An atheist in an Islamic land 6

An Egyptian atheist dares to speak the truth about Islam on television, and argues with a – thoroughly deluded, or deliberately lying – imam:

It would say a lot for Egypt under President Sisi if Ahmad Harqan can speak this freely with impunity. But is that the case?

This information accompanies the YouTube video captured by Memri:

“In an October 21 TV interview, Egyptian human rights activist Ahmad Harqan explained why he had become an atheist and said that Islam is a “harsh religion”, which was being implemented by ISIS and Boko Haram. They are doing “what the Prophet Muhammad and his companions did”, said Harqan. According to media reports, Harqan and his pregnant wife survived an assassination attempt on October 25, and when they went to the police to complain, were arrested for disrespect to Islam.”

We hope we will learn what happens to them.

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Egypt, Islam, Israel, middle east, Muslims, Nigeria, Religion general, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 6, 2014

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ISIS in Gaza 7

After World War I, the Gaza Strip, which for centuries had been part of the Ottoman Empire, came under a British mandate. From 1949 to 1959, it was governed by Egypt, ostensibly under the authority of the Arab League. In 1959, the Strip was incorporated by Egypt, though the population was not granted Egyptian citizenship.

In 1967, the territory was occupied by Israel in the course of its defensive Six-Day War. Thousands of Israelis settled in the Strip and established industries there. But in 1993, by the tragically misconceived Oslo Accords, Gaza came under the administration of a “Palestine National Authority” (PNA). In its perpetual pursuit of peace with the Arabs, Israel agreed to remove the settlers. They resisted, and the Israeli government had them removed by force. They left acres of excellently functioning and highly lucrative greenhouses to the Arabs – who promptly destroyed them.

So it was that a Judenrein Gaza Strip became an autonomous “Palestinian” region, officially administered by the PNA.

In 2007, the terrorist organization Hamas, after an internecine struggle with the PNA, seized control of the Strip and proceeded to launch attacks on Israel with suicide bombers and rocket fire. Israel dealt with the suicide bombers by putting up a protective fence, and from time to time responds to the rocket fire with bombing raids. The world thinks Israel is not being fair to the Palestinians by taking these measures.

The world, chiefly the Western powers, has chosen to keep the population of Gaza as a perpetual beggar nation, dependent on aid. The children of Gaza are taught in schools run by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) – created specially for the purpose of keeping generations of Palestinians as “refugees’ – and under its tutelage are raised to be Israel-haters and terrorists. The result is the perpetuation of intense hostility, which makes a mockery of the pretense of those same Western powers to be honest brokers of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Now the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) has infiltrated the Strip and is threatening to take over control of it from its fellow Sunni-Muslim terrorists, Hamas.

This is from an article by Khaled Abu Toameh at Gatestone:

It is always dreamlike to see one Islamist terror group accuse the other of being too “lenient” when it comes to enforcing sharia laws. But it is not dreamlike when a terrorist group starts threatening writers and women.

That is what is happening these days in the Gaza Strip, where supporters of the Islamic State are accusing Hamas of failing to impose strict Islamic laws on the Palestinian population — as if Hamas has thus far endorsed a liberal and open-minded approach toward those who violate sharia laws.

Now, however, almost everyone is talking about the Islamic State threats against poets, writers and women.Until this week, the only topic Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were talking about was how to rebuild homes and buildings that were destroyed during the last war between Hamas and Israel.

It is no secret that the Islamic State has a presence in the Gaza Strip. According to sources there, many disgruntled members of Hamas and other radical salafi-jihadi groups have already joined the Islamic State, with some fighting together with ISIS groups in Syria and Iraq.

Earlier this year, it was revealed here that Islamic State has already begun operating inside the Gaza Strip – much to the dismay of Hamas.

Hamas, nevertheless, continues to deny any presence of Islamic State inside the Gaza Strip. “There are no members of Islamic State in the Gaza Strip,” said Eyad al-Bazam, spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry.

Many Palestinians, however, do not seem to take Hamas’s denials seriously, and remain unconvinced.

Over the past few days, two separate leaflets signed by Islamic State threatened to target Palestinian poets and writers for their “wantonness” and “atheism.” The leaflets mention the poets and writers by name – a move that created panic among many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The leaflets also included an ultimatum to Palestinian women to abide by Islamic attire or face the Islamic State style of punishment — presumably being stoned to death. The threat leaves one with the false impression that, under Hamas, women can wear swimming suits at the beach and walk around the streets of Gaza City in mini-skirts.

But this is what happens when one fundamentalist group believes that the other is not radical enough.

“We warn the writers and poets of their wanton sayings and atheist deeds,” one of the leaflets reads. “We give the apostates three days to retract their apostasy and wantonness and enter the religion of Islam anew.”

The threats issued by Islamic State have drawn strong condemnations from many Palestinians. This is the first time that such threats have been made against poets and writers or women.

Although Hamas has denied any connection to the threats, Fatah officials [aka the PNA]  in the West Bank were quick to accuse the Islamist movement — which has been in control of the Gaza Strip since 2007 — of being behind the leaflets. …

Palestinians point out that the two leaflets were not the only sign of the presence of Islamic State inside the Gaza Strip. They say that Islamic State flags can be seen in many parts of the Gaza Strip, especially at football stadiums and public buildings. In addition, Islamic State stickers can be seen on the windshields of many vehicles.

