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December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘West’

Historic Upper West Side Conservative Synagogue Going Condo

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Congregation Shaare Zedek, an egalitarian Conservative congregation at 212 West 93rd Street in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is planning to tear down their 93-year-old building, in order to keep the congregation alive. Back in October, Shaare Zedek President Michael Firestone told a community board 7 meeting that the congregation had already signed a contract with a developer, who will build a condo building in which Shaare Zedek will own three floors.

Apparently, Congregation Shaare Zedek just can’t keep up with mounting costs. Firestone says the building is too big and expensive — with a capacity for 1,000 worshipers, the congregation only has about 80 families. In addition, they own and maintain the Shaare Zedek cemetery in Queens, to the tune of $80,000 a year. Firestone told News1 NY the sale would allow the congregation to fund its operations, including the cemetery, indefinitely.

“The synagogue will own the first three stories of the condominium, which will be a modern social hall, a modern sanctuary,” Firestone said.

The move does not sit well with the old synagogue’s neighbors, who hate losing this neighborhood fixture that’s been there since 1923, and are worried about the environmental effect of the new condo building. Some of them have filed a Request for Evaluation (RFE) with the Landmark Preservation Commission, as an emergency measure to prevent the sale. But, so far, the city has no plans to landmark the building.

Former Shaare Zedek president Roz Paaswell told DNAinfo the building is not as important as the congregation. “In Judaism buildings aren’t so important, they are places that we use… but we move, we move a lot,” she said.

JNi.Media

Erasing the West

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

Last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted Christian and Jewish heritage off of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Tuesday they ratified their perfidy. The vote seems clearly a response to the expansionist, jihadist aspirations of members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that sponsored it: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. The vote, and the behind the scenes machinations, deserve evaluation.

Upfront:

  • Group 1: The “in favor” voters are a nasty collection of corrupt, dictatorial, largely Islamist (traditional Islamic theology gives Jews their place on the Temple Mount; these Islamists appear intent on removing all traces of Christian and Jewish presence from the Middle East) or Marxist, and unanimously frightening places. They are, in the immortal words French diplomat Daniel Bernard applied to Israel, “shitty little countries.” Even the big ones. But see below for a caveat.
  • Group 2: The US, UK, the Netherlands, Estonia Germany and Lithuania had nothing to be ashamed of in the first round; they voted “against.” But see below for a caveat.
  • Group 3: Some analysts consider a vote to abstain to be a victory for Israel, but for Spain, Greece, France, Sweden, Slovenia and Italy it was blatant appeasement of Group 1 and fear of their own often-violent Muslim minorities: “Please, please, don’t blow up our capital cities. We will reject Jewish and Christian history and pretend Jesus chased the money changers from the steps of Montmartre.”

If the West had stood for its own history, it would have mattered. Democratic Japan and South Korea should have voted “against” as well. There might be a narrow exception for India, which had never before failed to vote in favor of an Arab-led anti-Israel resolution.

  • Group 4: Israel’s friends in Africa were a disappointment — Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Togo and Uganda abstained. Can we dump on them? Yes, we can. Isn’t it too much to expect African countries to stand on principle when Western European countries duck? No, it is not. True, Israel will not make them pay for their “in favor” vote, but countries that benefit from their relations with Israel in a profound and concrete way (check especially Uganda and Ghana) can and should stand with Israel in the face of Arab countries — heirs to colonial Muslim slave-traders and still practice slavery today — who drained African coffers for oil money and exported radical Islamic jihad to the continent. In this hemisphere, Haiti, where IsrAID is for the second time promptly on the ground to help Haitians recover from a natural disaster, is particularly disappointing.

Mexico deserves special mention — though whether as a good guy or a bad guy is debatable. Mexico voted in favor of the resolution, although the Mexican President had apparently told Israel it would vote against. When the time came, UN Ambassador Andreas Roemer received a directive from the Foreign Ministry to vote in favor. Opposing his country’s position, Roemer left the room. His deputy cast the vote; the Ambassador has been relieved of his position.

After a weekend of machinations in Mexico City, including an announcement by the Foreign Ministry that it was going to “investigate” how the “in favor” vote actually happened (that should be long and complicated, right?) Mexico announced its intention to reopen the vote to change its position. This is permitted under UNESCO rules; Israel had expected it; and UNESCO Executive Board Chairman Michael Worbs was, apparently, planning to agree. UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova had already announced her opposition to the resolution, a position for which she received death threats.

