Friday, February 4, 2011

Key Military, Intelligence Assets Imperiled in Egypt


by Rowan Scarborough

U.S. military and intelligence agencies would lose vital air, land and sea assets if Egypt falls into the hands of radical Islamists, as Iran did in 1979, foreign policy analysts say.

The U.S. armed forces are entwined with Egypt's military more than with any other Arab country’s. But if Islamists seize Cairo, as the mullahs captured Tehran, this complex relationship unravels.

Let me count the ways,” said Ken Allard, a retired Army colonel and military analyst. “They are our biggest strategic partner in the Middle East. At that point, you’ve lost your biggest Arab partner. Geostrategically, the mind boggles.”

The U.S. Navy would not be able to use the Egyptian-run Suez Canal. The 150-year-old waterway sharply reduces sailing time for Atlantic-based carriers and other warships going from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, and to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Air Force likely would lose overflight rights into the Middle East, and the Army would lose a partner in building the M1A1 tank.

If you are talking an Iran scenario, these are some of the things that happen first,” Mr. Allard said.

Egypt receives more than $1 billion in U.S. military aid each year and uses it to buy tanks, F-16 fighters, Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons systems.

The region’s other U.S. allies sent their militaries to Egypt for an exercise known as Bright Star to practice urban warfare, air assaults and ground operations.

Egypt is the birthplace of the shadowy Muslim Brotherhood, a fraternity committed to replacing secular governments with autocrats who follow Shariah, or strict Muslim law.

Amid the ongoing protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood announced that it wants to share power with Mohamed ElBaradei, an opposition leader who is a former head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

“If we lose Egypt to the Brotherhood, it is absolutely devastating,” said former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, who led the House Select Committee on Intelligence. “The Egyptians are a key stabilizing force for us throughout the Middle East.”

It raises the basic question of everyday military operations,” the Michigan Republican said.

Do they facilitate our use of the Suez? Do they frustrate, meaning to make it inconvenient, or do they downright make it impossible?”

A radicalized Egypt likely would stop hosting the scores of Egyptian officers who come to the U.S. to attend service schools such as the Army War College. The Pentagon thinking is that decades of training have helped turn out generations of commanders comfortable with civilian rule and human rights.

Our military has benefited from the interactions with the Egyptian armed forces — one of the most professional and capable in the region,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during a 2009 visit to Cairo.

We are always looking for ways to expand these ties through education, training and exercises.”

While the Pentagon has worked to foster a professional Egyptian military, Mr. Allard said, he thinks more officers are sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood today than 30 years ago. He said the country’s persistently high unemployment and poverty rates have helped the radicals recruit disciples.

What you’ve got is a generational situation in the officer corps in Egypt,” he said. “If you had a council of colonels, it would probably be a lot more Islamists and have their own grudges against Israel and the U.S. I’m sure there are people in the officer corps, who we do not know their names yet, who have got their own generational grudges. Over time, that has become a much more troubling situation.”

The U.S. also has been working with Egyptian forces to stop the smuggling of arms into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

A Cairo run by Islamists likely would end such operations and develop close ties with Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that calls for the destruction of Israel.

The importance of Egypt‘s role was underscored by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, when he testified before a Senate committee as head of the U.S. Central Command.

Egypt remains a leading Arab state, a stabilizing influence in the Middle East and a key actor in the Middle East peace process,” he said. “In recent years, however, the Egyptian government has had to deal with serious economic challenges and an internal extremist threat. …

Egypt has played a pivotal role in the international effort to address worsening instability in Gaza. [The U.S.] continues to work closely with the Egyptian security forces to interdict illicit arms shipments to extremists in Gaza and to prevent the spread of Gaza’s instability into Egypt and beyond.”

The CIA, too, would lose a valuable partner. It operates a robust station at the U.S. Embassy as well as classified bases. The two governments exchange information on terrorism suspects.

Egypt is a hotbed of radical groups and thought. Violent cells that spun off from the Muslim Brotherhood were responsible for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and the massacre of European tourists in Luxor in 1997.

Mr. Mubarak has used his internal security apparatus to launch periodic crackdowns on Islamists.

One of the first acts by Muslim Brotherhood allies in the current crisis was to storm prisons and release accused terrorists, some of whom belong to Hamas.

The biggest threat is that rather than having an ally in Mubarak, who has helped keep a lid on radical jihadists in Egypt at this pivotal crossroads, you may have a government that facilitates radical jihadists throughout the region and as a potential export location to other parts of the world, primarily into Europe,” Mr. Hoekstra said.

What I worry more about, rather than impacting our ability to collect intelligence, it opens up a whole new avenue of where we would need to collect intelligence,” the congressman said. “If it becomes a base, and you’ve got a government in Egypt that tolerates it rather than having a government that may have worked with us to collect intelligence against radical jihadists, you’ll now potentially have a government that not only supports these folks, but is now a barrier to us collecting information on them.”

Original URL: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/31/key-military-intelligence-assets-imperiled-egypt/

Rowan Scarborough

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U.S. Reexamining its Relationship with Muslim Brotherhood Opposition Group


by Craig Whitlock

As it braces for the likelihood of a new ruler in Egypt, the U.S. government is rapidly reassessing its tenuous relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition movement whose fundamentalist ideology has long been a source of distrust in Washington.

Although the group has played a secondary role in the swelling protests that are threatening to topple President Hosni Mubarak, U.S. officials have acknowledged the political reality that the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to assume at least a share of power should Egypt hold free and fair elections in the coming months.

On Monday, in what analysts said was a clear reference to the Brotherhood, the White House said a new government in Egypt should "include a whole host of important non-secular actors."

The move drew the skepticism of some U.S. officials who have argued that the White House should embrace opposition groups that are more likely to support a democratic government in Egypt, rather than one dedicated to the establishment of religious law.

It also marked a change from previous days, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other officials expressed concern that the uprising in Egypt could shift power to an Islamist government much like the one in Iran, where ayatollah-led factions elbowed aside other groups to seize control of the country in 1979.

Officially, the U.S. government has long shunned the Muslim Brotherhood because of doubts about its stated commitment to non-violence and democratic principles. For years, however, U.S. officials have engaged in back-channel talks with Egyptian members of the movement in recognition of its substantial popular support.

The unofficial contacts have taken place sporadically since the 1990s but became more frequent after members of the Brotherhood were elected to the Egyptian Parliament in 2005. Afterward, U.S. diplomats and lawmakers held several meetings with Brotherhood leaders, including at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

U.S. officials justified the meetings by saying they were merely speaking with duly-elected members of the Egyptian legislature.

"I do think that having contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood was not a bad idea," said Robert Malley, an official in the Bill Clinton administration who directs the Middle East and North Africa program for the International Crisis Group. "They are an important constituency in Egypt. They're very likely to play a role in any future arrangements there."

Some U.S. officials and analysts have long urged the State Department to reach out even further to the Brotherhood.

"If we are truly going to engage with the 99 percent of Muslims who do not support terrorism or violence, then we've got to engage indigenous groups, including Islamic political parties," said Emile Nakhleh, a former CIA official who directed the agency's political Islam analysis program.

Although the Brotherhood is Egypt's best organized opposition group, with an active charitable arm that dispenses social services nationwide, Nakhleh said it would not necessarily win a majority of votes in an open election. "They would be a hefty minority," he said, predicting that it would receive support from about 25 to 30 percent of the Egyptian population.

The movement was founded in 1928 by Hassan el-Banna, an Egyptian imam seeking to overthrow British colonial rule, and it has spread to scores of countries.

In Egypt, the Brotherhood has been officially banned for decades, and many of its leaders have been imprisoned and tortured. Mubarak has warned U.S. officials for years that the group wants to establish a theocracy modeled on the Islamic Republic of Iran, although he has relaxed restrictions on the group's political activities at times.

Members of the movement are often vague about their political goals. In an interview this week with the BBC, Kamal el-Helbawy, a Muslim Brotherhood leader in exile in Britain, said the group wants "freedom, consultation, equality, freedom of everything."

He ducked questions, however, about whether an Egyptian government led by the Brotherhood would guarantee equal rights for other religious groups - such as Egypt's Coptic Christians - and women. When asked whether all women would be required to wear veils, he said, "not necessarily."

