AUSTRALIA'S Jakarta embassy, bombed in 2004, remains a jihadist target, Indonesia anti-terrorism coordinator Ansyaad Mbai said today. “It's always that way,” Mr Mbai said, responding to an ABC report that a group allegedly associated with the arrested Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir had planned to attack the embassy.
The 71-year-old Bashir was arrested yesterday morning, after five members of his Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid were captured at the weekend in three West Java locations.The weekend raids allegedly uncovered a bomb laboratory, a vehicle being prepared as a car bomb, plans to attack police headquarters buildings in Jakarta and Bandung and a list of foreign embassies and tourist hotels.
A national police spokesman today refused to disclose if Australia's embassy was on the list, saying disclosing specific targeted establishments would cause unnecessary panic.
However, International Crisis Group's Sidney Jones, a leading authority on Islamic terrorism in Southeast Asian, said it was unlikely any specific operation had been well-developed by the West Java group. Noting the evidence for one target, the police Mobile Brigade's Bandung building, was a drawing in a notebook, Dr Jones said: “I don't think we should conclude that plans were very far advanced, it may not have been more than discussions.”
Mr Mbai said it was clear from the West Java arrests terrorist cells were once again developing bombing capabilities.
Bashir, who can be held in custody for seven days before charges are required to be laid, was under questioning again today at the national police's criminal investigation office in Jakarta. According to Indonesian media reports, he denies all allegations but refuses to cooperate, saying: “It is haram (forbidden in Islam) to answer questions from the Western and Israeli puppets.”
The congregation of the HKBP Filadelfia church in Bekasi, West Java, demanded justice from the National Police after a fifth attack by the Islamic Community Forum (FUI) left more than a dozen people injured on Sunday.
Members of Huria Kristen Batak Protestan in Jejalen Jaya subdistrict, home to around 1,500 congregation members, were about to begin their Sunday service at 8 a.m. on the street in front of their sealed church construction site. However, the area had been barricaded by around 700 FUI members and local residents. Some people in the blockade had apparently claimed to be the members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), an affiliate of FUI.
Hundreds of officers from Bekasi Police were present, but were apparently "unable" to stop the mob from attacking the group, leaving around 20 people injured, mostly women. "The police did not do anything when the mob started throwing stones and hitting and kicking us," HKBP Filadelfia minister Pietersen Purba said.
However, Bekasi Police chief Adj. Comr. chief Iman Sugianto blamed the victims. "We have warned the congregation not to hold their services in the area, because residents do not want them to do so, but they did not follow our instructions," Iman told The Jakarta Post. If they continue to attempt suicide by banging their heads against our boots I have no sympathy for them.Thats an ironic aside, EW
HKBP Filadelfia has been in the area for nearly 10 years, with individuals holding services in each other's homes. By 2007 the group had raised enough money to purchase a 1,000-square-meter plot of land in Jejalen Jaya subdistrict, on which they planned to build their church. The congregation, however, never commenced construction of the church because their building permit requests to Bekasi Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB) and the Bekasi regent remained unanswered for more than a year. After their land was sealed early this year, the congregation continued to hold religious services on the street, under umbrellas and using newspapers to sit on.
Judianto Simanjuntak, another legal counsel for the church, said the group planned to hold their next Sunday service in front of the State Palace for want of somewhere to carry out their religious activities.
Nonie Darwish of Former Muslims United debates NY CAIR over Ground Zero mosque
Yesterday, Nonie Darwish, human rights advocate, author and President of Former Muslims United debated Zead Ramadan of the NYC CAIR Chapter on MSNBC.
During this debate, Ramadan put up a smokescreen of ad hominen attacks against Darwish calling her a fabricator of lies about Islam and citing her listing on Loonwatch. Totally irrelevant. Darwish pushed back by citing Sharia death threats against apostates, putting in context what Mosques are used for in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim ummah; i.e., indoctrination, preaching hate against infidels, storing arms and issuing commands for Jihad and sectarian warfare against fellow Muslims. She also cited the FMU Freedom Pledge campaign with requests to abjure death threats against apostates sent to American Muslim leaders, including the promoter of the ground zero Mosque, Imam Faisal Abdel Rauf. FMU sent out over 163 letters containing the Freedom Pledge with only two responses to honor civil and human rights of those who have left Islam.
Ramadan struck back at ADL national director Abe Foxman, who came out against the ground zero mosque project because of its insensitivity to the surviving 9/11 families. Ramadan implied in his sinuous remarks that Foxman has been rejected by his own Jewish community and that the Cordorba house initiative has the support of interfaith groups and Mayor Bloomberg of New York City. As the Coalition to honor 9/11 noted in this blog post on the Darwish Ramadan MSNBC debate:
Mayor Bloomberg is in denial about how New Yorkers and virtually all Americans venerate the former World Trade Center site as hallowed ground. He forgot that Islamic terrorism took the lives of 2700 innocents that I and many others witnessed first hand on that brilliant late summer day nine years ago in Manhattan. How quickly he and other New York Democratic politicians have forgotten the carnage and wanton destruction that day wrought by Egyptian, Saudi and Yemeni Jihadis. Bloomberg and other Democratic politicians preach about putting this behind us and advocating for the mosque in lower Manhattan as demonstrative of a healing process. They fail to recognize that Jihadis throughout the ummah continue absurdly to justify the 9/11 attack because infidels had desecrated the holy lands of Saudi Arabia by sending coalition forces to defend it during and following the First Gulf War.
Our comment is that the MSNBC producers and moderator in this segment continue to frame this debate in terms of granting to Islam religious liberties under the Establishment clause of the First Amendment. They fail consistently to recognize the extremist Jihad doctrine of Political Islam aimed at world domination. The Darwish Ramadan debate served a useful purpose in jarring the viewer audience to raise the question of whether Islam is in reality a totalitarian ideology with a thin veneer of religious practices.
Here is the Coalition to Honor 9/11 blog post
Former Muslim debates NY CAIR over Ground Zero mosque
Nonie Darwish is a founding member of Former Muslims United. She recently debated Zead Ramadan over the proposed mosque, aka the Cordoba House, Islamic cultural center, fun center, 51 Park Place, Park51, and 15-story mosque planned to overlook Ground Zero. Zead Ramadan heads the New York chapter of CAIR. Apparently, Ramadan was offended by Darwish pointing out the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an un-indicted conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation’s (HLF) illegal transfer of more than $12 million dollars to U.S.-designated terror organization Hamas. The MSNBC moderator must not have seen the Siena poll released last week that found 61 percent of New York residents oppose this center planned for Ground Zero.
Watch this You Tube video of the MSNBC debate between Darwish of FMU and Ramadan of NY CAIR.
New York City's transit authority announced its decision Monday to approve a bus ad opposing the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.
The ad, which was paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, is the latest evidence of public outrage over the $100 million Islamic center.
New York media outlets report the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had initially refused to allow the ads.
However, after a federal lawsuit and adjustments making the ad "less inflammatory," the agency backed down after being sued.
"While the MTA does not endorse the views expressed in this or other ads that appear on the transit system, the advertisement purchased by a group opposing a planned mosque near the World Trade Center was accepted today after its review under MTA's advertising guidelines and governing legal standards," MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Monday.
Why Israelis, Coming To Their Senses About The Endless Jihad, Should Not Despair
Peace As A Strategic Option
by Hugh Fitzgerald (April 2008)
In his most recent taped broadcast, Ayman Al-Zawahiri doesn’t have a word to offer about the “legitimate rights” of the soi-disant “Palestinian people.” He notes that the perfidious Jews, or Israelis, have attacked Gaza. And so they have, in scrupulous fashion, in their attempt to end the rain and reign of rockets over Israel’s southern cities. For Al-Zawahiri it is “the Muslims” who have been hit and “the Muslims” who must avenge these attacks. There is not a secular or nationalist word in his speech.
But, some will claim, the “Palestinians” themselves are quite different. They truly, really, deeply, madly are interested not in Islam, or the triumph of Islam, but only in that “state” that will bring them, bring Israel, bring all of us, that “solution” we all – don’t we? – equally long for. And wasn’t Arafat, they will say, “secular”? Wasn’t he interested only in a “Palestinian” state, in the cause of “Palestinian” nationalism? Why do you try to transform, in your analysis, the completely “secular phenomenon” (see Rashid Khalidi, see Edward Said, see see see) of “Palestinian nationalism” into a Muslim, Islam-prompted phenomenon? Or are you doing this just to sinisterly transform, for your own purposes, what is so clearly “secular” in nature (just look at Fayyad, the technocratic accountant, or all those others, including Mahmoud Abbas, and all the other terrorist henchmen of yore, now carefully suited and tied, or fit-to-be-tied, just to show their Jizyah-demanding and Jizyah-receiving bonafides? Send your billions to us, those suits and ties and speeches about “we have chosen peace as a strategic option” tell us. “You can trust us, there’s nobody here but us accountants.”
