Against the cultivation of victimhood: an iconoclastic essay 2

“I’m not to blame for any wrong I’ve done, because I’m a victim.”

It’s a statement often implied in defense of criminals. The accused may have murdered in cold blood, but he or she was maltreated as a child, subjected to sexual abuse perhaps, so is more to be pitied than blamed. It has proved to be an effective defense.

To ask “Can a victim not also be a villain?” is to ask an unintelligible question. What would be the use of a victim in our value scheme if he or she were also a villain? A victim, the prevailing sentiment implies, is innocent. Is pure. He or she is Pure Innocence personified.

It is not difficult to explain why being a victim has become a popular choice. Victimhood, even if entirely spurious, is commonly regarded now as a qualification for privileged treatment; routinely when it is claimed by persons identifying themselves with groups genuinely victimized in the past – certain ethnic minorities, homosexuals, or (ever less credibly) women. Victims are held in higher regard than achievers.

Besides which, it is a logical accompaniment to the popularity of compassion. In the West, nowadays, compassion is generally held to be the highest moral good.

Why? Well, to feel it is a quick fix, a drug for the ego. Little else makes one feel as good as immediately and reliably. And it can be bestowed in vast quantities without the bestower becoming any the poorer. Compassion is a supremely selfish emotion – which would be fine if only the selfishness of it were frankly acknowledged.

As it makes people feel good to show they are compassionate – by saying so, or in some cases by acting compassionately, gifting their energy, time, or possessions to their neighbors or even to remote strangers – it also makes people crave it. The need to give it stimulates the need to receive it. It’s abundant availability is a powerful inducement to neighbors and strangers to demand it; to put out their hands to receive it; to plead their superior neediness; to insist that they are pitiable; that they are victims.

Not that Western populations are divided into the pitying and the pitied; not at all – everyone can be both: everyone compassionate and charitable, everyone a victim. Everyone can have the kudos of being a pitier and at the same time the innocence of being pitiable. And with everyone getting double satisfaction, being most good and most innocent, the pitiable-pitying society is surely the happiest.

And surely, you might say, it is a truly good society? Everyone being nice to everyone, and no sufferer going unaided. A utopian Gemüthlichkeit. A mutually supportive community. Isn’t it the ideal, and hasn’t it been the ideal ever since St. Paul invented Christian morality? A universal economy of “love”?

Well, yes, it could make for pleasantness – if it were true; if the well-preened ego could rest with its philanthropy; if there were no evil in the human heart.

But because there is evil in the human heart, a feeling that everyone should be nice to everyone, however widespread, however popular and praised, will not in real life be quite enough to make it happen. In fact it seems that whenever and wherever compassion, pity, charity are most piously preached, just there are cruelty, humiliation, oppression most mercilessly practiced.

Christianity taps deep into the sentiment of pity with a God who (so the Christian myth runs) had himself tortured to death as a man in order to save mankind from innate sin, thus (the Christian myth fails to notice) planting harrowing guilt in its devotees. To cover if not to expiate that guilt, Christians are adjured to love their fellow human beings. Yet have any institutions inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches? Islam is a candidate, but Islam doesn’t preach universal love: it preaches mass murder, enslavement, and sadistic vengeance, so it escapes the charge of hypocrisy, at least in this regard.

What happens when victimization is idolized; when, as a result, there is competition in being more-victimized-than-thou; and when as a result of that, a perverted envy is born if someone is perceived as being the more victimized?

Let’s examine an actual case. I’ve said that Islam does not preach compassion. But Islam is intent on conquering the West, and to do so it is using all the opportunities that the West affords it. The very values, freedom and tolerance, that the West most esteems and embodies in its law, and that Islam would destroy, provide Islam with the means to destroy them. Muslims move into European countries and live freely. (Freely in more ways than one, as disproportionately large numbers of Muslim immigrants live on welfare handouts that the indigenous population pay for with their taxes.) They set up their mosques to preach, and their madrassas to teach their children, to hate the values of their host countries, and to love submission and intolerance. They can do so because the host countries are tolerant. If any of the indigenous people protest that Islam is manifestly incompatible with their values, their own law-courts in the name of tolerance punish them and not the Muslim immigrants. Much encouraged by this policy, some of the newcomers kill their new neighbors in acts of terrorism, intending to instill fear of Islam. But if any of the indigenous people consequently express fear and dislike of Islam, the Muslims cry that they are being subjected to irrational “Islamophobia”. Which is to say, they draw on Western compassion.

