An Ill-Timed Interfaith Gathering at Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan
Dr. Burton Visotsky speaks to Jewish Muslim panel at Jewish Theological Seminary
November 18, 2014
16 are dead in Jerusalem, four of them rabbis, the victims of a wave of Islamic anti-Semitic rampage by Arab Muslim residents. But that didn’t cause the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in Manhattan to cancel an interfaith Jewish-Muslim luncheon earlier this week that included a leader of Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA is one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the 2008 federal Dallas Holy Land Foundation trial that convicted the leaders of the Muslim charity for funneling upwards of $36 million to Hamas for following in the way of Allah, Jihad. We have learned over several years that the venerable flagship of American Conservative Judaism has been unstinting in promoting the myopia of Jewish – Muslim dialogue under the leadership of Chancellor Arnold Eisen. See our January 2012 NER article, “Dialogue with Radical Muslims is Dangerous for American Jews”.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 about 30 high-profile Muslim and Jewish scholars and leaders came together for a kosher-halal lunch (arugula salad, salmon with a fried potato on top, tiramisu for dessert) at New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) to celebrate their work bridging the gaps between the two communities.
The violence in Israel wasn’t mentioned, specifically. But it was felt, undoubtedly.
“Our work is the work of peace, and yet, as the prophet says, ‘shalom, shalom, v’ein shalom,’ we pray for peace, we work for peace, and yet, we still don’t have peace,” said Burton Visotzky, a professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at JTS.
Visotzky is short but not quite stout with a beard that’s black around his chin but begins to gray as it travels up toward his kippah-covered head.
His exuberance couldn’t be clipped by the day’s tragic beginning, and he bounced around from table to table, greeting some with ‘shalom’ and others with ‘As-salamu alaykum,’ the Arabic counterpart.
The escalating conflict in Jerusalem did not dampen Visotzky’s joy about what he feels is a momentous step in advancing Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States. Together with the Hartford Seminary and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), JTS just published “Sharing the Well: A Resource Guide For Jewish-Muslim Engagement.” The guide (available for free PDF download) is the outgrowth of a series of annual conferences titled “Judaism and Islam in America” that began in 2010 under Visotzky’s leadership.
“Sharing the Well” includes guidelines on how to begin and maintain interreligious dialogue, as well as essays on shared values between the two religions and a list of 24 Muslim-Jewish projects around the country, from a Muslim-Jewish “speed dialogue” modeled after speed dating to an interfaith Thanksgiving service. The authors hope the book inspires Jews and Muslims to reach across religious divides at a time when world events are increasingly pitting them against one another.
Having written about the dangers of Jewish Muslim Dialogue and the banal cupidity of Jewish communal leadership and in this instance the faculty of the Jewish Theological Society ( JTS )regarding this and other similar events on college campus with Jewish students threatened by Muslim Student Associations, I find this program naive and dangerous. It is no wonder that most Jews are ill informed about the underlying Qur’anic doctrine of hatred towards Christians, Jews and other unbelievers. Why Chancellor Eisen, Professor Visotzky support such dialogues is appalling, as they neither educate or inform Jewish and non-Jewish audiences of the realities of why Islamic anti-Semitism exists on college campuses and in the West generally. As Dr. Jacobs cogently argued in response to a caller on a Lisa Benson Show on the subject of Jewish Myopia Towards Islam:
The “J” Streeters and the left again want us to think that we Jews have done it to ourselves. It is our behavior that has made the Muslims hate us. That is a very empowering thought because if it’s true, if you could make yourself believe it was true, then you could change the reality. You could just simply change your behavior and the hatred would go away. Unfortunately Islam is a religion, a political and an economic system. In it there is a demand for worldwide supremacy. When Islam conquers the land, the people on the land have a choice. If they are Jews or Christians, they can choose not to be killed if they accept the status of dhimmitude.
Being a dhimmi is lower than second class status where you may not have political independence. You may not have freedom. You are subjugated. However, if you allow yourself to be subjugated and you follow their rules you can still be a Jew or a Christian. Now if you don’t, however, if you rebel against that, then the entire theological house of Islam with sword behind it comes after you and that is what happened with Israel. Israel is a rebellious dhimmi state. The Jews were never supposed to have self-rule just like the Christians. South Sudan came about as a Christian state after having defeated a Jihad against it so too the Jews.
The Jews and the Christians in the Middle East are not allowed to have self-rule. A theological Israel is a theological catastrophe for Islam. It is not a border war. If it was that, then, if it were, you could make concessions and you could make compromises with two people living in peace.
Unfortunately that’s not the case.
Unfortunate that is for the sixteen killed in Jerusalem because of Islamic anti-Semitic hate, especially the four rabbis z”l and the valiant Israeli Druze police officer who shot and killed the two Arab Muslim cousins, who entered the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue at 7:00AM in Har Nof on Monday, November 17, 2014. The two Arab Muslim killers, equipped with guns and knives and a meat cleaver to commit their butchery, disrupted the morning minyan prayers leaving behind them the charnel of dead and wounded in the blood splattered scene. We wonder if Dr. Visotzky asked the assemblage of Jewish and high profile Muslim leaders to rise for the traditional mourners’ prayer for the rabbis and the Druze police officer who lost their lives?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s robust words to Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Australia were welcome, appropriate and should be supported by all Canadians. They complemented the similarly forthright position taken by the G20 summit host, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. Unfortunately, Russia has never in its history paid the slightest attention to any cautionary note from anyone except someone sufficiently strong, militarily or economically, to deter it. The czars and the communist leaders who followed them paid some attention to the strongest German, French, British and Turkish leaders. In current memory, the Kremlin listened rather impatiently to Mao Tse-tung and Deng Xiaoping, and to almost all American presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.
