Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Islamist Conquest Ideation

"Kunduz city has collapsed into the hands of the Taliban. We are trying our best to clear the city as soon as possible."
"Security forces in Kunduz were prepared for an attack, but not one of this size, and not one that was co-ordinated in ten different locations at the same time."
Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman, Afghanistan Interior Ministry

"Kunduz is a ghost city now, fear has locked people inside their homes. [Taliban gunmen were going door to door] searching for government officials, local police commanders, anyone they can think of."
"No one is safe."
Folad Hamdad, freelance journalist, Takhar province

"None of the security forces or officials had any information about the attack; if they had, they would have warned the NGOs, the UN and the banks, but they didn't."
"Yesterday it was possible for people to get out of the city, but today it is too late because all roads are under the Taliban control."
Anonymous Kunduz resident
Taliban fighter in main square in Kunduz, 29 September 2015

Taliban fighters have been out on the streets of Kunduz

The anonymous resident, a local banker, was among the fortunate able to escape from Kunduz and seek safe haven elsewhere, under government control. In the confusion resulting from the surprise attack, he said, government officials and their bodyguards streamed in panic to the airport, attempting to make themselves scarce, knowing full well what would await them at the hands of the Taliban.

Of a total population of approximately a million in the entire province of Kunduz, the city itself boasted a population of 300,000 souls. A city on the strategic crossroads that connect Afghanistan to its neighbours; Pakistan, China and Central Asia. The region is considered a chief bread basket with rich mining assets, its loss to the central government of President Ashraf Ghani, aside from representing a crisis of conquest for the Taliban, represents an enormous loss in strategic reputation and economic fallout.

Government forces, aided by U.S. warplanes which carried out one early morning airstrike, have been incapable of even entering the city in hopes of speedily retaking it. The strategic city is locked to entry, the military unable to proceed as a result of Taliban roadblocks and ambushes; they remain two or more kilometres from the city, massed for action, but unable to proceed. "All the Taliban are inside the city and so are all the people", stated a NATO official.

Afghan special forces arrive for a battle with the Taliban in Kunduz city

  Officials said thousands of special forces were preparing to retake the city

That being the case, there can be no additional airstrikes, and if government forces, not that well motivated at the best of times, are eventually able to dismantle the roadblocks and risk ambushes, they will have to fight street by street, hoping to spare the startled and frightened population that  has for the most part confined themselves to their homes in fear of the Taliban whose previous rule they well recall, from 1996 to 2001.

It was clear that Afghan military intelligence had no idea just how imminent and how powerful an attack was in the offing. Fighters for the Taliban, according to Acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanekzai, had previously infiltrated the city during the Eid holiday, when millions of Afghans are on the move, visiting with family. They were the Trojan horse that scoped out the city and invited their comrades to invade with a huge degree of success.

The base core of the attackers were Taliban fighters, seasoned and competent, and they were joined by other jihadi militants from neighbouring Pakistan, along with others coming out of China and Central Asia. Government military forces had been lulled into a sense of security resulting from the summer stalemate, never anticipating that a lull precedes a storm.

But this is just the thing with fundamentalist Islamists. They have a god-steered mission and an obligation as pious Muslims to fulfill their duty to Islam. Their intractable war against moderation of any kind that might be viewed as neutralizing Islamist precepts ensures that there may be lulls in their operations as they retreat, recoup and rearm, but they will return. They are nothing if not resilient, resolute and totally geared to conquest.

Map showing Kunduz
"[The Taliban takeover represents] a shock but not a surprise, because every province in Afghanistan is as fragile as Kunduz. [The Taliban have achieved] a huge political and propaganda victory."
Ali Mohammad Ali, security analyst

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Monumentality of Islamist Dysfunction

They are rivals in the Middle East, each claiming to be entitled to lead, that their commanding presence and importance in the geography fits them for leadership. Each has considerable influence, Saudi Arabia as a Sunni-majority Kingdom and custodian of the two most sacred sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina, has its assets for leadership. Iran, on the other hand, is responsible for the Islamic Revolution that swept the Middle East into its infatuation with fundamentalist Islam.

Both the Islamic Republic of Iran, however, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia practise and promote fundamentalist Salafist Islamism. Iran is on the cusp of achieving a nuclear breakthrough that will lead to its stockpiling nuclear weapons, to match their arms-industry-designed ballistic missiles. Both oil-exporting countries, Saudi Arabia is awash with oil riches, Iran less so, but will become more so as sanctions imposed by the West as a result of its unauthorized nuclear program are soon be lifted.

Bodies of hundreds of dead and injured pilgrims lie strewn across the floor after they were caught up in a horrific stampede in Saudi Arabia
Bodies of hundreds of dead and injured pilgrims lie strewn across the floor after they were caught up in a horrific stampede in Saudi Arabia
There is also the issue of the exportation of the Saudi version of fundamentalist Islam, Wahhabism, which has stretched its tentacles all over the world, thanks to Saudi generosity in funding madrassas world-wide to teach Muslim children all about jihad. Simultaneously, Saudi Arabian wealth has funded and continues to fund Islamist terrorist groups of the Sunni variety, even while the Republic of Iran does the same with its proxy militias.

Basically, it comes down to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Qatar funding al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, along with other Sunni terrorist groups, and Iran funding Hezbollah and also Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood with its even wider tentacles appears to fund itself through the legions of its faithful. All of whom engage in criminal activities in drug and weapons trafficking for profit.

And then there is the trade in human slavery, the sale on the black market of looted archaeological treasures, of conflict-ridden oil installation conquests also sold in the black market for impressive gain, enabling conquest-imperative groups like Islamic State to get on with their atrocities. In the process attracting new recruits by the tens of thousands throughout the world, including the West.

The proxy war being fought by Yemeni Sunni forces and the Shiite Yemen Houthi rebels is just one more instance where the Middle East is roiled by sectarian and ethnic hatreds, tribal vengeance and the lust for power. While Iran supports Yemen's Shiites to widen its grip on the Shiite crescent inclusive of Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, Saudi Arabia has launched and led an air war against the Houthis.

The world witnesses the horribly gruesome spectacle of the Alawite Shiite regime in Syria led by President Bashar al-Assad mercilessly attacking his own Syrian Sunni civilian population. Those who are not slaughtered -- and they now count a quarter-million people who have perished -- are made homeless and terrified of impending death. Fully one-half of the Syrian population has fled.

They flee from Afghanistan, from Pakistan, from the Palestinian Territories, from Yemen and Libya and Eritrea and Somalia, not into the welcoming arms of their brothers in Islam, who will not give them citizenship, but toward Europe, for generous welcome and haven, bulldozing in their numbers the capacity of European nations to absorb the flood of refugees and migrants.


