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Medical report published, confirms that Robert Spencer was poisoned in Iceland

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
May 17, 2017

More on why I had to cancel my speaking engagements this week.

“Doctor confirms poisoning of prominent Islam critic,” by Art Moore, WND, May 17, 2017:

A medical report confirms prominent Islam expert Robert Spencer’s claim that he was drugged by an Icelander in the island nation’s capital after giving a speech on Islam and the future of European culture.

As WND reported, Spencer believes someone who recognized him at the restaurant where he dined after the speech last Thursday approached him, declaring himself to be a fan, and slipped drugs in his drink.

Spencer said that about 15 minutes later, when he returned to his hotel room, “I began to feel numbness in my face, hands and feet. I began trembling and vomiting. My heart was racing dangerously. I spent the night in a Reykjavik hospital.”

The doctor states in his one-page report, dated May 12, that Spencer tested “positive for amphetamine and MDMA.”

Reykjavik journalist Hjálmar Friðriksson, who reports for the local news service DV, alerted WND to a copy of Spencer’s medical report that he obtained, which was written in English.

MDMA, commonly known as “ecstasy,” typically causes an increase in heart rate.

Spencer told WND that the doctor “tried to downplay what happened,” but the report makes it clear he was drugged.

“He said I had a panic attack,” said Spencer, noting it’s a symptom of MDMA overdose.

“I’ve never had a panic attack in my life, even after jihadis attacked our event in Garland,” he said. “Also, why would I have a panic attack after a successful event?”

Spencer was referring to the free-speech event he co-hosted in Garland, Texas, in May 2015 that was attacked by jihadists allied with ISIS. WND reported from the scene.

“I can only surmise that the doctor knew who I was and didn’t want me to use the incident to make the Icelandic left look bad,” Spencer told WND.

“When he spoke to me, he mentioned only Ritalin, and seemed skeptical when I told him I had never taken Ritalin.”

Spencer said the doctor didn’t mention MDMA to him, although it ended up in the report.

“He also went on about stress, urging me to stop doing what I do, without any evidence that I have ever found it particularly stressful,” Spencer continued. “His intent seemed to be to get me to believe that I had not been drugged and should stop speaking out against jihad terror and Shariah oppression.”

Spencer also noted the doctor admitted Spencer was drugged but said it was not a “serious poisoning.”

“How much poison must one be given for the poisoning to be ‘serious’?” Spencer asked. “I had most of the symptoms of MDMA overdose. That’s serious enough for me.”

The Icelandic journalist Friðriksson confirmed police are reviewing Spencer’s complaint.

Spencer said a police official took immediate steps to obtain the restaurant’s surveillance video and identify the suspects.

Along with directing Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Spencer is author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “The Truth About Muhammad.” His latest book is “The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran.”

‘Firestorm of abuse’

Spencer said his visit had “triggered a firestorm of abuse in the Icelandic press, all based on American leftist talking points.”

The Icelandic press noted he was banned by the United Kingdom from entry in 2013, but didn’t mention it was for saying that Islam has doctrines of violence. He also was condemned for supporting Israel and falsely accused of inciting the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik to kill.

Spencer said in a report Monday it’s clear that “jihad and Islamization are not subjects that Icelandic politicians and media opinion-makers want Icelanders to discuss.”

The lesson learned from his trip to Iceland, he said, is “media demonization of those who dissent from the leftist line is direct incitement to violence.”

“By portraying me and others who raise legitimate questions about jihad terror and Shariah oppression as racist, bigoted Islamophobes, without allowing us a fair hearing, the media in Iceland and elsewhere in the West is actively endangering those who dare to dissent.”

Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community.

Judge throws out clock boy ‘discrimination’ lawsuit

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By Rick Moran
American Thinker
May 20, 2017

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Irving, Texas and the local school district that alleged discrimination against Ahmed Mohamed, the student who brought a “clock” to school that looked suspiciously like a bomb.

Mohamed was arrested and charged with bringing a hoax bomb to school.  Those charges were later dropped, but the resulting furor from the incident became a litmus test for “Islamophobia” in America.  Those who supported the “innocent” teen were tolerant, broad-minded, and welcoming of diversity.  Those who think the student wrong were haters.  Ahmed ended up being invited to NASA headquarters and an event that featured President Obama as the left rallied to his cause.

Meanwhile, his father moved the family to Qatar but stayed only nine months.  When the family moved back to Irving, they demanded $15 million not to pursue legal action.  The town and school district refused to pay the extortion, which resulted in the lawsuit thrown out yesterday.

Daily Mail:

Court papers obtained by DailyMail.com reveal on May 18, a judge dismissed the entire case. The lawsuit sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages along with attorney fees.

The judge wrote: ‘Plaintiff does not allege any facts from which this court can reasonably infer that any IISD employee intentionally discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed based on his race or religion.’