The starkest instance of this is what has happened in America since the destruction on September 9, 2001, in a profoundly religious act of hatred, of the World Trade Center in New York, when Muslims piloted two airplanes into the Twin Towers and killed close on 3000 people.

Time passes. The scar remains on the face of the city. For most Americans it is a place of tragedy. But for Muslims it is a place of victory. And certain Muslims propose to build a mosque as close to it as they can. While many on the political Left are in favor of the project – citing freedom and tolerance to support their view – there is an outcry of passionate opposition from many more.

Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam who is the front man of the plan to build the mosque and Islamic Center on the sacred site, was interviewed on ABC TV (22 August, 2010) about the mounting opposition to the project. She ascribed it to hate of Muslims which, she said, went “beyond Islamophobia”, and was ““like a metastasized anti-Semitism”.

By “metastasized” she meant, presumably, that hatred for Muslims in America was more widespread, more threatening, more potentially lethal than the hatred for Jews (the existence of which her declaration acknowledged). “Islamophobia” is a lie that reveals a twisted envy of anti-Semitism.

There is in fact little evidence of “Islamophobia”. FBI reports of recent years show that hate crimes against Muslims are rare; that there are more hate crimes against Christians than against Muslims; and there are about nine times as many against Jews as against Muslims. (See here and here.)

Regardless of the facts of the matter, Ms Khan wanted to make the point that Muslims were the victims of prejudice and bigotry. As the terms “Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” carry connotations of irrationality, her words implied that any feeling against Muslims is wholly irrational. But is it?

Antagonism towards Islam since 9/11, however emotional much of it may be, is not reasonless. Reasons for it abound. The attack on the World Trade Center was carried out in the name of Islam, as many other violent attacks, murders, and plans for murderous attacks have been, both before 9/11 and after. Muslims fit the role of victimizers far better than that of victims. So while anti-Islam feeling may be felt as unfair by many Muslims, it is not irrational; and Ms Khan’s analogy with anti-Semitism is wide of the mark. Tactically, however, claiming victimhood to bolster her cause was a shrewd move. Building permission for the mosque and Islamic Center has been granted by the authorizing bodies, including the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

I wonder … Are these authorizing bodies dominated by the Left? And were their arguments legal or emotional? If emotional, did they appeal to tolerance and compassion? If so, why no compassion for the feelings of those who were outraged by the very idea of the mosque in that place? I wonder about these questions because the Left in general claims moral superiority and asks for political power on the grounds that compassion is its highest value and the guiding principle of its policies. As with Christianity – from which this piety derives – it proves over and over again, wherever the Left is in power, to be an empty ideal.

Earlier in this essay I asked, rhetorically, “has any institution inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches?” The answer must be, “none over as many centuries”, but take out that phrase and even the Christian establishments are out-matched by the collectivist/leftist regimes of the twentieth century, some of which are still extant. To elect a collectivist government, to trust the Left’s claim to be the guardian of victims, to believe that voting for the Left proves your compassion, is to fall for the Great Political Lie.

Jillian Becker   July 21, 2012

The big squeeze 0

A group founded by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who plans to build the mosque at Ground Zero, applied for and was granted tax-exempt status as a religious foundation in 1998, claiming to run a prayer center attended by 450 to 500 worshipers every day in the apartment building where the Imam’s wife Daisy Khan was registered as a tenant.

Her place was a one-bedroom apartment of about 800 square feet. Nowhere in the entire apartment block was there a hall or room or any kind of space big enough to accomodate 450 to 500 people, especially if they were all to get down on their knees and prostrate themselves in unison in the direction of Mecca. However did they do it?

Here’s part of a report on the mystery, to be found at Creeping Sharia:

The application for tax exempt status from the American Sufi Muslim Association (ASMA) in 1998 claimed the group had an established place of worship at 201 W. 85th St. in New York. That is a 17-floor apartment building.

