Tuesday, July 12, 2016

When Muslims Kill Muslims, They Can Still Act in the Name of Islam

By Raymond Ibrahim

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Muslim nations, the argument is again being made that, say what they will, the terrorists are obviously not acting in the name of Islam -- a religion which bans the indiscriminate slaughter of fellow Muslims.

Yet is it that simple?

Since the Medieval era, Islamic clerics have justified the killing of other Muslims-- either intentionally for not being “real” Muslims (e.g., Shias), or unintentionally as collateral damage (the murdered become “martyrs” and receive Islam’s highest paradisiacal rewards) -- in the name of jihad.

Moreover, it’s clear that, whenever they can, the jihadis do make an effort to preserve the lives of Muslims. This was the case in the recent terror attack in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

On July 1, 2016, six Islamic militants shouting Islam’s ancient war cry opened fire on a bakery in Dhaka, the nation’s capital. The assailants entered the bakery with crude bombs, machetes, and pistols, and took several dozen hostages. In the end, 28 people were killed -- but they were not murdered as indiscriminately as it would seem.

According to one survivor speaking on condition of anonymity:
They burst [into] the restaurant firing their weapons and I could hear them shouting “Allahu Akbar.” They took me and two of my colleagues and forced us to sit on chairs, with our heads down on the table. They asked me whether I was a Muslim. As I said yes, they said they wouldn't harm or kill any Muslims. They will only kill the non-Muslims. All the time I prayed to Allah, keeping my head down. Several times I vomited.

They said they had no intention of hurting us as we were Muslims.
Similarly, Rezaul Karim -- the father of Hasnat Karim, one of the hostages who spent 10 hours with the gunmen and lived to tell about it -- relayed his son’s experience:
The gunmen were doing a background check on religion by asking everyone to recite from the Quran. Those who could recite a verse or two were spared. The others were tortured.
In fact, the Muslim hostages were treated well and were exhorted to uphold their Islam:
"They (gunmen) did not behave rough with the Bangladesh nationals [i.e., Muslims],” Reazul said, based on his eyewitness son’s testimony: “Rather they provided [Ramadan] night meals for all Bangladeshis.”
According to another rescued hostage speaking on condition of anonymity:
Late in the night, they asked us whether we were fasting as it's Ramadan. We said yes and they brought some food for us so we could eat before daybreak.

When they realized that troops might storm the building, they came to our room one last time and told us not to tarnish the name of Islam, be a good Muslim and uphold the pride of Islam.
Not only are these experiences telling, but separating Muslims from non-Muslims during a jihadi attack is hardly limited to this one incident:
Around 2:30 a.m. on January 3, 2015, masked men burst into a housing complex in Sirte, Libya. They went room to room checking ID cards, separated Muslims from Christians, handcuffed the latter and rode off with [13 of] them. According to Hanna Aziz, a Christian who was concealed in his room when the other Christians were seized, “While checking IDs, Muslims were left aside while Christians were grabbed … I heard my friends screaming but they were quickly shushed at gunpoint. After that, we heard nothing.”
These 13 Christians would later appear on video, along with another eight Christians abducted elsewhere, being beheaded on the shores of Libya by ISIS forrefusing to renounce Christ and embrace Muhammad.

In October 2012 in Nigeria, Boko Haram Islamic jihadis stormed the Federal Polytechnic College. “[They] separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat.” They massacred about 30 Christians.

On November 20, 2015, Islamic jihadis seized 170 hostages and killed 20 others in a mass shooting at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. Once again: “Some people were freed by the attackers after showing they could recite verses from the Koran.”

On April 2, 2015 in Kenya, gunmen from the Somali Islamic group, Al Shabaab -- “the youth” -- stormed Garissa University, singled out Christian students, and murdered them. Some were beheaded. A total of 147 people were massacred, almost all of whom were Christian.

Joel Ayora, who survived the attack, said gunmen burst into a Christian service, seized worshippers, and then “proceeded to the hostels, shooting anybody they came across except their fellows, the Muslims.”

