championship in the 35- to 44-year-old class from his much smaller female opponents. When the third place finisher said she believed that it was not a fair competition, she was attacked and shamed relentlessly online until she apologized and withdrew her comment.

These travesties have become all too common as one sport's governing body after another capitulates to the P.C. mob. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee, one of the elite sanctioning bodies in sports, allowed men to compete in women's events with no restriction on testosterone levels or physiology.

For participation in sports to be attractive to participants the competition and chance for victory must be fair — it's why sports have rules to begin with. Why compete if the deck is stacked against you? Athletic competition is just as valuable to women and girls as it is to men and boys, and it has great benefits to the larger society. None of it should be sacrificed to a tiny fraction of gender-dysphoric males who dream of competing against actual females.

Navratilova was attacked for speaking an obvious truth. Let's hope she is the first of many high-profile female athletes who have the courage to speak out and put a stop to this madness.

Jim Daws hosts Right Now with Jim Daws, a webcast on news, politics, and culture from an American nationalist perspective


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Canada: Scandal Involving P.M. Trudeau Linked to Libya - Christine Douglas Williams

by Christine Douglas Williams

The cesspool of romancing Jihad.

Four years ago, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officially leveled corruption and fraud charges against Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, over alleged criminal acts that occurred while that firm was doing business in Libya. The Globe and Mail broke the biggest scandal since Canada’s Adscam scandal, which cost the Liberals dearly in election year 2006. This latest scandal, also breaking in an election year, has to do with the involvement of Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the SNC-Lavalin case.

SNC-Lavalin operates in a variety of sectors globally, including mining and metallurgy, oil and gas, and the fraud and corruption charges against it include nearly $48 million in payments made to Libyan government officials between 2001 and 2011.

The case centers around Liberal MP Jody Wilson-Raybould (JWR), who served as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2015 until January 2019. She was then demoted in a cabinet shuffle to the position of Minister of Veterans Affairs, and suddenly resigned several days ago (February 12) following the Globe and Mail report, which alleged that the PMO “attempted to press” her to intervene in the corruption and fraud prosecution of SNC-Lavalin in her role as Attorney General, in order to spare the engineering giant — deemed to be a crown jewel in Quebec — from criminal prosecution. The story also indicated that she “came under heavy pressure.”

Now the Commons Justice Committee will look into whether JWR was subjected to any kind of pressure from Trudeau and/or the PMO. Meanwhile, Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, has suddenly quit. Butts is Trudeau’s longtime friend, confidante and confidence booster, and some even say that Butts is his brains. Trudeau calls Butts “the core of his inner circle.” The resignation was over the SNC affair. Criminal charges could also be laid against members of the PMO for obstruction of justice, if its interference is established.

Doing Business with a Jihadist Government:
There is another twist in the criminal case involving SNC Lavalin, and the alleged involvement by Justin Trudeau and the PMO: Libya.

Between 2001 and 2011, a senior executive of SNC-Lavalin established “close ties” with Saadi Gaddafi, the son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The RCMP alleged that as the president’s son, Saadi Gaddafi “was in a position of power and able to give a business advantage to SNC-Lavalin in Libya,” and that he was “a major recipient of SNC’s largesse.” Court documents allege that the company offered “bribes worth $47.7 million to one or several public officials of the ‘Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.’”

Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin was allegedly busy defrauding Libyan public agencies of “approximately 129.8 million.” Charges were laid by the RCMP against SNC executive Sami Bebawi and a former SNC executive vice president, Riadh Ben Aissa, who pleaded guilty to charges of corruption and money laundering relating to SNC-Lavalin’s Libyan operation. Aissa has since been extradited to Canada.

It has also been claimed that SNC “paid for lavish trips and more for relatives of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and even had some on payroll to ensure they got lucrative contracts.”

Saadi Gaddafi also has other unsavory personal baggage. He was acquitted last year of murdering Bashir al-Rayani, former footballer and coach of Tripoli’s Al-Ittihad football club. But now Bashir’s family intends to appeal Gaddafi’s acquittal, because they say “we could not get justice under his father’s regime, we will get it now, I’m confident!”

