The 1st Amendment prevents the government from attacking ISIS ideologically? Really?

October 8, 2014
"But don't criticize them."

“But don’t criticize them.”

This is why the Left cannot be taken seriously on constitutional matters: they don’t even understand the basics. Via Power Line:

Bill Gertz has a lengthy and fascinating piece in the Washington Free Beacon about what he calls the Obama administration’s failure “to wage ideological war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists.” Gertz attributes the failure to “fears that attacking [ISIS's] religious philosophy will violate the constitutional divide between church and state.”

It seems difficult to believe that the First Amendment explains Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge, for example, that the Islamic State is Islamic. Gertz cites James Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. Glassman seems to rely mainly on what he hears coming out of the State Department.

For the record, here’s what the 1st Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t see anything in there about “the government may not criticize the religious doctrine of an enemy organization,” do you?  Perhaps our constitutional law professor-president can explain it to us.

Gertz calls this a “surrender in the war of ideas,” and he is right. It’s a pathetic bit of hand-waving to hide the fact that the administration desperately does not want to deal with the Islamic doctrine cited by ISIS as the justification for its jihad. For whatever reason –political correctness, a leftist reluctance to criticize “victims of colonialism,” a fear of upsetting allied Muslim states, or even a secular inability to deal with minds operating on a religious paradigm– the Obama administration (and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration before it) will go to any lengths to deny the truth: we are in a global conflict with an Islamic supremacist/revivalist movement that, while having many sometimes fractious elements, is united by a largely common and mainstream understanding of Islamic texts and doctrines. And until and if (1) we can get imams willing to go public with their criticism in Islamic terms of the doctrinal arguments of the jihadists, we will continue to surrender in this war of ideas and the jihadists will continue to attract recruits.

Footnote:

(1) Which is problematic, because a) I think the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and other jihad groups have a very good understanding of Islamic doctrine, and imams critical of them have trouble finding counter-arguments; and b) critics of the jihad who do come forward often put their lives at real risk.


ISIS fighters caught sneaking into the US?

October 8, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

That’s the explosive charge made by Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) last night on Greta van Susteren’s program:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?

Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren And the border patrol just let’s ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That’s how you know. That’s where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don’t have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam — Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that’s where the major threat is here, that’s how these guy guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.

If Hunter is right (as Jim Geraghty points out, he’s not known for being a hysteric) that ISIS terrorists have been caught at the border, then he’s also right to point out the risk that others have gotten through whom we don’t know about. At least, we the public don’t know about them. If they exist, I hope to God the FBI knows about them and is tracking them and about to make arrests. If they don’t know where they are –again, assuming Hunter is right and they exist– things could well get awfully scary, awfully fast.

It’s a given that jihadists from ISIS, al Qaeda, and other groups want to attack us, and our borders, particularly the southern one, are a huge weakness. Gee, maybe those of us calling for stiffer border security weren’t just a bunch of racist, nativist nutjobs after all.

PS: See Jim’s post for a worrisome quote from a Democratic congressman.


First a master race, now a master faith

September 19, 2014

 

Sympatico

Sympatico

Via Jihad Watch, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes clearly the intellectual parallel between a certain mid-20th century totalitarianism and Islamic supremacism:

In a speech on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Islamist terrorist groups such as ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah to Nazis: “We know this. We’ve seen this before. There’s a master race; now there’s a master faith.”

“The tactics are uniform. Terror first of all against your own people,” Netanyahu told attendees at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s (ICT) 14th annual conference held at Herzliya, an Israeli technology center located about six miles north of Tel Aviv.

“There’s a master race; now there’s a master faith. And that allows you to do anything to anyone, but first of all to your own people and then to everyone else,” Netanyahu continued, in a reference to Nazi ideology stemming from Adolf Hitler’s belief, detailed in his speeches and writings, that Aryans were the “master race.”

