Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Ugliness of Kathleen Sebelius

Sebelius frownSomewhere Joseph Conrad, describes a storm at sea by saying you might manage to get shelter from the driving rain, but the wind always seeks you out and finds you.

Of the ill winds blowing from the Obama administration against America’s believers, none is more determined to seek out and freeze religious liberties than Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Kathryn Jean Lopez reports this at NRO:

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that a Department of Health and Human Services rule mandating that all health insurance cover contraception and sterilization is final, but will not go into effect for a year (after the presidential election), giving those with conscience objections a year to figure out how to violate their consciences. (“Suing Sebelius”).

HHS Secretary Sebelius reassured those with conscience objections that “[t]his additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.”

“As if religious convictions,” says Hannah Smith, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, “are some pliable veneer that just needs time to bend around governmental policy choices.”

From what I can make out, Sebelius doesn’t want to bend believers’ religious convictions until they fit her policies. She wants to bend their religious convictions until they’re broken. Then they’ll know how she feels.

In 2002, while she was campaigning for governor of Kansas with the financial support of the arch-abortionist George Tiller, Sebelius sent a “letter to Catholics” in her Wichita diocese assuring them that reports that her campaign is funded with abortion money are “absolutely false”:

I am not pro-abortion. I will not, and never have, promoted abortion. I am a practicing Catholic. I went to Catholic schools – from kindergarten through college. My father taught at Notre Dame; my son goes to Georgetown University. I feel about abortion like you do, and I have worked all my adult life to make sure that there are viable alternatives to abortion.

But it wasn’t absolutely false; it was absolutely true, which is why after her election she publicly thanked George Tiller for financing her candidacy. And it’s also true that her pro-abortion commitment is impossible to miss, especially when she tells NARAL, like she did last October, that when it comes to abortion, “we are in a war.” (“Sebelius: "We Are in a War" for Abortion”).

War with whom? you may ask.

We do know three different archbishops exercised their pastoral duty by admonishing “practicing Catholic” Sebelius to correct the “grave error” of her obstinate cooperation with the abortion industry. For the average Catholic, that much pastoral attention from consecrated leaders we regard as successors to the apostles would come close to an in-person request from Christ Himself: but Sebelius didn’t pay much attention.

When she became governor-elect Archbishop James Patrick Keleher politely asked her to move her interfaith inaugural service outside of the Catholic Church near the statehouse, for the reason that her disregard for the unborn is “at odds with our Catholic faith.”  Though there was no danger whatever that moving locations would have put at risk the extermination of even one unwanted baby, she refused to comply. Later she was admonished by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann to stop taking communion, as her support for abortion was irreconcilable with Catholic teaching, a spiritually lethal message” scandalizing the faithful in Kansas. Sebelius, the “practicing Catholic,” went to communion anyway.

Once in power in Topeka, Sebelius was Planned Parenthood’s most avid champion, in spite of her solemn assurances to Wichita Catholics that “I feel about abortion just like you do.” Robert Novak wrote in 2008:

She is allied with the aggressive Kansas branch of Planned Parenthood in a bitter struggle with anti-abortion activist District Attorney Phill Kline. There is substantial evidence she has been involved in laundering abortion industry money for distribution to Kansas Democrats. Kansas is the fiercest state battleground for abortion wars, making Kathleen Sebelius the national pro-choice poster girl. (“A Vice-President For Abortion”).

After she predictably vetoed a bill aimed at reducing Kansas’s outrageous number of partial-birth abortions, she had the brass to say, “Personally, I believe abortion is wrong.”

As reported in LifeNews, “Sebelius also appointed a supporter of Tiller’s political action committee and pro-abortion activist to the Human Rights Commission, which pro-life advocates considered an irony.”  (“White House Officials Admit Abortion, Tiller Holding Up Kathleen Sebelius Pick”).

When Obama selected Sebelius for HHS, yet a fourth Archbishop, Raymond L. Burke, felt the need to speak out, saying Sebelius had been “the source of the greatest embarrassment” for the way she had “publicly and repeatedly betrayed her Catholic faith.” (“Sebelius nomination ‘source of greatest embarrassment,’ Archbishop Burke says”).

Betraying her faith was just a beginning.  Michelle Malkin writes that, since her appointment as HHS Secretary,

Sebelius has ruled ruthlessly from her Beltway perch: policing citizen critics of Obamacare through a taxpayer-funded Internet snitch brigade; threatening private companies and insurers who have increased rates to cope with Obamacare coverage mandates; lashing out at newspapers who dare report on the costly consequences of the federal law. (“Shredding Kathleen Sebelius).

But as busy as her job imposing on the nation Obamacare and the abortion license keeps her, Sebelius always has time for her true vocation: wounding the Catholic Church, and any other religious group, that dares to perform its works of mercy in ways that don’t require sacrificing the unborn.

That’s why the restless ill winds of Sebelius must seek out new good works to prevent.

Recently, at a time when the growth of human trafficking and sex slavery in America is just coming to public awareness, Sebelius’s HHS decided “to end funding to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help victims of human trafficking, or modern-day slavery.” (“Kathleen Sebelius' Gruesome Moral Calculus”).

Rather than maximize the number of providers of victim support, HHS thought it best to shrink the pool of established faith-based providers with a new requirement that favors those that provide “the ‘full range of family-planning services,’ including abortions and contraception.” Surprise, surprise, although the bishop’s conference had been providing top-flight services to victims for years, the new requirement results in squeezing them, and other Christian organizations, out of the program. As reported in the Washington Post, “senior political appointees at HHS stepped in to award the new grants to the bishops' competitors, overriding an independent review board and career staffers who had recommended that the bishops be funded again.” Some HHS staffers protested that “the process was unfair and politicized.”