Collins Wetangula said gunmen were opening doors and inquiring if the people inside were Muslims or Christians: “If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”

Because Kenya is a Christian-majority nation that still has a significant Muslim minority (about 12 percent), it furnishes many examples of Islamic terrorists -- mostly from neighboring Somalia’s Al Shabaab group -- sorting between Muslims and Christians before initiating the carnage:
  • In 2014, approximately 50 militants from Al Shabaab went on a killing spree in Mpeketoni, a predominantly Christian town on Kenya’s coast. They chanted “Allahu Akbar,” killed whoever could not recite verses from the Koran, and went door-to-door asking residents their religion, killing those who answered “Christian.”More than 57 people were killed, including six children of church pastors.
  • “During a lull in the firing,” of the 2013 attack on a Nairobi mall, that left 67 dead, “the gunmen spoke in Swahili for Muslims to identify themselves and leave.” According to a survivor, “an Indian man came forward and they said,'What is the name of Muhammad's mother?' When he couldn't answer they just shot him.”
  • During an early morning raid on quarry workers sleeping in their worksite tents near the city of Mandera, along the Somali border, Christians and Muslims were separated before the Christians, thirty-six of them, were beheaded or shot dead.
  • Al Shabaab attacked a bus and massacred 28 of its Christian passengers, while identifying and leaving unharmed Muslims.
  • After abducting a group of traders near the island of Lamu, Al Shabaab militants released three of them, because they were Muslims, but beheaded the fourth, a Christian.
The phenomenon of Islamic jihadis making an effort to identify and separate Muslims intermingled with non-Muslims before beginning the slaughter is widespread (above examples come from Arab, East Asian, and sub-Saharan African nations) and a clear reminder of who is the true and intended target of jihadi terror -- “infidels.” Though sometimes, surrounding Muslims must make the ultimate sacrifice and become unwilling martyrs of the jihad.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Donald Trump Was Not Wrong About Muslim Immigration

Islam is not just a religion, but a political movement like Communism. So why can’t we apply political restrictions to Muslims like we did to communists?

By Greg Scandlen

Events such as Brexit and increasing terrorist attacks continue to underscore that immigration from majority-Muslim countries will continue to be a dominant political question, yet pundits and politicians continue to treat this concern as impossible to resolve at best, and xenophobic at worst.

On “Special Report with Bret Baier” a couple of months ago, Steven Hayes was appalledand contemptuous at the idea that the United States could apply a religious test to immigrants.

Hayes was not alone. It seems to be a tenet of establishment conservatives that applying a religious test is beyond the pale, especially for Muslims. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said, as written up by Micky Kaus, “Ryan made a point of praising ‘Muslims, the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of whom are peaceful, who believe in pluralism and freedom and democracy and individual rights.’” The entire quote is available at theWashington Post.

Islam Is a Political Movement

This shows a stunning naivetĂ©. Islam is far more than just a religion. It is also a political movement with strict rules for how society should be governed. In Islam, there is no separation of church and state, which has implications for our system of government. The Pew Center on Religion and Public Life conducted a face-to-face survey of 38,000 Muslims around the world that found “Overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law (Sharia) to be the official law of the land…”

Sharia is a system of governance that strictly limits the rights of women, uses draconian punishments for crime (such as cutting off the hands of thieves), and applies the death penalty for homosexuality, rejecting Islam, and a host of other offenses. None of these laws are compatible with the American Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Now, the survey suggests caveats aplenty. Muslims in former Communist countries are not so supportive, and Muslims in some secularized countries like Turkey are less likely to support sharia. There are differences of opinion on whether sharia should be applied to criminal cases, or just to family and property disputes. And some significant countries like Syrian and Somalia were not surveyed.

Ryan may be right that some Muslims support pluralism, freedom, democracy, and individual rights, but it is hardly a “vast, vast, vast majority.” In fact it is likely a tiny, tiny, tiny minority.

Perhaps the Muslims Ryan has met agree with his standards, but if he has met only assimilated American Muslims, his sample is badly skewed. Also, these are not the people Trump has been talking about. Trump is referring to migrants from many of the countries Pew surveyed. Pew notes that “enshrining sharia as official law is particularly high in some countries with predominantly Muslim populations, such as Afghanistan (99%) and Iraq (91%).”

This means more than 90 percent of potential immigrants from these two countries favor making sharia the law of the land. It would be foolish to think that view will change as soon as they land at JFK. Allowing large numbers of immigrants from those countries into the United States would mean importing a population that has no affection for Western jurisprudence, and in fact is committed to overthrowing it.

We Don’t Need a Religious Test to Bar Immigrants from Certain Countries

This is not primarily a religious issue, but a political one. No country is required to allow entry for people who are committed to overthrowing it. We have faced this situation before with Communism. Members of the Communist or other “totalitarian” parties were not allowed to come into this country.

Generally, membership in the Communist Party is a bar to immigration to the United States. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) §212(a)(3)(D)(i), any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party, domestic or foreign, is inadmissible.
Some exceptions were made for people forced to join the Party to get a job, or young people who joined as teens, but the general rule was absolute. Communists wanted to overthrow the United States, so were not allowed to come here.

Importantly, the great majority of Islamic sharia supporters surveyed do not support violence. The Pew survey reports:

In most countries where the question was asked, roughly three-quarters or more Muslims reject suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians. And in most countries, the prevailing view is that such acts are never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies. Yet there are some countries in which substantial minorities think violence against civilians is at least sometimes justified. This view is particularly widespread among Muslims in the Palestinian territories (40%), Afghanistan (39%), Egypt (29%) and Bangladesh (26%).

But is that the standard for admission to America? Most Communist Party members were not going to commit violence, either, but they were dedicated to the overthrow of the American system.

Now, much of the media are reporting Trump’s stance has softened. He recently saidhis idea to ban Muslim immigration was just a suggestion. But it was never more than that—an idea, a proposal, a suggestion. It may be hard to remember in these days of diktats from the White House, but that is how laws are supposed to be made in the United States: someone has an idea, gives it voice, and it is then criticized and debated until some critical mass of people agree or disagree with it.

Trump has also revised his position to focus on immigrants from “terrorist nations,” but that revision misses that many Muslims in European nations are passionate advocates of Sharia. His original stance, that we should apply the ban “until we can figure out what’s going on,” actually makes more sense. Part of that “figuring out” should be a change in the focus from Islam as a religion, to sharia as a political philosophy.

How to make that distinction is a challenge. Obviously the starting place must be examining the beliefs of Muslims. Not all Muslims support enshrining sharia law, but it is doubtful that any non-Muslims do. So if you are looking to prohibit sharia advocates, the Muslim population is a pretty good place to start, especially people from nations with predominantly Muslim populations.

Discernment is not the same as discrimination. We need to be able to discern which applicants for immigration are coming here because they support American values and laws, and which are coming to overthrow those laws. Support for sharia is a pretty good indicator, just as membership in the Communist Party was a good indicator during the Cold War. So we need to develop tools that will provide that information.

Once those tools are in place, the ban can be relaxed. These tools will never be perfect, and some people will slip through the cracks, but it is the height of foolishness to pretend, as Ryan does, that the vast, vast, vast majority of potential Muslim immigrants believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, and individual rights. They do not.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

America’s War to Defend Islam

By Cindy Simpson

Why is America in a war on the side of Islam?

War is all about taking sides: it involves both fighting against an enemy and defending the target of that enemy. But when political correctness prevents an accurate identification of either side, the line that divides them is blurred, and “winning” becomes an impossibility.

Secretary of State John Kerry was reluctant to even call the present conflict with ISIS a war.

Our enemy is one that President Obama has not been willing to  describe succinctly. Neither, essentially, has Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who recently admitted his own disinterest in the issue of accurate descriptions in his department’s strategy documents.

But this administration’s conception of the enemy’s target -- the one that we’re supposed to be defending and protecting -- should concern us even more.

Targets worthy of the protection of our armed forces, one would think, should be the United States, our allies, innocent civilians, and the ideas of freedom, liberty and democracy.

A real and dangerous enemy would certainly have those exact targets clearly in its sights.

However when pressed, that’s not the answer given by our leaders. Of course they talk about protecting our citizens, but rarely without placing much emphasis on defending something else entirely.

Back in September of 2014 during Congressional questioning on Obama’s ISIS strategy, Kerry struggled to find the words to assure us that this “war” we are in (“if you care about what you call it”) is against “an enemy of Islam.”

Similarly, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a debate over attacking ISIS in Syria last December, said this: “Far from an attack on Islam, we are engaged in a defense of Islam.”

Two world leaders, both emphasizing that we are fighting against ISIS, which they repeatedly tell us is not Islamic and is an enemy of Islam, in order to defend Islam.

(Just imagine if either Kerry or Cameron were to assert that we were at war against an enemy of Christianity and/or to defend Christianity.)

Note the thing neither emphasized as needing defending: our ideology of freedom and liberty against one that recognizes neither. Then again, none of our leaders will admit that Islam with its political manifestation in sharia law represents a dangerous ideological opponent. Nor will the left face the fact that sharia is a “direct mortal threat” to virtually every one of its “values.”

Instead, our leaders assert that Islam is religion of peace and that ISIS does not speak for it, but instead follows a “perversion” and “gross distortion” of Islam. 

If so, then do nations with governments that carry out, on a regular basis, human rights atrocities under their Islamic (sharia) laws also pervert Islam?

Our supposedly “moderate” partner of Saudi Arabia, reminds Andrew McCarthy, governs with sharia law. It routinely beheads, stones, flogs, and amputates.  “Such cruel -- but not at all unusual -- punishments are designed to enforce a societal system that…degrades and dehumanizes women, while subjecting apostates and homosexuals to death and non-Muslims to systematic discrimination.”

These are examples of actions carried out not by “extremists” whom we are told do not speak for Islam, but as a routine matter of sharia law by Islamic governments.

Following Benghazi, a Center for Security Policy (“CSP”) panel reached this alarming consensus: that the entire Middle East is rapidly unifying and heading toward a strict application of sharia, a totalitarian form of government incompatible with American ideas of freedom.

Frank Gaffney, president of CSP, warns that the focus of our efforts must not remain exclusively on terrorism, but on the wider global jihad movement pushed by Sharia-supremacists.

Jihad is actually part of sharia law. A participant in the panel, Diana West, in her groundbreaking book American Betrayal, noted and thoroughly supported (as have many other experts) this conclusion: “Islamic terrorists are not ‘hijacking’ Islamic law (sharia) when they engage in jihad. On the contrary, they are executing it. Nor are they ‘twisting’ the foundational principles of Islam as codified in each and every authoritative Islamic source. They are exemplifying them.”

Since sharia is the law of the religion that Obama insists we must protect and defend, how he views sharia becomes a valid question.

We know how Obama regards his responsibility regarding Islam. He told us in his early days in office in his Cairo speech that it was “to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

In 2012 before the UN, Obama said, “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

(Note that according to authoritative Islamic law sources, “slander” includes “anything Muslims perceive to reflect badly on Islam and its prophet, including the truth.”)

Essentially, then, Obama felt it his job as Commander-in-Chief to defend Islam against attacks by negative stereotypes and slander.

It certainly seems those sentiments have been the motivation behind Obama’s actions (and inaction) as well as the words he uses. More telling, those feelings appear to be behind the words he doesn’t use.

Obama repeatedly insists that we are not, nor will we ever be, in a war against Islam. Instead, he has us in a war defending it from words and potential association with terrorists -- and by extension, protecting its political embodiment in sharia law.

But sharia law and our ideas of freedom, liberty and democracy, at a minimum, are incompatible, if not outright enemies. As Andrew Bostom has noted, most Americans get this.

So do Muslim terrorists. Ask any Muslim terrorist what or whom they consider their enemy. They would definitely not answer Islam. (That was the part of “Islamic soldier” Mateen’s 911 calls the administration tried to censor.)

Then ask Muslims around the world whether they “sympathize with the goals or tactics of terrorist groups -- or both.” According to polls summarized by Ben Shapiro, the answer from more than Obama's “tiny faction” reveals a much different answer than the bromides offered by Obama, Kerry and Cameron. As Raymond Ibrahim has noted, even the Egyptian university that co-hosted Obama’s Cairo speech, Al Azhar, refuses to denounce ISIS as “un-Islamic.”

Finally, ask a Muslim (especially one from a predominately Muslim country) or a Muslim terrorist whom or what they consider an ally. The Muslim (according to reputable polls) would likely answer sharia. So would the Muslim terrorist.

But such facts don’t inform Obama’s war strategy, which appears to consist of: attacking, sometimes, certain targets of Obama’s choosing; and along with the assistance of the media complex, Obama has the US defending the prophet of Islam, Islam, and sharia law against negative facts and stereotyping.

(Oh -- and somewhere in there our Commander-in-Chief is supposed to be keeping us safe, when instead it feels like he’s “making the world safe for sharia.”)

And since sharia is Islamic law, that strategy essentially has the US defending, with both troops and words, our ideological enemy. 

Perhaps Kerry is right. This isn’t a “war.” The correct term for voluntarily fighting on both sides, if we care about what we call it, is “suicide.”
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