Tag Archives: Ruhollah Khomeini

Iran: Leader in Human Rights Violation

iran-hangings-from-cranesThe Iranian military published a flimsy and unsubstantiated 28-page report this week criticizing human rights in the United States. Intriguingly, the report was supported by the Basij, a militia governmental group that is a leader in human rights violations, according to numerous international organizations. Several of its leaders have been convicted of crimes against humanity, and cannot leave the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Ahmed Esfandiyari, the lieutenant commander of the Basij force, was quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying that similar reports on the human rights situation about other Western countries would be released on a regular and quarterly basis.

Iranian military leaders were excited about the ceremony for the publication of the 28-page report on human rights and the US held Monday in Tehran. The reports lacks any statistical data for supporting its conclusions, and it fails to provide any credible arguments to back its thesis. It draws on cases arbitrarily, such as the case of George Zimmerman.

Speaking of Iran’s record, Esfandiyari mentioned that human rights issues are at the foundation of the Iranian government and that Iran’s emphasis on human rights is “extensive.”

It is ironic that Iranian Ayatollahs, Mullahs and leaders are boasting about their human rights records while the nation is carrying out egregious human rights abuses, according to various international organizations.

These facts are documented by credible international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, rather than by a militia group that itself carries out crimes against humanity. It is worth noting that these facts are the official ones, there are many covert human rights violations being carried out in Iran and other Islamic countries that are not recorded by human rights organizations or Amnesty International since they cannot be adequately verified.

Iran tops many credible lists compiled about human rights violations, lack of democracy, and constriction of rights including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and political participation of the citizenry. Iran tops the rank in arbitrary arrests and detentions, capital punishment, stoning, unequal rights for women and men, widespread abuses against members of recognized and unrecognized religious and ethnic minorities— this groups includes Christians and Baha’is who have been discriminated against and continue to encounter arbitrary detention and unfair trials, and be denied educational opportunities and jobs.

In addition, according to Human Rights Watch, Iran also engages in systematic discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  According to the organization, “Iran is one of only seven countries with laws allowing executions for consensual same-sex conduct.”

Several branches of the Iranian regime have been accused by international organizations of human rights abuses, including the volunteer paramilitary force, the Basij, the judiciary, as well as security forces like the elite Islamist Revolutionary Guards Corps.

According to Amnesty International, just since the beginning of 2014, the Islamist state of Iran has carried out a total of 40 executions. According to reports, at least 33 of these executions were carried out in the past week alone. These executions are officially acknowledged by the Iranian regime.  Public executions were also carried out this month, on January 14th in a city called Saveh, Markazi Province, in the northern part of Iran.

“The spike in the number of executions carried out so far this month in Iran is alarming. The Iranian authorities’ attempts to change their international image are meaningless if at the same time executions continue to increase,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Iran’s Islamist authoritarian rulers have abused their own people for decades, since 1979.

In 2013, thousands of students, political activists, human rights activists, filmmakers, lawyers, advocates for gender equality, Iranians with ties to Western countries, journalists, ethnic and religious minorities, and religious dissidents have been arrested, jailed and executed by the Iranian regime. Many of these victims did not receive due process. Many are tried in the military courts of Iran’s notorious Revolutionary Guards Corps.

According to Sahraoui, “Revolutionary Courts which routinely fall far short of international fair trial standards. The reality in Iran is that people are being ruthlessly sentenced to death after unfair trials, and this is unacceptable.”

Iran’s constitution legitimizes these human rights abuses by adding Sharia or Islamic laws to almost every article. For example, when it comes to arresting bloggers and torturing those who exercise free speech or press, a certain article states, “publications and the press are free to express their ideas unless these contravene the precepts of Islam or harm public rights. These conditions will be defined by laws.” This gives the Islamist regime the legal apparatuses to arrest, torture, jail, kill and execute people.

