The RCMP arrested two men Monday in connection with an “al-Qaeda-inspired” plan to attack a Via Rail train in the Toronto area, which they said could have led to innocent people being killed or injured. An international investigation disrupted the scheme before there was an “imminent threat” to the public, said James Malizia, an RCMP assistant commissioner, told a news conference.
The two accused, Chiheb Esseghaier, from Montreal, and Raed Jaser, from Toronto, were charged with conspiring to carry out an attack and commit murder at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group. The men are not Canadian citizens but police refused to say how they came to be in this country or where they are from originally.
The plan received “direction and guidance” from an element of al-Qaeda based in Iran, said the force, refusing to elaborate. That connection with the Islamic terrorist organization made the plot particiularly significant, said Asst. Supt. Malizia
A tip from a Toronto imam sparked (the) investigation that culminated in the arrests of two men who allegedly plotted to derail a Via passenger train.
The imam alerted authorities more than a year ago about a person he regarded as an extremist who was corrupting youth in his community. The actual imam who phoned in the initial tip to authorities remains anonymous. But community sources confirm his involvement.
The men were taken into custody Monday in Montreal and Toronto. They face several criminal charges, including plotting murder, terrorist recruitment and terrorism.
The nation’s top counterterrorism police officials briefed reporters about the arrest Monday, but not before they made a point of summoning about 20 leaders of Toronto’s Islamic community to a meeting. The message from authorities to the Muslim community? Thank you for a helping hand.
“The first comment they made, and they encouraged us to make it a talking point, is that, but for the Muslim community’s intervention, we may not have had the success we’ve had,” said Hussein Hamdani, a lawyer who was invited to the pre-briefing. Because the Toronto suspect was allegedly seen trying to spread extremist propaganda to youth, the imam felt obliged to alert the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and RCMP to these activities. Alarmed by Mr. Jaser’s “attempts to approach young Muslims,” the imam “took the initiative to notify the authorities.”
It is unknown how Mr. Esseghaier and Mr. Jaser met or began hatching the alleged plot. What is known suggests contrasting backgrounds.
Born in Tunis, Tunisia, Mr. Esseghaier came to Canada in the summer of 2010. His first stop was Sherbrooke, Que, where he arrived at Jean-Luc Brodeur’s apartment building at 2748 Galt looking for a place to live. Mr. Brodeur said the young man spoke impeccable French and told him he would be studying at the University of Sherbrooke.
Mr. Esseghaier kept to himself during his short stay and caused no trouble, Mr. Brodeur said. He moved to Montreal in November that year to continue his studies . . . (at) the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in a Montreal suburb . . . Mr. Esseghaier joined a laboratory group to study optical and electrochemical biosensors. He was working toward a PhD. Mr. Esseghaier was recalled as a serious man who spent long days in the lab, often leaving campus at 9 p.m. Nothing in Mr. Esseghaier’s behaviour raised suspicions, said two fellow students who declined to give their names. Both said they hadn’t seen him on the campus for several months, perhaps since before Christmas.
Far less is known about Mr. Esseghaier’s alleged partner. Yellow police tape surrounded the east-end Toronto duplex where Mr. Jaser is believed to live Monday evening, as a white RCMP truck and a Toronto police cruiser stood parked outside. .. next-door neighbour Sanjay Chaudhary told reporters on his doorstep. “I never saw anything suspicious,” He described his neighbours, a man and a woman in their 30s, as reserved, never saying hello on their shared driveway.
The couple kept their blinds constantly closed and left their home each morning around 5 a.m. for Islamic prayers, Mr. Chaudhary said. They would generally return about an hour later. Mr. Chaudhray doesn’t believe the man worked. He said his neighbour was about five feet, 10 inches tall, chubby, with a long, dark beard that hit mid-chest. Mr. Chaudhary said the man’s wife was covered head to toe in black, only exposing her eyes.
For Mr. Chaudhary, one event stands out. Last spring, around May and June, he recalls about five or six men in their 30s were at the home constantly, sitting outside in the backyard, eating and “partying” with the couple on Fridays. And then, after about a month, the visitors were gone.
The arrests come at a time of heightened public concern over terrorism following the bombings in Boston as well as recent revelations over the involvement of radicalized Canadian youths in overseas terrorist groups.
When I was young banks were as solid as a rock and those who managed them were respectable if slightly boring members of the community (probity being the dullest of virtues). Nowadays, however, I doubt that the words ‘bank’ or ‘banker’ would evoke many flattering epithets or synonyms in a word association test. ‘Casino,’ ‘Ponzi scheme’ or ‘card-sharp’ would perhaps be the least unfavorable of them.
As is all too often the case, I cannot quite make up my mind whether my dislike of banks is purely rational or a manifestation of Man’s eternal search for a scapegoat. I really only began to object to my banks’ practices after the crisis became manifest. Until then I had been rather flattered that, when I was slightly overdrawn, the bank sent someone round to my house to ask if I wanted to borrow much more money; and when, within five minutes on another occasion, it offered to lend me a million dollars. How different this was from the days of my youth, when – not more than five dollars overdrawn – I received a stern letter of rebuke from the bank, highly moralistic in tone, telling me that it expected me to ‘correct’ this situation without delay.
Even before the crisis I had observed, more with amusement than in anger, some of the banks’ less principled practices. For example, when I sent what for me was a large sum from my bank in England to my bank in France, the sum was deducted immediately from my account in England without being credited to my account in France. In fact it was not so credited for a period of ten days: and I had fondly thought that we lived in the age of instantaneous electronic transfer! How, then, did the bank send the money? In centime pieces by carrier pigeon? Where was the money in the meantime? Did the sending and recipient banks go fifty-fifty on the profits of the delay, that is five days each? I bothered neither to inquire nor to complain. I am small, the banks are large and would never tell the truth in any case. Financially it didn’t matter to me.
I had an illustration of the banks’ lack of commitment to strict truth not long ago. I have an account in US dollars in England into which I pay US checks. I noticed that the bank took from the sum paid in what seems to me rather a large amount, indeed a considerable proportion of the smaller check. I went to the bank to inquire why this was.
‘Ah, yes,’ said the teller. ‘It’s interest.’
‘Interest!’ I exclaimed. ‘But I am paying money into the bank, not borrowing money from it. I am lending money to you, not the other way round.’
‘We credit your account straight away,’ said the teller smoothly. ‘but it sometimes takes up to six weeks for us to receive the money from America. So we have to charge interest on the six weeks period when you are credited.’
I overlooked the questions of why and how often it took six weeks for the money to arrive. I refrained from pointing out that the bank was in effect charging a rate of interest considerably in excess of 100 per cent a year on the smaller checks, and much more if the money arrived sooner than six weeks. I merely said that, since I was not in desperate need of immediate access to the money, I was content to wait the six weeks it took (or whatever period it was) for the money to be credited to my account.
‘Yes, you can do that,’ said the teller. ‘But then there is a fee.’
And by happy coincidence – happy, that is, for the bank – the fee for waiting was almost identical to the interest charged.
Well, you might say, there are other banks, and so there are. But the differences in their charges are so trifling – a little more here, a little less there – that it is not worthwhile even to work out which would be most economical, let alone go to the trouble of actually transferring one’s accounts from one bank to another.
In France, the banks seem happy enough to receive money into accounts but become very inquisitive about withdrawals, at least in cash. Then they demand to know what the money is for and to see your tax returns. Their motto is that money paid in is clean, but money drawn out is laundered. Again, by happy coincidence, the bureaucracy of withdrawal means that the money stays in the bank for a few days extra.
The world is what it has always been, a wicked place, and it is as well not to get too worked up about it, at least if you want a life that is anything other than wretched. And the fact is that, so far, my life has not been one jot or tittle the happier or the more miserable for the minor defalcations of banks in my regard. Luckily I am so small that I am not even worth swindling in a large way.
However, the recent events in Cyprus, with the scheme to expropriate a proportion of the depositors’ cash, might change this, if such expropriation becomes the wave of the future, as it might. No one had a good word to say for the scheme, which had the effect of undermining confidence in the banks in many countries, resuscitating anti-German feeling where it was never been far below the surface in any case, and caused tension between Russia and the rest of Europe, all for the sake of a few paltry billions (it is a sign of the times that we can place the words ‘paltry’ and ‘billions’ together without raising an eyebrow).
But I remember once hearing a distinguished professor of economics say in a lecture to laymen such as I that turning deposits, or at least a proportion of them, into equity was by far the best way to save banks. However, that was not the whole of his scheme to rescue the banking system. The banks would go temporarily bankrupt and the shareholders of the banks would lose all their money, 100 per cent of it. They would be wiped out, as are the shareholders of any other bankrupt company. The banks would then start up again immediately with the depositors becoming the new shareholders, but with smaller deposits. Eventually, if the banks were run properly, they, the depositors, might make a handsome profit.
The advantage of this scheme, said the professor, is that it would involve no government finance. Indeed, there would quite specifically be no government guarantees whatsoever for any future bank, for example by deposit insurance. (The Cypriot scheme partook of the worst of both worlds.) He went on to say that the advantages of his scheme would be not only economic but cultural, in the broadest sense: for the depositors and shareholders would take an active interest in the way their bank was run, keeping the management on the straight and narrow path that leads directly to financial solidity; while new depositors would inform themselves of the solidity of the bank into which they were about to place their money. Not only would there be a regime of caveat emptor, but of caveat depositor.
I could quite see all this: for I am at the mercy of the last economist I hear or read. But a still small voice located within the rear of my skull objected. I don’t really want to have to investigate the soundness of a bank before I entrust it with my tiny sums, I want to be able to do so thoughtlessly and yet with security. I don’t want to live a life of constant bewaredness, investigating the soundness or safety of everything, with tort law as my only means of redress. Voltaire said that the way to be a bore is to say everything; and the way to a paranoid personality is to trust nothing and investigate everything.
In Occupied Al-Andalus, Brave Ghazis Plot To Recover Muslim Land
Two al Qaeda suspects arrested in Spain
MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police arrested two men suspected of being linked to militant Islamist network al Qaeda, the government said in a statement on Tuesday.