The Middle East and Africa and Asia have become embroiled in civil conflict and blood-letting at an astonishing scale. Just as the Arab League has deplored Assad's vicious attacks on his own population, but have done nothing collectively to bring it to a halt, so too does the Organization of Islamic Cooperation confine its activities to condemning Western interference in Muslim affairs, appearing to have little interest in intervening when Muslims slaughter one another without mercy.

In the latest incident with tragic consequences through bombing civilian enclaves, Saudi Arabia now denies that it inadvertently bombed a wedding party in Yemen, killing no fewer than 131 people who died as two missiles tore through tents in the Red Sea village of Al-Wahijah, near the port of Al-Mokha, where a wedding reception was being held yesterday.

"The coalition did not conduct any air strikes in the area over the past three days," coalition spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Assiri said. "This is completely false." Although Muslims are fond of quoting from the Koran how precious human life is held, in reality the regimes that rule the Muslim world are little troubled at the vast spilling of human blood. As long as Muslims are not slaughtered at the hands of the imperialist West.
Smoke billows from buildings after reported air strikes today by the Saudi-led coalition on arms warehouses north of Sanaa
Smoke billows from buildings after reported air strikes today by the Saudi-led coalition on arms warehouses north of Sanaa

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 28, 2015

No Ambiguities There ....

"The initial [U.S.] aim was to train between five thousand and six thousand fighters, and then twelve thousand more. Only 60 of these fighters have been properly trained, and as few as four or five people actually carry weapons, while the rest of them have deserted with the American weapons [fighters assumed to have joined the Nusra Front]."
"[Assad is a stabilizing force] valiantly fighting terrorism face to face. This is not about Russia's ambitions but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the urgent state of affairs in the world."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, United Nations

"Assad can't be part of Syria's future. He has butchered his own people, he has helped create this conflict, and this migration crisis, he's one of the great recruiting sergeants for ISIL."
British Prime Minister David Cameron

"I think today everyone has accepted that President Assad must remain so that we can combat the terrorists."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

"The camp [ISIL training camp in eastern Syria] was totally destroyed. We're sure there were no casualties. [French air strikes aim at] protecting our territory, cutting short terrorist actions, acting in legitimate defence."
"France is talking with everyone and excluding no one. [Even while] all concerned parties [must be included in talks] the future of Syria cannot (include) Bashar Assad."
French President Francois Hollande

"We recognize that Iraq has an interest in sharing information on ISIL with other governments in the region who are also fighting ISIL. We do not support the presence of Syrian government officials who are part of a regime that has brutalized its own citizens."
Col. Steve Warren, U.S. spokesman

President Obama chats with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the start of a luncheon for world leaders at the 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly. (European Pressphoto Agency)

Russia and Iran are in the process of legitimizing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a vital ally in the international battle against the growing menace of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, now occupying one third of the territory of both Iraq and Syria. ISIL has more than adequately earned its stripes as a jihadist terrorist threat not only to the Middle East but beyond, inspiring other Islamist jihadi groups to join forces for a global jihad.

But the fact is that the atrocities mounted by ISIL as gruesomely monumental as they are in their raw barbarity, and the rampages and deadly ISIL attacks on vulnerable minority ethnic and religious groups accounting for thousands of deaths, countless rapes and surging issues of slavery, it is the Syrian regime that is responsible for far more bloodbaths, and for infinitely greater numbers of desperate people fleeing Syrian jet bombers.

The national authorities most resolute in their intention of removing Assad from power are now bending to the inexorable will to exercise authority and power exhibited by Vladimir Putin. In the theatre of the United Nations he explained how misunderstood Moscow's intentions have been by the accusing west which simply has no understanding of regional politics beyond their own.

Russia had merely interrupted an illegal coup and the violent usurpation of authority in Ukraine, nothing more, nothing less. Oh, and restored to itself the temporarily-loaned Crimea.

Russia has no intention, none, none whatever, of placing its troops on the ground in Syria, that must be understood. And nor did Russia ever at any time march Russian troops into Ukraine; another grave misunderstanding. Russia and Iran are interested solely in ensuring that stability returns to Iraq and Iran. To that purpose Baghdad has authorized its military to share "security and Intelligence" with Syria, Russia and Iran, all in the interests of combating ISIL.

The cabal of the Shiite-led campaign for influence and authority is innocent of all designs other than those that lead to peace and good fellowship. And so, because this argument is so intellectually persuasive, Germany and the United States begin to shake their heads in weary assent; the potential of retaining Assad for an agreement to end the four-year slaughter is of paramount importance, as is the defeat of Islamic State.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is prepared to discuss Syria with Moscow. For just as Assad's defences were on the verge of collapse, there was rescue in big bold letters when Russia supplied advanced weaponry and troops -- oops, not troops, scratch that. "Co-ordination" is a requirement at this juncture, stated Stoltenberg to avoid "incident or accident" with the U.S.-led forces fighting ISIL.

But oh, so inadequately, gloats Mr. Putin, who knows of a certainty that he is capable of orchestrating a far more robust offense against the Sunni jihadists with his expert guidance leading the Shiite jihadists to victory.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Gatestone Institute

  • The failed foreign policies of the EU and the US under President Obama, have brought the Arabs to the brink of chaos, and destroyed regimes which, even though they were not democratic utopias, at least provided governance and public order. These failed policies have abandoned the Arabs to the atrocities of the Sunni Islamists and to the murderous proxies of the Iranian Islamic Revolution -- and are ultimately the cause of the tsunami of refugees beating at the gates of Europe.
  • Now the EU and Obama want to bring the catastrophe of Gaza to the West Bank.
  • The American FDA is more careful with experiments on animals than the White House is with experiments on the people of the Middle East.
  • Every time the Palestinians have taken steps against the Israelis, we have hurt no one but ourselves, and are left with -- nothing.
  • The Arabs living in Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories know, although it is a bitter pill to swallow, that we have been favored by fortune, because under the State of Israel we live in security.
  • In the face of ongoing mass murder in the Middle East, what arcane consideration, apart from Federica Mogherini being a racist, could possibly bring the EU to deal with something as marginal to global issues as boycotting Israeli face-cream and cookies?
With the recent anniversary of Al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, internal Palestinian discourse revolves around radical Islam and America's actions. It relates to the slaughter, rape and millions of refugees who have fallen victim to Al-Qaeda, the humanitarian calamity and the Islamist terrorist organizations to which it gave birth, such as ISIS. Today a disaster of apocalyptic proportions is unfolding in territories that used to be Arab states but are now the battle grounds for feuding Arab tribes, whose only objective is to destroy one another.

In their heart of hearts, the Arabs living in Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories know, although it is a bitter pill to swallow, that we have been favored by fortune because under the State of Israel we live in security. This reality is brought home to us by the feeble international response and the strange behavior of U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of the Western world who have abandoned the Arabs to the atrocities of the Sunni Islamists (and their supporters in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar), and to the murderous proxies of the Iranian Islamic Revolution (mainly in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon).

