Saturday, July 18, 2020

A black police officer tells a startling truth about the racial protests - Andrea Widburg

by Andrea Widburg

[O]n the streets, it's black neighborhoods that have been destroyed and black people who have been murdered in neighborhoods stripped of policing.

Jakhary Jackson, an officer with the Portland Police Bureau, submitted to an interview during a press availability event. The interview is attracting attention because Office Jackson pointed out that he's seeing some interesting and counterintuitive things at Black Lives Matter protests: there are often more black police officers than black protesters; ignorant white protesters are screaming about racism to black officers; and these same protesters accuse white officers of racism without knowing anything about them.

The video is set to begin when Officer Jackson first starts talking about the white protesters, people who know nothing about the true history of racism, screaming insults at both black and white officers. What he describes is White Women Screaming, rather than Black Lives Mattering:

One of the points I've made repeatedly at American Thinker (see here, here, and here, for example) is that the Black Lives Matter protests have little to do with actual blacks. At the top, there are cynical Marxist race-hustlers, some black and some white. In the middle are white, college-educated 20-somethings, especially unhappy young women looking for meaning in their lives. And at the bottom is the black mob, the group of disaffected people trapped in Democrat-run ghettoes, which can be activated with short term promises of a few days of profitable violence and the long term promise of a police drawdown.

And while white girls may scream hysterically about racism, substituting emotion for reason, intelligence, and knowledge, the reality is that these protests have hurt more blacks than they've helped. Upper-middle-class blacks in already woke institutions, whether academia, the media, or Hollywood, may be getting a few people fired, but on the streets, it's black neighborhoods that have been destroyed and black people who have been murdered in neighborhoods stripped of policing.

American hearts break when they see pictures of the children killed in the crossfire, but the BLM movement marches on. It never loses its relentless focus on obtaining Marxist political goals, as well as big bucks from the corporations it is shaking down with the not so subtle threat of costly looting at the stores and lawsuits in the boardrooms.

Regarding those lawsuits, a cynic might say the Washington Redskins team decided to change its name not because it felt that doing so would advance racial harmony in America, but, instead, as a way of buying woke indulgences. It apparently knew that the Washington Post was planning a major hit piece against it concerning sexual harassment. That would mean that, at Redskins headquarters, what matters are Boardroom Lives, not Black Lives.

Image: YouTube screen grab.

Andrea Widburg


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Regarding the Wuhan virus, if you think you're being lied to, you're right - Andrea Widburg

by Andrea Widburg 

[P]oliticians — usually Democrats — are using the virus as an excuse to achieve non-virus goals.

Ever since the Wuhan virus appeared on the scene, Americans have been bombarded with information, misinformation, re-information, and disinformation. In the beginning, this information soup was understandable, given that the virus was new. For that reason, many communities agreed to be shut down for a couple of weeks "to flatten the curve."

Since those murky beginnings, though, we've learned a lot about the virus, including how to treat it and how to protect the elderly, making it significantly less lethal. Still, politicians — usually Democrats — are using the virus as an excuse to achieve non-virus goals. For example, they're pushing for more government handouts and dependency, a weakened economy favorable to Biden, mail-in voting, and limited religious worship. And even as they lock people in their homes and shut down businesses, they encourage mass protests and riots that also achieve pro-Democrat party political goals.

Currently, the primary way Democrats are manipulating people is by pointing to an increase in the number of virus cases and deaths. None, they say, is due to the protests and riots. All, they insist, are due to opening locked down states too soon. Even worse than that, they claim, is the Petri-dish horror of Republican states that refused to lockdown in the first place.

What's starting to leak out, though, is that these new data about rising cases and deaths are being manipulated, whether intentionally or accidentally. This is especially true for data coming from Florida and Texas, two states that seemed to be handling the virus successfully without destroying their economies.

Here are five stories to remind you that you're being lied to:

1. Matt Margolis ran the numbers and shows pretty conclusively that, contrary to all media reports about how Trump is killing Americans by the tens of thousands, America is actually doing a better job than major European nations and Canada:

2. Texas is in the Democrats' crosshairs as a state they've targeted to flip from red to blue, in part by saying Republican governance has killed Texans. Texas is also the state that just removed 3,484 cases from its running Wuhan virus case count. It turned out that San Antonio had been miscounting and misclassifying tests.

3. Some testing labs in Florida were providing information about only positive Wuhan virus test results, leading to the assumption that between 80–100% of their tests were positive. This led to overstating the infection rate by as much as a factor of ten. In Orlando, for example, an official report showed a facility with a 98% positive rate when the real rate was only 9.4%.

4. Larry O'Connor reports on the fight his wife's family in Oklahoma is having with the state over her grandfather's cause of death. He was in the terminal stages of Alzheimer's when he was diagnosed with a mild case of the Wuhan virus that quickly passed. Nevertheless, when he died, he was classified as a Wuhan virus death, and the state's not about to change it.

5. Anecdotally, I'm seeing several people on Facebook say that they made an appointment to get tested, missed the appointment, and nevertheless got a notice that their test was positive. Right now, this observation is hearsay, but it's intriguing.

None of the information I set out above means that the Wuhan virus isn't something dangerous that we need to take seriously. It just means you're being lied to, either deliberately to advance political goals or inadvertently, as people make errors and muddle through major decisions.

My personal, non–medically informed belief is that I can protect myself by taking Vitamin D, Melatonin, and a baby aspirin; sleeping well; and wearing a mask when I feel the situation calls for it, all while keeping my hands super-clean and well away from my face. So far, that regimen, or sheer good luck, is keeping me healthy.

Image: Twitter screen grab.

