Latest Analysis and Commentary

Islamic Terrorism: The Taboo Topic

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies." — Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam.

The word has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech, and people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.

So, to a degree are we all mentally ill, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through a prism of religion that glorifies homicide.

Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the "Christian terrorism" of the Ku Klux Klan or anti-abortion violence simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, "Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian terrorists as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists."

When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who wish to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.

That is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.

Geert Wilders was brought in for interrogation by Dutch authorities, who want to prosecute him for a remark made during a March 2014 speech, in which he asked, "Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?" (Image source: nos.nl video screenshot)

Shhhh! We can talk today of all religions but one. We can question all religions but one today. We know that any question of Islam can be taken as a criticism, and put our lives at risk, as seen most recently in Paris with the murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine. It is the only religion that people -- including the apologists for "Islamophobia" -- have to think ten times before discussing. At the same time, it is the same religion that is perpetually associated with "peace."

Why should anyone be afraid of a "religion of peace"? Because some of its supporters threaten to kill you, and often do.

Is there even one critic of Islam who has not received a threat, or been able to live freely without worrying about his or her safety? We are now living in a world where, if a prominent critic of Islam stays alive, or out of a court of law, it is considered almost a miracle -- in both the Muslim world and the West.

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Turkey's Dance with Jihadists

by Burak Bekdil  •  January 26, 2015 at 4:00 am

Turkish columnist Anmet Hakan was curious why the articles of the Turkish Penal Code that regulate "praising crime and criminals" were never applied to Islamists, while Turkish prosecutors, citing the same article, have the habit of indicting thousands of other individuals.

Protestors in front of an Istanbul mosque hold signs honoring the terrorists who perpetrated the Paris attacks, as well as Osama bin Laden, January 16, 2015. (Image source: DHA video screenshot)

On January 16, Muslims in Istanbul's devout Fatih district went to the mosque for their usual Friday prayers. Before crowds appeared in front of the mosque, everything looked normal. It was going to be just another day of quiet prayers. But this time, mosque-goers gathered earlier than the usual hour. They were there to hold funeral services (in absentia) for the terrorists who perpetrated the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris -- the Kouachi brothers. Then the worshippers at the mosque held a demonstration with a banner and placards:

  • "If freedom of expression has no limits, be prepared for our freedom to commit actions with no limits."
  • "We are threatening (you)! Do you dare?"
  • "We are all Kouachi" (in what appears like the Turkish response to the Charlie Hebdo slogan 'Je suis Charlie')

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Euroflop: Europe Dilutes the Euro

by Peter Martino  •  January 26, 2015 at 3:30 am

Every criminal printing money can now argue in court that he should be given a medal for "stimulating the economy."

The refusal of some European countries, such as France, to tackle their high debt level and lack of competitiveness, is now also affecting the non-eurozone.

The headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. (Image source: Flickr/Solvency II Wire)

Europe now wants the rest of the world to foot the bill for its own economic mismanagement.

Suppose a family can no longer pay its debts and dad decides to solve the problem by going down to the cellar and printing extra money. Society would not approve. Printing money is a form a robbery, stealing from everyone else by diluting the value of their financial assets.

Last week, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank [ECB], announced that in the coming months the ECB is going to pump an additional €1.1 trillion into the economy, at a rate of €60bn a month. When dad does it, it is called "counterfeiting," but when Mr. Draghi does it, it is called "quantitative easing" and one euphemistically speaks of a "stimulus package for the Eurozone." Every criminal printing money can now argue in court that, rather than a jail sentence, he should be given a medal and a reward for stimulating the economy.

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Europe's Civil War: The Politics of Separateness

by Saba E. Demian  •  January 25, 2015 at 5:00 am

The politics of separateness -- whether churning up racial divisions in America or separating Muslims in Europe from their non-Muslim neighbors -- is now a big business.

Europe is in the middle if a civil war, for the grand prize of the dominance of the few over the many. Even presuming that the majority of Muslims in Europe wish to adapt and blend in with the "natives," they are hampered by the violent minority.