The 1998 tax filing, called a 1023 form, is required for any institution that wants to be considered a religious house of worship and therefore exempt from taxation. In the filing, Rauf is identified as ASMA’s founder. The application said the group was already operating as a prayer center for between 450 and 500 daily worshipers.

However, a review of the building and real estate records indicates there is nowhere in the building to house that many congregants. ASMA lists its office address as 201 W. 85th St., Apt. 10E on the tax form, while it cites only the building address as its location for prayer services.

The building has apartments only and no public spaces, such as a conference or a board room, to accommodate 450 people. Apartment 10E, building records show, is a one-bedroom apartment with about 800 square feet of living space. In the 1997 incorporation records filed with the state of New York, Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan, was named as an ASMA director living at that address.

The Imam and his wife got away with a scam.

Surely now that they’re known to be cheats, liars, frauds, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg and other powerful defenders of their Ground Zero mosque scheme will withdraw their support?

How can we doubt it?

Hate crime 1

Daisy Khan, wife of the imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who wants to build a mosque at Ground Zero, said on ABC news last Sunday that anti-Islam feeling in America was like “metastasized anti-Semitism.”

Just as unreasonable and unprovoked? Just as widespread?

Jonah Goldberg, author of that very good book Liberal Fascism, thinks not. He writes in the Los Angeles Times:

Here’s a thought: The 70% of Americans who oppose what amounts to an Islamic Niketown two blocks from ground zero are the real victims of a climate of hate, and anti-Muslim backlash is mostly a myth.

Let’s start with some data.

According to the FBI, hate crimes against Muslims increased by a staggering 1,600% in 2001. That sounds serious! But wait, the increase is a math mirage. There were 28 anti-Islamic incidents in 2000. That number climbed to 481 the year a bunch of Muslim terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans in the name of Islam on Sept. 11.

Now, that was a hate crime.

The so-called backlash against Muslims is largely a myth:

[In 2002] the number of anti-Islamic hate-crime incidents (overwhelmingly, nonviolent vandalism and nasty words) dropped to 155. In 2003, there were 149 such incidents. And the number has hovered around the mid-100s or lower ever since.

Sure, even one hate crime is too many. But does that sound like an anti-Muslim backlash to you?

Let’s put this in even sharper focus. America is, outside of Israel, probably the most receptive and tolerant country in the world to Jews. And yet, in every year since 9/11, more Jews have been hate-crime victims than Muslims. A lot more.

In 2001, there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as there were anti-Muslim, again according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim ones by at least 6 to 1. Why aren’t we talking about the anti-Jewish climate in America?

Because there isn’t one. And there isn’t an anti-Muslim climate either. Yes, there’s a lot of heated rhetoric on the Internet. Absolutely, some Americans don’t like Muslims. But if you watch TV or movies or read, say, the op-ed page of the New York Times — never mind left-wing blogs — you’ll hear much more open bigotry toward evangelical Christians (in blogspeak, the “Taliban wing of the Republican Party”) than you will toward Muslims. …

For 10 years we’ve been subjected to news stories about the Muslim backlash that’s always around the corner. …

… but has never happened.

Conversely, nowhere is there more open, honest and intentional intolerance — in words and deeds — than from certain prominent Muslim leaders around the world. And yet, Americans are the bigots.

And when Muslim fanatics kill Americans — after, say, the Ft. Hood slaughter — a reflexive response from the Obama administration is to fret over an anti-Islamic backlash. It’s fine to avoid negative stereotypes of Muslims, but why the rush to embrace them when it comes to Americans?

And now, thanks to the “ground zero mosque” story, we are again discussing America’s Islamophobia, which, according to Time magazine, is just another chapter in America’s history of intolerance.

When, pray tell, will Time magazine devote an issue to its, and this administration’s, intolerance of the American people?

