Tag Archives: United States

He stopped a jihadist in France. Now he’s been stabbed in California


Yesterday’s brutal knife attack on the U.S.-born French train hero Spencer Stone is yet more evidence suggesting that Stone and his fellow heroes are being targeted, possibly by Islamic terrorists.

In just the span of a week, this is the second time a world-famous American Christian who overwhelmed a would-be mass-murdering jihadist terrorist on a train in Europe two months ago appears to have been targeted.

Stone, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and civilian Anthony Sadler, devout Christians who have been friends since childhood, all subsequently received France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur, from French president François Hollande and were feted at the White House and the Pentagon.

Stone, Skarlatos, Sadler, British national Chris Norman, French-American Mark Moogalian, and a young French banker identified as “Damien A.” all saved potentially hundreds of lives for the role they played this summer in subduing Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan national with known ties to radical Islam.  When the assailant got on the train in Brussels, Belgium, there were 554 souls on board.

Because of what they did on that train, all six men and possibly those close to them make attractive targets for Islamists.  Fanatics who support Muslim expansionism surely view the sextet as enemies for taking down one of their own.

As I wrote earlier this week at American Thinker, Stone’s friend Alek Skarlatos may have been an intended target of Chris Harper-Mercer, who, on Oct. 1, put several Christians to death for being Christians in a Snyder Hall classroom at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.  Fortunately, Skarlatos, who had interrupted his studies for military service, was away in Los Angeles for a taping of Dancing with the Stars.

The original story about Skarlatos and Harper-Mercer evidently has legs.  In all there have now been three high-profile, possibly related violent attacks in France, Oregon, and California that might be connected to the world of Islamofascist (some prefer the descriptor Islamo-Nazi) terrorism.  In this writer’s opinion, no reasonable person who follows current affairs can reflexively dismiss the seeming connection of attackers and victims, given what’s going on in the world right now.

This is not to say that there necessarily is (or was) an Islamist plot against the three American men.  But the mainstream media, as usual, isn’t doing its job.  Journalists are sitting on their hands, regurgitating talking points, and failing to consider the big picture.  Surely questions about the possible connection to international terrorism should be asked.  In that vein, skeptical readers should carefully read an explanation near the bottom of this column on the critical role that coincidence and seeming randomness have played in infamous history-altering events.

That said, what do we know so far about the attack on 23-year-old Airman First Class Spencer Stone?  Surprisingly little as of yesterday afternoon.

Stone, who was wounded in August thwarting the attack by an AK-47-toting Muslim terrorist on a high-speed train in France, was reportedly stabbed repeatedly around 12:45 a.m. Pacific Time yesterday outside a bar in downtown Sacramento, Calif., not far from Travis Air Force Base, where he was stationed.  The attack was captured on surveillance video.  Stone, who previously had surgery after the train incident to reattach his thumb, was initially listed in critical condition in hospital, but his status was later upgraded.

At time of writing, it had been reported that he was stabbed four times in the chest.  One report indicated he was stabbed in the heart and lung.

“It is believed that the victim was out with a group of friends when a physical altercation led to the victim being stabbed multiple times in his upper body,” a Sacramento police spokesman was quoted saying.  At press time, two suspects described as Asian males were reportedly being sought by police. As  Robert Spencr reminds us (hat tip: Mara Zebest):

…in the British press, “Asian” is the universally-employed code word for “Muslim.”  If [the UK Daily Mail] is suddenly using the word to refer, as in the American custom, to people from China or Japan, they’re not saying so. It is also possible that the Sacramento police said they were looking for “Asians,” by which they really did mean Chinese or Japanese or Koreans or Southeast Asians, etc., and the Daily Mail is too careless to note the difference in usage.

Fox News reports:

Law enforcement sources said they are working on the premise that Stone left a club with a woman who was harassed by [either] one man or a group.  Stone came to her aid about a block from the club, the sources said.  Authorities believe Stone may have been attacked by up to six men and held down while stabbed, the sources said.

According to police, it was just some drunken brawl.  Move along; nothing to see here.