Some more background about the Libyan regime that SNC was allegedly wheeling and dealing with: Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya in a military coup d’etat in 1969. He was known for “horrific human rights abuses,” a supporter of jihad terror, “fervently Islamic and pro‐Palestine,” and once stated: “Christianity is not a faith for people in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Other people who are not sons of Israel have nothing to do with that religion….all those believers who do not follow Islam are losers…..We are here to correct the mistakes in the light of the teachings of the Koran.” Gaddafi also declared that “Iranians are our brothers” and fed into the victimology narrative that America was the great oppressor.

So here is the Canadian government involved not only in possible obstruction of justice, but also in trying to cover up the links of SNC-Lavalin with the Gaddafi regime.

As Trudeau scrambles to do damage control, it should be remembered that he has embraced Islamic supremacists, as well as policies of open-door immigration, heedless of the costs of all this to taxpayers. Meanwhile, he perpetually downplays the dangers of jihad, to the peril of Canadian citizens.

Even the Liberal-leaning CBC noted that “in the week since the SNC-Lavalin story broke, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has changed his talking points several times,” and now risks “brand damage.” Between the Globe and Mail and the CBC, it doesn’t look as if the $600,000,000 bailout package that Trudeau pledged to media, widely considered to be a bribe in an election year, is working in his favor.

Christine Douglas Williams is an international award-winning broadcast journalist, a former Canadian Conservative government appointee, author of The Challenge of Modernizing Islam and Fired by the Government of Canada for Criticizing Islam. She is also a daily writer for Jihad Watch and Associate Editor to Frontpage Magazine.


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Abortion and the Catholic Surrender to Politics - William Dodd

by William Dodd

The seed for the horrendous legislation just out of New York was sown decades ago.

This past week, Father John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, released a statement expressing their disdain for the Reproductive Health Act ("RHA"), just signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Father Jenkins's statement is titled "Who is Next?," a rhetorical question for abortion advocates asking: if medical care is not required for babies surviving abortion in New York, what group is next to be denied medical care?

The commentary from Father Jenkins is surprising from several perspectives. The influential Notre Dame platform has in recent decades been used by Jenkins and other university officials to advocate mostly liberal views on social matters — views that have in some cases conflicted with traditional Catholic teachings. In this article, Father presents a surprisingly conservative perspective. Coming from him, it has diluted credibility. After all, it was Father Jenkins who in 2009 invited President Obama, the most pro-abortion president in our country's history, to be his and Father Hesburgh's honored guest and speaker at the university's graduation ceremony. Obama's speech from that platform gave the impression to the world that Catholic Notre Dame may consider abortion a subject for debate or dialogue rather than a doctrinal matter. 

But another president of Notre Dame must bear even more responsibility for the current headlong drive by Democratic politicians and state legislatures for up-to-term and "who's next" abortion legislation. Father Theodore Hesburgh became president of Notre Dame in 1955. Six years later, he joined the board of the ultra-liberal Rockefeller Foundation. In doing so, Hesburgh was surreptitiously endorsing his acceptance of abortion. The foundation had always been known for providing worldwide funding for population control, eugenics, abortion, and contraception. Hesburgh served as chairman of the Board of the foundation from 1977 until retiring in 1982.

In 1984, Father Hesburgh invited Governor Mario Cuomo of New York to speak at Notre Dame on the difficulties that elected Catholic politicians have in reconciling the obligations of their faith regarding abortion with their obligations to their constituencies. On September 13, 1984, Cuomo delivered "Religious Belief and Public Morality: A Catholic Governor's Perspective" at Notre Dame's Washington Hall. Some saw the Cuomo speech as an orchestrated Hesburgh-Cuomo rebuttal to comments made by Archbishop John O'Connor, the new archbishop of New York and a staunch defender of unborn life. Earlier in 1984 O'Connor, on a televised news conference, had stated that he did not believe that a Catholic in good conscience could vote for a political candidate who approves of abortion. He further stated that he would not rule out excommunicating Governor Cuomo for his support of abortion rights.

