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Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Topic: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism (Read 20664 times)
Re: What % of Muslims are "extremist"?
Reply #100 on:
January 18, 2015, 09:16:56 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2015, 11:57:23 AM
The vast majority of Muslims ruin it for all the rest.
Kudlow: Jindal "gets it"
Reply #101 on:
January 18, 2015, 11:53:46 AM »
Jindal's Brilliant Take on Radical Islam
Friday, 16 Jan 2015 08:18 PM
By Larry Kudlow
“Let’s be honest here. Islam has a problem.”
Those are key sentences in an incredibly hard-hitting speech that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal will give in London on Monday.
It is the toughest speech I have read on the whole issue of Islamic radicalism and its destructive, murdering, barbarous ways which are upsetting the entire world.
Early in the speech Jindal says he’s not going to be politically correct.
And he uses the term “radical Islamists” without hesitation, placing much of the blame for the Paris murders and all radical Islamist terrorism on a refusal of Muslim leaders to denounce these acts.
Jindal says, “Muslim leaders must make clear that anyone who commits acts of terror in the name of Islam is in fact not practicing Islam at all. If they refuse to say this, then they are condoning these acts of barbarism. There is no middle ground.”
Then he adds, specifically, “Muslim leaders need to condemn anyone who commits these acts of violence and clearly state that these people are evil and are enemies of Islam. It’s not enough to simply condemn violence, they must stand up and loudly proclaim that these people are not martyrs who will receive a reward in the afterlife, and rather they are murderers who are going to hell. If they refuse to do that, then they’re part of the problem. There is no middle ground here.”
I want to know who in the Muslim community in the United States has said this. Which leaders? I don’t normally cover this beat, so I may well have missed it. Hence I ask readers to tell me if so-called American Muslim leaders have said what Governor Jindal is saying.
And by the way, what Bobby Jindal is saying is very similar to what Egyptian president al-Sisi said earlier in the year to a group of Muslim imams.
Said al-Sisi, “It’s inconceivable that the thinking we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”
He then asks, “How is it possible that 1.6 billion Muslims should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live?” He concludes, if this is not changed, “it may eventually lead to the religion’s self destruction.”
And what Jindal and al-Sisi are saying is not so different from the thinking of French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy.
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Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he calls the Charlie Hebdo murders “the Churchillian moment of France’s Fifth Republic.”
He essentially says France and the world must slam “the useful idiots of a radical Islam immersed in the sociology of poverty and frustration.”
He adds, “Those whose faith is Islam must proclaim very loudly, very often, and in great numbers their rejection of this corrupt and abject form of theocratic passion. . . . Islam must be freed from radical Islam.”
So three very different people — a young southern governor who may run for president, the political leader of the largest Muslim population in the world, and a prominent Western European intellectual — are saying that most of the problem and most of the solution rests with the people of the Islamic religion themselves.
If they fail to take action, the radicals will swallow up the whole religion and cause the destruction of the entire Middle East and possibly large swaths of the rest of the world.
Lévy called this a Churchillian moment. And London mayor Boris Johnson argues in his book The Churchill Factor that Winston Churchill was the most important 20th century figure because his bravery in 1940 stopped the triumph of totalitarianism.
So today’s battle with the Islamic radicals is akin to the Cold War battle of freedom vs. totalitarianism.
But returning to Governor Jindal, the U.S. is not helpless. Jindal argues that America must restore its proper leadership role in international affairs. (Of course, Obama has taken us in the opposite direction, and won’t even use the phrase “Islamic radicals.”)
And Jindal invokes Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher by saying, “The tried and true prescription must be employed again: a strong economy, a strong military, and leaders willing and able to assert moral, economic, and military leadership in the cause of freedom.”
Reagan always argued that weakness at home leads to weakness abroad. A strong growing economy provides the resources for military and national security.
Right now we’re uncomfortably close to having neither.
This is the great challenge of our time. In the early years of the 21st century, it appears the great goal of our age is the defeat of radical Islam.
Jindal gets it.
To find out more about Lawrence Kudlow and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at
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Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 12:07:37 PM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #102 on:
January 18, 2015, 09:51:00 PM »
Hooray for Jindal! At least someone is showing leadership.
Douglas Murray and Hirsi Ali in TV debate with Zeba Khan and Maajid Nawaz.
Reply #103 on:
January 20, 2015, 02:27:07 PM »
This is over one hour, but everyone is very intelligent and thoughtful:
Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 06:35:56 PM by Crafty_Dog
Waiting for the vast majority of peaceful muslims to stop this
Reply #104 on:
January 20, 2015, 04:23:17 PM »
Should be any minute now.
Boehner is a douche...
Reply #105 on:
January 21, 2015, 06:06:02 PM »
But props to him for inviting Bibi to address congress.
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #106 on:
January 21, 2015, 06:39:36 PM »
In conjunction with the Sanctions vote coming up in Congress, this could be the beginning of a major power play.
Morris actually makes a nuanced point
Reply #107 on:
January 22, 2015, 05:12:19 PM »
Terror Goal: Behavior Modification Of The West
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on January 22, 2015
President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron both missed the point in their characterization of the terror attacks in Europe.
Obama was way off the mark calling it "violent extremism" "terrorism" but studiously avoiding the mention of Islam.
Cameron was closer to the truth, bluntly saying that the attacks represented "a very serious Islamist extremist terrorist threat" advancing a "poisonous and fanatical ideology."
But both leaders really missed it. The Paris attacks are a new form or terrorism not aimed at random death and mayhem but rather specifically targeting Western institutions and seeking to modify our behavior.
Today the terrorists attack anyone who depicts the prophet Mohammed in satirical form. Tomorrow, they may attack hog farms or what they consider pornography or institutions that promote freedom for women.
As Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy reminds us, the goal to terrorism is the global imposition of Sharia Law. By refining the target of their attacks, the Paris bombings represent a very specific escalation. Their goal was not to spread fear and insecurity but to punish violations of Sharia Law.
Islamic terrorists are going to use terror more and more as a method of de facto imposing Sharia on us all.
And they have succeeded! No media, except for the magazine Charlie, targeted in the attack, and a brave German paper have printed the image that provoked the attack. No publication, media outlet, or internet site will dare publish or post the Prophet's image. Not because of respect for the religious beliefs of others but because of simple fear and prudence.
The terrorists are likely to capitalize on their success and use targeted attacks to spread Sharia Law throughout our society. We may expect attacks on schools that prohibit girls from wearing burkas, films that depict Islamic terror in a negative light, and other institutions that promote freedom.
That is the nature of the enemy we face and its real goal.
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #108 on:
January 23, 2015, 12:23:50 AM »
I'm willing to consider this
Reply #109 on:
January 24, 2015, 01:19:59 PM »
Obviously playing with fire on this, but the point is not without merit , , ,
(Pam Gellar) She called on Muslim groups in the U.S. “to renounce the aspects of Islam that contradict constitutional freedoms, or face sedition charges if they try to advance those elements.”****
Islamism and the Left
Reply #110 on:
January 27, 2015, 04:20:10 PM »
The Enemy IS Islam - Not "Radicals"...
Reply #111 on:
January 28, 2015, 07:32:32 AM »
The Imaginary Islamic Radical
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 28, 2015
The debate over Islamic terrorism has shifted so far from reality that it has now become an argument between the administration, which insists that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS, and critics who contend that a minority of Islamic extremists are the ones causing all the problems.
But what makes an Islamic radical, extremist? Where is the line between ordinary Muslim practice and its extremist dark side?
It can’t be beheading people in public.
Saudi Arabia just did that and was praised for its progressiveness by the UN Secretary General, had flags flown at half-staff in the honor of its deceased tyrant in the UK and that same tyrant was honored by Obama, in preference to such minor events as the Paris Unity March and the Auschwitz commemoration.