Police have ruled out terrorism as a possible motive for the attack, but that seems a hasty conclusion.  Authorities routinely say early in investigations that terrorism played no role in a violent episode and turn out to be wrong.  President Obama is among one of the worst offenders.  For a long time the administration insisted in the face of powerful evidence to the contrary that the Fort Hood shooting incident was merely a case of “workplace violence.”  And last week Obama used the shootings in Oregon as an infomercial for tougher gun control.

The circumstances of the mass shooting in Oregon may point to a possible Islamist connection.

Harper-Mercer, who was reportedly enrolled in the writing class where he executed his victims, asked those in attendance if they were Christians.  Those who said yes were promptly killed.  The assailant has been quoted saying, “Because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.”  Those who said no or refused to answer were shot in the legs.  No news reports indicate that anyone in Snyder Hall identified himself or herself as Muslim.  Singling out Christian hostages for death is the modus operandi used by Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab.

The very first person to take a bullet last week was Jewish.  The gunman reportedly walked up to Assistant Professor Lawrence “Larry” Levine and said, “I’ve been waiting to do this for years.”  He then shot Levine at close range.

Harper-Mercer had an interest in Nazism, as does the Islamic world, where Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical book, Mein Kampf, remains popular to this day.  (Instead of the English-language title, My Struggle, the Arabic translation of the book’s name is rendered My Jihad.)  Evidence has also surfaced that the unemployed killer ordered a nearly $150 leather Nazi SS officer’s cap online.  One of Harper-Mercer’s two friends on MySpace was listed as Mahmoud Ali Ehsani.  The man’s page was filled with propaganda glorifying Muslim terrorists and calling for the slaughter of Jews.  Harper-Mercer’s MySpace page contains Irish Republican Army (IRA) propaganda.  His online collection of articles, images, and videos was labeled “Ireland’s Freedom Fighters.”

The IRA connection may seem irrelevant, but it’s not.  The IRA has a long history of cooperating with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other Islamist groups.

Obviously, Muslim and Nazi hostility to Jews is no secret.

Although you won’t hear it from the mainstream media, Nazis and Islamists have much in common.  It is fair to say that Islamic terrorists are the last of Hitler’s World War Two coalition partners who have yet to be vanquished.

The Islamic world aligned with the Third Reich, and this alliance “has largely been whitewashed from the pages of history,” Pamela Geller reminds us:

Many Muslims fought on the German side during World War II.  The Wehrmacht had six legions with a Muslim majority and the SS had three Muslim divisions, a brigade and a Waffenbrigade.  Each Muslim unit got a mullah as an adviser.  In November 1944, an SS mullah school was established in Dresden, founded by Himmler.

Recall that before the Umpqua attack began, Harper-Mercer reportedly handed a computer thumb drive containing some kind of manifesto to someone on campus.  The contents of the drive have not been publicly released, but it is reportedly filled with racist rants.  We’ll have to wait to find out what if anything this collector of expensive Nazi paraphernalia had to say about Jewish people.

Although no evidence revealed thus far directly indicates Harper-Mercer was influenced by the Islamic State or any other Islamist group, plenty of evidence suggests that the shooter was acting in furtherance of the Islamic goal of global jihad.  Maybe the Oregon massacre was also intended as a kind of jihadist payback hit for subduing the terrorist in France.  The Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) apparently claimed responsibility on Twitter for the killings Harper-Mercer carried out at Umpqua.

Anyone who watches TV knows that forgiving and forgetting is not the jihadist way.  A British supporter of the Islamic State reportedly published the name and address of the U.S. Navy SEAL who is credited with killing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.  The Islamist identified the serviceman as “a number one target to eventually hunt down and kill.”

Could all the factors in play here be purely coincidental?  As history shows, coincidence can be cited to dismiss conspiracy allegations, but it has also been an enabler of tragedy.  In other words, coincidence can help make things happen.  The bald fact that there are coincidences doesn’t necessarily undermine a theory of what happened.

A Marxist assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, who defected to the Soviet Union and then returned to America, benefited from events beyond his control on Nov. 22, 1963.  President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade route was changed to go past the Texas School Book Depository, where Oswald worked.  Oswald also got “lucky” when the rain that had been expected to plague the presidential visit stopped in Dallas.  This allowed the bubble top on the president’s limousine to be removed, giving Oswald an unobstructed view of his target.  As noted political journalist Jeff Greenfield wrote in his 2013 what-if alternate history book, If Kennedy Lived, the absence of precipitation “was a matter of the purest chance.  On another day, a small, insignificant shift in pressure of wind would have moved the bad weather out, and sunshine would have broken out over Dallas.”  If the rain had continued, it is possible that JFK might have finished his term in office and been re-elected.  For all we know, America, and the world, might be very different today.

