Mosque to go up near New York’s ground zero

By Nicole Bliman, CNN
May 7, 2010 3:19 a.m. EDT

The mosque project has gotten mixed reviews from families and friends of 9/11 victims.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Project includes 15-story community center, a mosque, performance art center
  • Community Board of lower Manhattan voted unanimously to support the project
  • Project gets mixed reviews from families and friends of 9/11 victims
  • After funds raised, center to be completed in three to five years

New York (CNN) — Plans to build a mosque two blocks away from ground zero have set off an emotional debate among area residents and relatives of victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Cordoba House project calls for a 15-story community center including a mosque, performance art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.

The project is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, both of which work to improve relations with followers of the religion.

The two groups presented their vision to part of the Community Board of lower Manhattan on Wednesday night.

Ro Sheffe, a board member who attended the meeting, said the project did not need to get the board’s approval.

“They own the land, and their plans don’t have any zoning changes,” Sheffe said. “They came to us for our opinions and to let us know their plans. It was purely voluntary on their part.”

The 12 members who were at the meeting voted unanimously to support the project. Community board members are appointed by the borough president and serve as advisers to the borough president and the mayor’s office.

Daisy Khan, executive director of the Muslim society, described her vision of a center led by Muslims, but serving the community as a whole.

“It will have a real community feel, to celebrate the pluralism in the United States, as well as in the Islamic religion,” Khan said. “It will also serve as a major platform for amplifying the silent voice of the majority of Muslims who have nothing to do with extremist ideologies. It will counter the extremist momentum.” [NOTE: This is pure eyewash. All religious Moslems have very much to do with "extremist ideologies" because the supremacist, hateful, violent ideology of Islam is part and parcel of the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad. No religious Moslems will dare to critize those passages which justify Islamic terrorism.]

The need for the center is twofold, Khan said, because it will support the needs of the growing Muslim community.

“The time for a center like this has come because Islam is an American religion,” Khan said. [NOTE: Islam is an American religion only in the sense that Moslems live in America. In terms of values and teachings, Islam is NOT an American religion. Not even close.] “We need to take the 9/11 tragedy and turn it into something very positive.”

Sheffe said a community center for lower Manhattan residents is “desperately needed.” The area was mostly commercial, Sheffe said, but as more people move downtown, the lack of residential amenities is a problem.

The project got mixed reviews from families and friends of September 11 victims.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Marvin Bethea, who was a paramedic at ground zero. “I lost 16 friends down there. But Muslims also got killed on 9/11. It would be a good sign of faith that we’re not condemning all Muslims and that the Muslims who did this happened to be extremists. As a black man, I know what it’s like to be discriminated against when you haven’t done anything.” [NOTE: Typical bait and switch. At first we are talking about Islam, the religious belief system. Then they switch to talk about Muslims. Some Moslems take the doctrines of Islam seriously; some don't. We are legitimately concerned about those Moslems who do take the Islamic doctrines seriously,]

Herbert Ouida, whose son was killed in the attacks, supports the project as a way to bridge cultural divide.

“I understand the anger, the bitterness and hatred, but it only generates more hatred,” Ouida said. “Such a large part of the world has this faith, and to say anyone who has this faith is a terrorist, it’s terrible.” [NOTE: Again, the bait and switch. Nobody says that all Moslems are terrorists. The correct argument is that the doctrines of Islam motivate many Moslem to become terrorists -- and also non-terrorist supremacists and silent jihadists.]

Others decried the idea of building a mosque so close to where their relatives died.

“Lower Manhattan should be made into a shrine for the people who died there,” said Michael Valentin, a retired city detective who worked at ground zero. “It breaks my heart for the families who have to put up with this. I understand they’re [building] it in a respectful way, but it just shouldn’t be down there.”

Others such as Barry Zelman said the site’s location will be a painful reminder.

“[The 9/11 terrorists] did this in the name of Islam,” Zelman said. “It’s a sacred ground where these people died, where my brother was murdered, and to be in the shadows of that religion, it’s just hypocritical and sacrilegious. “

However, Khan emphasized that the attacks killed Muslims, too. [NOTE: This is irrelevant. The memorial to the victims includes the Moslem victims. The fact that there were Moslem victims says nothing about the violent, jihadist doctrines of Islam which caused the 9/11 Moslem terrorists to do what they did.]

“Three hundred of the victims were Muslim, that’s 10 percent of the victims,” she said. “We are Americans too. The 9/11 tragedy hurt everybody including the Muslim community. We are all in this together and together we have to fight against extremism and terrorism.” [NOTE: Such fakery! If they want to fight against "extremism", then let them teach their children that the violent, intolerant, hateful, warlike passages in the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad are no longer valid. That is the only way they can fight against Islamic "extremism" and terrorism.

Cordoba House is still in its early stages of development. The American Society for Muslim Advancement is hoping to raise funds for the center to be completed in three to five years. [NOTE: Let's watch where these funds come from. Saudi Arabia? Dubai?]

“This is war of religion, not just a war between Arabs and Israelis…this is an Islamic war, which will end in victory only under the banner of Jihad”

“This is war of religion, not just a war between Arabs and Israelis…this is an Islamic war, which will end in victory only under the banner of Jihad”

Here is yet more indication that the war against Israel is a jihad against Israel, motivated by an antisemitism with deep, ancient roots in Islam — and thus it will not be solved by Israeli concessions, or the establishment of a Palestinian state. The one thing we can be sure of about this is that Western analysts will ignore it, as they have all the other indications of the same thing. “Calls for Jihad in a Rally of Kuwaiti Students Union: This Is a War of Religion, Not a War between Israelis and Arabs,” from MEMRITV, March 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):

The following excerpts are from a rally in which Kuwaiti students show solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The rally aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 29, 2010.

Read complete article

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/04/this-is-war-of-religion-not-just-a-war-between-arabs-and-israelisthis-is-an-islamic-war-which-will-e.html

The Real Reason They Hate Us

The Real Reason They Hate Us
Frank Gaffney
Friday, April 09, 2010

For the first time in its history, the United States is trying to wage and win a war without accurately identifying the enemy or its motivations for seeking to destroy us. That oversight defies both common sense and past military experience, and it disarms us in what may be the most decisive theater of this conflict: the battle of ideas.

Such a breakdown may seem incredible to veterans of past military conflicts. Imagine fighting World War II without clarity about Nazism and fascism, or the Cold War without an appreciation of Soviet communism and the threat it posed.

Yet today, the civilian leaders of this country and their senior subordinates – responsible for the U.S. military, the intelligence community, homeland security and federal law enforcement – have systematically failed to fully realize that we once again face a totalitarian ideology bent on our destruction. 

That failure is the more worrisome since the current ideological menace is arguably more dangerous than any we have faced in the past, for two reasons. First, its adherents believe their mission of global conquest is divinely inspired. Second, they are here in the United States in significant numbers, not just a threat elsewhere around the world.

What, then, is this ideology? It has been given many names in recent years, including political Islam, radical Islam, fundamentalist Islam, extremist Islam and Islamofascism. There is, however, a more accurate descriptor – the one its adherents use. They call it “Shariah.”

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about Shariah is that it is authoritative Islam, which presents itself as a complete way of life – cultural, political, military, social and religious, all governed by the same doctrine. In other words, this comprehensive program is not simply the agenda of extremists hunkered down in caves in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Neither can its directives be attributed to deviants hijacking Islam. 

Rather, Shariah – which translates from Arabic as “path to God” – is actually binding law. It is taught as such by the most revered sacred texts, traditions, institutions, top academic centers, scholars and leaders of the Islamic faith. Fortunately, hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world do not wish to live under a brutally repressive, woman-demeaning, barbaric and totalitarian program. Such Muslims are potentially our allies, just as those who do adhere to Shariah are our unalterable foes.

The immutability of Shariah-adherent Muslim  hostility toward the rest of us derives directly from the central tenet of Shariah: Muslims are explicitly required to seek the triumph of Islam over all other faiths, peoples and governments.

The ultimate objective of Shariah is the establishment of a global Islamic state – Sunni Muslims call it “the caliphate” – governed by Shariah. The means by which this political outcome is to be achieved is called “jihad.”

Since 9/11, many Americans have become unhappily acquainted with the terrifying, violent strain of jihad. Under Shariah, violence – often described by non-Muslims as “terrorism” – is the preferred means of securing the spread and dominion of Islam, as it is the most efficient. 

While Shariah deems jihad to be the personal obligation of every faithful Muslim capable of performing it – man or woman, young or old - they can forgo the violent form when it is deemed impracticable. In such circumstances, the struggle can be pursued through means that are, at least temporarily, non-violent. Taken together, the latter constitute what renowned author and expert Robert Spencer calls “stealth jihad.” Adherents to Shariah call it “dawah.”

Examples of stealth jihadism abound in Western societies, notably Europe and increasingly in the United States. They include the demand for symbolic and substantive accommodations in political, economic and legal areas (for example, special treatment or rights for Muslims in the workplace, in public spaces and by government); the opportunity to penetrate and influence operations against government at every level; and the insinuation of the Trojan horse of “Shariah-compliant finance” into the West’s capital markets.

If stealth jihad seems less threatening than terrorism, the objective is exactly the same as that of violent jihad: the subjugation to the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) of all non-Islamic states that, like the United States, make up the Dar al-harb (House of War). It follows that those who seek ostensibly to impose Shariah through non-violent techniques - notably in the West, the organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood – are our enemies every bit as much as those who overtly strive to defeat us by murderous terrorism.

Many Western elites, including the Obama administration, have been seduced by the seemingly benign quality of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, we know from the 2008 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation – the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history – that the Muslim Brothers’ mission in the United States is “a kind of grand jihad to destroy Western civilization from within … by their own miserable hands.”

Another Brotherhood document, titled “The Rulers,” was seized in a 2004 raid and describes how the organization will try to overthrow the U.S. Constitution in five phases:

  • Phase I: Discreet and secret establishment of elite leadership
  • Phase II: Gradual appearance on the public scene, and exercising and utilizing various public activities
  • Phase III: Escalation, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through the massmedia
  • Phase IV: Open public confrontation with the government through the exercise of political pressure
  • Phase V: Seizing power to establish an Islamic nation, under which all parties and Islamic groups will become united

“The Rulers” makes plain that all the above-mentioned phases “are preliminary steps to reach the (fifth) phase.”

The Muslim Brothers know that by masking their ideological agenda as a religious program, they can use Western civil liberties and tolerance as weapons in their stealthy jihad. For this strategy to succeed, however, they must suppress any discussion or understanding of the true nature of Shariah. 

Adherents to Shariah insist that their law prohibits any slander against Islam or Muhammad. Under such a catch-all restriction, virtually any kind of conversation about – or critique of – Islam can be considered impermissible if Muslims find it offensive. Particularly in Europe, the ever-present prospect of violence, like that which followed the September 2005 publication of Danish cartoons poking fun at Muhammad, is generally sufficient to induce self-censorship.

In this country, the application of such prohibitions seems unthinkable, given the guarantees of free speech enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment. Unfortunately, the Obama administration last year co-sponsored with Egypt a relevant and deeply problematic resolution in the U.N. Human Rights Council, promoted for years by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a group of 57 Muslim-majority nations that stridently embraces Shariah and seeks to legitimate and promote its advance around the world. 

The resolution calls on members of the United Nations to prohibit statements that offend Islam. It also calls for criminal penalties to be applied to those who make such statements. 

The U.S. implementation of such a resolution would obviously be a matter not just for the executive branch, which supported it, but for Congress and the judiciary as well. It is a safe bet that any formal effort to supplant the First Amendment in this way would meet with great resistance.

To a stunning degree, U.S. leaders have been effectively conforming to Shariah slander laws for some time now.  For instance, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both repeatedly described Islam as a “religion of peace,” without acknowledging the requirement for jihad its authorities demand, pursuant to Shariah. 

At the Muslim Brotherhood’s insistence, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have barred the use of perfectly accurate terms like “Islamic terrorism.” The U.S. government has also embraced the Muslim Brothers’ disinformation by translating jihad as nothing more than “striving in the path of God.”

Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the favored name for the enemy has been “violent extremism” – a formulation that neither offers clarity about the true nature of our foe nor lends itself to a prescription for a successful countervailing strategy. Even when al-Qaeda is identified as the enemy, it is almost always accompanied by an assurance that its operatives and allies have “corrupted” Islam. Ignored, or at least earnestly obscured, are two unhappy realities: such enemies are implementing Shariah’s dictates to the letter of the law, and they have millions of fellow adherents around the world who view Islam’s requirements the same way.

One of the most egregious examples of this practice of unilateral disarmament in the battle of ideas is the January report of the independent review of the Fort Hood massacre, co-chaired by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon Clark. Their 86-page unclassified analysis purported to dissect an event allegedly perpetrated by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan – a medical officer whose business card described him as “Soldier of Allah,” whose briefings justified murder of his comrades in the name of jihad, and who shouted the Islamic martyr’s cry “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”) as he opened fire, killing 13. Incredibly, the words “Islam,” “Islamic terror,” “Shariah,” “jihad,” and “Muslim Brotherhood” were not used even once in the West-Clark report.

Such political correctness, or willful blindness up the chain of command, doubtless caused Hasan’s colleagues to keep silent about his alarming beliefs, lest they be punished for expressing concerns about them. Now, reportedly, six of them have been designated as the scapegoats for what is manifestly an institutional failure.

The painful truth is that however we rationalize this sort of behavior, our Shariah-adherent enemies correctly perceive it as evidence of submission, which is the literal meaning of the word “Islam,” and what Shariah demands of everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. 

Indeed, Shariah offers non-believers only three choices: conversion to Islam, submission (known as dhimmitude) or death. Historically, dhimmitude was imposed through successful Muslim conquests. In more recent years, tolerant Western nations have increasingly succumbed to stealthy jihadism, backed by more or less direct threats of violence. 

That trend, worrying as it is, may be giving way in this country to a new campaign: jihad of the sword. The past year saw a fourfold increase in the number of actual or attempted terrorist attacks in the United States. Sadly, that statistic will likely be surpassed in the year ahead. Four of the nation’s top intelligence officials have testified before Congress that it is certain new acts of violence will be undertaken in the next three to six months. Worse yet, a blue-ribbon commission has calculated that the probability of the use of weapons of mass destruction somewhere in the world by 2013 is now over 50 percent.

Is this dramatic upsurge in violent jihad directed at the United States unrelated to our behavior? Or does it reflect a growing calculation on the part of our Shariah-adherent enemies that violence against the United States is now, once again, practicable? 

Either way, the time has clearly come to make a far more serious effort to defeat both the violent and stealthy forms of jihad being waged against this country. If we are to do so, however, we have to start by telling the truth. 

Our enemy is not “violent extremism,” or even al-Qaeda alone. Rather, it is the millions of Muslims who – like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and their allies – adhere to Shariah and who, therefore, believe they must impose it on the rest of us.

We are at war with such individuals and organizations. Not because we want to be. Not because of policies toward Israel or the Middle East or anything else we have pursued in recent years. Rather, we are at war with them because they must wage jihad against us, pursuant to the dictates of Shariah, the same law that has guided many in Islam for some 1,200 years. 

What is at stake in this war? Look no further than The American Legion’s Americanism Manual, which defines Americanism as “love of America; loyalty to her institutions as the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness; and the willingness to defend our country and Flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” 

Such values cannot coexist with Shariah, which demands the destruction of democratic nations like the United States, its governing institutions and liberties. Shariah would supplant them with a repressive, transnational, theocratic government abroad and at home.

The extraordinary reality is that none of this – the authoritative and malevolent nature of Shariah, its utter incompatibility with our civilization, and its adherents’ determination to force us to convert, submit or die – is concealed from those willing to learn the truth. To the contrary, the facts are widely available via books, the Internet, DVDs and mosques, both here and overseas. Interestingly, on Dec. 1, 2005, Gen. Peter Pace, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on his troops to expose themselves to precisely this sort of information: “I say you need to get out and read what our enemies have said. Remember Hitler. Remember he wrote ‘Mein Kampf.’ He said in writing exactly what his plan was, and we collectively ignored that to our great detriment. Now, our enemies have said publicly on film, on the Internet, their goal is to destroy our way of life. No equivocation on their part.”

As it happens, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, a lawyer and Army Reserves intelligence specialist recruited by the Joint Chiefs to be their expert on the doctrine and jurisprudence of jihad, took Pace’s admonition to heart. He wrote a master’s thesis inspired by the chairman’s quote, titled “To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad.” 

Coughlin’s briefings explicitly and repeatedly warned military leaders of the enemy’s “threat doctrine” – drawing from, among Islamic texts, passages the Fort Hood suspect used to justify his massacre. Unfortunately, engaging in such analysis, let alone acting on it, was powerfully discouraged in January 2008 when Coughlin was dismissed from the Joint Staff after he ran afoul of a Muslim Brother then working for Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.

