Archive for April, 2012

Will Obama Stop the Bomb?

Monday, April 30th, 2012

by Phyllis Chesler

A very gallant Dr. Charles Asher Small just delivered an important lecture at the 92nd St Y. in New York.

Yes, this is the same Dr. Small who, in 2004, founded the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), which he housed at Yale University from 2006-2011–until the Yale Corporation decided that the Center’s work on Islamic Judeophobia and specifically on Iranian genocidal Judeophobia threatened Yale’s “scholarly commitments” in the region.

Who could make this up?

This was the first time that Dr. Small spoke about this publicly.

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: March, 2012

Monday, April 30th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

The war on Christianity and its adherents rages on in the Muslim world. In March alone, Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic law authority decreed that churches in the region must be destroyed; jihadis in Nigeria said they “are going to put into action new efforts to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women”; American teachers in the Middle East were murdered for talking about Christianity; churches were banned or bombed, and nuns terrorized by knife-wielding Muslim mobs. Christians continue to be attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and killed for allegedly “blaspheming” Islam’s prophet Muhammad; former Muslims continue to be attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and killed for converting to Christianity.

To understand why all this persecution is virtually unknown in the West, consider the mainstream media’s well-documented biases: also in March alone, the New York Times ran a virulently anti-Catholic ad, but refused to publish a near identical ad directed at Islam; the BBC admitted it will mock Jesus but never Muhammad; and U.S. sitcoms were exposed for bashing Christianity, but never Islam.

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Hizballah and the Arab Revolutions: The Contradictions Made Apparent?

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

By Jonathan Spyer

Since the 1990s, Hizballah has defined itself along a number of parallel lines, each of which prior to 2011 appeared to support the other. The movement was simultaneously a sectarian representative of the Lebanese Shi’a, a regional ally of Iran and Syria, a defender of the Lebanese against the supposed aggressive intentions of Israel, and a leader of a more generically defined Arab and Muslim “resistance” against Israel and the West. As a result of the events of 2011, most important the revolt against the Asad regime in Syria, these various lines, which seemed mutually supportive, began to contradict one another. This has diminished Hizballah’s position, though it remains physically unassailable for as long as the Asad regime in Syria survives.

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Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood MP Seeks to Abolish Female Rights and Enforce Female Genital Mutilation

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

According to the Egyptian website Youm 7, Azza al-Jarf, a female Member of Parliament representing the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice Party,” is trying to abolish several laws currently enjoyed by Egyptian women—including preventing them from divorcing or even separating from their husbands, because “the man has the authority and stewardship” (see Koran 4:34); mandating that fathers must circumcise their daughters; and trying to get the Egyptian educational system to ban the teaching of the English language—on the grounds that it is an “infidel” tongue—while separating boys and girls in classrooms and forcing girls to wear the hijab.

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The Alleged Costs of Ending Universal Birthright Citizenship: A Response to the National Foundation for American Policy

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

By Jon Feere, CIS.org

A high-immigration group called the National Foundation for American Policy has released a new report on the alleged costs of ending the current application of the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship Clause. The Center for Immigration Studies has published a number of reports on birthright citizenship and it is clear that neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has ever mandated that children born to illegal and temporary aliens must be considered U.S. citizens under the Constitution. Rather, the permissive policy is the result of agency policymaking. At least one influential jurist, Circuit Judge Richard Posner, feels that the policy could be ended through a simple act of Congress. This debate, as well as the history of the Citizenship Clause is detailed in our report, “Birthright Citizenship in the United States: A Global Comparison”.

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How the Media Whitewashes Muslim Persecution of Christians

Friday, April 20th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

When it comes to Muslim persecution of Christians, the mainstream media (MSM) has a long paper trail of obfuscating; while they eventually do state the bare-bone facts—if they ever report on the story in the first place, which is rare—they do so after creating and sustaining an aura of moral relativism that minimizes the Muslim role.

False Moral Equivalency

As previously discussed, one of the most obvious ways is to evoke “sectarian strife” between Muslims and Christians, a phrase that conjures images of two equally matched—equally abused, and abusive—adversaries fighting. This hardly suffices to describe reality: Muslim majorities persecuting largely passive Christian minorities.

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One Day in My Family’s Polish Town

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

Author’s note: Every Yom HaShoah I try to write something from my family’s own history as an illustration of wider themes. The material below, that happened almost 70 years ago to the day, is from my manuscript, Children of Dolhinov.

Before dawn of Monday, March 28, 1942, German SS and Einsatzgruppe B units accompanied by a Latvian police detachment boarded a convoy of vehicles. Before dawn, they surrounded the town of Dolhinov, Poland.

The town awoke to the sound of stamping boots, barked commands, the wails of children, and sobs of women. The Kazovitz family hid, but David, the baby, was crying and his mother feared the noise would give the hiding place. So she ran to a Christian neighbor, handed over her fur coat and promised if the woman would conceal her she’d bring a gold watch afterward. The woman refused; the Germans killed the mother and baby.

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Islam’s Cartoon Missionaries

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

Comic books as a method of missionizing for Islam (da’wa)?

Yes. One year ago, Harvard University hosted a workshop to teach comic book artists how to address Americans’ “unease with Islam and the Middle East.” And later this week, Georgetown University will air a PBS documentary, Wham! Bam! Islam! celebrating a comic book called The 99.

