Latest Analysis and Commentary

Sharia Down Under

by Judith Bergman  •  May 29, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Sharia law, the president at the time of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils ludicrously argued, far from discriminating against women, "guarantees women's rights that are not recognised in mainstream Australian courts".

  • The Australian Federal Police investigated 69 incidents of forced or under-age marriage in the 2015-16 financial year, up from 33 the previous year. While there are no official numbers, it is estimated that there are 83,000 women and girls in Australia who may have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).

  • The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has spent the past four years probing numerous religious organizations, has made no inquiries into Islam. The commission has held 6,500 one-on-one private interview sessions with survivors or witnesses making allegations of child sexual abuse within institutions, but only three sessions in relation to Islamic institutions.

A mosque minaret in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

What legacy did Australia's former Grand Mufti, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali -- named "Muslim Man of the Year" in 2005 and the country's most senior, longest-serving (1988-2007) Muslim cleric -- leave behind?

In 1988, when Hilali was imam of the largest mosque in Australia, he gave a speech at Sydney University in which he described Jews as the cause of all wars and the existential enemy of humanity.

In July 2006, he called the Holocaust a "Zionist lie" and referred to Israel as a "cancer".

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Palestinians: Abbas Immediately Breaks Promises to Trump

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 29, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • Less than 24 hours after the Abbas-Trump meeting in Bethlehem, in which Abbas promised Trump and his representative, Jason Greenblatt, to cease all forms of incitement against Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah resumed its vicious rhetorical attacks on Israel.

  • The Palestinian denial of Jewish ties and history to the land also continues full blast, despite Abbas's pledge to Trump that Palestinians are not in conflict with Jews or Judaism.

US President Donald Trump talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on May 23, 2017 in Bethlehem. (Photo by PPO via Getty Images)

Hard on the heels of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's assurances to US President Donald Trump that he is raising Palestinians on a "culture of peace," he continues to glorify terrorists who have Jewish blood on their hands.

Abbas, who met with Trump in Bethlehem on May 23, told reporters that he was committed to working with the new US administration to achieve a "historic peace deal with Israel." Abbas also announced his readiness to become a "partner in the war on terrorism in our region and the world." He claimed that he and his Palestinian Authority have been promoting "tolerance and coexistence, and spreading a culture of peace and renouncing violence."

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Memorial Day Message

May 29, 2017 at 3:00 am

  • Gatestone Institute wishes to thank the brave men and women of America's armed forces who gave their lives -- and continue to risk them every day -- so that we may sleep soundly in our beds at night. We are in your debt. — The Editors.

Pictured: An Air Force honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

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Europe Fights Back with Candles and Teddy Bears

by Giulio Meotti  •  May 28, 2017 at 5:30 am

  • Europe still has not realized that the terror which struck its metropolis was a war, and not the mistake of a few disturbed people who misunderstood the Islamic religion.

  • We are apparently not ready to abandon our masochistic rules of engagement, which privilege the enemy's people over our own.

  • It appears that for Europe, Islamic terrorism is not real, but only a momentary disruption of its routine. We fight against global warming, malaria and hunger in Africa. But are we not ready to fight for our civilization? Have we already given up?

Candles and flowers left behind following an evening vigil on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England, held after a suicide bombing by an Islamic terrorist who murdered 22 concert-goers the night before. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

This long and sad list is the human harvest of Islamic terrorism on Europe's soil:

Madrid: 191. London: 58. Amsterdam: 1. Paris: 148. Brussels: 36. Copenhagen: 2. Nice: 86. Stockholm: 5. Berlin: 12. Manchester: 22. And it does not take into account the hundreds of Europeans butchered abroad, in Bali, in Sousse, in Dakka, in Jerusalem, in Sharm el Sheikh, in Istanbul.

But after 567 victims of terror, Europe still does not understand. Just the first half of 2017 has seen terror attacks attempted in Europe every nine days on average. Yet, despite this Islamist offensive, Europe is fighting back with teddy bears, candles, flowers, vigils, Twitter hashtags and cartoons.

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"Drip-Drip" Genocide: Muslim Persecution of Christians, February, 2017

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  May 28, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • "They are burning us alive! They seek to exterminate Christians altogether! Where's the military?" -- Christian man fleeing Al-Arish, Egypt; video.

