TRUMP: DAYS OF DEADLY IGNORANCE WILL END

Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, stands for a photograph after a Bloomberg Television interview at his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. According to Trump, Janet Yellen's decision to delay hiking interest rates is motivated by politics. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images *** Local Capton *** Donald Trump

Trump tears into Clinton over Orlando as he says attacks prove HE’S the man to protect Americans – including gays and Muslims – and claims she would let more Islamic terrorists into the country

  • Donald Trump delivered a stinging speech about terrorism on Monday in New Hampshire, hammering Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
  • Said he wants to protect all Americans from jihadis and faulted the Obama administration for being asleep at the switch on immigration
  • Expressed strong solidarity with gays and lesbians after an armed jihadi killed more than four dozen people at a gay nightclub in Florida
  • ‘Ignorance is not bliss,’ he said of Clinton’s national security proposals; ‘It’s deadly. Totally deadly’

Donald Trump leveled a national-security flamethrower at Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, blaming her for embracing an immigration policy that would drive more Islamic radicals to stage terror attacks like the one from which Orlando, Florida is only beginning to recover.

Clinton, he said, would negligently implement a ‘catastrophic immigration plan’ that would ‘bring vastly more radical Islamic immigrants into this country, threatening not only our society but our entire way of life.’

‘Ignorance is not bliss,’ he said in a half-hour speech at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

‘It’s deadly. Totally deadly.’

CLOBBERING CLINTON: Donald Trump delivered a biting speech Tuesday on terrorism and national security, aimed largely at Hillary Clinton, following a deadly Islamist terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida

DUELING SPEECHES: Clinton and Trump split on gun control but agreed on the notion that radical Islamists are a threat to the LGBT community

Trump castigated the former secretary of state for comments she made in November 2015 during a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations.

‘Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary,’ Clinton said then. ‘Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.’

‘That is Hillary Clinton,’ Trump said, hammering her for her response to the weekend’s bloodbath at a gay nightclub where more than four dozen people list their lives to a man who pledged allegiance to the ISIS terror army.

‘The days of deadly ignorance will end, and they will end soon’ if he is elected president, Trump pledged.

Clinton’s response on Monday was equal parts gun control and a motherly embrace of America’s gays and lesbians.

‘She says the solution is to ban guns. They tried that in France,’ Trump poked, referring to last year’s terror attacks in Paris. ‘One hundred thirty people were brutally murdered by Islamic terrorists in cold blood,’ he said.

‘Her plan is to disarm law-abiding Americans, abolish the Second Amendment and leave only terrorists … with guns.’

‘She wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us,’ Trump boomed, reading from a teleprompter. He pledged to meet with the National Rifle Association, the powerful lobby that has endorsed him, to ‘discuss how to make sure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror.’

‘CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS: ‘Hillary Clinton can never pretend to be a friend of the gay community,’ Trump said in New Hampshire, while she supports immigration policies that admit anti-gay jihadi immigrants

IN YOUR FACE: Trump read a Clinton quote from a November 2015 speech before attempting to dismantle her views on immigration, national security and border protection

Trump effectively blunted Clinton’s approach on anti-gay discrimination by joining her, however, saying that ‘our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT community’ against a terrorist who plotted ‘to execute gay and lesbian Americans.’

He called the carnage ‘an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want, and express their identity.’

That rhetoric would have sounded at home during the Democratic primary season, or on the stage of Sunday night’s Tony Awards.

Trump, in fact, claimed that he would be a better and more effective advocate than Clinton for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

‘Hillary Clinton can never pretend to be a friend of the gay community,’ he said, while supporting immigration policies that bring along with them the threat of more jihadi immigrants.

‘She can’t have it both ways,’ he said. ‘She can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while [increasing] the number of people who want to oppress these communities.’

He emphasized that as president he would prioritize the protection of law-abiding ‘people who are potential victims of crimes based on backgrounds or sexual orientation.’

Trump has been the Republican Party’s most consistent immigration hawk during the primary season, advocating for tighter border control and catching flak along the way.

‘We want to remain a free and open society … [but] we have to control our borders. And we have to control them now. Not later. Right now,’ he said Monday.

With dozens dead in Orlando, he said, ‘we cannot afford to talk around issues anymore. We have to address these issues head-on.’

In a tweak to his previous proposal for a ban on non-citizen Muslims coming into the United States, he said he would use existing presidential powers to ‘suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies.’

And doubling down on identity groups that cleave to Clinton’s side, he emphasized that ‘radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American.’

‘I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, Jewish people are targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.’

‘This is not just a national security issue. It’s a quality of life issue.’

Blaming Christianity for everything while blaming Islam for Nothing: The double standard that helps Islamic violence spread.

 

 

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TODAY OBAMA WAS MADDER AT TRUMP THAN THE SHOOTER WHO KILLED 49 PEOPLE IN THE NAME OF ISLAM.  THEN HE SAID THAT BLAMING ISLAM HELPS THE TERRORISTS.  I AM PRESENTING TO YOU AN ARTICLE–WRITTEN AFTER TERROR ATTACKS IN PARIS THAT SHOW KEY EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS HOW THERE IS A DOUBLE STANDARD WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY–AND HOW OUR SILENCE HELPS TERRORISTS.

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Blaming Christianity for everything while blaming Islam for Nothing:  The double standard helps Islamic violence.

By Mitchell Blatt

After Islamic terrorists invade a newspaper office and murder 12 people, the first reaction from impartial observers should most assuredly not be to condemn Catholics for the Spanish Inquisition.

Yet this is the disgusting and a historical message many liberal advocates of moral equivalence shared on social media. Remember that Christians have been violent, too, in the name of religion, and don’t say anything bad about Islam. Jon Harmon, the legislative director for Cincinnati Council member Chris Seelbach, tweeted, in an attack on CNN anchor Don Lemon, “Embarrassing. Will ask Catholics if they support molester priests or the Spanish Inquisition?”

We don’t have to ask. The Catholic Church years ago apologized for the Spanish Inquisition. On March 12, 2000, Pope John Paul II said, “We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood.” In fact, Pope John Paul II apologized for a number of things during his papacy, including the crusades and the imprisonment of Galileo.

The apology doesn’t take away from the brutality of the act, but at least it acknowledges wrongdoing. What does the Inquisition have to do with the attack on Charlie Hebdo? Nothing, specifically, unless you consider how the actions of Islamic terrorist groups today such as the Islamic State are as vicious or worse than the Inquisition.

Why Is Islam Exempt from Criticism?

But it is instructive how some on the Left are so quick to condemn Christianity for anything—even for something (the attack on Charlie Hebdo) that Christianity had nothing to do with. It would be hard to imagine a liberal reminding readers about 9/11 after a Christian extremist bombed an abortion clinic, for example, or urging tolerance of the moderate Americans, the vast majority, after a bigoted extremist shoots up a mosque. In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders, the New York Times originally included a claim by a victim that an assailant spared her but demanded she convert to Islam. Later, the paper edited the passage to remove the call for forced conversion.

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Who would be scared of offending the sensibilities of a follower of the ‘Religion of Peace’?

The reticence to publish cartoons of Muhammad contributes to an atmosphere where one religion is put on a pedestal above all others. On one hand, people are legitimately scared to do so. No one needs to be told why. A 2012 cartoon in The Onion after the “Innocence of Muhammad” controversy depicted Jesus, Moses, Ganesha, and Buddha engaging in a graphic orgy under the headline, “No One Murdered Because Of This Image.”

Ironically, it is the absence of Muhammad in print that speaks the most negatively about the religion. Who would be scared of offending the sensibilities of a follower of the “Religion of Peace”? It is understandable why media institutions take the policy they do for reasons of safety, but that policy should not be couched in terms of morality or sensibilities. If it were, then that would call into question why so much other imagery is fair game (as such imagery should be).

