Latest Analysis and Commentary

The Old Arab Fear Tactic That Came to Washington

by Nonie Darwish  •  October 17, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • The true threat to the US, the West, and even stable Arab governments, as Egypt is realizing, is political Islam as furthered by groups such the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaeda and their offshoots.

  • This real threat has become a terrible burden to every Muslim head of state and is behind all the political chaos, coups and revolutions currently raging throughout the Islamic world.

  • In a chaotic, propaganda-prone area of the world, Qatar's Al Jazeera has always reported sympathetically about Islamist groups and promoters of sharia, and against moderate Arab leaders. No moderate leader could survive under such conditions.

  • It is unfortunate that the tactics of the Arab media -- to accuse people of collusion in order to silence any opposition -- have now moved into US mainstream media regarding Trump and Russia, which the US media would apparently like to regard as their new "enemies." This the same media that defends sharia law and inaccurately insists that Muslim terrorists who shout "Allahu Akbar" have "nothing to do with Islam."

Now that the note supposedly showing "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia has been outed by Foreign Policy as mainly an attempted Russian hit-job on William Browder, what is the true threat to the United States?

For months, the lawless FBI has snubbing subpoenas (is complying with subpoenas optional?), and avoiding transparency under Special Counsel Robert Mueller[1] and his equally lawless, crime-"challenged" "investigation." The true threat to the United states -- if not Mueller and the FBI itself -- is not the president, his campaign or even the Russians. Moreover, it is not exactly a news-flash that many countries have been spying on one another for ages.

"Collusion with Russia" was just the the newest dirty word in American politics created by anti-Trump political operatives and the media. It seems intended to confuse the public in order to tarnish Trump's reputation and bring down his administration. It is an extremely old ruse.

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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: September 2017

by Soeren Kern  •  October 16, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • A Freedom of Information request revealed that Sammy Woodhouse, a woman sexually abused as a child by a grooming gang, was told by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a government body, that she was not entitled to compensation because she "consented" to the sexual abuse. Woodhouse appealed the decision: "If an adult can privately think that it's a child's fault for being abused, beaten, raped, abducted, I think you're in the wrong job."

  • Online jihadist propaganda attracts more clicks in Britain than in any other European country and the main internet companies are failing to curb it, according to Policy Exchange, a think tank. The report, "The New Netwar," said that the Islamic State is still producing, at a conservative estimate, about 100 items of new content each week, including execution videos and bomb-making instructions, reaching an audience of, at minimum, tens of thousands, including large numbers of users in the UK.

  • British universities hosted 110 events featuring extremist speakers in the last academic year, 2016/17, with the highest proportion taking place in London institutions. The extremist events listed were overwhelmingly organized by Islamic societies, and groups and speakers included former Guantanamo Bay detainees and Islamists. The findings suggest that despite Prime Minister Theresa May's claim that "enough is enough," British universities continue to be a target for extremists promoting their messages.

On September 1, Mohiussunnath Chowdhury was charged with a terror offense after he attacked police outside Buckingham Palace with a sword and "ranted" that the "Queen and her soldiers will all be in hellfire." Pictured: Police secure a road outside Buckingham Palace after Chowdhury's attack, on August 25, 2017. (Photo by GOR/Getty Images)

September 1. Britain is home to up to 35,000 "Islamist fanatics," more than any other country in Europe, according to European Union's counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove.

September 1. Mike Adamson, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross, wrote: "There is a risk that...an organization with the words 'British' and 'Cross' in its title is confused with a Christian, establishment organization." He added: "We are nowhere near as diverse as we need to be in our volunteer base, our staffing or our leadership... that is why, as CEO, I am personally leading our inclusion and diversity strategy."

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Saudi Arabia Still Promoting "Violent and Intolerant Teachings" in Schoolbooks

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  October 16, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • "As early as first grade, students in Saudi schools are being taught hatred toward all those perceived to be of a different faith or school of thought. The lessons in hate are reinforced with each following year." — Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East Director, Human Rights Watch.

