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11751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia on: October 30, 2006, 02:50:27 AM

Counterterrorism Blog
Radical Australian Cleric Al-Hilali's Sermon in the Context of a Growing Fringe of Home-Grown Militants
By Zachary Abuza

[Author?s note: I do not like to comment on issues/events outside of Southeast Asia, but I would like to post this brief piece on the comments of Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali of Australia, that are getting significant attention in the international media. They must be seen in the context of a growing threat of home grown Islamist militancy Down Under, that has not been addressed to the degree it should have been on the Counterterrorism Blog.]

This week a Ramadan sermon by the controversial Supreme Muslim Cleric, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali aired in the national media has created a furor across Australia. The comments, in which the sheik blames women for rape, are only the latest in a string of incidences by radical Muslims who refuse to integrate and abide by Australia?s liberal-democratic and multi-ethnic core values. While the radicals comprise only a small number of Australia?s 300,000 Muslims (who come from some 20 countries), their vociferous and intolerant discourse is disturbing. It also adds increasing light to the problem of home-grown Islamist militancy in Australia.

Last year, the firebrand imam, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, originally from Algeria but who eventually became an Australian citizen, went on national television and stated unequivocally that he could not tolerate any religion but Islam: "According to my religion, here, I don't accept all other religion except the religion of Islam? I am telling you that my religion doesn't tolerate other religion. It doesn't tolerate. The only one law which needs to spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam."

Benbrika, who described Osama bin Laden as ?great man,? also caused a stir by inciting Australian Muslims to go to Iraq and fight coalition ? including Australian ? troops; stating that it was a religious obligation for Muslims to do so.

Benbrika was arrested last November for being the ringleader of a terrorist plot. According to police officials from the State of Victoria, though the plot was in its "developmental stages,? Benbrika and his followers (two cells, one in Sydney, the other in Melbourne), were clearly inspired by the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London and were planning a major attack. In a telephone conversation intercepted by the police, Abdulla Merhi, said he "could wait months but not years" to carry out jihad. "You shouldn't kill just one, two or three," Mr Benbrika allegedly responded. "Do a big thing." "Like Madrid?" Mr Merhi allegedly inquired, to which Mr Benbrika was said to have replied: "That's it." He continued, "If you kill, we kill here 1000, because if you get large numbers here, the government will listen." Members of the Melbourne cell were allegedly filming the Australian Stock Exchange and Flinders Street Station, the main commuter rail terminus in Melbourne.

The group was self-financed. Members of the Melbourne cell each donated $100 a month while several others were involved petty crime, credit-card fraud and selling stolen mobile phones to finance the plot. The Sydney cell members had amassed a number of firearms and a small cache of chemicals needed to produce TATP, the explosive used in the London bombings, lab equipment, over 150 detonators, over 130 digital timers, and al-Qaeda literature and bomb-making manuals. Cell members attended simple training sessions in remote areas in 2005, and allegedly Benbrika was given a demonstration of the explosives. Two of the 17 people arrested in November 2005 and March 2006 had received explosives training in Afghanistan. Currently there are 13 people standing trial in this case.

While Australia has done a superb job at assisting the governments of Southeast Asia investigate and break up Jemaah Islamiyah, Australian officials are now bracing for a rise in home grown militancy. Australian security officials from both Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have recently commented that there are roughly 12 terrorist cells with some 60 members that are being investigated. The threat of home-grown militancy has never been greater in Australia.

And for that reason, al-Hilali's sermon, published in today?s The Australian,20867,20653032-601,00.html, deserves another look because it is exclusionary, inciting and is a direct challenge to Australian tolerence:

"But when it comes to adultery, it's 90 per cent the women's responsibility. Why? Because a woman possesses the weapon of seduction. It is she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It's she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then it's a look, then a smile, then a conversation, a greeting, then a conversation, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay jail.
"But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, scholar al-Rafihi says: 'If I came across a rape crime ? kidnap and violation of honour ? I would discipline the man and order that the woman be arrested and jailed for life.' Why would you do this, Rafihi? He says because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn't have snatched it."

"If you take a kilo of meat, and you don't put it in the fridge or in the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you're crazy. Isn't this true?

"If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.

"If the meat was covered, the cats wouldn't roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won't get it.

"If the meat was in the fridge and it (the cat) smelled it, it can bang its head as much as it wants, but it's no use.

"If the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she's wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don't happen.

"That's why he said she owns the weapon of seduction.
"The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.

Al-Hilali has been in the news before. He was nearly deported several times before gaining citizenship owing to his radical preaching and tirades. He called the 9/11 attacks "God's work against oppressors" and continues to astound people with his virulent anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. These statements got him expelled from the Prime Minister's Muslim Advisory Board.

Another radical cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Omran, a spiritual leader of Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama?ah, a Salafi organization, has led the media campaign denying Muslim links to either the London or Madrid bombings, as well as to the 9/11 attacks. "I don?t believe that even 11 September? I don?t believe that it was done by any Muslim at all? I dispute any evil action linked to bin Laden," he said on national TV. Instead, he explained, they were "inside job" of the United States. Omran has encouraged followers to wage jihad against the west, glorified suicide bombers, and encouraged Madrid and London-style attacks in Australia.

Public pressure, in particular from Australia's moderate Muslim community (I.E. The Islamic Council of New South Wales called his comments ?un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable?), forced al-Halali to apologize for his remarks, and he has agreed to a 2-3 month suspension from preaching though the Lakemba Mosque refused to dismiss him. Yet, he refused to resign until ?After we clean the world of the White House first.?

Australia, which has troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and whose government is closely allied with the Bush Administration, will continue to be vilified by Islamic militants, named in Al Qaeda and JI statements, will also see a rise in home grown militants, inspired by radical clerics such as Benbrika, al-Hilali, and Omran.

By Zachary Abuza on October 27, 2006 10:27 AM
11752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Peace Activist on: October 29, 2006, 07:46:52 AM
11753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia on: October 29, 2006, 07:37:07 AM

Women can't refuse
 October 29, 2006

AN Islamic group praised by the Howard Government as preaching moderation has advised its followers that a woman cannot refuse to have sex with her husband.

The advice was posted on the website of the Darulfatwa organisation, in response to questions posed by readers.

One asked: "Is it haram [forbidden] for a lady to say no if her male partner wants to make love with her?"

The Islamic scholars replied: "In this case she should not refrain from such a legitimate right of marriage, but she could Islamically request for a place of living from her husband."

Darulfatwa spokesman Mohammad Mehio said Islamic teaching was that a wife could not refuse sex unless she had a good excuse such as being ill, tired or depressed.

After The Sun-Herald questioned Mr Mehio about the answers on the website, he said they posted a "clarification".

The answer to the sex-in-marriage question was changed to: "In this case she has the right to refuse."

11754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 29, 2006, 04:36:32 AM

U.S. foes ramp up media campaign in "war of ideas"
Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:10 PM ET

By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As U.S. military losses mount steadily in Iraq, a document issued by a group linked to al Qaeda spells out new goals for America's most determined enemies and calls for a media war against the United States.

The document, which began circulating on the Internet this month, illustrates the techniques Washington's enemy is using in what President George W. Bush has called the "war of ideas."

"The people of jihad need to carry out a media war parallel to the military war ... because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations," said the document, signed by Najd al-Rawi of the Global Islamic Media Front, a group associated with al Qaeda.

It lists targets for a public relations campaign ranging from the obvious -- Internet chat rooms -- to the surprising -- "famous U.S. authors with e-mail addresses" and mentions New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and the academics Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington.

The author suggests that video of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq could be a weapon in the media war and sway U.S. public opinion. Judging from a controversy that flared after CNN aired a video on October 18 showing insurgent snipers cutting down U.S. soldiers, such footage is considered a serious threat by some U.S. lawmakers.

The tape was tame by Internet standards: the screen went black at the moment the bullets hit, sparing viewers the most shocking images.

But it prompted Duncan Hunter, the chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, and two congressional colleagues to ask Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to ban CNN reporters from traveling with U.S. units in Iraq.

The issue of U.S. military deaths has long been sensitive -- the Pentagon has banned photographers from taking pictures of flag-draped coffins arriving in the United States from Iraq or Afghanistan.

In the past, similar strategy messages from al Qaeda and other groups have often remained in the relative obscurity of password-protected Arabic-language Web sites and message boards.

By contrast, the call in the document for a parallel media war traveled from the Internet to a mention in a New York Times column, the White House briefing room and eventually Bush himself.

In his weekly radio address on October 21, Bush specifically referred to the Global Islamic Media Front and said "the terrorists are trying to influence public opinion here in the United States. They have a sophisticated propaganda strategy ... to divide America and break our will."

Experts agree on the sophistication. "They (the jihadists) are more effective than us" on the propaganda front, said Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.


To what extent gruesome images from the military fronts can affect U.S. attitudes toward an increasingly unpopular Iraq war is open to debate.

But if global public opinion polls are a gauge, the United States is losing the overall war of ideas Bush declared part of U.S. national security strategy four years ago.

Since the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, a move hugely unpopular in much of the world, international polls such as ones conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project have tracked a steady rise in anti-Americanism.

America's global standing slipped despite public diplomacy efforts such as increased spending on TV and radio broadcasts to the Middle East. Experts are critical of the efforts.

"It's hard to find a person between the Atlantic and the Indian subcontinent who'd give the U.S. a hearing these days," said Paul Eedle, a London-based terrorism expert and filmmaker who has just produced a documentary on the use of videos by followers of al Qaeda.It will be aired in Britain next month.

"In most of today's Middle East, the U.S. is seen as hostile to Islam and hostile to Arabs."

But while videos showing Americans inspire the radicalized and serve as recruitment tools, Eedle says, the mass of people in the Arab world are much more influenced by what they see on their main evening news bulletins -- "most of which make them angry at America and Israel."

11755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: October 27, 2006, 04:05:51 PM
France's Permanent Intifada
New York Sun Editorial
October 27, 2006

Only days after the violence in the Paris suburbs erupted onto the world's front pages a year ago, these columns described the battles between the Muslim youths and French police, in a November 4, 2005, editorial,"Intifada in France." We wrote: "If President Chirac thought he was going to gain peace with the Muslim community in France by taking an appeasement line in the Iraq war, it certainly looks like he miscalculated. Today the streets of the French capital are looking more like Ramallah and less like the advanced, sophisticated, gay Paree image Monsieur Chirac likes to portray to the world, and the story, which is just starting to grip the world's attention, is full of ironies. One is tempted to suggest that Prime Minister Sharon send a note cautioning Monsieur Chirac about cycles of violence."

The "Intifada" label was dismissed in many quarters. On November 5, John Lichfield in Britain's Independent wrote "from the centre of the world's most beautiful city" that "despite the inflammatory rubbish written by some right-wing commentators in the French press about a ?Paris intifada', this is not an Islamic insurrection or a political revolution of any kind." He predicted that the riots "will burn themselves out in a few days, just as they have before." The Washington Post editorialized on November 8 that "? It's not the European version of an intifada: Islamic ideology and leaders play no role in the disturbances." Bernard-Henri Levy wrote on November 9 in the Wall Street Journal that "this is not, thank heaven, a matter of an Intifada wearing French colors."

Well one year later, the riots are still going on, and the French themselves are now calling it an intifada. France's Interior Ministry reported that almost 2,500 police officers were "wounded" in the first six months of the year. Rescue workers need police escort in the Muslim dominated suburbs. The AP recently reported from Paris: "On a routine call, three unwitting police officers fell into a trap. A car darted out to block their path, and dozens of hooded youths surged out of the darkness to attack them with stones, bats and tear gas before fleeing. One officer was hospitalized, and no arrests were made. The recent, apparently planned ambush was emblematic of what some officers say has become a near-perpetual and increasingly violent state of conflict between police and gangs in tough, largely immigrant French neighborhoods."

The head of a police trade union Action Police, Michel Thooris, recently told the interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, that the situation in the slums can be described as a "permanent Intifada." Almost every day police cars are pelted by, among other objects, Molotov cocktails. Mr. Thooris told journalists that "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists." He said that "Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of ?Allah Akbar' (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned," the AP reported.

We recount this not out of any schadenfreude. But all our lives, we have thought of France in a certain way, as Charles of Gaulle once said. We would actually like to see the Fifth Republic come to its senses and see that its interests are with the rest of the Free World and that appeasement is not an answer, not in France, not in Israel, and not in Iraq. We are not with the anti-immigration movement.

One of France's faults is what we, in one of last year's editorials, called its "failure to integrate its immigrant Muslim community." It's a community that "lives in areas rampant with crime, poverty, and unemployment, much the fault of France's prized welfare system ? Immigration into a country with a dirigiste economy is a recipe for trouble, which is why supporters of immigration into France have long warned of the need for liberalization."

But there has been no liberalization. The French labor market is as inflexible as ever. Unemployment still is in the double digits, and it's highest among the immigrants and minority populations. All this, as we noted, "is compounded by the image France projects of itself to its Muslims, which one can surmise is the reason why Muslims see rioting as the solution to any grievance." Monsieur Chirac didn't join the war in Iraq out of fear of his domestic Muslim population. And so, "unsurprisingly when faced with some unhappiness they believe they can pressure the French state into submission."

The way out for France is two-fold. Firstly to reform its welfare state and allow the Muslim dominated slums to integrate into French society. The second is to send a signal to the French Muslim community that France doesn't buckle under threats, that it sees itself as part of the West, allied with America, Israel, and the Free World. On a domestic level, that means employing Mayor Giuliani-style "zero-tolerance" policing in the suburbs. On a national level, France would do well to send troops to fight the Islamists in Iraq and prove themselves to be true members in the coalition in the war on terror. As it is, France is learning the profound truth of which President Bush has begun speaking in respect of Iraq ? if we retreat, the enemy will follow us home.

11756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 27, 2006, 03:58:15 PM

October 26, 2006
The Wolf Pack
What it means to live by Muhammad?s words and deeds.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers

A review of Robert Spencer?s The Truth about Muhammad, Founder of the World?s Most Intolerant Religion (Regnery Publishing, 2006)

Ambrose Bierce once quipped that war was God?s way of teaching Americans geography. He could have said ?teaching us history,? for the enemy is emboldened by our ignorance not just of where he lives but of how he lives, his beliefs and values, and to understand these traditions we must understand their history. Unfortunately, in the current war against Islamic jihad we persist in ignoring the documented history of Islam and its beliefs, accepting instead the spin and distortions of various propagandists, apologists, and Western useful idiots.

This imperative to know the enemy?s beliefs is particularly important for understanding the jihadists, for Islam is a fiercely traditional faith, one brooking no deviation from the revelation granted to Muhammad and codified in the Koran, Hadith, and the sira or biography of the Prophet. As Robert Spencer shows in his invaluable resource The Truth about Muhammad, in these sources Muhammad is presented as ?an excellent model of conduct,? as the Koran puts it, his words and deeds forming the pattern for all pious Muslims to follow. ?Muslims,? according to Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, ?as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life.? The facts of Muhammad?s life, then, are paramount for understanding the beliefs that warrant and validate jihadist terror.

Presenting those facts clearly and fairly is precisely what Spencer accomplishes in his new book. Spencer has been for years a bastion of plain-speaking truth. Through books like Islam Unveiled, Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades), and as director of Jihad Watch, Spencer has courageously presented the simple facts of Islamic history and thought that too many Americans, including some in the current administration, ignore or distort. Spencer?s new book continues this important service of arming us with the facts we need in order to understand an enemy who wants nothing from us other than our conversion, death, or subjection.

Basing his description of Muhammad on the same Islamic sources revered by believers themselves, Spencer paints a portrait of the Prophet unrecognizable to any who have been deceived by the idealizations of apologists like Farida Khanam, whom Spencer quotes as claiming that Muhammad?s ?heart was filled with intense love for all humankind irrespective of caste, creed or color,? or the British religious writer Karen Armstrong, who claims that ?Muhammad eventually abjured violence and pursued a daring, inspired policy of non-violence that was worthy of Ghandi.? Such fantastic delusions cannot stand up to the relentless quotations and facts Spencer gathers from Islamic sources, all of which show us a Mohammad justifying and practicing violence in the service of the faith he invented.

As Spencer traces Muhammad?s life, we see the behaviors practiced by today?s jihadists, who continually cite the Prophet as their justifying model. The arrogant intolerance of any other religion finds its source in Muhammad?s assertion to Muslims, ?Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.? The rationalization of violence by invoking the hostility of unbelievers is also warranted by Muhammad: because of the rejection of him by his tribesmen the Quraysh, Allah ?gave permission to His apostle to fight and to protect himself against those who wronged them [Muslims] and treated them badly.? Hence the various offenses fabricated by today?s jihadists to justify their aggression against the West. But Muhammad justifies not just defensive warfare but also violence in the service of the faith: ??Fight them [unbelievers] so that there be no more seduction,? i.e., until no believer is seduced from his religion. ?And the religion is God?s,? i.e. until God alone is worshiped.? We see here the jihadist?s hatred of the West and globalization, whose political freedoms and hedonistic prosperity ?seduce? believers from the faith.

As Spencer concludes, ?The Qur?an . . . commands much more than defensive warfare: Muslims must fight until ?the religion is God?s? ? that is, until Allah alone is worshipped. Later Islamic law, based on statements of Muhammad, would offer non-Muslims three options: conversion to Islam, subjugation as inferiors under Islamic law, or warfare.? So much for the protestations of tolerance and co-existence constantly peddled by jihad?s Western publicists.

Every aspect of Islamic practice and belief finds its basis in Muhammad?s words and deeds. When Muhammad?s lieutenant Abdullah attacked a Quraysh caravan during a month when fighting was prohibited, Muhammad?s initial displeasure was changed by a ?revelation? [i.e. from the angel Gabriel, who dictated the Koran to Mohammad] saying ?persecution [i.e. of Muslims] is worse than killing,? and Abdullah was forgiven. ?This was a momentous incident,? Spencer concludes, ?for it would set a pattern: good became identified with anything that redounded to the benefit of Muslims, and evil with anything that harmed them, without reference to any larger moral standard. Moral absolutes were swept aside in favor of the overarching principle of expediency.?

As Spencer progresses through the Prophet?s life, the evidence for Muhammad?s model as the source of modern jihadist practice becomes overwhelming. The penchant for beheading enemies displayed by jihadists is validated by Muhammad?s decapitation of his enemy Abu Jahl after the battle of Badr against the Quraysh. A ?revelation? after the battle codified this practice and linked it to the terrorizing of the enemy that would help Muslims prevail: ??I [Allah] will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.? This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.? Given that ?contend against? can be defined as any activity that ?seduces? believers or stands in the way of Muslim interests, the divine justification for the violence and terror perpetrated by jihadists from Indonesia to Africa, Israel to England is obvious.

So too with the practice of making tactical treaties and truces only to break them later. ?If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for Allah lovest not the treacherous,? a statement also revealing of the double-standard many Muslims take for granted when dealing with non-believers. Armed with this loophole, Muhammad moved against the Banu Qaynuqa, a Jewish tribe who had resisted Islam but with whom Muhammad had a truce. As Muhammad famously said, ?War is deceit.? This precedent of deceit is obviously pertinent today, particularly for Palestinian Arab dealings with Israel. We have seen agreement after agreement signed by Arafat and others, only to be violated when circumstances seem to favor force.

The mistreatment of women, polygamy, child-marriage, stoning of adulterers, cutting off the hands of thieves, mutilation of enemy corpses, the sentence of death for apostasy, the subjection of dhimmi or Christians and Jews, even the killing of writers who displease the faithful ? remember the sentence of death against Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, still in force ? all have their precedents in the things Muhammad said and did. And as Spencer documents in his conclusion, this invocation of Muhammad is continually made by the jihadist terrorists themselves, who accurately link their violence to incidents and sayings from the life of Muhammad. To pretend that these devout Muslims are ignorant of their own religion?s traditions or are ?hijacking? them is willful blindness.

Perhaps the most important precedent established by Muhammad, however, and one at the root of modern jihadist violence, is the demonization of Christians and Jews. Centuries before the existence of Israel, the actions and words of Muhammad legitimized the hatred of Jews. As Spencer shows, this disdain and resentment reflected the powerful barrier the Jews of western Arabia presented to Muhammad?s new faith and ambitions, not to mention the extent of Muhammad?s borrowings from Jewish scripture and traditions. But the continuing refusal of the Jews to accept that Muhammad was the ?seal of the prophets? eventually led to his war against these potent rivals, including the Qurayzah of Medina, 600-700 of whom were beheaded. This hatred was justified by calling the Jews along with the Christians ?renegades? who had turned against God and the true faith of their ancestors. Thus throughout the Koran one finds codified an intolerance and hatred of Jews still infecting the Islamic world today. The notion of apologists that Islam offers tolerant accommodation to Jews and Christians is belied by verses in the Koran such as, ?Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors,? and most notoriously of the Jews, ?You brothers of monkeys, has God disgraced you and brought His vengeance upon you??

Given all this evidence, as Spencer writes, ?It is nothing short of staggering that the myth of Islamic tolerance could have gained such currency in the teeth of Muhammad?s open contempt and hatred for Jews and Christians, incitements of violence against them, and calls that they be converted or subjugated.? And this historical evidence is ratified by contemporary events that show modern Muslims following to the letter the example of Muhammad, from continuing persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim lands, to the riots and calls for violence that attended (and validated) the Pope?s quotation of a Byzantine emperor?s observation that violence in the service of religion is Islam?s sole innovation.

Spencer concludes with some common-sense suggestions, most importantly demanding that so-called ?moderates? condemn jihad and teach against religious intolerance in their schools and mosques. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen, given the power of Muhammad?s example of enmity against unbelievers, and given the arrogant intolerance and unwillingness to compromise that typify too many Muslims. The anxiety about appearing ?racist? and the sentimental idealization of the ?other? dominating American society make it even more unlikely that any politician will challenge Muslims about the facts of Mohammad?s words and deeds that jihadists today use to justify their actions. Unless we heed people like Robert Spencer, it seems that only another graphic example of jihadist violence within our borders has a chance of teaching us the history of the enemy.

11757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:43:48 AM
11758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:39:31 AM
11759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:36:07 AM

The Swastika and the Scimitar
Anti-Semitic paranoia is alive and well among Muslims.

By Jonah Goldberg

The Jews everywhere are ?the Muslim?s bitter enemies,? said a prominent Islamic leader. Throughout history, the ?irreconcilable enemy of Islam? has conspired and schemed and ?oppressed and persecuted 40 million Muslims,? he said. In Palestine, the Jews are establishing ?a base from which to extend their power over neighboring Islamic countries.? And, he proclaimed, ?This war, which was unleashed by the world Jewry,? has provided ?Muslims the best opportunity to free themselves from these instances of persecution and oppression.?

Sound like Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah? Or perhaps Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Nope. It was the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Husseini, in 1942. An ardent Nazi supporter, Husseini delivered his speech at the opening of the Islamic Institute in Berlin, one day after the Allies denounced the Nazis for ?carrying into effect Hitler?s oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.? Husseini?s address was approved by Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Joseph Goebbels was in attendance. The Reich press office widely distributed the comments.

President Bush undoubtedly didn?t have any of this in mind when he dubbed our enemies in the war on terror ?Islamic fascists.? But his comments ? analytically flawed as they may be ? added some much-needed moral clarity to our current struggle. They also helped to illuminate a much-overlooked point: Islamic fundamentalism and Nazism are historically and intellectually linked. (When the Israelis caught Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Final Solution, a leading Saudi Arabian newspaper read: ?Arrest of Eichmann, who had the honor of killing 6 million Jews.?) Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bush?s remarks seem to have struck a nerve.

The Saudi government warned ?against hurling charges of terrorism and fascism at Muslims without regard to the spotless history of Islamic civilization.? Of course, no civilization is without sin, but it takes particular chutzpah for the Saudis to preen, considering their civilization is as spotless as a leopard.

