Thursday, March 26, 2015

Research on the Islamic State :: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi

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Research on the Islamic State

by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi
various publications
February 16 - March 15, 2015
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Propaganda materials distributed in support of IS in the Hadhramaut area of Yemen
Middle East Forum Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi is one of world's leading researchers on the Islamic State (IS) group terrorizing Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS. The overwhelming majority of his writings and translations are too detailed or esoteric for distribution to a general audience, so instead MEF compiles periodic updates providing links and summaries for those who wish to follow the groundbreaking work of this prolific researcher.
For more general interest writings by Jawad al-Tamimi, click here.
Some Evidence for the Islamic State's Presence in Yemen: Part I (Mar. 2)
An examination of the IS presence in Yemen, where jihadism has long been dominated by Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to Jawad al-Tamimi, available evidence suggests that IS assets in Yemen are "primarily activist in nature," with no "viable military force" on the ground. He includes a translation of a statement from the shari'a (Islamic law) committee of the Shabwa wilayat (governorate) of IS within Yemen.
Some Evidence for the Islamic State's Presence in Yemen: Part II (Mar. 3)
More on the IS presence in Yemen, with specific discussion of a translated statement from the Aden wilayet. Jawad al-Tamimi notes that this statement focuses primarily on the threat of Shi'a Houthi rebels, while ignoring American drone strikes – the bane of its AQAP rivals.
Islamic State Nasheeds and External Relations Dynamics (Mar. 8)
A discussion of the role of musical chants (nasheed) from IS's Ajnad Media Foundation in its efforts to coopt other jihadist groups. Includes a translation of the short IS nasheed, entitled "Spread the Good Tidings to All," that the Nigerian group Boko Haram used in its recent audio message pledging allegiance to IS.
The U.S. Anti-ISIS Strategy's True Cost (Mar. 2)
The Daily Beast
Jawad al-Tamimi argues that U.S. efforts to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria have served to empower Iranian militia proxies. Worse still, the lead role of Iraqi Shi'a militias in the fight to reclaim territory from IS may end up strengthening it by "bolster[ing] IS' narrative that it is defending Sunnis against a sectarian government."
Archive of Jabhat al-Nusra Dar al-Qaḍa Documents (Mar. 3)
A continuously updated selection of past and future translated statements and other materials released by Jabhat al-Nusra's Dar al-Qaḍa, a judicial entity established in August 2014 to impose stricter adherence to shari'a in areas of Syria under the Al-Qaeda affiliate's control. The growth of Dar al-Qada represents an abandonment of Nusra's "prior willingness to share Shari'a committees with other [less militant] factions," a response in part to criticism from IS that the group is lax in enforcing shari'a.
"We have come as soldiers for God"- IS Nasheed (Mar. 10)
A "haunting" nasheed released last month, most recently appearing in the videotaped execution of an alleged "Israeli spy" by IS.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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Amnesty International Alleges Palestinians Committed War Crimes

