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Date: Sunday, 19 Jan 2014 13:13

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Why shouldn't they be confident of victory? Their opponent doesn't consider them the enemy and doesn't want to fight them: "Last year, during my visit to Washington, in a very important briefing a day before I met U.S. President [Barack Obama], his national security adviser Tom Donilon, and senior White House officials, generals, and intelligence officials, the national security adviser met with me. He told me: 'The Taliban are not our enemies and we don't want to fight them.'" -- Hamid Karzai, November 26, 2013

"Afghanistan Taliban 'confident of victory' over Nato," from the BBC, January 16:

A spokesman for the Afghan Taliban has said it is "confident of victory" over Nato-led forces and already controls large areas of the country.

Interviewed by the BBC's John Simpson, Zabiullah Mujahed said in remote parts it was "everywhere", and foreign troops were scared to leave their bases.

He also denied any ties with candidates in the "fake" presidential elections.

But it is hard to believe the Taliban might make a comeback in Afghanistan as things stand, our correspondent says.

Hard to believe? Obviously the BBC has no idea what is going on in Afghanistan.

However, their takeover of Kabul in 1996 was unexpected, and the election of a weak, corrupt president could strengthen them, he adds.

Most Nato-led (Isaf) foreign combat forces are due to leave this year, having handed over control to the Afghan army, as combat operations are declared to be over.

The Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahed, seemed to have two aims in his BBC interview - to urge the claim that the Taliban are winning the war and will soon return to power, and to deny any divisions over April's presidential election.

The Taliban, he insisted, refused have anything to do with the various candidates in what he called "this fake process", and he strongly denied that some Taliban figures were keen to have talks with the government (though the government insists that this is the case).

As things stand, it's very hard to believe that the Taliban might make a comeback. Yet their take-over of Kabul in 1996 was completely unexpected, and happened because the government of the time was so corrupt and ineffectual.

If the April election is won by a weak figure suspected of corruption, the Taliban's chances will definitely be boosted.

This was the first full interview with the Taliban for 18 months, but it shows that their public relations instincts are as strong as ever.

In December 2013, the head of the British army warned that the Taliban could retake some lost territory after troops leave.

General Sir Peter Wall said the Taliban would fight for land which Nato forces had "suffered significantly" to capture, and that with UK combat forces due to withdraw by the end of 2014, it would be "quite bad news" if some areas changed hands.

Earlier, the US National Intelligence Estimate predicted Afghanistan would descend into chaos if Kabul failed to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement with Washington, which would keep a contingent of US troops in the country after 2014.
'Everywhere is Taliban'

Mr Mujahed said that historically Afghanistan had always defeated its occupiers.

"We're sure they'll be defeated," he said.

"In the remote parts, everywhere is mojahedin Taliban. They're moving around and have control over the villages.

"The foreign forces ... are so scared they're confined to their bases.

He added that "vast swathes" of Helmand province, where UK troops are operating, were under Taliban control.

The spokesman also said that should the group return to power, it would not moderate the extreme methods of government and punishment it employed when last in charge, adding that the "Afghan people will again bring about an Islamic system according to their wishes"....

He is confident, in other words, that the Afghans are mostly people who would be understood by mainstream Western analysts as "extremists" who misunderstand Islam.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Afghanistan"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 20:56

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Yesterday I noted that the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), the Canadian branch of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), demanded that Prime Minister Steven Harper drop Rabbi Daniel Korobkin from a delegation traveling to Israel because Korobkin committed the cardinal sin of introducing Pamela Geller and me at an event last September in Toronto. The Prime Minister's office responded by noting the NCCM's ties to Hamas, whereupon the NCCM threatened to sue.

So does the NCCM have ties to Hamas or not? The superb Canadian site Point de Bascule answers: "Prime Minister Harper's director of communications slams the National Council of Canadian Muslims for 'documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,'" from Point de Bascule, January 17:

While Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting ready for his first visit to the Middle East scheduled to start on Saturday January 18, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM – known until recently as CAIR-CAN) objected to the presence of Toronto Rabbi Daniel Korobkin in the official delegation.

Sun News reported that "Jason MacDonald, the prime minister's director of communications, slammed the NCCM for even making the suggestion. ‘We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,’ MacDonald said."

The NCCM retorted that MacDonald's statement was ‘absolutely false’ and said that it is not associated with any terrorist group. NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee added by email that “Our legal counsel is of the view that this statement is defamatory and libelous and we will be taking this up with the PMO.”

The NCCM considers that Korobkin should not be part of the delegation accompanying PM Harper because, in September 2013, he introduced Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two anti-Islamist campaigners, at a public meeting in Toronto.

In order to understand the context of the PMO’s remarks, it is helpful to go back to the origins of CAIR-CAN. CAIR-CAN was established as a branch of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that had itself been founded by three leaders of a Hamas front group in the United States.

In their answers to FAQs provided when CAIR-CAN became NCCM, NCCM leaders completely falsified history and claimed that “There was never any operating or funding relationship between CAIR.CAN and CAIR.”)

The operating relationship between a Hamas front group called Islamic Association of Palestine, CAIR and CAIR-CAN is presented in the following chronology:

June 1994 – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was established by three leaders of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP): Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad and Rafeeq Jaber. The IAP was a front group for Hamas in the United States in the eighties and nineties. In a video archived by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Nihad Awad expresses his support for Hamas at Barry University in 1994. In 2002, an American judge presiding the case Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development v. Ashcroft concluded that the "Islamic Association for Palestine ("IAP"), has acted in support of Hamas.”

2000 – Foundation of CAIR-CAN

December 29, 2000 – A CAIR-CAN press release issued in Washington provides the name of a US-based CAIR leader as contact to comment about a fire at a mosque in Canada. In this press release, CAIR-CAN is referred to as CAIR's "office in Canada."

August 31, 2001 – A US-based CAIR leader’s name is added as contact in a CAIR-CAN press release criticizing the Canada-based National Post. In this press release, CAIR-CAN is referred to as "the Canadian office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations."

October 10, 2002 – Washington-based CAIR files a trade-mark application for an exclusive use of its acronym CAIR in Canada. In the Canadian government’s database, the address of the applicant CAIR is the following:

453 New Jersey Avenue, South East
Washington, D.C. 20003
United States of America

2003 – In a Journalist's Guide to Islam conceived by CAIR-CAN (p. 15), Washington-based CAIR is described as “CAIR-CAN’s parent organization” (p. 14).