Still, the point isn?t to dredge up ancient history about Muslims and Nazis. Many Swedes got along swimmingly with the Nazis but who worries about the Swedes today? The Muslim world is another matter. Unlike the Swedes, the similarities between Nazism and Islamic fascism are not all in the past. In what may be the most important book on the Holocaust in a generation, historian Jeffrey Herf explains why.

According to the standard Holocaust narrative, the Final Solution was the product of ?hate? or racism or, often, both. Anti-Semitism became popular in the 19th century; the Nazis expanded on it, constructing a pseudo-scientific biological racism that saw the Jews as a ?cancer? on the body politic and the Holocaust as an attempt to excise the tumor. Herf does not so much debunk this version of history as cut through it.

In The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust, he concedes that hatred and racism were important, but he argues that they don?t explain Germany?s unique efforts to destroy the Jews. It?s not as if no one hated the Jews until the 1930s.

The real answer isn?t hate, but fear. Poring through miles of speeches, private comments, journal entries, party memoranda and all 24,000 pages of Goebbel?s diaries, Herf concludes that the Nazis really believed that the Jews ran the world and wanted to destroy Germany. They believed that Jews controlled not only the Bolsheviks to the east but the capitalists to the west. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a mere pawn of his Jewish friends and advisors. The British Parliament, Goebbels wrote in one diary entry, was ?in reality a kind of Jewish stock exchange.? The ?Jewish-plutocratic enemy? was everywhere, benefiting from, and responsible for, every piece of bad news for Germany. In fact, the Nazis were sure that the Jews had declared war on Germany first, giving them no choice but to respond to the Jewish campaign to ?exterminate the Germans.? This paranoia led the Nazis to believe that rounding up millions of Jews and gassing them was an act of self-defense.

What is so frightening is how similar this is to the sounds from the Middle East today. Ahmadinejad ? dismissed by ?sophisticated? academics as a blowhard ? calls the Holocaust a myth. Indeed, there is no Jewish conspiracy theory too outlandish in the Muslim world. Huge numbers of Muslims ? even 45 percent of British Muslims ? believe that the Jews were behind 9/11. Theories that the Mossad is behind every bad headline, from the Indonesian tsunami to bad soccer performances, are common on the Arab street. According to Herf, this is only the second time the world has seen this sort of radical anti-Semitic paranoia. And, again, too many in the unspotless West are saying, ?They can?t be serious.?

11760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:35:12 AM
Strange Allies
George Michael's "The Enemy of My Enemy" details the unlikely alliance between militant Islam and the extreme right.
by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
08/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS, there have been rumblings among terrorism analysts about an unlikely alliance between Islamic radicals and the neo-Nazi far right. This union seems counterintuitive on the surface: The far right tends to see Muslims as racially inferior, while Islamic radicals disdain most members of the far right as infidels. However, the immediate urgency of a shared enemy can sometimes take precedence over long-term differences. In his new book The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right (University Press of Kansas 2006), University of Virginia professor George Michael argues at length that this is now the case for certain factions within the far right and radical Islamic movements.

In reality, this peculiar convergence of interests isn't new. There have been four distinct phases of cooperation between militant Islam and the extreme right, stretching back to Germany's Third Reich and World War II. During this time, much of the Muslim world sympathized with the Axis alliance, and Muslim Brotherhood members even prayed for the defeat of the Allies during their meetings.

Michael notes that the Muslim world's sympathy with the Axis alliance was "best exemplified by the cordial relationship between Hitler and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini." Although al-Husseini's followers had already been involved in one anti-Jewish rampage by 1922, the British appointed him grand mufti that year. During the 1930s, as the Nazi government implemented a number of ordinances abridging the rights of Jewish citizens, al-Husseini lent his support to the German project and requested reciprocal assistance in his own fight against the Jews. Eventually, as World War II progressed, al-Husseini helped organize a Bosnian Muslim division of the Waffen SS, and propagandized for the Nazi cause by writing an anti-Semitic tract entitled Islam and the Jews.

The second phase of cooperation between militant Islam and the extreme right began after Hitler's defeat. As Nazi Germany crumbled, Hitler's erstwhile officers had to flee to new homes lest they face prosecution for their role in the regime's atrocities. Given the Muslim world's support for Germany, it was natural that many of Hitler's men went to the Middle East. There, out of work Nazis proved useful to their host countries by helping develop their militaries and intelligence agencies.

After Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egypt's president, for example, a number of Nazis were given prominent positions in his government. Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny trained thousands of Egyptians in guerilla and desert warfare, and even organized early Palestinian terrorist forays into Israel and the Gaza Strip in the mid-1950s. Johann von Leers, who had been a high-ranking assistant to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, produced material for Nasser attacking the United States and Israel. Von Leers even converted to Islam during this period, adopting the name Oman Amin von Leers. Corresponding with a fellow fascist, von Leers opined that "if my nation had got Islam instead of Christianity we should not have had all the traitors we had in World War II."

The third phase of cooperation came with the rise of Palestinian terrorism in the late 1960s. After witnessing such incidents as the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the extreme right recognized a shared hostility toward Zionism--and several times tried to collaborate with Palestinians on terrorist operations.

Some neofascists did participate in anti-Israel operations. Robert Courdroy of the Belgian SS and neo-Nazi Karl von Kyna were killed in the late 1960s while fighting for the Palestinians. Some neo-Nazi groups reportedly helped the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine carry out attacks against Jewish targets in Europe, while a neo-Nazi group called Freikorps Adolf Hitler reportedly participated in the Black September war in Jordan. Yet despite these and other incidents, no enduring bonds between the two movements were forged. As Michael writes, "At best, the ties were sparse, shallow, sporadic, and ephemeral."

THE FOURTH, CURRENT PHASE BEGAN in the 1990s. The Soviet Union's fall caused the extreme right to turn away from Communism as their prime enemy, and toward the new world order (often seen as a convergence of "international corporate finance, Jewish media, and American military power"). At the same time, the Internet's rise allowed divergent extremist groups to recognize shared interests.

The extreme right and militant Islam now possess the same enemies. They both loathe the Jews and believe that the American government is controlled by a shadowy Jewish elite. Both movements also have revolutionary aspirations, seeking to replace the existing order with "monocultural states built around racial or religious exclusivity."

While both sides began to recognize these ideological similarities in the 1990s, 9/11 hastened the convergence of interests. After the Twin Towers collapsed, many far-right leaders exulted at both the punishment inflicted on the United States and the courage displayed by the hijackers. As National Alliance organizer Billy Roper said shortly thereafter: "The enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friends. We may not want them marrying our daughter, just as they would not want us marrying theirs. . . . But anyone willing to drive a plane into a building to kill Jews is all right by me."

Since then, here have been intensified efforts to build bridges between radical Islam and the extreme right. Ahmed Huber, a Swiss convert to Islam who is a self-proclaimed admirer of both Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden, jubilantly declared that 9/11 would help align the two movements: "The eleventh of September has brought together [the two sides] because the new right has reacted positively. . . . They say, and I agree with them 100 percent, what happened on the eleventh of September, if it is the Muslims who did it, it is not an act of terrorism but an act of counterterrorism."

In the United States, late National Alliance founder William L. Pierce praised Osama bin Laden prior to his death. The Aryan Nations established a Ministry of Islamic Liaison, and the group's head August Kreis declared his solidarity with Osama bin Laden during an interview with CNN. Kreis even advised bin Laden that his followers were willing to fight on al Qaeda's side: "They might not be cells of Islamic people, but they are here and they are ready to fight."

MICHAEL'S BOOK IS FAR from perfect. At some points, the reader is bombarded by page after page of block quotes, with very little analysis from the author. Moreover, the book is too long, with marginal issues explored in too much detail. This is evident from the very outset, as the book's ten-page introduction includes a six-page description of pre-9/11 debates about what direction the post-Cold War world would take, including an extended analysis of the divergent views of Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington that summarizes without adding value.

Not only do these marginal issues test the reader's patience, but they also sometimes display Michael's unfamiliarity with the subjects at hand. For example, the book erroneously refers to Hezbollah as a Salafi group (page 58), and uncritically reiterates the apparently fabricated quote from Ariel Sharon that "we the Jewish people control America" (page 48).

Nonetheless, the value of The Enemy of My Enemy can be found in its in-depth study of the on-again, off-again love affair between radical Islam and the extreme right. How the latest chapter in this romance will play out remains to be seen. It may not result in joint operational work--neo-Nazi groups, in their current state of decline, may be viewed as a liability rather than an asset by Islamic militants. Moreover, although both movements despise Israel and the United States, they may prove incapable of overcoming the vast ideological divide that separates them.

But, even if a united terror front never emerges, there may be other long-term implications to the convergence between militant Islam and the extreme right. For example, the intellectual legitimacy afforded to extreme-right Holocaust deniers within the Muslim world may ultimately prove significant. This is a trend worthy of notice, and George Michael provides the best window available for glimpsing it.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a senior consultant for the Gerard Group International LLC. His first book, My Year Inside Radical Islam, will be published in February 2007 by Tarcher/Penguin.

11761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:34:15 AM
The Times April 24, 2006

What the neo-Nazi fanatic did next: switched to Islam
By Nicola Woolcock and Dominic Kennedy

Two faces, two converts - two Muslim extremists in Britain

David Myatt, who has changed his name to Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt, is a former leader of Combat 18; he now says Islam is the best hope for "fighting the West". Photo: BBC Panorama

A NEO-NAZI whose ideas were said to be the inspiration for the man who let off a nail bomb in Central London in 1999 has converted to an extremist form of Islam.

David Myatt, a founder of the hardline British National Socialist Movement (NSM) who has been jailed for racist attacks, has changed his name to Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt. David Copeland, who is serving six life sentences after three people died in his Soho bomb attacks, was a member of the NSM.

Myatt is reportedly the author of a fascist terrorist handbook and a former leader of the violent far-right group Combat 18. But now ? in his mid-50s and sporting a red, bushy beard ? he subscribes to radical Islamist views.

In an internet essay entitled From Neo-Nazi to Muslim, Myatt asks: ?How was it that I, a Westerner with a history of over 25 years of political involvement in extreme right-wing organisations, a former leader of the political wing of the neo-Nazi group Combat 18, came to be standing outside a mosque with a sincere desire to go inside and convert to Islam? ?These were the people who I had been fighting on the streets, I had swore (sic) at and had used violence against ? indeed, one of my terms of imprisonment was a result of me leading a gang of skinheads in a fight against ?Pakis?.?

In a later interview, Myatt supports the killing of any Muslim who breaks his oath of loyalty to Islam, and the setting up of a Muslim superstate. He describes himself as having been ?staunchly opposed to non-white immigration into Britain and twice jailed for violence in pursuit of my political aims?.

He added: ?I spent several decades of my life fighting for what I regarded as my people, my race and my nation, and endured two terms of imprisonment arising out of my political activities.?

But his belief is now that: ?The pure authentic Islam of the revival, which recognises practical jihad (holy war) as a duty, is the only force that is capable of fighting and destroying the dishonour, the arrogance, the materialism of the West . . . For the West, nothing is sacred, except perhaps Zionists, Zionism, the hoax of the so-called Holocaust, and the idols which the West and its lackeys worship, or pretend to worship, such as democracy.

?They want, and demand, that we abandon the purity of authentic Islam and either bow down before them and their idols, or accept the tame, secularised, so-called Islam which they and their apostate lackeys have created.

?This may well be a long war, of decades or more ? and we Muslims have to plan accordingly. We must affirm practical jihad ? to take part in the fight to free our lands from the kuffar (unbelievers). Jihad is our duty.?

Myatt, who briefly became a monk after his second spell in prison, said that he became a Muslim while working long hours alone on a farm. He grew up in Africa, moved to Britain in 1967 and spent time living in Worcestershire. In July 2000 Searchlight, the anti-fascist magazine, described him as ?the most ideologically-driven Nazi in Britain, preaching race war and terrorism?.

Myatt was the architect of the NSM and was involved in the leadership of Combat 18. He issued a statement in response to the Soho nail bombings saying: ?Neither myself nor anyone else connected to the NSM can be held responsible for these bombs in any way. That responsibility lies with the person who constructed them, planted them and caused them to explode. Only that person, and God, know the motive behind the attacks.?

Myatt said that ?all bombs are terrible and barbaric?, whether detonated by lone bombers, Western governments in Iraq or Zionists in Palestine.

?The NSM considered the creation of a revolutionary situation in this country as necessary since it wished to build an entirely new society, based upon personal honour, and believed this could only be done by destroying the dishonourable and corrupt society of the present.

?However, the NSM neither preached, nor sought to incite, what is called ?racial hatred?. Instead, it strove to propagate the warrior values of honour, loyalty and duty, and make the British people aware of, and come to value, their ancestral warrior culture and warrior heritage.?

Myatt said recently that he had given up hope of a breakthrough by the far Right and believed that Muslims were the best hope for combating Zionism and the West. ?There will not be an uprising, a revolution, in any Western nation, by nationalists, racial nationalists, or National Socialists ? because these people lack the desire, the motivation, the ethos, to do this and because they do not have the support of even a large minority of their own folk,? he said.

?If these nationalists, or some of them, desire to aid us, to help us . . . they can do the right thing, the honourable thing, and convert, revert, to Islam ? accepting the superiority of Islam over and above each and every way of the West.?

11762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:33:24 AM
The Day the Mufti Came to Town
By Joe Kaufman | April 13, 2006

?Death to America? can be heard loud and clear throughout the streets of Tehran. It can also be frequently heard out of the mouth of one Ikrima Sa?id Sabri, the Grand Mufti of the Al-Aqsa Mosque located in Jerusalem. Recently, Sabri had the opportunity to visit the land that he hates so much. But why would he want to, and why would we let him?

Sabri is the sixth man to hold the title of Mufti of Jerusalem, having been appointed to the position by Yasser Arafat in October of 1994. He is the considered the highest official of religious law in the area.

The first ?Grand Mufti? of Jerusalem (and third Mufti) was Haj Amin Al-Husseini. In 1921, at the time of his appointment, Amin Al-Husseini had been considered a violent extremist. Later, he would be declared a war criminal in Nuremburg for his actions with regard to the Nazis. In his memoirs, he wrote, ?Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: ?The Jews are yours.??

Like Amin Al-Husseini, Ikrima Sa?id Sabri?s hatred of Jews is prolific. About them, he has stated, ?I enter the mosque of Al-Aqsa with my head up and at the same time I am filled with rage toward the Jews. I have never greeted a Jew when I came near one. I never will. They cannot even dream that I will. The Jews do not dare to bother me, because they are the most cowardly creatures Allah has ever created...?

Sabri?s contempt is not just limited to Jews, though. He also has vitriolic feelings towards the United States. On September 12, 1997, in a sermon he delivered, Sabri stated, ?Oh Allah, destroy America, her agents and her allies! Cast them into their own traps, and cover the White House with black!? And less than a month before 9/11, on August 24, 2001, he stated, ?Allah, destroy the U.S., its helpers and its agents. Allah, destroy Britain, its helpers and its agents. Allah, prepare those who will unite the Muslims and march in the steps of Saladin. Allah, we ask you for forgiveness before death, and mercy and forgiveness after death. Allah, grant victory to Islam and the Muslims...?

With his violent posture towards America, one would imagine that Sabri would want to stay as far from our shores as humanly possible. But that is just not the case. Sabri sightings have occurred in the United States, as recently as last month.

On March 4, 2006, Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (MILA) sponsored ?An Afternoon with Shaikh Ekrima Sabry.? The event, which was held at the Colorodo Muslim Society (a.k.a. Masjid Abu Bakr), drew a response from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Bruce DeBoskey, the Regional Director of the ADL?s Mountain States Region, in citing Sabri?s support for such things as suicide bombings, stated, ?This is a man who has a history of spewing vicious anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric. We would think the Colorado Muslim community would seek to distance themselves from this man's hateful rhetoric.?

However, the Colorado Muslim Society has a history of anti-Jewish sentiment. In September of 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the mosque?s spiritual leader, Ahmad Nabhan, in an interview with the Rocky Mountain News, referred to Israel as ?the first enemy.?

Colorado was not the only stop in the Sabri U.S. tour. In fact, he spent time in at least six other states ? one of which was Louisiana. On March 7, 2006, Sabri was the guest speaker at the American Legion Hall, located next door to the future home of the new Islamic Center of Baton Rouge (ICBR). A large and colorful flyer for the event is found on ICBR?s website. ICBR?s new center was a major subject in the case against KindHearts, an Islamic ?charity? recently shut down by the United States government for financing terrorism abroad.

In October of 2003, $500,000 was raised at ICBR during a KindHearts fundraiser for the new center. Yet, according to the Treasury Department, only a small part of the money went towards the building of a new Baton Rouge mosque; the vast majority of it went to Hamas. In addition, in August of 2005, ICBR acted as the Command Center for KindHearts? ?Hurricane Katrina Emergency Relief.?

The sponsor for Sabri?s Baton Rouge speech, as stated on the ICBR flyer, was the Palestinian American Congress (PAC), the American arm of the Palestinian National Authority. [The contact on the flyer for the event is PAC and ICBR dual board member, Emad Nofal.] In the past, the PAC has referred to Yasser Arafat as a ?national hero;? has celebrated the anniversary of the violent Palestinian Intifada; has condemned the Israeli executions of Hamas terrorist leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi; and has commemorated ?Al-Nakbah? (The Catastrophe), the severely offensive Arabic expression for the creation of the state of Israel. [On April 29th, at its 7th Annual Convention, the PAC will continue its hatefest with a keynote speech by newly appointed Palestinian Ambassador to the U.S., Afif Safieh, who has described the Intifada as ?our peace strategy? and has labeled Capitol Hill ?Israeli-occupied territory.?]

Grand Mufti Sabri has traveled to the U.S. previously. In July of 2003, he showed up to endorse the building of the Salah Tawfik Elementary School (STEMS), in Sunrise, Florida. In a photo that was found on the school?s site, Sabri is pictured holding the plans to the school, along with and next to Zulfiqar Ali Shah, who was, at the time, Principal of the School of Islamic Studies of Broward (which is incorporated under the same address as STEMS? location). In addition to his connection to the school, Shah is the former President (Ameer) of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Pakistan (Jamaat-e-Islami), and the South Asia Director for KindHearts.

For Sabri to be near a children?s school is a major problem. In an October 2000 interview with Egypt?s weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, Sabri discussed his fascination with child martyrdom. He stated, ?There is no doubt that a child [martyr] suggests that the new generation will carry on the mission with determination. The younger the martyr - the greater and the more I respect him? They [mothers of martyrs] willingly sacrifice their offspring for the sake of freedom. It is a great display of the power of belief. The mother is participating in the great reward of the Jihad to liberate Al-Aqsa.?

By allowing sadistic hatemongers, such as Ikrima Sabri, into the country, the United States sends a mixed message to the world. It says that, while the nation is engaged in a far-reaching war on terror, it will tolerate those that spread the violent ideologies which ignite the enemy. This includes the terrorist support network within our borders. In the Denver event alone, over 400 people attended, standing room only.

Freedom of Speech is not a subject with infinite boundaries; it has its limits. One of those limits is screaming ?fire? in a crowded theatre. Certainly, another of those limits should be shouting ?jihad? in a crowded mosque. What a great ? but foolish ? country is America that she can allow a monster, who has cursed and declared war on her and her friends around the globe, to walk upon her shores.

11763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:28:44 AM

11/24/2005 Clip No. 938

American White Supremacist David Duke Addressing Damacus Demonstration in Support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad: My Country Is Also Occupied by the Zionists

Following are excerpts from a speech by American white supremacist David Duke, aired on Syrian TV on November 24, 2005.

David Duke: I come from the peace-loving people in America to the peace-loving people of Syria.

Crowd cheers.

Interpreter: If you please, no shouting.

Interpreter:I have come from the peace-loving American people to the peace-loving Syrian people.

David Duke: I come from the peace-loving people of America to your great peace-loving president of Syria.

Interpreter: I have come from the peace-loving American people to your peace-loving Syrian president.

Crowd: Our soul and our blood we will sacrifice for you, oh Bashar.

Our soul and our blood we will sacrifice for you, oh Bashar.

Our soul and our blood we will sacrifice for you, oh Bashar.

David Duke: It is only in America and around the world, it is only the Zionists who want war rather than peace.

Interpreter: All over the world... In America, and all over the world, it is only the Zionists who want war instead of peace.

David Duke: It hurts my heart to tell you that part of my country is occupied by Zionists, just as part of your country, the Golan Heights, is occupied by Zionists.

Interpreter: It saddens me and it hurts my heart to tell you that parts of my country are occupied, just as parts of your country, namely the occupied Golan, are occupied by the Zionists.

David Duke: The Zionists occupy most of the American media and now control much of American government.

Interpreter: The Zionists control most of the media outlets, and they also control the American government.

David Duke: It is not just the West Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington DC, and New York, and London, and many other capitals in the world.

Interpreter: It is not just the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists. Washington D.C., New York, London, and other cities and capitals around the world are occupied by the Zionists.

David Duke: Your fight for freedom is the same as our fight for freedom.

Interpreter: Just as the Europeans are fighting for freedom, the Arabs are fighting for freedom.

David Duke: I bring you a message from many Americans, from many people in Britain, and around the Western world. We say in unison: No war for Israel.

Interpreter: I have brought you a message from most of the Western world, from America, from Britain. The message is: No to war, no to Israel.

Duke: No war for Israel!

Crowd chants along with David Duke

David Duke: No war for Israel, no war for Israel, no war for Israel, no war for Israel!

Interpreter: No to a war for the sake of Israel... No to a war for the sake of Israel... No to a war for the sake of Israel...

11764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslims, Nazis, and far right hate groups echo anti-semitisim on: October 27, 2006, 06:24:16 AM
The Peculiar Alliance
Islamists and neo-Nazis find common ground by hating the Jews.
by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
09/01/2005 12:00:00 AM

THERE HAVE BEEN rumblings of late about the developing alliance between Islamic radicals and neo-Nazis. In late May, Israeli president Moshe Katzav gave a speech before the German parliament in which he warned, "Let's not be surprised if terror organizations use neo-Nazis for carrying out terror attacks." And on August 5, WorldNetDaily reported, "Neo-Nazi skinheads are working with radical Islamists in a growing unholy alliance that has European law enforcement officials concerned about a new front in the war on terrorism."

Such an alliance seems unlikely on its face; after all, neo-Nazis view most Muslims as racially inferior, while Islamic extremists believe that neo-Nazis are just another flavor of infidel. However, a closer examination reveals that many white-supremacist groups have expressed solidarity with Islamic terrorists recently, and in turn some white supremacists and far-right Holocaust deniers have found newfound supporters among the Islamists.

THE MOST PROMINENT recent example of white supremacists' vocal support for Islamic terrorism came from August Kreis, the new head of Aryan Nations. In an interview with CNN earlier this year, Kreis said of al Qaeda, "You say they're terrorists, I say they're freedom fighters. And I want to instill the same jihadic feeling in our peoples' heart, in the Aryan race, that they have for their father, who they call Allah." Going a step further, Kreis told CNN that he had a message for Osama bin Laden: "The message is, the cells are out here and they are already in place. They might not be cells of Islamic people, but they are here and they are ready to fight."

