Archive for the ‘Islamic terrorism’ Category

Newly Formed Terrorist Group Busted In Pakistan – Had Plans To Target Charity Groups

February 17, 2008

Newly Formed Terrorist Group Busted In Pakistan – Had Plans To Target Charity Groups
Ten members of the newly formed Tehreek Islami Lashkar-e-Mohammadi were arrested Friday with weapons, explosives, chemicals and poison, Jihadi literature, and hit lists of high-profile people, politicians, international and national NGOs and police officials. The organization is anti-Semitic.The group apparently wanted to target charity groups for what they say are links to the Free Masons and other groups. Read more »

http://www.nationalterroralert.com/updates/2008/02/15/newly-formed-terrorist-group-busted-in-pakistan-had-plans-to-target-charity-groups

The ‘Islamo-Fascism’ Debate

February 10, 2008

Source: Aina…

As the David Horowitz Freedom Center unveils its Declaration Against Genocide in Washington on February 9, we are inviting campus groups of all types to join us in condemning the genocidal impulse within Islamo-Fascism.

This Symposium discussion of the term “Islamo-Fascism” takes on a new urgency in light of that Declaration and of the upcoming second Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which will hit campuses nationwide the week of April 7.

The usefulness and accuracy of this term, and the general necessity of naming the enemy properly as a prerequisite for defeating it, became a subject of national debate during the first Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, and that debate is certain to continue this April. This Symposium is dedicated to many of the issues involved.

Our guests are:

Christopher Hitchens, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, the author of the new book god Is Not Great. How Religion Poisons Everything and the editor of the new anthology, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, the vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of My Year Inside Radical Islam , which documents his time working for the extremist Al Haramain Islamic Foundation.

Bruce Tefft, the Director of CRA’s Threat Assessment Center. He retired from the CIA as a case officer in 1995 after 21 years, 17 working in Stations abroad. He was a founding member of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center in 1985 and has been involved with terrorism issues since then. After his retirement, he continued studying Islamic terrorist techniques and training more than 16,000 first responders, law enforcement, military and intelligence officials in terrorism awareness and prevention. For a two year period following 9/11, he was the Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence advisor to the New York Police Department.

Khalim Massoud, president of Muslims Against Sharia, an Islamic reform movement.

Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Religion of Peace?.

Donna Hughes, Professor and Carlson Endowed Chairperson of the University of Rhode Island Women’s Studies Program.

and

Thomas Haidon, the Chief Legal and Policy Advisor of the Free Muslim Coalition and a member of its Board of Advisors. A commentator on legal issues surrounding counter-terrorism measures and Islamic affairs, he currently serves as an advisor to the New Zealand government and has provided guidance to parliamentary committees on counter-terrorism issues. His works have been published in legal periodicals, newspapers and other media.

FP: Christopher Hitchens, Robert Spencer, Bruce Teft, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Donna Hughes and Thomas Haidon, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.

Christopher Hitchens, let’s begin with you.

Is the term “Islamo-Fascism” legitimate in terms of defining the enemy we face in the terror war?

Hitchens: The attempt by David Horowitz and his allies to launch “Islamofascism Awareness Week” on American campuses has been met with a variety of responses. One of these is a challenge to the validity of the term itself. It’s quite the done thing, in liberal academic circles, to sneer at any comparison between fascist and jihadist ideology.

People like Tony Judt write to me to say in effect that it’s ahistorical and simplistic to do so. And in some media circles another kind of reluctance applies: Alan Colmes thinks that one shouldn’t use the word “Islamic” even to designate jihad, because to do is to risk incriminating an entire religion. He and others don’t want to tag Islam even in its most extreme form with a word as hideous as fascism. Finally, I have seen and heard it argued that the term is unfair or prejudiced, because it isn’t applied to any other religion. This was most recently argued by Patrick J. Buchanan, who asked us how we would have felt if Franklin Roosevelt had described Mussolini, say, as “Christo-fascist”.

Buchanan in his own autobiography describes being raised in a home where the true heroes were Father Coughlin the Jew-baiting priest, General Franco the foe of the Reds and freemasons, and Joseph McCarthy the drink-sodden bigmouth and bigot. That’s why the term “Catholic fascist” or “clerical fascist” used to be so current on the left.

This was to recognize the undeniable fact that, from Spain to Croatia to Slovakia, there was a very direct link between fascism and the Roman Catholic Church. More recently, Yehoshua Leibowitz, editor of the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, coined the term “Judaeo-Nazi” to describe the messianic settlers who moved onto the occupied West Bank after 1967. So there need be no self-pity among Muslims about being “singled out” on this point.

The actual term “Islamofascism” was first used in 1990 in the London Independent by the Anglo-Irish writer Malise Ruthven, who was writing about the way in which traditional Arab dictatorships used religious appeals in order to stay in power. The expression has some respectable antecedents. In his book, The Politics of Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa, published by Princeton in 1965, the German scholar Manfred Halpern (himself a refugee from the Third Reich) employed the term “Islamic totalitarian” to characterize the mingled worship of a heroic past with the mobilization of “passion and violence”. Perhaps you suspect Halpern of undue sympathy with Judaism or Zionism? Very well, then, consider Professor Maxime Rodinson, one of the most intransigent critics of the state of Israel. In an exchange with Michel Foucault in the late 1970s, on the subject of the nascent Shi’a theocracy in Iran, Rodinson writing in Le Monde alluded to “a certain type of archaic fascism” taking the form of “an authoritarian and totalitarian state whose political police would brutally enforce the moral and social order.” I didn’t know about all of these for-runners when I employed the term “fascism with an Islamic face” to describe the assault on civil society on 11 September 2001, and to ridicule those who presented the attack as some kind of liberation theology in action. “Fascism with an Islamic face” is meant to summon a dual echo of both Alexander Dubcek and Susan Sontag (if I do say so myself), and in any case it can’t be used for everyday polemical purposes, so the question remains: does bin-Ladinism or Salafism or whatever we agree to call it have anything in common with fascism?

I think yes. The most obvious points of comparison would be these. Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind (“Death to the intellect! Long live death!” as Franco’s accomplice General Mola so pithily phrased it in a debate with Miguel de Unamuno). Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons) and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined “humiliations”, and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader-worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression, especially to the repression of any sexual “deviance”, and to its counterparts: the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine. Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence, and burn books and destroy museums and treasures.

Fascism (and Nazism) also attempted to counterfeit the then-success of the socialist movement by issuing pseudo-socialist and populist appeals. It has been very interesting to observe lately, especially in its most recent statement on the last anniversary of 11 September, the manner in which Al Quaeda has been striving to counterfeit and recycle the propaganda of the anti-globalist and “Green” movements.

There isn’t a perfect congruence. Historically, fascism laid great emphasis on glorifying the nation state and the corporate structure. There isn’t much of a corporate structure in the Muslim world, where the conditions often approximate more nearly to feudalism than capitalism, but bin-Laden’s own business conglomerate is, among other things, a rogue multi-national corporation with some links to finance-capital. As to the nation state, Al Quaida’s demand is that countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia be dissolved into one great revived Caliphate but doesn’t this have points of resemblance with the mad scheme of a “Greater Germany” or with Mussolini’s fantasy of a revived Roman empire?

Technically, no form of Islam preaches racial superiority or proposes a master-race. But in practice, Islamic fanatics operate a fascistic concept of the “pure” and the “exclusive” over the unclean and the kufar or profane. In the propaganda against Hinduism and India, for example, there can be seen something very like bigotry. In the attitude to Jews, it is clear that an inferior or unclean race is being talked about (which is why many Muslim extremists like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem gravitated to Hitler’s side). In the attempted destruction of the Hazara people of Afghanistan, who are ethnically Persian as well as religiously Shi’ite, there was also a strong suggestion of “cleansing”. And of course bin-Laden has threatened force against UN peacekeepers who might dare interrupt the race-murder campaign against African Muslims that is being carried out by his pious Sudanese friends.

Essentially, though, the point of convergence occurs at the word “totalitarian”. Study any serious proclamation about shari’a and you will be struck by the way in which Islam proposes itself as a “total” solution, covering every area of life and effectively abolishing the distinction between the public and the private. All “faith” does this, in my opinion, just as all “faiths” do it, but one cannot fail to be struck by the confidence with which Islamism legislates for absolutism in every department of existence.

