Arguing that Muslim blood is more precious than infidel blood, Muslim clerics in and out of Sudan are outraged because a Sudanese court has condemned a Muslim man to death—simply because he murdered American Diplomat John Granville on January 1, 2008.
A 2009 report offers context:
The court had sentenced the men [originally four] to death in June for killing Granville and his driver in January 2008, but the sentence was cancelled in August after [his Muslim driver] Abbas’s father forgave the men.
Under Islamic law, the victim’s family has the right to forgive the murderer, ask for compensation (fedia) or demand execution.
Granville’s mother, Jane Granville, at the time had asked for the men’s execution, but her letter was rejected because it was not notarized.
The judge said the sentence was confirmed because Granville’s family, from Buffalo, in northern New York State, had requested it.
Then, in 2010, the four men convicted of murder, in the words of the U.S. State Department, “escaped from a maximum security prison” in Khartoum. One of the men, Abdul Ra’uf Abu Zaid Muhammad Hamza, was recaptured and is currently in prison awaiting execution.
Finding the punishment unjust, several international Islamic organizations, most recently, the London-based Islamic Media Observatory, have been trying to commute the death sentence, mostly by arguing for Abdul Ra’uf’s “human rights.”
However, the Legitimate League of Scholars and Preachers in Sudan (an influential body of Muslim clerics) issued a statement last month titled “Let no Muslim be killed because of an infidel”—a verbatim quote, in fact, from Islam’s prophet Muhammad—revealing the true reason why so many Muslims are trying to overturn the death sentence.
The Arabic language statement begins by asserting that “Allah has honored human beings over creation and multiplied the Muslim’s honor over the infidel’s, because Islam elevates and nothing is elevated above it. The value of the blood of Muslims is equal, or should be, but not so the value of the blood of others.” (The Koran itself, e.g., 2:221, confirms this idea that even the lowliest Muslim is superior to any non-Muslim.)
Next, the statement quotes the clear words of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, as recorded in a canonical hadith: “Let no Muslim be killed because of an infidel.” It then elaborates on the meaning of this statement by quoting from “the consensus of Islamic scholars,” or ijma‘, a legitimate source of Islamic jurisprudence.
Why do we even have diplomatic relations with Muslim countries? What good is it doing us?
One of the more pernicious memes that the diplomatic community has adopted over the years is that Israel-Palestine is the key to Middle East peace and tranquility. The events of the past two years have given lie to that sacred belief. However with people such as our not very intelligent Secretary of State John Kerry wasting their time trying to broker a “peace” between the civilized (Israel) and the uncivilized “Palestine” the end result we see is the gas attacks in Damascus, which have absolutely nothing to do with “Palestine”. I am surprised that the usually reliably Israel hating “The Independent” allowed this column to be published.
by Dominic Lawson
Forget the massacre of thousands in Syria and Egypt, whether by chemical weapons or more conventional methods of mass slaughter. The Middle Eastern issue galvanising some of our musical mega-stars and their followers, even now, is the treatment by Israel of Palestinians. A fortnight ago the violinist Nigel Kennedy told the audience at a Proms concert that Israel should “get rid of apartheid” – his tendentious reference to the treatment of the Arab minority within that country.
Kennedy’s remarks were cheered by many in the audience at the Royal Albert Hall, but the BBC cut them from its later television broadcast of the concert, allegedly following a complaint by Lady Deech, a former governor of the corporation. The London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign fizzed into action, declaring that “ suppressing free speech and political dissent is the norm for state broadcasters under dictatorships. It is worrying when we start to see this kind of suppression being practiced by our own state broadcaster.”
This remarkable suggestion that the BBC was acting as state censor on behalf of government (rather than merely demonstrating its own determination not to see its great music festival turned into a platform for contentious political slogans) is an example of how the state of Israel makes so many people lose all sense of perspective.
So it goes with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters who immediately issued a call to arms “to my colleagues in rock’n’roll” over the treatment given to “my brother Nigel Kennedy.” Waters denounced “one Baroness Deech (née Fraenkel), who disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state”. What’s with the “née Fraenkel”? Presumably this is the rock star’s way of letting us know that Deech is – aha! – a Jew. Enough said – although Waters did go on to say: “I have many very close Jewish friends”.
Perhaps some of those friends – whether or not they adhere to Jewish dietary laws – might be tiring of his latest porcine stunt, in which Pink Floyd’s pig balloon is imprinted with a Star of David before being “symbolically” shot down. With a delightful irony, this active boycotter of all things Israeli is now himself facing calls to be boycotted, from the admittedly small Jewish population of Dusseldorf, which German city is Waters’ next destination on his current tour.
You might dismiss this as completely irrelevant to the slaughter on the streets of Damascus – and in any rational sense it is – were it not for the fact that the Syrian Free Press, one of Bashar-Al Assad’s propaganda outlets, has been extolling Waters in recent weeks (when not too busy claiming that the murder of hundreds of children by Sarin nerve gas was actually organised by the CIA on behalf of Israel).
Given the longstanding iconography of anti-Semitism within the Middle East, it is perhaps not surprising that when regimes in the region feel threatened by their own people, they immediately seek to blame the insurrection on Israel or “the Jews”. When the wave of popular uprisings sometimes known as “the Arab Spring” reached Syria, Damascus’s envoy in London went on BBC’s Newsnight to tell a clearly startled Jeremy Paxman that “ the Israelis could be behind it…they could be behind any bad thing in the world.”