One man, an Algerian, was arrested in the eastern province of Zaragoza and the other, a Morrocan, in the southern province of Murcia, after a joint operation between Spain, France and Morocco, the statement said.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry declined to give any further information.
Former 9/11 Commission Counsel Told US Senate Hearing Terrorists Manipulate Asylum System
Janice Kephart, Esq. former 9/11
Commission Legal Counsel and
National Security Fellow
Center for immigration Studies
Yesterday’s day long US Senate immigration reform hearing heard witness testimony from Janice Kephart, former legal counsel to the 9/11 Commission about the defects in our asylum system that has allowed terrorists to use this country as a venue of convenience. Ms. Kephart is a National Security Fellow at f the Washington, DC-based Center for immigration studies and a noted border security expert. She provided testimony on The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744 before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In our Iconoclast blog post we noted comments by Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch about instances of refugees morphing into home grown terrorists in our midst. She referred to less well known instances, than the recent spectacular Boston Marathon Massacre and WMD campaign perpetrated by the Tsarnaev brothers that has captured media attention. The explosions, running gun battles and murders resulted in four dead and more than 170 injuries many maimed for life with missing limbs.
Kephart,. . . testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that current asylum policy fails to screen for and deport foreign-born immigrants to America with affiliations to terrorist groups.
“Political asylum claims usually permit terrorists to do what they seek: buy time to live here freely,” Kephart said in prepared testimony.
[. . .]
Kephart, the national security fellow at the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, identified more than a dozen instances of asylum being used to keep immigrants with ties to extremist organizations in the United States between the early 1990s and 2005.
Syrian national Daoud Chehazeh came to the United States from Saudi Arabia in 2000. He was granted asylum in November 2012 after three failed attempts and despite reports that he facilitated travel for the September 11, 2001, hijackers and had contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, the former leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in 2011 by a drone strike in Yemen.
Ramzi Yousef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a nephew of Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, also used asylum status to remain in the United States prior to his successful attack, Kephart said. Yousef is currently serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the first Trade Center attack.
Nuradin Abdi, a Somali national, received asylum in 1999. He was convicted in September 2007 of conspiracy to provide material supports to terrorists.
“My work on the 9/11 Commission made it clear that terrorists need travel documents for movement at some point during their journey here as much as they need weapons for operations,” Kephart said in written testimony. “Once within U.S. borders, terrorists seek to stay.”
It was revealed Monday that the FBI had been unaware of a trip one of the Boston bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, made to Russia in 2011 because his name in a computer database was misspelled.
Senator Charles Schumer (D., NY), one of the architects of the immigration reform, asked Kephart whether the bill’s requirement that passports be swiped at entry to and exit from the United States would have made it easier for the government to track Tsarnaev’s travel.
What Does It Mean For A Muslim To Be "Radicalized"?
Tamerlan became "radicalized." Muslims here, there, everywhere, who attack, or plan to attack but are caught in time, are all Muslims, apparently, who have been "radicalized."
But not one of those who uses this term, on the radio, on television, in print, nor any of the interviewers who hear some "terrorism expert" self-assuredly -- a little too quickly -- use the term "radicalized" ever asks the obvious question: what exactly does that word mean? What are the passages in the Qur'an that others had forgotten and Tamerlan noticed, what the stories of Muhammad's deeds and sayings in the "authentic" Hadith that a billion Musilms ignored, but Tamerlan and others "radicalized" discovered, what are the newly-discovered details in the Sira (the Muslim biographies of Muhammad), that suddenly were brought to the attention of Tamerlan, or to the attention of thouands, tens of thousanhds, of would-be Mulsim terrorists, hat no other Muslims had known about before?
The answer is: there are none. The Qur'anic passages, the stories in the Hadith, the details of Muhammad's life set down in the Sira, that so inspired Tamerlan, and so many others who have committed or plotted to commit murder or mass murder against Infidels -- at the Atocha station in Madrid, by the side of a canal in Amsterdam, in the London Underground and on a London Transport bus, at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, at a newspaper office in Denmark and a cartoonist's house in Sweden, at the house of a Norwegian, a Japanese,a (fill in whatever nationality you wish) translator, in northern Nigeria, in southern Sudan over fifty years of mass murder and deliberate starvation,in Moscow at a theatre filled with spectators, in Beslan in southern Russian, in Mumbai, in Delhi, in so many other places in India where Muslim attacks never make it outside of the local Indian papers, in the southern Philippines, in southern Thailand, on the streets of cities in Xinjiang, everywhere that Muslims can, they attack non-Muslims and plot to attack them. And their inspiration is not a Qur'an, nor Hadiths, nor a Sira, different from that read by Muslims all over the world. And it is clear from the constant attempts to prevent Infidels from realizing this, the most absurd attempts -- Islam "had nothing to do" with this attack, or that attack, or that attack, or that attack -- the Muslims living in the West who, of course, wish to prevent the non-Muslims among whom they have been allowed to settle to ever come to the stark realization that the texts of Islam, the tenets of Islam, constitute a permanent danger to the wellbeing -- the physical security -- of all non-Muslims, and that to the extent that any Believer takes seriously, takes to heart, those texts, those teachings, and is prepared to act on them, that Believer becomes more dangerous than other Believers.
But those other Believers, the ones who when answering, in unguarded fashion, various opinion polls, show their support for the imposition of Sharia everywhere, show a willingness to support, or not to condemn, acts of Muslim terror, and exhibit a frightening constellation of beliefs and attitudes that, if non-Muslims were only paying attention (and not allowing themselves to pretend, as so many do, that it is only a "handful of extremists" who are the threat), would cause them to demand the complete cessation of Musilm immigration, and further demands to figure out ways to make our societies not open and friendly to Islam, but deliberately hostile to it, so that it has no chance to spread its tentacles, to inveigle the psychically and socially marginal to convert to Islam, or others, apparently having no mental or emotional ballast, and sexually attracted to this or that Muslim -- like the pathetic Katherine Russell, who fell hard for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and ended up working 80 hours a week so that Tamerlen could spend time at home, with their daughter and his pressure-cookers.
Why is there no clamor, no demand, that those who prate about "radicalization" tell us in what way the "radicals" depend on texts that are different from those with which all other Muslims are familiar? And why is there no clamor for an intelligent linking of violent Jihad, terrorism, to all the other ways that the exact same goals of Jihad -- that is, the "struggle" to ensure that everywhere Islam dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere -- are shared by all good Muslims, and it is only the bad Musliims, the unobservant Muslims, the ones who are embarrased by the doctrines but lack the courage to leave Islam, and in refusing to leave it, swell Muslim ranks and perceived Muslim power, and still worse, by lying -- it's called Taqiyya or Kitman - about the Faith so as to protect it (and, self-interestedly, protect their own positions in the West) -- about Islam, help to prolong the deception and self-deception of unwary non-Muslims, which weakens their will and prevents them from taking adequate measures of self-defense.
The next time anyone uses the word "radicalization" ask them what they mean by that? What different texts, what different beliefs, did Tamerlan , or Nihad of the Fort Hood massacre, or the two men in Canada just picked up, or the assorted Pakistanis who were behind the bombings in London, or the Chechens in Moscow, or the North Africans in Spain, or....well, you get the idea, the one thing that links all these people is Islam, not a strange Islam unkonwn to all other Muslims, but perfectly orthodox Islam.
If Muslims choose to partiicpate in Jihad using other means, such as the "money weapon" (those rich Gulf Arabs, especially from Saudi Arabia, who pay for mosques and imams in Bosnia, or in Niger, or in the United States) -- what is Al Jazeera if not the propaganda outlet of the Emir of Qatar, who in LIbya, in Egypt, and in Syria, has not hestitated to deliver money and weapons and other kinds of support to members of the Ikhwan, the Muslim Brotherhood?. Or they particiipate in the Jihad of "pen, tongue" -- that is, propaganda, designed to fool Infidels. And example after example -- think of Dzhokar Tsasrnaev, having coolly set his bomb and seen the effects of its explosion, on a Monday, then going down to his university, to go to the gym, to see his pals, possibly to pick up or leave off something in a dorm room, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, on Thursday, the coolest of Muslim cucumbers. Or think of all the other masters of deception -- why, so very many Muslims, of even the most ordinary untrained kind, exhibit an extraordinary ability to deceive that is far beyond all but the absolute masters in the secret servides of the West.
Those who work to ensure the triumph of Islam through terrorism share exactly the same goals as those who work for its triumph through other means. Why should we allow ourselves to keep pretending there is some kind of special Islam, a deformed Islam, unknown to or shunned by all those Muslims who haven't openly used terrorism as their immediate weapon (even if in so many ways they lend support to, or create an atmosphere which makes it easier for, acts of Muslim terrorism to be planned and, in some cases, carried out)? There is no such special version of Islam.
Make sure, when that word "radicalized" or "radicalization" is used, that you demand details, demand that the person using it spells out exactly what he means. And then ask him why he thinks that we need not worry if the same goals are worked for by instruments of Jihad other than terrorism.
Muslims Kill Christians In Egypt, America Pays The Bills
From (amazingly) The Huffington Post:
Egypt Persecutes Christians and Americans Pay the Bill
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood's governing majority, is not actually crucifying the nation's Christians. But they are nonetheless actively persecuting Coptic Christians who are said to be one-tenth of the population of the largest Arab country. A photograph of two young men set afire during recent demonstrations is pretty striking.
Demonstrations have turned into riots as Egypt's police cracked down on the Copts. The Copts were protesting against increasing sectarian violence directed at the country's Christian minority.
Typically, what has been happening is the Copts protest against Islamist violence directed at them and their churches. St. Mark's Cathedral has been the target of Muslim extremists in recent week. When the Copts face police, they get tear gassed. And then they are the ones arrested. The Muslim Brotherhood authorities will pick up Coptic youth -- hopefully the ones not yet set on fire -- and jail them.