This makes it permissible, it seems to me, to mention the two phenomena in the same breath and to suggest that they constitute comparable threats to civilization and civilized values. There is one final point of comparison: one that is in some ways encouraging. Both of these totalitarian systems of thought evidently suffer from a death-wish. It is surely not an accident that both of them stress suicidal tactics and sacrificial ends, just as both of them would obviously rather see the destruction of their own societies than any compromise with infidels or any dilution of the joys of absolute doctrinal orthodoxy. Thus, while we have a duty to oppose and destroy these and any similar totalitarian movements, we can also be fairly sure that they will play an unconscious part in arranging for their own destruction, as well. Meanwhile, however our critics may wail about the way in which we generalize or deal in “stereotypes”, there is hardly one of them who has protested when the American flag is paraded bedecked with a swastika (a swastika!) or a cartoon of the President is carried across campus wearing a Hitler moustache. Who exactly is it who is looking for fascism in all the wrong places?

Gartenstein-Ross: Hitchens draws an excellent analogy between Fascist and jihadist ideology, and offers a competent rebuttal to various pundits’ objections to comparing the two. However, the question Jamie posed is not whether “Islamofascism” is an appropriate polemical term, or whether it is fair to compare militant Islam to Fascism. Rather, he queried whether the term is “legitimate in terms of defining the enemy we face in the terror war”; indeed, some commentators now use the term this way. My contention is that as a definitional term applied to the enemy, “Islamofascism” is too imprecise and in some ways counterproductive.

The first problem is that the term is overly broad. Hitchens actually does a good job of illustrating this problem in his opening remarks. In discussing the term’s history, Hitchens writes that Malise Ruthven first used it when “writing about the way in which traditional Arab dictatorships used religious appeals in order to stay in power.” Arab countries are, for the most part, no less fascistic today than they were in 1990, yet they are not “the enemy” in this war. Much of their heavy-handed police state tactics-for example, in Algeria and Egypt-are in fact aimed at the stateless Islamic militants against whom the present war is directed. (This statement is, of course, not meant as an endorsement of these states’ tactics.)

Taking a closer look at the Muslim world, the state of emergency that Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf declared in early November has much in common with Fascist governance-but it did not transform him from a bumbling and self-destructive ally into an enemy in the present global war. No Middle Eastern government had more in common with Fascist rule than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq: as former CIA director James Woolsey has said, the Ba’ath party was “modeled after the fascist regimes of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.” But regardless of what one thinks of the Iraq war (and I have made my views on the matter clear), we did not go to war-nor would we have-because of the similarities between Saddam’s rule and Fascism. Rather, the justification was rooted in U.S. national interests, such as intelligence estimates of Iraq’s development of weapons of mass destruction and concerns about possible cooperation with al-Qaeda.

Other groups and countries that possess critical differences may be too quickly lumped together under the “Islamofascist” umbrella. There is currently a lively debate among policymakers and analysts about how the U.S. should deal with the Muslim Brotherhood. While I do not endorse the argument advanced by Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke about “the moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” I think the debate is a legitimate one-and that treating al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way because both are “Islamofascist” would run contrary to our strategic interests. In President Bush’s September 20, 2001 address to the joint session of Congress, he said that the U.S. would “starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another.” I think this is the right approach, and that the overbroad “Islamofascism” definition jeopardizes our ability to produce schisms between groups that in many ways are not alike.

Aside from this definitional problem, there are also tactical problems with using “Islamofascism.” The term is polemical in nature, as Hitchens readily admits when he says that he first used the phrase “fascism with an Islamic face” to “ridicule those who presented [9/11] as some kind of liberation theology in action.” His initial use of the phrase was both clever and effective. But clever polemical turns of phrase are best used sparingly. I would wager that even Hitchens cringes at how some lesser writers have used “Islamofascism.”

The use of a polemical turn of phrase to “defin[e] the enemy we face” can also limit the audience that one reaches. If I’m reading a work that employs the phraseology “Bushitler” or “Zionazi,” that’s usually a strong sign that reading further could only possibly lower my IQ. While “Islamofascism” is not as false as either of those polemical terms, people associate it with a certain political viewpoint about the war against radical Islam. If they do not agree with the viewpoint, the term causes many people to stop listening-and to disregard otherwise legitimate arguments.

Finally, use of the term “Islamofascism” makes it more difficult to work alongside moderate Muslims, who almost uniformly bristle at the phrase. It is true that a number of Muslim moderates have a wide variety of objections to terms analysts use to describe the enemy, and many of their terminological objections are in my view illegitimate. But they have some legitimate objections to the term “Islamofascism.” One legitimate objection, as detailed above, is the term’s overbreadth. Another legitimate objection is that the term will almost undoubtedly be applied against Islamic religious practice that is merely conservative and not violent. This can be seen in some of the similarities Hitchens fingers between radical Islam and Fascism, including “exclusive stress on the power of one great book,” “strong commitment to sexual repression, especially to the repression of any sexual `deviance,’” and “subordination of the female.” These descriptions can apply not just to militant practice of the faith, but also conservative manifestations.

Secularists tend to view all religious practice with suspicion, and overgeneralize on that basis. Note that Hitchens argues that there is a totalitarian tendency not just within extremist Islam, but rather that “all `faiths’ do it.” Or note Christiane Amanpour’s clumsy attempt to liken American evangelicals to the Taliban on CNN’s God’s Warriors. Moderate Muslims are rightly concerned that the “Islamofascist” label will be applied to legitimate theological practices.

In short, I have no problem with Hitchens’s initial description of bin Laden’s agenda as “fascism with an Islamic face,” and I think he proffers a strong defense of the analogy. But the term’s overbreadth obscures real distinctions that analysts need to make, and I believe there are also solid tactical reasons that those of us who care about defeating Islamic extremism should select a different label.

FP: So what is that different label going to be? We can’t just reject a term without offering a term that we think is better to describe our enemy.

Surely “Islamo-fascism” is a legitimate term. We can’t take the Islam out of the fascistic Muslims who are waging war on us, and we would be fooling ourselves if we try to sweep the word “Islam” under the rug. Moreover, it is a given that many Muslims are not fascistic — just as many Italians weren’t fascistic all because Italian fascists existed. And we can’t take the fascist out of the Muslim fascists either.

Khalim Massoud, as a reform-minded Muslim, what do you think of this term? Do you “bristle” at the term in the way that Gartenstein-Ross says that moderate Muslims “almost uniformly” do?

Massoud: I define fascism as a totalitarian political ideology with an element of superiority. German fascism’s criterion of superiority was race. Islamic fascism’s criterion of superiority is religion. Otherwise both ideologies are practically identical.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross says “use of the term ‘Islamofascism’ makes it more difficult to work alongside moderate Muslims, who almost uniformly bristle at the phrase.” I couldn’t disagree more. As long as the user of the term makes a clear distinction between Islam and Islamofascism, moderate Muslims will not be offended by the term. And the ones who are offended are not moderate. In fact, moderate Muslims were the first to widely use this term to describe radicals in Algeria who murdered more than 100,000 of moderate Muslims.

I also disagree with Mr. Gartenstein-Ross’s contention that “treating al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way because both are ‘Islamofascist’ would run contrary to our strategic interests.” The strategic goals of al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood are identical; they both desire Global Caliphate. They may employ different tactics, but their objective is the same. And they both are Islamofascist organizations. Tactically, they need to be treated differently, but strategically they must be treated the same; these groups must be eliminated.

Starving terrorists of funding and turning them against one another hasn’t really worked so far. How can we possibly starve terrorists of funding when we are pumping billions of Petro-Dollars into Persian Gulf regimes? As for turning terrorists against each other, it might be working to some degree in Israel (Fatah vs. Hamas). However, in Iraq, Sunni terrorists are murdering Shia civilians and vice versa, but they don’t seem to be going after each other.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross says, “I think this is the right approach, and that the overbroad “Islamofascism” definition jeopardizes our ability to produce schisms between groups that in many ways are not alike.” I don’t think we can rely on these schisms, especially when history shows that supporting the lesser evil, i.e., Afghani mujahideen against the Soviets or Iraq against Iran, may backfire. I think the correct approach is not to focus on making different terrorist groups fight each other, but to empower moderate Muslims and have them fight the radicals.

Tefft: My view is a bit more simplistic, and at the same time an amalgam of the rest of the panel. Islam is indeed fascistic in that it is (like National Socialism, Communism and Fascism) both totalitarian and posits an absolute superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims. This is demonstrated in the Islamic system of dhimmitude and the second class citizenship of kuffars who, if not killed or converted, are forced to pay the ‘jizya’ – the infidel poll tax.