It can’t be terrorism either. Not when the US funds the PLO and three successive administrations invested massive amounts of political capital into turning the terrorist group into a state. While the US and the EU fund the Palestinian Authority’s homicidal kleptocracy; its media urges stabbing Jews.
Clearly that’s not Islamic extremism either. At least it’s not too extreme for Obama.
If blowing up civilians in Allah’s name isn’t extreme, what do our radicals have to do to get really radical?
Sex slavery? The Saudis only abolished it in 1962; officially. Unofficially it continues. Every few years a Saudi bigwig gets busted for it abroad. The third in line for the Saudi throne was the son of a “slave girl”.
Ethnic cleansing? Genocide? The “moderate” Islamists we backed in Syria, Libya and Egypt have been busy doing it with the weapons and support that we gave them. So that can’t be extreme either.
If terrorism, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and beheading are just the behavior of moderate Muslims, what does a Jihadist have to do to be officially extreme? What is it that makes ISIS extreme?
Our government’s definition of moderate often hinges on a willingness to negotiate regardless of the results. The moderate Taliban were the ones willing to talk us. They just weren’t willing to make a deal. Iran’s new government is moderate because it engages in aimless negotiations while pushing its nuclear program forward and issuing violent threats, instead of just pushing and threatening without the negotiations. Nothing has come of the negotiations, but the very willingness to negotiate is moderate.
The Saudis would talk to us all day long while they continued sponsoring terrorists and setting up terror mosques in the West. That made them moderates. Qatar keeps talking to us while arming terrorists and propping up the Muslim Brotherhood. So they too are moderate. The Muslim Brotherhood talked to us even while its thugs burned churches, tortured protesters and worked with terrorist groups in the Sinai.
A radical terrorist will kill you. A moderate terrorist will talk to you and then kill someone else. And you’ll ignore it because the conversation is a sign that they’re willing to pretend to be reasonable.
From a Muslim perspective, ISIS is radical because it declared a Caliphate and is casual about declaring other Muslims infidels. That’s a serious issue for Muslims and when we distinguish between radicals and moderates based not on their treatment of people, but their treatment of Muslims, we define radicalism from the perspective of Islamic supremacism, rather than our own American values.
The position that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and Al Qaeda is extreme because the Brotherhood kills Christians and Jews while Al Qaeda kills Muslims is Islamic Supremacism. The idea of the moderate Muslim places the lives of Muslims over those of every other human being on earth.
Our Countering Violent Extremism program emphasizes the centrality of Islamic legal authority as the best means of fighting Islamic terrorists. Our ideological warfare slams terrorists for not accepting the proper Islamic chain of command. Our solution to Islamic terrorism is a call for Sharia submission.
That’s not an American position. It’s an Islamic position and it puts us in the strange position of arguing Islamic legalism with Islamic terrorists. Our politicians, generals and cops insist that the Islamic terrorists we’re dealing with know nothing about Islam because that is what their Saudi liaisons told them to say.
It’s as if we were fighting Marxist terrorist groups by reproving them for not accepting the authority of the USSR or the Fourth International. It’s not only stupid of us to nitpick another ideology’s fine points, especially when our leaders don’t know what they’re talking about, but our path to victory involves uniting our enemies behind one central theocracy. That’s even worse than arming and training them, which we’re also doing (but only for the moderate genocidal terrorists, not the extremists).
Secretary of State Kerry insists that ISIS are nihilists and anarchists. Nihilism is the exact opposite of the highly structured Islamic system of the Caliphate. It might be a more accurate description of Kerry. But the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood successfully sold the Western security establishment on the idea that the only way to defeat Islamic terrorism was by denying any Islamic links to its actions.
This was like an arsonist convincing the fire department that the best way to fight fires was to pretend that they happened randomly on their own through spontaneous combustion.
Victory through denial demands that we pretend that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. It’s a wholly irrational position, but the alternative of a tiny minority of extremists is nearly as irrational.
If ISIS is extreme and Islam is moderate, what did ISIS do that Mohammed did not?
The answers usually have a whole lot to do with the internal structures of Islam and very little to do with such pragmatic things as not raping women or not killing non-Muslims.
Early on we decided to take sides between Islamic tyrants and Islamic terrorists, deeming the former moderate and the latter extremists. But the tyrants were backing their own terrorists. And when it came to human rights and their view of us, there wasn’t all that much of a difference between the two.
It made sense for us to put down Islamic terrorists because they often represented a more direct threat, but allowing the Islamic tyrants to convince us that they and the terrorists followed two different brands of Islam and that the only solution to Islamic terrorism lay in their theocracy was foolish of us.
We can’t win the War on Terror through their theocracy. That way lies a real Caliphate.
Our problem is not the Islamic radical, but the inherent radicalism of Islam. Islam is a radical religion. It radicalizes those who follow it. Every atrocity we associate with Islamic radicals is already in Islam. The Koran is not the solution to Islamic radicalism, it is the cause.
Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions.
We aren’t fighting nihilists or radicals. We are at war with the inheritors of an old empire seeking to reestablish its supremacy not only in the hinterlands of the east, but in the megalopolises of the west.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Baraq's request for AUMF
Reply #112 on:
February 11, 2015, 11:11:32 PM »
The War Irresolution
Obama wants Congress to endorse his hesitant anti-ISIS strategy.
President Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS. ENLARGE
President Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS. Photo: Getty Images
Feb. 11, 2015 7:26 p.m. ET
Napoleon famously said that in warfare if you vow to take Vienna—take Vienna. President Obama ’s version of that aphorism might be—on the way to Vienna stop to summer in Salzburg, only use air power, and if the fighting isn’t over in a couple of years call the whole thing off.
How else to interpret the amazing draft of a resolution that Mr. Obama sent to Congress Wednesday requesting an authorization to use military force against Islamic State? The language would so restrict the President’s war-fighting discretion that it deserves to be called the President Gulliver resolution. Tie me down, Congress, please. Instead of inviting broad political support for defeating ISIS, the language would codify the President’s war-fighting ambivalence.
The draft is especially notable for its disconnect between military ends and means. The preamble contains a long and accurate parade of horribles about the “grave threat” posed by Islamic State. These include “horrific acts of violence” against women and girls, the murder “of innocent United States citizens,” and its intention “to conduct terrorist attacks internationally, including against the United States, its citizens, and interests.” Really bad guys.
But then the resolution proceeds to inform these killers about the limits of what the U.S. will do to defeat them. Mr. Obama wants Congress to put into statutory language that it “does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations”; and that “the use of military force shall terminate” in three years “unless reauthorized.”
The time limit alone is reason to oppose the resolution, as we’ve seen in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama’s deadline on U.S. operations there has given the Taliban confidence to wait us out. A time limit also tells our coalition allies that the U.S. commitment against ISIS could end no matter the state of war at the time. Mr. Obama has said himself that degrading and destroying ISIS may take years, yet his draft would force the next President to seek a new authorization in 2018.
As for ground troops, Mr. Obama is asking Congress to endorse a military strategy that his own generals have said may be deficient. In a letter to Congress elaborating on the draft authorization, Mr. Obama says his draft “would provide the flexibility to conduct ground operations” in “limited circumstances, such as rescue operations” or “the use of special operations forces to take military action against ISIL leadership.” He says the resolution would only bar “long-term, large-scale ground combat operations” as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But then get ready to parse the meaning of “enduring” and “offensive” ground operations. Is enduring more or less than a year? Or a month? We’d guess that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders takes the under.
“Offensive” is even more subject to interpretation. Does that mean ground troops are acceptable as long as they shoot in self-defense? Or that they can do everything but take territory? Winning a war is hard enough without such legal complications.
Mr. Obama’s draft language fairly describes his current war strategy. But a flawed military strategy that is ambiguous is better than a flawed strategy written into law. Mr. Obama’s strategy can be changed by the next President—unless it is codified by a flawed authorization.
