Obama, Ahmadinejab, and a Shia Apocalyptic Scenario?

Dr. Michael G. Davis

http://apologetica.us

Obama, Ahmadinejab, and a Shia Apocalyptic Scenario?

By Dr. D | November 18, 2008

President Mahmoud Ahm...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejab has been talking about an apocalyptic Shia/Islamic scenario for several years now–predicting that ‘ the Hidden Imam‘ would soon return as the end-time Mahdi that establishes Islamic rule over the entire world.

Following the election of Barack Obama, some Shities actually believe that Obama could be a possible fulfillment of an end-time Islamic prophecy.

I found the link to this at SmartChristian.com and in an article by Daniel Pipes. Here is a quote from the original article

by Amir Taheri:

According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a “tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West.” Commanding “the strongest army on earth,” the new ruler in the West will carry “a clear sign” from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: “Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us.”

In a curious coincidence Obama’s first and second names–Barack Hussein–mean “the blessing of Hussein” in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means “he is with us,” the magic formula in Majlisi’s tradition.

Mystical reasons aside, the Khomeinist establishment sees Obama’s rise as another sign of the West’s decline and the triumph of Islam. Obama’s promise to seek unconditional talks with the Islamic Republic is cited as a sign that the U.S. is ready to admit defeat.

Response: This is not good at all. It is the type of scenario that Ahmadinejab might take serious and plan accordingly. If there is a perception that the USA is in decline under Obama’s administration and that he is an actual sign that Islam is about to rise up and dominate, the Iranian leaders might miscalculate and bring about an actual confrontation with Israel, the United States, and the West.

Pres. Ahmadinejab has already threatened Israel’s existence on a number of occasions. The Iranians last week tested some new missiles that could reach Israel and parts of Europe. If and when they actually go nuclear–then this scenario could end up having some serious consequences indeed.

It is doubtful that the Israelis would wait to act until a nuclear missile was actually in the air headed their way. Look for a strike way before the Iranians have that capability. One can only guess what the aftermath would bring–it would not be pretty and it could be apocalyptic!           *Top

Iran Is Seeking To Gain Time While Waiting For Mahdi To Come

Iran Press Service

http://www.iran-press-service.com/ips/articles-2008/august2008/iran-is-seeking-to-gain-time-while-waiting-for-mah.shtml

Iran Is Seeking To Gain Time While Waiting For Mahdi To Come

Iran’s international situation is so disastrous, the officials so discredited, the moral so low, the despair and discontent so deep, the corruption so generalized and so obvious, the regime so hated that in order to divert the attention of the public to other issues and mobilize them behind a fear factor, the decision-makers are genuinely looking to a show-down with the United States or Israel, or the two, informed sources in Tehran told Iran Press Service.

 

 

Paris, 5 Aug. (IPS) Iran’s international situation is so disastrous, the officials so discredited, the moral so low, the despair and discontent so deep, the corruption so generalized and so obvious, the regime so hated that in order to divert the attention of the public to other issues and mobilize them behind a fear factor, the decision-makers are genuinely looking to a show-down with the United States or Israel, or the two, informed sources in Tehran told Iran Press Service.

          At the same time, aware of the serious possibilities of a mass uprising by a population already hit badly economically, in case of further sanctions decided by the United Nations Security Council and respected by the international community, the regime tries, by taking one step forward and two backward, to protract as much time as possible the negotiations with the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany concerning its controversial nuclear activities.

          Hence Iran’s conciliatory attitude and ambiguous statements every time the group of six, (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China), exasperated and frustrated at Tehran’s uncompromising stance, raise the flag of new sanctions.

Tehran adamantly reject the demands for suspension of its nuclear activities as “illegal”, describes the resolutions as “worn out papers”

          Likewise, on 5 August, the date the Group had set for Tehran to respond to its latest proposals for continuing nuclear talks, Iranian media quoted unidentified officials announcing the delivery of a letter to Mr. Xavier Solana, the Spanish super minister of the European Union for Security and Foreign Affairs and representing the group of six.

          However, according to the same media and same official, the letter “is not an answer to the group’s proposals”, including the so-called “freeze against freeze”, meaning Iran suspending its uranium enriching activities while talks continue against the Security Council refraining implementing the sanctions already approved and deciding on new ones.

          Tehran adamantly reject the demands for suspension of its nuclear activities as “illegal”, describes the resolutions as “worn out papers”, reiterates that it is not after nuclear arms, reminds that having nuclear technology is its right under international laws and regulations, continues to enrich uranium, insisting that this activity is its “legitimate right”.

          “The letter of Mr. Sa’id Jalili, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) and the regime’s senior nuclear negotiator to Mr. Solana, his principal counterpart for the talks, comprises a short review of the latest meeting between the two men”, the semi-official Students News Agency ISNA reported, without mentioning that the 19 July meeting in Geneva was attended by deputy foreign ministers from all the parties engaged, including for the first time a representative from the United States.

