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Posts Tagged ‘islamists’

The Land without Muslims

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

There are countries in the world, mainly in Europe, that are presently undergoing significant cultural transformations as a result of Muslim immigration. France, Germany, Belgium and Holland are interesting examples of cases where immigration from Muslim countries, together with the Muslims’ high fertility rate, effects every area of life.

It is interesting to know that there is a country in the world whose official and public approach to the Muslim matter is totally different. This country is Japan. This country keeps a very low profile on all levels regarding the Muslim matter: On the diplomatic level, senior political figures from Islamic countries almost never visit Japan, and Japanese leaders rarely visit Muslim countries. The relations with Muslim countries are based on concerns such as oil and gas, which Japan imports from some Muslim countries. The official policy of Japan is not to give citizenship to Muslims who come to Japan, and even permits for permanent residency are given sparingly to Muslims.

Japan forbids exhorting people to adopt the religion of Islam (Dawah), and any Muslim who actively encourages conversion to Islam is seen as proselytizing to a foreign and undesirable culture. Few academic institutions teach the Arabic language. It is very difficult to import books of the Qur’an to Japan, and Muslims who come to Japan, are usually employees of foreign companies. In Japan there are very few mosques. The official policy of the Japanese authorities is to make every effort not to allow entry to Muslims, even if they are physicians, engineers and managers sent by foreign companies that are active in the region. Japanese society expects Muslim men to pray at home.

Japanese companies seeking foreign workers specifically note that they are not interested in Muslim workers. And any Muslim who does manage to enter Japan will find it very difficult  to rent an apartment. Anywhere a Muslim lives, the neighbors become uneasy. Japan forbids the establishment of Islamic organizations, so setting up Islamic institutions such as mosques and schools is almost impossible. In Tokyo there is only one imam.

In contrast with what is happening in Europe, very few Japanese are drawn to Islam. If a Japanese woman marries a Muslim, she will be considered an outcast by her social and familial environment. There is no application of Shari’a law in Japan. There is some food in Japan that is halal, kosher according to Islamic law, but it is not easy to find it in the supermarket.

The Japanese approach to Muslims is also evidenced by the numbers: in Japan there are 127 million residents, but only ten thousand Muslims, less than one hundredth of a percent. The number of Japanese who have converted is thought to be few. In Japan there are a few tens of thousands of foreign workers who are Muslim, mainly from Pakistan, who have managed to enter Japan as workers with construction companies. However, because of the negative attitude towards Islam they keep a low profile.

There are several reasons for this situation:

First, the Japanese tend to lump all Muslims together as fundamentalists who are unwilling to give up their traditional point of view and adopt modern ways of thinking and behavior. In Japan, Islam is perceived as a strange religion, that any intelligent person should avoid.

Second, most Japanese have no religion, but behaviors connected with the Shinto religion along with elements of Buddhism are integrated into national customs . In Japan, religion is connected to the nationalist concept, and prejudices exist towards foreigners whether they are Chinese, Korean, Malaysian or Indonesian, and Westerners don’t escape this phenomenon either. There are those who call this a “developed sense of nationalism” and there are those who call this “racism”. It seems that neither of these is wrong.

And Third, the Japanese dismiss the concept of monotheism and faith in an abstract god,  because their world concept is apparently connected to the material, not to faith and emotions. It seems that they group Judaism together with Islam. Christianity exists in Japan and is not regarded negatively, apparently because the image of Jesus perceived in Japan is like the images of Buddha and Shinto.

The most interesting thing in Japan’s approach to Islam is the fact that the Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam. They make a clear distinction between their economic interest in resources of oil and gas from Muslim countries, which behooves Japan to maintain good relations with these countries on the one hand, and on the other hand, the Japanese nationalist viewpoints, which see Islam as something that is suitable for others, not for Japan, and therefore the Muslims must remain outside.

We Should Have Heeded the Warning Signs of Islamist Antisemitism

Friday, May 17th, 2013

With the rise of Islamist regimes following the Arab Awakening, we are seeing an increase in religious repression across the Middle East. That repression was predictable had we only read the tea leaves of Islamist antisemitism.

Islamism is an all-encompassing political, religious, societal, and cultural philosophy which believes that all citizens derive their rights not individually from God but from their national leader’s interpretation of Islam enacted on behalf of God. Islamists, in effect, reject the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and instead enact the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines, among other supremacist Islamist doctrines, blasphemy and apostasy laws. Egypt’s ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, put this on full display during their recent public rejection of the UN Charter on Women as being “anti-Islam.”

