The evil of religion 1

Sam Harris on the inferiority of Islam, the superiority of the West. And the evil of religion.

The School of Athens

Part of a mural by Raphael (1403-1520) in the  Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, Rome.

About the wretched of the earth 1

The age old Muslim trade in slaves continues in North Africa and the Islamic State. It’s part of the culture. It would be very rude to criticize it.  Racist even.

The rulers of the world, fountains one and all of moral pieties, say nothing let alone do anything about it. They are full of righteous indignation, make long speeches in international forums, about the (humane) little state of Israel protecting itself from persistent organized murderers with a fence, but slave-trafficking leaves them cold.

The following report implies – erroneously – that the slave trade in those parts belongs to the far past, and what is happening now is a small revival of it, a new phenomenon arising out of the present circumstance of mass migration.

In any case, this is about Muslim slave-trading in North Africa now. LIBYA NOW.

Edwin Mora writes at Breitbart:

A 24-year-old Nigerian shared his ordeal as one of the thousands of West Africans who have traveled to Libya where their traffickers forced them into “a grim and violent world of slave markets, private prisons, and brutal forced brothels,” reports the Guardian.

Yes, the leftist Guardian reporting on Saturday May 13!

“They took people and put them in the street, under a sign that said ‘for sale,’” reportedly said 27-year-old Shamsuddin Jibril, another survivor from Cameroon who twice saw men traded publicly in the streets of the central Libyan town of Sabha.

“They tied their hands just like in the former slave trade, and they drove them here in the back of a Toyota Hilux. There were maybe five or seven of them,” added Jibril.

Many African migrants pay traffickers to travel to Libya in search of employment there or hoping to sail to Europe.

Migrants who managed to reach Europe from Libya have long told of being kidnapped by smugglers, who would then torture them to extort cash as they waited for boats. But in recent years this abuse has developed into a modern-day slave trade – plied along routes once used by slaving caravans – that has engulfed tens of thousands of lives.

The new slave traders operate with such impunity that, survivors say, some victims are being sold in public markets. Most, however, see their lives and liberty auctioned off in private.

This year, the United Nations agency known as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed that African migrants are being bought and auctioned off at public “slave market” in Libya.

They went, they saw, they confirmed, they dropped the matter.  

Citing the IOM, the Libyan Express notes:

Hundreds of migrants along North African migration routes are being bought and sold openly in modern day “slave markets” in Libya, survivors have told the United Nations migration agency, which warned that these reports “can be added to a long list of outrages” in the country. The International Criminal Court is now considering investigating.

We patiently, though not optimistically, await the outcome of its consideration.

Muhammed Yusuf, the 24-year-old Nigerian who shared his ordeal, faced the trafficker who sold him off six months ago to people who tortured him. He reportedly witnessed his friend’s death.

Unembarrassed and unrepentant, the smuggler [who sold him off] was still touting for business among the crowds flooding into Agadez, an oasis town on the fringe of the Sahara desert in central Niger that has for centuries been a trading center and gateway to shifting paths across the desert.

“I told him ‘my friend died in Libya because of you’,” Yusuf said, referring to his former captor and adding that hunger forced him to ask the trafficker for food.

“The man shrugged off both appeals, and walked away, saying only: ‘I am sorry, but God will help you’.” …

Needless to say, God didn’t help him.

“Sub-Saharan migrants were being sold and bought by Libyans, with the support of Ghanaians and Nigerians who work for them,” reports staff from the branch of the U.N.’s IOM in Niger, which is helping victims return home.

Are they? We would need very strong evidence to persuade us that a UN agency is doing something as helpful as that!

“The situation is dire,” declared Mohammed Abdiker, the IOM director of operation and emergencies, who recently visited the Libyan capital, Tripoli. “The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for many migrants. Some reports are truly horrifying and the latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages.”

The hazards faced by migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in overcrowded, unsafe vessels have been well documented.

Millions more young men, some with women and children, will be caught between the devil of enslavement and the deep blue sea.

 

 

To get passage on one of these leaky little tubs, a would-be African migrant pays many times his annual income. It takes him years to save the money. If he gets as far as the leaky little tub, his chance of drowning is obviously high.

What set these migrant tides in motion?

Could it be that European governments sang their siren song to lure the multitudinous poor of North Africa to their wealthy welfare states?

Could it be that an American government, a particular secretary of state, made it her mission to bomb Libya and so sent it into chaos with a plurality of competing extortionist “governments”?  (Also see our postWhat Hillary and Obama did to Libya, April 17, 2015.)

It could be.

It was.

Repeat: Children’s story 2

We first posted this on October 7, 2012.

We repeat it because at last an American leader has been moved by the plight of children in Syria to attack that hellhole with cruise missiles.

President Trump is coming in for much criticism for the action he took after seeing pictures of people, including children and babies, dying from being sprayed with poison gas. His attack on the airfield from which the gas was flown was to deter the Syrian dictator from ever again gassing the people he oppresses.

Many doubt that it was Assad who was responsible for the gassing. Some of our commenters on our Facebook page are depicting Assad as a heroic fighter against ISIS.

This will serve as a reminder to us all that there is no good side fighting in Syria – except, at least this once, President Trump.

*

Both [all] sides of the civil war in Syria torture children to death.

This is from Front Page, by Frank Crimi:

One of the more loathsome horrors of Syria’s civil war has been the deliberate targeting of Syrian children by both pro-government and rebel forces, barbarity which includes imprisonment, rape, torture, sexual abuse, murder, and use as human shields.

That gruesome reality has been chillingly documented in recently released reports by the United Nations [see that pig flying? – JB] and two British-based humanitarian groups working with Syrian refugees, War Child and Save the Children.

