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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Muslim’

Report: US Muslim Brotherhood Arm Paid for Mecca Trip of DNC Chief Wannabe Ellison

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

The House Ethics Committee in 2008 investigated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Min), a practicing Muslim, for failing to disclose receiving funds from a Muslim-Brotherhood affiliated group to finance his 2008 pilgrimage to Mecca, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday. Ellison is considered among the top finalists in the race to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In 2008, the Muslim American Society paid $13,350 for Ellison’s 16-day haj (pilgrimage), on which he was joined by Asad Zaman, who sits on the MAS board. According to the Star Tribune, Ellison described the trip as a transformational personal experience, saying “I didn’t want to turn it into a politics thing.” But eight months or so later, Ellison faced a House Ethics Committee review of his concealing who financed his spiritual journey and how much it cost, seeing as it was considered a gift to a public official.

Ellison said he was not “privy to the internal workings of the organization” that paid to connect him with Allah. But Tax records show the Muslim American Society of Minnesota received close to $900,000 in taxpayer money in 2006 and 2007.

According to a 2004 Chicago Tribune article, Muslim American Society is another name for the US chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 following “a contentious debate among Brotherhood members. Some wanted the Brotherhood to remain underground, while others thought a more public face would make the group more influential. Members from across the country drove to regional meeting sites to discuss the issue.”

According to Wikipedia, in November 2014, MAS was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

MAS co-founder Jamal Balawi was listed among the “unindicted co-conspirators” in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, which the US government designated as a terrorist organization, seized its assets, and closed it down. Following several years of trials, the founders of the organization were given sentences of between 15 and 65 years in prison for “funneling $12 million to Hamas.”

Balawi also endorsed “combative jihad” and suicide bombings, and publicly celebrated Hamas terrorists as “martyrs.”

A former MAS Communications Director, Randall Royer, was arrested in 2003 by federal agents and charged of conspiring with Lashkar-i-Taibi (Army of the Righteous), a Pakistani Wahhabi terrorist group to engage in terrorist operations in Chechnya, Kashmir and elsewhere. Royer was a member of the “Virginia Jihad Network,” a network of jihadists centered in North Virginia, and he acknowledged supporting several members of that circle to access Lashkar-i-Taibi training camps.

Also, a significant number of advertisers in the MAS publication The American Muslim, which often contain references to suicide bombings as martyr operations, were later uncovered by the US authorities a being involved in terror financing: Global Relief Foundation, which had its assets frozen in 2002 for providing funding to al-Qaeda; Kind Hearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, which the US authorities qualified has “the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving;” and Islamic African Relief Agency, now Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), which the US Treasury qualified as a specially designated global terrorist organization for its support of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the Taliban in 2004.

JNi.Media

ADL’s Greenblatt Steps Back on Bannon Accusations, Says Anti-Semitism Spiking in America

Friday, November 18th, 2016

The ADL, which planted itself right in the middle of the battle against former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, has taken a first step back and clarified that they “are unaware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.”

Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager called the initial accusations against Bannon “libel” and said that the ADL had damaged itself with the false claims.

The ADL’s remaining complaints against Bannon are primarily ideological and editorial, they are not happy with Breitbart giving a platform to right-wing authors such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, or that some of Breitbart’s headlines are sensationalist.

In opening remarks at the ‘Never Is Now’ Summit on Anti-Semitism held Thursday (Nov.17) in New York City, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who was formerly an aide to President Barak Obama, had a grim warning about a spike in anti-Semitism in America, and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Greenblatt commented that the organization had never before convened a summit “like this” on anti-Semitism, describing its presence under the surface of society “like a persistent and nagging ache,” chronic but still one that Americans knew about and simply tried to keep under control. This, he said, worked out.

“By and large, America and American life have been remarkably tolerant and welcoming,” he said, “And yet, today, I think all of us fear that something has changed. There are troubling signs. Now they may be subtle, they may go unnoticed by the vast majority of Americans, but we see them. We know.”

But Greenblatt then went on to say this year’s presidential election in the United States saw the kind of hate “unlike anything we have seen in recent history.” He added that the American Jewish community hasn’t seen “this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse” since the 1930s.

And he blamed the candidates; in particular, the winning candidate.