Cuomo's speech at Notre Dame stifled the debate. It was a brilliant move, a well staged home run for the abortion cause. With delivery from the platform of one of the Church's most influential universities and tacit approval by the renowned Father Hesburgh, the speech received extensive media coverage. "Father Ted" likely knew that it would be a watershed event, and it was. In effect, without Church authority, the speech "sanctioned" the Catholic body politic's relaxation of its opposition to abortion. 

Archbishop O'Connor and the conservative wing of the Church had lost the public debate with the governor. Liberal Catholic politicians silently leaped for joy. Their consciences had been unburdened.

The speech had immediate effects. It relieved U.S. Catholic politicians of any obligation to mention their faith's view on the immorality of abortion in public discourse, either "on the stump" or after being elected. The speech also freed U.S. Catholic politicians of any obligation to object to legislation that would in any way limit state or federal funding of abortion. Further, it freed Catholic voters of any conscience-based reluctance to vote for politicians of any faith who sought to expand abortion. 

The longer-term effects of the speech were significant. It caused the Catholic Church hierarchy to pull back on public criticisms of politicians, even Catholic ones, who sought to expand abortion.

The Church's gradual withdrawal from public engagement over the abortion issue was widespread. Since the mid-'80s, Catholics rarely hear the word "abortion" in a Sunday homily. Clerics at the parish level appear to have been silenced on the subject. With the removal of the Church's "braking influence," politicians of every faith were encouraged to aggressively propose and pass pro-abortion legislation, including legislation to remove interferences that might discourage pregnant women from choosing an abortion, such as parental consent, restrictions on how pro-life advocates may demonstrate at abortion facilities, reduced medical safety standards at clinics, and reduced training standards for those assisting with abortion procedures.

Cuomo's speech also inspired liberal Catholic politicians to exploit the exploding feminist vote. Soon Catholic legislators, previous reluctant supporters of even minimal abortion laws, were now leading the charge in advocating the most aggressive kinds of abortion legislation because it was winning elections. Catholic leaders of the Democratic Party — Nancy Pelosi, Joseph Biden, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Bob Menendez, et al. — convinced their party members that the feminist pro-abortion vote was large and growing. This was the base they needed to cultivate, the base that was their future and would insure their survival for decades to come. So essential was this vote that all party members would have to pass the "pro-abortion litmus test." If any politician at any level wished to the join the Democratic Party, he would have to commit to himself and to always, under all circumstances, publicly supporting and advocate abortion — no exceptions.

The public response to the passage of the New York RHA from some quarters has been disgust, from others shock and surprise. Surprise? The seed for this horrendous legislation was sown decades ago. We know its lineage. Its grandfather's name is Mario, and its father's name is Andrew. It has uncles named John D., Theodore, Barack, and John I. and has countless cousins in the party of Democrats.

Public reception of the RHA has been less than favorable — so much so that the act itself may help bring an end to our country's deviant reliance on abortion to solve social problems and to celebrations of its enabling laws. Like the laws passed following the Dred Scott decision doubling down on slavery, pro-abortion legislation of the past four decades may someday be found to be the worst ever written in our country's history.

William Dodd


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French Muslims and the Secular State - Denis MacEoin

by Denis MacEoin

Secularism is not an opinion among others, but rather the freedom to have an opinion. It is not a belief, but rather the principle authorizing all beliefs, providing they respect the principles of freedom of conscience and equal rights.

  • "If your synagogue or Jewish cemetery needs someone to stand guard, count me in. Islam requires it." — Tayyib Rashib, former US Marine, in a tweet.
  • In late April 2018, thirty imams signed an open letter in the French newspaper Le Monde, in which they bitterly attacked the "confiscation of our religion by criminals" and said "ignorant, disturbed and idle" young people had become easy prey for dangerous ideologues.
  • Secularism is not an opinion among others, but rather the freedom to have an opinion. It is not a belief, but rather the principle authorizing all beliefs, providing they respect the principles of freedom of conscience and equal rights. For this reason, it is neither pro- nor anti-religious.

