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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Islamism’

The Dzhokar is Not Wild, It was Jihad

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

It seems that my suspicions about the motives of the Boston terrorist bombers were correct. This was not some crazy person going wild. This was a deliberate act based on Islamist/Jihadist fervor. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his younger other, Dzhokar carefully planned and executed it. Fortunately the death of one and capture of the other has to be one of the quickest end to a manhunt (of criminals of this magnitude) in U.S. history. It also seems to be clear that Tamerlan, a once assimilated Chechniyan who married an American woman, became a radicalized Islamist during a lengthy visit to his homeland.

It is still early in the investigation. But is unlikely that any new information will change the basic assumptions now being made. Radical Islam is behind the attack. I assume Dzhokar was somehow persuaded to join him in this effort by his older brother – who was somehow also able to convince him about about the justice of killing innocent people for “the cause.”

Everything that has been revealed about Dzhokar so far says “normal.” He was a popular out-going 19-year old; a completely naturalized citizen. He was enrolled in college, well adjusted and well liked. He was kind and considerate. There seemed to be no anger issues with this young Muslim. So far all those interviewed who knew him only had superlatives to say about him. They are shocked that he had anything to do with this. That a normal and seemingly well adjusted American kid can be so easily convinced to help commit a terrorist act of this magnitude is in and of itself is terrifying.

In this era of the ubiquitous surveillance camera, they were quickly identified as having placed the bombs. A manhunt ensued. Tamerlan was shot and killed in a confrontational major shootout with law enforcement officials. His younger brother Dzhokar was later captured alive although seriously wounded. Hopefully he will survive and will be interrogated.

There are a lot of unanswered questions. Are there any additional co-conspirators? What was their motivation? What precipitated their act? How could Dzhokar join his older brother so easily? Could this have been prevented with better security measures? How much liberty are we willing to give up for better security? …All good questions. But for me the one question that keeps coming up that I am not sure has an answer is how do we fight an idea?

As of now it seems that these two brothers were not a part of any organized terrorist group. They decided to act on their own motivated by the ideals of radical Islam.

These are the ideals that are behind every suicide bomber who blew themselves up in Israel. This is the ideology behind Hamas, Hizballah, and every other jihadist group in the world. This is what caused our problems Iraq after we eliminated Saddam Hussein and still causes our problems with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Just about every American soldier who was ever killed in the Middle East was killed because of Islamist radicalism. And let’s not forget 9/11. I don’t think there can be any doubt about that.

Yes, there are other non-Islamist radicals that can carry out terrorist bombings. That was made very clear by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma in April of 1995. But I don’t think it is disputable that Islamism is the biggest international threat to security in our day.

More than ever the focus needs to be on the idea rather than it does on any given group carrying out terror. Whether it is al Qaeda or any other group. This should be painfully obvious after the events in Boston last week. You don’t need more than one person to carry out a major act of terror. Not that al Qaida should be ignored. But it is the idea that motivates them that ought to be the main focus of counter terrorism.

This is something that anyone with half a brain should have known for the longest time. But in our politically correct world, connecting terror to a specific religion is counter to one of America’s most sacred values, religious tolerance. Government officials are therefore loathe to mention Islam and terror in the same sentence. While I agree that we ought not castigate an entire religion for the acts of a few, it makes no sense to overlook the obvious.

I am the first to say that the vast majority of Muslims living in America are not terrorists. Most of them love this country and want to live peaceful lives while practicing their religion freely. This does not mean that they aren’t anti-Israel. I’m sure that most of them are. They buy into the narrative of Israeli occupation being the source of all evil. But most of them would never support terror in pursuit of what they perceive to be justice for the Palestinians. But the root of worldwide terror is in Islam’s radical religious element. Ignoring this simple fact because of political correctness may be our biggest folly.

That said Muslims in this country ought not be persecuted. On the contrary. They have the same right as anyone else to pursue happiness and practice their religion in this country. But even they must realize the extent of Islamist extremism. Extra vigilance about Muslims living in this country must be part of our security considerations. Muslims themselves can be just as easily victimized by terrorist bombers as anyone else. A truly patriotic Muslim should therefore be the first to condemn it and understand why their community gets more scrutiny. They should welcome that. I’ll bet that some of them actually do welcome it.

