Tuesday, December 27, 2011

U.S. Attorney Gets Involved in Zoning Decision

Via Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugs:


The U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit is reviewing a religious discrimination complaint against a community for denying a zoning change request to allow construction of a Muslim school.

The Michigan Islamic Academy wants to build at a 26-acre site in Washtenaw County's Pittsfield Township.

"We are reviewing the matter and whether to proceed with a formal investigation," Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Levy told The Detroit News  for a story Tuesday.

On Oct. 26, the township board rejected the request, following an earlier rejection by the township planning commission. School officials say the 200-student school is too big for its location in nearby Ann Arbor.

Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said the decision isn't based on religion.

"We are an open, respectful and diverse community here in Pittsfield Township" Grewal said after the October decision. "We have a track record, most recently the planning commission approved a mosque."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the decision violated the First Amendment right of religious freedom, and it asked the Justice Department to investigate.

"We believe this is a blatant violation of the (school's) constitutional right to open the school on their property," said Lena Masri, a lawyer for the group. (“US reviewing anti-Muslim school bias complaint”).

UK Infant Adopted To Save Her Life

From the Daily Mail Online last week is a story of a UK appeals court ordering a one-year-old girl to be adopted to save her from an honor killing: 

A baby girl born out of wedlock must be adopted to save her from the risk of being slaughtered in an ‘honour killing’, a court ruled yesterday.

If the unmarried Muslim woman’s father found out about the child, he would feel such ‘unimaginable shame’ he could unleash a vengeful bloodbath by killing the baby and his whole family, three senior judges agreed.

So they made the extraordinary order to have the one-year-old girl – known as Baby Q – adopted for her own safety.

She will now grow up with adoptive parents and, when she is older, they will explain to her why she could not have been brought up by her biological parents.

It is believed to be the first time an English court has ordered an adoption to prevent a murder.

The baby’s maternal grandmother told police that if her husband ever found out about the little girl, ‘he would consider himself honour-bound to kill the child, the mother, the grandmother herself and the grandmother’s other children’, the court heard.

The identities of all those involved have been kept anonymous to ensure the girl can grow up safe from her apparently murderous grandfather – who still has no idea his daughter was ever pregnant.

Please read the rest of this article here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blessed Is the True Judge

Christopher Hitchens died on what is being called the last day of the Iraq war. He was a bitter atheist, a ferocious debater, and Hitchensan eloquent spokesman for the American action to depose Saddam Hussein, “a conflict that he brought his unparalleled eloquence to defend because of his hatred of tyranny in all forms.”

I found the atheist Hitchens’s latter-day crusade against all believers gloomy.  And unlike all those better-established conservative writers, the ones I can only envy from here underground, I can’t write of my personal friendship with the man, nor even that I ever met him.

But I am never going to forget the way I saw him describe, on C-SPAN or some such interview program, the way, in the wake of  9/11,  George W. Bush, undertook overthrowing the butcher of Baghdad “with a certain brio.” 

As Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says he prayed upon hearing of Hitchens’s passing, “Blessed is the true Judge.”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Troy Mayor Publicly Apologizes To Her ‘I Heart New York’ Tote Bag


We’re very sorry to see that Troy Mayor Janice Daniels (whom we incorrectly identified as mayor-elect in our previous post) did not stand her ground.

On Monday she gave her opponents an inch, and all week we’ve had to endure them gobbling up a mile of hypocritical high ground.   As we ought to have learned from the entire Obama term in office, this is what comes from giving in to bullies.

It’s only worse that it’s happening during a week when the governor signed an anti-bullying bill.


I’ll summarize briefly:

On Monday Daniels showed up unexpectedly at a Troy High School protest organized by the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. She attempted to apologize to 30 or 40 protesters. But, according to the kid who organized the protest, “it erupted into people screaming at her and calling her 'bully.' " (“Protesters urge Troy mayor Janice Daniels to quit over gay slur”).

On Monday night the hate-Daniels feast moved to the Troy City Council meeting, where Daniels had to sit through a lot of people (and I’m sure none of them coincidentally included her bitter political enemies) telling her they didn’t like her. When she didn’t resign, talk turned to a boycott of Troy businesses.

Then on Tuesday, proving that the Occupy Wall Streeters’ contempt of  businessmen for lacking all principles was at least  fair when applied to Troy businessmen, Troy Chamber of Commerce president Michele Hodges announced that the Chamber was turning to the “Michigan Round Table for Diversity Inclusion” for suggestions on how to escape the wrath of Big Rainbow.   (“Troy firms seek to avoid a boycott”).  She may as well have announced the Troy C of C had just voted unanimously to add a Lady GaGa wig to the Chamber’s logo.

She noted suggestions could range from a call for anti-discrimination laws in Troy to a request for Daniels' resignation.

"Our goal is to do the healthiest, most solution-oriented thing — whatever that may be."

Neither of the suggestions she mentioned was healthy, in fact they are shockingly stupid.  But I’m sure she was serious when she said she and her members will do anything – even support kicking out the new mayor -- to save their commercial establishments from pink picket lines.

On Thursday the Detroit Free Press let the prime ringleader of the Get Daniels Campaign, Denise Brogan-Kator executive director at Equality Michigan, write their guest editorial on the flap.  (“Troy mayor's choice of words reveals unacceptable prejudice.”)

After identifying herself “[a]s a member of the gay and transgender community,” she says, “I see every day how the use of anti-gay or anti-transgender slurs -- at school, at work, where we shop, or just walking down the street -- inflicts real harm on us.” 

Brogan-Kator knows perfectly well that Daniels’s reference to “queers” took place in none of those settings. Daniels’s Facebook post didn’t go hunting anyone down to hurt them. Brogan-Kator’s constituents had to hunt it down for themselves, and then be offended by what they had already been told they would find.

This is phony.

Brogan-Kator’s no fan of free speech, either. According to her, she can see into every last dark motive of a person using a word she doesn’t like. A slur against homosexuals, she writes, “is the outward proof of one's inner contempt for us, which also expresses itself in actions like bullying, harassment, job discrimination and often violence.”

Or, I say, it could just be a slur. Not every slur equates with violence.  Not every slur even equates with hatred.  If slurs equaled violence, the entire mainstream media and about half the American population would still be serving federal life sentences for all the contempt poured out on George W. Bush.

Nonetheless, Brogan-Kator recognizes no distinction between a word that offends her and an act of violence: “That is why anti-gay slurs must be intolerable in public discourse. It is not simply a matter of respect, which should be sufficient; it is also a matter of safety.”

By Brogan-Kator’s logic, Daniels’s “belief that marriage is between one man and one woman” is just “a familiar and dangerous” excuse for Daniels’s “deep animosity toward the gay community.” (I don’t know what these people imagine a mayor of a town of 80,000 can do to the gay community? – pass an ordinance prohibiting Troy bars from serving Cosmopolitans?)

The real tragedy of all this is that most of the people who turned out to call Mayor Daniels a bigot and demand her resignation after she apologized  were going to do all those things anyway if she hadn’t.  Such is ever the way with bullies. These bullies in particular are never going to accept an apology, because  they’d lose all excuse for blackmailing Troy into adopting laws that the Gay-Rights movement wants.

The truth of it is that Mayor Daniels was at her strongest when her vocabulary, forbidden word and all, was still her own.

Now she’s off balance and we don’t know how things will turn out.