The Aryan Nations website reflects Kreis's desire to instill a "jihadic feeling" in his followers. For example, it features an article purporting to show that the idea of jihad can be found not only in Islam but also in the Bible. The article concludes with a battle cry: "All the sons of Abraham, all descendants of his three wives, Sarah, Hagar and Ketourah, the parties of the Islamic and Aryan World, all need to understand their duty to enact Holy Jihad, we need to live this Jihad; total war, death to our enemy, the insidious, poisonous and rabid satanic jEw." [sic]

Aryan Nations also boasts a quote on its main page further reflecting its support for radical Muslims. Attributed to Obergruppenf?hrer Gottlob Berger, the quote states that "a link is created between Islam and National-Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological-spiritual sphere from the East." The main page also touches on other issues of importance to Muslim radicals. It demands immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Middle East, and under the headline "Ariel Sharon: your typical domineering jew," the website features a picture of the Israeli prime minister with fire coming out of his mouth that ends in a mushroom cloud. Underneath, the website proclaims the photograph to be Sharon's "plan for Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc . . . "

BEYOND THE ARYAN NATIONS, a surprising number of other white-supremacist websites openly sympathize with Islamic terrorists. The National Alliance, the country's largest neo-Nazi organization, published a 2002 essay by its founder, the late William Pierce, which claimed that the September 11 attacks were a salutary event. Pierce wrote that through the attacks, bin Laden "forced the whole subject of U.S. policy in the Middle East into the open: the subject of American interests versus Jewish interests, of Jewish media control and its influence on governmental policy." Because bin Laden broke the "taboo" about questioning Jewish interests, Pierce claimed, "n the long run that may more than compensate for the 3,000 American lives that were lost."

Neo-Nazi James Wickstrom has a webpage that includes a number of featured articles, the headlines of which provide a good indication of where he stands on the Islamist question. These include "Military Personnel Wounded in Iraq & Afghanistan For The JEW Neo-cons," "U.S. Slaughters People At Prayer At Baghdad Mosque," "U.S. Teachers Targeted By jews If They Teach Contrary to Israeli," and "The President and his jewish handlers LIED about 9/11!"

And the neo-Nazi ADLUSA website (a site designed to oppose the Anti-Defamation League) brands the Anti-Defamation League's call for Hezbollah TV to be designated a foreign terrorist organization as part of a campaign "of smear, corruption, and harassment," and promotes the conspiracy theory that Jewish hands were behind the 7/7 and 9/11 terrorist attacks. In case this doesn't make their position perfectly clear, the ADLUSA features a direct appeal to Muslims: "Moslems, lay down your guns and join our mission to remove Jews from positions of power from which they persecute one people after another; killing Americans misled by Jews only incites endless wars."

This vocal neo-Nazi support for al Qaeda reaches back to shortly after 9/11. The Jewish newspaper Forward reported in November 2001 that the World Church of the Creator displayed a bin Laden quote on its website warning Americans that they needed to tend to their own interests and not those of the Jews.

Around the same time, the website for Florida-based Aryan Action displayed the message: "Support Taliban, Smash ZOG." (ZOG stands for Zionist Occupation Government, a term rooted in the idea that the Jews control world affairs.) In a perverse twist on President Bush's declaration that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," Aryan Action's website voiced its unequivocal support for al Qaeda: "Either you're fighting with the jews against al Qaeda, or you support al Qaeda fighting against the jews."

THUS FAR, THERE has been no proof of neo-Nazi cooperation with Muslim terrorist groups in planning attacks. Despite the lack of proof of operational links, several figures with feet in both movements have actively tried to bring them closer. One such individual is Ahmed Huber, a 77-year-old Swiss convert to Islam whose study is adorned with twin pictures of Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.

Huber told the Washington Post that his goal is to build bridges between radical Muslims and the "New Right." He said that a prevalent view on the New Right is that "what happened on the 11th of September, if it is the Muslims who did it, it is not an act of terrorism but an act of counterterrorism." Certain far-right figures, such as German National Democratic Party theorist Horst Mahler, seem amenable to Huber's ideas. Mahler has spoken of the "sense of sympathy" and "common ground" that far-right European groups share with Islamists, and has admitted to "contacts with political groups, in particular in the Arab world, also with Palestinians."

The neo-Nazis' newfound love for Islamists is by no means unrequited. Some radical Islamic groups have--perhaps in an effort to undercut one of the justifications for the state of Israel--forged intellectual ties with right-wing Holocaust deniers.

At the forefront of contemporary Holocaust denial is the California-based Institute for Historical Review (IHR), which is dedicated to the idea that the Holocaust is a historical fiction. The IHR has been so heartened by the support it's received in the Islamic world that investigative journalist Martin A. Lee noted its journal's frenetic description of a "white-hot trend: the rapid growth of Holocaust revisionism, fueled by increasing cooperation between Muslims and Western revisionists, across the Islamic world."

A number of Middle Eastern newspapers, in countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, have published articles endorsing the Holocaust deniers' thesis. Beyond that, neo-Nazi writers who lack legitimacy in the West have increasingly found a platform in the Arab world. For example, Lee further reported that an article by David Duke was featured on the front page of the Oman Times.

Nor is the Islamic promotion of neo-Nazis confined to the Middle East. Lee reports that Muslims, a New York-based weekly newspaper, has published opinion pieces by both David Duke and William Pierce.

Even some Islamic groups with more mainstream legitimacy have promoted far-right figures as featured speakers. One such speaker is William W. Baker, author of the anti-Israel screed Theft of a Nation and former president of the neo-Nazi Populist Party. (While Baker claims that he did not know at the time that the Populist Party was racist, his own words undercut these denials. The Orange County Weekly reports that, in a speech Baker delivered around the time that he headed the Populist Party, he referred to Jerry Falwell as "Jerry Jewry" and commented that he hated traveling to New York City "'cause the first people I meet when I get off the plane are pushy, belligerent American Jews.")

Baker's current avocation is promoting "religious tolerance" by emphasizing the commonalities between Christianity and Islam. In this capacity, Baker has frequently spoken at events hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and various chapters of the Muslim Students' Association; he was also the featured speaker at the Assadiq Islamic Educational Foundation in Boca Raton earlier this year.

THERE ARE OBSTACLES to further development of the relationship between Islamists and neo-Nazis. In Europe, ethnic Muslims are frequent targets of neo-Nazi violence, and not all neo-Nazis share the sympathy for Palestinians expressed by the likes of William Baker. As one white supremacist website puts it, "I hate Jews but that doesn't mean I automatically love the Jews' victims." And countless Muslims recoil from Nazi ideology.

Nonetheless, this developing alliance is not without historical precedent. Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, famously supported Adolf Hitler during World War II, broadcasting radio propaganda on Germany's behalf and even forming Bosnian Muslim divisions of the Waffen SS. As with al-Husayni and Hitler, the current Islamist/neo-Nazi love affair is rooted in the notion that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend": Both groups are united in their hatred of the Jews, and of the United States.

Moving forward, this peculiar alliance presents the risk that neo-Nazis may collaborate with Islamist terrorist groups on attacks. But a second danger is that the far right's newfound legitimacy in the Arab world may allow neo-Nazi figures to claw their way out from the lunatic fringe to which they're currently relegated.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a counterterrorism consultant and attorney. Kamal Ghali provided research assistance for this article.

11765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 26, 2006, 11:49:47 AM

Argentina charges Iran, Hezbollah in 1994 Jewish center bombing
Wed Oct 25, 6:09 PM ET

Argentine prosecutors charged Iran and the Shiite militia Hezbollah with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish charities office in Argentina that killed 85 people and injured 300.

Prosecutors demanded an international arrest warrant for then-Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and six other top Iranian officials at the time of the attack, and a former Hezbollah foreign security service chief, Imad Fayez Moughnieh.

In a country with a murky record in pursuing the 12-year-old case, relatives and friends of the victims called on President Nestor Kirchner to take swift and strong action to bring it to trial.

In a statement, Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman declared: "We deem it proven that the decision to carry out an attack July 18, 1994 on the AMIA (the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association, a Jewish charities association headquarters in Buenos Aires) was made by the highest authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran which directed Hezbollah to carry out the attack."

AMIA, supported by Israel and the United States, had long accused Iran of organizing the attack and getting Hezbollah to carry it out.

Those accusations, based on intelligence gathered by the secret services of Argentina, Israel and the US, have been consistently rejected by the Iranian government and Hezbollah.

In Beirut, a Hezbollah source said she had not yet heard that the Shiite militia had been formally charged but that it came as no surprise.

"I have not yet heard that but it is not new," she told AFP. "The Zionists want that (the two parties be charged)."

The Jewish community in Argentina, some 300,000 strong and the largest in South America, had marked the July 18 bombing annually with a demand that justice be served for the attack, the worst on Argentina's soil, and another 1992 attack against the Israeli embassy, which claimed 22 lives.

No one has been tried in Argentina or in any other country for the 1994 attack and the police have not identified the perpetrators of the earlier Israeli embassy attack.

On Wednesday, the Delegation of Israeli Associations of Argentina (DAIA) welcomed the charges as a vindication.

"That is what the DAIA has been saying for approximately 12 years, and validates all of our activities in the matter," Jorge Kirszenbaum, the DAIA president, told the Jewish News Agency.

The AMIA's group of families and friends of the victims called on the president to proceed with the international arrest warrants sought by prosecutors.

"We ask that the executive power take all possible actions -- diplomatic, pursuit and international capture -- with regard to the suspects, with the vehemency and intensity that the situation merits," they said in a statement.

Investigation of the bombing has been a festering issue in Argentina, as Argentine Jews and international rights groups have criticized Argentine leaders for their inability or unwillingness to find those behind the bombing.

On September 2, 2004, an Argentine court acquitted 21 former police officers and a trafficker of stolen cars who were charged with aiding the attackers. The same court then ordered former top government officials investigated for botching the case.

The court found that important evidence against the men had been "irregularly" obtained, and ordered an investigation of Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who presided over the case for nine years, as well as two prosecutors.

Galeano was accused of having paid 400,000 dollars to a key witness to testify against four police officers accused of having provided logistical support in the plot.

11766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 26, 2006, 11:46:47 AM

Last update: October 25, 2006 ? 9:50 PM

Airport taxi flap about alcohol has deeper significance
The airport taxi controversy may go deeper than the quandary over whether to accommodate Somali Muslim cabdrivers who refuse to carry passengers carrying alcohol. Behind the scenes, a struggle for power and religious authority is apparently playing out.
Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune

The taxi controversy at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has caught the nation's attention. But the dispute may go deeper than the quandary over whether to accommodate Somali Muslim cabdrivers who refuse to carry passengers carrying alcohol. Behind the scenes, a struggle for power and religious authority is apparently playing out.
At the Starbucks coffee shop in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a favorite Somali gathering spot, holidaymakers celebrating Eid, the end of Ramadan, filled the tables on Monday. Several taxis were parked outside.

An animated circle of Somalis gathered when the question of the airport controversy was raised.

"I was surprised and shocked when I heard it was an issue at the airport," said Faysal Omar. "Back in Somalia, there was never any problem with taking alcohol in a taxi."

Jama Dirie said, "If a driver doesn't pick up everyone, he should get his license canceled and get kicked out of the airport."

Two of the Somalis present defended the idea that Islam prohibits cabdrivers from transporting passengers with alcohol. An argument erupted. The consensus seemed to be that only a small number of Somalis object to transporting alcohol. It's a matter of personal opinion, not Islamic law, several men said.

Ahmed Samatar, a nationally recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College, confirmed that view. "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking," he said, "but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden. There is no basis in Somali cultural practice or legal tradition for that.

"This is one of those new concoctions."It is being foisted on the Somali community by an inside or outside group," he added. "I do not know who."

But many Somali drivers at the airport are refusing to carry passengers with alcohol. When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam."

The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the "fatwa department" of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials.

The society is mediating the conflict between the cab drivers and the MAC. That seems odd, since the society itself clearly has a stake in the controversy's outcome.

How did the MAC connect with the society? "The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recommended them to us to help us figure out how to handle this problem," Hogan said.

Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, thinks he knows why the society is promoting a "no-alcohol-carry" agenda with no basis in Somali culture. "MAS is an Arab group; we Somalis are African, not Arabs," he said. "MAS wants to polarize the world, create two camps. I think they are trying to hijack the Somali community for their Middle East agenda. They look for issues they can capitalize on, like religion, to rally the community around. The majority of Somalis oppose this, but they are vulnerable because of their social and economic situation."

The society

What is the Muslim American Society? In September 2004 the Chicago Tribune published an investigative article. The society was incorporated in 1993, the paper reported, and is the name under which the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood operates.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna. The Tribune described the Brotherhood as "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group."Because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims," the paper reported.

The international Muslim Brotherhood "preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic," according to the Tribune. U.S. members emphasize that they follow American laws, but want people here to convert to Islam so that one day a majority will support a society governed by Islamic law.

How are society members to respond when questioned about a Muslim Brotherhood connection? The Tribune cites an undated internal memo: "If asked, 'Are you the Muslim Brothers?' leaders should respond that they are an independent group called the Muslim American Society."

The April 2001 issue of the society's magazine, the American Muslim, lists "essential books" for understanding Islam. They include works by Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood's founder, and Sayyid Qutb, one of its most violent theoreticians.

Here's the flavor of these authors' writings:

"Always cherish the intention of jihad and the desire for martyrdom in the Way of Allah, and actually prepare yourself for that," wrote Al-Banna.

Osama bin Laden relied heavily on Qutb in formulating his world view, according to the 9/11 Commission. Qutb had "an enormous loathing of Western society and history," states the commission's report. He taught that "no middle ground exists" in the "struggle between God and Satan." All Muslims must therefore take up arms in this fight, he said.

Hassan Mohamud is vice president of the society's Minnesota chapter. The society is independent and has no connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said.

The Minnesota chapter's website, however, states that the organization's roots lie in the Islamic revival movement that "brought the call of Islam to Muslim masses ... to reestablish Islam as a total way of life."

Mohamud says the society has three goals: to present the "real image" of Islam in American society, to preserve the identity of Muslims here and to "make that identity fit without having clashes between cultures and laws."

He emphasizes, however, that Muslims must follow shari'a, or Islamic law, in every aspect of their lives. "There are two conflicting systems here -- two ways of life -- that want to live in the same place and respect each other," he says. The society aims to facilitate conciliation between the two.

Mohamud adds that Americans need to learn about Islamic law because the Muslim population here is growing. That's why the proposed two-tier system for airport cabdrivers is important, he says. It could become a national model for accommodating Islam in areas ranging from housing to contractual arrangements to the workplace.

MAC officials will hold another meeting today about the airport controversy, and Mohamud says he will try to revive the two-tiered pilot project for taxis. Whatever the meeting's outcome, we now have reason to believe that the issue is only a prologue to a larger drama playing out in Minnesota and the United States.

Katherine Kersten ?
11767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: October 25, 2006, 06:13:31 PM

Extremist lawyer wants flag of Islam on Leinster House
19/10/2006 - 5:49:00 PM

The flag of Islam should be flown over Leinster House, an Islamic extremist said tonight.

Speaking in Dublin before addressing a Trinity College debate, Anjem Choudray also reiterated controversial views that Muslim violence is justified in certain circumstances.

The British-born lawyer, 39, angered the Irish Government last year when he said that Ireland risked becoming a target for a 9/11 style attack because it allowed US war planes to refuel at Shannon Airport.

Mr Choudray said: ?As a Muslim, I believe Islam is superior to every other way of life and that it can resolve all the social and economic problems that Ireland suffers from.

?And as a symbol of that, the flag of Islam should be flown over the D?il.

?This is symbolic of the fact that all societies will be run better according to God?s law.?

Mr Choudray, who has visited Ireland several times, was invited by the Philosophical Society at Trinity College to debate Islamic violence with other speakers.

He added: ?I think it is quite important that violence is defined and the Islamic context is presented because it is not as simple to say Muslims can never use any force or violence or fight to defend themselves.

?There is a context where Muslims have a right to defend their lives, their honour and their property.?

Referring to the US military stopovers at Shannon Airport, he said tonight: ?If US warplanes are using Irish soil, then Ireland is seen as aiding and abetting the war on so-called terror.

?Ireland says it has a position of neutrality but I don?t think it is seen that way in the Muslim world at all.?

Mr Choudray also warned that the Pope must be careful with his public statements so that he doesn?t offend Islam.

He said: ?He has enough advisers to tell him that this is a sensitive issue and that Muslims take their religion very seriously.?
11768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in Australia & SE Asia on: October 25, 2006, 05:41:58 PM,20867,20646437-601,00.html

Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks
Richard Kerbaj
October 26, 2006

THE nation's most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned "meat" that attracts voracious animals.
In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who "sway suggestively" and wore make-up and immodest dress ... "and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years".

"But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he asked.

The leader of the 2000 rapes in Sydney's southwest, Bilal Skaf, a Muslim, was initially sentenced to 55 years' jail, but later had the sentence reduced on appeal.

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men.

"It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa)."

Muslim community leaders were yesterday outraged and offended by Sheik Hilali's remarks, insisting the cleric was no longer worthy of his title as Australia's mufti.

Young Muslim adviser Iktimal Hage-Ali - who does not wear a hijab - said the Islamic headdress was not a "tool" worn to prevent rape and sexual harassment. "It's a symbol that readily identifies you as being Muslim, but just because you don't wear the headscarf doesn't mean that you're considered fresh meat for sale," the former member of John Howard's Muslim advisory board told The Australian. "The onus should not be on the female to not attract attention, it should be on males to learn how to control themselves."

Australia's most prominent female Muslim leader, Aziza Abdel-Halim, said the hijab did not "detract or add to a person's moral standards", while Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Waleed Ali said it was "ignorant and naive" for anyone to believe that a hijab could stop sexual assault.

"Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that there is a relationship between rape or unwelcome sexual interference and the failure to wear a hijab, clearly has no understanding of the nature of sexual crime," he said.

Ms Hage-Ali said she was "disgusted and offended" by Shiek Hilali's comments. "I find it very offensive that a man who considers himself as a mufti, a leader of Australia's Muslims, can give comment that lacks intelligence and common sense."

Yesterday, the mufti defended the sermon about "adultery and theft", a recorded copy of which has been obtained and translated by The Australian.

Sheik Hilali said he only meant to refer to prostitutes as "meat" and not any scantily dressed woman with no hijab, despite him not mentioning the word prostitute during the 17-minute talk.

He told The Australian the message he intended to convey was: "If a woman who shows herself off, she is to blame ... but a man should be able to control himself". He said if a woman is "covered and respectful" she "demands respect from a man". "But when she is cheap, she throws herself at the man and cheapens herself."

Sheik Hilali also insisted his references to the Sydney gang rapes were to illustrate that Skaf was guilty and worthy of receiving such a harsh sentence.

Waleed Ali said Sheik Hilali was "normalising immoral sexual behaviour" by comparing women to meat and men to animals and entirely blaming women for being victims.

"It's basically saying that the immoral response of men to women who are not fully covered is as natural and as inevitable as the response of an animal tempted by food," he said.

"But (unlike animals) men are people who have moral responsibilities and the capability in engaging in moral action."

Revelation of the mufti's comments comes after he criticised Mr Howard last month in The Australian for saying a minority of migrant men mistreated their women. Sheik Hilali said such a minority was found in all faiths. "Those who don't respect their women are not true Muslims."

"There's a small percentage found among all religions, but we don't recognise ours as Muslims."

Aziza Abdel-Halim said Sheik Hilali's remarks during Ramadan were inaccurate and upsetting to the Muslim community.

"They are below and beyond any comment (and) do not deserve any consideration."
11769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 25, 2006, 12:30:22 PM
11770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 25, 2006, 12:06:41 PM
Death to the Apostates
By Robert Spencer | October 24, 2006

An Afghan citizen named Abdul Rahman, you may recall, made international news last spring, when his conversion from Islam to Christianity led to his arrest, with the intention of putting him on trial for apostasy. At that time he was spirited away to safety in Italy. Now jihadists in Afghanistan are demanding his return to Afghanistan in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist, Gabriele Torsello. ?We want this issue resolved before the end of Ramadan,? his captors demanded, but no resolution seemed imminent as the holy month drew to a close.

It is safe to say that if Italian authorities agreed to turn over Abdul Rahman to the kidnappers, the convert would almost certainly be killed for his crime of apostasy from Islam. Yet at the time of Abdul Rahman?s arrest, puzzled Western analysts pointed to what they thought were guarantees of freedom of religion and of conscience in the new Afghan Constitution: after all, didn?t the document pledge ?respect? for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Didn?t it say, ?followers of other religions? were ?free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law??


Indeed it did, but what were the ?limits of the provisions of law?? The Constitution itself made the answer abundantly clear: ?In Afghanistan,? it stipulated, ?no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.? It mandated that the President swear an oath to ?obey and safeguard the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam,? and only secondarily ?to observe the Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan and supervise their implementation.? What?s more, it stated that ?the provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended.?


Most non-Muslim observers missed the significance of these provisions, and especially the danger they posed to converts like Abdul Rahman and to the freedom of conscience in general. This is understandable, however, since so many Muslims in the West maintained that Islam contained no provision against apostasy. Typical of this was ?Leaving Islam is not a capital crime,? a Chicago Tribune article published by M. Cherif Bassiouni, a professor of Law at DePaul University and President of the International Human Rights Law Institute, when Abdul Rahman was arrested. ?A Muslim?s conversion to Christianity,? Bassiouni wrote, ?is not a crime punishable by death under Islamic law, contrary to the claims in the case of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan.? Several Muslim spokesmen have insisted the same thing to me in radio debates, excoriating me as ?Islamophobic? for pointing out that many Islamic texts do indeed call for apostates to be killed.


Yet the idea that the death penalty for apostasy has always been an element of the ?fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam? is something that some Muslims have made no effort to deny or conceal. IslamOnline, a site manned by a team of Islam scholars headed by the internationally influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, explains, ?if a sane person who has reached puberty voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be punished. In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.? And if someone doesn?t wait for a caliph to appear and takes matters into his own hands? Although the killer is to be ?disciplined? for ?arrogating the caliph?s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights,? there is ?no blood money for killing an apostate (or any expiation)? ? in other words, no significant punishment for the killer.


These laws are rooted in the words and deeds of Islam?s prophet, as I explain in my new book, The Truth About Muhammad. When he ?forced his entry? into Mecca, according to his ninth-century biographer Ibn Sa?d, ?the people embraced Islam willingly or unwillingly? (Ibn Sa?d, II.168). The Prophet of Islam ordered the Muslims to fight only those individuals or groups who resisted their advance into the city ? except for a list of people who were to be killed, even if they had sought sanctuary in the Ka?bah itself. One of those was Abdullah bin Sa?d, a former Muslim who at one time had been employed by Muhammad to write down the Qur?anic revelations; but he had subsequently apostatized and returned to the Quraysh. He was found and brought to Muhammad along with his brother, and pleaded with the Prophet of Islam for clemency: ?Accept the allegiance of Abdullah, Apostle of Allah!? Abdullah repeated this twice, but Muhammad remained impassive. After Abdullah repeated it a third time, Muhammad accepted.


As soon as Abdullah had left, Muhammad turned to the Muslims who were in the room and asked: ?Was not there a wise man among you who would stand up to him when he saw that I had withheld my hand from accepting his allegiance, and kill him??


The companions, aghast, responded: ?We did not know what you had in your heart, Apostle of Allah! Why did you not give us a signal with your eye??


?It is not advisable,? said the Prophet of Islam, ?for a Prophet to play deceptive tricks with the eyes.?


Apostasy from Islam had always been for Muhammad a supreme evil. When he was master of Medina, some livestock herders came to the city and accepted Islam. But they disliked Medina?s climate, so Muhammad gave them some camels and a shepherd; once away from Medina, the herders killed the shepherd, released the camels and renounced Islam. Muhammad had them pursued. When they were caught, he ordered that their hands and feet be amputated (in accord with Qur?an 5:33, which directs that those who cause ?corruption in the land? be punished by the amputation of their hands and feet on opposite sides) and their eyes put out with heated iron bars, and that they be left in the desert to die. Their pleas for water, he ordered, must be refused.


The traditions are clear that one of the main reasons that the punishment was so severe was because these men had been Muslims but had ?turned renegade.? Muhammad legislated for his community that no Muslim could be put to death except for murder, unlawful sexual intercourse, and apostasy. He said flatly: ?If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.?