Mr. Obama’s language could also get worse as it moves through Congress. Many Democrats and GOP libertarians want even more specific limits on ground troops, a shorter time limit, and a geographic limit on where the U.S. can fight.
Yet the flaws in this half-hearted war strategy are already clear. ISIS continues to hold nearly all of the territory it did when Mr. Obama announced his plans in September. One exception is the town of Kobane in Syria, where Kurdish troops drove out the jihadists with U.S. bombing help. But Kobane now resembles Dresden after World War II—a bombed out, empty shell.
Many ISIS commanders have been killed, and they have been forced to move more furtively. But they were still able to stage an attack on the Kurdish oil city of Kirkuk in the last month. And they are conducting widespread assassinations against Sunni tribal leaders who resist them and ought to be allies of the U.S.-led coalition.
ISIS is also using its staying power against U.S. bombing to burnish its credentials as the jihadist vanguard. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials now say foreign fighters are joining Islamic State “in unprecedented numbers,” including 3,400 from Western nations out of 20,000 from around the world.
Rather than put shackles on his generals, Mr. Obama should be urging them to mount a campaign to roll back ISIS as rapidly as possible from the territory it holds. That would be a genuine defeat—and the world would see it as one. It would also be a demonstration to potential ISIS recruits that if you join the jihad, you are likely to die, and soon.
Many Republicans will be tempted to vote for some resolution as a show of anti-ISIS resolve, and we’d support one without restrictions. But Mr. Obama already has the power to fight this conflict from the 2001 al Qaeda and 2002 Iraq resolutions and as Commander in Chief under the Constitution. He says so himself. What he really wants from this new authorization is political cover for his military strategy. Better no new authorization than one that makes victory more difficult.
The adults in Comgress should propose a resolution that actually works for the military to win. Then, let the the man-child veto it or his alternative reality Democrats defeat it on the record.
The Jihad that led to the Crusades
Reply #113 on:
February 11, 2015, 11:25:01 PM »
AUMF - ISIS, Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #114 on:
February 12, 2015, 10:19:12 AM »
"The language would so restrict the President’s war-fighting discretion that it deserves to be called the President Gulliver resolution. "
- This "authorization" repeals the 1992 Iraq authorization, among larger problems.
"The adults in Congress should propose a resolution that actually works for the military to win. Then, let the the man-child veto it or his alternative reality Democrats defeat it on the record."
- Yes. The President's proposal gives one view, but the sole responsibility for writing congressional approval rests with congress. Under whatever they write and pass, he will temporarily be the Commander in Chief carrying it out. One knowledgeable pundit predicted yesterday that Congress won't be able to pass an authorization because of the wide range of views held, tie the President's hands, untie his hands, etc.
Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 10:45:08 AM by DougMacG
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #115 on:
February 12, 2015, 01:30:02 PM »
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #116 on:
February 12, 2015, 10:02:29 PM »
Not all the reasoning here strikes me as sound, but a decent overview of things to think about:
Newt: Vote no on AUMF
Reply #117 on:
February 13, 2015, 05:21:05 PM »
Vote No on President Obama's Phony Non-War Resolution
Every member of Congress should vote NO on President Obama's request for an “authorization for the use of military force” (AUMF) against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
President Obama’s request is an absurd and insulting effort to get the Congress to provide political cover for a hopelessly unworkable campaign in Iraq and Syria.
The proposal is absurd both because of the context within which it is being offered and because of the structure of the proposal itself.
Let's start with the recent context in which the President is asking for approval.
His spokesman announced that the Taliban is not a terrorist group. This is a group the U.S. has been fighting since late 2001, when our invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power marked the beginning of the War on Terror. For more than 13 years, we have been killing Taliban members and they have been killing Americans and Afghans. Now, thousands of lives, tens of thousands of wounded and billions of dollars later, the Obama White House says they are not terrorists.
President Obama decided to use the National Prayer Breakfast as a venue to announce that his one-sided distortion of 1,000-year-old history proved we should not judge too harshly the terrorists who today behead and burn their victims to death. This was bad history, bad timing, ridiculously bad judgment.
President Obama explained that the killing of Jews in a Jewish grocery store in Paris--by a radical Islamist who told the media he had set out to kill Jews--was a "random" act of violence. This is delusional on a clinical scale, or dishonesty on cynical level. The White House and State Department spokespersons backed up the President, of course, and looked idiotic doing it.
In the same interview, the President said he thought the problem of terrorism was “hyped” by the media, and suggested that it gets relatively too much attention compared to more pressing threats like global warming.
Back in October, President Obama declared Yemen a good example of how our policies were working. This week the radical Islamists defeated the government. The British, French and American embassies were evacuated and the rebels are now driving our vehicles around the capital. The leader of the National Counterterrorism Center admitted that we were surprised by the sudden collapse of the Yemeni government (just as we were surprised a few months ago by the sudden collapse of the Iraqi Army).
Lt. General Michael Flynn, the immediate former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has said that things are getting worse and the radical Islamists are gaining strength. He has said bluntly that the current plans and strategies aren't working.
The director of the FBI said last week that there are active anti-terror investigations underway into individuals possibly connected with ISIS in 49 states. Under the Obama regime of political correctness, of course, the FBI director can't tell us what common characteristic is shared by the threats in 49 states.
If the President can't even honestly and accurately describe our enemies, why would reasonable, prudent members of Congress vote to legitimize his policies?
The entire context surrounding the administration’s request proves it is doomed to fail. But the authorization itself is also so weak that it deserves to be defeated for that reason alone.
President Obama is proposing a three-year authorization. Why three years? We have been struggling with radical Islamists since the Iranians seized the American Embassy in 1979. If we have not won in 35 years, why would we think President Obama can win the war with no name against the enemy with no identity in three years?
The Obama resolution is profoundly wrong in its focus.
Radical Islamists are a global problem. The most recent estimate is that more than 20,000 foreign fighters have flocked to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS.
The United States has had at least 150 people trying to join the terrorists. Britain has had more than 600. The French more than 1,000.
The emergence of radical Islamist groups continues across the planet.
Any resolution which focuses only on Iraq and Syria is by definition a failure. In 2014 Boko Haram killed more people in Nigeria (10,000) than Ebola killed in all of Africa (8,000). The radicals are gaining ground in Yemen. Al Shabab remains a threat in Somalia. Libya continues to host terrorist factions.
This is clearly a global campaign.
A declaration of war against all elements of radical Islamism would make sense. I joined a group of House members in calling for such a declaration of war immediately after 9/11. Our reasoning then is still true today. Declaring war would turn aiding radical Islamists into an act of treason. It would define the campaign as a war, to be fought under the rules if war. It would end the efforts of lawyers to get judges on the battlefield. It would communicate to friends and enemies alike how serious we are about winning and not just trying.
The Obama proposal is both factually and symbolically absurd and it should be rejected.
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #118 on:
February 19, 2015, 04:07:14 PM »
Sen. McCain's plan
Reply #119 on:
February 19, 2015, 08:24:10 PM »
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #120 on:
February 22, 2015, 08:40:14 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on February 19, 2015, 04:07:14 PM
Ah,if Muslims were only so interested in not alienating non-muslims.
Just who has to adjust in the name of tolerance?
Reply #121 on:
February 23, 2015, 06:29:00 PM »
Guest Column: Just Who Has to Adjust in the Name of Tolerance?
by Phyllis Chesler
Special to IPT News
February 19, 2015
Be the first of your friends to like this.
Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy Fellow Shadi Hamid recently criticized the West as "illiberal" for refusing to accept the fact that Muslims, both in the West and globally, are different from Westerners.
It was an unusual argument, one for which The Atlantic devoted 3,400 words.
Although President Obama insists that the "fight against terrorism is not a religious war," Hamid seems to disagree with him.
