Latest Analysis and Commentary

Covering Up Our Culture to 'Avoid Giving Offense'

by Giulio Meotti  •  June 16, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Recently, some major conservative intellectuals have been sacked in the UK. One is the peerless philosopher Roger Scruton, who was fired from a governmental committee...

  • Then it was the turn of the great Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, whose visiting fellowship at Cambridge University was rescinded...

  • By refusing to confront the speech police, or to support freedom of expression for Salman Rushdie, Roger Scruton, Jordan Peterson, Charlie Hebdo, and Jyllands-Posten -- just the tip of a huge iceberg -- we have started down the road of submission to sharia law and to tyranny. We all have been covering up our supposedly "blasphemous" culture with burqas to avoid offending people who do not seem to mind offending us.

In 1988, The Satanic Verses was published, written by Salman Rushdie (left), a British citizen. Iran's "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (right) in 1989 condemned Rushdie to death for writing the book. The Rushdie affair seems to have deeply shaped British society. (Image sources: Rushdie - Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images; Khomeini - Mohammad Sayyad/Wikimedia Commons)

Three years ago, the Italian government made a shameful decision. It veiled its antique Roman statues to avoid offending Iran's visiting President Hassan Rouhani. Nude statues were encased in white boxes. A year earlier, in Florence, another statue featuring a naked man in Greco-Roman style had also been covered during the visit of the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. Now, one of the most famous British art galleries has covered two paintings, after Muslim complaints that they were "blasphemous".

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Diplomatic Gesticulations Won't Solve the Iran Problem

by Amir Taheri  •  June 16, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • That leaves the remaining members of the P5+1 with a clear choice: either pronounce the Obama [Iran] "deal" dead and seek a framework for new talks on how to solve the perennial "Iran problem" which, paradoxically, all say they are concerned about, or to unite to neutralize the United States and help Iran carry on as usual.

  • The present impasse may be breached in two ways.

  • The first is for actual or wannabe mediators to side with the US and tell the mullahs that they cannot have their cake and eat it. Once the mullahs have understood that putative "mediators" could direct their efforts at finding ways of organizing a retreat that avoids utter humiliation for the Khomeinist regime. That should not be difficult as all the remaining P5+1 nations, including Russia, share Washington's concerns about Tehran's "exporting revolution" and developing long-range missiles capable of carrying yet non-existent nuclear warheads.

  • The second way to breach the impasse is to admit that the Obama "deal" is a dead horse that will not come back to life no matter how one kicks it.

One way to breach the current impasse with Iran is to admit that the Obama "nuclear deal" is a dead horse that will not come back to life no matter how one kicks it. Pictured: Foreign ministers and other officials from the P5+1 countries, the EU and Iran at the announcement of the Iran "nuclear deal" on April 2, 2015 in Écublens-Lausanne, Switzerland. (Image source: United States Department of State)

What do politicians do when they cannot do anything but are obliged to pretend that they are doing something?

One answer provided by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, is simple: you organize a meeting.

The meeting that Lavrov is setting up, later this month in Moscow, will bring together junior diplomats from Iran plus Britain, China, France and Germany, that is to say the countries (aside from the US) that formed the notorious P5+1 group created by Barack Obama to give a veneer of legal respectability to the so-called "nuke deal" he concocted with the Iranian mullahs.

For all intents and purposes the "deal' died when the Trump administration in Washington decided to simply ditch it. Lacking an enforceable legal status, the "deal" always depended on the willingness of the participants to implement it. With Americans walking away from it, there is no way the other nations still apparently in the game could put it on a life-support machine.

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The Mullahs Promise "Demise of Israel" and American Civilization

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  June 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Iran recently produced a program on its state television channel demonstrating that the government is currently practicing missile attacks, with the purpose of carrying out actual attacks on Israel.... The video excerpt included in the television broadcast showed how the operations the Iranians are striving to put into action will bombard Tel Aviv.

  • From the perspective of the Iranian leaders, if they continue to increase their threats against Israel, the United States will be pressured to change its strategy and lift pressure that has been placed on the clerical establishment, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and its elite branch, the Quds Force.

  • It is an unacceptable double-standard that the United Nations and the international community have been, and continue to be, silent about Iran's threats against Israeli citizens. If the situation were reversed and if Israel threatened to annihilate Iran, the international community would be up in arms, and quick to defend Iran. Through political and economic pressure, the ruling mullahs of Iran should be held accountable by the international community for endangering global security and regional stability.

