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Vice President Pence demands U.S. ally Saudi Arabia release Raif Badawi, imprisoned for insulting Islam

Vice President Mike Pence has called on U.S. ally Saudi Arabia to “release Raif Badawi, a blogger imprisoned for reportedly insulting Islam.”

In the midst of Saudi Arabia telling the world that it is modernizing, Raif Badawi remains in jail, and in August of last year, Raif Badawi’s sister Samar — among other women’s rights activists — were rounded up and arrested for criticizing officials in Saudi Arabia. Samar was only heard from last month, when she appeared in court along with other human rights defenders. “Under Saudi Arabia’s terrorism law, the activists face 20 years in prison. Amnesty International’s Philippe Nassif said he was concerned the activists would not have a fair trial or due process, and urged the United States to take action for their release.”

Pence also stated of other jailed human rights defenders:

“The United States calls upon the governments of Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to respect the freedom of conscience and let these men go.”

These countries have no conscience to begin with, nor freedoms. Mauritania is still holding black slaves, Pakistan is globally infamous for its cruel Islamic blasphemy laws, and Saudi Arabia is exporting its Wahhabi ideology to madrassas and mosques globally.  No one can expect any response to Pence’s call for religious freedom in such countries. However, it will be interesting to see how Wahhabi Saudi Arabia decides to respond to Pence’s demand to release Badawi, given the Saudi-US alliance and Saudi Arabia’s boasting about becoming modernized.

US demands Saudi Arabia release ‘critic of Islam,’” Al Jazeera, July 18, 2019:

US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday called out ally Saudi Arabia for the suppression of religious liberties and urged it to release Raif Badawi, a blogger imprisoned for reportedly insulting Islam.

Pence’s highlighting of Badawi’s ill-treatment comes in light of US legislators accusing the Trump administration of failing to act against the kingdom’s leaders for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In an address to the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom conference at the State Department, Pence noted the detention of religious dissidents in Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

“All four of these men have stood strong in defence of religious liberty despite unimaginable pressure, and the American people stand with them,” Pence said.

“The United States calls upon the governments of Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to respect the freedom of conscience and let these men go.”

Republican and Democratic legislators – citing evidence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the Khashoggi case, and incensed over the civilian death toll from the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands – have ramped up efforts to block President Donald Trump’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The CIA has determined with “medium to high confidence” the Saudi crown prince, considered the de facto ruler of the kingdom, ordered the grisly killing of Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate last year.

1,000 lashes
Badawi, who set up the Free Saudi Liberals website, was arrested in June 2012 for offences that included cybercrime and disobeying his father – an act considered an offence in Saudi Arabia.

The prosecution had demanded he be tried for apostasy, which carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, but a judge dismissed that charge……

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

In the Hate of the Moment

While the State Department was trying to stop religious hostility, one congresswoman was down the street trying to fuel it. In an eerie backdrop to the Trump administration’s ministerial, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) seemed determined to highlight the threat that exists right here at home — radical Democrats.

Omar, who hasn’t exactly been a friend to Israel, took her contempt to a new level this week when she introduced a new level of anti-Semitism into her congressional agenda. If she learned anything from her February scandal, when she demeaned the Jewish people and drew the ire of her own party, Omar hasn’t shown it. Instead, she’s doubled down on her obvious disdain for Israel with a resolution that would support the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

If you’re unfamiliar, the BDS movement that Omar is promoting is an effort reminiscent of what took place in Nazi Germany leading up to WWII. In 1933, the German government launched Juden boykott, a boycott of Jewish stores and shops designed to not only to hurt the Jewish community economically but to stigmatize and delegitimize the Jewish people. The BDS movement — whether stated or not — has the same effect only it is an international effort targeting the state of Israel.

The BDS movement is being done in the name of the Palestinians, attempting to force Israel to give up their land in the eastern portion of the country, Judea, and Samaria. The sad irony is that while targeting Israel, the movement is hurting many Arabs and Palestinians who are working side by side with Jewish residents in these communities. I’ve been to places like Ariel, which have thriving industrial parks that employ hundreds of Palestinians. The reality is, in those communities, Israel’s thriving economy is fostering a managed and sustainable peace that so many on the outside have promised through third-party intervention.

The criticism has been so overwhelming that CBS News invited the Minnesota congresswoman on its morning show to explain. “Would you like to make it clear that you’re not anti-Semitic?” Gayle King asked. “Oh, certainly not,” Omar said, smiling. “Yes.” “Would you like to make that clear?” King asked again. “Yes,” Omar repeated, a little more frustrated this time. “Oftentimes there are things that you might say, might not hold weight for you, but to someone else, right, the way that we hear and consume information is very different than how the next person might,” she explained.

Of course, to the Jewish people here and abroad, it’s more than what Omar has said (and that’s more than enough). It’s what she’s doing that speaks the loudest. Vice President Mike Pence, like most conservatives and reasonable Democrats, isn’t fooled. He knows this is part of a much deeper hatred, which, if it isn’t stopped now, has the potential to unleash a frightening new chapter in America. “Anti-Semitism is on the rise,” he warned at the ministerial. “In France and Germany, things have gotten so bad that Jewish religious leaders have warned their followers not to wear kippahs in public for fear that they could be violently attacked. And attacks on Jews, even on aged Holocaust survivors, are growing at an alarming rate.”

