CNN/ORC poll: Majority urge Congress to Reject Iran nuclear Pact
Obama in Ethiopia
A CNN/ORCpoll released today sent an important message to President Obama and Secretary Kerry: the majority of the respondents said Congress should reject the Iran nuclear pact, The poll found:
On the President's biggest accomplishment since then -- the nuclear agreement reached between the U.S., its allies and Iran -- most say they would like to see Congress reject it. Overall, 52% say Congress should reject the deal, 44% say it should be approved.
Some opposition to the deal may be fueled by skepticism. A CNN/ORC poll in late June, conducted as the deal was being worked out, found that nearly two-thirds of adults thought it was unlikely the negotiations would result in an agreement that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
The new poll finds a sharp partisan gap on whether Congress should approve the deal, with 66% of Republicans and 55% of independents saying Congress ought to reject it and 61% of Democrats saying it should be approved. Younger adults, who tend to lean more Democratic, are more apt to favor the deal: 53% of those age 18-34 say approve it, while 56% of those age 35 or older say reject it. There is also an education divide on the deal, with 53% of college graduates saying the deal should be approved, while just 37% of those with a high school degree or less formal education saying they think it should be approved.
Looks like Kerry and Obama have failed to make the case for Congress to approve the Iran nuke deal. This CNN/ORC poll represents a big swing from April when the framework for the JCPOA was announced. If this trend continues with the INARA hearings resuming after the August recess those 13 Democrat swing votes in Senate and 30+ in the House will be in a quandary. That would make it difficult for New York Senator Chuck Schumer ,the incoming Senate minority leader, to deliver votes to support Obama on this issue. This poll result throws in doubt the LA Jewish Journal poll of American Jews released last Thursday. This should bolster Israeli PM Netanyahu, the vast majority of Israelis and the GOP majorities in Congress that the JCPOC is a "very bad deal". The message is if you can't verify then you can't trust.
Property records show the mosque attended by the terrorist who killed US soldiers at a base in Chattanooga, Tenn., is affiliated with the same Islamic group as the mosques patronized by the Boston marathon bombers and the 9/11 hijackers who attacked the Pentagon.
Yet federal investigators have dismissed any possibility that the Tennessee mosque was a source of radicalization or support for the terrorist, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
The trustee of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, like the Boston and Virginia mosques attended by other terrorists, is the North American Islamic Trust.
In 2007, the Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in America history, US v. Holy Land Land Foundation, which resulted in convictions and imprisonment of several US-based Hamas terrorist leaders. Current NAIT chairman Gaddoor Saidi also appears on the government’s co-conspirator list.
Court records detail money flowing through NAIT financial accounts to Hamas. In the same exhibits from the trial, the Justice Department lists NAIT and Saidi among “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood,” alongside NAIT’s parent the Islamic Society of North America — from which the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga derives its name.
In 2009, when Islamic Society leaders were raising money from Chattanooga Muslims for construction of their new mosque, they invoked the names of major Muslim Brotherhood figures — including the group’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill US soldiers in Iraq.
Qaradawi’s name shows up in a mosque PowerPoint presentation exhorting Muslim faithful to donate “in the cause of Allah.”
Abdulazeez and his family were longtime members of the Islamic Society, which forces women to pray separately from men and wear head coverings.
In 2009, when Islamic Society leaders were raising money from Chattanooga Muslims for construction of their new mosque, they invoked the names of major Muslim Brotherhood figures — including the group’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill US soldiers in Iraq.
Qaradawi’s name shows up in a mosque PowerPoint presentation exhorting Muslim faithful to donate “in the cause of Allah.”
Abdulazeez and his family were longtime members of the Islamic Society, which forces women to pray separately from men and wear head coverings. Contradicting recent claims they had “minimal interactions” with the 24-year-old jihadist, Facebook postings show mosque leaders once held a well-attended graduation celebration for him.
Friends say Abdulazeez regularly prayed at the Islamic Society in the months leading up to his attack on two US military sites.
The current mosque leadership is directly connected to NAIT. The Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga grew out of a small mosque founded by NAIT in 1997, the original deed reveals. “NAIT bought the property in August of 1997 from St. John United Methodist,” said Sheldon Wright, deputy clerk for the Hamilton County, Tenn., register of deeds.
In 2007, the land for the new mosque was purchased by the “Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga Inc.,” which lists an address for NAIT agent Arif Shafi. Shafi that same year filed the articles of incorporation for the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga. The state charter lists Shafi as both the “registered agent” for the mosque and one of its “incorporators.” Then, in 2013, NAIT sold the old mosque, Masjid Annour, moving it to the new Islamic Society site. Shafi is represented in the transaction as “the authorized agent of the North American Islamic Trust.”
Attempts to reach Shafi for comment were unsuccessful. Other Islamic Society officials have asserted the mosque preaches peace and that they saw no signs that Abdulazeez was involved in “extremism.”
This is a familiar refrain. Americans have heard the same line from leaders of other mosques controlled by NAIT after their members, too, carried out acts of terrorism. Among them:
Islamic Society of Boston, where a dozen terrorists have worshipped, including the marathon bombers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev and most recently the ISIS-inspired terrorist who plotted to behead Boston cops.
Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, where worshippers included two ISIS terrorists who attacked a Dallas-area event and planned to shoot up the Super Bowl.
Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, where some of the 9/11 hijackers worshipped and got help obtaining IDs and housing, following on the heels of the Fort Hood shooter and several other terrorists who have attended the mosque just outside Washington.
NAIT holds title to more than 300 mosques and has helped finance more than 500 Islamic centers in America. Imams insist that none of them preach hate. But is it enough for law enforcement to just take their word for it?
We can’t let political correctness spare these mosques due scrutiny.
Belman: An Agreement is only as strong as the will to enforce it.
Ted Belman, publisher of Israpundit
Ted Belman, a former Torontonian who made aliyah to Israel, is the publisher of the Jerusalem based blog, Israpundit.Belmansent this commentary on the history of agreements that have been temporized because of appeasement. This could be harbinger of what is likely to occur with the Iranian nuclear agreement endorsed by a vote of the UN Security Council on July 22, 2015 . The Iran nuclear pact is subject toreview and a vote by both Houses of Congress under the provisions of the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act (INARA) of 2015. That vote could occur by Mid-Seotember, 2015. If Congress votes to disappove the pact, President Obama has threatened to veto it. Whether the Congress has the sufficient votes to override his veto hangs in the balance with a minority of Democrat members of both chambers.
An Agreement is only as strong s the will to enforce it
In reviewing the quotes from these experts which he lists to make his case, it is clear that they appear to be making the assumption that the deal will be honored by Iran. But how can anyone assume that?
Every country passes laws and sets up an entity with the authority and power to enforce them. But that is not enough. There must also be the will to enforce them. In many countries, either due to incompetence, prejudice or corruption, the laws are not always applied equally to all its citizens or applied at all.
Even in the United States, this has increasingly become the case. Pres Obama, notwithstanding that he swore to uphold the constitution and the laws of the land, continually violates the constitution and refuses to uphold some of the laws passed by Congress.
Internationally, the UNSC has been given the authority to pass laws (resolutions) and to enforce them. But here it is more complicated because the UN does not have an entity with the authority and power to enforce the resolutions. It must arrange such an entity each time it wishes to enforce a resolution. Similarly when an agreement between nations is worked out, such as the Iran Deal between the P 5+1 and Iran, there must also be the will to enforce it.
History is replete with similar agreements or resolutions or guarantees that were on paper only and never enforced. Here is a short chronological list.
The Palestinian Mandate was set up in 1922 granting the Jews the whole of Palestine as their homeland and giving them the right of close settlement. Now the terms of the Mandate are being violated and the Jews are being denied Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as their homeland and being denied the right to settle there.
The Versailles Treaty, entered into at the end of WWI, prohibited Germany from re-arming itself. In the thirties when Hitler came into power he began rearming Germany and nobody, though they had the authority and the power to do so, had the will to stop him.
In 1956, Nasser imposed a blockade on the Straits of Tiran preventing international traffic’s access the Israeli port in Eilat. This constituted a causes belli. Israel invaded the Sinai and conquered it. Pres Eisenhower forced Israel to retreat and arranged for the four great powers, US, Britain, France and Russia, to guarantee that the strait would remain open. They also installed a “UN peace keeping force” in the Sinai to maintain the peace. In 1967 Nasser kicked the UN force out and closed the Straits of Tiran again. Israel appealed to the four powers to honor their guarantee and to reinstall the UN force. They did nothing.
After the ’67 war, the UNSC passed Resolution 242 which permitted Israel to remain in occupation until she had secure and recognized borders. A proper interpretation of this resolution allowed for Israel to retain some of the land. Israel has already vacated about 90% of the land but the international powers are demanding she vacate all of it. Of course “secure and recognized borders” had to be negotiated. Now Pres Obama and the UN want to dictate borders in violation of the law.
Starting in 1970 with the Rogers Plan, Pres Nixon sided with the Arab countries and demanded 100% withdrawal contrary to Res 242 which the US drafted and voted for three years earlier. Pres Obama is now demanding 100% withdrawal.
In 1995 Israel and the PLO/PA signed the Oslo Accords under the auspices of Pres Clinton on the White House lawn. The accords were like a constitution for the governance of the territories in question. The PA got full authority for Areas A and B subject only to Israel retaining security control of Area B. Israel retained full control of Area C. All final status issues had to be negotiated and there was no prohibition against Israel building settlements in Area C. Since then the PA has blatantly violated the Accords but no one, including Israel, wanted to abrogate the Accords or force the PA to comply. And now the EU, and to a lesser extend the US are themselves violating the accords by building Arab housing in Area C and by declaring all Jewish settlements as illegal. The Accords also prohibited either the PA or Israel from taking unilateral steps which would change the status of the land. The PA recently made a unilateral step in asking the UN for recognition as a state. Notwithstanding that such a move was in violation of the Accords, the UN is cooperating in this endeavor.
In 2005 when Israel was executing the Disengagement Plan to leave Gaza, Israel intended to be in charge of the Rafah border crossing into Gaza to stop smuggling. Condi Rice insisted on Israel signing the Rafah Agreement which provided for the EU to man the crossing instead of Israel. This worked to some extent for a couple of years until Hamas took over and kicked them out. So much for the Rafah Agreement.
In consideration of Israel agreeing to withdraw from Gaza, Pres Bush gave PM Sharon a letter in which the US committed to certain policies, a little favorable to Israel, such as upholding Res 242, not requiring full withdrawal and providing for the return of refugees only to Palestine, when created. Elliot Abrams who helped draft the letter on behalf of the Bush administration said this letter constituted an agreement. Pres Obama lost little time after his inauguration, to declare that the letter was not an agreement and therefore not binding on him.
At the end of the Lebanon War I in 2004, the UNSC passed Res 1559 demanding disarmament in southern Lebanon. This resolution was ineffectual. So when the Lebanon War II was ending in 2006, the UNSC passed Res 1701 to remedy what was wrong with this resolution. It too called for demilitarization and disarmament. This resolution also proved worthless as the will to enforce it was not there. As a result Hezbollah now has 100,000 rockets ready to rain down on all parts of Israel.
Pres Obama is trying to force Israel to accept a two state solution based on 100% withdrawal thereby denying Israel her right to retain some of the land and the right to negotiate borders. There is talk at the UN of recognizing Palestine as a state with the ’67 ceasefire lines as her border.
“…. One year after the West celebrated the removal of Syria’s arsenal as a foreign-policy success, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the regime didn’t give up all of the chemical weapons it was supposed to.”
Are we to expect anything better from Iran? Iran, after all, has a history of cheating on agreements and violating resolutions.
Therefor the opinions of these experts are worthless, relying as they do on Iran complying.
But even if she does comply, you have to be crazy to give her $150 billion to spend on terrorism while they are waiting to get the bomb.
The Munich Agreement signed in 1938, by Germany, Britain, France, and Italy conceded to Germany, in an attempt to appease her, an important part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain celebrated the agreement as ushering “peace in our time”. This agreement was negotiated at a conference to which Czechoslovakia, the sacrificial lamb, was not invited. And the military alliance Czechoslovakia had with Britain and France was ignored. The agreement was opposed by Winston Churchill who famously said to Chamberlain “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
The same might be said today of Obama and Kerry. They sacrificed the interests of Israel and the US on the altar of peace and appeasement and will surely get war as a result.