  • The Saudis "are both the arsonists and the firefighters. They promote a very toxic form of Islam that draws sharp lines between a small number of true believers and everyone else, Muslim and non-Muslim" – which spur jihadis to take action -- yet they are "our partners in counterterrorism." — William McCants, senior fellow, Brookings Institution, to the New York Times, August 2016.

  • In fourth-grade second semester Monotheism textbook, Saudi students learn that polytheists, "the worst of creatures," are condemned to Hell. They also study a Quranic verse in which Allah dictates that: "Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures." (98:6, Sahih International)

Saudi Ministry of Education, Al-Tawhid, Student Book, Fifth Grade, Second Semester, 2016-2017, pp 63-64

A review of the Saudi Ministry of Education's school religion books currently available at the portal for digital curriculum (visited on September 25, 2017) found out that the curriculum still has violent and intolerant teachings. These books were published for the school year 2016-17.

At a very early stage, the fourth grade, the curriculum begins to teach Saudi children that Muslims are essentially different but superior to all non-Muslims.

In a fourth-grade second semester Monotheism textbook, Saudi students learn that polytheists, "the worst creatures" according to the Quran (98:6), are condemned to Hell.

In a lesson entitled "Universality of Islam and Prophet Mohammed" fifth-graders are taught that Prophet Mohammed was sent to all human beings: "Say, [O Mohammed], "O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all (7:158).

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A Slow Death for the Iran Deal

by John R. Bolton  •  October 16, 2017 at 4:00 am

Pictured: A uranium conversion facility just outside the city of Isfahan, Iran, used as part of Iran's uranium enrichment process. (Photo by Getty Images)

As Abba Eban observed, "Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources." So it goes with America and the Iran deal. President Trump announced Friday that the U.S. would stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even while he refused to certify under U.S. law that the deal is in the national interest. "Decertification," a bright, shiny object for many, obscures the real issue — whether the agreement should survive. Mr. Trump has "scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it."

While Congress considers how to respond — or, more likely, not respond — we should focus on the grave threats inherent in the deal. Peripheral issues have often dominated the debate; forests have been felled arguing over whether Iran has complied with the deal's terms. Proposed "fixes" now abound, such as a suggestion to eliminate the sunset provisions on the deal's core provisions.

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President Trump Did the Right Thing by Walking Away from UNESCO — for Now

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  October 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

  • By withdrawing from UNESCO – again – President Trump is sending a powerful message to the international community: that we will no longer tolerate international organizations that serve as forums for Jew-bashing.

  • This important message was encapsulated in a powerful statement made by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley: "The purpose of UNESCO is a good one. Unfortunately, its extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment... US taxpayers should no longer be on the hook to pay for policies that are hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense."

  • "There is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." -- Charles de Montesquieu, French lawyer and philosopher (d.1755)

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called UNESCO's "extreme politicization" a "chronic embarrassment." Photo: Getty Images.

The State Department announced on Thursday that the United States would be withdrawing from the UN agency UNESCO.

The U.S. agency citied financial reasons, the need for reform and the body's "continuing anti-Israel bias." President Trump's decision to leave UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – as of December 31, 2018, was an appropriate foreign policy decision that will hopefully prompt a much-needed rethink of the United Nations, its purpose and practices. It will also send a strong message to the Palestinians that statehood cannot be achieved on the basis of UN resolutions alone, and that the only way forward is to engage in direct negotiations with Israel, during which mutual sacrifices will be required.

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What is Really Uniting the Palestinians?

by Bassam Tawil  •  October 15, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Saleh Arouri and Hamas view the "reconciliation" agreement as Fatah moving closer to Hamas and not the other way around....The "reconciliation" agreement requires from Hamas only to dissolve its shadow government in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is not being asked to recognize Israel's right to exist, or renounce terrorism or lay down its arms. Hamas is not being asked to change its anti-Semitic charter, which openly calls for the elimination not only of Israel but of Jews: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem). (Hamas Charter, Article 7)

  • The "reconciliation" agreement is clearly a Fatah submission to Hamas and not vice versa. In his accord with Hamas, Abbas has signed onto Hamas's version of violent "resistance" against Israel and Jews. This is the real meaning of this Abbas-Hamas deal.