But if you think the way was being cleared to erase this jihadist resolution, you would be mistaken.

According to later reports, the Arab bloc pressured Worbs to recuse himself from the vote, which he did. After that, Western countries prevailed on Mexico not to request a reopening of the actual vote for fear, they said, that other UNESCO resolutions would become subject to new votes. So an ahistorical, anti-Semitic sop to countries with little redeeming social value was allowed to stand for fear that some other bit of UNESCO stupidity might be revisited. This tarnishes other countries that might otherwise have had second thoughts and changed their votes — Brazil, in fact, moved from “in favor” to “abstain.”

Mexico instead decided also to amend its vote from “in favor” to “abstain,” accompanied by a statement from the Foreign Ministry that the Mexican government recognizes “the undeniable connection of the Jewish people to the cultural heritage in East Jerusalem.”

Some Israelis prefer to see the UNESCO glass half-full: 26 countries voted for the resolution; 34 did not, whether by voting against, abstaining or absenting themselves from the room.

Not good enough. Having demonstrable historical fact, such as Jewish patrimony on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, subject to the whims of the United Nations, in which, as the late Abba Eban said, Arabs could muster a majority to decide the sun rises in the West, is not a positive proposition. Pakistan, Nicaragua, Mozambique and Vietnam are not likely ever to vote for historical accuracy on Jerusalem and Israel, nor are China and Russia. France is a serial appeaser, more concerned about its back than the truth. But Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Ivory Coast, Argentina, Paraguay, Nevis & St. Kitts and others should be loath to relinquish their Judeo-Christian humanistic culture, roots and values to jihadi pond scum.

The question remains how to convince nations in the West to stand for themselves in the face of Islamists committed to replacing them.

Shoshana Bryen

The Failure of Jewish Self-Esteem in the West (or Have Pen, Will Grovel)

Monday, October 10th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blog, Israel Thrives}

Most western Jews, for obvious historical reasons, tend to be left-leaning and concerned with issues of social justice and universal human rights.

It is obviously no coincidence that one of the most kicked-around people in human history would support the rights of minority populations everywhere in the world, including their home state of Israel. It is for this reason that the country of the Jewish people has a far better human rights record than any of their hostile neighbors. Despite malicious claims otherwise throughout the Muslim world and among pussitudenous western-left Jews, Israel treats Palestinian-Arabs far better than do their brothers and sisters elsewhere in that part of the world.

The great irony is that the political movement that claims to stand for social justice and universal human rights, the progressive-left, actually stands for neither. If it did, surely it would have stood up for the Yazidis when their people were being slaughtered by ISIS or it would have supported the Christian Copts in Egypt who suffer the Qur’anically-based genocidal intention of the far larger Muslim population.

It did neither.

In the United States the culmination of the four-year election cycle brings out the very worst in ideologically-blinkered political drones who do little more than spit hatred, ridicule, and contempt at their counterparts on the other side of the aisle.

{I find it disheartening and vaguely nauseating.}

Among American Jews, however, what never ceases to amaze is the tenacity with which they cling by their teeth to a political party that holds them in such contempt that its leadership honestly believes that they have every right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live.

They will vote for a political party with members that flew the flag of the Palestinian-Arabs inside the hall of the Democratic National Convention, even as some burned the Israeli flag just outside in the street.

Furthermore, they did so while calling for Intifada which is nothing less than calling for the murder of Jews on Jewish land.

In the early years of the Obama administration it was clear to many of us that Obama’s insistence that Jews be allowed to live over here, but not over there, in the Land of Israel rang the death knell of the two-state solution. I wrote about it as early as 2009 in a piece entitled, The End of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process.

The point then, as now, is that by demanding “total settlement freeze” Barack Obama forced Benjamin Netanyahu and dictator Abbas into entirely irreconcilable positions. Netanyahu, if he were to maintain his governing coalition and the respect of Jewish Israelis, could never agree to Obama’s anti-Semitic demand that Jews not be allowed to raise families on the very land where Jewish people come from. For his part Mahmoud Abbas was forced into the position where he could demand nothing less because he cannot afford to be seen as more pro-Israel or pro-Jewish than the American president.

Even Yassir Arafat was willing to sit at the big table while Jews built housing for themselves on land purchased within disputed territory. It took the Obama administration to turn it into a deal killer right out of the gate.

And, yet, lo these many years later, Obama continues to make such demands because he is clearly incapable of learning from past mistakes and because he honestly believes that he has the right to kick the Jewish people in the head whenever he so pleases.

