Latest Analysis and Commentary

Is the UK Overthrowing the Christian Basis of the West?

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

  • As the progressive publication Prospect asked, "if we are no longer a Christian country, what are we?"

  • Christians in the UK are on course to be in the minority by the middle of the century.

  • What defines Europe are its boundaries – not physical but cultural. Without its culture, Europe could not be distinguished from the rest of the world. And the pillar of this culture is based on the Judeo-Christian heritage and values.

Lichfield Cathedral, in Staffordshire, England. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

British Christian publications have been wondering if we are witnessing the "extinction of Christianity in Egypt", where the Christian faithful have suffered persecution and terror attacks at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Christian leaders also seem to be wondering if Christianity will be "extinct within a generation" in the UK, where religious people enjoy total freedom of worship and faith.

Last year, the Church of England began to formulate a religious revolution. Its canonical laws require that British churches hold their functions every Sunday. The dramatic crisis of Christianity in the UK, however, is pushing the Anglican church to rewrite those rules, in order not to officiate in empty and abandoned churches.

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Jerusalem: An Opportunity for Islamic Reformation?

by Nonie Darwish  •  December 18, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • Despite the cries that Islam is a religion of peace, Islamic terror threat is everywhere; Muslims still teach hatred of Jews and Christians and they still preach jihad and killing the enemies of Allah. How can any sane person trust that Islam is moderate and is serious about wanting peace when the Muslim world is exploding with terror?

  • Only Trump could have done that at this moment -- and with the help of brave Muslim leaders, a new milestone towards peace can begin.

The Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (Image source: Godot13/Wikimedia Commons)

It is not a surprise that all Arab leaders, including some of the closest Arab allies of president Trump such as president al-Sisi of Egypt, are publicly against the decision by president Trump to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Arab leaders understand a certain bloody backlash against them if they don't. This is because Islamic law dictates that all land once occupied by Muslims must remain Muslim forever. Under Sharia Muslims have the right to take over land from non-Muslims but the reverse is considered an attack on Islam.

That is where the problem of Jerusalem stems from and it does not matter to Muslims if Jerusalem, or its other name Zion, is mentioned in the Jewish bible 850 times but never mentioned in the Quran not even once. It does not matter if Jerusalem is the holy land of the Jewish people, if it was Israel's capital over 3000 years ago or that Jews pray facing Jerusalem while Muslims pray facing Mecca.

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What Is Really to Blame for Palestinian Violence?

by Ruthie Blum  •  December 18, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • Rather than engage in institution-building, which the United States, Europe and even Israel funded with billions of dollars, PA President Mahmoud Abbas – Arafat's successor – made no effort to reform Palestinian civil society, including the education system.

  • In fact, textbooks for the 2017-2018 academic year are even more filled with incitement to violence in the name of Allah than in years before.... "Children are expendable."

  • The crux of this report is that Palestinian education is for war and against peace with Israel. When educators employ blood libels to provide a rationale for terrorism against innocent Israelis -- and the PA leadership backs these up by paying salaries to terrorists and their families -- the only process you are going to get is one of war.

(Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

At a rally in Orlando, Florida shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump's historic declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an activist at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-sponsored event ranted, "[Jews] are the crappiest piece of shit on this planet."

The activist was Said Lufti, uncle of Rasha Mubarak, Orlando Regional Coordinator for CAIR-Florida, and one the protesters in attendance, many of whom were wearing keffiyehs [checkered men's headscarves] and waving Palestinian flags.

Lufti continued:

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Austria: New Government to Resist "Islamization"

by Soeren Kern  •  December 17, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • A coalition between the anti-immigration Austrian People's Party and the anti-establishment Austrian Freedom Party, which will be sworn into office on December 18, is poised to catapult Austria to the vanguard of Western Europe's resistance to mass migration from the Muslim world.

  • The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. Austria has also emerged as a major base for radical Islam.

  • "We have a lot in common [with Israel]. I always say, if one defines the Judeo-Christian West, then Israel represents a kind of border. If Israel fails, Europe fails. And if Europe fails, Israel fails." — Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Austrian Freedom Party.

