Whose problem? 0

The US-Iran “agreement” … “can’t actually be an ‘agreement’ in the normal sense of the word [because] there is no prospect of Iran complying with it, and it’s quite possible that it will be proclaimed by the Obama administration regardless of whether Iran has even ostensibly ‘agreed’ to it .

So writes the splendid military-political analyst, Commander J. E. Dyer here.

The following also comes from her article:

Marie Harf is back, smacking down a mildly critical article in the New York Times about a looming problem with Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU at 3.5% purity), and the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) undertaken in November 2013 as the basis for continued negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

The gist of the concern is that the Iranian stockpile has grown 20% since the JPOA was agreed on.  This is a problem partly because it indicates non-compliance with the JPOA, under which Iran’s stockpile was supposed to be frozen.

But it’s also a significant problem because it’s not clear how Iran will be able to comply, on a meaningful timetable, with the stockpile allowance under a long-term deal.  Iran is supposed to get down to an LEU stockpile of 300 kg, and keep it there.  When IAEA completed its most recent inspection, Iran had 8,714 kg of LEU stock in uranium hexafluoride gas form (the form in which it is fed into centrifuge arrays for enrichment).

Iran thus has to convert to other forms, and/or render non-weaponizable, 96% of her current LEU stockpile in order to comply with the terms of the proposed final “agreement”.  Yet Iran has spent the last 18 months enlarging this stockpile, and has claimed technical difficulties with her plan to turn much of the stockpile into fuel elements for nuclear reactors.

An administration official reportedly acknowledged the issue:

“How are they going to do it?” one senior American official said recently when asked about the negotiations, details of which Mr. Kerry and his team are trying to keep confidential. “We’re not certain. It’s their problem, not ours. But it’s a problem.”

The Institute for Science and International Security, moreover, in its analysis of the latest IAEA report, repeated its warning from April 2015 that Iran still has a substantial stockpile of uranium hexafluoride, in oxide form, enriched to the higher 19.75% purity.  Although it would require re-conversion to be enriched further as weapons-grade material, doing that would more than double Iran’s post-“agreement” stockpile of LEU.

The warning about these real problems came to a head with the NYT article on Monday.  Reporters at the State Department’s daily briefing taxed Marie Harf with it; she described the State Department as “perplexed” by it, claiming that the article’s “main contentions are totally inaccurate”. But she proceeded to both misidentify and misstate one of these “main contentions” in her explanation:

“First, the notion in the story that western officials or U.S. officials involved were unaware of this issue or not understanding of what this entails is just absurd,” Harf said.

The article doesn’t say any such thing, so Harf is just arguing against a straw man here.  Her other comments shed no additional light on the issue.  She merely alludes to Iran’s “commitment” to reducing the LEU stockpile to 300 kg.

“What matters is that they [Iran] have committed already, and we said [it] publicly, to reducing their stockpile whenever this implemented 300 kilograms,” Harf said. “The notion that this is some big issue of concern of negotiation is more manufacturing a controversy than actual reality. Everyone who read that story this morning was totally perplexed by it.”

This comes from PowerLine, written and assembled by Scott Johnson:

Intelligence Squared US arranged one of its excellent debates on the upper West Side of Manhattan this week. The debate had as its subject the merits of President Obama’s pending arrangement with Iran. Addressing the proposition that the deal is good for the United States, the debate matched Philip Gordon and Amb. Thomas Pickering (for the affirmative) with Michael Doran and Mark Dubowitz (for the negative), with moderator John Donovan cracking the whip in impressive fashion. The audience votes on the proposition before and after the debate; the team that maximally moves the dial is declared the winner.

Intelligence Squared has made resources on the debate accessible here. The video is below; the transcript is here.

We think the case for the “agreement” or “arrangement”  as made by Gordon and Pickering is extremely weak.

Doran and Dubowitz bring some strong arguments to the debate, and in our opinion win it overwhelmingly. But then, we start off thinking the “agreement” is merely a cover for Obama’s intention to let Iran become a nuclear-armed power.