In short, we are today confronted by the cumulative effect of a sustained and collective dereliction of duty, one that is putting our country in extreme peril. Our armed forces – like their counterparts in the intelligence community, Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement – have a professional duty to know the enemy and develop appropriate responses to the threat doctrine. If this dereliction is allowed to persist, it is predictable that more Americans will die, both on foreign battlefields and at home.

The American people also need to become knowledgeable about the threat of Shariah and insist that action be taken at federal, state and local levels to keep our country Shariah-free. This toxic ideology, if left unchecked, can destroy the country and institutions that are, indeed, “the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness.”

Fitzgerald: Obama constructs a reality that does not exist

Fitzgerald: Obama constructs a reality that does not exist

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s advisers will remove religious terms such as “Islamic extremism” from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said. – from this news story

This is not only a problem in the United States. It is a problem all over the Western world. How are the people of Western Europe to understand their own reality if they cannot speak truthfully, and openly, about the ideology of Islam? If they have noticed — and they have at long last noticed — that Muslim immigrants are particularly aggressive, demanding, hostile, and un-integrable, save always for a small, discrete minority of people who arrive as Muslims but become integrable only to the precise extent that they cease to take Islam to heart, or even, in the best cases, as a result of the mental freedom and physical security that the West offers them, become estranged permanently from Islam (for who knows better what Islam is all about, than Wafa Sultan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Magdi Allam, and all the other outstanding and brilliant apostates who offer us their articulate testimonies?), should the peoples of Western Europe not allow themselves to employ the only vocabulary that allows them to discuss this matter?

And when they realize, as many of them now do, that this is a problem not in one, or two, or a half-dozen, countries in Western Europe, but in all of the them without exception, and perhaps most noticeably so in the two countries that have elevated Tolerance to the level of State Religions (i.e., Denmark and the Netherlands), are they to be rendered mute through a policy that fills the collective heart of the O.I.C. with satisfaction and deep pleasure?

If they realize that these Muslim immigrants pose a permanent problem that no group of non-Muslim immigrants poses, should they be reduced to whispers? Should their permitted lexicon be lacking such words as “Jihad” and “dhimmi” and “Jizyah” and even, it seems, “Islam” itself? The latter word is always and everywhere, if applied to the case, to be modified fore and aft, with such meretricious verbal tricks as “Islamism” and “Islamists,” or sleight of word, as with “violent extremists” who have kidnapped — in the alternative, hijacked — “a great religion.”

If Israelis wish to begin to grasp their own reality, and to comprehend why “peace-processes” and treaties mean nothing, but are merely part of one unending Treaty of Al Hudaibiyya being used to whittle away at the state of Israel, in order to push it back into conditions of maximum peril and hopeless vulnerability, they will need to use, and to hear others use, such words as “Islam” and “Jihad” and “dhimmi.” If the Hindus, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims of India are to grasp the permanent threat to them, one not assuaged by a possible surrender of Kashmir, but that goes on, unassuageable, forever, they will need to use such words as “Jihad” and “dhimmi” and “Dar al-Islam.” If the Thais, or the Russians, or the Filipinos, wish to understand what it is that they are dealing with, they must — they cannot but — use the words that exist to properly explain this reality. The Christians of the southern Sudan, and the Christians of southern Nigeria, have used such words as “Jihad” before. They understand, perhaps better than those in the West, what Islam is all about, because in black Africa, the Arabs and those whom they have islamized and arabized have been able to treat the black African non-Muslims as roughly, as murderously, as they wish. They have had no need to engage in the kind of stuff we see Muslims engaging in here — Interfaith-Healing, Outreach Nights at the Mosque, taqiyya masters such as Tariq Ramadan spreading their smiling word in order to charm or confuse the unwary and the ill-prepared, and to keep up this mountebank’s patter at such a pace that no one who speaks quietly, logically, and with attention to the evidence can get in a word, or if he can get in a word, can truly and properly be heard by those unwary and those ignorant Infidels over the steady tariq-ramadanian hum.

Those who make policy and construct policies are dealing with a reality that they refuse to learn adequately about. In so refusing, they hobble themselves from thinking sensibly, and at times imaginatively, about what makes the most sense, what would weaken the Camp of Islam and thus the threat to all non-Muslims from Islam and its adherents. They prefer to throw money, and men, and materiel, at the problem. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, before we are through, will have cost well over three trillion dollars.

Think of what that could have done, as far as this country goes. We fight over a few hundred million here and there, we fight about health care and social security, and we keep avoiding, in some collective mental paralysis, connecting these budgetary woes with the sums being spent — futilely, and quite unnecessarily, in the lands of Muslims, in order to bring them (for how long? forever?) prosperity, to bribe them into (most temporarily) being “our friends.” This “friendship” consists of their not becoming or giving harbor to those “violent extremists” who, we tell ourselves, are a discrete, isolated group, when in fact any Muslim who now, or in the future, for whatever reason, chooses to take Islam fully to heart, can become one of those “violent extremists.” And long before that, Muslims have shown, in thought, word, and deed, that they do take Islam sufficiently seriously to attempt to press its case everywhere, to change our legal and political institutions and our social arrangements, to interfere with our academic teaching and thinking about Islam, to interfere with our freedom of speech, and our ideas of what can or cannot be spoken and written. They do all this unapologetically, with violence or the threat of violence. What’s more, they conduct, unhindered, vast campaigns of Da’wa targeted at the most vulnerable and also the potentially most dangerous kinds of people — the psychically and economically marginal — who, in converting to Islam, add to the security threat to all the non-Muslims. Those former fellow citizens, now changed utterly, become a threat to us and the political institutions of this country, and the physical security of its citizens.

Because of the ignorance of Islam at the top, we have instead locked ourselves into a Tar Baby policy that requires the expenditure of vast sums on places that cannot, because of Islam, ever embrace advanced Western democracy. They cannot — because of Islam — ever be our true allies, or ever be counted on to help suppress the forces of violent Islam. They will, however, do what they can to divert outside their countries, to the Infidels, the fury of those who are working against their own regimes, as the Saudi government’s “re-education” efforts of Al-Qaeda supporters consists not in ending their Muslim fanaticism, which the Al-Saud share or promote, but in redirecting their murderous fury away from the Al-Saud themselves to the Western Infidels who deserve whatever those local fanatics wish to inflict on them — just please leave us, the nice Al-Saud, alone.

Never before has such sustained stupidity, in the face of a decade of what should have led to some obvious conclusions, been exhibited by the Western world. Even with Hitler and the Nazis, there were only six years from his resistible rise in 1933 to the outbreak of war in 1939, when suddenly “everyone” appeared to have “known all along” what Churchill and a few others, and only they, had known. We have had perfectly good information — for those who do not put their trust in the New York Times but go online — about the Jihad, in its violent manifestations, and in those that employ non-violent means, for nearly a decade. We have had the vain efforts in Iraq and the vain effort now in Afghanistan, where the actual goals are never clearly stated, because to even attempt to do that would expose the whole enterprise to the quizzical looks, and the criticism, and even the mockery, that the assumptions upon which it rests deserve.

Eventually reality will break in. But when? At what considerable unnecessary future cost? Perhaps there are those in the Obama Administration who have never read “Politics and the English Language” by Orwell, though it is now a staple in freshman composition courses. Perhaps they are unaware of how Hitler and Stalin, refashioned the lexicon, or how such words as, for example, “People’s Democracy” came to describe the most despotic of regimes.

The Obama Administration does not strike me as full of people terribly interested in, or impressed by, faith — in the way that George Bush, a born-again Christian, was so impressed with what religion had done for him that he simply couldn’t believe that something — Islam — called a “religion” could be other than good.

So what is it that prevents the Obama Administration from learning about, analyzing, studying the history of, Islam and Islamic conquest, as it would, presumably, anything else? What makes it so fearful, in the councils and corridors of power, of people speaking truthfully about such matters, or at least asymptotically coming close to that truth, so that they are now apparently being deliberately told they cannot use the very lexicon they most need, and now most lack?

The self-inflicted intellectual wounds here will have, do already have, fantastic consequences — not good ones for us, but very good for the Camp of Islam — in the world we like to call “real.” But the Obama Administration is engaged in the political construction of a reality that does not exist, and is leading itself, and those whom it presumes to instruct and protect, astray.

White House to remove ‘Islamic radicalism’ from terror terms…

Not all terrorism: Obama tries to change subject

 

Apr 7, 2:04 AM (ET)

By MATT APUZZO

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama’s advisers plan to remove terms such as “Islamic radicalism” from a document outlining national security strategy and will use the new version to emphasize that the U.S. does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terrorism, counterterrorism officials say.

The change would be a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventive war. It currently states, “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.”

The officials described the changes on condition of anonymity because the document is still being written and is unlikely to be released for weeks, and the White House would not discuss it. But rewriting the strategy document is the latest example of Obama putting his stamp on U.S. foreign policy, as with his promises to dismantle nuclear weapons and limit the situations in which they can be used.

The revisions are part of a larger effort about which the White House talks openly, one that seeks to change not just how the U.S. talks to Muslim nations, but also what it talks to them about, from health care and science to business startups and education.

That shift away from terrorism has been building for a year, since Obama went to Cairo and promised a “new beginning” in the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world. The White House believes the previous administration based that relationship entirely on fighting terrorism and winning the war of ideas.

“You take a country where the overwhelming majority are not going to become terrorists, and you go in and say, ‘We’re building you a hospital so you don’t become terrorists.’ That doesn’t make much sense,” National Security Council staffer Pradeep Ramamurthy said.

Ramamurthy runs the administration’s Global Engagement Directorate, a four-person National Security Council team that Obama launched last May with little fanfare and a vague mission to use diplomacy and outreach “in pursuit of a host of national security objectives.” Since then, the division has not only helped change the vocabulary of fighting terrorism, but also has shaped the way the country invests in Muslim businesses, studies global warming, supports scientific research and combats polio.

Before diplomats go abroad, they hear from the Ramamurthy or his deputy, Jenny Urizar. When officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration returned from Indonesia, the NSC got a rundown about research opportunities on global warming. Ramamurthy maintains a database of interviews conducted by 50 U.S. embassies worldwide. And business leaders from more than 40 countries head to Washington this month for an “entrepreneurship summit” for Muslim businesses.

“Do you want to think about the U.S. as the nation that fights terrorism or the nation you want to do business with?” Ramamurthy said.

To deliver that message, Obama’s speechwriters have taken inspiration from an unlikely source: former President Ronald Reagan. Visiting communist China in 1984, Reagan spoke at Fudan University in Shanghai about education, space exploration and scientific research. He discussed freedom and liberty. He never mentioned communism or democracy.

“They didn’t look up to the U.S. because we hated communism,” said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Obama’s foreign policy speechwriter.

Like Reagan in China, Obama in Cairo made only passing references to terrorism. Instead he focused on cooperation. He announced the U.S. would team up to fight polio with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, a multinational body based in Saudi Arabia. The U.S. and OIC had worked together before, but never with that focus.

“President Obama saw it as an opportunity to say, ‘We work on things far beyond the war on terrorism,’” World Health Organization spokeswoman Sona Bari said.

Polio is endemic in three Muslim countries – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan – but some Muslim leaders have been suspicious of vaccination efforts, which they believed to be part of a CIA sterilization campaign. Last year, the OIC and religious scholars at the International Islamic Fiqh Academy issued a fatwa, or religious decree, that parents should vaccinate their children.

“We’re probably entering into a whole new level of engagement between the OIC and the polio program because of the stimulus coming from the U.S. government,” said Michael Galway, who works on polio eradication for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also began working more closely with local Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria, a network that had been overlooked for years, said John Fitzsimmons, the deputy director of the CDC’s immunization division.

Though health officials are reluctant to assign credit to any one action, new polio cases in Nigeria fell from 83 during the first quarter of last year to just one so far this year, Fitzsimmons said.

Public opinion polls also showed consistent improvement in U.S. sentiment within the Muslim world last year, though the viewpoints are still overwhelmingly negative.

Obama did not invent Muslim outreach. President George W. Bush gave the White House its first Quran, hosted its first Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan and loudly stated support for Muslim democracies like Turkey.

But the Bush administration struggled with its rhetoric. Muslims criticized Bush for describing the war on terrorism as a “crusade” and labeling the invasion of Afghanistan “Operation Infinite Justice” – words that were seen as religious. He regularly identified America’s enemy as “Islamic extremists” and “radical jihadists.”

Karen Hughes, a Bush confidante who served as his top diplomat to the Muslim world in his second term, urged the White House to stop.

“I did recommend that, in my judgment, it’s unfortunate because of the way it’s heard. We ought to avoid the language of religion,” Hughes said. “Whenever they hear ‘Islamic extremism, Islamic jihad, Islamic fundamentalism,’ they perceive it as a sort of an attack on their faith. That’s the world view Osama bin Laden wants them to have.”

Hughes and Juan Zarate, Bush’s former deputy national security adviser, said Obama’s efforts build on groundwork from Bush’s second term, when some of the rhetoric softened. But by then, Zarate said, it was overshadowed by the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and a prolonged Iraq war.

“In some ways, it didn’t matter what the president did or said. People weren’t going to be listening to him in the way we wanted them to,” Zarate said. “The difference is, President Obama had a fresh start.”

Obama’s foreign policy posture is not without political risk. Even as Obama steps up airstrikes on terrorists abroad, he has proven vulnerable to Republican criticism on security issues at home, such as the failed Christmas Day airline bombing and the announced-then-withdrawn plan to prosecute self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York.

Peter Feaver, a Duke University political scientist and former Bush adviser, is skeptical of Obama’s engagement effort. It “doesn’t appear to have created much in the way of strategic benefit” in the Middle East peace process or in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he said.

Obama runs the political risk of seeming to adopt politically correct rhetoric abroad while appearing tone-deaf on national security issues at home, Feaver said.

The White House dismisses such criticism. In June, Obama will travel to Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, and is expected to revisit many of the themes of his Cairo speech.

“This is the long-range direction we need to go in,” Ramamurthy said.

‘Shaming’ her in-laws costs 19 year old her nose, ears

“When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out,” 19-year-old Bibi Aisha of Afghanistan says with chilling candor.

Her beauty is still stunning and her confidence inspiring. It takes a moment for the barbaric act committed against her to register in your mind and sight.

Wearing her patterned scarf and with roughly painted nails she shares her story.

“It felt like there was cold water in my nose, I opened my eyes and I couldn’t even see because of all the blood,” she remembers.

It was an act of Taliban justice for the crime of shaming her husband’s family.

This story began when Aisha was just 8 years old.

Her father had promised her hand in marriage, along with that of her baby sister’s, to another family in a practice called “baad.”

“Baad” in Pashtunwali, the law of the Pashtuns, is a way to settle a dispute between rival families.

At 16, she was handed over to her husband’s father and 10 brothers, who she claims were all members of the Taliban in Oruzgan province. Aisha didn’t even meet her husband because he was off fighting in Pakistan.

“I spent two years with them and became a prisoner,” she says. (Watch more of the interview with Aisha)

Tortured and abused, she couldn’t take it any longer and decided to run away. Two female neighbors promising to help took her to Kandahar province.

But this was just another act of deception.

When they arrived to Kandahar her female companions tried to sell Aisha to another man.

All three women were stopped by the police and imprisoned. Aisha was locked up because she was a runaway. And although running away is not a crime, in places throughout Afghanistan it is treated as one if you are a woman.

A three-year sentence was reduced to five months when President Hamid Karzai pardoned Aisha. But eventually her father-in-law found her and took her back home.

That was the first time she met her husband. He came home from Pakistan to take her to Taliban court for dishonoring his family and bringing them shame.

The court ruled that her nose and ears must be cut off. An act carried out by her husband in the mountains of Oruzgan where they left her to die.

But she survived.

And with the help of an American Provincial Reconstruction Team in Oruzgan and the organization Women for Afghan Women (WAW), she is finally getting the help and protection she needs.

Offers have been pouring in to help Aisha, but there are many more women suffering in silence.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 90 percent of Afghanistan’s women suffer from some sort of domestic abuse. This in a country where there are only about eight women’s shelters to provide sanctuary from the cruelty they face. And all of the eight are privately run.

“Bibi Aisha is only one example of thousands of girls and women in Afghanistan and throughout the world who are treated this way – who suffer abuses like this, like this and worse,” says board member for WAW, Esther Hyneman.

In 2001, the situation of Afghan women and Taliban brutality received plenty of attention. Now organizations like WAW say the international community is strangely silent on the issue.

Hyneman says not enough is being done to help the women in Afghanistan and that feeds into the hands of the insurgency.

“When you have … 50 percent of a population on their knees, it’s very easy for extremists, tyrants to take over a country,” she adds. “They have a ready-made enslaved population.”

Aisha is reminded of that enslavement every time she looks in the mirror.