When our prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King wrote to Stalin, professing continuation of the war-time alliance despite startling evidence of vast Soviet espionage unearthed in the Gouzenko Affair in Ottawa in 1945, he received no reply. (King considered Gouzenko “a manly patriot” who had been won over from communism “by Canadian democracy,” not unreasonable assessments.) Louis St. Laurent and Lester Pearson, men of proven diplomatic aptitudes, never got a rise from Stalin, who by the late Forties was like a reclusive crocodile straddling Europe and Asia, or from his successor, Nikita S. Khrushchev. Neither did John Diefenbaker when he angrily reproached Khrushchev at the United Nations for the illegal Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Pierre Trudeau was no more successful with Khrushchev’s successor Leonid I. Brezhnev on several bilateral issues, although he claimed to believe (wrongly) that Churchill and Roosevelt had ceded Eastern Europe to Stalin at the Tehran and Yalta conferences. Trudeau also facilitated Cuban intervention in the Angolan Civil War as Soviet mercenaries by giving them transit landing rights in Newfoundland, and he publicly referred to heroic Soviet human rights activists Andrei Sakharov and Anatoly Sharansky as “hooligans.”
Russia became a great power under Peter the Great (czar from 1689-1725) when he consolidated Russia’s hold on Ukraine, pushed the Turks southwards, expanded across Asia and founded St. Petersburg as “a window on the West;” beginning the struggle that continues to this day between the Western emulators and the nativists. The latter faction are the reactionary upholders of Holy Mother Russia’s isolationist exceptionalism, much romanticized in Russian literature and familiar to any reader of Tolstoy or Solzhenitsyn. This current of opinion and psychology has been largely hijacked by Putin.
Since the apotheosis of the brilliant American strategy of containment of the Soviet Union and of international communism, pursued assiduously by 10 American presidents (five of each party), with the abandonment of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union, after the brief, bibulous, near-anarchy of Western emulator Boris Yeltsin, Putin has been playing to great Russian nationalism by mischief-making in almost every corner of the world. Putin has perversely assisted Iran in attaining a nuclear military capacity, and has aided other terrorism-promoting states, especially Syria, although Russia has itself been a victim of Islamist extremism, even in Moscow itself. Putin has played a seminal role in promoting the present impasse in the Middle East, as Stephen Harper has rightly denounced. The beleaguered and blood-stained Syrian leader Bashir Assad is the puppet of the Iranians and the Russians, but is mortally opposed by the Turks, Saudis, and Egyptians.
Those powers are supporting both the moderate reformers and the Islamist opponents of the secularist Assad, but also oppose the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) ultra-extremists, who are at (professedly holy) war with everyone. Islamic State arose from the wreckage of (to take an expression from Balkan politics of a century ago) “the ungrateful volcano” of post-American Iraq. Syria has become the chief recruiting ground for the ISIS and Turkey will not assist in the repulse of ISIS unless the United States resumes its former determination to be rid of Assad. Readers will recall prolonged official American waffling on that subject, from Hillary Clinton’s infamous description of Assad as “a reformer,” to Barack Obama’s complacent decree that Assad “must go,” to his imposition of the violated “red line” when Assad poison-gassed his own citizens, to his abdication to the Congress of the president’s right as commander-in-chief to enforce the red line by military retaliation, to fumbling the matter in anticipation of defeat in the Congress to the ubiquitous Slavonic sorcerer Putin.
While this fiasco has been wrought by former president Jimmy Carter’s complicity in the eviction of the pro-American government of the Shah of Iran and by Europe’s haughty straight-arming of the pro-Western Kemalist leadership of Turkey for decades, Russia has been the chief recent troublemaker. The absurdity of the present affray is highlighted by the fact that after 35 years of U.S. demonizing of the loopy theocrats in Tehran, and after all the threats of “crippling sanctions” and air attack being an “option on the table,” Iran is now a quasi-ally of the U.S. against ISIS.
This may well mean American toleration of Iran becoming a “threshold” nuclear power, and that may entrain an Israeli air strike on Iran’s nuclear program, with whole-hearted Turkish and Arab approval. There remains a chance that Saudi Arabia’s reduction of the oil price could cause the Iranians to come to their arithmetical senses and stall their nuclear program, but unintended consequences have fallen like confetti, from the latest problems with the Keystone XL pipeline because of pricing scenarios, to Putin’s comparative restraint in Ukraine, neither of which was of the least interest to the petro-nomads of the House of Saud. The disintegration of Iraq has already virtually created an independent Kurdistan, which is agitating Turkey’s 20 million Kurds.
The Euro-fantasy of influencing the Middle East is over, and the ineffectuality or failure of American efforts in the region, since the first Gulf War — which at least ejected Saddam from Kuwait, had an exit strategy, and ended quickly and without heavy casualties — and the almost mindless cynicism of Putin, may leave it to the countries and factions, sects and tribes in situ to sort it out, even if it is a sun-drenched version of the Thirty Years War. Bismarck warned against the great powers becoming involved in the quarrels of the Balkan “sheep-stealers;” he was ignored and the hecatomb of The First World War followed. The same advice applies to the Middle East now. The U.S. should leave completely, apart from advancing its allies full anti-missile defences, which it partially withheld in Eastern Europe as part of the fatuous “reset” of relations with Russia, and not come back until it has rediscovered its “containment” era genius for foreign and strategic policy.
