Latest Analysis and Commentary

Europe: Journalists Against Free Speech

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

  • Gone is all pretense that journalism is about reporting the facts. These are the aims of a political actor.

  • Being bought and paid for by the EU apparently counts as "press freedom" these days.

  • According to the guidelines, journalists should, among other things, "Provide an appropriate range of opinions, including those belonging to migrants and members of minorities, but... not... extremist perspectives just to 'show the other side'.... Don't allow extremists' claims about acting 'in the name of Islam' to stand unchallenged.... where it is necessary and newsworthy to report hateful comments against Muslims, mediate the information."

The EU, the biggest political player Europe, works openly at influencing the "free press" with its own political agendas. In September, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) made it clear that whatever Europeans may think -- polls repeatedly show that the majority of Europeans do not want any more migrants -- the EU has no intention of putting a stop to migration. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The European Federation of Journalists (EJF), "the largest organization of journalists in Europe, represents over 320,000 journalists in 71 journalists' organizations across 43 countries," according to its website. The EJF, a powerful player, also leads a Europe-wide campaign called "Media against Hate."

The "Media against Hate" campaign aims to:

"counter hate speech[1] and discrimination in the media, both on and offline... media and journalists play a crucial role in informing...policy ... regarding migration and refugees. As hate speech and stereotypes targeting migrants proliferate across Europe... #MediaAgainstHate campaign aims to: improve media coverage related to migration, refugees, religion and marginalised groups... counter hate speech, intolerance, racism and discrimination... improve implementation of legal frameworks regulating hate speech and freedom of speech..."

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Thanks to Obama, America is two steps behind Iran in Middle East

by John R. Bolton  •  October 24, 2017 at 4:00 am

Washington should recognize Kurdish independence and urgently supply training and equipment, particularly armor and artillery which the Kurds need to withstand the U.S. equipment previously supplied to Baghdad's forces. Pictured: An Iraqi army M1 Abrams tank, supplied by the United States. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The fall of Raqqa, capital of the Islamic State's "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq, is unarguably an important politico-military milestone, albeit long overdue. Nonetheless, ISIS, a metastasized version of Al Qaeda, remains a global terrorist threat, and prospects for Middle Eastern stability and security for America's interests and allies are still remote.

Even as ISIS was losing Raqqa, Iraqi regular armed forces and Shia militia were attacking Kirkuk and its environs, held by Iraqi Kurds since June 2014, when ISIS burst out of Syria and seized large swathes of territory from Baghdad's collapsing army.

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Canada's Anti-Islamophobia Motion

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

  • Even though at this stage, M-103 is non-binding, as one of its supporters -- Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum and affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood -- wrote, "Now that Islamophobia has been condemned, this is not the end, but rather the beginning."

  • It sounds as if the next step is to try to make a non-binding resolution binding; and as if the eventual aim is to reinforce and legitimize the term Islamophobia, to limit freedom of speech, and to prevent Canadians from criticizing radical Islam, Islamic sharia, and practices such as wife- beating, honor killing and female genital mutilation (FGM).

  • Fear or anger toward radical Islam and Muslims are unlikely to be caused by an "irrational hatred and fear of Islam," or "Islamophobia". They are, however, likely to be triggered by global radical Islamic terrorist attacks and as more people become aware of the aggressive and intolerant nature of many Quranic verses, of the Muslims Prophet's hadiths, of what Canadian Muslim clerics (imams) are preaching and of radical Islam.

(Image source: Parliament of Canada)

The Canadian Liberal Party's anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, is not a law; it is a non-binding formal proposal, an opinion by Parliament. The motion's text calls on the government to "condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination."

However, the House of Commons Heritage Committee heard on September 27 that it is more likely to lead to "thought control, oppression, disharmony and criminalization of non-Muslims, " according to the National Post.

The hearing also revealed that there are many doubts about the motion's vague language. Committee members spent much of the time, the National Post added, trying to explain exactly what M-103 means.

The controversial motion passed 201 votes to 91 in March, after months of bitter debate, and protests and counter-protests, across Canada, and in the aftermath of the January 29 mosque shooting in Quebec City, where six Muslim men were murdered.

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The Iran-Hamas Plan to Destroy Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  October 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Iran's goal in this move? For Hamas to maintain and enhance its preparation for war against Israel.

  • Iran's message to Hamas: If you want us to continue providing you with financial and military aid, you must continue to hold on to your weapons and reject demands to disarm.