These recent happenings are only the tip of the iceberg of human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Unlike Iran’s 28 page unsubstantiated report collected by an institution accused of crimes against humanity, the aforementioned reports about Iran’s human rights abuses are collected by credible international organizations that do not record anything until it is completely verified by the concrete evidence.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Iran’s new defense minister orchestrated attacks on US, Israeli forces

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs reports that Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, slated to be Iran’s new defense minister, was responsible for building Hezbollah and was behind the suicide bombing at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Marines.

The (Plastic) Key to Understanding Iranian Martyrdom

By Kevin Sullivan

The story goes something like this: During the IranIraq War, faced with an invading Iraqi army, the outgunned and overwhelmed Islamic Republic of Iran eventually resorted to “human wave” attacks in order to sweep for land mines and absorb Iraqi heavy artillery. The ruling mullahs embarked on a variety of indoctrination campaigns both in public and on the pulpit to mobilize Iran’s faithful out to the front lines. In order to entice Iranians to volunteer — or, in some cases, to volunteer their children — promises of eternal peace and pleasure in the afterlife were guaranteed.

“Plastic keys, ostensibly good for opening the door to heaven, and to erotic and culinary delights, were … given to these young men, who walked to their deaths,” wrote Stanford University’s Abbas Milani in a 2007 essay for Boston Review. The Iranian government was “so certain” that these martyrs would be sacrificed, explained Iran watcher Michael Ledeen back in 2008, “that these little children were provided with plastic keys that were said to open the gates to paradise.”

Thus we have the legend of the paradise keys. Many Mideast analysts and observers — yours truly included — have referenced these keys throughout the years. In some tellings these keys are said to have been made of plastic — in others, brass or gold — and imported from either China or Taiwan. So pervasive is the keys story, that they have even made appearances in relatively obscure (and somewhat disturbing, NSFW) punk and folk songs.

Just one problem: There is virtually no photographic or video evidence that these keys ever existed. I contacted several trusted Iran experts and analysts, and while none were willing to outright reject the validity of the paradise keys story, none had ever seen one, nor could they say with certainty that they ever truly existed.

Upon first appraisal, this might strike someone as rather odd. For a country believed by many to be bent on martyrdom and sacrifice, you would think, said Mideast analyst Meir Javedanfar, that the ruling mullahs would have gone out of their way to preserve and promote these artifacts. “While it is possible that such keys existed,” said Javendanfar, “the fact that there is no visual verification of them gives credibility to those who question their existence.”

Or does it? After all, one obvious answer as to why these keys are so hard to come by is that so few of their original owners — often young boys and older men — survived long enough to boast about their war souvenirs. As Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies put it, “many of these folks lived to die.” Indeed — though concrete casualty numbers are difficult to come by — we know that thousands of Iranian volunteer soldiers (Basijis) marched to their deaths in that long, bloody war of attrition with Iraq. The last thing these martyrs were likely concerned about was the preservation of the one-way ticket around their necks.

And that, to analysts like Gerecht, is the more salient point. While the gruesome nature of the Iran-Iraq War would ultimately turn many would-be martyrs away from the cause, it’s the ones who didn’t walk away from Iran’s revolutionary ideology after the war, according to Gerecht, who should worry us.

“A fraternity of death developed. One of the reasons that some of the senior IRGC [Revolutionary Guardsmen] are so scary,” explained Gerecht, the former CIA case manager, “is that they survived the war and walked away still white hot. As if their survival had been vouchsafed by God.”

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It’s with that in mind that many Iran experts say this regime cannot and should not be contained. If, after all, the upper echelons of today’s Islamic Republic were forged in the blood and sacrifice of the war against Iraq, then who’s to say those same true believers wouldn’t use a nuclear weapon against Israel, or threaten America and its global assets? What’s to prevent that “death cult” from martyring the entire state of Iran?