Further, he notes that the suit failed to identify any policy, custom, or practice of the City that was allegedly the moving force behind any violation of Ahmed’s Fifth Amendment rights.

When the lawsuit was first filed in 2016, the district hit back at the Mohamed family’s allegations saying Ahmed deliberately disobeyed his teacher by activating the clock despite her warning.

The judge said the  failed to allege any facts from which the court could reasonably conclude that Ahmed was discriminated against based on his race or religion.

The ruling said the suit had: ‘Absent allegations of intentional discrimination, or allegations from which the court can reasonably infer intentional discrimination, Plaintiff fails to allege an equal protection violation against the IISD.’

Mohamed’s complaint also said Irving Independent School District has an ‘ugly history of race struggles,’ and the State of Texas and the IISD have a ‘history of discrimination against Muslims in Texas curriculum and schools.’

Prior to filing the most recent lawsuit, the family demanded $15 million dollars in damages in the months after the arrest.

Damages are only granted for intentional discrimination. Mohamed is allowed to file an amended complaint by June 1.

The lawsuits and extortion demand are pretty strong indications – if not proof – that the entire incident was a scheme concocted – probably by the father – to soak the city and school district for as much money as they could get. Obviously, the family was expecting a quick settlement.  But Irving fought back and has now been vindicated.

The family say they will refile the lawsuit, and the judge has given them until June 1 to do so.  But the judge’s reasoning in throwing out the suit in the first place – that Mohamed failed the most basic legal test in a discrimination lawsuit – means that a similar result will ensue following the refiling of the lawsuit.

Portland State U: Muslim student says those who leave Islam will be killed in an Islamic state

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
May 13, 2017

 

 

 

The Muslim student is right, and unusually honest. The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law. It’s based on the Qur’an: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)

A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, Al-Ja’fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”

Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”

Imam praised as moderate by New York Times arrested for Islamic State ties

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
May 11, 2017

This underscores yet again what I have said for years: there are sincere Muslim reformers, but there are also a great many deceivers (“War is deceit,” said Muhammad), and it is essentially impossible to tell one from the other. What is even worse about this story is that policy analysts read the New York Times and take it seriously, and base their recommendations upon it. If this imam had been in the United States, he could have attained great influence and access, as did another “moderate,” Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is now in prison for financing al-Qaeda, or at very least tremendous influence in the Islamic community, as did Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also praised as a moderate in the New York Times and seen briefly in a PBS documentary on Muhammad, leading Islamic prayers on Capitol Hill with Hamas-linked CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad, and Randall Ismail Royer, who later served time in prison for jihad activity, in the congregation.

“The jihadist of Alicante who even fooled the New York Times lives with four women and 18 children,” translated from “El yihadista de Alicante que engañó hasta al ‘New York Times’ vive con cuatro mujeres y 18 hijos,” by Alejandro Requeijo and Daniel Montero, El Español, April 28, 2017:

“Jihadists use religion for their personal purposes and declare war on Jews and Christians, but I want people to follow what Islam actually says.” So innocently did a pious Hesham Shashaa present himself seven years ago in a feature that the New York Times dedicated to him. The Muslim leader was living in Germany, where he said he would promote interreligious dialogue and warned that radical Islamists would brainwash young people. In order to fight against jihad, he justified his trips to mosques and madrasas from all over the Muslim world. However, this Wednesday the National Police arrested him in Alicante and accused him of aiding terrorists, some of them from the Islamic State.

As confirmed by various antiterrorism sources involved in his arrest, he is the same person who posed as a harmless Muslim believer in the pages of the American newspaper. He had succeeded in deceiving even the German authorities, as demonstrated by a police official who is cited in the New York Times report in which he was featured: “We know that he speaks and works against terrorism groups like Al Qaeda or the Taliban, and that is important.” This representative of German security, who preferred to remain anonymous, added that Shashaa “is the only example who is doing it in this way here in Germany, and in this sense he is effective.”

The American newspaper report even relates an anecdote in which the German police asked this man about a book on women in Islam that, given its content, is prohibited in Germany. They went to look at Shashaa’s personal library. “I need to know what is in these books; how else can I know how to communicate with the recruiters?” The Muslim leader came to Germany because, he told the newspaper, he lost his briefcase on a stopover in 2000 while on his way to Great Britain from Romania, where he had been living. “Everything was gone, the papers, the money, so I thought it was God’s will that I stay here,” he explained. But the National Police have another impression of this 46-year-old Egyptian citizen.

Relationship with Daesh

According to the statement issued by the Interior Ministry after his arrest, “he facilitated the return of Islamic State terrorists who had decided to return from Syria and Iraq by providing them with the necessary places of transit and refuge and assisting them in the documentation and procurement of economic resources.” The return of terrorists who have fought in conflict zones is one of the main concerns of Western security forces for fear of receiving more radical and more experienced jihadists in the handling of weapons and explosives.