If there is any silver lining here, it is that the media will hopefully finally realize what I have from the very beginning. That it is Islamism that is the enemy and not al Qaeda. Al Qaida is but one tool of many dedicated to the cause. There must be hundreds more like them. Who knows how many sleeper cells there are! Some Jihadist groups might only have two members as was most likely the case with the Tsarnaev brothers. There are a number of Jihadist websites that are dedicated to recruiting innocent Muslims into their cause and provide simple instructions on how to build devastating bombs with easily obtainable household items.

How stupid must the media have been not to have seen all of this till now? These websites did not happen yesterday. Well at least now it is being noticed. Much of the commentary I’ve seen since the bombing seems to finally be getting it. And that is a good thing.

I just hope that this new realization does not wear off so that we end up going back to a political correctness that ignores the real danger. If it does, then we will have learned nothing from what happened in Boston last week.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Preventing More Muslim Teenagers from Becoming Terrorists

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

The lesson from the Boston Marathon bombings could not possibly be clearer. Yet few people, due to various complications, will address that real issue.

Part of the problem is this. Most powerful institutions and people say that Islam is a religion of peace. There’s no problem, except for a few mysterious extremists who just seem to pop up either at random or due to American and Western sins.

The next largest segment says that Islam is an inherently violent and extremist religion so since the problem is Islam there’s nothing to do but to combat it directly in some form.

Both of the main Western responses, then, deny the importance of waging a real and serious battle within Islam.

Yet where do the terrorists come from? In the case of these two brothers, they were Muslims all of their lives and yet suddenly they became—without any major direct experience—radical terrorists.

The cause, of course, was revolutionary Islamist propaganda, especially but by no means exclusively, from al-Qaeda. There are literally hundreds of internet sites, videos, preachers, books and everything else you can think of that promote revolutionary Islamism. They tell Muslims that they should and must be revolutionaries and terrorists; they cite holy works to do so.

What the heck is there on the other side?

Let’s think for a moment about some of the things that don’t exist:

–A Radio Free Islam that systematically preaches (the last word is not chosen at random) an anti-extremist approach to Islam.

–Virtually no programs at mosques to explain why terrorist, Islamist and extremist Islamic positions are wrong and bad. Wrong because they don’t accord with what those who say so deem to be a “proper” Islam; bad because they are immoral, ruin the lives of those who embrace such ideology, and hold back the societies where enough such people have such a view.

–Remarkably little literature and remarkably few preachers—especially ones who are as well-financed as the radicals—that a young Muslim is going to read on internet or hear on videos or elsewhere which suggests an alternative path.

–Where are the videos? Where are the web sites? Where is the social disapproval among Muslims?

On this basis one could argue that there is no moderate—or at least no non-violent, non-revolutionary– Islam that can be developed. But that simply isn’t true. The works and the moderate individuals exist but they are not given support, even in Western countries, nor do they have the resources to wage the battle.

It is like the situation in the Cold War when the Soviets and their supporters were well-organized and well-financed but the social democrats, liberals, and conservatives opposing them were not. Not only the U.S. government–through covert and other means–stepped into the breach but so did lots of organizations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and others.

IN THE ERA of Islamism there are a lot of major problems in terms of its opponents’ responses. First, any Western, non-Muslim financing or help to those groups would be used to discredit them. Second, in a bizarre manner Western societies favor the radicals, giving them a good press and praise. Third, moderate Muslims are penalized and ignored.

Fourth, the ability to critique precisely what is radical in Islam and what is wrong with Islamism is handicapped by the successful effort to brand any attempts at making such distinctions as “Islamophobia” instead of a sensible fear of revolutionary Islamism. It is equivalent to branding any such attempt to critique Communism as anti-Sovietism. Communists tried such techniques but they only worked to a very limited extent.

Fifth, part of the last three problems is due to the far left’s (often pretending to be liberal) alignment with radical Islamism (the current world’s most powerful right-wing ideology), despite the latter’s repression of women’s rights, desire to murder gays, and opposition to just about everything else the left is supposed to believe.

Sixth, who cares that Islamist organizations that are mere covers for radical activities issue a statement decrying an Islamist terror attack simply because it was staged by some other group, wrong place, or at an inconvenient time? Let them campaign against radical, violent and intolerant interpretations of Islam or be exposed for who they really are.

Pearl’s Father: Execution Caused ‘Revolution’ against Barbarism

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Prof. Judea Pearl said at Israel’s Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers in Jerusalem Sunday night that the terrorists’’ brutal execution of his son Daniel “caused a revolution in our society’s struggle against barbarism.”