In the new "reconciliation" agreement between Hamas and Fatah, all that Hamas is being asked to do is to allow the Palestinian Authority government to manage civilian affairs in the Gaza Strip. Hamas will continue to maintain "security control" over the Gaza Strip. Pictured: Hamas "security forces" parade their weapons in Gaza City, on July 20, 2017. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Buoyed by the "reconciliation" agreement reached with President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas has announced that it seeks to unite all Palestinians in the fight against the "Zionist enterprise." In other words, Hamas views the agreement as a vehicle for rallying Palestinians behind it toward achieving its longtime goal of destroying Israel.

When Hamas talks about the "Zionist enterprise," it is referring to the establishment of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Hamas is not only opposed to the existence of Israel on what it and most Muslims perceive as "Muslim-owned" land; it reiterates, at every opportunity, its desire to annihilate Israel.

Those who think that the new "reconciliation" accord will have a moderating effect of Hamas are both blind and deaf to what Hamas itself has been stating both before and after the agreement. One has to give Hamas credit for being clear, honest and consistent about its goal of destroying Israel.

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"Our Lives Have Turned into Hell"
Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2017

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  October 15, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • Long touted as a beacon of Muslim tolerance and moderation, Indonesia joined other repressive Muslim nations in May when it sentenced the Christian governor of Jakarta, known as "Ahok," to a two-year prison term on the charge that he committed "blasphemy" against Islam.

  • The blasphemy accusation is based on a video that Ahok made, in which he told voters that they were being deceived if they believed that Koran 5:51, as his opposition said, requires Muslims not to vote for a non-Muslim when there are Muslim candidates available. The Koran passage states: "O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you -- then indeed, he is one of them."

  • "Morocco's 2011 constitution allows for freedom of religion. The authorities claim to practice only a moderate form of Islam that leaves room for religious tolerance. Yet, in reality, Moroccan Christians still suffer from persecution." Mustafa said: "I was shunned at work. My children were bullied at school."

Indonesia joined other repressive Muslim nations in May when it sentenced the Christian governor of Jakarta, known as "Ahok," to a two-year prison term on the charge that he committed "blasphemy" against Islam. Pictured: Ahok on the day of his election, February 15, 2017. (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images)

One month after Islamic militants bombed two Egyptian churches during Palm Sunday and killed nearly 50 people in April 2017, several SUVs, on May 26, stopped two buses transporting dozens of Christians to the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in the desert south of Cairo. According to initial reports, approximately ten Islamic militants, heavily armed and dressed in military fatigues, "demanded that the passengers recite the Muslim profession of faith" — which is tantamount to converting to Islam. When they refused, the jihadis opened fire on them, killing 29 Christians, at least ten of whom were young children. Two girls were aged 2 and 4. Also killed was Mohsen Morkous, an American citizen described as "a simple man" whom "everyone loved," his two sons, and his two grandsons.

According to eyewitness accounts, the terrorists ordered the passengers to exit the bus in groups:

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China: Reshuffling the Party Cadres

by Amir Taheri  •  October 15, 2017 at 4:00 am

Pictured: The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in November 2012. (Image source: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons)

It is a testimony to the peculiarities of international attention to world events that while every tweet by US President Donald Trump triggers an avalanche of reports, analyses, and outright abuse, little attention is paid as the People's Republic of China prepares to hold its five-yearly National Congress of the Communist Party in Beijing.

And, yet, China is now established as the world's largest economy in gross domestic product (GDP) terms and the second-biggest exporter after Germany. It also has the world's fastest-growing portfolio of foreign investments with interests in 118 nations across the globe.

At the same time, at least 10 million Chinese are working abroad, almost always on projects sponsored by Beijing, helping transform large chunks of Africa, South America, and Asia.