Then, in a direct nod at Omar, said, “Regrettably, the world’s oldest hatred has even found a voice in the halls of our United States Congress. So let me say it clearly: Anti-Semitism is not just wrong; it’s evil. And anti-Semitism must be confronted and denounced wherever and whenever it arises, and it must be universally condemned.” That’s a scary thought to most Americans, who assumed the U.S.’s new envoy to combat anti-Semitism wouldn’t be needed here at home.

But, as Noam Marans explained at a panel I joined at the ministerial, “Hate is an equal opportunity offender. It sometimes begins with Jews, but it never ends with Jews.” That’s why the U.S. Congress — and Democratic party in particular — needs to stand up and make it clear: this kind of dangerous prejudice won’t be tolerated. Irene Weiss, a Holocaust survivor, who spent eight months in Auschwitz sleeping next to the crematorium, understands all too well where this leads. “Day and night columns of young mothers with children, and elderly men and women, took their last steps as they passed by our barrack. We watched them enter the gate that led to the gas chamber.”

She thought no one could have possibly known such evil existed. “If they knew, surely they would stop it.” It turns out, world leaders knew about Auschwitz and the other extermination camps. “But the killing continued.” Seventy-years later, she said soberly, “Humanity’s vulnerability to the same forces of hate exists today.” And we cannot say we did not know.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison embraces UK’s anti-Semitic Labour top dog Jeremy Corbyn

These are two leaders of the international Left today, both steeped in irrational Jew-hatred. On the Left, that’s the “enlightened” position.

Ellison’s Jew-hatred is Islamic. The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the well-being of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).

Where does Corbyn’s come from? An uncritical acceptance of the victimhood claims of Islamic advocacy groups in the West, as well as of the “Palestinian” propaganda that the international media routinely retails.

Keith Ellison Embraces Anti-Semitic UK Leader Jeremy Corbyn,” by Ariel Behar, Investigative Project, July 3, 2019:

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a former Democratic National Committee deputy chairman, posted a photo of himself Tuesday night with U.K. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn’s Labour Party has been embroiled in an anti-Semitism controversy that has seen key leaders leave the party. Nearly 40 percent of British Jews said they would consider leaving the U.K. if he were to become prime minister.

Ellison, a savvy politician, has to be aware of Labour’s problems. That did not give him pause about posing with Corbyn, who has embraced terrorist organizations Hamas and Hizballah and called them his friends.

“Awesome day in London,” Ellison wrote, “especially meeting with Rt. Hon. Jeremy Corbyn – a true grassroots organizer.”

Before becoming Labour leader, Corbyn praised a re-issue of a century-old book that claims Jews control banking and the press. Corbyn wrote a foreword in the 2011 edition of J.A. Hobson’s “Imperialism: A Study.

“I am sickened that Labour is now perceived by many as a racist, anti-Semitic Party,” MP Mike Gapes wrote in a February resignation letter posted on social media. “But there has been considerable reluctance since then to seriously deal with hundreds of cases of anti-Semitism and several prominent anti-Semites have been readmitted to the Party.”

An ongoing investigation by Great Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), drew 100 witnesses, The Guardian reported.

Despite the scrutiny, “Nothing has changed,” Jewish Labour Movement Secretary Peter Mason told the newspaper. “We continue to see the same behaviour that we have seen for a very long time and no action taken to tackle it.”

Ellison, a former congressman, is also no stranger to embracing bigotry and anti-Semitism.

In 2010, Ellison promised at a private fundraiser that Israel’s influence on American foreign policy would change once more Muslims got involved in politics.

He was also forced to denounce Louis Farrakhan, a fervent Jew-hater, despite the fact that he met privately with him in 2016. Ellison had said that his ties to the Nation of Islam and Farrakhan ended in the early 1990s.

Ellison insists he’s being unfairly maligned. But he does himself no favors when, as a state attorney general, he makes a point of showing the world he’s aligned with Corbyn…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Facebook and YouTube still feature Videos by Leading al-Qaeda Jihadis

Google/YouTube labels Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager “Nazis,” and buries content that portrays Islam in a negative light, even if it’s accurate, but jihad terror preaching is OK with them. Likewise Facebook, which recently agreed to turn over data on “hate speech” suspects to the French government. Since foes of jihad violence and Sharia oppression are routinely defamed as purveyors of “hate speech,” what Facebook is essentially doing by targeting such people while allowing jihadis to post freely is aiding and abetting the global jihad. If free societies and free people survive this sorry age, and an accurate history of it is written, Mark Zuckerberg will be portrayed as the enemy of freedom that he is.

Al Qaeda’s Master Terrorists Are Still on Facebook and YouTube,” by Michael Weiss and Moustafa Ayad, Daily Beast, June 27, 2019:

In 2006, Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish was repatriated to Saudi Arabia from Guantanamo Bay after he’d served more than five years as an enemy combatant for training with al Qaeda, and fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan against the United States. Released as part of the Obama administration’s plans to shutter the offshore prison, Rubaish was admitted to Riyadh’s rather lackluster “deradicalization” program.

Then, sometime in  2009, he escaped the program and Saudi Arabia with 11 other jihadists.  They all turned up in Yemen and Rubaish soon emerged as the mufti, or Islamic jurist, for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) where he spent the next six years appearing in propaganda videos for the group’s media outlet Al-Malahem, as well as releasing a number of fatwas and articles for other al Qaeda outlets including the English-language Inspire magazine.