December 16, 2003 – CAIR-CAN Chair Sheema Khan swears in an affidavit supporting Washington-based CAIR in a legal trade-mark battle that it “has direct control” over CAIR-CAN’s activities in Canada.

March 10, 2005 – A Canadian government agency confirms that, in Canada, the trade-mark on the acronym CAIR belongs to Washington-based CAIR.

August 14, 2007 – In a list of CAIR chapters, CAIR-CAN appears between CAIR-Ohio and CAIR-Central Pennsylvania.

Two CAIR-CAN leaders openly endorsed Hamas after it was listed a terrorist organization by the Liberal government in 2002

Jamal Badawi and Wael Haddara are two important pillars of the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in Canada. Both were members of CAIR-CAN Board of directors for ten years or so. Badawi was still identified as a CAIR-CAN leader on the organization’s website on May 28, 2013, while Haddara resigned his position on the Board on April 3, 2012. On March 3, 2004, both of them were simultaneously on CAIR-CAN’s Board and on the Muslim Association of Canada’s Board. That day, MAC issued a press release in which it openly endorsed Hamas. That was more than one year after the Canadian government, Liberal back then, had added Hamas to a list of terrorist organizations. The listing is available on Public Safety Canada’s website.

Apart from being engaged in the destruction of Israel, in recent years Hamas leaders have frequently advocated the Islamic conquest of the West (200820112012). On July 16, 2013, Hamas even threatened to launch terrorist attacks in countries where Israel embassies are located. Canada is among the potential targets, of course....

Read it all.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "CAIR"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 19:43

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In reality, Iran wants to annihilate Israel. But we have seen many times that Islamic supremacists tend to project their own evils onto those whom they fear and hate. "Zionists planning to annihilate Islam," by Catherine Shakdam for Press TV, January 18 (thanks to Maxwell):

With Zionists more intent than ever on defiling one of Islam’s holiest of holy, al-Aqsa Mosque, the very ground upon which, so many prophets of God, including Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), have walked upon, one should not ponder over whether Israel is working towards the building of its Third Temple but rather ask when it plans to destroy one of Islam’s beacons.

Only this week, Israeli settlers - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s very own pack of rabid dogs - repeatedly attacked al-Aqsa compound, adamant they would challenge Muslim’s monopoly over the sacred ground and ultimately erase all traces of Islam from…[this place].

Such men want to extradite Islam from its land and deny its very existence for it poses an inherent threat to their own belief system. As a religion of truth, the closing chapter of God’s message onto Men, Islam requires no indoctrination as it is light by essence. It is such light which Israel seeks to annihilate as its forces only yearn for darkness.

Perfectly aware of the controversy their actions are bound to generate, Israel extremists feel endowed with a sacred mission; ridding al-Quds of all the Gentiles ahead of the coming of their much awaited “Messiah.” Only what they fail to realize is that with the building of the Third Temple it is their fate as a people they are sealing for all eternity.

Under the leadership of radical Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a man who has sworn to destroy Al-Aqsa, as he believes the Arc of the Covenant as well as Moses’ ten commandments tablets sit directly underneath its ground, buried deep within, the precious relics of prophetic times; Israel crusaders are on a mission.
Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the former chief rabbi of Israel actually confirmed in an interview that all Israel religious leaders vied toward such a goal.

…Al-Quds remain a sacred symbol within our consciousness, a physical link to our faith, a place which has yet to witness a great deal of tribulations and see fulfilled many prophecies, one of which the return of [Imam] Mahdi, Islam’s most awaited Imam and true leader of faith....

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "conspiracy paranoia"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 17:16

Thumbnail image for Fiyaz-Mughal_2578959b.jpgFiyaz Mughal


Andrew Gilligan reported in the Telegraph last June 9 that Tell Mama, a group which, like Faith Matters, is also headed by Fiyaz Mughal, was not going to "have its government grant renewed after police and civil servants raised concerns about its methods." What was wrong with its methods? It had "claimed that there had been a 'sustained wave of attacks and intimidation' against British Muslims after the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby." But Tell Mama and Fiyaz Mughal "did not mention, however, that 57 per cent of the 212 reports referred to activity that took place only online, mainly offensive postings on Twitter and Facebook, or that a further 16 per cent of the 212 reports had not been verified. Not all the online abuse even originated in Britain. Contrary to the group’s claim of a 'cycle of violence' and a 'sustained wave of attacks', only 17 of the 212 incidents, 8 per cent, involved the physical targeting of people and there were no attacks on anyone serious enough to require medical treatment."'

No attack on any innocent person is justified. Fiyaz Mughal is clearly not interested in defending innocent people, but in inflating the numbers of attacks on innocent Muslims, so as to create and perpetuate the false and tendentious claim that resisting jihad terror and Islamic supremacism somehow endangers innocent people. Tell Mama and Faith Matters showed this clearly when they demanded that the UK Home Office ban Pamela Geller and me from entering the country; the Home Office should have recognized the dishonesty at the heart of their effort in light of their manipulation of the "Islamophobia" figures.

And now, even though Fiyaz Mughal has been thoroughly discredited, the tools at the Voice of America are repeating his distortions and calls for restrictions on the freedom of speech -- for by "hate speech," Mughal means any honest discussion of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism.

"Anti-Muslim Attacks Nearly Double in Britain," by Al Pessin for the VOA, January 17:

LONDON — British police say anti-Muslim attacks nearly doubled in England last year, prompting concern among community leaders and calls for changes in government policies.

Officials and Muslim community leaders attribute the increase largely to the May 2013 murder of a British solider in London by two Muslim men who claimed they did it for Islam. The incident was recorded by a security camera.

But anti-Muslim feeling in Britain goes beyond that, according to Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, a community organization.

“There is what we call a ‘background noise’ of anti-Muslim hate that has quite significant volume," Mughal said. "That volume is both online as well as off-line. There are troubling indicators that anti-Muslim hate is unfortunately on the social horizon and probably here to stay for some time.”

Experts say most of the anti-Muslim attacks come in the form of insults and graffiti. Some mosques have also been vandalized, including one in north London, where the head of a pig was thrown over the fence.

As worshippers arrived for midday prayers on a recent Friday, newspapers were reporting a sharp increase in the Muslim population in Britain, leaving community leaders inside, like Omar el-Hamdoun, president of the Muslim Association of Britain, to ponder the impact.

“An increase in the number of Muslims means that, as Muslims, we need to tackle anti-Muslim hatred or Islamophobia, so that Muslims are feeling more and more part of society,” el-Hamdoun said.

He acknowledges that can be difficult at times.

“As Muslims, we have our own practices, we have our own needs, we have our own reasoning," he said. "So I think all of these things are actually difficult for us to fully integrate into society.”

Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims make up 3 percent of the population and are part of the fabric of everyday life. But Muslim community leaders say a small number of militants, along with tensions in the Middle East and anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain, accentuate divisions in society here and across the continent.

“Europe, unfortunately, has a strain of hate that seems to run through it," Mughal said. "Something about Europe seems to carry this rejection of the ‘other.’”

Mughal calls for Britain’s single, year-old rules on hate speech to be tightened, for police to be more responsive to anti-Muslim incidents, and for judges to hand out tougher sentences to people convicted of hate crimes.

He and other experts say there is also a lot for community organizations to do to educate Muslims and the broader society, about what Islam is and how it can fit into a European context very different from its traditional homelands.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "United Kingdom"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 16:50

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How did Basit Sheikh come to misunderstand Islam so spectacularly as to think jihad had something to do with waging war against Infidels? What mosque did he attend? Is anyone paying to all the U.S. mosques supporting the Syrian jihad? Or would that be "Islamophobic"?

"Judge sets July trial for Cary man accused of attempting to aid terrorists," by Anne Blythe for the Raleigh News and Observer, January 17 (thanks to Kenneth):

RALEIGH — Old-fashioned, gumshoe sleuthing was not what led the FBI to a Cary man accused of trying to aid an al-Qaida-linked militant group attempting to topple the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria.

Prosecutors said Friday that federal agents became suspicious of Basit Javed Sheikh, the 29-year-old awaiting trial on terror-related charges, only after he contacted an FBI-run Facebook page disguised as a forum for extreme Muslim views.

Sheikh was in federal court Friday in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle.

A Pakistan native who is classified as a lawful permanent resident in this country, Sheikh has been imprisoned since early November when he was arrested at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Federal agents contend that Sheikh was on his way to Turkey, where he hoped to join up with Jabhat al-Nusra, a rebel force fighting Assad’s troops in the Syrian civil war. The U.S. government has declared Jabhat al-Nursa a terrorist organization, and over the past year has charged at least three U.S. residents with attempting to join the group also known as the Nusra Front.

Prosecutors proposed a trial schedule on Friday that was rejected by Boyle as too protracted. Boyle settled on July, a couple of months earlier than prosecutors had hoped, and urged the lawyers to fit their exchange of information and any plea negotiations into that time frame.

“It’s my opinion that a matter of sensitive national security needs to go to the front of the line, not the back of the line, for the court’s attention,” Boyle said.

Prosecutor’s concerns

Prosecutors had asked for more time so the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and other law enforcement organizations from around the globe could go through their data and intelligence.

Prosecutor Jason Kellhofer said the organizations needed time to comb their files with an eye toward protecting their intelligence-gathering methods and any sources who might be compromised if the information were revealed.

Kellhofer also said he wanted to comb the information for any details that might help defense lawyers with claims of innocence, as required by law.

“Once that information is located, which is a hurdle in and of itself, we need to see that it can be declassified,” Kellhofer said.

Defense attorney Joseph Gilbert has agreed to a protective order, which means he will not share sensitive information with the public.

The FBI contends that Sheikh wrote messages online expressing an interest in joining the Nusra Front. Federal agents have been on the lookout for U.S. residents expressing a desire to fight with the group.

Others arrested

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, an 18-year-old from suburban Chicago, was arrested in April at O’Hare International Airport as he prepared for the first leg of a trip to join the group, according to federal court documents. Tounisi, American-born, has pleaded not guilty.

In September, federal authorities in northern Virginia released a U.S. Army veteran accused of fighting alongside the jihadist group after a secret plea deal. Eric Harroun, 31, had faced up to life in prison. But defense lawyers argued there was confusion about which rebel group Harroun had joined, that Harroun traveled to Syria planning to fight with the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, and that fighting with the FSA was not a crime.

Though Sheikh’s attorney did not offer a glimpse of his defense at the hearing in Raleigh on Friday, terror law experts have said that the Cary man’s case underscores what they argue is a hypocrisy of prosecuting U.S. residents supporting anti-Assad groups that the government has declared terrorists while aiding others in the conflict that has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past two and a half years....

It's not hypocrisy. It's myopia. It's self-inflicted, willful ignorance over the nature of the combatants in Syria, and the dominance of jihad groups there.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "American jihadis"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 16:47

...on my ABN Jihad Watch program.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "dialogue"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 16:01

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Good thing these people are not the enemy; if they were, imagine how many more people would have been murdered. "Last year, during my visit to Washington, in a very important briefing a day before I met U.S. President [Barack Obama], his national security adviser Tom Donilon, and senior White House officials, generals, and intelligence officials, the national security adviser met with me. He told me: 'The Taliban are not our enemies and we don't want to fight them.'" -- Hamid Karzai, November 26, 2013

"Two Americans among 21 killed in Kabul blast," by Patrick Quinn for the Associated Press, January 18 (thanks to Kenneth):

KABUL, Afghanistan — The death toll from a Taliban attack on a Kabul restaurant popular with foreigners and affluent Afghans has risen to 21 people including two Americans, officials said Saturday, in the deadliest violence against foreign civilians in the country since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir said the victims included 13 foreigners and eight Afghans and said the majority were civilians. The U.S. Embassy said that at least two private U.S. citizens were among the victims but provided no other details.

The American University of Afghanistan said that two of its U.S. employees were among those killed....

The dead at the La Taverna du Liban restaurant also included the head of the International Monetary Fund in Afghanistan, three United Nations staff and a member of the European Police Mission in Afghanistan. The UN had initially reported four dead, but had counted the IMF representative.

Zahir and international officials said the dead included two Britons, two Canadians, a Dane, a Russian, two Lebanese and a Pakistani. At least four people were wounded and about eight Afghans, mostly the kitchen staff, survived.

Five women, four foreign and one Afghan, were also among the dead, Zahir said.

The three attackers, including a suicide bomber and two gunmen, were also killed during Friday night's assault on the Lebanese restaurant.

The dead included the head of the IMF in Afghanistan, Wabel Abdallah, a 60-year-old Lebanese national; a Danish European Policewoman and her British bodyguard, while the U.N. in Kabul said its three staff members included a Pakistani, a Russian and a Somali-American. The restaurant's Lebanese owner, Kamal Hamade, was also killed.

The attack was condemned by the U.N. Security Council, NATO and the European Union.

"I strongly condemn this attack on random civilians and my thoughts and deepest sympathy goes to the next of kin," Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a statement.

The Danish Foreign Ministry declined to release details about the victim as customary but Denmark's TV2 said she was a 34-year-old woman.

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms this appalling and unjustifiable violence. The perpetrators must be brought to justice," EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said Saturday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office has not yet condemned the attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in reprisal for an Afghan military operation earlier in the week against insurgents in eastern Parwan province, which the insurgents claimed killed many civilians. The Taliban frequently provide exaggerated casualty figures.

"The target of the attack was a restaurant frequented by high ranking foreigners," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an emailed statement. He said the attack targeted a place "where the invaders used to dine with booze and liquor in the plenty."

He described the "revenge attack" as having delivered a "heavy admonitory blow to the enemy which they shall never forget."...

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Afghanistan"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 15:58

This bears out what Pamela Geller wrote about Al Jazeera at Breitbart in August 2013:

The fact is that the U.S. government should designate Al Jazeera a terrorist organization, in the same way that it designated Al Manar (Hezb'Allah TV) a terror organization. What’s the difference between the two?

Al Jazeera is the leading terrorist propaganda organization in the world. Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the broadcaster’s reporting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable,” and President George W. Bush joked about bombing it.

Jihad murder mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki has praised Al Jazeera, and several years ago one of its most prominent reporters was arrested on terror charges. Al Jazeera also has for years been the recipient of numerous al-Qaida videos featuring Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and American traitor Adam Gadahn.

Al Jazeera members have also provided material support for jihad terrorism. Tayseer Allouni, their correspondent in Afghanistan who interviewed Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was sent to prison for being an agent of al-Qaida. Al Jazeera’s first managing director, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, was exposed as an agent of the Saddam Hussein regime, and the channel promoted the bloody jihad against American forces in Iraq.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "journalistic bias"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 15:42

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Even if Umarov is dead, the jihad against Russia over the Olympics continues. "Nine wounded by car bomb in Russia's Dagestan," from PTI, January 18 (thanks to Lookmann):

Makhachkala: Police say nine people have been wounded in a bombing in Russia's southern province of Dagestan.

Fatima Ubaidatova, a spokeswoman for the local police in Dagestan, said unidentified attackers today fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a restaurant in the provincial capital, Makhachkala. No one was hurt, but when police arrived at the spot, a bomb placed in a car parked nearby went off. The explosion wounded nine people, including two police officers.

Dagestan has become the centre of an Islamist insurgency that has spread across the Caucasus region after two separatist wars in Chechnya. The shootings and bombings of police and other officials have become a daily occurrence in the region, which is located about 500 kilometres east of Sochi, the venue of the Winter Olympics.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Russia"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 15:37

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But he has been dead before: "Umarov, a bearded fighter who has headed militants in Chechnya since 2006, has been the subject of numerous death reports in the past."

"Islamist rebel who threatened Olympics claimed dead," from AFP, January 17 (thanks to Lookmann):

Moscow: A Chechen rebel leader who vowed to disrupt the Sochi Winter Olympics is dead, Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov said on Friday although Russian security services did not confirm the claim.

Doku Umarov, who styles himself the "Caucasus Emir", was killed in a security operation, Kadyrov said in a statement published Friday on the Chechen government's website.

"We are 99.9 per cent sure of this," Kadyrov said.

"I said before that he was no longer alive, but now we have received a recording of a conversation of so-called 'emirs' where they announce his death, condole with each other and discuss candidates to replace him as emir."

Umarov, a bearded fighter who has headed militants in Chechnya since 2006, has been the subject of numerous death reports in the past.

"We cannot confirm the death of Doku Umarov. We do not have any such information," a source in Russian security services told the Interfax news agency.

Lawmaker and former security agency chief Nikolai Kovalyov told RIA Novosti news agency that rebels often spread false information of deaths in order to evade pursuit.

"I am sure the Chechen president has reliable information in order to make such claims. He has evidence of his death. But of course this information must be double-checked," he added.

If proved correct, Umarov's death would be a huge morale boost for the Russian government ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

Umarov vowed in July that his fighters would use "any means possible" to keep Putin from staging the Games.

Russia has enforced drastic security measures in and around the host city Sochi in a bid to prevent major attacks by insurgents after bombings in the southern city of Volgograd last month killed 34.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Russia"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 12:45

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Sharia is indeed the future of the UK. The British government is deathly afraid of the Islamic supremacists, unwilling to confront them, and allowing these Sharia districts to expand without the slightest resistance. They ban foes of jihad terror such as Pamela Geller and me from entering the country, cooperate at the government level with Islamic groups that have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and are in hundreds of ways hastening their own destruction and subjugation.

"Murders and rapes going unreported in no-go zones for police as minority communities launch own justice systems," by Sara Smyth for the Daily Mail, January 17 (thanks to Alan of England):

Parts of the UK are becoming no-go areas for police because minority communities are operating their own justice systems, according to the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

The rise in ‘community justice’ means crimes as serious as murder and sexual abuse are going unreported – a situation reminiscent of Belfast in the height of the Troubles.

Tom Winsor said police officers were simply never called to some neighbourhoods, where law-abiding people rather than criminals administer their own form of justice[.]

He said: ‘There are some communities born under other skies who will not involve the police at all. I am reluctant to name the communities in question, but there are communities from other cultures who would prefer to police themselves.

‘There are cities in the Midlands where the police never go because they are never called. They never hear of any trouble because the community deals with that on its own.

‘It’s not that the police are afraid to go into these areas or don’t want to go into those areas,’ he said. ‘But if the police don’t get calls for help then, of course, they won’t know what’s going on.’

Honour killings, domestic violence, sexual abuse of children and female genital mutilations are some of the offences that are believed to be unreported in some cities.

Last December, three members of a self-styled ‘Muslim Patrol’ vigilante group were jailed for harassing, intimidating and assaulting people in East London while claiming they were enforcing sharia law.

In an interview with The Times, Mr Winsor said: ‘It could be anything. [Honour killings] are the most extreme case. That is murder. There is no honour in it.’ Tory MP Douglas Carswell said the rising number of unreported crimes was a damning indictment of our police.

He told the Mail last night: ‘Directly elected police commissioners are an attempt to give people a direct say over the way people are policed. Elsewhere the administering of justice often is ineffective and there is a great deal of incompetence in the system.

‘People don’t feel they can count on their police. Instead of placing blame with ethnic minorities, we should ask what it is that is wrong with the criminal justice system.’

Although Mr Winsor did not specifically refer to any ethnic group, there have been growing concerns over the emergence of sharia courts in some Muslim communities.

Senior police officers said they disagreed with the description given by Mr Winsor, who became chief inspector in October 2012. He is the first person from a non-police background to hold the post.

But Chris Sims, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, said: ‘I don’t know if he’s talking about Birmingham, but I have only had one conversation with him since he took office and it wasn’t about this.

‘His characterisation of these communities as born under other skies is just wrong. Many members of communities in Birmingham are British-born and I find that a very odd expression.’

Mr Winsor insisted that public trust in the police needed to be restored for a functioning justice system.

He said the police ‘are not a paramilitary force – they are citizens in uniform’.

A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: ‘We all rely on the police to protect our communities and this can be only done through full co-operation and partnership.

‘Co-operation is particularly important for Muslim communities who have experienced a rise in Islamophobic hate crimes.’

Notice the total deflection. The MCB was called for comment on the Sharia no-go zones, said something vague about the police and then started talking about "Islamophobic hate crimes." Sharia no-go zones? Left unaddressed.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "United Kingdom"
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Date: Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 01:04

Syriajihadist.jpg


The BBC, true to its constant practice and standard journalistic form, never identifies what kind of terrorism these two men were traveling to Syria to engage in. It is left to the reader to know, and of course, most will, though some of the leading lights in the British intelligentsia no doubt believe the Syrian anti-Assad "rebels" to be plucky freedom fighters and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a racist, bigoted "Islamophobe."

Anyway, it's a good thing that British authorities banned Pamela Geller and me from entering the U.K., eh? If we had gone there, Muslims might have become so enraged by our "Islamophobia" that they would have gone to Syria to engage in jihad and then returned to Britain to wage more jihad. Now that we are banned, huzzah! The jihad terror threat in Britain is a thing of the past!

But were these patriotic British Muslims actually plotting a jihad terror attack in Britain, or just innocently flying in to Heathrow to hurry back to their homes and businesses? Oh, the Islamophobia! How dare British authorities rush to judgment and condemn these pious Muslims who were no doubt simply intending to engage in the peaceful Islamic concept of jihad, i.e., get their kids to school on time, blow milk bubbles through a straw, etc.

Theresa May, call your office! Scotland Yard needs to be sternly reprimanded, if not dismantled altogether, and these two Muslims immediately released, with apologies, guaranteed incomes, and appointments to Her Majesty's Commission to Eradicate Islamophobia.

"'Syria terror' arrests: Two men charged, police say," from the BBC, January 17 (thanks to Alan of England):

Two men have been charged on suspicion of travelling to Syria for terrorism, West Midlands Police have said.

Yusuf Sawar and Mohammed Ahmed, both 21, from Handsworth, Birmingham, were arrested at Heathrow on Monday after returning to the UK from Turkey.

They will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

Separately, a 21-year-old man from the Sheldon area of Birmingham was arrested at Gatwick on suspicion of attending a "terrorist training camp" in Syria.

He was detained by counter-terrorism police after returning from Istanbul, West Midlands Police said.

Police had earlier said the arrest was not connected with the two men held at Heathrow earlier in the week.

The pair are suspected of travelling to Syria in May last year.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "United Kingdom"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 22:54

pipe.jpgHe "purposely climbed a six-foot fence with three or four layers of barbed wire on top." What could have been his motivation? Determined tourism? Extreme thirst?

The jihad threat to the water supply is real. And as far back as 2002, the feds arrested two jihadis who were carrying plans about how to poison water supplies. In 2003, al-Qaeda threatened to poison water supplies in Western countries. In 2011, a jihadi in Spain likewise planned to poison water supplies.

And in May 2013, seven Muslim "chemical engineers" were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir, a key supply of water for Boston, after midnight. Only months later and indirectly did we hear that it was a "criminal matter." That same month, jihadists were caught in Canada who had considered poisoning air and water to murder up to 100,000 people.

"Trespasser Freed From Pipe At United Water Plant In New Jersey, Faces Criminal Charges," from CBS New York, January 17 (thanks to G):

MANALAPAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Rescuers have freed a man who had been stuck for hours in a pipe at a water treatment plant in New Jersey.

Officials told CBS 2 around 11:30 a.m. that 26-year-old Asef Mohamed, of Manalapan, had been freed and airlifted to an area hospital. He was 10 to 12 feet down the pipe, which was not in use, WCBS 880′s Levon Putney reported.

United Water spokesman Rich Henning said Mohamed broke into the plant that treats and pumps water for the township of Manalapan. Workers heard cries for help coming from the pipe around 7 a.m. Friday.

“This was a person that purposely climbed a six-foot fence with three or four layers of barbed wire on top,” Henning said.

United Water officials said they have no idea why Mohamed did it, but are now looking at ways to tighten up security, Putney reported.

Manalapan police announced Friday afternoon that Mohamed is being charged with fourth-degree criminal trespassing and may face additional charges as the investigation continues, CBS 2′s Steve Langford reported.

Henning said the outflow pipe is used for cleaning a storage facility and is no more than 24 inches wide. He said the water quality was not affected by the incident.

Manalapan’s mayor told CBS 2 the town is considering the possibility of having Mohamed pay for the cost of the rescue operation.

Author: "Robert Spencer"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 22:22

NSA.jpgThis surveillance scandal arises out of our national bipartisan unwillingness to face the reality of Islamic jihad. Because we all agree that Islam is a religion of peace, we can't possibly address where the threat is really coming from, and monitor mosques or subject Muslims with Islamic supremacist ties to greater surveillance. Instead, we have to pretend that anyone and everyone is a potential terrorist, and surveil everyone. Our freedoms and privacy are now at risk because of our refusal to admit the truth about Islam.

So in the interests of preserving their politically correct fictions about Islam and jihad, the TSA pretends that 80-year-old wheelchair-bound Methodist grandmothers are just as much of a terror threat as 25-year-old Pakistani Muslim males, and the NSA subjects everyone -- everyone -- to massive surveillance, while the success of Islamic supremacist protests decrying the FBI's surveillance of Muslim communities means that probably the least monitored and spied-upon people in the U.S. are Muslims, including would-be Islamic jihadists.

"NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep," by James Ball in The Guardian, January 16:

The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.

The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK.

The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.

The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity....

"U.S. to Expand Rules Limiting Use of Profiling by Federal Agents," by Matt Apuzzo for the New York Times, January 15:

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.

The move addresses a decade of criticism from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

Since taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions. “These exceptions are a license to profile American Muslims and Hispanic-Americans,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said in 2012.

President George W. Bush said in 2001 that racial profiling was wrong and promised “to end it in America.” But that was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. After those attacks, federal agents arrested and detained dozens of Muslim men who had no ties to terrorism. The government also began a program known as special registration, which required tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim men to register with the authorities because of their nationalities.

“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I’s claims that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups.

“Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, then it’s really irrelevant.

Author: "Robert Spencer"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 19:37

This anchor will be looking for a job soon. "Al Jazeera Host Asks Why Can’t Arab Armies Be More Humane, Like Israel? (VIDEO)," by Joshua Levitt for Algemeiner, January 17:

An Al Jazeera Arabic anchor recently asked his audience why Arab armies, and, in particular, the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in Syria, can’t behave more humanely towards civilians, like the Israeli and French armies do?

In a clip uploaded to YouTube this week and flagged by Mideast Media Analyst Tom Gross, the anchor asks, “Why don’t they learn from the Israeli army which tries, through great efforts, to avoid shelling areas populated by civilians in Lebanon and Palestine? Didn’t Hezbollah take shelter in areas populated by civilians because it knows that Israeli Air Force doesn’t bomb those areas? Why doesn’t the Syrian army respect premises of universities, schools or inhabited neighborhoods? Why does it shell even the areas of its supporters?

“I will also give you the example of France. All Syrians remember that the French forces, when they occupied Syria tried to avoid, when rebels entered mosques or schools, they stopped. The people would prefer that France come back! For God’s sake, if a referendum were to be held… if people were to be asked, who would you prefer the current regime or the French, I swear by God they would have preferred the French.

“The Israeli army, if it wanted to break up a demonstration, would have used water cannons or rubber bullets, not rockets or explosive barrels as happens in Aleppo today.

“You mustn’t compare the Syrian army with French or Israeli… The Israeli army didn’t shell Aleppo University and students there. They didn’t shell the university with rockets killing dozens of students… The Israelis or the French didn’t kill their people. Please tell me how many of their people did the French army kill?”

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Israel"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 19:04

Yameen.jpgMaldives President Abdulla Yameen with his long-suffering wife


"Allah's Apostle said, 'If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." (Sahih Bukhari 4.54.460)

Muhammad also said: "By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel's saddle." (Ibn Majah 1854)

"Maldives president vetoes marital rape bill as ‘un-Islamic,’" by Vishal Arora for Religion News Service, January 16 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

NEW DELHI — Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has refused to ratify a bill that seeks to partially criminalize marital rape, calling it “un-Islamic.”

The parliament voted 67-2 last month to limit a husband’s right to have non-consensual sex with his wife. The bill says a husband cannot force his wife to have sex if the couple have filed for divorce, dissolution or mutual separation, and if the intent is to transmit a sexual disease.

Yameen vetoed the bill about a week after the vice president of the Maldives Fiqh Academy, Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, criticized its passage saying the Quran and the Sunnah, or the teachings of Islam, do not give a wife the authority to deny sex to her husband.

“With the exception of forbidden forms of sexual intercourse, such as during menstrual periods and anal intercourse, it is not permissible under any circumstance for a woman to refrain from it when the husband is in need,” Latheef said.

Latheef added that a woman must show “complete obedience to her husband” even if she has filed for divorce.

At a victory rally following the presidential run-off vote last November, Yameen said his coalition had received a mandate “to save the Maldivian nation, to protect the sacred religion of Islam.”

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago of about 330,000 people, claims to have a 100 percent Muslim population. Its constitution states that “no law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted.”

A 2007 government study found that more than 92 percent of Maldivian women believe a good wife obeys her husband even if she disagrees with him. Nearly 30 percent of respondents also said a husband can beat his wife if she refuses sex....

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Maldives"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 18:23

ADF-NALU.jpg


The Ugandan jihadists were no doubt simply trying to stop the Zionist occupation of the Congo. "Congo army attacks Ugandan Islamist rebels in lawless east," by Kenny Katombe and Chrispin Mvano for Reuters, January 17 (thanks to Maxwell):

(Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo forces attacked Ugandan Islamist rebels in the lawless east on Friday, launching a U.N.-backed offensive to clear insurgents from the mineral-rich zone.

Reuters correspondents outside the town of Beni, in North Kivu province, heard heavy gunfire as government troops moved in on positions held by ADF-NALU rebels who have been based in Congo for years and are seen as a major obstacle to peace....

ADF-NALU is an alliance of groups opposed to the Ugandan government that has operated from bases in eastern Congo since the mid-2000s, undermining Kinshasa's grip on the area and handing Uganda a pretext for intervening there....

ADF-NALU has been blamed for a spate of recent attacks and kidnappings around Beni, including the deaths of some 40 civilians in an attack on Christmas Day.

The rebel group is believed to number up to 1,400 fighters and has abducted about 300 Congolese civilians over the past year, according to a U.N. report.

Having helped the Congolese army vanquish M23, the 3,000-strong U.N. Intervention Brigade had been widely expected to turn its attention on ADF-NALU and Rwandan Hutu FDLR rebels who are also roaming Congo's east.

The Ugandan government has said ADF-NALU is allied with Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab movement but analysts say the nature of these ties is not clear, despite the ADF-NALU's clear Islamist ideology.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "Congo"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 17:28

3-JDL-Geller-Spencer-Korobkin1-e1380041222720-300x135.jpgGeller, Spencer, Korobkin


"We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas." If only American politicians had the spine to say that to Hamas-linked CAIR, the NCCM's parent group, and other Hamas-linked Muslim organizations in the U.S.

In any case, what the NCCM is trying to do here is insidious. Not only do Islamic supremacist groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and Reza Aslan's Aslan Media defame and libel foes of jihad terror in attempts to intimidate hosts of events into canceling their speaking appearances, but now anyone who was ever with us is targeted as well. The Hamas-linked NCCM and its allied groups are trying to make people afraid of even being in the same room with us, for fear of the smear campaign that is sure to follow. The objective is to make everyone too afraid to say a negative word about jihad terror or Islamic supremacism, so that the jihadists and supremacists can advance unimpeded.

"Muslim group, PMO in war of words over rabbi's presence on PM trip," by David Akin for Sun News Network, January 16 (thanks to Meir):

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn't even started packing for his first visit to the Middle East, but the trip already has its first controversy.

A Canadian Muslim group wants Harper's officials to boot a Toronto rabbi out of the official delegation that will travel with the prime minister.

In a letter sent to Harper on Tuesday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims said it objected to the presence of Toronto Rabbi Daniel Korobkin as part of Harper's official delegation.

Korobkin declined to comment, but Jason MacDonald, the prime minister's director of communications, slammed the NCCM -- formerly known as the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-CAN -- for even making the suggestion.

"We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas," MacDonald said.

"The delegation accompanying the prime minister to the Middle East includes a range of stakeholders from various business, religious and community organizations."

Korobkin is the senior rabbi at Beth Avraham Yoseph Congregation, the largest Orthodox congregation in Canada, and is a former regional vice-president of the Rabbinical Council of America.

The NCCM rejected MacDonald's statement as "absolutely false" and says it is neither associated with any terrorist group nor is it anti-Semitic.

In an e-mail, NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said: "Our legal counsel is of the view that this statement is defamatory and libelous and we will be taking this up with the PMO. Furthermore, the statement is below the dignity of the office of the prime minister in responding to legitimate concerns raised by Canadians and only serves to distract from the legitimate issues raised."

There is no chance that the NCCM will sue; Gardee is just blustering. CAIR's ties to Hamas are abundantly documented.

The NCCM said Korobkin should be disqualified from going to Israel with the prime minister because, in September, Korobkin "introduced, defended and praised" two American anti-Muslim campaigners.

We are no more "anti-Muslim" than foes of the Nazis were "anti-German."

Those two campaigners, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, are founders of a group called Stop Islamization of America. Korobkin gave some brief remarks at an event in Toronto where Geller was the featured speaker.

I spoke there as well. You can see what I said here, and judge for yourself whether it was genuinely "vitriolic" and "anti-Muslim."

The NCCM, which says it is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit group that funds its work through donations, has had a long-running battle with Geller and Spencer.

"Mr. Korobkin has chosen to align himself with some of the most recognized and vitriolic anti-Muslim activists of our time," Gardee said in his organization's letter to Harper dated Jan. 14.

"The highest political office in our nation should not lend its legitimacy to such parties and views that are entirely contrary to our shared values of mutual understanding, acceptance and respect."

On her blog, Geller fired back.

"If only these Muslim groups used their coercive intimidation to shut down hate imams who preach jihad and incitement to violence. No, but they attack those of us who do," Geller wrote.

Author: "Robert Spencer" Tags: "CAIR"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 16:35

He says the jihadis are struggling for "democracy" because they won an election in Egypt (that was almost certainly rigged) and would probably win one in Syria. He doesn't care, of course, about the fact that if his stout Jeffersonians prevailed, women and non-Muslims would be denied basic rights in the ensuing "democracy." And as for struggling against "income inequality," this is an outright call for totalitarian control of the economic system, since income inequality results from achievement inequality, and ability inequality. That kind of control of the economy is not at all incompatible with Islam and Sharia.

"Dem Rep. Ellison: Islamist Terrorists Stuggle For Democracy Like We Struggle Here For Income Equality," by Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters, January 17:

...Asked on Morning Joe to explain the disproportionate amount of terrorism against the United States that emanates from the Islamic world, Ellison, the first Muslim Member of Congress, asserted that it is the struggle for democracy, not the Islamic faith, that motivates the terrorism. In a giant leap, Ellison then compared people in Islamic countries "who don't want to yield power to the vast majority" . . . to the struggle in the United States over . . . "income inequality."...

Ellison never explained why the struggle for democracy in Islamic lands prompted the murder of thousands of Americans on 9-11, the Fort Hood massacre, and other Islamist attacks on the West.

Note: Give historian Jon Meacham credit for having asked the question about the disproportionate amount of terrorism coming from the Islamic world. The rest of the panel eschewed the controversial while interviewing Ellison about his latest book.

JON MEACHAM: How do you talk to people -- you must have constituents. You must have people who say what is it with the Islamic world? Why does such a fundamental threat to our national security seem to come disproportionately from that world of faith?

KEITH ELLISON: You know what? What I tell them, it's not about the faith. What it's really about is in some parts, particularly in the Arab world, there has been, quite frankly, a lack of democracy. We all just saw the Arab Spring ripen into the Arab Winter and now in Egypt we don't know what's going to happen in Syria, wow, what's going to happen there. But it's really not the faith. What it is is, you know, people who don't want to yield power to the vast majority and people are struggling over that. And people struggle over that all over this world. We struggled over it here, which is why I named the book, "My country 'tis of thee." And right here in the United States today, we're trying to struggle for a greater amount of inclusion and democracy and when you look at income inequality, I mean, this is a real challenge.

Author: "Robert Spencer"
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 16:07

Keith-Elison-oath-on-Quran.jpgRep. Keith Ellison (D-Muslim Brotherhood) taking his oath on Jefferson's Qur'an


Denise A. Spellberg is associate professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders. From the looks of this article, the book is likely to be a melange of half-truths, distortions, and inventions designed to portray Thomas Jefferson as a proto-multicultural dhimmi and resistance to jihad terror as "bigotry." Here, she tries to create the quite false impression that Thomas Jefferson was accused of being a Muslim, or at very least an admirer of Islam. Reality was quite different, but that has never stopped Leftist mythologizing.

"Jefferson Was the First President Defamed for Mentioning Islam," by Denise A. Spellberg for The Free Lance-Star, January 14:

["]Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself,” wrote Thomas Jefferson the year before his death. Who did he include among his neighbors in the blueprint for the nation he loved so much?

Jefferson implicitly included Muslims in his patriotic rendering of the Golden Rule. Many may find this idea startling today, but explicit proof for it exists.

How ridiculous. In the first place, the Golden Rule is not "love your neighbor as yourself," but "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Second, Denise A. Spellberg tries to defame the resistance to jihad terror by caricaturing it as a desire to deny Muslims the protection of the Golden Rule, echoing the hysterical claims of the "Islamophobia"-mongers, that foes of terror want to deny Muslims equality of rights before the law.

In 1776, Jefferson inscribed these pivotal words among his private notes: “(N)either Pagan nor Mahometan (Muslim) nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.” They were written a few months after he composed the Declaration of Independence, when he returned to Virginia to draft new laws for his state.

Here again, no "Mahometan" ought to be "excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion." "Mahometans," like everyone else, should obey the laws of the land, with no intention or effort now or in the future to work to bring their own political system, in whole or part, to the U.S. That is all. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so, because even suggesting it will get you charges of "Islamophobia" and "hatred."

Jefferson borrowed the precedent of “civil rights” for Muslims from the English philosopher John Locke’s 1689 tract, A Letter Concerning Toleration. Locke’s ideas about the toleration of Muslims and Jews provoked attacks: One critic condemned him for having “the faith of a Turk.” His enemies also charged, rightly, that he owned a copy of the Quran, which they termed “the Mahometan bible.”

For centuries, it had been common in Europe for one Christian to defame another with references to Islam, a practice that crossed the Atlantic. Jefferson, for his expansive views of religious liberty and political equality, would be attacked repeatedly as an “infidel,” a word that in his time meant not just an “unbeliever,” but a Muslim.

And like Locke, Jefferson owned a Quran.

When his detractors said he had "the faith of a Turk," they meant that he denied the divinity of Christ, but Denise A. Spellberg doesn't explain that, leaving her uninformed readers with the impression, reinforced by her explanation of the "infidel" charge, that Jefferson was being accused of being a Muslim. This sly attempt to portray Jefferson as a secret Muslim or at very least someone who was uncritically favorable toward Islam founders on the fact that Jefferson reported to Congress about his meeting with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, that when he asked the ambassador why Tripoli was extorting money and seizing slaves, he responded: "The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."

Jefferson did not add that the ambassador was an "extremist" who had misunderstood and hijacked the Religion of Peace.

The 22-year-old Jefferson bought his Quran in 1765, while studying law in Williamsburg, Va. The local newspaper documented his purchase of the two-volume translation by the Englishman George Sale. First published in 1734, Sale’s version was the earliest made directly from Arabic to English. It included a 200-page “Preliminary Discourse” with an overview of Islamic belief, ritual and law.

Jefferson may have been interested in the Quran as a book of law, for at the time he also ordered many English works of jurisprudence. He would have been struck by the translator’s definition of the Prophet as “the lawgiver of the Arabians.”

He "would have been struck." Note that we have now entered the realm not of genuine historiography, but pure speculation.

Yet while Sale condemned Islam as “a false religion,” he also took care to praise the Prophet as “beautiful in his person, of a subtle wit, agreeable behavior, showing liberality to the poor, courtesy to everyone, fortitude against his enemies, and above all a high reverence for the name of God.” The translator also refused to define Islam “as propagated by the sword alone,” reminding his readers that both Jews and Christians warred in the name of their faiths.

Critics accused Sale of being too even-handed in his depiction of Islam, resulting in his Anglican missionary employers distancing themselves from his translation. Posthumously, he was condemned as “half a Muslim,” by the British historian Edward Gibbon in 1788.

Is there any evidence that Jefferson shared Sale's views of Muhammad or Islam? No, not a shred. If there were, Spellberg would certainly have mentioned it.

Those who appeared to defend Islam, or its adherents, were harshly criticized on both sides of the Atlantic.

What did Jefferson think about the Quran and its contents? He left no notes that capture his immediate reaction, either because he never wrote them or because they did not survive the fire that destroyed his mother’s house five years later. In the blaze, Jefferson said he lost “every paper” and “almost every book.” The Quran may also have succumbed to the fire, but if it did, he most certainly bought it again, for it survives in the Library of Congress.

In the Quran, Jefferson inscribed only his initials at the bottom of one page of the first volume.

Jefferson criticized the religion in his early political debates in 1776 as “stifling free enquiry,” a charge he also leveled against Catholicism. He thought both religions fused religion and the state at precisely the time he wished to separate them in Virginia.

And we see again and again nowadays that Jefferson was right: Islamic supremacist groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and Reza Aslan's Aslan Media work energetically to stifle all criticism of Islam and all free enquiry into how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and what can be done about it. Nor does Islam have a concept of religion being separated from the state, as numerous Islamic apologists and spokesmen avow boastfully: they consider it a point that establishes the superiority of Islam over Christianity, and so make no secret of it.

Despite his criticism of Islam, Jefferson supported the rights of its adherents, a pattern he repeated for Judaism and Catholicism, moving beyond his hero Locke, who refused toleration to Catholics and atheists.

In Jefferson’s 1784 Notes on Virginia, he published his views on the relationship between his neighbor’s religion and the state: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Precisely so. It is only when my neighbor wants to pick my pocket (to collect the jizya) or break my leg (in jihad violence) that I begin to care about Islam. The U.S. government should be dedicated to protecting citizens from jihad activity and ensuring that no group gets special accommodation or special privileges, as Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. are increasingly demanding for Muslims, but that everyone enjoys equal rights before the law.

With his assertion that government should never intrude into the metaphysical beliefs of its citizens, Jefferson provided unintentional, lasting ammunition for his political enemies. For many, these words proved he was not really Christian.

Maybe, not non-establishment of religion was enshrined into America's fundamental law in the First Amendment, and wisely so. It couldn't have been only Jefferson who favored it.

Jefferson’s legal version of the Golden Rule, combined with Locke’s views of Muslim civil rights, would echo most potently in his 1821 autobiography, in which he recalled the final fight to pass his most famous legislation, the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, still in force today.

The Statute proclaims: “(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.” Although Jefferson’s proposed legislation originally met with resistance in 1779, James Madison lobbied for its passage and, finally, achieved victory in 1786 while Jefferson was away in France.

Jefferson recorded happily in his autobiography that a final attempt to change his preamble by adding the words “Jesus Christ” failed. And this failure led Jefferson to affirm that he had intended the application of the statute to be “universal.” By this he meant that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian, a belief in religious pluralism that Madison also shared.

Jefferson asserted that his original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.”

Good. Again, everyone should have equal protection, equal rights, and equal accountability before the law.

By the time he wrote these words in 1821, Jefferson certainly appreciated the consequences of being labeled an infidel himself. In the wake of his narrow presidential victory in 1800, he confided to a close friend: “(W)hat an effort, my dear Sir, of bigotry in politics & religion we have gone through.”

Jefferson would not be the last presidential candidate to be defamed for referring to Islam, but he remains the first.

Tragically, though Jefferson championed Muslim rights, he never knew that America’s first Muslims — slaves of West African origin — were denied the freedoms he thought were universal. The Founder may have even owned Muslim slaves, but there is no conclusive proof. There remains no doubt, however, that Jefferson imagined Muslims as neighbors in his country’s future, a forecast that retains signal implications to this day.

Would Jefferson have approved of the victimhood posturing designed to deflect criticism, the attempts to obstruct and end counter-terror operations, the excusing of acts of jihad terror by the defamation of opposition to it as "bigotry"? Doubtful in the extreme.

Author: "Robert Spencer"
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