And Ryan Mauro writes at FrontPage:

Over the recent Fourth of July weekend, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) interviewed attendees of the 47th annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention about their experiences in dealing with “Islamophobia.” Shortly afterwards, on July 6, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate an act of arson at a Georgia mosque, saying that hate crimes were increasing because of a “vocal minority in our society promoting anti-Muslim bigotry.” The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) referred to it as one of the “incidents of Islamophobia [that] are on the rise in this country.” However, police later arrested a Muslim suspect.

As Daniel Pipes has documented for years, Islamist organizations in the West are quick to label crimes as anti-Muslim hate crimes as part of their effort to make Muslims feel under attack and to paint themselves as Muslims’ protectors. For example, immediately following the Fort Hood shooting, CAIR asked Muslims to respond by donating to it. “We need financial help to meet these crises and push back against those who seek to score political points off the Muslim community in the wake of the Fort Hood tragedy,” the fundraising pitch read. To no one’s surprise, an anti-Muslim backlash did not ensue.

Cutting through the propaganda requires understanding the ways in which crimes are misrepresented as hate crimes — and why. There are two main culprits to consider: Muslims who stage fake hate crimes and Islamist organizations that seek to exploit them.

He goes on to examine why a Muslim “would fabricate a hate crime against himself or his mosque”.

In some cases, the faker has an obvious political goal of demonstrating the supposed prejudice against Muslims. A classic example occurred in 2008, when a 19-year-old female Muslim student named Safia Z. Jilani at Elmhurst College in Illinois claimed that she had been pistol-whipped in a campus restroom by a male who then wrote “Kill the Muslims” on the mirror. The alleged attack occurred just hours after she spoke at a “demonstration called to denounce the anti-Islamic slurs and swastika she had discovered … in her locker.” A week later, however, authorities determined that none of this had taken place and she was charged with filing a false police report. …

In other cases, individuals are driven to fabricate hate crimes not for political reasons, but to cover up more mundane criminal activity. Take the bizarre story of Musa and Essa Shteiwi, Ohio men who received media attention in 2006 after reporting several attacks on their store, the third being with a Molotov cocktail. A fourth “attack” then occurred, when an explosion was set off and badly burned the father and son, injuries from which they later died. CAIR highlighted it as a hate crime. However, investigators found that the two had set off the explosion themselves after they poured gasoline in preparation for another staged incident and one of them foolishly lit a cigarette. The pair had hired a former employee to carry out the previous attacks as part of an insurance fraud scheme.

Now let us turn to the motives of groups such as CAIR for exaggerating the prevalence of hate crimes against Muslims.

First and foremost, Islamists try to undermine and delegitimize their opponents by placing blame upon them for hate crimes. For example, a 2008 CAIR report attributes an alleged increase in hate crimes — “alleged” because the claimed increase is wholly contradicted by FBI statistics — to “Islamophobic rhetoric in the 2008 presidential election” and people who are “profiting by smearing Islam.” …

Islamist groups also use the fear created by their publicizing of alleged hate crimes and anti-Muslim sentiment to try to mobilize the community into opposing counterterrorism programs. As Daniel Pipes has noted, CAIR started down this path a decade and a half ago, when it described the prosecution of World Trade Center bomb plotter Omar Abdel Rahman and the arrest of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook as hate crimes.

These groups … try to make the Muslim community feel as if it is threatened by its own government committing state-sanctioned hate crimes. True to form, attendees of the ISNA convention this past July were told how the FBI supposedly is targeting Muslims and advised that they should not talk to FBI personnel without a lawyer. …

CAIR and other Islamist groups thrive off of convincing Muslims that they are under constant assault from roving bigots and an oppressive state.

The Ann Arbor Chronicle gives another example of how CAIR exploits any incident it can to claim that an anti-Muslim hate crime has been committed. It reports:

Last September, the start of the Ann Arbor Public Schools academic year was marred by news of a fight described as an attack on an Arab-American girl.

An incident last year at Hollywood and North Maple in Ann Arbor was originally described by some as a hate crime against an Arab-American girl. Instead, the girl was charged with disorderly conduct, and recently found guilty by a jury.