It stains credulity, in light of all this, that Islamic apologists in the West assert that, in the words of one Ibrahim B. Syed, President of the Islamic Research Foundation International of Louisville, Kentucky, ?there is no historical record, which indicates that Muhammad (pbuh) or any of his companions ever sentenced anyone to death for apostasy.? This kind of assertion may be comforting to non-Muslims who would prefer to believe that the capital charges levied against Abdul Rahman were some sort of anomaly. Unfortunately, this claim simply does not accord with the facts of Muhammad?s life. That such assertions pass unchallenged only underscores the need for Westerners to become informed about the actual words and deeds of Muhammad ? which make the actions of Islamic states and jihad groups much more intelligible than do the words of Islamic apologists in the West.


The kidnappers? demand that Abdul Rahman be returned to Afghanistan illustrates the hollowness of the arguments we hear all the time ? about how we must support self-proclaimed moderate Muslims like Bassiouni by refraining from noting the flimsiness and weakness of their presentations. While we?re being polite to alleged ?reformers,? Muslim hardliners are cheerfully implementing the elements of Islamic law that bemused non-Muslims are nodding their heads and agreeing don?t exist.

It?s good that the Italian government shows no sign that it is considering returning Abdul Rahman to Afghanistan. It would be better if the United States government, on which the Afghan regime depends for its continued survival, called upon the Afghans to drop the Sharia provisions from the nation?s Constitution, and affirm in unequivocal terms freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. For the kidnappers? action has placed the Afghan government in a peculiar position. What can Afghan officials say? That they don?t want the kidnappers to get hold of Abdul Rahman, because they want to kill him themselves? The kidnappers? demand is an unpleasant reminder that United States has deposed one Shari'a regime in Afghanistan, that of the Taliban, only to replace it with another. The State Department should call upon the Afghans to seize on the occasion of this demand to call for a searching reevaluation of the role of Islam in Afghan public life. But this, of course, is even less likely to happen than Abdul Rahman?s return to Afghanistan. One certainty is that people will continue to suffer for freedom of conscience in Afghanistan ? under the indifferent eye of the U.S. military.
11771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:18:02 AM

L.A. Times violates journalistic ethics in Anaheim City Council election coverage 
By Steven Emerson
Normally, a race for a seat on Anaheim's City Council garners little attention beyond Anaheim. But this year, one candidate is drawing some outside attention.

Bill Dalati, a Syrian-born insurance agent, is running for a spot on Anaheim's City Council. His candidacy has come under scrutiny because of his association with a controversial organization with known links to the Hamas terror group and his participation at a virulently anti-Israel rally this past summer.

But the Los Angeles Times has been singularly trying to portray the criticism of Dalati, made by Republican Shawn Steel, as racist and unsubstantiated.

On July 29 of this year, during the war between Israel and Hezbollah, which was set off by Hezbollah's July 12 cross-border raid and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, Dalati attended an anti-Israel rally in Anaheim. In its coverage of the City Council race, the Associated Press reported that Dalati referred to the event merely as an "anti-war rally." And the L.A. Times reported on Oct. 9 that Dalati "defended his association with the rally protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict," quoting him as saying, "I'm not against Jews or Christians ... I don't support Hezbollah. I just don't believe wars solve any issues; love does."

But the situation is not nearly as innocuous as the L.A. Times and Associated Press would have one believe. The Anaheim protest was about anything but "love." The rally was not merely "anti-war" and the attendees were not merely "protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict." The event in question was billed by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, one of the sponsors of the demonstration, as a "Rally Against U.S.-Israeli Terror in Palestine & Lebanon," hardly a neutral, let alone credible "anti-war" sentiment.

Although the rally drew little mainstream media attention, what little coverage there was whitewashed the content of the demonstration, giving cover for the AP, the L.A. Times and Dalati himself to downplay the nature of the event.

Fortunately, a participant at the rally created a slideshow of the demonstration, posted on YouTube, which shows various demonstrators carrying such signs as "Israel Likes Killing Kids," "Killing Kids Is Not Self Defense" and "End the U.S.-Israeli War," as well as the more typical signs seen at various anti-Israel protests, such as "Stop Israeli War Crimes" and "$134 Billion US Taxes To Israel -- Enough."

Whatever one thinks of American foreign policy and support for Israel, the July rally cannot be fairly described either as simply "anti-war" or just "protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict."

There were no signs indicating any disapproval of Hezbollah's actions -- the capture of Israeli soldiers -- which started the war, nor were there any signs indicating any disapproval of Hezbollah's indiscriminate shelling of Israeli towns with Katusha rockets (packed with scrap metal and ball bearings to cause as much damage to humans as possible), nor any condemnation of Hezbollah's use of civilians as human shields in Lebanon. There were no signs indicating any disapproval of the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants and no calls for Hamas -- now the majority in the Palestinian government -- to moderate its stance rejecting the existence of Israel to help pave the way for peace.

Yet, the L.A. Times again came to the defense of Dalati on Oct. 13, in falsely describing this rally in evenhanded terms as a "rally protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict."

In the original story on Dalati, the L.A. Times also refers to Dalati's support of and association with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), describing the organization as it often describes itself: "the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country" and stating uncritically that CAIR is "largely viewed as a mainstream organization." In the second L.A. Times story, the newspaper drops any pretension of reportorial objectivity in its embrace of CAIR: "The largest Muslim civil rights group in the country, CAIR is widely viewed as mainstream and helps the FBI in combating terrorism."

While CAIR may call itself the "largest Muslim civil rights group" in America, the Times completely ignores CAIR's well-documented history of extremism, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, as well as its origins in a now-defunct group, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), an organization that was a losing defendant in a $156 million civil judgment related to the Hamas murder of an American citizen. In the case, the judge noted that there is "evidence that IAP provided material support to Hamas."

Similarly, during a 1994 speech at Florida's Barry University, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad stated, "I am in support of the Hamas movement." Awad was the public relations director of IAP before founding CAIR. And this is what Awad said six years later, on Oct. 28, 2000, in a Washington, D.C., anti-Israeli rally: "Brothers and sisters, we are at least 8 million people, but there are 265 million people in this country who have been deceived, who have been misinformed, who have been intimidated by a small group of people who have been hijacking the political process."

Additionally, several CAIR officials have been convicted on terrorist-related charges. One of them, Randall "Ismail" Royer, CAIR's former communications specialist, trained to fight with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a designated foreign terrorist organization, against Indian forces in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Royer pled guilty to weapons and explosives charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the notorious "Virginia jihad" case.

A founding board member of CAIR-Texas, Ghassan Elashi, is in even greater legal trouble than Royer. Elashi was convicted on a variety of charges in July 2004, including violating the Libyan Sanctions Regulations, and he was found guilty in April 2005 of a Hamas-related money laundering conspiracy, handling money of top Hamas official, the Damascus-based Musa Abu Marzook. Elashi is awaiting his sentencing for both convictions (Elashi's brother, Bayan, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Oct. 11, 2006, for his role in laundering money for Hamas). And Ghassan Elashi is still awaiting another trial, slated to begin in 2007, for his leadership role in the Hamas-linked "charity," the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based organization shut down in 2001 for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to Hamas.

CAIR has defended Marzook, participating in his legal defense fund when he was arrested in the United States, as well as including his arrest in its annual catalog of hate crimes against Muslims. CAIR's defense of, and links to, anti-Semitic individuals is also unfortunate and extensive.

CAIR officials have defended radical Egyptian cleric Wagdy Ghoneim, who at a May 24, 1998, CAIR co-sponsored rally at Brooklyn College in New York, led the audience in a song with the lyrics: "No to the Jews, descendants of the apes."

Ghoneim gave numerous speeches in the United States calling for suicide bombings. Hussam Ayloush, CAIR's Southern California director quoted in the L.A. Times article, was one of Ghoneim's staunchest defenders, calling Ghoneim's decision to forgo fighting deportation proceedings for overstaying his visa and voluntarily leave the United States "a dent in our civil rights struggle," and "[t]he whole Muslim community today is under a microscope of scrutiny. Committing a mistake that would invite a slap on the wrist for anyone else could lead to prison or deportation for a Muslim."

At the time, Ghoneim had already been denied entry into Canada because of his links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Similarly, CAIR officials have also vigorously defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, who has referred to Jews as "monkeys and pigs."

As for CAIR helping the FBI in counterterrorism, consider this exchange in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, 2006, in a press conference featuring various Islamic groups, including CAIR, and a representative of the FBI, Warren Bamford. A reporter asked Bamford whether the dialogue with the Islamic groups helped in the investigations the FBI was conducting. "At this time, I don't have any specific recollection of any times that it has helped our investigations." In point of fact, CAIR actively obstructs FBI investigations by issuing warnings against talking to the FBI and portraying the war on terrorism as a "war against Islam."

Dalati was also criticized by a rival candidate for endorsing former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.). McKinney espoused virulent anti-American and anti-Israeli conspiracy theories, so much so that even fellow Democrats repudiated her. But the L.A. Times simply referred to McKinney as "a liberal Democrat who has been critical of President Bush and the Iraq War." This makes McKinney sound mainstream, the equivalent of describing David Duke as "critical of U.S. foreign policy."

Dalati may understandably want to whitewash CAIR's extremism, the rally in which he participated and Cynthia McKinney's record. But given the ability to check the veracity of such claims, the L.A. Times' embrace of this revisionist history is a violation of all journalistic ethics. The L.A. Times has the resources to research the organization but instead choose just to parrot its propaganda.

Dalati's characterization of the July 26 Anaheim rally as merely "anti-war," however, is cause for concern, and his candidacy is rightly drawing a higher level of scrutiny and attention than the average race for a seat on Anaheim's City Council.
11772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:06:20 AM
11773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:05:36 AM

CAIR launches rebranding effort

The Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) apparently thinks it is need of a better image, so it announces a ?new brand identity? on its website this month. The rebranding also includes a new logo. Hmm, sounds like they?ve been talking to expensive marketing consultants.

Here?s what they say about it.

?The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced the launch of a new brand identity and logo. The new identity focuses on openness, professionalism and the pursuit of mutual understanding and justice.?CAIR made its announcement at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Chicago, North America?s largest annual gathering of Muslims.?

Because observant Muslims do not imbibe alcohol, I wonder if they toasted the move with a non-alcoholic beverage. My suggestion would have been New Coke, of course.

The organization?s head elaborates.

CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed stated: ?After 12 years of dedicated service to the community, we are reaffirming our core values and recommitting ourselves to three central aspects of CAIR?s mission ? enhancing understanding of Islam, protecting civil liberties and empowering American Muslims.?

He also wrote about the need to transform CAIR in ways that better reflect the group?s core commitment to justice, education, diversity, and dialogue.

Ahmed concluded his letter by stating: ?CAIR is your organization and it is our privilege and honor to serve you and to promote a better America.?

Would that better America be ruled by Sharia law? CAIR?s leadership?s views on the matter are the subject of hot dispute. However, it appears that there seems to be no dispute over the fact that former CAIR employees and officials have been involved in terror.

There is only so much that you can do with a new brand when the underlying product has problems. There?s an old saw about putting lipstick on a certain barnyard animal, but given Muslim sensitivities to this creature, and not wanting to be accused of hate speech, I will refrain from mentioning it.

If CAIR really wants to improve its image, it could start by denouncing the forced conversion of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, at gunpopint. I have searched the CAIR website and found none. If I have missed it, I would be grateful to learn of CAIR?s rejection, and its proclamation that these men have been victimized and are under no obligation to be Muslims.

Strangely enough, the page on the CAIR website linked to the ?Not in the name of Islam campaign? (put your cursor on ?Challenging Hate? on the home page) shows no content via the Firefox browser.

Thomas Lifson 9 04 06
11774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:04:36 AM
11775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:03:54 AM

Decision Brief No. 06-D 41 2006-08-21

War on the home front

(Washington, D.C.): In recent days, it has become harder than ever to deny the true nature of the conflict in which we find ourselves. As President Bush put it recently, "We are at war with Islamic fascists." To be sure, the mounting evidence does not preclude some from denying this reality. The facts are sufficiently clear, however, that we must begin to question the judgment, if not the motivations, of those at home who persist in trying to obscure the central threat we face from the totalitarian political ideology known as Islamofascism.

Islamofascism on the March

One straw in the wind could be found in Sunday's New York Times which prominently featured an article entitled "And Now Islamism Trumps Arabism." Although the author, writing from Cairo, used throughout the euphemism "political Islam," the import was unmistakable: With its attacks on Israel and its survival of Israeli retaliation, the Iranian- and Syrian-supported Islamofascist terrorist group, Hezbollah, has added luster and new recruits to longstanding efforts to subject the entire Muslim world - and, in due course, all non-Muslim populations - to Taliban-style Islamist rule.

The manifestations of this rising tide have become evident not only in the Muslim world - Arab and Persian, Sunni and Shiite alike. Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States are among a number of Western nations that narrowly averted terrorist attacks, all of which appear to have been orchestrated by adherents to one form or another of the Islamofascist ideology.

The Facts About Islamofascism at Home

Particularly worrying is the fact that at least some of the would-be perpetrators of such murderous attacks fall into a category increasingly described as "home grown" - that is, suicide-bombers who do not come from abroad, but are citizens of the country they are trying to afflict. Detecting and counteracting such individuals has proven to be even more challenging than the task of preventing their fellow ideologues from getting into the targeted nations.

While it is true that Western societies are increasingly arresting individuals suspected of involvement with terror who are native-born, to call them "home-grown" is misleading. This term understates the role being played by foreign Islamists who have been allowed to establish elaborate recruitment and indoctrination operations inside such societies, including the United States.

For example, mosques and their associated schools (madrassas), prison and military chaplain programs, college campus organizations and increasingly businesses induced to accommodate Islamist demands for employee prayer rooms, time off for prayers, etc. are being used as vehicles for inspiring and/or compelling adherence to the radicals' ideology. Many of these operations receive generous funding from the most important promoter of Islamofascism in the world today, Saudi Arabia.

Enter CAIR

So what are we to make of the claims of a prominent spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ibrahim Hooper, who has publicly denied that Islamofascist imams in some U.S. mosques preach and teach in their schools the destruction of America? In response to a question from CNBC host Larry Kudlow last Thursday, Hooper declared "I've been in a lot of mosques in America. I've never heard that. It's not something that's - I know of in the Muslim community. It's put out and bandied about by anti-Muslim bigots constantly."

This is, of course, patent nonsense. Most, if not all, of those convicted of ties to terror (a population which includes, by the way, three former CAIR officials) have been associated with radical imams and mosques, Islamist missionary organizations like Tablighi Jamaat, and/or Saudi-funded campus or prison recruitment operations.

This is no accident. For example, Freedom House has carefully documented that the Saudis have been providing their mosques in America (Saudi Arabian-financed entities are said to hold the mortgages for as many as 80% of them) with materials that promote jihad against Americans and other "infidels."

For too long, organizations like CAIR (which was reportedly spawned as a political front for the Islamofascist terror organization, Hamas), have been given a pass as they make misleading statements and otherwise sow confusion about the nature of this war. Especially intolerable is their practice of branding those who challenge them and their conduct as "anti-Muslim bigots." (Ibrahim Hooper evidently used such unfounded charges to prevent Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. from debating him on Kudlow's show last week. See Mr. Gaffney's letter on the matter to CNBC President Mark Hoffman)

The Bottom Line

Now that we have no choice but to be clearer about the nature of our enemy in this war, we must stop treating those who apologize for, or otherwise do the bidding of, the Islamofascists as anything but what they are: Part of the problem. The FBI and the law enforcement community more generally, the military and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should stop allowing CAIR and its ilk to provide "Muslim sensitivity training" to their personnel.

Similarly, the U.S. government should refrain from granting those like CAIR access to security-sensitive facilities and operations. Incredibly, in June, according to WorldNetDaily, a senior DHS official personally provided CAIR representatives a "VIP tour" of the Customs screening center at the world's busiest airport, O'Hare International - at the same time British authorities were trying to prevent the penetration of their airport security systems by Islamofascist terrorists.

Finally, the media must not allow, as CNBC recently did, CAIR's bullying tactics to prevent its representatives from being held fully to account. Such practices will only perpetuate the kind of muddled thinking that has to date kept the U.S. from waging the indispensable "war of ideas" against the Islamofascists, both at home and abroad.

11776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:02:38 AM

When You Don't Get it, You Don't Get It

Seems like DHS, in an effort to reach out to the Muslim community to calm fears of profiling, decided to take leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on a VIP, behind-the scenes tour of its new counter-terrorism measures.

It is a testament to the idea that you repeat the same mistake again and again and learn nothing that this type of outrage continues to happen. It is no longer a question of ignorance of who CAIR is and what CAIR stands for. That has been too amply documented to be in question if officials bothered with a simple google search. (Of course, as the Washington Post reported this morning, the FBI has basically no capability to do even that online, as their program for computer upgrades has gone down the toilet.

CAIR represents only a small slice of the Islamic community, the small slice that is intent on carrying out a radical Muslim agenda in the United States. The organization has consistently and successfully positioned itself as the voice of moderate Islam in America.

One of the most pernicious lies is that jihad is defined as a personal struggle against sin, rather than violence against infidels. This is historically inaccurate and demonstrably false. That that is still being taught to U.S. agents in any part of government is deeply disturbing and reflects and intellectual laziness that demonstrates that leadership in DHS has not learned even the basics of enemies who would like to blow us all up.

As reports:? During the airport tour, CAIR was taken on a walk through the point-of-entry, Customs stations, secondary screening and interview rooms. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents were asked to describe for CAIR representatives various features of the high-risk passenger lookout system.

?In a meeting, Brian Humphrey, Customs and Border Patrol?s executive director of field operations, assured CAIR officials that agents do not single out Muslim passengers for special screening and that they must undergo a mandatory course in Muslim sensitivity training. The course teaches agents that Muslims believe jihad is an ?internal struggle against sin? and not holy warfare.

?Customs agents involved in the CAIR tour at O?Hare tell WorldNetDaily they were outraged that headquarters would reveal sensitive counterterrorism procedures to an organization that has seen several of its own officials convicted of terror-related charges since 9-11.

?Isn?t that nice of CBP,? one agent said, to provide a ?group like CAIR with a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of our customs facilities, explaining how programs designed to catch Muslim terrorists work.?

?CAIR says the tour allayed its concerns about profiling and that it ?looks forward to continuing the relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices in the region, and to furthering understanding between the organizations as well as facilitating future communication in order to eliminate problems for Muslim travelers before they even arise.?

Strange, but truley scary.
11777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 11:01:01 AM
Hamas for Hipsters
By Joe Kaufman | October 24, 2006

Today, in what can only be seen as a sinister farce, Ahmed Rehab, the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, will be addressing the student body of Minnesota State University Moorhead as its fall keynote speaker for 2006. According to CAIR-Chicago?s website, the speech will include a discussion about 9/11, an event which CAIR is currently being sued over.

When viewing the CAIR-Chicago site, one comes away with the impression that the group is nothing more than a hip, modern youth movement. The colorful animated pages, the fancy three-piece suits, the corporate images, the happy smiling faces ? all of this lends to this false image. But the reality is something entirely different.

CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was created by three leaders of a front for Hamas called the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). One of those leaders, CAIR?s current National Executive Director Nihad Awad, has, in the past, publicly stated his support for Hamas. As well, CAIR has solicited money for two Hamas-related charities that were shut down by the U.S. government in December of 2001, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and the Global Relief Foundation (GRF). Both groups had leaders that were also CAIR officials. One of those leaders, Ghassan Elashi, earlier this month, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In addition to this, CAIR is currently the defendant in a class action lawsuit put forward by the family of the former Chief of the FBI?s Counter-Terrorism Section, John P. O?Neill, naming CAIR as a party to the 9/11 conspiracy to attack America. As stated in Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, ?CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism. These organizations play a unique role in the terrorist network. They emanate from the notorious HAMAS terrorist organization, and like so many of the terrorism facilitating charities named and indicted by the United States government, they are engaged in fund raising under the guise of assisting humanitarian causes; they are, in reality, a key player in international terrorism.?

Ahmed Rehab has his own ?reality.? Born in Cairo, Egypt, Rehab has been inspired greatly by the violent Muslim Brotherhood organization that was established in his birthplace in 1928. He stated as much, when he described ? on his now-defunct personal website ? the founder of the Brotherhood, Hassan Al Banna, as a ?Contemporary Muslim Individual who influenced me? and when he labeled Brotherhood author and philosopher, Sayyid Qutb, his ?Favorite Modern Personality.? This was, of course, the same Muslim Brotherhood that spawned Hamas 60 years later, in 1987.

In keeping with the anti-Semitic attitudes of the Brotherhood and its offspring, Rehab has attacked Jews with standard Jewish hate libels. Concerning such subjects as the Holocaust, he has written that he believes there is a ?Jewish control over the media? and that ?the history of the Jewish film producers in particular have shown that they predate on weak minorities by default.?

CAIR-Chicago?s website states that Rehab was an ?activist in the field of interfaith collaboration? and that he ?is a firm believer in the need to reach out and build bridges.? Rehab pulled his website from the internet this year. Are we to believe that Mr. Rehab has changed his views so dramatically over the course of the last few months?

Ahmed Rehab was also the one to break the story ? through this author ? that CAIR?s parent organization, the IAP, was no longer in existence. The group had been found liable for the murder of an American boy, David Boim, during a Hamas terror operation is Israel. The group was also based in Chicago, Rehab?s hometown. Furthermore, Rehab interviewed IAP President (and co-founder of CAIR) Rafiq Jaber, shortly before the IAP?s dissolution. Question: How close was Rehab to the IAP ? one of three American organizations to be founded by the number two leader in Hamas today, Mousa Abu Marzook ? that he knew of the group?s closure before anyone else?

All of the above are reasons why students and faculty at Minnesota State University Moorhead should have major concerns about allowing this individual to speak at its institution. Given CAIR?s terrorist ties, this event should never have been conceived in the first place. No matter what the CAIR-Chicago website looks like or what Rehab says ? no matter how they dress up their words and imagery ? Hamas masquerading in trendy garb is still Hamas.
11778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 10:59:20 AM
FBI ?Bridges? to Terror
By Joe Kaufman | April 18, 2006

Prior to 9/11, few understood the scope and capabilities of Al-Qaeda. One of those worthy few was John O?Neill. PBS dubbed him ?The Man Who Knew,? as he warned a friend, on the eve of the attacks, ?We?re due for something big.? Starting in 1995, in his position as chief of the FBI?s counter-terrorism section, O?Neill became absorbed with tracking the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and his global network of terrorists. But that search ended, shortly after a plane slammed into the building that he was stationed at, the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It was there that John Patrick O?Neill lost his life, while trying to do what he did best ? be a hero. In an act that could only be seen as a way to dishonor his memory, the organization he gave his blood and guts for took part in an event being sponsored by one of the defendants in the lawsuit for his murder.

On April 13, 2006, the FBI led a nationally televised townhall meeting on Bridges TV, a U.S.-based Muslim television network, located in Orchard Park, New York. The press release, sent out two days before the meeting, labeled it ?a historic event in American history? and the ?first-of-its-kind.? [According to the release, it will be re-broadcast worldwide via U.S. State Department television.] Representing the FBI was Paul Moskal, the division chief of the FBI?s office in Buffalo, and Thomas Ginter, the FBI?s local recruitment director. The sponsor for the meeting was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the moderator was the director of CAIR?s Ohio office, Adnan Mirza. CAIR is currently named as a defendant in the John O?Neill lawsuit, brought forward by his family and filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

In Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, it is stated, ?Council on American Islamic Relations and CAIR Canada (collectively, CAIR), have aided, abetted, and materially sponsored al Qaeda and international terrorism? In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb, and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States.?