Actually, the Israeli government was most discomfited by the uprisings in the region, rather preferring the dictators it knew to the possibility of Islamist regimes in their place. It is Israeli citizens who are now stampeding for gas masks, not those of the US, in preparation for what might follow if President Obama does unleash part of America’s vast arsenal in the direction of sites believed to hold Assad’s chemical weapons.
It is true that Israel in 2007 sent eight fighter jets laden with 17 tons of high explosives to demolish the Dair Alzour site in Syria, which the International Atomic Energy Authority has since concluded was the base of a “gas cooled graphite moderated nuclear reactor not configured to produce electricity…built with the assistance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” [.......]
[...........] In many cases, the origins of the problems go back to the death of the prophet Mohamed, and the split between the followers who believed his successor should be appointed under Arab tribal tradition –later known as the Sunni – and those who insisted his successor should be from his family, and nominated Mohamed’s cousin and son-in-law Ali – the group which became known as Shia muslims.
In certain Arab countries, power had been held for generations by the Sunni, even while a majority of the population might have been Shia. This was the case in Iraq, where a sectarian civil war was precipitated by the disastrously misconceived US invasion. The opposite is true of Syria, a majority Sunni country, yet ruled by Alawites, a branch of the Shia. [.........]
This tribal and sectarian dispute, which has the potential to become the Muslim equivalent of the Thirty Years War, has about as much to do with Israel as did the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. And the peoples involved care very little, if at all, about the fate of the Palestinians – certainly much less than do Nigel Kennedy and Roger Waters.
Yet some western governments still fall for the bizarre idea that if the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians were to be sorted, then this would help to solve all the other conflicts in the region. Thus the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius declared last week, following a meeting with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: “The Israeli-Palestinian issue is …perhaps the central issue of the region.”
[........] But, in the midst of the conflagrations in Egypt and Syria, it does bring to mind the remark of the late French ambassador in London, Daniel Bernard, who in 2001 delivered himself of the view that “all the current troubles in the world are because of that shitty little country Israel.”
I think I made a similar point on this page over six years ago – but unfortunately this is the last of my columns for The Independent. To those readers who have enjoyed reading them as much as I did writing them, I’m sorry to desert you; to those who did not – you can calm down now.
Read the rest - So who still thinks Israel is the root of Middle East problems?
The Devil of course being the Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama administration is reflexively pro M.B. even though the Islamists are the most reactionary people in the world. However Obama/Kerry can always count on John McCain and Miss Lindsey Graham giving them cover. Funny how Obama was quick to send F-16′s and M1 Abrams tanks to Morsi the fascist but now wants to withhold aid to the Egyptian military. By the way the Egyptian military is cracking down on Islamists in the Sinai.
hat tip – Boker Tov, Boulder
by Ralph Peters
What do we want the future Egypt to look like? A flawed, hybrid democracy, or a Sunni Muslim version of Iran? Based on his bluster yesterday about events on the Nile, Secretary of State John Kerry prefers the latter.
In full outrage mode, America’s most famous windsurfer castigated the Egyptian authorities, insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood had a right to “peaceful protests.” Apparently, “peaceful” means armed with Kalashnikovs, killing policemen, kidnapping and torturing opponents, turning mosques into prisons, attacking Christians and burning Coptic churches.The Brotherhood protesters rejected all offers of compromise and all demands to disperse. The interim government’s response was heavy-handed, but the Muslim Brothers chose violent resistance — using women and children as shields (a tactic typical of Islamist terrorists).
Do we really need to have sympathy for the devil?
With its blundering, fickle, late-in-the-day support for whoever appeared to be gaining the upper hand, the Obama administration has managed the remarkable feat of alienating every faction in Egypt. [.......]
There was, indeed, a coup. But not all coups involve tanks. The real coup came after Egypt’s premature, badly flawed election, when Morsi and the Brotherhood excluded all non-Brothers from the political process; curtailed media freedoms and jailed journalists; attacked Christians; and rushed toward an Islamist state that the majority of Egyptians did not want.
Tens of millions of Muslims took to the streets to protest the Brotherhood’s plunge toward tyranny. Only after attempts to persuade an unrepentant Morsi to compromise failed, did the military move against the regime. [.......]
Yet our breathtakingly inept ambassador backed the Morsi regime right to the end. That isn’t diplomacy. It’s idiocy.
But all you have to do to create witless panic in Washington is cry “Military coup!” Well, sometimes — regrettably — a military is all that stands between a population and deadly (and anti-American) fanaticism. Despite yesterday’s bloodshed, would we really prefer a return to Brotherhood rule? Stuff the political correctness and get real.
Is the Egyptian military an ideal ally? Nope. But it’s a far better bet than Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood turned out to be.
The danger now is that the administration and naïfs in Congress will cut aid to the Egyptian military and curl up into a snit. [........]
Do we really need to make additional enemies in the region? Of moderates and secularists? In a quest to be “fair” to fanatics?
Official figures allow 275 dead in yesterday’s violence, while the Muslim Brotherhood claims more than 2,000. The latter number’s preposterous — you can’t hide that many corpses from prying journalists — but the reality is probably somewhere in between.
It’s time to get over ourselves. Our narcissistic belief that we not only can, but must, decide the destinies of Middle Eastern populations is destructive. We can, at times, play constructively on the margins, but we’re not even good at that.