According to a variety of polls, Hamid is right. For example, while a 2009 Gallup poll shows European Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence, they are far more religious than those who live in secular Europe (France, England, and Germany), and are more strongly opposed to homosexuality than are secular Europeans. In addition, young, second or third generation European Muslim men favor veiling for women, polygamy, the execution of apostates, and favor prohibiting Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men.
Muslims are more likely to view "blasphemy as unacceptable," Hamid wrote. He described Muslims as "deeply conservative" and, to varying extents, wanting "the application of Islamic law."
The liberal West believes in criticizing everything, especially religion, beginning with Judaism and Christianity. Extending this right-to-criticize, satirize, or examine Islam has led to major Muslim meltdowns.
Creative and scholarly exposures of Islam's history and practices amount to shaming and therefore are impermissible, especially when infidels are doing the exposing. Lawsuits, assassination attempts, lynch mobs, and political murders have been the radical Muslim response to books, films, lectures, and cartoons that detail Islamic gender and religious apartheid.
Documentation of normalized daughter-and wife-beating, child marriage, forced veiling, forced marriage of adults, polygamy, pedophilia, FGM, and honor killing has led to cries of "Islamophobia" and "blasphemy."
In a recent conversation, Israeli Arabist and counter-terrorism expert, Mordechai Kedar said: "Why would anyone get so outraged by a cartoon unless they believe that the cartoon is telling the truth? They are angry because it is the truth."
According to a 2006 Pew poll, 79 percent of French Muslims blamed the 2005 cartoon controversy on Western nations' "disrespect for the Islamic religion." The general population blamed "Muslims' intolerance."
This is completely foreign to the West's post-Enlightenment culture. Many Muslims are very clear on this point.
Hamid writes that French Muslims are "more likely to believe that attacks on the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran should be criminalized as hate speech and incitement, much like denial of the Holocaust is."
This is a shocking but familiar false equation. Jew-haters and Islamists minimize, disbelieve, but deeply envy the Jews as victims of the Holocaust. But they covet the reverence for sacred victim status that they believe Jews have—ostensibly via trickery. Islamists invented the false allegation of "Islamophobia," positioned the Palestinians as the "new Jews," and appointed the Jewish Israelis as the "new Nazis."
Unfortunately, many Europeans signed onto this lethal narrative in the hope that doing so would appease their hostile, unassimilated Muslim citizens. Also, latent European anti-Semitism happily found a new outlet in anti-Zionism, which is the new anti-Semitism.
Are Muslims being falsely accused and even persecuted? Can one even ask this question in an era when Muslim-on-Muslim, Muslim-on-infidel, and Muslim male-on-female barbarism is borderless, boundary-less, and beyond surreal?
Nevertheless, the false concept of Islamophobia – often defensively raised when the discussion focuses on radical Islamic ideology – has become equal to real concepts such as homophobia, sexism, and anti-Semitism. Despite FBI verification that hate crimes against Jews are far greater than those against Muslims, Muslims continue to insist that they are being racially and religiously targeted.
Islamophobia is worse than anti-Semitism, according to Hatem Bazien, the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and the director of Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender, in a 2011 report co-sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Bazian concluded that, on a scale from 1 (best situation for Muslims) to 10 (worst possible situation for Muslims), "Islamophobia" in America stands at 6.4. One does not know how to greet such brazen foolishness.
Globally, Islamists demand that the West, which has separated religion and state brilliantly, accept and accommodate an aggressive and entitled theocratic state—not only abroad but in its midst.
In Hamid's view, real "moral courage" in France would consist of a "major political party" calling for "a rethinking of laïcité [secularism], and for the broadening, rather than the narrowing, [of] French national identity."
Challenging the "tolerant" West to accommodate an intolerant Islam is the tried-and-true Islamist method of hoisting the West by its own petard. Sophisticated Islamists are trying to use post-Enlightenment laws to achieve the right to practice pre-medieval and barbaric customs. Western political leaders and the intelligentsia are flirting with cultural suicide and siding with barbarism over civilization.
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and the author of 15 books, including The New Anti-Semitism and An American Bride in Kabul. She is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum, writes regularly for Israel National News and Breitbart, and is the author of three pioneering studies about honor killings.
STratfor: Could AQ and IS reconcile?
Reply #122 on:
April 23, 2015, 12:06:03 PM »
Could the Islamic State and al Qaeda Reconcile?
April 23, 2015 | 08:00 GMT
By Scott Stewart
Over the course of the past couple weeks I have talked to several people who have asked my opinion on the possibility of a reconciliation between al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The question is being brought about by a number of factors.
First is the fact that the Islamic State is losing ground in Iraq and in parts of Syria and has suffered significant losses in men, materiel and in its financial apparatus. This is taken to mean the group has been humbled a bit, and now that it is under heavy pressure, its leaders might be tempted to join forces with al Qaeda. Second, al Qaeda has lost some sub-groups to the Islamic State, and it is commonly perceived to be losing ground to the Islamic State in the propaganda war. Furthermore, in parts of Syria, such as in Qalamoun, some local Islamic State commanders have periodically cooperated with the local al Qaeda franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra, to fight regime forces and Hezbollah. Finally, some unconfirmed rumors are floating around the Internet jihadisphere saying al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is going to dissolve al Qaeda and give the regional franchise groups their independence.
Many fear that if the groups joined forces, their combined capabilities and resources would pose a major threat to the rest of the world. This fear is certainly not unfounded. A united jihadist movement would pose a more substantial threat than does the currently divided movement. However, because of a number of factors, it does not appear that either the Islamic State or al Qaeda could accept such a merger.
Several important factors keep the Islamic State and al Qaeda divided. Perhaps the most superficial of these factors is the clash between the personalities of the groups. A great deal of personal animosity appears to exist between the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and Jabhat al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammed al-Golani. This personal enmity has manifested itself in Islamic State propaganda that makes direct, personal attacks against al-Zawahiri and al-Golani. For example, the group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, has depicted al-Zawahiri as a manipulative and dishonest man. In the seventh edition, the Islamic State essentially labeled al-Zawahiri a deviant by charging that he had "abandoned the pure heritage" that Osama bin Laden left and had turned al Qaeda to a mistaken ideology. For his part, al-Zawahiri has called Islamic State militants "Kharijites," or radical, rebellious extremists. Al-Golani and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have also been quite critical of al-Baghdadi.
But the conflict goes beyond personal attacks. The Islamic State takes issue with several tenets of al Qaeda’s approach to jihadism as codified in al-Zawahiri’s September 2013 General Guidelines for Jihad. The Islamic State is particularly incensed with al-Zawahiri’s guidance to avoid targeting Shiites. Al-Zawahiri directed al Qaeda franchise groups and individual militants to focus primarily on fighting the United States and the "Crusader Alliance" and only to attack "deviant sects" such as Shiites, Ismailis, Qadianis and Sufis defensively. He also ordered his followers not to attack the homes, places of worship, religious festivals or social gatherings of other Muslim sects. The Islamic State, on the other hand, believes these so-called deviant groups are heretics and, therefore, should be eliminated.
The disparity in whether to attack Shiite and other Muslim sects originates in differing approaches to the takfir doctrine, which deals with labeling Muslims apostates and therefore justified targets for attack. The Islamic State believes it can declare entire sects apostates, for example the Shiites, whereas al Qaeda believes that takfir should be declared in a much more limited manner.
Al Qaeda’s General Guidelines for Jihad also states that jihadists should avoid targeting Christian, Sikh and Hindu communities living in Muslim lands, unless they transgress, which would be grounds for a proportional response. On the other hand, massacres of such communities and attacks against their homes, places of worship and festivals have been a hallmark of the Islamic State since its inception. This difference in targeting philosophy led al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to sharply criticize Islamic State sympathizers for the March 20 suicide bombings of two mosques in Sanaa that killed 142 Houthis and wounded hundreds of others.