The militant minority are a power to be reckoned with, because the prize they offer is so temptingly salacious to youths with still-confused emotional needs. The guiding and funding sources are mostly away from the scene of the fray. If these sources could be dried up, there would be more hope for a peaceful resolution.

Captivating tax incentives for economic growth and upward mobility might also, in addition to addressing the economic malaise in disadvantaged areas, begin to revive at least some of the economies of Europe.

If Europeans practice delusional denials, they are surely marching toward defeat.

The Dutch-Turkish jihadist known as Yilmaz, who left the Netherlands to fight in Syria, has proven adept at the use of social media in Dutch, English and Turkish for jihadist "public relations" and recruitment.

Who captains this continent nowadays? Is it the richest, Germany, or is it the UK, which only linked itself geographically, belatedly, by the building a rail route under the English Channel? France insists on having its own path regardless.

The European countries cannot be lumped together. The countries of the European Union [EU] are not culturally homogeneous. The Euro-Zone countries are economically separated from those outside this zone. Members of NATO -- even the expanded NATO -- are viewed differently militarily than those outside the organization. There are also, of course, distinct differences between the Eastern countries of the former USSR and its satellites, and Western democracies; between monarchies and republics; between Catholics and Protestants; between Muslim Europe (e.g. Albania, European side of Turkey, parts of Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Christian Europe.

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The Significance of President El-Sisi's Greetings

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  January 25, 2015 at 4:00 am

"Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. That is why we must not call ourselves anything other than 'Egyptians.' This is what we must be -- Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that -- Allah willing -- we shall build our nation together, accommodate make room for each other, and we shall like each other, love each other, love each other in earnest so that people may see." — Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, addressing Egypt's Christian Copts.

Egyptian President el-Sisi did the unprecedented and congratulated Egypt's Christian minority in their cathedral – a small but courageous step on the long road of what el-Sisi calls Egypt's "religious revolution."

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became visits the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

On January 6, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became the first Egyptian president ever to visit the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass and offer his good wishes to the nation's Christian minority.

Because Islamic law bans wishing non-Muslims well on their religious celebrations, all previous presidents -- Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak, and of course Morsi -- had never attended Coptic Christmas mass.

As expected, the greetings el-Sisi received from the hundreds of Christians present were jubilant. His address was often interrupted by applause, clapping, and cheers of "We love you!" and "Hand in hand" -- phrases he reciprocated. He said, among other things:

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Norway: The People's Revolution vs. The "Religion of Peace"

by Bjorn Jansen  •  January 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

In Norway's educational system, history is not a valued subject. It is included under either "Social Studies" or "Norwegian." Many Norwegians are therefore unaware how their society and democracy were formed, or of the enormous prices paid to attain them. Recent generations seem to take them for granted.

Norway's education system is also permeated with an idealistic vision of equality and a belief in cultural relativism: that everyone, every culture and every religion are of the same value. Schools and even preschools are obliged to work to wipe out class differences. The majority of teachers are idealists who believe in the idealism they are obliged to preach. Islam is presented in schoolbooks as "just another religion" -- attractive, and portrayed as if has already been reformed, a situation just not the case.

There are no debate clubs in Norway. The result is a pressure for consensus of views and thoughts. To express an opinion that runs against the stream can be associated with "being difficult," "argumentative" and that what you think is "wrong," with unpleasant overtones of "you are wrongly programmed."

The media refuses even to look at Islam's doctrines. Rather than investigate Islam for themselves, politicians in Norway put their blind faith in what the imams and the Islamic Council of Norway say is Islam. If the media and the politicians admit there is a problem, they will be forced to retract their belief in multiculturalism and apologize.

How, then, does one express dissent in a country whose politicians and media are rooted in socialist thinking; where discussing religion is a no-go; where politics has replaced religion and where there is a small population ensuring conformity of thought, with the risk of being sanctioned for expressing other thoughts?