They’re Scared for Their Lives—Which Says Something

Sometimes even the most ardent atheist critics of religious fundamentalism find they must attack Christianity or “religion” before zeroing in on Islam. Beyond fearing potentially for their lives if they offend the wrong person, they also fear for their reputations, lest they get tarred as “Islamophobic.”

Salon’s Erin Kean denounced Bill Maher for ‘sounding eerily like the religious extremists,’ a claim of moral equivalence that again puts speech on the same level with murder.

Bill Maher can be praised for being consistent. After the attack, Maher went on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and said, “I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this. But here’s the important point. Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this.” It was an echo of his argument with Ben Affleck on his own show in October, in which he and Sam Harris pointed to surveys that showed a distressing amount of Muslims in various countries support criminalizing blasphemy with the death penalty. For that, Maher and Harris were called “racists.”

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After his comments on Kimmel, Salon’s Erin Kean denounced Maher for “sounding eerily like the religious extremists,” a claim of moral equivalence that again puts speech on the same level with murder. Richard Dawkins was slammed on Salon for having tweeted, “No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn’t,” and Sean Hannity got the treatment for suggesting that immigrants should be “assimilated” so as not to support such extremism.

Earth to Liberals: Discussing Islam’s Problems Isn’t Bigotry

Of course no form of bigotry is justified, including anti-Islamic bigotry, but discussing major problems is not the same as bigotry. Liberals have spent the past few months condemning police institutions for what they view as racist policing practices that contribute to the shootings of unarmed black men. The Tea Party has been slammed by liberals as “racist” ever since it came into existence. Although the individual characterizations of both issues can be debated, no one should condemn the practice of using harsh rhetoric to confront harsh realities. Religious institutions should not be off limits just because they are religious.

Whether it’s ‘Piss Christ’ or paintings of the Virgin Mary toting a gun, Christians don’t respond by running in with guns and bombs.

If Maher and Dawkins were wrong, then why would their critics have to reach back centuries to pull out a sufficient counterexample? Organized Christianity doesn’t exert near the radical influence now as it did then. Reformations within the church and the Enlightenment have changed matters.

bill-maherThat we even have the debate of whether to publish the cartoons illustrates the point. Artistic exhibitions that offend Christians have been displayed in America and Europe without violent reprisal. Whether it’s “Piss Christ” or paintings of the Virgin Mary toting a gun, followers of the Virgin Mary’s religion don’t come running in with guns and bombs. There have been some exhibitions, such as Cosimo Cavallaro’s “Chocolate Jesus,” that have been canceled due to pressure from organized Christian groups, but the pressure in that case came through boycotts, not bloodshed.

A comparable depiction of Muhammad would never even get past the approval stage of a major museum. Jesus is depicted frequently in cartoons and comedic television shows, but Muhammad is almost always censored in depictions.

News Talks about…News—Not Ancient History

The reason that Islamic violence dominates the headlines today is because it happens now. News is about timeliness. The Spanish Inquisitions of centuries past were barbaric. Historian Henry Kamen estimates that 40,000 Jews were forced into exile because of the persecution, and up to 5,000 people are thought to have been executed, according to various sources. The Inquisition targeted Muslims, as well.

This is ‘debateophobia’—’fear of a free and frank discussion.”

That’s why the Inquisitors were feared at the time and why the Black Legend, a fearful reading of Spanish history, was so powerful. Some early scholarship may have posited death tolls that were higher than the true total, but even if the death toll was in the thousands and not the hundred thousands, it was still an egregious moral wrong that the whole population was denied religious freedoms and that thousands were tortured and executed.

The first response to the Inquisition should not be “Catholicism Faces Rising Tide of Bigotry” any more than the first response to the murder of journalists should be “France Faces Rising Tide of Islamophobia.” It also faces a rising tide of terrorism, which is the starting point for any broader discussion. But that was one of the headlines that ran in the Telegraph in the 48 hours after the attack. If everything must be a “-phobia”, then this is “debateophobia”—“fear of a free and frank discussion,” as sociology professor Frank Furedi called it—to condemn any attempt at understanding the underlying motivations of our current terrorists.

If those liberals who spent the past two days condemning the inquisitions truly believe forced conversions and state-backed murders are so bad, here is something they can resist now. As the Islamic State ravages Iraq and Syria, already having killed more in two years than the Spanish Inquisition killed in its entirety, including thousands of Muslims on the basis of their religious views, it won’t do the victims any good to tell them, “Centuries ago, Christians were also violent.” They are more concerned about surviving today. We should share their concerns.

Mitchell Blatt is a columnist and freelance writer based in China who covers politics and travel. He is the lead author of Panda Guides Hong Kong guidebook. He has been published at Washington Examiner.com, Daily Caller.com, The Hill.com, and Newsbusters, among other outlets.

Because of Trump

Because of Trump blob

I was 10 years old playing cops and robbers with my friends. My side kept losing.  I was tired of losing.  So, when an opponent pointed his toy pistol at me and yelled “bang, bang you’re dead” I decided there and then not be dead. We won because I discovered I was wearing a bullet proof vest.

Feminists, environmentalists, the liberal media, Barack, Hillary, the thought and speech police and even RINO’s have all taken shots at Trump and yelled ”bang, bang you’re dead.”   What they wanted was a corpse—what they got was rising poll numbers.

-One famous columnist wrote an article entitled Don Voyage after Trump criticized John McCain.  

Don voyage

-Pundits were falling all over themselves to declare the Donald’s death after his tweet about Megyn Kelly.   One commentator said “Hurricane Trump blows away speech police.”

I cannot think of another time in American history where such a massive, collective bluff has been called.  By refusing to die, Trump is ending a reign of terror against free speech.  Statements that once ended careers can no longer do so. 

Because of Trump, you can call illegal aliens, well, illegal.  Because of Trump, you can say that Mexico is treating us rotten.  Because of Trump, you can declare China and Russia enemies.  Because of Trump, you can say that the Iran deal is the stupidest agreement in history.

Because of Trump you can call the entire political class “a bunch of losers.”  You can even say openly that Hillary “is a liar and a criminal.”

Because of Trump, an entire frustrated and disenfranchised group of Americans now speak out and “ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

Bullies–the usual suspects–used to control the narrative. Obama, Biden, Holder, Pelosi, Reid, Clinton, Sharpton and NBC spun that proverbial web of deceit called POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

P.C. provided cover for unbridled stupidity.   Common sense was held at bay by threats of being called racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, hater, and a host of other labels. Trump-and-Kelly

It seems like forever that we have been ordered to look the other way as America was being ravaged, bled and left for dead.

In retrospect, doesn’t it seem insane that we were told to shut up when illegals murdered innocent Americans?

Because of Trump, Blacks are breaking ranks with Democrats. The party ordered them to side with illegals.

Monday night, a black woman stood before a city council meeting in Huntington Park, California and blasted its members after someone made a comparison between illegal immigrants and black slaves.

The woman, identified as Chanell Temple, said she had not intended to speak at the meeting, but the comparison was too much. And because the council had just appointed two illegals to city commission positions, Temple let them have it:

“Please do not tarnish the name of black slaves by comparing them to your plight. There’s no comparison. None. Black slaves did not break into this country, okay. They were brought here against their will. Also, black slaves are not immigrants. Immigrants are people with a choice, they come here by choice. Black slaves didn’t have choice.

The woman continued saying that America has “been good to illegal immigrants” and can’t recall a single one that has ever been “hung from a tree.” She added, “My people commit a crime, they go to jail. You people commit a crime, they get amnesty.”  She later said, ” I am backing Donald Trump all the way!”

Chanell

Do not construe this blog as an endorsement of Trump for president.  On the other hand, make no mistake; Donald Trump can be elected president.  He is gaining support among independents, Blacks and Latinos.  Just a couple of months ago he was down 27 points in the polls to Hillary Clinton.  Now he is within 6 points.

Now for a personal note: I can finally confess something to you. As a Christian Evangelist, I have faced every kind of accusation you can imagine from both inside and outside the Church because I spoke out against Barrack Obama. I faced threats you cannot imagine.  I was told that my ministry was over.  Even close pastor friends closed their churches to me. One pastor in Indianapolis said that the anointing had left me.