We have for too long tacitly accepted the synergy between Islamism and antisemitism. Had we heeded the warning signs, we could have at least been prepared to confront head-on the ascendancy of Islamists across the region. We would have understood that we first need to empower our natural allies on the ground—liberals and anti-Islamists. The Obama Administration abandoned our friends of the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 and now, again, in Egypt in 2011. Throughout history, antisemitism has long been the “canary in the coal mine” for threats against all people, all faiths, and liberty.

The demonization of Jews is not just another symptom from the radical fringe of militant Islamist groups. It runs much deeper across Islamist thought, and is in fact pathognomonic (distinctive of a disease) of a far more pervasive societal and tribal fascism also mirrored in the Arab secular left. Arab national socialist movements like the Baathists of Syria and Iraq, or the NDP of Egypt, share with Islamists a common dominant strain of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Jew-hatred.

Beneath Islamist antisemitism is a more dangerous pan-national global supremacism that exploits all minorities, whether Jewish, Christian, or atheist, or minorities from within the faith like the Shi’a, Ahmediyya, Isma’ilis, or dissenting Sunnis. Islamist run media like Al Jazeera provide the vehicle to plant conspiracy theories in the fertile minds of susceptible Muslims. Our challenge in the United States is to either help their antagonists, non-Islamist reformers, domestically transform that soil through alternative media—or we can sit back and watch the Islamists in Egypt (the Muslim Brotherhood), Tunisia (Ennahda), Saudi Arabia (Wahhabis), Iran (Khomeinists) or Pakistan (Deobandis) fertilize and till the hate-filled soil into an even greater imminent threat.

Make no mistake—the departure of Arab fascist dictators in the Arab awakening was a long overdue step forward. But we cannot expect dysfunctional tribal societies with rampant anti-Semitism, a dominant victim mentality, high illiteracy rates, and a deep seeded hate of western democracy to resemble genuine democracies. Already, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is buckling down on free speech and blasphemy against Islam in a systematic fashion far worse than even under the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak.

While Islamist movements are frighteningly popular, with support recently peaking at 35 to 40 percent of the Egyptian population, they are still not a majority movement. However, the antisemitic hate in Egypt is a majority sentiment. Islamists were able to come to power by finding common cause with otherwise divided secularists around the language of hatred of the West and of Jews.

A poll conducted in 2006 by the Pew Global Attitudes Survey revealed that “anti-Jewish sentiment” is endemic in the Middle East across faith groups. “In Lebanon, all Muslims and 99% of Christians say they have a very unfavorable view of Jews. Similarly, 99% of Jordanians, large majorities of Moroccans, Indonesians, Pakistanis and six-in-ten Turks also view Jews unfavorably.” This is a cultural byproduct of what is messaged in many Muslim news media, textbooks, literature, sermons, and entertainment. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan recently referred to Zionism as a “crime against humanity.” Meanwhile, Egypt’s Brotherhood finally allowed a documentary on the disappearance of the “Jews of Egypt” to be shown, after long being held up by government censors.

In 2006, Pew reported that Muslims in Europe also hold a far more unfavorable opinion of Jews than the general population. In Britain, 47 percent of Muslims held an unfavorable view of Jews versus 7 percent of the general public. In France, 28 percent of Muslims held an unfavorable view of Jews versus 13 percent of the general population.

The Demise of the Anti-Israel Card

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

For decades in the Middle East the most reliable political tool often seemed to be the Israel card, the idea that by condemning Israel, blaming it for the Arab world’s problems, and claiming that those who were insufficiently militant on the issue were traitors.

But the Israel card doesn’t work anymore, at least not in the way it used to do so. True, the rise of revolutionary Islamism has focused more hatred against Israel. Yet at the same time—and this analogy is imperfect—it is less of a single-issue movement. As revolutionary Islamists seek to destroy their rivals (nationalist, moderates, and each other) and fundamentally transform their own societies, they are kept pretty busy.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official and supposed moderate, may insist that Israel is the main enemy of the Arabs and Muslims, but the Arabs and Muslims aren’t paying much attention. The Palestinian Authority which his group runs–and which rules only on the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -.ed]–has no Middle Eastern patron at all.

The Sunni-Shia conflict is deepening, with clashes already taking place in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and above all Syria. Indeed, the Syrian civil war is a full-scale contest between the two blocks. Even Muslim Brotherhood think-tanks have said that the Shia, and especially Iran, are more dangerous threats than is Israel.

