Lawmakers react, one suggests sheik leave Australia after blaming unveiled women for rape —-“It’s time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more then say they were horrified. I think it is time he left,” Ms Goward said. — “I have a message for Sheik Alhilali: This is Australia, not Iran, and violence and degradation of women is not acceptable,” she said.

Lawmakers react, one suggests sheik leave Australia after blaming unveiled women for rape

Anti-dhimmitude from Australia’s Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward. “Sheik’s sexist comments create storm,” an update on this story from AAP:

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward believes the comments are an incitement to crime.

“Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man … their leader in court,” she told the Nine Network.

She wants him to go, but did not make clear whether she wanted to him to leave the country or step down as a leader of the Islamic community.

“It’s time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more then say they were horrified. I think it is time he left,” Ms Goward said.

Victorian Liberal backbencher Sophie Mirabella wants the sheik to consider moving back to the Middle East.

“I have a message for Sheik Alhilali: This is Australia, not Iran, and violence and degradation of women is not acceptable,” she said.

More senior members of government were also scathing.

“Certainly I think if a religious leader in the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church or in Judaism was to make these sorts of statements, they would be getting a very severe rap over the knuckles, at the very least,” Health Minister Tony Abbott told the Nine Network.

“He’s wrong. He should be reprimanded and it’s up to ordinary, decent Australians to make it clear that he is wrong.”

Treasurer Peter Costello urged other Muslims to pull the sheik into line.

“I hope that the moderate Muslim leaders will speak out today and condemn these comments,” he told the Seven Network.”

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said the sheik’s comments were offensive and should be corrected by the Islamic community.

Not much luck so far: Keysar Trad says earlier in the article that this has all been taken out of context:

President of the Islamic Friendship Council of Australia, Keysar Trad, said the sheik’s comments had been misrepresented, although he admitted his analogies could have been better.

“From what I understand, he was talking about the context of encouraging people to abstinence before getting married,” Mr Trad said.

“His references to exposed meat etc was a very poor example that was meant to be a reference to both men and women, he wasn’t talking about Islamic dress, he wasn’t talking about rape.”

Oh, really now. From the earlier item:

Sheik Hilali said there were women who “sway suggestively” and wore make-up and immodest dress … “and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years”.

Casting for West Wing — Barack Obama hasn’t committed to a 2008 run, but some stars are already dreaming.


Casting for West Wing

Barack Obama hasn’t committed to a 2008 run, but some stars are already dreaming.By Tina Daunt, Times Staff Writer
October 25, 2006
 Just the hint of a possible presidential run by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama — who is in town Friday to promote his book “The Audacity of Hope” — has Hollywood Democrats talking.

The e-mail from actor George Clooney arrived at 1:46 a.m. Pacific time (he’s in Europe at the moment).
“If SENATOR Obama became PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Obama it would be the most electrifying thing to happen to the Democratic party since Kennedy,” Clooney wrote.

Media mogul Haim Saban, however, was less impressed by Obama’s disclosure this week that he’s thinking about running for president in 2008. Saban is already electrified by another possible Democratic candidate: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

“Only Hillary,” Saban said, via BlackBerry message. “I hope she does announce soon so we can all go to work all out to make sure she wins … and BIG!!!!!”

The 2006 midterm elections are only two weeks away, but Hollywood is already looking toward 2008 — even though no one has formally joined the race.

“It would be hard for me to pretend that I’ve not heard some of the talk,” Obama said in an interview with The Times. “There’s an old joke that every senator is thinking about running for president — all 100 of them.”

Obama said that at the moment he’s focused on getting Democrats elected on Nov. 7. After that, he’ll consider his presidential prospects.

But while he’s pondering his options, you can bet that some people in Hollywood are already envisioning his inaugural bash.

Director Rob Reiner compared a possible run by Obama to Abraham Lincoln’s victory.