The greatest lie was when they said that young people would no longer turn to Christ in my meetings.

Because I knew that I was speaking the truth, I refused to back down or apologize.

The result is that every threat proved to be a lie…especially the one about young people, because they are coming to Christ in droves. Through it all, I knew that Christ was with me, and His power intensified within me.

When I began these blogs all you could hear in the American pulpit about Barack Obama was crickets.  Now many are bold to speak out.  Now it is almost fashionable for pastors to take open positions on many issues that were considered off-limits.

What I have just said I have never said publicly.  I have never defended myself against critics or cowards nor will I start doing it now.

Trump is by no means a role model for preachers but I identify with him.  He called their bluff and beat them.  Because of Trump I finally felt free to tell you.

During the debate, Trump looked at the other nine candidates and said, “if it weren’t for me, we wouldn’t be talking about this now.”  I gave a knowing grin to the T.V. and said, “exactly.”

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Judge Not: The one big lie that is destroying America

What is the most dangerous lie in America?  What is killing us?  The abuse of a simple phrase that Jesus used, “Judge not that you be not judged.”  In the last few days, our site has smeared with vile posts by people claiming to be open-minded and, amazingly claiming to be more intelligent.

Judge Not: The one big lie that is destroying America

By Mario Murillo

What is the most dangerous lie in America?  What is killing us?  The abuse of a simple phrase that Jesus used, “Judge not that you be not judged.”  In the last few days, our site has smeared with vile posts by people claiming to be open-minded and, amazingly claiming to be more intelligent.  What was even more tragic was the host of self-defined Christians who went along with them saying silly things, “we shouldn’t judge,” and my personal favorite, “you are making it harder for us to reach people.”

I am not making it harder for you to reach people, because I wonder if you are reaching anyone.  How can you witness?  At some  point in witnessing you have to make a moral judgment.

I live in Northern California, ground zero for liberalism.  They are constantly telling people not to judge.  Their hilarious hypocrisy is breathtaking.  Bay Area liberals are the most judgmental people on the planet.  I have lived under environmental, nutritional, gender sharia law most of my adult life.

Last December in Danville California I said, “Merry Christmas,” to my waiter.  He scowled at me and said, “I do not want to exclude anyone.”  Talk about a hair trigger!  Everything on earth is a cause for liberals.  How do they sleep at night with so much judging to do???  They judge, food, animal treatment, gardening, the car you drive, even your fireplace.  To them, it is a world is filled with “ists.”    Sexists, elitists, capitalists, fascists, racists, and now because of animal rights there are “Specists” (people who believe humans are a higher species than man.)

Christians we better wake up!  Don’t take Jesus out of context just so you can hide in a deeply immoral nation.   Now read the best article ever on the abuse of “Judge not.”  By By  BRANNON HOWSE

Tolerance mongers seem to have found the one absolute truth they are willing to live by. How many times have you heard someone say, “Judge not lest you be judged”? The statement has become the great American open-mindedness mantra when anyone has the courage to declare that someone else’s belief, actions or lifestyle is morally amiss.

Another form of the same non-judgmental judgment is “that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” The logic behind the statement goes something like this: “Your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth. We are both right, and I hold to my opinion of truth.” The last time I checked, it was impossible for two chairs to occupy the same space around my dining room table, but evidently such rules of time, space and logic don’t apply to tolerance philosophy.

Postmodernism’s live-and-let-live concept of truth argues that even two opposite and wholly contradictory claims can both be true. This is as stupid as saying that black and white are the same color. Yet, it clarifies the absurdity of the postmodernism we are all supposed to blithely accept as the fundamental principle by which we respond to each other’s ideas – the “please and thank-you” of philosophical respect.

So beware.  If you dare claim that another person’s truth is not, in fact, truth but is, in fact, wrong, you are not only being intolerant but you are also being – Mantra forbid! – Judgmental.

In his book “True for You, But Not for Me,” Paul Copan describes the fallacy in this all too common thinking:

It has been said that the most frequently quoted Bible verse is no longer John 3:16 but Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15). … What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another’s eye – which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.

Those that tell you not to judge, quoting Matthew 7:1 grossly out of context, are often some of the most mean-spirited, judgmental souls you could ever meet. It’s not, of course, that they don’t want anyone to judge anything, because they want very much to judge and condemn your commitment to lovingly speak and practice your Christian worldview. You see how these tolerance rules work? We must tolerate them, but they don’t have to tolerate us. The logic is consistent, anyway.

Today’s postmodern culture of adults and students is so consumed by non-judgmentalism that there are some who say we should not even call wrong or evil the terrorists that attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001. In a Time magazine essay entitled “God Is Not on My Side. Or Yours,” Roger Rosenblatt offers the philosophical underpinnings of the live-and-let-live rule for global terrorism:

“One would like to think that God is on our side against the terrorists, because the terrorists are wrong and we are in the right, and any deity worth his salt would be able to discern that objective truth. But this is simply good-hearted arrogance cloaked in morality – the same kind of thinking that makes people decide that God created humans in his own image. The God worth worshiping is the one who pays us the compliment of self-regulation, and we might return it by minding our own business.”

ht and wrong is “good-hearted,” even if the reactions to it aren’t. Alison Hornstein, for instance, is a student at Yale University who observed the disconnect between tolerance and reality. Writing on “The Question That We Should Be Asking – Is Terrorism Wrong?” in the Dec. 17, 2001, issue of Newsweek, Alison noted, “My generation may be culturally sensitive, but we hesitate to make moral judgments.” While that might be putting it mildly, she goes on to say:

Student reactions expressed in the daily newspaper and in class pointed to the differences between our life circumstances and those of the [9-11] perpetrators, suggesting that these differences had caused the previous day’s events. Noticeably absent was a general outcry of indignation at what had been the most successful terrorist attack of our lifetime. These reactions and similar ones on other campuses have made it apparent that my generation is uncomfortable assessing, or even asking whether a moral wrong has taken place.”

Hornstein further describes how on Sept. 12th – one day after Islamic extremists murdered more than 3,000 people on American soil – one of her professors “did not see much difference between Hamas suicide bombers and American soldiers who died fighting in World War II. When I saw one or two students nodding in agreement, I raised my hand. …. American soldiers, in uniform, did not have a policy of specifically targeting civilians; suicide bombers, who wear plainclothes, do. The professor didn’t call on me. The people who did get a chance to speak cited various provocations for terrorism; not one of them questioned its morality.”

If Americans don’t start to judge and punish evil instead of accepting all ideas and beliefs as equal, we will become a nation that welcomes same-sex marriage, polygamy, pedophilia, incest, euthanasia and likely a host of moral aberrations so bizarre they’re still hidden in the darkest reaches of the Internet.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “you know we are not to judge people; even the Bible says ‘judge not lest you be judged.’” Americans had better start getting comfortable with politically incorrect, non-humanistic forms of making intelligent judgments on moral issues because even if we don’t make them, I’m concerned there is Someone very willing to hold our nation accountable for what we allow. And He doesn’t respond well to intimidation, name-calling, flawed logic or being quoted out of context.

George W. Bush Bashes Obama on Middle East

In a closed-door meeting with Jewish donors on Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.

One attendee at the Republican Jewish Coalition session, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with owner Sheldon Adelson in attendance, transcribed large portions of Bush’s remarks. The former president, who rarely ever criticizes Obama in public, at first remarked that the idea of re-entering the political arena was something he didn’t want to do. He then proceeded to explain why Obama, in his view, was placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world. He also said Obama was misreading Iran’s intentions while relaxing sanctions on Tehran too easily.

According to the attendee’s transcription, Bush noted that Iran has a new president, Hassan Rouhani. “He’s smooth,” Bush said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?”

Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”

Bush then went into a detailed criticism of Obama’s policies in fighting the Islamic State and dealing with the chaos in Iraq. On Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011, he quoted Senator Lindsey Graham calling it a “strategic blunder.” Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw those troops, but the idea had been to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to keep U.S. forces there past 2011. The Obama administration tried and failed to negotiate such an agreement.

