The Real Iran
In a globalized world where debate and diplomacy predominate, there is one sure way to discern the sincerity of any particular government: see how it behaves at home, where it is in power; see especially how it treats its minorities.
Consider the government of Iran. Gearing up for the Durban III Conference, supposedly against racism, scheduled to take place in New York City this week, Tehran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad no doubt plan on complaining to the international community about Israel as in former conferences—portraying the Jewish state as "the most cruel and repressive racist regime," a "barbaric" government that engages in "inhuman policies" against the Palestinians.
Yet what sort of government runs Iran—that is, how do Ahmadinejad and the mullahs behave on their own turf, where they are in control? One need only look to Iran's daily domestic affairs to get a clear idea of what Iran looks like:
In the last few days alone, officials launched a Bible burning campaign, confiscating and destroying some 7,000 Bibles, many publicly burned, even as the mainstream media, which provided round-the-clock coverage on Terry Jones—one nonofficial American who destroyed one Koran—ignores the government of Iran's mass Bible bonfires.
Likening its tiny Christian minority to the "Taliban and parasites," the regime is also in the process of "cracking down" on Christians, who make up less than 1% of the entire population.
The West's endless supply of apologists for anything that doesn't directly affect them will likely argue that the Bible is just a book. As for "cracking down" on Christians, "Who knows," these dedicated relativists will probably argue, "maybe Iran's beleaguered Christian minority is just as bad as the Taliban?"
Here, then, is an example of what Iran has been up to. According to Compass Direct News:
A pastor in Iran found guilty of leaving Islam awaits the outcome of a judicial investigation into his spiritual background to see if he will be executed or, if possible, forced to become a Muslim... The court-ordered investigation will take place sometime this fall to determine whether Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, 34, was a Muslim as a teenager before he became a Christian at 19.
Last year the pastor was sentenced by a regional court to death by hanging for "convert[ing] to Christianity" and "encourag[ing] other Muslims to convert to Christianity." After his lawyer argued that he "had never actually been a Muslim and therefore could not be found guilty of abandoning the religion," the court, while continuing to uphold the death penalty, has ordered an "investigation." Yet the burden of proof is on the victim: he must "prove that from puberty (15 years) to 19 he was not Muslim"—by getting acquaintances, relatives, local elders, and Muslims to vouch for him.
However, "if it can be proved that he was a practicing Muslim as an adult and [he] has not repented [i.e. returned to Islam], the execution will be carried out." Moreover, "even if the investigation releases him from the charge of apostasy, it is likely the charge of evangelizing Muslims will still carry a lengthy prison sentence, sources said."
Both slandering Israel and murdering Christians are perfectly consistent: in each case, Iran seeks the destruction of the "other"—whether Christian or Jew. At home in Iran, where it is in power, it destroys its Christian minority with impunity, in front of the whole world; on the international stage, where it is currently weak, it seeks to destroy Israel by exploiting the West's lofty language and acting "outraged."
Worst of all, this affair does not merely expose Iran's hypocrisy; it exposes the United Nation's utopist foolishness. By allowing heads of the most notorious human rights abusing states, such as Iran and genocidal Sudan, to attend conferences that supposedly deal with "racism" and "human rights," the UN actually exposes itself as a facilitator of human rights abuses.
Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published Islam-specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
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"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
What Khaled Mashaal forgot to mention was that Hamas and the Islamic State do have at least one thing in common: they both carry out extrajudicial executions as a means of terrorizing and intimidating those who stand in their way or who dare to challenge their terrorism.
According to Hamas's logic, all members of the Palestinian Authority government are "traitors" who should be dragged to public squares to be shot by firing squads. According to the same logic, Mahmoud Abbas himself should be executed for maintaining security coordination with and talking to Israelis.
As for the two executed women, the sources said that their only fault was that they had been observed asking too many questions about Palestinians who were killed in airstrikes.
by Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy
It now appears that the plan was for these terrorists to shoot down a Russian passenger flight over the Ukraine in order to create a casus belli [cause for war].
Putin repeatedly claims that Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons as a "de-escalatory measure" even against non-nuclear states.
The evidence that this war was preplanned is overwhelming. The planning for this Ukrainian operation started in 2006, when Putin offered to "guarantee Crimea's territory."
The forces fighting in Kiev consist not mainly of "separatists" or rebels, but of trained Russian army, intelligence and paramilitary officers, as well as Russian and some Ukrainian "volunteers" recruited by Moscow.
Putin would incite disturbances in Crimea, then graciously offer to take over Crimea to solve the problems.
For the Russians, and particularly for Putin, Ukraine can have no future other than as a Russian colony. This is indeed a phased invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. did not accept Russian aggression before; it should not accept it now.