The Obama administration needs a new foreign-policy motto: “First, do no harm.”
And we need to base our policies on our long-term interests, not on here-and-gone headlines. The enemy of the Egyptian people and of the American people is the same: Islamist fanaticism. And defeating radical extremists isn’t a smiley-face business.
When someone insists that he knows what God demands everybody must do, you can either submit or resist. Egyptians chose to resist. And the Muslim Brotherhood, not the Egyptian military, chose blood.
Read the rest - This blood is on the hands of Muslim Brotherhood
Col Ralph Peters tells Obama to shut up about Egypt – ‘He needs to be quiet’
The bi-partisan Beltway establishment (both Republican -lead by the face of the G.O.P. John McCain, and the Democrats) are still into the Islamic democracy fantasy that has been proven wrong time and time again. There is a reason why the fat Guido from Trenton out of the blue opened up on Rand Paul.
by Andrew McCarthy
As they have from the start, the Free Syrian Army was rolling out the welcome mat for al-Qaeda. “They are welcome to help us fight the regime,” explained Colonel Abdel Rahman Suweis, a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council.
This is not ancient history. The report from Al Jazeera (which Bill Roggio excerpts at the invaluable Long War Journal) has the FSA commander making these remarks less than two weeks ago. Just a couple of days later came another nugget from the al-Qaeda side of the “rebel” equation: A top leader of one of the terror network’s two major Syrian affiliates, which calls itself the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” told Al Jazeera that the FSA is actually providing al-Qaeda with weapons. “We are buying weapons from the FSA,” he asserted. “We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti-tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.”It is to Islamic-supremacist megaphones like Al Jazeera that we must turn for a reality check on the Syrian civil war. When it comes to the anti-Assad forces — denominated the “rebels” in hopes that no one will notice they self-define as “mujahideen” (i.e., jihad warriors) — American media outlets are as flush with Spring Fever as they have ever been. A dozen years of American effort — prohibitively expensive in blood and treasure — have left us with Iraq’s return to its default condition of internecine Sunni-Shiite butchery; Afghanistan’s implacable determination to remain the same medieval Islamic dystopia it has always been; a massacre of Americans by the jihadists we empowered in Benghazi; and Egypt’s ongoing implosion. Yet even in the conservative press, the very un-conservative ambitions of the bipartisan Beltway establishment’s Islamic-democracy project continue to hold sway.
Typical of this kind of thinking is “Why Rand Paul Is Wrong about Syria,” by the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Robert Zarate and Evan Moore. Published here at NRO on Thursday, it is an attack on the Kentucky Republican senator’s objections to U.S. intervention in Syria. Messrs. Zarate and Moore prefer a Libya-style alliance with the “rebels,” the Obama-administration gambit ardently endorsed by Senator John McCain, the erratic compass on which the GOP establishment relies for foreign-policy guidance.
In making their case, the authors — while accusing Senator Paul of promoting “false claims” and distortions — present the now familiar fairy-tale depiction of the Syrian conflict. They would have you believe that, under the auspices of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), there are throngs of “moderate Syrian rebels” who are just as opposed to al-Qaeda as they are to Assad. It is a laughable contention. There are no “moderates” in Syria. There are bad factions and worse factions — virtually all of them virulently anti-American.
The FSA is not an army. It is a gaggle of militias. For appearances’ sake, it is currently “commanded” by General Salim Idriss, a secularist who is portrayed by Zarate and Moore as if he were a prototype rebel. But the power behind the anti-Assad rebellion is the Muslim Brotherhood.
Idriss is part of a smattering of secularists highlighted to give the mujahideen a patina of moderation. The Brothers are no fools: They have been trying to take the Baathist Assad regime out for decades, and they know they don’t have a chance without Western — and particularly, American — support. So Idriss is presented as if he were in charge and as if what the authors describe as his “commitment to a tolerant and inclusive vision of Syria” were broadly shared across Assad’s opposition. But the “commander” has no capacity to exert control over the militias, which are shot through with Islamic supremacists.
There are not enough secularists in the opposition to cause Assad to lose a night’s sleep, much less threaten his grip on power. To oust him, the opposition needs legions of Islamic supremacists — armed by the United States. Zarate and Moore try to navigate around this inconvenience by omitting any mention of the Muslim Brotherhood and suggesting that there are only two camps: “moderates” and al-Qaeda. [........]
Contrary to the authors’ claim, foreign fighters are not flocking to Syria because they are affiliated with al-Qaeda. They are reacting to a fatwa issued in May by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the world’s most influential Sunni sharia authority and the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief jurist. Qaradawi declared that the jihad in Syria against Assad and his Shiite backers — primarily, Iran-backed Hezbollah — is a duty for every able-bodied Muslim who is trained to fight.
Qaradawi, who also serves as the backbone of international support for Hamas — the terrorist organization that is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch — is notoriously anti-American and anti-Israeli. [.......]Crucially for current purposes, Qaradawi has been the powerhouse behind the Brotherhood’s Syrian enterprise — drumming up international political and financial support for the “rebels.” It is no coincidence that shortly after Qaradawi’s fatwa, Egypt’s Islamic-supremacist government — then led by the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi — cut off diplomatic ties with Assad, called for a no-fly zone over Syria, and declaimed that “Hezbollah must leave Syria.”