The Islamic State also takes exception to the al Qaeda guidelines that call for jihadists to support and participate in popular uprisings against oppressive regimes. Al Qaeda made the guidelines to take advantage of Arab Spring-type demonstrations, and jihadists participated in violent demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia. But the Islamic State charges that by taking this approach, al Qaeda is changing jihadism from fighting to holding peaceful demonstrations and pursuing popular support, or even supporting democracy — a deadly sin in the eyes of most jihadists.
But these differences in the approach to jihadism are not surprising, nor are they new. Though the Islamic State did not formally split from al Qaeda until February 2014, tension and friction between the two organizations over topics such as targeting Shiites and Christians had existed since Abu Musab al-Zarqawi merged his Jamaat al-Tawhid and Jihad group with al Qaeda in 2004. Indeed, Stratfor published a three-part series analyzing the tension between the groups.
Different Origins, Different Philosophies
These longstanding differences exist because, unlike al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the jihadist leadership in Iraq did not come from the al Qaeda core. While the jihadist leaders in Iraq, including al-Zarqawi, saw the benefit to adopting the al Qaeda brand name to help with recruitment and fundraising, they never fully embraced al Qaeda's philosophy and vision and frequently ignored the core's guidance. Before joining al Qaeda, al-Zarqawi's group had its own identity and philosophy, which were greatly influenced by Jordanian jihadist ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. Many former members of Iraq's Baathist military also joined the group and influenced the Islamic State's philosophy.
Considering an Islamic State and al Qaeda Reconciliation
Click to Enlarge
When the Islamic State merged with al Qaeda, it attempted to place a veneer of al Qaeda over its initial Tawhid and Jihad foundation, but the different schools were never fully reconcilable ideologically: The Islamic State was always radically more sectarian than the al Qaeda core and immediately more regionally, rather than transnationally, focused. Though the Islamic State did target Americans in Iraq and in Jordan, it never attempted to conduct attacks against the U.S. homeland.
Al Qaeda has always seen itself as the vanguard organization focused on attacking the United States and its allies in the Crusader Alliance to weaken them and to awaken the masses, inciting them to revolt against their rulers. The organization sees itself fighting a long-term battle not unlike the Maoist concept of the long war. The Islamic State, on the other hand, is much more audacious. It is focused on the local struggle and believes it can follow the example of the Prophet Mohammed to create an ideal caliphate that is the basis for global conquest. Though both al Qaeda and the Islamic State are dualistic and millenarian in their theology — they believe they are engaging in a cosmic battle of good versus evil to replace a corrupt society with an ideal one — the Islamic State is quite a bit more apocalyptic. Its members believe their activities in Syria and Iraq will draw the armies of the Earth to oppose them. After initially suffering heavy losses, the Prophet Isa, which is Arabic for Jesus, will return to lead them in a final battle at Dabiq in Syria, where they will finally defeat the "crusader forces" led by the Antichrist. After the victory at Dabiq, they will be able to extend their Islamic State to conquer the Earth.
Overcoming differences might be easier if personal animosity were the only obstacle separating al Qaeda and the Islamic State, especially if one or more of the warring personalities were killed. Even if Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State were not fighting each other in Syria and al Qaeda and Islamic State franchises were not fighting elsewhere, the groups' conflicting ideologies would make broad reconciliation difficult. This is especially clear because the two groups have gone to such lengths to outline their differences. Explaining a merger with a group previously labeled as apostates or kharijites would be an awkward and difficult task for the leaders of both groups.
Ideology is just too important for al Qaeda and for the Islamic State. Indeed, members of both groups are willing to die for their beliefs. While some claim that jihadist leaders cynically use religion to manipulate others, their actions keep with their extremist beliefs, indicating their sincerity. Because both groups claim to have exclusive understanding of the correct interpretation of Islam regarding jihad, they are unlikely to merge. Additionally, after proclaiming itself to be the global leader of all Muslims, allowing itself to become subordinate to another group would be insupportable for the Islamic State.
While al Qaeda is down, it is clearly not out, and the group's Yemen franchise has made tremendous gains since the Saudi-led air campaign began degrading its most dangerous enemies there. Additionally, taking Idlib, alongside ally Ahrar al-Sham, highlighted Jabhat al-Nusra's strength in Syria.
At a local level, some al Qaeda and Islamic State groups may continue to cooperate, especially if they have not actively combated one another. At the present time, this cooperation is most apparent in battlefronts on the periphery of the Syrian civil war, such as in Yarmouk camp, where Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State units are far from the core areas of their respective leadership. But even then, cooperation — especially in very localized and specific cases — is much different than a merger.
Individual members of the groups, or even subunits, may defect to the other side, especially if one of the groups becomes weakened beyond repair. However, because of their irreconcilable differences, imagining a mass merger of the two organizations into one global jihadist front is difficult.
Before any such formal reconciliation could become even a remote possibility, a very noticeable change in how the Islamic State and al Qaeda publicly portray each other would have to take place to dampen the animosity between the two sides and to begin mending fences between the two camps. Until this unlikely development occurs, a merger between the two groups is impossible.
NY Daily News: Submit to the Jihad Bullies...
Reply #123 on:
April 27, 2015, 03:24:06 PM »
New York Daily News: AFDI ad criticizing Hamas is “outrageous drivel” that “would offend many Muslims”
APRIL 26, 2015 7:52 AM BY ROBERT SPENCER
It is no doubt guided by Society of Professional Journalists policy that requires journalists never to state or imply any link between Islam and terrorism, but for Leftist journalists (i.e., almost all of them) these days, it’s a kneejerk reaction: when they see an Islamic jihadist vowing blood and murder, they immediately frame it in their report in terms of Muslims being victimized. So when there is a jihad mass murder attack or foiled plot, we get the stories about Muslim communities fearing a “backlash” against innocent Muslims. And in this execrable New York Daily News editorial, the first and only reaction to the genocidal antisemitic statement from Hamas that is depicted in our ad is to note that “the message would offend many Muslims.”
The Daily News means they will be offended at Pamela Geller, of course, not at Hamas. They should be offended at Hamas, if what we’re constantly told about the vast majority of Muslims being moderate, democratic, tolerant and pluralistic were true. They should see the ad and call upon Hamas and other Muslim groups to stop the jihad against Israel, drop the genocidal rhetoric, and teach against Islamic antisemitism in mosques and Islamic schools in the U.S. The Daily News should be calling upon them to do those things. Instead, it smears Pamela Geller as a “hatemonger” (in the photo caption) for pointing out that this genocidal antisemitic statement was made, and that nothing is being done about it.
“The First Amendment train: Despite Pamela Geller’s offensive nonsense, the MTA should continue to allow political ads on buses and subways,” New York Daily News, April 24, 2015:
After being forced by a court to run an inflammatory, anti-Muslim ad on the city’s buses and subways, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority aims to get out of the political advertising business.
Hamas is a Muslim group. It made the statement that “killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah” in a video that also said: “Repeat in the name of your Jihad: Death to Israel!” Our AFDI ad was meant to counter Hamas-linked CAIR’s cynical and deceptive campaign trying to fool Americans into thinking that jihad was romping through the daisies and blowing milk bubbles through a straw. The ad counters these comforting fictions with reality, making the point that for all too many Muslims, jihad is something more lethal. The implication is that Muslims and non-Muslims alike should be calling upon Hamas and other Muslim entities to drop this hateful rhetoric. Instead, the Daily News shoots the messenger, referring to the ad as “Pamela Geller’s hateful nonsense” and as an “inflammatory, anti-Muslim ad.”
With sympathy for the MTA’s tough spot, the agency is mistaken in trying to eliminate issue-oriented ads as a way to swat one annoying gadfly.