In 2013, in Bradford, England, the town's Council of Mosques worked hand in hand with the dwindling local Jewish community of 299 members to rescue its beautiful 132-year-old Reform Synagogue from closure. Pictured: Bradford Reform Synagogue. (Image source: JohnYeadon/Wikimedia Commons)

Islam has a history largely forgotten today: Schools seem largely to ignore or suppress topics related to Western-Islamic, Indian or Middle Eastern rivalries or contacts. To many modern Westerners, Islam seems to have popped up out of nowhere, from across the Mediterranean.

One feature of those discarded histories is that, as Europe moved through the late Middle Ages on towards the eighteenth century, Western societies were in many ways not greatly different from those in the Islamic world. Western laws on crime, male-female relations, education, diplomacy, slavery, punishment, the upbringing of children, and so on, were not entirely remote from those in the Muslim world. While Christians were monogamous and Muslims practised polygamy and slave concubinage, sexual relations were monitored for impropriety and punishments for extra-marital affairs were severe. The use of execution as a punishment for a range of crimes was common in both polities. What education there was tended to come from religious schooling. The long-lasting Islamic slave trade across the Sahara was eventually matched by the Transatlantic trade from Africa into North America. Western distaste for Islam was for the most part expressed in theological terms, just as Muslim distaste for Christianity seemed a mirror image of that. Both Christians and Muslims mistreated Jews, Christians more harshly on the whole. The Holocaust did not happen because of Islamic anti-Semitism.

With the reforms that entered Europe after the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the American Revolution, however, the two sides started to drift apart, less theologically than through shifts in laws and moral standards, social relations and sexual relations, among others. This shift has led to the situation today, in which liberal Western states and international organizations promote agendas that often conflict with the predispositions of Islamic culture and the strictures of Islamic law.

I do not refer here to the truly beneficial and harmonious aspects of Islam that can meld well with classical or contemporary Western values -- personal and communal modesty, friendship, faith, respect for elders and the like. Britain's Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, once said Islam was compatible with British values:
"There are many Muslims that I know who are very devout ... that are model citizens in terms of what they do their job, how they care for others."
Many Muslims have been and are model citizens. After headstones in Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were overturned in March 2017, for example, a Muslim activist, Tarek El-Messidi, after both attacks, sprang into action.
"I want to ask all Muslims to reach out to your Jewish brothers and sisters and stand together against this bigotry," he wrote on Facebook. "Last week, our Muslim community raised money for the vandalized Jewish Cemetery in St Louis. Since we raised well above the goal, we can now use extra funds to help here in Philadelphia."
Other Muslim Americans responded with promises to help guard synagogues and cemeteries:
After a spate of attacks and threats on Jewish establishments, some Muslim Americans have been offering to stand guard at sites across the US in a show of solidarity between people of Islamic and Jewish faiths.
In addition to documented vandalism – such as the desecration [of] graves in Missouri and elsewhere – at least 100 bomb threats against Jewish sites across the country were reported by the religion's JCC Association in January and February.
Outraged by the growing climate of anti-Semitism, former US Marine Tayyib Rashib tweeted: "If your synagogue or Jewish cemetery needs someone to stand guard, count me in. Islam requires it."
Four years earlier, in Bradford, a British city where Muslims constitute one quarter of the population, the town's Council of Mosques worked hand in hand with the dwindling local Jewish community of 299 members to rescue its beautiful 132-year-old Reform Synagogue from closure. A fundraising effort, raising £130,000, by Bradford Muslims, to keep the synagogue open after the earlier closure of the city's Orthodox one. All this in a city with a record of anti-Israel rhetoric and activity. Two years later, the same synagogue invited a Muslim representative, Jani Rashid, to join its council to help with the day-to-day running of the building:
Rudi Leavor, the synagogue's 87-year-old chairman, said: "We've been helped by the Muslim community for a few years and we wanted to cement our relationship further so we asked Jani to join our board.
"I'm pretty sure it's the first time a synagogue has had a Muslim on its council, but why not? He has been a great supporter.
"When there is so much strife in both communities we wanted to show there is no animosity in Bradford. Jani is a nice man and has had a close relationship with us. We want to show the two religions and communities can and will stick together."
In 2017, just hours after US President Donald Trump issued a ban on unvetted migrants from seven countries entering the United States, the Islamic Centre-cum-mosque in Victoria, a small Texas town, was burned down. Offers of help were made by many of the town's inhabitants, notably the Jewish community, who handed the keys of their synagogue to the Muslims, inviting them to use it as a place in which to worship.