            “The letter does not address the Group’s main demand, namely the suspension of uranium enriching activities”, a source close to Mr. Solana said, baffled at the meaning of the document, which an Iranian political analyst described as “masterpiece of mollahs doublespeak ambivalence”, as, according to another source from Iran’s SCNS, the message was “no more than a transcript of a telephone conversation between Solana and Iran’s top nuclear negotiators on Monday”.

Jalili - Solana
The message was “no more than a transcript of a telephone conversation between Solana and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Jalili, who met in Geneva

          “What was given to Solana was the telephone conversation transcript and not a response to the proposed package”, the source told the official IRNA news agency. Adding to the confusion, a source close to Solana said that “for the time being we have not received anything” from Tehran and emphasised there was often a time lag between Iranian announcements and the actual delivery.

          “The basis to the foreign policy of the ruling ayatollahs is essentially based on the old Persian saying of: there is always some hope from one column to another”, the political analyst said.

          Despite an unprecedented revenues from oil, the economic situation is quasi paralysed, huge capitals are flying to outside Iran, prices for basic food and housing are shooting up on a daily basis, as inflation does, making life almost unbearable for the middle and poor classes, electricity and fuel shortages cripple the local industries, making domestic products uncompetitive against foreign goods, mostly made in China, South Korea, India and other developing nations.

          “The problem with Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is that not only he himself do not understand anything about modern economy, but because of his firm belief that Mahdi, the Muslim Shi’a’s twelfth imam would soon reappear and arrange everything to the liking of the Iranians, he has no confidence in economic experts and listen to no one, except yes men”, explains a source close to him, speaking on condition of anonymity.

          According to Shia’s, Imam Mahdi went into hiding in a well about eight hundreds years ago, at the age of eight, to re-emerge when the world is “saturated with sin, corruption, mismanagement and disillusion”.

The basis to the foreign policy of the ruling ayatollahs is essentially based on the old Persian saying of: there is always some hope from one column to another

          One of the reasons Tehran arrogantly and in a provocative manner refuses to cooperate with the international community on nuclear issue is the hope that the hidden Imam will come to the rescue of Iran and until then, one has to gain time.

          “At the same time, with a yes and no policy, the ruling ayatollahs also hope that the six, or at least four of them, meaning minus Russia and China, would get serious in implementing the sanctions, thus providing Iranian officials the tools to portray the Islamic Republic as a victim of the imperialists and justify more sacrifices from the Iranian people, including accepting more repressions, more censorship of the press and expressions, more restrictions on the already badly limited social and cultural freedoms”, the source added.

          To prepare the public for a military showdown, not only the mollahrchy multiply military maneuvers, puts on show its military equipments, like ballistic, medium and short-range missiles, fast torpedoes and speedboats, jet fighters, bombers, and now new devices that would stop enemy’s vessels at 300 kilometres from Iranian shores, but also creates an atmosphere of fear by telling the people that the world’s war mongers, meaning essentially the major western powers led by the United States, are determined to destroy the Islamic Republic, “the heart of the world’s 1.3 billions Muslims”.

          The base of Iran’s intransigency lies in its intrinsic difference with the United States in particular, and the international community in general in that the Islamic Republic does not recognize the present world system based on the United Nations, a system that at the same time, has recognised America as the world’s most powerful nation and leader.

          “This is a very good case of Iranian ambivalence: The regime rejects the present world order, wants to change it, starting by the United Nations, a body it regards as an object at the hands of the United Nations and the five permanent members of the Security Council, while at the same time, not only it continue its membership of the Organisation, but also wants to enter the Security Council”, observed Mr. Abbas Abdi, a leading Iranian political analyst and journalist.

          In his view, the Iranian clerical rulers do not understand that if Washington, or China, or Russia, or any other major nations have noting against India, Pakistan and Israel’s nuclear weapons, it is because they do not reject the present world order. “If China and Russia have signed the three resolutions against Iran is that they consider themselves as part of this international order and do not want to change it”, Mr. Abdi pointed out.

Assad Ahmadinejad
Assad Told his Iranian couterparts to be ready for historic changes in the Middle East.

          Would the Islamic Republic hear the voice of the logic and change course, as Libya did, as North Korea is doing and Syria might soon join the rank of the West?

          “Syria of President Bashar Assad, which, contrary to his Iranian counterpart, does not seek the annihilation of Israel, would certainly leave the camp of the region’s radicals led by Iran and join the west if and when it can trust Washington and Tel Aviv. The day Damascus recovers the Golan Heights; it would establish full relations with Israel”, wrote Mr. Ahmad Zeydabai, an influential pro-reform Iranian journalist, adding:

          “Bashar is preparing himself for this historic moment, a move that would certainly change the face of the Middle East. This is what very probably Assad informed the Iranians during his last visit to Tehran last week and very probably, he also told Iranians that it is time for them to change to the region’s new realities”.

          But as things stands in Tehran, most people doubt. ENDS IRAN SITUATION 6808

 

LONG BUT VERY IMPORTANT ARTICLE: An Anatomy of Surrender: Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.

