Publishers Weekly apparently totally cool with beheading Americans, Jewish genocide, removing girls’ clitorises


A Publishers Weekly Twitter feed, @PWreligion, apparently tweeted out a link to one of my articles today. I don’t know which one; they removed it before I ever saw it. Here’s why, and what happened next:

Tim Spalding

PW apology

Which of my views

I subsequently asked both “Tim Spalding” and “PWreligion” to debate me about what they objected to in my work, as well as to specify exactly what their objections were. Neither, of course, deigned to do so: being a Leftist means you never have any accountability. So in any case, it seems reasonable to surmise that they support what I oppose. Hence my headline above.

Team led by “Middle Eastern woman” caught surveilling U.S. facility on Mexican border


Tourists, you greasy Islamophobe. Who ever heard of “Middle Eastern” people getting involved in terrorist activity?

customs and border patrol

“Team led by Middle Eastern Woman Caught Surveilling U.S. Facility on Mexican Border,” Judicial Watch, December 16, 2015:

DECEMBER 16, 2015

A Middle Eastern woman was caught surveilling a U.S. port of entry on the Mexican border holding a sketchbook with Arabic writing and drawings of the facility and its security system, federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch.

The woman has been identified as 23-year-old Leila Abdelrazaq, according to a Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) report obtained by JW this week. Abdelrazaq appeared to have two accomplices, a 31-year-old man named Gabriel Schivone and a 28-year-old woman named Leslie Mcafee. CBP agents noticed the trio “observing the facilities” at the Port of Mariposa in Nogales, Arizona on December 2. Schivone was first noticed inside the entrance of the pedestrian area while the two women stood outside by the entry door, the CPB document states.

When federal officers asked Abdelrazaq why she was drawing sketches of the facilities she “stated because she’s never been to the border,” according to the CBP report. Abdelrazaq resisted showing officers the sketchbook, citing personal reasons, but subsequently handed it over. “During the inspection of the Abdelrazaq sketching book, CBPOs noticed the book contained writings in English and Arabic language,” federal officers write in the document. “There were drawings of what appeared to be vehicle primary inspection area and an additional drawing of pedestrian turn stile gate depicting video surveillance cameras above the gate.” The report proceeds to reveal that the drawings were “partial and incomplete.”

This distressing information comes on the heels of two separate—and equally alarming—incidents in the same vicinity. A few weeks ago JW reported that five young Middle Eastern men were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in Amado, an Arizona town situated about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Two of the men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks, alarming Border Patrol officials enough to call the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for backup. DHS officially denies this ever occurred, but law enforcement and other sources have confirmed to JW that the two men carrying the cylinders were believed to be taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Of interesting note is that only three of the men’s names were entered in the Border Patrol’s E3 reporting system, which is used by the agency to track apprehensions, detention hearings and removals of illegal immigrants. E3 also collects and transmits biographic and biometric data including fingerprints for identification and verification of individuals encountered at the border. The other two men were listed as “unknown subjects,” which is unheard of, according to a JW federal law enforcement source. “In all my years I’ve never seen that before,” a veteran federal law enforcement agent told JW….

Australia Security Intelligence Organisation top dog calls for self-censorship to avoid offending Muslims


“Former prime minister Tony Abbott used an opinion piece last week to call for a ‘religious reformation’ within in [sic] Islam. Mr Abbott called for a ‘hearts and minds campaign against the versions of Islam that make excuses for terrorists, saying Islam had not undergone an equivalent version of the Reformation and Enlightenment in Christian nations.” In response, “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responded to Mr Abbott’s remarks by cautioning against blaming all Muslims for Islamic State terrorist attacks. ‘I’m not about to run a commentary on Mr Abbott but I’d simply make the observation again that the one thing we need to be very careful not to do – and I’m sure Tony agrees with this by the way – is to play into the hands of our enemies and seek to tag all Muslims with the crimes of a few.’”

Can no one in power think clearly anymore? Is everyone thoroughly brainwashed by Islamic supremacist propaganda? Calling for a reformation in Islam is not blaming all Muslims for the crimes of a few. Islamic doctrine is one thing, and the people who hold it are quite another.

