Are Muslim-Majority Countries Anti-Christian?

The February 2017 “Muslim ban” imposed by the Trump administration was criticized in many circles. People who were opposed to the limit on refugees from seven war-torn countries pointed to a carve-out in the order that allowed minorities (read non-Muslims) to find refuge in the United States. The protestors claimed that the clause showed the anti-Muslim sentiment of the executive order.

President Trump said that the rationale for the carve-out for minorities was because Christians in those countries had been “horribly treated,” but former President Obama did not make enough allowance for the Christian minorities to escape. He sought to change that dynamic by giving Christians and other minorities priority.

The statments have a mix of facts.

Anti-Christian Countries

The organization Open Doors USA monitors anti-Christian activity from around the world. On January 11, 2017, it announced the worst 50 countries regarding the persecution of Christians.

As there are over 50 Muslim-majority countries, or about 27% of the total number of countries, statistically one would expect 27% of the worst 50 countries to Muslim-majority. According to Open Doors, the number was actually 70%.

However, that statistic – while accurate – is misleading since the vast majority of the 73% of non-Muslim majority countries in the world are Christian-majority, which are unlikely to persecute Christians. The worst non-Muslim countries persecuting Christians were: North Korea (globally ranked #1); India (15); Vietnam (17) and Kenya (18).

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Open Doors USA 2016 Map of Christian Persecution

The seven countries listed on the refugee ban were among the worst persecutors of Christians in 2016, with Somalia (ranked #2); Sudan (5); Syria (6); Iraq (7); Iran (8); Yemen (9) and Libya (11). The travel ban did not cover Afghanistan ranked #3 and Pakistan ranked #4 regarding Christian persecution.

Obama Not Allowing Christian Refugees

Trump accused Obama of not doing enough for Christian refugees. The statement is both correct and incorrect.

Obama barely allowed in any refugees from the seven war-torn countries. The only country where Obama did more than President George W. Bush was in Iraq, and the comparison to Bush is sorely lacking, as most of the region fell to war and mayhem under Obama’s watch.

However, statistically, the Obama administration did permit a respectable number of Christians into the US, relative to their population in the country.

Country Percent Muslims in Country Percent of Refugees that were Muslim allowed under Obama Jan 2009-Jan 2017
Iran 99.7% 6.5%
Iraq 98.9% 64.9%
Libya 96.6% 100.0%
Somalia 98.9% 99.7%
Sudan 97.0% 84.7%
Syria 90.0% 98.5%
Yemen 99.0% 33.3%

Source: Wrapsnet.org

As seen in the table above, Obama did not favor Muslim refugees over other minorities in general.

Obama just didn’t do much for any refugees.

But when Trump protestors point out that the biggest casualties of ISIS, al Qaeda and other radical Islamic terrorist groups are other Muslims, that comment is also devoid of meaning. Almost everyone living in the country is Muslim, having long ago gotten rid of any minorities. Over 90% of the casualties in Muslim wars since 1948 are Muslims. That’s the makeup of their societies today.

So beware of each side quoting statistics. The concept of “targeting minorities” in a society that is almost exclusively Muslim has little meaning anymore.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Media Finds Religion in Matters of Security. Sometimes.

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The Arab Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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The Media Finds Religion in Matters of Security. Sometimes.

Several news sources described President Donald Trump’s suspension of admitting refugees from war-torn countries as a “Muslim ban.” The media called out the “seven Muslim-majority countries,” highlighting the religion of those countries.

Why?

There are approximately 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world. That means that there are many more Muslim-majority countries that are NOT banned by the Trump order.

What the seven countries – Syria; Yemen; Libya; Somalia; Sudan; Iran; and Iraq – do have in common are unstable governments. Syria and Yemen are in embroiled in civil wars. Libya and Iraq are failed states that have been taken over by terrorists. Somalia and Sudan are combinations of both.

And Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world (just ahead of Syria and Sudan).

trump-ban

So why does the media not state that these seven countries are failed states that cannot be relied upon to vet the citizens? It is not as though the media has a record of discussing religion in matters of American security.

In 2014, the Obama administration opted to cancel US flights to Israel after a missile fired by Palestinian Arab terrorists fell close to the Israeli airport near Tel Aviv. It uniquely cancelled flights for Israel, even though planes had been shot down in various countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Indonesia and Egypt. Actually shot down; not just a missile landing near an airport causing minimal damage.

Did the media debate whether the ban was unconstitutional or unwarranted? Did it point out that it was Muslim terrorists that shot at the Israeli airport? That Obama created a ban against the only Jewish-majority country in the world? Did protestors take to the streets around the United States to lift the ban?

No, no, no and no.

Israeli officials protested loudly. Ephraim Sneh, a retired general and deputy defense minister of Israel, was sharply critical of the decision to suspend flights. He said that it was a dream of the Hamas leadership “to disconnect Israel from the outer world.” A reward for the terrorists.

But virtually no one – other than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – voiced outrage at the ban. More than voicing his outrage – Bloomberg actually flew to Israel in spite of the ban.


The media and Democrats long ago concluded that Trump is a “deplorable” racist. They have been telling the world for many years to be wary of “Islamophobia,” and America’s biggest security threat is really from the right-wing.