More recently … families have begun attaching the Islamic State emblem to wedding invitations sent out to friends and relatives. Photos of Palestinians who were killed while fighting with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria appear in many places, especially mosques and educational centers.

Of course, all of this is taking place while Hamas continues to insist that the Islamic State is not operating in Gaza.

Those who are taking the threats seriously are the women and writers whose names appeared in the leaflets.

Amal Hamad, a member of the Palestinian Women’s Union, expressed deep concern about the threats made by Islamic State. “We are headed toward the worst in the Gaza Strip,” she complained. “We hold the Hamas security forces responsible for the leaflets of intimidation and terror.” She and a large group of women in the Gaza Strip held an emergency meeting to discuss the repercussions of the threats.

Judging from reactions, it is clear that many Palestinians – including Hamas – are extremely worried about Islamic State’s presence in the Gaza Strip. Even if the terror group still does not have many fighters in the Gaza Strip, it already has countless followers and admirers.

It is also clear that if and when the Hamas regime collapses, the Gaza Strip will not fall into the hands of less-radical Palestinians.

The Gaza Strip has already been turned into an “Islamist Emirate” that is run by Hamas and other radical groups such as Islamic Jihad.

While Islamic State may have succeeded in infiltrating the Gaza Strip, its chances of entering the West Bank are zero. This is thanks to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas are well aware that without the Israeli security presence in the West Bank, the area would easily fall into the hands of Hamas or Islamic State.

It is important to keep in mind that the countries in Europe now voting for a Palestinian state may effectively be paving the way for a takeover by Islamic State.

We wonder how many people living in Gaza secretly wish the alleged Israeli “occupation” were real, and are nostalgic for the days when it was. Their lives were better, and more secure, under Israel than under the PNA or Hamas.

Now they – especially writers, poets, and women it seems – must dread the prospect of life under the rule of the Islamic State.

But if the Islamic State does absorb Gaza, its population will be stateless no longer. As citizens of the Caliphate they may be miserable, but they will no longer be “refugees”.

No more UNWRA. No more exploitation of the Palestinians by the Arab States as “victims” of Israel.

Of course, the attacks on Israel will not stop. They will very likely intensify. Will the world object as much to Israel defending itself against the Islamic State as it does to Israel defending itself against Hamas?

Time may tell.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State is taking possession of the minds of millions of Muslims all over the world. If it is not growing territorially at this moment, it is certainly growing as an ideal.

An ideal of savage cruelty and enslavement! Islam triumphant.

The Egyptian Goddess Isis

The Egyptian Goddess Isis

(just for decoration)

The US bombs, heals, feeds ISIS 1

While the US Air Force continues to bomb what it thinks are IS/ISIS/ISIL positions in what was, but may not still be, Syria and Iraq, convoys of trucks bearing life-saving aid in huge supplies donated by the US taxpayer (among others) also continue, trailing unstoppably into enemy territory.

No other air forces seems to be at work there, though to prop up the lie that a huge coalition – including Sunni Arab states – had joined the US in its aerial action against  the Islamic State, the world was treated to a glamor pic of a pretty female Qatari pilot leading a squadron of three bombers on the first day of the venture. Did she drop any bombs? And where has she gone? Will she be back? Without her, Obama and Kerry must seem to be combatting IS/ISIS/ISIL all by themselves (by proxy of course) from the clouds.

They also drop crates of arms and ammunition to whomever finds them down below. Some to the Kurds who are fighting ISIS on the ground – if the Kurds are lucky enough to find them. And one load – at least – whether by accident or intention, to ISIS.

And while the bombing displays admirable militancy on the part of the White House, and the gift of arms to ISIS may have been an accident, the US and Britain and the (abominable) United Nations and possibly the EU are deliberately delivering massive quantities of aid to the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).

ISIS crucifies boys; saws off Americans’ and Britons’ heads; stoned a timid young girl to death just recently – her own father among her killers. And still the trucks of aid go trundling in, bringing food and medical supplies to ISIS. Well, ostensibly it’s for “civilians” and “displaced persons”, but ISIS rules the route.

This is our Facebook page summary of an article by Jamie Dettmer in the Daily Beast:

In addition to accidentally airdropping loads of weapons to ISIS, and while U.S. warplanes strike at them, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid is flowing into their territory, assisting IS/ISIS/ISIL to build their caliphate. The food and medical equipment, meant for civilians, is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. But the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS.

The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs. Aid coordinators say that USAID and other Western government agencies and NGOs actually employ ISIS people on their staffs. “They force people on us. And when a convoy is being prepared, the negotiations go through them. They contact their leaders and a price is worked out.”

The aid itself isn’t carefully monitored. ISIS keeps some of it to feed and treat its fighters. At a minimum, the aid means ISIS doesn’t have to divert cash from its war budget to help feed the local population or the displaced persons.

Last year when there was a polio outbreak in Deir ez-Zor, the World Health Organization worked with ISIS to carry out an immunization campaign. In these ways the West, and in particular the US, is providing support for the Islamic State.

Many aid workers are uncomfortable with what’s happening. “A few months ago we delivered a mobile clinic [to the Islamic State],” says one of them. “A few of us debated the rights and wrongs of this. The clinic was earmarked for the treatment of civilians, but we all know that wounded ISIS fighters could easily be treated as well. So what are we doing here, treating their fighters so they can fight again?”

