Tag Archive | Islamist

Refugees , immigration and terror in the U.S.

In the wake of the [2013] Kentucky case, the U.S. halted the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time, officials told ABC News in the 2013 investigation.
ABC News Report

The current debate over the admission of Syrian refugees focuses on the possibility that it will help facilitate the entry of terrorists into the U.S.

This view is based on the growing trend of Islamist immigrants in the U.S. that have been involved in terrorism in the last few years.  The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Natural Interest reports that it has identified at least 26 foreign-born individuals inside the U.S. who have either been charged with or convicted of terrorism in the last year with even more examples going back to 2013.  From an AL.com article by Leada Gore:

Sessions said U.S. officials have no access to Syrian government data to vet refugees and no capacity to predict whether those seeking refuge are likely to join militant groups. As proof of that, the  Immigration Subcommittee, which Sessions chairs, provided a partial list of apprehended foreign-born terrorists or terror suspects since 2013:

Sessions said these incidents are just a few of those identified by his committee. They should serve as a warning against any plan for relocation of immigrants, especially those from Syria, he added.

The concerns have not been limited to the GOP.   Several days ago, 47 House Democrats broke rank and joined with Republicans, voting for a bill aimed at pausing admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding requirements to an already lengthy screening process.   In the Senate, the Washington Post reported:

Longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee, warned in a statement Tuesday “we need to be very careful about Syrian refugee admissions.”

The Hill reports that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed a letter to President Obama calling on him to not allow any more Syrians into the country “unless federal authorities can guarantee with 100 percent assurance they are not connected” to the Islamic State.

At least one Democratic was among the governors asking for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.

UN records show a four fold increase (850,000) so far in 2015 of refugees entering Europe through the Mediterranean area compared to 2014 (216,000) with Syrians accounting for about 52% of the numbers.  From the trend, the numbers will most likely be significantly higher by the end of 2015. While the vast majority will most likely settle in Europe, U.S. allocations have been steadily increasing.

We noted last year in “Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?,  that according to U.S. Department of State refugee statistics, in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions.  In 2008 there was a marked increase, with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries.  This repeated in 2009-2013 and the  2014 allocations authorize the increased level.  For 2015, 12,000-15,000 Syrians alone, are projected for admission.

The Paris bombings raised the possibility that forged Syrian passports are being used by terrorists and this certainly brings up concerns as to the actual identify of those being processed as Syrian refugees.   Earlier this week Bloomberg reported:

A Syrian passport found next to a suicide bomber in the Paris terror attacks may have been planted, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

Reports that the identity in the passport may have been registered in several countries along the so-called Balkan route raise the suspicion that it could be a deliberate attempt to implicate refugees and “make people feel unsafe,” de Maiziere said.

“There are indications that this was a planted lead, but it still can’t be ruled out that this was indeed an IS terrorist posing as a refugee,” he told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, referring to Islamic State, which France blames for organizing the violence.

Any link between France’s worst terror attack since World War II and Europe’s refugee crisis would raise the stakes for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she defends her open-door policy for asylum seekers in Germany’s debate over immigration and security.

Syrian refugee proponents are proclaiming  there has not been one terrorist act by a refugee in the United States.  When presented with the case of the Boston Bombers, these proponents counter that the Tsarnaev brothers were not really refugees.

An example of this can be found in a recent article on Reason.com that attempts to label GOP politicians as “Fearmongers”.  Ronald Bailey writes:

Note: Several commenters suggested Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. Strictly speaking, they were the children of asylees. As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program. Apparently the legal distinction is too fine a point for some readers. So be it, but they should nevertheless keep in mind that the brothers were two people out around 1.8 million people who were granted refugee or asylee status between 1995 and 2013.

This dismissal conflicts with a recent Dailymail.com article that notes:

Six Bosnian immigrants, three from Missouri, two from Illinois and one from New York, were charged in February with sending money and military equipment to extremist groups in Syria including ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front.

Last year we reported on the case  of Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington, VT (a naturalized U.S. citizen) who was facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery.

In 2013, an ABC news report detailed the 2009 discovery of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq:

An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home — a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.

An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.