In other words, Sebelius misused her office for the sole purpose of gouging the same bishops who won’t let her get away with being “personally opposed to abortion.”

True, this type of abuse in the Obama administration isn’t exactly a shock. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder seems to be constantly ignoring, or even violating, the department’s constitutional function just to disadvantage ideological opponents. But when Holder fails to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, or refuses to enforce civil rights laws if they protect white voters, or possibly is revealed to have indulged the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program as an underhanded plot to advance stricter gun-control regulations – at least he’s being a partisan for the same people whose beliefs he openly shares.  Remember when he minimized the voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party as not comparing to the hard experiences of “my people”? 

Sebelius is a whole other order of aberrant.  She wouldn’t dream of taking sides with “my people” if by that is meant the committed members of the Church she claims to be a part of.  She professes to be an anti-abortion “practicing Catholic,” but proves 100% commitment to protecting and defending the beliefs, and only the beliefs, of those who do “not have the same religious beliefs that I had.” Now that’s firm commitment to the “separation of church and state”! Poor thing, here she is a devout Catholic, “not pro-abortion,” cruelly forced by her “oath of office” into “upholding the law.”

Bullshit. The only people to whom she’s ever honestly said, “I feel about abortion like you do” were George Tiller and NARAL’s Nancy Keenan. Sebelius has clearly rejected the Catholic faith she was brought up in.  Catholics want to quit?  Fine.  But what  makes her the lowest form of hypocrite is pretending to believe so she can trick votes out of the huge bloc of underinformed Catholics. (54% voted for Obama in 2008!).

And not only has she betrayed the Church, but she has taken up arms against it. It wouldn’t shock me if it turned out that she, and not Obama, is the heartbeat behind Obama’s war on religious liberty.

This isn’t about the good Catholics like me grumping about the bad Catholics. I’m not a good Catholic. And, almost by theological necessity, the number of actual good Catholics is incredibly small. It’s just that hard to be a good one. Most actual “practicing Catholics” are bad Catholics, which is why we need to practice -- because we’re so bad at it. Our only hope is to keep on trying to be better Catholics in case we start to get it right.

But Kathleen Sebelius isn’t a bad Catholic. She’s a bad person who’s wielded the increasing earthly powers she’s sold her soul for to wreak vengeance on as many believers as fall within range of her scourge. It’s not enough for her that an anti-life regime thrives until every institution in the nation grows corrupt and hollow as she is – because people who believe what she doesn’t believe can still take refuge in their consciences. 

If she had the power – and she almost believes she does – she’d force every non-compliant conscience to bend, to crack, to break – to adapt .

Or isn’t that what she’s trying to do right now?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

‘Islamists Are the New Reality’?

According to a report in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press Western leaders are nervously watching the next phase of the “Arab Spring.” Writes Hannah Allam:

The U.S. and other Western powers -- along with Arab liberals and religious minorities -- are watching with alarm as conservative Muslim politicians have filled the power vacuums left by the rebellions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. They fear that Taliban-style religious extremism will replace the old order's secular autocracy. (“Islamists' rise being closely watched”).

Is there alarm in the U.S.?,  because I haven’t detected it outside the blogosphere. On the other hand, continues Allam:

Supporters say the extremist threat is exaggerated and that no other political force is as trusted, disciplined or efficient to guide these scarred nations toward democracy.

They note that across north Africa, Islamists are forging alliances with political rivals, meeting with Western envoys, courting foreign investors and spending millions of dollars on sophisticated campaigns.

Which is exactly why I haven’t had much confidence in optimists about the “Arab Spring.”  If it’s true, and it probably is, that the Islamists are the most “trusted, disciplined,” and “efficient” political force in these countries, why is that any reason to assume they will use that force to “guide these scarred nations toward democracy”?   Especially when the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis are committed opponents of democracy?    Just because Islamists are running around, “forging alliances,” courting investors, and spending millions on “sophisticated campaigns” doesn’t mean democracy is their goal. Dictatorships need to consolidate power, too, and need to gain popular support (in the beginning) through “sophisticated campaigns.”

Why, then, would anyone conclude from all this that the Islamists just might want a free society?

As Allam herself writes, a year ago the Muslim Brotherhood leaders were carefully staging the Tahrir Square demonstrations, “making sure that their young activists weren't using religious chants or banners; they had issued strict orders not to make the revolution seem Islamist in nature.”

Why not let the revolution seem Islamist in nature?  Because the world knows that Islamism and democracy are incompatible.

Even Allam’s analysis treats it matter-of-factly:

So far, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Nahdah in Tunisia and other mainstream Islamists throughout the region have offered assurances to their many critics, treading carefully so as not to squander their newfound authority and freedom.

While they make little secret of their long-term goal of establishing Islamic nations, analysts said, for now they're willing to strike shrewd deals with non-Islamist blocs and focus on collective grievances such as unemployment, inflation and the lack of security.

Maybe if I were an “analyst,” I’d understand how the Islamists’ stated intention of establishing Sharia states is less worrisome because now they’re striking “shrewd deals” and focusing on “collective grievances.”  This is like an “on the one hand, on the other hand” kind of article where both hands are the same hand.  From what I can see, the Islamists aren’t even pretending any more that if we just wait and see we’ll soon behold free and open societies blossoming in North Africa. Muslim Brotherhood official Mahmoud Ghozlan said, “Islamists are the new reality.”

