Latest Analysis and Commentary

No Justice in the Netherlands

by Judith Bergman  •  October 24, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • It is deeply troubling that the court already before the criminal trial has even begun, so obviously compromises its own impartiality and objectivity. Are other European courts also quietly submitting to jihadist values of curtailing free speech and "inconvenient" political views?

  • If you are a politician and concerned about the future welfare of your country, you should be able to discuss the pertinent issues of the day, including problems with immigrants and other population groups.

  • Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that: "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers..."

  • In its case law, the Court has stated that Article 10 "...protects not only the information or ideas that are regarded as inoffensive but also those that offend, shock or disturb; such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broad-mindedness without which there is no democratic society. Opinions expressed in strong or exaggerated language are also protected".

  • Wilders did not incite to violence or prosecution (or humiliation), nor did he jeopardize national security or public safety.

  • Clearly, in the Netherlands, justice is no longer blind and the courts no longer independent and impartial state institutions.

Geert Wilders during his March 2014 speech, where he asked "Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?" (Image source: video screenshot)

A court in The Hague decided on October 14 that the charges of hate speech against Dutch politician Geert Wilders, for statements he made in March 2014 at a political rally, are admissible in a court of law. It thereby rejected the Wilders' appeal to throw out the charges as inadmissible in a court of law on the grounds that these are political issues and that a trial would in fact amount to a political process. The criminal trial against Wilders will begin on Monday, October 31.

While campaigning in The Hague in March 2014, Wilders argued the need for fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. At an election meeting in The Hague, he asked those present a number of questions, one of which was "Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?" After the crowd responded "fewer" Wilders said, "We're going to organize that."

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Liberal Submission: Protect Islam, Defame Christianity

by Giulio Meotti  •  October 23, 2016 at 6:00 am

  • If an imam violently protests something, the liberal elite always supports the false charge of "Islamophobia." If a peaceful protest is led by a Catholic bishop, the same elite always rejects it under the name of "freedom of expression."

  • The "Caliph" of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ridiculed by Charlie Hebdo, triggered self-censorship because of "hate speech," while the work of Chris Ofili "The Holy Virgin Mary," in which the mother of Jesus is covered with feces and images of genitalia, was defended by the New York Times as "free speech." Does this now mean that some religions are more equal than others?

  • On Halloween night, only the "Sexy Nun" is available, while "Caliph" Baghdadi can rape his Yazidi and Christian sex slaves with impunity.

Spot the offensive costume -- or the hypocrisy. Online retailer Amazon removed the "Sexy Burka" costume (left) after accusations of "Islamophobia." But despite the protests of many Catholics customers, the "Sexy Nun" (right) is still on sale at Amazon.

The world's biggest shopping portal, Amazon, sells many Halloween costumes. One of the novelties in 2016 has been the "Sexy Burka", the typical obscurantist cloak that the Taliban and the Islamic State impose on women. But the sexy burqa, which on Amazon UK was priced at £18.99, did not last long.

The commercial colossus of Jeff Bezos removed the item from the website, after Amazon had been swamped with accusations of "racism", "Islamophobia," of marketing an Islamic garment with the white face of a model and using "a religious garment for commercial purposes". "You are disgusting, my culture is not your costume", wrote many users of the Islamic faith. Others used a less adorable tone: "Whoever you are, you should fear Allah. This is not a joke."

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Turkey Targets Christians

by Robert Jones  •  October 23, 2016 at 4:45 am

  • In the last four years, more than 100 Christian pastors and other religious officials have been deported from Turkey, and banned from reentering.

  • "When Jesus reached 30 years of age, Allah gave him the duty of being a prophet. He then began inviting people to believe in Allah." — Turkish textbook on Christianity.

  • "[R]eligious minority students are faced with the option of taking the class or sitting alone somewhere else on the school premises during the classes, thus separating them from their peers and singling out their religious differences." — U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Turkey Textbook Report.

  • It is high time that the activists of the global "human rights community" condemned or at least publicly discussed this "culture of hate" in the Muslim communities -- and particularly the Christianophobia.

(Image source: United States Commission on International Religious Freedom)

American pastors in Turkey are being arrested hand over fist.

American Pastor Andrew Brunson, of the Resurrection Protestant Church, was arrested in Izmir (Smyrna)on October 7 alongside his wife, Norine Lyn Brunson, for "threatening the national security of Turkey." Brunson is expected to be deported in 15 days. The couple is still being held in detention.