Pamela Geller makes a habit of throwing rhetorical bombs. She’s written books like “Stop the Islamization of America” and argued that President Obama is “consistently on the side of Islamic supremacist regimes.”
What, he isn’t? Where? When?
One of her latest proposed ads quotes a Palestinian TV station run by Hamas as stating that “Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah,” alongside the image of a young man in a headscarf. “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”
Understanding that the message would offend many Muslims and arguing that it might even incite violence, the MTA rejected the campaign.
Why would the ad offend many Muslims? Because they condemn Hamas and its genocidal rhetoric, and back up their condemnation with real action to teach against these attitudes in Muslim communities? Where? When? Do they have a different idea of jihad and consider Hamas and its antisemitic jihad to be un-Islamic? Even if that were true, Hamas presents itself as Muslim group waging jihad in cause of Islam, and justifying its actions by referring to Islamic texts and teachings. Do Americans not need to know this? Does no one need to call attention to it or endeavor to counter it? Everything the ad says is true: Hamas made this statement, and did so in the context of jihad. Muslims who oppose this view of jihad and this hateful antisemitism should be siding with Pamela Geller and criticizing Hamas, not her. And the Daily News should be more concerned about the fact that there are Muslims who actually believe this than about the Muslims who claim to be so offended by it that they want it off the buses, but don’t lift a finger to counter these attitudes within Muslim communities.
And the idea that it “might even incite violence” is also nonsense. The ad ran in San Francisco and Chicago without incident. The MTA claimed it would incite violence but could not adduce even one example of its doing so. And the violence would be from Islamic jihadists who would presumably mistake it for a pro-jihad ad. You’d have to be quite dim to do that, but if someone did, the focus should be on protecting people from violence, not on curtailing speech in light of the possibility that violence could ensue — for once we do that, we enable any thug to shut down any speech he dislikes by threatening violence over it.
…It’s well and good, and constitutional, to ban ads that could reasonably incite violence — say, with mocking images of the Prophet Mohammed.
In this, the Daily News is essentially counseling surrender to the jihad. Instead of standing up against violent intimidation, the Daily News is saying, Give in to the bullies and thugs. They will kill us if we say something they dislike, so let’s not say anything they dislike. That is the coward’s way, the path of capitulation and submission. What ever happened to, I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it? Gone and forgotten. And so also, before too long, will be our freedom of speech, and with it our other freedoms.
Beyond that, viewpoints should be welcome. New Yorkers are big boys and girls. If swallowing some outrageous drivel is the cost of preserving other worthwhile advertising in one of the city’s most important gathering places, so be it. One hater shouldn’t spoil things for everyone else.
So it’s “outrageous drivel” now to call attention to Hamas’ genocidal rhetoric. Which only ensures that we will get more such rhetoric.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
Reply #124 on:
April 28, 2015, 09:24:06 AM »
“Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah,”
We should be marching in the streets. We should vow never to support economically any entity that allows this to be posted. We should withdraw all support of any politicians who will not voraciously speak out against this.
We should boycott all Muslim business that do not speak out against this. We should demand Muslim academics speak out against this or public funding to the schools be stopped.
None of this will happen. Because many Jews are too concerned with their beloved Democratic party to care. Someone recently told me they are too busy fighting everyone's else's battles. May be true.
Isn't this a verbal assault? I thought the threats to cause bodily harm (killing) is an assault.
Stratfor: Why the War against Jihadism will be fought from within
Reply #125 on:
May 14, 2015, 10:25:12 AM »
Why the War Against Jihadism Will Be Fought From Within
May 13, 2015 | 08:00 GMT
By Kamran Bokhari
It has long been apparent that Islamist militants cannot be defeated without intellectually confronting the ideology of jihadism. And yet, 14 years after the 9/11 attacks, experts have made little progress toward achieving this goal. Despite a rich body of work on the subject of militant Islam, there is a distinct lack of discussion aimed at deconstructing what jihadism actually is.
Terms of Engagement
Lately, practitioners and experts in the field have popularized the term "countering violent extremism," though in the past the terms "counterterrorism," "de-radicalization" and "moderation" have also been popular. Each of these concepts deals with a slightly different aspect of the same question: How can states best combat the rise of Muslim non-state actors bent on inciting religious insurrections?
Counterterrorism, the phrase experts adopted early on, refers to a broad range of economic, diplomatic, intelligence, police and military activities geared toward preventing the attacks jihadists seek to perpetrate.
Because terrorists are heavily driven by ideology, the term de-radicalization soon made its way into the conversation. By definition, de-radicalization is a reactive approach that involves bringing radicalized individuals or groups back into the mainstream. In most cases, this simply means persuading violent organizations to disarm and pursue their objectives through peaceful means. The term de-radicalization is therefore misleading, because these groups still subscribe to most of their radical views even after they have laid down their arms.
It was only natural, then, for the world to start searching for an alternative interpretation of Islam to counter radical ideology. Today many experts have come to view "moderate" Islam as a philosophical vaccine against jihadism, and since the rise of the self-styled Islamic State and its declaration of a caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq, there have been an increasing number of attempts to articulate a more moderate understanding of the religion. In the aftermath of 9/11, a growing number of Muslim actors have presented themselves as more palatable alternatives to radical Islam. Among them are what have come to be called moderate Islamists, traditionalists/conservatives, modernists/liberals, avowedly secular Muslims and a number of regimes in the Muslim world who claim to espouse a modern, moderate version of Islam.
These are broad categories, each one containing multiple, often competing, variations. As this dynamic of moderation evolved, scholars began to recognize that the terms "moderate" and "radical" are very misleading, because they do not account for relativity on the wide spectrum of Islamic ideologies. Still, lacking better terms, the world continues to use them. Moderation in ideology and behavior is already a complex phenomenon; its loose definition only adds to the difficulty political scientists, sociologists and philosophers have in trying to understand it.
As time went on, it became clear that getting ahead of the curve in the war against jihadism would require focusing on extremism, the engine driving terrorism. And because extremism comes in many flavors — not all of which necessarily lead to terrorism — the new phrase of the day became "countering violent extremism."
This approach calls for delegitimizing jihadism by targeting its narratives and doctrine, challenging the ways in which jihadists misuse and redefine critical tenets of Islam. Though the creation of counternarratives and sound theology may sound like a natural solution, it is a herculean task. It requires deciding, as Jillian Schwedler puts it in Faith in Moderation, the "boundaries of justifiable action" for a religious community of 1.5 billion people. History is replete with examples of conflicts that have been triggered by the attempts of one group to dictate religious orthodoxy to another.
The Physical and Ideological War
Today, in a world where people are often careful to separate the state from religious issues, most would agree that governments should stick to waging physical battles against Islamist militants rather than getting caught up in ideological wars. But the challenge insurrectionist Islamists pose is an ideological one, and it cannot be addressed without undertaking the perilous task of crafting counternarratives.
A great deal of energy is already being spent to promote counternarratives; the United States and many other Western countries have dedicated multiple bureaucratic organizations to countering violent extremism. However, because Americans and Europeans are often viewed as crusaders at war with Islam, their attempts to counter jihadist ideology are almost always automatically discredited, as are the efforts of any Muslims associated with them. Nevertheless, many Muslim states have also begun to join their efforts, realizing that they are the primary targets of jihadists.
Despite the worldwide demand for counternarratives, many basic questions remain unanswered. Chief among them are: What are effective counternarratives? How can they be developed and eventually used to defeat extremists? And, perhaps most important, who should develop them? For now I will focus on this last point, because before we can talk about narratives, we must identify and analyze their narrators.