Then there was the case of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, whose assassination historians say was the most immediate cause of World War One.  The heir presumptive to the imperial throne and his wife narrowly escaped death in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.  A grenade lobbed by Nedeljko Čabrinović missed the royal couple but injured others.  But the good fortune of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, didn’t last.  These two people wanted to visit the wounded at a hospital, but royal handlers had changed the official itinerary without notifying the couple’s driver.  When this change came to light, the driver adjusted his route, the car stalled, and pistol-bearing Gavrilo Princip seized the opportunity to blast Franz Ferdinand and Sophie into eternity.  Without Princip’s actions, it is possible World War One would not have happened or would have gotten underway later.

History is littered with blood-soaked examples of the so-called butterfly effect.  “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state,” according to one online reference.

As the old proverb goes:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

So when someone tells you that all this circumstantial evidence about Islamism, the attackers, and the victims is merely coincidental, be aware that he’s just trying to get you to shut up.

We can only hope all the facts will emerge eventually.

Investigative reporter Matthew Vadum (personal website under construction) played a supporting role in killing President Obama’s favorite community organizing group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.  He is author of the popular ACORN/Obama exposé Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.  Follow him on Twitter.  E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.

Ben Carson and Islam

keith ellison 1
by Andrew C. McCarthy// Does Charles Krauthammer get Islam wrong because he gets the Constitution wrong? Or does he get the Constitution wrong because he gets Islam wrong?
This conundrum comes to the fore — and not for the first time — after Dr. Krauthammer’s serial denunciations of Dr. Ben Carson. In a Sunday Meet the Press interview, Carson opined that Islam is inconsistent with the United States Constitution and, therefore, that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation” — meaning he would not recommend that voters elect a Muslim president. Dr. K decries Dr. C’s remarks as “morally outrageous,” albeit “sincerely felt.” With Democrats in distress, the columnist fears Republicans are undermining their golden 2016 opportunity: “It is certainly damaging to any party when one of its two front-runners denigrates, however thoughtlessly, the nation’s entire Muslim American community.” But what loseth a man if he denigrates a tiny community — a large percentage of whose members are Islamists reliably aligned with Democrats — but gains the esteem of a vast political base convinced that Washington is insane on matters Muslim? My great respect for Charles Krauthammer having been oft expressed, I will refrain from the usual throat-clearing. Precisely because he is so influential, and we are in such perilous times, I must dissent from an argument that is constitutionally wayward and, on Islam, willfully blind. To his credit, Krauthammer does not flatly misstate the Constitution, as did some of Carson’s rivals in the GOP nomination chase. Making like a CAIR echo chamber, they frivolously accused Carson of violating the Constitution’s prohibition against establishing a “religious test” for holding public office. (CAIR, the Council on American–Islamic Relations, is a Muslim Brotherhood–created press agent for Islamic supremacism masquerading as a civil-rights group. It predictably called on Carson to withdraw.)

Of course, Carson did not call for the enactment of a law disqualifying Muslims from serving in public office, which is what the religious-test clause actually forbids. He merely offered his personal opinion that it would not be wise for Americans to elect a Muslim president. Krauthammer’s argument is more sophisticated and more dangerous — a bellwether of how progressive constitutional jurisprudence corrupts the thinking of even brilliant conservative analysts. He writes: The Constitution is not just a legal document. It is a didactic one. It doesn’t just set limits to power; it expresses a national ethos. It doesn’t just tell you what you’re not allowed to do; it also suggests what you shouldn’t want to do. Nonsense. If the Constitution is a “didactic” document, it is a damned poor one, since its objective is to limit government and maximize individual liberty. Despite the Constitution’s clarity in this regard, government has exploded in size and scope over the last century. Why? Because the “national ethos” — actually expressed by progressive scholars and jurists, not by the Constitution itself — has obscured a central truth: If the Constitution is in the business of making “didactic” suggestions, the “you” to whom they are addressed is the government, not the people.
keith ellison 5
The Constitution is not a pedagogical tool, teaching us values. It is a legal and political limitation on government’s intrusion into the realm of free thought and action. It is in that realm that we acquire values, knowledge, and common sense. Thus armed, Americans have been taking the belief systems of candidates for public office into account since the Constitution took effect in 1789. There is, moreover, a cottage industry of scholarship on how the religious beliefs of the framers and of presidents have shaped the course of American history. It would defy logic to ignore the patent connection between a candidate’s convictions and how he is likely to govern.
Andre Carson 1