In view of what is happening in neighboring countries, it is clear to us what will happen if Israel is in danger of destruction: no Western state will come to its aid and no Arab state will come to our aid. Our fate will be the same as that of our brothers beyond Israel's borders. It is hard not to identify and sympathize with Israel's efforts to fight terrorism and with its objections to the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Despite the chaos and worse than chaos in the Middle East, the EU's foreign policy representative, Federica Mogherini, recently announced that the EU had decided to mark products made in the Israeli settlements. That is mind-boggling, so say the least. In the face of the ongoing mass murders in the Middle East, what arcane consideration, apart from Mogherini being a racist, could possibly bring the EU, now, to deal with something as blatantly marginal to global issues as the provenance of face cream and cookies?

Despite the chaos and mass murders in the Middle East and the wave of migrants into Europe, the EU's foreign policy representative, Federica Mogherini (left), recently announced that the EU will mark products made in Israeli settlements. Pictured at right, Palestinian anti-Israel activists dump out Israeli-made dairy products that they confiscated from local merchants in Ramallah, March 2, 2015.

In the final analysis, if the Europeans harm Israel's ability to market goods manufactured in the West Bank, the first victims will be the Palestinian workers in the Israeli settlement factories. Every time the Palestinians have taken steps against the Israelis, we have hurt no one but ourselves. The last time we boycotted Israeli products we wound up buying them on the black market at double and triple the price. When we refused to work on construction sites, the Israelis switched to modular, prefabricated units, and the Palestinian construction workers who went on strike are unemployed to this day. When we refused to work in Israeli agriculture, they brought in workers from Thailand, who took our jobs and left us with -- nothing.

The Western pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to establish a Palestinian state as soon as possible, when viewed through the prism of the mass murders and uncertainty in the Middle East, is incomprehensible. The initiative, and the obsession, to promote such a dangerous project at a time when everyone understands that the conditions on both sides are not yet ripe is dangerous; and the motives involved, whatever they really are, are suspicious. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not new, it has been waged in an atmosphere of terrorism and violence, hostility and complete lack of trust for a hundred years. So why exert pressure now?

Everyone, at least everyone living in the Middle East, knows full well that the conflict will not end with a "peace for our time" agreement forced on the two sides and accompanied by a handful of empty, meaningless documents; the dynamics are too dangerous. For both us and the Israelis it is a matter of life and death, not semantics; and it will probably take another hundred years before enough trust can be built on both sides to find a just solution.

The irony is staggering. At a time when the Arab states that were artificially created after the First World War crumble to dust, the EU is pressing for the creation of another artificial Arab state, this one called "Palestine," to be carved out of territories once belonging to Jordan and Egypt. If "Palestine" is granted the status of statehood, it will force not only Israel but the rest of the world to grant it complete control over its borders, airports and a seaport. That will expose the new weak "state" to a rapid and certain takeover by Hamas, ISIS and various other terrorist organizations. Given the current situation in the West Bank, the elected government of "Palestine" will be controlled by Hamas. It will overthrow the Palestinian Authority, the way it did in the Gaza Strip, take over the West Bank, use its airports and seaport to import missiles, various other weapons and Islamist terrorists, and help Islamist terrorism in general, and ISIS in particular, to operate from its territory. The Islamists will proceed to attack Israel and Jordan the way ISIS is currently attacking Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula. Worse, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad will enter the new "Palestine" and strengthen its relations with Iran, just as it has in the Gaza Strip and Syria, and with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Evidently the Israeli withdrawal in 2005, which led directly to Hamas's bloodbath and takeover of the Gaza Strip, the expulsion of the Palestinian Authority and the entrenchment of Islamist terrorism, was not enough for Europe. Now the EU and U.S. President Barack Obama want to bring the catastrophe of the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. The American Food and Drug Administration is more careful with experiments on animals than the White House is with experiments on the people living in the Middle East.

In view of the events in the Arab countries, it is clear to the Palestinians that American and European actions in the Middle East are the direct result of stupidity and complete ignorance of the Middle Eastern mindset, if not outright racism and malevolence. What is inescapable is that under Obama, both America and Europe brought the Arabs to the brink of chaos and beyond, destroyed regimes which, even though they were not democratic utopias like the United States, at least provided governance and public order. That is ultimately the cause of the tsunami of refugees beating at the gates of Europe, all of it caused by the United States and its failed foreign policy.

All the signs indicate that the Middle East disaster is hardly far from over. It is actually just beginning. it will get worse because of the tens of billions of dollars that will now pour into the Ayatollahs' coffers from the insane agreement with Iran. Much of this money will go directly not only to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force, Iran's arm of international terrorism, but to the various proxy terrorist organizations Iran supports, thus hastening the total destruction of the Middle East and eventually large swaths of Africa.
The wave of refugees will increase, and the price will be paid by the Europeans, already faced with legions of refugees and no plan for dealing with them. Eventually Gaddafi's prophecy will come true: Islam will conquer Europe without firing a shot.
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Doing It Putin's Way

"He is not the one who needs a deal. He has time on his side. It is us who needs a deal more."
"Whatever happens in Syria, we know that he will probably be a part of it. Meanwhile, we see that he is attempting to steer the conversation away from Ukraine entirely."
Unnamed senior western diplomat, Moscow
President Vladimir V. Putin will be speaking at the United Nations General Assembly for the first time in 10 years. Credit Pool photo by Ivan Sekretarev

Russia has found itself new influence, in becoming a late-entry power behind the throne of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Not that Russia hasn't been fingering the plot that includes Iran's growing influence and power in the Middle East; they make an imposing duo, arrayed along with Iraq, Lebanon's Hezbollah, Yemen and possibly Kuwait, in support of the butchering regime in Syria.

Where Russia once had influence in the largest Arab nation of Egypt aligning himself with Sunni Islam, Vladimir Putin is satisfied to consolidate Moscow's influence in Syria as a site for the Russian Federation's Mediterranean fleet and air force. Mr. Putin's strongman image as someone who could put Georgia in its place, subservient to Russia by simply plucking away two of its provinces, had its echo in taking Sevastapol and Crimea out of Ukraine.

The Russian ruble and the country's stock exchange has responded to the resulting sanctions menu, but Russia still has the upper hand even with its devalued oil and gas product, which Ukraine and the European Union depend upon for much of their energy needs with winter approaching, and negotiations for pricing and delivery carry on unabated. Mr. Putin may believe that his more vigorous intervention in Syria while allowing east Ukraine to lie fallow for the time being will reprieve him.