“And what do you do to everyone else? For that you use new techniques. And the new techniques involve first of all, taking over civilian populations, putting yourself inside civilian areas, contravening the laws of war and the Geneva Convention; using your people as human shields, the same people you execute; and then firing indiscriminately at civilians. You hide behind civilians, you fire on civilians. And you fire rockets and missiles.

And then he touches on the essential moral difference between Western civilization and that of the jihadists:

“All of Israel mourned on September 11th. In Gaza, they were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy,” Netanyahu said. “That’s the moral divide. We mourn; they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents.

Netanyahu’s analysis is similar to the argument made by Natan Sharansky in his “The Case for Democracy:” that there is a fundamental divide between free societies, largely those of the West, and fear societies, such as those wherever sharia rules. Sharansky calls on leaders to have the moral clarity to see the difference between the two, and the moral courage to act accordingly.

Would that all Western leaders had the moral clarity of Mr. Netanyahu.

PS: The photo, by the way, is of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and a virulent hater of Jews. He and Hitler got along quite swimmingly, and the Husseini even organized Islamic auxiliary troops for the Nazis in the Balkans. He was also Yasser Arafat’s uncle. Wonderful family.


On the contrary, Mr. Cameron, ISIS *is* Islamic

September 15, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

Sigh. What was I saying the other day about our leaders being in denial? Right on cue, the UK’s Prime Minister provides a stunning example:

“They (ISIL/ISIS) are killing and slaughtering thousands of people, Muslims, Christians, minorities across Iraq and Syria,” Cameron said of ISIS. “They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace.”

“They are not Muslims. They are monsters. They make no secret of their desire to do as much harm not just in the Middle East, but to any countries or peoples who seek to stand in their way or dare to stand for values they disagree with.”

No, Prime Minister, Islam is not a religion of peace. Its founder commands unending war against the unbelievers (that’s us, by the way) until “all religion is for Allah” and sharia law is imposed on us all. It has been the most consistently aggressive religion of the last 1,400 years, because its sacred texts (the Qur’an, the hadiths) and tafsir (learned commentary) repeatedly command and endorse aggression against non-Muslims. As Roger Simon wrote:

The Islamic State is not only Islamic, it is the very paradigm of Islam, Islam distilled to its essence as practiced by Mohammed, massacring local tribes, raping and enslaving their women, and making war against everyone in his way until he had subdued as much of Arabia as possible.  Who knows how many beheadings were involved, but can we assume the total significantly outstrips the Islamic State’s, at least for now ?  Islam is far from the only violent religion — almost all have had their moments — but it is unquestionably the most unremittingly so.  If Islam is said to have been hijacked, it is not by the thugs of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al Qaeda, al Nusra, Ansar al Islam, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Jemaah Islamiyah, Hamas, Hezbollah and on and on.  They are the true practitioners of the faith, following in the footsteps of Mohammed and obeying the prescriptions of the Koran and the Hadith to make the whole world Islamic or else. They don’t need to communicate with each other.  They just  do their thing, because the playbook has been written for them and they have studied it well.  It is they who have been temporarily hijacked by a few whirling pacifistic Sufis or other moderate outliers before getting down to the unfinished  business of finally crashing through the Gates of Vienna or defeating Charles Martel at Toulouse and returning Al Andaluz to its rightful owners.  As one will recall, that was the stated intention of the al Qaeda maniacs who blew up the train at Madrid’s Atocha station just a few years ago.

It goes without saying that not all Muslims are monsters like the jihadis of ISIS, al Qaeda, and so many other jihad groups. But neither is it impossible to be both a Muslim and a monster. Stalin, for example, killed thousands of Socialists, but that did not make him any less of a Socialist for also being a monster.

ISIS is Islamic. What it isn’t is shy about acting on its Islamic beliefs.

RELATED: Many Muslims, jihadist or otherwise, hope for the return of the caliphate, abolished with the end of the Ottoman Empire after World War One. They see its end as the great disaster of the Muslim world. If you want to know what its return would mean for non-Muslims in such a world, I suggest you read this piece about the Armenian Genocide. Hint: the Ottomans made ISIS look like amateurs.