  • Iran wants Hamas to retain its security control over the Gaza Strip so that the Iranians can hold onto another power base in the Middle East, as it does with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

During the visit of a high-level Hamas delegation to Iran last week, Ali Velayati (pictured above in 2016), a senior Iranian politician and advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told the visiting Hamas officials: "We congratulate you on your refusal to abandon your weapons..." (Image source: Hamed Malekpour/Wikimdia Commons)

In a historic reawakening, Iran is once again meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians. This this does not bode well for the future of "reconciliation" between Hamas and Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction run by President Mahmoud Abbas.The re-emergence of Iran, as it pursues its efforts to increase its political and military presence in the region, does not bode well for the future of stability in the Middle East.

The Iranians are urging Hamas to hold on to its weapons in spite of the recent "reconciliation" agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah under the auspices of Egypt. Iran's goal in this move? For Hamas to maintain and enhance its preparation for war against Israel.

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UK's Hateful Hate-Crime Hub

by Douglas Murray  •  October 23, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • The problem is that "hate" is an ill-defined thing. What is hateful to one person may not be hateful to another. What is hateful in one context may not be hateful in another.

  • British authorities have gone along with a definition of hate-crime which allows the victim (real or perceived) to be the arbiter of whether an offence has been committed. This privilege allows a list of people who believe they have been "trolled" or "abused" online over their "race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity" to be arbiters as well as reporters of any and all such crimes. It is worth considering where this can end up.

  • Can anyone daring to express dissent against any popular view be reported for "trolling", "abusing" and "committing a hate crime"?

Last week, Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the creation of a new national police hub to crack down on hate-crime and "trolling" online. Pictured: Rudd (left) and Prime Minister Theresa May (center) meet Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

If you were a police officer what would you rather do: sit in the cold outside the house of a known extremist all day, or sit behind a desk with a cup of tea and scrolling through Twitter?

In May, just after the second of four Islamist terrorist attacks in the UK so far this year, British intelligence officials apparently identified 23,000 known extremists in the country. Of these, around 3,000 are believed to pose a present threat and are under investigation or active monitoring. The other 20,000 are categorised as posing a "residual risk". Due to the strain on resources, those 20,000 are not under constant observation.

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Saudi Arabia's Bogus Promise: Allowing Women to Drive

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  October 23, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • Saudi women will first have to get permission from a male guardian just to apply for a driver's license. Enabling women will still be mainly in the hands of their Saudi male guardians, and many will probably not allow their women to drive.

  • Any discontent felt by angry men who want total control over their women, household or other people will probably not allow their women to drive. If women are disappointed or frustrated by this domination, the blame will stay mainly within the Saudi family. The woman is not able to blame the government, but only her male guardian. Yes, the government may technically have annulled the driving ban but it has issued nothing actually to help women to drive.

  • The real challenge King Salman needs to face now is how to deal with calls for abolishing male guardianship -- a far more urgent and significant reform that, after calculating the risks and rewards, might be postponed indefinitely.

It seems that the main and only winner of the Saudi royal decree allowing women to drive is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Photo by Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty Images)

On 27 September, the Council of Senior Scholars, the highest clerical council in Saudi Arabia, endorsed the royal decree allowing women to drive, thereby disrupting years of ultra-conservative fatwas and religious opinions by the kingdom's leading religious scholars including current and former grand muftis and council members.

In a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the council said that King Salman had issued the decree to serve "the best religious and worldly interests of the country and people," agreeing that Islam allows women the right to drive.

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"Czech Donald Trump" Wins Landslide Victory
"I am ready to fight for our national interests."

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

  • The election outcome, the result of popular discontent with established parties, is the latest in a recent wave of successes for European populists, including in Austria and Germany. The populist ascendancy highlights a shifting political landscape in Europe where runaway multiculturalism and political correctness, combined with a massive influx of unassimilable migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, have given rise to a surge in support for anti-establishment protest parties.

  • "It is unthinkable that the indigenous European population should adapt themselves to the refugees. We must do away with such nonsensical political correctness. The refugees should behave like guests, that is, they should be polite, and they certainly do not have the right to choose what they want to eat.... There is a deep chasm between what people think and what the media tell them." — Andrej Babis, in the Czech daily Pravo, January 16, 2016.

  • As prime minister, Babis would share government with Czech President Milos Zeman, who has described political correctness as "a euphemism for political cowardice."

Populist tycoon Andrej Babis (pictured) and his Eurosceptic political party have won the Czech Republic's parliamentary election, making Babis the main contender to become prime minister after coalition negotiations. (Image source: Jiří Vítek/Wikimedia Commons)

Populist tycoon Andrej Babis and his Eurosceptic political party have won the Czech Republic's parliamentary election — by a landslide — making the "politically incorrect" billionaire businessman the main contender to become prime minister after coalition negotiations.

With all of the votes counted, Babis's anti-establishment party ANO (which stands for "Action of Dissatisfied Citizens" and is also the Czech word for "yes") won nearly 30% — almost three times its closest rival — in elections held on October 20. The Eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the anti-establishment Czech Pirates Party and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) came second, third and fourth, with around 11% each.