Steven Emerson, Executive Director
March 26, 2015

Amnesty International Alleges Palestinians Committed War Crimes

by IPT News  •  Mar 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm
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Palestinian terrorist groups violated international law and blatantly disregarded civilian lives by consistently firing missiles indiscriminately into Israel during last summer's war with Israel, Amnesty International reports.
The Amnesty report outlines evidence of numerous specific attacks launched from the Gaza strip that directly resulted in the deaths of Israeli civilians, including a 4-year-old boy. The report also strongly suggests that Palestinian attacks killed Palestinian civilians. For example, a missile fired from within the Gaza Strip killed 13 Palestinians, 11 of them children, after it landed in the al-Shati refugee camp. Even though Palestinians accused Israel for the attack, an independent munitions expert examining the evidence confirmed that Palestinians launched the missile.
"Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians. In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's director of the Middle East and North Africa Program.
Amnesty's report also acknowledges that all of the rockets used by Palestinian terrorist organizations are unguided missiles which are inherently indiscriminate and lack the capability to strike targets accurately. Moreover, the findings outline extensive Palestinian use of mortars, which should never be utilized against military targets located near residential areas.
Palestinian groups also violated international humanitarian law by using civilian buildings including United Nations (UN) schools and hospitals for weapons storage. The report outlines specific cases where terrorist organizations launched attacks very close to areas where hundreds of displaced civilians were seeking refuge.
Amnesty's report also suggests that some of Israel's counterterrorism operations should be investigated as war crimes as well and that both Israeli and Palestinian authorities should cooperate with United Nations (UN) commissions and the International Criminal Court.
Over 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip during the summer conflict, according to UN data. Roughly 224 of these projectiles hit Israeli residential areas, while Israel's Iron Dome intercepted numerous other rockets achieving a success rate of 90 percent.
Click here to read the full Amnesty International report.
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Eye on Iran: U.S., Iran Resume Talks on Preliminary Nuclear Deal as Deadline Looms

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Reuters: "The United States and Iran resumed negotiations on Thursday aimed at clinching a nuclear deal before a March 31 deadline, and officials close to the talks said some kind of preliminary agreement between Tehran and six powers was possible... U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz met their Iranian counterparts, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in the Swiss city of Lausanne... French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will go to Lausanne on Saturday to join the talks, a ministry spokesman said... 'The aim is to get a sort of memorandum of understanding that would be enough for Americans to take to Congress and the Iranians to keep to Khamenei's demand,' said a Western diplomat involved in the talks. 'The aim is to get something out by Sunday, although the deadline is March 31,' the official added. The main obstacle, Western officials say, remains Iran's refusal to compromise on sanctions, research and development and other issues."

Guardian: "Even if a deal is agreed during this week's international negotiations on key elements of Iran's nuclear programme, much of it may be kept secret until a final deadline at the end of June, a senior European official has said... A senior European official said: 'This is not the endgame this week. There will not be an agreement by the end of this week, because the agreement will only be done when all the technical details are down and that is quite a lot.' The official pointed instead to the greater importance of a second deadline, at the end of June, by which all the fine print and annexes of an agreement are required to be completed. The text on of that final agreement is still being worked on and 60% of it is said still to be in brackets, meaning it has not been agreed. 'What we'd like to achieve by the end of this week is an understanding on the key issues, key parameters,' the official said. However, it is unclear how much of that 'understanding' would be made public, lest it tie negotiators' hands for the remaining three months of bargaining and draw a backlash from hardliners in Tehran and Washington. One possibility is for a vague 'fact-sheet' to be issued in public, and Kerry provide more details in a closed session of Congress. If the framework deal is reached in the coming days, foreign ministers from the other negotiating parties - the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China - are expected to converge on Lausanne for a formal declaration and public handshakes. But it would be difficult to stage such an event without releasing some details of what had been agreed."

Reuters: "The United States wants major powers to reach a detailed political understanding with Iran by March 31 to clear the path for a long-term nuclear accord, a senior U.S. official said, while hinting that Washington could be flexible on its format. Speaking to reporters traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry to a new round of talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne, the senior State Department official added that Washington would not rush to complete an agreement just because there was a deadline... 'Any political understanding needs to address in some way all of the elements of a final agreement,' the official said late on Wednesday. 'We do not know what form this will take,' the official said. 'We have always said it needs to have specifics. We will need to communicate as many specifics as possible in some form or fashion (to the public and U.S. Congress).' ... 'If we get to March 31 and don't have a political understanding, we will have to evaluate where we are,' the U.S. official said. 'We will have to look at what we think the path forward is and we will make decisions based on that.'"

Nuclear Program & Negotiations

Bloomberg: "Negotiators aim to conclude a framework agreement over Iran's nuclear program by March 29, diplomats said as talks in Switzerland resumed after a week-long break. Reaching an understanding by Sunday is a best-case scenario and the sides may be forced to go until March 31, according to three European and U.S. officials, who asked not to be named in line with diplomatic rules. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is provisionally scheduled to attend an event with President Barack Obama and Senate leaders on March 30."

