Latest Analysis and Commentary

Belgium: First Islamic State in Europe?

by Giulio Meotti  •  April 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The leaders of Belgium's ISLAM Party apparently want to turn Belgium into an Islamic State. They call it "Islamist democracy" and have set a target date: 2030.

  • "The program is confusingly simple: replace all the civil and penal codes with sharia law. Period". — French magazine Causeur.

  • "The European capital [Brussels] will be Muslim in twenty years". — Le Figaro.

Riot police guard a road in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, after raids in which several people, including Salah Abdeslam, one of the perpetrators of the November 2015 Paris attacks, were arrested on March 18, 2016. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The French acronym of Belgium's ISLAM Party stands for "Integrity, Solidarity, Liberty, Authenticity, Morality". The leaders of the ISLAM Party apparently want to turn Belgium into an Islamic State. They call it "Islamist democracy" and have set a target date: 2030.

According to the French magazine Causeur, "the program is confusingly simple: replace all the civil and penal codes with sharia law. Period". Created on the eve of the 2012 municipal ballot, the ISLAM Party immediately received impressive results. Its numbers are alarming.

The effect of this new party, according to Michaël Privot, an expert on Islam, and Sebastien Boussois, a political scientist, could be the "implosion of the social body". Some Belgian politicians, such as Richard Miller, are now advocating banning the ISLAM Party.

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The Love Affair with Syria's Dictator

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  April 22, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • Finally, a world leader, President Donald Trump, took a stance against the war criminal who rules Syria. Instead of supporting that action, however, many people have been attacking Trump for the clear message he sent Bashar Assad: He cannot use illegal weapons to target civilians and enjoy immunity.

  • Whoever appeases Assad and legitimizes his actions should be aware that they are complicit in crimes against humanity.

Pictured: Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2007. (Image source: AP video screenshot)

Many people claim to champion the pursuit of justice and the defense of human rights around the globe. If there is an opportunity for them to make promises, they will. But when a true need arises, when their voices and rallying could make a genuine difference, many of those promises prove false.

Recently, Syria's dictator, President Bashar Al Assad, attacked his own people with banned chemical weapons -- at least 50 times. The victims were mainly civilians. Innocent people -- men, women and children -- were suffocated by these attacks, but not before burning their eyes and drowning their lungs in fluid.

Finally, a world leader, US President Donald Trump, took a stance against this war criminal. Instead of supporting that action, however, many people have been attacking Trump for the clear message he sent Assad: He cannot use illegal weapons to target civilians and enjoy immunity.

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Syria: The Defining Issue of Our Generation

by Amir Taheri  •  April 22, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • How could we not understand that in the anti-war coalition's Manichaean world, the role of evil was reserved solely for the Western democracies?

  • Over the past decade or so, Russia has waged war against Georgia in Ossetia and Abkhazia, attacked Ukraine, annexed the Crimean Peninsula, turned Chechnya into a pile of rubble and driven thousands out of their villages in Ingushetia and Dagestan without the "anti-war coalition" waving a single placard.

  • So what we have is a "lukewarm war" in which Russia's assets consist mainly of the anti-West constituencies inside Western democracies plus the veto power that Russia has in the United Nations Security Council.

Pictured: Russian soldiers in Aleppo, Syria. (Image source: Russia Ministry of Defense/Wikimedia Commons)

"We are here to protest against the bombing of Syria by Donald Trump and Theresa May," said the placard-waving young man sporting a ferocious beard.

"Killing Muslims must be stopped," added the middle-aged lady dressed all in black with a demeanor of a diva.

Our interlocutors were among a handful of activists from the "anti-war coalition," spending part of their weekend venting their hatred of Trump and America, and presumably of capitalism and imperialism in general, in front of the US Embassy in London.

We asked whether they would also demonstrate in front of the Russian Embassy in Bayswater, a posher part of London?

The answer was a chagrined look all around. How could we not understand that in their Manichaean world, the role of evil was reserved solely for the Western democracies?

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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: March 2018

by Soeren Kern  •  April 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Anti-Semitism is running rampant at German primary schools, according to Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the President of the German Teachers' Association (Deutschen Lehrerverbandes, DL). He also said that videos of beheadings are commonplace at German schools, and that female pupils are being threatened with murder. "In chat forums like WhatsApp, movies such as ISIS beheading videos are spreading like wildfire."