Even worse, however, is Australian Security Intelligence Organisation chief Duncan Lewis’ call for voluntary surrender of the freedom of speech so as not to offend Muslims and to guard against the non-existent but always-feared “backlash.” Which will be first to adopt Sharia blasphemy laws in full? Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada or the United States? It will be a close race.

Duncan Lewis

“Julie Bishop defends ASIO chief Duncan Lewis over calls schooling Coalition MPs,” by Lisa Cox, Sydney Morning Herald, December 17, 2015 (thanks to Jill):

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has defended the right of ASIO chief Duncan Lewis to “speak out” after reports he called Coalition MPs to urge them to tone down the language they used in public discussion of Islam.

News Corp reported on Thursday the director-general of ASIO had angered some MPs after phoning them to tell them some of their remarks posed a potential risk to national security.

MPs critical of the intervention see it as an attack on free speech.

No kidding, really?

But Ms Bishop said on Thursday Mr Lewis was right to share his views if the public commentary was affecting ASIO’s work.

“If the director-general of ASIO has formed a view that the public debate might have the potential to put at risk the work that his organisation is undertaking in countering terrorism, then of course he should speak out,” Ms Bishop said on Thursday.

In an interview with News Corp last week, Mr Lewis said some of the public discussion around Islam had the potential to fuel a backlash against Muslims that would make ASIO’s work more difficult.

It comes after former prime minister Tony Abbott used an opinion piece last week to call for a “religious reformation” within in Islam.

Mr Abbott called for a “hearts and minds campaign against the versions of Islam that make excuses for terrorists, saying Islam had not undergone an equivalent version of the Reformation and Enlightenment in Christian nations.

He said societies “can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam” after terrorist attacks in Paris and the Middle East, the deaths of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson in the Martin Place siege last year and Curtis Cheng outside Parramatta police station in October.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responded to Mr Abbott’s remarks by cautioning against blaming all Muslims for Islamic State terrorist attacks.

“I’m not about to run a commentary on Mr Abbott but I’d simply make the observation again that the one thing we need to be very careful not to do – and I’m sure Tony agrees with this by the way – is to play into the hands of our enemies and seek to tag all Muslims with the crimes of a few,” Mr Turnbull said last week.

“The simple fact of the matter is the vast majority of Muslims are as appalled by these acts of extremism as we are.”

Mark Durie: “Anyone saying ‘Islam Is A Religion Of Peace’ needs to read this”


“One may well ask how ‘the religion of peace’ became a brand of Islam, for the phrase cannot be found in the Qur’an, nor in the teachings of Muhammad.”

“Anyone Using The Phrase ‘Islam Is A Religion Of Peace’ Needs To Read This”,  by Mark Durie, Independent JournalDecember 17, 2015:

Days after the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in San Bernardino, President Obama’s address to the nation concerning the threat of ISIS missed the mark. In fact, President Obama seemed at times to be more concerned with Americans ostracizing Muslim communities through “suspicion and hate,” than he was with protecting innocent American civilians from murder in the name of radical Islam.

It is high time for western political leaders to stop responding to terrorism by naming Islam as ‘the religion of peace’. It is time to have a hard conversation about Islam.

The West is in the throes of acute cognitive dissonance over Islam, whose brands are at war with each other. On the one hand we are told that Islam is the Religion of Peace. On the other hand we are confronted with an unending sequence of acts of terror committed in the name of the faith.

There is a depressing connection between the two brands: the louder one brand becomes, the more the volume is turned up on the other.

The slogan ‘Religion of Peace’ has been steadily promoted by western leaders in response to terrorism: George Bush Jr and Jacques Chirac after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7, David Cameron after drummer Lee Rigby was beheaded and after British tourists were slaughtered in Tunisia, and François Hollande after the Charlie Hebdo killings. After the beheading of 21 Copts on a Libyan beach Barak Obama called upon the world to “continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam.”

One may well ask how ‘the religion of peace’ became a brand of Islam, for the phrase cannot be found in the Qur’an, nor in the teachings of Muhammad.

