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AlterNet: Exposing Anti-Islam Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Latest Deception

28 March, 2015 - 17:07

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali/Magan

An excellent article by Max Blumenthal on Ayaan Hirsi Ali that has gotten a lot of shares on social media. It notes what we and many others have for quite some time, her fraudulent autobiography and deceptive Islamophobic tactics.

By Max Blumenthal, AlterNet

While promoting her new book, Heretic, on a March 23 episode of “The Daily Show,” Somali-born author and anti-Islam activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali made a staggering claim: “If you look at 70 percent of the violence in the world today, Muslims are responsible,” she told host Jon Stewart.

Stewart did not demand any evidence and Hirsi Ali provided no citation. However, she made a strikingly similar statement in a March 20 essay previewing her new book for the Wall Street Journal: “According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies,” Hirsi Ali wrote in WSJ’s Saturday Essay, “at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims.”

I contacted the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a leading British foreign policy think tank, to inquire about the source of Hirsi Ali’s statistic. According to IISS Media Relations and Communications Officer Kat Slowe, IISS did not explicitly state such a figure in its research.

“I have spoken to a number of our experts and they cannot identify where this statistic may have come from,” Slowe told me.

“Their best guess is that the journalist in question [Hirsi Ali] may have access/a subscription to the [IISS] Armed Conflict Database and may have calculated this statistic independently. There are some concerns that it could be misleading as, without Syria (near 200,000 total deaths, and almost half of last year’s global conflict deaths) the figure would look massively different (and of course, this conflict did not have its root in religion),” Slowe added.

Read the entire article…

IndiaTimes: “Shocking! Mob Ties A Noose Around The Neck Of This Cow Trader And Makes Him Utter ‘Jai Shri Ram'”

27 March, 2015 - 16:58

Jai_Shri_Ram_India_Hindutva_Terrorism

In France, it’s the politics of pork, in Sri Lanka and India it’s over meat in general.

(h/t: Saqib)

By Mugda Kapoor, India Times

Modi might have said that his Government would not allow any religious group belonging to a majority or a minority to incite hatred, but things in India are far from over. The ban on beef by the Maharashtra government has already kicked off a huge country-wide rage, this was made even worse when Haryana (another BJP ruled state) decided to follow suit. The latest twist into the ban of beef is the following video which has been going viral.

The video allegedly features a muslim cow trader who was trading cows for his hindu employer. It shows him tied to an electric pole and surrounded by a fundamentalist mob which is thrashing him and inciting him to utter Jai Shri Ram.

Click here to watch video.

France: Pregnant Muslim Woman Attacked & Beaten For Wearing Hijab

27 March, 2015 - 16:40

France_Hijab
By IbTimes

A pregnant Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was violently attacked in the French town of Toulouse by an individual, who accused her of wearing a “hijab” to hide her hair.

According to her account, the attacker pulled on her veil, grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, where he hit her several times in a street of the Rose Garden, in the north-east of Toulouse.

The young women, in her thirties, lodged a complaint of racist abuse a day after the attack on 24 March. Investigators of the body of departmental security have interviewed the mother at the clinic she is recovering in.

“There is no reason to doubt her word,” said a police source, referring to the possibility of the establishment of a sketch of the assailant who fled.

‘None of that in our country’

According to the victim’s husband, Mounir, 33, the woman took her two daughters to school when she was faced by two young men.

“One of them grabbed her hair, pulled on her veil while insulting her [saying] ‘None of that in our country’ … He threw a lot of punches… His friend, who was not involved in the violence, told him to stop,” the man was quoted as saying by La Depeche du Midi.

In a statement, the Socialist deputy of Haute-Garonne, Christophe Borgel, said “there was no doubt” about “the racist and anti-Muslim character of this aggression”.

“The [French] Republic does not tolerate any racist attack, the [French] Republic will not tolerate any aggression because of the religion of one of its citizens,” Borgel wrote.

The spokesman of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith (CRCM) in the Midi-Pyrénées, Abdellatif Mellouki, said he had “deep concerns” about “an increase in Islamophobic acts.

This comes less than 10 days after thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and a dozen of cities in the country – including Lyon, Marseille and Grenoble – to protest against racism and Islamophobia. The protestors claim the attacks against Charlie Hebdo triggered further racist acts.

In late February, an Odoxa poll revealed 77% of French people felt Islamophobia was progressing – while 68% said it was also the case for anti-Semitism.

Raw Story: Georgia ‘patriot’ reportedly planted pipe bombs in park to sow fear of Muslims

24 March, 2015 - 22:34

Pipe-bomb-via-Shutterstock-800x430

By David Ferguson, Raw Story

A 67-year-old Marietta, Georgia man is accused of planting a backpack containing two pipe bombs in an Atlanta-area public park in order to frighten the public and sow fear of Islamic terrorism.

According to Atlanta’s Channel 2 News, conservative “patriot” Michael Sibley confessed to police that he was trying to educate people that terror strikes can happen anywhere and without warning when he planted the bombs last November.

The backpack contained two partially-constructed pipe bombs, a Koran and a list of “soft targets” for terrorist attacks — i.e., non-military, unguarded structures like hospitals and schools. Among the list of potential targets was an Atlanta Jewish center.

Channel 2 quoted Sibley’s arrest report, which reported that he “(s)tated that he is a ‘patriot’ and he felt no one was paying attention to what was going on the world. Sibley felt if he placed the package in a Roswell park then people would finally get that this type of activity could happen anywhere.”

Read the entire article…

Devout Christian Goes On Rampage At New Orleans Airport And You Didn’t Hear About It

24 March, 2015 - 19:35

via. Daily Beast

via. Daily Beast

What if they were Muslim?

By Dean Obeidallah, The Daily Beast

A Muslim American man carrying a duffel bag that holds six homemade explosives, a machete, and poison spray travels to a major U.S. airport. The man enters the airport, approaches the TSA security checkpoint, and then sprays two TSA officers with the poison. He then grabs his machete and chases another TSA officer with it.

This Muslim man is then shot and killed by the police. After the incident, a search of the attacker’s car by the police reveals it contained acetylene and oxygen tanks, two substances that, when mixed together, will yield a powerful explosive.

If this scenario occurred, there’s zero doubt that this would be called a terrorist attack. Zero. It would make headlines across the country and world, and we would see wall-to-wall cable news coverage for days. And, of course, certain right-wing media outlets, many conservative politicians, and Bill Maher would use this event as another excuse to stoke the flames of hate toward Muslims.

Well, last Friday night, this exact event took place at the New Orleans airport—that is, except for one factual difference: The attacker was not Muslim. Consequently, you might be reading about this brazen assault for the first time here, although this incident did receive a smattering of media coverage over the weekend.

The man who commited this attack was Richard White, a 63-year-old former Army serviceman who has long been retired and living on Social Security and disability checks. He was reportedly a devout Jehovah’s Witness.

Given the facts that a man armed with explosives and weapons traveled to an airport and only attacked federal officers, you would think that the word “terrorism” would at least come up as a possibility, right?  But it’s not even mentioned.

Instead, law enforcement was quick to chalk this incident up to the attacker’s alleged “mental health issues.” That was pretty amazing police work considering this conclusion came within hours of the attack. There was no mention by police that they had even explored whether White had issues with the federal government stemming from his military service, if there was any evidence he held anti-government views, etc.

Perhaps Mr. White truly was mentally ill. Interviews with his neighbors, however, don’t even give us a hint that he had mental problems. Rather they described White as a “meek” and “kind” man who a few had spoken to just days before the incident and everything seemed fine. You would think these neighbors would at least note that White had a history of mental illness if it was so apparent.

Read the entire article…

For A French Rabbi And His Muslim Team, There’s Work To Be Done

24 March, 2015 - 18:19

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By Eleanor Beadsley, NPR

Rabbi Michel Serfaty drives to his first appointment of the day, in a suburb south of Paris, just a couple miles from the notorious housing project where gunman Amedy Coulibaly grew up.

Coulibaly is the self-proclaimed Islamist radical who killed a police officer and later four people in a Kosher market in Paris terrorist attacks in January.

France has Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities. For the last decade Serfaty and his team have been working in bleak places like this, trying to promote understanding between the two populations.

Serfaty is still going to the same places since the attacks, but there’s now a team of undercover police officers who accompany him everywhere. Still, The rabbi says he’s more determined than ever.

