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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Islamic’

Iranians Citizens Increasingly Support Peace with Israel

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Contrary to mainstream media reports, momentum for peaceful relations with the State of Israel is building among the Iranian people.

“I think there are many Iranians who live for the day that Iran has diplomatic relations with Israel,” says Mahyar Shams Ahmadi, who was born in Tehran 28 years ago but now lives in Toronto. “In my view, if you just look at relations between Iran and Israel, it is clear that it is in fact the ruling regime in Iran that is preventing diplomatic relations.”

Ahmadi is inspired by the high-tech advances and Western-style democracy that Israeli society has achieved.  “Israel is already serving as a model for Iran, and other countries, on how to treat women and minorities,” he says. “Much like Canada, Israel does not oppress its citizens and allows them to think freely without fear of being persecuted no matter what your religion or beliefs are.”

Ahmadi criticizes Iranian leadership’s view of Israel as “little Satan” to the US’ “big Satan.” He says he is embarrassed and saddened that the present Iranian government remains opposed to Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. “Even with a new president, it is evident that Iran’s government hasn’t changed at all, and it is no surprise that Iran still continues to fail to live up to their international obligations,” he said.

Other Iranians are a bit more optimistic. “I think that the prospect of Israeli-Iranian relations will look good within the near future, either through the collapse of the regime, or by reform of Iranian politics,” says Pedram, an Iranian presently living in Stockholm, Sweden. “The Iranian and Jewish people have thousands of years of cultural and historical connection with each other and it cannot be broken just because we have an oppressive regime at the moment. I can with strong confidence say that the overwhelming majority of Iranians, both inside and outside the country, strongly support not only peace with Israel but also better relations in general.”

Recently, Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf visited Israel as a guest of honor at the Jerusalem Film Festival. He received an award for his efforts to promote freedom and democracy in Iran and hosted a film screening of his recent film The Gardener, which was the first Iranian film to be filmed in Israel in decades. A number of his other films were also highlighted at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Crowds of Israelis honored him with standing ovations. Makhmalbaf was the first high-profile Iranian artist and former revolutionary to visit the Jewish state since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

By defying the BDS Movement and pro-regime forces inside the Islamic Republic, who forced the Iranian Cinema Association to boycott Makhmalbaf’s films, the director risks a prison sentence if he returns to Iran.

Still, Makhmalbaf says he is  “proud to have paved the way for Iranian cinema in Israel. Boycotting and writing statements does not solve anything. It only leads to war. We have to get to know each other through art, literature, and cinema, so we can become friends and end the hostility. That’s the reason I filmed my latest movie ‘The Gardener’ in Israel.” And, he adds, he hopes that someday soon, Israeli filmmakers will be able to shoot films in Iran.

Remarkably, more than 80 Iranian scholars, opposition group members, and human rights activists openly declared their support of his decision to come to Israel.

Visit United with Israel.

Rachel Avraham

Report: Saudi Missile Site Can Hit Israel and Iran

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Satellite imagery indicates that Saudi Arabia has built a previously unknown desert missile site with launch pads that can be aimed at Iran and Israel, the  London-based IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review reported Thursday.

Saudi Arabia has long been one of the most anti-Israel countries on the diplomatic front but reportedly has cooperated with the Jewish state, which it does not recognize, in several areas. The oil kingdom is no less concerned than Israel that a nuclear Iran could attack Arab states ruled by Sunni Muslims in an effort to establish a pan-Islamic region.

The missile site probably has “limited operational capacity,” according to Jane’s but could be a training and storage site.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jewish and Islamic High Schools in England ‘Twin’ with Each Other

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Manchester’s King David High School and Islamic High School for Girls entered into a twinning relationship and will hold exchange trips and lessons.

The Islamic-Jewish schools twinning project, which took more than two years to launch, is the first program of its kind in Manchester, though there are similar initiatives in London, the BBC reported.

Ten of the Muslim students in a recent visit to King David High attended a school assembly and answered questions about their faith.

JTA

House Subcommittee to Meet on ‘Worsening Anti-Semitism’

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on human rights will convene a hearing on anti-Semitism Wednesday, saying it is worsening, especially in Europe.