Then, the police grab some of the Islamists perpetrators and jail them. Later, following a much-ballyhooed "reconciliation," the authorities release all -- perpetrators and victims alike. Christian Magdy Saber described the phony process in an interview with the online Daily News of Egypt, an English language source.
"This is a natural consequence of the reconciliation between Muslims and Christians in Al-Khasous and what some priests agreed to," said Magdy Saber, vice head of the union's media committee. "It brings us back to the old bargaining scenario [under Mubarak] where the criminals are released."
Saber said that this method has long been used in any sectarian conflict. "Reconciliation sessions take place followed by Coptic arrests. Then both the Copts and the criminals are simultaneously released to end the conflict."
Police used tear gas against the Copts. It is tear gas sold to Egypt by American firms. In addition to foreign aid -- most recently a $250 million increase offered by Sec. of State John Kerry -- our State Department has approved sale of this "non-lethal " crowd control agent to the Muslim Brotherhood governing party.
The Christian Copts of Egypt are divided among themselves, unfortunately. Some want the Egyptian military to exercise greater control over the actions of the Islamists aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. But others remember what they call the Maspero Massacre of 2011 in which armored personnel carriers drove over Coptic protesters in an action reminiscent of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army mowing down student pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Egypt's Al Ahram online site, English version, carried these comments by Coptic activists:
"Copts are split between those who want the military back for protection and those who still remember the military tanks that ran over Coptic bodies only last year," said Coptic political activist Sally Toma, referring to the "Maspero massacre" in which 24 Copts were killed.
"The country's general chaos is causing everything to escalate and allows a radical Muslim ideology to propagate violence," said biomedical engineer Karim Samuel, a Copt. "I sometimes sit on the Metro [subway] next to men reading the Koran. I wonder if they really understand what they're reading or do they blindly follow sheiks."
He paused and calculated the political math against his faith and other minorities.
"Morsi and the Brotherhood don't care about Copts, liberals or leftists," Samuel said. "I don't know what we can do as a Christian community."
It is, to be sure, a most confused and confusing situation in Egypt. But this much should be clear: American taxpayers are underwriting a regime that has little concern for fundamental human rights. We are shoveling billions to Egypt in the naïve belief that they are moving toward democracy.
Is Egypt moving towards democracy? Pew polls and other opinion surveys regularly report that as many as 84 percent of Egyptians today say anyone who leaves Islam should be killed. [and these are the ordinary Muslims, the ones who have not been "radicalized"]Believing that,how can they have a democracy?
The Obama administration has never explained how it makes sense for Americans to borrow billions from China to give it to a government in Egypt that is rolling over its own citizens and turning a blind eye to those of its backers who are burning Coptic churches, shooting them down, and setting them on fire.
We may not be able to protect the Copts of Egypt, but we surely should not be helping their
persecutors. If the Morsi administration begins to crucify the Copts, will we pay for the nails?
Why are things different now? The doctrine of Jihad wasn't suddenly invented. It's been the same, more or less, for 1350 years. So what happened to make things so very different? Well, some might point to the end of "colonialism." They might note that the French, after forty years in Morocco and Tunisia, withdrew from both by the mid-1950s, and from Algeria in 1962. They might note that the British garrisons in Aden and elsewhere along the Persian Gulf had been withdrawn, largely for financial reasons (Philip Larkin wrote a poem about it with the memorable line about "the Light Horse of LSE"). But that is not the main thing.
No, the main things which permitted the Jihad to be more than a dim and unattainable (because completely impractical) notion, save in the case of the immediate, local, small-scale Lesser Jihad against Israel, were three:
1) The OPEC oil bonanza. Inshallah-fatalism prevents Arab and Muslim countries from economic development. So they managed to acquire gigantic sums in the only way they possibly could -- by accident. That accident of geology has allowed nearly a dozen Arab states to be the recipients of the largest transfer of wealth in human history; OPEC countries have received $10 trillion (in 2006 dollars) in the past one-third of a century. How have they spent it? On wage-slaves, foreigners who come to do all the work. On palaces for the corrupt ruling families and their corrupt courtiers. Play your cards right and you may share the wealth, even if you are not a prince, princeling, or princelette of the Al-Saud family, but a lowly Bin Laden from Yemen, working your way up as a contractor, or a Khashoggi and so many others like him whose "business" began by his being the middleman in arms deals. And there are so many fixers and middlemen in the Arab Gulf states and Saudi Arabia -- for that is how the large fortunes are made. On armaments -- hundreds of billions of dollars in arms, going to the Muslim states, which are the biggest buyer of foreign arms, year after year, in the world. And mosques, in London and Rome and Paris, and all over the Western world (and the Islamic world too). And madrasas. And campaigns of Da'wa, through generous donations. And Stinger missiles, and guns, and all sorts of things for the training camps in Afghanistan for the Taliban (also helped by generous Saudi donations). And armies of Western hirelings bought up directly or indirectly -- public relations experts, former government officials (especially diplomats), journalists, academics. See the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, see the assorted King Abdul Aziz professors and Guardian of the Two Noble Sanctuaries Professors, see the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, see Durham, see Exeter, see Georgetown, see the Edward Said Professorship (Rashid Khalidi, discovered after a "nationwide" search).
2) The millions of Muslims negligently permitted to settle within various countries of Western Europe, deep behind what those Muslims are taught to regard (by Islam itself) as enemy lines: the lines that once defined Dar al-Harb, the House of War or otherwise expressed, the Bilad al-kufr, or Lands of the Infidels. These now tens of millions of Muslims aggressively pursue demands for changes in local laws and mores, in every way -- in dress, in family law, in separation of men and women, in the rights which individuals can possess (freedom of speech, free exercise of conscience). They are prepared to exploit the freedoms, political and civil, created by and for the Infidels. Muslims have shown that while the Infidel political system is antipathetic to them (for it locates political power in the consent of the governed, and not in the will of Allah, expressed in the Qur'an as glossed by the stories in the Hadith), they do not hesitate to exploit it. Nor do they hesitate to exploit the very guarantees of rights that they would, if they came to dominate, do away with.
3) The exploitation of technological advances made by Infidels, but used to spread the full disturbing message of Islamic jihad. Thus the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers used audiocassettes of his speeches, recorded by him in Neauphle-le-chateau. They disseminated throughout Iran while the Shah still ruled. Thus the videocassettes of decapitations of Infidels, and attacks on American soldiers, that have been distributed all over as recruitment tools for the Jihad -- apparently, the gorier the better. Thus the use of satellite channels to disseminate hatred of the Infidels -- chiefly, but by no means only, Israel and the United States; Denmark has come in for its share, and France for banning the hijab in schools. Any Infidel state or people can expect to be the subject of such a campaign at any time if they dare not to yield to Muslim demands for changes in Infidel rights and laws. And finally, the use of the Internet -- a creation of Infidels, exploited by Muslims to wage a war of dominance and subjugation against those very Infidels.
Those are the three new developments.
Jihad itself is not new. It is very old. It is permanent. One cannot end it. One can work to undo the conditions -- the oil wealth, the unchecked Muslim presence in the Infidel lands, and the exploitation of Western technology by Muslims -- that have made the worldwide Jihad (with many local expressions and theatres of conflict) a reality.
Undoing the past thirty or forty or fifty years, with the wilfully ignorant replaced by the well-prepared (those who have fully informed themselves about Islam) so that Muslims will still continue to work for Jihad but with much of the menacing wherewithal stripped from them -- that should be the collective goal of all intelligent and informed Infidels.
Shimon Samuels at the Simon Weisenthal Centre in Paris said: “At 7am this morning, an Iranian screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ attacked a rabbi and his son with a cutter outside his synagogue in the 9th district of Paris (the Beth-El synagogue). . . Mr Samuels continued: “After a chase into the synagogue and then back into the street, the assailant was reportedly apprehended by passers - by and the police. The rabbi suffered cuts to his throat, his son was stabbed in the back. They were immediately hospitalised and are now out of danger.”
The rabbi was identified Philippe Baroukh, 50. Baroukh and his son, 18, were stabbed in the neck, according to French newspaper Le Monde.
Eyewitnesses said the attacker was a deranged man who had escaped from a local psychiatric facility. The suspect, 28, was detained by witnesses at the scene until police arrived and taken into custody.
The Lord & Taylor Connection: Conspiracy Theorists All Over The Muslim World Should Hop To It
From thepatch.com for 2012:
7:42 p.m.: Loss prevention from Lord & Taylor called to report they had detained a shoplifter. Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva, 45, of 410 Norfolk St., Apt. 3, Cambridge, was arrested and charged with larceny over $250 (women's clothing valued at $1,624), and two counts of malicious/wanton damage/defacement to property.
The main Lord & Taylor store in the Boston area is right across from the finish-line on Boylston Street for the Boston Marathon. And it was security cameras at Lord & Taylor that caught on camera the two Tsarnaev brothers.
Obviously the whole thing was a setup, designed by a capitalist corporation (and who do you think owns it?) to get innocent Muslims in trouble, in order to get their revenge on Zubeidat Tsarnaeva. And if people were maimed or killed -- well, that's the ruthless capitalism of Infidels.
And the brothers were clearly set up by those heartless plotters and profiteers. By Lord. And by Taylor.
Times Editorialists Might Study Those At The Trentonian
From The Trentonian (Trenton, N.J.), April 23, 2013:
Trentonian Editorial: Terror apologists
The public scolds who serve as the self-appointed hallway monitors of diversity were quick, as always, to speak up.
The very moment the bomb was placed next to the child and detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line, the stern diversity monitors were wagging their fingers.
Now don’t you go jumping to conclusions, they admonished.
Too late. Everybody already had jumped.
The thought that immediately flashed across everyone’s mind — including the diversity monitors themselves, let’s face it — was: “Uh oh. Whackjob Islamic extremists. Again.”
And that thought flashed across minds not entirely without reason, due to a wariness attributable to experience.
Nobody, mind you, was saying that all Muslims are whackjob extremists or even that most of them are. Just that some are. More than enough to make one wary.