“These are difficult times for France and especially for French Jews,” he says. “But if anything, we realize our work is even more important.”

The rabbi makes his way into a community center where his French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association has a stand at a local job fair. Serfaty hopes to recruit several more young people to help with community outreach in the largely Muslim, immigrant communities where most people have never even met a Jewish person.

A poster for the French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association, which works in many poor, immigrant neighborhoods.

A poster for the French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association, which works in many poor, immigrant neighborhoods.

Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

“In these places they often have specific ideas about Jews,” says Serfaty. “And if they’re negative, we bring arguments and try to open people’s eyes to what are prejudices and negative stereotypes. We try to show children, mothers and teenagers that being Muslim is great, but if they don’t know any Jews, well this is how they are, and they’re also respectable citizens.”

Serfaty says people need to realize they must all work together to build France’s future.

The rabbi takes advantage of funding from a government program that helps youths without work experience find their first job. Serfaty takes them on for a period of three years, giving them valuable training in mediation and community relations. Serfaty’s recruits also study Judaism and Islam. And he takes them on a trip to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp.

The rabbi takes advantage of funding from a government program that helps youths without work experience find their first job. Serfaty takes them on for a period of three years, giving them valuable training in mediation and community relations. Serfaty’s recruits also study Judaism and Islam. And he takes them on a trip to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp.

Serfaty is looking to hire three or four new people. With his affable manner and easy laugh, the job interviews are more like a friendly conversation. He needs Muslim employees for his work, but French laws on secularism forbid him from asking applicants about their religion. So Serfaty draws out the candidates’ views and beliefs in discussion — and through provocative questions.

Read the entire article...

Jews And Muslims: It’s Complicated (III)

23 March, 2015 - 23:49

Algeria_Jewish_Quarter

Original Guest post by Mehdi

Read part I and II in this series

The revolutions that swept across Europe: the French revolution, the Napoleonic wars and the 1830-1848 revolutions had a tremendous effect on the lives of people in the Muslim majority world:

  • Economically: as the industrial revolution radically changed world economics, increasing the importance of industry and manufacturing, it also reduced the importance of economic centers such as China, India and the Ottoman empire. Increased effectiveness in navy and train freight transportation fed the needs of the new European industrial elite, particularly hungry for natural resources.
  • Militarily: European powers acquired military experience and technology during their wars that gave them a decisive edge over potential opponents elsewhere in the world. This would prove decisive when they conquered nations and carved out their colonial empires, in the process destroying any resistance.
  • Politically and strategically: the wave of revolutions radically changed European politics and the structure of political systems. It also resulted in rivalries and competition that drove them to radicalizing their modern imperialist projects, which started to impact the rest of the word.

These changes are all well-known (documented by the late British historian Eric Hobsbawm), but most historical analysis focuses less on an important aspect: the impact of enlightenment ideas and modernity, especially on Arab minorities, including Arab Jews.

As explained in the last article, Jews (and Christians) lived under the Dhimma status, which provided a framework for protection and collective rights. The major paradigm shift was about the term “collective,” as this new era of modernity advanced the role of the individual and the importance of his/her rights.

Arab minorities were gradually exposed to these ideas, often via. European imperialist powers whose motives were less than noble. The imperialist powers carried out “divide and conquer” policies, using missionaries, trade delegations, military expeditions and specific legal arrangements known as capitulations.

European powers also declared themselves the protectors of so-called repressed minorities, such as the Druze or Maronite in Lebanon; a cynical move which sought to manipulate groups in order to increase their influence.

While the Enlightenment ideas were clearly instrumentalized for ulterior motives,  they were still attractive to minorities who aspired to a better status than second class citizenship. It should be noted however that there was also great tumult when changes were put into place, many minorities did not desire change to the status quo.

The decline of the Ottoman empire and other Muslim states led to a situation where they were incapable of addressing new challenges brought by modernity, they could not re-invent a legal system that worked for centuries but required adjustments or reforms in a new context. There were attempts to do so but they did not stir massive support, and were inaudible in the context of European aggressions.

European colonial powers also enacted laws and decrees that were clear “divide and conquer” measures, such as the Crémieux decree in Algeria (named after Jewish French politician Adolphe Crémieux), which allowed for native Jews to become French citizens while Muslim Arabs and Berbers were excluded and remained under the second-class ‘indigenous’ status outlined in the “Code de l’Indigénat.”

CremieuxThere were many other examples, (such as the French promotion of Berber separatism in Algeria and Morocco to no avail), and while the previous example is specific to Algeria, it shows the impact of colonialism on coexistence between Algerian Jews and Muslims.  As their lifestyles changed, they started naming their children differently (moving from typical Arabic Jewish names such as Mardochee or Haim to French names such as Raymond, Maurice or Marcel), living in different neighborhoods and studying under different educational systems (if they ever went to school at all, since the indigenous populations were globally excluded from any education).

The Impact of European Anti-Semitism

Historically, while some limited collaborations existed, the lives of European and Arab Jews was quite different. It is impossible to list all of these differences, but it is important to highlight that the condition of European Jews, and the persecutions they were subjected to (pogroms in Eastern Europe, discrimination in central Europe, Anti-Semitic public campaigns such as the Dreyfus affair in France) ended up impacting the Muslim world.

The history of Anti-Semitism is complex, and should be differentiated depending on the European countries and regions, but their concrete effects resulted in European Jews debating the best ways of addressing them, choosing between different strategies:

  • Assimilation: many European Jews believed in their capacity to be accepted by succeeding in public life, whether economically, politically (e.g. Benjamin Disraeli), or by simply supporting the emancipating ideals of enlightenment or modernity. Many prominent Jews chose a more radical approach by being involved in anarchist or communist revolutionary movements. It is interesting to note that several examples of Jewish success stories resulted in backlashes and more Anti-Semitic delirium (as a side note, contemporary racist rants in the USA after the election of President Obama or in Europe against Muslim or Black ministers parallel this delirium).
  • Emigration: chosen mostly by Eastern European Jews, especially after several waves of pogroms. The preferred destination was usually the USA, until restrictions were applied through the 1924 immigration act.
  • Zionism: promoting a separate Jewish homeland. The movement was initiated by Theodor Herzl after the Dreyfus affair convinced him that Jews had no future in Europe.
  • Bundism: mostly based in Eastern Europe, promoting national-cultural autonomy but clearly in conflict with Zionism. Bundism was depicted as an escapist doctrine with critics stating it served the agenda of Anti-Semites who wanted Jews out of Europe. Bundists defended Jewish communities in Eastern Europe until WW2. Famous Polish hero Marek Hedelman was one of its main figures, refusing to leave Poland and was also a prominent critic of Israeli policies until his passing. The Nazi holocaust, terror policies and repression ended up destroying the Bund movement.

BundThese directions are not a comprehensive outlook and strategies were not as clear cut, but this shows the different strategies that Jews had when facing European Anti-Semitism. The objective of this article is not to qualify which strategy is the best, nor to draw any political equivalence between such approaches. I am myself extremely opposed to Zionism but my criticism is not the topic of this article, the intent is to examine what happened and the resulting consequences.

Overall, the majority of European Jews either chose assimilation or immigration to the USA until 1924. The rise of Nazism in Germany and anti-immigration laws in the US aimed at European Jews changed the situation drastically and made the Zionist project an alternative in the 1930s and after WW2.

The Zionist movement started organizing departures of European Jews towards Palestine for settlement. The Balfour declaration provided the movement with political cover for departures, leaving the British in a situation where they had to balance their promises toward Zionist leaders with the promises of independence they made to Arab leaders. The British never established a clear strategy in the face of the arrival of Jewish settlers which led to more tensions and increased conflict such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.

While they were incapable of addressing the demands of both communities, the actions of the British strengthened the Zionist movement at the expense of Palestinian society and its leadership. For instance when they militarily crushed the 1936-39 Palestinian intifada and also simultaneously trained Zionist settlers, including many future Israeli army leaders within their ranks, such as Moshe Dayan. The events in the 1920s-30s gradually led the Zionist movement to become stronger, more militarized and tempted to implement an expulsion of the Arab population.

Intifada-36The outcome of the 1947-49 war was made predictable by the combined: crushing of the 1936-39 Palestinian insurgency (leaving the Palestinians with most of their political leadership either dead, in prison or in exile, crushed militarily, and with hardly any organized militia), the acquired military experience and weaponry by Jewish Hagganah and Irgun movements (during the Intifada and WW2), and the moral outrage following the horrific WW2 holocaust, which drew sympathy to the Zionist cause from the European and American public.

