"Oh, it is sad, very sad, that once more, for the umpteenth time, the old truth is confirmed: 'What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews.'" ~ Anne Frank
For Israel’s Survival,
“THERE IS NO DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION” ~ Israpundit
"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil"
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by David P Goldman | Hudson-NY.org | November 24, 2011
In Stephen Vincent Benét's story "The Devil and Daniel Webster," Satan called a jury of the damned composed of turncoats, traitors, and Blackbeard the Pirate, "with the stench of hell still upon them." At the United Nations Human Rights Council, accusations against the Dutch political leader Geert Wilders will be heard by Chinese and Russian lawyers who spent the 1970s and 1980s running the "human rights" entities of their respective countries, an Egyptian-educated diplomat from Morocco, and a "human rights" specialist from Cuba, according to the UNHRC website. The Cuban died last year, but in the spirit of Benét's story, he still might be serving on the UN working group hearing Mr. Wilders's case.
Last week, three Dutch Moroccans filed a complaint against their country's government with the UNHRC, an entity that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in 2007 accused of a "pathological obsession with Israel," echoing similar complaints by the United States, Canada and the European Union. Under the Bush administration the United States boycotted the Council, but President Obama sent American diplomats back to it. On Oct. 1, the State Department released a statement claiming that "U.S. engagement thus far has resulted in significant improvements to the Human Rights Council as a multilateral forum for promoting and protecting human rights. Accomplishments include groundbreaking resolutions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, preventing discrimination against women, LGBT human rights, (and) religious tolerance."
As leader of the Party for Freedom, Holland's third-largest political party, Wilders has fought to limit Muslim immigration to his country, and demanded a hard line against "street terror" by Muslims in European cities. The former parliamentary assistant to the leading Dutch conservative politician Fritz Bolkestein, Wilders is a traditional liberal and a strong supporter of Israel. In January 2009, Dutch prosecutors accused him of "hate speech" against Islam; he was acquitted of all charges in March 2011. Wilders lives under continuous threat of murder by Islamists; he is guarded at all times and sleeps in a different location every night.
The Dutch-Moroccan complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Council claims that the Netherlands violated their human rights by failing to convict Wilders. Their complaint states:
Systematic incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and other migrants has been committed over years – in different forms – by the Member of Parliament Geert Wilders. The complainants – who are Muslims and belong to the Dutch-Moroccan community in the Netherlands – feel discriminated against, humiliated and threatened by Mr. Wilders and the members and adherents of his party, resulting in discrimination and an increasingly negative attitude by considerable parts of the population. They are of the opinion that Mr. Wilders by his continued hate speech has poisoned the social climate in the Netherlands, that has become more and more anti-migrant and anti-Muslim.
The document contains no allegations about murder, torture, massacres, or imprisonment, the sort of human rights violations that routinely occur in countries that the Human Rights Council has specifically declined to consider, for example, Cuba and Belarus. The complainants state that their feelings were hurt.
Because "the District Court of Amsterdam acquitted Mr. Wilders…and subsequently dismissed the claims of the complainants," that is, followed due process, "no appeal is open to them" except to haul the Netherlands before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
This is made possible by a complaints procedure established by the U.N. General Assembly, which allows individuals to bring alleged human rights violations before the Council. Such complaints are referred to a "Working Group on Communications" composed of "independent experts." The members of the Working Group are listed on the UNHRC web site, and prove that a lifetime of promoting human rights abuses is no obstacle to a new career passing judgment on the human rights violations of others.
The Working Group members include one Vladimir Kartashkin, who was employed by the Moscow Institute of State and Law with brief interruptions between 1961 and 1992, that is, during a period when the KGB routine committed dissidents to psychiatric hospitals, and tortured and murdered political prisoners. Another member is Chen Shiqiu, the Vice-Chairman of the People's Republic of China Society for Human Rights Studies. His other affiliations show a special sort of attachment to human rights issues, including the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, and the China Family Planning Association -- that is, the entities responsible for erasing Tibetan culture and forcing Chinese mothers to abort prospective second children. Stephen Vincent Benét could not have made this sort of thing up.
Also listed on the Working Group for Communications is Alfonso Martinez, a Cuban diplomat who served as the spokesman for his Foreign Ministry between 1994 and 1997. "As an expert in Human Rights he represented the Government of Cuba in numerous meetings and conferences, mainly within the UN system," according to a Taino News dispatch last year. Dr. Martinez helped persuade the United Nations Human Rights Council to take Cuba off its agenda, to the consternation of Secretary General Moon. Dr. Martinez died in 2010, but under the circumstances, that may not disqualify him from serving on the Working Group that will decide whether the Netherlands violated human rights by acquitting Geert Wilders.