P.S.     To round out the week’s hypocrisy, and to show that not all hard words will be banned in the Diversity Utopia, a couple of reasonably prominent Michiganians have shown their own inner contempt by applying the disgusting phrase “Tea Bagger” to Mayor Daniels, a double-standard repeated and repeated on the Internet.  Timothy R. Fischer, Deputy Policy Director at the Michigan Environmental Council, tweeted this last Saturday: “Troy Mayor, Tea Bagger Janice Daniels, wants to send $8.4 mill federal funds back to Wash, exposes anti-gay feelings.” It was re-tweeted by Hugh McDiarmid, Jr. McDiarmid is Communications Director at the Michigan Environmental Council, and a former Detroit Free Press reporter.  Need we even bother to ask if the Michigan Environmental Council needs to fear any repercussions?  Just kidding. 

And we have to mention a website named “Queerty,” with its tag line: FREE OF AN AGENDA. EXCEPT THE GAY ONE, (one of this week’s “Hot Topics” is “Bullying” ).  Queerty offered a piece Thursday under the headline, “How Should We Punish Janice Daniels, the NYC-Hating, Bigoted Mayor of Troy, MI?

Among the article’s suggestions “from a bunch of Queerty queers” of “the most appropriate punishment for Daniels’ original transgression and her further transgression of not apologizing appropriately?”:

  1. Let’s spam the bitch on Facebook. A campaign to mark her status as “Hate speech” has already succeeded, in a way: it aimed to get the offending Facebook status purged off her page, and it’s not there anymore, though she could have deleted it herself. I personally think flame-trolling her with messages is a little juvenile, but it could show her the sheer volume of people who are offended by her, nationally and internationally. Throw some foreign-language insults in there if you can… she’s probably xenophobic too.

By all means, you segment of America most satisfied your consciences are clean from all acts of hate, who see yourselves as most deserving of your “Mean People Suck” bumper stickers, who look down upon the rest of us with the meanest contempt because we still dare to question whether or not the homosexual lifestyle really is – as we’re told dailycompletely normal, ineffably beautiful, and in many ways, preferable – by all means you ought to take the Queerty queers’ advice and spam the teabagging bitch on Facebook because she referred to homosexuals as “queers.”

Then try not to choke on the irony.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Justice Derailed

holderIt’s been my opinion for some time that Attorney General for the United States Eric Holder, a self-effacing, witty, and pleasant man in person, is the most unfit person to hold the office in modern memory. By way of follow up to our recent unflattering comparison between Holder and former U.S. Michael Mukasey, I’d like to refer you to Ronald Kolb’s thorough examination of Holder’s history as an untruthful, unprincipled man.

This excerpt from American Thinker:

When Attorney General Eric Holder recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his role in the Fast and Furious operation, where 2,000 rifles were deliberately "walked" from the United States into Mexico, his answers at times seemed incredible and stretched the limits of believability.

A few months earlier, on May the third, Holder had testified before the House that he had only recently learned of the deadly and disastrous operation.

But a series of memos was uncovered by CBS News last October showing that during 2010, Holder had received at least five different notices concerning Fast and Furious from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center. He also received another memo from Assistant Attorney General (and long-time associate) Lanny Breuer.

But at the recent hearing, Holder stated three times that he had learned of Fast and Furious only earlier this year, after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona. Five times Holder testified that he never saw any of the damning memos.

Senator John Cornyn from Texas queried Holder. "Those are memos with your name on it, addressed to you, referring to the Fast and Furious operation. Are you just saying you didn't read them?"

"I didn't receive them," answered Holder. "They are reviewed by my staff and a determination made as to what ought to be brought to my attention."

Cornyn then asked Holder if he had apologized to Brian Terry's family. The exchange that followed showed a coldness and lack of sensitivity that was truly stunning.

Holder: I have not apologized to them, but I certainly regret what happened.

Cornyn: Have you even talked to them?

Holder: I have not.

But Holder continued. "It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that led to Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry."

The day following the hearings, the Terry family responded to Holder with a terse and angry statement. "Mr. Holder needs to own Fast and Furious ... the Attorney General should accept responsibility immediately. It is without question, the right thing to do."

That very same day, in an apparent attempt at damage control, Holder responded with a letter addressed to Terry's parents which he immediately leaked to the press before both parents had the opportunity to read it.

None of these events should be surprising considering Mr. Holder's controversial history.

The two events that Eric Holder is most defined by before becoming attorney general were his key roles while in the Clinton administration in obtaining freedom for members of the Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist group known as the FALN (also known as the Armed Forces of National Liberation). Holder would later follow that by facilitating a pardon for fugitive billionaire Marc Rich.

In looking back at both of those controversies, the similarities to Fast and Furious now seem eerie. Holder had proclaimed sympathy for the FALN victims, but only after the terrorists had been released. He also proclaimed ignorance of both Mr. Rich and the case against him, even though the facts clearly suggest otherwise.

Please read the rest ofThe Ethics of Eric Holder.”

Saturday, December 03, 2011

When It Comes to ABCs of Free Speech, LGBT Group Deserves an F

Homosexuality was once known as The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.  No longer.

Now homosexuals never shut up about themselves and their predilections, and it’s the rest of us who dare not speak its name – unless you want to be called a lot of names yourself.

Mayor-elect of Troy, Janice Daniels, is getting pounded for a months-old comment on her Facebook page referring to homosexuals as “queers.”

The city's newly elected mayor on Friday said she won't apologize for a Facebook status update she wrote five months ago referring to gay people as "queers," saying she was speaking for herself when she wrote it and she has a First Amendment right to use the language she wants.

On June 25, the same day New York voted to legalize gay marriage, Janice Daniels posted an update on her wall, "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."

Even though the update was written in June, on Friday more than 205 people shared it on their own Facebook pages, many referring to Daniels as homophobic and bigoted. (“Troy mayor won't apologize for 5-month-old Facebook status”).

From what I’ve been able to gather most of the small brouhaha on Friday seems to be coming from a single source, a homosexual spokesgroup called Equality Michigan:

"We are shocked and appalled and call on the mayor to apologize, and to endorse a nondiscrimination ordinance in her city that protects gay and transgender residents of Troy from the harm that such language breeds," the group wrote on its Facebook wall Friday afternoon.

Good luck with that effort.

Daniels didn’t actually do anything to anyone, nor call for the doing of anything to anyone. What she did was express opposition to homosexual marriage, and use the term “queer” where most Americans, responsive to our decades of operant conditioning, would naturally use the adjective “gay.”

Daniels’s critics, such as the executive director of Equality Michigan Denise Brogan-Kator, aren’t finding it so easy to demonize Daniels for saying “queer” when, as Brogan-Kator had to admit, “many LGBT people do use the word ‘queer’ as ‘a way to reclaim a word that has historically been used to hurt us, by the majority.’”

I’ll say they use the word. In academia the term is quite at home. There’s queer theory,” useful in the study of literature and philosophy for raising “questions about our ‘socially constructed’ categories of sexual identity.” There are also “queer studies,” available in all kinds of university “LGBT/Queer Programs,” both public and private. The Harvard Gazette proudly reported on the dean’s decision to appoint a director “to coordinate resources and develop programming in support of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer (BGLTQ) undergraduates on campus.” Harvard also has a "Queer Resource Center."

The University of Central Arkansas, showing they’re just as smart as Harvard when it comes to stringing letters of the alphabet together, has a resource that “serves the GLBTQQA (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied) community.” We don’t know yet if UCA’s campus speech codes have been used yet to expel any rambunctious students for using the term “questioning” with ill motive towards a member of the GLBTQQA community.

But it’s clear enough that both the Q-word and the Q-letter are completely A-OK when used by the MSWs and PhDs catering to the LGBT, BGLTQ, and GLBTQQA communities in the USA.