  • "Historical churches in Iran being destroyed while UNESCO overlooks," is the title of one report.

  • On the same day as Pakistan's government charged an elderly Christian man with blasphemy -- which carries a death penalty -- it acquitted 106 Muslims of burning down an entire Christian village.

Coptic Christians protest outside the church of St Peter and St Paul in Cairo, Egypt, after a bomb attack on the complex, on December 11, 2016. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Islamic State is at it again. More stories of atrocities against Christians continued to surface. In one, a Christian man, Meghrik, said the bus in which he was riding in Syria was stopped at what turned out to be an ISIS checkpoint. Three men dressed in black entered and began checking all the passengers' identification papers. "Are you a Christian?" they asked him. "No," he said. He explained that he was raised by Christian parents and his family name was Christian, but that he was not. "You're lying," the fighter said. "Your name says you're a Christian. Come with me." He was taken to an ISIS judge who "concluded that he was a Christian" and said "You're sentenced to death." Thereafter Meghrik was severely whipped and tortured. At one point, he was thrown in a hole in the ground and surrounded by an execution squad prepared to fire. After 10 days of this treatment and for unknown reasons -- Meghrik cites a miracle and is now a devout Christian -- he was released.

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Turkey: Erdogan's Goon Squad Comes to Washington

by Burak Bekdil  •  May 28, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • The savagery of Erdogan's Turkish enforcers in Washington, whom many observers viewed as thugs, reflects a new dimension in carrying his message to any potential leader who may host him in the future: We treat peaceful dissent abroad as we treat it in Turkey.

  • Turkey probably was protesting the United States for not giving President Erdogan's men a license to kill.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images)

According to the official narrative, U.S. President Donald Trump was hosting in Washington the leader of a long-friendly country and historic ally. In typical diplomatic niceties, Trump mentioned Turkey's role as a pillar in the Cold War against Soviet expansion, and Turkey's legendary courage in fighting alongside American soldiers in the Korean War in the 1950s. Trump also said, speaking of the present, that he looks forward to "working together with President Erdogan on achieving peace and security in the Middle East, on confronting the shared threats, and on working toward a future of dignity and safety for all of our people." Facts on the ground, however, are frequently less pleasant than Kodak-moment niceties.

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UK: Welcome Mat for Jihadists

by Khadija Khan  •  May 27, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The Sharia Council of Britain determines the fate of women by undermining the laws of the land.

  • British politicians seem have become intoxicated by the propaganda of those who prefer to term any action to limit Islamic extremism or terrorism "Islamophobia."

  • These human rights abuses are linked to the Islamic ideology, the end product of which often shows itself as violence against homosexuals, non-Muslims and other marginalized communities. It appears that most of these jihadists were radicalized through local mosques and madrassas.

Baroness Warsi. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)

England, which once was a jewel of both East and West, today symbolizes the degeneration of Europe, the continent which has turned its back on the threat Islamist terrorists are posing. England has increased its terror threat level from "severe" to "critical"; counter-terror measures include employing the British army in key public locations as well as stepped-up counter-intelligence, and raids against suspected terrorists.

It seems, however, that British politicians have simply put the whole nation in a loop of feed, kill, repeat; meanwhile acting as if they haven't a clue as to what has stricken the lovely country.

Prime Minister Theresa May, in her public statement after the blast, stated:

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France: Macron, President of the Elites and Islamists

by Guy Millière  •  May 26, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • French President Emmanuel Macron can only be described as close to the business world if one understands how things work in France. The French economy is a mixed system where it is almost impossible to succeed financially without having close relations with political leaders who can grant favors and subsidies, and either authorize, prohibit or facilitate contracts or hinder them. Macron is not supposed to bring any new impetus to business, but to ensure and consolidate the power of those who placed him where he is.

  • A deliberate side-effect of Macron's policies will be population change. Macron wants Islam to have more room in France. Like many European leaders, Emmanuel Macron seems convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration.

  • The French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood published an official communiqué, saying: "Muslims think that the new President of the Republic will allow the reconciliation of France with itself and will allow us to go farther, together."

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel chat in Berlin on May 15, 2017. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Macron -- whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive -- was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country.

The reality, however, is quite different.

His victory was actually not "decisive". Although he received a high percentage of the votes cast (66%), the number of voters who cast a blank ballot or decided to abstain was the highest ever in a French presidential election.