Qaradawi, it is worth emphasizing, is not al-Qaeda. Like all Islamic supremacists, he and the Brotherhood share al-Qaeda’s dream of installing sharia in every Islamic country and, ultimately, establishing a global caliphate. As a result, they work with al-Qaeda on common goals, such as vanquishing Assad. But knowing he has the ear of the Obama administration — which, shockingly, just rolled out the White House red carpet for his deputy, Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah (who also endorsed terror attacks on Americans in Iraq) — Qaradawi is now laboring to relegate al-Qaeda to the rebel sidelines, playing into the Washington fiction that al-Qaeda is America’s only enemy.
There are two major al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria: the aforementioned Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the group cited by Senator Paul, Jabhat al Nusra. [.......] Consistent with the Obama/McCain approach of blinking at reality, the administration formally declared Nusra a terrorist organization back in December, as if that would deter the FSA militias — many of which publicly scoffed at the maneuver. Despite what Zarate and Moore assert, Nusra continues to work closely with the FSA.Among those lavishing praise on Nusra for doing “very well in its jihad against the tyrant regime of Damascus” is Qaradawi. [.........] Translation: “Hey Nusra, go right ahead with your savage methods, but could you pipe down about the al-Qaeda connection? That way, the morons in Washington will pretend you’re a ‘moderate’ and keep giving us the money and weapons we need.”
The Brothers have decided they need Nusra, so Nusra will remain a key force regardless of Obama’s paper terrorist designations and Idriss’s dreamy vision. Nusra’s vision, like the Brotherhood’s, is that Syria will become an anti-Western sharia state in the Sunni mold.
As for ISIL, it is true enough that FSA leaders are squabbling with that al-Qaeda affiliate. ISIL has killed a couple of FSA commanders and is imposing its sharia dictates on territories the “rebels” have captured. But more than anything else, the disputes illustrate the impotence of the FSA. Idriss & Co. can huff and puff, but they cannot enforce ultimatums against al-Qaeda, and they cannot stop their component militias from fighting side-by-side with al-Qaeda.
The stubborn fact of the matter is that Islamic supremacism pervades Assad’s opposition. [........] Even if al-Qaeda were to vacate the scene, arming the “rebels” means arming what Qaradawi more accurately calls the “mujahideen.”
Pace Messrs. Zarate and Moore, Senator Paul’s assertion that “there is no clear U.S. national interest in Syria” was not a “false claim.” It was an accurate assessment of the totality of the situation. The authors’ insistence that we have an interest in keeping rogue regimes from using weapons of mass destruction is tunnel vision. There are WMD in Syria. Assad’s use of them is reprehensible (albeit in character), and the specter of his transferring them to Hezbollah is alarming (though no more alarming than the fact that Assad has them in the first place, as does Iran — the patron of Assad and puppeteer of Hezbollah). But the possibility of WMD falling into the hands of the Brotherhood and its jihadist allies — who, by the way, have been colluding with Iran for two decades and have energetically sought WMD — is no more comforting. [........]
Paul was clearly also right that arming the FSA means arming al-Qaeda affiliates. Contrary to Zarate and Moore’s contentions, the FSA’s loosely tied, largely autonomous militias cannot be controlled by central commanders. Not only do the militias, many of which share al-Qaeda’s core convictions and goals, frequently collaborate with al-Qaeda affiliates; indications are that they already provide arms to their al-Qaeda allies — in addition to receiving support from al-Qaeda’s backers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Finally, Paul is quite right that there is “no clear moral choice” for us in Syria. To claim, as Zarate and Moore do, that there is a patent difference between Assad’s barbarism, on the one hand, and “General Idriss and other moderate rebels,” on the other, is a gross distortion. [.......] The only forces who stand a chance of ejecting Assad are Sunni Islamic supremacists — the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and jihadists the world over who answer the summons of the rabidly anti-American Qaradawi.
Assad turned his border into a sluicegate from which jihadists flooded into Iraq to kill Americans. Qaradawi is the sharia eminence who exhorted them to do the flooding and the killing. To see a clear moral choice between those two — indeed, to fail to see that that is the choice — is to imagine a Syria that does not exist.
Read the rest - Syria Fairy Tales
There is a strong possibility that Huma Abedin is using her marriage to the unsightly, neurotic, perverted, dweebish Anthony Weiner for things other than love. Both Abedin and Weiner need each other in order to boost each ones ambition. Abedin to advance her goal of being Secretary of state and helping the Muslim Brotherhood, Weiner (who is unemployable in private industry) to become Mayor of New York.
hat tip - Boker Tov, Boulder
by Andrew McCarthy
Charlotte’s revulsion over Huma Abedin’s calculated “stand by your man” routine is surely right. Still, it is amazing, as we speculate about Ms. Abedin’s political future, that the elephant in the room goes unnoticed, or at least studiously unmentioned.
Sorry to interrupt the Best Enabler of a Sociopath Award ceremony but, to recap, Ms. Abedin worked for many years at a journal that promotes Islamic-supremacist ideology that was founded by a top al-Qaeda financier, Abdullah Omar Naseef. Naseef ran the Rabita Trust, a formally designated foreign terrorist organization under American law. Ms. Abedin and Naseef overlapped at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA) for at least seven years. Throughout that time (1996–2003), Ms. Abdein worked for Hillary Clinton in various capacities.
Ms. Abedin’s late father, Dr. Zyed Abedin, was recruited by Naseef to run the JMMA in Saudi Arabia. The journal was operated under the management of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a virulently anti-Semitic and sharia-supremacist organization. When Dr. Abedin died, editorial control of the journal passed to his wife, Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin — Huma’s mother.
