Latest Analysis and Commentary

Christians and Churches Attacked in the West
Muslim Persecution of Christians, September 2014

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  December 24, 2014 at 5:00 am

"You have a cross on… Do you know what we do to people like you?" — Muslim in Denmark.

Muslim Fulani gunmen forced their way into the church, cut [the pastor], his wife and a daughter with a machete, and then tied the hands and feet of the three of them before setting the building on fire... We only found the charred remains of the three of them in the morning. I heard them shouting at the top of their voices, saying they must obliterate any traces of Christianity in the town." — Eyewitness account, Nigeria.

Each year, approximately 1,000 women in Pakistan are forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. Whenever a case of this nature reaches the law courts, those women, under threat and blackmail, often declare that their conversion and marriage were decisions freely made, and the case is closed.

People in a car bearing a jihadist flag verbally abused parishioners at the Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Sydney, Australia in September, threatening to "kill the Christians" and slaughter their children.

The Muslim persecution of Christians in September started making prominent appearances not just in the Islamic world, but also in the West—in America, Australia and Europe.

In the United States, in Columbus, Indiana, three churches were vandalized on the same night. The words most frequently sprayed were "Infidels!" and "Koran 3:151." The verse from the Koran states, "We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve [or "infidels"] for what they have associated with Allah [reference to Christian Trinity] of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers."

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The Islamization of France in 2014

by Soeren Kern  •  December 23, 2014 at 5:00 am

According to a confidential French intelligence document leaked to Le Figaro, a form of Muslim ghettoization is gaining ground within the French school system. The report says that Muslim students are effectively establishing an Islamic parallel society completely cut off from non-Muslim students.

More than 1000 French supermarkets, including major chains such as Carrefour, have been selling Islamic books that openly call for jihad and the killing of non-Muslims.

A report estimates that 60% of the prison population in France, or 40,000 prisoners, are "culturally or originally" Muslim.

The Fresnes Penitentiary near Paris launched an experiment that involves isolating radical Muslim prisoners in a separate unit to prevent the radicalization of other prisoners. Muslim prisoners clashed with prison guards to protest the new measure.

An Ipsos survey found that 66% of French people believe there are too many foreigners in France, and 59% believe "immigrants do not try hard enough to integrate. According to the poll, 63% of French people think that Islam "is not compatible with French values."

Islamic radical Bertrand Nzohabonayo attacked three police officers with a knife, seriously wounding two, in the French town of Joué-lès-Tours on Dec. 20, before police shot him dead.

The Muslim population of France reached an estimated 6.5 million in 2014. Although French law prohibits the collection of official statistics about the race or religion of its citizens, this estimate is based on several recent studies that attempt to calculate the number of people in France whose origins are from Muslim majority countries.

This implies that the Muslim population of France is now roughly 10% of the country's total population of 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union.

Consequently, Islam was an ever-present topic in newspaper headlines during 2014. What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in France during 2014:

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Heading for a Jew-Free Turkey

by Burak Bekdil  •  December 23, 2014 at 4:00 am

"The imam in the neighbourhood has the habit of preaching to his congregation 'not to make friends with Jews or Christians.'" — Two shop-owners, Istanbul.

"The circle is closing in." — Moris Gabay, writer for Salom.

So, did your good friend Dink deserve to be murdered because he humiliated Muslims?

"There are laws against hate speech, but not a single person has ever been prosecuted [let alone sentenced] for insulting [Jews]." — Moris Gabay, writer for Salom.

Turkish Armenian intellectual Etyen Mahcupyan (left), an advisor to the prime minister, thinks that daily attacks on Turkey's Jews and other non-Muslims, including the murder of his "friend" Hrant Dink (right), happen because: Jews and Armenians humiliate Muslims; they are better-educated then Muslims and hence their superiority complex.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 200,000 Jews in Turkish lands – when the entire population was barely 10 million. Today, the Turkish population has reached 77 million – and there are fewer than 17,000 Jews.

Moris Gabay, a Turkish Jewish writer for Salom, the Istanbul Jewish newspaper, recently wrote in his column, "Are Turkish Jews Leaving?:" "We face threats, attacks and harassment every day. Hope is fading. Is it necessary for a 'Hrant among us' to be shot in order for the government, the opposition, civil society, our neighbors and jurists to see this?" 'Hrant' whom he referred to is Hrant Dink, a Turkish Armenian journalist who was shot dead in 2007 by a gang of nationalist Turks.

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EU Gives Hamas Green Light to Attack Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  December 22, 2014 at 5:00 am

The EU court's decision represents a "severe blow to the Palestinian Authority and Egypt," according to Palestinian political analyst Raed Abu Dayer.

Any victory for Hamas, albeit a small and symbolic one, is a victory for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups, and causes tremendous damage to those Muslims who are opposed to radical Islam.