Nobody was saying that the rule of law should be suspended or that Muslims’ rights should be abridged.
But the hallway diversity monitors jumped to their own conclusions, that latent Islamophobia, lurking just below the surface of the American psyche, was on the verge of a wrathful, volcanic eruption.
Therefore, nobody dare acknowledge what’s now common knowledge: That there’s a problematic, menacing, Islamic-based view festering in the world with an aggressive intolerance at its rotten core. Not in every Muslim heart, indeed in only a relative few [how does he know this? Here we must part company] as measured against the whole. But in enough Muslim hearts to risk spreading the poison of fear and mistrust against the entire faith. Muslims of goodwill thereby have every bit as much at stake in this matter, maybe more, than those the extremists denounce as infidels.
And there’s not just an aggressive intolerance at the rotten core of Islamist zealotry. There’s a triumphalist intolerance. It holds that the faith must prevail over all others, that there’s an affirmative obligation — a duty commanded by Allah — to prevail by whatever forceful means are deemed necessary.
All religions (atheism too) skirt danger in asserting — as a certainty — knowledge of the unknowable in extensive detail. But at least the world’s other major faiths long ago largely managed to mostly rid themselves of the triumphalist impulse.
Not the whackjob sector of Islamism, however. Check out the many, many ongoing, hateful, routine tirades of sermonizing imams translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. Check out the Ku Klux Klan-like charter of Hamas. No deep digging is required to reach a level of toxic mindset, a toxic mindset such as has not afflicted the world on such a scale since the ascendant days of the Third Reich.
Yet we are exhorted to avert our gaze from this conspicuous grotesquery and admonished about OUR dark impulses.
Lamenting an anti-Islam “double standard,” Qasim Rashid, spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said: “Who asked what religion Adam Lanza was?”
Obvious answer: Nobody did, because his religion was not at the root of that whackjob’s foul deed. Islamic terrorists draw attention to their faith by proclaiming their foul deeds to have been inspired and commanded by it, and by exhorting others to do likewise.
It’s not entirely known, yet, that the elder brother of the Boston Marathon bombing duo was motivated by Islamic zealotry. But any news that he was will come as no surprise, given his sharp turn in that direction as family and acquaintances describe.
Meanwhile, an “expert” at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Marisa Porges, urges us to mind our diversity p’s and q’s — unlike, ahem, the openly gay-bashing, virulently anti-female, truculently anti-Semitic adherents of Islamism.
In the course of such counsel, this expert acknowledges: “Muslims are often” — often! — “the primary targets for jihadist recruiting.”
Did we miss the news that Islamist extremists are equal opportunity employers recruiting among the Episcoplains, Quakers, Unitarians, Jews? That the Islamic extremists are looking only for the most qualified candidates without regard to race or creed to assemble explosives and dispatch the infidel Crusaders and Zionists?
Tolerance of Radical Islam may be the â€œSuicide Belt of Political Correctnessâ€�
Last weekend in the wake of the shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers resulting in the death of Tamerlan and subsequent capture of Dzhokhar, the Boston Globe published an article in the Metro Section, “Islam might have had secondary role in Boston attacks”. The author, Ms. Lisa Wangness, paints a picture that Muslim extremist religiosity was only one thread in a complex tapestry of influences that may have driven the Tsarnaev brothers to commit their explosive Jihad on Patriots Day. She noted:
.. scholars cautioned Friday against concluding that the Tsarnaevs’ motives were purely religious. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a firefight with police early Friday morning, appeared to sympathize with Islamic extremists agitating for Chechen independence from Russia.
But family, neighbors, friends, and social media sources painted a complex picture of the brothers’ religiosity.
“The story that seems to be developing here is more along the lines of standard alienated man goes out and commits atrocities, much more like the school shootings we’ve seen than organized Islamic insurgency,” said Yuri Zhukov, a fellow at the Program on Global Society and Security at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center who studies extremism in the Caucasus.
[. . .]
Monica Duffy Toft, a professor at the University of Oxford said:
I think these are two young men who never adapted. It’s a combination of nationalism mixed with self-styled jihadism, and some young men who had a hard time adapting to American culture.
Powerline took issue with the Boston Globe article in a blog post by zeroing in on mosque attendance picking up on a Los Angeles Times article of Tamerlane’s attendance at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge:
Wangsness goes so far as to identify a Boston mosque the Tsarnaevs didn’t attend: “Neither suspect has been to Yusuf Mosque, nor would any such individuals be welcome here,” said Imam Ibrahim Rahim, leader of the mosque in Brighton. “Our hearts and prayers remain with the victims, the wounded, and their families.”
Well, did they attend a mosque? What mosque did they attend? What do worshipers at the mosque remember about them? Wangsness doesn’t go there.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Tsarnaevs attended services at the Islamic Center of Boston mosque in Cambridge near their apartment. The Times had no difficulty in finding members who recalled them:
At the Cambridge mosque near where the bombing suspects lived, two worshipers who showed up for Saturday’s prayer service recalled seeing both men.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was thrown out of the mosque — the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center — about three months ago, after he stood up and shouted at the imam during a Friday prayer service, they said. The imam had held up slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of a man to emulate, recalled one worshiper who would give his name only as Muhammad.
Enraged, Tamerlan stood up and began shouting, Muhammad said.
“You cannot mention this guy because he’s not a Muslim!” Muhammad recalled Tamerlan shouting, shocking others in attendance.
“He’s crazy to me,” Muhammad said. “He had anger inside.… I can’t explain what was in his mind.”
Tamerlan was then kicked out of the prayer service for his outburst, Muhammad recalled. “You can’t do that,” Muhammad said of shouting at the imam.
Still, Tamerlan returned to Friday prayer services and had no further outbursts, Muhammad said.
It’s all so complex.
Dr. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), in a Fox & Friends interview suggested that “Political Correctness may be our own suicide belt.” In the Fox News interview, Jacobs cites the extremist views of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s (ISBCC) radical Imam, William Sahib Webb, who was disinvited by Massachusetts Governor Darvel Patrick to speak at last Friday’s Interfaith service at Boston’s Holy Cross Cathedral. Both Governor Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino had enthusiastically embraced the ISBCC Mosque at its opening in the Roxbury section of Boston in June 2009. See our NER article, “Chelm on the Charles River.”
According to Jacob’s APT colleague, Ilya Feoktistov, both ISBCC Boston and Cambridge Mosque imams “were born and raised in the United States.” ISBCC’s imam William Sahib Webb is a former Oklahoma gang member, who converted to Islam in prison. Both were sent for training in the Middle East. Salafist imam Dr. Sheikh Basyouny of the Cambridge Mosque went to Medina University in Saudi Arabia. The ISBCC’s imam went to Al Azhar University. Sheikh Nehela sits on the board of the Boston ISBCC that is controlled by a Muslim Brotherhood front, the Muslim American Society (MAS). The MAS was idenitifed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Dallas Federal Holy Land Foundation trial and convictions for funneling upwards of $35 million to the terrorist group Hamas.
Fox & Friends interviewer Gretchen Carlson pointed out that one ISBCC trustee Abdulrahman Alamoudi serving a 23 year sentence in a Federal prison convicted of being in a murder plot against the Saudi King and laundering funds for Al Qaida. Jacobs also referenced another trustee, extremist Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian ‘spiritual leader’ Yusuf al Qaradawi. He was caught on video extolling anti-Semitic hatred during a Cairo Tahrir rally in February 2011 after returning from exile in Qatar. Jacobs has previously noted preachings by Qaradawi “that Jews should be killed, homosexuals should either stoned or thrown off rooks, wives can be beaten, and Israel has to be destroyed. Qaradawi supports Hams and Hezbollah both listed as terrorist groups by our State Department. Jacobs pointed out that an ISBCC website had lessons on how to be your wife. Fox & Friends Carlson segued to Tamerlane Tsarnaev’s arrest in 2009 for domestic violence. Jacobs covered that and more in our February 2011 NER interview with him.
Watch this Fox and Friends interview on You Tube with Dr. Jacobs:
Royal Canadian Mounted Police So Very Grateful To "The Muslim Community"
Why is that? Is it because one person offered them a tip about the two Jihadists? Is that enough to be grateful to an entire "community"? Isn't the fact that the person who offered the tip is not being made much of by that "Muslim community," but rather has to hide his identity because he, and you, and I, and the RCMP, all know that if his name were to be made know, he would have to endure all kinds of ostracism, and even possibly physical attack, from that very same "Muslim community" that is now being allowed to claim credit for doing what it ought always and everywhere to do, but so seldom does.
And then there's CAIR, which wishes whenever it can to claim that the FBI, the CIA, the police, and all others, should be very nice to "the Muslim community" and always listen to its demands, for otherwise it won't get that wonderful cooperation that CAIR, and non-Muslim apoloogists, pretend has been so useful to the security services. But CAIR carries on a campaign to discourage Muslims from going to the government's authorities. CAIR tells them not to report anything to the government but, rather, to CAIR< and officials of CAIR will then decide what to hush up, what can't be hushed up, what might possibly be a government testing of CAIR so they should report demurely and quickly to the government.
It's absurd to use the "tip" of one lone Muslim to exculpate an entire group of people who have hardly shown any willingness to come clean about the contents of their canonical texts, and instead engage in every possible maneuver to hide the real content of Islam, to keep Infidels, the targets of Jihad, as unwary, confused, tripping all over themselves, for as long as possible.
The only example hitherto that I know where CAIR actually went to the government was when the parents of five Pakistani-Americans discovered that their sons had gone off to fight Jihad in Pakistan, and then were arrested and imprisoned by the Pakistani government, and they wanted their children back. I wrote about one of them-- one Ramy Zamzam -- whose parents claimed to be just as puzzled, disturbed, flabbergasted by the behavior of their son, as does the unappelaing Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who if she hadn't herself gone back to the old-time religion might have her sons with her now. But she can't admit that, not to anyone else, and certainly not to herself.
