Hamas

Muslims: Outraged Over Gaza but What About Iraq and Syria?

Muslims in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles riot over the Gaza conflict, attacking synagogues and Jewish stores. Where is their outrage over atrocities committed by Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? (Photo:  © Reuters)

Muslims in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles riot over the Gaza conflict, attacking synagogues and Jewish stores. Where is their outrage over atrocities committed by Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? (Photo: © Reuters)

by: 
Raheel Raza

In Saturday’s National Post, Rex Murphy asks why there’s so much outrage over Israel’s response to Hamas rocket fire, but the same activists are silent about atrocities committed in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. In the same edition, letter-writer Al Lando argues that the people who are “attacking Jewish citizens, firebombing synagogues and launching protests against all things Jewish, in the name solidarity with Palestinian victims” seem to have no objection to the “200,000 innocent non-combatants [who] are in danger of genocide” at the hands of ISIS.

Indeed, today’s global events seem surreal and fictional in their evilness. The Yazidis of Iraq are facing genocide. Boko Haram and the Taliban continue their reign of terror: Horrifying, brutal, cruel and inhuman terror from beheadings to rape. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world over these atrocities?

I ask this as a Muslim activist who’s exhausted -- not from defending my faith -- but from asking the same question over and over again for the past two decades. When I asked this question in the aftermath of 9/11, I was criticized for being a “fear-monger.” Following the 7/7 terrorist attacks in the U.K., I called on the larger Muslim community to “wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late.” For this, I was labelled a traitor. Later — as I uncovered and exposed the subversive agendas of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah — I was labelled a heretic.

Today, ISIS is indiscriminately killing women and children in Iraq. These terrorists want women to undergo female genital mutilation and cover their faces — essentially they want to push them back into the dark ages. At the same time, Yazidi women in Iraq are being kept as slaves, while their men are killed. In Pakistan, my country of birth, minorities are being persecuted with no accountability and the movement to eradicate them has been given a religious justification, so the perpetrators are celebrated as champions.

Yet, much of the so-called “civilized world” is frozen by either political correctness or ignorance. U.S. President Barack Obama would rather play golf than address the crisis unfolding all over the Muslim world. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau apparently sees no problem visiting a Wahhabi mosque with strong links to terrorism. And protesters at the Ontario legislature continue to focus their rage on Israel, rather than addressing the heinous crimes committed by Muslims.

So it falls upon the communities where these atrocities are happening to take action. And rightly so.

The world is once again asking, “Where are the moderate Muslim voices to counter the evil of ISIS and other terrorist organizations?”

Let me respond by saying that I’m completely revolted by what’s happening in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Arab world. I wish I could say the same for my larger community. When a recent documentary exposed the crimes perpetrated against women in many Muslim countries was released, so-called “moderate and progressive” Muslim women opposed the cause.

I ask all Canadians to please stop asking where the moderate Muslims are. Our voices have been subsumed by the din of the mercenaries vying for power and hegemony in the Muslim world; we have become pawns in the games played by Saudi Arabia and Iran; we are shouted down by those who would lobby for political causes over human rights; and, most importantly, our communities still bask in the belief that all is well.

 

Raheel Raza is an award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker on the topics of jihad and sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity. She is one of nine women's rights activists who took part in Clarion Project's film "Honor Diaries" which breaks the silence on honor violence against women.

Sun, August 3, 2014 Mudar Zahran: We Have a Palestinian State in Jordan

Mudar Zahran on Hannity

Mudar Zahran on Hannity

by: 
Ryan Mauro

Mudar Zahran is a prominent Palestinian-Jordanian opposition leader that supports secular democracy and peace with Israel. In his new appearance on Hannity, Zahran spoke about Palestinians turning against Hamas (see below).

His parents were born in Jerusalem and moved to Jordan during the Hashemite occupation of the disputed territories west of the Jordan River (commonly referred to as the West Bank by Palestinians and Judea & Samaria by Israelis). His family is one of the most influential within Jordan’s Palestinian majority. An entire part of Amman is officially named “Zahran Area” in their honor.

Before being forced into exile in the United Kingdom, Zahran was serving as the Economic Specialist and Assistant Policy Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Amman. He also served the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

During his work with the U.S. Embassy, Zahran covered sensitive matters regarding Jordan, reporting to two U.S. Ambassadors. His reports were forwarded to the U.S. State Department, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, Treasury Department and, occasionally, to the FBI.

He was a civil rights activist in Jordan and stood against the Jordanian government’s discriminatory policies towards Palestinians. He fled Jordan in 2010 and is a regular commentator for Middle Eastern media outlets. Zahran envisions a future Jordan that is an “armless welfare state that secures the rights of Jordanians from all heritages and origins and maintains the peace agreement with Israel.”