“This was an election where a presidential candidate criticized Israel in a manner that evoked a blood libel; where another unapologetically tweeted a sinister Star of David meme that had been created by white supremacists; it promoted a campaign slogan that evoked the phrase most associated with notorious Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh, and sponsored a closing television ad that echoed anti-Semitic conspiracies that have been used to justify anti-Jewish persecution for centuries,” Greenblatt claimed.

“During this political season, we saw white supremacists use a triple parentheses to target Jews online and simultaneously, relentlessly harass and intimidate Jewish journalists on social media with anti-Semitic tropes and horrific images of the Holocaust.”

Greenblatt alleged that the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump is planning the first steps of what appears to be an ethnic registration program targeting Muslim citizens of the United States. He used the claim, misquoting several campaign promises by then-candidate Donald Trump and demonizing the incoming Trump administration before it has even entered office, before it has taken any action at all.

“There recently have been reports that the new Administration plans to force Muslim-Americans to register for some sort of master government list. Look, Islamic extremism is a threat to us all. But as Jews, we know what it means to be registered and tagged, held out as different from our fellow citizens.

“As Jews, we know the righteous and just response. All of us have heard the story of the Danish king who said if his country’s Jews had to wear a gold star…all of Denmark would too.

“I pledge to you right here and now, because I care about the fight against anti-Semitism, that if one day in these United States, if one day Muslim-Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim. Because fighting prejudice against the marginalized is not just the fight of those minorities. It’s our fight. Just as the fight against anti-Semitism is not only the fight of us Jews. It’s everyone’s fight.”

The son-in-law and daughter of President-elect Donald Trump would undoubtedly agree: They are both observant, modern Orthodox Jews raising their children in American society. And despite claims to the contrary, new White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is also a strong advocate for Israel and Jews, according to Jewish journalists who have worked with him, and his own statemetns and actions in the past.

Hana Levi Julian

The Rise And Fall Of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: An Interview with Author Eric Trager

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Five years ago, many in the West were hailing the “Arab Spring,” viewing the wave of uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere as the harbinger of a new liberal democratic era for the Middle East. No such era ensued. In Egypt, for example, the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime led not to a liberal government but to one run by the radical Muslim Brotherhood. And in 2013, Egypt’s military – headed by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood and returned the country to autocratic rule.

Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute, did research in Egypt during the Arab Spring, interviewing dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members, including the future Egyptian president, Muhammad Morsi. He analyzes the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise and fall in Egypt in his recently-published “Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days” (Georgetown University Press).

The Jewish Press: For those who know little about the Muslim Brotherhood, what can you say about it by way of introduction?

Trager: The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 at a time when Muslim thinkers were pondering why the Islamic world had fallen behind the West. One of the answers a certain group of thinkers gave was that reviving Islam required reviving the Sharia [Islamic law] and that reviving Islam and Islamic practice would ultimately enable the Muslim world to stand alongside and even challenge the West.

So the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to Islamize Egyptian society in order to establish an Islamic state in Egypt and then use that state as a foothold for establishing a global Islamic state.

How does it do that, practically speaking?

By recruiting very dedicated members. Every Muslim Brother goes through a 5-8 year indoctrination process, at the end of which he swears an oath to obey orders from the organization’s leaders. Those members are then distributed in a nationwide command chain in which cells of followers march to the orders of a central leadership known as the Guidance Office.

The important point here is that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only organization of this kind in Egypt. In other words, it is the only organization that up until recently had a nationwide command chain that directed very dedicated foot soldiers on the ground. And that’s why it rose to power so closely after the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

You argue that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical group. Many in Washington, though, regarded it as a moderate group during the Arab Spring. In fact, the Obama administration welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt. Why?

After 9/11, various analysts in Washington and academia argued that the way to fight jihad was to engage Islamist groups that spoke the same political dialect but renounced violence. So the Muslim Brotherhood was seen as one of these groups because it had renounced violence to some extent in the 1970s.

The problem with calling the Muslim Brotherhood moderate, though, is that in this context it really just means the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate relative to al Qaeda – which is not much of a standard of moderation. But rather than saying the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate compared to al Qaeda, many analysts simply declared it moderate – and that left Washington unprepared when the Muslim Brotherhood won power and governed in a very autocratic and ultimately radical fashion.