I wrote a few years ago on Ramy Zamzam, and about that "cooperation" from CAIR (the "Muslimc community") which was no doubt prompted not by any desire to help Infidels, but to get the boys back from Pakistan, and may also have been the fruit of the calculation that perhaps the whole thing was an FBI trap to see if CAIR would indeed pass on what the parents reported, or urge them to report it themselves (after all, CAIR nowadays has no idea when it will be entrapped, and has to pretend to be cooperative, but its campaign to urge Muslims to work only through it, and not to go to the government directly, tells you all you need to know):.
The ineffable New York Times carried a story last week, one that from first to last was designed - whether by the reporter, Scott Shane, or by his editors, is unknown - to tug at the heartstrings of the reader. And those heartstringed-tugged readers were to sympathize with the parents of Ramy Zamzam, one of the five Washington-area Muslims who went off to Pakistan to conduct Jihad through open warfare, with the Taliban (and possibly Al Qaeda) and against the Americans, even though all five boys were American citizens and had grown up in the United States.
Indeed, the story was not only directed, I think, at winning sympathy for the Zamzam parents, and especially for his mother Amal Khalifa, but by the principle of contiguity, to win sympathy for Ramy Zamzam himself. After all, you don't have to star in "Mad Men" to know that most advertising is based on that very principle of Contiguity, which is a form of Metonymy (see, do, Roman Jakobson's monograph published by Mouton on "The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles"). You know, just like those cigarette ads Before the Flood, the ones that show the manly man and the womanly woman (yes, very much Before the Flood) and work by contiguity -- as in those advertisements for Salem cigarettes, where the girl and the boy are taking puffs from Salems by a brook, which is to say, if the boy smokes Salems, the girl and the brook are thrown in at no additional cost.
The article is entitled "A Thanksgiving Meal, Then Charges of Jihad: A Mother's Tale." Here it is.
Let's start with that very first sentence: here is "Ramy Zamzam, 22, is a proud first-year dental student in his new white jacket, framed by his beaming parents." So there he is, like all of us, as we stand between our "beaming" parents, ourselves "proud" of being admitted to, or finally receiving a degree from, this or that institution. Here is Ramy Zamzam, doing just what all of us do, and his parents love him, and he loves them, and they are proud of him, and he is affectionate toward them, and so on.
The scene has been set for the reader, And the initial impression is given, that something is wrong, something is not quite right, in depicting Ramy Zamzam, as apparently those mean old Pakistani authorities have been depicting him, as a would-be participant in violent Jihad against the mortal enemies of the jihadists, Americans and the West.
We learn that Ramy Zamzam's mother, Amal Khalifa, had, like mothers everywhere, worried about her son now in the clutches of what appears to be an unforgiving and cruel fate: She "described a harrowing visit she and her husband made early this month to the eldest of her three children. The confident student, she said, the 'multitasker' who had excelled as a student and community volunteer through high school and college, was shattered by four months in a Pakistani jail."
So he's a "multitasker" and had been a good student and "community volunteer." A volunteer for what, exactly? Did his volunteering have, by any chance, a distinctly sectarian, even Islamic note? I ask because if he had volunteered in some other way, for some other cause, surely we would have heard of it, and here we do not learn a thing about it. And Ramy Zamzam was "shattered by four months in a Pakistani jail."
And just to make sure you know how "shattered" he was, we get this:
"He cried and clung to me," Ms. Khalifa said, choking up. "When I saw him like that, it broke my heart."
It broke his mother's heart. And it should, you know, break yours too, if you had an ounce of human sympathy in you.
Ramy Zamzam, good student, proud in his dental uniform, a volunteer at school, someone who never did wrong, somehow - how? - ends up in Pakistan, where he is held, cruelly held. And remember, he's an all-American boy, who has only one thing - one thing - to tell his mother when she sees him. And that one thing he has to tell her is this:
"'Mom, I love my country. I want to go back to my country. Why do the Pakistanis want to do this to us?'" Ms. Khalifa said in the interview, at the Washington offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations, an advocacy group that has assisted the parents.
So he "loves his country," and wants "to go back to my country." Well, well. How did Ramy Zamzam, again - we need, through our tears of sympathy evoked by Scott Shane's prose, a little reminding - express his love of "his country"? Oh, first he made a DVD, one in which he apparently declares his steely determination to go off, with others, to distant Pakistan, in order to express his "love" for "his country" by fighting on the side of the Al-Qaeda-backed Taliban against the Americans and the "hypocrites" among the local Muslims who side, for whatever reason, with those Americans from that country "he loves" so very much. Yes, what better way to express your love of America than, say, to fly to Berlin in 1939, and offer to fight with the Nazi forces, in order to show your love of country? Or perhaps to Tokyo, to broadcast from Radio Tokyo, so as to show that you love your country, America, so much, that you want to convince its soldiers not to fight, so as to spare that country you love so much the anguish of defeat?
Now there is a piquant detail at the end of that paragraph that is slipped in but should not be missed. The interview with the voluble Amal Khalifa -why does her husband not say a word? Was it decided by someone advising, perhaps even directing them, that it would be more effective if only a distressed mother, longing for her son to be released so that he might return to the country that "he loves," were to speak? Or was the father a little less cooperative, or perhaps not quite so willing to be manipulated? That piquant detail is this: the interview with Ms. Khalifa took place "at the Washington offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations, an advocacy group that has assisted the parents."
CAIR is an "advocacy group"? What does this mean? Advocacy of what, exactly? Why, advocacy of, defense of, promotion of, Islam and of Muslims. That is its advocacy. And one can be sure that CAIR stage-managed this event, and found a reporter willing to collaborate with it, in presenting this sob-story, one which Americans are famously familiar with from the movies. The locus classicus of the weeping mother is in "Public Enemy Number One" - starring Jimmy Cagney. The mother of this murderous arch-criminal famously insists - despite the mountains of evidence that tell the police, and the movie audience, otherwise - that "my boy's a good boy." Thus Ms. Khalifa. Ramy Zamzam is a "good boy" who "loves his country" and has no idea why he is being treated so roughly in Pakistan.
Why, one might be tempted to ask her if she thinks he has any idea as to how he got to Pakistan in the first place. Does he have any idea why he kept his plans secret from his parents, deliberately deceiving them right up to, and even beyond, the time of his departure? And does her son, who so "loves his country," does Ramy Zamzam, have the faintest idea as to why he made that tape he left behind, a tape so alarming that once it was seen, the parents of the five boys went - oh, not as most American parents would, to the police or the FBI or some other agency of the American government - but to CAIR, to see what they could do, not to help the Infidels of course, but to make sure their children were not killed while fighting on the Path of Allah.
And why did they go to CAIR? Well, they did so because CAIR works to convince Muslims living in America that they are not to trust the American government, not to reveal things to the American government, not to collaborate with the American authorities but always and everywhere to seek first the advice of....CAIR, and to be especially vigilant about any perceived slights to Islam, by any government official, or any "hate crimes" that they may observe or claim they have observed. The whole emphasis of CAIR's presentation is not to convince Muslims to collaborate willingly, wholeheartedly, uncalculatedly, with government officials in trying to limit the "radicalization" (which relies on, consists of what strange new texts, exactly, that "misinterpret" the Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira?) of Muslims in America, but to report whatever attempts to monitor the Muslims by the police and FBI to CAIR so that it, in turn, can complain, can try to stop this perfectly reasonable vigilance and surveillance.
CAIR has attempted, not without success, to make itself the intermediary between Muslims living in the America and the American government. This has happened despite the fact that CAIR officials have been stung by a number of revelations about its officials (including the list of those who are in prison, or who have fled the country, or who have been otherwise subject to investigation and charges). But when those parents, including the parents of Ramy Zamzam, came to CAIR, imagine how the officials at CAIR must have calculated. They did not know, any longer, how much surveillance they might be under. They did not know if possibly this whole thing was a clever sting operation, with the parents having been persuaded to participate, in order to see what CAIR officials would advise them to do, or not do, and what those CAIR officials themselves would do. They couldn't afford not to pass on the information to the government, because they couldn't be sure, sure that the whole thing was not a sting designed to expose CAIR. But even if it was all on the level, and the sons had gone off to Pakistan and the parents were genuinely worried about them, what if CAIR advised them to "say and do nothing" and one or more of the parents ignored this, and went to the police or the FBI on their own? And there was that DVD left by Ramy Zamzam that showed clearly what his intentions were. Too many people had already learned of that DVD, of his intention to fight in the Path of Allah.
So the story goes on, and we learn more about this All-American boy, this Ramy Zamzam. What do we learn? Oh, that "the family was not especially religious," according to Ms. Khalifa, "rarely visiting the mosque except at Muslim holidays." For "Ramy and his teenage friends at West Potomac High School, she said, the small neighborhood mosque was 'a club.'" Just a club. A club like the 4-H Club, or the Teen Center of yore, with its pingpong table, and sock-hop room, or was this mosque that the boys regarded as a "club" rather like another "club," but one with politico-religious rather than the mercenary considerations of the assorted Siculo-American uomini d'onore, that is, the Ravenite Social Club where John Gotti used to, with his friends and wise guys, innocently socialize?
Yes, they didn't go to the mosque for mosque-going purposes. They'd do other things, they'd do all-American things. Oh, what things? Well, things like this:
"They'd order pizza, play computer games and play basketball in the parking lot," she said.
But notice here that even in this staged bit of propaganda, the mother of Ramy Zamzam knows enough, or her handlers know enough, to diminish the role of the mosque, to make it seem not to be the place where the texts and tenets are emphasized and drummed into the ear passages, and then the hearts and minds, of the worshippers during the khutbas, but rather that it's merely a place where kids go - just like the guys and gals at the Teen Center, circa 1956 - eating their pizzas, dribbling their balls for a layup at the informal basketball court in the parking lot, and of course, this being an up-to-date social club, playing those computer games. It's Art Linkletter time, at the Neighborhood Mosque and Social Club, and you know, Kids When They Go Off To Pakistan Do The Darndest Things!