Rubaish was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2015.  But his ideas and legacy live on through his sermons and speeches, still hosted on Facebook and YouTube.

Rubaish is joined in digital preservation by other leading lights in jihadist proselytization and virtual recruitment such as Abu Mus’ab al-Suri, the strategist behind the expansion of al Qaeda into Yemen, who helped invent what’s now commonly known as the “lone-wolf” terror attack; Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of AQAP and the second-in command to Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s global head; and Anwar al-Awlaki, the main cleric for AQAP who is considered by counterterrorism experts to be, even from beyond the grave, one of the primary drivers of those lone-wolf attacks.

Taken together, Rubaish, Suri, Wuhayshi and Awlaki can still be found in 105 videos on both social media platforms, despite corporate avowals that this stuff was fast becoming a thing of the past. Yet we identified the videos through simple searches in Arabic using only the names of these prominent jihadists….

Contacted yesterday, Facebook said it was looking into the videos that we highlighted on its platform; YouTube did not respond to our queries in time for publication….

The most-watched video is his half-hour history on the invasions and subsequent injustices that the Muslim world has faced; it seems to have been recorded somewhere in Europe, as he refers to the “Christian world here in Europe.” Suri has Spanish citizenship and between 1994 and 1996 he lived in the London suburb of Neasden. Following the London bombings of 2005, he released a statement praising the selection of mass transit as a major, legitimate soft target….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

UN poised to launch global ban on speech that insults Muslims

Sharia-adherent nations have long “sought a determination from the United Nations that any criticism of Islam or Muslims is ‘Islamophobia’ and banned globally.’”

But somehow Westerners still generally refuse to acknowledge the real meaning and intent of the concept of “Islamophobia.” In short, it’s intended to promote the supremacy of the Sharia by discrediting and silencing critics of Islam. The UN declared its intention to become closer with the OIC years ago, and it has happened. Now:

Nations belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other governments adhering to Shariah law across the world are ramping up their new campaign with the United Nations to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

This aggressive campaign is the logical next step following years of appeasement, thanks to politically correct Western leaders. There have been enough warnings. Now, the final stage for Western subjugation has arrived, and the more Westerners fight for their own right to the freedom of speech, the more aggressive the “Islamophobia” brigade will become, particularly in light of the fact that they have come this far through bullying, intimidation, deceit and manipulation. They’re not about to surrender now, as they have been encouraged by too many Western dhimmis surrendering to them.

Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi incited more support to silence any opposition to Islam and its adherents – including speech condemning Islam for its scriptural inciting of terrorists to conduct jihad (holy war) on “infidels.”

Mainstream Muslim groups in the West share the message of Lodhi and routinely persecute those who call out the truth about Islam. Lodhi stated a common message which is now embraced across the West in describing the so-called consequences of those who offend Islam:

“An inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia”

An “inclusive political process for durable peace”  by rejecting “Islamophobia” is what Lodhi — and other stealth jihadists who are promoting the Sharia — have duped Westerners into believing as they promote Islamic anti-blasphemy laws.

“UN poised to launch global ban on all criticism of Islam,” by Michael F. Haverluck, One News Now, June 23, 2019:

Nations belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other governments adhering to Shariah law across the world are ramping up their new campaign with the United Nations to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

“Islamist nations … long have sought a determination from the United Nations that any criticism of Islam or Muslims is ‘Islamophobia’ and banned globally,’” WND reported, noting that with 57 members, the OIC represents the largest voting bloc in the U.N. “But each time it has come up for a vote, more realistic arguments prevailed and the campaign never was legitimized.”

Pakistan putting on the pressure
After U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unveiled the new “U.N. Strategy and Plan of Action” to fight so-called “hate speech” at a special meeting in the packed Economic and Social (ECOSOC) chamber, Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi incited more support to silence any opposition to Islam and its adherents – including speech condemning Islam for its scriptural inciting of terrorists to conduct jihad (holy war) on “infidels.”

An inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia,” Lodhi proclaimed before ambassadors, senior diplomats and high-ranking U.N. officials, as quoted in a press release, according to MSN. “My Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently again called for urgent action to counter Islamophobia, which is today the most prevalent expression of racism and hatred against ‘the other.’”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Maryland School Denigrates Christianity, Promotes Islam — Case gone to Supreme Court

A taxpayer funded public school in Maryland instructed its students:

“Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”

“Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”

Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”

“To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”

“Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”

Imagine the shock when 11th-grader at La Plata High School, Caleigh Wood, revealed this to her parents. More students and more parents need to actively need to get involved as Caleigh Wood did. She bravely stood up for her rights as a Christian. She stated that, as part of an assignment, she “was also required to profess in writing, the Islamic conversion creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’” For refusing to concede to the sharia and standing “firm in her Christian beliefs”, Wood was punished for it and given a failing grade for non-compliance.

Her case has now gone to the supreme court. “The Thomas More Law Center has submitted a petition asking the high court to take up the case of student Caleigh Wood.” Its president, Richard Thompson warned:

Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.

Jihad Watch reported on May 19th that a Washington school district was caught promoting Islam for Ramadan through a CAIR initiative. Now lawyers have sent a cease and desist letter. Islamization happens rapidly if unnoticed and unchallenged. Parents need to be paying attention to what their children are being indoctrinated with and taught in schools.