It’s true. Arafat was a Muslim, but not fanatical about it. He had imbibed the attitudes of Islam, however, even if he was not a great mosque-goer. He was famously corrupt and even more famously (so famously, in the Arab world, that everyone managed to keep his little secrets from the Western world and Western press for almost his entire life), had a particular taste for blond German boys. His favorite forms of recreation were not likely to go down well among Muslim clerics. But he was forgiven, he was even protected from the prying, because, you see, for the “good of the cause” – the cause of opposing the Infidel nation-state of Israel – it was necessary to do so. As Magdi Allam said in his letter describing his abandonment of Islam in the “Corriere della Sera,” Islam encourages, and even at times offers religious sanction for, dissimulation and lies.
Of course, in one important sense, Arafat was indeed “a nationalist.” What was that sense? It was simply this: he wanted his very own state, a state that he, Yassir Arafat, could rule over. Or rather, when put to the test, he didn’t, really didn’t, want that very own state, because having that very own state would have limited his travel (and the ease of orgies with those blond German boys), and would have involved such tiresome things as arranging to have the garbage picked up, and having to collect taxes. Why do that when it was so much more fun to have the Infidels keep sending those infusions of cash (and so much easier, in that form, to divert it, as Arafat did by the billions, into off-shore and Swiss accounts)? It was important to keep up the patter about the “Palestinian people” (invented circa late 1967, after the Six-Day War), for that was the surest way to Western hearts and Western diplomatic support and Western pocketbooks. The throw-Israel-into-the-sea rhetoric of Ahmad Shukairy, though admirable in its sincerity, hadn’t been convincing, so why not limit that kind of threatening, although sincere, rhetoric only to Arab and Muslim audiences and speak differently to Western audiences eager to hear this kind of thing, because it could then justify, first indifference to Israel’s plight (too painful to consider, especially in the light of guilty consciences all over Western Europe – or, put more accurately, a little residual guilt about not having sufficiently guilty consciences), and then, not merely indifference, but active hostility, a hostility fed by the most outrageous kind of press coverage of Israel and of its attempts to defend itself.
Indeed, no one paid much attention to what Arafat continued to say, never indeed stopped saying, to Arab and Muslim audiences. Those who knew the truth, those in the American government who had access to those blue-papered FBIS reports (Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service), containing transcripts of radio and television programs, were few, and those few often, in their positions, were often willing to skew the material, and certainly not to push it forward. Not the least of the reasons that the Western world, and American policymakers, are in the fix they are in, is that they did not, decades ago, begin to comprehend the nature, the meaning, the menace, of Islam, for they were not permitted to find out, and they were monomaniacally preoccupied with the threat of Soviet Communism. For people at the mental level of the Dulles brothers, Turkey was an “ally” and Saudi Arabia, apparently doing us a favor – as Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s full time propagandist, insisted -- by selling us oil (and besides, hadn’t King Saud met Roosevelt on shipboard) and was therefore also an “ally.” And between Pakistan and India there was no contest. Pakistan’s ramrod-straight terry-thomassed moustachioed generals were so much more to the liking of American generals and civilians, than Nehru and especially anti-American Krishna Menon, both seen as so dangerously left-wing. Islam, you see, was just fine, indeed was admirable, because it was “a bulwark against Communism.” That it was also a collectivist, even totalitarian Total Belief-System, in the end far sturdier and therefore far more threatening, than Communism, was never understood.
And the Western policy-makers, and the Western publics, did not know what Arab and Muslim reality was all about. How could they? It was the apologists who were the “experts.” The few remaining Orientalists of the old school, the ones who started to be alarmed in the 1950s and 1960s, especially as they saw Muslims beginn to be allowed to settle, in large numbers, deep within Europe, were on their way out, and did not get any attention. And ARAMCO was busy in Washington presenting a view of Saudi Arabia that, as J. B. Kelly has written, "the ghost of Scheherezade could not have bettered." Had the peoples of Western Europe understood Islam, had those among their political and media elites who were capable of understanding what was to come been listened to, rather than ignored or pushed to one side, then a much stricter immigration policy would have been instituted, and the present woes, and future conceivable disasters, avoided.
And the same is true with Israel, and the war on Israel. Had Israelis themselves not been so desperately eager to “make peace” and therefore to engage in a “Peace Process” (a phrase that should immediately raise suspicion) they might have been able to pierce the “Palestinian-people” veil, focus attention on Islam, and in so doing, not only have saved themselves, but also those in Western Europe who might have been the unintended beneficiaries of such consciousness-raising about Islam. In the 1960s and even into the 1970s, those experts had not yet been replaced by others with shorter memories, and less experience of life, and had not yet been brainwashed into accepting either the “Palestinian-people” business or the monstrous misrepresentation of Israel, and could have stopped it.
How did all those Turks come to Germany? Those Algerians to France? Those Moroccans to Spain? Those Pakistanis to England? It was all based on the assumption, or a series of assumptions, in some cases about people coming to work and then returning home (those Gastarbeiten in Germany), but also about the nature of those immigrants, whose problems, whose un-assimilability, whose hostility, were at first likened to the problems that “all immigrant groups,” we were told, present or endure, and that eventually things would settle down, and like other immigrants, recent and not so recent, adjustment would be difficult but in the end achievable. That Muslims carried with them in their mental baggage not merely an alien creed, but an alien and a hostile creed, that the first generation, willing to work, and of course unacquainted with all the benefits of a welfare state (which their children and grandchildren have learned to exploit to the hilt, and then some), would not immediately present such a problem, and one might, if one did not know more about Islam, make all kinds of dreamy assumptions (assumptions that are still being made, not least in France, as for example, when Sarkozy talks about government-funded mosques and other vain attempts at large-scale “integration”—as if the handful of Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslims in his cabinet were representative of the 6-8 million Muslims in France already).
But the Israelis, though in the midst of the Muslim world, were too wedded to finding a "partner for peace.” The people in the political class were so busy fighting day to day, that they never allowed themselves the necessary time to study and to think. And in the universities, the real scholars of Islam, the ones who were the earliest to warn, were not heeded, for their message was a disturbing one, one that no one wished to believe.
Note, too, that lately the usual NGOs have been lamenting the fact that "conditions in Gaza are worse than at any time since 1967." Think about that. What that means is that the conditions in Gaza were terrible under Egyptian rule, and then, once the Israelis took over in 1967, steadily improved as long as Israel was in control, and then, now that Israel has been entirely out of Gaza (so much for this "occupation" the local Arabs in Gaza keep screaming about -- they mean, of course, Israel itself is occupied by Jews, and that simply, to them, isn't right)--conditions have again, under Arab rule, slowly degenerated until conditions of life now approach, despite Israel turning over intact much-improved infrastructure, and those greenhouses that were promptly looted and destroyed by the "Palestinians," and the billions in aid money received from Infidels (strangely, nothing appears to come from fellow members of the Umma), what conditions were the last time Arabs were in control.
And yet these British NGOs dare to suggest that this is Israel's fault?! What nonsense people are allowed to get away with, if no one calls them to account.
Let’s go back, back before Al-Qaeda, back before Hamas, and Hezbollah, and the redundantly-named Islamic Jihad. Do we, indeed, see that there was a time when there was true secularism, true nationalism that was the impulse for the Arab effort, or was Islam always there, Islam disguised when necessary, but still the subtext, or substratum, of that supposed “nationalism” and “secularism”?
Start further back, back before Arafat, and look at the statements of his predecessor as the spokesman for the local Arabs (the ones who have been carefully renamed the "Palestinians" or "the Palestinian people") Ahmad Shukairy, and see if you find rhetoric that is "secular" or rhetoric that comes straight out of Islam.
Go back further. Go back to the leaders of the Arab Revolt (not the "Palestinian" revolt) of 1936-1938 and look at their rhetoric, at what moved them against both "the Jews" and "the British." Is it the language of secular nationalism, or the language, the imagery, the impulse, the promptings, the attitudes, the atmospherics, of Islam?
Go back further still, to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el Husseini. from one of the powerful local families. What did he say, in 1920? Or in 1930? Or in 1940, when he was in Berlin, offering Hitler his support and encouragement for the "Endlosung," the Final Solution, and talking not about "Palestinian nationalism" but about "the Arabs" and "the Muslims." When Hajj Amin el Husseini raised Muslim S.S. brigades in Bosnia, or when he went to Iraq to spread his message of hate that contributed to the Farhood, or massacre of the Jews in June 1-2, 1941, it was not in order to win points for some non-existent "Palestinian people" but rather to whip up, by appealing to the texts of Islam and the attitudes that were a natural result of those texts, those who might be made to take their Islam to heart, and then to act on it.