Turkish authorities also seized the residence permit of Ryan D. Keating, an American student pursuing a PhD in the philosophy of religion at Ankara University. Keating is a Christian who heads the Ankara Refugee Ministry for the Kurtulus Church. While he was leaving Turkey for work purposes, he was told at the airport that his residence permit in Turkey had been cancelled in September for "national security", meaning that he will not be able to reenter the country. His wife and children are still in Ankara.

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U.S. Helps Muslims, not Christians
Muslim Persecution of Christians: July, 2016

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  October 23, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • The Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslim refugees, but only 28 Christians -- even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria's population and are classified as experiencing a genocide there.

  • The logic of the pope's statement seems to be that violence done that contradicts the Judeo-Christian God's commandments -- such as the murder of wives and mothers-in-law -- is identical to violence done in accord with Allah's commandments to wage jihad on "infidels."

  • One million Christian children whose families have been displaced or affected by the violent activities of Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen are starving. Boko Haram's seven-year rebellion has left 20,000 people dead and more than two million displaced. — Nigeria.

  • One social media posting by the Islamic State showed a picture of a young girl with the caption: "Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old... Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon."

  • Countless reports continued to appear indicating that non-Muslim students, most often Christians, are being forced to convert to Islam through the public school system. Teachers force them to recite the shahada -- which when said before Muslim witnesses makes them a Muslim. — Pakistan.

  • The government is trying to "cleanse" the nation of Christians and create a homogenous Muslim state. — Sudan.

Father Jacques Hamel was murdered in France on July 26, in the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, by Islamic jihadists.

As the Muslim persecution of Christians continues to reach critical proportions around the world (see report below), the average American shows much more concern than the current administration. Soon after it was revealed that the Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslim refugees, but only 28 Christians -- even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria's population and are classified as experiencing a genocide there. A poll found that more than three-quarters of American respondents agreed with the statement: "It is important to me that the next US President be committed to addressing the persecution that some Christians face around the world (e.g.: imprisonment, beheadings, rape, loss of home and assets)."

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Red Alert! Protestant Couple "Security Threat" to Turkey!

by Burak Bekdil  •  October 22, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • The Islamophobia that Erdogan never ceases to claim exists in the Western world may or may not be a real social malady, but non-Muslimphobia in Turkey is increasingly a contagious malady.

  • "Traitors! We'll bomb your church!" — The words of Mehmet Ali Eren, suspected al-Qaeda member, as he attacked Protestant Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson in Izmir, Turkey.

  • Erdogan should explain why he persistently demands more and more tolerance for Muslims living in non-Muslim lands, including the building of mosques in every capital, while his government can deport Pastor Brunson and his wife on the spurious grounds that they pose a security threat to his country. The police explained that they were being expelled on grounds of posing a security threat because they had carried out "missionary activity and received money from sources abroad."

Turkey's President Erdogan (left) should explain why he demands more and more tolerance for Muslims living in non-Muslim lands, including the building of mosques in every capital, while his government can deport Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson and his wife (right) on the spurious grounds that they pose a security threat to his country. The police explained their "crime" as their having carried out "missionary activity and received money from sources abroad."

Over the past several years Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pressured Greece to construct a mosque in Athens. He has criticized the country which boasts the only European capital without a mosque. He does not hide his passion for mosques worldwide.

In 2015 Erdogan proposed the construction of a mosque in secular, Communist-ruled Cuba. Also in 2015, he went to Moscow for the inauguration of the biggest mosque in the Russian capital.

Earlier this year Erdogan pleasantly announced his presence at the opening of the biggest mosque in Amsterdam. The mosque is called "Hagia Sophia," named after a Greek Orthodox Christian basilica built in 537 AD in Constantinople, reflecting the typical Muslim extremist obsession with "conquest." Recently Erdogan has also been eyeing Iraq.

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"First They Came for Asia Bibi"

by Douglas Murray  •  October 21, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • The same week that Mr Yousaf was extolling the idea that Britain is a proto-Nazi state and Pakistan a potential safe-haven, the Pakistani authorities saw the latest round of the interminable and unforgivable saga of Asia Bibi. This is the woman who has been on death-row in Pakistan for no crime other than the crime of being a Christian. Bibi has been awaiting execution for five years, purely because a neighbour claimed that Bibi had insulted Mohammed during an argument.

  • They attack the Conservative government of the UK for Nazism while not merely praising, but lauding as a safe haven, a state which actually persecutes and murders people because of their religion.

  • Which means that he is doing what many other people today are doing, which is knowingly to cover for a racist despotism, so long as it is despotism with an Islamic face.

While Humza Yousaf (left), a member of the Scottish Parliament, extolls the idea that Britain is a proto-Nazi state and Pakistan a potential safe-haven, Asia Bibi (shown at right with two of her five children) sits on death-row in Pakistan for no crime other than the crime of being a Christian.

