Tag Archives: Islamism

Anatomy of a Smear: ‘The Third Jihad’ Fights Back Against CAIR (video)

Wayne Kopping, the director of “The Third Jihad“, responds to attempts by terror-linked groups to delegitimize the documentary which exposes the subversive activities of radical Islamic groups such as CAIR.

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — The producers of the critically-acclaimed documentary, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America, have produced a new short video exposing the recent New York Times and Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) campaign to smear The Third Jihad.

The new short video entitled Anatomy of a Smear is also available online at http://www.thethirdjihad.com

The Third Jihad was recently the subject of debate when the New York Times rehashed a year-old story that the New York Police Department (NYPD) was using the film in its counter-terrorism training program.

Anatomy of a Smear documents the blatant inaccuracies, misquotes, omissions and innuendos of New York Times articles and editorials aimed at discrediting The Third Jihad as “hateful” and Islamophobic.

“Claims that The Third Jihad is an anti-Islam film are ignorant and misinformed,” says Raphael Shore, Producer of The Third Jihad.  “Those that have blasted the film are attempting to stifle an important debate about the internal state of the Muslim community in America, and whether politicized Islam and indoctrination pose tangible security threats,” Shore said.

The Third Jihad, narrated by devout Muslim and US Navy veteran Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, opens with the following frame in bold letters for all viewers to read: “This is not a film about Islam.  It is about the threat of radical Islam.  Only a small percentage of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims are radical.”

The new video, Anatomy of a Smear demonstrates how the New York Times and CAIR campaign is a real-time example of cultural jihad, a strategy to use the banner of political correctness to manipulate American institutions and culture, the very subject of The Third Jihad.

As part of the campaign, CAIR called for the resignation of NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly, one of many high-level interviewees featured in the film.  The Brennan Center for Justice, who is cited as a source by the Times then published its own opinion piece calling for an independent inspector general to “police the NYPD.”

CAIR itself has established terror ties, as documented in The Third Jihad, and was designated by the U.S. Justice Departmentas an unindicted co-conspirator/joint-venturer in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, the largest terror-funding trial in America’s history.

Isla Mi Vel

The Third Jihad has received significant praise outside of the New York Times articles, including by American Muslim leaders.

A recent statement by the American Islamic Leadership Council reads, “We have viewed The Third Jihad, and regard the information presented therein to be both factually accurate, and important for our fellow Muslim and non-Muslim citizens to understand, debate and address. The Third Jihad explicitly distinguishes between the religion of Islam, and the highly politicized ideology of religious hatred, supremacy and violence characteristic of political Islam, often referred to as ‘Islamism.'”

Rudy Giuliani called the film, “a wake up call for America.”

“It is imperative that The Third Jihad reaches a mass audience in the U.S. so that the urgency of this threat becomes clear to the American public,” said US Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ) said, “The Third Jihad alerts Americans to the dangers of Islamic radicalization in our own communities. Zuhdi Jasser is sounding the alarm before it is too late.”

“We hope that the general public will consider the sensitive content in the film, and will not simply accept the baseless innuendos being made in the media.  We invite the general public to watch and judge the documentary for themselves,” Shore said.

The Third Jihad is now available for free viewing online at http://www.thethirdjihad.com.

Contact:Ryan Mauroryan@radicalislam.org732-546-5840

SOURCE Clarion Fund

A flush of green

The moderate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood have won much ground but look far from comfortable in power

Feb 18th 2012 | AMMAN, CAIRO AND GAZA |from the Economist

A FLUSH of green is spreading across the Arab world, but not because its vast deserts are shrinking. Green is the colour of Islam and Islamist movements have reaped the biggest harvest of the Arab spring. Not all stripes of Koran-led politics have flourished equally. In the Sunni Muslim heartlands stretching from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf, neither violent extremists in the mould of al-Qaeda, nor proponents of Iranian-style theocracy, nor woolly Islamist liberals have fared especially well. Instead, the prize is going to groups linked to the centrist Muslim Brotherhood, committed to evolutionary rather than revolutionary change, and more concerned with questions of Islamic identity and ethics than with imposing rigid God-given rules.