Obama the Caliph 1

Islam is the enemy of the free world. It is the enemy of humanity. It is the enemy of America.

It’s leader is Barack Obama, bewilderingly the president of the United States.

Now that he does not have to face another election, he is ever more open about his prime task – to help Islam to power, conquest, and victory.

He is the Caliph-in-waiting, and if he succeeds in achieving the triumph of Islam, he may one day bear the title of Caliph Barack Hussein Obama.

20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Islamfrom D. C. Clothesline:

#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

#2 “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer.” [“Prettiest”, we think it was actually.]

#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world, including in my own country.”

#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

#6 “Islam has always been part of America.”

#7 “We will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities.”

#8 “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

#9 “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

#10 “I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.”

#11 “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.”

#12 “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.”

#13 “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

#14 “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

#15 “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality.”

#16 “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another’.”

#17 “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

#18 “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

#19 “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

#20 “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

The list is followed by another, of disparaging remarks Obama has made about Christianity, which we are omitting. Our point is that he loves Islam. It is because he loves Islam that he consults with the Muslim Brotherhood and is helping Iran get the Bomb.

While Muslims are burning men to death in cages, slitting their throats in choreographed snuff films, burying children alive, enslaving women and children, raping girls, sticking human heads on poles, threatening Europe and America with violence, Obama holds a meeting to discuss with Muslims who have assisted terrorism every way they can, how to protect Muslims from hate and discrimination.   

We quote from an article at Canada Free Press, by Arnold Ahlert. (Note: Wherever he writes “Islamist”, we would say “jihadist”.) –

On Feb. 4, Obama hosted a meeting at the White House with 14 Muslim leaders, including Azhar Azeez, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Hoda Elshishtawy of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Both groups were founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The Muslim Brotherhood is the jihadist organization that spawned al-Qaeda, Hamas, and eventually  ISIS (as Arnold Ahlert explains in the same article, and is also discussed here); and some of its members are employed as advisers by the Obama administration.

Former congressman Pete Hoekstra was incensed. The Michigan Republican insisted it was “absolutely outrageous” for Obama to invite “the Muslim Brotherhood into our government to meet with the White House”.  “These are people who are committed to destroying our way of life,” [he] warned. “The policy failures go on and on and on, and that’s how we need to be addressing this president and challenging him that his policies are just not working.”

Such challenges will have to overcome that complicity, as well as the grim determination by this administration not to link terror[ism] with Islam. Both challenges are epitomized by the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism beginning today. As the AP explains, the Summit will “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting and inspiring others, particularly disaffected young people”.

The words “Islamist” or “terror”? Nowhere to be found.

As for complicity, one of the Summit’s attendees is the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) an organization with extensive ties to terror[ism], including former Cambridge mosque worshipper Ahmad Abousamra who is currently ISIS’s top propagandist, as well as the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing.  The Cambridge mosque, ISB’s first house of worship was founded in 1982 by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, currently serving a 23-year prison term for his conviction as an al Qaeda fundraiser. Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of theMuslim Brotherhood, was a founding trustee at the ISB’s second mosque in Roxbury.

One of the Obama administration’s ostensible ideas for preventing recruitment and radicalization? State Department spokesperson Marie Harf [said] … we cannot “kill” our way to victory against ISIS. “We need, in the … medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs … ”

Jobs? Twenty-one Egyptian Christians went to Libya in search of jobs. ISIS decapitated every one of them.

The Obama administration is morally bankrupt. And as the history of the MB-ISIS connections presented here suggests, it is only a matter of time before Americans pay an unconscionable price for that bankruptcy.

And this is from an article by Joseph Klein at Front Page:

Obama prepped for his summit by meeting with a group of Islamists behind closed doors on February 4th.

This meeting was held at the request of Muslim Advocates, an Islamist group that has demanded a stop to what it considers unwarranted law enforcement surveillance of Muslim Americans and criticized the FBI for racial and religious profiling.