Messrs. Kartashkin and Shiqiu (and perhaps the late Dr. Martine) are joined in the Working Group by Halima Warzazi, a Moroccan diplomat educated at the University of Cairo. To her credit, Warzazi has directed United Nations studies on female genital mutilation. How she will respond to the hurt feelings of the Dutch-Moroccan complainants remains to be seen. Americans became aware of Morocco's pattern of human rights abuse when Malika Oufkir's book Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail became a best-seller in 2001.
If the complaint is taken seriously, the Obama administration will have to explain more clearly why it praises American participation in a forum which hires thugs with decades of service to some of the world's worst human rights violators, and empowers them to judge anyone who makes Muslims "feel discriminated against," as the complaint maintains. In theory, the UNHRC might refer the Netherlands for prosecution by the International Criminal Court, although it seems unlikely that matters might go that far. The Netherlands defending itself before Russian, Chinese, Cuban and Moroccan hacks is offensive enough.
David P. Goldman writes the Spengler column for Asia Times Online. His book How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too) was published by Regnery in September 2011.
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by *Frank Gaffney, Jr. | CenterForSecurityPolicy.org | November 7, 2011
Until recently, most politicians, pundits and others among the so-called "smart people" insisted that Election 2012 was all about jobs, jobs, jobs. The more broad-minded contended that the related issues of the lousy economy and the imperatives of deficit reduction might also feature. But that was all the mattered, especially in the presidential contest.
Then, GOP candidate Herman Cain - a successful businessman who has risen in the polls in no small measure on the strength of his claim to have actually created jobs - gave an interview in which he seemed unaware that Communist China has the bomb.
Without skipping a beat, the elites denounced him as unfit to serve on the grounds that a man who was not proficient in national security and foreign policy matters could never become president. The jobs-jobs-jobs leitmotif gave way, at least for a time, to a new theme: the White House is no place for on-the-job-training about the nation's defense.
How quickly they forget. What Barack Obama knew about U.S. security policy before he became president amounted to little more than the anti-colonialist sentiments of his father and the virulently anti-American agitation of PLO flak Rashid Khalidi, terrorist William Ayers, revolutionary Saul Alinsky and radical pastor Jeremiah Wright.
Unfortunately, despite the on-the-job foreign and defense policy training Mr. Obama has, in fact, received during his time in office over the past nearly three years, he still seems largely clueless about U.S. security interests - and what it takes to safeguard them. Consider the following sample of his myriad, unforced errors:
President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization dedicated to imposing worldwide - including in the United States - the totalitarian Islamic doctrine known as shariah. His policies have helped bring the Brotherhood to power in North Africa and are legitimating its various fronts inside this country and otherwise facilitating their efforts to penetrate the U.S. government and dominate the American Muslim community.
Mr. Obama is effectively surrendering Iraq to Iran by removing all U.S. forces from the former for purely domestic political reasons and without regard for the consequences in the Middle East, and possibly beyond.
The Obama administration appears to be hell-bent on doing the same with respect to Afghanistan. The latest news is that U.S. official have not only begun negotiations with the Taliban. They have begun a dialogue as well with what is, if possible, an even more dangerous, despicable and irreconcilable adversary: the Haqqani network, based in Pakistan.
Mr. Obama's much-touted "reset" of relations with Russia has been shown to be a Potemkin exercise, with the end of the pretense that Washington had a more friendly and reliable partner in President Dmitry Medvedev giving way to the reality that the unremittingly hostile and authoritarian Vladimir Putin has been calling the shots all along - and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Team Obama's massive investment (financial and political) in the United Nations has also proven a bust. Its willingness to diminish the U.S. role to more-or-less that of any other nation, while insisting on continuing to pick up more than a fifth of the organization's tab has reduced America not just to a paper tiger but a patsy, to boot. Meanwhile, the 57-member bloc known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is increasingly calling the shots, with help from the Russians and Chinese who can be relied upon to block anything remotely useful to us.
Matters are made vastly worse by President Obama's decisions to hollow out the United States military. As he memorably put it, "the nice thing about the defense budget is that it's so big, it's so huge, that a 1 percent reduction is the equivalent of the education budget." That sort of attitude has resulted in at least $460 billion worth of cuts in defense spending to date.
The associated damage is likely to be compounded by further reductions at the hands of the congressional supercommittee or, failing acceptance of its recommendations by the full Congress, via a meat-ax known as "sequestration." The latter would impose a further roughly $600 billion across-the-board reduction in Pentagon spending. The Obama administration's own civilian and uniformed defense leaders have warned that the effects of such a one-two punch would be catastrophic.