“It is getting demonstrably worse all over the world, but especially Europe,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is chairman of the subcommittee and also co-chairs the U.S. Helsinki Commission, the congressional body monitoring human rights.

He told JTA, “The Middle East is a cauldron of anti-Semitic hate, but much of that hatred is spilling out through the Muslim Diaspora and through satellite television.”

Smith cited spikes in reported recent incidents of anti-Semitism in Britain and France, and noted that it emerges from the far left and right as well as from Islamists.

“This is one of the times when far right and far left meet at the end of the circle,” he said.

The first panel to be heard by the committee will garner testimony from Mormon and Muslim experts on anti-Semitism in order to emphasize that the phenomenon is not a Jewish problem exclusively, Smith said.

The second panel will focus on Europe and will include testimony from Rabbi Andrew Baker, the top official dealing with anti-Semitism at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as well as experts from Hungary and Sweden.

JTA

Sinai Spinning out of Cairo’s Grip, Creating Major Headaches for Israel

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Recently, we wrote here about the great landmass on Israel’s southwestern border that “given its physical proximity to Israel, Sinai is not only an Egyptian challenge. That it gets such a small degree of media attention is a puzzle.” [See “Egypt’s Sinai problem and ours“]

Since then, there has been a new set of Sinai developments to absorb. Under the headline “Islamist gunmen kill three Egyptian policemen in the Sinai | Assailants ambush cops in El-Arish, shout ‘God is great,’ then flee“, a Times of Israel report says “suspected Islamic militants” carried out an ambush in the northern Sinai today, Saturday, murdering three Egyptian policemen.

The gunmen pulled in front of a police vehicle in an unmarked truck in the area’s main city of El-Arish, before standing up on the truck bed and opening fire, the officials said. They then raised a black flag associated with jihadis and shouted “God is great.” Intelligence officials said the suspects then sped off. The head of security in northern Sinai, Ahmed Bakr, confirmed that three policemen were killed in the Saturday attack. The incident was the most serious since terror cells killed 16 Egyptian security personnel in an attack near the Egypt-Israel-Gaza border in August. Since then, the government of President Mohammed Morsi has moved to try to quash the cells in the unstable Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Gaza Strip and Israel. [More]

Even before that terror attack, Britain’s Foreign Office had issued an elevated terror threat level warning for the Sinai on Friday. The British are advising against all but essential travel to the peninsula. They say [according to Daily News Egypt] that ”the terror threat level has risen from ‘general’ to ‘high’ in response to a number of incidents in the Sinai.  There are also reports that police in the Sinai thwarted a terrorist plot organised by Al-Qaeda last week.”

The Wall Street Journal happens to have run a serious investigative article on Friday dealing with events behind the scenes in Sinai, and focusing on El-Arish, scene of today’s shootings. WSJ’s Matt Bradley writes

[“Makeshift Islamic Courts Fill Void in the Sinai“] about the Sinai phenomenon of “a fast-expanding network of unofficial courts meting out Islamic law” in Egyptian Sinai.

“The rise of such Shariah courts is one measure of just how far the remote Sinai Peninsula has drifted from Cairo’s orbit and into the hands of fundamentalists intent on imposing a strict form of religious order.

The revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and his secular-leaning regime early last year emptied this vast desert region of police and most normal government services, leaving a rush of kidnappings, smuggling and terrorism in its wake.

Partly filling the justice void are judges such as Sheikh Abu Faisal, who punish offenders with fasting periods instead of prison sentences and levy fines paid in camels rather than cash…

Shariah courts have a centuries-long presence in Sinai as arbitrators over small disputes in which contesting parties agree to follow the judges’ verdicts, say legal experts and local politicians.

But since the revolution, and with the election of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, that system of mixed tribal and religious justice has begun to expand its role…

The Shariah judges’ expanding ambitions threatened state sovereignty in the mostly rural Sinai Peninsula, a regional flash point bordering Israel and the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip…

The government tolerates but doesn’t monitor the Shariah courts, said Ministry of Judiciary spokesman Ibrahim Abdel Khaleq. While Cairo hasn’t acted to tamp them down, Mr. Khaleq said their expansion “could be dangerous” if they challenge state authority…

Some legal activists in Cairo said they were concerned about the proliferation of Shariah courts in Sinai because of their radical outlook.