The chance that these two blocs would cooperate against Israel is close to zero. It was different a few years ago.

Before the “Arab Spring,” Iran seemed set to become the region’s Muslim superpower. If Tehran obtained nuclear weapons (sometimes referred to as the “Islamic bomb”) it was expected to wield growing influence throughout the Arab world.

Today, however, that situation has reversed itself. Sunni Arabs, whether they are Islamists or anti-Islamists, openly hate and fear Iran. A nuclear weapon in Tehran’s hands would not increase its strategic or political influence. Iran faces a Sunni wall against its ambitions and it is almost without Arab allies.

As for Hizballah, Iran’s sole reliable ally, it is not able to attack Israel from southern Lebanon. Thousands of its soldiers are tied up in Syria to keep an arms’ supply open, help the Bashar al-Assad regime win, and protect Shia villagers. It also faces growing opposition from Sunni Muslims, financed by the Saudis and stirred up by hatred over Hizballah’s actions in Syria, within Lebanon itself. Plus the fact that the Lebanese don’t want to be victimized by Hizballah going to war with Israel given the damage suffered in the late round in 2006.

And what of the Syrian regime itself? For decades it held Syria together in large part by portraying itself as the most courageous, militant force rejecting peace with Israel and striving to wipe that country off the map. As late as three or four years ago, President Bashar al-Assad’s strong support for Hizballah, opposition to the “peace process,” and championing of Sunni terrorists in Iraq was enough to hold the country together. Yet the seeds of Sunni Islamism he planted in Syria because it supported him at the time have now blown up in his face. His anti-Israel credentials don’t matter anymore in mobilizing support for his continued rule.

This disintegration and the multiplication of issues and enemies is not, of course, due only to the Sunni-Shia issue. There has also been a sharp revival of Arab identity against the Turks and Persians. The region’s history of such ethnic clashes has been revived. If the Syrian civil war ends in a rebel victory, the winners will soon turn against their Turkish patrons. Indeed, while the trade between the two countries is still growing, the Syria issue has driven a deep rift between Turkey and Iran, who are supporting opposite sides.

Even Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and Muslim Brotherhood Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, have fallen out, albeit perhaps temporarily. The Egyptian government is unhappy that Hamas has not cracked down enough on the Salafists in Gaza and the Sinai who want to attack it.

In addition, Egypt—busy with internal transformation, domestic conflicts, and economic problems, wants Hamas to keep things quiet on its border with Egypt. Israeli officials describe current security cooperation with the Egyptian government, or at least the intelligence services and military, as being quite good. Disputes between Muslim Brotherhood groups and even more radical Salafists are creating problems in Egypt and Syria.

Support the Syrian Rebels?

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Washington Post article today, “Assad forces gaining ground in Syria” by Liz Sly, argues that recent events suggest that the Assad regime is not just surviving but has gone on the offensive. Drawing on local analysts, she finds that in the civil war, “there is little doubt that the pendulum is now swinging in favor of Assad … bolstered by a new strategy, the support of Iran and Russia and the assistance of fighters with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.”

If this in fact be the case, then, Western governments should respond by helping the rebels to prevent Assad from crushing them.

This advice is consistent with my argument (in an article titled “Support Assad” published just a month ago, when Assad appeared to be going down) that the West should prevent either side in the civil war from emerging victorious by “helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict.”

This policy recommendation of “helping whichever side is losing” sounds odd, I admit, but it is strategic.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org and The National Review, Online, May 11, 2013.

Without Allies in the Fourth Great War

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The announcement by Secretary of Defense Hagel that the United States will “rethink all options” including arming Syrian rebel groups, was carefully hedged. “It doesn’t mean… you will” (choose any particular path). The statement however moves the U.S. closer to picking sides in a war with no good options and no good allies, and which American public opinion has thus far eschewed. It is important to understand in the broadest sense how we got here.

In two of the three global conflicts of the 20th Century, the United States took sides; in the third, it was a side. In World War I, we were less against Germany than with our long-time cultural and political allies, Britain and France. The cordial reception given to Americans in Germany between the wars, and the American affinity for parts of German society made some Americans reluctant to criticize the rise of Hitler. (See Hitlerland, by Andrew Nagorski.) In the Cold War, the United States faced off against Russia. The Cuban Missile Crisis was not about Cuba; the Central American wars of the 1980s were not about Central America. It was a war to the death between communism and democracy.

