‘Moderate’ Palestinian Factions Praise Rabbi’s Murder as an ‘Operation’: Steven Emerson, Algemeiner, Jan. 11, 2018— Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) framed Tuesday’s terrorist attack that killed a civilian father of six as a successful “operation,” Palestinian Media Watch reports.
Why There's Muslim Violence, But Not Christian Violence, in the Middle East: Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPage Magazine, Dec. 27, 2017 — Because Israel is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the latter have always been presented as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice."
Canada: Trudeau's Support for Islamists a Warning to America: Thomas Quiggin, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 9, 2018— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has an nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims.
The Muslim World Must Confront the Underlying Problems in Islamic Theology: Ahmed Shah, National Post, Oct. 31, 2017— In April of this year, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student from Abdul Wali Khan University — a university in Pakistan, the country of my birth — was accused of blasphemy by a mob of students, dragged out of his dorm room, stripped naked, beaten, and shot dead.
After Killing, Army Unlikely to Heed Calls for Revenge Against Palestinians: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 10, 2018
Sharia for New Year's: Bruce Bawer, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 7, 2018
Canada: Obsessed with "Islamophobia": Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 21, 2017
From “Lone Wolf” to “Known Wolf”: The Role of “Cultural Fuel” and “Personal Triggers”: Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf, JCPA, January 7, 2018
Algemeiner, Jan. 11, 2018
Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) framed Tuesday’s terrorist attack that killed a civilian father of six as a successful “operation,” Palestinian Media Watch reports. Late on Tuesday, while driving near Nablus, Rabbi Raziel Shevach was shot in the neck; the gunfire came from a passing vehicle. Shevach was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. A manhunt is underway for the perpetrator(s).
Fatah glorified the attack as a professional assassination from a “skilled and experienced” Palestinian. “The Nablus operation in numbers: The full duration of the operation: 30 seconds. The distance between the cars: 20 meters. The number of bullets that were fired: 22. The one who carried out the operation was skilled and experienced, and escaped the site. The result: a killed settler,” read a post on Fatah’s official Facebook account.
The official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, also ran an article referring to the attack as a “shooting operation,” making it sound like military activity, instead of what the incident really was — the murder of an Israeli civilian. Both Fatah and the PA called the victim a “settler.” Palestinian factions of all stripes consistently refer to Israelis as settlers regardless of if they live in pre-1967 Israel or the territories. This is a subtle, yet effective, way to legitimize and encourage attacks targeting Israelis wherever they reside. The PA even refers to murdered tourists visiting Israel as “settlers,” including US citizen Taylor Force, who was killed in Tel Aviv last year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn Shevach’s murder. So far, there has been silence from Abbas. America’s ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also chimed in, highlighting the PA’s financial incentive system that continues to encourage terrorism. “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace. Praying for the bereaved Shevach family,” Ambassador Friedman tweeted.
Palestinian terrorists and their families receive far higher government payments than welfare recipients. Payments to released prisoners and jailed Palestinians are based on the length of a prison sentence, and their action’s severity. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money that a Palestinian prisoner gets.
According to statistics released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Palestinians conducted 54 terrorist attacks in 2017. Another 400 attacks were foiled. The vast majority of terrorist attacks against Israelis in recent years were perpetrated by individuals, not organized groups. According to the Israeli government, this phenomenon is largely motivated by the “PA’s strategy of ‘popular resistance’ (i.e., popular terrorism) adopted by the PA and Fatah at the Sixth Fatah conference in August 2009.”
If the assailants responsible for Rabbi Shevach’s death are brought to justice, their families should expect a hefty reward. The PA’s glorification of terrorism and perverse financial incentives system will only encourage more attacks.
FrontPage Magazine, Dec. 27, 2017
Because Israel is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the latter have always been presented as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice." No matter how many rockets were shot into Tel Aviv by Hamas and Hezbollah, and no matter how anti-Israeli bloodlust was articulated in distinctly jihadi terms, that was always presented as ironclad proof that Palestinians under Israel are so oppressed that Muslims have no choice but to resort to terrorism.
Yet, as with all false narratives, the survival of this one relied on concealing the bigger, more complete picture, as captured by the following question: If Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them—for example, millions of indigenous Christians living in the Muslim world? According to reliable statistics published annually, some 40 of the 50 worst nations in which to be Christian are Muslim majority. Of the absolute worst 21 nations—18 of which are Muslim—"100 percent of Christians experience persecution."
The rationalizations used to minimize Muslim violence against Israel simply cannot work here, for now Muslims are the majority—and they are the ones violent and oppressive to their minorities, in ways that make Israeli treatment of Palestinians seem enviable. In other words, Christian persecution is perhaps the most obvious example of a phenomenon the mainstream media wants to ignore out of existence—Islamic supremacism, the true source of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians in the Islamic world simply wish to worship in peace, and yet they are still hounded and attacked; their churches are burned and destroyed; their women and children are kidnapped, raped, and enslaved. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language; there is generally no political or property dispute on which the violence can be blamed. The only problem is that they are Christian—they are non-Muslims—the same category Israelis fall under.