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Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East

by Philip Carl Salzman  •  October 14, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour that is won by such loyalty.

  • There was no group and no loyalty above the tribe or tribal confederation until the rise of Islam. With Islam, a new, higher, more encompassing level of loyalty was defined. All people were divided between Muslims and infidels, and the world was divided between the Dar al-Islam, the land of believers and peace, and Dar al-harb, the land of unbelievers and war. Following the tribal ideology of loyalty, Muslims should unite against infidels, and would receive not only honour, but heavenly rewards.

  • Honour is gained in victory. Losing is regarded as deeply humiliating. Only the prospects of a future victory and the regaining of honour drives people forward. An example is the Arab-Israel conflict, in the course of which the despised Jews repeatedly defeated the armies of Arab states. This was not so much a material disaster for the Arabs, as it was a cultural one in which honor was lost. The only way to regain honor is to defeat and destroy Israel, the explicit goal of the Palestinians: "from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea." This why no agreement over land or boundaries will bring peace: peace does not restore honor.

  • We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love "victims." But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

Pictured: Bedouin men in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Living as an anthropologist in a herding camp of the Yarahmadzai tribe of nomadic pastoralists in the deserts of Iranian Baluchistan clarified some of the inhibitions to peace in the Middle East. What one sees is strong, kin-based, group loyalty defense and solidarity, and the political opposition of lineages, whether large or small.[1] This raised the question how unity and peace could arrive in a system based on opposition.

Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour which is won by such loyalty. These are the cultural imperatives, the primary values, held and celebrated. When conflict arises and conflict-parties form based on loyal allegiance, the conflict is regarded as appropriate and proper.

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France: Facebook Islamists Hunt in Packs

by Yves Mamou  •  October 13, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The "moderating hubs" for France's social media are generally located in French-speaking countries with cheap labor, in North Africa and Madagascar. In France, rumors abound that Facebook's moderators are located in French-speaking Muslim countries such as Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Facebook never confirms or denies outsourcing its "moderation" work to companies employing cheap Muslim labor in North Africa.

  • Notably, Muslim hate-speakers continue to proliferate on Facebook, while anti-Islamists face harassment and the loss of their accounts.

  • These Facebook users, like dozens of others, seem to be the victims of Islamist "packs". Once the opinions and analyses of these Facebook users are noticed, they are denounced to Facebook as "racists" or "Islamophobes" and their accounts are deleted.

Fatiha Boudjalat, the co-founder of the secularist movement Viv(r)e la République, is a prominent figure of anti-Islamism in France. She is interviewed regularly on television and radio, and her op-eds are regularly published in Le Figaro. Recently, on Facebook, Boudjalat criticized strongly an Islamist government employee, Sonia Nour, for calling the Tunisian Islamist murderer of two women in Marseille, a "martyr". A few weeks after that, Boudjalat's Facebook account was deleted.

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UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech

by Judith Bergman  •  October 12, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their Dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

  • The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered "conducive to the public good."

  • At around the same time as the two neo-Nazi groups were banned at the end of September 2017, Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to ban Hezbollah's political wing in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its 'political' and 'military' wings. In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade.

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that people who repeatedly view "terrorist content" online could now face up to 15 years jail. (Image source: UK Government/Flickr)

Apparently, 112 events featuring extremist speakers took place on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/2017, according to a recent report by Britain's Henry Jackson society: "The vast majority of the extreme speakers recorded in this report are Islamist extremists, though one speaker has a background in Far-Right politics...." That one speaker was Tommy Robinson both of whose events were cancelled, one due to hundreds of students planning to demonstrate to protest his appearance. The report does not mention student protests at any of the Islamist events.

The topics of the Islamist speakers included:

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How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process

by Fjordman  •  October 12, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe -- thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable.

  • When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing jihadist attacks increases as well.

  • It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe's leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. (Image source: JT Curses/Wikimedia Commons)

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. On March 11, 2004, 192 people were killed, and around two thousand injured, in the Madrid train bombings.