A positive thought: It emerges from the newly produced research on the origins of the First World War a century ago that the British, French, Germans and Austro-Hungarians were all convinced in 1914 that Russia was the rising power in Europe and Asia and was putting up such economic growth rates and technological advances that it was thought to be rivalled only by the United States as the land of the future. That is why several of those countries thought a war might not be a bad idea, before the Russians became impossible to contain. So it may not be entirely true that, horrible though it was, the First World War had no purpose, and that the communist victory in Russia was one of its most baleful consequences. The triumph of the Bolsheviks may have spared the West a greater, if somewhat less barbarous Russian challenge. Communism liquidated 20 million Soviet civilians, enabled the Second World War with the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and then took over 90% of the casualties in subduing Nazi Germany, while Germany, France, Italy and Japan became prosperous democratic allies of the English-speaking countries. And then the U.S.S.R. fragmented, almost bloodlessly.
Harper is right to call Putin the thug that he is, but perhaps we should be even more grateful than we have been to those who served in the First World War for the fact that Putin’s despotism misgoverns fewer than half the people of the empires ruled by the Romanovs and the Supreme Soviet.
LONDON — Across Pakistan, the black standard of the Islamic State has been popping up all over.
From urban slums to Taliban strongholds, the militant group’s logo and name have appeared in graffiti, posters and pamphlets. Last month, a cluster of militant commanders declared their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State.
Such is the influence of the Islamic State’s steamroller success in Iraq and Syria that, even thousands of miles away, security officials and militant networks are having to reckon with the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Its victories have energized battle-weary militants in Pakistan. The ISIS brand offers them potent advantages, analysts say — an aid to fund-raising and recruiting, a possible advantage over rival factions and, most powerfully, a new template for waging jihad.
The ISIS cause became openly divisive in October when a group of six commanders led by Sheikh Maqbool, a former Taliban spokesman, openly pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. “A large number of mujahedeen are with us,” said Abu Zar Khurassani, a senior figure in the breakaway faction. “Soon we will decide on how to help the Islamic State.”
A taxi driver and his three friends have been sentenced for a total of 68 years over the rape of a drunk passenger. Tamseel Virk, 42, Najim U-Saeed, 31, Wakar Akhtar, 21, and Azad Raja, 38, were each handed 17 year jail terms for the 'despicable' attack on the vulnerable woman in Bradford, Yorkshire.
A judge heard how taxi driver Virk picked up the intoxicated victim after she had been out celebrating a friend's birthday in Leeds. When she came round, she found Raja was having sex with her - while Akhtar told her he had already had sex with her.
Virk, U-Saeed and Raja were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court. Akhtar was also sentenced but is currently on the run - and is believed to have fled the country after giving evidence, the court heard.
His Honour Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told the court that the victim had been enjoying herself earlier in the evening of May 25. But she ended up 'coming to her senses on a park bench in another city being raped'. Describing the victim's experience as a nightmare, he told the three men in the dock: 'This was totally despicable, it was utterly callous, it was a degree of inhuman behaviour hard, even for one such as myself inured to evil, to understand.'
During the two-week trial, in which the men denied conspiracy to rape, the court heard that the teacher had been drunk when she left the party without her bag and was seen at Leeds train station.
The judge said: 'On that day, as was her right, she enjoyed at the birthday party a number of drinks. That is part, gentlemen, of our culture.'
At some point she had got in a taxi to travel to wherever she was staying but had got out again in a confused state - possibly regarding getting her bag back. It was then, the court heard, that Vick saw her and 'accosted her and secured her in the presence of the cab' according to the judge.
Vick then drove the confused woman from Leeds, West Yorkshire, to Bradford, 11 miles away - and to a destination she had not asked for.
During the journey, the court heard, there were 15 phone calls made between Vick and the other defendants.
'This was four men putting into place an operation to do that which the jury have found,' said Judge Durham Hall, adding that their victim was a young vulnerable woman.
After meeting at a park in Bradford the court heard Akhtar had invited his uncle Raja to 'join in the fun'. Their victim came to in the early hours of the May 26 being held and being raped by a man. During the trial, the court heard that U-Saeed then turned up 'too late physically to join in the rape that he had set up'.
A 19-year-old man has been arrested by police on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism. He was detained by West Midlands Police officers as he stepped off a flight from Jordan at Heathrow Airport.
The arrest took place at around 3pm on Thursday . . . the West Midlands counter terrorism unit said the man was from Coventry.
The statement added: "He is currently in custody in the West Midlands area. The arrest was pre-planned and intelligence led.The suspect did not pose any risk to the flight."
Unilateral Amnesty Scheme Could Impact the Most Vulnerable Americans
From the Center for Immigration Studies:
WASHINGTON, DC (November 21, 2014) — President Obama's executive amnesty announced this week may well come at the expense of the most vulnerable and poorest American workers. Once given work authorization, illegal immigrants are likely to compete with Americans for better-paying jobs that are now generally off-limits because they require background checks and valid Social Security numbers. Such jobs include: security guards, screeners, janitors, grounds keepers and clerks employed in the public sector, as well as most jobs associated with interstate transport and delivery.
The president does not seem to have given any consideration to the abysmal employment picture for less-educated Americans, people who will now face increased competition for the dwindling number of relatively well-paying jobs that are available to them.