The Iranian government continues to defy international standards, as it refuses to act as a rational and constructive state, even apart from its repeated malign behavior in the Gulf of Oman this week. Pictured: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a June 13, 2019 press conference in Washington, DC, where he said, "It is the assessment of the US government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks [on oil tankers] in the Gulf of Oman. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Iranian government continues to defy international standards, as it refuses to act as a rational and constructive state, even apart from its repeated malign behavior in the Gulf of Oman this week. Iran's Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who enjoys the final say in all of Iran's domestic and foreign policies, recently proclaimed to the youth in Iran that they will soon witness the demise of Israel and all of American civilization. This announcement was confirmed on the Supreme Leader's official website.

Khamenei made Iran's intentions clear while meeting with students. "You young people," he declared, "should be assured that you will witness the demise of the enemies of humanity, meaning the degenerate American civilization, and the demise of Israel".

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Denmark's Elections

by Judith Bergman  •  June 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • A significant development in this election was that anti-immigration parties generally fared poorly.

  • "Many citizens wrongly think that the immigration issue is under control and that it can therefore safely be left to the Left. It is not under control... [B]y the year 2050, we will see a doubling of the Muslim population in Denmark... that would not be a problem if we had a solution for how to integrate them, but nowhere in Western Europe has a solution been found". — Kasper Støvring, author and commentator, Debatten-DR, June 6, 2019.

  • Another new development was that for the first time, according to a report in Jyllands Posten, Muslim voters were organized, in certain urban areas.... [A]n electoral group was set up, which, in co-operation with a mosque and various other associations, recommended that people vote for the two parties: the center-left Det Radikale Venstre and the far left Enhedslisten... Both parties have a pro-immigration stance. Det Radikale Venstre, for instance, wants to make it easier for refugees to gain permanent residence in Denmark.

  • Immigration policy will be one of the main challenges for the Social Democratic Party, as it attempts to form a government with the seats of Det Radikale Venstre and Enhedslisten, in addition to the Socialist People's Party.... the Social Democrats [wanted] the bulk of their policy focusing on how to reduce and control the influx of refugees and migrants, including the use of reception centers outside of Europe. In addition, their policy included making all stays for refugees in Denmark temporary, and extending border controls and reforming the Schengen cooperation so that individual countries decide when and how long they can control their own borders. Their policy also backs sending rejected asylum seekers home and tightening the laws in order to stop illegal migrants from working in Denmark.

In Denmark's general election on June 5, the Danes gave the center-left and far left parties on the political spectrum 91 seats in parliament, a majority out of the 179 available seats. Pictured: Christiansborg Castle, seat of Denmark's parliament. (Image source: Jebulon/Wikimedia Commons)

In Denmark's general election on June 5, the Danes gave the center-left and far left parties on the political spectrum -- the Social Democratic Party, Det Radikale Venstre (the Danish Social Liberal Party), Socialistisk Folkeparti (the Socialist People's Party), and Enhedslisten (the Red-Green Alliance) -- 91 seats in parliament, a majority out of the 179 available seats. In doing so, the Danes waved goodbye to the current liberal-conservative government. The largest party on the left, the Social Democratic Party with 48 seats, and led by Mette Frederiksen, is currently trying to form a government.

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The Suppressed Plight of Palestinian Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  June 13, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "Fatah regularly exerts heavy pressure on Christians not to report the acts of violence and vandalism from which they frequently suffer, as such publicity could damage the PA's image as an actor capable of protecting the lives and property of the Christian minority under its rule.... That image could have negative repercussions for the massive international, and particularly European, aid the PA receives." — Dr. Edy Cohen, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

  • Considered another way, the bread and butter of the PA and its supporters, media and others, seems to be to portray the Palestinians as victims of unjust aggression and discrimination from Israel. This narrative could be jeopardized if the international community learned that Palestinians themselves were persecuting fellow Palestinians — solely on account of religion.

  • "Far more important to the Palestinian Authority than arresting those who assault Christian sites is keeping such incidents out of the mainstream media. And they are very successful in this regard. Indeed, only a handful of smaller local outlets bothered to report on these latest break-ins. The mainstream international media ignored them altogether." — Dr. Edy Cohen, Israel Today.