There is, however, reason to believe that even Iran‘s elite Revolutionary Guard can be targeted and contained. Setting aside the guard’s messianic reputation, it is, by most measurements, an organization in search of the world’s more sublunary pleasures. The afterlife may be a paradise, but the here and now has been pretty good to the IRGC. Moreover, even if we were to assume the worst about Iranian war tactics back then, national fratricide certainly isn’t unique to the Islamic Republic. As Matthew Duss of the Center for American Progress noted in a 2011 article for Foreign Policy, two 20th Century regimes that actually did martyr millions of their own citizens — China and the Soviet Union — still posed a mostly terrestrial and containable challenge to Western policymakers.

That the newly-empowered mullahs appealed to Iranian patriotism — and fear — in order to mobilize poorly-trained civilians to the front lines is important and noteworthy, but so too is understanding the besieged Iranian mindset at the time of the war. An Iraqi dictator with imperial ambitions — left mostly to his own devices by the international community, and aided by much of the West — declared war on a society already in revolutionary flux. As the eight-year-long war went on, neighboring Arab regimes — due in no small part to Iranian instigation and terrorism in the Gulf and the Levant — coalesced around Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime — and against Tehran.

Desperate nations have resorted to desperate (and questionable) war tactics throughout history. So what makes this particular regime so different? This, according to analysts like Duss, is why the paradise keys matter.

“For U.S. hawks,” said Duss, “the keys function as a distillation of that ‘martyr state’ theory, a physical representation of Iran’s ‘irrational’ religious ideology.” Such efforts to dehumanize an enemy can prove doubly effective, says Duss, when the slaughter of children — possibly against their will — is offered in addendum to the plastic keys tale.

In other words, the paradise keys tend to say less about the tactics and intentions of modern-day Iran, and more about the Iran debate in Washington and other Western capitals.

“The keys fall into the legend category,” said Iranian-American journalist and author Hooman Majd, “but with enough circumstantial evidence to make it more than just a myth.” Though he has never personally seen one of these keys, Majd has heard the story enough to believe they likely existed — perhaps handed out only in certain circumstances, and by only certain mullahs.

So is the story true? Maybe. All wars have their share of exaggerated legends and tales rooted in shades of truth. Interpretations of how one side chose to win or lose a war — as demonstrated in the recent Yasukuni Shrine controversy — can have a lasting effect on foreign policy and relations years after the final shots have been fired. In the case of Iran, how the country chose to fight and defend itself in the Iran-Iraq War still holds policy ramifications to this day. Rational regimes can be contained, but can an irrational one? That is the more pressing question, keys or no keys.

Editor’s Note: Have you ever seen or owned a paradise key? Email me and tell us your story.

Kevin Sullivan is editor of RealClearWorld. Follow him on Twitter @kevinbsullivan or send emails to ksullivan@realclearpolitics.com.

Iran:Help Kick Khamenei Off of Facebook

 

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Roozbeh Farahanipour, an Iranian journalist, democracy activist, former political prisoner in Iran and head of Marze Por Gohar Party (MPG), an Iranian opposition party seeking the establishment of a secular republic in Iran.

FP: Roozbeh Farahanipour, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest hard-line clerical leader, has started a Facebook page. You have, in turn, launched an online campaign to have him kicked off of Facebook, circulating a diagram that includes step-by-step directions in English and Persian on how to report the page to Facebook. I would like to talk to you about this today.

Let’s begin with your thoughts on this tyrant having a Facebook page in general. It’s intriguing, to say the least, in the context of him forbidding Iranians from visiting social-networking sites and sentencing violators to death. What are your thoughts?

Farahanipour: Thanks Jamie.

Considering my background as a journalist in Iran, including my position as the editor of “Vohooman” monthly magazine which was closed down by the Islamic Republic, I take this as an additional assault upon my basic rights and an affront to every journalist’s dignity.

FP: What are your concerns about this blatant hypocrisy of Khamenei?

Farahanipour: Almost all my life, I have been feeling the pressures and the injustices of this regime. The first time I was summoned to a court, I was a 14-year-old boy in grade 8 and I was tried at the local security and intelligence court of the school system which functions under the “Education Ministry” and controls classroom political and religious infractions for the “Intelligence Ministry.” My crime was writing a composition for the state examinations, which they thought contained politically incorrect ideas. Of course, they failed me on this subject. At the time, Khamenei was the regime’s President and Khomeini was the Supreme Leader. I am also constantly reminded of my good friend and colleague, Yakub Mehr-Nahad, who was hanged by the regime, as a weblog activist on August 22, 2008.