Joseph Stalin provided unexpected support to the Zionists first by allowing several tens of thousands of Polish Jews to emigrate to Palestine, including trained soldiers who had participated in resistance movements during the war, and by providing an important weapon shipment via. Czechoslovakia that David Ben Gurion later acknowledged to be decisive.

Ironically Joseph Stalin provided this decisive support to Zionists while conducting anti-Semitic campaigns in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

On the field, despite the intervention of Arab armies, the Hagana/Irgun and other militias outnumbered them, most estimates range between about 60,000 troops on the Israeli side versus less than 30,000 on the Arab side. The only army that was a potential threat to the Zionist militias was the Jordanian Arab legion, which never entered the battle due to a secret agreement between Golda Meir and King Abdallah, where the latter agreed to stay away from the conflict while being allowed to annex the West bank.

The war itself is subject to a lot of controversies, regarding the different strategies undertaken by the belligerents, the factors that led to the Israeli victory and the intentionality behind the mass expulsion of the Palestinians. The narrative of an Israeli “David” fighting heroically for its survival against superior Arab “Goliath” armies and winning against the odds has been the mainstream story for decades on the Israeli and Western side.

This view has started to erode since the 1980’s with the emergence of Israel’s “new historians”, the picture is now more nuanced, showing that the odds for an Israeli victory were even, if not overwhelmingly in its favor.

Nearly 80% of the Palestinian population living within the new state of Israel were expelled in what is known as the Nakba, most of them became refugees even before David Ben Gurion declared independence. (As often is the case in such tragedies, estimates are subject to speculation, the official figure is 711,000 Palestinians while 10,000 Jews were forced to evacuate their homes from Arab dominated parts of former Mandatory Palestine).

This was clearly shown and documented by the generation of “new historians,” who accessed the Israeli archives in the 1980s, confirming that the Palestinians were forced out massively and violently. There is a debate among the historians as to whether the expulsion was planned in advance (Benny Morris claims that it wasn’t whereas other historians such as Avi Shlaim or Illan Pappé conclude the opposite), but they all confirm that Palestinians were forced to leave their home. After the war, they would never be given any possibility to return to their lands, despite Israel signing UN resolution 194 that allowed such a return.

nakba

The irony is that Zionism, which presented itself as a liberation movement for Jews, became a colonization and expansionist movement for Arabs. That dilemma is still there, especially after the 1967 six-day war which saw the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and Golan heights (an occupation that still goes on except for the Sinai peninsula).

While the narratives continue to be debated, two points are indisputable:

  • The 1947-49 war resulted in the Nakba and saw the beginning of the Palestinian tragedy: causing moral outrage for Arabs and Muslims and a state of constant tensions and wars with the state of Israel, which presents itself as the representatives of Jews around the world.
  • Arab Jews were left in an uncomfortable situation, not clear whether to join the new state or stay in their countries.

The next and final article in this series will cover the separation between Arab Jews and Muslims, its reasons and effects and what we can and must do now.

 

Bill Maher Wanted to Remind You: He’s Still A Likud Loving Zionist Who Hates Arabs And Muslims

23 March, 2015 - 19:23

Bill_Maher_Netanyahu

Of course one doesn’t expect hypocritical, lying Bill Maher to change his racist beliefs and insecurities about Arabs and Muslims over night; that’s part of the reason people watch him. Bill, like any slime ball politician knows his constituency and they love when he hates on Arabs and Muslims.

Still, it was quite something to see Bill Maher bizarrely defend the almost universally scorned (except by the Republicans) Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

I guess he just wanted to remind us, in case we forgot, that he loves himself some Israel.:

By Jack Jenkins, ThinkProgress

Politicians, Jewish advocacy groups, and Rabbis have been highly critical of methods used by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to win reelection last week, particularly his short-lived public renunciation of a two-state solution to the Palestinian crisis and his 11th-hour bid to bolster his supporters by warning that “Arab voters are coming in droves to the ballot boxes.” President Barack Obama said the remarks were “contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions,” the New York Times editorial board called them “desperate, and craven,” and Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, noted the tactics were a “naked appeal to his hard-right bases’ fears rather than their hopes.” Several others, including Reform Rabbi Zinkow, said the prime minister’s comments “sound racist.”

But talk show host and self-professed liberal Bill Maher attempted to stifle the growing criticism of Netanyahu on Saturday night. Speaking to a panel that included a GOP strategist and a former Republican lawmaker, Maher challenged claims that the prime minister’s remarks were racist by, confusingly, pointing to America’s own history of using racist political tactics.

“I guess that is racist, in the strictest sense — he’s bringing race into the equation,” Maher said of Netanyahu’s remarks. “But, first of all, like Reagan didn’t win races with racism? Or Nixon? Or Bush? Like they didn’t play the race card? Reagan opened his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, remember that? Remember Willie Horton?”

Maher’s second rant on the subject took an even more bizarre turn, with the host trying to add “a little perspective” by outlining a hypothetical scenario in which America is under siege from “black nations.” He also drew comparisons between Netanyahu’s election and America’s internment of Japanese people during World War II.

“I heard a lot of commentators here say, it would been as if Mitt Romney, in 2012, on the eve of the election said, ‘black voters are coming out in droves to the polls,’” he said. “But I don’t know if that’s really a great analogy. I think that would be a good analogy if America was a country that was surrounded by 12 or 13 completely black nations who had militarily attacked us many times, including as recently as last year. Would we let them vote? I don’t know. When we were attacked by the Japanese, we didn’t just not let them vote, we rounded them up and put them in camps.”

A video of the exchange is below.

Update: By the way, here’s what an apology that isn’t an apology looks like. Get ready for the laughs, provided for by Netanyahu.:

“I wasn’t trying to block anyone from voting. I was trying to mobilize my own forces,” Netanyahu said in an interview with NPR Friday. “And that mobilization was based on Arab money — sorry, on foreign money, a lot of foreign money that was coming in.”

If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalising ‘barbaric cultural practices’, then he should arrest himself for even suggesting it

23 March, 2015 - 17:39

StephenHarper

Robert Fisk Sunday 22 March 2015

And while he’s at it, he can lock up all the other Western leaders who have savaged the Muslim world too

Is Stephen Harper off his rocker? Forget his trip to Jerusalem last year when the Canadian prime minister said that criticism of Israel was a “mask” for anti-Semitism.

Ignore his utter failure to bring home to Canada al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, whose retrial was staged by the Egyptian government to give him the chance to leave for his country of adoption. Cast aside Harper’s Blair-like contention that the Islamist murders of Canadian soldiers had nothing – absolutely zilch – to do with his decision to send Canada’s F-18 jets against Isis.

Now Harper, the man with the choir-boy good looks whose pro-Israeli policies might win him a seat in the Knesset, is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April Fool’s Day – the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”. Yup, when I first read the phrase “Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”, I felt sure it was a joke, a line from the “Big Bang Theory” or a Channel 4 mockudrama about Nigel Farage’s first premiership.

Nope. It’s all real. But let me quickly explain that the “Barbaric Cultural Practices” in question are polygamy, “gender-based” family violence, “honour-killing” and forcing children under 16 to leave Canada for marriages abroad. I’ve no problem with legislation against this, of course. Nor have most Canadians.

I’m also against illegally invading foreign countries, colonising other people’s land, “waterboarding” and bombing wedding parties, or firing drone missiles into Waziristan villages. But these aren’t quite the “barbaric cultural practices” Mr Harper has in mind.

What’s odd about the “barbarism” he’s thinking about – although the very use of the word “culture” is intriguing now that Isis has determined that “culture” is a sin after the Tunis museum massacre – is that these “practices” are already forbidden by Canadian law.

Polygamy is illegal in Canada – although Mormon polygamists in British Columbia appear strangely untouched by the new legislation – and Canadians were a bit non-plussed to learn from their government last week that there are “hundreds” of polygamists in their country. As for “honour-killing”, murder is murder is murder, in Canada as in Britain and in the US and in almost every other country in the world.

No, the catch is that this unique legislation, which Canadian MPs will be discussing again today, is that it doesn’t come from Canada’s perfectly capable minister of justice Peter MacKay, but from the Canadian minister of – you guessed it – Citizenship and Immigration. Now isn’t that odd?