“U.S. SCHOOL FAILS CHRISTIAN STUDENT FOR REFUSING ISLAMIC PRAYER”, World Net Daily, May 19, 2019:

The declarations could have been made by an imam in a mosque sermon.

“Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”

“Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”

Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”

“To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”

“Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”

The problem is that those statements were part of the instruction in a public school in Maryland, and one of the students in the classroom now is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to condemn such religious lessons funded by taxpayers.

The Thomas More Law Center has submitted a petition asking the high court to take up the case of student Caleigh Wood.

“As a Christian and 11th-grader at La Plata High School in Maryland, Caleigh Wood was taught that ‘Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.’ She was also required to profess in writing, the Islamic conversion creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’ Ms. Wood believed that it is a sin to profess by word or in writing, that there is any other god except the Christian God. She stood firm in her Christian beliefs and was punished for it. The school refused her request to opt-out or give her an alternative assignment. She refused to complete her anti-Christian assignment and consequently received a failing grade,” the legal team explained Wednesday.

Lower courts have given a free pass to the school district to teach Islam, and so TMLC filed the request with the Supreme Court to decide “whether any legal basis exists to allow public schools to discriminate against Christianity while at the same time promote Islam.”

“Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion,” said Richard Thompson, TMLC’s president.

“I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,’” he said.

“Many public schools have become a hot bed of Islamic propaganda. Teaching Islam in schools has gone far beyond a basic history lesson. Prompted by zealous Islamic activism and emboldened by confusing court decisions, schools are now bending over backwards to promote Islam while at the same time denigrate Christianity. We are asking the Supreme Court to provide the necessary legal guidance to resolve the insidious discrimination against Christians in our public schools,” he said.

Unresolved include whether or not schools can make preferential statements about one religion over another, and whether students may be required to assert religious beliefs with which they disagree.

And how do those concepts align with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”?

The Charles County public schools and officials are defendants.

The filing explains the lower courts, despite the First Amendment’s requirements, “upheld the ability for [the school] to denigrate Petitioner Caleigh Wood’s faith and require her to write out statements and prayers contradictory to her own religious beliefs.”….

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission.

Facebook accused of auto-generating jihadist propaganda, creating page for al-Qaeda with 4,400 likes

Facebook has put enormous efforts into launching  witch-hunts against those who fight for democratic freedoms–like Milo, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, going so far as to reference them as “dangerous individuals”, right alongside the truly dangerous, violent-minded, anti-Semitic, racist nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who has actually called openly for 10,000 men to murder white policemen, using a Baptist Church platform.

Facebook also banned Tommy Robinson, threatened and suspended the Voice of Europe for criticizing mass migration, and shut down a Danish news outlet for the same reason. The list goes on.

The obvious unmatched, biggest threat today is jihad terror, yet Facebook does not see fit to put resources into tackling that threat.  Facebook has recently allowed a platform to a genocidal anti-Christian Muslim cleric and in fact, consulted with Hamas-linked CAIR over who gets banned from its platforms. Now Facebook stands accused of “automatically generating celebratory jihadist videos and promoting terrorist business pages.”  Cracking down on jihad terror and murder is just not important enough to Facebook higher ups. They would rather torment and damage those who battle against this grave evil. Facebook is in effect continuing to aid and abet jihad terrorists.

A business page generated by Facebook for al-Qaeda received over 4400 “likes” and provided the group with “valuable data” to use when recruiting new followers

“Facebook accused of auto-generating terrorist propaganda, creating page for al-Qaeda”, by Fatima Olumee, 9 News,  May 10, 2019:

Social network Facebook has been accused of automatically generating celebratory jihadist videos and promoting terrorist business pages.

The videos were uncovered by an anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint with a US regulator, accusing Facebook of misleading investors on its efforts to clean up the platform.

A five-month study of more than 3000 accounts found Facebook’s artificial intelligence algorithms were creating ‘memories’ and video celebrations for active users, including accounts of extremist organisations such as al-Qaeda, white supremacist groups, and self-identified Nazis.

A business page generated by Facebook for al-Qaeda received over 4400 “likes” and provided the group with “valuable data” to use when recruiting new followers, according to the complaint.

Islamic State and al-Qaeda terrorists are also openly networking on Facebook’s website, according to the whistleblower’s research.

The confidential complaint, supported by the US National Whistleblower Centre (NWC)……

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Sri Lanka Bombings Revenge for ISIS Caliphate, Not New Zealand

After remaining quiet for five years, often reported dead, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, appears on a 17 minute video, rallying what remains of his forces to launch further attacks on the “Christian Crusaders”, making excuses for their loses at Baghuz, listing a long list of dead amongst a long list of other subjects covered.

Special thanks to VladTepesBlog for the translation and subtitles.

Jihadists don’t need a reason to kill anyone. Their revenge and retaliation claims are a psychological game to make us feel as if we are responsible for their violence against us.

After a mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, some people worried that revenge attacks would follow. And indeed, the Sri Lanka bombings of churches seemed to follow that pattern. Soon the media was full of claims that ISIS had murdered hundreds of Christians as revenge for the New Zealand shootings.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s defense minister said Tuesday that the coordinated Easter Sunday attacks that killed at least 321 people were in retaliation for the recent Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand.