Why do our leaders insist on saying the Islamic State is “not Islamic?”

September 13, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

In a more general sense, this is something that’s been happening since the days right after 9/11: American leaders insisting that the actions of jihadists do not represent “true” Islam. It’s utter nonsense, of course; in fact, one can argue that the jihadists are practicing the faith exactly as Muhammad intended, following his example. (Warning, gruesome photos)

And yet our leaders, both under Presidents Bush II and Obama, continue to insist that the actions of al Qaeda and, now, the Islamic State, really aren’t Islamic. President Obama provided the latest example during his address to the nation the other night:

Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL (sic) is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. [1] And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.

Why the obfuscation? The leaders of al Qaeda, the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and his successor, Dr. Zawahiri, were both very well schooled in Islam. The caliph of the new Islamic State himself has a PhD in Islamic Studies. Until some serious Muslim scholars show why the jihadists are wrong in their understanding of the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the tafsir (learned commentary stretching back over 1,000 years)  –which hasn’t happened yet!– it is safe to assume these guys know what they’re talking about.

So why the insistence that a spade really isn’t a spade?

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy hits the mark, I think: governments and intellectual leaders are married to a strategy of relying on “moderate Islamists” –such as the Muslim Brotherhood!!– to tame the fires burning the Middle East and threatening us all. And it is delusional:

There is a reason they are taking a position diametrically opposed to reality.

Obama and Kerry, like transnational progressives in both of our major political parties, believe there are “moderate Islamists” who are the key to stability in the Middle East. Now, the term “moderate Islamist” is contradictory: an Islamist wants government by sharia, Islam’s totalitarian societal framework and legal code. There is nothing moderate about sharia. Those who want it implemented are not “moderates” even if they don’t commit mass-murder to get their way. Sharia is also anti-liberty, anti-equality, and anti-Western. Therefore, we should oppose Islamism just as we oppose other freedom-killing ideologies. That doesn’t mean we need to go to war with all Islamists, but we should work to diminish their influence and we should never regard them as a solution to anything.

Notwithstanding their abhorrence of the West, “moderate Islamists” are regarded by Obama and Kerry as potential allies: people, groups, and, in the case of Turkey, for example, countries that we can work with to solve the problems plaguing the Middle East and overcome our own security challenges. It is thus critically important to Obama and Kerry for the public to believe that (a) all Islamists are not basically the same and (b) there is a sharp difference — a day-and-night difference — between “moderate Islamists” and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. If, instead, the public becomes convinced that all Islamists, violent or non-violent, adhere to essentially the same ideology, the administration’s goal of working with Islamic supremacists becomes politically untenable.

(…)

It is vital to Obama and Kerry that the public sees these Islamist groups as having nothing in common with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. And since the latter, like the “moderate Islamists,” define themselves by their adherence to Islam, Obama and Kerry have no alternative: They must deny them standing as true Muslims. That is why they assert that the claim of Islamic State jihadists to be faithful Muslims waging holy war in the name of Islam is fraudulent — and, just as ridiculously, they assert that jihad has nothing to do with violence.

The problem, of course, is that “moderate Islamists” and violent jihadists are bound together by sharia-based Islamic ideology. Yes, they have their differences, but those differences are mainly about tactics; and, to the limited extent they are doctrinal, they are irrelevant as far as we are concerned because the differences do not affect the core Islamist belief that we are the enemy.

(Emphasis added, and be sure to read the whole thing.)

This refusal to face reality has been driving me nuts since September 11th, 2001. This isn’t to say every Muslim is a violent jihadist or wants to impose sharia on us all — far from it. But support for both is far higher in the Islamic world than apologists would like to admit, and the jihadists, whether the patient ones of the Muslim Brotherhood or the action-now crowd of al Qaeda and the Islamic State, have an ideology rooted solidly in Islam’s sacred texts. And it has an appeal to disaffected Muslims and converts to Islam around the globe, as the numbers of people joining the Islamic State shows.