The employment situation in the 3rd Quarter of 2014:
Only 45 percent of adult American citizens (native-born and naturalized), age 18 to 65, without a high school education are working.
Only 65 percent of citizens, age 18 to 65, with just a high school education are working.
For less-educated U.S.-born blacks the situation is even worse. Only 32 percent, age 18 to 65, without a high school education are working, as are only 56 percent with only a high school education.
All of the above figures represent a dramatic deterioration from historical averages. None of these groups have come close to getting back to the share of those working in 2007.
In total there were nearly 27 million adult American citizens, age 18 to 65, with no more than high school education not working in the third quarter of 2014.
All of the above data comes from the public use files of the Current Population Survey collected by the government in the third quarter of 2014. The survey is the source of unemployment and labor market statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Long-standing — but weak — public support for the ideal of immigration crashed this summer, when a wave of 130,000 migrants from Central America crossed into Texas, [Pat] Caddell said.
“We’ve had a sea change in attitudes on immigration that is stunning in the last three or four months,” he said.
The wave “became the reality of ‘Let’s be nice to everyone,’” which has been the public’s traditional attitude toward immigrants, he said. But the wave ensured that Americans “talked to each other and said ‘Oh my God, this is insane,’” Caddell said.
After the wave of migrants, Americans aren’t focused on what’s fair to immigrants, said Conway. ”Now people are asking ‘What’s fair to the rest of us? What’s fair to the high school or college student who is looking for a job? What is fair to the guy who can’t find employment? What’s fair to the business owners?” she said. Many business owners are disadvantaged when their rivals hire low-wage illegals.
The shift has been missed by most pollsters because they won’t push past respondents’ polite comments about immigrants to discover their real strongly held attitudes, Conway and Caddell said.
At least one person has died in the Kenyan city of Mombasa after police clashed with protesters who tried to enter a closed-off mosque. Police were forced to fire in the air and lob teargas to eject the group of youths who forced their way into Masjid Swafaa mosque in Kisauni for prayers.
A police raid on Swafaa mosque on Wednesday resulted in a grenade, petrol bombs and other weapons being found.A city-wide crackdown on groups allegedly linked to the Somali militant Islamist group, al-Shabab, began earlier this week.
Others closed are Masjid Shuhadaa, Sakina and Minah mosques where firearms and explosive materials were seized. More police officers have been deployed to patrol Mombasa streets following reports of a planned demonstration later on Friday over the mosque raids.
Synagogue Murders: Jordanian Parliament Observes A Moment Of Silence
A reading of the Fatiha from the Qur'an, with every member of the Jordanian Parliament standing, palms out, to honor the memory of those Muslim Arabs who died that day, performing, with guns and meat cleavers, their acts of derring-do.
Pupils at six small Muslim private schools in east London are at risk of extremist views and radicalisation, says Ofsted's chief inspector. Sir Michael Wilshaw said the pupils' "physical and educational welfare is at serious risk" following a series of emergency inspections.He said all the schools focused too heavily on Islamic teachings.
The independent schools are Mazahirul Uloom School, Ebrahim Academy, East London Islamic School, London East Academy, Al-Mizan School and Jamiatul Ummah School. In each case, inspectors declared the schools failing, or identified areas where the schools had failed to meet independent school standards.
“The physical condition of all six schools’ accommodation was found to be unacceptable. Three of the schools are sited within mosques. In all three, access to the school was insecure because it was shared with the mosque. In another, the school shared an entrance with a café, giving members of the public open access to the school...Four of the schools were dirty and poorly maintained, with electrical sockets and switches hanging off walls in one, and broken furniture and rubbish in stairwells in another. "
At one school, inspectors found pupils did not know the difference between sharia and British law... (Pupils) were unable to tell inspectors which laws they should follow and which were more important. . . Mazahirul Uloom, a small secondary boys' school that professes to teach the National Curriculum and Islamic Sciences, faces the most criticism. . . the curriculum "focused solely" on Islamic themes.
Pupils here believed it was wrong to learn about other religions, were not taught art, music or drama and pupils had a "narrow view" of women in society. Some students told inspectors: "Women stay at home and clean and look after the children. They cook and pray and wait for us to come back from school with homework."
The report also said there were no systems in place to check suitability of external speakers and that children were not safe because staff recruitment checks were not rigorous enough.
Ebrahim Academy, a secondary boys' school with 97 pupils, was also found to offer too narrow a curriculum. Ofsted said students were not prepared for life in modern Britain.
The London East Academy, a 150-pupil boys' secondary, was not providing enough opportunities for students to learn about other faiths and most of the books in the the school's library were Arabic.
An emergency inspection of the 185-pupil boys' secondary Jammiatul Ummah found good opportunities to study and practise the Islamic faith but pupils were not provided with a broad and balanced curriculum. The report said: "The narrowness of the curriculum means that students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, in particular their understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance, is underdeveloped."
Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat School in Stepney, east London, (A Church of England School with more than 80% Muslim pupils) had excellent results, including outstanding progress in English and maths, the education regulator reported. It added, however, that it was an inadequate school and placed it in special measures because of the behaviour and safety of pupils.
“Arrangements for vetting visiting speakers and monitoring the activities of student groups are not robust enough to ensure that students are kept safe. The school’s approach to the use of playgrounds and common rooms has resulted in the separation of boys and girls when they are out of lessons. The governing body is not demonstrating sufficient capacity to bring about improvements.