An attack on a woman in France because she wore a bikini in a public park has sparked outrage on social media. The 21-year-old victim, who has been named as Angelique Sloss, was beaten up by a gang of reportedly Muslim young women – aged between 16 and 24 – when she was sunbathing with two friends.
Protesters wearing bikinis and swimsuits held a rally at the park, in the northern city of Reims, yesterday despite rain and cold winds. Hundreds across France joined the campaign on Twitter, posting photos of themselves wearing swimsuits in public places. Spectators have likened the campaign to the JeSuisCharlie Twitter campaign, following the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January.
The attack took place on Wednesday at Parc Leo-Lagrange.
All five women were arrested after the attack, with the eldest three - named in French newspapers as Ines Nouri, Zohra Karim and Hadoune Tadjouri - set to appear in court in September. The 16-year-old and 17-year-old involved in the attack remain anonymous.
French police said the attackers came from housing estates with large Muslim populations. This has sparked assumptions that the attack was religiously-motivated, and the incident is being held up by some right-wing observers as proof that radical Islamic ideas pose a threat to French values.
The Mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, said: ‘We have to be very careful not to jump to conclusions. All the same, I can understand why people have assumed that this attack had religious motives. If that turns out to be the case, it is a very serious incident.’
One of the group is reported to have shouted at the woman for ‘immorally’ exposing so much flesh in public. The woman responded and the group attacked her, slapping and punching her.
Police told L’Union newspaper that they couldn’t confirm whether the attack was motivated by ‘religious opinions’
Is the West Threatened More by Islamist Fact or by Right-Wing Fiction?
Why are progressives so quick to disparage traditional Jews or conservative Christians who question the liberal agenda, yet so reluctant to criticize Islamists who oppress minorities and women, persecute those of other faiths, stifle free speech, and promote religious supremacism through jihad and genocide? Not only do they downplay the terrorist threat at home and abroad, but they deflect attention away from Islamic radicalism by focusing on a supposed right-wing terror menace that has been defined into existence more by questionable statistics than objective analysis.
The New York Times recently reported that fewer people have been killed in the US by jihadists than by right-wing extremists since 9/11, citing among other things data from the International Security Program at the New America Foundation (“NAF”), which according to critics uses the term “right-wing” so broadly as to dilute its meaning. The NAF claims that jihadists have killed twenty-six people, while "homegrown non-jihadists" have killed forty-eight since September 11, 2001. The implication is that Islamist extremism is the lesser threat.
The problem with this narrative is that it fails to factor in the growing number of homegrown jihadist plots that have been foiled by law enforcement. Moreover, it excludes the 9/11 terror attacks themselves, which although perpetrated by foreign nationals, nonetheless killed three-thousand people on US soil. It also makes no mention of honor killings of Muslim women and girls who are condemned for adopting western culture or refusing to submit to prearranged marriages.
The message of the story is used to tarnish Republicans, conservatives, and pro-Israel advocates, who are often described by progressives as fascists and loons. The left has a penchant for characterizing non-liberals as extremists whether they are truly right-wingers or are instead centrist conservatives, libertarians, independents, people of faith, or simply neutral critics of liberal social policy. This tactic is used to provide cover for Islamists – whom progressives often regard sympathetically as victims of European and American oppression – at the expense of domestic political opponents, whose expression of dissenting viewpoints is actually more in keeping with America’s constitutional and electoral tradition.
Despite their obsession with proving that the right is more dangerous than radical Islam, progressive partisans and their mainstream media flunkies have identified no monolithic dogmas or institutions that endorse global right-wing terrorism for the purpose of destroying western civilization. Neither have they exposed reactionary ideologies comparable to jihad that sanction the killing of innocents for doctrinal gratification, or rightist organizations analogous to ISIS, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. . .
Kerry says Israel and American Jews to blame if Iran Nuclear pact is not approved by Congress
Secretary of State Kerry at Council of Foreign Relations, June 24, 2015
Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
Secretary of State Kerry speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan on Friday, July 24th, 'blamed Israel" and by inference "American Jews" if Congress rejects the Iran nuclear pact. He said:
So, folks, I got to tell you, if this continues, what I’m witnessing, where there’s this fear that is governing the—and emotion that is governing people’s thinking about this program, I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed.
Watch Kerry’s presentation on the Iran nuclear pact at the CFR on this YouTube video:
His remarks indicated that he didn't read the L.A. Jewish Journal Survey on the Iran nuclear pact issued on July 23r, a day prior to his CFR presentation. In our Iconoclastpost this past weekend about the Journal survey suggesting that half of American Jews polled 49% approved the Iran nuclear deal versus less than 28% of all Americans. If you add in his performance Thursday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warning Israel not to sabotage Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program under the JCPOA then he has some reality problems. Kerry appears to have supped from the poisoned chalice of the Internationalist Jewish conspiracy the notorious Anti-Semitic Czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. We hope that is not the case.
Secretary Kerry made his remark in an address to the Council of Foreign Relations on July 24. He appeared to be not merely predicting that Israel might be blamed, but hinting that the Obama administration itself might do the blaming. And since the administration has repeatedly claimed that rejection of the agreement will lead to war with Iran, the implication of Kerry's statement seems to be that Israel, the Jewish state, would be to blame for such a war. The possibility that the blame would be extended to Israel's supporters in the United States has already been raised by President Obama himself, in his warning that unnamed "lobbyists" and "money" were trying to block the Iran deal.
The possibility that the blame would be extended to Israel's supporters in the United States has already been raised by President Obama himself, in his warning that unnamed "lobbyists" and "money" were trying to block the Iran deal.
One unfortunate comparison brought to mind by this kind of talk is an episode involving the pundit and unsuccessful presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. In the months preceding the first Persian Gulf war, Buchanan charged that "there are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East—the Israeli defense ministry and its 'amen corner' in the United States."
In another broadside, Buchanan named four prominent supporters of war with Jewish-sounding names as being part of "the Israeli Defense Ministry's amen corner in the United States." He accused them of planning to send "kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales and Leroy Brown" to the Persian Gulf to do the fighting.
New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal described that remark as a "blood libel," and Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman called Buchanan's statements "an appeal to anti-Semitic bigotry."
A remarkable transformation is underway in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The birthplace and final resting place of George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson—and once one of the most reliably-red of red states—is being rapidly turned into a progressive stronghold.
These changes are not the result of an inside agency, or a natural evolution in political thinking, but rather the result of one of the most impactful yet least-discussed policies of the federal government.
Each year the federal government prints millions of visas and distributes these admission tickets to the poorest and least-developed nations in the world.
A middle-aged person living in parts of Virginia today will have witnessed more demographic change in the span of her life than many societies have experienced in millennia.
A census study entitled “Immigrants in Virginia,” released by University of Virginia (UVA) researchers, documented the phenomenon: “Until 1970, only 1 in 100 Virginians was born outside of the United States; by 2012, 1 in every 9 Virginians is foreign-born.”
Fairfax Connection, a community newspaper, offered more detail:
In the span of one generation, Fairfax County has seen an explosion in its immigrant population. In 1970, more than 93 percent of Fairfax County’s population was white and middle-class. In the fall of 1970, a white 6-year-old child beginning elementary school in one of the county’s developing towns… could look to his left, or look to his right, and see a classroom full of children who, at least 90 percent of the time, looked like him and who spoke English. By 2010, a child entering elementary school in Fairfax County would almost certainly encounter a classmate who did not speak English as a primary language, and whose parents or grandparents immigrated from places such as Vietnam, India, Korea or a country in Africa.
UVA’s report explains that more than three out of four of Virginia immigrants (77 percent) are coming from either Latin America or Asia—immigration from Europe, the report writes, “lag[s] far behind” representing only 10 percent of Virginia’s immigrant population. This is consistent with trends nationwide. According to the 2013 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration Yearbook, only 8.7 percent of green cards issued by the federal government went to immigrants born in Europe, a product of immigration changes pushed through by Ted Kennedy in 1965.
DHS’ yearbook, however, does not provide information on parental nativity– in other words, it doesn’t say whether an immigrant from the United Kingdom may be the child of Saudi parents.
Additionally, according to DHS, of those refugees issued admissions slips into the United States, 75 percent came from four countries– Iraq, Burma, Somalia and Bhutan– while another 15 percent came from Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Dominican Republic.
Large numbers of these settlers handpicked by the federal government have come to Virginia. A 2011 article from The Washington Post explains: “Soaring number of Hispanics and Asians pushed Virginia’s population over 8 million in the past decade.”
“Statewide the number of Hispanics almost doubled to 632,000. Hispanics now make up 8 percent of Virginia residents.” ThePost continues, “The state’s Asian population also took off, climbing by 68 percent in 10 years.”
ThePost notes that, “as recently as 1990, non-Hispanic whites made up 76 percent of the state’s residents. A decade later, their numbers had fallen to 70 percent, and [in 2010], they accounted for less than two-thirds of the state’s residents.”
Because these newcomers to Virginia have largely been invited into the country with green cards or other visas, they can collect public benefits, fill any job, rely on federal retirement programs, and become naturalized voting citizens.
Year after year, the United States continues its annual dispensation of one million plus new green cards, the admission of one million foreign workers, refugees and dependents, and the importation of half a million foreign youths sought by college administrators.
One in four U.S. residents is either an immigrant himself or has immigrant parents. The Census Bureau projects that the U.S. will add another 14 million immigrants over the following ten years if green card programs aren’t slashed, pushing the U.S. past all documented historical immigration records in terms of immigrant to population ratio. When a high point was hit last century, then-President Calvin Coolidge hit the pause button for roughly fifty years– producing an era of explosive wage growth. That pause continued until Ted Kennedy ushered in legislation that granted millions of immigration visas to the entire world.
The steady gusher of visas happens silently and with little media recognition, yet its effects are more permanent and transformative than many of the most far-reaching foreign policy accords.
In 2012, the RichmondTimes Dispatch highlighted the political effects of issuing visas to so many migrants from outside the Western World: “The population shift, most notably in Northern Virginia, is changing the state’s educational, political and social landscape.”
The Times Dispatch continues, “Virginia’s demographic changes have also transformed political leanings in the state that, before President Barack Obama’s win of electoral votes in 2008, had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964.”
The blue-ing of Virginia brought about by continued immigration is not calculated only by measuring the voting habits of immigrants themselves, but is multiplied outward through the voting habits of immigrants’ children and grandchildren. As the Times Dispatch notes: “Not all minority voters are foreign-born, of course, but many have participated in the changing political landscape.” The increase in the minority vote share stems from immigration itself: “Many immigrants come to the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 44, during the prime of their careers, and are more likely to have families here.” The results, per the Times Dispatch, are striking: “During the 2012 presidential election, when 71 percent of the state’s voters went to the polls, two-thirds of Hispanic and Asian voters backed Obama. Obama carried 93 percent of the black vote, 64 percent of the Hispanic vote and 66 percent of the Asian vote, according to exit polls reported by The New York Times.”
Under current U.S. policy, any child born to an immigrant is guaranteed U.S. citizenship and voting rights. UVA researchers found that, “among children of immigrants, 96 percent are U.S. citizens, either by birth or through naturalization.” In today’s Virginia, “almost a fifth of native-born children under the age of 18 have at least one foreign-born parent.”
As Reuters reported in a recent article on U.S. visa policies: “Immigrants favor Democratic candidates and liberal policies by a wide margin, surveys show, and they have moved formerly competitive states like Illinois firmly into the Democratic column and could turn Republican strongholds like Georgia and Texas into battlegrounds in the years to come.”
A 2014 report authored by University of Maryland professor James Gimpel, similarly found that, “the enormous flow of legal immigrants in to the country — 29.5 million 1980 to 2012 — has remade and continues to remake the nation’s electorate in favor of the Democratic Party.”
The report cites a 2012 study conducted by YouGov that, “gauged the partisan preferences of over 2,900 naturalized immigrants, finding 62.5 percent to be Democratic identifiers, 24.6 percent Republican, and 12.9 percent independent.”
Examining the data in this study led Washington Examiner columnist Byron York to conclude: “The bottom line is that more immigration favors Democrats; there is no prediction of Democratic electoral ascendancy that doesn’t rely on demographic factors as the main engine of the party’s dominance.”
Yet the effects, national and local media have observed, are not limited to electoral patterns.
Crime patterns have changed markedly as well.