Andrea Widburg


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'Building Power for Muslims in Politics' - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

The push to place Muslims in elective offices.

Frontpagemag Editor’s note: In this monograph, Robert Spencer reveals the disquieting agenda and goals of those who are working hard to get Muslims elected to political office at the national, state, and local level. He shows how this initiative is gaining ground despite the frank anti-Americanism of Ilhan Omar and others – or is it because of that anti-Americanism?

Building power

“Invest in building power for Muslims in politics,” is the invitation from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in a tweet on May 23, 2020, which features a photo of a smiling Salam al-Marayati, MPAC’s President and co-founder, with the notorious Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.).[1] “We ensure that Muslim voices are heard by decision-makers in Washington, DC,” the tweet also says, “and we work diligently with policymakers like Rep. Adam Schiff to advocate for legislation that protects our communities.”[2]

To those who are aware of Adam Schiff’s central role in the attempt to frame President Trump for an impeachable offense and railroad him out of office, MPAC’s upbeat declaration of civic engagement was hardly reassuring. Even more disturbing was the fact that the stated goal was not something to the effect of “Help Muslims begin to participate in the American political process,” much less anything such as “Encourage Muslims to assimilate and adopt American values,” but “invest in building power for Muslims in politics.”

Building power. It is not unreasonable to surmise from this language that MPAC, at very least, appears to be aiming toward establishing a Muslim bloc in American politics, one that will wield power and influence with its Muslim identity at the forefront, contending for candidates and policies that it deems to be in line with Islamic teachings and values.

While there are many organizations in the United States defending their own group’s interests, MPAC’s endeavor is different from the others in that Islamic law, Sharia, is authoritarian by nature, denying the freedom of speech, as well as aggressive, expansionist, and supremacist. In its classic formulations, Islamic law denies equality of rights to women and non-Muslims, and allows for a host of practices that are incompatible in numerous with American principles and customs; discussion of these issues, however, has been effectively silenced by charges of “Islamophobia” and “bigotry,” not least from al-Marayati and MPAC itself.

Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch asked pointed questions in November 2019, after another Islamic advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), sent out a press release celebrating the large number of Muslims who had just been elected to various offices. “One might wonder,” Corcoran wrote, “as I did here in 2007 why if refugees and Muslim migrants of all stripes were eager to assimilate did they need to place their people (representing their religion) into local, state and federal government? And, just imagine, I asked then, if we would blatantly say—we want Catholics, Jews, other Christians as our leaders—wouldn’t all hell break loose in the media? Yet, no one seems to care if CAIR says we are electing our people, Muslims, everywhere we can!”[3]

Becoming dominant

Yet there is ample cause to be concerned about this. Not a few Muslim leaders in the United States have been quite clear about their long-term goals and intentions, including Omar Ahmad, CAIR’s co-founder and longtime Board chairman, who once said in an unguarded moment: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”[4]

When confronted about these words, Ahmad vehemently denied saying them; however, the original reporter, Lisa Gardiner of the Fremont Argus, hardly a hardline “Islamophobe” with an axe to grind, stood by her story.[5]

What’s more, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper once said: “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”[6]
Meanwhile, according to a captured internal document, the Muslim Brotherhood (to which all the major Muslim groups in the US, including CAIR, are linked) is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house….so that it falls, and Allah’s religion is victorious over other religions.”[7]

Then there was the Washington, DC imam Abdul Alim Musa, who declared in 2007 that he wanted to “establish an Islamic State of America by 2050.”[8]

Record numbers

Whether the drive to elect as many Muslim candidates to office as possible is part of the effort to make Islam “dominant” in the United States, or is rather a healthy manifestation of Muslim assimilation, it has been gathering steam in recent years. NPR reported in July 2018 that “a record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide or national office this election cycle, the most since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made Islam a political target for many, according to Muslim political groups. The Muslim civil rights group, Emgage, estimates that as many as 100 Muslims filed to run for elected office this year. Of those 100, about 50 Muslim-American candidates remain more than midway through the primary season…which is significantly higher than the dozen that ran in 2016.”[9]

NPR claimed that this was because of “Islamophobia” and Donald Trump: “Many of the candidates say they were motivated by growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S., inspired by President Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies. ‘I’m running for office because I felt a dire need to help the community,’ says Saima Farooqui, who, if elected, would be the first Muslim representative in the Florida statehouse [she lost]. ‘[Trump] has kind of ignited the minorities to be together and stand with each other and to make a difference.’”[10] The Washington Post agreed, running a story with the headline “The blue Muslim wave: American Muslims launch political campaigns, hope to deliver ‘sweet justice’ to Trump.”[11]

The Post and NPR were not alone. This unprecedented number of Muslim candidates received abundant and enthusiastic attention from the establishment media. The Associated Press announced happily in July 2019: “Record number of Muslim Americans make bids for elected office.”[12] Despite the evidence to the contrary that was right before their faces in the very fact of these candidacies themselves, some media outlets still did their best to portray Muslims as the victims of widespread discrimination and harassment in the United States. The Seattle Times headline for AP’s story was “Muslims run for office in record numbers but the path is uphill.”[13] Minnesota’s Star-Tribune headlined the same story: “Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash.”[14] The article laments that “the path to victory can be tougher for a Muslim American. Some promising campaigns already have fizzled out while many more face strong anti-Muslim backlash.”[15]

As an example of this backlash, the AP offered the claim that “in Michigan, Democrat candidate for governor Abdul El-Sayed continues to face unfounded claims from a GOP rival that he has ties to the controversial Muslim Brotherhood, even though Republican and Democratic politicians alike have denounced the accusations as ‘conspiracy theories.’”[16]