For any theological narrative to be credible, the target audience must consider its authors to be religiously authentic and legitimate. In this particular case, any counternarratives emanating from non-Muslim sources will be rejected immediately because of their exogenous origins. Extremists leverage anxieties shared by many Muslims that the West seeks to undermine their way of life; in fact, one of the main pillars of jihadism is the belief that the West has declared war on Islam. Secularism remains a bad word in many Muslims' vocabulary because it is seen as abandoning religion, not as maintaining religious neutrality. The idea of a Western war on Islam feeds a popular view among Muslims that Christians and Jews lost their religions because they embraced what Iranian religious philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush refers to as "extra-religious ideas," and now they want Muslims to follow the same path.
The world has not gained much ground against jihadists in the war of ideas because many Muslims see it as a war against Islam. Therefore, any effective narrative will have to come from Muslims themselves. Of course, this leads to another problem: the perceived lack of credibility of those championing ijtihad, or the reinterpretation of religious texts.
Weakening Jihadism From the Inside
Radical Islamist ideologues are disproportionately more adept at situating their ideas in the context of existing religious tradition. By contrast, those in favor of a more moderate interpretation of Islam are struggling to come up with contemporary prescriptions for what it means to be Muslim in the modern world without seeming to privilege reason over revelation, which makes many extremists, conservatives and traditionalists uncomfortable. Sectarian differences only complicate matters. Many of the solutions proposed to address these issues unintentionally play right into the hands of extremists, for example the ill-fated suggestions that Sufism could serve as an antidote to the supposedly more austere Salafism, or that secularism could counter militant Islam.
Islamism emerged as a rejection of Western secularism, and it persists because Muslims have failed to develop their own version of secularism that is in keeping with their religious ethos. Similarly, jihadism took root in response to disenchantment with classical Salafism, which offered an apolitical approach that denied adherents the means of rectifying the "un-Islamic" state of affairs in the Saudi kingdom and the wider Muslim world. Electoral Salafism, as practiced by Egypt's al-Nour Party, has the potential to address those concerns and provide an effective alternative to jihadism. However, electoral Salafism would first require a basic modicum of democracy to survive; it could not be applied in countries such as Saudi Arabia, where there are no elections, or in Libya, Syria and Yemen, where tribal warfare leaves no place for meaningful electoral politics.
In short, although it was Salafism that first gave rise to the problem of jihadism, it also contains the solution. Ultimately, internal competition between various schools of Islamist thought will be the factor that weakens extremists, rather than efforts by actors outside the Muslim world to alter ideologies. Still, it will not be easy; those within the Muslim world who embrace change face an intense struggle to maintain their credibility and, sometimes, even their personal safety. Yasir Qadhi, a prominent reformist Salafist who several months ago received death threats from the Islamic State, is one among many reformers whose beliefs have put their lives in danger.
Non-Muslim actors have no choice but to continue employing traditional methods of counterterrorism against jihadists. However, only credible Muslims who are not a part of the sectarian "other" will be able to successfully wage jihad against jihadism, and it is a process that will have to play out over many generations.
Would defeating ISIS makes things worse?
Reply #126 on:
May 29, 2015, 09:52:30 PM »
WSJ: ISIS goes world-wide
Reply #127 on:
June 05, 2015, 01:44:41 PM »
Seth G. Jones
June 4, 2015 7:12 p.m. ET
As Islamic State advances in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, there is a deadly twist in the war. The radical Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is now expanding in roughly a dozen countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia by exploiting local grievances, doling out money and leveraging its battlefield successes.
Even as the United States struggles to combat Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, swift U.S. action is urgently needed in these new Islamic State outposts to stop and ultimately reverse the group’s spread. The May 29 suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia, the second recent attack on that predominantly Sunni nation, shows how undaunted Islamic State has become.
The expansionist strategy is not new. In the spring of 2014, as the group was attempting to consolidate its hold on the Syrian city of Raqqa and preparing to conduct a blitzkrieg into Iraq, Islamic State leaders reached out to militant groups in such countries as Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their goal was to increase Islamic State’s influence and recruit fighters to come to Iraq and Syria.
Led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State had just formally split with al Qaeda following a series of personality, ideological and command-and-control disputes. Referring to himself as Caliph Ibrahim ibn Awwad, Baghdadi unabashedly explained his desire to establish a Pan-Islamic caliphate: “O Muslims everywhere, glad tidings to you and expect good. Raise your head high, for today—by Allah’s grace—you have a state and caliphate, which will return your dignity, might, rights, and leadership.”
Since that declaration, Islamic State’s strategy of expansion has included several components.
First, the group has attempted to exploit local grievances and leverage established militant networks. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, for example, Islamic State leaders reached out to disaffected Taliban commanders.
Following the death of several Pakistan Taliban leaders, Hafiz Saeed, who is currently the head of Islamic State’s South Asia branch, became increasingly disenchanted with the Pakistan Taliban. Saeed had apparently been one of the main contenders for the Pakistan Taliban’s top spot, but he was passed over. This discontent provided an opening for Islamic State, which began to woo Saeed and his network. Islamic State used a similar strategy with disaffected Afghan Taliban in Helmand and Farah provinces.
Second, Islamic State has given money to prospective allies. The group has accrued substantial financial resources in Iraq and Syria from smuggling oil, selling stolen goods, kidnapping and extortion, seizing bank accounts and smuggling antiquities. In Nigeria, for example, Islamic State used its booty to aid cash-strapped Boko Haram, which had suffered military setbacks at the hands of the Nigerian and neighboring government forces.
Third, Islamic State’s victories in Iraq and Syria, which have been broadcast around the world by an effective social-media strategy, have attracted more sympathizers across the globe. The group has been able to retain—and, in some areas like Ramadi, to expand—control of territory in Syria and Iraq, despite a withering U.S. air assault and Iraqi and Syrian government offensive operations. These successes have attracted a coterie of followers in Africa, other countries in the Middle East, and Asia.
In Libya, for example, Islamic State sent emissaries in late 2014 to meet with extremist groups like Ansar al-Shariah to establish a formal relationship. Islamic State fighters now control key sections of Libyan cities like Surt, along the Mediterranean coast. And in Egypt leaders from the group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, based in Sinai, pledged their loyalty to Islamic State after its battlefield victories in Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. response outside of Iraq and Syria has been tepid. U.S. officials initially understated the threat. Some argued that its predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq, was largely defeated and no longer represented a significant threat. As U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in December 2011, President Obama said the U.S. was “leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” In an interview published in early 2014, Mr. Obama dismissed Islamic State fighters as a “jayvee team” compared with al Qaeda.
What’s more, the U.S. and its allies did not shore up sufficient support in vulnerable countries. In Libya, the U.S., France, and Britain helped overthrow Moammar Gadhafi. But they failed to provide sufficient resources to build a competent successor government, eschewing anything that smelled like nation-building.
Libya quickly faced massive challenges. The bureaucracy collapsed, and well-armed militias controlled much of the countryside. Islamic State and other jihadist groups took advantage of the vacuum. In Afghanistan, the U.S. military withdrawal and closure of bases in Konar, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces have helped create a similar vacuum.
Islamic State will undoubtedly face hurdles in some countries because of a crowded market of jihadist groups and the absence of an ideology with strong local roots. Islamic State’s brand of Islam is not native to many countries where it is trying to expand, and the stigma of a foreign ideology may be a substantial barrier.
Still, Islamic State has increased its operations overseas and is now linked directly or indirectly to attacks around the globe in Paris, Ottawa, Brussels, Copenhagen, Sydney and Garland, Texas. There have also been arrests of individuals affiliated with Islamic State in such American cities as New York and Minneapolis for plotting attacks or planning to fight with Islamic State overseas.
A successful U.S. response must now go beyond countering Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It should begin with an accurate diagnosis of the group’s expansion. The U.S. must then work with international partners in endangered countries such as Libya to undermine Islamic State’s ideology, cut off its sources of income, target its key leaders and assist local governments. Failure to do so will result in more Islamic State victories.
Mr. Jones is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corp., and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies. He is the author of “Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa’ida since 9/11” (W.W. Norton, 2012).