Therefore, when a racist (Trump) passively harms Muslim refugees (it must be Islamophobia), the religion must be called out. But when a peace-loving liberal (Obama) harms Israel (not ever really innocent according to mainstream media), there was no need to discuss religion (the Jewish-majority country) or anti-Semitism (which Obama couldn’t possibly harbor.)

That jaundiced narrative of no anti-Semitism/ real Islamophobia and liberal purity/ Republican racism certainly won’t stop now.


Related First.One.Through articles:

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

Obama’s Select Religious Compassion

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

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Trump’s Take on Obama’s “Evil Ideology”

Donald Trump and Barack Obama took very different approaches to dealing with terrorism.

While president, Barack Obama referred to the “evil ideology” in extremists that engaged in barbarous acts of violence, without referring to it as “radical Islamic terrorism.” His handling of the “evil ideology” essentially broke down into four categories, as detailed in “Grading Evil and Evil Doers.”

  • Evil to Destroy: those terrorist groups that threaten America like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State
  • Evil to Condemn: terrorist groups that target other countries, but not the USA, like al-Shabaab and Boko Haram
  • Evil to Tolerate: These are countries that slaughter their own citizens including minors, like Syria, Iran and America’s ally Saudi Arabia
  • Evil to Ignore: This is from governments and aspiring countries like the Palestinian Authority that routinely incites violence against an American ally, Israel.

Obama used direct military action against the first category, when he felt that American lives were at stake, while only lending support against the second. When it came to countries that harbored evil ideologies, Obama opted to remain inactive and relatively silent.

In short, the “evil ideology” itself was not the barometer of whether Obama took action; it was the nature of the threat to American lives, and whether he could act narrowly against relatively small groups of people rather than entire countries.

Trump’s Approach to Radical Jihadist Terrorism

In his first week in office, Donald Trump is seemingly approaching his obligation to protect Americans in a manner quite different than Obama.

  • Name: For one, Trump clearly labeled the “evil ideology” as “radical Islamic terrorism.” While Obama felt that attributing the extremist actions specifically to Islam was unfair, Trump thought that avoiding the connection between the terrorists’ motives and Islamic teachings masked the problem.
  • Breadth: While Obama sought to target a narrow audience for military attacks, and giving a pass to others with “evil ideologies,” Trump seems more willing to go broader and use more tools to address the issues. He has advocated for using torture to get information from terrorists (he said he would be willing to reconsider it if his defense advisors warn against it). Trump has instituted restrictions on immigrations from several countries that have been unable to deal with terrorists, to minimize the probability of terrorists coming to the United States.

Trump has only been in office for ten days, so it is difficult to ascertain how he will use the military in fighting groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda that Obama targeted, and others where Obama acted indirectly like Boko Haram and al-Shabaab. He has already authorized an attack in Yemen in an operation that reportedly killed 14 militants. Will he use troops rather than relying mainly on drones as Obama did in countries like Yemen and Somalia?

trump-refugee-ban
Donald Trump signing ban on some refugees January 2017
(photo: Reuters: Carlos Barria)

Beyond combatting terrorism, how will Trump interact with countries that promote radical Islamic terrorism like Iran and Saudi Arabia? Obama traded with them and gave them billions of dollars. Will Trump treat them as potential business partners too and ignore their support of terrorism?


The United Nations called on the world to not label violent extremism as “Islamic” as they argued that doing so would be unfair to the religion. The UN preferred to only use the term “extremists” in regards to Jews, as part of its ongoing attack on Israel.

Obama lied to the world that the birthplace of extremism was in poverty, rather than a twisted view of the world. His #AlternativeFacts were parroted by the members of his administration, even though every study on the subject showed the statement to be bogus.

So now that Trump has opted to call out the root of terrorism as not being from lack of economic opportunity, but having distinct Islamic origins, will the US push to take actions against Islamic countries rather than a limited number of terrorist groups? Is Trump calling out a clash of civilizations? If so, how will such a clash play out?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

Civil Death and Terrorism

Strange difference of opinion on Boko Haram and Hamas in New York Times

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Hillary Clinton Wants Muslim Americans to Squeal on Each Other

On September 18, 2016, a Somali-American Muslim man went on a rampage and stabbed nine people in Minnesota, before being shot by an off-duty police officer.  ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, and both presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, weighed in on the attack.

Clinton’s remarks deliberately misled Americans that she had a tough plan using law enforcement to deal with terrorism.

Her statement read:

“ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Minnesota, and this should steel our resolve to protect our country and defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups. I have laid out a comprehensive plan to do that. This includes launching an intelligence surge to help identify and thwart attacks before they can be carried out, and to spot lone wolf attackers.”

A casual reader would imagine that Hillary is planning on relying on a range of security personnel in an “intelligence surge” to protect Americans from local radical jihadists.

They would be wrong.

clinton-9-16
Hillary Clinton addressing reporters September 16, 2016

On December 15, 2015, Hillary Clinton was in Minnesota where she discussed her detailed plan to thwart ISIS in America. Her three-part plan included an effort to prevent attacks before they could be carried out, which was based on Muslim Americans reporting on fellow Muslims who were becoming radicalized.