They offer no appeals, women’s testimony holds half the weight of men’s and some Shariah judges, including Sheik Beek, say they hope one day to impose Islamic hudud – punishments such as stoning for adultery and cutting off the hands of thieves.”

Al Arabiya’s coverage of today’s El-Arish terrorist killings points out what all of this implies for Israel’s security and safety:

“On September 8, an Egyptian official said there were about 225 tunnels in Sinai, 31 of which were destroyed. The tunnels are used to smuggle various kinds of products into the besieged Gaza Strip and the Egyptian authorities have often turned a blind eye to the cross border activity. Efforts to impose central authority in the lawless desert region are complicated by the indigenous Bedouin population’s ingrained hostility to the government in Cairo.”

Israel’s security establishment does not need much reminding of how easily and quickly the south can heat up and cause very serious problems.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

The Islamists’ Need to Feel Wronged

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When the truth finally came out that three loyal Americans and the American Ambassador had been murdered in Benghazi, Libya, on 9/11/12 as the result of a calculated terror attack and not, as the White House had been insisting for two weeks, a YouTube video made privately by an American and released months earlier, the President abruptly changed his discredited story, and surreally tried to slip the world into believing he had called that attack an act of terror all along.

It must be difficult for any American administration to deal with aggressors in the Muslim world; so far it has been treating them as if they were immature, spoiled children who must be given their way.

What America fails to, or does not want to, understand is that Islamic scriptures forbid Muslims to take non-Muslims as friends, or even as partners worthy of cooperation, compromise or equal rights: “O you who believe! do not take the Jews or Christians for friends…or helpers.” [Qur’an 5:51; 3:28; 3:118; 9:23; 53:29; 3:85; 3:10; 7:44, and 1:5-7; and half a dozen entries from the Hadith] Although for Western consumption there have been attempts to tart up how these verses are interpreted, throughout the Arab and Muslim world, they are clearly understood by most Muslims to mean what they say: “Smite the neck” means “smite the neck,” as can see nearly every week, from innocent civilians blown up on the streets, to the recent attempted murders of a teenage girl for the crime of wanting an education; for even allegedly mishandling a Qur’an, or for enduring gang rape].

One would think that America, after 9/11/01, would have learned, that, as “the true focus behind jihad…. is to defend, not destroy”, the Muslim world is constantly looking for excuses and cracks of weakness to confirm the need to feel wronged, to justify attacks on American and Western interests.

Muslims have learned from their history that terror works. They have also learned that for terror to achieve its goal of surrender, the Islamic tender touch must accompany the terror: both the Islamic father who holds the stick and the Islamic mother who hugs while the father is beating.

The US should also by now have understood that just because Islamic anger and terror are constantly on the search for these excuses, one must never fall for them. Islamist chatter in the Arab media and on Arab websites is constantly itching for confrontation and looking for justification for terror. It was possibly this mindset that prompted the U.S. embassy in Cairo to release the following statement condemning the video even before any attacks on the Cairo embassy:

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Four hours after the release of this statement, crowds stormed the embassy, destroyed the U.S. flag and replaced it with an Islamic flag. By issuing such a statement, the US embassy in Cairo, not only took the bait, it provided the bait by creating the excuse the Islamists needed. The anger in Egypt about the two-month-old video, which had to come out exactly on the eve of 9/11, should have been proof enough that it was merely a pretext.

As someone born and raised in the Muslim world, I know that Islamic anger and terror against the West lurks and lies in wait for any excuse to explode at the culture that is the object of their jihad. Jihad, once the pride of the Islamic world, is now an international crime that Muslims have learned to camouflage as self-defense. Not one mosque Friday sermon in the Middle East is devoid of cursing of the non-Muslim (kafir) enemies of Islam. As jihad is a violation of the rights of others, both individuals and nations, Muslims have become all too eager to assert their victimization by others, meanwhile looking for an opportunity for weakness in their prey, a flinch or an apology, which they consider a signal to do their holy violence.