Bush said he views the rise of the Islamic State as al-Qaeda’s “second act” and that they may have changed the name but that murdering innocents is still the favored tactic. He defended his own administration’s handling of terrorism, noting that the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was captured on his watch: “Just remember the guy who slit Danny Pearl’s throat is in Gitmo, and now they’re doing it on TV.”

Obama promised to degrade and destroy Islamic State’s forces but then didn’t develop a strategy to complete the mission, Bush said. He said that if you have a military goal and you mean it, “you call in your military and say ‘What’s your plan?’ ” He indirectly touted his own decision to surge troops to Iraq in 2007, by saying, “When the plan wasn’t working in Iraq, we changed.”

“In order to be an effective president … when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”

Bush told several anecdotes about his old friend and rival Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bush recalled that Putin met his dog Barney at the White House and then later, when Bush went to Moscow, Putin showed him his dog and remarked that he was “bigger stronger and faster than Barney.” For Bush, that behavior showed him that Putin didn’t think in “win-win” terms.

Bush also remarked that Putin was rich, divorced his wife and loves power. Putin’s domestic popularity comes from his control of Russian media, according to Bush. “Hell, I’d be popular, too, if I owned NBC news,” he said.

Regarding his brother Jeb’s potential run for the presidency, Bush acknowledged that he was a political liability for Jeb, that the Bush name can be used against him, and that Americans don’t like dynasties. He also said that foreign policy is going to be especially important in the presidential campaign and that the test for Republicans running will be who has got the “courage” to resist isolationist tendencies.

Regarding Hillary Clinton, Bush said it will be crucial how she plays her relationship with the president. She will eventually have to choose between running on the Obama administration’s policies or running against them. If she defends them, she’s admitting failure, he said, but if she doesn’t she’s blaming the president.

For George W. Bush, the remarks in Vegas showed he has little respect for how the current president is running the world. He also revealed that he takes little responsibility for the policies that he put in place that contributed to the current state of affairs.

THE MYTH OF ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE

1998 al Qaeda Press Conference

THE MYTH OF ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE

In seeking to defend Islam against the claim that it promotes violence many Muslims have said that ‘Islam’ means peace, or that Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately this is just plain wrong.

ISLAM

Islam is derived from the Arabic “aslama”, which means ‘surrender’ (to the will of Allah). Muslimmeans ‘one who has surrendered to the will of Allah’. And unfortunately, violence, under certain conditions, is a legitimate means to affect that surrender.

The argument that Islam means peace is based on a three-fold interpretive error.

  1. Arabic is based on consonantal roots. Islam is derived from the root SLM. Arabic is also a poetic language that uses words derived from the same root as similes that are used to deepen the meaning of other words. SLM is also the root for the words salim, which means ‘safe’, saleem, ‘perfection’, sallama, ‘salvation’, salama, ‘blameless’ and salaam, ‘wellbeing’. Using all of these words gives an expanded meaning to the word Islam: ‘when one surrenders to the will of Allah (as revealed by His Prophet) one will find salvation, perfection, safety and wellbeing.’
  2. The word salaam is often translated as ‘peace’, but this is only one of several meanings. It’s primary meaning is actually ‘wellbeing’. It can also mean health, soundness, wholeness, safety and serenity. A common Arabic greeting is as-sallam alaykum, which is usually translated as ‘peace be upon you’, but it’s extended meaning is ‘may wellbeing, wholeness and tranquility be upon you’.
  3. The English word ‘peace’ has two meanings. The first and primary meaning is derived from its Latin root pax. This is translated as ‘cessation of conflict’. The term pax Romana described the peace secured by surrendering to Roman law. The second meaning of peace is derived from the Latin serenus, meaning serenity/tranquility – when one is serene one can also be said to be peaceful. The word salaam is actually synonymous with the second meaning of peace, serenity. The first meaning is better served by the Arabic word sulh (root SLH), from salaha, meaning; reconciliation, to make peace, or peace treaty.

In saying that Islam means peace Islamic apologists are simply indulging in word play in order to put as positive a spin on things as they can. It is an attempt to argue that Islam promotes non-violence. As we will see such a peace is only available to one who has first surrendered to Allah and it is denied to those who refuse to surrender. Mohammed would sign his treaty offers with the words,aslem taslam, ‘surrender and you will be safe’.

JIHAD

The key problem now revolves around what it means to surrender to Allah’s will. Here we need to introduce another controversial Arabic word, jihad. Jihad is derived from the root JHD. Many of the words derived from this root connote the idea of effort, exertion and struggle. Jihad is a derivative of jahada, to struggle or strive. Thus jihad is taken to mean the struggle to surrender to Allah’s will. The word mujahid means ‘one who struggles’, mujahideen is the plural. The root JHD also creates the word ijtihad, which means intellectual struggle.

Jihad is sometimes translated as ‘holy war’. Again apologists indulge in word play by arguing that the literal translation of holy war into Arabic, harb muqaddasah, gives a different meaning. This is perhaps true in Arabic but not true in English, where holy war is a reasonable translation of ‘spiritual struggle’.

There have been two meanings given to jihad. The original concept has been called the ‘lesser’ (asghar) jihad. This is the use of violence to defend Islam. We will have cause to examine this further. However many Muslim apologists now argue that the ‘real’ jihad is the ‘greater’ (akbar) jihad, an inner, or spiritual struggle to purify oneself. David Cook, author of Understanding Jihad says this:

Others have fallen into this error as well. They comprise two basic groups: Western scholars who want to present Islam in the most innocuous terms possible, and Muslim apologists, who rediscovered the internal jihad in the nineteenth century and have been emphasizing it ever since as the normative expression of jihad – in defiance of all the religious and historical evidence to the contrary. (my emphasis)

The idea of the greater jihad is linked to Sufism, which emphasizes the mystical or inner identification with Allah. However, mainstream Islam has often been hostile to Sufism and it prefers a literal and legalistic interpretation of the Koran and hadith (the collected saying of Mohammed). It is therefore somewhat intriguing to see orthodox clerics now argue that a Sufi concept is the real meaning. David Cook goes on to say:

There is no lack of evidence concerning the Muslim practice of jihad. The classical and modern works on the subject are voluminous, and they are documented by an examination of Muslim actions as recorded by historians. There can be no reasonable doubt that jihad is a major theme running through the entirety of Muslim civilization and is at least one of the major factors in the astounding success of the faith of Islam.

And,

….after surveying the evidence from classical until contemporary times, one must conclude that today’s jihad movements are as legitimate as any that have ever existed in classical Islam…

One such piece of evidence is the writing of Ibn Taymiyya who is favoured by many mujahideen. The scriptural authority of the concept of the greater jihad is supposedly based on a particular hadith. It is not based on the Koran. Ibn Taymiyya says:

“There is a hadith related by a group of people which states that the Prophet…said after the battle of Tabuk: ‘We have returned from jihad asghar to jihad akbar.’ This hadith has no source, nobody whomsoever in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it. Jihad against the unbelievers is the most noble of actions, and moreover it is the most important action for mankind.”

Thus Ibn Taymiyya rejects the tradition of the greater jihad in its entirety. So who are we to believe? This question is actually irrelevant for it is sufficient that enough Muslims follow the tradition of Ibn Taymiyya to challenge the Sufi tradition. In fact the four schools (madhhab) of Sunni jurisprudence as well as the Shia tradition only refer to the lesser jihad. This means that for many Muslims the concept of the greater jihad is unorthodox and heretical.

DAR AL’HARB

Dar_al_Kufr_by_PsychiatryThe language of the Koran separates the world into Muslims and kufir (infidels, unbelievers). It is quite clear about the fate of infidels, they will burn for eternity in Hell.