“How poetic would it be that a one-term congressman from the state of Illinois could be elected president and free the slaves,” said Reiner, reached on his car phone Monday, “and now a one-term African American senator from that same state could become the next president?”

“Everyone admires him,” producer Norman Lear said of the freshman senator. “They are very excited about the possibility that he’s in the race. I think the people who are very much with Hillary will remain with Hillary. But the discussion is a good thing for the party.”

Almost anyone who has met Obama will tell you that he’s charismatic and warm, but not giddy.

“My wife and I have tried not to get caught up in the hype,” Obama said. “We still live in Chicago and I go to the same barbershop…. ”

But there’s no denying that since he rocked the Democratic National Convention in 2004 with an impassioned speech about America, his life has changed. For one, he became an instant political star.

His first book, “Dreams From My Father,” released shortly after the 2004 convention, shot to the top of bestseller lists. His new missive promises to be equally as successful. Last week, he was in 15 cities promoting his book and raising money for the Democrats.

On Friday, he will be in Los Angeles to discuss the book at the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum of Greater L.A. and the California African American Museum.

Later that evening, he will attend a fundraiser for the state Democratic Party with gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides.

“This is an important election,” Obama said. “The Democrats will win the House and we could win the Senate.”

As he travels, Obama said, he finds that people — regardless of their party affiliations — have similar anxieties. “They’re worried about whether they have enough healthcare for their kids, what’s happening with the global economy. People have the same hopes and dreams. There’s a stubborn self-reliance and optimism in the American people…. And I think people are in a serious mood.”

Obama says he appreciates the supports he’s been shown by Hollywood Democrats. (Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, counts Clooney and Bono as friends.)

“There are some celebrities who have really done their homework and know what they are talking about and are terrific advocates for justice and peace and opportunity around the world,” he said. “I want all citizens to get involved. Whether they are the secretary in an office building or a movie star, I think the more engaged and interested people are, the better off we all are.” 

Gazans building ‘underground city’: Israeli army chief


Gazans building ‘underground city’: Israeli army chief

Tue Oct 24, 12:00 PM ET

Palestinian militants are constructing an “underground city” in the Gaza Strip to store weapons and attack Israeli forces in the future, army chief of staff Dan Halutz has been quoted as saying.

“The Palestinians are continuing digging an underground city in the Gaza Strip,” said Halutz, who appeared before the parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee on Tuesday.

“They are constructing tunnels in the urban parts in order to confront our forces,” a member of the committee quoted Halutz as saying.

The Israeli army has in recent weeks intensified its ground operation in the battered Palestinian territory, launched following the abduction of a serviceman by militants in a cross-border raid near Gaza on June 25.

The raid sparked a massive Israeli offensive which has left more than 250 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers dead in Gaza in four months.

Halutz was quoted as telling committee members that the army had discovered and destroyed 15 tunnels in the Gaza Strip during an operation along Gaza’s border with Egypt, through which Israel claims large quantities of weapons are being smuggled.

Bill O’Reilly Spanks AARP Fox News megastar takes AARP to task for hiding its liberal bias from members.

AARP’s Carping — The AARP needs its “fair and balanced” prescription refilled. It’s tilting with such ferocity and alacrity against the White House on Social Security reform, Dramamine may be the only cure for its political vertigo

