These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 27, 2010.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Landmark status could stop mosque near ground zero
The plans for a mosque near the former WTC are moving forward, but it's not over yet. From AP:
New York City officials say a plan to tear down a building and put up a mosque near the World Trade Center site will need the approval of a commission that protects landmarks.
They say the building Muslim groups plan to tear down to make room for the mosque and a cultural center is historically and architecturally significant. The building was constructed in the 1850s in the Italian Renaissance palazzo style and is noteworthy for its cast-iron storefront.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to hold a hearing to determine whether to preserve the lower Manhattan building, which is just blocks from ground zero.
The mosque plan has been opposed by Sept. 11 victims' families and tea party activists.
Posted on 05/27/2010 2:12 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Obama Administration continues to flail wildly
From "All Things Considered" on National Public Radio:
The White House has spent the past year and a half developing an overarching National Security Strategy, which will be released Thursday. The themes of these security goals have been gradually emerging ever since President Obama took office.
He distilled the ideas of multilateralism, cooperation and global outreach in a commencement speech at West Point over the weekend.
In a speech Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan elaborated.
"Our enemy is not terrorism, because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not terror, because terror is a state of mind, and as Americans we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists, because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam," Brennan said.
He said we are at war with al-Qaida and its terrorist affiliates.
UPDATE: Video of Brennan's remarks can be seen here. Video of his full presentation is available here.
UPDATE: Here are the words immediately following the above quote by Brennan, which begins at about the 5:50 mark of his speech:
"...jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community. And there is nothing holy, or legitimate, or Islamic, about murdering innocent men, women, and children. Indeed, characterizing our adversaries this way would actually be counterproductive. It would play into the false perception that they are religious leaders defending a holy cause, when in fact they are nothing more than murderers, including the murders of thousands upon thousands of Muslims. This is why Muslims leaders have spoken out forcefully and often at great risk to their own lives, to reject Al Qaeda and violent extremism. And frankly, their condemnations do not get the recognition that they deserve, including from the media. Moreover, describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism, that the United States is somehow at war against Islam. The reality of course is that we have never been and will never be at war with Islam. After all, Islam like so many faiths, is part of America. Instead, the President's strategy is clear and precise: our enemy is Al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. For it was Al Qaeda who attacked us so viciously on 9/11, and whose desire to attack the United States, our allies, and our partners, remains undiminished. And it is its affiliates who have taken up Al Qaeda's call to arms against the United States and other parts of the world."
Posted on 05/27/2010 2:18 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 27 May 2010
The mystery thickens about identity of CAIR infiltrator, 'BumbleBee'
The mystery thickens about the identity of 'BumbleBee,' the self-proclaimed former Muslim investigator who infiltrated CAIR’s inner sanctum and began releasing insider documents. See our post, here on “BumbleBee stings.”
Some allege that it might be Dave Gaubatz, author of Muslim Mafia, ‘retailing’ some of the more than 12,000 pages of internal documents obtained by infiltrating CAIR National. Gaubatz is under court order not to publish these documents.
Wednesday, we received email from Dave Gaubatz indicating that CAIR had requested that Goggle take down BumbleBees' web site, but that he was posting the latest disclosures on the Muslim Mafia website.
We had made a request to 'BumbleBee' to interview him or her. Gaubatz in a separate email indicated that ‘she’ might consent to an Iconoclast interview, without being identified.
In the fourth release by 'BumbleBee,' Tuesday, May 25th, ‘she’ revealed information on Brooklyn’s radical Imam, Siraj Wahhaj, a Member of CAIR’s Advisory Board who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing with alleged deep Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood connections. Wahhaj is a supporter of the controversial Ground Zero Mosque that received New York City Community Planning Board approval yesterday. 'BumbleBee' alleges that CAIR documents indicate the Six flying Imams case may have been a planned event and that CAIR board member documents revealed their internal thinking prior to 9/11.
When we are able to vett the bona fides of 'BumbleBee' and conclude an interview, we will bring you a report on ‘her’ responses.
Posted on 05/27/2010 6:19 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 27 May 2010
The Somali al Shabaab ‘infiltrator’ threat to America is real.
