Sunday, June 28, 2015

More Blood, Death, and Horror

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon and the Jewish Press.}

deathAs I write this on Friday morning, there it is all over the headlines, again.

Islamist Terror Wave Hits Tunisia and Kuwait.

Man Beheaded in France.

What we know as of this moment is that terrorists shot up the resort town of Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, killing at least 27 people.

Meanwhile, the Times of Israel is reporting:
A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during the main weekly prayers Friday, killing and wounding dozens, officials and witnesses said. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.
And, needless to say:
At least one person was killed and several were injured in a terror attack on a factory in the Lyon region in southeastern France late Friday morning.

The decapitated body of a man was found on the premises, according to Sky News. It reported that the 30-year-old suspect was known to the foreign intelligence services.

The victim was reportedly an employee of the factory. His head was discovered by police perched on the fence outside the factory, covered in Arabic writing. 
By the time that you read this it will be old news, but I suppose the question that many of us are asking ourselves is just what is it going to take for our media and our academia and our elected officials to start taking political Islam seriously?

There are two things that must be acknowledged.

1)  The rise of political Islam in recent years is the single most significant geo-political happening since the demise of the Soviet Union. 

I do not understand why so many people seem to have a difficult time understanding that political Islam is not just a religion, but a political movement, and like any political movement it is open to criticism and opposition.  The fact is that political Islam, in the form of organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and all the rest, do not represent Islam as a whole.  What they represent is Islam in its Islamist form.

The form of Jihad.

Too many people seem to think that opposing political Islam is "racist" because it is seen as "Islamophobic" or an attack on regular Muslims.

It isn't.

In fact, cliché as it may sound, no one is abused more under al-Sharia than are Muslims.  What is really bigoted is holding different people to different standards of humanity.  In the Europe and the United States this generally takes the form of "humanitarian racism" and it is the most prevalent form of bigotry found in the West today.

The old-timey, flat-out racism of people like Dylann Roof is, sadly, not dead, but it is certainly dying.

Coming on the heels of Ferguson and Baltimore it is politically-incorrect to say so, but mid-twentieth-century KKK-style, or SkinHeadStyle, American racism is pretty much over - despite this heinous scum in Charleston.

The Klan is not taking over countries.

Neo-Nazis are not destroying ancient artifacts in Palmyra.

On the liberal-left concern with right-wing racists in Europe and the United States is genuine, and politically entrenched, but we should not allow that concern to be used as an excuse to ignore, or downplay, the far more dangerous fact of the rise of political Islam.

2)  The Obama administration sold us out on the issue.

On the question of political Islam the Obama administration simply has nothing to say other than to downplay the seriousness of it and to protect Islam's reputation from itself.

I know that I am not singing to the choir here, and that is a good thing, but it must be stressed that this administration not only refuses to acknowledge the rise of political Islam during the misnamed "Arab Spring" as a serious problem, but has actually aided and abetted that very problem.

The pro-Israel / pro-Obama American-Left must acknowledge that which is directly before their very noses.

Barack Obama is not an Israel-friendly president.  Period.  End of story and stop making excuses.

Barack Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood and is enabling an Iranian bomb.  All we can do is oppose the administration's foreign policy and hope to put enough pressure on Congress, and the powers that be, to oppose political Islam and prevent that bomb from coming into being.

If you think that the rise of political Islam is a problem now, just wait until you get a gander at what it looks like after an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region.

That will be, as they say, game over and a nuclearized Iran will be Barack Obama's foremost legacy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Over 200 Hundred Dead


The Times of Israel reports:
Over 200 killed as Islamist terror wave hits Mideast, France

Tunisia death toll hits 37; Kuwait mosque blast kills 25; Israeli minister tells French Jews to ‘Come Home!’ after local boss beheaded; Netanyahu blasts ‘dark forces'; IS kills 145 in Syria, supporters celebrate ‘Black Friday’
Is it time to fight back?

Is it verboten to even suggest such a thing?

Islam clearly has a cancer and either it removes that cancer or others may have to do so for it.

By the way, TOI also reports:
The suspected terrorist who killed at least 37 people, mainly tourists, at a Tunisian beach resort earlier today, has been identified as Seifeddine Yacoubi a 23-year-old aviation student from Kairouan, south of Sousse where the rampage occurred.

He was killed in a firefight with security forces.
The French Islamist arrested on suspicion of having decapitated his boss at a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, southeast of Lyon, earlier today, was involved in an anti-Semitic attack in 2011, according to reports.