However, it was not simply a “conspiracy theory” that, as the Christian Post reported, “while a student at the University of Michigan, El-Sayed was ‘an active member’ and vice-president of the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) – a group founded mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood for the express purpose of spreading Wahhabist ideology — an austere form of Islam that insists on literal interpretation of the Quran and views those who disagree as enemies.
The MSA bills itself as a networking and support group for Muslim students. But according to terrorism expert Patrick Poole, the MSA ‘has been a virtual terror factory. Time after time after time again, we see these terrorists . . . MSA leaders, MSA presidents, MSA national presidents — who’ve been implicated, charged and convicted in terrorist plots.’”[17]

Yet throughout El-Sayed’s unsuccessful gubernatorial bid, his campaign refused to address suspicions about his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood except to charge those raising concerns with “Islamophobia.”[18]

In reality, there was abundant reason to be concerned about the priorities and even the loyalties of Muslim candidates, given the fact that mainstream Islamic teaching holds that one’s allegiance to Islam, and to the worldwide Islamic community (umma), transcends all other loyalties, including one’s loyalty to one’s nation. Whenever such concerns arose, they were buried under accusations of “Islamophobia,” and legitimate concerns were ignored.

The strange case of Ammar Campa-Najjar

Take, for example, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democratic candidate for a California Congressional seat. Campa-Najjar is not a Muslim at all, but a Christian; nevertheless, he has earned a place in these considerations with his questionable statements about his grandfather. In October 2018, Joel Pollack reported in Breitbart that Campa-Najjar “deleted an Instagram post in which he referred to his grandfather, Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Yousef al-Najjar, as a ‘legend.’ Muhammad Yousef al-Najjar was ‘a senior member of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September that murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics,’ according to the Times of Israel, and a deputy for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat.”[19]

The Breitbart report added: “Earlier this year, when Campa-Najjar’s roots were first reported, he condemned his grandfather’s actions and supported peace. But in a 2015 Instagram post praising his father, who is a former Palestinian Authority (PA) official and Palestinian ambassador, Campa-Najjar referred to his grandfather as a ‘legend.’ He offered no criticism or condemnation of his grandfather’s terrorist acts. Breitbart News reported the existence of that Instagram post on Monday, as well as another in which he noted that his family was close to Yasser Arafat’s.”[20]

What’s more, Campa-Najjar “received a campaign donation from a Palestinian ambassador; and donated campaign funds to a radical group, CAIR, while taking donations from CAIR officials. Breitbart News reported earlier this week that Campa-Najjar’s campaign made a ‘civic donation’ of $650.00 to CAIR in 2017, and that he had received nearly $9,000 from CAIR officials.  Breitbart News had reached out to Campa-Najjar’s campaign Tuesday to ask about his appearance on the ‘top ten’ list of political candidates who had received contributions from ‘Islamist’ sources, as compiled by the Middle East Forum’s ‘Islamist Money in Politics’ (IMIP) project. (Campa-Najjar himself is a Christian, of mixed Palestinian and Mexican-American origin.)”[21]

The money from CAIR is a matter of grave concern. Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, two officials of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) (which was listed as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s allied organizations in the 1991 memorandum), founded this Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood group in 1994. The federal government shut down the IAP in 2005 as a Hamas front.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service reported in 2001 that the IAP was so close to its parent organization that it published and distributed Hamas communiqués on its own letterhead, “as well as other written documentation to include the HAMAS charter and glory records, which are tributes to HAMAS’ violent ‘successes.’”[22] Oliver Revell, a former chief of the FBI’s counter-terrorism department, called the IAP “a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants.”[23]

Several CAIR officials have already been convicted of participating in violent jihad activities. Randall Todd (“Ismail”) Royer, CAIR’s former communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, participated in the “Virginia jihad group,” which was indicted on forty-one counts of “conspiracy to train for and participate in a violent jihad overseas.”[24] Royer served over a decade in prison after a plea bargain that had him pleading guilty to lesser charges.[25]

Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, likewise served time in prison for jihad activity. In 2009, he was sentenced to sixty-five years in prison for funneling over $12 million in charitable contributions to Hamas while serving as head of the Holy Land Foundation.[26] Other former CAIR officials have been convicted of jihad terror activities as well, raising the question of how this supposedly moderate group failed so abysmally to distinguish “moderates” from “extremists.”

CAIR itself was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. The organization not only facilitated donations to the Holy Land Foundation, but also received money from it – no less than half a million dollars. CAIR cofounder Nihad Awad vehemently denied this when terror researcher Steven Emerson confronted him: “This is an outright lie. Our organization did not receive any seed money from the Holy Land Foundation. CAIR raises its own funds and we challenge Mr. Emerson to provide even a shred of evidence to support his ridiculous claim.” Emerson then published an image of the canceled check.[27]

Meanwhile, the two highest-profile Muslim politicians in the United States, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) showed that to dismiss concerns about the loyalty of Muslim candidates simply as signs of “bigotry” was facile and dangerous.

Ilhan Omar

Allegations that Omar had married her brother and funneled campaign funds to the company run by her lover and then husband dogged Omar’s first term as Congresswoman from Minnesota, despite the establishment media’s determination to ignore them. Even more disturbing, however, were the numerous indications that the patriotism and loyalty to the United States of this migrant from Somalia were not as fervent as the media and her supporters would have had us believe.