Unless it's all show-and-tell, since the Russian warplanes now based at the Latakia air base are geared not so much for ground bombing missions as they are for air missions. They aren't meant to tackle Assad's warplanes, and the only others are American and others among the U.S.-led aerial mission to bomb Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ground targets. So it's all rather mysterious in its opaque presence.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the Emirates can't be too pleased with Russia's new prominence in Syria, chafing at the bit to have Bashar al-Assad's Alawite regime removed. While those Sunni nations are angered at the relentless targeting of Syrian Sunnis, and the wholesale influx of refugees burdening their border areas with Syria (with the exception of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates), they too have been boxed in, vulnerable to Putin's master chess moves.

Little surprise that Europe is anxious to discuss the Syrian enterprise with Putin, hard pressed as they have been with the flood of Syrian refugees along with economic migrants from elsewhere in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. If it isn't too late to save Syria from further self-destruction, and the inevitable splitting of the country, the removal of Assad and the reintegration of Syrian Sunnis into the partially destroyed landscape could signal a return of the refugees to help rebuild, financed by Saudi Arabia and the Emiratis.

But not, obviously, if Vladimir Putin has his way. Negotiating with the Obama Administration is next up on the agenda, and it appears that the non-negotiable demand for the removal of the murdering Assad has suddenly become an issue ripe for negotiation. So despite the loss of well over 240,000 Syrian lives, the eleven million displaced Syrians and refugees, the massive destruction of civil infrastructure, Assad remains in the picture.

He is the rancid devil whose penchants are well known, no worse than the reputation proudly worn by Islamic State jihadists, but when push comes to shove, Vladimir Putin, strongman, is the bearer of a shove that speaks volumes to an American administration that hesitates in its Obama incarnation to speak too determinedly about what it wants, simply because it has no idea what it wants.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Politics of Refuge for Fundamentalist Terror

"What you need at the front end are people who know the geography, who know the language, who know the history. The trick is to get the person to tell you who they are, where they're from and what they've been doing recently over the last several years with a particular focus on the conflict. You take their answers and compare that to known knowledge."
"We've got people who are claiming they're Syrian because they know they're going to get  better ride out of the system."
"We had  very rich body of intelligence [in the 1990s with Yugoslavia and Rwanda] we could run answers up against. We knew the countries, we knew who the leaders were ... who was fighting on which side, we knew all that stuff right down to the tactical level. So as soon as somebody started to talk to us and give us answers we'd go, 'well, his answers are at least consistent with reality -- or he was lying through his teeth'. We had that because Canada had been in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, we had allies there with whom we shared intelligence, the UN was there, NATO was there, so there was tons of information floating around."
"[The problem with Syria and ISIL] is we have no presence on the ground, neither do any of our real allies, and our knowledge of what's going on there is relatively weak."
"These guys [refugee claimants] could come from any one of a number of violent organizations from al-Qaeda, to ISIL, to al-Nusra, to Jemmah Islamiya. Pick any one of the organizations operating out of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, South Sudan, etc."
"The Government of Canada should be extraordinarily careful about who we're taking, and, for young men of fighting age between 16 and 40, we should be 'doubleplus-good' careful about looking at these guys before we let them in the country. Young men are coming from a multiplicity of different, violent factions that have committed some of the most egregious war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Trying to screen them out is going to be exceptionally difficult."
Tom Quiggan, former military intelligence, Terrorism Security Experts of Canada Network
  • Refugees walk on the platform after arriving by train at the main railway station in Munich on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Germany will introduce temporary border checks on the Austrian frontier in a bid to limit the influx of refugees, the interior minister said.
  • Refugees walk on the platform after arriving by train at the main railway station in Munich on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Germany will introduce temporary border checks on the Austrian frontier in a bid to limit the influx of refugees, the interior minister said. (Michaela Rehle/Reuters)
Exceptionally so, given other realities. That among the haven-seekers streaming out of the Middle East, Asia and Africa are those whose service to Islamist jihad is as recruiters, not fighters, but enablers to jihad. Whose contribution to the global jihad that the fundamentalist Muslims who now infect society at every level -- more than eager and willing to abide by their surrender to Islam  through their obligation as Muslims to cede to Allah that which is his alone -- offers their utter and complete service.

Even with the hoped-for assurance that screening will succeed in ensuring that those who have been involved with extremist Islamist groups do not push past the security measures installed to keep them out, there is the living example of those considered to be 'moderate' Muslims wreaking havoc on the societies they have infiltrated as accepted immigrants, let alone refugees. Islam has proven itself to be functionally incompatible with democracy.

The laws that democratic countries of the West have enshrined in their legal codas to uphold assurances of equality and freedoms unknown under the constrictive ideological politics of Islam are rejected by Muslims who favour pressing the governments they become citizens of to allow for Sharia law to represent the rights of Muslims as a parallel legal system. The issue of Islamic clerics preaching and teaching and inciting followers to agitate for special dispensations for Muslims represents another double-tier of entitlements geared specifically toward a minority group aspiring to become the majority.

The countries and nations where Islam rules are infused with a resurgence of militant Islamism, asserting its volatile and mendacious past upon the present. Violence has become endemic throughout the world of Islam, perpetrated first upon Muslims themselves with the repression, oppression and hatred meted out by one sect of Islam toward another, resulting in bloody slaughter and massive movements of people attempting to escape civil conflict, and countless deaths.

Muslims long accustomed to tribal, clan and sectarian violence do not necessarily wish to continue to be preyed upon by their own through the incendiary hatreds fomented by their leaders. Escape from the domineering tyrannies that threaten and oppress them becomes the formulation for settling differences. And since Muslims fleeing violence and death are not finding haven in Muslim countries other than their own who for the most part shun their entrance, they flee to non-Muslim countries for haven.

Their sheer numbers overwhelm the capacity of the countries they flock toward, to handle their demands. And demands they are, because the haven-seekers are impressed with the idea that though privation and death may await them in their countries of birth where violence is never-ending, the soft Western sensibilities of compassion and giving generosity can be relied upon to invoke the consciences of non-Muslims.

The United Nations' refugee programs call upon the free countries of the world to respond to the crisis in Islamic countries, while doing little to impress upon Muslim-majority countries that they have a human-rights obligation to extend a welcome to their co-religionists. In any event, the wealthy countries of the Convention of Islamic Cooperation appear unmoved by the crisis Europe is struggling with. The problems created by dysfunctional Islam have become the inescapable burden of the non-Muslim West.

The Government of Canada is acutely aware of the need to screen Syrian refugee claimants for security issues. To prevent not only ISIL from infiltrating North America, but the countless other vicious extremists as well. The irony is, of course, that pre-ISIL, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and a score of other violent extremists did have a presence in North America, and continue to do so, covertly working to leverage for position and influence.

Canadian immigration, border and security intelligence officials are arriving in the Middle East representing a government mission to expedite the future resettlement of thousands of Syrian refugees. In a region where hundreds of armed extremist groups have a presence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and elsewhere in the geography.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, roughly half of the migrants and  refugees crossing to Europe were actually Syrians; others come from Afghanistan, Eritrea Nigeria and Somalia. Easy access to fraudulent and stolen Syrian passports, drivers licenses and an assortment of additional identity documents are sold on the black market in Turkey and even in Europe. Syrian refugees without documents and migrants coming from elsewhere are able to buy these documents.

