Archive for November, 2009

The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East [Book Review]

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

by Joshua Muravchik
Encounter, 350 pp. $25.95

Reviewed by Michael Rubin*

On January 21, 2005, George W. Bush looked out over the crowds gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol for his second inaugural and declared, “It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

He was lambasted from all sides. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a moderate Democrat, told CNN that the focus on democracy was not “practical.” Patrick J. Buchanan said it was “a recipe for endless war.” At a conference I attended in Rome just days later, a senior U.S. embassy official told a largely European audience during a question-and-answer period that his boss’s speech was “stupid.”

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Why is America Still Allied with Saudi Arabia? – Exporters of Radical Islamic Propaganda, Torturers and Rapists at Home

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

By Phyllis Chesler

The Saudi mutawas (“morality police”) are terrifying. Like vultures, they swoop down on their vulnerable prey, especially women, and then send them straight to Hell. The “long beards” curse and beat their female prisoner, totally terrify her; then, they throw her into a dark, medieval dungeon, (assume the worst here). They remove her only in order to gang-rape and torture her — all presumably in the name of Islam. Her crime? In one instance, although the woman was a foreign national, she dared to take a taxi downtown without a male escort. Continue reading…

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Syria’s Path to Islamist Terror

Friday, November 27th, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

While the Obama administration and congressional leaders may justify renewed engagement with Syria with their desire to jumpstart the Middle East peace process, they ignore the very issue that lies at the heart of the Syrian threat to U.S. national security: Syrian support for radical Islamist terror. This may seem both illogical and counterfactual given past antagonism between the ‘Alawite-led regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is overwhelming evidence that President Bashir al-Asad has changed Syrian strategic calculations and that underpinning terror is crucial to the foreign policy of the country.

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An Article that gives an Amazing Insight into Radical Islamism, its Western Coddlers and its Cures

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

This is perhaps the best newspaper article I’ve ever read on the phenomenon of radical Islamists in Europe, written from the point of view of those who have left the movement and now discuss how they felt and what they did. Well worth reading. It is by Johann Hari and entitled, “Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again.”

The two key points are:

First, how some–in this case imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian jihad–developed an alternative Muslim perspective:

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Tehran’s Domestic and International Fronts

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

A briefing by Patrick Clawson*

Patrick Clawson is an economist, deputy director of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, and senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly. He graduated with a B.A. from Oberlin College in 1973 and a Ph.D. from the New School of Social Research in 1978. He taught at Seton Hall University in 1979-81 and served as an economist for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Mr. Clawson addressed the Middle East Forum on November 4, 2009 in Philadelphia.

Mr. Clawson’s talk revolved around two key points concerning the present situation in Iran.

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Under the Islamic Veil: Faces Disfigured By Acid

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

By Phyllis Chesler

These photos show what happens to real women who wear the Islamic Veil. The photos depict horrifying hate and the unbearable suffering it inflicts upon female innocents. The photos were taken by Emilio Morenatti of the Associated Press. The text is based on work done by Nicholas Kristof — one of the few people at the New York Times whose work I am proud to quote. You may find them HERE. (Thanks to Yehuda for calling this to my attention).

What are we seeing?

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Frolicking in the Quicksand: How the Obama Administration Keeps Making Huge Mistakes in the Middle East

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

Of course, the Obama Administration has its defenders. They either ignore criticism of the Administration’s foreign policy or claim it is all partisan and ideological. And yet the truth is that if you watch the government’s policy on a daily basis it is truly remarkable how many dumb, avoidable mistakes are made.

I won’t supply a long list here but instead will talk about the latest one. Let’s take it step by step to see what a mess is being created.

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Fort Hood and the Academic Apologists

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

by Cinnamon Stillwell*

In the wake of the horrific attack at the Fort Hood military base in Texas earlier this month, and the mounting evidence that the shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was motivated by Islamist beliefs, the media has turned to Middle East studies “experts” for enlightenment. Instead, what the media, and, by extension, the American public, has received is the moral relativism and obfuscation that too often meets any effort to address Islamism or jihadism in an intellectually honest manner.