Is Britain becoming a Nazi state? It would seem unlikely, but to listen to some of the critics of the Conservative government in recent days it would appear that we are only moments away from become a racist despotism.

Last week the convener of the Scottish Parliament's Equalities and Human Rights Committee, one Christina McKelvie, pronounced that the Conservative party is displaying "some of the most right-wing reactionary politics that I've heard in my lifetime" and claimed that the Conservative party's recent conference showed what will happen in Britain "if we become bystanders and do not speak out against discrimination." She said that some recent Conservative proposals were "reminiscent of the rise of Nazism in the 1930s."

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VIDEO: "Nothing to Do with Islam"?

October 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm

"Politicians rarely have long term vision. They want tangible, if possible immediate, results." Watch Denis MacEoin in our latest video.

Don't miss our next video -- subscribe free to the Gatestone Institute YouTube channel!

Germans Leaving Germany 'In Droves'

by Soeren Kern  •  October 20, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • More than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade. — Die Welt.

  • Germany is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.

  • "We refugees... do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you.... Why do you not go to another country? We are sick of you!" — Aras Bacho an 18-year-old Syrian migrant, in Der Freitag, October 2016.

  • A real estate agent in a town near Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in western Hungary, said that 80% of the Germans relocating there cite the migration crisis as the main reason for their desire to leave Germany.

  • "I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany." — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an "Open Letter to the German Government."

  • "I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens. ... I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews." — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an "Open Letter to the German Government."

  • "My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest." — "Anna," in a letter to the Mayor of Munich about her decision to move her family out of the city because migrants were making her life there impossible.

A growing number of Germans are abandoning neighborhoods in which they have lived all their lives, and others are leaving Germany for good, as mass immigration transforms parts of the country beyond recognition.

Data from the German statistics agency, Destatis, shows that 138,000 Germans left Germany in 2015. More are expected to emigrate in 2016. In a story on brain drain titled, "German talent is leaving the country in droves," Die Welt reported that more than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade.

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Erasing the West

by Shoshana Bryen  •  October 20, 2016 at 4:30 am

  • The UNESCO vote seems clearly a response to the expansionist, jihadist aspirations of members of the OIC who sponsored it: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan.

  • Some analysts consider a vote to abstain to be a victory for Israel, but for Spain, Greece, France, Sweden, Slovenia, and Italy it was blatant appeasement and fear of their own often-violent Muslim minorities: "Please, please, don't blow up our capital cities. We will reject Jewish and Christian history and pretend Jesus chased the money changers from the steps of Montmartre."

  • UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova had already announced her opposition to the resolution, a position for which she received death threats.

  • Having demonstrable historical fact, such as Jewish patrimony on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, subject to the whims of the UN, in which, as the late Abba Eban said, Arabs could muster a majority to decide the sun rises in the West, is not a positive proposition.

  • The question remains how to convince nations in the West to stand for themselves in the face of Islamists committed to replacing them.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova (left) received death threats after announcing her opposition to a jihadist resolution. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/MDS)

Last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted Christian and Jewish heritage off of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Tuesday they ratified their perfidy. The vote seems clearly a response to the expansionist, jihadist aspirations of members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that sponsored it: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. The vote, and the behind the scenes machinations, deserve evaluation.


  • Group 1: The "in favor" voters are a nasty collection of corrupt, dictatorial, largely Islamist (traditional Islamic theology gives Jews their place on the Temple Mount; these Islamists appear intent on removing all traces of Christian and Jewish presence from the Middle East) or Marxist, and unanimously frightening places. They are, in the immortal words French diplomat Daniel Bernard applied to Israel, "shitty little countries." Even the big ones. But see below for a caveat.

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Turkey's Land-Grab Wish List

by Burak Bekdil  •  October 20, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • Erdogan looks determined to fight any war in the hope that all will end with Turkish-Sunni dominance in the region. He is wrong.

  • Turkey's "National Contract," Misak-i Milli, also claimed the former Ottoman province of Mosul as a Turkish province. There is one complication, though. Mosul is not Turkish territory, as envisaged in Misak-i Milli, but Iraqi territory. And the Shiite-controlled Iraqi government does not want Turkish or Turkey-backed Sunni boots on the ground.

  • "Certain historians believe that the borders set by the National Contract include Cyprus, Aleppo, Mosul, Erbil, Kirkuk, Batumi, Thessaloniki, Kardzhali, Varna and the [Greek] islands of the Aegean." — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

  • Erdogan hopes to build a pro-Ottoman, Sunni region against Iranian dominance.