On October 15, 2017, Omar tweeted about “thousands of Somalis killed by the American forces,” and added the hashtag “#NotTodaySatan,” with “Satan” apparently referring to the American troops who had gone to Somalia on a humanitarian mission.[28]

Then on January 8, 2020, investigative journalist Matt Margolis noted that Omar “was seen laughing and joking around during a House Progressive Caucus press conference about Iran at the same time Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was talking about U.S. casualties in Iraq. In addition to laughing, at one point, Omar can be seen talking to Rep. Rashida Tlaib behind her, and appears to be joking and smiling, even when she turns back towards the camera.”[29]

However, Omar wasn’t nearly as amused when, as Fox News reported two days later, “a northern Minnesota county on Tuesday night opted to ban the resettlement of refugees within its boundaries.”[30]

Beltrami County, Minnesota voted to ban refugee resettlement after Somali Muslims have arrived in the state in large numbers, making Omar’s district the leading center for jihad terrorist recruitment in the United States.[31] The refugees were also blamed for a sharp rise in rape, sex trafficking and other crimes. Beltrami County voted accordingly. Republican State Rep. Matt Grossell noted: “President Trump empowered counties to have a voice in the decision-making process for the federal refugee resettlement program. Tonight, Beltrami County exercised that option.”[32]

Unlike the deaths of American soldiers, Ilhan Omar found this no laughing matter, tweeting on January 8: “Over 20 years ago, the state of Minnesota welcomed my family with open arms. I never would’ve had the opportunities that led me to Congress had I been rejected. What Beltrami County is doing is denying refugees a chance at a better life.”[33]

So apparently Minnesotans weren’t allowed to try to provide a better life for themselves and their children. They must instead be wholly concerned with providing Muslim migrants a better life. Meanwhile, it didn’t seem to have occurred to Omar that those refugees about whom she was so concerned had a place of refuge in the United States because of the actions of those American soldiers she so disdained.

That incident unfolded two days after Omar, in the wake of the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, effectively invited the Iranian regime to target Trump hotels in jihad terror attacks, tweeting: “Trump needs to immediately divest from his businesses and comply with the emoluments clause. Iran could threaten Trump hotels *worldwide* and he could provoke war over the loss of revenue from skittish guests. His business interests should not be driving military decisions.”[34]
Omar dismisses all criticism of her statements, which have been remarkably consistent in support jihad and the weakening of the U.S. and its allies, as “Islamophobia,” tweeting: “There is nothing shocking about the right clutching their pearls at everything I say or do. It’s however entertaining to watch how transparently their anti-Muslim rhetoric has been, as they use colorful language to cast me as their lead villain. Bless their hearts!”[35]

She also tweeted a video in which the late comedian George Carlin asserts that the U.S. is “not very good at anything” besides war.[36]

And so once again the question arose: was Ilhan Omar a traitor who hated America? Was it really wise for her opposition to shy away from all efforts to question her loyalties, and to accept the contention that all such questions crossed the line into bigotry?

It was also noteworthy that Omar’s warning that Trump’s “business interests should not be driving military decisions” made no sense, because clearly the fact that Trump owns hotels that Iran could target didn’t stop him from going after the notorious Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. But as far as Omar and her ideological allies were concerned, it didn’t matter how much they had to twist their logic into pretzels to get Trump, as long as they made the President look bad. That imperative drove Omar even to give a military suggestion to a hostile foreign power. The mullahs and their henchmen hadn’t said anything about targeting Trump hotels, so here was a United States Congresswoman to give them a marvelous new idea about how they could murder Americans and others, and further menace the United States.

The definition of treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of Israel. They were doing this before Qassem Soleimani was killed, and before (and during) the conclusion of the nuclear deal with Barack Obama, and they’re doing it now. How was giving them a suggestion about how they could target the United States, whether or not they have or would have thought of it themselves, not giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and hence treason?

When she took the oath of office to become a member of the United States House of Representatives, Omar swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” as well as to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Inviting, out of a hysterical hostility to the President of the United States, a nation that regularly chants “Death to America” to strike American-owned businesses – was that supporting and defending the nation against foreign enemies? If anyone had ever asked Omar such questions, which of course no one did, Omar might well have split hairs and asserted that she suggested no attack on the Constitution, which was what she specifically swore to defend, but clearly the oath uses “Constitution” as a metonymy for the nation as a whole.

Abetting this impression was the fact that Omar on the same day demonstrated her hostility to the country that she had sworn to protect and defend. She tweeted the Carlin video with the comment: “It’s no laughing matter,” just so that we were clear that she didn’t mean any joke. She was seriously offering the claim that the country to which she had sworn allegiance and which she represented in its Legislative Branch was just a war-mongering blunderer that was not good at anything besides being militarily aggressive. Meanwhile, she invited the military aggression of one of America’s foremost enemies. If the Islamic Republic of Iran turned out to be not good at much of anything besides war against the United States, would Ilhan Omar have had any problem with that?

Despite all this and more, it is, of course, inconceivable that any treason charges will ever be brought against Ilhan Omar. Her hatred of America plays well among the American Leftists who share it; the Democratic Party establishment would condemn any such charges as a partisan attack and the attacker as a racist right-wing white supremacist and enemy of all that is good.

