Category Archives: Radical Islam

What Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ Have in Common

I’m afraid too many people do not want to see or hear this message; it will more than likely fracture their political paradigm, and that is painful. Hiding head in the sand is less painful . . . in the short run. mrossol

WSJ 9/10/2020 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

There were many American heroes on 9/11, but the greatest were the passengers and crew of Flight 93. Not only did they avert what al Qaeda planned—a direct hit on the White House—but they also embodied Patrick Henry’s credo “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Do those words still have a meaning in the America of 2020? For two decades, I have opposed the fanatical illiberalism of those strands of Islam that gave rise to al Qaeda. I broke with my Somali family and ultimately with their faith because I believed that it is human freedom that should be sacrosanct, not antiquated doctrines that demand submission by the individual.

So implacable are the proponents of Shariah that I have faced repeated death threats. Yet I have always consoled myself that, in the U.S., freedom of conscience and expression rank above any set of religious beliefs. It was partly for this reason that I moved here and became a citizen in 2013.

It never occurred to me that free speech would come under threat in my newly adopted country. Even when I first encountered what has come to be known as “cancel culture”—in 2014 I was invited to receive an honorary degree at Brandeis University and then ungraciously disinvited—I didn’t fret too much. I was inclined to dismiss the alliance of campus leftists and Islamists as a lunatic fringe.

But the power of the illiberal elements in the American left has grown, not just on campus but in the media and many corporations. They have inculcated in a generation of students an ideology that has much more in common with the intolerant doctrines of a religious cult than with the secular political thought I studied at Holland’s Leiden University.

In the debates after 9/11, many people sought materialist explanations for the attacks. American foreign policy in the Middle East was blamed, or lack of education and employment opportunities in the Arab world. I argued that none of these could explain the motivations of the plotters and hijackers, who in any case were far from underprivileged. Their goal was religious and political: to wage jihad against their kin if they didn’t accept a literal interpretation of Islam, to denounce Arab governments as corrupt and their Western allies as infidels, and ultimately to overthrow the established order in the Middle East and establish a caliphate.

American policy makers preferred the materialist explanations, as they implied actions to solve the problem: invasion, regime change, democratization. It was unpopular to suggest that the terrorists might have unshakable immaterial convictions.

Nineteen years on, we see a similar dynamic, only this time it is within our borders. Naive observers explain this summer’s protests in terms of African-Americans’ material disadvantages. These are real, as are the (worse) socio-economic problems of the Arab world. But they aren’t the main driver of the protests, which appear to be led mainly by well-off white people.

Their ideology goes by many names: cancel culture, social justice, critical race theory, intersectionality. For simplicity, I call it all Wokeism.

I am not about to equate Wokeism and Islamism. Islamism is a militant strain of an ancient faith. Its adherents have a coherent sense of what God wants them to achieve on earth to earn rewards in the afterlife. Wokeism is in many ways a Marxist creed; it offers no hereafter. Wokeism divides society into myriad identities, whereas Islamists’ segmentation is simpler: believers and unbelievers, men and women.

There are many other differences. But consider the resemblances. The adherents of each constantly pursue ideological purity, certain of their own rectitude. Neither Islamists nor the Woke will engage in debate; both prefer indoctrination of the submissive and damnation of those who resist.

The two ideologies have distinctive rituals: Islamists shout “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to America”; the Woke chant “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.” Islamists pray to Mecca; the Woke take the knee. Both like burning the American flag.

Both believe that those who refuse conversion may be harassed, or worse. Both take offense at every opportunity and seek not just apologies but concessions. Islamism inveighs against “blasphemy”; Wokeism wants to outlaw “hate speech.” Islamists use the word “Islamophobia” to silence critics; the Woke do the same with “racism.”

Islamists despise Jews; the Woke say they just hate Israel, but the anti-Semitism is pervasive. The two share a fondness for iconoclasm: statues, beware.

Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Both are collectivist: Group identity trumps the individual. Both tolerate—and often glorify—violence carried out by zealots.

This Sept. 11, then, let’s dismiss the fairy stories about the enemies of a free society. Their grievances aren’t merely economic and they won’t be satisfied with jobs or entitlements. Their motivations are ideological and they will be satisfied only with power.

I cling to the hope that most Americans are still willing as a nation to fight and, if necessary, to die to preserve our freedoms, our rights, our customs, our history. That was the spirit of Flight 93. It was the spirit that ultimately defeated al Qaeda and Islamic State. But it is not the spirit of today’s “woke” protesters. And it is time that we all woke up to that reality.