Parties aligned to the Brotherhood now dominate politics in both Egypt and Tunisia, having captured nearly half of parliamentary seats in post-revolutionary elections. Seeking to avoid the fate of those countries’ fallen presidents, King Muhammad VI of Morocco has empowered his own country’s Brothers by appointing the head of their Justice and Development Party as prime minister. Islamist militias were among the most effective in Libya’s revolutionary war. Like-minded armed groups look set to play a similar role in Syria as it slides towards civil war.

The Brothers, known to Arabs as the Ikhwan, are hardly newcomers to the political scene. Their political arm in Jordan, the Islamic Action Front, has been the country’s strongest party for decades, playing the role of a loyal opposition. Their wing in Iraq, the Islamic Party, worked with both Saddam Hussein and the American occupiers after 2003. Branches in Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen have maintained substantial parliamentary representation since the 1990s. The National Islamic Front, the Ikhwan’s political vehicle in Sudan, backed a military coup in 1989 and was rewarded with a slew of cabinet posts. Palestine’s Islamic Resistance Movement, better known by its Arabic acronym Hamas, grew out of a Brotherhood charity in the West Bank and Gaza which sought and obtained recognition from Israel in the 1970s. It beat the main nationalist Palestinian party, Fatah, in 2006’s elections and then, when its reconciliation government with Fatah failed to win Western recognition, seized control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas’s survival, despite Israeli attacks and global opprobrium for its resort to terrorist tactics, testifies to the Ikhwan’s deep roots.

Following the Arab spring, some Western statesmen are keen to talk to the Brotherhood. Recent weeks have seen delegations rush to the gleaming new Cairo headquarters of the group’s General Guide, Muhammad Badeea. The former professor of veterinary science, whose position as head of the Egyptian mother organisation carries moral authority across the region, beamed for the cameras recently as he greeted Anne Patterson, the American ambassador to Egypt, with a hearty handshake. This was doubly significant. American officials had long shunned contact with the Ikhwan. Mr Badeea’s gesture also underlined the Brothers’ lack of puritanical priggishness regarding women.

Does this mean that the secretive society, founded in Egypt in 1928 and a wellspring of Sunni Islamist ideology ever since, is on the verge of fulfilling a long-thwarted dream? Back in 1938 the Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian schoolteacher with a knack for organisation, took the podium at an Islamic gathering in Cairo and proposed stitching together the nascent states that Europe’s colonial powers had carved out of the Ottoman empire. “Islam does not recognise geographical boundaries, nor does it acknowledge racial and blood differences, considering all Muslims as one umma [community],” declared Mr Banna, who enlisted hundreds of thousands of followers in six countries by the time of his assassination in 1949. Congregants, he said, should nominate a global body to elect a new Caliph, replacing the Ottoman ruler whose downfall Europe had engineered.

Ideologues still hanker after the revival of a pan-Islamic empire. “We’ll have to get our respective houses in order first,” admits Jamal Hourani, a leading member of Jordan’s Islamic Action Front.

To judge from a recent scene in Cairo, that may take some time. The Ikhwan is far from smugly comfortable following their sweep of Egypt’s elections, even after decades of sporadic but often vicious persecution. During a huge demonstration in Tahrir Square commemorating the revolution’s first anniversary last month, hecklers continually surrounded a marquee featuring Brotherhood speakers. “Beea beea ya Badeea,” they chanted, taunting Mr Badeea to “sell, sell out,” the revolution.

Despite the legitimacy conferred by success at the ballot box, Egypt’s Brothers are on the defensive. Secular critics suspect them of cutting a deal with the army generals who emerged from the shadows following the fall of the old regime. In exchange for a free hand in the legislature, it is rumoured, the Brothers have quietly agreed to extend the long lease of Egypt’s military-backed “deep state”. Perhaps so, but the generals also seem to distrust the Ikhwan, and show it by trying to blunt their influence wherever possible. To date, the army has coldly ignored suggestions that, as the largest block in parliament, the Brotherhood should have the right to form a coalition government.

It’s hard to rule

Liberal Islamists in Egypt, meanwhile, decry the group’s ideological sterility, rigid command structure and penchant for back-room politicking. More puritanical Islamists, such as the Salafists whose Nour Party came a surprisingly close second to the Ikhwan in Egypt’s elections, accuse the Brothers of diluting the Islamist agenda so as to soothe Western fears. Salafists also complain of being shunned by their ostensible Islamist cousins in favour of secular potential coalition partners.