Long before there was a “Palestinian people” Arabs, in Mandatory Palestine, and in Ottoman-ruled areas that made up “Palestine,” were deeply opposed to Jews returning to, and buying up land, and starting farms, and making that desert bloom. They were opposed not because of any desire for a “Palestinian state” for they were quite content to continue under Ottoman rule, which meant rule as well by local (and absentee) Arab landlords, in the “ruin” and “desolation” that centuries of Muslim desertification – with nomadic grazing, not farming -- had brought to what had been described in the Bible as a “land of milk and honey.”
Arafat, in his heyday, carefully presented to the West a “secular” and “nationalist” face for his war against Israel. But under the rhetoric aimed at Muslims, he continued to reveal, in such things as his astonishing admission that “Palestine itself” is merely a tiny part of the “Arab domain” “from the Atlantic to the Gulf” in the early 1970s, and extending right through to his statement, to an audience of Muslims in Johannesburg, just a few weeks after signing the Oslo Accords, that he knew what he was doing, no one need worry, and then he mentioned the Treaty of Hudabiyya and his Muslim audience knew exactly what he meant.
Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, has always been a weak leader, and he and his other Fatah warlords are seen, correctly, as willing to mouth certain phrases for the Americans -- "we choose peace" are the first words, and the only words that the credulous willing-to-believe Americans hear, but never failing to add another phrase, which signals clearly to Arab audiences that Hudaibiyya is the model, Hudaibiyya the aim: "as a strategic option." (The Americans never understand what that phrase means. It is a little puzzling or troubling, so better for them, and for the "peace-process," not to think about it, much less discuss it).
Abbas is essentially running a criminal gang, a gang that is willing to set a few not very significant limits on its behavior, but that still serve to distinguish it from the rival gang, Hamas, in the eyes of the police -- that is, of the outside world. Like a gang most interested in turning a profit and willing, temporarily, here and there, to tamp down violence, or to deal in cocaine and heroin but virtuously abjuring dealing in methamphetamine, the warlords of Fatah are most interested in money, the money they get from the renewed Jizyah of the nearly eight billion dollars in foreign aid, and to keep that aid flowing, they occasionally have to give speeches suitable for Western ears.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government is run by an outstanding -- even for Israeli political leaders -- collection of fools of Chelm. These include, but are not limited to, the disgraced but still-in-office Olmert, the timid and confused Livni, the irrepressible Haim Ramon who deeply believes that all kinds of things should be given up -- and pronto -- to the Arabs, and that dreamer of dreams whose last twenty years have consisted of collecting awards from Jewish groups abroad, while at home he continues to prate about how history, the past, none of that matters, facts don't matter, what counts are dreams -- his, Shimon Peres's -- dreams. And this collection of four stooges is unlikely ever to exhibit the kind of sobriety and ability to think things through, even very unpleasant things, such as the nature of Islam, the promptings of texts and tenets, that explain not only Arab behavior in the past, but Arab behavior now, and in the future. For if that sobriety and studiousness were exhibited, the conclusions would be different, and there would be no faith at all put in peace-processing, and no reliance, none, on those in Fatah who are merely Slow Jihadists when compared to the Fast Jihadists of Hamas. They all share -- they must share -- the same goals, of removing the Infidel nation-state of Israel from land once possessed by Muslims. On the To-Do List of Muslims, re-taking land that was once possessed by Muslims is given priority, although now, with the new instruments of Jihad other than the use of military force -- the Money Weapon, Da'wa, demographic conquest -- that make more likely that other areas, as in parts of Western Europe or sub-Saharan Africa, may possibly yield even before all areas once held by Muslims are recaptured, it may be that the traditional prioritizing on that To-Do list will be less rigidly adhered to than it might once have been.
Why, despite all that aid money, that nearly eight billion dollars, is Abbas losing out? As stated above, it is in the first place because his hold was always that of a racketeer paying out money to obtain at most a temporary allegiance. But since that money has been promised in such abundance, and apparently will come anyway, to be distributed to everyone no matter whom they support, or what they think (in Gaza as in the "West Bank"), no real change in behavior is required from the "Palestinians" as long as Abbas (or his usefully technocratic accountant Fayyad, whom the Westerners all love, failing to realize that he is not quite what they take him to be, and in any case has no following at all, and no political power, but is merely a useful employee with reassuring eyeshades) remains in power or even if he is deposed.
It would be far better to deny any Western aid to the "Palestinians" and ask them to go, hat in hand, to the rich Arabs. If they get money, they will at least not be getting it from Infidels whose generosity they will not be grateful for, but which will merely reinforce their sense of aggrievement, that the money is given to them by Infidels because it is their do, because “Infidels” allowed Israel to come into existence (actually, no one allowed Israel to come into existence; it was fought for by Jews, and constructed by Jews in Israel with some help from others outside of Israel, but until after the second successful defense of the country, in 1967, no military or other aid came from the United States, or any significant aid arrived from anywhere else) and, furthermore, because “Palestinians” are Muslims and Infidels owe them a living, just as Infidels in Western Europe and North America owe Muslims in countries without oil wealth aid, or owe Muslims living in Infidel lands all kinds of benefits, including those that support monstrously large Muslim families, and even polygamous arrangements, by those who are keenly aware of the use of demographic increase as an instrument of domination and conquest. It is important to stop all acts that reinforce the historic relationship of dhimmi to Muslim overlord, and the best way to do so is to stop transferring more Infidel funds and other aid to Muslims, including the “Palestinian” Arabs who are the shock troops of the wider Jihad, the Lesser Jihad, conducted by Muslim Arabs (and seconded by non-Arab Muslims who take both Islam, and Arab supremacism, deeply to heart).
There is still no recognition of why it is that decades of peace-processing have led, and always will lead, essentially nowhere. Or at least, nowhere if the goal is a true and permanent peace between Israel and those who wish to see it removed from the face of the earth. Occasionally one reads someone recognizing that this is a long conflict, and that is when someone says something like “it has been going on for a hundred years.” No, not a hundred years. The inadmissibility of an Infidel nation-state within Dar al-Islam (and ultimately, anywhere in the world) is a doctrine that goes back not one hundred years, but 1350 years. It comes out of the texts and tenets of Islam. One can pretend otherwise. One can try now this, and now that. One can fly about, conducting “shuttle diplomacy.” One can force this tangible concession out of the Israelis, and now that one, in exchange, as always, for promises, only promises, and the statement – deeply disturbing – that “we have chosen peace as a strategic option.”
Or one can do something else. One can look steadily and whole at those texts and tenets of Islam, and read what the scholars say about treaty-making between Muslims and non-Muslims. The indispensable understanding of the relevant doctrines can be found in Majid Khadduri’s “War and Peace in Islam,” and if one wishes, one can find dozens or hundreds of other authoritative texts that will all say the same thing. How is it these books and articles never make it into the hands of those who make our policies in the Middle East? What keeps them from ever being consulted, or read by those who advise those who make policy?
And if a policy-maker were to do that, he would have to conclude that peace and a peace treaty are not the same thing. A durable peace can be maintained between Israel and those who do not wish it well, who wish it very ill, if Israel does not yield any further, and is seen by its enemies not merely as powerful, but as obviously, overwhelmingly more powerful. That, and that alone, will allow Arab and other Muslim leaders to explain to their own aggressive and permanently unsettled populations that “Darura” or the principle of necessity, requires that they wait, and wait, and wait. To do otherwise, to further reduce Israel’s size and therefore to place that country into conditions where self-defense goes from being fantastically difficult to being hellishly difficult, is to encourage attacks and encourage war.
Deterrence worked for the United States during the Cold War. It can be made to work again, especially as it is clear that the rest of the Western world, nolens-volens, is waking up to the meaning, and menace, of Islam. Even those who try to appease Muslims, by for example preventing or denouncing the showing of Geert Wilders's "Fitna," demonstrate unwittingly that they know what that meaning, and that menace, must be. Such new awareness, and such a shared apprehension of the same threat, will naturally increase. The Israelis need only hold on. The cavalry is coming – in the shape of greater knowledge – and that will make the rest of the West more sympathetic to Israel’s permanent plight. But Israel has to do its part. It has to recognize the nature of that threat itself, and unembarrassedly discuss it with Western allies -- behind closed doors, or possibly in front of them.
(This article is based on previous comments posted at Jihad Watch.)
Any effort to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians must reckon with the fact that bitter experience has taught many Israelis to doubt that their foes want a lasting concord.