“Extremist group named National Thowheed Jamaath carried out Sunday’s terror attacks in response to terror attacks in Christchurch,” Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.

Like everything coming out of the Sri Lankan government, this should have been taken with a grain of salt. It’s not just the Jihadists who want to shift responsibility for the violence on to us. The Sri Lankan government ignored warnings about the attack. It’s convenient for them to shift the blame. Reports from ISIS and the terrorists have been mixed. But now the Caliph of ISIS has released a video.

“And as for your brothers in Sri Lanka,” he is heard saying while footage of the attackers and attacks rolls, “they have put joy in the hearts of the monotheists with their immersing operations that struck the homes of the Crusaders on their Easter, in vengeance for their brothers in Baghuz.”

This appeal to Baghuz (also spelled Baghouz), the last vestige of ISIS’ caliphate in Syria, reclaimed by coalition and Syria Democratic Forces in late March, is the most critical element of Baghdadi’s statements. The loss was a major blow to the so-called caliphate and a staple of some leaders’ narratives of the group’s “defeat.”

Why would ISIS care, let alone launch a major operation in Sri Lanka over mass shootings in New Zealand?

That never made any sense.

Baghdadi plausibly positions the attacks in relation to the defeat of ISIS in Baghuz.

ISIS badly needs credibility after its losses and the Sri Lanka bombings provided them. The media however has less interest in reporting this statement by Baghdadi because it finds the New Zealand meme far more politically useful for its purposes.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with video is republished with permission.

New York Times Falsely Claims No One Believes Muslim Brotherhood is a Terror Group

David Kirkpatrick at the New York Times is without a doubt the most deeply dishonest journalist working the Islamic beat today. Kirkpatrick ‘s favorite thing in life seems to be the Muslim Brotherhood. So when there was talk that the Trump administration might designate the Brotherhood a terrorist group, the Times decided to have Kirkpatrick write up an explainer defending the Brotherhood.

And this may be the most bizarre line in that deeply dishonest explainer.

No. Even experts critical of the Brotherhood agree that the organization does not meet the criteria for a terrorist group.

Really?

Three experts at the DeSantis hearing on the Brotherhood agreed that it was.

Which experts does Kirkpatrick mean? Who knows. He later cites “historians”, but never clarifies which historians he means.

Experts critical of the Brotherhood have been highly supportive of this move.

“Historians say there has been no evidence since then that the Egyptian Brotherhood, as an organization, has engaged in violence,” Kirkpatrick writes.

Are these nameless historians aware of the assassination of Hisham Barakat and the conviction of Muslim Brotherhood members for that attack?

Since the military takeover of Egypt’s government in 2013, some members of the Brotherhood have broken off to form organizations that carry out acts of violence against the military-backed government.

Two of those groups, Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra, have been designated as terrorist organizations by the United States government.

Kirkpatrick’s argument is that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terror group, it just keeps generating them, over and over again, as plausible deniability.

But even experts who consider the Muslim Brotherhood sinister say that they have never seen enough evidence to convince a court that it was a terrorist group.

Those “experts” keep saying things.

But let’s stop listening to Kirkpatrick ‘s imaginary experts and listen to the Brotherhood.

“Suicide attacks represent the highest level of martyrdom, because there are no civilians in Israel.” Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

“It is obligatory on all Muslims to resist any possible attack the US might launch against Iran,” Qaradawi said in a 2007 interview. “The U.S. is an enemy of Islam that has already declared war on Islam under the disguise of war on terrorism and provides Israel with unlimited support.”

In September 2004, Qaradawi proclaimed that it was a religious obligation for Muslims to fight U.S. and British troops in Iraq. The communiqué, signed by Qaradawi and 93 other clerics, said that “the Jihad – waging Iraqi people’s resistance to the foreign occupation … is a Shari’a duty incumbent upon anyone belonging to the Muslim nation, within and outside Iraq, who is capable of carrying it out,” and that it was “forbidden for any Muslim to offer support to the occupiers.”

Never enough evidence.

In a statement that aired on Al Jazeera TV in 2009, al-Qaradawi said the Holocaust was a “punishment” for Jews and expressed hope for Muslims to carry out another genocidal campaign in the future.

RELATED ARTICLE: Should the Muslim Brotherhood Be Labeled Terrorists?

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission.

Muslim U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist tried to pass classified American information to Iran

But if anyone had questioned her loyalty, he or she would have been denounced as a racist, bigoted “Islamophobe.”


Monica Elfriede Witt (a.k.a.
Fatemah Zahra)

“Iran Conducted Cyber Hacks on U.S., Recruited U.S. Air Force Officer to Steal Classified Info,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, February 13, 2019:

WARSAW, Poland—The Trump administration announced a new package of sanctions on Iranian entities tied to the cyber backing of U.S. individuals, a move that comes on the heels of American authorities indicting a U.S. Air Force officer who allegedly tried to pass classified information to Tehran after defecting to the country.

The Department of Justice announced early Wednesday that it had indicted Monica Elfriede Witt, also known as Fatemah Zahra, a former active duty U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist and Special Agent, for attempting to pass classified American information to Iran.

Witt had access to secret and top-secret information, according to the indictment, unsealed early Wednesday.

Witt was deployed to several overseas location to conduct “classified missions collecting signals intelligence,” including those of adversaries.

