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The trouble with ‘moderate Muslims’

nonie darwish book coverAmerican Freedom Defense Initiative Geller Fellow Nonie Darwish explains the trouble with moderate Muslims:

President Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims are peace-loving and reject jihadist Islam. This is a common statement by many of the so-called “moderate Muslims” in my country of origin, Egypt. That statement is incorrect in many ways, and is designed to confuse Americans and save face of Muslims and their defenders.

It is hard to believe that President Obama believes what he says about Islam, because the day Osama bin Laden was killed was a day of mourning all over the Muslim world. When Obama realized that, he had bin Laden’s body buried at sea so the Muslim world could not erect a monument in Mecca for him.

So why is Obama so passionate about telling us how wonderful Islam is? What does he mean by defending Islam as moderate and peaceful?

It defies logic that only 0.1% percent of Muslims are causing all this never-ending worldwide havoc, and unspeakable mayhem, torture, burning and beheading of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. If they are only 0.1% of the Muslim population, how come the brutal Islamic legal system is unable to round the jihadists up and behead them in the infamous public squares of Saudi Arabia? How come moderate Muslims, the 99.9%, are unable to explain away their passivity with jihadists while those jihadists are brutalizing, honor killing and terrorizing apostates?

How many jihadists have been declared apostates by Saudi Arabia? How many were beheaded in the Saudi or Iranian public squares? Why has the “moderate” largest Islamic university in the world, Al Azhar, never issued a fatwa of death against ISIS fighters and anyone who joins ISIS? They issue fatwas of death on apostates and women who have sex outside of marriage all the time, so how come none against those jihadists who supposedly ruined Islam’s reputation and caused the world to fear Muslims?

How come President Obama did not demand just that from Al Azhar or from Saudi Arabia, to prove to the anxious American people that the 99.9% of Muslims are on our side?

Obama claims to have the support of a coalition of moderate Muslim governments to fight ISIS. But we see no Muslim armies moving to Syria to rid the world of the 0.1% Muslim jihadists in ISIS. In fact, the real reason why Muslim leaders are not waging war on ISIS, even though they are capable of doing so, is because at least half of the Muslim army will defect and join ISIS. Those nice moderate Muslim armies do not want to violate Sharia law and destroy the newly declared Caliphate, which is at the center of Islam’s religious goals.

There is no doubt that some Leftist Western leaders, who constantly defend Islam, also do not want to go down in history as the ones who destroyed the Caliphate. The war against ISIS is obviously a defensive one, but somehow Islamic history will eventually portray it as an invasion by the West, the same way Muslims today have twisted the mission of the Crusades to portray them as an aggression, when in fact they were a reaction to Islamic terrorism at the time.

If jihadists and terrorists were only 0.1%, we would not have the worldwide Islamic terrorism of today. The number of the criminal population in most societies, Western and non-Western, is certainly more than 0.1%, and most societies, especially in the West, are perfectly capable of controlling their criminal population, and are capable in creating law and order and safety and security for their own citizens.

How come the 0.1% of radical Muslims is capable of causing millions of Muslim refugees, and how come rich Arab countries are not taking care of them?

Survey after survey keeps confirming our fears that the majority of Muslims are for killing apostates. A majority supports Sharia and believes in jihad as a main requirement and obligation for Muslims. Muslim citizens keep electing Islamist groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to power. The majority of the commandments of Islamic holy books command Muslims to kill, terrorize, humiliate and subjugate non-Muslims. Over 64% of the Quran is obsessed with non-members of the religion.

Now let us examine the so-called “moderate” Muslims in the West, who keep accusing jihadists of being un-Islamic, and insist, “not in the name of my religion,” or “they do not speak for Islam.” But what they fail to tell America is that many of the so-called Muslim reformers in America are considered apostates throughout the Muslim world.

Even the eloquent and well-intentioned Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is considered an apostate in many parts of the Muslim world and the Arab media. I once saw an Arabic-language article written about him, Walid Phares, Walid Shoebat and me. The headline of the article says in Arabic: “Four Arab Americans were accused of leading a media campaign to promote hatred of Muslims in America.” The article stated that 42 million dollars were allocated to these four Arab Americans to promote this hatred. The article said it got this information from “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of The Islamophobia Network In America” — which is a Leftist propaganda piece defaming foes of terror.

