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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Salafi’

Ya’alon Says Hamas Uninterested in Further Escalation

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told residents of southern Israeli communities living near the border with Gaza that Hamas terrorists do not want a war with Israel.

“Hamas is not interested in further escalation and is relaying these messages through Egypt,” Ya’alon told residents with whom he met on Monday.

“The rocket fire is unacceptable,” he continued. “Hamas operates most of the year against the sources that launch these attacks [against Israel] and enforces the understandings reached after Operation Pillar of Defense.”

For some time, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have been engaged in a quiet power struggle of their own for control over the region. Al Qaeda-linked Salafi Muslim terrorist groups have been growing in popularity among more radical members of Hamas and have begun to openly challenge the organization for control over Gaza.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned over the weekend after a massive barrage of rocket attacks launched at southern Israel that if Hamas could not the rocket fire, Israel would be forced to do so.

Islam and its Infidels

Monday, May 20th, 2013

What motives lay behind last month’s Boston Marathon bombing and the would-be attack on a VIA Rail Canada train?

Leftists and establishmentarians variously offer imprecise and tired replies – such as “violent extremism” or anger at Western imperialism – unworthy of serious discussion. Conservatives, in contrast, engage in a lively and serious debate among themselves: some say Islam the religion provides motive, others say it’s a modern extremist variant of the religion, known as radical Islam or Islamism.

As a participant in the latter debate, here’s my argument for focusing on Islamism.

Those focusing on Islam itself as the problem (such as ex-Muslims like Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali) point to the consistency from Muhammad’s life and the contents of the Koran and Hadith to current Muslim practice. Agreeing with Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, they point to striking continuities between Koranic verses and jihad actions. They quote Islamic scriptures to establish the centrality of Muslim supremacism, jihad and misogyny, concluding that a moderate form of Islam is impossible. They point to Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s deriding the very idea of a moderate Islam. Their killer question is, “Was Muhammad a Muslim or an Islamist?” They contend that we who blame Islamism do so out of political correctness or cowardliness.

To which, we reply: Yes, certain continuities do exist; and Islamists definitely follow the Koran and Hadith literally. Moderate Muslims exist but lack Islamists’ near-hegemonic power. Erdoğan’s denial of moderate Islam points to a curious overlap between Islamism and the anti-Islam viewpoint. Muhammad was a plain Muslim, not an Islamist, for the latter concept dates back only to the 1920s. And no, we are not cowardly but offer our true analysis.

And that analysis goes like this:

Islam is the fourteen-century-old faith of a billion-plus believers that includes everyone from quietist Sufis to violent jihadis. Muslims achieved remarkable military, economic, and cultural success between roughly 600 and 1200 c.e. Being a Muslim then meant belonging to a winning team, a fact that broadly inspired Muslims to associate their faith with mundane success. Those memories of medieval glory remain not just alive but central to believers’ confidence in Islam and in themselves as Muslims.

Major dissonance began around 1800, when Muslims unexpectedly lost wars, markets, and cultural leadership to Western Europeans. It continues today, as Muslims bunch toward the bottom of nearly every index of achievement. This shift has caused massive confusion and anger. What went wrong, why did God seemingly abandon His faithful? The unbearable divergence between premodern accomplishment and modern failure brought about trauma.

Muslims have responded to this crisis in three main ways. Secularists want Muslims to ditch the Shari’a (Islamic law) and emulate the West. Apologists also emulate the West but pretend that in doing so they are following the Shari’a. Islamists reject the West in favor of a retrograde and full application of the Shari’a.

Islamists loathe the West because of its being tantamount to Christendom, the historic archenemy, and its vast influence over Muslims. Islamism inspires a drive to reject, defeat, and subjugate Western civilization. Despite this urge, Islamists absorb Western influences, including the concept of ideology. Indeed, Islamism represents the transformation of Islamic faith into a political ideology. Islamism accurately indicates an Islamic-flavored version of radical utopianism, an -ism like other -isms, comparable to fascism and communism. Aping those two movements, for example, Islamism relies heavily on conspiracy theories to interpret the world, on the state to advance its ambitions, and on brutal means to attain its goals.