Ben Carson did not say Muslims are unfit to hold public office. He said he does not think a Muslim should be president. “Congress,” he elaborated, “is a different story.” He might very well vote for a Muslim to serve in the legislature, with the caveat that it would depend on “who that Muslim is and what their policies are” — same as with anyone “of any faith.” If we are to explore the Constitution as a didactic document, the distinction Carson draws between the presidency and other high offices is worth pondering. It reflects the actual reasoning of the framers — which had nothing to do with keeping faith out of the voting booth.
keith ellison 7
Neither literally nor in spirit does the Constitution forbid automatic disqualifications for the presidency based on an American’s status. Recognizing that they had created a uniquely powerful office the abuse of which could gravely damage or even destroy the republic, the framers took pains to limit eligibility to “natural born” citizens. Is the Constitution trying to teach us that naturalized citizens cannot love our country every bit as much as those fortunate enough to be born here? Of course not. It is drawing a common-sense line. Because of concerns that apply singularly to the presidency, the Constitution spares the American people the fear that the office could fall into the hands of a person who still feels bonds of loyalty to another sovereign. As related in the Heritage Foundation’s invaluable Guide to the Constitution, John Jay wrote George Washington during the Philadelphia convention to urge that the Constitution “declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born citizen.” Another iconic American jurist, Joseph Story, later explained that this eligibility requirement “cuts off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office.”
Andre Carson 2