Ms. Hirsi Ali is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and founder of the AHA Foundation. She served as a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003-2006.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-islamists-and-wokeists-have-in-common-11599779507?mod=opinion_major_pos4

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Middle East Reality

We need more politicians with a “reality” perspective.
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WSJ 12/27/2017   By Reuel Marc Gerecht

Alot of people are in a funk over President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The liberal media, most former government officials who’ve dealt with the Israeli–Palestinian imbroglio, and just about everyone at the United Nations appear certain that the decision had a lot to do with Mr. Trump’s disruptive nature, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Evangelical Christians and pro-Israel Republican donors.

It’s possible that his decision was based instead on an old-fashioned understanding of the way the world works, one that would be familiar to Middle Easterners: There are winners and losers in every conflict, and Palestinians have decisively lost in their struggle with the Jews of the Holy Land. Diplomacy based on denying reality isn’t helpful.

This view runs smack into the tenets of contemporary conflict resolution, in which diplomacy tries to make losers feels like winners, so that unpleasant compromises, at least in theory, will be easier to swallow. It alleviates the guilt of a Westernized people triumphing over Arabs that has made many in Europe and even the U.S. uncomfortable with Israeli superiority. It also runs counter to an assumption held widely among Western political elites—to wit, quoting the current French ambassador to the U.N.: “Israel is the key to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.” Israelis, in this view, must make the big compromises.

The truth is surely the opposite. Recognizing the extent and irreversibility of Palestinian defeat is the first step in the long process of salvaging Palestinian society from its paralyzing morass. Far too many Palestinians still want to pretend they haven’t lost, that the “right of return” and Jerusalem’s unsettled status give hope that the gradual erosion of Israel is still possible. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tapped a common theme among Palestinians in his recent oration before the Organization of Islamic Cooperation when he complained that Jews “are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion.”

The biggest problem the Palestinians have is that the Israelis don’t trust them, and the Israelis cannot be ignored, sidestepped, bullied, bombed or boycotted out of eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. Fatah, the lead organization of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the muscle behind the Palestinian Authority, has often acted publicly as if the Israelis weren’t the foreigners who truly mattered, appealing to Europeans, Russians and Americans to intercede on its behalf. Americans and Europeans have consistently encouraged this reflex by stressing their own role in resolving the conflict, usually by suggesting that they would cajole or push Israelis toward Palestinian positions.

For the Israelis, this has seemed a surreal stage play. The Fatah leadership is well aware that only the Israeli security services have kept the West Bank from going the way of the Gaza Strip, where Fatah’s vastly better-armed forces were easily overwhelmed by Hamas in 2007. Fatah’s secular police state—and that is what the Palestinian Authority is—has proved, so far, no match for Hamas.

Western diplomacy has failed abysmally to recognize the profound split between Palestinian fundamentalists and secularists and played wistfully to the hope that a deeply corrupt Fatah oligarchy could conclude a permanent peace accord with Israel. This delusion’s concomitant bet: Such a deal would terminally weaken Hamas, since the secularists would have finally brought home the mutton.

The most important point, however, is always ignored. Competent, transparent, nonviolent Palestinian governance is the only chance Palestinian society has of escaping the fundamentalist critique that has undermined oligarchs across the Arab world. Fearful of playing the imperialists and keenly aware of the efficiency of having a police state as a partner, Americans, Europeans and Israelis have failed to use the leverage of financial aid to set standards for Palestinian governance on the West Bank and in Gaza.

Palestinian Muslims are no different than other Muslim Arabs. Religious militancy has grown astronomically over the past 40 years as the ruling secular elites have calcified into corrupt, hypocritical, heavyhanded autocracies. Westerners have not dealt with this well, since it defies the top-down approach inherit in diplomacy—and also because fundamentalists terrify them. Yet the past ought to tell Americans and Europeans that a two-state solution to the Israel–Palestinian clash isn’t going to happen before Palestinians reconcile in a functioning democracy that doesn’t scare their Jewish neighbors. The overwhelming burden here is upon the Palestinians. The most valuable American contribution to the peace process, so far only episodically delivered, is to remind the Palestinians that they first have to get their own house in order and the Israelis that they have to care about how Palestinians treat their own. Too often, the Israelis have viewed the Palestinians— and Arab Muslims in general—as the ineducable “other,” who is best left to his own rules so long as Israelis aren’t killed. Any Israeli effort to control Palestinian-on-Palestinian abuse will surely be met with a hail-storm of censure from the West. But the Israelis ought to take a longer view. Barrier or no barrier, they are going to live with the Palestinians forever. Israel should certainly want to correct its enormous mistake of allowing Yasser Arafat, the father of Palestinian nationalism, to import his thugocracy into the West Bank and Gaza.

