Latest Analysis and Commentary

Spain: Barcelona's Would-Be Beheaders

by Soeren Kern  •  April 25, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Prosecutors allege that, among other plots, the group was planning to kidnap a random member of the public, dress their victim in an orange jump suit, and then film him or her being beheaded.

  • Catalonia not only has the largest Muslim population in Spain, it also has the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe, and is a main center for Salafi-Jihadism on the continent.

  • "But what they do not know is that, once they allow us to vote, we will all vote for Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented." — Abdelwahab Huzi, Salafist preacher, Lleida.

Spanish police arrest one of several Muslim jihadists who were conspiring to commit terror attacks in Catalonia, April 8, 2015. (Image source RTVE video screenshot)

Police in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have arrested eleven members of a jihadist cell that was planning to behead a random person in Barcelona.

The cell, which prosecutors say was actively recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State, is also accused of planning to bomb public and private buildings in Catalonia, including a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona.

The arrests have drawn renewed attention to the spiraling problem of radical Islam in Catalonia, which has one of the largest per capita Muslim populations in Europe.

The cell — known as the Islamic Brotherhood for the Preaching of Jihad — was broken up on April 8, when more than 350 police officers conducted seven raids in five Catalan municipalities.

According to police, the cell's primary objective was to show that terrorist attacks such as those perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria could be carried out in the West.

Continue Reading Article

Palestinians Vote for Iran's New Ally: Hamas

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • This is a vote of no confidence in Abbas and Fatah.

  • When you tell your people that Jews are awful, and do not want peace, and just want to kill Arabs and destroy their homes and holy sites, then people say, "This means Hamas is right. We should be killing the Jews and not making peace with them."

  • Hamas has now apparently realigned with Iran, which is "rebuilding relations with the military wing of Hamas," and has recently sent Hamas "tens of millions of dollars."

Hamas supporters are shown in this video screenshot marching during a student council election rally at Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah, on April 20, 2015.

Hamas's crushing victory in the April 22 student council election at Bir Zeit University shows that the Islamist movement continues to maintain a strong presence in the West Bank.

Hamas supporters on campus won 26 seats, compared to 16 for their rivals in the Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

The results of the election mean that Bilal Barghouti, who is serving 16 life terms in prison for his role in a series of suicide attacks against Israel, has become the "Honorary Chairman of the Bir Zeit University Student Council."

The Hamas victory came less than 48 hours after its supporters scored a major achievement on another campus: Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron. There, Hamas supporters won the same number of seats as their rivals in Fatah – a move hailed by leaders of the Islamist movement as a "huge achievement."

Continue Reading Article

The Academic War on Israel

by Denis MacEoin  •  April 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • A generation of students is growing up learning to tolerate -- and consider normal -- bias, falsehood, prejudice, and the runaway politicization of teachers and student thugs permitting only one-sided arguments.

Britain's Southampton University this month cancelled a conference dedicated to questioning the legitimacy of Israel, which had attracted Jew-haters and anti-Zionists, and was described by a prominent member of parliament as an "anti-Semitic hate-fest".

America's President Barack Obama has declared war on Israel. The animosity between Obama and his administration toward Israel and its newly re-elected leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been growing for years; it reached crisis point after Netanyahu's address to the U.S. Congress and news of his resounding victory in the March elections.

This does not mean that the United States, as a whole, shares this animosity or is bent on abandoning a vulnerable and beleaguered democracy to its host of violent and uncompromising predators. Polls show it does not.

Continue Reading Article

No Racism in Turkey!

by Burak Bekdil  •  April 23, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • When asked to name the world's most violent religion, 45% of Turks cited Christianity and 41% cited Judaism, with only 2% saying it was Islam.

  • So there is no racism in turkey. Nice. But Google will produce 12.2 million results if one types in "Turkey" and "racism."

  • "Unfortunately, Turkish Jews, who have been considered as having organic ties to Israel, are labeled as foreigners. Thus, they are subject to hate speech and threats almost on a daily basis whenever there is a crisis between Israel and Palestine." — Selin Nasi, journalist, Salom.

