Friday, April 1, 2011

Iran and the Final Grand Jihad


by Ryan Mauro

The documentary produced by Ahmadinejad’s office makes it clear that the Iranian regime sees itself as religiously-commanded to lead a united Arab coalition to destroy Israel in the near future. Interestingly, it said that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, though it is Sunni, is “in accordance with the Hadith.” The uprisings in the region are being seen as a green light for a new offensive to begin in the Middle East and Islamist forces are moving quickly to maximize their gains.

The immediate flashpoint in this new jihad is in Bahrain. The population is 70 percent Shiite but is ruled by a pro-American, Sunni Royal Family. Massive protests threatened to topple the regime that were responded to with deadly violence condemned by Iran. The Bahraini regime was forced to ask for intervention by the Gulf Cooperation Council and about 1,200 soldiers from Saudi Arabia and 800 from the United Arab Emirates came to its rescue. The Shiite opposition in Bahrain considers these forces to be an “occupation.” The leader of the hardline Haq opposition group flatly stated that the Saudi intervention gives the opposition “the right to appeal for help from Iran.” It is happy to oblige.

Hezbollah has offered support to the Shiite uprising in Bahrain and a website registered by the Iranian government is signing up volunteers to wage jihad against the GCC forces, including “martyrdom” operations that will be assigned via email. The website says that the fighters will be divinely guided by “the redeemer” who is behind the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Egypt and will lead the war against Israel, the U.S. and the enemy Arab governments. It is not clear who this “redeemer” is, but it is further proof that the Iranian regime believes it is fulfilling the commandments of Allah. The website says that a total of 1,858 volunteers have signed up, 60 percent of which are from Iran and 18 percent are from Bahrain. This isn’t just talk. Qatar has seized two Iranian ships near Bahrain loaded with weapons.

At the same time, there are relatively small but consistent protests in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, which is a Shiite majority area where most of the country’s oil resides. A successful Shiite uprising in nearby Bahrain would escalate the situation and the Iranian regime has repeatedly condemned the Saudi treatment of its Shiite minority. The aforementioned documentary produced by Ahmadinejad’s office states that the death of Saudi King Abdullah, either by natural causes or assassination (as called for in the film), is foretold in the Hadith as a sign that this final grand jihad is to begin. King Abdullah is 86 years old and is in very poor health.

It is not difficult to sense the fear instilled in the Saudi Royal Family. It has gone on a massive spending binge to appease its population. It announced a $36 billion aid package earlier this year and just announced a significant larger budget to finance projects around the country, including the upgrading of mosques; new offices for the religious police; the hiring of 60,000 more security personnel; bonuses for government workers; the creation of an anti-corruption agency; the construction of low-income apartments and much more. To Iran, this is more proof that it is about to fulfill prophetic destiny.

The documentary also asserts that the revolution in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood’s gains are part of this End Times scenario. Iran and the Brotherhood come from different branches of Islam but their struggles are tied. A senior Brotherhood official recently attended a conference in Tehran where he praised Ahmadinejad and said the region needed more leaders like him. The March 19 vote in favor of the constitutional amendments is a boon to the Islamists, as it paves the way for parliamentary elections as early as June and presidential elections as soon as September. This gives minimal time for political forces opposed to the Brotherhood to mobilize and campaign.

In Jordan, protests are smaller in comparison to the rest of the region but they are slowly getting larger, are consistently held and clashes are increasing. Here, too, the Muslim Brotherhood has a very powerful presence. The inevitable removal of Yemeni President Saleh, a staunch enemy of Iran, is also opening doors to the Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliate, Islah, will gain politically and the Yemeni government will be too weak to stand in the way of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, whose fight is referred to as a “holy revolution” in the regime’s documentary. The Houthis stated recently that their goal is the overthrow of the Yemeni government.

The regime’s film does not say that Al-Qaeda is part of this prophetic jihad and Osama Bin Laden’s picture is on a wall of Iran’s enemies. This does not mean that the terrorist group won’t benefit from this instability. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is already expanding its base in Yemen, seizing a town, a strategic mountain and a weapons factory after the police presence in the area was reduced to cope with the government’s crisis. In Libya, at least one rebel commander belongs to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which is tied to Al-Qaeda, and admits that about 25 of his fighters battled Coalition forces in Iraq. He also says that he was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 for fighting in Afghanistan against invading forces. CNN describes the Muslim Brotherhood branch in Libya as “energized” despite its lack of a presence in Benghazi.

This does not mean that everything is following the Iranian regime’s End Times vision. The uprising in Syria is clearly not in Iran’s interest and neither are the protests in the Gaza Strip and the declining popularity of Hamas. Recent terrorist attacks on Israel may be a desperate attempt to stabilize these situations and/or could be an opening salvo in this envisioned final jihad. Public pressure and protests in Sudan have been enough for President Omar Bashir, an ally of Iran, to announce he will not stay in office beyond his term. And of course, there is the opposition the Iranian regime also faces, though the film indicates that this is seen as a sign of the Hidden Imam’s reappearance as well.

Almost everywhere the Iranian regime looks in the region, it sees vindication of its apocalyptic worldview and signs that the final grand jihad it is meant to lead is imminent. The revolutions in the area are inspiring to Arab peoples seeking justice and freedom but they are just as inspiring to Iran and its Islamist allies. The Middle East is entering a dangerous new phase.

Original URL: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/03/31/iran-and-the-final-grand-jihad/

Ryan Mauro

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

Protecting the Enemy in Libya?


by Matt Gurney

As the war in Libya continues, and as the anti-Gaddafi opposition suffers serious setbacks, it is becoming more obvious that the success of the rebels is inextricably dependent on the military might of the NATO-led coalition’s forces. Yet U.S. intelligence regarding the composition of the rebellion already paints a grim and ominous picture: that the anti-Gaddafi insurgency is fortified with militant Islamists and even al-Qaeda-linked operatives who were formerly in the business of killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. CIA agents are only now being sent in to survey the extent of this influence, and while coalition diplomats refuse to rule out arming the Libyan rebels, allied forces must seriously come to grips with just who they are poised to bring to power — and whether it will be worse than Gaddafi himself. That this matter rests in the hands of the Obama administration, which has showed all signs of weighing American national interests last, is worrisome — to say the least.

The situation on the ground remains fluid. The Libyan military, still loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and the eastern-based rebels that have risen up against him, continue to trade territory and towns in fierce battles. Tracking the action from abroad is difficult — it seems the same few towns have been conquered and reconquered with every update. The town of Ras Lanuf, which the rebel forces captured to great celebration only days ago, has fallen back under Gaddafi’s control. This is typical of the ebb and flow of this war. When Ras Lanuf was under rebel control earlier in the week, experts and observers were expecting the rebels to roll into the Gaddafi-held town of Sitre, symbolically important because the dictator was born there. The rebels tried, and paid a heavy price when they failed. And now they are on the retreat once again.

The bleak situation for the Libyan rebels on the ground puts the West in an impossible position. Several weeks ago, when the allies began their campaign after securing UN approval, there was a sense of urgency. The rebels appeared to be on the verge of collapse and Gaddafi was threatening revenge on the civilian population of those areas that had risen up against him. America, Britain and France all launched their own military campaigns on short notice, and it took weeks for NATO to agree to take command of the entire operation under the command of a Canadian general. Now that NATO is running the show, however, there is still the issue over what comes next.

It speaks to the haste that the war against Libya was organized that only now are we truly beginning to have a full understanding of the situation on the ground. It has become clear, given the setbacks suffered by the rebels in recent days, that Gaddafi, despite the damage taken to his forces, still has sufficient firepower to hold the rebels in check. While the rebels can operate in areas swept clean of resistance by NATO airstrikes, when left on their own, they are outclassed by Gaddafi’s better armed and better trained forces. Having committed to protect Libya’s civilians, allied powers now face the unpalatable possibility that the fighting in Libya will effectively become a stalemate, leaving NATO in the awkward position of having to decide under what conditions it will leave Libya.