What makes the picture even more bizarre is that while a lot of aid is going into ISIS-controlled areas, very little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria where the Kurds are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that they were not included in the U.N. polio-vaccination campaign.

According to the same source: Jonathan Schanzer, Mideast expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, thinks that any aid that reaches the people will  help to keep them contented with ISIS rule. He’s quoted as saying:

I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance. By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.

We see his point, but doubt that there is going to be an uprising against ISIS within the Islamic State any time soon, no matter what the circumstances.

A State Department official is reported to fear that if the aid convoys were to be stopped, there would be an humanitarian crisis for which the West would be blamed. We don’t think fear of blame should be of any concern. Why are all these sentimental Western policy makers and executives so afraid of being blamed? It is blame by Muslims that they particularly fear. What is withholding aid from an enemy state compared to what the Muslims of ISIS are doing? It’s an absurd consideration, but it distorts policies, both domestic and foreign, over and over again. 

Obama’s racist immigration policy 17

Obama warned that he would “fundamentally change America”.

From what to what wasn’t asked or stated.

He is plainly making a demographic change. That is as fundamental a change as any change could be.

Fundamentally the nation has been from its inception an Anglophone country, its law based on British common law, it’s values – enshrined in the Constitution – derived from the European Enlightenment. Immigrants were invited into the land from everywhere and anywhere in the world, and were expected to use English, obey the law, and uphold the Constitution.

Obama wants to change all that. He manifestly does not want America to be solely or even predominantly English-speaking; he does not believe the law is sovereign, preferring it to be what leftist judges say it is from one moment to another, in accordance with their moods and personal prejudices; and he wants to scrap the Constitution.

Therefore he does not want new immigrants from Britain or Europe, or any Anglophone countries. Which is to say, he does not want white immigrants.

He wants enormous numbers from the Third World, where the Enlightenment never penetrated, and rule by tyrants and criminals is customary. So he invites hundreds of thousands of immigrants – millions over time –  from the Muslim Middle East, Latin America, and countries where most people are black. 

It is a policy of downright racism.

Obama is a racist.

This is from the MailOnline:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIC] plans to seek a vendor to produce as many as 34 million blank work permits and “green cards” – the paperwork that authorizes illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States – as the White House prepares to issue an executive order after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

According to a draft solicitation published online, the government agency will look for a company that can produce a minimum 4 million cards per year for five years, and 9 million in the early stages.

President Barack Obama has pledged that he will make a move on immigration reform this year. His original timetable called for a decision by the end of the summer.

Republicans have decried the plan as an “amnesty” for millions of illegal immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come across the U.S.-Mexico border this year. …

Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he ultimately enacted without congressional support, uses the EAD cards [Employment Authorization Documents] as part of its implementation.

USCIS says it processed 862,000 EADs overall between January and June of this year.

But “the guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards”, according to the draft RFP (Request For Proposal].

“The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards.”

But why even bother with the documents?

This is from the Washington Times:

The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the Obama administration to task Friday for its “irresponsible” plan to allow as many as 100,000 Haitians to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the administration’s Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program — which will allow thousands of Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits — is “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority”.

The Obama administration is unabashed.

“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States. The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system — family reunification,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally [sic] immigrate sooner [in]to the United States.”

There’s typical Obama gang “reasoning” for you: rebuild Haiti by taking large numbers of Haitians out of it.

They are highly desirable immigrants to Obama, because they are black.

The shape of things to come 0

A “slave market” in London

[A great idea, well executed. Only, contrary to a statement that appears at the opening of the video, ISIS does represent Islam more than any other entity in the world at present.]

This story, by Damien Sharkov, comes from Newsweek:

Kurdish protesters took to the streets of London to draw attention to the slave-trade tactics of Islamic State, a group more commonly known as ISIS, in a mock auction of captured women from territories in Iraq and Syria yesterday evening.

The protest led a group of chained veiled women and encouraged passers by to bid for them in front of the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and Downing Street.

“This is what Shariah means,” the speaker for the mock ISIS group belted from a megaphone at the first of three protests.

“This happens every day in Iraq and Syria. We are bringing it to you,” he yelled while leading a group of four chained and veiled women in front of Westminster Square, followed by 20 protesters chanting “ISIS, ISIS, terrorists!”

Once the group reached the entrance to Westminster Hall the leader proceeded in encouraging passersby to bid on the captured women “to serve them, for their pleasure.”

The speaker for the “ISIS” auctioneers boasted he had “Christian women, Muslim women, women from Kobane, from Raqqah, from Mosul,” before beginning the bidding with 14-year-old Yasmin whom bidders were assured was “pure” and “a virgin.”

Each of the women was “sold” for several hundred dollars before the protesters cleared and went home.

isis-market

One of the protest’s organizers … [said that] the stunt was intended to provoke an “aggravated reaction,” highlighting the “crimes ISIS are committing in Iraq and Syria.”

“What we wanted to show is that this could take place in London,” he said.

“This is not a myth. This [ISIS-type terrorism] is already happening on our streets,” he added, alluding to the murder of Lee Rigby on a London street last year at the hands of Islamist militants. …

“The unfortunate truth is ISIS are already implementing their terror among us. We were trying to wake up the British public to the danger ISIS pose on humanity.”

isis-protest

How did “Londonistan” react?

The protesters encountered some hostility on the way with one of the three mock auctions being interrupted by a complaint that the protest “had put people off their drinks.”