The problem with using the term Islamofascist though is that it implies there is a difference in Islam between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims — and this is misleading and therefore a disservice to our war effort. As the later Suras of the Koran indicate, Islam is to dominate the world, jihad is an obligation if not a duty of all Muslims, and all non-Muslims are to be converted, enslaved or killed.

As you know, the later Suras abrogate any contradictory earlier ones of “peace, love, and tolerance”. Given that the first duty of every Muslim, as an article of faith, is to accept the Koran as the literal word of Allah, is it possible for so-called ‘moderate Muslims’ to pick and choose which part of the Koran they will adhere to? To reject parts of the Koran? My understanding is that if a Muslim rejects the Koran he is rejecting Islam and Allah and is an apostate.

I think the evidence is clear that, as the Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan said about “moderate” Islam, this past August, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

In further support of Erdogan, it is interesting that no Islamic religious authority has pronounced takfir on bin Laden or al-Qaeda declaring them apostates for their terrorism in the name of Islam. This is not from fear of retaliation by the terrorists, but recognition of the fact that bin Laden is not violating Islamic principles. He is practicing Islam as the Koran and the Hadiths dictate.

Insofar as Muslims murdering Muslims, this is human nature and fascist or not, Muslims are humans. They are divided into tribes, and groups, with leaders who have ego problems. Bin Laden and the Ayatollah Khomeini agreed to an alliance in 1995 that the Shia-Sunni conflict was inevitable and would continue but that both sides, as Muslims, must devote their efforts against the main enemy, the Great Satan. After the defeat of the United States and the West, then the Shia and Sunnis would sort out their differences. This agreement has largely held, in spite of the word not getting through to some of the lower level elements who insist on blowing up each other’s mosques in Iraq and Pakistan.

FP: With all due respect, Bruce Tefft, to suggest that there is no difference between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims is completely erroneous. I don’t know if I am missing something, but I think there is indeed a difference between someone who is fascist and someone who isn’t fascist.

It is a given that Islam has an intrinsic problem and that it does serve as a foundation to terror. And it is crucial that people such as yourself have the courage to raise this and to drive the point home. But to suggest that all Muslims are the same, indistinguishable from one another, and all our enemies is absurd. There are organizations such as Muslims Against Sharia and the Muslim Canadian Congress that reject Sharia and reject jihad. There are Muslims, such as the two on our panel, Khalim Massoud and Thomas Haidon, who oppose extremism and are trying to bring Islam into the democratic and modern world. They are not replicas of Osama bin Laden, they do not share his agenda, and they are his enemy and our allies.

Does this mean that there is no problem in Islamic theology? No. Does it mean that Islamic moderates and reformers don’t face a huge challenge in their effort to change Islam, especially when it is true, as you point out Mr. Tefft, that Islam itself disallows any change to its own teachings (i.e. the Qur’an)? No. But this does not mean that there are not many Muslims who want to try to create their own new Islam and who want a relaxation of Islamic principles? Whether they can do this, and whether it is possible, is another matter, but to suggest that all Muslims are the same because there are huge obstacles to an Islamic reformation is based on fundamentally flawed assumptions.

And these kinds of arguments do deadly damage to our own cause since the Muslims who embrace Western civilization and seek to change Islam, whether this is possible or not, are our inspirational hope against radical Islam. They have weapons against the enemy that we do not have and we would be foolish to push them away and consider them our enemy, when they are not.

Thomas Haidon, go ahead.

Haidon: Accurate problem definition is a crucial component to addressing any policy question. The failure to accurately frame issues and problems almost ensures a misguided policy response to any issue. Ensuring that the terminology we use to describe a problem is accurate is crucial. There are real risks if we get it wrong or articulate the problem in a manner that is “under inclusive,” inclusive or “over inclusive” (as Mr Garenstein-Ross has observed). We have seen what happens, at a policy level, when an “under-inclusive” approach has been taken to addressing the Islamist problem. The US “war on terror” has consistently failed (other than in soundbites) to identify Islam’s role. This has lead to flawed policies which have forced “democracy” in the Arab world, which has led to the consequences in Egypt and the Occupied Territories and the resurgence of Ikwan and Hamas.

An over-inclusive approach to problem identification has just been demonstrated to us by Mr. Tefft. This approach not only marginalises the Islamists, but also moderate Muslims who are in a bitter fight for survival in the battle of ideas. Mr. Tefft’s approach is not one rooted in strategy. Moderate Muslims should be viewed by non-Muslims as partners in fighting Islamists. That being said, I can understand and sympathise with Mr. Tefft’s frustration. Moderate Muslims are not always easy to identify.

Overall, while I think there is some incongruence between fascism and the nature of the Islamist threat, at a high-level I think that Islamo-fascism is an appropriate descriptor of the problem. It is neither under-inclusive nor over-inclusive. The challenge we are confronted with is a political, confrontational and authoritarian interpretation of Islam. The writings of the 20th century Islamist revivalists (Hasan Al’Banna, Sayid Qut’b, Abi Al’a Al Mawdoudi, Sheikh Haj Amin Al Husseini) demonstrate approaches in common with fascism. When one reads the writings and teachings of these individuals, which are celebrated in the Muslim world, and which form the ideological basis of the full range of Islamist organisations and movements (from Ikwan to Hamas to Al’Qaeda), there is no mistake about the commonalities and shared characteristics with fascism of Giovanni Gentile or Carl Schmitt, particularly a disdain for democracy and fundamental human rights, in favour of the rights of the collective.

Islamo-fascism, as a term, is neither “under-inclusive” nor “over-inclusive”. It defines the enemy narrowly. It has the potential to isolate some moderate and traditional Muslims, not because of the accuracy of the term, but in its delivery. The methods and ways in which the term is delivered will have a bearing on how moderate and traditional Muslims will react. The term “Islamo-fascism” is now inextricably linked to the so called “right-wing” and those who have traditionally been critical and skeptical of Islam. This perception will continue to contribute to the lack of moderate Muslim “buy in”. In my view, the “right”, which is on the forefront of this fight, needs to develop a more strategic approach in engaging moderate and traditional Muslims. How to achieve this is another question, but one that is closely linked and requires examination. It should be a core assumption (not shared by Mr. Tefft), that moderate Muslims and peaceful traditional Muslims are partners in this process. As Mr. Massoud has indicated, they need to be empowered. The term “Islamo-fascism” has the capacity to be an empowering mechanism, if delivered effectively.

Spencer: Perhaps it would be helpful to step back for a moment and recall some of the features of the phenomenon we are trying to capture in a phrase. The 20th century Islamic revivalists to which Mr. Haidon refers wrote of the need for Muslims to make war against and ultimately replace any government not based on Islamic law with a Sharia regime. This is an explicitly and inherently religious imperative, as Maududi articulated when he said that non-Muslims have “absolutely no right to seize the reins of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines.” If they do, “the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.” The Islamic way of life – Sharia in its classic formulations by the schools of Islamic jurisprudence — is a total concept, encompassing every aspect of life, and subordinating every human endeavor to the Islamic cause.

Is this an Islamic imperative? Undeniably, to any rational observer — although this half of the “Islamo-Fascism” term is controverted even more heatedly than the other half. The Prime Minister of Great Britain has even forbidden his cabinet to use another compound, “Islamic terrorism,” or to suggest in any way that Islam has anything to do with the.the.the large thing that the world faces today. Yet proponents of this view are indeed, as Mr. Haidon said, revivalists: they are attempting to restore what they argue is the purity and fullness of Islam, and appeal to peaceful Muslims on that basis. Part of that fullness and purity is the proposition that there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular, and that Islamic law must be the law of the land.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross, however, is quite right when he points out that the term “Islamo-Fascism” has been applied to governments that are not strict Sharia or Islamic revivalist regimes, but are rather dictatorships that – as Hitchens notes regarding Malise Ruthven’s original use of the word “Islamo-Fascism” – “used religious appeals in order to stay in power.” Gartenstein-Ross correctly notes that sometimes these regimes, such as in Algeria, Egypt, and now Musharraf’s Pakistan, cracked down violently on “stateless Islamic militants” who hold an ideology identical to that held by those who attacked us on 9/11. This does complicate somewhat the usefulness of the term. If the enemy is Islamo-Fascism, can the U.S. have Islamo-Fascist allies such as General Musharraf?