FP: I am very sorry about Yakub. He is in our thoughts and prayers.

I want to get to Khamenei’s Facebook page and what can be done to have him kicked off of Facebook, but I would like to first talk to you about some of your thoughts on the Islamic Republic and your background.

Your thoughts on Khomeini?

Farahanipour: All the problems we have started under Khomeini’s leadership, even though some Islamic “reformists” today are trying to whitewash his dictatorial rulings and his leading part in all of the atrocities.

FP: Tell us a bit about the activities you did in connection to the Marze Por Gohar Party.

Farahanipour: The MPG, comprising of young journalists, began working in Iran in 1998. After the 1999 student uprising, some of its leaders were imprisoned for leading the uprising and were forced to flee Iran afterwards. I was identified as the number two leader of the uprising in the regime’s media. The whole uprising began in opposition to a draconian law passed by the regime’s “Parliament” for further limiting the press.

FP: Your personal experiences with press censorship?

Farahanipour: I can site several examples.

Before the permanent closing of the “Vohooman,” I received a stern warning regarding an article I had written about the status of dogs in ancient Iran – which they said was contradictory or offensive to Khomeini’s writings which considered dogs as filthy and devilish beings. This warning came from one of the many security agencies in Iran, called the “General Nationwide Investigation” service, which was said to be operating under Khamenei’s office. Later, the magazine was permanently closed by the ministry of propaganda and censorship, which they call the ministry of “development” or “Ershaad,” because of other articles.

I also wrote a satirical and pictorial children’s book, called “Who is the Dictator?,” for which I was labeled “corrupter on the earth” by an infamous militia newspaper called “Yaa lessaraat.” This was a very dangerous label, since hundreds had already been executed under the same dubious accusation. In fact, they claimed I was offending Khamenei, even though I had just referred to very general characteristics of dictators. Another major Ayatollah, named Makaarem Shirazi, went a step further and issued a religious edict for my death.

FP: What do you think about Khamenei, Iran’s “Supreme Leader”?

Farahanipour: He is not in fact “Iran’s” leader, but merely the regime’s leader; he was selected by the “Council of Experts,” another unelected institution. I believe he is an occupier in Iran.

FP: What is the status of freedom of the press in Iran?

Farahanipour: According to the website of “Reporters Without Borders,” Iran’s rating among 179 countries in 2012 is 175, while Syria rated at 176, Turkmanistan at 177, North Korea at 178 and Eritrea at 179. These regimes are believed to be more repressive than the Islamic Republic. The “Committee to Protect Journalists” has reported that following Burma, Iran is the most dangerous country for bloggers.

FP: Who are some journalists who have been killed in Iran?

Farahanipour: In the early days of the revolution, many young and lesser known journalists were executed by the regime. The infamous death edict by Khomeini against the writer, Salman Rushdie, must not be forgotten. I can name some of the more recent ones:

Majid Sharif, a moderate Islamic journalist who was assassinated along with many others such as Mohammad Jaffar Pouyandeh and Mokhtari, in a later publicized campaign of liquidating dissidents in 1998. Writer Saiidi Sirjani was killed in prison, my colleague Yakub Mehr-Nahad, a blogger, was hanged in 2008. Mrs. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian journalist visiting Iran, was arrested and killed under severe beatings inside the Evin prison in 2003, while  a few weeks ago, a young blogger called Sattar Beheshti was killed in jail, his only crime was being accused of web log activities.

I should add that poets have also been arrested and executed in the past, because poetry has traditionally been a major cultural phenomenon in Iran. In the last two years, many poets have been arrested and some have been ordered to stop writing poetry for a number of years.

Books of course have also been subject to a variety of censorship techniques, preventing a huge range of subjects from being published.