While children in war zones are normally caught in the crossfire between opposing forces, the purposeful targeting of young children, according to the July 2012 War Child report, make the Syrian conflict “disturbingly unique”.

Well, the War Child report is just plain wrong there. Palestinian terrorists have been purposely targeting Israeli children for decades – and killing their own (see our post The sacrifice of children to Allah, August 19, 2011). The Lord’s Army in Africa forces children to cook and eat their parents (see our post The Lord’s Army of child slave cannibals, June 14, 2011). We could make a long list. But the point is not whether what the Syrians are doing is unique, but that they are doing it.

They are –

… abducting children and imprisoning them in former schools which have been converted into specially designed torture centers.

There the children are –

… beaten, blindfolded, and subjected to stress positions, whipped with heavy electrical cables, and scarred by cigarette burns.

One of these victims was a 15-year-old boy named Khalid, tortured in his old school where his father had once been the principal, who said, “They hung me up from the ceiling by my wrists, with my feet off the ground. Then I was beaten. I was terrified.”

In some instances, captors would bind the children’s hands together so tightly that, according to one victim, “the veins in their wrists would start to bleed. I witnessed so many children dying from this torture”.

For some, the maltreatment inflicted was a form of “sexual torture,” sexual violence levied on both boys and girls, some as young as 12, which included “rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia”. …

The type of sadistic punishment meted out to the children followed no formal protocol, but rather, according to a child sufferer who was subjected to electric shocks, “depended on what mood these men were in … They showed no sympathy, no mercy”.

This abject cruelty was pointedly expressed in the torture and death of a 6-year-old boy named Alaa, who was slated for torture because his father was an anti-government activist wanted by the Syrian regime. … Over the course of three days, the little boy was tortured, beaten and starved by his captors, with one 16-year-old witness to Alaa’s suffering saying, “I watched him die… He was terrified all the time. …” 

They speak of the terror, but not of the pain. How can one not think of the pain? Of six year old children in pain. Think how they must have cried.

These children are housed like animals as well, inhumanely incarcerated in small, overcrowded rooms, often shared with decomposing bodies. Then, as they await their assigned date with their torturer, they are starved for days on end, with their only drinkable water available from the cell’s toilet. …

Children outside [these]  deadly confines face equally lethal dangers, such as being used for target practice. …

One Syrian woman  … witnessed two armed militia men betting on which of them could shoot an 8-year-old boy playing alone in a street. … The men shot the boy, but their shots didn’t kill him right away. As he lay bleeding, the boy’s mother tried to reach him but was kept back by the men, leaving the boy to die hours later alone in the street outside his home. …

While the Syrian government may treat a child’s life as worthless, it has discovered they possess some practical value … serving as human shields … placing them on the front of government tanks and armored personnel carriers as they advance into an opposition held area.

Pretty pointless really, as the opposition cares no more for children than the government does. Using children as shields can only work against people with moral principles and a conscience.

One Syrian man named Nabil witnessed such a barbarous and cowardly act when he [saw]  two tanks entering his village with “children attached to them, tied up by their hands and feet, and by their torsos”, a sight which made Nabil feel so helpless that all he could do was cry.

Tanks “protected” by the bodies of living children – who will not deter the other side from shooting at the tank or blowing it up.

They must be very religious, the people who do such a thing. 

Of course, none of this … comes as a complete shock given that pro-government forces had signaled their contempt for children early on in the Syrian uprising, disregard expressed in the form of regime snipers deliberately shooting children who were part of street protests.

In fact, so distasteful was the sight of child protesters to the Syrian regime that it would take its vengeance by attacking schools. In one village, pro-regime militia went to a grade school, picked 50 children at random, many of whom were as young as 6-years-old, and proceeded to tear out their fingernails….

While most of the acts of violent child assault and murder have been committed by Syrian security forces and pro-regime militias, such as the dreaded Shabiha militias, the hands of opposition forces are far from clean. … The Free Syrian Army (FSA) forcibly [recruited] children, some as young as 8-years-old, into their ranks. …

Syrian Christian children have been targeted, along with their families, by elements of the FSA and an assortment of armed Islamist and al-Qaeda-linked terror groups as part of a systematic cleansing of Syrian Christians.

Cleansing: derived from the iniquitous phrase “ethnic cleansing”, the word has become a euphemism for mass murder.

That cleansing includes the killing of whole families, the sacking of churches, and the forcible evacuation of Christians from towns and cities, such as the forced Christian exodus of nearly 50,000 people from Homs in which armed Islamists murdered more than 200 Christians, including entire families with young children. …

As Rob Williams, CEO of War Child, has said, “The Syrian conflict must now rank as one of the worst for the depth and scale of abuses against children,” adding that it “will scar Syria for generations”.

If Rob Williams means that a nation with too few children is “scarred”, he may be right. If he means that the parents of the murdered children will be “scarred” he must surely be right. But if he means that Syria’s reputation, as a people, will be scarred, we must say that we very much doubt it. Who will hold the torturing to death of children against the torturing killers? Christians? They forgive. Western opinion generally? There is no precedent to suggest it. So who will remember those children, and refuse to forgive?

Make war not love 3

Last week Bashar al-Assad attacked his own people and killed many of them with poison gas. President Trump ordered that two US ships patrolling the eastern Mediterranean fire cruise missiles to destroy the Syrian airfield from where the gas was carried and the aircraft that carried it.

We were delighted that he did. We cheered. The mass-murdering  tyrant Assad and his allies and supporters, Russia and Iran, were being shown that the United States was no longer going to stand by while they committed such atrocities. We also applauded Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s announcement that Assad must go.

We invited our readers, both here on The Atheist Conservative website and on our Facebook page, to tell us what they thought about President Trump’s action.