This week, ABC reported that, “Of the 31 states that have declared their opposition to taking in Syrian refugees, one state, Kentucky, has a specific reason to be wary of the background check process.”  This caused the U.S. to  halt the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time.

Boston: the good, the bad and the ugly

If it wasn’t for the surveillance video that showed Usaama Rahim charging JTTF members, Imam Ibrahim Rahim’s  claim that his brother was shot in the back  would have probably set off a repeat of what was seen in Ferguson and Baltimore.

As the trial and sentencing of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fades from the headlines, the shooting of suspected terrorist Usaama Rahim by Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) members, brings the city of Boston and Islamic terrorism back into the spotlight. 

The old adage of “where there’s smoke there’s fire” seems to certainly apply with Islamic related terror activities and Boston.

The good . . .

The top brass overseeing the FBI/JTTF in Boston apparently learned a very expensive lesson in the wake of the 2013 Boston bombing.   Surveillance and collection activities in regards to suspected Islamic terrorists in the Boston area must be a priority.  It takes just one major terror incident to slip by to attract all the critics and have operations placed under a microscope for review.

In a report we made in 2013, reference was made to an article by Bill Gertz of the Washington Beacon where he wrote:

Critics said the FBI’s failure to properly investigate Tsarnaev was a repeat of the bureau’s lapse in missing advance signs of the Islamist radicalization of accused Fort Hood massacre shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Details about the shooting of Usaama Rahim and the Boston terror probe are still coming in, but it is obvious that the JTTF had obtained information about a potential threat  and was actively conducting surveillance of the subject.

The bad . . .

Some policy makers at the federal and local levels of government still want to embrace Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) progams such as the one promoted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) – Safe Spaces.    Such programs hamper proven counter-terror techniques, relying instead on Muslim community/mosque leaders to identify “misguided individuals” and contact the authorities when these leaders feel the threat warrants it.

The recent Boston incident provides an excellent example of why such CVE initiatives, like MPACs Safe Spaces, generally do not work:

  • Usaama Rahim’s brother, Imam Ibrahim Rahim, is a leading Islamic leader in Boston and claims he was not aware of his brother’s radicalization.  The Rahim family’s attorney told reporters that the family was completely unaware of any radicalization or ties to ISIS.
  • Imam Ibrahim Rahim claimed on twitter that his brother was shot three times in the back by authorities.  This has been shown to be a fabrication based on official reports and statements by community leaders that viewed surveillance footage of the incident.

boston-tweet-shotinback

  • Another Boston Islamic community leader,  Imam Abdullah Faaruuq was quoted in the Boston Herald saying:

If they thought he was a very dangerous person, they should have taken precautions in approaching him. I would. I wouldn’t approach a wild animal or anything I thought was dangerous without being fully prepared if I wanted to capture him and keep him alive. I don’t think they wanted to keep him alive.

As was shown with Boston Bombing case, Islamic community leaders are probably not the best source of to be relied on to identify radical elements and notify authorities.   If it wasn’t for the surveillance video that showed Usaama Rahim charging JTTF members, Imam Rahim’s claim that his brother was shot in the back would have probably set off a repeat of what was seen in Ferguson and Baltimore.

 The ugly . . .

As we have noted in the past, expect an apologist and misinformation campaign by Islamists that spins the shooting into a victim-hood portrayal of Muslims.   Since Usaama Rahim was black, race will be highlighted to gain sympathy from minority communities.

In short – the facts be damned.

Canadian paper trashes blog site in defense of Islamist

Earlier this month we mentioned  the Canadian website Point de Bascule in our report,  Islamist Propaganda: The Montgomery County Model, WORDE and the Muslim Brotherhood .  It was regarding Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his alleged ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations. 

The Canadian National Post (NP) just published an article by Catherine Solyom that focuses on possible motivations behind Hamdani’s suspension titled, “Hero or extremist.   It devotes a good amount of time on attempting to discredit the credibility of Point de Bascule’s author, Marc Lebuis.   It fails to fully explore the validity of reports that Hamdani has ties to Islamist groups,  relying instead on statements made by Hamdani that he is simply a victim. 