  • As Justus Reid Weiner, a lawyer and scholar well-acquainted with the region explains, "The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs... In a society where Arab Christians have no voice and no protection it is no surprise that they are leaving."

Christianity is on the verge of disappearing in the place of its birth, including Bethlehem (pictured). According to lawyer and scholar Justus Reid Weiner, "The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs... In a society where Arab Christians have no voice and no protection it is no surprise that they are leaving." (Image source: Daniel Case/Wikimedia Commons)

At a time when Christians throughout the Muslim world are suffering from a variety of persecution, the plight of Palestinian Christians is seldom heard.

It exists. Open Doors, a human rights group that follows the persecution of Christians, notes that Palestinian Christians suffer from a "high" level of persecution, the source of which is, in its words, "Islamic Oppression":

"Those who convert to Christianity from Islam, however, face the worst Christian persecution and it is difficult for them to safely participate in existing churches. In the West Bank they are threatened and put under great pressure, in Gaza their situation is so dangerous that they live their Christian faith in utmost secrecy....The influence of radical Islamic ideology is rising, and historical churches have to be diplomatic in their approach towards Muslims."

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Refugees in Turkey: Mistreated by Ankara, Ignored by the UN

by Sirwan Mansouri  •  June 13, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Turkey, which is located between the Middle East and Europe, was one of the first countries to establish a UNHCR regional office in 1960, and was given economic incentives to do so. Every year after that, the Turkish government received a large budget with which to provide aid to refugees.

  • The UNHCR, the organization that is supposed to advocate for the rights of refugees, has done the opposite. It has placed their care in the hands of an indifferent and hostile Turkey, which they leave to its own terrible devices.

  • Perhaps the UN has washed its hands of the misery of refugees in Turkey -- who have become virtual slaves -- but the rest of the international community must hold Ankara accountable for its inexcusable treatment of people who escaped danger in their countries of origin, only to be abused by the authorities that vowed -- and took money -- to protect and resettle them.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the organization that is supposed to advocate for the rights of refugees, has done the opposite. It has placed their care in the hands of an indifferent and hostile Turkey, which they leave to its own terrible devices. Pictured: The Adiyaman refugee camp in Turkey. The UNHCR has provided "technical support" to the Turkish government for maintaining the camp. (Image source: UNHCR)

Over the past half century, the Geneva-based United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has created and managed mechanisms to protect people whose lives are in danger at the hands of repressive regimes by providing them with political asylum in other countries. The war-torn Middle East has been home to the highest number of such asylum-seekers.

Turkey, which is located between the Middle East and Europe, was one of the first countries to establish a UNHCR regional office in 1960, and was given economic incentives to do so. Every year after that, the Turkish government received a large budget with which to provide aid to refugees.

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Arabs' Nightmare: Absorbing Palestinians

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  June 12, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Lebanon says it fully supports the Palestinians in their fight against Israel -- but would like to see them leave the country as soon as possible.

  • This is the modern-day version of Arab "solidarity" with their Palestinian brothers: discrimination and apartheid -- no jobs, no citizenship, no health care and no social services.

  • Nor do Palestinian leaders give a damn about the welfare of their people. If they did, it would be hard to justify their impressive efforts to foil an economic conference whose main goal is to lift their people out of the economic hell these very leaders created and vigorously maintain.

A street celebration in Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, July 2015. (Image source: Geneva Call/Flickr)

The Lebanese are worried that a new law for the management of Palestinian refugee camps will pave the way for the "resettlement" of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Lebanon. The prospect of "resettling" Palestinians is a nightmare that has been haunting the Lebanese for decades.

Like most Arab countries, Lebanon has long treated Palestinians as second-class citizens. It has been depriving them of basic rights, including citizenship, employment, heath care, education, social services and property ownership. The vast majority of the 450,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon do not have Lebanese citizenship.

In 2001, the Lebanese Parliament passed a law prohibiting Palestinians from owning property, and Lebanese law also restricts their ability to work in as many as 20 professions. Lebanon continues to ignore calls by various human rights groups to the Lebanese authorities to end discrimination against Palestinians.