  • "It is unacceptable that non-Muslim and above all Jewish children have to be afraid of going to school in this country because they are being labeled as 'unbelievers' and even threatened with death.... Since autumn... Kuwait Airways is allowed to discriminate against Jews at Frankfurt Airport, and the Federal Government does not object. Let us not fool ourselves: it is the Federal Government, which, for inexplicable reasons, allows Jews in Germany to be treated like this." — Julian Reichelt, Editor-in-Chief of Bild.

  • "Mass gatherings that degenerate into violence are incompatible with our understanding of democracy. Humanity, tolerance, respect and dealing with each other in a democratic way are the basic values ​​on which our coexistence is oriented. We all want to live in a peaceful, open and democratic society." — Sören Link, Mayor of Duisburg.

The Spreewald Elementary School in Berlin's Schöneberg district (pictured above) hired security guards to protect teachers and students from unruly students. Around 99% of the pupils at the school have a migration background. (Image source: Fridolin Freudenfett/Wikimedia Commons)

March 1. The Spreewald Elementary School in Berlin's Schöneberg district hired security guards to protect teachers and students from unruly students. Around 99% of the pupils at the school have a migration background. "Within the past year, the violence has increased so much that we now had to take this measure," said headmaster Doris Unzeit. "The violence is widespread and we want to take countermeasures with the security service. This should improve the reputation of the school and ensure that the children can learn here again in peace."

March 2. A 41-year-old Syrian, Abu Marwan, stabbed to death his 37-year-old wife in Mühlacker. The couple's three children, a girl and two boys, witnessed the murder. It later emerged that immediately after the killing, the blood-stained man posted a video on Facebook warning women not to irritate their husbands: "This is how you'll end."

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Turkey Targeting Greece - Again

by Uzay Bulut  •  April 20, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • With the illegal seizures and occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974 and the Syrian city of Afrin this March -- with virtually no global reaction -- Turkey apparently feels unchallenged and eager to continue; this time, it seems, with the oil-and-gas rich islands of Greece.

  • "To take an interest in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Crimea, Karabakh, Bosnia and other brotherly regions is both the duty and the right of Turkey. Turkey is not just Turkey. The day we give up on these things will be the day we give up on our freedom and future." — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 2016.

  • Turkish needs are in reality supplied by its association with the US. Turkish officials usually get whatever they want from the West, but they seem to have chosen to align themselves with Iran and Russia, possibly in attempt to blackmail the West for more.

A computer-generated rendering of the April 17 incident in which Turkish fighter jets harassed the helicopter carrying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and in response Greek fighter jets arrived to protect the helicopter. (Image source: 'A News' video screenshot)

Turkey has been harassing Greece consistently. Most recently, this week, on April 17, two Turkish fighter aircraft harassed the helicopter carrying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek Armed Forces Chief Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis as they were flying from the islet of Ro to Rhodes.

With the illegal seizures and occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974 and the Syrian city of Afrin this March -- with virtually no global response -- Turkey apparently feels unchallenged and eager to continue; this time, it seems, with the oil-and-gas rich islands of Greece.

Another provocation by the Turkish government recently took place when three young Greek men recently paid tribute to a dead pilot by planting five flags in some islets in the Aegean.

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UK: "Teacher Handbook" Supporting Extremism?

by Andrew Jones  •  April 19, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Britain's educational authorities also failed to note the underlying message of the Teacher Handbook: that jihadist violence is justified when committed by those who believe themselves to be victims. This is a crucial point: it accepts at face value what might only be many Muslims' perception of "victimhood."

  • Despite the Teacher Handbook's questionable attempts to align Islam with secular, Western principles such as human rights, fundamental British values are undermined by the very content of theTeacher Handbook.

  • No amount of Western appeasement can counter jihad, which is, as openly admitted, a global expansionist project.

  • Many religious texts have violent verses, but in Islam people still live by them.

The Finsbury Park mosque, in London, England. (Image source: Olof Lagerkvist/Wikimedia Commons)

Sweeping reforms in Britain's education system are having an unintended dangerous consequence: the infiltration of extremist Muslim influence on the teaching of Religious Studies.