“Here in the Twin Cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together parents, teachers, imams, and others in the Somali-American community with law enforcement, non-profits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others to intervene with young people who are at risk.

It’s called the Building Community Resilience Pilot Program, and it deserves increased support.  It has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything the people involved in it know they can do.  And we’ve got to do a better job of supporting it.

Now I know that like many places across the country, there’s more work to do to increase trust between communities and law enforcement.  Just last month, I know here a young African American man was fatally shot by a police officer.  And I understand an investigation is underway.  Whatever the outcome, tragedies like this raise hard questions about racial justice in America and put at risk efforts to build the community relationships that help keep us safe from crime and from terrorism.

When people see that respect and trust are two-way streets, they’re more likely to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement.  One of the mothers of the 10 men recently charged with conspiring with terrorists said, “We have to stop the denial,” she told other parents that.  “We have to talk to our kids and work with the FBI.”  That’s a message we need to hear from leaders within Muslim-American communities across our country.”

Hillary Clinton’s plan relies on Muslim Americans reporting on fellow Muslim Americans to the police.

As discussed in “Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota,” Donald Trump does not believe that law enforcement can rely on the Muslim American community to squeal on its bad actors.  He relies on reports that state the “Islamist terror threat in the U.S. homeland has escalated dramatically,” and summations from fellow Republicans like “Republican Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and long a hawkish critic of the Obama administration, said the report proves “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.””

Donald Trump’s statement about the Minnesota attack in September 2016 was shorter on details, but more aggressive in stance.  Trump did not suggest waiting passively for Muslims to mention possible attacks, he put the onus directly on law enforcement including “extreme vetting for immigrants from troubled parts of the world where terrorists live and train.”  He went further to attack Clinton’s approach: “We will not allow political correctness and soft-on-terror, soft-on-crime policies to threaten our security and our lives.

Therein lies the fundamental difference of the presidential candidates in fighting Islamic terror in the US. Both want to stop terror, but Trump will rely completely on law enforcement, whereas Clinton will seek to empower the Muslim community in the hopes that fewer people will become radicalized and more Muslims will be inclined to report on fellow Muslims.

Many Americans will only be comfortable with one of these approaches.

In September 2016, as the presidential race tightened and a series of attacks occurred in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey, Hillary Clinton concluded that she needed to appear more bold on fighting terror, and less reliant on the Muslim community’s cooperation.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

“Jews as a Class”

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

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UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The United Nations is gathering this week for a summit in New York to discuss ways of helping refugees and migrants.  The various roundtables will review the difficult situation facing millions of people due to a number of wars, principally in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) as well as in Afghanistan.

The UN will then ask for countries of the world – principally the United States and Canada – to contribute money and homes to settle these refugees.

There are three principle flaws with the UN approach:

  1. There are billions of dollars already allocated to refugees at the UN, but not used for them, due to bias at the global body
  2. Key related parties are not taking their share of refugees
  3. The response of stopping the flow of refugees at the source is not properly addressed

un
The United Nations headquarters in New York City

 

The UN Wastes the World’s Money on Non-Refugees

The United Nations currently spends billions of dollars that are earmarked for refugees, to people that are NOT refugees.

As described in “Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA and Fund the UNHCR,” the United Nations created the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and tasked it with helping millions of people from around the globe who are fleeing conflict.  The UNHCR helps these refugees find safety in new countries and establishes some infrastructure (temporary homes, hospitals and schools), far from their homes, where they have little support.

However, the UN also created a distinct agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) just for a single group of people – Palestinian Arabs. These Arabs are NOT refugees, but descendants of people who fled their homes and settled a few miles away in the exact same region. Refugee status does not pass down through the generations, and has absolutely nothing to do with people leaving a certain house to a location nearby.

Despite this, the UN has a larger staff and spends significantly more money on these non-refugees.

As the world is facing a true refugee problem, with actual refugees fleeing harm to find protection in lands where they know no one and have no infrastructure at all, it is well past time to shut down the farce of UNRWA which exists solely to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and devote those resources to actual refugees.

Muslim World Must Take in Refugees

The European Union is pushing the US and Canada to accept more refugees, particularly those fleeing the civil war in Syria. The EU argues that it has already accepted the lion’s share of the refugees, and many Europeans have become uneasy with the large influx of foreigners.

But where is the push for Muslim countries to accept more of these Muslim refugees? Aside from Turkey and Jordan, most Muslim countries have not taken any refugees. These refugees fleeing Arab countries like Sudan, Yemen and Libya, and Muslim countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, could more easily adapt to countries where they share language, culture and religion.  The very wealthy Gulf states could easily take in these refugees.

But the 57 Islamic states will vote at the UN to make the non-Islamic countries take in the refugees, to an unfamiliar environment. Why are so many Muslim countries only making refugees and not helping them? Why does the world enable the situation?

Stop the Flow of Refugees

The biggest causes of the refugee crisis is the civil war in Syria and the growth of ISIS in Iraq. Trailing these are the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, the civil war in Yemen, and the failed state of South Sudan.  These are problems that erupted and spread under the hands-off approach of the Obama administration in the Middle East, and its active involvement in Afghanistan.