Today, according to the Migration Policy Institute, “about one-fifth of the total population of El Salvador” resides in the United States. The Associated Press reports that, “El Salvador is the top country of birth for immigrants to Virginia.” Indeed, the Migration Policy Institute found that from 2000 to 2008 Virginia saw its Salvadorian immigrant population grow by 13,000 persons. With it, this migration has brought the arrival of the feared Salvadorian gang, Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13.
As The Washington Post reported in 2011: “Controlled by ringleaders or ‘big homies’ imprisoned in El Salvador or at large in Central America or Mexico, MS-13 ‘cliques’ with such names as the Sailors, Normandy, Peajes, Uniones and Fultons collaborate across the District, Maryland and Virginia.”
The Post explains that presence of the Salvadorian gang has become so problematic in the Commonwealth that federal officials have been forced to engage in “a targeted, sustained effort to dismantle MS-13 and other violent gangs that threaten our neighborhoods.” Describing one of the gangland slayings, The Post documents how, “Victims included a 14-year-old boy, Giovanni Sanchez, who was stabbed to death and left in the street.”
Last year, The Washington Post reported: “[A]rmed with two machetes and a sawed-off shotgun, MS-13 gang members allegedly set off in a car… to carry out an assassination at a location as brazen as it was chilling: a Prince William County school.”
Virginia has become a study in contrasts. The attempted assassination at Prince William County school is only a two-and-a-half hour drive from Colonial Williamsburg, where themed actors create a living museum to throngs of tourists.
Each year, the U.S. issues more green cards than the collective population of the 13 colonies the year Virginia’s Patrick Henry was born. In a single year, the U.S. will issue five times more green cards than there are members of Daughters of the American Revolution.
America’s visa programs have also impacted the fiscal landscape as well.
As Manhattan Institute Scholar Heather Mac Donald observed in 2005: “The foreign-born Hispanic welfare rate was nearly three times that of native-born whites.” This trend continues for the children of immigrants as well: “Native-born Hispanics collected welfare at over twice the rate as native-born whites.” Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson reported that from 1990 to 2004: “The number of Hispanics with incomes below the government’s poverty line [rose] 52 percent; that [represents] almost all (92 percent) of the increase in poor people… Among children, disparities are greater. Over the same period, Hispanic children in poverty [rose] 43 percent; meanwhile, the numbers of black and non-Hispanic white children in poverty declined 16.9 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.”
The federal government’s policy of resettling poor foreign populations in U.S. communities has presented substantial challenges for educators as well. As the Washington Post reported in 2012 about Fairfax County, “31,5000 students are projected to enroll in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), representing 17 percent of the total county student population and an increase of nearly one-third from last year . Those numbers have profound implications for the schools system… with 7,652 new students in ESOL this year, that represents an additional $25.3 million.”
A Washington Post article from last year examining Fairfax county kindergarteners noted, “The white student population is receding and is being replaced with fast-growing numbers of poor students and children of immigrants for whom English is a second language… The demographic changes in Fairfax are likely to have long-term implications for the school system… Schools officials believe that the challenges that come with a less-affluent and less-prepared population will exacerbate the system’s struggles with a widening achievement gap for minorities and ballooning class sizes.”
The Post notes that these changes extend into neighboring Maryland as well: “School systems across the region have experienced rapid increases in the number of Hispanic students as well as the number of pupils who qualify for subsidized meals. In Montgomery County, more than 35 percent of students receive free or reduced-priced meals, compared with 22 percent in 2000. Poor students now account for 68 percent of the kindergarten class in Prince George’s County, and 3 in 10 kindergartners this year received additional English instruction.”
The Post continues: “Elementary school teachers say they spend an increasing amount of their time on remedial education… Grace Choi, a kindergarten language teacher at London Towne [Elementary], said children from poor families often arrive for the first day of school not knowing the alphabet, a standard lesson in preschool. Many cannot differentiate animal words such as cat, lion and cheetah or food words such as potato, eggs and tomato. ‘The things you think are a given, they don’t know,’ Choi said.”
As one school board member told The Post, “We are required to educate their children, and we want to. But there is a cost… There is a cost to having these children in the system.”
Economist Christine Chmura told theRichmond Times Dispatch that, “some members of Virginia’s increasing immigrant population come from a culture in which college education is not encouraged. ‘In particular, I’m referring to the Hispanic population’ [Chmura] said. ‘From this perspective, an increase in immigrants in the state could decrease our educational attainment levels, which has been one of our competitive advantages over other states.’”
A 2011 study examining education attainment in the United States found that of Hispanic immigrants (aged 25 to 34), only nine percent obtain a Bachelor’s degree. For second generation Hispanic immigrants of that same age group, that number increases only slightly: 19 percent obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Amongst the third generation, however, the number recedes: only 16 percent obtain a Bachelor’s degree.
In this sense, the ongoing dispensations of green cards, refugee admittances, and foreign worker visas to developing nations exacerbates income inequality in two ways: it increases job competition for the current minority population while also straining educational resources in these communities. While this income inequality is helpful to large political donors whose financial enterprises gain profit from reduced wages, it adds substantially to the challenges facing dedicated educators and social workers.
In order to remedy the difference in educational outcomes produced by historic amounts of immigration, many university boards adopt affirmative action policies, which may award or subtract points based on a candidate’s ancestry. A 2012 Washington Post article on affirmative action explained that, “College leaders in the Washington region and across the country are hoping to preserve their power to use race and ethnicity as factors in admissions.”
Cash-strapped schools are also looking to increase spending in response to the educational hardships created by immigration. As the Fairfax Times reports, “In 2014, Hispanic and black students posted pass rates 25 percentage points fewer than white and Asian students on math assessments, and 24 percentage points fewer on reading assessments. The results mirror achievement gaps in school districts across the state… Many of the board members pointed to expanding preschool programs as an accepted tool for boosting minority achievement… [Yet] lack of funds thwarts school officials’ desire to add more preschool classes, just as it hampers other endeavours that could help close the achievement gap.”
While the influence of conservative voters in the Commonwealth continues to diminish, it is ironically Republican officials in Virginia who have led the push to resettle even larger numbers of immigrants inside the state. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, for instance, in the months before his titanic fall from power, engineered the effort to provide more labor to Virginia employers through foreign worker visas.
Former-executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, Shaun Kenney, described conservatives who wanted to trim the ongoing resettlement efforts as “nativists” who “have no home in the modern Republican Party,” thundering, “drive ‘em out.” Ironically, Kenney’s immigration policies are having that exact effect.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has proposed two bills that would add substantially to the millions of foreign visas already annually distributed by the United States. One of those bills, the SKILLS Visa Act, would increase foreign worker visas for technology corporations. The other bill, the Agricultural Guestworker “AG” Act, would increase foreign worker visas issued to food manufacturers who wield substantial influence within the modern Republican Party. Since Goodlatte’s foreign workers would arrive on visas, Republican donors who own businesses would be able to legally replace Americans workers with these newcomers.
The Washington Postreports the effects of the visas policies supported by Goodlatte in his own district: “Immigrants are a fast-growing part of the landscape and workforce—from the Mexicans who pick apples and process poultry to the Indians who work in high-tech and medical fields… Leader’s of the state’s $3.8 billion poultry industry say they favor immigration reform”. “Immigration reform,” as used by The Washington Post in this context, refers to adding greater and greater numbers of foreign workers to the labor pool in a manner employers hope will reduce wages.
As political scientist Steve Farnsworth told the Richmond Times Dispatch, “burgeoning employment opportunities in Virginia” are not necessarily going to the states current residents but “waves of foreign-born workers and foreign-born college graduates looking for jobs.”
UVA researchers found that more than one in seven people in Virginia’s workforce are foreign-born, and positions in the workforce are more likely to go to them than those born in the state:
Labor force participation for natives is at about 65 percent in comparison to more than 73 percent for the foreign-born… A large number of foreign-born workers are employed as computer software engineers, managers, cashiers, accountants and auditors, and retail salespersons, making these highly common occupations for immigrants.
The impact mass visa admissions has had on job opportunities for Virginia workers is representative of nationwide trends. For instance, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, all net jobs created in the United States from 2000-2014 went to immigrants.
But the flood of new immigrants also threatens the job prospects of past immigrants. As Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry wrote in their joint op-ed opposing the Schumer-Rubio plan to triple green card admissions as part of the Gang of Eight bill:
The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers.
A poll from Kellyanne Conway found that minorities overwhelmingly support visa reductions. By a greater than 6:1 margin, Hispanic voters believe that jobs should go to those already living inside the United States instead of importing new workers from foreign countries. Black voters believe the same, by an extraordinary ratio of almost 30:1. Both groups suffer every day from the federal government’s policy of adding millions of new competitors to the labor pool.
In a state where recent races have been decided by razor-thin margins, and where Democrats have relied heavily on pulling huge numbers from the black vote, the addition of so many new voters from post-1970 immigration was keenly felt in the recent governor’s race. Following Democratic Gov. Terry McAullife’s rise to oldest occupied Executive Mansion in the country, The Atlantic wrote:
Terry McAuliffe’s narrow win Tuesday to become governor of Virginia was the result of the changing and growing population of Northern Virginia. It was also the product of an electorate just as diverse—though not as large—as the ones that twice elected Barack Obama… McAuliffe won even though 56 percent of white non-Hispanic voters voted for Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to exit polls, thanks to the strength of McAuliffe’s support among Latinos and Asians. Together, those two demographic groups contributed more than 50,000 more votes to McAuliffe than to Cuccinelli… That’s enormously significant, considering that McAuliffe only won by 55,220 votes.
The Atlantic continued, “With McAuliffe’s victory, Virginia can now be looked at as ‘sort of a purple state leaning blue,’ said [Ruy] Teixeira, co-author of 2002’s The Emerging Democratic Majority. That book predicted that changes in the demographics of the electorate would ultimately swing red states into the blue column; those shifts took some time to show up, but now that they are here they show little sign of abating.”
California provides a look at Virginia’s— as well as Georgia’s, Arizona’s, Florida’s, and many other state’s— electoral path if the visa gusher continues apace.
In 1988, at a campaign rally for George H.W. Bush in Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan addressed the crowd: “So, here’s my last request to you. Put California in the Republican column this November. Send Pete Wilson back to the Senate. Send George Bush to the White House. And yes, I know I’m copying something that was just said here once before, but I don’t mind saying it again: Go out and win one last one for the Gipper!”
California Republicans went out did just that– delivered “one last one for the Gipper.” It would be the last time California would ever send a Republican to the Senate or to the White House.
In 1988, few other than the most ardent observers of immigration would have believed that the state that launched Nixon into the Senate, Vice-Presidency and White House, that launched Reagan into the Governor’s Mansion and the Executive Mansion, and that launched Reagan’s Vice President into the Oval Office, would have turned a deep and permanent shade of blue— never to revert again. Conservatives will of course still be able to win in Virginia for the time being, but as the visa gusher continues, it will become a steeper and steeper climb.
Today, the only reason Republican presidential campaigns go to California is not to rally voters but to meet with Los Angeles donors and Silicon Valley tycoons.
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter illustrated: “In 1980, Reagan won the biggest electoral landslide in history against an incumbent president, Jimmy Carter. Without the last 40 years of immigration, in 2012, Mitt Romney would have won a bigger landslide than Reagan did. He got more of the ‘Reagan coalition’ than Reagan did.”
In a separate article, Byron York explained that Romney’s problem was not so much his inability to make inroads with Hispanic voters, but paradoxically his inability to appeal to white, blue-collar workers:
Romney would have had to win 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to prevail in 2012. Which suggests that Romney, and Republicans, had bigger problems than Hispanic voters. The most serious of those problems was that Romney was not able to connect with white voters who were so turned off by the campaign that they abandoned the GOP and in many cases stayed away from the polls altogether. Recent reports suggest as many as 5 million white voters simply stayed home on Election Day. If they had voted at the same rate they did in 2004, even with the demographic changes since then, Romney would have won…an improvement of 4 points [amongst the white vote] would have won the race for Romney.
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly published a report last year about the impact of green cards and concluded: “Limit immigration or watch conservative efforts become irrelevant.” In her work, Schlafly emphasized that these changes were less about whether the two-party system would survive, but more about whether the Republican Party could continue on as a party of limited government with an immigration policy that was bringing in millions of big-government voters. Echoing Schlafly, immigration activist
threatened to convert green cards into Democratic votes on the House floor only days ago.