The episode prompted a media blitz by the advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations and calls for investigations by state and federal civil rights agencies. … Ordinarily, the matter wouldn’t be of much interest beyond the families of the young people involved. But in this case, CAIR … had raised the profile and the volume:

Detroit and local news organizations covered the story of a potential hate crime. …

What investigators found was very different than that CAIR description. …

The report goes on to describe what had really happened. It was not a hate crime but a fight between two girls. The facts didn’t please CAIR at all. They would have preferred the Arab-American girl to have been the victim of an anti-Muslim mob, as they falsely alleged she was.

The same paper provides some useful information.

Michigan’s law on hate crime, or ethnic intimidation, dates to 1988. It adds to the penalty in cases where an offender is found to have committed a crime motivated in whole or in part by bias against a race or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, mental/physical disability or ethnicity.

The state regularly has one of the highest incidences of reported cases (726 in 2008 and 914 in 2007), perhaps due to reporting practices. …

In Washtenaw County, there were 38 reported hate or bias incidents in 2007 and 24 in 2008, the most recent years data is available. That’s one incident per every 9,149 county residents in 2007 and one in every 14,487 residents in 2008. Statewide, the incidences for those years were one per 10,904 and one per 13,732 residents, respectively. …

There was a single report of an anti-Islamic bias crime in Washtenaw County during those two years.

Sheer malice 0

The would-be builders of the mosque and community-center next to Ground Zero do not own all of the site they want to develop.

Half of it is owned by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (“Con Ed”), a company that provides electric, gas, and steam service in New York City.

Apparently neither Community Board 1, which approved the plans for the mosque, nor the Muslim developers themselves knew this.

From the New York Post:

“We never heard anything about Con Ed whatsoever,” said a stunned Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1, which passed a May resolution supporting the mosque.

Daisy Khan, one of the mosque’s organizers [and wife of its imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf], told The Post last week that both buildings on Park Place are needed to house the worship and cultural center. But she claimed ignorance about the Con Ed ownership of 49-51 Park Place and referred questions to Soho Properties, which bought the building at 45-47 Park Place in 2009.

Rep. Peter King, who opposes the mosque, said the developers seemed to be “operating under false pretenses.”

“I wonder what else they are hiding,” said King (R-LI). “If we can’t have the full truth on this, what can we believe?”

Any hope that Con Ed will refuse to sell – a refusal that could scuttle the offensive project – would be misplaced. Their site, 49-51 Park Place, “is being appraised for a possible sale to Soho Properties, the developer behind the controversial mosque.”

However, the Public Service Commission would have to approve the sale. It’s a five-member board, controlled by Governor Paterson.

Governor Paterson seems to be more aware than Mayor Bloomberg that a huge mosque built on the edge of Ground Zero will offend millions of Americans. He has offered state help for the Muslim project if the developers will consent to building their mosque and community-center elsewhere:

“It does seem to ignite an immense amount of anxiety among the citizens of New York and people everywhere, and I think not without cause,” Paterson said in a news conference in Manhattan.

But the offer left the developers and Mayor Bloomberg cold:

The developers declined to comment. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who last week made an impassioned defense of the project planned for lower Manhattan, declined to comment through a spokesman.

So it seems that the important thing for the Muslim developers is to build on the site next to Ground Zero.

Why is Mayor Bloomberg so keen that the mosque projects should go ahead?

Kathy Barkulis at Front Page suggests why:

Mayor Bloomberg’s strident support of building a mosque at Ground Zero made me think that he had to make nice with the Saudi’s for monetary purposes. In my mind there could be no other reason for Bloomberg to take such a stand as the Mayor of New York City. …

I don’t know what’s in Mayor Bloomberg’s heart, but I’ll take an educated guess. His vast empire depends on current and future financial dealings with Saudi Arabia. It is in his best interest to make nice with them. … Bloomberg can score big personally by staying in favor with the Saudis.

So the plan to build the mosque, plainly motivated to start with by nothing better than sheer malice, will almost certainly be carried out.

A monument to evil (2) 0

It is scandalous that a mosque is being built in New York where the 9/11 mass murders were perpetrated by Muslims in the name of their religion.

The scandal is deepened by the way building permission was obtained. There was a damaged five-story building on the site. Complaints about “illegal construction” were half-heartedly investigated, and then suddenly all difficulties were said to be “resolved”.