And just two days before Ramy Zamzam disappeared to go off to fight the Jihad in Pakistan, his mother tells us that "I cooked 100 percent American food on Thanksgiving -- turkey, mashed potatoes, corn." Not even Tofurkey. No, the real thing, the handsome myles-standish thing, turkey and mashed potatoes and corn. What else do you need to know?
He "loves his country." He was a dental student and he had been a "volunteer." He ate pizza and played basketball at the mosque. His mother not only had a meal at Thanksgiving, but she cooked "100 percent American food" for that meal - my god, even though real Muslims are not supposed to even recognize, much less celebrate, any non-Muslim holiday.
What more do you want? That's what Ramy Zamzam's mother wants to know. That's what CAIR officials, no doubt standing nearby in case she needed any prompting during the interview, want to know. And it is, it seems, what The New York Times also wants you to believe, derelict in its duty and not for the first time but rather for the third and fatal time. (See the coverage of the Nazi persecution and murder of the Jews, right up to and during World War II, and see the coverage of Stalin's rule, and the famine in the Ukraine, by that Pulitzer-Prize-winning Walter Duranty.)
But if you were ever inclined to fall for this sob story and others like it, I hope that if this little piece has done nothing else, it has made clear to you how the campaign here of sentimental deception works. And who knows? If you find this piece useful, perhaps you will pass it on to others. Pass it on, even, to people who read, and still take irrationally to heart, the coverage of anything to do with Islam by the benighted, and unfairly -- because insufficiently -- maligned, New York Times.
Those who doubted the wisdom of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in March had their first “I told you so” moment the very next day. Speaking to Turkish reporters, Erdogan appeared to immediately backtrack on his end of the rapprochement, which included dropping the case against the Israel Defense Forces for defending themselves from the Turkish-supported flotilla activists seeking to violently crash the naval blockade of the terrorist group Hamas.
A successful normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey would be beneficial to regional stability, so Netanyahu presumably offered the apology fully aware of the risks of dealing with Erdogan and believing they were outweighed by the rewards. But one of the reasons some opposed the apology at all was because they understandably feared it would legitimize the status of victimhood claimed by the violent invaders and endorse a frightful moral relativism which already undermines Israel’s attempts to defend itself.
But the moral relativism between the IDF and the armed naval invaders, while unfortunate, is fully eclipsed by the offensive and indefensible moral relativism Secretary of State John Kerry offered this weekend in trying to soothe Erdogan’s ego. According to the Associated Press:
Kerry said he understood the anger and frustration of those Turks who lost friends and family in the raid. The former Massachusetts senator said last week’s Boston Marathon bombings made him acutely aware of the emotions involved.
“It affects the community, it affects the country. But going forward, you know, we have to find the best way to bring people together and undo these tensions and undo these stereotypes and try to make peace,” he said.
This was always a concern about putting Kerry in charge of diplomacy. Kerry possesses neither principle nor expertise, and so the odds of him saying something both daft and morally bankrupt are always high. Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon no doubt spoke for many in Israel when he responded:
“It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Danon told The Times of Israel. “As our American friends were made all too aware once again last week, the only way to deal with the evils of terrorism [is] to wage an unrelenting war against its perpetrators wherever they may be,” he said.
The armed Turkish invaders Kerry has developed such sympathy for were on a ship funded by a terrorist organization with ties to Hamas and other jihadist groups seeking to challenge Israel’s navy in order to help Hamas. If they were victims at all, it was of their own violent ideology. Though we don’t know yet what motivated the Tsarnaev brothers to perpetrate the monstrous bombing they are believed to have carried out and the additional ones law enforcement officials believe they were planning, the biographical picture beginning to emerge paints at least the elder of the two as “increasingly militant” in his Muslim faith.
But whether the Tsarnaevs were inspired by Islamic radicalism at all is beside the point in the case of Kerry’s comments. The victims in Boston were victims of a brutal and murderous attack; the “victims” to whom Kerry compared them were in the act of carrying out their own attack. Kerry’s comments also put Israelis trying to contain a terrorist enclave next door on the same moral plane as those terrorists and their allies.
Perhaps Kerry misspoke. If not, his worldview is warped, dangerous, and dishonorable. The same administration officials who nudged Netanyahu to apologize to Erdogan should pay a visit to Kerry. The secretary of state owes a round of apologies thanks to his inauspicious start as America’s chief diplomat.
Erez Tadmor On The Decline And, One Hopes, The Fall, Of Haaretz
Downfall of a Great Newspaper
Political editor at Mida Magazine.
Slashed budgets, plummeting standards, and political radicalization have turned Israel’s most respected newspaper into a case study in the collapse of modern journalism.
In early April of this year, the controversial Haaretz reporter Amira Hass, whose coverage of Palestinian violence over the last decade has often prompted accusations of bias, caused a major stir when she published a column called “The Internal Syntax of the Occupation.” Most provocative was her claim that “throwing stones is the hereditary right and duty of someone under a foreign power”—words that appeared only a few days after Adele Biton, a 3-year old Israeli girl, was critically injured when a Palestinian threw a rock at the car her mother was driving, causing it to slam into a commercial truck.
In a Sunday interview with journalist Kalman Libskind of the radio station Galei Yisrael, Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken set out to defend Hass’s article. Growing flustered, however, Schocken ended up saying that moving to a settlement was a form of deliberately endangering the welfare of one’s children, something that in another context would trigger the intervention of social services. As for Hass’s sympathy for rock-throwers, Schocken refused to distance himself. “Sometimes,” he concluded, “you have to fight violence with violence.”
The method Amos Schocken chose to defend Hass’s article, and his defense of editor-in-chief Aluf Benn’s decision to publish the piece in full, sheds some light on the recent changes at the once-venerable Israeli daily. In a series of interviews conducted with current and former Haaretz employees, some of whom held high-level positions at the paper and most of whom still hold it close to their hearts, a consensus emerged to the effect that the paper is undergoing a process of major change that has led to a dramatic reduction in staff, a precipitous decline in journalistic standards, and a willful radicalization of its politics in pursuit of Internet traffic.
As Israel’s longstanding newspaper of record, these developments have raised important questions about the future of print journalism, especially in a country where a free and dynamic press has always been at the center of Israel’s democratic discourse.
For decades, Israelis have associated Haaretz with journalistic quality—or, rather, they’ve associated journalistic quality with Haaretz. The paper was known for its scrupulous editorship and for articles, reviews and columns issued in a Hebrew so highly styled and written in such a lofty register that it bordered on the literary—something that comes as no surprise considering the paper’s pedigree. Salman Schocken, grandfather of Amos and patriarch of the family that controlled the paper for decades, transforming it from an official administrative paper of the British colonial authority into a cultural institution, was also the founder of one of the world’s most distinguished publishing houses—Schocken Books, which published Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin and other literary luminaries of pre-war Germany.
The Amira Hass affair was a red flag not just for the Israeli public, but for many on the Haaretz staff as well.
Though it literally means “the land,” the Hebrew word haaretz is understood to refer to the nation, the country, and the State of Israel all wrapped up into one. And for three-quarters of a century, Haaretz in many ways was all that. It was Israel’s unrivalled national stage, and what played out in its news articles and opinion pages was Israeli public life itself. In this sense, it could be thought of as Israel’s New York Times—the difference being that the centrality of Haaretz to Israeli life was far greater than that of the Gray Lady in America, where a number of other stalwart dailies were able to successfully vie for readership and influence over the years. But although its circulation never approached that of the popular dailies Maariv and Yediot Aharonot, Haaretz had nothing that could be seriously spoken of as competition.
However, Haaretz has gone through excruciating times of late, much like the rest of Israel’s print-media industry. Recent months have seen major staff cuts, reports of a crisis between management and employees, the closure or downsizing of major supplements, and an oftentimes-inelegant shift in emphasis from print to digital.
But according to the employees interviewed for this article, all of whom refused to be identified out of fear of the impact on their careers in Israel’s small and insular media environment, the Amira Hass affair was a red flag not only for the Israeli public, but also for many on the Haaretz staff. As one former editor at the news desk put it:
Amira Hass’s article must be seen as the result of a conscious decision to radicalize the paper, to make it something shallow, sensationalist, and shocking, and to give it the image of a paper—really, a website—that is courageous and groundbreaking. At the end of the day, there is only one goal: To generate traffic. It doesn’t matter if the piece is good or bad, what matters is that it leads to website traffic.
Like most of the people we spoke with, the editor does not identify with the political Right in Israel. Yet he felt a need to add the following: “Amira Hass’s article fits Aluf Benn and Amos Schocken like a glove. She wrote shocking things. Any editor with a minimum of discretion would have said that it wasn’t suitable for publication. But here? The more provocative you are—to the Left, of course—the better the editorial staff thinks it is.”
Another former employee at the news desk described an incident that reflects what he sees as a significant deterioration in journalistic norms. On January 30, 2012, Haaretz’s diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid published a post on his blog “Diplomania,” titled “The Red Telephone Between Ross and Obama,” which revealed that Dennis Ross—who has served as Middle East envoy for several U.S. presidents—continued to be involved in government even after leaving his official post at the White House for a private think-tank. As Ravid reported:
Apparently, soon after Ross left his position as president Obama’s advisor on Iran and the Middle East, the White House took the unusual step of installing a secure telephone line in Ross’ office at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. This is what many in Israel know from their military service as a ‘red telephone,’ on which it is possible to speak about classified information without fear of eavesdropping.
The news was hugely exciting for the American media, which began to investigate immediately. But the report quickly proved false. Jeffrey Goldberg, whom Haaretz often describes as a close confidant of President Obama, published a stinging post at the Atlantic titled “State Department: Dennis Ross Does Not Have a Bat Phone,” in which he derided Ravid’s “breathless” conspiratorial report. “If the President, or his national security adviser, wanted to talk to Dennis Ross about sensitive information (as they would, and should), why wouldn’t they just invite him over?” Goldberg asked, noting that “the Washington Institute’s offices are about five blocks from the White House.”