AARP’s Carping
A needless battle.By Gary AndresThe AARP needs its “fair and balanced” prescription refilled. It’s tilting with such ferocity and alacrity against the White House on Social Security reform, Dramamine may be the only cure for its political vertigo.The senior-citizen lobbying group launched a preemptive, $5 million ad campaign last week, trashing the Bush administration’s efforts to reform the program before the White House had even released a specific plan. Many in Washington see the initiative as a transparently partisan ploy to get back into the good graces of the Democrats after AARP supported the Medicare Modernization Act in the last Congress. That’s probably true. But there’s a bigger question. Why now?The advocacy group’s efforts are both substantively lame and tactically misguided. For political and policy reasons the AARP is barking up the wrong tree. First, consider this minor policy detail: The Bush plan is non-compulsory and is unlikely to have an impact on AARP members. Writing recently in USA Today, Al Neuharth recognized this by noting that “the Bush plan would not affect current retirees and probably not be available to those still working who are 50 or older.” Moreover, he argues, the plan “would be strictly voluntary and simply permit younger workers to invest some (maybe up to $1000 a year) of their Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts. The AARP’s ad blitz is trying to scare old folks into believing their Social Security payments are in jeopardy. Simply not true.” So why is the AARP spending $5 million of its members’ contributions on a plan that’s both voluntary and probably won’t even apply to its constituency?“Payback — pure and simple,” a former House Republican leadership aide who worked on the Medicare legislation told me. Heavily criticized by Democrats for its role in supporting the Medicare Modernization Act, it now appears AARP wants to balance the ledger. But, like giving electoral contributions to both sides, this kind of inside-the-Beltway tactic ends up leaving neither Republicans nor Democrats satisfied.But even if “payback” was the motive, tactically the move is highly suspect for other reasons. It’s as if AARP is stuck in a time warp, thinking the Democrats still control the levers of power in Washington, and that it necessarily needs to shill for liberal policies and politicians. How does kowtowing to a bunch of liberal politicians benefit real life senior citizens? It doesn’t take bifocals to see the Great Society programs are no longer cutting edge and that Democrats don’t hold a monopoly on retirement-security policies anymore.Moreover, President Bush’s popularity among seniors is growing. Compared to 2000, when he lost the over-65 vote to Al Gore 47 percent to 50 percent, Bush won the senior vote in 2004 over Senator Kerry 52 percent to 47 percent. Why would this so-called advocacy group for the elderly preemptively attack a yet-to-be-developed White House plan when its own members are increasingly supportive of the president?The AARP has erred badly in this opening round of the Social Security debate, wounding the image of an association that could play a useful role in the legislative process on this critical retirement-security issue. Its premature pronouncements suggest motives far different than ensuring its members get a fair shake and sound representation. The AARP leadership would be well advised to listen, learn, and then speak — as Newt Gingrich used to say — rather than condemn its members to the margins, turn its leaders into irrelevant gadflys, and create an abiding image of the AARP as a Democratic shill group.Gary Andres is vice chairman of research and policy at the Dutko Group Companies and a frequent NRO contributor. 

Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks Women are abandoned “meat” and temptations from Satan. All this justifies Sharia provisions about veiling, of course, and thus is part of the overall imperative to impose Sharia on the rest of us.

Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks

Women are abandoned “meat” and temptations from Satan. All this justifies Sharia provisions about veiling, of course, and thus is part of the overall imperative to impose Sharia on the rest of us.

Taj Din al-Hilali has a history of outrageous statements.

By Richard Kerbaj in The Australian, with thanks to David:

THE nation’s most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don’t wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned “meat” that attracts voracious animals.In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who “sway suggestively” and wore make-up and immodest dress … “and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years”.

“But the problem, but the problem all began with who?” he asked….

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

“The uncovered meat is the problem.”

The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

He said women were “weapons” used by “Satan” to control men.

It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa).”

Ansar al-Sunnah Celebrates Eid al-Fitr and Calls on Iraq’s Muslims to Support the Mujahideen

Ansar al-Sunnah Celebrates Eid al-Fitr and Calls on Iraq’s Muslims to Support the Mujahideen

By SITE Institute

October 23, 2006

Offering congratulations to the Islamic Ummah on the Eid al-Fitr, Ansar al-Sunnah issued a message, today, Monday, October 23, 2006, calling on Iraq’s Muslims to support the Mujahideen. The message asks “all capable Muslims in Iraq…who are able to give, men and women, young men and elderly, Islam needs you, needs all of you, to remove the obstacles from in front of the Tawhid doctrine and defend, worship, and uproot the bad things from the earth.”