Police had to stop some passersby from confronting protesters. …

Having suspicious minds, and being quite well-informed, we suspect the passersby who would have liked to object were mainly Muslim.

No arrests were made, and there was no violence on the streets.

But elsewhere in Europe and in Turkey, Kurds and ISIS-supporting Muslims battled fiercely. The Middle East war is spreading.

This is from the Independent:

Dozens were injured in Germany after clashes erupted between Kurdish protesters and hard-line Islamists [namely, Salafist Muslims] overnight. Police say 14 were injured and 22 arrested in violent scuffles in the northern city of Hamburg after hundreds of Kurds staged a demonstration against ISIS,  also known as the Islamic State. Similar protests were held across Europe yesterday by Kurds attempting to draw attention to ISIS’s siege of the Kurdish town of Kobani in northern Syria.

These pictures of the violent clashes in Turkey are from the MailOnline:

1412714867119_wps_32_A_public_bus_burned_by_Ku

 

And this picture is from Hamburg:

1412764550861_wps_37_A_policewoman_carries_awa

For many more dramatic pictures of Kurdish-Muslim violence in Turkey and Hamburg go here.

There were also demonstrations by Kurds in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Denmark. In France – in Marseilles – the Kurdish protestors were violent, hurling Molotov cocktails at the Turkish consulate.

Oil: the market triumphs 2

Despite all President Obama’s efforts to prevent it, the US is winning the oil game. Because no human force is stronger than the market.

The knuckleheads of the Left love to hurl the accusation in the faces of conservatives that the presidents Bush “only went to war against Iraq because of oil”. (As if they themselves would never think of driving a gas-fueled car – or would be perfectly content not to.)

The accusation is not true. But perhaps the US should have gone to war against one or more Middle Eastern powers “because of oil”.

Oil is a very good reason to go to war. Would have been, when the Saudis had OPEC hyping the oil price in 1973. The results for the US and Western Europe were dire.

This is from Wikipedia:

In October 1973, OPEC declared an oil embargo in response to the United States’ and Western Europe’s support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The result was a rise in oil prices from $3 per barrel to $12 and the commencement of gas rationing. Other factors in the rise in gasoline prices included a market and consumer panic reaction, the peak of oil production in the United States around 1970 and the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. U.S. gas stations put a limit on the amount of gasoline that could be dispensed, closed on Sundays, and limited the days gasoline could be purchased based on license plates.

Even after the embargo concluded, prices continued to rise. The Oil Embargo of 1973 had a lasting effect on the United States. The Federal government got involved first with President Richard Nixon recommending citizens reduce their speed for the sake of conservation, and later Congress issuing a 55 mph limit at the end of 1973. Daylight savings time was extended year round to reduce electrical use in the American home. Smaller, more fuel efficient cars were manufactured. Nixon also formed the Energy Department as a cabinet office. People were asked to decrease their thermostats to 65 degrees and factories changed their main energy supply to coal.

One of the most lasting effects of the 1973 oil embargo was a global economic recession. Unemployment rose to the highest percentage on record while inflation also spiked. Consumer interest in large gas guzzling vehicles fell and production dropped. Although the embargo only lasted a year, during that time oil prices had quadrupled and OPEC nations discovered that their oil could be used as both a political and economic weapon against other nations.

War then would have been a far better answer to the Saudis than meek acceptance buttered with sycophancy.

War and drilling. Drilling wherever there was oil in America and off-shore. Including Alaska. Ignoring the Environmentalists with their philosophy of impoverishment.

Now all is changing. The US is becoming the biggest oil producer in the world. The Saudis and the other Middle Eastern tyrannies have no resource other than the oil discovered under their ground and developed into riches for them, by the infidel. And now they are losing it.

They, and all the evil powers that have wielded oil as a weapon, are taking desperate measures. Which will fail.

This is from Investor’s Business Daily:

With Saudi Arabia ramping up oil production, prices are tumbling, and the world’s petrotyrants — Iran, Russia and Venezuela — are taking a hit. Seems the old high-price, low-production tactic isn’t foolproof.

The Saudis don’t seem to be interested in budging. As prices fell to $83 a barrel for November-delivery crude, they’ve ramped up production even as others call on them to stop.

The first call came from fiscal shambles Venezuela, for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] for a production hike. They were coldly rebuffed.

And on Tuesday, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal — a Saudi entrepreneur with a lot of non-oil money who sometimes plays gadfly to the regime — warned that the kingdom would fail to balance its own budget if oil prices went below $80. But he, too, was rebuffed.

It all may be because Saudi Arabia has a strategic need to check Iran over its nuclear program and financing of Islamic State terror and to discipline Russia for its support for the Assad regime in Syria.

It’s also almost certainly a response to the great shale revolution in the U.S., which has slashed U.S. dependency on oil exports to 20% from 60% a decade ago.

A Chilean-based entrepreneur told IBD last year that the greatest fear of Saudi Arabia’s king was America’s shale revolution, which was cutting into Saudi’s role as the world’s swing producer of oil.

However it spills out, the Saudi move to raise production may be the most dramatic move to shake events since President Reagan forced the bankruptcy of the Soviet empire by … asking the Saudis to raise production, which they did.

With this most recent move, the petrotyranny model of using oil as a weapon against smaller neighbors and the U.S. is effectively dead. Over the past decade, all of the states that have staked their futures on the power of oil have effectively burned their bridges to other models for building their economies.

When Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez took over in 1998, he scrapped that nation’s high-production, low-price, high-market-share strategy. In its place came a “model” based on high prices for consumers, low output and the expropriation of state oil company profits to pay for bigger government and an expansive welfare state, leaving the company without investment.

Foreign oil properties were also expropriated, including Exxon Mobil’s in 2007. It provided a short-term boost but left the country one of the most unattractive in the world for foreign investment and capital.

Russia, meanwhile, adopted a somewhat similar strategy after its 1998 crash. It focused on becoming a petropower, much to the detriment of the rest of the economy.

Today, more than three-quarters of Russia’s economy is oil-based, leaving it dependent on high oil prices with no balance from other sectors and wasting its most valuable asset: a well-educated workforce.

Instead of diversifying, Russia used energy as a weapon, repeatedly cutting off Ukraine’s natural gas supplies since 2009 in a bid to force its neighbor to toe the Moscow line, as well as to “Finlandize” its eastern and central European neighbors into fearing more energy cutoffs.

Then there’s Iran, whose illegal nuclear program has enjoyed soggy indifference in Europe based on the region’s dependence on Iranian oil.

These three troublemakers share one thing in common: a strategy of high oil prices and low production, plus a willingness to interfere with markets to make them into power games.

But as it turns out, that strategy was another kind of dependency. And the Saudis, egged on by the shale revolution, have just ended it.

Market manipulation is peculiar. In 1998, the Saudis tried to cut output to keep crude prices from falling further. It didn’t work. From that, they learned a valuable right lesson: Nothing is bigger than market forces.

Now, the world’s remaining petrotyrants are about to be schooled as well.

Time for a little quiet celebration. And it doesn’t have to be only a little or very quiet.

Let us crow.

Bomb the Kaaba! 5

… and  put an end to ISIS and all ISLAM with one blow?

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The Kaaba

In our recent post Freedom from religion (October 6,  2014), we mentioned that a rock could be an object of worship.

There was an ancient tradition in Arabia of  anointing and circumambulating stones as a form of worship. Many of the worshipped stones were meteorites. As they came “from the heavens” they were thought to be sent by a god and to contain divine powers. One such stone, long since fragmented, is the one enshrined at Mecca, that Muslims hold sacred and circumambulate.

From Wikipedia:

The Black Stone (Arabic: الحجر الأسودal-Ḥajar al-Aswad) is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building toward which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.

The stone was venerated at the Kaaba in pre-Islamic pagan times. According to Islamic tradition, it was set intact into the Kaaba’s wall by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the year 605 A.D., five years before his first revelation. Since then it has been broken into a number of fragments and is now cemented into a silver frame in the side of the Kaaba. Its physical appearance is that of a fragmented dark rock, polished smooth by the hands of millions of pilgrims. Islamic tradition holds that it fell from Heaven to show Adam and Eve where to build an altar. Although it has often been described as a meteorite, this hypothesis is now uncertain.

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba as part of the tawaf ritual of the hajj. Many of them try, if possible, to stop and kiss the Black Stone, emulating the kiss that Islamic tradition records that it received from Muhammad. If they cannot reach it, they point to it on each of their seven circuits around the Kaaba.

The broken stone has no value in itself; not as a gem, not as a meteorite sample, and not as a relic of the past. It is not an artifact that could reveal information about ancient civilizations. It is not unique. It is endowed with value only by tradition and superstition.

It could, however, be of enormous importance to the world. The destruction of it – by pulverizing it so completely that no trace of it remains – could be hugely beneficial.

We quote from: Hitler, Stalin, Muhammad: Who ranks as the most evil human ever? by Dov Ivry (a reader of this website) –

Whether what remains on display at Mecca today is the original meteorite is open to question because there are only fragments in a reconstructed edifice. [However,] the remembrance of a stone falling from the sky rings true. … They keep changing the label on the meteorite god. Today it is called Allah. …

Islam, as the worship of the pet rock is known, is always vulnerable to a sudden disappearance from the planet if [the Black Stone] were ever pulverized into powder and the powder scattered over the Pacific Ocean. An atomic bomb might produce that powder at some point. If so, Islam would vanish within a few generations.

If that outcome really is a strong probability, then the sooner the Kaaba is bombed the better (obviously at a time when there are no pilgrims there). Conventional bombs would do. It could be the quickest way of ending the jihad, the Islamic State, and the conflict between Islamic sects, and above all its disappearance might free the world of at least one ancient and persistent religion – the worst of them all: Islam.

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The Black Stone 

Along with “The UN must be destroyed!”, “Bomb the Kaaba!” takes its place as a slogan of ours.  

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Defense, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 10, 2014

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How many jihadists? 4

What proportion of the world’s Muslims are, or are likely to become, jihadists?

Nobody knows even an approximate number.

In search of an answer, we found this article at the website of Daniel Pipes. The content seems to have been gathered by an Indian professor from a book called Prophet of Doom by Craig Winn.

The article was posted in November 2006 and the Muslim population of the world has grown since then. It is now about 1.6 billion.

There has been a proliferation of terrorist groups in the Middle East and North Africa since the start of the  “Arab Spring”.

The Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) alone is waging war with over 30,000 fighters, a number said to be growing steadily.

Robert Spencer, a leading authority on Islam, wrote on June 4, 2014:

The threat to the U.S. from global jihadist groups has escalated in the past three years, with the number of groups increasing by more than 50% and the estimated number of militants doubling.