The chap in charge of Canada’s immigration policies is Christopher Alexander, who is himself a pretty “cultured” politician, a McGill and Balliol man, a former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, where there’s plenty of polygamy and “honour-killing” and child marriage, and, well, let’s not go into Afghan government corruption, Afghan police torture, drones and the rest.

Because in truth, the new Canadian legislation is about foreigners or – more to the point – Muslims. Hence the BC Mormons have nothing to worry about. Because the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act (Bill S-7) – let us keep repeating this weird name – is playing what Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom calls the “foreign barbarian card”.

It foregrounds not crime per se but crime specifically associated with Muslims – hence the Canadian government’s legislative gloss that the act is against barbaric “traditions”. And Muslims, as we know, have for centuries been famous in Western song and legend for harems, multiple wives and disrespect for women.

There are indeed plenty of things wrong with Muslim societies. I’ve written extensively in The Independent about the scourge of “honour killings” – the slaughter of young women for refusing arranged marriages or adultery or who were merely rumoured to have behaved “immorally” (like calling a man on a mobile phone) in Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, “Palestine”, Jordan and Egypt.

Continue reading …

The Intercept: “What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name?”

19 March, 2015 - 21:03

Imagining being in France, visiting a site like Loonwatch or Al-Kanz and watching this pop up.:

french-censorship-article-display-b

That is the sign of the French state preventing access to websites it has deemed forbidden, under the pretext of stopping “terrorism” when in fact such state sanctioned policies can also easily criminalize ideas. These policies are proliferating all over Europe and other Western nations.

One wonders where are all the supporters free speech?

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

(David Thompson)

When the block functions properly, visitors to those banned sites, rather than accessing the content of the sites they chose to visit, will be automatically redirected to the Interior Ministry website. There, they will be greeted by a graphic of a large red hand, and text informing them that they were attempting to access a site that causes or promotes terrorism: “you are being redirected to this official website since your computer was about to connect with a page that provokes terrorist acts or condones terrorism publicly.”

No judge reviews the Interior Ministry’s decisions. The minister first requests that the website owner voluntarily remove the content he deems transgressive; upon disobedience, the minister unilaterally issues the order to Internet service providers for the sites to be blocked. This censorship power is vested pursuant to a law recently enacted in France empowering the interior minister to block websites.

Forcibly taking down websites deemed to be supportive of terrorism, or criminalizing speech deemed to “advocate” terrorism, is a major trend in both Europe and the West generally. Last month in Brussels, the European Union’s counter-terrorism coordinator issued a memo proclaiming that “Europe is facing an unprecedented, diverse and serious terrorist threat,” and argued that increased state control over the Internet is crucial to combating it.

The memo noted that “the EU and its Member States have developed several initiatives related to countering radicalisation and terrorism on the Internet,” yet argued that more must be done. It argued that the focus should be on “working with the main players in the Internet industry [a]s the best way to limit the circulation of terrorist material online.” It specifically hailed the tactics of the U.K. Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which has succeeded in causing the removal of large amounts of material it deems “extremist”:

In addition to recommending the dissemination of “counter-narratives” by governments, the memo also urged EU member states to “examine the legal and technical possibilities to remove illegal content.”

Exploiting terrorism fears to control speech has been a common practice in the West since 9/11, but it is becoming increasingly popular even in countries that have experienced exceedingly few attacks. A new extremist bill advocated by the right-wing Harper government in Canada (also supported by Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau even as he recognizes its dangers) would create new crimes for “advocating terrorism”; specifically: “every person who, by communicating statements, knowingly advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general” would be a guilty and can be sent to prison for five years for each offense.

In justifying the new proposal, the Canadian government admits that “under the current criminal law, it is [already] a crime to counsel or actively encourage others to commit a specific terrorism offence.” This new proposal is about criminalizing ideas and opinions. In the government’s words, it “prohibits the intentional advocacy or promotion of terrorism, knowing or reckless as to whether it would result in terrorism.”

There can be no doubt that such new criminal laws are specifically intended to ban ideas these governments dislike. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives lays out numerous ways that the law will allow the government to imprison people for the expression of political ideas:

The new offence will bring within its ambit all kinds of innocent speech, some of which no doubt lies at the core of freedom of expression values that the Charter was meant to protect. . . .Even if the government exercises restraint in laying charges and arresting people, the result is an inevitable chill on speech. Students will think twice before posting an article on Facebook questioning military action against insurgents overseas. Journalists will be wary of questioning government decisions to add groups to Canada’s list of terrorist entities.

If someone argues that continuous Western violence and interference in the Muslim world for decades justifies violence being returned to the West, or even advocates that governments arm various insurgents considered by some to be “terrorists,” such speech could easily be viewed as constituting a crime.

To calm concerns, Canadian authorities point out that “the proposed new offence is similar to one recently enacted by Australia, that prohibits advocating a terrorist act or the commission of a terrorism offence-all while being reckless as to whether another person will engage in this kind of activity.” Indeed, Australia enacted a new law late last year that indisputably targets political speech and ideas, as well as criminalizing journalism considered threatening by the government.

Punishing people for their speech deemed extremist or dangerous has been a vibrant practice in both the U.K. and U.S. for some time now, as I detailed (coincidentally) just a couple days before free speech marches broke out in the West after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Those criminalization-of-speech attacks overwhelmingly target Muslims, and have resulted in the punishment of such classic free speech activities as posting anti-war commentary on Facebook, tweeting links to “extremist” videos, translating and posting “radicalizing” videos to the Internet, writing scholarly articles in defense of Palestinian groups and expressing harsh criticism of Israel, and even including a Hezbollah channel in a cable package.

In this regard, having the French Interior Ministry now unilaterally block websites is the next logical step in this growing attack on free speech by Western governments in the name of stopping extremism and radicalism. The large red hand of state censors over the Internet is a perfect symbol of the prevailing mindset in the West, whose fondness for self-righteously condemning China and Iran for their attempts to control Internet content is bottomless. The ironic mass arrests by France of people who “glorify” terrorism — carried out in the immediate aftermath of the Paris “free speech” rally — largely targeted that country’s Muslims.

Read the entire article…

Central African Republic: 417 Mosques Have Been Destroyed

18 March, 2015 - 23:03

During UN envoys visit to the country last month, the US envoy said that 417 of the country's mosques have been destroyed.

During UN envoys visit to the country last month, the US envoy said that 417 of the country’s mosques have been destroyed.

Did it really take Samantha Power to highlight the destruction of mosques in CAR? It has already been pointed out by many observers and legitimate human rights organizations.

As the following article notes, CAR is a “mineral rich” country, that being the case it would be wise to be wary of the interests of neo-Colonial nations and their own schemes in the region.

In the meantime the people of CAR continue to suffer and struggle.

via. OnIslam.net

BANGUI – Long months of fighting in Central African Republic have resulted in the destruction of almost all mosques in the tiny African country, leaving a huge Muslim population with no worshipping places.

The devastation “kind of crazy, chilling”, Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN spoke to reporters on Tuesday after a Security Council visit last week to the country, Aljazeera reported.

Power added that the outcome of months of war was widely noticed in mosques of the country.

During UN envoys visit to the country last month, the US envoy said that 417 of the country’s mosques have been destroyed.

She visited the one remaining Muslim neighbourhood in the capital, Bangui, and described the residents as “a terrified population”.

In PK5, the only Muslim district in the capital, Muslim women, terrified to leave for donning hijab, were forced to give birth in their homes instead of hospitals.

After France and European Union decisions to pull peacekeepers, Power expected the situation to get worse.

France had sent 2,000 troops to its former colony.

“That’s a big drop-off in capability,” she said.

The UN peacekeeping force remains at about 80 percent of its planned strength of about 10,000, Power said.

The UN secretary-general last month asked for more than 1,000 additional peacekeepers, and Power said the council is “very favorably disposed” to the request.

She added that the combined forces have “averted a worst-case scenario,” but the country’s roving armed groups remain armed.

CAR, a mineral-rich, landlocked country, descended into anarchy in March of 2013 when Seleka rebels ousted François Bozize, a Christian, who had come to power in the 2003 coup.

Over the past months, anti-balaka Christian militias have raided Muslim homes killing children and women and looting and vandalizing properties.

Along with killing, kidnapping, torture and arbitrary arrest and detention, in the war-torn CAR, a UN investigation found evidences of sexual violence.

According to the UN, more than one million have been internally displaced since the eruption of violence in December 2012.