The man was identified as Yassine Salhi, 35, a father of three, born to an Algerian father and a Moroccan mother.

Four years ago, Salhi and another man were reported to have hit a Jewish teenager and to have hurled anti-Semitic abuse at him while travelling on a train from Toulouse to Lyon, according to a report on JTA. 

Shariah In America


{Editor's note:  this is a guest post and the views of the writer are not necessarily those of Israel Thrives.}

shariaThe latest Pew Research poll of U.S Muslims of high socioeconomic status reveals some very disturbing facts.

Fully one third want Shariah to be the law in the U.S.

Almost 60% believe that criticism of Islam or Mohammed should be prohibited in the U.S.

12% believe that those who blaspheme Islam should be put to death.

20% of Muslim men said that they should be allowed to have multiple wives.

And finally, one third believe that Israel has no right or that they are not sure if Israel has a right to exist. The correlation between the denial of the existence of Israel and anti- Semitism has been widely accepted.

What is one to make of this survey?

Since the 1990's when the number of Muslim immigrants to the U.S. increased, there have been pundits who stated, “Just as the Irish, Italians, Germans, Chinese, Catholics, Jews, etc, melded into the American landscape so will these newly arriving Muslim immigrants. “
This poll and the ever increasing number of, committed and prevented, home grown crimes (Major N. Hassan, underwear bomber, 9/11, Ft. Dix 5, first World Trade bombings, etc.) have shown that this “wishfull” thinking is just not working.

There are a number of activities that are attempting to change the direction of this phenomenon.

A fairly new group of intellectual Muslims, have formed AIFD, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Their objectives, among others, are “to engage and promote reforms, where necessary, including an honest and critical reinterpretation of scripture and Shariah law used by Islamists to justify violence and oppression”

Admittedly, it will be a difficult task to reinterpret such proscriptive (imposed restraints or restrictions) as Sura 5:60--”Jews and Christians are sons of apes and pigs.”

9:29--”Fight the unbelievers.”

5:55--”Don't take Jews and Christians as friends.”

Or a particularly strong one against women, Sura 2:223 - ”your women are a tillage for you. So go into your tillage as you wish.”

Nevertheless, it took over 200 years for the Reformation to finally take hold. It was only less than thirty years ago that the Church finally dismissed the notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ.

Two other activities that should be strongly supported, even though they are politically incorrect, are:

Vigorously support Ms. Pamela Geller (American Freedom Defense Initiative-AFDI) in her defense of freedom of speech. The “Draw Muhammad” cartoons, the public transportation advertisements, etc..

And, publicize the propaganda nature of Al Jazeera America.

Two employees are suing Al Jazeera America, after being fired. They accuse the company of “openly demanding that programs air that criticize countries such as America, Israel and Egypt”. Also,” higher ups were anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American.”

Additionally, we should investigate what turns a 17 year old Virginia high school honor student into hosting an ISIS Twitter account and convincing his friend to join ISIS. Was it his parents, teachers, peers,,etc.? A 2011 study by the Center for Security Policy, of some American Mosques, found that 81% featured text that advocated violence. Is that still the case?

A partisan, but important for America, project is to attempt to restrain the Obama administration from naming people, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (whose stated objective is to impose world wide Shariah) and other radical groups, to represent America in security conferences around the world. The latest is Salam Al Marayati, (“Israel should be on suspect list for 9/11.”) who participated in the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism”.

A strong, vigorous, immediate response is needed to prevent the worldwide Shariah aspects that are leading to the persecution of Christians in different parts of the world.
The Christian population of Bethlehem went from 60% to 13% since Israel handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority. Documentation shows this small group are frequently victims of extortion, rape, even murder.

Under Saddam Hussein there were 750,000 Christians in Iraq. There are now less than 200,000.

There are almost weekly bombings of churches and Christians being killed in different parts of the world. Pakistan, Kenya, Central African Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, etc.

One must be aware that participation in these or any other efforts to prevent Shariah on a world wide scale, may result in threats (Pamela Geller), being called a heretic (Dr. Zuhdi Jasser), labelled a racist (Robert Spencer), called an Islamophobe (Daniel Pipes), anti-American (the label CAIR gives to everybody who disagrees with them), etc.

Nevertheless, the above actions together with many others, will, if successful, hopefully result in much better statistics in the next poll among American Muslims.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Well, Michael Oren Better Have Something to Say

Michael L.

orenThis is the first time in a very long time wherein the name "Michael Oren" has shown up on this blog.