Ruthven’s usage is perfectly legitimate: after all, Saddam Hussein, to take the most notorious example, headed an Arab nationalist secular regime, but he never hesitated to use religious language – specifically, the language of jihad warfare – to shore up his base and try to compel Islamic hardliners in Iraq to fight to defend his regime. Nevertheless, Saddam did not institute Sharia and had no desire to do so; Musharraf, despite his own occasional use of Islamic rhetoric, is now actively engaged in combating those who want to make over Pakistan into a strict Sharia state.

The term “Islamo-Fascist” may not, therefore, apply to them or to others like them as well as it does to the likes of Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakar Bashir and others who have made it clear that they are fighting for Islam and Islamic law as they see them: Saddam, Musharraf, Mubarak and the secular rulers of Algeria may indeed be authoritarians – fascists – but there is nothing specifically Islamic about their fascism other than the fact that they themselves are Muslim rulers of majority-Muslim states. The state envisioned by Osama and his ilk, in contrast, is just as authoritarian, but it is so in a strictly Islamic context – which is why those in favor of such a state – authoritarian and Sharia-based — merit the “Islamo-Fascist” label.

I disagree with Mr. Gartenstein-Ross, however, and agree with Mr. Massoud, about the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Gartenstein-Ross contends that “treating al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way because both are `Islamofascist’ would run contrary to our strategic interests,” but Mr. Massoud points out correctly that “the strategic goals of al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood are identical; they both desire Global Caliphate.” As the Muslim Brotherhood’s website itself says:

“We want a Muslim individual, a Muslim home, a Muslim people, a Muslim government and state that will lead the Islamic countries and bring into the fold the Muslim Diaspora and the lands robbed from Islam and will then bear the standard of jihad and the call [da'wah] to Allah. [Then the] world will happily accept the precepts of Islam….The problems of conquering the world will only end when the flag of Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed..The goal is to establish one Islamic state of united Islamic countries, one nation under one leadership whose mission will be to reinforce adherence to the law of Allah…and the strengthening of the Islamic presence in the world arena….The goal…is the establishment of a world Islamic state.”

That statement is quintessentially both Islamic and, in its authoritarianism and orientation of every aspect of society to Islam, Fascist.

As for Mr. Gartenstein-Ross’ contention that “the use of a polemical turn of phrase to `defin[e] the enemy we face’ can also limit the audience that one reaches,” and that “the term causes many people to stop listening-and to disregard otherwise legitimate arguments,” I’m afraid that is inevitable no matter what term one uses. People make decisions about the veracity of an argument based on who is making it, or where it is published, or what set of catch phrases are being used. That is true across the political spectrum. Dispassionate seekers after truth are as thin on the ground now as they were in Diogenes’ day, and we should not let that fact deter us from using a term that may be accurate, useful and in many ways illuminating.

And in light of the fact that the term is in both of its component parts accurate, I do wonder why, as Mr. Gartenstein-Ross says, moderate Muslims “almost uniformly bristle” at the phrase “Islamo-Fascism.” As I found myself saying many times during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, “Islamo-Fascism” doesn’t imply that all Muslims are fascists any more than “white racism” implies that all whites are racist, or “Italian fascism” that all Italians are fascist. So much for the term’s “overbreadth.” And will it “undoubtedly be applied against Islamic religious practice that is merely conservative and not violent”? A further distinction needs to be made here: are those engaging in this conservative but not violent Islamic religious practice believers in the Islamic supremacist notion that underlies the Sharia imperative? In that case, ultimately it matters little that they are “not violent,” for they are pursuing through non-violent means the same goal that Osama and others are pursuing through violence. There are many non-violent Islamic supremacists even in America today, and we need to be aware of the congruence of their agenda with that of the violent jihadists.

When Mr. Tefft says that “the problem with using the term Islamofascist is that it implies there is a difference in Islam between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims,” I think he is failing to draw the necessary distinction between Islam and Muslims. Religious traditions are large things, and while it is certainly true that all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate non-Muslims under Sharia rule, it does not follow from that that all Muslims, or any given Muslim, knows of such teachings, takes them to heart, or acts upon them — or ever will.

In Islam as in all religious traditions there is a spectrum of belief, knowledge, fervor and emphasis. Islamic supremacism has not, unfortunately, been disavowed by any orthodox sect or school of Islam, but for a variety of historical and cultural reasons these teachings have not been emphasized for a considerable period in some areas of the Islamic world. Because of the deep traditional roots of these teachings, jihadist recruiters in person and via cassette tapes, DVD’s and the Internet are making inroads in these peaceful Muslim communities, and have seized the intellectual initiative in the Islamic world. Nonetheless, there is a large difference between fascist and non-fascist Muslims.

Unlike many analysts, I do not believe we can encourage those non-fascist Muslims by pretending that the Islamic texts do not say what they say, or that the jihadists have no case to make on Islamic grounds; rather, I believe that their case can only be combated by being confronted for what it is. There may be considerable numbers of Muslims who would sincerely renounce Islamic supremacism if given a chance to do so. But since the problem is not even being presented in those terms, non-Muslims are too often fooled by false moderates and pseudo-reformers.

And one quibble: Mr. Tefft says that “the later Suras of the Koran indicate” that “all non-Muslims are to be converted, enslaved or killed.” Actually, the choices for non-Muslims delineated by Muhammad and Islamic law are not conversion, slavery, or death, but conversion, subjugation, or death (cf. Qur’an 9:29, as well as the hadith recorded at Sahih Muslim 4294). Subjugation is not, strictly speaking, slavery, although the distinction between the two at various points in Islamic history was exceedingly fine. Non-Muslims had to accept a humiliating second-class status and held their lives and property always at the sufferance of their Muslim overlords, but they were not slaves outright.

Hughes: The comments and responses in this symposium are useful and enlightening. I think this is just what is needed to characterize and define what our moderator (Mr. Glazov) refers to as “our enemy.” Some may think that referring to Islamic militants as the enemy is too polarizing, but from my view, as a feminist concerned about the well being and rights of women and girls, they are indeed one of the most serious, global threats to women and girls.

As for the term “Islamo-Fascism,” it is a compound term comprised of two essential elements. First of all, it connects the growing threat to the religion that the militants choose to explain and justify their beliefs and actions. They have chosen this base for their ideology. They proclaim themselves to be God’s warriors and call their actions jihad. Their opponents did not project it on to them. It may challenge us to precisely name and identify who they are, but the Islamic radicals are not confused. I know liberal, moderate, and progressive Muslims who also are not confused, they have no trouble distinguishing between the Islamic fundamentalists and Muslims who have different interpretations of the religious texts, especially as they translate the texts into how they live their lives and define their politics.

The second part of the term “Islamo-Fascism” is also important. “Fascism” clearly indicates that this is a political movement. We can debate whether “fascism” is the correct name or not. Some say it isn’t because it differs in some ways from previous fascist movements and regimes. Well, nothing is ever exactly like anything else. I’ll let the historians and political scientists debate this one. If they come up with a better term, they can let us know. The point is we need a term that names this phenomenon as a political movement with common ideology, tactics, and way of ruling once control of territory is established.

A political label also helps us distinguish the political movement from conservative, traditional practices. This distinction is most apparent when we look at the lives of women. There are many families, communities and entire nations that are conservative and traditional, which often translates into suppression and strict control of women and girls. Females are oppressed by discriminatory attitudes and practices, often reinforced by violence (i.e. honor killings). Feminists say that sexism is political. A rallying cry of the second wave of the women’s movement (1960s) was “the personal is political.” While I agree that the status of women and girls is always political, influenced by culture, religion, and traditional practices, I want to distinguish between the small “p” politics of traditional practices, and the capital “P” politics of Islamo-Fascism.

The small “p” politics of sexism is systemic discrimination that exists all over the world; sometimes it is so severe that it reaches the level of oppression. Women’s liberation movements have addressed sexism throughout the world, some more successfully than others. In the ideology and practices of Islamo-Fascism, sexism is politicized. The suppression of women is incorporated in the capital “P” political movement.

As the influence of Islamo-Fascism grows and as Islamo-Fascists gain control of territory, women and girls and their rights become political targets. As I like to say “Terrorism begins at home.” The most severe oppression of women and girls we have ever seen took place under the Taliban in Afghanistan, where girls were banned from education and women were banned from working and consigned to house arrest. They could only emerge from their houses if they covered their bodies and identities with a burqa and were accompanied by a male member of their family.