Some critics have accused the group of having fundraising and organizational links to terrorist groups. But terrorism experts note that al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups regularly accuse Muslim Brotherhood figures of being apostates and sellouts.

Analysts said the movement strives in public to play down concerns about its agenda, partly for self-preservation. By presenting itself as a moderate group that would embrace a multi-party democracy, it seeks to preempt worries about its goals, said Emad Shahin, an Egyptian American scholar at the University of Notre Dame.

"They don't want to be seen as taking part in an uprising or upheaval that seeks to establish an Iranian-type government," he said. "They need to shield themselves behind a broader opposition front."

Despite the White House's decision Monday to extend a rhetorical olive branch to the Brotherhood, analysts said the Obama administration remains divided over whether and how to deal with the group, both in the near and long term.

J. Scott Carpenter, a State Department official in the George W. Bush administration, said the White House overture could backfire by alienating leaders in the Egyptian military, who could remain in control of the country even if Mubarak is forced out.



"It was completely unnecessary and counterproductive," he said of the White House statement. "It sends the wrong message to the military."

Hillel Fradkin, an analyst at the Hudson Institute, said the U.S. government should be spending more energy reaching out to secular factions that have been active in the anti-Mubarak protests.

"If we're going to deal with people in the opposition, it makes the most sense for us to engage with groups that can be reasonably thought to support a liberal democratic outcome in Egypt," he said.

In contrast, he said deepening a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood is unlikely to bear fruit, because the movement's goals are at odds with U.S. interests. "How are we going to persuade them to like us?" he said. "They don't, and they won't."

Original URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/02/AR2011020206283.html

Craig Whitlock

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

'Al-Qaida on Brink of Using Nuclear Bomb'


by Heidi Blake and Christopher Hope

Al-Qaida is on the verge of producing radioactive weapons after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting rogue scientists to build "dirty" bombs, according to leaked diplomatic documents.

A leading atomic regulator has privately warned that the world stands on the brink of a "nuclear 9/11".

Security briefings suggest that jihadi groups are also close to producing "workable and efficient" biological and chemical weapons that could kill thousands if unleashed in attacks on the West.

Thousands of classified American cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph detail the international struggle to stop the spread of weapons-grade nuclear, chemical and biological material around the globe.

At a Nato meeting in January 2009, security chiefs briefed member states that al-Qaida was plotting a program of "dirty radioactive IEDs", makeshift nuclear roadside bombs that could be used against British troops in Afghanistan.

As well as causing a large explosion, a "dirty bomb" attack would contaminate the area for many years.

The briefings also state that al-Qaida documents found in Afghanistan in 2007 revealed that "greater advances" had been made in bioterrorism than was previously realized. An Indian national security adviser told American security personnel in June 2008 that terrorists had made a "manifest attempt to get fissile material" and "have the technical competence to manufacture an explosive device beyond a mere dirty bomb".

Alerts about the smuggling of nuclear material, sent to Washington from foreign U.S. embassies, document how criminal and terrorist gangs were trafficking large amounts of highly radioactive material across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The alerts explain how customs guards at remote border crossings used radiation alarms to identify and seize cargoes of uranium and plutonium.

Freight trains were found to be carrying weapons-grade nuclear material across the Kazakhstan-Russia border, highly enriched uranium was transported across Uganda by bus, and a "small time hustler" in Lisbon offered to sell radioactive plates stolen from Chernobyl.

In one incident in September 2009, two employees at the Rossing Uranium Mine in Namibia smuggled almost half a ton of uranium concentrate powder - yellowcake - out of the compound in plastic bags.

"Acute safety and security concerns" were even raised in 2008 about the uranium and plutonium laboratory of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear safety watchdog.

Tomihiro Taniguchi, the deputy director general of the IAEA, has privately warned America that the world faces the threat of a "nuclear 9/11" if stores of uranium and plutonium were not secured against terrorists.

But diplomats visiting the IAEA's Austrian headquarters in April 2008 said that there was "no way to provide perimeter security" to its own laboratory because it has windows that leave it vulnerable to break-ins.

Senior British defence officials have raised "deep concerns" that a rogue scientist in the Pakistani nuclear program "could gradually smuggle enough material out to make a weapon", according to a document detailing official talks in London in February 2009.

Agricultural stores of deadly biological pathogens in Pakistan are also vulnerable to "extremists" who could use supplies of anthrax, foot and mouth disease and avian flu to develop lethal biological weapons.

Anthrax and other biological agents including smallpox, and avian flu could be sprayed from a shop-bought aerosol can in a crowded area, leaked security briefings warn.

The security of the world's only two declared smallpox stores in Atlanta, America, and Novosibirsk, Russia, has repeatedly been called into doubt by "a growing chorus of voices" at meetings of the World Health Assembly documented in the leaked cables.

The alarming disclosures come after Barack Obama, the U.S. president, last year declared nuclear terrorism "the single biggest threat" to international security with the potential to cause "extraordinary loss of life".

Original URL: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Qaida+brink+using+nuclear+bomb/4205104/story.html

Heidi Blake and Christopher Hope

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Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood


by Robert Spencer

Now that Barack Obama has given a green light to Muslim Brotherhood participation in a new Egyptian government, it is unlikely that the organization will be kept out of power. And since the Brotherhood is the largest and most ideologically committed group in Egyptian politics, most likely it will end up in the driver’s seat in any new regime, and set the nation on course toward becoming an Islamic state.

Obama almost certainly knows all this, and yet approved of Brotherhood involvement anyway. A look at some of his appointments, associations and activities shows that this should come as no surprise.

Starting in the earliest days of his administration, Obama showed an intense desire to establish friendly ties with the Islamic world, while showing little or no interest in examining his chosen partners in dialogue and targets for attempts at rapprochement for ties to jihad terrorism or Islamic supremacism. His uncritical stance toward Islamic organizations included American groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the Brotherhood’s stated goal of “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.”

Obama’s first attempt at outreach to Muslims came when he chose the head of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group that had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case to give a prayer during his inauguration ceremonies. Ingrid Mattson, who was then president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), offered this prayer at the National Cathedral on Obama’s Inauguration Day – despite the fact that the previous summer, federal prosecutors rejected a request from ISNA to remove its unindicted co-conspirator status.

There is no record of Obama ever asking Mattson to explain ISNA’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. On the contrary: he sent his Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to be the keynote speaker at ISNA’s national convention in 2009.

Even worse, in April 2009, Obama appointed Arif Alikhan, the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security. Just two weeks before he received this appointment, Alikhan (who once called the jihad terror group Hizballah a “liberation movement”) participated in a fundraiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Like ISNA, MPAC has links to the Muslim Brotherhood. In a book entitled In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America, coauthor Hassan Hathout, a former MPAC president, is identified as “a close disciple of the late Hassan al-Banna of Egypt.” The MPAC-linked magazine The Minaret spoke of Hassan Hathout’s closeness to al-Banna in a 1997 article: “My father would tell me that Hassan Hathout was a companion of Hassan al-Banna….Hassan Hathout would speak of al-Banna with such love and adoration; he would speak of a relationship not guided by politics or law but by a basic sense of human decency.”

Al-Banna, of course, was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Minaret has dismissed key counterterror operations as part of “[t]he American crusade against Islam and Muslims.” For his part, while Alikhan was deputy mayor of Los Angeles, he blocked a Los Angeles Police Department project to assemble data about the ethnic makeup of mosques in the Los Angeles area. This was not an attempt to conduct surveillance of the mosques or monitor them in any way. LAPD Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing explained that it was actually an outreach program: “We want to know where the Pakistanis, Iranians and Chechens are so we can reach out to those communities.” But Alikhan and other Muslim leaders claimed that the project manifested racism and “Islamophobia,” and the LAPD ultimately discarded all plans to study the mosques.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a pro-Sharia group; and Obama’s chief adviser on Islamic affairs, Dalia Mogahed, is a pro-Sharia Muslim. In their Gallup survey published under the hubristic title Who Speaks for Islam? What A Billion Muslims Really Think, Mogahed and Saudi-funded dhimmi pseudo-academic John Esposito cooked their data to increase the number of Muslim “moderates,” counting as “moderate” Muslims who wanted Sharia rule, hated America, supported jihad-martyrdom suicide bombing, and opposed equality of rights for women. Mogahed also defended Sharia on a British TV show, saying it amounted to “gender justice.”