Supported by 10-15 percent of Muslims,* Islamism draws on devoted and skilled cadres who have an impact far beyond their limited numbers. It poses the threat to civilized life in Iran, Egypt, and not just on the streets of Boston but also in Western schools, parliaments, and courtrooms.

Our killer question is “How do you propose to defeat Islamism?” Those who make all Islam their enemy not only succumb to a simplistic and essentialist illusion but they lack any mechanism to defeat it. We who focus on Islamism see World War II and the Cold War as models for subduing the third totalitarianism. We understand that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution. We work with anti-Islamist Muslims to vanquish a common scourge. We will triumph over this new variant of barbarism so that a modern form of Islam can emerge.

Gaza Arabs Celebrate Boston Marathon Attack with Dance, Candies

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Shortly after the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, the Arabs of Gaza danced in the streets, handing out candies to passersby, Israel News Agency reported.

Mohammad al-Chalabi, head of a Jordanian Salafi group, said on Tuesday that he was “happy to see the horror in America’ after the explosions in Boston,” the Daily Mail reported. “American blood isn’t more precious than Muslim blood,” al-Chalabi added. “Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there,”

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Somalia’s Al Shabaab mocked the blast victims on its official Twitter feed, and used the attack as an opportunity to criticize U.S. policy. “The #BostonBombings are just a tiny fraction of what US soldiers inflict upon millions of innocent Muslims across the globe on a daily basis,” read one tweet.

Pundit Juan Cole noted that Monday bombings and other mass violence also killed dozens of civilians in Syria and Iraq. The world is stitched together, he wrote, by the common human experiences of sorrow and grief that follow such tragedies.

Al Jazeera’s Khaled A Beydoun, under the headline “Boston explosions: ‘Please don’t be Arabs or Muslims,’” wrote:

The knots in my stomach tightened with preliminary reports from the New York Post that Boston Police had seized a “Saudi National”. In a media nanosecond, “Muslims” was trending on Twitter, additional news providers corroborated the reports, and the hatemongering ensued.

The Salafi Crusades

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Empires leave behind a mess when they leave. And that mess acts as the building blocks of a new empire. One empire falls and another rises in its place. It’s an old story and it is what we are seeing in the Middle East.

The Islamist resurgence was fed by the collapse of two world powers, the USSR and the US. The fall of the Soviet Union robbed the Arab Socialist dictatorships of their support. The last of these, Syria, is now under siege, by Sunni Islamist militias after becoming an Iranian Shiite puppet.

Egypt’s Sadat had made the move to the American camp early enough to avoid the fate of Syria or Iraq, but instead his successor, Mubarak, encountered the fate of the Shah of Iran. With the fall of Egypt, Syria is the last major Arab Socialist holdout, and if it falls, then the Middle East will have shifted decisively into the Salafi column.

Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States has not actually collapsed, but its international influence is completely gone. Bush was accused of many things, but impotence wasn’t one of them. Obama, however, gave the Taliban a premature victory with a pullout deadline, ineptly waffled over the Iranian and Arab protests, before eventually getting on board with the latter, and allowed the UK and French governments to drag him into a poorly conceived regime change operation in Libya.

The Palestine UN vote, China’s South China Sea aggression and Karzai’s growing belligerence were just more reminders that no one really cared what the United States thought anymore. America had ceased to matter internationally as a great power. It still dispensed money, but its government had become an inept tail being wagged by Europe and the United Nations.

The loss of American influence was felt most notably in the Middle East, where its former oil patrons took the opportunity to back a series of Salafi crusades, the political Islamist version of which was known as the Arab Spring. The rise of political Islamists in democratic elections was however only one component of a regional strategy that depended as much on armed militias as on the ballot box.