  • A few hundred Turkish soldiers in Iraq have been training Sunni militias to help retake Mosul from ISIS. Baghdad wants the Turkish troops out, but Turkey refuses to go.

At the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq, a few hundred Turkish soldiers have been training Sunni militias to help retake Mosul from ISIS. Iraq's government wants the Turkish troops out, but Turkey refuses to withdraw them. (Image source: TRTWorld video screenshot)

Each time in recent history that Turkey's pro-Sunni neo-Ottomans opted for assertive foreign policy in this turbulent part of the world, there were more casualties and no happy ending for any state- or non-state actor, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey. As multiple asymmetrical wars in the triangle of Turkey, Syria and Iraq turn more violent and complex, with the U.S.-led international campaign fighting jihadists -- while Iran and Russia try to win proxy wars -- Turkey keeps raising the stakes with the risky nonsensical wish to revive its imperial past. Erdogan looks determined to fight any war in the hope that all will end with Turkish-Sunni dominance in the region. He is wrong.

In his recent speeches Erdogan often revisited a long-forgotten Arabic phrase that is so dear to every Turk's heart and mind: Misak-i Milli ("National Contract").

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Palestinians: Fatah Prepares for War with Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  October 19, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • "We have pledged to prepare an army of fighters by devoting our full abilities and energies to consolidate the option of armed struggle as the only means to liberate Palestine." — The armed wing of Fatah, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division.

  • The international community continues to perceive Fatah as the "moderate" Palestinian party with whom Israel should make peace. Yet Fatah is far from a single united bloc; many groups within the faction continue to seek the "liberation of Palestine" through armed struggle. Moreover, neither Abbas nor any of his senior Fatah loyalists have repudiated the war-set Fatah militias. Crucially, many of these Fatah militiamen continue to receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority.

  • These Fatah gunmen who are preparing for war with Israel are indirectly receiving their salaries from Western donors, including the US and many EU countries, who fund the Palestinian Authority.

  • These groups believe that they represent the real Fatah, the one that never recognized Israel's right to exist and holds on to armed struggle as the only way to "liberate Palestine." They are not breakaway groups. That is why they continue to operate under the name of Fatah.

  • Fatah is a two-faced hydra; one face tells the English-speaking international community what it wants to hear, namely, that it supports a two-state solution and seeks a peaceful settlement to the conflict with Israel, while the other tells the truth: it is committed to an armed struggle and the "liberation of Palestine," and is even preparing for war with Israel.

Members of Fatah's Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division read a statement condemning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Some 300 members of the Palestinian Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, have begun receiving "military training" in the Gaza Strip in preparation for war with Israel.

The armed wing of Fatah, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - The Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division, announced that its members have been enrolled in a new military academy for training "fighters" in the Gaza Strip. The academy, inaugurated recently in the Gaza Strip, would train the "fighters" on various fighting methods "in the context of a program for preparing for any future battle" with the "Zionist enemy."

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Open Letter to President Obama on Genocide in South Sudan

by Simon Deng  •  October 19, 2016 at 4:30 am

  • This very country [South Sudan] which the United States helped to create and then later on abandoned. I am appealing to your leadership to intervene in hope of retracting South Sudan from ascending into a fully scaled genocide.

  • President Obama, you stated that you will directly hold the leaders responsible who obstruct the Peace in South Sudan and I hope that you implement these words within your statement. We hope that the United States makes progress now towards reconstructing the Peace agreement, and to end the use of rape and genocide as a weapon of war against civilians in the country

A snapshot of better times for South Sudan: U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet South Sudan President Salva Kiir at the White House, August 5, 2014. (Image source: White House)

His Excellency Barack Obama
President, United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

The purpose of this open letter is to urgently appeal to the government of the United States to rescue and transform the country of South Sudan. This very country which the United States helped to create and then later on abandoned. I am appealing to your leadership to intervene in hope of retracting South Sudan from ascending into a fully scaled genocide.

The government continues to wage gross catastrophes and human rights violations since 2013. The government perpetuates wars against humanity despite the signing of the Peace Agreement and uses rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war against women and children which has been condemned by the United Nations.

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Is the United States Abandoning the Free World?

by Nuhu Othman  •  October 19, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • There is great anxiety among Africans who are peace-loving, and who care about democracy and human rights, that after the U.S. presidential election next month, this concern for people who care about democratic values and human rights might stop.

  • The understanding in Africa now is that the United States is showing signs of feeling over-burdened with taking the lead role in world affairs. But the implication of this abdication is immensely dangerous.