Witt had access to “classified information, including details of ongoing counterintelligence operations, true names of sources, and the identities of U.S. agents involved in the recruitment of those sources,” according to the indictment.

“In or around January 2012 to in or around May 2015, in Iran, and elsewhere outside the jurisdiction of any particular State or district, defendant [Witt] did knowingly and unlawfully combine, confederate, and agree with other persons, both known and unknown to the grand jury, including officers of the IRGC, to knowingly and unlawfully communicate, deliver, and transmit to a foreign government, specifically Iran, and to that foreign government’s representatives, officers, and agents, directly and indirectly, documents and information relating to the national defense of the United States, with the intent and reason to believe that the same would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of Iran, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 794(a),” the indictment alleges.

The disclosure of this information leak was timed to coincide with an announcement by the Treasury Department that it is sanctioning a handful of Iranian entities for their role in cyber hacks on Americans.

The sanctions hit an Iranian-based entity tied to the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC. This includes “efforts to recruit and collect intelligence from foreign attendees [of various conferences], including U.S. persons, and four associated individuals,” according to the Treasury Department.

Sanctions also were leveled on “a separate Iran-based entity and six associated individuals involved in the targeting of current and former U.S. government and military personnel as part of a malicious cyber campaign to gain access to and implant malware on their computer systems.”…

RELATED ARTICLE: Health and Human Service’s Fugitives from Justice: all New Americans?

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with images is republished with permission. The featured image by Prettysleepy2 on Pixabay.

Liberals’ Holy War on Christian Orthodoxy

When Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Amy Coney Barrett, who is now confirmed as a judge for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and is a potential Supreme Court nominee, that “dogma lives loudly within” her and “that’s of concern,” she wasn’t voicing concern over the nominee’s religious orthodoxy as much as she was revealing her own.

After all, Catholicism, unlike progressivism, has never inhibited anyone from faithfully executing her constitutional duties—which the judge has done with far more conviction than Feinstein. Maybe Barrett should have been asking the questions.

Recently, by unanimous consent, the Senate approved a Ben Sasse resolution that declares that it is unconstitutional to reject nominees because of their membership to the Knights of Columbus. This move was instigated by a similar incident, when Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono criticized President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, Brian Buescher, for being a bit too Catholic for their liking.

The Knights of Columbus, a benevolent society that still clings to antiquated notions about the dignity of human life—from the very beginning to the very end—doesn’t exactly adhere to the new progressive moral canon.

Unlike many friends on the right, I’m less offended by questions regarding dogma and belief. It’s true that the Constitution explicitly states that a federal government officeholder or employee can’t be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or job. But it’s also true that the clause directly preceding that clause requires every federal and state official to take an oath to support the Constitution.

Rejecting someone over his faith alone is unquestionably a religious test. Merely asking a nominee whether her beliefs might stop her from fulfilling her constitutional duties is a relevant question.

For many liberals, though, the problem is that the beliefs of many Catholics and other adherents of various Christian theologies—or, for that matter, Jewish ones, as well—are increasingly undermining progressive ideals, not constitutional ones.

As Beto O’Rourke might ask, do the principles of the Constitution “still work”? When it comes to religious freedom, they most certainly do not. It’s progressive dogma that led a Harvard-educated Washington Post editor to incredulously ask how traditional Christian schools can even “happen” in contemporary American society.

She was questioning not merely whether second lady Karen Pence is right or wrong to teach at a Christian school—after all, Americans are free to be critical of people’s faith—but how a school that adheres to the teachings of a church that counter progressive dogma can exist at all.

This is the same progressive moral dogma that justifies yearslong attacks on the livelihood of Christian bakers and florists. It’s the same dogma that justifies coercing nuns to pay for the rite of birth control. If one doesn’t adhere to these commandments, the state, the most powerful institution in the world, will sue them into submission.

In this regard, liberals also like to claim that those who do allow traditional faith to inform their political views are somehow undermining a tenet of American life. (Well, as long as that traditional faith can’t be utilized for left-wing agenda items, such as immigration and socialized health care.)

As it goes, some of us, even nonbelievers, prefer the teachings of Jesus to those of Marx—which, in the non-celestial world, means free will over coercion. Whatever the case, our backgrounds and beliefs always color our opinions.

The Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, an apostate on this issue, recently argued in an op-ed that if the Knights of Columbus are a disqualifying group, “then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been ‘unqualified’ for the same reasons.”

Well, not exactly the same reason. The anti-Catholicism of the past was predicated on an aversion to new immigrants, conspiracies about the pope, and a general long-standing theological distrust among religious denominations.

In the political arena today, only the latter of those reasons is in play, and the denomination isn’t Protestant. The “liberal lion of the Senate” wouldn’t be disqualified by today’s standards, because in public life, at least, he was a doctrinal liberal.

“There are many people on the left who act like every political fight is going to bring about heaven or hell on earth—and so there are a lot of folks for whom politics is a religion,” Sasse said after his resolution passed.

Progressives are the most zealous moralists. And these lines of questioning from Democrats, increasingly prevalent in political discourse, are an attempt to create the impression that faithful Christians, whose beliefs are at odds with newly sanctified cultural mores, are incapable of doing their jobs.

Sasse is right. Political bellum sacrum is here. We’re just not looking at the right people.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of the forthcoming “First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History With the Gun, From the Revolution to Today.” Twitter: @davidharsanyi.

