Latest Analysis and Commentary

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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France: No-Go Zones Now in Heart of Big Cities

by Yves Mamou  •  May 23, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • "There are several hundred square meters of pavement abandoned to men alone; women are no longer considered entitled to be there. Cafés, bars and restaurants are prohibited to them, as are the sidewalks, the subway station and the public squares." – Le Parisien.

  • "For more than a year, the Chapelle-Pajol district (10th-18th arrondissements) has completely changed its face: groups of dozens of lone men, street vendors, aliens, migrants and smugglers harass women and hold the streets." – Le Parisien.

  • In the heart of Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Grenoble, Avignon, districts here and there have been "privatized" by a mix of drug traffickers, Salafist zealots and Islamic youth gangs. The main victims are women. They are – Muslim and non-Muslim -- sexually harassed; some are sexually assaulted. The politicians, as usual, are fully informed of the situation imposed upon women.

(Image source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

In January, 2015, a week after the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the American television channel Fox News created a scandal in France by claiming that Islamic "no-go zones" were established in the heart of Paris. For the French media, the existence of no-go zones -- where non-Muslims are unwelcome and Islamic law, sharia, holds sway -- in the heart of the capital was pure nonsense and horrifying "fake news." Paris's mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said she planned to sue Fox News and that the "honor of Paris" was at stake.

By May 2017, however, the tone had changed. The French daily, Le Parisien, disclosed that, in fact, no-go zones are in the heart of the capital. It seems that the district of Chapelle-Pajol, in the east of Paris, has become very much a no-go zone. Hundreds of Muslim migrants and drug dealers crowd the streets, and harass women for wearing what many of these migrants apparently regard as immodest clothing:

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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: April 2017

by Soeren Kern  •  May 22, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Some forms of "honor based" abuse, such as "breast ironing," often go undetected because teachers are unaware that it exists. Helen Porter said: "Breast ironing has been carried out for many generations and is usually performed by mothers who wish to prevent their daughters from being sexually attractive to men in a bid to protect them from child marriage and pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape and the spread of HIV... In the UK, girls in London, Leicester and Birmingham are most at risk."

  • The Charity Commission asked Islamic Relief to explain why it invited a hardline Muslim preacher to star in a fundraising tour of Britain. Yasir Qadhi, a Saudi-educated American academic, has been recorded telling students that killing homosexuals and stoning adulterers was part of Islam. Qadhi, who featured in an eight-city tour, described Islamic punishments such as cutting off the hands of thieves as "very beneficial to society." The commission also questioned two other charities, Muslim Aid and Read Foundation, about their sponsorship of a speaking tour by Qadhi in 2015

  • Sainsbury's and Asda, two of Britain's largest supermarket chains, refused to sell Easter eggs that tell the story of Christianity. Both chains, however, sold eggs that are not specifically Christian, including a halal version made by the Belgian firm Guylian. Stephen Green, of the lobby group Christian Voice, said: "You are whitewashing the Christian message out of Christian holidays. It's difficult to find any explicitly Christian products, like Christmas cards, in supermarkets."

  • "It's all right for the judge respecting the human rights of the prisoner, but what about the human rights of the prison staff he was threatening to behead?" — Philip Davies, a Tory MP for Shipley.

Sainsbury's and Asda, two of Britain's largest supermarket chains, refused to sell Easter eggs that tell the story of Christianity. (Photo [illustrative] by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

April 1. The British Home office stripped Sufiyan Mustafa, 22, of his UK passport after he traveled to Syria to fight with jihadists. Mustafa is the youngest son of the cleric Abu Hamza, who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being convicted of terrorism charges. Mustafa complained that he is now stateless and stranded in Syria:

"Britain is the place where I was born and lived. I have never been a threat to national security in Britain and will not commit aggression on its population because our religion does not allow attacks on unarmed innocents."

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Trump Can Break the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

by A.J. Caschetta  •  May 22, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • While the "land for peace" formula -- pressuring Israel to hand over land to those it has defeated for the promise of peace to come -- pleased Arab governments and career diplomats at the State Department, it was a disaster on the ground. Each new concession was seen by Palestinian leaders as signaling an Israeli weakness ripe for exploitation, stoking their fantasies of ultimate victory and thus prolonging the misery of the Palestinian people and everyone involved.

  • History shows that wars end definitively only when one side has no more hope at all of success, as happened in Germany and Japan after World War II. The Palestinians still have not given up their fantasy of a Palestinian state "from the river to the sea."

  • The best way for Washington to advance a peace process is by convincing the Palestinian leaders of Israel's insurmountable strength. "After the leadership recognizes this reality, the Palestinian population at large will follow, as will eventually other Arab and Muslim states, leading to a resolution of the conflict," explains Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes, the driving intellectual force behind the newly-created Israel Victory Congressional Caucus.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In Saudi Arabia on Sunday, President Trump declared unswerving American commitment to help Riyadh in "confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamist and Islamic terror of all kinds." A new coalition of American lawmakers believes he should make an equally important commitment to Israel when he lands there today.

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Palestinians: Tomorrow's Secret 'Day of Rage'

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 21, 2017 at 10:00 am

  • What is really driving this Palestinian hatred of Trump and the U.S.? The Palestinians and the Arabs have long been at war with what they regard as U.S. bias in favor of Israel. What they mean is that U.S. support for Israel stands in their way of destroying Israel.