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19th Annual Yahrzeit Held For Rabbi Meir Kahane, Ztk’l

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

By Fern Sidman

Several hundred people gathered at the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center on Sunday, November 15th to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L, founder of the Jewish Defense League and member of the Israeli parliament. Bom in Brooklyn in 1932, Rabbi Kahane was the son of Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga HaCohen Kahane, a prominent and erudite Torah scholar. He received his rabbinical ordination at the renowned Mirrer Yeshiva and obtained a law degree from New York Law School. In 1968, he founded the Jewish Defense League; an activist organization dedicated to protecting Jewish lives throughout the world. The ideology of the movement was predicated on Torah precepts and the JDL educated young Jews to comprehend and act upon the concept of Ahavat Israel (love of Jews). Among the issues that the JDL championed was the cause of Soviet Jewry; organizing massive political demonstrations at Soviet consulates, embassies, trade offices and airlines, demanding that the Jews of the Soviet Union be allowed to emigrate to Israel.

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Princeton, Columbia Cancel Free Speech: Darwish Silenced

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

By Phyllis Chesler

In our time, a speaker must face a gauntlet of hostility and a menacing crowd if she wishes to speak in favor of Israel or to tell the truth about Islam.

That’s if she’s lucky. Most such speakers never get invited or when they do, their invitations are canceled.

Nonie Darwish, the author of Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law and Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror, has faced on-campus hostility and disruption before. Over the years, I have interviewed her about this a number of times. Like many of us, she has also sometimes been forced to have security guards with her when she speaks. Continue reading…

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Europe Sells Out to Syria and Gets Slapped: A Middle East Case Study in Begging to Give Something for Nothing

Friday, November 20th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

Ugarte: “But think of all the poor devils who cannot meet Renault’s price. I get it for them for half. Is that so parasitic?”

Rick: “I don’t mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.” –From the film “Casablanca,” 1942

Wow what a great lesson in Middle East politics! Bear with me. The issue seems obscure but the story is a treasure house of dark humor and educational value.

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Major Hasan’s Islamist Life

Friday, November 20th, 2009

by Daniel Pipes*

As the Pentagon and Senate launch what one analyst dubs “dueling Fort Hood investigations,” will they confront the hard truth of the Islamic angle?

Despite encouraging references to “violent Islamists” by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Independent of Connecticut), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, there is reason to worry about a whitewash of the massacre that took place on Nov. 5; that is just so much easier than facing the implications of a hostile ideology nearly exclusive to Muslims.

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Why I Murdered 13 American Soldiers at Fort Hood: Nidal Hassan Explains It All to You

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

How do we know that the attack at Fort Hood was an act of Islamist terrorism? Simple, Major Nidal Hassan told us so. You’ve seen reports of a long list of things he did and said along these lines. But what’s most amazing of all is this:

Hassan is the first terrorist in history to give an academic lecture explaining why he was about to attack. Yet that still isn’t enough for too many people — including the president of the United States — to understand that the murderous assault at Fort Hood was a Jihad attack.

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Canada to Immigrants: No Tolerance for “Honor” Killing

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

By Phyllis Chesler

The Canadian government has just revamped its citizenship guide for immigrants. The document is titled “The Rights and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizenship.” According to Canada’s National Post:

“In Canada, men and women are equal under the law,” the document says. “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings,’ female genital mutilation or other gender-based violence. Those guilty of these crimes are severely punished under Canada’s criminal laws.”

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Dissident Watch: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

by Richard L. Benkin*

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury’s struggle in Bangladesh has played out dramatically: his 2003 arrest; his 2005 release;[1] middle of the night battles to prevent his re-incarceration; accolades for his stance as a “Muslim Zionist”;[2] and resolutions from the U.S. Congress and others in 2006 and 2007.[3] Things have now settled into a Kafkaesque routine without visible end, one where the process is the punishment.

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