Whether all those protesters a year ago in Egypt, or Tunisia, or Yemen  were interested in democracy or not, I’m hardly in a position to say.

What I do know, and what I can say, is that the Muslim Brotherhood is not interested in democracy in Egypt, or Tunisia, or Yemen, or anywhere. They’re interested in gaining political power so they can impose Sharia states. They’re interested, as their leader said three weeks ago, in “establishing a righteous and fair ruling system, with all its institutions and associations, including a government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world.”

That’s the new reality.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday’s (Other) Election Results

CAIRO (AP) – Final results on Saturday showed that Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in Egypt's first elections since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak, according to election officials and political groups.

The Islamist domination of Egypt's parliament has worried liberals and even some conservatives about the religious tone of the new legislature, which will be tasked with forming a committee to write a new constitution. Overseeing the process will be the country's Mubarak-era military generals, who are still in charge.

A coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party was second with 25 percent, or 125 seats.

The Salifi Al-Nour, which was the biggest surprise of the vote, wants to impose strict Islamic law in Egypt, while the more moderate Brotherhood, the country's best-known and organized party, has said publicly that it does not seek to force its views about an appropriate Islamic lifestyle on Egyptians. (“Egypt's Islamists secure 75% of parliament”).

As noted here recently, there’s no reason to take at face value the Brotherhood’s promises that Egypt’s liberty-loving Arab Springers won’t soon be groaning under government-enforced Sharia. Brotherhood supreme leader Dr. Muhammad Badi was commenting on the Brothers’ progress in Egypt only three weeks back:

When the Brotherhood started its advocacy [da'wa], it tried to awaken the nation from its slumber and stagnation, to guide it back to its position and vocation. In his message at the sixth caucus, the Imam [Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna] defined two goals for the Brotherhood: a short term goal, the fruits of which are seen as soon as a person becomes a member of the Brotherhood; and a long term goal that requires utilizing events, waiting, making appropriate preparations and prior designs, and a comprehensive and total reform of all aspects of life. The Imam [Banna] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world.

Da’wa is all about incremental change. Not that “incremental” is necessarily synonymous with “glacially slow.”  As a case in point,  Egypt  has been going through its Islamizing stages fairly rapidly. The Tahrir Square demonstration only started a year ago this week. When they started, the Muslim Brotherhood was still outlawed, and had been for more than 60 years. Now the Ikhwan holds the majority of the Parliament. That’s how fast things can change.

All the transformations that Badi’s looking forward to -- from “reforming the individual” to crushing the whole planet under Islamic “mastership” – are to be accomplished through the rigid application of Sharia.

Don’t think for one second the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t intend to force an Islamic lifestyle on all Egyptians. Sharia is not imposed incrementally where Islamists hold most of the power.  (It’s only imposed bit by bit where Islamists are a minority, like in Dearborn). 

Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood chapter that controls Gaza, also pretended to “respect freedom” when they seized power there in 2007.

Gaza, a tiny sliver of land squeezed between Egypt and Israel, always had a significant Islamic flavour, but once tolerated bars and cinemas, especially during Egyptian rule from 1948 to 1967. A conservative religious movement began to take hold in the 1980s, as part of a larger, region-wide religious awakening.

The trend accelerated with the first Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in 1987, which coincided with the founding of Hamas. In June 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza after ousting forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The trend toward religious fundamentalism preceded the Hamas takeover. In recent years, hardliners have burned down the cinemas. Their charred remains are still visible in Gaza City. Militants blew up the last bar in 2005. (“Gaza's elected Islamist rulers crack down on secular community”).

This past week, Hamas has banned Gaza residents from participating in “New Star,” the Palestinian version of “American Idol”:

The organizers said Hamas told them the program is “indecent,” in what appears to be a new attempt by the fundamentalist militant Muslim group to crack down on behavior it sees as contrary to its conservative interpretation of Islam.

In the past, Hamas has banned women from riding on the backs of motorbikes, women from smoking water pipes, and men from working in hair salons — saying such practices were immodest. (“Gaza’s Hamas rulers ban Palestinian singing competition, organizers say).

According to the Telegraph, last February Hamas was saying “claims that they are trying to Islamise Gaza are meant to help deter the international community from recognising their rule. ‘This isn't true,’ said Yousef Rizka, a senior Hamas government official. ‘We respect freedom.’”

The point of all this is not that Islamists are moral reactionaries who won’t be happy until every woman on Earth is hidden inside an ugly black bag.

The point is that Islamists are lying to our faces about what they are trying to do.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

They Make Trash Bags for That

Here’s a fitting word from Mark Steyn on Alan Colmes’s recent remarks about the “crazy” response of Rick Santorum and his wife to the death of their newborn:

Santorum’s respect for all life, including even the smallest bleakest meanest two-hour life, speaks well for him, especially in comparison with his fellow Pennsylvanian, the accused mass murderer Kermit Gosnell, an industrial-scale abortionist at a Philadelphia charnel house who plunged scissors into the spinal cords of healthy delivered babies. Few of Gosnell’s employees seemed to find anything “weird” about that: Indeed, they helped him out by tossing their remains in jars and bags piled up in freezers and cupboards. Much less crazy than taking ’em home and holding a funeral, right? (“The Left’s So-Called Empathy”).

Afghanistan’s Number One Problem


According to the Washington Post, the emergence of the Internet video depicting four U.S. Marines going Number One on three dead Taliban jihadists “didn’t seem to immediately set back movement toward exploratory negotiations with the Taliban. Asked about possible implications for peace talks, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that the U.S. remained strongly committed to supporting Afghan efforts.” (“Marines name three-star general to decide what, if any, action to take in urination case”).