  • Abbas is not going to tell Trump about the "Day of Rage" because it flies in the face of his repeated claim that Palestinians are ready for peace and are even raising their children in a culture of peace.

  • Once again, Abbas is playing Americans and other Westerners for fools. His people remain unwilling to recognize Israel's very right to exist as a state for Jews. And so, Abbas will talk peace and coexistence while his people organize yet another "Day of Rage."

(Image source: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA), preparing to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump to Bethlehem, are seeking to create the impression that their sentiments are shared by their people. Yet many Palestinians are less than enthusiastic about the visit.

It is in the best interests of Abbas and the PA to hide the truth that many Palestinians view the U.S. as an Israel-loving enemy.

While the PA president and his aides attempt to bury that inconvenient fact, they are also doing their best to cover up the truth that many Palestinians have been radicalized to a point that they would rather aim a gun or knife at Israelis than aim for peace with them.

The strongest and most vocal protests against Trump's visit have thus far come from Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians.

Ramallah is regularly described by Western journalists as a base for moderation and pragmatism. It is in this city that Abbas and the top PA leadership live and work.

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The U.S., Churchill and the Middle East

by Pierre Rehov  •  May 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • President Donald Trump has apparently decided that on his visit to Israel this week, he will not announce the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem -- a move that will only make him look less strong to Arab leaders. They may not like all promises that are kept, but they do deeply respect and trust those who keep them. If promises are not kept to a friend, the thinking goes, why would they be kept to us?

  • As Plato, Churchill and even Osama bin Laden understood, people respect only a strong horse, especially when one's adversaries can only survive by creating conflicts to distract their citizens from unaccountable governance.

  • By recognizing the rights of Jerusalem's historical occupants of 3,000 years -- despite the lies of UNESCO and other UN organizations engulfed by the Arabs' automatic majority -- Trump could well demonstrate a new force that would elevate him to the same stature as Churchill.

(Image source: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In France, everything has been written about the new U.S president, as long as it could relay the most negative image possible. In a country sometimes bathed in an anti-Americanism inherited from Gaullism and communism, major political religions of the post-war era, exacerbated by the Bush years -- it experienced a noticeable lull at the arrival of former President Barack Obama. The election of Donald Trump has the effect of an avalanche.

For many, America had foundered, would never recover and the archetypal image of the uneducated, violent cowboy, fed on hamburgers, would now finally stick to this uncouth country -- too powerful, too capitalist and actually distressed by injustice and inequality.

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Europe: Muslim Atrocities against Women? So What!

by Uzay Bulut  •  May 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • These examples are merely a sampling of what is becoming commonplace across Europe. In the name of human rights, inclusion, diversity and equality, "enlightened" activists and judicial authorities are apologizing for and excusing Muslim criminals for behavior that would not be tolerated from anyone else -- and should not be tolerated.

  • Do these judges work for Islamic sharia courts or for secular European courts?

  • These court rulings are an open call to Muslim men in Europe to rape women, children, anyone they like. Those cultures in which women and children as are viewed as property deserve no respect, and certainly not preferential treatment.

Schwerin, Germany (Image source: Getty Images)

It happened again last week. Two Turkish nationals in Schwerin, Germany were arrested for raping a 13-year-old girl after forcing themselves into her home.

Recently, a judge in Germany acquitted a Turkish drug dealer of raping one of his customers last August. He had forced himself on her for four hours and left her incapacitated for weeks. He told the judge that in the culture from where he came, what she "had experienced as rape" might be considered merely "wild sex".

What "culture" is this?

According to the Turkish women's rights organization "We Will Stop the Murders of Women," which publishes monthly reports, in March of this year alone, 35 women were killed; 14 others were exposed to sexual violence, and 63 children were molested. Many children, the report said, had been sexually abused for years, and often attempted suicide.

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The Gender Obsessed West Sets Itself Up for the Rise of Islam

by Giulio Meotti  •  May 20, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • French authorities imposed on students ridiculous books such as Daddy Wears a Dress. It would have been comical if the following years would not have been so tragic. What, in fact, wrecked these French illusions was Islamic terrorism.

  • The only enemy these French élites knew were patriarchal privileges, since for them "domination" comes only from the white male Europeans.

  • Obsession with gender is a convenient distraction to avoid facing matters that are more difficult and less pleasant. If the West will not commit itself to preserving Western societies and values, it will fall. And its extraordinary progress will be blanketed over by darkness, along with all those gender rights.

(Image source: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

Welcome to the progressive "next frontier of 'liberation'", where the most urgent question in Western democracies is "genderism".

North Carolina was subjected to a year of being boycotted, until it withdrew its transgender bathroom law. Last month, the National Union of Teachers in Great Britain asked the government to teach children as young as two new transgender theories. New York recently presented the first "trans-doll". American universities are wracked with hysteria over the correct use of neutral pronouns. Even National Geographic, instead of writing about lions and elephants, started covering the "Gender Revolution". One of the first announcements of Emmanuel Macron, as the French President-elect, was that he would appoint officials from a "gender equal" list.

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Who Will Stand up for Civil Liberties?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  May 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm

At a moment in history when the ACLU is quickly becoming a partisan left wing advocacy group that cares more about getting President Trump than protecting due process (see my recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal,) who is standing up for civil liberties?

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