Such an article is not unusual. The Arab media is full of similar articles, so as to encourage fatwas against the four people mentioned in the article and any other critics of Islam, simply because we speak the truth about Islam and express our love for America.

I have yet to see fatwas of death against jihadists in the Arab media or from Muslim political and religious leaders. It is clear where the heart of those who call themselves moderate Muslims is. It is not against jihadists, but against those who speak against jihad.

Moderate Muslims are confused people, and have been violently and harshly trained over centuries to never think for themselves. Moderate Muslims are suffering from a pathology that allows them to believe in two opposite ideas at the same time and feel perfectly comfortable with them. In their minds, there is no contradiction at all when they say: “Islam is a religion of peace,” and they have no problem with commandments in the Quran to kill and terrorize the infidels.

The confusion in the West about moderate vs. radical Islam is not by accident, but by design, because no one wants to do anything about it; not Western leaders, and not even the 99.9% of nice Muslims.

ABOUT NONIE DARWISH

AFDI Geller Fellow Nonie Darwish is the author “The Devil We Don’t Know” and president of “Former Muslims United,” a program of the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on PamelaGeller.com. To stay on top of what’s really happening please follow Pamela on Twitter and like her on Facebook here.

Jewish Federation of Orange County undermines Student Zionism at UC-Irvine

Over the past several years we have chronicled anti-Israel hate mongering by campus  Muslim  Student groups and  violation of opposing  views  of pro-Israel  speakers   and events  at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).  In a series of New English Review articles, interviews and Iconoclast blog posts we revealed the heckler’s veto of former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren in February 8, 2010 by an organized disruption of his speech by campus members of the Muslim Student Union (MSU). That was followed by   the arrest, prosecution and conviction of 11 students, 8 from UC Irvine and 3 from UC Riverside for disturbing a public event   The legal action brought by the Orange County District Attorney triggered a one year suspension of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate by the Administration only to be reduced to 10 weeks by the retiring deputy Chancellor at UCI.  In the interim, Students for Justice in Palestine was formed as a placeholder for the suspended MSU.  We also  unraveled  the story  behind  the Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC)  affiliate, the Rose Project, funding  the Olive Tree Initiative that brought  students to Israel and the West Bank  in 2009 for an alleged  chance encounters with a Hamas leader, Aziz Duwaik,  former Speaker of the Palestine Legislative Council.  See our NER article:”Does the Olive Tree Initiative have Credibility?”   We questioned  both the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Orange County and the UCI Administration dissembling over this incident.

UCI has a small Jewish student body versus a much larger Muslim one.  For most of the 32 weeks on the UCI campus, things are relatively quiet. However, during Anti Zionism Week (AZW) and Israel Festival, iFEST, sponsored by Anteaters for Israel (AFI)   the decibel levels and protests hate towards Israel rises to a veritable crescendo.  The AZW events organized by the MSU have typically involved anti-Israel speakers, and in the past some like Malik Ali with anti-Semitic statements, holding forth at noon events at the flagpole.  Despite this, JFOC President Shalom Elcott has suggested in the past, there is no anti-Semitism at  UCI.  Last year , an assault by  MSU protesters  disrupted  iFEST with calls for campus police assistance that resulted in a woman student being upbraided by  a JFOC  board member.  This year  AFI President Sharon Shaoulian organized  a three day event  from April 22 to 24th without JFOC funding, but with sponsors including  the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), StandWithUs, CAMERA on Campus, the Israel on Campus Coalition, and Hasbara.  Hillel, with is affiliated with JFOC, provided funding for Shabbat.