Hours before the EU court's decision was made public, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced that his movement would never recognize Israel, and that Hamas seeks to overthrow the Palestinian Authority and seize control of the West Bank.

The EU court's decision also coincided with a rapprochement between Hamas and Iran. Now, the Iranians and other countries, such as Turkey and Qatar, are likely to interpret the EU court's decision as a green light to resume financial and military aid, including rockets and missiles, to Hamas — not only to Gaza but to the West Bank as well — to support those Palestinians whose aim it is to eliminate Israel.

Thousands of armed Hamas troops showed off their military hardware at a Dec. 14, 2014 parade in Gaza, marking the organization's 27th anniversary. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

Less than 48 hours after a top European Union court ruled that Hamas should be removed from the bloc's list of terrorist groups, supporters of the Palestinian Islamist movement responded by firing a rocket at Israel. The attack, which did not cause any casualties or damage, did not come as a surprise.

Buoyed by the EU court's ruling, Hamas leaders and spokesmen see it as a "political and legal achievement" and a "big victory" for the "armed struggle" against Israel.

Musa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas leader, issued a statement thanking the EU court for its decision. He hailed the decision to remove his movement from the terrorist list as a "victory for all those who support the Palestinian right to resistance."

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Sweden's Christmas Present: New Laws Curbing Free Speech

by Timon Dias  •  December 22, 2014 at 4:00 am

The problem is that within the extremely politically correct culture of Sweden, questions, insults and criticism are often viewed as one and the same.

"Swedes who disagree... risk being labeled racist, fascist, even Nazi." — Mikael Jalving, Author of Absolute Sweden.

One might well ask how Swedes would react if other countries decided to determine their borders.

Furthermore, no one seems to have asked what kind of place this new state of Palestine might be: a free, democratic and transparent society like Sweden, or another rogue state, or eventually even another Islamist state.

Apart from South Africa, Sweden now has the highest number of rapes (that are reported); based on unofficial accounts from policemen and social workers, about 75% of them are committed by Muslims.

The Swedish newspaper Expressen hacked databases of website commenters, targeted critics of immigration, and confronted them at home. The above screenshot is taken from a video on the Expressen website, published under the headline "Jim Olsson writes on hate sites."

Sweden, during its September 2014 parliamentary election, voted in a new government. But whom exactly did the people of Sweden elect to run their new government? In a recent (albeit un-sourced) blog, Ilya Meyer, the deputy chair of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association, shed some light on the backgrounds and motivations of some of Sweden's new cabinet ministers. A few individuals stand out.

The Minister for Housing and Urban Development is the Turkish Swede Mehmet Kaplan, who was aboard the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, of the Turkish extremist Humanitarian Relief Foundation, when it tried to break through the legal Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza coastline. Israel had established the naval blockade in 2007 in response to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza to arm the terrorist group Hamas, which is outspokenly dedicated to exterminating Israel.

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Who Represents German Muslims?

by Veli Sirin  •  December 21, 2014 at 5:00 am

The most serious and crushing harm to those Muslims who respect their non-Muslim neighbors and detest the extremists is that many Western commentators appear utterly uninformed about the representatives of the moderate, non-extremist Muslims.

How long will it take before responsible Westerners perceive the struggle among Muslims between extremists and non-extremists, between the radicals and anti-radicals?

Who represents Muslims in Germany? An integrated German-Turkish woman such as Tuğçe Albayrak, who defends other women (left), or the small group of supporters of the "Islamic State?"

A Sunni Muslim funeral for the slain student Tuğçe Albayrak, a German-born 22-year old woman of Turkish descent, was attended on December 3 by 1,500 mourners in Wächtersbach, a town in the western German state of Hesse. Prayers for Albayrak began in the local mosque, which is controlled by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs [DİTİB], an official arm of the Turkish government that administers Sunni religious affairs in Germany. She was then buried in her hometown, Bad Soden-Salmünster, not far away.

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"Justice" in Turkey

by Burak Bekdil  •  December 20, 2014 at 5:00 am

The oppressors change, oppression does not.

The U.S. and EU expressed concern about media freedom and the independence of the judiciary in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L), and Fethullah Gülen.

Turkey changes, and it does not. The oppressors change; oppression does not.

Every Turkish courtroom sports in big, bold letters the proud dictum: "Justice is the foundation of the state." Perhaps that explains why the Turkish state looks like a makeshift building without a proper foundation.

In Turkey, the ruling ideology has changed from one belief to another. The bête noire for the state also changed -- in line with what the dominant ideology has crowned, or what is perceived as threat.