Tom Quiggan, who had designed the security-screening tools used by Citizenship and Immigration in the late 1990s speaks of countless organized crime figures and suspected war criminals that were successfully isolated through that process previously, and compares that situation to the present one. And he points out the difficulties inherent in adequately screening for the entry under false pretenses of shadowy figures engaged in Islamist jihad who will strive to make entry to Canada and present as a terrorist danger.

The Western conscience will be its undoing.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Why the West Should Listen to Hungary on Muslim Refugees

Heed the nations experienced with the Islamic influx.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Some central and east European countries are being criticized by more “progressive” Western nations for not wanting to take in Muslim refugees.

Chief among them is Hungary, specifically in the person of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.  Western media are characterizing him as “xenophobic,” “full of hate speech,” and Europe’s “creeping dictator.” Sounding like the mafia boss of the Left, the Guardian simply refers to him as a “problem” that needs to be “solved.”

Orbán’s crime is that he wants to secure his nation’s borders against Muslims and preserve its Christian identity. According to Hungary’s prime minister:
Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims.  This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity….  We don’t want to criticize France, Belgium, any other country, but we think all countries have a right to decide whether they want to have a large number of Muslims in their countries. If they want to live together with them, they can. We don’t want to and I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country. We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see….

The prime minister went on to invoke history—and not in the politically correct way, to condemn Christians and whitewash Muslims, but according to reality:
I have to say that when it comes to living together with Muslim communities, we are the only ones who have experience because we had the possibility to go through that experience for 150 years.

Orbán is referring to Islam’s conquest and occupation of Hungary from 1541 to 1699.  Then, Islamic jihad, terrorism, and Christian persecution were rampant.

Nor was Hungary alone. Much of southeastern Europe and portions of modern-day Russia were conquered, occupied, and terrorized by the Turks—sometimes in ways that make Islamic State atrocities seem like child’s play.  Think of the beheadings, crucifixions, massacres, slave markets, and rapes that have become IS trademarks—but on a much grander scale, and for centuries. 
Still, to Western progressives, such distant memories are lost. In an article titled “Hungary has been shamed by Viktor Orbán’s government,” the Guardian mocks and trivializes the prime minister’s position:
Hungary has a history with the Ottoman empire, and Orbán is busy conjuring it. The Ottoman empire is striking back, he warns. They’re taking over! Hungary will never be the same again!... Hence the wire; hence the army; hence, as from today, the state of emergency; hence the fierce, unrelenting rhetoric of hatred. Because that is what it has been from the very start: sheer, crass hostility and slander.

Similarly, the Washington Post, after acknowledging that Hungary was once occupied by the Ottomans—though without any mention of the countless atrocities it experienced—opined that “it’s somewhat bizarre to think this rather distant past of warlords and rival empires ought to influence how a 21st century nation addresses the needs of refugees.”

The Washington Post ignores the fact that, blended in among the thousands of Muslim refugees, are operatives from the Islamic State, which is currently reliving the Ottoman days in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, and which plans on reliving them in Hungary and southeastern Europe.  Already, Muslims trying to force their way into Hungary are shouting Islam’s ancient war cry, “Allah Akbar!”

As for the other “regular” Muslim refugees, many of them will never assimilate, will abuse and exploit the weak—particularly women and children—and will enforce Islamic law in their enclaves.  That’s exactly what Orbán was referring to when he said, “We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries.”

To be sure, those “other countries” are not limited to Europe.  For example, in Myanmar (Burma), non-indigenous Muslim minorities are behind the same sort of anti-infidel mayhem, violence, and rape.

In response, anti-Muslim sentiment has grown among Buddhist majorities, followed by the usual Western media criticism.

Thus popular Buddhist leader Ashin Wirathu, whom the media refer to as the “Burmese bin Laden,” staunchly opposes Muslim presence in Myanmar: “You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” he said in reference to Muslims: “I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers.”

Reminiscent of Hungary’s Orbán, Wirathu also warns that: “If we are weak, our land will become Muslim.”  The theme song of his party speaks of people who “live in our land, drink our water, and are ungrateful to us”—a reference to Muslims—and how “We will build a fence with our bones if necessary” to keep them out.

Again, sounding like Hungary’s Orbán, Wiranthu’s pamphlets say “Myanmar is currently facing a most dangerous and fearful poison that is severe enough to eradicate all civilization.”

To this, the NYT scoffs, arguing that “Buddhism would seem to have a secure place in Myanmar. Nine in 10 people are Buddhist…  Estimates of the Muslim minority range from 4 percent to 8 percent…”

Justifying Muslim presence in non-Muslim nations on the basis that far outnumbered Muslims can never be a problem is par for the course.  After expressing puzzlement at Orbán’s stress on history, the Washington Post expresses amazement at “the fact that Muslims comprise less than 1 percent of the country’s [Hungary’s] population.”

This media canard ignores Islam’s unwavering Rule of Numbers: whenever and wherever Muslims grow in numbers, the same “anti-infidel” violence endemic to Muslim-majority nations grows with them.

Consider the words of Fr. Daniel Byantoro, a Muslim convert to Christianity, discussing the ramifications of Islam’s slow entry into what was once a non-Muslim nation but today is the largest Muslim nation:
For thousands of years my country (Indonesia) was a Hindu Buddhist kingdom.  The last Hindu king was kind enough to give a tax exempt property for the first Muslim missionary to live and to preach his religion. Slowly the followers of the new religion were growing, and after they became so strong the kingdom was attacked, those who refused to become Muslims had to flee for their life... Slowly from the Hindu Buddhist Kingdom, Indonesia became the largest Islamic country in the world. If there is any lesson to be learnt by Americans at all, the history of my country is worth pondering upon. We are not hate mongering, bigoted people; rather, we are freedom loving, democracy loving and human loving people. We just don’t want this freedom and democracy to be taken away from us by our ignorance and misguided “political correctness”, and the pretension of tolerance. (Facing Islam, endorsement section).

Nations as diverse as Hungary and Burma—and leaders as diverse as the Christian Orbán and the Buddhist Wiranthu—are acquainted with the entry of Islam.  Accordingly, when it comes to the Islamic influx—whether by the sword or in the guise of refugees—instead of judging them, Western nations would do well to learn from their experiences.

Otherwise, they are destined to learn the hard way.

About Raymond Ibrahim

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).