Nonetheless, as the tidal flood of green cards remakes the electoral map, Republican officeholders continue to bow to donors’ demands for ever-more foreign visas. None of the top polling GOP candidates– except for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker– has even suggested a willingness to reduce the number of visas issued each year by the federal government. Polling shows that a call for such reductions would present a winning populist issues for Republican candidates.
and New York’s Chuck Schumer on their proposal to triple green cards. There are currently more than 30 million permanent immigrants inside the U.S who are here on green cards or have already converted their green cards into citizenship: the Gang of Eight’s program would have added another 30 million green card holders in the span of one decade. In interviews, Rubio described these immigration expansions euphemistically. He told Rush Limbaugh in 2013 that “our legal immigration system needs to be reformed.” He told Mark Levin in 2013 that “legal immigration is good for America.” He told Sean Hannity in 2014 that he wanted to “modernize our immigration system.” Rubio did not tell Limbaugh, Levin, or Hannity that he wanted to permanently resettle more than 30 million foreign citizens inside the United States within one decade. Rubio was not asked why waves of unskilled immigration from poor countries like El Salvador would be “good for America” as long as these intending migrants were printed green cards on their way into the United States.
Federal government spending is also “legal,” but most conservatives would like to see much of it reduced or eliminated entirely.
Rubio has never wavered or altered his stand for exploding net immigration levels. In fact, Rubio recently introduced legislation known as the Immigration Innovation Act – or I-Squared – which would triple wage-depressing H-1B visas and remove university green card caps. The latter Rubio policy would take the current existing policy of importing 100,000 permanent immigrants from the Middle East, and grow it significantly.
The media has already coined a term to describe the different landscape emerging as a result of immigration. The National Journal news site, for instance, has created a vertical entitled, “The Next America,” which the site describes as an “initiative” intended to document “the political, economic and social impacts of profound racial and cultural change facing our nation.” The White House has named its naturalization initiative “The New Americans Project”.
Or, to borrow Senator Rubio’s campaign slogan, “A New American Century.”
Sister Diana, an influential Iraqi Christian leader, who was scheduled to visit the U.S. to advocate for persecuted Christians in the Mideast, was denied a visa by the U.S. State Department even though she had visited the U.S. before, most recently in 2012.
She was to be one of a delegation of religious leaders from Iraq — including Sunni, Shia and Yazidi, among others — to visit Washington, D.C., to describe the situation of their people. Every religious leader from this delegation to Washington D.C. was granted a visa — except for the only Christian representative, Sister Diana.
After this refusal became public, many Americans protested, some writing to their congressmen. Discussing the nun’s visa denial, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said:
This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists … I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary Kerry will reverse it. If he doesn’t, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired.
The State Department eventually granted Sister Diana a visa.
This is not the first time the U.S. State Department has not granted a visa to a Christian leader coming from a Muslim region. Last year, after the United States Institute for Peace brought together the governors of Nigeria’s mostly Muslim northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang.
The U.S. insists that Muslims are the primary victims of Boko Haram. It also claims that Christians discriminate against Muslims in Plateau, which is one of the few Christian majority states in the north. After the [Christian governor] told them [U.S. authorities] that they were ignoring the 12 Shariah states who institutionalized persecution … he suddenly developed visa problems…. The question remains — why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?
The testimony of another nun, Sister Hatune Dogan, also made in May, indicates why the State Department may not want to hear such testimonials: they go against the paradigm that “Islam is peace.” According to Sister Hatune:
What is going on there [Islamic State territories], what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on earth in the history until today… The mission of Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he’s a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS… We know that in Islam, there is no democracy. Islam and democracy are opposite, like black and white. And I hope America will understand. America today has the power that they can stop this disaster on the earth, with other Western countries.
The rest of May’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following accounts, listed by theme.
Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches
Pakistan: Three separate incidents involved attacks on churches:
1) On May 28, in the city of Chakwal, south of Lahore, Muslim men destroyed a Protestant church and beat six Christians, including the pastor. Some of those wounded had to be hospitalized. A few days earlier, Pastor Suhail Masih and his companions had been accused by local Muslims of carrying out “proselytism and conversions of Muslims,” according to a preliminary report.
2) Javed David, head of Hope for the Light Ministries in Lahore, and his associates, have been receiving death threats since February. The latest incident occurred in April, but became public knowledge only in May. According to David:
I had been to church in Sheikhupura to attend a meeting with colleagues. It was 8 o’clock in the evening when we left to return to Lahore. We were about to reach the main road when a motorbike drove up and blocked the way. Maybe they were following us. The two bikers were wearing a helmet (sic). One of them came up to my window and spoke to me. “We know what you are doing here,” he said. “Stop building churches. Convert to Islam, which is the true religion. Otherwise we will make a horrible example of you.”… [On another] occasion too, I was going home when a motorcycle stopped in front of me. The driver knocked on the window and threw in a piece of paper. I did not open it before I got home. It said, “This is an Islamic nation. We cannot allow church building. Either you convert to Islam or you leave this country! Stop building churches or you’ll pay the consequences!”
3) On May 29 in Faisalabad, around 2 a.m., a gang of Muslims on motorcycles attacked a church near the Sadar police station. They opened fire on the church and set its main gate on fire, damaging its windows. According to church cleric Dilawar Masih, “Though no human loss was reported in this incident, attackers gave a clear-cut message that Christians and their places of worship are not safe and they may be attacked any time by the terrorists.”
Egypt: Two churches were attacked:
1) On May 16, a homemade explosive device planted next to a Coptic Christian church was detonated around sunset. As the St. George Church in Tamiya (Fayum governorate) was mostly empty at the time, there were no casualties. However, the church’s administrative offices and second floor windows were shattered, creating chaos and panic in the area. Church security cameras captured the two men on a motorcycle, who stopped at the church. One of the men dismounted and placed a bag containing the bomb next to the church, and they then sped off.
2) On Sunday morning, May 31 in Senoras city, Fayum, masked men on motorcycles opened fire on an Evangelical church. Security forces guarding the church briefly exchanged fire with the masked men before they fled on their motorcycles. No one was reported hurt.
Canada: On May 26, a 22-year-old man of Muslim background was charged with alleged hate crimes committed against the St. Catherine of Siena Church and its neighboring elementary school in Mississauga, Ontario. Iqbal Hessan faces five counts of mischief, and over $5,000 in fines. On May 20, the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue that stands in front of the church was covered in black paint and the fingers of its outstretched arms were broken off. Behind the church, graffiti with the words “There is no Jew God” was scrawled across the brick wall along with a drawing of a face labelled “Jewsus.” That vandalism was the fourth time the church was targeted. On April 9, surveillance cameras caught a young man breaking into the church, ripping pages of the Sacramentary book on the altar, throwing them at the tabernacle, and then stealing one of the church’s sound-system speakers. On May 17, a drawing of a hand gesturing with the middle finger was found spray-painted on the front steps of the church. And on May 25, graffiti was sprayed on the school walls.
Algeria: According to Abdel Fattah Zarawi, the Muslim leader of the Salafi party, also known as the Free Front of Algeria, any and all Christian churches remaining in the North African nation must be closed and reopened as mosques. Although the transformation of Christian churches into Muslim mosques is nearly as old as Islam itself — Algeria was Christian-majority and even gave the world St. Augustine before Islam invaded and conquered it in the seventh century — the Salafi leader tried to portray his proposal as a “grievance” against rising anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe, especially France. Launched on social media and networks, the Salafi campaign against Algerian churches even calls for the transformation of the nation’s most important churches into mosques — including the Church of Notre Dame d’Afrique in Algiers, the Church of St. Augustine in Annaba, and the Church of Santa Cruz in Oran — since “they have no relation whatsoever to the religion of Algerian Muslims,” in the words of the Free Front.
Saudi Arabia: Sheikh Adel al-Kalbani, former Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and current prayer leader of Muhaisin Mosque in Riyadh, issued a tweet from his personal Twitter account, saying, “My beloved nation: It suffices me that you shelter me from hearing church bells ringing in you.” Due to his importance, the New York Times once issued an entire spread about al-Kalbani. The “hopeful” theme is how al-Kalbani managed to rise to the top in Saudi Arabia by becoming the first black Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. No word in any English language media, however, about his abhorrence for Christian churches and their bells.
Turkey: A 900-year-old Christian church in Turkey is to be renovated into a functioning mosque — despite previous governmental assurances that it would be renovated into a museum. Enez’s Hagia Sophia, the name of the ancient church, is located inside the city of Ainos, along the border with Greece and stationed atop a hill, visible to all. Another centuries-old church, Hagia Sophia in Trabzon, along the Black Sea, was reopened in 2013 as a mosque, although it was a museum for many years. Meanwhile, a majority of Turks await there-transformation of the greatest Hagia Sophia (Constantinople’s) into a mosque.
Yemen: A Catholic church was seriously damaged during a Saudi bombing raid around mid-May. The church of the Immaculate Conception in Aden had earlier been occupied by Houthi rebels who had vandalized its interior. The airstrike by Saudi bombers — in support of the Yemeni government in its struggle with the rebels — did further damage to the structure. Only one Catholic priest remains in Yemen. Two priests fled the country to escape the violence, while another, who was out of the country when the fighting began, has been unable to return. Twenty members of the Missionaries of Charities have chosen to remain in the war-torn country, tending to the sick and the poor.
Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom
Pakistan: On Sunday, May 24, a Christian man in the Sanda neighborhood of Lahore was accused of blasphemy when some Muslims saw him burning newspapers that reportedly contained Arabic verses from the Koran. After the accusation, a Muslim mob caught the Christian, severely beat him, and even attempted to set him on fire. A few months earlier, another Muslim mob burned a Christian couple alive inside a kiln after they, too, were accused of insulting Islam. The Christian youth — named Humayun Masih, said to be “mentally unstable” — was imprisoned and charged under section 295-B of Pakistan’s penal code, which prohibits the desecration of the Koran. After the attack on the Christian youth, the Muslim mob, reportedly thousands, rampaged through the neighborhood and set fire to Christian homes and a church. Christians in the region were attacked, and most fled the region; some of the mob was armed and gunshots were heard.
Egypt: On May 5, another Coptic Christian was convicted of blaspheming against Islam: “ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion” in violation of Article 98 (f) of the Egyptian Penal Code. A judge in Daqahliya sentenced Michael Munir Beshay to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of one thousand Egyptian pounds. As International Christian Concern puts it: “Despite steps taken by the Sisi-led government to bring about greater tolerance and reforms, the conviction of Beshay is just another of many recent incidents highlighting the continued persecution of the country’s Christian minority.” And Bishoy Armia Boulous – formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, an apostate from Islam to Christianity — has remained imprisoned now for approximately a year, well past the legal six-month investigation period. All this time, he has been subject to physical and verbal abuse, from both prison guards and fellow inmates, on account of his “apostasy” from, and “blasphemy” against, Islam. He has been denied a Bible and has not had eyeglasses since they were intentionally broken some time ago. 
Iran: Ibrahim Firouzi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison for “action against national security through collusion and gathering.” After Firouzi converted to Christianity, he was arrested on August 25, 2013 and convicted of evangelizing, colluding with “anti-regime” foreign networks, launching a Christian website, and working against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although his prison term was supposed to end on January 13, 2015, authorities continued to hold him illegally, and on March 8 they sentenced him to serve another five years “in very difficult conditions.”
Syria: After failed negotiations, the Islamic State (IS) refused to release 242 Christian hostages captured during a late February raid along the Khabur River. On May 1, the IS demanded $242 million USD for the release of 93 women, 51 children, and 98 men taken captive. The Assyrian church, family and friends, unable to raise such a large sum, made a lesser, undisclosed offer, which IS rejected, saying it would no longer negotiate concerning the fate of the captive Christians. Based on Islamic law, their fate will now likely be slavery (especially women and children) or execution (especially men).
Ethiopia: A Muslim mob in Deder attacked a Christian man and forced him out of his home on pain of death, in an effort to appropriate his land and build a mosque on it – despite recent court rulings confirming the Christian man’s property rights. “Their first plan was to kill my husband,” said Fikere Mengistu’s wife. “Now, he has escaped from the area. We are fasting and praying for God to rescue us from this forceful action.” She remains with her five children, elderly mother-in-law and 30 other Christians, praying on the property. “We did our best try to defend our faith based on the law of the country… Muslims are out of the control of the government and the law. What can we do?” said Mengistu.