Obama administration officials who attended the meeting included Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

Jarrett is Obama’s Grand Vizier, and Rice and Rhodes come next in the hierarchy of the Caliphate. These three are the architects as well as the chief executives of Obama’s caliphate.

In addition to the Muslim Advocates’ executive director, Farhana Khera, two of the Islamists who attended were the past and current presidents of the Islamic Society of North America (Mohamed Magid and Azhar Azeez, respectively), which was reportedly established by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named on a list of “unindicted co-conspirators” in the federal terrorism prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

“This meeting could not have come at a better time,” said Farhana Khera, who was well aware of the president’s summit conference on “countering violent extremism” to be held two weeks later.

In its press release describing the February 4th meeting, Muslim Advocates said:  “Participants at the roundtable discussed a range of issues, including racial and religious profiling, anti-Muslim hate and discrimination, and the need for greater representation of American Muslims in government and the federal judiciary.”

The capital of the Caliphate will be Washington, D.C.

The only question is – how soon?

US and Iran: “indirect confederates” or allies in Iraq? 6

The US certainly is not … but definitely is … co-operating militarily with Iran.

An article in the Washington Post shows the Obama administration is half-confessing to co-operation with Iran. (See our post immediately below).

The urgent fight to keep Islamic State forces­ from taking over more of Iraq has led the Obama administration to tolerate, and in some cases even approve, things it once would have loudly protested.

When Iraqi Shiite militias, backed by Iran and long branded illegal by the administration, retook the town of Amerli from the Sunni Muslim militants last week, U.S. officials breathed a sigh of relief.

Did they do no more than “breathe a sigh of relief”? Did they not have a hand in the retaking of Amerli? It seems that Iran did. (We will return to this.)

Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and usually described as an arch­enemy of the United States, reportedly was present during the battle and was seen days later in an Internet-posted photo shaking hands with a militia fighter.

Just “present” at the battle. Like Obama in the Senate. Happened to be there. Took no actual part.

The Washington Post would rather you stopped looking at Amerli and the illegal militias and that head of the Iranian Quds Force – look at what the Kurds are doing … good guys, even if their forces are operating outside of recognized borders. You wouldn’t want to make a fuss about that, would you?  Not quibble over legal niceties … ?

Your attention is redirected:

Farther north, Kurdish fighters have occupied the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a prize the Kurds have long claimed but which lies outside the borders — recognized by both Baghdad and Washington — of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurd­i­stan region. Far from insisting the fighters withdraw, the administration is glad that someone is defending the city from the Islamic State.

Such legal and policy niceties have become a luxury in the battle to push back the militants whom President Obama on Friday called “a savage organization” that “poses­ a significant threat” to the United States and its allies.

It is not, as one administration official said with significant under­statement, an ideal situation, and there is widespread recognition that facts are being created on the ground that are likely to cause problems in the future.

But for now, the existential battle being waged in Iraq is one that has made at least indirect confederates of forces­ that are neither allies nor partners, nor often even on speaking terms.

But what about Iran? Sorry, but we want to know about Iran. Are the US and Iran “indirect confederates” in Iraq at this time?

Here’s what the White house has to say about it:

While the administration has acknowledged discussing the Iraqi crisis with Iranian officials on the margins of separate talks about Iran’s nuclear program, “we do not coordinate military action or share intelligence with Iran and have no plans to do so,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Friday.

“At the same time, we have been clear that ISIL,” one of several acronyms for the Islamic State, “represents a threat not only to the United States, but also — and most immediately — to the entire region. We believe that all countries, regardless of their differences, should work toward the goal of degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL,” Meehan said.

Asked whether there was a role for Iran in the international coalition the administration is forming to fight the militants in Iraq and ultimately in Syria, a senior administration official this week said, “I don’t know.” But, the official acknowledged [read prevaricated] , “they already . . . have a role on the ground.”

How much of a “role”?