Islam was first called ‘the religion of peace’ as late as 1930, in the title of a book published in India by Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi. The phrase was slow to take off, but by the 1970s it was appearing more and more frequently in the writings of Muslims for western audiences.

What does “religion of peace” actually mean?

Words for ‘peace’ in European languages imply the absence of war, and freedom from disturbance. It is no coincidence that the German words Friede ‘peace’ and frei ‘free’ sound similar, because they come from the same root.

While there is a link in Arabic between salam, a word often translated ‘peace’, andIslam, the real connection is found in the idea of safety.

The word Islam is based upon a military metaphor. Derived from aslama ‘surrender’ its primary meaning is to make oneself safe (salama) through surrender. In its original meaning, a muslim was someone who surrendered in warfare.

Thus Islam did not stand for the absence of war, but for one of its intended outcomes: surrender leading to the ‘safety’ of captivity. It was Muhammad himself who said to his non-Muslim neighbors aslim taslam ‘surrender (i.e. convert to Islam) and you will be safe’….

Sheikh Ramadan Al-Buti of Syria was one of the most widely respected traditionalist Sunni scholars before he was killed in 2013 by a suicide bomber. The year before he had been listed as number 27 in the ‘The Muslim 500’, an annual inventory of the most influential Muslims in the world. According to Al-Buti, the claim that Islam is a peaceful religion was a ‘falsehood’ imposed upon Muslims by westerners to render Islam weak. He argued in The Jurisprudence of the Prophetic Biography that when non-Muslims fear Islamic jihad, their initial inclination is to accuse the religion of being violent. However they then change tack, and craftily feed to Muslims the idea that Islam is peaceful, in order to make it so. He laments the gullibility of ‘simple-minded Muslims’, who:

“… readily accept this ‘defense’ as valid and begin bringing forth one piece of evidence after another to demonstrate that Islam is, indeed, a peaceable, conciliatory religion which has no reason to interfere in others’ affairs. … The aim … is to erase the notion of jihad from the minds of all Muslims.”

There does seem to be something to Al-Buti’s theory, for it has invariably been after acts of violence done in the name of Islam that western leaders have seen fit to make theological pronouncements about Islam’s peacefulness. Who are they trying to convince?

In the long run this cannot be a fruitful strategy. It invites mockery, such as Palestinian cleric Abu Qatada’s riposte to George Bush’s declaration that ‘Islam is peace’. Abu Qatada asked: ‘Is he some kind of Islamic scholar?’

We do need to have a difficult conversation about Islam. This is only just beginning, and it will take a long time. The process will not be helped by the knee-jerk tendency of western leaders to pop up after every tragedy trying to have the last word on Islam. This strategy has failed, and it is time to go deeper.

Obama says that concerns that jihadis will be among the Syrian refugees are unfounded


“The ceremony came as 25 Republican governors have vowed to block the entry of Syrian refugees into their states, including some where large numbers of Syrians have settled in recent years. Mr. Obama has condemned such comments as contradicting American values. The governors made their vow after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month, and fears of terrorism have risen in the United States after the shooting this month in San Bernardino, Calif. But Mr. Obama said that such fears are unfounded.”

How does he know that? Last February, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister recently said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have recently come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.

So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.” These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: “They are going like refugees,” he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, “Just wait.”

Obama

“Obama Counters Anti-Muslim Talk by Welcoming New Citizens,” by Gardiner Harris and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, December 15, 2015:

WASHINGTON — Standing in a room with the original Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, President Obama on Tuesday declared that the United States should never give in to fear but should continue to welcome immigrants and refugees because “that’s who we are.”

“Immigration is our origin story,” Mr. Obama said.

The speech, on the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, was intended as a rebuke to what the White House has called hateful talk against Muslims and immigrants by prominent Republicans. Mr. Obama gave the speech at the National Archives as 31 people from 25 countries were sworn in as American citizens.

“You may come from teeming cities or rural villages. You don’t look alike. You don’t worship the same way,” Mr. Obama said to a group, with each member clutching a tiny American flag. “But here, surrounded by the very documents whose values bind us together as one people, you’ve raised your hand and sworn a sacred oath. I’m proud to be among the first to greet you as my fellow Americans.”