Mogahed’s defense of Sharia came on a show hosted by a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international organization that is banned as a terrorist group in many nations worldwide. Hizb ut-Tahrir is openly dedicated to working toward the imposition of Sharia and the destruction of all governments around the world that are constituted according to any other political philosophy — including Constitutional republics.

In light of all this, it is no accident that Obama specifically invited representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood to attend his notorious speech to the Islamic world in Cairo in June 2009. Nor should it come as any surprise that he is taking a sanguine view of the Muslim Brotherhood’s taking part in a new Egyptian government.

After all, Brotherhood operatives are in the American government and working closely with it, thanks to Barack Obama. Why shouldn’t the same situation prevail in Egypt?

Original URL: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/02/03/barack-obama-and-the-muslim-brotherhood/

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of ten books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism.

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

Europe's Fatwa Factories


by Soeren Kern

Britain will have more Muslims than Kuwait in 2030, while France will have more than Jordan; and Germany will have more than Oman and the United Arab Emirates combined, according to a new study titled "The Future of the Global Muslim Population." The sobering projections (which are highly conservative estimates) about the exponential increase of Europe's Muslim population over the next 20 years will fuel the growing controversy over Muslim mass immigration to Europe, and also add pressure on European policymakers to find ways to ensure that Muslim immigrants are better integrated into European society.

Efforts to improve the integration of Muslim immigrants in Europe will, however, be fiercely resisted by influential figures from within Europe's Muslim community itself, many of whom, instead, are actively working to build parallel societies that keep Muslim immigrants isolated in exclusivist communities, and thus socially separated from their European host countries. Critics say these Muslim mini-societies are undermining not only European social cohesion but also European democracy.

Advocates of Muslim separatism say the Islamic worldview cannot be harmonized with Europe's secular worldview, and therefore call on Muslims living in European countries to segregate themselves and adhere only to Islamic Sharia law. European Islamic leaders, many of whom are openly hostile to Western values and laws, are also establishing Muslim lobbies to pressure European governments into synchronizing secular Western laws with Muslim religious beliefs. These initiatives are usually couched as the peaceful advocacy of minority rights, but the end result is that European societies have to adapt to Islam rather than the other way around.

European fatwa councils are at the forefront of Muslim efforts to build parallel legal systems based on Sharia law. A fatwa is a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar on an issue where Islamic jurisprudence is unclear. In Europe, for example, fatwas routinely are issued to instruct Muslim immigrants that Sharia law is to be respected as superior to civil law and to democracy.

The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) is the most influential fatwa council in Europe. Based in Ireland, the ECFR is chaired by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a demagogic Egyptian Islamic scholar, and an intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qaradawi, who is also a spiritual advisor for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, has defended suicide attacks against Jews as "martyrdom in the name of Allah," and has been banned from entering Great Britain and the United States.

The ECFR is an integral part of the Brussels-based Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), an umbrella group that unites more than 30 Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Europe, and acts as the main vehicle for propagating Muslim Brotherhood ideology in Europe.

The ECFR's objective is to "present to the Muslim minorities in the West particularly" its interpretation of "the manifestation of Allah's infinite mercy, knowledge and wisdom." More specifically, an ECFR fatwa says: "Sharia cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards; rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform; it is the frame to which they must be referred; it is the scale on which they must be weighed."

The ECFR (the English-language mission statement has been removed from ECFR's website) says it wants to achieve its aims by: a) bringing together Islamic scholars who live in Europe; b) attempting to unify the views within Islamic jurisprudence with regard to the minority status of Muslims in Europe; c) issuing collective fatwas that meet the needs of Muslims in Europe, and that solve their problems and regulate their interaction with the European communities, all according Sharia; and d) conducting research on how issues arising in Europe can be resolved with strict respect for Sharia.

The fatwas issued by the ECFR reflect the Muslim Brotherhood's fierce opposition to the separation of church/mosque and state. For example, a fatwa issued by al-Qaradawi on the question of "How Does Islam View Secularism" states: "Since Islam is a comprehensive system of Ibadah [worship] and Sharia ["the path":legislation], the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Sharia, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah's injunctions…. The call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Sharia is a downright apostasy."

A fatwa titled "Challenging the Applicability of Sharia" rules on equal rights for women. It states: "Those misguided people cudgel their brains in finding out lame arguments that tend to give both males and females equal shares of inheritance… It is the nature of woman to be maintained and cared for by man ... irrespective of whether she is poor or rich."

A fatwa titled "Source of the Punishment for Apostasy" rules on the freedom of religion. It states: "All Muslim jurists agree that the apostate is to be punished. However, they differ regarding the punishment itself. The majority of them go for killing; meaning that an apostate is to be sentenced to death."

In a fatwa titled "Islamic Ruling on Female Circumcision," al-Qaradawi states that although the practice is not obligatory, "whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world." In an interview with the London-based Guardian newspaper, al-Qaradawi says he accepts wife-beating "as a method of last resort -- though only lightly." He also says female rape victims should be punished if dressed "immodestly" when assaulted.

In an article called "Islamic Justice Finds a Foothold in Heart of Europe," the Wall Street Journal reports that the ECFR uses the infamous anti-Semitic forgery known as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in its theological deliberations. The Journal also says the ECFR "is part of a web of organizations that spread ideology close to the Muslim Brotherhood throughout Europe."

The Muslim Brotherhood outlined its vision for the globalization of Sharia law in a 14-page policy document called "The Project." Authorities in Switzerland, acting on a special request from the United States government, discovered the document in November 2001 after they entered the Swiss villa of a Muslim Brotherhood operative, Yusuf Nada.

"The Project" is a long-term multi-phased roadmap to "establish an Islamic government on Earth." The document specifically calls for Muslims in Europe to establish "a parallel society where the group is above the individual, godly authority above human liberty, and the holy scripture above the laws."

Elsewhere in Europe, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), a large Muslim umbrella group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, has issued fatwas that encourage French Muslims to reject all authority (namely, secular) that does not have a basis in Sharia law.

In November 2005, for example, the UOIF issued a fatwa banning Muslims from participating in the riots that engulfed parts of France that year. At the time, Muslim youth (mostly teenagers of Arab and African origin) took to the streets after two of them were accidentally electrocuted while fleeing police.

The fatwa stated: "Under Islam, one cannot get one of his/her rights at the expense of others." The UOIF reached its conclusion by citing verses from Islamic religious texts: "Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors;" "Eat and drink of that which Allah hath provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the earth," and "Lo! Allah loveth not the corrupt."

Sheikh Ahmad Jaballah, a member of the French fatwa council, said the fatwa would send a strong message to France that the riots were un-Islamic. But French officials were infuriated that in its call for calm, the UOIF's fatwa only invoked the name of Allah and made no mention of the need for Muslim immigrants to obey French secular laws.

In Germany, the Central Council of Muslims (ZMD), a group that is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, recently asked the ECFR to issue a fatwa on whether professional Muslim soccer players may break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The move followed a contract dispute involving second-division soccer club FSV Frankfurt, which in 2009 gave three of its players a formal warning for fasting. The fatwa states: "The Muslim professional can make good the fasting days in times when there are no matches, and so continue to pay God and the holy month of Ramadan honor and respect." In any case, the ZMD also notes that "keeping the body healthy plays a leading role in Islam."

In Norway, the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN), a group that represents 60,000 Muslims there, was involved in an imbroglio about the Islamic approach to homosexuality. The IRN wavered on whether homosexuals should face the death penalty, even though capital punishment is outlawed in Norway. It attempted to defuse criticism for its stance by asking the ECFR to issue a fatwa on the issue. The ECFR, in a fatwa titled "Homosexuality and Lesbianism: Sexual Perversions," states: "Islam emphatically forbids this deed [homosexual sex] and prescribes a severe punishment for it in this world and the next. (…) The scholars of Islam (…) said that the person guilty of this crime should be stoned, whether he is married or unmarried."