Most Arabs have adjusted, however reluctantly, to the permanence of Zion. They did so four decades ago when Egypt, slowly collapsing under its own military dictatorship, checked out of the war. Americans, Europeans and Israelis—not “the Arabs”— are primarily responsible for elongating the big Palestinian delusions about the “right of return” and a sovereign East Jerusalem. It’s way past time they stopped. Mr. Trump’s decision, whatever the motivation, is a step forward.

Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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Family Loses Seven in Egyptian Attack

Why isn’t the Muslim world enraged over this kind of activity by ‘their own’??
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WSJ  5/31/2017  BY DAHLIA KHOLAIF

CAIRO—For Samia Morkous and her family, the trip to a Coptic Christian monastery was meant as a pilgrimage of gratitude for her husband’s recovery from lung surgery. Then Islamic State gunmen ambushed the tour bus south of Cairo.

Her son Sameh opened the door of the small bus and then recoiled and fell back from shots to his head, said Mrs. Morkous. Several gunmen boarded the bus and demanded that the occupants recite the Muslim creed.

Those who refused—or who answered with Christian hymns—were immediately killed, Mrs. Morkous said at a Cairo hospital where she is recovering from bullet wounds to her thighs suffered in the Friday attack.

When it was over, Mrs. Morkous’s husband, Mohsen; two adult sons; a teenage grandson; a 4-year-old granddaughter; and two other rela- tives were among 30 people killed.

“We came to get blessings and rejoice with our children,” Mrs. Morkous, who lives in Tinley Park, Ill., said of the trip to the ancient St. Samuel Monastery.

“It was like the world flipped upside down around us,” she said of the attack.

The couple were on their first trip to Egypt in nearly two years, after immigrating to the U.S. several years ago.

Mr. Morkous had successfully recovered from lung surgery and recently became a naturalized American citizen. He worked at a nephew’s hair salon in Country Club Hills, Ill., said Rev. Samuel Azmy, his priest at the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church. Mrs. Morkous, who is 56, holds a green card.

The ambush in Minya province, about 190 miles south of Cairo, was the deadliest terrorist attack ever on Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority. It marked the latest in a series of Islamic State attacks on Copts since December, including three bombings of Coptic churches that killed 70 people.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, facing increasing criticism from Copts who say he has failed to protect them, ordered rare cross-border airstrikes on militant camps in Libya in the wake of the attack.

The strikes were aimed at the Libyan city of Derna. Forces headed by a Sisi ally, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, say the city is home to armed groups linked to al Qaeda, but not Islamic State, which was driven out in 2015.

On Tuesday, the Libyan National Army said it had set up an operations room to coordinate airstrikes with Egypt. Spokesmen for both militaries declined to give more detail on the arrangement, including whether Egypt had launched any additional airstrikes after the initial round.

A spokesman for Mr. Sisi also didn’t respond to messages and calls seeking comment. Mr. Sisi, in a televised speech following the Friday attack, said the gunmen had trained in unspecified militant camps in Libya.

Visitors to Mrs. Morkous’s hospital room kissed her hand, asking for her blessings and offering condolences. They told her that her family members were in a better place and marveled at an interview she gave to a local television station in which she said she is praying for the murderers.

She recalled the attack in a low voice and short sentences punctuated by deep breaths. “There was heavy gunfire,” she said.

In an effort to save a relative who had a gun pointed at him, Mrs. Morkous said she removed her gold jewelry and handed it to a gunman. He shot her family member anyway.

“May the Lord forgive them,” she said.

A family friend, Samuel Mokhtar, said Mrs. Morkous will return to the U.S. only if her daughters-in-law whose husbands were killed and her grandchildren who lost their fathers accompany her.

“She won’t leave them behind,” he said.

—Tamer El-Ghobashy and Shibani Mahtani contributed to this article.

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Morrissey on Manchester

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WSJ 5/25/2017
Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.

For what reason will this ever stop?

Theresa May says such attacks “will not break us”, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, “will not break us” means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa.

Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?

In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.

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