Few agreed with us. Most said that Assad should be left in place because who knew what would follow his deposition. We argue that whatever followed, Syria could hardly experience worse than it has under Assad’s rule.

They argued that there was no firm evidence that Assad was responsible for the gassing. Some wanted him to be blamed and punished fairly, justly, as in an American court of law; not taking his past record into account; looking only at this particular atrocity and whether the evidence was strong enough for him to be found guilty of it.

Some declared that they had until now been Trump supporters, but his stroke against Assad had changed their view of him.

How many, we wonder, of those who voted Donald Trump into power now think he has done something so wrong that they regret their choice?

We cannot know. We do not trust the polls, and there is not going to be another presidential election in the near future to give the answer.

We can only point out that if we lose Trump, we lose the war. He is all we’ve got between us and the end of our civilization.

What war? How will it be the end of our civilization if we lose it?

Let’s look round the world and see what’s happening.

This is from an article at Gatestone by Guy Millière, titled Geert Wilders and the Suicide of Europe:

For years, the Dutch mainstream media have spread hatred and defamation against [Geert] Wilders for trying to warn the Dutch people – and Europe – about what their future will be if they continue their current immigration policies; in exchange, last December, a panel of three judges found him guilty of “inciting discrimination”. Newspapers and politicians all over Europe unceasingly describe him as a dangerous man and a rightist firebrand. Sometimes they call him a “fascist”.

What did Geert Wilders ever do to deserve that? None of his remarks ever incriminated any person or group because of their race or ethnicity. To charge him, the Dutch justice system had excessively and abusively to interpret words he used during a rally in which he asked if the Dutch wanted “fewer Moroccans”. None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him. He defends human rights and democratic principles and he is a resolute enemy of all forms of anti-Semitism.

His only “crime” is to denounce the danger represented by the Islamization of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe and to claim that Islam represents a mortal threat to freedom.  …

What is happening in the Netherlands is similar to what is happening in most European countries. In the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, the number of no-go zones is rapidly growing. Islamic riots occur more and more often. Ethnic gangs are growing more violent. Ethnic cleansing is transforming neighborhoods. Jews are leaving for Israel or North America.The Muslim population is sharply increasing. Radical mosques are proliferating. Islamic organizations are everywhere.

Politicians who dare to speak the way Geert Wilders does are treated the way Geert Wilders is treated : scorned, marginalized, put on trial.

The vision of the world in Western Europe is now “hegemonic”. It is based on the idea that the Western world is guilty; that all cultures are equal, and that Islamic culture is “more equal” than Western culture because Islam was supposedly so long oppressed by the West. What adherents of this view, that the West is guilty, “forget” is that Islam long oppressed the West: Muslim armies conquered Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and the Balkans, and virtually all of Eastern Europe. The Muslim armies were a constant threat until the marauding Ottoman troops were finally turned away at the Gates of Vienna in 1683.

This European vision also includes the idea that all conflicts can be peacefully settled, that appeasement is almost always a solution, and that Europe has no enemies.

It also stands on the idea that an enlightened elite must have the power, because if Adolf Hitler came to power through democratic means eighty years ago, letting people freely decide their fate might lead to ill.

The dream seems to be of a utopian future where poverty will be overcome by welfare systems, and violence will be defeated by openness and love.

Repeat: Islamic terrorism “will be defeated by openness and love”.

It is this vision of the world that may have prompted Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel to open the doors to more than a million unvetted Muslim migrants, despite a migrant crime wave and an increasing number of rapes and sexual assaults. The only candidate likely to beat Angela Merkel in this year’s German elections is a socialist, Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament president.

In France, Marine Le Pen, the only candidate who speaks of Islam and immigration, will almost certainly be defeated by Emmanuel Macron, a former minister in the government of François Hollande — a man who see no evil anywhere.

It is this vision of the world that also seems to have led British Prime Minister Theresa May to say that the Islamic attack on March 22 in Westminster was “not an act of Islamic terrorism”.

This romanticized, utopian vision of the world also explains why in Europe, people such as Geert Wilders are seen as the incarnation of evil, but radical Islam is considered a marginal nuisance bearing no relation to the “religion of peace”. Meanwhile, Wilders is condemned to live under protection as if he were in jail, while those who want to slaughter him — and who threaten millions of people in Europe — walk around free.

Of all the countries in Europe where the indigenous Europeans have capitulated to Islam, the one most eager to submit to that supremacist totalitarian conqueror is Sweden. Recently a jihadi drove a truck into a crowd of Swedes, killing four.

What will the Swedes – what remains of them – do to save themselves from Islamic terrorism?

They will ban the use of vehicles in Swedish cities:

Virginia Hale reports at Breitbart:

Cars and other vehicles “have turned into deadly weapons”, and should be banished from cities to stop attacks like the one in Stockholm from happening in future, according to Aftonbladet editorialist Eva Franchell.

Crackdowns on immigration or extremist ideology are not the way forward when it comes to terror prevention, according to the veteran journalist, writing after Friday’s terror attack in Stockholm left four people dead.

Instead, it is cars — which she calls “effective murder machines” — that Franchell says “[which] must simply be removed from city centres and places where people gather, if people are to be protected in future”.

Vehicles are “easy to steal, and so nothing has been able to stop their advance”, writes Ms. Franchell.

It just isn’t reasonable that a big truck can be driven right into one of Stockholm’s busiest streets on a Friday afternoon right before Easter.”

Noting how it is a popular destination for tourists, Franchell says the city centre must be a “safe environment” for visitors to enjoy. She described it as “remarkable” that it is possible to drive around the Swedish capital’s medieval old town.