Looking at the current events in Iraq, the author sees “a starting point for the Mujahideen toward their goals,” and an “awakening of jihad.” The author claims that jihad is the only way to liberate Iraq from occupying forces. Speaking to those who have not yet joined the jihad, the author asks, “When shall we hear the echo of your strikes, which should follow in the battlefield?”

The message maintains that, “the enemy, who was once bragging about his force, is now dragging his defeat and humiliation, without anything to cover his shame.”

On behalf of the Mujahideen, the author asks Allah for revenge “for every Muslim whose blood was spilled by the hands of the grandsons of the monkeys and pigs and their helpers.” The message concludes with a prayer seeking revenge against the occupying forces: “We ask God for our brothers the Mujahideen, support the victory and make us able to hurt Allah’s enemies, for revenge for every Muslim whose blood was spilled by the hands of the grandsons of the monkeys and pigs and their helpers…O God, please grant victory to the worshippers and Mujahideen in Iraq, and everywhere in the Muslim lands.”

Online Fatwas Incite Young Muslims to Jihad Saudi Columnist: Preachers in Mosques Urge Worshipers to Join the Jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan


Special Dispatch Series – No. 1335

October 26, 2006 No.1335

Online Fatwas Incite Young Muslims to Jihad

In an article in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh, columnist Fares bin Hazam reports that both preachers in mosques and online propaganda are inciting young Muslims to wage jihad. [1] An interview with a young Muslim who went to fight in Afghanistan, also in Al-Riyadh, provides first-hand testimony confirming this claim.

The following are excerpts from the article and the interview:

Bin Hazam writes in his article: “The business with Afghanistan will never end as long as the ‘duty of jihad’ continues to live in [our] society, in mosques, in Friday [sermons], and on the Internet…

“After the fall of the Taliban and the subsequent Guantanamo crisis… there was increasing talk about the need to investigate our youth’s growing [inclination] towards jihad, and about the need to search for the reasons that motivate them to go to Afghanistan and to other countries…

“The call to investigate these reasons is despicable; it is a tasteless joke. [One might think] that the reasons are unknown, that we are not aware of our situation [and need to conduct an] investigation in order to discover why [our young people] went forth and are still going forth [to wage jihad]… The reasons are obvious. Many of us know them, and there is no need for a scientific study or for any other [kind of study] to reveal them…

“Since the causes are known, do we lack courage to deal with [this problem]? [I believe that] we do. Our lack of courage has been apparent ever since we invented the excuse of ‘external [influences],’ and began to toy with it and wave it at every opportunity. I do not know where these [external influences] come from, since it was we who sent our young men [to Afghanistan] in the first place, before we ever heard of [these influences] that allegedly come [from outside].

“Some preachers, [namely] those who fear the censor, deceive him by being implicit in their incitement to [wage] jihad in Iraq or Afghanistan. They speak in their sermons about the merits of jihad without mentioning a particular region. They speak in general terms that can be applied to any location, even to our [own] country. During the prayer, the details start to pour in thick and fast: first, [a call to wage jihad] in Palestine, [which serve as] a smokescreen, and then [calls for jihad] in Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya, and finally… the call ‘oh Allah, grant them victory everywhere!’ ‘Everywhere’ includes our [own] country… and we say ‘amen’ after the preacher calls [upon Allah] to help the mujahideen in our [own] country…”

Saudi Released From Guantanamo: Fatwas Prompted Me to Join the Jihad

Sa’d Ibrahim Al-Bidna, a young Saudi, traveled to Afghanistan with the aim of joining the jihad. He was arrested two months later, and spent four years and eight months at Guantanamo. In an interview with Al-Riyadh, he said that it was fatwas posted on the Internet that motivated him to wage jihad.

Al-Riyadh: “Tell us of your journey, from [the time] you left Saudi Arabia until your return.”