Another version of the article appears in the  Montreal Gazette titled, “Hussein Hamdani: Vetted by the feds, felled by a blog with additional references to Pamela Geller and Steven Emerson along with an expanded history of Hamdani’s community involvement.   This version also includes a statement by researcher Seigfried Mathelet calling  Lebuis a “militant”.

csolyom-tweet

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) has labeled the NP article a “hit piece” and we agree.  GMBDW defends Lebuis, responding in depth to the four issues Solyom raises.  Recommended reading.

A key point to all this:  Hamdani was not suspended until after a televised report by French language TVA network journalist Michel Jean was made about Hamdani’s questionable ties.   Solyom  acknowledges this in her article yet makes no attempt to question any motives that TVA or Michel Jean might have pertaining to the broadcast.

The article includes:

Seigfried Mathelet, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said he knows of Lebuis as a “pseudo-expert” who has worked for years to gain influence with political decision-makers and the mainstream media, even though he has no links to academic research.

His modus operandi, like that of numerous anti-Islam bloggers and organizations based in the U.S., Mathelet explained, is to take anything problematic associated with Islam – like the Boko Haram or ISIS attacks – and link them to people in Canada.

and

Matthew Duss, the lead author of Fear, Inc. 2.0. — a report published by the Centre for American Progress on anti-Islam organizations and their sources of funding – says Muslim-bashing is a very lucrative business in the U.S., and it may be in Canada, too.

Duss believes Point de Bascule may be part of an international “Islamophobia network.”

These two above sections are mentioned to highlight the fact that even so called “experts” miss the mark when dealing with these terms …

  • Islamist – a supporter or advocate of Islamic fundamentalism, striving to remove non-Islamic systems and replace with those in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam
  • Islamic: pertaining to Islam, the religion
  • Muslim: a follower of the religion of Islam

To make it simple, calling all Muslims as Islamists would be the equivalent of calling all Christians to be Puritans.

The Point de Bascule describes itself as,  “an independent and non partisan website describing the means and methods used by Islamist organizations and leaders in order to further their program in Canada.”  

Immigration – an Islamist social tactic?

The following opinion piece provides some interesting “food for thought” in regards to current events impacting the Middle East and Europe, particularly the flood of refugees from North Africa.    In the U.S., similar concerns have been voiced regarding refugee immigrants as we reported in  Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?.  

Some view these concerns as being far fetched conspiracy theories promoting bigotry and are simply dismissed as Islamophobia.  Others point to the social problems affecting some European nations that have experienced an influx of  Muslim immigrant populations attracted by liberal social programs.

Islam lies in wait for Europe

From: Israel Hayom
By: Dr. Ephraim Herrera, May 21, 2015

The demographic trends are clear: Europe is committing suicide. The fertility rate to maintain a country’s population, known as the replacement rate, is generally considered to be 2.1 births per woman. The average fertility rate in Europe is 1.6. In Germany and Italy, it is 1.4. To increase its population, Europe has let in immigrants, to the point that they comprise some 10 percent of the population in Spain, the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany. In Austria, their proportion is 15 percent.

A significant number of those immigrants are Muslim. They hail from the lower rungs of society in their countries of origin and decided to leave in search of a life of comfort in the West.

But the influx of millions of immigrants from Asia and Africa is more than just about their socio-economic plight. Islamic thinkers have tried to capitalize on this wave. Although these thinkers are still lying in wait, they hope they can eventually use the immigrants as a means of conquering Europe. This strategy has been propagated by Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi for the past 30 years. Qaradawi has tremendous clout in the Sunni Arab world, to the point that his rulings are considered authoritative by the Muslim Brotherhood. The strategy is terribly simple: Tap into the local Muslim community and lure its teens to the “real” Islam, then go up the rungs of power in the major parties and seize the reins of government through the democratic process.

Rest of Article: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12655

Muslim Brotherhood Speakers at 40th ICNA-MAS Convention

Baltimore, MD will be hosting the 40th Annual ICNA/MAS convention Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, 2015.