Bruce Bawer
An Anatomy of Surrender
Motivated by fear and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.
Spring 2008

Islam divides the world into two parts. The part governed by sharia, or Islamic law, is called the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission. Everything else is the Dar al-Harb, or House of War, so called because it will take war—holy war, jihad—to bring it into the House of Submission. Over the centuries, this jihad has taken a variety of forms. Two centuries ago, for instance, Muslim pirates from North Africa captured ships and enslaved their crews, leading the U.S. to fight the Barbary Wars of 1801–05 and 1815. In recent decades, the jihadists’ weapon of choice has usually been the terrorist’s bomb; the use of planes as missiles on 9/11 was a variant of this method.

What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Kho­meini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies’ basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies.

The cultural jihadists have enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particular—the 2004 assassination in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islam’s oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism that followed a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed—have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy, and multicultural ideology—which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressive—people at every level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words, to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept the deferential status of dhimmis—infidels living in Muslim societies.

Call it a cultural surrender. The House of War is slowly—or not so slowly, in Europe’s case—being absorbed into the House of Submission.

The Western media are in the driver’s seat on this road to sharia. Often their approach is to argue that we’re the bad guys. After the late Dutch sociologist-turned-politician Pim Fortuyn sounded the alarm about the danger that Europe’s Islamization posed to democracy, elite journalists labeled him a threat. A New York Times headline described him as marching the dutch to the right. Dutch newspapers Het Parool and De Volkskrant compared him with Mussolini; Trouw likened him to Hitler. The man (a multiculturalist, not a Muslim) who murdered him in May 2002 seemed to echo such verdicts when explaining his motive: Fortuyn’s views on Islam, the killer insisted, were “dangerous.”

Perhaps no Western media outlet has exhibited this habit of moral inversion more regularly than the BBC. In 2006, to take a typical example, Manchester’s top imam told psychotherapist John Casson that he supported the death penalty for homosexuality. Casson expressed shock—and the BBC, in a dispatch headlined imam accused of “gay death” slur, spun the controversy as an effort by Casson to discredit Islam. The BBC concluded its story with comments from an Islamic Human Rights Commission spokesman, who equated Muslim attitudes toward homosexuality with those of “other orthodox religions, such as Catholicism” and complained that focusing on the issue was “part of demonizing Muslims.”

In June 2005, the BBC aired the documentary Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic, which sought to portray concerns about Islamic radicalism as overblown. This “stunning whitewash of radical Islam,” as Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson put it, “helped keep the British public fast asleep, a few weeks before the bombs went off in London subways and buses” in July 2005. In December 2007, it emerged that five of the documentary’s subjects, served up on the show as examples of innocuous Muslims-next-door, had been charged in those terrorist attacks—and that BBC producers, though aware of their involvement after the attacks took place, had not reported important information about them to the police.

Press acquiescence to Muslim demands and threats is endemic. When the Mohammed cartoons—published in September 2005 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten to defy rising self-censorship after van Gogh’s murder—were answered by worldwide violence, only one major American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, joined such European dailies as Die Welt and El País in reprinting them as a gesture of free-speech solidarity. Editors who refused to run the images claimed that their motive was multicultural respect for Islam. Critic Christopher Hitchens believed otherwise, writing that he “knew quite a number of the editors concerned and can say for a certainty that the chief motive for ‘restraint’ was simple fear.” Exemplifying the new dhimmitude, whatever its motivation, was Norway’s leading cartoonist, Finn Graff, who had often depicted Israelis as Nazis, but who now vowed not to draw anything that might provoke Muslim wrath. (On a positive note, this February, over a dozen Danish newspapers, joined by a number of other papers around the world, reprinted one of the original cartoons as a free-speech gesture after the arrest of three people accused of plotting to kill the artist.)

Last year brought another cartoon crisis—this time over Swedish artist Lars Vilks’s drawings of Mohammed as a dog, which ambassadors from Muslim countries used as an excuse to demand speech limits in Sweden. CNN reporter Paula Newton suggested that perhaps “Vilks should have known better” because of the Jyllands-Posten incident—as if people who make art should naturally take their marching orders from people who make death threats. Meanwhile, The Economist depicted Vilks as an eccentric who shouldn’t be taken “too seriously” and noted approvingly that Sweden’s prime minister, unlike Denmark’s, invited the ambassadors “in for a chat.”

The elite media regularly underreport fundamentalist Muslim misbehavior or obfuscate its true nature. After the knighting of Rushdie in 2007 unleashed yet another wave of international Islamist mayhem, Tim Rutten wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “If you’re wondering why you haven’t been able to follow all the columns and editorials in the American press denouncing all this homicidal nonsense, it’s because there haven’t been any.” Or consider the riots that gripped immigrant suburbs in France in the autumn of 2005. These uprisings were largely assertions of Muslim authority over Muslim neighborhoods, and thus clearly jihadist in character. Yet weeks passed before many American press outlets mentioned them—and when they did, they de-emphasized the rioters’ Muslim identity (few cited the cries of “Allahu akbar,” for instance). Instead, they described the violence as an outburst of frustration over economic injustice.