Labels: , ,

Rushing Off In All Directions

"We will go in two directions: first one, we will file a charge at the court in Luxembourg ... secondly, we will not implement the [decision] of the interior ministers."
Slovak Prime Miniter Robert Fico

"Those who don't share our values, those who don't even want to respect those principles, need to start asking themselves questions about their place in the European Union."
French President Francois Hollande

"The decision to relocate 160,000 people from the most affected member states is a historic first and a genuine, laudable expression of European solidarity."
"It cannot be the end of the story, however. It is time for further, bold, determined and concerted action by the European Union, by its institutions and by all its member states."
Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission President

"Some people will say today that Europe is divided because the decision was not taken by consensus."
"If we had not done this, Europe would have been even more divided and its credibility would have been even more undermined."
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Foreign Minister
"Let's not forget that this is a mixed flow of migrants, not 'Syrian refugees' as the media tends to call them. Only one third of them are Syrians who embark on the perilous journey to their European country of choice from the refugee camps of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. They have already passed several safe countries before reaching Hungary, and the overwhelming majority do not even stop in rich Austria -- some not even in Germany. This is the very dilemma the European Union is struggling to find a good answer to."
Balint Odor, Hungarian Ambassador to Canada
Migrants walk after crossing from Macedonia towards Serbia, near the village of Miratovac to the overcrowded transit camp in Presevo late on September 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
Migrants walk after crossing from Macedonia towards Serbia, near the village of Miratovac to the overcrowded transit camp in Presevo late on September 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKISource:AFP

The European Union interior ministers agreed to proceed with a plan to sprinkle 120,000 asylum seekers from Asia, Africa and the Middle East across Europe. The forcing of reluctant EU member countries to accept policies they view as not being in the best interests of their countries' futures will strain the very solidarity and essence of the European Union. A union of 28 countries that never dreamed their concerns would go beyond the financial rescue of their more improvident members.

But there it is. The European proximity to another continent flush with a religion of violent conquest whose faithful have been oppressed and maltreated, threatened and poverty-stricken, slaughtered and exiled by terrorizing fear, has created the conditions whereby hundreds of thousands of people have taken active measures to separate themselves from their heritage, their lands of birth, their culture and traditions. But not their religion. This transformative ideology and its politics they bear with them.

And this is the issue that confronts Europe. Which could, under other circumstances, convince itself to embrace without reservations people capable of investing themselves with similar values, accept the prevailing laws, adapt to the culture of the indigenous populations, and become stable and reliable citizens with no intention of subverting all that they will not accept in the country that has absorbed them, to offer them a new lease on life.

There are those in Europe who transcribe with a fair degree of accuracy just how the influx of people from Islamic countries have transformed the cultures, the politics, the society which they have infiltrated as immigrants and refugees, and they want no part of it. From the livelier demands on policing to the increased welfare rolls, to the social exceptions where polygamy is practised and their populations will grow increasing numbers of Muslims through natural increase.

An increase which will lead to demographic domination and the final transformation of European countries to Islamic nations. The better European Union suggestion to transfer financial aid to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to aid in easing refugee camp conditions there in the hopes of stemming the tide of refugees looking for more promising territory from which to launch their futures should be extended to offers of political and military involvement in staunching the wounds of the civil war and removing its trenchant cause.

Labels: , , , , ,

Fearsome Ineptitude Extraordinaire

"What happened was more than they were ready for."
"People were climbing over one another just to breathe. It was like a wave. You go forward and suddenly you go back."
Abdullah Lotfy, survivor, Egyptian pilgrim, Mina, Saudi Arabia

"The reputation of the kingdom is on the line."
"The fact is, despite everything Saudi Arabia has done, accidents and tragedies continue to happen."
Fawaz Gerges, Middle East expert, London School of Economics

"You can't count how many bodies there were. They were stacked high."
Sudanese pilgrim Mohammed Awad, 36
Saudi emergency personnel surround bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site of a stampede Thursday, September 24, in Mecca, Islam's holiest city. Thursday morning's stampede killed hundreds during one of the last rituals of the<a href=""> Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage</a>.
Crowded streets turned into a nightmare as hundreds were killed and hundreds more injured in a stampede Thursday in the city of Mina, on the edge of the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia : AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil wealth, has invested in advanced technology and complex engineering to minimize the likelihood of just such disasters occurring. From building new approaches to the Islamic sites of sacred heritage to employing greater numbers of security personnel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has assured the ummah that it is once again prepared for the annual hajj, enjoining pious Muslims to place their trust in the House of Saud as custodians of Islam's most sacred sites.

But the catastrophe, the latest in a breathtaking series of misadventures killing hundreds of people and injuring many hundreds more, is once again the fallout of false security. An unsecured giant crane, one among many circling the great mosque in Mecca fell earlier in the month, crushing 111 people and injuring almost 400, as Saudi Arabia goes about modernizing the heritage sites which no longer resemble their original configurations.

In this latest tragedy the simple expedient of being aware of and adequately directing traffic so that two disparate giant groupings of pilgrims did not confront one another with nowhere to turn and inspiring to panic, should never have happened. It represents the most basic of simple enough safety measures; ensuring that horde number one which had completed its devil-bashing mission could exit, allowing horde number two to enter for the same purpose.

Instead, the two masses of people were allowed to use the same thoroughfare, while each was travelling in a direction that guaranteed the human tide travelling in opposite directions would collide with catastrophic results. An episode of fearsome ineptitude. So much for the assurances and self-satisfaction that Saudi Arabia exudes in being custodian and exalted caretaker of Islam's honour and pride.

Muslim pilgrims and rescuers gather around the victims.
AFP/Getty Images
For a religion of peace and human compassion, Islam is proving itself repeatedly to be a religion of war-mongering lack of human compassion. The first horde of pilgrims had completed their stone-throwing ritual to wound the devil and were departing  while the second crowd was in the process of arriving for the very same purpose. The devil obviously refused to be put in its place and decided it would take affront and perform its own deadly act of rejection.

And compassionate Saudi Arabia whose government refused a suggestion that the 160,000 air-conditioned tents set up for the hajj be diverted for use by Syrian refugees fleeing ongoing attacks by the Shiite Alawite government of Bashar al-Assad on Syrian Sunnis, refusing to become involved, though Saudi Arabia is a Sunni stronghold, demonstrated aptly just how supportive they are of human rights.

The Saudi King, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Medina and Mecca, oversees an annual event that brings millions of devout Muslims to the hajj, as the Koran enjoins them to do at least once in their lifetimes. His administration has continued to expand the Grand Mosque housing the Kaaba, circled by the faithful. Sophisticated face-recognition technology counts the numbers present and five thousand CCTV cameras are sprinkled throughout the holy cities.

But adequate numbers of security personnel and the most obvious crowd control methods to be undertaken whereby two massive marches would not confront each other to ensue in panic and death was neglected. At least 771 and likely more people were trampled and crushed to death, making this year the second most deadly such event in the recent history of the hajj.

But rest assured, an investigation is underway.