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is part of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) network in the U.S., and was listed as an affiliated organization in the seized MB document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America”.   The Muslim American Society (MAS) claims to have no affiliation with the MB, but in 2004 then-Secretary General of MAS, Shaker Elsayed, was quoted as saying, “Ikhwan [Brotherhood] members founded MAS…”

This years convention is listing 26 featured speakers to include:

Imam Siraj Wahhaj –  Vice President of ISNA and the Imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brookyn, New York.  Wahhaj has also held positions with the following Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organizations: North American Islamic Trust (NAIT),  the American Muslim Council (AMC) and the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA).  Wahhaj was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Naeem Baig – President of ICNA and the chairman of the American Muslim Taskforce (AMT), an umbrella body of 10 national American Muslim organizations.  According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW), “The AMT today is comprised of the most important U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Muslim American Society (MAS). Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle Of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society Of North America (ISNA), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Student Association (MSA).”

Dr. Jamal Badawi – a professor at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Badawi holds high level positions in a number of MB organizations.  The GMBDW notes, “Documents released during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial indicate that he was (and probably still is), a member of the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Sh. Yusuf Islahi – a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) party of India.  In 2010 the  Investigative Report on Terrorism (IPT)  reported that JIH supports Islamic rule over politics/the economy and has backed terrorism against American troops and in the Middle East.  At the time of the report, Islahi was noted to be a member of the governing board of the JIH party of India.

Dr. Mukhtar Maghraouireported to be with the Islamic Center Boca Raton (ICBR) Maghraoui, is a  former member of the Fiqh Council of North America – an organization comprised of Islamic scholars associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood.  A 2014 article in The Clarion Project links the ICBR to MB groups.

Sh. Abdool Rehman Khan – chairman of the Shari’ah Council of Islamic Circle of North America and a member of the Fiqh Council of North America.

Imam Suhaib Webb – Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center (ISBCC) and former education director of the Muslim American Society (MAS).    His MB ties were featured in a December 2011  GMBDW report.

Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed –  the GMBDW advises, “Yasmin Mogahed is also the sister of Dahlia Mogahed, formerly a Faith Advisor to US President Obama and close to Saudi-funded Georgetown Professor John Esposito, himself a long-time supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Yasmin Mogahed is a regular speaker on the Global Muslim Brotherhood speaking circuit.”

Dr. Altaf Husain – former two-term national president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA),  a current executive committee member of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA),  ISNA Vice President-US, and a board member of the Peaceful Families Project.  We reported in May 2015,  The Peaceful Families Project board also includes Salma Elkadi Abugideiri and Muna AbuSulayma, the daughters of two major MB leaders.

Imam Khalid Griggs– Imam of the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem, Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life at Wake Forest University, and Board Chair of the ICNA Council for Social Justice.  A 2012 article in the Creeping Sharia blog highlights Griggs’ radical affiliations including  being “a member of the Shura Council for the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), an organization co-founded and led by Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.”  In  Jan 2015, the Washington Times reported about a call for a Wake Forest University donor boycott until the university addressed the 2010 hiring of Griggs and his radical ties.

Dalia Mogahed – Formerly a Faith Advisor to US President Obama , The IPT notes that she is “a tenacious defender of groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).”   We reported on  her scheduled June 2015 video appearance at the MSA National Retreat.

Nihad Awad – National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, DC..  The IPT offers a number of reports on CAIR’s link to the MB.

Nahela Alexandra Morales – leader of ICNA’s WHY-ISLAM Hispanic Outreach to Mexico.

Sr. Saadia Z. Yunus – daughter of past ICNA president (1977 – 2000), Dr. Mohammad Yunus.

Qasim Mazhar – Operations Manger for ICNA’S youth branch,  Young Muslims.

The ICNA’s Young Muslims will be holding their convention, Lost in Whispers, at the same dates and location.

Some past convention highlights:

The 2014 conference featured Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramada.

According to an IPT report, at the 2000 convention Tayyib Yunus, then leader of the Young Muslims  branch and son of former ICNA president Dr. Mohammad Yunus, urged ICNA members to send their children to fight in jihad:

“The youth is very important, as parents, for us to facilitate the youth. And, we all want to see our youth to succeed to become doctors, to become engineers; but how many of you can actually say that you want to send your son to Jihad, to Chechnya ? How many of you can actually say that? [Takbir! Allahu Akbar!] How many of you can actually say that you want to send your child [He begins to sob] Takbir! Allahua Akbar! Takbir! Allahua Akbar! [He cries uncontrollably now, after a delay, he begins to speak again] How many of you can actually say that you want to send your youth to fight in Jihad or to send them to Azhar or to these Islamic Institutions to become educated?” [Emphasis added]