We’re so relieved.  (No pun intended).  We wouldn’t want the Obama administration’s efforts to hand Afghanistan back over to the Taliban ruined by the fighting men we sent there  to take it away from them in the first place.

Seriously, DU doesn’t approve of the desecration of human bodies.  But we don’t find this incident of particular gravity in the history of warfare.  A Washington Post poll shows that 82% of respondents reacted with, “It's not surprising -- things like this happen in war.”  (In contrast, over 48% of Americans think quarterbacks dropping to one knee after every completed pass say “It’s shocking – things like this should never happen in professional sports.”)

What is much more disturbing than the pissing Marines is that the United States government is participating in peace talks with the Taliban at all.  There can be no other outcome  to such talks than that the Taliban returns to  Afghanistan while we leave.  But the whole purpose of the war, (the war that even Obama and his fellow Democrats endorsed “the good war”) was to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban.  It was just about the only thing Americans agreed on through all this strife  and division since 9/11.

Just whose getting peed on here? 

From the ‘Peace in Our Time’ Department

Marc A. Thiessen makes the following appeal to common sense in the Washington Post.  Do you think anyone will listen?

Don’t let these Taliban leaders loose

President Obama is reportedly considering releasing several senior Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay as an enticement to get the Taliban to the peace table. If he does so, he will do tremendous harm to American national security — and to his prospects for reelection this fall.

To understand why, consider the individuals White House is considering setting free. Last year WikiLeaks released a trove of documents it dubbed the Gitmo Fileswith assessments of hundreds of Guantanamo detainees — including the five Taliban leaders reportedly under consideration for release. Here is the U.S. military’s assessment of them:

Mullah Mohammed Fazl, deputy defense minister. Fazl is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes while serving as a Taliban Army Chief of Staff and … was implicated in the murder of thousands of Shiites in northern Afghanistan during the Taliban reign.” He has “operational associations with significant al-Qaida and other extremist personnel,” was “involved in Taliban narcotics trafficking,” and is so senior in the Taliban hierarchy that he once threatened the Taliban’s supreme leader, Mullah Omar. Military officials assess that Fazl wields “considerable influence throughout the northern region of Afghanistan and his influence continued even after his capture” adding, “If released, [Fazl] would likely rejoin the Taliban and establish ties with anti-Coalition militias (ACM) participating in hostilities against US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.”

Abdul Haq Wasiq, deputy minister of intelligence. Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against US and Coalition forces.” He “utilized his office to support al-Qaida and to assist Taliban personnel elude capture…. arranged for al-Qaida personnel to train Taliban intelligence staff in intelligence methods” and “assigned al-Qaida members to the Taliban Ministry of Intelligence.” If released “he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.”

Mullah Norullah Noori, governor-general of Afghanistan's northern zone. Noori “is considered one of the most significant former Taliban officials detained at JTF-GTMO” who “led troops against US and Coalition forces” and “was directly subordinate to Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Omar.” He “is wanted by the UN for possible war crimes,” is “associated with members of al-Qaida,” and is assessed “to be a hardliner in his support of the Taliban philosophy.” He “continues to be a significant figure encouraging acts of aggression and his brother is currently a Taliban commander conducting operations against US and Coalition forces…. (Analyst note: Detainee would likely join his brother if released.”)

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Herat governor and acting interior minister. Khairkhwa is “directly associated to Usama Bin Laden (UBL) and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar” and was “trusted and respected by both.” After 9/11 he “represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against US and Coalition forces” and “attended a meeting at the direction of UBL, reportedly accompanied by members of HAMAS.” He is “one of the premier opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan” and was likely “associated with a militant training camp in Herat operated by deceased al-Qaida commander (in Iraq) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”

Mohammad Nabi, multiple leadership roles. Nabi is “a senior Taliban official” who was “a member of a joint al-Qaida/Taliban ACM cell in Khowst and was involved in attacks against US and Coalition forces.” He “held weekly meetings” with “three al-Qaida affiliated individuals” to discuss anti-coalition plans, “maintained weapons caches,” and “facilitated two al-Qaida operatives smuggling an unknown number of missiles along the highway between Jalalabad and Peshawar,” which intelligence officials believe contributed to the deaths of two Americans.

All have close ties to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups. All been assessed by our military as posing a “high risk” of returning to the fight if released. And we know from painful experience what happens when hardliners like these are released from Gitmo. In 2007, the Bush administration released a Taliban leader named Mullah Zakir to Afghan custody. Unlike these five, he was assessed by our military as only “medium risk” of returning to the fight. They were wrong. Today, Zakir is leading Taliban forces fighting U.S. Marines in Helmand province, and according to former intelligence officials I spoke with, he has provided the Taliban with an exponential increase in combat prowess.

Releasing more like him would be disastrous for national security. And it would also be politically disastrous for Obama. His likely opponent, Mitt Romney, has already blasted the administration for even considering such releases, declaring “We do not negotiate with terrorists. The Taliban are terrorists, they are our enemy, and I do not believe in a prisoner release exchange.”

If Obama goes through with these releases, expect Romney to make a major issue of it in the fall campaign. Every time the president has picked a fight over terrorist detention at Guantanamo during the past three years, he has lost. He will lose again if he raises it in 2012. The last thing Obama should want is to have Americans discussing his decision to release dangerous terrorists in November. If Obama won’t keep these brutal men locked up for the national interest, perhaps he will for his political self-interest.