Inter-religious violence has claimed thousands of lives and displaced a million people in the population of 4.6 million, yet such clashes are unprecedented in the poor, landlocked country.

‘Half-Breed Jew’ Committed Holocaust, Claims Netanyahu Ally John Hagee

17 March, 2015 - 20:27

Netanyahu_Hagee_CUFI

By Bruce Wilson, Huffington Post

Who committed the Holocaust? For the overwhelming majority of historians and, needless to say, Jews it’s a settled question: Hitler, and his Nazis. But Christians United For Israel (CUFI) head John Hagee, one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest American allies, has a different answer: “half-breed Jews.”

Netanyahu meets frequently with Hagee, endorses CUFI, has spoken at numerous CUFI events, and lavishes Hagee and his organization with praise. Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently scheduled to speak at CUFI’s annual Washington summit, July 13-14 2015.

John Hagee book Jerusalem CountdownHagee’s Christians United For Israel organization currently sells a book by pastor John Hagee, Jerusalem Countdown: A warning To The World, which on page 149 (2006 “revised and updated” paperback edition) claims Adolf Hitler was a “half-breed Jew” and states (p. 97) that Hitler was sent by God, as a “hunter,” to persecute Europe’s Jews and drive them towards “the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel.”

In 2008 media uproar over Hagee’s “hunter” claim (as made in a 2005 sermon that was exposed by this author) led presidential candidate John McCain to renounce his long-sought endorsement from pastor Hagee.

Hagee’s claim that Hitler was Jewish is not new. In a 2003 sermon broadcast internationally and marketed as a VHS cassette, John Hagee claimed [link to video of sermon] the Antichrist would be “partially Jewish, as was Adolf Hitler, as was Karl Marx.”

CUFI head John Hagee also blames anti-Semitism on Jews themselves, writing in Jerusalem Countdown (p. 56) that “It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews… that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day.” Hagee’s book then traces (p. 57) the birth of anti-Semitism to Jewish idol worship:

How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for his chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings he had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.

In Hagee’s account “half-breed Jews,” Hitler included, have served as the human agents by which God implements a divine curse placed upon the racially pure (non-miscegenated) Jewish people.

On page 149 of Hagee’s book Jerusalem Countdown, in a chapter with the ominous title “Who Is a Jew,” Hagee writes,

Esau’s descendants would produce a lineage that would attack and slaughter the Jews for centuries. Esau’s descendants included Haman, whose diabolical mind conceived the “final solution” of the Old Testament — the extermination of all Jews living in Persia. It was Esau’s descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension.

Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau.

In his next sentence, Hagee goes on to make the false claim that in the 1976 book Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, noted Hitler biographer John Toland “records that Hitler was part Jewish.” What Toland actually stated in his Hitler biography was “There is the slight possibility that Hitler’s grandfather was a wealthy Jew named Frankenberger or Frankenreither.”

Hagee’s identification of a miscegenated race of “half-breed Jews” tracing back to Esau seems to originate in theological ideas from the fringe, virulently racist white supremacist Christian Identity movement, as described in books such as Religion and The Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement, by leading authority Dr. Michael Barkun.

While John Hagee has for decades loudly and publicly condemned anti-Semitism, his writings and sermons have nonetheless promoted some of the most influential and inflammatory anti-Jewish tropes of the modern era, such as the claim that predatory Jewish bankers control international finance and prey upon the masses of humankind.

John Hagee sermon, March 23, 2003

John Hagee, giving March 23, 2003 sermon

In a March 23, 2003 sermon broadcast internationally, Hagee claimed European Rothschild bankers, along with David Rockefeller, controlled the U.S. economy through the Federal Reserve — which according to Hagee was bankrupting average Americans by devaluing the dollar.

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League identifies this type of Federal Reserve conspiracy theory, that places Jewish bankers at the center of the proposed grand financial conspiracy, as a “classic anti-Semitic myth”

Hagee’s Jewish banker conspiracy theory was astonishingly similar to claims showcased in the 1940 anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew, said to have been produced under supervision of Hitler’s propagandist Joseph Goebbels [link to video footage] .

promotional poster for Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew

Promotional poster for Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda film “Der Ewige Jude” (“The Eternal Jew”)

The Nazi film claimed (see link, above) that Jewish bankers, led by European Rothschilds, had “spread their net of financial influence over the working man” and were using their influence over global finance to “terrorize world [money] markets, world opinion, and world politics.”

In his March 23, 2003 sermon, that was marketed by John Hagee Ministries as a 3-VHS cassette tape series, Hagee explained [video link], to his megachurch members and to audiences viewing Hagee’s sermon on evangelical radio and TV networks across the globe:

It may be shocking to you but I believe that America’s economic problems are not created by market conditions, they are planned and orchestrated to devalue and to destroy the value of the dollar. It was done by an unseen government that I’ll discuss later in this message.

[..]

Our economic destiny is controlled by the Federal Reserve system that is now headed by Alan Greenspan. Think about this. It is not a government institution. It is controlled by a group of Class A stockholders including the Rothschilds of Europe and the David Rockefellers of America…

So get this one thought. The value of the dollar is controlled by an agency which is not controlled by America. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in finance to understand that. The value of your dollar is controlled by an organization, the Federal Reserve that is not controlled by America. That’s a fact.

packaging of 2003 Hagee sermon series Iraq The Final War

Packaging of John Hagee’s 2003 3-sermon VHS set Iraq: The Final War, that contained Hagee’s March 23, 2003 sermon

Hagee also aired his Jewish banker conspiracy theory in his 1996 book Day of Deception that was reprinted in 2000 in an edition billed as having sold “over 1.1 million copies.” Hagee’s Day of Deception is still sold, by Thomas Nelson publishers. In the book, Hagee makes clear that European Rothschilds (not Rockefellers) have majority shareholder control of the Federal Reserve.

In his March 23, 2003 sermon, Hagee predicted that Jewish financiers were behind a satanic Illuminati plot, based in Europe, that would bring the Antichrist to power. This Antichrist, who in a prior sermon Hagee had predicted would be both partially Jewish and homosexual, would according to Hagee [video link] slaughter up to 1/3 of the world’s population and “make Hitler look like a choirboy”.

Hagee’s claim that Hitler was “partially Jewish” fits into an emerging American right-wing revisionist genre, with both evangelical and secular expressions, that is rewriting the Holocaust by recasting the victims of Nazi persecution, such as Jews, liberals, communists, and homosexuals, as having been themselves the architects of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust.

Read the entire article…

Barack Obama: ISIS “A Direct Outgrowth Of Our Invasion” Of Iraq

17 March, 2015 - 19:45

Barack_Obama_Iraq_ISIS_invasion

By Emperor

There is a lot to vehemently disagree on with President Barack Obama like his drone assassination policy and extension/expansion of the war on terror but this time he spoke the obvious truth: The creation and growth of ISIS is a direct consequence of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. A truth that is self-evident and has already caused an uproar among the war-profiteers.

Shane Smith: One of the biggest questions that I had was how did they become so popular so fast? How did they get so many foreign fighters from America, from the U.K., from Scandinavia, from all over the world, go there, outstrip al Qaeda, almost overnight. So, a, how did they become so popular out of nowhere? And then, b, how do we stop them?

President Obama: ISIL is direct outgrowth of Al-Qaida  in Iraq which grew out of our invasion which is an example of unintended consequences which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.

Starts at 12:00:

North Carolina: 18 Shots Fired At Muslim Family’s Home, Mother Injured

17 March, 2015 - 17:13

North_Carolina_Abdul_Mecklenburg_county_Shooting

This morning in Mecklenburg, North Carolina a Muslim family had 18 shots fired into their home, one bullet went through a second floor window and hit the mother of the family as she slept. Police are saying they believe it is “random” though the husband of the woman, described only as Abdul is questioning this, asking “Why our house in particular?”

Charlotte Observer

After as many as 18 bullets were fired into his fence and home early Tuesday, wounding his wife, an eastern Mecklenburg County man said he hopes the gunmen didn’t target them because the family is Muslim.

“We don’t know if it was a random shooting” or that the family was targeted because of their faith, the homeowner told news reporters and photographers outside the home in the 7800 block of Shiny Meadow Lane. “We hope it’s not the second case.”

Shiny Meadow Lane is off Interstate 485 near Robinson Church Road.

Police released few details about the shooting, saying only that they believe it was random. They urged anyone with information about the shooting to call 911.