Should expertise on national security and foreign policy be a prerequisite for the presidency? The answer obviously must be a resounding "Yes" - especially in a world as dangerous as ours. Have we had it over the past nearly three years? The answer is equally resoundingly, "No."
We have to insist on a level of competence in the defense and foreign policy portfolio of our elected national leaders. In that connection, it is heartening that twoof the upcoming debates between Republican presidential candidates - one on November 12th at Wofford College in South Carolina and one sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and CNN in Washington on November 22nd - will focus on national security-related topics.
While the liquidations of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and a number of other high-profile terrorists on President Obama's watch are welcome, those accomplishments are, regrettably, more than offset by his serious failings like those noted above. The American people deserve, and need, a competent Commander-in-Chief. And they had better insist on getting one.
*Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.
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by Reuters | JPost.com | October 22, 2011
Clinton tells leaders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan that limiting religious freedom may promote, not reduce, radicalism.
TASHKENT - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Pictured) warned Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on Saturday that efforts to crack down on religious freedom might backfire.
She said this could lead to increased sympathy for radical views in Central Asia, a region the United States sees as key to the future stability of Afghanistan.
Clinton met Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon and Uzbek President Islam Karimov to thank the two Central Asian states for their cooperation in the US-led war in neighboring Afghanistan.
She stressed to both that freedom of religious expression was tied to the region's future security, US officials said.
"I disagree with restrictions on religious freedom and shared those concerns," Clinton told a news conference after meeting Rakhmon in Dushanbe on the last full day of her latest overseas trip.
She said efforts to regulate religion "could push legitimate religious expression underground, and that could build up a lot of unrest and discontent."
Clinton's visit to the two former Soviet republics came after a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan that was focused on US efforts to find a political solution to the decade-long Afghan conflict.
She also promoted greater regional economic integration under a plan US officials have dubbed "the New Silk Road".
Karimov and Rakhmon have moved to limit religious freedom in their countries which remain under authoritarian rule two decades after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Tajikistan, a mainly Muslim country of 7.5 million people, introduced laws in August to ban youths from praying in mosques, churches and other religious sites, a move that was criticized by religious leaders.
Rakhmon, in power since 1992, has said tough measures are needed to stop the spread of religious fundamentalism in an impoverished country that shares a porous 1,340-km (840-mile) border with Afghanistan.
"You have to look at the consequences," Clinton said in Tajikistan.
"We would hope there would be a rethinking of any restrictions going forward, because we think it will increase sympathy for extremist views which would in turn threaten the stability and security of the country."
Rakhmon's Moscow-backed secular government clashed with the Islamist opposition during a 1992-97 civil war, in which tens of thousands were killed.
The president has ignored previous requests from the West to respect freedom of conscience. He has ordered students home from religious schools abroad and clamped down on a growing trend for Islamic dress.
US officials said Clinton also raised the issue with Uzbekistan's Karimov - widely seen as one of the most repressive leaders in the region - as one of a number of human rights concerns that also include press freedom, human trafficking and political reforms.
Karimov, who has said he intends to make reforms, repeated these pledges to Clinton, one US official said.
"He said that he wants to leave a legacy for both his kids and his grandchildren," the official said. "The secretary welcomed that, and said that would help to build a long-term foundation for Uzbekistan but also for our cooperation."
US officials said Clinton's Central Asian trip, her second to the region in less than 12 months, was aimed in a large part at thanking Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for their assistance with the Afghan conflict.
They said she also wanted to broaden a relationship giving the United States a important "back door" into Afghanistan and an alternative supply route that could prove vital if US ties with its main ally in the region, Pakistan, unravel.
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are part of what Washington calls the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a supply line for US-led forces fighting the Taliban that also stretches through Russia, Latvia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
The NDN is increasingly important as US ties with Pakistan come under strain over Washington's charges that elements of the Pakistani government have links to Islamist militants blamed for attacks on US forces in Afghanistan.
The United States is aiming to reduce the proportion of its surface cargo that it brings through Pakistan to only a quarter by increasing its supplies through the northern route; in July it was still well over half.
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From ShariahFinanceWatch.org | List as of February 14, 2011
BNP Paribas Group
Credit Agricole, S.A.
Deutsche Bank AG
Dow Jones & Company Inc.
Equity Insurance Group Limited
Goldman Sachs Group
HSBC Holdings plc
Julius Baer Group
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Silicon Graphics, Inc.
* Bank Negara Malaysia (The central bank of Malaysia)
Chair UBS Islamic Finance Committee
Citi Islamic Investment Bank
EDS CREDIT SERVICES
AL BARAKA BANCORP
AMERICAN ASSETS INC.