Saudi ambulances arrive on the scene.
AFP/Getty Images

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Faking It

"What we see here has nothing to do with seeking refuge and safety. It is nothing but opportunism."
Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austrian interior minister

"Look at these people, what are they doing here? We are the ones who are fleeing from war and slaughter, and now these men are taking away our space."
"I don't understand -- we thought the Europeans invited Syrians like us to come."
Mustafa, 62-year-old Syrian

"I am illegal, not refugee. In my country, the only thing you can do there is either drugs or crimes. So I was in prison several times for drugs, also for trying to kill another guy."
"We [himself and companions] flew to Istanbul and then took a bus to Izmir. There we destroyed our passports and just mixed with the Syrian refugees. We then took the boat from Izmir to Greece. From there to Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and now we are in Vienna."
"So when someone asks us, where do you live? We say Damascus. Where are you from? Answer: Syria."
Hamza, 27, Algerian

"There are people who are trying to benefit from the situation. I've met Egyptians who claimed they were Syrians, but the dialect is Egyptian. I've also met people from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia or Libya who all are now flying to Istanbul and then go to Izmir where they destroy passports."
"I've also met Palestinians who live in camps in Lebanon and now claim they were from Yarmouk camp in Syria. Many of them said they have family in Germany and just use this situation to finally get asylum."
"Most of these people say they've lost their passports. The sad thing is that those Syrians who really are fleeing war will be the ones paying the price."
Hisham Fares, Libyan interpreter aiding asylum seekers

Curious reporters have been doing some investigative journalism, questioning some among the tens of thousands of refugees claiming to be Syrians escaping the civil war that has destroyed Syria and created millions of internally homeless and additional millions of refugees. They come across legitimate Syrian war refugees passing through the traffic hubs of Europe. But they have also met Iranians who claim to be persecuted Yazidis.

Indians unable to speak Arabic claiming they are from Damascus are among the 'refugees'. Among them are also Pakistanis, Albanians, Egyptians, Kosovars, Somalis and Tunisians. Countries where poverty is endemic, as is violence, but absent war. All seek the reward that perseverance and temporary privation promises at the end of their imagined rainbow: the pot of gold that German welfare and economic opportunity promises.

German authorities may state they are prepared to welcome legitimate refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea, but they warn all others they will be rejected. Aid workers and journalists learn the realities; they are initially informed that those they speak with are from Syria knowing full well the welcome mat is out for Syrians, not Kosovars. Those not from Syria take care to destroy their real passports once in Turkey.


Other passports are available, however, for a price. A forged Syrian passport can be had for between $200 and $200 in Turkey. A black market thrives in Croatia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria as well, for Syrian documentation. Syrian refugees are well aware of the threat to their being able to claim refugee status if places are taken up by pseudo Syrians. Irrespective of where the men lined up at ticket windows are from they claim "We are from Syria".

One group of men at the train station in Austria, in line for free food, spoke English among themselves with an Indian accent. "Hassan" identified himself. "We grew up in Syria, our fathers worked there for many years." Hassan himself, he said, had worked in Syria, in a bank in Damascus. Spoken to in Arabic by a reporter the men smiled and responded: "No Arabic, only English." When asked where in Damascus they had lived, they became vague, excused themselves and wandered off.

But, claims Ewa Moncure, speaking for Frontex, the European Union border agency, they're on top of things, deploying interpreters assessing accents, using geographic and other questions to identify pretenders. "If someone claims to be from Syria and he can't say what the currency is or what the main street is in Damascus, there are going to be questions about his claim". And that will work for only so long as the false claimants discover what's going on, and then inform themselves adequately.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Looking for Solutions

"The refugee crisis can be brought under control, but make no mistake, it will take a tremendous amount of effort, it will take a long time, and it will take many steps in many areas."
"[...All member states should] respect the outcome [of the relocation plan."
EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans

"If people are distributed in Europe, then they can't choose what country they go to. They have to stay in the country they were distributed to."
"[The EU decision's purpose is to curtail] secondary migration [where those seeking asylum move preferentially from one European country to another for maximum advantage]."
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere 
Migrants and refugees queue at a camp to be registered after crossing the Macedonian-Greek border near Gevgelija
Migrants and refugees queue at a camp to be registered after crossing the Macedonian-Greek border near Gevgelija. Photograph: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images

It has become an unreasoning, Lemming-like torrent of humans transiting toward opportunities denied them in their countries of origin. Although the focus remains on Syrian refugees, barely one in three of the people fleeing oppression, poverty and conflict are Syrian; they stream toward Europe from elsewhere in the Middle East, from South Asia, from Africa where dysfunctional governments, tyrannical leaders, and Islamist jihadists all prey on ordinary people. What they have in common is that the countries are Muslim-dominated, and Islam itself is the source of the problem.

It seems reasonable that if the world is anxious to rescue those most vulnerable to the onslaught of violence in the Muslim world, it is Christians and ethnic and religious minorities who should have priority. Then, women and children should be viewed as most vulnerable to the rigours of their escape from impoverishment of spirit and their fraught futures. Indeed, women and children also appear to be in the minority among the flood of humanity trudging into Europe. Mostly, they are young and vigorous men.

Who should be encouraged to remain where they are and fight locally in their own regions for their rights. As it is, young and restless men coming from a tradition of cultural and religion-inspired misogyny bring their attitudes with them, disparaging the very notion of equality for women and human rights trumping their own aspirations to personal fortune, and in the process of the move and mixed-gender encampments, themselves prey on vulnerable children and women.

It makes eminently good sense when faced with an intractable problem that must be addressed, to face the source of the problem. Solving the problem at source goes a much longer way to solving the fallout of the problem to begin with. There would be no need, real and perceived, for people to embark on their perilous journeys toward a hoped-for new opportunity in life if their society as they knew it was restored without the issues that led to their refugee status.

Granted, other nations, themselves struggling in many instances to aspire to a better future for their native populations, cannot solve all the problems of less favoured countries, whose administration seems always to evolve from dictatorship to tyranny and religious and sectarian, tribal and ethnic persecution. Yet these are the countries that are called upon because they are seen as better socially adjusted and more politically advanced and financed than the failed countries.

Migrants and refugees queue to register at a camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija on September 22, 2015. EU interior ministers were set to hold emergency talks to try and bridge deep divisions over Europe's worst migrant crisis since World War II, as pressure piles onto member states to reach an agreement. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV
Migrants and refugees queue to register at a camp after crossing the Greek Macedonian border near Gevgelija on Tuesday. Nikolay Doychinov/AFP\Getty Images

The European Union is attempting to respond collectively to a disaster that has been brought upon their member countries, striving to contain and to serve the needs of people requiring shelter, food and medical attention. This is not a task, gargantuan in nature, that the European Union has willingly and of its own volition responded to, but one that has been forced upon them by a viciously rogue regime in Syria that has been violating the most basic human rights of its population because of sectarian hatreds.

As Syria writhes in the agony of self-destruction, disintegrating as a  unified country with the majority Syrian Sunnis defying the tyranny of the minority Shiite regime, government warplanes continue to bomb Syrian towns, destroying their infrastructure and slaughtering their inhabitants. The combined action of even a portion of the 28 EU member-states would be capable of militarily removing Bashar al-Assad from the presidency of Syria and in one fell stroke, halting the exodus of Syrians.

This might, at great cost, solve the Syrian crisis for the time being, but it would do little to ameliorate the general crisis that exists in Islamic countries of South Asia and Africa and the Middle East where the bulk of the population are held in helpless poverty-stricken and opportunity-denied conditions to satisfy the ambitions of a wealthy and powerful elite. But it is the destiny of people to remain where they live, to rise en masse and refuse to cower under the jackboot of fascist Islamist powers.

Nowhere is it written that well-functioning states in Europe and elsewhere in the world have any obligation to solve the ills of the Muslim world. It should be a problem for Muslims themselves to solve at every level of their monopolistic Islamist ummah. Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the Emirates and Turkey should be beside themselves with self-anger at the desperate condition the world of Islam has presented.

And honestly ask themselves how their demonstrated incapacity to govern themselves and to treat their own with honour and respect describes their fitness to rule the world under global Islam, a primary tenet of Islam's Sharia law which demands that all Muslims commit to jihad for that very express purpose of the global caliphate bringing Islam unfettered control of the globe. Heaven forfend.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Gatestone Institute

  • Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, sentenced to be crucified, was accused of participating in banned protests and firearms offenses -- despite a complete lack of evidence on the latter charge, and he was denied access to lawyers. Al-Nimr is also alleged by human rights groups to have been tortured and then forced into signing a confession while in custody.
  • Not only are the Saudi authorities preparing to crucify someone -- in 2015 -- whom they tortured into making a confession; they are preparing to crucify someone who was a minor at the time of arrest.
  • Alas not a week goes by without Saudi Arabia demonstrating to the world why they retain their reputation as one of the world's foremost human rights sewers.
  • Crucifixion is a punishment which, it would appear, is not only Sharia-compliant but also -- we must assume -- Geneva-compliant.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is an organization that may be easy to critique, but it is very hard to satirize. Ordinarily, if you told anyone that there was a place in Switzerland where Sudan, Iran and others of the world's worst dictatorships and human rights abusers have their views on human rights treated with respect and deference, you would assume the script was written by Monty Python. Idi Amin would make an appearance at some point to share his views on how to improve equal conditions for women in the workplace. Pol Pot would crop up in order to castigate those countries where living standards had not been sufficiently raised in accordance with global averages.

Everything that happens in Geneva is beyond satire. But last week provides a demonstration, outrageous even by the standards of the UN. For this week, it came out – thanks to the excellent organization UN Watch -- that Saudi Arabia has been appointed as the head of a key UNHRC panel. This panel selects the top officials who shape international standards in human rights; it is intended to report on human rights violations around the world. The five-member group of ambassadors, which Saudi Arabia will now head, is known as the Consultative Group and has the power to select applicants to fill more than 77 positions worldwide that deal with human rights issues. It appears that the appointment of Saudi Arabia's envoy to the UNHRC, Faisal Trad, was made before the summer, but that diplomats in Geneva have kept silent on the matter since then.

That this appointment had to leak out months after the event raises the possibility that the UNHRC, contrary to popular perception, actually does have some sense of shame. Otherwise, why not shout from the rooftops that Saudi Arabia has won this prestigious position? Why not distribute a press release? After all, Saudi Arabia -- and by extension the UNHRC -- have nothing to be ashamed of, do they?

Alas not a week goes by without Saudi Arabia demonstrating to the world why they retain their reputation as one of the world's foremost human rights sewers. Saudi Arabia may have beheaded more people in the last year than ISIS, but only rarely do any of these cases get more than a flicker of international attention. Occasionally a case breaks above the waves of public opinion. One such case is that of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, sentenced last year to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes for "insulting Islam." The plight of Raif Badawi, who has already been served the first 50 lashes, and is being held in prison while awaiting the rest, has garnered international attention and condemnations of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom's response has been strongly to denounce "the media campaign around the case."

But the glare of international opinion clearly disturbs the Saudi authorities -- a fact well worth keeping in mind. And it is not as though they have nothing to hide. This week brings a case that should get at least as much attention as that of Raif Badawi.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested by the Saudi authorities in 2012, during a crackdown on anti-government protests in the Shia province of Qatif. He was accused of participating in banned protests and firearms offenses -- despite a complete lack of evidence on the latter charge. Denied access to lawyers, al-Nimr is alleged by human rights groups to have been tortured and then forced into signing a confession while in custody. Campaigners say that it seems he has been targeted by authorities because of his family association with Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the 53-year-old critic of the Saudi regime who is his uncle. The Sheikh has also been convicted and sentenced to death. After the confession and "trial," his nephew was convicted at Saudi's Specialized Criminal Court and sentenced to death. The trial itself failed to meet any international standards. Al-Nimr appealed against his sentence, but this week that appeal was dismissed. It now seems likely that he and his uncle will now be executed. Because charges include crimes involving the Saudi King and the state itself, it seems likely that the method of death will be crucifixion.

Imprisoned Saudi dissidents Raif Badawi (left) and Ali Mohammed al-Nimr (right).

If this were in any way to cause a flicker of concern among other participants in the UNHRC farce going on Geneva, they have at least some consolation. For in Saudi Arabia crucifixion is not what it used to be. Indeed, in Saudi Arabia crucifixion begins with the beheading of the victim and only then the mounting of the beheaded body onto a crucifix, to make it available for public viewing. This is a punishment which it would appear is not only Sharia-compliant but also -- we must assume -- Geneva-compliant.

Of course, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr counts as having been a juvenile at the time of his arrest, so not only are the Saudi authorities preparing to crucify someone -- in 2015 -- whom they tortured into making a confession - they are preparing to crucify someone who was a minor at the time of arrest. Perhaps the authorities at the UNHRC in Geneva do indeed blush when they appoint Saudi officials to head their human rights panels. But it does not seem to affect their behaviour. Just as Saudi authorities think it is "international attention" rather than flogging people to death or crucifying them after beheading that is the problem, so the UNHRC in Geneva seems to think it is public awareness of their grotesque appointments rather than the appointments themselves that are the problem.

The international attention paid to the case of Raif Badawi has not yet seen him released, but it seems to have delayed the next rounds of lashes. Which suggests the Saudi authorities have the capacity to feel some shame. This should in turn be a cause for some hope among everyone who cares about human rights. It should also provide a reminder to everyone to increase global attention on the case of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and the many others like him who suffer under a government and judicial system that should utterly shame the world outside Geneva, even if it cannot shame the UN

Labels: , , ,

Follow @rheytah Tweet