By contrast, there is no such restriction against naturalized citizens’ serving in Congress, on the federal bench, or in other high offices. The list of those who have done so with patriotic distinction is too long to catalogue. Notice, though, that this fact has never been thought to require removal of the prudential limitation on presidential eligibility. When questions were raised about whether John McCain, Barack Obama, and Ted Cruz were natural-born citizens, they took pains to prove that they were. They did not attack the constitutional requirement as outdated. We don’t get to choose where we are born. One’s belief system, by contrast, is a personal choice by the time one is an adult. Islam is not a foreign nationality, but it is a foreign belief system, core tenets of which are counter-constitutional. So consider this: A person may not be president if he was born in Canada, brought here two weeks later, naturalized as a child, and loves America as the only country he has ever known. Is it really “morally outrageous,” then, to opine that a person should not be president if he has made an adult decision to adhere to a belief system that, in its classical interpretation, runs afoul of the Constitution — even if he is an authentically moderate, pro-American Muslim who, in his own mind, has bleached away these offensive aspects of Islam?
keith ellison 6
Here we arrive at political correctness: the verbal gymnastics by which Krauthammer, like most Washington pols and pundits, consciously avoids Islam’s ills. In condemning Carson on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program, he inveighed: Unless you fancy yourself an Islamic scholar, which I assume Dr. Carson doesn’t, you have to concede that in any religion — Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or whatever — people bring their own interpretation and understanding of that. And again I say, there are a lot of Muslims in America — I don’t know whether it would apply universally — but there is nothing intrinsic in the religion that would make a believer — and there are all stripes of believers in the U.S. and around the world — [inimical] to the Constitution. And if you think that’s true, then I think you’re making a pronouncement on a religion that you are not an expert on. This is wrong on several levels. Most significantly, it highlights the key error about Islam that American commentators have been making throughout the quarter century of jihad waged against us: Pace Charles, Americans are under no obligation to figure out what is “intrinsic” in Islam — to divine the “true” Islam, if there actually is one. There are sundry interpretations of Islam. Yet, for our limited national-security and liberty-preserving purposes, it is undeniable — except to those who are in terminal denial — that a mainstream interpretation of Islam rejects the foundations of our Constitution, beginning with our core premise that the people are sovereign and may govern themselves irrespective of the totalitarian dictates of sharia. It makes no difference to us whether this mainstream interpretation of Islam is a faithful rendering — much less the faithful rendering.
keith ellison 8
For our purposes, what matters is that many millions of Muslims, rightly or wrongly, adhere to this construction. One need not fancy himself an Islamic scholar to see that it derives from Islamic scripture, although Dr. Krauthammer must know that there is no shortage of globally influential Islamic scholars who vouch for this literalist fundamentalism — see, e.g., Reliance of the Traveller, the classic sharia manual endorsed by the faculty at Cairo’s al-Azhar University (the seat of Islamic learning since the tenth century) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (the Muslim Brotherhood’s American think tank, whose self-proclaimed mission is “the Islamization of knowledge”).
Islam 0
Krauthammer thus makes another rudimentary error in addressing Islam as if it were a mere “religion,” like any other one. Throughout this column, I have used the term “belief system,” rather than “religion,” advisedly. Islam, in its classical interpretation, is a comprehensive sociopolitical system with its own legal code. Yes, it has some strictly theological tenets (e.g., the oneness of Allah, the conceit that Mohammed is the final prophet). These, however, comprise but a small percentage of Islamic belief, which covers the full extent of political, economic, and social life — from warfare to hygiene, in exacting rules resistant to change. That is why in virtually every Islamic society — i.e., wherever sharia is incorporated into law — the separation of spiritual and political life is rejected; it is why we find misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, ruthless discrimination against religious minorities, hostility to freedom, suspicion of reason, and backwardness in economics and education. No one is denying that there are millions of Muslims, including scholars, who are repulsed by this interpretation. We are fortunate to have many of them living in our country as solid American citizens — some even serving in the armed forces. But this does not change the facts that (a) many Muslims living in our country adhere to supremacist Islam and (b) those who do not are rightly seen as reformers and modernizers — which is welcome but only underscores that mainstream Islam needs reform and modernizing. What most cries out for reform and modernization are those aspects of Islam that defy the principles of liberty and equality safeguarded by our Constitution. The job is perilous because those who seek to change ingrained aspects of Islam take their lives in their hands. The reformers merit our admiration, and it is in our interest to help them try to succeed. It is also in our interest, though, to realize that they may not succeed, and that we must protect our country in any event. The presidency is also unique because it is the only office for which the Constitution prescribes an oath. The president must swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Given that a mainstream interpretation of Islam requires Muslims to follow sharia, and that classical sharia is antithetical to our Constitution, there is no moral outrage in recognizing the dilemma the oath could pose for a devout Muslim. There is wisdom, not shame, in concluding that we’d rather not have to worry about the potentially divided loyalties of a Muslim president, just as the Constitution relieves us of worry over the potentially divided loyalties of a foreign-born president. Like naturalized citizens, Muslims can be extraordinary Americans. But until Islam is reformed in such a way that a pluralistic, pro-liberty Islam is the world’s dominant Islam — and Islamic supremacism is the marginal exception, not the all-too-familiar rule — it is perfectly reasonable for Ben Carson, and any other American, to oppose the idea of a Muslim president of the United States. — Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/424379/ben-carson-and-islam-andrew-c-mccarthy

Muslims Warn NJ School Board: ‘We’re Going to Be the Majority Soon’

Leah Barkoukis////Things got heated at a Board of Education meeting last week in Jersey City after officials decided not to close schools for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.

Despite a number of Muslims showing up to the meeting to advocate that the school changes its schedule, officials denied their pleas, arguing that doing so on such short notice would cause “undue hardship” for the upwards of 10,000 parents who may not have a place to put their children for the day.

Some Muslims were so angry over the decision that one official called on security to “take charge” of the situation. According to video footage, at least one person was seen being escorted from the meeting.

“We feel alienated from the Board of Education, we feel alienated from this system,” Omar Abouelkhair told WNBC-TV.

“We’re going to be the majority soon,” warned another.

But it’s not as though the school board was totally unaccommodating–Muslim students would still be allowed to take the day off as an excused religious absence. It’s seems that wasn’t enough for these students and parents, however.

The uproar that took place at the local Board of Education meeting comes as a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows that based on census data, Muslims are the fastest growing bloc of immigrants in America.