AMEEN HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE OF CALIFORNIA
HOMES & LOANS REALTY
BEAM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC
CRESCENT CAPITAL INVESTMENTS, INC.
MATRIX MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC.
SATURNA CAPITAL CORPORATION
WAFRA INVESTMENT ADVISORY GROUP
ARAB BANKING CORPORATION (USA)
GUIDANCE FINANCIAL GROUP
UNIVERSITY ISLAMIC FINANCIAL
FAILAKA ADVISORS LLC
ANCHOR FINANCE GROUP LLC
ISLAMIC FINANCE PROJECT – HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
ABANA-ARAB BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA
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by Andrew C McCarthy | NationalReview.com | October 12, 2011
This photo released by the US Marshal's Service shows Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in Milan, Mich. Abdulmutallab, has been charged in federal court with trying to detonate an explosive device on a Dec. 25, 2009 flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. US Marshal's Service/AP
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be underwear bomber who tried to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and kill its 292 passengers and crew on Christmas Day 2009, has pleaded guilty in Detroit to all eight counts of the federal indictment against him. This is a very good thing for the country. He is looking at a potential term of life-imprisonment and, given the appropriately heavy sentences our civilian judges have imposed on convicted terrorists, he is likely to get it.
Not content to make those worthy points, Attorney General Eric Holder took time out from his masterful management of the Fast & Furious fallout to add:
Contrary to what some have claimed, today’s plea removes any doubt that our courts are one of the most effective tools we have to fight terrorism and keep the American people safe. Our priority in this case was to ensure that we arrested a man who tried to do us harm, that we collected actionable intelligence from him and that we prosecuted him in a way that was consistent with the rule of law. We will continue to be aggressive in our fight against terrorism and those who target us, and we will let results, not rhetoric, guide our actions.
Where to begin? I guess I’ll start with the attorney general’s disingenuous framing of the controversy. In point of fact, no one doubts that our courts are “one of the most effective tools we have to fight terrorism.” In most cases — particularly those involving material support to terrorist organizations and jihadist cells that spring up in the U.S. and are not operationally connected to al Qaeda — we want prosecution in the civilian courts. The judges have handled terrorism cases expertly, and those terrorism cases do not pose any danger of shielding the enemy with due process protections and providing the enemy with voluminous intelligence during wartime.
The controversy is strictly about a narrow category of terrorist: enemy combatants against whom Congress has authorized the use of military force (such that Holder supports killing even American enemy combatants without any judicial intervention). It is this category of terrorist for whom Congress — at the Supreme Court’s urging — has designed a system of military detention and trial. That system is consistent with the laws of war which, contrary to the attorney general’s suggestion, have always been the “rule of law” applicable in wartime.
Secondly, if there were doubt about the effectiveness of the civilian court, Abdulmutallab’s guilty plea would do nothing to clarify it, let alone “remove” it. Abdulmutallab committed his act of war, or “crime” if you prefer, in front of nearly 300 witnesses. His conviction was never realistically in doubt, which is clearly why he pleaded guilty. This is not a case in which a prosecutor needed a confession or accomplice testimony; this was what we in the biz call a slam-dunk.
The issue with Abdulmutallab was never whether you could get him convicted and given a life-sentence; the issue was whether handling his case under civilian due process rules maximized the government’s opportunity to interrogate him and use him as an intelligence source. Manifestly, it did not.
An enemy combatant may be detained indefinitely, and it is not necessary to give him either Miranda warnings or the assistance of counsel during interrogation. Holder says making Abdulmutallab a civilian case allowed agents to obtain “actionable intelligence.” The pertinent question, however, is not whether we got some quantum of information from him but whether we got the most information we could have gotten.
Under civilian due process rules, Abdulmutallab’s questioning was very short, and FBI director Bob Mueller conceded that he invoked his right to remain silent and to counsel as soon as agents advised him of the Miranda rights. That he may have resumed providing information at some later point, in an effort to pursue a more favorable plea deal, is not a point in Holder’s favor: It means that there was needless delay in getting important information; that we may not have gotten all of his information; and that the immediate civilian prosecution gave him negotiating leverage he would not have had if he’d been treated as an enemy combatant rather than a defendant.