Outlining her vision for a car-free Stockholm, she argues: “Most problems with regards to mobility and public transport can be solved, and deliveries to shops and restaurants could take place at times when people aren’t out on the streets.”

“Vehicles have been allowed to dominate our cities for decades and it’s the people who need space. It’s vital now that cars be regulated,” the piece concludes.

The idea of reducing the number of cars in Swedish cities was backed last month by Sweden’s environment minister, who argued that driving is a gender equality issue as well as a matter of shrinking the nation’s carbon emissions.

“Cars are driven largely by men so by giving a lot of space to cars; we’re giving a lot of space to men — at the expense of women,” Karolina Skog explained.

Cars are evil, and the need to get rid of them is a feminist issue. Two big important fights to be engaged there, with cars and sex inequality.

So are we and President Trump in a very small minority of Westerners who think that we should use all our strength to defeat Islam and its helpers and allies?

We don’t know. But there are voices raised on our side.

This is from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, by Yaakov Lappin:

The conflict in Syria has long ceased being a civil war, becoming instead a clash between coalitions and blocs that divide the entire Middle East.

The Iranian-led axis is the most dangerous and highly armed bloc fighting in Syria. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not an independent actor, but rather, a component of this wider axis. In many respects, Assad is a junior member of the Iranian coalition set up to fight for him.

Russia joined the Iranian axis in 2015, acting for its own reasons as the pro-Assad coalition’s air force, helping to preserve the Syrian regime.

This coalition enabled the Assad regime to conduct mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from Syria, while also using unconventional weapons against civilians in an effort to terrorize rebel organizations into submission.

Feeling confident by its growing control of Syria, Iran also uses its regional coalition to arm, finance, and deploy Shi’ite jihadist agents all over the Middle East, and to attack those who stand in the way of Iranian domination.

The Iranian-led axis has been able to spread violence, terrorism, and Islamic militancy without facing repercussions.

Until recently, the United States focused its attention exclusively on Sunni jihadist threats – ISIS and al-Qaida-affiliated groups. While these terrorists certainly need to be attacked, turning a blind eye to the activities of the more powerful radical Shi’ite coalition did nothing to stop the region’s destabilization. In this context, Assad’s numerous crimes against humanity went unanswered.

This helped embolden Assad to use chemical weapons. It also gave the Iranians confidence to magnify their meddling in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, and to target many other states. The end result is Iran’s enhanced ability to export its Khomeiniest Islamic fundamentalist doctrine.

That sent a troubling message to America’s regional allies, who, in the face of these threats, formed a de facto coalition of pragmatic Sunni states – a coalition that includes Israel.

On April 6, the U.S. sent a signal that something may have changed. A cruise missile attack on an Assad regime air base, in response to a savage chemical weapons massacre in Idlib, Syria, was, first and foremost, a moral response to an intolerable act of evil.

But the strike also carries a wider prospective message about Washington’s new willingness to enforce red lines against Assad and his Shi’ite allies.

Potentially, it is an indication that the U.S. is willing to use its military prowess beyond the objective of targeting ISIS, and that it recognizes that Sunni jihadists are not the only global security threat that warrants the use of military force.

Statements by senior Trump administration officials indicate that a shift has occurred. “What you have in Syria is a very destructive cycle of violence perpetuated by ISIS, obviously, but also by this regime and their Iranian and Russian sponsors,” National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster told Fox News Sunday.

Russia must choose between its alignment with Assad, Iran, and Hizballah, and working with the United States, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday. The firm comment was made hours before he touched down in Moscow for talks.

According to U.S. officials, the April 6 missile attack destroyed 20 percent of Assad’s fighter jets. It represents the first time that Washington has taken military action against a member of the Iranian-led coalition.

The strike could evolve into a “dialogue of deterrence” that the U.S. initiates against dangerous actors. These radical actors all have “return addresses”, and are likely to prove responsive to cost-benefit considerations, despite their extreme ideology. They may think twice before considering further development and usage of unconventional weapons.

Washington is now able to exercise muscular diplomacy – the only kind that is effective in the Middle East – and inform all members of the Iran’s pro-Assad coalition that the deployment of unconventional weapons will not be tolerated. It can also begin to rally and strengthen the pro-American coalition of states in the Middle East, who seek to keep a lid on both ISIS and Iran.

With American officials indicating that they are “ready to do more” in Syria if necessary, signs suggest that the strike represents the start of a policy of deterrence, and leaving open future options for drawing additional red lines.

In theory, should Washington decide that Iran’s transfer of weapons and extremist Shi’ite military forces to other lands has reached unacceptable levels, or that Iran’s missile development program has gone far enough, it could call on Tehran to cease these activities. This call would carry substantially more weight following last week’s missile attack on the Syrian airbase.

The U.S. is in a better position to inform Assad and his allies that there is a limit to how far they can go in pursuing their murderous ambitions.

While the objective of creating a renewed American deterrent posture is vital, it should not be confused with plans for wider military intervention in the seemingly endless Syrian conflict.

There is little reason to believe that conventional weapons use against Syrian civilians is going to stop any time soon, or that the enormous tragedy suffered by the Syrian people is about to end.

And there is certainly no indication that the U.S. is planning to initiate large-scale military involvement in this failed state.

Hence, the missile strike should be seen for what it is: an attempt to boost American deterrence, which can then be leveraged to restrain radical actors that have, until now, been operating completely unchecked.

That is a message that will likely be heard loud and clear not only in Damascus, but also in Tehran, which has not given up its long-term ambition of building nuclear weapons.

North Korea, which helped build Syria’s plutonium nuclear plant (destroyed in 2007 in a reported Israeli air strike), and which maintains close links with Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, can be expected to take note as well.