Reuters: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun to signal that Israel could resign itself to an Iranian nuclear deal that would leave its enemy with some uranium enrichment capability, a compromise he has long opposed. The shift seems surprising given Netanyahu's contentious speech to the U.S. Congress earlier this month in which he argued against world powers letting Tehran keep thousands of uranium centrifuges and remain on possible course to a bomb. But faced with Western impatience and White House wrath over the calls to avoid a 'very bad deal' - while offering no detailed alternative of his own - Netanyahu and his envoys are now engaging with negotiators on the small print of what Israel hopes will be a better agreement. Almost lost in the prime minister's March 3 denunciations in Congress was a line urging U.S. President Barack Obama to seek a 'better deal' that 'Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally'... Instead, officials say, Israel has been challenging Western powers on specific details of a deal, such as strong technical safeguards and extending the breakout time... A European diplomat confirmed this was now the Israelis' focus, saying that although they 'are clearly not fans of the one-year (breakout) they are principally concerned by research and development and want the most restrictions possible on it. The message is simple: stop all enrichment possibilities.'"

WSJ: "As President Barack Obama gets closer to a nuclear agreement with Iran, his handling of other foreign policy challenges could complicate his effort to convince Congress that a deal with Tehran would be effective. A key part of the White House sales pitch is the promise that if Iran does not comply with the terms of an agreement, the president would take other action to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama has made similar promises in dealing with Russia and Syria. The White House continues to threaten Russia with additional 'costs,' while President Vladimir Putin continues to defy the West. And Mr. Obama's decision in 2013 to back off of his threat of military strikes against Syria in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons raised doubt among U.S. allies and in Congress about whether he means what he says."

AFP: "Failure to secure a deal with Iran could mean a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, the foreign secretary warned in comments released on Thursday. 'I remain clear that no deal is better than a bad deal. But we should also be clear-eyed about the alternative,' Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a speech in London. 'No deal means no restrictions on enrichment, no restrictions on research and development, and no independent monitoring or verification. It means a fundamentally more unstable Middle East, with the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the region.' ... 'So now is the time, with our key allies, to build on the recent momentum, to press Iran where differences remain, and to strain every sinew to get a deal over the finishing line,' Hammond said. 'The door to a nuclear deal is open, but Iran must now step through it.'"

WSJ: "Talks over Iran's nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations. In response, these people say, the U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal, which would repeal U.N. sanctions against the country. 'Progress has been very limited,' Yukiya Amano, who heads the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Wall Street Journal this week. 'No more new issues' have been addressed... Iran's refusal to implement the IAEA work plan threatens to undermine the prospects for this comprehensive agreement, say diplomats involved in the talks."

Sanctions Enforcement

Reuters: "The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday that a subsidiary of Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings had pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions related to Iran and Sudan and would pay a $237.2 million fine. The oil well manufacturing company also agreed to a three-year period of corporate probation, during which it will cease all operations in Iran and Syria and hire an independent consultant to review its policies on complying with sanctions. 'For years, in a variety of ways, this foreign company facilitated trade with Iran and Sudan from Sugar Land, Texas,' U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. said. 'Today's announcement should send a clear message to all global companies with a U.S. presence: Whether your employees are from the U.S. or abroad, when they are in the United States, they will abide by our laws or you will be held accountable,' Machen warned. In a statement, Schlumberger said it voluntarily ceased oilfield operation in Iran as of the second quarter of 2013 and said it has ceased oilfield operations in Sudan as of the plea agreement."

Iraq Crisis

WashPost: "U.S. warplanes began striking Islamic State forces in and around the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday, drawing the United States directly into a battle that has pitted the militants against Iraqi forces dominated by Iranian-backed militias. Pentagon officials said that the Iraqi government had requested the assistance as the fight for Tikrit stalled as it moved into its fourth week. They said initial targeting for the strikes will be aided by U.S.-led coalition surveillance aircraft that recently began flying over the city, 110 miles northwest of Baghdad."

Yemen Crisis

Reuters: "Warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck Shi'ite Muslim rebels fighting to oust Yemen's president on Thursday, a gamble by the world's top oil exporter to check Iranian influence in its backyard without direct military backing from Washington. Riyadh's rival Iran denounced the assault on the Houthi militia group, which it backs... Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV reported that the kingdom was contributing 100 warplanes to operation 'Storm of Resolve' and more than 85 were provided by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan... A United Arab Emirates official expressed Gulf Arab concerns about Iranian influence in Yemen. 'The strategic change in the region benefits Iran and we cannot be silent about the fact that the Houthis carry their banner,' UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash wrote on Twitter."

LAT: "Secret files held by Yemeni security forces that contain details of American intelligence operations in the country have been looted by Iran-backed militia leaders, exposing names of confidential informants and plans for U.S.-backed counter-terrorism strikes, U.S. officials say. U.S. intelligence officials believe additional files were handed directly to Iranian advisors by Yemeni officials who have sided with the Houthi militias that seized control of Sana, the capital, in September, which led the U.S.-backed president to flee to Aden. For American intelligence networks in Yemen, the damage has been severe. Until recently, U.S. forces deployed in Yemen had worked closely with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi's government to track and kill Al Qaeda operatives, and President Obama had hailed Yemen last fall as a model for counter-terrorism operations elsewhere."

Opinion & Analysis

Amb. Dennis Ross & Eric Edelman in JINSA: "After two renewed negotiating deadlines and more than a year of talks, momentum appears to be building for a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Specific parameters may remain unresolved, but the emerging contours of a prospective deal raise several fundamental concerns that must be addressed by Congress and the Obama Administration before there could be any assurance it would further U.S. national security interests. Given the information currently available, a comprehensive agreement building on the JPA clearly would fall significantly short of this Task Force's baselines for an acceptable comprehensive agreement, as spelled out in previous reports. Multiple issues must still be clarified, resolved and strengthened before the basic tenability of the prospective agreement could be assessed properly. The Obama Administration must explain how it envisions imposing restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to prevent it from obtaining an undetectable nuclear weapons capability. Before considering taking any agreement to the United Nations, the Administration must address very real and legitimate concerns from Congress about an agreement over which it has had no substantive input, and which it justifiably fears would be implemented without its consent. Indeed, Congress's voice and vote is vital to the credibility and durability of a final deal. The two branches must work together in advance of a final agreement to set the terms that would be acceptable to the United States, not just to the Administration. They must also define every class of potential Iranian violation and the specific responses to each."

Sadegh Zibakalam in Politico: "The nuclear negotiation between Iran and the United States represents a historic shift-one that is actually more significant for Iranians than it is for Americans. If there is a deal over the next week, as the two sides approach their end-of-March deadline, it will severely undermine the ideology that has been in place since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Republic in 1979, and which regime hardliners have used to great effect to consolidate their power: anti-Americanism as a legitimizing force. For more than 35 years, any liaison whatsoever with the United States has been perceived in Iran as simple treason. Any taint of involvement with the United States by anyone has politically undermined the alleged perpetrator and shored up the regime. Every misfortune and disaster the country confronted was blamed on U.S. intrigues against the Islamic Revolution: Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in 1980 and subsequent eight-year war with Iraq; the massacre of more than four hundred Iranian pilgrims in Mecca in 1986; the fall of the oil prices in the late 1980s; the assassinations of hundreds of Iranian revolutionary officials by the People's Mujahidin and everything else that went wrong in post-revolutionary Iran. The Islamic Revolution was turned into a historic struggle against the U.S. aggressor. Now, for the first time since the founding of the Islamic Republic, Tehran and Washington are openly negotiating, and they may be close to an agreement. Were that to be achieved, the Iranian government would have to own up to a new reality that would be a hammer-blow to hardline thinking and could pave the way for the two countries to cooperate on mutual concerns in the region, including in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and even Lebanon. If the talks fail, on the other hand, it could all easily backfire and play into the hands of the hardliners once again. And we will all be back where we were... It is against this background that the West should view Iran's willingness to negotiate now over the nuclear dispute. Any concession in the country's nuclear activities has been seen, until today, as tantamount to giving in to Western arrogance. Hardliners in Iran would invariably see any suggestion of an easing of hostility between the two countries as a treasonable course, and a path which deviated from Khomeini's path. So this is another revolution for Iran-and if the talks succeed in a deal it could be an enduring revolution. It will undercut the hardliners who have been using anti Americanism as a powerful fuel to justify a wide range of policies both domestically and internationally and exploit Anti-Americanism to justify their mismanagement and wrongdoings. At the same time it will create a more appropriate climate for moderates and reformists inside the country who won't fear engaging in serious conversations with hardliners on both domestic and international concerns, as they will no longer have to labor under the fear of being accused of being pro-American."

John Bolton in NYT: "The Obama administration's increasingly frantic efforts to reach agreement with Iran have spurred demands for ever-greater concessions from Washington. Successive administrations, Democratic and Republican, worked hard, with varying success, to forestall or terminate efforts to acquire nuclear weapons by states as diverse as South Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa. Even where civilian nuclear reactors were tolerated, access to the rest of the nuclear fuel cycle was typically avoided. Everyone involved understood why. This gold standard is now everywhere in jeopardy because the president's policy is empowering Iran. Whether diplomacy and sanctions would ever have worked against the hard-liners running Iran is unlikely. But abandoning the red line on weapons-grade fuel drawn originally by the Europeans in 2003, and by the United Nations Security Council in several resolutions, has alarmed the Middle East and effectively handed a permit to Iran's nuclear weapons establishment. The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel's 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed. Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities. So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. An attack need not destroy all of Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what's necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran's opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran. Mr. Obama's fascination with an Iranian nuclear deal always had an air of unreality. But by ignoring the strategic implications of such diplomacy, these talks have triggered a potential wave of nuclear programs. The president's biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East."

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

Offense Welcome: In Defense of Free Speech on Campus

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Offense Welcome: In Defense of Free Speech on Campus

by Daniel Mael  •  March 26, 2015 at 5:00 am
Banning such events, speakers and displays is not the answer. It is a stance not only intellectually bankrupt, but one that solidifies a dangerous precedent: the intolerance of free speech.
Removing dissent -- however morally intended -- is intrinsically antithetical to education, especially at a university.
The greatest problem with the current lot of anti-Israel voices is not that they are "offensive" or "mean;" it is that what they say contains outright lies and falsehoods.
However malicious or misguided, the speech and conduct of those who oppose Israel --who cannot or will not see the difference between an open, tolerant democracy and repressive, authoritarian governments -- should be refuted, not suppressed.
UC-Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian addresses an anti-Israel rally on July 20, 2014, appearing in front of a man carrying a sign saying, "We captured Israeli soldiers in Gaza". (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)
In 1902, the Russian Jewish author and early Zionist leader, Ze'ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) responded to a fellow journalist's effort to label Zionism as "historically retrograde", "politically reactionary" and "unworkable". "Defame it if you must!" he wrote. "The dream is greater than its slanderers. It need not fear their calumny." [1]
In 2015, the pro-Israel campus movement, through its collective attempt to combat anti-Israel forces, risks failing to uphold Jabotinsky's proclamation.
Supporting Israel is now labelled an act of "racism" by some professors and certain campus organizations, such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Opposing Israel, however, is not considered the actual act of racism that it more likely is.

Turkey: Davutoglu vs. Davutoglu

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 26, 2015 at 4:00 am
Turkey's Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is probably the world's first ever politician demanding votes to end his own rule.
Burak Bekdil writes that in order to help Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) expand his executive powers, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is probably the world's first ever politician demanding votes to end his own rule. (Image sources: World Economic Forum; CFR video screeenshot)
In a speech in parliament on Jan. 28, Turkey's main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, addressed Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu: "You are not the prime minister. You are [a "photo-op"] kid seated on the prime minister's chair."
The weird situation Davutoglu has found himself in is the product of his boss and predecessor, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Last summer, as election season approached, then Prime Minister Erdogan and President Davutoglu tightened their grip on the internet. The duo deliberately limited their citizens' access to social media and to popular and informative websites. They also increased the government's power over the courts and the power of the MIT (Turkish intelligence Agency) to spy on people. None of this stopped the AKP from winning at the polls.
Shortly after Erdogan won the presidential election in August, he nominated Davutoglu to be his successor as party chairman and prime minister.

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A guide to the dark side

Canada: Muslim chemistry student suspected of jihad terror activities released with order to “keep the peace”

Canada: Muslim chemistry student suspected of jihad terror activities released with order to “keep the peace”


What could possibly go wrong? “RCMP release P.E.I. chemistry student suspected of terrorism activities with an order to ‘keep the peace,'” by Douglas Quan, National Post, March 25, 2015:
Two different pictures emerged Wednesday of a Prince Edward Island university student who is the target of a national security probe.
In the eyes of the Mounties, Seyed Amir Hossein Raisolsadat was on the verge of committing a terrorism offence, which is why they say they made the rare move of asking for a peace bond to limit his movements.
But friends and acquaintances chalk it up to one big misunderstanding, saying that Mr. Raisolsadat, 20, is a smart young man from a good-mannered family and not capable of violence.
The RCMP would not divulge how Mr. Raisolsadat came to the attention of police or what activities they suspect he was involved in. But it appears that the investigation has been in motion for a while.
A friend, who asked not to be identified, said police came to him about a year ago to ask questions about Mr. Raisolsadat.
“They asked the same things you’re asking me now,” the friend, who went to Colonel Gray High School with Mr. Raisolsadat, said Wednesday.
The friend said Mr. Raisolsadat gets good grades and has a passion for chemistry. He can be a bit of a braggart at times, someone who likes to “act tough” and talk politics. “But he’s not a military person, he’s not a terrorist — just a typical guy,” the friend said.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox said Wednesday that police will “pursue an application for a [court] order to keep the peace and be of good behaviour if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a person may commit a terrorism offence.”
Court documents show that Mr. Raisolsadat was arrested and released Tuesday on the condition that he remain in the province, abstain from possessing a firearm and report weekly to the RCMP headquarters in Charlottetown. He is due back in court on April 20….

Ben Shapiro: Obama's Faith in Iran

Ben Shapiro: Obama's Faith in Iran


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President Obama has made it one of his chief missions to reach out to the Islamic Republic of Iran. His attempt to cut a nuclear deal with Iran – a deal that would leave Iran with a huge number of centrifuges intact and a crippling sanctions regime against it largely removed – is merely the latest signal that the President has faith that the Iranian dictatorship can be an ally to the United States. In 2009, Obama said this:
My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community.  This process will not be advanced by threats.  We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect. You, too, have a choice.  The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations.
In 2009, Iran began shooting dissenters in the streets.
Obama said this particular shooting was “heartbreaking” and blathered about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. Then he went back to catering to the mullahs.
In 2011, Obama did virtually nothing when Iran began filling the vacuum left by the United States in Iraq. This week, Obama signaled that he was ready to cut a deal with Iranian-backed Syrian dictator Bashar Assad – a man he said “had to go” after Assad used weapons of mass destruction on his own people in 2011. Earlier this year, the Obama State Department labeled the radical Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen – a group that burns American flags and screams “Death to the Jews” – a “legitimate political constituency.” This week, Obama celebrated the Iranian holiday of Nowruz at the White House, with Michelle Obama gushing, “I think it’s so fitting we’re holding this celebration here today.”
How wrong is Obama about Iran?
Let’s look back at history. In 1979, after Jimmy Carter let the Shah of Iran fall, the Ayatollah Khomeini took over. The new regime promptly popularized the slogan “Death to America,” and took Americans at the embassy hostage. Every Friday for the last 37 years, massive prayer sessions led by the mullahs chant that slogan. Here’s one from last year, as our friends at MEMRI reveal:

Murals like this one are not uncommon across Tehran.
It’s not just sloganeering. The bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983 was carried about by Hezbollah, a Shiite Iranian proxy group. The United States believes that Hezbollah was behind the bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut that same year as well, and Reagan reportedly thought about bombing Iranian Revolutionary Guard stations in retaliation. The continuous kidnapping of Americans ended up leading to the Iran-Contra scandal when the Reagan administration began smuggling weapons to the Iranians in an attempt to free American hostages. During this period, the Iranian regime used child soldiers; the president encouraged those above the age of 12 to volunteer. A reported 95,000 children under the age of 18 were wounded or killed in the war.
Iran provided significant material support for the 9/11 hijackers. According to the 9/11 Commission Report:
Senior managers in al Qaeda maintained contacts with Iran and the Iranian-supported worldwide terrorist organization Hezbollah, which is based mainly in southern Lebanon and Beirut. Al Qaeda members received advice and training from Hezbollah. Intelligence indicates the persistence of contacts between Iranian security officials and senior al Qaeda figures after Bin Ladin's return to Afghanistan…we now have evidence suggesting that 8 to 10 of the 14 Saudi "muscle" operatives traveled into or out of Iran between October 2000 and February 2001….In sum, there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.
The Commission concluded, “We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. government.” No further investigation ever took place.
During the Iraq War, the Iranian government heavily facilitated the rise of Shiite militias dedicated to the murder of American troops. In Afghanistan, they provided material support to the Taliban to assist in the murder of American troops. All of this continued during the Obama administration. Obama’s own Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said in 2011 that Iranian-backed militas were “killing our troops” in Iraq. He said that Iranian officials “know about it.” “Iran is playing an outsized role,” Mullen said. “That has to be dealt with. It’s killing our people.”
Obama’s solution: pull out of Iraq and hand the country over to Iran, which had already helped turn the country into shambles with its allied leader, Nouri Al-Maliki, cleaning security forces of Sunnis. His replacement is an even more pro-Iranian leader, Haider al-Abadi.
Even as the Iranian economy suffers from global sanctions and Saudi attempts to undercut Iranian oil prices, Iran’s expansionism grows. Iraq. Syria. Lebanon. Yemen. The Saudis live in fear. So do the Jordanians and the Egyptians.
Iranian power over the past three decades has meant thousands of dead Americans. But Obama keeps pushing for Iranian power nonetheless. Which means thousands more dead Americans in our future.

Challenging Islam’s Warrant to Kill

Challenging Islam’s Warrant to Kill


Last week the Islamic State’s ‘Hacking Division’ released the names and addresses of one hundred US military personnel.  It urged the ‘brothers residing in America’ – i.e. American Muslims – to ‘deal with’ them, which is to say, it wants them killed.

There is much talk these days of radicalization and deradicalization. At the heart of both processes are religious ideas: theological dogmas.  What are some of the key theological principles which might cause a Muslim to take this call seriously? What is the Islamic reasoning given by the IS Hacking Division in support of its call to kill non-Muslims?

The Hacking Division quote two verses of the Qur’an:
  • Sura 9:123 ‘fight believers who are near to you’ and
  • Sura 9:14 ‘Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them, and satisfy [actually yashfi ‘heal’] the breasts of a believing people’.
The meaning of these two verses hangs upon the word qātilū, translated here as ‘fight’. The verbal root q-t-l from which qātilū is formed means ‘kill’, so the the Arabic actually means ‘fight to kill’ (see discussion here). These Qur’anic verses truly are commands to kill non-Muslims.