This influence is visible in The Oxford Teacher Handbook for GCSE Islam, authored by a small team of educational specialists and Muslim community leaders. The purpose of the manual is to guide British teachers lacking in-depth knowledge of Islam to help their students pass the Religious Studies General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), the UK's public examination for pupils at the end of Grade 11. This academic study of religions is an optional but relatively popular subject in British high schools -- 322,910 students took the examination in 2017, out of a total GCSE cohort in all subjects of 3,694,771.

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Turkey's Erdogan Threatens France

by Uzay Bulut  •  April 19, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • "Why hasn't any 'kind-hearted' anti-Assad Arab state (e.g. Saudi) taken any Syrian refugees? Shouldn't countries that spent billions on arming militants (including terrorists) in the name of 'liberating' Syrians take refugees in? The only Syrian refugees that got attention in the Gulf states are the vulnerable underage girls they bought in the name of marriage." — Dr. Abbas Kadhim.

  • "Why not bring Christians and Yazidis from the Muslim world here first?... Finally, why not bring Muslim girls and women who are already in flight from honor-based violence, including from honor killing, here next -- before we extend visas, green cards and asylum to Muslim boys and men?" — Professor Phyllis Chesler.

  • "It is ironic that millions of Muslims are trying... to reach the borders of a civilization they have historically blamed for all the world's evils... is it 'Islamophobic' to point out that there is no war in Greece, Serbia, Hungary, or Austria?" — Burak Bekdil, BESA Center for Strategic Studies.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed French President Emmanuel Macron for his recent offer to mediate between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), saying he hopes Paris will not ask Ankara to help when terrorists fleeing Iraq and Syria arrive in France:

"With this attitude, France has no right to complain about any terrorist organization, any terrorist, any terrorist attack. Those who sleep with terrorists, welcome them in their palaces, will understand sooner or later the mistake that they made."

On April 7, hours after a man ploughed his van into pedestrians in Münster, Germany, Erdogan threatened France again, referring to the incident: :

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Hamas "Press Office": Truth Finishes Last

by Bassam Tawil  •  April 18, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Finally, the Hamas "Press Office" instructed Palestinian journalists to focus on the "humanization" of the stories of the Palestinians who are killed or injured during the mass demonstrations. Translation: If the "victim" is a Hamas terrorist, the journalists are to avoid mentioning that and instead report about his having been a beloved husband, father and community member.

  • Aren't Fatah and Abbas receiving financial aid from the US and EU because of their presumed support for a peace process with Israel? Why should the Americans and Europeans be supporting a Palestinian faction whose journalists openly incite against their Israeli colleagues?

Pictured: Palestinians in Gaza attempt to break through a section of the border fence with Israel, under cover of a smokescreen, March 30, 2018. (Image source: Ateya Bahar video screenshot).

Three weeks after the beginning of the mass demonstrations along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which are being held as part of the so-called "March of Return," Hamas is trying to intimidate journalists into covering the events in a way that distorts the truth and reality.

Hamas, one of several Palestinian groups responsible for the anti-Israel demonstrations, does not want the world to see pictures of Palestinians throwing stones, firebombs and explosive devices at Israeli soldiers.

Hamas does not want journalists to use the words "clashes" and "confrontations" when reporting about the demonstrations.

Hamas does not want journalists to report the fact that some of the demonstrators killed during the "March of Return" were actually members of its armed group, Izaddin Al-Qassam.

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Let Turkish Scholars Speak: See What Islamism Is About

by Burak Bekdil  •  April 18, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • In a 2016 fatwa, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Turkey's highest religious authority, ruled that it was not forbidden in Islam if a father felt lust for his own daughter "on condition that the daughter is older than nine."

  • According to celebrity Islamist scholar Nureddin Yıldız, Allah allows men to beat their wives not to torture them or hurt them but only to relax.

  • Yıldız's sermon on "what would the ummah lose if women work" is a must-read piece to understand the typical Islamist thinking on gender equality, family and tribal ambitions to grow still more numerous.

According to Turkish celebrity Islamist scholar Nureddin Yıldız (pictured), Allah allows men to beat their wives not to torture them or hurt them but only to relax. (Image source: Sosyal Doku Vakfı video screenshot)

The word ulama in its Arabic context denotes scholars of almost all disciplines. In the context of Sunni Islam, however, ulama are regarded as "the guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge." With the rise of Islamism as the dominant, state-sponsored ideology, the Turkish ulama have gained prominence: talk shows, books, newspaper columns, sermons and fatwas come in abundance. Devout Turks take them seriously. Secular Turks often mock them. Yet the Turkish ulama provide a rich context for those who want to understand Islamic piety as interpreted by religious scholars.