Rashida Tlaib

Ilhan Omar’s Congressional colleague, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, has likewise demonstrated many times that it is entirely reasonable to raise questions about where her loyalties really lie. At the celebration following her victory in the Democratic Party Congressional primary, Tlaib wrapped herself in a flag. Not the American flag, but the Palestinian flag.[37]

It was not an isolated moment of simple exuberance; Tlaib has numerous connections to the Palestinian jihad. Journalist Valerie Richardson reported in the Washington Times on January 14, 2019 that Tlaib was posed for photos with “Palestinian activist Abbas Hamideh, a staunch defender of the terrorist group Hezbollah,” at Tlaib’s “swearing-in ceremony in Detroit. Mr. Hamideh tweeted a photo of himself Saturday with Ms. Tlaib along with the caption, ‘I was honored to be at Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib swearing in ceremony in #Detroit and private dinner afterward with the entire family, friends and activists across the country.’”[38]

A year later, according to the Times of Israel, Tlaib “retweeted then removed a tweet falsely blaming Israelis for the death of a Palestinian child.”[39] Tlaib “retweeted a tweet by Hanan Ashrawi, a top Palestinian official, who was quote-tweeting an account, realSeifBitar, that accused Israeli settlers of kidnapping, assaulting and throwing into a well an eight-year-old child.”[40] When it became clear that the child had drowned, rather than being killed by murderous Zionists, Ashrawi published a retraction. In contrast, although she took down her initial retweet, Tlaib didn’t retweet the retraction. Tlaib at that time had nearly 900,000 followers on Twitter. Hundreds of thousands likely saw her initial tweet before she took it down.

Tlaib also displayed an ugly authoritarian streak, saying in an October 2019 speech in Detroit that if Trump Cabinet members failed to comply with Congressional subpoenas issued during the impeachment imbroglio, “they’re trying to figure out, no joke, is it the D.C. police that goes and gets them? We don’t know. Where do we hold them?”[41] Tlaib added: “This is the first time we've ever had a situation like this,” and that consequently, she and other Democrat leaders were “trying to tread carefully” into this “uncharted territory.”[42] She volunteered her own district for this noble undertaking: “I will tell them they can hold all those people right here in Detroit.”[43]

Movita Johnson-Harrell

Another Muslim politician, former Pennsylvania State Assembly Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, illustrates another concern that Muslim candidates raise, or would raise if the United States had a sane and healthy public square at this point. In March 2019, Johnson-Harrell denounced a Christian prayer in the State Assembly as “Islamophobic.”

The “Islamophobia,” according to Johnson-Harrell, was committed by another state Representative, Stephanie Borowicz, who prayed this to open a legislative session: “Jesus, you are our only hope. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus, that you are Lord.”[44]
Johnson-Harrell was livid. The prayer, she declared, was “highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House.”[45] In a statement, she added that the prayer “blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders — leaders that are supposed to represent the people. I came to the Capitol to help build bipartisanship and collaborations regardless of race or religion to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Commonwealth.”[46]

There may have been a real point in there. Rep. Borowicz’s prayer could legitimately have been inappropriate in a setting in which not everyone present was Christian. However, many imams offer prayers at various legislative bodies that are not non-sectarian, but manifestly Islamic and even condemning of Jews and Christians, while the non-Muslim lawmakers stand with oblivious heads bowed.

But “Islamophobic”? This illustrated yet again how absurd charges of “Islamophobia” are, and how some Muslims sometimes regard as offensive any manifestation of faith. Johnson-Harrell’s charge of “Islamophobia” should have come as sobering news for the comfortable Christians of the West who have made an idol out of “interfaith dialogue” and fastidiously avoid saying anything remotely critical about Islam, even as the Muslim persecution of Christians continues worldwide.

Movita Johnson-Harrell provided proof of the futility of such endeavors. By calling Borowicz’s prayer “Islamophobic,” she was in effect saying that the public expression of the Christian Faith mocked Islam and despised Islamic teachings.

The lesson was clear: Christians should make no public expression of their faith at all, and convert to Islam, so as to avoid mocking, provoking, and offending Muslims, and poking them in the eye. Was this what an elected representative to the assembly of a state in the United States of America should have been standing for?

In the face of Johnson-Harrell’s rage, Pennsylvania House Minority Whip Jordan Harris, a Democrat (of course), immediately began to give her what she wanted, stating: “Let me be clear. I am a Christian. I spend my Sunday mornings in church worshiping and being thankful for all that I have. But in no way does that mean I would flaunt my religion at those who worship differently than I do. There is no room in our Capitol building for actions such as this, and it’s incredibly disappointing that today’s opening prayer was so divisive.”[47]

So Harris said that Christians must not flaunt their religion. Not coincidentally, that is exactly what Islamic law says about Christians: that they should carry on their worship quietly, behind closed doors, and never make public display of it. Meanwhile, speaking of flaunting one’s religion, Movita Johnson-Harrell wears a hijab. Harris was not on record objecting to that kind of flaunting one’s religion.

In December 2019, Rep. Johnson-Harrell was charged with perjury, as well as accused of buying luxury clothes and properties with nonprofit funds. She resigned her seat in the Pennsylvania State Assembly.

Movita Johnson-Harrell was not a jihadi. And corrupt officials of all creeds can be found more easily than anything else in this world. However, her story was illustrative of what is perhaps the most important consideration regarding Muslim candidates for elective office in the United States: the career trajectory of Movita Johnson-Harrell is another indication of the dangers of identity politics. She became a state representative because she is a Muslim. She was a symbol of the Democratic Party’s commitment to “diversity.” No one knew or cared whether she would be an honest or competent state representative.

In that, Johnson-Harrell’s story is similar to that of Mohamed Noor, the Muslim police officer in Minneapolis who was hired despite demonstrating his unfitness for the job in numerous ways, and who ultimately shot and killed an unarmed, pajama-clad woman who had called the police to report a rape. Noor was only on the Minneapolis police force because he was a Muslim, despite numerous indications of his incompetence. A woman is dead in that case. In the case of Movita Johnson-Harrell, Medicaid and Social Security disability funds were diverted into her coffers.