What would Reagan do?
Reply #128 on:
June 05, 2015, 10:14:19 PM »
Stratfor: Pulled by the beard
Reply #129 on:
September 06, 2015, 01:53:34 PM »
Pulled by the Beard: Islamic State and the War of Symbols
September 2, 2015 | 08:01 GMT
By Luc de Keyser
Against the Islamic State, the battle for hearts and minds will be decided long before the physical battle ends. But it will also be more difficult to win. The group has created and deployed a weapon its adversaries have not: a cohesive set of symbols. Until its opponents do, the Islamic State will keep the lead in the fight to shape public opinion.
Terror in the Internet Age
Last year, the Islamic State captivated a horrified global audience with its Hollywood-style productions, releasing video after video of its executions, each more gruesome than the next. In the West, public opinion of politicians' strategy to combat the group plummeted. Meanwhile, experts with the advantage of experience and an eye toward history pointed out that nothing had changed; countries' geopolitical considerations were the same as they had always been. And the politicians, caught in the middle, scrambled to reconcile the voices of the heart with those of the mind.
They were not the first to be faced with such a predicament. But this time, the age-old battle for hearts and minds played out over social media platforms, surfing the mature technology offered up by Internet 2.0. Any adequate counteroffensive would require a completely new set of tactics, "ammunition" and "boots on the ground" to beat the adversary on his own digital battlefield.
On the tactical front, great strides have been made by major newscasters and Internet moguls that have largely adhered to a self-imposed ban on broadcasting videos aimed at spreading terror. Meanwhile, Google is reportedly working with Muslim bloggers and vloggers, using crowd sourcing to move their posts up on the lists of search results and to push terrorists out of click reach.
But the search for new "ammunition" against the attention-grabbing content put out by terrorist groups has received far less attention at the higher levels of command. Google, for example, has delegated that responsibility to an army of online posters — the "boots on the ground" — who are trusted to understand and play to their audience's culture. Intelligence services, meanwhile, have employed cultural anthropologists in the service of analysis and counterpropaganda operations, though there is no evidence that they have mastered the ability to seed social media platforms with postings that go viral, infecting a large crowd with the targeted emotional response overnight.
Publishing effective content in any medium requires a thorough understanding of the audience's historical and social context. But in today's world, it also means adapting to the widespread replacement of the written word with instant video clips. This revolution has created the pressing need to perfect galleries of visual imagery and accompanying audio clips to capture hearts more effectively, allowing the minds to return to reason. In short, it calls for the industrial application of semiotics in the fight against terror.
What is Global Affairs?
Semiotics is the study of how signs and symbols are used to communicate. A human being's nature and upbringing shape the intricate web of connotations that particular images evoke. The meanings that people assign to a given symbol or picture then shape their emotional response to that image. Cartoonists are often masters of tapping into semiotics, moving their audiences to action (even if only an amused chuckle) through their art. In a similar fashion, magazine editors often have an intuitive sense of how readers will react to a particular front page, while movie directors have perfected the art of using visuals to cut straight to the jugular of their viewers' emotions.
The Islamic State has mastered this cultural engineering capability. Its simplistic ideology has created a cohesive set of symbolic content that can be "weaponized," attracting those who recognize the cultural hooks as followers and instilling fear in others to whom the narrative is foreign. The coalition that has formed to combat the Islamic State cannot replicate the group's success, because the coalition comprises participants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. It can, however, win the virtual battle by forming a counteroffensive that systematically dismantles the symbolic structure the Islamic State has come to rely so heavily on.
Symbols on the Move
A simple Google image search of "Muslim terror," "Hindu terror," "Christian terror" or "Jewish terror" gives a ranking order of the signs and symbols shaping today's Internet experience. By exploring their similarities and differences, we can gain insight into how they might impact different societies and groups.
For the purposes of this article, I will single out just one: the beard. I choose it because it is a visual marker with a long and intricate semiotic history that spans the evolution of mankind. Much like the peacock's tail, the beard may stir attraction in the opposite sex or instill fear in potential contenders. Our preconceptions and perceptions of facial hair are wired into our DNA, and manipulating its appearance is bound to have an effect deep within our neural networks, where emotions are formed.
Early man was a keen observer of the flora and fauna that surrounded him. Large grazing animals were the preferred prey of hunter-gatherers, and early humans understood that bulls with the most impressive beards led the herd of cows and calves. Nevertheless, early man formed a completely different social structure that was essentially egalitarian, despite marked differences in facial hair between the sexes.
With the dawn of the Agricultural Revolution, populations exploded and became more specialized, outgrowing the balance of the egalitarian society. The beard became a symbol of power over mates and, by extension, whole tribes. It is possible that agricultural man found inspiration for his new social organization within the patriarchal social order of his flocks.
Sculptures and carvings created since this period frequently link honor and prestige with facial hair. Egyptian pharaohs cultivated the pigtail beard as a symbol of divinity, even after shaving became fashionable among their noblemen. The symbol was so strong that some queens even donned false beards. In Ancient Greece, beards were held in high esteem until Alexander the Great ordered his soldiers to be clean-shaven, apparently to prevent them from being pulled by the beard in battle. But most philosophers ignored the imposed practice and kept their beards as symbols of their dignity and wisdom. To the east, despite Confucius' proclamation that no alterations should be made to the body, the statues of the Qin Dynasty's Terracotta Army show that most soldiers had shaved cheeks and trimmed mustaches and goatees.
Around the same time, shaving was also becoming fashionable among Rome's city dwellers. It served as a mark of civilization and distinction from the barbaric bearded tribesmen held at bay outside the empire's borders. Roman farmers began shaving about once a week as they sold their produce in the cities. But in the second century A.D., Romans became infatuated with ancient Greek culture and started to regrow their beards. Once the Roman Empire fell, facial hairstyles were determined by the customs of the prevailing tribes until the Middle Ages. Clergy, on the other hand, remained clean-shaven since the organization of the Church was a holdover from the Roman Empire.
Beards continued to cycle in and out of fashion from the 15th century onward, a testament to the rise and fall of the competing sets of connotations mankind developed for facial hair. At times, a beard represented honor, virility, courage, wisdom, nobility and even divinity. Oaths were sworn on beards, and beards were pulled or shaved to disgrace their wearers. But sometimes a man with a beard was considered unruly, disorganized, uncivilized and rather unreasonable.
Similarly, the styles of beard that are common among many religious groups reflect the fashion that reigned at the time of their founding. The Sikh tradition of uncut hair is one of five compulsory articles of faith. Most Hasidic Jews follow the Talmudic and Kabbalah tradition of neither removing nor trimming their beards or the hair at their temples. Christian Orthodox clergymen keep full beards, as was fashionable when the Roman Empire splintered and Eastern Christianity flourished. And some orders of Catholic friars wear beards matching the prevailing image of Jesus and the early Christians.
Age-Old Symbols in Modern-Day Warfare
None of these connotations have been lost to history, buried in mankind's genetic and cultural past. They are each still in play, making frequent appearances on today's news channels: a clean-shaven Vladimir Putin soliciting the support of Moscow's long-bearded Orthodox patriarch; a bearded Hassan Rouhani answering the questions of clean-shaven panelists at the World Economic Forum; Islamic State fighters parading through a dusty street sporting beards and trimmed mustaches, as the Prophet Mohammed instructed.
The brain processes each of these images almost as quickly as they appear on the screen, taking in dozens of distinct signs and symbols at the same time. Their effect on our emotions — and on our need to act — is almost imperceptible, and we are less in control of our responses than we think. Shielding diverse audiences from the stealthy impact of targeted visual imagery takes constant and arduous work, but it will become increasingly necessary in the battle for hearts and minds against semiotic-savvy adversaries like the Islamic State. Any side looking to gain the advantage must shore up its digital defenses, lest it be pulled by the beard.
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