Writing in Ha’aretz, Barak Ravid tells us of Obama administration fury at Jews for daring to build 300 housing units – a whole 300 – on historically Jewish land. He writes:

A senior U.S. official said that the White House boiled with anger at the advancement of the plan and even more at the timing of the decision – just a week after the signing of the military aid agreement by which the U.S. will give Israel $38 billion for a decade, and the day of the death of former president Shimon Peres, whose funeral was attended by President Barack Obama.

The White House “boiled with anger,” huh?

I find it amusing that Israel sent Obama into a rage of fury at the mere thought of Jews building housing for themselves and their children on Jewish land. And, yet, against all rationality, the commander-in-chief is entirely complacent about the rise of Political Islam, which not only calls for the slaughter of all Infidels who refuse to submit to al-Sharia, but continues to perform an excellent job on that project to this very day.

The indignant reaction of Obama, the Democratic Party, and the western-left to the fact of Jewish people daring to build housing is reminiscent of the medieval princely authority to push Jews around in a likewise manner. Then, as now, western authorities believed that the Jews must comply to their prejudicial demands in regards the placement of arbitrary limitations on Jewish living spaces.

Furthermore, this most recent 38 billion dollar deal with the Obama administration gives the US government additional leverage over the Israeli government.

The statement, signed by Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the State Department, drew an unusual linkage between the signing of the defense aid agreement with Israel and criticism of settlement building.

And this is precisely why Israel should never have signed this deal to begin with.

Israel has the capacity to build all the weaponry it needs and doing so would reinforce the Israeli economy through strengthening its arms-manufacturing sector. What the deal really means is that the Obama administration can twist Jewish-Israeli arms behind Jewish-Israeli backs in order to force them to conform to the wishes of dictator-terrorist Mahmoud Abbas and his friends in Brussels.

The saddest thing about all of this, however, is the obvious failure of Jewish self-esteem in the West.

Israeli Jews may stand tall and proud, but progressive-left Jewish Americans bow their heads before the kind of progressive-left virtue posturing and self-righteous indignation that the Obama administration has turned into a form of art.

When even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) becomes an arm of the pro-Islamist Obama administration it sends a very strong signal that American Jewry is slowly falling into a chronic state of spineless prostration.

Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL has pen and will grovel.

What a shame.

Michael Lumish

Congressmen: Judea and Samaria are Not the ‘West Bank’ But Part of Israel

Friday, September 16th, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS.org website}

 

US Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) spoke to an Israeli delegation this week about congressional support of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“I want to say to all the people of Samaria that they are beloved by the American people, and we believe that Judea and Samaria are not the ‘West Bank’ but part of the state of Israel,” Franks told the Samarian Regional Council delegation on Capitol Hill.

The council’s chief Yossi Dagan visited Washington D.C. to meet with more than a dozen Republican and Democrat legislators to discuss the US support of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

“There are people in the US Congress who, no matter what, will continue to work on behalf of Judea and Samaria, who will continue to do whatever they can to fight on behalf of Israel and ensure that you will never feel alone in this world,” Franks said in the meeting that included Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, who echoed that sentiment.

Dagan urged Congress to pressure the Obama administration to stop demanding that Israel freeze Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.

“The pressure the American government is putting on the Israeli government to strangle settlement and block construction creates a situation where our children are forced to learn in caravans rather than normal buildings, like other children around the world,” Dagan said.

Halting construction prevents children in Judea and Samaria from living close to their parents due to lack of housing, he explained.

“The international pressure has also prevented Israel from expanding the water infrastructure in Samaria as needed, which at the end of the day means both Israeli and Arab residents were left without water for much of this past summer,” Dagan added.

JNS News Service

Oriana Fallaci And The Suicide Of The West

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Oriana Fallaci, the Italian journalist who late in life did a profound about-face – going from leftist supporter of revolutionary movements to resolute defender of the West and vocal opponent of Islamic fundamentalism – died ten years ago this week in Florence.

The 77-year-old Fallaci had been battling cancer for years, but her illness had no discernable effect on her legendary combativeness – which after 9/11 was directed almost exclusively at what she described in vivid, often angry, prose as the threat posed by radical Islam to Western values and the suicidal indifference to that threat on the part of Western elites, particularly those in Europe.