What happened during  iFEST  on April 23, 2015 revealed why JFOC   and Hillel have  undermined Jewish student  Zionism at UCI.  This year it was triggered  by an ambush of MSU and Students for Justice in Palestine (JSP)  pouring out  of the Campus Cultural Center  to attack  the Jewish student Zionist group , Anteaters for Israel’s (AFI)  during  their  iFEST Yom Ha’atzmaut  celebration of Israel’s Independence.   The iFEST attendees in opposition to the MSU/SJP protesters created space between the opposing groups  with massed Israeli and American flags  and Israeli dances. A Frontpage Magazine article  by Arnold Ahlert “Pro-Israel Student Group Meets Opposition from Jewish Leadership” revealed what happened when JFOC President Shalom Elcott and aide Lisa Armony, Hillel  Executive, intervened:

Witness Gary Fouse, adjunct UCI lecturer, reported that Lisa Armony, Director of the Jewish Federation of Orange County and Hillel Executive, was among those attempting to move the flag wavers back. One witness reported that they were “approached and told that it was wrong for anyone holding a flag to be standing facing the MSU/anti-Israel faction.” The witness was told that waving the flags was “antagonizing.” One of the flag wavers, who did not wish to be named, said that students who “seemed to be pressured by someone else” approached him and other flag carriers “and told us that we should not march with the flags since it ‘makes us look bad.’” It was further suggested to him that they move down the street and away from the area.

This witness also saw the far more troubling exchange between a man subsequently identified as Shalom Elcott, JFOC president and CEO, and AFI president Sharon Shaoulian. Elcott was seen “getting in the face of” Shaoulian, a third-year student, and screaming at her. As the witness explained, “I did not hear what this man said, but I saw Sharon break into tears,” he recalled.

Shaoulian confirmed that Elcott “advanced on me in a threatening fashion and began screaming at me and berating me” and was “looking down at me two inches away from my face.” He “blamed me..for ‘inciting’ the MSU/SJP to come out to protest,” though the anti-Israel protest happens every year. Elcott allegedly called Shaoulian “derogatory names, a ‘liar’ and a ‘disgrace.’”

Watch these YouTube videos of the UCI  iFEST encounter on the FouseSqwak blog:

Video One

Video Two

Video Three

Here is an excerpt from our NER interview with Shaoulian about the encounter with Elcott  at the UCI iFEST Yom Ha’atzmaut clash with MSU and JSP:

Jerry Gordon:

You had a recent exchange with the head of the Orange  County Jewish Federation.  I wonder if you could talk about that and the context in which that exchange occurred?

Sharon Shaoulian:  Yes, it happened on April the 23rd, which was a big festival day for AFI during iFEST.  Because the Federation, threatened AFI through another student, not to associate with the Zionist Organization of America, my board and I decided that it would be prudent not to ask for a Rose Project Grant and stand more independently on our own.

[…]

We were walking towards Shalom Elcott so he heard me pretty much the entire time, and that’s when he started advancing on me.  I’m five feet tall, and so he got very close to my face, just centimeters away from my face, peering down, screaming at me in front of everybody.  He called me a liar repeatedly, “You’re a liar.  You’re a liar.  They’re not going to come rush through the event.  You’re inciting all of these people.”  He told me that I was a disgrace, that the protesters were here because of me, that I caused all of this uproar, and that I should be ashamed of myself.

When he paused, while berating me, I told him, “You know, sir, what you are talking about?  They [meaning MSU protesters] are here every single year.  They’re not here because of me.  They’re here because we’re trying to be pro-Israel on this campus and they won’t stand for that.”

Elcott continued to yell and to make a scene. I flat out told him, “You, sir, you and Rose Project, you didn’t give us any funding for this event.  You expressly told your son, Jordan, not to be a part of iFEST.  So, with all due respect, why are you even here?  You know, if you didn’t want to have a stake in this event, why are you even here at our event?”

He didn’t say anything.  He obviously had nothing to say. That’s when I told him. “You know what?  You should be ashamed that you’re screaming at me, that you’re yelling at me.” He started recording me. While this was going on, community members were defending me and trying to get him to back away from me.  I think a lot of people were nervous about his proximity to me and the level that he was screaming at me.  Eventually we were pulled apart.  So that’s when Lisa Armony  caught what he did and tried to defend the action to my own parents.

On May 5, 2015, Carolyn Glick commented about the altercation at AFI’s UCI iFEST in a Jerusalem Post (JP) column, “Siding with the Victims of Aggression”:

Last month, the heads of the Jewish Federation in Orange County reportedly interfered with student celebrations of Yom Ha’atzmaut at University of California at Irvine on behalf of Muslim anti-Israel protesters who sought to ruin the festivities. According to a report of the events at the online FrontpageMagazine, the pro-Israel students separated participants in their event from Muslim student protesters by placing a line of students waving Israeli and American flags between them.