Until we deal with this religious-ideological foundation for jihadism, and until our leaders are honest with themselves and us about the nature of the problem –Islam’s aggressive and totalitarian nature– we will continue to fight with one hand tied behind our back and one eye closed, misdiagnosing the problem and prescribing the wrong solutions.

That’s no way to win a war.

RELATED: Jonah Goldberg on “Is the Islamic State really not Islamic?” Robert Spencer on “Five Non-Muslims Who Know More About Islam than the Caliph of the Islamic State.” Michael Ledeen asks “Why do they join the jihad?”

Footnote:
(1) The Devil is in the details. In this case, the definition of “innocents.”


Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity

September 10, 2014
"Peace? Don't make me laugh."

“Peace? Don’t make me laugh.”

That’s actually a misquote of what the late, great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban once said, but it’s accurate enough in this case. Writing in the International Business Times, Jack Moore reports that Egypt offered Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas a portion of the Sinai peninsula from which to form a Palestinian state… and Abbas refused:

Egyptian President General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has offered Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas the chance to create a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula, according to local Israeli media.

The offer to the Palestinian President which, reports say Abbas has denied, would have seen 1,600 square kilometres of the Sinai Peninsula given to the Palestinian Authority, creating a Palestinian state five times the size of Gaza.

According to IDF Radio, the offer would see Abbas relinquish demands that Israel return to the 1967 borders.

In the new and enlarged Gaza, the territory would be demilitarised and Palestinian refugees, many who were unable to return to their towns after the creation of Israel, would have been able to settle there.

As part of the proposal, Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank would have been autonomous and continued to be under Palestinian Authority control.

Sisi allegedly said to Abbas in the meeting: “You are now 80 years old, if you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will.”

The Palestinian Authority is yet to publicly comment on the initiative but unnamed sources said that Abbas rejected the deal in a meeting with Sisi.

Seems like a good deal to me: Israel will never go back to the 1967 borders, and rightfully so — they’re indefensible. The Palestinians would have their own homeland and, in return for demilitarization, they’d be free to make a prosperous country. You know, like those Jewish guys next door.

But, no. It seems there is no deal too good for the PLO, Hamas, or any other Palestinian group to turn down. But why? Why so obdurate? Why so bloody-minded? I think Robert Spencer nails it:

Of course he turned it down. The point is not to have a “Palestinian” state. The point is to destroy Israel. No one was crying about “occupation” between 1948 and 1967 when Egypt had Gaza and Jordan had Judea and Samaria. The “Palestinians” didn’t consider Egyptian and Jordanian rule to be “occupation.” Only Israeli rule is “occupation.” The hypocrisy of the entire “Palestinian” cause is as palpable as its dishonesty, but the world takes no notice.

Yep.


Paris is Overwhelmed by the Jihadi Threat

September 9, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Unrestricted (or very loosely restricted) immigration combined with poor results at assimilation (multiculturalism has much to answer for) has left France and much of Europe facing a dangerous “domestic jihad” threat.

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

As I’ve previously reported, France stands on the front lines of Europe’s struggle against the Salafi jihad, with numerous violent incidents in the country in recent years perpetrated by terrorists who radicalized while they were at home, not abroad. The urgency of the situation has been clarified by the revelation that French national Mehdi Nemmouche, who murdered three Jews in Brussels, was a notorious torturer for the Islamic State while he waged jihad in Syria. Reports that Nemmouche had much bigger plans, including a terrorist attack on the Champs Élysées parade on Bastille Day, have hardly calmed nerves in Paris.

Calmness is not in order in France now, as the number of its citizens waging jihad in Syria and Iraq, mostly on behalf of the Islamic State, is without precedent. While earlier jihadi campaigns in Bosnia in the 1990s or in Iraq a decade ago, for instance…

View original 473 more words


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