Iraq: Juliana George, a 16-year-old Christian girl living in Baghdad, was abducted from her home. According to her family, a person knocked on the door of their home and when she answered, she was seized by four men who forced her into a waiting taxi and sped away. Her grandfather, Joseph, a priest, chased the taxi on foot and grabbed its door, but eventually fell to the side as the vehicle sped away. She was eventually released after her family paid a $55,000 ransom to the abductors for her return. Juliana’s father, George, said that she has been traumatized by the experience: “I fear for her and my two other daughters…. There is no reason to believe that we will not be targeted again. I don’t see how we can stay in Baghdad after this.”
Turkey: On the same year that millions around the world commemorated the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Turkish authorities started the demolition of Kamp Armen, an Armenian orphanage in the metropolitan district of Tuzla, despite the attempts by some political representatives to intervene. The orphanage was built in 1962 on the initiative of the Armenian Protestant community. A brief historical recap of the orphanage follows:
Thanks to its activities, the institution has helped 1,500 children to grow up in an environment based on the spirituality and culture of Armenian Christianity. There was also Hrant Dink among its students, the Armenian Turkish journalist, founder of the bilingual magazine Agos, killed in 2007 after being repeatedly threatened with death for his positions on the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish State had expropriated the orphanage in 1987, and all legal attempt (sic) by the Armenian Protestant communities to regain control of the building fell on deaf ears.
Accounts of Muslim immigrants taunting and even assaulting Christians in Italy are increasing. Earlier this year, a crucifix was violently destroyed in close proximity to a populated mosque, and a statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed and urinated on by a group of North Africans in Italy. In addition:
A Muslim schoolboy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl at a school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck. The boy, who had only started to attend the school a few weeks earlier, began to bully the Christian girl — “insulting her and picking on her in other ways all because she was wearing the crucifix” — before he finally assaulted her. Italian police did not charge the boy with any offense; they said he was a minor.
On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants from the Islamic Center interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary. They shouted verbal insults and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing to receive their first Holy Communion. They were reportedly stunned and confused and halted the procession before regrouping and hurrying past the Center.
On Sunday, May 24, in the village of Kafr Darwish, just south of Cairo, a Muslim mob attacked Coptic Christian homes by throwing stones and Molotov explosives at them. More than 10 homes were torched and damaged. This attack was apparently prompted by a familiar narrative: one of the Coptic villagers, Ayman Youssef, was accused of posting cartoons offensive to Muhammad on his Facebook account. Youssef is illiterate and says he lost his mobile phone a few days before the alleged Facebook posting. Village elders and security representatives held a “conciliation session” and decreed that Youssef’s entire family — including the 80-year-old father and 75-year-old mother — must leave the village if angry Muslims were to calm down. The Christian family was told by the village mayor Ahmed Maher that police “cannot guarantee their safety if they remained in the village.”
Dr. Khaled Montaser, an Egyptian intellectual and frequent critic of the Islamization of the country, discussed how discrimination against Coptic Christians is widespread in certain medical professions. He said during a televised program that, although the pioneer of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Egypt was a Coptic Christian (Dr. Naguib Mahfouz), his grandson is banned from entering these professions because he is a Christian. Montaser confirmed that this policy, even if not a formal law, has caused Christian students increasingly to continue their studies abroad. He pointed out that this “policy” has become a norm — one of many that discriminates against Copts.
In a 25-minute interview on Arabic satellite TV with Dr. Mona Roman, Coptic Christian Bishop Agathon fully exposed the plight of his Christian flock in Minya, Egypt — a region that has a large Coptic minority that is steadily under attack. It was pointed out that the Egyptian state itself is often behind the persecution of and discrimination against Christians. According to the bishop, local governmental authorities — including the State Security apparatus — do not just ignore the attacks on Copts, but are often the very ones behind them.
During a recent interview on Egyptian television, Dr. Yunis Makioun, head of the Al-Nour Party, the political wing of the Salafis, insisted that Islam commands Muslims to “protect” the nation’s Christian minority — a reference to their “dhimmi” status — and treat them properly. Even so, said the Salafi spokesman, Muslims, according to Islam, are forbidden to offer greetings or congratulations to Copts on any Christian holiday.
Since the “Arab Spring” came to Egypt, the kidnapping of Coptic Christians has been on the rise. In Nag Hammadi alone, 77 persons have been abducted, and two killed.
Makram Nazir, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian man was kidnapped and killed. Nazir was returning home from his second job in the middle of the night on April 26, when he was seized. His abductors called his brother and demanded a million Egyptian pounds (equivalent of $131,000 USD). As it was an impossible amount to raise, the Coptic man’s family negotiated a significantly reduced price by phone with the abductors. The brother went to the local police station, provided them with all the information, including recordings of the phone calls, but, according to Watan News, “no one made a single move or took the matter seriously.” After paying the ransom, three days passed before Nazir’s family found the Coptic man’s corpse in a canal. Killing Christian hostages even after being paid the ransom is not uncommon in Egypt. The same happened to 6-year-old Cyril Joseph: on May 2013, it was reported that his “family is in tatters after paying 30,000 pounds [about $4000 USD] to the abductor, who still killed the innocent child and threw his body in the sewer system, where the body, swollen and moldy, was exhumed.”
Armed gunmen seized an 8-year-old Coptic Christian child, Antonious Zaki Hani, who was walking with his mother to school in Nag Hammadi. Four armed gunmen appeared, forced the child from his mother on the threat of death, and fled in a car. The kidnappers demanded two million Egyptian pounds ($262,000 USD) in ransom. Police eventually released the boy 17 days after he was kidnapped, although some activists say police knew earlier where the boy was being held.
On May 2, another Coptic Christian girl, Marina Magdi Fahim, 17, vanished after leaving her home around midday in the Hanofil region of Alexandria. Her family reported her disappearance to the authorities. Human rights activists say the girl was not reported injured at any hospital — a sign that she was kidnapped. She has not been seen since.
A few days earlier, another 17-year old Coptic Christian was kidnapped in the village of al-Kom al-Qibliyya in Samalout. An eyewitness said he saw a Muslim neighbor named Ahmed Khalifa seize the girl. Although the family planned to organize a protest, the village elders counseled against it, lest it backfire by provoking more of the area’s Muslims to retaliate against the Christian minority of the region, as often happens whenever Copts ask for their human rights.
About this Series
The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic. Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
1) To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.
2) To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or third-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
The picturesque town of Annecy, in south eastern France, is described in tourist brochures as the Venice of the Alps, and it draws in tourists from all over the Alps region, especially from Switzerland.
However, locals in the idyllic tourist hotspot complained to authorities last summer that some of these tourists were wearing full face veils - known as burkas or Niqab - which are legal in Switzerland but were controversially banned from all public places in France in 2011.
Annecy police have now taken action to let tourists know that they are breaking the law with their religious headwear, handing out flyers in both English and French to those seen wearing veils in an effort to alert them to the fact that they are in breach of the French law.
While burka-clad people face a €150 ($165) fine, police are yet to hand out anything more than a reminder, reported Swiss newspaper Le Temps. Officers have been advised not to give out fines, rather to discuss the matter with the tourists and to ask them to show their face privately.
Though the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) endorsed by unanimity the nuclear arms agreement of July 14, 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 powers, the United States Congress is expected to vote on it by September 17. The UNSC agreed to lift the economic sanctions on Iran it imposed by Resolution 1696 on July 31, 2006, after Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program, if it believes that Iran has curbed its nuclear activities. The U.S. Congress has 60 days to decide whether to lift the separate U.S. sanctions.
Countless appropriate questions can be asked about the deal. Does it sufficiently limit Iran’s nuclear weapons capability? Can accurate verification of Iran’s actions truly be done? Was it appropriate to make the deal by U.S. executive agreement and not by treaty, thus deliberately making it more difficult for Congress to reject it? Was there really no alternative to the deal except war, as both President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry have maintained? Would rejecting the deal, as Kerry asserted, pit the U.S. against the rest of the world?
In view of Iran’s well-known record on the issue, not everyone can agree that, as Kerry remarked, everything in the agreement was verifiable and that it meant a process by which we would know what Iran is doing. Iran has been given 24-day notice for international inspection of suspect sites, and the likelihood of its cheating is high. Indeed, already Iran has stated that the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be denied access to the country’s military sites.
It is to Kerry’s credit that he pressed the Iranian government to stop calling for the destruction of Israel, and, in somewhat restrained language, informed it that chants of “Death to America” are not helpful. Apparently he was unsuccessful. One wonders if Kerry was chagrined that on the very day the deal was signed, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called publicly for death to America. In view of his attempts at rapprochement, Kerry must have been bothered and bewildered by the statement on July 24, 2015 of the Iranian foreign minister, who criticized the uselessness of U.S. empty threats against the nation of Iran.
There are serious legitimate issues to be debated in the complex deal. One can appropriately discuss the vital question of whether the present agreement is the best way to limit Iran’s ability to get a nuclear weapon. One can question Kerry’s view that a nuclear arms race in the Middle East would be more likely without the deal, rather than the reverse with sanctions continued against Iran.
What is certain is that the deal provides for removal of sanctions, which will provide Iran with $150 billion in frozen assets, and assurance of the lifting within a decade of the bans on conventional arms and ballistic missiles.
It is disappointing that among the core problems are the self-righteous stance of the Obama administration and its insensitivity to both the U.S. legislature and to Middle East countries, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Kerry was right in saying there is a lot of politics going on, but it was not going on in the way he implied.
It is understandable that the Obama administration and Kerry personally will be embarrassed if Congress rejects the Iran deal. However, it seems impertinent and slighting regarding his former colleagues in the legislature for Kerry to have remarked that if Congress refuses to agree to the deal, Iran and others will say, “Let’s go negotiate with the U.S.; they have 535 secretaries of state.” What a humiliating and disparaging comment! Kerry is more concerned with the sensibilities of undemocratic Islamic countries than with the legitimate powers of Congress.
There are indeed major issues that Congress must discuss about the deal. Will it lead to greater regional stability? Is it helpful in dealing with the Islamist terrorist threat? What does it imply for the State of Israel?
Taking the issue of Israel first, it was the height of insensitivity for Kerry to make two particular remarks. One was to mock Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech and the cartoon of a bomb he had drawn at the United Nations, and to state that Netanyahu had not offered a real alternative to the deal he had been long criticizing. The other was to warn Congress that a vote against the Iranian deal could mean that Israel will find itself more isolated in the international arena and “more blamed.”
No one can accuse Kerry of being anti-Semitic or of being unfriendly toward Israel, yet his remarks have overtones of conspiracy theory, of a Jewish or Zionist lobby pulling the strings of a deferential Congress. The 535 members cannot be happy to be regarded as automatons automatically responsive to the will of the Zionists. It was obtuse of Kerry to suggest that in his view, Israel will be blamed if Congress rejects the deal.
Kerry did not make U.S. policy completely clear. At various moments he asserted different factors. It would be a “huge mistake” for Israel to take unilateral military action against Iran; at no stage of the negotiations did the U.S. promise to help Iran defend itself from any Israeli attack; the U.S. plans to “be fully coordinated” with Israel.
Has the Obama administration bought time in limiting temporarily the nuclear progress of the Islamic Republic of Iran? Whether one refers to the deal as appeasement of Iran or not, the result is the likelihood of Iran’s regional prominence in the Middle East. This is troubling for Saudi Arabia, from both a religious and a geopolitical point of view.
It is doubtful that Obama has chosen a closer affinity with the Shiite forces of Islam rather than with the Sunni or predominantly Sunni countries headed by Saudi Arabia. It is even more doubtful, especially now that sanctions will be moved and Iran will have access to prodigious assets, that Iran will reduce its support of terrorist organizations, or be helpful in confronting the Islamist threat of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Iran's supreme leader tweeted a graphic Saturday that appears to depict President Obama holding a gun to his head as Britain relaxed its travel advice to the nation, citing decreased hostility under the Iranian government.
"US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but.." reads the caption above the tweet sent by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on @khamenei_ir, his English language account.
Khamenei's account has not been verified by Twitter but is widely believed to be the supreme leader's based on its content, which often rails against the United States and Israel. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also has an unverified Twitter account, @HassanRouhani.
The latest tweet on Khamenei's account mirrors a similar one sent July 17 that didn't contain an image, but said: "US pres. said he could knock out Iran’s army. Of course we neither welcome, nor begin war, but in case of war, US will leave it disgraced."
That tweet came just three days after the United States and other world powers reached a historic agreement with Iran that called for limits on Tehran's nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.