In Egypt, protests followed by elections were enough to allow the Salafis, a category that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, to take over. That was also true in Tunisia. In Libya, a new American client, the government put up a fight, little realizing that Obama wasn’t Putin, but a horrible mashup of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Henry Wallace. Instead of getting American backing, Gaddafi got American bombs, and the Islamist militias, armed and funded by Qatar with Obama’s blessing, got Libya. In Benghazi they repaid the help they received from Obama and Stevens by humiliating the former and murdering the latter.

In Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias are racing the Al-Qaeda linked militias to the finish line in Damascus, while Western pundits prattle reassuringly about a moderate and secular Syrian opposition, which is as moderate and secular as Egypt’s Morsi.

The regional snapshot of the Arab Spring isn’t reform, but a land rush as secular governments affiliated with Russia and the United States fall, to be replaced by believers in an emerging Islamist Caliphate. The Arab Spring isn’t 1848; it’s 638, the Mohamedan expansion at the expense of the ailing Byzantine Empire, a rampage that eventually ended in the Islamization of the Middle East. For Salafis, this is their opportunity to Re-Islamize the Middle East under the full force of Islamic law.

The Muslim world does not keep time by European progressive calendars. It isn’t out to recreate the republican revolutions that secularized and nationalized Europe; rather it is trying to undo the secondhand European effects of those revolutions on the Middle East. The left is celebrating this as a triumph for anti-imperialism, but it’s just a matter of replacing one empire with another.

Muslim imperialism and colonialism were far more brutal and ruthless, as the Indians could tell you, and if the Salafis have their way, and they are having their way for the moment, it will be the beginning of a new wave of global conquests, with old sheiks using oil money from the decadent West to outfit militias of young men with top quality American and Russian weapons before sending them off to die, while they wait for news of the new caliphate and bed down with their eight wife.

This isn’t an entirely new game. Bin Laden was playing it for decades and Salafi crusaders have been fighting the Ottoman Empire and massacring Shiites for centuries. The notion of them extending their power into Cairo would have been absurd, but for the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the backlash from the efforts to modernize its former major cities which created a modernized Islamist movement inspired by Nazi politics and funded by Nazi money. A movement that we know as the Muslim Brotherhood. It took the Brotherhood a good 80 years, but they finally took Cairo.

The notion of the Salafis threatening the Middle East and the whole world would have been even more absurd if American oil companies hadn’t rewarded their tribal allies with inconceivable wealth while turning a blind eye to their ambitions. And the notion that the Salafi crusade would ever extend to Europe would have been even more absurd, if not for the jet plane and the liberal immigration policies of Socialist governments with aging populations looking for a tax base and a voting base.

The Salafis, despite their feigned obsession with the purity of the desert, have piggybacked their conquests entirely on Western technologies and policies, from the wire transfer to the jet plane to the cell phone to liberal political correctness and Third Worldism. The Salafi crusades were never any match for 19th Century policies and weapons, except in the occasional brief conflict. But they are a match for 21st Century policies and the accompanying unwillingness to use the full force of modern weaponry on people that a century ago would have been considered bloody savages, but today are considered potential peace partners.

Declining empires want stability without war and they are willing to cut a deal with anyone on the way up who has a large enough army and will promise to keep the peace. In that way, the imperialism of the Post-American politician is a good deal like Eisenhower’s foreign policy. The difference is that a British Prime Minister in the 1930s or an American President in the 1950s picked their battles, while their contemporary successors allow their battles to pick them and then surrender preemptively.

Carter’s Green Belt strategy hoped to build a wall of Islamist governments to keep the Soviet Union out of the Middle East. The Soviet Union is dead but the Green Belt strategy has been revived by Obama in the hopes of using political Salafis willing to run for office to hold down the Salafist militias willing to kill everything that moves. It’s hard to imagine a more decadent strategy than trying to outsource your defense policy to the least evil of your enemies, but variations on that theme have been the American defense strategy since the Salafi terror attacks of September 11.