But there still times she can laugh. And at that moment you see her teenage spirit escaping a body that has seen a lifetime of injustice

Muslim Brotherhood

http://www.mideastweb.org/Middle-East-Encyclopedia/muslim_brotherhood.htm

Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood emblem:
Qur’an and Swords

The Muslim Brotherhood (Arabic: Hizb al Ikhwan al Muslimeen – The party of the Muslim Brothers or Jamaat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun – Society of the Muslim brotherhood )  is a fundamentalist international organization or organizations originating in Egypt, whose goals are the conversion of Muslim countries into states ruled by Sha’aria law, the re-establishment of the Caliphate and ultimately, world dominion. The Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, which insists that Islam is a prescription for governance as well as religion, is the prototypical example of Islamism. Their slogan is self-explanatory: “God is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Qur’an our constitution, Jihad our way and dying for God’s cause our supreme objective.Different factions of the Muslim Brotherhood believe that an Islamic society can be achieved by violent means in the near term, or by education and “preparation” of society and “democratic” takeover.  The Muslim Brotherhood was founded formally in March 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna,  but it may have existed before in a less formal framework. 

Muslim Brotherhood Ideology

Al-Banna developed the ideology and the methods of organization and recruitment that were to characterize most radical Islamist groups which may or may not have been inspired by the Brotherhood. The ideology includes the following points:

Islam most dominate and not be dominated.

Restoration of the lost caliphate - i’adat al Khalifa al Mafqudah -  is the chief immediate political goal of the Islamist movement. 

Islam is currently inferior to the West because it deserted its roots. It will triumph by returning to its pristine form.

Social revolution and anti-colonial struggle are an integral and major part of the mission of the Islamic revival.

Violent Jihad is a central tenet of Islam and martyrdom in the cause of Allah is highly valued.  Violent Jihad is the greater Jihad, while inner struggle for moral purity is the lesser Jihad.

Islam must aim to take over the entire world and assert its superiority through violent Jihad,

Western civilization is doomed by its decadence and Jewish influence.

Ideas such as democracy and human rights are products of Jewish influence and Western decadence. Society must be ruled by God and not men.

The Jews are particularly vile enemies of Islam. Israel is to be opposed because it is a foreign western implant.

Muslim Brotherhood ideology is virulently anti-Semitic  anti-Western and anti-democratic in principle.  It is important to emphasize this last point, in view of the optimistic theories of certain academics which insist that the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups would evolve toward democracy because of democratic traditions in Islam. The original Muslim Brotherhood ideology views all such democratic traditions as heresy, though it might use democratic means to gain power. Al-Banna was succeeded by Sayyid Qutb. The reasoning behind this opposition is explained in Chapter 6 of Sayyid Qutb‘s book, Milestones: just government is government by God, and not by men. Qutb believed that the best sort of government was a dictatorship based on Sha’aria Muslim law.

Muslim Brotherhood Method of Organization and Recruitment

Hassan al-Banna was a gifted and instinctive grass roots organizer, and the Muslim Brotherhood the pattern for other Muslim organizations in many respects:

Use of existing religious organizations – Under Al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood used mosques, charities and other Muslim groups as the basis of its organization and a means to spread its ideology.

Soviet style subversion - The Muslim Brotherhood, like the Soviet Comintern, set up special sections for working with different social groups such as peasants, workers and professionals.

Eclectic Facade – Al-Banna and the brotherhood tried to minimize religious and ideological disputes with the religious elites and with local traditions that deviated from Islam, in order to attract the largest number of followers and ensure their welcome in mosques, shrines and Muslim gatherings of all types.

Multi-level structure – The Muslim brotherhood created “respectable” networks for charity and Islamic studies at one level. At the same time, it created a paramilitary clandestine wing with a cellular structure like that of the pre-Soviet Bolshevik party. The legitimate activities of the open outer circle, such as charity, could be used to fund the paramilitary activities, and at the same time, the outer circle served as a basis for recruitment into the clandestine group. 

Muslim Brotherhood under Hassan Banna

Hassan Al-Banna was a teacher and agitator, who used the above methods to grow the popularity of his group. Initially, he had only modest success. By 1936, after 8 years there were only about 800 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in and around Cairo and Ismailiya, where al-Banna taught. However, the rise of Nazi Germany, interested in opposing Britiain in the Middle East, and the  Arab Revolt in Palestine, gave the Muslim Brotherhood it’s big chance. For Al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jewish presence in Palestine was another Westernizing colonialist influence that had to be stopped simply because it was Western. Al Banna formed a tactical and ideological alliance with the Nazis as well as with Hajj Amin al Hussayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a Nazi sympathizer who coopted the leadership of the Palestinian Arab uprising. By 1938,  the Muslim Brotherhood boasted nearly 200,000 members, with fifty branches in Egypt alone, as well as numerous branches in Jordan and Palestine. The organization established mosques, schools, sport clubs, factories and a welfare service network. On the eve of World War II there were more than a half million active members registered in more than two thousand branches across the Arab world.

Muslim Brotherhood following World War II

The Brotherhood began to carry out major acts of violence in the 1940s, and was particularly active between 1945 and 1948. In one week in 1946, four violent attacks were directed at British occupation forces, wounding 128 people. Brotherhood members were put on trial and found guilty by judge Ahmed El-Khazindar. Eight months later, the judge was assassinated by two Brotherhood members.As tensions rose in Palestine, in 1947 and 1948, Jewish-owned businesses in Cairo were bombed by the Brotherhood. When Egypt invaded the newly formed state of Israel, the invasion was spearheaded by Muslim Brotherhood volunteers, who apparently coordinated to some extent with the Egyptian army. Following the failure of the war, the Brotherhood grew increasingly strident in criticizing the government. On  December 18, 1948, Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Noqrashi (Noqrashi Pasha) dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood on the grounds that it had secretly plotted to overthrow the monarchy. Twenty days later, a young Muslim Brotherhood member assassinatied Noqrashi inside the Interior Ministry building.

Al-Banna tried to dissociate himself from the assassination, asserting or pretending that he had  lost control over the group’s paramilitary wing. He declared that those who had carried out the assassination were “neither brothers nor Muslims”. Nonetheless, al-Banna was assassinated by Egyptian government agents on February 12, 1949.

Noqrashi’s successor, Ibrahim Abdel-Hadi, dealt harshly with the Brotherhood, putting large numbers of them behind bars. By the time his cabinet fell in July 1949, 4,000 Brotherhood members were in detention.

The Egyptian government, however, found it convenient to try to accommodate the Brotherhood. A court exonerated the Brotherhood on the charge of plotting to overthrow the monarchy. On April 30, 1951, the ban on the group was rescinded after the radical Wafd Party won the elections. The Muslim Brotherhood cooperated with the young officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who overthrew King Farouk of Egypt, but soon fell out with the Pan Arab nationalists. A decree dissolving political parties in January 1953 did not cover the Brotherhood as it was not a political party. But a year later, the decree was invoked against the Brotherhood by President Gamal Abdel-Nasser who ordered that the group be dissolved. The supreme guide, Hassan El-Hodeibi was arrested, along with other leaders and members.

On 26 October 1954, a gunman fired bullets at Nasser as he delivered a speech in Manshiya Square in Alexandria. The government blamed the Brotherhood. Thousands of its members were rounded up and some were put on trial. Of these, six were sentenced to death and seven others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Muslim Brotherhood under Sayyid Qutb

Following his return from the United States in 1951, Sayyid Qutb gradually assumed ideological leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood  Qutb developed and refined al-Banna’s ideology. While the idea that Muslim rule had to be extended to the west may have been implicit in Banna’s beliefs, Qutb made it far more explicit. He was also more strident in his calls to abrogate all Muslim jurisprudence and return to a somewhat hypothetical pristine state of Islam that existed in the very first years. Qutb’s struggle was no longer against colonial oppression, but against the rule of man. He decreed that all governments that did not follow his ideology were in a state of Jahiliya, the darkness and ignorance that according to Islam, pervaded the Arabian peninsula before the advent of Islam. He systematized opposition to current Muslim regimes by proclaiming that all rule of man is oppression. Man can only be free, according to Qutb, by returning to a society where laws are extracted directly from the word of God as explained in the Quran.

Qutb also originated or expanded upon the idea and practice of Takfir, branding other Muslims, and particularly state regimes, as infidels, and thus legitimizing Jihad against the Muslim states. The popularity of this idea may have been encouraged by the suffering of the group at the hands of the Nasserist regime.

In August of 1965, Nasser charged that the Brotherhood had set up an armed organisation to seize power by force and another wave of arrests followed. Hundreds of members were rounded up.

In 1966 three Brotherhood leaders – Sayed Qotb, Youssef Hawwash and Abdel-Fattah Ismail – were sentenced to death and executed for plotting against Nasser. More than 100 others were condemned to various prison terms.

Muslim Brotherhood Since Qutb

Following Nasser’s death in 1970 and Anwar As-Sadat’s rise to power, jailed Brotherhood members were released. Groups began to splinter off from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Al-Takfir Wal Hijra – a group that views society as infidel and advocates withdrawal from it announced its appearance by kidnapping and killing a cabinet minister and launching an attack on the Technical Military Academy.The mainstream Muslim Brotherhood reached a modus vivendi by renouncing violence. It remained illegal, it was tolerated by the government and, in some cases, even encouraged as a counter-balance to leftist forces whom Sadat considered the main threat to his regime.

In 1976, the group was allowed to publish a monthly magazine, Al-Dawa, which continued to appear until it was shut down by Sadat shortly before his assassination in October 1981.

In 1981, members of another offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad assassinated Egyptian President Anwar as Sadat. The assassination was followed by widespread suppression of the group.

The Brotherhood turned away from violence at least officially. It is unclear whether this renunciation refers only to a commitment to use democratic methods in Egypt, or whether the Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence in general. The Muslim Brotherhood became more active in civil society, winning control of several student unions and professional syndicates, and contesting parliamentary elections under stand-in party names. It is now the single largest opposition group in the Egyptian parliament. 

Muslim Brotherhood and Jihad

A basic tenet of the movement is holy war, Jihad in the sense of Jihad bis Seif, struggle by the sword. Jihad means “struggle” literally, and refers to a holy struggle or holy war.  Some Muslims believe that it refers primarily to an inner spiritual struggle. Others believe that Jihad in the sense of war should be waged only against idolators or only against those who threaten Islam. Al-Banna however, was quite explicit in stating that Jihad was to be waged as a holy duty (“fard“) to subdue any society that did not submit to Islam. (For al-Banna’s definition of Jihad, see the article on Jihad). Likewise Sayyed Qutb was explicit that Jihad was not a defensive war, but a staged struggle to “liberate” all mankind:

The second aspect of this religion is that it is a practical movement which progresses stage by stage, and at every stage it provides resources according to the practical needs of the situation and prepares the ground for the next one. It does not face practical problems with abstract theories, nor does it confront various stages with unchangeable means. Those who talk about Jihaad in Islam and quote Qur’anic verses do not take into account this aspect, nor do they understand the nature of the various stages through which this movement develops, or the relationship of the verses revealed at various occasions with each stage. Thus, when they speak about Jihaad, they speak clumsily and mix up the various stages, distorting the whole concept of Jihaad and deriving from the Qur’anic verses final principles and generalities for which there is no justification. This is because they regard every verse of the Qur’an as if it were the final principle of this religion. This group of thinkers, who are a product of the sorry state of the present Muslim generation, have nothing but the label of Islam and have laid down their spiritual and rational arms in defeat. They say, “Islam has prescribed only defensive war”! and think that they have done some good for their religion by depriving it of its method, which is to abolish all injustice from the earth, to bring people to the worship of God alone, and to bring them out of servitude to others into the servants of the Lord . Islam does not force people to accept its belief, but it wants to provide a free environment in which they will have the choice of beliefs. What it wants is to abolish those oppressive political systems under which people are prevented from expressing their freedom to choose whatever beliefs they want, and after that it gives them complete freedom to decide whether they will accept Islam or not.

….

When writers with defeatist and apologetic mentalities write about “Jihaad in Islam,” trying to remove this ‘blot’ from Islam, then they are mixing up two things: first, that this religion forbids the imposition of its belief by force, as is clear from the verse, “There is no compulsion in religion”(2:256), while on the other hand it tries to annihilate all those political and material powers which stand between people and Islam, which force one people to bow before another people and prevent them from accepting the sovereignty of God. These two principles have no relation to one another nor is there room to mix them. In spite of this, these defeatist-type people try to mix the two aspects and want to confine Jihaad to what today is called ‘defensive war’. The Islamic Jihaad has no relationship to modern warfare, either in its causes or in the way in which it is conducted.

….

This religion is not merely a declaration of the freedom of the Arabs, nor is its message confined to the Arabs. It addresses itself to the whole of mankind, and its sphere of work is the whole earth. God is the Sustainer not merely of the Arabs, nor is His providence limited to those who believe in the faith of Islam. God is the Sustainer of the whole world. This religion wants to bring back the whole world to its Sustainer and free it from servitude to anyone other than God. In the sight of Islam, the real servitude is following laws devised by someone, and this is that servitude which in Islam is reserved for God alone. Anyone who serves someone other than God in this sense is outside God’s religion, although he may claim to profess this religion. The Prophet- peace be on him – clearly stated that, according to the Shari’ah, ‘to obey’ is ‘to worship’. Taking this meaning of worship, when the Jews and Christians ‘disobeyed’ God, they became like those who ‘associate others with God’…. (Qutb, Sayyed, Milestones, Chapter 4)

Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood

Various organizations with the same or similar ideology have been called Ikhwan, Gama’a al Islamiyeh, al Jihad  and many other titles. It is difficult to determine the degree to which any “Jihadi”  group is independent, and it is probably that most Sunni Jihadist groups are related to the original brotherhood in some way. As the Muslim Brotherhood home page explains:

Al-Ikhwan has branches in over 70 countries all over the world. The movement is flexible enough to allow working under the “Ikhwan” name, under other names, or working according to every country’s circumstances. (Source: Mulsim Brotherhood home page)

Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood and its derivatives have branched out to numerous countries, in some cases transmuting to a slightly different, generally more virulent ideology.  It had a very strong representation in Gaza. Yasser Arafat sprang from a family background in the e Ikhwan of Gaza and more importantly, the Hamas was founded by breakaway Palestinian members of the Ikhwan. The principle innovation of the Hamas was the focus of Jihadist ideology on Palestine.

The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) is in one way or another responsible for most of the Sunni terrorist fundamentalist groups. “New” groups formed either when the original group was suppressed and it was necessary to take another name, or because of personal difference or minor or major differences in tactics or theology, or by merger with other similar groups. The most famous such group today is probably Al-Qaeda, which resulted from a merger of Osama Bin Laden’s followers with those of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activist Ayman Zawahiri and other groups.

It is difficult to understand the internal organization of each group or the relations between them. Groups and terrorist actions may in some cases be directly traceable to a central group such as Al Qaeda, or they may be derivative organizations or actions such as bombings may apparently be “inspired” by Muslim Brotherhood or Al-Qaeda teachings. As noted, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Group had adopted a cellular organization at one time. The home page of the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan group states the following under the heading “Organization:”

Organization

Al-Ikhwan has branches in over 70 countries all over the world. The movement is flexible enough to allow working under the “Ikhwan” name, under other names, or working according to every country’s circumstances. However, all Ikhwan groups, in all countries are characterized by the following with respect to their method [3]:

1- Following the Salaf: Rejecting any action or principle which contradicts the Quran or Sunna, and inviting people to nothing but them both.
2- Establishing the Sunna: Working -as much as possible- to spread the Sunna in every aspect of life.
3- Increasing the Iman: By concentrating on the purity of hearts, loving Muslims in the sake of Allah, and remembrance (plus being away of any Sufi mistakes).
4- Political Activism: By putting political programs for “Islamising” government in different countries (after realistic studies), and establishing these programs thru the convenient ways which do not conflict with Islam.
5- Stressing Physical Health: By forming sports clubs and committing members to regular exercises.
6- Enriching Scientific Study: By enhancing the knowledge of members and others about Islam. Members with “Shari’a” major have special study programs.
7- Establishing a Sound Economic Infrastructure: By supporting and/or sponsoring any Islamic project and facing its “fiqh” problems. By the way, the ONLY accepted source of money to the Ikhwan is its members’ OWN money [3]. .
8- Fostering Social ties: By maintaining brotherhood links among the members of the Islamic society.

What is noteworthy of the above is that it gives almost no hint of organization, but is rather a potpourri of percepts and goals and principles. Despite the bolded text, it is likely that Muslim Brotherhood funding has come from supporters in Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Holy Land Foundation was apparently established to finance terror.Wikipedia gives an organizational scheme for the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is evidently only derived from a description of organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. From evidence released in the Holy Land foundation trial, it appears that the different groups adopt different methods suited to each country in which they are formed, but with essentially the same goals (see here). The organizational relations between these different groups are unclear.

Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood

The goals of the Muslim brotherhood are set forth in the “home page” of the group:

Main objectives

A huge tree of “sub-goals” branches from these main objectives which are derived from the Quran and the tradition of the prophet (pbuh) [3,4]:

1- Building the Muslim individual: brother or sister with a strong body, high manners, cultured thought, ability to earn, strong faith, correct worship, conscious of time, of benefit to others, organized, and self-struggling character [3].
2- Building the Muslim family: choosing a good wife (husband), educating children Islamicaly, and inviting other families.
3- Building the Muslim society (thru building individuals and families) and addressing the problems of the society realistically. .
4- Building the Muslim state.
- Building the Khilafa (basically a shape of unity between the Islamic states).
6- Mastering the world with Islam.