The school’s leadership has not responded with sufficient urgency or decisiveness to concerns brought to their attention by the police in 2013-14.This concern related to social media sites bearing the name of a school sixth form society and containing links to individuals associated with extremist activity. . .These sites include links to individuals associated with extremist views and actions. They also include messages to discourage students from attending school events, such as a fundraising karaoke evening, because the activities do not adhere to a particular religious viewpoint.
"One posting states that any sixth form students who attended a ‘leavers’ party’ and engaged in ‘free-mixing’ or ‘listening to music’ would face ‘severe consequences later’. A further uploaded video included a speaker who mocked perceived ‘feminine’ behaviour in men.”
Tower Hamlets’ education director Robert McCulloch-Graham has admitted to the East London Advertiser that Sir John Cass, which comes under Town Hall control, was “not robust enough” in tackling concerns about safeguarding pupils after the school’s sixthform Islamic Society was found to have Facebook links with extremist preachers.
But the authority has little powers over the six privately-run Muslim faith schools in the East End that have also been inspected by Ofted over the ‘fundamentalist links’ issue.
A Town Hall spokesman said: “We have no jurisdiction whatsoever as a local education authority over teaching and standards at independent faith schools. We do have responsibility for safeguarding children, but our powers limit us to offering training and advice to schools. We have repeatedly offered this assistance to independent schools locally—but cannot compel them to accept.”
"Between Us And You There Is Animosity And Hatred Forever"
Muslims of the Islamic State make a video in which they threaten attacks in France, relying on perfectely orthodox Islamic teachings in expressing their hatred of the French until such time as they submit to Allah.
"The mystic chords of memory" and "the better angels of our nature" are phrases that have entered the language. But I wonder, of those who use those phrases, especially the second, know the full speech where these phrases first appeared.
Here it is, not the celebrated Second but the seldom-quoted-in-full First Inaugural.
Three men held three days before Remembrance Sunday had planned to behead a member of public in the UK, using knives, a court has been told. Three Muslim radicals accused of plotting to behead a member of the public on the streets of Britain laughed and grinned as they appeared in court for the first time. Nadir Ali Sayed, 21, from Hounslow, 19-year-old Yousaf Shah Syed, from High Wycombe, and Haseeb Hamayoon, aged 27, from Hayes, West London, appeared before Westminster magistrates on Thursday afternoon.
The trio arrived at court on Thursday afternoon in two heavily armoured prison vans flanked by three unmarked police cars operating flashing blue lights and sirens.
They are each charged with: "On or before 6 November, 2014, charged with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, or engaged in conduction or preparation of terrorism, contrary to section 5 of the terrorism act."
Mr Sayed, from Hounslow, Mr Syed, from High Wycombe, and Mr Hamayoon, from Hayes, spoke only to confirm their names and addresses during the short hearing. All three were arrested on November 6 on suspicion of plotting terrorist acts.
They each wore the same grey Islamic dress with white collars. Mr Sayed and Mr Syed refused to sit for most of the hearing, at times laughing hysterically as details of the evidence against them were read. Mr Hamayoon sat throughout the hearing, nodding and grinning at two older family members sat in the public gallery.
They were remanded in custody to appear next at the Old Bailey on 4 December
Even The Economist Has Had To Acknowledge That Islam Condones Slavery
When it comes to the Arabs and Israel, or to anythiing involving the world's Muslims, The Economist has for decades been as awful as The Guardian or the BBC. But last month, at least one article -- on slavery and Islam -- managed to appear in its pages. It's so unusual, so unlike The Economist, that we might as well pay tribute to it -- and to the existence of the Islamic State which has made many such revelations or acknowledgements unavoidable -- here.
One of the country’s most successful inner-city state schools is to be failed by inspectors for neglecting to safeguard its pupils from extremism in an echo of the Birmingham “Trojan Horse” affair.
Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Red Coat Church of England school in Tower Hamlets, east London, will be placed in special measures by the education standards watchdog Ofsted for failing to monitor the activities of an Islamic society set up by sixth-formers at the school.
In particular, a Facebook site set up by the society contained links to hard-line Islamist preachers – a move which could have made pupils vulnerable to radicalisation. The society also set up its own YouTube channel which was not monitored.
According to Ofsted, that constituted a failure to safeguard the pupils – a breach for which it had to be placed in special measures. It is the first school outside of Birmingham to be failed on such a safeguarding issue.
The school is also criticised for allowing segregation between boys and girls in the playground.
The report, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, will be published tomorrow – alongside reports on six other independent Muslim schools which are also understood to raise safeguarding issues.
It places a question mark over how schools should police Islamic societies – growing numbers of which are being set up in state schools. Sources believe inspectors will soon be exposing similar issues in schools elsewhere in the country. Islamic societies at some universities have been linked to radicalisation and extremism.
The school’s headteacher, Haydn Evans, who was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List, is said to have been “shell-shocked” by the decision to place it in special measures. . . Many headteachers in Tower Hamlets are understood to believe that Ofsted’s judgement is harsh. “This is in no way ‘Trojan Horse mark two’,” said one source. “This is very, very, very different to Birmingham. There are no governors wanting to take over the school and introduce hard-line Islamic practices. It has just slipped up in one area.” A very, very, important area, that of protecting children from undesirable influences.
Sources said concerns over safeguarding would automatically lead to a school being failed in the leadership and management category of an inspection – and thus cause it to be placed in special measures. Despite being a Church of England school, its intake is 80 per cent Bengali Muslim – reflecting the make-up of the community it serves. It only reserves 18 per cent of its places for pupils from a Christian denomination. Another failure in my opinion. A Church school should uphold the Gospel, not facilitate the spread of an ideology that persecutes Christians. But I'm told that I'm old fashioned.