Moreover, as I argued at the time, let us grant that the president won the election and that he was committed to reinstating civilian prosecution as our default approach to dealing with captured enemy combatants. There was still no reason why the civilian prosecution had to happen immediately. Abdulmutallab could have been detained for months or years as an enemy combatant, interrogated very extensively until his useful information (particularly about al Qaeda in Yemen) was exhausted, and then turned over to the civilian system for trial — just like Jose Padilla, among others, was. Doing that would have posed no risk for the ultimate civilian trial because, again, Abdulmutallab’s case was straightforward and did not require confession evidence — even if his post-apprehension statements had been suppressed by the civilian judge, he would easily have been convicted based on the eyewitness testimony. That is, the administration could have gotten all the available intelligence by using the military detention system and then still tried him in a civilian court in satisfaction of its political commitment to civilian due process.
Finally, the attorney general stressed the fact that Abdulmutallab pled guilty to all eight counts, as if that crucially adds to our consideration of whether all doubt has been removed about the effectiveness of civilian prosecution. Shall we then take Holder to be implying that the fact that Ahmed Ghailani was acquitted on 284 of the 285 counts at his civilian trial raises grave doubt about the effectiveness of the civilian system? I don’t see how the attorney general gets to have it both ways.
The guilty plea and the virtual certainty of a life sentence for this atrocious terrorist is an excellent result — one that Mr. Holder is right to celebrate, that we should all celebrate. But it is not a victory, much less a dispositive victory, in the political debate over how we should be processing war criminals. There was no reason for the attorney general to politicize this law enforcement success … other than that politicizing law enforcement is the only way he knows.
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by Caroline B Glick | JPost.com | October 10, 2011
It is unclear what either Western governments or Western churches think they are achieving by turning a blind eye to the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.
On Sunday night, Egyptian Copts staged what was supposed to be a peaceful vigil at Egypt’s state television headquarters in Cairo. The 1,000 Christians represented the ancient Christian community of some 8 million whose presence in Egypt predates the establishment of Islam by several centuries. They gathered in Cairo to protest the recent burning of two churches by Islamic mobs and the rapid escalation of state-supported violent attacks on Christians by Muslim groups since the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February.
According to Coptic sources, the protesters Sunday night were beset by Islamic attackers who were rapidly backed up by military forces. Between 19 and 40 Copts were killed by soldiers and Muslim attackers. They were run over by military vehicles, beaten, shot and dragged through the streets of Cairo.
State television Sunday night reported only that three soldiers had been killed. According to al-Ahram Online, the military attacked the studios of al-Hurra television on Sunday night to block its broadcast of information on the military assault on the Copts.
Apparently the attempt to control information about what happened worked. Monday’s news reports about the violence gave little indication of the identity of the dead or wounded. They certainly left untold the story of what actually happened in Cairo on Sunday night.
In a not unrelated event, Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai caused a storm two weeks ago. During an official visit to Paris, Rai warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy that the fall of the Assad regime in Syria could be a disaster for Christians in Syria and throughout the region. Today the Western-backed Syrian opposition is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Rai cautioned that the overthrow of President Bashar Assad could lead to civil war and the establishment of an Islamic regime.
In Iraq, the Iranian and Syrian-sponsored insurgency that followed the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime in 2003 fomented a bloody jihad against Iraq’s Christian population. This month marks the anniversary of last year’s massacre of 58 Christian worshippers in a Catholic church in Baghdad. A decade ago there were 800,000 Christians in Iraq. Today there are 150,000.
Under the Shah of Iran, Iran’s Christians were more or less free to practice their religion.
Today, they are subject to the whims of Islamic overlords who know no law other than Islamic supremacism.
Take the plight of Yousef Nadarkhani, an evangelical Protestant preacher who was arrested two years ago, tried and sentenced to death for apostasy and refusal to disavow his Christian faith. There is no law against apostasy in Iran, but no matter. Ayatollah Khomeini opposed apostasy. And so does Islamic law.
Once Nadarkhani’s story was publicized in the West the Iranians changed their course.
Now they have reportedly abandoned the apostasy charge and are sentencing Nadarkhani to death for rape. The fact that he was never charged or convicted of rape is neither here nor there.
Palestinian Christians have similarly suffered under their popularly elected governments.
When the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, Christians made up 80 percent of Bethlehem’s population. Today they comprise less than 20% of the population.
Since Hamas “liberated” Gaza in 2007, the area’s ancient Christian minority has been under constant attack. With only 3,000 members, Gaza’s Christian community has seen its churches, convents, book stores and libraries burned by Hamas members and their allies. Its members have been killed and assaulted. While Hamas has pledged to protect the Christians of Gaza, no one has been arrested for anti-Christian violence.
JUST AS the Jews of the Islamic world were forcibly removed from their ancient communities by the Arab rulers with the establishment of Israel in 1948, so Christians have been persecuted and driven out of their homes. Populist Islamic and Arab regimes have used Islamic religious supremacism and Arab racial chauvinism against Christians as rallying cries to their subjects. These calls have in turn led to the decimation of the Christian populations of the Arab and Islamic world.