FP: Internet limitations?

Farahanipour: Recently, the Khamenei regime has created a “Facebook police,” in charge of searching people’s pages on Facebook for “offensive” comments of all kinds – which in Khamenei’s regime, is pretty much everything. An “offensive comment” includes women’s photos without the compulsory Hijab. The “perpetrators” are arrested. There are currently plans for creating a closed and controlled internet system within the borders of Iran, in order to prevent access to the international web, which is sometimes called the “suitcase internet” or even the “Halal Internet”!

Filtering of websites, the whole internet and virtual networks including Facebook have been constantly hindered in order to prevent the free flow of information into Iran.

Khamenei has frequently referred to the “evil” Western “soft war” against his regime, specifically naming Facebook as one of the weapons used in this war. In fact, Facebook’s name was written on a large display and paraded in major public events as an evil symbol of the West.

FP: What has Khamenei himself personally done against media freedom?

Farahanipour: Well, one example is that in 2002, when the “Parliament” was going to review and possibly ease the press laws, Khamenei himself ordered them to stop the review in an official letter, henceforth called the “Velaayee Command,” meaning the command by the “Guardian” (the most basic definition for the Supreme Leader), as happily reported by Sheik Karubi, then the speaker of the “Parliament.” The “Parliament,” being just a pretense to a Western style legislative body, obeyed and the process was abandoned.

FP: What do you say to those who argue that Facebook is a democratic phenomenon and that preventing anyone from access to it, including Khamenei himself, is an unethical thing?

Farahanipour: Democratic ethics is a two way street. One cannot accept Khamenei freely participating in Facebook while he filters Facebook, censors the press, launches a Facebook police, establishes a cyber army of hackers, orders a controlled “Halal” internet and kills bloggers like Yakub Mehr-Nahad and others named above.

FP: Some people believe that by “liking” Khamenei’s page, they can open a venue for dialogue with and criticism of him. What do you think about that?

Farahanipour: Perhaps some people want to cross the sea of blood between the people and Khamenei; I am not one of those, and neither are many others. I advise those who “like” this page to think about boycotting it, instead of legitimizing and popularizing it. They should side with freedom, rather than dictatorship. I personally tell my Facebook friends that if they prefer Khamenei’s page to mine, to please leave the list of my friends.

FP: How did you find out about Khamenei’s presence on Facebook?

Farahanipour: There is an old Iranian saying that everything is a British conspiracy! It happens that this was also reported by BBC.

FP: What are you asking people to do?

Farahanipour: I am asking everyone to report Khamenei’s page, in order to:

1- Respect American sanctions against Khamenei,

2- Respect human rights,

3- Prevent cyber threats and cyber terrorism, which will be one aim of a Khamenei page, as a leader of millions of extremist zealots worldwide.

FP: Some critics would argue that this is going against ethics of journalism.

Farahanipour: Khamenei’s presence on Facebook is an affront to the blood of all those who have been killed by Khamenei’s regime, all those journalists, bloggers and free thinkers. I am glad that I have so many friends among bloggers and journalists who will endeavor to oppose Khamenei’s presence by means of internet activities, articles, cartoons, satire and etc., which are all legitimate and effective non-violent means for opposing dictatorship.

We remember that we were successful in forcing the Saudi King Abdullah to disconnect and abandon his page after hundreds of thousands of Iranians opposed his use of an anti- Iranian name for the Persian Gulf, early in 2012.

FP: Roozbeh Farahanipour, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

For all those who want to help get Ayatollah Ali Khamenei kicked off of Facebook, go to Roozbeh’s online campaign to make a difference. There you will find a diagram that includes step-by-step directions in English and Persian on how to report the page to Facebook. Keep in mind that this is the Facebook page of a leader of a murderous and tyrannical Islamist regime that vows to annihilate Israel off the face of the earth. If this is not a profile/page of hate, then what is?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

About

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. His new book is High Noon For America. He is the host of Frontpage’s television show, The Glazov Gang, and he can be reached at jamieglazov11@gmail.com. Visit his sit at JamieGlazov.com.