Today Cairo, Tomorrow the World

CAIRO — The number two diplomat in the U.S. State Department met Wednesday with leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the highest-level contact between Washington and the once-banned group poised to dominate the country’s first parliament chosen after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with the head of the Brotherhood’s political party, which has won more than 40 percent of the seats in elections that ended Wednesday. The parliament is scheduled to convene on Jan. 23.

Its main task is to appoint a 100-member panel to write a new constitution. With its election victory, the Islamist group could have significant influence over its content.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Burns’ meeting with the Brotherhood leaders was a chance to reinforce U.S. expectations that Egypt’s parties will support human rights, women’s rights and religious tolerance.  (“US holds highest contacts so far with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, shunned when Mubarak ruled”).

But there’s no basis for that optimism.  None.  In his weekly message on December 29, supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Muhammad Badi laid out his view of the future.  Oddly, he nowhere mentions women’s rights or religious tolerance:

"The Brotherhood is getting closer to achieving its greatest goal as envisioned by its founder, Imam Hassan al-Banna. This will be accomplished by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system, with all its institutions and associations, including a government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world. When the Brotherhood started its advocacy [da'wa], it tried to awaken the nation from its slumber and stagnation, to guide it back to its position and vocation. In his message at the sixth caucus, the Imam [Banna] defined two goals for the Brotherhood: a short term goal, the fruits of which are seen as soon as a person becomes a member of the Brotherhood; and a long term goal that requires utilizing events, waiting, making appropriate preparations and prior designs, and a comprehensive and total reform of all aspects of life. The Imam [Banna] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world. In this Arab spring, the revolutionary people were determined to achieve particular, obvious goals. They were adamant and uncompromising about goals such as the end of unjust regimes and the ousting of unfair rulers, to rid our countries of all corrupt systems that usurped our resources and thwarted our progress. And today we are very close to achieving a major goal by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system with all its institutions and guiding principles. With the blessings of Shura we are on the path of achieving the goals of the nation and the revolution through a candid and genuine representation of the people in the parliament to start building the institutions of good governance and a rightly guided state."  (“The Brotherhood's True Itinerary”).

Not only is the Brotherhood going to turn Egypt into a much larger, armed, and more dangerous version of Hamas-ruled Gaza, but the Ikhwan make no bones about their divine right to rule the world.

What are our leaders thinking?

‘All-American Muslims–The Road Show’

 Pam Geller  gives us a subtotal of the week’s homegrown jihadist activity at American Thinker:

Three Jihadis

By Pamela Geller

It is almost every day now. Jihadi attacks in America. This past week there were three attempted jihad attacks. And what does the media consider the problem? Racistislamophobicantimuslimbigots, of course.

On Saturday, a Muslim named Sami Osmakac was arrested in Florida on charges of plotting to go jihad on nightclubs and the Tampa, Florida, sheriff's headquarters. "We all have to die," Osmakac said, "so why not die the Islamic way?"

Osmakac is from Kosovo, making his jihad another thank-you for U.S. involvement in Bosnia. And the U.S. still supports an independent Kosovo state, a militant Islamic state, in the heart of Europe. That is our policy. America refuses to own up to the terrible mistake we made in Europe -- worse still, we continue to prosecute the Christian Serbs.

Media reports said that Osmakac, a devout Muslim, was "self-radicalized." You have to wonder if Western dhimmis stay up nights thinking up new terms for jihad. Pathetic. Soon after his arrest, video emerged that showed how pious and violent Sami Osmakac really was, as he attacked and bloodied Christian street preachers. The pious Osmakac, who was completely the aggressor, then cried victim to the police, saying that he had been "insulted," the same fictitious narrative that we are bombarded with daily by Islamic groups and Muslim Brotherhood organizations like the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The police, in what has become standard practice in dealing with Islamic supremacists, treated the perpetrator and the victim with equal contempt, actually charging the bloodied Christian with battery. This was in the same town, Tampa, that classified what was obviously an honor killing of a Muslim woman, Fatima Abdallah, as a "suicide."

Even worse, after the terrorism arrest, Hassan Shibly, director of the Florida chapter of CAIR, cried "entrapment." This is, of course, typical of jihadis, but what is really outrageous is that the FBI briefed Shibly prior to Osmakac's arrest. Hamas-CAIR was briefed? Was Qaradawi briefed, too?

"The weapons and explosives were provided by the government. Was he just a troubled individual, or did he pose a real threat?" Shibly asked. Hey, Shibly, he was a devout Muslim. Watch the videos: he is preaching the word of Allah in one and head-butting Christians in another.

Also on Sunday, a Muslim in Alabama named Luis Ibarra-Hernandez (the media did not release his Muslim name) shot out store windows and tried to get into a shootout with police officers. Gadsden, Alabama Police spokesperson Capt. Regina May said: "After the man was taken into custody, he reported that he knew he must do something extreme to draw attention to Islam and himself, so he planned to shoot police officers."

I think it is poetic that this Alabama Muslim wanted to call attention to Islam by shooting at police. He is right, of course. Such actions best illustrate the violent and true nature of jihad. He would have been richly rewarded in paradise, perhaps 73 virgins instead of 72. But as Islamic scholar Robert Spencer points out, "he did not, however, succeed in gaining the space that is guaranteed in Paradise for those who 'kill and are killed' for Allah (Qur'an 9:111)."

Meanwhile, the military jihad continues. Last Friday, a former U.S. Army soldier named Craig Baxam was arrested and charged with trying to join al-Shabaab, a jihad terror group in Somalia. Baxam converted to Islam while in the U.S. Military. He said he wanted to die defending Islam, and was "looking for dying with a gun in my hand."