In other words, the Egyptian Brotherhood is finding that proximity to power carries a heavy tax. They are not alone. Nearly everywhere that Ikhwan-related parties have left opposition politics and entered government they have faced similar headwinds. Within a few years of Sudan’s 1989 coup, General Omar Bashir, the strongman who remains in power to this day, had shunted aside his Brotherhood partners and jailed their leader. Palestinian pundits sniff that just when the Brotherhood is gaining power elsewhere, Hamas’s exiled leader, Khaled Meshal, signed a deal replacing Gaza’s government with one led by Fatah’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas. In Kuwait and Bahrain, the sole Gulf monarchies with active, albeit highly circumscribed parliaments, the Brothers have failed to corral fellow Islamists into a united front, and have lost out to rivals with either tribal or more strongly religious appeal. For similar reasons Ikhwan-style parties have made few new converts and little electoral progress in the messy politics of Algeria, Iraq and Yemen.

Anxiety over a Brotherhood-run Arab empire should be tempered too by a better understanding of how the organisation works. The Ikhwan have a tanzim alami, or global organisation, comprised of at least two representatives from each of many Muslim communities across the world. Its nominal leader is Egypt’s Supreme Guide; by tradition lesser representatives kiss his right hand. Some wishfully liken the tanzim to America’s Congress, hoping that it could yet provide an institutional umbrella for a closer confederation of Arab states.

But the global Brotherhood wields little real authority. Far from applying a unified blueprint, executive offices in each country operate their own institutions with separate funding mechanisms. “The people of Mecca know their own people,” says Mahmoud Musleh, a Hamas parliamentarian in Ramallah. “Egypt cannot interfere in Palestinian affairs.” The head of Tunisia’s Brotherhood-linked Nahda Party, Rachid Ghannouchi, says he will tolerate both alcohol and bikinis in his country, and his government continues to license prostitution. The Libyan chapter next door vows to continue Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s bans on all three.

Branches of the Brotherhood have clashed bitterly in the past. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 split the global franchise into feuding pro- and anti-Iraq factions for a decade. The Syrian Brotherhood, exiled since suffering gory massacres at the hands of the country’s Baathist rulers in the 1980s, long despised Hamas for maintaining its offshore headquarters in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The Brotherhood’s preparation for power has only deepened geographical divides. To prod King Abdullah into inviting them to join his government, Jordan’s Brotherhood recently announced it was formally separating from its Palestinian counterpart, proof that it puts Jordan’s, not Palestine’s, interests first. The Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, has clawed control over finance away from Mr Meshal.

Lingering suspicion of the Ikhwan in Western chanceries, meanwhile, is shared by many of the Arab world’s remaining autocrats. Saudi Arabia’s powerful interior minister, who is next in line to the throne, castigates the Brothers for showing little gratitude for receiving refuge during past waves of persecution. He has been quoted as calling them “the source of all troubles in the Arab world”. The wealthy rulers of the United Arab Emirates maintain a quiet but effective ban on the Ikhwan.

Even now, when seeking to promote a moderate face, the Brothers look awkward or uncomfortable sharing power. Hamas’s leaders in Gaza, who forcefully overthrew a national-unity government in 2007 three months into its rule, might still balk at a reconciliation agreement which would reunite Palestine’s two splintered halves. Nahda, the Brotherhood chapter that won Tunisia’s election, supported the nomination of a non-Islamist president yet kept key ministerial portfolios. Egypt’s Ikhwan are proposing a similar arrangement.

The vaunted Turkish model

Still the Brotherhood stands out as a movement of institutions, not a figleaf for megalomaniacs. Its local chapters run internal elections and rotate their leaders. These men (and a few women) have generally proven pragmatic politicians, skilful at cutting deals when it helps them muster influence. They have sidled up to Egypt’s junta and offered to serve in King Abdullah of Jordan’s government, with or without elections. Across the Arab world they have professed a commitment to Turkish-style democracy, civic freedoms and free markets. To prove their belief in pluralism, Brotherhood leaders attended the most recent Christmas celebrations in Cairo’s Coptic cathedral. Leaders advertise their gender sensitivity by noting that nearly a quarter of Tunisia’s new parliamentarians are women, of whom 80% stood on Islamist lists. Mr Meshal recently promised a delegation of Palestinian liberals that he would add a woman for the first time to his nine-man politburo.