In Sweden, the Swedish Fatwa Council recently issued a fatwa calling the December 2010 suicide attack in central Stockholm "deplorable" and "reprehensible." The attacker, however, attended Stockholm's biggest mosque which, like the Swedish Fatwa Council, is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The imam of the mosque, Sheik Hassan Mousa, is known for delivering fiery sermons (with sinister titles like "America Rapes Islam") that call for Muslims to take violent action against "infidels."

As for al-Qaradawi, he speaks openly about the goals of Islam: "What remains, then, is to conquer Rome. (…) This means that Islam will come back to Europe for the third time, after it was expelled from it twice. (…) Conquest through Dawa [proselytizing], that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through our Dawa.

Original URL: http://www.hudson-ny.org/1857/europe-fatwa-factories

Soeren Kern

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

Egypt: The American Debate Has Gone Stark, Raving Crazy


by Barry Rubin

As I pointed out recently the mass media in America generally presents only one side of the debate nowadays. Then, it publishes nonsense which survives because it is protected from the withering critique it deserves. And even people who should know better are just losing it.

Consider one example (Roger Cohen has gone beyond ridicule so let's focus on someone who should know better). I regret criticizing Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution as he is one of the smarter, saner people.

Yet the kinds of things he is quoted as saying in the New York Times remind me of why the "neo-conservatives" have been so dangerous because of their naivete about the Middle East. They are fitting counterparts of the apologists for radicals who have demonized them. Both groups are trying to impose their fantasy model on the real Middle East. Of course, if Kagan didn't say things like this he wouldn't be quoted at all in the New York Times.

Kagan explains to us:

"We were overly spooked by the victory of Hamas....The great fear that people have with Islamist parties is that, if they take part in an election, that will be the last election. But we overlearned that lesson and we need to get beyond that panicky response. There's no way for us to go through the long evolution of history without allowing Islamists to participate in democratic society.

"What are we going to do- support dictators for the rest of eternity because we don't want Islamists taking their share of some political system in the Middle East?
"Obviously, Islam needs to make its peace with modernity and democracy. But the only way this is going to happen is when people speaking for Islam take part in the system. It's incumbent on Islamists who are elected democratically to behave democratically."

Presumably, you will never read how absurd this statement is anywhere in the mass media so thanks for dropping by and here's my analysis:

First, what is an Islamist? Someone who wants to seize state power and impose an Islamist state, transforming the society in the process. You cannot have pluralism because all of those who oppose you are evil.

An Islamist party is not necessarily a Muslim party. There can be Muslim parties that are not Islamist, though it is hard right now to find these. That's why, however, the elections they win tend to be the last ones or, at least, they do everything possible to stay in power. Think Communism; think fascism; heck, this is the Middle East so think Arab nationalism!

Do you know what Shakyh Qaradawi, the most prestigious cleric in the Muslim Brotherhood universe, said (he was critiquing Usama bin Ladin)? Of course, Islamists should participate in elections because they would always win them. How many votes can secular-style liberal reformers muster compared to those who say "Islam is the solution"? And Qaradawi is not intending to use those election victories to "behave democratically."

Well, actually, maybe he is. After all, if the majority of people want Sharia law, a dictatorship by the rightly-guided, hostility to the West, and Israel's destruction, I guess a revolutionary Islamist government is fulfilling the will of the people and thus is behaving democratically.

Do you know what the United States did after World War Two? President Obama hasn't apologized for this one yet. It did everything possible behind the scenes to ensure that Communist parties--which were certainly not ready in the 1940s to be moderate--lost the elections in France and Italy. According to this new principle should it have let them win so that they would have become moderate?

Second, "overly spooked!" Is this some kind of paranoid reaction? There was not only Hamas but Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan and now Hizballah. And we have seen what has happened in Turkey with an Islamist regime, though it might accept the loss of power in the election later this year. But that's Turkey which plays by a different set of rules.

Responding to an accurate view of reality and a set of experiences is not being "spooked" it is being rational. All of the experience lines up consistently.

Hizballah has just taken power in Lebanon through elections. Any sign Hizballah has moderated?

And how about Yasir Arafat, not an Islamist though he tried to play that game a bit to maintain popular support. Remember back in 1993 when we were told that if he were allowed to take power he would inevitably become moderate because he would have to deal with road repair and garbage collection? That didn't work out too well either.

Remember when it was said that Ayatollah Khomeini would become more pragmatic once in power? I do.

But why should we deal with real experience when we can engage in wishful thinking?

Consider the following chart:

Who in the Middle East could the United States depend on five years ago to support its basic policy goals?
Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey

Who in the Middle East can the United States basically depend on today?
Israel, Iraq (?), Jordan (until next week?), Saudi Arabia

Who in the Middle East is likely to oppose basic U.S. policy goals today?
Egypt (soon), Gaza Strip (Hamas), Iran, Lebanon (Hizballah), Libya, Sudan, Syria. Turkey

Might there be a trend here?

The United States is running out of friends in the Middle East who it can overthrow. I'd love to use the 1930s Germany analogy but it is so excessively cited as to have lost effectiveness. So let's go to the Soviet analogy. "We were overly spooked by the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Romania...." Well, you get the idea.

But wait! The United States is not refusing to allow "Islamists to participate in democratic society," the local regimes are doing so. Perhaps they know something about their own societies.

But wait again! Islamists do participate in elections in Jordan. Of course, the regime there makes sure they lose. So perhaps the United States should step in and help the Islamic Action Front wins the next election, all the better to moderate them! I'm sure (sarcasm) that it will keep the peace treaty with Israel. Then we can keep experimenting until there are no more victims left.

"Obviously, Islam needs to make its peace with modernity and democracy. But the only way this is going to happen is when people speaking for Islam take part in the system."

Oh, obviously. Except that it is not necessarily obvious to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, and the Iraqi insurgents, nor to non-Islamist-member-of-the- pack Syria. Why should one believe that taking part in the system will make them moderate. Is there any evidence for this? Any at all? And, no, Turkey doesn't prove that. Quite the contrary.

But what really riles me is when Westerners write a sentence like this one:

"It's incumbent on Islamists who are elected democratically to behave democratically."

Please contemplate those dozen words. What if they don't? What are you going to do about it after they are in power? What if they take your concessions but not your advice? The United States conditioned the Muslim Brotherhood's participation in Egypt's next government on that group's abandoning violence and supporting "democratic goals." There is no chance that it will meet those conditions and also no chance that the United States would try to enforce them.

I have an idea: why don't we wait until we have some reason to believe they will behave democratically before you put them into power?

Let's remember a little detail here: You are all willing to ignore everything the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has said or done for decades. You have no idea of their proposals in parliament, do you? You have no idea of their recent platform, do you? You have no idea what the Brotherhood's leader is saying in his speeches, do you? Nor do you take these things into account.

So how dare you tell me that the Brotherhood is or is about to become moderate when you cannot cite a single piece of evidence--well, ElBaradei's word when he lies to you about these things--to prove your thesis. Not one. Don't you realize that victory has made the Islamists arrogant. They are becoming more radical, not less so. And mainstream clerics in Egypt, for example, have also become increasingly more extremist, well before the latest crisis.

Frankly, the more these people talk like this about Islamists, the more I don't believe them. If they had any real proof they would offer it. And their ignorance makes me suspect their conclusions. In fact, what they have done is to give the Islamists a free pass: they don't have to change their policies or behavior at all because they can depend on Western "useful infidels" to claim they are moderate even when they are not.

Naivete has reached epidemic proportions. The Washington Post, which should also know better, under the headline, "Muslim Brotherhood says it is only a minor player in Egyptian protests," tells us about this group. Of course, it says it is not important. Just as the Big Bad Wolf wore granny's clothes, "All the better to eat you." Why should the Western media pick up the revolutionary Islamists' disinformation themes?

In fact, and I'm not exaggerating, the article tells us both that the Brotherhood is no threat and accuses it of wimping out:

"It is not the organization of radical jihadists that it is sometimes made out to be. But its caution in dealing with Mubarak has made it appear recently that it is more concerned with protecting itself than with improving the nation."