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The Other Obama Colombia Summit Debacle (w/ Argentina)

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Does U.S. President Obama have a foreign policy or should we call it a “dangerous farcical policy.” Is he even control of the White House? By now, most people have heard the story of how, “11 Secret Service agents” and “as many as 10 U.S. military personnel,” hired prostitutes, drank alcohol, and possibly used illicit drugs — all in “security preparation” for the president to attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. Besides the security debacle, Obama’s diplomatic effort, “wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.” But there’s a subtle clincher to Obama’s ridiculous Colombia trip which belies his true incompetency, a clincher probably overshadowed by the security scandal, namely his seeming overtures to Argentina and its leader, who is threatening war, stealing billions, and deriding one the U.S.’s closest allies:

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Can Afghanistan Be Rescued?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

by Wahabuddin Ra’ees*

U.S. president Barack Obama entered office with a bold plan to combat Afghanistan’s escalating insurgency, empower its government, encourage a political resolution of the conflict, and secure the cooperation of neighboring Pakistan—all in time for U.S. troops to withdraw by the end of 2014.

This new Afghanistan-Pakistan (AfPak) policy has yet to deliver on its promise. While the U.S. military surge swept insurgents out of their southeastern strongholds, the rebels have responded with terror attacks and assassinations reaching into the heart of Kabul. Washington has accelerated its training of Afghan security forces, but most U.S. aid still circumvents the central government, weakening its authority. With a political settlement nowhere in sight and Pakistani support for armed extremists unabated, Washington’s options for preventing a Taliban takeover have narrowed.

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Egyptian Presidential Election Postponed?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

It is being reported–though I haven’t fully confirmed it–that the totally chaotic Egyptian presidential election will be postponed until after a constitution is written. That means the military will hold onto power for what? several months? most of this year? who knows. Having made one tough decision–to run a presidential candidate–the Muslim Brotherhood must now decide whether it wants to play it safe, given its control of parliament, and make the president weak or go for a strong president, believing that its own candidate would win and could be trusted to follow orders.

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Swing Low Sweet Sharia

Monday, April 16th, 2012

by Nidra Poller*

The play within the play

In October 2011 an extraordinary opportunity to apprehend the ill-defined “Middle East” conflict was offered in the form of a play within the play. Discourse was disabled by flesh and blood images acting out the drama with exquisite unity and perfect casting. Playing the role of Israel, Gilad Shalit, courageous survivor of five years of unspeakable deprivation, emerged frail, pale but gloriously resistant. The little that we know of the conditions of his imprisonment is already too much. Kidnapped at the age of 19 near the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel (two IDF soldiers were killed in the cross-border attack), held in some sort of dungeon, starved of human company, starved of daylight, undernourished, not even given eyeglasses with which to see the ugly contours of his constricted world, Gilad stood before us, a miraculous survivor. The celestial light of dignity suffused his flesh and bones with metaphysical force.

What decent human being would not have misgivings about the release, in exchange for Shalit, of 1027 murderers, thieves, and thugs determined to use their liberation as a license to renew the persecution of Israeli Jews? And who could not feel, seeing the first images of Gilad roughly handled by Hamas and Egyptian intermediaries, that no price was too dear for the release of one single human being from the tomb in which he was jailed and left to slowly extinguish like a flame without oxygen.

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Predicting Middle Eastern Politics: 10 Questions with Daniel Pipes

Monday, April 16th, 2012

by Greg Callaghan*

The Australian: In Egypt, Islamist parties now hold about 80 per cent of the seats in parliament. Given the majority of demonstrators in Tahrir Square were liberal secularists, has Egypt’s Arab Spring been hijacked?

Daniel Pipes: No, because the liberals of Tahrir Square did not force Mubarak from power. The military took advantage of their mass demonstrations to dispatch a president it had had enough of, in large part because of his intent on handing power to his son, Gamal.

Is the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood bad news for Egypt’s Coptic Christians and secularists?

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Preventing a Nuclear Iran

Monday, April 16th, 2012

A briefing by Michael Rubin*

Michael Rubin, a former editor of the Middle East Quarterly, is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School. He formerly served as a political adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and has written extensively about Iranian history and politics. He is the author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami’s Iran (2001) and the co-author of Eternal Iran (2005). On March 19, Rubin addressed the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia about the efficacy of sanctions on Iran as well as the prospect and logistics of an Israeli strike.

Can sanctions against the Iranian regime be effective? Michael Rubin addressed this question by citing Tehran’s former nuclear negotiator, who revealed that previous suspensions of Iranian nuclear enrichment had merely been temporary ploys aimed at ameliorating international pressure and preventing a UN consensus on sanctions. Rubin argued that Iran’s bleak current economic outlook is due not to sanctions but to the regime’s mismanagement of the economy.

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The Three Myths that Distort Every Discussion of Israel and the Middle East

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

– William Shakespeare, “Macbeth”

Whatever side you are, or aren’t, on and whether you never think about these issues or are an impassioned activist, there are three fundamental issues about Israel, its enemies, and the Middle East that tie the narrative into knots.

Each of these wrong ideas, of course, has a basis in fact. The following points might appear counter-intuitive. But I will demonstrate their accuracy. And you can’t understand events without grasping them.

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