He has previously written for the Clarion Prject on the Palestinian Authority.

The following is Mudar Zahran’s interview with Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro:

 

Mauro: Mudar, you’re in the West Bank at this very moment. Polls show that Hamas is more popular in the West Bank than in Gaza. Is it only a matter of time before the West Bank becomes controlled by Hamas or at least a terrorist stronghold?

Zahran: Hamas could overtake the West Bank easily if, say, elections were held today. But Hamas can never overtake the West Bank militarily. This is where we have to be fair and say that Palestinian Authority President Abbas, despite everything, has done a good job of cracking down on Hamas in the West Bank. Also, the Palestinian Authority closely coordinates with Israeli security agencies so, while Hamas’s popularity is skyrocketing here, they are not a major threat.

 

Mauro: How are your moderate, peaceful views accepted by Palestinians in Jordan and the West Bank? The last poll showed that 60% of Palestinians oppose a permanent peace with Israel.

Zahran: It is a fact that my people will always view Israel as illegitimate and they will most likely always believe that Jews are just immigrants who arrived here from Poland. This might change in 30 years but not now.

Nonetheless, I have been interviewing people from the West Bank and Gaza, in person and over the phone, and I have been in touch with figures that usually cannot speak in public and I can authoritatively confirm that most Palestinians have had enough of fighting and cannot tolerate their current conditions.

Most West Bank figures I’ve met curse out Israel openly but still wish they could go back to the good old days when they could work in Israel.

As for my people in Jordan, they are very, very different. Look at the anti-Israel protests that the Jordanian King’s very own media has been calling for. Palestinians are not joining those—not because they don’t hate Israel—but because they hate the king more than Israel. In fact, Israel is not even on their list now as their greatest worry is the king.

A recent study announced by a Jordanian/Bedouin/East Banker/Yale Professor confirmed that only 8% of Palestinians in Jordan would return to Israel if given the chance. In other words, the “Let’s fight the Jews” notion is dying quickly. It’s “Let’s hate the Jewish bastards but not fight them.”

 

Mauro: Some analysts say that toppling Hamas in Gaza is not an option because more extreme Salafists will replace Hamas. Do you agree?

Zahran: Unless Egypt is involved, then Gaza will be a humanitarian disaster no matter what the situation is. It is possible that Gaza could become "Act Two" for the Islamic State terrorist group. Egypt must accept its duties in Gaza and needs to step in to protect Gazans and provide for them. This alone could end Hamas in Gaza.

 

Mauro: Everyone knows that Hamas will re-arm and re-build the tunnels and we’ll be back to where we were. As a pro-peace Palestinian, what is the appropriate solution as you see it?

Zahran: If Egypt was involved with boots on the ground, Hamas would not be able to do much. Hamas is in need of a ceasefire, so Israel should give it one on the condition that Egypt sends soldiers to Gaza as peacekeepers on the border with Israel, eventually leading to Egypt being the dominant force on the ground.

 

Mauro: What’s a more long-term solution to the conflict? An independent Palestinian state? What would Palestinians accept as a solution?

Zahran: This is all a wakeup call that no other solutions exist besides a Jewish Israel and a Palestinian Jordan with the Jordan River in between.

The Jordanian citizenship law states that all non-Jewish Palestinians are natural-born Jordanians, so those Gazans are Jordanians. If the king was willing to let them in, they wouldn’t be under the bombings now.

We need a Palestinian state and we already have one in Jordan. The problem is that King Abdullah refuses to recognize that. I have been warning for years that unless the world tolerates a Palestinian state in Jordan, more trouble was ahead and I believe my words ring true now.

 

Mauro: But if Jordan became a Palestinian state, what makes you believe the fight over the West Bank would end? Wouldn’t Palestinians continue fighting for that as part of the Palestinian state?

Zahran: Palestinians fight because they do not have a country. Once they have a safe, prosperous and somewhat free country, they won’t have a reason to fight. The Palestinian Jordan must be a demilitarized welfare state that stops at the river Jordan.

Read Clarion Project's previous interview with Mudar Zahran.

 

Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

Thu, July 31, 2014 New Jersey Gov. Christie Defends Praise of Hamas-Linked Imam

Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. (Photo © Reuters)

Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. (Photo © Reuters)

By Ryan Mauro

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stood by his previous praise of a Hamas-linked cleric at a townhall meeting on July 30. Imam Mohammad Qatanani's deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security

“I stand by those comments today as they apply to the immediate aftermath of 9/11,” Christie said.

The Republican governor argued that Qatanani was “extraordinarily helpful” in building bridges between the Muslim community and law enforcement after the September 11, 2001 attacks and that it was needed in order to gain counter-terrorism intelligence. He said that he never commented on the Department of Homeland Security’s case against Qatanani.