Islamo-Fascism politicizes sexism, making the oppression of women and girls a political goal. Their success in controlling a population can be measured by the extent to which they have suppressed women and girls. It is their visible sign-to the communities they control and to the outside world-that they are in control. Just as anti-Semitism is a global prejudice, with consequences–sometimes severe consequences-to individuals, it is when anti-Semitism is incorporated into a political movement, as it was with Nazism, that it becomes more virulent and deadly. That is what Islamo-Fascism is doing with sexism. Because even the most misogynous Islamo-Fascist recognizes the biological indispensability of women, they don’t advocate genocide. Instead they practice slavery. Women and girls who violate their rules are viciously punished with whippings. In order to terrorize the rest of the population, a few women and girls are killed, often in brutal public executions, such as stoning to death.

To conclude, it is important to have accurate term or terms to describe the global threat we are facing. The “war on terror” as a label has failed us. My students have no idea what it means. It carries no information. It doesn’t identify the enemies the war is against or their ideas and goals. In fact, it’s a rather sad state of affairs that six years after 9-11 and nine years after the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania we are still trying to decide what to call the people and movement that have targeted us.

In the end, we may decide there are better terms to refer to this militant, deadly political movement, but Islamo-Fascism moves us in the right direction of identifying and characterizing it.

Hitchens: I feel very much vindicated by the comments of the learned members of this panel: whether our disagreements are concerned with principle or with emphasis they are nonetheless of the sort that enable one to learn. I think that the most thin-skinned objector to the coupling of the terms “Islamic” and “fascist” would have to agree that this symposium has enlarged and clarified the subject.

I myself am of the opinion that monotheistic religious belief, with its celebration of an absolutist and unchangeable deity, is in any case implicitly and explicitly totalitarian. But this does not mean that every Baptist in every epoch is always and everywhere the equivalent of today’s members of the deluded “Mahdi Army”, say.

Fascism is not something that can be a permanent part of the landscape. It is hysterical and spasmodic and relies on very strenuous forms of mobilisation. Even when victorious it probably cannot constitute, for very long, a regime. Its tendency to self-destruction is very marked, as I tried to point out. However, it is in some ways precisely this futility and degraded romanticism that make it so dangerous.

I tried to introduce a version of the term because, as Marx says at the opening of the Eighteenth Brumaire, a person trying to learn a new language will always have a tendency to translate it back into the tongue that he already knows. I knew that there would be those who compared the struggle against jihadism to the Cold War (and I argued with Jim Woolsey and others that this was no time to resurrect The Committee for the Free World: an opinion of mine that events have not forced me to reconsider.) The battle, it seemed and seems to me, was very much more like the earlier struggle against an essentially irrational movement. Stalin and Mao may have been deeply unstable people but they were somehow constrained by a wooden materialism: religious intoxication can have the effect of making half-way sane people act with wild disregard for their own self-interest, let alone the interests of others. Khalim Massoud has noticed this demented tendency in the case of the Algerian jihadists, who ended up excommunicating an entire North African population as infidel. Similar pathologies are observable among the sadistic maniacs of Al Qaeda in Mesopotomia.

Let us not forget that ultimate victory over fascism was made possible in large part because of that movement’s own tendency to act in mad ways. (Declaring war on three fronts at once, expelling all those who knew anything about nuclear physics, diverting rail-cars and troops and materiel for the purpose of eliminating civilians.) Thus, in pointing out the kinship between one kind of irrational fanaticism and another, I was also hoping to put a bit of heart and stomach into the argument, and suggest a thoughtful confidence in ultimate victory. This confidence is given a slight surge, in my own case at least, by observation of the criminally insane and self-defeating tactics that the fascists of Islam have been pursuing since the fall of 2001.

I should add the anti-fascists of Islam, who have born much of the heat and burden of the day, deserve a much more honorable title that that of “moderate”. Perhaps this condescending terminology could furnish the material for a subsequent FP round-table.

FP: And the round-table on this subject will begin immediately. Thank you for the excellent idea Mr. Hitchens.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross, your turn my friend.

Gartenstein-Ross: At the outset, I’d like to agree with Hitchens’s remark that even “the most thin-skinned objector to the coupling of the terms `Islamic’ and `fascist’ would have to agree that this symposium has enlarged and clarified the subject.” In fact, I recently spoke with a “moderate” Muslim colleague (I put the term “moderate” in quotations not to suggest that my colleague is a closet extremist, but to signal my agreement with Hitchens’s statement of the term’s inadequacy) about Hitchens’s initial contribution to this symposium. On hearing that past usage of the terms “Catholic fascist,” “clerical fascist,” and “Judaeo-Nazi” mean that Islam is not being uniquely singled out, he commented, “As a Muslim, that makes me feel somewhat better about the term.”

That being said, I do not waver from my initial position in this debate: while the analogies between Islamic extremism and fascism are clear, and while Hitchens (and, perhaps, others?) has competently employed the polemical term to rebut those who would like to paint al-Qaeda as a kind of turbaned liberation theology, “Islamofascism” is not the term we should use to define the enemy. It seems that I am alone on the panel in taking that position: the only other contributor who opposes the use of this term is Tefft, who argues that it falsely “implies there is a difference in Islam between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims.” That is, obviously, not my argument. Now, it’s always pleasant to be the lone dissenter in a debate-particularly in a debate like this, where I’m not forced to distance myself from the kind of hypersensitive “how could you even think of using that term?” arguments to which the other panelists alluded. But because I am a lone voice, you’ll have to indulge the length of this summary of the reasons that I encourage others to avoid “Islamofascism” as a definitional term.

The first argument I advanced against the term is its overbreadth. Arab countries, for example, are generally no less fascistic than they were in 1990 when Malise Ruthven applied the term to Arab dictatorships-yet they are not the enemy that we’re fighting. My argument on this point has not been refuted. Haidon argues that the term is “an appropriate descriptor of the problem” because such twentieth century revivalists as Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and A.A. Maududi have approaches in common with fascism. (He also mentions Haj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, who had more in common with fascism than just an approach.) I don’t disagree with the parallels that Haidon draws, but they are not responsive to my argument: while “Islamofascism” is a fair description of the jihadist ideologues whose views drive al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements, it also describes many other actors in the Middle East. The term has been applied to groups ranging from al-Qaeda and Hizballah to the PFLP, Iraqi Ba’ath party, and Syrian Alawite elite. “Islamofascism” largely appears to have become a stand-in for “Middle Eastern bad guys.”

Spencer agrees that there is a problem with overbreadth, but attempts to mitigate it by pointing out that although Pervez Musharraf, Saddam Hussein, and other leaders in the Muslim world to whom the term “Islamofascist” might apply employ religious rhetoric, they have not implemented sharia law. Therefore, Spencer states, the term might not “apply to them or to others like them as well as it does to the likes of Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakar Bashir and others who have made it clear that they are fighting for Islam and Islamic law as they see them.” His argument is true enough if one emphasizes the “Islamo” half of “Islamofascism.” But if one emphasizes the “fascism” half of the term, it fits Middle Eastern regimes better than it does al-Qaeda. I do not deny the authoritarian nature of today’s militant Islamic movement, nor its conception of religious supremacy-but some Middle Eastern regimes explicitly drew their organizing principles from twentieth century fascist movements. George Michael (no, not the Wham! singer) writes in his book The Enemy of My Enemy:

The German model of centralized government and corporatist nationalism remained attractive to many of the early pan-Arab nationalists in Egypt, some of whom sought the creation of an “Arab Reich” that would unite all Arabs into one nation. The early pan-Arab leaders searched for methods to mobilize their populations and build independent nations. They were influenced in large part by European fascists who viewed the state as an organic outgrowth of the nation. As they saw it, only a strong, authoritarian state could protect the nation. Hence, the German model of bureaucratic centralization and authoritarianism looked attractive to many Arabs who sought an alternative way to modernize their countries.

This approach was most influential in Egypt, where such former Nazis as Otto Skorzeny, Johann von Leers, Wilhelm Farmbacher, Oskar Munzel, and Wilhelm Voss were given positions in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government. But former Nazi officials were granted sanctuary in other Middle Eastern states as well (notably Syria), and the fascist model was adopted elsewhere: recall that in my first contribution to this symposium, I quoted former CIA director James Woolsey’s statement that Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party was “modeled after the fascist regimes of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.” In contrast, if you look at the kind of rule that was set up under the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia, under al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in those parts of Iraq that came under its control, and more contemporaneously in northern Pakistan, these are not typical fascist states. Rather, their murderous political apparatus is somewhat unique. The same can be said of the long-term end-states laid out by both Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyah and also the international Hizb-ut-Tahrir movement. So if you give equal weight to both “Islamo” and also “fascist” in the term we are debating, overbreadth remains a problem.