A family member grieves at the funeral service for eight Jewish yeshiva students killed in a 2008 attack by a Palestinian gunman.
(Photo by Brian Hendler/Getty Images)
Meeting a friend in a coffee shop in an old Jerusalem neighborhood, once the home of Jews who had escaped Germany before the Holocaust, I asked him what he wanted most in life. One of the giants of Israel’s academic and intellectual life, my friend has challenged some of the central tenets of his country’s national narrative but is deeply committed to the necessity and justice of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
With no hesitation, but with obvious despair, he answered, “I want my children to emigrate.”
Just then his daughter happened to stop by with her husband, greeting her father with a warm hello before hurrying off. He shrugged, and said, “She doesn’t want to go. What can I do?”
My friend’s despair is shared, in one way or another, by many of the Israelis with whom I’ve spoken. It’s a despair based largely on what they believe is a realistic assessment of Israel’s situation in the world and of the ultimate intentions of many, and probably most, Palestinians.
To be sure, lots of Israelis don’t share this despair, don’t talk about it, or use every coping mechanism they can to set it aside and live a normal life. Yet it’s a feeling that, at some level and to some degree, permeates all things in much of the population, and that has frequently emerged in the many conversations I’ve had in recent years with Israelis.
American officials in past administrations have tried—sometimes, as one of them put it recently, religiously, and often blindly and self-deceptively—to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. But the failure of each effort has deepened Israeli despair.
The Obama administration, too, seems intent on brokering such a peace treaty. For the administration to have any chance to succeed, it will not only have to show Israelis that it understands their despair but convince them that the kind of treaty it wants Israel to accept will be worth the cost because it will result in a real peace—one that will actually last, that’s less threatening than the situation they’re now in, and that will truly and finally end the conflict with the Palestinians. Few Israelis still fantasize that some day Palestinians will accept them with any warmth as neighbors; but they want to live—and to be, at least, left alone.
Certainly, there’s much in their country’s experience that provokes in Israelis pride rather than despair. After all, following two millennia of forced dispersions, during which they prayed three times a day to return to Zion, and during which some Jews persisted in living there, they’ve finally returned, so that today half the Jews in the world—a population much diminished by the Holocaust—live in the place from which their forebears were exiled.
And they’ve accomplished a lot there. They’ve revived a language—Hebrew—for everyday use that, throughout their years in exile, was used primarily for religious and literary purposes. They’ve created a modern country and a democratic society in a vast zone of despotic rule. Jews who were once utterly defenseless in foreign lands and repeatedly massacred—most recently in the greatest massacre of all, the Holocaust—can now defend themselves. And, despite its small population—some 7.5 million, about 80 percent of them Jews—Israel has become a dynamo of scientific and cultural innovation.
Yet the challenges that face Israel are immense—and growing. Increasingly, Israelis are convinced that no concessions they make to the Palestinians will ever be enough—that each concession will be followed by another demand, that each new demand that isn’t conceded will be a pretext for more violence, and that each response to that violence will provoke international condemnations of Israel for using disproportionate force, no matter what forewarnings are given and what precautions are taken to prevent civilian casualties. Israelis watch as efforts are made around the world to demonize, isolate, and delegitimize their country. They’re stunned especially by the successful strategy, employed by Palestinians and their allies, of having Israel labeled an “apartheid state.” They feel beset by what they see as biased media campaigns and human rights organizations that focus obsessively on Israel even as they ignore massive violations elsewhere. They feel increasingly and unfairly under attack by, among others, a Europe with a growing Muslim population, the United Nations, the political Left on university campuses and elsewhere, and even some Jews around the world, including some in Israel, who find themselves embarrassed that the Jewish state has used military force.
To be successful, those who want to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace—one that lasts more than a few weeks or months—will have to be able to glimpse the world through Israeli eyes. They’ll have to understand the beliefs and fears that are the sources of much Israeli despair—and take them into account no less than they take into account the sources of Palestinian despair. Ten of these beliefs and fears seem particularly salient:
The Palestinians will never accept the existence of Israel, and systematically teach their children that they must never do so, either.
It’s this belief, probably more than any other, that causes Israeli despair.
Israelis have grown accustomed to being pilloried in the most crude and violent terms in Palestinian mosques. And they’ve grown accustomed to media controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank that regularly undermine the readiness to accept Israel alongside a future Palestinian state—that glorify suicide bombers, quote Muhammad as saying that Jews must be killed, accuse Israelis of poisoning and spreading AIDS among Palestinians, deny that the Holocaust happened, claim that Jews never had a history in the land and that there was never any Temple in Jerusalem, and insist that Jews should leave the area and go back to their “original” homelands—Europe and Ethiopia.
Israelis might feel reassured that peace is possible if it were promoted in the Palestinian Authority’s education system; even if the current Palestinian generation isn’t ready to accept the Jewish state, maybe a future one will. But they know that Palestinian students study maps in their textbooks on which Israel doesn’t exist and watch television programs aimed at young people that identify cities in Israel as being part of Palestine.
Moreover, the other Palestinian territory—Gaza—is governed by a group, Hamas, that is forthright in declaring that it will fight until Israel is gone, and that promotes this ideology in every way it can in its own media and education system. Even if the Palestinian Authority were to foster the ideal of coexistence among its students, what about the students in Gaza?
Palestinians will always demand more concessions until there is no Israel.
This is a conclusion many Israelis have reached as a result of many years of failed peacemaking.
After the Oslo Peace Accords, signed in 1993 on the White House lawn, the Israeli consensus, fragile but determined, and led by Yitzhak Rabin, was that peace would be painful, would require massive concessions involving land and the control of Jerusalem, and would require the removal of most settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. But for most Israelis, these concessions were worth the achievement of a real and lasting peace.
After years of Israeli buses being blown up, after the refusal by Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, to accept a peace in which nearly all of the West Bank and Gaza would become a Palestinian state, and after Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, refused concessions that were even more generous, many Israelis concluded that no concession would ever be enough. Always there was an insistence that
the Palestinian refugees—including the millions of children, grandchildren, and other descendants of the original refugees from the 1948 fighting—would be able to “return” to the homes of the actual refugees in what became Israel. For most Israelis this is a strategy aimed at ending the Jewish state, and is the poison pill of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy.
Palestinians attack Israel from behind civilian human shields, but any response by Israel, however careful, that harms those civilians is condemned, while the tactic itself, which is a crime of war, is ignored.
Israelis have concluded that this new form of warfare has undercut the effectiveness of the military strength on which they long relied. They know they have a powerful army—the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF—that faces, in the cases of the Palestinians and Hezbollah in Lebanon, adversaries that lack tanks or planes. But Israelis have discovered that their military superiority is blunted, even useless, when their adversaries are willing to use the very people whose cause they claim to champion as shields behind which to fire rockets. That’s what happened during Israel’s three-week incursion into Gaza in the winter of 2008–09, which it launched after being bombarded by thousands of rockets. And that’s what happened during the 2006 war with Hezbollah, the Palestinians’ ally on Israel’s northern border, which hid its rockets in schools, mosques, and hospitals, so that Israel couldn’t target the rockets without also destroying those schools, mosques, and hospitals—and killing civilians. Like the United States and other countries fighting in the Middle East, Israel doesn’t know how to fight such a war. And when it tries, it’s accused of war crimes. Israelis worry that the military they built to defend their country can’t do it without bringing upon Israel international condemnation.
Increasingly, the military war against Israel, in which Israel can defend itself, is being replaced by a public relations war, in which Israel invariably loses.
As frustrating as it is for Israelis to fight an enemy that uses its own population as human shields, it’s even more frustrating to fight an enemy that designs every encounter to turn into a public relations disaster for Israel. In May, when Israel tried to stop the Free Gaza flotilla—which included militant Islamist activists ready for a fight—it fell into a trap. If it allowed the blockade of Gaza to be breached, then Hamas might get more rockets to shoot at Israel. But if it tried to stop the ships, it would risk a confrontation that would further damage its reputation. It risked that confrontation, was met with violence, ended up killing activists, and created an anti-Israel furor in the world news media. Now, more such flotillas—and more PR-aimed provocations—are surely coming.
The worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel is selective and hypocritical, but is finding increasing support.
The growth of anti-Israel sentiment around the world has left Israelis feeling increasingly isolated. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and a great number of Israelis see themselves as liberals. They know that, in the last century, the spasm of murder aimed at annihilating all Jews in Europe and anywhere else they could be found was carried out on the basis of a rightist ideology. So they’re amazed that so much antagonism toward Israel is expressed by intellectuals on the political left.