…then guard yourself against the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers. 2:23

This language clearly splits the world into two, the world of the righteous and the world of the infidel. The terms commonly used to describe this duality are dar al’Islam and dar al’harb. Dar al’Islam, following from above, means the ‘abode of safety, perfection, salvation, wellbeing and peace’. It is often translated simply as the ‘abode of peace’. Dar al’harb is the opposite. It means ‘abode of war’. It is everything that Dar al’Islam is not. It is danger, chaos, punishment, disease and conflict.

This dichotomy clearly argues that Islam is superior and the unbelievers are therefore inferior. It allows Muslims to look down on non-Muslims with derision and contempt. This has found modern expression in many a Friday night sermon. Evidence of this line of reasoning can be found in the writings of the influential radical Sayyid Qutb who said:

Humanity today is living in a large brothel! One only has to glance at its press, films, fashion shows, beauty contests, ballrooms, wine bars and broadcasting stations! Or observe its mad lust for naked flesh, provocative postures, and sick, suggestive statements in literature, the arts and mass media!

To Qutb the world had fallen into a state of jahiliyya, or ignorance of the word of Allah. The main source of this ignorance is the West which is seen in wholly negative terms. He argued that it was the duty of Muslims to wage a jihad to rid the world of jahiliyya.

There is an argument that jihad should only be declared in order to defend Muslims from attack. However, much depends on the definition of attack and defence. Qutb argued that the notion of defence should be expanded.

If we insist in calling Islamic jihad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word ‘defence’ to mean the defence of man against all those forces that limit his freedom. These forces may take the form of beliefs and concepts, as well as political systems, based on economic, racial and class distinctions. (FromTomorrow’s Islam)

To Qutb the beliefs and practices of dar al’Harb were a threat to dar al’Islam, they were responsible for corrupting Muslims. The freedom he speaks of is a specific freedom, it is the freedom to choose Islam. It is based on the idea that the freedom to choose is limited by the lies of the infidels, when the lies are exposed people will naturally convert to the one, true religion, Islam. Therefore Islam is fully justified in defending itself from aggressive and corrosive ideas by waging jihad.

Another influential thinker is Sayyid Mawdudi, a scholar of Deobandism and founder of the Pakistan party Jemaat e-Islamiya (party of Islam). He puts it this way:

Islam wants the whole earth and does not content itself with only a part thereof. It wants and requires the entire inhabited world. It does not want this in order that one nation dominates the earth and monopolizes its sources of wealth, after having taken them away from one or more other nations. No, Islam wants and requires the earth in order that the human race altogether can enjoy the concept and practical program of human happiness, by means of which God has honoured Islam and put it above the other religions and laws. In order to realize this lofty desire, Islam wants to employ all forces and means that can be employed for bringing about a universal all-embracing revolution. It will spare no efforts for the achievement of this supreme objective. This far-reaching struggle that continuously exhausts all forces and this employment of all possible means are called jihad.

THE EXEMPLARS: MOHAMMED AND HIS COMPANIONS

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.23.21 PMOne of the enormous difficulties apologists have in trying to depict Islam as a religion of peace is the fact that the new religion was born in violence and that its prophet actually fought and killed.

The Koran is divided into two periods, the revelations in Mecca and the revelations in exile, in Medina. The Meccan revelations are often more peaceful and tolerant. The Medinite revelations indicate a shift towards belligerence. Qutb explains it this way:

For thirteen years after the beginning of his Messengership, he called people to God through preaching, without fighting or Jizyah, and was commanded to restrain himself and to practice patience and forbearance. Then he was commanded to migrate, and later permission was given to fight. Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to restrain himself from those who did not make war with him. Later he was commanded to fight the polytheists until God’s religion was fully established.

There is a common argument that the later passages ‘abrogate’ (naskh) the earlier passages. That is, when trying to interpret apparently contradictory passages the later passages inform the earlier passages. Unfortunately the later passages are the most violent and the law of abrogation demands the peaceful passages be tempered by the belligerent passages, not the other way around. Many radical Muslims believe that the final command of Mohammed, to ‘fully’ establish Islam, has yet to be achieved.

Many apologists will however, argue that Mohammed only ever used violence in order to defend his people. This argument is based on the evidence that Mohammed made a treaty with the tribes of Medina which they later betrayed, thus he was fully justified in waging a war. And according to the traditional tribal rules of Arabia this makes perfect sense. Except that it only tells one side of the story. It ignores the fact that the tribes might have had very good reasons to break the treaty.

Mohammed had been disowned by his own tribe. He was given refuge in Medina and he made a pact with the tribes of the region, three of whom were Jewish. However Mohammed continued to claim that he was a prophet of God in the line of Abraham and that his teachings superseded the previous teachings of Judaism. This was something the rabbis of Medina could not accept and it is clear that the teachings of Mohammed became increasingly problematic. Of course, from Mohammed’s view the Jewish tribes were simply rejecting the word of God. In any case the Jewish tribes decided to rid themselves of Mohammed, who they now regarded as a false prophet, so they formed an alliance with his own tribe, the Bani Quraysh. This new alliance negated the previous treaty and so Mohammed declared war on the tribes of Medina.

The rest is well recorded history. There are a number of Islamic accounts of the various assassinations, campaigns and battles. However, there is one in particular that is often glossed over. This is the massacre of the Bani Qurayzah, one of the Jewish tribes. Most accounts agree that Mohammed’s men dug a long trench, then lined up all the males of fighting age (around 700) and then systematically beheaded them. The women and children were then handed to the victors as slaves. Now this was rather normal behaviour at the time, but it certainly challenges the idea that Mohammed was a man of peace and compassion.

Mohammed’s army went on to conquer Mecca and the defeated infidels were given a simple choice, convert or die. The atmosphere of the final revelations are the most violent. These are sometimes called the ‘sword verses’.

Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. 9:5

Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the spirit of the faithful. 9:14

Here we return to the translation of Islam as ‘surrender’

If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, they shall become your brothers in the Faith. 9:11

And it was not confined to unbelievers but also to Jews and Christians, the People of the Book (Ahl al-Qitab):

Fight those among the People of the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Days, do not forbid what God and His Prophet have forbidden, and do not profess the true religion until they pay the poll tax (jizya) out of hand and feel themselves subdued 9:29

After the death of Mohammed there was a period of uncertainty because he had not left a clear successor. Eventually it was agreed that authority would pass to one of his deputies (Caliph). During this period of uncertainty a number of tribes returned to the old ways. The first Caliph Abu Bakr attacked them and forced them to recant, this has been called the ‘War of the Apostates’.

This early period was marked by a number of expansionary wars and internal civil wars. It was also marked by the assassination of two of the Caliphs, Uthman and Ali. This last civil war (Kharijites) created the schism between the Sunni and the Shia. So it can be seen that the birth of Islam was actually quite violent.

It is also interesting to note that much is made of the claim that Islam only engages in defensive war. Yet neither the Byzantine or Sasanian empires had declared war on Islam, rather the Muslims declared war on them. There is a tradition that says:

Abu Hurayra would say after these amsar (cities founded by Muslims) were conquered during the time of Umar, Uthman and afterwards, “Conquer whatever you wish, because by the One who holds the soul of Aby Hurayra in His hands, you have never conquered nor will you ever conquer any city until the Day of Resurrection without Allah having already given its keys into the hands of Mohammed previously”. (From Jihad: From Qu’ran to bin Laden )

What this means is that the success of the Muslim wars of expansion were considered to be preordained. And so the idea of the purely defensive war was quickly overturned and a tradition created to justify offensive war. Within a short time Islam had taken over the former Christian Byzantine empire and converted it’s most holiest church into a Mosque. The Muslim empire then went on to expand into Europe, Russia and Asia, to see the rise and fall of several ruling elites and periods of sectarian violence.

Perhaps the final word should go to the jurist al-Shaybani:

Allah gave the Prophet four swords (for fighting the infidels): the first against the polytheists, which Mohammed himself fought with; the second against apostates, which Caliph Abu Bakr fought with; the third against the People of the Book, which Caliph Umar fought with; and the fourth against dissenters, which Caliph Ali fought with.