In addition, the Department headed by Juan Ignacio Zoido adds that “the detainee took advantage of his privileged position within the Islamic Community of the province of Alicante to spread material that extols the attacks committed by DAESH and cruelly disparages their victims.” He also used social media as an instrument “to generate hate with the publication of videos in which terrorist leaders called for violent jihad as a method of indoctrination of their followers.”…

Portland State U: Student fired from paper for reporting about Muslim student’s statement

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
May 13, 2017

Andy Ngo reported on a Muslim student admitting that his religion mandated death for those who leave it, and was summarily dismissed from his position at the Vanguard, the campus newspaper. No one at PSU seems particularly concerned with the plight of those who leave Islam in Muslim countries, but those who call attention to this fact are “predatory” and “reckless.” This is modern academia: truths that deviate from the Leftist line are ruthlessly suppressed.

“Student Shares Video Critical Of Islam, Gets Fired From College Newspaper,” by Rob Shimshock, Daily Caller, May 12/2017:

An Oregon college student lost his job at the school newspaper after he tweeted a video of a Muslim student admitting his religion killed nonbelievers, according to an article he wrote concerning the incident Friday.

Andy Ngo, former multimedia editor for the Vanguard at Portland State University, posted a video and brief commentary from an “Unpacking Misconceptions” religion panel he attended before losing his job, according to a column he published in National Review.

“At Portland State interfaith panel today, the Muslim student speaker said that apostates will be killed or banished in an Islamic state,” tweeted Ngo on April 26.

“And some, this, that you’re referring to, killing non-Muslims, that [to be a non-believer] is only considered a crime when the country’s law, the country is based on Koranic law — that means there is no other law than the Koran,” the Muslim student said at the panel, according to the tweets. “In that case, you’re given the liberty to leave the country, you can go in a different country, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. So you can go in a different country, but in a Muslim country, in a country based on the Koranic laws, disbelieving, or being an infidel, is not allowed so you will be given the choice [to leave].”

Breitbart included the former multimedia editor’s tweet in an April article, and Ngo asserts that his editor-in-chief Colleen Leary and managing editor Tim Sullivan then met with him.

Leary purportedly called Ngo “predatory” and “reckless,” stating the former multimedia editor had risked Muslim students’ lives as well as the lives of his family. She claimed that Ngo had “violated the paper’s ethical standards” by not “minimizing harm” directed at the speaker and had “a history” of indirect association with conservative outlets that damaged the newspaper’s reputation. Leary proceeded to fire Ngo.

Ngo told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he received $1,900 per quarter at the Vanguard and worked for 15-20 hours a week.

“From the ideologues within the paper, the reaction was hostility and aggression,” Ngo told TheDCNF. “Most of them were quick to cut off any ties to me, as if I was suddenly branded untouchable– or deplorable.”…

FBI translator marries Islamic State terrorist

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
May 1, 2017

“‘It’s a stunning embarrassment for the FBI, no doubt about it,’ said John Kirby, a former State Department official. He said he suspects Greene’s entry into Syria required the approval of top ISIS leaders. Most outsiders trying to get into an ISIS region in Syria risk ‘getting their heads cut off,’ said Kirby, now a CNN commentator on national security matters. ‘So for her to be able to get in as an American, as a woman, as an FBI employee, and to be able to take up residence with a known ISIS leader, that all had to be coordinated.’”

And then the FBI protected her: “It also raises questions about whether Greene received favorable treatment from Justice Department prosecutors who charged her with a relatively minor offense, then asked a judge to give her a reduced sentence in exchange for her cooperation.”

Imagine what she could have told the Islamic State leaders that they might have found useful. If ever a swamp was in need of draining, it’s the FBI.

“The FBI translator who went rogue and married an ISIS terrorist,” by Scott Glover, CNN, May 1, 2017:

An FBI translator with a top-secret security clearance traveled to Syria in 2014 and married a key ISIS operative she had been assigned to investigate, CNN has learned.

The rogue employee, Daniela Greene, lied to the FBI about where she was going and warned her new husband he was under investigation, according to federal court records.

Greene’s saga, which has never been publicized, exposes an embarrassing breach of national security at the FBI—an agency that has made its mission rooting out ISIS sympathizers across the country.

It also raises questions about whether Greene received favorable treatment from Justice Department prosecutors who charged her with a relatively minor offense, then asked a judge to give her a reduced sentence in exchange for her cooperation, the details of which remain shrouded in court-ordered secrecy.

The man Greene married was no ordinary terrorist.

He was Denis Cuspert, a German rapper turned ISIS pitchman, whose growing influence as an online recruiter for violent jihadists had put him on the radar of counter-terrorism authorities on two continents.