The article tells us two historical facts about the Brotherhood: It was inspired by the YMCA and was brutally repressed by the Egyptian government in the 1950s.

Sigh. And what does it leave out? That it seeks to transform Egypt into an Islamist state, reduce the Christians to third-class citizens (they are already second-class citizens), do away with rights for women, impose Sharia law, drive America out of the Middle East, and wage a war of genocide against Israel.

Oh, and then there's the history of the Brotherhood: it was financed by the Nazis from the 1930s on and tried to deliver Egypt to them in World War Two, used the Nazi weapons it had been given in 1942 to try to destroy Israel in the 1948 war, had a terrorist wing and assassinated a number of officials including an Egyptian prime minister, was repressed because it tried to kill President Gamal Abdel Nasser, supports terrorism not only against Israel but also U.S. forces in Iraq, and its leader now calls for a Jihad against the United States.

Has anyone in the Western media or governments ever read anything from Brotherhood leaders' speeches or publications? Apparently not. In fact, regarding the media I have seen zero evidence that it has any idea what these people say every day.

I am writing this about 50 miles from Egyptian territory. Two next-door countries--Lebanon and for all practical purposes the Gaza Strip--already have Islamist-run regimes. Some would count Saudi Arabia as a third, though I wouldn't necessarily do so. A fourth, Syria, is in the Islamist alliance. Now a fifth, Egypt, might be headed that way. All that's left is Jordan. This week, at least.

So, is the United States going to, "Support dictators for the rest of eternity because we don't want Islamists taking their share of some political system in the Middle East?" Well, you are running out of dictators, though I suppose you could back the overthrow of the king of Morocco and back the Islamic Salvation Front into power in Algeria.

But on the positive side, there are more and more dictators who the United States doesn't support! Good news. They are anti-American dictators who sponsor terrorism and subvert their neighbors. The United States doesn't support these dictators, it merely engages them. We can look forward to a bright future in which the United States doesn't support any dictators in the Middle East at all, because Iran and the Islamists will fill that role.

Indeed, President Bashar al-Assad, dictator of Syria, gives the "What? Me Worry" grin.

"Syria is stable. Why? Because you have to be very closely linked to the beliefs of the people. This is the core issue. When there is divergence...you will have this vacuum that creates disturbances."

What does this mean? That if you line up with Iran, support revolutionary Islamism, and oppose the United States you are going to be popular and strong since that demagoguery appeals to the masses. Do you think any future leaders in Egypt are aware of that fact?

Oh, and if you shoot or imprison demonstrators at the first sign of trouble and your patron doesn't care about your brutality, nobody will overthrow you.

I have an idea for the prophets of Muslim Brotherhood moderation: Please experiment with the lives of people closer to your own homes.

Original URL: http://www.gloria-center.org/gloria/2011/02/egypt-the-american-debate-has-gone-stark-raving-crazy

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.

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

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Illusions and Delusions About the Turmoil in Egypt What is Wrong with Rabbis Michael Lerner and Arthur Waskow?


by Phyllis Chesler

Why do so many Jews insist on their divine right to refuse to learn from history? How can a 1930s Stalinist ideology or even a 1960s liberal-socialist-feminist ideology exert such a death-grip over otherwise educated people?

My old friends, Rabbis Michael Lerner and Arthur Waskow have both written and posted pieces today in order to praise the protesters in the streets of Cairo. Both imagine they are pro-democracy advocates, perhaps like those in Tehran. Both rabbis are very much in a Passover state of mind.

Rabbi Lerner views the Cairo protesters as similar to the ancient Hebrew slaves of old who rebelled against Pharaoh. The fact that the Hebrews wanted to leave Egypt, not overthrow Pharaoh and stay on under some new Pharaoh does not seem to register with Rabbi Michael, nor does he note that technically, the Jews did not overthrow Pharaoh at all, God alone did that when Pharaoh pursued the Jews across the Reed Sea.

But forgive me for quibbling with a learned Rabbi whose message has a purpose, namely, to “share the news” with the Egyptians that they have “strong support from many in the Jewish world.”

Indeed, alas, they do. And guess what? The people in the streets are probably mainly Islamists and pro-Islamists who hate both Israel and America as well as Jews. Many of the effigies of Mubarak they hanged in Tahrir Square had a face scrawled with Stars of David. The Egyptians are loudly accusing Mubarak of being a “Zionist”—the worst epithet they can use against anyone. They are also writing on bridges and walls: “Traitor, go to Israel,” and “This is the end of all Jews.” In addition, they are blaming America and the “Zionist Lobby” for having supported Mubarak. (They are oddly quiet about the much larger Saudi Lobby which not only supported Mubarak but which also funded most of the Muslim Brotherhood views that they, the people, now hold.

As I pointed out in my piece yesterday, according to a June 2010 Pew opinion survey, here are some of the views from the Cairo Arab Street:

Fifty nine percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics….Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves…84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion…When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.

Dear Brother Michael: In your ecstatic delirium (Brother Arthur shares this state of consciousness with you) I do not see any evidence that you understand who, exactly, is really in the street. Further, would it interest you to know that, according to Egyptian Sam Tadros, all the known opposition, secular, pro-democracy organizations in Egypt have “no more than 5000 members each”; these pro-democracy parties all lack a military striking force, an economic base, political power, influential meeting halls, and a birth-to-cradle ideology. Only the Muslim Brotherhood has all that and, although they were outlawed, they commanded 20 percent of the seats in Parliament and probably most mosques.

There are at least a thousand mosques in Cairo alone. And, before their parliamentary strength was gutted by Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood had more than twelve times as many members of parliament compared to the next largest opposition faction.

Brother Michael: In your passionate Advisory titled “Why Jews Around the World are Praying for The Victory of the Egyptian Uprising” I urge you to consider these above facts. Although you briefly concede that the “worriers have a point,” what you have instead focused upon is criticizing a “small number of right-wing voices from Israel that lament the change” and criticizing Israel for having allied itself with “repressive regimes in Egypt” for the sake of “economically depriving the Hamas regime of food supplies and equipment to rebuild after Israel’s devastating attack in December 2008 and January 2009.”

Brother: What are you smoking out there in Berkeley? How can you write this without also writing about Hamas’ stated intention to genocidally exterminate Jews and Israel or Hamas’ tyrannical uber-Pharaoh-like reign of tyranny over their own people? How can you blame Israel for Mubarak’s consistent “jailing and torturing of its opponents” (which I also certainly condemn) without blaming Hamas for exactly the same kinds of torture and murder of its opponents? How can you remain silent about the female genital mutilation which is practiced on 96 percent of Egyptian women or on the honor murders, forced veiling, arranged marriage, polygamy, etc. that characterizes Islamic gender apartheid in the disputed territories and in Egypt—as practiced by the very people you are busy idealizing, when in fact it was Mubarak who, unsuccessfully, banned and actually tried to eliminate some of these barbaric practices.

How can you demand a “generous, loving, caring” Global Marshall Plan, as introduced by Congressman Keith Ellison, for the Palestinians first among peoples? And for the mainly Muslim Middle East? When it comes to caring and sharing, how dare you forget South Sudan or Congo?

How can you still retain your illusions/delusions about who Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, and the Muslim Brotherhood really are, namely, totalitarian theocratic fundamentalists, practitioners of both religious and gender apartheid, and barbaric misogynists who wish to rule the world in a new Caliphate? Really, how can you overlook and not even mention the mistreatment of women in Egypt, Gaza, and on the West Bank, not to mention in Iran—which is the state entity calling many of the shots in the Arab world?

Well, President Obama managed to deliver a State of the Union message without focusing on women. I guess he is your role model.

As to Arthur of the flowing white beard, the Heschel-lookalike beret, the kindly face: What is wrong with you? You wrote so beautifully in your book God-Wrestling—and yet now you are imagining that the Egyptian protesters are “revolutionaries” whom you compare to those ancient Hebrews “who dared to smear blood on their doorposts and come forth from these wombs of rebirth to break the birthing waters of the Red Sea.”