Iranian contributions have extended beyond weapons and advisers to the Shiite militias. Despite Tehran’s concerns about separatism within its own Kurdish community, it “was the first country to provide us with weapons and ammunition” to fight the militants, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said late last month during a visit of Iran’s foreign minister.

Iran is also believed to have conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.

Airstrikes? Like the US Air Force is doing? With no direct co-ordination among the strikers?

The Washington Post hastens to make it seem that, far from there being actual co-operation, there is continuing rivalry between the US and Iran in the region. At least, there is a history of such rivalry. That, the paper implies, is what should be concentrated on, not what might be happening right now:

The United States has vied with Iran for influence in Iraq ever since the majority Shiite government was installed after the 2003 U.S. invasion that overthrew Sunni leader Saddam Hussein.

And what is more, the rivalry has been violent and much to America’s cost.

Iran was accused of supplying the improvised explosive devices, called IEDs, to the militias that used them to blow up hundreds of American soldiers during the previous decade.

In recent years, the militias have laid low as an organized force. But when the Iraqi army fled northern cities in advance of the Islamic State blitz through the country this summer, they quickly re­emerged and entered the fight. U.S. protests were largely pro forma.

When former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped down under U.S. pressure last month, Iran signaled its approval by congratulating his successor and calling for an inclusive government.

The strong administration preference is for Shiite militia members — as well as Sunni tribesmen in western Iraq — to join the Iraqi security forces­ and fight the militants under the government’s banner. But U.S. officials, who were not authorized to discuss the administration’s strategy on the record, said they would take what they could get until the militants are driven back.

The United States is not the only actor on the ground that finds the situation uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable? The situation? Could the discomfort be because “the situation” is US-Iranian military co-operation?

Well, okay, but – the Washington Post would have us know – it’s not the only “actor” doing it – and feeling uncomfortable about it.

While the administration credited U.S. airstrikes with helping drive the Islamic State out of Amerli, …

What? US airstrikes helped the illegal Shiite militias – and the Iranians  – re-take the town of Amerli? Now it emerges!

…. militiamen on the ground restated their enmity toward the Americans and said the [air-]strikes were inconsequential in the victory they had won.

So even if the US did help to take back Amerli with airstrikes, they were not decisive. Both unwanted and not needed. The Shiite militias despises them. So do the Iranians. No help at all. Phooey!

Iran’s Fars News Agency said Friday that the idea that U.S. action had been decisive in Amerli was a figment of the American imagination. “The West has launched media hype to show the U.S. as the savior of Iraq,” the agency said, quoting an Iranian military source.

In any case, Iran is hotly denying that it has co-operated with the US.  And we can believe the Iranian’s, can’t we?

When the BBC reported Friday morning that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had approved cooperation with the U.S. military against the Islamic State, senior government officials quickly denied it. “It’s impossible,” Esmail Kowsari, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Bloomberg News.

It’s impossible so it never happened?

It’s not only possible, it happened.

The US and Iran are directly co-ordinating their battle against the Islamic State. For the present, the US and Iran are in alliance, and both are ashamed of it. 

This is a hugely significant development, and should be headline news. But apart from this low-key report full of evasions and excuses in the Washington Post, there is been nothing about it in the media that we could discover.

*

Post Script: Even the Israeli press is not telling the truth about US-Iranian “confederacy”, preferring to trust the slithery lies that emanate from the US State Department. This is from Jerusalem Online:

US refused to cooperate with Iran: “We won’t share intel with them”

Tonight, the US rejected the offer of the spiritual leader of the Islamic republic, Ali Khamenei, to cooperate in action against the Jihad group in northern Iraq. “The US doesn’t share intelligence information nor acts in military cooperation with Iran”, said the State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, in a press conference. “We are open to engaging them, as we have in the past, but we are not interested in military cooperation with the Iranian leadership.”

Islam has nothing to do with Islam 1

ABC reports:

The Islamic State has released a video purporting to show a masked militant beheading a second captured American journalist, and threatening to kill a British hostage the group names as David Haines.