If a policy of strategic deterrence follows the strike, it could have an impact on a coalition that is not just keeping Assad’s regime alive, but spreading its radical influence in many other areas.

In Syria, the Iranian Republican Guards Corps (IRGC) oversees ground operations across many battlefields to prop up Bashar al-Assad. Iran has gathered and armed tens of thousands of Shi’ite militia members from across the region into Syria, and manages a local force composed of 100,000 members. They fight alongside the Syrian Arab Army against Sunni rebel organizations, thereby increasing and entrenching Iranian influence.

The IRGC and its elite Quds Force are also helping to fill Hizballah’s weapons depots in Lebanon, with a vast array of surface-to-surface projectiles that are all pointed at Israel, often using Syria as an arms trafficking transit zone. Syria acts as a bridge that grants Iran access to Lebanon, and allows it to threaten both Israel and Jordan.

Jordan, an important U.S. ally, is deeply concerned by Iran’s actions in Syria, as evidenced by recent comments made by King Abdullah, who told the Washington Post that “there is an attempt to forge a geographic link between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah/Lebanon.” IRGC forces are stationed within a mere 45 miles from Jordan’s border, he warned, adding that any hostile forces approaching the Hashemite Kingdom “are not going to be tolerated”.

Hizballah, a Lebanese-based Iranian Shi’ite proxy, evolved into a powerful army by sending 7,000 to 9,000 of its own highly trained members into Syria’s ground war. It helped rescue the Assad regime from collapse, and took part in battles stretching from Aleppo to the Qalamoun Mountains northeast of Damascus.

Last year, the Arab League and the Sunni countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council all declared Hizballah to be a terrorist entity.

Just as Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have poured into Syria, the same has happened in Iraq, where 100,000 fighters supported by Tehran fight alongside the Iraqi government forces against ISIS. The IRGC’s network extends to Yemen’s Houthi Ansar Allah forces, who receive Iranian assistance. Ansar Allah, a heavily armed Shi’ite military force, fires ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia on a regular basis.

The IRGC and Hizballah have been linked to a recent large-scale terrorist plot in Bahrain.

If the message addressed in the cruise missile strike is followed up with a strategy of deterrence, addressed to Ayatollah Khamenei as much as it was addressed to Assad, the U.S. could begin projecting to the world that it recognizes the threat posed by Shi’ite jihadists as much as it takes seriously the threat from their fundamentalist Sunni equivalents.

Washington’s campaign to pressure Russia to distance itself from its Middle Eastern allies could play an important part of this message.

It will take more than pressure. It will take war. If we want to save ourselves, we need all the cruise missiles we can make, and probably all the nukes too.

But if the West has no stomach for war, then it will perish in a state of “openness and love”, congratulating itself on its virtue: its fairness, its peacefulness, its generosity, its tolerance, its refusal to be racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or sexist. A great moral victory. And then – no more fairness, peacefulness, generosity, tolerance. No women driving cars. Just Islam.

A just response to a savage attack – but what next? 15

Last night the US Department of Defense put out this statement through Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis:

At the direction of the president, U.S. forces conducted a cruise missile strike against a Syrian Air Force airfield today at about 8:40 p.m. EDT (4:40 a.m., April 7, in Syria).  The strike targeted Shayrat Airfield in Homs governorate, and were in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack April 4 in Khan Sheikhoun, which killed and injured hundreds of innocent Syrian people, including women and children.

The strike was conducted using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.  A total of 59 TLAMs targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.   As always, the U.S. took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict. Every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield.

The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces.  The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4.  The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.

Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line.  U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.

We are assessing the results of the strike.  Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons.  The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated.

We applaud President Trump for keeping his word that he would act after the gassing of civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, and for acting decisively and effectively.

The strike sends a message to Russia, Iran, and North Korea that this president does what he says he will do, and he is willing to use the military might of the US against aggressors.

But questions arise:

The libertarian view is that the US should not have struck Syria because the US itself was not attacked. Is there merit in this view?

It needs to be asked: if Bashar Assad is deposed – as Secretary of State Tillerson has indicated is now a policy aim of the Trump administration- what will come after him? Is there anyone ready to succeed Assad who will govern the country any better?

Will chaos and violence prevail in Syria after Assad has gone, as it has in Libya ever since the death of its dictator Colonel Muammar Qaddafi?

Could any country possibly be in a worse, a more unstable, a more chaotic state, than Syria is now and has been for years?

Unless –

Will Assad’s going make it easier for ISIS to take over the whole country?

If ISIS did that, would President Trump – with the necessary approval of Congress – declare war on Syria?

What will happen to the Christians in Syria who have been protected by Assad if he goes? ISIS policy is to convert or enslave or destroy them.

We invite readers’ answers to these questions, or any others which this dramatic turn in world affairs gives rise to.

Posted under Arab States, middle east, Syria, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 7, 2017

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Feminists for sharia 1

A Muslim woman of Palestinian descent, Linda Sarsour, was one of the chief organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017.

Along with Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian woman and convicted terrorist, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, helped organize “A Day Without a Woman” demonstrations on March 8, 2017.

Both demonstrations purported to be for “women’s rights”, though they were more discernibly protests against the Republican administration under President Trump and against the Republican Party. Their mobilization is an aspect of the fierce opposition that the American and international Socialist Left is conducting against the popular choice of capitalism, individualism, and the nation-state – recently proved by voters in the US and Britain.

Linda Sarsour declares herself to be a feminist. Feminists claim Rasmea Odeh as one of their own – indeed, a martyr for their cause.

Principles that the feminist movement claims to stand for are: equality with men, freedom of way-of-life choices, freedom from legal and cultural restraints particular to women, sexual freedom and absolute personal control over their own bodies.