It should be pointed out that the “home page” notes that the person who prepared it is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore the information may not be authoritative. It cites two sources:

[3] “The Messages of Al-Imam-u-shaheed”, Hassan Al-Banna. [4] “An introduction to the Da’wa of Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimoon”, Saiid Hawwa.

Muslim Brotherhood in North America

 The Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood have also been established in North America since the 1960s. A document published by them explained:

The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. (Source: United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development et al, No. 3:04-CR-240-G, United States District Court for the Northern Division of Texas, Dallas Division, Gov’t exhibit: Government Exhibit 003-0085; 3:04-CR-240-G; U.S. v. HLF, et al. p.21. Cited herere ) .

The above document came to light as evidence in the case of the Holy Land Foundation. Among other institutions, the Ikhwan in the United States founded the Muslim Students Union and the Muslim Students Association, which spread their ideology and apparently engaged in underground activities under the cover of innocent activities such as civil rights groups and charitable foundation.

Moderation in the Muslim Brotherhood

Since about 1970, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt has professed to have become “democratic,” seeking to take power in Egypt through free elections, education and political work.  A splinter group formed or reformed the Gamaa al Islamiya (originally a group founded by Mawdoodi), and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, supposedly recruited “spontaneously” from a loose aggregation of university students and other individuals which continued to support violence. The Gamaa al Islamiya itself supposedly renounced violence in 1997, apparently as a result of a deal struck with the Egyptian government. The group would renounce terror, in return for a massive release of its jailed members.

Though the Muslim Brotherhood party is outlawed, candidates affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood have gained considerable representation (about 20%) in the Egyptian parliament, even though elections are heavily rigged in favor of the governing party. The announced philosophy of action of the “New faction” of Muslim Brotherhood itself at this time is that violent or “democratic” overthrow of an Arab government must be preceded by intensive Islamic education. They also court dialogue with the west, which is opposed by the “old” faction.

There is no agreement as to whether the renunciation of violence by Muslim Brotherhood groups is permanent and sincere or a tactic that was adopted due to exigencies of government repression. It is not clear either if this renunciation is a general renunciation of violence, or whether it limited to taking power in Egypt by democratic means, after which Islam must be spread by violent Jihad.  There is also disagreement about the relation between different offshoots of the brotherhood. There has been, over time, a progressive process in which older groups assume non-violent means either in reality or professedly,  and new groups are formed from members and leaders of the older groups, which are more violent. Thus, the Ikhwan Muslim brotherhood became professedly non-violent in the 1970s, spawning the al Jihad or Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Gama’a Islamiyeh of  the blind Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman. In turn, when the Gama’a Islamiyeh renounced violence in 1997, a part of its members joined other groups to form Al-Qaeda. All these groups apparently believe in imposition of a Sha’aria state and Muslim world dominion as an end goal, and in education toward this goal, but some profess non-violent and democratic means, others are committed to violence against the west and Israel, and others are committed to violence against “non-believing” or “hypocritical” (takfiri) Muslims as well. 

Ami Isseroff

Updated December 17, 2008

References:

 Politics in God’s Name (Al Ahram Weekly, 247, 16-22 November, 1995)

Muslims’ Sheep Mentality

Muslims’ Sheep Mentality Print
Tuesday, 09 March 2010
Humans are living information machines, receiving input from both external sources as well as the body, processing it in some fashion, and producing output: our thoughts and behavior. From the moment of birth, parents, siblings, and others play pivotal parts in supplying the input and influencing how it is processed.

Diffusing the present dangerous confrontation between Islam and the West demands rational, impartial and cool heads to untangle facts from myth, understand the Muslims’ mindset, and redress any grievances on either side.

The word Islam literally means “submission to the will of Allah.”  In that regard, a true Muslim has no choice but to do as the Quran dictates. They are told what to eat, what to drink and what to avoid eating or drinking. In other words, a true Muslim must live like a sheep his entire life.  Muslims are only permitted by Islam to eat the food offered them by their book; in other words, the food outside of the book is forbidden.

[5:1] O you who believe, you shall fulfill your covenants. Permitted for you to eat are the livestock, except those specifically prohibited herein. You shall not permit hunting throughout Hajj pilgrimage. Allah decrees whatever He wills.

[5:10] As for those who disbelieve and reject our revelations, they are the dwellers of Hell.

A Muslim is, first and foremost, an Ummahist—a citizen of international Islam. It does not matter in what country they live or have become a citizen. First and foremost, they are Muslims. In other words, the law of the land means nothing to them, only the words of their holy book. So, when a Muslim takes the Pledge of Allegiance to serve in the United State military, he is either ignorant of the implication of his pledge or is lying willfully. What Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan did when he killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, and hurt 30 others, did not feel any remorse; he only did what was asked of him by his holy book. Like many Muslims, He was programmed from the moment he was born. What seems to be very scary is that we have other Maj. Hasans in our military establishment and also within the civilian community that can snap at any time.  

Ignorance of the law is never a valid reason in a court of law, and lying in the process of applying for a federal job is grounds for denying the application and possibly even more severe consequences. Sadly enough, taqqeyh—lying, or dissimulation—is not only condoned, it is recommended to the Muslims in their scripture. Hence, a Muslim can and would lie without any compunctions, whenever it is expedient.  

[5:77] Say, “O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion beyond the truth, and do not follow the opinions of people who have gone astray, and have misled multitudes of people; they are far astray from the right path.”

[5:78] Condemned are those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel, by the tongue of David and Jesus, the son of Mary. This is because they disobeyed and transgressed.

The Muslim’s mind is imprinted with authoritarianism which starts with the supreme authority, Allah, through his one and only prophet, Muhammad, his Caliphs or Imams, and the high-ranking religious divines all the way down to the village clergy. A dangerous feature of the authoritarian personality is the relative lack of independent thinking. This deficiency makes the person highly amenable to manipulation. Islam, by its rigidly authoritarian make up, robs a Muslim of independent thinking to the extent that the believer blindly adopts it as his infallible system of belief. Hence, the religion of Islam is guilty of conditioning masses of people as easily manipulatable instruments in the hands of authority figures.

To Muslims, the goal is everything. As religious fascism, Islam condones any and all means to achieve its goals. The ultimate objective of Islam is the rule of the entire world under the Islamic Ummah—never mind that these life-in-hand soldiers of Allah disagree with one another regarding the Ummah itself and who is going to reign over it. That’s a “family dispute” that they will resolve by their usual favorite method—brute force. Each Islamic sect believes that it has the Prophet and Allah on its side and it will prevail over the other. For now they have to work diligently to achieve the intermediary goal of defeating all non-believers.

There are countless instances that substantiate Muslims’ “end justifies the means” guiding principle. This policy dates back to Muhammad himself. Muhammad repeatedly made peace covenants with his adversaries, only to violate them as soon as he was in an advantageous position to do so. Betrayal, deception and outright lies are fully condoned in furthering the work of Islam. In the present-day world, the work of Islam is defined by a deeply-entrenched and influential clergy who issue fatwa—rulings—that become directives and laws to the faithful.

One of the greatest subtle, yet important differences between the Muslim’s mindset and that of the people in the West is the extent to which Muslims are fatalistic. There is hardly a statement that a Muslim makes without being conditional—conditional on the will of Allah. (Inshallah) “I shall see you tomorrow, Allah willing,” (Inshallah) “You will make it home, Allah willing,” (Inshallah) “Things will work out, Allah willing,” (Inshallah) and on and on and on. To the Muslim, Allah is on the job—on every job. Allah, with his invisible mighty hand, literally does and runs everything. “Allah’s hand is above all other hands,” adorns every imaginable space in Islamic lands—a telling point about the Muslim’s fatalism and submission to the omnipotent omnipresent hand. If something happens, it is Allah’s will. If it doesn’t, it is Allah’s will. The rank and file Muslim has little will of his own. It absolves him of any and all responsibility. This mentality is in stark contrast with the “take charge” and “can do” mentality characteristic of Americans and others.

People as a group or as individuals are different and none is perfectly healthy psychologically. We all have a loose wheel or two as we travel the bumpy road of life. Yet, most people manage to stay on course most of the time, with perhaps a stop or two at a repair shop of a mental health professional.

Most psychological disorders are exaggerations, deficits or surfeits of the generally accepted norm—whatever the norm may be. When caution, for instance, is practiced past suspicion, then we have paranoia; when reasonable fear is exercised beyond any justification, then there is phobia. The degree and severity of a condition frequently determine the presence or absence of psychopathology.

Muslims share a common Islamic psychological milieu, they are on an Islamic “diet,” whether they live in Islamic lands or in societies predominantly non-Islamic. The psychological condition of any Muslim group or individual is directly dependent on the kind and amount of Islamic diet they consume. The Islamic diet has numerous ingredients—some of which are wholesome, some are dangerously toxic, and some are between the two extremes.

Over the years, the Islamic leaders have found it expedient to feed the masses mainly the toxic ingredients to further their own interests. Individuals and groups, for instance, have used the immense energizing power of hatred to rally the faithful; the cohesive force of polarization to create in-group solidarity; and, the great utility value of blaming others for their real and perceived misfortunes. Jews have been their favorite and handy scapegoats from day one. To this day, as true fascists, like the Nazis, Muslims blame just about everything on the Jews.

Admittedly, the non-Islamic culture is no panacea. It has, however, one outstanding feature that Islamic lacks—it allows for liberty with all its attendants— good, bad, or indifferent. For those who have experienced liberty, no inducement is likely to make them give it up—particularly not the fictional promises of the Islamists that have failed in the past and are doomed to fail even more miserably in the future.

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It has been my contention for a long time that Islam ’causes’ psychotic episodes in Muslims…Their over-all behavior world wide seems to confirm it…

Posted by duh_swami, on 03/11/2010 at 03:39

This is the truth, nothing but the truth. Any rational person, not blinded by any religious or multicultural relativism belief or conviction, will be able to see all these. Most of the democratically elected Western leaders do understand the truth put forward by this article but choose to look the other way because the current democratic structure and social set up does not allow them to admit this truth.That is the reason why our war against terrorism is failing miserably. We will not win this war against terrorism if our Western and free world leaders continue to look the other way and continue to deny this truth. This is a classic case of ostrich head in the sand. The don’t hear, don’t see, don’t speak policy is in play here from the east to the west. In fact, the non elected government like China and Russia is doing better than the west because of their obsolete authority. This is my message to the west, your leader will not be able to take the lead to admit this truth. They are coward, playing to the wind of popularity. It is the people, holding the key to rise up to this occasion. Until the wind of popularity has shifted to this truth, nothing will change. In order to drive the wind of change, we must continue to propagate this truth to both the non- Muslim and Muslim. The masses must rise up to this occasion to tell the leaders of the world that this is not blasphemy, fascism, racism or hurting people’s feeling. By accepting this truth, we are not just to save humanity from the jaw of Islam and reduce terrorism to be a non issue in this world but to save all the great people of Muslim world that have been confused and tormented by their god of Islam. Like Mosad Yousef said, all the Muslim people are great people and they are his brother and sister. He is not against them but their god. The world is giving too much respect to the belief in religion. For religion, the end has always justified the means. No religion are not guilty of this except that the degree of the harm it make to humanity varies, with Islam taking the biggest skew in proportion. With that, Muslim themselves suffers the most from it. I am calling to all peace loving people of the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim, put a side your belief and your up bringing and your ego for your culture for a moment and think rationally. Give yourself a new opportunity to be rational for the sake of your present iives and your children future lives. Your parent lives, in the past is no longer relevant here. I believe, your ancestor at one point of the time were not affiliate to any of these religions. They will be very happy when you make the right decision to move the world towards a paradise. A movement must begin to tell the truth instead of ‘nice to hear’, to as many people as possible. This movement must slowly break into the mainstream until, all western leaders and major western media will not feel uncomfortable to talk about it and print them. Moderate Muslim and non Muslim will be able to discuss this openly without violent demonstration in the streets. Geert Wilder has taken the lead in doing this and finding many acceptance in Netherlands. He is our hero. We must support him forcefully and keep this momentum going and grow it into the goal that I just laid out. Many Muslims will rejoice once they shake out their ego and long hold confusion in their belief and surfer from it like Wafa Sultan, Mosad Yousf, MA Khan and Ali Sina and many more. This ex Muslim hold the key in convincing the Muslim to achieve this. The ex Muslim must shows the Muslim how to let go their long held belief, culture and ego and go on to built a totally new and beautiful world for themselves. This will be the second major renaissance the world will come to recognized.

Muslim Human Rights–A Record Incompatible with the Civilized World- Very long but Very Important

Human Rights
Eli E. Hertz

 

A Record Incompatible with the Civilized World


Palestinian children participate in lynching, parading and hanging of a ‘brother’

“Violence does not and cannot exist by itself; it is invariably intertwined with the lie.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Arab countries attack Israel on trumped-up charges of human rights violations to cover up their own systemic human rights violations. Not only does the Arab world ignore the rule of international human rights law, many of its violations – from sanctioning honor killings of women to cross-amputations for criminals – are enshrined in the legal system of most Muslim countries. Palestinian self-rule is no different.1


Arab Nations’ Actions Fail to Put Human Rights Commitments Into Practice

In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was the first document considered to hold universal principles of behavior that was agreed upon by an international body. It recognized the fundamental rights of every person to life, liberty, and security; to freedom of speech, religion, and education; and to the right of freedom from torture and degrading treatment. Forty-five years later at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, 171 countries reiterated the universality, indivisibility, and interdependence of human rights.

Most Arab countries have constitutions that champion human rights on paper. They also have signed a number of joint declarations of high principles: The 1981 Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the Islamic Council,2 the 1994 draft of the Arab Charter on Human Rights approved by the Arab League,3 the 1999 Casablanca Declaration that purported to establish an Arab Human Rights Movement,4 and the 1999 Beirut Declaration touted as the First Arab Conference on Justice.5 Yet despite the documents’ lofty principles, the record shows the Arab world is one of the worst offenders in the field of human rights.

In its 2001 report, Amnesty International found:

“[g]ross human rights violations took place throughout much of the Middle East and North Africa. They ranged from extra judicial executions to widespread use of torture and unfair trials, harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders. Freedom of expression and association continued to be curtailed; the climate of impunity remained and the victims were still awaiting steps to bring those responsible for past human rights violations to justice.”6

In Algeria, for instance, the report cites that more than 2,500 people were killed in 2001 in “individual attacks, massacres, bomb explosions and armed confrontations, and hundreds of civilians killed by armed groups.”

In Iraq, dozens of women accused of prostitution were beheaded without any judicial process, as was a woman obstetrician who actually was silenced for being critical of corruption in the health system. Iran reported 75 executions, and Saudi Arabia recorded 34 amputations as punishment.

By contrast, most of Amnesty’s report on Israel focused on unwarranted or “excessive use of force” that led to casualties among Palestinians in response to “political violence.” It also criticized Israel for arrest, detention, and trial procedures against Palestinians.

Despite Amnesty’s criticism of Israel, what is most revealing is how the Arab world responds not to its own human rights violations, but to Israel’s. Arab leaders go out of their way to exaggerate and spread lies about Israel’s behavior, not only to demonize Israel, but also to create a smoke screen that covers up Arab nations’ own deplorable human rights record.

It is a profound irony that the Arab world, which charges Israel with “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide,” destroyed once-thriving Jewish communities in Arab lands, which today are all but void of Jews. Even in areas of the West Bank and Gaza administered by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Jews who visit there put their lives in jeopardy.7 That picture contrasts sharply from the status of the more than one million Israeli Arabs who enjoy full citizenship and human rights, and can visit and work in Jewish cities unmolested. Nevertheless, Arab and Palestinian charges against Israel persist. Among them are claims that Israeli security procedures such as roadblocks, closures, and searches established to fight terrorism purposely humiliate Palestinians.

The purpose of the smear campaign is not only to criminalize the State of Israel and the Jewish people, but also to attract additional sympathizers from the Western world. Yet those fallacious and often rabidly antisemitic diatribes are also designed to deflect attention away from the deeds of the accusers, and serve to protect genuine abusers of human rights both in the Arab world and elsewhere. Tit-for-tat arrangements among genuinely guilty nations have turned the UN’s human rights apparatus into what one critic labeled “an abusers’ caucus.”8

In fact, independent monitoring bodies in the West say that Israel is the only genuine democracy in the Middle East with separation of powers, due process, and respect for minority rights. And it is the only country in the North Africa and West Asia region that was ranked free in a survey of religious freedom conducted by the Center for Religious Freedom.9


Arab Violations: A Daily Affair

By contrast, human rights violations throughout the Arab world are a daily affair, using any objective yardstick.

The absence of basic human rights is reflected not only in the actions of regimes, but also in their social values and attitudes, which are rife with intolerance for the Other. The Arab Middle East suffers from intolerance toward non-Muslims, suppression of ethnic minorities, gross gender bias, and discrimination and persecution of people who are different in virtually every realm of life – from political views to sexual orientation.