It would be a mistake to think that all Jewish-Muslim or Christian-Muslim relations are as good-hearted or productive. Sadly, Muslims in Europe and across the Islamic world often play a major role in antisemitism. Indeed, we know that Islamic anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in Muslim scriptures and legal documents and that the Jewish state of Israel is almost universally loathed by a majority of Muslims, their clerics, and their governments. Nevertheless, the mutual support mentioned here does demonstrate that, given half a chance and a willingness on both sides, Jews and Muslims sometimes do share similar good will. That ability, to act in a moral and interactive fashion, is a characteristic of outstanding Muslims to share their values with the societies in which so many now live. Interfaith work that avoids proselytisation and unwarranted criticism, as practised, for example, by Britain's Council of Christians and Jews, shows that it is possible to create and maintain mutual respect and even joint worship between former enemies.

It did, of course, take centuries for Christians and Jews to learn mutual respect, most notably in the years after the Holocaust, an event that brought shame on the Western Christian world that had thought itself civilized and humane. Modern anti-Semitism is founded less on theological arrogance (such as the old accusation that Jews are Christ-killers) and more on political bias - one that seems to occupy the far left and the far right in more or less equal proportions.

In the long term, good mutual relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in balanced religious and political cooperation and within the context of full social integration, will, one hopes, develop through the next few generations. That will likely happen in Western democracies where there are no barriers to the growth of such positive interaction and mutual respect. It will happen more slowly if at all in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among others. Ironically, Israel itself offers real opportunities for Jews, Christians and Muslims to live and work together.

If matters were that simple, we could all relax and wait for improved relations to take their natural course, and allow biases to wither away. As we all know, however, in recent years, anti-Semitism has been growing, not shrinking -- to the point where it is perceived in some places as being as strong as it was in parts of Europe in the 1930s. Knowing that should make one less optimistic about healthy Muslim-non-Muslim relations in the years to come.

Probably hard-line bigots of all religions will resist to the death information that contradicts their prejudices. These well-known prejudices have been well-studied by psychologists and sociologists as a feature of sectarian, cultish, anti-scientific, and similar worldviews.[1]

Even when positive events take place, it is not hard to throw them off balance. A young French Muslim woman, Mennel Ibtissem, for instance, in February 2018, became a sensation on the television show "The Voice of France", where she performed a powerful rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in English and Arabic. She is an appealing 22-year-old, with a winning smile and a voice that won over the judges in seconds. She wears a coloured turban in place of a hijab, and the rest of her dress is modern and Western. After the first night, she seemed well on her way to massive success and perhaps a singing career. More than that, she was well positioned to become an ambassador for Islam in French, not only for her voice, but because she is intelligent: she was studying for an M.A. in English at the time.

Then everything went wrong. Not long after her appearance, she was forced to quit the show. Someone had found posts she had made on Facebook, statements defending Islamic terrorist attacks in France, a claim that "the government is the real terrorist", and association with some Islamic associations. Some sites accused her of belonging to "the Muslim far right". As word of these associations spread out, she had little choice but to pull out of the competition.

If she is ever to play a positive role, she has no choice but to moderate her views, condemn all Islamic terrorism and listen to voices that may explain to her the true complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The problem she illustrates, however, is deeper than that. The opinions she has expressed about jihadi violence and the government of France are shared by many young French Muslims.