In Germany, Cuspert went by the rap name Deso Dogg. In Syria, he was known as Abu Talha al-Almani. He praised Osama bin Laden in a song, threatened former President Barack Obama with a throat-cutting gesture and appeared in propaganda videos, including one in which he was holding a freshly severed human head.
Within weeks of marrying Cuspert, Greene, 38, seemed to realize she had made a terrible mistake. She fled back to the US, where she was immediately arrested and agreed to cooperate with authorities. She pleaded guilty to making false statements involving international terrorism and was sentenced to two years in federal prison. She was released last summer.

The FBI, in a statement to CNN, said as a result of Greene’s case it “took several steps in a variety of areas to identify and reduce security vulnerabilities. The FBI continues to strengthen protective measures in carrying out its vital work.”

The FBI did not identify what steps were taken and declined further comment.

“It’s a stunning embarrassment for the FBI, no doubt about it,” said John Kirby, a former State Department official. He said he suspects Greene’s entry into Syria required the approval of top ISIS leaders.

Most outsiders trying to get into an ISIS region in Syria risk “getting their heads cut off,” said Kirby, now a CNN commentator on national security matters. “So for her to be able to get in as an American, as a woman, as an FBI employee, and to be able to take up residence with a known ISIS leader, that all had to be coordinated.”

In court papers filed in US District Court in Washington D.C., prosecutors characterized Greene’s conduct as “egregious,” deserving of “severe punishment.”

Assistant US Attorney Thomas Gillice said Greene had “violated the public trust, the trust of the officials who granted her security clearance, and the trust of those with whom she worked and, in doing so, endangered our nation’s security.”

Even though Greene’s “conduct skirted a line dangerously close to other more serious charges,” the prosecutor argued she should receive a lighter sentence because of her cooperation.

Greene’s two-year sentence was less than punishments given other defendants charged with terrorism-related crimes.

Even failed attempts to travel to Syria and join ISIS have earned defendants much stiffer prison sentences. Americans convicted in dozens of recent ISIS prosecutions received an average sentence of 13 1/2 years in prison, according to an analysis in April by the Center on National Security at Fordham University.

A Justice Department official, however, said Greene’s sentence was “in line” with similar cases, but declined to cite examples….

Fluent in German, Greene went to work for the FBI as a contract linguist in 2011. It was a job that, following a grueling application and vetting process, came with a top-secret national security clearance.
Greene was assigned to the bureau’s Detroit office in January 2014 when she was put to work “in an investigative capacity” on the case of a German terrorist referred to in court records only as “Individual A.”

CNN identified “Individual A” as Cuspert using court documents, newspaper articles about his music career and transformation to jihadist, government bulletins, videos and other sources. His identity was ultimately confirmed by a source familiar with the investigation.

From Gangsta Rapper to Jihadist

Before Cuspert became a front man for jihadists, he was known as Deso Dogg in Germany. Tattoos on each hand spell out the image he cultivated in the mold of American gangsta rappers.

“STR8” was inked on one hand, “THUG” on the other.

One CD cover featured Cuspert with a menacing glare, holding a gun to his own head. His image was backed up by a real life rap sheet with a string of arrests. He had a lean, muscular physique and trained in various martial arts.

Cuspert never achieved star status in the music world, but he did enjoy some success: In 2006, he opened for popular US rapper DMX.

A near-death experience in a car accident prompted Cuspert to turn to religion, according to numerous press accounts. In 2010, he quit the rap world and converted to Islam. He traded his hard driving gangsta-style lyrics for Islamic devotional songs called Nasheeds, including one that praised bin Laden.
Cuspert gained some notoriety as an extremist in 2011 after he posted on Facebook a fake video purportedly showing US soldiers raping a Muslim woman. The video motivated a man to carry out a terrorist attack on the Frankfurt airport, killing two US airmen and wounding two others, according to The New York Times.

In 2012, Cuspert fled Germany, reportedly spending time in Egypt and Libya. The following year, he arrived in Syria, where he would emerge as “ISIS’s Celebrity Cheerleader,” according to a report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a group that monitors various topics in the region, including violent extremism.

As part of the FBI’s investigation into “Individual A,” Greene identified several online accounts and phone numbers used by the terrorist, according to the court file.

Among them were two Skype accounts. She maintained “sole access” to a third Skype account, the records state.

It was in April 2014, during Greene’s work on the investigation, that Cuspert appeared in a video declaring his allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

He called ISIS “the state that no one can stop,” adding, “we will continue to build it until it reaches Washington… Obama!” He then made a throat-cutting gesture with his finger, according to the MEMRI report.

On June 11, 2014, Greene filled out a Report of Foreign Travel form — a document FBI employees and contractors with national security clearances are required to complete when traveling abroad.
Greene, who was still married to her American husband at the time, characterized her travel on the form as “Vacation/Personal,” court records show.

“Want to see my family,” she wrote. Specifically, Greene said, she was going to see her parents in Munich, Germany.