Reb Arthur: I have always appreciated all your female and feminine analogies. but really, have you looked at the photos and the street scenes in Egypt? What do you see? Do you see an orderly line of people exiting Egypt? Or do you see what I see: mainly angry men screaming out against Mubarak as a “Zionist” and angry, anti-American-slogan- spouting women in full and in very severe hijab and niqab? Is this your idea of “rebirth” and “revolution?” And what has this got to do with “Gandhi’s anti-British campaign in India, the fifteen million unemployed Americans, the droughts, the failure of the wheat crop, the heating of our planet, the shoveling and shriveling of blood and limbs and genitals, of shattered minds and souls of Americans and Iraqis and Afghans into the trash heaps of illegitimate and unwinnable wars”?

You just can’t help yourself…does it make you feel good, powerful, to list it all and lump everything together—does this better allow you to refuse to see that they are coming to kill the Jews, your people, God’s people, again?

Both you and Michael call for spiritual interfaith community. Fine. Ask the Egyptian Muslims to stop torturing and persecuting the Egyptian Copts. Ask for a safe return for all the Jews who fled Egypt in 1956 because Nasser declared them “enemies of the state.” Why not ask that a new synagogue or church or Hindu or Buddhist temple be built in Saudi Arabia? Why not raise this at your next interfaith meeting?

How can you two be so foolish, so irresponsible?

I have some ideas about why you are holding fast to your world views, but that will require a separate piece. Until then, please consider what I’m saying. Respondez-vous, s’il vous plait.

Original URL: http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/934/turmoil-egypt

Phyllis Chesler

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

Where are the Voices of Moderate Islam?


by Isi Leibler



When declaring war against radical Islam in response to the 9/11 bombings, president George W. Bush made the statement that "Islam is a religion of peace."

His laudable intention was to distinguish between radical Islamic fundamentalists, law-abiding American Muslims and "moderate" Islamic states. But the reality is that the impact of radical Islam extends far beyond the identifiable jihadists.

The mantra is chanted mindlessly by the chattering classes and well-intentioned government officials, who delude themselves into believing that such an adamant denial of reality can somehow ease social tensions.

But regrettably, imbedding such a falsehood into public discourse relating to Islamic terror precludes any rational consideration of the root problem. It also empowers radical Islamists and enables them to more effectively intimidate moderate Muslims aspiring to achieve accommodation with the West.

It is misleading to describe any religion - Judaism, Christianity or Islam - as a force for peace. But to apply such a blithely generalized descriptive term to Islam as practiced in the 21st century is really like saying that pigs can fly.

History provides ample evidence of Christianity's harsh treatment of ‘heretics,' and its violence toward all other religions (for example, during the Crusades). By accusing Jews of the crime of deicide, Christianity also laid the foundations for the world's oldest hatred, anti-Semitism. However, in the 21st century, the dominant interpretations and objectives of both mainstream Judaism and Christianity are unquestionably peaceful. Most Christians genuinely seek accommodation with other religions, and attempt to make amends for the anti-Semitism of their forbears.

Largely, this does not apply to Islam. Like all sacred books, the Koran is also open to many interpretations. But it is simply delusional to generalize that Islam as practiced today is a religion of peace, when it manifestly spawns terrorism and when so many of its practitioners reject the legitimacy of other religions.

From its inception, adhering to the precept in the Koran to "kill [unbelievers] wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out," Islam has often conquered and subjugated non-Muslims. Many of its proponents are engaged in a continuous, global war with all nonbelievers (infidels), displaying particular contempt for Jews, who are referred to as "the descendants of apes and pigs."

ANY APOSTASY, under in Islam's Shari'a law, is a capital offense. Under Islamic jurisdiction, all non-Muslim religions are persecuted and frequently subjugated to extreme violence. This was borne out by recent massacres of Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sudan.

There are admittedly also moderate variants of Islamic thought, which require Muslims to obey the laws of the land and act justly. But other than when there is a direct threat to their own societies, it is rare to hear imams in Muslim countries condemning global Islamic excesses.

The pitifully few outspoken moderate elements among the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are primarily domiciled in democracies where Islam is a tolerated minority. But the ‘moderates' appear to be a diminishing breed, and the radical voices are becoming shriller as they perceive a lack of will to confront them on the part of most Western governments. Regrettably, the search for moderate Islam has proven highly elusive. Even today among Western Islamic communities, numerous imams continue to promote violence and extremism. In the US, 15 percent of Muslims between 18 and 29 believe suicide bombings are justified. Many, like their kinsmen abroad, still believe that 9/11 was a Zionist-CIA conspiracy, and admire Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

It is chilling to observe the offspring of Muslim immigrants and converts - including those benefitting from a Western education - transformed into suicide bombers and assassins. Most of these terrorists, including the 9/11 perpetrators, were nationals from "moderate" Saudi Arabia, or were infected by extremist Saudi Wahhabi educational streams exported to Western mosques.

It is a fact that, without exception, every Western society which has accepted large numbers of Muslim immigrants has been obliged to protect critics of this religion from assassination.

THESE TRUTHS are being suppressed by cowardly government leaders mistakenly believing that silence will grant them immunity from being targeted. They are supported by politically correct elites and leftist liberals, who have deluded themselves into believing they are combating ‘Islamophobia,' ‘racism' and ‘McCarthyism' by denying the facts.

In this climate of denial, government spokesmen downplay Islamic domestic and international terrorist incidents. Even after the recent terror attack in Egypt which killed 21 and wounded more than 100 in a Coptic church, the instinctive response from the White House was to issue a statement referring to it as an incident involving Christian and Muslim casualties, diverting attention from the fact that this was yet another example of Islamic violence against Christians.

This attitude even overflows to taking appropriate security measures.

Whereas it is indisputable that the overwhelming majority of terrorists are radical Muslims, there is an unwillingness at airports to implement ‘racial profiling' out of a truly absurd concern that this would be discriminatory or upset Muslim sensitivities. As a consequence, terrorists have far greater opportunities of evading detection and, in contrast to effective Israeli security procedures, enormous resources are needlessly directed against toward low-risk groups.

Interfaith dialogue is also frequently perverted. Too often, many of the Muslim groups - especially those engaged with Jewish groups - are still associated with or tolerate extremism. Sharing a platform with such bodies provides them with respectability, enabling them to further marginalize the few remaining genuine Muslim moderates who were not already intimidated.

IT IS not surprising that in the current climate of escalating violence, there is growing anger against Muslims in many Western communities. In addition to being outraged at the home-grown variety of Islamic terror confronting them, democratic citizens also object to the fact that whereas blasphemy and curses against Judaism or Christianity are tolerated, criticism of the prophet Muhammad or Islamic behavior invariably results in death threats.

But despite allegations of escalating Islamophobia, mosques and Muslim cemeteries are not desecrated like those of the Jews, and Muslims in Western countries face infinitely less violence than their Jewish counterparts. For example, in New York state in 2009, there were 251 hate crimes directed against Jews, but only 11 against Muslims.

It is significant that despite escalating Muslim extremist violence in Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is the only European leader to explicitly concede that multiculturalism has failed, and that new policies must be adopted to deal with minorities that refuse to integrate, and whose basic religious outlook is incompatible with Western democracy.

Western democratic leaders must come to their senses and recognize that the ongoing appeasement of or "engagement" with radical Islamic forces poses a real threat to the future of Western civilization.

This must also be taken into account in the context of the increasing popular turmoil erupting against autocratic Middle East governments, now focused on Egypt. To replace corrupt and despotic regime leaders with Islamic fundamentalist fanatics like those who direct Iran will certainly not improve anyone's quality of life for the long-suffering citizens.

Original URL: http://wordfromjerusalem.com/?p=2789

Isi Leibler

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

Dry Bones:Election Trap


by Yaakov Kirschen

Egypt, Mubarak, Obama, Cairo, Moslem Brotherhood, Elections, Middle East, Islamists, Hamas, Gaza, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Ayatollah,Iran : Dry Bones cartoon.
Here in Israel, we are seeing idealistic and optimistic Egyptians being interviewed by Israeli reporters at demonstrations in Cairo. I couldn't understand why those inspiring and pro-democracy interviews seemed both familiar and sad.