When polls and studies of Muslims appear, the media often spin the results absurdly or drop them down the memory hole after a single news cycle. Journalists celebrated the results of a 2007 Pew poll showing that 80 percent of American Muslims aged 18 to 29 said that they opposed suicide bombing—even though the flip side, and the real story, was that a double-digit percentage of young American Muslims admitted that they supported it. u.s. muslims assimilated, opposed to extremism, the Washington Post rejoiced, echoing USA Today’s american muslims reject extremes. A 2006 Daily Telegraph survey showed that 40 percent of British Muslims wanted sharia in Britain—yet British reporters often write as though only a minuscule minority embraced such views.

After each major terrorist act since 9/11, the press has dutifully published stories about Western Muslims fearing an “anti-Muslim backlash”—thus neatly shifting the focus from Islamists’ real acts of violence to non-Muslims’ imaginary ones. (These backlashes, of course, never materialize.) While books by Islam experts like Bat Ye’or and Robert Spencer, who tell difficult truths about jihad and sharia, go unreviewed in newspapers like the New York Times, the elite press legitimizes thinkers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito, whose sugarcoated representations of Islam should have been discredited for all time by 9/11. The Times described Armstrong’s hagiography of Mohammed as “a good place to start” learning about Islam; in July 2007, the Washington Post headlined a piece by Esposito want to understand islam? start here.

Mainstream outlets have also served up anodyne portraits of fundamentalist Muslim life. Witness Andrea Elliott’s affectionate three-part profile of a Brooklyn imam, which appeared in the New York Times in March 2006. Elliott and the Times sought to portray Reda Shata as a heroic bridge builder between two cultures, leaving readers with the comforting belief that the growth of Islam in America was not only harmless but positive, even beautiful. Though it emerged in passing that Shata didn’t speak English, refused to shake women’s hands, wanted to forbid music, and supported Hamas and suicide bombing, Elliott did her best to downplay such unpleasant details; instead, she focused on sympathetic personal particulars. “Islam came to him softly, in the rhythms of his grandmother’s voice”; “Mr. Shata discovered love 15 years ago. . . . ‘She entered my heart,‘ said the imam.” Elliott’s saccharine piece won a Pulitzer Prize. When Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes pointed out that Shata was obviously an Islamist, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review dismissed Pipes as “right-wing” and insisted that Shata was “very moderate.”

So it goes in this upside-down, not-so-brave new media world: those who, if given the power, would subjugate infidels, oppress women, and execute apostates and homosexuals are “moderate” (a moderate, these days, apparently being anybody who doesn’t have explosives strapped to his body), while those who dare to call a spade a spade are “Islamophobes.”

The entertainment industry has been nearly as appalling. During World War II, Hollywood churned out scores of films that served the war effort, but today’s movies and TV shows, with very few exceptions, either tiptoe around Islam or whitewash it. In the whitewash category were two sitcoms that debuted in 2007, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Little Mosque on the Prairie and CW’s Aliens in America. Both shows are about Muslims confronting anti-Muslim bigotry; both take it for granted that there’s no fundamentalist Islam problem in the West, but only an anti-Islam problem.

Muslim pressure groups have actively tried to keep movies and TV shows from portraying Islam as anything but a Religion of Peace. For example, the Council for American-Islamic Relations successfully lobbied Paramount Pictures to change the bad guys in The Sum of All Fears (2002) from Islamist terrorists to neo-Nazis, while Fox’s popular series 24, after Muslims complained about a story line depicting Islamic terrorists, ran cringe-worthy public-service announcements emphasizing how nonviolent Islam was. Earlier this year, Iranian-Danish actor Farshad Kholghi noted that, despite the cartoon controversy’s overwhelming impact on Denmark, “not a single movie has been made about the crisis, not a single play, not a single stand-up monologue.” Which, of course, is exactly what the cartoon jihadists wanted.

In April 2006, an episode of the animated series South Park admirably mocked the wave of self-censorship that followed the Jyllands-Posten crisis—but Comedy Central censored it, replacing an image of Mohammed with a black screen and an explanatory notice. According to series producer Anne Garefino, network executives frankly admitted that they were acting out of fear. “We were happy,” she told an interviewer, “that they didn’t try to claim that it was because of religious tolerance.”

Then there’s the art world. Postmodern artists who have always striven to shock and offend now maintain piously that Islam deserves “respect.” Museums and galleries have quietly taken down paintings that might upset Muslims and have put into storage manuscripts featuring images of Mohammed. London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery removed life-size nude dolls by surrealist artist Hans Bellmer from a 2006 exhibit just before its opening; the official excuse was “space constraints,” but the curator admitted that the real reason was fear that the nudity might offend the gallery’s Muslim neighbors. Last November, after the cancellation of a show in The Hague of artworks depicting gay men in Mohammed masks, the artist, Sooreh Hera, charged the museum with giving in to Muslim threats. Tim Marlow of London’s White Cube Gallery notes that such self-censorship by artists and museums is now common, though “very few people have explicitly admitted” it. British artist Grayson Perry, whose work has mercilessly mocked Christianity, is one who has—and his reluctance isn’t about multicultural sensitivity. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art,” he told the Times of London, “is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