“You gotta stop reading some of those websites that put this stuff out,” Christie remarked.

The Department of Homeland Security’s deportation proceedings against Qatanani began in 2006. A 2008 court filing by DHS noted that he did not declare on his green card application that Israel convicted him of being a Hamas member. After he was released, he came to New Jersey.

“It is certainly suspicious when a person who has been convicted of being a member of, and providing services, to Hamas, who has personal ties to a Hamas militant leader, and a Hamas fundraiser also sends undisclosed cash to the West Bank,” it explains.

Just before the judge’s ruling, Christie visited Qatanani's mosque and said, “My view is he’s always had a very good relationship with us, and he’s a man of great goodwill.” Christie’s Assistant U.S. Attorney, Charles McKenna, testified as a character witness for Qatanani.

The immigration judge ruled in favor of Qatanani, granting him permanent residency, but it was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The trial is at a standstill today.

Christie acknowledged that he may have complimented Qatanani as governor but downplayed his link to the imam.

“That’s the only relationship that I have with the imam…I didn’t know him beforehand. I’ve seen him probably three or four times in the years since that time,” Christie said.

Christie’s answer gives the impression that he praised Qatanani immediately following 9/11. Actually, the praise happened in 2008 while the trial was in process. His links to Hamas were known and the relationship continued after Christie became governor.

The Christie Administration even included him on the Attorney General’s Muslim outreach committee until at least September 2013. That is about 10 months after Clarion Project first discovered that Qatanani and others with worrisome records were on the committee.

Even worse, they remained on that outreach committee about one year after Clarion Project made it public knowledge. And, as we wrote in September 2013, this committee meets with the top tier of law enforcement about outreach training and they were even briefed on “Homeland Security Grants for Non-Profit Organizations.”

Qatanani was also invited to an Iftar dinner at the Governor’s Mansion on July 24, 2012. Christie opened the event by talking about bigoted attacks on his relationship with the New Jersey Muslim community. Christie pointed him out as an example of that relationship, calling him a “friend” and saying “I’m glad to have you here.”

“In all my interactions with the imam, he has attempted to be a force for good in his community, in our state with law enforcement, with those of us who have gotten to know him for the years,” Christie said at the Iftar dinner.

He ended the 2012 event by again talking about anti-Muslim forces that stand against his relationship with the Muslims of New Jersey. At the July 30, 2014 townhall meeting, Christie denied that his comments referred to critics of Qatanani.

“I’ve never described people as anti-Muslim bigots who said anything about Imam Qatanani. That was about Sohail Mohammed,” he said.

Christie appointed Sohail Mohammed, who was Qatanani’s attorney and an official with the American Muslim Union, as a Superior Court Judge in 2011. Christie rages against the “crazies,” in his words, who opposed that decision.

Christie’s pro-Qatanani remarks were never in response to a question about the cleric’s post-9/11 communication with law enforcement. It would be forgivable if he was only asked about his feelings during that specific time period.

On the contrary, even after Qatanani’s Hamas links became known, the governorship-seeking U.S. Attorney made the decision to visit Qatanani’s mosque and exalt him. It was a calculated move. And the unnecessary praise continued under the Christie Administration, which even placed him on its Muslim outreach committee.

The bottom line is this: Christie and his administration continued to praise and work with Qatanani long after his links to Hamas and radical preaching became known.

Our elected officials need to have standards for those they praise and work with, especially when it comes to the Islamist ideology. No action makes a terror-linked cleric with radical rhetoric worthy of praise from his governor.

A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread That Unravels BNP’s Illegal Terror-Funding Deals

Submitted by Emily on Sun, 2014-07-27 06:12

URL: 
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/a-grieving-father-pulls-a-thread-that-unravels-illegal-bank-deals/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
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Presbyterian Church Divests From Israel, Ignores Persecuted Christians

A church bombed by Islamic extremists in Kirkuk, Iraq

A church bombed by Islamic extremists in Kirkuk, Iraq

by: 
Raymond Ibrahim

Days before the recent Israel/Hamas conflict erupted, the Presbyterian Church in America withdrew $21 million worth in investments from Israel because, as spokesman Heath Rada put it, the Israeli government’s actions “harm the Palestinian people.”

Soon after, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and was asked if he was “troubled” by the Presbyterian Church’s move.

Netanyahu responded:

It should trouble all people of conscience and morality because it’s so disgraceful. You know, you look at what’s happening in the Middle East and I think most Americans understand this, they see this enormous area riveted by religious hatred, by savagery of unimaginable proportions. Then you come to Israel and you see the one democracy that upholds basic human rights, that guards the rights of all minorities, that protects Christians—Christians are persecuted throughout the Middle East. So most Americans understand that Israel is a beacon of civilization and moderation. You know I would suggest to these Presbyterian organizations to fly to the Middle East, come and see Israel for the embattled democracy that it is, and then take a bus tour, go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Iraq, and see the difference. And I would give them two pieces of advice, one is, make sure it’s an armor plated bus, and second, don’t say that you’re Christians.