The lesson is clear: why don’t we go back to supporting candidates based on their merits, instead of on their religion, ethnicity, race, or gender? Oh, that would be “racist”?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

[1] MPAC, Twitter, May 23, 2020.
[2] Ibid.

[3] Ann Corcoran, “CAIR Crows: Muslims are Winning Big in Local Elections,” Refugee Resettlement Watch, November 8, 2019.

[4] Art Moore, “Did CAIR founder say Islam to rule America?,” WND, December 11, 2006.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 4, 1993, quoted in Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, “CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment,” Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2006.

[7] Mohamed Akram, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” May 22, 1991, Government Exhibit 003-0085, U.S. vs. HLF, et al. P. 7 (21).

[8] Robert Spencer, “DC Imam wants to establish an ‘Islamic State of North America no later than 2050,’” Jihad Watch, November 9, 2007.

[9] Samantha Raphelson, “Muslim Americans Running For Office In Highest Numbers Since 2001,” NPR, July 18, 2018.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Abigail Hauslohner, “The blue Muslim wave: American Muslims launch political campaigns, hope to deliver ‘sweet justice’ to Trump,” Washington Post, April 15, 2018.

[12] Philip Marcelo and Jeff Karoub, “Record number of Muslim Americans make bids for elected office,” Associated Press, July 16, 2018.

[13] Philip Marcelo and Jeff Karoub, “Muslims run for office in record numbers but the path is uphill,” Seattle Times (Associated Press), July 16, 2018.

[14] Philip Marcelo and Jeff Karoub, “Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash,” Star-Tribune (Associated Press), July 16, 2018.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Julie Roys, “Could Man Vying to Become First Muslim Governor Be Part of ‘Stealth Jihad’?,” Christian Post, August 9, 2017.

[18] Alice Yin, “Michigan candidate criticized over anti-Muslim remarks,” Associated Press, April 26, 2018.

[19] Joel Pollack, “Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar Deletes Instagram Post Calling His Terrorist Grandfather a ‘Legend,’” Breitbart, October 16, 2018.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] “Islamic Association For Palestine (IAP),” Discover The Networks, n.d.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, “CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment,” Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2006.

[25] Ibid.

[26] “Holy Land founders get life sentences,” JTA, May 28, 2009.

[27] “HLF’s Financial Support of CAIR Garners New Scrutiny,” The Investigative Project on Terrorism, October 12, 2007.

[28] Ilhan Omar, Twitter, October 15, 2017.

[29] Matt Margolis, “Ilhan Omar Laughs and Jokes Around as Fellow Dem Discusses US Casualties in Iraq [VIDEO],” PJ Media, January 8, 2020.

[30] Danielle Wallace, “Omar sounds off after Minnesota county bans refugee resettlement – aided by Trump executive order,” Fox News, January 10, 2020.

[31] Emily Jones, “Muslim Congresswoman's District Reported to Be 'Terrorist Recruitment Capital' of US,” CBN News, February 18, 2019.

[32] Wallace, “Omar sounds off.”

[33] Ilhan Omar, Twitter, January 8, 2020.

[34] Ilhan Omar, Twitter, January 6, 2020.

[35] Ilhan Omar, Twitter, January 8, 2020.

[36] Ilhan Omar, Twitter, January 6, 2020.

[37] Kristinn Taylor, “Newly Elected Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Wore Palestinian Flag at Primary Victory Celebration,” Gateway Pundit, November 7, 2018.

[38] Valerie Richardson, “Pro-Hezbollah activist posts photos with Rashida Tlaib at swearing-in ceremony,” Washington Times, January 14, 2019.

[39] “Tlaib deletes retweet blaming Israelis for death of boy who apparently drowned,” Times of Israel, January 26, 2020.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Graham Piro, “Tlaib: Democrats Looking Into How to Arrest Trump Officials,” Washington Free Beacon, October 3, 2019.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Todd Starnes, “Muslim Lawmaker Says Prayer in Name of Jesus is Islamophobic,”, March 26, 2019.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.


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Iran's Military Alliance with China Threatens Middle East Security - Con Coughlin

by Con Coughlin

As part of the deal negotiated with Beijing, China is to be allowed access to a number of Iranian ports, including Chabahar, with the Chinese reported to be planning to build a new military base in the vicinity of the port.

  • Announcing Iran's intention to build a new military base in the Indian Ocean, Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the naval attachment of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said that the base would be used to protect fishing and commercial vessels from piracy and "foreign ships", a reference to the US-led multinational naval task force that is currently protecting Gulf shipping from Iranian interference.
  • As part of the deal negotiated with Beijing, China is to be allowed access to a number of Iranian ports, including Chabahar, with the Chinese reported to be planning to build a new military base in the vicinity of the port.
  • The construction of such a base would enable the Chinese Navy to monitor the activities of the U.S. Navy in the area, in particular the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, which is permanently deployed to protect shipping passing through the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important economic waterways.
  • Any expansion in Iranian and Chinese military activity in the region would also have an impact on the jointly-administered U.S.-UK base on the island of Diego Garcia, one of the Pentagon's most important military assets in the region.

The prospect of a new Iran-China military alliance taking shape in the Indian Ocean is a development that will be taken with the utmost seriousness by the U.S. military, which is already concerned about Iran's attempts to spread its influence throughout the region. Pictured: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 23, 2016 in Tehran. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. faces the prospect of a serious escalation in tensions with Iran after Tehran's announcement that it intends to build a new military base in the Indian Ocean by the end of the year.

The Iranian announcement, moreover, comes at a time when Tehran is on the point of signing a $400 billion trade deal with China, which will include closer military cooperation between the two countries in the region in an attempt to counter Washington's traditional dominance.

