Archive for Islam

Are Jews Safer In Europe Or In Israel?

The title refers to a conversation that a lot of us are having. Is it better to be surrounded by armed police, the military and trained civilians.. or is it better not to see those people around you day after day? A friend is in favor of the latter (she just feels safer not having that stuff in her face) but I am very relaxed in Israel because of the presence of so many trained eyes – and protective weapons.

Contrast and compare:

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Monday that it has arrested a Hamas cell in the West Bank city of Hebron which planned numerous terror attacks against Israeli targets, including a suicide bombing.

The Shin Bet, in conjunction with the IDF, arrested the eleven operatives in January. The central suspects in the terrorist activity are Sahaib Mamun Saltan, 20, from Hebron, and his cousin Salam Abbas Saltan, 28, a Hamas military operative who in recent years served a term in Israeli prison and was, on another occasion, held in administrative detention. During the arrests, explosive devices and weapons allegedly meant to be use in the terror attacks were confiscated.

According to the Shin Bet, the two admitted during interrogation to attempting a terror attack in December 2014 in Tel Rumeida in Hebron. The suspects wished to draw IDF soldiers by throwing an explosive device to a point where a powerful explosive was buried and then detonate the explosive against the soldiers. Due to a technical glitch the explosive failed to go off.

The suspects planned a number of different kinds of terror attacks, collecting intelligence on places where Israelis were present in Hebron and Jerusalem in order to carry out attacks against them. A number of the suspects expressed willingness to serve as suicide bombers.

Europe:

I rounded the corner and started examining the London townhouses, knowing the one I sought would be devoid of markers announcing any Jewish presence. Finally spotting the synagogue, I went to climb the stairs when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw two men in dark coats cross the street and call to me. I knew who they were and what they wanted.

Questions and answers.
“Where are you going?”

“To synagogue.”

“Where are you from?”

I paused, because I’m never really sure of that answer any more. “New York. I work for New York University, I’m visiting.”

“Where do you go to synagogue?”

Again, I faltered. There were too many answers to that question. “Well, I’m originally from Seattle and there I went to Shevet Achim.”

“Who is your rabbi?”

In Seattle? New York? “Well, it’s complicated, but Rabbi Yehuda Sarna.”

“Ok, and do you keep Shabbat?”

“Yes”

“Do you have ID?” Trick question.

“No, but I emailed my passport copy to the shul on Thursday.”

“OK, and is there anything in your pockets?”

Just my hands, I showed them. Convinced, they radioed inside and the doors opened.

Question and answers.

I was late, arriving only in time for kiddush. I stayed for minchah to make up the difference.

Leaving in a light drizzle, I began to cry. The streets of London aren’t like those of New York City, where crying in public is par for the course, almost a right of passage. I clasped one hand over my mouth and the other to my gut, pulling my sorrow back inward.

I tried to name my sorrow as I walked to lunch. I have had to prove my Judaism before, and in ways far more painful. But never had I done so in order to simply enter a shul. Never had shibboleth been needed in order for me to pray in community. The questions were like those asked by El Al security before a flight to Israel.

Exactly. In order to enter or leave Israel, you answer questions and security decides if you are ok or not. But once there, you are protected. In Europe, the dwindling Jewish communities do their best, but every so often a kosher grocery store in shot up (4 dead), a school is attacked (4 dead), you are spat upon on the streets if you wear clothing that indicates your religion, and the rabbis have advised against doing so, but each time there is an antisemitic attack, Europe proclaims its love for its Jewish citizenry. Hatred of Israel, sure, but love of Jews in Copenhagen, London, Paris, Toulouse… I mentioned the some of the deaths, but none of the death threats or the burned synagogues, nor the fact that most Jews are afraid to send their kids to public schools because they will be attacked for their faith.

So I think that Israel is safer. It is much better to know that you are a target than to pretend that you are not.

– Aggie

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Europe Furious That Netanyahu Wants Jews To Leave Europe

The very definition of chutzpah

The Metro is the free paper which is available in the tube, in London. Here’s the front page:

metro

Once again, a European Jewish community has been targeted by Islamist terrorism, this time in the Danish capital Copenhagen. For Metro, however, the story isn’t about 37-year-old Dan Uzan, murdered as he stood guard outside a synagogue.

No, it’s all about Benjamin Netanyahu and the opportunity to turn his call for European Jews to make Aliyah into the issue of the day. And splashed all over the front page no less.