So three jihads in one week, and an ongoing sharp increase in jihad activity in Obama's America. Yet this is never remarked upon. It is deliberately ignored. And it's astonishing. Is this what we can expect from our politicians and the media? We're under siege by the enemedia, and by craven politicians, and by the enforcers: CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, etc., that have these government agencies in their back pocket.

What's it's going to take? America, where are you on this?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Studies Show Your Pants Are on Fire

Charles C. Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum in Washington, has published an opinion column in The Tennessean that exemplifies the jarring dishonesty of the anti-anti-jihad mentality. (“In 2012, we must work to stem tide of Islamophobia”).

Disguised as a defense of religious freedom, Haynes’s article condemns the Lowe’s controversy as capping “a very successful year for the growing anti-Muslim movement in the United States,” successful, that is, “for its anti-mosque protests, anti-Shariah laws and anti-Muslim hate crimes.”

We’ve long since recognized citation to “anti-Muslim hate crimes” as a shibboleth for anti-anti-jihadists, unsupported by the facts.

Haynes’s sloppiness is telling, because he bolster his other points with appeals to unidentified “studies” and “scholarship.” For example, Haynes writes that “studies show high levels of opposition to radical Islam and extreme interpretations of Shariah law among Muslim Americans,” and “Muslim leaders and institutions in the U.S. help in the fight against extremism.”

Help?  Such as in the form of this poster that CAIR created, the one Corey Saylor had to try to explain away later as “not consistent with CAIR’s policy of constitutionally informed cooperation with law enforcement.”


Studies and scholarship aside, Haynes summarizes the message of counterjihadists this way: “Portraying Muslims as ordinary Americans is problematic, if not wrong and dangerous, because it may lull the rest of us into ignoring the stealth threat of Islam and Muslims to the freedom and security of the United States.”

He’s wrong again. Yes, we do want to raise the alarm about the stealth threat of Islam, but we couldn’t care less about portraying Muslims in America, especially if they’re ordinary. Ordinary Americans aren’t our focus. And if there are American Muslims who do catch our eye, you can be sure it’s not for behaving like ordinary Americans. Ordinary Americans don’t belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, they don’t chant in front of Dearborn City Hall that Hezbollah’s Secretary-General is “our leader!”, and they don’t preach that “The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

As Orwell said once about what’s necessary in degraded times, “restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” So here it is. We were attacked on 9/11, and that attack was waged by Muslim jihadists who couldn’t have been any clearer that they and Allah are at war with us. Many Muslims in America, citizens and otherwise, are sympathetic with that war. Many are not sympathetic, but they’re not our subject. We don’t pull the fire alarm for the houses that aren’t bellowing smoke. Notwithstanding Haynes and his allies’ tiresome libels, the statement of the plain fact that there’s a jihad being waged against us does not “paint all Muslims with the terrorist brush.”    All we’re doing is restating the obvious, just like Orwell said we should.

But Haynes objects  that stating the obvious diverts “Americans from our shared goal of fighting extremism (of all varieties) and securing our safety and freedom.”

Why in hell would it?  Haynes never explains how we can all fight extremism “(of all varieties)”, when he and his friends shout down as bigotry anyone’s attempt to shed light on a particular variety of extremism.

Haynes likes the idea that we’re fighting an extremism with no name – or many names.  But even he can’t keep from mentioning the name that sticks out, admitting himself that the world is “plagued by extremists acting in the name of Islam.” Yes, I suppose a “pile of studies” makes that conclusion unavoidable even to Haynes. But while that part of the story is obvious to most Americans already, (even without a pile of studies to make it so), ever since 9/11 the country has been too afraid to have the perfectly reasonable discussion about why it is all these extremists are acting in the name of Islam.

That fear is the work product of a wrecking crew of jihadists, dhimmis, and liberal anti-anti-jihadists who’ve absolutely forbidden -- under pain of banishment from polite society -- the rest of us to examine the Religion of the Prophet any closer than we can make out in the embroidery of Karen Armstrong’s “Islam Is Peace” tea towel.  The thousands of terror attacks, plots, and threats carried out by jihadists as acts of their Islamic devotion have been a deadly Muzak piping into the nation’s historical consciousness, reaching on some level even the country’s most resolutely uninformed Pollyanas.  But if anyone dares to act as a clearinghouse for that data, or draw logical inferences from it, he’s condemned for engaging in the lowest form of immorality on one side, and threatened with legal action on the other.

Haynes describes “All-American Muslim” as “an innocuous television show created to fight stereotypes.” The Florida Family Association (who Lowe’s said anyway was not responsible for the decision to pull their ads), believed that the show wasn’t so innocuous, because it wasn’t so much fighting stereotypes as creating a partial – and dishonest -- picture of reality. For their concerns, the people at FFA (and anyone caught agreeing with them) have been condemned as bigots spreading hate speech and intolerance and, of course, “Islamophobia.” Haynes sounds determined to keep that hackneyed crutch-word term on life support for yet one more year.

A Reader’s Comments

A reader has shared this with us:

Good afternoon, Mr. Clancy,

I noticed the newspaper coverage of the anti-Lowe's demonstration last week in Allen Park. The article quoted several non-Muslims who joined the protest in good faith, believing the issue to be one of anti-Muslim bigotry. They were wrong, however, which the Free Press article actually stated. You may have noticed this, also.