Under the terms of the deal, details of which have been published in the New York Times, Iran could receive as much as $400 billion in Chinese investment over the next quarter of a century.

The agreement, which a senior aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says should be signed by March next year, also encompasses closer military cooperation between the two countries, including weapons development, combined training and intelligence sharing in order to combat "the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes."

As part of the new era of cooperation between Tehran and Beijing, concerns have been raised by Western security officials that this could lead to the two countries forming an alliance to bolster their presence in the Indian Ocean, thereby challenging America's long-standing dominance in the nearby Gulf region.

Announcing Iran's intention to build a new military base in the Indian Ocean, Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the naval attachment of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said that the base would be used to protect fishing and commercial vessels from piracy and "foreign ships", a reference to the US-led multinational naval task force that is currently protecting Gulf shipping from Iranian interference.

Iran has so far given no indication as to where it intends to build its new base. At present Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman, which is used, among other activities, for shipping goods to Afghanistan, is the nearest base Iran has to the Indian Ocean.

As part of the deal negotiated with Beijing, China is to be allowed access to a number of Iranian ports, including Chabahar, with the Chinese reported to be planning to build a new military base in the vicinity of the port.

The construction of such a base would enable the Chinese Navy to monitor the activities of the U.S. Navy in the area, in particular the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, which is permanently deployed to protect shipping passing through the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important economic waterways.

Any expansion in Iranian and Chinese military activity in the region would also have an impact on the jointly-administered US-UK base on the island of Diego Garcia, one of the Pentagon's most important military assets in the region.

Earlier this year Washington dispatched a fleet of B-52 bombers to Diego Garcia following the sharp rise in tensions with Tehran in the wake of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC commander who headed the elite Quds Force.

The prospect of a new Iran-China military alliance taking shape in the Indian Ocean is certainly a development that will be taken with the utmost seriousness by the American military, which is already concerned about Iran's attempts to spread its influence throughout the region.

U.S. Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, warned in a recent interview that Iran posed the greatest threat to regional security and stability.

"Iran actively stokes instability and is intent on degrading security all over the region," McKenzie said. "They use proxies and violence to push other nations in the region to their agenda."

Any future military alliance between Tehran and Beijing would only strengthen Iran's determination to expand their malign activities in the region, thereby raising the prospect of a further escalation of tensions with the U.S. and its allies.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Israel and the Sino-Iranian alliance - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

For Iran, China is a life raft saving it from total economic collapse under the weight of U.S. economic sanctions.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Teheran in 2016, most observers dismissed the significance of the move. The notion that Beijing would wreck its relations with America, the largest economy and most powerful global superpower, in favor of an alliance with Iran, the world’s greatest state sponsor of terror was, on its face, preposterous.

But despite the ridiculousness of the idea, concern grew about Sino-Iranian ties as Iranian political leaders and military commanders beat a path to China’s door. Now, in the midst of the global recession caused by China’s export of the coronavirus, the preposterous has become reality.

Following weeks of feverish rumors, Iran and China have concluded a strategic accord. Last weekend, the New York Times reported on the contents of a final draft of the agreement.

In its opening line, China and Iran describe themselves as “two ancient Asian cultures, two partners in the sectors of trade, economy, politics, culture and security with a similar outlook and many mutual bilateral and multilateral interests.”

Henceforth, they, “will consider one another strategic partners.”

Substantively, the deal involves Iran supplying China with oil at below market prices for the next 25 years and China investing $400 billion in Iran over the same period. China committed to expanding its presence in the Iranian banking and telecommunication sectors. Among dozens of infrastructure projects, China will construct and operate ports and train lines. China will integrate Iran into its 5G internet network and its GPS system.

The implications of the deal are clear. China has opted to ignore U.S. sanctions. Beijing clearly believes the economic and diplomatic price it will pay for doing so will be smaller than the price the U.S. will pay for the diminishment of its position as the ultimate arbiter of global markets.

For Iran, China is a life raft saving it from total economic collapse under the weight of U.S. economic sanctions. 

The Sino-Iranian pact is also a military accord. According to the Times report, the agreement commits the sides to intensify their joint military exercises. Since 2014, China and Iran have carried out three joint military exercises, the most recent one, a naval exercise took place in December 2019. Russia also participated.

Following the naval maneuvers, Iran’s naval chief Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told the Chinese media the exercise showed, “the era of American invasions in the region is over.”

The draft agreement speaks of intelligence cooperation, joint research and development of weapons systems and Chinese use of Iranian ports in the Gulf of Oman.

Diplomatically, the deal places the U.S. on a collision course with the UN Security Council. Washington’s efforts to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran past its expiration date in October will not succeed.

This leaves the U.S. with only one option for diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from importing advanced weapons platforms: triggering the “snapback sanctions” clauses in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which set the conditions for implementing the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the permanent Security Council members and Germany.

The “snapback sanctions” clauses enable parties to the resolution to force the automatic reinstatement of all the Security Council sanctions against Iran which were suspended with the implementation of the nuclear deal in 2015. In light of Iran’s extensive breach of the deal’s limitations on its nuclear work, as a party to Resolution 2231, the U.S has the power to activate the clause.

China, Iran, Russia and the EU argue that despite the clear language of 2231, the U.S. is no longer authorized to trigger the reinstatement of sanctions because it left the nuclear agreement in 2018. Consequently, if the U.S. triggers the restoration of the sanctions, the move is liable to precipitate a diplomatic struggle within the UN and beyond as states are compelled to choose sides. Either they will align themselves with the U.S. and actual international norms and laws or they will stand against the U.S. and with China and Iran and fake “international law.”