Austrian Chancellor-elect Sebastian Kurz (pictured), who won Austria's national election after campaigning on a promise to halt illegal immigration, will govern with Heinz-Christian Strache, 48, the Freedom Party leader, who has warned that mass migration is "Islamizing" Austria. (Image source: Raul Mee/EU2017EE/Flickr)

The anti-immigration Austrian People's Party and the anti-establishment Austrian Freedom Party have reached a deal, creating a new coalition to govern Austria for the next five years. The ground-breaking political alliance, which will be sworn into office on December 18, is poised to catapult Austria to the vanguard of Western Europe's resistance to mass migration from the Muslim world.

Chancellor-elect Sebastian Kurz, 31, who won Austria's national election on October 15 after campaigning on a promise to halt illegal immigration, will govern with Heinz-Christian Strache, 48, the Freedom Party leader, who has warned that mass migration is "Islamizing" Austria. Under the agreement, Strache will become the vice-chancellor; the Freedom Party will also take control of the ministries of defense, interior and foreign affairs.

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Christians "Slaughtered Like Chicken"
Muslim Persecution of Christians, July 2017

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  December 17, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • "These draconian [blasphemy] laws are being used as a tool for discrimination and forcible conversion every day and the world stays silent. This poor boy will now face a most daunting court case and will lose most of his life in prison..." — Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman, British Pakistani Christian Association. Pakistan.

  • The pastor, Amos Lukanula, said, "We cannot allow the Muslims to put up a mosque in place of the church." The congregation first purchased the property in 2004; once they had erected a temporary church, local Muslims pulled it down. Another structure the congregation had spent three years building was again brought down by area Muslims in 2007. When, by 2009, Muslims could not raze the third partially built church —made of stone blocks not easily brought down—they filed a legal complaint prompting a court order to halt construction until the legal dispute could be resolved. The court case has dragged on for over eight years. — Tanzania.

  • A Muslim man raped a 3-year-old Christian girl, injuring her permanently. "[H]er 10-year-old son, Daud, was looking after his younger sister, a Muslim friend of Altaf, named Muhammed Abbas, came over. The man requested Daud to buy cigarettes for him from a nearby market. When Daud came back from a shop, Abbas kept him waiting outside the house and raped his sister. Abbas finally opened the door for Daud, lit a cigarette and left. When Daud went inside, he found his sister naked, covered in blood and screaming." Police initially refused to investigate the rape until a local lawmaker exerted pressure on the authorities. — Pakistan.

  • "Christians who refused to renounce their faith were jailed indefinitely without trial. 173 long-term prisoners of faith remain behind bars in brutal conditions. They include many church leaders." — Rev. Dr Berhane Asmelash. Eritrea.

Luc Ravel, Archbishop of Strasbourg, recently criticized "the demographic shift in France. Muslims, he said, are having far more children than native French." (Image source: Peter Potrowl/Wikimedia Commons)

Luc Ravel, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Strasbourg "went against the grain of Church leaders in France who have largely remained politically correct," states a report, because he criticized "the demographic shift in France. Muslims, he said, are having far more children than native French, and slammed the widespread 'promotion' of abortion." "Muslim believers," he continued, "know very well that their birthrate is such that today, they call it ... the Great Replacement, they tell you in a very calm, very positive way that, 'one day all this, it will be ours.'"

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Where Russian and Iranian Aircraft Carriers Clash

by Amir Taheri  •  December 17, 2017 at 4:00 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on November 22, 2017.

Last week, the Tehran daily Kayhan, believed to reflect the views of "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei offered its readers a front-page treat.

It claimed that Arabs "are clamoring for statues of General Qassem Suleimani to be installed in Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, cities that he has saved from ISIS."

The claim came hot on the heels of the Sochi meeting in which Russian President Vladimir Putin officially asserted his control over the Syrian dossier, at least as far as one side of that tragedy is concerned.

Did the mullahs want to contest Putin's role as "savior of Syria" by advancing an even bigger claim on behalf of Soleimani, known in Tehran as "The Selfie General"?