Indeed, CAIR has a profuse track record with regards to its terrorist connections and affiliations. The organization was created by a front group for the Palestinian Hamas. In its short existence, CAIR has lost a Civil Rights Coordinator, a fundraiser, a Director of Community Relations, and a founding Director of its Texas Chapter, all through conviction or deportation. The FBI had a hand in bringing to justice every one of these individuals.

Much of this information was provided to the FBI?s Buffalo office, yet the event still went on as planned. According to agent Moskal, he was ?offended? that there were concerned citizens that had warned him ahead of time not to attend. He stated, ?I was very offended. I mean, what?s the FBI?s international reputation?? But where was his offense at what CAIR and its officials had been involved in, and where was his compassion for his fellow agent ? one of the best the FBI has ever employed?

Furthermore, where was the concern from the FBI about the venue where the meeting was being held? Apart from the disturbing fact that CAIR has direct involvement with Bridges TV ? CAIR?s Executive Director, Nihad Awad, is an advisor for Bridges ? the station openly boasts of its Islamist-oriented programming.

On the homepage of the Bridges TV website, Siraj Wahhaj, a man that was named as a potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, is featured on the network and saluted as a ?Prominent Scholar.? And on its website, the station proudly displays a ?testimonial? from Eric Vickers, the former Executive Director of the American Muslim Council, who said, in February of 2003, that the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was an act of divine retribution against Israel. Bridges has also worked with the likes of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group tied to the violent Muslim Brotherhood that was the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation into terrorism financing.

Before and after the townhall meeting, CAIR sent out e-mails and posted ?news briefs? about the event. This is in keeping with CAIR?s practice of exploiting anything that grants the organization an air of legitimacy. Unfortunately, the FBI and other government agencies allow themselves to be exploited.

While the FBI works diligently to protect America from her many enemies, the bureau has, as well, been all too willing to reach out to those that espouse the beliefs ? and in some cases are affiliated (as the O?Neill family is attempting to prove) ? with those that attacked us on 9/11. The Bridges TV/FBI/CAIR episode is but one of many instances of this occurring.

At a time when we are at war with Muslims overseas, it is quite understandable for the American government to want to put on a good face and interact with those mainstream Muslim organizations here at home. However, in order to do that, our government has to settle for those that represent a radical strain of Islam; not one of these groups represents otherwise.

It is with this in mind that one must consider the alternative (not having any interaction) as being far greater than the reward for doing so. For if we continue on this course of trying to make friends with the enemy, in the end, we will never know who the real enemy is.

John O?Neill knew. Hopefully, someone else with any kind of influence figures it out soon.

11779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 10:57:28 AM
CAIR Supports Imam Jalil's Hateful Views

Brian Hecht of Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism has prepared the following post; please quote Brian:

Yesterday, the "New York Post" broke the story of an anti-Government, anti-Semitic speech made by the chief Imam of New York City?s Department of Corrections. On an audio tape obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) at a 2005 Muslim Students Association conference in Arizona, Umar Abdul-Jalil, also the Imam of the Masjid Sabur mosque in Harlem, complained that ?the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House? and that the ?Zionists of the media? have portrayed Islam in a negative light. Responding to the news of Imam Jalil?s comments, New York City has placed him on administrative leave pending a further investigation. As reported by the Post:

At one conference session, Abdul-Jalil charged that Muslims jailed after the 9/11 attacks were being tortured in Manhattan, according to the tape. "They [some Muslim inmates] are not charged with anything, they are not entitled to any rights, they are interrogated. Some of them are literally tortured and we found this in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in Manhattan. But they literally are torturing people," Abdul-Jalil said.
Abdul-Jalil also accused the Bush administration of being terrorists, according to the tape. "We have terrorists defining who a terrorist is, but because they have the weight of legitimacy, they get away with it . . . We know that the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House, without a doubt," he said.

At another session, Abdul-Jalil urged American Muslims to stop allowing "the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is to us" and said Muslims must be "compassionate with each other" and "hard against the kufr [unbeliever]."

Not surprisingly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has a long history of espousing and defending extremist, hateful and anti-Semitic speech (see Steven Emerson's "The American Muslim Leaders' 'Fatwa' Is Bogus"), is defending Imam Jalil?s right to preach his views while earning $76,000 in taxpayer-supported salary and holding a position of public trust, supposedly involved in the rehabilitation of convicted criminals. Of course, CAIR won't defend the rights of newspapers when publishing cartoons which CAIR deems insulting.

For his part, Imam Jalil, after initially denying that he made the comments at all, admitted to the "New York Post" that he had in fact made the incendiary remarks, but that they were being taken out of context. According to the "New York Daily News," Jalil insists that he is not anti-Semitic and has lashed out at those who he feels have questioned his patriotism. As reported by the Daily News:

Yesterday he insisted he wasn't anti-Semitic, adding that his mother was Jewish, having converted to Judaism in 1959.
"I'm more Jewish than most who espouse the Jewish faith," he said.

Into the controversy steps CAIR on the Imam's side. As reported by New York?s ABC affiliate, Wissam Nasr, CAIR?s New York?s Executive Director, said:

"There are other things that are the truth in his statements. For example, harsh treatment of Muslim prisoners at the Metropolitan Detention Center and the jails in New York, so I think we can't mix the two together. And even if it was his opinion, this is America and we are allowed to express our opinions publicly."
The report continues: ?[w]hile the Council on Islamic Relations (sic) doesn't agree with all the statements, the director examined the transcripts with us and defended the imam's right to expression.? CAIR?s position as a defender of ?free speech? concerning incendiary and hateful remarks is rather dubious in light of their views on the recent Danish cartoon controversy. Parvez Ahmed, the Chairman of CAIR, wrote in an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News (and issued on the Islamic Broadcasting Network site), ?[f]ree speech, like every other freedom, comes with the responsibility of good judgment. Newspapers ought to have the freedom to speak the truth, but a cartoon that defames does not further debate.? One wonders if Parvez Ahmed believes that rants about the ?Zionist controlled media? and terrorists running the White House helps to ?further debate.? And just two weeks ago, at a CAIR-sponsored event at the University of Pennsylvania on the Mohammed cartoons, CAIR board member Mazhar Rishi said, ?[t]he right to free speech is not absolute.?

In CAIR?s view, when Muslims are offended, free speech is not absolute and should be exercised responsibly. But when a Muslim in a position of authority receiving a government salary says something offensive, free speech becomes an unlimited, cherished American right. In other words, everyone but Muslims must exhibit responsibility when exercising their right to free speech.

The IPT?s Joshua Shrager appeared on WABC?s broadcast to discuss the issue (click on ?Eyewitness News Video? under ?Related Links? to watch).

Posted by Andrew Cochran
11780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 10:55:56 AM
How the Patriot Act Saves Lives
By Robert Spencer | January 18, 2006

On January 5, 2005, a drug runner named Noel Exinia, who was engaged in transporting over five hundreds pounds of cocaine from Mexico to New York City, revealed in a telephone conversation that he was interested in other kinds of cargo as well. He spoke about twenty Iraqis, all between the ages of 25 and 33, who would pay $8,000 to get past the Mexico-U.S. border and into the United States. These Iraqis were, he said, in the Mexican cities of Monterrey, Chiapas and Puebla, and were ready to cross into Texas; ultimately, they hoped to get to the Northeast. According to Exinia, they were ?la gente de Osama? ? Osama?s people. What?s more, they were ?dangerous?really bad people.? Even Exinia, with all his experience in the drug underworld as part of the Gulf Cartel, admitted he was afraid of them.

No one would have known any of this, at least until these Iraqis committed a terrorist act on American soil, had it not been for the fact that Exinia?s call was recorded. The recording was permissible under the U.S. Patriot Act.

And that, says Exinia?s lawyer, John Blaylock, is why no one should ever have heard anything about Exinia?s phone call. ?This is an example,? he maintains, ?of a lot of hot air with a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing?.Terrorism is the flavor of the week. If they could have, they would have charged him with terrorism to justify the Patriot Act that is coming up for renewal.? However, Exinia?s previous lawyer, William May, said that he thought the terrorism allegations against his former client were true.

Meanwhile, Henry Crumpton, the State Department?s new counter-terrorism chief, has said: ?I rate the probability of terror groups using WMD [to attack Western targets] as very high. It is simply a question of time. And it is not just the nuclear threat that bothers me. I think, if anything, the biological threat is going to grow.?

The FBI has declined all comment on the Exinia case; no one will even say whether ?Osama?s people? made it into the United States or were headed off. But in any case, if any of them succeeded in carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States, particularly a nuclear or biological attack, would anyone be relieved that their rights had not been infringed by illegal wiretapping?

Apparently the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) would be, among others. With the five-week extension on the Patriot Act due to expire on February 3, they have filed suit against another, closely related and just as controversial element of President Bush?s anti-terror program: the recently-revealed program of domestic surveillance conducted without a warrant or other authorization. The names of the plaintiffs do not inspire confidence in the merits of the suit. The ACLU?s long-standing antagonism to America?s common defense is well documented; for its part, CAIR has had several of its officials arrested and convicted on various terrorism-related charges, and has never answered questions about where it really stands on jihad violence. The Fiqh Council of North America?s condemnation of terrorism that CAIR endorsed with much fanfare (and a great deal of mainstream media attention) was flawed, inadequate, and loaded with weasel words.

That such groups would come out against the Administration?s policies may be the strongest argument in their favor. However, thoughtful and patriotic Americans with a healthy understanding of the global jihad threat ? notably Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation ? have also expressed reservations about various aspects of the Patriot Act. Weyrich notes: ?Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, after 9/11, said if we gave up our way of life in order to catch terrorists the terrorists would have won.? Suspension of some civil liberties in wartime is nothing new: Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus; during World War I, Woodrow Wilson had enacted numerous provisions that would make ACLU lawyers blanch today. But in this era of an ever-expanding and ever-encroaching federal government, Rumsfeld?s warning is not just empty rhetoric.

If Judge Samuel Alito is confirmed as expected and takes a seat on the Supreme Court so that the Court again has its full complement of justices, the High Court should consider questions regarding the Patriot Act and domestic wiretapping as quickly as possible. The proper balance must be found between Constitutional protections and national security, such that the plans of the men who made Noel Exinia afraid are discovered and foiled well before they have any chance to come to fruition, but not in a manner that compromises any legitimate Constitutional freedom. Otherwise, we would simply be opposing one tyranny with another. The struggle against global jihad, although few yet realize it, is a great struggle, perhaps the last great struggle, to defend and safeguard the principles of universal human rights and the equality of dignity of all people that have been one of the greatest gifts that Judeo-Christian civilization has given to the world. Upon those principles our defense must be founded, or all is lost.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World?s Fastest Growing Faith and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.

11781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 10:54:39 AM
From | Original article available at:

CAIR Founded by "Islamic Terrorists"?
by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha
July 28, 2005

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Inc., filed a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead, of Anti-CAIR (or ACAIR), a grass-roots project whose name explains its mission: to expose the largest, most vocal, and dangerous Islamist organization in North America.

CAIR's March 2004 lawsuit is part of what seems to be a policy of using the legal process to silence or chill critics. In this case, CAIR claimed it had been harmed by six statements on ACAIR's website, including CAIR's being founded by Hamas supporters, being partially funded by terrorists, and intending to impose Islamic law on the United States.

Then, on June 20, 2005, CAIR filed an amended motion that substantially cut back on its libel claims, retaining just portions of two of the original six statements. With original misspellings retained, the offending passages are:

Let their be no doubt that CAIR is a terrorist supporting front organization?.
[CAIR] seeks to overthrow constitutional government in the United States?.
Why did CAIR drastically reduce its claims versus Whitehead?

It might have to do with Whitehead, admirably represented by Reed Rubinstein of Greenberg Traurig LLP, having responded to CAIR's lawsuit with an extensive and well informed set of discovery requests and documents. These filings perhaps established for CAIR the depth of Whitehead's knowledge and the soundness of his opinions. If so, then CAIR's leadership concluded that the bulk of its case against Whitehead would collapse in court.

CAIR's filing an amended motion has two apparent implications: that CAIR has tacitly acknowledged the truth of Whitehead's deleted assertions; and those assertions can now be repeated with legal impunity.

We list here the key statements that CAIR no longer deems legally improper, followed by some speculations as to why it might have decided not to contest them in court.

[CAIR is an] organization founded by Hamas supporters?.
CAIR was started by Hamas members?.
CAIR ? was founded by Islamic terrorists.
CAIR's leadership must have stretched its collective memory back to 1994 and recalled (along with counterterrorism expert Matthew Epstein) that Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, former officials of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), founded the organization, while IAP's president, Rafeeq Jabar, was (according to Steve Emerson) one of CAIR's founding directors.

Former FBI counterterrorism chief Oliver "Buck" Revell has described the IAP as "a front organization for Hamas." This linkage between the IAP and Hamas was decisively established in 2004, when a federal judge in Chicago found it partially liable for $156 million in damages for its role in aiding and abetting Hamas in the murder of David Boim, a 17-year-old American citizen.

And, CAIR no doubt remembered that it had been caught by Joe Kaufman exploiting the 9/11 attacks to raise funds for two Hamas-linked fundraising organizations, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and the Global Relief Foundation.

[CAIR] is partially funded by terrorists?
Terrorists themselves don't literally give out money, but organizations that fund terrorism also fund CAIR.

The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank gave CAIR $250,000 in August 1999. The IDB also manages funds (Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa) which finance suicide bombings against Israeli civilians by providing funds to the families of Palestinian "martyrs."

The International Institute of Islamic Thought, an organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, gave CAIR's Washington office $14,000 in 2003, according to IIIT tax filings. David Kane, who investigated IIIT as part of Operation Green Quest's probe into some one hundred companies and organizations, described in a sworn affidavit the various ways in which it may have funded suspected terrorist-front organizations.

The International Relief Organization (also called the International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO), a Saudi-financed organization being investigated by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance for terrorism financing donated at least $12,000 to CAIR.

CAIR receives direct funding from Islamic terrorist supporting countries.
CAIR has received funds from Saudi Arabia, such as the $250,000 from the Islamic Development Bank noted above. In addition, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-sponsored charity (and another one suspected of financing terror), announced in December 1999 that it "was extending both moral and financial support to CAIR" to help it construct its $3.5 million headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Saudi Arabia, the homeland Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, is reasonably described as "terrorist supporting." The 9/11 Commission staff describes Saudi Arabia as having an environment where "fund-raisers and facilitators throughout Saudi Arabia and the Gulf" raised money for al Qaeda. In July 2005, U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey stated that "even today, we believe that Saudi donors may still be a significant source of terrorist financing, including for the insurgency in Iraq."

CAIR has proven links to? Islamic terrorists.
It's easy to understand why CAIR chose to leave this one alone, what with five current or former CAIR affiliates arrested, convicted, or deported on terrorism-related charges:

Randall Royer, CAIR's communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, was indicted on charges of conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to battle American troops in Afghanistan. He later pled guilty to lesser firearm-related charges and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR's Texas chapter, was convicted in July 2004 along with his four brothers of having illegally shipped computers from their Dallas-area business, InfoCom Corporation, to Libya and Syria, two designated state sponsors of terrorism. In April of 2005, Elashi and two brothers were also convicted of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader and Specially Designated Terrorist. He continues to face charges that he provided more than $12.4 million to Hamas while he was running the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), America's largest Islamic charity.

Bassem Khafagi, CAIR's community relations director, pleaded guilty in September 2003 to lying on his visa application and for passing bad checks for substantial amounts in early 2001, for which he was deported. Khafagi was also a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for terrorism-related activities.

Rabih Haddad, a CAIR fundraiser, was arrested on terrorism-related charges and deported from the United States due to his subsequent work as executive director of the Global Relief Foundation, a charity he co-founded; in October 2002, GRF was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. According to a CAIR complaint, Homam Albaroudi, a member of CAIR's Michigan chapter and also a founding member and executive director of the IANA also founded the Free Rabih Haddad Committee.

Siraj Wahhaj, a CAIR advisory board member, was named in 1995 by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as a possible unindicted co-conspirator in connection with the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman.

CAIR is a fundamentalist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States Constitution and the installation of an Islamic theocracy in America.
CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of a SHARIA law in American.
[CAIR seeks to replace the government of the United States] with an Islamist theocracy using our own Constitution as protection....
CAIR is here to make radical Islam the dominant religion in the United States and to convert our country into an Islamic theocracy along the lines of Iran.
CAIR's goals are clear, as indicated by its leaders' sometimes revealing comments:

Ihsan Bagby, a future CAIR board member, stated in the late 1980s that Muslims "can never be full citizens of this country," referring to the United States, "because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country."

Ibrahim Hooper, the future CAIR spokesman, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 4, 1993: "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future."

Omar Ahmad, CAIR's chairman, announced in July 1998 that "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth."

These facts suggest why CAIR felt it had to drop most of its libel claims against Andrew Whitehead. Should this case go to court, we will watch with interest how Whitehead's two remaining opinions (that CAIR is a terrorist-supporting front organization and that it seeks to overthrow the constitutional government of the United States) fare.

Mr. Pipes ( is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers). Ms Chadha is the co-author of two forthcoming books on the Middle East.

From | Original article available at:
11782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 24, 2006, 10:53:29 AM
Speak To Me, Ibrahim!
By Robert Spencer | March 10, 2003

Wednesday morning I called Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Last week Hooper and I had words on MSNBC?s Nachman show about the propriety of the FBI investigating mosques, and I wanted to get his reaction to new allegations that the al-Farooq mosque in Brooklyn has been a chief source of funding for al-Qaeda.

But Mr. Hooper wouldn?t tell me what he thought. Without allowing me to ask my question, he just said, "I have no interest in promoting the anti-Muslim agenda of you or FrontPage Magazine," and hung up.

Now, I know that tempers are boiling over in today?s tense political climate. But CAIR would be able to gain a better hearing for its new campaign to "foster greater understanding of Islam" if its spokesmen engaged the organization?s political opponents honestly, instead of smearing their positions and indulging in juvenile displays. This is especially true in these days of national crisis. Americans have legitimate questions about CAIR and Islamic radicalism that Hooper and Co. has so far refused to answer, preferring instead to resort to ad hominem attacks upon those who raise the questions.

But the questions aren?t going away. Ibrahim Hooper won?t answer them, but he can?t bury them:

[1] The Al-Farooq mosque is the second American mosque linked to terrorist activity in a week. The first was an Islamic religious center identified in the indictment of South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian as one base of his operations to aid terrorists. In light of this, is CAIR?s stand against the FBI?s counting mosques as part of anti-terror operations really consistent with CAIR?s stated "commitment to our nation?s safety"?

[2] The Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud gave CAIR $500,000 for its program to put books and tapes about Islam in American libraries. The American Muslim leader W. D. Muhammad has said that when Saudis give money to American Muslims, they say, "We?re gonna give you our money, then we want you to . . . prefer our school of thought." Were these books and tapes approved by Islamic authorities belonging to the Saudi Wahhabi sect?

[3] CAIR?s stated intention in the library campaign is to help Americans learn about Islam "as a religion of peace and justice." How is this goal consistent with financing from Wahhabis, a sect so fanatical and extremist that it sanctions violence against non-Muslims and even against Muslims it considers heretical?

[4] CAIR?s new ad campaign includes fifty-two full-page ads in the New York Times. Where is the money coming from to pay for all these ads ? an expense that must amount to over a million dollars? Does any of this money come also from Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia? If so (or even if not), have they approved the ads? Did Wahhabis help craft the ads?

[5] As long ago as 1999, the Naqshbandi Sufi Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani told a State Department Open Forum on religious extremism that "the problem with our communities is the extremist ideology. . . [Extremists] took over more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the US." The fact that Wahhabis finance most American mosques would seem to bear out Kabbani?s assessment. Even if Kabbani was only half-right and extremists today control only 40% of American mosques, would they not bear investigating as part of efforts to prevent terrorist acts?

[6] On Wednesday, March 5, the same day I called Hooper, a suicide bomber killed 16 people and injured 55 on a bus in Haifa, Israel. Among the dead were ten high school students, including a 14-year-old American girl, Avigail Leitner. The Islamic terrorist group Hamas praised the bombing. Is CAIR?s Executive Director Nihad Awad still "a supporter of Hamas," as he has stated publicly many times? If so, how does this support square with CAIR?s efforts to portray Islam as a religion of peace?

[7] When al-Qaeda issued a threat during the season of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, causing Attorney General John Ashcroft to raise the level of the nation?s terrorist alert, why did CAIR blame Ashcroft for linking terrorism to the Hajj? Didn?t that linkage come from al-Qaeda, not Ashcroft ? or did CAIR have intelligence to the contrary?

[8] Why, when terrorist groups around the world use the words "Islam" and "Jihad" in their names, are people who ask questions about this fact tarred by CAIR as having an "anti-Muslim agenda"? What is CAIR really doing to sever the worldwide connection between Islam and terrorism? Dodging questions, whitewashing uncomfortable facts, and hanging up on people won?t do it.

Come on, Ibrahim. The American people, to whose safety you are committed, deserve answers.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World?s Fastest Growing Faith and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.
11783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: October 24, 2006, 08:00:06 AM
"the moderates in the Iranian Government" rolleyes
11784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: October 24, 2006, 05:59:38 AM
Cracking the Hermit Kingdom 
By Gordon Cucullu and Joshua Stanton | October 24, 2006

The twin fizzles of North Korea?s attempted long-range Fourth of July rocketry and its semi-successful nuclear test encourage those who favor procrastination as a viable foreign policy. In the long run, it affords little comfort that North Korea?s weapons don?t work well, because it cannot stop Kim Jong-il?s patience and marketing of more and better rockets. After 15 years of stalling, lying, and cheating his way through nuclear negotiations, Kim Jong-il could be the subject of a Country & Western song. We must accept the fact that he is faithful to his nuclear weapons programs, and unfaithful to anyone who would take them away from him. As Ambassador Christopher Hill put it, ?North Korea can have nuclear weapons or it can have a future.? Kim Jong-il has chosen; he means to build the Arsenal of Terror. Now, we must choose whether we will let him.

Can we disarm Kim Jong-il at less risk of a catastrophic war than the risks of continuing with the present course?  We think so, but not through conventional diplomatic or military means.


Some analysts talk of military strikes directed at key facilities. Newt Gingrich has suggested that the Kim regime be told privately, on unequivocal terms, that every time he stands a missile up for testing it will be killed on the pad. Some suggest reacting against any movement toward another nuclear test with a strike against the deeply dug-in, highly protected test equipment. Strikes might set some of those programs back but probably could not destroy his underground nuclear facilities. The other side of the cost-benefit ledger is heavy:  domestic forces might compel Kim Jong-il to respond, and that could escalate into a second Korean War and the destruction of Seoul, which lies within artillery range of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).


Economic sanctions have the benefit of attacking Kim Jong-il?s economic vulnerabilities. For the past year, the Treasury Department has been constricting the financial arteries that support Kim Jong-il?s palace economy:  illegal weapons, narcotics, and counterfeiting. These measures have shown some promising results. Japan?s new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, just added his muscle to the squeeze by denying North Korean merchant ships access to Japan?s ports and by vigorously attacking one of Kim?s great sources of foreign cash: Korean Yakuza operations in western Japan. UN Resolution 1718 (which, by itself, justified John Bolton?s confirmation) freezes or cuts off funds for his WMD-related assets and accounts, and even bans him from purchasing luxury items, such as his French Cognac supplies. The object of this goes beyond the inducement of derelium tremens. Louis XIV said, ?L??tat, c'est moi,? but Kim Jong-il has perfected it in practice. He stands atop a precarious pyramid of faction-riven Party hacks, intelligence service thugs, and what former Ambassador Jim Lilley calls ?hard-faced generals.? Kim Jong-il knows that too many missed payments to these men, whose endemic corruption requires constant care and feeding, puts him a trigger squeeze from oblivion.