Here are those ideas as (presumably) expressed by feminists:

  • Working to increase equality: Feminist thought links ideas to action, insisting we should push for change toward gender equality and not just talk about it.
  • Expanding human choice: Feminists believe that both men and women should have the freedom to develop their human interests and talents, even if those interests and talents conflict with the status quo. For example, if a woman wants to be a mechanic, she should have the right and opportunity to do so.
  • Eliminating gender stratification: Feminists oppose laws and cultural norms that limit income, educational and job opportunities for women.
  • Ending sexual violence & promoting sexual freedom: Feminists feel that women should have control over their sexuality and reproduction.

Feminism in fact has long since ceased to be a movement for women’s social and political equality with men, and become a sub-group of the international Left. But those principles are widely and generally considered fair and acceptable, so we will for the moment rate feminism according to its best aspirations. Above all feminism is conceived of as a women’s liberation movement.

Now, to come to the point, Linda Sarsour, feminist, urges the adoption of sharia law.

Here, briefly, is how sharia law applies to women*:

• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad‘s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
• A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives.
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
• A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
• Testimonies of four male [eye-]witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
• A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
• A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.
• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.

Linda Sarsour apparently sees no incompatibility – glaringly obvious though it is – between the principles of feminism and the tenets of sharia. (Have any feminists noticed it? It doesn’t seem so.)   

She does, however, say that it is impossible for a woman who supports Israel to be a feminist.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Prominent Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, a leader in the feminist movement, said in an interview published Monday that Zionists cannot be feminists. …

It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, “Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement? There can’t be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.”

In fact, Palestinian women in Israel have equal rights with all other citizens – the same rights citizens have in all the Western liberal democracies. They do not have these rights in Islamic countries.

The actual disabilities of women under sharia law, and in Muslim custom and culture generally, are far greater and more oppressive even than the letter of sharia law demands. It is no exaggeration to say that the status of a woman in traditional Islam is that of a slave. 

Linda Sarsour will not be contradicted by the mainstream media or Democrats because she is seen by the Left as a Palestinian and therefore a victim.

Rasmea Odeh will be excused by the media and Democrats for bombing and murdering, because her victims were Israeli Jews.

The opposition that the American and international Socialist Left is conducting is most successful in the universities, where its activists use brutal physical violence against their perceived enemies, while simultaneously claiming to be intimidated victims needing protection from the speaking of ideas they don’t want to hear. The nearest representatives of their perceived enemies are fellow Jewish students – nearest and so most easily bullied and assaulted. They are picked on as the vulnerable part of the otherwise tough Big Enemy, whose names are: President Trump; the Republican Party; the Constitution; America; the nation-state; individual freedom; Western civilization. 

 

*This summary is from a Christian source. It was the most succinct we could find for our purposes in this article, and we did consult other sources to confirm its accuracy.

Yet more Christian victims of the religion of peace 1

The persecution of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East is not news. It is a continuous state of affairs, as much to be expected as unpleasant news is anywhere. It could even be said to be normal.

Among the few journalists who do not ignore it is Raymond Ibrahim. He reports on it frequently.

He recently wrote, at Canada Free Press, about a wave of attacks on Christians in Egypt:

Yet another murderous wave is taking Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority by storm, leading to yet another exodus from their homes.

Last week in al-Arish, Sinai, Islamic State affiliates killed a 65-year-old Christian man by shooting him in the head; they then abducted and tortured his 45-year-old son, before burning him alive and dumping his charred remains near a schoolyard.

The worshipers of  “Allah the Merciful” gouged out his eyes, according to witnesses.

Perhaps because of its sensationalist nature — burning a human alive — this story was reported by some Western media. Yet the atrocities hardly begin or end there. Below is a list of Christians murdered in al-Arish in recent days and weeks:

  • January 30:  A 35-year-old Christian was in his small shop working with his wife and young son when three masked men walked in, opened fire on him, instantly killing the Copt.  The murderers then sat around his table, eating chips and drinking soda, while the body lay in a pool of blood before the terrified wife and child.
  • February 13: A 57-year-old Christian laborer was shot and killed as he tried to fight off masked men trying to kidnap his young son from off a crowded street in broad daylight.   After murdering the father, they seized his young son and took him to an unknown location (where, per precedent, he is likely being tortured, possibly already killed, if a hefty ransom was not already paid).
  • February 16: A 45-year-old Christian schoolteacher was moonlighting at his shoe shop with his wife, when masked men walked in the crowded shop and shot him dead.
  • February 17:  A 40-year-old medical doctor was killed by masked men who, after forcing him to stop his car, opened fire and killed him. He too leaves a widow and two children.

… This recent uptick in Christian persecution is believed to be in response to a video earlier released by the Islamic State in Sinai. In it, masked militants promise more attacks on the “worshipers of the cross”, a reference to the Copts of Egypt, whom they also referred to as their “favorite prey” and the “infidels who are empowering the West against Muslim nations”.

As a result of the recent slayings and threats of more to come, at least 300 Christians living in al-Arish have fled their homes, with nothing but their clothes on their backs and their children in their hands. Most have congregated in a Coptic church compound in neighboring Ismailia by the Suez Canal. …

Now here is a short list of measures NOT being taken to help Christian victims of religious persecution by Muslims:

The Pope is speaking out often, loud, and clear against the states that order, promote, sanction, allow, or tolerate the capture, rape, murder, enslavement and displacement of Christians.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is doing the same, and vigorously pressing the British government to demand that the governments of Islamic states put an end to this practice under threat of stopping financial aid. (Only 1% of Egypt’s aid comes from Britain, but the top recipients of British tax-payers’ money include the Islamic states of Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. Nigeria is the country where Boko Haram – an affiliate of ISIS – has been burning, raping, abducting and mass-slaughtering Christians for years. We have posted often about Boko Haram. In particular, see here.)