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Germany: Crackdown on Middle Eastern Crime Families
"The state must destroy the clan structures."

by Soeren Kern  •  April 17, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Middle Eastern crime clans now control large swathes of German cities and towns — areas that are effectively lawless and which German police increasingly fear to approach. The crime families, which have thousands of members, have for decades been allowed operate with virtual impunity: German judges and prosecutors were unable or unwilling to stop them, apparently out of fear of retribution.

  • "The police cannot win a war with the Lebanese because we outnumber them." — Criminal clan members to Gelsenkirchen Police Chief Ralf Feldmann.

  • Peter Biesenbach, now Justice Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, had repeatedly called for an official inquiry to determine the scope of clan activity. Those pleas had been rejected by his predecessor, because such a study would be politically incorrect.

Police guard the scene of a shooting murder in Essen, Germany, on April 9, 2016. The murder was part of a bloody feud within a Lebanese clan. (Image source: WDR video screenshot)

German authorities have launched a crackdown on Middle Eastern crime families in Essen, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia where some 70 Turkish, Kurdish and Arab-born clan members regularly engage in racketeering, extortion, money laundering, pimping and trafficking in humans, weapons and drugs.

Middle Eastern crime clans now control large swathes of German cities and towns — areas that are effectively lawless and which German police increasingly fear to approach.

The crime families, which have thousands of members, have for decades been allowed operate with virtual impunity: German judges and prosecutors were unable or unwilling to stop them, apparently out of fear of retribution.

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German Mass Migration: A No-Win Situation?

by Stefan Frank  •  April 17, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • In October 2017, Salzgitter was the first city to impose immigration restrictions: It will not accept any additional refugees.

  • "I see it every day: 'Woman, step aside!' The elderly, who are often severely handicapped, stand no chance to compete." — Norbert Reinartz, a volunteer with the Essener Tafel food bank.

  • Faced with unchecked mass immigration, it seems, more and more people and institutions in Germany feel compelled to draw their own borders.

Clients of the Essener Tafel food bank line up to receive food in Essen, Germany. (Image source: ARD video screenshot)

The recent decision of Essener Tafel, a food bank in the city of Essen, Germany, temporarily to stop issuing membership cards to non-Germans has triggered an outcry among German politicians, journalists and activists, who have accused the charitable organization of "racism". Serving about 16,000 poor people in the industrial city of Essen, Essener Tafel is one of the biggest charities in Germany, operated by volunteers only.

Essener Tafel's announcement read:

"Due to the increase in the number of refugees, the share of foreign fellow citizens among our customers has increased to 75 percent. To guarantee a reasonable integration, we see ourselves forced currently to accept only customers with a German passport."

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Tariq Ramadan's Rape Trial: Blame the Victim

by Giulio Meotti  •  April 16, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • If defending Tariq Ramadan is regrettable, Western silence is worse.

  • There are also those who blame Ramadan's alleged victims. According to The New Yorker, "[Ayeri] is something of a heroine in the extreme-right circles of the fachosphère, where Islamophobia is a ticket of admission". So, the "real" problem is "Islamophobia," not the Muslim subjugation of women.

  • The three women who accused Ramadan of rape have been the subjects of intimidation, violence and threats.

  • "The blindness of the Anglo-Saxons on political Islam is frightening". — Pascal Bruckner, French philosopher.

(Ramadan image source: Internaz/Flickr)

"If you thought it was challenging for women to come forward and accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape, consider accusing the Islamic theologian Tariq Ramadan", wrote Sylvie Kauffman, the former editor of Le Monde.

Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Bana, is a Swiss lecturer on Islam with millions of followers and one of Time Magazine's "men of the year". Accused of rape by three women, however, Ramadan is now in custody of the French police. In denying the allegations of sexual violence, his #MeToo case has turned into a political and religious affair.

The Algerian writer Kamel Daoud summarized the response of the Arab-Islamic world to the Ramadan affair: "Silence, discomfort, embarrassment and theories of mass conspiracy".

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Christian, Yazidi Women Still in ISIS Captivity

by Sirwan Kajjo  •  April 16, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • Despite losing control of Raqqa and other major strongholds in Syria and Iraq, ISIS continues to keep many of the women it kidnapped during its rise in 2014. The world seems to have forgotten about them.