Police have called a news conference for 11 a.m. at the department’s Hickory Grove Division headquarters on North Sharon Amity Road to discuss the shooting.

The homeowner asked that he be identified only by his first name, Abdul.

One bullet went through a second-floor window, striking his wife in the thigh as she slept, Abdul said. She was moved to intensive care and will require surgery, he said.

No one else was injured, including Abdul, their two children and Abdul’s mother.

Abdul said police told him 13 to 18 bullets struck the backyard fencing and back of the home.

“Why our house in particular?” Abdul earlier told WBTV, the Observer’s news partner. “Why aren’t the other houses shot at? Looks like we were targeted for one purpose or another, and it doesn’t sound like a random shooting.

“We are traumatized, all of us, and we are thinking who can be shooting at us? Is it for motive? We have no idea,” Abdul said.

The Intercept: How The FBI Created A Terrorist

16 March, 2015 - 20:41

sami-osmakac-proctor-illo-feature-hero-b

Illustration by Jon Proctor for The Intercept

Another highly disturbing case of FBI entrapment of a mentally ill man.

By Treveor Aaronson

IN THE VIDEO, Sami Osmakac is tall and gaunt, with jutting cheekbones and a scraggly beard. He sits cross-legged on the maroon carpet of the hotel room, wearing white cotton socks and pants that rise up his legs to reveal his thin, pale ankles. An AK-47 leans against the closet door behind him. What appears to be a suicide vest is strapped to his body. In his right hand is a pistol. 

“Recording,” says an unseen man behind the camera.

“This video is to all the Muslim youth and to all the Muslims worldwide,” Osmakac says, looking straight into the lens. “This is a call to the truth. It is the call to help and aid in the party of Allah … and pay him back for every sister that has been raped and every brother that has been tortured and raped.”

The recording goes on for about eight minutes. Osmakac says he’ll avenge the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere. He refers to Americans as kuffar, an Arabic term for nonbelievers. “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,” he says. “Woman for a woman, child for a child.”

Osmakac was 25 years old on January 7, 2012, when he filmed what the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice would later call a “martyrdom video.” He was also broke and struggling with mental illness.

After recording this video in a rundown Days Inn in Tampa, Florida, Osmakac prepared to deliver what he thought was a car bomb to a popular Irish bar. According to the government, Osmakac was a dangerous, lone-wolf terrorist who would have bombed the Tampa bar, then headed to a local casino where he would have taken hostages, before finally detonating his suicide vest once police arrived.

But if Osmakac was a terrorist, he was only one in his troubled mind and in the minds of ambitious federal agents. The government could not provide any evidence that he had connections to international terrorists. He didn’t have his own weapons. He didn’t even have enough money to replace the dead battery in his beat-up, green 1994 Honda Accord.

Osmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a “terrorist” only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one.

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FBI has arrested dozens of young men like Osmakac in controversial counterterrorism stings. One recent case involved a rudderless 20-year-old in Cincinnati, Ohio, named Christopher Cornell, who conspired with an FBI informant — seeking “favorable treatment” for his own “criminal exposure” — in a harebrained plot to build pipe bombs and attack Capitol Hill. And just last month, on February 25, the FBI arrested and charged two Brooklyn men for plotting, with the aid of a paid informant, to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State. The likelihood that the men would have stepped foot in Syria of their own accord seems low; only after they met the informant, who helped with travel applications and other hurdles, did their planning take shape.

Informant-led sting operations are central to the FBI’s counterterrorism program. Of 508 defendants prosecuted in federal terrorism-related cases in the decade after 9/11, 243 were involved with an FBI informant, while 158 were the targets of sting operations. Of those cases, an informant or FBI undercover operative led 49 defendants in their terrorism plots, similar to the way Osmakac was led in his.

In these cases, the FBI says paid informants and undercover agents are foiling attacks before they occur. But the evidence suggests — and a recent Human Rights Watch report on the subject illustrates — that the FBI isn’t always nabbing would-be terrorists so much as setting up mentally ill or economically desperate people to commit crimes they could never have accomplished on their own.

At least in Osmakac’s case, FBI agents seem to agree with that criticism, though they never intended for that admission to become public. In the Osmakac sting, the undercover FBI agent went by the pseudonym “Amir Jones.” He’s the guy behind the camera in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. Amir, posing as a dealer who could provide weapons, wore a hidden recording device throughout the sting.

Read the entire article…

Raw Story: Muslim-hating activist names Jon Stewart ‘most disgusting Jew on the planet’

16 March, 2015 - 18:24

Daily-Show-host-Jon-Stewart-on-CNN-on-Nov.-4-2014-CNN-800x430

Pamela Geller has mostly shriveled into irrelevance. Occasionally she bellows for attention by trying to top her last fit of crazy. Her most recent desperate plea for attention has her taking aim at the venerable Jon Stewart, describing him as “the most disgusting Jew on the planet.”

Wow. Geller sounds like an anti-Semite.

Raw Story, By Travis Gettys

An anti-Muslim conservative activist turned her attention to Jon Stewart and the generation he helped influence in an angry, poo-flinging column.

Pam Gellar suggested the Millennial Generation adopt as its symbol the smiling “poo” emoticon to symbolize what she believes is America’s moral decay.

She said in a column published Monday at World Net Daily that public schools had produced “goose-steppers like the Hitler Youth” who were violently imposing their “leftist/Islamic agenda.”

“Intellectually, young Americans are the most docile conformists, no matter how vocally and self-righteously they declare themselves free,” Gellar said.

She said American culture was “ugly as poo,” filled with gory television shows and violent, misogynist music – except for Pharrell’s upbeat hit, “Happy,” which she complained was used to protest police brutality during an Oscars performance.

“Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy,” Gellar quoted from John Galt’s speech in Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” but she doesn’t recognize that quality in American culture.

“The left has worked so hard to make us miserable, and it has succeeded,” she sniffed.

“American traitor Edward Snowden got an Oscar; American hero Chris Kyle got the middle finger,” Gellar said. “Even the traitorous far-left journalist Glenn Greenwald got an Oscars shout-out. Of course Hollywood would reward vicious traitors. There was no way the Hollywood establishment was going to give an Oscar to Clint Eastwood after he so delightfully skewered Obama’s empty chair. And their disdain for Americanism and the military is infused in everything they churn out.”

She singled out “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart as particularly disdainful of America, after he mocked the standing ovation given Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his speech in Congress as the “longest blowjob a Jewish man has ever received.”

Gellar said Stewart should be given the “Most Disgusting Jew on the Planet Award.”

She continued, describing Stewart as a “vicious traitor, smug and self-righteous, (who) has long been working for the other side under the guise of comedy. Vile. Jon Stewart defines self-loathing Jew. But that’s not enough. He means to take us down with him.”

Read the entire article…

Clarion Project: Fake “Terror Expert” Ryan Mauro Refuted By Chicago-Area Police

13 March, 2015 - 19:56

ryan-mauro1

By Emperor

The Clarion Project’s (aka Clarion Fund) so-called “national security analyst” Ryan Mauro makes regular appearances on Fox News where he hypes up the threat of “Islamic terrorism” in the USA.

MediaMatters wrote about Mauro in February 2014, that,

Mauro has recently appeared on Fox several times where he has argued that ‘Muslim patrols’ were a growing security concern for the United States, discussed the possibility of an anti-American alliance in the Middle East with Syrian Jihadists, and hyped fears that Somali refugees in the United States were becoming ‘homegrown’ terrorists.

In mid-January of this year, Mauro was again on Fox, this time “The O’Reilly Factor” where he produced a map claiming 20 municipalities in the US are hotbeds of “radical Muslim” organizations.

This, according to the Chicago Tribune, got the attention of Oak  Brook, a Chicago area suburb, since to its surprise it was included on the “radical” map. (h/t: KJ)

The Tribune article doesn’t note any of the points Media Matters reported about the dubious character of the Clarion Project/Fund or Ryan Mauro.

Ryan Mauro is the national security analyst for the Clarion Project, a group that bills itself as “a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community.”

In reality, Clarion Project/Fund is a Zionist organization funded by the extremist Israeli settler-colonial organization Aish HaTorah and was behind the distribution of the vile Islamophobic movie, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West.

Its supposed claim to provide “a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community” really translates to supporting those former or fringe Muslims, such as Zuhdi Jasser, who agree with Clarion Fund’s pro-Zionist and Islamophobic stances and policies.