In fact, on June 25, the very day of Daniels’s Facebook remark, an article appeared in New York’s Gay City News under the headline, Queers Should Focus on Arab World and Iran, Not Israel.”

Then why is Daniels being called a homophobe, a bigot, and (the worst thing the Detroit Free Press can hurl at her), “a longtime activist in Michigan's tea party movement”? (“Troy mayor on defensive over gay slur”).

Because, as Brogan-Kator explains, when homosexuals use “queer,” they’re “reclaiming” the word “from the majority who have used it, historically . . . to hurt us.” That wasn’t Daniels’s intent, says Brogan-Kator, which apparently is how Brogan-Kator and her self-righteous friends  justify condemning Daniel’s use of the adjective as shocking and appalling.

And how does the LGBT community know what Daniels’s intent was? Well that’s simple: because she opposes same-sex marriage. Do you think any of these people would care if Daniels had written “Yippee! Now queers in New York can get married!”? Because Daniels opposes same-sex marriage she’s automatically defined by the LGBT community as a homophobe, a bigot, and probably a Christian religious nut. Saying “queer” has nothing to do with it. That’s just a handy excuse to go after her.

“Queer” is either a bad word or it isn’t. If the LGBT-BGLTQ-GLBTQQA community takes so much pride in reclaiming the word to define themselves, they have absolutely no business criticizing anyone for using it as a synonym for “homosexual”: that’s all Daniels used it for on her Facebook page.

I hope Daniels doesn’t apologize. She has done nothing to apologize for.

Mukasey on Islamism

If you still think it doesn’t matter which party is in the White House, compare the current Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, with his immediate predecessor, Michael Mukasey.

Mukasey was the third Attorney General under George W. Bush, after John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez, and in my view, the best of the three.

The current AG, Eric Holder, has become notorious for his willingness to reduce the Department of Justice to a political tool of the Obama White House. (Jessica Rubin provides an overview of Holder’s generalship in “Holder's Dept. of Retributionat American Thinker.) And when it comes to counter-jihad, Holder’s refusal to even utter the phrase “radical Islam” is emblematic of how, since January 2009, the nation’s counterjihad efforts have had to manage as best they can under a chief law enforcement officer of the United States whose response to the country’s struggle against these enemies is to conduct an ideological boycott.

By way of a refreshing contrast, this September former Attorney General Mukasey gave a clear and wide-ranging speech on “Executive Power in Wartime” at Hillsdale College.

I won’t try to summarize all that Mukasey has to say on the topic, but I am impressed at the way Mukasey pulls no punches in naming the enemy:

What bin Laden stood for was Islamism, which—insofar as it holds the U.S. in a weird combination of awe and contempt—has been incubating for about as long as we have known about the other two “isms” that we successfully conquered in the last century. As a movement distinct from the religion of Islam itself, Islamism traces back to Egypt in the 1920s, when the loosely organized Muslim Brotherhood was established by a man named Hassan al-Banna. Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood as a reaction to the modernizing influence of Kemal Ataturk, who dismantled the shell of what was left of the Muslim caliphate in Turkey, banned the fez and headscarves, and dragged his country into the 20th century.

Mukasey then offers a concise history of the Muslim Brotherhood, explaining how al-Banna’s principal disciple, educator Sayyid Qutb, while on a visiting fellowship to America, was shocked by the decadence of small-town America, (“the ‘animal-like mixing of the sexes, even in church”), and returned to Egypt and joined the Muslim Brotherhood. Based on what he saw of Americans’ numbness to spiritual values, Qutb decided “that Muslims must regard ‘the white man, whether European or American . . . [as] our first enemy.’” Adherents of Qutb, and his brother, who fled Egypt under Nasser and taught the doctrine in Saudi Arabia, included Ayman al-Zawahiri, Omar Abdel Rahman, “the so-called blind sheikh” (who was tried for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing in Mukasey’s courtroom when he was a U.S. District Judge in New York) -- and a young Osama bin Laden.

Through 2000 the WTC bombing and other Islamist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the USS  Cole, were still being treated as crimes, said Mukasey, “despite the fact that in 1996, and again in 1998, Osama bin Laden declared that he and his cohorts were at war with the United States.”

Then came September 11, and to the call “bring them to justice” was added the call “bring justice to them.” We were told that we were at war more than 50 years after Sayyid Qutb determined that Islamists would have to make war on us, about 15 years after Islamists had made it clear that they were training for war with us, and five years after Osama bin Laden made it official with a declaration of war.

In fighting Islamism, we are handicapped at the strategic level by the refusal of those in authority to acknowledge the goals of our adversaries. Those goals are essentially political, and involve the recreation of an Islamic caliphate and the imposition of Sharia law over as broad a swath of the world as possible. This is a profoundly anti-democratic movement at its core, and it regards the whole idea of man-made law as anathema. Instead, we try to be inoffensive by using a term that originated in the administration in which I served, and we refer to a war on terror or terrorism. People who wish to quibble about what it is we are at war with take the discussion off into absurdity. One such person is the President’s Assistant for National Security, John Brennan, who, before an audience at the Center for Strategic Studies, ridiculed the idea of a war on terrorism or on terror, saying it is impossible to have a war on a means or a state of mind.

This lack of clarity also distorts the view of policy makers about what is happening in the Middle East, and so they daydream about democratic movements when the reality on the ground is more populist than democratic. The principal beneficiary of populism is more likely to be the Muslim Brotherhood than the local spokesman for Facebook. The credo of the Muslim Brotherhood is succinct and chilling: Allah is our goal, the Prophet Muhammad is our leader, the Qu’ran is our constitution, jihad is our way, and death in the way of Allah is our promised end.

Can you imagine that Eric Holder – or any other person likely to be appointed Attorney General in a second Obama administration -- would be remotely capable of this kind of forthrightness when it comes to Islam? Holder is so much a political creature that, over the objections of FBI agents and his own federal prosecutors in Dallas, Texas, Holder’s DOJ blew off an opportunity to prosecute a “substantial” case against Omar Ahmad and CAIR for illegally funneling money to Hamas. According to the Jim Kouri at the Examiner, “given the politicization of the Justice Department under Eric Holder, it certainly appears that Justice officials dropped this case in order to appease radical Islamic groups.” (“Holder allegedly protected Hamas-linked CAIR for political reasons”).

The presidential campaign has left a lot of us uninspired.

Maybe it would help to refocus on the achievable possibility, at a minimum, of a Chief Executive who actually knows there’s a war going on.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Al-Banna Had a Baby

Early Friday morning, the Obama administration announced its decision to back “the Arab street” in Egypt:

issuing a call for the Egyptian military to quickly hand over power to a civilian, democratically elected government.

In so doing, the president opened up a litany of risks, exposing a fault line between the U.S. and the Egyptian military which, perhaps more than any other entity in the region, has for 30 years served as the bulwark protecting a critical U.S. concern in the Middle East: the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

In explicitly warning the military to swiftly begin a "full transfer of power" to a civilian government in a "just and inclusive manner," the White House served notice that the army in Egypt would continue to receive the Obama administration's support only if it, in turn, supported a real democratic transition. (“Obama sides with 'the street' in Egypt”).

President Obama had been hoping to ride the fence on this, but as usual forces beyond his control – and beyond his demonstrated ability to manage – have forced him into being decisive -- decisively wrong.

Even liberal observers recognize that supporting a movement whose public face is a mob of demonstrators with uncertain motives is a big risk. (Didn’t the Democrats just learn this lesson with Occupy Wall Street?).

Martin S. Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, says Obama’s message to the Egyptian military is, "We want you to play the role of midwife to democracy, not the role of military junta."

Indyk also says this strategy is “a high-risk one,” but his mealy-mouthed English offers a great example of why diplomats’ fuzzy thinking does more harm than good. Indyk admits that the ones who benefit most from a rushed “transition” to civilian rule are “the Islamists,” but then blurs the danger by calling them “the people who don't necessarily have our best interests in mind,” and “who might not be as wedded to the peace treaty [with Israel] as the military.”

Let’s clean up Indyk’s spongecake English a bit. The Islamists Indyk says “don’t necessarily have our best interests in mind” don’t have our best interests in mind. And the ones who “might not be as wedded to the peace treaty as the military”  hate the peace treaty, because they want Israel to be destroyed. When Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi returned from exile to Cairo last February, his speech in Tahrir Square got the crowd of a million chanting ““To Jerusalem we go, for us to be the Martyrs of the Millions.”

Only people who talk like Indyk have trouble figuring that out.

“The Islamists” are the Muslim Brotherhood, the group whom all the Middle East experts agree are the most highly organized and best situated to win a majority in a parliamentary election through their political front, the Freedom and Justice Party.

But for anyone, whether it’s the Egyptian military or the U.S. or any of the western powers, to play “midwife to democracy” requires that what Egypt is laboring to being forth is, in fact, democracy.   And that depends on who the baby daddy is.

Jeff Jacoby wrote last winter:

The Brotherhood is the world's most influential Islamist organization, and Islamism -- the radical ideology that seeks the submission of all people to Islamic law -- is perhaps the most virulent antidemocratic force in the world today. In Daniel Pipes's phrase, "it is an Islamic-flavored version of totalitarianism." Like other totalitarian cadres, Islamists despise democratic pluralism and liberty in principle. But they are quite ready to make use of elections and campaigns as tactical stepping-stones to power.

As with Adolf Hitler in 1933 or the Czechsolovak communists in 1946, Islamists may run for office and hold themselves out as democrats; but once power is in their grasp, they do not voluntarily relinquish it. Just months after Hamas, a self-described "wing of the Muslim Brotherhood," won a majority of seats in the Palestinian elections in 2006, it violently seized control of the Gaza Strip. More than 30 years after Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran promising representative democracy, the Islamist dictatorship he built instead remains entrenched. (“No room at the table for the Muslim Brothers”).

Last February in Tahrir Square Qaradawi saluted “the Egyptian army, which is the shield of the people and its support . . . [b]y Allah, they will not let me down.” He also told his minions: “Beware of the hypocrites, who are ready to put on a new face every day.” On Tuesday he was criticizing the military, calling for “quick elections.” On Thursday he returned to Cairo.

Indyk interprets Obama throwing in with the “Arab street’ (gawd, I hate that expression) in demanding quick elections, as the U.S. “essentially coming down on the side of democracy."

We’re not. To improve on that irritating slogan of the American liberal “street,” this is not what democracy looks like.

We’re coming down on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of the mob.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Open Wide and Say ‘Shari-AAAAAH’

There is no Sharia Law in Dearborn.”

-- Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly

If the allegations in a sex discrimination lawsuit reported in The Detroit News are true, then a male nurse was fired from a city-funded health clinic for violating Islamic rules against males treating Muslim females:

John Benitez Jr. . . . . worked at the city's taxpayer-funded health clinic. He alleges he was ordered by a female supervisor not to treat conservative Muslim women, specifically those wearing head scarves, according to the lawsuit. He was told the clinic's male Muslim clients did not want a male treating female patients.

He complied until November 2010, when a doctor ordered him to treat Muslim women as he would any other patient, the suit claimed. Benitez followed the doctor's order and was fired less than one month later, according to the lawsuit. (“Male nurse claims he lost job for treating Muslim women in scarves”).

I have not yet seen the lawsuit, so my opinions are conditional upon the allegations proving well founded.

For now, though, having Dawud Walid taking the clinic’s side tends to support Benitez’s version of the story.

“Hospitals and health clinics routinely make accommodations based on religion,” Walid told the News.

“’In general, unless it is for emergency situations, many Muslims would prefer being screened and touched by someone of the same gender,’ Walid said.”

That’s as may be, but a patient requesting accommodation is another matter.  This sounds more like a case of clinic management adopting a sexually discriminatory treatment policy in response to the demands of Muslim men – a policy Benitez lost his job for violating.

If taxpayer-funded clinics in Dearborn are adopting discriminatory policies to accommodate Islamic law, then once again Jack O’Reilly’s repeated claims that there is no Sharia in Dearborn is being shown up for the nonsense it is.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Three Guys Named Hammoud

Something stinks.

On Friday Dearborn Police, at the request of the FBI, arrested Ali Hammoud, president of Bintjbeil Cultural Center in Dearborn, in connection with a cigarette-smuggling conspiracy in support of Hezbollah. (“Arab leader from Dearborn released from police custody”).

According to the FBI, Hammoud was arrested by mistake because he “fit a description on an arrest warrant. A man named Ali Hammoud was indicted in 2003 in a conspiracy involving the sale of illegal cigarettes to support Hezbollah.”

So after talking to the banquet hall  Hammoud, the FBI let him go. According to Hammoud’s lawyer, Majed Moughni, "It's mind-boggling; it's uncalled for. To do this to one of the most respected members of the community, it's a slap in the face."

Well, it’s not mind-boggling, but a word on that later.   And even a lawyer ought to grasp that mistakes are usually “uncalled for.”  After Hammoud was released Moughni took a more moderate tone, admitting that the FBI “blundered."

But this is Dearborn. Law enforcement blunders are opportunities for the area’s Islamists to make mischief, usually by demanding  tighter shackles on terror-related investigations in the future. And at this stage it’s puzzling indeed how the FBI could have confused Bintjbeil Cultural Center’s president with an individual who fled to Lebanon several years ago, unless there is a factual link between the conspiracy and the banquet center.  But without knowing the facts behind the arrest warrant, I’m not going to speculate on that.

This early on a weekend, the response from the usual Islamist complainers has been low key, but I expect that to change. Arab-American News publisher Osama Siblani has already stuck his beak in.

"We will not rest until we find out what happened, and we want to make sure it will never happen again," Siblani said. "This is a respected community leader. I never doubted his innocence." (“Wrong man arrested: Head of Arab-American center in Dearborn released”).

If Siblani means that Hammoud is innocent of supporting Hezbollah, that’s especially rich, coming from arch-Hezbollah supporter Siblani. This is how Siblani sounded in 2006, when he was defending the open support by thousands of Dearborn’s Arabs for Hezbollah leader Sheik Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

"If the FBI wants to come after those who support the resistance done by Hezbollah, then they better bring a fleet of buses," said Osama Siblani, publisher of the local Arab-American News and an outspoken activist. "I for one would be willing to go to jail."  (“They're 100% American, and pro-Hezbollah”).

After an invitation like that. Siblani has no business griping if the FBI actually follows up in some small way.   And, no, so far the big-talking Siblani hasn’t gone to jail.

But speaking of blunders, do you know who else was helping Siblani sing the praises of Hezbollah back then? That would be yet another Hammoud (relationship to Hammouds I and II unknown to me), namely Abed Hammoud, the former Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor and, in 2006, leader of the extremist Congress of Arab American Organizations who led the rally of 15,000 “100% American” Dearbornites chanting “Nasrallah is our leader!” So where’s the blunder? Abed Hammoud was recently sworn in as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. (“Inside, Outside, Upside Down”).

Bintjbeil’s Hammoud may well be innocent of the other suspect’s cigarette-smuggling conspiracy, but his banquet center is well-known in Dearborn as a meeting place for Hezbollah supporters, known to local law enforcement as the Hezbollah Social Club. The cultural center is named for the village of Bint Jbail in southern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold, from which thousands of Shi’ite Muslims emigrated to Dearborn. “They're 100% American, and pro-Hezbollah”).  Last year Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah exchanged evil hopes for Israel there, and A-jad made a speech: "The whole world knows that the Zionists are going to disappear," he said to thunderous applause before a frenzied crowd in Bint Jbeil.”  According to Debbie Schlussel, an event she attended at the Cultural Center in 2006 featured speeches from many speakers offering in common “multiple statements about the Jews, cheers for the total destruction of and end to Israel, and support for Hezbollah, the Mujahideen, and the Martyrs.” (“What I Saw in Dearbornistan”).

And, as we’ve discussed here for some time, Dearborn is a big source of illegal contributions to Hezbollah. (“Dearborn, Michigan: Where Hezbollah Gets Its Laundry Done”).

In spite of attorney Majed Moughni’s outburst, there’s nothing “mind-boggling” about Bintjbeil’s Hammoud being suspected by the FBI of being mixed up in a conspiracy to support Hezbollah.

And what Siblani and the rest are concerned about isn’t Hammoud’s “innocence” or his standing in the community. They’re much more upset that the Detroit FBI is actually targeting Hezbollah in Dearborn.

And that’s what they’ll be trying to stop.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dearborn Bracing Itself?

Try as they might, media and other natural enemies of an undiluted Christian message have been unable to give the organizers of TheCall rally at Ford Field a black eye.

There was this lead in USAToday:

DETROIT (AP) – An area with one of the largest Muslim communities outside the Middle East is bracing itself for a 24-hour prayer rally by a group that counts Islam among the ills facing the U.S.

One would almost think that east Dearborn has been busily boarding up windows and stockpiling bottled water like gulf-coast homeowners facing the next big hurricane.

That’s not really happening.

Because no one with a shred of sense really believes that thousands of cheerful Pentecostals gathered for a giant prayer and worship service pose a threat to anyone, the media have had to turn to professional fearmongers to spice up their stories.

As we saw last week, CAIR’s Dawud Walid did his best to pretend that every Muslim in southeastern Michigan was in danger.  When even he didn’t think he sounded serious, he played the race card by accusing TheCall of feeding “divisiveness,” likening them to the “heydays of the White Citizens' Council in the turbulent 1960’s.”

The Detroit Free Press’s Niraj Warikoo took up the same theme in his coverage, emphasizing that rally organizers “were heavily targeting African Americans in Detroit, but most of the crowd was white.” (“Sides of faith collide at Ford Field prayer rally”). I haven’t been to Ford Field, so I can’t say what the proportions are, but the photo below of participants waiting to get in that ran with Warikoo’s story shows a fairly even mix. We already know there is significant participation from the area’s black clergy.


Or did the same kind of thing happen in the heyday of the White Citizens’ Council?

Anyway, every reporter knows that if the group you’re opposed to doesn’t live down to all the bad things you want to tar them with – like bigotry, intolerance, and violence -- you can always find a protest group who’ll gladly accuse them of all those things anyway.

So Warikoo and others have turned to the trusty Reverend Charles Williams II, whose words of wisdom on this occasion were, “God did not call us to hate.” Williams is Al Sharpton’s local Minister of No Justice No Peace ®, and he can always be depended upon to organize a march. (“The Preacher, the Prosecutor, and the Lynch Law”). If there’s one thing no one can ever accuse Al Sharpton of, that’s spreading hate, division, and intolerance.

This time, according to Warikoo, Williams’s counter-rally,  “featured Catholic, Baptist and Methodist pastors from Detroit, as well as gay rights and women's activists. Chanting ‘Stop the hate’ and ‘Spread the love,’ the protesters said the prayer rally inside the stadium promotes division and intolerance.”

Williams also managed to fill out his ranks with some unoccupied Occupy Detroiters he came in Grand Circus Park across huddled under a blue tarp beneath a banner reading: “WILL HOLD UP SIGNS FOR FOOD.”

williams protesters

What better way to show their love for Detroit’s Muslims, whose religion by and large opposes both homosexuality and abortion, than by protesting on behalf of those things? I also thought the “DEMOCRACY NOT THEOCRACY” sign added some comic relief.

Though there’s no indication that any of them have been inside the rally, or even have any first-hand knowledge of what it’s all about, Warikoo makes free use of protesters’ comments:

"Their message is not one of inclusion; it's of hate," said Jennifer Teed of Detroit, who opposed Engle's prayer event. "I don't see how that's religious . . . .

“Cheryl Voglesong of Royal Oak held up a sign outside Ford Field that read: "Take Thy Fearmongering back to Kansas. We don't want it."

Terry Jones Update

A Wayne County Circuit Court judge hearing the appeal of Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp’s conviction last Good Friday in a kangaroo court proceeding before Dearborn District Judge Mark W. Somers has found the proceeding unconstitutional. As reported in WorldNet Daily:

The Florida pastor who wanted to protest jihad and Islamic Shariah law in Dearborn – but was jailed by a judge who worried about what he "intended" to say – has been cleared.

According to officials with the Thomas More Law Center, a circuit judge in Wayne County, Mich., has overturned the decision by Dearborn District Judge Mark W. Somers.

According to the ruling from Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolowski, Somers violated the constitutional rights of Pastor Terry Jones and his associate, Wayne Sapp, when he held a “peace bondproceeding last spring and ordered them to pay a $1 peace bond and ordered them not to go into the vicinity of a Muslim mosque, including on the surrounding public property, for three years.

Because the “bond” violated their constitutional free speech rights, they refused to pay, and the judge locked them up overnight.

Somers had required the bond because of what he thought the men intended to say.

But the Thomas More Law Center appealed the verdict, and the decision was overturned.

“Pastor Jones had committed no crime and was not charged with a crime. Yet, he was forced into court and ultimately jailed because he intended to speak out against jihad and Shariah law,” said Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the center.

“Regardless of how one feels about Pastor Jones, he has a constitutionally protected free speech right to express his message. The heavy-handed actions of the city of Dearborn and the Wayne County prosecutor’s office give us a glimpse of how imposition of Shariah law, which forbids any criticism of Islam, will destroy that fundamental constitutional right.” (“Judge says people can't be jailed over intended speech”).

Thompson isn’t exaggerating. Behind last April’s legal fiasco was an absolute determination the area’s political and law enforcement officials to enforce a ban on speech criticizing Islam. Mayor Jack O’Reilly, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Chief of Police Ronald Haddad, and Judge Mark Somers – every one of them – abused their offices rather than stand up to Dearborn’s imams.

Christians ‘Definitely’ More Afraid After ‘Arab Spring’


David Ignatius writes an informative article at the Washington Post about those living in Cairo’s “Garbage City”:

Cairo’s Christians worry about Egypt’s next chapter

By David Ignatius, Published:November 8


Coptic Christians are worried about their future in the new Egypt, as I could see Thursday night at a political rally in a poor Coptic neighborhood known here as Garbage City.

Gathered in an alleyway framed by heaps of trash, and Christian symbols decorating every nearby wall, the residents heard a simple message: To protect their families, Christians must vote in the parliamentary elections that begin late this month. Otherwise, Egypt may be controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is mobilizing its own supporters.

“Muhammad and John need to live side by side,” admonished one of the speakers, arguing that Christians must fight for a secular state that will be moderate and tolerant.“If you don’t go vote, you have only yourself to blame for the consequences.”

Christians have “definitely” become more afraid since the revolution, explained Dina Beshay, a 29-year-old woman from the neighborhood. If the Muslim Brotherhood gained power, it would be a “big shock,” she said, because Christians would feel marginalized. “It is impossible for us to live in constant fear.”

This issue of sectarian tension lurks behind the election campaign now being waged across Egypt. People don’t often speak about it directly, but it’s an abiding fear here — as in most other countries shaken by the Arab Spring. The question is whether, as democracy empowers Islamist parties across the Arab world, Christian minorities will have a viable future.

The rally here was organized by the Free Egyptians Party, a secular, pro-market group founded by Naguib Sawiris, who is one of Egypt’s wealthiest businessmen and a prominent member of the Coptic minority. The party aims to get a turnout of 85 percent of the roughly 40,000 eligible voters in this district, who are mostly Copts.

Garbage City is an unforgettable spot, a vision that might have been imagined by a surrealistic movie director. Pickup trucks rumble in with towering loads of rubbish, which is picked over for anything that can be recycled. Fires burn across this trash landscape. Because garbage collection is seen by Muslims as “unclean” (garbage is fed to pigs), this work for untold generations has mostly been done by Christians, who labor in their gritty stalls surrounded by icons and crosses and posters of Jesus.

My guides were Karim Abadir and Omar Khashaba, two party officials. Abadir, an economics professor in London, says he came back to Egypt after the revolution to “stand my ground” as a Copt and be part of the new Egypt. “When Christians tell me they have no future in Egypt, my response is, ‘Go vote,’ ” he says.

Abadir was injured in the Oct. 9 Maspero incident, when police and the army attacked demonstrators who were protesting the burning of churches; 27 people died in the violence, mostly Christians. A Muslim who joined the marchers told me there was sectarian tension on both sides, with Copts chanting, “We are owners of the land” (meaning that Copts were in Egypt before Islam), and Muslims responding, “Islam, Islam.”

I talked with Christians from many areas of Cairo last week to gauge their worries. Every one of them expressed anxiety, but most said they remained hopeful that a democratic Egypt will remain tolerant of minorities. A sign of their wariness was that many asked me to use only their first names.

A woman named Nesrine said that every Sunday at her church in Heliopolis, several more Coptic families announce they are leaving the country. Nesrine has a Canadian passport, and her husband wants to move, but she’s waiting to see what the elections bring. The priests at her church are trying to calm the flock, telling them: “We have to stay. We have to take our place in our country.”

A woman named Raymonda, who lives in a mixed neighborhood and doesn’t attend church, says she fears the “very negative feelings to Christians” since the revolution. She doesn’t have another passport and never thought she would need one, but now she wonders. Her husband argues that they shouldn’t delay until it’s too late. “I don’t want to lose hope,” she says. “I want to bet on the Egyptian people.”

At a gathering of students and faculty at the Gerhart Center of the American University in Cairo, people talk honestly about religious tensions. They fervently hope this issue doesn’t subvert the promise of the revolution.

The Muslim woman who marched with the Christians to Maspero remembers hearing the sectarian chants, back and forth. “I started to cry,” she says. “I hated both sides.”


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Krauthammer Asks ‘Who Lost Iraq?’

As if there could be any doubt.  From Charles Krauthammer and NRO:

Who Lost Iraq?

You know who.

Barack Obama was a principled opponent of the Iraq War from its beginning. But when he became president in January 2009, he was handed a war that was won. The surge had succeeded. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been routed, driven to humiliating defeat by an Anbar Awakening of Sunnis fighting side-by-side with the infidel Americans. Even more remarkably, the Shiite militias had been taken down, with American backing, by the forces of Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. They crushed the Sadr militias from Basra to Sadr City.

Al-Qaeda decimated. A Shiite prime minister taking a decisively nationalist line. Iraqi Sunnis ready to integrate into a new national government. U.S. casualties at their lowest ebb in the entire war. Elections approaching. Obama was left with but a single task: Negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to reinforce these gains and create a strategic partnership with the Arab world’s only democracy.

He blew it. Negotiations, such as they were, finally collapsed last month. There is no agreement, no partnership. As of December 31, the American military presence in Iraq will be liquidated.

And it’s not as if that deadline snuck up on Obama. He had three years to prepare for it. Everyone involved, Iraqi and American, knew that the 2008 SOFA calling for full U.S. withdrawal was meant to be renegotiated. And all major parties but one (the Sadr faction) had an interest in some residual stabilizing U.S. force, like the postwar deployments in Japan, Germany, and Korea.

Three years, two abject failures. The first was the administration’s inability, at the height of American post-surge power, to broker a centrist nationalist coalition governed by the major blocs — one predominantly Shiite (Maliki’s), one predominantly Sunni (Ayad Allawi’s), one Kurdish — that among them won a large majority (69 percent) of seats in the 2010 election.

Vice President Joe Biden was given the job. He failed utterly. The government ended up effectively being run by a narrow sectarian coalition where the balance of power is held by the relatively small (12 percent) Iranian-client Sadr faction.

The second failure was the SOFA itself. The military recommended nearly 20,000 troops, considerably fewer than our 28,500 in Korea, 40,000 in Japan, and 54,000 in Germany. The president rejected those proposals, choosing instead a level of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

A deployment so risibly small would have to expend all its energies simply protecting itself — the fate of our tragic, missionless 1982 Lebanondeployment — with no real capability to train the Iraqis, build their U.S.-equipped air force, mediate ethnic disputes (as we have successfully done, for example, between local Arabs and Kurds), operate surveillance and special-ops bases, and establish the kind of close military-to-military relations that undergird our strongest alliances.

The Obama proposal was an unmistakable signal of unseriousness. It became clear that he simply wanted out, leaving any Iraqi foolish enough to maintain a pro-American orientation exposed to Iranian influence, now unopposed and potentially lethal. Message received. Just this past week, Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurds — for two decades the staunchest of U.S. allies — visited Tehran to bend a knee to both Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It didn’t have to be this way. Our friends did not have to be left out in the cold to seek Iranian protection. Three years and a won war had given Obama the opportunity to establish a lasting strategic alliance with the Arab world’s second most important power.

He failed, though he hardly tried very hard. The excuse is Iraqi refusal to grant legal immunity to U.S. forces. But the Bush administration encountered the same problem, and overcame it. Obama had little desire to. Indeed, he portrays the evacuation as a success, the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But surely the obligation to defend the security and the interests of the nation supersede personal vindication. Obama opposed the war, but when he became commander-in-chief the terrible price had already been paid in blood and treasure. His obligation was to make something of that sacrifice, to secure the strategic gains that sacrifice had already achieved.

He did not, failing at precisely what this administration so flatters itself for doing so well: diplomacy. After years of allegedly clumsy brutish force, Obama was to usher in an era of not hard power, not soft power, but smart power.

Which turns out in Iraq to be . . . no power. Years from now we will be asking not “Who lost Iraq?” — that already is clear — but “Why?”

Nous Sommes Tous Charlie Hebdo?

Last week as reported in the New York Times:

Satirical Magazine Is Firebombed in Paris

Charlie HebdoBy DAVID JOLLY

PARIS — The office of a French satirical magazine here was badly damaged by a firebomb early on Wednesday, the publisher said, after it published a spoof issue “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections. The publication also said hackers had disrupted its Web site.

untitledThe magazine, Charlie Hebdo, had announced a special issue for publication Wednesday, renamed “Charia Hebdo,” a play on the word in French for Shariah law.

The magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, told Europe 1 radio that the police had called just before 5 a.m. to report a fire of criminal origin. News reports said a Molotov cocktail had been thrown through a window. The special edition was on its way to the newsstands, the editor said, and will appear as scheduled.

But, he added: “We are homeless and we have no way to put out the magazine. We hope this won’t be the last issue.”

“We can’t put out the magazine under these conditions,” he said. “The stocks are burned, smoke is everywhere, the paste-up board is unusable, everything is melted, there’s no more electricity.”

The magazine’s Web site appeared to have been restored by early Wednesday.

Caustically ironic and vulgar, Charlie Hebdo prides itself on being offensive to virtually everyone. It has drawn the ire of Muslim activists before, including in 2006, after it republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Islamic law usually forbids depictions of the prophet. The edition of Charlie Hebdo that apparently inspired the fire-bombing showed a cartoon of Muhammad and the words: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”

A Turkish hacker has taken credit for the website attack.  He’s now threatening to attack the website of the left-leaning French daily, Liberation, which offered space to the Charlie Hebdo staff and helped them put out their last issue. 

No one surpasses me in disliking the French;  I once spent 30 hours in Paris, and the experience is still seared into my memory like one of the more horrifying episodes of the Twilight Zone

But the French deserve their due.  After all, they’ve banned the burka.  And their leftists are still free to ridicule anything and everything, including Islam – (and, more important: it occurs to them to do so).  Our highly disciplined American lefties only imagine they’re  free to ridicule everything, when actually all they ever think to go after are  Christians and the Tea Party – they’d never dream of making a crack against the religion of the Prophet.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Revival Gets Rile Welcome, or, Your Fast Is My Furious

Muslim Brotherhood envoy Dawud Walid is directing area mosques to step up security.  A lot of Crusaders are coming to town!

As reported in Thursday’s The Detroit News (“Christian call to prayer riles Muslims”):

Dearborn — The local head of a national Muslim civil rights group says a Christian prayer summit to be held at Ford Field next week promotes anti-Muslim sentiment and is warning local mosques to step up their security.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — Michigan, met Wednesday with Muslim activists to voice his concern over the rhetoric he fears could be at the center of the event Nov. 11.

"There's a bigger force or movement behind this prayer summit and how they're literally demonizing Muslims," he said.

But Metro Detroit pastors involved in the event say the gathering is merely meant to help Detroit, not target Muslims.

"I don't know anything about that," said Bishop Edgar Vann of Second Ebenezer Church. "People are coming here to pray for our city and that's what I'm concerned about. Christians will be praying, but it's open to anyone."

The Call is being promoted as a 24-hour long prayer event aimed at lifting the city out of its "greatest darkness." Its website says attendees will "gather to this city that has become a microcosm of our national crisis — economic collapse, racial tension, the rising tide of the Islamic movement, and the shedding of innocent blood of our children in the streets and our unborn."

Senior pastor Jerry Weinzierl of Grace Christian Church in Sterling Heights said the event is not anti-Muslim."It's not to pray against anybody," he said. "It is a very positive movement of Christians gathering together to pray."

Walid advised the heads of local mosques to "maintain security at all entrances, and make sure to notify the police immediately if suspicious persons congregate on mosque property."

Thursday’s headline that all this “riles Muslims” overstates the reported facts. The only one who appears riled is Walid.  And he’s just faking it.

Walid knows perfectly well that area mosques haven’t a thing to fear from “suspicious persons” congregating on their property. According to the legal giants who recently brought us the Terry Jones debacle, subjects of Wayne County already face arrest if they even dare to congregate on public property in a mosque’s vicinity. 

I don’t know much about The Call.  It sounds like a movement with Pentecostal roots, which places a lot of emphasis on demons and Old Testament prophecies and such.  This particular group also embraces goals that are multi-racial, pro-life, and include “Reaching Muslims with the love of Christ.”

What’s so bad about that? It’s not as if they’re moving in with tents, sleeping bags, and pet ferrets, the way Occupy [“Your Town Here”] has done.

Evangelistic calls to conduct spiritual warfare by fasting and prayer is hardly the stuff of a violent movement. Even Walid realizes he’d sound foolish to say otherwise.  He admitted in a recent article on a CAIR website that “The Call can pray for Muslims or other non-Christian group [sic], which they deem to be heathens to be guided aright; that is no problem.” (“The Call: Connecting Radical Theology With the Islamophobia Network”).

But never mind all that fasting, praying, and Psalm-singing at Ford Field.  Walid sees right through all that:

The direct issue is The Call in its theological crusade could be endorsing, perhaps even inciting zealous persons to go onto mosque and Islamic school properties, which are private properties, to commit provocative acts. Moreover, The Call and its direct supporters are bigots, who actively engaged in attempting to marginalize American Muslims from the socio-political fabric of their own country, America.

The Call is not uplifting Detroit or uplifting America with its rhetoric. It is actually feeding into the current divisive climate, which America has not seen since the heydays of the White Citizens' Council in the turbulent 1960’s.

Provocative acts?  Trespassing? All these people and all their supporters are bigots? 

The White Citizen’s Council?!

Is it only me or does Walid sound as if he’s getting weaker by the day?

Maybe it’s all those prayers.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Train in Vain

In the past few weeks, Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the U.S. and their friends have significantly stepped up efforts to eradicate all references to Islam from federal agencies charged with investigating terrorism. Groups like Muslim Advocates and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the ACLU, and media helpers like Wired and TPM Muckraker have teamed up on the narrative that the FBI is training its agents in Islamophobia. The only cure, naturally, is an all-out ban on any training that correlates extremist violence with Islam. Oh, and “a new ‘interagency task force’ to review the training materials — a task force including representatives of the Islamist organizations the FBI is tasked with monitoring.”

Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog writer Spencer Ackerman kicked it all off with a bomb-throwing exposé of FBI counterterrorism training:

The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.” (“FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’”).

Ackerman, who discloses that his wife works for the ACLU, previously criticized an intelligence analyst’s presentation to a Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office that “warns of a ‘Civilizational Jihad’ stretching back from the dawn of Islam and waged today in the U.S. by ‘civilians, juries, lawyers, media, academia and charities’ who threaten ‘our values.’” (“Justice Department Official: Muslim ‘Juries’ Threaten ‘Our Values’”).

Ackerman never bothered to report that the “Civilizational Jihad” phrase is taken directly from a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum obtained by the FBI and presented in the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2007.  If the phrase looks familiar, that’s because it’s anchored on our blog sidebar at the upper right.

The day after Ackerman’s Wired piece, Farhana Y. Khera of Muslim Advocates fired off a letter to the Acting Inspector General of the Justice Department demanding an investigation. Muslim Advocates has previously joined forces with the ADC, CAIR, and MPAC to counter government efforts to address homegrown Islamic terrorism. Khera has also posted advice on her Website “that tells Muslims not to speak with the FBI or other law enforcement personnel unless a lawyer is present.” Khera was also spokesman for a coalition of groups trying to stop Rep. Peter T. King’s House Homeland Security Committee hearings on Muslim extremism last spring. "Our first preference is for him to kibosh the whole thing," Khera said. (“Coalition urges halt to House hearings on Muslim radicalization”)

In her September letter to the acting inspector general, Khera cited Ackerman’s piece in Wired to demand an “immediate investigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) use of grossly inaccurate, inflammatory, and highly offensive counterterrorism training materials about Muslims and Islam used to train its agents and other law enforcement.” Her letter then dishonestly co-opted a September 12th letter from Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins to Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, completely mischaracterizing the senators’ letter as a “call for the administration to stop the funding of anti-Muslim trainers.” More on this letter below.

Next, MPAC president Salam Al-Marayati used Ackerman’s articles as a basis for an op-ed in the LA Times complaining about the “bigoted and inflammatory” views FBI agents were exposed to at Quantico. (“The wrong way to fight terrorism”). Claiming that the training “reveals a deep anti-Muslim sentiment within the U.S. government,” Al-Marayati threatened that if it isn’t “immediately addressed, it will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community.” MPAC’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood are well documented, and, as reported at the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, “has opposed virtually every counter-terror initiative undertaken or proposed by the U.S. government.” 

Aside from giving one another awards, there is no productive relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community.

But the most disgusting thing I’ve seen is the bizarrely misleading article by writer Ryan J. Reilly at TPMMuckraker, (“DOJ Official: Holder ‘Firmly Committed’ To Eliminating Anti-Muslim Training”). Perhaps in hopes of a fait accompli, Reilly attempted to credit the most extreme views of one of the DOJ’s dhimmi lawyers as the official policy of the Attorney General himself.

Beneath a gigantic head shot of Eric Holder, Reilly’s lead described Holder as “’firmly committed’ to nixing anti-Muslim material from law enforcement training,” and then makes use of quotations along this line:

“I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for,” Holton said. “They will not be tolerated.”

But notice it wasn’t Holder who said, this, but Holton.  It’s almost too cute.  In fact, Reilly’s article doesn’t contain a single syllable directly quoting the guy whose big head is in the picture, Eric Holder. (Reilly also uses Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez to put words in his boss’s mouth, confirming that the Attorney General “is upset.”)  No matter how weak Holder is on counterjihad, at the moment he’s preoccupied battling mounting calls for his resignation over the “Fast and Furious” debacle. I don’t believe Holder’s really that enthusiastic about launching a new counterterrorism policy premised on Islamic jihad having nothing to do with Islam.

Anyway, you ask, just who in the hell is Holton?

Dwight C. Holton is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Oregon in charge of – well, nothing.  Thanks to district office “musical chairs” arising from the prior U.S. Attorney’s departure after appointment to the federal bench, Holton happened to be serving as the second of two acting U.S. Attorneys presiding over the Oregon district at the time of the Christmas-tree lighting plot of Mohamed Osman Mohamud in Portland last year. Before that, Holton’s specialty was prosecuting environmental and white-collar crimes. The extent of his contribution on the Mohamud case was that “[i]n the 37-page complaint that laid out the allegations against Mohamed Mohamud, he is never once identified as a Muslim.” This would be the prosecutorial equivalent of rewriting The Godfather without once identifying Don Corleone as a Mafioso.

Holton called the outreach he did with the Muslim community over the course of his tour as U.S. Attorney for Oregon the most important work of his career, joking that he put on “10 pounds in lamb weight” and recalling having 15 to 20 imams over at his house for a halal meal that went until 2 a.m.

As soon as the new U.S. Attorney – not Holton, but the actual nominee -- was commissioned on October 5, Holton resumed being a line attorney – and a self-appointed spokesman for the Attorney General and the Ikhwan.

As for TPM’s Reilly, based on what I’ve seen here the guy is a shamelessly dishonest reporter. Before he decided to use Holton to channel hearsay from the Attorney General, he was falsely reporting that Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins – both reliable counterjihadists – were upset about federal dollars “flowing to anti-Muslim terrorism training.”   (This is the lie Farhana Khera exploited in her letter to the assistant IG).  His headline even falsely quotes them saying, “If Obama won’t do something about anti-Muslim counterterrorism training, we will.”  (“Lieberman, Collins: If Obama Won’t Do Something About Anti-Muslim Counterterrorism Training, We Will”).

Reilly cast a false light on Lieberman’s and Collins’s September 12, 2011 letter to the disastrous John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security, claiming that their concerns about “trainers spewing . . . bigoted information” was the crux of their complaint “that agencies providing grants to state and local law enforcement lack meaningful standards for counter-terrorism curriculum and an adequate vetting process for individual trainers.”

This is nearly the direct opposite of the letter’s purpose.  First of all, Brennan is a disaster in national security, who has publicly referred to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, “Al-Quds,” described jihad as “a legitimate tenet of Islam,” and is rumored to have earned the Secret Service codename, Nakba.”  The Lieberman-Collins letter is a public rebuke of Brennan for a half-assed “Framework” he offered for countering domestic radicalization: “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” Lieberman and Collins express their extreme disappointment with Brennan’s lack of effort on the Framework, noting, among other things, his failure to develop “rigorous counterterrorism training standards,” and failing to “explicitly identify the enemy as violent Islamist extremism”:

Our enemy has a distinct ideology, and that ideology has a name – violent Islamist extremism. The Framework, however, refuses to state this clearly. First, it says that we are at war with “al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents” and later more generally talks about countering “violent extremism.”

The first term is too narrow – and the second, too broad . . . .

. . . . Violent Islamist extremism has a particular – if twisted – message that must be understood and countered. The clearly stated goal of the Islamists is to establish a caliphate, or empire, within the Arab and Muslim world that would overthrow existing governments and impose upon the people a harsh and radical interpretation of Shari’ah (Islamic religious law).

If the senators talked this way at a Quantico briefing, they’d be banned for using grossly inaccurate, inflammatory, and highly offensive counterterrorism training materials.

At any rate, the senators did indeed call for training standards, but their focus wasn’t on alleged anti-Muslim trainers, but on a lack of rigor in defining and confronting violent Islamic extremism. In fact, the example they offer to Brennan of training failure wasn’t one of some innocent victim of FBI Islamophobic heavy-handedness, but the case of Major Nidal Hasan, “who was allowed to continue through his Army service in part because his commanding officers and fellow soldiers were not trained in the distinct difference between the religion of Islam and the violent political ideology of violent Islamist extremism.” Lieberman and Collins knew perfectly well that the failure to intervene with Hasan wasn’t caused by any “deep anti-Muslim sentiment within the U.S. government,” but by a culture of political correctness towards Muslims in the military that terrified officers away from reporting Hasan’s extremist behavior.

If anything, individuals facing  future Hasans will have even more to be afraid of if they report him, not less.

Since this media campaign commenced around September 12th, there have been these related developments:

  • October 13 – MPAC posts an “Action Alert” opposing creation of a Department of Homeland Security office “to ‘counter homegrown violent Islamist extremism,’ particularly focusing on the ‘ideology’ of violent extremists such as Al-Qaeda inside the US,” because MPAC claims “religiously laden terminology such as “Islamist” bolsters violent extremists and alienates mainstream Muslims.”
  • October 19 -- Obama administration confirms “pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam that some Muslim groups have claimed are offensive.”
  • October 19 –Assistant AG for Civil Rights Tom Perez expresses enthusiasm for Islamists’ demands for DOJ civil rights lawyers to “come up with a way to redefine” criticism of Islam as illegal “racial discrimination.”
  • October 20 -- the ACLU released its "Mapping the FBI" initiative, accusing the FBI of "mapping American communities around the country based on crude stereotypes about which groups commit different types of crimes."
  • October 25 – For the 10th anniversary of the Patriot Act, Muslim Advocates releases a 56-page report accusing “the FBI and other federal agencies of “’bad policing’ and flaunting the Constitution.”