She boarded an international flight on June 23, 2014. But her destination wasn’t Germany. She flew instead on a one-way ticket to Istanbul, Turkey, where she had reservations at the Erguvan Hotel. From there she traveled to the city of Gaziantep, about 20 miles from the Syrian border.

She contacted “Individual A,” the documents state, and with the assistance of a third party arranged by him, crossed the border into Syria. Once there, according to the court records, she married him.

Shortly after, Greene sent emails from inside Syria to an unidentified person in the US showing she was having second thoughts and suggesting she knew she was breaking the law.

“I was weak and didn’t know how to handle anything anymore,” she wrote on July 8. “I really made a mess of things this time.”

In another email the following day she wrote: “I am gone and I can’t come back. I wouldn’t even know how to make it through, if I tried to come back. I am in a very harsh environment and I don’t know how long I will last here, but it doesn’t matter, it’s all a little too late…”

On July 22, 2014, she again wrote to the unidentified recipient: “Not sure if they told you that I will probably go to prison for a long time if I come back, but that is life. I wish I could turn back time some days.”

While Greene was expressing regrets, Cuspert was actively fighting ISIS’s battles.

A video from July 2014 “showed glimpses of him in the bloody aftermath of the ISIS takeover of the Al-Sha’er gas fields in Homs,” according to the MEMRI report on Cuspert. In a field covered with dead bodies, Cuspert “is seen for several seconds beating a corpse with a sandal,” the report said.

Back in the US

It is unclear from the court file precisely when or how authorities learned of Greene’s actions, but on Aug. 1, 2014, five weeks after she left for Syria, federal authorities secretly issued a warrant for her arrest.

“At that time,” prosecutors would later write, “the defendant was at large in Syria or Turkey in the company of the leader of a terrorist group.”

After about a month in Syria, Greene somehow was able to leave the war-torn country and returned to the United States. She was arrested on Aug. 8, 2014….

ISIS jihadis from U.S. find life in the Islamic State “very strict” and life “really very bad,” run home

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
April 30, 2017

They may indeed have had a hard time in the Islamic State. What a pity. They should not be allowed back into the United States. If a group of Americans had become Nazis and fled to Nazi Germany in 1942, would they be allowed back into the U.S. in 1944? These men are enemy combatants. Once back here, they are likely to try to wage jihad here.

“Western ISIS Fighters Discover War Is Terrible, Run Home,” by Saagar Enjeti, Daily Caller, April 28, 2017:

Western Islamic State fighters are attempting to flee home via Turkey as the terrorist group’s territory in Iraq and Syria shrinks, The Guardian reports.

Turkish security forces are reportedly capturing fleeing ISIS fighters at the Syrian border in growing numbers, although some may have slipped through. Some of the western ISIS fighters describe feeling duped by the terrorist propaganda.

U.S. citizen Kary Paul Kleman, a Muslim convert, went to Syria with his Syrian wife in 2015 to participate in what he says is humanitarian relief. Kleman told his family the information that led him to Syria “was all a scam,” but denies he was fighting for the terrorist group.

Kleman’s experience mirrors that of Mohamad Jamal Khweis, a U.S. citizen who hated life inside ISIS so much he surrendered to Kurdish security forces in Iraq. “It is very strict and no smoking there,” Khweis lamented to the press after his surrender in 2016. He continued, “my message to the American people is that life in Mosul is really very bad.”

While some fighters simply regret joining, western security officials fear they could return home to pursue domestic terror plots….

New York Times comes out for Leftist thuggery against dissenters on campus

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
April 25, 2017

The thrust of the argument here is that to shut down voices that the Leftist establishment considers odious — which includes mine, although I am not mentioned in this article (no, I am not Richard Spencer) — is aiding the oppressed to have a voice that they are usually denied.

This is an argument for Brownshirt thuggery and/or totalitarian control of the public discourse. Who will be entrusted with the power to determine whether a group is sufficiently oppressed to be allowed to be heard? Whoever will have that power will be able to impose his or her views tyrannically, with all dissent suppressed.

Moreover, the idea that these oppressed groups have no voice as it is, and conservative speakers coming in would further silence and marginalize them, is sheer Leftist fantasy. In reality, the overwhelmingly dominant point of view on university and college campuses today is that of the hard-Left. Jihad is a response to U.S. imperialism, Muslims are always and in every case oppressed victims of racism and “Islamophobia” — try uttering a word of disagreement to those propositions on a university or college campus today, and see what happens. These ideas have near-total dominance on campus today. Letting me speak (and I did speak at Truman State University a couple of weeks ago, and have two more university appearances coming up) or others with dissenting points of view is simply allowing a small opposing word to be uttered amid the relentless and never-ending bleat for the other side.

The New York Times, perhaps realizing that it cannot win with its ideas on a level playing field, has now published here a sly apologetic for totalitarian censorship. To its everlasting shame, although I doubt that Ulrich Baer or the Times editors will notice my indictment amid all the applause they’re receiving for this piece from their peers.