Incredibly, suppression of freedom of expression can extend even to the reporting of public opinion. Two Iranian pollsters were sentenced to eight – and nine – year prison terms after their survey found strong public support for contact with the United States. Authorities accused the two of selling secrets to groups linked to the CIA. Among the groups cited was the Gallup organization, which had paid for the poll to find out opinions of people in the Islamic world toward America after the September 11th attacks.10

Possibly the greatest threat from outside the Arab world, and perhaps rightly so, is the Internet. That is why many Arab nations have employed methods for restricting the flow of information from the Web.11 Proxy servers filter access to content in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the Saudi government-controlled server banned at least 400,000 Websites, including sites about religion, politics, women, health, pop culture and more, a Harvard study found.12 Many Arab governments read their citizens’ e-mail, just as they tap phones and restrict free speech. One Bahraini spent over a year in jail for e-mailing allegedly political information to dissidents abroad. In Jordan, taxation and monthly Internet fees are priced so high – $70 a month for moderate usage – that only an estimated 20,000 Jordanians out of five million could afford access to the Web in 1999. By comparison, among Israel’s 6.4 million residents, 600,000 subscribed to Internet providers in 1999, and moderate usage ran an affordable $22 a month.13 Astoundingly, out of 880,000 subscribers in the entire Middle East in May 1999, more than 600,000 were from Israel, where no restrictions on Internet usage exist.14 Israel’s Business Arena reported in November 2001 that there were 1.93 million people with Internet access in Israel. The number of active home Internet users totaled 956,000.15

Other sharp splits over human rights divide Israel from its neighbors. One such realm centers on homosexuality, where the lives of Palestinian gays are so jeopardized that some have fled to Israel,16 where tolerance is the law of the land, where workplace discrimination is prohibited, where single-sex couples are eligible for spousal benefits and pensions in the civil service, and declared homosexuals serve in the army and participate in all aspects of public life.17


Endangered Human Rights Groups

 

Maybe it’s not so surprising given the conditions in most Arab nations, but human rights monitoring organizations in the Middle East also face tremendous danger.

If anything, the state of human rights in the Arab world is deteriorating, according to the Arab Commission for Human Rights,18 an umbrella group established in 1998 to try to unify human rights organizations in the region. The Commission reported that:

“It is a universally acknowledged fact that Arab countries are increasingly witnessing marked drawbacks in human rights and fundamental freedoms since the [1991] Gulf War. … The relationship between Arab governments and their citizens were becoming increasingly suppressive… While legal and operational situations of human rights advocates in at least eight Arab countries have certainly deteriorated during the 1990s, little or no noticeable achievements were made by other human rights advocates in many other Arab countries.”

Moreover, the report cited the “unbalanced growth of the human rights movement” in the Arab world. Some countries have a large number of organizations, some none. In fact, only two-thirds of the 15 human rights advocates on the commission’s board can afford to live in the country they represent, as many on-site organizations face harassment. In Egypt, for instance, a new law allowing the government to dissolve associations and non-governmental organizations (or NGOs) by administrative decree was used to harass the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights, and its director was subjected to legal harassment after he released a report on a massacre of 21 Copt Christians in January 2000.19

In the Palestinian Authority, the independent Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group has been harassed, and its head, Bassam Eid, arrested and threatened numerous times.20 Even the official Palestinian Commission for Human Rights, which the Palestinian Authority established, has been hounded by the very governmental body that established it. That should come as no surprise, given the status of human rights within the areas governed by the PA. Hearings in “‘moonlight courts’, as they function mostly in the night and hearings before them rarely last for more than a few minutes, while complaints of torture, [people] ‘disappearings’ for days or weeks before the families were told of the ‘disappeared’s’ whereabouts, abound and remain ignored” wrote Eugene Cotran, a member of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights and a British circuit judge, in 1996 in the Beirut-based Daily Star. Cotran described how the PA first simply ignored the findings of the human rights commission, then under the leadership of Hanan Ashrawi. When the commission’s criticism of the PA’s human rights violations continued, the PA arrested and jailed Ashrawi’s successor, Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, in May 1996 following “highly critical remarks [about the PA] … in an interview.” El-Sarraj was tortured and kept in solitary confinement for 17 days, despite international pleas for his release. Finally, he was then brought before a court on false charges which were later dismissed for lack of evidence.21 Average Palestinians in the street, lacking a chorus of protesters, fare far worse.


Nearly 60 Years After Its Establishment, Israel Remains the Only Nation in the Middle East Whose Laws and Mainstream Social Values are Committed to Upholding Human Rights

 

Israel is not perfect. Its Supreme Court has reprimanded the government and security services for overstepping their prerogatives. Even when controversial, the Court’s rulings are honored, such as when the Bench ordered the government to free Lebanese nationals being held as hostages as a quid pro quo for the release of Israelis held in Lebanon.22

As in the rest of the free world, numerous Israeli human rights organizations operate freely and criticize their own government without fear of punishment. Among them are the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, established in 1972; B’Tselem (from the Biblical phrase “in the image [of God]”), established in 1989 to monitor Israeli human rights on the West Bank and Gaza; and Kav La-Oved (“Lifeline to the Worker”), dedicated to protecting the rights of foreign workers in Israel. A host of groups organized by Israeli Arabs are dedicated to minority rights issues, as well as specialty groups such as the Israeli chapter of Physicians for Human Rights and Rabbis for Human Rights, both of whom focus on Palestinian human rights. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other international organizations also operate freely in Israel.

Of all the human rights violations, none threaten the Middle East, and particularly Israelis, more than suicide bombings. Ironically, many Arab human rights organizations invest time and energy defending or mitigating such acts, despite numerous abuses on their own turf that deserve their attention. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, for example, took pains to issue a special rebuttal to the 2002 report of Human Rights Watch, which labeled suicide bombings against Israelis as a “crime against humanity.” The Egyptian group instead criticized the report for what it said was a failure to put the suicide bombings into proper context (i.e., ‘the occupation’), saying that the UN had ruled on “the fundamental rights of colonized people to struggle against their occupiers, by all means at their disposal.” In the wake of a series of horrific bombings, including the Park Hotel Passover Seder massacre in 2002 and other attacks that left 60 persons dead, the head of the Palestinian Human Rights Commission, psychiatrist Dr. Eyad El Sarraj, attempted to justify such acts rather than denounce them, suggesting Israel triggered these responses by “a long history of humiliation.”23


Palestinian Breaches of Human Rights Affect Almost all Institutions and All Levels of Their Community

 

Ironically, under Israeli rule, Palestinians enjoyed more respect for their human rights than after the establishment of Palestinian self-government.24

Under Palestinian rule, for example, those who ran newspapers – once the freest in the Arab world while under Israeli administration – began to face intimidation, arrest, closure, and confiscation of editions critical of the Palestinian government. Bookstores, too, were ordered to remove critical volumes. Judges were fired for decisions that Palestinian leadership did not like, and citizens were detained for months and often tortured, without charge or the benefit of counsel. Thirty Palestinians died in custody between Arafat’s arrival in July 1994 and May 2002.25

In addition, Palestinian business owners have been subject to extortion, literally plucked off the streets, held against their will, and tortured by PA security personnel on trumped-up charges of owing back taxes, according to the Jerusalem Post in a September 1998 investigation. Thirty-six Palestinians who spoke to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG) said they had paid as much as 250,000 NIS ($65,155) to win their release, the Post reported; others had been jailed for as long as two years. Yet not one cent of an estimated 7 million NIS ($1.8 million) collected under the guise of taxes was transferred to the PA Finance Ministry. Meanwhile, a network of Mafia-style ‘protection’ groups operates freely in every major Palestinian city, extorting huge fees from innocent victims. Such lawlessness should not come as a surprise, given the Palestinian Authority’s prevalent misuse of power at all levels of society, from firing, intimidating and/or arresting professionals who criticize the regime to banning a women’s protest march that called for improved safety standards following a Hebron factory fire in which 14 female employees died.26


The Abuse of Arab Women’s Rights

 

Arab abrogation of women’s rights goes further than violating their freedom to organize and protest. It is endemic not only in Palestinian society, but also in the Arab world in general, where Arab women are legally treated unequally, both in personal matters and in the workplace.

Unequal status stems from two factors: the hegemony of Islamic law and the impact of Arab paternalism.27 But regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that Arab women suffer far greater than women nearly anywhere else in the world, lagging behind other women not only in North America, Oceania, and Europe, but also in Latin America, and South and East Asia, the Arab Human Development report28 shows. The only place women are slightly worse off is sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN’s Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). In 2000, half of all Arab women still could not read and write, and the maternal mortality rate was double that of Latin America and the Caribbean, and four times that of East Asia.

Few women work outside their homes, even in modern-leaning countries such as Jordan, where 78 percent of Jordanian women are housewives, a 1988 survey found.29 Saudi Arabian law limits the jobs available to women to medicine, education, and banking.30 Iranian women are forbidden to study veterinary medicine and engineering – deemed to be male occupations.31 Under the Palestinian Authority, the small number of working women stems not only from a lack of employment, but from a lethal form of harassment: Women working outside the home have been murdered after being accused of collaborating with Israel or defaming their family honor. Who are the so-called collaborators? One was a seamstress, another a cleaning woman; Others included five nurses, according to the Hebrew daily Haaretz.32 One of the nurses, Aisha Abu Shawish, the head nurse and department head at Nasr Hospital, was axed to death in her home, leading many female nurses to resign.

Marginalization and disempowerment of women in Arab countries is significant.

The UN’s Human Development Project placed the onus for the region’s backwardness largely on its treatment of women, noting “the Arab world is largely depriving itself of the creativity and productivity of half its citizens.”33

And, if anything, their status is not about to improve soon, given a conservative backlash in recent decades against gains made under colonial rule or under previous regimes that sought to Westernize their countries.34 After the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, for instance, veiling became mandatory, on risk of public flogging with 76 lashes or jail; the minimum age women could marry was reduced from 15 to 9; female judges were thrown off the bench; and separate spheres of justice for men and women were established. In Algeria since 1984, women (no matter what their age) have lost the right to marry without consent of a male family member; polygamy and oral divorce (where men need only say ‘I divorce you’ three times and avoid due process) was reinstated; and in 1989 women’s right to vote was compromised by allowing male family heads to vote for their entire families.

Women’s rights are so ignored that small changes often are perceived as progress. In Egypt, men who wanted to escape punishment for rape or kidnapping women were allowed to marry their victims until a new law adopted in 1999 banned that option.35 Another law, adopted in 2000, ended Egyptian men’s unilateral right to divorce their wives. It was considered a human rights breakthrough when the Egyptian Supreme Court upheld the new law, which was challenged as a conflict with Islamic Sharia law. And although Egyptian women now have the right to end marriages by seeking court orders, the El Khole amendment has one condition: a woman must return all money her husband has given her before a divorce is granted.36

Such conditions may explain why 8 of 21 Arab nations have neither signed nor ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,37 with most of those who signed the document appending reservations. Nations who do not sign the Convention can continue to keep Arab girls from receiving an elementary education. They can prevent women from choosing professional careers. And they can dictate their behavior in public.38

Taken to an extreme, such policies can lead to horrific consequences, as they did in Saudi Arabia on Monday, March 11 2002. A fire at a girls’ middle school in Mecca killed 15 students because the religious police, called the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or the mutawwa’in in Arabic, blocked rescue efforts. Why? Because the fleeing students were not wearing their obligatory long black cloaks and head coverings required in public.

As offenders of human rights go, Saudi Arabia is considered one of the worst in the Arab world, not allowing women to obtain drivers’ licenses and requiring consent of one’s father, brother or uncle before getting married. Moreover, Saudi women have no legal redress for sexual harassment or abuse.39

In 1990, when a group of 47 highly educated Saudi women took to the roads in a one-time protest drive to challenge the law forbidding women to drive, the religious police branded them as “whores.” They received death threats, were fired from their jobs and had their passports revoked, and their husbands’ jobs were put in jeopardy.40

Human rights violations stem not only from the absence of rule of law in the Arab world; many violations result from laws themselves that call for cruel forms of corporal punishment and tolerance for those who murder women.

The most widespread breach of human rights anchored in Arabic law are so-called honor killings. It is a practice endemic to both liberal and conservative societies in the Middle East, where murderers, motivated by desire to protect their families’ honor, enjoy special legal status in all Arab countries. In most – Syria, Kuwait, Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, and in the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority – the laws that exempt perpetrators and/or mitigate punishment for honor crimes are part of each government’s civil code. In Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the laws are based directly on Sharia, or Islamic law.41

Critics charge that honor killings “are sanctioned by the educated elite, who pass laws that enable murderers to get off with little or no punishment.”42

How widespread are honor killings? At least several thousand Arab women a year are victims of honor killings, according to estimates. Countless cases of honor killings are reported as suicides or accidents. “Women are executed in their homes, in open fields, and occasionally in public, sometimes before crowds of cheering onlookers,” writes anthropologist and investigative journalist James Emery in the May 2003 edition of The World & I magazine, in an article devoted to honor killings among Palestinians on the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan.43 Sparked not only by the discovery of extramarital relations or out-of-wedlock pregnancies, honor killings are committed for even minor infringements of modesty such as flirting.44 Perhaps the most tragic case concerned a four-year-old Palestinian girl raped by a man in his mid-twenties; the preschooler’s family abandoned her, hoping she would bleed to death because they believed she had sullied their honor.45

Even when male relatives kill their sisters, nieces, wives, mothers, or daughters to protect their family honor, the laws protect the perpetrators.46 Jordan, for instance, records at least 25 such murders a year, although those numbers are believed to be only the tip of the iceberg.47

Arab leaders who have attempted to end such legal sanctions have met with staunch opposition. After King Hussein spoke out against the practice in 1997 – the first Arab leader to do so – his successor, King Abdullah II, followed through with a proposal in 1999 that would have officially abolished honor killings. In response, 5,000 Islamic activists took to the streets in protest, including the King’s own brother, Ali. Claiming the King’s plan was tantamount to “legalizing obscenity and encouraging women to act immorally,”48 the Jordanian parliament rejected the legislation in 2000 after three minutes of debate.49 A year later the Jordanian law was amended to treat honor killings as other murders, yet a loophole remains.50 The Jordanian penal code – which perpetrators of such crimes really rely on51 – guarantees lighter sentences of no more than a year in jail for male killers of close female relatives who have committed “an act which is illicit in the eyes of the perpetrator.” Jordanian judges of such cases also remain sympathetic to those found guilty, especially since 75 percent of the cases involve brothers, often teenagers, who are treated as minors.52 In Egypt, honor killings committed by husbands whose wives commit adultery are deemed misdemeanors; however, when the reverse takes place, women are severely punished.53

The Palestinian Authority, like Jordan, also treats honor killings leniently, and the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group reports widespread incidents throughout Palestinian society.54 Although Palestinian police recorded only 38 cases between 1996 and 1999, anthropologist Emery’s informants told him “a woman beaten, burned, strangled, shot or stabbed to death is often ruled a suicide even when there are multiple wounds,” and officials are often bribed to go along. One UN-funded study (by the Palestinian-based Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling) found that 75 percent of female deaths from 1996-1998 were suspiciously ascribed to ‘fate.’55 “As a whole, the [Palestinian] judicial system conspires against victims,” including indications that families pressure forensic experts to alter their findings, the group charged.

Beyond the laws which recognize honor killings as part of Arab culture, Arab women accused of staining their families’ honor are frequently jailed to protect them from their families. At least 50 women a year are imprisoned in Jordan on honor-related cases, detention ranging from several months to several years. Arab laws that ignore human rights, however, are not limited to women. Legally sanctioned forms of cruel and unusual punishment under the aegis of extreme Islamic Sharia law include stoning individuals to death for adultery, beheading criminals with a sword, and amputation for theft, including cross-amputations of a right arm and a left leg that leave offenders horribly disabled for life.56 Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world at two a week, according to Amnesty International. In 1999, half the executions were of foreign nationals from developing countries,57 whose governments, unlike Western nations, rarely possess the interest or clout to intervene with Saudi authorities.


Regimes in the Middle East Not Only Intimidate Their Citizenry; They Use Terror Tactics Against Dissidents and Rivals

 

After American and British troops in April 2003 removed Iraq’s Ba’ath regime by force, 3,000 skeletons were uncovered in a mass grave in central Iraq, believed to be the victims of a 1991 Shi’ite revolt against Saddam Hussein’s regime. An estimated 200,000 Iraqis disappeared in the course of Hussein’s 24-year rule, according to Human Rights Watch.58 In 1988, during the Iran-Iraq war, 5,000 men, women, and children were killed when Iraq bombed its own Kurdish citizens with mustard gas and nerve agents in the village of Halabja. The attack was just “one event in a deliberate large-scale campaign to kill and displace the predominantly Kurdish inhabitants of northern Iraq … resulting in the deaths of between 50,000-100,000 persons, many of them women and children,” according to the U.S. State Department.59

In Lebanon’s 16-year civil war (1975-1991), more than 100,000 Lebanese, many of them civilians, lost their lives.60 The late Syrian leader Hafez Assad dealt swiftly to quell his opponents following several assassination attempts, some of which originated in the town of Hama. Consequently, Assad and his brother Rifat surrounded the town, leveled it with artillery and tank fire, and to ensure no survivors remained, employed poison gas leaving an estimated 20,000 Syrians dead.61

The first use of chemical weapons in the Middle East came between 1963 and 1967 when Egypt used phosgene and mustard aerial bombs in a civil war in Yemen, killing an estimated 1,400 persons.62

The Palestinian Authority uses the machinery of government to oppress its people.