The ramifications have spread to the entire world.

Obama did little to nothing when Syria’s President Assad dropped barrel bombs and chemical weapons on his own people. Obama vacated Iraq to allow a vacuum to be filled by ISIS.  After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toppled the regime in Libya, the US left the country in shambles.  Those decisions allowed terrorists to penetrate Europe.

obama-red-line

It is time to reverse that inaction.

A no-fly zone must be established in Syria to give a safe haven to refugees within their own borders. A real ceasefire must be established to allow the millions of refugees to return to their country.

ISIS must be defeated and the US must remain in Iraq to help the country stabilize.   Active involvement in Libya must happen immediately, before Libya becomes another Iraq.

The only country that has become more powerful under Obama is the state sponsor of terrorism, Iran.

The implementation of Obama’s poor decisions must stop, and refugees should be encouraged to return to their countries as soon as practical.

The United Nations Farce

Over September 19 and 20, the world will witness the dictatorships and human rights abusing-countries dictate to the western world that the West must take responsibility for the failed Islamic states.  The perpetrators will claim victim status, and insist that Europe and North America must both pay for the MENA refugees and shelter them, while the Muslim world itself does nothing.

Well, in fairness, the Muslim world won’t do nothing; it will dictate its demands.

One of the speakers at the summit will be the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.  Hamdallah is well known to viewers of Palwatch and MEMRI for calling on the Islamic world to attack Israel for chasing the Muslim agitators who curse and throw stones at non-Muslims visitors to the Jewish Temple Mount.  He often asserts that Israel is “Judaizing” their holy city of Jerusalem.  Most significantly, he actively promotes the families of terrorists killed while attacking Jews, ensuring that they receive monies from global agencies.

Yes, that’s illegal, but Hamdallah gets diplomatic immunity while visiting NY.  What a great choice for a speaker!

Another speaker is Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, the agency that has waged a multi-decade war against the only democracy in the Middle East. Krähenbühl ignores the role that UNRWA played in storing weapons for Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza.  He focuses on asking the world for yet more money for the non-refugees that live in a land that they already control in Gaza!

dsc_0108
UNRWA office in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

While listening to the sad state of refugees, sympathize with their plight, but don’t be fooled by the UN’s recommended courses of action.  Stop the UN farce of perpetuating conflicts and wasting the world’s money, while never demanding accountability from the Islamic countries and entities.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

A Logical Approach to Immigration from Personal History

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

UN’s Confusion on the Legality of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza

A “Viable” Palestinian State

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

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Bernie Sanders Supports America’s Targeted Killings While Banning Israel’s

On May 22, 2016, the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, was killed in a U.S. strike.  The assassination was announced by President Barack Obama:

We have removed the leader of an organisation that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war with the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like al-Qaeda.”

The logic for the assassination seemed logical, and consistent with past statements by Obama to target individuals who posed a threat to the security of Americans.

Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders had a slightly different take on American drone strikes.  He preferred a more limited use of the drones, as he said I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case.”

sanders 2

However, Sanders had a completely different attitude when it came to Israel defending itself.  Israel, he said, had NO right to use targeted killings:

the Israelis must end their policy of targeted killings.

Bernie Sanders claimed to condemn “the terrorist actions of Hamas, including their practice of firing rockets into houses and urban centers.”  Then why does Sanders feel that Israel should be precluded from using a tool to protect civilian lives that the US uses?

It is fair to assume that Sanders’ foreign policy will resemble the United Nations’ hypocrisy regarding Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Sanders Accuses Israel of Deliberately Killing Palestinians

Bernie Sanders is the Worst U.S. Presidential Candidate for Israel Ever

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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The Arab Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them

The Middle East is producing refugees in great numbers, as the civil wars in Syria and Sudan drag on, ISIS takes over large swathes of Iraq, and Libya and Yemen deteriorate into failed states.

The refugees are being welcomed into various western countries including Germany, Sweden and Canada. Just recently, Canada changed its laws under its new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to facilitate refugees becoming citizens.

In the Arab Middle East, only Jordan has opened its doors to fellow Muslim Arabs. The Islamic country of Turkey is not Arab, and prefers to act as a way station to refugees in transit to Europe.  The vast Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not opened its doors. The rich states of Oman, Qatar and Kuwait have done nothing.

syrain refugees jordan
Syrian refugees in Jordan

There is a long history of the Muslim Arab Middle East creating refugees, but not welcoming them.

  • In 1991, after the Palestinians supported Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in his takeover of Kuwait, the Kuwaitis expelled over 300,000 Palestinians. Goodbye.
  • In 1967, after the Egyptians and Syrians threatened to destroy Israel, but ended up losing the war, the countries did not welcome any Arabs from the region into their countries as new citizens.
  • In 1948-9, when the Arab countries surrounding Israel launched an attack to destroy the Jewish State, but failed to do so and consequently helped create 711,000 Arab refugees, they let the people suffer.  While the Syrian government allowed the United Nations to establish refugee camps for the Palestinian Arab refugees inside Syria, it never allowed those refugees or their descendants to obtain work permits to get professional jobs.