Leading liberal intellectuals and academics have shown a striking willingness to betray liberal values when it comes to pacifying Muslims. Back in 2001, Unni Wikan, a distinguished Norwegian cultural anthropologist and Islam expert, responded to the high rate of Muslim-on-infidel rape in Oslo by exhorting women to “realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

More recently, high-profile Europe experts Ian Buruma of Bard College and Timothy Garton Ash of Oxford, while furiously denying that they advocate cultural surrender, have embraced “accommodation,” which sounds like a distinction without a difference. In his book Murder in Amsterdam, Buruma approvingly quotes Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen’s call for “accommodation with the Muslims,” including those “who consciously discriminate against their women.” Sharia enshrines a Muslim man’s right to beat and rape his wife, to force marriages on his daughters, and to kill them if they resist. One wonders what female Muslims who immigrated to Europe to escape such barbarity think of this prescription.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and one of Britain’s best-known public intellectuals, suggested in February the institution of a parallel system of sharia law in Britain. Since the Islamic Sharia Council already adjudicates Muslim marriages and divorces in the U.K., what Williams was proposing was, as he put it, “a much enhanced and quite sophisticated version of such a body, with increased resources.” Gratifyingly, his proposal, short on specifics and long on academic doublespeak (“I don’t think,” he told the BBC, “that we should instantly spring to the conclusion that the whole of that world of jurisprudence and practice is somehow monstrously incompatible with human rights, simply because it doesn’t immediately fit with how we understand it”) was greeted with public outrage.

Another prominent accommodationist is humanities professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University, author of an August 2007 essay in the New York Times Magazine so long and languorous, and written with such perfect academic dispassion, that many readers may have finished it without realizing that it charted a path leading straight to sharia. Muslims’ “full reconciliation with modern liberal democracy cannot be expected,” Lilla wrote. For the West, “coping is the order of the day, not defending high principle.”

Revealing in this light is Buruma’s and Garton Ash’s treatment of author Ayaan Hirsi Ali—perhaps the greatest living champion of Western freedom in the face of creeping jihad—and of the Europe-based Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan. Because Hirsi Ali refuses to compromise on liberty, Garton Ash has called her a “simplistic . . . Enlightenment fundamentalist”—thus implicitly equating her with the Muslim fundamentalists who have threatened to kill her—while Buruma, in several New York Times pieces, has portrayed her as a petulant naif. (Both men have lately backed off somewhat.) On the other hand, the professors have rhapsodized over Ramadan’s supposed brilliance. They aren’t alone: though he’s clearly not the Westernized, urbane intellectual he seems to be—he refuses to condemn the stoning of adulteresses and clearly looks forward to a Europe under sharia—this grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and protégé of Islamist scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi regularly wins praise in bien-pensant circles as representing the best hope for long-term concord between Western Muslims and non-Muslims.

This spring, Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, writing in the New York Times Magazine, actually gave two cheers for sharia. He contrasted it favorably with English common law, and described “the Islamists’ aspiration to renew old ideas of the rule of law” as “bold and noble.”

With the press, the entertainment industry, and prominent liberal thinkers all refusing to defend basic Western liberties, it’s not surprising that our political leaders have been pusillanimous, too. After a tiny Oslo newspaper, Magazinet, reprinted the Danish cartoons in early 2006, jihadists burned Norwegian flags and set fire to Norway’s embassy in Syria. Instead of standing up to the vandals, Norwegian leaders turned on Magazinet’s editor, Vebjørn Selbekk, partially blaming him for the embassy burning and pressing him to apologize. He finally gave way at a government-sponsored press conference, groveling before an assemblage of imams whose leader publicly forgave him and placed him under his protection. On that terrible day, Selbekk later acknowledged, “Norway went a long way toward allowing freedom of speech to become the Islamists’ hostage.” As if that capitulation weren’t disgrace enough, an official Norwegian delegation then traveled to Qatar and implored Qaradawi—a defender of suicide bombers and the murder of Jewish children—to accept Selbekk’s apology. “To meet Yusuf al-Qaradawi under the present circumstances,” Norwegian-Iraqi writer Walid al-Kubaisi protested, was “tantamount to granting extreme Islamists . . . a right of joint consultation regarding how Norway should be governed.”

The UN’s position on the question of speech versus “respect” for Islam was clear—and utterly at odds with its founding value of promoting human rights. “You don’t joke about other people’s religion,” Kofi Annan lectured soon after the Magazinet incident, echoing the sermons of innumerable imams, “and you must respect what is holy for other people.” In October 2006, at a UN panel discussion called “Cartooning for Peace,” Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor proposed drawing “a very thin blue UN line . . . between freedom and responsibility.” (Americans might be forgiven for wondering whether that line would strike through the First Amendment.) And in 2007, the UN’s Human Rights Council passed a Pakistani motion prohibiting defamation of religion.