Palestinians are plagued by a special brand of terrorism and fratricide: vigilante rule. Such has been the pattern over a dozen security organizations established by the PA. Vigilantism characterized the Intifada in 1987-93 and before that, the 1936-39 Arab revolt.63

When a Palestinian police force was first envisioned, Israeli officials expected the force would number 3,000-4,000. At Oslo, a force of 12,000 was agreed upon. Then, believing a larger force would fight terrorism, it increased to 30,000 after the September 1995 interim agreement (“Oslo II”) was signed. In the end, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, the PA has built a police state with over 40,000 armed security personnel for a population of 2.5 million inhabitants. That is a ratio of 16 police to 1,000 civilians inside the Palestinian Authority, compared to the ratio in Europe of 4-6 police to 1,000 civilians and a ratio of 2.4 to 1,000 in the United States.64

In terms of human rights, however, the PA’s security wings have not just turned into a small army with weapons poised against Israelis, but have become a menace to their own people. Rather than taking advantage of self-rule to establish and maintain law and order, the PA simply used the machinery of self-government to terrorize Palestinians, and at times, literally, get away with highway robbery, aggravated assault, and even murder.

As a result, honor killings of Palestinian women have risen under the PA, paralleling other forms of vigilante justice carried out against a backdrop of general lawlessness.

The three-year Arab Revolt (1936-39) directed against British rule and Zionist aspirations, marked the first time Arabs in Palestine were largely free of the control of a central Western-style administration and able to organize on their own. Local rebel bands formed along family, clan, and village lines, yet coordination never rose to a regional or national scope. Instead, the revolt was “spontaneous … unsystematic, undisciplined, and [an] unstable insurgency, often prone to anarchic lapses,”65 writes Kenneth Stein, a scholar of the Mandate period. Marked by guerrilla warfare directed at British and Jewish interests, the revolt was also rife with abductions and killings of village heads who had sold land to Jews, and other so-called collaborators who refused to honor an economic boycott against Jews and the British. Ultimately, the Arab Revolt turned into a series of retributions against Arabs considered to be traitors. In other cases, collaboration charges served as a cover for settling old personal vendettas,66 says Arizona University Historian Professor Charles Smith. In all, fellow Arabs killed 494 Arabs, making up approximately 16 percent of all Palestinians killed during the Arab Revolt.67 They included mayors, affiliated officials, sheikhs, village heads (mukhtars), rival notables, and even prominent Muslim religious figures.68

“… As in Ireland in the worse days after the War or in Bengal, intimidation at the point of a revolver has become a not infrequent feature of Arab politics. Attacks by Arabs on Jews unhappily, are no new thing. The novelty in the present situation is attacks by Arabs on Arabs. For an Arab to be suspected of a lukewarm adherence to the nationalist cause is to invite a visit from a body of ‘gunmen.’”
From the Palestine Royal Commission report presented by the [British] Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by Command of His Majesty in July, 1937.

The revolt which began in 1936 included demonstrations, a general strike, and a boycott which decimated the local Arab economy, with scores of Arab businesses shut down and 40,000 middle and upper-class Palestinians fleeing to neighboring countries.69 Some 50 years later, a similar pattern of fratricide repeated itself, notwithstanding quantum leaps forward in terms of urbanization and social organization, improvements in standard of living, health, education and development of a collective sense of peoplehood or political awareness that embraced all levels of Palestinian society. Despite the tightly organized nature of the 1987 Intifada, whose local and national leadership enjoyed a modern communications network, Palestinians again failed the test of statesmanship. They had built a network of local committees that managed local affairs and local resistance that transcended deep cleavages of class, clan, and geography. Yet a shared Palestinian identity based on a common enemy did not last. Self-government again regressed to a state of street-gang rule and fratricide.

“With the beginning of the Uprising, the whole system of law and order collapsed … and much of Palestinian society experienced vigilante justice,” wrote Bassam Eid of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.70 Palestinian street gangs of masked men punished women suspected of immodest behavior, drug dealers, informers who collaborated with Israel, and property owners who sold land to Jews, Eid wrote.

The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group reported:

“In the course of pursuing collaborators, suspects caught by masked men were invariably tortured and killed. In the midst of this vigilantism, many innocent people – both women and men – were mutilated or killed as well, merely upon the suspicion or rumor of collaboration or as a result of a personal grudge or vendetta. This was a time of terror in the occupied territories, where the most basic guarantees of the rule of law were completely ignored.”

Palestinian radicals killed at least 800 of their own brethren suspect of providing Israel with intelligence,71 according to Professor Bard O’Neill of the National War College and an expert on terrorism. The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group says that the number of Palestinians killed by Palestinians was equal to the number killed by Israelis.72

Motivations were mixed. ‘Palestinian collaborators’ killed included those who dared to work in Israel or maintain commercial or social ties with Israelis, not just intelligence gatherers. In 1992 alone, intra-Palestinian violence resulted in 200 deaths, most tied to rivalry between Fatah and Hamas; such killings waned in 1993 after the Oslo Accords were signed and a tacit truce, or hudna, was reached between the sides. That year, intra-Palestinian killings dropped to 83. Like the Arab Revolt that preceded it, the 1987 Intifada also devastated the local Arab economy, wiping out most standard-of-living gains Palestinians had enjoyed in the first decade of Israeli rule. From 1988-1991, the standard of living dropped 10 percent per year, according to Tel Aviv University economist Assaf Razin. The economy took another hit when 400,000 Palestinian guest workers in Kuwait were expelled after the 1991 Gulf War for siding with Saddam Hussein. That brought a sharp drop in money being sent home to families in the West Bank and Gaza, and it also cut funding to the PLO.73 In the end, the pattern remains the same, despite differences in conditions among the Arab Revolt, the 1987 Intifada and Palestinian violence today.74 Instead of fighting with chains, iron bars, clubs, and Molotov cocktails,75 today’s fratricide among Palestinians is being played out with the machinery of government, firearms, and sending children into battle, which began in the 1987 Intifada. The local bands of the 1930s and gangs of the late 1980s have been replaced by municipal and regional warlords, and organized terror and guerrilla tactics.76

As in the past revolts, the number of intra-Palestinian killings has again risen sharply, mostly due to executions in the streets. Those include assassinations of political rivals, extra judicial killings by security forces and unidentified or masked assailants, and blood feuds. In 1995, only two such killings were reported. The next year, ten were killed in such executions; 18 in 1999, 26 in 2000 and 36 in 2001. In the first seven months of 2002, 36 Palestinians were killed by fellow Palestinians, almost all in gang war-style executions, felled by a rain of bullets in the back, or a single bullet to the head by masked gunmen or members of PA security services,77 according to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. The list of such murders does not include countless other Palestinians killed with knives, short hoses, and clubs.

The arrival of Arafat and his wing of the PLO from Tunis only worsened tribal blood feuds, with thousands of members of the security forces newly armed and prepared to use their weapons in private vendettas tied to tribal loyalty.

In one landmark case, members of the Abu Sultan clan murdered two members of the Khalidi clan. That led the Palestinian Authority to hastily execute two brothers from the Abu Sultan clan after a quick trial intended to restore law and order and prevent a blood feud. All four fatalities were members of the PA security forces.78

“There is always someone killing someone else, in the process of taking revenge for a previous killing, seemingly without end,” wrote Gaza psychiatrist and human rights activist Eyad El Sarraj in the Jerusalem Report in 1998.79 “Even more troubling is the fact that since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994, the number of killings has multiplied.” Among the cases cited: a teacher shot in the head as a suspected spy in front of his pupils.

El Sarraj’s observation points to the belief that Palestinian peoplehood lacks true substance, and that it only surfaces when non-Muslim administrations are in charge. Yet left to self-rule, Palestinian peoplehood quickly dissipates, digressing into deep cleavages and violent tribal rivalries). Writes El Sarraj:

“In Palestinian society today, tribal identity seems to be reemerging, as opposed to the latter years of the occupation when we defined ourselves first and foremost as Palestinians. As the internal political map is redrawn, people are regrouping into their tribal affiliations. And even political groups like Fatah are behaving today like tribes.”

With a sense of despair, he notes:

“… our tradition of revenge and our culture of violence are deep-rooted.”

The same pattern of economic self-destruction is repeating itself in the wake of self-rule under the Palestinian Authority, only it is coupled by corruption and misuse of public funds along with unemployment. And again, as during the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 (and 1948 when Arabs responded with violence after the State of Israel was declared), educated and well-to-do Palestinians are quietly packing their bags and emigrating to escape renewed political violence and economic stagnation.

With combatants using residential neighborhoods as a haven to attack Israelis and build bombs, many fear becoming victims of collateral damage during Israeli incursions. Moreover, Muslim parents fear that their children will be tempted or enticed to become suicide bombers.

Despite self-rule, Palestinians also fear the damaging effects of a PA-controlled economy.

After two years of self-rule in 1996, Palestinians in PA-run areas suffered a 30 percent decline in their standard of living, Israeli experts estimate. By early 2002, after Palestinian leaders opted for more violence, the Palestinians’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plummeted by 70 percent, and the PA’s collective net worth dropped by an estimated 60 percent due to corruption, loss of productivity, and a loss of foreign aid.

Before the 1987 Intifada, 200,000 Palestinians worked in Israel; in 1992, after four years of disturbances, that number dropped to 120,000.80 “The [1987] Intifada … had a depressing effect on the Palestinian economy,” Eliyahu Kanovsky, an economist at Bar-Ilan University testified at a 1997 joint U.S. Congressional Economic Committee hearing on the lack of a peace dividend.

“The frequent closures following terrorist attacks disrupted trade and other economic relations between Israelis and Palestinians and accelerated Israel’s replacement of Palestinians by laborers from a number of Eastern European, Asian and African countries.”81

The chilling effect was not only due to disruptions in Palestinian work attendance, but also because employers grew concerned for their personal safety: 105 Israelis and 11 foreign nationals82 were killed between 1987-1993 during the Intifada, with many Jewish employers being killed by their Palestinian employees. Other Jewish employers spotted their workers in TV footage among celebrants of terrorist attacks. One employer identified his former Palestinian employee as one of the prime perpetrators of the Ramallah lynching of two Israeli reservists who merely took a wrong turn.83 By September 2000 before the outbreak of Arafat’s war, 60,000 Palestinians worked in Israel.84 By December 2001, only 39,000 still worked there.85 That drop stemmed from growing terrorist attacks on both sides of the Green Line. In response, the Israeli government invalidated all work permits for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and the issuance of new permits were weighed on an individual basis and by demand. One of the most unforgettable cases86 that soured Israelis on hiring Palestinians came when a 34-year old Palestinian from Gaza, employed by an Israeli bus company, plowed the bus he was driving into a crowd on a main thoroughfare leading into Tel Aviv, killing eight Israelis and injuring 23 in February 2001. He did so after dropping off a busload of Gaza workers on their way to their day jobs in Israel. Today only about 20,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza have permits to enter Israel to hold day jobs.87

Palestinians blame Israel for their economic shambles. They see nothing illogical in their demands to work in Israel while attacks on Israelis continue, attacks which enjoy broad Palestinian support.88 Instead, they consider the fact that few Israelis will hire them as another form of oppression and what they term “Zionist racism.”


Emigration

 

One of the least discussed results of Palestinian human rights violations is the growing exodus of Palestinians themselves from the territories, fed up with the violence and corruption. Although no Palestinian statisticians published data on this subject, and the Palestinian media has imposed a voluntary blackout on the phenomenon, more than a quarter of Palestinians say they are considering permanent emigration, according to the Hebrew daily Haaretz.89 Even six years into Palestinian self-rule, and a year before the Terror War (‘al-Aqsa Intifada,’) a 1999 public opinion survey revealed deep dissatisfaction: 60 percent of Palestinians criticized the lack of freedom of expression; 62 percent believed that Arafat’s administration was corrupt; and 27 percent said they were considering emigration. The number of young, educated people considering emigrating was double the average, said Dr. Khalil Shikaki, adding: “People wanted a democratic society, they wanted work and they didn’t get what they wanted.” A 2001 survey of Palestinian Christians from Beir Sahour, a Christian village just outside Jerusalem (which has been used by terrorists as a base for attacking Jewish Jerusalemites), indicated that more than half of them were also considering emigration. The survey was conducted by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Visa requests also have increased at numerous Western embassies, although obtaining such visas has become more difficult since September 11th. The Australian embassy – an untraditional destination for Arabs – was inundated by 2,004 immigrant visa requests between July 2000 and July 2001, compared to an average of 130 in previous years. Those leaving, according to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, are young and educated, and unwilling to put up with human rights violations under Palestinians self-rule. Similarly, 90 percent of the Palestinians applying for visas to Canada are engineers and pharmacists. As in times past, Palestinian society’s penchant for self-destructive behavior is boomeranging, motivating the best and the brightest to leave, while Palestinians as a whole blame Israel (again) for the collapse of their society and their economy.

Jonathan Schanzer wrote in the Middle East Quarterly, about the lesson of three Palestinian uprisings:

“Like the Arab Revolt and the first Intifada … the current Intifada also has the odor of a defeat.… The violence has again destroyed the Palestinian economy, while radicalism, fratricide and internal squabbles continue to erode society at an alarming rate…. As a direct result of the intra-Palestinian violence that accompanies these uprisings, the Palestinians are arguably no more prepared for statehood today than they were in 1936. They are simply more destitute, more fragmented, and more radical.”90


The PA Cynically and Consciously Violates the Most Basic Human Right – the ‘Right to Life and Security of Person’ in Regard to Its Own Children – in Violation of a May 2000 Amendment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

 

During the 1987 Intifada, Palestinians “sent mere children to fight grown-up struggles … in a ‘small-arms war.’”91 It may have proved a successful tactic as military strategies go, but on a human scale, it left Palestinian children as victims by their elders for political gain. Such victimization has escalated in the PA’s guerrilla war with Israel that was launched in September 2000. Children are purposefully and strategically positioned between Palestinian combatants and their Israeli targets, used as human shields at the front of violent clashes, exploited as couriers for explosives, and openly encouraged to forfeit their lives as direct combatants and suicide bombers. Political pedophiles literally entice children to kill themselves,92 a tactic the Palestinians have opted for despite the UN’s specific ban on such measures as a clear human rights violation.

The UN General Assembly added that ban to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in May 2000 which went into effect in 2002.93 The protocol absolutely and unconditionally prohibits the involvement of children in armed conflict. It specifically forbids the recruitment of children into regular armed forces – an all-too-widespread global phenomenon94 – but also extends the prohibition in Article 4 of the protocol, stating unequivocally that “armed groups … should not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of eighteen years.” Moreover, the preamble defines as a war crime the use of children under the age of 18 who “participate actively in hostilities.95

It also “condemns the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict and direct attacks on objects protected under international law … including places that generally have a significant presence of children, including schools and hospitals.” Although the protocol does not specifically cite cafes, discos, and fast-food eateries, such establishments, frequented by Israeli youth and targeted by Palestinian suicide bombers, clearly fall under the prohibition as a violation of Israeli children’s human rights, even by UN standards.

Further, the 2002 Human Rights Watch World Report charges that the Palestinian Authority has done “little to exercise its responsibility to take all possible measures to prevent and punish armed attacks by Palestinian Arabs against Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings.”96

Despite the strongly worded UN ban, the world body has failed to condemn Palestinians for victimizing children – their own or Israeli children.

The opposite has actually been the case, as the UN has served as the platform of choice for Israel bashing. One of the most blatant cases was the 2001 UN-sponsored conference on racism held in Durban, South Africa. The gathering was devoted solely to painting Israel as a human rights violator by means of a parade of fliers, bumper stickers, and posters declaring Israel racist, criminal, illegal, and an “apartheid state.”97 In many ways Durban stood as a recap of a 1975 UN General Assembly resolution, which defined Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” That resolution was repealed in 1991, but the terminology continues to reverberate throughout the UN halls and other UN resolutions.

Lastly, within the Arab world, those whose human rights are violated include more than Arabs who belong to the ‘wrong’ ethnic group, religion, or political association, who engage in forbidden activities, who dare to speak out or show too much personal or institutional autonomy. By focusing on staying in power, many Arab regimes by definition simply impoverish the lives of their citizens, shortchanging them of their most basic human rights – to life and the realization of one’s full potential through decent health and education.