For instance, at the time of Lebanese independence from France in 1946 the majority of Lebanese were Christians. Today less than 30% of Lebanese are Christians. In Turkey, the Christian population has dwindled from 2 million at the end of World War I to less than 100,000 today. In Syria, at the time of independence Christians made up nearly half of the population. Today 4% of Syrians are Christian. In Jordan half a century ago 18% of the population was Christian. Today 2% of Jordanians are Christian.
Christians are prohibited from practicing Christianity in Saudi Arabia. In Pakistan, the Christian population is being systematically destroyed by regime-supported Islamic groups. Church burnings, forced conversions, rape, murder, kidnap and legal persecution of Pakistani Christians has become a daily occurrence.
Sadly for the Christians of the Islamic world, their cause is not being championed either by Western governments or by Western Christians. Rather than condition French support for the Syrian opposition on its leaders’ commitment to religious freedom for all in a post-Assad Syria, the French Foreign Ministry reacted with anger to Rai’s warning of what is liable to befall Syria’s Christians in the event President Bashar Assad and his regime are overthrown. The Foreign Ministry published a statement claiming it was “surprised and disappointed,” by Rai’s statement.
The Obama administration was even less sympathetic. Rai is now travelling through the US and Latin America on a three week visit to émigré Maronite communities. The existence of these communities is a direct result of Arab and Islamic persecution of Lebanese Maronite Christians.
Rai’s visit to the US was supposed to begin with a visit to Washington and meetings with senior administration officials including President Barack Obama. Yet, following his statement in Paris, the administration cancelled all of its scheduled meetings with him. That is, rather than consider the dangers that Rai warned about and use US influence to increase the power of Christians and Kurds and other minorities in any post- Assad Syrian government, the Obama administration decided to blackball Rai for pointing out the dangers.
Aside from Evangelical Protestants, most Western churches are similarly uninterested in defending the rights of their co-religionists in the Islamic world. Most mainline Protestant churches, from the Anglican Church and its US and international branches to the Methodists, Baptists, Mennonite and other churches have organized no sustained efforts to protect or defend the rights of Christians in the Muslim world.
Instead, over the past decade these churches and their related international bodies have made repeated efforts to attack the only country in the Middle East in which the Christian population has increased in the past 60 years – Israel.
As for the Vatican, in the five years since Pope Benedict XVI laid down the gauntlet at his speech in Regensburg and challenged the Muslim world to act with reason and tolerance it its dealing with other religions, the Vatican has abandoned this principled stand. A true discourse of equals has been replaced by supplication to Islam in the name of ecumenical understanding. Last year Benedict hosted a Synod on Christians in the Middle East that made no mention of the persecution of Christians by Islamic and populist forces and regimes. Instead, Israel was singled out for criticism.
The Vatican’s outreach has extended to Iran where it sent a representative to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s faux counter terror conference. As Giulio Meotti wrote this week in Ynet, whereas all the EU ambassadors walked out of Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denying speech at the UN’s second Durban conference in Geneva in 2009, the Vatican’s ambassador remained in his seat. The Vatican has embraced leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and the Middle East.
It is unclear what either Western governments or Western churches think they are achieving by turning a blind eye to the persecution and decimation of Christian communities in the Muslim world. As Sunday’s events in Egypt and other daily anti-Christian attacks by Muslims against Christians throughout the region show, their behavior is not appeasing anyone. What is clear enough is that they shall reap what they sow.
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by Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times | HindustanTimes.com | October 9, 2011
New Delhi -- The Indian Mujahideen (IM) has authored two books, titled 'Aam Tabaahi' (total destruction)' and 'Jihad Mein Shirqat Ke 44 Tarikey' (44 ways of participating in holy war), seeking to justify the banned outfit's ideology on terror and jihad. The two books penned in Urdu also seek to induct fresh recruits at a time when the IM is regrouping after the arrest of around 55 of its key members since 2008. Copies of the books have already been circulated in circles of operatives and sympathisers.
The revelations about the compilation of the books were made recently by two key arrested IM operatives, Mumbai's unani doctor Abu Faisal alias 'Doctor' and Ranchi's computer engineer Sayed Afaq Iqbal alias Danish Riyaz, who have been charged for terror activities under the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act.
A source said Faisal allegedly admitted to having "written and edited the books, and used downloaded portions from the Internet." The source also said, "According to Danish Riyaz and Faisal, 'Jihad Mein Shirqat Ke 44 Tarikey' is about 44 methods of participating in jihad, including undertaking violent actions, and gathering funds… Aam Tabaahi seeks to justify on religious grounds the killing of the unarmed in the name of taking revenge for alleged atrocities against Indian Muslims."