  • America no longer looks like the country that extended its soft power to Western Europe, in the form of the Marshall Plan, shortly after the Second World War. Was this the same United States that made its hard power felt to rescue the free world and ensure that it remained free? The stabilizing role of the U.S. is needed now more than ever.

  • We need America's leadership. There is simply no other free country that can adequately provide it, to maintain peace in the continent. Who will be there for us to "talk softly and carry a big stick," where and when it is necessary?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with newly sworn-in Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 29, 2015. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

A few years ago, a sitting president of Nigeria was accused of condoning corrupt activities, and as a result, the nation lost tens of billions of dollars. When Boko Haram seized an area the size of Belgium in northeastern Nigeria, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the United States would not sell arms to Nigeria because of the Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. from providing military assistance to foreign militaries that violate human rights with impunity.

Thankfully, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the political actors in Nigeria ahead of its 2015 elections, and repeated the position of the United States on the importance of having a peaceful election and transition. This visible concern in no small measure helped in a fair political contest and transition. This is the enviable position of awe in which the United States of America was held.

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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: September 2016

by Soeren Kern  •  October 18, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • "Sharia councils are thriving because there is no other authentic and credible mechanism for Muslim women to obtain an Islamic divorce. If the government offered an alternative, 90% of the work of sharia councils would end." — Moulana Raza, Director of the Muslim Law Council UK.

  • Peter Sutcliffe, who was convicted in 1981 of murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven more, has faced daily death threats since arriving at Frankland Prison. Muslim gang members have offered to protect him, but only if he converts to Islam. They told Sutcliffe that changing faith will also allow him access to a special diet, more time out of his cell and the right to refuse certain types of prison work.

  • Kamran Ahmed, 27, was sentenced to ten years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl. Ahmed, a Pakistani man who moved to the UK to wed a British-born woman in an arranged marriage, had been in the country less than six months when he raped the girl after trying to groom her for sex.

  • "Take off your tight jeans or you're going to burn in hell, kafir [unbeliever]. I'm going to follow you home and blow up your house." — Krissoni Henderson, a 31-year-old Muslim bodyguard.

  • "If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison. I will radicalize everyone in prison." — Anjem Choudary, sentenced to five years, six months in prison for activities supporting Islamic State.

  • "There is only one punishment for insulters: cut off their heads, cut off their heads, cut off their heads." — Tanveer Ahmed, 32, who murdered a Glasgow shopkeeper for "disrespecting Islam," calling on supporters to behead other "insulters."

  • Home Office statistics released to the Daily Express under Freedom of Information laws revealed that 12,000 migrants seeking asylum in the UK are missing.

Outspoken Islamist Anjem Choudary (left) was recently sentenced to prison for activities supporting Islamic State. He has threatened to "radicalize everyone in prison." Imprisoned serial murderer Peter Sutcliffe (right), who has faced daily death threats since arriving at Frankland Prison, has been offered protection by Muslim gang members if he converts to Islam.

September 1. A team of University of Oxford sociologists published a paper about why young, highly educated Muslim women who live in modern urban environments are choosing to wear Islamic veils. The report says that in social situations in which Muslim women mix with non-Muslim friends, work outside the home or interact with strangers, they may wear the veil as "a signal to others in their community to show that mixing with others does not compromise their religious piety." Veils may also be used "to strengthen their own sense of commitment to their faith and its values in a secular world." The report says that efforts by Western governments to ban the veil in public might be counterproductive because it would "deprive Muslim women from integrating." It suggests that if they cannot signal their piety through wearing the veil, they might be forced to stay at home.

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Obama Quietly Empowers Iran's Military

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  October 18, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • This sanctions relief not only gives legitimacy to the Revolutionary Guards globally, but emboldens and empowers Iran's elite military unit by allowing them legally to conduct business and transfer money.

  • Many Iranian companies are owned by senior figures from Iran's Revolutionary Guards and judiciary who have been involved in crimes against humanity, violating international laws, breaching UN resolutions, money laundering and monstrous human rights violations. Nevertheless, the new sanctions relief allows foreign companies to do business with them without repercussions.

  • Furthermore, the Obama administration secretly agreed to remove sanctions on several Iranian banks, including banks have long been sanctioned by the UN due to their illegal activities in missile financing and skirting UN security resolutions regarding the arms embargo.

Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that their hardball political tactics pay off very well with President Obama. They continue to obtain concessions from President Obama even in his last few months in office. They see that intransigence works with the White House, and that threatening the U.S. will lead to Obama offering more concessions to Iran. For Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), giving concessions means weakness.

After a series of anti-American statements and lashing out at the U.S. by Ayatollah Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, the Obama administration eased more critical sanctions on Iran through new regulatory measures by the Treasury department.

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