Other Western government leaders have promoted the expansion of the Dar al-Islam. In September 2006, when philosophy teacher Robert Redeker went into hiding after receiving death threats over a Le Figaro op-ed on Islam, France’s then–prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, commented that “everyone has the right to express their opinions freely—at the same time that they respect others, of course.” The lesson of the Redeker affair, he said, was “how vigilant we must be to ensure that people fully respect one another in our society.” Villepin got a run for his money last year from his Swedish counterpart, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who, after meeting with Muslim ambassadors to discuss the Vilks cartoons, won praise from one of them, Algeria’s Merzak Bedjaoui, for his “spirit of appeasement.”

When, years after September 11, President George W. Bush finally acknowledged publicly that the West was at war with Islamic fascism, Muslims’ and multiculturalists’ furious reaction made him retreat to the empty term “war on terror.” Britain’s Foreign Office has since deemed even that phrase offensive and banned its use by cabinet members (along with “Islamic extremism”). In January, the Home Office decided that Islamic terrorism would henceforth be described as “anti-Islamic activity.”

Western legislatures and courts have reinforced the “spirit of appeasement.” In 2005, Norway’s parliament, with virtually no public discussion or media coverage, criminalized religious insults (and placed the burden of proof on the defendant). Last year, that country’s most celebrated lawyer, Tor Erling Staff, argued that the punishment for honor killing should be less than for other murders, because it’s arrogant for us to expect Muslim men to conform to our society’s norms. Also in 2007, in one of several instances in which magistrates sworn to uphold German law have followed sharia instead, a Frankfurt judge rejected a Muslim woman’s request for a quick divorce from her brutally abusive husband; after all, under the Koran he had the right to beat her.

Those who dare to defy the West’s new sharia-based strictures and speak their minds now risk prosecution in some countries. In 2006, legendary author Oriana Fallaci, dying of cancer, went on trial in Italy for slurring Islam; three years earlier, she had defended herself in a French court against a similar charge. (Fallaci was ultimately found not guilty in both cases.) More recently, Canadian provinces ordered publisher Ezra Levant and journalist Mark Steyn to face human rights tribunals, the former for reprinting the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, the latter for writing critically about Islam in Maclean’s.

Even as Western authorities have hassled Islam’s critics, they’ve honored jihadists and their supporters. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth knighted Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain, a man who had called for the death of Salman Rushdie. Also that year, London mayor Ken Livingstone ludicrously praised Qaradawi as “progressive”—and, in response to gay activists who pointed out that Qaradawi had defended the death penalty for homosexuals, issued a dissertation-length dossier whitewashing the Sunni scholar and trying to blacken the activists’ reputations. Of all the West’s leaders, however, few can hold a candle to Piet Hein Donner, who in 2006, as Dutch minister of justice, said that if voters wanted to bring sharia to the Netherlands—where Muslims will soon be a majority in major cities—“it would be a disgrace to say, ‘This is not permitted!’ ”

If you don’t find the dhimmification of politicians shocking, consider the degree to which law enforcement officers have yielded to Islamist pressure. Last year, when “Undercover Mosque,” an unusually frank exposé on Britain’s Channel 4, showed “moderate” Muslim preachers calling for the beating of wives and daughters and the murder of gays and apostates, police leaped into action—reporting the station to the government communications authority, Ofcom, for stirring up racial hatred. (Ofcom, to its credit, rejected the complaint.) The police reaction, as James Forsyth noted in the Spectator, “revealed a mindset that views the exposure of a problem as more of a problem than the problem itself.” Only days after the “Undercover Mosque” broadcast—in a colossal mark of indifference to the reality that it exposed—Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair announced plans to share antiterrorist intelligence with Muslim community leaders. These plans, fortunately, were later shelved.

Canadian Muslim reformist Irshad Manji has noted that in 2006, when 17 terrorists were arrested in Toronto on the verge of giving Canada “its own 9/11,” “the police did not mention that it had anything to do with Islam or Muslims, not a word.” When, after van Gogh’s murder, a Rotterdam artist drew a street mural featuring an angel and the words thou shalt not kill, police, fearing Muslim displeasure, destroyed the mural (and a videotape of its destruction). In July 2007, a planned TV appeal by British cops to help capture a Muslim rapist was canceled to avoid “racist backlash.” And in August, the Times of London reported that “Asian” men (British code for “Muslims”) in the U.K. were having sex with perhaps hundreds of “white girls as young as twelve”—but that authorities wouldn’t take action for fear of “upsetting race relations.” Typically, neither the Times nor government officials acknowledged that the “Asian” men’s contempt for the “white” girls was a matter not of race but of religion.

Even military leaders aren’t immune. In 2005, columnist Diana West noted that America’s Iraq commander, Lieutenant General John R. Vines, was educating his staff in Islam by giving them a reading list that “whitewashes jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law with the works of Karen Armstrong and John Esposito”; two years later, West noted the unwillingness of a counterinsurgency advisor, Lieutenant Colonel David Kilcullen, to mention jihad. In January 2008, the Pentagon fired Stephen Coughlin, its resident expert on sharia and jihad; reportedly, his acknowledgment that terrorism was motivated by jihad had antagonized an influential Muslim aide. “That Coughlin’s analyses would even be considered ‘controversial,’ ” wrote Andrew Bostom, editor of The Legacy of Jihad, “is pathognomonic of the intellectual and moral rot plaguing our efforts to combat global terrorism.” (Perhaps owing to public outcry, officials announced in February that Coughlin would not be dismissed after all, but instead moved to another Department of Defense position.)