According to the alleged confessions of Faisal and Iqbal submitted in a Hyderabad court, the former had taken religious-cum-ideological inputs from two Hyderabad-based clerics-Maulana Abdul Alim Islahi and Maulana Naseeruddin-to compile the books. Faisal had allegedly met the clerics many times between October and March 2009 and gave them the copies. Islahi allegedly gave "Rs 20, 000" to Faisal to fund SIMI/IM activities.
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by Lyudmila Tsubiks / Scripps Howard Foundation Wire | infoZine.com | October 4, 2011
Gordon M. Hahn, senior researcher with the Terrorism Research and Education Program wrote a report terrorism in the North Caucasus, "Getting the Caucasus Right" and spoke about it last week. SHFWire photo by Lyudmila Tsubiks
The threat posed by the Caucasus mujahedeen to Russia and international security is not getting enough attention, a new report says.
Washington, D.C. - The report by Gordon M. Hahn, senior researcher with the Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program, says journalists, analysts, academics and activist persist in ignoring, denying and even hiding from the public and policymakers the global jihadization of the Caucasus mujahedeen.
Hahn discussed his report, “Getting the Caucasus Emirate Right,” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday.
According to the report, the North Caucasus region, in particular Chechnya, remains an unstable territory.
Since 1995, there have been 13 major bloody terrorist incidents in Russia – not counting bomb blasts that happen almost every day. The major attacks include the 2002 Moscow theater siege, the 2004 Beslan school massacre and the latest suicide bomb at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport Jan. 24.
Despite what the report says and ongoing terrorist activity, Chechnya is considered a relatively stable Russian federal republic by most Russians.
Hahn said the main threat in the North Caucasus – which also includes Dagestan, North Ossetia and Ingushetia – today is the Caucasus Emirate jihadi terrorist network. The organization was founded in October 2007 to supplant the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya, known formally as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeriya, or ChRI, proclaimed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Hahn said the Caucasus Emirate movement is different from the previous Chechen movement for independence because of the growing influence of al-Qaida and its jihadist ideologies.
In the report Hahn says that in the mid-1990s al-Qaida funded training camps and sent several hundred trainers, ideologists and fighters to Chechnya and other North Caucasus republics. The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria also funneled fighters to Afghanistan, he said.
“The ChRI’s expanding ties made [Caucasus Emirate’s] further integration into the AQ-led global jihadi revolutionary movement or alliance inevitable,” Hahn said in the report.
The evidence of the Caucasus Emirate’s integration into the global jihad is overwhelming, Hahn said.
According to the report, the leader of the new terrorist network, Dokku Umarov, has repeatedly associated the Caucasus Emirate with global jihad.
In October 2010, Umarov called the mujahedeen of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and other countries brothers who are carrying out Jihad against non-believers.
According to Hahn, Umarov said the main purpose of the Chechen mujahedeen is to fight Russia.
Ethnic Chechens arrested on terrorism charges in Europe in the last nine months are evidence of the ties between the Caucasus Emirate and al-Qaida’s global jihad, Hahn said in his report.
Two Chechens who belonged to a terrorist group called Shariah4Belgium were arrested on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks in Belgium Nov. 23, 2010.
In April, Czech Republic officials stumbled on an international cell connected to the Caucasus Emirate’s Dagestan province in the Bohemia region. The group included one Chechen and two or three Dagestanis, who were accused of weapons possession, document falsification and financing and supplying terrorist organizations.
However, the flow of mujahedeen from the Caucasus to other countries is has been more limited than those from other countries going to the Caucasus, Hahn said.
Hahn said the Caucasus Emirate’s mujahedeen follow the Afghan jihad by radio and the Internet. The Caucasus Emirate also uses Internet sites to post its ideologists’ writings, video and audio lectures, in addition to numerous translations of books, articles and book chapters by Saudi and Iraqi sheiks and scholars.
Hahn said there is not enough evidence to determine the main cause of violence in the North Caucasus. The menu of possible causes includes Russian brutality, bad government, jihadi ideology and support, a local culture of violence and the low standard of living, Hahn said. The idea that it is always the mujahedeen responding to Russia’s supposedly routinely brutal counterterrorist operations is a biased assumption, he said.
“Of course, to some extent the rise of jihadism is a response to the two post-Soviet wars, but the Chechens bear as much responsibility for the outbreak of those wars as does Moscow,” Hahn said.
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From: The Investigative Project on Terrorism | InvestigativeProject.org | September 25, 2011
The Department of Justice has released a multimillion dollar agreement reached last month with an international Islamic banking network after a four-year criminal investigation.