DHIMMI AND MURTADD

Dhimmi-Christian-Islam-PakistanOne of the claims of apologists is that Islam is a tolerant religion. In many ways, in comparison to some other cultures of the time, it was somewhat more tolerant. However, it was a highly qualified tolerance. There is a famous ayat that says “there shall be no compulsion in religion.” There are also a number of ayat that claim that the People of the Book, that is, fellow Abrahamites and monotheists, should be free to practice their beliefs. Again such tolerance is a qualified tolerance.

However, all such acts of tolerance are denied to unbelievers, those who do not accept the god of Abraham. This caused some problems as Islam expanded and encountered Zoroastrian, Hindu and Buddhist communities. Scholars adapted the term People of the Book to include any religion that claimed to be based on revealed scripture. In the case of Zoroastrianism this was the Zend Avesta and in the case of Hinduism the Vedas. These two faiths were also called the People of the Flame. However Buddhism has never really been accepted as a legitimate faith. There have been some scholars who have developed a rather convoluted argument to accept Buddhism, but the majority opinion is that Buddhists are infidels. The principle stumbling blocks are that Buddhists worship a man, which is idolatry and that they are declared atheists (for an example of anti-Buddhist propaganda see this http://www.islamandbuddhism.com – now offline)

Yet, regardless of their special status, the People of the Book were still discriminated against. To begin with the Caliph Umar expelled all non-Muslims from Arabia. He also developed a code of behaviour detailed in the Pact of Umar, this relegated the People of the Book to second-class status who had to abide a set of humiliating rules. They were considered to be ‘protected people’ or dhimmi. Some of the restrictions placed on dhimmis were:

  • To pay a special tax (the jizya)
  • Not allowed to build new places of worship (but Muslims were allowed to destroy any place of worship they wished)
  • Not allowed to recite prayers aloud, least Muslims hear them.
  • Not allowed to publicly display their religious literature.
  • Not allowed to publicly display religious symbols
  • Had to always walk to the left of Muslims
  • Had to stand and give a Muslim their seat
  • Wear special clothes
  • Remove their shoes whilst walking near a Mosque
  • Never hit a Muslim (though a Muslim could hit them)
  • Never build their houses higher than a Muslim house
  • Not ride a horse
  • Not bear arms
  • Could not testify against a Muslim

If these Dhimmi laws were broken the offender was regarded as no longer a protected person and they reverted to the status of infidel, which meant they lost all legal rights, could have their property confiscated and might be summarily killed.

These laws were in effect in varying degrees of severity in every Muslim controlled area. They were even enforced in the supposedly tolerant society of Moorish Spain which still applied the jizya tax – and as far as Moghul controlled India. Some lenient rulers neglected to enforce them only to have the rulers who followed them reinstitute them. Many of these restrictions are a part of sharia law and some are enforced even today. In Aceh, Indonesia, there are restrictions placed on the construction of churches under sharia law.

Many apologists have argued that Islam did not use force to convert people to Islam. This is a distortion. To begin with infidels must convert or die, atheism or polytheism is not tolerated at all. The People of the Book are able to continue to practice their faith provided they adhere to the dhimmi laws. These laws were often so restrictive that many ordinary Jews and Christians converted simply to make their lives easier. It was only the most devout who resisted. However, in some instances particular communities, such as Egyptian Copts, were set aside for particular discrimination. The dhimmi laws could be applied harshly and even the smallest infringement could have the offender declared an infidel and their property seized. Unscrupulous Muslims could manipulate the dhimmi laws to destroy economic rivals amongst Jews and Christians. It is also fair to say that other Muslim communities were rather more lenient and provided they kept quiet some Jewish and Christian communities were able to thrive. However, it all depended on the whim of the ruling elites who could interpret the dhimmi laws as they saw fit.

Once you had converted to Islam you were forbidden to convert to another religion. Conversion, murtadd, or apostasy, is forbidden under sharia and the punishment is death. In Islam there are two types of apostasy, murtadd fitri, where someone born a Muslim converts and murtadd milli, where a convert to Islam reconverts. The rules defining apostasy can be strict. According to some jurists even to enter a church, synagogue or temple is an act of apostasy, as is questioning any aspect of Islam. It is this latter offence that allows hardliners to declare other Muslims to be apostates for daring to disagree with their interpretation. And given that the penalty for apostasy under sharia is death it is permissible to kill apostates. This excuse has been used to argue that the Muslim victims of terrorist attacks were engaged in un-Muslim activities and were therefore apostates.

So if Islam is the religion of peace and if there should be “no compulsion in religion” why is it permissible to kill atheists and polytheists, kill dhimmi as infidels if they break the dhimmi laws and kill apostates? It takes a considerable amount of rhetorical contortion to argue that Islam is a tolerant religion when these rules apply.

WHAT DO ISLAMISTS WANT?

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.29.38 PMAccording to orthodox Muslims Islam is the perfect system. They are idealists who believe they have a utopian solution. The answer to the world’s problems is Islam.

The tern ‘Islamist’ has been used to mean anyone who supports Islam as a political solution. There are many Islamist groups and they fall into two broad categories; nationalist groups and internationalists. Nationalist groups are primarily concerned with overthrowing their own government and replacing it with a government based on Islamic principles and sharia law.

The internationalist groups would prefer to see all Muslim countries united under the traditional system of the Caliphate and the Caliphate to enforce Islamic principles and of course, sharia law. The most extreme internationalists want to restore the Islamic empire including Spain, the Balkans and India, and then to continue to expand Islam.

There are too many of these groups to name, save to mention that the ideology of Islamism has reached every Muslim community. There are five major sources of the Islamist ideology.

  1. Wahhabism (also called Salafi). Founded in 1745 by Mohammed Ibn Wahhab. This is the state doctrine of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is highly influential in the Arab states. The Saudis have funded an extensive program of expansion and have funded the construction of Mosques and Islamic schools throughout the world through a network of charitable organisations (in my own city of Melbourne a prominent Islamic school, the King Khalid College, received funding from Saudi Arabia). The Wahhabi doctrine is strict and condemns Sufism and moderate interpretations as apostasy. A proportion of this charitable money has gone to fund Salafi jihadist groups, some of it to bin Laden and al Qaeda.
  2. Deobandism. Founded in the Indian city of Deoband in 1866 as a rejection of Sufism and syncretism, its aim was to overthrow the British and restore Muslim rule. It is highly influential in Pakistan where they control around 65% of the Mosques and madari (religious schools). The Taliban were the students of Deobandi madari. Salafi money has gone to support the madari and the war in Afghanistan saw a coalition of Salafi and Deobandi jihadi.
  3. Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwhan). Founded in Egypt by Hasan al-Banna. Sayyid Qutb was influenced by the Ikwhan. The Deobandi scholar Mawdudi was an important influence on the Ikwhan and Osama bin Laden is regarded as a follower of Qutb.
  4. The Shia under the influence of the revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini. The Iranian revolution inspired both Shia and Sunni fundamentalists with the hope that Islamic states could be created elsewhere.
  5. A loose coalition of fundamentalist Sufi and minority sects. The Naqshbandiya in Central Asia have formed a loose coalition with Salafi and Deobandi jihadis (see link), particularly in the war in Chechnya. Fundamentalist jihadi Sufis are influential in North Africa, particularly Sudan.

All of these groups provide a ready pool of mujahideen who are prepared to travel in order to fight the global jihad. The Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiya is a Salafi group that was funded with Saudi money and supported by members of bin Laden’s al Qaeda group. The bombings in Madrid were committed by Moroccan mujahideen operating in support of the mujahideen under Zaqarwi in Iraq. The London suicide bombers had links with Deobandi radicals in Pakistan, and so forth.