Saleha Abedin is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and to supporters of violent jihad. Among other things, she directs an organization – the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child. The IICWC, through its parent entity (the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief), is a component of the Union for Good (also known as the Union of Good), another formally designated terrorist organization. [........]
Like Sheikh Qaradawi, who helped write the charter for the IICWC, Saleha Abedin is an influential sharia activist who has, for example, published a book called Women in Islam that claims man-made laws enslave women. It reportedly provides sharia justifications for such practices as female-genital mutilation, the death penalty for apostates from Islam, the legal subordination of women, and the participation of women in violent jihad. [........]
Back to daughter Huma. In the late mid to late Nineties, while she was an intern at the Clinton White House and an assistant editor at JMMA, Ms. Abedin was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at George Washington University, heading its “Social Committee.” The MSA, which has a vast network of chapters at universities across North America, is the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in the United States. Obviously, not every Muslim student who joins the MSA graduates to the Brotherhood — many join for the same social and networking reasons that cause college students in general to join campus organizations. But the MSA does have an indoctrination program, which Sam Tadros describes as a lengthy process of study and service that leads to Brotherhood membership — a process “designed to ensure with absolute certainty that there is conformity to the movement’s ideology and a clear adherence to its leadership’s authority.” [........] Because of its support for Hamas (a designated terrorist organization that is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch), ISNA was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, in which several Hamas operatives were convicted of providing the terrorist organization with lavish financing.
As I’ve recounted before, the MSA chapter to which Ms. Abedin belonged at George Washington University has an intriguing history. In 2001 [to be clear, that is after Ms. Abedin had graduated from GWU], its spiritual guide was . . . Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda operative who was then ministering to some of the eventual 9/11 suicide-hijackers. Awlaki himself had led the MSA chapter at Colorado State University in the early nineties. As Patrick Poole has demonstrated, Awlaki is far from the only jihadist to hone his supremacist ideology in the MSA’s friendly confines. [.........] He would soon go on to help Osama bin Laden found al-Qaeda; he also partnered with the Abedin family’s patron, Abdullah Omar Naseef, to establish the [aforementioned] Rabita Trust — formally designated as a terrorist organization under U.S. law due to its funding of al-Qaeda.
Ms. Abedin served as one of Secretary of State Clinton’s top staffers and advisers at the State Department. As I’ve previously detailed, during that time, the State Department strongly supported abandoning the federal government’s prior policy against official dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood. State, furthermore, embraced a number of Muslim Brotherhood positions that undermine both American constitutional rights and our alliance with Israel. To name just a few manifestations of this policy sea change:
The State Department had an emissary in Egypt who trained operatives of the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in democracy procedures.
Secretary Clinton personally intervened to reverse a Bush-administration ruling that barred Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the Brotherhood’s founder and son of one of its most influential early leaders, from entering the United States.
The State Department collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of governments heavily influenced by the Brotherhood, in seeking to restrict American free-speech rights in deference to sharia proscriptions against negative criticism of Islam.
The State Department excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from its “Global Counterterrorism Forum,” a group that brings the United States together with several Islamist governments, prominently including its co-chair, Turkey — which now finances Hamas and avidly supports the flotillas that seek to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas. At the forum’s kickoff, Secretary Clinton decried various terrorist attacks and groups; but she did not mention Hamas or attacks against Israel — in transparent deference to the Islamist governments, which echo the Brotherhood’s position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and that attacks against Israel are not terrorism.
The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian territories notwithstanding that Gaza is ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch.
The State Department and the administration hosted a contingent from Egypt’s newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gamaa al-Islamiyya), which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The State Department refused to provide Americans with information about the process by which it issued a visa to a member of a designated terrorist organization, about how the members of the Egyptian delegation were selected, or about what security procedures were followed before the delegation was allowed to enter our country.
On a trip to Egypt, Secretary Clinton pressured General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the military junta then governing the country, to surrender power to the parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the then–newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a top Brotherhood official. She also visited with Morsi; immediately after his victory, Morsi had proclaimed that his top priorities included pressuring the United States to release the Blind Sheikh. [............]After it became clear the Brotherhood would win the parliamentary election, Badie said the victory was a stepping stone to “the establishment of a just Islamic caliphate.”
As more recent events remind us, this is not an exhaustive account of Obama-administration coziness with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is just some of the lowlights.
When a handful of House conservatives tried to draw the attention of the State Department’s inspector general to some of these matters – wondering how on earth someone with Ms. Abdein’s background could have qualified for a top-secret security clearance – they were castigated by the Obama White House and the Beltway Republican establishment. As reaffirmed in the last 24 hours, Ms. Abedin’s connections to prominent Islamic-supremacist figures and groups are deemed unsuitable for public discussion – Egyptians may be able to eject the Muslim Brotherhood, but in today’s Washington it is raising questions about the Muslim Brotherhood that gets you run out of town.
Naturally, what did get Washington chattering was a scandal far more typical in Clinton circles — the lucrative arrangement Ms. Abedin struck with Mrs. Clinton’s State Department that allowed her, after returning from maternity leave, to draw a $135,000 State Department salary while remaining in New York, not actually working at Foggy Bottom, and moonlighting as a “strategic consultant” for an outfit called Teneo – founded by Bill Clinton’s chum Doug Band.