And what about The Guardian? Simon Tisdall is the assistant editor and a foreign affairs columnist. His reaction to the Copenhagen terror attack reveals so much about the current trend of thought that still blames the victims for the terror.

Some choice excerpts:

The Copenhagen gunman may turn out to have a similar background [to those of the Paris terrorists], and likewise to have been a lone loose cannon. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility. But the febrile backdrop against which this individual’s crime took place is only too evident: a shooting war with Islamists across large swaths of the Muslim world, growing Islamophobia in western Europe, ever greater polarisation over Israel-Palestine – especially since last year’s Gaza conflict – and a linked rise in antisemitism. [See, it’s the Jew’s fault – Aggie]

To further buttress his willful blindness, Tisdall writes:

David Cameron and Barack Obama lined up on Sunday to defend these values [freedom of speech and religion]. They might be more usefully employed in acknowledging that many current problems can be traced back to the Anglo-American destabilisation of post-2003 Iraq and to the west’s connivance in the suppression of Arab spring pro-democracy uprisings.

But perhaps most insultingly, Tisdall concludes:

In the short term, calls for increased security for frightened Jewish communities, including in Britain, are wholly understandable. Muslim communities deserve similar consideration. [For what? Are they shooting themselves? – Aggie]

Admittedly, this is typical European appeasement and antisemitism, but the NY Times is no better:

When Aydin Soei, a sociologist in Denmark, met members of an inner-city gang in 2008, one teenage tough stood out as more intelligent than his peers, and more mercurial. He showed little interest in Islam, but a deep loathing for Denmark, the country where he was born and spent his entire life.

On Sunday, that former gang member, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, died in a gun battle with Danish police officers just a few hundred yards from his boyhood home in Norrebro, an immigrant area of the Danish capital. It was the final, bloody episode of a short and angry life that included street crime and macho violence and ended with a 15-hour explosion of militancy on the streets of Copenhagen.

As the authorities across Europe try to figure out how radical Islam turns a tiny but dangerous minority of young Muslims into terrorists, Mr. Soei, the sociologist, said that Mr. Hussein, 22, was an exemplar of a phenomenon of Europe’s urban neighborhoods, not a product of the teachings of the Quran or their distortions by militant preachers.

“This wasn’t an intellectual Islamist with a long beard,” Mr. Soei said. “This was a loser man from the ghetto who is very, very angry at Danish society.”

And more BS at the link. Many paragraphs in, they finally mention that his gang, called “Brothas” held a vigil outside the synagogue where he was shot, and shouted Allahu Akbar! But not to worry, they are just the poor ghetto kids of Europe.

Now, some of you are younger than BTL and I, and don’t recall the Leftie line of 2001, right after the 9/11 terror attacks. Then we were assured that terrorism was all about poverty, racism, etc. The Left gave it up slowly, as it became obvious that the 9/11 terrorists were well-to-do men, with educations, etc. Now it is back in style, apparently.

I don’t doubt that Europe is a fascist cesspool; we know that it is. But terrorism is just a technique and all sorts of people can play. In today’s world, most of them are radical Muslims. Another way to say this is that instead of dealing drugs or mugging old ladies, radical Muslims prefer shooting Jews and beheading Christians.

– Aggie

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Random Violence Watch [UPDATED]

Those “folks” are at it again. Shootin’ other folks:

One civilian was killed and three police were wounded on Saturday in shooting at a public meeting in the Danish capital Copenhagen attended by the controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks, police and the Danish Ritzau news agency reported.

Danish police confirmed one civilian had been killed in a shooting and said the suspects had fled in a car.

Ritzau said both Vilks and the French ambassador, who was also attending, were both unharmed, but that three police had been wounded. The gathering was billed as a debate on art and blasphemy.

I guess we know who won the debate!

Vilks stirred controversy in 2007 with published drawings depicting Mohammad as a dog which sparked threats from Islamist militant groups.

He has received numerous death threats and has lived under constant protection by the Swedish police since 2010. Two years ago, an American woman who called herself Jihad Jane was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to kill him.

Never bring an oral argument to a gunfight.

UPDATE: First, they came for the cartoonists—then the Jews:

The attacks began just after 3:30pm on February 14. A gunman armed with an automatic weapon sprayed a café in a cultural center in the eastern part of Copenhagen with bullets killing 55-year-old documentary filmmaker Finn Nørgaard and wounding three members of security forces. At the time, the café was hosting a discussion on freedom of expression, that included among its panelists the French ambassador to Denmark, François Zimeray, and Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist and art historian who has been the object of several assassination attempts since he published a cartoon in 2007 that depicted the prophet Mohammed as a dog. Vilks later told the press he was certain he was the object of the attack.