Al-Bidna: “I started this exhausting journey when I left Saudi Arabia on my own, motivated by youthful enthusiasm to [wage] jihad for the sake of Allah in Afghanistan. I traveled to Afghanistan through Syria and Iran. [When I arrived], war was being waged against the Taliban and things were not clear to me. So I decided to leave Afghanistan for Pakistan, and from there to return to Saudi Arabia. But [when I reached] Pakistan, I was arrested and turned over to the American forces. [They] imprisoned me in Guantanamo, [where I remained] until the Saudi authorities intervened and brought me back to Saudi Arabia after years of suffering…”

Al-Riyadh: “Tell us about the beginning of your journey and the reasons [that motivated you] to set out for Afghanistan.”

Al-Bidna: “Many may find it difficult to believe, but I was not very devout, though I did pray regularly. But enthusiasm and zeal filled the hearts of many young people, and unfortunately, I followed certain fatwas that were posted on the Internet. [These fatwas] call upon young people to wage jihad in certain regions. They tempt them [by describing] the great reward [they will receive], the status of the martyrs in Paradise and the virgins that await them [there]. These fatwas have great influence on young people who have no awareness or knowledge [that enables them] to examine them and verify their validity.”

In Afghanistan, I Saw Muslims Fighting Muslims, and That is Why I Left

Al-Riyadh: “When you came to Afghanistan, did you find the notion of jihad to be as you had imagined it…?”

Al-Bidna: “When I arrived, the war against the Taliban was at its height. There were constant bombardments and things were not clear to me, especially since I was only there for two months. This is not enough time to understand how things really are. But what concerned me the most was that Muslims were fighting each other, and that is why I left [and went to] Pakistan – for in jihad, a Muslim must never fight his Muslim brother.”

Al-Riyadh: “Based on your experience, did you feel that there was no real jihad in Afghanistan?”

Al-Bidna: “The [brief] period I spent there did not enable me see the full picture, and I did not have the knowledge to distinguish real jihad from other actions that are [only] called jihad. But I did see that there were devout people there. Some of them were young men who came [to Afghanistan] out of youthful enthusiasm and [due to their] scant religious knowledge, or were influenced by certain fatwas published by various religious scholars, or [were influenced by] by false images, which were not free of exaggeration, of the situation in Afghanistan. This was the kind of thing that prompted me to set out without informing or asking my family, and without considering the concept of legitimate jihad, its conditions and its rules.”

Al-Riyadh: “Today, do you feel that you were wrong to set out [to Afghanistan], obeying some irresponsible fatwas?”

Al-Bidna: “Of course. I [now] understand that I was wrong. I should have asked the leaders for permission to set out [and wage jihad], or religious scholars known for their knowledge and piety, of which there are many in our country…”

Al-Riyadh: “Before you left for Afghanistan, was there anyone who urged you and encouraged you to go?”

Al-Bidna: “I did not belong to any group or organization, especially since I was not devout before I left. But there were obviously some fatwas that called [for jihad] and were posted on certain websites. [They] influenced many young men, both devout and [non-devout]…”

Had I Received Proper Guidance Before I Left for Afghanistan, I Would Not Have Gone

Al-Riyadh: “After returning [to Saudi Arabia], did you meet with the counseling committees? What changed in your way of thinking?”

Al-Bidna: “My views began to change when I saw the real picture and understood my error, [even] before I was captured. When I returned to Saudi Arabia, we [i.e. the prisoners released from Guantanamo] met with sheikhs and religious scholars who taught us a great deal, and who enlightened us on the tolerant directives of Islam. Had I [known all this] before I left, I would not have gone. The discussions with the religious scholars and sheikhs gave us the ability to distinguish truth from error, and set us on the right path.”

Al-Riyadh: “From your experience, are there specific reasons that cause young people to adopt deviant views and carry out terrorist actions?”