Fallaci was always a fighter; raised in an anti-Fascist family, her father was a leader in the underground battle against Mussolini and she herself was involved at a young age in the Resistance. Although for decades as a journalist her worldview was decidedly left wing and shot through with an abiding cynicism toward the U.S., her thinking underwent a swift evolution with the rise of jihadism.

Her book The Rage and the Pride, published in Italy just months after the 9/11 attacks and in the U.S. in September 2002, unabashedly celebrated the United States as a bastion of freedom even as it acknowledged the country’s “flaws and mistakes and faults.”

In a follow-up book, The Force of Reason, published in the U.S. a few months before she passed away, she detailed the legal attacks – Muslim groups in France and Italy filed lawsuits against her and called for a ban of The Rage and the Pride while the Swiss government asked that she be extradited to stand trial for incitement – and the death threats that had come her way since she’d begun writing on Islam.

In The Force of Reason she stated that Islam “sows hatred in place of love and slavery in place of freedom” – a choice of words that reflected the tone of her writing in her final years and that led critics to slam her for what they said was a blanket condemnation of all Muslims.

Although Fallaci was for decades decidedly pro-Palestinian, she painted a wholly unflattering picture of Yasir Arafat after interviewing him in 1972.

“He was…five feet three, I’d say. And even his hands were small, even his feet. Too small, you thought, to sustain his fat legs and his massive trunk, with its huge hips and swollen, obese stomach.”

When he spoke, “His voice had a kind of funny whistle in it. And something feminine.”

But when Arafat got angry, “his soft voice becomes a loud one, his eyes become pools of hatred, and he looks as though he would like to tear you to pieces along with all his enemies.”

Under Fallaci’s prodding, Arafat inadvertently exposed the shifty parameters of the then-still nascent myth of Palestinian nationhood.

Fallaci: But what does Palestine mean?…The Turks were here, before the British Mandate and Israel. So what are the geographical borders of Palestine?

Arafat:…. From an Arab point of view, one doesn’t speak of borders; Palestine is a small dot in the great Arabic ocean. And our nation is the Arab one, it is a nation extending from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and beyond….

When Fallaci continued to press him on the matter of borders, a flustered Arafat reiterated: “I repeat that borders have no importance. Arab unity is important, that’s all.”

In April 2002, Fallaci publicly repudiated her longtime (and largely uncritical and unquestioning) support for the Palestinian cause in a scorching essay on anti-Semitism.

As the journalist Ruth Ellen Gruber described it, “Repeating over and over the assertion ‘I find it shameful,’ Fallaci unleashed a brutal indictment of Italy, Italians, the Catholic church, the left wing, the media, politically correct pacifists and Europeans in general for abandoning Israel and fomenting a new wave of anti-Semitism linked to the Mideast crisis.”

In Fallaci’s memorable words, she was “disgusted with the anti-Semitism of many Italians, of many Europeans” and “ashamed of this shame that dishonors my country and Europe.”

“I find it shameful,” she wrote, “and I see in all this the resurgence of a new fascism, a new Nazism.”

Acknowledging that in the past “I fought often, and bitterly, with the Israelis, and I defended the Palestinians a lot – maybe more than they deserved,” Fallaci was characteristically unambiguous about where she now stood:

“…I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews,” she wrote. “I defend their right to exist, to defend themselves, and not to allow themselves to be exterminated a second time.”

In an interview published shortly before her death, Fallaci drew the battle lines for what she viewed as an escalating war between the West and an enemy all too similar to the Fascists her family fought in the 1930s and ‘40s.

“I am convinced,” she told The New Yorker’s Margaret Talbot, “that the situation is politically substantially the same as in 1938, with the pact in Munich, when England and France did not understand a thing.

“With the Muslims, we have done the same thing…. I reject them, and this is not only my duty toward my culture. Toward my values, my principles, my civilization. It is not only my duty toward my Christian roots. It is my duty toward freedom and toward the freedom fighter I am since I was a little girl fighting as a partisan against Nazi-Fascism.

“Islamism is the new Nazi-Fascism. With Nazi-Fascism, no compromise is possible. No hypocritical tolerance. And those who do not understand this simple reality are feeding the suicide of the West.”

Jason Maoz

I Agree With Cornel West

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

I agree with Cornel West.

I never thought I would find myself writing those words.

West, a leading African-American author and intellectual, is a vicious critic of Israel. He supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He says Israel’s leaders are “war criminals.” In a speech at Princeton last year, he made the wildly absurd claim that the Israelis “are killing hundreds [of Palestinians] daily.”