Many in the West regarded the Arab Spring as a liberal movement seeking democracy. What is your view?

There’s no question that during the early Arab spring protests there was a strong sentiment against autocracy and in favor of political reform. But the most important thing to remember about the Arab Spring is that masses of people came together against something – namely dictatorship – but once the dictator was gone, they were unable to coalesce around any other type of consensus. That’s why a very well organized group such as the Muslim Brotherhood was able to take advantage and win power very quickly.

What is the situation like now in Egypt?

It’s very difficult. The political situation is very autocratic and repressive and the economic situation is deteriorating. But the difficult experience of the Arab Spring has made many Egyptians wary of calling for another uprising. It’s difficult to say how long that will last, but I think the lesson of the Arab Spring is that uprisings don’t always make things better and can, in fact, make things much worse.

What’s the status of the Muslim Brotherhood today in Egypt and in the Middle East more broadly?

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was crushed since Mohamed Morsi was removed from power on July 3, 2013. Its hierarchy has been decapitated, tens of thousands of its members are in prison, and many thousands more are probably in exile. Perhaps over a thousand have been killed. So while you have many thousands of Muslim Brothers who are still living in Egypt, they are laying low politically.

In Istanbul, some Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members have congregated and tried to resurrect he organization from abroad and have established four to five satellite media channels that broadcast their message.

Muslim Brotherhood groups are also active in Tunisia, Jordan, Gaza, the Syrian sphere, and beyond. So even though the Brotherhood has been crushed in Egypt, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the organization.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) presents itself as a moderate group, but some conservatives claim it is something of a Muslim Brotherhood front. What’s your opinion?

What defines the Muslim Brotherhood is a rigid command chain and a membership that has gone through a specific indoctrination process. I don’t believe those two features apply to CAIR. However, it may be the case that individuals affiliated with various Brotherhood organizations are within CAIR. It’s very difficult to say, though, because many Muslim Brothers – in the West as well as in some Middle Eastern countries – don’t identify themselves as such.

Elliot Resnick

Tucson Muslim Gets 8 Years for Planning to Attack Jewish Center

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Mahin Khan, 18, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced on Friday to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons.

The prosecution said Khan had “expressed a desire” to attack a Jewish community center in Tucson. Police found a document in his home with plans to attack a military recruiting center and a fitness center. He also plotted to attack the Phoenix DMV, and instructed an undercover FBI agent on making homemade grenades.

Khan apparently received his inspiration from last year’s ISIS attacks in Paris and Brussels, and communicated online with a a member of the Islamic State.

The prosecutor said Khan was not being accused of just words but also of teaching bomb-making to the undercover FBI agent. “There has to be a consequence, a price to be paid,” she said.

Khan’s attorney told the court his client is struggling with mental health issues and poor impulse control. Khan accepted responsibility for his pots. Apparently, Khan has been known to the FBI since age 15. He also spent 45 days in a mental institution.

David Israel

Ancient Muslim Inscription Confirms Dome of the Rock’s Jewish Temple Origin

Friday, October 28th, 2016

The ninth annual conference on archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem and its environs that was held at the Hebrew University this week revealed the existence of an ancient Muslim inscription testifying to the fact that the original name of the Dome of the Rock, Qubbat al-Sakhrah, was “Beit al Maqdis” بيت المقدس — “Beit Hamikdash” in Hebrew, aka the Jewish Temple — during the early Muslim era, Makor Rishon reported Friday.

According to archaeologists Assaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven, the inscription is dated to the 10th century CE, about a thousand years ago. It is located above a mihrab-prayer niche inside an active mosque in the village of Nuba, located seven miles north-west of Hebron. It is unknown when it was placed there, but it certainly throws a fresh light on the process by which Jerusalem became holy to the Muslims and the inspiration that Islam drew from Jewish sources regarding the holiness of the Temple Mount compound and the Jewish temple that once stood at the spot where today stands the Dome of the Rock shrine.