Oak Brook police and administration fact checked Mauro’s claims about their town and asked him and the Clarion Project to substantiate and correct their misleading claims, which in the usual manner of Islamophobes and bigots they did not.

Mauro was a guest on a segment of “The O’Reilly Factor,” during which he responded to a request to pinpoint five dangerous situations of Islamic extremists in the United States.

While Oak Brook was not mentioned during the segment, it was listed on the map, as host Bill O’Reilly commented, “All of these have radical mosques or operations in all of those towns.”

Oak Brook Trustee Gerald Wolin emailed fellow trustees and some village staff about the segment.

Village Manager Rick Ginex emailed trustees a few days later, notifying them that Kruger was looking into whether there were any Muslim organizations in Oak Brook.

“The village president and manager contacted me about concerns about it,” Kruger said. “We started looking at any organization with any kind of connections and couldn’t find any.”

Ultimately, Kruger found that the North American Islamic Trust is located at 721 Enterprise Drive in Oak Brook and the Islamic Center of Oakbrook Terrace is at 1S270 Summit Ave., in Oakbrook Terrace.

Kruger contacted the FBI to ask about the North American Islamic Trust.

“They said it is a legitimate place of business; there are no threats or other concerns in the village,” Kruger said, adding the FBI also said the Islamic Center of Oakbrook Terrace is not a concern.

Phew. Thank God the FBI didn’t see this as an opportunity to manufacture its own terror plot in Oak Brook, like it has in other places.

Being subject to the whims and caprice of the FBI is so great!

Ginex emailed Mauro, stating the village checked and did not find any radical Muslim organizations in the village. Ginex also asked Mauro for information on what such organization is in Oak Brook.

“We wanted to know if there was something we didn’t know about, and I asked for a correction to the story if there weren’t any organizations here,” Ginex said.

Ginex said he never received a response from Mauro.

The Clarion Project did not respond to a voice mail message left by The Doings.

Kruger said he never contacted anyone at the North American Islamic Trust after learning the FBI considers it to be legitimate.

“There’s a concern of protecting the civil rights of a legitimate organization,” Kruger said.

The nonprofit North American Islamic Trust was founded in 1973 to prevent the loss of many Islamic centers founded in the 19th and 20th Century from continuing to occur, according to information on the organization’s website, http://www.nait.net.

It is considered a national Waqf, or religious endowment, organization.

The Islamic Center of Oakbrook Terrace among other things, is committed to help both Muslims and non-Muslims in their social needs, “be it a word of advice or a financial help to those in need,” according to information on its website, icobt.com.

AlJazeera: Islamophobia Sells In Canada

12 March, 2015 - 19:17

Canada_Islamophobia Islamophobia sells in Canada

Stephen Harper’s re-election campaign is built on demonizing Muslims

March 2, 2015 2:00AM ET by Davide Mastracci 

Canadians will vote in the country’s 42nd general election on Oct. 19. In the lead-up to the vote, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made several calculated decisions to capitalize on popular Islamophobic sentiments to secure another victory for the Conservative Party.

Harper has latched onto international events to marginalize Muslims for voters. For example, on Jan. 8, Harper responded to the attacks in Paris on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, by claiming that an “international jihadist movement has declared war.” He then pledged to propose a new anti-terrorism legislation once the parliament resumes regular session in late January.

His bill, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015 or Bill C-51, will transform Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), from an information gathering service to one that proactively attempts to thwart terrorist plots in Canada and abroad. The act will also lower the threshold for monitoring suspected national security threats, including adding a vaguely defined category called terrorist “sympathizers.”

The bill passed in the House of Commons on Feb. 23 and is now being sent to Committee. In an open letter to Harper, several civil liberty organizations, former CSIS employees and former Canadian prime ministers have expressed concern about the lack of oversight and effective review mechanisms for the law. If Canada’s past anti-terror legislations are any guide, Muslim communities will likely see increased surveillance and profiling under Bill C-51. Previous counterterrorism laws have resulted in the infringement of Muslims’ civil liberties through arbitrary detention and inclusion in no-fly lists, as well as secret surveillance. Harper is not even pretending Bill C-51 will be any different.

“Our Government has never hesitated to call jihadi terrorism what it is,” he said of terrorist groups, introducing the bill.“And just as we are not afraid to condemn it, we are not afraid to confront it.” Asked how security forces will distinguish between radicalized individuals and teenagers “messing around in the basement,” Harper said, “it doesn’t matter what the age of the person is, or whether they’re in a basement, or whether they’re in a mosque or somewhere else.”

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Canadian Muslim Lawyers’ Association (CMLA) have demanded an apology. “The Prime Minister’s comments … implicated Canadian mosques as venues where terrorism is advocated or promoted,” the group said in a statement. “The words used by our elected leaders have a profound impact on public perceptions.” Harper’s response gives unwarranted credence to a common misconception. There is overwhelming evidence, including a 2011 CSIS report, showing the lack of connection between mosques and individuals suspected of terrorism.

However, since the October 22 shooting in Ottawa, several mosques across the country have been targeted by violent Islamophobes. Harper’s statements and failure to condemn the string of vandalism against mosques in Canada have perpetuated this dangerous conflation.

Continue reading …

Rabah Kherbane: We Would Rather Believe Jihadi John Was Always Evil

11 March, 2015 - 18:04

Jihadi_John_Emwazi

By Rabah Kherbane, Huffington Post

By its very composition, the term “radicalised” accepts a past tense. A past where such a person was not radical, where he or she was normal.

Despite this, all hell broke loose when Asim Qureishi, a director with UK prisoners’ rights group CAGE, said “the Mohammed Emwazi that I knew [based on correspondence between 2009 and January 2012] was extremely kind, extremely gentle… the most humble young person that I knew.”

Admittedly, it was a PR failure by CAGE. They should have picked their words more carefully on such a sensitive issue. Their naivety has cost them dearly. But that was their only crime, being naive.

The general public reacted with disgust. Instead of front-page headlines on the newfound identity of Jihadi John, many outlets focused on some variation of “Important human rights group or apologists for terror?” In reality, CAGE’s role merely sought to highlight the potential reasons behind Emwazi’s radicalisation. They discerned security service treatment as a possible factor, among many.

However, this goes against the perpetual narrative that terrorists are evil “because they are evil”. The masses would rather perceive a dichotomy between Isis and the West which makes one inherently evil, just because they are. And the other morally superior, because they are. Cause and effect become irrelevant. Past and present are blurred into oblivion.

We would rather believe Jihadi John was always evil. He always wanted to behead people. Bomb others. Burn innocents. To argue otherwise is to be an apologist for terrorism, it makes you “part of the problem”. And thus the parameters of discussion are severely constrained; a large chunk of freedom of expression is eroded by baseless stigma.

Yet Owen Jones, on last week’s Comment is Free, indicated an interesting analogy. He said: “Is examining the role of, say, Versailles and economic crisis in the rise of Nazism making excuses for it? If we provide such context for the most barbarous ideology in human history, why not elsewhere?”

The same way, exploring root causes and any possible factors which could acclimate the occurrence of “radicalisation” is not necessarily an exercise in vindication.

If we do not agree with CAGE’s deduction, we should constructively criticise their approach after reading all of the evidence involved. It does no one any favours to lampoon abuse while offering nothing to the discussion at hand.

It is also worth noting that at no point does this absolve the individual perpetrator of any crimes. As Peter Oborne wrote, in a blog about CAGE on the Telegraph last year, “Indeed one of the most important tests of a robust legal system is the way it defends unpopular minorities.”

The same way, one of the most important tests for any government or people, is how we can tackle emotionally charged issues in a rational way which contributes to the overarching discourse. In a way which helps everyone involved, rather than serving to feed and propagate the most simple-minded and impulsive of reactions.

Mehdi Hasan: How Islamic is Islamic State?

11 March, 2015 - 17:53

ISIS_Libya

A must read article. Mehdi Hasan touches upon key points in the ongoing discussion over the Atlantic article that argued ISIS was “very Islamic.”

By Mehdi Hasan, The New Statesman

It is difficult to forget the names, or the images, of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Alan Henning and Peter Kassig. The barbaric beheadings between August and November 2014, in cold blood and on camera, of these five jumpsuit-clad western hostages by the self-styled Islamic State, or Isis, provoked widespread outrage and condemnation.