  • "We celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country being cleansed of [Christian] Armenians." — Banners in several cities of Turkey "celebrating" the Armenian genocide in Turkey, February 2015.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc speaks at the reopening of the Great Synagogue Edirne, where he declared, "There is no anti-Semitism in Turkey." Many so wished to believe him.

Ostensibly, it was a merry event. A week before Passover, hundreds of Turkish Jews from Istanbul gathered in the western city of Edirne for the reopening of the Great Synagogue, which had closed its doors in 1969 and had remained a ruin since then, until it was recently restored.

In the days after the high-profile ceremony, the Great Synagogue would go back to its quieter days, as there are no longer Jews in Edirne, and only 17,000 in the whole of Turkey.

Continue Reading Article

Inside the Mind of a Jihadist

by Soeren Kern  •  April 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • "There is global unanimity that jihad is an obligation." — Mohamed Hamdouch.

  • "My convictions emanate from what Allah said: You must kill the non-believers, regardless of whether they are Muslims or atheists." — Mohamed Hamdouch.

  • "Beheading is permitted in Islam. I recommend you read the Suras [chapters] of Al-Anfal (8), At-Tawbah (9) and Mohammed (47)." — Mohamed Hamdouch.

  • "I swear by the name of Allah, this is not violence. We are defending our religion." — Mohamed Hamdouch.

Spanish investigative journalist José María Gil Garre (left) conducted a series of exclusive interviews with the jihadist Mohamed Hamdouch (right) over the past year, offering a disturbing glimpse into the religious and ideological mindset of Hamdouch and his wife.

A Spanish woman married to a Moroccan jihadist has given birth to the first Spanish citizen born in the Islamic State.

The child's father, 28-year-old Mohamed Hamdouch, is notorious for his exceptional brutality and cruelty both on and off the battlefield. He is known in Spain as the "Beheader of Castillejas," in recognition of his penchant for posting photographs of himself smiling while holding the decapitated heads of Syrian soldiers.

The child's mother is Asia Ahmed Mohamed, a native of the North African Spanish exclave of Ceuta. She married Hamdouch after he gave her a suicide vest as a dowry.

Spanish nationality law stipulates that individuals born of a Spanish parent are Spaniards by birth, including those born in the Islamic State. At last count, more than 100 Spanish citizens have joined the Islamic State, including at least three women, which suggests that more Spanish "jihadi babies" may be on the way.

Continue Reading Article

Is U.S. Israel's Ally "When It Matters"?

by Shoshana Bryen  •  April 22, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • When, exactly, does it matter? Who decides? Apparently not Israel.

  • Ambassador Samantha Power's testimony may have completed the transition of the United States from Israel's ally... to an arbiter between Israel and those who seek to erase it.

  • The "peace process," first codified in the Oslo accords, commits Israel and the Palestinians to resolve differences bilaterally, not through the dictates of a third party or organization.

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, recently stated that the U.S. will no longer automatically exercise its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel. (Image source: Center for Strategic & International Studies)

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. will no longer automatically exercise its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel.

In testimony before the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Power specifically declined to rule out support for resolutions on Palestinian statehood or the "peace process." "We will look to see what will advance Israel's security and what will advance peace in the region... Our objective as an administration is what can we do to defuse tensions, what will it take to get those negotiations back on track."

When Committee members expressed skepticism, she replied, "We will continue to work extremely closely with Israel in New York. As you know well we have a record of standing when it matters with Israel."

When, exactly, does it matter? Who decides? Apparently not Israel.

Continue Reading Article

Why Arabs Loathe Hezbollah

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

  • As Iran's chief puppet in the Middle East (along with Syria's Bashar Assad), Nasrallah wants to see Iran take over most of the Arab countries.

  • "[W]hat is the difference between Iran and Islamic State? The answer is simple; they are all trying to establish a foothold on the border with Saudi Arabia." — Tariq al-Hamid, prominent Saudi editor and political analyst.