“They fired on us from the outside. It was the same intention as Charlie Hebdo except they didn’t manage to get in,” Zimeray told Agence France-Presse. “Bullets went through the doors and everyone threw themselves to the floor.

After finding the car in which the gunman had initially escaped, police fanned out throughout the city, erecting roadblocks and passenger controls at airports and train stations in an attempt to keep the perpetrator from slipping across the border to Sweden or Germany. But he hadn’t gone that far. Just after 1am, a gunman fired shots in front of the city’s main synagogue, wounding two police officers and one member of the synagogue who was controlling access to a bar mitzvah being celebrated by roughly 80 people inside. That member, 37-year-old Dan Uzan, later died of his wounds. “It’s what we’ve always feared, said synagogue president Daniel Rosenberg Asmussen in an interview with Danish television DR2. “It is also what we have always warned could happen in Denmark.”

Overnight, the center of the city was locked down, and police advised citizens to stay in their homes or, if they were already out, in the bars and clubs where they found themselves. Around 4 am, a suspect returned to an apartment in the northern part of the city that police had been monitoring since the afternoon. When police approached the man, he began firing at them. In the ensuing exchange of shots, the man was killed. “We believe that the man shot by riot police this morning is the one behind the two attacks,” said chief police inspector Torben Mølgård Jensen at an early morning press conference.

Can’t wait for team Obama to dismiss this random attack on a synagogue as just folks-on-folks crime. The more he denies that Muslims target Jews, the harder they try to prove it to him.

UPPERDATE:
Mark Steyn’s very important take.

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Great Day For Folks Looking For Tea Party Terrorists [Update: Perpetrator Is An Atheist]

Three Muslim students apparently murdered because they were Muslim

I have posted the CNN link, but be aware that it opens to a noisy video.

This is a terrible day for UNC:

A 46-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of three Muslim students in an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

Police haven’t said what may have compelled the accused, Craig Stephen Hicks, to allegedly carry out the attack Tuesday evening. He turned himself in to police later in the night.

But given the victims’ religion and comments the alleged shooter apparently left on a Facebook page, many social media users wondered what role, if any, the victims’ faith played.

The victims were Muslims: Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Barakat was Mohammad’s husband; Abu-Salha was her sister, the school said.

Barakat was a second-year student at the UNC School of Dentistry, who was raising money on a fundraising site to provide dental care to Syrian refugees in Turkey.

He had been married for just over a month to Yusor Mohammad, who was planning to begin her dental studies at UNC in the fall, according to the school.

Abu-Salha was a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

All three had been shot in the head

This is obviously a tragedy. Aside from that, it will be fascinating to see if the President is able to identify the religion of the victims and why they were murdered. I doubt this one will be chalked up to randomness. (And we don’t know if the shooter is a Tea Party member, a neo-Nazi or just mentally ill, but I bet the press assumes that he is somehow a conservative, Tea Party member, because they have to have something that feels like balance in their feeble minds).

Update: The Israeli media says the perpetrator is an extremist atheist.

suspected radical atheist is in police custody after allegedly murdering three young Muslims in the North Carolina college town of Chapel Hill, media reports indicate.

According to the British newspaper Independent, the three Muslims, who were all from the same family, were in their home when a 46-year-old man identified by police as Craig Stephen Hicks gunned them down.

If he’s not conservative, this won’t get much coverage. He’ll be mentally ill.

– Aggie

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Here Is Jan Psaki Explaining That The Attack On Jews Wasn’t Necessarily An Attack On Jews

This goes with the story below. It is surreal, and I don’t use the word lightly.

– Aggie

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Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

Found it!

During an Islamic protest against free speech put on by the Muslim Action Forum [MAF] in London Sunday afternoon, women were kept separately from men with barricades.

When I approached a British police officer to ask if I was allowed to enter the protest as a non-Muslim, which was barricaded off across the street from where I was standing near Parliament (I asked the question because I didn’t see any non-Muslims inside the barricades), he informed me that I could try but that it wasn’t a good idea. The implication was that I could be hurt or verbally abused. He also told me that if I attempted to enter, the male protestors would force me to the designated female section.