At first the word was, based primarily on a few recently published articles by the former ambassador, that Oren really let the Obama administration have it in his new book Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.  According to Oren, Barack Obama intentionally sabotaged US-Israeli relations in order to create "daylight" between the American administration and the despised Zionist regime.

This is what Jonathan Tobin writes in Commentary:
As he did in his book, Oren said he devoted a great deal of thought to trying to figure out what was at the roots of the president’s insatiable and generally unrequited (with the exception of Iran’s regime in the nuclear talks) desire for outreach to the Muslim world that was exemplified in his 2009 Cairo address and his clear belief that America should distance itself from Israel. His primary answer was that Obama was the product of the elite academic institutions where he studied, such as Columbia University where radical Palestinian intellectual Edward Said shaped attitudes toward Islam and Israel
I have been making this very same argument for years.

In any case, I have been exceedingly reluctant to jump on the Michael Oren bandwagon until I actually read his book, which I only just ordered.  The Elder says that Oren is actually far more gracious to Barack Obama than one might think from his recent articles.

What I think is that it is long past time for pro-Israel supporters of Barack Obama to finally admit that this is not a pro-Israel president.  I voted for Barack Obama in 2008.  I later realized that it was a mistake.  I admitted that mistake and moved on.

Why does this seem to be so excruciatingly difficult for so many people?

Why is admitting a mistake such a shame for people?

And please understand, of course, that Barack Obama is not merely bad for the State of Israel and, therefore, the Jewish people.  No.  Barack Obama is bad for the United States and the West, in general, because he does not really believe in the West.  He thinks that the United States and its European allies have been a force of imperialism and exploitation throughout the world and this is the reason that he felt it necessary to get on his hands and knees before the Umma during the 2009 Cairo speech.

He said this:
The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
What so often strikes me about western-left attitudes toward Islam is the never-ending condescension.  Obama speaks about Muslims as if they were children with no agency in the world.

We are talking about 1.5 billion people who represent one of the most expansive empires and nations in human history.  They were not merely victims of the West or of imperialism or colonialism or modernity or the Cold War.

To see them in this way - which is the typically racist stance of the western-left - is to rob these people of their dignity and self-respect.  To think of Arabs or Muslims as weak little children in need of protection from the big bad western bullies is a nineteenth-century view of the world that used to be called "White Man's Burden," Lloyd.

Our stance toward the rest of the word should be as adults talking with adults, not as parents patting children on the head.  This simplistic post-colonial view that divides the world into white aggressors and their victims "of color" defames the West and infantilizes everyone else.

It is not only counterproductive, but insulting to the rest of the world.

In any case, I am very much looking forward to reading what Michael Oren has to say and I bet that he is not nearly as condescending to the Obama administration as the Obama administration is to the non-western world.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Brief Note: The American Consensus

Michael L.

briefnotesOne of the things that I am most grateful for, as the proprietor of this small conversation place, is that as time has gone by the blog has expanded its reach to include, now, people from all over the world.

At first it was just me and Doodad and a few other Americans.  While Israel Thrives remains small it is also considerably more diverse than it was initially.

This being the case, I want to clarify something for our international readership which they may, or may not, already know.

The United States is a politically narrow place.

That is, within the US polity there is a general consensus around regulatory capitalism.

Democrats like to think that Republicans are their evil opposites and I am guessing that the reverse holds true, as well, although I am less familiar with Republicans and conservatives than I am with Democrats and the Left.

The truth of the matter is that Left, Right, and Center, almost all Americans believe in some form of regulatory capitalism.  The Right tends to be more economically libertarian and the Left tends more toward social democracy, but no one is suggesting a return to laissez-faire capitalism or, in any serious way, promoting communism.

I like to tell people that the fundamental tensions within American politics are embedded directly in the Preamble to the Constitution which reads as follows:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The difference between the Left and the Right in the United States is that the Left emphasizes the promotion of the general welfare whereas the Right tends to emphasize, at least from an economic stand-point, promoting the blessings of liberty.

It's not quite so simple, of course, because it's not just about economics, but this nonetheless represents the general frame of American politics and there is nothing dishonorable about identifying with either side.

When the American Left spits hatred at the American Right, and vice-versa, they are spitting hatred at people who are standing on very similar ideological turf.

It might be helpful - and certainly more congenial - if we were to occasionally recognize this truth.