  • Now, however, many Arabs seem to have woken up to the reality that Nasrallah is nothing but an Iranian puppet whose sole goal is to serve his masters in Tehran. But it remains to be seen whether the U.S. Administration and other Western powers will also wake up and realize that Iran and its proxies pose a real threat not only to Israel, but also to many Arabs and Muslims.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah blasted Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen, in a speech he gave in Beirut on April 17, 2015. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Iran's protégé and partner in the Middle East, seems to be leading the Lebanese people into another catastrophe.

In 2006, Nasrallah initiated a war with Israel that wrought havoc on the Lebanese, after an ambush by Hezbollah in Israeli territory that left three Israeli soldiers dead and two abducted.

Now the Lebanese people are about to pay another heavy price – this time because of Nasrallah's involvement in the Syrian civil war and his strong condemnations of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries over the conflict in Yemen.

Continue Reading Article

Don't Worry, Obama, India's Got Your Back

by Vijeta Uniyal  •  April 21, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • Under Prime Minister Modi's leadership, India has seen a rise in foreign investment; in 2014, the country's economic growth was 7.5%, higher than that of China.

  • In Yemen, the U.S. Administration watched as Iranian-backed militias disarmed U.S. Marines and seized embassy vehicles, before the diplomatic staff was let out of the country. However, the Indian government and defense forces deserve due credit for conducting a well-organized rescue operation.

  • As President Obama refuses lead the Free World, other world leaders are rising up to speak for it -- Canada's Stephen Harper, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and now India's Narendra Modi.

Vijeta Uniyal writes that, as President Obama refuses to lead the Free World, other world leaders are rising up to speak for it, such as Canada's Stephen Harper and India's Narendra Modi. Above, Indian PM Narendra Modi (L) and Canadian PM Stephen Harper (R) speak to the media at the start of Modi's visit to Canada, April 15, 2015. (Image source: Canadian Press video screenshot)

India is now evacuating U.S. citizens from Yemen. Yes, Yemen, a country overrun by an Iranian-backed militia, or as U.S. President Barack Obama likes to call it, "a counterterrorism success story."

In a statement issued on April 9, 2015, the U.S. State Department asked the remaining U.S. citizens in Yemen to contact the Indian Embassy in Sana'a or approach the Indian Navy ship in the port of Aden. According to latest figures, India helped 1,000 foreign nationals from 41 countries to escape from Yemen.

Two weeks ago, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi left the country on a boat from Aden, as the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi militia consolidated their control of the country, bringing a fourth Arab capital under the direct influence of Iran.

If India's rescue operation is a testament to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's success in turning India around, it is also an indictment of President Obama's foreign policy.

Continue Reading Article

Executions Surge in Iran after Nuclear Talks, Iran off U.S. Terror List

by Shadi Paveh  •  April 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • "Terrorism is not only achieved by bombs but also by terrorizing citizens for generations through executions. Is the hanging of 700 persons since the beginning of the 'moderate' Mr. Rouhani's presidency... not a form of terrorism?" — Mina Ahadi, Founder, ICAE.

  • "During the P5+1 nuclear talks there was absolute silence with regards to the high rate of executions and human rights violations in Iran. Because of this silence, this matter has taken a turn for the worse." — Mina Ahadi, Founder, ICAE.

  • "We would like to request that the Islamic Republic of Iran be held accountable by the International community and... sanctions to be placed on the regime for the high rate of executions." — Mina Ahadi, Founder, ICAE.

  • As this article was going to press five more people were hanged in the Central Prison of Karaj.

Public hangings in Iran.

After Iran's "nuclear talks," and after it was comfortably removed as a terrorism threat from the "Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities," the International Committee Against Executions (ICAE) reported approximately 55 executions in fewer than three weeks across Iran.

According to Mina Ahadi, Founder of ICAE, various prisoners or their families had contacted her office weeks before the killings. Prison authorities, they said, had told the prisoners that they had received orders from "above" to "cleanse" a large of number of the prisoners rapidly after the P5+1 talks. The vast majority of these prisoners had been sentenced to death for non-lethal offences in trials that, according to activists, often fell dramatically short of international standards.

In an interview with Gatestone, Ms. Ahadi stated:

Continue Reading Article

Down With Disinvitations

by Daniel Mael  •  April 20, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • The idea that upholding free speech should require "spine" is a scary indication of the world that academia is nurturing.