The move was angrily opposed by Federation Director Lisa Armony and Federation President Shalom Elcott. They reportedly insisted that the Israeli flags be taken down because they were “antagonizing” the anti-Israel protesters.

The accusation against JFOC of the FPM expose and Glick’s JP column comment led to the  response by Armony in the JP blog post, “Turning against fellow pro-Israel advocates“ of May 14th:

The accusation that we interfered with a Yom Ha’atzmaut [Independence Day] celebration at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) on behalf of anti-Israel protesters is based solely on a recent piece from the online FrontpageMagazine. The blogger relied primarily on unnamed sources and unsubstantiated assertions to paint a misleading picture of the festival, JFFS, and Elcott’s and my activities.

We reject the claims in the article that we told people to stop waving Israeli flags at anti-Israel protesters, claiming that we accept anti-Jewish discrimination on campus and “stand with the (anti-Israel) aggressor against the (Jewish) victim.”

FrontpageMagazine on May 15, 2015 published an editorial castigating Shalom Elcott and Armony for obfuscating what occurred at AFI witnessed by others, “An Attack on Front Page from the Jewish Federation of Orange County.”  That was crystallized by the May 4th FPM article suggesting  that their interference  at the IFEST event and shameful attack  on AFI President Shaoulian  were  an affront to decency  and unwarranted.   FPM considers JFOC’s defense of its actions calumnious.  The FPM editorial concluded:

Without a doubt the JFOC has much to answer for. The JFOC can be assured Frontpage will continue our no-holds-barred coverage of its brazen attacks on Jewish students and pro-Israel activists without apology.

The JFOC  alleged defense  reminds this writer of  J Street’s Orwellian meme of “Pro-Peace, Pro Israel”.  But this is nothing new for Elcott and JFOC. This is just the latest example of their nefarious activities on the UCI campus.

Elcott’s interference with Jewish student Zionist activities on the UCI campus amounts to bullying:  denial of free speech rights of Shaoulian and fellow AFI members. It amounts to a heckler’s veto equivalent to what occurred in 2010 during former Israeli US Ambassador Oren’s speech at UCI when MSU members shut down his talk.  The Elcott and Armony actions at iFEST and subsequent  slander of both Glick and FPM   does not  serve the interests of the Jewish student community at UCI.  Ms. Armony’s Jerusalem Post blog post upbraiding Glick and FPM  was emblematic of  what Dr. Johnson once said about patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel.  Witness JFOC claiming the mantle of a ‘responsible’ adult leadership on all pro-Israel activities at UCI implying less than adult behavior by Zionist AFI. That is truly topsy turvy  chutzpah.  The screaming attack by Elcott against Shaoulian  demeaning her  is not ‘adult behavior’. It is indicative of manifestly  deep rooted animus  against critics of his leadership at  JFOC especially   concerned  Jewish community  supporters  of the Jewish Student Zionism  of AFI.  The JFOC attacks against a colleague, Nonie Darwish, preventing her from speaking at an AFI-sponsored event in 2014, accusing her of being an “Islamophobe  are indicative of an  out of control  leadership at JFOC.   It is past time for responsible directors of JFOC to review Elcott’s unacceptable behavior.  Perhaps this most recent episode during IFEST at UCI may result in a search for new more effective leadership at JFOC.

More will be revealed about JFOC’s behavior in this latest episode in our interview with Ms. Shaoulian to be published in the June edition of the NER.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Minneapolis: From Hijab to Jihad

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Mayor Betsy Hodges donned a dark blue hijab as she addressed a group of business owners and elders at a Somali mall in south Minneapolis. Photo courtesy StarTribune.com.

Did Minneapolis’s democrat Mayor Betsy Hodges not get it? This was no game, not dress-up playtime or Carnival. Then I wondered if she ever found occasion to dress in the ethnic clothing of her city’s other ethnicities – the Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, English, Polish, Irish, French Canadians, Native Americans? Perhaps she had not done her homework about the Somali immigrants, and it took her only 100 days into office to don a hijab for an alliance.