And so it continues to this day. While the Islamic State dreams of building a unified caliphate to unite the Muslims of the Middle East, the established monarchies continue to do their utmost to cement divisions.

The Muslim Middle East today is divided between the genocidal jihadists of ISIS who seek Muslim unity by killing anyone not like themselves, and the corrupt, racist monarchies that do nothing to promote unity.

Will the Muslims that flee the insanity of the region adopt western values of tolerance, or will they bring one of these brands of barbarism to the western world?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

A Flower in Terra Barbarus

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Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that America needs to be “very vigilant” in scrutinizing Muslims regarding matters of security, as it is difficult to separate Islam from radical Islam.  He told CNN that Americans “have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States… There’s a sickness going on and you have to get to the bottom of it.

trump islam
Donald Trump on CNN March 2016

For her part, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that America must “empower our Muslim-American communities, who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.”

Are the two positions as far apart as they seem?

Republican Scrutiny

Trump has been accused of being an “Islamaphobe” for his position about Muslims and Islam. His call to place a temporary ban on all Muslims applying to enter the United States was roundly criticized by all of the other presidential candidates.  Trump argued that America needed more information and better background checks on people that might pose a threat to the country because “Islam hates us.“.

Before Trump made his comments, in September 2015, the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report about jihadist operations in the U.S. Among the major takeaways of the report were:

  • “The jihadist threat in the U.S. homeland is high and has escalated dramatically this year
  • ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire across the globe at unprecedented speed
  • Islamist terrorists are intent on killing American law enforcement and military personnel, in addition to innocent civilians”

The report went on to highlight that the state with the highest number of potential jihadists – by a far margin – was Minnesota, at 26% of the total sample set. The report included a sample story about the growing threat of jihadists: “Abdi Nur, only 20-years old when he left Minnesota for Syria last year, is a prime example. Once in the conflict zone, he spent months persuading his friends in Minneapolis to join him.  His peer-to-peer recruiting nearly worked, as six of his friends attempted to leave the United States for Syria; they were arrested by the FBI this April.

The newspaper Star Tribune wrote about a Republican reaction to the report: “Republican Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and long a hawkish critic of the Obama administration, said the report proves “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Kline said it also demonstrates the Obama administration “does not have a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and Islamist terrorists.”

Ami Horowitz, a freelance reporter who often produces stories for Fox News, conducted several interviews in May 2015 with Somali Muslim Americans in Minnesota. In his interviews, seen here, Muslim Americans said they were happy and felt welcomed in America.  Yet despite those feelings, the Muslims would prefer to live in Somalia, not America. They further believed, that elements of sharia law, such as using the death penalty for anyone that insulted their prophet, should be practiced in the US.

Republicans like Kline and Trump directly pointed to “homegrown terrorism” stemming from the Muslim community.  They called for greater scrutiny of those communities to better protect Americans.

The Democrats semmingly suggested a different tactic.

Democratic Empowerment

The liberal senator from Minnesota had a very different reaction to the September House report of jihadists in his state.  The Star Tribune wrote: “In Washington, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, said the report “only underscores the urgent need for adequate resources to fight terrorist recruitment.” He noted the need to build stronger community outreach programs while refraining from stereotyping. “It’s important that we don’t indiscriminately target members of one community,” he said.”

Just months later, in December 2015, Hillary Clinton addressed a crowd in Minnesota about how to defeat ISIS.  One of her points addressed Muslims in America, where her “strategy is empowering Muslim-American communities who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.  There are millions of peace-loving Muslims living, working, raising families, and paying taxes in our country.  These Americans may be our first, last, and best defense against home grown radicalization and terrorism.  They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, intervene to help set a young person straight.  They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.

That’s why law enforcement has worked so hard since 9/11 to build up trust and strong relationships within Muslim-American communities.  Here in the Twin Cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together parents, teachers, imams, and others in the Somali-American community with law enforcement, non-profits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others to intervene with young people who are at risk.

It’s called the Building Community Resilience Pilot Program, and it deserves increased support.  It has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything the people involved in it know they can do.  And we’ve got to do a better job of supporting it.

Democrats like Clinton and Franken suggested the solution to dealing with homegrown jihadists is to “empower” that same community that Republicans sought to scutinize.  Their approaches were seemingly polar opposites.

Ignorance and Analysis

In reality, the concerns of jihadist terrorism for Republicans and Democrats are much the same.  Republicans feel that the entire Muslim community should be scrutinized as they are not confident in being able to distnguish between the “good” and “bad.”  The Democrats want to embrace the good, and get them to both reform and squeal on the “bad.”

Both the Republicans and Democrats advocate intelligence gathering.  Clinton wants to use people from within the Muslim community to do the work, while Trump lacks confidence in relying on the community for America’s safety.

Where Trump and Clinton divide is in their basic thoughts about Islam.  Trump seemingly believes that Islam is inherently intolerant of western values, so the peaceful Muslims are doing so in spite of their religion.  Clinton believes that there is nothing inherently anti-American about Islam, and there are just a small percentage of violent jihadists in the community.

In the end, both Trump and Clinton want to root out homegrown Islamic radicals.  Trump just wants to use law enforcement to handle the task and believes that Clinton’s approach allows the fox to guard the henhouse.