The end of the Cold War had two generally overlooked consequences. First, non-communist Russia retained its historic imperial nature, characterized by deep concern for and violent repression of threats to its “near abroad.” Second, countries and groups in the Middle East were no longer bound to choose between Soviets and Americans as patrons. This was particularly important because neither democracy nor communism is compatible with Islamist thinking. (Obligatory disclaimer: This in no way implies that Muslim people cannot live in democracies or be democrats; or live in communist countries or be communists, for that matter.)

The fourth Great War is less “Islam against the West” (although that surely is there) than it is Sunni expansionists vs. Shiite expansionists. Neither is an appealing partner for the United States in the region, and neither has a natural claim on our politics or our interests.

For reasons having to do with Iran itself, the U.S. will not choose to support Iranian-backed Shiites. However, Sunni expansionists are simply no better; Saudi and Qatari-supported Islamists run from the unacceptable Muslim Brotherhood to the even more unacceptable Wahabis, al Qaeda or Jabhat al Nusra – it is like a choice between cancer and a heart attack. (Second obligatory disclaimer: That is not to say the U.S. has no interests in the Middle East/North Africa/Southwest Asia, or that there is no humanitarian impulse due. It is to say both Sunni and Shiite expansionists have views and values inimical to Western liberal democracies, and neither is better than secular despots.)

In broad terms, the current fighting in the region is Sunni-Shiite: Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, Pakistan, and rumblings in Kuwait all have a Sunni-Shiite component. Turkey thinks of the Ottoman Empire, particularly after the freeing of the “Stans” from Russian control. Iran revisits the Persian Empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Jabhat al Nusra, and others all find patrons in the region rather than in the U.S. or Russia. Oil money, particularly Saudi, Iranian and Qatari, greases various paths.

As both Sunnis and Shiites try to expand both deeper into their own societies and move farther afield, they run headlong into other regional, tribal, ethnic, religious, and familial interests. Christians, particularly in Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria, have been hard hit as intolerance increases; it is estimated that half of Iraq’s Christians have left the country. As a corollary, the minority communities of Syria backed the secular Assad regime for fear of an Islamist takeover. The U.S. has been attacked and vilified, and Europe is being subverted through “no go” zones for police, the installation of elements of Sharia law, and rising Muslim anti-Semitism. Venezuela and Argentina are Iran’s hoped-for proxies, and Hezbollah operates freely in several South American countries.

Long involved in the repression of Sunni Caucasian nationalists, although the Chechen war only took on religious overtones in its second incarnation (2002-2007), Russia has chosen the Shiite side of the larger war. Even the idea of a nuclear Iran does not disturb Russia as much as the idea of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons in the hands of Sunni terrorists. Russia preferred secular despots in the Middle East as well — Saddam, Assad father and son, Nasser — who would repress the Muslim Brotherhood and other internationalist Sunnis. The despots obliged. Nasser outlawed the Brotherhood, Assad killed tens of thousands in Hama, and Saddam ran a savagely secular state to ensure that his minority Sunnis could remain in power. Russia’s commitment to Bashar Assad should not be underestimated.

Canada Forces Chabad to Ban Radical-Islam Critic Pamela Geller

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Toronto area police figuratively twisted the arm of a Chabad synagogue rabbi to cancel a scheduled appearance of radical Islam whistleblower Pamela Geller, who last month also was yanked from a speaking appearance  at a New York synagogue.

The latest politically correct censorship keeps Geller out of  the Chabad Thornhill synagogue in suburban Toronto, where she was due to speak next Monday.

Geller has campaigned against the Islamization of America, and she has been behind the anti-jihad signs that were posted in the New York’s subway system.

The salt in the wound inflicted by the Toronto police ban is that it was instituted by none other than the hate crimes unit of the police. Preaching against hate is grounds for a hate crime in the New Age New Speak.

And it just so happens that the Chabad synagogue Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is the same rabbi who serves as police chaplain.

Therefore, according to the York Regional Police Department’s logic, Geller’s appearance at the synagogue where he is rabbi “would place him in conflict with the values of our organization, which support a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for all.”

That is New Age talk for a “safe, welcoming and exclusive community for all” who are not included, such as Geller.

Police deny that they “threatened” to remove Rabbi Kaplan as police chaplain if he were to allow Geller to speak, but a York Regional Police spokesman told the Toronto Sun that if she spoke at the synagogue, “Then we’d have to reassess our relationship with [him].”