Article 25 of the Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family.” It stresses that “[m]otherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.” Article 26 states: “Everyone has the right to education … and that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality, and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”98

Despite Arab and European accusations that Israel oppresses and discriminates against its Arab minority and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, objective yardsticks show a different reality. In fact, Arab children in Israel have a much better chance of staying alive and getting a good education than Muslim children in countries in Europe.99 The infant mortality rate (a key component of the UN’s Human Development Index) for Arabs in Israel ranks equal or better than the rate of members of the majority in Europe and the United States. The rate among Arabs in Israel is 7.8 deaths per 1,000, the same as for native British citizens; but the infant mortality rate among native French citizens is 8 deaths per 1,000; for native Swiss 8.2, and for white Americans 8.5.

Comparison of the infant mortality rates of Israel’s Arab minority with the minorities in the above nations also proves the fallacy of Arab and European accusations about Israel’s treatment of minorities. The infant mortality rate of minority Turks in Switzerland, for example, is 12.3 deaths per 1,000; 12 per 1,000 for minority Arabs in France; and in England 11.4 death per 1,000 for babies of mothers born in Pakistan.100

Furthermore, Israel’s overall infant mortality ratio of 7.5 deaths per 1,000 births stands in sharp contrast to the infant mortality rates in the Arab world: Kuwait (10.9), Jordan (19.6), Lebanon (27.4), Egypt (58.6), Saudi Arabia (49.6), and Yemen (66.8). Ironically, Arab newborns in the West Bank (with infant mortality of 21 per 1,000 birth) and Gaza (with infant mortality of 24 per 1,000 birth) have a better chance of surviving the first year of life than Arab infants in Lebanon, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia.101 An August 2000 report of the World Bank cited 15 deaths per 1,000 births in the West Bank and Gaza,102 data that would rank Palestinians second only to Kuwait in the entire Arab world. That data was released just before the outbreak of the Terror War (second ‘Intifada,’) which has led to disintegration of public infrastructure, including public health standards that seven years ago were the highest in the Arab world.103 “The disastrous self-destructive terrorist war against Israel … has reduced Palestinians to the most desperate conditions they have seen since the creation of Israel in 1948,” wrote Tom Rose, publisher of the Jerusalem Post.104

Beside health, the other basic human right is education. But intellectual empowerment through literacy and education pose one of the greatest threats to autocratic regimes.

Consider the 95 percent literacy rate in democratic Israel, which absorbed one million immigrants from more than 100 countries. Yet in the Arab world, where the overwhelming majority speaks a common language – Arabic – illiteracy remains high. Although Jordan (with a 93.4 percent literacy rate), Bahrain (88.5), Lebanon (86.4 percent), and Syria (85.7 percent) lead the Arab world in literacy, one of every two Egyptians does not know how to read, and at least one of every five in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq cannot read either, according to the CIA’s World Fact book 2002.105 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, under Israeli rule for more than three decades, have one of the highest levels of literacy among Arabs; 85 percent.106 Throughout the Arab world as a whole illiteracy has dropped from 60 percent in 1980 to 43 percent in the mid-1990s, but even with this impressive decline, 60 million illiterate adults – mostly women, remain – according to the UN’s 2002 Arab Human Development Report.


From the very day it became an independent state on May 14, 1948, Israel has stood as a beacon of liberty

 

Israel has always perceived itself as responsible for providing a safe haven for any Jew in distress, regardless of the circumstances – displaced European Jews who survived the Holocaust, Jews from Arab countries whose communities became a target for discrimination and attacked, Jews from behind the Iron Curtain and black Jews from Ethiopia, and more recently, immigrants from Argentina and France – this is what Israel has stood for. In addition to serving as a haven for Jews, Israel has undertaken number of humanitarian gestures over the years. In the late 1970s, Israel took in 250 Vietnamese boat people, giving them asylum after an Israeli Zim Line vessel saved their lives while ships from Panama, Japan, Norway, and then-East Germany passed them by. Similar sentiments prompted Israel to give refuge to 84 Muslims from Bosnia in 1993 and 110 Albanians from Kosovo in 1999.107

Yet despite those humanitarian acts, Israel remains a victim of crimes against humanity, as Palestinian terrorist attacks specifically target Jews. In an ironic twist, Palestinians who accuse Israel of being racist and an apartheid state choose their victims solely by ethnic and racial origin, attacking places frequented by Israeli Jews. Handlers disguise their terrorist protégés to look like Jews (donning skullcaps, army uniforms, dyed hair or ‘cool’ haircuts, choosing candidates who specifically do not look Arabic). By the same token, peaceful Arabs will take steps to ensure they do not look like Jews when in predominantly Arab areas, leaving a kafiyah on the dashboard or worry beads hung from the rearview mirror. When possible, terrorists avoid harming Arabs, killing only Jews. In one case, a suicide bomber whispered a warning to a young female passenger talking in Arabic with a friend – “Something terrible is going to happen – get off the bus.” The passenger – a nursing student studying at a Jewish college in Safed – grabbed the arm of the other Arab student and quickly got off the bus at the next stop, not bothering to call police on her cell phone after the bus drove away.108 Twenty minutes later, the suicide bomber blew himself up in the packed bus, killing nine and injuring 50. In another case, a woman student who blew herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket told two women in traditional Arab dress to get out before approaching a group of other female shoppers with children whom she killed and maimed after detonating a suicide belt she was hiding under her clothes.109

Israel is accused of gross violations of Palestinian human rights based on simple ‘body counts’ – Israeli fatalities vs. Palestinian fatalities. This is misleading. An examination of circumstances surrounding many Palestinian deaths shows most were combatants, and there were countless, needless casualties among Palestinians that stemmed from reckless death-defying behavior.

The asymmetrical number of casualties among Israelis and Palestinians has incensed many observers, raising charges that Israel uses excessive force. In fact, Palestinians misread the results of a decade of self-restraint on the part of the Israeli army, whose rules of engagement permitted soldiers to fire only if their lives were clearly in danger.110 In retrospect, that policy – coupled with a similar misreading of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon – bolstered a false sense of invincibility among Palestinians in the face of armed IDF soldiers.

Many of the initial Israeli casualties resulted from a failure to fully grasp that the rules of battle had changed and soldiers should be allowed to fire back. Thus, Palestinians were killed attempting to dismantle a border fence near Kibbutz Nirim adjacent to the Gaza strip, having expected to simply walk into Israel proper. Others were injured and killed in the early months of the Terror War (‘al-Aqsa Intifada’) when mobs stormed isolated positions manned by Israeli soldiers and police in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Some literally climbing up onto the walls of army compounds, shimmying up flagpoles and climbing chain link parameter fences in an attempt to overrun such positions, assuming Israelis would pull back rather than shoot back. The often-fatal consequences of such irrational behavior, a complete disregard for one’s own personal safety, emanated from a lethal naiveté – the assumption that under no circumstances would Israelis use their weapons, coupled with a growing cultural chasm where Palestinians began to encourage such behavior as long as the fatalities could be pinned on Israel. The most bizarre use of the body count is that Palestinians blame the IDF for causing the deaths of homicide bombers and Palestinians killed while preparing bombs to be used against Israelis. Under such conditions, looking for symmetry in body counts becomes irrelevant.

A statistical analysis which examined the age, gender, and combatant status of all fatalities since the beginning of the September 2000 Terror War found 54 percent of Palestinian fatalities were among combatants while 80% of Israeli fatalities were among non-combatants, thus painting an entirely different picture of whose human rights are under attack.

The study111 by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism also revealed that straightforward body counts – 1,900 Palestinians vs. 700 Israelis – create a warped picture because they lump together all Palestinian fatalities, including suicide bombers, those killed preparing bombs, and innocent bystanders. When fatalities were analyzed (based on open source material in Arabic and Hebrew) by age, gender, and combatant status (full combatants, probable combatants, uniformed non-combatants, suspected collaborators, violent protesters, unknown protestors, non-combatants, health-related, and unknown), an entirely different picture emerged: 54% of Palestinian losses were actively involved in fighting (not including stone throwers or unknowns); 80% of the Israelis killed were non-combatants with women and girls accounting for 31% of the Israeli casualties, compared to 5% of Palestinian females. Palestinian fatalities are concentrated among teens and young adult males, while Israeli casualties range from infants to senior citizens caught in crowded civilian targets, including 174 fatalities of people over age 45. Lastly, among Palestinians, at least 253 of their own 800 fatalities were deaths in which Palestinians were directly responsible for Palestinian deaths such as the murder of collaborators and bomb preparation accidents.

In fact, Palestinians have killed Israelis simply for the “crime of being Israeli,” the report charged. It also contradicts accusations that Israel has indiscriminately targeted women and children, as Palestinians often claim. Instead, the statistics show that the vast majority of Palestinians killed were Palestinian men and boys engaged in behavior that they knew placed them in danger. Their reckless, death-defying behavior reflected a culture of death purposefully and cynically championed by Palestinian political and religious leaders for political gain.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1948 champions the right to “life, liberty and security of person”; “freedom of thought, conscience and religion”; “freedom of opinion and expression”; “equal protection of the law”; freedom from “arbitrary arrest”; and “inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment.”
  • Despite rhetoric which paints Israel as a human rights oppressor, the facts and even the testimony of Palestinian human rights activists demonstrate that the Arab world flagrantly and systematically violates the human rights of its own people.
  • For Arabs and Jews in the Middle East, genuine respect for one’s person, privacy, property, gender, beliefs, right of expression; protection from arbitrary arrest, and from cruel and unusual punishment exist only in Israel. Many regimes in the Arab world have no qualms about terrorizing their own citizenry, using cruel and unusual punishments and engaging in murderous attacks on opponents to keep their citizenry in line.
  • Discrimination against women in the Arab world is widespread. It ranges from restrictions on their autonomy to laws that legitimize honor killings for breaching modesty customs.
  • The Palestinian Authority has not only turned the machinery of government into a police state in two opportunities for self-rule – the 1987 Intifada, and a decade of self-rule under the Palestinian Authority – but is responsible for the disintegration of Palestinian society into a lawless reign of terror which threatens Palestinians as well as Israelis.
  • Palestinian leaders think nothing about victimizing both their own children and Jewish Israeli children for political gain.
 