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image of Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) is her from Facebook page.

NYC: Giant sculpture proclaiming ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet’ goes up at Ground Zero

Said Jenkell: “Given the unique and justified sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center, it came to my mind to propose to remove the sculpture showcasing the flag of Saudi Arabia, or relocate it to a less sensitive location. But there is no way I can do such a thing as the flag of Saudi Arabia is entirely part of the G20 just like any other candy flag of this Candy Nations show.”

City officials should move it. Would a giant sculpture containing Shinto inscriptions be put up at Pearl Harbor? But nothing will be done about this. To move it would be “Islamophobic,” and the de Blasio administration would rather have its teeth pulled out with rusty pliers than do anything that might even give the appearance of “Islamophobia.”

“A Sculpture Celebrating Saudi Arabia Has Been Erected on Ground Zero,” by Davis Richardson, Observer, January 9, 2019 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A sculpture celebrating Saudi Arabia’s place in the G20 Summit was erected on the World Trade Center grounds last week, a stone’s throw away from the 9/11 memorial.

Shaped to resemble a piece of candy, the nine-foot-tall statue bears the Kingdom’s emerald flag emblazoned with the Arabic inscription, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the prophet.” It was created by French sculptor Laurence Jenkell in 2011 as part of the larger installation “Candy Nations” which depicts G20 countries as sugary delights….

“I first created flag candy sculptures to celebrate mankind on an international level and pay tribute to People of the entire world,” Jenkell told Observer in a statement. “Given the unique and justified sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center, it came to my mind to propose to remove the sculpture showcasing the flag of Saudi Arabia, or relocate it to a less sensitive location. But there is no way I can do such a thing as the flag of Saudi Arabia is entirely part of the G20 just like any other candy flag of this Candy Nations show.”

The installation was curated and installed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey….

Although the installation was originally created in 2011 to convey “an optimistic message of unity beneath external differences,” its placement at the World Trade Center raises questions given longstanding accusations directed toward Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In 2003, hundreds of families affected by the 9/11 terror attacks sued the Kingdom over its alleged involvement in harboring terrorism—given that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi.

Last March, a U.S. federal judge rejected Saudi Arabia’s motion to drop the charges.

RELATED ARTICLE: Antisemitic Congresswoman Given Seat on House Foreign Affairs Committee

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash.

VIDEO: Hope Restored for Syria’s Christians?

Just before Christmas, it appeared the United States was on the verge of quickly withdrawing remaining U.S. troops from Syria, a move which would have thrown the safety, security, and religious freedom of the area into doubt. Now, thankfully, the quick withdrawal isn’t so sure.

When President Trump announced this decision, FRC expressed concern — as did a number of the president’s supporters — about the religious freedom implications of this move. If the United States moves out, ISIS, Turkey, Iran, and other Islamist groups move in. As our own General Jerry Boykin pointed out to CBN News, among the vulnerable are Christian communities, including those made up of former Muslims, who would undoubtedly receive the brunt of ISIS’s rage if the group is allowed to fester and again conquer freed areas of Syria. Syrian Christians also appealed directly to fellow believers in the United States, asking not to be abandoned now, after our support enabled them to fight for some semblance of freedom.

As General Boykin told Fox News over the Christmas break, while he “wants the president to succeed,” he believes it would be a mistake to pull U.S. troops out of Syria this quickly. Aside from the shame of again abandoning our allies the Kurds, any genocide that occurs due to our withdrawal would destroy President Trump’s legacy on ISIS and the Middle East. It makes sense that the president would want to fulfill this campaign promise, but the United States needs to make sure ISIS is fully defeated.

It appears the president is listening. Following his initial statement about a “quick” withdrawal, Trump more recently announced that the withdrawal would take four months. After a recent lunch with the president, Senator Lindsey Graham (who shares our concerns about the move), said Trump “told me some things I didn’t know that make me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria.” President Trump “promised to destroy ISIS. He’s going to keep that promise,” Graham said. “We’re not there yet. But as I said today, we’re inside the 10-yard line and the president understands the need to finish the job.”

One of the vulnerable areas is known as the Federation of Northern Syria, which is a modern religious freedom miracle — permitting those of all religions (including former Muslims) to live out their faith (something quite rare in the Middle East). Those cultivating this miracle want to build religious freedom for everyone over the long-term — the type of allies the United States needs as we seek to promote religious freedom around the world. Failure to support the work of such allies will inevitably result in destabilization, only causing more people to flee and seek refuge elsewhere.

Aside from the actual problems associated with a quick pull-out, the optics of this potential move are very bad. It appears President Trump spoke with Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan who had threatened to invade Northeastern Syria, and now the United States is planning to pull out. Even if the two leaders have some kind of agreement to protect the Kurds, this looks bad, because Erdogan cannot be trusted. Compounding all this is the fact that our withdrawal could lead to Iran’s increased presence, which will further threaten Israel. Yet now, with the Saudis ready to spend big money to re-build some of Syria, President Trump has a perfect opportunity.