However, we should also remember the name of Didier François, a French journalist who was held by Isis in Syria for ten months before being released in April 2014. François has since given us a rare insight into life inside what the Atlantic’s Graeme Wood, in a recent report for the magazine, has called the “hermit kingdom” of Isis, where “few have gone . . . and returned”. And it is an insight that threatens to turn the conventional wisdom about the world’s most fearsome terrorist organisation on its head.

“There was never really discussion about texts,” the French journalist told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour last month, referring to his captors. “It was not a religious discussion. It was a political discussion.”

According to François, “It was more hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Quran. Because it has nothing to do with the Quran.” And the former hostage revealed to a startled Amanpour: “We didn’t even have the Quran. They didn’t want even to give us a Quran.”

The rise of Isis in Iraq and Syria has been a disaster for the public image of Islam – and a boon for the Islamophobia industry. Here, after all, is a group that calls itself Islamic State; that claims the support of Islamic texts to justify its medieval punishments, from the stoning of adulterers to the amputation of the hands of thieves; and that has a leader with a PhD in Islamic studies who declares himself to be a “caliph”, or ruler over all Muslims, and has even renamed himself in honour of the first Muslim caliph, Abu Bakr.

The consequences are, perhaps, as expected. In September 2014, a Zogby poll found that only 27 per cent of Americans had a favourable view of Islam – down from 35 per cent in 2010. By February 2015, more than a quarter of Americans (27 per cent) were telling the pollsters LifeWay Research that they believed that life under Isis rule “gives a true indication of what an Islamic society looks like”.

Yet what is much more worrying is that it isn’t just ill-informed, ignorant or bigoted members of the public who take such a view. “The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic,” wrote Wood in his widely read 10,000-word cover report (“What Isis really wants”) in the March issue of Atlantic, in which he argued, “The religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.”

Bernard Haykel of Princeton University, the only scholar of Islam whom Wood bothered to interview, described Muslims who considered Isis to be un-Islamic, or anti-Islamic, as “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion”, and declared that the hand-choppers and throat-slitters of Isis “have just as much legitimacy” as any other Muslims, because Islam is “what Muslims do and how they interpret their texts”.

Many other analysts across the political spectrum agree and have denounced the Obama administration for refusing, in the words of the journalist-turned-terrorism-expert Peter Bergen, to make “the connection between Islamist terrorism and ultra-fundamentalist forms of Islam”. Writing on the CNN website in February, Bergen declared, “Isis may be a perversion of Islam, but Islamic it is.”

“Will it take the end of the world for Obama to recognise Isis as ‘Islamic’?” screamed a headline on the Daily Beast website in the same month. “Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behaviour and that certain religious ideas – jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy – reliably lead to oppression and murder?” asked Sam Harris, the neuroscientist and high priest of the “New Atheism” movement.

So, is Isis a recognisably “Islamic” movement? Are Isis recruits motivated by religious fervour and faith?

The Analyst

“Our exploration of the intuitive psychologist’s shortcomings must start with his general tendency to overestimate the importance of personal or dispositional factors relative to environmental influences,” wrote the American social anthropologist Lee Ross in 1977.

It was Ross who coined the phrase “fundamental attribution error”, which refers to the phenomenon in which we place excessive emphasis on internal motivations to explain the behaviour of others, in any given situation, rather than considering the relevant external factors.

Nowhere is the fundamental attribution error more prevalent, suggests the forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman, than in our navel-gazing analysis of wannabe terrorists and what does or doesn’t motivate them. “You attribute other people’s behaviour to internal motivations but your own to circumstances. ‘They’re attacking us and therefore we have to attack them.’” Yet, he tells me, we rarely do the reverse.

Few experts have done more to try to understand the mindset of the young men and women who aspire to join the blood-drenched ranks of groups such as Isis and al-Qaeda than Sageman. And few can match his qualifications, credentials or background. The 61-year-old, Polish-born psychiatrist and academic is a former CIA operations officer who was based in Pakistan in the late 1980s. There he worked closely with the Afghan mujahedin. He has since advised the New York City Police Department on counterterrorism issues, testified in front of the 9/11 Commission in Washington, DC, and, in his acclaimed works Understanding Terror Networks and Leaderless Jihad, closely analysed the biographies of several hundred terrorists.

Does he see religion as a useful analytical prism through which to view the rise of Isis and the process by which thousands of young people arrive in Syria and Iraq, ready to fight and die for the group?

“Religion has a role but it is a role of justification,” he tells me. “It’s not why they do this [or] why young people go there.”

Isis members, he says, are using religion to advance a political vision, rather than using politics to advance a religious vision. “To give themselves a bit more legitimacy, they use Islam as their justification. It’s not about religion, it’s about identity . . . You identify with the victims, [with] the guys being killed by your enemies.”

For converts to Islam in particular, he adds, “Identity is important to them. They have . . . invested a lot of their own efforts and identity to become this ‘Muslim’ and, because of this, identity is so important to them. They see other Muslims being slaughtered [and say], ‘I need to protect my community.’” (A recent study found that converts to Islam were involved in 31 per cent of Muslim terrorism convictions in the UK between 2001 and 2010.)

Sageman believes that it isn’t religious faith but, rather, a “sense of emotional and moral outrage” at what they see on their television screens or on YouTube that propels people from Portsmouth to Peshawar, from Berlin to Beirut, to head for war zones and to sign up for the so-called jihad. Today, he notes archly, “Orwell would be [considered as foreign fighter like] a jihadi,” referring to the writer’s involvement in the anti-fascist campaign during the Spanish civil war.

Religion, according to this view, plays a role not as a driver of behaviour but as a vehicle for outrage and, crucially, a marker of identity. Religion is important in the sense that it happens to “define your identity”, Sageman says, and not because you are “more pious than anybody else”. He invokes the political scientist Benedict Anderson’s conception of a nation state as an “imagined political community”, arguing that the “imagined community of Muslims” is what drives the terrorists, the allure of being members of – and defenders of – the ultimate “in-group”.

“You don’t have the most religious folks going there,” he points out. Isis fighters from the west, in particular, “tend to have rediscovered Islam as teenagers, or as converts”; they are angry, or even bored, young men in search of a call to arms and a thrilling cause. The Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John” – who was raised and educated in the UK – was described, for instance, by two British medics who met him at a Syrian hospital as “quiet but a bit of an adrenalin junkie”.

Sageman’s viewpoint should not really surprise us. Writing in his 2011 book The Black Banners: the Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda, the Lebanese-American former FBI agent Ali H Soufan, who led the bureau’s pre-9/11 investigation into al-Qaeda, observed: “When I first began interrogating al-Qaeda members, I found that while they could quote Bin Laden’s sayings by heart, I knew far more of the Quran than they did – and in fact some barely knew classical Arabic, the language of both the hadith and the Quran. An understanding of their thought process and the limits of their knowledge enabled me and my colleagues to use their claimed piousness against them.”

Three years earlier, in 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was obtained by the Guardian. It revealed: “Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The MI5 analysts noted the disproportionate number of converts and the high propensity for “drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes”. The newspaper claimed they concluded, “A well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation.”

As I have pointed out on these pages before, Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, the two young British Muslim men from Birmingham who were convicted on terrorism charges in 2014 after travelling to fight in Syria, bought copies of Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies from Amazon prior to their departure. Religious novices, indeed.

Sageman, the former CIA officer, says we have to locate terrorism and extremism in local conflicts rather than in grand or sweeping ideological narratives – the grievances and the anger come first, he argues, followed by the convenient and self-serving ideological justifications. For example, he says, the origins of Isis as a terror group lie not in this or that Islamic book or school of thought, but in the “slaughter of Sunnis in Iraq”. He reminds me how, in April 2013, when there was a peaceful Sunni demonstration asking the Shia-led Maliki government in Baghdad to reapportion to the various provinces what the government was getting in oil revenues, Iraqi security forces shot into the crowds. “That was the start of this [current] insurrection.”

Before that, it was the brutal, US-led occupation, under which Iraq became ground zero for suicide bombers from across the region and spurred the creation of new terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

Isis is the “remnant” of AQI, Sageman adds. He believes that any analysis of the group and of the ongoing violence and chaos in Iraq that doesn’t take into account the long period of war, torture, occupation and sectarian cleansing is inadequate – and a convenient way of exonerating the west
of any responsibility. “Without the invasion of Iraq, [Isis] would not exist. We created it by our presence there.”

Read the entire article…

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