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The Case for Assyrian Independence
Oasis of Peace in the Middle East

by Amir George  •  October 22, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • It is a solution to the refugee problem after centuries of persecution. Not only could Assyrian Christian refugees stay where they were, but as Jews did in Israel, they could come "home".

  • In the rush to condemn the liberation of Iraq as a mistake, we forget the terror that Saddam Hussein and his two sons inflicted on their people. A visit to nearly every home in Iraq will have a picture of one or more family members among the nearly one million slaughtered by Saddam.

  • For the Assyrian Christians, this promise of Isaiah 19:23-25 is twofold. First, that "in that day" they will finally have their nation, called Assyria. Second, that their allies will be Israel and Egypt.

Assyrian Christian priest Charbel Aesso leads an Easter service at Saint John's Church (Mar Yohanna) in the predominantly Christian Iraqi town of Qaraqosh on April 16, 2017 near Mosul, Iraq. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Nearly six million Assyrian Christians dot the world.

In 2003, according to the Iraqi government, there were 2.5 million Assyrian Christians in the country, or 10% of the population. Another approximately 3.5 million are scattered from Australia to Europe to Lebanon, Jordan, the US and more.

The Assyrian Christians -- descendants of the Assyrian Empire and the first nation to accept Christ -- are the indigenous people of Iraq.

In spite of being one of the oldest civilizations, and even today speaking Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, they are refugees in their own homeland.

Following the recent move towards independence by the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Assyrian Christian organizations worldwide have organized formally to request, in accordance with Iraq's constitution, their own area in their homeland in northern Iraq, on the Nineveh Plain.

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The Iran Deal: The Dog's Dinner Obama Dished Out

by Amir Taheri  •  October 22, 2017 at 4:00 am

Then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on May 17, 2016 in Vienna, Austria. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

"Trump violates international treaty!" "Trump tears up pact signed by world powers!"

These were some of the headlines that pretended to report US President Donald Trump's move on the "Iran nuclear deal" last week. Some in the Western media even claimed that the move would complicate the task of curbing North Korea as Pyongyang might conclude that reaching any deal with the world powers, as Iran did, is useless.

But what is it exactly that Trump has done?

Before answering that question let's deal with another question. Is Obama's Iran "deal" a treaty?

The answer is: no.

It is, as Tehran says, "a roadmap" in which Iran promises to take some steps in exchange for "big powers" reciprocating by taking some steps of their own.

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Germany: Full Censorship Now Official
Courts Rewrite History

by Judith Bergman  •  October 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU.

  • When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state's private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?

  • Perhaps fighting "Islamophobia" is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?

A German court recently gave journalist Michael Stürzenberger (pictured) a six-month suspended jail sentence for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a Nazi official in Berlin, in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of "inciting hatred towards Islam" and "denigrating Islam" by publishing the photograph. (Image Source: PI News video screenshot)

A new German law introducing state censorship on social media platforms came into effect on October 1, 2017. The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online "criminal offenses" such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint -- regardless of whether or the content is accurate or not. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.

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France: The New Collaborators
And How to Protect France, Europe, the West

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

  • "They are those who believe that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and love and do not want to hear about an Islam of war, intolerance and hatred". — Michel Onfray, Le Figaro.

  • Le Figaro just devoted an entire issue to Muslim women in France who are trying to fight radical Islam. They are journalists, activists and writers who want equality between men and women, freedom of expression and sexual freedom. These Muslims clearly care more about the French Enlightenment than many non-Muslims who advocate appeasing Islamists.

  • In short, France needs to start fostering its side of this cultural war. Even if it is too late to recover all of the lost ground, if France does not start immediately but just limits itself to "manage" this "state of emergency", the lights turned off will not be only those of the Eiffel Tower, as happens after every terror attack, but also the lights of one of the greatest civilizations that history ever gave us.

(Image source: Falcon® Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

A few days ago Abdelkader Merah, the brother of the Islamic terrorist who gunned down four Jews in Toulouse in 2012, went on trial, charged with complicity in terrorism. "Beginning in 2012, we entered an age of terrorism, where before we believed ourselves protected; it was a turning point in French history", said Mathieu Guidere, a professor of Islamic studies in Paris.

Since then, France has faced severe challenges by Islamic fundamentalists in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron is now trying to manage a terrible situation: some 350 Islamic terrorists currently sit in prisons; 5,800 are under police surveillance; an additional 17,000 have been classified as a "potential threat", while since 2015, more than 240 lives have been lost to jihadi terrorists.