From here one also understands why what has been described by some authorities as a "genocide" of Christians at the hands of Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, and Egypt—Muslims who could care less about Israel and Palestinians—is one of the most dramatic but also least known stories of our times. The media simply cannot portray Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amounts to unprovoked pogroms—as a "land dispute" or a product of "grievance" (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted indigenous Christian minorities who should have grievances). And because the media cannot articulate such Islamic attacks on Christians through the "grievance" paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.
Such is the way for all apologists of Islam: to ignore or whitewash Muslim aggression—and then, in that vacuum, distort and present non-Muslim responses as the origins of the conflict. This is especially prevalent in the portrayal of history. Thus, Georgetown University's John Esposito claims that "Five centuries of peaceful coexistence [between Islam and Europe] elapsed before political events and an imperial-papal power play led to [a] centuries-long series of so-called holy wars [the Crusades] that pitted Europe against Islam and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and distrust." In reality, these "five centuries of peaceful coexistence" saw Muslims terrorize and conquer more than three-fourths of Christendom; but this inconvenient fact is seldom mentioned, for knowledge of it ruins the "Muslim-grievance" narrative, just as knowledge of modern day Muslim persecution of Christians ruins it. Either way, it is refreshing to see that the sun is breaking through the darkness of deceit that has for too long clouded Middle Eastern realities, including by presenting victims as aggressors and aggressors as victims.
Gatestone Institute, Jan. 9, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has a nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims. With respect to ISIS fighters returning to Canada, Trudeau has argued that they will be a "powerful voice for deradicalization" and that those who oppose their return are "Islamophobic." Furthermore, the Government of Canada is not adding the names of returning ISIS fighters to the UN committee responsible for the listing of international jihadists.
Many Canadians (and others) are starting to believe that Prime Minister Trudeau's position on reintegrating and deradicalizing ISIS fighters is unreasonable, if not delusional. Canada's "Centre for Community Engagement and Deradicalization" has no leader and no deradicalization centre. Nor does it appear to have plans for a program which could operate inside or outside of government. It is also not clear that the law of Canada could force a returning ISIS fighter to attend such a program, even if it did exist. In France, a similar government sponsored program was a failure.
Canada also has an unclear position on the arrest of returning ISIS fighters, with few facing any consequences to date. The number of ISIS fighters in Canada is unclear; estimates back in 2015 suggested that about 60 had returned. The Government of Canada has tried to claim that his number has not changed since 2015, despite the near total collapse of ISIS over the last several months.
Prime Minister Trudeau's earlier comments on politicians needing a position of "responsible neutrality" on the issues of wife beating and female genital mutilation render his current positions on Islamist groups such as ISIS even more troublesome. Perhaps most disturbing were Trudeau's comments to a gathering of Islamist front groups: he told them that he shared their beliefs, their set of values and their shared vision. Adding to this concern is his 2014 interview, as a Member of Parliament, to the Montreal-based newspaper Sada al-Mashrek. This paper is known to be Khomeneist in nature and supports Iran (as well as Hezbollah). In this interview, Trudeau told the paper that he would have a special immigration program that was more open to "Muslims and Arabs."
The degree to which Islamist extremism has spread in Canada can be demonstrated by the number of fighters who have travelled to ISIS. According to the Soufan Center, 180 Canadians went overseas to fight for "terrorist groups" (ISIS) in Iraq & Syria while only 129 Americans did the same. Given that the US population is about ten times that of Canada, the American number should have been closer to 1800 rather that the 129 reported.
Prime Minister Trudeau's position on Islamists should be of concern to both Canadians and Americans. While the history of Canada and American relations is largely positive, Islamist attacks against America have been attempted from Canada. Among these attempted attacks have been Ahmed Ressam in 1999, Chiheb Esseghaier in 2013 and Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, convicted of an attempted attack in New York City in 2016.
In addition to his support for Islamists, Prime Minister Trudeau appears to be re-engaging with Iran after the previous Prime Minister (Stephen Harper) closed the Embassy of Iran in Canada and deported all of its diplomats. During the 2015 federal election, Trudeau said he hoped Canada "would be able to reopen its mission" and he was "fairly certain that there are ways to re-engage." Progress to date on this has been uneven, but talks appear to be continuing.
Prime Minister Trudeau's support for the Islamist cause has been consistent since he was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2008. This position appears to have been reinforced since he became Prime Minister in 2015. In addition to his own position, Canada's Liberal Party also has an entryist problem as it has been targeted by Islamist groups.
Unfortunately for all concerned, the global Islamist ideology and its inherent problems of confrontation, oppression and violence are growing. Canada appears to be doing little to address these issues while accommodating those who form the ideological basis of the problem. Canada will not be able to plead ignorance or inability while facing accusations of complicity from any future American terrorist victims. The price of Canada's submission to the Islamists may indeed be high.