Left, the World Islamic Mission mosque in Oslo. Right: Sitting in front of the black flag of jihad is Ubaydullah Hussain, a well known Islamist in Norway who was convicted of hate speech against Jews and threatening journalists.

It seems that most people in Europe -- in the wake of the Paris massacres at the magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket -- have either forgotten, or never been taught, that Muslims have invaded Europe several times before. In the Eighth Century, the Moors (Muslims from North Africa) succeeded in conquering Spain and the early medieval French King, Charles Martel, fought and put a stop to the Moors' invasion of France. It took 800 years to expel Islam from Spain; the final expulsion of the Moors from Andalusia occurred 1492. Later, the Ottomans made it to the gates of Vienna in 1683. How has Islam's nature and history in Europe been forgotten?

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The Case Against the International Criminal Court Investigating Israel

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  January 23, 2015 at 11:45 am

In 2012, my friend and colleague, Luis Moreno Ocampo who was then the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ruled correctly that "Palestine could not be recognized as a 'State'". He now appears to agree with his successor's conclusion that "Palestine could now join the Rome statute," presumably as a state. I respectfully disagree.

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Islamic State Deepens Grip in Future Palestine

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

According to Israeli security forces, dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank have defected to the Islamic State in recent months. Their main goal, according to sources, is to topple the Palestinian Authority and launch terror attacks on Israel.

Some 200 supporters of the Islamic State, who held up Islamic State flags, took to the streets of Gaza City to protest the latest cartoons published by the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. They also chanted slogans that called for slaughtering French nationals, and burned French flags. Attempts by Hamas to impose a news blackout on the protest failed, as photos and videos found their way to social media.

The glorification of terrorists and jihadists by the Palestinian Authority, and the ongoing anti-Israel incitement by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, is driving many Palestinians into the open arms of the Islamic State.

Palestinians waving Islamic State flags attempt to storm the French Cultural Center in Gaza City. Some in the crowd carried posters glorifying the terrorists who carried out this month's attacks in Paris. (Image source: ehna tv YouTube screenshot)

Hamas and other Palestinian groups are continuing to deny the obvious, namely that the Islamic State terror group has managed to set up bases of power in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians do not feel comfortable talking about the fact that Islamic State is working hard to recruit Palestinians to its ranks.

The presence of Islamic State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is an embarrassing development for both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

For Hamas, the fact that Islamic State has long been operating in the Gaza Strip is something that it does not want the world to know about.

Hamas cannot afford a situation where another Islamist terror group poses a challenge to its exclusive control over the Gaza Strip. Since it seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has successfully suppressed the emergence of rival forces, first and foremost the secular Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

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The Muslim Brotherhood Inquiry: What's Happening?

by Samuel Westrop  •  January 23, 2015 at 4:00 am

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the "principal findings" of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who is "said to have masterminded much of Hamas's political and military strategy" from London, is a trustee of the Finsbury Park mosque, which receives tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money. (Image source: inminds YouTube video screenshot)

The British government will publish only the "principal findings" of an inquiry commissioned by the British government into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Although the former head of the MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has described the Brotherhood as being, "at heart, a terrorist organization," Brotherhood organizations in the UK have, nevertheless, long enjoyed the support of government ministers and taxpayers' money.

Previous media statements have indicated that the report written for the inquiry, first commissioned in April 2014, has since sparked a great deal of argument between government ministers and officials and has led to a lengthy delay.

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Denmark's "Open Door" and its Limitless Beneficiaries

by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard  •  January 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

As Amir Taheri said: If you want to integrate newcomers, you have to get rid of people who make a living out of integrating them.

Whether or not the majority if Muslims are peace-loving, tolerant and democratic is of no consequence, so long as the violent, radical and undemocratic minority calls the shots.

It is no help to peace-loving Muslims or to the rest of us that our Western leaders keep portraying Islam as if it is something that might have been concocted by the Salvation Army. One might even say that the "narrative" of many politicians is the true perversion of a message that is as clear as it could be.

If Denmark is lost as a result of a crazed, multicultural experiment, Danes will have no home.