So the figures predicted in the article have almost certainly proved to be under-estimates. But here is what the author worked out:

I am often asked to guess as to how many Muslims are jihadists. …  I think the math goes something like this:

There are between 1.2 and 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Half are women. While a substantial percentage of Islamic women support jihad, less than one in fifty Islamic terrorist acts is actually perpetrated by a female. That leaves us with a maximum pool of jihadists that is just over 50% of the total population.

The overwhelming preponderance of terrorist acts are conducted by young Muslim men 15 to 30 years old. This age bracket covers about half of the male population of the Islamic world, leaving us with a potential jihad pool of 25% of all Muslims – approximately 300 million people.

The most logical way to determine the percentage of Muslims who are salafi/fundamentalists – a precondition to jihad – is to consider the most recent elections in Islamic countries. For example, the fundamentalist Islamic group Hamas received 65% of the popular vote in “Palestine.” The somewhat secular Fatah, at least by comparison to Hamas, won only 30% of the votes.

While he was not popularly elected, Turkey’s president, Ahmet Necdet Sezar, is a fundamentalist Muslim. Turkey’s parliament, which selected him by a 70% majority, is formed as a result of a popular mandate and it is predominately comprised of fundamentalist Muslims. Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the nation’s most popular leader. He is a convicted felon who believes: “Mosques are our barracks, domes are our helmets, minarets our bayonets, and believers our soldiers.” He won a landslide victory in 2002 – and Turkey is considered to be the most moderate Islamic state.

The newly elected fundamentalist Islamic nutcase ruling Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, earned 62% of the popular vote. The most moderate Islamic challenger garnered less than twenty percent support. The notion that the majority of Iranians are hostile to the Shia mullahs, and are poised for a revolution, is a myth

In Lebanon, politicians got all excited when 50,000 people marched in support of democracy. The following week when 500,000 people protested in support of Islam/Submission, the percentage of fundamentalist Muslims became clear.

Fundamentalist Islamic candidates in the most recent Iraqi elections, those individuals who belonged to clerical parties like the Islamic Revolution in Iraq founded by Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, won 65% of the seats in the new parliament.

While opinion surveys can be suspect, and are often tainted by the manner in which a question is phrased, there are two that are worth mentioning. Opinion polls taken by the British Government reveal that 70% of Iraqis think killing Americans is justified, something that is impossible to justify outside the conditioning of fundamentalist Islam. The rising death toll of American troops and stunning escalation in terror in Iraq give credence to those numbers. Polls taken in Pakistan, where bin Laden is being harbored, reveal that 70% of Pakistanis view the world’s most famous Islamic terrorist very favorably. In fact, Osama has become the most popular name for boys in the region.

Therefore, based upon the most objective data available to us, at least 60% of all Muslims have the potential to be jihadists by way of their fundamentalist voting patterns. That is to say, Islam has grown substantially closer to its salafi, and thus terrorist, roots over the past decade.

It is safe to say that 750 million Muslims are fundamentalists trying to follow Allah’s orders and Muhammad’s example. And as fundamentalists, they are potential jihadists.

If the 60% response levels derived from polling data is an accurate reflection of the current state of Islam, then sex and age criteria further reduce Islamic terrorist candidates down to a maximum of one in every seven Muslims – 25% of 60%. That means that no more than 15% of the total Islamic population of 1.2 to 1.5 billion people has the potential to be a terrorist should the opportunity arise. That equates to a minimum of 180 million potential jihadists and a maximum of 225 million.

But when it comes to actual jihadists, to those who have or will commit an act of terrorism in Allah’s name, my research suggests that they represent no more than one in one hundred of the 180 million young fundamentalist Muslim men prepared mentally, morally, and spiritually to be terrorists. That means that there are 1.8 million actual Islamic jihadists on the planet today – a number which could jump one hundred fold almost instantaneously should the opportunity arise.

Middle East political commentator Daniel Pipes says that there are no less than 130 million Islamic jihadists but I don’t believe that is possible because there haven’t been sufficient jihadist attacks over the past 20 years for that many Muslims to be engaged in the business of killing people for Allah.

But there have been sufficient jihadist attacks now to make that figure plausible. According to the tally kept by The Religion Of Peace (shown continuously in our margin) there have now been over 24000 lethal terrorist attacks by Muslims (most of them on other Muslims) since the jihad attacks on America on 9/11/2o01.

The potential pool of jihadists, however, is reasonably close to Pipes’s estimate. …

Keep in mind that while only 15% of Muslims are potential jihadists today, that percentage is growing rapidly. Thanks to OPEC funding and clerical indoctrination, the Islamic world is becoming increasingly fundamentalist. In twenty years most Muslims could be terrorists – and probably will be. 

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Demography, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Terrorism, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 7, 2014

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“Old civilizations put to the sword” 6

… and the flame-thrower, and the mortar shell, and the bulldozer, and the wrecking-ball …

Islam is one of the most ruinous forces in history. Giulio Meotti wrote this short account of its barbarous destruction of the world’s heritage of past civilizations.

(Note: Wherever Meotti uses the word “Islamists” we would use the word “Muslims” or “jihadis”. We do not believe there is a variety of Islam that needs a different name.)

Around the year 645 A.D., Omar Ibn Al Khattab, the second caliph and a successor of Muhammad, set fire to the library of Alexandria.  …

The world lost several centuries of knowledge and thought due to that Islamic fire.