The Evangelical Christians of America are pressing the US government to do likewise. (US aid to Egypt = $1.5 billion.)

The United Nations is passing resolutions against it, both in the General Assembly and the Security Council, and taking action to prevent and punish it wherever it is occurring.

*

Here’s a little more about what the Pope is doing in regard to this matter.

Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:

AP reported … that Pope Francis “embraced the grand imam [Ahmed al-Tayeb] of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull and at a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians.” …

Muslims have massacred, exiled, forcibly converted or subjugated hundreds of thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria. Have these “improved ties” [between the Vatican and the grand imam] saved even one Christian from suffering at the hands of Muslims? No, they haven’t. All they do is make the “dialogue” participants feel good about themselves, while the Middle Eastern Christians continue to suffer. In fact, the “dialogue” has actually harmed Middle Eastern Christians, by inducing Western Christian leaders to enforce silence about the persecution, for fear of offending their so-easily-offended Muslim “dialogue” partners.

Has the Pope welcomed any of the persecuted Christians to the Vatican? Or is that honor reserved only for this man, who will allow for “dialogue” only when his Christian “dialogue” partners maintain a respectful silence about Muslim massacres of Christians?

The Pope has not welcomed Christian refugees. He invited a pair of Syrian Christian refugee siblings to move to Rome, but changed his mind, disinvited them, and welcomed three Muslim families instead.

Keep them out! 1

Steve Gern, an American in Iraq, presents a compelling argument for banning Middle Eastern “refugees” – Muslim would-be immigrants – from coming to the United States.

February 6, 2016. WE ARE LEAVING THIS POST AS IT IS, WITH A WITHDRAWN VIDEO THAT NO ONE CAN NOW SEE, TO DEMONSTRATE HOW FREE SPEECH IS BEING CURTAILED TO PROTECT ISLAM FROM TRUTHFUL CRITICISM.

THE ONLY SPEECH IN THE VIDEO THAT COULD BE CALLED “HATE SPEECH”, IS THE REPORTED DECLARATION BY MUSLIMS IN IRAQ THAT AN AMERICAN IS AT RISK OF BEING MURDERED THERE, BY IRAQIS, AT ANY MOMENT – FOR NO REASON BUT THAT HE IS AN AMERICAN AND AN “INFIDEL”.

 

Later news from Conservative Tribune, February 7, 2016:

Former Marine sergeant who was working as a security contractor in Iraq has been evacuated from the country after a video he made endorsing Donald Trump’s temporary immigration freeze went viral, garnering 43 million views.

Steven Gern’s video, which was posted on Facebook last week, has garnered over 289,000 likes in addition to its immense number of views. In it, Gern talked about asking locals in Iraq what would happen if he walked into town unprotected as an American.

They said he “absolutely would not be welcome.” When he asked what would happen to him, they said that he would be tortured and killed within an hour. The point of it is … this is the local populace who would do this. This isn’t ISIS, this isn’t Al Qaeda, this isn’t the PMU, this isn’t a militia from the Iranians, or anything like that. This is the local populace that would do this.

“So, my question to them was pretty simple after that: If you would do this to me, in your country, why would I let you into my country? Because all this means to me is that, if you have the opportunity to take the life of an American, you would do it.

“So, maybe there’s something you all need to think about back there,” he told his viewers. “If this is the way some of these cultures feel, if this is the way that these countries feel about Americans, why would you be so naive as to believe that if they came into the US, they would do anything any different than what they do right here in their own country?” 

About Steve Gern:

 

Posted under Arab States, immigration, Iraq, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Refugees, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, February 5, 2017

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Women without compassion 1

Trump seems determined to fight radical Islamic terrorism, the greatest threat to the dignity and freedom of women all around the world. That already shows his commitment to liberty – especially liberty for women. Radical Islamic ideology is a universal threat. Wherever it is weakened or defeated, this helps liberate victims in other parts of the world, as well. 

To so many persecuted peoples in the Middle East, Trump’s presidency represents hope for a positive change.

From Gatestone, by Uzay Bulut:

On January 21, some women’s rights groups organized “Women’s Marches” in many cities across the Unites States and around the world. The rallies largely targeted recently-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump.

There were many speakers and participants. One, the actress Ashley Judd, read a poem in Washington D.C. that asked why “tampons are taxed when Viagra and Rogaine are not”.

As Ms. Judd talked about her devastating tragedy, thousands of Yazidi children and women were being forced into sexual slavery in Iraq and Syria at the hands of Islamic State (ISIS), and [made] available for purchase at sex-slave markets.

See our post, Who are/were the Yezidis, here. (The name can be transliterated as either “Yezidi” or “Yazidi”.)

ISIS attacked the Yazidi homeland of Shingal in Iraq on August 3, 2014; more than 9,000 Yazidis were killed, kidnapped, or sexually enslaved. Yazidis are a historically persecuted religious minority in the Middle East.

The Islamic State has institutionalized a culture of rape and sex-slavery. ISIS is waging a literal war against women. It has even published a “price list” of Yazidi and Christian girls – as young as one to nine years of age.

Picture via The Religion of Peace, where it is captioned:

The plight of Yazidi sex slaves and migrant rape victims was
overlooked by the recent “Women’s March” on Washington
– an ironic protest against Trump, partly for his views on
Sharia (which supports slavery) and Muslim migration.