The ceremony came as 25 Republican governors have vowed to block the entry of Syrian refugees into their states, including some where large numbers of Syrians have settled in recent years. Mr. Obama has condemned such comments as contradicting American values.

The governors made their vow after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month, and fears of terrorism have risen in the United States after the shooting this month in San Bernardino, Calif.

But Mr. Obama said that such fears are unfounded.

“In the Syrian seeking refuge today, we should see the Jewish refugee of World War II,” Mr. Obama said. Some Jewish refugee children were turned away from the United States during the period and were later killed by the Nazis.

Mr. Obama is struggling to fashion a message that reassures Americans that he is serious about battling the threat of the Islamic State while also avoiding xenophobia and alarmism. Polls suggest that many Americans believe he is not taking the threat from the Islamic State seriously enough, particularly after the deadly shooting in San Bernardino. Support among Republicans for banning Muslims is high.

To counter these dynamics, Mr. Obama gave a speech to the nation from the Oval Office on Dec. 6, visited the Pentagon on Monday and will visit the National Counterterrorism Center on Thursday, all to demonstrate that his administration is succeeding in its fight against terror and the Islamic State. But in each speech, Mr. Obama has yet to offer a new strategy, leaving even members of his own party grumbling.

On Tuesday, his speech was intended to combat the bigotry and anti-immigrant fervor that have accompanied the concern about the Islamic State. He said that immigrants and refugees had been targeted before, including Catholics whose loyalty was questioned and Chinese immigrants who were banned for a time. He mentioned the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a particularly grievous mistake.

“We succumbed to fear. We betrayed these documents. It’s happened before,” Mr. Obama said. “And the biggest irony is that those who betrayed these values were themselves the children of immigrants.”

“How quickly we forget,” Mr. Obama said. “One generation passes, two generations, and suddenly we don’t remember where we came from.”

Mr. Obama did not mention Donald J. Trump, who is leading in most polls in the Republican presidential primary race and who has called for Muslims to be blocked from entering the United States. Nor did he specifically call out Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, another Republican candidate, who has said he plans to introduce legislation barring Syrian Muslim refugees from entering the United States, or Jeb Bush, also a Republican presidential candidate, who has suggested that the authorities allow only Syrian Christians into the country.

But his targets were plain.

“We can never say it often or loudly enough: Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America,” Mr. Obama said.

Also this week, the White House is holding a series of meetings with religious leaders to discuss ways the administration is working to address discrimination, harassment and episodes of hate while promoting pluralism and religious freedom.

Officials from both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations “have observed that the kind of offensive, hateful, divisive rhetoric that we’ve seen from a handful of Republican candidates for president is damaging and dangerous,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said in a briefing on Monday.

On Monday evening, senior White House advisers met with about a dozen American Muslim leaders who had been invited to discuss the climate of rising anti-Muslim bigotry and hate. One Muslim leader who attended, Farhana Khera, the executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organization based in San Francisco, said she had left the meeting feeling “very heartened.”

“They were expressing a genuine concern about the environment of anti-Muslim hate and violence, and really wanted to hear from the community about the impact and what the federal government can do,” she said.

The White House advisers included Valerie Jarrett, a senior aide; Cecilia Muñoz, the director of the Domestic Policy Council; Melissa Rogers, the head of the faith-based initiative office; and Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser.

Ms. Khera said that since the Paris attacks, her office had documented an unprecedented series of hate crimes against Muslims and Muslim houses of worship — nearly 50 episodes, or an average of two a day. She said she had asked the president’s advisers to urge the federal government to prosecute “the most egregious” attacks as hate crimes.

“We believe the level of hate violence has reached a crisis point, and that’s why it’s crucial that the federal government needs to send a message to the public, in the strongest terms, that these hate crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Ms. Khera said.

She said one proposal that seemed to have traction at the meeting was for the Education Department to issue guidance to schools and educators on dealing with anti-Muslim hate, harassment and the bullying of students….