According to a variety of sources, including the dependable scholarly network Euro-Islam, a large majority of French Muslims identify positively with France and reject extremist ideology and activity. Such respect is to be celebrated, and young Mennel could have built on it There are, nevertheless, vast concerns about young French Muslims and converts to Islam. Writing in April 2017, Marc Hecker of the French Institute of International Relations, noted that:
France is the Western country most affected by the phenomenon of the Syrian jihad. Around 1,300 French citizens have spent time in the Iraqi-Syrian area, and hundreds of others have been arrested before reaching their destination. By the end of February 2018, there were 323 returnees, including 68 minors.
Hecker provides detailed profiles for 137 jihadists. They have an average age of 26, one-third who left France were women, they are significantly less educated than the rest of French youth, they were almost entirely unemployed or worked in jobs with low incomes, 69% were French citizens, and 22% held dual nationality.

That young French Muslims display high levels of acceptance or outright support for terrorism is summed up by Colin Randall, writing in The National in late 2018:
A study of attitudes in high schools in areas of high Muslim population revealed some startling statistics. About 45 per cent of Muslim pupils did not unreservedly condemn the murders of 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and 20 per cent supported taking up arms "in certain circumstances" to defend their faith.
France is considered the standard bearer for Western secular liberalism and had, therefore been singled out by Islamic State as a key target.

Given the sensitivities of the French public and the genuine concerns they might justifiably have about extremist Islam, Mennel Ibtissem's expressions of support for radicals guaranteed her dismissal from The Voice.

Was it "Islamophobic" to ask her to quit the show? It was hardly bigoted or racist to do so. She had given voice to views that make her compatriots nervous. She is not obliged to receive an education in moderation from secular French teachers who want to re-make Islam in their own style, or from any of the many French imams who themselves argue from Islamic sources for a form of the faith that will fit easily within a liberal and tolerant French polity.

There are French imams such as Bordeaux's Tareq Oubrou who work hard to integrate their congregations within a republic that remains dedicated to the concept of secularism (laïcité). Muslim leaders who adopt this position make no bones about the harm done to their communities by radicals and terrorists. In late April 2018, thirty imams signed an open letter in Le Monde, in which they bitterly attacked the "confiscation of our religion by criminals" and said "ignorant, disturbed and idle" young people had become easy prey for dangerous ideologues.

Adapting religious beliefs to secularism should not be hard to do; it mainly depends if one wants to. French secularism, like the American separation of church and state, allows religions to act openly in matters of worship and faith. That freedom has been well summed up by the leading French organization for public diplomacy, France Diplomatie:
"France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic, guaranteeing that all citizens regardless of their origin, race or religion are treated as equals before the law and respecting all religious beliefs" states the Constitution of 1958. The "freedom to practice religion" has been recognised since 1905 when the Law on the Separation of the Church and State (la loi sur la séparation de l'Église et de l'État) came into effect. Far from being a weapon against religion, this text returned all religions to the private sector and established state secularism in the public sphere. The French State does not favour any one religion and guarantees their peaceful co-existence in respect of the laws and principles of the Republic.
In 2014, the French Secular Monitoring Centre (Observatoire de la Laïcité) issued guidelines on the mix of secularism and religion in an increasingly diverse society. The guidelines included the following statement,[2] one that clarifies matters:
There is greater cultural diversity in France today than in the past, which is why the country needs secularism now more than ever, for it enables all citizens, whatever their philosophical or religious beliefs, to live together, enjoying freedom of conscience, freedom to practise a religion or to choose not to, equal rights and obligations, and republican fraternity.
Secularism is not an opinion among others, but rather the freedom to have an opinion. It is not a belief, but rather the principle authorizing all beliefs, providing they respect the principles of freedom of conscience and equal rights. For this reason, it is neither pro- nor anti-religious. On this basis, adherence to a faith or philosophical belief is entirely a question of freedom of conscience for every woman or man.
Dr. Denis MacEoin is a former university lecturer in Arabic and Islamic studies, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Gatestone Institute. He lives in the United Kingdom.

[1] For an intelligent popular study of the power of the irrational, see Will Storr, The Unpersuadables, New York, 2015.
[2] For the original French text, see here.

Denis MacEoin is a former university lecturer in Arabic and Islamic studies, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Gatestone Institute. He lives in the United Kingdom.


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