Members of the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstrate in Copenhagen, Denmark, demanding a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, in 2006. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Epo)

Last week, in the article "Sweden: From 'Humanitarian Superpower' to Failed State," we promised to address the question of what motivates those who are opening the gates for the current massive influx of Muslims and other hard-to-integrate newcomers to Europe. There is no one simple answer but there are partial answers, which combined may shed some light onto "Who benefits?".

As a point of departure, let us revisit UK Prime Minister David Cameron's and U.S. President Barack Obama's recent joint press conference in the White House. Despite an impressive amount of huffing and puffing, they once again demonstrated that their understanding of Islam leaves much to be desired. A more sinister explanation is that they understand more than they are willing to say for fear of offending "1.6 billion Muslims."

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Iran's New Terror Base against Israel

by Yaakov Lappin  •  January 22, 2015 at 4:45 am

The new base in Syria gives Hezbollah the option of attacking Israel and drawing Israel's return fire away from Lebanon, where its most precious assets are hidden: well over 100,000 rockets and missiles that might be saved for a future battle over Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Israeli soldiers take part in a training exercise near the border with Syria, December 2013. (Image source: IDF)

Hezbollah, exploiting its presence in Syria, has been attempting to open a new front against Israel.

Over the past 18 months, Hezbollah and its enablers from the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] have begun launching a series of attacks on Israel from their new center of operations in southern Syria.

After Sunday's air strike (attributed by the media to the Israel Air Force) that killed 12 high-ranking Hezbollah and IRGC operatives near Quneitra, Syria, along the Israeli border, Israel is bracing for the possibility of an attack by Hezbollah and Iran.

Although Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the strike, it would make sense to view the action as a preemptive move designed to remove a clear and present danger arising on Israel's border with Syria. The danger is the formation of a second Hezbollah terrorism base, in addition to Hezbollah's home base already in Lebanon.

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"Unity"? About What Exactly?

by Jeremy Havardi  •  January 22, 2015 at 4:00 am

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia tried to fool the world by joining France's "Unity March" for free speech just two days after a young Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, received the first installment of 50 lashes -- out of the 1000 he is to get -- "very severely," the lashing order says. Badawi still has 950 lashes to complete.

Mahmoud Abbas, whose genocidal, jihadi partner, Hamas, was just declared not a terrorist group by the European Union, joined the forefront of the "Unity March" at the same time as a Palestinian human rights groups published a report accusing the Palestinian Authority of "waging war" against university students in the West Bank.

What "Islamophobia" motivated the killing of Jewish customers in a kosher supermarket? What had those victims done to deserve that?

We may like to imagine that this is not Islam, and that the faith promotes peace and nothing else. But the murderers say it is Islam, and they act accordingly.

Much of the media has offered up a context for these killings that is false.

The real story is that despite a few sporadic incidents, there has been no backlash against the Muslim community.

World leaders link arms at the Paris anti-terror rally on January 11, 2014. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stands at the far right of the front row. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

The recent rally for free speech and against the terrorism in Paris initially appeared to have generated a surge of defiance and resolve, not just in France but around the world. People were actually talking about a turning point in the battle against terrorism and radical Islam.

If only it were true.

The reality is that much of the political class and media remain in denial about the events in Paris.

Ban Ki Moon explained that the tragic events had nothing to do with religion. Signing a condolence book for the victims of the attacks, he said: "This is not a country, a war against religion or between religions... This is a purely unacceptable terrorist attack – criminality."

France's President François Hollande said that the Charlie Hebdo fanatics had "nothing to do with Islam," and he was joined in this view by commentators on France24, as well as the German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière.

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Hamas Forms "Liberation Army" in Gaza, Thanks to EU Support

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 21, 2015 at 5:00 am

The Palestinian Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip, Hamas, has intensified its efforts to achieve the destruction of Israel.

Hamas has obviously interpreted these two decisions -- by the EU court (to remove Hamas from the list of terror organizations) and the International Criminal Court -- as a green light to proceed with its plans to eliminate Israel.