What a racket. The marriage to Huma Abedin, a Clinton insider, enables Anthony Weiner to resurrect a debased career and deflect attention from his psychotic antics even as he continues them. The marriage to Anthony Weiner, a prominent Jewish progressive, enables Huma Abedin to deflect attention from her associations with various Islamic supremacists even as, during her tenure as a top State Department official, American policy embraces Islamic supremacists.
But let’s not discuss that.
Read the rest - The Huma unmentionables
The Islamists love to start wars wherever they can. Supported by Western Progressives, they pretend to be victims, when they are in fact the aggressors. They now set their sights on Burma as their next target of Jihad. The huge problem for the Islamist is that Burma has a ruthless Fascist government closely aligned to China.
A group of jihadists from Burma, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan are reported to have formed a “brigade” to fight the Burmese government. A Burmese branch of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami that is based in Karachi, Pakistan and has been in operation since the late 1980s is likely involved in recruiting Pakistanis to fight in Burma.
“A brigade of Mujahedeen from Burma, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan under the leadership of Abu Safiya and Abu Arif reached Burma,” according to a statement released at Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Caucasus Emirate.
The statement was accompanied by nine photographs of members of the brigade. The jihadists are dressed in military fatigues and most are wearing green headbands. The men are armed with AK-47 assault rifles and PKM machine guns. The men are seen marching in formation, training with their weapons, and praying. Scores of fighters appear together in some of the pictures.[....]The statement at Kavkaz also noted that Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah who is currently serving a jail sentence for forming an al Qaeda branch in Indonesia, called for Muslims to wage jihad against the Burmese government.
“By the will of Allah, we can destroy you and your people like Russia, the socialist-communist country, or like America that will be destroyed soon,” Bashir threatened in a letter to the president of Burma.[....]“Rise O servants of Allah to help your brothers and sisters!,” Azzam proclaimed. “Rise to save your sons and daughters! Do your best in jihad, O guardians of creed and [monotheism], against the enemies of Allah the idolatrous Buddhists, and target the most important installations of Burma, China and Germany, and their interests and the interests of the United Nations, which supports these massacres and this genocide in Arakan.”
Other groups that have offered support for Burmese Muslims include the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Shabaab, al Qaeda, and various jihadist media outlets such as the Shumukh al-Islam forum, the Global Islamic Media Front, al Qaeda’s Vanguards of Khorasan magazine, and the Turkish jihadist magazine Islamic World.
The Islamists will discover the Burmese will not hesitate to kill them.
Al-Nusra has emerged as the most effective fighting force in the Syrian Civil war. Man for man their fighters are better than any fighting for Assad or Hezbollah. Unlike the other rebel units, in areas they take over, Nusra tries to create law and order.
In Eastern Syria, Nusra not only controls towns, they also run Syria’s oil fields. They provide electricity and fuel to the territories they and their FSA allies control. Nusra However, they are growing weary about the organization that helped spawn them al-Qaeda in Iraq known formally as The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Syria). ISIS is your typical al-Qaeda outfit, just committing terrorism the local population, killing Christians and oppressing women. They are composed primary of foreign Jihadists, while Nusra nowadays is strictly Syrian.
The local population and Nusra are getting tired of ISIS and their terror antics. This is setting the stage if Assad falls, for the FSA and Nusra to fight ISIS. This would be a replay of when Iraqi Sunnis turned on AQI and helped the US defeat them.
The al-Qaida-affiliated commander in charge of the oil company in Shadadi, eastern Syria – a lean, broad-shouldered man who is followed everywhere by a machete-wielding bodyguard – was explaining the appeal of jihadi rule to the people of the newly captured town.
“Go and ask the people in the streets whether there a liberated town or city anywhere in Syria that is ruled as efficiently as this one,” he boasted. “There is electricity, water and bread and security. Inshallah, this will be the nucleus of a new Syrian Islamic caliphate!”
The al-Nusra Front, the principle jihadi rebel group in Syria, defies the cliche of Islamist fighters around the Middle East plotting to establish Islamic caliphates from impoverished mountain hideaways. In north-eastern Syria, al-Nusra finds itself in command of massive silos of wheat, factories, oil and gas fields, fleets of looted government cars and a huge weapons arsenal.
The commander talked about the services al-Nusra is providing to Shadadi’s residents. First, there is food: 225 sacks of wheat, baked into bread and delivered to the people every day through special teams in each neighbourhood. Then there is free electricity and water, which run all day throughout the town. There is also al-Nusra healthcare, provided from a small clinic that treats all comers, regardless of whether they have sworn allegiance to the emirate or not. Finally, there is order and the promise of swift justice, delivered according to sharia law by a handful of newly appointed judges.
The tactics with which al-Nusra is waging its war are no less brutal than those of its al-Qaida-affiliated counterparts in other areas of the Middle East. A few weeks before our visit, after a feud with a local tribe over oil, al-Nusra fighters had surrounded the village of Albu Saray and taken the whole male population of the village prisoner. A few of them were accused of killing an al-Nusra commander, and were executed, and many of the houses in the village were flattened. “Do you know why the Americans and Israelis are winning and we Arabs always lose?” asked the emir. “Because we Arabs are emotional.”
n what many considered a coup against al-Nusra, the leader of the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida, Abu Bakra al-Baghdadi, declared that he would merge his own organisation with that of his Syrian brothers, under his leadership. The feud that followed was reminiscent of the infighting between warring branches of the Ba’ath party in Iraq and Syria in the 1960s.