But even a broken clock gives the right time twice a day, so on the rare occasion that West utters words of truth about the Palestinians or Israel, I must acknowledge that.

West was appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to serve on the Democratic Party’s Platform Committee. He lobbied hard for a platform plank supporting the Palestinian cause, and was partly successful.

Speaking to a Jerusalem Post reporter on July 26 on the floor of the Democratic Convention, West said that he was disappointed the platform did not go further, but he vowed to continue his struggle. He declared: “The Palestinians will be free, brother. Ain’t no doubt about that.”

And that’s where Cornel and I agree.

Since 1995, more than 98 percent of the Palestinians have been living under the occupation of the Palestinian Authority, and, since 2007, 100 percent of the residents of Gaza have been living under the occupation of Hamas.

To paraphrase West with a slight twist: Ain’t no doubt in my mind: one day, brother, the Palestinians will be free of the cruel totalitarian Palestinian regimes that occupy and oppress them.

One day, brother, the Palestinians will have the freedom to democratically choose their leaders. Mahmoud Abbas was elected head of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005 for a four-year term. Yet somehow he is still in office, seven and a half years since his term expired. And Hamas has not held a democratic election since taking over the Gaza Strip nine years ago.

One day, brother, the Palestinians will have the right to freedom of speech. Najat Abu Baker, a member of the Palestinian parliament, recently hid out in the parliament building for seventeen days to avoid being arrested by the PA police. The warrant for arrest was issued because – as The New York Times put it – “Ms. Abu Baker said Mr. Abbas should resign and suggested that there would be money to pay educators if ministers were not so corrupt.”

One day, brother, the Palestinians will have the right to free assembly. Earlier this year, 20,000 Palestinian public school teachers went on strike because they had not been paid (those were the unpaid educators to whom Ms. Abu Baker was referring). When some dissidents tried to hold a rally in support of the strikers, “the PA security services set up rings of checkpoints to prevent the teachers from attending the demonstration,” according to Haaretz. Twenty teachers and two school principals who did manage to reach the rally were arrested for doing so.

One day, brother, the Palestinians will no longer have their basic human rights violated by the Palestinian occupation regime. According to the State Department’s most recent report on human rights around the world, the PA is guilty of “abuse and mistreatment of detainees, poor and overcrowded detention facilities, prolonged detention, and infringements on privacy rights;” “restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly;” “limits on freedom of association and movement;” “discrimination against persons with disabilities” “discrimination based on sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS status;” and “limits on worker rights ” including “forced labor.”

So I agree with Cornel West: one day, the Palestinians will be free. The question, though, is how long it will take West to acknowledge just whom the Palestinians need to be liberated from.

Stephen M. Flatow

Islam, Sexual Violence, and the West

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

{Originally posted to the IPT website}

The mass rape of hundreds of German women mostly by Muslim migrants last New Year’s was recently revealed to be far worse than originally acknowledged. Authorities now believe that more than 1,200 women were sexually assaulted – over twice the original estimate of 500. While more than 2,000 men were allegedly involved, only 120 suspects — about half of them recently arrived migrants — have been identified.

 

One explanation for why it took half a year for the full extent of the crime to be revealed is the German police’s effort to avoid a public backlash against refugees. But ultimately, Holger Munch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, acknowledged to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that there is “a connection between the [sexual assaults] and the rapid migration in 2015.”

 

Denial is not a strategy. Western countries that cherish women’s rights must wake up to the fact that many migrants could challenge those values. Most of the mass migration comes from violence-plagued, Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where women are second-class citizens subject to honor killings and various legal restrictions, and where the local culture often condones rape, encourages wife-beating, and treats women as sexual objects (with 72 virgins promised to Muslim men who reach heaven).

 

Thus, just as the mass migration from the Middle East and North Africa raises the specter of regular Islamist terror on European soil, it also augurs the kind of sexual abuse that those regions have traditionally tolerated. German officials implicitly seemed to acknowledge as much with their laughably impotent campaign to re-educate migrants using signs that explain acceptable behavior towards women.

 

Non-Muslim (“infidel”) women are especially vulnerable to sexual assault: Christian women are often abused and denigrated in Islamic societies, as extensively exposed by Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again. The Islamic State (ISIS) regards the Yazidi, another religious minority, as devil worshippers and reportedly enslaved up to 5,000 Yazidi women, subjecting them to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality, like burning alive a 20-year-old girl “because she refused to perform an extreme sex act.”