The school announced on its website that it will close today for “staff training”, leading to rumours that major changes are being made to practises. In its promotional material SJC admits to operating segregated sixth form common rooms. One that is only open to girls, whilst the other one is open to both sexes.
The OFSTED report is expected to cite the segregated common rooms as one example of the school operating according to strict Islamic rules. They are also highly critical of a referendum that was held to decide whether boys and girls should enter the schools via separate entrances. In classes they offer an AS level in Islamic studies, despite officially being a Church of England School. No Christian equivalent is advertised.
In the promotional description of the course, the school says: “Not a week goes by when something to do with Islam is not mentioned on the news, e.g. the cartoons insulting the prophet, terrorists causing atrocities in the name of Islam, the rights of women, Shariah Law etc. The great thing about this course is that students will learn exactly what Islam is about, its true beliefs and practices.”
Media Manipulation of the Jerusalem Synagogue Murders
In the wake of the horrific news of the slaughter at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem, we convened an on-air discussion on 1330WEBY in Pensacola. During the broadcast word came of the fifth death, an Israeli Druze Border Policeman. A sixth victim of their barbarous attack is reported to have fallen into a coma. This was as a result of the Islamikaze attack by two cousins from the Jabel Mukaber section of east Jerusalem, Odei Abed Abu Jamal, 22 and Ghassam Mohammed Abu Jamal, 32, equipped with guns, knives, and meat cleavers. They were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine allegedly motivated by Jewish threats to the Haram al Sharaf/ Temple Mount. They were shot dead by the two Israeli police at the blood spattered horrific scene inside the synagogue in Har Nof that took the lives of four rabbis, three dual citizen Americans and a Briton. In the aftermath of this heinous attack, sweets and cookies were distributed in Gaza City while Palestinians there celebrated the grisly murders of the rabbis at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem.
The ‘we” included WEBY Your Turn host and general manager Mike Bates, this writer and Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola, host of WEBY program, “In the Beginning.” This summer we did several programs to update the Gulf Coast listener audience of the threats to Israel during the 50 day IDF Operation Defensive Edge. The rocket and terror tunnel war was launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the wake of the murders of three Jewish Yeshiva students by Hamas operatives masquerading as observant Jews. They were killed while hitchhiking home near Hebron. That series of radio discussions culminated in the launch of a local Federation sponsored Stand for Israel rally in historic Seville square with hundreds of attendees.
Prior to the segment, Bates and I looked at two disquieting videos of President Obama’s remarks regarding the slaughter at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue. One was produced by CNBC, while the other was the raw AP news video. Conspicuous by its absence in the former was President Obama’s morally equivalent lines in his statement, “Too many Israelis and too many Palestinians have died”. Breitbart drew attention to Obama’s remarks in the raw AP video, Obama Responds to Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: 'Too Many Palestinians Have Died'. However, as Rabbi Tokajer observed during the opening moments of our discussion, CNN had an earlier breaking headline of the grisly synagogue attack, “Two Palestinians shot Dead by Israeli Police “. This while sweets and cookies were being handed out and Palestinians celebrated in Gaza. I drew attention to the deep links between the Obama White House and major media illustrated by Deputy National Security Advisor and spokesperson, Ben Rhodes, whose brother David heads CBS News. As one aspect of that, I referred to the editing of reportage by former CBS correspondent Sheryl Atkisson over the Benghazi episode that she chronicled in her new book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington.
Early on in the radio discussion, I drew attention to one of the victims of the synagogue slaughter, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, son of revered Chassidic Rabbi Isadore. As a native of the Boston area I spoke of the esteem the Twersky rabbinic dynasty was held in, reflected in the naming of the new Harvard Judaic Studies Center after Rabbi Isadore, its founding director. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts commented in a Skype IM exchange, that “Moshe's father was the Talner Rebbe. A giant.” The Twerskys were an important Rabbinic dynasty that The Forward pointed out in an article melded both Chassidic and Modern Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Moshe Twersky’s grandfather on his mother’s side was Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, a renowned Jewish scholar who founded the Maimonides School from which Rabbi Twersky graduated.
During the segment we discussed the incitement and duplicity in the condemnation by PA President Abbas that was quickly seized upon by the President Obama and the mainstream media. Abbas, as Bates pointed out was serving in the tenth year of an initial four year term as PA President, had stoked the violence in Jerusalem in the wake of an American born Palestinian youth murdered by three Israeli youths. Bates said that the Jewish perpetrators had been arraigned and doubtless will be prosecuted for their crime.
Rabbi Tokajer commented that perhaps behind this current wave of violence lay a reality when he pointed out that "according to a recent survey by Near Eastern Consulting 75% of Palestinians do not accept Israel's right to exist and reject a two state solution.” He noted that Administration had repeatedly accused PM Netanyahu of stoking the Palestinian violence through announcements of new housing construction in Jerusalem. To which Bates replied this criticism was unwarranted as there was a project that set aside nearly half the units for Arabs.