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Multiculturalists Working to Undermine Western Civilization

by Philip Carl Salzman  •  December 16, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Unlike postmodernism, which sees Western culture as no better than other cultures, postcolonialism considers Western culture inferior to other cultures.

  • Rather than enhancing Western culture through the enrichment different ethnic and religious groups provide in countries with a Judeo-Christian foundation, multiculturalists have actually been rejecting their own Western culture.

  • The West, even flawed, has nevertheless afforded more freedoms and prosperity to more people than ever before in history. If Western civilization is to survive this defamation, it would do well to remind people its historical accomplishments: its humanism and morality derived from Judeo-Christian traditions; its Enlightenment thought; its technological revolutions; its political evolution into full democracy; the separation of church from state; its commitment to human rights and most of all its gravely threatened freedom of speech. Much of what is good in the world is thanks only to Western civilization. It is critical not to throw it out or lose it.

In 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values -- openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state." (Image source: Canadian PM's Office)

For the past decade, many in the West have been honing a historically unprecedented narrative -- one that not only renounces the culture they have inherited but that denies its very existence. A few examples:

During a press conference in Strasbourg in 2009, for instance, then-President Barack Obama began by downplaying the uniqueness of the United States. "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

In addition, in 2010, Mona Ingeborg Sahlin, the leader at that time of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, told a gathering of the Turkish youth organization Euroturk:

"I cannot figure out what Swedish culture is. I think that's what makes many Swedes jealous of immigrant groups. You [immigrants] have a culture, an identity, a history, something that brings you together. And what do we have? We have Midsummer's Eve and such silly things."

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Jerusalem, Israel's Capital: Watch the Masks Fall

by Najat AlSaied  •  December 15, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • When the actual announcement came, nothing happened. Those who were exploiting sensitivities related to Jerusalem -- especially political Islamists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah -- come mainly from the axis of resistance, led by Iran.

  • While mainstream media shows the oppressor to be Israel and the oppressed to be the Palestinians, the polls tell a different story.

  • The US Department of State is no less culpable than the mainstream media in failing to play a more vital role in revealing these realities, which could also mitigate the anger and hatred felt towards the US. This Department needs to be reformed from top to bottom to ensure that all diplomats are truly working for US interests. I am sure that it is the Department of State itself that will be the most reluctant to move its embassy to Jerusalem. It is not an exaggeration to say that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is the best decision that has been taken by any American President because it lays bare a rotten reality.

The Harry S Truman Building in Washington, DC, headquarters of the US Department of State. (Image source: Loren/Wikimedia Commons)

Many analysts say that US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a campaign promise to evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters, but there is another way of looking at it. Trump's recognition might be a golden opportunity for two-faced opportunists to be unmasked -- a shot of reality that might eventually help the peace process and solve this long-lasting conflict.

Since the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, many Arab observers, intellectuals and academics have started to question the veracity of those jihadists who claim they are sacrificing themselves to defend Jerusalem, because when the actual announcement came -- nothing happened. Those who were exploiting sensitivities related to Jerusalem -- especially political Islamists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah -- come mainly from the axis of resistance, led by Iran.

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Think the Alabama result has derailed Donald Trump? Think again

by John R. Bolton  •  December 15, 2017 at 3:00 am

President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, at the White House, December 12, 2017. (Image source: The White House)

Pundits are furiously assessing the broader consequences of the Democrats' upset Senate victory in Alabama on Tuesday, but there is less there than meets the eye. True, the Republican Senate majority now hangs by a thread, forcing even harder fights for every legislative victory.

Nonetheless, Republican chances for major gains in November 2018, perhaps six or seven Senate seats, remain strong. Moreover, Democrat 
Al Franken is resigning his seat any day now because of sexual misconduct charges, bringing another totally unexpected Republican opportunity.

Of course, any statewide Democratic victory in Alabama is stunning, but there were also stunning reasons for it. Republican Roy Moore was a flawed candidate even before allegations of sexual misconduct emerged – and he still lost by just one percentage point.

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How Many Muslims in Europe? Pew's Projections Fall Short

by Soeren Kern  •  December 14, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Pew's baseline estimate of the number of Muslims currently in Europe — the estimate upon which its future projections are calculated — has been undercounted by at least five million Muslims.