They don’t understand why they’re attacked for even minor confrontations with Palestinians or for
erecting checkpoints to deter suicide bombers,
while far more extensive human rights violations are glossed over. Ignored, for example, is the gross violation of the most basic human rights, to the point of enslavement, of the half of the population of Saudi Arabia made up of women, or the banning of worship there that isn’t Muslim. Ignored, too, are the populations that lack basic freedoms—in Syria, say, or Iran, or Sudan, or Somalia, as well as the victims in Chechnya, Tibet, and Kurdistan.
Moreover, some of the greatest human rights violators in the world—most recently Libya—sit on the UN Human Rights Council, whose condemnations, Israelis note, are relentlessly focused on Israel. Permanent bodies in the UN, several with large staffs, have been established solely to advocate on behalf of Palestinians, such as the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Division for Palestinian Rights.
Israelis find the worldwide anti-Israel campaigns by other groups isolating and frightening. Critics have tried to persuade academic and professional organizations to sever ties with Israeli groups. In Britain, the University and College Union, an educators’ organization, passed a boycott resolution last year only to be warned by lawyers that such a boycott would be illegal. Others have campaigned to get universities and churches to remove companies that do business with Israel from their endowment portfolios. On a few occasions, Israeli scientists have even been denied visas to countries that were hosting professional conclaves. In June, Spain’s Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals, and Bisexuals banned Israel from participating in its gay pride parade in Madrid—even though Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle East in which homosexuality is protected, while homosexuals elsewhere in the region face execution.
The most vicious canard of all—that Israel is a Nazi state—is, with increasing frequency, hurled against the Jewish state.
Fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank in 2002 provoked a chorus of accusations by Europeans that the Israelis were doing to the Palestinians exactly what Nazi Germany did to the Jews. “What is happening,” the late Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago said, “is a crime that may be compared to Auschwitz.”
Later, during the fighting in Gaza in the winter of 2008–09, demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as “Israel: The Fourth Reich” and “Stop the Nazi Genocide in Gaza.” Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, said, “The Holocaust, that is what is happening right now in Gaza.” And a Norwegian foreign diplomat wrote, “The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany.”
For many Israelis, who are Holocaust survivors or their descendants, such accusations provoke horror and shock. Either these allies of the Palestinians have a profound misunderstanding of what the Holocaust was or are hurling the most vicious canard they can against the Jewish state. Some Israelis are convinced that, by accusing Israelis of being Nazis, Europeans are trying to free their continent from the burden of its history. After all, if Jews in Israel are no different from Nazi murderers, then the continent’s history can be seen as normal. For some Israelis, in fact, this European phenomenon represents anti-Semitism’s return.
Even if there is a two-state solution, what will happen the day after tomorrow?
This question keeps many Israelis awake at night. The main peace plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict aims at a “two-state solution”—an Israel behind its pre-1967 borders alongside a Palestinian state in what is now the West Bank and, if Hamas can somehow be converted or defeated, Gaza. But, Israelis ask, why would any sane person, Israeli or otherwise, believe that, two weeks or two months after a Palestinian state were to come into being—a state that would abut the length of Israel’s narrow waist as well as Jerusalem—rockets wouldn’t be flying over its border and blowing up in every Israeli city and airport?
And why not? Even if Hamas were to retain control of Gaza and refuse to participate in a treaty with Israel, meaning that the Palestinian state would consist only of what is now the West Bank, and even if that state’s leaders wanted peace at least as long as it would take to establish their country, wouldn’t there also be, in that state, Hamas members and others who didn’t want peace, who had never wanted it, and who would use it as a springboard for launching attacks so as to achieve the ultimate objective of eliminating Israel? Wasn’t that Yasir Arafat’s goal even before the Six-Day War? Isn’t that Hamas’s goal now? And if the leaders of the Palestinian state who didn’t want war got in the way, wouldn’t they be ignored—or killed?
The Israelis who have this nightmare cite a small experiment to buttress their fear—Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. This action was followed by a coup in which Hamas brutally killed members of its Palestinian rival, Fatah, took over Gaza, and continually lobbed rockets into Israel.
In this nightmare of rockets bombarding Israel from the Palestinian state, that state’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon launch their own war of rockets against Israel. In 2008, Hezbollah’s rockets had enough range to target Israel’s north. Now that Hezbollah’s store of rockets has been vastly upgraded and expanded, it can target nearly all Israeli cities.
With tens of thousands of rockets and missiles flying out of the Palestinian state and Lebanon—and, in this nightmare, from Gaza as well—it might be impossible for Israelis to live anywhere other than in bomb shelters, and the devastation would be immense. But if Israel were to respond by attacking the sources of those rockets in the newly declared Palestine, this time they would be attacking not a territory or a faction but a sovereign member of the UN, one that would call on—and instantly receive—the support not only of its fellow Muslim states but also the world at large, including most of Europe. And since the same tactic that was used in Gaza and Lebanon would no doubt be used in Palestine—rockets fired from hospitals, schools, and mosques—any retaliation would provoke multiple critical reports, from UN bodies as well as human rights groups, of war crimes that would make the excoriations of Israel in the Goldstone Commission report, which was issued after the fighting in Gaza, sound, by comparison, like allegations of traffic violations.
Meanwhile, Iran is readying its nuclear warheads.
This is, for Israelis, the most frightening scenario of all. They have no doubt—and intelligence services around the world tend to confirm—that Iran will have one or more usable nuclear weapons within a couple of years. Reportedly, Iran already has enough nuclear material to enable it, once the material is purified, to make two weapons. Israelis take seriously the Iranian argument that it’s worth being damaged by an Israeli counterstrike if, in the process, the Zionist entity, as well as all or most of its Jews, are destroyed. They consider the probability of such an attack significant, especially if Palestinians and Hezbollah are firing rockets into Israel, and Israel is responding.
The idea is spreading that U.S. support for Israel is the root cause of America’s problems in the
In the years after 9/11, the most common American explanation for Islamic terrorism was poverty. Even after numerous studies proved that this wasn’t true, this reason continues to be cited by politicians and academics.
Now, Israelis fear, their country’s conflict with the Palestinians is becoming the simple—and false—explanation for America’s unpopularity in the Middle East. When they heard President Barack Obama remark at an April press conference that regional conflicts such as that in the Middle East end up “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure,” they assumed from the context that he was referring to America’s support for Israel. In the view of these Israelis, no one who understands radical Islam imagines that America would cease being its target even if the United States were to cut off all ties with Israel—indeed, even if Israel were to disappear.
As some Israelis see it, the naive notion that their country is a root cause of the problems the United States is experiencing in the Middle East has been adopted by a large number of Americans—and America might, as a result, abandon the Jewish state.
Not pursuing a two-state solution leaves only a one-state solution—an alternative that is profoundly anti-Zionist.
If a two-state solution is seen by most Israelis as existentially dangerous and possibly unattainable, then all that’s left is maintenance of the status quo. And Israelis understand that an endless status quo could result in a one-state solution—a state in which they would be politically dominant but demographically a minority. The Zionist dream of a democracy of Jews in the land of their people’s birth would be destroyed. The vast majority of Israelis I know don’t want to have power over the lives of Palestinians. But deeper than their empathy with the Palestinians is their desperate hope to survive. What Israelis see before them is a choice between the physical destruction wrought by war and the moral destruction wrought by forever dominating a people that, if allowed, would destroy them. For these Israelis, it’s a choiceless choice.
* * *
Which makes it easy to understand why my Zionist friend, who believes in the justice of a Jewish state, wants his children to emigrate.
Which makes it necessary that the Obama administration address my friend’s despair if it hopes to broker a real and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
And which leads me, as his friend—and as someone whose murdered family in Europe probably would have remained alive had Israel existed seven decades ago—to my own state of Zionist despair.
The United States’ attempts at making peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have failed for many reasons. If the Obama administration really wants to broker a treaty—one that has any chance of yielding a lasting peace—then it will have to understand Israel’s nightmares even as it recognizes Palestinian yearnings, and find ways of addressing them. And it had better do so soon.
The imam behind a plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero is set to depart on a multi-country jaunt to the Middle East funded by the State Department -- raising concerns that taxpayers may be helping him with the controversial project's $100 million fund-raising goal.
Feisal Abdul Rauf is taking the publicly funded trip to foster "greater understanding" about Islam and Muslim communities in the United States, the State Department confirmed yesterday.
"He is a distinguished Muslim cleric," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, when asked about the journey, reportedly to include stops in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar.
"I think we are in the process of arranging for him to travel as part of this program, and it is to foster a greater understanding about the region around the world among Muslim-majority communities," he added.
Crowley said no fund-raising for the mosque and cultural center during the trip would be permitted. "That would not be something he could do as part of our program," he said.