It’s difficult—if not impossible—to argue with Netanyahu’s logic. Indeed, several points made in his one-minute response are deserving of some reflection.

First, the obvious: Why is it that self-professed Christians completely ignore the horrific Islamic persecution of fellow Christians in the Middle East, while grandstanding against the Jewish state for trying to defend itself against the same ideology that persecutes Christians?

And he is absolutely right to say that the persecution of Christians in the Mideast has reached a point of “savagery of unimaginable proportions.” Perhaps the only thing more shocking than the atrocities Mideast Christians are exposed to—the slaughters, crucifixions, beheadings, torture and rape—is the absolute silence emanating from so-called mainline Protestant churches in the U.S.

Note also the nations Netanyahu highlighted for their brutal persecution of Christian minorities: Libya, Syria, and Iraq. Indigenous Christians were markedly better off in all three nations before the U.S. got involved, specifically be empowering, deliberately or not, Islamist forces. Now, according to recent studies, Christians in all three nations are experiencing the worst form of persecution around the globe:

  • Libya: Ever since U.S.-backed, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overthrew Gaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have been tortured and killed (including for refusing to convert) and churches bombed. It’s “open season” on Copts, as jihadis issue a reward to Muslims who find and kill Christians. This was not the case under Gaddafi.
  •  
  • Syria: Christians have been attacked in indescribable ways—wholesale massacres, bombed and desecrated churches, beheadings, crucifixions and rampant kidnappings—since the U.S.-sponsored “Arab Spring” reached the Levant.
  •  
  • Iraq: After the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, Christian minorities were savagely attacked and slaughtered, and dozens of their churches were bombed (see here for graphic images). In the last decade, Christians have been terrorized into near extinction, with well over half of them fleeing Iraq.

If the Presbyterian Church has problems with governments that persecute people—in this case, the Israeli government’s purported treatment of Palestinians, hence the Presbyterian Church’s divestment from Israel—perhaps it should begin by criticizing its own government’s proxy war on fellow Christians in the Middle East.

 

Christians are also being targeted in the Palestinian Authority territories—by the very same elements the Presbyterian Church is trying to defend.

In 2012, for example, a pastor noted that “animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the PA continues to get increasingly worse. People are always telling [Christians], 'Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam.' ” And in fact, the kidnapping and forced conversions of Christians in Gaza is an ugly reality.”

More recently, nuns of the Greek-Orthodox monastery in Bethany sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to respond to the escalation of attacks on the Christian house, including the throwing of stones, broken glass, theft and looting of the monastery property. “Someone wants to send us away,” wrote Sister Ibraxia in the letter, “but we will not flee.”

Sadly, the hypocrisy exhibited by the Presbyterian Church is not limited to that denomination. Some time back, 15 leaders from various U.S. Christian denominations—mostly Protestant, including the Lutheran, Methodist, and UCC Churches—asked Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel, again, in the context of supporting “persecuted” Palestinians.

Yet nary a word from these same church leaders concerning the rampant persecution of millions of Christians at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East—a persecution that makes the Palestinians’ situation pale in comparison.

Other Protestants do find time to criticize Muslim persecution of Christians—but only to blame Israel for it. Thus, Diarmaid MacCulloch, a Fellow of St. Cross College, wrote an article in the Daily Beast ostensibly addressing the plight of Mideast Christians—but only to argue that the source of Christian persecution “in the Middle East is seven decades of unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

In reality, far from prompting the persecution of Christians, the Arab-Israeli conflict is itself a byproduct of the same hostility Islamic supremacism threatens all non-Muslims. The reason hostility for Israel is much more viral is because the Jewish state holds a unique position of authority over Muslims unlike vulnerable Christian minorities who can be abused at will (as fully explained here).

Little wonder, then, that more Arab Christians—double the number of each of the preceding three years—are now joining the Israel Defense Forces.

They know they can count on basic human rights protection from Israel -- more than from many of their fellow Christians in the West. After all, beyond the sophistry, distortions and downright lies emanating from some of these Christian denominations, the fact remains: Both Jews and Christians are under attack from the same foe and for the same reason -- they are non-Muslim “infidels” who need to be subjugated.

 

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum. Mr. Ibrahim's dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents —has provided him with unique advantages to understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets.

Moral Clarity in Gaza

Submitted by Emily on Mon, 2014-07-21 05:36

URL: 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-moral-clarity-in-gaza/2014/07/17/0adabe0c-0de4-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html
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