Meanwhile, the British government eased its travel advice to Iran on Saturday, saying it no longer advises "against all but essential travel to the rest of Iran" and has "updated our advice to provide greater clarity on the risks that may affect British nationals traveling to Iran."
The government still maintains its advice to avoid travel in some areas, particularly along Iran's borders. "Our policy is to recommend against travel to an area when we judge that the risk is unacceptably high. We consider that continues to be the case for specific areas of Iran, notably along Iran’s borders with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement.
"But we believe that in other areas of Iran the risk to British nationals has changed, in part due to decreasing hostility under President Rouhani’s government," he added.
A gang of Muslim youths launched an astonishing attack on vans being used for an immigration raid . . . In the ‘disturbing’ incident in East London last week, three vans marked ‘Immigration Enforcement’ and an unmarked silver car were badly vandalised.
More than a dozen officials arrived in Shadwell on Wednesday to round up three suspected illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from a shop. They returned to their Home Office vehicles in the next street to find the vans’ tyres had been sliced open and the paintwork scratched. The officers were then pelted with eggs before police were called.
Two days earlier, the Prime Minister made a landmark speech appealing for support from the Muslim community in the effort to combat extremism.
One witness said: ‘I saw about five or six youths come out of nowhere and run towards the immigration vans. They had kitchen knives in their hands and they slashed the tyres and scratched the bodywork. It all happened very quickly, then they ran off. I think they were local Muslim hoodies just doing a prank, but it’s not funny. It’s the sort of thing that will cause this area problems now.’
Residents also claim the vans had to be towed away after a local garage refused to help, although the garage denies this.
The attack was condemned by community leaders in Shadwell last night, but social media posts appeared to reveal a groundswell of support for the gang.
On Facebook, Nur Choudhury said: ‘Immigration Enforcement officers in Shadwell. Their tyres got slashed, valves taken and cars scratched. The local garage refused to sell them tyres or help them. To top it all off they got egged from the local tower block and a few landed direct on their heads. Welcome to Shadwell :)
When The Mail on Sunday visited the scene on Friday, one shopkeeper said: ‘The police deserve it. They are always down here hassling us.’ A worker at Bigland Tyres – which is opposite where the attack took place – last night denied claims they declined to help.
More than half the population of Shadwell is Muslim, according to the 2011 census.
According to the picture accompanying the Mail on Sunday article this took place in Chapman Street in Shadwell. I have been to Chapman Street more than once. I visted and wrote about it here in 2010 although I didn't name the street.Obviously the standard of local behaviour has not improved.
Revealed: Secret plan to put 5,000 heavily-armed troops on streets of Britain to fight jihadis in event of a terror attack
I don't know about 'secret plan'; I would have thought it was plain common sense. From the Mail on Sunday
A top secret plan for the mass deployment of armed troops on the streets of Britain in the wake of a major terrorist attack can be revealed for the first time today. More than 5,000 heavily armed soldiers would be sent to inner cities if Islamic State or other fanatics launched multiple attacks on British soil – an unprecedented military response to terrorism.
The plan, codenamed Operation Temperer, would see troops guard key targets alongside armed police officers, providing ‘protective security’ against further attacks while counter-terror experts and MI5 officers hunted down the plotters.
The shocking plans for ‘large-scale military support’ to the police are contained in documents uncovered by The Mail on Sunday. They have been drawn up by police chiefs and are being discussed at the highest levels of Government, but have never been revealed in public or mentioned in Parliament.
The mass deployment of Army personnel on the streets of mainland Britain would be hugely controversial, even if it helped keep the population safe, because it could give the impression that the Government had lost control or that martial law was being imposed.
Baroness Jones, who sits on London’s Police and Crime Committee, said she was ‘shocked’ at the plans, saying: ‘This would be unprecedented on mainland Britain.’ And she expressed concern that the troops would not be sufficiently trained to protect civil liberties.
Some police leaders fear that the soldiers would be needed if there was a wave of attacks by extremists inspired by Islamic State or Al-Qaeda, as police forces no longer have enough manpower to cope.
It can also be disclosed today that, after this year’s Paris massacres, senior police officers discussed raising the terror threat level in Britain from ‘severe’ to the highest level of ‘critical’, meaning a terror attack is ‘imminent’ rather than ‘highly likely’
Sources confirmed the detailed plan had been discussed at the highest level and would only be triggered by the Cobra committee chaired by the Prime Minister if there were two or three terror attacks at the same time in Britain, leaving police struggling to respond.
Will Riches, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘The bottom line is you can’t reduce 17,000 police officers and expect nothing to change. While police are well-versed at contingency planning, the levels of cuts to officers means that we cannot police events in the same way.’
Military activity on the streets has previously proved controversial. There was outcry in 2003 when tanks were stationed at Heathrow following warnings of a plot to shoot down a passenger jet.
And residents were terrified when surface-to-air missiles were set up on rooftops and in parks for the 2012 London Olympics. But it is thought that the series of attacks across Paris by Islamists in January convinced the authorities that military support would be needed if similar atrocities took place right across Britain.
Raffaello Pantucci, a security expert at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, said: ‘It makes sense. The Paris attacks were seen with great concern because there were so many sites. The concern was would the UK be able to respond in the same way? There was understandable concern about whether they would get very stretched.’
It is understood that Home Secretary Theresa May would not oppose soldiers taking to the streets in a ‘worst-case scenario’. But Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper warned: ‘Our national security must not be put at risk. Theresa May has a responsibility to make sure we have enough police for vital counter-terror work.’
At least two teachers accused of involvement in the Trojan Horse plot to “Islamise” Birmingham schools have been reinstated by the academy at the heart of the scandal, despite being banned from the teaching profession.
Shakeel Akhtar, the assistant principal of Park View School, and Saqib Malik, director of student progress, have in recent weeks resumed teaching children in class, in a move that has been heavily criticised by other staff and is understood to have contributed to at least two resignations.
Both men are among more than a dozen teachers allegedly involved in the plot who are still subject to “interim prohibition orders” banning them from teaching.
They were close allies of the school’s former principal, Mozz Hussain, and were members of his “Park View Brotherhood”, a hardline private online discussion group where thousands of extremist, bigoted and anti-Western messages were exchanged.
The new chair of governors at Park View, Waheed Saleem, who approved the reinstatements, denies there were any problems in Birmingham’s schools, stating that extremism “didn’t exist”. Mr Saleem likened media coverage of the plot to The Sun’s “lies” about Liverpool fans over Hillsborough. He called for a boycott of the Telegraph, which revealed many of the developments. Mr Saleem announced his resignation yesterday after The Telegraph contacted him about the teacher reinstatements and his views.
The alleged ringleader of the plot, Tahir Alam, the former chair of governors at Park View, has re-emerged, giving a lecture justifying his actions, attempting to attend council committees and launching a new “community interest company”. He is suspected of involvement in a recent wave of parental agitation – until now unreported – against sex education at two heavily Muslim primary schools in the city.
Two further Birmingham schools caught up in Trojan Horse, Selly Oak and Springfield, were placed into special measures this year. Police had to be called to a third school, Welford, in October after disorder by parents protesting against teaching that homosexuality is acceptable. In the last two weeks, petitions and protests over sex education have been held at two other schools, Clifton and Highfield.
At Park View, soon to be renamed Rockwood Academy, standards appear to have deteriorated since the return of the two banned teachers. In February, Ofsted found that the school was “making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures”. By June, the inspectors said that there had been a “serious decline” and the academy was “not making enough progress” towards removal of the sanction.
Mr Saleem said he “stood by” his speech denying the existence of a plot, but declined to make any further comment. Mr Akhtar was not available for comment. Mr Malik put down the phone when contacted and declined to respond to text messages
Victory for Campus Zionism at UC Irvine: Ouster of Orange County JFed President Elcott
It’s official. The problematic President of the Orange County Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), Shalom Elcott, has been ousted by the board – his contract was apparently not renewed. Notwithstanding he remains as a strategic consultant to the Chairman of the JFFS board. This marks an important victory for Campus Zionism on the controversial UC Irvine campus. Thus, ends a nearly decade long intrusion by Elcott working against the Zionist Anteaters for Israel (AFI) campus group. AFI’s leaders like incumbent Sharon Shaoulian and alum like Reut Cohen and others have borne the brunt of assaults on their campus activities and free speech by Elcott with support from his appointed Hillel chapter campus director. Elcott’s dossier was the subject of a June 2015 NER article, “How One Southern California Jewish Federation Undermines Student Zionism at a State University.”
A press release from the Orange County JFFS issued on Wednesday, July 22ndconfirmed Elcott’s replacement:
The Board of Jewish Federation & Family Services(JFFS)announced today that it has appointed Dr. Lauren Gavshon, JFFS’ current Director of Clinical Services as interim President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Shalom Elcott as President and Chief Executive Officer
Elcott, a visionary leader who fundamentally transformed JFFS into the robust and diverse organization it is today, will continue to serve as Strategic Advisor to the Chair of the Board
Dr. Gavshon and her family have been involved in the local Jewish community for over 20 years, and she is well positioned to take on this expanded role,” said Daniel J. Koblin, Chair of the Board.
Our colleague, UCI adjunct faculty member, Gary Fouse on his Fousesquawks blog wrote:
I know nothing about Dr Lauren Gavshon, who is the interim CEO. The press release describes her as a bridge-builder. Heaven knows they need one over at the Federation after the Elcott reign.
Here is my question: If Elcott did such a great job, as the Federation is claiming, why the change? Why is there no reason given? Normally, something is said about a "retirement" or so-and-so wanting to spend more time with the family. One can read all kinds of things into this, but I will await further information coming out-as it surely will.
Hopefully, the new CEO will change the culture at the Federation and make it one that will truly represent all the Jewish students at UC Irvine especially the ones that choose to fight for Israel and stand up to anti-Semitism. Hopefully, the new leadership will speak out about anti-Semitism at UCI rather than try to sweep it under the rug. Hopefully, the new leadership will join the community in fighting the problem instead of trying to keep its members away from campus. Hopefully, the new leadership will support those who want to wave the Israeli and American flags in the face of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who disrupt pro-Israel events on campus. Hopefully, the new leadership will cut all ties with the insidious Olive Tree Initiative and denounce it for what it is; a thinly-veiled attempt to sway students toward the Palestinian narrative while masquerading as neutral.
Ms. Gavshon has a lot of work cut out for her as she tries to repair the mess left behind by Elcott.
We were glad to have helped in whatever way I to raise consciousness among Orange County co-coreligionists and Jews around the world about Elcott's cultivation of Israel's enemies on the dime of the Orange County JFFS at the UC Irvine campus. One of Elcott’s more troubling initiatives at UCIrvine was diverting funds from a JFFS affiliate, the Rose Project, to fund student trips sponsored by the left-wing controlled Olive Tree Initiative at UCIrvine. That led to an alleged inadvertent meeting in 2009 with Hamas leader on the West Bank, Aziz Duwaik, a Palestinian Legislative Council leader. It has been almost five years since we published an interview with local Zionist activist and Ha’Emet blogger, Dee Sterling , about the plague of anti-Zionist activities on the Southern California campus.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren was scheduled to give a speech at UCIrvine on February 8, 201, when it was disrupted 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 produced a number of following articles on the NER and our blog The Iconoclast about the misguided helmsman of the JFFS of Orange County. There was our joint effort with Debra Glazer developing A Pledge Against the Self-Destruction of American Jews to be signed off Jewish Federations against participation in anti-Zionist programs of groups like J Street and Jewish Voices for Peace and unfortunately all too many fellow traveling Jewish Federations. Prescient, given the spike in Antisemitism in the EU, the Global BDS movement and the great divide among fellow American Jews about Obama and controversial nuclear pact with Islamic Republic of Iran.
Sharon Shaoulin, President of Anteaters for Israel, UC Irvine
Besides Sterling, Fouse and Glazer there were others among the UCI faculty and local Orange County community activists exposing Elcott endeavoring to defeat campus Zionism. In the end with his ouster, perhaps a new day will dawn for both Orange County JFFS and at UC Irvine. Sharon Shaoulian, current President and alum like Reut Cohen of Anteaters For Israel can take quiet satisfaction that at least this nightmare is over. They stood up to Elcott’s bullying tactics, which we and others exposed, possibily resulting in the JFFS board decision this week to terminate his contract. Elcott's ouster should be a warning to his minions at UCI Hillel and leftist allies of the anti-Semitic Muslim Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Olive Tree Initiative at UCI. Hopefully Shalom's brother David Elcott at NYU's Wagner College might arrange a permanent position for him with J Street. Professor Elcott is a member of the J Street Advisory board.