Abdul Rauf said funds for the center will come from Muslims and members of his congregation.
But a London-based Arabic-language newspaper that interviewed Abdul Rauf reported that he says he also will collect money from Muslim and Arab nations around the world -- raising the possibility his goodwill mission could help him build contacts in oil-rich states.
"Does the State Department have any idea they are sending a guy to the Middle East who is going to be fund-raising perhaps among the very same people he will be meeting with?" asked Debra Burlingame, a 9/11 family member.
"We know he has a fund-raising association with Saudi Arabia," Burlingame said, noting that the Saudis have contributed money to underwrite programs by the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a not-for-profit that Abdul Rauf runs with his wife and that is one of the sponsors of the Ground Zero mosque. "He's going to the well, and how can they say they do or don't know what he's doing?"
Meanwhile, state regulators said the sale of an adjacent Con Ed building needed to complete the Ground Zero mosque -- as disclosed by The Post on Sunday -- might be subject to review after all, even as Mayor Bloomberg insisted the project has "nothing to do with Con Ed."
Public Service Commission spokeswoman Anne Dalton said state law requires the agency to sign off on the "transfer or lease" of any property a utility owns within its franchise area.
The question is whether Con Ed satisfied that requirement nearly four decades ago, when it granted a 99-year lease on the former substation site at 49-51 Park Place.
A Jihad Watch poster recently asked incredulously, “There's a mosque in The Hague?"
Yes, there is a mosque in The Hague. And all over Rotterdam, and Amsterdam, and in Paris and Marseilles and Lyons and Toulouse, in London and Manchester and Birmingham and Leeds, in Rome and in Milan, in Berlin and Hamburg and Frankfurt, and in thousands of other cities and even small towns all over Europe. The Saudis and other rich Arabs fund them, just as they pay for the land, and the construction, and the maintenance, of mosques all over this country, from Boston to sunny California. Most of the mosques in the Western world are not paid for by the locals, but by very rich foreign Muslims -- governments, institutions, individuals.
After all, not all of that ten trillion dollars in oil revenues that Muslim states have received since 1973 alone goes for arms purchases, and palaces for the boys, and wages for those millions of non-Muslim wage-slaves who keep Saudi Arabia and the smaller sheikdoms going, and gambling in London and Monte Carlo, and call girls (the Arabs especially contemptuous of the West for allowing "their women" to be bought and used in such a way, by their sworn enemies, the Arab Muslims), and endless shopping in the funfair-cum-brothel of Europe.
Occasionally local opposition can stop the building of a mosque, but not because the mosque has been paid for by sinister foreigners, nor because mosques are far more than merely religious establishments but politico-religious outposts of the Army of Islam, and inevitably, unless subject to constant round-the-clock monitoring, will tend to have khutbas based on the almost-unavoidable subject with which the Qur'an and Hadith are full: to wit, the permanent state of war that exists between Believers and Infidels, and the need for Muslims to work to remove all obstacles to the spread, and dominance, of Islam.
Western governments simply will not stop to examine, will not dare even to discuss, the nature, the meaning, the menace of Islam and Jihad. Those whose duty it is to protect us will continue to pretend that what goes on in mosques is as "religious" in nature as what goes on in churches or synagogues. But it isn't. Visits to mosques, or tapes of what goes on, or the testimony of those who have jettisoned Islam but can still recall what they heard (or if their faces are not recognized, enter mosques still) confirm that what goes on is dangerous to Infidels, to their legal and political institutions, to their physical security.
The national governments of the Western world have failed those whom they are supposed to protect. They have failed to exhibit any intelligent curiosity about Islam as a Total Belief-System, and the role of the mosques as a basis for Jihad -- that is, the "struggle" to promote Islam and remove all obstacles to its spread, and dominance. Yet local governments, or local officials, have been forced to change or cancel permits by aroused citizens, who have made their cases against this or that mosque on the basis of size -- the proposed mega-mosque in London appears to have been stopped -- rather than on the basis of the bristling and aggressive nature of these huge structures, their minarets rising like missiles (as Erdogan once famously said).
If more non-Muslims came to understand the texts and tenets and attitudes of Islam, they would not be so uninterested in the mosque-building that goes on, sometimes even with the aid of local governments (e.g., Mayor Menino encouraging the building of the Boston Mosque, and even agreeing to sell land far below the market price), but would move heaven and earth to stop as many such projects as possible, and what's more, to make sure that existing mosques and madrasas are monitored for the contents of what they preach (and what Muslims practice, when they are in a position to do so). The word "religion" keeps getting in the way, but greater knowledge would give Infidels the confidence not to be bamboozled or impressed by such a word, and determined not to be deterred in their opposition to mosques and madrasas. For the first is not simply, or mainly, a house of individual worship, but a center where a collectivist and aggressive Total Belief-System can more easily maintain or reinforce its hold over local Believers.
UK Coptic Group Seeks Arrest Warrant for Egyptian Muslim Cleric Sheikh al-Badri for 'Hate Speech'
Mary Abdelmassih of the AINA news service has a timely article, “Arrest Warrant Sought for Egyptian Muslim Cleric for “Hate Speech” about a UK –based Coptic Christian group seeking an arrest warrant for Egyptian Sheikh Yusuf al-Badri of the Supreme Islamic Council for Islamic affairs affiliated with Al Azhar University in Cairo. Al Badri is the author of the infamous comment about what Sharia commands Muslims to do about apostates captured on a German news video story and posted in translation on the Vlad Tepes and other blogs: “God has commanded us to kill those who leave Islam.”
The AINA news story noted:
A Christian Coptic human rights group is seeking to initiate an international arrest warrant in the United Kingdom against the leading Muslim fundamentalist cleric Sheikh Yousef al-Badri for inciting Muslims to kill apostates from Islam in Egypt. Al-Badri, who is a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and is associated with the primary Islamic institute of al Azhar University, is reported to have stated "God has commanded us to kill those who leave Islam."
Although Christianity in Egypt is not illegal, it is under a common interpretation of Islamic law that conversion to another religion from Islam is punishable by death. Muslims, mainly fundamentalists, see no difference between apostasy and subversion; they fear that allowing conversion will ultimately undermine Islam.
"We expected the Egyptian Prosecutor General to take legal action against al-Badri, but unfortunately in Egypt impunity for Muslims prevails at all levels when it comes to the rights of Christians," said Dr. Ibrahim Habib, President of United Copts of Great Britain who will initiate the arrest warrant. "Incitement to kill is a crime under legal and ethical norms."
The German news video from which al-Badri’s comment was extracted concerned the tragic status in Egypt of prominent apostates Maher al-Gowhary and his daughter Dina barred from leaving Egypt.
The AINA report notes these human rights threats of Sheikh al-Badri to the al-Gowharys:
Another victim of "hate speech" is Muslim-born Maher el-Gowhary who publicly converted to Christianity in 2008, after secretly being a Christian for over 35 years (AINA 9-26-2009). In August 2008, he filed the second lawsuit of a Muslim-born against the Egyptian Government to seek official recognition of his conversion. He lost the case on June 13, 2009. According to the Court ruling, the religious conversion of a Muslim is against Islamic law and poses a threat to the "Public Order" in Egypt.
The Fatwa (religious edict) issued by Sheikh Yousef al-Badri calling for the "shedding of his blood" caused Maher and his teenage daughter Dina, who also converted to Christianity, to live in hiding and be constantly on the run, fearing danger from reactionaries and advocates of the enforcement of Islamic apostasy death laws.
"We live in constant fear ever since radical sheikhs have called for my blood to be shed because I left Islam. We are mostly afraid of the uneducated people on the street," Maher said in an interview aired end July 2010 on ZDF German TV (video).
Maher escaped many attacks on his life, the last taking place on Sunday, July 5, 2010, when a Muslim fundamentalist tried to behead him in broad daylight. His daughter Dina also escaped an acid attack (AINA 4-17-2010).
Former Muslims United (FMU) has used Sheikh al-Badri’s comments in news releases. It has been a featured video on the former Muslims website to convey how death fatwas issued by Muslim clerics and Sharia Jurists like al-Badri threaten the civil and human rights of apostates. His remarks are a justification for FMU Freedom Pledge Campaign that sought American Muslim leaders to abjure these Sharia death Fatwas against those who have left Islam. FMU only got two responses from more than 163 Freedom Pledge letters sent to American Muslim leaders.
The UK Coptic Human Rights arrest warrant for Sheikh al Badri is ironic in another way. You may recall that Dutch politician Geert Wilders is the subject of a 2008 Interpol arrest warrant issued by a Jordanian court on the grounds of defaming Islam with his film Fitna.