Al-Bidna: “Of course there are specific reasons [that motivate] young people, especially unemployment, the desire for self-fulfillment, and [having] free time. I, for example, finished [only] elementary school, and sat around without a job for many years prior to leaving for Afghanistan. Such things can cause young people to go astray, especially when there are [people] who feed them erroneous notions…”

Al-Riyadh: “Do you think that a fatwa posted online can prompt a young person to wage jihad, when he does not know for sure whether the fatwa is valid?”

AlBidna: “There is no doubt that the problem lies in the youth’s enthusiasm [coupled with] scant knowledge. That’s what happened with me. I did not think to verify the validity of these fatwas or to consult with anyone, and [consequently] made a big mistake…”

[1] Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), October 10, 2006.

An Iranian Sales Pitch

An Iranian Sales Pitch
By Nir Boms | October 25, 2006

When not pursuing an illicit nuclear-weapons program, the Iranian leadership is engaged in another task of national importance. It is known, in the words of former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami, as the “Dialogue of Civilizations.”A simpler English translation would be the “Iranian Sales Pitch.” The Iranian leadership has embarked on a duplicitous campaign to present itself as a beacon of liberalism and modernism in the Middle East. In a speech given at Harvard in September, for instance, Khatami preached an end to violence. He also spoke at length of democratic reform in his own country and about tolerance and human rights. Khatami even went so far as to deplore terrorism and suicide bombings and he suggested everyone should “condemn the violation of human rights wherever it takes place.”

But it would be a mistake to see Khatami’s P.R. campaign as a signal of Iranian moderation. Instead, it should be regarded as part of a government attempt to suppress the genuine voices of moderation inside Iran. Fear of precisely such voices has already led Iranian authorities to order the closure of more than 100 newspapers associated with the reformist and opposition camps in the last four years. A recent victim of that campaign was Shargh, Iran’s leading reformist newspaper, and the political journal Nameh. Shargh published a cartoon that appeared to lampoon Iranian nuclear negotiations; Nameh was forcibly closed for the publication of a poem by dissident female poet Simin Behbahani.

While dissenting voices are silenced, the national stage is open to an official Iranian message. That message is kept in accordance with the Iranian practice of “separate but consistent”: one set of consistent messages to the West, another to the good people of Iran. Thus, Khatami’s “moderate” remarks at Harvard neglected to mention Iran’s “Army of Martyrs.” Recently, some 40,000 people have signed a declaration to become “suicide volunteers.” The commander of that “army” stated: “We have identified some 29 weak points for attacks in the U.S. and in the West. We intend to explode some 6,000 American atomic warheads.”

In Iranian school textbooks and particularly in those written during the tenure of Khatami, the issue of martyrdom is further stressed. Books that were recently reviewed by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, a non-governmental organization that examines the content of school textbooks used in the Middle East, encourage collective martyrdom and an unavoidable war. “Initiative Jihad is, then, a kind of defense as well, defense of the deprived people’s rights, defense of the people’s honor, and defense of the rights of the oppressed,” concludes a children’s religious instruction book, bearing Khatami’s personal seal.

The vast difference between Iranian officials’ statements and actions can be explained in the context of their core mission, a mission that began in 1979 with Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution. These objectives become evident when statements and documents produced by Iranian leadership are examined. A review of Iranian speeches, textbooks and media shows consistent parallels between Khomeini’s revolutionary era and the current Iranian Republic. Khomeini’s legacy – that of velayat-e faqih (absolute rule of the clergy) – is still the driving force in Iran, not democratic principles. Khomeini’s revolution is not complete and its major rival is the West.

Accordingly, Iranians are instructed to prepare themselves for a life-or-death global war against the infidel oppressors. In another quotation that appears in the Iranian curriculum, Khomeini further explains his political conviction, saying, “O Muslims of all countries of the world! Since under the foreigners’ dominance you have been inflicted with gradual death, you should overcome the fear of death and make use of the existence of the passionate and the martyrdom-seeking youths, who are ready to break the frontiers of infidelity… Glory and life are in fighting… After that, there is the decision that you forbid yourselves of [submission to] the supremacy of world infidelity and polytheism, especially America.”