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Censoring You to 'Protect' You

by Douglas Murray  •  May 25, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The editor of The Vanguard at Portland State University decided that it was more important to cover up a story than to break it, more important to evade truths than to expose them, and more important to treat students -- and the wider world -- as children rather than thinking sentient adults able to make up their own minds.

  • That students such as Andy Ngo exist is reason for considerable optimism. So long as there are even a few people left who are willing to ask the questions that need asking and willing to tell people about the answers they hear -- however uncomfortable they may seem right now -- all cannot possibly be lost.

  • Indeed, it is imaginable, that with examples such as this, students in America could be reminded not only that truth will always triumph over lies, but that the current trend of ignorance and censorship might one day soon begin to be turned around.

Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

In the culture-wars currently rocking US campuses, the enemies of free speech have plenty of tools on their side. Many of these would appear to be advantages. For instance the employment of violence, thuggery and intimidation against those who disagree are generally effective ways to prevent people hearing things you do not want them to hear. As are the subtler but more regularly employed tactics for shutting people down, such a "no-platforming" people or getting them disinvited after they have been invited, should the speaker's views not accord 100% with those of their would-be censors. As also noted in this space before, many of the people who campaign to limit what American students can learn also have the short-term advantage of being willing to lie without compunction and cover over facts whenever they emerge.

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The World Needs to Drive Out Destructive Fantasies

by Shireen Qudosi  •  May 25, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • The Palestinians and other powers such as the OIC, the UN and domestic interest groups do not get a veto over reality.

  • If we are going to "reset" the Middle East, we need to reset our thinking as well, starting with accepting that Israel has a right to exist. Israel exists, and Israel has a legitimate claim to Jerusalem. Further, the Jewish people have proven themselves as more capable custodians of Jerusalem than their Muslim neighbors, who are already burdened by challenges in their own territory.

  • Alongside us, the world must drive out the fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel's capital. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Israel. To deny Jerusalem as a part of Jewish and Israeli identity is the same as denying Mecca as inherent to Muslim identity.

U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the Western Wall in Israel was the most iconic moment of his recent visit to the Middle East. (Illustrative photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The most iconic moment of President Donald Trump's visit to the Middle East was not his "speech on Islam"; it was his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The Western Wall is a contested space, and that controversy has bled outside Israel's borders. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently reignited the debate, mentioning the Wall as being in "Jerusalem", instead of in Israel. It is a play on language often used to deny Israeli sovereignty over a space that clearly belongs to the Jewish people, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, quickly rectified in response.

How we talk about religion matters. If we want to be effective in moving forward, it is important to be truthful. The truth is that Israel won the Six Day War, thereby liberating eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, which had seized it illegally when it attacked Israel in 1948-49 and expelled all Jews from eastern Jerusalem.

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Iran: Rouhani's Re-Election Is Not the Key to the Country's Economic Recovery

by Mohammad Amin  •  May 25, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • The true culprit in Iran's economic failure is Iran itself, whose internal barriers make a flourishing economy a pipe-dream. These include: the absence of free-market competition, due mainly to the monopoly of conglomerates affiliated with Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards over a huge sector of the country's economy, which affects at least half of its GDP; the precariousness of the rule of law; the deterioration of human rights; and the exorbitant cost of military intervention in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, as well as the bankrolling of the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah and other regional proxies.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. (Photo by Sergey Guneev/Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images)

The clear victory on May 19 of incumbent Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over his key rival, Ebrahim Raisi -- the candidate supported by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – indicated that voters were concerned above all with the economy. Raisi, an extremist and isolationist like Khamenei, was the candidate who represented hardline power politics and Middle East hegemony.

It was during Rouhani's first term in office that the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed between Iran and six world powers. This not only led to the lifting of crippling international sanctions from the regime in Tehran, but seemed to signal an effort to renew diplomatic and commercial ties the West.

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Manchester: Europe Still 'Shocked, Shocked'

by Judith Bergman  •  May 24, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • After hearing of the Manchester terrorist attack, politicians once more communicated their by now old-routine of "shock" and "grief" at the predictable outcome of their own policies.

  • Most dumbfounding of all, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she was watching the developments in Manchester "with grief and horror" and that she found the attack "incomprehensible".