Indeed, the only thing worse then the stalemate may be breaking it. If Gaddafi remains in charge of Libya, he will likely revert to state sponsorship of terror. And yet, there is a disturbing lack of knowledge about who, exactly, the rebels we are now supporting really are. In a rush to head off the massacre of civilians, the allies have gone to war in Libya to assist people who might otherwise be our enemies.

Emerging intelligence reports paint a grim picture concerning the character of “our” side in Libya. Admiral James Stavridis of the United States Navy, currently serving as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO’s European forces, told Congress during testimony this week that intelligence is showing “flickers” of al-Qaeda and Hamas influence inside the Libyan rebellion. This colorful phrase seems to mean that though the rebels are mainly anti-Gaddafi in their outlook, they are drawing support from anti-Western terrorist organizations out to topple Gaddafi. This is crucial knowledge to have, as up until now, precious little information has been available as to the composition of our de facto allies in Libya — even though we have already committed ourselves to battle on their behalf. If Obama has ignorantly stumbled into a war in which he contributes American power and treasure to an al-Qaeda takeover of a nation, it would be a nightmare of catastrophic proportions.

Even if the anti-Gaddafi rebels aren’t reporting directly to Osama bin Laden, they are certainly drawing on the valuable experience of jihadist fighters who cut their teeth battling NATO troops in Afghanistan or coalition troops in Iraq. Libyans formed one of the largest groups of foreign fighters who battled with the American-led coalition in Iraq, and many of them are now battling Gaddafi, while American, British and Canadian pilots risk their lives to make it easier for these former insurgents to advance. Gaddafi, for all of his atrocious and unforgivable terrorist acts, did serve at least one strategic purpose for the West — he fought al-Qaeda’s influence in Libya (and initially blamed them for the protests against him) because al-Qaeda would like to see Gaddafi gone.

Such reports of the composition of the Libyan rebellion become more worrisome by the day. Since the rebels are clearly having difficulties defeating Gaddafi, and since the NATO forces are essentially stuck there until they do or Gaddafi chooses to leave, there has been speculation that the allies might choose to provide the rebels with the kinds of heavy weapons that would let them fight Gaddafi’s forces on a more equal footing. No announcement along these lines has been made, and rightly so. While arming the rebels would allow them to fight Gaddafi on a more equal footing, at this point, with no clear leadership among the rebels, no clear goal and no reason to expect that they are not at risk of falling under the influence of terrorist groups committed to our destruction, we should not be providing them with high-tech weapons that could in turn be used against us or Israel. It may be some time before we have the knowledge needed to make a reasonable assessment of whether we can trust some or all of rebels — according to reports issued Wednesday night, the first CIA teams are just starting to rush to Libya now. No doubt what they report will help determine what the allies do next in this strange and risk-laden war.

It is very possible that we have already gone too far to go back. Gaddafi’s international credibility — not that there was ever very much of that — has been destroyed. His military has been left in ruins. Many regime officials have abandoned him, and the oil export facilities that are the backbone of Libya’s economy are being captured and recaptured so often it will be a miracle if anything survives. It is hard to imagine how the rebels will not eventually have some form of influence in Libya, and if they are truly Islamist-backed, and there is rising evidence to suggest a significant percentage of them are, then there might very well be a repeat of what is unfolding today in Egypt: a dictator is toppled, and the door is opened, in a Khomeini-like scenario, to something far worse — and devastating to American and Western interests.

Thus, one of the top priorities of the NATO-led coalition must now be to avoid ushering Islamist forces into power. Whether the Obama administration, with its foreign policy incompetence and America-Last vision, is up to the task remains the agonizing and depressing question.

Original URL: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/03/31/protecting-the-enemy-in-libya/

Matt Gurney

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

Perfidious Albion and Israel


by Isi Leibler

British Jews who primarily interact with fellow Jews in their daily lives, and thus remain largely insulated from direct anti-Semitic confrontations, frequently underrate the impact of the relentless demonization of Israel on their standing in society. Others, who insist that the anti-Israeli onslaughts are unconnected to anti-Semitism, are simply in outright denial The principal barometer is the media which is now so consistently hostile to Israel that an occasional neutral or positive article is almost cause for celebration.

The poisonous atmosphere has now extended to the entertainment arena. In London, I saw the final episode of "The Promise," a four-part drama series televised during peak viewing time on Channel 4, which encompasses the history of the Jewish state from its birth to modern-day Israel. I doubt whether any production in the Western world has ever related to Israel with such vile bias and venom. Virtually every Jew is demonized as a duplicitous and heartless monster.

The drama focuses on a British soldier who witnessed the Nazi death camps and subsequently served in the British mandatory forces when the state of Israel was born. His granddaughter, the heroine, witnesses Israeli brutality against peace-loving Palestinian women and children. It concludes with the aged former British soldier pontificating that despite the Nazi death camps, the creation of Israel was a terrible event which dispossessed the Palestinian people. The historical events are utterly distorted; rich Jews celebrate as innocent Arabs are butchered; a Jewish sniper deliberately murders a young Arab child and Israeli soldiers continuously abuse elderly Palestinians.

The Jewish director, Peter Kosminsky, had the gall to inform the media that the research undertaken prior to production demonstrated that overall, Israel had squandered the compassion it derived from the Holocaust and was now "isolated, feared and loathed in equal measure."

The credits at the end of the film disclose the dominant involvement of Jews and Israelis in the production.

My concern is that "The Promise" will serve as a trailblazer for future dramas in which Israelis and Jews will be portrayed as despicable villains.

AT THE universities, the situation continues to deteriorate. Campaigns to boycott, divest and sanction Israel are the order of the day. Many Jewish students are intimidated by the aggressiveness and violence of pro-Palestinian leftists and Arabs. Only two weeks ago, an Israeli activist at the University of London was brutally attacked and hospitalized after peacefully challenging anti-Semitic remarks expressed at an anti-Israeli demonstration.

The hypocrisy and double standards of British universities were highlighted when the director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, was obliged to resign after it was disclosed that the LSE had received huge donations from the Gaddafi family and hosted Gaddafi's son Saif, who had provided them with the benefit of his insights on civil society and human rights.

The visceral hatred against Israel extends to the British judiciary. A judge recently went so far as to acquit seven anti-Israel activists vandalizing and causing $300,000 damage in a factory supplying weapons to Israel. His ruling exonerated the perpetrators on the grounds that they were preventing Israel from indulging in further Nazi like "war crimes"! The government maintains the tradition of perfidious Albion towards Israel, with the Conservatives behaving no better than their predecessors.

On March 2, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a major speech to the Jewish community extolling the contributions of the Anglo-Jewish community, condemning anti-Semitism, claiming his "belief in Israel" was "indestructible" and even endorsing Zionism.

Yet according to "All the president's messengers" in The Economist, with encouragement from US President Barack Obama, Cameron remains at the forefront of one-sided condemnations of Israel at the United Nations and within the Quartet. During his visit to Turkey, the PM endeared himself to his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan by describing Gaza as an "open air prison camp" and condemning Israel for its "attack" on the Mavi Marmara.

Foreign Minister William Hague is also at the forefront of the European anti-Israeli pack. In response to the upheaval in Egypt, he reprimanded Israel for using "belligerent language" and congratulated the fervently anti- Zionist Labor Parliamentarian Gerald Kaufman for taking a "tough line" on the peace process.

YET, THERE is some light at the end of the tunnel. Prime Minister Cameron has for the first time conveyed concern regarding the failures of multiculturalism and one senses a popular backlash against Islamic extremism and terror. Regrettably, this is not accompanied by a more positive attitude towards Israel and the Jews.