In the current debates about the eruption of Mega-mosques in the United States, the UK Coptic group human rights initiative furthers the argument that Islamic Sharia is in violation of both US civil rights laws and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, endorsed by the heads of states of the Organization of Islamic Countries in Dakar in 199, is in direct contradiction of those Western human rights laws and accords, because it Sharia compliant. David Littman NGO representative of the World Education Association made these telling arguments against the Cairo Declaration before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He noted:
These efforts led to the ‘Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights,’ proclaimed at UNESCO in 1981, and to the ‘Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam’ (CDHRI), adopted on 5 August 1990 in Cairo by the 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the 45 (now 57) Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), subsequent to the Report of the Meeting of the Committee of Legal Experts held in Teheran from 26-28 December 1989.
It is significant that article 24 of the English CDHRI states that “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in the Declaration aresubject to the Islamic shari’a,” and its article 25 confirms that “The Islamic Shari’ahis the only source of reference for the explanation orclarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.” Thus, it is clear that the shari’a law has supremacy and the 1990 Cairo Declaration primacy — in the view of its authors — over the International Bill of Human Rights (the UDHR included), and all other UN Covenants.
The UK Coptic human rights group pushback against Islamic Sharia doctrine with this initiave seeking an arrest warrant against Sheikh al-Badri should raise the consciousness of Sharia threats to fundamental Western Judeo Christian values inherent in the American Constitution and international human rights laws.
The "despair" among some -- by no means all, or even a great many -- Israelis, described by Walter Reich here, is curious. Is it not better, is it not a sign of mental health, to at long last recognize the real nature of the enemy? And will not Israelis, coming to their senses about the nature of the war, the Jihad, being waged against them, by both the Fast Jihadists of Hamas in Gaza and the Slow Jihadists of Fatah in "the West Bank" (with Muslim Arabs outside taking one or the other position), that is in recognizing that further concessions -- any further concessions, but above all territorial concessions that that cannot easily be taken back -- merely whet, and do not sate, Arab and Muslim appetites, be replacing the peace-processing pieties and disconnected hopes-and-dreams Rose-Garden-photo ops for something that, by being coldly realistic, offers a far better guide to policy than innocence of reality?
And help is on the way. What is that help? It is the help of those who, all over the Western world, even if they have no particular sympathy or understeanding of Israel's history, Israel's moral, legal, and historic claim, even if they do not know - as one must know to be able to speak intellighently about anything to do with Israel, the actual (not made-up, by those who blandly think that history is for fuddy-duddies and does not matter, or does not matter much) -- the demogrpahic and cadastral (land-ownership) history of the two former Ottoman vilayets, with a separate Sanjak for Jerusalem, that then were assigned to constitute the territory that would become the Jewish National Home, but before that would be, for a while, Mandatory Palestine.
It is better for Israelis to come to their senses. And it is better for other Infidels to be forced, by the behavior of Muslims world-wide, including those living in their midst, to come to their senses at the same time. And it is better for Infidels to recognize that they all are on the same side, or should be, because they face the same threats, the same permanent imperilments.
Here is what I wrote at Dhimmi Watch, on April 12, 2008. It does not date, it is more timely now than then, and thus I am re=posting it here:
Fitzgerald: Israel and Western Europe are in the same boat
The Netherlands and Denmark provide funding to a Palestinian news agency that glorifies terrorists, uses biased language and promotes hatred for Israel, Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook of Palestinian Media Watch allege in a report obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post ahead of its official release on Friday. […]
"We find it surprising and unfortunate that the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark continue to fund this hate journalism without demanding a change," Marcus and Crook wrote. "Hate incitement, including denial of Israel's existence and glorifying terror, is universally accepted as a paramount cause of continued Palestinian terror. These governments, together with governments who have blindly funded Palestinian schoolbooks, bear direct moral responsibility for the continued hatred that is being ingrained into future Palestinian generations, and bear a moral responsibility for the terror and its victims." -- from this news article
There is a direct connection between the fate of Israel and the fate of Western Europe. If Israel is forced back, and the Arabs sense that they can finally eliminate the humiliating -- to them, as Muslims -- fact of an Infidel nation-state in the heart of the Dar al-Islam, Muslim triumphalism will be fantastic.
And this will not sate, as some so devoutly and naively think, Arab Muslim appetites. Rather, it will do exactly the opposite. It will whet them for further triumphs, further conquests.
Those states, those NGOS, those individuals, in Western Europe include newspapers, radio, and television whose reporters and editorialists on the Middle East have steadily misrepresented the Lesser Jihad against Israel as a "nationalist" struggle, and have accepted, even parroted, every twist and turn of "Palestinian" and other Arab propaganda. In many ways those who have in the Middle East gone native often monopolize those newspapers, radio stations, and television channels on Middle Eastern matters.
They have seen only that, in the immediate area of Israel, it is the "Palestinians" who seem to be the weaker party, and the Israelis who seem to be more powerful. But this is an optical illusion, for if the camera pulls back, one sees the vast Arab lands, the vast Arab wealth, the vast Arab effort. And if one pulls the camera back still further, one sees the even larger Muslim world that does the Arab bidding, with countries just as viciously anti-Israel as are the Arabs -- unless the regime in power is secular, as was the Shah of Iran, or the Kemalists in Turkey, where Muslim solidarity frays.
And those Western reporters -- including those in such countries as the Netherlands and Denmark -- have blackened Israel's name in a thousand ways, little and big, as Israel merely tries, and with amazing, unimaginable scrupulosity, to limit its responses. What country, being made war on, supplies electricity and gas to its mortal enemies, as Israel does? Israel also gives all kinds of goods and services, and even offers free and advanced medical care to thousands upon thousands of "Palestinians" who come from Gaza and the "West Bank" to Israeli hospitals. After that, having received care equal to that given to Israelis, and even having had their lives saved, those “Palestinians” return to, or never drop, their fanatical hatred of those who have given them, unstintingly, that medical care.
Those in Denmark and in the Netherlands who fear for the future of their own countries, and who recognize the meaning, and menace, of Islam as a Total Belief-System, and therefore the threat of a rising Muslim population, should not think -- and many in that vanguard do not think -- that throwing Israel to the wolves, that helping its Arab and Muslim enemies, that overlooking the intent of those enemies and excusing their murder and mayhem, now and in the future, will buy Western Europe time, or somehow make it safer. It won't.
Israel, and all Infidel lands, but especially, at the moment, the states of Western Europe, are in the same boat. Or rather, in the same ships, in the same besieged fleet. And the passengers on all those ships suffer from the same fact -- that none of the captains, and few of those on the crews, that is, the people in charge of making sure that the ships and its passengers are safe, at this point inspire confidence. Some among the passengers -- see the manifest, and you will recognize their names -- may need to stage a kind of mutiny, and seize control, before it is too late.
The launch of the giant new clock tower in Makkah could establish the site as alternative time zone to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for the world’s Muslims. Saudi Arabia is hoping that the landmark project will encourage Muslims to set their watches to the time shown on the faces that sit more than 400m over the Holy Haram courtyard of Islam’s holiest site, AFP has reported.
The clock, which sits in a tower that will be the world’s second highest building on completion, has four faces of high-tech composite tiles, each more than 46 metres across. Each face is six times larger in diameter than London’s Big Ben. Someone has already pointed out that Big Ben is the bell, not the clock. The tower is St Stephen's Tower, hence the St Stephens Tavern opposite.
Around 250 workers are completing welding work on the clock’s frame. Around two million LED lights will light the phrase ‘In the Name of Allah” in Arabic on the clock faces, and some 21,000 flashing green and white coloured lights will be visible from as far as 30 kilometres away, to signal prayer-times. On special occasions, 16 vertical flashlights will be sent 10 kilometres into the sky.
Manningham belongs to Muslims. We don’t want whites.
From the Telegraph and Argus, h/t jc
A teenager who stabbed and slashed a passer-by in a racially motivated attack has been locked up for five years.
Amir Rehman, 18, shouted racial abuse as 51-year-old Ronald O’Connor walked to a shop for a loaf of bread, near the gates of Lister Park, Manning-ham, last December. Leeds Crown Court was told Rehman shouted out: “Manningham belongs to Muslims. We don’t want whites. We rule Bradford. We are going to get you out.”
Mr O’Connor had surgery at Bradford Royal Infirmary for a deep laceration to his palm. He also suffered lacerations to his fingers and two incisions to his upper arm with apparent nerve damage.
Mr Gioserano said Rehman attended Bradford Crown Court for a preliminary hearing of the case in March, but went straight from court to Pudsey, with two other men, Amar Farooq and Tanveer Hussain, where, later in the day, they committed a series of robberies on children on their way home from school. During the street muggings some of the youngsters were threatened with being stabbed, though no knife was seen.