Others have proposed a naval blockade, but Kim?s protectors, including China and South Korea, might help diffuse the effect of the more onerous sanctions. Another less risky option could be almost as devastating:  the Treasury Department could designate North Korea itself as an ?entity of concern? for money laundering, under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. That would instantly sever all of North Korea?s connections to the international finance system, but would have collateral effects in other countries whose cooperation we would prefer to obtain through polite requests.


All of these measures will have an effect, but they will take time. They might also cause Kim Jong-il to squeeze his suffering people even harder, and in the end, they might mean little more than replacing one evil tyrant with another. They might force Kim Jong-il to negotiate, but not in good faith. They might weaken the regime, but they won?t necessarily replace it with one that will live in peace.


We still have not spoken of North Korea?s greatest vulnerability: its citizens?s disapproval. We think of North Korea as a stable, opaque, Orwellian monolith, but recently we have seen cracks in the fa?ade. Refugees and defectors report a recent wave of uprisings and expressions of dissent. A few of the disturbances, such as the rising in the Onsong Concentration Camp and the planned mutiny of the Chongjin garrison, were significant. Most, however, were localized, and the regime was able to keep them that way by taking great pains to isolate its subjects from outside world and compartmentalize them from internal communication among themselves.


Geography is also on the regime?s side. North Korea?s terrain is rugged. Its road and communications infrastructure is decrepit. (Its original dictator, Kim Il Sung, died of a heart attack, because ambulances could not negotiate the road to one of his mountain hideaways in time.) Today, even Kim Jong-il?s concentration camps are not, physically speaking, ?concentrated;? they are really scattered networks of guarded hamlets where uprisings are easy to contain and from which escape is a formidable challenge. All information comes from tightly controlled Party outlets. Radios and televisions are pre-set with approved frequencies. Listening to any of the few sources of ?unofficial? information ? South Korean, Japanese, or ?foreign? stations ? is punishable with immediate exile of the suspect and his entire family to a labor camp.


Despite all of these countermeasures, the information blockade on which Kim Jong-il?s power depends is breaking down. Since the famine that killed 2.5 million North Koreans in the 1990?s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have voted with their feet and risked death by crossing the border into China. Some of these refugees later returned to North Korea and spoke of China?s comparative prosperity. China arrested others and ruthlessly sent them back to the North Korean gulag. A few escaped to South Korea or elsewhere. This refugee flow is Beijing?s recurring nightmare. China dreads the prospect of an imploding North Korea releasing millions of refugees along the countries? 900-mile border. China, which barely suppressed the SARS outbreak, worries that North Koreans ? whose immune systems are weakened by malnutrition and a lack of basic medical care ? could bring a plague of diseases and burden its economy.


Some of these refugees are crossing out of economic desperation. There is an active business of smuggling goods and people across the Chinese-North Korean border. But most refugees are probably motivated by politics to some degree ? because the government has put them in a low-priority category for food rations, because they have lost all faith in their government, or a combination of both. The moment they see the relative prosperity of China, they realize the magnitude of the propaganda barrage inside North Korea. Meanwhile, corruption, disillusionment, and societal decay have accelerated the corrosive effect on the information blockade. Cell phones, tunable radios, and South Korean DVD?s are now available, even in Pyongyang, to those who know where to find them, even though the possession of these items can be a death-camp offense. There is a growing network of underground churches inside North Korea, a remarkable phenomenon given the ruthless repression with which the Communists have attacked any religion other than the worship of the two Kims.


This below-the-radar decline of the Cult of Kim has led to some surprising results. Last month, Thai authorities arrested as many as 300 North Korean refugees who survived a dangerous journey across China, along a thousand-mile underground railroad run largely by Christian missionaries and sympathizers. On every inch of this journey, they risked forcible repatriation to North Korea if caught by Chinese authorities. Of these 300, half asked to go to the United States ? a nation they had been indoctrinated since birth to hate and fear as an imperialist warmonger. Their remarkable yearning for freedom led them to choose America instead of South Korea, where they already share a common language and customs. According to a recent New York Times report, ?$10,400 will buy a package deal to get someone out of North Korea and, armed with a fake South Korean passport, on a plane or boat to South Korea within days.? It is simply a matter of money; the bodies of those who try to escape without it wash up in bullet-ridden heaps beside the Tyumen River. Yet still, more make the risky crossing.


More also want to know the truth. The Broadcasting Board of Governors recently cited surveys from 2003 and 2004, which found that 28 to 31 percent of North Korean refugees had listened to the Voice of America, and that 18 percent had listened to Radio Free Asia. They tuned in to these forbidden broadcasts in spite of the terrible risk of being caught. The percentage of listeners is probably higher today. Yet two years after the North Korean Human Rights Act authorized the expansion of Radio Free Asia, along with more programs to smuggle information into North Korea, our government is only starting the process of expanding radio broadcasts to the North. North Korea?s hysterical reaction speaks volumes about the subversive potential of broadcasting. The letters North Korean refugees write to Radio Free Asia are inspiring. To be sure, survey samples based on refugees are skewed, but the North Korean people do appear to be an emerging market for such subversive ideas as tolerance, religious freedom, pluralism, free markets, and democracy.


There is another side to breaking down the isolation of the North Korean people that observers tend to overlook ? getting information out of North Korea. In a land still described by popular media as the Hermit Kingdom, the factual vacuum about conditions inside North Korea partially explains why nations have failed to coordinate a common response to such issues as famine, food aid, human rights, crime, and weapons proliferation. Ask most Americans about conditions within North Korea, and you will elicit a shrug. In contrast, even closed societies such as the former Soviet Union and present-day China are open volumes compared to reclusive North Korea. The Great Famine was the most heartrending example of this. By the time international relief agencies gleaned through sparse information and agreed that a famine was killing millions of North Koreans, it was too late to save many of them. A German physician, Norbert Vollertsen, fled North Korea with photos of malnourished children in striped pajama uniforms. When he tried to tell the South Korean people this terrible news, he was beaten by South Korean police, threatened with expulsion, and threatened by pro-North Korean Stalinists determined to protect the South?s appeasement-based Sunshine policy from the truth about conditions in the North. In a more recent and highly suspicious incident, Vollertsen was attacked by a group of unidentified men on a street in downtown Seoul. South Korean Police dismissed the incident and accused Vollertsen of being drunk, although he proceeded to give a speech before an audience that can confirm otherwise.


To their everlasting shame, many in South Korea choose to live in cognitive dissonance and outright denial about conditions inside their northern neighbor. Many South Koreans dismiss reports of grave human rights abuses as ?U.S. propaganda,? and dispute reports of conditions within North Korea?s gulag, to include the reported experimental poison gas chamber at Camp 22. Repeatedly, when the U.N. has considered resolutions condemning North Korea?s atrocities against its people, South Korea abstained or refused to vote. Now, Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, who presided over this shameful diplomacy, is about to become the new UN General Secretary.


While educating South Koreans and others is important, tearing open the bamboo curtain and allowing the light of truth to both penetrate and escape from the North is essential. North Koreans must learn what is happening in their own districts, provinces, and country, and the rest of the world should share this information. Already, this process has made a courageous start. Brave guerrilla cameramen recently brought out video of public executions, labor camps, starving soldiers sent home to die, South Korean food aid stolen by the military, and acts of dissent. A Seoul-based news site, The Daily NK, collects and publishes reports from defectors, traders, and clandestine journalists who cross the border between North Korea and China.


Our government can do much more to support the breaking of this blockade. It can start by breaking our own State Department?s blockade on the appropriation and distribution of funds already authorized under the North Korean Human Rights Act. It should also help to expand this network of clandestine journalists inside North Korea. Many of these journalists could be recruited from the same source that produced the concentration camp survivor, defector, journalist, and author Kang Chol-Hwan ? the ranks of thousands of North Korean refugees in South Korea and in third countries. A select group of them, properly trained in clandestine reporting, could return to their homeland to tell their stories. We could provide them satellite telephones and cameras to transmit their reports without making the risky journey across the border. With enough money, it is possible to smuggle large quantities of i-pods, cell phones, and micro-radios into North Korea, so that the people could hear the news these journalists reported. Eventually, we could train other refugees in basic technical skills, the fundamentals of how democratic government works, and eventually, medicine, so that the underground could begin to provide essential services that the regime stopped providing years ago. Eventually, these volunteers could become the core of new civil society in a scarred, traumatized, and chaotic post-Kim Jong-il Korea.


Ultimately, the key rests with China?s treatment of refugees. China must realize that its refugee policy is earning the eternal enmity of the North Korean people for the sake of a dying regime. One day, North Koreans will make up one-third of the population of a united Korea, which will be one of China?s largest trading partners and trade corridors, and as an added bonus, might not require a large U.S. military presence for its defense. It must begin to accept North Korean refugees in large numbers, even if only in UN-run refugee camps along its border. The United States and a coalition of other nations could foot the bill for refugee care, something that is vastly cheaper than recovering from missile strikes. The establishment of these refugee camps, or ?feeding stations? if you prefer, would be predicated on the notion that all inhabitants would eventually be repatriated to Korea or resettled outside of China.

From Washington, North Korea looks as stable as East Germany, Romania, and Albania looked in 1988. In reality, those regimes hung by tenuous threads, disguising political weakness behind statist omnipotence, waiting for the sword stroke that freed their subjects from oppression. By reaching out to the North Korean people with truth, hope, food, and medical care, we can do much to undermine the cult of hate and isolation on which Kim Jong-il?s grip on power depends. Diplomacy has failed, sanctions are only a partial solution, and military strikes carry an unacceptable risk of disaster. The root of the crisis is Kim Jong-il. We must help the North Korean people uproot him. We must help them achieve what Koreans and Americans have dreamed of for more than half a century:  a Korean that is united and free.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu is a former Special Forces lieutenant colonel and author of the best-selling book Separated at Birth. Joshua Stanton practices law in Washington, D.C., and blogs at One Free Korea.
11785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: October 24, 2006, 05:30:32 AM
European Muslims worry about frank new Islam debate
Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:29 AM BST

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain's heated debate about Islamic veils reflects a growing frustration with Muslims in Europe that risks further isolating these minorities rather than integrating them, leading European Muslim activists say.

The new tone in Britain, which Muslims on the continent long saw as a model of tolerance where criticising minorities was politically incorrect, marks a watershed in the way Europeans talk about Islam, they told Reuters.

Islamist radicalism, ethnic segregation and clashes of values must be discussed openly, they agreed, but the increasingly polarised debate squeezes out moderates on both sides.

Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sparked off the British debate this month by saying the full facial veils some Muslim women wear hindered integration. Some Muslim leaders called his remarks offensive and accused him of whipping up Islamophobia.

"Intolerance is growing in Europe," said Dalil Boubakeur, president of France's Muslim Council, who saw the new mood as a response to security fears and the radicalisation of a small minority of Muslims who do not accept European values.

"There is a sense we are living in a different time," said Dilwar Hussain, head of policy research at the Islamic Foundation in Britain.

"With all the security concerns, people feel they can be more frank," Hussain said. "The reaction from Muslims is to recede further and further into a sense of victimhood."

The activists said politicians and the media blamed religion for problems that are really economic and social, such as unemployment and discrimination.

"Before, we were just immigrants from Turkey or Morocco or other places, but then they found something to combine us," said Famile Arslan from the Dutch group Islam and Citizenship.

"All immigrant problems have been Islamised. All Muslims have been criminalised," she said.


European policies towards Muslim minorities have ranged from the tolerant British and Dutch "multicultural" path to France's strict ban on Muslim headscarves in state schools.

But the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and the bombings in Madrid and London have deepened concerns about whether Europe's 15 million Muslims all accept European values.

"Europeans were stunned to see that even people who were quite integrated could do these things," Boubakeur said.

Ali Kizilkaya, head of Germany's Muslim Council, said Muslims were now seen "as a kind of security problem".

Yazid Sabeg, France's most successful Muslim businessman, accused the media of tarring all Muslims with the terrorist brush. "Demonising Islam by confusing it with Islamism is the new opium of the people," he complained.

One reflex by politicians and the media -- to call on Muslim leaders to denounce violence any time Islamist radicals strike -- was misguided because it identified the peaceful majority with crimes they did not support, the activists argued.

"Muslims in Europe feel the need to apologise for deeds they didn't contribute to," Arslan explained.


The activists agreed the disarray of Muslim communities, which are often split by differences of ethnicity, dogma and politics, frustrated efforts to respond constructively and left radical voices to be the ones most frequently heard in public.

"Muslims are not a homogenous group," said Arslan. "There is no Muslim community. Maybe that is our biggest problem."

Hussain agreed: "There isn't anything like a coherent group of people you can tell what to do or what not to do."

While most activists said public clashes could degenerate into anti-immigrant campaigns, one Danish Muslim leader said the uproar over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad there earlier this year had helped calm tensions by promoting a dialogue.

"The cartoon crisis did function as a wake-up call for both Danish politicians and Muslim leaders," said Yildiz Akdogan, spokeswoman for the Democratic Muslims group.

When more such cartoons surfaced this month, the government promptly denounced them and Muslim leaders avoided exploiting the issue, she said. "The final outcome is good."

11786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: October 23, 2006, 07:24:20 AM

Allow Japanese Nukes
By Charles Krauthammer

The first stop on Condoleezza Rice's post-detonation, nuclear reassurance tour was Tokyo. There she dutifully unfurled the American nuclear umbrella, pledging in person that the United States would meet any North Korean attack on Japan with massive American retaliation, nuclear if necessary.

An important message, to be sure, for the short run, lest Kim Jong Il imbibe a little too much cognac and be teased by one of his "pleasure squad" lovelies into launching a missile or two into Japan.

But Rice's declaration had another and obvious longer-run intent: to quell any thought Japan might have of going nuclear to counter and deter North Korea's bomb.

The Japanese understood this purpose well. Thus, at a joint news conference with Rice, Foreign Minister Taro Aso offered the boilerplate denial of even thinking of going nuclear: "The government of Japan has no position at all to consider going nuclear."

The impeccably polite Japanese were not about to contradict the secretary of state in her presence. Nonetheless, the very same Aso had earlier the very same day told a parliamentary committee that Japan should begin debating the issue: "The reality is that it is only Japan that has not discussed possessing nuclear weapons, and all other countries have been discussing it."

Just three days earlier, another high-ranking member of the ruling party had transgressed the same taboo and called for open debate about Japan's acquiring nuclear weapons.

The American reaction to such talk is knee-jerk opposition. Like those imperial Japanese soldiers discovered holed up on some godforsaken Pacific island decades after World War II, we continue to act as if we, too, never received news of the Japanese surrender. We applaud the Japanese for continuing their adherence to the MacArthur constitution that forever denies Japan the status of Great Power replete with commensurate military force.

Of course Japan has in recent decades skirted that proscription, building a small but serious conventional military. Nuclear weapons, however, have remained off the table.

As the only country ever to suffer nuclear attack, Japan obviously has its own reasons to resist the very thought. But now that the lunatic regime next door, which has already overflown Japan with its missiles, has officially gone nuclear, some rethinking is warranted.

Japan is a true anomaly. All the other Great Powers went nuclear decades ago -- even the once-and-no-longer great, such as France; the wannabe great, such as India; and the never-will-be great, such as North Korea. There are nukes in the hands of Pakistan, which overnight could turn into an al-Qaeda state, and North Korea, a country so cosmically deranged that it reports that the "Dear Leader" shot five holes-in-one in his first time playing golf and also wrote six operas. Yet we are plagued by doubts about Japan's joining this club.

Japan is not just a model international citizen -- dynamic economy, stable democracy, self-effacing foreign policy -- it is also the most important and reliable U.S. ally after only Britain. One of the quieter success stories of recent American foreign policy has been the intensification of the U.S.-Japanese alliance. Tokyo has joined with the United States in the development and deployment of missile defenses and aligned itself with the United States on the neuralgic issue of Taiwan, pledging solidarity should there ever be a confrontation.

The immediate effect of Japan's considering going nuclear would be to concentrate China's mind on denuclearizing North Korea. China calculates that North Korea is a convenient buffer between it and a dynamic, capitalist South Korea bolstered by American troops. China is quite content with a client regime that is a thorn in our side, keeping us tied down while it pursues its ambitions in the rest of Asia. Pyongyang's nukes, after all, are pointed not west but east.

Japan's threatening to go nuclear would alter that calculation. It might even persuade China to squeeze Kim Jong Il as a way to prevent Japan from going nuclear. The Japan card remains the only one that carries even the remote possibility of reversing North Korea's nuclear program.

Japan's response to the North Korean threat has been very strong and very insistent on serious sanctions. This is, of course, out of self-interest, not altruism. But that is the point. Japan's natural interests parallel America's in the Pacific Rim -- maintaining military and political stability, peacefully containing an inexorably expanding China, opposing the gangster regime in Pyongyang, and spreading the liberal democratic model throughout Asia.

Why are we so intent on denying this stable, reliable, democratic ally the means to help us shoulder the burden in a world where so many other allies -- the inveterately appeasing South Koreans most notoriously -- insist on the free ride?

11787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: October 23, 2006, 06:38:48 AM

Korea's Nightmare: Horrors of Life in the North
By Peter Brookes

As many problems as North Korea's Stalinist dictatorship makes for the rest of the world, what it inflicts upon its captive population is far, far worse. Life in Kim Jong Il's iron-fisted police state is a hellish nightmare.

It's the most repressive country on earth, under absolute control of "Dear Leader" Kim. Fear, intimidation and wild-eyed propaganda dominate every aspect of society.

From outside, it can seem comical - like Pyongyang's recent boast that Kim had fired 11 holes in one - in 11 holes, of course - the first time he played golf. Somehow, that whopper was supposed to boost the tyrant's image.

But let's take a peek behind Kim's Iron Curtain.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reported in 2005: "There are virtually no personal freedoms in North Korea." Indeed, any and all civil liberties are considered a threat to the regime.

Radios and TVs are hard-wired to pre-set frequencies, over which North Koreans are subjected to constant propaganda, martial music, or B-grade Korean War flicks (this time, they win.) All homes display pictures of the "Dear Leader" and his father, "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung.

Crimes in "Kim-land" include defecting (or just trying), slandering Kim or the government, listening to foreign broadcasts, reading "subversive" material - even sitting on a newspaper that displays Kim's picture.

Failure to play by the rules can mean a bullet to the back of the head or time in one of Kim's seven political gulags, hard-labor camps that hold more than 200,000 men, women and children. The North Korean Freedom Coalition estimates that 400,000 to 1 million political prisoners have perished, some in gas chambers, in these camps since they were set up in 1972.

The regime has been accused of using political prisoners as guinea pigs in medical experiments. Public executions of tortured prisoners aren't uncommon.

One former North Korean prison guard who defected said: "They trained me not to treat the prisoners as human beings . . . beating and killing is an everyday affair . . . they're just like dogs or pigs."

A single person's offense can get an entire family - sometimes up to three generations - sent to the gulag. Female prisoners, who become pregnant - sometimes due to rape by prison guards - often undergo forced abortions. Infanticide, at the hands of guards, takes place, too.

Making matters worse, North Korea has been fighting a famine since 1995. Natural disasters such as annual floods account for some of the food shortages, but most is due to failed agricultural and economic policies.

As a result, as many as 2.5 million people (out of a population of 22 million) have died due to starvation/disease over the last decade. While accurate numbers are near impossible to come by, today , 7 percent are believed to be starving, and 37 percent chronically malnourished, reports Freedom House.

Even more tragic, many children born during the famine have been orphaned - and suffer from mental/physical handicaps due to severe malnutrition early in life. Defectors report cases of cannibalism.

And while North Korea has received massive influxes of international food aid, relief groups say Pyongyang uses food as a weapon, directing aid to the most loyal segments of society, while withholding it from others. People have subsisted on twigs, bark and grass for years. Local cooperatives mix grass with grain to produce horrid, drab olive "Franken-food."

As many as 300,000 North Koreans have fled to northern China. But Beijing won't let relief groups assist them (for fear of encouraging others), so refugees are victimized by locals into near-slavery or prostitution or returned as criminals - to an almost certain death sentence.

And while common people starve, the elite spends millions on luxuries. Kim's cognac bill is $500,000 a year. When he has a craving, he sends his personal chef abroad to fetch his favorite nosh. And then there's Dear Leader's female "happiness teams"

North Korea spends one-third of its gross domestic product on a million-man army, ballistic missiles and an expensive nuclear-weapons program, while the country's hospitals , desperately short of supplies, are little more than hospices .

The regime may now have a nuke, but it's had a weapon of mass destruction for years. Unfortunately for the North Korean people, that WMD is their "Dear Leader," Kim Jong Il.

Peter Brookes is a columnist for The New York Post , a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and author of "A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, WMD and Rogue States."

11788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: October 23, 2006, 06:22:27 AM
A New Terrorist Haven
The frightening advance of Islamists in Somalia.
by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Bill Roggio
10/30/2006, Volume 012, Issue 07

WHEN FIGHTERS from the radical Islamic Courts Union (ICU) seized Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, in early June, the Western world briefly noticed. Analysts and talking heads were concerned that the country could become a terrorist haven. Then the media largely lost interest, though the situation remains dire. The ICU is on the verge of winning an even bigger strategic victory, and its links to international terrorism have become impossible to deny.

After Mogadishu fell, Somalia's beleaguered transitional government holed up in the south-central city of Baidoa and watched as the ICU won a rapid series of strategic gains. It took control of critical port cities--most recently, Kismayo, captured on September 25--that give it access to the Indian Ocean. The ICU's advances have met with little resistance, as typified by the capture of the town of Beletuein on August 9. The governor, escorted by a couple of "technicals"--pickup trucks mounted with machine guns--fled to Ethiopia shortly after fighting broke out between his forces and ICU militiamen.

Now, in late October, the ICU controls most of the country's key strategic points. It can move supplies from south to north, and ICU troops effectively encircle Baidoa. In the past month, the ICU has begun to make overt moves against the transitional federal government. The most dramatic came on September 18, when the presidential convoy faced a multi-pronged suicide car bombing attack just minutes after President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed delivered a speech to the transitional parliament. Six government officials died in what was the first suicide strike in Somalia's history. There were further casualties in an ensuing gun battle, but President Ahmed escaped unscathed.

That attack occurred against the backdrop of ICU-inspired protests in Baidoa. The ICU used local supporters to organize demonstrations against the transitional government, forcing government police to disperse a crowd with gunfire.

The bottom line is that Baidoa is a city under siege, as evidenced by a stream of defections from the transitional government's military to the more powerful ICU. Over 100 government fighters stationed near Baidoa have defected. All that prevents the transitional government's destruction is the presence of some Ethiopian soldiers. Early this month, witnesses saw at least thirty Ethiopian armored vehicles pass through Baidoa en route to military barracks about twenty kilometers east of the city, and these troops have set up roadblocks in an effort to protect the transitional government.

Intelligence sources, however, doubt the Ethiopian forces can prevent Baidoa from falling. Some believe that the main reason the ICU hasn't yet mounted a full assault is a desire to prevent the transitional government from escaping to Ethiopia or another sympathetic country and becoming a permanent thorn in the ICU's side: The radicals would like to see all major figures in the transitional government killed or captured.

The primary reason Westerners should care about these developments is the ICU's increasingly clear support for international terrorism. Longtime al Qaeda ally Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has been appointed head of the ICU's consultative shura council. The United States named Aweys a specially designated global terrorist in November 2001. He is one of three individuals believed responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania who are currently sheltered by the ICU. Aweys's prot?g?, Aden Hashi 'Ayro, reportedly received terrorist training in Afghanistan as the United States was preparing to attack the Taliban in 2001.

These men have seized power in a country that contains 17 operational terrorist training camps, as described in a confidential report prepared by the nongovernmental group Partners International Foundation in 2002. The claim in this report has been confirmed by a military intelligence source. Today, hundreds of terrorists from Afghan istan, Chechnya, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Arabian peninsula are said to be flocking to Somalia to train in or staff these camps. According to a military intelligence source, the camps provide training in the use of improvised explosive devices to counter Ethiopian vehicles.