FBI and local counter terrorism authorities need to step up monitoring of the radical Somali émigré communities In the US. This is a vital necessity to prevent swarming attack threats from returning American Somali Al Shabaab fighters who evade capture by US immigration and counter terrorism authorities. According to an article in WorldNet Daily, the FBI has launched such an effort beginning with the Washington, DC metro area.
We need a comprehensive counter terrorism strategy. The US is vulnerable to home-grown naturalized Somali Jihadis initiating devastating Mumbai-type swarming attacks.
The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells FOXNews.com.
The warning follows an indictment unsealed this month in Texas federal court that accuses a Somali man in Texas of running a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” responsible for bringing hundreds of Somalis from Brazil through South America and eventually across the Mexican border. Many of the illegal immigrants, who court records say were given fake IDs, are alleged to have ties to other now-defunct Somalian terror organizations that have merged with active organizations like Al Shabaab, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.
In 2008, the U.S. government designated Al Shabaab a terrorist organization. Al Shabaab has said its priority is to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on Somalia; the group has aligned itself with Al Qaeda and has made statements about its intent to harm the United States.
J. Peter Pham, senior fellow and director of the Africa Project at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, said that for the past ten years there’s been suspicion by U.S. law enforcement that drug cartels could align with international terrorist organizations to bring would-be-jihadists into the U.S.
That kind of collaboration is already being seen in Africa, said Dr. Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Too little too late—they are already here. See also the news about the Somali smuggler trial in Virginia last week.
Pham says the DHS alert comes too late. “They’re just covering themselves for the fact that DHS has been failing to date to deal effectively with this,” he said. “They’re already here.”
Michael Weinstein, a political science professor at Purdue University and an expert on Somalia, said, “In the past year, it’s become obvious that there’s a spillover into the United States of the transnational revolutionaries in Somalia.”
“It’s something that certainly has to be watched, but I don’t think it’s an imminent threat,” he said. “This has to be put in context with people smuggling — everybody and their brother is getting into the United States through Mexico; I read last week that some Chinese were crossing, it’s just a big market.”
Pham disagrees. “The real danger is ‘something along the lines of jihadist version of ‘find a classmate,’ he said, referring to Al Shabaab’s potential to set up sleeper cells in the U.S. “Most of them rely on personal referral and association. That type of social networking is not beyond their capabilities.”
Pham says the DHS alert is too little, too late.
Now, we know that the Somali Al Shabaab infiltration of America possible Mumbai-type swarming attacks could be of real concern. Has our government been lax about this? We think that they have. How else could 270 Somalis have been illegal smuggled into this country by the suspect on trial in Virginia.
Posted on 05/27/2010 7:17 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Zuhdi Jasser's "Modern Islam"
M. Zuhdi Jasser writes in the Frontpage symposium, "The World's Most Wanted: A Moderate Islam," that also includes Robert Spencer, Timothy Furnish and Tawfik Hamid.
In my experience, there is a significant distinction globally between “Islam” as a personal spiritual faith (a personal submission to God, if you will), and the “House of Islam” which more broadly includes the entire human corpus of Islamic scholarship, knowledge (ilm) and jurisprudence (shar’iah) as espoused by leading global Islamic jurists and thought leaders (a ‘submission’ to the House of Islam if you will).
The submission of the will of man to the will of God as a living spiritual reality is found in almost all religions and I would submit is the definition of true morality, but Islam defines the the will of God in very definite and circumscribed terms so that following all the rules of Islam is defined as doing the will of God. The Islamic system is the will of God. Islam is a replacement God. When non-Muslims hear the words "submission to the will of God," that sounds perfectly fine, because they are not aware that the will of God is so defined in Islam.
As a devout Muslim I believe in the former in my personal relationship with God, but as an anti-Islamist I reject any “submission” to the latter which is human.
Islam is built on the veneration of Muhammad - a human being. If one defines oneself as a Muslim, then one must believe in the prophethood of Muhammad. Having a "personal relationship with God" is the essence of any and all religion, yet belief in Muhammad is what makes one a Muslim just as belief in Jesus is what makes one Christian. If Jasser believes in the prophethood of Muhammad, then all the "human corpus of Islamic scholarship, knowledge (ilm) and jurisprudence (shar’iah) as espoused by leading global Islamic jurists and thought leaders" flows from that belief. Jasser is evasive on the central issue of what makes a Muslim a Muslim. Belief in God is not enough, being a Muslim requires belief in Muhammad.