What’s behind The American Jewish Divide on the Iran Nuclear Deal?
Council of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations (CPMAJO) Pres. Stephen M. Greenblatt, Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein with Secretary of State John Kerry , Manhattan, July 24, 2015
Source: CPMAJO and Times of Israel
Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew up to New York to brief skeptical leaders of major American Jewish organizations on the Administration-backed Iran Nuclear Agreement announced on July 14t. This followed Thursday’s presentation before a truculent Senate Foreign Relations Committee Iran nuclear review with Kerry, Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. A provocative question by Senate panel member, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, prompted Kerry to issue a warning to Israel not to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry was also caught toutingJ Street propaganda suggesting that former Israeli security officials from Shin Bet and Mossad considered it a good deal. As reflected in a Times of Israel (TOI) report on Kerry’s briefings, American Jewish leaders expressed concerns about his inability to answer their questions. However, a poll released Thursday by the Los-Angeles based Jewish Journal suggested that virtually half of American Jews backed Obama on the Iran nuclear deal in contrast to less than 28 percent of all Americans . Thus, confirming the deepening American Jewish divide over support for Israel discussed at length in Ambassador Michael Oren’s memoir, Ally. The TOI article on the Manhattan briefings by Kerry to American Jewish leaders noted the results of the Jewish Journal- sponsored survey:
According to the [Jewish Journal] survey, 49 percent of American Jews support the deal and 31 percent oppose it. Among all Americans, 28 percent support the deal and 24 percent oppose it.
The Times of Israel reported comments from participants in the briefings by Kerry:
Among the issues raised were reports of provisions to shorten the embargoes on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles and secret accords dealing with inspections at Iran’s Parchin military base and the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s past nuclear activities.
“It was a very interesting exchange,” one attendee told the Times of Israel. “We spoke rather frankly and he gave his assessment. Some of the things we agree with and some of the things people disagreed with, but that is the nature of this debate.”
“People remained concerned. He filled in some blanks and on some issues people still feel quite differently,” the attendee added. “Whether you agree with his answers or not, it was an important exchange.”
The meeting with Conference of Presidents involved more than 100 participants from a wide range of Jewish groups including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), incoming Anti-Defamation League Executive Director Jonathan Greenblatt, Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, and representatives of the Jewish Federations of North America. AIPAC is vehemently opposed to the agreement. It has launched a massive lobbying campaign in a bid to see it stonewalled by Congress, which is currently reviewing the terms of the deal.
L.A. Jewish Journal survey of American Jews on Iran nuclear deal, July 23, 2015
Let’s look at the nuances of the Jewish Journal Iranian nuclear deal survey findings:
The LA Jewish Journal Survey asked respondents’ views on “an agreement … reached in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons.” Almost half – 49 percent of American Jews – voiced support, and 31 percent opposed. Jews differ from the national population. Of all respondents in our national survey, only 28 percent support the deal, 24 percent oppose and the rest (48 percent) “don’t know enough to say.”
As a group, Jews hold these supportive views of the agreement, notwithstanding their mixed views regarding its outcomes. Asked whether “this agreement would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons over the next 10 years or so,” only 42 percent are somewhat confident or very confident, while 54 percent are not so confident or not confident at all. A slim plurality believes the agreement will lead to more rather than less stability in the Middle East (46 percent versus 41 percent), but a wider margin believes the deal will make Israel more endangered (49 percent) rather than safer (33 percent), almost the same as in the U.S. survey (48 percent versus 32 percent respectively).
But even with their misgivings, Jews overwhelmingly think that, in retrospect, the idea of the U.S. conducting negotiations with Iran was a good one (59 percent) rather than a bad one (19 percent).
Shoshana Bryen, The Jewish Policy Center
Shoshana Bryen of the Jewish Policy Center in our 1330amWEBY interview in a forthcoming August 2015 New English Review article commented about the American Jewish divide:
In the Jewish community there is an element that believes any deal is better than no deal. The President said, "Please think of the alternative to this deal. Think of it," he said. Clearly, he was leaning in the direction that without the deal, there is war. There is a group of people in the Jewish community that thinks you must do anything you can, to prevent war. Anything, everything. If you give up sanctions and accept demands its okay, because you're not having war. There's another group of people in the Jewish community, that says, if you give up everything, you're going to end up with war anyway, but from a less advantageous position.
The Jews of Israel oppose the agreement with Iran. The Jews of America support it. The just-released LA Jewish Journal survey turns an assumption into a fact: The two largest Jewish communities cannot agree on a major world development that could significantly change the state of the Jewish state.
Israel will discover today — much to many Israelis’ surprise (because they don’t much understand American Jews) — that it cannot count on the majority of American Jewry to fight the battle against the agreement alongside it. A majority of American Jews will discover today that amid all the noise made by opponents of the deal, not much has changed for them as a group: They support President Barack Obama; they vote Democratic; they approve of the agreement. American Jews are just like Americans, as sociologist Steven Cohen, who oversaw the survey, writes: They are all skeptical about the deal, but their politics dictate the way they ultimately see it.
My response to Belman was The Jewish Journal publishers hew to a reform movement precept- to repair the world. Shmuel Rosner is a left-wing Israeli journalist who made career of viewing American Jews through that lens including opposition to Bibi and the settler movement. If you look at who consulted on this survey - the West Coast Reform seminary of UAHC- there are likely two biases in both framing questions and population sampling. The first is support for J Street among the reform movement leadership and seminary academics. There are 600 members of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet largely drawn from the Reform movement pulpits in the US. The second is the liberal reform readership of the Jewish Journal editions across the US. Increasingly, it seems liberal Jews view Israel as alien to their assimilationist values. That meme comes through in Michael Oren's memoir. Ally. Essentially, the Reform movement in the US has returned to its traditional pre WWII anti- Zionist roots.
A Muslim boarding school has been rated "good" by Ofsted, despite threatening to expel students if they mix with other children. The Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury was praised by the education watchdog despite its pupils being taught not to speak to the media and being banned from watching TV, listening to the radio or reading newspapers. "The Islamic Institute of Education provides a good quality of education and meets its stated aims very well," it said.
The school is housed in Dewsbury's Markazi Mosque compound and run by the Tablighi Jamaat sect, which imposes a strict Sharia code on students.
The school has no website, but Sky News obtained copies of documents given to parents which state that students "socialising with outsiders... will be expelled if there is no improvement after cautioning."
The school's Pupil and Parent Handbook contains a Sharia section which lists "Items that are prohibited in Islam... such as portable televisions, cameras, etc". It says boarders are also banned from wearing un-Islamic garments and using music players or mobile phones at any time.
Official inspection reports spanning the past 11 years have highlighted a lack of school trips and no formal sex education.
Mosque elder Shabbir Daji, chairman of the school's governing shura, told Sky News the school "works for unity", but would not comment on how its restrictions prepare children for life in Britain. "Our policy is to keep away from the media," he said.
In a statement, Ofsted said independent schools were not assessed on their teaching of British values when the Institute of Islamic Education was last inspected.
In an interview released after the verdict, Child A said she had first been approached from the age of 11, when some of the men commented that she was not wearing a bra.
"Then they started wanting my phone number, and they would want to take me to the cinema or park," she said. "Then we would have a drink together, and they would have sex with me."
Prosecutors in the trial at the Old Bailey said, when she was aged just 12 or 13, child A had been passed between 60 mostly Asian men, having been conditioned into thinking it was normal. "They could maybe just want you for six months and then move you on to their brother or cousin, and then that's it - they don't want you any more."
The second victim, child B, spoke of the huge relief following the conviction of six of the 11 accused men on trial.
"I would leave in the morning in my school uniform and I would come home at three in the morning in my school uniform. These men knew that we were 14," she said. "No girl should ever feel that they have to use their body or what they’ve got as their selling point. They knew they shouldn’t be buying us drinks and feeding us drugs, they knew that."
The girl's father - who had separated from her mother - said she (?) only discovered what had happened to her when the police came to tell him last year.
"As her Dad, I take full responsibility. I feel like I’ve failed her. Parents are ignorant to CSE because the tools are not there in front of us. People need to be taught...If CSE is happening in a little market town like Aylesbury, it’s happening in towns and cities all over the country, right this minute. . .
Child B's father said they "don't deserve to see the light of day again", adding: "I detest them. They took her pride, her self-esteem, all the things that would have helped her to develop into a healthy young woman. They took years away from her that they had no right to take."
The Aylesbury child sex ring was not discovered as most would expect - with a victim complaining to the police, a parent voicing concerns or online surveillance. It began with the main victim - known throughout the case as child A - trying to prevent her own children being taken into care.
The efforts of Buckinghamshire social services to have Child A's two young sons taken into care were halted when she spoke out about sexual abuse she had suffered. The case - heard in the Family Court - had centred on her own fitness to be a mother. The police investigation into Child A's claims started soon after.
Social services were well aware of the victim - she had been on its children-at-risk register from the age of seven. And over the years the records held by various public organisations about her life swelled.
Former Aylesbury mayor Niknam Hussain says the case raises serious questions about how the girl had been handled and treated by social services.
"They have not come out of this at all well," he said. "The authorities are under severe pressure all of the time, social care is expensive and the county council struggles to keep its social workers and is dependent on agency staff."
It is understood Child A may have raised issues of sexual abuse previously with social services but nothing was done. David Johnston, managing director for children's services at Buckinghamshire County Council, declined to comment on any "previous contact (Child A had) with social care".
But he did say: "We will carry out our own learning as a result, as we do with other cases, and have already taken on board recommendations and improvements in the light of other national reports. We are as appalled by these cases of child sexual exploitation in Buckinghamshire as every parent and member of the community will be . . ."
Barnardo's said they worked with the girls in 2008, and made a referral to the appropriate agencies about one of the victims. Michelle Lee-Izu from the charity told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme they felt not enough had been done at the time.
She said: "In 2008, we worked with both these young people and our work with these young women was very specific to them as individuals. We had concerns about the safety of one young woman and we made a referral to the local authority and the relevant agencies. At that time, the agencies didn't respond in a way that we wanted, that we expected them to, although some actions were taken by the local authority, so we escalated those actions further. But insufficient action was taken as far as we were concerned."
On Friday David Johnston, Buckingshire County Council director for children's services, apologised to the two young victims, saying: "We are as appalled, as all parents and the community of Buckinghamshire will be, by the despicable acts of cruel abuse committed by those found guilty at the Old Bailey today. These girls were just children when they became victims to such manipulation that lasted so many years.
"I want to thank each of these young women for taking the brave step to come forward, to speak to the police and re-live their horrific experiences in court to bring these men to justice. On behalf of the council, I would also like to apologise to both of them for letting them down during this period in their lives. We know a great deal more about child sexual exploitation than we did back then and I hope that young people who are worried about themselves or someone they know will have the same courage to come forward."
Aylesbury child sex ring: Six guilty of schoolgirl abuse
There is so much in the news this morning (at last!) about this case that I will make it several posts. This is from the Telegraph about the actual trial.
Six members of a child sex ring in Aylesbury have been found guilty of their part in the horrifying abuse of two schoolgirls that went on for years on a massive scale. A total of 11 men went on trial for 51 offences between 2006 and 2012 - including multiple rape of a child, child prostitution and administering a substance to "stupefy" a girl in order to engage in sexual activity.
The jury took more than 42 hours to find six of them guilty of a range of offences against the girls, who spent days giving evidence and being cross-examined at the Old Bailey. Four defendants were cleared, while the jury could not decide on one of them. The CPS are asking for a re-trial.
Vikram Singh, 45, of Aylesbury, was found guilty of four counts of rape and administering a substance with intent.
Asif Hussain, 33, of Milton Keynes, was convicted of three counts of rape.
Arshad Jani, 33, of Aylesbury, was found guilty of rape and conspiracy to rape.
Mohammed Imran, 38, Bradford, was convicted of three counts of rape, one count of conspiracy to rape and one count of child prostitution.
Akbari Khan, 36, of Aylesbury, was found guilty of two counts of rape, administering a substance with intent, conspiracy to rape.
Taimoor Khan, 29, of Aylesbury, was convicted of one count of sexual activity with a child.
Clockwise from top left, Vikram Singh, Asif Hussain, Arshad Jani, Taimoor Khan, Akbari Khan and Mohammed Imran, The men gave no reaction as the verdicts were given.