But what happened next, the former Haaretz news desk staffer told us, was even more bizarre. Rather than apologize for the error, Haaretz ran a follow-up piece by Ravid, in which he assailed Dennis Ross and other critics, accusing them of being people who “love Israel but love Israelis somewhat less. Even if they don’t say it in public, they see Israelis as boorish Levantines. In their eyes, Israeli journalism is inferior to the Tablets of the Law that the journalistic establishment in the United States writes every day. Incidentally, in the circles surrounding Prime Minister Netanyahu there are those who hold the same view.”
But in publishing his attack, Ravid had inadvertently revealed that the decline in Haaretz’s journalistic standards has not been lost on many prominent people in Israel and the United States—in journalism and politics, and even among government. Worse still, instead of simply offering a sincere apology for his mistake and the embarrassment it caused his employers, Ravid doubled down, blaming the Americans for being arrogant enough to expose his failure.
“Haaretz is losing its standing and value,” the former news desk employee concluded. “When you look at the handling of the Ravid affair and the red telephone, you understand why.”
The employees who agreed to interview for this piece often disagreed to the precise causes for the decline of Haaretz’s journalistic standards. Yet they unanimously agreed that there has been a serious drop in quality at Haaretz over the past two years. The high number of layoffs and reductions at Haaretz are not a secret. Reportedly, Haaretz and its popular financial supplement, The Marker, will ultimately lay off 70-100 employees, or 20 percent of its workforce. In addition, employees who have not been laid off face deep salary cuts. Our sources spoke of a 15-35 percent cut in salaries, numbers that have yet to be confirmed and testify to the size of the financial sinkhole that has taken the floor out from under what was, until recently, Israel’s most respected paper. Published reports have also spoken of cuts of up to 20 percent in the budget for freelance writers, as well as cuts in the graphics and photography departments.
Haaretz’s new blend of sensationalism and radical politics has made the newspaper risk-prone and strikingly unable to self correct, even in the most clear cut of cases.
Haaretz has also cut or scaled back multiple departments of its print edition. In August 2012, the prestigious political supplement Hashavua (“The Week”) was discontinued, and employees were informed that its traditional content would now be folded into the weekend edition. Over the past year and a half, it was decided to merge the sports supplement into to the paper’s news section. Last month, the leisure and culture supplement Achbar Ha’ir (“The City Mouse”) was also discontinued. This followed the closure more than two years ago of the Schocken group’s largest local newspaper, Tel Aviv’s Ha’ir (“The City”).
Predictably, the severe cutbacks have shifted the work previously done by a well-staffed newsroom to a skeleton crew of remaining editors and reporters. The increased emphasis on the newspaper’s website, which with its faster news cycle requires a larger volume of stories, has only compounded the problem. “Today there are fewer and fewer writers and editors writing and editing more and more articles,” says one former writer. “You’re burning the candle at both ends, and the inevitable result is a serious drop in standards.”
Another employee spoke to us at length and described the drop in standards that resulted from the cuts. “There are cuts in manpower, in the amount of time editors and writers can dedicate to each item, and in the number of edits an article goes through before publication. You can feel the decline in quality. Management understood that the product would be inferior, despite the fact that they also knew that if you wanted people to pay for it, they’d need to offer a better product. The situation is bad any way you look at it. Things were getting worse for more than a year and a half before they [the management] responded. There was a drop in advertising income, and they failed to conduct prompt negotiations with employees. Because of this, they were forced to make sudden and brutal cuts… As a result, there were a lot of blunders at the paper and they’re getting a lot of criticism. People at the paper are exhausted. Right now, they’re basically going along to get along, in order to survive.”
Alongside the financial crisis and the wide-ranging cuts in staff and salaries, many Haaretz employees believe there is an additional reason for the paper’s decline in quality: A strategic decision by editor-in-chief Aluf Benn to refocus the elite paper to reach a much wider audience in order to maximize traffic, and the attendant advertizing income. “Aluf Benn’s managerial strategy,” says another source inside Haaretz, “is that the paper, and the website in particular, should publish stories that are as bold and provocative as possible. Everyone knows that publications like Yediot Aharonot or YNet [Yediot’s online edition] do this, but in the past Haaretz had different norms.” In the source’s view, the publication of the controversial Amira Hass piece was a deliberate attempt to draw traffic through sensational reporting.
To back up his claim, the source cites a letter Haaretz sent to advertisers as part of its marketing for the new version of its Musaf Haaretz weekend supplement, which was leaked to the media. The letter includes the following passage:
Life has started moving more quickly, we have no spare time, and if I’m going to read a newspaper over the weekend, give me something livelier, that I don’t need to work too hard for, something fun to read. So we made a decision. To create a new Saturday supplement. To make a drastic change. To take into account changing consumption habits, and to reinvent the wheel.
This may sound reasonable on its own; but when expressed in the form of increasingly alienating politics, one may begin to question the business logic behind it. Perhaps the most glaring example of the crisis of confidence surrounded the “apartheid poll” affair.
On October 23, 2012, an article by Haaretz’s notoriously scandal-prone columnist, Gideon Levy, was published as the main story on the front page of the newspaper with the outrage-provoking headline, “Most Israelis Support Apartheid Regime in Israel.” Yet a careful look at the survey on which the article was based revealed that neither the headline nor Levy’s analysis were supported in any way by the poll’s actual data. Following public criticism, Haaretz was forced to publish an apology five days later, as well as a correction, in small letters tucked away at the bottom of a page, that read:
Clarification: The wording of the main headline, “Most Israelis Support Apartheid Regime in Israel” (Haaretz, Oct. 23), did not precisely reflect the findings of the Dialog poll. The question to which a majority of respondents answered in the negative did not relate to any current state of affairs, but to a hypothetical future one: “If Israel were to annex the territories of Judea and Samaria [i.e., the West Bank], would you support granting 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote in Knesset elections?”
In fact, Levy’s article almost entirely misrepresented the actual results of the poll, according to independent analysts. According to numerous polls conducted over the past decade, most Israelis in fact support the creation of two states for two peoples and preserving the voting rights of Arab citizens of Israel.
“Most Israelis Support Apartheid,”
a headline the paper had to retract.
“Regarding the article on the apartheid poll, which never existed, a normal editor would call the writer and suspend him until further notice,” says the news-desk editor cited earlier. “That’s how it works at a normal paper when a journalist almost deliberately does something very wrong. In some cases, the editor that gave Gideon Levy the assignment to write about a poll like this would also be sent home. It’s like leaving a wolf to guard the hens. And then, to make matters worse, after the hubbub around the issue, they tried to use it to show how Haaretz was a shining example of press freedom.”
In our interview, that editor described the apartheid poll affair as indicative of a broader problem. He cited additional examples of unprofessional decisions which, he believes, have harmed both Haaretz’s reputation and the high journalistic standards it set and adhered to in the past. Perhaps not surprisingly, Amira Hass stars in many of them. “Amira Hass receives priority for any nonsense she writes, including nonsense irrelevant to any self-respecting paper… She published a document that allegedly recorded a government discussion on how to prevent a famine in the territories in case of an Israeli siege. The document showed precisely the opposite of what was reported in the paper. Instead of reporting that Israel held a completely theoretical discussion of how to prevent a famine in Gaza, the paper portrayed it as if Israel were allocating such and such many grams and calories per person. It’s another example of how there is no responsible hand on the steering wheel.”
An even more pointed criticism of the editors’ objectivity came from another staffer familiar with the news desk. “There is almost no one who is not on the radical Left, or more precisely, who hasn’t accommodated themselves to it and suddenly become a Leftist. Except for Amos Harel and Haim Levinson, there are almost no journalists I would allow myself to call trustworthy. The rest are sycophants who suddenly joined the extreme Left. Israel Harel is the token Rightist in the opinion section, but if you look at the section in its entirety, it’s obviously getting systematically worse.” The same staff member also took issue with Benn’s decision to dedicate time to giving public lectures and writing opinion pieces for the paper.
Aluf Benn, editor-in-chief of Haaretz. Photo: Jewishfed.org
Of course, Haaretz is not the only newspaper in Israel facing hard times. While the Israeli public has grown increasingly unwilling to pay for print, the pace of innovation in digital media—and the willingness of the public to adopt new ways of consuming news—has progressed haltingly at best. While other papers have turned to populism and fluff to sell digital ads as a supplement to falling print revenues, Haaretz’s new blend of sensationalism and radical politics has made the newspaper risk prone and strikingly unable to self correct, even in the most clear cut of cases.
Though the newspaper has always taken a progressive political line, even its ideological detractors once recognized the benefit that a newspaper rooted in quality journalism and rigorous about its standards provided Israeli society. As Hanoch Marmari, who served as the paper’s editor-in-chief for close to 50 years after being appointed by Amos Schocken’s father, Gershom, put it: “Today Haaretz is not in the playing field. Rather, it is morphed from a player to a spectator in the bleachers. When you are a distant observer you do not necessarily see the complicated dynamics of the game—and you definitely exert less influence.”
Haaretz’s editor-in-chief, Aluf Benn, offered the following response, reprinted here in full:
Haaretz always seeks to reach new audiences, whether in print or through digital channels. According to statistics from the Internet Rating Commission, the Haaretz website enjoyed a substantial growth in traffic in 2012. This year, at the beginning of March, we instituted paid subscriptions for our digital journalism. Thousands of readers have already signed up. These accomplishments are the result of efforts made by our staff to learn the language of digital journalism, as well as a reorganization of our news desk and our Hebrew and English websites. Not only have our professional standards not been harmed, but our reporters must be even more careful today because of the constraints of digital media, which updates continuously. There is no doubt that this is a difficult change for some journalists, but it is positive for any media outlet that wants to flourish in the digital age.
Amira Hass was and is one of the best journalists I have ever met in my 27-year career. I am happy to discover that, to many of her former colleagues, including those with extensive knowledge of the issues she covers, she has not lost her relevance and her writing continues to arouse a great deal of interest and bring us new readers.