The footage shows Steven Sotloff, a 31-year-old freelancer who disappeared in Syria last year, dressed in orange and on his knees in a desert landscape.

[The] executioner – who speaks with a British accent – condemns the ongoing US strikes against IS … [He says]: “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”

In the video, Sotloff describes himself as “paying the price” for the US intervention with his life.

We await reaction from the White House, fairly certain that we know what it will be. There will be the ritual message to the family of the victim (hearts going out to … prayers for… etc.), and we dupes and dopes, the general public, will be cautioned not to make any assumptions that this manifestation of savagery by a member of the ISLAMIC STATE has anything at all to do with Islam, which is a wonderfully peaceful religion.   

It’s way past time that the blind and silly politicians of the Western world stopped trying to pretend that the horrors being done in the name of Islam “have nothing to do with Islam”.

That is also the opinion of the famous scholar of Islam, Robert Spencer. He writes at PJ Media (before the news of the most recent beheading):

They call themselves the Islamic State. They claim to be the restorers of the caliphate, the ones who have finally fulfilled the most cherished aspiration of jihadists and Islamic supremacists the world over. They declare their intention to govern their domains solely and wholly by Islamic law, acting swiftly and ruthlessly to end any practice that does not conform to that law. They repeatedly proclaim their piety, ascribing all their victories to Allah and submitting themselves in all things to his will.

Yet despite all this, Western leaders, the mainstream media, and much of the public are certain of one thing: the Islamic State has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with Islam.

He names five people who intone this nonsense, four of them politicians.

The first in the countdown from five is the mother of Stevem Sotloff. A video of his beheading appeared today.

5. Shirley Sotloff

Shirley Sotloff is the mother of Steven J. Sotloff, an American who is [was] being held hostage by the Islamic State [IS]. On Wednesday, she released a video appeal to the Islamic State’s “caliph Ibrahim,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Her message to him was extremely respectful. Sotloff began: “I am sending this message to you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Quraishi al-Hussaini, the caliph of the Islamic State. I am Shirley Sotloff. My son Steven is in your hands.”

Sotloff went on to tell the caliph that Steven had “no control over the actions of the U.S. government. He is an innocent journalist.” In fact, she said he had gone to the Middle East to chronicle the sufferings of Muslims.

Yes, and it is for that he should be held to blame.

This was tantamount to signaling to him that Steven Sotloff could be more useful to him alive than dead. She assumes throughout that the U.S. has indeed done wrong to the Islamic State, but argues that her son should not be punished for it.

She proceeds to tell IS what Islam teaches. (Spencer points out: “Oh, and by the way, the caliph Ibrahim, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” – the leader of the Islamic State – “has a PhD in Islamic Studies”.)

“Since Steven’s capture,” she added, “I have learned a lot about Islam. I’ve learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others. As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over.”

It’s odd that Shirley Sotloff, after addressing the caliph so respectfully, would presume to lecture him about Islam, and it’s frankly embarrassing that she does so based on her whitewashed Karen Armstrong/John Esposito understanding of the religion. Only from such peddlers of the Islam-is-a-Religion-of-Peace myth could she have gotten the idea that the caliph’s heart would be melted by an appeal to Islam from a Western non-Muslim woman with head uncovered.

Her anguished plea must have added to the sadistic glee of the killers who love their work.

But is she right? Has the caliph somehow overlooked (or intentionally ignored) this Islamic tenet? Or have Armstrong, Esposito, Aslan and the rest of the whitewash crew neglected to tell Mrs. Sotloff that Islamic law allows for the taking of captives (cf. Qur’an 47:4), including non-combatants such as women who are then pressed into sex slavery (cf. Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50), and thus the kidnapping [and killing] of a male journalist is certainly within the parameters of Islamic law?

Mrs. Sotloff continues: “As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life, and to follow the example set by the Prophet Mohammad, who protected People of the Book.”