Middle East scholar Raymond Ibrahim wrote about one Yazidi girl enslaved when she was 15 years old and endured months of captivity before she managed to escape:

I remember a man who looked at least 40 years old coming and taking a ten-year-old girl. When she resisted him, he beat her severely, using stones, and would have opened fire on her if she had not gone with him. Everything against her will. They used to come and buy the girls without a price, I mean, they used to tell us Yazidi girls, you are sabiya [spoils of war, sex slaves], you are kuffar [infidels], you are to be sold without a price,” meaning they had no base value. Some Yazidi girls were sold for a few packs of cigarettes. Every day I died 100 times over. Not just once. Every hour I died, every hour. … From the beating, from the misery, from the torture.

Mirza Ismail, founder and chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, said in his speech at the U.S. Congress:

According to many escaped women and girls to whom I spoke in Northern Iraq, the abducted Yazidis, mostly women and children, number over 7,000. Some of those women and girls have had to watch 7-, 8-, and 9-year-old children bleed to death before their eyes, after being raped by ISIS militia multiple times a day. ISIS militias have burned many Yezidi girls alive for refusing to convert and marry ISIS men. Why? Because we are not Muslims …

In December 2015, reports disclosed that ISIS was selling Yazidi women and children in the southeastern city of Gaziantep (or Antep), Turkey. Gaziantep has come to be known for the widespread Islamic State activities in the city.

Turkey, it needs to be mentioned, is a member of NATO.

However, this and many other threats did not stop women’s rights defenders in Gaziantep from protesting the Turkish government’s inaction in the face of IS activities.

An activist from the group “Gaziantep Democratic Women’s Platform”, Fatma Keskintimur, read a statement to the press, which said in part:

That the jihadi gangs fighting in Syria has received the biggest support from Turkey and that the cell houses they use… [are] known by everybody. Given what kind of a danger this situation creates for those who live in Antep, the uneasiness of people is intensifying every day.

Even under these conditions, women’s rights defenders in Turkey — particularly Kurds — kept struggling and protesting the government.

Last year, for example, the “Yazidi Women’s Assembly” commemorated August 3rd as “the day of international action against massacres against women and genocide”. Members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) organized protests in many cities across Turkey to condemn the Yazidi genocide and show solidarity with the victims.

Safak Ozanlı, a former MP from the HDP, said that ISIS still held 3,000 Yazidi women as sex slaves:

ISIS sees women in Shingal and Kobane as war booty. The women who remain alive are sold to Arab sheikhs. We – as women – will stand united against ISIS and all dictators.

Members of the Alevi religious minority also supported the protest in Mersin. Zeynep Kaya Cavus, a leading Alevi activist, said that the Yazidi women are “kidnapped and enslaved as war booty and exposed to systematic sexual assaults and this is genocide against women”.

There are a few Americans, too, who are doing their best to help Yazidis, such as Amy L. Beam, a human rights activist who has been living with and advocating for Yazidis full time since 2014. Her book The Last Yezidi Genocide, is to be published shortly, and she is the executive director of “Amy, Azadi and Jiyan” (AAJ — “Friend, Freedom, and Life”), a humanitarian organization in Iraqi Kurdistan.

From which this is quoted:

Thousands of Yezidis have a long list of dead or missing family members under ISIS control in Iraq or Syria. Their psychology is very bad as they see very little international help on the one-year anniversary of the attack. Yazidi girls and women with their children … are subjected to repeated beatings and rape by ISIS fighters who each was given one girl as a war trophy. …

“One wishes that the women activists in the U.S. would raise their voices against the genocidal attacks on Yazidi women and children. But they have not. Women’s rights groups in the U.S. have not supported the women in Iraq and Syria who really are oppressed, kidnapped, and raped,” Beam told Gatestone.

Some of the participants of the women’s march in Washington claim that Trump will “take away their rights” – an accusation that many women who suffer under Islamist governments or organizations would find laughable. They are worried about being able to get an abortion … But it is not ayatollahs that have come to power in the U.S. Moreover, Trump seems determined to fight radical Islamic terrorism, the greatest threat to the dignity and freedom of women all around the world. That already shows his commitment to liberty – especially liberty for women.

Radical Islamic ideology is a universal threat. Wherever it is weakened or defeated, this helps liberate victims in other parts of the world, as well.

To so many persecuted peoples in the Middle East, Trump’s presidency represents hope for a positive change.

On November 7, the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International issued a public statement titled “Yezidis look forward to a Trump presidency to help them wipe out ISIS”.

A Yazidi woman in Iraq has recently named her newborn baby boy “Trump”.

The Women’s March … violated the core principle of human rights: “The worst first”.

Sadly, many of the organizers and participants of the march chose to stand by and ignore women being tortured and exterminated by Islamic terrorists, and in other parts of the world, not being able to receive an education or even leave the house without the permission of a male.

If only these women felt as motivated to protest about the enslavement, rape and torture of Yazidi women and children, as about the cost of tampons.

Acting like self-serving, delusional fanatics, whose sheer hatred of an elected president blinds their eyes to the real problems of the world, does not help anyone. There have been just as many people who might have hated other presidents.

Let us with our actions remind women in the Middle East that we take their plight to heart.

No feminist will ever do that. They are narrow-minded self-pitying persons who defend Islamic practices and sharia law when they are asked why they don’t speak up for the appalling treatment most Muslim women endure. They apparently don’t have the imagination, the character, the heart, or the intellect to take notice of what Islam is doing to Yezidi  and Christian women.

American women are the most privileged group of people who have ever existed. Yet hundreds of thousands of them marched, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, to protest their fate! They invent complaints. They pretend they are victims.

They are despicable.

Kill the UN 3

The great Pat Condell on the subject of Evil HQ, aka the United Nations:

 

THE UN MUST BE DESTROYED!

 

Posted under Arab States, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 22, 2017

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