  • The UCIDE figures — which posit that there are roughly 750,000 more Muslims in Spain today than the estimate proffered by Pew — are widely recognized in Spain as the most accurate assessment of the Muslim population in that country. It remains unclear why Pew failed to mention the UCIDE report in its source appendix.

  • In Germany, Pew "decided not to count" the one million plus Muslim asylum seekers who arrived in the country in 2015/2016 because "they are not expected to receive refugee status."

  • The Pew report entirely ignores the key issue of how Europe will integrate tens of millions of Muslim migrants whose values — including anti-Semitism, polygamy, female genital mutilation and honor violence — cannot be reconciled with those of Europe's Judeo-Christian and liberal-democratic heritage.

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Europe's Muslim population is set to double — and possibly triple — between now and 2050, according to new projections by the Pew Research Center.

The projections, contained in a report, "Europe's Growing Muslim Population," confirm what has long been common knowledge: decades of declining European birthrates, coupled with mass migration from the Muslim world, are fast-tracking the Islamization of Europe.

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Palestinians: Arab Rulers are Traitors, Cowards

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  December 14, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • The decision to boycott a visit later this month by US Vice President Mike Pence comes in the context of absorbing the anger of the street. Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have also made it clear that they no longer consider the Trump administration an "honest" and "unbiased" broker in any peace process with Israel. As such, the Palestinian Authority leadership announced that it will reject any peace plan proposed by the Trump administration, even if the plan gains the support of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

  • The Palestinian strategy now is to work hard to thwart any peace plan coming from the Trump administration. The Palestinians are convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Arab leaders are cooking up a new "conspiracy" behind their backs -- with the aim of "liquidating" the Palestinian cause by imposing an acceptable solution on them. This, of course, has nothing to do with Trump's announcement on Jerusalem. This has been the Palestinian position even before Trump made his announcement, and it is unlikely to change after.

  • The question now is: How will the Arab regimes respond to this latest charge of fratricide leveled against them by their Palestinian brothers?

Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have made it clear that they will reject any peace plan proposed by the Trump administration. Pictured: Abbas speaks during the U.N. General Assembly on September 20, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Once again, the Palestinians are disappointed with their Arab brothers.

A declaration of war on the US, in the Palestinians' view, would have been the appropriate response to US President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

For the Palestinians, the anti-US demonstrations that took place in some Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Iraq and Lebanon were a welcome development.

But the protests have evidently failed to satisfy the appetite of the Palestinians, who were banking on the Arab heads of state and governments to take more drastic measures against the US.

The Palestinians are not expecting the Arab and Islamic armies to march on the White House or bomb New York and Los Angeles.

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Islamic Terrorism vs. Political Correctness

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  December 14, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • Religion (in this instance, Islam) plays a smaller part in what makes terrorists tick than "the [human] need for... personal significance... Especially when it comes to violence that is shunned by most religions and most cultures, you need validation from a group of people that would then become your reference group. So the group component is very important, particularly when it comes to antisocial activities that are forbidden or shunned...." — Arie W. Kruglanski, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and former co-director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism

  • It seems as if many analysts gloss over the role of Islamic teachings -- the Quran, the Sunna, and fatwas -- by minimizing them while highlighting matters such as the need for personal significance and validation. By minimizing the content of the Islamic literature, what they overlook is that Islamic teachings actually justify many activities that they would label antisocial.

  • The validation jihadists get from their reference group is mainly Islamic in words and meanings and that reference group has no significance without referring to the Islamic texts. What seems a universal dismissal or whitewashing -- intentionally or not -- of what is written in the texts, has become so prevalent, that it undermines our ability to recognize, let alone rectify, it.

  • Even relatively "moderate" Muslims, as hard as it is for a Westerner to comprehend it, deeply believe that we are here just for an insignificant instant, and that the really important life is yet to come in the afterlife.

Responding to findings of a recent study on what motivates both ISIS fighters and those who combat them, Arie W. Kruglanski -- distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and former co-director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism -- said:

"The ideology component addresses individuals' need to matter and feel significant. ... It tells people what to do, such as fight and make sacrifices, in order to gain respect and admiration from others."