According to press accounts, the ICU has received funding from the Arabian peninsula that allows it to arm its fighters with new weapons. Sheikh Aweys told a group of 600 fighters at the Hilweyne training camp, "This is the beginning, but thousands of other gunmen will be trained. You are the ones who will disarm civilians, restore law and order, and help enforce sharia law."

But the presence of foreign fighters in Somalia suggests that Sheikh Aweys and the ICU have ambitions beyond Somalia. Some ICU leaders, such as Sheikh Yusuf Indohaadde, have denied the presence of foreign fighters in the country in order to distance themselves publicly from al Qaeda. In a late June press conference, Sheikh Indohaadde said, "We want to say in a loud voice that we have no enemies, we have not enmity toward anyone. There are no foreign terrorists here." Within a few weeks of this unequivocal statement, how ever, the Associated Press obtained a copy of an ICU recruiting videotape directed at both Somali and Arab audiences (with Arabic subtitles) that showed Sheikh Indohaadde in the desert alongside fighters from Arab Gulf states.

Another senior ICU leader, Sheikh Hassan "Turki" Abdullah Hersi, openly admitted foreign involvement in Somalia during a speech to supporters after the seizure of Kismayo. "Brothers in Islam, we came from Mogadishu and we have thousands of fighters, some are Somalis and others are from the Muslim world," he said. "If Christian-led America brought its infidels, we now call to our Muslim holy fighters to come join us."

Nor is the ICU's support for international jihad lost on the movement's highest leaders. In an audiotape released in late June, Osama bin Laden stated, "We will continue, God willing, to fight you and your allies everywhere, in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Somalia and Sudan, until we waste all your money and kill your men and you will return to your country in defeat as we defeated you before in Somalia"--a clear nod to the rise of the Islamic courts. In July, bin Laden issued an even stronger statement: "We warn all the countries in the world from accepting a U.S. proposal to send international forces to Somalia. We swear to God that we will fight their soldiers in Somalia and we reserve our right to punish them on their lands and every accessible place at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner."

The rise to power of the ICU is reminiscent of the Taliban's rise in the 1990s. Both radical groups are allied with al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists. And like the Taliban, the ICU is now instituting an extremely strict version of sharia.

In Somalia, as in Afghanistan in the 1990s, the implementation of sharia is facilitated by lawlessness and desperate poverty. The Taliban im posed its harsh rule on what Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid called an "exhausted, war-weary population," many of whom saw the movement "as saviors and peacemakers." Likewise, Somalia, since the toppling of President Muhammad Siad Barre in 1991, has been at the mercy of rival warlord factions known for indiscriminate violence. Rapes and other crimes have been commonplace. It is thus unsurprising that many Somalis view the ICU as a force that can deliver the stability they crave.

In both countries, however, many citizens were unable to accept the radicals' draconian regime. By the time the Taliban was ousted from power in 2001, few Afghans were sad to see them go. Likewise, the influx of tens of thousands of Somali refugees into Kenya shows that not all of the ICU's subjects are happy with their rule.

Where it has taken power, the ICU attempts to regulate virtually every facet of Somali citizens' lives, even barring them from watching soccer matches. ICU forces shot at least two people who demanded to watch a World Cup semifinal this summer. And in mid-September, in the course of raiding a Mogadishu hall where a crowd was watching an English Premier League soccer match, they shot and killed a 13-year-old boy. The ICU has also conducted mass arrests of citizens watching videos, cracked down on live music at weddings, and arrested a karate instructor and his female students because the lessons constituted mixing of the sexes.

Beyond the religious basis for these laws, there is clearly a desire to cement the ICU's control. This can also be seen in the ICU's crackdowns on the media. The Islamic courts have closed several radio stations to stifle dissent. On October 8, they gave the press in Mogadishu 13 rules of conduct that the press freedom advocacy group Reporters sans Fronti?res describes as a "draconian charter." It prohibits publishing information "contrary to the Muslim religion," information "likely to create conflicts between the population and the Council of Islamic Courts," and the use of "the terms which infidels use to refer to Muslims such as 'terrorists,' 'extremists,' etc." A Reporters sans Fronti?res press release contends that this charter would result in "a gagged, obedient press, one constrained by threats to sing the praises of the Islamic courts and their vision of the world and Somalia."

The ICU is also moving to disarm the population. In mid-October, the Islamic courts announced the door-to-door collection of weapons owned by Somali citizens and organizations. Only ICU-affiliated Somalis would be allowed to retain their firearms. This move, ostensibly designed to instill order, clearly diminishes citizens' ability to resist the Islamic militia.

Although the situation in Somalia looks grave, the United States has more options for dealing with the ICU than it has in some other areas where terrorist factions have made gains lately, such as the Waziristan region of Pakistan.

Ethiopia's military presence--still relatively light, and meant principally to help the transitional government escape once Baidoa falls--creates an initial opportunity for the United States. Back in the mid-1990s, Ethiopia intervened in Somalia to destroy the predecessor of the ICU, the al Qaeda-backed al-Ittihad al-Islamiya, which was sponsoring Islamic separatist groups in the Ethiopian border province of Ogaden. The Islamic courts are unlikely to be friendlier to Ethiopia than their predecessor. Sharif Ahmed, the head of the ICU's executive council, has openly called for a jihad against Ethiopian soldiers in the country. ICU military commanders have made similar calls.

Nor is Ethiopia the only neighbor concerned about the ICU's rise. On October 5, the ICU moved 15 of its technicals to the village of Liboi, in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya. While an ICU spokes man claimed that this was intended to "check the security in the area," the Kenyans viewed the move as provocative. Concern about the ICU's intentions had already prompted senior Kenyan officials to undergo anti terrorist and counterinsurgency training; when the ICU advanced to Liboi, Kenyan military helicopters responded with a show of force. Kenyan defense minister Njenga Karume later announced that "anybody who might touch Kenya will face the full force of our military."

Since then, Kenya has deployed forces along its border with Somalia. Moreover, the governments of the semiautonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland are hostile to the Islamic courts.

The United States has significant assets at Camp Lemonier in neighboring Djibouti, where the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is made up of Marines, Special Operations forces, civil affairs teams, and a U.S. and international naval task force. The Combined Joint Task Force's primary missions have been patrolling the East African coast and the straits of the Bab el Mandeb oil choke point, training regional militaries to fight the spread of Islamic terror groups, performing goodwill missions designed to improve the lives of Africans, and undertaking covert intelligence and hunter-killer missions. A Predator drone said to be operating from Djibouti killed Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, al Qaeda's chief operative in Yemen, in November 2002.

All is not lost in Somalia. While the transitional government has no power base to rely on, there is enough concern in the region about the ICU's rise that the United States has potential partners with whom it could fashion an appropriate response if it wanted to. The critical question is whether we can muster the will--or for that matter even the awareness--to address the problem.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a senior consultant for the Gerard Group International and author of the forthcoming book My Year Inside Radical Islam (Tarcher/Penguin). Bill Roggio is an independent military blogger who served in the Army from 1991 to 1995.
11789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: October 23, 2006, 06:14:12 AM
A Blueprint for Victory
By Andrew McCarthy and Herbert London
The Washington Times | October 23, 2006

In 2004, Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of the Al-Arabiya news channel, courageously wrote, "It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims."

It is simply incontestable that the vast majority of terrorist acts are committed by Muslims who unabashedly claim Islamic scripture impels them. We are in the throes of an ideological war, and it would be grossly irresponsible to continue ignoring the patent nexus between radical Islam and terror.

It is a sad reality that radicalism is actually mainstream in much of the Islamic world. This is due primarily to the refusal of many Muslims -- not just Muslim terrorists but millions of Muslims -- to accept the cardinal principles of enlightened liberty and democracy.

One need not merely infer this. Explicit proof is abundant in both Sunni and Shi'ite Islam. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's highest Shi'ite authority -- and recipient of high praise by administration officials -- maintains that non-Muslims should be considered in the same category as "urine, feces, semen, dead bodies, blood, dogs, pigs, alcoholic liquors," and "the sweat of an animal who persistently eats [unclean things]." Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the highest Sunni authority, instructs that Jews are "enemies of Allah [and] descendants of apes and pigs," views he expressly attributes to the Koran.

This dehumanizing hatred has been turned against our nation. Mustafa Zakri, a member of parliament in Egypt (the recipient of $2 billion a year in U.S. largess), has asserted that "America is the head of the serpent, and the greatest enemy, which we must confront." In Yemen, a judge recently dismissed charges against 19 terrorists who joined with al Qaeda in fighting U.S. forces in Iraq, reasoning that Islamic law sanctions jihad against occupiers of Muslim lands.

In newly liberated Afghanistan, the government attempted to put a man to death for the "crime" of converting from Islam to another religion, a capital offense under Islamic law. In Iraq, homosexuals are executed in Shi'ite-controlled areas -- consistent with a fatwa from the Ayatollah al-Sistani.

Meanwhile, Iran, nearing a confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, has developed a missile called "Zelzad 1." Its namesake is a Koranic verse that tells of a conflagration which precipitates Judgment Day. The missile is emblazoned with the slogan: "We will trample America under our feet. Death to America."

We believe that being in denial about Islamic militancy profoundly compromises U.S. national security. Our system's toleration of religious belief does not immunize religions from criticisms of the tenets or practices of those belief systems. This is particularly true when the criticized practices, though rhetorically labeled "religion," are actually elements of an imperialistic social system antithetical to equality, liberty, separation of church and state, and other core Western values.

Activist efforts to limit America's free marketplace of ideas -- such as the tactic of slandering commonsense criticism as "Islamophobia" -- are contrary to the very foundation of democratic governance. The West cannot cure Islam's propensity to spawn radicalism; this is a matter only Muslims can address. But we must do whatever is necessary to protect our liberty and security.

Since the United States is in the midst of a long war for the survival of our way of life, the following steps should immediately be taken:

Congress should enact legislation stating forthrightly that our enemy in the ongoing war is radical Islam. 
Immigration from and aid to Muslim countries should be drastically reduced. Upward adjustments should be contingent on measurable reforms that promote liberty while reducing the role of religion in politics. (Provision should be made for asylum for reformers.) 
Any Muslim foreign national who will not concede under oath that American law must be followed in the U.S. when it conflicts with Islamic law should be subject to exclusion or deportation. 
It should be made clear that a person's status as a Muslim (particularly if he is also a male under age 45 who is a citizen of a country with a substantial Islamic population) is palpably relevant to investigations of terrorist threats. To do otherwise wastes finite investigative resources and challenges the Fourth Amendment's reasonableness requirement by treating all Americans as if they were potential Islamic radicals. 
Mosques in the U.S. have been used by Islamic radicals to spread their ideology, as hubs for terror recruitment and paramilitary training, and even for storage and transfer of weapons. While the war ensues, it should be made clear that the FBI and other authorities do not require a criminal predicate to collect intelligence or conduct investigations. Mosques in which violence or unlawful activity is encouraged should be subject to forfeiture and loss of tax-exempt status. 
Rigorous examination should be required for certification of Islamic chaplains in the military and the federal and state prison systems. 
Congress should create a National Security Court with jurisdiction over terrorism and other national security matters. Alleged alien-terrorists should be designated unlawful enemy combatants (apprehended either inside or outside the U.S.) and be accorded the minimal rights required by American due process standards. Removing their cases from the civilian and military courts will increase the quality of justice in those systems. 
With radical Islamic sentiment gaining traction in oil-rich nations, it is imperative that U.S. energy independence become a national priority. Congressional action must be taken to remove the onerous legal and regulatory barriers to the construction and expansion of refineries, production of oil and gas from offshore wells, construction of gas pipelines and other energy transportation infrastructure, and the building of power plants, including alternative generation sources such as solar stations, wind farms, tar sands, nuclear power plants, etc. 
Treaty obligations, alliances with other countries and membership in international organizations need to be consistent with national goals. Where they have become obsolete or harmful, they must be reshaped or eliminated.
The 20th century was filled with massive assaults on liberty by totalitarian aggressors who questioned the resolve of the defenders of liberty. This flawed assumption of weakness led to vast and unprecedented death and destruction. We make this statement in an attempt to diminish the chances of another such bloody miscalculation, and we pray that the rich benefits of the American model of government will gain a new appreciation around the world.

11790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: October 23, 2006, 06:03:12 AM
It's Not Just Osama
By Carol Gould | October 23, 2006

It is admirable that British police foiled a spectacular terror attack this past summer, and equally noble that the United States has been so supportive to Britain in the war on terror.

But what is of concern is the hour-by-hour, obsessive rhetoric about al Qaeda, al Qaeda and al Qaeda.

We have an appalling situation in Great Britain, where the BBC and BAFTA-winning filmmakers like Adam Curtis use Dr Azzam Tammimi, an avowed enemy of Israel, as ?spokesman? on television programmes. I tell my stunned American colleagues about the proliferation of Muslim ?spokespeople? who pepper the airwaves from dawn until dusk, pontificating about every subject under the sun. In the past eighteen months these experts, ranging from Shami Chakrabarti, Faisal ?Israel Has No Right to Exist? Bodi, Sir Iqbal ?I boycott Holocaust Memorial Day? Sacranie, Mohammed Abdul-Bari, Ghada Karmi, Ahdaf Soueif, Abdul Bari-Atwan and many others have been particularly ubiquitous since July 7, 2005. This is because those in authority in Britain felt that ?reaching out to the Muslim community? would prevent further terror attacks.

To add to this, various liberal and left-wing activists, as well as mainstream politicians, have enjoyed unprecedented access to the media in their campaigns to blame George Bush and his Zionist neoconservative cabal for the ?Muslim rage? rampaging across Great Britain from Glasgow to Cardiff to Luton to London. The new head of the Muslim Council is said to want to see a limited degree of sharia law brought to Britain. The ?Father of the House of Commons,? Tam Dalyell MP, blames a cabal of Jews for American foreign policy that so enrages young British Muslims.

I attended the Islam Channel?s ?Global Peace and Unity Conference? at the ExCel Centre in London in December, 2005, thinking it would be a celebration of Islamic/Arab/Asian culture, food and literature. Since I cannot visit Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Syria or other Muslim connubations because I would be detained and perhaps beheaded, I felt this was a way to enjoy Islamic culture in safety and security. Sadly I was in for a rude awakening.

Behind a large grey curtain was a crowd of 25,000 angry young Muslims being whipped up to a Jihadist frenzy all day by a succession of viscerally hostile white British agitators that included the keffieh-clad lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, Yvonne Ridley and George Galloway MP. Ridley described Israel as ?that vile little nation? and the British police as ?Jackboot Britain.? Galloway exhorted the crowd to express its hatred of the USA and Israel by taking to the streets. The former cricketer and avowed opponent of Gen Musharraf, Imran Khan, gave a bizarre speech about the poor Germans between the World Wars being like the Muslim world today, humiliated by the Western powers.

Not once in the entire day did anyone mention al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. The hours and hours of rabble-rousing, mostly by British-born Muslims, concentrated on three basic enemies: the United States, Israel and Zionists, wherever they may be. The hatred and aggression of this group is something I will never forget. I felt I was in the midst of a Nuremberg-style rally and was terrified that someone would kill me if they discovered I was American-born and a staunch supporter of Israel.

I was the only non-Muslim writer and filmmaker to attend the event (my full reflection on the day may be found here).

Tonight?s al Qaeda-obsessed reporting on British and American networks is once again ignoring the point Melanie Phillips and other commentators have been trying to drive home for years: that Osama bin Laden does not need to open his mouth for British Muslims to be inspired to plan and stage horrifying atrocities.

The ?Global Peace and Unity? event at the ExCel centre in London in December 2005 left no doubt in my mind that a massive number of British Muslims, mostly young, have been inculcated with abject hatred of Americans and Jews and that Osama?s goading is not necessary to lead them to the ultimate martyrdom. I look at Michael Chertoff tonight and appreciate his vigilance, but he is not surrounded every day, as many of us in London are, by angry young men and women who have been born and educated in their country of domicile and who want to destroy as much as they can in the name of America-hatred and Jew-loathing.

The small community of Anglo Jewry has been at the receiving end of what Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks calls ?a tsunami of anti-Semitism.? This is a double-edged sword: I have met pin-striped-suited Englishmen who have told me they wish more Jews would be killed when suicide bombers attack Israel. I have met otherwise sensible Britons who become embarrassingly loud and abusive about everything under the sun in America, be it food, films, baseball or clothes. This quickly accelerates into a tirade about the Zionists bullying Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Blair into ?crusades? to destroy the Middle East. If sober, educated Britons can rail about Israel and the USA from one end of the British Isles to the other, this creates a lethal mix for the angry young Muslims. ?If the local population hates the bloody Yanks and Jews as we do,? they deduce, ?it is open season for our dream of martyrdom in our quiet houses in Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Hampshire.?

If the eminent historian and novelist An Wilson can rail against Israel and the USA in his weekly columns, does this not give reassurance to radicals? When Brian Sewell vents about, of all things, the ?greedy Jews? of Manchester wanting to build a Holocaust memorial, and the aforementioned Tam Dalyell laments the ?cabal of Jews? that drives Anglo-American policy, do extremists not feel comforted? When the New Statesman prints a cover showing a British Union Jack flag being impaled by a Jewish Star, is this not a partnership with terrorists? When streams of commentators flood television, radio and the print media denouncing the USA and Israel, do the potential airline-bombers not feel reassured they are in heaven on earth?

One day this past summer I was in my local ? Halal? ( this is not meant as a barb -- it is now a Halal- geared bank) branch of my bank when two young men became embroiled in a very public shouting match with one of the managers. She firmly told them that their account had been closed down because of ?large amounts of money going in and going out.? They argued that they had ?20,000 Pounds and will just open a new account? but she suggested they go elsewhere. It was indeed odd that the manager had been so indiscreet as to chastise these young men in public, but one had the impression these scenarios unfolded every day. I have watched young men withdraw massive amounts of cash and stuff it into their jackets or into black bags.

Should I have gone to the anti-terror police? Maybe so. But I did not, worried that I would be regarded as a paranoid Islamophobe. It is this very fear amongst the general population that also contributes to the environment of free-range terror planning.

At my local corner shop in London, run by cockney Jack for forty years, the new owners from Bangla Desh have emptied the shelves of bacon, sausages and even tinned ham and Kotex. They will no longer carry any goods that the majority local population had been buying for generations. Building societies think twice about displaying piggy banks and giving them away to children. Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the recent head of the Muslim Council of Britain, boycotts Holocaust Memorial Day and Muslim spokesman Inayat Bungalawala writes to the ?Jewish Chronicle? that the creation of the state of Israel was the great disaster of the last century. The Muslim Public Affairs Council UK (MPACUK) allows shocking rhetoric onto its website but is not proscribed and is opening new branches in Ilford and Birmingham.

These ?leaders? should be bringing their people together with other religious groups in Britain, but what I have seen in the past year has confirmed my worst fears: that the British Muslim community is moving farther and farther away from the tranquil assimilation that every other ethnic and religious group has enjoyed in the United Kingdom. When I first came to England over thirty years ago, brilliant professionals who had not been born here were storming the creative scene, Tom Stoppard, Herbert Wise, Ken Adam amongst them. Other fine minds who have contributed to the rich tapestry of British culture have come from Italy, Africa, the West Indies and America, and they have integrated with ease. From what I saw at the alarming ?Global Peace and Unity Conference,? British Muslim youth are not joining the ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet or the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

It is not Osama who is driving the spectacular rise of terror in Britain. It is the support from the white population, the Israel-bashing from public figures -- London Mayor Ken Livingstone being a prime agitator -- and the support the radicals feel they enjoy from a large swath of Britain that is creating this happy breeding ground. The church has obsessed about boycotting Israel, the media fixate on ?Zionist conspiracies? and the imams, many of whom do not speak English, exhort their young worshippers to anything but ballet lessons, football sessions or outings to the Natural History Museum.

The American and British authorities need to get real about the threat from Britain and Europe and stop concentrating all of their attentions on the madrassahs of Pakistan. The elderly white Highlander and war hero who gave me a lift from the train station to my Scottish holiday hotel spent the entire trip berating me about the evils the Jews, Yanks and Zionists have inflicted on the world. If he is so full of rage, what is the Muslim population feeling, when they know his ilk will give them succour?

What has happened in Britain in this turbulent year did not surprise me. Those of us who live there, in the ?coming Caliphate,? know that the threat is huge, is massively supported and may never be extinguished. I am not hopeful.

11791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: October 23, 2006, 05:47:58 AM
Fiddling While Europe Burns
By Aaron Hanscom | October 23, 2006

"It has become politically correct to attack Islam, and this is making it hard for moderates on both sides to remain reasonable.?

That?s the opinion of Imam Wahid Pedersen, a Danish convert to Islam, quoted this month in a New York Times article. 

Where has Pedersen been these past few years? The truth is that today any criticism of certain aspects of Islam -- whether coming from a documentary film, Danish cartoons, the Pope, or the former British foreign secretary -- results in seething Muslim rage and feeble Western obsequiousness. Indeed, contrary to the laments of sensitive Muslims, recent events have shown that it has actually become politically correct to celebrate Islam at every opportunity. 

There is no better time to celebrate than a holiday, which is why the CNV trade union federation in the Netherlands wants a Muslim feast to be introduced as a bank holiday.  The free day would allow Muslims to celebrate the end of Ramadan during the Sugar Festival. By ?offer[ing] Muslims the freedom to practice their faith,? CNV vice chairman Rienk van Splunder wishes to ?create freedom and respect for one another.? Van Splunder seems to be unaware that the Dutch government already funds schools, mosques, and community centers where Muslims are able to practice their religion. The main barrier to the harmony Van Splunder seeks comes from the fact that a great many of the one million Muslims in the Netherlands desire the freedom to live under Shari?a law.


Taking a cue from Dutch politicians like Piet Hein Donner, who has said that he sees no objection to undemocratic Shari?a law in the Netherlands provided it is imposed by ?democratic means," the CNV apparently wants to speed up the process by creating a national Muslim holiday in the Christian nation. To make room for the Sugar Festival, the federation is willing to sacrifice Whit Monday or Easter Monday. Van Splunder may in fact have been correct when he said that these Christian holidays have lost their meaning in an increasingly secularized nation. But replacing them with the celebration of the Islamic month of fasting would be viewed by Muslims as nothing less than a complete rejection by the Dutch of their own traditions.


Spain is one county that knows a thing or two about sacrificing their traditions for the benefit of Muslims. The Spanish newspaper El Pais recently reported that several towns in the Valencia region have made some curious changes to their traditional festivals commemorating the liberation of Spain from more than 700 years of Muslim domination.  Apparently, last year?s angry response by Muslims to the publication of the Danish cartoons spooked some Spaniards so much that certain customs practiced during the celebration of the Reconquista have been abandoned.  Exploding Mohammeds -- made by packing the head of a wood-and-cardboard Mohammed dummy with fireworks -- will no longer be seen in the village of Bocairent. The mayor of Bocairent, Antonio Valdes, explained his reasoning: ?It just wasn?t necessary, and as it could hurt some people?s feelings, we decided not to do it.?


The mayor?s sentiments are not uncommon.  Mayor Alfredo Sanchez Monteseirin of Seville has suppressed the festive character of the ?Feast of San Fernando? because a joyful celebration of the reconquest of the city in 1248 by King Ferdinand III of Castille might upset Muslims.  Meanwhile, there has been opposition to the ?Toma de Granada,? which celebrates the arrival of the Catholic Kings to the last Muslim holdout on the Iberian Peninsula.


The Spanish town of Badajoz has figured out a politically correct way for festivals to be a blast without actually blasting Mohammed dolls: celebrating its founding by Arab invaders.  At this year?s Al-Mossassa festival there was no suppression of traditions, perhaps because it featured veil dancing and not flamenco.


Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar talked about the newest double standard in a speech last month at the Hudson Institute: ?It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologize for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries.?


Aznar might have added that the only apologies are coming from guilt-stricken individuals who believe that "Islamophobia" is the biggest threat to world peace. Explaining the genesis of the ?Venise et l?Orient? festival now running in Venice, organizer Marie George Nida told ?The exhibition highlights cross-fertilization between the West and Islam to counter war mongering clich?s that now make international headlines.? Nida?s premise is flawed: International headlines tell of countries like Italy continuing to arrest Islamic terrorists intent on attacking the West.  An Italian city deciding to host an exhibition celebrating Islamic contributions to Western civilization and arts isn?t likely to change any holy warrior?s mind.


The real malleable minds are those of young children, which makes a story out of Nyssa, Oregon, so disturbing. A local school district has been teaching the ?five pillars? of Islam and having students learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims. Concerned parent Kendalee Garner told that her 13-year-old-son is being ?indoctrinated that Islam is a religion of peace, and being dressed up as a Muslim, being taught prayers, and scriptures out of the Quran.?  Superintendent Don Grotting assured parents that students were learning about the ?contributions to math, science, medicine, and the arts by the Muslim population."


But it is the automatic celebration of all aspects of Islam that is so disturbing. Honest assessments of Islam, especially from Muslims and their Western apologists, are what will bring about a much-needed reformation in Islam.  Until that day, the gulf between the West and the Muslim world will only widen. 


Nowhere is this more evident than in Britain. The British government has long tried to win favor with Muslim minorities by celebrating their differences.  According to the London Telegraph, multicultural favors like using tax dollars to fly Muslim scholars to Britain and encouraging financial institutions to comply with Islamic requirements are only deepening the rift.  A document released by the Church of England revealed the effects of such policies:

Indeed, one might argue that disaffection and separation is now greater than ever, with Muslim communities withdrawing further into a sense of victimhood, and other faith communities seriously concerned that the Government has given signals that appear to encourage the notion of a privileged relationship with sections of the Muslim community.

Here is the uncomfortable truth facing Islam?s Western apologists: Politically correct concessions to the Islamic community, instead of encouraging moderates, have only empowered the extremists.

11792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 23, 2006, 01:25:27 AM

The Shi'ite-Sunni Divide and Escalating Violence

My friend Jeff Stein had a deeply disturbing op-ed piece in the New York Times a few days ago on the inability of senior law enforcement and intelligence officials, along with senior members of Congress-all dealing extensively with the Islamist terrorism issues-to tell Sunnis from Shi?ites.

Many could not say for certain if bin Laden and al Qaeda were Sunni, or whether Iran and Hezbollah were Shi?ite or which group the majority of Iraqis belong to.

He wasn?t even asking basic theological differences, rather, just for a basic understanding of who was where on the chess board. This is akin to fighting a war against Christianity and not knowing, several years into the conflict, whether the Pope is Catholic or Protestant.
Before 9-11, what little most of us knew of Islam led us to believe it was all one big ball of wax with few differences of any importance. Hence the Clinton administration was willing to aid the most radical (Sunni) Islamists fighting in Bosnia, not understanding yet what wahhabism was or the dangers it represented. There are countless other examples.

But, five years after 9-11, carried out by Sunni Islamists, and facing a possible nuclear threat for a Shi?ite Islamist state (Iran), while trying to rebuild a nation torn asunder by armed militias from both camps in Iraq, it would seem that such ignorance within the upper reaches of government is unforgiveable and perhaps the product of thinking that our enemy is 1) monolithic and 2) stupid.

This ignorance drastically reduces the ability to conceive of operations that could exploit the deep divisions and hatreds between the two groups and sects within each group. It also greatly reduces our chances of understanding the different enemies that exist with the possibility of developing a nuanced response geared not at ?Muslims,? but specific branches is radical Islamists that believe fundamentally different things, have different vulnerabilities and different points of access.

In the war in El Salvador in the 1980s, the United States never understood the differences within the FMLN, viewing it as a monolithic Marxist structure, rather than five organizations struggling with internal dissention on an ongoing basis. Senior U.S. officials acknowledged later they had no clear understanding of the differences within the guerrilla front and never seriously tried to exploit the schisms.

After the war senior FMLN commanders said that at least two of the factions, including one of the biggest, had sought overtures to the U.S. and would have been receptive to a separate peace, something that certainly would have shortened that war. But, despite fighting the FMLN for 10 years, it was never understood.

The same appears to be tragically true in the war against Islamists. There are books written on the differences between the two main groups of Islam and their different tendencies. It is impossible to understand Iraq without of why the different groups are killing each other, and factoring that into what the U.S. role could and should be. The same holds true for the entire region. History matters.

It would also greatly help to understand that the international Muslim Brotherhood is the one Islamic organization that can bridge the divide, and that ability is one of the great strengths and weaknesses of the organization. But we can?t tell even the main players at this point, when the game is already well underway and has been for years.

posted by Douglas Farah

11793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 22, 2006, 07:31:05 AM
11794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: October 22, 2006, 07:21:43 AM
Muslim woman refuses to remove her veil in court, so judge tosses case
By Zachary Gorchow

Detroit Free Press


DETROIT - Ginnnah Muhammad of Detroit was looking for her day in court.

Instead, she said she felt as if a judge forced her to choose between her case and her religion in a small-claims dispute in Hamtramck District Court.

A devout Muslim, she wore a niqab - a scarf and veil to cover her face and head except for her eyes - Oct. 11 as she contested a rental car company's charging her $2,750 to repair a vehicle after thieves broke into it.

Judge Paul Paruk said he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness and gave Muhammad, 42, a choice: take off the veil when testifying or the case would be dismissed. She kept the veil on.

"I just feel so sad," Muhammad said last week. "I feel that the court is there for justice for us. I didn't feel like the court recognized me as a person that needed justice. I just feel I can't trust the court."

The wearing of a niqab has spurred increasing debate, particularly in Europe. In 2004, France banned the wearing of it and other religious symbols in public schools.

This month, former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, still a member of parliament, ignited a fierce debate over the niqab by suggesting that Muslim women in his district remove their veils when they visit his office. He said it would improve communication, calling the veil "a visible statement of separation and of difference."

It has sparked controversy in the United States as well. A Muslim woman from Florida unsuccessfully went to court in an effort to overturn the state's order in 2001 that she reveal her face for her driver's license photo.

In metro Detroit, which has one of the country's largest Muslim populations, a small minority of Muslim women - primarily those of Yemeni descent - wear the niqab, said Dawud Walid , executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Paruk said that as a fact finder, he needs to see the face of a person testifying. Michigan has no rules governing what judges can do regarding religious attire of people in court, so the judges have leeway on how to run their courtrooms.

"My job in the courtroom is to make a determination as to the veracity of somebody's claim," he said. "Part of that, you need to identify the witness and you need to look at the witness and watch how they testify."

Paruk said he offered to let Muhammad, who was born in the United States and converted to Islam at the age of 10, wear the veil during the proceedings except when she testified. He said this was the first time someone had come before his court wearing a niqab, and he noted that many Muslims do not consider it a religious symbol.

"I felt I was trying to accommodate her as best I could," he said.

Walid said Paruk still violated Muhammad's civil rights.

"Although a niqab is donned by a minority of Muslim females, it is still a bona fide religious practice," he said.

Hamtramck, once almost entirely populated by residents of e astern European descent, now has a large and growing population of Muslims.

"There definitely needs to be greater sensitivity toward the growing populace in that municipality," Walid said.

Judges should seek to strike a balance between running their courtrooms and respecting the religious views of those appearing before them, said Steve Leben, a Kansas trial court judge who is president of the American Judges Association.

"I'm not trying to be critical of the judge because it is difficult to make decisions on the fly," Leben said. "But if it's a person's legitimate religious belief, we have a duty to try to reconcile these competing interests."

Mark Somers, chief judge of the Dearborn District Court, which covers the bulk of the Detroit area's Muslim population, said he could not recall an instance when a woman who wore a niqab came before his court to testify.

But he said he would not require a woman to remove her veil during a civil case.

"To me, it would not be an issue," he said. "I simply as a matter of personal policy would never ask someone to do that."
11795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 22, 2006, 07:01:39 AM


General Comments about Shame
Shame is often an underappreciated psychological state. Particularly in the modern world, but also throughout history, shame-- in limited quantities and small doses--has facilitated civilized conduct and made both individuals and cultures behave more appropriately. But healthy shame, on the other hand, keeps us in touch with reality, and reminds us of our limitations, faults, and humanity. When experiencing healthy shame an individual may not be very happy to have embarrassing weaknesses and defects made obvious, but this awareness is insightful and humbling. As long as an individual is capable of self-doubt and self-reflection about his behavior; he is able to remain open-minded and willing to search for a better understanding of himself and others.

Excessive or inappropriate shame is another thing altogether, communicating forcibly to the individual that he or she is worthless. Shame can be an exceedingly devastating and painful experience

Children who live with constant hostility and criticism learn to defend against the bad feelings and shame within; and to externalize blame onto others. Projection and paranoia, which are both external assignments of blame, are psychological defenses against shame.

Often this excessive shame is dealt with by humiliating someone perceived as weaker or more worthless than the shamed person (e.g., the family pet, women, Gays, or outside groups serve this function for both individuals and cultures).

Guilt is an emotion that rises after a transgression of one's own or cultural values. Guilt is about actions or behavior; while shame is about the self. There is an important psychological difference in saying to someone that their behavior is bad; as contrasted with saying that they are bad. The former leads to guilt; the latter to shame.

The purpose of guilt is to stop behavior that violates a self, family or societal standard. Guilt keeps score on excesses or deficits of behavior deemed undesirable and is expressed in regret and remorse.

Eventually for the shame-avoidant person, reality itself must be distorted in order to further protect the self from poor self-esteem. Blaming other individuals or groups for one's own behavior becomes second nature, and this transfer of blame to someone else is an indicator of internal shame.

Most psychological theorists (Erikson, Freud, Kohut) see shame as a more ?primitive? emotion (since it impacts one?s basic sense of self) compared to guilt, which is developed later in the maturation of the self. Without the development of guilt there is no development of a real social conscience.

Guilt Cultures vs. Shame Cultures

In thinking about how the concepts of guilt and shame apply in a culture, it is helpful to refer to a seminal work that was originally published by Benedict in 1946, where she discussed the collectivist culture of Japan during WWII and distinguished it from American culture. Japan had a ?shame culture?, while the U.S. and most of the West subscribe to a ?guilt culture?. Each type of culture has its own set of rules with regard to wrong-doing and they are determined by the beliefs of the individual and other people regarding guilt, and summarized in the two matrix tables below:

In both cultures there is no problem if both parties believe that the individual is NOT GUILTY. If both parties believe that the individual is GUILTY, again there is agreement and in that case the guilt is punished.

The difference in the two societies lies in the other two boxes in the matrix (in red).

In a guilt culture, when an individual believes he is NOT GUILTY, he will defend his innocence aggressively despite the fact that others believe he is guilty. In this case, the individual self is strong and able to maintain an independent judgement even if every other person is convinced of his guilt. The self is able to stand alone and fight for truth, secure in the knowledge that the individual is innocent.

The guilt culture is typically and primarily concerned with truth, justice, and the preservation of individual rights. As we noted earlier, the emotion of guilt is what keeps a person from behavior that goes against his/her own code of conduct as well as the culture?s. Excessive guilt can, of course, also be pathological. I am solely referring to a psychologically healthy appreciation of guilt.

In contrast, a typical shame culture (e.g., Japan as discussed by Benedict; or the present focus of this discussion: Arab/Islamic culture) what other people believe has a far more powerful impact on behavior than even what the individual believes. As noted by Gutman in his writings, the desire to preserve honor and avoid shame to the exclusion of all else is one of the primary foundations of the culture. This desire has the side-effect of giving the individual carte blanche to engage in wrong-doing as long as no-one knows about it, or knows he is involved.

Additionally, it may be impossible for an individual to even admit to himself that he is guilty (even when he is) particularly when everyone else considers him to be guilty because of the shame involved. As long as others remain convinced he is innocent, the individuals does not experience either guilt or shame. A great deal of effort therefore goes into making sure that others are convinced of your innocence (even if you are guilty).

In general, it has been noted that the shame culture works best within a collectivist society, although it can exist in pockets even within a predominant guilt culture.

Let us now turn to Arab/Islamic culture.

This piece by David Gutmann is one of the best psychological analyses of shame and the Arab psyche I have read, and because it deals with something so critically important, I am going to quote a rather large excerpt:

The Arab world is suffering a crisis of humiliation. Their armies are routed not only by Americans, but also by tiny, Jewish Israel; and as Arthur Koestler once remarked, the Arab world has not, in the last 500 years or so, produced much besides rugs, dirty postcards, elaborations on the belly-dance esthetic (and, of course, some innovative terrorist practices). They have no science to speak of, no art, hardly any industry save oil, very little literature, and portentous music which consists largely of lugubrious songs celebrating the slaughter of Jews.

Now that the Arabs have acquired national consciousness, and they compare their societies to other nations, these deficiencies become painfully evident, particularly to the upper-class Arab kids who attend foreign universities. There they learn about the accomplishments of Christians, Jews, (Freud, Einstein, for starters) and women. And yet, with the exception of Edward Said, there is scarcely a contemporary Arab name in the bunch. No wonder, then, that major recruitment to al-Qaeda's ranks takes place among Arab university students. And no wonder that suicide bombing becomes their tactic of choice: it is a last-ditch, desperate way of asserting at least one scrap of superiority?a spiritual superiority?over the materialistic, life-hugging, and ergo shameful West.

But this tactic is not, I suggest, a product of Islam. Rather, it is a product of the bruised Arab psyche. Remember that the Japanese also turned to suicide tactics in WWII to evade the humiliation of defeat. Though their religion was Shinto rather than Muslim, they too constituted a paradigm shame/honor culture, and defeat brought about, as with the Arabs, a furiously suicidal/homicidal response. After their armies had been defeated, their fleets sunk, their cities set aflame, and their home islands invaded, they launched the kamikaze bomber offensive, thereby committing a hi-tech form of hara-kiri, their usual remedy against intolerable shame. It is in this way that the modern Arab world resembles the Japan of World War II. In both cases it is not religions but psychic wounds, the wounds inflicted by defeat and evident inferiority, that inspire suicide bombers.

It is often asserted that the changes set in train by modernization are particularly toxic to the Arabs. No doubt this is true. But if we are going to be therapeutic, our diagnoses need to be more specific; we need to identify the particular pathogens that are released by modernization. Besides sharpening their sense of inferiority relative to the West, modernization threatens to bring about the liberation of women (as in Afghanistan and Iraq). I say "threatens," because the self-esteem of Arab males is in large part predicated on the inferior position of their women. The Arab nations have for the most part lost their slaves and dhimmis, the subject peoples onto whose persons the stigmata of shame could be downloaded. But anyone who has spent time among them knows that Arab males have not lost their psychological need for social and sexual inferiors. In the absence of slaves and captive peoples, Arab women are elected for the special role of the inferior who, by definition, lacks honor. Arab men eradicate shame and bolster their shaky self-esteem by imposing the shameful qualities of the dhimmi, submission and passivity, upon women. Trailing a humbled woman behind them, Arab men can walk the walk of the true macho man.

Hence the relative lack of material achievement by Arabs: the Arab world has stunted the female half of its brain pool, while the men acquire instant self-esteem not by real accomplishment, but by the mere fact of being men, rather than women. No wonder, then, that the Arab nations feel irrationally threatened by the very existence of Israel. Like America, the Jews have brought the reality of the liberated woman into the very heart of the Middle East, into dar al-Islam itself. Big Satan and Little Satan: the champions of Muslim women.

I contend that female liberation is the most hopeful development in the Middle East, greater even than the first stirrings of democracy. I believe that Arab women have a greater stake in liberal democracy than Arab men, and as they acquire political power, they will fight for it. As for suicide bombings, jihadism and the macho posturing of Arab men, they are desperate remedies against further humiliation, against the perceived threat of ?castration,? by their own women. Until Arab women achieve freedom and independence, we can expect, at least for awhile, to see Arab men cling to these remedies.

Even then, some Arab men will probably backslide to even greater suicidal/homicidal tantrums. Others, (perhaps even a majority) no longer able to project their deficiencies onto Arab women, will begin to recognize the flaws in themselves. These converts would adopt the self-critical stance that is already showing up among some daring Arab intellectuals and even religious leaders. And when Arab men can no longer acquire instant self-esteem by demeaning their women, some of them might even turn to the arts of peace, and try to acquire the sense of self-worth via instrumental rather than illusory psychological means.

We cannot, in the end, correct all the distortions of the Arab shame/honor ethos. But by pledging our support for Arab women's liberation?for instance, by advocating expanded liberties for women in the text of the new Iraqi constitution?we can hasten its erosion.
Gutmann takes pains to separate the toxic aspects of the Arab psyche from Islam. This is the only part of his argument that I do not find compelling.

it seems to me that the Arab psyche has had centuries to be slowly absorbed by Islam and that in many cases, and in most important aspects, the two are now inseparable. We can see this in the fact that even in Indonesia, Thailand and non-Arab locales where Islam has been embraced it retains both Arab misogyny and intolerance.

Alternatively, it might be argued, that Islam takes root and grows best when it is in the toxic nutrients of Arab-shame/honor cultures.

It is also important to remember that Mohammad himself was Arab and most of the Koran is pretty consistent with what is known about his personality and style.

On the other hand, it is only in the fairly recent history of Islam (e.g. in the last century) that Islam appears to have fully embraced the subjugation of women under the guise of "protecting" them and preserving honor.

This earlier article by Gutmann also discusses shame in the Arab world:

In regard to military history, the Arab's preference for guerrilla over conventional war reflects a long tradition, one that began in antiquity, with the Bedouin raiders. Their way of war- brilliantly described by T.E. Lawrence in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom ? is based on hit and run forays by camel-mounted Bedouin who appear suddenly out of the desert, tear up an unsuspecting enemy camp, and then disappear back into the waste, carrying "honorable" loot: thoroughbred horses, camels and women.

The traditional Bedouin created a nearly pure "Shame" culture, whose goal was to avoid humiliation, and to acquire sharraf - honor. Thus, the goal of the Bedouin raid is not to finally win a war, for such inter-tribal conflict is part of the honorable way of life, and should never really end. The essential goals of the raid are to take wealth ? not only in goods, but also in honor - and to impose shame on the enemy. Any opponent worth fighting is by definition honorable, and pieces of his honor can be ripped from him in a successful raid, to be replaced by figments of the attacker's shame. The successful attacker has "exported" some personal shame to the enemy, and the enemy's lost honor has been added to the raider's store.

This calculus of shame and sharraf is an important element in all Arab warfare, whether waged by Saddam Hussein, Yasir Arafat, or a Bedouin sheik. In particular, that same dynamic drives the Arab preference for irregular over conventional war.

Irregular tactics - spiced with Terror ? have on occasion defeated regular armies; but win, lose, or draw in the military sense, terror tactics can be a far more efficient means of meeting psychological goals - i.e., shedding shame and capturing honor - than all-out war.

Let me be clear that I am not excusing the behavior of Islam and Arabs toward women, Jews, Christians, and other cultures. I am merely trying to understand those elusive "root causes" that everyone talks about.

As stated earlier in this essay, one of the ways that those who fear shame protect their fragile self is to subjugate those who he perceives as weaker. By doing so, he can rationalize that he is superior to the subjugated individual. In fact, this is the only way he can maximize his honor. In Arab/Islamic culture, women are one of the primary instruments of achieving honor. Hence the bizarre and distorted attitude that the culture has toward women and the exaggerated means by which "honor" must be maintained. So strong is the cultural pressure, even women buy into the delusion (as eloquently demonstrated by Dymphna in this post)

Honor killings of women are all too common in Arab culture, and importantly are not dissuaded by the tenets of Islam.

Other expressions of the shame culture that are obvious is the rampant psychological projection and refusal to accept responsibility for the atrocities committed in the name of Islam. Not only are we regularly subjected to imams, religious leaders, and leaders of Muslim states stating even now that 9/11 or the London bombings were not committed by Muslims; they also regularly blame the Jews for such acts. In this way they can avoid the shame that taking responsibility for evil.

Additionally, the emphasis by CAIR and other Muslim organizations in demanding that any statement that criticizes or even suggests blame or responsibility by Islam for terror, be retracted or apologized for, is also just a part of the shame-avoidant dance that leads the culture into the blurry realms of delusion.

Finally, it is not surprising that the most murderous thugs espousing religious ideals as they brutally cut off the heads of infidels are hidden behind masks and dare not reveal themselves to the world. I suspect that on some deep level they know that their "pride" in their sick behavior would be more difficult to boast about if they were not anonymous. "If no one knows it is me committing these acts, then I am not shamed," after all.

While psychological health and self-esteem depend to some extent on overcoming shame and progressing to a level where taking responsibility for one's actions and accepting that there is an objective truth out there that is not determined by other people's opinions; both shame and guilt can be important reality checks to an individual--or to a culture.

When a culture determines that the avoidance of shame is necessary no matter what the cost, the result is a culture of fanaticism, bizarre behavior in the name of "honor"; and simultaneously the cultural oppression, subjugation, and humiliation of women and others perceived as "weak" (and therefore "shameful"). It also inevitably results in the projection of one's own unacceptable behavior and shameful feelings onto another individual or an outside group.

11796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road on: October 22, 2006, 06:50:59 AM

The Omnologist Manifesto
Howard Bloom

We are blessed with a richness of specializations, but cursed with a paucity of panoptic disciplines-categories of knowledge that concentrate on seeing the pattern that emerges when one views all the sciences at once. Hence we need a field dedicated to the panoramic, an academic base for the promiscuously curious, a discipline whose mandate is best summed up in a paraphrase of the poet Andrew Marvel: Let us roll all our strength and all Our knowledge up into one ball, And tear our visions with rough strife Through the iron gates of life.

Omnology is a science, but one dedicated to the biggest picture conceivable by the minds of its practitioners. Omnology will use every conceptual tool available-and some not yet invented but inventible-to leapfrog over disciplinary barriers, stitching together the patchwork quilt of science and all the rest that humans can yet know. If one omnologist is able to perceive the relationship between pop songs, ancient Egyptian graffiti, Shirley MacLaine's mysticism, neurobiology, and the origins of the cosmos, so be it. If another uses mathematics to probe traffic patterns, the behavior of insect colonies, and the manner in which galaxies cluster in swarms, wonderful. And if another uses introspection to uncover hidden passions and relate them to research in chemistry, anthropology, psychology, history, and the arts, she, too, has a treasured place on the wild frontiers of scientific truth-the terra incognita in the heartland of omnology.

Let me close with the words of yet another poet, William Blake, on the ultimate goal of omnology:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
11797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: October 22, 2006, 06:43:58 AM

As I didn't write the vast majority of what I post elsewhere, or here I hardly have any ownership over it. It's often from a variety of blogs I read daily and numerous news feeds. If you like what you see, please feel free to grab it. Especially if it is something I actually wrote. I don't post everything here?I post elsewhere because there is a bit of a different feel here and I don't want to disrupt the ecosystem. grin
11798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics and Stock Market on: October 22, 2006, 06:35:32 AM
The triumph of the dems isn't near as close as they think it is. We'll see very soon, but the buzz we're hearing is more wishful thinking rather than solid analysis IMHO. I'm going to predict that the republicans will lose seats, but will retain majority in both the house and senate.

Now i'm crossing my fingers! shocked
11799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: October 22, 2006, 01:06:33 AM
That's an outstanding article!
11800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: October 18, 2006, 11:24:17 AM
Ralph Peters is almost always right on IMHO.
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