When anyone dares to say jihad means violence, or when violence is committed in the name of Islam, the so-called moderate Muslims are outraged but manage to look the other way. The more some Muslims terrorize, while others stand by in denial, the more they confuse, soften and weaken their victim. While one face of Islam is doing the terror, the other face tells the world, we love peace, so please don’t you dare judge us by our terrorists because if you do, we will riot, kill, and burn. Both faces of Islam work together; one cannot survive without the other.

We now have an American president who refuses to make the American people number one for his empathy, and would rather cater to the outside world and to the cat and mouse game they are playing with American sensibilities. Many in American mainstream media and government have turned not against the perpetrators, but against the victims of Islam, whether they are Americans, Egyptian Copts, or apostates of Islam. To many in the government and in the media who think they know better, these objects of Muslim breach of trust are simply “Islamophobes” or “racists.” Members of the government and the media have denied the American people the right to identify their enemy and eradicate it. They have turned a blind eye to American victims of terror and their families and disregarded America’s need for a healing process based on justice. By saying that Americans and Europeans are to blame, Western governments and the media have, like the President, been refusing to treat Americans as adults.

America, with its superpower knowledge and status, has fallen for the old tricks of Islamic culture; many believe they must have done something wrong to deserve terror, if not over a movie, over a cartoon or a video or, as with kindergarten children in Africa, over a stuffed teddy bear. ‘How dare we deal with these dictators?’, they may think; or, ‘How dare we liberate these people from their tyranny?’ Human rights groups would say those were acts of aggression or acts of interfering with their internal affairs — and all excellent excuses for jihad.

Many Americans, unable to stand up and call the terror attack by its name, have reacted to 9/11 by blaming each other but never the perpetrator of the terror. That old Arab trick has always worked on many cultures, such as the Coptic Christians when Egypt used to be a pluralistic Christian nation and a superpower.

Consciously or unconsciously, the American people elected as their first president after 9/11/01, Barack Hussein Obama, a man proud of his Islamic heritage, who seems to have believed that during his administration, because of his unique heritage and understanding of Islam, he was best fit for bringing about a reconciliation between the West and Islam.

But when the Muslims did not reach out and take Obama’s “outstretched hand,” and attempted terror attacks were repeated under Obama’s watch, no matter how hard he tried, both Obama’s credibility and Islamic excuses were threatened, Obama’s legacy of being the only president in recent history who managed to have no major terror attack during his presidency, was destroyed. He now has nothing to show for having changed American/Muslim world relationship, except for emboldening Islamism by a refusal to say even one word to deter it. He now cannot say that everything he did was worth it for the sake of peace and that those who criticized his appeasement, his bow to the Saudi kind and his Cairo speech, were right.

Obama appears to have been aiming at a legacy of peace with Islam, but that legacy came crashing down with the terror attack on 9/11/12. The Muslim world was most likely disappointed with Obama who they thought was not appeasing enough. But then again, the Islamists always want more — more than what Obama or any other president can give them; they do not want co-existence, they want surrender.

Obama’s theory failed. He overestimated himself and his belief that he understands the Muslim world and will show future presidents how to do it has also failed.

In desperation, Obama pursued a policy of denial in an attempt to save face. He went as far as telling the American people, just like many Muslims do, that terrorism is really not terrorism and that it must be because of a logical reason and that Muslims are reasonable people without an agenda of jihad.

The video became the handy excuse not only for the Egyptian people to save face, but also for the Obama administration to save face. If that excuse came at the expense of the truth, or the lives of American diplomats and heroic Navy SEALS and servicemen, then so be it. Many Americans are proud they finally have their first black president, but as someone born and raised in Egypt, I see many similarities between Obama and the Arab leaders I grew up with. Obama might be best described as the first Arab president.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Nonie Darwish

US Supreme Court Affirms Conviction of White Collar Terrorists

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Lingering doubts that remained about the criminality of the organization frequently called the United States’ “largest Islamic charity” [NY Times] ended on Monday. That’s when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it would not overturn an earlier appeal that went against five officials from Holy Land Foundation convicted of illegally funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. That appears to be the final legal avenue open to the convicted men and concludes the case.