He added, “The notion of absolute good and bad was almost erased, but was reborn with the murder of Daniel in Pakistan.” Daniel Pearl, an American Jew who also held Israel citizenship, was working as the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in January 2002 by militant Islamic fundamentalists, while researching a story in Karachi, Pakistan.  Nine days after his abduction, Pearl was cruelly beheaded and the terrorists posted online a video in which Pearl stated, “My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish American…My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I’m Jewish”

Several months after his death, his wife Mariane gave birth to their son, Adam.

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said at the ceremony, “We want to remember all the Jews who were killed in different countries around the world because of their pride as Jews and their connection to the State of Israel. This is one united front in which we stand shoulder to shoulder with IDF soldiers and the entire Jewish people. When those who hate us seek to attack Jews they view Israel as the target. When our enemies attempt to attack Israel and don’t succeed they attack Jewish communities around the world.”

The War of Ideologies in the Arab World

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

If one were to ask an Arab what has happened to the Arab countries, and why the terrorism and extremism we see today did not exist in the 1950s and 1960s, the answer would probably point to the frustrations and struggles of dual identities: Arab nationalism and Islamism. After the collapse of Arab nationalism, Islamist movements and ideologies emerged to fill the void. The two developments that exposed the dangerous turn to extremism the Islamist movements had taken were the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the recent Arab uprisings, called the “Arab Spring.”

From the events of 2001 until the latest Arab upheavals, the West has pursued support for a moderate Islam in the region, to eliminate terrorism. Concepts such as a “new Middle East” and support for democracies rather than tyrants became prominent rhetorically. But do leaders in the West realize how rivalries and distrust persist among Muslims, between Muslims, and against other, non-Muslim minorities? Do the values of a moderate and pluralist Islam exist today or have they disappeared completely? If they exist, how can the West support such examples of moderate Islam?

Suspicion among Muslims and toward non-Muslim minorities has a long history, but has become aggravated especially now. Sunnis do not trust Shias and Islamists are suspicious of liberals, and tension is mutual, as each group reacts to the other. Many who do not belong to Islamist parties and who represent minority groups in Egypt and Tunisia are terrified of the Muslim Brotherhood and their more extreme counterparts, the so-called “Salafis” (imitators of the Saudi Wahhabis). An Islamist state could not be expected to guarantee liberty for everyone. Shias, for their part, are anxious about the power of political Sunnism and its impact on them.

Extremist and terrorist ideological networks are present throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The recent terrorist attack on Algeria, in which foreign hostages from Japan, Philippines, Romania, Britain and the United States were killed, is connected to the terrorist invasion of nearby northern Mali. Absence of security, arms smuggling from a collapsed Libya, and rising instability are aggravated, not resolved, by Islamists in power around the region. The horrible situation in Syria, with continued fighting between the regime and armed groups, is a breeding ground for terrorism. Lack of security and stability have spread in Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon no less than Tunisia and Egypt.

This shift to extremism in the Arab world did not happen overnight. After the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire beginning in the nineteenth century, Pan-Arabism came forward with a vision of resistance to outside rule through a “new” social order, conceived along Islamic lines. Some Egyptian and the Syrian representatives of pan-Arab nationalism believed in an authoritarian state that would unify the heterogeneous Arabs into a single nation and creed. Pan-Arab nationalism was secular, and was crystallised as a political movement in the 20th century by a Syrian Christian, Michel Aflaq, who founded the Ba’ath (“Renaissance”) Party in Damascus in 1940. Aflaq, a Christian, said that Islam could not be dissociated from an Arab nationalist identity, but that the state must be separate from religious institutions. As cited by Kanan Makiya in his 1998 book Republic of Fear, Aflaq wrote, “We wish that a full awakening of Arab Christians takes place, so that they can see in Islam a nationalist education for themselves.”

When Gamal Abd Al-Nasser took power in Egypt in 1952, the country became the spiritual home of Arab nationalism. But enthusiasm for this identity did not liberate the Arab nation from foreign hegemony; nor did it generate the freedom, development and democracy that the people and especially the youth desired. Arab leaders in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, as extreme ultranationalists, disregarded the principles of freedom and democracy. One of the main causes of the decline of nationalist ideology seems to have been the 1967 Arab defeat in the Egyptian-led war against Israel.

The failure of, and disappointment in, nationalism allowed Islamists to gain new ground. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, Muslim thought was occupied by the critical, philosophical views of reformers such as the Iranian Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani (1839-97), the Egyptians Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) and Ali Abderraziq (1888-1966) as well as others who favored adoption of Western cultural achievements while preserving Islamic belief.