The second quoted verse, from Sura 9:14, puts forward a view concerning what Muslims should do about emotional pain and anguish they may experience because of unbelievers.  ‘Allah’, the verse says, ‘will heal the breasts’ of Muslims, – and then the sentence continues into the next verse – ‘and remove the rage of their hearts’.

The key concept here is that if Muslims have strong feelings, including anger, against non-Muslims, their emotional distress will subside and be ‘healed’ as they kill, humiliate and triumph over non-believers. Strange therapy indeed for the human soul!  According to the Qur’an, in order to secure inner  ‘peace’, calm within the Muslim soul can be secured by shedding non-Muslim blood.

These are stock-standard verses used to urge Muslims to go for jihad against disbelievers. However what most caught my eye in the Hacking Division’s call to arms against infidels in America was but a reference to Muhammad’s teachings. The Hacking Division refers to hadith 4661 in a published English version of the Sahih Muslim (translated by Abdul Hamid Sidiqqi).

The Sahih Muslim is one of the most revered and authoritative sources for the teaching and example of Muhammad, whose life is considered exemplary and compulsory for Muslims to emulate.  This particular hadith can be found on page 1263 of Volume 3 of the English edition:
Chapter 789 (DCCLXXXIX)
About a man who killed a disbeliever and embraced Islam.
(4661) It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: A disbeliever and a believer who killed him will never be gathered together in Hell. [See here.]
This is a most significant statement. It is saying that if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, they cannot both end up in hell.  The alternative to hell is paradise, so in other words, killing a non-Muslim – who is destined for hell due to their unbelief – can provide a sure ticket to paradise for a Muslim.

This tradition is the authority for a view widely put about by jihadis, that if a Muslim personally gets to kill a disbeliever, the Muslim will gain paradise.  Put together with with the famous belief that for a Muslim to be ‘martyred’ in jihad opens the gates of paradise (see Sura 3:169-170; 9:111; and 22:58), fighting to kill non-Muslims can be a ticket to glory, win or lose. Either one kills and gains a get-out-of-hell free card, or one is killed and gains a get-into-paradise-free card. This is a win-win proposition for the jihadi.

Persuading Muslims to take the words of Muhammad seriously is the core strategy of radicalization.  This tactic works as well as it does because it appeals to a plain reading of Islam’s holy texts.
To be deradicalized, a Muslim needs to repudiate the theological authority of the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. This is a hard call for pious Muslims. Ayan Hirsi Ali was surely correct in her recent essay calling for reform of Islam when she wrote that
‘the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.’
Hirsi Ali also declared:
‘we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.’
Hirsi Ali was right: the West needs to engage with and repudiate the Islamic dogmas that killing or being killed in murderous attacks against non-Mulims is some kind of golden key which unlocks the gates of paradise. Until these beliefs and the canonical teachings they rely on are acknowledged and repudiated, the lives of non-Muslims will continue to be discarded as the ‘ticket to paradise’ of Muslim belligerents.

Hadiths such as 4661 from Sahih Muslim, and the Qur’anic verses cited here are a genuine part of the Islamic canon. Such verses remain unrenounced and unrepudiated by a great many Muslims and Islamic institutions today.

As long as such texts are not repudiated, the theological winds of Islam will all too easily continue to sweep pious Muslim hearts and minds towards radicalization, a process which exalts the idea that the lives of infidels are disposable.

Islam’s warrant to kill infidels is an idea which deserves to be exposed, challenged, thoroughly debated, and rejected.
Don’t miss the Glazov Gang’s 2-part series with Dr. Mark Durie on Jihadist Slavery and Rape — and Islam-Denial and Our Fear of Islam:
Part I:

Part II:
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