“What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech,” by Ulrich Baer, New York Times, April 24, 2017:

At one of the premieres of his landmark Holocaust documentary, “Shoah” (1985), the filmmaker Claude Lanzmann was challenged by a member of the audience, a woman who identified herself as a Holocaust survivor. Lanzmann listened politely as the woman recounted her harrowing personal account of the Holocaust to make the point that the film failed to fully represent the recollections of survivors. When she finished, Lanzmann waited a bit, and then said, “Madame, you are an experience, but not an argument.”

This exchange, conveyed to me by the Russian literature scholar Victor Erlich some years ago, has stayed with me, and it has taken on renewed significance as the struggles on American campuses to negotiate issues of free speech have intensified — most recently in protests at Auburn University against a visit by the white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Lanzmann’s blunt reply favored reasoned analysis over personal memory. In light of his painstaking research into the Holocaust, his comment must have seemed insensitive but necessary at the time. Ironically, “Shoah” eventually helped usher in an era of testimony that elevated stories of trauma to a new level of importance, especially in cultural production and universities.

During the 1980s and ’90s, a shift occurred in American culture; personal experience and testimony, especially of suffering and oppression, began to challenge the primacy of argument. Freedom of expression became a flash point in this shift. Then as now, both liberals and conservatives were wary of the privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument, which some fear will bring an end to civilization, or at least to freedom of speech.

We should resist the temptation to rehash these debates. Doing so would overlook the fact that a thorough generational shift has occurred. Widespread caricatures of students as overly sensitive, vulnerable and entitled “snowflakes” fail to acknowledge the philosophical work that was carried out, especially in the 1980s and ’90s, to legitimate experience — especially traumatic experience — which had been dismissed for decades as unreliable, untrustworthy and inaccessible to understanding.

The philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, best known for his prescient analysis in “The Postmodern Condition” of how public discourse discards the categories of true/false and just/unjust in favor of valuing the mere fact that something is being communicated, examined the tension between experience and argument in a different way.

Instead of defining freedom of expression as guaranteeing the robust debate from which the truth emerges, Lyotard focused on the asymmetry of different positions when personal experience is challenged by abstract arguments. His extreme example was Holocaust denial, where invidious but often well-publicized cranks confronted survivors with the absurd challenge to produce incontrovertible eyewitness evidence of their experience of the killing machines set up by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Not only was such evidence unavailable, but it also challenged the Jewish survivors to produce evidence of their own legitimacy in a discourse that had systematically denied their humanity.

Lyotard shifted attention away from the content of free speech to the way certain topics restrict speech as a public good. Some things are unmentionable and undebatable, but not because they offend the sensibilities of the sheltered young. Some topics, such as claims that some human beings are by definition inferior to others, or illegal or unworthy of legal standing, are not open to debate because such people cannot debate them on the same terms.

The recent student demonstrations at Auburn against Spencer’s visit — as well as protests on other campuses against Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos and others — should be understood as an attempt to ensure the conditions of free speech for a greater group of people, rather than censorship. Liberal free-speech advocates rush to point out that the views of these individuals must be heard first to be rejected. But this is not the case. Universities invite speakers not chiefly to present otherwise unavailable discoveries, but to present to the public views they have presented elsewhere. When those views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good.

In such cases there is no inherent value to be gained from debating them in public. In today’s age, we also have a simple solution that should appease all those concerned that students are insufficiently exposed to controversial views. It is called the internet, where all kinds of offensive expression flourish unfettered on a vast platform available to nearly all.

The great value and importance of freedom of expression, for higher education and for democracy, is hard to underestimate. But it has been regrettably easy for commentators to create a simple dichotomy between a younger generation’s oversensitivity and free speech as an absolute good that leads to the truth. We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding, such as the one provided by Lyotard, of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.

The rights of transgender people for legal equality and protection against discrimination are a current example in a long history of such redefinitions. It is only when trans people are recognized as fully human, rather than as men and women in disguise, as Ben Carson, the current secretary of housing and urban development claims, that their rights can be fully recognized in policy decisions.

The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

THE STUDENT ACTIVISM that has roiled campuses — at Auburn, Missouri, Yale, Berkeley, Middlebury and elsewhere — is an opportunity to take stock of free speech issues in a changed world. It is also an opportunity to take into account the past few decades of scholarship that has honed our understanding of the rights to expression in higher education, which maintains particularly high standards of what is worthy of debate….

The Atlantic claims that conservatives want to restrict Muslims’ religious freedom

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
April 27, 2017

Why do Americans increasingly distrust the establishment media? Aside from its rampant and ever-growing record of dishonesty, deceit, and unfairness, there are articles such as this one, featuring such spectacularly poor reasoning that it is astonishing that even The Atlantic let it get through their system. Are The Atlantic’s editors, and its audience as well, such limited thinkers that no one caught how ridiculous this piece is with its leaps of logic, ad hominems, and logical fallacies by the bushel?