Sadly, we parted from around a hundred of our friends this year. They resigned or were laid off because of cuts forced upon us by the precipitous drop in our advertising budget. In certain cases, employees stayed on staff at a reduced salary. Not only have these cuts not hurt the quality of the paper, but the opposite is the case: They have forced us to develop and renew ourselves, first and foremost through the publication of the new “Musaf”—the best journalistic publication in Israel, as well as the redesign of the daily and Friday “Galleria” supplement, the publication of “Haaretz Ha’Shavua,” whose contents were previously split between two supplements, and an upgrading of our digital content.
At Haaretz, we sometimes make mistakes, and when we do, we correct them. The headline given the apartheid poll article was a mistake, and when the issue was clarified we published a correction. In the article on Dennis Ross, there was a mistake in a marginal and unimportant detail. Unfortunately, those who complained about the mistake chose to insult and slander a Haaretz writer, and I was not and am not prepared to accept rhetorical violence against our reporters as a basis for discussion. In spite of this, we published a front-page interview with Ross conducted by Natasha Mozgovia (our former Washington correspondent), in which it was made clear that there is no secure telephone in his office. The post subsequently published by Barak Ravid was excellent and put the issue in its correct and appropriate context.
I have not stopped writing political analyses since I became the editor-in-chief of Haaretz, and there is and does not have to be a conflict between the two. Writing requires me to “take the pulse” of things, and this serves as a personal example to other writers. I sometimes give paid lectures, but this has caused no damage to my work on the staff, and I have not prevented other journalists from writing books, lecturing, or teaching alongside their work as writers and editors.
No Wonder She Married Him, And Worked 80 Hours A Week So He Could Give His Undivided Attention To Preparing For Jihad
Katherine Russell's horrible marriage to a Muslim monster was preceded, we now learn, by a horrible courtship. If, in this whole affair, other women, psychically or socially marginal, or otherwise masochistic, are persuaded not to marry the Muslim man of their dreams -- and there are so many women, such as Rosie Gharib in Tennessee, who has written about her former husband and his sympathies and his treatment of her and her children, then there would be fewer Muslims getting their green cards (that, and and whatever infidel property they can get their hands on through marriage to an unwary terminally naive girl, are the two main desiderata). In Tamerlan's case, Katherine Russell did not come with a lot of property, so he promptly set her to work -- 80 hours a week as a home nurse's aide, with no time off, while he sat around, and bought pressure cookers, and pellets, and lots of other stuff, to fulfill his hopes and dreams. Yes, it's true that Sylvia Plath wrote that "every woman loves a Fascist" but this is ridiculous.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev abused Katherine Russell with taunts of ‘slut’ and ‘prostitute’ during courtship: roommates
Women who lived with Katherine Russell at Suffolk University described suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as violent and manipulative.
President Obama’s brokering of what we were told was a rapprochement between his friend Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considered a great diplomatic achievement. But even though the United States continues to act as if that phone call actually did change something, virtually everything Turkey has done in the weeks since that conversation has served to expose this claim as a fraud. The latest instance of the Turks throwing cold water on these expectations came yesterday when the ErdoÄŸan government rebuked Secretary of State John Kerry for having the nerve to ask that the Turkish leader forebear from undertaking a state visit to Gaza.
The Turkish insistence on going ahead with a gesture designed to prop up the Islamist dictators of Gaza shows that the entire premise of Kerry’s plan for a new bout of Middle East peace negotiations is based on false hopes and misperceptions. While Kerry already seemed to be setting himself up for failure with the Palestinians, the umbrage expressed by Ankara seems to indicate that more is wrong here than the new secretary’s faith in shuttle diplomacy. It’s not only that the administration seems blind to the realities of the Middle East. The former senator, who thinks of himself as a skilled and sophisticated envoy to the world, is handicapped by his blind faith in diplomacy and determination to ignore the power of Islamist ideology. And as this latest spat with Turkey illustrates, that failure may lead to Kerry making a bad situation even worse.
The question of ErdoÄŸan’s proposed visit to Gaza is no minor point. ErdoÄŸan’s pose as the savior of the Palestinians is rooted in Turkish ambitions to expand their influence and once again become the fulcrum of the Muslim political world. But that effort will require keeping the fires of conflict burning bright between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry’s hopes of restarting peace negotiations was probably doomed anyway, but the Turkish effort to strengthen Hamas vis-à-vis the corrupt and faltering Fatah leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank will make it impossible for the latter to even think about taking steps to make peace possible. So long as Hamas can count on Turkish backing, there will be no hope of productive negotiations, let alone peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Kerry did the right thing by publicly trying to restrain the Turks from involving themselves in Palestinian politics. But he did so while laboring under the false assumption that the friendship between the American president and the Turkish prime minister was so strong that ErdoÄŸan’s freelancing in the region was an aberration rather than a fundamental principle of Ankara’s policy. The blunder here was not in what he said. But by journeying to Turkey to make the request without any real idea that it would be respected he demonstrated to everyone in the region that he was not a force to be reckoned with. Having told Kerry that ErdoÄŸan’s travel plans are none of his business, any hope of persuading the Turks to avoid inflaming the situation has been effectively spiked.
The point here isn’t that Kerry created a dangerous problem. That was ErdoÄŸan’s fault. But by blundering about the region and allowing himself to be first stiffed and then publicly spanked in this manner, the secretary has diminished his influence as well as that of the United States.
This is an administration that once turned a minor housing start announcement in Jerusalem during a visit by Vice President Biden into a major diplomatic contretemps in which it claimed Netanyahu had insulted it. But it is now finding out what it really means to be insulted by a nation that calls itself an American ally, and the result is far from pretty.
Dr. Aafia Siddigqui aka "Lady Al Qaeda"Tarek Mahenna
USA Today had more evidence of how radical the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) Cambridge Mosque that the Tsarnaeva brothers attended, “Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties” . In our earlier post, Dr. Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistov of Americans for Peace and Tolerance had given evidence of the radical Imams and trustees and control by a Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Muslim American Society. According to the USA Today report,:
The Cambridge mosque was founded in 1982 by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard and several other Boston-area schools, according to a profile by the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. Its members founded the sister mosque in Boston in 2009.
Among the radical speakers and convicted jihadis who attended or spoke at the Cambridge ISBCC mosque noted in the USA Today piece by Oren Dorrell are:
• Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at the Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans for a chemical attack in New York City. She tried to grab a rifle while in detention and shot at military officers and FBI agents, for which she was convicted in New York in 2010 and is serving an 86-year sentence.
Tarek Mehanna, who worshiped at the Cambridge mosque, was sentenced in 2012 to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid al-Qaeda. Mehanna had traveled to Yemen to seek terrorist training and plotted to use automatic weapons to shoot up a mall in the Boston suburbs, federal investigators in Boston alleged.
• Ahmad Abousamra, the son of a former vice president of the Muslim American Society Boston Abdul-Badi Abousamra, was identified by the FBI as Mehanna's co-conspirator. He fled to Syria and is wanted by the FBI on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill Americans in a foreign country.
• Jamal Badawi of Canada, a former trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston Trust, which owns both mosques, was named as a non-indicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in Texas over the funneling of money to Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
APT colleagues Jacobs Feoktistov and Mansour cite further evidence the radical underpinnings of the Cambridge ISBCC Mosque:
The leadership of the two mosques is intertwined and the ideology they teach is the same, Jacobs says. Ilya Feoktistov, director of research at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, says much of the money to create the Boston mosque came not from local Muslims but from foreign sources.
More than half of the $15.5 million used to found the Boston mosque came from Saudi sources, Feoktistov said, who cites financial documents that Jacobs' group obtained when the mosque sued it for defamation. The lawsuit was later dropped.
[. . .]
Jacobs says claims of moderate Islam do not square with the mosque's classic jihadi texts in its library and its hosting of radical speakers.
Jacobs said Ahmed Mansour, his co-director at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, found writings by Syed Qutb, the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and other jihadi texts at the Cambridge mosque's library when Mansour went there in 2003. Qutb pioneered the radical violent ideology espoused by al-Qaeda.
Yusuf al Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader who espouses radical views in videos collected by Jacobs' group, was listed as a trustee on the Cambridge mosque's IRS filings until 2000, and on the mosque's website until 2003, when he addressed congregants via recorded video message to raise money for the Boston mosque, according to a screenshot of the announcement that Feoktistov provided.
Yasir Qadhi, who lectured at the Boston mosque in April 2009, has advocated replacing U.S. democracy with Islamic rule and called Christians "filthy" polytheists whose "life and prosperity … holds no value in the state of Jihad," according to a video obtained by Jacobs' group.
[. . .]
But Jacobs and others say it is not only renters who express sympathetic views for terrorists. Leaders of the Boston and Cambridge mosques, and invited guests, have advocated on behalf of convicted terrorists, urging followers to seek their release or lenient sentences.
Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, sometimes a spokesman for the Boston mosque, used Siddiqui's case to speak against the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law passed under the Bush administration. "After they're done with (Siddiqui) they are going to come to your door if they feel like it," he said according to a video obtained by Americans for Peace and Tolerance.
Anwar Kazmi, a member of the Cambridge mosque's board of trustees, called for leniency for Mehanna and Siddiqui at a Boston rally in February 2012, in a video posted to YouTube. He characterized Siddiqui's 86-year sentence as excessive.
And the response from the ISBCC these accusations? Note this:
In an interview with USA Today, Kazmi insisted that the Cambridge mosque is moderate and condemns the bombings. On Monday, the mosque e-mailed members to caution them that the FBI may question them and that they may want to seek representation.
"This kind of violence, terrorism, it's just completely contrary to the spirit of Islam," Kasmi said. "The words in the Quran say if anybody kills even a single human being without just cause, it's as if you've killed all of humanity."
Looks to us that the Tsarnaeva brothers, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, Tarek Mahenna and others who have attended or presented at the ISBCC Mosques in Boston and Cambridge have violated Islamic doctrine and been praised for it by their brothers in the Umma. Jihad trumps all, as it is the way of Allah.