The Jewish community is besieged. I met with the well-intentioned leaders of the Board of Deputies of British Jews seeking to cope with a difficult situation.

In my opinion, they are overwhelmed by the hostile climate. They still emphasize the merits of retaining a low profile, prioritizing silent diplomacy and avoiding confrontation. They also remain reluctant to resort to public action other than as a last recourse. Together with BICOM, a generously-funded organization commissioned to promote Israel advocacy, they appear to be continuously on the defensive, desperately seeking to prove their bona fides to the Left. They invest more effort against the marginal fascists than the far more threatening Arabs and anti-Israeli far Left.

The community also faces internal problems. The head of the unaccountable ‘Jewish Leadership Council', Mick Davis, who also chairs the UJIA, has been severely condemned for encouraging Jews to be critical of Israel. Samuel Hayek, the JNF UK head, resigned in protest and Davis was also subject to considerable criticism by rank-and-file members of the Board of Deputies. The feisty Zionist Federation vice president Jonathan Hoffman was obliged to withdraw a petition calling on Davis to resign when threatened by him with a costly libel suit. Hoffman's subsequent challenge to debate Davis was ignored. There are also increasing grassroots calls demanding that Jewish leaders become more assertive in their pro-Israel advocacy and public activity.

The highlight of my visit was meeting talented young people who, under the leadership of Sam Westrop, have formed a new pro-Israel advocacy body called "The British Coalition for Israel."

Despite resistance from some establishment Jewish communal and student leaders averse to confrontation, they have received a remarkable flow of grassroots support from activists throughout the UK. Together with a British offshoot of "Stand with Us", they now stand at the forefront of those courageously resisting the anti-Israeli onslaughts at universities and in the media.

Prominent individual publicists are also making an impact. There is the renowned journalist Melanie Phillips, author of the book Londonistan which exposed the extension of radical Islamic influence within the core of British society. Currently she is under police investigation for having referred to "the moral depravity" of the Arab "savages" who slaughtered the Fogel family in Itamar and those who incited them. She represents a beacon of light, fearlessly exposing the cant and hypocrisy of the viciously anti-Israeli media. Also Robin Shepherd, a non-Jew who after publishing a brilliant book supportive of Israel, personally experienced outrageously anti-Israeli sanctions by Chatham House, which dismissed him from his post as Senior Fellow. He now writes a superb, widely read blog, commenting on Middle East affairs.

Sadly, the best pro-Israel activists are frequently condemned by the Jewish establishment as extremists and accused of damaging the reputation of the Jewish community. May they grow from strength to strength.

Original URL: Jerusalem Post

Isi Leibler ileibler@netvision.net.il

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

Muslims in France Ask to Use Empty Churches


by Soeren Kern

Muslim groups in France have asked the Roman Catholic Church for permission to use its empty churches as a way to solve the traffic problems caused by thousands of Muslims who pray in the streets. The request, which has been variously described by French political commentators as "alarming," "audacious" and "unprecedented," is yet another example of the growing assertiveness of France's six million Muslims, who are transforming the country in ways unimaginable only a few years ago.

In a March 11 communiqué addressed to the Church of France, the National Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris, the Council of Democratic Muslims of France and a Muslim activist group called Collectif Banlieues Respect called on the Roman Catholic Church – in a spirit of inter-religious solidarity, of course – to make its empty churches available to Muslims for Friday prayers, so that Muslims do not have to "pray in the streets" and be "held hostage to politics."

Every Friday, thousands of Muslims in Paris and other French cities close off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, close down local businesses and trap non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for midday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allah Akbar" via loudspeakers in the streets.

The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.

The issue of illegal street prayers was catapulted to the top of the French national political agenda in December 2010, when Marine Le Pen, the charismatic new leader of the far-right National Front party, denounced them as an "occupation without tanks or soldiers."

During a gathering in the east central French city of Lyon on December 10, Le Pen compared Muslims praying in the streets to Nazi occupation. She said: "For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it is about occupation, then we could also talk about it [Muslim prayers in the streets], because that is occupation of territory. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It is an occupation. There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents."

Many French voters agree. In fact, the issue of Muslim street prayers – and the broader question of the role of Islam in French society – has become a major issue ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. According to a recent survey by Ifop for the France-Soir newspaper, nearly 40% of French voters agree with Len Pen's views that Muslim prayer in the streets resembles an occupation. Moreover, a new opinion poll published by Le Parisien newspaper on March 8 shows that voters view Le Pen, who has criss-crossed the country arguing that France has been invaded by Muslims and betrayed by its elite, as the candidate best suited to deal with the growing problem of runaway Muslim immigration.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose popularity is at record lows just thirteen months before the first round of next year's presidential election, has been spooked by Le Pen's advance in the opinion polls. As a result, he now seems determined not to allow Le Pen to monopolize the issue of Islam in France. Sarkozy recently called Muslim prayers in the street "unacceptable" and said that the street cannot be allowed to become "an extension of the mosque." He also warned that the overflow of Muslim faithful on to the streets at prayer time when mosques are packed to capacity risks undermining the French secular tradition separating state and religion.

Sarkozy also denounced multiculturalism as a failure and said Muslims must assimilate into the French culture if they want to be welcomed in France. Joining other European leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who recently have spoken out against multiculturalism, Sarkozy declared in a live-broadcast interview with French Channel One television: "I do not want a society where communities coexist side by side … France will not welcome people who do not agree to melt into a single community. We have been too busy with the identity of those who arrived and not enough with the identity of the country that accepted them."

At the same time, Sarkozy's center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party plans to hold a "national identity debate" on Islam and secularism on April 5. The purpose of the debate is to clarify the rights and responsibilities of Islam in a secular French Republic.

Some French voters, who say Sarkozy's efforts are too little too late, have taken matters into their own hands. For example, a group calling for "resistance to the Islamization of France" recently used Facebook to advertise an anti-Muslim "giant cocktail party" at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. "Identity Block," as the group is known, received some 7,000 RSVPs to attend the so-called "pork sausage and booze" party on the Champs-Elysées. Islam forbids the consumption of pork and alcoholic beverages.

In no mood for compromise, France's most prominent Muslim leader has called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled to 4,000. In a June 2010 interview with France-Soir, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grande Mosque of Paris and formerly president of the French Council for Muslims, said a major mosque-building program – courtesy of French taxpayers – would ease the "pressure, frustration and the sense of injustice" felt by many French Muslims. "Open a mosque and you close a prison," Boubakeur said. About 70% of all inmates in the French prison system are Muslim.

Meanwhile, the French Constitutional Court on March 10 struck down key aspects of a new law designed to crack down on Muslim-related urban violence. The court ruled that thirteen articles from security legislation passed by the Sarkozy government in February violated the French constitution. One of the articles removed by the court called for recent immigrants who attack police officers to be stripped of French citizenship.

Over the past several years, France has been the scene of many Muslim uprisings, usually accompanied by riots and car burnings. Large swaths of Muslim areas are now considered "no-go" zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.

Original URL: http://www.hudson-ny.org/2003/muslims-france-empty-churches

Soeren Kern

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

Norway's "Boycott" of Pro-Israel Speakers


by Alan M. Dershowitz

I recently completed a "speaking tour" of Norwegian Universities on the topic of "international law as applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." The sponsors of the tour—a Norwegian pro-Israel group—offered to have me lecture without any charge to the three major universities in Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim. Norwegian universities, especially those outside of Oslo, tend to feel somewhat isolated from the more mainstream academic world, and they generally jump at any opportunity to invite lecturers from leading universities. Thus, when Professor Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby—a much maligned critique of American support for Israel—came to Norway, he was immediately invited to present a lecture. Likewise, with Ilan Pappe—a strident demonizer of Israel—from Oxford. Many professors from less well-known universities have also been invited to present their anti-Israel perspectives.