Kruglanski, whose 2014 article, "Psychology Not Theology: Overcoming ISIS' Secret Appeal," argues that religion (in this instance, Islam) plays a smaller part in what makes terrorists tick than "the [human] need for ... personal significance." He added:

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Islamic Extremism: Who is Purest of Them All?

by Giulio Meotti  •  December 13, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • In the twentieth century, targets were churches and synagogues; today, they are churches, synagogues, mosques, temples -- wherever there is a faith, even a Muslim one, that these Islamic fundamentalists want to "purify".

  • Radical Islam has declared war on the pillars of the West: modernity, science, rationalism, tolerance, equality under the law, freedom of expression and the dignity of the individual, to name only a few. Many of these ideas are currently under threat in Western Europe.

  • Many Europeans might sentimentally think of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into Europe as "the new Jews" – even though their culture is virtually opposite to the Jews' -- but perhaps the Europeans should be aware that they have now forced the Jews to flee twice in the modern era.

  • Islamists are erasing civilizations. Is Europe's next?

Naser Khader, a Muslim dissident who is a Danish Member of Parliament, says "the radical Muslims are the Nazis of Islam". (Image source: Jyske Bank TV video screenshot)

The number of victims in the jihadist attack at a Sufi Mosque in Egypt has risen to 305 and is destined to rise even more. Inside this number there is another one, even more tragic: the 27 children murdered by Islamic terrorists. It has been not only one of the world's most sickening terror attacks since 9/11. It was, in intent, a genocidal attack aimed to erase a religion and a community from the face of earth.

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Locked up in the Islamic Republic of Iran

by Denis MacEoin  •  December 13, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • What is genuinely troubling was the way in which Robert Levinson's fate has been kept largely secret. The Iranian authorities have never revealed who captured him, who currently holds him, what charges have been laid against him, or even if he is still alive. And no effort has been made to negotiate his release, set a prison term, or work by the rules of international intelligence or diplomacy.

  • An Iranian revolutionary court charged Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, without the slightest evidence, of "plotting to topple the Iranian regime". This was done in a trial without a defence lawyer, without any details of her "offence", and ended in a sentence to five years in prison.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (left), a British-Iranian project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, travelled with her baby to visit her parents in Iran in 2016. She was arrested while preparing to board her flight back to England, and sentenced to 21 years in prison for "plotting to topple the Iranian regime". (Image source: MrZeroPage/Wikimedia Commons)

All of you will be familiar with articles on individuals who have been imprisoned, tortured, or even executed in several Muslim countries. Many such individuals are Iranians, imprisoned unjustly for their beliefs or actions that would be considered perfectly innocent or even praiseworthy in the West. Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has been not only the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, but also one of the world's most consistent human rights abusers. In Amnesty International's most recent (2016-2017) report on rights issues in the country, it listed abuses under numerous headings:

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Jihad Festering in America

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  December 13, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • Saudi influence on American administrations, and relationships between senior officials in both countries, is behind Washington's ignoring Riyadh's "well-established... involvement in supporting terrorism and terrorist groups." — Report by the Institute for Gulf Affairs (IGA), released on June 1.

  • The IGA report, covering the three-year period since then and including extremely serious charges against both Saudi Arabia and previous U.S. administration and security officials, indicates the urgency with which the current administration needs to treat the issue and act upon it.

(Image source: ISIS)

A new investigative report reveals that hundreds of Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals residing in the United States -- some with dual citizenship, and most students subsisting on government scholarships -- have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq during the past three years.

Titled "From American Campuses to ISIS Camps: How Hundreds of Saudis Joined ISIS in the U.S.," the report -- released June 1 by the Washington-D.C.-based think tank, The Institute for Gulf Affairs (IGA) -- provides details of the flow of students leaving American institutions of higher learning to fight in the Middle East.

According to a 2016 working paper produced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Saudi Arabia is the second-largest source of ISIS fighters from Muslim-majority countries, with an estimated 2,500. If the IGA report is accurate, a whopping 16% of these fighters were in the U.S. when they joined ISIS.

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