My remarks about the Muslim Brotherhood have been somewhat misapprehended. Massoud decries the tactic of “supporting the lesser evil,” while Spencer quotes from the Brotherhood’s web site to show that the organization is “both Islamic and, in its authoritarianism and orientation of every aspect of society to Islam, Fascist.” I did not claim otherwise: in my first contribution, I said that both al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood should be considered “Islamofascist” if one employs that term. Massoud in fact makes my point for me by stating that, tactically, al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood “need to be treated differently.” One reason a definitional term like “Islamofascism” is not useful is that it may obscure the tactical need to deal differently with such groups. (Incidentally, I’m currently participating in a separate FPM symposium on the Brotherhood that further elucidates my views on the group.)

Massoud claims that turning terrorists against one another “hasn’t really worked so far.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A critical reason that the U.S. has made such gains in Iraq over the past year is our ability to engage locals through the Awakening movement, along with other institutions such as the Concerned Local Citizens. Our ability to “turn” former insurgents has been an important part of this. Turning former insurgents has reduced the pool of potential recruits for AQI, created a mechanism for allowing experienced Sunni fighters to provide security in their areas, established a security force with local knowledge of AQI (since many of these men were formerly aligned with or subordinate to AQI), and provided a reconciliation mechanism for incorporating large numbers of armed Sunnis into the security forces in their areas. It has also been an important part of convincing people to stop participating in the insurgency. I don’t think the U.S. has done a fantastic job of this beyond Iraq, but Iraq clearly shows that turning terrorists against one another can work.

My next argument was that, tactically, using a polemical term to define the enemy can limit the audience that one reaches. Spencer replies that “[d]ispassionate seekers after truth are as thin on the ground now as they were in Diogenes’ day”-and thus we shouldn’t worry about employing potentially alienating terminology. It is true that we live in an age where public commentary can be characterized by its cheapness, demagoguery, and overall cowardice. Yet I don’t think the situation is as bleak as portrayed by Spencer. If it were, why are any of us wasting our time engaging in public commentary about terrorism and religious extremism? None of the panelists has seriously disputed the fact that the term “Islamofascism” causes a portion of the one’s potential audience to simply tune out. Why use such a term when there are other options?

Finally, I argued that the term “Islamofascism” makes it more difficult to work with moderate Muslims. Certainly Massoud and Haidon provide examples of Islamic moderates who aren’t upset by usage of the term, but Massoud’s statement that “the ones who are offended are not moderate” is simply untrue. I personally know a number of moderate Muslims who take exception to that phraseology. It is true that some Muslim extremists masquerading as moderates have objected to the term, but it’s a category error to say that therefore any Muslim who objects to the term “Islamofascism” is not moderate.

I stated in my first contribution that some moderate Muslim objections to the term “Islamofascism”-and to other terminology used to describe militant Islam-are illegitimate. But are there legitimate objections? I think so. One legitimate objection is the term’s overbreadth, which I have already discussed at length. A second legitimate objection that I outlined in my initial response is the concern that the term will be employed against religious practice that is merely conservative and not violent. In response, Spencer asks whether “those engaging in this conservative but not violent Islamic religious practice” are “believers in the Islamic supremacist notion that underlies the Sharia imperative.” If they are, he argues that “it matters little that they are `not violent.’” While I do not want to excuse those who seek to impose brutal forms of sharia through non-violent means, I note that within virtually all religions there is a constant struggle to determine what the faith means, and how it intersects with society. Some Muslims, for example, define themselves as pro-sharia, but in fact mean that they incorporate sharia into their personal lives while favoring secularism in society. This approach appears contradictory at first, and only time will tell if it can gain traction. There are also some Muslims who define themselves as pro-sharia but interpret the sharia in such a way that it has little in common with the religious laws adopted by the Taliban, the Islamic Courts Union, or Saudi Arabia. I agree with Spencer that we do Muslim moderates no favors “by pretending that the Islamic texts do not say what they say,” but a distinction (albeit one that is not always crystal clear) exists between conservative and militant practices of Islam.

How do I define the enemy? Sadly, my own terminology isn’t all that exciting. I agree with Glazov that one cannot remove the word “Islam” from the equation because that is how bin Laden and others expressly frame their motivations. I tend to use the phrase “militant Islam” because we are contending with Islamic movements defined by their willingness to take up arms for their cause. I use the terms “radical Islam” and “extremist Islam” because Islamic terrorist movements are radical or extreme by any sane definition-and both terms signal that this is not.

http://www.aina.org/news/20080208141046.htm

‘Al-Qaeda training children’

February 7, 2008

TV3 News
US military in Iraq shows video of ‘Al-Qaeda training children

BAGHDAD (AFP) — Al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq are training young children as gunmen and kidnappers, the US and Iraqi militaries alleged on Wednesday,

AFP372 related articles »
EXCLUSIVE: Al Qaeda Trains Young Boys as Terrorists, Film Shows

The “I” [Islamofascism] word is denied in Dallas

January 27, 2008

The “I” word is denied in Dallas


original-atf-billboard-design.jpg
edited-atf-billboard-design.jpgcomment by Jerry Gordon

Pictures are worth a ten thousand words. Contrast these America’s Truth Forum Symposium bill board in Southlake, TX in the Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex. Note the very PC language changes in the two bill board design. The missing “I” word for Islamists says it all.

Note this comment from Bob Spencer at Jihad Watch:

Why the changes? The sales manager of a Dallas-area billboard company explained: “My boss wouldn’t go along with this type of advertising since we have an international clientele — some of whom might be on the other side.”

The other side? On the side of the jihadists?

Imagine an American billboard company in 1942 toning down an anti-Nazi billboard because, well, some of their clients are Nazis!

Hugh Fitzgerakd of Jihad Watch delves into the suppression of free speech in this Jihad Watch posting. He believes that the focus on terrorism, while important misses the opportunity to discuss the 800 pound elephant in the virtual room of ideas at the ‘next’ conference-cultural Jihad:

The next conference should not be about “Terrorism,” “Islamist” or otherwise. Instead, it should be all about the “instruments of Jihad.” And those instruments include, but are not limited to, terrorism. Subjects of talks should include, but not be limited to, these: “The Money Weapon, and How To Diminish It.” “Campaigns of Da’wa In The West, And How To Counter Them.” “Demographic Conquest by Muslims, and How To Halt, and Even Reverse It.”

Give the conference in New York.

Give a European version of the same conference in London, or Brussels, or Paris.

Don’t stop.

A tip of the chapeau to Stephanie.

January 21st, 2008 at 10:41 • Jihad Watchcultural JihadCensored billboards in DallasIslamic intimoidationAmerican Truth Forum Terrorism Symposium0 Comments

Note: Comments on articles are unmoderated, and do not necessarily reflect the views of American Congress for Truth, Brigitte Gabriel or the Editor or the staff of American Congress for Truth. Any comments that are off-topic, offensive, slanderous, harassing or otherwise annoying may be summarily deleted at the sole discretion of the Editor. However, the fact that  comments remain on the site IN NO WAY constitutes an endorsement by Brigitte Gabriel, the Editor or the Staff of American Congress for Truth. 

“Only” 50 killed in another bloody ISLAMIC Friday Prayer – Pakistan

December 21, 2007

“Only” 50 killed in another bloody ISLAMIC Friday Prayer – Pakistan

At least 50 dead in Pakistan suicide attack: police
AFP – (Dec 21, 2007)
CHARSADDA, Pakistan (AFP) — At least 50 people were killed Friday in a suicide bombing at a mosque in northwest Pakistan
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i1y90YOV-mzBNua_FKDPfoAuq3Ww

War on [Islamofascism] terror is real, and deserves concern

December 17, 2007


War on [Islamofascism] terror is real, and deserves concern

December 16, 2007 Editor, the Record:

Take notice, liberals (specifically the few John Edwards supporters out there).

A recent news headline reads: “Thousands in Sudan Call for British Teddy Bear Teacher’s Execution.” In summary, thousands of practitioners of Islam, the “religion of peace,” are calling for the death of an emigrant British teacher for nothing more than naming a teddy bear after Mohammed.

This type of irresponsible behavior may not come as a surprise to most sensible Americans, as they realize the threat of Islamofascism is very real, and if not dealt with, could result in another terrorist attack on our soil. But a key number of liberal politicians actively downplay this threat in an attempt to turn the citizens against the aggressive Bush administration.