Today another caliph, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has issued a fatwa against the World Heritage Sites of the Middle East. The much vaunted Middle Eastern richness is shrinking to a cultural desert

For over five thousand years, many civilizations have left their mark in Mesopotamia: Assyrians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Arameans, Jews and Romans. Their ancient buried cities, palaces and temples are scattered throughout what is now northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Now most of the archaeological wealth is under the control of the Islamic State. Two days ago, Isis leveled the “green church” of Tikrit, the symbol of Assyrian Christianity in the seventh century.

Among the most important sites now under the control of Islam are four ancient cities – Nineveh, Kalhu, Dur Sharrukin and Ashur – which, at different times, were the capitals of the powerful Assyrian empire. The greatest damage has been wreaked by Islam on the Palace of Kalhu, from which the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II reigned in the ninth century B.C.

They have destroyed some of the “ziggurats”, the impressive temples that rise into the sky. The non-Islamic tradition of Mosul no longer exists. The Islamists have destroyed thirty historic sites, including the shrines of the biblical prophets [well, anyway, biblical characters – ed0] Seth, Daniel and Jonah.

In Syria, the Islamic terrorists have demolished relics as part of their “purge of paganism”, destroying Assyrian statues. In a video, they unashamedly claim the duty of the mujahideen is to “remove the appearance of evil”.

Harta, the archeological site … is in IS hands and risks destruction.

The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo had just recently reopened to the public after nine years of renovations, when last January a bomb destroyed it. It contained masterpieces of the Umayyad, Abbassid, and Ottoman periods. During the uprisings that led to the removal of President Mohammed Morsi, in August 2013, the Mallawi Museum of Minia was almost totally destroyed.

In Cairo, meanwhile, the manuscripts of the Cairo Institute went up in smoke, including the legacy of the Napoleonic expedition of 1798 in the land of the Pyramids. Nothing was saved from the great work “Description de l’Egypte”, curated by two hundred scholars led by the curator of the Louvre, Vivant Denon.

Presumably that was the original manuscript. There must surely be copies elsewhere. But still it is a loss to be deplored.

The head of the Association for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Hagag Ibrahim, said that the Institute has been subjected to a second “Tatar invasion”, comparing it to the Mongols who in 1258 burned the library of Baghdad, whose waters turned black from ashes of thousands of precious manuscripts.

In Libya, the “treasures of Benghazi”, coins, jewelry, and small statues of antiquity have been lost since the revolution of May 2011. …

The great library of Al Saeh in Tripoli, Lebanon, was recently given over to the flames by the Islamists.

A year ago, in Mali, hundreds of manuscripts of the Ahmed Baba Centre in Timbuktu were burned due to the irrational fury of the mujahideen. This was a body of work that ranges from the ninth century to this day … in many languages, such as Arabic, Sonrai*, Bambanà [?] and Hebrew.

They destroyed the door that leads into the sanctuary of the mosque of Sidi Yahya. According to legend, the entrance to the monument had to remain closed for ever, and its opening would cause the end of the world. “See – there is no end of the world,” proclaimed [the Muslims] in front of a stunned crowd shocked by [what was to them] the sacrilege.

In Israel, Palestinian Islamists have destroyed the Tomb of Joseph, while the artifacts from the ancient Temples of Solomon and Herod in Jerusalem are scooped out piece by piece from the levels below the Temple Mount to make it seem that the presence of mosques on the Mount is the first example of construction on the site.

The Izz ad-Din al Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, recently leveled – with bulldozers – the ancient Mediterranean port of Anthedon, three thousand years of mosaic floors and columns of the Roman, Byzantine destroyed. To do what on the site? Construct a terrorist training camp.

In India, the temple of Ram at Ayodhya was destroyed to become the Babri Masjid mosque.

The great [statues of] Buddha in Afghanistan were leveled by the Taliban of Mullah Omar following a fatwa. …

In the Swat Valley, in Pakistan, the Taliban recently destroyed Buddhist statues in Jahanabad …

The Islamic State has just destroyed the ancient Armenian Church of Der Zor, (re)consecrated as a memorial of the Armenian Genocide.** …

Nothing has changed. The Islamists plan to make a tabula rasa out of entire civilizations.

 

*From Wiki: The Songhai (also Songhay or Sonrai) are west Africans who speak Songhai languages, the lingua franca of the Songhai Empire which dominated the western Sahel in the 15th and 16th century.

** This genocide of the (Christian) Armenians was launched by the (Muslim) Ottoman Turks in 1915.

Posted under Arab States, Art, Commentary, History, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, Libya, middle east, Muslims, Syria, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Token allies in a reluctant engagement 2

Much dust is being thrown in our eyes to keep us from seeing what’s really happening with the air (and airy) war against the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).

Have you noticed that while every reporter, commentator and talk-show host repeats the Obama-Kerry boast that “five Arab states” are joining in the US bombing war on the Islamic State, nobody ever names them?

Mention has been made of the United Arab Republic sending planes, and as if to prove its involvement we are shown a picture of a smiling young woman pilot. But nothing is said about UAR targets and whether they were hit and whether they were destroyed.

Word is also dropped that Saudi Arabian planes were in the skies over IS territory. What did they do? Nobody says.