Enough. We need to recognize that the cultural jihadists hate our freedoms because those freedoms defy sharia, which they’re determined to impose on us. So far, they have been far less successful at rolling back freedom of speech and other liberties in the U.S. than in Europe, thanks in no small part to the First Amendment. Yet America is proving increasingly susceptible to their pressures.

The key question for Westerners is: Do we love our freedoms as much as they hate them? Many free people, alas, have become so accustomed to freedom, and to the comfortable position of not having to stand up for it, that they’re incapable of defending it when it’s imperiled—or even, in many cases, of recognizing that it is imperiled. As for Muslims living in the West, surveys suggest that many of them, though not actively involved in jihad, are prepared to look on passively—and some, approvingly—while their coreligionists drag the Western world into the House of Submission.

But we certainly can’t expect them to take a stand for liberty if we don’t stand up for it ourselves.

Bruce Bawer is the author of While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within. He blogs at BruceBawer.com.

 

 

 

Thug-In-Chief: “Iran becoming a nuclear country was one of the Imam Mahdi’s miracles”

Thug-In-Chief: “Iran becoming a nuclear country was one of the Imam Mahdi’s miracles”

Here, courtesy Jihad Watch reader Charlemagne’s Funny Bone, is a quick summary — but fuller than most that have appeared in the mainstream media — of Ahmadinejad’s one hour and three minute speech before 200-300 clerics in the City of Mashad, Iran.

The last two years was the hardest time, after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, through which we have passed. Some Iranian people are telling me that the price of oil has gone up so why we don’t see any of its effect in our country. They ask me why the price of food and many other things are rising. I have to tell you when the price of oil goes up the price of everything go up. My government won’t receive all of the money that we make out of oil. Whatever Majlis approves, my government spends and rest of the money that we made on oil goes to the treasury. The government before me (Rafsanjani, Khatami) changed many things. Whenever I want to fix any corruption, many people within regime that I do not want to name begin to talk against me. In one of their meetings they (Rafsanjani, Khatami) said someone (Ahmadinejad) wants to go against us, but he has to know two things in the country that are in our hands: the Banks and Oil. So, he cannot do anything.We have to work very hard to establish justice in our country. Our foreign enemies thought that by passing resolutions in the United Nations, they could stop us from becoming a nuclear country. But with God’s help, now we are a nuclear country and they cannot do anything about it. There are many problems that, God willing, we will pass. I will talk about how we pass all of these problems in the second part of my speech.

You people know that God did not create man to live the way he is living today. No one used his mind better than prophets and Imams. The glorifications of men all will happen with divine management. If there is not any divine management, nothing happens in the world. All of the fights from the beginning of humanity have been because of he who has to manage and govern the world. From the beginning of humanity, all of the prophets said that the world must be managed through divine direction. We have to create a situation for the establishment of divine government. Anything that happens in the world happens because of Imam Mahdi. The creation of the world was because of the Imam Mahdi. The misery of humanity is because they don’t think about establishment of divine government on earth. There is no other truth or goodness in the world except the establishment of Imam Mahdi’s government on earth.

One day I was in a gathering, some people asked me what are these things that you are talking about, I told them that I did not say these things, God said them. If we don’t connect ourselves to the Imam, we are nothing. The return of Imam Mahdi is the only truth that we must think about. From the beginning of humanity there have been people with evil intentions that have been trying to stop us from thinking about the return of Imam Mahdi. Some people just see the body of the enemies but not their intentions. For example, the people who came and occupied Iraq, it seems their intention is to steal Iraqi’s oil, but that is not the case. Actually they have studied and analyzed that something is about to happen in this area. A divine hand is about to come out from this area and obliterate the corruption in the world.

Some people think that at this time Imam Mahdi is living somewhere and doesn’t care about humanity, but they are wrong. At this time Imam Mahdi is managing the world. My dear people, let me tell you something, at this time humanity has entered a new era. The people around the world are up rising against the arrogant powers. At this time we are seeing many of miracles of Imam Mahdi. For example, Iran becoming a nuclear country was one of the Imam Mahdi’s miracles. The victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran was another miracle of Imam Mahdi.

Let me tell you something, one day one of the grand Ayatollahs, whom many of you know, told me, “I have heard that you are talking about the return of Imam Mahdi and that you are in contact with him. Is that right?” I told him that I believe Imam Mahdi is managing the world. Furthermore, I told him, “Do you know what my problem is? My problem is that I believe everything people like you taught me.”

I believe that Iran is becoming the center of this management. “We must solve Iran’s internal problems as quickly as possible. Time is lacking. A movement has started for us to occupy ourselves with our global responsibilities, which are arriving with great speed.”