The judge, Recorder David Bradshaw, told Rehman he had committed an unprovoked attack on an innocent man causing “horrendous” injuries. He said: “I am satisfied it was accompanied by racial abuse and seemed to have a racial motive.”
My father-in-law was born in Manningham by the family left when he was a baby. I take exception at the suggestion that my husband and daughter would not be welcome at a place of significance in our family history.
When Oliver Twist asked for more, he meant food, not abstract pluralities. But the pluralities are coming thick and fast. In this week's TLS, Matthew Ingleby reviews Queer Dickens - Erotics, Families, Masculinities by the pluralistically monikered Holly Furneaux. "Families" doesn't quite fit in that title, being an ordinary sort of plural - such singularities abound:
In one persuasive chapter, Dickens's fiction is shown to present positive alternatives to the heteronormative family unit (in David Copperfield, for instance) resisting what Furneaux calls the "bio-logical" tendency in conventional narrative, and favouring the "elective affinities" of nurturing relationships of choice over deterministic blood ties.
Bio-logical? What the Dick-ens is that hyphen doing? And it is one of multiple hyphenations
The management of same-sex desire through in-lawing (Steerforth's musing on Copperfield's non-existent sister), the Victorian fantasy of a queer elsewhere in the colonies (Edwin Drood in Egypt) and the erotics of male nursing (Herbert Pocket's tender rehabillitation of Pip) provide fruitful topics for sensitively hisoricist ways into Dickens that seem to leave him intact and, at the same time, appreciably different.
Islamic Center of Murfreesboro Clears Own Board Member Rawash of Hamas Connections?
The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal published what purports to be news, that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro ‘cleared’ member Mosaad Rawash of any support for terrorist group, Hamas. Huh! This is after the disclosures made by investigator Steve Emerson about the contents of Rawash’s My Space page that lead to allegations by GOP Congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik during her recent losing primary campaign. Here is what the DNJ incredibly reported:
Mosaad Rowash will be returned to the center’s board after he was suspended in response to allegations by Republican congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik, who accused him of being a supporter of Hamas and “violent Jihad and martyrdom of Palestinians fighting against Israel.”
“We have contacted the appropriate law enforcement authorities and offered our full cooperation,” the Islamic Center’s statement says. “After a careful evaluation, it has been determined that Mr. Rowash did not violate any local, state, or federal laws by the postings on his MySpace account.
“Therefore, it has been deemed that these allegations are untrue and misleading.”
Rowash, one of four Islamic Center board members, did post a picture of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on his MySpace page several years ago, said Saleh Sbenaty, a member of the Islamic Center and MTSU engineering professor. At that point, Hamas was not listed as a terrorist organization and was not in conflict with Israel, he said.
Sbenaty said law enforcement agencies that investigated the site did not find anything in support of Hamas or any other organization. The picture of Yassin did not have a link to any other sites, and the Arabic did not translate well into English, he said.
How can the ICM clear a board member when it has a conflict of interest? The ICM board should have recused itself and waited until the Rutherford Sheriff’s office had concluded its independent investigations. The ICM board has no independence of mind, as it is compelled to protect a brother member of the ummah under suspicion. In accordance with Sharia, the ICM leaders are authorized to engage in religiously sanctioned dissimilitude or taqiyya in Arabic, to fool the infidel, when living in Dar al Hijrah, the realm of immigration.
A source informed us that when the DNJ reporter who broke the ICM ‘clearance’ story was questioned, the reporter indicated that they simply relied on the ICM news release. When pressed on why they didn’t check with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s office, the reporter indicated that ‘they’ knew what the Sheriff’s response might be. We have been informed that the Sheriff’s office is still investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, we noticed that Rawash’s MySpace page has been scrubbed clean of the incriminating evidence on his support for Hamas that Emerson had uncovered. Moreover, the You Tube video of the January 2009 protest organized by ICM leaders in support of Hamas against the War in Gaza has been taken down. We understand that knowledgeable counterterrorism experts consider the greater Nashville area to be the third most active area for the Muslim Brotherhood in America.
This is an appalling lapse in journalistic professional standards by the DNJ and its editors. It is no wonder that Americans find Gannett publications like the DNJ, Tennesseean and national paper, USA Today, suitable only for wrapping fish.
Meanwhile courageous independent local papers like The Rutherford Reader seeking to inform, as well as advertise products and services of local merchants and vendors publish critical information that the local community finds of value. Something Orwellian is going on in Middle Tennessee. The Tennessean and the Daily News Journal are simply not upholding journalistic standards when they convey news releases instead of investigating the story and confirming the facts. One wonders how the DNJ will report the proceedings upcoming County Commission meeting on Thursday, August 12th. As the line goes in the antic comic film, Ghostbusters: ‘who are ya gonna trust?”
Rifqa Bary with attorneys Angela Lloydand Erik Henry
This morning Franklin County Juvenile Court Magistrate Mary Goodrich released Christian convert Rifqa Bary from juvenile supervision, ending hearings regarding possible reunion with her Muslim parents, Mohammed and Aysha, illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka. Judge Mary Goodrich who had ruled in Rifqa’s favor on August 5th had wished her “happy birthday” reaching her majority on this her 18th birthday.
Former Muslim United President, Nonie Darwish added her birthday best wishes to Bary. Darwish welcomed her to consider becoming a member of the group advocating human and civil rights for those who leave Islam in the face of death Fatwas under Sharia.
Still outstanding is the matter of Bary’s application for special juvenile immigration status as an abused underage minor based on filings from her attorneys regarding abuse by her parents, as well as, evidence concerning death threats made against her for her apostasy under Sharia.
Gag orders were lifted so that Rifqa and her attorneys could make statements. Bary wisely chose to remain silent waiting to speak publicly at a more propitious time. The spunky, and brilliant young woman has been through a lot this past year since fleeing her parents’ home in Columbus, Ohio in July, 2009 to be given sanctuary in Orlando by Pastors Beverly and Blake Lorenz. The Lorenzes paid the price when they were fired by their own Church, in part, because of their selfless act of sheltering the teenage runaway. The public series of juvenile court hearings in Florida and Ohio have made Bary’s saga a compelling story about the plight of those who by personal choice leave Islam, often with a history of abuse. Rifqa’s plight was complicated by the discovery and treatment of uterine cancer by surgery and chemotherapy leaving her hopefully cancer free. This is disputed by her estranged Muslim parents seeking more chemotherapy sessions.
The Columbus Dispatch noted the scene in the Franklin County courtroom and the comments of her counsel, Attorneys Angels Lloyd and Kort Gatterdam about the case, pending immigration status matter and Rifqa’s possible future.
Rifqa has decided not to talk to the media immediately, her attorneys said.
“She has suffered so much, and there have been so many traumatic events at this time,” attorney Angela Lloyd said. “She’s just not ready to make a statement.”
Lloyd and Rifqa’s other attorney, Kort Gatterdam, declined to provide details on where Rifqa will live or what she will do next.
But it appears Rifqa has missionary work in mind.
“She looks forward to ‘preaching the word to all the nations,’ ” Lloyd said.”And those are her words.”
She’s “trying to be Rifqa Bary, the Christian evangelist who’s ready to go out and change the world.”
Gatterdam said he was ready for a trial with ample evidence to back Rifqa’s accusations that her parents threatened and physically abused her from a very young age. He said authorities didn’t find wrongdoing on her parents’ part because the investigations didn’t go far enough. He and Lloyd declined to comment on her immigration status or attempts to secure a visa.
Rifqa’s parents released a bizarre statement given the ruling by Judge Goodrich that reconciliation was not possible, accusing Florida Governor Charlie Crest of engaging in ‘politics’ and racial bigotry but holding open the possible of reconciliation.
The Columbus Dispatch Report noted what appears to be a political statement prepared by their CAIR-supplied counsel:
After the hearing, they released a statement that said this to Rifqa: “No matter what has happened, you will always be our daughter, we love you, and the door will always be open if you want to have a relationship with us.”
They expressed concern that Rifqa, who was diagnosed with uterine cancer, has chosen not to undergo chemotherapy. They criticized Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, saying he used the case to gain political benefit with “his extreme right-wing base of support” despite great damage to the family.
“The sad reality is that when our daughter’s usefulness has been used up for the political agenda of xenophobia and religious bigotry, when they have moved on to other ways of putting Islam and immigrants on trial, then they will not care about Rifqa Bary anymore. But she will still be our daughter and we will be happy to reconcile with her and heal our broken family.”
Let us hope that Ms Bary will flourish with her new found freedom and security whatever and wherever her career plans take her.