Besides, for all the Brotherhood’s shortcomings, the region could have many worse governments. In spite of Hamas’s record of terror tactics in Gaza, it has unquestionably managed the unruly Palestinian coastal strip far better than its secular predecessor Fatah. Its forces are more disciplined, the streets safer and the bureaucrats more efficient and less nepotistic. What corruption there is runs along institutional rather than blood lines. The Brotherhood’s members are largely lay professionals, not clergymen, and instinctively shrink from handing clerics too much power. As for imposing sharia law, it is telling that Yousef Qaradawi, the Al Jazeera channel pundit who is the Brotherhood’s preferred religious authority, recently opined that the application of God’s law in Egypt needed a five year reprieve. Alas five years after taking control of Gaza, Hamas has mostly preserved existing structures and laws, with minor tweaks. Now that Israel’s siege has relaxed and Hamas feels less threatened, its social controls have eased too. Though the interior minister has formally banned the mingling of genders and women smoking water-pipes in public, the new beach front resorts he has helped build sport both.

Across the region the Brotherhood has worked hard, through years of painstaking social work and uphill political battles, to enter the corridors of power. “It was like a stake tethering a water buffalo,” recounts one of the Ikhwan’s new parliamentarians in Egypt, who like many of his colleagues suffered jail and exile under the previous regime. “The government kept hammering it into the ground but we just kept on digging it out.” Such patient dedication bodes well for the new rulers’ ability to address the deep social and economic maladies afflicting most Arab countries. The Brotherhood’s rise through the ballot box and civil action marks a hope that Islamism’s reform-minded mainstream might yet prevail over the impetuous and increasingly abortive rush to arms that has characterised revolutionary Islamist groups, from the assassination of Egypt’s leader Anwar Sadat in 1981 to al-Qaeda today.

 

Islam’s Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is the long eternal tragedy of Islam, which always sees its shadow and always ends up with six weeks, six months or six hundred years of more winter. That hopeful time when the bitter cold of winter begins its slow transition into the warmth and renewal of spring never comes for Islam.

Islam does it again.

In a reversal of the cycle of season, the Arab Spring led to the Islamic Winter, but that is the endless pattern of Islamic attempts at reform and rejuvenation, which rather than finding renewal in their attempts at transformation only go on perpetuating the same cycle of violence, tyranny and oppression.

There is a peculiar tragedy to a religion which cannot escape its own destructive nature, each time it reaches for some form of redemption, its hands come up dripping with blood and it all ends in more bodies and petty tyrannies.

The film Groundhog Day showed us a man who was doomed to repeat the same day over and over again until he learned to use his time to become a better person. Islam has been stuck in its own form of that cycle, repeating the same century over and over again, moving from religious ecstasy to holy war, seeking redemption through religious tyranny, and finding that there was no escaping the internal decay and instability in the veins of its religion.

Islam’s only redemption lies in establishing a theocracy. Its commitment to power and the indulgence of the earthly and heavenly paradise of loot, slaves and violence led to its own degeneration over and over again. Having no other spiritual form than the exercise of power, it has corrupted itself each time, and then attempted to exorcise the corruption through more of violence.

The Islamic leaders of one generation endorse the tyrants whom the Islamic leaders of another generation strive to overthrow. Hardly had Mohammed kicked the bucket than his nearest and dearest were fighting a civil war over supreme rulership. The origins of the Shiite-Sunni split lay not in theology, but in a vulgar power play between Mohammed’s relatives. That greedy infighting has hardened into theological variations, but underneath they remain fixed in the same patterns of warring over power and wealth.

Over a thousand years later the Muslim world is still dedicating all its energies to civil wars and external conflicts whose only true goal is to put money and power into the hands of its leaders. The confrontations between the prominent Shiite families running Iran and the Arab Sunni families running the Arabian gulf states are not theological, though they take place under the guise of theology. They are ethnic and economic conflicts dressed up as religious conflicts.