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Turkey: Attacks on Journalists Turn More Violent

by Uzay Bulut  •  June 12, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • "We sincerely hope that, in the coming weeks... journalists across the country will be able to disseminate news and information without fear of retaliation.... Attacks like those against Demirağ and Özyol, if left unpunished, will have a serious chilling effect on the country's journalists and further strengthen a climate of fear, which seriously hinders Turkey's credibility as a democracy..." — Letter sent by The International Press Institute along with 20 other press freedom and freedom of expression organizations, to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, May 16, 2019.

  • Less than a week after that letter was sent, Ergin Çevik, the editor-in chief of the Güney Haberci news site, was badly beaten in Antalya by three assailants. Those detained in relation with the attack were released on probation.

  • On May 24, Hakan Denizli, founder of the Adana-based daily, Egemen, was the victim of an armed assault, which landed him in intensive care. On May 26, Sabahattin Önkibar, a columnist for the Odatv news site, was beaten while on his way home from work. Önkibar filed a complaint, yet the four suspects who were detained by police were subsequently released.

  • Journalists also face the risk of losing their jobs if the government does not approve of their reporting.

(Image source: iStock)

A new trend of physically attacking journalists has been emerging in Turkey. The country has already incarcerated of at least 146 members of the media, who are in prison serving sentences or are in pre-trial detention. A number of recent assaults not only illustrate this trend, but suggest approval for it on the part of Turkish authorities.

The first victim of this type of violence was Yavuz Selim Demirağ, a columnist for the Yeni Çağ daily, who was attacked in front of his house in Ankara on May 10 by a group of assailants with baseball bats.

Turkey's Journalists' Association (TGC) immediately issued a statement calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and laying blame for the attack on the atmosphere created by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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Turkey's New Violent Political Culture

by Burak Bekdil  •  June 11, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • At the heart of the matter is a culture that programs most less-educated masses (and in Turkey average schooling is 6.5 years) into a) converting the "other" and, if that is not possible, b) physically hurting the "other." A deep societal polarization since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002 has widened to frightening levels.

  • After opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was taken to a safehouse, members of the mob surrounded it and chanted, "Let's burn down the house!"

  • Apparently each unpunished case of political violence committed on behalf of the dominant state ideology (Islamism) and its sacrosanct leader (Erdoğan) encourages the next. In May, a journalist critical of Erdoğan's government and its nationalist allies was hospitalized after being attacked outside his home.

In a most spectacular show of violence, fans of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in April nearly lynched Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Pictured: Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)

In most civilized countries, citizens go to the ballot box on election day -- be it parliamentary, presidential or municipal -- cast their votes, go home to watch news reporting the results and go to work the next day, some happy, some disappointed, to live in peace until the elections. Not in Turkey, where any political race looks more like warfare than simple democratic competition.

One reason is the dominance of identity politics in the country that has its roots deep in the 1950s, when Turkey evolved into multi-party politics. The fighting between "us" and "them" goes on since then. At the heart of the matter is a culture that programs most less-educated masses (and in Turkey average schooling is 6.5 years) into a) converting the "other" and, if that is not possible, b) physically hurting the "other." A deep societal polarization since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002 has widened to frightening levels.

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Greece: Is the Left-Wing Government Interfering in the Electoral Process?

by Maria Polizoidou  •  June 11, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The most damning testimony of electoral fraud, however, came from Dimitris Mavros, managing director of the MRB polling company. In a radio interview on June 2, Mavros said that he had been under extreme pressure from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to manipulate the polls published by his firm....

  • On May 18, LA.O.S. Nationalist party leader Giorgos Karatzaferis also protested the government's ostensible interference in the elections. Karatzaferis said that the vote could be slanted leftward by the swift granting of Greek citizenship to thousands of immigrants.

  • The crucial question now surrounds the extent to which Greek voters heading to the polls on July 7 to elect their next government can trust that their ballots will be counted -- and reported -- fairly.

(Image source: iStock)

The local elections held in Greece on May 26 cast doubt on the integrity of the powers-that-be in Athens, and raise questions about how fair the upcoming national elections, scheduled for July 7, will be.

During the lead-up to the local elections, suspicion had been rampant that the left-wing Syriza-led government was going to try to manipulate the outcome.

As Lefteris Avgenakis -- secretary of the opposition New Democracy party -- told SKAI TV on May 16:

"There is the fear and the feeling... [and] information that some [members of] Syriza are determined... to distort the election results... We are telling [the Greek public] that New Democracy will be there with electoral representatives to ensure that their votes will be those counted at the ballot box."