After a decade of trying to divide the Islamist sheep from the Islamist goats, feeding billions to Pakistan to fight terror, extraditing Gitmo terrorists to revolving door rehabilitation programs run by Saudi Arabia, setting up a Palestinian state, making nice to Muslim Brotherhood front groups at home and then setting up the Muslim Brotherhood with a few choice countries of their own in the Middle East; the United States is less secure than ever for trying to appease its way out of the Salafi crusade.

Handing over Egypt and Tunisia to the Islamists earned us a new wave of attacks on September 11, 2012. What handing over Syria to the Muslim Brotherhood will get us, assuming that “our” Salafis will even be able to beat out the other Salafis who want to skip elections and move straight to the hand-and-head-chopping and Christian genocide, can only be imagined.

But Western leaders have a long history of misreading the Muslim world by assuming that Muslim leaders want what good European and American liberals do. Instead Muslim leaders want the sort of things that even few European right wingers want anymore.

Understanding the Salafi crusades means imagining a society where Anders Behring Breivik wasn’t a deluded madman fantasizing about an international network of knights waiting to carry out acts of terror in a war to seize control of Europe and murder millions, but where he and his ideas were mainstream enough that billionaires would fund them and tens of thousands of young men would go to carry them out while television shows and preachers cheered them as martyrs.

Europeans, of course, shudder at the idea, but they have brought those tens of thousands of Breiviks into their own societies through Muslim immigration and Saudi and Iranian mosques. And they have turned over the Middle East to the sort of men who make Breivik look like a schoolboy.

One of the men pardoned by Morsi, the new Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, was Mostafa Hamza, the head of The Islamic Group, an organization that was responsible for the Luxor Massacre of foreign tourists. The Luxor Massacre consisted of an hour of torture, mutilation and murder that would have sickened even Breivik. But what is an incomprehensible atrocity to the Western mind is an act of courage and bravery to the Muslim mind. And it is on such atrocities that the Salafi crusades build their caliphate of blood and bone.

The Salafi crusades follow those rules and we saw them in action on September 11. We can see them in action in Nigeria where Boko Haram terrorists blow up churches and in Mali where Salafi fighters chop off the hands of thieves and give teenage girls 100 lashes for talking to boys on the street. We can see them in action in Aleppo where the bodies of tortured priests turn up and in Israel where their terrorists fire rockets from the shade of schools and hospitals.

The Salafi political victories, militia victories and terror attacks are all part of the same phenomenon, and it is about time that we confronted it for what it is. War is politics by other means and politics is war by other means. To the Salafis seizing power, by the bullet or the ballot, the one are one and the same so long as the road leads to the Islamic empire of the Caliphate. Obama’s forced decline of America has led to a new wave of Salafi conquests and the war for civilization has begun in earnest.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Jordan’s King Abdullah ‘Playing With Fire’

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Muslim thugs in Jordan last weekend attacked a large group of young men and women who had gathered at a coffee shop in Amman to celebrate Halloween.

The thugs were members of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and the Salafi group.

The assailants claimed that the party was being held by “worshippers of the devil” and said Halloween was in violation of the teachings of Islam.

The attack is seen as yet another sign of the growing power of Muslim fundamentalists in Jordan.

If the Jordanian authorities cannot provide security for a Halloween party, how will they be able to prevent radical Muslims from taking over the kingdom in the future?

The “Arab Spring,” which has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of Arab countries, has emboldened Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi followers.

These two radical groups have hijacked Jordan’s pro-reform campaign and are doing their utmost to undermine the monarchy.

The two groups seek to establish an Islamic regime in Jordan that would one day participate in the “big jihad” to eliminate Israel.

The Salafi group in Jordan has dispatched dozens of terrorists to neighboring Syria to take part in the jihad [holy war] against Bashar Assad’s regime. And this is happening under the watchful eye of the Jordanian security establishment.

Hundreds of Jordanian jihadis are believed to fighting alongside the anti-Assad forces in Syria together with Muslim fundamentalists from all around the world.

Mahmoud Abdel Al, 33, a Jordanian car mechanic and father of five who belonged to the Salafi group, carried out a suicide bombing in Syria last week, according to his proud family.