1 See Sharia – Islamic Law at:
http://americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4726&search=arlandson. (11559)
2 For the text of the document, see:
http://www.al-bab.com/arab/docs/international/hr1981.htm#Foreword. (11582)
3 “Re-drafting the Arab Charter on Human Rights: Building for a better future” See:
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE010022004?open&of=ENG-375. (11561)
4 The Casablanca Declaration of the Arab Human Rights Movement See:
http://www.hri.ca/doccentre/docs/casa-dec.shtml. (11562)
5 For the texts of these documents, see:
http://www.undp-pogar.org/activities/justice/beirut.pdf. (11563)
6 “Middle East and North Africa,” Amnesty International, April 2001. See:
http://web.amnesty.org/web/ar2001.nsf/regMDE/regMDE?OpenDocument. (10462)
7 For two examples, see the case of two Israeli restaurateurs invited by an Arab colleague to an eatery in Tul Karm at:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0j7n0. (10463) and a 16-year-old boy who went to visit a girl he met on the Internet who lured the youth to his death near Ramallah at:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0j1n0. (10464)
8 See David Matas’ critique of the behavior of the UN Commission on Human Rights See:
http://www.bnaibrith.ca/briefs/unchr/unchr-14b.html. (11180)
9 “Figure 1: Religious Freedom by Area” in Freedom House – Center for Religious Freedom. See:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/religion/publications/rfiw/fig1.htm. (11181)
10 Jim Muir, “Iran tries pollsters on spying charges,” BBC, December 3, 2002. See:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2539605.stm. (11179)
11 “The Internet in the Middle East and North Africa: Free Expression and Censorship,” Human Rights Watch, June 1999. See:
http://www.hrw.org/advocacy/internet/mena/summary.htm. (11182)
On Jordan, see: http://www.hrw.org/advocacy/internet/mena/jordan.htm. (11183)
12 “Saudi Arabia Blocks Religious Websites,” Christianity Today, August 7, 2002. See:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/130/31.0.html. (11184)
Also see: “Internet Filtering in Saudi Arabia in 2004” at:
http://www.opennetinitiative.net/studies/saudi/. (11564)
13 “Israeli Internet penetration rate on the rise,” e-Marketer, November 2002. See:
http://www.nua.ie/surveys/index.cgi?f=VS&art_id=905358572&rel=true. (11185)
14 For a comparison of usage in Israel and its Arab neighbors in 1999. See chart at:
http://www.hrw.org/advocacy/internet/mena/appendix-a.htm. (11186)
15 See Israel’s Business Arena: Almost 2 million online in Israel at:
http://www.nua.ie/surveys/index.cgi?f=VS&art_id=905357429&rel=true. (11187)
16 Yossi Klein Halevi, “Refugee Status,” New Republic, August 19, 2002, at:
http://www.jpef.net/sep02/Refugee%20status.pdf. (10465)
“Death threat to Palestinian gays,” BBC, March 6, 2003 at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2826963.stm. (11565)
17 Chris McGreal, “Gay Israeli MP faces new battle in Knesset,” Guardian, November 5, 2002, at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/gayrights/story/0,12592,836330,00.html. (10467)
18 Arab Commission for Human Rights at:
http://home.swipnet.se/~w-79939/wiae.htm. (11566)
19 Cited in The Egyptian Organization for Human Right’s (EOHR) annual report at:
http://www.eohr.org/annual/2000/s4.htm. (10468)
In the pogrom on Christians (there are virtually no Jews left in Egypt) in the southern Egyptian village of Al Kosheh in January 2000, 100 Christian-owned businesses and homes were destroyed by a mob of 3,000 Muslims. Many of the 21 Copts murdered were told to renounce their faith, and when they refused they were executed on the spot. The Egyptian government wanted to hush up the embarrassing affair. For details, see the Center for Religious Freedom report at:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/religion/news/bn2000/bn-2000-01-03.htm. (10469)
20 Kenneth C. W. Leiter, “Life under the Palestinian Authority,” Middle East Quarterly (September 1998) at:
http://www.meforum.org/pf.php?id=406. (11190)
21 Eugene Cotran, “The Evolution of the Rule of Law in Palestine,” Daily Star, December 19, 1996, at:
http://www.soas.ac.uk/Centres/IslamicLaw/DS19-12-96RoLPalestine.html. (11191)
22 “High Court of Justice Ruling on Lebanese Detainees,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, 12 April 2000, at:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0h810. (11644)
23 See “Comments On The Human Rights Watch Report,” EOHR, November 2002, at:
http://www.eohr.org/press/2002/11-7.htm. (11642)
Eyad El Sarraj, “Why We’ve Become Suicide Bombers,” Peace Work (May 2002) at:
http://www.afsc.org/pwork/0205/020506a.htm. (11194)
24 For an overview of human rights abridgements, see section on human rights by sociologist Kenneth Leiter, “Life under the Palestinian Authority,” Middle East Quarterly (September 1998) at:
http://www.meforum.org/pf.php/?id=406. (11190)
25 For 2005 details, see the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, “Brothers Against Brothers” at:
http://www.phrmg.org/pressrelease/2005/December%2030%20Brothers%20Against%20Brothers.htm. (11646)
26 For a look inside the Palestinian Authority and for case studies of its misuse of power against critical journalists, protesting workers, and others – from false arrest to use of torture in order to silence criticism and prevention of peaceful assembly, see the Palestinian Center for Human Rights report: “The Right to Free Expression and the Right to Peaceful Assembly – The Case of the West Bank and Gaza, January 1, 1999 – April 30, 2000” at:
http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/S&r/English/pdf/Series Study 23.pdf. (11647)
27 For an overview of progress and regression in the status of women, see Homa Hoodfar, “Muslim Women on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century,” Dossier 21 (1998
http://wluml.org/english/pubsfulltxt.shtml?cmd[87]=i-87-f226d81549de18253f9cce3ff4045df2&cmd[190]=i-190-f226d81549de18253f9cce3ff4045df2. ( 11648)
28 For an overview of the status of women conducted by the UN Development Program, based on the UN’s Arab Human Development Report 2000, see “Arab Women Moving Fast, but Still Far to Go” at:
http://www.rbas.undp.org/ahdr/press_kits2002/EnglishPressKit.pdf. (11649)
29 “Jordanian Women: Past and Future,” Princess Basma Resource Centre, 1998, p. 9 (draft document), cited in Fadia Faqir, “Interfamily Femicide in Defense of Honor: The Case of Jordan,” Third World Quarterly 22, no. 1 (2001): 65-82 at:
http://www.secularislam.org/articles/femicide.htm.
30 U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus: Human Rights in Saudi Arabia: The Role of Women, Testimony of Amal Al-Qahtani, Ph.D., citizen of Saudi Arabia and head of the Saudi Institute – a U.S.-based human rights advocacy group, June 4, 2002.
31 For an overview of progress and regression in the status of women, see Homa Hoodfar, “Muslim Women on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century” at:
http://wluml.org/english/pubsfulltxt.shtml?cmd[87]=i-87-f226d81549de18253f9cce3ff4045df2&cmd[190]=i-190-f226d81549de18253f9cce3ff4045df2. (11648)
32 “Abuse of Women Under Arafat’s Palestinian Authority Regime,” December 27,2001, quoting Haaretz, June 16, 1994, at:
http://www.zoa.org/pressrel/20011227a.htm. (11202)
33 “Arab Women Moving Fast, but Still Far to Go,” UN Development Program, at:
http://www.rbas.undp.org/ahdr/press_kits2002/PR4.pdf. (11677)
34 Interview with Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” in The Atlantic, May 7, 2003 at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/interviews/int2003-05-07.htm. (11678)
35 “The Human Rights Situation in Egypt: Introduction” in “Annual Report 1999-2000,” Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, at:
http://www.eohr.org/annual/2000/intro.htm. (11204)
36 “Arab Women Moving Fast, But Still Far to Go,” at:
http://www.rbas.undp.org/ahdr/press_kits2002/PR4.pdf. (11677)
and “Victory for women’s rights: The Supreme Constitutional Court rejects constitutional challenge to Al Khol Law,” Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Press, December 16, 2002 at:
http://www.eohr.org/press/2002/12-16A.HTM. (11205)
37 Ibid.
38 Human Rights Watch, “Saudi Arabia: Religious Police Role In School Fire Criticized,” See:
http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/03/saudischool.htm. (11650)
39 U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus: Human Rights in Saudi Arabia: The Role of Women, Testimony of Amal Al-Qahtani, Ph.D., citizen of Saudi Arabia and head of the Saudi Institute – a U.S.-based human rights advocacy group, June 4, 2002.
40 Maureen Dowd, “Driving While Female,” New York Times, November 17, 2002.
41Fadia Faqir, “Interfamily Femicide in Defense of Honor: The Case of Jordan,” Third World Quarterly 22, no. 1 (2001): 65-82 at:
http://www.secularislam.org/articles/femicide.htm. (11201)
42 James Emery, “Reputation is Everything: Honor Killings Among the Palestinians,” Worldandi (May 2003, at:
http://www.worldandi.com/newhome/public/2003/may/clpub.asp. (11679)
43 Ibid.
44 See Palestine, in “Case study: Honor Killings and Blood Feuds” at:
http://www.gendercide.org/case_honour.html. (11208)
45 Suzanne Ruggi, “Honor Killings in Palestine,” Jerusalem Times, 1998 at:
http://www.merip.org/mer/mer206/ruggi.htm. (11209)
46 For an overview of the problem, see Ilene R. Prusher, “One woman tackles ‘honor’ crimes in Jordan” Christian Science Monitor, August 10, 2000, at:
http://csmweb2.emcweb.com/durable/2000/08/10/p13s1.htm. (11680) and Gendercide Watch, “Case Study: ‘Honor’ Killings and Blood Feuds,” at:
http://www.gendercide.org/case_honour.html. (11208)
47 Fadia Faqir, “Interfamily Femicide in Defense of Honor: The Case of Jordan,” Third World Quarterly 22, no. 1 (2001): 65-82.
48 Ibid.
49 For case studies and sources, see Jordan, in “Case study: Honor Killings and Blood Feuds” at:
http://www.gendercide.org/case_honour.html. (11208)
50 “Arab Women Moving Fast, But Still Far to Go,” at:
http://www.rbas.undp.org/ahdr/press_kits2002/PR4.pdf. (11677)
51 Roundtable on Strategies to Address “Crimes of Honor,” Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, London University, p. 4 at:
http://www.soas.ac.uk/honourcrimes/Meet_RoundtableReport.pdf. (11419)
52 Ibid.
53 Cited in “Commentary of Egypt’s Third and Fourth Periodic Reports to the Committee On Human Rights,” Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, at:
http://www.eohr.org/report/2002/un2.htm. (11213)
54 “Killing of Women on the Basis of Family Honor,” Monitor, August 2002, at:
http://www.phrmg.org/monitor2002/Aug2002.htm. (11685)
55 Roundtable on Strategies to Address “Crimes of Honor,” Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, London University, p. 7 at:
http://www.soas.ac.uk/honourcrimes/Meet_RoundtableReport.pdf. (11419)
56 “Amnesty demands Saudi probe,” BBC News, March 17, 2000 at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/681597.stm. (11166)
Testimony on religious persecution in Saudi Arabia before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, see:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/religion/publications/newsletters/2000/March-April/newsletter_2000-mar04.htm. (11167)
57 “Amnesty demands Saudi probe,” BBC News, March 17, 2000 at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/681597.stm. (11166)
and “Saudi Arabia ‘buys silence’ on abuse,” March 28, 2000 at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/693729.stm. (11686)
58 Scott Wilson, “Iraqis Break Silence About Secret Graves,” Washington Post, May 5, 2003.
59 “The Lessons of Halabja: An Ominous Warning,” U.S. State Department at:
http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/iraq/warning.htm. (11217)
60 “Background Note: Lebanon,” U.S. State Department at:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35833.htm. (11218)
61 Emanuel A. Winston, “Arab Nations’ Solutions To Terror and Insurgency,” see:
http://www.tzemach.org/fyi/docs/winston/aug20-01.htm. (11219)
62 “Egypt: Chemical Weapons Program,” Federation of American Scientists at:
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/egypt/cw/. (11220)
63 Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Uprisings Compared,” Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2002) at:
http://www.meforum.org/pf.php?id=206.
64 Kenneth Leiter, “Life Under the Palestinian Authority,” Middle East Quarterly at:
http://www.meforum.org/pf.php?id=406. (11687)
65 Kenneth W. Stein, “The Intifada and the Uprising of 1936-1939: A Comparison of the Palestinian Arab Communities” in The Intifada: Its Impact on Israel, the Arab World, and the Superpowers, ed. by Robert O. Freedman (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1991), pp. 3-36.
66 Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1992), p. 94.
67 Kenneth Stein, “The Intifada and the Uprising of 1936-1939,” pp. 3-36.
68 For data and examples – including 11 mukhtars slain along with family members between February 1937-November 1938, see The 1938 and 2001 proposed partitions of western Palestine in “Policy of Appeasement” quoting Arab v. Arab (pamphlet) (Rydal Press, UK, 1939), Esco Foundation for Palestine (1937) and other sources, at:
http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~peters/appeasement.html. (11225)
69 Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Uprising Compared,” Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2002) at:
http://www.meforum.org/article/206. (11689)
70 Human Rights and Legal Position of Palestinian ‘Collaborators,’ PHRM, July 2001, at:
http://www.phrmg.org/monitor2001/jul2001.htm. (11226)
71 Bard E. O’Neill, “The Intifada in the Context of Armed Struggle,” in Freedman, The Intifada, pp. 57-58.
72 See Gershom Gorenberg, “The Collaborators,” Times News, August 18, 2002, quoting PHRMG, at:
http://www.phrmg.org/articles/18August2002.htm. (11227)
At the end of the Gulf War Kuwait expelled some 400,000 Palestinians. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_exodus_from_Kuwait. (11690)
73 At the end of the Gulf War Kuwait expelled some 400,000 Palestinians. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_exodus_from_Kuwait. (11690)
74 Both divergences and similarities are discussed in Kenneth Stein’s work cited above.
75 Don Peretz, Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990), quoted in Jonathan Schanzer “Palestinian Uprisings Compared,” Middle East Quarterly at:
http://www.meforum.org/article/206. (11689)
76 Ibid.
77 “Deaths as a result of gunfire,” Palestinian Human Rights Monitor, at:
http://www.phrmg.org/PHRMG%20Documents/Gunfire%20tables/Tables/gunfire_english.htm. (11691)
78 Lamia Lahoud, “License to kill,” Jerusalem Post, September 8, 1998.
79 Dr. Eyad El Sarraj “Kill Your Neighbor!” This article was published in The Jerusalem Report on October 26 1998 under the title “Spare thy neighbor.” See:
http://www.gcmhp.net/eyad/kill_your_neighbor.htm. ( 11692)
80 “West Bank and Gaza in Brief,” World Bank, August 2000. See also Country Brief at:
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/mna/mena.nsf/Countries/West+Bank/8830DA075FD4A1EC85256CC9006F9B7F?OpenDocument.
81 Eliyahu Kanovsky, “Has the Peace Process Reaped Economic Dividends?” Testimony before the U.S. Congress – Joint Economic Committee, October 21, 1997, at:
http://www.house.gov/jec/hearings/israel/kanovsky.htm. (11236)
82 B’tzelem; “Israelis killed in the Occupied Territories (including East Jerusalem) since the Beginning of the 1987 Intifada until the end of Nov. 2002,”
83 Alan Philips, “Lynch mob suspects held by Israelis,” Telegraph, June 26, 2001 at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/06/26/wisr26.xml. (10596)
84 Albert Robinson, “Fence May be Final Blow to Palestinian Economy,” Reuters, July 1, 2002, at:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0701-03.htm. (11240)
85 Ibid.
86 “Eight killed in Palestinian bus attack,” Israel Insider, February 15, 2001, at:
http://www.israelinsider.com/channels/security/articles/sec_0001.htm. (11241)
87 Israel Seals Off West Bank, Gaza,” CBS News, February 10, 2003 at:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/11/world/main540203.shtml. (11242)
88 For the results of public opinion polls, see the chapter on “Rejectionism.”
89 Ari Shavit and Jalal Bana, “The Secret Exodus – Palestinian Emigration,” October 5, 2001 at:
http://www.emigrations.net/pr01.htm. (11243)
See also CAMERA: “AP Article on Palestinian Emigration Blames Only Israel” at:
http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_article=644&x_context=2. (11244)
90 Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Uprising Compared,” Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2002) at:
http://www.meforum.org/article/206. (11689)
91 On the goals of this strategy – encouraging children to lead violent demonstrations and teenage youth to become combatants in order to gain sympathy and points for their cause in the international arena, and delegitimize Israel and cast Israelis as heartless victimizers, see Daniella Ashkenazy, “Small-Arms Warfare,” Jerusalem Post, January 31, 1990.
92 Musa Ziyada: In the spring of 1995 in Gaza City, I met Musa Ziyada, a 15-year-old boy with huge almond eyes. He had apparently been recruited by Hamas, the radical Islamist group, to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel. See Isabel Kershner, Washingtontpost.com, May 7 2006 “Rise of the Zealots,” at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/04/AR2006050401620.html.(11693)
93 “Wars and civil conflicts are taking a massive toll on children,” UNICEF at:
http://www.unicef.org/children-in-war/. (11694)
Text of the protocol can be accessed at:
http://www.unicef.org/crc/annex1.htm. (11695)
94 “Child Soldiers,” BBC World Service. See:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/childrensrights/childrenofconflict/soldier.shtml. (10425)
95 See UNICEF, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child” at:
http://www.unicef.org/crc/crc.htm. (11695)
96 Human Rights Watch World Report, 2002: Middle East and North Africa Overview.
97 Irwin Cotler, “Beyond Durban: The conference against racism that became a racist conference against Jews,” 2001, see:
http://www.jafi.org.il/agenda/2001/english/wk3-22/6.asp. (11248)
98 For full text, see: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html. (11249)
99 Amnon Rubinstein, “More equality than in Europe,” Haaretz, October 9, 2002 at:
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=217633&contrassID=2&subContrassID=4&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y. (10470)
100 See statistics at:
http://www.barnardos.org.uk/resources/researchpublications/documents/MDarticl_1.pdf. (10249)
and the National Statistics Online – home of official UK statistic:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/default.asp. (11251)
101 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Document: Infant Mortality Ratios at:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/fields/2091.html. (10472) and World Health Organization at:
http://www.who.int/whr2001/2001/archives/1999/en/pdf/StatisticalAnnex.pdf
102 “West Bank and Gaza in Brief,” World Bank (August 2000), at:
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/mna/mena.nsf/All/F192A5DA7D266F048525694700278825?OpenDocument. (11001)
103 See Tom Rose, Weekly Standard, January 21, 2002, at:
http://www.aijac.org.au/updates/Jan-02/140102.html. (11234)
104 Tom Rose, at: http://www.aijac.org.au/updates/Jan-02/140102.html.
105 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Document: Literacy Rates at:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/fields/2103.html.(11696)
106 “West Bank and Gaza in Brief,” World Bank, August 2000, at:
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/mna/mena.nsf/All/F192A5DA7D266F048525694700278825?OpenDocument. (11001)
107 Helen Schary Motro, “Israel’s forgotten lesson,” by Helen Schary Motro, Christian Science Monitor, April 19, 2001.
http://csmonitor.com/cgi-bin/durableRedirect.pl?/durable/2001/04/19/p11s1.htm. (11254)
108 “Israeli Arab nursing student charged for failure to warn of bus bombing,” Jerusalem Post, August 7, 2002.
109 Cited in Herbert Adam and Simon Fraser, “Political Travel through the Holy Land” Global Review of Ethno-Politics, January 2003.
110 In one classic section of TV footage, an armed Israeli soldier was seen ducking behind his tank rather than facing a Palestinian youth fearlessly ‘closing the gap’ between them, armed with a huge rock.
111 For a summary of the study see Don Radlauer, “The al-Aqsa Intifada – An Engineered Tragedy,” January 7, 2003 at:
http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=440. (11259)
For the full study, see:
http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=439. (11260)


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What Do Muslim Nations Think about Terrorists?

What Do Muslim Nations Think about Terrorists?

By Michael I. Krauss

Both before and after the terrorist attacks on our country in 2001, we have been assured that Islam is a religion of peace, that most Muslims don’t identify with the terrorists, and indeed that most do not wish us ill. This conviction has driven our war on terrorism — we have continued to shower money on Egypt and Jordan (two countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel), continued to massively assist the Arab population of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank), and continued to insist that terrorists must be marginalized while Muslim populations generally are placated.  But is our confidence in the good faith (pun intended) of these populations merited?  If not, should our foreign policy be adjusted?

A recently published study of attitudes toward the Iranian-funded terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pew Global Attitudes Project is most instructive in this regard. The study included 25 nations from around the world, with a special emphasis on Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Turkey, as well as the Palestinian territories and the Muslim minorities in Nigeria and Israel. 
First, the good news. Turks do condemn terrorism — and this augurs well for continued good relations with the West (including Israel), notwithstanding Ankara’s increasingly Islamist government. Just 5% of Turks have a positive view of Hamas, and only 3% like Hezbollah.  Less good news involves the only Middle Eastern Arabic population living in a vibrant democracy — I refer of course to the Arab minority in Israel. Twenty-one percent of Israel’s Arab population supports Hamas, while 27% support Hezbollah. Though this number is distressingly high, it does indicate that a substantial majority of Israel’s Arab citizens clearly understands the benefits of being governed by the rule of law, exactly as we have been assured. Finally, Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria were largely unable to offer an opinion about the two middle-Eastern terrorist groups. 
Alas, that’s the end of the good news. Arabs outside Israel have very benign views of these terrorists. Fully 52% of Egyptians support Hamas, the vile group that has taken over Gaza and that is dedicated to the eradication of Israel. Even worse, 56% of Jordanians support Hamas. Fifty-one percent of Jordanians (though only 43% of Egyptians) have a similarly positive view of Hezbollah. These two countries are Israel’s “friendliest” neighbors. How confident can Israel be about its relations with countries the majority of whose populations fondly support its genocidal enemy? As for Lebanon, almost all (97%) of its Shiite Muslim population supports Hezbollah, which is of course the de facto totalitarian government in South Lebanon, where the Shiites live. (Only 18% of Lebanese Christians and 2% of its Sunni Muslims are fans of Hezbollah.)
What about Palestinians living in areas controlled by the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority?  Not surprisingly, “only” 44% claim to support Hamas, which is Fatah’s sworn enemy. This figure should be of little solace to the West for two reasons. First, public support at 44% is a very high figure, given the P.A.’s attempts to repress (often ruthlessly) Hamas in the territories. Second, Fatah itself is (contrary to Western self-delusions) a totalitarian entity dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Rafik Natsheh, an influential member of Fatah’s Central Committee, recently stated that “Fatah does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, nor have we ever asked others to do so.” When asked in the same interview about the possibility of Fatah’s deleting the reference to armed struggle with Israel from its founding charter, Mr. Natsheh responded, “Let all the collaborators [with Israel] and those who are deluding themselves hear that this will never happen.” (Emphasis added.) As regards Hezbollah, fully 61% of Palestinians voiced support for this group. Seventy-one percent voiced support for Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who has declared, apropos Middle East peace, that “There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel.” Finally, fully 51% of Palestinian Arabs (a much greater percentage than in any other Muslim region polled) voiced support for Osama bin Laden.
Recent declarations by Secretary of State Clinton seem to acknowledge, at long last, the existential threat posed by Iran to world peace and to American security. But until high-level diplomats such as Ms. Clinton and George Mitchell acknowledge that the populations of “friendly” Arab nations are in fact inimical to peace, they will continue to place pressure in all the wrong places.

Michael I. Krauss is Professor of Law at George Mason University, and is on leave this year as James Madison Fellow at Princeton University.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/what_do_muslim_nations_think_a.html at February 23, 2010 – 11:29:16 AM CST

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