Beinart should beware, as he commits himself to the proposition that all opposition to jihad terror and Sharia oppression constitute a desire to restrict Muslims’ religious freedom. Would he, then, agree with attorney Mary Chartier that to prosecute those who mutilate girls’ genitals is restricting Muslims’ religious freedom? That would open the door to a host of other exercises of Muslim religious freedom that Beinart might not find so appealing.

Much more below.

“When Conservatives Oppose ‘Religious Freedom,’” by Peter Beinart, The Atlantic, April 11, 2017:

On March 28, Pamela Geller, co-founder of the group Stop Islamization of America, wrote a column on Breitbart that offered Donald Trump some advice: “Clean house.” Paul “Ryan has got to go. James Comey, too,” she urged. Then she added a more obscure name: “What’s Eric Treene still doing there?”

Treene, the Special Counsel for Religious Discrimination in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is at first glance an odd Breitbart target. For starters, he’s a conservative evangelical Christian. His denomination, The Presbyterian Church in America, opposes abortion and gay marriage, and ordains only men….

Despite all this, Treene has become a reviled figure on the Trump-era right. His sin: defending the religious freedoms of American Muslims. Treene, declares Geller, serves as an “errand boy” for “Muslim Brotherhood operatives,” by which she means the leaders of America’s major Muslim organizations.

Beinart’s quotations don’t match his claims. Treene isn’t “reviled,” and he isn’t criticized for “defending the religious freedoms of American Muslims.” Note how Beinart repeats Geller’s charges without examining whether they’re true or false; this is a tried-and-true Leftist tactic: present opposing views as if they were self-evidently false, without bothering to refute them. Beinart doesn’t tell his hapless readers that Treene at the Justice Department was repeatedly kowtowing to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both of which have demonstrable ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Apparently Beinart thinks that if you don’t cozy up to terror-linked Muslim groups, you must want to restrict Muslims’ religious freedom.

And it’s not just Geller. Treene’s work has also come under attack from his fellow Christian conservatives. When the Justice Department filed an amicus brief defending a Muslim prisoner’s right to grow a beard in 2014, Robert Spencer, who the National Catholic Register has called the “foremost Catholic expert on Islam in our country,”accused Treene and his colleagues of believing that “wherever Islamic law and American law conflict, American law must give way.

Beinart doesn’t bother to mention that the defense argued that “inmate beards could pose a security risk to guards and the public.” Such details would interfere with his “conservatives want to restrict Muslims’ religious freedom” narrative.

An article in the conservative Catholic magazine Crisis slammed Becket’s support for the mosque in Murfreesboro. So did a Tennessee-based Christian group calledProclaiming Justice to the Nations, whose president sits on the President’s Council of the powerful National Religious Broadcasters association. And this March, the NRB came out strongly against Becket’s position, declaring that “Islam” and “sharia” are “absolutely antithetic [sic] to freedom of speech, freedom of religion or freedom of the press.”

This shift in public opinion has left pro-Muslim Christian conservatives vulnerable to populist challenge.

Here again: is what Beinart’s targets saying ipso facto false, as he would have you believe, or are there good reasons for taking these positions?

Legitimate concerns about mosques? No, for Beinart it’s all bigotry. Yet four separate studies since 1999 all found that 80% of U.S. mosques were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians. There are no countervailing studies that challenge these results. In 1998, Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Sufi leader, visited 114 mosques in the United States. Then he gave testimony before a State Department Open Forum in January 1999, and asserted that 80% of American mosques taught the “extremist ideology.” Then there was the Center for Religious Freedom’s 2005 study, and the Mapping Sharia Project’s 2008 study. Each independently showed that upwards of 80% of mosques in America were preaching hatred of Jews and Christians and the necessity ultimately to impose Islamic rule.In the summer of 2011 came another study showing that only 19% of mosques in U.S. don’t teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism. Specifically: “A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers. Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all. Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshiper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques. Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises.” That means that around 1,700 mosques in the U.S. are preaching hatred of infidels and justifying violence against them.

Sharia meanwhile, mandates death for one who “mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam,” (‘Umdat al-Salik 011.10(5).) Freedom of speech and of the press? Not quite. And as for freedom of religion, yes, Sharia guarantees it, as long as the subjugated non-Muslims “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

Conservative Christians who remain committed to religious freedom for Muslims, and even a Christian-Muslim alliance based on shared conservative views, face a fundamental problem. They have fewer and fewer supporters in the pews. The University of North Carolina’s Charles Kurzman notes that between 2001 and 2010, according to an average of nine polls taken during that period, 29 percent of Republicans expressed negative views of Muslims. If you average the nine polls taken since then, the figure jumps to 58 percent. White evangelicals harbor more negative views of Muslims than do any other religious group. Seventy-six percent of them, according to a February Pew survey, backed Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Note the sleight of hand. Do people’s negative views of Muslims mean that they want to restrict Muslims’ religious freedom? Of course not.