National Post, Oct. 31, 2017
In April of this year, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student from Abdul Wali Khan University — a university in Pakistan, the country of my birth — was accused of blasphemy by a mob of students, dragged out of his dorm room, stripped naked, beaten, and shot dead. Khan self-identified as a “humanist” and had portraits of Karl Marx and Che Guevera hanging in his room. He’d also advocated for Islamic reform. A video of the incident showed the perpetrators crying “Allahu Akbar!” as they beat Khan’s lifeless body with terrifying zeal. The perpetrators of this violence were not members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). They were university students.
Khan’s gruesome death convinces me that the ideology that inspired ISIS will not soon be defeated, even though ISIS is on the precipice of military defeat. Its forces recently lost control of their capital city of Raqqa to the U.S.-backed and predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria, and, three months before that, lost their largest city, Mosul, to Iraqi government forces.
The Muslim world has tended to treat ISIS as an anomaly, to assert that ISIS is not Islam. This response is intellectually lazy. Muslim-majority countries must confront the underlying problems within aspects of Islamic theology.
ISIS did not usher in a new concept. The concept of an Islamic State is old — centuries old, in fact. ISIS’s goal has been simple: to unite the Muslim world under the black banner of the Khilafah (or Caliphate), and to establish their set of divine laws (Sharia) on Earth. If you are a student of Islamic history, you will recognize myriad examples of ambitious sultans, emirs and warlords — from Timurlane to Aurangzeb — who shared this same desire to establish an Islamic theocracy.
While many Muslim-majority countries do not have a problem with theocratic states, many — including Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim theocracy — have condemned ISIS as a terrorist organization. But these countries have often failed to specifically condemn the ideology that it operates on. They have not denounced, for example, ISIS’s criminal justice system as “un-Islamic.” Presumably, this is because many of these countries enforce very similar laws.
ISIS has been creative in its brutality, but the corporal punishments it inflicts are not conceptually novel. From stoning adulterers to amputating the hands of thieves, these punishments are all grounded in ancient Middle Eastern laws. Some of them are actually pre-Islamic (dating back to the times of Hammurabi in the 18th century B.C.E.), but are also mentioned in Biblical and Islamic traditions as part of Sharia. These punishments are also used by some Muslim governments, most notably Saudi Arabia and Iran, against citizens who commit these same crimes.
ISIS is known to inflict a particularly disgusting punishment on gay individuals, throwing them off rooftops or bludgeoning them to death. But this is simply ISIS’s recapitulation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Allah (God) rained down fire and stones on a homosexual city, resulting in the death of all its inhabitants. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, in 2017, there were 12 countries in the world where homosexuality remains punishable by death. All of these are Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Somalia. Unfortunately, it is hard to find an example of ISIS ruthlessness that is not sanctioned by Islamic texts. Even the execution of apostates or the taking of female sex slaves (known as Malakat Aymanukum, which literally translates to “those females whom your right hands possess”) can be justified by reference to religious texts.
It is not enough for people of Muslim background — myself included — to simply reject ISIS as a “non-Muslim” organization. We have a responsibility to own up to the ideological problems present in our midst. The problem has never been just ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood or Boko Haram. The problem is the tree that brings forth these fruits. This is the tree of Islamic fundamentalism and the ethnocentric and religious supremacist way of thinking that it demands from its adherents.
The Muslim community needs to reject intellectual laziness and embrace bold thinkers who are prepared to reform Islam and its traditions. Individuals like Irshad Manji, Maajid Nawaz and Tawfik Hamid, for example, have emphasized the importance of reinterpreting violent passages within Islamic scriptures to combat Islamic extremism. Muslim-majority countries also need to separate Mosque and State, to better allow freedom of expression and protect their religious minorities. Islam must be depoliticized: one’s religious decisions should be a personal matter, rather than a force used to control the masses.
Currently, the Muslim world is in a dark age, where freedom of thought is absent. The first step is to acknowledge that ISIS is indeed a Muslim problem that needs to be dealt with by Muslims. If we fail to do so, we risk seeing the lives of more people destroyed, both abroad and overseas.
After Killing, Army Unlikely to Heed Calls for Revenge Against Palestinians: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 10, 2018—National and local politicians have led calls for the army to undertake aggressive action against local Palestinians in the wake of a deadly West Bank shooting attack Tuesday night, but it’s unlikely IDF brass will risk sparking a wider conflagration with a large-scale crackdown.
Sharia for New Year's: Bruce Bawer, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 7, 2018—Last September, a man named Mark Feigin posted five comments on the Facebook page of an Islamic center. They were not Islam-friendly.
Canada: Obsessed with "Islamophobia": Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 21, 2017— In September, the Canadian parliament began its study on how to combat "Islamophobia" as decided upon in the M-103 motion. A parliamentary committee, the M-103 committee, was established for that very purpose.
From “Lone Wolf” to “Known Wolf”: The Role of “Cultural Fuel” and “Personal Triggers”: Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf, JCPA, January 7, 2018— When a solitary 37-year-old Palestinian Arab, known both to the local Israeli community and to security forces as non-threatening, friendly and as having good relations with all drew a pistol and killed three Israelis in Har Adar in September 2017, many questions that challenged the traditional thinking of who is a potential terrorist were raised.