U.S. Islamists pushback on U.S. counter terror efforts

The Muslim community has to realize that a lot of the responsibility lies with them to cooperate with law enforcement
– Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)

King: Muslim Groups Complain About Harassment, Surveillance When Asked to Help Fight ISIS

From: Pjmedia.com
By Bridget Johnson, May 11, 2015

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) charged that all U.S. Muslim groups are doing is “complain about the fact that they’re being harassed and they’re being surveilled” as they need to step forward and help stop jihadi recruitment on U.S. soil.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a brief statement Friday that the group “engaged with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson during two separate meetings focused on the Obama administration’s new countering violent extremism (CVE) program in New York.”

“CAIR officials met previously with the secretary on the same issue in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles.”

King said a source in the meeting told him Johnson was “asking for them to step forward and be more cooperative” as they complained about harassment.

“Well, if we keep that attitude up, we’re going to get nowhere. The Muslim community has to realize that a lot of the responsibility lies with them to cooperate with law enforcement,” King said this morning on MSNBC.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  We highlighted the new CVE program when it was rolled out with a DOJ announcement in September 2014.  In February 2015, CAIR  stated that the “CVE is not an effective use of public resources ” so the observed lack of cooperation should not be surprising. 

The push by Islamic groups in the the U.S. has been towards the MPACs Safe Spaces program announced last year.   Safe Spaces places an emphasis on two key points:

  • the mosque/Muslim community makes the determination of  threat levels and when law enforcement is allowed to be involved.
  • the sanctity of the mosque is a priority

In other words, the interests of the mosque and its community apparently take precendence.  This view was expressed by Salam Al-Marayati, president of  MPAC who wrote in 2014:

Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque. In essence, we want to enhance both a spiritual safety and public safety.

As we indicated in “Islamist damage control – Safe Spaces revisited, the Safe Spaces Initiative can be tied into several front groups for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) such as CAIR and the Muslim American Society (MAS).   The author of the “Safe Spaces Tool Kit” is Alejandro J. Beutel – the lead face in MPAC’s organized effort to move U.S. law enforcement towards a community oriented policing model that effectively allows the Muslim community to exercise considerable control and influence.  He was a junior fellow with the Minaret of Freedom Institute.   According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, “The Minaret of Freedom Institute [is] a lesser known group tied to the U.S Brotherhood and whose leadership includes Omar Altalib, likely a relative of Hisham Altalib, one of the original leaders of IIIT and the SAAR Foundation“.

MPAC reported that during a June 2014 meeting of American Muslim and Syrian leaders in Chicago, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson applauded the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) for launching its community-based Safe Spaces Initiative.

RELATED:  In 2011 CAIR-California promoted a conference titled, ““FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities.”  According to a Fox news report:

… the website of CAIR’s California chapter, features a sinister-looking FBI agent with the headlines “Build a Wall of Resistance” and “Don’t Talk to the FBI.” The poster was designed in the late 1970s or early 1980s and has been reproduced by various groups and activists since then in response to alleged harassment by the FBI and to protest grand jury subpoenas.

RECOMMENDED READING: ” Draw Mohammed and Reform Islam”

Either Islam will reform, or it will be in constant conflict with the West until one side or the other gives up. 
– Jonathan Keiler

In a May 9, 2015  American Thinker blog post,  Jonathan Keiler writes that Islam needs to reform and drop taboos that place it at odds with Western culture: 

Pamela Geller’s “draw Mohammed” contest in Texas was provocative, but the problem is not with Geller or the contest organizers, it is with Muslims who insist that they were provoked because it violated a Muslim taboo against representational art.   Muslims should not have been provoked by a contest that was about free speech.  In the West free speech and activities that are offensive but don’t infringe the rights of others, are not only tolerated, but often celebrated.  They are part of the fundamental fabric of society. 

Muslims are entitled to their taboos; every religion has them.  Religious taboos emerge, evolve, change or dissipate over time, and Islam is no exception to this process.   Islam began without an accepted taboo requiring women to veil themselves, the practice becoming widespread only after the conquest of Mesopotamia.  And over time, and depending on place, that taboo has waxed and waned. 