  • Censorship, for some, might prevent intellectual or emotional discomfort -- but sometimes these are as essential to a real education as professors.

  • The thought of blocking a speaker on campus should be abhorrent to anyone who values academic freedom, free speech and the courtesy of at least listening to statements with which one might -- or might not -- agree.

Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his 2014 commencement speech at Harvard University, criticized the trend of disinvitations, saying, "it has been disturbing to see a number of college commencement speakers withdraw, or have their invitations rescinded, after protests from students and -- to me, shockingly -- from senior faculty and administrators who should know better." (Image source: Harvard video screenshot)

Who should be allowed to speak on a university campus? This question has been the subject of debate during the last few years, especially as a growing sector of college students, faculty, alumni and other stakeholders have begun objecting to commencement speakers they say they find offensive. As that trend continued to rise, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has renamed the commencement period "Disinvitation Season."

In 2014, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrew her acceptance of an honorary degree from Rutgers University in the face of protests from both students and faculty, while Brandeis University rescinded the offer of an honorary degree to women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Last fall, students at the University of California at Berkeley objected to the comedian Bill Maher receiving an honorary degree after hearing his reservations about extremist Islam.

Continue Reading Article

Churches in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction

by Uzay Bulut  •  April 19, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • One of the common features of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey seems to be their intolerance of churches.

  • "Turkey is not converting churches into mosques because there is a need for more mosques... The message conveyed ... is that Turkey is an Islamic state and no other religion is tolerated." — Constantine Tzanos, author.

  • The physical devastation of the Christian Armenians was followed by a cultural devastation. Countless Christian churches and schools have been destroyed or turned into mosques, storehouses or stables, among other things.

  • "Christians are certainly seen as second-class citizens. A real citizen is a Muslim, and those who aren't Muslim are seen as suspicious." — Walter Flick, Scholar, International Society for Human Rights.

  • Sadly, Turkey, a NATO member since 1952 and supposedly a candidate for membership in the European Union, has largely succeeded in destroying the entire Christian cultural heritage of Asia Minor.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, once the grandest cathedral in the Christian world. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)

While Eastern Orthodox Christians recently celebrated their Easter holy week, a historic church in Istanbul -- the once magnificent Christian city of Constantinople -- is witnessing yet another abuse at the hands of its current authorities.

"The historic Istanbul cathedral and museum, Hagia Sophia, witnessed its first Quran recitation under its roof after 85 years Saturday," reported the state-run Anatolian News Agency of Turkey. "The Religious Affairs Directorate launched the exhibition "Love of Prophet," as part of commemorations of the birth of Islamic Prophet Muhammad."

Even though Christians are a tiny minority in Turkey today, Christianity has a long history in Asia Minor, the birthplace of many Christian Apostles and Saints, including Paul of Tarsus, Timothy, Nicholas of Myra, and Polycarp of Smyrna.

Continue Reading Article

Christians Pay Islam's Price for Freedom
Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2015

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  April 19, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • A pastor eventually helped the 12 year old to a "medical clinic, where she was treated for two weeks, while her father began organizing area Muslims to kill her."

  • "The intention was to torch all the churches with us inside them" and thus "burn us alive." — A nun in Niger.

  • Before we put on a show of unity with the Muslims, let's have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture." — Giuseppe Berlin, Councillor, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

Palestinians waving Islamic State flags attempt to storm the French Cultural Center in Gaza City, in January. Some in the crowd carried posters glorifying the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Paris that month, such as this poster with photos of the terrorists and the caption "Expect more from the champions of Islam, O you slaves of the Cross". (Image source: ehna tv YouTube screenshot)

The New Year began with Muslim gunmen killing a dozen people at the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris on January 7, 2015. The attack was motivated by the publication of unflattering caricatures of Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

Less known is that all throughout the Islamic world, the magazine's caricatures of Muhammad were blamed on Christianity by Muslims, who seemed not to realize that the magazine habitually pokes fun at Christ, Moses, and all other religious figures. In the Palestinian territories, for example, protesters held up a sign with images of the Muslim killers behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre; the caption below said "Expect more from the champions of Islam, O you slaves of the Cross" (bold in original Arabic).