Related First.One.Through articles

“Jews as a Class”

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

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New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

Summary:  One year after acknowledging that Palestinians were to blame for the failed Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace process, left-wing NY Times contributor Roger Cohen cast Israelis as fanatical nationalists and Palestinians as passive, despondent victims. The Times’ cure for Jews’ violent adherence to their religious texts is punishing settlers with BDS, while the paper distanced Muslims from their religion and called for greater compassion towards these innocents.

 

Just in time for Christmas, Roger Cohen decided to write about the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. Again.

In an article called “The Assassination in Israel that Worked,” Cohen portrayed an Israeli society overrun with religious fanatical murderers. He described the killer of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir, as “a religious-nationalist follower of Baruch Goldstein, the American-born killer of 29 Palestinian worshipers in Hebron in 1994.” He wrote about Jews living east of the Green Line (EGL) as obsessed with “Messianic Zionism,” at odds with the concept of democracy. Because Palestinians are desperate for their own state, Jews living in EGL make “violence inevitable” according to Cohen. He argued that the UN’s creation of Israel “was territorial compromise, as envisaged in Resolution 181 of 1947, calling for two states, one Jewish and one Arab, in the Holy Land. This was humankind’s decision, not God’s.” In short, according to Cohen, the vast Messianic cult of violence in Israel seeks all of the Holy Land, but the rights of Jews are limited to just half of the land as dictated by man’s laws.

Lastly, Cohen argued, the only way to push back against the right-wing Israelis and their government was to employ different angles of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in which Obama should “close American loopholes that benefit Israeli settlers.”

Here is a bit of education for Roger Cohen (maybe the byline was wrong and this was written by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, the loud advocate of BDS?):

A smaller percentage of Jewish “settlers” are murderers, than are terrorists which are Muslim.  The Cohen opinion piece would lead a person to believe that every Jewish “settler” takes up arms against Arabs, while the reality is that almost every Jew living in the land seeks to live in peace with their Arab neighbors. Baruch Goldstein was an anomaly, not the rule.

Why would the Times print such an inflammatory piece against Jews when it is in the midst of a blitz about the dangers of “Islamophobia”?  The Times wrote over-and-again that most Muslims are peaceful and that Muslim terrorist abuse the interpretation of Islamic holy texts.  Yet the Times was eager to describe Jewish killers as motivated by the plain reading of the Jewish holy texts, and suggested that any Jew living in Judea and Samaria is either a potential killer, or instigates Palestinian violence.

It is untrue, unfair and reeks of hypocrisy to portray Jews in such a manner.  There are almost no Jews in Judea and Samaria that committed murders, but the Times labelled all “settlers” as devout killers.  Meanwhile, the global jihadist movement enlisted thousands and slaughtered thousands, and the Times rallied to the defense of Muslims.

IMG_3677IMG_3674
“Islamophobia” Op-Eds from Paul Krugman on December 11, 2015, and
Nicholas Kristof on December 13, 2015

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Front Page of NY Times Sunday Review on “Islamophobia”
on December 13, 2015

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Front Page New York Times story on December 15, 2015 about
Young Muslims suffering from “Islamophobia”

Jews are entitled to live in EGL/ Judea and Samaria according to international law. The 1922 Mandate of Palestine by the League of Nations clearly and specifically encouraged Jews to live throughout the Holy Land, including areas now known as the “West Bank.” The Mandate included language that specified that no one should be prevented from living anywhere because of their religion.

“Messianic Zionism” may be a driving force motivating some Jewish families to move to the region, just as they might move to Haifa or Be’er Sheva. Some people are motivated by Zionism without a Messianic component, while others go for good jobs in the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.  The motivation for living there is irrelevant; the right of Jews to live anywhere in the Holy Land was established in international law.

“Violence is inevitable” because Arab don’t want Jews as neighbors, not because Arabs want a state.  Arabs have been killing Jews in the Holy Land for 100 years.  In several episodes in the 1920s, including the brutal Hebron massacre in 1929, Arabs called for ridding the land of Jews.  On the eve of the Holocaust, they launched multi-year riots (1936-9) slaughtering dozens of Palestinian Jews and convinced the British to limit Jewish immigration, causing the death of hundreds of thousands of European Jews.

Whites in the 1950s also did not want to live with black neighbors. Racism and anti-Semitism are to be condemned, not rationalized.  Shame on the New York Times for defending Arab attacks on Jews.

The establishment of Israel as a Jewish State has been rejected by the Arabs for 100 years, and counting.  Cohen pointed to the United Nations Partition Plan which called for creating a Jewish State in 1947.  He failed to say that the Arabs REJECTED that plan.  They opted to launch a war against Israel instead.

Israel has continued to seek peace with its neighboring Arab countries: Jews approved the partition plan in 1947; the country uprooted Jews living in Sinai in 1982; it handed various cities to the Palestinian Authority in 1995; it uprooted Jews from Gaza in 2005. Israel made various peace offers to the Palestinians, including in 2000 and 2008. The Palestinians reacted to each offer with wars, and continue to reject Israel as the Jewish State to this day.