Art has always been a part of religion, and beliefs about art within religions are not static.  Western Christian iconography changed dramatically over time as Christianity grew from a small Jewish cult to an imperial faith.  Byzantium celebrated icons, broke them, and celebrated again.  In Buddhism, as the faith moved along the Silk Roads from India to China, Buddha changed from an aesthetic priest into a chubby party animal.

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COMMENT/ANAYLSIS:  Keiler further points out that the common trend of taking a politically correct apologist stance with Islam needs to stop:

Western pundits and politicians ought to do what they can to encourage reform, not hinder it by parroting Islamist positions in an attempt to assuage Muslims. This not only leads to moral absurdities — like blaming the victims of the terror attack in Texas instead of the perpetrators and their sympathizers — but it gives Muslims little reason to reform their religion.

We agree.  Appeasing Islamists only bolsters their influence within Muslim communities, lessening chances for meaningful reform.  As we pointed out in a follow-up to the Garland terror attack, this type of stance is simply a “win” for Islamists in using fear and intimidation to silence those that oppose them.

Related article by Keiler: An Islamic Reformation?, Jan 19, 2015

In the wake of Garland terror attack, fear cancels Geert Wilders FL event

Is the Boca West Country Club being “Islamophobic” in fearing a Muslim attack?

Safety concerns lead Boca club to cancel GOP event with Islam foe

From:  Palm Beach Post
By: George Bennett, May 7, 2015

The Palm Beach County Republican Party will have to find another venue for a fundraiser featuring the Dutch politician and Islam critic who spoke at Sunday’s “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas.

The local GOP booked Boca West Country Club for the $125-a-plate “Lobsterfest” dinner on Aug. 15 featuring Geert Wilders, leader of a right-wing party in the Dutch parliament. But the country club announced Thursday it has canceled the event because of safety concerns.

Full article: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/safety-concerns-lead-boca-club-to-cancel-gop-event/nmBx4/

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:    This was to be a private event and whether you agree with Geert Wilders or not, he and the event sponsors have a Constitutional right to present their views.    This decision works as a “win” for Islamists  in using fear and intimidation to silence those that oppose them. From the Sun Sentinal:

But representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations expressed outrage at the Republicans’ decision to have Wilders as a speaker.

“On the international level he is probably the most notorious, anti-Muslim bigot in the world,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the Washington-based national communications director for CAIR.

“He is the worst of the worst. This is the Islam-is-evil-and-must-be-destroyed school of thinking,” Hooper said. “And for the Republican Party to host him, I can’t imagine that any Muslim voter in the state … would not hear about it and judge accordingly.”

Michael Barnett, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party,  told the Sun Sentinal that to back out in hosting an event with Wilders would “go against everything we stand for”  pertaining to our freedoms of speech and religion. The Sun Sentinal continued with:

CAIR representatives said the free speech argument sounds good but is disingenuous. “Will they be hosting neo-Nazis and anti-Semites and other race-baiters and bigots? Or is it just anti-Muslim bigots that they host?” Hooper said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Nezar Hamze, CAIR-Florida regional operations director, said he’s heard the freedom of speech argument before. “It’s not about freedom of speech, it’s about spreading hate.”

It will be interesting to see if the local GOP actuall does find another venue or simply cancel Wilders’ planned appearance. 

Side thought:  Is the Boca West Country Club being “Islamaphobic” in fearing a Muslim attack?

NJ Islamic Center to host Muslim Brotherhood Shari’ah event

The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) has a history of being associated with Islamic radicals promoting terror …

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) advises that on May 2, 2015, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (Paterson, New Jersey) will host “Understanding Shari’ah: Sacred Principles for Human Development” in collaboration with the Fiqh Council of North America. 

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes the following about the council:

The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is an organization comprised of Islamic scholars associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. As FCNA itself acknowledges, the organization grew out of the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and later became affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), itself an outgrowth of MSA. FCNA maintains a relationship with other similar bodies in the Global Muslim Brotherhood including the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) as well as the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia.Two individuals known to have been ECFR members, Jamal Badawi and Solah Soltan, are also known to have been associated with the FCNA.