After stonewalling all requests for a copy of the report and refusing to discuss the non-prosecution agreement with the Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahamas), or IICG, for weeks, a copy was given to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., late Friday. Wolf had written to Attorney General Eric Holder urging its release after reports of the secret deal first surfaced.
The agreement strictly is based on tax issues, leaving it a mystery as to why DOJ officials fought against its release. During a hearing on terror financing Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco told U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that she had no information on the deal and could not explain why it was being withheld.
In the agreement signed Aug. 12, IICG admitted failing to pay $22.5 million in restitution, $4.5 million in fines and millions more in interest in exchange for not facing criminal charges. The agreement describes money flowing out of a Boston-based company in which IICG controlled the majority of stock and into a network of Cayman Island accounts. Millions of dollars came back in the United States to start up 32 different development companies involved in apartments and other multi-family housing. All the companies were incorporated in Delaware and have overlapping directors.
Each of the 32 companies passed unanimous resolutions accepting the DOJ agreement. Several of those directors are officers in an international financial network founded by a Saudi prince. For instance, Khalid Abdulla-Janahi and Ziad, chairman and vice chairman of the Faisal Private Bank, signed many of the documents for the agreement.
In addition, Juma Abull with Mohammed Bucheerei and Mohammed Janahi, who also signed many of the development company agreements, are officers at Bahrain's Ithmaar Bank, described as being associated with Faisal Private Bank. Acting IICG General Manager Syed Ibadur Rehman Chisti also is a director for Faysal Asset Management, Ltd.
Faisal Private Bank reportedly was investigated previously for possible terror financing links. The Wall Street Journal reported that it was mentioned in a Hamas financing case involving transfers to the group and its current deputy political director, Mousa Abu Marzook. Saudi Prince Mohamed al-Faisal also founded Dar al Maal al-Islami Trust (DMI Trust), which also has been suspected of involvement with terrorists. Two influential Muslim Brotherhood figures – Hasan Turabi of Sudan and Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Qatar, have been DMI Trust board members.
"DMI is the hub of a network of banks and investment funds across Europe and the Middle East that cater to Muslims interested in strictly following Quranic principles, such as a bank on collecting interest," the Journal reported in 2007. "Some DMI affiliates came under scrutiny by U.S. counterterrorism agencies in the mid-1990s for suspected connections to extremists, government records show.
Faysal Asset Management's website calls the IICG a "wholly owned subsidiary" of DMI Trust.
When the investigation first came to light in early 2007, it was being handled by the Justice Department's counterterrorism section. The same prosecutor, Corey Smith, is a party to the agreement, but is now assigned to the tax division.
Although DMI is not mentioned by name in the agreement or an accompanying statement of facts, attorneys for the Trust were among the signatories.
The agreement leaves the door open to prosecution down the road if IICG fails to make its payments, broken into three installments during the next 15 months, or if it makes any "contradictory statement" to anything within the agreement.
That seems unlikely. The agreement also makes a point of praising IICGB's cooperation in the case, explaining that it was "an important and material factor underlying the decision by the United States to enter into this Agreement."
Deciding whether to release the document was based on "a careful balancing of the public's right to know, the impact on individual privacy interests, and the Department's interest in deterring future misconduct," Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich explained in a letter to Wolf. But there remains no explanation for the delay, or Monaco's inability to bring it to the hearing Wednesday after Grassley made it clear in advance he intended to ask about it.
IICG could not object. The agreement contains a specific clause saying the company "agrees that the United States, in its sole discretion, may issue public statement(s) based on this Agreement and the Statement of Facts."
The IICG multi-family housing companies which approved resolutions accepting the DOJ agreement are:
Atlantica Investment Corp., Beacon Street Investment, BR Investment Corp. Buckhead Investment Corp. Cascades Investment Corp., City Heights Investment Corp., CK Apartments Corp., Clarendon Investment Corp., Dadeland Investment Corp. DR Apartments Corp., Dry Creek Village Investment Corp., ED Investment Corp., EQ Breckenridge Investment Corp., Excalibur Investment Corp., Fairchase Investment Corp., FSC Investment Corp., Galleria Investment Corp., LS Apartments I Corp., ND Apartments Corp., OM Investment Corp. RP Apartments Corp., Saddlewood Investment Corp. , SAN Apartments Corp., SD Investment Corp., Signature Investment Corp., Sunset Village Investment Corp., TGA Investment Corp., TM Investment Corp., Town Lake Investment Corp., Tramonto Investment Corp., WM Apartments Corp., Woodland Pond Investment Corp.
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