"In the name of Allah, the merciful God This territory, Nuba, and all its boundaries and its entire area, is an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque, as it was dedicated by the Commander of the Faithful, ̒Umar iben al-Khattab for the sake of Allah the Almighty"

“In the name of Allah, the merciful God
This territory, Nuba, and all its boundaries
and its entire area, is an endowment to the Rock
of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque,
as it was dedicated by the Commander of the Faithful, ̒Umar iben al-Khattab for the sake of Allah the Almighty”
Photo by: Assaf Avraham

Participants in the Jerusalem conference were particularly excited by this revelation in light of two recent UNESCO resolutions which disavowed any connection between Jewish history and the Temple Mount. One participant reminded the forum that the Mufti of Jerusalem already admitted that the Dome of the Rock stands on the same spot as Solomon’s Temple, “but here we have an archaeological find that proves it,” he said.

According to both researchers, in the early Muslim era the Dome of the Rock was the site of worship services that were influenced by the ceremonies of the Jerusalem Temple: cleansing, incense, anointing the Foundation Stone with oil and surrounding it with curtains inspired by the divine parochet. The shrine, built around the Foundation Stone, just like the two Jewish Temples, was completed in 691 CE, by an architect named Yazid Ibn Salam, who was either Jewish himself or had Jewish aides.

There is a theory that Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik originally had the Dome of the Rock built as a shrine for the Jews, while Al Aqsa, the mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount, was built for Muslims.

There is a trend where Muslims have recently begun referring to the entire Temple Mount compound, which they also call al-Haram ash-Sharif (“The Noble Compound”), as Al Aqsa.

David Israel

How Some Muslim Nations are Forging a Real Peace with Israel

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the IPT website}

It was a customary political gesture, the welcoming of a foreign leader on Sept. 7 by local dignitaries in The Hague. Benjamin Netanyahu, on a two-day state visit to The Netherlands, was being introduced around the room, shaking hands with Dutch parliamentarians, when he reached Tunahan Kuzu, the Turkish-Dutch founder of the pro-immigration, pro-Islam Denk (“Think”) party. Directing his gaze straight at the Israeli president, Kuzu pointed to the Palestinian flag pin he sported on his lapel, and placed his hands pointedly behind his back.

Netanyahu nodded his understanding and moved on.

If Kuzu’s gesture was meant to insult the Israeli leader, it backfired. Instead, he came under fire from both fellow members of parliament and the press, who accused him of disrespect, lack of professionalism, and anti-Semitic behavior.

But his critics missed an even larger point: those like Kuzu, and gestures like the one he made, are becoming outdated. Rather, in the larger picture, even some of Israel’s most stalwart opponents are starting to change course, with some discouraging Western calls for economic sanctions (like the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, or BDS, movement), and others even engaging in joint military exercises with the Jewish state.

Unsurprisingly, American politicians have taken the lead in this. Just days after the episode in The Hague, for instance, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put the kibosh on a planned BDS event scheduled for Sept. 16 on Capitol Hill. Several U.S. states have passed anti-BDS bills throughout the past year, and in signing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 in February, President Obama declared, “I have directed my administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel.”

But more unexpected have been the military cooperation exercises involving less Israel-friendly countries. In August, Pakistan and the UAE both joined Israel and the U.S. Air Force in exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Israel and Jordan also recently participated in joint exercises with the U.S..

Much of this new military cooperation results from concerns within the region of the growing threat of Iran, Commander Jennifer Dyer, a retired naval intelligence officer, explained in a recent e-mail exchange. “Obviously, the joint participation with Muslim countries is a step beyond participating with NATO. Politically, it’s new territory,” she observed. “The growing concern in Sunni nations about Iran is, of course, the big driving factor.”

As an example, she noted that the chief of staff of Pakistan’s army warned in January that “Pakistan would ‘wipe Iran off the map’ if Iran threatened Saudi Arabia,” and that Sudan cut ties with Iran at around the same time. (For its part, Israel has since begun a campaign encouraging the U.S. and other Western nations to repair relations with the African country.)

NATO has played a crucial role in this new cooperation, Dyer said.  “The common link through NATO allows Sunni nations and Israel to facilitate military cooperation without going very far in terms of overt political outreach” or “having to make high-profile political declarations first.”

“Overt” is probably the key word here. Where outreach in any Muslim country towards Israel could lead to public outcries and violence, collaborations such as these allow these countries to build relationships with Israel “behind closed doors,” a potential first step towards long-term normalization.