Accordingly, Muslims around the Islamic world attacked Christian minorities by way of "collective punishment."

Continue Reading Article

The Other Face of Terrorism

by Raheel Raza  •  April 18, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • We live in a country where we embrace liberal democracy, gender equality, freedom of speech and individual freedoms, so we naïvely think that everyone who comes here has the same values. Wrong. Those are the very values that the terrorists abhor.

  • We must be aware that there are organizations and individuals right here in the United States and Canada who have exactly the same ideology as Boko Haram, the Taliban and ISIS. The only difference is these North American organizations are required to follow the law of the land.

  • In many instances, these subversive organizations have succeeded in suppressing free speech by aggressively intimidating academic institutions.

  • This threatening, silencing and censoring is the other face of terrorism.

Subversive North American Islamist organizations have succeeded in suppressing free speech, writes Raheel Raza, such as using intimidation in attempts to cancel screenings of the film Honor Diaries (shown above).

According to a UNICEF report published this week, an estimated 800,000 children in and around Nigeria were forced from their homes by Boko Haram extremists. This report was published almost a year after the mass kidnappings of nearly 300 schoolgirls from Chibok. There are reports that many of these kidnapped girls were terrorized, raped and later forced to marry their captors.

Continue Reading Article

Hamas's Plan: A Hamas State of Palestine in Gaza (For Now)

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 17, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Hamas is consolidating its grip over the Gaza Strip and making plans to turn it into a separate state.

  • Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah consider the purported plan a "severe blow" to the two-state solution and unity among Palestinians.

  • The Americans and Europeans will also have to listen very carefully to what Hamas is saying: namely that a Palestinian state in the West Bank or Gaza Strip -- or any part of the Palestinian territories, would not end its struggle to destroy Israel and replace it with the State of Greater Palestine.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar is shown in an August 2014 television clip, addressing a Hamas rally to celebrate their attacks on Israel during last summer's Operation Protective Edge. (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)

As the U.S. Administration and the international community continue to push for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, Hamas seems to be working toward establishing an independent state of its own in the Gaza Strip.

In recent weeks, reports have surfaced in a number of Arab and Western media outlets to the effect that Hamas leaders have decided to establish a "higher committee" for managing the affairs of the Gaza Strip.

Although Hamas spokesmen have denied the reports, sources close to the Islamist movement said that discussions were underway with representatives of other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip to set up the "higher committee."

The sources said that the decision came after Hamas gave up on the idea of achieving "national reconciliation" with Mahmoud Abbas's rival Fatah faction.

Continue Reading Article

Iran "Deal": West's Surrender Triggering War

by Guy Millière  •  April 16, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Russia and China have also agreed to build nuclear plants for Iran. And North Korea has also been supplying Iran with technology, a "minor detail" hidden from the UN by U.S. President Barack Obama. And the U.S. thinks that if Iran is caught cheating, sanctions can be re-imposed?

  • Other countries in the region have already started scheduling delivery for their nuclear weapons. They have made it clear they will not sit idly by while Iran goes nuclear.

  • Iran has already bragged that it will sell "enriched uranium" on the open market, and will be "hopefully making some money" from it, said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hugs French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the close of nuclear talks in Geneva, Nov. 23, 2014. (Image source: ISNA)

No agreement was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group[1] on April 2; no agreement will be signed on June 30.

The text defining the "framework" of some agreement to be signed in June was immediately challenged by Iran. Western leaders speak and act as if they have no idea what Iran is saying or doing.

Western leaders wanted something akin to an agreement. They got something akin to an agreement.

Iran's leaders seem to have spotted pretty soon that Western leaders would willingly concede everything -- and possibly more -- to get any "agreement"; so that is what Western leaders got.

Western leaders not only failed to reach an agreement; they capitulated. The reason for the talks was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. When, according to Western reports, they saw that Iran would not agree to stop, they "flipped" and instead became complicit.

Continue Reading Article