  • Habib, traded four times during her captivity, witnessed many cases of Christian and Yazidi girls -- some as young as 9 years old -- sold, raped and tortured by ISIS members.

  • Currently, there are an estimated 1,500 Christian and Yazidi girls and women still in captivity, while 1,000 others are missing in Iraq and Syria. Others are believed to have been sold to sex traffickers in Turkey. It is an issue that the international community cannot ignore.

Islamic State jihadists laugh and joke about buying and selling Yazidi sex slaves, in a propaganda video.

After more than three years, Rita Habib, a 30-year-old Christian woman from the Iraqi city of Mosul, was recently reunited with her blind father in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region. She and her father are the sole survivors of a family whose members, like thousands of Christians and other non-Muslims, was murdered by ISIS in mid-2014. Habib was among hundreds of Christian and Yazidi women and girls abducted at the time and sold into the sex trade. She was one of the lucky ones to be rescued by the Christian advocacy group, the Shlomo Organization for Documentation, which paid ISIS $30,000 for her release.

Abu Shujaa, a Yazidi activist who has been involved in rescuing hundreds of Yazidi women from ISIS, helps secure their release in various ways, but said that all require money, which is hard to come by.

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"Why Do They Think Islam Is a Religion of Peace?"
Muslim Persecution of Christians: October 2017

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  April 15, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Three Muslim men kidnapped a 12-year-old Christian girl, gang-raped, and sadistically tortured her, including burning her body with cigarettes. When her mother of went to police the same day, they refused to start a criminal investigation or even to file a complaint. — Pakistan.

  • "These attacks are being carried out daily..." — A villager in Nigeria.

  • "I fled from Pakistan to escape violence such as this, but more and more the same violence is coming into Britain. Freedom of religion should be the right of any British citizen but today I feel unsafe..." — Tajamal Amar, Derby, England.

  • "Why do they [Western people] think Islam is a religion of peace? These people have been killing us for decades and your media just ignores it. Now they are killing you and still your President Obama [had] called it a peaceful religion. We see Western leaders saying that over and over again. Why?" — A Nigerian Christian.

A Christian man who fled to the West from the Islamic world in search of religious freedom was attacked and beaten senseless by Muslim men in Derby, England in October. The attackers were angered by the crucifix hanging from his car's rearview mirror. Pictured: Derby city center. (Image source: Ray Bradbury/Flickr)

In one of the most brazen attacks on Egypt's Christians, a Muslim man slaughtered a Christian bishop in broad daylight. Security camera footage captured a man with a large butcher knife chasing and stabbing Bishop Samaan Shehata—in the head, neck, and torso—in the streets of Cairo on October 12. According to eyewitnesses "the assailant had seen Shehata in his car, forcibly stopped him, ordered him out and then started to stab him in the neck and torso. Shehata fled, and the attacker followed him into the warehouse and finished his attack there with several blows to the head." Then, while standing over his victim, "the assailant used the bishop's blood to form a cross on his forehead." It took 90 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, and "the bishop was alive for half an hour after being struck and could have been saved if the ambulance had arrived timely."

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Turkey's American Hostage - About to be Sentenced for Life?

by Uzay Bulut  •  April 15, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • The Turkish government is using Pastor Brunson's detention as a bargaining chip. In exchange for his freedom, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had demanded the return to Turkey from the United States of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, a political opponent, whom Erdogan claims was behind the failed coup against him in the summer of 2016.

  • "They are treating the U.S. government with contempt and paying no price for it." — Pastor Andrew Brunson, March 17, 2018.

  • Turkey -- a NATO member holding an American political prisoner hostage -- has so far faced no consequences.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, after he lost 50 lbs. in Turkish prison. (Image source: American Center for Law and Justice)

An American Pastor, Andrew Brunson, has been jailed on false charges in Turkey since October, 2016. He is accused, in a 62-page indictment of espionage, overthrowing the Turkish Parliament and government, undermining the constitutional order of the state, and membership in an armed Islamic terrorist group, namely the "Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure", or the "FETÖ/PDY", which the Turkish government accuses of organizing the failed coup attempt in 2016.

Brunson was not charged until after being imprisoned for 17 months without any evidence at all, and with no access to his file. In late March, Turkish prosecutors finally filed official charges and called for a life sentence of 35 years. His trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 16.

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