“Yes, in the beginning they [al-Qaida in Iraq] did give us weapons and send us their leadership,” said the commander. “May Allah bless them. But now, we have become a state. We control massive areas, and they are but a faction. They don’t control land in Iraq: they were defeated. We have been sending them weapons and cars to strengthen their spear against the Iraqi rejectionist government, but now they want us to be part of them. That, I don’t understand.”
“They say that al-Nusra has become soft, [that] they deal with the infidel FSA and co-ordinate with them and fight together,” said the commander. “The reality is that many of the people who have accepted al-Nusra in these area and started to accept our ideology did so because they saw people of the area join them. Now, they have retreated because al-Qaida entered very heavily.”
He cites an old Arabic proverb, which states that the people of Mecca know its valleys better than the outsiders. “We know better than the outsiders, who are here just to fight and kill. We have to learn from the mistakes of Iraq and the mistakes that toppled al-Qaida there and turned the tribes against them.”
It is clear that al-Qaeda and al-Nusra are 2 distinct entities. Al-Qaeda just wants to terrorize populations and has no military organization. Al-Nusra on the other hand has military organization and is building civilian infrastructure in an attempt to win hearts and minds. Their goal is a Syrian based Caliphate like that of the Ummayads, while al-Qaeda wants a transnational Islamic Caliphate.
In many ways al-Nusra is more dangerous than al-Qaeda. They are more than just terrorists and are actually laying the groundwork for a state. This organization needs to be monitored by Western intelligence very closely.
Update: The conflict between Free Syrian Army rebels and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has begun.
Syrian rebels said on Friday the assassination of one of their top commanders by al Qaeda-linked militants was tantamount to a declaration of war, opening a new front for the Western-backed fighters struggling against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Rivalries have been growing between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Islamists, whose smaller but more effective forces control most of the rebel-held parts of northern Syria more than two years after pro-democracy protests became an uprising.
“We will not let them get away with it because they want to target us,” a senior FSA commander said on condition of anonymity after members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant killed Kamal Hamami on Thursday.
“We are going to wipe the floor with them,” he said.
No word yet on which side al-Nusra will support. Being that they are mostly Syrian, I would not be shock if Nusra sides with the FSA against ISIS.
by Elliott Abrams
1. The removal of an elected president by the army is a coup, whether we like that president or not. There are cases where a president is removed by the military pursuant to legislative or judicial action, or due to brazen violations of legitimate judicial or legislative action, as happened in Honduras in 2009. The Obama administration wrongly called that a coup, but what happened in Egypt this week clearly was one.
2. It was not, however, something that came out of thin air. It was the product of misconduct on the part of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. He and the MB knew full well that they had lost the support of most Egyptians and that Morsi had been elected in a 51–48 vote, not a landslide. [........] Egyptians had every reason to fear that the MB was seeking to make its hold on power irreversible, and to act to prevent this.
3. Even if this coup was inevitable due to MB conduct, it would have been better if it had been delayed by six or twelve months. More and more Egyptians would have concluded that the MB could not rule and sought not national progress but consolidation of their own power. Any eventual coup would have had wider support. Still, many opponents of the regime — including liberals, moderates, Copts, and democrats — believed that another year of MB rule would have done too much damage to Egypt. [.......]
4. Two good effects of this coup are that it may chasten other MB and Islamist groups, and lead to splits in the Egyptian MB. As to the first point, surely MB groups and affiliates in Jordan, Morocco, the Gulf, and elsewhere will feel that something went wrong beyond misjudging the Egyptian army. Egyptian MB leaders misjudged everything: their ability to govern, their ability to run the economy, the tolerance of the political system for their efforts to concentrate power, and the willingness of the army and police to give them slack, for example. So other MB groups must rethink, and must conclude that they will have to take more time and win more hearts and minds, not just try to win one election and then seize permanent power. As to the second point, splits within the MB, recall that initially the Egyptian MB wasn’t even going to run a candidate for president. And Turkish PM Erdogan, an Islamist, was said to have advised going slow against the army, noting that he had destroyed the independent power of the Turkish military — but over ten years, not one. Surely there will now be recriminations within the MB, “I told you so” complaints, personal grudges, principled arguments about who made the gross errors that cost them power — and the more, the better! We can hope that the Egyptian MB’s famous unity and central control will start to crack.
5. Another good effect is to chasten the Qataris, one of whose efforts to claim greater influence in the region came through backing the Egyptian MB with billions of dollars in aid while their Gulf partners (especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE) thought the Egyptian MB was dangerous and held back. All that Qatari money is now a lost investment. Meanwhile Qatar has a new government — a new emir, new prime minister, and new foreign minister. Emir Hamad and Qatar’s foreign-affairs maestro, Hamad bin Jassem, are both gone. One may hope that the Egyptian case will help persuade the new Emir Tamim and his new government to review Qatar’s support for radical groups like the MB.