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How Palestinian Leaders Butcher the Truth

by Bassam Tawil  •  June 10, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Yusef Wajih, the terrorist, came to Jerusalem armed with a knife to kill Jews. That was his only goal. He could have taken advantage of Israel's easing of restrictions during Ramadan -- a move that saw hundreds of thousands of Muslims to enter Jerusalem every Friday to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) is also not concerned that two innocent Jews were stabbed by the terrorist. What the Palestinian Authority is disturbed about is the killing of the terrorist.

  • If the International Criminal Court ever looks into this incident, it should begin its inquiry by investigating the vicious incitement of Palestinian leaders, who use Jewish visits to a holy site in Jerusalem to butcher the truth, just as it whips up Palestinians such as Yusef Wajih to wake up in the morning and butcher the first Jew he meets. The blood of Wajih is on the hands of Palestinian leaders, and not the police officers who stopped a terrorist from stabbing yet more Jews.

The wave of terrorist attacks against Israeli police officers and civilians began shortly after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in 2015 that the Palestinians will not allow Jews "with their filthy feet to defile our Al-Aqsa Mosque," and "We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah..." (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch video screenshot)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is up in arms because Israeli policemen killed a Palestinian who stabbed two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist, 19-year-old Yusef Wajih, from the West Bank village of Abwain, near Ramallah, stabbed one of the men in the neck and head near the Old City's Damascus Gate, leaving him in serious condition.

The second victim was a 16-year-old who was stabbed by the terrorist in the back a few hundred meters away from the scene of the first attack. The teenager sustained light to moderate injuries. Police officers shot and killed the terrorist, thus preventing him from harming more Jews.

Such stabbing attacks are not uncommon on the streets of Jerusalem. In the past few years, Palestinian terrorists have carried out several stabbing and shooting attacks against Israeli police officers and civilians, particularly ultra-Orthodox Jews who were on their way to or from prayer at the Western Wall.

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Trump's North Korea Policy Should Be Encouraged, Not Undermined

by Peter Huessy  •  June 10, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • China is rarely called to task in Washington by US leaders for its role in proliferating nuclear-weapons programs in some of the world's most notorious rogue states. Pressure is rarely placed on Beijing even by US arms-control groups.

  • The Chinese government made a deliberate choice in 1982 -- in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 -- to disperse nuclear-weapons technology to its allies in the Third World. Through the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network in Pakistan, China was able to help produce nuclear weapons in Pakistan and North Korea, and start nuclear programs of varying significance in Iran, Libya and Iraq, and later in Syria.

  • The Trump administration is doing more than its predecessors to meet the challenges and threats posed by North Korea, and therefore should be encouraged to continue the policy of employing a mixture of tough measures and diplomacy.

The Trump administration is doing more than its predecessors to meet the challenges and threats posed by North Korea, and therefore should be encouraged to continue the policy of employing a mixture of tough measures and diplomacy. Pictured: U.S. President Donald Trump meets for negotiations with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore, on June 12, 2018. (Image source: Dan Scavino Jr./Wikimedia Commons)

At a recent event on Capitol Hill -- hosted by the Washington-based Mitchell Institute -- the former China Country Director at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joe Bosco, defended U.S. President Donald Trump's North Korea policy against critics who were accusing the White House either of leaning too far in the direction of diplomacy with Pyongyang, or too bent on imposing maximum economic and military pressure on it.

The criticism, according to Bosco, stems from two false narratives -- emanating from Pyongyang and Beijing -- which have been governing the debate.

The first is that North Korea is justified in having nuclear weapons, due to America's long-standing "hostile policy" towards the regime in Pyongyang. The second is that China has had virtually no role in the establishment of North Korea's nuclear program -- and that Beijing seeks "denuclearization" and "stability" on the Korean peninsula.

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"Europe Will Not Be Europe"

by Guy Millière  •  June 9, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • In the United Kingdom, the Brexit Party victory at 31.6% of the vote was a remarkable achievement that showed the persistent willingness of millions of Britons to leave the European Union. The "populist" positions -- the defense of national sovereignty and European civilization, refusal of uncontrolled immigration and diktats of Brussels technocrats -- have gained ground.

  • The parties that have ruled Europe for decades obtained weak results, but, with rare exceptions, did not collapse -- and will continue to dominate the European Union.