 

Posted at May 8, 2008 10:19 PM

Report: Mahdi army commanders withdraw to Iran to lie low during security crackdown

Report: Mahdi army commanders withdraw to Iran to lie low during security crackdown

“Mahdi army commanders withdraw to Iran to lie low during security crackdown,” by Michael Howard for The Guardian:

Senior commanders of the Mahdi army, the militia loyal to the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, have been spirited away to Iran to avoid being targeted in the new security push in Baghdad, a high-level Iraqi official told the Guardian yesterday.

On the day the Iraqi government formally launched its crackdown on insurgents and amid disputed claims about the whereabouts of Mr Sadr, the official said the Mahdi army leadership had withdrawn across the border into Iran to regroup and retrain.

“Over the last three weeks, they [Iran] have taken away from Baghdad the first and second-tier military leaders of the Mahdi army,” he said. The aim of the Iranians was to “prevent the dismantling of the infrastructure of the Shia militias” in the Iraqi capital – one of the chief aims of the US-backed security drive.

Plotting to let the U.S. do the dirty work, and then come back and get on with the Iranian client state:

“The strategy is to lie low until the storm passes, and then let them return and fill the vacuum,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Tehran authorities were “playing a waiting game” until the commanders could return to Baghdad and resume their activities. “All indications are that Moqtada is in Iran, but that is not really the point,” he added.

Uprisings

One of the main aims of the latest government crackdown – codename Imposing Law – is to halt the work of the Shia militias and death squads thought to be behind much of the sectarian violence gripping the capital.

[...]

“They [the Iranians] are calculating that the security operation will continue for a certain period of time, and that it will do serious damage to the Sunni jihadists and the insurgents,” the official said. “While in Iran they will be able to get more training and then once the Sunnis have been pacified, they plan to return.”

The claims appeared to be partially confirmed in the holy city of Najaf, south of the capital, yesterday by a senior figure in the Mahdi army, Karim al-Moussawi. He said most of the militia leaders had gone to Iran, but on their own initiative. “They were neither ordered to go by Sayid Muqtada nor invited to enter by the Iranian authorities,” he said. “Simply they were seeking sanctuary as individuals from expected targeting by the US occupying forces during the security drive in Baghdad.” A number of commanders had also gone to Najaf and the southern provinces, he added. “The US forces should be targeting the real terrorists,” he said.

The US has long blamed Iran – and Syria – for letting militants use their territory to slip into Iraq to attack US and Iraqi forces as well as civilians. Yesterday George Bush said he was convinced Iranian weapons were being used by insurgents in Iraq and promised to “do something about it”.

Iraqi authorities, although regularly echoing the US charges against Syria, rarely repeat claims of interference from Iran, with which the Shia-led administration in Baghdad has close ties.

Vanishing

Reports of the vanishing Mahdi fighters came amid mounting speculation over the whereabouts of Mr Sadr. The chief US military spokesman in Baghdad said the anti-western cleric had fled to Iran. “He is in Iran and he left last month,” said Major General William Caldwell. US forces were tracking him “very closely”, he said.

An adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has supported the claim that al-Sadr is in Iran in this AP story, but insists he’s just visiting.

The assertion was hotly contested by senior members of the Sadr movement, who said their leader had been in Najaf meeting local officials. One pro-Sadr satellite channel showed footage of Mr Sadr that it said was taken in Najaf three days ago. Falah al-Akaily, a pro-Sadr MP, said: “This is just a rumour sent around to confuse people. Sayid Moqtada is available and has not left Iraq. Why would he need to do so? The movement has declared its support for the security crackdown and its full cooperation in defeating the terrorists.”

A statement by the Sadr movement’s office in Sadr City accused the US of playing games: “This is a lie put out as part of a psychological and media campaign by the US occupation to hurt the reputation of the brave national leader.”

Of course. What might the Mahdi Army rank-and-file think if they found out their leadership had fled the country and left them behind as cannon fodder?

U.S. tries to cut off terrorists’ cash flow

U.S. tries to cut off terrorists’ cash flow

“The Middle East is the center of graft and corruption in the universe.” Financial Jihad Update from Rowan Scarborough in the Washington Times, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

The U.S. military is not only trying to stop terrorists and arms from leaking into Iraq from Syria and Iran but also another just as dangerous commodity — cash.It’s the lifeblood of the enemy — whether they be al Qaeda terrorists, death squads or Sunnis trying to evict American forces and bring back dictator Saddam Hussein — and U.S. raiders have seized millions of dollars in cash during the conflict.

Military officials point to Syria and its secretive banking system as the main source of Sunni walking-around money, while Iran’s Revolutionary Guard funnels money to Shi’ite militias, such as cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

The enemy’s money began flowing into Iraq with the start of the insurgency in the summer of 2003, and the shipments are still coming in.

“There are billions coming in,” said Daniel Gallington, a former aide to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. “The Middle East is the center of graft and corruption in the universe. It really always has been. The fight in Iraq is about who controls what area is really all about who controls the money.”

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