This shift in public opinion has left pro-Muslim Christian conservatives vulnerable to populist challenge. In 2014, Robert P. George, a Becket board member, wrote a manifesto in the journal First Things entitled “Muslims, Our Natural Allies.”

He was immediately attacked by Spencer, who along with Geller co-founded Stop Islamization of America. Intellectually, it’s not much of a contest. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton. Spencer lacks any academic affiliation, and does not even have a PhD….

This, Mr. Beinart, is known as the “argument from authority.” It is classified as the weakest of all arguments, and it’s easy to see why: any fool knows that being a professor with a PhD doesn’t automatically mean that in any dispute with a non-professor without a PhD, the professor will be correct. There are idiots with PhDs, especially nowadays, and geniuses without them. Beinart doesn’t bother to address the substance of my criticism of George; in fact, he links in his piece only to the last of my six-page article, which contained my summation but no evidence — as if to suggest that I hadn’t presented any. In any case, Beinart doesn’t seem to have a PhD either; that means that if a PhD disagrees with him on anything, he will have to apologize and retract his statement. Again, any fool could see the fallacy in this. But there are fools, and then there is Peter Beinart.

Islam Is As Islam Does

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By Michael Devolin
Jihad Watch
April 29, 2017

“No religion can be considered in abstraction from its followers, or even from its various types of followers.” — Alfred North Whitehead, from Adventures in Ideas (1933)

Publilius Syrus wrote long ago that “there are some remedies worse than the disease.” We could say as much about most of the Western world’s erroneous ideas about the religion of Islam. Chief among them is the notion that Islam is good and the terrorism committed by Muslims is tangential from Islam – a transmogrification of Islam proper. The remedy for this terrorism, the theory goes, is to “deradicalize” those Muslims who have taken the plunge into the dark waters of Islamic terrorism, or better yet, prevent those Muslims considering taking this plunge by sheltering them from the dangers of “radicalization.” The consequences of these imprudent and sciolistic estimations is now catching up to the Western world, a world that at one time believed our freedoms and our unhindered way of life immune from the egregious cultures and violent sectarianism to which Islam is innately connected in other, far away reaches of the planet.

Edmund Burke warned: “Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar.” And those who have not really taken the religion of Islam seriously, who have assumed that its adherents and its tenets are probably quite similar to those of the other major religions, have done so at the expense of our future and the well-being of the Western world. The insouciant and the foolhardy pluralist (and this would include journalists and academia and clergy) among us believe that the hegemony that Islam strove violently and ruthlessly to achieve in the not-so-ancient past cannot possibly be the end and the means that the “moderate Muslim” envisions and employs today for the future of Islam. The most glaring failure of our modern experts (aside from making innumerable observations about terrorists and terrorism without offering even one real antidote) is that their premise has always been, and remains, that Islam is good and, as the logical extension of this premise, terrorism and the terrorist are anomalies tangential from Islam proper. The creeping obtrusion of jihadist ideologies (and their political/religious supporters) into the Western political narrative will continue in congruence with the propagandistic existence of such contradictory assumptions.

In a 2015 article in Commentary, Joshua Muravchik, after presenting the results of numerous polls regarding Muslim attitudes towards terrorists and terrorism, concludes: “While the predominant view among the world’s Muslims, insofar as we can learn from these polls, rejects terrorism, a significant minority does not. If, on the whole, say, 20 percent of Muslims, a conservative estimate of the average of these numbers, support terror ‘often’ or ‘sometimes,’ that amounts to 300 million people; and if, say, another 15 percent support it ‘rarely,’ then the total base of support for at least occasional terror acts comes to 500 million. There is little comfort to be found in such figures.” Such figures prove without a doubt that terrorism within the Muslim world and terrorism committed by Muslims in the Western world can no longer be viewed as incidental or anomalous, but the norm. Such figures also do little to exculpate Islam from the common but oft-slandered and suppressed opinion that this religion is a root source of anti-Jewish hatred and terrorism, and the primary inspiration for jihadist ideologies.

Edmund Burke also wrote: “Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.” It could also be said (although it would be a deviation from Burke’s intended meaning) that nothing is so fatal to Western democracy as indifference to Islam and the terrorism that inevitably manifests itself in a minority of Muslims that numbers in the hundreds of millions. I’ve written long ago that you cannot judge a religion’s efficacy, whether good or bad, by its exceptional personalities, but only by the behavior of those masses who are conglutinated by its tenets. In this sense and from this perspective, Islam is not merely insalubrious for mankind, but even worse, and because of this same insalubrious nature, it is a grand deception that has hoodwinked the Western world in such a way that we
bend over backward in abject humility just to accommodate this intolerant religion “in abstraction from its followers, or even from its various types of followers.”

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