Surely, she has heard all the recent news about the subjugation and severe treatment of women in the Islamic Middle East; the Honor Diaries film that the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is trying to suppress; the controversy over Brandeis University’s bestowing and then rescinding an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the pressure applied by CAIR that forced Disney to cancel a movie that Muslims find “offensive,” and more. Then why would she don the quintessential symbol of inequality and bondage – the shroud of the Islamic woman.

Interestingly, the mayor has a strong admiration for Wonder Woman, the most popular female superstar in figure-hugging, stars-and-stripes regalia, with bracelets that make her invincible. Hodges is a collector of Wonder Woman dolls and has recently hung a photograph of this shining symbol of strength and sexual equality on her office wall. Rather than emulate her heroine, however, she abandoned the image with which she allegedly identifies, this icon of bravery and justice, for cowardice and deceit.

Perhaps she is a Lost Soul, one without direction, without ties to ethics or principles, unstable in today’s culture and society. Unwilling or unable to stand up for American ideologies, she too easily acquiesced to the preferences or demands of the archenemy of humankind. Whether Hodges was clueless and diplomatically inept or has emerged with a heretofore concealed agenda remains to be seen, but both choices do not bode well for the office she holds.

What began as the 7th century Bedouin woman’s attempt at privacy and protection in the desert, these shrouds have become a symbol of woman’s indignity and servitude. As Nonie Darwish so aptly explained in her book, Cruel and Usual Punishment, woman has come to represent the totality of evil and inferiority in Islamic teaching. Considered lacking in intelligence and religion, women are seen as half, and sometimes a quarter, of man’s worth in a Shari’a court (Islamic law). They may be beaten by their husbands and forbidden to leave the house unless accompanied by a male relative. They may be killed by their fathers if the parent deems his honor compromised. In this oppressive society, women are the ones who preserve the honor of the male, so that he may avoid responsibility and disrepute for any unpleasantness or trouble.

Betsy Hodges Endorsement

Betsy Hodges campaign ad. For a larger view click on the image.

The hijabs and burqas serve the purpose of enforcing obedience to Shari’a and to men. With the obligation of defending their enslavement under constant threat of their own destruction, they may become very self-justifying when challenged. Some may even try to earn honor and respect by joining the radicals for violent jihad (holy war against the infidel). But there’s more. To cultures that relish freedom, these hidden women are deemed victims of sadism, forced to endure the insufferable heat of the subtropics under layers of clothing, and prevented from enjoying the summer sun and cool breezes. In fact, medical experts have noted that women so covered in northern climes, with less sunshine, are suffering more from osteoporosis from the lack of Vitamin D, and experiencing an increased risk of pelvic fracture during childbirth. Their newborn babies are more prone to getting seizures from the same deficiency.

Islamic law is concerned more with raping, beating, flogging, and stoning women than it is in honoring them. The Shari’a demand that women be covered from head to toe is also the Islamic way of solving the problem of male sexual temptations. Rather than teach the men self-restraint and respect, the onus is on the woman to hide herself, her sexuality, her body, her shame. Tragically, because there are women who want to appear as being obedient to their god and faith, it becomes the burden of other women to withstand being hated, ridiculed, or become targets of fatwas. Women face divisiveness or derision at every turn, and their society discourages, and even hinders, women from establishing friendships, particularly where polygamy is practiced.

Betsy Hodges Ad Campaign

Betsy Hodges Ad Campaign. For a larger view click on the image.

To have surrendered her dignity, self-esteem, pride in her American heritage and culture. goes beyond Hodges’ courtship of a voting bloc or fulfilling a promise to constituents. She is responsible for having her female police chief and city council representatives wear the hijab on February 28, proclaimed Hijab Day at City Hall. Rather than guide these new immigrants in becoming Americans, as previous ethnic groups have done, she is accepting their customs and laws over our own.

When the intruder or invader makes demands (no matter how subtle) that are met with compliance and submission from the host culture, this is conquest, not assimilation. I am deeply concerned as to how Hodges and her administration will address future demands, as they will surely be forthcoming – whether for Islamizing children in the classroom, serving only halal foods in the cafeterias, observing Islamic holidays on the city calendar, or all manner of accommodations in everyday life.

Hodges’ decision may well have been meticulously planned. Her hijab is stealth jihad.

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