The main goal of Hamas's "Liberation Army" is, of course, to prepare for war against Israel, according to Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri. "The main purpose of these training camps is to prepare an army for the liberation of Palestine and its holy sites in the near future."

The EU court that removed Hamas from its list of terror groups has committed a crime not only against Israel, but also against the Palestinian teenagers who are being trained as jihadists in the movement's camps throughout the Gaza Strip.

The happy feeling among Hamas leaders is that the Europeans and the ICC are helping them achieve their goal of wiping Israel off the face of the earth.

"My dream is to become a jihadist." A woman accompanies her son to sign up for the Hamas "Liberation Army" in the Gaza Strip, January 2015.

Buoyed by the recent decision of the EU's top court to remove Hamas from the EU's list of terror groups, the Palestinian Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip has intensified its efforts to achieve the destruction of Israel.

Hamas has further been emboldened by the International Criminal Court's [ICC] latest decision to launch a preliminary examination into alleged Israeli "war crimes" in the Palestinian territories.

Hamas has obviously interpreted these two decisions – by the EU court and the ICC – as a green light to proceed with its plans to eliminate Israel. Hamas is convinced that these decisions will bring it closer to achieving its goal.

That is why Hamas has now begun recruiting thousands of Palestinian youths to its new "Liberation Army" in the Gaza Strip.

The Hams campaign, entitled, "Vanguards of Liberation," is aimed at recruiting young men whose ages range between 15 and 21.

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The West Bank Army of the "State of Palestine," Thanks to the United States

by Shoshana Bryen  •  January 21, 2015 at 4:00 am

The U.S. Consulate's determination to provide the trappings of Palestinian statehood to the Palestinian Authority outside the negotiating process should come under scrutiny.

What plan do we have if the Palestinian army attacks the IDF in the future -- instead of its presumed enemy, Hamas?

It is revealing that the U.S. appears determined to provide the Palestinian Authority with an army while it is still at war with our ally, Israel.

Hundreds of troops from the Palestinian Security Force line a street in Ramallah, in order to block anti-American protestors, during President Obama's 2013 visit to the city.

Last week, officials from the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem attended a Palestinian protest over Israel's removal of olive trees illegally planted in the West Bank. Coordinated with the Palestinian Authority [PA] but not Israel, the Consulate personnel ended up clashing with Israelis living nearby. It was, perhaps, the quietest international almost-incident you never heard of.

This week, with the focus off Paris, the Middle East Quartet (the U.S., EU, Russia & the UN) plans to meet. The U.S. Consulate's determination to provide the trappings of Palestinian statehood to the PA outside the negotiating process should come under scrutiny.

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European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction?
Part 1: France

by Soeren Kern  •  January 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

A 120-page research paper entitled "No-Go Zones in the French Republic: Myth or Reality?" documented dozens of French neighborhoods "where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings."

In October 2011, a 2,200-page report, "Banlieue de la République" (Suburbs of the Republic) found that Seine-Saint-Denis and other Parisian suburbs are becoming "separate Islamic societies" cut off from the French state and where Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law.

The report also showed how the problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim preachers who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law.

The television presenter asks: "What if we went to the suburbs?" Obertone replies: "I do not recommend this. Not even we French dare go there anymore. But nobody talks about this in public, of course. Nor do those who claim, 'long live multiculturalism,' and 'Paris is wonderful!' dare enter the suburbs."

A policeman uses a shotgun to try to keep an attacking gang at bay, in the Parisian suburb of Clichy Montfermeil. (Image source: Dailymotion video screenshot)

The jihadist attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine known for lampooning Islam, has cast a spotlight on so-called no-go zones in France and other European countries.

No-go zones are Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims due to a variety of factors, including the lawlessness and insecurity that pervades a great number of these areas. Host-country authorities have effectively lost control over many no-go zones and are often unable or unwilling to provide even basic public aid, such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services, out of fear of being attacked by Muslim youth.

Muslim enclaves in European cities are also breeding grounds for Islamic radicalism and pose a significant threat to Western security.

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