It remains to be seen how this will all play out. With his announcement that our troops will now be withdrawn more slowly, it appears the president recognizes some of the concerns we and others have pointed out, and we are optimistic he will continue to take them into account. In supporting religious freedom models like the Federation of Northern Syria, and helping build them elsewhere in the region, President Trump has an opportunity for a truly historic legacy in the Middle East.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

Take a Deep Breath: Pulling Out of Syria And Mattis Leaving is Not The End Of The World 

Open & Shutdown: 2019 Starts with a Stoppage

Opportunity Knocks for EEOC Pick

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by FRC is republished with permission.

Plot Against Toledo Synagogues Is the 105th Islamist Terror Plot or Attack

In early December, an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Ohio arrested 21-year-old Damon Joseph for planning an attack on a synagogue in Toledo, Ohio. Joseph was inspired by ISIS, making this the 105th Islamist terror plot or attack since 9/11 against the U.S. homeland.

Law enforcement first located Joseph on social media where he made posts of weapons and in support of ISIS.

Undercover agents contacted Joseph and he sent them ISIS propaganda and recruitment literature. He expressed support for violent “martyrdom operations” in the U.S. and following the attack on the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in October.

Joseph expressed interest in carrying out a similar attack.

He then spent the next month deliberating over whether or not to conduct such an attack but ultimately decided that it was time for him to move from “virtual jihad” to “physical jihad.”

By the end of November, Joseph was plotting the specifics of his act of terror, still interested in attacking a synagogue with firearms.

Joseph asked one of the undercover agents if they would be interested in participating in an attack and when the agent responded that he had money available for such an operation, Joseph forwarded a plan of attack and the need for firearms and ammo.

Joseph said there were two synagogues that could be targets but he preferred the larger one because he wanted to “go big or go home.” Joseph then met in person with undercover agents to talk about specific weapons and tactics.

In the following days, the undercover agents sent photos of the weapons they had acquired for the attack. They then met with Joseph to exchange the weapons, which had been rendered inoperable.

Once he took the weapons, Joseph was arrested.

This plot was the 92nd homegrown plot—the terrorist radicalization and plotting occurred here in the U.S.

While many policymakers express concerns over the entry of terrorists in the U.S., this remains a rare area of attack. The U.S. has significantly improved its vetting following 9/11 so that most threats from abroad are now stopped abroad. This does not mean the U.S. can rest on its laurels as policymakers should always be scrutinizing the U.S.’ vetting programs to make sure they are working as well as they can.

But it does mean that the U.S. should be focusing more on how to stop terrorists who radicalize here in the U.S.

Domestic intelligence, undercover agents, other internal law enforcement activities should be improved to counter this internal threat.

The plot also shows the sad reality that anti-Semitic beliefs find fertile ground in many extreme ideologies, including the far right, the far left, and among Islamists. Such beliefs are abhorrent and cut against the founding ideals of the U.S. In his letter to the Hebrew congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, George Washington wrote in 1790 that in the U.S.:

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support…

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants;  while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of David Inserra

David Inserra

David Inserra specializes in cyber and homeland security policy, including protection of critical infrastructure, as policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. Read his research. Twitter: @dr_inserra.

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

RELATED ARTICLE: Europe’s Right Wing Woos a New Audience: Jewish Voters

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by The Daily Signal is republished with permission. Photo: Michal Fludra/Zuma Press/Newscom

Iran waging ‘cyber warfare’ to ‘disrupt communication of dissidents’ and ‘promote terrorism’ worldwide

A NEW wave of “cyber warfare” is using “mass surveillance” to “actively disrupt the communication of protesters and dissidents” in Iran and “promote terrorism” across the globe, an explosive document has claimed.

This is precisely why Islamic supremacists must never be appeased nor tolerated. They are fascist and expansionist, and while the abuse to which they subject their own people is atrocious enough,  these abuses do not stop at their borders.

“Revealed: How Iran wages ‘CYBER TERRORISM’ to secretly spy on MILLIONS and incite ‘CHAOS,’” by Sam Stevenson, Express, December 28, 2018:

A NEW wave of “cyber warfare” is using “mass surveillance” to “actively disrupt the communication of protesters and dissidents” in Iran and “promote terrorism” across the globe, an explosive document has claimed.

The paper was compiled by the official Iranian resistance movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). It makes damning assertions which implicate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in waging “cyber warfare to preserve the theocracy”. NCRI representative Hossein Abedini has spoken to Express.co.uk about his group’s findings.

Furious Iranians, making use of cyber technology to disseminate their message, have been part of a popular uprising that erupted in Tehran in December 2017.

But now the theocratic regime – led by Iran’s IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) – is using “cyber attacks” to suppress its people, the Iranian Resistance document seen by Express.co.uk claims.

It explains: “Millions of Iranians have access to the internet and more than 48 million own smartphones.

“Iran’s young and restless population has become increasingly ‘tech-savvy’ over the years to evade the regime’s controls and censorship.

“The continuous cyber resistance by the public has driven the regime to route internet traffic through one of the state-controlled systems, making it very difficult for any subscriber to evade state-sponsored cyber repression.”

The ominous paper argues the Iranian regime is among very few governments in the world where “its testbed of cyber attacks and strategies is its own citizens”.

It contends this approach is “in line with Tehran’s longstanding worldview of instilling fear and repression at home, while promoting terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and chaos abroad”.

The document claims the regime uses malicious malware and spyware embedded within smartphone applications (apps) to “secretly spy” on its people….

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared on Jihad Watch. It is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Alireza Heydarifard on Unsplash.