 

Saudi Arabia, arguably the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, has a legal system based on strict sharia law, which prohibits women from dressing as they wish or even driving a car. Saudi rulings are notoriously abysmal when it comes to rape. Last year, a Saudi woman was sentenced to 200 lashes after being gang raped by seven men. In 2013, a Saudi preacher who raped, tortured, and murdered his 5-year old daughter was punished with just eight years of prison, 800 lashes, and a $270,000 fine. With such legal norms, it’s not surprising that when members of the country’s ruling elite travel to the West, their behavior may not change accordingly (last October three women accused a Saudi prince of sexual assault in Beverly Hills). By ironic and tragic contrast, U.S. soldiers stationed in Muslim majority countries are trained to respect local norms to the point that marines stationed in Afghanistan were actually taught to look away if they find Afghanis raping children, a common local practice.

 

While sharia advocates often claim that the Islamic dress code protects women, the brutally unfair treatment of women by Islamists seems driven more by power-hungry male chauvinism and/or sexual insecurity than by any genuine concern for women’s welfare, judging from the staggering hypocrisy of its proudest proponents. The 9/11 jihadists visited strip clubs, and paid for prostitutes in their motel rooms. Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American-born imam whose sermons continue to attract recruits to jihad, frequented prostitutes. Osama bin Laden had an extensive pornography collection, and is among the many examples of jihadis obsessed with porn and prostitution collected by Phyllis Chesler, a CUNY emerita professor of psychology and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

Between 1997 and 2013, well before the recent mass migration to Europe began, an estimated 1,400 children had been sexually abused in Rotherham, England, predominantly by gangs of British-Pakistani men.

 

While that scandal involved mostly “white” victims, an Oxford-educated Pakistani-British woman revealed her own exploitation, noting that “sexual abuse has been systemically under-reported among Asian girls due to deeply entrenched cultural taboos – obscuring the reality that there is a similarly rampant problem of minority girls being abused by members of their own community.”

 

A few weeks ago, Swedish police received 35 complaints from girls aged 12 to 17 who claimed that “foreign young men” sexually assaulted them at a popular music festival.

 

Soeren Kern, a distinguished senior fellow of the Gatestone Institute, compiled details of dozens of sexual assaults by migrants in Germany during the first two months of 2016, and noted the enabling reaction from “the upside-down worldview of German multiculturalism: Migrants who assault German women and children are simply rebelling against German power structures. Germans who dare to criticize such assaults are racists.”

 

In contrast to the initial cover-up by German police of the mass rape by mostly Muslim migrants, France’s top security official recently spoke with candid alarm about the threat that his country faces. Just two days before the truck-ramming, ISIS-inspired massacre in Nice, Patrick Calvar, chief of the Directorate General of Internal Security, warned members of the French parliamentary commission that France is on the verge of a “civil war” that could be sparked by the mass sexual assault of women by migrants.

 

There are remarkable exceptions within Islam itself, such as the Tuareg, an Islamic tribe in Africa, where women embrace sexual freedoms, dictate who gets what in divorce, and don’t wear the veil because men “want to see their beautiful faces.” But how long can the Tuareg’s enlightened version of Islam survive in southwest Libya when ISIS is expanding there, or in Mali, Niger and northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram is on the march?

 

There are also brave Muslim reformers trying to improve the way Islam treats women. However, they mostly operate in the West, where they still face death threats; one example is Irshad Manji. Another, Fadela Amara, founded Ni Putes Ni Soumises, a group that defends Muslim French girls against the pressures they face to wear the hijab, drop out of school, and marry early without the right to choose their husband. Amara went on to serve in the government of Nicolas Sarkozy, but she, too, received death threats for her efforts to liberate Muslim women.

 

Muslim feminists outside of the West assume far greater risks. Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, who openly expressed her feminist views online, was recently strangled to death by her brother in their family’s home, in an “honor killing.” Her “intolerable behavior” is what drove him to murder her, he said, because her risqué persona was bringing “dishonor” to the family. There are an estimated 1,000 honor killings per year in Pakistan.

 

Even in the West, few feminists dare to criticize Islam because doing so can invite threats and violence. Absurdly, those brave enough to do so also risk being prosecuted for “hate speech.”

Western countries must support courageous Muslim reformers while protecting all women living in their territories from the sexual abuse often encouraged by Islamist culture – whether that abuse is perpetrated by recent immigrants or long-time residents. The survival of the West depends on it.

Noah Beck

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/islam-sexual-violence-and-the-west/2016/07/31/

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