Iran must be President Obama’s immediate priority

Henry Kissinger: Iran must be President Obama’s immediate priority – The Washington Post.

#Obama: 8 Reasons You Aren’t Safer than You Were 4 Years Ago

Are you safer from the global jihad and Islamic supremacism than you were four years ago? Over the last four years, Barack Obama has:

  • Warmly supported the “Arab Spring” revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya (the latter with military aid) that heralded the installation of pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist regimes in each. These regimes are already oppressing women and non-Muslims and striving to outdo their predecessors in anti-Americanism. The Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, meanwhile, is giving out strong and repeated hints that the Camp David Accords, and Egypt’s uneasy but 30-year-old peace with Israel, are not long for this world.
  • Refused to say a single positive word about the uprising against the bloody Islamic regime in Iran, ostensibly on the grounds that American support would doom the uprising to failure – a possibility that never gave him pause in his rush to praise the Egyptian, Libyan, and Tunisian uprisings. He thus missed an opportunity to weaken and destabilize, at the very least, a rogue regime that is relentlessly pursuing development of nuclear weapons and has made no secret of its genocidal intentions toward Israel.
  • Displayed repeated contempt for Israel and its prime minister, thereby drastically weakening the U.S.’s relationship with its only ally in the Middle East and encouraging jihadists who have vowed to destroy the Jewish state – not least in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Readily acquiesced to the demands of Muslim groups tied to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood that training material for the FBI and Department of Homeland Security be purged of all accurate information about how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to recruit and motivate terrorists. This has led to a government-wide willful ignorance about the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us, which in turn leads to disastrous policy mistakes based on false assumptions about the outlook and aspirations of Muslim “insurgents.” The most obvious recent consequence of this analytical failure was the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans at the Benghazi consulate by revolutionaries Obama and Stevens had backed on the assumption that they were benign democratic pluralists.
  • Kept American troops in Afghanistan without a clearly defined mission, fighting against a foe, the Taliban, that have so thoroughly infiltrated the government and police force that our troops are murdered by their putative allies in ever-increasing numbers. Our ostensible allies have responded to this infiltration by inviting Taliban members to run for offices in the upcoming elections, making it more unclear than ever what is the purpose of the continuing American presence there, except perhaps to demonstrate that Barack Obama is not weak on defense or soft on jihad terror.
  • Aided and abetted the ever more prevalent idea that when Muslims riot and murder over something a non-Muslim has said or done, the fault, and the responsibility to change his behavior, lies with the non-Muslim. He has done this by blaming the Muhammad video for the Benghazi consulate attack for a considerable period after he knew that it was a jihad attack that had been planned for some time beforehand and had nothing to do with the video. By proclaiming that “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” he has thrown in his lot with those who are demanding curbs on the First Amendment to criminalize the criticism of Islam.
  • Lent the prestige and power of his Justice Department to court cases involving Muslims demanding special accommodation not accorded to non-Muslims. One notorious example was the case of Safoorah Khan, the first-year teacher that Obama’s DOJ forced the Chicago-area Berkeley School District to pay $75,000 in back pay, damages, and attorney fees. The district’s crime was refusing Khan’s request for three weeks off during the school year so she could make the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, and dismissing her when she went anyway. Such cases are increasing in number nationwide, with the Obama Justice Department’s active involvement.
  • Utterly failed, despite his many attempts to accommodate Muslims domestically and internationally, to stop jihadists from plotting attacks on U.S. soil. In recent years there was Rezwan Ferdaus, who was just sentenced last week to seventeen years in prison for his jihad plot to blow up the Pentagon and the Capitol building; Amine Mohamed El-Khalifi, a would-be jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber who also targeted the Capitol; Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; and many others like them who have plotted and/or committed mass murder in the name of Islam. The days when liberal pundits confidently predicted that all this would end with the election of Barack Obama seem very long ago indeed.

Are you safer than you were four years ago? By no stretch of the imagination.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.