The men filled the dock in court, some of them using the services of various interpreters speaking Hindi, Urdu, Pashto and Punjabi.
The court earlier heard that both victims came from troubled backgrounds and wanted to feel grown-up when they were befriended by the men, who groomed them by showering them with inexpensive gifts such as alcohol, DVDs, food and occasionally drugs.
While aged just 12 or 13, one of the vulnerable girls, known in the trial as A, was passed between 60 mainly Asian men for sex after being conditioned into thinking it was normal behaviour, jurors were told. The vast majority of the charges related to this child, while three charges related to girl B.
Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC told the jury the youngsters were "easy prey for a group of men wanting casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available". He said the girls' ideas of what was right had been "completely distorted", and that they thought what was happening was "normal" and "natural".
Mr Saxby told jurors: "Notwithstanding that they were children, they spoke in terms of these men being their boyfriends. And they were passed from man to man - sometimes on a daily basis. The scale of it is, you may agree, horrifying. A estimated that she had sex with about 60 men - six zero - almost all Asian."
Many of the defendants were friends from the Aylesbury area. Some were married and had children, with some working in the market and a few working as taxi drivers. Sentencing was adjourned until to September 7.
I would be interested to know whether the men with non Muslim names, one convicted, one facing a possible re-trial were converts or opportunists - either way they should all go down for a very long time.
“Our leaders are telling us that Islam is a peaceful religion, full of tolerance and love and hope. Don’t believe their lies,” Hallinan says in his video. “Effective immediately, I’m declaring Florida Gun Supply as a Muslim-free zone. I will not arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots.” - Andy Hallinan
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has its foundation in the terrorist organization Hamas. It has been named as a co-conspirator by the U.S. government for two federal trials dealing with the financing of Hamas, and it is recognized as an international terrorist group by the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Given this information, how is it possible that one of this group’s leaders, Nezar Hamze, could be considered for a position at one of the most prominent Sheriff’s offices in the United States? However, that is exactly what has happened.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is the largest fully accredited Sheriff's office in the nation. As such, having the title of Sheriff comes with much fanfare and responsibility. The current Sheriff is Scott Israel; he was elected to office in November 2012. As Sheriff, Israel has made it a point to reach out to diverse crowds, including those who could be considered enemies of the U.S. and her allies.
In July 2014, Zakkout organized a pro-Hamas rally held in Downtown Miami, where the crowd chanted loudly a number of anti-Jewish and pro-Hamas slogans. Zakkout is shown on video with a huge grin on his face, as his mob repeatedly screams, “We are Hamas.” Following the rally, Zakkout wrote in Arabic on his Facebook page, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Zakkout is also a big fan of white supremacist and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. Zakkout has posted different links on his Facebook site to Duke videos , including a link to Duke’s official YouTube page. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Zakkout’s group AMANA for featuring what it called a “vicious” David Duke video on its website. In the video, which is titled ‘No War for Israel in Iran – Keep Americans Safe,’ Duke rails against Jews and is shown shaking hands with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The next stop for Sheriff Israel, on his tour, was the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF), for a June Ramadan Iftar meal. The event was sponsored by Emerge USA, an innocuously named Islamist lobbying and advocacy group that attempts to dupe politicians into attending its functions by seducing them with a “Muslim vote.”
Wahid, a South Florida attorney, has spent years representing high-profile Muslim terrorists. They include: Rafiq Sabir, who received a 25-year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being part of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; Sami al-Arian who spent time in prison (and was later deported) for his activities within Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); and Hafiz Khan, a Miami imam who received 25 years for shipping $50,000 to the Taliban explicitly to murder American troops overseas.
According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
Another photo from the Iftar featured Sheriff Israel and IFSF Events Coordinator Abdur Rahman al-Ghani. Al-Ghani’s Facebook page is littered with anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and Islamic supremacist language and images. In March 2013, al-Ghani posted on his Facebook site a photo of a group of American rabbis, who were meeting with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office to discuss Judaism, with the caption, “Every President has end [sic] up like this. This is the power of Zionism in our U.S. Government.” In December 2012, he wrote on Facebook, “Zionist/Israelis are not holy people. They are demonic and the most evil on earth.”
In April 2012, al-Ghani posted on his Facebook page a graphic depicting an American flag, stating “Worlds [sic] Number One Terrorist Organization.” In March 2012, he posted a graphic stating, “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD.” He wrote next to it, “Yes, Allah (SWT) has Decreed [sic] we will overtake the world in numbers…” And in February 2012, al-Ghani posted a graphic of the CIA logo spattered in blood with a caption that read in part, “You wipe out the organization that is solely responsible for every terrorist act committed since it’s [sic] creation. You wipe out the CIA.”
Next to the photo of Sheriff Israel with al-Ghani, Emerge wrote, “Thanks again to IFSF and Abdur Rahman al-Ghani.”
The third stop of Sheriff Israel’s radical Muslim tour, which took place this month, led him to the Darul Uloom Mosque, located in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Darul Uloom has ties to a number of high-profile al-Qaeda terrorists.
“Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student at Darul Uloom. His teacher was the current imam at the mosque, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed. Padilla was sentenced to 21 years in prison for providing material support to terrorists and for conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals overseas.
Now-deceased al-Qaeda commander and al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader at the mosque. In 2010, Shukrijumah was indicted by New York authorities for plotting suicide bombings in the city’s subway system. His father, Gulshair el-Shukrijumah, who was a translator for the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, “Blind Shaikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, taught classes at Darul Uloom. One of Gulshair’s students, Imran Mandhai, was sentenced to twelve years in prison for plotting to blow up strategic targets in South Florida. Mandhai was deported to Pakistan this past May.
It has further been alleged that one of the 19 hijackers from the September 11 attacks prayed at Darul Uloom.
The official website of Darul Uloom contains a photo of its imam, Shafayat Mohamed, shaking hands with now-deceased bigot Ahmed Deedat. Deedat, author of the book ‘CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCI-FICTION?’ was infamous for going around the world giving lectures on how Christianity is a false religion. In his book, ‘Muhammad the natural successor to Christ,’ he repeatedly refers to homosexuals as “sodomites.” He states, “Euphemistically they call them ‘gays’ a once beautiful word meaning - happy and joyous - now perverted!”
The photo of Shafayat Mohamed with Deedat, whom Shafayat Mohamed said he “had a good relationship” with, was taken in Durban, South Africa, at what was then named the Bin Laden Center. Deedat, who according to the New York Times was “a vocal anti-Semite and ardent backer of Osama bin Laden,” personally received millions of dollars from Bin Laden for the center.
Shafayat Mohamed, himself, was thrown off a number of boards in Broward County for his outspokenness against homosexuals. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God,’ claiming that homosexual sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. He stated, “I have been pondering over the reasons for the recent Tsunami, ever since the incident took place… a time when thousands would have been enjoying themselves during the holidays in the ‘GAY PARADISE’… [A]fter days of pondering, I was able to find a major similarity with the Tsunami and Sodom & Gomorrah.”
Sheriff Israel arrived at Darul Uloom to deliver a Ramadan message to the crowd; he did so, before being warmly embraced by the imam, Shafayat Mohamed. But the real message was sent by the individual who was introducing the Sheriff. It was Deputy Sheriff Nezar Hamze. This was an alarming and surreal surprise, as Hamze has been a leader of a local chapter of the Hamas-associated CAIR for the past five years. Hamze is the Regional Operations Director of CAIR-Florida. Previously, he served as CAIR-Florida’s Executive Director.
CAIR was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization acting as a terrorist enterprise run by then-global Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Marzook, at the time, was based in the U.S and currently operates out of Egypt as a spokesman for Hamas. In 2007 and 2008, amidst two federal trials, the U.S. government named CAIR a co-conspirator in the raising of millions of dollars for Hamas.
Under a graphic of the World Trade Center in flames, CAIR posted to its national website a link to the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), asking its followers to donate money. The group also asked its followers to donate to the al-Qaeda charity, Global Relief Foundation (GRF).
In November 2014, just eight months ago, along with ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, CAIR was named a terrorist organization by United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Hamze has his own anti-social and dangerous issues, apart from being a CAIR leader.
In December 2010, outside a fundraiser for then-Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, George Galloway, being held at the Islamic Center of South Florida (ICOSF), in Pompano Beach, Hamze was caught on video repeatedly refusing to denounce Hamas, when given numerous chances to do so.
As well, in June 2007, after his cousin, Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze, murdered a woman, running her over with his minivan, Nezar tried to make excuses for his cousin. Abdelaziz had dragged her body for several miles down the road – her body parts scattered throughout – and then attempted to flee the U.S. to Lebanon, where the Hamze family is from. Nezar was quoted by the media, saying, while his cousin “made some bad decisions,” he “may have been a little threatened.”
All of this would seem to make someone like Nezar Hamze ineligible to serve in any capacity within law enforcement and would render his designation as Deputy Sheriff untenable. Yet, there was Hamze, at Darul Uloom, in full uniform with firearm at his side.
During his talk, Sheriff Israel said of Hamze that he was a “friend” and a “phenomenal Deputy Sheriff.” He said that Hamze was with him because they are “on the same mission,” that they are “like-minded,” and because, “as a man who studies Islam and as a Muslim, he’s gonna find out information that we can’t. He’s gonna be able to bring information back to the community and take information from the community and bring to us.”
Can Sheriff Israel, the first Jewish Sheriff in Broward County, seriously believe that Nezar Hamze – a man who has spent years as a leader of a fanatic Muslim organization; a man who repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas when given numerous chances; a man who tried to make excuses for his murderer cousin, after his cousin had willfully ran over a woman, dragged her body for several miles, and then tried to flee the country – should serve as a Deputy Sheriff in one of the most prominent Sheriff’s offices in the nation?!!
By employing Nezar Hamze, Sheriff Scott Israel has compromised not only the Broward Sheriff’s office, but the security of the entire county and by extension U.S. national security. And with the intelligence information made available to someone in Hamze’s position and the misleading information Hamze has exhibited he is capable of providing, who knows how much damage this could cause!
If the situation is not corrected and Nezar Hamze is not dismissed from his position immediately, Sheriff Israel should resign from office immediately.
If you wish to contact Sheriff Israel, you can do so by sending an e-mail to: [email protected], or you can call the Broward Sheriff’s Office, at 954-764-4357. Please be respectful in any and all communications with this office.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
Britain’s Charity Commission has removed the trustees of an East London mosque and is preparing to replace them with its own candidates after an investigation into allegations the organisation is being used to preach extreme Islam.
The Masjid and Madrasah Al-Tawhid Trust, a charity which funds and controls the Salafist ideology Masjid al-Tawhid mosque in Leyton, East London, has been under investigation by the charity commission since 2012 over allegations it had links to terrorist and extremist groups. Although the local Muslim community dismissed the accusations as stemming from bitter former members of the mosque spreading lies, the Charity Commission has now found grounds to remove a group whose claim to control the charity was substantiated by “procedural flaws”.
The al-Tawhid mosque has long been a source of controversy, welcoming a range of extremist speakers to address the congregation. A 2012 BBC London feature made when the enquiry started reported that extremist preacher Abu Qatada, deported from the UK for terror offences in 2013 has spoken there several times, as had senior Al-Qaeda man Anwar al-Awlaki. al-Awlaki, who prosletysed and recruited for al-Qaeda in Europe as well as wrote the terrorist organisation’s propaganda magazine Inspire, was killed by U.S. drone strike in 2011.
Despite being under investigation, the flow of extremist-linked speakers does not seem to have stopped. As recently as this January, the mosque advertised on its Facebook page for an upcoming event including white Muslim convert guest speaker Wasim Kempson. Kempson, who has a BA Hons in Shari’ah from the Madinah Islamic University in Saudi Arabia has called for the release of Aafia Siddiqui, known as ‘Lady al-Qaeda’, who is serving an 86 year sentence in the United State for Islamic terrorism. According to court documents, she had been planning “high casualty” attacks against New York landmarks such as the Empire States building and the Statue of Liberty, and shot at FBI officers with an M4 assault rifle.
Kempson has been a regular speaker at extremist-linked events, including symposia hosted by discredited British Muslim group CAGE . . .
Members of the public have until mid-August to write to the commission to make any objections they may have about the new trustees known.
Turkey Agrees to Allow US to Use Air Bases to Launch Attacks on ISIS
Of course this is after they've experienced attacks on their soil and 1.5 million refugees have come across the border. It is not clear what we had to give for the privilage of protecting them. Story here.