For Israel, the Sino-Iranian pact is a strategic inflection point. The deal has two immediate implications from Israel’s perspective. The first is operational.

Iran’s new alliance with China will provide it with new options for developing nuclear weapons. China after all is no stranger to nuclear proliferation. It played a central role in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. As for North Korea, at a minimum, China facilitated its nuclear weapons program by preventing effective international action to stop North Korea’s race to the bomb.

The possibility that China will soon be actively assisting Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons makes the continuation and expansion of the various unexplained explosions at Iranian nuclear and other strategic facilities a matter of highest urgency.

Some of the Iranian opposition reports regarding the Iranian-Chinese deal claim Iran agreed to the permanent deployment of Chinese military forces on its territory. If these reports are accurate, it means those forces may become a tripwire. Any attack against Iran’s strategic facilities could set off a much wider war in which China would be directly involved and fighting on behalf of Iran.

The second immediate implication of the Sino-Iranian pact for Israel is that it requires the government to change its approach to Chinese involvement in infrastructure development and management and to Chinese investment in Israeli technologies and technological research and development.

In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Jerusalem for a brief and unexpected visit. In public appearances over the course of his lightning trip, Pompeo warned of the dire implications for U.S.-Israel relations if China continues to participate in infrastructure and technology projects in Israel.

Pompeo explained, “We don’t want the Chinese Communist Party to have access to Israeli infrastructure, Israeli communication networks,” he said, “the kind of things that endanger the Israeli people and the ability of the U.S. to cooperate with Israel.”

Two weeks after Pompeo’s visit, Israel awarded an Israeli firm with a contract to build a desalination plant in Ashdod. The government had initially planned to award the tender to a Chinese firm.

U.S. pressure continues apace. The Americans are maintaining their efforts to persuade Israel to cancel or limit the agreement it concluded with a Chinese firm last year to build and operate a new port in Haifa and other projects.

In the wake of China’s strategic pivot to Iran, Israel has little choice but to cancel the port contract along with several other infrastructure projects and academic and technological cooperation deals. The same Chinese firms that are supposed to build national infrastructures including rail lines here, are now committed to building similar projects in Iran. The danger to Israel’s critical national infrastructures is obvious. 

Until now, Israel viewed the possibility of removing Chinese firms from major construction projects and other deals as a regrettable price of its alliance with the U.S. rather than an Israeli interest.

The Sino-Iran pact changed the calculus. Cancelling technological and infrastructure deals with China – Iran’s superpower sponsor – is now an Israeli national interest regardless of Washington’s position.

In response to the deal, Israel should consider replacing Chinese firms with U.S. firms, which at a minimum will not be compromised by ties with Iran. If U.S. firms are able to produce competitive bids, or develop strategic partnerships with Israeli firms to produce largescale infrastructure projects at reasonable prices, the move would redound to the economic and strategic benefit of all sides. Certainly, efforts to develop cost-effective alternatives to Chinese contractors would firmly integrate Israel into the Trump administration’s post-coronavirus efforts to reduce U.S. and allied supply chains’ exposure to China.  

Globally, the Sino-Iran pact will compel new strategic alignments. Europe is likely to split around the choice between the U.S. and China. Some European governments will choose to align themselves with Iran and China. Others will prefer to remain allies of the U.S.

With its weak and sputtering economy now largely integrated into the Chinese market, at least in the short-term, Russia will continue to stand on China’s side while winking at the U.S. Things could change though, as time passes.

China’s decision to initiate a direct confrontation with the U.S. over Iran was a gamble. It wasn’t a crazy move, given China’s growing economic and technological power. But betting against America is far from a safe bet. The ultimate outcome of China’s Iran gambit Iran will be determined in large part by the shape of the American and Chinese economies in the coming months and years as they emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. And as things now stand, the U.S. is well-positioned to emerge from the pandemic in a sounder economic position than China.

Corporations large and small from countries across the globe are either considering or actively working to relocate their production lines out of China. One of the Trump administration’s key efforts today is securing U.S. and allied supply chains from China by moving as many factories as possible either to the U.S. itself or to allied states. Japan’s Sony and South Korea’s Samsung are both reportedly planning to move their manufacturing bases from China to Vietnam.

The impact of these moves on China’s economic growth prospects and global influence are likely to be profound. As things stand, China’s only ally in its neighborhood is its client state North Korea.

India, which is now in a border conflict with China, has already taken steps to limit China’s technological penetration of India. Indian strategists both inside and outside government are taking a hard look at their military dependence on Russian platforms in light of Russia’s growing economic dependence on China. The U.S. has not hidden its interest in developing a strategic alliance with India and replacing Russia as India’s main supplier of air and other military platforms. Israel, which is already a major arms supplier and ally to India, could play a positive role in advancing that goal.

How the Arab states respond to China’s decision to stand with Iran will be determined both by the economic power balance between China and America and by the status of Iran’s nuclear program. If Iran achieves nuclear capability, the Arabs will feel compelled to view China as their shield against Iran. If Iran’s nuclear program is dramatically diminished, the Arabs are likely to feel more secure turning their backs on Beijing, siding with the U.S. and strengthening their ties with Israel.

For decades, U.S. warnings notwithstanding, Israel perceived China as a neutral power and a highly attractive market. Unlike the Europeans, the Chinese never tried to use their economic ties with Israel to coerce Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians. The Chinese didn’t work with radical Israel fringe groups to subvert government and military decisions. They just seemed interested in economic ties for their own sake.

Now that China has chosen to stand with Iran, Israel must recognize the implications and act accordingly. 

Originally published in Israel Hayom. 

Caroline Glick


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