Between 1923, when Ataturk built modern Turkey, and 2002, when the (Islamist) Justice and Development Party [AKP] came to power, the usual suspects were the liberals, Islamists, non-Muslim minorities, communists, Kurds and random dissidents.

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Harvard's President Stops an anti-Israel Boycott

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  December 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Harvard University Dining Services [HUDS] has been rebuffed in its efforts to join the boycott movement against Israel. A group of radical anti-Israel Harvard students and faculty had persuaded the dining service to boycott Sodastream, an Israeli company that manufactures soda machines that produce a product that is both healthy and economical. But Harvard President Drew Faust rebuffed this boycott and decided to investigate the unilateral action of the Harvard University Dining Services.

I have visited the Sodastream factory and spoken to many of its Palestinian-Arab employees, who love working for a company that pays them high wages and provides excellent working conditions. I saw Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians, working together and producing this excellent product.

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Geert Wilders Was Right

by Uzay Bulut  •  December 19, 2014 at 5:00 am

"Hate Speech" was invented in the Kremlin of the USSR by political operatives who saw that it could be used effectively against anyone who did not agree with you, whom you wanted to silence.

It would seem indispensable for all people who want to defend their liberty to take a stand against criminal and violent people who aim to destroy or damage their societies. If those people are extremist Muslims, why should they be exempt? And if they are not extremist Muslims, why should they not be protected from the same threats and violence that menace us?

Ironically, however, it is not the violent Islamic teachings inspiring these crimes that are questioned, criticized -- or prosecuted -- as hate speech on major media outlets or among political circles. It is, instead, the victims of these teachings: among others, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Susanne Winter, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Imran Firasat, and Geert Wilders.

What Geert Wilders does cannot be called hate speech. It is legitimate a struggle, if occasionally imperfect, to protect the liberties of all of us in the face of unending threats and attacks, most recently from Islamic extremists.

Geert Wilders is not an extremist of any kind. He is a democrat who defends Western values, the most important of which are liberty and life. We should not prosecute Wilders. We should thank him for sacrificing his life to defend us -- and defend him back.

Geert Wilders warns Australians about the dangers posed by Islamism, multiculturalism and mass immigration, on ABC Lateline, Feb. 13, 2014.

What a week. In an Australian café, a self-declared jihadi seized at least 17 hostages, two of whom were killed; and in Pakistan, 148 people, including 132 children, were massacred by the same branch of the Taliban that tried to murder Mala Yousafzai to prevent her from being educated.

Whether the terrorist in Australia acted alone or had an organization behind him is irrelevant. It did not stop him from killing two hostages. The manager of the Lindt cafe, 34-year-old Tori Johnson, and a 38-year-old lawyer and mother of three, Katrina Dawson, lost their lives.

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The Countdown to the Next Gaza Conflict Has Begun

by Yaakov Lappin  •  December 19, 2014 at 4:00 am

Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by past agreements.

Of course, those would contravene Hamas's ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood.

For now, it seems, Hamas will try, as it has been doing for months, to orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank, on the opposite side of Israel, while upholding its truce in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces, too, has spent recent months preparing to respond if there is a fresh round of hostilities.

Thousands of armed Hamas troops showed off their military hardware at a Dec. 14, 2014 parade in Gaza, marking the organization's 27th anniversary. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

More than three months have passed since the end of the fifty-day conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel this past summer, yet all of the catalysts that helped spark that war remain in place and are pushing the sides into their next clash.

One of the reasons Hamas launched a war in July this year was to try to end its strategic isolation, which became severe after the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood in next-door Egypt. Hamas also sought to improve its crumbling economic situation as the ruler of the Gaza Strip; its dire situation was illustrated by Hamas's inability to pay 40,000 of its Gazan employees their monthly salaries.

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EU Backs Palestinian Dictatorship

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  December 18, 2014 at 5:00 am

These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.

These Western parliamentarians are in fact acting against the interests of the Palestinians, who are clearly not hoping for another corrupt dictatorship in the Arab world.

"The situation in Palestine does not conform at all with democracy or the rule of law... Wake up and see the loss of rights, law and security." — Freih Abu Medein, former Palestinian Authority Justice Minister.

"Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] wants to concentrate all authorities in his hands and the hand of his loyalists. He's acting in a dictatorial way and wants to be in control of everything, especially the finances." — Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary General of the PLO.

By turning a blind eye to human rights violations, as well as assaults on freedom of expression, the judiciary and the parliamentary system in the Palestinian territories, Western parliaments are paving the way for a creation of a rogue state called Palestine.

The Palestinian Legislative Council building in Ramallah. (Image source: Alaraby)

European parliaments that are rushing to recognize a Palestinian state are ignoring the fact that the Palestinians have been without a functioning parliament for the past seven years.

The Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council [PLC], has been paralyzed since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip and expelled the Palestinian Authority [PA].