The Free Press article stated that the Florida Christian group was NOT protesting the show 'All-American Muslim' because the people being shown were Muslim. The issue was that the show falsely claims that ALL Muslims in America are loyal Americans, and don't support terrorists. That is what the Arab-American college professor claimed on the 'Mitch Albom Show' , as well. Now, if the Free Press article quoted them accurately, and they surely meant to, then this issue is NOT one of bigotry. The issue is whether or not the show is honest about the loyalty of Arab-Muslims in America. Because you and I live in Dearborn and see what goes on here, we know that the show is NOT honest. We know that many Arab-Muslims in Dearborn support Hezbollah, a violent enemy of America. The 'last prisoner' turned over from American forces to Iraqi was a Hezbollah commander responsible for deadly attacks on American soldiers. According to our Military, Hezbollah has been supplying bombs and training to Iraqi insurgents for years in order to kill Americans.

Therefore, Lowe's is absolutely correct in dropping their support from the show. It would go a long way if someone in the media made this observation in public.

Also, have you seen the 'Doonesbury' comic strip the last couple of days? As our soldiers come home from Iraq, the author of 'Doonesbury' is pushing to have the creators of the war tried for war crimes. One of his points made this week is that, since the American invasion in 2003, 600 thousand of the 1 million Christians that lived in Iraq before the invasion have fled the country. The 'largest Christian diaspora in history' is the statement. The thing is, 'Doonesbury' blames GEORGE BUSH for the diaspora. 'Can you say ironic?' is the line.

'Doonesbury' somehow refrains from the obvious point that removing the violent despot Saddam Hussein from power allowed violent, murderous Muslims to attack and kill Christians. The Christians didn't leave the country because the Americans arrived. They left because they were being attacked by Muslims. Somehow, 'Doonesbury' didn't want to make this last statement, although it is obvious. American removed a despot from power. Like that or not, America did not then attack Christians. Blame George Bush for starting the war if you like, but the actions of the Iraqi populace belong to them.

Many of the Iraqi Christians fled to Syria and have been living in absolute poverty there. I wonder what has and will become of them in that violence-torn country.

Your reader,

John H.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

An Obama-Qaradawi Treaty in Afghanistan?

Andrew McCarthy writes at NRO:

Obama Recruits Qaradawi

The surrender is complete now. The Hindu reports that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

I wrote about Qaradawi at length in The Grand Jihad and, here at NRO, have regularly catalogued his activities (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here; see also Andrew Bostom’s Qaradawi’s Odious Vision”). For those who may be unfamiliar with him, he is the most influential Sunni Islamist in the world, thanks to such ventures as his al-Jazeera TV program (Sharia and Life) and website (IslamOnline.net). In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq. As he put it,

Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will. . . . Although they are seen by some as being wrong, those defending against attempts to control Islamic countries have the intention of jihad and bear a spirit of the defense of their homeland.

Qaradawi urges that Islam must dominate the world, under a global caliphate governed by sharia. He maintains that Islam “will conquer Europe [and] will conquer America.” He sometimes qualifies that the conquering will be done “not through the sword but through da’wa,” but the qualification is a feint.

Da’wa sounds harmless — it refers to missionary work to spread Islam. Islam, however, is not like other religions. The idea is not to spread a set of spiritual principles but incrementally to impose a full-scale social system with its own authoritarian legal code, covering all aspects of life and instituting a caste system in which women and non-Muslims are subjugated. Nor is da’wa like other missionary work; it is the use of all available means of pressure — political campaigns, lawfare, infiltration of the media, control of the education system, etc. — to advance (a) the acceptance of Islamic principles and (b) the evisceration of principles (e.g., free speech, economic liberty) that undergird competitors, in particular, Western civilization. Moreover, the claim that da’wa is non-violent is frivolous. Much of the mission of da’wa is to rationalize terrorism as divinely mandated self-defense.

Thus does Sheikh Qaradawi champion Hamas, mass-murder attacks, and suicide bombings. “They are not suicide operations,” he brays. “These are heroic martyrdom operations.” Indeed, he elaborates, “The martyr operations is [sic] the greatest of all sorts of jihad in the cause of Allah.”

Thus does Qaradawi urge the destruction of Israel, rebuking clerics who dare counsel against killing civilians. “I am astonished,” he inveighs, “that some sheikhs deliver fatwas that betray the mujahideen, instead of supporting them and urging them to sacrifice and martyrdom.” As the Investigative Project on Terrorism recounts, when the imam of Mecca’s Grand Mosque issued guidance against the killing of civilians, Qaradawi upbraided him: “It is unfortunate to hear that the grand imam has said it was not permissible to kill civilians in any country or state, even in Israel.”

Not surprisingly, then, the sheikh is also wont to invoke what the West refuses to acknowledge: the Jew-hatred that is endemic in Islam because it is rooted in scripture — not in modern grievances that could be satisfied if only the West changed its policies and Israel had the good grace to disappear. As Qaradawi puts it, echoing the charter of Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch):

This is what is told in the Hadith of Ibn-Omar and the Hadith of Abu-Hurairah: “You shall continue to fight the Jews and they will fight you, until the Muslims will kill them. And the Jew will hide behind the stone and the tree, and the stone and the tree will say: ‘Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!’ The resurrection will not come before this happens.” This is a text from the good omens in which we believe.

Qaradawi uses his al-Jazeera platform to preach this message to the Muslim masses. As the Middle East Media Research Institute and Robert Spencer document, in one memorable Friday “sermon” broadcast in 2009, he prayed that Allah would kill all Jews: “Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.” He added that throughout history, Allah had imposed upon Jews “people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Adolph Hitler.”