The stage was put in the middle of the protest and all-male speakers faced the Muslim men in the crowd while their backs were to the women. The speakers never turned around to address the corralled women behind them. An electronic sign placed behind the stage read, “Be careful with Muhammad,” and speakers called on the UK government to condemn and criminalize offensive speech against their prophet.

The protest was part of the MAF’s “Campaign for Civility.”

Ha! Good one, Muslims!

PS: Any response, feminists? Didn’t think so.

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Watch Somebody On MSNBC Explain Reality To Obama

We usually don’t put up anything from MSNBC because their comments are typically inane, but the woman who speaks second here explains that what Obama said at the prayer breakfast about the Crusades and the Inquisition is exactly what ISIS put on the video of the burning of the Jordanian pilot.

– Aggie

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Turkey Pulls Out Of Defense Conference Because Of Presence Of Israel

Israel apparently has cooties

Turkey is declining to attend an upcoming security conference in Munich due to the expected participation of Israeli officials, Ankara’s foreign minister told the Anadolu news agency on Friday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was due to attend the conference, which is scheduled to begin on Friday. He told reporters in Berlin that he had withdrawn from the event after he had learned that Israeli representatives would also be present.

This year’s meeting is expected to draw 20 heads of states as well as 60 foreign and defense ministers.

“But, we have decided not to participate in the Munich Security Conference because they have subsequently invited Israeli representatives to the Middle East session,” Cavusoglu said.

I’m sure that Turkey can handle whatever defense needs they have on their own, right? But I do wish that people would stop vacationing there. I get that it’s cheap and exotic, but there are lots of places that offer that.

– Aggie

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Immoral Equivalence

Lots of places have noted this, but not so notably as Victor Davis Hanson:

President Obama, at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, said:

Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

This is banal.

The problem with all such high-horse declarations by Obama is his continual omission of historical context and, in this case, his conflation of the frequent with the rare. The Crusades began in 1095, almost a millennium ago; the Inquisition in 1478, now over 500 years past. When the president says “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” he should remember that all religions at the time committed terrible deeds that shock the modern sense of morality — given the savage wars between Christendom and Islam, and the religious purifications and civil discord common to all the religious factional strife that played out, violently, in accord with the ethos of the times.

Slavery was outlawed in the U.S. in 1865. Jim Crow ended officially a half-century ago. Indentured servitude, however, continues, almost exclusively among some Islamic groups in the Middle East and Africa. The caste system and ethnic and religious tribalism that institutionalized discrimination and second-class status, quite akin to Jim Crow, persist in places in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. I doubt today whether a Jew of any nationality would be allowed to immigrate and buy real estate in too many corners of the Islamic Middle East. Outside of the West, women and homosexuals are often treated no differently than in the Seventh Century.

In fact, Christian countries were the first to legally end the age-old human sin of the slave trade, and the first to outlaw slavery’s continuance. The president, is fond of historical sloppiness and moral equivalence (cf. the Cairo Speech). But what is the point of citing sins of 1,000, 500, 150, or 50 years ago, without acknowledging 1) that such pathologies still continue today outside the West, especially in the world of Islam, and 2) that Christianity had a unique role in ending these wrongs?

If Obama is saying Islam is stuck in a medieval mindset, we might have to agree.

But if he also says ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah (the Party of Allah), et al are not truly Islamic, then neither were the Crusades. Pay no attention to the Cross of St. George flags and the blessings and the moneybags of the Pope.

Yep, there have been atrocities committed in the name of religion throughout history. Only now are we excusing such behavior.

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UN Food Distributed By ISIS

The UN is “extremely concerned”

And extremely inept:

The U.N.’s World Food Program says it is “extremely concerned” about images circulating on social media showing Islamic State labels affixed to its food aid boxes in Syria.
It said in a statement Monday that it was still trying to verify the photos, but that they appear to have been taken in the northern Syrian village of Deir Hafer, which was last reached by the WFP on Aug. 5, when a convoy delivered 1,700 food rations, enough to feed 8,500 people for a month.
The WFP said it learned in September that IS members raided Red Crescent warehouses in the village where the rations may have been stored.
“WFP condemns this manipulation of desperately needed food aid inside Syria,” said Muhannad Hadi, its emergency regional coordinator for the Syria crisis.

Aside from the Keystone Kop hilarity of the UN, it should be noted that Hamas won over the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank because it distributed food, etc. It was seen as less corrupt than the PA. ISIS is now building love and loyalty.