That is not a threat in New Speak. It is a “hint.”

The Jewish Defense League has rescheduled Geller to speak somewhere else in the city, but the police have not yet said she cannot appear.

The Canadians United against Terror group is launching an “anti-bullying” campaign and will picket York Regional Police headquarters Wednesday evening.

They have support from the capital’s newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen.

It wrote in an editorial last week, “The York Regional Police department should be ashamed. ….Insp. Ricky Veerappan, who heads up the force’s so-called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bureau, … told a reporter, “Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities…..

“Veerappan’s conduct is appalling. Canadians expect police to respect Charter provisions protecting freedom of speech. They are not supposed to act as censors at the behest of a particular community.”

By the way, Veerappan is a member of  York Region’s Muslim community, which wanted to bar Geller from the country altogether, according to the Citizen.

Geller is familiar with censorship by those who not politically correct.

The Great Neck Synagogue in suburban New York last month canceled her appearance because of “security concerns.”

The synagogue explained to members on its website, “As the notoriety and media exposure of the planned program this Sunday have increased, so has the legal liability and potential security exposure of our institution and its member families.

“In an era of heightened security concerns, it is irresponsible to jeopardize the safety of those who call Great Neck Synagogue home, especially our children, even at the risk of diverting attention from a potentially important voice in the ongoing debate.”

Is there a concern for security stemming from the spreads of radical Islam in America?

Geller said in response to the ban at the Great Neck synagogue, “It is a very sad day for freedom-loving peoples when fascist tactics trump free speech.”

Hamas’ Drug Lords

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Since Hamas took over the Gaza strip in 2006, Gazans have been subjected to corruption and oppression at the hands of their Islamist rulers. Recently, several reports and testimonies have confirmed that Hamas rule has also meant Hamas involvement and control in a drug trade in Gaza.

Let’s examine the facts.

The Palestinian News Agency, WAFA, reported that Hamas leaders’ involvement in the drug trade and corruption has turned 680 Hamas leaders into Millionaires (that is 80 millionaires more than the 600 reported by the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat) newspaper.

WAFA reported that the wealth came from controlling the smuggling of good through the tunnels with Egypt, including “alcohol and drugs,” describing Hamas leaders as “Gaza’s drug lords”.

In addition, the prominent Egyptian newspaper, al-Mesryoon, quoted Egyptian writer and academic Abdul Munim Saeed as saying that Hamas was the main importer and exporter of drugs into Gaza.

Egyptian security sources told the Al-Dostory Al-Asly newspaper that Hamas was charging tunnel smugglers ten percent of their proceedings, including those coming from drug trafficking.

The Islamic News Agency also published a report on Hamas’s drug trade in Gaza. In the report, Gazan public figures and intellectuals complained that Hamas let drug dealers out of jail within two or three days of their arrest, as Hamas’s judges “were very lenient on drug dealers” at the same time they were jailing Hamas’s political opponents.

A doctor who visited Gaza recently and who agreed to speak to me on the condition of anonymity, said he believed that Hamas controlled the drug trade in Gaza through importing and selling mood-altering drugs, particularly Tramadol, a drug used to treat pain, similar to codeine.  The doctor said he witnessed wide-spread use of the drug by Hamas fighters and that many Gazans use the drug to comfort themselves from their daily suffering under Hamas. “Only a government can import such huge amount of Tramadol,” he said. “Hamas must be directly involved in this matter.”

Even pro-Hamas writer Fayez Abu Shamaleh admitted that Tramadol has become a common-use drug in Gaza under Hamas.  He noted average street prices for drugs have dropped 80 percent in the last few years, making drugs accessible even by Gaza’s school children.

A Palestinian news website, Yabous Press reported that the drug trade in Gaza was controlled by Hamas’s Police Counter-Drug Unit, which is supposed to fight drugs. Yabous Press reported Hamas police would arrest drug dealers who don’t work for them, confiscating their drug supplies, and then selling it in the market for themselves.

In October 2012, several Palestinian news websites have been circulating the names of 66 Hamas government members known in Gaza for controlling the drug trade in Gaza including a son of a Hamas government minister.  As of now, Hamas has not commented or denied these reports.

Hamas has brought misery, pain and destruction to Gaza, so Hamas’s alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking should not come as a shock to anyone.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/hamas-drug-lords/2013/04/22/

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