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Why Are So Many Claiming That Iran Is Complying with the Deal, When Evidence Shows They Aren't?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  October 19, 2017 at 9:30 am

The Saudi Press Agency reported that King Salman called President Trump to offer his support for America's more "firm strategy" on Iran and commitment to fighting "Iranian aggression." Pictured above: President Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (Image source: The White House)

The evidence is mounting that Iran is not only violating the spirit of the no-nukes deal, but that it is also violating its letter. The prologue to the deal explicitly states: "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons." This reaffirmation has no sunset provision: it is supposed to be forever.

Yet German officials have concluded that Iran has not given up on its goal to produce nuclear weapons that can be mounted on rockets. According to Der Tagesspiegel, a Berlin newspaper:

"Despite the nuclear agreement [reached with world powers in July 2015], Iran has not given up its illegal activities in Germany. The mullah regime also made efforts this year to obtain material from [German] firms for its nuclear program and the construction of missiles, said security sources."

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Germans Debate Muslim Public Holidays
"We have a Judeo-Christian religious character, not an Islamic one."

by Soeren Kern  •  October 19, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • "Germany's Christian heritage is not negotiable. The introduction of Muslim holidays is out of the question for us." — Alexander Dobrindt, a senior member of the CSU party.

  • "We have a Judeo-Christian religious character, not an Islamic one. Therefore, I do not understand why we are even having this debate. Instead, we should discuss something else: When will Christians in all Islamic countries have the same religious freedom as Muslims have here?" — Wolfgang Bosbach, a senior member of the CDU party.

  • "CDU wants Muslim holiday. This is the difference: AfD says NO! NO! NO!" — Beatrix von Storch, Deputy Chair of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD).

A proposal by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to introduce Muslim public holidays has sparked another furious debate over the role of Islam in Germany. Pictured: De Maizière (right) with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo's s Al Azhar mosque, on May 26, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

An off-the-cuff proposal by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to introduce Muslim public holidays has sparked another furious debate over the role of Islam in Germany.

Speaking at a campaign rally on October 9 for state elections in Lower Saxony, de Maizière, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that federal states with large Muslim populations should be allowed to celebrate Muslim public holidays:

"I am prepared to discuss the possibility of introducing Islamic holidays. In areas where a lot of Catholics live, we celebrate All Saint's Day, and in areas where not a lot of Catholics live we don't celebrate All Saint's Day. So why can't we think about Islamic holidays as well?"

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The Big New Palestinian Lie

by Bassam Tawil  •  October 19, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • It is precisely the inflammatory speech of Abbas and his senior officials, expressed at every possible podium, which has been trying to turn the conflict into a religious one.

  • If any side has turned the conflict into a religious one, it is the Palestinian side, which has long depicted Jews as sons of monkeys and pigs, enemies of Allah, and killers of prophets. When Abbas and other Palestinians accuse Jews on a daily basis of "storming" and "desecrating" the Al-Aqsa Mosque, they are firing the first shots in their religious war against Israel and the Jews.

  • By turning the conflict into a religious one, the Palestinians are hoping to avoid any discussion about important issues such as security, borders, the status of Jerusalem, anti-Israel incitement and assaults on public freedoms under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Palestinian leaders do not feel comfortable discussing any of these issues; that is why they prefer to make the debate appear as if it is about religious issues.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured) has never retracted his blood libel, or even tried to educate his people for peace. Instead, he has doubled down on inciting his people against Israel and Jews. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Despite vocal and self-righteous claims to the contrary, Palestinian leaders continue to incite their people and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world against Israel and Jews. For the past two and a half years, these leaders have been accusing Israel and Jews of seeking to turn the Israeli-Arab conflict into a religious one. The accusation refers specifically to visits by Jews to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The truth, however, is just the opposite: it is the Palestinians that have been aiming at every turn to transform the political and territorial conflict into a religious one.

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Europe's New Official History Erases Christianity, Promotes Islam

by Giulio Meotti  •  October 18, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • "The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing." — The Paris Statement, signed by ten respected European scholars.

  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière's proposal to introduce Muslim public holidays shows that when it comes to Islam, Europe's official "post-Christian" secularism is simply missing in action.

The European Commission ordered Slovakia to redesign its commemorative coins by eliminating the Christian Saints Cyril and Methonius. (Image sources: Coin - European Commission; Bratislava, Slovakia - Frettie/Wikimedia Commons)

A few days ago, some of Europe's most important intellectuals -- including British philosopher Roger Scruton, former Polish Education Minister Ryszard Legutko, German scholar Robert Spaemann and Professor Rémi Brague from the Sorbonne in France -- issued "The Paris Statement". In their ambitious statement, they rejected the "false Christendom of universal human rights" and the "utopian, pseudo-religious crusade for a borderless world". Instead, they called for a Europe based on "Christian roots", drawing inspiration from the "Classical tradition" and rejecting multiculturalism:

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