‘BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL ISLAM!’

islamic_jihad_picture_1_by_jihadprincess-d31iuiuWhen confronted with the above moderate Muslims will often reply by arguing that these groups do not represent the real Islam. This is a nonsense. There is no such thing as a real Islam. Rather, there are multiple Islams. In fact the situation is quite absurd. There is no central authority in Islam and rival groups compete with each other to attract followers. As I write this a council of American Muslim scholars has issued a fatwa condemning terrorism. Yet, at the same time a council of orthodox scholars in Indonesia has issued a fatwa condemning moderates. Fatwa at twenty paces!

Authority for interpretation and judgement is usually given to theulemma, a council of recognised imams or mullahs. However their judgements are only binding on their community. Each sect and each country can have its own ulemma. This means that there can be a range of judgements made, some of them contradictory, with rival ulemma in the same country issuing fatwa against each other .

It is also possible for charismatic teachers to arise and to create their own following. There is actually no formal process by which teachers and clerics can be officially recognised. Some modern sects were created by a single charismatic figure.

The fact is that there are many rival interpretations of Islam. These rival interpretations are in a state of civil war. The Islamists believe that moderates are apostates who have betrayed Islam and have been corrupted by the Western doctrines of democracy, capitalism and also, socialism. A great many bombings and assassinations have actually been directed at moderate Muslims and those governments that have adopted non-Muslim political principles. The West has become a target because they are seen to support the moderates.

The cry that this is not the ‘real’ Islam is actually completely and dramatically irrelevant. What matters is that sufficient numbers of Muslims continue to choose to follow the radical fundamentalist interpretation.

Nor is it a question of the radicals being a minority, for even if they are a minority they are an influential minority. In fact they are actually a majority in some countries (the majority of any population are usually not involved in politics anyway and tend to passively follow political groups who promise a better future). They are able to punch above their weight because they have financial and ideological support from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Perhaps the question that should be asked of moderates is this, if the radicals are a minority and if they do not represent the ‘real’ Islam how is it they have been able to carry on a global jihad on several fronts, jihads that include civil wars, secessionist movements, revolutions, assassinations and global terrorism? The list of countries that have been affected by this global jihad is quite long. As I write this incidents have occurred in England, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kashmir and Bangladesh. The simple fact is that there is broader private support for the Islamists objectives than is ever admitted to publicly and a number are sitting on the fence, waiting to see which way things turn out.

A FINAL NOTE ON IRAQ

16iraq-superJumboIraq has now descended into a civil war. This is sadly something I warned about in a previous article. The Iraq war has allowed radical Islamist mujahideen to set up operations. One of the aims of Islamism is to overthrow secular and corrupt governments in the Middle East. Saddam, as a Ba’athist was always a target. The US-led war has simply done the job for them. They are now waging an insurgent war with the primary goal of taking control of Iraq. Of course they want to defeat the US, but that is only the first step. They will not stop if the US withdraws. If they can control Iraq they can control substantial oil revenue and then have a geographical and financial base from which to wage jihad on the other countries in the region. The final goal is to set up a regional Caliphate.

CONCLUSION

Islam was never a religion of peace. It is a religion based on a warrior code. The evidence is clear, it was made evident in the actions of Mohammed and his Companions. Islam means ‘surrender’. It is entirely legitimate to interpret the tradition of Islam as a state of perpetual jihad with the final aim being the defeat of unbelief and the surrender of all to the word of Allah as revealed by His Prophet, Mohammed. It is only when that surrender has been completed that the world will abide in a state of perfection and peace. Many jihadi see themselves as simply following the example set by Mohammed.

Moderate Islam realises that this goal is impossible. However, what the moderates have not yet fully realised is that it is up to them to defeat the radicals. This cannot be done until the power centres of fundamentalism are isolated and choked of support. This is not something that infidels can hope to achieve. What it calls for is a jihad of another kind, a complete reformation of Islam that reinterprets Islam in light of modern history. A reformation that demands the overthrow of sharia law and the discrediting of supremacist and fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.

There are encouraging signs that after the London bombings moderate Muslims are beginning to wake up from their state of denial. This must be carried forward to the heartlands of orthodoxy.

The West can assist this process by isolating Saudi Arabia and demanding that the Saud’s end their support of the Wahhabi doctrine. Iraq was never the problem, it was always Saudi Arabia. This will then have the effect of cutting off important sources of funding to other jihadist groups. It will then be up to the moderates in each community to name and shame the radicals.

Radical Islamism is doomed to failure, but it will sadly be a bloody fight that will take decades to complete. It may take a violent revolution in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan that may initially favour the extremists but will cause a final backlash. In many ways Islamism is the last rallying cry of a defeated cause. Islam reached it’s limit. It met infidels from east, west, north and south who refused to surrender and who fought back. Over time it began to lose territory, Spain, India, Greece, the Balkans. In many ways the defeat of the Ottoman empire in WW1 was the final defeat. Since then Islam has been struggling to find its way in a new world, a world not of all-embracing Islamic Caliphates but of independent nation-states, a world that can survive quite happily without it. This is not just a struggle against the Western enlightenment and modernity, but also a struggle against Asian values, a struggle against all that is not Islam. And perhaps this is the final humiliation – that Allah seems to have disserted Islam and the infidels are ascendant. The current violence is a futile protest against the inevitable, a protest against that those who would dare challenge Islam’s natural pre-eminence by those who believe it is they who should rule the world.

And what should we do? We should articulate a fair, free and fearless critique of Islam. We must identify those progressive Muslim voices that are calling for a reformation. And we should continue to refuse to ‘surrender’.

A note on transliteration: There are no set rules on how to spell Arabic words so any reader will inevitably come across a wide variety of spellings. Qutb is sometimes spelt Kutb and Koran as Qur’an, and so forth. I have kept the spellings as originally used in quotes but have otherwise used the spellings I am used to.

By Ray Harris

THE BEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE

final best days

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  The facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Not only this, but many who were on fire for God and even effective vessels have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announces that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked because this kind of recanting of faith is now common.

Maybe you were wounded on the battlefield and did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as the people themselves are.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back in control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational force of unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.iStock_000003894799Medium[1]

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.  Millions have left the church.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  He is doing this on a massive scale.

He has done this before.  Right before the fire fell on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again (1 Kings 18:37).”

He is doing this not just because He loves you but because He is trying to spare America: “and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:6).”

You are most likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise left her unprotected.  The active ingredient was left out of preaching; that ingredient is surrender.  The power of God to stand against tragedy and evil never kicked in for this very reason.

The Holy Spirit is intensifying His voice to the fallen, the wounded and the forgotten.  While His wooing is loving and hopeful, it does not mask the truth.

In America entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Revelations 3:15).”

Best days insert

Okay, you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, the toxic church and even the false church, but why lose your soul to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember.  It is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy you will admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what everything would come out alright.  Even your questions were harnessed by a total trust in the character of God!

You have never felt anything like His presence.  Those were the best days.  Those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him” Jesus promised.

I will admit that I am speaking a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come home to your best life, your only life.  There is an army rising up, made of people that Satan thought he had but is about to lose on a grand scale.  Welcome back to the war!

‘Jihadi John’: Islamic State killer is identified as Londoner Mohammed Emwazi

‘Jihadi John’: Islamic State killer is identified as Londoner Mohammed Emwazi

The identity of Jihadi John is exposed and it proves that Obama is totally wrong about terrorism.  It does not spring from poverty, it is a imminent threat  and yes it is about Islam.  – Mario Murillo

 Jihadi John is exposed

February 26 at 9:45 AM

The world knows him as “Jihadi John,” the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who taunts audiences in videos circulated widely online.

But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.

“I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John,” said one of Emwazi’s close friends who identified him in an interview with The Washington Post. “He was like a brother to me. . . . I am sure it is him.”

A representative of a British human rights group who had been in contact with Emwazi before he left for Syria also said he believed Emwazi was Jihadi John, a moniker given to him by some of the hostages he once held.

“There was an extremely strong resemblance,” Asim Qureshi, research director at the rights group, CAGE, said when shown one of the videos and asked to confirm whether Emwazi could be “Jihadi John.”

“This is making me feel fairly certain that this is the same person,” Qureshi added.