Conclusion

One year ago, Cohen wrote Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Failed. “ In the article, he acknowledged various Israeli peace efforts including settlement freezes and prisoner releases.  In exchange for the Israeli gestures, the Palestinian Authority created a reconciliation government with the terrorist group Hamas, and joined international bodies counter to the agreed upon peace framework.  The peace talks collapsed.

Cohen has now concluded that while the Palestinians suffer from ineptitude and corruption, at the end of the day, their cause is just.  The Palestinians are not only despondent, but desperate for an external force to advance their vision of a state.  Cohen believes that Obama should begin to advance various iterations of BDS on Jews living east of the Green Line to assure the Palestinians goal of a Jew-free state (Obama has indicated in the past that he approves of a Judenfrei Palestine). Cohen had no suggestions – or concerns – of how to make Palestinians approve of the Jewish State living in security.

The radical left-wing call for BDS of the Israeli territories is easier to make when one ignores the 99% of peaceful families living in Judea and Samaria.  So Cohen, and other Israel-bashers paint all of these Jews as “Messianic Zionists” who are out of touch with reality.  They are either murderers of Arabs like Baruch Goldstein, or of the peace process with Arabs like Yigal Amir.

Cohen fails two of Natan Sharansky “Three Ds” test for anti-Semitism: demonization and double standards.  To rephrase the great ballad-rocker Meatloaf, Two of the Three IS Bad.

When will the Times and the left-wing fringe look at the Jewish families with an iota of the compassion they shower upon peaceful Muslims?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Framing the Israeli-Palestinian Arab Conflict: WSJ and NY Times

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

The Narrative that Prevents Peace in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Israel and Wars

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Grading Evil and Evil Doers

On December 14, 2015, US President Obama told Americans that “the United States and our Armed Forces continue to lead the global coalition in our mission to destroy the terrorist group ISIL (the Islamic State).”  He laid out the ongoing efforts to “destroy” the group in its various facets, including “their fighting positions, bunkers and staging areas; their heavy weapons, bomb-making factories, compounds and training camps.

He used the word “destroy” five times in the speech.

That address stood in sharp contrast to his detailed comments on fighting “violent extremism.”

On February 18, 2015, Obama penned a piece in the Los Angeles Times called “Our Fight Against Violent Extremism.” He mentioned terrorism and terrorist threats from a range of countries, including: Yemen; Libya; Syria; Iraq; US; Canada; Australia; France; Denmark; Pakistan; Somalia and Nigeria.  His plan to deal with the global threat involved several initiatives: “We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so…. Our focus will be on empowering local communities.”

Obama’s plan to fight global violent extremism was broad.  Below is a review of Obama’s approach for confronting evil and evil-doers.

Evil to Destroy

President Obama referred to an “evil ideology” when he commented on the murder of American photojournalist Luke Somers.  For Obama, the evil of AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) was a “disregard for life” that threated to “harm our [American] citizens.”

Regarding ISIL/ the Islamic State, the evil was described in a similar manner.  In November 2015, after attacks in France and Turkey, Obama said ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.”  He echoed comments he made with French President Hollande just a few days before when he saidthis barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us.  It cannot be tolerated.  It must be destroyed.”

Evil had certain traits: barbarity and murder.  According to Obama, the root of the evil ideology was to “promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims.

Particular evil that needed to be destroyed, was evil that threated America, and in some cases, its allies.  Other evil could be addressed using other methods.

Consider Obama’s comments over his presidency about his desire to destroy evil.  It is limited to two terrorist groups who attacked Americans: al Qaeda and ISIL/ Islamic State.

  • December 1, 2009: “America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network and to protect our common security.
  • March 28, 2010: “Our broad mission is clear:  We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  That is our mission [in Afghanistan].”
  • October 29, 2010: “we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt plotting by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this al Qaeda affiliate.
  • September 10, 2014: “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
  • February 11, 2015: “America’s armed forces are working with some 60 nations to degrade and destroy ISIL, a terrorist group that has committed countless barbaric atrocities and poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.”
  • July 6, 2015: “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple… Our main objective is to degrade and destroy this group through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

Obama with military leaders
Obama discussing anti-Islamic State plan, surrounded by military leaders including
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff on July 6, 2015 (photo: DoD/ Glenn Fawcett)

ISIL/ Islamic State and al Qaeda remain the only groups targeted for destruction by Obama.

Condemned Evil

There are other groups – and countries –  that are barbaric murderous entities which are not in Obama’s crosshairs.  They receive Obama’s condemnation and disapproval, but not concerted military attention.

Boko Haram is a barbaric, murderous terrorist group operating in Nigeria.  Like the Islamic State, it seeks to install an Islamic country in the place of the Nigerian secular government through a murderous campaign.