My hosts expected, therefore, that their offer to have me present a somewhat different academic perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be eagerly accepted, since I have written half a dozen books on the subject presenting a centrist view in support of the two-state solution and against civilian settlements on the West Bank. Indeed, one of my books is entitled The Case For Peace, and former President Bill Clinton praised my blueprint for peace as "among the best in recent years." But each of the three universities categorically refused to invite me to give a lecture on that subject. The dean of the law faculty at Bergen University said he would be "honored" to have me present a lecture "on the O.J. Simpson case," as long as I was willing to promise not to mention Israel. The head of the Trondheim school was more direct:

"Israel and international law is a controversial and inflamed theme, which cannot be regarded as isolated and purely professional. Too much politics is invited in this."

But is it less "controversial" and "inflamed" when rabidly anti-Israel professors are invited to express their "politics?"

Apparently, a pro-Israel perspective is more controversial, inflamed and political than an anti-Israel perspective—at least at Trondheim. The University of Oslo simply said no without offering an excuse, leading one journalist to wonder whether the Norwegian universities believed that I am "not entirely house-trained."

Only once before have I been prevented from lecturing at universities in a country. The other country was Apartheid South Africa where the government insisted on "approving" the text of my proposed talks on human rights. I declined.

But despite the refusal of the faculties of Norway's three major universities to invite me to deliver lectures on Israel and international law, I delivered three lectures to packed auditoriums at each university. It turns out that the students wanted to hear me, despite their professors' efforts to keep my views from them. Student groups invited me. I came. And I received sustained applause both before and after my talks. Faculty members boycotted my talks and declined even to meet with me. I was recently told that free copies of the Norwegian translation of my book, The Case For Israel, were offered to several university libraries in Norway and that they declined to accept them.

It was then that I realized why all this was happening. At all of the Norwegian universities, there have been efforts to enact an academic and cultural boycott of Jewish Israeli academics. This boycott is directed against Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian land, but the occupation that the hundreds of signers referred to is not of the West Bank but rather of every single inch of Israel. Here is the first line of the petition: "Since 1948 the state of Israel has occupied Palestinian land…" Not surprisingly, the administrations of the universities have refused to go along with this form of academic collective punishment of all Jewish Israeli academics. So the formal demand for an academic and cultural boycott has failed. But in practice, it exists. Jewish pro-Israel speakers are subjected to a de facto boycott. Moreover, all Jews are presumed to be pro-Israel unless they have a long track record of anti-Israel rhetoric.

Read the words of the first signer of the academic boycott petition—an assistant professor of Trondheim named Trond Andresen as he writes about the "Jews"—not the Israelis!

"There is something immensely self-satisfied and self-centered at the tribal mentality that is so prevalent among Jews. [Not] only the religious but also a large proportion of the large secular group consider their own ethnic group as worth more than all other ethnic groups. [Jews] as a whole, are characterized by this mentality…it is no less legitimate to say such a thing about Jews in 2008-2009 than it was to make the same point about the Germans around 1938. [There is] a red carpet for the Jewish community…and a new round of squeezing and distorting the influence of the quite dry Holocaust lemon…."

This line of talk—directed at Jews not Israel or Israelis—is apparently acceptable among many in the elite of Norway. Consider former Prime Minister Kare Willock's reaction to President Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel as his first Chief of Staff:

"It does not look too promising, he has chosen a chief of staff who is Jewish, and it is a matter of fact that many Americans look to the Bible rather than to the realities of today...."

Willock, of course, did not know anything about Emanuel's views. He based his criticism on the sole fact that Emanuel is a Jew.

All Jews are apparently the same in this country that has done everything in its power to make life in Norway nearly impossible for Jews. Norway was apparently the first modern nation to prohibit the production of Kosher meat, while at the same time permitting Halal meat and encouraging the slaughter of seals, whales and other animals that are protected by international treaties. No wonder less than 1000 Jews live in Norway. No wonder the leader of the tiny and frightened Jewish community didn't get around to meet me during my visit to his country. (The Chabad rabbi did reach out to me and I had a wonderful visit with a group of Norwegian Jews at the Chabad house.) It reminded me of my visits to the Soviet Union in the bad old days.

The current foreign minister of Norway recently wrote an article in the New York Review of Books, justifying his contacts with Hamas, a terrorist group that demands the destruction of Israel. He said that the essential philosophy of Norway has always been to encourage "dialogue." But I'm afraid that that dialogue in Norway these days is entirely one-sided. Hamas and its supporters are invited into the dialogue, but supporters of Israel are excluded by an implicit, yet very real, boycott against pro-Israel views.

Original URL: http://www.hudson-ny.org/2006/norway-boycott-pro-israel-speakers

Alan M. Dershowitz

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

Beware Giving in to the False Concept of Islamophobia


by Phyllis Chesler

We are drowning in anti-Israel propaganda, and still it never stops coming.

Simultaneously, the “Palestinian narrative” appears to us as if in a dream, over and over again, always slightly surreal and yet overly familiar. By now the “Palestinian narrative” is a brand and we have all been hypnotized. This is not surprising.

For more than 40 years, the Soviet, Arab, and Saudi Lobbies, eventually joined by the Iranian Lobby, have funded the demonization of Israel and the popularization of Palestine. The condemnation of Israel for crimes it has never committed (“ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “apartheid”) and the call for a Palestinian one-state solution is echoed, similarly, in films, books, poems, academic papers and lectures; we see and hear this on television, at conferences, at campus demonstrations, in the halls of the United Nations, the European Union, in Parliaments, and, of course, in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

By now, the “Palestinian narrative” has effectively rendered Jews unsafe and unwelcome in Europe. Jews who look “Jewish” or “religious” are not safe on the streets of certain European countries such as England, France, Holland, Belgium, and Scandinavia. European pagan, Christian, and Nazi-era Judeophobia has found a new outlet in the obsessive demonization of Israel, the only Jewish state. This is also the way Europeans hope to appease Muslim immigrants who live in Europe but in parallel universes, who are hostile to the Western enterprise, and who demand the right to be brutally intolerant as a Western civil right.

This same false Palestinian narrative has morphed into a belief that all Muslims—who are, themselves, the largest practitioners of religious apartheid in the world, and who persecute all non-Muslims—are, as Muslims, being persecuted in the West. This may be because Islam is not (yet) dominant in the West.

In my opinion, the success of the “Palestinian” narrative is what has led to the unquestioning acceptance of the false concept of “Islamophobia.”

Those Europeans who have challenged the idea of “Islamophobia” and who have told the truth about Islam in Europe—or who have chosen to leave the Religion of Peace—have put themselves in harm’s way. Either they are sued for blasphemy or defamation—or they must live in exile and with bodyguards. Some have been murdered, even butchered.

What about America? Surely that is not true here.

In 2008, America’s FBI found that 66.1% of religious hate crimes targeted Jews, but only 7.5% of religious hate crimes targeted Muslims. On March 29, 2011, The Center for Security Policy released a revised edition of their groundbreaking longitudinal study, Religious Bias Crimes 2000-2009: Muslim, Jewish and Christian Victims — Debunking the Myth of a Growing Trend in Muslim Victimization. It is based on annual FBI statistics and contradicts the assertions that religious bias crimes against Muslims have increased in America and that the alleged cause is widespread “Islamophobia.” In fact, the study shows that religious bias crimes — also known as hate crimes — against Muslim Americans, have remained relatively low with a downward trend since 2001, and are significantly less than the numbers of bias crimes against Jewish victims.

According to the Center’s analysis, in 2009, Jewish victims of hate crimes outnumbered Muslim victims by more than 8 to 1 (1,132 Jewish victims to 132 Muslim victims). From 2000 through 2009, for every one hate crime incident against a Muslim, there were six hate crime incidents against Jewish victims (1,580 Muslim incidents versus 9,692 Jewish incidents). Even in 2001 when religious bias crimes against Muslims increased briefly for a nine-week period, total anti-Muslim incidents, offenses and victims remained approximately half of the corresponding anti-Jewish totals.”

Nevertheless, American Muslims have alleged rampant “Islamophobia” in America. Countless number of Talking Heads have taken this allegation seriously.

Thus, it is not surprising that CNN just aired a documentary which was titled Not Welcome: The Muslims Next Door.

On camera, the Muslims are all so very…peaceful. There is not one angry or hate-filled Muslim man on camera. Not one. Despite the fact that we have seen hundreds, possibly thousands of angry, frightening, violent Muslim demonstrations, including prayer services, all across America and across the Islamic world, and many hate-filled captured Islamic and Palestinian terrorists on camera, CNN’s chosen Muslim-American men of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, including the Sheikh of the planned Islamic Center, are all soft-spoken, emotional, tearful, non-violent. Except for the Sheikh’s American wifewho converted to Islam, the Muslims on camera are all innocent, good, non-white people.

Soledad O’Brien, CNN’s special anchor, likes them, and, as someone with Afro-Cuban as well as Caucasian Australian parents, perhaps she even identifies with them. In any event, O’Brien questions them very politely, sympathetically.

However, the white, Christian-Americans on camera—all of them, without exception—are portrayed as hateful, cruel, insidious, dislikable, selfish, phobic, and no doubt racist. O’Brien interviews them with barely disguised hostility and contempt.

At issue, according to CNN’s website are America’s post-9/11 fears about radical Islam, terrorism, and “Sharia Law.” As CNN sees it:

“Murfreesboro, Tennessee has just over 100,000 people, 140+ churches, and one mosque. For decades, Muslims have lived and prayed in Murfreesboro without incident, but last May, when the Muslim community gained county approval to build a new 52,000 square foot Islamic center in town, hundreds of Murfreesboro residents took to the streets in protest…. O'Brien chronicles the dramatic fight to block the mosque project in Murfreesboro and the fight over religious freedom; a fight that would ultimately include protests, vandalism, arson and an explosive lawsuit that would involve the U.S. Department of Justice.”

What’s wrong with Murfreesboro is that it is too damn Christian and too damn white. It is not diverse enough.It is not Middle Eastern enough.

O’Brien, herself a Harvard graduate, dresses as a modern American woman. She has absolutely no comment to make about the fact that most of the adult Muslim women on camera are all wearing long, shapeless dresses and severe hijab—while the Muslim men are all dressed in modern, American style. The Sheikh’s wife insists that women are not “oppressed” under Sharia Law, that she is not oppressed, that no Muslim woman she knows has ever been oppressed, etc.

Interestingly enough, the Sheikh has a foreign accent. One wonders why so many Sheiks have been imported from the Middle East to America. Asra Nomani is a religious Muslim feministwho was born in India and raised in America. Her father founded the mosque of Morgantown, West Virginia. Nomani tried to persuade her mosque to become more woman-friendly. She failed. In a PBSdocumentary about this story, Nomani claimed that when Arab Muslims joined her mosque, her battle to bring it into the 21st century failed. On camera, she says:

“Extremists — mainly Arabs — led by one rather physically and verbally violent Egyptian, Hany Ammar, took over. At that point, I began hearing really scary sermons. An unchaste woman is worthless. The West is on a bad path. We must hate those who hate us. Women should be silent in a mosque. Jews are descendants of apes and pigs.”

Incredibly, on camera, Ammar says: “I pray to Allah that you be punished. May Allah get revenge for Ammar.” Ammar is also heard, but not seen, physically attacking a young moderate Muslim man. Ammar’s wife Mona is even more conservative, more aggressive than he is. She minces no words in expressing her contempt, even hatred for Nomani. Like certain kinds of religious women, she is even more zealous in upholding the patriarchal status quo, more aggressively empowered to strike down any other woman who dares challenge male supremacy or Islamic gender apartheid.

Ultimately, Ammar tries to ban Nomani from the mosque. Eventually, both she and her family leave.

Why do I even bring this in? Because Murfreesboro’s Sheikh Ossama Mohamed Bahloul is also a foreign-born Arab Muslim. All this means is that he may (or may not) be a religious Muslim supremacist or an Islamist. Bahloul is an Egyptian-born graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He was the Imam of the Islamic Society of Southern Texas, in Corpus Christi, and then the visiting Imam for the Islamic Center of Irving, Texas.

Sheikh Bahloul is not a terrorist, nor did he have anything to do with the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, an organization which raised money for Hamas and was based in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. However, he was summoned from Egypt to work in Texas, and left for Murfreesboro a year after the Holy Land trial began. Texas is known as a hotbed of increasingly fundamentalist Islam. Perhaps Bahloul was chosen for his radical beliefs and for his ability to mask them as something else. After all, his wife is dressed as if they live in Cairo, not in America.

To me, this is a sign and signal of a desire to live in a parallel universe, one in which Muslims are taught that they are superior to non-Muslims; one in which Muslims are taught to hate Jews and other infidels;one in which Muslims are taught that Sharia Law is, indeed, superior to American law. That is why CNN invites Harvard Professor Noah Feldman on. He assures people that “Our constitution prohibits any religion from becoming the law of the land.”

It does. But look at how Sharia law and/or Islamic custom has usurped the law of the land both in Europe and in America, where female genital mutilation, child arranged marriage, polygamy, the burqa and honor killings are pandemic.

An Egyptian father killed his two American daughters in Irving, Texas. Yaser Said came from Egypt, married his American-born wife when she was fifteen years old, honor murdered their daughters in 2008, and then fled. He has yet to be found.

A series of attacks were perpetrated against the building of the mosque. “Not Welcome” was spray painted on the sign which announced the mosque opening, arson was perpetrated, a lawsuit was brought. The graffiti and the arson are unacceptable. But no one who opposes the mosque is given a fair hearing or the slightest respect on camera. And, Sheikh Bahloul may be as clever as he is soft-spoken. In a very emotional but determined voice, pitched precisely to gain sympathy for his causehe says: “This is America. This is too much.”

Ah, so the Egyptian-born Sheikh understands America and fully knows what his rights are here. Funny, he only arrived here post 9/11. Actually, for all I know, he could have arrived here sooneror more recently. None of his many biographies and interviews share this information with us.

Is he, perhaps, asecret lover of Zion, an admirer of the American way of life, a Sufi-style peaceful Sunni Muslim? He graduated from the most prominent school of Islamic learning in the Sunni world. If he is really a man for the 21st century, he will have to take some very prominent and public stands which prove that this is so.

Original URL: http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/965/beware-giving-in-to-the-false-concept

Phyllis Chesler

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

Chavez Embraces Gaddafi and Tehran


by IPT News

The Libyan war has nothing to do to with humanitarian concerns, a senior member of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's ruling party said this week. According to Carlos Escarra Malave, vice president of Venezuela's standing committee on foreign policy, the United States and its European allies "invaded" Libya so they could confiscate $200 billion in frozen assets belonging to the family of Muammar Gaddafi.

They "could save their own economies by confiscating those assets," he said. "That's the true reason for the invasion."

Malave's bizarre comments serve to highlight the Venezuelan regime's reflexive support for rogue states and its hostility towards the West. But Chavez's burgeoning relationships with Iran and terrorist proxy Hizballah have been a much greater concern for American policymakers and law enforcement officials for years.

In April 2010, the Defense Department reported to Congress that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the IRGC-Qods (Jerusalem) Force (IRGC-QF is an elite unit within the IRGC) have been increasing their presence in Latin America - especially Venezuela.

The two "have been involved in or behind some of the deadliest terrorist attacks of the past 2 decades, including the 1983 and 1984 bombings of the U.S. Embassy and annex in Beirut, the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and many of the insurgent attacks on Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq since 2003," the Pentagon report said. The IRGC and IRGC-QF generally direct and support "the groups that actually execute the attacks, thereby maintaining plausible deniability within the international community."

In 2008, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against "two Venezuela-based supporters of Hizballah." One of them, Ghazi Nasr al Din, who served in senior positions at the Venezuelan embassies in Syria and Lebanon, had "counseled Hizballah donors on fundraising efforts" and "provided donors with specific information on bank accounts where the donors' deposits would go directly to Hizballah," a Treasury statement said.

The other, Fawzi Kan'an, "met with senior Hizballah officials in Lebanon to discuss operational issues, including possible kidnappings and terrorist attacks. Further, Kan'an has also traveled with other Hizballah members to Iran for training."

"It is extremely troubling to see the Government of Venezuela employing and providing safe harbor to Hizballah facilitators and fundraisers," said Adam J. Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

For Iran, Venezuela's established financial system "can help it end run UN Security Council sanctions, and its geographic location is ideal for building and storing weapons of mass destruction far away from the prying eyes of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community generally," said former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who conducted several investigations into illicit banking and financial links between the two nations before his retirement in 2009. "For Venezuela, Iran provides political leverage against the United States by burnishing Caracas's pretensions to leadership of Latin American's anti-U.S. regimes and terrorist organizations."

Morgenthau is deeply concerned about Iranian-Venezuelan collaboration in circumventing sanctions against Iranian nuclear weapons programs. In June 2008, Iran opened a bank in Caracas under the Spanish name Banco Internacional de Desarrollo C.A. (BID). It was an independent subsidiary of the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI). Four months later, OFAC imposed economic sanctions against these Iranian banks for attempting to provide services to the Iranian Ministry of Defense and its Armed Forces Logistics agency - two military agencies responsible for advancing Iran's weapons-of-mass-destruction programs.

Iran and Venezuela claim the BID opened in Venezuela for the purpose of expanding bilateral economic ties. Morgenthau suspects there is a darker motive: Iran hopes to use Venezuela to circumvent U.S. sanctions and gain access to the American banking financial system.

OFAC sanctions alone cannot stop this outcome, Morgenthau argued, because Venezuelan banks are not subject to sweeping U.S. or international sanctions that seriously restrict their ability to do business with the United States. That means, in effect, that U.S. banks are forced to rely on the Venezuelan banks that are under Chavez's control to ensure that money is being transferred for legitimate purposes.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office found that Iranian-Venezuelan financial "cooperation constitutes the basic infrastructure for dealings in nuclear technology as well as the narco-terrorist activities in which the Venezuelan government is clearly implicated," Morgenthau wrote. "Our efforts uncovered a pervasive system of deceitful and fraudulent practices employed by Iranian entities to move money all over the world without detection….The Iranian government is going to such lengths for a purpose as simple as it is obvious: to pay for materials necessary to develop nuclear weapons, long-range missiles and sophisticated roadside bombs without being detected."

Two years ago, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that there had been a marked decline in Venezuelan cooperation with U.S. anti-narcotics efforts since 2005. Washington made repeated efforts to resume cooperation, but none of those were reciprocated by the Chavez government. According to the GAO:

"According to U.S. and Colombian officials, Venezuela has extended a lifeline to Colombian illegal armed groups by providing significant support and safe haven along the border. As a result, these groups, which traffic in illicit drugs, remain viable threats to Colombian security. A high level of corruption within the Venezuelan government, military and other law enforcement and security forces contributes to the permissive environment, according to U.S. officials."

According to the State Department, Chavez has repeatedly referred to the United States as a "terrorist nation" and described America as "the first state sponsor of terrorism." During 2009, Venezuela's "cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism has been reduced to an absolute minimum," the State Department reported. Chavez "continued to strengthen Venezuela's relationship with state sponsor of terrorism Iran," while "Iran and Venezuela continued weekly Iran Airlines flights connecting Tehran and Damascus with Caracas."

In May 2010, the U.S. government re-certified Venezuela as one of six countries worldwide that are "not cooperating fully with U.S. counterterrorism efforts" (the others were Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Eritrea).

At that time, according to former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega, the Iranian and Venezuelan ambassadors to Syria held a meeting in Damascus where they came up with a plan for a secret summit in Caracas. It took place in August, when Chavez hosted senior jihadist operatives, including Khaled Meshaal, supreme leader of Hamas; Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad; and the chief of operations for Hizballah, whose name is kept secret.

Last year, Spanish journalist Antonio Salas published a book, El Palestino, in which he said there are six terrorist training camps around Caracas. Groups training there include Hizballah and the Colombian FARC organization.

There had been reports for years about the existence of the camps, but Salas was apparently the first person to provide firsthand documentation. In the book, Salas said he posed as a Venezuelan Palestinian interested in jihad. He joined a Venezuelan "faction" of Hizballah, meeting members of terrorist organizations like Hamas and the FARC.

"This is in keeping with Chavez's broader goals of creating an alliance of state and non-state actors to wage asymmetrical warfare against the United States," journalist Douglas Farah wrote.

Original URL: http://www.investigativeproject.org/2730/chavez-embraces-gaddafi-and-tehran

IPT News

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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New al-Qaida Magazine Lauds Arab Revolutions


by IPT News

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula released its fifth issue of Inspire Magazine, with a clear explanation of its views about upheaval in the Middle East and what that means for the organization's aim to retake the Holy Land.

While uprisings in Bahrain, Egypt and elsewhere in the region have been peaceful, several articles in the issue stake the claim that such popular actions somehow validate al-Qaida's violent ethos.

"The cover of this issue is about the Tsunami of change that is sweeping the Arab world. With the removal of the despots, the ummah [nation] will speak its voice, and when it does, it will chant: Here we start and in al-Aqsa [Jerusalem] we'll meet," says Yahya Ibrahim in the introductory article. "The biggest barrier between the mujahidin and freeing al-Aqsa were the tyrant rulers. Now that the friends of America and Israel are being mopped out one after the other, our aspirations are great that the path between us and al-Aqsa is clearing up."

"The West also believes that the revolts are bad for al-Qaida. This is not the case," the article clarifies. The overthrow of Arab regimes is being taken as a new wind in the sails of the terrorist movement, empowering it to take bolder strikes at the West and Israel.

"Another line that is being pushed by Western leaders is that because the protests in Egypt and Tunisia were peaceful, they proved al-Qaida – which calls for armed struggle – to be wrong. That is another fallacy. Al-Qaida is not against regime changes through protests but is against the idea that the change should be only through peaceful means to the exclusion of the use of force."

"It is our opinion that the revolutions that are shaking the thrones of dictators are good for the Muslims, good for the mujahidin and bad for the Imperialists of the West and their henchmen in the Muslim world."

American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki called for Muslims to realize the significance of the revolutions to the international jihad movement. "The first and probably most important change that this monumental event brought is a mental one. It brought a change to the collective mind of the ummah. The revolution broke the barriers of fear in the hearts and minds that the tyrants couldn't be removed."

"We do not know yet what the outcome [of the revolutions] would be, and we do not have to… Regardless of the outcome, whether it is an Islamic government or the likes of al-Baradi [al-Baradai], Amr Mousa or another military figure; whatever this outcome is, our mujahidin brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation."

Newfound freedoms in the Arab world would also mean unrestricted movement and communications for the ideologues of terror. "If one would trace back the roots of today's jihad movement, one would see clearly the strong influence of the Egyptian Islamic movement," Awlaki said. "It was Sayyid Qutb and then the Egyptian Jihad that represented the ideological basis for today's jihad work. For the scholars and activists of Egypt to be able to speak again freely, it would represent a great leap forward for the mujahidin."

Sayyid Qutb was a primary a major scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a driving force behind the current jihad movement. Although the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida are often seen as competitive movements, the magazine makes reference to Qutb, who is popular with both groups for advocating an end to reliance on the West and jihad. It even makes a veiled reference to modern MB ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in a positive way, stating, "Now that Hosni [Mubarak] is gone, we heard the Imam of the Friday prayers praying: 'O Allah we ask you to allow us to meet in al-Aqsa,' and the millions in Tahrir square roared with one voice: Amin."

The magazine also illustrates al-Qaida's changing attitude on issues like mobilizing the masses and communicating their message to Western audiences. "If this Egyptian revolution has taught us anything, it has taught us that sitting and waiting for tyrants to fall is not practical; mobilization of the people is necessary for the tyrants to give in," writer Abu Suhail notes in "The Way Forward." And it gives practical advice that the next to be overthrown by the masses will be Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, saying, "Hey Ali, Mubarak just fell… Guess who's joining the party next?"

"This is what your brothers in the al-Qaida Organization and other jihadi organizations have been working for: inspiring the people all over the world to rise up for the Islamic cause of eliminating tyrants so that we have a clear shot at Israel."

"It is a collective effort that requires the ummah to be on the same page. The fat donkey sitting on the pathway however is America. With a weakened America, it will allow us to stride about the lands in honor, with the permission of Allah."

The magazine also takes the time to address readers' questions about the group's philosophy, including those who reject the organization. Moderate Muslim Imran Khan, in a letter to the magazine, challenges the notions that America and the West are at war.

"If you're implying that since Muslims in America are living peacefully and are not being mass slaughtered by Obama, then we say to you: Obama doesn't have to kill all the Muslims in America or even a single one for you to say that he's against Islam," the magazine responds to Khan. "Rather, Obama can say things like, 'the terrorists want shari'ah law,' 'they want a global caliphate,' 'they don't practice the true Islam; they are not Muslims,' and so on, and that would by default put him at war with Islam because he wants a type of Islam that Allah didn't choose for us to follow."

"For us to say that Obama is waging war against Islam, this doesn't fall under the news category; it is our worldview, which is actually shared by millions of Muslims across the globe who are not associated with al Qaeda or any jihadi groups."

The magazine also reinforces AQAP's consistent message of "Open Source Jihad" directed at the West, with articles ranging from cleaning an AK-47 to advice about carrying out attacks in the West.

The letters section redirects an aspiring jihadi to conduct his war on America instead of making the perilous journey overseas. "Your situation describes the same position that many other brothers in the West are going through," the article says. "They are ready to march forth but don't have the concrete steps to meet their mujahidin brothers. What we recommend is that you focus on planning out attacks in the West."

"The foreign brothers that join the mujahidin, many amongst them, conclude that it would have been better for them to return to the West and launch operations. This is because killing 10 soldiers in America for example, is much more effective than killing 100 apostates in the Yemeni military."

"With that said, based on your ability, you choose the target. Your pool of targets are large, so make sure to think of all of the available options. An example of something local, easy and effective is attacking an army recruiting center, nightclub, highway or busy shopping mall. Targets of greater difficulty, like the stock market, well-guarded individuals or intelligence agencies, will naturally require you to scout the enemy and area of attack thoroughly such as his movements, the cameras, security guards, secondary exits and so on," it continues. "One of the most effective things to do is to study past operations that failed and were done by individuals and small groups."

The group also takes pride in how its magazine has been received, quoting from Western media. "They're not looking to outdo the readership of the Economist or Time magazine. They only need to inspire one or two people to blow something up in the right place and they'll make back their start-up costs," it states, paraphrasing an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Original URL: http://www.investigativeproject.org/2726/new-al-qaida-magazine-lauds-arab-revolutions

IPT News

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

Senate Hearing Juggles Rights, Terror Concerns


by IPT News

A "headwind of intolerance" against Muslims in America is leading to a disturbing spike in employment discrimination complaints and school bullying, a senior Justice Department official told a Senate panel Tuesday.

Muslims account for 25 percent of employment discrimination complaints being handled by the DOJ's office of civil rights, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez told the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.

The hearing, "Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims," marked the first congressional hearing devoted solely to anti-Muslim discrimination. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., made a point of citing numerous previous hearings involving bigotry against Jews and Christians.

He called for the hearing, offering it as a counter-narrative to the House hearing organized by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., earlier this month that focused on radicalization within the American Muslim community.

He never mentioned King by name, but Durbin denounced what he saw as "inflammatory speech from prominent public figures [which] creates a fertile climate for discrimination."

As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported Monday, Durbin has developed warm relationships with two groups - the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview, Ill. - that federal law enforcement records show have clearly discernible Hamas-support histories.

Committee members Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said bigotry of any ilk should be condemned and Graham paid tribute to the "thousands of American Muslims serving in our military." But Kyl expressed concern that the hearing was an attempt to discredit or silence those who focus on Islamist extremism.

"If it's part of a narrative that says it's improper to point out the obvious, that too many young Muslims being radicalized to join the jihad, then count me out," Kyl said.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, said it wasn't an either/or proposition. He spoke about the need for unity in safeguarding the freedoms for people of all faiths, but also acknowledged the national security threat from "a particular form of extremist ideology that holds itself out as authentic Islam."

"These pervasive threats endanger all people both in this country and abroad," McCarrick said in his prepared testimony. "We cannot pretend that these threats do not exist. Our government has a duty to understand the threat and confront it effectively in order to keep our citizens safe and to promote and defend the common good of all."

Kyl questioned witness Farhana Khera, executive director of the legal group Muslim Advocates, about her criticism of law enforcement tactics in terror-related investigations. She has called the use of informants and sting operations "entrapment operations" which rope in people who otherwise might never get involved in violence and said they fuel "anti-Muslim sentiment."

Kyl asked whether Khera or Muslim Advocates has publicly condemned those who use violent or hateful rhetoric. "We are focusing on protecting constitutional values," Khera said.

She described running out of the Capitol on 9/11, when she was a Senate staffer, adding "I fully understand the threat we are facing" from terrorists. "Those who engage in criminal acts must be stopped and brought to justice

Kyl read several cases off the Investigative Project on Terrorism's list of 2010 homegrown terror cases, and asked Khera whether she stood by an alert on the Muslim Advocates' web page advising people "not to speak with law enforcement officials without the presence or advice of an attorney."

She did. Kyl called that "stunning" because cooperation from Muslim Americans is vital in thwarting potential terrorist plots.

Most of the hearing, however, was devoted to what the witnesses agreed was a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment. Khera called it "a growing menace to the safety and frankly to the social fabric of our nation."

As the IPT has reported, FBI hate crime data through 2009 has not shown a dramatic increase in anti-Muslim violence. That, Khera said in her prepared testimony, is due partly to a "deeply flawed" reporting system.

Perez repeatedly gave credit to the Bush administration for identifying potential civil rights violations in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. He referred to "blatant intentional discrimination" in the workplace, and cited numerous examples of Muslim schoolchildren being taunted as terrorists and told to "go home" by classmates. Talking to parents in different parts of the country, "I am struck by sense of fear that pervades their life," he said.

But existing laws are sufficient to handle the problem, Perez said, bypassing several invitations to suggest additions to hate crime and anti-discrimination laws. "We have an ample number of tools right now and we're using them in a robust fashion," he said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. cited a growing argument that Islam is not a religion and does not warrant First Amendment protections. "This is nonsense" that ignores the Founding Fathers' motivation in creating the country, he said.

In addition to the job and school-based discrimination, the hearing touched on heated opposition to mosque construction proposals and legislation in many states which would ban Islamic law, or shariah.

R. Alexander Acosta, who served as Perez's predecessor as assistant attorney general for civil rights, said the Constitution's supremacy clause renders most of those efforts unnecessary. While abuses like stoning and blasphemy laws garner attention, shariah for most Muslims simply governs more personal activity like prayer and family issues, Durbin said.

Efforts to ban Shariah, Khera said, are "woefully misguided and they're chasing a threat that does not exist."

Original URL: http://www.investigativeproject.org/2722/senate-hearing-juggles-rights-terror-concerns

IPT News

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

President Obama: 'Mosques Destroyed'


by Robert Morrison

The President finally addressed the nation and the world nearly two weeks after initiating military action against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Boiling down his speech, he claimed a moral imperative to intervene with force because Gaddafi had killed innocent civilians and destroyed mosques in his struggle to hang on to power.

"Mosques destroyed," the president said, supported his argument for air strikes. Churches are being destroyed daily in the Muslim world, but the U.S. does not intervene. Take Iraq, for example. We have sacrificed thousands of our soldiers' lives and billions in treasure in an effort to bring freedom to this war-torn country.

But the Christians there are daily being murdered and their churches bombed. As a senator, Barack Obama had no interest in preventing Saddam Hussein from filling mass graves. He vocally opposed our going into Iraq. That was then.

In Pakistan, the only Christian cabinet member was assassinated and a Muslim governor who sought to protect a Christian woman from death was also gunned down, reputedly by his own security guard. Christians in Pakistan face escalating persecution. Their churches are attacked and anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity is killed.

Yet, we support Pakistan as a partner in the global war on terror. Whether Pakistan supports us is another question. Why have we been fighting in neighboring Afghanistan for ten years against the plotters of 9/11? It's widely believed that Osama bin Laden is somewhere in the wild border regions between the two countries, quite possibly on the Pakistan side. Could Pakistan be playing a double game?

President Obama is unmoved by the plight of Christians in the Sudan. There, a twenty-year civil war has been going on with an Islamist government in Khartoum starving some five million Christians and followers of traditional African religion. This cruel oppression has led the South Sudanese to vote overwhelmingly to break away.

Human Rights lawyer Bill Saunders of Americans United for Life was in the Sudan at Christmas several years ago. He and his fellow worshipers took refuge in the woods as aircraft from the Khartoum Islamist regime came overhead to bomb their church. That was on Christmas day. (Don't we often hear how U.S. military initiatives must be delayed for Ramadan? It seems those holiday truces only work one way.)

No one suggested then or later that the United States should deploy military force in the Sudan to stop this ethnic cleansing of Christians, even though some mosques were also destroyed.

It is surely laudable for the U.S. to stand against massacres. Now, however, it seems that the leader of the Libyan rebels is one who fought against the U.S. in Afghanistan. Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi was taken prisoner in Pakistan. He also recruited two dozen jihadis to fight the Americans in Iraq.

Does it make sense for American taxpayers to give aid to Libyan rebels without first understanding who they are? Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has said that what we are doing in Libya is "what the Arab world wants us to do." Really? There's every indication that the Arab world would prefer that we bomb Tel Aviv.

Should we be supporting people who have Americans' blood on their hands? Intelligence estimates tell us that nearly one in five of the jihadis we fought against in Iraq came from Libya.

President Obama's speech to the nation raised as many questions as it answered. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs were not consulted, but the Arab League was. So was the UN. This is the same UN that applauded Gaddafi's wild rants in New York just last fall. It is the same body that elected Libya to its Human Rights Council.

Mr. Obama says that Gaddafi is on "the wrong side of history." It's interesting that the president knows where history is going in the Mideast. For the past 1400 years, there has been no democracy anywhere in the Mideast -- except in Israel. And Mr. Obama's policies seem to be aiding and abetting those who have shown the bitterest hatred of Israel.

It was surely shocking to millions of Americans when Barack Obama bowed to Saudi King Abdullah. Even more shocking, however, was Mr. Obama's selection of Egypt's Al Azhar Mosque as the venue for his 2009 speech to what he called "the Muslim world." The Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, says Dr. Zuhdi Jassser, a moderate American Muslim, "has served as a platform for 'Islamism' around the world, hatching the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 20th century."

So now we have a U.S. intervention in Libya that can only benefit rebels with known ties to jihadists and whose leaders have killed Americans. This all comes from an administration that refuses even to mention radical Islam as a possible threat to our nation. Is it time for "re-calibrating" our foreign policy? As Jesse Helms used to say:

We'd like the State Department better if they'd just open up an American desk.

Original URL: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/president_obama_mosques_destro.html

Robert Morrison

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

Obama and Thought Control


by Kerry Patton

“Language and words are how we encapsulate meaning. Hence, if you control language, you control thought.” (Changingminds.org)

Time and again, “catch phrases” are used amongst national security leaders. This includes military, political appointees, and even our own President. Key terms are used to control our own thoughts. More and more are popping up and most recently, the greatest catch phrase of all is beginning to circulate the internet: “Kinetic Military Action Promoting Humanitarianism.”

In one way or another, numerous members within the current administration have stated that the actions occurring in Libya are “Kinetic Military Actions Promoting Humanitarianism.” They have all stressed that fulfilling such activity is not to be construed as a declaration of war. Only a political appointee with a legal background could justify this statement.

Kinetic normally refers to motion. In a military sense, the term has moved to a new meaning: lethal. Today, U.S. troops engage in kinetic (lethal) and non-kinetic (non-lethal) operations. In Afghanistan, one could observe both types of operations through kill and capture of High Valued Targets or the building of schools and medical clinics in an attempt to “win hearts and minds.” Hmm, another catch phrase used too often to dupe the masses.

The actions taking place in Libya are lethal activities by our very own military-kinetic in nature. One must question though how any activity involving the killing of another can be construed as humanitarian in nature. Dissecting catch phrases to understand true meaning is essential today for anyone interested in better understanding what our own administration is really up to: controlling thoughts of the people.

Some of the more frequently used catch phrases to control thoughts are more than amusing:

Social Justice – originally refers to the principle of equality and solidarity for greater economic egalitarianism through increased taxation, income and property redistribution. Seems more like a one way streak for those that are too lazy to capitalize on the never ending opportunities for success; not truly social or just at all.

Battle Rhythm — describes those events that a unit conducts on a recurring basis that facilitates setting the conditions for success. Question: doesn’t a unit need to be engaged in tactical “battle” to determine the rhythm if this is the case? The average “battle” in Afghanistan lasts only a few short minutes. So, why do military leaders to include even those in the Pentagon talk about the “battle rhythm” on a daily bases when they aren’t even involved in the tactical battle? Maybe it should be referred to as the “war rhythm.”

Freedom of Information — is legislation pertaining rules that guarantee access to data held by the state. If access to such information is presumably free and guaranteed, why does it take so long to obtain if it can be obtained at all? Oftentimes, replies from inquiries of such data come back “confidential” meaning, it’s not publicly accessible.

And the most frequent that is likely to be used by President Obama when he addresses the nation is “let me be clear.” Barrack, you could not be so cluttered if you tried. Yes, many can see right through you though so maybe you are clear but that clarity is not free from flaw.

Who knows, maybe in due time, another leader will take over a significant position of authority and decide to bring back carpet bombings. To win the hearts and minds of Al Gore and his environmentalist, along with many other American people, this activity should be referred to as “Expeditionary Green Cultivation Activities.” It can’t be any worse than Kinetic Military Action Promoting Humanitarianism.

Original URL: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/03/30/obama-and-thought-control/

Kerry Patton has served in the U.S. Defense and Justice departments, and as a contractor within the Homeland Security and State departments. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies.”

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

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