They also help create a more supportive climate for activists like Sheikh Abdullah Tamimi, who recently spoke at a seminar on Jewish and Arab relations in Israel.  As the Gatestone Institute noted in a report on the event, “Tamimi and his colleagues do not believe in boycotts and divestment. They are convinced that real peace can be achieved through dialogue between Palestinians and all Israelis.”

That position is shared by many, including hundreds of entrepreneurs collaborating in joint Palestinian-Israeli tech startups and other business ventures. And while Palestinians involved in those projects do not view them as a “substitute for a political solution,” Forbes‘ Richard Behar reported in 2013, they do view them as a way of “improving relations.”

Even Kuzu’s own Turkey made amends with Israel recently, ending a six-year conflict that began with an Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla said to be carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. The reconciliation between the two countries has already led to important cooperative ventures, including a major Turkey-Israel gas pipeline.

All of which combines to make efforts like the BDS movement and the token gestures of politicians like Kuzu the more ridiculous. They are the reasons why Netanyahu could demonstrate respect for Kuzu’s position and still so easily shrug him off. Because clearly, while some continue pounding out old arguments, repeating themselves into banal inconsequence, others are already busy building new solutions, based on new realities. The future of the Middle East depends most of all on them.

Abigail R. Esman

Saudi Grand Mufti: Iranians Not Muslim, 1300-Year War Continues Unhindered

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The Saudi Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh has fanned the flames of a 1300-year dispute between Shiites and Sunnis when he announced on Tuesday that the Iranians are the descendants of the Zoroastrians and of fire worshippers. He spoke ahead of the annual hajj, which this year starts on Saturday.

The Grand Mufti used the term “Majuws” to describe the Iranians, a term that literally means “magians,” which he cited from the Quran, Chapter 22, sūrat l-ḥajj (The Pilgrimage): “Indeed, those who have believed and those who were Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associated with Allah – Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is, over all things, Witness.”

“We must understand they are not Muslims, for they are the descendants of Majuws, and their enmity toward Muslims, especially the Sunnis, is very old,” the Saudi Grand Mufti said, and every learned Muslim understood the reference to the pilgrimage, which has been an area of contention between Shiites and Sunnis, and now between Iranians and Saudis, for almost as long as there has been an Islam.

The Grand Mufti responded an Irate speech by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called on all Muslims to “fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places and the issue of hajj.” In other words, an open call to millions of pilgrims arriving in Mecca for the mid-month festival, to rebel against the Saudi royal family that owns and manages the cities of Mecca and Madīnah.

The Ayatollah attacked the Saudi regime for its failure to prevent last year’s stampede which killed more than 2,400 people, including 464 Iranians, the highest count for any single national group. The Saudis have stated that those figures are inflated and that the real death toll was “only” 769.

The Ayatollah called the Saudi royal family “disgraced and misguided people who think their survival on the throne of oppression is dependent on defending the arrogant powers of the world, on alliances with Zionism and the US, and on fulfilling their demands. And on this path, they do not shy away from any treason.”

He also said that “those who have reduced hajj to a religious-tourist trip and have hidden their enmity and malevolence towards the faithful and revolutionary people of Iran under the name of ‘politicizing hajj,’ are themselves puny Satans who tremble for fear of jeopardizing the interests of the Great Satan, the US.”

So, just for the record, Iran believes there are three Satans: the Great Satan (US), Little Satan (Israel), and Puny Satan (Saudi Arabia).

So far, the Grand Mufti’s enraged response to the Iranian leader has not gone down well even in largely Sunni countries. The Nation, a leading Pakistani newspaper, said in an editorial Wednesday that “for the Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, to say that Iranians are not Muslims and use offensive words against them, is truly shocking and will haunt many Muslims, especially Shia communities living across the region, for years to come. Saudi Arabia as the custodian of the Ka’aba cannot and must not make such offensive remarks.”

According to AFP, reporting from Riyadh, Iranians will not participate in this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca for the first time in almost 30 years, after talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia on logistics and security had fallen apart. The Saudis claim the Iranians insisted on their right to stage protest demonstrations in the holy city of Mecca. Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef accused Iran of making “efforts to politicize the hajj and convert it into an occasion to violate the teachings of Islam, through shouting slogans and disturbing the security of pilgrims.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saudi-grand-mufti-iranians-not-muslim-1300-year-war-continues-unhindered/2016/09/07/

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