According to a Coptic source, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, revealed that only when five Arab governments gave assurances they would join the bombing operation over Syria against the Islamic State, did President Obama “give the order to commence the operation”.

The Coptic report names the five Arab states as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan. The story is put about that they “participated in the airstrikes Monday in eastern Syria”.

Why are we skeptical?

Qatar  has actively aided IS/ISIS/ISIL. (So, according to the same report, has Saudi Arabia – along with Turkey and Kuwait.)

Bahrain is in chaos.

Jordan has declared itself willing to supply intelligence. And while there was a rumor of Jordanian planes participating in the flights over Syria there was not even a whisper about them actually dropping any bombs on their fellow Sunnis.

Nothing is clear:

A U.S. official said that all five Arab countries were believed to have joined U.S. warplanes, although it is still unclear how many countries dropped bombs during the operation. The official asked not to be identified to discuss sensitive operational details.

Plainly he’s been told to be vague and say as little as possible.

Dempsey said that the first Arab government told U.S. officials that it would participate in attacks on Syria “within the last 72 hours” and that once that occurred, the other four soon promised to participate. He would not identify which country was the first to back the U.S. airstrikes.

“Once we had one of them on board the others followed quickly thereafter,” he said. …

Verbally on board, that is.

Dempsey said he was still awaiting information about how much damage the strikes had inflicted on the militants.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs still awaiting such information? That was not a convincing reply. He quickly brushed the question aside.

The importance [he said] was the signal the attacks sent to Islamic State that its fighters, camps, equipment and leadership are vulnerable in Syria …

The signal is important. And a signal is as much apparently as could be squeezed out of the five Arab governments.

There are still major questions about how committed governments in the region are helping the U.S. and Iraq, whose government is dominated by Shia Arabs, against the well-armed militants, who have claimed large areas of eastern Syria and western and northern Iraq over the last year.

But being able to claim their alliance is all important to Obama. Why? Because –

Having Arab governments as part of the coalition helps “strip away the cloak of religious legitimacy that [Islamic State] has wrapped itself in and point out to these Muslim populations that ISIL is nothing but a perversion of Islam.”

Got that? Obama needs to tell the Islamic world that the Islamic State is “nothing but a perversion of Islam”.

He could not bear Muslims to think that he is making war on Islam. So Islamic states must be believed to be helping him bomb IS in Syria.

But the only bombing we know about with any degree of certainty is being done by the US Air Force.

Can’t you just hear the voice of the Kerry begging, threatening, cajoling the five Arab governments just to say that they are in alliance with America?

Charles Krauthammer the Wise writes:

Late, hesitant and reluctant as he is, President Obama has begun effecting a workable strategy against the Islamic State. True, he’s been driven there by public opinion. Does anyone imagine that without the broadcast beheadings we’d be doing anything more than pinprick strikes within Iraq? …

The strategy will not destroy the Islamic State. It’s more containment-plus: Expel the Islamic State from Iraq, contain it in Syria. Because you can’t win from the air. In Iraq, we have potential ground allies. In Syria, we don’t. …

The Kurds will fight, but not far beyond their own territory. A vigorous air campaign could help them recover territory lost to the Islamic State and perhaps a bit beyond. But they won’t be anyone’s expeditionary force.

From the Shiites in Iraq we should expect little. U.S. advisers embedded with a few highly trained Iraqi special forces could make some progress. But we cannot count on the corrupt and demoralized regular Shiite-dominated military.

Our key potential allies are the Sunni tribes. We will have to induce them to change allegiances a second time, joining us again, as they did during the 2007-2008 surge, against the jihadists.

Having abandoned them in 2011, we won’t find this easy. But it is necessary. One good sign is the creation of a Sunni national guard, a descendant of the Sons of Iraq who, fighting with us, expelled al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) during the Anbar Awakening. Only they could push the Islamic State out of Iraq. And surely only they could hold the territory regained.

But they haven’t even started doing anything yet.

Syria is another matter. Under the current strategy, the cancer will remain. The air power there is unsupported by ground troops. Nor is anyone in Obama’s “broad coalition” going to contribute any.

[Non-Arab] Turkey  … is not just refusing to join the air campaign. [It] has denied us use of [its] air bases.

As for what’s left of the Free Syrian Army, Obama has finally come around to training and arming it. But very late and very little. The administration admits it won’t be able to field any trained forces for a year. And even then only about 5,000. The Islamic State is already approximately 30,000 strong and growing.

But the Free Syrian Army is in alliance with groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and even possibly with IS itself (see here and here). Arming it may be an act of sheer folly. Those US arms may be used before long against Americans.

Not that air power is useless. It can degrade and disrupt. If applied systematically enough it can damage the entrenched, expanding, secure and self-financing Islamic State, turning it back to more of a fugitive guerrilla force constantly on the run. …

Can it? In any case, as Obama admitted –

This war he’s renewed will take years. This struggle is generational. …

Today jihadism is global, its religious and financial institutions ubiquitous and its roots deeply sunk in a world religion of more than a billion people. We are on a path — long, difficult, sober, undoubtedly painful — of long-term, low-intensity rollback/containment.

Krauthammer ends by saying that “Obama must now demonstrate the steel to carry it through”.

Obama demonstrate steel? Has he got some? Where has he been hiding it? He was “late, hesitant and reluctant” to start doing anything. If he carries the war on until the end of his tenure it will only be because he can think of no way to stop it.

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Jordan, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 26, 2014

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