After thousands of young Americans have laid down their lives to protect the United States from jihadist terror, President Obama apparently seeks to end the war by asking Qaradawi, a jihad-stoking enemy of the United States, to help him strike a deal that will install our Taliban enemies as part of the sharia state we have been building in Afghanistan. If the Hindu report is accurate, the price tag will include the release of Taliban prisoners from Gitmo — an element of the deal Reuters has also reported. The administration will also agree to the lifting of U.N. sanctions against the Taliban, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political party (yes, just like the Muslim Brotherhood!). In return, the Taliban will pretend to forswear violence, to sever ties with al-Qaeda, and to cooperate with the rival Karzai regime.

It would mark one of the most shameful chapters in American history.


All-American Snow Job

Dearborn’s Muslim “civil rights” agencies, already a chunky cauldron of alphabet soup, have to make room for four more letters with the debut of the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL). (“Diverse group of supporters turns out for new Arab civil rights organization’s debut”). Clearly, CAIR, ADC, AAPAC, CAAO, and ACCESS were leaving too much slack. And, like Israelites assembling at the call of the shofar, the usual mob of politicos, law enforcement toadies, and grandstanding opportunists came a-runnin’ to the braying of the phrase “civil rights.”

The ACRL’s mission, boiled down, will be “combating defamatory material on the Internet and other forms of media.”

One of its initiatives discussed in depth was fighting individuals who spread false and misleading information about members of the Arab American community on the Internet. Often those targeted by hate bloggers can be at risk for not getting jobs because of inaccurate reports on the internet. The ACRL will help individuals get their names cleared. “The old ways of just writing a letter and making phone calls is simply not enough. We have to do better, we have to be smarter, we have to move faster, we have to back our position with strong legal advocacy,” ACRL founder, president, and civil rights Attorney Nabih Ayad said.

Stated another way, what ACRL intends to target is free speech, especially the free speech of bloggers. They’ll be joining CAIR, the ADC, and other groups in silencing outspoken bloggers, like Bare Naked Islam, and getting them thrown offline. The “Islam is peace” smoke-and-mirrors campaign can’t compete with an active alternative media armed with facts.

Ayad and his Canton law firm are handling the ACRL’s lawfare goals. We see Ayad’s name around here often. He sued the NSA in 2006 because the Terrorist Surveillance Program was interfering with his phone calls to “individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations.” Debbie Schlussel has reported that Ayad has ties with Hezbollah, and, as was reported in the Detroit Free Press one of his former clients, “Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, was sentenced in June 2005 to 4 1/2 years in prison for raising money for Hezbollah inside his Dearborn home.”

The very idea of ACRL having an initiative for “fighting individuals” proves how badly shredded is the once-inspiring banner of civil rights. In the old days the phrase was synonymous with defending the liberties of individuals against unjust institutions using the law to destroy individual rights. Think of Governors Faubus and Wallace, think of the University of Mississippi against James Meredith, the City of Montgomery, Alabama against Rosa Parks, think of the Jim Crow laws, think of Separate but Equal, literacy tests and poll taxes. The phrase “civil rights” has suffered a terrible deflation since then. Now city and state officials jostle each other at the Fairlane Club to prove their support for a group transparently committed to squelching bad facts about area Muslim activists. These days “civil rights” is barely more than a euphemism for “shut up.”

According to ACRL, “those targeted by hate bloggers can be at risk for not getting jobs because of inaccurate reports on the internet. The ACRL will help individuals get their names cleared.”

Typical of reporting like this, no actual example is provided of any job-seeking victim of “false and misleading information.”   We can only hope that our blog, or similar ones, might have played any part in keeping a Muslim Brotherhood member or a Hezbollah supporter out of a sensitive position by posting details of his actual affiliations and public statements. But that’s not spreading false information. And when you see the phrase “misleading information” in this context, you can bet it means, “accurate information that we were really trying to keep under wraps.”

What we see now is consistent with a pattern we noted several years ago. In October 2006, we commented on the way then Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Abed Hammoud, miffed by a blog comment he didn’t think was fair about the Arab American Public Affairs Council (AAPAC), threatened to deploy police powers against the perpetrator:

“I do however like to remind everyone that we all live under the law and that writing and posting falshoods (sic) can be punished. We also know that the great technology that allows people to smear others while they hide under screen names allows us to find out who they are if there is a need for a legal action. Thank you.” (“Assistant Prosecutor Threatens Action Against Critics on Web Forum”).

Several months before that, CAIR had to eat dirt in its defamation lawsuit against the blog site Anti-CAIR. Among Anti-CAIR’s statements by that CAIR decided not to litigate as falsehoods were these: “CAIR is not in the United States to promote the civil rights of Muslims. CAIR is here to make radical Islam the dominant religion in the United States and convert our country into an Islamic theocracy along the lines of Iran.”

Defamation suits are helpless against truth, which is why CAIR dropped it as a tactic afterits failed lawsuit against Anti-CAIR. And I’m extremely skeptical that ACRL will go that route, either.  Ayad’s battle cry at Fairlane House, “[w]e have to do better, we have to be smarter, we have to move faster, we have to back our position with strong legal advocacy,” never mentions “backing their position” with either the truth or the facts.  The recent national attacks against Lowe’s over their decision to stop advertising on “All American Muslimweren’t based on facts, and both Dawud Walid and the ADC defamed both Lowe’s and the Florida Family Association as “anti-Muslim bigots.” And CAIR, in their own account of the hit they did on the Bare Naked Islam blog, made no pretense they were defending against any false information posted on BNI; instead, CAIR used reader comments to cast a false light on BNI as urging “threats of violence targeting mosques.”

As every conscientious counterjihad blogger knows, posting articles critical of creeping Islamism and its enablers is all it takes to be painted as a “hate blogger.” This is exactly how ACRL is tarring us at its inception.

Expect a lot more of the same in the New Year.