Talking about Terrorism and Islam

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The first rule of Jihad Club is that there’s no talking about it. For the second rule, see the first rule. The culture of silence and terrorism denial is sometimes well meaning. Since the Bush days, experts on Islam have warned that the best way to defeat Islamic terrorists is to undermine their claim to fighting on behalf of Islam by refusing to call them Islamic. The sheer brilliance of this strategy was only partly undermined by its origins in Saudi Arabia, the country sponsoring Islamic terrorists, and by the fact that recruiting primarily takes place in media and channels completely immune to the voluntary speech codes adopted by the A.P. stylebook.

The average Al Qaeda recruit is utterly unaffected by whether the White House press secretary calls the group Islamic, Islamist or terrorist or militant. He similarly does not care whether Nidal Hasan’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood is called an act of terror or workplace violence. Such concerns exist only in the bubble of experts who offer shortcuts to fighting terrorism that don’t actually involve killing terrorists.

Muslims are more likely to see Al Qaeda as Islamic because it kills Americans, regardless of what the official representatives of the Americans call that killing. The reasons for this are to be found in the militant roots and practice of their religion. And the Americans who get to die, but do not get a vote on how their deaths will be described, know that Al Qaeda is a Muslim terrorist group. Only in the realm of the expert bubble is it thought that changing words can change how favorably Muslims will view the killers of Americans and how Americans will identify or misidentify their killers.

Largely though the denial is not well meaning. To the left, Muslim terrorism runs the gamut from being a distraction to a call for reforming American foreign policy. After Obama won two elections, the liberal has trouble figuring out what more reforms need to be passed and complains that all this terrorism is a distraction from truly important issues like Global Warming and school budgets, while the avowed leftist goes Full Greenwald and rants about drone holocausts in Pakistan.

After the Arab Spring, the withdrawal from Iraq and the coming withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Obama deftly maneuvering into a pro-Hamas position on Israel; it’s hard to see what else America can or should do to appease the Jihad. The left will always have its checklist, but even Obama knows that no matter what he says or does, the drones will have to keep flying because it decreases the chances of a major terrorist attack that will force the country into taking a much more aggressive posture against Islamic terrorism.

The new low-intensity conflict is big on things we don’t talk about. We don’t talk about the drones and we don’t talk about the terrorists we are fighting. Instead we talk about how great Islam is.

Talking about how great Islam is and not talking about terrorism is an old hobby for America. We’ve been at it since September 11 and no matter how many interfaith meetings have been held and how often we talk about how much we have in common, the bombs still keeping showing up.

All the projects for Muslim self-esteem, from world tours of Muslim Hip-Hop groups to NASA being turned into a Muslim self-esteem laboratory, seem like bad refugees from failed 70s solutions to crime. All that’s left is to hold midnight basketball events across the Middle East and call for prison reform and we might as well be back in the worst days of the liberal war for crime. The problem is not that Muslim terrorists don’t love themselves enough… it’s that they love themselves too much.

Islamism is not caused by poor self-esteem, but by a lack of humility. Americans are often told that they are not good enough to tell the rest of the world what to do. But Islamists are never told that at all. Instead they are told by their own religious leaders that their way is superior and ought to be imposed on everyone and they are told by our leaders that their way is superior but should only be imposed on everyone after a democratic election.

Muslimah Misogyny: ‘Muslim Women Against Femen’

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I recently reported deep concern for a young Tunisian Muslima who had disappeared after she posted topless photos of herself to protest the sharia oppression and subjugation she suffered as a Muslim girl. One controversial image showed the young Muslimah, Amina Tyler, smoking a cigarette, baring her breasts, with the Arabic written across her chest: “My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour.”

A Muslim cleric in moderate Tunisia called for her stoning death.  Tunisian newspaper Kapitalis quoted preacher Almi Adel, who heads the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, saying: “The young lady should be punished according to sharia, with 80 to 100 lashes, but [because of] the severity of the act she has committed, she deserves be stoned to death. “Her act could bring about an epidemic. It could be contagious and give ideas to other women. It is therefore necessary to isolate [the incident]. I wish her to be healed.”

There were rumors that her family had her locked up in an asylum. Such is the life of millions of Muslim girls that want to be free in Islamic society.

Thankfully, Amina’s story went viral and gained international attention. One of the more outrageous reactions was from the Ukraine-based feminist group, Femen, who staged a Topless Jihad Day, to stand in solidarity with Amina. It’s not what I would do but I loved the moxie and in-your-face action to call worldwide attention to misogyny under Muslim rule. These feminist activists  held “International Topless Jihad Day” in major European cities including Berlin, Kiev and Paris. They painted their bodies with slogans such as, “bare breasts against Islamism,” and they protested outside of mosques in various cities.

“We’re free, we’re naked, it’s our right, it’s our body, it’s our rules, and nobody can use religion, and some other holy things, to abuse women, to oppress them,” Femen member Alexandra Shevchenko said while demonstrating outside a Berlin mosque in freezing temperatures.

Finally, a well publicized response to the crushing subjugation of women under the sharia. But what happened next was ……. unforgivable. Reminiscent of the Muslim women who hold down their daughters for FGM (clitordectony), a group of Muslim women came out against the Amina Tyler supporters. “Muslim Women Against Femen” was formed to show that Femen “does not speak for all members of their community.”

The members of Muslim Women Against Femen encouraged other self defeating supporters to participate in Muslimah Pride Day. They are posting pictures of themselves on social media (see below) declaring that they are not oppressed. Well, bully for them. Are they really that selfish? Self absorbed? Inhuman?

If they are not oppressed then this campaign has nothing to do with them.

Millions of women under Muslim rule are oppressed like Amina Tyler and suffer unspeakable brutality under the honor violence code of Islam. What about them? How can these Muslimahs turn their back on their sisters?

“Muslim Women Against Femen” may very well choose to wear the niqab or burka or hijab but that is their choice. They can wear purple hair for all we care. But what about the millions of Muslimah who are forced to wear it? What about the millions of Muslimahs forced into marriage, beaten or honor killed?

The utter disregard of these Muslimahs for the fate of their sisters in other lands is either a depraved lack of humanity or a strange Stockholm syndrome. The mission statement of these supremacists is; “Muslim women who want to expose FEMEN for the Islamophobes/Imperialists that they are. We are making our voices heard and reclaiming our agency!”

This exclusive self-reference, typically encountered among adolescents, accounts for the scorched earth policy of Islamic supremacists. These Muslim women have no interest in the fate of Muslimahs victimized by the sharia because what happens to those unfortunate Muslimahs has no impact on the daily life or goals of Islamic imperialists.

Why are these Muslim women fighting those who wish to help Muslim women?  FEMEN were not demanding Muslimahs remove their cloth coffins or head pieces.  They were tyring to help the oppressed.

Here’s the thing – this whole “Muslim Women Against Femen” is based on a false premise. Nobody is stopping these girls/women from wearing  head and body coverings. But what about women who don’t have the liberty to choose. That’s the point.

Raping Women in the Name of Islam

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

While jihadis in Syria are importing girls from Tunisia to satisfy their sexual needs, their colleagues in Libya are kidnapping and raping women.

Last week, the father of two British women of Pakistani origin said that his daughters were gang raped in front of him by Muslim fundamentalists in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi.

The father, Awadh al-Barassai, said on his Facebook page that the women were part of a humanitarian convoy that was heading to the Gaza Strip.

He said that the women were raped in front of him after being kidnapped by Muslim extremists. He condemned the crime as a “horrible act.”

According to reports in the Arab media, the two women were gang raped in accordance with a fatwa [Islamic religious decree] issued by Jordanian Salafi Sheikh Yasser Ajlouni.

Ajlouni’s fatwa allows the jihadis to have sexual intercourse with women who fall captive during war.

The women who were raped in Libya obviously had not been aware of the fatwa.

That they were part of a human convoy headed to help Muslims in the Gaza Strip did not prevent Libya’s jihadis from perpetrating their crime.

The “pro-Palestinian” groups in charge of the convoy must feel a bit embarrassed about this crime. That is perhaps why they have been trying to hide the case from the eyes of Muslims and the international community.

What happened to the two women in Libya is a big disgrace not only to Islam, but to all those who sympathize with fundamentalists and terrorists, including the “scholars” and “sheikhs” who authorize such crimes.

Moderate Muslims who fail to strongly condemn the Muslim terrorists and rapists also bear responsibility for the crimes that are being committed in the name of Islam.

The gang rape in Libya will also cause tremendous damage to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. As of now, families of “pro-Palestinian” activists around the world will have to think ten times before sending their daughters on humanitarian aid convoys.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/raping-women-in-the-name-of-islam/2013/04/07/

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