For years, in a pattern which to some of us is already familiar, the supporters of the convicts and their lawyers cast the Holy Land Foundation as being, at minimum, the victim of the extreme angst that afflicted the US after the events of September 11, 2001, as well as “an important case for religious freedom, and for civil rights” [The American Muslim]. The group “merely raised money for needy Palestinians”, it has been argued, and was never connected to any violence.

America’s tribunals of law and fact, one after another, came to a different conclusion. As a result, Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh were convicted on 108 counts in 2008 and will remain in prison serving sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years. Just in passing, a reminder that Mufid Abdulqader is the brother of arch-terrorist Khaled Mashal, “the main leader” [Wikipedia] of Hamas’ terrorist operations since 2004.

The fragrantly-named Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development started life as the Occupied Land Fund [US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List”, updated to October 18, 2012], from offices in Richardson, Texas. In 2007, US federal prosecutors charged the organization and its key leaders with funding Hamas and what it termed other “Islamic terrorist organizations”. Soon afterwards, the assets of the “charity” were frozen by the EU and the US, and it was forced to shut down. AFP’s November 2008 report of the criminal trial [AFP] said the group and its leaders were found to be “acting as a front for Palestinian militants” and called the trial “largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history”.

Far from being an innocent conduit for relieving the poverty of starving children in Gaza, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis who presided over the criminal trial said it plainly: “The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas”. The men charged and convicted were no mere givers of charity but knowing organizers of a conduit whose end-point was deliberate and well-chosen. The indictment said HLF and its promotors took steps to hide its terrorist-financing purpose from law-enforcement agencies by making a few token donations to harmless, non-Palestinian Arab entities. The bulk of it went to terror. A quote from one of the convicted men, Shukri Abu Baker: “We can give $100,000 to the Islamists and $5,000 to the others.”

Parts of the media in the US and outside it continue to frame this shabby tale in ways that seem calculated to sow doubt about the motivations of the convicted men and to hint at hidden agendas. In a Salon article this past Thursday, the popular website’s “assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing” writes [“SCOTUS to consider fate of jailed Muslim charity leaders“] what was done to the group formerly known as Occupied Land Fund:

“The Bush administration shut it down following reports that the group had donated a portion of their foundation funds to schools and hospitals in Gaza through a “Zakat” (charity-giving) Committee that allegedly had connections to Hamas.”

Their case has made it all the way up the almost endless legal chain for which the US is rightly famous. Yet she and her editors see no problem in insinuating that this was about “alleged” connections to Hamas; that “portion” of the money was channeled to Hamas; that the US government acted on “reports“. This is shamefully inadequate reporting from a source that describes itself as a “pioneering, award-winning news site… with an audience of 10 million monthly unique visitors“.

We’re less offended by the coverage given to the decision by one of the Iranian government’s most prominent mouthpieces, PressTV. Its report [“US Supreme Court spurns justice“] describes the convicted men as

“Five extraordinary human beings… wrongfully convicted and sentenced to long prison terms. They’re doing hard time in America’s gulag. They learned the hard way about being Muslims in America at the wrong time.

As Wikipedia describes, a large number of other parties – are they also “extraordinary”? – are caught up in the Hamas financing net, including prominent American Islamist groups:

In May 2007, the U.S. filed an action against the Holy Land Foundation (the largest Muslim charity in the United States at the time for providing funds to Hamas, and federal prosecutors filed pleadings. Along with 300 other organizations, they listed CAIR (and its chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmad), Islamic Society of North America (largest Muslim umbrella organization in the United States), Muslim American Society and North American Islamic Trust as unindicted co-conspirators, a legal designation that can be employed for a variety of reasons including grants of immunity, pragmatic considerations, and evidentiary concerns. While being listed as co-conspirator does not mean that CAIR has been charged with anything…

From here, the evidence appears to show the existence of an active and thriving Moslem Brotherhood hinterland in the United States delivering political and financial support to the terrorists.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/us-supreme-court-affirms-conviction-of-white-collar-terrorists/2012/10/31/

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