And then it hit me. 1984. The barrier between Israel and Lebanon had been replaced by a "Good Fence" gate. Lebanese citizens flooded into Israel. We saw idealistic and optimistic Lebanese being interviewed by Israeli reporters. We were all thrilled with the prospects for peace and real change. But I remember one depressing interview. A Lebanese schoolteacher said that he was visiting Israel while it was "still" possible to do so.


The "Good Fence" - 1984

The Good Fence is now a barrier between Israel and the forces of Hezbollah, the Islamist Iranian puppet in Lebanon.

Original URL: blog@mrdrybones.com

Yaakov Kirschen

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

Soros blames Israel, encouraged by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt


by Ed Lasky

The Washington Post shamefully allows George Soros to run one of his op-ed screeds in its pages. This one focuses on the tumult in Egypt and sees a promising future of freedom in the Arab world. This is doubtful. A mere look at the history of the region is enough to reveal the overly optimistic cheerleading. When the Shah fell, Ayatollah Khomeini was described as some kind of saint by Andrew Young, America's Ambassador to the United Nations under Jimmy Carter. Elections in Gaza brought forth Hamas. The Cedar Revolution has been left to wither and now Hezb'allah is in control. Aside from this excursion into reality, is there anything else regarding George Soros's column that might give one pause. How about his gratuitous and anti-Semitic slam on Israel and the Jewish supporters of Israel (he takes on Christian supporters of Israel, too). He is preemptively blaming them -- the Jews -- as being the stumbling block for freedom for the Arab world. Always the Jews.


The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality.

In fact, Israel has all but stayed out of this turmoil in the Muslim world. Would Israel be happy if Mubarak is ousted? No. Egypt has had a cool peace with Israel for three decades -- but at least it has been a cold peace. Mubarak has abided by the agreements signed by his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. Israel would not relish the likely ultimate victors in the battle for Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood -- for they are viciously anti-Semitic and anti-American. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have called for Egypt to prepare for war. They would likely remove Egypt's blockade of Gaza that has prevented Hamas from arming even more than they already have been able to smuggle in. They would cut off gas supply to Israel. But Israel has sat this one out.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel group that has become Soros's punching bag, has also been quiet. The other groups that Soros mentions that are "representative" of the Jewish community are groups such as J Street and Jews for Social Justice -- both organizations that he funds. In the case of J Street-a controversial group that is not pro-Israel but has taken position antagonistic to those of AIPAC and Israel-he and the leaders of J Street hid his financial support for years.

Who are the real culprits responsible for lack of freedom in the Arab world? Autocratic rulers, outmoded royalty, dictators, and a religious theocracy allied with them. The schools would rather teach hatred than liberal values. The Arab leaders (be they government, religious , military, media and educational) prefer to look at their citizens as subjects to be controlled and manipulated. They choose to divert hatred away from them and towards the West and towards Jews who are blamed for the poverty of the Arab world.

The Arab world is rife with anti-Semitism; the major source of anti-Semitism in the world today comes from the Muslim world (especially from Saudi Arabia and Iran). Those nations propagate and fund it to the rest of the world (Europe, Asia, South America). The Arab world has long blamed the Jews for their immiseration. Now they seemingly have confirmation of their views from a respectable source.

The Washington Post is one of the world's most respected paper[s]. The fact that it is printed in our nation's capital will carry extra weight in the Arab world. Imagine the way the Arab world will translate this op-ed: Washington Post says Jews are the stumbling block for freedom for the Arabs.

The Washington Post should be taken to the woodshed for allowing George Soros to spread his "blame the Jews' variety of anti-Semitism in its pages.

Furthermore, the Democratic Party is beholden to this sugar daddy. He is not only a prominent supporter of many Democratic politicians (and was an early and outsized supporter of Barack Obama) but groups such as J Street also endorse politicians. He is the largest funder of so-called 527 groups (like MoveOn.oRg) who routinely help Democrats. They are being supported by someone who peddles anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Will they continue to sup with the devil?

In a word, yes.

Original URL: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/02/soros_blames_israel_encouraged.html

Ed Lasky

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

There's No Abe Lincoln in the Muslim Hood


by James Lewis


Today, Egypt is under assault by the fascist Muslim Brotherhood, which is pushing that old IAEA crook, Mohammed ElBaradei, who lied to the world about the development of Iranian nuclear weapons, for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize.

This guy's a jewel.

ElBaradei may be the figurehead of a new regime, but the Hoods will be in charge. The only "moderate" in sight is the president of Egypt, Mubarak, who is not very moderate, either -- except compared to all the others. And, of course, the Useful Idiot Brigade is in full hue and cry, cheering for all the wrong sides.

When Jimmy Carter brought the first really suicidal Islamic fanatics to power in Tehran in 1979, he was facing exactly the same correlation of forces. And he totally misread them. Andrew Young has written that the Carter State Dept. thought Ayatollah Khomeini was "some kind of saint." This kind of saint had his hands deep in the blood of innocents long before he took over in Tehran. Then he got into a martyrdom war with Saddam that killed a million people. Does anybody remember that?

The Carter White House had its head so deep in the cloacal darkness that it made all the wrong decisions. Luckily, our cookies were saved by Ronald Reagan the next time the American people got a chance to vote. After that election, even before Reagan moved into the White House, the bloodstained ayatollah released his American diplomatic hostages, because Khomeini knew a president who was not a Useful Idiot. So he backed off, pronto.

Carter was helpless in Iran because he felt so guilty about what the CIA did to Mossadegh in 1954, twenty-five years before, when Stalin was alive and the Cold War looked to be going nuclear any day. Jimmy was ably assisted by Zbigniew Brzezinski in sabotaging the world's sanity and security.

Today, both of those colluders with unalloyed evil still maintain their innocence before the entire world, even as Ahmadinejad storms toward nuclear weapons. Carter and Brzezinski are highly respected senior statesmen of the ever-gullible left.

Will Iranian nukes explode by 2012 or 2015? That's the biggest debate today. And no sane person has any doubts as to where those nukes are going. Thank you, Jimmy!

As soon A'jad gets his hands on nukes, the world will see a completely unprecedented thing: an ideological suicide regime, like the Heavenly Nipponese Empire in World War II, equipped with nuclear weapons and fifteen-minute long-range missiles. Neither Tojo nor Hitler would have surrendered if he'd had those weapons. Today we would still see Nazis goose-stepping in Berlin and imperial soldiers parading in Tokyo.

What's happening in Tehran today is the direct outcome of peace-loving Ol' Jimmah. Indeed, Egypt looks like a copycat revolution, because the ayatollah showed radical Islamists all over the world how to do it. Iran is the model.

Remember: What we are seeing in Egypt, Iran, and maybe Tunisia was brought to you by the appeasement faction of the Democratic Party, led by Jimmy and Zbig. Obama seems to be learning the steps to the masochism tango from the Carter wing of the left.

So -- what is Old Hope 'n' Change doing? The fact is that we don't know, because he uses deception as a primary tool of policy. It's in the Alinsky book of rules. For example: In the age of instant e-mail and the web, why is Hillary Clinton making every single U.S. ambassador waste time flying to Washington, D.C. to have a mass rally conference call?

This is bizarre beyond belief, and it has only one major goal: to throw sand in our eyes. No secstate has ever felt the need to do this before. Right in the middle of the biggest foreign policy crisis of this presidency, Hillary is throwing a 180-person ambassadorial party so that the heads of missions in foreign capitals will not keep their fingers on the pulse wherever they are. Instead, they will all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Now that's crisis management.

Following the Alinsky model, Obama's public message is always a lie. It has absolutely no bearing on what's really happening. All we know is what the agitprop media are telling us.

Here's the cast of characters according to the agitprops.

First, Mubarak is the bad guy. That's identical to the Carter story, in which the shah was the bad guy during the Iranian revolution -- because he had been an ally of the United States in the Cold War. And the shah made the fatal mistake of looking weak.

But in Egypt, it's Mubarak who has kept the only real Middle East peace treaty alive over thirty years. Blow up the Israel-Egypt peace accords, and you're right back to a war of all against all in the Middle East.

(NB: There are no good regimes in the Muslim Middle East, if your standard is Western-style governance. None. We just lost the last decent one in Turkey when the Muslim Bros took over there while our secstate did nothing. So forget that option.)