Mrs. Sotloff may here be referring to the spurious but increasingly popular Achtiname, Muhammad’s pact with the monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, in which Muhammad grants all sorts of rights and privileges to Christians that do not accord with the provisions of Islamic law, which mandates that Christians and other non-Muslims be subjugated, in accord with the Qur’an: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29. This subjugation is not a guarantee that one’s life will be spared, however; if one is considered to be a kaffir harbi, one’s life is forfeit.

The people who have misled Mrs. Sotloff about Islam have done her a grave disservice, and given her false hope.

4. Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper is a member of the British Parliament for the Labour Party, and serves as the shadow home secretary. She has said that Islamic State “extremists are beheading people and parading their heads on spikes, subjugating women and girls, killing Muslims, Christians and anyone who gets in their way. This is no liberation movement — only a perverted, oppressive ideology that bears no relation to Islam.

Unfortunately, for every Islamic State atrocity she enumerated, there is Qur’anic sanction:

Beheading people: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks….” (Qur’an 47:4)

Subjugating women and girls: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” (Qur’an 4:34)

Killing Muslims: “They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Auliya’ (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad SAW). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliya’ (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.” (Qur’an 4:89)

Killing Christians: “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Qur’an 9:29)

Even if the Islamic State is misinterpreting or misunderstanding these verses, it is doing so in a way that accords with their obvious literal meaning. That should, at the very least, lead to a public discussion about the possibility of Islamic reform, what is being taught in mosques in the West, and related issues. But such a discussion is not forthcoming; it would be “Islamophobic”.

3. Philip Hammond

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond declared: “Isil’s so-called caliphate has no moral legitimacy; it is a regime of torture, arbitrary punishment and murder that goes against the most basic beliefs of Islam.

Which ones? Hammond didn’t say.

Everyone knows already, don’t they? Everyone knows that what the Islamic State is doing has nothing whatsoever to do with the true, peaceful teachings of Islam. No one can quite manage to explain how, but what do we care about details!

2. David Cameron

Hammond’s boss, British Prime Minister David Cameron, explained: “What we are witnessing is actually a battle between Islam on the one hand and extremists who want to abuse Islam on the other. These extremists, often funded by fanatics living far away from the battlefields, pervert the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their warped and barbaric ideology – and they do so not just in Iraq and Syria but right across the world, from Boko Haram and al-Shabaab to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.”

Where is “Islam” actually battling these “extremists who want to abuse Islam”? Cameron didn’t say.

1. Barack Obama

Barack Obama has, like Cameron, made it perfectly clear: “ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf emphasized that Obama meant what he said: “ISIL does not operate in the name of any religion. The president has been very clear about that, and the more we can underscore that, the better.”

Obama is always “clear” about the things he is extremely unclear about.

Obama, of course, has throughout his presidency excused and apologized for Islam every time a jihadist atrocity affects the U.S. in some way.

Most would wave away his denial as a political necessity, and ask why it matters anyway — why does it make any difference whether or not what the Islamic State is doing is in accord with Islamic texts and teachings?

It matters for many reasons. Aside from all the vague condemnations of the Islamic State that American Muslim groups have issued, how closely the Islamic State actually hews to the letter of Islamic law will help determine how much support it will ultimately get from Muslims worldwide. … Only by examining the Islamic State’s actions in light of an honest assessment of Islamic teachings will we be able to estimate to what extent we can expect to see its actions replicated by other Muslims elsewhere.

These dismissals of the Islamic State’s Islam … are designed to assure us that we need not have any concerns about massive rates of Muslim immigration and the Muslims already living among them. …

Barack Obama and David Cameron would do far better to confront the Islamic State’s Islamic justifications for its actions and call on Muslims in the US, the UK, and elsewhere to teach against these understandings of Islam that they ostensibly reject. But they never do that, and apparently have no interest in doing it. Instead, they foster complacency among the people of the US and Britain. For doing so, they may never pay a price, but their people will almost certainly have to pay, and pay dearly.

The people have paid. They are paying. They will pay.