His mother, Hind, told the French news agency AFP that her son was very religious and had studied the Quran from the age of 10.

“He loved jihad,” she said. “When he was a child he wanted to go to the West Bank to fight, but I prevented him. But when he grew up I told him, ‘May Allah facilitate your mission and be satisfied with you, my son.’”

The suicide bomber could not have travelled to Syria to carry out his “holy” mission without the knowledge of the kingdom’s powerful General Intelligence Department.

The Jordanian authorities believe that as long as the Muslim terrorists are going elsewhere to carry out their attacks, there is nothing to worry about.

But there is no doubt that the same jihadis who are crossing the border into Syria will one day come back to fight against King Abdullah and his regime.

Instead of taking serious measures against the terrorists, Jordan’s King Abdullah is doing the exact opposite.

The king, who is already facing widespread criticism for failing to implement real reforms and combat corruption, has begun to flirt with the Salafi group in a desperate bid to win its sympathy.

By flirting with these fundamentalists, King Abdullah is also hoping to win them to his side in his confrontation with the kingdom’s popular and influential Muslim Brotherhood.

Last week, in a surprise move, the king pardoned five Salafi terrorists who had planned to carry out a series of attacks against Jordanians and Western diplomats and nationals.

Sources in Amman said that King Abdullah was also planning to release Mohammed Dumus, a Salafi terrorist who murdered an American diplomat in Amman in 2003.

The king, however, backtracked at the last minute to avoid an angry response from the US, the sources said.

The king’s efforts to appease the Muslim fundamentalists will only play into the hands of Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis.

As one Jordanian political analyst put it, “Our king is playing with fire.”

The Muslim thugs would not have dared to attack the Halloween party if they thought that the Jordanian authorities would respond in a tough manner.

Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi thugs today feel secure enough to impose their will on any Jordanian. By releasing convicted terrorists from prison, the king is encouraging his rivals to pursue their efforts to destabilize the kingdom and create an Islamic state in Jordan.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Hamas to Israel: Stop the Raids, We’ll Catch Rocket Units

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Palestinian sources told Yoni Alper’s Terror Watch that a message has been sent to Israel through the Red Cross and other channels saying that Hamas is making an effort to prevent continued rocket fire and that they are pursuing and attempting to pursue and locate the terror cells launching the rockets. The organization was requesting Israel meanwhile to stop the attacks on Gaza.

The same sources have disclosed that Israel on Monday sent a warning to Hamas via the Red Cross, to evacuate all personnel from their military and security service facilities in the Gaza strip as the IAF is planning an attack because of continued missile fire. Sunday a house in Netivot suffered a direct hit by a missile and another missile exploded in the Beer Sheva area. There were no casualties other than several trauma victims.

It looks like neither Israel nor the Hamas are interested in an escalation of the hostilities at this point.

During the pre-dawn hours Monday morning, the IAF attacked several Hamas outposts and terrorist targets in the Gaza strip, causing some mild injuries.

The fundamentalist Salafi movement, which is associated with Al Qaeda and the Mujahedin Shura Council of the Jerusalem Area, assumed responsibility for the attacks on Netivot and BeerSheva.

According to reports in the Arab media, Hamas security forces confiscated weapons and made several arrests over the past few days among Salafi terrorists, in an attempt to prevent continued shooting and to uncover additional information about their arsenal of weapons. Hamas is focusing on the Shura Council organization, a relative newcomer on the Gaza front, established last June. As of now, more 30 Salafi terrorists have been arrested by Hamas security.

The Salafi organizations have blamed the Hamas and Egyptian intelligence for the arrest and torture of Mahmoud Rashwan, a Shura Council activist suspected of participation in the August terror attack in Rafiah in the Sinai in which 16 Egyptian border guards were killed.

Rashwan is also wanted as a key saspect in the June border attack in which Said Fashafsha, an Israeli citizen working on the construction of the border fence, was killed. Rashwan was seriously injured by an Israeli rocket targetted at his motorcycle in Rafiah.