Second, the people in the streets are billed as the good guys. I don't doubt that there are thousands and thousands of well-meaning people in the streets of Cairo, and if they had their druthers, they would elect Thomas Jefferson or maybe Abe Lincoln. I love and honor those people, I'm all for them, and I'm very much afraid that they are going to be shot dead by the Muslim Hoods as soon as they take power.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the biggest and most powerful gang of Islamofascist reactionaries outside Iran. They are the Bolsheviks -- radical killers waiting to wipe out the Useful Idiots as soon as the regime falls. Lenin did the same thing. He let the Mensheviks do the hard work of driving the tsar out of power, and then he brought in his killer battalions from Berlin (!) and elsewhere to bring down the social democrats.

When the Bros make their move, it will be by deception, disinformation, and, when the time is ripe, with total, ruthless violence. It's their doctrine, just like it was Communist Party doctrine from Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. It's a radical recipe, like shish-kabob, and it's predictable.

It also means that anything the media tell us today is probably a lie. Example? Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iranian revolution of 1979. Khomeini allowed the liberals and the Mujaheddin Khalq (hard left) to overthrow the shah, and then he had his murder squads take them out. That is why the shah of Iran is now long gone, and Tehran has a throwback tyranny run by a corrupt, venal, and murderous theocracy. We saw their handiwork in the streets of Tehran last year, when the Basij drove their jeeps into the crowds to kill as many civilian demonstrators as possible, randomly, without regard to whom they were killing.

So whom is Obama betting on? I think we have two reasonable guesses. One is ElBaradei, who could not survive in the chaos of Egypt today without some major power backing him. My guess is that he's a CIA plant, because that's a very good reason for Hillary to pull back the U.S. ambassador from Cairo, so there will be no interference from State, and no high-level witnesses when the Egyptian revolution gets through.

The second guess about Obama is that he's been talking to the Brotherhood. We know that his good pals Jodie Evans and Bill Ayers have a close alliance with the Bros. That's who put on the Mavi Marmara agitprop stunt against Israel last year. Jodie and Bill prepared the way by agitating the mobs in Egypt to bring down the barrier between Egypt and Gaza. (Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which is run by...guess who! Yes, it's the Hoods again!)

One confirmation of that hypothesis today is that the Bros just came out in favor of ElBaradei. If you think that ElBaradei is really a democratic moderate, then somehow he's just jumped into bed with the Islamic fascists. How moderate is that?

The only question is whether ElBaradei is a useful idiot who will be overthrown by the Bros as soon as he takes over -- or, much more likely, there has been a longstanding arrangement to make him the figurehead for the radicals.

ElBaradei is no innocent. He's a typical U.N. corruptocrat who can bring tears forth from all the Useful Idiots in America and Europe, but who is playing some kind of devious game behind the scenes. ElBaradei is a Sunni Muslim who publicly protected the Iranian nuclear program and, for all I know, the Pakistani nuke program. He's a sort of a nondenominational nuclear proliferator. And now he's making hay with the Brothers.

If we keep in mind that this is a hall of mirrors, and that it is deliberately kept as such by all the players, here is my guess.

Mubarak is now 82 years old. The planning for this "spontaneous revolution" has been going on for a long, long time, because everybody knows that the handover of power is the time of the greatest weakness in the Muslim Middle East.

The biggest opposition to Mubarak has been, yes, the Bros again. It's amazing how those folks keep popping up. (In America, too, as it turns out...)

Obama has no interest in electoral democracy. Chicago is not a two-party democracy. Two parties just complicate things. Look at all the trouble Obama's having with the American electorate, and -- good grief! -- even the Republican Party. Obama's a radical leftist. He looks like one, he walks like one, talks like one, even has the t-shirt.

Barack Hussein Obama believes in enlightened despotism, and in the Muslim world he knows that there is only despotism without enlightenment. That's why he bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia and Hu Jintao, the colonialist killer of Tibet and president of China. And for good measure, Obama bowed to the figurehead emperor of Japan as well. How's that for a big signal?

Obama has a Napoleonic personality, as we have seen in his first two years. He does not thrive on the give-and-take of electoral democracy. He's happier with Hugo Chávez than with the elected government of Colombia. Henry Kissinger is notorious for saying, "Who do you call to talk to Europe?" His point was that Europe is two dozen different countries. Obama is likely to feel the same way about the Middle East. He wants a single phone number to call in every major Arab country, because that's how you wield power in his world. It's like Chicago. If you're Da Mare, you call the alderman for that precinct. No muss, no fuss, no democracy to worry about. Things get too complicated, too uncontrollable, with a genuine democracy.

Right now, Obama knows whom to call at GM, on Wall Street, at Google, in New York City and Chicago. If he gets ZeroCare, he will also have just one phone number to call to control one sixth of the American economy. Obama believes in top-down control. That's why he can't stand the U.S. Constitution.

Obama has negotiated with Muslim radicals all over the world, including the Taliban in Afghanistan and Ahmadinejad in Iran. He feels comfortable with them, for the same reason that London's previous mayor, "Red Ken" Livingston, felt comfortable dealing with Muslim radicals in London. It is also the reason for the tactical alliances between the Nazis and the Stalin-era Communists. They understood each other. They are tactical allies until one side takes over, and then each side plans to knock off the other. Until then, they have a red-black alliance because they have a common enemy: us.

Ayatollah Khomeini took over during the Iranian revolution after killing off the hard left there as well. This revolutionary chess game is so old that it's practically in all the cookbooks.

But the bottom line is simple: There are no Abe Lincolns in the Muslim Hood. There are only bad choices.

A pro-American president like Ronald Reagan would know that instinctively. Reagan would never play footsie with the worst elements in the Muslim world -- the biggest fanatics and reactionaries, the ones who find scriptural authority to kill teenage girls for going out with the wrong boys.

Reagan was an instinctive people person. Obama is an instinctive autocrat. We've seen it in two years of domestic policy. Now we see it in foreign policy.

Pretty soon the American people will get it, too.

Original URL: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/theres_no_abe_lincoln_in_the_m.html

James Lewis

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

Glenn Beck and the Muslim Brotherhood


by David Horowitz


Those of you who have been watching Glenn Beck, and particularly those who watched last night’s show will see that he is bringing before an audience of millions the message we have been sending from these sites for nearly a decade — that the global Islamic jihad against the West has formed a working alliance with the secular socialist left both at home and abroad. This “unholy alliance” as we called it was first clearly visible in the anti-American demonstrations opposing the Iraq War. These were mislabled “anti-war” demonstrations by the general media. If they were truly anti-war demonstrations there would have been protests at the Iraq embassy calling on Saddam Hussein to honor the Gulf War truce agreement he had signed and the seventeen UN resolutions that attempted to enforce those agreements. But there was not one such demonstration. Not one.

We pointed out at the time that the steering committee of the largest coalition against the Iraq War — that is against toppling Saddam Hussein — included on its steering committee the Muslim Students Association, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2003, we laid out the facts in an 80 page booklet edited by John Perazzo and me, called Who Is The Peace Movement? We have updated the information in our online encyclopedia of the left at www.discoverthenetworks.org

Everything we know about the collaborations of the Communist left with the Soviet police state, about the collaborations of the New Left with the Vietnamese and Cuban Communists, and about the committees of leftists in solidarity with the communist dictatorship in Nicaragua and the Communist guerillas in El Salvador told us that the current left would be in bed with the Islamic Nazis who now confront us. In 2005 I published a bookUnholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left — which described this uniting of domestic forces with the external threat, and four years later our Frontpage editor, Jamie Glazov followed it with United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror. We have devoted a section of our online encyclopedia of the left to “Radical Islam’s Alliance With the Socialist Left.” The unholy alliance between Islamo-Nazis and the American left described in these pages is the gravest threat our country has ever faced.

Now Glenn Beck is bringing our warning and the facts on which it is based to millions of Americans in a series of radio and television shows that you don’t want to miss. They are readily available on the web here. Please copy the urls of his shows into your emails and send them to as many people as possible. The time to wake up America is now; the hour is late.

Original URL: http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/02/02/glenn-beck-and-the-muslim-brotherhood/

David Horowitz

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

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