Your opinion on the Iraq War is beside the point. Let’s both agree that the war on terror is very real, and not merely a “bumper sticker.”

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071216/NEWS04/712160323

As Muslims prepare for their Hajj – A Special Bloody Islamic Terror Week

December 15, 2007

As Muslims prepare for their Hajj – A Special Bloody Islamic Terror Week

Children Hurt in Pakistan Bombing
New York Times, United States – Dec 10, 2007
By DAVID ROHDE ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 10 — A suicide bomb attack on a military truck carrying schoolchildren outside a Pakistani Air Force base in …
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/11/world/asia/11pakistan.html?ref=world


Islamists regroup in Somalia; at least 17 killed
MSNBC – Dec 13, 2007
Dec 11, 2007 Islamic Boimbing in Algeria
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22245198/


Toll in Algeria blast rises to 37
Los Angeles Times
The discovery brings the total killed in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks to 37, according to Algeria’s Interior Ministry. A group called Al Qaeda in the Islamic …
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-algiers15dec15,1,1419073.story?coll=la-headlines -world


Los Angeles Times UN toll in Algiers bombing rises
BBC News, UK
More than 30 people died in the attack on UN refugee agency office and a court building in Algeria’s capital. Al-Qaeda’s North African wing said it carried …
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7145120.stm



Dec. 13, 2007
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A radical Islamic group that was driven from power one year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in …
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22245198/



Islamists Targeting Christians in Lebanon


Dec 13, 2007
Bomb Kills Lebanese General Who Battled Militants
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/13/world/middleeast/13lebanon.html?em&ex=1197781200&en=909aa6 2aad2e544b&ei=5087%0A


Lebanon bids farewell to army general slain in car bombing
The leader of Fatah Islam escaped the siege.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/14/africa/ME-GEN-Lebanon-Violence.php



Five killed in Indian train bombing
Radio Netherlands – Dec 12, 2007
New Delhi (13 December) – At least five people have been killed in a bomb attack on a train in the Indian state of Assam. The bomb was placed on the rails …
http://www.radionetherlands.nl/news/international/5556931/Five-killed-in-Indian-train-bombing




Dec 13, 2007
Iraqis mourning the victims of triple bombing in Amarah..
The provincial Health Department lowered the death toll from 41 to 28, citing confusion in the immediate aftermath of the first major bombing to hit the southern city during the Iraq war. At the same time, the estimate of the number of injured grew to at least 180, said Dr. Zamil Shiya, who heads the department…
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/world/iraq/bal-te.iraq14dec14,0,2915879.story



The Threat and siege of missiles attack from “Palestinians” on Israeli civilians


Power of repression
Soon, 250,000 Israelis will be in rocket range, but residents choose to ignore looming threat…
More than 100,000 people live in Ashkelon today. Should the Palestinian Grad missile do to this town what the Qassam rocket did to Sderot, soon there would be only 90,000 people living here. Hamas would grow the more Ashkelon shrinks. But here, for the time being, repression (of Israelis) is the name of the game…
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3482867,00.html


“Pamlestinian” masses behind genocidal Hamas rally
GAZA — About 200,000 Gazans rallied in support of Hamas on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of its founding.
New York Times, United States – Dec. 15, 2007
The Hamas rally was well-organized and not disrupted, and also featured speeches from Hamas founders and the leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Muhammad al-Hindi. Osama al-Mzeini, a Hamas leader, addressed the Qassam brigades, which are the armed wing of Hamas, saying: “The only language the enemy can understand is the language of power, of force. So speak to them in that language.”
Thousands, including women, sang along with a popular Hamas song, which starts: “A Hamas is not afraid of death.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/15/world/middleeast/15cnd-mideast.html?hp



Fatah official kidnapped in Gaza
Guardian Unlimited, UK – Dec 14, 2007
On Thursday there was another attempt to kidnap a Fatah official, which failed. After its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, Hamas militants …
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2227616,00.html


Hamas detains adviser to Palestinian PM
Media earlier reported that the high-ranking Fatah official…
http://en.rian.ru/world/20071214/92547600.html


At least five dead in Pakistan suicide bombing: army
Dec. 15 2007


ISLAMABAD (AFP) — At least five people were killed and several wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside an army facility in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, the military and police said…
Around 800 people have been killed in attacks this year, more than half of those in suicide attacks carried out since July — when the army killed about 100 people in a raid on a radical, pro-Taliban mosque in Islamabad.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g32hNuT6PnK-6Eh0xnEuWD7hTgGA



Bombings, unrest kill 14 in Afghanistan
Dec 15 2007


KABUL (AFP) — Two bombs struck the Afghan capital Saturday, one of them killing five civilians, while nine people died in new attacks in a Taliban insurgency that is in its bloodiest year so far, officials said.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jC0oCNOiy5TZCDYdz6rryKIkxeFA


 


Timeline of 11th day militant (ISLAMIC) attacks

December 13, 2007

Timeline of 11th day militant (ISLAMIC) attacks       
Thursday, 13 December 2007 
PARIS, Dec 12, 2007 (AFP) – Attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic groups which have been staged on the 11th day of the month: September 11, 2001: Al-Qaeda carries out its most devastating attack when militants slam hijacked passenger jets into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, while a fourth aircraft crashes in Pennsylvania. More than 3,000 people are killed. April 11, 2002: 21 people, including a suicide bomber are killed in an Al-Qaeda attack on a synagogue at the Tunisian resort of Djerba. March 11, 2004: Ten bombs explode on four early morning commuter trains in the Madrid suburbs, killing 191 people from 13 countries and injuring 1,841 others. The attacks are claimed by Al-Qaeda. April 11, 2006: At least 57 people are killed when bombs are set off during a Sunni Muslim religious ceremony with 50,000 people in the Pakistani city of Karachi. July 11, 2006: 183 people are killed and nearly 900 injured in bomb attacks on trains and railway stations in the suburbs of Mumbai, India. Authorities blame Islamic militants fighting India troops in Kashmir. The same day seven Indian tourists are killed in grenade attacks in the tourist zone of Srinagar, the main town in Indian Kashmir. April 11, 2007: Car bomb attacks on the Algerian government headquarters and a police station in the Algiers suburbs kill 33 people and injure more than 220. The attack is claimed by Al-Qaeda’s North African offshoot. July 11, 2007: Ten soldiers are killed and 35 people wounded when a suicide bomber rams a truck full of explosives into barracks in Lakhdaria, an Islamist stronghold in eastern Algiers. Again claimed by Al-Qaeda. 
December 11, 2007: A twin car bomb strike on a UN building and the Supreme Court in Algiers kills between 26 and 62, according to differing official and hospital tolls.
 
http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4064&Itemid=33

The 11th has become a day of choice for major Islamist terrorist attacks

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/11/africa/algeria.php

http://www.slate.com/id/2179800/

[Update on Islamic persecution, massacre of Christians in Lebanon] Christians Killed in Lebanon blast

December 12, 2007

[Update on Islamic persecution, massacre of Christians in Lebanon] Killed in Lebanon blast

 

Lebanon bomb kills senior army officer, 4 others
Reuters Canada, Canada -
By Nadim Ladki BEIRUT (Reuters) – A suspected car bomb in a Lebanese Christian town east of Beirut killed a senior army officer and at least four other
http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-12-12T064513Z_01_L12540081_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-LEBANON-EXPLOSION-COL.XML

Army general killed in Lebanon blast AFP – The standoff between pro- and anti-Syrian camps marks the country’s worst political crisis since the end of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g3m6swZF24n1EFhBo0Zs7iBl83Ew

Explosion kills four, including senior officer in Christian suburb The Canadian Press

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5h8GJr7a8uXZ7vN7bqFlkOufDw75w

 

Gen al-Hajj was chief of operations when Lebanon’s army fought Islamic militants from Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp earlier this year.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/click/rss/1.0/-/2/hi/middle_east/7139809.stm

Beirut blast kills a leading army officer and at least two deputies
Los Angeles Times, CA -
Lebanon’s Christian community, from which the country’s president is traditionally drawn, is also sharply divided, with some supporting the March 14 group …
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-beirut12dec12,1,1808825.story?coll=la-headlines-world

 

CHRONOLOGY: Events in Lebanon since Hariri’s killing
Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:03am EST

(Reuters) – A suspected car bomb near Beirut killed a senior military officer on Wednesday who was a leading contender to take over as army chief after the present commander becomes president.