Hamas has also taken into custody Abu Hafez al Makdisi, head of the Nation’s Army Organiztion, another Salafi faction associated with Al Qaeda, and two prominent Salafi religious figures.

The Salafi organizations accuse the Hamas of having abandoned the Jihad path and of defending Israel’s security despite its attacks in the Gaza strip and its “crimes against the Palestinian nation.” They warned Hamas of serious consequences should it continue taking action against the Salafis.

 

Libya Fast Becoming the New Iraq

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

In Benghazi, a car bomb aimed at Libyan intelligence officials shook a crowded street. It’s not the first car bomb to strike Libya after the fall of Gaddafi. Benghazi has its own insurgency and remains a flashpoint for the looming civil war that no one is talking about.

Postwar Libya has not received the same scrutiny that postwar Iraq did. The reasons for that revolve around partisan politics and differences in commitment. American soldiers are not patrolling the streets of Benghazi the way that they did in Baghdad, and that translates into a lack of public engagement. Unlike Iraq, Libya is a back-burner issue, even if the oil-rich country is beginning to look a lot like Iraq.

The fall of Gaddafi, like the fall of Saddam, unleashed simmering tribal and religious tensions. While Libya does not have the sharp indigenous split between Sunnis and Shiites that Iraq does, the Arab Spring opened the door to Salafi violence across North Africa from Mali to Tunisia and east through Libya and as far as Egypt.

The Arab Spring uprisings have been used by the Islamists as a pretext for purging Christians in Egypt and Syria, as well as Sufis in Mali and Libya. Despite a recent election in Libya that was widely hailed as a signpost of stability, the country is in no way stable and its central authority is an illusion. Tribal warfare, even of the kind taking place in Zitan, 90 miles from Tripoli, is however a lesser evil compared to the revelation that the Libyan government either cannot stop the Salafi violence or is unwilling to do so.

Both possibilities are present and plausible. The Libyan military under Gaddafi was a patchwork of expensive equipment and incompetent troops. The loss of much of that expensive equipment in Gaddafi’s earlier wars and NATO bombing raids that targeted whatever was left over leaves the Libyan government with limited security capabilities.

The loose coalition against Gaddafi has been splintered by its own differing agendas. One of the few things that everyone agrees on is the necessity of using Islam and Islamic law to fill the gap left by Gaddafi and his charade of Libyan nationalism. If one of Gaddafi’s kin were to try and reclaim Libya, enough factions might unite together to put a stop to his efforts, but no similar coalition can be assembled to protect Libya’s Sufis or its women, the other group being targeted by the Salafis.

Libyan Interior Minister Fawzi Abdel A’al has made it clear that the Salafis have a free hand to do as they please. “If all shrines in Libya are destroyed so we can avoid the death of one person,” he said, “then that is a price we are ready to pay.”

Libyan security forces have stood aside or even helped the Salafis do to Libya what the Taliban did to Afghanistan. But that is only to be expected when many members of those security forces, patched together out of bands of ambitious Jihadi fighters, are Salafis. The Interior Minister may have unilaterally ceded all of Libya’s Sufi shrines to the Salafis, but the Salafis won’t stop at destroying graves. Not when they can fill them as well.

In Tunisia and Egypt, Salafi violence has been met with similar inaction or delayed reactions from the security forces. The Muslim Brotherhood and some other Islamists distance themselves from Salafi attacks on non-Muslims or on variant Muslim groups to maintain plausible deniability while the Salafis rid them of people they consider infidels and heretics. The Salafis have foreign backing and no shortage of recruits eager to kill and maim for the cause, and the Post-Arab Spring governments are staying out of their way.

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” Obama said, in his speech defending the Libyan intervention. But what does the current state of Libya say about who we are?

The Libyan intervention handed over the country to rule by armed militias and car bombs go off in major cities. As religious, political and tribal violence reaches a boiling point; what has become of that responsibility?

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/libya-fast-becoming-the-new-iraq/2012/09/09/

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