That was exemplified by the contretemps during the October 2014 Netanyahu visit with Obama in the Oval Office. over the announcement of 2,610 units in Givat HaMatos. White House press spokesman Josh Earnest expressed deep concern with construction of “settlements” in “sensitive” areas of east Jerusalem. Further Earnest said , "This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, (and) distance Israel from even its closest allies”, a clear reference to the Administration. Israel PM Netanyahu at a New York press conference later the same day disputed the comment saying, “Arabs in Jerusalem purchase homes freely in the west of the city and nobody says that’s forbidden. I don’t intend to tell Jews that they can’t buy homes in East Jerusalem.” It was left to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat angered by the White House attack who issued this statement:
I say this firmly and clearly: building in Jerusalem is not poisonous and harmful – rather, it is essential, important and will continue with full force. I will not freeze construction for anyone in Israel's capital. Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country
Our discussion then focused on Abbas and Jordan’s upset at Jewish claims that they are entitled to pray on the temple mount, which is also shared by Muslims as the fourth most revered Mosque in Islam. Turning to the religious conflict over the Temple Mount, Bates, who had his first visit to Israel in March 2014, referred to the sign that Jews were not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, the Noble Sanctuary/Haram Al Sharaf as Muslims refer to it. He mused that the spot is revered by Jews as well as Christians as the Dome of the Rock is the mythic location of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac, the Akeda in Hebrew, but had been aborted by Angels carrying instructions from Ha Shem.
We pointed out the contemporary conflict over Jewish rights to pray on the Temple Mount in the shooting of another American –born Israeli victim of Palestinian violence, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Faithful that seeks civil rights for Jews to pray there. Glick was assaulted at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in late October 2014 and shot three times by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, Mutaz Hijazi, who after fleeing the scene on a motorcycle was tracked down and killed by Israeli Border police.
The continuing denial of Jewish and Christian rights to pray on the Temple Mount under Israeli law can be traced to the key role that the legendary Moshe Dayan played in urging the Knesset to pass legislation ceding control over the Temple Mount to the Waqf or trust appointed by the King of Jordan, hence the role played by King Abdullah in the current contretemps. Meanwhile the Muslim appointees have done everything possible to destroy the heritage of Jewish presence by excavating under the Haram al Sharaf/Temple Mount.
Rabbi Tokajer brought up the issue that the myopic delusion of a peace settlement between Israel and the PA based on the 1949 Armistice Line. He said that there is no reason for a division of unified Jerusalem given that a Palestinian State already exists, Jordan.
We brought up the matter of the UAE’s designation of a host of terrorist groups that included, Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and two of its US affiliates, the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The question was brought up about both the UAE and Saudi Arabia having major financiers underwriting these terrorist groups. Rabbi Tokajer pointed out that Arab society is based on loyalty to family, clan and tribe; hence, you could have subjects of Arab states who would view their contributions to these designated terrorist groups as simply Zakat or Charity in support of following the way of Allah, jihad. Bates asked how Saudi Arabia and the UAE could control that. I responded by saying perhaps the US Treasury Undersecretary for Finance and Terrorism might advise them, as we apparently know who are these financiers are.
When the question of what Israel might do, we referred to American –Israeli Vic Rosenthal suggestions in his blog, Abu Yehuda. Rosenthal’s suggestions included the Knesset passing a Basic Law declaring Israel a Jewish State, Annexing Area C that includes Judea and Samaria, leaving Areas B and D on the West Bank as an autonomous entity with 98 % of the Palestinians in the West Bank. However that still left the matter of dealing with the ironic situation of disloyal Arab Muslim Members in Israel’s Knesset engaging in seditious acts seeking to foster the destruction of the Jewish State. Then there is the ISIS wannabe Israel Arab Muslim Sheik Real Salah of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement inciting violence against Jewish, Christian and Druze citizens seeking to declare a Caliphate to supplant Israel. The Knesset might adopt legal proceedings to be conducted to deprive citizenship and eject such individuals. That is, if the Israeli High Court doesn’t overturn it.
On the matter of what the new GOP controlled US Congress might do when the 114th session begins on January 3, 2015, we offered some suggestions. Congress might seriously consider defunding the Palestinian Authority. It might deny US funding for reconstruction of war torn Gaza. That might raise the question of depopulating Gaza, allowing voluntary transfer elsewhere in the region. Something that Egypt and other Members of the Arab League had heretofore barred. Now Egypt has effectively created a buffer zone in the Rafah gap destroying housing and smuggling tunnels, isolating the residents of Gaza. Perhaps, if this fantasy occurred Gaza might serve as a safe haven for persecuted Middle East Christians.
Six men have been named, shamed and barred from contacting underage girls in a landmark anti-exploitation case - despite there not being enough evidence to convict them of a crime. The injunction was won by authorities in Birmingham today against the six men - three of whom were found with a 'vulnerable' girl in a hotel room.
They can be named as Omar Ahmed, 27, Sajid Hussain, 40, Mohammed Anjam, 31, Naseem Khan, 30, Mohammed Javed, 33, and Alam Shah, 36, after a judge ruled it was in the public interest for their identities to be released.
That was despite the objections of West Midlands Police - who despite applying for the injunction, argued the men's names should be kept secret to protect their private lives. Even though the men have now been named, the force says it will not be releasing their photographs for the same reason.
A spokesman said: 'We have a duty to consider the impact of releasing the men's images on innocent family members, such as their partners and their own young children.'
Javed, from Tyseley, Khan, from Bordesley Green, and Shah, from Small Heath, claimed they were doing nothing wrong when police found them in a room at the Ibis Hotel in Birmingham with the teenager. He claimed he met the girl at petrol station in August, and was drunk so he took her to the hotel room back and paid £40 in cash for the room. He said nothing inappropriate happened, although they were both drinking vodka. He then said he called his friends Khan and Shah to take him home
But the judge said Javed's evidence was 'incredible' and he was 'plainly lying.' He said the other two who claimed to have gone to the hotel to take him home as a friend were also lying. He said: 'I am satisfied all three of them were engaged in the sexual exploitation of the girl.'