Here is a chronology of some of the main events in Lebanon since former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was killed, along with 22 other people, on February 14, 2005.

February 28 – Pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami resigns.

October 20 – U.N. investigators say high-ranking Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies were involved in Hariri’s killing, in report to U.N. Security Council. Syria denies it.

December 12 – Gebran Tueni, anti-Syrian member of parliament and Lebanese newspaper magnate, is killed by a car bomb near Beirut.

July 12, 2006 – Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid, setting off 34-day war in which about 1,200 Lebanese are killed.

November 11 – Five pro-Syrian Shi’ite Muslim ministers from Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal movement, resign after collapse of all-party talks on their demand for more say in government.

November 21 – Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel is killed by gunmen. U.N. Security Council approves plans for tribunal to try suspects in assassination of Hariri and subsequent attacks.

December 1 – Hezbollah, Amal and supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun camp outside Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s office in central Beirut in open-ended campaign to topple government.

January 25, 2007 – Aid conference in Paris pledges more than $7.6 billion to help Lebanon recover from the war.

February 13 – Three people are killed in two bomb blasts near a Christian village northeast of Beirut.

June 13 – Anti-Syrian parliamentarian Walid Eido and five other people killed by a car bomb near a Beirut beach club

September 2 – Lebanese troops seize complete control of Nahr al-Bared camp after months of fighting with Fatah al-Islam militants. More than 420 people, including 168 soldiers, have been killed in the worst internal violence since the civil war.

September 19 – Car bomb in Beirut kills seven people, including anti-Syrian Christian lawmaker Antoine Ghanem.

September 25 – Parliament postpones a presidential election for the first of eight times in a bid to break a deadlock over a consensus candidate and end the political crisis. France leads mediation efforts for a deal on a presidential candidate.

November 23 – President Emile Lahoud leaves presidential palace

at the end of his term, without a successor.

November 24 – Siniora says his cabinet is assuming executive powers in the absence of a president.

Dec 5 – Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says rival Lebanese leaders have agreed on General Michel Suleiman as president.

Dec 11 – Berri postpones parliament session to elect Suleiman to December 17 to give rivals more time to reach broad political agreement.

Dec 12 – Car bomb kills Brigadier General Francois al-Hajj, the army’s head of operations, and a number of bodyguards in a Christian town east of Beirut.

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

March 5 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tells his parliament Syrian troops will start phased pullout from Lebanon.

April 26 – Last Syrian soldiers leave Lebanon.

June 2 – Samir Kassir, journalist opposed to Syria’s role in Lebanon, is killed in Beirut by a bomb in his car.

June 16 – U.N. investigation into Hariri’s killing starts.

June 19 – Lebanese parliamentary elections end in victory for anti-Syrian alliance led by Hariri’s son Saad al-Hariri.

June 21 – Former Communist Party leader and critic of Syria George Hawi is killed in Beirut by a bomb in his car.

October 20 – U.N. investigators say high-ranking Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies were involved in Hariri’s killing, in report to U.N. Security Council. Syria denies it.

December 12 – Gebran Tueni, anti-Syrian member of parliament and Lebanese newspaper magnate, is killed by a car bomb near Beirut.

July 12, 2006 – Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid, setting off 34-day war in which about 1,200 Lebanese are killed.

November 11 – Five pro-Syrian Shi’ite Muslim ministers from Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal movement, resign after collapse of all-party talks on their demand for more say in government.

November 21 – Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel is killed by gunmen. U.N. Security Council approves plans for tribunal to try suspects in assassination of Hariri and subsequent attacks.

December 1 – Hezbollah, Amal and supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun camp outside Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s office in central Beirut in open-ended campaign to topple government.

January 25, 2007 – Aid conference in Paris pledges more than $7.6 billion to help Lebanon recover from the war.

February 13 – Three people are killed in two bomb blasts near a Christian village northeast of Beirut.

June 13 – Anti-Syrian parliamentarian Walid Eido and five other people killed by a car bomb near a Beirut beach club.

September 2 – Lebanese troops seize complete control of Nahr al-Bared camp after months of fighting with Fatah al-Islam militants. More than 420 people, including 168 soldiers, have been killed in the worst internal violence since the civil war.

September 19 – Car bomb in Beirut kills seven people, including anti-Syrian Christian lawmaker Antoine Ghanem.

September 25 – Parliament postpones a presidential election for the first of eight times in a bid to break a deadlock over a consensus candidate and end the political crisis. France leads mediation efforts for a deal on a presidential candidate.

November 23 – President Emile Lahoud leaves presidential palace

at the end of his term, without a successor.

November 24 – Siniora says his cabinet is assuming executive powers in the absence of a president.

Dec 5 – Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says rival Lebanese leaders have agreed on General Michel Suleiman as president.

Dec 11 – Berri postpones parliament session to elect Suleiman to December 17 to give rivals more time to reach broad political agreement.

Dec 12 – Car bomb kills Brigadier General Francois al-Hajj, the army’s head of operations, and a number of bodyguards in a Christian town east of Beirut.

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL1220177520071212

______________________

Empty Lebanon presidency worries Christians
Reuters – Nov 28, 2007
By Tom Perry BEIRUT, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Christians fear a prolonged political vacuum while the post of president is filled will weaken their …
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL28414708

Syria shadow hangs over Lebanon vote, Harb says
Reuters – Dec 10, 2007
The opposition, led by Hezbollah, were seeking to secure “seats in cabinet, the person of the prime minister, who is going to be commander-in-chief of the …
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL1013164520071210

_____________

An older background of Islamic massacres on Christians, Lebanon 1976, Damour Massacre (that was the cause for Christian Arabs massacring “Palestinians” in Sabra Shatila in 1982) carried out by “Palestinian” Muslims and Syrian occupation

Damour’s Massacre Slideshow, Damour’s Massacre. Back to Pictures Directory :: Syrian Crimes Slideshow :: War in Ashrafieh Slideshow :: Bashir’s Assasination Slideshow
http://www.truelebanon.bravehost.com/pics/dampics-slideshow.html

Lebanese Forces : Historical Fact: The Massacre and Destruction of …Historical Fact: The Massacre and Destruction of Damour. Damour lay across the Sidon – Beirut highway about 20 km south of Beirut…
http://www.lebaneseforces.com/blastfromthepast002.asp

hobeika_damour – Do you not remember Damour Lebanon. Let me remind you. Arafat and the PLO plunged Lebanon into “massacres, rape, mutilation, rampages of looting and …
http://www.free-lebanon.com/LFPNews/hobeika_damour/hobeika_damour.html

unforgotten massacre damour The Christian-populated towns, Damour and Jiyeh, were massacred after a week of siege and intensive shelling on January 20, 1976 by a combined force of …
http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html

The MASSACRE at DAMOUR, (Jan 9) 1976 I was unfamiliar with the massacre at Damour so I looked in up. Unquestionably this was a terrible incident but you omitted two important facts: …
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1555079/posts

LebaneseForces.com – Damour Massacre (1976) Damour Massacre (1976) ….
http://www.lfpics.com/other/dammour/

Lebanon – Islamists “Palestinians” massacre of Christians in Damour that brought Christian Arabs killing “Palestinians” in Sabra Shatila
http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/67476

Palestinians brought problems on themselves

December 8, 2007

Jacob Amir: Palestinians brought problems on themselves
12/07/2007 10:07 am
Dear Editor: The authors of the column “Jews need to speak out on abuse of Palestinians” blame Israel for the difficulties facing the residents of Gaza.

One wonders if the authors can imagine what would have happened if, immediately after Israel left the Gaza Strip, all terror activity from there ceased. Which means no rocket launching, no weapons smuggling, no efforts to bomb the border crossing points, no efforts to send suicide murderers into Israel.

Then all the crossing points would have remained open, there would have been free merchandise exchange, thousands of Gazans would have been able to work in Israel, and it would have been possible to travel between the West Bank and Gaza. The Gazan economy would have been much stronger, and the daily life of the citizens would have been much better.

The authors do not tell us that the Palestinians chose to continue with their war of terror. As a result they brought nothing but disaster on their people. They infiltrated into Israel, killing two soldiers and abducting a third. In the last two years, since Israel left the Gaza Strip to the last inch, more than 2,000 Kasam rockets have been fired at Israeli villages and towns.

Like any other country Israel will do its best to protect its citizens.

Jacob Amir, Jerusalem, Israel

http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/letters/260896

Technorati –


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers