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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Burak Bekdil : Extremist Muslims' One-Way Street


  • Extremist Muslims' understanding of freedom is a one-way street: Freedoms, such as religious rights, are "good" and must be defended if they are intended for Muslims -- often where Muslims are in minority. But they can simply be ignored if they are intended for non-Muslims -- often in lands where Muslims make up the majority.
  • Many Muslim countries, apparently, already have travel bans against other Muslims, in addition to banning Israelis.
  • Look at Saudi Arabia. Deportation and a lifetime ban is the minimum penalty for non-Muslims trying to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
  • Given the state of non-Muslim religious and human rights, and the sheer lack of religious pluralism in most Muslim countries, why do Muslim nations suddenly become human rights champions in the face of a ban on travel to the U.S.?
  • Meanwhile, Muslims will keep on loving the "infidels" who support Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands, while keeping up intimidation of the same "infidels" in their own lands.
President Donald Trump's executive order of January 27, 2017, temporarily limiting entry from seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- for 90 days, until vetting procedures can be put in place -- has caused international controversy, sparking protests both in the Western and Islamic worlds, including in increasingly Islamist Turkey.

This article does not intend to discuss whether Trump's ban is a racist, illegal order, or a perfectly justified action in light of threatened American interests. The ban, right or wrong, has once again unveiled the hypocrisy of extremist Muslims on civil liberties and on what is and what is NOT racist. Extremist Muslims' understanding of freedom is a one-way street: Freedoms, such as religious rights, are "good" and must be defended if they are intended for Muslims -- often where Muslims are in minority. But they can simply be ignored if they are intended for non-Muslims -- often in lands where Muslims make up the majority.

Muslims have been in a rage across the world. Iran's swift and sharp answer came in a Tweet from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who said that the ban was "a great gift to extremists." A government statement in Tehran said that the U.S. travel restrictions were an insult to the Muslim world, and threatened U.S. citizens with "reciprocal measures." Many Muslim countries, apparently, already have travel bans against other Muslims, in addition to banning Israelis.

Sudan, host and supporter of various extremist Muslim terror groups including al-Qaeda, said the ban was "very unfortunate." In Iraq, a coalition of paramilitary groups called on the government to ban U.S. nationals from entering the country and to expel those currently on Iraqi soil.

In Turkey where the extremist Islamic government is unusually soft on Trump's ban -- in order not to antagonize the new president -- a senior government official called the order "a discriminative decision." Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said:
"Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that rising Islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-immigrant feelings have a great weight on this decision. Taking such a decision in a country such as America, where different ethnic and religious groups are able to co-exist, is very offensive."
The ruling party's deputy chairman, Yasin Aktay, called the ban "racist," and said: "This is totally against human rights, a big violation of human rights." Aktay also said that he had started to "worry about the future of the U.S."

Turkey's top Muslim cleric, Mehmet Gormez, praised the Americans who rushed to the airports to protest the ban. "[This] is very important. It gives us hope," he said -- presumably meaning that non-Muslim protestors will continue to advocate for Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands.

Turkish government bigwigs and the top Islamic authority seem not to have heard of their own country's dismal human rights record when it comes to non-Muslim minorities. Most recently, Turkey's Association of Protestant Churches noted in a report that hate speech against the country's Christians increased in both the traditional media and social media. It said that hate speech against Protestants persisted throughout 2016, in addition to physical attacks on Protestant individuals and their churches.

Nevertheless, the Islamist's one-way sympathy for human rights (for Muslims) and his one-way affection for discrimination (against non-Muslims) is not just Turkish, but global. What is the treatment of non-Muslim (or sometimes even non-extremist Muslim) visitors to some of the Muslim cities and sites in the countries that decry Trump's "racist," and "discriminative" ban that "violates human rights?"
In a 2016 visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the Muslim custodians of the site did not allow entry to this author, despite the Turkish passport submitted to them, saying "you do not look Muslim enough." And Muslims now complain of "discrimination?" Incidentally, Al Aqsa Mosque is, theoretically at least, open to visits from non-Muslims, except on Fridays.

Look at Saudi Arabia. Deportation and a lifetime ban is the minimum penalty for non-Muslims trying to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In 2013, the Saudi Minister of Justice, Mohamed el-Eissi, insisted that "the cradle of the Muslim sanctities will not allow the establishment of any other places of worship."
The Saudi ban on other religious houses of worship comes from a Salafi tradition that prohibits the existence of two religions in the Arabian Peninsula. In the Saudi kingdom, the law requires that all citizens must be Muslims; the government does not provide legal protection for freedom of religion; and the public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited.

In Iran, where even non-Muslim female visitors must wear the Islamic headscarf, the government continues to imprison, harass, intimidate and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs. A 2014 U.S. State Department annual report noted that non-Muslims faced "substantial societal discrimination, aided by official support." At the release of the report, then Secretary of State John Kerry said: "Sadly, the pages of this report that are being released today are filled with accounts of minorities being denied rights in countries like Burma, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, many others".

In Iran, marriages between Muslim women and non-Muslim men are not recognized unless the husband produces proof that he has converted to Islam. The mullahs' government does not ensure the right of citizens to change or renounce their religious faith. Apostasy, specifically conversion from Islam, can be punishable by death. In 2013, 79 people from religious minorities were sentenced to a total of 3,620 months in prison, 200 months of probation, 75 lashes and 41 billion rials in fines [approximately $1.3 million].

That being the state of non-Muslim religious and human rights, and the sheer lack of religious pluralism in most Muslim countries, why do Muslim nations suddenly become human rights champions in the face of a ban on travel to the U.S.? Why, for instance, does Turkey never criticizes the extreme shortcomings of freedoms in the Muslim world but calls the U.S. ban "racist?"
Why does the Iranian government think that Trump's ban is a "gift to the [Muslim] extremists?" In claiming that travel bans would supposedly fuel extremism, how come Iran does not think that its own persecution of religious minorities is a "gift" to non-Muslims?
Such questions will probably remain unanswered in the Muslim world. Meanwhile, Muslims will keep on loving the "infidels" who support Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands, while keeping up intimidation of the same "infidels" in their own lands.
Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was just fired from Turkey's leading newspaper after 29 years, for writing what was taking place in Turkey for Gatestone. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
===============

Bassam Tawil : Political Operatives Pose as Journalists, Human Rights Groups


  • The same activists and organizations were silent when the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces arrested al-Qiq and harassed his family. Amnesty International neglected to mention that al-Qiq has also been targeted by PA security forces and that, in addition to his work as a newsman, he is also affiliated with Hamas. This detail, according to Amnesty, is evidently not significant.
  • When arrested, such political operatives posing as journalists -- and so-called human rights groups, and the mainstream media in the West -- get to scream about Israel assaulting freedom of the media. This dirty little game has been played by Palestinian and Western journalists and highly politicized, biased human rights groups for years.
  • The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), which is headed by Nasser Abu Baker, did not come out in support of journalist, Sami al-Sai when he was arrested (and tortured) for 20 days in the PA's notorious Jericho Central Prison. Nor did Amnesty or most human rights organizations come out in defense of al-Sai.
  • Instead of calling on the PA leadership to release their detained colleague, Abu Baker and the PJS heads issued a statement in which they justified his arrest and defended the PA against charges of torturing him.
  • Nasser Abu Baker himself is affiliated with the PA's ruling Fatah faction. Recently, the AFP correspondent even ran (and lost) in the election for Fatah's Revolutionary Council.
  • While AFP has been reporting about the detention by Israel of al-Qiq, it has conspicuously failed to report about the plight of al-Sai and his serious charges of torture in PA prison. So a journalist arrested by the PA is not worth a story in an international media outlet, while anyone arrested by Israel gets wide coverage.
  • Now it is official: double standards, racism, and political activism are an integral part of the modern media.
Two Palestinian journalists are arrested -- one by Israel and the other by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The name of the one arrested by Israel is Muhammad al-Qiq. The name of the one arrested by the PA security forces is Sami al-Sai.
Although he is registered as a journalist, al-Qiq was arrested for security-related offenses completely unrelated to his profession. Israel did not arrest him because of his reporting or his writing, but because of his activities on behalf of Hamas. As a student at Bir Zeit University in 2006, al-Qiq was already known to be affiliated with Hamas. He was a member of the Islamic Bloc -- a student list belonging to Hamas.
Al-Qiq's affiliation with Hamas even got him into trouble with the Palestinian Authority; its forces arrested and interrogated him several times in the past few years. The last time his family received a visit from PA security officers was in 2014. Then, officers in plainclothes seized al-Qiq's laptop and personal documents.
Now, al-Qiq is in Israeli detention, where he has gone on hunger strike in protest against his arrest.
Guess who is campaigning on his behalf and demanding that Israel immediately and unconditionally release him from detention? The same PA that repeatedly arrested and harassed al-Qiq over the past few years.
In addition, human rights organizations and activists have endorsed the case and are now using it to attack Israel. These are the same activists and organizations that were silent when the PA security forces arrested al-Qiq and harassed his family.
One of these organizations is Amnesty International, which issued a statement last week calling on Israel to release the detained "journalist." Amnesty neglected to mention that al-Qiq has also been targeted by the PA security forces and that, in addition to his work as a newsman, he is also affiliated with Hamas. This detail, according to Amnesty, is evidently not significant.
The truth is that most, if not all, Palestinian journalists arrested by Israel are targeted not because of their work in the field of journalism, but because of their activities on behalf of various Palestinian groups, including Hamas. It is an open secret that many Palestinian "journalists" are in fact political activists who are openly affiliated with one terrorist group or another.
When arrested, such political operatives posing as journalists -- and so-called human rights groups, and the mainstream media in the West -- get to scream about Israel assaulting freedom of the media. This dirty little game has been played by Palestinian and Western journalists and highly politicized, biased human rights groups for years. Yet, why discuss it when you can leverage it against Israel?
Here is another missing fact related to the detention of the Hamas activist-turned journalist: The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), which is based in Ramallah, has also joined the campaign to demand the release of al-Qiq from Israeli detention.
Why is this detail important? Because the PJS, which is headed by Nasser Abu Baker (also spelled Abu Bakr), who also serves as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP), did not come out in support of the other journalist, Sami al-Sai, when he was arrested (and tortured) for 20 days in the PA's notorious Jericho Central Prison. Nor did Amnesty or most human rights organizations come out in defense of al-Sai when he was being held by the PA security forces.
Sami al-Sai, who works as a correspondent for a private television station in the Palestinian city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, was arrested for "fomenting sectarian strife" through Facebook. This is a popular Palestinian Authority charge, one that is used to justify the arrest of anyone who criticizes PA leaders or who takes issue with the policies of Mahmoud Abbas.
The PJS at first refused to take up the case of al-Sai. The PJS rarely defends journalists who are critical of the PA. That is because the head of the PJS, Abu Baker himself, is affiliated with the PA's ruling Fatah faction. Recently, the AFP correspondent even ran (and lost) in the election for Fatah's Revolutionary Council.
Facing criticism, Abu Baker and some of the heads of the PJS agreed to visit al-Sai in his prison cell in Jericho. But instead of calling on the Palestinian Authority leadership to release their detained colleague, Abu Baker and the PJS heads issued a statement in which they justified his arrest and defended the PA against charges of torturing him.

Nasser Abu Baker is a correspondent for Agence France-Presse and heads the Ramallah-based Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS). He is also a political operative who recently ran in (and lost) an election for Fatah's Revolutionary Council. When fellow journalist Sami al-Sai was thrown in jail for criticizing the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Facebook, Abu Baker and the PJS justified his arrest and defended the PA against charges of torturing him.

While AFP has been reporting about the detention by Israel of al-Qiq and other Palestinian "journalists," it has conspicuously failed to report about the plight of al-Sai and his serious charges of torture in PA prison.
So a journalist arrested by the Palestinian Authority is not worth a story in an international media outlet, while anyone arrested by Israel gets wide coverage.
Needless to say, Abu Baker, who covers Palestinian affairs for AFP, did not bother to write a story about his visit to the Jericho prison and the meeting with al-Sai.
As chairman of a Fatah-controlled body, Abu Baker is not going to report to AFP anything that would reflect negatively on the PA leadership.
Even more bizarre is that an AFP correspondent would be allowed to run for political office and continue with his work as if nothing happened. Would Le Monde allow its diplomatic correspondent to cover the French elections if he was also running for office? Apparently, the conflict of interest does not bother Abu Baker's superiors at AFP.
The case of the two journalists -- Muhammad al-Qiq and Sami al-Sai -- provides further evidence of the hypocrisy, double standards, bias and racism that the Palestinian and Western media continue to demonstrate concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Any story that could negatively affect the Palestinian Authority or Hamas is not "fit for print." Human rights groups and the media clearly do not care if a Palestinian is detained and tortured by Palestinians.
A story becomes news when it is possible to lay blame on Israel. Western (and some Israeli) journalists covering Palestinian issues justify their double standard by arguing that if they criticized the PA or any of its senior figures, they would be barred from Ramallah or shouted at and denied access to sources. Here is the truth: prejudice works and intimidation works. Journalists and human rights groups would rather distort and practice self-censorship than report accurately about Israel or anger the Palestinian Authority leadership.
In Israel, however, journalists write negative things about the Israeli government and army and police from sunrise to sundown without fearing anything. Now it is official: double standards, racism, and political activism are an integral part of the modern media.
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.
==============

Khadija Khan : Canada's New Blasphemy Laws


  • Although these motions against "Islamophobia" are not legally binding, extremists have already started demanding them as laws.
  • People in hostile societies put their lives at risk by speaking against the majority; meanwhile, shutting out any criticism against hardliner behaviour in the West actually means giving extremists a license to keep on committing atrocities.
  • Motions such as these are how most Muslim societies -- and other authoritarian states -- were founded: by depriving citizens of the basic right to express a difference of opinion, and worse, on the pretense of "doing good." The blasphemy laws of Pakistan were introduced on the premise of protecting the sanctity of the people's religious beliefs, but the laws only ended up meting out public death sentences to innocent and marginalized victims.
A resolution, M-103, seeking to condemn so-called "Islamophobia," was introduced a few weeks ago in the peaceful country of Canada by Liberal Party MP Iqra Khalid in the House of Commons, sparking a controversy.
A similar motion, labelled M-37, was later tabled in the Ontario provincial legislature by MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers on February 23, 2017, and was passed by the provincial parliament.
M-37, like its predecessor, demanded that lawmakers condemn "all forms of Islamophobia" and reaffirm "support for government efforts, through the Anti-Racism Directorate, to address and prevent systemic racism across government policy, programs and services".
Although these motions are not legally binding, extremists have already started demanding them as laws.
There are, of course, no comparable motions against "Judeophobia" or "Christianophobia".
Neither motion M-103 nor motion 37 exactly define "Islamophobia," leaving that to the imagination of the supposed victim(s).
Hardliners who support this form of censorship, and presumably other restrictions required by Islamic sharia law, aim to blur the line between genuine bigotry and criticism of core problems across the Muslim world, such as the murder of apostates and homosexuals, communal hatred, anti-Semitism, violence against women and minors, female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, unequal legal and inheritance rights for women, stoning, flogging and amputation, and social taboos such as honour killings or right to choose a husband for girls or restrict girls' education.
Those who present these motions claim that "Islamophobia" is rampant across the country, but seem blind to Islamic sharia law's endorsement of killing homosexuals, violence against women and minors, atrocities such as those enumerated above, and notions of Muslim supremacy across the planet.
These issues are genuine concerns for millions of Muslims as well as human rights defenders, but are never addressed by those apologists, who always try to present these atrocities as perfectly acceptable "cultural norms".


People in hostile societies put their lives at risk by speaking against the majority; meanwhile, shutting out any criticism against hardliner behaviour in the West actually means giving extremists a license to keep on committing atrocities.
Broadly speaking, in the West, where people have the opportunity to stand up against persecution, Muslim extremists seem determined to sell themselves as victims and to get rid of whatever obstacles contradict a clearly expansionist agenda.
Motion M-103 claimed: "Recently an infinitesimally small number of extremist individuals have conducted terrorist activities while claiming to speak for the religion of Islam".
Are those who set forth these resolutions oblivious to the clerics who rally hundreds of thousands across the world — organizations such as Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, CAIR, ISIS, Hezbollah, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Jamat e Islami, Sipah-e-Muhammad, TehrikNifaz-i-FiqahJafaria, JamatudDawa, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-jhangwi, TehrikNifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Islam, Jamiat-ul-Ansar, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Khuddam-i-Islam, Fatah Al Islam (Lebanon), Ansar Al Sharia in Libya, Jabhat Al Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) in Syria, the Haqqani Network in Pakistan and other offshoots of these jihadi movements?
The sales pitch for M-103 was given a pretty façade of human rights concerns, but actually inside was a veiled endorsement of a Muslim supremacist mentality.
While M-103 asks to recognize the need to curb systematic racism and religious discrimination against Muslims, there are no traces of any systematic hatred or racism against Muslims or any religious groups in Canada.
On the contrary, Canada already has laws to curb any discrimination or abuse against individuals or groups. All that is needed is to enforce those laws already on the books.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Criminal Code, carry progressive laws to handle hate crimes or racism. Section 318, 319(1) and 319(2) are specifically designed to deal with such offenses.
Moreover, criticizing any genuine social concerns about a community or belief system is the democratic right of every citizen in a civilized country.
Motions such as these are how most Muslim societies -- and other authoritarian states -- were founded: by depriving citizens of the basic right to express a difference of opinion, and worse, on the pretense of "doing good." The blasphemy laws of Pakistan were introduced on the premise of protecting the sanctity of the people's religious beliefs, but the laws only ended up meting out public death sentences to innocent and marginalized victims.
Under Muslim blasphemy laws, such as those being slowly presented to Canada, such deeds are punishable by death or life in prison.
Unfortunately, blasphemy laws are often interpreted as a state's permission to attack, lynch or destroy non-Muslim minorities, while the attackers are regarded as heroes for their crimes.
Victims of these laws also include critics of this barbarism such as Punjab's Governor Salmaan Taseer, Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights Shahbaz Bhatti, and often even human rights activists and the victims' lawyers.
Aren't we setting up the foundation of such norms in the West on pretense of curbing "Islamophobia"?
For example, a supposedly "infinitesimally small" number of jihadis are capable of shutting the mouths of approximately 200 million people (equivalent to the entire Pakistani population), seemingly forever, by literally killing dissent.
In the last century, the jihadis' spiritual father, Sayyid Qutb, commissioned Muslims to impose salafist-style Islamic rule on the world by destroying the "infertile West" and eliminating anything non-Muslim.
Qutb's book, Milestones, would undoubtedly be an eye-opener for those still unaware of what is required of "true" Muslims. The same is true of the writings of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
This ideology is clawing its way into very fabric of the West, in places such as Britain, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, America, Australia and France.
It poses an imminent threat to the free world. Free societies will have to pay a heavy price if they choose to ignore the menace of extremism through a policy of appeasement and accommodation.
There is no need for specific laws about "Islamophobia": it is not even defined. Worse, many extremist clerics also consider as "Islamophobic" any criticism of their jihadism, communal hatred, polygamy and violence against women, minors or possibly anyone else they target.
Canada has always been one of the most tolerant countries in the world; please let us keep it that way.
Khadija Khan is a Pakistan-based journalist and commentator.
===============

Giulio Meotti : Jihadis Living on Support Payments from the Europe They Vowed to Destroy


  • Al Harith's story reveals the depth of one of Europe's biggest scandals: the jihadis' use of European cradle-to-grave entitlements to fund their "holy war".
  • Europe gave them everything: jobs, homes, public assistance, unemployment benefits, relief payments, child benefits, disability payments, cash support. These Muslim extremists, however, do not see this "Dependistan", as Mark Steyn called the welfare state, as a sign of generosity, but of weakness. They understand that Europe is ready to be destroyed.
  • Filled with religious certainty and ideological hatred for the West, not required to assimilate to Europe's values and norms, many of European Muslims seem to feel as if they are destined to devour an exhausted civilization.
  • Public policy goals instead need to be to move people off welfare -- shown to be basically a disincentive to looking for work -- and toward personal responsibility. There need to be legal limits on the uses to which welfare funds can be put -- for example, welfare funds should not to be used for purchasing illegal drugs, gambling, terrorism or, as there is no free speech in Europe anyway, for promoting terrorism. One could create and fine-tune such a list. Disregarding the limitations could result in losing benefits. This would help fight the ghettoization and Islamization of Europe's Muslims. The cycle of welfare and jihad needs to be stopped.
Four years ago, the British liberal newspaper, The Guardian, ran a story about the "survivors of Guantanamo", the "victims of America's 'icon of lawlessness'", "Britain's survivors of the detention centre that has been called the 'gulag of our times'". The article featured a photograph of Jamal al Harith.
Al Harith, born Ronald Fiddler, a Christian convert to Islam, returned to Manchester from detention at Guantanamo Bay thanks to activism of David Blunkett, Home Secretary of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. Al Harith was immediately welcomed in England as a hero, the innocent victim of the unjust "war on terror" after September 11. The Mirror and ITV gave him £60,000 ($73,000) for an exclusive interview about his experience at Guantanamo. Al Harith was also compensated with one million pounds by the British authorities. The victim of the "gulag of our times" bought a very nice house with the taxpayers' cash.
A few weeks ago, al Harith made his last "journey": he was blown up in Mosul, Iraq, on behalf of the Islamic State. Al Harith had also been recruited by the non-governmental organization "CAGE" (formerly known as "Cageprisoners") as part of its testimony advocating the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Celebrities such as Vanessa Redgrave, Victoria Brittain, Peter Oborne and Sadiq Khan appeared at CAGE's fundraising events. The NGO has been funded by the Joseph Rowntree Trust, a fund created by the chocolate magnate, and by the Roddick Foundation, the charity of Anita Roddick. Al Harith was also invited to the Council of Europe, to give testimony against retaining Guantanamo.

Al Harith's story reveals the depth of one of Europe's biggest scandals: the jihadis' use of European cradle-to-grave entitlements to fund their "holy war". Europe gave them everything: jobs, homes, public assistance, unemployment benefits, relief payments, child benefits, disability payments, cash support. These Muslim extremists, however, do not see this "Dependistan", as Mark Steyn called the welfare state, as a sign of generosity, but of weakness. 

They understand that Europe is ready to be destroyed. They have no respect for it.

From Marseille to Malmö, many Muslim children have been raised to despise the societies that have made them so comfortable. Most Islamists in Europe are now living on support payments from the nations they had vowed to destroy.

A few days ago, the Danish press revealed that the Danish government has been paying sickness and disability benefits to Muslim extremists fighting in Syria for the Islamic State. "It is a huge scandal that we disburse money from the welfare fund in Denmark for people who go to Syria," said Employment Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.
The terrorists who struck Paris and Brussels have also used the generous British welfare system to fund their jihad. It is emerging from a trial in the UK that Mohamed Abrini, known as "the man with the hat" after the deadly attack at Brussels airport, received £3,000 in benefits before flying to Paris and disappearing.
It is not the first time that the role of the welfare state emerges in the Islamic infrastructure of terror:
  • The family of Omar Abdel Hamid el Hussein, the terrorist behind the attack in Copenhagen in February 2015, which killed two people, received money from Danish social programs.
  • British Islamist Anjem Choudary, convicted of encouraging people to join the Islamic State, urged the faithful to leave work and to seek unemployment benefits to devote full-time to war against the "infidels". Choudary himself pocketed £25,000 a year in benefits.
  • In Germany, when the newspaper Bild ran an analysis of the 450 German jihadists fighting in Syria, it found that more than 20% of them have received benefits from the German state.
  • In the Netherlands, a jihadist named Khalid Abdurahman appeared in a video of the Islamic State in front of five heads just cut off. The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant revealed that he had been declared "unfit for work" and was paid for a treatment of claustrophobia.
Europe's welfare system has created a cultural toxin for many in a sullen, unproductive Muslim underclass who live in the segregated enclaves such as the banlieues of Paris or "Londonistan". Filled with religious certainty and ideological hatred for the West, not required to assimilate to Europe's values and norms, certain of these European Muslims seem to feel as if they are destined to devour an exhausted civilization.

Muhammad Shamsuddin, a 39-year-old London-based Islamist, was featured in a documentary called "The Jihadis Next Door." Shamsuddin, a divorced father of five who lives on state handouts and claims he cannot work because he has "chronic fatigue syndrome," was filmed preaching hate against non-Muslims on British streets. (Image source: Channel 4 video screenshot)

Public policy goals instead need to be to move people off welfare -- shown to be basically a disincentive to looking for work -- except in extraordinary cases, and toward personal responsibility.

There need to be legal limits on the uses to which welfare funds can be put -- for example, welfare funds should not to be used for purchasing illegal drugs, for gambling, for terrorism or, as there is no free speech in Europe anyway, for promoting terrorism.
One could create and fine-tune such a list. Disregarding the limitations could result in losing the benefits. Measures such as that would will help fight against the ghettoization and Islamization of Europe's Muslims.
Who is winning here? Democracy or Islamic extremism? The cycle of welfare and jihad needs to be stopped. Now.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
================

Judith Bergman : Sweden: Hate Speech Just for Imams


  • In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a "virus" is fine.
  • Antisemitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports.
  • One of Sweden's main news outlets, in fact, described anti-Semitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, in the eyes of Swedish authorities, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much.
  • Swedish authorities also give large sums of money to organizations that advocate violence and invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS. One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS and has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with assault rifles alongside his small children.
Are some individuals receiving preferential treatment under Sweden's "hate speech" laws? It seems that way.

Under the Swedish Penal Code, a person can be held responsible for incitement if a statement or representation made "threatens or disrespects an ethnic group or other such group of persons with regards to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious belief or sexual orientation".

In 2015, the imam at Halmstad mosque, Abu Muadh, said that homosexuality was a "virus" from which parents were obliged to protect their children.
The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL) filed a legal complaint in October 2015. "[M]any people are listening [to the imam] and there is a risk that the opinions and other expressions of homophobia will spread among believers, as they attach great importance to their representatives' words", said Ulrika Westerlund, chairman of RFSL.
The Swedish legal establishment however, seemed entirely unconcerned; the imam was not prosecuted.
"[F]or something to be incitement, it needs to reach a certain level and in this context, the assessment is that this statement does not reach that level", said Martin Inglund, acting investigation officer at Halmstad police. He added that an assessment had been made based on freedom of religion, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. It took the police only one week to make the decision not to prosecute the imam.
"It is a strange decision, said Jonnié Jonsson, chairman of RFSL Halland, "I do not think anyone has the right to violate other people in the name of religion".


Then there is the recent case of Stefan Vestling, a local politician from the Sweden Democrat Party. He was recently prosecuted and convicted for "incitement against an ethnic group", when he wrote the following comment on the official Facebook page of the Sweden Democrats Party in Norberg in December 2014:
"Muslims who have ended up in the 'diaspora' are at war. A Muslim who lives in Sweden is thus living in a war zone, where it is allowed to rape a woman, as this is a Muslim right according to the Quran. [A Muslim] is allowed to have sex with women who have been conquered in war... that is to say the infidels' women (Quran Sura 4:3, 4:24). Easiest for 'Swedish' horny Muslims is of course to join ISIS where they can have their sick, devilish desires fully satisfied".
The prosecutor failed to convince the district court that Vestling had committed a crime. "Freedom of expression includes the right to convey such information and opinions and ideas that offend shock or disturb" the court wrote in its ruling. However, at the Court of Appeals in Svea, in December 2016, the court found that Vestling's post had been offensive to Muslims. The appeals court seemingly had no problem with the first part of Vestling's post. It was the last sentence, "Easiest for 'Swedish' horny Muslims is of course to join ISIS where they can have their sick, devilish desires fully satisfied", which was considered to be in violation of the Penal Code. Vestling was handed a suspended jail sentence and a fine. He has appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.

Both the statements made by Abu Muadh and the statements made by Stefan Vestling were offensive; yet the Swedish authorities ended up protecting the imam from legal repercussions, even though prosecuting him would send an important signal to other Muslim preachers who view homosexuality in a similar way. That they do has been documented by a Swedish-Muslim blogger, who wrote:
During my years as a Muslim, I have visited several Swedish mosques from north to south. In all the mosques, homophobia was the norm. I have heard worse things than "homosexuality is a virus." In no mosque, I repeat not one, have I come across teachings that tolerate homosexuality... The fact that the media act as if they were astonished [at Abu Muadh's statement] shows how little contact they have with Muslim environments in Sweden. For those who have been on the "inside", who have visited mosques and spent time with Muslims who are active in the mosques, the imam's views [sound] completely mainstream.
Swedish experts largely consider Abu Muadh a radical, who moves in Salafist circles and has encouraged jihad, glorifying martyrdom in the battle to spread Islam. In a video clip on YouTube, he urges people who have "sinned" to wage jihad to be forgiven by God. In an interview with Hallandsposten in June 2016, he said that Muslims should not befriend unbelievers. He has argued that Muslims must not emulate the dress and haircuts of "kuffars" (infidels) and has declared 95% of all TV programs "haram" (forbidden).

In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a "virus" is fine.

Homosexuals are not the only ones to find themselves among those groups that Swedish society apparently no longer count as minorities worthy of protection. Anti-Semitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports. One of Sweden's main news outlets, in fact, described antisemitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much in the eyes of Swedish authorities.

In addition, Swedish authorities give large sums of money to organizations that invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.
The Gothenburg-based nonprofit organization, Swedish Federation of Muslims (SFM,) was handed a government subsidy of 535,200 SEK [$60,000] in 2016. This is in addition to 150,000 SEK [$17,000] that SFM received from the city of Gothenburg.

SFM applied for the money "to combat Islamophobia", which the organization considers "one of the biggest problems in Sweden right now". One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS. Now, calling himself Abdul Samad al Swedi, he has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with Kalashnikov assault rifles alongside his small children, outside Kobane in Syria. Abu Muadh is also a regular speaker.

Michael Skråmo, a Swedish convert and ISIS jihadist, brought his family to Syria. He has also urged Muslims in Sweden to bomb their workplaces.

Terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp said that he was surprised that SFM had been awarded state grants. "I see lots of question marks. We're talking about a group that invited hate preachers, whose Salafist orientation is in many ways the opposite of tolerance", he said. The decision to award SFM government subsidies also runs counter to the government's agreement with the four conservative Alliance parties that no public money should go to advocate violence.

What is the Swedish authorities' response to the official granting of money to organizations that host extremists? "Of course this is serious, and it is our view that this must be factored into future contribution assessments", said Daniel Norlander, chief secretary of the National Authority Against Violent Extremism.
The authority apparently does not think that the money should be returned or that there should be any sanctions. After all, we are only talking about preachers of violent jihad.
Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.
=================

Lawrence A. Franklin : The Vatican's Relations with Islam


  • "They are driving us out of the Middle East," declared Pope Francis on returning from Turkey.
  • "[I]t would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people." — Pope Francis, counseling Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • While this welcoming stance is in keeping with the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith, the Pope as the "Good Shepherd" has an obligation to protect his flock from the militants among the refugees.
  • Within the Catholic Church, there also exists a sub-dominant counter-melody that warns about Islamic hostility to the values of Judeo-Christian civilization.
  • Cardinal Sarah targets what he refers to as "Islam's pseudo-family values which legitimize polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, and child marriage."
  • At some point, the Catholic Church might raise the issue of persecution of Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries at international fora such as the United Nations. The Church also could publicly ask Muslims of good will to express their solidarity with the persecuted and request international organizations to intervene to protect Christians.
  • Given the centuries of hostility between Christendom and dar-al-Islam (the World of Islam), the Vatican's caution may be understandable, but is ill-advised and no longer tenable.
Perhaps, in the light of the harm dhimmitude can do to both civic life and faith, the Catholic Church might re-assess its stance toward Islam from one of friendly engagement to cautionary disengagement.

As radical jihadists continue to martyr Christians throughout the world, such a re-evaluation of Islam by the Vatican seems appropriate.
These hate crimes against Christians are occurring against a backdrop of fifteen centuries of hostile, relations between Christianity and Islam -- from the Islamic takeover of Persia, the great Christian Byzantine Empire in Turkey, North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Greece and Southern Spain.

As Catholics comprise more than half of the globe's two billion Christians, a sober reassessment of Islam by Rome could be of great import and attract more people to Christianity when, as with Brexit, they see that the Church is aligned with a reality they see every day with their eyes.

A decision by the Vatican to distance itself from trying to please Muslims, many of whom would presumably only be pleased by converting Christians to Islam, might even evolve into a more realistic understanding of the Islamic faith by the Catholic hierarchy. If the Church, on the other hand, is hoping to convert Muslims to Christianity, then we have two proselytizing religions, each trying to convert the other, but by different means.

At some point, the Catholic Church might raise the issue of persecution of Christian minorities in Muslim majority countries at international fora such as the United Nations. The Church also could publicly ask Muslims of good will to express their solidarity with the persecuted and request international organizations to intervene to protect Christians.

For the moment, however, Pope Francis is maintaining his diplomatic and tolerant stance toward the Islamic world. In July 2016, for example, on the papal plane returning from a trip to Poland, the pontiff told reporters accompanying him back to Rome that he equated the violence of some Catholics in Italy who kill their wives or mothers-in-law as being akin to the violence exhibited by some Muslims.

 He said that most religions have small fundamentalist groups, and implied that the root cause of violence among Muslims is poverty: "Terrorism grows when there are no other options and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person."

After this 2016 pastoral visit to Poland, he said, "I don't like to talk about Muslim violence. I must speak of Catholic violence if I speak of Islamic violence."

However, on returning from an earlier journey to Turkey at the end of November 2014, where he had met the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, Pope Francis condemned the violence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
"They are driving us out of the Middle East," he said. During this visit to Turkey, the pope counseled Turkish President Erdogan, "it would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people." The Pope's tone on this trip may have reflected concerns over the ISIS offensive, then underway against Iraqi Kurdistan, a region that his staff discouraged him from visiting because of security concerns.

The language coming closest to stating official Vatican policy toward Islam can be found in the November 24, 2013 Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelli Gaudium," (The Joy of the Gospel). In paragraph 252, the Pope writes:
"We must never forget that they (the Muslims) profess they hold the faith of Abraham and together with us they adore the one, merciful, God who will judge humanity on the last day."[1]
In the document's very next paragraph 253, Francis entreats Muslims to grant Christians who live in Islamic countries, the same freedom of worship that practitioners of Islam enjoy in Western countries.[2] However, this request is immediately followed by a statement which encourages a conciliatory, even unrealistic approach to Christian-Muslim relations:
"Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should cause us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran, are opposed to every form of violence."[3]
Perhaps the pontiff thinks that these ingratiating statements will ultimately lead to a reciprocal Islamic initiative to reach out to Christian leaders. Maybe he believes that by soft-pedaling the problem of anti-Christian hatred fostered by jihadists, peace-loving Muslims will then ultimately assert themselves. Perhaps he hopes that these "good Muslims" will then pressure extremists to moderate their views. Nonetheless, Francis remains, for the moment, apparently aligned with those political leaders in the West, most of whom refuse to call out what everyone sees done every day in the name of Islam.

Vatican institutions also reflect the Holy Father's conciliatory approach to Islam. Holy See officials and media outlets focus on the need for Christians to embrace as brothers and sisters the tide of migrant refugees from the Muslim Near-East and North Africa. While this welcoming stance is in keeping with the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith, the Pope as the "Good Shepherd" has an obligation to protect his flock from the militants among the refugees.
The large majority of the migrants are male, young, and unaccompanied. This imbalance is most likely a factor in the many examples of aggression across Europe by some refugees, as well a disturbing pattern of sexual outrages against non-Muslim females on the continent.

Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of a group of refugees in Rome, in March 2016. (Image source: CatholicTV Network video screenshot)

Within the Catholic Church, there also exists a sub-dominant counter melody that warns about Islamic hostility to the values of Judeo-Christian civilization. For instance, the Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is Vatican Prefect for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, compares Islamic fundamentalism to Nazi-Fascism and Communism. He depicts the West's idolatry of atheistic secularism and the religious fanaticism of Islam as "twin apocalyptic beasts." Cardinal Sarah targets what he refers to as "Islam's pseudo-family values which legitimize polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, and child marriage." He is unequivocal about the limits of Christianity's relations with Islam. "With Islam there can be no theological dialogue because the essential foundations of the Christian faith are very different from those of the Muslims," he writes.[4] He bemoans the "very difficult, almost impossible relations with Muslims in the Sudan, Kenya, and Nigeria."[5]

While he praises Islamic-Christian relations in West Africa, Cardinal Sarah has little hope for Christianity's survivability in the Middle East.
He closely identifies with the Syriac Catholic Bishop of Mosul, Iraq Basil Casmoussa, who describes the Iraqi Muslims' view of their Christian neighbors as "being troops hired or led by the West and thus considered as a parasitical body in the nation."[6]

While Cardinal Sarah may be the most outspoken of Africa's Cardinals about Islam, he is not alone. Some of the Catholic hierarchy in Africa are exposed on a daily basis to aggressive Islamic behavior in their home countries. Certainly, this is evident in religiously-divided states like Nigeria.

American Cardinal Raymond Burke is another prominent cleric who has urged a more sober approach to Islam. Burke bluntly lays out the concerns of a growing chorus of Christians: "I don't believe we (Muslims and Christians) worship the same God, because the god of Islam is a governor," he succinctly states. "Islam is Sharia and that law which comes from Allah, must dominate every man eventually," Burke adds -- and that "this law (Sharia) is not founded on love." Burke, criticizing Islam, claims that "the essential drive in Islam is to govern and control the world."

Another Church leader, the Archbishop of Paris Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, was even more blunt during a memorial Mass for Jacques Hamel, a Catholic priest knifed to death by ISIS militants on July 26, 2016 in a suburb of Rouen, France:
"Those who want to announce to us a god of death (Allah), a Moloch that would rejoice at the death of a man and promise paradise to those who kill while invoking him, these could not expect humanity to yield to their delusion."
Some prominent Catholic journalists, such as Sandro Magister and the Jesuit Islamologist, Father Khalil Samir, challenge the conciliatory language that Rome employs in its public dialogue with Islam. Magister and Father Samir underscore the central differences between the inaccessibility of Allah and the intimate Christian God of love. Samir also contrasts the all-will and all-power, one-dimensional concept of Islam's deity with the Trinitarian unity of Christianity's Godhead of "Lover-Beloved-Love."[7]

Ultimately, if the Vatican wants to protect its faithful from being subjected to the persecution so pervasively experienced by Christians, especially, in Muslim-majority countries, Church institutions might start publicly evaluating Islam by the actions of its professed believers. A critical mass of skeptics within the Vatican's Curia, College of Cardinals or among the Church's Bishops may ultimately decide openly to challenge the current posture of the Holy See regarding Islam.

Catholic theologians have a duty not to be naive. Why does Islam, which was spread by force, seem to be maintained by force? Why does the Koran elevate jihadi violence to high virtue? Why is the Koran so replete with verses filled with hatred? Why do Muslims denigrate democracy? Why doesn't the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights satisfy the demands of Islamic law (sharia)? Why does Islam oppose freedom of conscience -- the right of man and woman to worship as they please?
The mere raising of these questions will invite a torrent of hostile commentary and accusations of Islamophobia.

Given the centuries of hostility between Christendom and dar-al-Islam (the World of Islam), the Vatican's caution may be understandable, but is ill-advised and no longer tenable.
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

[1] Evangelii Gaudium/The Joy of the Gospel, Chapter Four: "The Social Dimension of Evangelization" Section IV: "Social Dialogue as a Contribution to Peace" "Interreligious Dialogue" Paragraph 252.
[2] Ibid. Paragraph 253.
[3] Ibid. Paragraph 253.
[4] "God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith" by Robert Cardinal Sarah Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2015, P.137.
[5] Ibid. p 137.
[6] Ibid. p.138.
[7] The Catholic explanation of the Trinity, like all we contemplate about God is insufficient from a creature's perspective. However, the most eloquent description and perhaps the explanation which approaches a true description of the Godhead is that of St. Augustine of Hippo (North Africa), who offers the analogy of Lover-Beloved-Love to the Father-Son-Holy Spirit. "On the Trinity" by St. Augustine.

======================

Douglas Murray : Europe: Laughing at the Messenger


  • Once again, an American has pointed to a failing in European society, and instead of focusing on the problem identified or even admitting that there is a problem, the European response has been to point at the American and blame him for creating the problem he has in fact merely identified.
  • We are being given an accurate representation of a serious problem.
  • If the response to every problem is denial, and the response to anyone pointing to the problem is opprobrium, legal threats or hilarity, it suggests that Europe is not going to make the softer-landing it could yet give itself in addressing these issues.
  • It might make us feel better, but every time we attack or laugh at the messenger, rather than addressing the message, we ensure that our own future will be less funny.
How can one excavate the minds of so many European officials and the extraordinary mental gymnastics of denial to which they have become prone?

One of the finest demonstrations of this trend occurred in January 2015, after France was assailed by Islamist gunmen in the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then in a Jewish supermarket. In the days after those attacks, Fox News in the U.S. ran an interview with a guest who said that Paris, and France, as a whole, had "no-go zones" where the authorities -- including emergency services -- did not dare to go. In the wake of these comments, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, chose to make a stand. She announced that she was suing Fox News because the "honour of Paris" was at stake.
It appeared that Mayor Hidalgo was rightly concerned about the image of her city around the world, presumably worrying in particular about the potential effects on tourism.
Of course, Mayor Hidalgo's priorities were all wrong. The reason Paris's public relations suffered a dent was not because of what a pundit said on Fox News one evening, but because of the mass murder of journalists and Jews on the streets of the "City of Light." Any potential tourist would be much more concerned about getting caught up in a terrorist firefight than a war of words. Mayor Hidalgo's manoeuvre, however, turned out not to be a rarity, but a symptom of a wider problem.

Consider the almost precise replay of that 2015 episode after U.S. President Donald Trump referred in a speech to "what's happening last night in Sweden." Much of the press immediately seized the opportunity to claim that Trump had asserted that a terrorist attack had occurred the night before in Sweden. This allowed them to laugh at the alleged ignorance of the president and the alleged concoction of what has become known as "fake news." Except that it swiftly became obvious to anyone who cared that what the president was referring to -- a documentary film about the situation in Sweden that had aired the night before on Fox News -- showed the extent of the lawlessness in parts of Sweden. While every authority in Sweden was laughing at Donald Trump, a day after his comments. residents of Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, obligingly had a car-burning riot and attacked police.

The troubles that Sweden has gone through in recent years, since mass migration began in earnest, are hard indeed to ignore. These troubles include the setting up of what the American scholar of Islam, Daniel Pipes, most accurately referred to as "semi-autonomous sectors." Although non-Muslims can enter, the areas are different from the rest of the country. These are areas where, for instance, police, fire and ambulance services refuse to enter because they and other authority figures representing the state frequently come under attack. The filmmaker, Ami Horowitz, experienced the downside of some of these areas. On a recent visit to Sweden he was attacked for taking a film crew into a suburb of Stockholm when some of the locals objected. We are being given an accurate representation of a serious problem.

Car-burnings and riots do break out in Sweden today with considerable regularity, and sexual assaults have sky-rocketed in the country (although these figures are the subject of heated debate over whether they represent a rise in incidents or a rise in reporting). Either way, rapes carried out by immigrants remain a real and underreported issue. The authorities – including the Swedish media – have refused to run stories about these unpleasant facts.

In Sweden, more than in perhaps any other European country, the media is homogenous in its support for the left-wing status quo in the country, and this includes a support for the views of recent governments on immigration policy.

 Anything which could give ammunition to critics of that policy is -- as in Germany -- deliberately underreported or actively covered over by the majority of the media.

The response to Trump's comments unfortunately demonstrated this yet further. The desire to pretend that the president had specifically claimed that there had been a terrorist attack the night before was one trick. Another was to simply mock and belittle him and his claims. Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt took to Twitter to say, "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?"

The European press gleefully took up tweets by members of the Swedish public who responded to Trump's claims by sending photos of people putting IKEA furniture together. A joke which would have been funnier had a failed asylum seeker from Eritrea not stabbed and killed a mother and son in an IKEA store in Västerås in 2015. Elsewhere, the present Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, in her familiar preaching tones announced that diplomacy and democracy "require us to respect science, facts and the media."

In response to US President Donald Trump's recent reference to "what's happening" in Sweden, Swedish Twitter users mocked him by posting photos of people putting IKEA furniture together. The joke would have been funnier had a failed asylum seeker from Eritrea not murdered Carola Herlin (left) and her son in an IKEA store in Västerås, Sweden, in August 2015.

So, once again an American has pointed to a failing in European society, and instead of focusing on the problem or even admitting that there is a problem, the European response has been to point at the American and blame him for creating the problem he has in fact merely identified.

Such behaviour is a psychological affliction before it is a political one. It must stand somewhere along the continuum of the famed stages of grief. But it bodes exceptionally poorly for Europe's future.
 If the response to every problem is denial, and the response to anyone pointing to the problem is opprobrium, legal threats or hilarity, it suggests that Europe is not going to make the softer-landing it could yet give itself in addressing these issues.
 It might make us feel better, but every time we attack or laugh at the messenger, rather than addressing the message, we ensure that our own future will be less funny.
Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.
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Saied Shoaaib : What to Remember in Fighting Radical Islam


  • In every Muslim-majority country, especially in the Middle East, the Islamic terrorist genie came out from under the ashes, built the Islamic state and threatened the West -- both with terrorist operations and from inside, in a more surreptitious, seemingly peaceful manner, as the Muslim Brotherhood does.
  • It is important to understand that Islam is a religion that includes, in its structure, political power that governs and controls and spreads the force of arms.
US President Donald J. Trump has succeeded in naming a jihadi problem, political Islam, but it is hard to single out defective products from the factory without closing the factory -- if one does not want them to appear again.
This does not mean that what Trump intends to do is not important; on the contrary, we need him after most Western politicians faced Islamic terrorism awkwardly, if they faced it at all. Sometimes they even cooperated with these terrorist organizations, invited their members to the White House; to Iftar dinners during Ramadan, and hugging what they falsely call "moderate Islam" -- especially the Muslim Brotherhood, the incubator that most terrorist organizations come out of -- instead of the true "moderate Muslims" who have been struggling to be heard above the crush of "influence," infiltration and petro-dollars.
We can say that so far "Trumps's recipe" for facing radical Islam had been tried before and failed. Dictatorships and military regimes in the Middle East, such as the presidents of Egypt Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, and now el-Sisi, faced political and radical Islam. Russia did, and Saddam did in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, Bourguiba in Tunisia and others.

Perhaps the saddest failure is the Turkish model. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk built a dictatorship-state on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. He decisively confronted all forms of political Islam, and destroyed the military wing of the army that dreamed of restoring that Empire. Atatürk founded a dictatorship guarded by the army's broad powers, but within a constitutional and legal framework, to deter Islamists who might want to change his modernist structure. It was also meant to stop any move to Islamic rule that might want to change the relatively open and pro-Western ideas of the Kemalist Republic.

Atatürk dominated the religious institutions, and made them work for him; they gave him a legitimate Islamic platform. He wanted Islamic culture to prevail, but under his control.
Unfortunately, this model also failed. Turkey's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prosecuted the leaders of the army with trumped-up testimony; lowered the retirement age of the judiciary to force them out; fired educators, jailed journalists is building his Islamic state step by step.

Many Western politicians have cooperated with Islamists and Islamist organizations. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In every Muslim-majority country, especially in the Middle East, the Islamic terrorist genie came out from under the ashes, built an Islamic state and threatened the West -- both with terrorist operations and from inside, in a more surreptitious, seemingly peaceful manner, as the Muslim Brotherhood does.

Most of those who fought Islamic terrorism focused their efforts on the hunt for dangerous products from the factory of Islamic ideology, such as Anwar al-Awlaki or Osama bin Laden. This is important, but no one tried to shut down and destroy the factory itself.

Perhaps we remember that the West, in the fight against the ideology of communism, used weapons only rarely. The major part of the fight was against the ideology itself: encouraging and supporting its opponents, and disseminating ideas to counter those the Communists were exporting. There was a focus on the disadvantages of Communist ideology, such as oppression, tyranny and human rights violations. And suddenly the world woke up one day to find the Soviet Empire collapsed from inside.

We need from the West a positive energy to rebuild the civilization after the destructive energy that hollowed it out. And we need to dismantle the prevailing Islamic ideology that produces terrorism.

It is important to understand that Islam is a religion that includes, in its structure, political power that governs and controls and spreads the force of arms. First the Islamic prophet Muhammad published his call peacefully for nearly 13 years in Mecca, when the Quran verses called for tolerance, freedom of belief and other human values. But then Muhammad and some of his companions moved to the city of al-Madina and turned religion into a political authority aiming to expand and defend itself. It entered into a political and military struggle against its opponents within al-Madina and outside, especially with his tribe of Quraish.

At that time, Muhammad established what we might call political Islam. It was based on a new call: that Islam was no longer interested in the relationship between the individual and his God, as well as a good relationship with those around him, whether they agreed with his religious faith or not.

He turned the religion into a ruling political organization, undertaking to control -- religiously, politically, socially and economically -- Muslims and others. It builds on the culture of the tribe, spreads the force of arms and increases its numbers and the territories governed by them.

It became the religion of loyalty -- meaning loyalty to the governor and vice-versa.

This structure continued after the death of Muhammad. Many ruled out of Quraish, the most prominent Turks, Al-Othmanin and the Ottoman Empire that expanded through force of arms to Persia; swept away the Christian Byzantine Empire; conquered by force North Africa, the Middle East, Greece, Spain and Eastern Europe
During this long history was established the Islamic culture that now prevails among the millions of Muslims in all corners of the world. It was founded on the sacred religious texts: the verses of the Quran and hadiths (the Prophet's biography). Add to this a religious jurisprudence established during this imperial tide that swept the world. All of this, ordinary Muslims imprison inside them, unhappy. Some of them become potential soldiers for terrorist organizations and all varieties of political Islam.

This culture, prevalent in the West, is backed by money from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, especially Qatar, and often backed by money from the West itself -- along with many politicians, often opportunistic.

What is the solution? From within. Islamic political power controls the Islamic world, whether military or in an everyday dictatorial form.

Religious reform in Islam did not find support, as it did in the West. What does Trump need to do? There needs to be a stop to any form of cooperation with the varieties of political Islam and certainly the terrorist organizations.

Add to that: Dismantle the ideology that produces Islamic terrorism by supporting the disintegration of the ideology of terrorism through Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic schools, mosques, books, radio stations and television stations.

Dry up the external financing and private Saudi and Gulf Islamic institutions in the West. And thus give to the Muslims what is normal in the West. We need to promote other Islamic religious choices, completely out of the ideology of the Islamic terrorist prison, and to encourage being part of the building and development of human civilization rather than the cause of its destruction.
Saied Shoaaib is a Muslim scholar based in Canada. He can be reached at: saiedshoaaib@gmail.com
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