Altogether different is the message communicated to the West. Appearing before the United Nations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke of moderate and peaceful co-existence of sovereign nations. He omitted any reference to his previous declarations that Israel must be erased from the world map and that its sovereignty cannot be acknowledged. Ahmadinejad described Hezbollah as a resistance movement fighting for the “territorial integrity” of Lebanon. He made no mention of Hezbollah’s stated purpose: the destruction of Israel and the imposition of an Islamic state in Lebanon. Nor did he address Lebanon’s demand to disarm Hezbollah, an organization equipped with Iranian weapons superior to those of “sovereign” Lebanon.

To properly understand Iran’s bid for nuclear status, one must approach the regime’s statements as a form of advertising: To find the truth, read the small print. When a government professes its interest in regional stability but endlessly harps on American vulnerabilities in Iraq; when it claims to favor peace but calls for the destruction of Israel; and when it rhetorically dissociates itself from terrorism while promising the detonation of atomic warheads and pledging support for suicide bombers, the truth of Iran’s dangerous agenda stands revealed.

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Georgetown gets $20 million from prince promoting Islam, ejects Christian groups — The “Christian” part of the center’s projects at the university that has a history of 200 years of higher education following its Christian founding, is conspicuous by its absence in its website plans for its 10-year future.

Georgetown gets $20 million from prince promoting Islam, ejects Christian groups

John Esposito’s “Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding” flourishes, while Christian groups lose recognition. An update to this story. “Georgetown gets $20 million from prince promoting Islam: Just months later, university ejects evangelical Christians from campus,” by Bob Unruh for, with thanks to Truth Seeker:

The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University has been renamed after Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $20 million to its projects. And while that may be just the tail, the dog appears to be moving away from its historic Catholic and Jesuit teaching philosophy too.The Center’s leaders say it now will be used to put on workshops regarding Islam, fostering exchanges with the Muslim world, addressing U.S. policy towards the Muslim world, working on the relationship of Islam and Arab culture, addressing Muslim citizenship and civil liberties, and developing exchange programs for students from the Muslim world.

The “Christian” part of the center’s projects at the university that has a history of 200 years of higher education following its Christian founding, is conspicuous by its absence in its website plans for its 10-year future.

But that won’t be a surprise to leaders of a number of Christian evangelical groups whose leaders recently were told to leave the campus and not list Georgetown University as a site for operations in the future.

That story, reported by WND earlier, still has folks wondering what happened to cause Georgetown officials to ban InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and others. InterVarsity spokesman Gordon Govier said the organization still doesn’t know why the move was announced by university officials, who did not return WND messages left inquiring about the situation.

“We still are a little bit confused about what happened,” he told WND. “We haven’t been able to identify clearly what happened.”

He said Christians in the InterVarsity organization still are meeting at Georgetown, but they have no official sanction and are meeting without recognition, much as many Christian churches in nations where religion is regulated meet.

He said there is a committee meeting that is supposed to hear concerns from Christians, and InterVarsity is hopeful there will be a positive outcome, but there’s no time frame set.

But the time frame for other interests that have become relevant to Georgetown are a little more apparent. The school’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding confirmed several months ago that the $20 million donation was made by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and a short time later the Center was given the added moniker as Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

The organization now features a number of pro-Muslim statements and articles, with little reference to any Christian statements or understandings. It even has co-sponsored events with CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terrorism-related charges.

The center’s chief, John L. Esposito, summarizes the goals of the organization clearly: “The Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is concerned with Islam and the West and Islam in the West. The Center, since its creation in 1993, has built bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and the West, addressing stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and issues and questions such as the clash of civilizations, and the compatibility of Islam and modern life – from democratization and pluralism to the status of women, minorities and human rights – and American foreign policy in the Muslim world.”