Authorities have used a variety of investigative techniques, including voice analysis and interviews with former hostages, to try to identify Jihadi John. James B. Comey, the director of the FBI, said in September — only a month after the Briton was seen in a video killing American journalist James Foley — that officials believed they had succeeded.

Nevertheless, the identity of Jihadi John has remained shrouded in secrecy. Since Foley’s killing, he has appeared in a series of videos documenting the gruesome killings of other hostages, including four other Westerners, some of whom he personally beheaded.

In each, he is dressed in all black, a balaclava covering all but his eyes and the ridge of his nose. He wears a holster under his left arm.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Washington said: “Our prime minister has been clear that we want all those who have committed murder on behalf of ISIL to face justice for the appalling acts carried out. There is an ongoing police investigation into the murder of hostages by ISIL in Syria. It is not appropriate for the government to comment on any part of it while this continues.” ISIL is another name for the Islamic State.

U.S. officials declined to comment for this report. Emwazi’s family declined a request for an interview, citing legal advice.

The Kuwaiti-born Emwazi, in his mid-20s, appears to have left little trail on social media or elsewhere online. Those who knew him say he was polite and had a penchant for wearing stylish clothes while adhering to the tenets of his Islamic faith. He had a beard and was mindful of making eye contact with women, friends said.

[Archives: The tactics of Islamic State beheadings]

He was raised in a middle-class neighborhood in London and on occasion prayed at a mosque in Greenwich.

The friends, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, believe that Emwazi started to radicalize after a planned safari in Tanzania following his graduation from the University of Westminster.

Emwazi and two friends — a German convert to Islam named Omar and another man, Abu Talib — never made it on the trip. Once they landed in Dar es Salaam, in May 2009, they were detained by police and held overnight. It’s unclear whether the reason for the detention was made clear to the three, but they were eventually deported.

Emwazi flew to Amsterdam, where he claimed that an officer from MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, accused him of trying to reach Somalia, where the militant group al-Shabab operates in the southern part of the country, according to e-mails that he sent to Qureshi and that were provided to The Post.

Emwazi denied the accusation and claimed that MI5 representatives had tried to recruit him. But a former hostage said Jihadi John was obsessed with Somalia and made his captives watch videos about al-Shabab, which is allied with al-Qaeda.

The episode was described in the Independent, a British newspaper, which identified Emwazi as Muhammad ibn Muazzam.

Emwazi and his friends were allowed to return to Britain, where he met with Qureshi in the fall of 2009 to discuss what had happened. “Mohammed was quite incensed by his treatment, that he had been very unfairly treated,” Qureshi said.

Shortly afterward, Emwazi decided to move to his birthplace, Kuwait, where he landed a job working for a computer company, according to the e-mails he wrote to Qureshi. He came back to London twice, the second time to finalize his wedding plans to a woman in Kuwait.

In June 2010, however, counterterrorism officials in Britain detained him again — this time fingerprinting him and searching his belongings. When he tried to fly back to Kuwait the next day, he was prevented from doing so.

“I had a job waiting for me and marriage to get started,” he wrote in a June 2010 e-mail to Qureshi. But now “I feel like a prisoner, only not in a cage, in London. A person imprisoned & controlled by security service men, stopping me from living my new life in my birthplace & country, Kuwait.”

Nearly four months later, when a court in New York sentenced Aafia Siddiqui, an al-Qaeda operative convicted for the attempted murder of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan, Emwazi expressed sympathy for her, saying he had “heard the upsetting news regarding our sister. . . . This should only keep us firmer towards fighting for freedom and justice!!!”

In the interview, Qureshi said he last heard from Emwazi in January 2012, when Emwazi sent him an e-mail seeking advice.

“This is a young man who was ready to exhaust every single kind of avenue within the machinery of the state to bring a change for his personal situation,” Qureshi said. In the end, he felt “actions were taken to criminalize him and he had no way to do something against these actions.”

Close friends of Emwazi’s also said his situation in London had made him desperate to leave the country. It’s unclear exactly when he reached Syria or how.

One friend said he believed Emwazi wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia to teach English in 2012 but was unsuccessful. Soon afterward, the friend said, he was gone.

“He was upset and wanted to start a life elsewhere,” one of the friends said. “He at some stage reached the point where he was really just trying to find another way to get out.”

Once in Syria, Emwazi contacted his family and at least one of his friends. It’s unclear what he told them about his activities there.

A former hostage who was debriefed by officials upon release said that Jihadi John was part of a team guarding Western captives at a prison in Idlib, Syria, in 2013. The hostages nicknamed the facility “the box.” Emwazi was joined by two other men with British accents, including one who was dubbed “George.” A former hostage said Emwazi participated in the waterboarding of four Western hostages.

Former hostages described George as the leader of the trio. Jihadi John, they said, was quiet and intelligent. “He was the most deliberate,” a former hostage said.

Beginning in early 2014, the hostages were moved to a prison in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital, where they were visited often by the trio. They appeared to have taken on more powerful roles within the Islamic State.

About the same time, Qureshi said, he sent an e-mail to Emwazi.

“I was wondering if you could send me your number,” he wrote. “Inshallah [God willing] it will be good to catch up.”

There was no response.

Goldman reported from Washington. Julie Tate in Washington and Griff Witte and Karla Adam in London contributed to this report.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM MAKES A CONVINCING CASE AGAINST BARACK OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY

FRANKLIN GRAHAM MAKES A CONVINCING CASE AGAINST BARACK OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY

 

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham is making the case against Barack Obama’s presidency better than any politician has.

Last week, Rudy Giuliani landed a glancing blow when he said he didn’t think President Obama really loves America.

Tuesday, in fewer than one hundred words posted on his Facebook page, Graham laid bare the moral and political destruction that has enveloped the country in the last six years.

Graham focused on Obama’s actions, rather than what he might think or believe.

“Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has taken a lot of heat from the media for his remark that he’s not sure if President Obama really loves America,” Graham’s post began.

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but…” Graham wrote before launching into this concise and devastating critique of the president’s actions:

“I do know that the president (1) defends Islam and (2) chastises Christians, (3) rebukes our allies and (4) befriends our enemies, and (5) fully supports gay marriages and (6)abortion but (7) denies the religious freedoms of those who don’t agree.” (Numbers added in bold for emphasis.)

Seven specific actions undertaken by the president, spelled out in 35 simple words.

Graham then synopsized where he believes we stand as a country today in another 20 words:

“Our nation is ridiculed abroad and morally crumbling within. We are in trouble. We have turned our back on God.”

Graham has demonstrated what the best speechwriters have long known, but politicians often forget.

When it comes to effective communications, there is no tool more powerful than simplicity.

Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’

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Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’

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Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.

I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. It’s something I long for, and my son Franklin recently shared a vision for perhaps the greatest challenge in the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—to launch an outreach called My Hope with Billy Graham that would bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.

BGEA has already taken My Hope to more than 50 nations. We’ve worked in close partnership with local churches across each country, and those churches have reported millions of life-changing decisions for Christ. Carrying out a nationwide American version of this evangelistic outreach will be an enormous undertaking, but in my spirit I know God has called us to do this, and I pray He will stir your heart to join us in prayer and support.

Franklin will share more about the project with you as the planning develops. In the meantime, all this year Franklin and his son Will are preaching “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, ESV) at Crusade events across North America—from Texas to Canada—and God has blessed the work. Already tens of thousands have heard the Gospel, and many have responded, especially young people.

As I write, I am in the middle of a busy summer enjoying visits with many of my grandchildren and other family members, but also working hard on a new book that addresses some dangerous illusions about eternal salvation that are becoming increasingly accepted in many places. I want to point the world to what the Bible says.

Although age and health restrict my mobility and my stamina, not to mention my eyesight and hearing, I am thankful for the days God has given me, and I am humbled by His continued hand of favor on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The Lord draws people to Himself daily through BGEA’s various evangelistic ministries, and I am so deeply grateful.

May God bless you,

Billy Graham