These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.

This week, the European Parliament also adopted a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in principle. A total of 489 MEP's voted in favor, while 88 were against.

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Europe Declares War on the Internet

by Soeren Kern  •  December 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

"Spanish newspapers formed suicide pact, invited Google to pull the trigger. Google did." — Twitter user.

Spain's ailing newspaper industry, which is utterly dependent upon Google News search engine to drive traffic and revenues, is now at risk.

The spirit of the new law "is not really about compensation, but about extorting money from Google... The final result of the Google Tax: no one gets paid, media lose traffic and Internet users lose an important service. Spanish newspaper publishers should be thankful that an external agent drives readers to their publications for free." — Alfredo Pasqual, technology commentator.

Europe's obsession with Google may be more about anti-Americanism than anything else.

(Image source: Google)

The Internet giant Google has announced that it is shutting down its Google News service in Spain.

The move came in response to a new copyright law in Spain that would require Google and other news aggregators to pay Spanish publishers for linking to their content.

The Spanish law follows similar legislation in other parts of the European Union, where politicians are increasingly lashing out at Google over a host of complaints about antitrust, privacy and taxation issues.

Google has accommodated critics in some countries, but with Spain, the government appears to have completely overreached: Spain's ailing newspaper industry, which is utterly dependent upon Google News to drive traffic and revenues, is now at risk.

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Iraq: Iran's "Boots on the Ground"

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  December 17, 2014 at 4:00 am

The big winner politically in the multilateral effort to roll back the Islamic State's territorial gains is Iran.

Tehran has even established an unofficial "no go zone" in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran's most invidious influence, however, is possibly the widespread, invisible presence of agents from its Ministry of Intelligence [MOIS].

Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (middle, with white checked scarf), visits Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, October 2014.

The U.S. may not want "boots on the ground" in Iraq, but Iran sure does. In Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran's military involvement in the Kurdish governorates of northern Iraq is multi-varied and on the increase.

Kurdish Rudaw T.V. has reported on Iran's support for Kurdistan's Peshmerga (military) campaign to regain villages lost to Islamic State [IS] jihadists this past summer. Rudaw T.V. even discussed the public visits of Iran's Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard's Qods Force, to the Peshmerga front line against the IS.[1]

According to a former Iraqi General of Military Intelligence, who paid a mid-November visit to Kurdistan, the big winner politically in the multilateral effort to roll back the IS's territorial gains is Iran.[2] General Saad al-Obaidi commented that without the presence of several pro-Iran Shia militias and Iranian artillery support, allied bombing raids against IS targets would have been for naught.

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The Name that "Does Not Matter"

by Douglas Murray  •  December 16, 2014 at 5:00 am

Naturally, no one would be responsible for their parents' choice of a name. Nor would they all be likely to emulate the men after whom they were named. But it would probably be reasonable to assume that the choice of names might be telling you something about whom large numbers of people in your country identify with. At least it would seem a question worth discussing.

If we were confident about most of the people involved going overwhelmingly the proud to-be-British way, then we would discuss it. But we aren't, so we don't.

The most popular name given to boys in the UK in 2014 was Mohammed. "So what?" Nothing to see here, please move on... (Image source: BBC video screenshot)

Last week the news arrived that the most popular name given to boys in the UK in 2014 was "Mohammed." The reactions and non-reactions to this story betrayed the deep unease and denial that are now part of the debate around Islam in modern Britain.

We have of course been here before. For some years now, there have been stories of "Mohammed" creeping up the list of most popular names in the UK. And each time the reaction has been similar.

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The Stubborn Antisemitism of Yahoo and The Christian Century

by Dexter Van Zile  •  December 16, 2014 at 4:00 am

Muslim and Arab hostility toward Israel and Jews was downplayed and ignored while Jewish wrongdoing was highlighted. Palestinian violence was depicted as an attempt to achieve sovereignty, and not as an attempt to deny the Jews their right to sovereignty. Palestinians' actions were explained; Israelis' actions were condemned.

When presented with evidence of James M. Wall's factual errors, the publication declined to correct them.

Eventually some people in mainline churches started to realize that these overtures were causing more damage to mainline Protestantism than they were to Israel.

The crimes of The Christian Century continue unabated.

Yahoo, the well-known search engine company, has apparently decided that an antisemitic website, Veterans News Now [VNN], is a credible news source. People who rely on Yahoo's news aggregator to view information about the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict will now find in their news feed links to articles published on this website, which traffics in Holocaust denial and displays articles that blame Israel for the attack against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. This scandal was exposed last week by Gilead Ini, a colleague at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America [CAMERA].

Yahoo should not be mainstreaming a website that posts like this. Moreover, it is not the only entity helping to make VNN look like a respectable website.

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