  • Every time a European leader publicly endorses Islam as a great faith, a "religion of peace", or claims that violence in Islam is a "perversion of a great faith", despite massive evidence to the contrary, they signal in the strongest way possible that with every devastating attack, the West is ripe for the taking.

A police officer stands guard near the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017, following a suicide bombing by an Islamic terrorist who murdered 22 concert-goers. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

When ISIS attacked the Bataclan Theater in Paris in November 2015, it did so because, in its own words, it was "where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice." A year earlier, ISIS had forbidden all music as haram (forbidden). Many Islamic scholars support the idea that Islam forbids the 'sinful' music of the West.

It should, therefore, not be a surprise to anybody that Islamic terrorists might target a concert by the American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester on May 22. In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned last September that terrorists are focused on concerts, sporting events and outdoor gatherings because such venues "often pursue simple, achievable attacks with an emphasis on economic impact and mass casualties".

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President Trump Should Extend His "Disruption" to Saudi Arabia

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  May 24, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • Although Washington and Riyadh have clear common interests, they share few values. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. It is the cradle of Wahhabism, a particularly closed form of fundamentalist Islam. It has an abysmal human-rights record, denying its subjects and citizens civil and religious liberties. Such issues may be internal, but they have serious implications for America and the rest of the world.

  • The kingdom is unable to make the ideological argument against terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, as according to its own religious ideology, the Quran prohibits Muslims from allying with non-Muslims.

  • It was ironic that Trump's address to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21 was devoted to combating practices in which the House of Saud itself engages.

U.S. President Donald Trump and other Arab leaders attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 21, 2017. (Image source: Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty Images)

At an Israeli Independence Day event in Washington, D.C. on May 2, on the eve of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's meeting at the White House, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster referred to U.S. President Donald Trump as "not a super patient man," who "does not have time to debate over doctrine."

McMaster then said that those who call Trump "disruptive" are right, "and this is good... because we can no longer afford to invest in policies that do not advance the interests and values of the United States and our allies."

This was echoed by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates days before Trump embarked on his first foreign trip to Riyadh, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Vatican -- albeit in relation to Pyongyang. In an interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation" on May 14, Gates said:

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Terrorism Persists Because It Works

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  May 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Every time a horrendous terrorist attack victimizes innocent victims we wring our hands and promise to increase security and take other necessary preventive measures. But we fail to recognize how friends and allies play such an important role in encouraging, incentivizing, and inciting terrorism.

If we are to have any chance of reducing terrorism, we must get to its root cause. It is not poverty, disenfranchisement, despair or any of the other abuse excuses offered to explain, if not to justify, terrorism as an act of desperation. It is anything but. Many terrorists, such as those who participated in the 9/11 attacks, were educated, well-off, mobile and even successful. They made a rational cost-benefit decision to murder innocent civilians for one simple reason: they believe that terrorism works.

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Europe's Leaders: Shielding Themselves from Reality

by Judith Bergman  •  May 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Shielding heads of state from seeing the consequences of the policies that they themselves have forced on the entire European continent represents a staggering new level of hypocrisy.

  • Why do the citizens of Europe need to 'broaden their horizons,' while the people in power protect themselves from the reality they themselves imposed on everyone else? This attitude, far from democratic, borders on the atmosphere prevalent in Europe during the bygone days of Europe's absolute monarchs.

  • While it is true that "everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle," the answer to that problem is not fatalistically to sit back and wait for the migrant influx. The answer is, based on a new starting-date, to change Europe's outdated and unsustainable welfare policies, which stem from a pre-globalization era, and in this way actively work to make it less attractive for millions of migrants to venture to the European continent in the first place.

Migrants, who crossed from Libya, disembark the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) 'Phoenix' vessel on May 20, 2017 in Trapani (Sicily), Italy. (Image source: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

When the G7 heads of state arrive in Taormina, Sicily, for the G7 meeting on May 26, they will find themselves in an embellished, picture-postcard version of European reality. Italy, the host of the G7 meeting, has announced that it will close all harbors on the island to ships that arrive with migrants ( mainly from Libya) for the duration of the two-day meeting. The reason for the closure of the Italian island to migrants is to protect the G7 meeting from potential terrorist attacks. According to Italian reports, "the Department of Public Safety believes that the boats with illegal immigrants could be hiding an Islamist threat".

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