Was it a deal stitched up between Muslims flush with funds of mysterious provenance and a Muslim in the mayor’s office?

This is from WorldNetDaily:

The five-story building at Park Place … was the site of a Burlington Coat Factory. But a plane’s landing-gear assembly crashed through the roof on the day 19 Muslim terrorists hijacked the airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers in 2001.

Now Muslim worshippers currently occupy the building, and they plan to turn it into a major Islamic cultural center. …

“Only in New York City is this possible,” [said] Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, or ASMA Khan is the wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of ASMA.

Rauf will be the imam of the new mosque. What more is known about him? The report tells us that he –

conducts sensitivity training sessions for the FBI, [and] has reportedly blamed Christians for starting mass attacks on civilians.

There’s sensitivity for you!

The report goes on:

They [Rauf and his associates] have leased the new prayer space as an overflow building for another mosque, Masjid al-Farah, at 245 West Broadway in TriBeCa, where Rauf is the spiritual leader.

The building – vacant since that fateful day when time stood still as millions of Americans grieved the loss of loved ones, friends, family members, co-workers and strangers – was purchased in July by real-estate company Soho Properties, a business run by Muslims. Rauf was an investor in that transaction. …

Rauf has announced his plans to turn the building into a complete Islamic cultural center, with a mosque, a museum, “merchandising options,” and room for seminars to reconcile religions, “to counteract the backlash against Muslims in general” …

Now what backlash would that be?  We hadn’t heard of it.

The move [to build the mosque and community center] is supported by the city. The mayor’s director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Fatima Shama, told the Times, “We as New York Muslims have as much of a commitment to rebuilding New York as anybody.”

The city’s Department of Buildings records show the building has been the focus of complaints for illegal construction and blocked exits in the last year. Recent entries from Sept. 28 and 29, 2009, indicate inspectors have been unable to access the building. One complaint states, “Inspector unable to gain access – 1st attempt – No access to 5 sty building. Front locked. No responsible party present.” The second, just a day later, states, “Inspector unable to gain access – 2nd attempt – no access to building. No activity or responsible party. Building remains inaccessible at Park Place.”

Agency spokeswoman Carly Sullivan told the Times the complaints were listed as “resolved” under city procedures since the inspectors were unable to gain access.

That’s “city procedure”? Inspectors just give up if they can’t get easy access?

And then there’s the question of where the money for the project is coming from.

Here’s a quotation from Atlas Shrugs:

The 61-year-old Imam said he paid $4.85 million [for the old building] — in cash, records show. With 50,000 square feet of air rights and enough financing, he plans an ambitious project of $150 million, he said …

The origins of such monies are unexplained; neither are the countries or entity advancing such huge donations. Most US mosques, including many in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are funded directly or indirectly by Saudi Arabia the country to which 15 of the 19 hijackers who bombed the World TradeCenter belonged. The UAE, Qatar and Iran are other major sponsors across the USA.

The money trail is an important question that must be answered by the Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with more than a bland comment by one of his spokesmen, Andrew Brent, who quipped to the Times, “If it’s legal, the building owners have a right to do what they want.”

At the moment, the location is not designated a mosque, but rather an overflow prayer space for another mosque, Al Farah … where Imam Feisal is the spiritual leader. Call this creeping annexation. …

One of the investors for future oncoming funds is listed as the Cordoba Initiative, defined as an ‘’interfaith group’’ – and founded by Imam Feisal [Rauf]. Cordoba is the name militant Muslims often invoke when they recall the glory of Muslim empire in the centuries they occupied Spain. …

The source of money matters as a significant part of the hundreds of mosques being built and already erected in this country double up as cultural Islamic centers for distributing literature – Islamist propaganda in fact … They house Imams of unknown origin and education, many of whom do not speak a word of English but preach in Arabic and Urdu — radical messages, it often turns out. …

It is an established fact that a significant percentage of the mosques built in the USA in the past two decades are receiving a disproportionate amount of their funds not only from the Saudis, but also the UAE, Qatar and Iran — all problematic Islamist activist nations. …