The injunctions bar them from contacting, approaching or following the girl and from approaching 'any female under the age of 18 years, not previously associated with him, on a public highway, common land, wasteland, parkland, playing field, public transport stop or station.' They must also not allow any female under the age of 18 not previously known to them 'to enter into or remain in any private motor car or taxi in which he is driving or travelling as a passenger.' They were also banned from texting or contacting the girl by any means including 'face to face contact, telephone (mobile/landline/facetime/skype etc), text messages, msm, blackberry, chatrooms, or other social media'. And they are forbidden from passing on details for the girl, 'for example name, location, address, telephone numbers' or 'incite, encourage or facilitate the introduction of the (the girl) to any other male.'
If the injunctions are broken, the men could be jailed for up to two years for contempt of court.
Left to right. Top row Allam Shah, 36, and Naseem Khan. Bottom row Mohammed Anjam and Mohammed Javed
One of the men said the proceedings were 'racist' as he left court today.
Politics is a contact sport. Expressions like “dirty politics” are redundant. Maybe there should be boundaries. Alas, even rhetorical restraint doesn’t seem to make the cut in Washington these days.
The latest smut comes from a high ranking White House official who calls the Israeli Prime Minister a “chicken shit.” The Obama official also referred to Netanyahu as “aspergery,” a thinly veiled attack on the Prime Minister’s family. One of Netanyahu’s kids has Asperger’s Syndrome. Does it get any worse than using the handicapped to smear an opponent?
The anonymous Oval Office hit man, according to Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, expands the scatological metaphor to suggest that Benjamin Netanyahu, former Sayeret Matkal, is a “coward.” Surely, the chicken shit sound bite was an authorized leak – and possibly another symptom of Jew baiting on the American Left.
Speaking of chickens...
To set the record straight, Netanyahu served in two wars and saw combat in more than a few Special Forces operations. He was wounded several times and lost an older brother, also with the IDF SOF, in combat during the Entebbe Raid.
Netanyahu’s a coward? Compared to whom? Surely not Barack Obama! How brave is it for a President to hide behind an anonymous staffer who slanders another head of state? How much courtesy does it take to pick up a phone and make the apologies yourself? How much integrity does it take to fire the offender in the most public way possible?
According to White House back biters, Netanyahu is a coward because he will not make a suicide pact with the Fatah/Hamas caliphate. In truth, there is no deal in the Mideast because there is no deal to be made. The problem isn’t Netanyahu or recognition of Palestine, the problem is Arab failure, Hamas in particular, to recognize and respect Israel. Netanyahu has put Hamas where it belongs, in the same sty as ISIS. The Israeli Prime Minister is the only leader in the civilized world with the courage to call terror and Islamic barbarism by their proper names.
Anti-Semitism is the apogee of cultural vulgarity; a political pathology that apparently now infests the academy, the American Left, White House and State Department rhetoric. An administration that cultivates divisive domestic tactics now elevates division to strategy with allies abroad.
Bibi and Barry as young men
The irony of any Netanyahu/Obama juxtaposition is that Bibi is a former decorated Israeli soldier who knows how and when to fight and Barry is a community organizer who cannot make a coherent national security decision or take responsibility for failed half-measures and inertia. As young men, Obama posed proudly with a joint while Netanyahu posed proudly as an IDF Special Forces soldier. Those images might say everything that needs to be said about either man’s character. Obama was wasting on weed while Netanyahu and his brother were wasting terrorists.
Given a choice between Netanyahu and Obama, which kind of man might lead a nation, or the world for that matter, to victory over the likes of ISIS or militant Islam?
No surprise that cannabis entered the American cultural mainstream in the Obama years. God knows America needs as many crutches and escapes from reality as possible these days.
G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security
Kenyan security forces on Wednesday (Nov 19) carried out fresh raids on mosques in the port city of Mombasa searching for weapons and supporters of Somalia's Shebab militants, police said.
Grenades, ammunition and petrol bombs were seized in raids on the Swafaa and Minaa mosques, taking the total to four mosques searched since Monday in the tense city, officers said. Local police chief Richard Ngatia said 110 people were arrested, adding to more than 250 arrested on Monday. "There was obviously a lot more than just prayers and sermons taking place," he said.
The action comes just two days after police raided and closed the Musa and Sakina mosques in the same city in a search for weapons and radical supporters of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Shebab. One person was shot dead as they tried to throw a grenade at police on Monday. Police seized hand grenades and a pistol, and arrested more than 250 people. Black Islamist flags, such as those flown by the Shebab, were also found.
Four people were stabbed to death in apparent revenge attacks on Monday, with gangs taking to the streets beating some and knifing others.
"I want to make it clear that houses of worship cannot and shall not be taken over by criminals or used for criminal activities, including terrorism," Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said in a statement late Tuesday.
Mombasa-based civil society group HAKI Africa, warned Wednesday that "forceful and violent strategies only act to heighten tension in what already is a volatile situation." While accepting that grenades had been found, he also said police had a "reputation" among some Kenyans of planting evidence - claims the security forces have repeatedly denied.
Police refusal to take off their shoes while enterings mosques had angered many, he added. "It is very disturbing to note that the police are making it their modus operandi to raid places of worship and violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of worshippers," he said.