Most of scheduled speakers for the May 2nd event have firmly established associations with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organizations:

  • Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (ISNA, NAIT)
  • Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah (ICNA)
  • Dr. Ihsan Bagby (ISNA)
  • Br. Azhar Azeez (President of ISNA and former CAIR executive)
  • Sh. Mohammad Qatanani (HAMAS)
  • Dr. Zainab Alwani (IIIT and daughter of MB leader Taha Al-Alwani)
  • Sh. Yasir Fahmy
  • Prof. Ebrahim Moosa

ISNA – Islamic Society of North America
ICNA – Islamic Circle of North America
NAIT – North American Islamic Trust
IIIT – International Institute of Islamic Thought
CAIR – Council on American Islamic Relations

 The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) has a history of being associated with Islamic radicals promoting terror.  A 2013 Clarion Project reports:

The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) was founded by Mohammad El-Mezain, who was convicted in 2008 for fundraising for Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. It is led today by Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security.

Muhammad al-Hanooti was an imam at ICPC from 1990 to 1995.  He was president of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a pro-Hamas organization and Muslim Brotherhood front organization, from 1984 to 1986. 

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 In January 2014, the ICPC hosted Syrian Sheik Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi as part of an 11-city tour across America and co-sponsored by the Syrian American Council (SAC).   The Sheik al-Nabulsi supports suicide bombings and has labeled all Jews as combatants.

In 2014 we  reported on the lobbying efforts of SAC on Capitol Hill and its ties to the MB.

COMMENT: We wonder if the SAC had enough clout with the State Department to waive visa restrictions that deny individuals promoting hate and violence from entering the U.S..

Law Makers vs. Free Speech? 2 Muslim Congressmen move to block US entry of Dutch Politician

The irony comes from claims of harmful “Islamaphobia” by two lawmakers associated with groups supporting antisemitism, destruction of Israel, and destroying the Western civilization from within.

Several members of the U.S. Congress are taking a cue from the Muslim Student Association (MSA) tactic of banning speakers they find offensive.

On Apr 28, 2015, The Daily Caller reported

The two Muslim members of Congress have called on two U.S. Cabinet members to block Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders from entering the U.S. because they believe he is “Islamophobic.”

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson penned a joint letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson last Thursday. Foreign Policy reported it on Tuesday.

“We write to raise our deep concern regarding the visit of Mr. Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker known for perpetuating Islamophobia,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote, citing a 1998 law, the International Religious Freedom Act. The law allows the State Department to deny foreign leaders guilty of “severe violations of religious freedom” from entering the U.S.

Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, is scheduled to speak at several events throughout the US.  His stance on “Islamisation” of the Netherlands is quite clear –  calling for an end to Muslim immigration and a ban on the building of new mosques.  His political party considers Islam a violent ideology rather than a religion.  Islamists have called for his death

A copy of his scheduled speech to the Conservative Opportunity Society in Washington D.C. can be viewed here.

COMMENT/ANALYSIS:   Rep. Ellison was a past representative/member  of the Nation of Islam.  From an article in an October 2006 edition of the Weekly Standard

Having spoken out over many years as an advocate of the Nation of Islam under guises including Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad, Ellison might reasonably prompt Fifth District voters to wonder where he really stands. His recent account of the nature and extent of his relationship with the Nation of Islam cannot be squared with the public record. During his congressional campaign, Ellison has nevertheless held himself out as a friend of the Jewish people and of Israel. As if to shore up his identity as a Muslim activist, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, flew to Minneapolis to appear as a featured guest (along with Ellison himself and Guantánamo chaplain James Yee) at an Ellison fundraiser in suburban Minneapolis on August 25. Awad is notable, among other things, for his past expressions of support for Hamas.

From April 2006 to November 2014 it is reported that Rep. Ellison has received over 212 separate political donations totaling over $212,000 from Islamists.  From January 2008 to October 2014, Rep. Andre Carson reportedly received 60 separate political donations totaling over $36,000.  The vast majority of the these donors are  affiliated with  Muslim Brotherhood front groups that include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The irony comes from claims of harmful “Islamaphobia” by two lawmakers associated with groups supporting antisemitism, destruction of Israel, and destroying the Western civilization from within.

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