  • The Greens may gain more influence – along with its consequences. To anyone who read the Greens' programs, it is evident that they are essentially leftists with an environmental green mask. They support unrestricted immigration and multiculturalism. They are...resolutely hostile to any defense of Western civilization, to free enterprise and free markets. They are often in favor of zero growth. Most of them support an apocalyptic vision of climate change and say that the survival of humanity will be at stake around the corner if Europe does not take drastic measures to "save the planet". All of them are in favor of authoritarian decisions imposed from Brussels to all of Europe.

  • A European parliament placed under the influence of the Greens will almost certainly accelerate the slide towards more power given to the unelected members of the European Commission, and a phasing out of nuclear energy and fossil fuels. Policies favorable to still more immigration already are in preparation.

(Image source: iStock)

Iran and the American Forbidden Fruit

by Amir Taheri  •  June 9, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • An Iran that is friendly with the US and is inspired by "American values" such as freedom of expression and the rule of law would not long tolerate the despotic and lawless system created by the ayatollah.

  • Here we have a delicious irony: Khomeinists and their Iranian apologists in the West love the American way of life, but only for themselves and their children. The trick is to deny the mass of Iranians, who have no enmity towards the US, a taste of that forbidden fruit.

  • Khomeinists must be anti-American to remain in power while they and their children benefit from the best that America offers, including the possibility of eventually settling in California. Their message to America is: I must appear to hate you in order to love you secretly!

  • The interesting thing here is that many US scholars and policymakers still pursue the dream of helping "moderates" secure unchallenged dominance in Tehran. This is why successive US administrations never pushed beyond the Khomeinist regime's "threshold of pain".

Khomeinists must be anti-American to remain in power while they and their children benefit from the best that America offers, including the possibility of eventually settling in California. Their message to America is: I must appear to hate you in order to love you secretly! Pictured: Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, proclaims "Death to America." (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)

"Why do they hate us?" This is a question frequently put to me by Americans when discussing the rabid anti-Americanism professed by the Khomeinist ruling clique in the Islamic Republic.

The puzzlement implied in the question is understandable. For the United States is the only major power to have a decades-long history of close friendly ties with Iran. From the first decades of the 19th century, Iran found itself caught in an "Imperialist" pincer with Tsarist Russia and Great Britain providing its two arms. The Russians invaded Iran three times and snatched large chunks of Iranian territory in Caucasus and Central Asia. The British carved off large chunks of Iranian territory to add to their Indian Empire or to expand the newly created Afghan state they protected.

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Britain's Back-Door Blasphemy Law

by Soeren Kern  •  June 8, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The long-running dispute revolves — most recently — around an effort by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims, a cross-party formation of around two-dozen MPs in the British Parliament, to institutionalize the definition of Islamophobia in racial rather than religious terms.

  • The proposed definition has been opposed by many Britons, including British Muslims, who warn that it would effectively shield Islam from scrutiny and valid criticism.

  • "We have here a clash between two very different ways of viewing a society: broadly individualism and collectivism.... In a collectivist society the aim is for the rulers to determine how individuals should behave ... those in power lay down a detailed code and threaten punishment for non-compliance. And they do not welcome criticism as a device for mutual learning and holding power to account." — David Green, The Spectator.

  • "We are concerned that allegations of Islamophobia will be, indeed already are being, used to effectively shield Islamic beliefs and even extremists from criticism, and that formalizing this definition will result in it being employed effectively as something of a backdoor blasphemy law." — Open letter signed by 40 British academics, writers and public officials to Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

During a parliamentary debate on May 16, UK Communities Secretary James Brokenshire (pictured) rejected the All-Party Parliamentary Group's official definition of Islamophobia — described as a "backdoor blasphemy law" — on the grounds that it is too vague and has "potential consequences for freedom of speech." He said that the definition is not in conformity with the Equality Act 2010. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Days after the British government rejected its preferred official definition of Islamophobia, the Muslim Council of Britain, the biggest Islamic organization in Britain, called for the ruling Conservative Party to be officially investigated for Islamophobia.

The dispute revolves around an effort by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims, a cross-party formation of around two-dozen MPs in the British Parliament, to institutionalize the definition of Islamophobia in racial rather than religious terms.

The APPG, in a November 2018 report titled, "Islamophobia Defined," proposed the following one-sentence definition of Islamophobia:

"Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."

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