The ugliest elements of Islam, its bigotry toward Jews and Christians, its endless raids, its need to remove the faintest doubt about the parentage of the children of its women, are pure tribal pettiness distilled into religion by warlords and clan leaders whose understanding of theology did not extend beyond sanctifying the exercise of their personal power.

Islam was a predecessor of power movements like Communism and Nazism, its leader worship grimly real, as any cartoonist who has tried to draw a picture of Mohammed knows, or anyone who has seen Shiites cut their children bloody while crying out in mourning for Caliph Ali. Its theology is still incapable of embracing anything higher than its own will to power. Its objects of worship are its warleaders, its soldiers and its atrocities.

Erdogan, the future Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey, read a poem that went, “The minarets are our bayonets; the domes are our helmets. Mosques are our barracks, the believers are soldiers. This holy army guards my religion. Almighty, Our journey is our destiny, the end is martyrdom”. This rendition of Islam’s limited theological horizon was more than a warning for what would follow when his party took power; it was a depressing journey into the black hole of Islam where the only destination is war, death and self-destruction.

Not only is the Islamic imagination incapable of envisioning a better way, it is also obsessed with the destruction of anyone or anything that can. Like the dumb violent kid in the back of the class, it not only refuses to learn, it is driven to harm anyone who does learn and tries to become a better person. The reflexive Islamic hostility toward the modern and the humane is fear transformed into hate. Fear of inferiority and fear that modern sensibilities will end the tribal reign of power and usher in a new order that will no longer incline its head to bearded old men and their dreams of conquest.

Islamic fanaticism is most pronounced among those who have the most to lose. Not the poor and the downtrodden, but the sons of the upper class and the upper middle class make the most eager terrorists. The families who are now on top have the most to lose from the arrival of spring and are the most determined to retain their feudal powers, their oligarchies and tyrannies.

Apologists for Islamism like to portray those groups as liberation movements, but there is nothing liberating about terrorist groups run by millionaires and billionaires, doctors and degree holders, and funded by the ruling clans of Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. These ruling families have the most to lose from modernization, and though they build skyscrapers in their cities, they also helped orchestrate the Arab Spring to topple more modern governments and replace them with parties affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Arab Spring is a misnomer because Islam exists in opposition to the spring, to the renewal of human energies and creative capacities. Its natural season is the wasteland where life has no capacity for growth.

Islamic law is aimed at freezing human moral capacity in the seventh century deserts of Arabia where women are property, outsiders are fair game, and power is the only morality that matters. Anything that subverts this order, whether it is domestic minorities or the existence of free people an ocean away must be attacked and destroyed.

Islam has no capacity for debate. Its blasphemy laws wall off dissent and prevent anyone from questioning the moral absolute of its power. It has, as the Ayatollah Khomeini said, no sense of humor. To be able to laugh is to doubt and there is no room for doubt in Islam or for any deviation from the narrow path of the Jihad. There is no thaw, only the eternal winter.

Carrying the seeds of its own destruction within its religion, it fights the same battles under new names and with new weapons. The wars that were once fought with spears are fought with warheads, but in the end they are still settled with knives, like the box cutters of the Islamic hijackers of September 11 or the murderers of Daniel Pearl. No matter how advanced the technology becomes, the sword is still the embodiment of Islam.

The Muslim Middle East is indeed changing, but it is changing back to what it once was, casting off the last remains of modernity imported from the West, and bringing back the reign of the Burqa, the sword and the prophet. In the West time moves forward, in the East it only moves backward. And so the spring will never come for Islam. Instead it will act out the same bloody rituals of Jihad, the killing of infidels and the civil wars, the slaves building civilizations, the masters molesting young girls and then beating them to death out of fear that the children might not be theirs.

This is the terrible cycle that repeats itself without hope of redemption. This is the rite of winter that is at the heart of Islam. It is a dark and bloody rite that has not changed in a thousand years. What we are witnessing in Islamic oppression and terror is the ancient ceremony of death, the ritual sacrifices of Ayatollahs and Mullahs over deserts and dusty fields, which hold back the coming of the spring.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/02/06/islam%e2%80%99s-groundhog-day/