– Aggie

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Charlie Hebdo Speaks

Predictably:

A defiant Charlie Hebdo has released its first cover since Islamist fanatics burst into its offices in Paris and murdered 12 people.

It centres on an image of the Prophet Muhammad, who is shedding a single tear and holding a sign which declares: ‘Je Suis Charlie’.

Above the figure, who is drawn in comic style wearing a turban, the text declares: ‘Tout est pardonné (All is forgiven)’.

It was signed by Luz, the same staff cartoonist who drew an image of the Prophet Muhammad on the magazine’s cover three years ago, leading fanatics to firebomb the magazine’s offices.

Luz, real name Renald Luzier, 42, avoided last week’s mass murder because he overslept by half an hour and was late for work.

Up to 3 million copies of Charlie Hebdo – whose usual circulation is 60,000 – will be printed on Wednesday.

Be on the lookout for someone who looks something like this:

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The First Rule of Islam is Never Question Islam

The second rule is never forget the first rule.

This fellow had the temerity to study the rise of Islam.

Bad idea:

I was a historian, not a satirist—and, what’s more, a historian of classical antiquity. How could a book on ancient Rome offend anyone?

The answer only gradually began to dawn on me when I came to write not about Rome’s heyday but about her fall. By the 6th century A.D., the Roman Empire had been dismembered. The western half, including Italy itself, was ruled by barbarians; only the eastern half survived. In the early 7th century, that remnant was reduced, in turn, to a bleeding trunk. Provinces that had been Roman for centuries were lost for good to a new breed of imperialists: the Arabs.

The collapse of Roman power in the Near East was the flip side of another story: the rise of Islam. The Arab armies who seized from the Romans the provinces of Palestine, Syria and Egypt were Muslim, according to traditional historiography, and had been inspired to their remarkable feats of conquest by the revelations of a prophet, Muhammad. It took me only a cursory immersion in the scholarship of the period to realize that these presumptions were (to put it mildly) widely contested.

Indeed, it was hard to think of another field of history where quite so much was up for grabs. Questions fundamental to Islam’s traditional understanding of itself turned out to defy consensus. Might the Arab conquerors not actually have been Muslim at all? Did the Quran, the supposed corpus of Muhammad’s revelations, in fact derive from a whole multiplicity of pre-existing sources? Was it possible that Muhammad himself, rather than coming from Mecca, had lived far to the north, in the deserts beyond Roman Palestine? The answer to all these questions, I gradually came to conclude, was yes.

The publication of the book went well enough. Then Channel 4 decided to make it into a show:

[A] TV station that had been set up in the U.K. back in the 1980s with a publicly funded remit to serve as the BBC’s naughty younger brother. Ever since, no Christmas or Easter has been complete in Britain without a documentary in its schedule questioning the historicity of the Bible.

Never before, though, had it—or, indeed, any other British TV channel—aired a documentary questioning the basis of what most Muslims believed about the origins of their faith. I still remember a feeling of almost physical panic as I stood on the battlements of an abandoned Roman city in the Negev Desert and raised the possibility, on camera, that Muhammad might not have come from Mecca. The director, the brilliant and award-winning filmmaker Kevin Sim, had aimed to make me and my anxieties about what I was doing a part of the film, and he more than succeeded. There is barely a shot in the documentary in which I do not look mildly terrified.

It didn’t take long for me to realize my mistake. Just a few minutes into the broadcast, my Twitter stream was going up in smoke. By the time the show ended, the death threats were coming in thick and fast—and not just against me but against my family as well. Channel 4 was also deluged with protests. A private screening scheduled for assorted movers and shakers had to be canceled after the police warned that they couldn’t guarantee the security of those attending the event. Because many of the invitees had been journalists, this naturally gave the controversy a new lease of life.

Two weeks later, I was still fielding death threats from Muslims convinced that the only plausible explanation for my having made the film was that I was in the pay of Mossad or the CIA or both. The most chilling moment of all came when Press TV, a propaganda arm of the Iranian government, aired a documentary leveling pretty much that accusation. It was the one time that I seriously imagined I might end up as the new Salman Rushdie.

An entertaining and illustrative story. But not half as illustrative as his bio at the end of the piece:

Mr. Holland is the author of “Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic” and “In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire.” His new translation of “The Histories” of Herodotus is published by Penguin Classics.

He’s not writing about the birth of Islam any more. He’s gone about ten centuries the other way. No one threatens to cut off your head over Herodotus. You can say what you like about the Spartans (and many have), but they’re not around to take offense.

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