6. The Obama administration has mishandled Egypt from the day it took office. First it embraced Mubarak, whom Hillary Clinton called a “family friend,” and took no stand against his human-rights violations and increasingly unpopular effort to insert his son Gamal as his successor. When Mubarak fell, the White House was off balance but decided to embrace Morsi with equal enthusiasm. Again, human-rights violations were ignored; Morsi’s prosecutions of journalists and activists for “insulting the president” — more numerous in his one year than Mubarak had racked up in 30 — were not protested. Even the prosecution and conviction of American NGO workers, essentially for the crime of promoting democracy, did not seem to turn the Obamians against Morsi. So today Egyptians believe we were pro-Morsi and wanted him both to stay in office and to accrue more personal power. [........]Secretary Kerry seems to ignore Syria and Egypt and to have an obsession with the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The post of assistant secretary of state for Egypt has now been vacant for an entire year, and no one has even been nominated to fill it. The current ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, is rumored to be the likely nominee, but Egyptians who oppose the MB view her as having failed them and failed human rights in Egypt. [........]Has Obama learned anything from this policy debacle?
7. U.S. law now requires that we suspend all aid to Egypt. We should not try to escape that law; coups are a bad thing and in principle we should oppose them. But most of our aid to Egypt is already obligated, so the real damage to the Egyptian economy and to military ties should be slight — if the army really does move forward to new elections. This we should urge it to do, not only out of principle but because the army will ruin itself and its popularity if it tries again to rule directly. Generals are not economists and should wish to escape responsibility (read “blame”) for the increasingly dire condition of Egypt’s economy. [.........]
8. The failure of the MB in Egypt is a very good thing. It is true that a “stab in the back” legend will now develop in which they were doing just fine, or about to do just fine, until unfairly removed from power. But no Egyptian outside the MB will believe this, and the group that surrounded General Sisi when he announced that Morsi was out is proof of this: democrats, liberals, religious leaders, politicians, all backing the army in its removal of the MB from power.
9. This is an important stage in the “Arab Spring” and probably hails years of instability in Egypt as Islamists fight back. The Egyptian MB was once a terrorist group and elements of it may return to violence, as may other Egyptian Islamists. For the United States, one lesson is that when Islamist groups are elected we should hold them to strict human-rights and civil-liberties standards and to democratic procedures, rather than giving them a pass — as Obama did. Another lesson is that we should always remember who our friends are and should support them: those who truly believe in liberty as we conceive it, minorities such as the Copts who are truly threatened and who look to us, allies such as the Israelis who are with us through thick and thin. [.......] A policy based on the simple principle of supporting our friends and opposing our enemies will do far more to advance the principles and interests of the United States.
Read the rest – Reacting to that coup in Egypt
The war in Syria is bleeding Hezbollah’s military capabilities. It has reportedly lost between 500-1000 fighters, many of whom were their elite units. Most of the loses have been done by the Al Qaeda linked Al Nusra Front, who are using Hezbollah’s tactics against them. As the war progresses, Hezbollah will be faced with a dilemma. It has a smaller recruiting pool than Nusra or the FSA, whom can call upon not just Syrian Sunnis, but throughout the Islamic world. The war has also shattered Hezbollah’s image in the Arab world and in many cases, they are now hated more than the Israelis.
Hezbollah’s large-scale involvement in Syria is eroding its military resources, though the extent of the damage it is incurring remains a closely guarded secret.
The Lebanese terrorist organization’s Shi’ite fighters, who were deployed to Syria to fight on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad at Iran’s orders, tipped the balance in favor of Assad at the battle of Qusair in recent weeks. But Israeli security analysts said on Sunday the victory came at a heavy price for Hezbollah that is set to rise the longer the organization remains engaged in Syria.
It is likely that Hezbollah sent some of its quality units based in south Lebanon, originally designated for combat with the IDF, to the battlefields of Syria, Schweitzer said. “They’re suffering casualties as they fight irregular bands of rebels.”
In Syria, Hezbollah is struggling to deal with the same tactics it itself employed in the past against the IDF. A report in The Lebanese Daily Star published last month quoted one Hezbollah fighter as saying that the tactics of the jihadi Jabhat Al-Nusra Front in Syria had “a kind of irritating familiarity.”
This conflict is a god send to the Non Islamic world. May these terrorists continue to kill each other and leave us alone.
UPDATE- by Speranza
12 Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes with Sunnis
Lebanese soldiers fought Sunni Muslim gunmen in the southern city of Sidon on Monday in one of the deadliest outbreaks of violence fueled by sectarian divisions over the civil war in neighboring Syria.
The army said 12 soldiers had been killed in clashes which broke out on Sunday after security forces detained a follower of the hardline Sunni Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir. His supporters retaliated by opening fire on an army checkpoint.
Security sources put the army death toll at 15, with 60 wounded. They said at least two gunmen were also killed in the clashes but soldiers were surrounding the mosque where Assir’s supporters were based, making it difficult to verify details.
The mosque showed signs of heavy damage from 24 hours of ferocious exchanges of rocket and gunfire.
Sidon had been on edge since violence erupted last week between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim fighters, at odds over the Syrian conflict which pits mainly Sunni rebels against President Bashar Assad, an Alawite from an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.
Tensions escalated further when the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah sent fighters into Syria to lead the recapture of a strategic border town by Assad’s forces.
“The army has tried for months to keep Lebanon away from the problems of Syria, and it ignored repeated requests for it to clamp down on Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir’s group,” the military command said in a statement on Sunday.
“But what has happened today has gone beyond all expectations. The army was attacked in cold blood in an attempt to light the fuse in Sidon, just as was done in 1975,” it said, referring to the year that Lebanon’s own civil war began.
Assir, whose supporters accuse the army of giving cover to Hezbollah gunmen, called for people across the country to join him and demanded that “honorable” soldiers defect.
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