Jasser goes on to expand on his belief in the separation of mosque and state. If that is the case, then he cannot believe that Muhammad was the final seal of the prophets, but he avoids the Muhammad issue entirely. He goes on,
While I reserve disagreement on a number of the historical analogies and pigeon-holing [not the first nor last use of the term - RB] made here about Muslims and Islam, let me address in the space I have how I believe Muslims can move forward. Let me emphasize- forward. One of the differences often between historians (agents of the past) and innovators (agents of change) is that innovators use the tools and lessons of history to think out of the box and create and promote a new and often unpopular paradigm. Often new paradigms that spend years floundering can all of a sudden propel into dominance. Some of the lessons of history are essential, but innovators refuse to pattern themselves after any previous human mindset. Today’s Islam needs innovators.
We all know how innovators are viewed by the majority of Muslims who know that innovation of the sort Jasser proposes would lead to the splintering or wholesale collapse of Islam or to an Islam that is no longer Islam.
Groundbreaking innovation starts with a meme [oh brother} which leads to a tipping point that creates a new platform for those that share revolutionary ideas. My own lifetime has been filled with experiences with thousands of pietistic Muslims from almost every sect of Islam who reject political Islam. But obviously key elements necessary for a palpable Muslim liberty movement to counter Islamism are missing.
Why do "pietistic Muslims" reject "political Islam"? What are the Islamic grounds for rejection?
To look toward any one sect and pigeon-hole any single moderate Muslim’s modernism as a product of only that particular sect belies the diversity needed for a successful global movement against political Islam. Each sect will always have its own internecine biases about the other sect. That is not the obstacle. Looking forward we must find some overriding memes necessary to defeat pervasive Islamist collectivism. Sectarianism is always trumped by Islamism. So, looking forward, a meme of liberty can rise above political Islam and sectarianism for Muslims.
Again if the spiritual captives of Islam are freed by the "meme of liberty" they will no longer submit to Islam then, will they?
My bulwark against political Islam has always been my belief in our inalienable rights, freedom of speech, the Establishment clause, classical liberalism, and especially the separation of mosque and state. Once devotional Muslim youth believe in this, many will take these foundational ideas and mature into theologians who transform Islam away from political Islam.
(...) Islam will always certainly need to be grounded in its own sound theological scholarship, but that is a late stage not the first phase in modernization and reform.
So during the "first stage," one either completely ignores Islam as it exists, or actively destroys Islam as it exists and then re-creates the theological scholarship to support a new and different Islam after the revolution.
Religious teachings of today are molded by the environment. It took Christendom 1789 years until a government led by Christians had a document which was protected by an Establishment Clause and the separation of Church and State. And even that brilliantly codified Constitution and Bill of Rights took centuries, a Civil War, and a civil rights movement to effectuate its core principles in a way that truly respected the human rights of all its citizens as the founding fathers intended.
At this time, modernization of Islamic theology can become viral. But sadly so can the scourge of pan-Islamism. A top-down change would surely fail, as it has, because there is little popular respect for innovation, individualism, or liberty among most of the products of oppressive Muslim run institutions around the world.
So even though there is "little popular respect for innovation, individualism, or liberty" among Muslims, somehow, the ideas of innovation, individualism, and liberty will "go viral" and otherthrow the old order from the bottom up creating on the way a new and improved Islam that embraces Western anti-Islamic values. Just a tad optimistic, don't you think?
The obstacles to the predominance of modern Islam over political Islam are many– frequent death threats, blind corruptive tribalism, societal and financial power of Islamists, and Muslim illiteracy. This is not to mention the facilitation by western media and government of Islamists due to political correctness.
Change cannot be imposed upon a rotten foundation. Lasting modernization will be generational and must be built on the ground first with Muslim institutions based in a liberal education, free markets, and universal human rights.
Putting aside Jasser's cliche'd language and mixed metaphors, it is clear he is a thoroughly Western man with barely a toe dipped in Islam. He argues from a Western perspective entirely: progress, innovation, individuality, equality before the law, democracy, etc., are all presented as desirable ends in themselves, not as the threats to Islam they most certainly are. He is either a Muslim who cannot see the Islamic point of view. or he is practicing a kind of reverse taqiyyah, telling Muslims that the Western way of life and Western values are no threat to Islam, just as most Muslims tell us that Islam is no threat to the West.
I'm not quite sure what to think of that.
Posted on 05/27/2010 8:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Rifqa Bary Update
From discussions with sources in Columbus, Ohio, this evening, including her friend Pastor Jamal Juvanjee, Rifqa Bary survived four hours of outpatient surgery followed by two hours of post recovery today. She will still face chemotherapy to address whatever post-operative cancer treatment is required following delivery of pathology reports.
Nonetheless, she wished to relay her thanks to those who expressed thoughts of concerns and prayers for her survival. Ms. Bary has shown remarkable pluck, grit and determination in pursuit of her liberty when she reaches her majority, under circumstances that are most daunting. She has apparently returned to her foster home following this surgical procedure.
Posted on 05/27/2010 9:16 PM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Countdown to IDF Confrontation with the International Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla
The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF is prepared to dispatch Naval Commandos to possibly intercept the International Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla (“Flotilla”) of nine vessels carrying 10,000 tons of alleged humanitarian supplies and more than 750 activists, journalists and diplomats. The flotilla includes the Rachel Corrie that departed Dundalk, Ireland on May 14th and the M.S. Mavi Marmaris from Istanbul, Turkey which departed on May 22nd. It is on course to reach the Gaza coast on Saturday, May 29th, unless it turns around when ordered by the Israeli Navy. The vessels, passengers and cargos, if commandeered, would be directed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, for identity and health screenings and possible bomb detection. Diplomats on board the vessels in the Flotilla would be handled by the Foreign Ministry; Journalists by the Government Press Office. Other passengers and crew would be asked to leave Israel and if they refuse could be arrested and handed over for possible detention.
The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) in Herzilya, Israel has a definitive background report on the Flotilla organizers, their connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, chairman of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel. The ITIC report also identifies Turkish sponsors and Hamas plans to offload cargoes as the Flotilla approaches the Gaza coast- see ”The Aid Flotilla for the Gaza Strip –Update here.
Jerusalem Post notes:
Top IDF officers said on Thursday that the navy will not “take any chances” if and when it boards the ships, and will immediately inspect them for explosives, including using bomb-sniffing dogs from the IDF’s Oketz K9 Unit.
The navy plans to board the ships if they refuse to turn around. The ships will receive a number of warnings from the navy as they begin to make their approach to the Gaza Strip, starting from a distance of about 65 kilometers. If the ships are commandeered, they will be sailed to the Ashdod Port, where the government has set up tents to hold the activists.
The activists will be taken into the tents for identification and medical attention, and asked to leave the country voluntarily. If they refuse, they will be arrested and transferred to the custody of the Prisons Service and the Interior Ministry.
Foreign Ministry officials will be present to handle the diplomats who are on board the ships, while representatives of the Government Press Office will be responsible for the journalists.
“We are on a humanitarian and solidarity action. We intend to continue it until we reach our goal and will not be stopped,” flotilla organizer Dror Feiler said.
Feiler, 68, a musician who lives in Stockholm and has renounced his Israeli citizenship, said he brought a saxophone with him and would greet Israeli sailors boarding his boat with music “from the time when Jews didn’t have armies and police to harass freedom fighters, when Jews were victims, and were standing at the forefront of the fight for the dignity of people.”
IDF sources said the military was planning on not having to use any force during the operation but was prepared for any scenario that could develop, including the possibility that the ships have been rigged with explosives by terrorists.
“Until we are on board, we will not know for sure who and what are on the ships,” a senior officer said.
The operation will involve thousands of IDF and security personnel, including a number of elite units, trained in non-lethal crowd dispersion tactics that will be used, if needed, when boarding the vessels.
Late Thursday evening, Cypriot officials assured Israel that Cyprus would not let the flotilla anchor near its shores, sail in its territorial waters or use its ports.
Posted on 05/27/2010 11:11 PM by Jerry Gordon