Obama has condemned the group’s actions, but remained measured in his call for action:

  • May 7, 2014 (an offer to help find abducted teenaged girls): “Boko Haram, this terrorist organization that’s been operating in Nigeria, has been killing people and innocent civilians for a very long time. We’ve always identified them as one of the worst local or regional terrorist organizations there is out there…So what we’ve done is we have offered — and it’s been accepted — help from our military and law enforcement officials. We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them. In the short term, our goal obviously is to help the international community and the Nigerian government as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies. But we’re also going to have to deal with the broader problem of organizations like this that can cause such havoc in people’s day-to-day lives.” Obama did not offer to help destroy Boko Haram.
  • March 23, 2015: “Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped…. by casting your ballot you can help secure your nation’s progress.”  Obama gave no support to destroy the group; he just suggested that Nigerians vote peacefully in elections and the Boko Haram threat would disappear.
  • July 10, 2015: “[The president of Nigeria is] very concerned about the spread of Boko Haram and the violence that’s taken place there, and the atrocities that they’ve carried out, and has a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside of his country.” Obama noted the President of Nigeria’s concern, but did not mention his own.

While the evil of Boko Haram and other groups operating in Africa was the same, the Obama Administration would not target the groups for destruction as Americans were not targeted.  Obama would only condemn the evil and offer American support:

  • In Chad: “support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram
  • In Lebanon: “fully support the Lebanese authorities as they conduct their investigation… reaffirms its commitment to Lebanon’s security, and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Lebanon in confronting terrorism

The same evil ideology is held by other groups such as al-Shabaab in Somalia which has killed hundreds.  In Ethiopia, after a brutal attack in the country’s capital, Obama saidWe don’t need to send our own marines in to do the fighting: The Ethiopians are tough fighters and the Kenyans and Ugandans have been serious about what they’re doing.”  The comment suggested that Obama’s modus operandi is that America will only engage militarily to destroy evil, if the local government is ill-equipped to do so.

Tolerated Evil

The evil ideology of barbarism and murder is not confined to a few terrorist groups that “promote a twisted interpretation of religion.”  Several countries also engage in barbarity of its own citizens.  Consider Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.  These countries commit barbarity including:

  • killing gays by hanging them from cranes in the streets and throwing them off buildings;
  • stoning people to death for adultery;
  • beheading people in the middle of the streets;
  • executing minors;
  • capital punishment for activities that do not hurt anyone such as apostasy (converting from Islam)

The Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, crossing an Obama “red line.”  However, in the end, it did not matter.  Obama would not attack the Syrian government, and opted to negotiate with them to remove chemical weapons.

Regarding Iran, Obama stated that while they may be anti-Semitic, the country’s leaders were not so consumed by evil that they would do something that would harm their own interests.  Obama would not attack the country, but chose to negotiate to slow the pace of its nuclear program, even as the Iranian leaders chanted “Death to America.”

And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which publicly beheads “witches” and apostates, remains an American ally.  It receives billions of dollars of military hardware from the US.

ObamaAbdullah
Obama and the Saudi King

In short, evil perpetuated by countries is tolerated by the Obama administration.  The one country where Obama decided to launch an attack to remove its leader was Libya, a much less evil regime than in Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia.  It just happened to be easier to remove Muammar Gaddafi, than the leaders of other countries.

Ignored Evil

The last category of Obama’s treatment of evil is “Ignored Evil”.  It is basically the same as “Tolerated Evil” except it is used for a group rather than for a country.

Palestinian Arabs have many groups that are labelled terrorist organizations by the US State Department including: Abu Nidal; Hamas; Palestine Liberation Front; Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine; PFLP- General Command; and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, among others.  These groups have stated their intention to destroy Israel, a US ally; to target Jews for murder; and install an Islamic state in Israel. The groups also torture fellow Arabs if there is suspicion of collaboration with Israel, and drag their bodies through the streets.

Obama has not called for these groups to be destroyed.  He does not tolerate their evil, as he doesn’t negotiate with them.  He simply ignores their barbarity, as he pushes Israel to tolerate and negotiate with them.

While Obama may state that he has “no sympathy for Hamas, he pushed Israel to release terrorists in exchange for… nothing.  When Hamas and Fatah announced a unity government in June 2014, the Obama administration said “we intend to work with this government.

There are Palestinian groups that are not labelled by the US as terrorists, that also incite violence against Israelis.  Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas called for jihad several times against Israel without rebuke from the Obama administration.

Conclusion

Obama has refused to label the evil that touches much of the world as “violent Islamic terrorism”.  By doing so, he compartmentalized the evil ideology: between those that threaten America and those that don’t; between established governments and terrorist groups seeking to replace countries.

As described above, each category received a particular treatment by the USA.  Only in Israel, did Obama opt to break his formula by ignoring the radical Palestinian jihadists, as acknowledging their evil, would likely undermine any chance for a two-state solution with Israel.

While some liberals think the nature of the evil ideology is different in particular places, most people understand the contours of jihadist terrorism and remain angered by Obama’s refusal to call out the religious barbarity in various corners of the world by its proper name.  Israel supporters are particularly enraged by Obama’s unique treatment of Palestinian Arab jihadist violence.

Liberals remain convinced that not all evil is the same, and that the barbarity has nothing to do with Islam.  Conservatives believe that all violent jihadist violence is very much the same, and should be dealt with in a singular fashion.

However, for Obama, remaining obtuse about the nature of the evil ideology enables flexibility in engaging particular evil-doers, while avoiding a broader conflict with the Muslim world.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Pick Your Jihad; Choose Your Infidel

The Banners of Jihad

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

My Terrorism

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