In hindsight, that attack marked a new phase in the modern Islamic Jihad against Europe. After the Madrid bombings, London was hit with deadly bombings on July 7, 2005. In recent years, the frequency of jihadist attacks on European soil has increased dramatically.

It is probably not a coincidence that Spain was an early target of Islamic terror. The Iberian Peninsula, present-day Portugal and Spain, was for centuries under Islamic rule. Militant Muslims have repeatedly made it clear that for them, reconquering Spain is a priority.

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Palestinian Normalization -- With Hamas, Not Israel

by Bassam Tawil  •  October 11, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The most widespread conspiracy theory, which has been floating around for decades and can be heard in almost every coffee shop on the streets of Cairo, Amman, Ramallah and Beirut, is that Zionist Jews, together with American capitalists and imperialists, have a secret plan to take control over the Arab and Islamic countries and their resources.

  • How exactly are the "Zionists and imperialists" trying to "undermine" the Palestinian "national project"? And what, precisely, is this project? Is it the project of Hamas and many other Palestinians that seeks the destruction of Israel?

  • The corrupt Arab and Palestinian leaders spread such rumors to divert attention from problems at home, such as corruption and dictatorship. These leaders want their people too busy hating Jews and Westerners to demand reform, democracy and transparency from their leaders. Those valuables, of course, are what Arab and Palestinian leaders still refuse to offer their people.

  • Why do many Palestinians prefer peace with Hamas? Because they identify with Hamas's dream of destroying Israel and killing Jews. It may be an unpleasant a truth, but that is the bottom line.

Palestinian and Israeli women from the "Women Wage Peace" group participate in an event on September 30, 2017. (Image source: Women Wage Peace/Facebook)

When Palestinian women took part in a march with Israeli women for peace this week, they were condemned in the harshest terms by many other Palestinians, who called for their punishment. The Palestinian women who participated in the October 8 event, organized by a group called Women Wage Peace, have been denounced by many of their own people as and "traitors" and "whores."

Conversely, when Palestinian Authority (PA) officials held "reconciliation" talks with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Egypt during the same period, many Palestinians praised them as "heroes" and "brave."

Judging from the reactions of many Palestinians, especially on social media, they prefer peace with Hamas rather than with Israel.

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Turkey: Let Them Die!

by Burak Bekdil  •  October 11, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • More than 50,000 people have been arrested and some 110,000 others dismissed from government jobs in Turkey's largest-scale crackdown ever.

  • As cruel as that looks, a case of two Turkish teachers is undeniably worse than just cruel: it displays a remorseless state mechanism.

  • "Let Nuriye and Semih live!"

Protesters bearing a picture of Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca during the "Rally for Justice" in Istanbul, July 9, 2017. (Image source: Hilmi Hacaloğlu/VOA/Wikimedia Commons)

Until last year, observers were debating how fast Turkey's drift away from democracy was progressing. Today the talk is rather about how fast Turkey is drifting from undemocratic practice to simple rogue-state practice.

More than 50,000 people have been arrested and some 110,000 others dismissed from government jobs in the country's largest-scale crackdown ever on people with alleged links to terror groups or to the U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gülen, whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating the failed coup in July 2016. As cruel as that looks, a case of two Turkish teachers is undeniably worse than just cruel: it displays a remorseless state mechanism.

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NOTICE

by Gatestone Institute  •  October 11, 2017 at 3:00 am

Gatestone Institute, its President and Board of Directors strongly condemn the defamatory campaign waged by Mudar Zahran (under his own name and through various fictitious accounts and names) against Gatestone Institute's Distinguished Senior Fellow Khaled Abu Toameh. Gatestone Institute wishes to note that it has warned Mudar Zahran in the past a number of times to stop his obsessive campaign. Although he promised and apologized, he had persisted with his campaign, and continues to make false and defamatory accusations and insinuations against one of our esteemed Fellows.

Gatestone Institute wishes to clarify that it terminated all ties with Mudar Zahran four years ago. Accordingly, he does not speak on behalf of Gatestone or any of its affiliates, constituents or participants.